Manufacturing consensus: the early history of the IPCC

by Judith Curry

Short summary: scientists sought political relevance and allowed policy makers to put a big thumb on the scale of the scientific assessment of the attribution of climate change.

Bernie Lewin has written an important new book:

SEARCHING FOR THE CATASTROPHE SIGNAL:The Origins of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The importance of this book is reflected in its acknowledgements, in context of assistance and contributions from early leaders and participants in the IPCC:

This book would not have been possible without the documents obtained via Mike MacCracken and John Zillman. Their abiding interest in a true and accurate presentation of the facts prevented my research from being led astray. Many of those who participated in the events here described gave generously of their time in responding to my enquiries, they include Ben Santer, Tim Barnett, Tom Wigley, John Houghton, Fred Singer, John Mitchell, Pat Michaels . . . and many more.

You may recall a previous Climate Etc. post Consensus by Exhaustion, on Lewin’s 5 part series on Madrid 1995: The last day of climate science.

Read the whole book, it is well worth reading.  The focus of my summary of the book is on Chapters 8-16 in context of the theme of ‘detection and attribution’, ‘policy cart in front of the scientific horse’ and ‘manufacturing consensus’. Annotated excerpts from the book are provided below.

The 1970’s energy crisis

In a connection that I hadn’t previously made, Lewin provides historical context for the focus on CO2 research in the 1970’s, motivated by the ‘oil crisis’ and concerns about energy security. There was an important debate surrounding whether coal or nuclear power should be the replacement for oil. From Chapter 8:

But in the struggle between nuclear and coal, the proponents of the nuclear alternative had one significant advantage, which emerged as a result of the repositioning of the vast network of government-funded R&D laboratories within the bureaucratic machine. It would be in these ‘National Laboratories’ at this time that the Carbon Dioxide Program was born. This surge of new funding meant that research into one specific human influence on climate would become a major branch of climatic research generally. Today we might pass this over for the simple reason that the ‘carbon dioxide question’ has long since come to dominate the entire field of climatic research—with the very meaning of the term ‘climate change’ contracted accordingly.

This focus was NOT driven by atmospheric scientists:

The peak of interest in climate among atmospheric scientists was an international climate conference held in Stockholm in 1974 and a publication by the ‘US Committee for GARP’ [GARP is Global Atmospheric Research Programme] the following year. The US GARP report was called ‘Understanding climate change: a program for action’, where the ‘climate change’ refers to natural climatic change, and the ‘action’ is an ambitious program of research.

[There was] a coordinated, well-funded program of research into potentially catastrophic effects before there was any particular concern within the meteorological community about these effects, and before there was any significant public or political anxiety to drive it. It began in the midst of a debate over the relative merits of coal and nuclear energy production [following the oil crisis of the 1970’s]. It was coordinated by scientists and managers with interests on the nuclear side of this debate, where funding due to energy security anxieties was channelled towards investigation of a potential problem with coal in order to win back support for the nuclear option.

The emergence of ‘global warming’

In February 1979, at the first ever World Climate Conference, meteorologists would for the first time raise a chorus of warming concern. The World Climate Conference may have drowned out the cooling alarm, but it did not exactly set the warming scare on fire.

While the leadership of UNEP (UN Environmental Programme) became bullish on the issue of global warming, the bear prevailed at the WMO (World Meteorological Organization). When UNEP’s request for climate scenario modelling duly arrived with the WCRP (World Climate Research Programme) committee, they balked at the idea: computer modelling remained too primitive and, especially at the regional level, no meaningful results could be obtained. Proceeding with the development of climate scenarios would only risk the development of misleading impact assessments.

It wasn’t long before we see scientific research on climate change becoming marginalized in the policy process, in context of the precautionary principle:

At Villach in 1985, at the beginning of the climate treaty movement, the rhetoric of the policy movement was already breaking away from its moorings in the science. Doubts raised over the wildest speculation were turned around, in a rhetoric of precautionary action: we should act anyway, just in case. With the onus of proof reversed, the research can continue while the question remains (ever so slightly) open.

Origins of the IPCC

With regards to the origins of the IPCC:

Jill JÅNager gave her view that one reason the USA came out in active support for an intergovernmental panel on climate change was that the US Department of State thought the situation was ‘getting out of hand’, with ‘loose cannons’ out ‘potentially setting the agenda’, when governments should be doing so. An intergovernmental panel, so this thinking goes, would bring the policy discussion back under the control of governments. It would also bring the science closer to the policymakers, unmediated by policy entrepreneurs. After an intergovernmental panel agreed on the science, so this thinking goes, they could proceed to a discussion of any policy implications.

While the politics were already making the science increasingly irrelevant, Bert Bolin and John Houghton brought a focus back to the science:

Within one year of the first IPCC session, its assessment process would transform from one that would produce a pamphlet sized country representatives’ report into one that would produce three large volumes written by independent scientists and experts at the end of the most complex and expensive process ever undertaken by a UN body on a single meteorological issue. The expansion of the assessment, and the shift of power back towards scientists, came about at the very same time that a tide of political enthusiasm was being successfully channelled towards investment in the UN process, with this intergovernmental panel at its core.

John Houghton (Chair of Working Group I) moved the IPCC towards a model more along the lines of an expert-driven review: he nominated one or two scientific experts—‘lead authors’—to draft individual chapters and he established a process through which these would be reviewed at lead-author meetings.

The main change was that it shifted responsibility away from government delegates and towards practising scientists. The decision to recruit assessors who were leaders in the science being assessed also opened up another problem, namely the tendency for them to cite their own current work, even where unpublished.

However, the problem of marginalization of the science wasn’t going away:

With the treaty process now run by career diplomats, and likely to be dominated by unfriendly southern political agitators, the scientists were looking at the very real prospect that their climate panel would be disbanded and replaced when the Framework Convention on Climate Change came into force.

And many scientists were skeptical:

With the realisation that there was an inexorable movement towards a treaty, there was an outpouring of scepticism from the scientific community. This chorus of concern was barely audible above the clamour of the rush to a treaty and it is now largely forgotten.

At the time, John Zillman presented a paper to a policy forum that tried to provide those engaged with the policy debate some insight into just how different was the view from inside the research community.  Zillman stated that:

. . . that the greenhouse debate has now become decoupled from the scientific considerations that had triggered it; that there are many agendas but that they do not include, except peripherally, finding out whether and how climate might change as a result of enhanced greenhouse forcing and whether such changes will be good or bad for the world.

To give some measure of the frustration rife among climate researchers at the time, Zillman quoted the director of WCRP. It was Pierre Morel, he explained, who had ‘driven the international climate research effort over the past decade’. A few months before Zillman’s presentation, Morel had submitted a report to the WCRP committee in which he assessed the situation thus:

The increasing direct involvement of the United Nations. . . in the issues of global climate change, environment and development bears witness to the success of those scientists who have vied for ‘political visibility’ and ‘public recognition’ of the problems associated with the earth’s climate. The consideration of climate change has now reached the level where it is the concern of professional foreign-affairs negotiators and has therefore escaped the bounds of scientific knowledge (and uncertainty).

The negotiators, said Morel, had little use for further input from scientific agencies including the IPCC ‘and even less use for the complicated statements put forth by the scientific community’.

There was a growing gap between the politics/policies and the science:

The general feeling in the research community that the policy process had surged ahead of the science often had a different effect on those scientists engaged with the global warming issue through its expanded funding. For them, the situation was more as President Bush had intimated when promising more funding: the fact that ‘politics and opinion have outpaced the science’ brought the scientists under pressure ‘to bridge the gap’.

In fact, there was much scepticism of the modelling freely expressed in and around the Carbon Dioxide Program in these days before the climate treaty process began. Those who persisted with the search for validation got stuck on the problem of better identifying background natural variability.

The challenge of ‘detection and attribution’

Regarding Jim Hansen’s 1998 Congressional testimony:

An article in Science the following spring gives some insight into the furore. In ‘Hansen vs. the world on greenhouse threat’, the science journalist Richard Kerr explained that while ‘scientists like the attention the greenhouse effect is getting on Capitol Hill’, nonetheless they ‘shun the reputedly unscientific way their colleague James Hansen went about getting that attention’.

Clearly, the scientific opposition to any detection claims was strong in 1989 when IPCC assessment got underway.

Detection and attribution of the anthropogenic climate signal was the key issue:

During the IPCC review process (for the First Assessment Report), Wigley was asked to answer the question: When is detection likely to be achieved? He responded with an addition to the IPCC chapter that explains that we would have to wait until the half-degree of warming that had occurred already during the 20th century is repeated. Only then are we likely to determine just how much of it is human-induced. If the carbon dioxide driven warming is at the high end of the predictions, then this would be early in the 21st century, but if the warming was slow then we may not know until 2050.

The IPCC First Assessment Report didn’t help the policy makers’ ‘cause.’ In the buildup to the Rio Earth Summit:

To support the discussions of the Framework Convention at the Rio Earth Summit, it was agreed that the IPCC would provide a supplementary assessment. This ‘Rio supplement’ explains:

. . . the climate system can respond to many forcings and it remains to be proven that the greenhouse signal is sufficiently distinguishable from other signals to be detected except as a gross increase in tropospheric temperature that is so large that other explanations are not likely.

Well, this supplementary assessment didn’t help either. The scientists, under the leadership of Bolin and Houghton, are to be commended for not bowing to pressure. But the IPCC was risking marginalization in the treaty process.

In the lead up to CoP1 in Berlin, the IPCC itself was badgering the negotiating committee to keep it involved in the political process, but tensions arose when it refused to compromise its own processes to meet the political need.

However, the momentum for action in the lead up to Rio remained sufficiently strong that these difficulties with the scientific justification could be ignored.  

Second Assessment Report

In context of the treaty activities, the second assessment report of the IPCC was regarded as very important for justifying implementation for the Kyoto Protocol.

In 1995, the IPCC was stuck between its science and its politics. The only way it could save itself from the real danger of political oblivion would be if its scientific diagnosis could shift in a positive direction and bring it into alignment with policy action.  

The key scientific issue at the time was detection and attribution:

The writing of Chapter 8 (the chapter concerned with detection and attribution) got off to a delayed start due to the late assignment of its coordinating lead author. It was not until April that someone agreed to take on the role. This was Ben Santer, a young climate modeller at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.

The chapter that Santer began to draft was greatly influenced by a paper principally written by Tim Barnett, but it also listed Santer as an author. It was this paper that held, in a nutshell, all the troubles for the ‘detection’ quest. It was a new attempt to get beyond the old stumbling block of ‘first detection’ research: to properly establish the ‘yardstick’ of natural climate variability. The paper describes how this project failed to do so, and fabulously so.

The detection chapter that Santer drafted for the IPCC makes many references to this study. More than anything else cited in Chapter 8, it is the spoiler of all attribution claims, whether from pattern studies, or from the analysis of the global mean. It is the principal basis for  the Chapter 8 conclusion that. . .

. . .no study to date has both detected a significant climate change and positively attributed all or part of that change to anthropogenic causes.

For the second assessment, the final meeting of the 70-odd Working Group 1 lead authors . . . was set to finalise the draft Summary for Policymakers, ready for intergovernmental review. The draft Houghton had prepared for the meeting was not so sceptical on the detection science as the main text of the detection chapter drafted by Santer; indeed it contained a weak detection claim.

This detection claim appeared incongruous with the scepticism throughout the main text of the chapter and was in direct contradiction with its Concluding Summary. It represented a change of view that Santer had only arrived at recently due to a breakthrough in his own ‘fingerprinting’ investigations. These findings were so new that they were not yet published or otherwise available, and, indeed, Santer’s first opportunity to present them for broader scientific scrutiny was when Houghton asked him to give a special presentation to the meeting of lead authors.

However, the results were also challenged at this meeting: Santer’s fingerprint finding and the new detection claim were vigorously opposed by several experts in the field.

On the first day of the Madrid session of Working Group 1 in November 1995, Santer again gave an extended presentation of his new findings, this time to mostly non-expert delegates. When he finished, he explained that because of what he had found, the chapter was out of date and needed changing. After some debate John Houghton called for an ad-hoc side group to come to agreement on the detection issue in the light of these important new findings and to redraft the detection passage of the Summary for Policymakers so that it could be brought back to the full meeting for agreement. While this course of action met with general approval, it was vigorously opposed by a few delegations, especially when it became clear that Chapter 8 would require changing, and resistance to the changes went on to dominate the three-day meeting. After further debate, a final version of a ‘bottom line’ detection claim was decided:

The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.

All of this triggered accusations of ‘deception’:

An opinion editorial written by Frederick Seitz ‘Major deception on “global warming” appeared in the Wall Street Journal on 12 June 1996.

This IPCC report, like all others, is held in such high regard largely because it has been peer-reviewed. That is, it has been read, discussed, modified and approved by an international body of experts. These scientists have laid their reputations on the line. But this report is not what it appears to be—it is not the version that was approved by the contributing scientists listed on the title page. In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the NAS and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.

When comparing the final draft of Chapter with the version just published, he found that key statements sceptical of any human attribution finding had been changed or deleted. His examples of the deleted passages include:

  • ‘None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.’
  • ‘No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic [manmade] causes.’
  • ‘Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced.’

On 4 July, Nature finally published Santer’s human fingerprint paper. In Science, Richard Kerr quoted Barnett saying that he is not entirely convinced that the greenhouse signal had been detected and that there remain ‘a number of nagging questions’. Later in the year a critique striking at the heart of Santer’s detection claim would be published in reply.

The IPCC’s manufactured consensus

What we can see from all this activity by scientists in the close vicinity of the second and third IPCC assessments is the existence of a significant body of opinion that is difficult to square with the IPCC’s message that the detection of the catastrophe signal provides the scientific basis for policy action.

The scientific debate on detection and attribution was effectively quelled by the IPCC Second Assessment Report:

Criticism would continue to be summarily dismissed as the politicisation of science by vested interests, while the panel’s powerful political supporters would ensure that its role as the scientific authority in the on-going climate treaty talks was never again seriously threatened.

And of course the ‘death knell’ to scientific arguments concerned about detection was dealt by the Third Assessment Report, in which the MBH Hockey Stick analysis of Northern Hemisphere paleoclimates effectively eliminated the existence of a hemispheric medieval warm period and Little Ice Age, ‘solving’ the detection conundrum.

JC reflections

Bernie Lewin’s book provides a really important and well documented history of the context and early  history of the IPCC.

I was discussing Lewin’s book with Garth Paltridge, who was involved in the IPCC during the early years, he emailed this comment:

I am a bit upset because I was in the game all through the seventies to early nineties, was at a fair number of the meetings Lewin talked about, spent a year in Geneva as one of the “staff” of the early WCRP, another year (1990) as one of the staff of the US National Program Office in the Washington DC, met most of the characters he (Lewin) talked about…… and I simply don’t remember understanding what was going on as far as the politics was concerned.  How naive can one be??  Partly I suspect it was because lots of people in my era were trained(??) to deliberately ignore, and/or laugh at, all the garbage that was tied to the political shenanigans of international politics in the scientific world.  Obviously the arrogance of scientists can be quite extraordinary!

Scientific scepticism about AGW was alive and well prior to 1995; took a nose-dive following publication of the Second Assessment Report, and then was was dealt what was hoped to be a fatal blow by the Third Assessment Report and the promotion of the Hockey Stick.

A rather flimsy edifice for a convincing, highly-confident attribution of recent warming to humans.

I think Bernie Lewin is correct in identifying the 1995 meeting in Madrid as the turning point. It was John Houghton who inserted the attribution claim into the draft Summary for Policy Makers, contrary to the findings in Chapter 8.  Ben Santer typically gets ‘blamed’ for this, but it is clearly Houghton who wanted this and enabled this, so that he and the IPCC could maintain a seat at the big policy table involved in the Treaty.

One might forgive the IPCC leaders for dealing with new science and a very challenging political situation in 1995 during which they overplayed their hand.  However, it is the 3rd Assessment Report where Houghton’s shenanigans with the Hockey Stick really reveal what was going on (including selection of recent Ph.D. recipient Michael Mann as lead author when he was not nominated by the U.S. delegation).  The Hockey Stick got rid of that ‘pesky’ detection problem.

I assume that the rebuttal of the AGW  ‘true believers’ to all this is that politics are messy, but look, the climate scientists were right all along, and the temperatures keep increasing.  Recent research increases confidence in attribution, that we have ‘known’ for decades.

Well, increasing temperatures say nothing about the causes of climate change.  Scientists are still debating the tropical upper troposphere ‘hot spot’, which was the ‘smoking gun’ identified by Santer in 1995 [link]. And there is growing evidence that natural variability on decadal to millennial time scales is much larger than previous thought (and larger than climate model simulations) [link].

I really need to do more blog posts on detection and attribution, I will do my best to carve out some time.

And finally, this whole history seems to violate the Mertonian norm of universalism:

universalism: scientific validity is independent of the sociopolitical status/personal attributes of its participants

Imagine how all this would have played out if Pierre Morel or John Zillman had been Chair of WG1, or if Tom Wigley or Tim Barnett or John Christy had been Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 8. And what climate science would look like today.

I hope this history of manufacturing consensus gives rational people reason to pause before accepting arguments from consensus about climate change.

366 responses to “Manufacturing consensus: the early history of the IPCC

  1. More about the pre history of the IPCC and consensus science can be found in this essay:

    “The Evolution of International Cooperation in Climate Science”

    It’s written from the perspective of science reinforcing the ideals and methods of democracy, and believe it or not, the “pursuit of a free, stable, and prosperous world order”, excerpt:

    “Fostering transnational scientific links became an explicit policy for many of the world’s democratic governments, not least the United States. It was not just that gathering knowledge gave a handy excuse for creating international organizations. Beyond that, the ideals and methods of scientists, their open communication, and their reliance on objective facts and consensus rather than command would reinforce the ideals and methods of democracy. As political scientist Clark Miller (2001, 171, passim) has explained, American foreign policy-makers believed the scientific enterprise was “intertwined with the pursuit of a free, stable, and prosperous world order.” Scientists themselves were still more strongly committed to the virtues of cooperation. For some, like oceanographers, international exchanges of information were simply indispensable for the pursuit of their studies. To many, the free association of colleagues across national boundaries meant yet more: It meant advancing the causes of universal truth and world peace (e.g., Hamblin 2002, 14).”

    • thanks for spotting this

    • The sentiment (or at least, the positive aspects of it) is well represented in the Star Trek franchises. It dogmatizes notions of co-operation and diplomatic dealmaking – notions that have been important in the bureaucrat/technocrat domain ever since the Bretton Woods agreements.

    • In this article and elsewhere, Weart presents a teleological narrative of triumph that suppresses the conflicts and historical dead-ends. For example, he neglects the resistance of meteorologists at WCRP in the face of strong pressure to directly address the CO2 question. This resistances ( between 1980 and the foundation of the IPCC) was explicitly and actively supported by the WMO Sec General and by its Exec Council. Another neglect is the fact that when the IPCC was originally established it was the panel of country delegates who were supposed to undertake the assessment. Houghton quickly converted Work GP 1 to an expert assessment and the others soon followed. It was also Houghton who pushed for consensus position, downplaying conflicting views, while Bolin repeatedly called for the recording of dissenting views.

      • Bernie, I saw the premise of this paper as being, in essence, a celebration of what consensus can do, it described many things antithetical to good science. I mentioned something to this effect before, having posted this essay a couple times, but obviously this thread is the best fit for the discussion. The essay represents an example of how documenting certain facts, while excluding others, misrepresents an overarching theme. Thanks for your elaboration and effort to comment on it.

      • I must say that I did not fully re-read the essay, and so in writing from memory I may have missed what it exemplifies for you.

      • Bernie, I believe you hit the essence of it.

        There is one more question about the history that I posted down thread, from the below paragraph in the essay that I found intriguing. I’m curious if much is known about the ‘entrepreneurs’ referenced in this paragraph? Who were they? What were they trying to do?

        “Up to this point, the U.S. had dominated climate discussions (as it dominated most scientific affairs), while the rest of the world’s advanced nations were digging out of the ruins of the World War II. But now that the other economies and research establishments had recovered, international exchanges became crucial. The driving force, as one observer remarked, was “a small group of ‘entrepreneurs,’ who promoted what they viewed as global rather than national interests.” Blurring the distinction between government officials and nongovernmental actors, they organized a series of quasi-official international meetings, which were increasingly influential (Bodansky, 1997, quote at section 4.1.6). Some of the meetings were formally sponsored by WMO others by ICSU or UNEP. ”

        I think it could be an interesting exercise to reverse engineer the many citations in the essay to get at the rounded holistic views of the sources.

      • This view of the threat of policy ‘entrepreneurs’ related especially to the Villach-Bellagio science-policy workshops of 1987. See my page 232. New sources for this view are interviews conducted by Hirst for his PhD (2015?). Follow my citations.

      • dennisambler

        For Houghton, it is an article of faith, this from 2009, pre-Copenhagen, (and Climategate):

        “There is compelling evidence that the world is warming and the climate changing – largely because of human activities in burning coal, oil and gas. Through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world scientific community has been able to give detailed information about what is likely to happen.

        By mid century, there could be 150 million or more environmental refugees whose homes are no longer habitable either because of rising sea level, gross flooding or persistent drought.

        The way these effects fall on the world’s poorest peoples immediately raises an issue of justice on which all people of faith agree.

