Conflating the climate problem with the solution

“one of the real tragedies that totally distorted the debate over climate change was that it got tied into the solution in a way that if you accepted the first you had to accept the second. And I think that was profoundly wrong.” – Newt Gingrich

At the annual meeting of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE), Newt Gingrich made a very interesting presentation, which was reported in an EOS article.  Excerpts:

Gingrich was not the usual fare for an NCSE conference, and he acknowledged that at the beginning of his talk, saying, “I realize that, particularly with all of the changes of the last few days, that having a right-wing Republican show up [at this conference] is probably not what all of you have signed up for.”

When asked why Gingrich was invited to speak, NCSE provided Eos with a written statement referring to the “shifting political landscape” and the importance of “hearing all perspectives.” 

Former House Speaker urges thoughtful, aggressive, articulate arguments to influence an administration that he says generally lacks its own plan.

“You can hunker down and decide you want to be oppositionist and that you are going to hate everything and life will be terrible,” or you can dig in and work with the administration, said Gingrich, a former speaker of the House of Representatives.

“If you go in aggressive enough and articulate enough and have thought it through enough, you are going to shape large parts of this administration,” he said.

Gingrich in his presentation argued that the new administration has a focus on science, engineering, and technology. He pointed to Trump’s inaugural address, which calls for “unlock[ing] the mysteries of space” and “harness[ing] the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.”

“Part of your challenge here is for you to feed back to them and say, ‘Look, if you want to achieve these goals, this is the kind of investment that you have to make,’” he told the audience.

However, he said, there can be measures that move toward sustainability that are compatible with the administration’s goals. He pointed to Tesla as an example and the increasing popularity of electric vehicles.

After his speech, Gingrich told Eos that Trump should balance America’s economic interests related to climate change. Gingrich added, though, “I’m very skeptical of the stuff that Obama agreed to” in dealing with climate change.

JC reflections

Well, one good thing that is emerging from the Trump administration is increasing open mindedness in scientific and environmental organizations.  Hard to imagine Newt Gingrich being invited to such a meeting under the Obama administration.

I was particularly struck by Gingrich’s statement:

“one of the real tragedies that totally distorted the debate over climate change was that it got tied into the solution in a way that if you accepted the first you had to accept the second. And I think that was profoundly wrong.”

Citizens understand this, but apparently many scientists do not.  At the scientist demonstration for global warming at the AGU meeting, the slogan was something like this:

  • It’s warming
  • It’s caused by us
  • It’s dangerous
  • We can do something about it

The ‘problem’ of global warming is utterly conflated with its ‘solution’, in the eyes of many climate scientists, not to mention the UNFCCC.  I have argued many times that we have oversimplified by the problem of global warming and its solution.

Once you break the link in the reasoning described in the above bullets, we may have a chance at developing a true understanding of climate variability and change, how extreme weather and slow climate change influences societies and ecosystems, and the most effective ways of dealing with the regional impacts of climate variability and extreme events that accounts for a regions specific vulnerabilities and socioeconomic situation.

The other important point made by Gingrich is that Trump is very interested in science and technological advances.  Fleshing out details of any such plans haven’t begun to happen — which has resulted in Trump being called anti-science because climate science, etc. isn’t at the top of his agenda.  Trump seems to have a relatively open mind so there seems to be much opportunity for rational and well argued inputs to be provided.

Instead, we see scientists marching on DC (exactly towards what end, I haven’t been able to figure it out).

JC message to scientists:  start behaving like scientists, and make your arguments for why you think something is important and why it should be funded.  Whining and playing politics doesn’t look like it will help your cause.

170 responses to “Conflating the climate problem with the solution

  1. Pingback: Conflating the climate problem with the solution – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. “one of the real tragedies that totally distorted the debate over climate change was that it got tied into the solution in a way that if you accepted the first you had to accept the second. And I think that was profoundly wrong.”

    Yes, Yes, Yes!!! As I’ve said in the past – If you insist on trusting “Climate Scientists” on climate, shouldn’t you show some deference to the experts when it comes to the provision of power supply.

  3. When you are convinced that you are “saving the earth” it’s hard to compromise on anything.

  4. It is good advice – for all pursuits.

    Loving the solution means ego and preconceived notions which die hard.
    Loving the problem means continually reconsidering everything.

  5. Warming is better than cooling. Countries and governments fail when they can’t feed their populations when temperatures cool. We have significantly LARGER problems than climate with a new alternate facts administration and foreign policy in 140 characters. Fire the entire federal work force. Give the money to Twitter.

  6. “Malthusian” scientists who believe that nature is optimal and mankind’s influence can only be bad are pretty much a lost cause. ‘Deep ecology’ must be replaced by a view that more and better human living is a per se good.

  7. It is dead-easy to “break the link in the reasoning”. Depending upon your choice of data, you can convincingly argue that climate IS warming and equally convincingly argue that climate ISN’T warming.

    Or that warming is a good, or a bad, thing.

    Etc.

    We’d need thousands of years of observations to prove either.

    We’d be MUCH smarter to concentrate on AGW (Anthropologic Global Wrecking), which we, unequivocally, ARE doing.

    Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, Engineer,
    Burlington, ON Canada

    • We’d need thousands of years of observations to prove either.

      We already have thousands and millions of years of data. Study and understand the data we have!

      They have studied the 130 years of temperature data to the tune of billions and/or trillions with no progress.

      They have not tried to understand the last ten thousand years. It is clearly not a hockey stick.

      We have wonderful ice core data for two very different hemispheres. Two very different hemispheres cycle inside the same temperature bounds even when the solar input changes a huge amount. Just try to understand why that is true.

      Very little energy is exchanged between the hemispheres. Each hemisphere is regulated, internally, using the same method. The regulation has thermostats and cooling that is turned on and off as needed. When the oceans get warm, they thaw and ocean effect snowfall occurs until they cool and freeze the oceans. This is Occam Razor Simple.

  8. Along the lines of problem/solution, it has been widely noted that human population is the precursor to increased CO2. ( more emitters means more emissions ). Falling in love with the solution means things would be just great if we switched to favorite alternative fuel X. But population is the underlying problem to many aspects, not just CO2 ( to the extent CO2 is or will ever be a problem ).

    Lower population would seem to be a more significant problem and one worried about in the context of the infamous Population Bomb. But is a solution even necessary at all to either CO2 or the results of increased population? Perhaps not. It appears that the population bomb is a dud:

    According to Aleph, and others, population will peak lower and earlier than most expect. Even before then, demand is slowing. We see this in the slow global and US GDP.

    • to brianrlcatt:

      Well said.

      Has anyone noticed and connected-up these dots:

      1. The AGW hoax was originated in a “developing” country, and that
      2. The trillions of $ to “fix” AGW would be transferred from the “developed” world that earned it to the “developing” world that didn’t, and that
      3. The magical “2 deg. C” number is an unsupported speculation by one man, and that
      4. Every “developing” nation you care to name is “developing” mainly corruption by the billions of $ into the pockets of autocratic, in-office-for-life kleptocrats like Robert Mugabe (we do this too but have democratic ways of smoking-out the political thieves before they do as much harm)?

      Thinking about it makes my brain hurt.

      But there is hope, friends. Increasingly, responsible people are questioning AGW on calm, scientific grounds. And being published, which is a pleasant change. I actually got a “denier” article published a while back.

      Take heart.

      Frank Gue, B,Sc, MBA,
      Electronics engineer,
      Burlington, ON Canada

      • “Frank Gue, B,Sc, MBA,
        Electronics engineer,
        Burlington, ON Canada”

        A tweet from Australian climate scientist Sophie Lewis …….

        When I retire, I’ll take time every day to email young engineers. As a retired climate scientist, I’ll tell them how to do their jobs better.

      • I am an engineer, hydrologist, environmental scientist. I have studied climate for 30 years – environmental science, policy and management nearly as long. Economically the world is locked into a growth cycle – despite any and all reservations and interventions. Personally, I welcome a high growth planet. It brings resources to solve people and environment problems. The clearest way to economic growth is markets – and the biggest risk is market mismanagement.

        I demand you receive my wisdom from on high.

      • “I demand you receive my wisdom from on high.”
        A tongue-in-cheek jest, I’m pretty sure Robert……

        And I am a retired meteorologist – real one who worked 32 years for the UKMO. The last 20 as an on-the-bench forecaster at RAF stations briefing aircrew and latterly in the commercial side ….. not the Watts’ kind who’s allegiance is to his media employers.
        Mine is to the science alone.
        No leftie – I voted for Brexit FI.
        I also studied engineering to BSC level.

        Do I count to be able to demand you receive my wisdom on High?
        In reciprocal jest of course.

      • In response to Sophie Lewis’ tweet…you’ve got to be kidding, engineers learn more about radiative heat transfer, convection, and thermodynamics in second year engineering than “climate science” courses teach in all four years. Then when they graduate they build all manner of power producing and consuming equipment for the good of humanity. When they retire, they could still do a good job of your job.

      • richardswarthout

        Tony Banton,

        I am a retired electrical engineer turned applied physicist, all the result of a 2 year US Air Force assignment at RAF Wethersfield 1963-65.

        Richard

      • Roger Knights

        Tony Benton says:
        . . . not the Watts’ kind who’s allegiance is to his media employers.

        Eh? Names, please.

      • Tony, and I thought you were a real meteorologist!
        UKMO?
        Any real meteorologist gets sacked early on when they question the orthodoxy.
        Did you have any colleagues that disbelieved and did you tolerate them, report them or send them to Coventry?
        (Coventry is the British equivalent of the gulags in Siberia for non British)

      • “Tony, and I thought you were a real meteorologist! UKMO?”
        angech:
        Now mine was (and said so) – but I don’t take that as a light-hearted dig.
        Was I meant to?

        “Any real meteorologist gets sacked early on when they question the orthodoxy.”

        Don’t conflate weather with climate my friend. My field was exclusively weather. OK?

        The reason no one gets “sacked” is because the “orthodoxy” of weather prediction works (to a high probability in a reasonable time frame of, say, 3 days certainly) though with constant improvements these days based on computational expense.
        A NWP run would turn out absolute bollocks within the first 24 hours if not.
        There are degrees of skill, yes. I refer you to the ECM forecast of the left turn into NY of ex-hurricane Sandy for a start.

