Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.


Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup


All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Donate

Twitter Facebook YouTube Pinterest

RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe

Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...

Keep me logged in
New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts


Climate Hustle

Recent Comments

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  Next

Comments 1 to 50:

  1. One Planet Only Forever at 14:40 PM on 13 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49


    I agree with challenging the abiuse of the term skeptic. And I support Critical Thinking as being much better than 'believing what suits your interests'. But was pointing out that the term Critical Thinking can be abused just like Skeptic is being abuised, and lawyers are likely yo be the most abusive because they do Critically Think but not always with a Public Interest Good Objective/Purpose. Lawyers tend to debate competing Private Interests and can often believe, in the same fatally flawed way that many economists do, that freer competition between Private Interests will always produce a Good Result, without ever Critically Thinking aboyut the actual results developed when people think they have the right to believe whatever they want and do whatever they please (or claim that a Private Interest that is understandably unsustainable and is actually harmful to others needs to be balanced with the potential loss of perception of personal gain that would be the result of that Private Interest not being allowed to continue to do what it has developed a taste for getting away with).

  2. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    No problems over that, Nigelj.

    Once I had read Dr Berry's "scientific" ideas on the negligible role of CO2 in climate effects, it was clear that he had (sadly) developed Flat-Earth type ideation.   So I didn't bother to look up his Curriculum Vitae — but thanks for that link, Nigelj, which I clicked on and which shows Berry's CV as listed at the met. website.  His CV sounds very much a cross between autobiography / hagiography / self-written obituary.

    I wish to take nothing away from his earlier achievements.  Yet his 1957 graduation date points to him now being over 80 years old . . . the O.B.E. Award, as the saying goes.  Not so surprising then, that he seems to be "going emeritus" as far as wacky scientific ideas.  Sad.  And sad that MichelleM has entered the whirlpool that has dragged her/him down into the murky waters of denierdom.

  3. citizenschallenge at 14:19 PM on 13 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49


  4. citizenschallenge at 14:18 PM on 13 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    This thing kept coming back to me over the course of the days, and why not strive to turn the table on them for a change?  


    Trump Administration is looking forward to making a theater out of climate science and scientists are rightfully upset.

    Yet, it seems to me this exercise provides a wonderful opportunity for some savvy science and history communicators with the right stuff to stand up and turn the table on these fraudsters.

    Reject their script and use this opportunity to expose the contrarian mishmash of inconsistent nonsense, lies and slander.

    Use the moment to expose their dishonest rotten underbelly!

    Presenting the consensus evidence is straight forward.

    “There it is.”
    “Now please list your perceived problems with this fundamental understanding?”

    We know they have nothing of substance.

    This is where they start their circus. Be ready for it.

    When the Red Team comes with their contrived memes, they will be reruns of talking points based on innuendo; on deliberately misrepresenting scientists and the science; on projecting an a priori assumption of malfeasance on the part of scientists; on a deliberate disconnect from the reality of our physical Earth and her geophysics; etc., etc..

    Put Heartland's dishonest talking points on trial !

    Demand proof from them.

    Publicize the provenance of these deliberate frauds.

    Publicize the money trails, and EXXON’s covered up research on the impacts of runaway fossil fuels consumption.

    And so on.


    OPOF, sorry about the "critical thinking" vs. the constantly misused "skeptic" - didn't mean to upset you.  It was only an observation.  'Confronting Contrarians' that's the important point I'm trying to enunciate.     cheers.


  5. Renewables can't provide baseload power

    Fossil fuels will have trouble supplying baseload heating power in Europe for a while after a severe fire in Austria's natural gas hub.  Fossil fuels frequently have trouble supplying constant power.

  6. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    Sorry about repetition, but Eclectics comment was not on the page when I pressed submit. We seem to reach similar conclusion anyway.

  7. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    michellem8082 @12

    You make a whole list of claims without any evidence, sources, links, or peer reviewed citations so its completely unconvincing.

    Wattsup is a highly biased climate denier website full of inane , senseless commentary by people with agendas and eccentric views, rehashing old myths, and very few actual climate research scientists.

    Your other link is to one Edwin Berry who claims he is an ‘expert’ in climate change, except the problem is he is not a climate scientist, and his detailed CV here does not detail any published climate research. His work mainly appears to be in meterology, aircraft design and wind power (oddly enough)

    He has submitted one paper to some journal claiming humans are not increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2. It appears they have not accepted it for publication. His claim is of no direct relevance to the many points you have claimed, and the first few paragarphs of his paper simply don’t make sense.

  8. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    Michellem @12 , talk is cheap, and you have said a lot of words — which amount to nothing.  You have supplied no evidence or even a possible mechanism that could show the mainstream science to be wrong.

    You reference DrEdBerry's website — but that website is a waste of time for readers (of any sort).   DrEd is talking horsefeathers.  The "tenants" of his site hold tenets that are little better than Flat-Earth.

  9. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    It's way too easy to make either sweeping AND/OR anecdotal judgments. "All states were impacted"? How about "directly impacted"? Colorado has had wonderful weather this year and we chose to enjoy it. Our drought went through its' cycle a couple of years ago. It's anectodal, but the game you've chosen to play here.

    It's a bit strange that California is getting picked on with the fires. Anectodal. I would look at El Nino, permaculture, and regulatory policies. Unless you take these steps, you are chasing after the wrong problems, therefore not solving anything and likely making matters worse by missing the best courses of action; perhaps on a case-by-case basis even.

    There truly is significant and legitimate other-side science out there with undisturbed data and findings that CO2 is not the problem, extreme weather events are on the decline, polar bear population is now up, ice mass at one of the poles is up, the planet is 14% greener overall, etc. The claimed ocean levels rise was reported just today as having corrupt data. There are also at least 2 email chain discoveries over the past couple of years that point to corruption on a very large scale. As long as people continue to ignore these, you remain part of the problem.

    There has been an almost laughable number of reports come out about too much rain, not enough rain, less but more frequent rain, etc. in just the past few months.

