Pre-traumatic stress syndrome: climate scientists speak out

by Judith Curry

Well this has been a really interesting week  for hearing about what climate scientists think and feel about potential future impacts of climate change.

Pre-traumatic stress syndrome

From an article  entitled Climate Scientists are Dealing with Psychological Problems:

Most of the worst predicted outcomes will occur down the road. In the meantime, though, the people making these predictions — climate scientists — are dealing with a heavy psychological toll. They are living a “surreal existence.”

One psychologist who works with climate scientists said they suffer from “pre-traumatic stress,” the overwhelming sense of anger, panic, and “obsessive-intrusive thoughts” that results when your work every day is to chart a planetary future that looks increasingly apocalyptic. Some climatologists merely report depression and feelings of hopelessness. Others, resigned to our shared fate, have written what amount to survival guides for a sort of Mad Max dystopian future where civilization has broken down under the pressures of resource scarcity and habitat erosion.

Pre-traumatic stress syndrome was discussed previously at CE [here].

Ballad of the sad climatologists

All of this is examined at great length in a  remarkable  article in Esquire: Ballad of the sad climatologists: When the end of human civilization is your day job.   Roger Pielke Jr sums it up with this tweet: Strange tales from the apocalyptic wing of the climate science community.  Some excerpts:

Jason Box:  “I think most scientists must be burying overt recognition of the awful truths of climate change in a protective layer of denial (not the same kind of denial coming from conservatives, of course). I’m still amazed how few climatologists have taken an advocacy message to the streets, demonstrating for some policy action.” But gloom is the one subject he doesn’t want to discuss. “Crawling under a rock isn’t an option,” he responds, “so becoming overcome with PTSD-like symptoms is useless.”  Jason Box famously tweeted: “If even a small fraction of Arctic sea floor carbon is released to the atmosphere, we’re f’d.”

Gavin Schmidt:  Although Schmidt was one of the victims of the 2009 computer hacks, which he admits tipped him into an episode of serious depression, he now focuses relentlessly on the bright side.“I don’t agree. I don’t think we’re fucked. There is time to build sustainable solutions to a lot of these things. You don’t have to close down all the coal-powered stations tomorrow. You can transition. It sounds cute to say, ‘Oh, we’re fucked and there’s nothing we can do,’ but it’s a bit of a nihilistic attitude. We always have the choice. We can continue to make worse decisions, or we can try to make ever better decisions. ‘Oh, we’re fucked! Just give up now, just kill me now,’ that’s just stupid.” “Bad things are going to happen. What can you do as a person? You write stories. I do science. You don’t run around saying, ‘We’re fucked! We’re fucked! We’re fucked!’ It doesn’t—it doesn’t incentivize anybody to do anything.”

Camille Parmesan:   Camille Parmesan announced that she’d become “professionally depressed” and was leaving the United States for England. The politics took its toll. Her butterfly study got her a spot on the UN climate panel, where she got “a quick and hard lesson on the politics” when policy makers killed the words “high confidence” in the crucial passage that said scientists had high confidence species were responding to climate change. Then the personal attacks started on right-wing Web sites and blogs. “They just flat-out lie. It’s one reason I live in the UK now. It’s not just been climate change, there’s a growing, ever-stronger antiscience sentiment in the U. S. A. People get really angry and really nasty. It was a huge relief simply not to have to deal with it.” She now advises her graduate students to look for jobs outside the U. S.

Michael Mann: He was investigated, was denounced in Congress, got death threats, was accused of fraud, received white powder in the mail, and got thousands of e-mails with suggestions like, You should be “shot, quartered, and fed to the pigs along with your whole damn families.” Conservative legal foundations pressured his university, a British journalist suggested the electric chair. 

As Mann sees it, scientists like Schmidt who choose to focus on the middle of the curve aren’t really being scientific. Worse are pseudo-sympathizers like Bjorn Lomborg who always focus on the gentlest possibilities. Because we’re supposed to hope for the best and prepare for the worst, and a real scientific response would also give serious weight to the dark side of the curve.

He was talking to students, so it got to him. They’re young, it’s their future more than his. He choked up and had to struggle to get ahold of himself. “You don’t want to choke up in front of your class,” he says. About once a year, he says, he has nightmares of earth becoming a very alien planet. The worst time was when he was reading his daughter Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, the story of a society destroyed by greed. He saw it as an optimistic story because it ends with the challenge of building a new society, but she burst into tears and refused to read the book again. “It was almost traumatic for her.” His voice cracks. “I’m having one of those moments now.” Why? “I don’t want her to have to be sad,” he says. “And I almost have to believe we’re not yet there, where we are resigned to this future.”

Climate ‘refugees’. Like Parmesan, Box was hugely relieved to be out of the toxic atmosphere of the U. S. “I remember thinking, What a relief, I don’t have to bother with this bullshit anymore.” In Denmark, his research is supported through the efforts of conservative politicians. “But Danish conservatives are not climate-change deniers,” he says.

In fact, Box adds, he too is a climate refugee.  His wife, Klara, resents any notion that she is a “climate migrant.” She didn’t want to compare herself to the truly desperate refugees who are drowning, she says, and the move to Denmark really was for the quality of life. “Lastly, the most difficult question to answer is about Jason’s mental health. I’d say climate change, and more broadly the whole host of environmental and social problems the world faces, does affect his psyche.”

Jason Box: “I’ve been looking at property in Greenland. As a possible bug-out scenario.”

The Guardian has a related article:  Is it ok for scientists to weep over climate change?  Excerpt (although its not clear from the article who this female scientist is):

“Stop recording now,” she said. “I can’t be crying on the radio. It’s demeaning to women scientists, especially after Tim Hunt [The UCL Professor who controversially resigned after quipping that women scientists get emotional in the lab].”

I argued that the audience would be moved by her commitment, and the interview continued with tears flowing.

“I love the oceans,” she said. “I feel passionately about what we are doing to them and I’m worried that they will be irreversibly damaged.

Interview with Syukuro Manabe

The Carbon Brief has conducted a really interesting interview with Syukuro Manabe, the father of climate modeling [link] (and author of the most influential climate paper of all time as per previous blog post).  Some very interesting perspectives on the history of climate modeling.  I can’t remember having heard Manabe speak out on climate change policy, here are some quotes from the interview:

CB: Do you think we should now be considering some form of geo-engineering?

SM: I think it is a terrible idea, because the climate, even in the absence of global warming changes, can go up and down. So let’s suppose you put sulphates into the stratosphere to block the sunshine and the temperature still rises for a period. People will complain. And then the temperature starts to go down. People will then complain that it is too cool. This will continue. You can’t please everyone. And there will likely be huge litigation costs, too. They will blame you for whatever happens to the climate from that point on.

CB: Do we just have to try and adapt?

SM: Here in the US, it is impossible to get carbon trading, or what have you, through Congress. I think it is practically impossible to achieve the reductions in carbon emissions as demanded by the IPCC scenarios. I think for the time being – and this will probably happen anyway – that we will use natural gas produced by fracking. It will buy us some time. Meanwhile, we should put a major emphasis on clean technologies and optimise our electricity grid systems so we use less fossil fuel. Basically, everything that has already been proposed. Over time, they [clean technologies] will take over. This is a more natural approach rather than try to impose carbon trading, etc. It blows my mind how you might go about getting us off carbon fuels.

JC reflections

There is clearly a range of perspectives of climate scientists in terms of how they respond to the threat of climate change.   In the previous blog post on this topic,  I introduced the concept of psychological hardiness:

The coping style most commonly associated with hardiness is that of transformational coping, an optimistic style of coping that transforms stressful events into less stressful ones. At the cognitive level this involves setting the event into a broader perspective in which they do not seem so terrible after all. At the level of action, individuals high in hardiness are believed to react to stressful events by increasing their interaction with them, trying to turn them into an advantage and opportunity for growth, and in the process achieve some greater understanding.

Manabe and especially Gavin Schmidt are clearly displaying characteristics of psychological hardiness.  Is this merely a function of their personalities, and/or does it relate to the fact that they build climate models, and understand the uncertainties of the projections moreso than climate scientists focused on observations and impacts?

On the other hand, Jason Box and the anonymous female seem genuinely distressed about the future and would seem to lack hardiness in coping, although Box seems also to be highly offended by political B.S. in the U.S.

Andy Revkin tweets: Most climate scientists I’ve encountered in 30 yrs on beat are in @climateofgavin mode, not woe=me mode.

Other factors seem to come into play for Parmesan and Mann, although I obviously have no particular insight into their motives other than what I have read.

Having your ego wrapped up in having your research influence policy (frustrated policy advocates),  keeping ‘score’ in a personal war against skeptics, seeking fame, generating book sales and lecture fees and political influence, etc. can all come into play in influencing how a scientist reacts to the climate wars or seeks to position themselves in reacting to the threats of climate change.  Scientists might get ‘upset’ if they don’t think they are sufficiently successful at the above.  This is something else — not pre-traumatic stress syndrome.

Clearly much fodder for psychologists and social psychologists, although I fear that climate psychology’s consensus bias (see previous post re Joe Duarte’s research) will be hard to overcome.

p.s. I was astonished by this statement: As Mann sees it, scientists like Schmidt who choose to focus on the middle of the curve aren’t really being scientific.  Its not a direct quote, so I don’t what he actually said.  But effectively calling Gavin Schmidt ‘not really being scientific’ – can Mann be far from calling Gavin Schmidt anti-science?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

250 responses to “Pre-traumatic stress syndrome: climate scientists speak out

  1. David L. Hagen

    Mann allegedly said: “a real scientific response would also give serious weight to the dark side of the curve.”
    Rising CO2 is providing benefits of global greening and increasing agricultural production.
    Steve McIntyre shows strong cooling and growth of glaciers over the last 4000 years down to The Little Ice Age. What is to prevent that cooling from the Holocene optimum continuing into the next glaciation?
    Isn’t that the real “dark side of the curve”?

      • David L. Hagen

        Scientists warning of global cooling once again! By Newsmachete

        However, if this is the new political viewpoint of the environmental commissars, it raises a big question about global warming. Will the two cancel each other out? If we are in danger of global cooling, don’t we need some global warming to balance it, and shouldn’t we therefore encourage the burning of fossil fuels? In that case should we not penalize renewable energy companies (wind and solar) with a non-carbon tax, to penalize them for not helping to make the globe warmer?

        All this reminds me of the book 1984. At one point people were brainwashed to think Eurasia was the enemy, but at a moment’s notice they could believe that Eastasia was the enemy instead. It’s the same with these environmental fantasies. One day it’s warming to be feared, the next cooling.

        My personal opinion is that the only thing to be feared are the people in charge who are punishing us for their own irrational sense of guilt.

      • russellseitz

        The sure cure for Pre-TSS is a pilgrimage to the Vatican Observatory .

    • David L. Hagen

      The next mini Ice Age?
      The “dark side” strikes again.
      Is a mini ICE AGE on the way? Scientists warn the sun will ‘go to sleep’ in 2030 and could cause temperatures to plummet

      New study claims to have cracked predicting solar cycles
      Says that between 2030 and 2040 solar cycles will cancel each other out
      Could lead to ‘Maunder minimum’ effect that saw River Thames freeze over . . .Predictions from the model suggest that solar activity will fall by 60 per cent during the 2030s to conditions last seen during the ‘mini ice age’ that began in 1645, according to the results presented by Prof Valentina Zharkova at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno.
      The model predicts that the pair of waves become increasingly offset during Cycle 25, which peaks in 2022.
      During Cycle 26, which covers the decade from 2030-2040, the two waves will become exactly out of synch and this will cause a significant reduction in solar activity.
      ‘In cycle 26, the two waves exactly mirror each other – peaking at the same time but in opposite hemispheres of the Sun,’ said Zharkova.

      Could this evidence pathological avoidance of unwelcome evidence resulting in a refusal to recognize cognitive dissonance? i.e., the disconnect between the scientific method and one’s pet theory?
      Compare the difference between Mann’s Hockey Stick and reality shown by Tom Wysmuller (of the NASA 49) in The Recent Temperature and CO2 Disconnect

      • I read that article as well and what I found far more fascinating than the article was the commentary. A lot of people are reacting by simply shutting down. First they tell us we’re going to cook and then they tell us we’re going to freeze? They don’t know what they are doing. The constant threats of apocalypse are fatiguing many of the general public to the point where they are no longer listening to anything.

