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Comments 401 to 450:

  1. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Leslie @4,
    You might make some theological arguments to your religious friend.
    One would be that God gave man the power to affect the climate, and is simply watching what we do with it.
    “… let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth,….” (Genesis 1.26)


    Another is that that God will not necessarily keep the Earth always comfortable for mankind. After all, as he banished Adam and Eve from the paradise of Eden He said:
    “… cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shall thy eat out of it … in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,…” (Genesis 3.17,19)


    Another time God was not happy with man, and so flooded the earth, originally with the intent of eliminating all of mankind:
    “And God saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6.5) “… and so the Lord said 
I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; …” (Genesis 6.7)

    He also caused some heating of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    And so perhaps now He has seen what man did in the twentieth century, WWI, WWII, and the holocaust, and in mid-century became angry. Perhaps now He is allowing the Globe to heat up enough for more drought, famine, and war (but no world-wide flood, of course, just rainbows).

    This warming would be consistent with Relevation, where in 8.7 says ‘… fire, which fell on the earth; and a third of the earth was burnt up, and a third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.”


    Your friend should be asked to give Biblical arguments for his religious belief that God will keep the Planet comfortable for mankind.

  2. One Planet Only Forever at 01:57 AM on 26 April 2018
    Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    nigelj,

    A major incorrect development of the developed socioeconomic-political systems is the way people in the systems/environments are tempted to develop to be less caring and behave less ethically regarding the development of a sustainable better future for all of humanity (Tribalism or any sub-set Us-Firstism; as presented in the NY Times item I referred to). The systems tempt people to care more about their Private Interest in obtaining personal benefit in their lifetime (even the socialist and communist ones can do that).

    The most significant development related to that incorrect development of attitudes and actions is misleading marketing.

    Susan Cain's “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking” highlights cultural historian Warren Susman's identification of the shift from a Culture of Character to a Culture of Personality that began in the 1800s. The terms that were impressive for Character were: Citizenship, Duty, Work, Golden deeds, Honour, Reputation, Morals, Manners, Integrity. The terms that were impressive for Personality are: Magnetic,Fascinating,Stunning, Attractive, Glowing, Dominant, Forceful, Energetic.

    The advancement of emotion/desire related advertising results in a decline of effectiveness of reason based advertising. Well prepared misleading claims will be more successful than efforts to more fully inform and educate the population in a socioeconomic-political environment where people are encouraged to consider their self-interest to be more important that helping to advance all of humanity to a sustainable better future.

    That combination of:

    • encouraging people to desire to compete to appear to be superior relative to others, rather than competing to substantively be more helpful than others
    • with more freedom of the winners of competition to behave less ethically
    • and the ability to get away with efforts against raising awareness and better understanding of the corrections required to develop sustainable advancements for all of humanity

    is a serious threat to the future of humanity, and not just regarding climate science.

    The development of socioeconomic-political environments/systems like that, with their self-perpetuating promotion/advertising leading to increasing incorrect development and resistance to correction, must be called what it is, not be defended because of created appearances of progress or prosperity that are not truly sustainable.

    The solutions/corrections can be understood to require the understanding of the importance of limits on freedoms of belief and actions to get Substantive Ethical Character to be what is admired, to return to the track of Enlightenment that Personality driven socioeconomic-political systems have departed so drastically from.

    Singapore's success included some rather authoritarian rule by a rather benevolent dictator restricting freedoms forcefully. I recall how smoking in theatres was ended. The fine imposed was huge, and the smoking stopped immediately. A similar solution was imposed to end the mess of chewing gum on sidewalks, no chewing gum allowed.

  3. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Leslie @4 , your report of the communication from the "blatant denialist" is interesting yet not so very uncommon.

    Quite apart from his being [to quote his own phrasing] "arrogant and foolish" in his unscientific nonsense . . . he is also being arrogant and foolish enough to believe he himself knows the mind of God.  He seems unaware of the irony of his stated position.

    We see this overweening self-confidence likewise, in Dr Spencer and Dr Lindzen — though Lindzen's self-confidence derives from his ideas of Yahweh rather than Spencer's more modern Christian God.   The fundamentalist concept of a rapidly approaching End of Days, does make it a little strange that someone [such as Leslie's correspondent] would bother to spend time communicating with the [probably] inevitably-damned Leslie.  (And it doesn't sound like he is seriously attempting to "convert" Leslie.)   Also, why bother disputing with Leslie, when (allegedly) nothing much is going on (other than a few relatively minor hurricanes etc) and nothing much could go on, until the obvious-to-all and utterly calamitous events of the Final Days ?

    Maybe the guy is suffering from an anxiety that he might not be right after all?   Maybe he is worried that he will be left with egg on his face, when the world continues to go gradually pear-shaped (exactly as the real scientists are indicating) and he will finally have to say: "Why hast Thou forsaken me?"

    Yes, an interesting case there, Leslie.   Wash your hands of him.

  4. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Leslie Dean Brown @4, I've also noticed a lot of internet climate denialists are engineers working in transport or fossil fuels etc, for example we had dan the engineering man on this website, and my google search discovered he has an interest in performance cars. Another is Brian Leyland from NZ. As I mentioned polls show denialism is strong in these industries.

    But I dont think all denialists are in this engineer category. These engineer guys are smart enough to be articulate denialists, so are more visible on the net. Some may be fronting lobby groups, so professional deniers. 

    Never undersestimate the power of vested interests in climate denial. However I have always maintained denialism is a mixture of attributes and personalities related to vested interests, politics, and psychology in the main, and the later two aspects closely relate anyway. Politics derives from peoples psychology ultimately.

    Someone wondered about scepticism about vaccines. Read the comments  anti vaccers make and its mostly women so maternal concerns, and very poorly educated people who just dont understand the issues.You can probably throw in conspiracy theory ideation against big pharma amplifying the scepticism. I think conspiracy theory thinking would be more dominant among poorly educated people.

  5. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    I've been encountering them online for over a decade and have had many pointless debates over the issue. Deniers are incredibly slippery when it comes to any discussion, always able to find some hole out of any intellectual corner they have placed themselves in.

    In the end the conviction I've come up is that many of the deniers I've encountered online have displayed psychopathic tendencies. They lie as second nature, they are willing to take incredible risks with all our lives and they show no remorse at all for their actions. They are often very arrogant and are masters at manipulating people and discussions in their favour and can come across as being charismatic although it usually ends up being a very superficial charm.

    5 Traits of Actual Psychopaths

    "4. They take big risks.

    Psychopaths have little regard for safety, especially other people's. They often lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead. This behavior can be especially toxic. While not all psychopaths engage in illegal activity, those who do plan their crimes well in advance. Their misconduct is usually well-organized, and they leave few clues behind. Psychopaths tend to be very intelligent, which makes them great con artists."

    Given at what's at stake and what has already been lost - like 50% of coral reef systems globally already - I've come to look at climate change denial in the interests of the coal, oil and gas sector as the greatest crime ever carried out.

    Which make deniers some of the worst criminals ever.

  6. leslie dean brown at 14:51 PM on 25 April 2018
    Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    Oh I signed up just so I could provide comments here.

    I've noticed that pretty much without exception, the denialists I have come across fall into one of several work categories. They are usually either civil or mechanical engineers; work in the mining or fossil fuel industries; in transportation; manufacturing; or else the military. You can see it on LinkedIn. It's very easy to check people's background over there. There is a distinct pattern emerging.

    IN OTHER WORDS, the very same industries that produce a shite-load of CO2. Steel, cement and concrete are some of the biggest culprits out there! Not to mention other materials.

    Very few denialists have any formal science training. But even they crop up from time to time. I was very disappointed when I came across a fellow materials scientist who was also a blatant denialist. And this is what he had to say:

    _________________________________________________________________________

    "Hi Leslie, You seem to be very intelligent, but you seem to also be very misinformed (or maybe limitedly informed is more accurate). You need to look beyond the last 20 years of rhetoric and the last 100 years of recorded surface temperatures (which have only become increasingly more accurate and extensive in the last 50 years). Vostok Ice Core Data clearly show that the temperature of the earth is cyclical going back more than 450,000. The earth will go into an Ice Age again with or without the assistance of humans.