    There are numerous reports and studies from CA ecologists that their land management advice is being ignored by state policy.

    Scientists have been coming out of the woodwork since Trump got in less afraid of getting fired for daring to uphold their own integrity in science. But widespread policies like the LA Times not accepting any more dissenting views (as if this were a vote situation) and you remain uninformed of all the over 400 new reports that have come out just this year refuting the AGW claim.

    Climate Change, yes. CO2/AGW, no.

    This is Amerca and I sincerely invite all to engage in civil, open conversation. That's the ground that has been laid out in this country once upon a time. Think of the pearl that gets more beautiful (and valuable) from the "rub". 

    There's a spiritual tenant that evoking change via force, shame, guilt, and tyranny rarely secures enduring change.  Also, to make generalizations over an entire group is the very definition of bigotry, btw. We keep repeating the same mistakes over and over with this kind of thinking.

    The most succint case for "the other side science" is below by a climate physicist with credentials up the wazoo:

    On this site you'll get a taste for the numerous other scientists, their credentials and findings.

    Here is a site where you can keep up with the latest updates from both sides:

    Onward and upward...

    Moderator Response:

    [DB]  Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can and will be rescinded if the posting individual continues to treat adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Moderating this site is a tiresome chore. We really appreciate people's cooperation in abiding by the Comments Policy, which is largely responsible for the quality of this site.
    Finally, please understand that moderation policies are not open for discussion.  If you find yourself incapable of abiding by these common set of rules that everyone else observes, then a change of venues is in the offing.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

    Off-topic snipped.

  10. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49

    Gerrymandering is a huge problem just as any first past the post election systems are. All parties can abuse this, so its better to just fix the problem and improve the system.

    It's better to adopt some form of proportional representation, which fixes all these problems. STV (single transferable vote) is quite interesting. 

  11. Video: How not to panic about Global Warming

    When somebody says theres "no global warming because its cold in winter or in New York", they must know this is an invalid reason. Nobody is that seriously foolish. They are really saying "we dont buy what you lefty elites are saying" and this usually comes out sooner or later in discussion.

    But people are trained to do a job objectively, regardless of their politics, like your doctor or car mechanic. And professions have a range of different people with different views anway. Why would scientists be any different?

  12. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    What William is talking about here is regenerative farming / permaculture. Don't be dismissive, solid evidence of effectiveness is starting to accumulate, and it solves a whole range of problems.

  13. One Planet Only Forever at 05:10 AM on 13 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    A clarification/correction of my previous comment.

    "What needs to be debated is how to achieve the undeniably required rapid termination of global burning of fossil fuels and the rapid reduction of CO2 levels to 350 ppm with Good objectives/Purpose in mind."

    The pushing of CO2 beyond 350 ppm is undeniably an unjust creation of harm by a sub-set of humanity irresponsibly pursuing a 'better present for themsleves' to the detriment of the 'development of the gift of a better future for all of humanity as a part of the virtually perpetual  robust diversity of life that can be the future on this amazing planet. A better future is not guaranteed by lots of people believing that everyone freer to believe whatever they want and do as they please in a democracy will develop a sustainable better future. There is ample proof that Private Interests detrimental to that Public Interest have a competitive advantage because of the ease of tempting people to be greedier or less tolerant of Others who are harmlessly different, allowing undeserving people to regionally temporarily Win creating damaging consequences until it is well and popularly understood how unjustified those Winners were, but then too late, damage already done (the damaging reality of the flawed reliance on threats of legal penalty to get better behaviour out of people who believe in their freedom to believe whatever they want and do whatever they please).

  14. One Planet Only Forever at 04:31 AM on 13 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49


    'Critical Thinking Skills applied for, or guided by, Good Purpose/Public Interest' is what Skepticism should be.

    And the critical aspect is the 'application for Good Purpose/Public Interest'.

    A Red/Blue Team exercise regarding climate science could involve 'Critical Thinkers' on each side but would only be a Private Interest scam, an effort to promote unjust impressions. The science is substantially settled. The major points will not be changing as further effort increases awareness and improves understanding. What needs to be debated is how to achieve the undeniably required rapid termination of global burning of fossil fuels with Good objectives/Purpose in mind. And what a Good Objective/Purpose actually is does not require any debate (red/blue or any other 'debate'). The goals/changes required are already well established/presented in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs identify the collection of goals required for humanity to have a lasting better future (all of them have to be achieved or there is no sustainable better future).

    Of course, acceptance of the SDGs is challenged, even by 'critical thinkers' because the SDGs require significant changes to incorrect over-development by some sub-sets of humanity. Some development has undeniably occurred in the wrong direction. And that wrong direction development has produced misleading marketing efforts to maintain or expand the damaging inertia of false perceptions of prosperity and opportunity that many people are easily impressed into wanting to benefit from (regional or tribal popular or profitable Private Interests that are impediments to achieving the Public Interest).

    Critical Thinkers with Good Objectives would try to increase the awareness and understanding regarding how damaging and unnecessary a climate science Red/Blue Team exercise is.


  15. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49


    You need to keep in mind that the IPCC report is a consensus report.  In practice that means that the conclusions in the report are those that 80%+ of scientists agree on.  That generally means that a majority of scientists think it will be worse than what is in the IPCC report.  For some problems the majority of scientists think it will be much worse than the IPCC projections.

    A good example is sea level rise.  A large majority of sea level rise scientists think the rise will be greater than the IPCC projections.  There have been discussions of putting the majority opinion in the report but so far only the numbers that a consensus can agree are the minimum gets in. 

    Then scientists are blamed for being alarmist.  Keep in mind that the IPCC reports are the minimum expected changes.

  16. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    Wet weather creates lots of fuel and dry weather makes it super inflamable.  Climate change enhances the extreemes so that California can expect her rain to come in intense bursts followed by long 'drys'.  Glaciers and snow packs are diminishing so that there is no longer an even release of water during the summer.   So what is a state to do.  Two measures are possible to help mitigate the damage.  California must get fanatic about beavers in all their catchments.

    and they must read and take to heart the book by David R Montomery, Growing a revolution.