      • David L. Hagen

        Can the psychological consequences of opposing catastrophies be predicted?
        Does the press raising alarms over predicted catastrophes amplify “pre traumatic stress syndrome”?
        Consider: Solar ice age Zharkova
        Summaries at: Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting 2015 – report 4
        Irregular heartbeat of the Sun driven by double dynamo

        “We found magnetic wave components appearing in pairs, originating in two different layers in the Sun’s interior. They both have a frequency of approximately 11 years, although this frequency is slightly different, and they are offset in time. Over the cycle, the waves fluctuate between the northern and southern hemispheres of the Sun. Combining both waves together and comparing to real data for the current solar cycle, we found that our predictions showed an accuracy of 97%,” said Zharkova.

        Lead author: Valentina Zharkova at Northumbria Univ. & Research Gate

        Does the psychological stress or health depend on how people respond to the ancient prediction that:

        While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”

    • I wonder how much global warming probably actually made the Syrian drought some fanatics blame on global warming less bad.

  2. Oh les pauvres! Catasstrophic Warming! Say, what does
    this panic response to warming within the boundaries of
    historic temperature variation say about the suffering
    scientists? Looks like a fear and guilt religious response
    to me. Scientists – heal – thyselves.

  3. How odd that neither the Esquire or Guardian articles benchmarks their scientists’ terrifying views vs those in the IPCC’s reports. Like most activists’ writing these days, neither even mentions the IPCC — once the “gold-standard” of climate science, now “too conservative” to even mention.

    That would have been useful for readers. For example, Box’s forecast (or vision) seems contrary to the methane discussion in AR5. This puts his distress in a different light.

  4. Gee Willikers!. Have some climate scientists been taking in by psycho- babble? Or is this just media headlining grabbing by a small number of climate scientists to emphasize their scenarios for the future and facing the fact they might just be only partly right, or not at all? Or do they lack the confidence in their own work, or are having second thoughts about the papers they published, or couldn’t handle scrutiny of their work?

    I honestly don’t know what to make of what these people quoted in the linked articles and in Dr. Curry’s summary of what they are saying. Two actually left the USA because of reactions to their research?

    In my view, perhaps harsh, if one can’t live with the consequences of one’s actions, science, or written work, perhaps one needs to find another field, not another country.

    Perhaps its time for everyone to take a deep breath, smell the flowers, and face the fact that the sky isn’t falling and that tomorrow the sun will still rise.

    George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

  5. Pingback: Another disturbing article about climate change. Fortunately we have the IPCC! | The Fabius Maximus website

  6. This is a really serious and constructive suggestion for any climate scientist suffering in this way : Set up a meeting with Judith Curry or Anthony Watts or any of the prominent “sceptics”. Have a frank and open discussion about your and their perceptions of climate science. I am sure that you will find that the problem is not what you thought it was.

    If you think the reception you get will be hostile, then you are very mistaken – see for example the meeting between Anthony Watts and Bill McKibben reported recently on wattsupwiththat.com

    • ‘Set up a meeting with Judith Curry or Anthony Watts or any of the prominent “sceptics”

      That would surely bring the end of their academic careers, as the tribe would reject them completely.

      • patmcguinness

        “That would surely bring the end of their academic careers”

        OK, so they supposedly worry the world will end by 2100 or something … but they worry about their careers more. What a farce.

  7. When I think about pre-traumatic stress syndrome I wonder about the psychological make-up of the person prior to being “Stressed Out.” Is there something in the make-up of the person which predisposes them to be vulnerable to stress and react to stress in feelings of overwhelming emotions in the first place.

    In the more recent literature on Post-traumatic stress syndrome there was some evidence that about 1/3 of combat soldiers were pre-disposed to coping with their stress which resulted in post-traumatic stress syndrome.

    When looking at the responses of some of the climate scientists up thread, it would appear to me that their coping styles may predispose them to internalize their work’s message, that they become consumed, or maybe overwhelmed with believed negative outcomes.

    When one hears a person who so distraught, sobbing, you want to put your arms around them and say: “Lighten up, you’re going to be OK. Everything is going to work out.” And sing with Annie: “The sun’ill come up tomorrow, you can bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there”ll be sun.”

    • Quite so RiHoo8 … maybe they’re experiencing severe cognitive dissonance with what they espouse as scientists and the fact as presented to them daily by Nature. They’re so heavily invested in their own BS that they see no way out other than to blame those that don’t accept their folly … the fragile egos are under threat of their life’s work and financial security being washed away by the truth. Shame for them.

    • RiH008,

      About 10% of the generally population have some form of mental health issue. The higher IQ population has a little higher rate. So based on the statistics, somewhere between 10 and 20% of Climate Scientists should be nutz. How they want to classify their nuttiness doesn’t change the base statistics.

      • Capt’nDallas

        The higher IQ population has a little higher rate

        John Nash readily comes to mind.

        Then again, for those not so brilliant, maybe obsession is an escape mechanism from the person’s daily life, akin to drugs and alcohol.

      • RiH008, “Then again, for those not so brilliant, maybe obsession is an escape mechanism from the person’s daily life, akin to drugs and alcohol.”

        Obsessive/compulsive behavior is normal. You are only abnormal if you aren’t obsessive/compulsive enough or overly obsessive/compulsive. Making a Difference, Saving the World, Saving Souls, Saving the Environment are all “noble” obsessions that can attract the abnormal increasing the nutz population in a “noble” field.

        There is no reason to think that a huge vague field like “Climate Science” shouldn’t have more than the average share of nut jobs and they need a noble problem to solve. Dealing with the problem, adaption, just isn’t noble enough.

      • “So based on the statistics, somewhere between 10 and 20% of Climate Scientists should be nutz. ”

        97% ;>)

  8. Perhaps a serious question could be how Pre-traumatic stress syndrome, and Warmers “generalized pathological climate obsession” (GPCO ..new acronym for us all ) should be treated under Obamacare!!

  9. Is climate anxiety misplaced concern over the trustworthyness of world governments?

  10. Well, impressed at this little blurb from Schmidt, regardless of his position on the specifics. Some of the others seem contrived and disingenuous.

    • Schmidt did sound pretty reasonable.

      I’m sort of ok with Schmidt’s position.

      There is an arguable position that we want to limit emissions to 10-12 GT/Y. Given that China is dialing back that is eminently doable.

      At 10-12 GT/Y we can burn fossil fuel until the cows come home. The current 6 GT of environment absorption will rise to equal emissions, The CO2 level will flatten below 500 PPM, and everyone is happy.

      Even the 3 times too high IPCC numbers say that forcing will cause less than 1°C of further warming if we stay below 500 PPM. By the end of the century we will be out of fossil fuel anyway so this whole issue becomes a don’t care.

      • David Wojick

        China is talking about (and not actually doing) cutting intensity, not emissions. Plus the many other poor countries still have a lot of China-like growing to do. Emissions are not about to level off.

      • “China is talking about (and not actually doing) cutting intensity, not emissions. “

        China probably agreed to reductions because they knew it was already happening:

        It appears this has continued into 2015 ( chart in the story ).

        It’s true India appears to have increasing coal use, co2 emissions are falling for most of the countries of the world.

      • David L. Hagen

        The Chinese evidence adhering to pragmatic economics by driving increasing economic efficiency using the shibboleth of “climate change”.

      • China’s coal consumption rose by 0.1% in 2014 (according to BP) and they burn 50.6% of the worls coal. India’s coal cunsumption rose 11.1%.

      • Emissions are not about to level off.

        Of course, according to the IEA, CO2 emissions already leveled off: flat between 2013 and 2014.

        Nobody knows for sure about the future, but given developed world’s declining emissions, the dramatic turn in China and global demographics, there is certainly evidence of a peak based on largely secular factors.

      • India is why I put 12 in the 10-12.

        But even if India does a China 12 GT/Y is about the high end.

        Circumstances have made about 1/2 the US coal unmineable.

        When Indonesia runs out of coal the price will go up and there will be downward pressure on consumption.

        The people who claim high future emissions seem to know jack about the energy industry or economics. Haven’t seen an informed person (someone from the energy industry) claiming high future emissions.

        If someone from the energy industry can paint me a realistic high emissions scenario I’d love to hear it.

      • rogerknights

        China is converting coal in Inner Mongolia into city gas and piping it to power plants near cities, to reduce particulate emission. The coal to gas conversion emits a lot more CO2 than burning it would. But maybe, because coal use in power plants is declining, it appears incorrectly that CO2 emissions from coal are going down.

        Well, we’ll know for sure once the new satellite that can measure CO2 emissions regardless of source starts posting its data.

      • What isn’t clear to most people is coal is basically consumed regionally because much of the cost is transportation.

        Chart of extracted cost and FOB (loaded on transport – top bar) for coal. The FOB cost doesn’t include final transportation cost – just the costs of getting it on the train or ship for delivery).

      • Chart for previous post.

      • PA, “Given that China is dialing back …” China’s recent commitment to greenhouse gas emissions reductions needs to be put in perspective. China currently accounts for more than one quarter of global emissions. If its current slow (by Chinese standards) GDP growth of 7 % is continued until 2030, the economy will be almost 2.8 times as big as it is today. If the proposed cut in emissions intensity is achieved, total emissions would be in the order of 50 per cent greater than in 2015. That growth would probably exceed the cuts proposed by Western nations by that date. I don’t call that “cutting back.”

        With growth of emissions in India and elsewhere, global emissions in 2030 are likely to be greater than in 2015, and the costly reduction programs adopted by the West will have had little impact.

        Faustino

      • genghiscunn | July 12, 2015 at 12:57 am |
        With growth of emissions in India and elsewhere, global emissions in 2030 are likely to be greater than in 2015, and the costly reduction programs adopted by the West will have had little impact.

        Faustino

        Like I’ve said elsewhere – I’d like to hear this from someone in the energy industry.

        Coal is more expensive to transport than to mine. Countries that do not have a native supply of coal aren’t going to burn gobs of it. In 2030 China will start dialing back because they only have a 30 year supply.

        Indonesia – a major exporter will run out shortly. India has less than half the coal China does and is going nuclear in a big way.

        Who is going to be buying what will be increasingly expensive coal?

        Doesn’t warmers understand economics?

  11. ‘One psychologist who works with climate scientists’

    They need their own shrinks? Says it all about a closed apocalyptic ‘community’

  12. Pingback: Pre-traumatic stress syndrome: climate scientists speak out | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  13. How do these self-obsessed emotionally stunted individuals get to senior positions in academe while avoiding any semblance of having grown up beyond early teenhood and consequent universal angst?

    Fertile ground for climate’s favourite shrink – Lewandowsky. He’s enough examples of psychosis and aberrant belief here to keep him in dodgy papers for a decade.

    • Particular branches of science and medicine have always attracted certain personality types. Embryology attracts closet vitalists and the deeply religious. Antisocial narcissistic personalities frequently become surgeons. I have often thought that climate science attracts sociopaths and those easily used by them.

  14. Mann’s view is more like the “deep uncertainty” tactic of hope for the best, plan for the worst. This may have more in common with Judith’s advocacy ironically. Gavin’s view is more certain of the “middle” so he says plan for that, and modify either way as it pans out. I tend to agree more with Gavin here. We don’t have to hope for anything, just plan based on the most likely part of the curve. This is in line with the 2 C targets being set that are also planning for the middle sensitivity when that is converted to carbon limits.

    • ‘Deep uncertainty’? Tortured wording. He seems certain of the worst and not doing much planning-not the guy to be in a foxhole with. Schmidt on the other hand…

      • Schmidt sounds reasonable…the others need to get some counseling. I’m glad Denmark is now funding the climate refugee scientists. As for Mann, perhaps he has a fiery disposition, which might explain the tears and past intemperate remarks.

        Bottom line, if the troubled scientists are that worried, they need to do a better job proving, not communicating, their case.

    • By planning, they mean as a society we curl up in a ball.

      • You mean like the do-nothing wing of the skeptics? In fact it is the opposite. Planning is needed, not sitting around assuming the future is like the past. There is a faction trying to ban mention of climate change or even any research into it. They are the ones curling up into a ball at this point.

      • You mean like the do-nothing wing of the skeptics?

        At least you’re beginning to realize that there are many approaches among skeptics.

        Planning is needed, not sitting around assuming the future is like the past.