        There is therefore an inescapable moral imperative for rich countries to take the first action, first, to avoid further damage by rapidly reducing their carbon emissions and secondly, to share their wealth and skills with developing countries to enable them to adapt to climate change and build their economies sustainably.

        For people of faith this imperative comes over with particular potency. We live in times when we are raping the Earth and exploiting the poor.”

        “This speech will be delivered as part of a series of seminars exploring faith and development hosted by The Tony Blair Faith Foundation, the Department for International Development, Islamic Relief, World Vision and Oxfam”

        More of the same from Houghton, also 2009, likening “our climate crisis” to Joseph in Egypt and that we had 7 years, (2016) to control CO2 in order to avert global disaster.

      • Dennis, I was briefed by Houghton in 1990 (possibly 1989). At that stage he was saying that CAGW was an unproven hypothesis requiring further research. So it goes.

  2. My post titled “My 1995 Resignation Letter From The IPCC” is relevant –

    Also, as more examples,

    Pielke Sr., R.A., 2013: Climate Change Position Statement – Dissenting View. Eos, Trans. AGU, 94(34), 301, Copyright (2013) American Geophysical Union.

    Pielke Sr., R.A. 2013: Humanity Has A Significant Effect on Climate – The AGU Community Has The Responsibility To Accurately Communicate The Current Understanding Of What is Certain And What Remains Uncertain [May 10 2013]. Minority Statement in response to AGU Position Statement on Climate Change entitled: “Human-induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action” released on 8/5/13.

    Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences”. 88 pp including appendices.

    Pielke, R.A., Sr., 2002: State climatologists issue policy on climate change. EOS, Vol 83, #15

    Roger Sr

  3. Fascinating reading.

    From the 1990 IPCC Report Chapter 9 Executive Summary

    “There is no firm evidence ol accelerations in sea level rise during this century (although there is some evidence that sea level rose faster in this century compared to the previous two centuries)”

    In just 3 years, using a different methodology and new technology, and with miraculous coincidence, acceleration appeared. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    • You hate science, but it’s pretty cool stuff.

    • Since 1990, the average sea-level rise rate has been 3 mm/yr which is twice the 20th century average.

      • The post 1993 estimated increase of 3mm/yr. is based on satellite measurements. The 20th Century estimate of 1.7mm/yr. is based on tide gauges.

        Bait and switch, Jim D?

      • I have seen a graph where tide gauges have a faster recent rate than satellites, and anyway for a century average, tide gauges should be OK. Similarly for a 25-year average, there should be and is a close agreement.

    • 1900 to 1990 – 1.2 mm per year, Hay et al
      1993 – ~2.2 mm per year
      1993 to present – 3.29 mm per year
      last 20 years – 3.3 mm per year
      last 10 years – 4.24 mm per year
      last 5 years – 4.54 mm per year

      What does an acceleration look like? Lol. Bu but butt, the one-year SLR stasis.

      The last Cowtan and Hausfather study supports Hay et al.

      • 1990 IPCC no acceleration. 3 years later it’s all over the place. What a joke. Only a warmist would fall for that. Hilarious.

      • The joke is you have no response to science other than your uninformed personal incredulity.

      • The science of clouds, JCH?

        The IPCC is a political organization, not scientific.

      • We have been justifiably suspicious, since we learned that the Climategate Team had conspired to redefine the scientific literature peer review process.

      • Climategate was kibble for poor ‘umb ‘nimals. As gates in history go, not as significant as Billygate.

        Bjorn Stevens – Mr.Clouds, anointed a scientific good guy right here at CargoCult Etc. (versus all those bad guys,) is doing more clouds. Paper in press: 2.4K to 4.4K.

      • As the Rev. Jesse Jackson correctly observed: “Climate..gate…and..the pause…has killed..the cause.”

        Trump rules! We are on a fracking roll. The annoying little climate holy warriors are going to need extensive rehab.

        Come back in seven years, Just Climate Hysteria.

      • Nasty nonsense.

      • Some of the little annoying climate holy warriors are very delicate.

      • Houston and Dean 2012-“..we obtain small average sea-level deceleration…”
        Wenzel 2010-“…we do not find significant acceleration..”
        Parker 2016-“The absence of acceleration….indicates these rates are stable.”
        Gregory 2012-“….a relationship between global climate change and rate of GMSLR is weak or absent in the 20th Century.”
        Larsen 2006-“…difficult to demonstrate proportional relationships ( to increase in CO2…)
        Palanisamy 2015-(in Tropical Pacific) “….(AGW)…sea level fingerprint too small to be observable..”
        Munshi 2017-“…no evidence…rate of SLR..unnatural phenomena..”
        Stammer 2013-“Regional sea level changes may not be related to (AGW) forced long term trends….”
        Morner 2017-“….lack of any sign of an acceleration of trend.”
        Boretti 2012- (Sydney)”….does not show any signs of accelerated sea level rise…”
        Watson-“…consistent trend of weak deceleration…throughout Australasia.”

        There is no crying in baseball. There is no slam dunk in climate science. JCH and George Tenet have to wait in line for the Dr J Slam Dunk Trophy.

      • I notice the skeptics have given up on using numbers to make their point.
        Average sea-level rise rate in the 20th century: 1.5 mm/yr (15 cm in a century)
        Average sea-level rise rate since 1990: 3 mm/yr (7.5 cm in 25 years)
        Make of that what you will, or find your own versions of those two numbers. I call that an acceleration.

      • Jim D – I think Hay’s 1.2 mm per decade from 1900 to 1990 is looking better with each new study.

        If you like reading dead-end papers, there are a bunch listed up above.

      • Parker 2016-“The absence of acceleration….indicates these rates are stable.”

        Hilarious. Freaking hilarious. Fumes-in-the-tank ridiculous.

      • OMG! Paris will be under water in about 22,327 years. Actually, ice.

        Trump is very worried about the effect sea level rise will have on his re-election chances in 2020. Actually, I just made that up. Nobody cares.

      • In a week, I’m off to the shores of South Carolina and the Florida Panhandle where I’ll do my annual recalibration of which millennium the seawater will begin gurgling up through the kitchen floors of my favorite restaurants.

      • Thankfully they managed to stop Trump and Zinke putting oil rigs off Florida, the only state with an exemption. Soon it will just be the Dem coastal states that get all that offshore oil. Anyway, good for Mar-A-Lago, I guess. Does he have some coastal golf courses in other states to exempt?

      • Over the next seven years POTUS Trump is going to do a lot of stuff that will burn you up. Heavy drinking might help you cope.

      • Harry Twinotter

        “1990 IPCC no acceleration. 3 years later it’s all over the place. What a joke. Only a warmist would fall for that. Hilarious.”

        Why do I even bother? I know denial blogs are dull, not ever a small amount of credible evidence.

        Perhaps they found “evidence” of an acceleration because it is actually accelerating?

      • Trump considers opening the coasts to oil as a punishment, not a reward. The evidence is that he gave Florida an exemption as he will for his friends, but not for states like California who have also asked where to sign up for such a deal. This proves that he does not consider this oil expansion as a good thing. Watch which states get exemptions. It is complete hypocrisy. What it is is anti-Obama. Nothing drives Trump more than his obsession with doing the opposite of Obama, regardless of what the states want for themselves.

      • HT

        What a remarkable coincidence, voila, new system exactly matches up with a jumbo inflection point. Can’t make this stuff up. But it is the land of infinite gullibility.

      • All, based on tide gauges, going up sharply before the satellite era starts. Natural cycle!

      • Rates of SLR going up fast. Tide gauges or satellites, doesn’t matter.

      • A wonderful chart of the AMO! Oh, wait it’s not. It just looks like the AMO. In fact, almost a perfect mirror image of the AMO with a 1920-40 rate similar to recent rates, well before CO2 impacts. But thanks for sharing another example of natural variability at its finest. AMO is our friend. Beware of its flip.

      • It’s the PDO. And the flip already happened. The AMO has become a lousy little do-nothing but follow the global mean ocean cycle. You go ahead and worry about it. A good waste of your time.

  4. Judith, I find as important also the alienation Modeling-Paleoclimatology, and, seem to recall an early incident told about here (I believe) probably years ago: some activist rallying cry, or summoning, among leading climate scientists (where my impression was, it was dominated by Modeling: atmospheric-hydrosphere processes). Does it ring a bell, and would you (or anyone) happen to have some expression or link enabling to refresh what that might have been?

  5. Surely Maurice Strong was a key player in creating the IPCC to further his own agenda of making the UN the “World Governing Body”. He successfully used the techniques of Edward Bernays to drive public opinion to where it is now. The “I”in IPCC stands for Inter-governmental not Inter-scientific. Strong managed to orchestrate a situation in which a small group of scientists controlled the message, the government representatives substantially increased funding for climate science but the small IPCC clique controlled where the money went, who presented papers at conferences, what was published. For young academics the message was clear – follow the mantra or no career.

  6. I’ve purchased and read Bernie Lewin’s new book. It’s astounding reading.

    Taken together with Rupert Darwall’s new book “Green Tyranny: Exposing the Totalitarian Roots of the Climate Industrial Complex” it explains a lot.

    The pro nuke lobby, trying to perpetuate a scare to counter the anti-nuke scare mongers created a mess that certainly hasn’t helped their cause. The resulting corruption of science in the process isn’t their concern.

  7. Scientific Fascism; How to Manufacture a Consensus
    One of the most absurd claims is that there is a scientific “consensus” on something as infinitely complex as the causes of climate change. There may be an actual consensus on the existence of the greenhouse gas effect, something that can be experimentally demonstrated, but a consensus that CO2, a trace gas at 0.04% of the atmosphere,

  8. Political movements seem to be used by many different groups for many different purposes.

    In addition to anti CO2 supports pro nuclear, there are some other motives in the cause that I don’t see mentioned here, namely:

    Margaret Thatcher using CO2 as a hammer to end the coal miner strike in England, which was touched on in a BBC presentation.

    Also, int forming the UNEP, Maurice Strong enlisted the Club of Rome, who wrote:
    “The need for enemies seems to be a common historical factor. Some states have striven to overcome domestic failure and internal contradictions by blaming external enemies. The ploy of finding a scapegoat is as old as mankind itself—when things become too difficult at home, divert attention to adventure abroad. … In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill.

    Were either of these aspects covered in the book?

    • T. E. , yes there were other motives, some of them entirely outside science. Here the emphasis is on the science-policy interface viewed from the science side. Yes, these other motives are covered9, including one singular motor, viz., M. Strong. However, Strong is only dealt with through his involvement with Stockholm 1972, UNEP and Rio 1992. Others give a greater and more direct role to Strong, however I have not seen good evidence, so I withhold judgement. I have been told that Strong was directly influential with the wording of the FCCC during the INC process. This process I did not investigate in detail, but if Strong did push through some of the important passages (eg defn of climate change) then that is certainly worthy of note.

  9. Judith

    In my article on the ‘ intermittent little ice age’ two years ago I pointed this out;

    “In 2006 (Phil) Jones confirmed that the very warm 1730s decade (see Section 3.5) indicated natural variability greater than at first realised.”

    The 1730 decade was the warmest recorded decade until the 1990’s. It is captured well in CET but there are reports of its warmth from a variety of other countries. Lamb commented on it back in the 1970’s.

    The significance to Jones was that the 1730’s finished with a bang in 1740 with one of the coldest winters ever known in Britain, which caused his comment that natural variability was (and surely still is) underestimated.

    Some of the extraordinary contrasts in natural variability can be observed in British Climatic events which I have now studied back to around 1086. Earlier than that and myth and superstition start to play a large part and need to be sorted through


    • Tony, I have a good source for a C14 chart from 800 to 2000. Are you still interested in producing a grow/shrink chart for that period? If so, I’ll be happy to merge them if needed.

      • Jim

        I am currently in Austria so do not have access to my computer files but much of what I have done already exists on the nets.

        Can you merge your stuff with whatever is already out there or is new material needed?


    • Do you have search terms to help find quickly?

  10. A frightening 8 years ago I wrote an article on the politicisation of climate change as viewed from the UK who were leaders in in due to the Met office and the first climate change act


  11. When an important group of scientists in the climatology field decided to let themselves be used by politicians to advance a noble cause they started a much worse problem. Climate science is now trapped. It’s main proposition is not supported by evidence. Public opinion is now divided about science and scientists. They can’t recognize their mistake without paying a high price. Marching forward lemming-style hoping to be retired or dead when the mess is sorted out is their only option.

    • I spent a few moments over the holidays with an employee of NCAR. He claimed to have worked on the “1850 project” was all doom and gloom, stating things like “I sure wish I was born 15 years sooner.” He even stated what downer it was across the whole office when a scientist calculated how much methane would be released by warming. For him, the situation is hopeless, and he is one of the guys working on the modeling.
      I tried to educate him on past climates, before 1850, but I am pretty sure it had no effect. He had never heard of speleothems.

      • How could anybody have never heard of speleothems? Anyway, I’m glad it had no effect. Means NCAR has sharp people.

      • The young generation of climate scientists has been trained within the current paradigm, and most of them will not dare to question it.

        We should not expect any paradigm-shattering advance from the Marcotts and Housefathers of climate science. Just perseverance on their majors mistakes.

      • Are you absolutely sure he never heard of speleothems? Maybe he had heard of stalagmites and stalactites and other cave crystal formations.

        I don’t think speleothems are the holy grail for the overturning of the IPCC story.

        Maybe there is more than McDermott and Proctor.

        Do tell

      • The young generation of climate scientists has been trained within the current paradigm, and most of them will not dare to question it.

        Hilarious. Just imagine what they think when they see the likes of you slime them.

        This #AGU17 in New Orleans was amazing! Truly a week of wonders … but the joyful, joyful best part was watching our reinforcements – our epic young scientists – joining us at the breach! Welcome, welcome, welcome! We are going to need every single one of you! Woohoo! – Joellen Russell Ph.D

        When I was in college I had a summer job as a cave guide. One sticks tight to the ceiling; one might grow to meet them. I don’t think I ever ran into a grade school kid who did not already know what they were.

      • Oh, I dunno. I just expected someone claiming to be a climate scientist to be more knowledgeable about climates.

        Attribution didn’t seem to be anything he had pondered.

      • So all you have is a nice anecdote!

      • I have lots of anecdotes, and I still have a serious question about attribution and identifying departure in natural climate variability.

        If someone if going to be telling be about how bad the climate is, they better have an understanding of past climates, and one that goes beyond 1850.

      • So what do McDermott and Proctor say?

        About climate before 1850.

      • From my brief reading, McDermott and Proctor found climate variability to be a much broader range that what has been represented in popular media and the IPCC. Also, they found that precipitation was a better indicator of climate change than is temperature. Also, it seems they found that climate change is better correlated to changes in weather patterns and oscillations than some arbitrary global value.

        Did I miss your point completely?

      • <Means NCAR has sharp people.

        Yes the less there is in your head, the sharper and more focused one can be.

        AGW disciples are even more irrationally blinkered than 6-day creationists. For them the world was created in 1850. By Maurice Strong.

      • cryto666, so you are implying that the speleothem research was not incorporated into the IPCC reports?

        What, did you just look up McDermott and Proctor after I challenged you?

        The point you missed is that speleothems are not the holy grail of skepticism of the IPCC, climate models and the consensus.

      • The next step, which is obvious, they never take. Going now on decades. Which is to tie together the evidence in a way that demonstrates the MWP was global at the same time and warmer than today. They never take that step because they already know it wasn’t global at the same time, and the speleothems currently show that. So instead they try to fool people, and themselves, with a pile of evidence that shows it was warmer at various points around the globe at different times. Which, until they do the work successfully, adds up to it is warmer now than then; because that work has been done.

      • JCH

        Why does it have to be shown that temperatures in the MWP were as warm as today? That is trying to refute an argument that claims all the current warming is natural variability. Not many say that. It could be a combination of AGW and natural variability. As such then, it doesn’t have to be shown that MWP is exactly as warm. It is naive to believe paleo-reconstruction can nail the average global temperatures to a few tenths of a degree. The reasons for uncertainty of spatial coverage and amplitude are too numerous to be certain today’s temperatures are unprecedented. Studies show there were warm periods across the globe. The fact there was a general warm period and numerous regions were affected should place some doubts for any clear thinking individual about how special our current temperatures are.

      • Nope. But for cloudy thinking individuals, yes it would.

      • Brand new study out today estimating level of ocean floor deformation expanding capacity of world’s oceans, thus conjectutring why SLR not greater. Another study discussing greater amount of water being retained on continents and conjecturing why SLR is not greater. In both cases the point was that the “true” SLR is being masked by these factors. In a few decades there will be awards for most imaginative hypothesis of why the climate is not as catastrophic as predicted. I look forward to the award ceremony being televised, like the clown show last night. Clowns, except for Oprah, of course.

  12. Before giving over responsibility for our lives to visionaries of climate disaster like Al Gore we need real facts not convenient facts and not, politically-correct facts. An objective search for truth, wherever the facts may lead, may be a hard task and who but ourselves will put out all that effort for our sakes? We only place real value on ‘true’ facts that we come to know from within ourselves. Those who are so driven to look beyond what is convenient and fashionable are rightly skeptical of fads, the latest new religion or a consensus of opinion among those who hate us. Freeman Dyson said, “any good scientist ought to be a skeptic.”

  13. It snowed in Tampa, Florida in 1989. It snowed in Tallahassee today but NOT in Tampa– a clear sign of global warming!

  14. Think there’s an error in first paragraph of 1970’s Energy Crisis section. This would be sensible if last word was “oil”.
    “There was an important debate surrounding whether coal or nuclear power should be the replacement for coal. “

    • Cold Air, no I think ‘oil’ is correct. But it was more than about the oil crisis and even more than about the energy crisis. It was about coal competing with nuclear in the booming US electricity market. Postwar, coal was on the decline due to decline of steam locomotion and coal heating, while by the 60s it was booming in electricity generation and this became it’s great hope in the 1970s. On the nuclear side, What is not well remembered is that the 1960s boom in nuclear electricity generation was already coming to a crisis in 1973-4. This is the critical time when the department of energy came into being out of the old Atomic Energy commission – which continued to employ all the scientists in the National Labs who had previously worked on nuclear. The Labs’ ‘biological effects’ group turned attention from nuclear to fossil fuels. However coal had largely overcome its polution problems and sulphate scrubbing gave the label ‘clean energy’ to coal. But another issue was raised: The DoE Carbon Dioxide Program, born in the biological effects group at the Nat Labs in 1975, quickly won strong and continuing financial support. By 1980 This support had begun to dominate other climate science as it had failed to win siginificant General funding, and so the DoE program started to influence the orientation of university research groups (including foreign ones like CRU) and the orientation of careers (like that of J Hansen). This not the whole story, not at all, but it set the stage ready for the politicisation of this particular issue.

      • Berniel

        On the nuclear side, What is not well remembered is that the 1960s boom in nuclear electricity generation was already coming to a crisis in 1973-4.

        True. If you have not seen it, you might be interested in this paper on this subject (Published 2 weeks ago, open access): ‘Nuclear power Learning and Deployment Rates; Disruption and Global Benefits Forgone

        Also relevant to your point is the 1977 WAES report [1]

        In the preface to the third report of the Workshop, Wilson explained, “According to the best estimates, world crude oil production will peak and begin to decline with the next twenty-five years. The transition from oil to other forms of energy is coming more rapidly than most people
        realize.” The objective of WAES was to estimate energy supply and demand for the non-Communist world through the year 2000 and, using these projections as a basis, to identify feasible alternative energy strategies that individual nations might employ

        The WAES report projected that nuclear power would supply 14 to 21% of world primary energy by 2000. However, the transition to nuclear reached 4% of world primary energy by 1970, then stalled. The deployment rate of nuclear capacity is currently less than in 1972; the transition from fossil fuels to nuclear power has been stalled for 44 years.

        [1] Energy : global prospects, 1985-2000 : report of the Workshop on Alternative Energy Strategies (WAES), a project sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Carroll L. Wilson, project director.
        Workshop on Alternative Energy

      • BTW, I’ve been following your posts since about 2010, and have just bought your new book.

  15. This story of the rising of the climate agenda is more scaring than any of the prognostications they have made.
    It is worse than i thaugt.

  16. Here is an interesting series of posts describing and documenting how the Royal Society manufactured a consensus on dangerous global warming, now dangerous climate change.

    The Corruption of the Royal Society in the Climate Emergency
    Part 1: Never to give their opinion as a body

    Madrid 1995: Was this the Tipping Point in the Corruption of Climate Science?