  17. One Planet Only Forever at 01:25 AM on 13 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49


    My understanding is that you are not completely correct regarding what is harmful to democracy.

    The potential pressure on unjust pursuers of Private Interest to change their minids because of the threat of consequences from legal action like the one these children have brought is actually 'helpful to democracy/humanity'.

    The following are clear and ultimately unsustainable threats to democracy:

    • Unjust Voter suppression laws like the ones that could help a person like Roy Moore, or an actually convicted criminal, running as the Republican candidate in a region like Alabama Win election (these are examples of the Law System Gone Wrong, like Jim Crow and many other cases - ultimately corrected but only after significant harm is done ... but still a simmering threat because the unjust societal attitudes behind it were never fully corrected - leaders failed to push to have the portion of humanity they have leadership influence on responsibly grow-up and change their minds for Good Reason).
    • District Gerrymandering based on the 2010 census to unjustly create more House of Representative or State Legislature winners for a party than that Party actually deserves. Obama and Holder hope to lead to the undoing of much of that democracy damaging action in the 2020 redistricting. But much damage has been done including the potential long term distortion of the US Supreme Court in favour of Unite the Right types.
    • Misleading message creation and delivery to keep the general population from being more aware and from better understanding what is going on, and to tempt people to be greedier and less tolerant in the hopes that becoming/supporting more of that type of person, a person undeniably harmful to the future of humanity/democracy.

    Based on the above it is almost certain that Unite the Right groups around the world that rely on getting greedier and less tolerant people angry enough to vote and vote for the United group of people with unjust harmful Private Interests, are clear significant threats to the future of Democracy and humanity.

  18. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    Looking at relative humidities for Los Angeles, it appears that midday RH is going to be fairly low (perhaps lower than 20%). When air is so dry that it seems there is almost no chance of rain, you can effectively humidify the air and cause it to be less dense than the surrounding air. It will therefore rise and increase probability of rain. The drier the air, the more you can make it lighter by humidifying it. So spray pumps over the sea will be very effective when dryness and drought is the worst. Example. The air temperature is Tair=30 deg C, relative humidity (RH) is RH=20%. Then the density of the air is Dair=1160.9 g per cubic metre. If you humidify the air to RH=90% with Tair still 30 deg C, then Dair=1148 g per cubic metre. If you heated the RH=20% and Tair=30 deg C air to 33.41 deg C (its RH then drops to 16.48%), it would have the same density as the RH=90% and Tair=30 deg C air.

  19. Models are unreliable

    NorrisM @1079.

    WIthout checking the figures you quote, do be aware that it is not CarbonBrief who set out the carbon budget you quote; it is IPCC AR5 simply with the used emissions budget being subtracted.

    And perhaps to give some indication of the sort of figures your comment seems to be aiming at, the figure from Anderson & Peters (2016) here suggests a value of  perhaps 600Gt(CO2) by 2100.

    And do note this comment is verging on being off-topic.

  20. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    Bozza, yeah Trump is thinking of reelection.

    He might accept agw underneath,  but I doubt it. I think  he sees it is eminently "negotiable" depending on his other goals. Trump only cares about his ego and image, popularity, and scoring points against perceived enemies.

  21. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    Chriskoz @6

    Some cities in NZ are having a drought right now as in NZ Herald article below, mainly in Wellington and futher south, but Auckland is quite dry as well. Cantebury has broken a 64 year record. Nothing as horrendous as problems in California, but a bit unusual for this early in summer.


  22. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future


    Can you be more specific about the extremes in NZ? I want tot know how the weather there can be as absurd there as in US at the moment (unprecedented fires in CA together with a blizzard of a century in Buffalo). I know the NW winds can bring serious weather to N Island and snow can fall at anytime in S Alps and Otago even noe in summer so a single event like that won't surprise me.

  23. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    NorrisM @8

    Thanks for the comment. Regarding some theoretical red / blue debate. Your views are interesting and constructive to some extent, so thanks.

    However I agree a court process is absurd. I certainly don't promote some courtroom process and never have. I dont know where you get that idea from. The courts are entirely unsuited to establishing science theories, obviously.

    Pruitt has not yet crystalised his process, but I disagee with every preliminary idea I have heard. None of this thing makes sense to me.

    The process you decribe which is largely sensible discussion arriving at consensus, is exactly what the IPCC have done many times with vastly greater resources. Therefore there's no point repeating it. This is especially because climate change is so complex, and the scale of discussion between just a few people cannot possibly be in enough depth, even if they spend months.

    The whole idea looks like a delaying tactic, and I dont trust the thing to be fairly done, so its hard for me to support it. You surely understand that?

    "do you think the public would come away thinking climate change is all a "hoax"?

    If the red team find ruthless,unprincipled people there is a risk their twisted message could make any nonsense sound logical and plausible. You can point out the logical fallacies in their arguments, but the damage would be done. On the other hand the blue team might have more articulate speakers, but Im not sure this is going to convince many denialists. The problem is any televised debate becomes a spectacle, and personality contest, and speaking skills contest and the outcome is unlikely to progress understanding or convince anyone. Of course it depends on the final proposal Pruit comes up with.

    "What would Trump have to say after both sides acknowledged that there is real AGW and it is only a question of how serious it will be? "

    It's possible he could be persuaded, because he is mercurial, but I suspect the white house, and the republican congress / senate would remain in denial, and they count a lot here. The climate issue has become intensely ideological and political in America for some reason,and science argument struggles to change this. Any rational argment does. I'm stumped on how this deadlock can be broken, but I agree with comments above that more time must be put pointing out the logical fallacies in the denialists pseudo science. But we shouldnt be trying to break deadlocks with dubious debate processes.

    "And it is not right to say that there should be a 9.7 to 1 ratio on the panel. "

    I never said that. I have said that an equally divided panel simply does not represent true opionion in the scientific community, so on that basis the whole thing is absurd, and the IPCC process makes more sense.

    "The facts and science should stand on its own. Facts are facts. "

    Empty rhetoric Norris. Lawyerspeak!