    My beliefs about the Farce of Global Warming are not based on Scientific Data, they are based upon my belief in the omnipotence of GOD. I am a Christian, but GOD's omnipotence is not just a Christian belief, it is embraced by virtually every non-pagan religion since the beginning of recorded history. The earth is GOD's creation! HE controls ALL of HIS creations! It is arrogant and foolish to believe otherwise.

    The "Natural Disasters" that we experience are not "Natural" at all, they are "Super Natural".

    I firmly believe that this winter and springs' extremely cold temperatures as well as the rash of recent earthly disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and earth quakes) are GOD's display of HIS control of HIS creations and HIS disgust and disappointment that most of mankind believes that they somehow control HIS creation.

    Whether you believe in GOD (or not), many clearheaded scientists that are not influenced by politics, finance or popular media entertainment believe that Global Warming (as influenced by mankind) is a farce."

    _________________________________________________________________________

    I mean how does one respond to that? Obviously, this person is not truly scientific, whereupon their logic has flown out the window. They're not open-minded. They're closed-minded. They just admitted "My beliefs about the Farce of Global Warming are not based on Scientific Data, they are based upon my belief in the omnipotence of GOD."

    I used to be super logical and think that data alone could inform and pursuade peoples' opinions. Wrong! Completely wrong! That was a big assumption on my part.

    I personally think it's time scientists got a bit more emotional in their approach. No one listens to you when you sound like Spock. But when you get passionate about something, people take your more seriously.

    The other thing I'd like to add is that if fashion and design have the power to pursuade people to do things on very short timescales, perhaps scientists should be looking to designers for some more clout? As I'm one of the few who speak the dual languages of science and design, I'd like to help scientists with that. Feel free to get in touch with me...

    I'd also like to share readers with my blog, where I try to fuse my passion for writing and design with environmentalism among other things (like my mental anguish).

    http://www.vidaenigmatica.org/

    There was one other thing I wanted to say here. A few months ago I had an argument with a security guard of all people about climate change. He was clearly out of his depth and I let him have it. Anyway, he was in a classic denial the whole time, and then eventually he finally said: “what do you want me to do about it?” (with an attitude)

    Is this the real underlying problem? That they literally don't know what else they can do to mitigate climate change?

    Maybe that's an idea for a post? WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO ABOUT IT?
    For example: plant more trees, buy second hand, reuse, repair, recycle, buy services not products, slow down and enjoy life, etc, etc.

  7. Digby Scorgie at 14:46 PM on 25 April 2018
    Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    I've always felt that some deniers are suckers — they've been caught for suckers by the propaganda campaign waged by the psychopaths who prefer wealth and power now to a habitable planet later.  These deniers are probably open to persuasion.

    But the remaining deniers are fanatics, and one is never supposed to debate with fanatics.  It's an utterly pointless exercise.  I've also seen estimates that put the percentage of such deniers at about 10%.

    So I wonder if there's any point in expending energy on the fanatical deniers.  My experience of human affairs leads me to think that we would still be arguing about climate action even if there were no deniers at all.

    I simply can't bring myself to believe that humanity will take the necessary steps to avert dangerous climate change.  The implication, from all the assessments I've seen, is that in about two decades much of the world will be reeling from the effects.  That's when humanity will realize that serious action should have been taken — but it'll be too late.

  8. Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    This article from Vox  is good on Trumps supporters and whats happening with the Republican Party.  

  9. Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    OPOF @27, Singapore is a successful economy, and I'm interested to hear they have good business ethics. They are a very strict rule bound society, maybe a little too authoritarian in leadership  for me. I think it's probably a need to unify diverse cultures on a tiny island with limited resources.

    Scandinavia is a successful market economy, or mixed model economy that achieves reasonably fair outcomes and has decent business ethics on the whole within a more democratic framework. They are not perfect societies, but are a good socio economic  model to emulate, and outcomes tend to be good in those societies.

    I read the New York Times article just the other day. It's very compelling, but Trumps blue collar supporters won't get any help from Trumps policies. They have been used as pawns in his self glorifying plans.

  10. One Planet Only Forever at 12:37 PM on 25 April 2018
    Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    The link to the NY Times article I referred to in the 4th last para of my comment @26.

  11. One Planet Only Forever at 12:28 PM on 25 April 2018
    Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    nigelj@24,

    “Economic theory encourages people acting in their "enlightened self interest" on the basis that profitability "will benefit all" in a happy kind of effect and this appears to create wealth over history, at least in the provision of certain types of goods such as consumer goods.”

    is not as accurate a presentation as:

    “Economic theories of the beneficial developments that will be achieved through things like a free-market and free-society rely on, or require, all participants (or at least the vast majority of the significant participants), to honestly and diligently pursue maximum awareness and understanding of what is really going on and act to sustainably improve things for the future of all humanity. It also requires any member of humanity who has developed Private Interests contrary to that type of sustainable collective improvement to be quickly identified and corrected, something that is more important to apply to those who have become wealthier or more influential.”

    As an engineer with an MBA I try to focus on the actual results that are being achieved, which can be very different from the perceptions developed by participants in the system. And I am very aware that addressing harmful undesirable results requires a good understanding of why the results occurred before attempting to correct things.

    This is an ethical or moral matter requiring the best explanation for what is observed (abductive reasoning).

    For any system to be sustainably successful all actions need to be guided by a good ethical or moral objective.

    The vast majority of the developed socioeconomic-political systems can be seen to have failed to encourage ethical and moral development that would sustainably improve the future for all of humanity (developing, encouraging and defending things that prompt ethical people to be concerned about what has developed); failing to discourage unsustainable or harmful activity (even communist systems can be seen to have failed that way).

    I have been paying attention that way through many decades based in a region of the planet that 'developed a powerful collective desire to benefit from the global burning of fossil fuels' (Alberta, Canada). And I have tried to be as aware as I can be of what happened around the world regarding the burning of fossil fuels. I have been particularly interested in the people/system responses to the emergent truth of the unacceptable consequences of that activity. Thanks to SkS, I understand that began at the time of Arrhenius in the 1800's. By the 1980's the unacceptability of already fortunate people trying to become even more fortunate as a result of expanded or extended global burning of fossil fuels was undeniable (since then the further strengthening of understanding was delayed by the developed popularity and profitability of that activity and by the deliberate efforts of wealthy powerful people who did not want that understanding to be better understood).

    The required system corrections to get ethical/moral system responses to the developed climate science understanding includes admitting the importance of restricting freedoms. Changing the socioeconomic-political systems to effectively correct incorrect beliefs (not allowing people to believe whatever they wish), and restrict freedoms of actions (not allowing people to pursue whatever their developed Personal Interests are regardless of regional popularity or profitability) are essential system corrections (for more issues than climate science).

    So my current developed understanding (always a work in progress) is that “an ethical/moral development of a sustainable better future for all of humanity” requires rigorous monitoring and aggressive correction applied to all of the wealthiest and most influential, all of the Biggest Winners. There needs to be higher expectations of Good Behaviour from the richer and more powerful, best achieved by peer pressures. At the other end of the spectrum, the poorest can be excused for understandably unethical behaviour because they have more pressing survival motivations and should not be expected to know better, but should be helped to live better and learn to be ethical.

    A system that does not include that correction of the Winners and assistance for the less fortunate will struggle to achieve the desired outcome, no matter what level of understanding is developed among the general population. The clear difference between the leadership actions in places like the USA and the understanding among the general population is proof of the failure of the system to have the Winners actually leading in the proper ethical/moral direction, including failing to meaningfully sustainably assist the less fortunate to better living. And a significantly lower and significantly delayed public acceptance of the developed scientific emergent truth can easily be seen to be the result of the undeserving among the Winners not being effectively 'corrected' in the related socioeconomic political system.

    People driven by concerns about 'their perceptions of privilege as fossil fuel burners or being able to profit from that activity' are a significant part of the climate science awareness and understanding challenge. There is a similar finding regarding Trump supporters recently reported in the NY Times. The awareness of the unacceptability of what has developed and the required corrections that are being exposed by climate science mean that a loss of stature relative to others is a serious consideration. And the resistance of people to 'being corrected' is a major factor in the reluctance of the general population to accept the constantly improving awareness and understanding of climate science, a lot of people can sense that they have a lot to lose. They can understand that they deserve to lose, but they did not develop thinking that way.