        Yes. Rational planning, not hysterical demands for world-wide bureaucracy.

        The first, and most important IMO, part is to identify objectives. For instance,consider the following:

        Reduce future and reverse past emissions of fossil carbon as quickly as is consistent with maintaining the current general economic environment and improving lifestyle of all humans.

        Now, with an objective like this, there are many actions that could be taken, especially when including a good understanding of the effects of learning curve and economies of scale for new technologies. Especially in taking advantage of the “exponential growth” portions of the growth curve for successful technologies.

        Such actions would involve much less need for pressuring existing polities and economic power structures, since they would be relatively “low-regrets”. They would have a good chance of solving the problem. They could be taken without trying to impose any sort of world-wide power structure, at the expense of existing concentrations of power and wealth.

        Some might argue that the above isn’t enough. Fine. But such actions could be tried, and indeed have been tried over the last few decades with great success. They could be extended and expanded, in ways with little or no general cost to society: more allocations for primary research, especially into CO2 capture and energy storage.

        Then, if there really isn’t good progress, those who want more would have a better argument. If there is, the problem has been solved. Based on the exponentially increasing install base for solar power over the last few decades, and exponentially decreasing cost, the problem will probably be solved without the need for “high-regrets” policy actions.

  15. This is so pathetic. Climatology, in terms of science, is little more than phrenology.

  16. They climate people do not have a disorder because of the forecasts.

    They make bad forecasts because they have the disorder.

    They look at their own model output, see that it does not match real data and that does drive them mad. The data does not match their alarmist forecasts and that is the travesty.

    • There are some people that learn from their failures.

      The people who believe in CO2 climate catastrophe aren’t among them.

  17. Poor poor darlings! Depressed about the prospect of having to get a real job?

    Noticing a decrease in adulation recently? Collection plate a bit empty, is it?

    Here’s a suggestion or three –

    If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.
    Threaten to hold your breath until you turn blue.
    Take a teaspoon of cement and harden up.

    There’s always psychiatric help available, although you might want to use a trained psychologist in the first instance. Some of them have odd ideas though. It might be worth while avoiding those who inhabit a fantasy world themselves, and believe in conspiracies of Big Anything, Skeptics, or people trying to steal their Nobel Prizes!

    You can stop sobbing now. Mother Nature will make it better, diddums. Bye bye!

  18. Sly careerists modelling their Bambi-stares, prissily trimmed face hair and North Face jackets for smutty, snobby old Esquire. Just what was needed in this jaded world.

    Nice to read that Gavin is not totally down with Jason’s “baked into the system” seventy-foot rise in sea levels. I mean, if we’re already ###### then there’s no incentive to build those white elephants, is there? (Of course, cutting edge Esquire actually prints the word, unlike fuddy-duddy old me.)

    Now men, if the “swirl of emotions” and “darker possibilities on the curve’s tail” get too much, you can just pop over to the Style pages of Hearst’s bible for first world male consumers. Check out the 5 top sneakers for 2015. And don’t miss the 15 Best Summer Colognes to Keep You Fresh Well into Fall.

    Then it’s back, revived, to the “science” pages for some more global catastrophe or third world suffering.

  19. It sounds like Gavin Schmidt is repressing a lot of anger.

  20. It isn’t pre-traumatic stress. It’s thermophobia.

    “A phobia is an overwhelming and unreasonable fear of an object or situation that poses little real danger but provokes anxiety and avoidance. Unlike the brief anxiety most people feel when they give a speech or take a test, a phobia is long lasting, causes intense physical and psychological reactions, and can affect your ability to function normally at work or in social settings.”

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/phobias/basics/definition/con-20023478

    We should all chip in and buy some Xanax for the poor dears. Maybe they’ll stop trying to wreck the global energy economy.

    But I gotta tell ya, reading Michael Mann dissing Gavin Schmidt, who has defended Mann’s rank incompetence as well as any one could, as not scientific enough, is freakin’ hilarious. That made my day.

    • Gary M,

      If you looked at the clinical symptoms of delusional psychosis, and the public reporting of Michael Mann’s utterances, what conclusion would you reasonably draw?

      I rest my case.

    • patmcguinness

      I was thinking it was more deliberate, like Munchausen by proxy (but abusing statistics not children, to make the earth look sick, for the attention).

  21. “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda

  22. 97% of climate scientists
    Suffering from stress,
    That’s settled, it’s a consensus,
    Well more or less!
    http://rhymeafterrhyme.net/real-world-observations-a-threat-to-us-all/

  23. “effectively calling Gavin Schmidt ‘not really being scientific’ – can Mann be far from calling Gavin Schmidt anti-science?”

    This is a good reminder of what Mann thinks science is, to wit, the hockey stick. This is not your father’s science. If Schmidt isn’t seen to be pushing the envelope in the same way, he is not “really being scientific” in Mann’s eyes.

  24. Let’s just consider what Einstein said about the Cold War and associated nuclear threat.

    “Every step appears as the unavoidable consequence of the preceding one. In the end, there beckons more and more clearly general annihilation.”

    Yet we are still here. Even Einstein didn’t have a monopoly of predicting the actual future. Humanity has a great ability to respond when real empirical harm is clear, but not in the situation where environmental fear mongering is used to drive green profiteering.

  25. “On the other hand, Jason Box and the anonymous female seem genuinely distressed about the future and would seem to lack hardiness in coping,”

    I don’t believe it, he’s just trading in his scientific integrity for popularity in greenblob alarmist circles. He’s looking for property in Greenland for his Daughter? pull the other one. it’s got bells on.

    • Who wants to give odds on Box accepting a free home next door to the Obama’s, when they retire to that beach front home in Hawaii?

      People like Box should be ignored.

  26. Hi Judith, my previous post you link is about bias in the work of psychologist Dan Kahan (and Lewandowsky too), not Duarte.

    The excessive emotional engagement of some climate scientists, with more links to their outpourings, is also covered here:
    https://judithcurry.com/2015/04/24/contradiction-on-emotional-bias-in-the-climate-domain/
    …along with the long-term causal and deliberate emotive messaging campaigns, showing how this can only result in major emotional bias in society and also in the science itself.

    • Speaking of excessive engagement:

      It will not surprise Reason readers that the study found that libertarians show (1) stronger endorsement of individual liberty as their foremost guiding principle and correspondingly weaker endorsement of other moral principles, (2) a relatively cerebral as opposed to emotional intellectual style, and (3) lower interdependence and social relatedness.

      http://reason.com/archives/2010/11/02/the-science-of-libertarian

      Libertarians might not be the best persons to judge emotional excess.

      • Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. I’m not a libertarian, but the criteria in the above post is anyhow that presumed by standard psychology.

      • > I’m not a libertarian,

        Self reports are not that interesting.

      • Goodness. Really? Well as you please. But just in case you might be tempted, it references plenty of sources in support: Nicholas Smith and Anthony Leiserowitz survey, Lewandowsky, The Breakthrough, Big Think, the Harvard center for risk analysis, Haywantee (Rumi) Ramkissoon and Liam David Graham Smith, the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, among others. All solid Consensus sources, I believe.

      • > Really?

        Yes, really:

        Self-report studies have many advantages, but they also suffer from specific disadvantages due to the way that subjects generally behave. Self-reported answers may be exaggerated; respondents may be too embarrassed to reveal private details; various biases may affect the results, like social desirability bias. Subjects may also forget pertinent details. Self-report studies are inherently biased by the person’s feelings at the time they filled out the questionnaire. If a person feels bad at the time they fill out the questionnaire, for example, their answers will be more negative. If the person feels good at the time, then the answers will be more positive.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-report_study#Disadvantages

        Appealing to emotional bias can easily look like a way to play to a lukewarm audience, for instance Judy’s Denizens. (Go team!) That Denizens rehearse libertarian claptraps should be public knowledge by now.

        As if appealing to reason does not carry its bias. For instance, the CAGW strawman. This meme contains an invalid appeal to reason.

        It’s not that complicated.

      • willard (@nevaudit) | July 11, 2015 at 6:46 pm

        Good job I relied on purely consensus sources then. No skeptic bias there.

        Reports from any source, self or institution or whatever, should be compared against other reports available and any independent data where possible. A difficulty with the climate Consensus as with other socially enforced consensuses, is that it doesn’t seem to want to examine itself. And even the few that take a stab at this from within, such as Kahan, appear blind to their own bias.
        https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/30/climate-psychologys-consensus-bias

        I was being a little humorous but you make a reasonable point in that (any) reports can indeed be biased. It is good to have a range of reports, and crucial to have ‘within’ domain and ‘without’ views too. Folks can make up their own minds from the range then. I’m part of that range and so is Kahan. You have to compare and contrast these and other approaches. Have at it.

      • > Good job I relied on purely consensus sources then. No [contrarian] bias there.

        Sure, and when Marc Morano cites and quotes consensus sources, there’s no contrarian bias too.

        My point is independent from your analysis of these sources. Just like Sir Rud’s, AndyW’s handwaving has little merit. My point was more general than that. For instance, it could help me undermine this contention:

        Along with professional communicators, probably most politicians and I should imagine a great many of the general public too, they will know at the very least about the power of appeal to emotion plus the danger that rationality will be compromised, or even derailed, when such an appeal is powerfully and / or repeatedly enacted.

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/04/24/contradiction-on-emotional-bias-in-the-climate-domain/

        Alarming concerns about appeals to emotion are built in AndyW’s editorial. Such concerns conceals appeals to reason: rationality will be compromised, or even derailed. It is no accident that libertarians have a magazine called Reason.

        While the dichotomy between reason and emotions was fancied during Descartes’ time and still in vogue among old skool economists, it might be time to bury it.

      • While the dichotomy between reason and emotions was fancied during Descartes’ time and still in vogue among old skool economists, it might be time to bury it.

        While the “dichotomy between” humans and chimpanzees has been in vogue for 5-6 million years, it might be time to bury it.

      • > While the “dichotomy between” humans and chimpanzees has been in vogue for 5-6 million years, it might be time to bury it.

        Exactly:

        Look at the leftist monkey acting out of his emotional bias, just like a CAGW alarmist. Or is it warmunist?

      • Look at the leftist monkey acting out of his emotional bias, […]

        I wonder if you realize just what truth you’ve exposed about yourself.

      • > I wonder if you realize just what truth you’ve exposed about yourself.

        Not at all. Pray tell. The floor is yours. Go for it.

        Speak out.

      • Not at all. Pray tell. The floor is yours. Go for it.

        There’s no way I could say it better than you did. Readers/watchers will either understand, or they won’t.

      • “2) a relatively cerebral as opposed to emotional intellectual style,”

        Sounds like EXACTLY who should be judging….anything

      • willard (@nevaudit) | July 11, 2015 at 7:33 pm

        I’m not merely citing to point at behavior.

        In the post you quote, cites show for instance how important a bias mechanism consensus folks consider emotion to be (e.g. Lewandowsky), how the consensus itself describes its own emotive messaging campaigns and aspirations for further campaigns (a bunch of these), how the consensus itself perceives the impact of previous such campaigns (e.g. Smith and Leiersowitz), how the consensus itself perceives the emotional landscape in its own domain (SMH article), and the data points of personal emotions as expressed by about 60 mainstream climate and environmental scientists.

        This is not how I describe the Consensus, it’s how it describes itself.

        “Alarming concerns about appeals to emotion are built in AndyWs…”
        So do you think that the above self-descriptions of the Consensus are all wrong? Why would all these folks be wrong? Or do you think that they are largely correct, but nevertheless this somehow would not result in significant bias?

      • > In the post you quote, cites show for instance how important a bias mechanism consensus folks consider emotion to be […]

        AndyW begs the question, yet again. Here’s the Benshi (Dan Kahan’s goto guy) on the channels of communication:

        The most important element is the “Channels of Communication” — which means basically developing the realization of things like sensitive people don’t like to be talked to bluntly, while there are some other personality types that actually prefer to be spoken to in plain, non-emotive terms.

        http://thebenshi.com/?p=4252

        That AndyW would prefer non-emotive terms is just his own goddam preference.

        Saying that appealing to emotions is a bias mechanism is just as silly as to say that narratives have interests. At the very least, it’s clearly not plain language. So the Benshi’s wrong on juxtaposing “plain” to “non-emotive”.