    See the links to previous posts in the right pane. These are titles of
    Previous Posts
    • The 1970s Global Cooling Scare (and how the warming scare could not have happened without it)
    • Why the IPCC never writes its own reports
    • Remembering Madrid ’95: A Meeting that Changed the World
    • Tom Wigley: The skepticism and loyalty of CRU’s second director
    • Lamb wrap-up: Richard Scorer
    • The scientists and the apocalypse
    • The Scepticism of Hubert Horace Lamb Part II
    • The Skepticism of Hubert Horace Lamb
    • Code Blue in the Greenhouse:
    • Hubert Lamb and the assimilation of legendary ancient Russian winters
    • Millennium Idols: smash the Hockey Stick but smash the others too!
    • Enter the Economists Part III
    • Enter the Economists Part II
    • Enter the Economists: The Price of Life and how the IPCC only just survived the other chapter controversy
    • Madrid 1995: The Last Day of Climate Science (Part II)
    • Madrid 1995: The Last Day of Climate Science
    • Madrid 1995 and The Quest for the Mirror in the Sky (Part II)
    • Madrid 1995 and The Quest for the Mirror in the Sky
    • Madrid 1995: Was this the Tipping Point in the Corruption of Climate Science?
    • The Corruption of the Royal Society in the Climate Emergency

  17. Yeah, but what do we know now?

  18. From Rupert Darwall’s “The Age of Global Warming,” page 129:

    “Sir John Houghton wrote in the Financial Times. ‘We are sure that human activities are leading to climate change – although we do not claim yet to have detected it.’ ” ‘World climate needs concerted action’ 10th November 2010.

    • ‘We are sure that human activities are leading to climate change – although we do not claim yet to have detected it.’

      That about sums it up doesn’t it?
      And then they go on to propose action, with no measurable goals, no possible attainment, and no way of evaluating if actions are having good, bad, or any effect.
      It’s all about feelings….

      • I would surmise that those who are very well acquainted with weather and climate phenomenon are certain no measurement or calculation can prove any given point in question due to its complexity. Therefore, if you believe disaster is coming (generally a very religious force) then what is left to that individual or individuals is alarm and the gathering followers as proof.

  19. The best account/analysis of the Santer/Chapter 8 controversy is:
    Lahsen, M. (1999). The detection and attribution of conspiracies: the controversy over Chapter 8. Paranoia within reason: A casebook on conspiracy as explanation, 6, 111-136.

  20. I’m not so sure sure that Santer could have pulled it off without that beard, makes him look like a police detective, taking ‘fingerprints’ of the perpetrator.

  21. Thanks for calling attention to Lewin’s new book. I will read it before commenting. For sure IPCC was the leading edge to forging the consensus, with the now discredited AR3 hockeystick as the key tool. But my readings suggest IPCC is only part of the story, as it served primarily as a meta-analysis communications tool.

    • Agree only part of the story. The emergent narrative (separate to the science) of an urgent existential issue is wider, is part of the cited political pressure on the IPCC.

      • “Emergent narrative of an urgent existential issue”?

        There must be something I’m missing. Under the head “The 1970s energy crises” above, next to last paragraph it states: “The peak of interest in climate among atmospheric scientists was an international climate conference held in Stockholm in 1974 and a publication by the ‘US Committee for GARP’ [GARP is Global Atmospheric Research Programme] the following year. The US GARP report was called ‘Understanding climate change: a program for action’, where the ‘climate change’ refers to natural climatic change, and the ‘action’ is an ambitious program of research.”

        But the fully cited essay I posted upthread seems to disagree on history, while largely agreeing on many points overall, it diverges in particular as noted in the last two sentences here, stating on page 48: “If we pause to consider the state of affairs in the early 1970s, we see a rudimentary international regime in climate studies, comprised of components of various intergovernmental organizations, ad hoc conferences, and research programs such as GATE. From various platforms this regime was already making a consensus statement about the nature of the world: Climate change caused by humans might be a serious problem for the future. However tentative and vague, this consensus led to a consensus on clear policy advice: More money and organizational effort should be devoted to climate research. That advice did not infringe on established political or economic interests, and it was taken up with little controversy.”

        It doesn’t refer to “natural climatic change”.

        I’m not seeing the so called “emergent narrative” as being anything recent, human causation seemed to be in the crosshairs at least by the time of the World Climate Research Programme.

      • The paragraph I questioned references “The US GARP report”, maybe this report intentionally omitted human causation for US political reasons, we all know who does the most bankrolling don’t we? This is pure speculation on my part.

        My rationale comes from the Evolution of International Cooperation in Climate Science essay referencing GARP, the sentence “national panels to guide the participation by each individual nation” stands out.

        “The organization was inevitably complex. An international committee of scientists would set policy, helped by a small full-time planning staff in Geneva. Panels of specialists would design individual projects, while boards of government representatives would arrange for funding and other support. Also necessary was an additional layer: national panels to guide the participation by each individual nation (for the U.S., the group was appointed by the National Academy of Sciences).” Could this also be the reason the US GARP report used natural causation in its language?

        It’s a laudable goal to initiate a standards body to create consistency for how raw data is derived, but pre IPCC, GARP is where the wheels came off of climate science, IMO, if in fact human causation was ascribed this early; GARP represents the beginnings of climate science confirmation bias in the race to capture funding and vanity awards for career advancement: “Panels of specialists would design individual projects”. Specialists would “design” projects? I’m pretty sure awards weren’t handed out to disprove of any human causation hypothesis, threatening to cut-off governmental cash flow. Who these projects were awarded to almost certainly would already have a predisposition towards confirming their own ideas. There would be no incentive for a specialist to needlessly risk funding by directing cash towards a scientist who questioned the basis for a lucrative and politically fulfilling enterprise. It’s the proverbial carrot and stick approach for politicians and pundits to advance a political perspective. Early on, peer reviewed publication politically represented a seemingly unreproachable sledge hammer to advance political desires; specialists designed and manufactured peer reviewed evidence that supported AGW, it was not only financially rewarding for scientists who delivered the goods, but the rewards were self fulfilling in that they, from near the beginning, represented an indispensable quid pro quo arrangement.

      • Mop-Up-Crew:

        Sorry I don’t quite see what you mean here, but…

        “I’m not seeing the so called “emergent narrative” as being anything recent, human causation seemed to be in the crosshairs at least by the time of the World Climate Research Programme.”

        I didn’t say it was recent. These types of narrative are endemic to humans, with a constant turnover of proto-narratives that may rise at any time. When an emergent one has passed its course, elements may still survive and morph to the next successful emergence; some commonality regarding anxiety about GW with prior global cooling has been noted before. By ‘urgent’, I mean that the horizon for some kind of action is always ‘near’, no matter the details of narrative unfolding or where on its trajectory one happens to be. Regarding rewards and resource, such narratives are always self-fulfilling, usually for most adherents or at least an adherent elite, but always for the narrative itself; a narrative that emotively attracts the most resources towards its propagation will be the most likely to emerge to prominence (via blind selection; the narrative is not agential or sentient of course). A consensus building program across very many participants provides opportunity for this selection to dominate over scientific input, and the certainty of socially enforced consensus to dominate over scientific uncertainty.

      • Mop-Up, How can one decide if there is a significant human impact without knowing what the natural impact is? Especially for something like warming or cooling or even the ozone hole. Certain types of pollution that mainly occur due to humans are another case, of course, and easier to attribute.

      • andywest2012, thanks for the reply.

        First to be clear, I’m not challenging any of the excerpts from Lewin’s book, I’m just referring to what I perceive as a nuanced difference in history between two different sources, both sources appear to be above reproach. The book references the US GARP reports conclusion that warming was natural. The essay I reference gets into the internal mechanics of the GARP body doing the research, it appears that they all reached consensus that global warming was caused by humans even though in their US report they attribute it as being natural, it appears to be a tactical judgement. Obviously there was much skepticism in the scientific community overall during the era as both sources describe, but if the leaders of the GARP body already had a predisposition for AGW, then what’s that say about the biased leverage they were able to bring to the table, and the political figures who worked in tandem with them to secure funding?

        Another tidbit I found interesting that I hope the book elaborates on came from these paragraphs:

        “WCRP was the successor to the portion of GARP that had been concerned with climate change. It inherited GARP’s organization and logistics, including WMO administrative support plus its own small staff, and an independent scientific planning committee (Thompson et al., 2001; Jäger, 1992, iii; Fleagle, 1994, 176; Lanchbery and Victor, 1995, 31). As in GARP, the new organization’s main task was planning complex international research projects.”

        “Up to this point, the U.S. had dominated climate discussions (as it dominated most scientific affairs), while the rest of the world’s advanced nations were digging out of the ruins of the World War II. But now that the other economies and research establishments had recovered, international exchanges became crucial. The driving force, as one observer remarked, was “a small group of ‘entrepreneurs,’ who promoted what they viewed as global rather than national interests.” Blurring the distinction between government officials and nongovernmental actors, they organized a series of quasi-official international meetings, which were increasingly influential (Bodansky, 1997, quote at section 4.1.6). Some of the meetings were formally sponsored by WMO others by ICSU or UNEP. ”

        So who were these ‘entrepreneurs’? Were they there to make sure the scientific method was adhered to?

        Anyway I’ve belabored this too much, I just found it interesting. I hope Lewin’s book shakes things up.

      • billw1984, I agree with your premise. Sorry for confusing the issue.

    • Ristvan, I agree with your reading. Judith emphasises the IPCC and so did my publisher, but actually it only comes in in the final chapters. My emphasis is on the science where as Rupert Darwall’s work gives more attention to social and political forces. In both respects, Many of the important developments occurred in the 1970s around other science-based scares like DDT, ozone and global cooling.

    • You appear to have comment before reading the book, but thanks for letting us know you plan on reading a book, lol, Stephen.

      • Nichols, the remainder of my comment was not about the book, but rather about a broader context than the books focus per Judith and excerpts. My thoughts about the book will have to wait until I read it. Nice attempted diversion; perhaps a bit too obvious.

      • Στεφανος,
        Well, at the very least it is sort of bad form to say you aren’t going to comment but then to proceed to comment. Cluttered.
        But since (by your seeming compulsion and precedent a few days ago) we are going to be nannying each others posts now in schoolgirl fashion, feel free to email me a draft before you post for editing:(WASPMindset@harvard.alum).

  22. Manufacturing consensus is a *social* process, which even when theoretically about a science issue, at sufficient scale and starting uncertainty can allow deeply entrenched social mechanisms to dominate. The result is emergent narratives, in-group / out-group markers, policing, emotion dominating reason (especially hope / fear combinations), urgent noble cause, attraction of major infra-structure to feed the narrative causes, potentially demonization of critics and much more (albeit not necessarily all these or all to the strongest degree, depending upon the relative scope and penetration of the emergent narratives – effects can be writ small or writ large depending upon context). Long before the enterprise of science these behaviors were net beneficial (common action, coalition against individual authority, underwriting of altruism *within group*), hence the entrenchment. In modern times any science with perceived high impact on society is highly vulnerable to them, not to mention that these very behaviors in early stage can amplify the perception of high impact on society to start with.

    • Lewin tells an important story of the series of ever larger scares that produced the present climate derangement. The sequence was:


      • Thanks for this useful summary, Ron. I don’t recall the fuss about SSTs, although I was rather young at the time, and do remember the DDT fuss. As noted up thread elements from one emergent narrative can survive / morph into contributions for the next one, providing some kick-start.

      • Ron,

        Thanks for the excellent synopsis. Would you consider doing something similar for Rupert Darwall’s recent book?

      • Thanks Mark, I am more focused on the science than the politics. Of course with global warming/climate change they can be hard to untangle. This article gets at some care issues:
        “Yet if you study green activism in modern times, you will find it coming most often from the Left. The mindset of many eco-activists contains several Leftist ingredients.

        The first is an automatic dislike of business, and therefore of markets and consumption. The second is a belief that it is always government (plus protest activism) that can put matters right, by banning lots of things and directing what remains. The third is a suspicion of nations, and an insistence that only rightly guided global governance can bring salvation.

        Taken together, these tendencies are anti-freedom, poverty-inducing, misanthropic and life-denying.

        Related to the above – and found on the totalitarian Right as well – are two other unattractive tendencies. One is an obsession with catastrophe – a feeling, half-relished, half-dreaded, that we are about to destroy everything. Hence all that rhetoric (always untrue) about: “Only 10 years/months/days left to save the planet.”

        The other is a puritan distaste for human beings, especially compared with the loveliness of the animal and vegetable kingdoms. People are cruel, stupid and dirty; they do not deserve choice; there are too many of them. People are seen as the problem.

        Taken together, these tendencies are anti-freedom, poverty-inducing, misanthropic and life-denying. If they prevailed in the industrialised world, our civilisation would dramatically decline, and with it our capacity to right our own errors, including our environmental ones.”

  23. “Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.”

    Although this is from 2002 – there are a number of recent studies on abrupt change. It seems somewhat of a hot topic currently.

    Models cannot predict climate. Quite apart from inadequate physics and data – the most fundamental thing about AOS models is exponential divergence of feasible solutions due to nonlinearity of the core transport equations. Yet well known as this is over decades – it figures little in the thinking of just about anyone. As shown in recent posts here based on CMIP projections.

    Perturbing flow in the Earth’s spatio-temporal chaotic flow field will change quasi standing waves – ENSO, AMOC, IOD, etc. – a little or a lot. It depends. It suggests that evolving practical and pragmatic means of reducing greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere may be prudent.

    The problem with skeptics is that they claim climate is chaotic and so is unpredictable – but the implications of this for downside risk doesn’t click. So while the consensus may be both manufactured and scientifically naive – there is little enough to recommend the alt narrative.

  24. Thanks for reviewing Lewin. Another key player was:
    Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher: From Alarmist to Skeptic
    See: Was Margaret Thatcher the first climate sceptic?
    Climate Alarmist Thatcher

    Mrs Thatcher was the first world leader to voice alarm over global warming, back in 1988, With her scientific background, she had fallen under the spell of Sir Crispin Tickell, then our man at the UN. In the 1970s, he had written a book warning that the world was cooling, but he had since become an ardent convert to the belief that it was warming, Under his influence, as she recorded in her memoirs, she made a series of speeches, in Britain and to world bodies, calling for urgent international action, and citing evidence given to the US Senate by the arch-alarmist Jim Hansen, head of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
    She found equally persuasive the views of a third prominent convert to the cause, Dr John Houghton, then head of the UK Met Office. She backed him in the setting up of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988, and promised the Met Office lavish funding for its Hadley Centre, which she opened in 1990, as a world authority on “human-induced climate change”.
    Hadley then linked up with East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) to become custodians of the most prestigious of the world’s surface temperature records (alongside another compiled by Dr Hansen). This became the central nexus of influence driving a worldwide scare over global warming; and so it remains to this day – not least thanks to the key role of Houghton (now Sir John) in shaping the first three mammoth reports which established the IPCC’s unequalled authority on the subject.

    Climate Skeptic Thatcher

    there was a dramatic twist to her story. In 2003, towards the end of her last book, Statecraft, in a passage headed “Hot Air and Global Warming”, she issued what amounts to an almost complete recantation of her earlier views.
    She mocked Al Gore and the futility of “costly and economically damaging” schemes to reduce CO2 emissions. She cited the 2.5C rise in temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period as having had almost entirely beneficial effects. She pointed out that the dangers of a world getting colder are far worse than those of a CO2-enriched world growing warmer. She recognised how distortions of the science had been used to mask an anti-capitalist, Left-wing political agenda which posed a serious threat to the progress and prosperity of mankind.

    Margaret Thatcher, Statecraft: Strategies for a Changing World (2002)
    See also: Thatcher & Global Warming: From Alarmist to Skeptic Robert Bradley, Jr.
    Thatcher’s full reconsideration (pp. 449–50):

    Third, since clearly no plan to alter climate could be considered on anything but a global scale, it provides a marvelous excuse for worldwide, supra-national socialism.
    . . .in the case of some of the gloomier alarmists there is a large amount of madness in their method. Indeed, the lack of any sense of proportion is what characterizes many pronouncements on the matter by otherwise sensible people . . .
    The fact that seasoned politicians can say such ridiculous things – and get away with it – illustrates the degree to which the new dogma about climate change has swept through the left-of-centre governing classes….

    Bradley notes:

    Thatcher’s about-face can be chalked up to experience and regret about helping to create what became the anti-capitalist Kyoto Protocol (1997). . . .
    The memories of Arthur Scargill of the National Union of Mineworkers using thuggery against strike breakers in the long months of 1984–85, and her preference for nuclear power to generate electricity, undoubtedly made her welcome an environmental issue that would help cut coal down to size. . . . One of her greatest tests was the British coal strike of 1984–85, which was broken after a year.

    • Link: Was Margaret Thatcher the first climate sceptic? Christopher Booker, 12 Jun 2010 The Telegraph

      Margaret Thatcher was the first leader to warn of global warming – but also the first to see the flaws in the climate change orthodoxy

    • Thanx for these references.

    • Nigel Lawson: Global warming has turned into religion

      Lawson was Chancellor when Crispin Tickell, then British Ambassador to the UN, convinced Prime Minister Thatcher that man-made global warming was a problem. Despite Tickell lacking any scientific background (he read history at university) Mrs Thatcher took the population campaigner’s views seriously enough to make a landmark speech on global warming. This led to the foundation of a branch of the Met Office, the Hadley Centre at Exeter, to study the issue. It remains one of the three leading climate institutes.

    • The Man Who Invented Global Warming

      So is AGW the most serious threat facing the world today, so far as Tickell is concerned? Well, almost. There is one other threat that he sees as even more urgent than AGW – the human race itself. Specifically, those feckless, irresponsible classes and nations that continue to breed at more than the replacement level of 2.1 children (Tickell, it should be noted, has three children. Considerations of overpopulation do not apply to his class, of course (1)). For him, overpopulation is the driving force behind AGW: we are a cancer on the planet. In language which we would normally expect to come from extremists, Tickell lays out his vision of the rest of the world.'invented'%20Global%20Warming.mht

      • Just how many involved in the IPCC or other climate organizations have similar beliefs as Tickell? It’s worrying that it’s a question difficult to quantify.

        Here’s another individual, the fact that He can write such a brazenly radical book without professional consequence, it’s disturbing, this in itself suggests a much larger audience then is comfortable to contemplate.

        Professor David Shearman, an IPCC assessor for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report and the Fourth Assessment Report, had this to say in his book ‘The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy‘:

        “…we argue that authoritarianism is the natural state of humanity’. They propose the formation of an ‘elite warrior leadership’ to ‘battle for the future of the earth” [p.xvi].

        He argues that overpopulation and industrialization are causing an ecological disaster and that democracy isn’t up to the challenge, an authoritarian government must be imposed to save us from ourselves.

        Chapter 9 will describe in more detail how we might begin the process of constructing such real universities to train the ecowarriors to do battle against the enemies of life. We must accomplish this education with the same dedication used to train its warriors. As in Sparta, these natural elites will be especially trained from childhood to meet the challenging problems of our times. [p. 134]

        To combat global warming effectively, these ‘natural elites’ will require a government capable of taking the necessary action to combat climate change:

        This professor isn’t alone in his radical position.

        Link to Professor David Shearman affiliations to IPCC:

        Annex V List of Reviewers and Review Editors

        LOUGH, Janice. Australian Institute of Marine Science. MANTON, Michael. Monash University. SHEARMAN, David. University of Adelaide. WALKER, George.

      • Dominic Lawson: A retort to the population control freaks

        I was surprised to hear Sir Crispin Tickell citing 20 million as the appropriate number of residents for the UK; only four years ago, on BBC 2’s Newsnight, he spoke in support of a figure of 30 million. Numbers, numbers. In his earlier broadcast, Sir Crispin remarked: “Someone has said that constantly increasing growth is the doctrine of the cancer cell. You just get out of control.”
        This metaphor, in effect describing the birth of children as like a metastasising tumour, is truly disgusting. Who, though, was that “someone” Sir Crispin airily quoted? His name is Paul Ehrlich and he is a patron, along with Tickell and Sir Jonathon Porritt, among others, of the Optimum Population Trust, an organisation that campaigns tirelessly for an organised reduction in human life.

      • James Lovelock: Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change

        One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

        Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change” Lovelock

        Since it is Lovelock’s comment about human ignorance that is our subject today, it is well to point out that Lovelock himself lacks the mental capacity to see the inconsistencies in his theory, despite being given plenty of time to notice them, and being given the able assistance of many critics.

      • Schellnhuber: Carrying Capacity Of The Planet Is Less Than A Billion – Earth Will Explode With 9.4 Billion in 2050
        According to the New York Times, Schellnhuber also said at a plenary session at the international climate change conference in Copenhagen (emphasis added):
        “In a very cynical way, it’s a triumph for science because at last we have stabilized something –- namely the estimates for the carrying capacity of the planet, namely below 1 billion people.”

        Another German “Will Soon Unveil A Master Plan For A Transformation Of Society”
        In Schellhuber’s view, human society needs to be scaled back and managed by an elite group of “wise men” who know what is best for the rest.

    • Who’s on first? The Political Class or supposed Scientists? This should give a good indication.

      Crispin Tickell- Tom Wigley

      • from: Tom Wigley

        but in the end I think a
        > lot will come down to how Sir Crispin Tickell decides the dice should fall.
        > Is Grubb the sort of person that would impress Tickell?

        Grubb is good at impressing ignorant people. Crispin is not only ignorant (in the economics area) but also a *real* snake in the grass. What he will do is vote on the basis of what he can get out of it, not on the basis of knowledge-based and fair judgement.