    "We have massively injected CO2 into our atmosphere way beyond anything in the last X,000 years. Let the facts speak for themselves. "

    This has been said a hundred times. Saying it again in another debate is a farce.

    "The oceans are rising, the temperature is going up and the glaciers are melting, more droughts are happening and there is more precipitation. I personally think you should not get into California forest fires or more intense hurricanes but that is just my opinion."

    I know where you are coming from, but the science says we are changing the weather. You said "let the science speak for itself". If its going to be a serious process everything has to be on the table especially the serious weather consequnces but only where we have good evidence of such changes which does happen to include forest fires.

    "If you have to say climate science is too complicated, you just have to "trust us" then you will never get the public truly behind this. "

    Nobody has said this strawman argument. The public have been given numerous simplified explanations, and an argumentative debate will just confuse people.

    "I appreciate that the climate models will meet with criticisms but I have over the last while seen enough graphs to see that they have been generally tracking the temperature rise with maybe a 10% difference but not significantly off. "

    I'm impressed. You have taken a genuine open position on the science. You also mean well on the red blue thing, and I hear where you are coming from. But I must respond as I see it.

    "But this kind of debate would get it totally out in the open."

    Yes, I understand, but the debate could equally just confuse people further. Huge chance of this.

    "I think the "consensus side" scientists and others are far too concerned about the fact that there are scientific uncertainties as to what will happen and are afraid that admitting these things will "weaken their case" when in fact admitting these uncertainties will give confidence to the public"

    The IPCC repotrts already admit all the uncertainties. So do people like M Mann and other commentators. These's just not much more that a red blue debate could add.

    "you cannot expect "Joe Public" to start reading the Fifth Assessment. Watching a TV "debate" is the best you can expect of him."

    Ok the public wont read the IPCC report, but Joe Public has already read various simplified accounts of climate science and endless books and free websites are available eg NASA does good simple coverage but not over simplified. Televised debates tend to be emotive and confusing. They are entertainment.

    " I just hope the "consensus" side does not just "thumb its nose" at this but rather agrees to participate CONDITIONAL on being satisfied as to the constitution of the red team blue team and the rules of the game. I would hope that this would be broken into a serious of debates on various issues spaced perhaps one month between them. "

    Pruit has obviously set his mind on having the thing. And I think it would be unwise for the "consensus team" to just not participate. Snubbing the process would look bad, and could just empower the denialists. However this depends entirely on the final plan and there may be reasons not to participate if it's a bad plan.

    A series of Public debates as you envisage is not the right approach as I have already made clear. Science is done with discussion in a certain way, and we should stay with that because it works, and suits science, just a courtrooms suit the law and classrooms suit teaching etc.

    "Other than taking to the courts, what other choice is available to try and convince the middle of the road Republicans and Democrats of your case? "

    I understand, but the basic red blue idea just doesnt "sit right " with me, and in the end I have to be true to myself. It almost looks like America is beyond hope at least while Trump is in charge. I just cant see a red blue rocess changing peoples minds.

    "I just worry that Trump will not let it be sufficiently independent to encourage real climate scientists on the consensus side to participate."

    Exactly. And if it isn't absolutely a proper process in every respect, I would say to the "consensus side" dont participate.

    "I think that is the real tug of war that is going on behind the scenes right now. If we see the Heartland Institute up there front and centre then we know the answer."

    You "got that right" (to use the american vernacular). 


  24. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    I do think Trump actually believes in agw: it’s whether he has to act on it or not because his priority is to win the next election!

  25. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    Trump needs reelection!

    All he has to do is bring in mild regulation and he wins a second term!

    He plays a long game...

  26. One Planet Only Forever at 15:59 PM on 12 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49

    I agree that 'Legal System competition results' should not be seen as valid ethical or moral assessments. The laws or constitution may be poorly written. And even well written ones can be open to unanticipated interpretation (such as the 2nd Amendment/Clarification/Correction of the USA Constitution, or the common current misunderstanding of what 'pursuit of happiness' is all about - at the time that term was written it was generally understood to be pursuit of the basic needs of a decent life, not 'whatever a person wants to believe or desires'). And the legal judgments made could also be politically rather than Good Objective motivated (the USA Supreme Court producing fairly predictable split-decisions indicates that even the highest levels of the law could be politically biased).

    As a Professional Engineer I am well aware of the challenges of specifying 'Rules/Requirements - Standards of what is acceptable' that will be interpreted as intended by everyone in any and all current and future situations. Stating the Public Interest Good Objective of the Rule/Standard can help get the desired 'interpretation and application'.
    The Good Objective of Engineering Standards is to protect the general population and other life from the potential harmful consequences of pursuers of personal benefit, particularly pursuers of profit who would try to get away with benefiting from quicker, cheaper and more damaging actions. In many cases National Standards get weakened to 'compete' with other lesser National Standards (or Private Interests try to get the Standards written to benefit from unjustified limits on competition from alternatives). And the development of International Standards is not guaranteed to be a solution when Private Interests get a say in their development. Many International Standards are not the highest justified standard that has been established by any nation. They often become a lower, or even the lowest, standard that has been developed, and include fudge wording that 'allows' a Nation to require a higher standard if it wishes. Any nations with higher standards then have their higher standards challenged by parties wanting the benefit of the 'Lower International Standard'. This can result in a spiral of competition to get away with the worst behaviour to get a bigger competitive advantage (most likely why the likes of Trump like the idea of getting out of the Paris Agreement).

    Someone with a Private Interest will always try to claim that their Private Interest does not 'break any rule (as they interpret them)'. And when those Private Interests are able to influence the making or enforcement/judgment of the 'Rules' they will deliberately weaken/distort the Rules in favour of their Private Interest in spite of being able to understand that their Private Interests are impediments to achieving Public Interest Good Objectives (or will actually be harmful to others which is worse than just being barriers to the development of lasting improvements for everyone).