        ***

        Plain language would make AndyW clearly states that, according to him, a non-biased conception of AGW means we all adopt his own lukewarm position. Socratic questioning does not conceal these appeals to reason very well.

      • Willard | July 12, 2015 at 11:11 am

        re Benshi, some emotional tailoring to your audience is useful if you are trying to get across something that is essentially proven, and preferably on a modest scale. If you are trying to get something across that has a significant degree of uncertainty, to many audiences (so temptation to emotively supercharge the message to speak to the least informed), and with the elevated emotion over a long time (if we take the Hansen speech as a marker in the case of climate issues, about 27 years now), then you will not so much be communicating the message, as creating it.

        I don’t know whether the physical climate position re MM CO2 addition is good, bad, or indifferent. A lot less emotive play means we might all have a lot more chance of finding out.

      • Seriously willard,

        your best response to andy is wikipedia?

      • > [S]ome emotional tailoring to your audience is useful if you are trying to get across something that is essentially proven, and preferably on a modest scale[.]

        AndyW’s special pleading continues.

        This time, we must assume that only logicians and mathematicians and computer scientists could ever use some emotional tailoring on their audiences, since they’re the one who deal with proofs.

        ***

        > your best response to andy is wikipedia?

        It’s tough to know which would be my best response, but it’s rather tempting to start with the Pope of the Lomborg Collective himself:

        Bjorn Lomborg argues that many of the elaborate and expensive actions now being considered to stop global warming will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, are often based on emotional rather than strictly scientific assumptions, and may very well have little impact on the world’s temperature for hundreds of years.

        http://www.lomborg.com/cool-it

        Notice the title: cool it.

        Lukewarm appeals to reason are so multifarious that AndyW’s CAGW meme might be hard to hide.

      • Willard | July 14, 2015 at 2:52 pm

        Hardly special pleading. The power of emotionally framed argument to succeed, yet the flip side great danger of emotional appeal, are not only standard psychology but known of for millennia, as noted in my post you linked. So assuming one is not just selling some product thus actually care about the consequences, knowing where the line is and taking care not to cross it (or in the case of say deliberate state propaganda actually wanting to cross it), has long been an area of study and concern. Of course the climate Consensus strongly advocates emotional framing and have been using it for many years, as per multiple references within that same post, so I guess that might make you a fan despite the dangers.

      • Willard | July 14, 2015 at 2:52 pm

        So Lomborg says that the arguments of the climate Consensus regarding CO2 reduction are often based on emotional appeal rather than scientific assumptions. Well yes. Comments like Hansen’s ‘death trains’ one hardly helps reduce the inappropriate emotion and emphasize reason.

      • > The power of emotionally framed argument to succeed, yet the flip side great danger of emotional appeal,

        The power of lukewarm rationalization to succeed comes at a greater danger of minimization.

        There’s a market for the memes AndyW tries to sell, e.g.:

        Just as there is no logical or scientific basis for thinking that climate change is new, there is no self-evident reason to assume that the climate of the past is “better” than the climate of the future. With just as little logic, we might assume that women’s rights, health care, or education were necessarily better in the past. Any such judgment also contradicts Hume’s Law and, perhaps worse, is grounded in a fallacious appeal to nature understood in a very slanted way.

        http://www.thegwpf.com/richard-tol-hot-stuff-cold-logic/

        A whole gamut of contrarian memes in that editorial, with “but GW’s not new” and “but AGW could be good” showcased here. Appealing to Hume’s law would deserve due diligence, for it destroys the “hot stuff- Cold logic” framing.

        It’s not that complicated.

      • Willard | July 14, 2015 at 4:53 pm

        I’m sure the Lukewarmers can defend their own arguments. However, where per Tol’s piece they call for less emotion in the climate domain, I’m all for that. Because it is not only Lukewarmer logic that will benefit, but the logic of all opinions in the full spectrum of the climate debate *except* those which are leaning much more upon emotion than upon reason. If current climate orthodoxy can remain the dominant opinion without this major prop, then good luck to them.

  27. Re. Manabe’s interview:

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10669-012-9429-y

    Double catastrophe: intermittent stratospheric geoengineering induced by societal collapse

    “The scenario is based on the issue of SAI intermittency, in which aerosol injection is halted, sending temperatures rapidly back toward where they would have been without SAI. The rapid temperature increase could be quite damaging, which in turn creates a strong incentive to avoid intermittency. In the scenario, a catastrophic societal collapse eliminates society’s ability to continue SAI, despite the incentive. The collapse could be caused by a pandemic, nuclear war, or other global catastrophe. The ensuing intermittency hits a population that is already vulnerable from the initial collapse, making for a double catastrophe. While the outcomes of the double catastrophe are difficult to predict, plausible worst-case scenarios include human extinction.”

    If plausible worst-case scenarios including human extinction aren’t enough to drive one into pre-traumatic stress, what are?

    SMOD please spare me!

    *picks up the cell phone, dials climate stress specialist shrink*

  28. David Wojick

    Do any of the articles say what magnitude of change these sufferers are predicting? Are these the 6 degrees C people? Personally I have no sympathy for these scientists, who should know better. My sympathies go out to the potentially many millions of non-scientists who are being made (by these scientists) to suffer the same fears, especially the young ones who are being told that their lives are already ruined.

  29. Cassandra, in the Greek myth, was a clairvoyant doomed to always be right, but never believed. She went crazy.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-greek-politicians-who-flagged-structural-problemsbut-were-ignored-1436612782

  30. She didn’t want to compare herself to the truly desperate refugees who are drowning, she says,

    This very minute people are *drowning* from sea level rise! But don’t question her you brutes!

  31. The article ‘A Climate of Despair’ in the Sydney Morning Herald explored this topic last year:
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/a-climate-of-despair-20140813-102r1w.html

    Psychologist Susie Burke and psychotherapist Rosemary Randall have a cottage industry going to fix up depressed climate and environmental professionals. They say trade is very much on the up. The trouble is, their approach to ‘fixing’ would not be recognized outside the climate domain as either useful or professional. They are trying not to cure, but to change behavior, e.g. see here:
    http://www.psychology.org.au/publications/tip_sheets/climate/

    The ‘change your behavior’ parts of the webpage (by far the majority) include many eco-friendly things one is advised to do, plus other behaviors such as ‘associate with like-minded people’ and ‘encourage others to change’. Depending on the eco-policies supported this may or may not be good for the planet (some eco-policies seem to be causing more distress and damage than good, for instance the bio-fuel debacle), but either way this isn’t going to actually address a sufferer’s core psychological problem. And any cult leader would recognize a basic formula beneath the gentle and erudite words here: perform the acts of faith, associate with the faithful, convert the unfaithful. Even if all this was provably and unquestionably ‘right’ regarding the bigger picture, such advice is all about helping the cause, not about helping the individual.

    This reflects, as Judith notes above, massive climate bias in psychology, to the point of abandoning normal techniques.

    • andywest2012,

      Whatever happens when they stop the climate from changing? Are we all still doomed forever? Or do we enter he golden age – a chicken in every pot, and World Peace?

      I wonder.

      • Quite apart from the fact that we wouldn’t have the technology to make climate truly static for millennia, and even then deploying it would arrest the proper development of the world, social narratives perpetuate hope and fear for as long as possible. The emotive tales in the overall climate narrative are not about what adherents actually want, actually removing the fear and achieving the hope. It is not *their* interests being served, it is those of the narrative itself, albeit via simple differential selection (it is neither agential or sentient). Even if a perfect ‘solution’ came along, the narrative would evolve a way to duck this and keep the hope and fear going, if at all possible. Hence, one could never achieve the desired end anyhow.

      • We will be under the spell of the Pax Propaganda.

      • > It is not *their* interests being served, it is those of the narrative itself, albeit via simple differential selection (it is neither agential or sentient).

        Narratives have interests, now.

      • Narratives have interests, now.

        That’s implicit in the whole “selfish meme” meme.

  32. Perhaps if these “stressed” scientists would acquaint themselves with the real science that is being done in the real world, instead of the pseudo-science (to which they have themselves contributed) that has become so all-pervading, they would come to realize that the sky isn’t falling. We have time and we may not even have a serious problem.

  33. Now I understand why Amazon sold out of Pity Pots.

  34. Here is some help for the climate scientists. From the article:

    STOP Your Neurotic Tendencies!Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t just have to live with these stressful and fearful thoughts, and instead could cure them forever? That’s exactly what you can do when you target your treatment to your symptoms.Take my free 7 minute anxiety test to find out more.

    Exercise

    Research and Understanding
    Learning as much as you can about your type of disorder is also very important, not just for treatment but also because it can impact your anxiety.

    Relaxation Strategies

    Herbal Supplements

    http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/types/neurosis

    Go easy on the herbs, though. That can lead to out-and-out psychosis. If you thing climate change anxiety is bad, it ain’t nothin’ compared to climate change paranoia!!

  35. As long as we’re doing a psychological analysis on climate scientists, we ought to consider the possibility that they are suffering from a messiah complex type psychosis and we ought to include politicians and narcissistic rich people. Climate alarmism should be a classic case study of mass hysteria!

  36. The scientists just need more practice.

  37. Poor babies. As any parent of teenagers knows, the greatest stress comes from the guilt you have after telling wild stories to shock/impress your friends!

  38. Somewhat off tangent but relevant observations I found by searching the internet for the following phrase
    “social media is a psychological disease”

    While clearly some of these symptoms probably have no relevance to a blog about climate science I would not quickly dismiss the possibility that there may be real and permanent affects to our mental health and our ability to function as society and a nation.

    Here are a few psychological disorders social media helps promote

    In addition to their ability to brainwash us, I think social media channels and social networking sites pose the following psychological threats on our mental health and personality:

    1. Schizophrenia: “a mental disorder characterized by abnormalities in the perception or expression of reality. Distortions in perception may affect all five senses, but most commonly manifest as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking with significant social or occupational dysfunction”.

    As the above definition clearly suggests, perception disorders are a mental problem, especially when it comes to certain complexes such as the “God complex” and claiming that one is someone he/she isn’t! Social media can help encourage such disillusion perceptions due to the fact that they allow for claiming to be who you are not and describing yourself differently using various channels!

    2. Insomnia & Sleep Disorders: insomnia is “difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or both”.

    In general, lack of sleep can be very problematic and I believe social media can cause it as well as insomnia at a more advanced stage. I take myself here as an example. I use social media from morning till after midnight and I confess Twitter has kept me up for early morning hours on several occasions. Not only is that not healthy, but it also can stress the mind and further cause lower level outputs.

    3. Sexual Problems & Deviation: sexual deviation is “a term used to describe sexual arousal to objects or situations that are not part of normative stimulation and that can cause distress or serious problems for the paraphiliac or persons associated with him or her”.

    Although we all know that there are thousands, if not millions, of porn sites, of different nature and content, all over the web. But do we realize how easy social media makes it is to share them now despite parental controls and site blocks? A great example would be the availing porn searches and their negative influence on kid’s mental stability and parenting as well.

    4. ADHD: ADHA is primarily characterized by “the co-existence of attentional problems and hyperactivity, with each behavior occurring infrequently alone.”

    In such a fast moving environment that we live in, we are becoming like goldfish; with a rather limited attention span. Attention Deficiency/Hyperactivity Disorder is a well-known and highly spread problem. I think that the use of social media and the many distractions the various channels, tools and sites cause actually help promote ADHD for all of us!

    5. Addiction: is a “term used to is used in many contexts to describe an obsession, compulsion, or excessive psychological dependence”.

    There are alcohol addicts, drug addicts, cigarette addicts and there are social media addicts! Whatever the addiction may be, it is, by far, a negative state which can highly effect the way we deal with people and the world around us! Social media provides a well-prepared platform for weak people who can’t organize their time and control their social media use.

    6. Anxiety & Depression: refers to “a state of low mood and aversion to activity” which is highly correlated with anxiety.

    Sometimes, locking yourself inside, staying in solitude and keeping away from face-to-face interaction can cause depression and anxiety. I believe social media encourages people to spend more time alone, on their computers, rather than with others.

    Have a nice day. :)

    • Hopefully I’m safe jack.

      With the exception of a couple of blogs covering the Portland Trailblazers, the Baltimore Orioles and climate, I have almost zero interaction with social media.

      My social interaction, other than work with some church activities, is primarily folks stopping by or us visiting with them. (My wife likes spending time on facebook, but only to follow other people’s postings. She rarely posts herself.)