    • Interview with Crispin Tickell by Joan Bakewell for the Belief programme, BBC Radio 3. Broadcast on 7 April 2004

      Now you come from an Anglo-Irish family. Your great, great grandfather was T H Huxley – Aldous Huxley was in your background too. Now this is a legacy of seriously thoughtful, intellectual address, isn’t it?
      Well T H Huxley was in many respects one of my heroes. Aldous was as well. In fact I think if anybody had any influence on me during my adolescence, it was Aldous Huxley. And I remember going to lunch with him and he asked me what essay I was writing that day for my history teacher. And I replied it was about the relations between the Pope and the Emperor. And he sort of took a deep breath, and for about 15 minutes he spoke about the secular versus the spiritual power. And I really sat back, staggered by what I heard, because he illuminated every aspect of this immensely complicated and still continuing problem, and I found it fascinating. When I sat down afterwards to try and write my essay, I was hardly able to write a word

      I wonder why BRAVE NEW CLIMATE comes to Mind!!

      As noted elsewhere, Climateers sure have strange Data Retention Policies. One would think that one of the Primary Godfathers of the CAGW agenda, Crispin Tickell (the other was Maurice Strong), could fork out a few pounds to keep his invaluable historical documents live on his website. Especially since the very “Fate of The Planet” is at stake!!
      Alas it’s not the case and one has to dredge these up from the Wayback Machine!!

    • The CAGW agenda went public in effect with James Hansen’s testimony to Congress in 1988 and with Thatcher’s famous speech (at behest of Crispin Tickell) in 1990. However the agenda was percolating behind the scenes before that. Even back in 1972 Maurice Strong was blathering about environmental problems including CAGW at 1972 Stockholm conference which he chaired, and Crispin Tickell wrote his little book about climate change as noted by Lindzen.
      If instead of a CAGW Eco-Apocalypse, the Politicians had insisted it was urgently important to take a Political Position on a Biblical Apocalypse and lavished bazillions of Dollars on the “Experts” to study the problem, everyone would have understood what was going on. And it would have been clear that this was in violation of the US First Amendment.
      Ask oneself who is the “Priesthood” of the NWO Religion of “Scientific World Humanism” that the first Director General of UNESCO Julian Huxley advocated. It’s not a trick question.
      BTW Aldous and brother Julian Huxley were cousins of Crispin Tickell.

      To better understand UNESCO, consider a quote from Sir Julian Huxley, brother of the famous Aldous Huxley. Julian Huxley was the founding director-general of UNESCO when he said the following:

      “The general philosophy of UNESCO should be a scientific world humanism, global in extent… It can stress the transfer of full sovereignty from separate nations to a world political organization Political unification in some sort of world government will be required to help the emergence of a single world culture.”

    • Sir Julian Huxley (1887-1975)

      He saw Humanism as a replacement ‘religion’, and as such represented an important strand in post-war humanist thought. In a speech given to a conference in 1965 he spoke of the need for “a religiously and socially effective system of humanism.” And in his book Religion Without Revelation, he wrote:
      “What the sciences discover about the natural world and about the origins, nature and destiny of man is the truth for religion. There is no other kind of valid knowledge. This natural knowledge, organized and applied to human fulfilment, is the basis of the new and permanent religion.” The book ends with the concept of “transhumanism” “man remaining man, but transcending himself by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature”.

    • Richard Lindzen does an excellent job in explaining what happens to Science in The Public square, when science is touted as “An Appeal to Authority” rather than science simply being viewed as a wonderful investigative process/methodology
      Richard Lindzen

      How Science can be Politically Useful (short clip)
      “And it’s part of NSF’s big mobilization. They’re spending quite a lot of money to find out why people aren’t buying the alarm. And this harkens back to my personal attitude. Ordinary people have sense, Academics don’t”

      Alarming Global Warming: What Happens to Science in the Public Square. Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D.

      Science and Politics : Global Warming and Eugenics (Lindzen 1996)
      It has been claimed that Crispen Tickell (a British diplomat who published a small book on the need for an international response to global cooling) convinced Margaret Thatcher to take up the cause of global warming because with her background in chemistry she could assume leadership among her fellow world leaders.

    • Curb your enthusiasm
      High priests, holy writ and excommunications – how did Humanism end up acting like a religion?
      For Huxley, science was the basis of a ‘religion without revelation’:
      What the sciences discover about the natural world and about the origins, nature and destiny of man is the truth for religion. There is no other kind of valid knowledge. This natural knowledge, organised and applied to human fulfilment, is the basis of the new and permanent religion.
      Julian Huxley was an idealist and a technocrat, believing that scientific and technical ingenuity would solve the social problems of his day — whether by massive hydroelectric schemes or population control. He was the first director of UNESCO and looked forward to ‘the emergence of a single world culture, with its own philosophy and background of ideas, and with its own broad purpose.’
      This ‘single world culture’ was what he called ‘Evolutionary Humanism’: the ‘new and permanent religion’ of science and rational planning. Julian Huxley was a star public intellectual and a great populariser of evolutionary theory. You could say he was the Richard Dawkins of his time, and as with Dawkins, some of his fellow scientists were disturbed by his extension of Darwinism into an encompassing world view. Huxley saw evolution as a visionary, almost spiritual, ideal, a progressive force leading to the pinnacle of human morality. He ignored the warnings of David Hume about illicit shifts from matters of fact to matters of morality. Evolution pointed ever upward, according to Huxley, and so our moral obligation was to see that humans were promoted and their decay prevented. As the Christian implores you to love your neighbour as yourself, the Huxleyan Humanist asks you to facilitate the evolutionary process.
      Julian Huxley’s vision of an ascending human evolutionary path could be notably indifferent to individual human beings. Like many intellectuals of his generation, he had been an enthusiast for eugenics in his youth. Unusually, though, he did not abandon eugenical thinking in the wake of the Second World War. Indeed, his proposed world government would have had a mix of eugenics and population control at the core of its responsibilities: no other institution would have sufficient rational, scientific and moral authority to do so, as he wrote in UNESCO: Its Purpose and Philosophy: ‘Political unification in some sort of world government will be required … Even though … any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that now is unthinkable may at least become thinkable.’
      The trouble is, there is no simple line from evolutionary biology to the ethical life, and there is no guarantee that an alternative secular religion will lead us there.

    • Julian Huxley
      “The Coming New Religion of Humanism.”


      But though I believe that gods and God in any meaningful non-Pickwickian sense are destined to disappear, the stuff of divinity out of which they have grown and developed remains, and will provide much of the raw material from which any new religions will be fashioned. This religious raw material consists in those aspects of nature and elements in experience which are usually described as divine. The term divine did not originally imply the existence of gods: on the contrary, gods were constructed to interpret man’s experiences of this quality in phenomena.

      The New Divinity
      By Julian Huxley

      I believe that an equally drastic reorganization of our pattern of religious thought is now becoming necessary, from a god-centered to an evolutionary-centered pattern
      Today the god hypothesis has ceased to be scientifically tenable, has lost its explanatory value and is becoming an intellectual and moral burden to our thought. It no longer convinces or comforts, and its abandonment often brings a deep sence of relief. Many people assert that this abandonment of the god hypothesis means the abandonment of all religion and all moral sanctions. This is simply not true. But it does mean, once our relief at jettisoning an outdated piece of ideological furniture is over, that we must construct some thing to take its place.
      Though gods and God in any meaningful sence seem destined to disappear, the stuff of divinity out of which they have grown and developed remains. This religious raw material consists of those aspects of nature and those experiences which are usually described as divine. Let me remind my readers that the term divine did not originally imply the existence of gods: on the contrary, gods were constructed to interprete man’s experiences of this quality.
      Some events and some phenomena of outer nature transcend ordinary explanation and ordinary experience. They inspire awe and seem mysterious, explicable only in terms of something beyond or above ordinary nature.

    • We’ve lost our fear of hellfire, but put climate change in its place
      By Boris Johnson
      12:01AM GMT 02 Feb 2006

      “Billions will die,” says Lovelock, who tells us that he is not normally a gloomy type. Human civilisation will be reduced to a “broken rabble ruled by brutal warlords”, and the plague-ridden remainder of the species will flee the cracked and broken earth to the Arctic, the last temperate spot, where a few breeding couples will survive.

      Hardtalk – James Lovelock – Population reduction (max 1 billion)

    • The UN quietly wages war on religion

      “At the 1996 Istanbul Conference, the director general of the World Health Organization (then Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima) told a press conference that “the three great monotheistic religions are not compatible with the New World Order”.Dykxhoorn, a Christian Reformed Protestant, recalled. “I heard him say it. And when you’re a member of one of those monotheistic religions, it’s rather chilling.”

      But the UN Secretariat isn’t opposed to all religion, she said. “They don’t mind Hindus and Buddhists, because they’ve got more flexible moral codes. And they love the Bahai’s because Bahai’s are big on world government. But they don’t like Orthodox Judaism, Christianity or Islam — any religion with an absolute moral code is an obstacle to them.”
      UN executives appear to be particularly tolerant of ‘Gaia’ or ‘earth religion,’ ancient paganism in a new guise. Dykxhoorn has seen Gaia religion material distributed in UN offices, and spokesmen for the London- based Gaia Foundation hold their press conferences in normally off-limits UN press rooms.
      “Gaia is the ancient Greek name for the Earth Goddess,” says the Gaia Foundation’s Web site. “This Goddess, in common with female deities of other early religions, was at once gentle, feminine and nurturing, but also ruthlessly cruel to any that failed to live in harmony with the planet.”
      Dykxhoorn said, “They’re against the three great mono-theisms, because those religions stress the sanctity of life and the sanctity of the family.”

  25. Dr Currry, thank you again for an illuminating essay.

  26. As shown by John Daly at
    soon after the “discernible human influence” paper was published, the analysis was based on cherry picked data. In any respectable science, such a deceptive analysis, on a par with Mann’s “censored” directory results, would have been condemned as a “disgrace to the profession”.

    • Hadley, just for the record, as Daly rightly points out, it was an IPCC reviewer, Pat Michaels, who first pointed to the importance of the early cut-off in the time-series (at 1987) used by Santer to achieve his graphic hotspot (as reproduced on my back cover). While this was not published in a Nature reply until Nov 1996, Michaels got it out early via the web in a newsletter that we can still read today:

  27. Google Scholar for me on Climate Change Attribution, in order:


    A globally coherent fingerprint of climate change impacts across natural systems
    Including Parmesan

    IPCC – 1995 – J.T. Houghton

    Beyond climate change attribution in conservation and ecological research
    Including Parmesan

    Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change

    I think it’s my fault to have expected better. These are the top 5. I’ve read Parmesan has left for France. Kind of a message there to the rednecks who voted for Trump, as if they care.

    • “Climate change” [Assuming is meant to describe the slightly increasing temperatures from the Little Ice Age and related minor changes to the biosphere.] has not been proven as the result of man’s production of CO2. Models are not reality.

  28. A balance to this article would be Manufacturing Controversy, e.g. the recently cited MUSE project from 2011.

    • It offers no balance whatsoever, its just something you found with a casual Google scholar search and haven’t even read.

      BTW it’s not the MUSE project, it’s Project MUSE a family of journals, but when you are out trolling I guess it doesn’t matter.

      • Thanks for your input, HAS. It was mentioned here on a recent thread which is where I got it from. Manufacturing controversy or manufacturing doubt are actually long-standing subjects related to tobacco and creationism efforts against the scientific consensus. Climate change is just the latest in this line. We’ve seen it all before.

      • Apologies for suggesting Google Scholar. I should have realised a blogger like AtomsksSanakan would be more your style.

      • Judith has also mentioned these opinions many times. Merchants of Doubt is a rather famous example. It should not be new to you.

      • From wikipedia
        manufactured controversy: “A manufactured controversy is a contrived disagreement, typically motivated by profit or ideology, designed to create public confusion concerning an issue about which there is no substantial academic dispute.”
        This is not new.

      • … and Wikipedia.

        Quote your real sources not those you think look flash, but you’ve never read.

      • The most obvious straight line is that prior to global warming, the Heartland Institute was on the tobacco defense case.

      • I’m just here for the science, and to give you a perspective you won’t see at WUWT, for example. If you don’t like it, go to WUWT. It’s a zoo over there. You can thank me later.

    • We pass over here that our manufactured alarmist consensus has many orders of magnitude more (tax) money sustaining it, than all the possible (private) sceptical manufactured controversies together could even fantasize about. To say nothing of the consensus’s endemic unrepentant dishonesty and contempt for the scientific method exposed by Climategate.

      • No, you pass over my comment about some other strange ideas held by the sources of these articles that.

    • Jim D: A balance to this article would be Manufacturing Controversy

      Better would be a year-by-year detailing of the parallel processes of “manufacturing” consensus and “manufacturing” skepticism. Year-by-year, possibly in parallel column format: major speeches, meetings, governmental initiatives, peer-reviewed papers, Congressional testimonies, newspaper editorials and interviews published in magazines. It would be a large undertaking. like a PhD dissertation in Sociology of Science. It should start in a year when Stephen Schneider, John Holdren, and Paul Ehrlich were still warning about catastrophic cooling — you have to start somewhere, and that would antedate most of the reviewed “manufacturing” events, and show those events “in relief”.

      • If warming papers were outnumbering cooling papers ten to one at that time, that would be a useful piece of background information too because then there wouldn’t have been a consensus on cooling, so it would be beside the point. The only consensus has been warming and that dates back a century for its quantitative foundations, and a couple more for its basic physics principles.

      • Jim D: If warming papers were outnumbering cooling papers ten to one at that time, that would be a useful piece of background information too because then there wouldn’t have been a consensus on cooling

        Whether or not there was a “consensus” (by some definition) on cooling is beside my main point. Major advocates of intense government intervention changed their minds over a short time span. That provides a good start for a year-by-year comparison of the two posited “manufacturing” processes. If you start in, say, 1900, you have to include ca 75 years worth of alternating warnings about threatening warming and cooling.

      • The consensus has roots that date back to the 1800’s or before. Where does the controversy start? I think it starts when certain people with economic interests detected that the consensus was leading to policy, maybe some time around the late 1970’s which argues against its basis being scientific and more political or special interests. The timeline for the controversy part would be very useful for finding its origins, especially who were the first people to push the controversy part.

      • The dogma has roots that date back to the 1800’s, or before. The evil fossil fuel industry funded heresy started only recently. Punish the unbelievers.

      • Read the introduction of Arrhenius (1896) which summarizes the history to that point. The basic physics of the importance of GHGs to the surface temperature was well established by then.

      • “The evil fossil fuel industry funded heresy started only recently. Punish the unbelievers.”

        True Don, in the mid 19th century it was the Jews fault because of urbanization and greed, in fact it was the Jews fault until post WWII, after which the dogma required a new scapegoat.

        Depending on how far back one wished to take the history of manufacturing ecological history, Matthewrmaler’s idea is a very good one, at least for the period he recommends; but going further back, the skeletons revealed based on humans leaving the grace of Mother Nature, would be ugly indeed.

      • The basic physics of GHGs are still well established. The debate is about the extent of GHGs effect on the surface temperature. It is a lie that the science is settled.

        Arrhenius couldn’t have dreamed that his GHG theories would become a religion featuring avenging mullahs taking away chairs of apostate scientists and little annoying holy warriors incessantly haunting the climate blogs of the unbelievers.

      • Thanks for your input, Don. It is a mirror into your mental workings rather than anything else.

      • Of course the contemporary focus is on GHGs, but is it really the argument? Or is the argument merely another tool to drive socio-economics? I think it’s the latter; it’s for this reason I particularly enjoy the discussion of Bernie’s book. I have always believed AGW to be merely a tool for leveraging something laying underneath. For many though, most perhaps, the argument is only about GHGs, nothing more. I believe there’s legitimate discussion about GHGs; even while I don’t see it as an overarching concern for society. I see the AGW discussion as a red herring, always have.

        I believe as Bernie does, and have for a long time. He states in this very thread: “I see huge socio-economic forces driving history, not heroic individuals. As my narrative tries to shows, the sustainability movement could have come about without Strong, it might not have chosen AGW as its flagship cause in 1988”.

        Sustainability has been an issue well before the contemporary focus on AGW, and used as a ruse in different incarnations historically to drive socio-economic policy. This is what I was referencing before. Similar, or perhaps the same form of ideology has been leveraged to advance socio-economic ideas, using entirely different justifications.

        I believe the renowned climatologist, Helmut Landsberg, had it about right about the study of climate. He was a skeptic relative to AGW.

        His beliefs were stated as the following before his sudden death in Geneva, where he was participating in the ninth session of the Commission for Climatology of the WMO, in 1985. Said of him: “As someone who had invested his professional life in making climatology a useful discipline, Landsberg grew increasingly concerned that public debates about climate threatened his vision for a climatological renaissance. During the last two decades of his life, he became fixated on maintaining his ideal that climatology was not a glamorous discipline, and objected vehemently to those who sought to counter what he considered to be its true character.“

        Climate studies are important, I just happen to believe It’s a shell game for what’s really happening underneath.

      • Thanks for standing up and waving the black flag, yimmy.

      • Mop-up, the argument is about future warming which can be expressed as a product of emissions and sensitivity. It turns out that the uncertainty in emissions in the 21st century (an order of magnitude between strong mitigation and reckless growth) is far larger than the uncertainty in sensitivity, so that is the main issue. What temperature we get mostly depends on what emissions we do. That is where the debate should be aimed if the amount of warming is the target issue.

      • Yea, D, that’s what you and ilk are arguing.

      • Mop-Up, yes, I don’t think the skeptics want it to be about the amount of temperature rise and its consequences. That is the problem, because it is, so they end up sidelining themselves in that part of the debate, but the impacts are the main thing the UN is considering when policies are suggested and cost-benefits are analyzed.

      • Jimmy presumes a certainty that isn’t there – and neglects the practice of decision making under uncertainty.

        “Future historians of efforts to address climate change will almost certainly look back on 2010 as the end of one era and the beginning of another. The first began with the creation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and ended with the negotiation of the Copenhagen Accord in December 2009. By the Cancún talks in late 2010, the emphasis of international negotiations had shifted from efforts to establish legally binding emissions limits to more modest agreements to invest in new energy technology, transfer technology among nations, and support climate resilience efforts in the developing world.”

      • The UN will have no influence on U.S. policy for at least the next seven years. Drill baby drill! You’ll always have Paris.

      • The skeptics have framed it wrong if they are not talking about the impacts of warming. This is not about scientists being against fossil fuels, although they may come to be because of the evidence. This is about the UN caring about the future vulnerabilities of less developed countries, a concern that is within their charter. The IPCC is a UN-led effort and is acting on one of their priorities, so it is the UN that the skeptics have to convince. To be noticed by the UN, the skeptics have to attack the ideas about vulnerabilities from climate change, whether from heat, agricultural effects, fresh water supply, or sea level rise, and convince the UN that those less developed countries will adapt fine without any help or mitigation. They have been woefully inadequate at allaying the UN concerns so far, because they miss this point by talking about sensitivities instead of emissions when it is the total emissions that matter more for warming than the uncertainties in sensitivity. What we will emit between 1000 GtCO2 and 10000 GtCO2 makes a lot of difference, many degrees. You can also take the Trump attitude that you don’t care about the UN and their worries, and will just keep on as one of the world’s largest per capita emitters regardless. This overt selfishness doesn’t do the national image any good in the world, but it’s a way of thinking that perfectly reflects the current President whose image is also not so good.

      • This is quite a rant in a post on the inadequacy and failures of the IPCC. But it is not about scientists hating fossil fuels but unqualified would be social justice warriors like Yiminy making mad plans for world domination.

        The UN is in fact utterly useless. A total failure at anything they put there hand to.

        And Yiminy’s so called science is so flawed as to be utterly useless as well.

      • RIE has gone into Don mode, or is it the same person? Inquiring minds want to know. It is an important point that the amount of warming, and that is the main concern of the UN, depends more on the emissions than on the sensitivity. That is the short version of what I said. Skeptics need to focus on the effects of warming itself if they don’t want to reduce emission growth rates or per capita emissions.

      • I am quite obviously Australian – drongos* need to know apparently.

        The best thing that the US could do for Africa and Asia is sign the DOHA round. This would add a quadzillion dollars to global wealth. Yiminy is however not impressed. I suspect that economic growth is anathema.

        Historically, the soil carbon pool has been a major source of atmospheric carbon dioxide with likely more than 78 GtC lost from grazing and cropping lands. The transfer of soil carbon to the atmosphere has created a carbon deficit in agricultural soils. Soils now contain a lower organic content than before conversion to agriculture. In many regions it has led to a spiral of decline to desertification. The rich ecology of living soils – fungi, insects, bacteria, vegetation – in a highly productive symbiosis gives way to bare earth. Plants create sugars from carbon and sunlight and they feed organisms in the soil with exudate from the roots. Organisms which in turn create environments that break down soils and release nutrients – bacteria fix atmospheric nitrogen. It is a living system that can become unbalanced and lose organic matter. The water holding capacity of soils is reduced. Infiltration of rainwater declines, runoff and erosion increase with more flash flooding. Groundwater stores decline, vegetation is more drought stressed, there is less dry weather flow in waterways. The spiral of soil and ecological decline continues. Elsewhere the productivity of cropping soils is sustained only by larger inputs of increasingly expensive fertilizers and poisons – which in themselves destabilize living soil and have impacts on broader environments.