    The resulting reasonable understanding is that the highest level Public Interest Good Objective is increasing understanding and awareness and applying that knowledge to develop lasting improvements for all life/humanity, including the future generations. And that is what the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) present. The SDGs are open to improvement for Good Reason. But the SDGs have a very robust reasoned basis, so they are not likely to change significantly (just like climate science is not likely to change significantly).

    Correcting everything that has developed to be consistent with achieving the SDGs is what is required. And that will include using the SDGs as the basis for evaluating the acceptability/legitimacy of any Winner/Leader anywhere on this planet. That is just Common Sense that needs to become the Common Understanding.

    This is not my opinion. This is my understanding based on many things including:
    - John Stuart Mill's warning in “On Liberty”. “If society lets a considerable number of its members grow up mere children, incapable of being acted on by rational consideration of distant motives, society has itself to blame for the consequences.”
    - And the critique stated in the 1987 UN Report “Our Common Future”. “25. Many present efforts to guard and maintain human progress, to meet human needs, and to realize human ambitions are simply unsustainable - in both the rich and poor nations. They draw too heavily, too quickly, on already overdrawn environmental resource accounts to be affordable far into the future without bankrupting those accounts. They may show profit on the balance sheets of our generation, but our children will inherit the losses. We borrow environmental capital from future generations with no intention or prospect of repaying. They may damn us for our spendthrift ways, but they can never collect on our debt to them. We act as we do because we can get away with it: future generations do not vote; they have no political or financial power; they cannot challenge our decisions. 26. But the results of the present profligacy are rapidly closing the options for future generations. Most of today's decision makers will be dead before the planet feels; the heavier effects of acid precipitation, global warming, ozone depletion, or widespread desertification and species loss. Most of the young voters of today will still be alive. In the Commission's hearings it was the young, those who have the most to lose, who were the harshest critics of the planet's present management.”

    So I understand and share the concern about having faith/belief in any System that can be seen to not be Guided/Ruled by a Good Objective that is understandably in the Global Public Interest. No sub-group (regional, tribal or business group), is justified in pursuing an Interest that compromises the development of lasting improvements for all of humanity on this amazing planet, including all of the future generations. In fact, no sub-group of life on this planet is justified in pursuing an Interest that compromises the development of lasting improvements for a robust diversity of all life on this amazing planet.

    A significant developing risk to the USA with its current Winner/Leaders is collective action by more responsible leaders to selectively effectively penalize the irresponsible Winner/Leaders in the USA for failing to behave more responsibly. Global penalty tools are often not very precise. Collateral damage to undeserving victims is often the result of attempts to 'motivate the harmful less responsible Private Interest people to change their minds'. This is probably why many major corporate leaders have stated their opposition to the understandably irresponsible actions of the Trump Administration, Senate and House Leadership regarding climate science.

    These 'justifiably concerned children' pushing legal action regarding climate action based on climate science can do the irresponsible Winner/Leaders in the USA a big favour if their lawsuits significantly increase pressure on those irresponsible Winner/Leaders, motivating them to actually behave more responsibly, more considerately, less harmfully (and less self-destructively).

  27. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    Couple of typos

    Par 1 "when this issue of the red team blue team has come up".

    Par 9 "broken into a series of debates" 

  28. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    nigel @ 1

    I have hesitated to even comment on this thread because I have made my views known on this topic in respect to other topics when this the issue of the red team blue team has come up.  Things became rather heated when I suggested a certain physicist as a possible chairman.

    But nigelj, have you read the transcript from the 2014 APS panel review which has been referenced many times?  These were not "monkeys" yelling at each other.  They were rational climate scientists on both sides commenting on the questions posed from the Framework document.  Why could we not have the same thing but this time allow for a long lead time for each side to prepare their responses to specific questions posed.  I think this could be incredibly educational.  This would be miles better than trying this issue in courtrooms as suggested by others.   You never get the "give and take" between experts in a courtroom.  One side says one thing and the other says something else and the two experts cannot go head to head.   The only job of the lawyer in cross-examination is just to make his points and sit down.  A courtroom does not offer the interchange that I would hope you would see with a red team blue team approach.  

    Depending on who participates in this panel (and who chairs it), it could be very valuable to highlight in the public's mind what real scientists are saying about this.  Of course, such a panel discussion would raise a number of issues but do you think the public would come away thinking climate change is all a "hoax"?  It would clearly bring the debate front and centre in the United States.  What would Trump have to say after both sides acknowledged that there is real AGW and it is only a question of how serious it will be? 

    And it is not right to say that there should be a 9.7 to 1 ratio on the panel.  The facts and science should stand on its own.   Facts are facts.   We have massively injected CO2 into our atmosphere way beyond anything in the last X,000 years.  Let the facts speak for themselves.  The oceans are rising, the temperature is going up and the glaciers are melting, more droughts are happening and there is more precipitation.  I personally  think you should not get into California forest fires or more intense hurricanes but that is just my opinion. 

    If you have to say climate science is too complicated, you just have to "trust us" then you will never get the public truly behind this. 

    I appreciate that the climate models will meet with criticisms but I have over the last while seen enough graphs to see that they have been generally tracking the temperature rise with maybe a 10% difference but not significantly off.    I understand there are recent studies that have suggested the models are too conservative.  Legitimately, answers will have to be given as to why temperature rates are anticipated to accelerate (if that is the case).

    But this kind of debate would get it totally out in the open.   

    I think the "consensus side" scientists and others are far too concerned about the fact that there are scientific uncertainties as to what will happen and are afraid that admitting these things will "weaken their case" when in fact admitting these uncertainties will give confidence to the public that true science is working, not political agendas.  If the science is not compelling given these uncertainties then that would be a problem.  But everything that I have learned so far tells me that there is no real alternative explanation and so therefore the only questions remaining are how serious is it (ie how much time do we have) and what are the best solutions going forward?  It is not a question of moving off of fossil fuels but only how fast.  I have also gained a lot of respect for what the IPCC has done (and their openness to a lot of uncertainties) but you cannot expect "Joe Public" to start reading the Fifth Assessment.  Watching a TV "debate" is the best you can expect of him.