    • Actually I know I’m safe.

      If you have any sort of psychological issues, several weeks on a sub in close proximity to a 100 other guys and only knowing what time of day it is topside by the meal they are serving will expose them.

      It is customary to assign new guys crappy jobs. As a torpedoman one of those is “diving” the torpedo tubes – where you have to crawl into the tube with a #10 can with diesel fuel, a greenie scrub and a bunch of paper towels, to wipe the surface of the tube down to prevent salt buildup. (Tube diameter is 21″) When it came my turn my fellow torpedomen thought they would mess with me by shutting the breach door. (We were at sea cruising a few hundred feet down.) There is more light in the proverbial well diggers ass than in a closed torpedo tube. My response was to take a nap. After about a hour they finally figured out I wasn’t going to start yelling a screaming. I enjoyed the nap.

    • I hope your doing ok too, really. I completely avoid all social media sites with this blog being the sole exception. I do like to visit some of the more extreme left/right sites just for the humor of seeing how over the top some of the comments are.
      Just a side comment; I am really enjoying the new TV show Mr. Robot. From hackers I have met in real life this series has come closer to the truth than any others so far. Seeing that whole season has already been shot I was surprised how many of the situations portrayed actually cropped up in real life. In the first episode Elliot (anti-hero) hacks a guy who owns a franchise of coffee shops for running a child porn server off the back end of his free customer wifi service – then the next week the story breaks about the TV personality dude that hawks the Subway Sandwich chain gets busted for running a child porn website! Then last week we find out that millions of government employees had their personal data stolen which also happened to be one of the sub plots of the next episode. It’s weird, like ‘life intimating art’. Next show is tonight, I hope they don’t collapse the grid or something :).

      • It is on my list to check out.

        Right now it is catching the Tour and by the time that ends it is time for one of the Korean drama’s (well more like soap opera) I’ve gotten hooked on.

  39. I gotta say, my reaction is that everybody’s getting the cause←→effect relationship wrong way to.

    The problem with these people is that they are suffering from a form of Obsessive-compulsive disorder, perhaps combined with major depressive disorder. Being “climate scientists”, they rationalize their illness and sense of “impending doom” in terms of catastrophic climate change.

    From the first link above:

    Psychological factors that
    maintain OCD include an over-inflated sense of responsibility
    and magical thinking, an intolerance of uncertainty, and a belief
    in the controllability of intrusive thoughts.

    We can see evidence of this:

    •       “an over-inflated sense of responsibility”: the compulsive belief that the impending climate doom is of human making, and must be prevented, especially by actions that they are compelled to take;

    •       “magical thinking”: a failure to apply rational consideration to their delusional cause→effect beliefs;

    •       “an intolerance of uncertainty”: their frantic, even hysterical demonization of anybody who questions or doubts their claims of impending doom.

    I’ve done a fair amount of research into the earliest history of Christianity, and I see strong parallels between the sense of impending doom that infused those who were receptive to Paul’s message and the similar sense of impending doom that drives CAGW/alarmist “thinking”.

    It’s worth pointing out, though, that for the period between ~40CE, when Caligula was going over the edge (leading to his execution in 41CE), and 68CE, when Nero committed suicide in the face of rebellions in Gaul and Judea (most Christian converts were Jews or close associates: “God-fearers”), people with an “impending sense of doom” were quite correct: the world did end.

    Perhaps the people involved in the CAGW/alarmist apocalyptic movement are responding to a similar insight: given that most of them are effectively socialist in their outlook, perhaps they’re foreseeing the final collapse of socialist ideology as technology and capitalism actually solve the world’s problems.

    • Agreed, I too see parallels. I would point out that one of the reasons Judasim has survived as long as it has is the absolute law that if someone appears claiming to be a prophet you have to keep careful track of all they prophesies. If even one tiny thing does not come true exactly as they said it would, that person is to be immediately executed.

      • They were allowed to use metaphor, however. And tacit (unstated but universally understood) conditionals.

      •  If even one tiny thing does not come true exactly as they said it would, that person is to be immediately executed.

        Wouldn’t this mean you could only make predictions that couldn’t be prevented? The whole reason Jonah ended up in the whale Is that he tried to avoid being the one to give a prophecy that he knew God wouldn’t fulfill when the people he gave it to changed their way.

    • Interesting. Though I have to say, supernatural stuff aside, I find the writings of Paul to be compelling, though I have only read two of them. His description of phony teachers and consensus was spot on. He was a clever fellow.

  40. The Sun to the rescue:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3156594/Is-mini-ICE-AGE-way-scientists-warn-sun-sleep-2020-cause-temperatures-plummet.html

    Ironically:
    “Over the cycle, the waves fluctuate between the northern and southern hemispheres of the sun. Combining both waves together and comparing the real data for the current solar cycle, we found that our predictions showed an accuracy of … (wait for it) … 97% – said Zharkova”.

  41. Nature or nurture?

    Were these folks perfectly normal children that just became paranoid because of their extremely limited life experiences as academic climatologists?

    Or is it just that there’s something about the climatology cult that particularly attracts the flaky ones?

  42. I have done a fair amount of reading about religious cults and how they work. The last stages are the eventual fractionating until you have many small groups each with its own charismatic inspired leader, its own particular version of the doomsday fantasy, and its own enemy “other”, all hating the other sects over some minor “infraction” of the cult’s code declaring them apostates. The final stage is the many leaders each have all the money and possessions of the followers in their sect, almost invariably having sex with all the young followers and living high as chief prophet, and everyone else is running around in sack cloth and ashes and eating nothing but beans, doing without, in order to support the leaders “cause” while blindly worshipping the leader and ignoring all outside input, except of course for begging or stealing from those who do not belong. Some of them will also run around crying and pleading and begging the outsiders to turn from their sins and come to the truth, weeping over the obliviousness of the nonbelievers as they go down the path to perdition. The parallels are fascinating.

    • Perfect!

      Consider the curious case of Rajneeshpuram, once the town of Antelope, Oregon, USA, that was overrun by the followers of some Rajneesh Rajmaramdamadingdong, most of whom wore funny pink clothing and handed over their worldly goods to the cheesy chintzi Rajneeshy. Turns out he collected Mercedez Benzes and banged many of his followers, who later testified against him. He claimed one of the witnesses, a former assistant, was angry at him because he wouldn’t have sex with her! The whole thing collapsed and Rajneeshapuram folded and went back to being Antelope, OR.

      Enjoy!

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajneeshpuram

  43. David Springer

    Gift idea for frightened climate scientists.

  44. Sometimes it’s interesting to reflect upon what people are NOT thinking and talking about. For example, what ever happened to our fears of nuclear weapons?

    I used Google Trends (www.google.com/trends) to search for the following phrases: “global warming”, “climate change”, “nuclear war”, “nuclear weapons”. The composite graph showed the relative frequency with which Google users have searched for those phrases over the period 2004-present. As you might expect, the nuclear-related searches are swamped by the climate-related searches.

    Perhaps the psychologists should be studying THAT phenomenon.

    • Indeed! I would argue that the very existence of thousands of nuclear weapons proves that humans are definitely capable of inducing global climate change. I wonder what the world’s current arsenal of thermonuclear weapons combined destructive power is. That earthquake in Nepal was ‘only’ 7.9 on the Richter scale, or more or less equivalent to a 12.5 megaton TNT-based bomb blast. We have thousands of megatons of warheads and unlike an earthquake which is located miles below the surface, every one of our bombs are designed to detonate on or above ground.

      • jack,

        Years ago I took a course on Nuclear & Catasthrophic Warfare. The history of how the US nuclear inventory and strategic warfare plans developed are fasinating. The term bootstrapping was used to describe it.

        Most warheads are of relatively low yield – kiloton range. Accuracy and improved mapping allow for precise targeting. City busting megaton yield weapons have gone the way of the dinosaur. The US utilizes the full spectrum of nuclear weapons deployment options – ground penetrating, surface, air, stratospheric and space.

        Regarding the ability to change climate – this was a popular subject back when I was in school. The famous “nuclear winter” effect. That has since been shown to be a lot of hype, support by poor science.

      • I find it hard to wrap my head around the idea of “surgical nuclear strikes”. Last time I saw a war map (back in the early 90’s) my metro area (DFW) was expected to get hit with over 10 devices but no yield info was provided.

        What’s your opinion on anti-missile defense systems? It may be just rhetorical but our recent military actions seems to lean to pre-emptive strikes as it tends to intimidate our adversaries rather than the old ‘hearts and minds’ strategies.

      • I grew up in the DC area. You usually stopping counting targets once past the 30 – 40 range. At the time the Soviet Union relied on heavier yield warheads and it was assumed they also would assign multiple warheads to targets due to suspect accuracy. (I always thought that we’d be more likely get hit by a miss.)

        The “surgical strike” concept, if I’m recalling correctly, was always controversial, even within DoD. There was some argument that it was more of a psychological strategy than an actual war fighting one. Supposedly it worked, or the Soviet Union would have simply stuck with city busters in their inventory rather than try to match the US in upgrading their nuclear arsenal.

        Regarding anti – missle defense: well, it worked in the sense it bankrupted the Soviets when they tried to counter it. It isn’t really an area I have a lot of knoweledge of. I have followed a little of the Navy’s modernization programs which started out as Theater Defense. (Not sure of the latest – maybe SM3- ER Block IV) but from what I’ve read, improvements to Ageis/SM3/software have produced some impressive results on the test range. I am only guessing but the first Gulf War experience with Patriot may have provided some good analytical data.

        Regarding current pre-emptive strategy: I think you have to take it case by case. To the best of my knowledge the US has never moved from its position of riding out a first strike regarding employment of nuclear weapons. Keep in mind though that I’m not some former SecDev assistant and except for insiders, the way most people learn about changes in strategic policy is after the fact.

        Looking back:

        Gulf 1 – response to invasion of Kuwait (non-preemptive)

        Gulf 2 – ten years of low level conflict (a shooting war that was almost completely ignored by American press) prior to invasion of Iraq. However the justification given was to prevent development of WMD’s. (preemptive – with caveats).

        Kosovo & Serbia – response to belligerent action on the part of Serbia (non-preemptive)

        Afghanistan – response to 911 attacks (non-preemptive)

        Libya – response to international call to action (non-preemptive – with caveats)

        Syria – same as above, however no response at all, so mute. Had US engaged in offensive action it would have been in the preemptive category.

        Iraq / ISIS – response to rapid expansion of 3rd party control of a sovereign ally.

      • timg56,
        I know it’s a bit of nit picking but with the exception of 9/11 (not a state actor) none of those military actions were the result of a direct attack on US territory. I’m not saying there wasn’t a good moral reason to intervene in most of those situations but our constitution doesn’t provide the legal justification. It’s been decades since our congress formally declared war and our present policy has vested way too much power to the Executive branch.
        At this time I am leaning toward missile defense while keeping our mobile sea launch systems. I see several approaches:
        1) Directed energy weapons.
        2) Kinetic strike.
        3) Electromagnetic
        4) Cyber (ghost in the machine)
        There are pros and cons for each so we should pursue a All-Of-The-Above approach.

        Did you know that Iraq accused Kuwait of using horizontal drilling technology as a justification for their invasion? Probably impossible to prove since all the evidence was destroyed when the oil fields were burned. Water under the bridge and all that.

    • Public fears tend to track what the media covers. It can range over nuclear weapons, sexual predators, illegal immigration, Islamic terrorism, global warming, yada yada yada…

      I read that in the MSM newspapers. :)

  45. The Manabe interview is very interesting.

    As the models get ever more complicated – or, as some people say, sophisticated – no one person can appreciate what’s going on inside them. One modeller can be an expert in one component of the model, but doesn’t know the other parts. But now it is impossible to do so. If you make a prediction based on the model and you don’t understand it very well then it is no better than a fortune-teller’s prediction.

    Also, when asked if slow down in temperature rise for the last 15 years (pasue) surprised him, Manabe replied:

    “It did not. In my opinion, it is a manifestation of natural, unforced fluctuations of the global mean surface temperature with inter-annual, decadal and millennial timescale.”

    Also,
    I think it is practically impossible to achieve the reductions in carbon emissions as demanded by the IPCC scenarios.