    Sean Carroll's “The Big Picture” apolitically presents the currently developed robust understanding of what is going on. And it reinforces that my current developed understanding is aligned with the collective best explanations of reality. People start with hereditary or genetic characteristics and develop their character based on the environment and experiences they grow up in. People can change their minds, but they can be powerfully motivated by the environment or 'socioeconomic-political system' they are in.

    Beliefs about how people should behave (considerately helpful to the future of humanity) in a free-market or free-society are not the reality of what develops if people are freer to believe whatever they want and do as they please. The reality is that people do not develop those ways of thinking and acting in the current developed systems (almost all of them - Singapore and The Cook Islands appear to be rare examples of outliers in that regard). It can be seen that the systems of competition generally encourage the opposite attitudes and actions to develop. They develop zero-sum game attitudes in pursuit of perceptions of being superior to others that actually produce negative-sum results, rather than developing the Positive-sum potential of collaborative healthy competition to most effectively develop sustainable improvements for all of humanity.

    Any perceptions of wealth developed those zero-sum (actually negative-sum) ways are usually unethically obtained, and are not actually sustainable.

  12. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    One other thing, regarding social dominance orientation and associated lack of empathy. This sounds like the sociopathic or psychopathic  personality that is unusually egocentric, also lacks a strong conscience and integrity, and dislikes rules, restrictions and laws. Cheating is seen as ok with this form of personality.

    Some level of sociopathy / psychopathy is recognised as often a feature of chief executives of corporations,  who are ruthless and rewarded for this,  and probably feel they should be allowed to go on aquiring personal  power and wealth regardless of environmental problems or environmental rules. Such people are obviously influential in the climate debates.

    1 in 5 CEOs are psychopaths, study finds.

  13. Climate Science Denial Explained: The Denial Personality

    A thorough and compelling review of the denialist personality. I see this exact personality all the time all over the place, sadly to say.

    Climate denialists do routinely ignore what you say, or change the subject - often going a step further into red herring arguments.

    I can only think of one thing you perhaps missed - deliberate ignorance. I see many intelligent people promoting things they must know are absurd, presumably because of political motives and related factors.

    Although some intelligent educated people struggle with science, remember its a challenging subject.

    Coming back to your observations. We know from polls that conservatives tend to be more sceptical because they don't like the implications of the science and other reasons. But I also recall reading a study of oil company employees which showed about 90% scepticism about the science, not surprisingly. It didn't state reasons but would most likely be fear of losing jobs, and perhaps people following the lead taken by management. Peer pressure is probably a big factor in denialism.

    What does it all mean? We have a lot of different reasons for climate scepticism so its shades of grey. Scepticism clearly exists on a spectrum from normal questioning to hardline irrational denialism.

    But if people are mainly just afraid of losing jobs, rather than driven by ideology, they can be shown new jobs are being created in renewable energy. Some are probably going to respond to this.

    The denialist personality is clearly towards the extreme end of the spectrum, and is best defined as someone very entrenched in their views, and unwilling to learn for a whole range of reasons combining in that person. If I had to bet money on it, I would say political ideology is the dominant reason at this extreme end of the denialist spectrum.

    Polls show acceptance of the science has improved in America, although slowly. This shows there are sceptics that can be convinced otherwise. It cannot be random chance, and must reflect better understanding and awareness of the issues.

    You will be left with a group of hard core climate denialists maybe 10%, because we see this with many scientific issues, but in a democracy this doesn't matter so much. It does matter a bit with vaccines, because they undermine the way vaccines work.

    I agree a lot of this is more about convincing people of the merits of renewable energy, not just in terms of the climate, but in other respects. In fact it's really all about a lifestyle change towards taking more care of the environment and less materialism, and unfortunately this gets back to anti environmentalism and raises political ideology again. But 'sustainability' is ultimately about hard environmental facts, and sensible choices and long term policies, and I personally believe this will eventually cut through politics, because reality and facts eventually win out with 90% of people. 

    The more people make real lifestyle changes the more visible it becomes and the more politicians will have to take climate change and other environmental issues seriously. A sort of virtuous circle.

    Or taking the cynical view, will humanity choose to truly take risks and trash the planet into oblivion?

  14. michael sweet at 22:09 PM on 24 April 2018
    Climate's changed before

    Tom Curtis,

    It is very good to hear from you. I am sorry to hear about your health issues, my daughter has cronic health issues so I know they are a trial. I lived in Acacia Ridge for three years and I smile whenever I hear of Brisbane.

    Good luck with everything. I try to include a citation in all my posts but cannot detail things like you did. I wonder how you kept your patience with those who refuse to even read the data they are given.

    moderator: I accidently posted a duplicate of this on the wrong OP, sorry.

  15. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #16

    From the author of The Tao of Willie: an explanation of greenhouse gasses

  16. Pruitt promised polluters EPA will value their profits over American lives

    Doug_C @3, yes all true, although taking a devils advocate position, you could argue theres nothing actually wrong with an activist agenda anyway in certain situations. Activism has it's place, especially with something as fundamental to our long term survival as the environment, and given the enormous influence of corporate lobby groups opposing environmental improvements. Activism balances this up nicely.

    There's nothing wrong with the EPA actively protecting the environment, and passionate about their cause, and this means things done.The head of the organisation should have some form of environmental qualification, or at least a science degree, so that he understands the issues and relates to staff. Pruit is a lawyer. No wonder morale is so low in the organisation.

    People need to keep things in perspective. Labelling something activist is an attempt to discredit something, without actually prviding real evidence of a problem. Its a nasty, small minded slur.

    There are plenty of other branches of government to scrutinise EPA decisions, and make sure they don't get carried away and over regulate. Obama managed this, and managed a good balance of environmentalism and economics, proven by the fact the economy and company profitability all did very well on the whole once things recovered from the financial crash. There was therefore  just no problem there with the EPA and specific environmental rules that needed fixing, although more should be done about climate change. If anything, the EPA need more regulatory powers, not less.

  17. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #16

    Tom, I'm pleased to hear your Mark Twain-like reply.   Your posting history is gold-medal impressive.   And I dips me lid to you.

  18. Pruitt promised polluters EPA will value their profits over American lives

    nigelj @2

    "leading advocate against the EPA's activist agenda"

    This seems like more very dishonest branding on the part of some working for polluters and not for public safety.

    The EPA was created by Republican President Richard Nixon and had nothing to do with any sort of political activism. It was a response to some very serious pollution issues at the time.

    Why the EPA was created

    Now it has been agreed on a global scale not just by almost all the researchers involved in valid study of the climate but by almost every government in the world that climate change is a very serious issue that must be addresses as soon as possible to pervent very serious impacts.

    The US Supreme Court agreed with this as well in 2007 which means that all this time the EPA should have been strictly regulating carbon dioxide emissions in a way that is consistent with the evidence.

    Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency

    Not only has the EPA not had an "activist agenda" as Pruitt claims as a justification for damaging it as much as he can in the interests of polluters, for the last decade the EPA has been in violation of US law in regards to not regulating CO2 emissions.

  19. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #16

    Other studies of MWP hockey sticks here.

  20. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #16

    Climate denialists still go on about the alleged " broken hockey stick" despite 1) The fact that Manns study wasn't shown to be incorrect 2) Numerous other studies have found essentially the same hockey stick and 3) Manns study is old now from 1998, and global temperatures are now significantly higher, so an even bigger hockey stick.

    But denialists don't get this for god knows what perverted reasoning.

    The media doesn't help, because it always highlights controversies without full context, and doesn't do follow up articles on what more recent research shows. 

  21. Pruitt promised polluters EPA will value their profits over American lives

    Scott Pruitt is the wrong man for the job. One quick read of his qualifications, history, decisons, and the numerous scandals he has been involved in show this.

  22. Pruitt promised polluters EPA will value their profits over American lives

    Citi did a study of the externalized financial costs of business as usual with coal, oil and gas which is the policy of the Trump administration and in part why he brought someone like Pruitt in to kneecap the EPA.

    Energy Darwinism II

    The estimated externalized costs from a 1.5 C increase in global temperature is $20 Trillion by mid century.

    A 2.5 C increase is $44 Trillion.

    A 4.5 C increase is $72 Trillion.

    Looking at the work of James Hansen who feels that many projections of temperature increase are much too conservative, it's entirely possible that we could be seeing a 4.5 C increase in the timeframe covered by the Citi report.