        Oh, and “real” (on-the-bench) meteorologists in the U.K. only work for the UKMO, in terms of briefing the military and government. Not just prostituting themselves in the media. But yes some are good (in large part because they utilise the UKMO’s models). MeteoGroup made a lower bid for the Beeb contract.

        The rest get stupid “fake news forecasts” published by the likes of Rose and Rao in the tabloids …. merely by dint of seeing what the GFS NWP model says 15 days hence.
        Which Never materialises. Doesn’t matter – the fake news gets published. Why? The papers say it came from an expert FFS (FYI: a chart at D15 in the GFS deterministic model is very, very far from a forecast). Win, win for your “real” met men. They get the praise if it EVER comes off. One day by the law of averages it will. The “Exacta weather” via Nathan Rao has been predicting the “coldest winter i 100 years or similar. Every year for around 7 now.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/entries/756e3a7a-74c6-3e6f-8c6a-646ddc9f39d5

        And meanwhile, the reality is that the UKMO gets the blame for said alarmism and bollocks. So the meteorological professional looses all round.

        BTW: I Reiterate for the hard of comprehension -that I talked of weather in the relevant post – and not climate.
        Weather is the noise riding within climate, and as such is immensely more difficult to forecast.

        So then I usually get, “then you’re not qualified to talk about climate then.”
        Yeah, just like a heart surgeon is not qualified to give you sound advice on the likely trajectory of the health of your heart, because he/she only fixes up immediate problems.

        Sorry if I sound overly sensitive …. but I’ve had 40+ years of the “you’re always wrong” kind of criticism – To which, the logical answer, is of course ….” That’s just as impossible as always being correct. “

      • “”Tony Benton says:
        . . . not the Watts’ kind who’s allegiance is to his media employers.

        Eh? Names, ”

        Roger:

        Well mines Tony Banton, but no offence.

        Watts’ wiki …..

        “Watts assisted with the setup of a radio program for his high school in Indiana,[14] and later attended electrical engineeringand meteorology classes at Purdue University, but did not graduate or receive a degree.[2][15] In 1978, Watts began his broadcasting career as an on-air meteorologist for WLFI-TV in Lafayette, Indiana.[3]

        He joined KHSL-TV, a CBS affiliate based in Chico, California in 1987,[2][3] and founded a company named ItWorks the same year.[16] He stopped using his first name “Willard” to avoid confusion with NBC’s Today weatherman Willard Scott.[3] In 2002, he left KHSL to focus on ITWorks full-time.[17] Watts has been the chief meteorologist for KPAY-AM, a Fox News affiliate based in Chico, California since 2004,[2] and the director and president of IntelliWeather Inc, a subsidiary of ItWorks,[16] since 2000.[citation needed]

        Did I See Fox News there?

      • “In response to Sophie Lewis’ tweet…you’ve got to be kidding, engineers learn more about radiative heat transfer, convection, and thermodynamics in second year engineering than “climate science” courses teach in all four years. Then when they graduate they build all manner of power producing and consuming equipment for the good of humanity. When they retire, they could still do a good job of your job.”

        Ignorant, biased bollocks.

        Now I come across many ramblings from coming out of the rabbit-kole, but this one is up there.
        So you are saying that any breed of engineer knows more about the physics of the climate system than the people who have trained in and studied it?

        FFS: mate learn some common-sense, is what I’d say to you.
        Nowhere else does a profession say they know more of another one.
        And the only reason you do is because you “believe” that their
        conclusions of AGW are wrong.
        So yes of course, down the rabbit-hole, then engineers are of course omniscient of climate science. They being prominent in he “sceptic” dept.

        “you’ve got to be kidding,”
        That you say/ believe this, is what is unbelievable my friend.
        But the nature of the rabbit-hole dwellers of climate science naysaying makes it oh, so obvious to you.

        BTW: you read my follow-up post you will become aware that I trained as an engineer before reverting to meteorology.
        Radiative physics is the relevant discipline in question when it comes to the GHE.
        (So does the learning of convective motion in the atmosphere taught to engineers also trounce that taught to meteorologists and climatologists?).
        As someone who experience both – then, err, no. Just as anyone using common-sense instead of reflexive biased babble should realise.
        So I suppose your omniscient engineers also know more about astronomy and cosmology.
        Oh, wait. You are not bothered about the BB being wrong FI?
        I doesn’t impact on your ideology of course.

      • These are the same guys who rigged science with opportunistic ensembles, right? Even the name sounds dodgy – like a gansta rapper.

        See I find that innocent little sanitary engineers like me get a bad rep for saying things long ago that are now mainstream climate science.

        http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2007/11/enso_variation_and_global_warm.html

        Is my name off freakin’ SoureWatch yet?

        A full reading of Tsonis and Swanson’s research shows that internal variability from climate shifts merely cause temporary slow downs or speeding up of the long-term warming trend. When the internal variability is removed from the temperature record, what we find is nearly monotonic, accelerating warming throughout the 20th Century. SkepticalScience

        Quite apart from the fact that it doesn’t say anything of the sort. Tsonis and Swanson – there is a third guy that no one ever remembers – did use neat network math to identify that these climate shifts are there – but that the future of climate shifts is spectacularly uncertain. Instead of a wobble on a steadily rising line – the future is likely to be a complete surprise. This is not likely to be to translated into numericals anytime soon and the trick is not to mention it. Cute trick.

        BTW – the other guy’s name is Sergey and he is a retired Ukranian cyclist who dabbles in physical oceanography. Don’t you just adore retired Ukranian cyclists?

        But you are spectacularly off topic – which is why climate science rates writing off civilisation without consideration of alternative hobbies for urban doofus hipsters like staring at goats?

      • Light hearted dig? Yes.
        Response elicited, heavy.
        Sorry it hit a nerve. But you have hit one too.
        Metereologist – a weather forecaster. Like Anthony Watts and that fellow who got sacked in France for telling the truth.
        A real metereologist though, that sounds exciting.
        Qualification? Allegiance to the science alone.
        Frankly I don’t buy that.
        Denigrating other people of your own ilk because they disagree with your world view.
        Denigrating other people because they ,presumably, in your estimation, have a more highly paid job or profile in the same field.
        Sour grapes not science.
        In forty years you should learn one little thing, support and praise your fellow metereologists.
        If you have no respect for them because you disagree with them then don’t mention them.
        Never knock them in public. Thanks.

      • Weather is not just noise riding on a climate background. Climate can modulate the weather, and weather feeds back on climate. For example, eddies (weather) move momentum around, and are responsible for concentrating much of the momentum in the polar jet stream (which, averaged over time, is part of the mean climate system). Weather events can kick the climate system into different states. MJOs and westerly wind bursts, for example, can impact the timing, amplitude, and structure of El Niño events. One of the most important uncertainties in climate science relates to how associations between weather and climate might change due to human impacts. In some cases, weather phenomena could generate positive or negative feedbacks to global average surface temperature. How severe or extreme weather might change with the climate is a related problem. For the most part, we really don’t know how such signals will change.

      • that fellow who got sacked in France for telling the truth.

        So angech, you can link to a peer-reviewed study that demonstrates AGW will provide the benefit of reduced winter deaths?

      • BTW: I Reiterate for the hard of comprehension -that I talked of weather in the relevant post – and not climate.
        Weather is the noise riding within climate, and as such is immensely more difficult to forecast.

        This is an interesting question – which aspects of the atmosphere are predictable and which are not?

        Some aspects of climate are very predictable over an incredibly long period of time. I stumbled across the Wiki description of the Namib Desert some time ago:
        “Having endured arid or semi-arid conditions for roughly 55–80 million years, the Namib may be the oldest desert in the world”

        This struck me because the Namib is right on the Atlantic Ocean and is ( as I am observing ) quite humid, so access to water vapor is not a limiting factor in the persistent desert. However, things which are persistent for millions of years include the geology. The orography of Southern Africa means Antarctic Air masses approaching it bifurcate into anti-cyclonic flow in the Namib and cyclonic flow to the east. Evidently, this has persisted for millions of years.

        So, long term, solar distribution, earth rotation, geology, distribution of land/ocean etc., are all very predictable and are the main forces of climate.

        Shorter term, internal fluid dynamic variation is important to climate and is UNpredictable.
        If one says’: “Weather is not the noise on top of climate” that’s misleading because one also needs to say:
        Interannual climate is the noise on top of decadal climate.
        And decadal climate is the noise on top of centennial climate.
        And centennial climate is the noise on top of millenial climate and…

        This chart from Peixoto and Oort indicates variance increases as one goes from biennial scale to millenial scale, in contradiction of the mean reversion implied by “weather is noise”:

      • JCH Reference no 1
        Confalonieri, U., Menne, B., Akhtar, R., Ebi, K.L., Hauengue, M., Kovats, R.S., Revich, B. and Woodward, A. 2007. Human health. In: Parry, M.L. et al. (Eds.) Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

        Having my leg pulled I guess,? Cold has always killed more people than heat
        Reference 2
        Heat related mortality in warm and cold regions of Europe: observational studBMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7262.670 (Published 16 September 2000)Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:670
        Do you really need another 100 stating the obvious?
        Getting warmer reduces world death rates overall in the current settings.

      • You’re not much of analyst, but we already knew that.

      • JCH try this one
        The Guardian loved it
        Climate change effects on human health: projections of temperature-related mortality for the UK during the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s

        Heat-related deaths will rise 257% by 2050 because of climate change

        Neglected to mention other conclusion in their otherwise reasonable headline

        David Spiegelhalter, professor of the public understanding of risk at the University of Cambridge, said: “It seems clear from this analysis that the reduction in cold-related deaths per 100,000 people in each age group easily outweighs the projected increase in the heat-related death rate.”
        That’s 3 including what you thought was one of yours.

      • @ Tony Banton, @ Paul Roundy, @ Turbulent Eddie

        I seriously question the assumption “Weather is the noise riding within climate —- ” that allows climate to become precise while leaving weather unpredictable. This is the conventional view evolved from the assumption that “noise” is separable from “signal”.