    Manbe doesn’t say which scenario, but there’s pretty good evidence that we are observing CO2 forcing at rates less than the RCP2.6:

    and the older B1:

    Things change, and history indicates they will change a lot more twixt now and the century’s end.

    Also:
    “As you know, global warming involves not only temperature change, but also change in both evaporation and precipitation. As predicted by climate models, drought has become increasingly frequent in many arid and semiarid regions of the world, such as southwestern region of North American continent and Australia”

    I just don’t know where he’s getting this.

    The precipitation that does come in the subsident zones, comes from variances in the general circulation, that is ‘weather’ which no model can accurately predict on climate time scales. California is in drought, not because of evaporation or the lack of precipitable water, but because of the lack of short wave troughs. The same was true in Texas 2011. There is a disconnect between predicting a global warming influence from radiative forcing and the actual units of actions of weather.

    As much respect as I have for Manabe, he too may have cognitive biases some of which appear in this interview as with drought.

    The interview didn’t ask Manabe about some of the early papers, including this quote earlier work ( based on a very simplified 3D model ):

    “The reduction of the meridional temperature gradient appears to reduce not only the eddy kinetic energy, but also the variance of temperature in the lower model troposphere”.

    This says reduced intensity of storms and less extreme climate! I would ask ‘How did we get from reduced eddy kinetic energy and reduced variance of temperature’ to the exhortations of the IPCC about
    ‘extreme weather’????????????????????

  46. David Springer

    Post-partum stress disorder in a future climate scientist.

  47. It’s not pre-traumatic stress. It’s the old Chicken Little Syndrome. Mass hysteria afflicts the climate science industry. We are supposed to believe these clowns are objective. Put them on Prozac and about a decade of sabbatical. That would save us untold $BILLION$. The article is BS and just more of the deluge of pre-Paris propaganda.

  48. I know some of the people probably have serious pyschological problems, but I can’t help laughing, a lot.

  49. Maybe this psychological stress is just a symptom of university culture. I thought the micro-aggression movement was found primarily in the social sciences, but it appears it has worked its way into the climate sciences too.
    I’m an old guy who got an engineering degree in the late 1950s, and in those days students were the only ones who could claim emotional stress. When I see what’s happening on campus these days, I can only shake my head in disbelief.

  50. Change/=Problem
    Change/=Problem
    Change/=Problem
    Change/=Problem
    Change/=Problem…

    • Change = fundamental nature of existence.

      • “The solution, as I believe, is that modified offspring of all dominant and increasing forms tend to become adapted to many and highly diversified places in the economy of nature.” (Darwin’s autobiography, quoted by bts.) Nothing is constant, nothing continues, the environment always changes and creatures within it adapt or perish. It were ever so. The real denialists are those who can not see this, nor see that we are the most adaptable of creatures with our innovativeness, ingenuity and ever-increasing technological and engineering capacity. Faustino

      • Sorry, last para of On the Origin of Species rather than biog.

  51. Craig Loehle

    There is a psychologist who treats a large enough sample of climate scientists to draw conclusions? Are they all in therapy? In any field, you could find a subset who are histrionic and worried and depressed. There are artists who are depressed: do we draw big conclusions from that? The difference is that in this case the depressed people think they have something to be depressed about.

    • Psychologist Susie Burke is says in a Sydney Morning Herald article:
      “We can be very sure that many people in the field of climate change are distressed – highly distressed – and it can have a significant psychosocial impact on their wellbeing.”

      Ecologist Nicole Thornton says:
      “Peers have talked to me about burnout, anxiety, panic attacks, complete disengagement, and frustration leading to despair and, when you think about it, this stuff is always around you in the environmental field. It’s notorious. They get so involved, and they’re so passionate and they don’t take breaks.”

      Professor Camille Parmesan, mentioned in the head post, says in the National Wildlife Federation’s 2012 report:
      “I don’t know of a single scientist that’s not having an emotional reaction to what is being lost” [lost due to ACD, anthropogenic climate disruption].

  52. Skeptics are usually cynical of the climate scientists’ motives, but this article shows that they really do care about the direction the climate is going, and that the concern they have for the future is deeply felt. This is not the attitude of a group that is just in it for the money and attention or due to peer pressure as skeptics would have us believe.

    • This article doesn’t show anything, yimmy. It’s a story. It asserts a bunch of crap. That you assert it is evidence of the attitude of a group is silly. Have you forgotten that we hacked the Team’s emails and got the goods on them years ago? They are a self-aggrandizing conniving lot of mediocre functionaries. Take away the CAGW scare and most of them don’t have jobs. That is what is worrying them. I am going to write an article that shows that.

      • Steven Mosher

        “This article doesn’t show anything, yimmy. It’s a story. It asserts a bunch of crap”

        You are correct. No evidence of CAGW here.. move along.
        No evidence of Gavin being reasonable… move along
        its just a story

      • Gavin did sound reasonable.

        Why do you think he won’t talk to Dr Curry or Dr Roy Spensor or Dr Christy. Maybe about what we think we know about climate change and areas of disagreement?
        Scott

      • Don Monfort

        Steven, is the evidence you allege of Gavin being reasonable evidence of the attitude of climate scientists as a group?

        You missed the true significance of the story. Climate scientists are suffering from a psychological disorder, climaphobia, that renders them incapable of performing objective science. Why should we keep funding this same cast of hysterical characters, when we know their alleged research is guaranteed to find that it’s worse than we thought?

      • Don,
        rationale scientists can differ on model reliability. Now that observations may be changing the landscape, and more information accumulates about ocean temps they may look for a way to back away from extreme positions. Dead enders like Mann will flail about desperately to maintain discipline in the cause but Schmidt was first a scientist. He can read the observations and may be willing to bring his considerable talents and resources to meeting with Curry, Christy and Spencer. That is good.
        Scott

    • Skeptics are usually cynical of the climate scientists’ motives, but this article shows that they really do care about the direction the climate is going, and that the concern they have for the future is deeply felt.

      And that’s the problem.

      Emotion is bad for reason.

      There’s one exception.

      Curiosity – a burning desire to understand – appears to be an emotional condition but provides great motivation.

      But if the desire is to be ‘right’ in the eyes of one’s peers,
      Or to be famous,
      Or to motivate political response,
      Or to “Save the effin’ planet”,
      then the emotions appear to lead us away from truth.

      • The normal response to hearing something you don’t like is denial, and looking for every reason for it not to be true, not a confirmation bias. These scientists have probably looked at the opposite views and not seen anything there to even remotely hold on to.

      • Don Monfort

        Yeah, yimmy wants us to believe the story that they have psychological problems because of their fear of alleged CAGW, but we should trust their objectivity.

      • Turbulent

        Good point. I wonder, if they found out that CAGW was not a big threat, would they be relieved or disappointed?

    • Jim D: This is not the attitude of a group that is just in it for the money and attention or due to peer pressure as skeptics would have us believe.

      You don’t quote any specific claim by any specific skeptic or lukewarmer. Let me suggest that the dominant claim is that the “group” of consensus pushers is at least as swayed by money and peer pressure as the skeptical scientists. Of course a lot of the consensus scientists are “sincere”: the importance of the evidence is in determining whether they are wrong or right, grossly inaccurate or pretty accurate.

      • If money is important to climate scientists, it is because the problem is important enough to them that they want to research it. There is a growing sense that the House wants to suppress such research for political rather than scientific reasons, so the reaction of those in the article to the US situation on climate research is understandable.

      • Jim D: If money is important to climate scientists, it is because the problem is important enough to them that they want to research it.

        Maybe, but I doubt that there is a single one seeking to lose his or her job. You still do not quote anything specific from anyone in particular. I would suggest that the dominant view is that the “group” of consensus pushers is at least as swayed by money and peer pressure as the skeptical scientists.

      • Don Monfort

        “…so the reaction of those in the article to the US situation on climate research is understandable.”

        It would serve us just right, if they all packed up and moved to greener pastures in Europa. I bet Congress would be happy to pay their moving expenses.

      • Congress is happy to pay anyone any amount as long as it’s other people’s money.

      • matthewmarler, I am not sure what you are asking. You seem to be denying what I said was a skeptical view, while at the same time confirming it. How can I answer that?

      • Jim D: How can I answer that?

        Quote something exactly, then write something precise about it. What someone (unspecified) wrote (unquoted) seems (something or other) doesn’t go anywhere.

      • matthewmarler, which of the premises do you think has not been expounded multiple times on even this site?
        1. That scientists succumb to peer pressure to write papers on AGW and not write against it.
        2. That they only care about funding, so they promote AGW to get that.
        I won’t even ask you to go to WUWT, Monckton and right-wing radio, who, of course, go much further and divine that a ‘world government’ is coming out of the IPCC process. Lewandowsky seems to have been right about those people.
        No, the meme that the scientists don’t really believe AGW and have these ulterior motives of peer pressure or money is a false one. The scientific evidence from multiple lines is plain which is why there are so many who feel so strongly about it. It is as simple to explain as that. Skeptics have a hard time with majority scientific views and seek ways to explain it to themselves, and this is what they use as a means of comfort among themselves.

      • > That scientists succumb to peer pressure to write papers on AGW and not write against it.

        That’s not it at all, Jim D. It’s about having your ego wrapped up in having your research influence policy, being a frustrated policy advocate, keeping ‘score’ in a personal war against skeptics, seeking fame, generating book sales and lecture fees and political influence, etc.

      • willard, I don’t think that skeptics think that those types (Mann, Hansen, etc.) are pressured into believing AGW, so I was just limiting it to the type of thinking that I was surprised Matthew had not come across here.

      • Jim D: matthewmarler, which of the premises do you think has not been expounded multiple times on even this site?
        1. That scientists succumb to peer pressure to write papers on AGW and not write against it.
        2. That they only care about funding, so they promote AGW to get that.

        as long as we are not addressing specific quotes by specific people, I’ll repeat myself: I would suggest that the dominant view is that the “group” of consensus pushers is at least as swayed by money and peer pressure as the skeptical scientists.

      • Framing it as a “group of consensus pushers” rather than a scientific consensus that just is (via their publications on actual data and science), seems to spell out a very different attitude to how science works on your part.

      • That scientists succumb to peer pressure to write papers on AGW and not write against it.

        I’ve read numbers of papers over the last few years, and quite a few of them included needless references to “global warming”/”climate change”. For example, Global warming releases microplastic legacy frozen in Arctic Sea ice by Rachel W. Obbard, Saeed Sadri, Ying Qi Wong, Alexandra A. Khitun, Ian Baker, Richard C. Thompson (2014) DOI: 10.1002/2014EF000240

        When sea ice forms it scavenges and concentrates particulates from the water column, which then become trapped until the ice melts. In recent years, melting has led to record lows in Arctic Sea ice extent, the most recent in September 2012. Global climate models, such as that of Gregory et al. (2002), suggest that the decline in Arctic Sea ice volume (3.4% per decade) will actually exceed the decline in sea ice extent, something that Laxon et al. (2013) have shown supported by satellite data. The extent to which melting ice could release anthropogenic particulates back to the open ocean has not yet been examined. Here we show that Arctic Sea ice from remote locations contains concentrations of microplastics are several orders of magnitude greater than those that have been previously reported in highly contaminated surface waters, such as those of the Pacific Gyre. Our findings indicate that microplastics have accumulated far from population centers and that polar sea ice represents a major historic global sink of man-made particulates. The potential for substantial quantities of legacy microplastic contamination to be released to the ocean as the ice melts therefore needs to be evaluated, as do the physical and toxicological effects of plastics on marine life.

        Anecdotal evidence, perhaps, as I cherry-picked it to demonstrate my point, but do your own search. This appears to be a perfectly good piece of research, into the interaction between microplastic and sea ice, but has been framed, and probably paid for, in terms of “global warming”.

        There’s lots of research like this, much of it not really involved with climate science, but it’s riding the gravy train, and paying the fare with its writing style.