    Even in financial terms fossil fuel business as usual as is being imposed under Trump is unsustainable.

    Pruitt's gutting of the EPA won't just be costing more people their lives, it will be hitting millions of people very hard in their investment portfolios.

    It's bad business as well as very bad governance.

    Trump has a long history of very poor business practices resulting in multiple bankruptcies, claims of fraud with his "University" and repeated lawsuits against him for non-payment to contractors and vendors.

    This appears to be a vast expansion of that kind of behavior.

  23. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #16

    Michael Sweet @1 and Eclectic @2, thankyou for your kind enquiries.  I was not dead when last I noticed, although I am having problems with my health.  I have responded slightly more fully to Eclectic's other post.

  24. Climate's changed before

    Eclectic @601, thankyou for your kind words, and enquiry after my health.  I was advised of the enquiry after my health by Michael Sweet by Glenn Tamblyn in an email, and thought it appropriate to respond (with this being the best place).  As I have advised several of the SkS crew, my health problems have indeed worsened of late.  They are not life threatening, but have made the sustained pace of commentary I had shown in the past unsustainable for me.  As I find it difficult not to rebut silly arguments, or respond to requests for instruction, I doubt I could remain active on SkS in any capacity without being drawn into that high rate of activity, and so thought it best to absent myself completely.  On my last communication with an SkS team member, I mentioned that my health had improved and that I might be able to return to SkS in the medium turn.  Unfortunately it has now taken a turn for the worse, and that now looks less likely, although should my situation stabilize, I would certainly return.  In the meantime, I wish you all well, and succes to SkS and its mission.  

  25. Sea Level Rise: Some Reason for Hope?

    We also really have to ask what having a largely ice free Arctic ocean in the summer is going to mean for the Greenland ice sheet. Instead of having a very large reflective surface to the north of it, there will likely be a large body of open sea water in the summer at some point almost certainly by mid century.

    Instead of 90% of incoming solar radiation being reflected back into space, the upper levels of the Arctic ocean will be absorbing 90% of that radiation experiencing significant heating in summer.

    This will likely mean much more evaporation of sea water, the ability of the air column to hold water vapour and far different weather patterns. Which could result in higher amounts of rainfall on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet accelerating melting even further. As well as possibly increasing flow of ice into the ocean.

    There are so many dynamics at work here it is going to be difficult to model the responses as once stable systems are thrown into a state of chaos as they transition to a much warmer Arctic and Earth.

  26. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #16

    Michael Sweet, for quite some time, I have been wondering the same thing, and have been keeping my fingers crossed.

    I though it would be fitting, if I referred to Tom Curtis's many good works — but on another thread (one that would not be eventually buried in obscurity, as is destined for all Global Warming Digests ! ).   Surely there could be no more appropriate thread than Climate Myth Number One !

    ( Michael, I was on the point of referring to Tom Curtis this week, but I was temporarily held back by your interesting contretemps with a certain gentleman of lengthy but disingenuous posting history. )

  27. Climate's changed before

    Salute and thanks to Tom Curtis.

    To my knowledge, it has been just over 6 months since the last comment posted by Tom Curtis.   And I believe, about the same length of time since he posted at his blog "By Brisbane Waters"  [bybrisbanewaters.blogspot.com.au].

    Tom Curtis has been a frequent and energetic poster here at SkS, for 6 years or more.   He has researched / cited / quoted from a great deal of scientific literature, and he has analysed and discussed a great many issues.

    In short, he has been a powerhouse of objective scientific thinking.

    He has fought the good fight, against the lies lunacies & disinformation spread by anti-science propagandists & trolls.

    But over the years, Tom has occasionally referred to long-term unspecified health problems which hampered him.   His recent silence is unprecedented, and presumably indicates that he is too ill to post — or that Father Time has gathered him in.

    And I am sure that I speak for all science-oriented participants at SkS, when I express great thanks to Tom.

     

    (The moderators will, I hope, agree that this salute to Tom Curtis belongs here in the comments column of Climate Myth Number One , rather than in some difficult-to-find sub-listing.)

  28. Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    Doug_C @22

    Yes it's important to always try to improve things. Individual scientists sometimes make mistakes or have bias etc, however  the scientific method by its very nature discourages bias and promotes quality and accuracy because it forces people to look at data, causation, experiment even if the results hurt certain beliefs or gut instincts. Peer review and competition between scientists help expose bad science and bias. Its a good system, but can always be fine tuned to be better.

    Another issue with climate denial is the use of dirty tricks, logical fallacies, misleading and deceitful rhetoric and worse. In comparison, climate scientists stress accuracy, scientific argument, nuanced argument, honesty, admission of areass of uncertainty, replicability, data etc. This is all fundamental to the scientific method, so cannot be compromised and they would be flayed alive by the public if caught cheating anyway. It's therefore not a level playing field, because the same standards are not applied to the denial side of the debate.

    It's analogous to drug cheating in sports. One side plays dirty. Unfortunately with scientific debates theres no referee to ensure both sides play fair.  One hopes the public see this,  and make allowances in their thinking, and  this is why I support more being done to highlight the trickery in denialists arguments, as John Cook is doing. It won't convince the hard core denialists, but it will convince middle ground open minded people.  

  29. Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    OPOF @21

    "What is obvious is that the developed socioeconomic-political systems tempt people to be more selfish rather than being altruistic. "

    Yes I agree, but its important for people to realise its not because the current economic system is fundamentally wrong in principle, its because of the way people interpret it. Economic theory encourages people acting in their "enlightened self interest" on the basis that profitability "will benefit all" in a happy kind of effect and this appears to create wealth over history, at least in the provision of certain types of goods such as consumer goods. We all know that heavily centralised control and ownership can create stagnant economic systems.

    Unfortunately this is not true of the provision of all goods, because some are better provided by the state.

    And the profit motive and self interest is interpreted by some people to mean that anything is permissible, when it clearly isn't. The point of self interest is to encourage innovation and decentralised decision making, not to permit harmful behaviours or legitimise greed or reckless decision making.

    It is also sometimes interpreted to mean service to others, charity and altruism are worthless, or second rate, when they aren't.

    And its interpreted to mean that the community and / or government should have no control over the behaviour of business or individuals or the provision of important public goods. Such things evolved for good reasons, and are not mutually exclusive with making a dollar or enlightened self interest.

  30. Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    Art Vandelay @20, I think you would be right about the sun and the delayed water vapour response.

    However you said "OTOH, increasing CO2 will act to reduce outgoing LWR, not incoming SWR, so will act greatest on nighttime minimum temperature, reducing diurnal temperature redange". I'm not sure about this, because heat emitted from the ground is same day and night. I think the explanation is more related to my post @4 where the science article said  at night time the layers of the atmosphere compress at night (they didn't say why but presumably it's because  more C02 is near ground level at night being heavier and not subject to much convection) and thus more warming at night than at day.  

    I agree about your cloud cover comments. The reversal in Australia could be temporary or due to local conditions.

    However I don't have an atmospheric physics degree, so I'm not 100% sure of this material. I stand to be corrected by someone with better knowledge.

  31. michael sweet at 07:01 AM on 23 April 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #16

    Does anyone know how Tom Curtis is doing?  His extraordinary posts are missed on the board. 

  32. Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    DPiepgrass @17

    I think the scientific process does that quite well over time. If something is not verifiable it is eventually discarded.

    But there is always room left for improvement within the scientific process or it stops being science at some point and becomes dogma. This is the vulnerability that climate change denial specifically targets and to a degree acts like a virus turning healthy cells into factories for making more viruses. At least in the minds of many in the public, and I've also seen statements by some valid researchers that this continuing wave of denial also affects their perception of the evidence.

    Given that denial has been going on at an increasing level for over 4 decades we can see that this has been a very successful approach for the denial campaign which make sense because it was designed from the start by scientists like Fred Seitz who was a past president if the National Academy of Sciences and Fred Singer who also had a productive career in science before moving into the field of fossil fuel lobbyist.

    Skepticism must remain at the core of science for it to remain an effective method of progressing our understanding of the natural world. But true skepticism must be clearly defined, hence resources like this one.

    So far the overwhelming evidence is that the science behind human forced climate change is the result of true skeptical examination of all the evidence.

    Denial is not an examination of any evidence at all, it is a systematic approach to casting doubt on all of that evidence. It starts with an immutable assumption then forces all the data to fit that assumption, no matter how corrupted it must become.