    If it is some kind of kangaroo court then I agree it would not be advisable.  That is why I would like to reserve my decision until I see who the proposed chair or co-chairs are and who are the participants.  On this point, I might note that Judith Curry has been quoted somewhere that she does not think that the Heartland Institute should be involved.  I obviously agree.  I just hope the "consensus" side does not just "thumb its nose" at this but rather agrees to participate CONDITIONAL on being satisfied as to the constitution of the red team blue team and the rules of the game.  I would hope that this would be broken into a serious of debates on various issues spaced perhaps one month between them.  I personally  would like to have this extended to solutions but perhaps that would be for another year.

    Again, I have made this point before, but given the political reality today in the United States, here is a chance to deliver a body blow to the Trump administration.  Other than taking to the courts, what other choice is available to try and convince the middle of the road Republicans and Democrats of your case? 

    I just worry that Trump will not let it be sufficiently independent to encourage real climate scientists on the consensus side to participate.  I think that is the real tug of war that is going on behind the scenes right now.  If we see the Heartland Institute up there front and centre then we know the answer.

  29. citizenschallenge at 15:04 PM on 12 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    Intellectual Confrontation

    The fact is, climate science awareness is being actively stifled by ruthless individuals with bottomless bank accounts and octopus news outlets to do their bidding. They have sold a lazy public a pack of lies that have become the comfort zone of all too many today.

    How can the misinformation this juggernaut force feeds the public be neutralized without direct intellectual confrontation by masses of informed, concerned, engaged students, and citizens, everywhere it pops up?

    It’s not about attacking people, it’s about attacking the maliciously deceptive words, the lies and stupidity they spew. It’s about teaching them how our physical planet operates!


    Call out False Claims & Lies

    When someone makes a malicious false claim, relentlessly demand evidence for said attacks - shame and expose those who refuse to produce evidence for their malicious claims. Examine and expose the props substituted for substance.

    Dissect and confront their tactics rather than being played by them!

    Better than Skepticism ===> Critical Thinking Skills

    The term “Skeptics” has been poisoned by theatre and the grotesque double standard of the GOP.

    Critical Thinking Skills is a clear descriptive that explains the process itself.


    Confront Trash Talk with Rhetorical Jujutsu

    Contrarians depend on personal attacks to distract the discussion from their bankrupt “science”. Learn to recognize the game, turn it to your favor, be prepared to point out the juvenility of the tactic, while forcing the discussion back to the real world facts your contrarian opponent won’t have.


    Just a suggestion.  

    "Dysfunctional Climate Science Communication in 14 verses. "

  30. citizenschallenge at 15:01 PM on 12 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    An apathetic uniformed unengaged public is what make all this possible.

    As for the Red Team / Blue Team, seems to me if the blue team focused on exposing the tactics of deception that the red team is dependent on, it might make for an interesting event.


    Define the Debate, 

    A Constructive Argument based on real facts, with the ultimate goal being a collective better understanding of the issue at hand.

    Such as a Scientific Debate: where honestly representing your opponent’s position is required. Striving to understand your opponent’s position well enough to reject or modify it on the merits of your own facts.

    If we fail, it means something. It may hurt, but it’s a learning experience for the intellectually honest. Mistakes have always been necessary learning opportunities for the stout.

    The Lawyerly Debate: winning is all that matters, facts are irrelevant obstacles to hurdle. Being skilled in rhetorical trickery is a prerequisite. Objective learning is not the object.

    Amorality, misdirection and theatre are its hallmarks.

  31. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    I would hope that no climate scientist will agree to take part in a farce like this. There is absolutely nothing to be gained. Let the deniers pontificate to themselves.

  32. Models are unreliable

    michael sweet @ 1078

    I hear what you are saying but I do not want to get into issues such as whether AGW is causing more intense hurricanes (what happened between Katrina in 2005 and Irma et al in  2017?).  Clearly the IPCC states that we will have more droughts and more precipitation.  I fully accept that.

    As for residents of Florida and California, there is a certain amount of "caveat emptor".  You do not buy land near an airport and then complain about the noise of jetliners.  Everyone who can afford expensive real estate in Florida and California can afford insurance to protect them from these risks.  No question there are other areas of the world where this is not the case but again, this is an issue that Bob Loblaw and I discussed at length (on some other thread) and I personally do not want to revisit it.  We have both stated our differing positions. 

    But even at this last meeting in Bonn we have seen what has happened to the climate fund for developing countries.  Politicians are good at talking but when it actually comes to coming up with cash out of their national budgets it is a different thing.   We even now see China and India coming back to the table with the old theme of saying that a disproportionate share should be contributed to this fund by the developed countries because of past CO2 contributions.   Back to the drawing board it seems.

    Moderator.  I appreciate this is getting off topic.  Just wanted to reply to michael sweet on his additions.

  33. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49

    Recommended supplemental reading:

    U.S. government calls for teens' climate change lawsuit to be halted by Tina Bellon, Reuters, Dec 11, 2017

  34. Models are unreliable

    MA Rodger @ 1077

    I admit that my question was not well-posed.  I went back to the Economist article and realized that I had missed their more detailed discussion of negative emissions at page 20.  What I was trying to get a sense of is how significant is the problem of not having proven negative emission technologies (NETs) in place.

    I appreciate that measuring this as a percentage is difficult in that we are really looking at what carbon budget we have left if we wanted to stay below 2C and what amount of CO2 has to be sucked out of the atmosphere.  But the numbers are significant.  My understanding is that we are presently pumping about 40 bn tonnes of CO2 into the atmoshere and that, according to this Economist article, we need to take out 810 bn tonnes by 2100 to have a reasonable chance of staying at 2C by 2100.

    But if is correct, we can only pump into the atmosphere another 800 bn tonnes of CO2 if we want a 66% chance of staying under 2C by 2100.  On their website they correctly show that at the present rate we run out of our remaining "carbon budget" in 20 years.

    So I agree that my question was confusing.  But this is an astounding amount.  The negative emissions required by 2100 represents 100% of our remaining carbon budget we have if we want to have a 66% chance of staying below 2C.