        This soil carbon store can be renewed by restoring land. Holding back water in sand dams, terraces and swales, replanting, changing grazing management, encouraging perennial vegetation cover, precise applications of chemicals and adoption of other management practices that create positive carbon and nutrient budgets and optimal soil temperature and moisture. Atmospheric carbon is transferred from the atmosphere to soil carbon stores through plant photosynthesis and subsequent formation of secondary carbonates. The rate of soil carbon sequestration ranges from about 100 to 1000 kg per hectare per year as humus and 5 to 15 kg per hectare per year inorganic carbon. The total potential for carbon sequestration in agricultural soils is approximately equal to the historic carbon loss of 78 GtC. This is about 10 years of global annual greenhouse gas emissions. At realistic rates of sequestration 25% of current annual global greenhouse gas emissions could be sequestered over 40 years. In Australia a comprehensive program of ecological restoration across landscapes – worth every cent for many reasons – would enable all and more greenhouse gas emissions to be offset. We have put $2 billion on it at $10/metric tonne CO2-e.

        Carbon sequestration in soils 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.

        Many Americans – scientists and farmers – are impressed. I have gone into yet more detail because Yiminy believes that the only way carbon can be managed is that the UN should do something it hasn’t managed to do thus far. Succeed in reducing emissions. Of course the other approach is to commercialize SMR. We love SMR. I don’t care whether Yiminy is impressed or not. His science and policy are both cr@p.

        * Australian slang – there was a racehorse of that name in the 1920’s that didn’t win a race in 37 starts.

      • For that to work even a little, we need to reduce emissions a lot, otherwise we will still add ten times as much as this sequesters. Even now the ocean and land are sequestering carbon, but our emissions exceed what they can handle. Common ground (?): reduce emission rates a lot. I also don’t think we need to reduce emissions to zero because we can stabilize the climate with low enough rates that sequestration balances emissions. My estimate is that we can hold CO2 to reasonable values with emission rates below 20 GtCO2 per year, and preferably closer to 10.

      • Useless dogmatic blabber. The UN is a moot. There’s a new Sheriff in town. Frack baby frack!

      • Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and cement production – from 1750 to 2011 – was about 365 billion metric tonnes as carbon (GtC), with another 180 GtC from deforestation and agriculture. Of this 545 GtC, about 240 GtC (44%) had accumulated in the atmosphere, 155 GtC (28%) had been taken up in the oceans with slight consequent acidification, and 150 GtC (28%) had accumulated in terrestrial ecosystems.

        Some 50% to 70% of losses from soil and environments can be returned to terrestrial systems. So 100 GtC is small bikkies? There are a couple of other relevant facts.

        No one is going to stop using fossil fuels until something cheaper comes along. In many places in the world we would encourage them not to. The result is some 3.7 billion tonnes increase in CO2 energy emissions by 2030 – sanctioned in Paris.

        Do we have the technology – apart from reversing land use emissions?

        It would be best to at any rate to exhaust the low cost options first – everything to the left of wind power.

        Poor Yiminy has such a poor grasp of the facts.

      • See – we are in the same place at the same time.

        Obama’s Paris commitment was based on fracking – relax – you are still likely to make it.

        Right graph btw.

      • RIE, a lower estimate of future unmitigated emissions is 1000 GtC. How effective is that soil thing you are talking about going to be with this? You need mitigation for this to have any effect at all.

      • Don, if you don’t care about what the UN and its IPCC are doing, what is all your complaining about?

      • There may be some 750 GtC that might be accessed this century. That about 1.5 C – if it weren’t for Lorenz forcing in a resonant planetary system. Perfect. Let’s burn it all.

        Alternatively – take the low cost/high benefits mitigtion options for many different reasons – including 100 GtC in land use sector sequestration – and invest in developing new energy technology. Wind and solar may be – without a breakthrough – a bust. But there are many other options potentially. We love SMR’s as I think I have said less than a dozen times today.

        “More than one billion people globally lack access to electricity, and billions more still burn wood and dung for their basic energy needs. Our High-Energy Planet, a new report from an international group of energy and environment scholars, outlines a radically new framework for meeting the energy needs of the global poor.

        According to the authors, the massive expansion of energy systems, mainly carried out in the rapidly urbanizing global South, is the only robust, coherent, and ethical response to the global challenges we face, climate change among them. The time has come to embrace a high-energy planet, they say.”

        Until something better comes along – coal and gas will be the mainstay. “Faced with a perceived conflict between expanding global energy access and rapidly reducing greenhouse emissions to prevent climate change, many environmental groups and donor institutions have come to rely on small-scale, decentralized, renewable energy technologies that cannot meet the energy demands of rapidly growing emerging economies and people struggling to escape extreme poverty. The UN’s flagship energy access program, for example, claims that “basic human needs” can be met with enough electricity to power a fan, a couple of light bulbs, and a radio for five hours a day.” We emphatically choose a better path. Frack the UN.

        Soils and ecosystems are the key to progress in development and population. The process can be facilitated with $2.5 trillion for ‘smart development goals’ to 2030 – money that is committed to aid and could otherwise be pissed up against the wall in photo ops for UN potentates. Women’s health and education, family planning, reduction of newborn mortality, immunization, halve malaria infection – even eliminate fossil fuel subsidies. Subsidies? Tut tut.

        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, developing better and cheaper ways of producing electricity, replacing cooking fires with better ways of preparing food thus avoiding millions of deaths annually, etc.

        We have thought it through Yiminy – you should get a clue.

      • Do you think I am complaining, yimmy? You are confused. We won.

      • I think andywest has it right with this:

        “…the huge power of movements driven by emotive narrative comes from the passionate *honesty* of the great bulk of believers, not from dishonesty”

        Emotion is required to bridge a complex idea to the masses to achieve consensus, emotion becomes the common thread to adoption of that idea, it fulfills empowerment as the idea is leveraged into a common belief system. A dishonest idea can be made to appear to be honest to the uninitiated if the proper devices are used. Creating believers using emotion is a desired exercise because it enables propagation of the idea, becoming self fulfilling to reaching consensus; especially if the device used to “turn” individuals is strong enough to make them cult evangelists, honest brokers of a lie. It’s a powerful tool for the continued leveraging up to overall consensus.

        The big lie was coined by you know who, but he didn’t invent the device as much as devise complex community organizing tactics, with cohorts within his nucleus of power, to exploit their ideology to its fullest.

        The nucleus of proponents who embrace an idea are powerless without consensus from large numbers of people, so their ideas can only be realized by the alignment of large populations. If an idea isn’t based on a truism, or isn’t percieved as pure in a society; doesn’t conform in near equilibrium to the status quo belief system of a population, isn’t easily recognized as such to the lowest common denominator of intellect in a society, then other means are required to accrue power for an ideology to be realized. Emotion. Propaganda, lies and collusion have been used throughout human history to secure power, it’s a requirement to sell dishonesty, to make it appear honest.

      • RIE, if that is all that is left that requires a massive emission rate reduction to have some left and not zero emissions by 2100. This almost lines up with what IPCC would want to do, except the IPCC might want about a third of that still left over at 2100. Either way, big emissions reductions this century. Common ground.

      • No Yiminy – there is no common ground. Not even close. Keeping it in the ground is not remotely the objective. Burning it efficiently to fuel economic growth is much closer to the point. Agriculture and biodiversity are far more important in the next couple of decades.

      • RIE, you are clearly not doing the numbers. The amount you say is left divided by the current rate of emissions means it lasts less than 70 years, after which emissions are zero because it has all been used up (or becomes too expensive as a scarce resource). And that is at the current rate which may increase without a mitigation effort. Put in the numbers and you find only large reductions in emission rates allow some of it to last to 2100. Those reduction rates are actually not far different from the ones the IPCC would want. You’re saying we’ll be fine because the fossil fuels are running out quickly anyway. Not thinking it through at all, are you. Quickly running out also means quickly replacing and the last fossil fuels will become increasingly expensive and price themselves out of the market. Significant replacement would be needed within 50 years to avoid that.

      • Oil production has peaked, fracked gas has decades before it just stops flowing and coal has sixty years before it runs out at current consumption rates. While energy demand is set to more than treble this century. Mostly in the emerging economies.

        Have you just realized that? We don’t especially care what the energy source is as long as it is cheap and reliable.

      • RIE, what you are saying just supports the need for a rapid replacement and mostly within 50 years, which is what I have been saying too, and the IPCC, by the way.

      • You have given up carbon taxes, carbon trading and wind and solar subsidies in favor of free market dynamics? Didn’t think so.

      • If the quick depletion prices carbon out of the market, this process is automatic. The main question is whether there really is only less than 1000 GtC left once everywhere has been searched, mined, drilled, dirty carbon sources used up, methane clathrates (?), etc. Call me skeptical. Other estimates say it can reach three times this amount, which would be a disaster for the climate. Limiting it to a few hundred GtC is part of the carbon budget idea, and carbon taxes can help with these kinds of budget policies. This could provide revenue for a faster transition too.

      • Well – yes – I thought as much. But you forget that your science is cr@p. The maximum rate of anthropogenic warming is 0.09 C/decade – and warming so far is a maximum of 0.4 C. Why should anyone not use the cheapest energy options available at the time? Especially when there are multiple other actions that produce vast benefits for humanity and ecosystems and are far cheaper than pushing wind and solar to any great penetration – and which just happen to reverse emissions from the land use sector (24% of total) and then go on to sequester vast amounts of carbon. We may also reduce demand through efficiency and reduced population pressure through the much maligned Bjorn Lomberg Copenhagen Consensus smart development goals. All much more cheaply than wind or solar – and with net benefits.

        I always suspect that there is an underlying socialist agenda with people like Yiminy – something he doesn’t try to hide – or perhaps just an idée fixe. But whatever it is he can’t get beyond the idea of shutting down fossil fueled electricity – a sector that represents only 25% of global emissions. It is something that feeds into an ambitions to transform economies and societies. Into what we are not quite ever told. I vote for unicorns.

        Dateline 3 February 2015 – The Top UN Climate Change Official is optimistic that a new international treaty will be adopted at Paris Climate Change conference at the end of the year. However, the official, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, warns that the fight against climate change is a process and that the necessary transformation of the world economy will not be decided at one conference or in one agreement.

        “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history”, Ms Figueres stated at a press conference in Brussels.

        “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution. That will not happen overnight and it will not happen at a single conference on climate change, be it COP 15, 21, 40 – you choose the number. It just does not occur like that. It is a process, because of the depth of the transformation.” UNRIC

        The historic Paris COP – btw – agreed to increase power sector emission by 8% in 2030. It is unfortunately not the first time in the history of humanity that they have tried it on. But here they come again.

        “The idea of the steady-state economy presents us with an alternative. This term is somewhat misleading, however, because it suggests that we simply need to maintain the size of the existing economy and stop seeking further growth.

        But given the extent of ecological overshoot – and bearing in mind that the poorest nations still need some room to develop their economies and allow the poorest billions to attain a dignified level of existence – the transition will require the richest nations to downscale radically their resource and energy demands.”

        Gotta go.

  29. Obviously for the IPCC to stay in the game the 1994-96 consensus had to be reversed and it was reversed for political approval (money).

    It would stand to reason once the “proper” scientists were in place that measurements could be doctored to support rising temperatures, as needed to match their consensus.

    By coincidence 1998 popped up. It was not until 2014 that 1998 was topped. However, prior to 2016 and during the question of “pause” that by coincidence (again) 1998 global temperature reading wad decreased by 0.02C and 3 inner years prior to 2014 were increased to give the graphical appearance of a gradual increase that actually overtook 1998 in 2005 not 2014. These values can be verified at NOAA’s global temperature analysis site showing 1998 through to current November 2017. The readings of the actual year of the measurement were adjusted leaving every other year the same and raising the others.

    Then, of course, the record breaking 2015 and again 2016 but where 2017 will show a drop.

    Also, seldom does global records match US national (Land) temperatures which seems quite strange since the US is a large land mass as nations go, 3rd I believe, Russia very close to US.

    I don’t like the appearance of these official temperature records and the changes made. Too convenient matching the consensus claims.

    And why does NOAA keep treating 1881 readings as if they are directly comparable to 2017 values, makes no sense.


  30. “This report is an attempt to describe what is known about abrupt climate changes and their impacts, based on paleoclimate proxies, historical observations, and modeling. The report does not focus on large, abrupt causes—nuclear wars or giant meteorite impacts—but rather on the surprising new findings that abrupt climate change can occur when gradual causes push the earth system across a threshold. Just as the slowly increasing pressure of a finger eventually flips a switch and turns on a light, the slow effects of drifting continents or wobbling orbits or changing atmospheric composition may “switch” the climate to a new state. And, just as a moving hand is more likely than a stationary one to encounter and flip a switch, faster earth-system changes—whether natural or human-caused—are likely to increase the probability of encountering a threshold that triggers a still faster climate shift.”

    Returning to the root of the problem – the catastrophe signal was found decades ago. It matters not at all whether it is natural or anthropogenic. Proxies suggest that 20th century climate was relatively balmy. The question is not if that will change but when. The great goal must be to build prosperous communities in vibrant landscapes this century. How to do that is being solved by real people in the real world – and not by people rewriting the history of an unfortunate storm in a political teacup. All the time imagining – the naive little darlings – that they are defending the honor of real science.

  31. “I really need to do more blog posts on detection and attribution”
    Very appreciated!!
    Personally I first thought it quite impossible for someone not trained extensively in climate science to be in a position to from an independent opinion about the claims. But thankfully science in asymmetric and it suffices to find one flaw in the argument to invalidate it. No need to understand it all.
    Detection and attribution turned out to be relatively easy to challenge. (Not to say that it’s the only one.)

    • Relatively easy? Not according to the NAS, which really likes the new wave of attribution studies:

      “As climate has warmed over recent years, a new pattern of more frequent and more intense weather events has unfolded across the globe. Climate models simulate such changes in extreme events, and some of the reasons for the changes are well understood. Warming increases the likelihood of extremely hot days and nights, favors increased atmospheric moisture that may result in more frequent heavy rainfall and snowfall, and leads to evaporation that can exacerbate droughts.

      Even with evidence of these broad trends, scientists cautioned in the past that individual weather events couldn’t be attributed to climate change. Now, with advances in understanding the climate science behind extreme events and the science of extreme event attribution, such blanket statements may not be accurate. The relatively young science of extreme event attribution seeks to tease out the influence of human-cause climate change from other factors, such as natural sources of variability like El Niño, as contributors to individual extreme events.

      Event attribution can answer questions about how much climate change influenced the probability or intensity of a specific type of weather event. As event attribution capabilities improve, they could help inform choices about assessing and managing risk, and in guiding climate adaptation strategies. This report examines the current state of science of extreme weather attribution, and identifies ways to move the science forward to improve attribution capabilities.”

      • “As climate has warmed over recent years, a new pattern of more frequent and more intense weather events has unfolded across the globe. “

        Most days are fair and calm. Will these days become more intensely fair and calm?

        But actually, the claim is contradicted by the models.

        The tendency as modeled is for the warmer world to incur reduced reduced kinetic energy, so intense weather events would seem to be less frequent and less intense, indicating perhaps another constructed statement without basis.

        Manabe and Wetherald 1979:
        “The general warming and the increase of moisture content of air, which results from a CO2 increase, contributes to the large reduction of the merdional temperature gradient in the lower model troposphere because of 1) poleward retreat of highly reflective snow cover and 2) large increase in the poleward transport of latent heat. The reduction of the merdional temperature gradient appears to reduce not only the eddy kinetic energy, but also the variance of temperature in the model troposphere.”

  32. It seems that basically climate science in its current form is designed to serve politics. Something many have been claiming for some time now.

    If the scientific work was more convincing there wouldn’t be any debate beyond the normal academic stuff. As it is there is just tribal politics at the base and with all the money and power in play it will take decades to straighten out.

    Oh well, this wouldn’t be the first time our intellectual elite has stuffed up life for people, but it is the biggest so far.

  33. Another question is what exactly is the consensus?
    Some scientific propositions do appear to be substantiated.
    Thought experiments with radiative forcing from increased GHGs indicate atmospheric heat surplus for atmospheric profiles similar to today’s.

    If the consensus includes: increased global mean temperature with increased CO2, then, at least, the observations are consistent with the consensus.

    By the IPCC’s own reports, there is no consensus on the extent of the warming ( ECS 1.5C to 4.5C ). This appears to be obfuscation, however, because actual observations of around 1.7C/century are very much closer to the low end than the high end. The high end sensitivity appears to be politically motivated to include the extreme. There is not observational support for the idea of high sensitivity. So, perhaps there should be consensus that warming around 1.7C per century in the absence of other observations.

    The models of the IPCC, and even the earliest models well before the IPCC all indicated a tropical upper tropospheric hot spot. The hot spot of warming carries with it the two largest absolute feedbacks ( lapse rate feedback and water vapor feedback ). The Hot Spot is a contradicted consensus.

    And of impacts? There is no evidence to support changes in fires, droughts or tropical cyclones. These are unsupported pieces of consensus that the IPCC continues to coyly intimate to the public. Given the reptile brain response individuals have, the most sinister motives of those using climate change as a political tool appear apt. But there is no observational support for any change in disasters despite the consensus of frenzy.

    • “Another question is what exactly is the consensus?”

      TE, I’ve considered the same question and believe climate science consensus building is somewhat unique, but maybe more so to science. Consensus building en masse is often exercised through a volatile exchange as a process of working through ideas, and it doesn’t necessarily deliver as expected by a majority. On myriad levels climate science consensus building is very much like the process of determining valuation in the stock market. The metaphor is useful, the way I would describe it in relationship to climate science is that, as in financial investment, ideas can be carried beyond rational valuations by the masses when in a fit of irrational exuberance consensus builds upon itself for all the wrong reasons. When masses of investors pile on an issue, the issue then becomes an investment to protect. Much of the time individual stocks are not fairly valued at any given moment in time, nor are the markets overall fairly valued on a relative basis; if they were then there would never be volatility because one would simply invest based on a guaranteed future, which is of course preposterous. Volatility is an important creative catalyst, it’s when irrational exuberance takes hold that a consensus valuation becomes dangerous.

      Circumstances change daily in markets based on changing facts and dynamics. Volatility is inflated by this dynamic because of emotion; volatility in itself draws an audience who want to be part of an issue for vested interests if the issue is growing, because it’s the “thing”, it shows promise of something.

      As a practical matter, stock market type volatility shouldn’t be mirrored in science once facts are codified (truly codified into laws), because scientific law can’t change, while stock market facts change all the time. Volatility only happens in the discovery process of pretty much anything. But volatility is represented in the crux of todays AGW debate which means the holistic body of scientific laws necessary to achieve settled science isn’t codified, thinking otherwise is the basis of wishful thinking; in stock market jargon this kind of faithful believing is called holding the bag.

      Filed under the laws that govern the human condition; for the majority of rank and file investors, the consensus, they exclusively “only go on the long side of an issue” when they have motivational reasoning to do so, or they’re not in the market at all. This usually represents the consensus for any idea, in the stock market or otherwise.

      Carrying on with the stock market metaphor; skeptics represent the shorts in climate science. Shorts are always in the minority, but they’re necessary for a healthy market, and they’re more often than not correct in their judgements once they short because they’re usually either the more experienced investors, at least on par with the most experienced on the long side, or they see through emotional confirmation bias; in other words they see a certain value better in a point in time. The shorts are usually the ones with the least amount of emotion who are able to see past the bias of what the horde considers a valuable investment, inclusive of the most experienced on the long side who have become consumed in their own emotions. This is why the 97% meme in climate science is moot; there’s very few in climate science who can be considered among the very elite of knowledge, there’s a mere handful able to grasp the “current” basket of knowledge that surrounds the science of climate.

      So consensus as I see it in climate science represents those falling in-line with the majority status quo position, having little basis in their investment other than superficial association. Only the minority elite (actual climate scientists) can drive their investment long-term based on actionable evidence; short-term the charlatans (i.e. media) can play their games to drive the market, creating volatility. But the minority elite represent the ones with the most power who can “move markets” on the short or long side, long-term. The vast majority, the consensus, will always be followers; it’s these who make market driven irrational exuberance possible. So the amount of volatility in AGW is a measurement of the number of scientists outside climate science (I would include more than just scientists, but also various pundits) representing the majority; who have vested interests in politics, monied interests or hype from perceived threats; it’s these who make up the vast body of the consensus.

      Because there’s volatility in AGW science, there’s no settled science, the average skeptic doesn’t need to read a single scientific paper to see this reality. Skeptics will know their investment is mature when the books are closed, one way or the other. The evidence can lead either way. The shorts will recognize it before anyone else because they rarely hold the bag, they’ll fall in-line with codified law as it becomes readily seen, or be recognized as thought leaders who helped steward truth by challenging complacency for better answers.

  34. Regarding attribution, it’s telling to me that most google results of Attribution Theory regard the psychological context. And English definitions of attribution are all decidedly subjective.

    • Attribution Theory:

      It’s your fault.

      It’s not your fault, natural variability controls.


      You caused it and removed us from the stability of the past.

      The climate is unstable all by itself.


      We can control the climate.

      We cannot.

      You are correct. There is little evidence of attribution theory as used by the IPCC with its attribution statement. I think it was brought into real science from the field of psychology.

    • RE: google results.
      Maybe you are asking the wrong A.I. system about Attribution Theory? There is a ($50 million) climate A.I. system being built by Microsoft called AI for Earth and there are other systems being built by big tech companies like IBM that are trying answer that question.
      If attribution the most important issue we are being short sighted.
      I wonder if the Chinese will build a climate AI system with some of their 70 billion ($US) national AI project? If a country could see in advance where and how the climate is going to change that will give them an advantage.