    And not only is climate change denial corrupting the data on climate it is also destroying public confidence in science itself. Attacking the evidence on human created climate change is not enough, there has also been an intentional attack on science itself going back decades.

  33. One Planet Only Forever at 03:32 AM on 23 April 2018
    Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    nigelj@19,

    There are 'concerns' about global leadership collectively acting with tax money from the more fortunate to sustainably help the less fortunate be at least basically decently fortunate in their life.

    One example of concern is that responsible global leadership actions to improve the future for all of humanity, reducing the harm done to the future of humanity, would undeniably reduce the ability of the most fortunate to perceive themselves as being superior to Others. The ability of some people to appear to be superior, appear to be the bigger winners, would be reduced by their wealth being more significantly taxed to increase the well-being/health of the poorest.

    Another example is that people who are only wealthier because they continue to benefit significantly from the burning of fossil fuels would actually lose so much perceived opportunity for wealth that they would only be very rich, not super-rich, relative to others. Of course, only the less fortunate should be benefiting from that type of activity, an unsustainable and understandably harmful one -> And only as a brief transition to sustainable better ways of living -> And only in situations where burning fossil fuels actually makes sense as a transition step for the less fortunate toward that better living.

    And Einstein, among many others, have pointed out the benefit for humanity of the reduction of the freedom of people to believe whatever they want and do as they please for their Private Interest. Related Einstein quotes are:

    "Only a life lived for others is a life worth while." (Youth, 1932)

    "The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which (they) have attained liberation from the self." (My World Picture, 1934)

    "This is the problem: Is there any way of delivering mankind from the menace of war? ... As one immune from nationalist bias, I personally see a simple way of dealing with the superficial (i.e., administrative) aspect of the problem: the setting up by international consent of a legislative and judicial body to settle every conflict arising between nations. ... Thus I am led to my first axiom: the quest of international security involves the unconditional surrender by every nation, in a certain measure, of its liberty of action, its sovereignty that is to say, and it is clear beyond all doubt that no other road can lead to such security." (to Dr. Freud (q.v.), July 30, 1932)

    A natural extension of the last quote is that for humanity to develop a sustainable better future the wealthiest must all give up their liberty to believe what they want to do as they please. And the legitimacy of the wealthiest should also be measured by their efforts to properly raise awareness and better understanding among the general population.

    What is obvious is that the developed socioeconomic-political systems tempt people to be more selfish rather than being altruistic. That leads to increased popularity and profitability of harmful unsustainable beliefs and activity making it more difficult to correct developments that become understood to be unsustainable and damaging. And it can lead (has led) to corporate or regional political leadership that fights for self-interests that are contrary to sustainably advancing all of humanity to a better future by claiming the sovereign right to be secretive or claim whatever they want to excuse doing as they please.

    Responsibly self-limiting behaviour and considerately assisting the less fortunate in pursuit of sustainable improvements for the future of humanity is contrary to the developed Private Interests of many people, particularly people who have developed desires to appear to be superior to others any way they can get away with. Significant corrective motivation will be required to get them to behave better. Global leadership (by the majority of the wealthiest and regional political winners) effectively doing that is what is required. It must be a serious concern for everyone, including being a serious threat to the understandably less deserving among the powerful and wealthy, the ones who are undeserving of their impressions of superiority.

  34. Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    nijelj@8, I found a study of DTR here.. LINK 

    Although only valid for continental USA it does show that diurnal temperature range in summer is falling more rapidly than in winter. Unfortunately, analysis of this is not included in this study.  

    However, I think the answer to why maximum temperatures would increase faster than minimum temperatures if incoming solar radiation is increased, is due to the delayed vapor response. If incoming solar energy underwent a positive step change the daily maximum temperatures (t max) would initially rise faster than minimum temperatures (t min), but that situation would reverse over time as atmospheric water vapor increased to a new equilibrium value.  OTOH, increasing CO2 will act to reduce outgoing LWR, not incoming SWR, so will act greatest on nighttime minimum temperature, reducing diurnal temperature redange (DTR). 

    However, from the continental USA data in the linked study it's interesting to see that the t-max - t-min trend is greatest during summer. not winter. Perhaps this is due to reduced cloud cover during winter and / or changes to weather system movements related to climate change.   Here in Australia there was a sudden reversal in the DTR trend around 1999, and since then the DTR has actually been increasing, Daytime temps are now increasing faster than nighttime temps. I'm not sure why this isn't being examined, being so exceptional.   

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Shortened link

  35. michael sweet at 20:51 PM on 22 April 2018
    Models are unreliable

    Norrism:

    I noticed at the top of this page a reply to one of your posts that is almost a year old.  After a year posting at SkS you still have to be constantly reminded to post on topic.

    I have provided you copius references to peer reviewed papers in that year.  You frequently dismiss these with a wave of your hand.  Recently you stated effectively that nothing James Hansen said was worth discussing. 

    You dismiss the US Climate Change report as not the IPCC and cite a paper that claims minimum sea level rise is much less that the IPCC reports.  Hansen's  paper has 200 citations since 2016 while your citation has only 20 since 2014. That means that scientists think Hansen's paper was important while your paper was not.  You will not listen to what Hansen has to say.  Your position is contrary to science.

    This repeats through the entire year you have posted.  You invariably support "lukewarm" positions at the extreme lowest amount (or below) of possible damage and say all decisions should be based on that possibility.  You do not even consider consensus reports like the US Climate Change report.  You never consider the posibilities of severe effects which scientists fear are possible.  

    That dismissal of severe effects is contrary to all known proper risk management.  If it turns out that the fears of Rignot and Hansen that sea level rises several meters the world will be screwed by 2100.   If it turns out that Curry is correct than sea level rise will be slower and the world will not be screwed untill 2200, but it will still be screwed.  The USA is only 250 years old and sea level rise alone will cause immense damage in less than 250 years.  And you do not care.

    There is no down side to switching to renewable energy.  In 100 years oil will run out and the switch will have to be made anyway.  Why delay the switch untill we have permanently screwed future generations?

    The war in Syria was caused partly by a drought that was the biggest in history (over 2000 years).  AGW predicts drought in that region.  The refugee crisis (millions of people) of the past few years was a direct result of drought predicted in advance as caused by AGW.

    I will not go into more detail about hurricanes destroying cities, wildfires consuming greater and greater parts of the globe, ocean currents slowing, floods, glaciers and ice sheets melting, and other disasters caused by AGW already.  It is too depressing and you do not care.

    You rely on your opinion and refuse to even read articles that describe facts you do not like.  After a year I have lost my patience with you.   As I recall, for the first month or so that you posted I was helpful and tried to give you information.  As it became clear that you did not really want information but just wanted to lecture us on your beliefs (without any evidence to support those beliefs) I have gotten much shorter and shorter with you.  I note that over the past year at least 5 other posters (including the moderator) have lost patience with you and will no longer engage with you.

    This is a scientific board.  You must post data to support your wild claims.  You have consistently refused to support your claims and dismiss data presented to you with a hand wave.  That is the problem.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] The participant to whom you responded has recused themselves from further participation here.

  36. Models are unreliable

    NorrisM @1085 , the primary purpose of SkepticalScience website is educational, through the daily articles and multiple links.   The listed Climate Myths provide a strongly educational underpinning, and indeed there is much to be learnt from the comments columns (where an informal panel of well-educated scientific thinkers provides further explication).

    NorrisM, the SkS website could delete all your comments (and all my  comments, too) and be none the lesser for it.   SkS is far bigger than any individual commenter.   While you and I might aspire to contribute praiseworthy eclat or scintillating enlightenment for the benefit of readers, it is nevertheless true that we have (thus far) fallen completely short of that target.

    Michael Sweet @1084 , your comment is relevant and well-phrased.   If I could expand on it, I would say that the human population [re climate] forms a bimodal distribution.   One peak represents the scientific-thinking people, and the other peak represents the science-denying people.

    Interestingly, there is almost no shoulder region between these two mountain peaks — certainly I myself have never heard of or met someone who truly occupies that "intermediate shoulder" between peaks.

    The mainstream "scientist" group vary only slightly in the degree of expression of alarm about the the speed & consequences of AGW.    ~OTOH the denialist group occupy a wider spectrum, ranging from highly-extreme craziness of denial of reality . . . through to low-extreme craziness of so-called lukewarm positions (positions which still amount to "let's ignore the problem and do little or nothing to tackle it effectively").