    Based upon the chart on page 21 of the Economist, by 2100, the negative emissions have to represent approximately 20 bn tonnes per year to match the 20 bn tonnes per year of remaining CO2 and other emissions to arrive at a net zero emission level.

    I think I have this right.  I am sure you will correct me if I am wrong.

  35. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    Addendum: Trump severely lacks the ability to go with the big ego.

  36. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    Yes a sad state of affairs, and a serious warning on future climate.

    Donald Trump and the Republican Party won't be moved by California's fires. They are all in denial of agw climate change, and clearly lack scientific literacy, have plenty of vested interests, and strong political views, and this climate issue has become hugely political.This all compounds and has added up to a stubborn state of mind, and it will take earth shattering evidence like the whole country being on fire to change this mind set. It's the same psychological state as how humans deny symptoms of health issues or failing relationships, until its too late to do much.

    If the science said an asteroid was heading straight towards Republican Party head office, I bet they would suddenly take notice of science, and want something done, ( probably with tax payer money).

    But clearly the vast majority are not amused by Trump and Congress from various polls, and this is a good sign. Education can only help as CK says.

    New Zealand is getting and unusual record setting drought out of character with climate situation and expectations. I have noticed a lot of extreme weather in various places is described as odd or unusual. That's a warning sign that needs closer more rigorous analysis.

    Republicans are using Trump  until they get their ridiculous tax agenda passed, then they may turn on him. The guy has an ego bigger than Mount Everest, but lacks the ability and wisdom to go with it.

  37. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    No, this will not change the minds of REPs. They sit in their air-con mansions safely away from fires. If pressed by public, they will point out at the snow storm during their NFL game in Buffalo following Jim Inhofe's snowball couple years back, and say gloabal warming is a chinky hoax. Any traces of intelligence in their heads were wiped out by special interest group monetary donations.

    The much higher probsbility of resolving that problem is to keep educating the voters who eventualy vote them out. They must vote them out sooner or later. GOP is doomed with their pathetic denial. The fact that public elected a silly clown as their REP president, in preference of any more reasonable (though still CS denying) candidate, indicates that these are the last moments of that party. They seem not to realise that and keep the clown going, rsather than impeaching him. An impeachment of the clown is the first must do step to come back from a fake world to the reality. Then comes a try to understand that world, and CS in particular, when you look at the biggest challenges facing our generation. But REPs are as far from it as ever.

  38. Models are unreliable


    Since I currently live in Florida and come from California I will suggest you add stronger storms (especially higher precipitation and hurricanes) and a longer fire season with bigger fires to your list of significant effects of AGW. 

    A drought linked to AGW was one of the prime causes of the Syrian civil war.  The fall of the Egyptian government was partially due to increased bread prices due to drought in Russia that caused their harvest to fail.  That drought was AGW linked.

    The widespread failure of farming is probably more significant in your lifetime than sea level rise (and my lifetime although I have friends  in Tuvalu and own land in Florida).

  39. Models are unreliable

    NorrisM @1076,

    You ask "Are we talking 20% for the assumed contribution from "negative emissions" or more than that?"

    I ask "20% of what?"

  40. Models are unreliable

    michael sweet @ 1075

    "We are in deeper doo-doo than we thought."

    On this point, the Economist article on "negative emissions" did not provide any "percentage" measurement as to how much reliance the climate models have placed upon the withdrawal of CO2 from the air compared to reductions in present emissions.  Are we talking 20% for the assumed contribution from "negative emissions" or more than that?  Can someone point me to where this has been discussed? 

    It clearly was not it in the Chapter 9 of the Fifth Assessment. 

    I have to admit that after reading Chapter 9 in its entirety and the admitted problems discussed in that chapter associated with the uncertainties caused by trying to simulate cloud processes and their feedbacks in the models that I have personally decided to focus my climate education on actual observations of temperature increases and sea level changes (including the impact of melting ice in Greenland and the Antarctic) representing the two of the most significant effects of AGW. 

  41. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49

    Just finished watching the live argument in Julianna v. U.S et al before Thomas CJ, Kozinski J. and Berzon J.  of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Could not resist.  The argument only lasted an hour.  It is now on YouTube.

    Based upon the oral argument, my guess is that the US government will not be successful in its application to effectively dismiss the case through a writ of mandamus.  Berzon J. was clearly in favour of the plaintiffs in allowing the action to proceed and Kozinski J. was in favour of the US Government but Thomas CJ I think will come down on the side of allowing the action to continue on the grounds that if they awarded mandamus in this case they would be flooded with similar mandamus cases.  Mandamus is only granted in extreme cases.

    However, unless the US government at some point moves for a "summary judgment" sometime prior to the actual trial, this would mean that the trial would go forward.  It was projected to start in February but issues of discovery I suspect will move that timing back.

    On its "merits" Thomas CJ indicated that he was "sympathetic" to the jurisdictional argument of the Attorney General (separation of powers) but this was not the venue to be deciding the issues on the merits. 

    What is very fascinating is that it is questionable whether the government can withdraw its admissions that I referenced in an earlier post (see 10 above).  If they cannot then the trial would proceed on the assumption that climate change "poses a serious threat to the planet". 

    Kozinski J's question to counsel for the children was very interesting.  He basically asked her: So if the District Court (Judicial Branch) comes up with a decision that implements the requested order in some manner (see above) and the Executive Branch comes up with a different conclusion either on how serious climate change is or how to deal with it, who wins, the Judicial Branch or the Executive Branch?  She tried to avoid a direct answer but finally had to admit that her argument meant that it was now "part of the Constitution" and would force the Executive Branch to implement the method determined by the Judicial Branch. 

  42. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49

    "But their most important argument – one that could take their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Courtis that the federal government’s failure to do enough about global warming will damage the planet so profoundly that it violates children’s constitutional rights to life and liberty."

    This seems to be the most important thing. Given how Americans are always invoking the importance of the constitution, (including Trump and his people) the judges and lawyers invloved in this climate matter have a responsibility  be true to the principles of the constitution and take it deadly seriously.