  35. “Conclusions regarding attribution of extreme events are strongly affected by the way “extreme” is defined by scientists. Seneviratne and colleagues (2012) define climate extremes (extreme weather or climate events) as “the occurrence of a value of a weather or climate variable above (or below) a threshold value near the upper (or lower) ends of the range of observed values of the variable.” In fact, the threshold that is selected as “extreme” is generally based on 20th-century observations, but the baseline of what is “normal” is changing over time. In the future, events that are currently considered extreme may eventually be considered normal. Therefore, scientists generally establish metrics to characterize the extreme nature of the event being attributed in the context of a baseline period.”

    The baseline of what is normal shows extreme variability over millennia. The well known Moy et al 2002 Pacific Ocean state proxy shows this convincingly over the Holocene.

    Moy et al (2002) present the record of sedimentation shown above which is strongly influenced by ENSO variability. It is based on the presence of greater and less red sediment in a lake core. More sedimentation is associated with El Niño. It has continuous high resolution coverage over 12,000 years. It shows periods of high and low El Niño activity alternating with a period of about 2,000 years. There was a shift from La Niña dominance to El Niño dominance that was identified by Tsonis 2009 as a chaotic bifurcation – and is associated with the drying of the Sahel. There is a period around 3,500 years ago of high El Niño activity – in excess of a red intensity of 200 – associated with the demise of the Minoan civilisation (Tsonis et al, 2010). For comparison – the 1998/99 El Niño had a red intensity of 99. It shows variability in the Pacific Ocean considerably in excess of that seen in the modern period. The Pacific Ocean state is such a large component of globally coupled cimate variability.

    The core physical mechanism for changes in the Pacific Ocean is upwelling on the eastern margin. This sets in train feedbacks in a resonant system -including cloud responses for which there are core physics and satellite and surface observations.

    “In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.” AR4

    I find agreement of satellites – more than one observing system – with an expanded 1990’s xpt dataset compelling – and COADS cloud observations in the right areas of the Pacific (rather than on the US mainland) provide additional confirmation.

    “Marine stratocumulus cloud decks forming over dark, subtropical oceans are regarded as the reflectors of the atmosphere.1 The decks of low clouds 1000s of km in scale reflect back to space a significant portion of the direct solar radiation and therefore dramatically increase the local albedo of areas
    otherwise characterized by dark oceans below.2,3 This cloud system has been shown to have two stable states: open and closed cells. Closed cell cloud systems have high cloud fraction and are usually shallower, while open cells have low cloud fraction and form thicker clouds mostly over the convective cell walls and therefore have a smaller domain average albedo.4–6 Closed cells tend to be associated with the eastern part of the subtropical oceans, forming over cold water (upwelling areas) and within a low, stable atmospheric marine boundary layer (MBL), while open cells tend to form over
    warmer water with a deeper MBL” Koren et al 2017, Exploring the nonlinear cloud and rain equation

    I doubt that even the temperature attribution for the late 20th century is correct – and there are immense implications of this for the evolution of climate over the 21st century. The Lorenz forcing of upwelling in both the south and north Pacific is the state of the polar annular modes. The latter is linked in model studies to solar UV/ozone chemistry bearing on surface pressure at the poles through atmospheric pathways. This is an amplifier of solar variability so long sought for. Where does global climate go with a cooling sun?

    Fascinating as all this is – and I have read on science and policy for many years – it leaves my practical side unfulfilled. What we can do with any of this is to build prosperous and resilient communities in vibrant landscapes. How to do that involves cheap energy, energy innovation, trade, economic development and environmental conservation and restoration.

    “There is a widespread perception that agricultural practices cause environmental problems, especially those related to water contamination and the greenhouse effect. Our research has shown that scientific agriculture and conversion of degraded soils to a restorative land use can also be a solution to environmental issues in general and to reducing the net gaseous emissions in particular. Thus, soil carbon sequestration has a potential to reduce the net U.S. emissions by 360 MMTC/y. This potential is realizable through promotion of CRP, WRP, erosion control and restoration of degraded soils, conservation tillage, growing cover crops, improving judicious fertilizer use and precision farming, and composting.

    Actions that improve soil and water quality, enhance agronomic productivity and reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases are truly a win-win situation. It is true that soil C sequestration is a short-term solution to the problem of gaseous emissions. In the long term, reducing emissions from the burning of fossil fuels by developing alternative energy sources is the only solution. For the next 50 years, however, soil C sequestration is a very cost-effective option, a “bridge to the future” that buys us time in which to develop those alternative energy options.”

    Carbon sequestration in soils 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 carbon loss from grazing and cropping soils is a new green revolution where conventional agriculture is hitting a productivity barrier with exhausted soils and increasingly expensive inputs.

    We might hope that climate doesn’t shift extremely in the interim – but in the words of Doris Day – que sera sera. Shift it will – 3 or 4 times this century. It might pay to keep a weather eye out and to have modular nuclear up our sleeves. .

  36. Bernie Lewin,

    Up thread you mentioned “Yes, these other motives are covered9, including one singular motor, viz., M. Strong.”

    If you have not seen Tome22 previously, you may be interested to explore it. It is an extraction of masses of data relating to the climate change agenda, people, organisations, bias, etc.. It contains a treasure trove of data. For example, click here , and you will find a list of links to Maurice Strong’s background; some of these show how he is linked with virtually everyone of significance that has been pushing the alarmist climate change agenda. On other pages you can see how many places removed each influential person in the international climate community and politicians, journal editors, etc. are from Maurice Strong.

    The person: Maurice Strong
    Table of Contents
    1 General

    1-1 Ambiguity surrounding Maurice Strong

    1-2 Biographical Notes

    1-3 2005-01-01 – UN Under Secretary General flees bribery charge

    1-4 Documents written

    2 Affiliations

    2-1 Distance between Maurice Strong (Agenda 21) and Maurice Strong

    2-2 Groups involving Maurice Strong

    2-3 Members of the same organisations as Maurice Strong

    2-4 Members of multiple organisations with Maurice Strong

    2-5 Organisations with members in Maurice Strong’s organisations

    • Peter L, thanks, I had not used this database before. One thing I should say is that ‘who to blame’ is not what I am after in my research. I see huge socio-economic forces driving history, not heroic individuals. As my narrative tries to shows, the sustainability movement could have come about without Strong, it might not have chosen AGW as its flagship cause in 1988 but other forces helped set this up, something had to give in 1990 when the poor countries revolt separated policy from science, and Stong may have been important after that in writing the FCCC, something had to give again in 1995 when the IPCC science did not support treaty action, and, as Judith suggests above, the personalities involved might have mattered then, but, again, what forces put them there in these roles and left out others? We are only at the beginning of understanding what were the main drivers of this AGW phenomenon, but to over-emphasis the efficacy of the intention of a few individuals would be a distraction best left to be addressed in due course in a court of law.

      • Bernie, Thank you for your valuable book.

        I’m curious if in your research into GARP, WCRP and WMO, especially in the 1980-85 timeframe, if a climate scientist by the name of Hermann Flohn was eluded to? He’s one of the most intriguing figures in AGW science IMO, actually one of the founders of the science. He was honored by the WMO with an award in 1986 which is around the same period as the discussions in Villach. Dr. Flohn’s roots are fascinating, his career literally sprung up through the radical social culture of ecofascism. That some of the early meetings were held in Villach, in the Austrian Alps adds to my intrigue. I in no way intend to besmirch Dr. Flohn’s work, I know nothing of it other than he wrote the first German paper on AGW; but the fact that he was given an award by the WMO in 1986 certainly speaks to some influence he had. I’m curious if he had early followers, pre GARP, and if so, who these people were, and what role, if any, they played in forming the various organizations.

      • Flohn was an important figure in WMO circles, in Global Cooling and Global Warming, but I only discussed him directly in two places in my book (see index). He stands besides H H Lamb as prominent in historical climatology from the 1960s. Then he chaired the IFIAS funded meeting that produced the alarming ‘Bonn Statement’ warning on cooling. He was also on important expert panels, and gave an influential presentation to WMO. Some of those I interviewed knew him well. He deserves more attention. Check with Rupert Darwall, or with me off line.

      • “I see huge socio-economic forces driving history…”

        Ditto, but also in the context of the deeply entrenched social mechanisms inherited from our evolutionary history, so…

        “…what forces put them there in these roles and left out others?”

        …at this level ‘forces’ is not really the right word (and tends to imply specific agents). ‘Emergence’ fits the evidence much better, i.e. where uncertainty and high perceived social impact are high, typical emergent social features and behaviors are expected, per comment up thread, driven by narrative competition and our sensitization to emotive narratives. Such happens endlessly in human history, and in this generic sense what’s happening in the social sphere related to the issue of climate change is nothing new. Type Andy West in the search box here to see various angles prompted by this view.

      • Andy, emergent yes, but what is going on underneath that does or does not emerge?. I think we agree anyway. Actually, I find psycho-social account in the tradition of Nietzsche and Freud especially helpful in the understanding of enthusiasm, whether ancient, medieval or modern.

      • Bernie, indeed our views seem well aligned :) Re causation…

        “…but what is going on underneath that does or does not emerge?”

        A selection battle. Over millions of selections / morphs / re-transmissions of narrative elements, the narrative that gains the most circulation within the domain is the emergent one we see. In practice it is usually an ‘umbrella’ narrative with a tightly coupled set of co-evolved stories beneath, and likewise these spread out to a pyramid below. Vast possibilities exist at all times, which grants great adaptive power, and the situation at any one moment of time is represented by the appearance frequencies of each oft repeated narrative. This is analogous to the frequencies of adaptive genetic material in a population for biological evolution. Also explains why dominant cultural consensuses defended to the hilt as ‘settled’ or immovable, actually constantly evolve, and often have a curious vagueness about ‘what’ the consensus actually is about, in apparent contradiction to its promoted solidity.

        Higher selection value is roughly speaking granted by greater emotive impact. However, the strongest ’emotive cocktail’ might be a better way to phrase this, as narratives evoking various emotions simultaneously do better, especially those with strong hope and fear combinations. The mechanisms supporting this derive from our evolutionary history, and endless emergent narratives have derived from same, including all the religions. Reasoning systems, especially the scientific method, are theoretically the nemesis of such emotive narratives, and frequently ‘short-circuit’ their impact, so to speak. However, the enterprise of science is very fragile to our long sensitization and behaviors regarding emotive narrative, and in situations with high uncertainty and high *perceived* social impact, emotion will win over veracity regarding selection / re-transmission odds, as even Lewandowsky notes in one of his papers (prior to his ‘conspiracy ideation’ phase). And emotive narrative can itself amplify the perception of social impact.

        Anxiety messaging iteratively parting company with science, which you document, is this process in action. I generally agree regarding your attitude to ‘blame’ (with caveats), regarding individuals with particular high profile in this process. They are nevertheless still just part of the process. Prior similar cocktails of narratives inhabited them, upon which they maybe made somewhat more adaptive emotive amplifications and connections than others. No-one is wholly free of such influence; via gene / culture co-evolution, it is literally in our DNA. The debate about whether people are culpable for believing in emergent *group* deceptions is complex and recursive, and I only dipped a toe in, but anyhow the huge power of movements driven by emotive narrative comes from the passionate *honesty* of the great bulk of believers, not from dishonesty (though all human enterprises large enough will be accompanied by some dishonesty anyhow).

        Top down theories do not lay everything bare (though because of the long evolutionary development common to us all, you can get much of the way there, even with simple ‘mind blind’ versions). Coming up the other way from social psychology is very helpful. For instance per Kahan, in polarized socially conflicted domains such as the climate change domain, those with more domain knowledge are more polarized, not less. It’s also highly relevant that the whole system is tied to in-group / out-group recognition, policing etc. this is the ‘job’ of culture, and the emergent narrative is essentially the expression of a cultural consensus. This also grants emergent winners the means of maintaining dominance, which means should not be underestimated. For instance the major religions have survived for centuries after science has proved much of their wisdom wrong; there is huge cultural inertia associated with them that encompasses physical infra-structure and symbols and much written word, as well as cultural alliances (e.g. with politics or other movements) and the investment in current adherents.

  37. Darwall didn’t believe in acid rain as a problem. This one doesn’t believe in the ozone layer problem. Where do you get these people from? You can do better than this.

    • “Ozone-depleting substance replacement has been more rapid, less expensive, and more innovative than had been anticipated at the beginning of the substitution process. The alternative technologies already adopted have been effective and inexpensive enough that consumers have not yet felt any noticeable impacts (except for an increase in automobile air conditioning service costs)” (UNEP, 1994).

      The real story is of wild narratives of environmental disaster from a problem that was easily and cheaply resolved. If indeed it was a problem – the chemistry is far too complex for me. I have tried. The acid rain disaster was also quickly and easily fixed. The chemistry and the environmental responses far simpler and the impacts on biota and buildings not discernible.
      Acidifying oceans is of intermediate chemistry complexity – almost utter nonsense. The DDT scare was almost completely wrong. Global warming – which I know something about – is a deeply flawed scientific paradigm and an impressively orchestrated scare campaign. It is also simply and cheaply addressed in ways that have multiple social and economic benefits.

      But your denial that there are highly educated and intelligent voices who do not share your views – and do not have fringe views on AIDS, vaccines, cholesterol or intelligent design – is perhaps too deeply seated.

      “The point could be made that the term ‘wicked issues’ (Rittel & Webber, 1973), once reserved to intractable cases such as genetically modified organisms or climate, now applies to most issues where science is called to adjudicate. Climate is so much a defining issue that for Kahan (2015) – studying the impact of group values on the perceptions of risk and of the related evidence – one can determine a person cultural and normative stance by its perception of climate. If this is the case then we must draw the conclusion that our culture presently shape our attitude about a much larger class of problems, and that – as noted by Kahan – the more literate the observer is on a given issue, the higher his polarization is likely to be. It is as if ‘facts’ – rather than settle the issue – were metabolized instead as ammunition to feed one’s vision of the world.”

      I sure as hell do not want your world. I’ll leave you with my comment from above – climate science is much more interesting than your agnotology from cultural bias allows – and policy options much more fruitful.

    • As the book outlines, various key people ardently “believed” and campaigned that there was an ozone depletion problem, long before any real evidence on attribution emerged.
      Sounds familiar. Will the climate consensus fakers be equally lucky though ?

      • Yes, and he doesn’t believe the attribution for ozone even though that is by now well known within the area of science where this was studied. See the connection?

    • It is immoral and intellectually dishonest not to believe in those things that are on the left loon huffpo list of approved/compulsory beliefs. You won’t find God , country and family on the list.

    • Jim D,

      You repeatedly make ridiculous claims about the ozone hole.

      Researchers developed a hypothesis based on atmospheric chemistry.

      They then went searching for the hole. When they finally found it, it was nowhere near where their hypothesis said it should be. However they had their hole.

      The existence of said hole was all environmentalists needed. They started pitching their storyline of it representing a environmental catastrophe. No data or research showing actual harm, just the claims it was harmful.

      Eventually the Montreal Protocols were introduced and signed. In large part because the producers of CFC’s had developed new products which were patent protected.

      The ozone hole – it is still with us. Scientists really don’t know if it was there all along or was the result of CFC’s.

      If you want to believe that the world was saved be my guest. Just don’t try to get the rest of us to accept what is essentially a meme without any solid evidence to back it up.

  38. Geoff Sherrington

    Bernie Lewin and others have noted the serious and damaging rift that festered through the 1970s, between hard scientists and “environmental” researchers. This fundamental parting of the ways was not restricted to “climate science”. It was more general.
    In the USA, public health, cancer and man-made chemicals suffered an episode shorter than, but quite similar to global warming. Much can be learned from the book “The Apocalyptics” by Edith Efron, 1984 ISBN 0-671-41743-6. I have done a dozen OCR pages from the paperback of 590 pages, concentrating on the 1960s onwards and the people involved in fabricating the rift.
    There is also a 3-page OCR showing the early part played by MIT, as a sampler for parts played by others.
    I think that all people wanting to work out what the heck has been going on will benefit from reading the whole book. It is pertinent, because it has the cancer scare’s end game where the major players bow out, but still leave a legacy of Acts and Regs. Geoff

  39. Despite the flaws in IPCC, I am happy that we have a rather long satellite record (begun in the1980s) with which to study this issue. If there had been no alarm, there would have been no funding. How many times have funding agencies challenged the waste of money spent on satellites or ground stations? Although I do not like it, humans seem to need emergencies before they take action. I recall that this was the debate among climate scientists like Hansen and Schneider when they decided to go political.

    That said, the first thing I want to know is if the author read this report:

  40. Maurice Strong (CAGW Godfather )
    (1929 – 2015)
    His courageous leadership allowed the Stockholm Conference of 1972 to make history by launching a new era of international environmental diplomacy, which saw the birth of UNEP, the first UN agency to be headquartered in a developing country. He accepted the appointment to become UNEP’s first Executive Director

    Live & Learn: Maurice Strong
    I never aspired to be in business. I went into business because I only have a high-school education, and I couldn’t get jobs that required higher qualifications. I went into business quite reluctantly, because it was the only place I could get a job.

    Maurice F. Strong Is First Non-U.S. Citizen To Receive
    Public Welfare Medal, Academy’s Highest Honor
    WASHINGTON — The National Academy of Sciences has selected Maurice F. Strong to receive its most prestigious award, the Public Welfare Medal. Established in 1914, the medal is presented annually to honor extraordinary use of science for the public good. The Academy chose Strong, a Canadian and the first non-U.S. citizen to receive the award, in recognition of his leadership of global conferences that became the basis for international environmental negotiations and for his tireless efforts to link science, technology, and society for common benefit.

    • Like the NY Times, you left out long term crony capitalist that defrauded the UN of millions for personal gain, beyond his power seeking aided by corrupt political connections.

      RIP Maurice and thank you for exemplifying the corruption of climate change.

      • Maurice Strong: businessman as environmentalist
        The Merchants of UNCED
        “The environment is not going to be saved by environmentalists. Environmentalists do not hold the levers of economic power.”
        -Maurice Strong, UNCED Secretary-General

        [I am] a socialist in ideology, a capitalist in methodology.” – Maurice Strong as Quoted in Macleans
        “[The Earth Summit will play an important role in] reforming and strengthening the United Nations as the centerpiece of the emerging system of democratic global governance.” – Maurice Strong Quoted in the September 1, 1997 Edition of National Review Magazine

      • When the History of the CAGW scam Is finally written, It will be shocking to note that the primary Godfathers were Maurice Strong who’s formal education was limited to High School, and Crispin Tickell (of the Huxley family) a British Diplomat who read History at University
        BS baffles Brains!! :: ((

  41. The “Earth Charter” Is the work of Steven Rockefeller, Maurice Strong, and Gorbachev.

    Interview: Maurice Strong on a “People’s Earth Charter”
    But, let us be very clear, the UN action is not going to be the only goal. The real goal of the Earth Charter is that it will in fact become like the Ten Commandments, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It will become a symbol of the aspirations and the commitments of people everywhere. And, that is where the political influence, where the long-term results of the Earth Charter will really come.

    The Earth Charter Is Based on BIOETHICS (Better study up to see what this entails)

    Rebutting Rockefeller: the chairman of the Earth Charter drafting committee takes issue with this magazine’s expose, “The New World Religion.” The facts show that his objections are not sustainable. (Earth Charter).
    Professor Steven C. Rockefeller has objected to my critique of the Earth Charter, “The New World Religion,” in the September 23rd issue of THE NEW AMERICAN. (See his full letter on page 3). The article, he says, “contains some misunderstandings” about the Earth Charter Initiative which he then purports to correct. Below is my response to a number of his points.
    Rockefeller: “The Earth Charter is the product of a worldwide, cross-cultural, interfaith dialogue on common goals and shared values that has been conducted as a civil society initiative.”
    Response: The global campaign for the Charter is not a grass-roots, bottom-up effort, but a closely controlled, top-down operation masquerading as “dialogue.” The Charter was cobbled together under the leadership of Dr. Rockefeller, former Soviet dictator Mikhail Gorbachev (representing Green Cross International), Earth Summit I Secretary-General Maurice Strong (representing the Earth Council), and representatives from the government of the Netherlands.
    Maurice Strong opened Earth Summit I with a “Declaration of the Sacred Earth,” accompanied by “indigenous” animist Earth worship ceremonies — standard practice at UN convocations. The Charter says protecting Earth is our “sacred trust.”Dr. Rockefeller is a leading advocate of the radical “biocentrism,” under which, he says, “the rights of nature are defended first and foremost on the grounds of the intrinsic value of animals, plants, rivers, mountains, and ecosystems” against “human oppression.” Biocentrists believe that humans are no more important than other life forms or natural objects. Of course, rocks, trees, and ecosystems speak in words only understood by enlightened souls like Rockefeller and company, who have assigned themselves the noble task of defending these “rights of nature.”

    • Ding, Dong – The Godfather Of Global Warming Is Dead
      Paris, COP21 Climate Summit – One of the most dangerous men of the Twentieth Century has just died: and the weird thing is, hardly anyone noticed.

      In his 2000 autobiography Where Are We Going? he projected that by 2031 two thirds of the world’s population might have been wiped out. This, he chillingly described as:
      “A glimmer of hope for the future of our species and its potential for regeneration.”
      See: it’s perfectly OK to fantasize about the deaths of maybe 5 billion people – as long as you show at the end that you really care: you’re thinking about the future of humanity.