  37. Skeptical Science at EGU 2018 - a personal diary

    Wol @2

    Perhaps this older post will give you some ideas of how to deal with gish-gallops: http://sks.to/firehose

    What I sometimes do - like in a Facebook-thread full of comments by dismissives/trolls - is to just point others following the thread at our rebuttals via the fixed numbers and short URLs. Or, to take it a step further, keep on sharing the myth-rebuttal chart ("myth bingo") where the already spouted myths have been visually ticked off:

    myth-bingo

    This will of course not change the attitudes of the willfully ignorant commenters but it will at least show everybody else how wrong they are (and thereby hopefully help to inoculate them against the trolls' postings).

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Reduced image width

  38. Models are unreliable

    michael sweet @ 1084

    Given the moderator's comments, my plan is to largely sit back and read rather than comment on this website.  In fact in a number of instances I have taken this approach rather than "dive in".

    I actually find this site very valuable and it has clearly focussed my views on climate change perhaps more so than the "other site" that I tend to also read.  I have contributed to this site and plan to do so in the future assuming that I do not get blacklisted.

    But before I sign off for a period of time, I have to respond to what I find troubling about your attitude compared to all of the other regular contributors to this website.

    In many respects, you try to "dehumanize" me.  Like you, I am most interested in the welfare of this world.  No, I am not a selfish capitalist involved in oil and gas matters.  I clearly disclosed my financial interest in the oil and gas business so that everyone could judge my views knowing where I was coming from.  Not everyone on this website has done so.

    But I am 71 years old with my children in no way dependent on the oil and gas industry.  One lives in New York and the other in Vancouver.  Over the next 10-20 years, I highly doubt that that portion of my investments involved in oil and gas interest will be really impacted by this debate.  I am not so stupid as to have most of my "chips" on the oil and gas square. 

    I have zero interest in anything other than what is in the best interests of this world.  And I do mean the whole world and not just Europe and North America.  I am trying to rationalize the massive increases in CO2 emissions and the dangers this creates with still keeping the incredible advances we have made in this world since we leveraged our energy requirements using fossil fuels.  Honest people can have honest disagreements on what to do.

    What I find in your remarks is a reluctance to accept that anyone with a brain could possibly disagree with your views.  Rather than reply to some of my remarks with rational responses you would rather demonize me by suggesting that I have ulterior motives and therefore can be dismissed.  

    But I thought the purpose of this website was to educate.  The moderator has replied to me on my issue regarding the models and I appreciate his information.  I plan to read what he has provided to see if what he has provided to me on the climate models can counter my views.  I thought this was the purpose of this website.  I do not think that every person who provides a comment on this website has to have read every blog on this website before providing a comment.  Certainly by me raising a question about whether we can trust the models to predict temperatures in 50 years this is an opportunity of this website to provide references to evidence to support why we should be able to do so, or reasons why we should do so in spite of the difficulty.

    But you would prefer to attack me as having ulterior motives.  I appreciate that at any time I could be "deleted" from this website, but is that a victory?  I think not.  I think providing information that contradicts my general perception is what rational human beings should do.

     So rather than say that I am a "money grubbing" conservative, I would rather hear from you on my question regarding the models.  The moderator has done so, why not you?

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Off-topic and moderation complaints snipped.

  39. Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    The steelman strategy is intriguing and very useful. However the climate conspiracy theory I have heard is fairly specific, namely that climate change was invented by the UN to further their socialist goals to globalise and control the world from the UN and redistribute wealth.

    The Paris accord does involve helping poor countries with renewable energy projects. The email leak played into the conspiracy theory.This all gets the conspiracy theorests all excited, and no matter how much proof you provide that the emails revealed nothing wrong, the denialists don't listen, because they don't want to listen and learn. Or at least it's slow progress convincing people, but worth the effort.

    This conspiracy like others is all utter garbage of course. I mean its seriously moronic. I'm reluctant to even discuss it and publicise the issue, but I'm relying on the fact most people can probably see it for what it is, ridiculous. It falls over because countries give aid to poor countries anyway and for numerous other reasons. But the trouble is it all creates doubt and confusion with the public, which is the goal of the people really pulling the strings on all this, namely the heads of certain companies and political think tanks.

    Most people probably realise its far more likely the oil and transport companies deliberately spread doubt about the science.

    Imho in the end physical reality will increasingly show conspiracies and climate pseudoscience are both nonsense. I have noticed more people talking about extreme weather the last couple of years. Thats a good sign.

  40. Skeptical Science at EGU 2018 - a personal diary

    I think there are fundamentally two kinds of deniers; those that ought to be open to logical and factual argument (leaders, politicians and the like) and - a much bigger number - the mass of media consumers.

    The latter form by far the largest denialist groups on blogs, newspaper comment sections and so on. But attempting to argue with them using facts and logic is IMO a hiding to nothing: in the overwhelming majority of "discussions", both online and in broadcast media their tactic (both deliberate and unconcious) is to use the aptly named gish-gallop method of continually changing the subject.

    There seems to me to be no way to counter this: if as soon as a logical fallacy or inconvenient and fully documented fact is used they bring up another myth or unattributable "fact" to avoid having to back up their argument one appears (to them) to be running away from new "evidence".

    I have seen very little evidence of argument based on facts getting very far in changing the attitudes of such individuals.

  41. Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    Doug_C @6 From rationalism I learned the concept of steelmanning: rather than defeat a very weak form of your opponent's argument, as you've done, try to find a better argument than your opponents themselves use and defeat that instead. But it's hard to even find a fleshed-out conspiracy theory of climate science; everything I've seen is extremely vague.

    But obviously, if I was going to invent a conspiracy theory of climate science, it wouldn't assume that the conspiracy started in the 19th century. One might instead assume that somehow the 19th century scientists made an honest mistake, or that 19th century scientists were mostly right but that 1960s and 1970s scientists made a mistake about the climate sensitivity, and that scientists who discovered this wrongness were somehow censored. This is more like what real climate conspiracy theorists do - they might point to some obscure paper that says humans don't cause warming, and they say "behold the proof that climate science is a sham! Media and governments are suppressing the truth!" (there are a number of these, and mainstream scientists, of course, consider them to be variously inaccurate / nonsensical / incompetent.) We could take this argument and steelman it as some sort of, let's say, institutional bias created secretly at some point in the 1980s to teach budding scientists false beliefs. I find this more plausible than a conspiracy stretching back to the 19th century, but it remains vague and relies on the idea of scientists being too dumb to notice they've been duped. (I find it hard to steelman this, maybe due to the fact that this is my first attempt at steelmanning and my heart isn't really in it.)

    I'd argue against the conspiracy theory with three points. First, a conspiracy needs to have a goal. So what's their goal? Obviously, the solution to global warming is to replace fossil fuels with clean energy like nuclear, solar and wind, while increasing energy efficiency of our technology. So... why would someone create the world's greatest hoax just to encourage clean energy? Wouldn't it be easier to ignore the climate completely and make arguments like (1) air pollution caused largely by fossil fuels kills millions of people per year and clean energy doesn't, (2) clean energy can give us energy independence, (3) energy costs less if we use less of it, and (4) fossil fuels reserves will run out anyway so we may as well replace them before a crisis arises?

    Second, what good is a conspiracy that convinces 97% of climate scientists but only convinces 60% of the general public 35 years (or whatever) after the conspiracy started? What good is a conspiracy that doesn't convince politicians to pass a carbon tax? Clearly the conspirators picked the wrong target - for this evil plan to work it must win over lawmakers, not scientists.

    Third, who is easier to fool, scientists or the general public? The conspiracy theory would have you believe that thousands of scientists who specifically study climate were dumb enough to believe conspirators' disinformation, while the general public (conservatives anyway) were smart enough to see right through it.

    Of course, as you say, the idea that certain oil companies promote disinformation makes considerably more sense.

  42. Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    Doug_C @6 From rationalism I learned the concept of steelmanning: rather than defeat a weak form of your opponent's argument, as you've done, try to find a better argument than your opponents themselves use and defeat that instead. But it's hard to even find a fleshed-out conspiracy theory of climate science; everything I've seen is extremely vague.