    Destabiliation of the earths climate and ecosystem can only damage life and liberty. It cannot enhance liberty or life.Liberty must include freedom from unwanted and avoidable harm imposed by other parties, including unconstrained use of fossil fuels. The scientific case of harm has already been made and accepted in the US Supreme court ruling on C02 as a pollutant. It interferes with peoples freedom to live without the insidiously growing threat and costs of climate change.

    We know climate change imposes costs. This only leaves two options for the courts, awarding substantial damages or making an order that the federal government do more to reduce emissions. In the circumstances the later option makes more logical sense. 

  43. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    I recommend the David Roberts piece at Vox.  For one thing, he's a very lucid writer, able to make complicated issues simple and even entertaining.  He brings up the real tragedy of Pruitts red-team exercise: that they are not debating our response to climate change.  The military developed this debate structure to harden its solutions to tactical weaknesses.  Should we not worry about climate change?  Or worry later?  Go renewable?  Nuclear?  Geoengineering?  'Clean Coal'? (ok, I just put that in for yucks).  The red-team debate pokes holes in all solutions, exposing weaknesses and making all of them more robust.  Now is the time for us to build resilience, but Pruitt wants talking heads shouting in endless circles in a modern equivalent of counting how many angels can fit on the head of a pin. 

  44. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    Many of your unscientific readers will read that statement to mean there has been no increase in temperature over the past 23 years.  Possibly a better way of stating it would have been to say global temperatures have been increasing steadily over the past 23 years.

  45. Models are unreliable

    From reading the article that John Hartz linked free copy it appears that Norrism has been half right about climate models.  They have been systematically incorrect.  Unfortunately, they have underestimated the expected warming, not overestimated the warming as Norrism suggested. From the discussion:

    "Finally, it is sometimes argued that the severity of model-projected global warming can be taken less seriously on the grounds that models fail to simulate the current climate sufficiently.  Our study confirms important model-observation discrepancies, indicating ample room for model improvement.  However, we do not find that model errors can be taken as evidence that global warming is over projected by climate models.  On the contrary, our results add to a broadening collection of research indicating that models that simulate today's climate best tend to be the models that project the most global warming over the remainder of the 21st century." (my emphasis)

    This is not the first evidence that models under-project future warming.  We are in deeper doo-doo than we thought.

  46. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49


    The US Supreme Court has already ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.  The clean air act, passed a long time ago (1970's?) says pollutants must be regulated.  It follows that if the government is not regulating sufficiently that it can be sued for non-compliance of the previous ruling.  The Trump administration cannot claim that CO2 is not a pollutant since that has already been determined.

  47. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49

    Note that a US court has been recently asked to place judgement on climate-related questions. This link has been posted elsewhere at SkS, I expect, but another mention is worth it in this thread:

    A Minnesota case, not the US Supreme Court, but still part of the legal precendents. I have no idea whether there has been any attempt to appeal.

  48. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #49

    Just another day of "you literally can not make this s**t up" in the US. I'm embarrassed.

  49. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49

    NorrisM, it really doesn't matter whether the Trump administration is bound by the Obama administration's 'admission' that climate change exists. If they attempted to contest it they'd have literally nothing to stand on. Federal rules for scientific evidence simply don't allow the kind of nonsense the 'skeptic' case is built upon.

  50. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49

    I have now read the entire 54 page judgment of Judge Aiken of the United States District Court For the District of Oregon rendered on November 10, 2016 allowing the action commenced in Eugene, Oregon, to proceed.  It is this decision which the Federal Government has moved to contest (by a writ of mandamus) in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.  Oral arguments will begin on Monday,  December 11, 2017 which will supposedly be broadcast live.  If I had the time I would very much enjoy hearing the arguments on both sides. 

    I at least now know what the plaintiffs are seeking.  They wish to "order the Defendants (now only the Federal Government) to cease their permitting, authorizing, and subsidizing of fossil fuels and, instead, to move to swiftly phase out CO2 emissions, as well as take such other action necessary to ensure that atmosphere CO2 is no more concentrated than 350 ppm by 2100, including to develop a national plan to restore Earth's energy balance, and implement that national plan so as to stabilize the climate system." 

    The judgment deals with all of the legal issues and certainly was an interesting read, even citing Justinian's Corpus Juris Civilis from around 530 AD in support of the "public trust doctrine" supposedly imported into US law via English common law.  She even throws in the Social Contract theory (not specifically naming John Locke) but referencing Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers regarding "certain inalienable rights" and that governments were established by consent of the governed for the purpose of securing those rights.

    It is interesting that on page 4 of the judgment, Judge Aiken notes, that for purpose of this motion, "I proceed on the understanding that climate change exists, is caused by humans, an poses a serious threat to our planet."  This I assume is from an admission from the Federal lawyers (during the Obama administation) that "climate change poses a monumental threat to American's health and welfare by driving long-lasting changies in our climate, leading to an array of severe negative effects, which will worsen over time."  I wonder if the Trump administration is bound by this admission at this stage of the proceedings.

    As with so much litigation, so much depends on the "roll of the dice" on the constitution of what I think is a three judge bench which will hear this application in the Ninth Circuit.   In the Bellon case  of the Ninth Circuit in 2011 environmental advocacy groups sought to compel the Washington State Department of Ecology and other regional agencies to "regulate greenhouse emissions from five oil refineries".  The NInth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the plaintiff's injuries were "too attenuated".

    All of the concerns I have raised above regarding "separation of powers" under the US Constitution are discussed in this judgment as well as the difficulty of the remedy.  Although Aiken suggests that the plaintiffs will have a tough row to hoe to meet all the potential objections, the judge did allow the case to proceed.  It will be interesting to see what the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decides in this case.  The Distict Court judge was able to "distinguish" the Bellon decision.  

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  Next

The Consensus Project Website


(free to republish)

Smartphone Apps


© Copyright 2017 John Cook
Home | Links | Translations | About Us | Contact Us