        In the case of (Poisson distributed) quantized phenomena like raindrops and monochromatic light, the variance and the mean are equal.
        Such processes have the interesting property that one can measure the average by observing only the variations.

        It might turn out that for turbulent phenomena the variation and the average are at least proportional.

        If “climate” is “average weather”, then “weather” may be just “variation in climate”, in which case neither are totally predictable.

      • akx3:

        “I seriously question the assumption “Weather is the noise riding within climate —- ” that allows climate to become precise while leaving weather unpredictable. This is the conventional view evolved from the assumption that “noise” is separable from “signal”.”

        You don’t have to have one precise and the other unpredictable.
        There’s some in both.
        Weather is predictable for a few days then sensitivity to initial conditions brings in chaos. (we can’t know starting conditions well enough to constrain NWP model forward integrations).
        Climate can be known by figuring the TSI absorbed vs LWIR emitted. The majority of the balance is stored in the oceans, which also to the largest degree regulates heat input to the atmosphere, via oceanic currents. You don’t have the complication of a fluid that is 1000 times lighter and buoyant in gravity, quickly moved and easily driven by convection and via Coriolis to jet streams aloft, causing consequential WV modulation of the LR and divergence over baroclinic zones to create storms or even just tropical storms/hurricanes by dint of surface SST’s (and a few other essentials).

        Climate has much less chaos.
        An analogy may help:
        Boil a pan of water on a stove.
        Now you know exactly what quantity of water you have in the pan, the exact amount of heat you will place into the water from the stove. You also know the ambient air temp/pressure and water temp.
        Climate is the fact that you can know precisely when that given amount of heat input will bring the pan of water to boiling point.
        Weather is the chaos in the pan as water molecules turbulently convect from the bottom of the pan.
        Different molecular energies moving from hotter to colder.
        The Climate system has drivers such as ocean currents (PDO/ENSO being the greatest influence with a smaller one from the AMO). Solar plays a small cyclic role, and of course volcanic aerosols can cool rapidly for a short period.
        So if you could look at a plot of global daily weather temps for a 100 years and each tip at the top and at the bottom is the noise of weather, whereas the smoothed decadal trend is climate.
        Climate is vastly more constrained and weather very much not.
        So the long term energy availability is what drives weather via the climate.

        “If “climate” is “average weather”, then “weather” may be just “variation in climate”, in which case neither are totally predictable.”

        Climate is not average weather as explained above.

      • Weather is predictable for a few days then sensitivity to initial conditions brings in chaos. (we can’t know starting conditions well enough to constrain NWP model forward integrations).

        Climate can be known by figuring the TSI absorbed vs LWIR emitted.

        Global average temperature may well be predictable, because of RF, but….
        Global average temperature is not climate!

        Climate, temperature distribution, and more importantly precipitation distribution, is as much or perhaps more sensitive to initial conditions than weather is. That’s why climate model runs with very small differences come up with these wildly divergent results:

        Climate has much less chaos.

        That doesn’t appear to be the case – see the variance chart from Peixoto and Oort.

        Climate is the fact that you can know precisely when that given amount of heat input will bring the pan of water to boiling point.

        No. Climate is not global average temperature. Climate is the spatio-temporal distribution of temperature, precipitation, and all other atmospheric states, still determined mostly by atmospheric motion, and not global average temperature.

      • There is no special expertise to understanding climate needed. We touched on meteorology in physics classes, performing weather forecasts the old fashioned way, working the equations using barometric and wind speed data. Rather fun, unlike the Volcano Problem.

        I was a Component Reliability engineer at a nuclear plant. At the time my only degree was a BA in History, though I did have 2 years of undergrad work in Fire Protection engineering. I was selected to the national standards group for nuclear component reliability.

        To understand the debate on climate only needs some intelligence, familiarity with how science works and a willingness to learn. Having experience in a technical or scientific field, or simply a broad working or educational experience in more than one area is a boon. Yet when I started following the debate I quickly learned none of those matter. You either accepted the party line or were branded a denier. And the fact two of the leading communicator’s of the threat posed by climate change were a huckster politician and a cartoonist did not instill a lot of confidence in that message. It isn’t that I disregard your experience or expertise Tony, just your certainty. I have a high degree of certainty that humans can and are impacting our planet, including climate. That certainty does not extend very far into the realm of CO2 being the dominant factor and goes completely out the window when the discussion turns to threats we are sure to face from a changing climate. And exactly how is it a climate scientist or a meteorologist is better qualified to predict future impacts or likelihood of successful remedies, let alone costs vs benefits, than those from other fields?

      • @turbulent Eddie “Global average temperature is not climate!”
        @Tony Banton “Climate has much less chaos”

        We have both politics and science which may be mismatched, sort of like voting to make PI = 22/7.

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/mains1.html says “Climate change in IPCC usage refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g. using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties—-“.

        The climate poster child is the 30 year global temperature anomaly, about which statistic there is almost limitless discussion. Construction of the statistic requires a variety of averages of temperature, spatial and temporal, but nothing more complicated and requires no other data.

        So I think the term “average temperature” is a reasonable explanation of the construction of “temperature anomaly”, though it is incomplete in that it leaves out the subtraction of reference from current value. Thus, I think it is accurate to say that, by IPCC definition, change in average temperature is climate, or at least climatic.

        I would be very happy to hear about some other definitions of climate that can be turned into numbers. (For starters, I would like to see a Bernoulli Equation evaluation.)

        Using statistics 101 logic and the IPCC definitions, Gavin Schmidt asserts that short term fluctuations can be averaged out to leave the long term trends intact, which seems to agree with T. Banton.
        http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-we-dont-know-if-it-will-be-sunny-next-month-but-we-know-itll-be-hot-all-year/

        While I am not enthusiastic about “temperature anomaly” from a scientific standpoint, it is what the public sees.

        Can I interpret the Peixoto and Oort chart to mean that temperature is fractal? This would work for me.

      • Can I interpret the Peixoto and Oort chart to mean that temperature is fractal? This would work for me.

        That seems like an apt analogy. There’s similar variation on a variety of scales, in this case temporal scales.

    • No, TE,don’t do it. Projecting using models.
      When will you ever learn.

  9. Well stated Dr. Curry. A new government having a fresh new look at areas of science and policy that have been hopelessly taken over by scientific advocacy and belief systems in the recent past – what better time than now to restart a discussion based on science and the evidence in hand. Marching on Washington with placards and chants seems a very poor mechanism for finding, explaining and convincing others of the truth. Perhaps however it is the best option for those with an agenda, but very poor arguments in support of it.

  10. The problem with the solution to global warming is that it is going to take a while. And anything we do now will not really benefit (i.e. change the temperature) for the current inhabitants and immediate next generation. I don’t see balanced communication from climate science in their efforts to inform policy to acknowledge this fact when proscribing solutions to the problem. The problem is an inertial one… and a really big one beyond the scope of how typical human individuals fathom the environment around them. If we could wave a wand and energy could be produced without any GHG’s today and forever, the effect on our environment (temperature) would be minimal for the next several generations. All that CO2 is up there and it isn’t going to be less anytime too soon. The heat is already in the pipeline as it were.

    Since this is a long term problem, it has to be sold as such. If people pushing immediate, severe CO2 mitigation strategies do so without also explaining it will not change the climate for a long time in the future after we are all dead, then folks climbing on the band wagon are going to be very disappointed when they don’t see anything actually change. We are witnessing a slow motion experiment… changing the variables a little now is not going to change the fact we are still having an experiment.

    • 36 straight months of positive PDO… warming rate is sky high… January will likely bring the 37th straight month… 2016 La Niña dead before it breathed… it’s no longer waiting in a pipe… odds of a 2017 El Niño inching up… we just might get 4 warmest years in a row.

      The pause made complete fools of a lot of really smart people. It’s so much fun for a C student like me to say that.

      • John Carpenter

        Ya, but like I said, its a long term problem and focusing on years or even decades is futile in really understanding what is happening. We can gather data at high resolution, we sure can’t model it too well.

    • No John, the problem is believing global warming is a problem needing to be solved.

  11. Newt is right. I have been on this point for ages. Time for climate scientists to tell the truth on the practical uselessness of renewable energy as a deliverable remedy for AGW arising from CO2 emissions from generation, in science fact?

    As an objective trained physicist and engineer I increasingly despise the shallow and self serving academic climate physicists, promoting their over complex under subscribed non-linear mutlivariate guestimate models as reliable science they must know they can never prove as science fact, and regularly adjust when they don’t reliably track reality, while sumultaneously promoting the woefully inadequate and intermittent renewables remedy in the name of climate change, or allowing that to be said or even implied w/o correcting it.

    Any physicist at degree entry level is well able to understand that these woefully weak and intermittent renewable enrgy sources are hugely expensive to harvest and not increased by subsidy. They can only make net grid CO2 emissions avoidably and expensively worse than preferring gas replacing coal and nuclear replacing both, and are also practically unsustainable w/o 100% fossil backup as a viable “solution” , that produces tiny CO reductions at huge incremental cost, if at all, that would be massively exceeded by what is possible from better alternatives w/o any subidies or renewables. A fraudulent remedy that profits only lobbyists and renewables companies at the regressively avoidable expense of the public, the environment and the climate – in whose name it is promoted and subsidised. You can’t make it up. Physicists have taken that job over in post truth science – science for science’s sake, MONEY for god’s sake.

    Physicists who lend active or passive support to such a fraud are proven science deniers, for the worst of reasons, at the most basic high school physics level. This certainly applies to the Northern European and US grids, Russia and China too. So,

    I call on those climate physicists who are still honest, competent and respect their profession and public duty, to make a point of saying that the problem of AGW, however much of climate change that is, must be made WORSE in science fact by preferring renewables to gas replacing coal and nuclear replacing both, and explain how renewables are far too weak and intemittent to ever be a capable solution to energising a developed economies grid. And NEVER, never allow the opposite to be implied, explicitly or implicitly, as the remedy it can never be, except in desert countries, Norway and Paraguay, etc.