    But if I was going to invent a conspiracy theory of climate science, it obviously wouldn't assume that the conspiracy started in the 19th century. One might instead assume that somehow the 19th century scientists were wrong, or that 1960s and 1970s scientists studying global warming were wrong, and that scientists who discovered this wrongness were somehow censored. This is more like what real climate conspiracy theorists do - they might point to an obscure paper that climate scientists consider to be scientifically inaccurate/nonsensical/incompetent, a paper that says humans don't cause warming, and they say "behold the proof that climate science is a sham! Media and governments are suppressing the truth!" We could then steelman this as some sort of, uh, institutional bias created secretly at some point in the 1980s to teach budding scientists false beliefs. I find this more plausible than a conspiracy stretching back to the 19th century, but it remains vague and relies on the idea of scientists being too dumb to notice they've been duped. (I find it hard to steelman it though, maybe due to the fact that this is my first attempt and my heart isn't really in it..)

    I'd argue against the conspiracy theory with three points. First, a conspiracy needs to have a goal. So what's their goal? The solution to global warming, obviously, is to replace fossil fuels with clean energy like nuclear, solar and wind, while increasing energy efficiency of our technology. So... why would someone create the world's greatest hoax if it just encourages clean energy? Wouldn't it be easier to make ordinary arguments like (1) clean energy can give us energy independence, (2) air pollution caused largely by fossil fuels kills millions of people per year and clean energy doesn't, (3) energy costs less if we use less of it, and (4) fossil fuels reserves will run out anyway so we may as well replace them before a crisis arises?

    Second, what good is a conspiracy that convinces 97% of climate scientists but only convinces 60% of the general public 35 years (or whatever) after the conspiracy started? What good is a conspiracy that doesn't convince politicians to pass a carbon tax? Clearly the conspirators picked the wrong target - if this evil plan were going to work it would have to win over lawmakers, not scientists.

    Third, who is easier to fool, scientists or the general public? The conspiracy theory would have you believe that thousands of scientists who specifically study climate were gullible enough to believe conspirators' disinformation, while the general public (conservatives anyway) were smart enough to see right through it.

    Of course, as you say, the idea that certain oil companies promote disinformation makes considerably more sense.

  43. michael sweet at 08:54 AM on 22 April 2018
    Models are unreliable

    Your "luke warmers" used to argue that there was no warming.  They changed their hats when it became impossible to continue with their past lies.  They continue to lie to the public about the changes expected from warming.  Look at the briefs submitted to the court by deniers in the case of young people suing the government.  You cannot concede the possibility of sea level rise contained in the US Climate Change report which is described by its author as "very conservative".

    The real difference between warmists and luke warmers is that the luke warmers are deliberately lying to the public about the dangers we face.

    The models can be falsified in myriad ways.  You are just making excuses.  The problem is that you are listening to oil company lobbyists and not scientists.  There is much more than temperature modeled.  We can compare the models to ocean heat, atmospheric humidity, rainfall patterns, drought predictions, extreme storm predictions, floods, temperature changes in different areas, river flow, and many more.  All these data points give us evidence of the accuracy of the models. 

    We already see the stronger storms, drought, flooding and sea level rise.  You want to wait and see if it really gets as much worse as scientists have projected?  You realize the it will continue to get worse after 2100 in any case?  You want to wait until civilization collapses before you take any action?

    The fact that Arhennius in 1896 made projections that are still in the range of what is expected tells us that scientists are close to the mark.  How long do you need to wait?  It has already been 120 years, why would we need to wait another 30?  James Hansen testified to congfress in 1989, 30 years ago.   Fossil fuel intrests used exactly your argument 30 years ago.  Now that the future has realized we see that Hansens projections were very accurate and you say we need another 50 years to wait?  Does that make sense?

    You are making excuses so that you can make money while everyone younger than you will suffer.  10 years ago scientists did not use the term carastrophic global warming and the deniers (luke warmers do not exist) used that term to insult scientists.  Today scientists warn of catastrophic damages and deniers say it will not be too bad.  The consequences have gotton so much worse in the past ten years that it is no longer extreme for scientists to warn of castrophe.

    Scientists work for 150 years to develop the knowledge to project the future climate.  You do not like the projections because it means you will make less money.  You say we will just have to wait and see if it is really that bad.  There is a consensus that warming over 2C could threaten the collapse of civilization and you say we should wait and see what happens at 4C?  That is insane.

    You produce no peer reviewed papers to support you absurd claims.  You dismiss Stern, Hansen and Jacobson with a handwave.  You have only the opinion of a lawyer who invests heavily in fossil fuels.  You ignore the evidence you are presented.  Why do you waste our time here when you do not care about the evidence?

    Arguing that  you do not understand the consequences of material that you refuse to read is not rational.  

    Please do not insult us here again with your comparisons of "luke warmers" and scientists.

  44. michael sweet at 08:24 AM on 22 April 2018
    New paper shows that renewables can supply 100% of all energy (not just electricity)

    Norrism:

    The papers I have referred you to claim that we can convert to 100% renewables by 2050 if we try hard. 

    If we continue to accept the lowest possible estimates for possible damages and the fossil fuel industry estimates for the cost of switching to renewables than it will appear to be difficult.

    Both Jacobson and Smart Energy Europe estimate that it will be cheaper to switch to renewables than to continue to use fossil fuels.  Economists like the Stern Report say it will be much cheaper to switch to renewable energy than to continue ot use fossil fuels (and the cost of renewables had shrunk dramatically since then).

    We have to decide: do we listen to neutral scientists whose primary care is the future of their families about what is best to do or do we listen to oil industry executives who only care about how big their bonuses this quarter are?

    Plans like those I have linked exist for all the countries of the world.  The fossil fuel industry crying for farmers in India is just so much BS.  Look at how many millions of Indians die every year from fossil fuel pollution.

  45. One Planet Only Forever at 05:10 AM on 22 April 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14

    rt Vandelay@,
    I consider a considerable part of the “roots of evil action development and any associated resistance to correction” to be socioeconomic-political systems that encourage or tempt people to be more selfish than altruistic or reward harmful selfishness.
    Good and valuable actions are undeniably actions that help sustainably advance all of humanity to a better future. Developing such actions requires people to be motivated to help others without expecting a personal reward. They may not get to personally experience the benefits of the better future for humanity that their actions support. And the more fortunate people will have to sacrifice some opportunity for personal benefit when it is understood that such Private Interests are not helping to develop sustainable improvements for the future of all of humanity.
    So I do not consider the burning of fossil fuels to be the root of all evil. It is only a significant example of the developments occurring because of what I consider to be a significant part of the roots of evil.
    And I do not wish to just “assign blame”. I consider Truth and Reconciliation to be an essential part of the actions required to effectively correct inappropriately developed beliefs and actions. So I am pointing out the need to challenge unjustified excusing of the burning of fossil fuels (As stated on Einstein's memorial at the National Academy of Science: “The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.”).
    Please correct me, help me be more aware and better understand, if any of the following points I have made in this comment string are not correct efforts to raise awareness and better understanding of what is going on:

    • the continuation and expansion of burning fossil fuels is a damaging unsustainable geoengineering activity that Global leaders (elected representatives and the wealthy winners of economic competitions) have failed to provide responsible leadership to sustainably solve or correct
    • promoting global geoengineering actions as solutions to the irresponsible and unjustified increased harm of burning fossil fuels is undeniably more irresponsible pursuits of excuses for those who irresponsibly continue to try to get away with benefiting from an understood to be damaging and ultimately unsustainable activity
    • burning fossil fuels cannot be proven to be providing any sustainable benefit for future generations of humanity, its continuation and expansion is only doing more harm
    • burning fossil fuels not only creates harmful excess GHGs resulting in rapid global scale climate geoengineering, activities related to it create large scale local water contamination and air pollution and destruction of developed ecosystems
    • the climate change impacts from the unsustainable burning of non-renewable ancient buried hydrocarbons are unpredictably disruptive to the intricately developed inter-related life ecosystems on this planet
    • rapidly curtailing the selfish pursuits of benefit from the burning of fossil fuels is the only reliable way to develop a better future, a way to reduce the uncertainty regarding the magnitude and types of challenges that future generations will face. That understanding was well developed in the 1980s and has become even more certain since that time.
    • global geoengineering to specifically remove CO2 from the atmosphere is an activity that can and should be developed to reduce the excess harmful impacts already created, even if other 'cheaper and quicker' geoengineering options to appear to 'solve the problem that is being created by the ultimately unsustainable and unhelpful activity' appear to exist.