    • Mostly, I think the concern is indeed genuine. Money and infra-structure follow culture, much more than the other way around. And a culture that is deeply invested in the high certainty of various disastrous happenings in the near future (decades), and incessantly stresses the urgency of immediate action to boot, is bound to have many emotional casualties. Especially in the environmental and climate sciences themselves. There’s some material on these casualties and those trying to fix them in part 3 of my series on the psychology of climate psychologization at WUWT:

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/09/wrapped-in-lew-papers-the-psychology-of-climate-psychologization-part3/

      However as noted by others here, according to absolutely standard psychology accepted even by those psychologists who happen to overlap the climate domain, widespread emotive engagement at this level can only be causing huge bias in the science. This should warn us to be very wary indeed of the many pronouncements:

      https://judithcurry.com/2015/04/24/contradiction-on-emotional-bias-in-the-climate-domain/

      The high certainty is false. It’s an emergent phenomenon that helps to glue the Consensus together and achieve its dominance in the environmental domain. It is part of the ‘job’ of cultures to provide certainty in the face of the unknown. In the climate change case, after decades, this is resulting in the damage of many Consensus troops. They think we’re driving towards a brick wall and they see no viable solution, why wouldn’t they be emotional? As Lewandowsky points out: “Nonetheless, being human, scientists’ operate with the same cognitive apparatus and limitations as every other person”.

    • Jim,

      It shows that at least those mentioned as feeling stressed need to grow up and get a life.

      Repeat after me – “Life is hard. And then you die.”

      Recognizing that is one sign of reaching adulthood. Once they accept that undeniable fact, there is nothing to be stressed about.

      • define hard. What is thought of as hard by some is wonderful to others

      • Rob,

        Definition of hard – basically what 99% of all humans since the dawn of time experience.

        In other words, what life isn’t for most of the people here. When one considers how hard it still is for the majority of folks drawing breath right now, we are blessed. And those who are blessed shouldn’t be whinning about being stressed.

  53. “A coward dies a thousand times before his death, but the valiant taste of death but once.” Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

    Fear is an emotional response to an imminent, perceived threat.
    Anxiety is an emotional response to an imagined, future threat.

    Fear is normal and helpful to avoid danger. Persistent anxiety is harmful and typically treated as a psychiatric disorder.

    Even if one could identify a threat, there is context to consider.

    I think global warming may be the mass hypochondria of day. People fret but they can’t actually identify specifically why, just a vague sense of impending doom. Unless people can identify specifically what threat they perceive from global warming, it may well be anxiety not fear.

  54. Pingback: Psychological toll of climate-science belief « Skepticism about science and medicine

  55. Steven Mosher

    Lukewarmer

    ‘SM: Here in the US, it is impossible to get carbon trading, or what have you, through Congress. I think it is practically impossible to achieve the reductions in carbon emissions as demanded by the IPCC scenarios. I think for the time being – and this will probably happen anyway – that we will use natural gas produced by fracking. It will buy us some time. Meanwhile, we should put a major emphasis on clean technologies and optimise our electricity grid systems so we use less fossil fuel. Basically, everything that has already been proposed. Over time, they [clean technologies] will take over. This is a more natural approach rather than try to impose carbon trading, etc. It blows my mind how you might go about getting us off carbon fuels.”

  56. I was astonished by this statement: As Mann sees it, scientists like Schmidt who choose to focus on the middle of the curve aren’t really being scientific. Its not a direct quote, so I don’t what he actually said. But effectively calling Gavin Schmidt ‘not really being scientific’ – can Mann be far from calling Gavin Schmidt anti-science?

    Obviously I do not know either, but why not? He famously tweeted that one respected climate scientist was a “serial disinformer”.

  57. Over time, they [clean technologies] will take over.
    Yes, the history has always indicated that:
    wood->coal->oil->resurgence of coal->natural gas

    But while Manabe obviously knows his shet, he also can’t precisely identify why it matters.

    What exactly do we think we’re accomplishing?

    Certainly some politicians think they can use the issue for other ends.
    But is the world a worse place if a hundred years from now sea level is six inches higher? And as Manabe says in the interview, we’ll never know what portion of climate change of the future is natural and what portion is not.

    Even if one knew the future of climate, to consider impacts a century from now on humans, one must also know the future of humans. Things like the ‘Singularity’ are real. Artificial intelligence is real and is rapidly displacing the value of human labor, including now especially ‘knowledge workers’.

    In sociology, agrarian societies tend to have larger families.
    Why? Because the labour of the large family tended to benefit the subsistence farms.

    As families go from agrarian to industrial, and to services, families tend to shrink.
    Why? Because the labour of a large family is not applicable or beneficial to a single employee going to a job.

    So, with computational power that will rapidly displace the cognitive powers of humans, what will happen to family size in the future?

    These things are much more predictable than climate and to me are much more troubling because of the dehumanizing aspects. At the same time, the dehumanizing means fewer inefficient humans which emit more CO2 and more increasingly efficient machines which emit less CO2.

    • “As families go from agrarian to industrial, and to services, families tend to shrink.”

      Another, perhaps larger, factor is the improvement of the status of women. As women gain political and economic power, including control of their reproductive rights, they tend to choose to have fewer children.

      A global improvement in the status of women might have more net beneficial impact than any other strategy for coping with climate change or any other challenge.

      I agree with all the rest of your post – good one.

    • But is the world a worse place if a hundred years from now sea level is six inches higher?

      Is the world a worse place if a hundred years from now sea level is six feet higher? Or even six meters?

      I don’t see how it matters. People have been living at the edge of the water, and over it, for centuries:


      As I see it, with our developing technology, it’ll soon be cheaper to build buildings floating in a hole full of water than with earthbound foundations. And with a bit of clever design, that hole and its building could be made flood-proof.

      Inflated structures could be deployed for wave damping, probably squeezing a bit of useful energy out, which would turn the entire coastal shallows into habitable surface. Both what exists today, and whatever is created by sea-level rise, if any.

      Bottom line: sea-level rise is not a problem, it’s an opportunity.

    • Steven Mosher

      “What exactly do we think we’re accomplishing?”

      On the simplest level?

      Right now you are dumping C02 into MY FRICKING AIR.

      There is an unknown risk asssociated with that. cut it out as soon as practical. If I could prove that it was critically dangerous, then cut it out immediately. Where dd you get the crazy notion that you could willy nilly dump crap into every one elses air?

      You burning coal.. what the hell.. rough 15% of all deaths in china are due to pm2.5. Again, keep your pm2.5 out of my air until you can prove its safe. evidence suggests that its not benign.

      • So, Mosher, I guess you won’t use electricity from the grid since you shouldn’t be doing something you abhor in others. Personally, I want MY air to have more CO2. It will help plants.

      • “What exactly do we think we’re accomplishing?”

        “There is an unknown risk asssociated with that.”

        In other words, you don’t know what we’re accomplishing, if anything, which is my point.

      • Right now you are dumping C02 into MY FRICKING AIR.

        Beyond the fact that you are dumping CO2 into MY FRICKING AIR,
        and that you can’t identify why that’s a problem,
        you do know that your life is impossible with CO2 in the air, right?

        And more importantly, that we can’t make beer without CO2 in the air, right?

        And that the wheat, barley, malt, and hops we make beer with grow better with more CO2 in the air, right?

        And that plants yield more wheat, barley, malt, and hops with more CO2 in the air, right?

        And the wheat, barley, malt, and hops plants lose less water when they respire with more CO2 in the air, right?

        And you know that without CO2 in the air, you can’t have any doughnuts or broccoli or cheese whiz or whatever it is you eat, right?

        And that more people die and are sick when it’s cold and fewer people die and are sick when it’s warm, right?

      • Steven Mosher says, “Again, keep your pm2.5 out of my air until you can prove its safe. evidence suggests that its not benign.”

        Bull.

        1. By far most PM 2.5 & PM 10 is NATURAL & modern power plants emit very little due to electrostatic precipitators. Levels have steadily DECLINED over past 30 years.

        2. The largest database ever compiled [California, ~2.5 million ”subjects”] on PM 2.5 & 10 shows there is a slightly NEGATIVE correlation between PM levels & acute & long term death rates.

        The bogus junk science bought & paid for EPA “researchers” used a handful of patients made to breathe ridiculously unethical amounts of PM in a lab.

        Over a lifetime, the avg individual only inhales ONE TEASPOON of particulate matter, which is easily swept out of lungs by cilia.

      • Don Monfort

        “…rough 15% of all deaths in china are due to pm2.5.”

        OMG! Somebody needs to tell the Red Chinese Thugocrats. And our own little intellectually and morally superior greenies who have been instrumental in exporting jobs to the countries carelessly burning coal will want to know about this.

      • You burning coal.. what the hell.. rough 15% of all deaths in china are due to pm2.5. Again, keep your pm2.5 out of my air until you can prove its safe. evidence suggests that its not benign.

        That doesn’t have anything to do with the CO2.

        And it’s largely egregious for the Chinese because the ‘scrubbers’ that would fix that have long been available and are in use in what remaining coal there is in the US. The Chinese haven’t used the available technology because it’s more expensive.

        And that points out how much the issue is not really a US issue.

        Imagine you could demonstrate significant, imminent harm from CO2 ( and no one seems to be able to demonstrate that ), and China was ( instead of the evident decreases ) increasing CO2 dramatically – how are you going to stop that? Go to war to shut down CO2 emissions?

        I shouldn’t ask because that’s about the level of lunacy this imagined ‘catastrophe’ has taken on.

        Just don’t ask me to pay for your carbon war.

      • jim2, “So, Mosher, I guess you won’t use electricity from the grid since you shouldn’t be doing something you abhor in others. Personally, I want MY air to have more CO2. It will help plants.”

        Now hang on. Don’t help Mosh perpetuate his myth. THE number one source of harmful anthropogenic PM2.5 emissions is biomass, oils and coal used for home heating, cooking and lighting. Low tech coal and electric power service would reduce that. The second largest anthropogenic source of PM2.5 is transportation which includes vehicle emissions, road wear, tire wear and break wear. Third is agriculture/forestry with burning and erosion being the biggies. Killing all coal used in power production might reduce anthro PM2.5 by 5% to 10% which is about 2.5% to 5% of total harmful PM2.5 emissions.

        Here is one study on China’s PM problem related to home heating and cooking.
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1892127/

        Since China huge into manufacturing, they have all the industry related issues with VOCs,and PM in the work place to boot. I believe Mosh helped Asia in that industrialization endeavor so it is more him screwing up our air than us screwing his.

      • “Right now you are dumping C02 into MY FRICKING AIR.”

        Oooh, ALL CAPS ARE SCARY. lol

        Andrew

      • Right now you are dumping C02 into MY FRICKING AIR.

        As are you. We all “dump” CO2 into everyone else’s air .Note It is not your air, it is air you share with everyone else. Tell me you never smoked and blew your particulate matter on others. I am very happy for people to stop smoking, not because of cancer risks [their choice] but because it is nasty having smoke in your face.

        “There is an unknown risk associated with that”.

        corollary There is an unknown good associated with that. If I could prove that it was really good, then keep going forever

        Where did you get the crazy notion that you could willy nilly dump crap into every one else’s air?

        No it is CO2 , not crap. Crap is what you are speaking as in
        “You burning coal.. what the hell.. rough 15% of all deaths in china are due to pm2.5”

        You see most people die of heart attacks , cancer and stroke, accidents and illness. Particulate matter can be associated with disease that causes death but it certainly does not directly cause 15% of all deaths which is what you are trying to imply when you use the word “due”.

        Your choice of temperate swearing, Fricking, as opposed to our host’s quotes from Gavin, shows how strongly and passionately you feel about this subject. People who swear to make a point though show they have lost objectivity and are acting purely emotionally.
        So your argument is lost before it starts. Asimov said “Violence … is the last refuge of the incompetent.” People who swear to make their arguments, heart on sleeve, are saying I do not have enough evidence to convince you but you must believe this because I believe it.
        So drop this 15% business or qualify it properly..

        You have lived all your life on pm 2.5, coal fired power stations giving you light to read your textbooks by. Energy to print those textbooks and deliver them.Food delivered, kept fresh in fridges , Medicines to make you healthy and power to be able to move around in cars and deliver goods and services.
        We now live nearly twice as long as pre-industrial, and healthier.

        I agree no fossil fuels would be fantastic but we have no good choice at present. Fossil fuels will deliver the ability to become independent of the in the future. But all hail fossil fuels for the good that they have done are doing and will do in future.

      • Steven Mosher,

        You wrote –

        “Right now you are dumping C02 into MY FRICKING AIR.

        There is an unknown risk asssociated with that. cut it out as soon as practical. If I could prove that it was critically dangerous, then cut it out immediately. Where dd you get the crazy notion that you could willy nilly dump crap into every one elses air?”