    What is being done by climate scientists who support renewables, either actively or passively, is serious science denial at the Mediaeval Catholic inquisition level. Now practised by climate change evangelists to profit their renewablist friends and keep the renewable protection racket cash running as long as possible, until the laws of physics finally find it out. With climate models, everyone taking the grants now will be long dead before any significant AGW effects arise. But the easy Billions wasted on easy renewables subsidy profits, compromised grid supply, and failure to usefully reduce CO2 will all manifest themselves as a clear and present energy fraud on the science and economic fact within a few years. And this will be down to the unscrupulous and irresponsible physcists and engineers who choose to deny 200 years of generation science and engineering for personal short term gain, at the expense of the society that educated them. Shame charlatans can’r be struck off……

    If you really don’t understand how this works on a hetrerogenous grid, read my last submission to the UK Governmet committee on this. It really is simple to understand, it’s not climate science, it’s real – and proven. There is a link to Sir David MacKay FRS’s last public statements on this subject, he never really told the public how daft government’s approach to this was while their paid advivisor for 6 out of the DECC’s 7 year existence, but he sure did when the end was nigh.

    You can also read any number of accessible peer reviewed papers that explain what a rational electrical energy strategy has to be as fossil declines, from Smil, Marchetti, Ausubel, even Bill Gates understands this most basic science – and the crucial role of cheap, abundant, sustainable energy, available when needed, on the development of economies and sustaining a developed society. Less is less, and we will need 3 times more elelctrivcity for ransport and heating when fossil has gone. Renewables are hopelessly inadeqaute to deliver that, never mind to days enrgy levels. Just can’t.

    Why can’t climate scientists tell the truth on renewables??

    Sorry for any typos, other stuff to do.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1976309/MOVING%20TO%20A%20DELIVERABLE%20AND%20HONEST%20ENERGY%20POLICY%20Outside%20the%20EU.doc

  12. When confronted with a problem and my life depended upon my correct solution and I only have one hour to come up with that solution, I would spend 55 minutes identifying the correct question. Then 5 minutes on the solution as that is the easy part. (Paraphrased of Albert Einstein)

  13. “…He pointed to Tesla as an example and the increasing popularity of electric vehicles.” Doesn’t coal generate practically the same carbon footprint as Oil?
    For all the science and engineering folks out there, If we switched all cars to electric tomorrow How does that reduce our carbon footprint?

    • Powers, because electric cars are 90% efficient and ICE are 25%
      That is the largest point. But also, the grid is only 30% coal in USA. The rest is from much cleaner sources.
      FWIW, I am called a”climate denier” and a “Tesla Fanboy” at the same time :)

      • Move it one step back and think system. Conventional US coal is 34% thermal efficient and the grid is 70-90 percent efficient to the home depending on where and when. So 0.9 ecar* 0.34 egen * 0.9 eTD best case = 0.28. Its a wash energy wise. Not to mention range anxiety and car cost. A little fact elaborated in much more detail in the Chevy Volt mpg sticker example in The Arts of Truth. The correct Chevy Volt mileage using the EPA driving assumptions for the sticker is 35 mpg, not 60mpg per EPA sticker. Same basic thought errors.
        Please dont hold Tesla stock long. Best short I have seen since Bombay Co. That went $60 to $6 in 6 months. Made a pile on that, and made a Swiss friend (former colleague) happened to visit at the time an even bigger pile.

      • ristvan:
        “Chevy Volt mileage using the EPA driving assumptions for the sticker is 35 mpg, not 60mpg per EPA sticker.”

        Do you ever check out the reviews of the Chevy Volt on the popular auto web sites? There are dozens of detailed first hand reviews put out every year by highly qualified professional drivers and engineers and most rate the Volt as a very good car.
        The on board computer in my Volt keeps a running calculation of my combined gas/electric mileage since it was manufactured. It says 56.3 mpg after 16850 miles driven. I would note that I use my own solar array (96.5% efficient) to recharge my Volt 98% of the time and since I live in N. Texas and am a customer of Green Mountain Energy even my grid usage is from mostly wind power (www.ercot.com/content/cdr/html/real_time_system_conditions.html).

        As a side note, I received my annual Chesapeak Energy gas royalty check for the calendar year 2016 last month. It was $38.36. Just enough to buy one full tank of gas. Oil & Gas companies will steal you blind and there is very little we can do about it.

      • Jack, the onboard computer in your Volt makes the same mistake the EPA did. It assumes the battery only portion is 93mpge, same as EPA. The book used the actual EPA sticker to prove this assumption. That assumption is provably flawed. Example just worked out the details. Thermal generating efficency 10%. The battery’s radiator and exhaust equivalent.

      • ristvan,
        I keep exact records of what I spend on operating my car. I get 34.2 miles per gallon (gas only) and 4.1 miles per kilowatt hour, averaged over the 5,324 miles I have driven since I bought the car used (off lease). Almost all my miles are electric, so much so my Volt forces me to periodically run the gas engine just to circulate the fluids. I have a dedicated eGuage sensor to measure every single watt of electricity I use to recharge my car. I also have a wireless ODC-II reader that lets me access all of the internal registers of the Volt’s computers so I can directly read the data myself with the Torque-Pro diagnostic software. Please go find me a creditable Volt review that backs up your claims. Try Car & Driver, Road & Track, Edmunds, Kelly Blue Book, Motor Trend, publications that have been doing it for decades. I could be wrong but I don’t believe you know anything about owning and operating a car like the Volt. Go test drive a 2017 Volt, you might like it.

  14. Pingback: Newt Gingrich gave the scientific community a gruesome opportunity. – Peter is in the Forest

  15. Every step in the “it’s warming” to “we must do this” is underpinned by the Precautionary Principle. That has slid conveniently into the shadows.

    From observation to program the basis is we “must” assume the worst because the worst is not survivable. It is the reason we evacuate a 50 storey office building because a fire alarm has gone off somewhere, even though those on the scene can’t find evidence of a fire. But is a global economic “evacuation” an appropriate response for the temperature rise since 1850? I’d say not.

    If we can’t get a social grip on the Precautionary Principle in an uncertain environment, we’ll always find panicked response as the default policy.

  16. Hmmm.

    ==> Trump being called anti-science because climate science, etc. isn’t at the top of his agenda. ==>

    Trump called climate change a “Chinese hoax.” He advocated alarmist reactions to Ebola in direct contradiction to the recommendation of medical scientists. He has reinforced the idea that autism is linked to vaccines (based on purely anecdotal reasoning). He claims that there has been massive voter fraud without presenting evidence to support his claims. He appointed a woman to be education secretary whose husband advocates for the teaching of intelligent design alongside evolution in science classes. He promoted the idea that Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. without having any basis in evidence. His vice-presidential choice is an opponent of stem-cell research, and published an article on his website that suggests that smoking doesn’t cause cancer. His choice to head the White House Office of Management and Budget thinks that there shouldn’t be government funded research, specifically in to Zika and questioned the link between Zika in pregnant mothers and birth defects in their children. He insists that the “Central Park Five” are guilty despite DNA evidence exonerating them. He ridiculed the problem of concussions causing brain damage in football players. And for a good laugh, Google what he has to say about hairspray, the ozone, and whether or not using hairspray in doors has an impact on the effect.

    ==> JC message to scientists: start behaving like scientists, and make your arguments …==>

    Good advice, So now then, exactly why do people call Trump anti-science?

    • Oh, this was a good tweet:

      –snip–
      Donald J. TrumpVerified account
      ‏@realDonaldTrump

      .@dubephnx If we didn’t remove incredibly powerful fire retardant asbestos & replace it with junk that doesn’t work, the World Trade Center would never have burned down.
      –snip–

  17. richardswarthout

    I recently read an article on the importance of an energy mix; necessary to maintain reliability. This has, in the past, probably been stated here at CE, but was missed by me regarding its central importance. One aspect of this mix that I was previously not aware of was the importance of coal due to the possibility of interruptions in gas supply, with coal being the only fuel that can economically be stored in large quantity, at the power plant.

    Keep warm,

    Richard

  18. “Trump seems to have a relatively open mind so there seems to be much opportunity for rational and well argued inputs to be provided.”

    This very morning at my coffee boutique, I listened as a space telescope engineer described how Trump is canceling Exobiology research because he believes in Creationism.

    Trump doesn’t want evidence of life on other planets to be found.
    He also heckles little girls at piano recitals.

    We won’t be having a rational discussion with the irrational.

  19. “we see scientists marching on DC”. Why? That’s what some scientists can do better than anything else.

    Proof: Questions from HSC physics exams in 2000 and 2010

    2000: Two HSC students, Kim and Tran, are at a grass ski slope that is 6·00 m high. Both Kim and Tran are wearing frictionless grass skis. Kim has a mass of 68·0 kg (including skis). Tran has a mass of 56·0 kg (including skis). Initially they are both at rest, Kim at the top of the slope and Tran at the bottom. Kim slides down the slope and collides with Tran. (a) Calculate Kim’s speed immediately before the collision. (b) After the collision, Kim moves with a speed of 6·26 m s–1 at an angle of 30·0° from his initial direction of travel, and Tran moves off at an angle of 30·0° on the other side of Kim’s initial direction of travel, as shown in the diagram.

    2010: Magnetic resonance imaging is a current technology that uses superconductors. Identify two other technologies that use superconductors. Evaluate the impact of these technologies on society and the environment.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4151966/Michelle-Simmons-says-HSC-curriculum-changes-horriying.html

    Now, in 2017, some of those 2010 high school students are scientists. And they are marching.

  20. I see a need for a university course for scientists, political science, and liberal arts students, to teach them a little bit of what happens in real life after scientists come up with something. Some of them actually think climatologists are properly trained to decide what we are supposed to do.

  21. The Gingrich speech, as much as we’re given in EOS, was pretty much spot on.

    I think he is right about the Trump administration, they have a political viewpoint, a place to stand, an idea of how government should work but it should be confused with “A Plan” — with very few exceptions, they have said,
    “We’ll do this to start, and that will give us time to study things out and determine the best plan”.

    It wiull be interesting to see how things turn out.

    I would like to see some kind of total overall review of Climate Science by world renown disinterested [not currently locked into a problem-solutiuon set] experts in the fields concerned — physics, fluid dynamics, solar studies, etc, .