  42. So in his self-published book Bernie Lewin (BA in Social Science) criticizes early climate scientists for more-or-less getting things right as soon as the 1970s and early 1980s? And JC somehow finds this an important contribution?

    That certainly sheds some light on her post-retirement claim of “growing disenchantment with universities, the academic field of climate science and scientists.”

    • So in his self-published book Bernie Lewin (BA in Social Science) criticizes early climate scientists for more-or-less getting things right as soon as the 1970s and early 1980s?

      I think you’re missing the implications of the political agenda which led to a lot of confirmation bias.

      As for what theories are accurate, agenda polluted or not, consider:

      Yes, there’s warming coincident with increased CO2. The warming has been around 1.7C which is also around 1.7C per 2xCO2 equivalent forcing. That rate is about midway between Manabe and Wetherald’s fixed absolute humidity ( no water vapor feedback ) and fixed relative humidity ( full water vapor feedback ).

      It’s possible that oceanic heat uptake is a factor, but much of the difference can be explained by the failure of the predicted Tropical Upper Tropospheric Hot Spot. And the failure of this prediction is demonstrably because of the failure of applying the dynamic model prognostications, which have gotten worse from CMIP3 to CMIP5. This is not surprising. Atmospheric motion has long been known to be unpredictable.

      Beyond that, the close minded confirmation bias of the IPCC leads them to coy pronouncements of scary scenarios without actually explicitly stating them. They deal in the global average warming trends, claimed by the ethereal ECS to be from 1.5C to 4.5C. But observed warming trends ( 1.7C) support the low end only and in no way support the high end.

      And exactly how does global average temperature relate to actual climate, much less harmful change, from there? It’s not really clear that there’s any relation. Global mean temperature changes a great deal, after all, from January to July. The world does not end during these transitions.

      In fact, early climate work, echoed in the same physics of all climate models since, indicates benign changes from warming.

      To wit, Manabe and Wetherald, 1979:

      “The general warming and the increase of moisture content of air, which results from a CO2 increase, contributes to the large reduction of the merdional temperature gradient in the lower model troposphere because of 1) poleward retreat of highly reflective snow cover and 2) large increase in the poleward transport of latent heat. The reduction of the merdional temperature gradient appears to reduce not only the eddy kinetic energy, but also the variance of temperature in the model troposphere.”

      Reduced eddy kinetic energy and reduced temperature variability would certainly appear to indicate a more moderate climate.

    • Magma
      By “getting it right” presumably you mean hitting the political and monetary jackpot.

      And with Mann et al.’s 2001 hokey stick fraudulently ironing out the MWP, the scientific community lost any remaining vestige of integrity or sense of shame.

      If “integrity” or “shame” are as unfamiliar terms as “speleothem” – Google is your friend.

  43. The living planet index is a wildlife population index. Populations of thousands of key species have crashed over the past 50 years. Each of these species has a threshold population below which recruitment is less than mortality and the species crashes out of existence. The passenger pigeon did become extinct because the last bird was shot. Populations are crashing out of existence in a trend that can only accelerate if nothing is done.

    The problem for radical and misguided greens is that only rich economies can afford environments. It is the reason why energy costs are so fundamental to ecological conservation.

    The threats to populations are quite obviously not global warming – and are most pressing in the developing world.

  44. Spent the better part of today reading Bernie Lewis’ book. Magnificent in scope and scale. Judith’s praise seems muted. 741 meticulous footnotes. Most interesting is the background in DDT, SST, CFC that led to the decoupling of what was science from ‘climate science’, ending in the Santer/Houghton abomination in 1995 (IPCC 2, FAR) and then the Mann abomination in IPCC 3,TAR, in 2001. A fact indisputable must read for all denizens. Also a great illustratiin of AndyWest2012 comments and posts about memes.

    • ristvan,

      Agree completely. Lewin’s book along with Darwall’s latest are fantastic.

      I struggle with Pielke Jr.’s comment upstream re. “The best account/analysis of the Santer/Chapter 8 controversy is:
      Lahsen, M. (1999).” I’ve read it and researched Lahsen. Take a look and let us know what you think.

    • A personal subnote about the veracity of Chapter 2. My late father is buried at Arlington with the medal of honor neck order, but not for combat, for something else still classified. Hint: at the Pentagon he was the program director of the Atlas missle program under General Curtis Lemay, who awarded Dad the second ever Missilier Air Force badge after Dad pinned the first on LeMay. (The design of which Dad led as ordered by LeMay, something equivalent to the Navy submariner badge invented by Rickover—NOT for the neck order— a hysterically funny design with lots of atmospheric steering fins to confuse the Russians about how ICBMs actually work).In addition to being a command pilot in WW2,he got posted to Seagirt Inn concerning early weather radar research and even had a now declassified patent on a weather ballon radar reflector, part of which patented design led to the Area 49 UFO myth (but I risk digressing concerning Scotch Tape, radar reflectors, and weather balloons). He commanded the 409th Typhoon chasers off Guam from 1947-late 1950 (early tropical storm research from instrumented B-29s) when he got reposted to Japan to fly during the Korean War—but not just bombing missions. My pilot father also got his double MS in meteorology and electronics (radar) from UCLA in 1946 courtesy of the Air Force.
      Bernie Lewin’s book is magnificently and accurately researched. Must read.

    • Thanks for the note ristvan. I ought to read this also, but unfortunately can’t for a while as I’m too busy pushing on some of the wheels of industry.

  45. Global warming I am not your father – Wally Broecker.

    “Just over 40 years ago, I wrote a paper entitled “Climate change: Are we on the
    brink of a pronounced global warming?” In it, I attempted to explain why despite a rise in the atmosphere’s CO2 content there had been no significant warming. I predicted that a natural cooling was about to give way to a warming, and that industrial emissions of CO2 would amplify this warming. The paper published in Science in 1975. Warming did follow in 1976–1977. However, a retrospective look shows that my analysis was flawed. What is more—and to my chagrin—based on the words “global warming” in my Science paper, I was given the title “Father of Global Warming.” Not only did I not like this title, I had done little to merit it.”

    I went searching for Wally Broecker’s 1975 article. There is nothing wrong in the article – but I found this 2017 reflection instead – where Wally is far too hard on himself. It has a lucidity that is exceptional. Nothing has much changed – there was natural cooling to 1976 and natural warming to 1998. CO2 added to the warming from 1976. The surface temperature trend since has been more muted despite increasing soil moisture artifacts in the record. More sensible and less latent heat flux as a result of global drought and declining soil moisture.

    In 1990 I skimmed the IPCC First Assessment Report. The science again was unexceptional. I decided that the solutions were technological and went back to investigating flood and drought dominated regimes in eastern Australia. Unfortunately – Wally’s warming and cooling periods are connected to Australian flood and drought regimes. Wally Broecker is the father of climate chaos.

    Science continued to explore complexities but ultimately – at the latest by 2007 – the IPCC summaries diverged from rational science. The reasons included the co-option of global warming by people – largely political and not scientific – intent on a socialist transformation of economies – something that is unpalatable to most in advanced economies. This is still at the core of socialist aspirations. The vision involves narratives of moribund western economies governed by corrupt corporations collapsing under the weight of 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.

    It became conflated with a millennialist impulse little different from any in medieval history. Mankind had sinned against Gaia. We were a plague upon the world and punishment would be swift.

    Interspersed are many fanatics with little understanding of science beyond the headlines. Classic group think that gives intellectually barely adequate people an assurance of intellectual and moral superiority. It basis is a psychological disorder.

    The rest of us are concerned only that our children have a better life and greater opportunity. We resist the imprecations of socialist and fanatic alike. We want it to go away. We want solutions that don’t cost the Earth, we want economic development and environmental conservation.

    • By the early 2000’s it was clear that the climate was changing and not in a natural way. The 30-year temperature looks like this.
      Not only that, but it is vary easy to see why based on the GHG forcing change that explains it. No one is surprised and different GHG emission rates will either allow this trend to continue or to bend down. Hence the policies. This is not complicated.

      • Nor is it as simple as the word picture you paint, Jim D.

      • Jim D: This is not complicated.

        No, Jim D. It is complicated.

      • This is what the temperature over Wally’s cooling and warming regimes look like.

        It is an upper estimate of the rate of anthopogenic warming. It is certainly more complex than wood for dimwits.

      • The unrelenting trend in the 30-year temperature is not complicated, as you can see, nor is its explanation because the forcing looks rather similar and that is almost all manmade since 1950. We can also note that the land temperature is warming twice as fast as the ocean temperature since 1980 supporting an external forcing cause just because of how thermal inertia affects the response globally. Really, it is not complicated. Certain interests want it to be and therefore manufacture controversy, but they won’t show plots like this because observations don’t help them. If you were wondering why the scientists became increasingly certain after 2000, plots like this are why.

      • Something tells me we’ll removing off the Gold Standard:

      • Jim D

        10 piece puzzles are not complicated compared to a 1000 piece puzzle. But in this case, it might appear there are only 10 pieces, while in reality there might be 990 pieces missing. The human mind is hard wired to make things simpler than they are.

      • There is no complexity in the trend. It is rock solid for the 30-year temperature. Sometimes things are as simple as doing an energy balance on a global scale, and if the forcing changes smoothly, as it does, so does the temperature. Skeptics have to work hard to pretend they don’t understand that this is just an expected response to forcing. No mystery here. Move on.

      • Annual surface temperature records reflect the state of the Pacific Ocean during the year – warm or cool surfaces – and soil moisture. The latter involves very basic physics of latent and sensible heat.

        A much better idea is a 13 month running mean and tropospheric temps.

      • Still hiding?

      • “2017 was third warmest year in satellite record
        Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.13 C per decade…

        Warmest years (global)
        1979 to 2017
        2016 +0.513 C
        1998 +0.484 C
        2017 +0.375 C
        2010 +0.336 C”

        I am never sure why quibbling about 100ths of a degree is so appealing to them.

      • The surface temperature is both more reliable and more pertinent. I don’t understand the obsession with satellite datasets that get major adjustments every couple of years and don’t go back very far either.

      • Satellite data over a number of indicators are the way of the future. Global coverage and depth integrated heat content – but temperature is just one variable. Surface temperatures capture a small and variable component of global heat content.

      • Indeed there are things where satellites have the best potential like sea level, radiation budgets and glacier mass budgets, but they are out of their league when trying to ascertain surface temperatures where good old in situ thermometers beat them handily.

      • Satellites do not measure surface temp of course. And except for weather reports – the thermometer record is obsolete. Despite how much they love it at the moment. It is substantially impacted by drought – and the only way to fix it is to account for moist enthalpy. A task that is not worth the candle and could only result in a very much truncated record.

      • What I meant to say was thermometer network.

      • Back up 5 feet and it will look straight-lined.
        Graph 0C to 20C and plot since 1881 if you wish. Straight line.

      • Well Jim D, there is no doubt that in the 30 year period from the 1980’s into the 2010’s the Earth’s temperatures increased.

        Just so we can isolate the factors perhaps you can itemise and quantify the factors that drove the Earth’s temperature at a slightly greater rate for the 30 year period 1910 to 1940, we do know it wasn’t increasing CO2 as levels changed very little?

        Obviously you can do this and show for certain that those identified factors are no longer present or that there values have changed to such an extent that they are having no effect on current temperature rise.

        I am sure you can do this but don’t forget to give links to the data that proves how these factors drove the 1910 -1940 rise and how the changed values are driving today.

        This is no problem right? I mean the science is settled isn’t it? An inability to show these ‘facts’ with absolute proof would mean that a statement that ‘the science is settled’ couldn’t be true.


      • I have added a plot of 11-year averaged sunspots to show an answer. Note that in te first period, sunspots were increasing, indicative of increasing solar activity, that could have accounted for half of that warming along with CO2 for the other half. In recent years you see it going the other way, so it is all GHGs this time, and note that it is also on top of the previous warming despite the fact that the sun is similar to where it was a century ago.

      • PDO was positive and there was a pronounced dominance of El Niño and ENSO neutral over La Niña.

    • “The unrelenting trend in the 30-year temperature is not complicated, as you can see, nor is its explanation because the forcing looks rather similar and that is almost all manmade since 1950.”

      The trend since 1998 is negligible as a result of a cooler regime in the Pacific Ocean. Frankly – if it were not for climate chaos there wouldn’t be a problem.

      In the short term – this year and next – the ocean and atmosphere will continue cooling largely the result of closed cell Rayleigh–Bénard convection over the upwelling regions of the eastern Pacific.

      There was natural cooling between 1944 and 1976 and natural warming to 1998 – as Wally Broecker said. Starting from 1950 is an endpoint distortion. The result of Lorenz forcing of the climate system is evident in satellite and surface observations – and agrees with core system physics.

      In the longer term – centennial cooling is very much on the cards.


      “We can also note that the land temperature is warming twice as fast as the ocean temperature since 1980 supporting an external forcing cause just because of how thermal inertia affects the response globally. Really, it is not complicated. Certain interests want it to be and therefore manufacture controversy, but they won’t show plots like this because observations don’t help them. If you were wondering why the scientists became increasingly certain after 2000, plots like this are why.”

      This is fake science. The reality is that land and ocean surface temp trend have diverged because of drought this century. Simple physics. Reduced soil moisture reduces latent heat flux and thus the sensible heat component – that thermometers measure – increases. Divergence is purely a drought artifact. It happened after 2000 – apply Occam’s razor.

      I have been reading the very interesting little paper in the latest week in review on ocean heat. Heat flux from the planets interior at some 101mW/m2 keeps oceans below the thermocline 0.4 degrees C warmer than otherwise. The increase in instantaneous forcing from greenhouse gases is some 1E-9W/m2. The conventional idea is that this slows down the rate of cooling of the sun warmed layer causing a rise in temperature that mixes into lower levels resulting in a 15 to 20 year delayed equilibrium. It seems evident that the lower levels are already warmer so that the reduction in the rate of cooling causes heat to be retained in oceans at depth. It would suggest that TCR is equal to ECR.

      The difference to land surfaces is that there is no mixing to depth – although there is slow heat diffusion. Ultimately – even with slowly warming oceans and with a relatively steady increase in greenhouse gas forcing – you would expect divergence to be constant after 15 or 20 years – rather than increasing in this century. And not measurable against large background variability.

      Climate is far from simple and Jimmy’;s consensus is scientifically naive. He has so little exposure to science other than IPCC summaries from which science diverges – and wood for dimwits – and is so implacably committed to endlessly repeating his simple memes that any rational discourse is impossible.

      • UAH is now the outlier since the other two satellite datasets now agree with surface warming using the same data. I think UAH is about due for an adjustment because they have followed RSS adjustments in the past.
        Also this is the warming since 1980. Does it fit your just invented drought theory? No.

      • I never understand what the problem is.

        Both satellite data sets seem reasonably in accord with radiosonde data – and are not expected to accord with surface data for a number of reasons including the highly significant drought artifact.

        Simple physics as I said.

      • Most of that is not anthropogenic.

      • Looney tunes. 100 to 110%, and maybe, Tsonis, more.

      • In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system. IPCC 4AR

        Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. #8220;This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” NASA

        Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural. Anastasios Tsonis

        We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s. Tsonis et al 2007

        The evidence is far from ‘equivocal’ – and 110% is a blog echo chamber meme. What is this? What is the psychological underpinning of climate fanaticism?

        There is a collective rationalization – an inability to reconsider assumptions. The cause is of course inherently moral – and intellectually superior. Skeptics and deniers are loony tunes. Not toeing the line should be a criminal offence. There can be no doubts about the consensus. Doubts and deviations from the group consensus cannot be expressed. Self-appointed defenders enforce the enforce the collective memes.

        It sounds like the Borg collective – but it is classic groupthink.

  46. “Policy entrepreneur”
    I love that term!

  47. A very interesting article worthy of widespread reading by those in positions of influence, power and the business of representation…..

  48. Hello, everyone. I apologize I’m not really here to reply directly to this particular post, Mrs. Curry. I saw your interview with Dr. Paul on the Liberty Report today, and I wanted to say hi, and tell you I appreciated your remarks, particularly that human activity is but one variable among many that absolutely effect the climate. I have some education with natural resources conservation and wildlife management, and I have a unique perspective I would like to share here with you.

    We all learn in high school about the the law of conservation of energy, which basically states humanity cannot excavate billions of tons of carbon that’s been buried for millions of years, burn it all, and send into the atmosphere inside a century, without creating an imbalance in the carbon cycle within the atmosphere, impacting the way our atmosphere retains the suns energy, and subsequently effecting earth’s climate and weather patterns.

    Weather modification and cloud seeding have also been around for decades, so the argument that man cannot impact the weather is flat false. The dust bowl, desertification, nuclear winter, and acid rain are all testaments to this fact.

    The argument that climate change will reach a fever pitch and lead to a sixth mass extinction is debatable. Although, we certainly are losing indicator species, like the “canary in the coal mine”, at an alarming rate. However, the argument that the governments of the world can save us from “ourselves” with taxes is unbelievably backwards and ignorant, imo.

    My argument is that not all carbon is created equal. Biodiesel and alcohol, particularly from hemp, were cheap fuels that could be easily grown and processed at home. These were in competition with petroleum prior to prohibition, which evolved from banning distilleries to controlling them with the ATF, and controlling cannabis farming and subsequently banning it with the DEA. Hemp is particularly energy dense, fast growing, resilient anywhere, and like all plants, only contains carbon synthesized from the atmosphere, which makes it carbon neutral, and clean burning. No acid rain.

    Furthermore, the main reason humanity burns fossil fuels like it does is because of governments. The US and it’s allies especially, have subsidized it, along with the “petro”-dollar, with war, at home and abroad, for nearly a century. Prohibition being the war at home, that specifically hurts our farmers.

    Additionally, Intellectual Property laws, particularly those surrounding gasification and the Tesla coil, have also lead to monopolized energy production, hindered innovation, and made overall consumption less efficient.

    Also, the EPA insulates preferred industries from personal lawsuits and liability by undermining citizen’s property rights and our rights in civil cases (a trick the feds learned from state and local courts during both World War efforts), and on top of that, they socialize the negative externalizes. This means that taxpayers typically clean up the messes, which provides little incentive for these cronies to respect the property rights of citizens in the first place.

    Finally, I argue that the unsustainable nature of the petro-dollar, and debt based fiat currency in general, is a direct reflection of the unsustainable consumption of our human population, and is the reason our population has grown exponentially from ~1 billion people to ~7 billion people in just over a century. Central banking, wittingly or unwittingly, is population management. The Keynesian economic policies of the central banks world wide, have empowered politicians to control the flow of credit via the levers of legislation and is ultimately responsible for unsustainable growth, both monetary and population.

    Strong property rights, sound money, real prices, limited government, friendly foreign policy, maximum liberty… these not only lead to peace and prosperity, it also necessitates sustainability. Libertarianism is environmentalism. The Austrian school of economic thought explains why in a simple and factual way that is easy to verify.

    Thank you so much for your insights and for creating a venue for this discussion. I look forward to any responses and also participating (with your actual posts) in the future. :)

    • Nate, what you call unsustainable growth is the lifting of more people out of dire poverty than at any previous time in history. The unsustainable part is that the birth rates of wealthy nations are below the replacement level. Growth thus appears to be self-correcting.

      • I’m glad more people are getting a bigger slice of the pie. This is the product of a mixed economy. Capitalism mixed with socialism. Thank property rights and capitalism for the increased equity and distribution of pie. Thank government force, central banking and Keynesian economics for the unsustainable size of the pie. You are correct however, growth, especially the unsustainable sort, is always self correcting. The more freedom and liberty we have as individuals, the more quickly and smoothly these economic and population corrections will take place.

    • “This means that taxpayers typically clean up the messes, which provides little incentive for these cronies to respect the property rights of citizens in the first place.”

      The flaw in this argument is that it only works on paper, in reality no place on earth has been more environmentally messy than non-capitalist economic systems- communist and socialist. Venezuela, China, Zimbabwe, North Korea are environmental nightmares and it took Europe decades to clean up the former soviet bloc nations. Socialism may not throw externalities onto the taxpayer, but only because it doesn’t give a fig about externalities or the rights of any of it’s citizens, or the environment, or anything else for that matter.

  49. The family farmland is in Southwestern Minnesota. It is corns then soybeans, repeat. It has about 2 feet of till which means, it’s really good soil. But I suspect there is a limit to how much fertilizer and herbicides can do in the long run and there are simple ways to reduce these two inputs with spin-off benefits as well as long term system health improvements.

    At the above link, there is some truth to how agriculture has developed in the Midwest. A selling point for a slow transition to more small grains in crop rotations is the long term health of the farmers soil. A number like $6000 per acre for land is worth protecting. If your neighbors play their land out, you’ll be sitting better. Another is more independence from non-seed inputs such as fertilizer and herbicides.

    At the link, problems with small grains are brought up. Oats especially usually command much less in the market place than soybeans or corn. I’ll take this moment to ask you read the ingredient list on a box of rolled oats (Quaker).

    While oats can be livestock feed used on your farm, most farms have headed towards grain farming only and this situation needs to be overcome by developing improved markets for oats and other small grains. Trucking costs almost the same whether your moving high priced soybeans or low priced oats. Storage as well has about the same costs and I imagine it’s more difficult in some cases to find off farm storage during harvest time for some small grains while the system is designed for corn and soybeans throughput.