    As a final point, pursuing Universal Acceptance is a bit of a Fool's Game. Increased Acceptance is the best that can be hoped for. The people wanting to continue to behave understandably unacceptably will claim the need for Their Interests to be Balanced with “Other Concerns”. That is essentially compromising on what is understood to be the required correction of behaviour because some people do not want to give up on their understandably unacceptable pursuits of Private Interest. It can also be claimed to be the “pragmatic thing to do”. Those types of claims point out the unacceptable results of allowing popularity or profitability to determine acceptability is systems that tempt people to be more selfish and less tolerant of diversity. They also expose the twisted ways that terms like Balance, Fairness, Compromise, and Pragmatism can be abused to excuse understandably unacceptable desired beliefs.

    The Truth and Reconciliation processes of raising awareness and better understanding of the unacceptability of what was/is really going on is important. And that includes pointing out what has been and still is unacceptable, even if doing so increases the resistance to correction among the portion of humanity that has developed a significant Private Interest in “not being corrected”.

    As John Stuart Mill warned 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.”

    Before John Stuart Mill's warning, Thomas Jefferson said “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.”

    The understanding that societies leaders (the rich and influential) must help the entire population be more correctly aware and better understand what is going on and help sustainably improve the future for all of humanity is not new. Systems that develop unhelpful leaders need to be corrected. And that correction requires the unacceptability of what has developed, and who is behaving unacceptably, to be openly declared rather than being excused due to misguided beliefs/claims about the need or right for “Balance of all Private Interests” or “Fairness to all Private Interests” or “Compromise of what is understood to be true to accommodate all other Private Interests” or “Pragmatism delaying correction due to a variety of Private Interests”.

    Some things are understandably the more correct and justified emergent knowledge, and they should not be compromised out of a misguided sense of a need for Balance or Fairness or Pragmatism to appease understandably unacceptable developed Private Interests/Beliefs.

  46. Models are unreliable

    michael sweet

    Here is my comment which was snipped for being off-topic.  

    I think the real difference between what I will call the "warmists" versus the "luke warmers" is not really a difference on the science. Both sides accept that the planet is getting warmer and CO2 emissions constitute at least 50% of the warming (with the difference largely related to whether there are 60 year oscillations of the AMO). The real difference between the warmists and the luke warmers is a disagreement on the ability of the models to accurately predict what will happen after 2050. 

    But is that not what this all comes down to? We cannot agree on: 1. whether the temperature increases in RCP 8.5 are realistic based upon the limited ability of the models to replicate the climate 50 years into the future; and 2. whether the assumptions of fossil fuel use in RCP 8.5 are realistic. As well, all the "scary stuff" in the models seems to take place from 2050 onwards so we really cannot even point to any spectactular  failure of the models today. The models are not falsifiable because we have to wait 30-50 years.

    It is true that Einstein's theory of relativity was only "proven" many years later (I cannot remember the comet's path which seemed to prove it correct) but in that case the world was not asked to change its source of energy over a relatively short time period given that presently approximately 85% of our energy needs are provided by fossil fuels and less than 5% by wind and solar power.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Sloganeering and blatant handwaving snipped.  Either bring actual credible evidence to support your contentions or acknowledge that these assertions by you are simply your uninformed opinions.  A number of posts at SkS already detail the accuracy of model projections vs actual performance (like herehere and here).  Indeed, there is a plethora of posts examining just how well models as far back as even the 1980s and 1970s have performed.

    Models and observations

    BEST Model performance

    CMIP3 models are spot-on

    CMIP5 models are spot-on

    You are welcome to make your case using actual evidence.  You are not welcome to spread misinformation or to represent your opinions as anything other than that (opinions); without credible evidence to support them, they will be disregarded and dismissed if they differ from established science and scientific research.  I'm not going to bother to warn you further as the fact is: you've been given ample warnings and simply ignored them.

  47. What scientists SHOULD talk about: their personal stories

    You know as a graduated student, I can tell you where is the big problem. Our education! We don't pay any attention (I mean serious) to the environment. Look at all, this service who offer you to "do my essay online". The main theme is just ridiculous!
    PC, Internet, Films, and other and only about 1 to 10 essays will be about nature. New generation are don't even interesting about how to help our planet, they have Instagram and other stuff to do.
    We should talk about our environment a lot more! We should get teens and adults' interest.

  48. Climate Science Denial Explained: Tactics of Denial

    nigelj @9

    Climate change denial is approaching the point of having to rewrite fundamental scientific theories that have been demonstrated over and over to have very high confidence. It's ridiculous to the point of having to claim that the same quantum theories that allow semi-cnductor transistors to operate in such a way as to enable all modern electronics suddenly break down when they are applied to describing why carbon dioxide is able to absorb heat when molecular nitrogen and oxygen aren't.

    It requires far more complexity to make the deniers case work than it does the science of human forced climate change. Which isn't separate at all from the main body of scientific knowledge and discovery.

    It is only mindless repetition paid for at a massive level that allows denial any visibility at all.

  49. New paper shows that renewables can supply 100% of all energy (not just electricity)

    michael sweet @ 86

    Happy to continue the discussion here.  Obviously we have previously discussed the Jacobson paper at some length (and some of the peer-reviewed criticisms of it) but your point is well-taken that all proposed 100% renewable energy solutions have to have come up with an answer for the agricultural sector.    

     Jacobson's study was based on the United States.  Somewhere else I provided a vox.com interview with an wind and solar expert in California who had advised the California power authority who felt we could only realistically get to 80-20 in the US.   But this is in the United States and even with his interview I had no sense of how long that would take even if we had the Democrats in power.

    Even in North America this is not going to be cheap.  I recently walked into the Tesla dealership to see how much my sister's Model X (I think that is the new one) is going to cost her.  I thought she had told me ballpark $35,000 Cdn.  My understanding is that by the time you walk out of the dealership you will be looking at somewhere between $50-60,000 (before taxes).  Elon is not appealing to the working man.

    But then we move to the Chinese or Indian farmer.  Where is the grid system that Jacobson works on in his US analysis?  Just how many years will it be before China has moved from coal to wind, solar and nuclear energy sufficiently to allow tractors to operate on batteries?  And when are the trains going to be converted to electrically run systems to transport the goods to ships?  And when are the ships going to be converted to electric powered engines?

    I acknowledge that all of this can happen but it will take a lot of time.  

    There is simply no way we can move from ballpark 85% fossil fuel energy production in the world to even 50% let alone 20% as projected for the US by this California expert.  Right now, wind and solar in the world is no more than the source of 5% of the world's energy production.   I think it is more like 2-3% if I am not mistaken.

    I think the real difference between what I will call the "warmists" versus the "luke warmers" is not really a difference on the science. Both sides accept that the planet is getting warmer and CO2 emissions constitute at least 50% of the warming.  The real difference between the warmists and the luke warmers is a disagreement on the ability of the models to accurately predict what will happen after 2050 and therefore how much time we have to deal with the problem.  That is why I personally want to focus on sea level rises based upon observations.  But I guess to continue this discussion we have to move to even another blog.  But is that not what this all comes down to?  We cannot agree on: 1. whether the temperature increases in RCP 8.5 are realistic based upon the limited ability of the models to replicate the climate; and 2. whether the assumptions of fossil fuel use in RCP 8.5 are realistic.   As well, all the "scary stuff" in the models seems to take place from 2050 onwards so we really cannot even point to any spectacular failure of the models today.  The models are not falsifiable because we have to wait 30-50  years for the serious consequences.  Moderator:  If you "snip" this last paragraph for again being off topic could you suggest another thread on models? 

    So much of this comes down to how much can we trust the models.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Off-topic, sloganeering and arguments from incredulity snipped.  For SLR discussions, continue using the thread you had been (you know better than to try to throw other threads off-topic).  For models, learn to use the Search function in the upper left corner of every page here and select the most-appropriate thread from the results.

  50. michael sweet at 12:02 PM on 21 April 2018
    New paper shows that renewables can supply 100% of all energy (not just electricity)

    Why don't we shift the discussion of renewable energy to here.  It will be on topic.

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