    It is an opportunity to hit the Restart button on the topic.

    • correction: “but it should NOT be confused with “A Plan”

    • In her comments to my essay, here, almost exactly a year ago, aptly titled “Discussion: can we hit the ‘restart’ button?”, Judith Curry wrote:

      “What might trigger pushing the reset button? Well in the U.S., election of any of the Republican presidential candidates might do it. Funding priorities for scientific research and energy policy would change. Many scientists would be relieved, I’m sure others would be horrified. If the U.S. climate change funding were to be redirected to be predominantly for natural climate variability, would the rats desert the sinking funding ship and start focusing on natural variability?”

      We didn’t exactly get a “Republican” president, but we did get not-a-Democrat and not-a-Clinton.
      Maybe we’ll get that Restart after all.

  22. “It’s warming
    It’s caused by us
    It’s dangerous
    We can do something about it

    Once you break the link in the reasoning described in the above bullets”

    I’m curious, how are you going to manage to break the links in the bullet points above?

    It’s not an impossible task, and we are starting to do a lot.

    Has anyone found that source of natural warming yet?

    “developing a true understanding of climate variability and change, how extreme weather and slow climate change influences societies and ecosystems, and the most effective ways of dealing with the regional impacts of climate variability and extreme events that accounts for a regions specific vulnerabilities and socioeconomic situation.”

    This is just techno babble

    • richardswarthout

      bobdroege,

      Perhaps techno babble only to the few inside the climate bias consensus bubble.

      Richard

    • Has anyone found that source of natural warming yet?

      Wim Röst says its cause is “‘Warming’ and ‘The Pause’ Explained By Wind, Upwelling And Mixing” at:

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/26/warming-and-the-pause-explained-by-wind-upwelling-and-mixing/

    • “We can do something about it”

      It would be best if the “something” we did about it:

      1) actually addressed and significantly reduced anthropogenic CO2 output;

      2) reduced costs of energy supply;

      3) could be done without ongoing subsidies

      That way, it would tend to be self sustaining – the benefits would be immediate and obvious.

      Current “solutions” do none of these things, and so will only continue because of emotional arguments about “the children” etc. Completely unsustainable and therefor worse than useless – actually burning the capital ($ and good will) required to find and implement real, working, sustainable solutions.

    • boberoege
      The simplist way is to distinguish adaptation as cost effective versus mitigation which is not. See the common sense prudence of Christopher Lord Monckton:

      “If the cost of the premium exceeds the cost of the risk, don’t insure” !

    • “It’s warming
      It’s caused by us
      It’s dangerous
      We can do something about it

      Once you break the link in the reasoning described in the above bullets”

      This is just techno babble

      Yes. It is techno babble. Over the last few posts, the CE comments have largely dodged dealing with the key issue – i.e. that there is a lack of valid evidence showing the GHG emissions or GW are a threat. The key issue for justifying climate policies is being dodged. It seems almost everyone, an all sides of the debate, do not want to deal with this issue. It is the elephant in the room. It is the Achilles Heel of the climate alarmists’ belief.

      • Peter:
        “i.e. that there is a lack of valid evidence showing the GHG emissions or GW are a threat.”

        There is not.
        There – I can hand-wave a win in a difference of opinion as well.
        So it must be at the very least a draw then?
        Until one sees the science, which has that possibility at the top of the range and with increasing evidence that mid estimate would give rise (next century) to major problems for the (greater than?) 7bn pop of Earth.

      • Impacts

        Life thrives in warm periods and struggles in cold periods. One line of evidence is there is more carbon tied up in the biosphere and less continental aridity during warm times (IPCC AR4 WG1); e.g.:

        “Lower continental aridity during the Mid-Pliocene” https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch6s6-3-2.html

        “10% – 33% less terrestrial carbon storage at the LGM compared to today (300-1000 GtC less C in biosphere at GCM compared with preindustrial 300 GtC)” https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch6s6-4-1-4.html

    • Simple.

      Require that evidence be produced linking bullet 2 with bullet 3.

      Don’t have to even bother asking for evidence linking bullet 3 with bullet 4.

      In both cases it doesn’t exist. Otherwise they wouldn’t need a 300 year projection for social cost of carbon.

      • Dead right. This is the key point. Almost everyone here is either unaware of the importance of this key point, or they are avoiding the issue.

      • Peter,

        I don’t think they are unaware. It is possible that their interest is elsewhere.

        However I do agree that if one wants to transition the discussion from science to policy, it becomes the single most important issue.

      • However I do agree that if one wants to transition the discussion from science to policy, it becomes the single most important issue.

        Without benefits/damages IS the single most important issue for justifying any funding for climate policy and for climate research. If GHG emissions are net-beneficial rather than net damaging, most of funding that is being provided to climate-justified policies and research, is not justified and should be stopped.

    • BobD- the weak link is “we can do something about it”. Most of the alarmists and main stream media, along with many governments are ignoring the fact that aside from killing off 6-7 billion people there is currently no way to provide a standard of living even at near poverty levels in the 1st world for all the world. To do so requires way more energy than will be available by any known means much before 2100. That would require a massive, multi-nation crash nuclear power program. Otherwise most of the world will be stuck with a basic diet and their smartphones and not much else.

  23. Kyoto was constructed by quick borrowing from past practice with other
    treaty regimes dealing with ozone, sulphur emissions and nuclear bombs
    which, while superficially plausible, are not applicable in the ways that the
    drafters assumed because these were “tame” problems (complicated, but
    with defined and achievable end-states), whereas climate change is
    “wicked” (comprising open, complex and imperfectly understood systems).
    Technical knowledge was taken as sufficient basis from which to derive
    Kyoto’s policy, whereas “wicked” problems demand profound understanding
    of their integration in social systems, and their ongoing development.
    The presentation of Kyoto as the only course of action has raised the
    political price of admitting its defects, not least because it would mean
    admitting that the non-signatories may have been right in practice,
    whatever their motives. Its advocates invested emotional as well as political
    capital in the process, making it difficult to contemplate the idea that it is
    fatally flawed. Its narrow focus on mitigating the emission of greenhouse
    gases (in which it has failed) has created a taboo on discussing other
    approaches, in particular, adaptation to climate change. Failure to adapt
    will cost the poor and vulnerable the most.

    For the past fifteen years, it has given the concerned public an illusion of
    effective action, tranquillising political concern. This has been, perhaps, its
    most damaging legacy.

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/units/mackinder/pdf/mackinder_Wrong%20Trousers.pdf

    There is a political agenda. Climate risks are hyper-inflated to advocate the overturn capitalism and democracy – and energy cost increase is the key plank it seems. The urban doofus hipster vision involves narratives of moribund western economies governed by corrupt corporations collapsing under the weight of the internal contradictions – leading to less growth, less material consumption, less CO2 emissions, less habitat destruction and a last late chance to stay within the safe limits of global ecosystems. And this is just in the ‘scholarly’ journals. At the very least it leads to misguided social engineering ambitions.

    It has spurred an understandable contrarian reaction – and the middle ground is lost.

    https://watertechbyrie.com/2016/01/10/climate-policy-at-the-nexus-of-development-environment-and-climate/

    • Rob,

      Check out Peter Zeihan. He thinks there are other, probably inescapable factors that will lead to the collapse of growth. If your nation depends on exports – ala China, Germany – and the US decides the 70 year old Bretton Woods framework has come to the end of its usefulness to the US, then you may be in serious trouble. For Australia that could be collapse of raw materials exports to China. The Japanese have already recognized this and are working on a plan to heavily invest in American manufacturing and infrastructure.

    • Reading up on something called the Triffin dilemma. Lacking a relatively stable standard for exchange, such as the gold standard, one currency(currently the US dollar) will become the global reserve currency. Once the US went off the gold standard, because it was unsustainable, inevitably the US must run a trade deficit to provide enough dollars to balance the world need for dollar liquidity.
      The financial elites are trying to figure out how to solve the problem. The logical choice would be a return to the gold standard, without a fixed gold price. That would cause the price of gold to rise when more liquidity is needed and increase gold production.

      The world survived quite well under that kind of a regime for some 400 years, with short, sharp recessions and short boom/bust cycles in the world economies.

  24. GW not being relevant – Electric cars (14 million per year US – 72M worldwide) and supplementing the power grid with Lithium (storage) will be automatic dependency of foreign Lithium, particularly for the US. A very bad direction to take. Why are we racing to be dependent on foreign Lithium? Makes no sense.

    • Albert,
      While my first objection to your comment is that we are dependent for many resources from many places in the world, and most lithium at least doesn’t come from countries that are openly hostile to us. However, a quick online research found this: University of Wyoming researchers found the lithium while studying the idea of storing carbon dioxide underground in the Rock Springs Uplift, a geologic formation in southwest Wyoming. University of Wyoming Carbon Management Institute director Ron Surdam stated that the lithium was found in underground brine. Surdam estimated the located deposit at roughly 228,000 tons in a 25-square-mile area. Extrapolating the data, Surdam said as the uplift covered roughly 2,000 square miles, there could be up to 18 million tons of lithium there, worth up to roughly $500 billion at current market prices.
      My question to you is, why are you racing to attack new technologies without doing any research before commenting?

  25. Alas the politicization of science by the scientific societies headquartered in DC continues at a rabid pace with its selective outrage and unawareness of its own hypocrisy. It’s telling beyond measure that a note sent out by the American Chemical Society this morning starts out with this line:

    “Recent White House executive orders and various rumors about possible political intrusion….”

    It’s sad that the ACS chooses to respond to rumors rather than wait a few weeks? months? to see what is really going on.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Pete Bonk,
      Years later when the post mortems are done, this factor of the Learned Societies will, I suspect, be one of the major influences that led to political acceptance when it should not have.
      Maybe, when we think about it, reasonable people like you and me when faced with a major policy decision about AGW would finally seek advice and defer to such Learned Societies worldwide as the final act before signing off.
      Previously, I had thought of these Societies as contacts to recommend expert individual sources of specialist knowledge. Like, ask the ACS for the best polymers chemist for a certain class of polymers. ACS gives names.
      I had not seem the societies as somewhat self-contained Committees who took it upon themselves for a few committee people to club together and issue a set of principles/recommendations, as seems to have been done often.
      This second way seems to have a high probability of doing just what this post is about, some premature presumption forcing the play..