        You are sounding a tad deranged to me. Firstly, every time you exhale, you are dumping CO2, H2O, and a number of other chemicals, including possible carcinogens, into your air. So do we all. Added to that, farts amount to roughly 500 ml. per day per person, and contain a variety of compounds from the benign to the quite toxic.

        Demanding that other people cease activities that you cannot or will not, sounds a bit antisocial, to say the least.

        You appear to be implying that that CO2 is “crap”. I agree with you, in the sense that “crap” has been used since the dawn of farming to improve plant growth. Why are you so fanatically opposed to more plant growth, and the reduction of desert areas, accompanied by the more amenable climate which results?

        Demanding that people bend to your will may not be as effective as you would like. Maybe wearing an oxygen rebreather set equipped with a CO2 scrubber would overcome your CO2 phobia. Not trying to be snarky, but additional CO2 and H2O in the atmosphere would seem to fall into the GaiaApproved™ category.

      • David Springer

        You are dumping your crazy into MY FRICKIN’ BRAIN.

        http://tinyurl.com/kpo5jc9

      • Mosh

        Why don’t we see just WHO is dumping the most co2 into our communal ‘fricking’ air? Here is a personal c02 calculator

        http://www.carbonify.com/carbon-calculator.htm

        Why don’t you take the test and tell us the results?

        Those who want to help save the rainforest from illegal logging AND help preserve the co2 sinks they are calculated to be, might like to do as I did years ago and ‘buy’ an acre or two of rainforest which, whatever your carbon footprint, will help to mitigate it. You can do it here;

        http://www.coolearth.org/our-mission

        tonyb

      • Right now you are dumping C02 into MY FRICKING AIR – title or bill of sale?

        There is an unknown risk asssociated with that – there is risk associated with getting up in the morning. Until you can provide at least some evidence as to what the risk is and how likely it is to happen, quit crying about it.

        the crazy notion that you could willy nilly dump crap into every one elses air – perhaps from the fact that we as living, breathing organisms “dump” CO2 into the air every couple of seconds.

        rough 15% of all deaths in china are due to pm2.5 – I don’t live in China and neither do you. Particulate pollution in China is primarily a Chinese problem, not yours.

        until you can prove its safe – Mosher, you don’t strike me as someone raised by a nanny. So why the nanny state attitude?

  58. Ballad of the bad climatastrophist

    come gather ’round climos
    wherever you roam
    convince us the oceans
    around us are grow’n
    and show us we’re gonna be
    scorched to the bone
    from an atmosphere
    we’re rearrangin’
    So we’ve got to ban carbon
    our sins to atone,
    cause the world’s
    climatically changin’

  59. Gavin Schmidt: There is time to build sustainable solutions to a lot of these things. You don’t have to close down all the coal-powered stations tomorrow. You can transition.

    Is that his Congressional testimony? When did he start to agree with me?

  60. :-) It is all so melodramatic.

  61. Climate Change: it started as an ideology, became a religion, now it’s a neurosis. It’s never had much to do with science.

  62. Mann said something interesting:
    “…a real scientific response would also give serious weight to the dark side of the curve.”
    The dark side is probably the most interesting. A distant poorly understood thing. Like the Manhattan Project, String Theory, the New Horizons flyby. The light side is predicting tomorrow’s weather or driving to the grocery store. To use engineers as an example, they specialize in preventing extreme outcomes. Bad things can happen and they must be prevented. That is their dark side and the point of what they do. Grand discoveries or even any original discovery would seem to be a Scientist’s goal. They have discovered this or that effect and now they may feel obligated to defend their conclusions. I may not agree with Mann’s assessments of risk but research directed at poorly understood, rare possibilities isn’t unusual. That’s where the Nobel Prizes are. Schmidt’s comparative middle of the road approach may indicate where he’s looking. He expects the answers are towards the middle. It’s like two engineers are looking at plans for a tall building. One says it’s unlikely to fall down in high winds but we need to spend some more money on this and that to be sure. The other says, no matter how much money we pour into things, it’s going to fall down not long after it’s built. It should not be built. But no one of importance is listening to the two engineers, and it is being built as originally planned.

  63. Heaven help us…we are not going to be forced to watch the public mental meltdown of Micheal Mann as the “transformation” to Marilyn occurs are we?

  64. dougbadgero

    “omnipotent moral busybodies”

  65. I always suspected climate scientists were delicate nancys.

    Andrew

  66. stevefitzpatrick

    I suspect the humor in all the melodrama is lost on the weeping climate scientists. Fortunately, the silliness of it all is appreciated by lots of people. James ‘west-side-highway’ Hansen has quite sensibly retired; maybe all those very upset weeping climate scientists should consider a similar path. Or maybe they could all move to coastal Greenland and form their own town…. It would never be too hot there; and there’d be no skeptics to argue with.

  67. Pre traumatic?
    if it is pre trauma there can be no stress.

  68. John Costigane

    Judith,

    Science is the pursuit of new Knowledge, nothing else! This knowledge is ours to use for the benefit of all mankind.

    Take the climate issue, we are witnessing many aspects of natural variability. An El Nino is developing again. We can follow its progress and notice the worldwide effects. Here in the northern UK, the summer has been poorish. Does this foreshadow a harsher winter (linked to El Nino)?

    In general, fear develops from ignorance, (mistaken perspectives) whereas enlightenment develops from knowledge gain.

    These self-seeking dystopian scientists serve only their own dull existence.

  69. Well I guess these scientists are worried about the risks that climate change poses for our future. I am not sure what is irrational of bad about that. Humans are by there very nature emotional creatures and so it really seems normal to worry about such especially considering the particular insight they have.

    I think this blog would be better served if it focused on the science where the ultimate determination will be made rather than psychoanalyze particular climate scientists and then with no real basis generalize to the whole implying that their work or conclusions are fatally flawed…

    • Except that strong emotions lead directly to irrationality

      • Peter, does it always lead to irrationality or sometimes? And then you have to look at what exactly was done or said that was irrational and how that relates to the actual science done A lot of dots that need to be connected before we can draw any conclusions about any particular person with any confidence.

      • Joseph, the bits of our brains concerned with our emotions (and beliefs) don’t know about logic or reason, but they shout at the rest of the brain very loudly indeed.
        That’s a shortcoming we all have, including scientists – and it’s often difficult to know whether what we think we know stems from logic or belief.
        Having a fear for an apocalyptic future cannot help but make that even more difficult.

    • Having your ego wrapped up in having your research influence policy (frustrated policy advocates), keeping ‘score’ in a personal war against skeptics, seeking fame, generating book sales and lecture fees and political influence, etc. can all come into play in influencing how a scientist reacts to the climate wars or seeks to position themselves in reacting to the threats of climate change. Scientists might get ‘upset’ if they don’t think they are sufficiently successful at the above. This is something else — not pre-traumatic stress syndrome.

      This is the kind of speculative quasi psychobabble that I was referring to.

      • Tangentially, perhaps

      • Pre-traumatic whatever is made up BS. It’s simple anxiety neurosis. They are afraid of being wrong and losing their jobs.

      • Da Paws, Don Don. These CAGW warmunists are worried about da paws.

      • Truth hurts, eh Joseph?

      • Joseph,

        speculative quasi babbling is your forte. Like when you babble about speculative impacts and pretend it is informed because you reference IPCC.

      • speculative quasi babbling is your forte. Like when you babble about speculative impacts and pretend it is informed because you reference IPCC.

        I didn’t know relying on the IPCC for science was considered speculative babbling, Tim. Should I have gone to Heartland summary report?

      • Joseph,

        “Should I have gone to Heartland summary report?”

        That wouldn’t be my first (or second) choice. I’ve never read a Heartland report.

        Try looking at the papers themselves, not some summary for policy makers from an organization whose existence depends on maintaining the urgency of the issue.

        Until you can confirm from other sources any of the supposed impacts you keep telling us are happening (or going to happen), it is speculation. Running a GCM that gives you an output and plugging that number into another model is speculation, not scientific research.

      • Tim, that probably is the best thing to do but often the research is so technical that’s it’s too difficult to understand. I posted the link below earlier about ocean acidification. I found it somewhat less difficult to understand and informative.

        https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=ocean+acidification&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C19&as_sdtp=

    • Apparently psychobabble is fine here as long as you don’t mention conspiracy ideation.

    • I seem to recall reading about science being dispassionate. Guess I got it wrong. Weeping, hearts on sleeve, passionate love of nature to the point of religious fervor is apparently what real science is about.

  70. Both sides are on the wrong battlefield. Climate science isn’t a science.

    It’s as if astronomers wanted to call astronomy “astronomy science.”

    The bits of it are science. The overall field isn’t and they don’t try to call it that.

    You can imagine the dysfunction that would arise in a newly branded astronomy science, with battles over who’s in and who’s out, and funding.

    Call it climate studies or something, and get away from the idea that it all fits together in a grand scientific result.

  71. This from the Quadrant:

    “Credulous journalists have found a new genre of stories: climate scientists on the verge of a nervous breakdown. If you go by a recent spate of reports detailing the near-suicidal despair afflicting the warmist elite, something called ‘pre-traumatic stress disorder’ is prompting climateers to set aside their computer models and report for treatment. It seems that working long days tweaking temperature records and cherry-picking data to conjure apocalyptic scenarios takes a dreadful toll — especially with the real-world halt to warming now stretching to 18 years and beyond.” It gets better from here.

    This Aussie site is well worth following.

  72. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #187 | Watts Up With That?

  73. “pre-traumatic stress,”

    Another made up condition.

    During my time on a submarine, if someone said they were suffering from
    “the overwhelming sense of anger, panic, and “obsessive-intrusive thoughts” that results when your work every day is to chart a planetary future that looks increasingly apocalyptic.”

    we would have told them “Sounds like a personal problem.”

    Seriously, this is well into the realm of abby normal behavior.

  74. Pingback: Pre-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Judith Curry on Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt … in serious depression « UnderstandItAll

  75. I posted a blog on this here : https://logiclogiclogic.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/pre-traumatic-stress-syndrome-judith-curry-on-michael-mann-gavin-schmidt-in-serious-depression/

    It may be too basic for some of the serious people here but it is serious look at what is the likelihood that the horror scenario these people are envisioning is unlikely.

  76. I believe this whole debate on climate can be factually ended. We have the data to conclude what will happen. Basically, we have gone 1/2 of the way to a doubling of CO2. That represents 70% of the expected effect of CO2 INCLUDING transient feedbacks. The only temperature rise that counts is the period after 1945 when we produced significant CO2. Counting the 0.4C before 1945 is specious in my opinion. So, we have 0.5C after 1945 using virtually any data source. It’s been 70 years since 1945. We have 50% of the CO2 expected in a doubling. We’ve had 18 years recently for the transient effects to work out. Basically this proves that the remaining possible additional temperature change from CO2 and the feedbacks already in the system to get to 600 is 0.3C MAXIMUM. This assumes that we can attribute 100% of the increase between 1945-2015 to CO2 which is problematic. While PDO/AMO have one full cycle in this period it is not clear to me that other cycles with longer wavelengths could have contributed. Nevertheless we can say with 100% scientific factual certainty proven beyond computer models could possibly be proven that the temperature change likely till the end of the century (or whenever we hit 600) is about another 0.3C. My blog here elucidates this in more detail. https://logiclogiclogic.wordpress.com/2015/04/10/temperature-rise-by-end-of-century-cannot-be-significant/
    I would seriously like to know how I could possibly be wrong about this.

    • Logiclogiclogic:

      Your logic is impeccable.

      However, you could be overlooking one minor little detail.

      What if natural variability has been suppressing the temperature and but for some weird natural weather quirk – the temperature should have actually gone up 10C (grin).

      Then 30% would be 3C more not .3C – so you can see it all depends on how much of the temperature change since your 1945 date is natural and how much do to the extra CO2.

      You see – all the alarmists who have been saying that 100 (or 110%) of the warming since 1945 (or 1950) is due to humans are now saying that all of the flat hiatus temperatures are due to that pesky natural variability which doesn’t exist.

      So there.

      Put that in your pipe and smoke it (grin).

  77. Camille Parmesan It’s not just been climate change, there’s a growing, ever-stronger antiscience sentiment in the U. S. A.
    “Anti junk-science” she ought to have said of course. The ongoing exposure of which is the source of many climate scientists’ traumas, her own included.

  78. Pingback: JC’s conscience | Climate Etc.

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