  26. The world today is manufacturing the same stuff as a few years ago, while at the same time building and installing an entirely new power system. Doing the math, today manufacturing is emitting the same CO2 as a few years ago while emitting an additional renewable energy creationism CO2. Removing hydro-power from the renewable mix, windmills and solar still only account for 5% of needed output. Hydro-has no growth to speak of and current consideration is to shutdown much of that hydro to preserve nature. I don’t think we know what the hell we are doing. Where’s ENRON?

  27. True to themselves-scientists have a champion in Trump. The good-ole boy peer review system-scientists are the frightened ones.

  28. To find a natural cause of climate change – first, one has to be looking for that natural cause. I am strongly suspicious of the cause of El Nino. The Sun can’t cause a localized area of the Pacific Ocean to warm suddenly, on interval. Perhaps its a heat source more near and under that ocean area not above. Governed by tectonic plate shifts?

  29. Besides we don’t have global warming. We do have Arctic warming, however.

  30. Surprising that Gingrich got invited. Good talk. Winds of change in DC?
    The ‘solution’ got coupled to the ‘problem’ because the problem was falsely portrayed as urgent and Greens hate nuclear, another solution when this mess was gaining traction. And then the coupling was reinforced by renewable subsidies that created an automatic self interest feedback.
    Trump was on record many times during the overall campaign as pro science and pro environment (clean air and water).
    It is just that he and advisors like Myron Ebell (EPA transition team head) know that climate change (aka CAGW) is neither. He is moving fast on a lot of campaign promises. He will get around to climate and climate regs and subsidies and science quality in due course. Wall planning started. Closer vetting started. Regulatory rollback started. ACA revamp started. Scotus pick made, and a very good one. Cabinet filled out with brilliant and surprising Tillerson move on one of Trump’s own weak points. Pipelines restarted. Mattis to Asia. May visit. Iran ballistic missle sanctions. aQiY raid. Not bad for just 11 working days in office. He will work his way around to the rest of his campaign promises soon enough. And, he and his team are slowly becoming more ‘presidential’–Red Cross charity ball at Mar a Lago Saturday night, trip to Dover yesterday to honor fallen Chief SO Owens, tweets more on WH point as with the Berkeley riot.

    • I surprised how the President changes so much in the on-goings of society. Sanctuary city in Florida more or less voluntarily changing to non-sanctuary, Gingrich, NYT reporters suddenly wanting to be journalists …

    • Any political movement is aided if non-governmental entities can be promised economic benefits and enlisted to help “pull” while the governing bodies “push”.

      The proposed solutions were therefore coupled to the problem in order to create a few multi-billion-dollar beneficiaries and a host of smaller “winners” all the way down to the food cart vendors at work sites.

      The problem is that the prescribed transition includes the premature destruction of valuable and highly productive assets and their replacement with a far more expensive patchwork of unproven systems of likely lower productivity and reliability.

  31. “one of the real tragedies that totally distorted the debate over climate change was that it got tied into the solution in a way that if you accepted the first you had to accept the second. And I think that was profoundly wrong.” – Newt Gingrich

    Newt Gingrich is correct. But this is not the most important tragedy of climate change dogma. The greatest tragedy is that we have no idea whether GHG emissions are doing harmful or beneficial over all. It’s a tragedy that after 30 years of climate research and distraction of politics, economics and researchers from research into more important issues, the policies that have been attempted so far have done far more harm than good to the world. The policies advocated would do much more harm than the previous policies.

    The last thread demonstrates that those blogging here have little understanding of what is important. They keep yapping on about temperatures and trying to imply temperature change can be equated to damages. Temperature change is not a measure of benefit or damage.

    • PL, we have learned things. The ice sheet tipping point fears were exaggerated to the point of academic misconduct. Several guest posts on that. Extinctions grossly exaggerated by a bad paper and then misrepresented by AR4. Essay No Bodies in ebook Blowing Smoke. Observational sensitivity half of modeled suggesting no serious future problem. Greening, which is a benefit.
      The reason all we have is trumped up SCC is the climate movement would fold if an honest realistic assessment of costs (damages) and benefits was made. Many on the climate gravy train likely know and fear that deep down somewhere inside.

      • Rud,

        Thank you. I agree we’ve learnt things. What is important is the consequences of GHG emissions in terms of impacts and benefits or damages. We’ve hardly even researched that; i.e. the most important issue of all from the point of view of being able to justify policy has hardly been studied. One can confirm this by looking at the references used to derive the damage functions, e.g. for FUND3.9 http://www.fund-model.org/versions . And it is confirmed repeatedly in AR5, WG3, Chapter 3.

        The reason all we have is trumped up SCC is the climate movement would fold if an honest realistic assessment of costs (damages) and benefits was made.

        I strongly agree with this point. Can you suggest someone who would be capable of and willing to run FUND to produce charts like Figure 3 here: http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/climate_change.pdf for a range of inputs, e.g.:

        ECS (e.g. 1.65C to 3C)
        RCP
        Discount rate
        Regional temperature conversion factor (Replace the values in FUND 3.9, Tables, Table RT, p33, https://05f0e81c-a-5f9963c9-s-sites.googlegroups.com/a/fund-model.org/fund-model/Fund-3-9-Scientific-Tables.pdf with values from Scotese, 2016, Figure 12 here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275277369_Some_Thoughts_on_Global_Climate_Change_The_Transition_for_Icehouse_to_Hothouse_Conditions )

      • My problem is I don’t think running any IAM (is FUND one? dunno) is a useful exercise. Piles assumptions on assumptions out into ridiculous multidecade to multi century time frames. No sensible business person does that. And just invites eternal assumption debate, no closure.
        My view is that there are much better, more vulnerable, and politically easier for laypersons to understand points of attack, not subject to eternal warmunist quibbles because just simply true. Example, Dr. Susan Crockford: polar bears do NOT depend on late summer Arctic ice. And warmunists have never suggested winter Arctic ice would not form for the polar bear spring seal hunts that sustain them year round. Keep firing such heavy ‘artillery’ at warmunists.

      • Rud,

        My problem is I don’t think running any IAM (is FUND one? dunno) is a useful exercise. Piles assumptions on assumptions out into ridiculous multidecade to multi century time frames. No sensible business person does that. And just invites eternal assumption debate, no closure.

        As I’ve said many times, to justify funding climate policies, the policy analysts have to do cost-benefit analyses of the proposed policy and compare the expected net-benefit against the net-benefit of alternative uses for the funds. Like it or not, that’s how it is done when the funds have to be budgeted. That is not going to go away. We either improve the Damage Functions in the IAMs or they will continue to be used without proper critical review, like it or not. Or we continue with innuendo implying that temperature increase is bad without evidence.

        BTW you do not have to accumulate for 300 years to estimate costs and benefits of a policy. You only have to accumulate that long to estimate SCC. This chart shows net-benefits of 7 policy options for this century (all the policies have negative net benefit, i.e. they are net-damaging).

        Source: https://anglejournal.com/article/2015-11-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed/

      • Pick one that doesn’t have implications for population and emissions.

        http://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/post-2015-consensus/summary-research

        And the problem is not primarily with extinctions – it is crashing populations on a massive scale. The passenger pigeon weren’t all killed – the population was reduced to an unsustainable level and the population crashed.

        https://watertechbyrie.com/2015/10/04/biological-abundance-and-economic-growth/

  32. “Conflating the climate problem with the solution”

    There is no climate problem. We should just enjoy the warm period that we are living. The climate problem will come after it ends.

    • Javier,

      I would appreciate your thoughts on this comment: https://judithcurry.com/2017/01/29/the-threat-of-climate-change/#comment-836115

      I asked on Real Climate (Comment 163 here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2017/01/unforced-variations-jan-2017/comment-page-4/#comment-669799 ) and Clive Best’s blog http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=7591#comment-11841 if there is a better chart of Phanerozoic global temperatures than Scotese’s Figure 15. Clive Best responded.

      However, on Real Climate there was only one response and it was dismissive. I also asked Gavin Schmidt by email, but he dodged the question (he gave a link to a 2014 post criticising the 2008 version of Scotese’s chart and saying it was a travesty that climate scientists have not produced a chart of Phanerozoic temperatures. They still haven’t, as fas as I can see). This strongly suggests to me that there is no better chart, and Scotese may be correct.

      If so, this implies that IAM’s estimates of damages from higher GHG concentration may be grossly exaggerated. I explain this in the comment I am hoping you will comment on (i.e. reply to my comment linked above). I think this is very important for demonstrating whether or not GHG emissions are a significant threat.

      • Peter, you may want to obtain factors, a day factor, night factor, seasonal factor. An interesting article, that I can’t find now, was highlighting the increased growth (health) of plants when they were looking for harm. The plants were, IIRC, in biomes where the authors thought they would be measure harm and upwards movement in elevation. They found some upward movement, but found increased growth not harm at the original elevations. From what I have been able to gather, there is a benefit that is being ignored, and the the present harm functions are not including. It is the dark cycle of photosynthesis. If the warmth is found typically poleward and effects the minimum more so than the maximum temperatures, this will somewhat tend to increase growth poleward, but more enhanced plant growth by more efficient dark cycle renewal throughout, based on typical lows that would inhibit the reaction are more likely to occur at night, and early or late in the growing season. There were several papers on spring occurring earlier,as the indication of harm. However, it may be that the earlier spring is more about enhanced warmth of the colder and that it is a benefit and not an indication of potential harm as these articles were proposing.

      • johnfpittman,

        Thank you. I agree with all you say in this comment. I have written comments on this previously. Two days ago on the previous thread I mentioned:

        An increase of 3C amounts to around 1C warming of the tropics. This is negligible. All other latitudes will get improved climate – milder nights and winters and longer growing seasons.

        For context see: https://judithcurry.com/2017/01/29/the-threat-of-climate-change/#comment-835915

        Yes, I have also seen papers and reports on the increased biosphere productivity as the planet warms and CO2 concentration increases. IPCC AR4 WG1 Chapter 6 has more on this, and I quoted and linked some here: https://judithcurry.com/2016/11/25/week-in-review-science-and-policy-edition-3/#comment-826498

        From what I have been able to gather, there is a benefit that is being ignored, and the present harm functions are not including.

        Yes. That’s my impression too. I notice that Richard Tol gives all credit to increasing CO2 concentration and none to increased warming, and the longer growing season in extra-tropical latitudes. I also think it is important to note that Tol’s (and, I expect, all the GCMs and IAMs) are grossly over estimating the warming in the tropics and underestimating the warming in the extra-tropical regions). Clive Best made this comment in response to my comment on his web site:

        I had a quick scan of Scotese’s writing and it looks spot on to me. I am not a Paleo expert so can’t tell you if it is widely accepted. I am pretty sure he is right that tropical temperatures are limited to ~30C, so that it is just latitude profile temperatures that change when moving to ‘hothouse’ conditions. Enhanced CO2 GHE will never bring about such hothouse conditions because arrangement of land masses and in particular the Tibet plateau are not conducive. AGW will be a damp squid on geological scales.

        http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=7591#comment-11839

    • Javier, pls send your guest post again, my Georgia Tech account was closed. mail me at curry.judith at yahoo.com

      • Wow. Wilco also. So GT did not honor the usual emeritus status like with Lindzen at MIT. Will update my electronic Rolodex now. Can still send you stuff. If fails, my coordinates have not (yet) changed. Highest regards.

      • The problem is that my GT mailbox had all my email addresses! that is the worst thing.

      • David Springer

        Your account wasn’t closed. Mail is being delivered to it. They took away your access to it. You can use this service to see if an email server has an account for any given email address.

        http://email-checker.net/check

        Yours is still there. I wondered what was going on when I wrote you twice without my mail bouncing or getting a response from you since you’d never failed to respond in the past. Now I know.

      • I forwarded new email to yahoo account. I have no access to my archived email or email addresses

      • David Springer

        I’d get a lawyer to send a letter asking that your email be forwarded for a reasonable period of time and your address book contents be saved to file and given to you.

        This is an absurd thing to do to a tenured professor who resigned. Georgia Tech should be ashamed.

      • In such cases a bit of a help from an enterprising Russian hacker might be the ultimate solution, not that I would recommend it.

    • + one million

  33. Pingback: Conflating the climate problem with the solution | privateclientweb

  34. The climate problem is the poor understanding of the dynamics (redistribution of mass) thus allows a legitimate questioning of the underlying physics.

    The road not taken now has travelers abroad again.

    Makarieva et al
    http://www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/acp-2017-17/

  35. Not sure people realize these protests might as well be the Committee to Re-Elect Donald Trump. Their brand of noxiously self-righteous extremism is exactly what people are voting against.

  36. I think I may have a solution– If we don’t to reward academics for engaging in global warming pseudoscience, all we have to do is figure out something else they can do to save the world without requiring them to actually provide any discernible benefit to society.

  37. Judith said “the ‘problem’ of global warming is utterly conflated with its ‘solution’, in the eyes of many climate scientists, not to mention the UNFCCC. I have argued many times that we have oversimplified by the problem of global warming and its solution.” in 1992 the UNFCCC defined the problem as being “manmade global warming.” Since the early 1990s the work on climate changed increased, and expanded to many fields, exponentially – based on an limited therefore incorrect definition of the problem.

  38. A case of the pot calling the kettle black. If the physics of CO2 and GHG warming were applied quantitatively to explain the temperature profile on another planet, and the effect of doubling CO2 on temperature, the skeptics would not complain about that science by itself. They complain because they conflate policy with plain scientific statements like that at 700 ppm, the planet would be 4 C warmer. I have always said that these should be separated. The next and completely separate question is whether we want 700 ppm or should we strive to keep it more like 400 ppm? That’s where the impacts and policy come in because we can control the CO2 level over that range.

    • Me, I’d be happy to deal with some of the science and uncertainty in it. That way we wouldn’t waste our time with speculative claims about ppm and degrees of temp.

      • Observations give a good relation between ppm and degrees. For 100 ppm per degree, which matches quite well as you can see, it is 2.3 C per doubling, and that is without models. Skeptics want to say coincidence, but that looks like a stretch when it is a 60-year coincidence.
        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1950/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.2

      • But the satellite temperatures, which actually measure atmospheric temperatures, give a completely different reading from these questionable surface statistical models. It is time to junk the Federally funded surface models as completely unreliable.

      • Satellites are the ones that use statistical models. Nothing beats thermometers for ground truth, so that is how they calibrate the satellites. Plus thermometers go back so much further.

      • Jim D, there is no thermometer that measures global temperature. Do you understand how they go from a convenience (aka availability) sample of thermometers to the global temperature statistical estimate? This is not a measurement. There is no “ground truth.”

    • Jim D, your “plain scientific statements like that at 700 ppm, the planet would be 4 C warmer” are plainly false. ECS and TCR are abstractions, not predictions.

      • The reason you don’t want to believe this can happen is politics. It is just a projection from what observations already show starting. Science can give reasons for it, but in the end it is observations that tell us this.

      • There is no observation of CO2 induced warming. In the satellite record, none whatever. The only warming since 1978 has been due to very strong El Ninos. I think that what you are calling an observation is just something inside your head, a groundless belief.

      • Why are you so sure that a forcing increase of 2 W/m2 from CO2 can’t lead to warming when we can even detect 11-year solar variations of 0.2 W/m2 in the temperature record?

      • El Niño events cannot warm anything since 1978. They are more than offset by La Niña events since 1978.

      • Also, volcanoes since 1978. Eastern Pacific cooling since 1978; volcanoes since 1978; fading sun since 1978. Your theory is pure fantasy.

      • “We do not have 60 years of observation of global temperatures. There is no way to observe global temperatures. The closest thing we have are the satellite measurements, which began in 1978. They show no CO2 warming whatsoever, just a small amount of El Nino warming”

        Patently untrue.
        And it doesn’t get any more “right” by repeating…

        Meanwhile in the storage bunker….

    • “At 700 ppm, the planet would be 4 C warmer.” You seem to actually believe it. Your right. But it is not your right to declare it a science.

      • You can deny it is possible too. I take 60 years of observations to support my case. What do you take?

      • We do not have 60 years of observation of global temperatures. There is no way to observe global temperatures. The closest thing we have are the satellite measurements, which began in 1978. They show no CO2 warming whatsoever, just a small amount of El Nino warming.

      • Most of the warming has occurred since 1978, and I think even satellites can detect that. You can see how exceptional this period is.
        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/mean:120/mean:240/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.2/plot/gistemp/from:1985/trend

      • Jim D, that is not a satellite reading. It is a surface statistical model that is falsified by the satellite readings, to which it bears no resemblance. You really do not understand this, do you?

      • David, you have it the wrong way round.
        But no doubt you deny the veracity of sonde trop temp measurement as well,
        and that they can become mysteriously all wrong just at the point that the sat temp (brightness) sensor changes ….

      • DW, I didn’t plot a satellite because I don’t trust them. Here are two trends from the same UAH data. These have structural uncertainty according to their own experts because they consist of about 15 satellite datasets end to end each with their own calibration and drifts and some very primitive instrumentation in the early years. Don’t get too attached to V6.0 because Spencer could change it again, and significantly. This type of adjustment makes Karl’s buoy adjustment look like peanuts, but you don’t complain when these happen.
        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/mean:120/mean:240/plot/uah5/trend/plot/uah6/trend

      • If I understand ZH, the satellite ocean components of RSS and UAH were already in agreement with Karl 15 before Karl 15 was published.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Jim D,
      Your ‘statement’ about 700 ppm CO2 and 4C warming is NOT a scientific statement, as you label it. It is guess about numbers yet to be quantified enough to be useful. Childlike plots of trends mean nothing. Cause and quantitative effect mean something. You will make no progress until natural variation is able to be separated from anthropogenic.
      Why do you repeat this absurd ani-science falsity when you know it to be wrong. What motivates you to deceive?
      Geoff

  39. I recall an email from the Climategate cache which I believe was to the UK Green Party mailing list from one of the UEA guys. To paraphrase “Even if we’re wrong about global warming, the solutions are still correct.”

  40. Pingback: Newt Gingrich On Science, Climate Policy And Trump | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  41. I’d say climate scientists ought to change fields to learn what science is, and then maybe go back if it’s still appealing. I doubt it will be.

  42. Scientists should start acting like scientists, instead of activists. Here is an example of the junk science they are pushing. We are completely failing to teach critical thinking skills.
    Climate “Science” on Trial; Confirmed Mythbusters Busted Practicing Science Sophistry
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/climate-science-on-trial-confirmed-mythbusters-busted-practicing-science-sophistry/

  43. BTW, has anyone bothered to look at what these activists want to spend on fighting this Quixotic war on climate change? It is measured in multiples of world GDP. That isn’t a joke.

    Just How Much Does 1 Degree C Cost?
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/just-how-much-does-1-degree-c-cost/

  44. One of the biggest solution–>problem issues is ideological. There are lots of people in the environmental movement, including scientists, who believe that our exponential growth is inherently unnatural and immoral, and that fossil fuels are both an enabler and symbol of that pathology. Long before the AGW issue was on the agenda of anyone, they were advocating the same “solution” they are now–forced cutbacks in energy production and consumption on a drastic level. So it is natural for neutral observers to be concerned that the “problem” is mostly interesting for its potential to enable the “solution.”

    Suppose when all this alarm had begun that the modal, agenda-setting “solution” had been geoengineering by, say, suspension of reflective aerosols in the atmosphere. If there had been an influential coalition of weather-control nuts and macro-project promoters who had been agitating for decades for large-scale geoengineering, then readiness to believe in the “problem” would have been drastically lower in “green” precincts and the ideological valence of the debate might have been reversed.

  45. Truly good, common sense advice Dr. Curry.

    Now I’ll scroll through the comments to see who ignores it.

  46. All this discussion about temperatures is irrelevant for policy. Only impacts and their benefit or damage cost are relevant. Temperature change is not a measure of benefit or damage.

  47. Let’s not call it chaos – It is a word that conceals many sins. Chaos is revealed by the behaviour of systems that are both complex and dynamic. In climate I have seen it described as tremendous energy cascading through powerful sub-systems. Climate is unpredictable – and so there are costs and benefits. To calculate costs and benefits of respones you need to understand the scope of responses.

    The global coupled atmosphere–ocean– land–cryosphere system exhibits a wide range of physical and dynamical phenomena with associated physical, biological, and chemical feedbacks that collectively result in a continuum of temporal and spatial variability. The traditional boundaries between weather and climate are, therefore, somewhat artificial. The large-scale climate, for instance, determines the environment for microscale (1 km or less) and mesoscale (from several kilometers to several hundred kilometers) processes that govern weather and local climate, and these small-scale processes likely have significant impacts on the evolution of the large-scale circulation (Fig. 1; derived from Meehl et al. 2001). The accurate representation of this continuum of variability in numerical models is, consequently, a challenging but essential goal. Fundamental barriers to advancing weather and climate prediction on time scales from days to years, as well as longstanding systematic errors in weather and climate models, are partly attributable to our limited understanding of and capability for simulating the complex, multiscale interactions intrinsic to atmospheric, oceanic, and cryospheric fluid motions.
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2009BAMS2752.1

    Modelling this – btw – would require 2000 times more computing power. Even then – it would be a far from a perfect numerical representation of climate.

    Finally, Lorenz’s theory of the atmosphere (and ocean) as a chaotic system raises fundamental, but unanswered questions about how much the uncertainties in climate-change projections can be reduced. In 1969, Lorenz [30] wrote: ‘Perhaps we can visualize the day when all of the relevant physical principles will be perfectly known. It may then still not be possible to express these principles as mathematical equations which can be solved by digital computers. We may believe, for example, that the motion of the unsaturated portion of the atmosphere is governed by the Navier–Stokes equations, but to use these equations properly we should have to describe each turbulent eddy—a task far beyond the capacity of the largest computer. We must therefore express the pertinent statistical properties of turbulent eddies as functions of the larger-scale motions. We do not yet know how to do this, nor have we proven that the desired functions exist’. Thirty years later, this problem remains unsolved, and may possibly be unsolvable. Slingo and Palmer op.cit

    There is a different approach that views climate as a network of interacting nodes. The nodes are observed climate indices that together represent the major modes of climate variability. Wyatt, Tsonis and Kratsov the way signals propagated through the network. Tsonis, Kratsov and Swanson looked at “synchronisation” – a property of chaotic behaviour – of the network. These are key ideas – but are only the first steps in developing a network math for climate.

    Climate is ultimately complex. Complexity begs for reductionism. With reductionism, a puzzle is studied by way of its pieces. While this approach illuminates the climate system’s components, climate’s full picture remains elusive. Understanding the pieces does not ensure understanding the collection of pieces. This conundrum motivates our study.

    Our research strategy focuses on the collective behavior of a network of climate indices. Networks are everywhere – underpinning diverse systems from the world-wide-web to biological systems, social interactions, and commerce. Networks can transform vast expanses into “small worlds”; a few long-distance links make all the difference between isolated clusters of localized activity and a globally interconnected system with synchronized [1] collective behavior; communication of a signal is tied to the blueprint of connectivity. By viewing climate as a network, one sees the architecture of interaction – a striking simplicity that belies the complexity of its component detail.

    Here’s a simple experiment in synchronisation. The metronomes synchronise – but what is not shown is that if external forces are applied the process repeats.

    Climate is of course many orders of magnitude more complex. Network math in climate may ultimately result in forecasts of tipping points. In the interim complexity requires that we abjure certainty in favour of a realistic assessment of the limits of scientific knowledge. But then – if we knew all the answers it wouldn’t be fun.

    • I have shown this many times – the evidence is rock solid and high resolution over the Holocene.

      Christopher Moy and colleagues examined a sediment core from Laguna Pallcacocha in southern Ecuadora. More rainfall and runoff In El Niño conditions wash more red sediment into the lake. So we know it was pretty rainy in South America a 1000 years ago. Some 5,000 years ago there was a change from dominant La Niña anomalies to dominant El Niño – that dried the Sahel. Just 3,500 years ago there were a long series of El Niño with red intensity greater than 200 and civilisations fell. For comparison – red intensity in the ‘monster’ 1997/1998 El Niño event was 99.

      There is a certainty that climate extremes over the Holocene – mega-droughts and mega-floods – exceed by a considerable margin extremes of the 20th century. Confining ourselves to the risks of AWG – supported by a flood of very poor science – misses the point entirely.

    • El Niño can cause ocean cooling as energy moves from the ocean to the atmosphere in accordance with the 2nd law of thermodynamics. We can see this with 21st century technology. The recent decline in ocean temp is associated both with El Niño and rising tropospheric temps.

      The other major components – greenhouse gases and clouds – overcame the ocean cooling to see both ocean and atmosphere warming. A conundrum for another time. But it suggests that greenhouse gases and clouds together had a stronger influence than apparent at first glance. The rate of increase in greenhouse gas forcing was 0.7 W/m2 – the net radiative forcing in the tropics from the ERBE was 1.4W/m2 with decreased solar reflection and increased IR emission.

      The situation in the 21st century seems very different with little change in net radiative forcing and little growth in greenhouse gas forcing. The reasons for the latter deserve further exploration.

      None of the climate science demands a Kyoto style response – but it remains the usually unstated assumption. Kyoto did not work. COP21 locks in an 8.8% increase in energy emissions to 2030.

    • The alternative to a narrow focus on energy is to build on a broader cast of objectives – critical problems of biodiversity loss, development, food security, health and education, safe water and sanitation and resilience to drought and flood. Succeeding in all these things provides the clearest path to the future.
      At the same time – almost as an afterthought – we can take 350 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and return it as 100 billion tonnes of carbon to soils and ecosystems. The key is halting and reversing carbon loss.

      Carbon sequestration in soils and vegetation has major benefits in addition to offsetting anthropogenic emissions from fossil fuel combustion, land use conversion, soil cultivation, continuous grazing and cement manufacturing. Restoring soil carbon stores increases agronomic productivity and enhances global food security. Increasing the soil organic content enhances water holding capacity and creates a more drought tolerant agriculture – with less downstream flooding. There is a critical level of soil carbon that is essential to maximising the effectiveness of water and nutrient inputs. Global food security, especially for countries with fragile soils and harsh climate such as in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, cannot be achieved without improving soil quality through an increase in soil organic content. Wildlife flourishes on restored grazing land helping to halt biodiversity loss. Reversing soil carbon loss is a new green revolution where conventional agriculture is hitting a productivity barrier with exhausted soils and increasingly expensive inputs.

      Increased agricultural productivity, increased downstream processing and access to markets build local economies and global wealth. Economic growth provides resources for solving problems – conserving and restoring ecosystems, better sanitation and safer water, better health and education, updating the diesel fleet and other productive assets to emit less black carbon and reduce the health and environmental impacts, developing better and cheaper ways of producing electricity, replacing cooking with wood and dung with better ways of preparing food thus avoiding respiratory disease and again reducing black carbon emissions. A global program of agricultural soils restoration is the foundation for balancing the human ecology. Fifty countries have joined France to commit to a global project of increasing soil carbon by 0.4% per year.

    • And if you are looking to nuclear power – it is making tremendous advances.
      The sort of investments needed to bring these technology advances to commercial release are a relative pittance.

      https://watertechbyrie.com/2016/06/18/safe-cheap-and-abundant-energy-back-to-the-nuclear-energy-future-2/

    • … so therefore are costs and benefits..

      And I obviously missed some html code apologies

    • Apologies for the exceptionally long post. I was conflating science and policy. There is so much more than carbon dioxide in the bigger picture.

  48. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
    ~
    Good point.

  49. 1) It’s warming
    2) It’s caused by us
    3) It’s dangerous
    4) We can do something about it

    The links from 1) through 4) are about guilt. There’s much guilt we are supposed to be feeling. People attempt to find guilt with ExxonMobil. The way to torque guilt is with more danger. Torque it with high climate sensitivity. With the IPCC attribution statement. With human induced levels of SLR of 50% or higher.

    The message is we are guilty. It’s as if they are talking to criminals that feel no guilt. That we are mentally sick in some way. I suppose they are trying to cure us. They’ve wrote papers about what’s wrong with us, they’ve pushed us away and that might cause us to to feel guilt. Have I done something wrong? Am I normal? There’s guilt my association with taking fossil fuel money.

    The campus cupcakes movement is about harms that people are supposed to feel guilty about. Links for that:

    1) My feelings were hurt, I am not safe
    2) You caused that
    3) I may have to quit school, at least this one
    4) We can do something about this, you have to change

    The last point says, there’s something wrong with you who hurt a campus cupcake. We are going to try to guilt you into doing the right thing.

  50. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #257 | Watts Up With That?

  51. Gingrich is correct, of course, and his position is consistent with that of Brorn Lomborg.

    AGW may well be real, and may well have deleterious long-term effects–but the science and modeling are uncertain, and even if they are accepted at face value, the proposed actions do next to nothing to change the trend, at massive cost. Better to invest in things that make a difference to people and the environment… like providing potable water to the 2Bn people who don’t have it, or actions to preserve the rain forests, or… many things.

    Maybe we will learn enough about the climate to someday have a truly reliable understanding of how it works, and to make forecasts that are worth acting on. If all that points to bad things, maybe we can come up with actions that would be cost-effective. When that day arrives, let’s talk.

    But, until that time comes, we have better things on which to spend scarce resources.

  52. It looks like changes to the climate are caused by periodic emissions of heat from the oceans, like El Nino. That’s why the atmospheric temperature record is so spiky. I used to think that was just signal noise. How dumb was I? When we understand it this way it’s a lot harder to blame CO2.

    Blaming CO2 gave ‘deep greens’ a new sense of moral righteousness, more gusto and activity. I constantly hear: “We need to cut our emissions down. We should be using less energy”.

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