    • Crop rotations, part 2:

      The corn, soybeans rotation of the Midwest relies materially on Nitrogen fertilizer. The soybeans fix nitrogen to the soil but to ballpark things, maybe only 20% of what’s needed for one corn crop using standard farming techniques.

      It is this nitrogen delivery that can be the problem as described at the link. With other crop rotations, these problems can be reduced but there will be economic impacts as well as transformation costs. The pay-offs will be over various time frames. In some cases they will seen as far away as the Gulf of Mexico.

      I am not suggesting large new government programs. I am suggesting farmland owners start looking at different options. To ask themselves, Why does the long term health of this farmland matter?

    • Crop rotations, part 3:

      Above is a corn, soybeans, rye, and red clover rotation over 3 years. My readings have me thinking it reduces Nitrogen purchases and problems. It also gives a winter cover crop in 2 out of 3 years.

      How does the above change the status quo? One has to able to plant and combine rye and have a market for it. Be able to plant red clover which I think is plowed under prior to planting corn.

      A benefit is that you still have 2/3s of your prior corn and soybeans income as opposed to 2/4s with 4 year rotation. I cannot predict future cereal rye prices but they seem not too far below what you get from growing soybeans. Small grains such as rye are a hedge for poor growing conditions years. They used to dominate North Dakota as it is drier and cooler than more Southern and Eastern states.

      Rotations including more than 2 crops do a better job breaking the pest cycle. The things that you don’t want move into your field. The next year you plant something else and the food they used to eat is gone.

      • You’ve asked about the JIASO PDO update.

        From Wolter’s latest MEI:

        <blockquote.The next update for the MEI is expected on or before February 10. Compared to last month, the odds for continued La Niña conditions in the MEI sense are higher again, at least through the next three months. Meanwhile, the PDO showed its lowest value since January 2014 in October (+0.05), followed by +0.15 in November and not updated yet through December. PDO-neutral conditions are a safe guess for now rather than the prolonged positive mode that dominated the last 4 years. Daily updates of the ENSO status can be found at the TAO/TRITON website, showing strengthening La Niña conditions in early 2018 over the equatorial Pacific, both in its SST- and surface wind field. …

        So November is 15. December will be higher, snd January higher yet.

      • So who is winning?
        I’d think there’s something wrong with an index that doesn’t go negative once in 4 years.

      • If there were something wrong, salmon would be thriving in huge numbers. They came up with the index.

        It’s a regime change.

      • It depends where you put the zero – but both the NCEI PDO index and the Mantua PDO index have shown northern Pacific cooling since July 2017. Nor can I find a Mantua value for November – but I’m sure Claus Wolter knows what he is talking about if JCH doesn’t. Cooling sets up positive feedbacks.

      • You are the one who does not know what you’re talking about. The PDO is not agreeing with a cold 17-18 La Niña, which is going to be the 2nd warmest La Niña in the instrument record, and also looks to be very short.

        After that, more warming:

        The only basis for 2018 dropping out of the top 5 is bone-in-the-nose religion. Pray on it. They say it works.

        What Wolter has introduced is the notion of PDO neutral, which is fine. But he obviously relies on the JIASO PDO index, with which Ragnaar, apparently for religious and cooling cult reasons, wants to find fault.

        The satellite record, with one completed La Niña and one in the midst, is .19 ℃ per decade. The surface temperature record for the 21st century is .19 ℃ per decade. The SPM prediction for the first two decades of the 21st century is .2 ℃ per decade, and it’s looking achievable. Where is GIRMA? Lol.

      • But … but … but … The models said 0.3C/decade.

        The AR5 SPM arbitrarily reduced the medium term to 0.17C/decade. Then left the out years at 0.3C/decade to appease the UN politicians.

      • The NCEI PDO index and the Mantua PDO both show cooling since July last year.

        The SST anomaly – btw – shows both the currently intensifying La Nina and the cooling north Pacific. The reason why is hugely interesting.

        It relates to surface pressure at the poles with movement of atmospheric mass at high latitudes driving ocean gyres. Is the US cold and snowy? Upwelling is increasing off the coasts of Peru and California.

        Where will this go? I don’t do feral science. Model studies – e.g. – suggest a solar UV/ozone link to polar surface pressure.

    • Nitrogen as ammonia is soluble in oxic conditions as a positively charged polyatomic ion. On oxidization it forms oxides of nitrogen – again soluble. Nitrogen oxides are reduced to gaseous dinitrogen in anoxic conditions by faculative organisms. As ammonia it is weakly ionically bonded to soils and so relatively immobile unless dislodged by chemicals that form stronger covalent bonds with soil particles. As soils dry ammonia is converted into nitrous oxides and rain can flush these into waterways. Phosphorus strongly bonds with soils and with high applications tends to move in a front down through the soil profile. Phosphorus in an oxic environment exists as an insoluble, stable, tetravalent crystal with 4 oxygen atoms. When mobilized with erosion in freshwater it forms ionic bonds with soil particles that clump and settle out. In the top centimeter of sediment phosphorus is insoluble but below that sediments are anoxic and phosphorous soluble. Some phosphorus is continuously pumped from sediment into the water column by aquatic plants. When the waterways is hit by a nitrogen flush and there is sufficient phosphorous the resultant green algal bloom settles on the sediment and causes it to become anoxic at the water/sediment interface. Soluble phosphorous then enters the water column and results in a bloom of nitrogen fixing blue-green algae. That’s where the troubles really start.

      “The fishes of North America’s inland waters, the most diverse of any temperate region, currently face an unprecedented conservation crisis.

      About 40% are imperiled or presumed extinct, and the portion of imperiled fishes is increasing.

      Threats to this fauna include habitat destruction, introduced species, altered hydrology, pollution, disease, over-exploitation, and other factors.
      Extinctions and imperilment of fishes occur among diverse taxonomic groups, across regions, and in a variety of habitats.

      280 taxa are endangered (E), i.e., in imminent (fewer than 50 years) danger of extinction, or extirpation (loss of populations) throughout most portions of a taxon’s range.

      190 are threatened (T), or in imminent danger of becoming endangered.

      230 are vulnerable (V), that is, in imminent danger of becoming threatened, which is comparable to a designation of “Special Concern” by many agencies and conservation organizations.

      61 are presumed extinct (X), meaning a taxon that has not been observed for over 50 years. Two subcategories are included: Possibly Extinct (Xp), a taxon suspected to be extinct, as evidenced by more than 20 but less than 50 years since living representatives were observed, and Extirpated in Nature (Xn), where all populations in natural habitats are presumed eliminated but surviving individuals are maintained in captivity.”

      In Minnesota the corn/soybean rotation can result in bare soils for 8 months a year and high erosion rates. Many conventional agricultural methods cause carbon to be lost from soils. It results in soils that are prone to drying, have reduced infiltration and more intense surface runoff. But there are methods used by the USDA and farmers more generally to limit the adverse impacts of erosion and soil carbon loss.

      The University of Minnesota looks to be a great resource – but farmer groups tend to be more practical.

      You will still need nutrients – but applying only what you need where you need it reduces input costs, increases farm productivity and limits nutrient and pesticide export to aquatic environments.

      • Ellison:

        I’ve been looking at various crop rotations as alternatives to corn then soybeans. Changing what is, in the face of my families farming knowledge, has a long time frame. So I’ve cut back on my ideas to oats after soybeans as a cover crop that is winter killed. Seeding after bringing in the beans and before the corn is ready. This would eliminate having to kill the cover crop before planting next year. Failure specifically to my situation involves hearing how the cover crop didn’t die and messed the traditional situation up.

        Here is a thing I’d never think of, but read. Plant oats. Oats see shortwave and CO2 and water and makes plant mass. Some of it is roots. Roots are carbon and a bit of water. Oats use water, but cut evaporation losses. It’s assumed the Oats alive and dead cut wind erosion, and reduce snow being blown into ditches where it’s useless.

        Anyways, after the soybeans are harvested, the reduced Fall sun still converts CO2 into carbon in the ground. The sun sequesters carbon with a low tech process and has other spin-off benefits.

      • Yeah – I saw that – good for pests and diseases. My not be so good for the bottom line.

  50. A few years ago Bob Carter summed it up in a 5 min BBC interview
    Yes amazing how he got through the BBC filter against skeptics.
    BBC serve lib-land not Eng-land/UK

  51. Berniel,

    Thank you for the good points. I’ll enjoy reading your book when it arrives.

  52. The linked tweet above prompted recycling if not rethinking on GMO’s. The debate on GMO’s parallels other wicked problems like climate. There is a bottom line for both I think. The reduction of risk with living soils.

    “The urgent restoration of degraded forests and landscapes in drylands is essential if the global community is to meet the challenges posed by desertification, food insecurity, climate change and biodiversity loss, among other negative trends.” FAO

    Risk may be informed by science but science is rarely definitive. On immensely complex issues – science relies on a different and less certain method than hypothesis testing in which “the associated emphases on truth and degrees of certainty are not optimal for the productive and creative processes that facilitate the fundamental advancement of science as a process of discovery. The latter requires an investigative approach, where the goal is uberty, a kind of fruitfulness of inquiry, in which the abductive mode of inference adds to the much more commonly acknowledged modes of deduction and induction.”

    There are risks in both GMO’s and climate change that must logically inform decision making under uncertainty. Fake certainty leads to bad policy.

  53. I think this sentence is wrong:

    “Regarding Jim Hansen’s 1998 Congressional testimony:”

    Correct is:

    Regarding Jim Hansen’s 1988 (!) Congressional testimony:

  54. Pingback: Bits and Pieces – 20180107, Sunday | thePOOG

  55. Pingback: Manufacturing consensus | Pursue Democracy

  56. Pingback: How the UN IPCC became so alarmist

  57. from… A HISTORY OF THE SCIENCE AND POLITICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE The Role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    BERT BOLIN (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

    (pgs 112 and 113 of the paperback version) …

    “This second paragraph quoted led to discussions that lasted a day and a half. One of the convening lead authors of the Chapter 8 of the report (Ben Santer) opened the discussion by presenting new evidence that would justify a stronger statement regarding a partial attribution of the observed change of the global climate being due to human interference than had been proposed in the wording submitted in writing before the meeting of the working group, and he was supported by the other convening lead author (Tom Wigley) [4]. The very last sentence in a first version, however, contained the expression ‘appreciable human influence’ rather than ‘discernible human influence.’ I felt uneasy at this as did he UK delegate (David Warrilow). After further consultations, I proposed to the Chairman that the discussion be reopened and that the wording of the last sentence of the crucial paragraph be modified by using the word ‘discernible’ rather than ‘appreciable’ as had first been agreed. There were no objections to this proposal which better emphasised the uncertainty. Even though the precise meaning of the word ‘discernible’ was still somewhat unclear, to my mind it expressed considerable uncertainty as well as the common view that it was impossible to provide a more precise measure. The modification also satisfied Dr AI-Sabban (Saudi Arabia), who had objected to the earlier wording. He did not, however, consider whether the proposed conclusion was adequately supported in the underlying bulk report available at the meeting. The chairman, Sir John Houghton, pointed out that since the two convening lead authors considered that this modification was justified in the light of the additional literature that had been considered by them [5], modification of the writing in the bulk report and the insertion of additional references were needed in order to ensure consistency. This was unanimously agreed by the working group. The modifications of the bulk report that were accordingly made after the meeting were agreed by the team of lead authors of the chapter as well as by the working group chairmen before final publication. Most importantly, the final wording of the last sentence was in my view well chosen on the basis of the evidence that was available at the time.

    This was indeed an awkward interlude because the written submissions to the session were supplemented during the final session, but in retrospect it was important in order to ensure that the work by the scientists would not become unduly constrained and bureaucratic. It should be emphasised that there was no expression of mistrust in the scientific conclusions that were drawn by the convening lead authors. For most delegates the issue was one of nuances of expression, while there were just a few objections raised about the procedure, though none by the US delegation.”

    Notes [4] and [5] indicated in the text above are detailed on page 256 of the book:
    4. The new information referred to was available in draft form and had been submitted to Nature for publication. See Santer et al. ( 1996).
    5. Santer and Wigley, the two lead authors of the [PCC chapter, were key authors of the Nature article and they were undoubtedly in the vanguard of this kind of analysis at the time.

  58. The Dangers of this AGW Hoax. We are ignoring real threats.

    Climate Change and the Iranian Protests

    Jimmy Carter’s energy policy was to tell people to “wear a sweater,” President Obama’s energy policy was to build Quixotic Wind and Solar farms and force everyone to buy extremely expensive, dangerous eco-unfriendly energy efficient light bulbs. President Trump’s energy policy doubles as a National Security Policy and will result in more abundant, greater diversity, and cheaper energy for America and the world. The secondary benefit is a bankrupt Iran, Russia and North Korea, and greater freedom, peace, and hope around the World. What will be the contribution of the AGW Liberals? To fight president Trump every opportunity they can get. Liberals are simply a Tyrant’s best friend.

  59. To me the question is less “How did we get into this mess?” and more “How do we get out of this mess?”

    To me the answer is more science. Eventually someone good enough will produce evidence good enough to start a snowball effect.

  60. Reminder: the coffin was nailed with the UNFCCC in 1992.
    The Truth has been defined in its Article 2:
    “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.
    Thus, no other climate change can exist that would not be human made.

    • No, just the one in which we are:

      • David Wojick

        The blue line says it all. The CMIP models only allow human causes for significant climate change so it follows that all significant climate change is human caused. Reasoning does not get more circular than this.

      • “Otto et al.12 proposed an index of human-induced warming based on a simple least-squares fit between observed temperatures and the expected responses to anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing13”

        Neglecting internal variability with oversimplified methodologies is an apt illustration of the problem.

      • To believe the graph, JCH, one has to believe there was no natural warming from 1910 to 1945.

    • The blue line includes everything that is real. You want to add fairytales.

  61. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #298 | Watts Up With That?

  62. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #298 |

  63. The Proselytizing Peronista Pope is not going to be happy about this hypocritical and outrageous failure to live up to the non-binding pretend Paris agreement:


    • But it’s okay, because they’re still sticking to their 2030 target. :rolleyes: I wonder how the UKs ambitious energy targets are going. I noticed the newspapers were opining on the cost of power again not so long ago. :rolleyes:

      • To me, the excessive use of obscure emoji is on par with the excessive use of cap-lock and exclamation points.

  64. Has anybody here read this book? US Energy Policy and the Pursuit of Failure, by Peter Z Grossman:

  65. Pingback: Manufacturing climate consensus | budbromley

  66. What am I not getting about the IPCC’s attribution?

    GHG +- OA = ANT

    (0.9 +- 0.5) – (0.2 +- 0.3) = ANT

    (0.9 +- 0.5) – (0.2 +- 0.3) = 0.7 +- 0.1

    In the 3rd line above, I am asking how can the GHG and OA have wider bounds that narrow with the ANT?

    This might help explain what I am looking at:

    Is there a math thing that allows one to narrow error bounds in this case?

    Or let’s try it this way. This is with only the tinest doubt, true:
    (0.9 +- 0.5) – (0.2 +- 0.3) = 0.7 +- 0.1

  67. “Is the Cooling of Power Plants a Constraint on the
    Future of Nuclear Power?”

    John Parmentola of General Atomics here says that it is to do with the mass of the pile and thermal efficiency. Thermal efficiency is – he says – the third most important variability in prospects for the bottom line.

  68. A layer of fluid heated from below exhibits Rayleigh–Bénard convection. Over oceans closed and open celled cloud convection cells appear.

    This is over the Pacific Ocean.

    Closed cells tend to form over colder water and reflect more sunlight – open cells over warmer water.

    This changes toa radiant flux considerably. The biggest changes in ocean surface heat occur in the Pacific.

  69. Am I understanding you correctly in that the warmer water pushes warm-moist air upwards where it condenses over cooler water?

    • Never mind, I was missing the horizontal part.

    • Convection bubbles rise to the marine boundary layer where hexagonal cloud patterns appear. Best seen from space. In closed cells air sinks at the perimeter of the cell – in the center with open cells. Two stable states with implications for cloud persistance, precipitation and albedo. Over warmer water the marine boundary layer is higher, precipitation more intense and cloud persistence is less.

  70. “I hope this history of manufacturing consensus gives rational people reason to pause…”

    Having read the emails of those who contrived to manufacture the consensus I am no wiser about where rationality lies, but I am in no doubt it is not with them.

  71. A very interesting article in The Times today about Theresa May’s new born concern about plastic packaging (despite her former Environment minister admitting to being told by Theresa to eschew such abject stupidity). But poor Theresa is in desperate need of popularity points and desperate times call for desperate measures. Meanwhile Merkel consigns the human race to destruction because that is a precondition for a viable coalition, and she was only kidding anyway. None of this can be properly understood without an appreciation of the subtle art of whoredom dressed as virtue. This can never be explained, but only enacted. Where is Jim D when you need him?

    • Being an expert on plastic pollution in the environment I searched for an article online about Theresa May’s proposal you mentioned. (links are nice you know so you aren’t just mumbling to yourself) It seems kind of tepid, making your over-the top “human race to destruction” and your sexist “subtle art of whoredom” phrases seem out of place, as well as ridiculous perceptions of the circumstances. But, then I looked up “aporia” and the book “Aporiac”. You got me. Your comment was actually satire.
      In the future I’d recommend you include more tells to your actual opinions when using sarcasm or satire in your comments, as there tend to be a lot of wingnuts on Climate sites. Otherwise, like I did initially , you’ll mistakenly be thought to be just another angry, old man, frustrated at their irrelevance and powerlessness, spouting absurdities when no one is listening..

  72. How Do You Know A Climate Alarmist Is Lying? Their Lips Are Moving

    Claim #7: We’ve seen…spreading famine

    Response to Claim #7: This is the most absurd claim. CO2 is plant food, and higher CO2 levels result in higher crop yields. That BTW is about as settled as science can be and easily demonstrated in a lab. Higher CO2 is the answer to ending famine, not the cause. If there is famine today it is due to a food distribution problem, not a food production issue. Most likely, the cause of famine is a war, tyrannical government or other man-made causes blocking the delivery of food to needy people.

  73. > This is the most absurd claim. CO2 is plant food, and higher CO2 levels result in higher crop yields.

    Something else that also happens in the lab is that we need Mike’s Nature Trick to hide the decline.

    Therefore, trees must not be plants.

  74. On Santer’s breakthrough to his “discernible human influence” finding in the Chapter 8 re-write: As noted in Judith’s citation – “a breakthrough in his own ‘fingerprinting’ investigations. These findings were so new that they were not yet published or otherwise available, ”

    And it was found out that Santer’s paper was a phony as Mann’s (and Briffa’s, and Marcott’s, ad nauseum) hockey sticks. Santer had written a paper based on radio sonde data, but he had deleted the inconvenient data in the records that showed his conclusions to be completely false (typical warmist cherry-picking, no?). Hooray for John Daly’s heirs for saving the archives of his work and his article on this:

  75. Pingback: Warming & Climate – Confusing Terminology – Accidentally? | Oceans Govern Climate

  76. The following is a must read essay about Angela Merkel’s early political history and some of her views on ecology and activism.

    The reason why early climate meetings were held in Villach perhaps has more meaning than otherwise would be considered when looking at history in context.
    I’ve been researching Hermann Flohn, the German scientist who wrote the first German paper on AGW published early during WWII. Dr. Flohn won the position of Chief meteorologist for the Luftwaffe soon after the papers publication. I’m learning his work on climate is fascinating for its influence.

    From the essay:
    “The climate issue perfectly suited Merkel, if her aspirations were to change Germany and the world according to ideas developed by Hermann Flohn and Green Socialist ideologists like Bahro, Harich, and Havemann. With her position as a minister in the governing CDU party, she could have much more influence on policy in Germany than as an activist in the Green Party.

    When the Berlin Wall broke open on the evening of Nov. 9, 1989, it was the beginning of the end of the Communist Party in its then form. New “reform-friendly” forces that followed Gorbachev’s direction took over. There would be free elections in the spring of 1990. Merkel joined the Democratic Party Revival Party, led by a good friend of her father, Wolfgang Schnoor, a lawyer. The party motto was Aufbruch—Sozial—Ökologisch (Renewal—Social—Ecological). Merkel became Schnoor’s press officer. The party was part of an election alliance with the East CDU (Christian Democratic Union) led by the lawyer Lothar de Maizière.

    In 1994, Merkel was appointed federal minister of the environment. Her overall ambition was to combat anticipated climate change. She organized the first U.N. conference on climate, COP 1 in Berlin in April 1995. Both Merkel and Helmut Kohl spoke in their introductory statements about carbon dioxide as “climate poison carbon dioxide.” As a Ph.D. in physics, she should have known that carbon dioxide at levels of 400ppm is not a poison. Only at concentrations of greater than 5% (50,000ppm) is it toxic.

    • Mop up crew

      By coincidence I am in Austria at present. I have stayed at Villach several times. Some time ago I noted that a lot of climate related meetings had been held there and at Trieste. I don’t know why. Villach is a fairly small town

      There was a lot of interest in climtechange from the 1920’s as the warming by then had become quite noticeable. I wore of some of the pre war players in one of my articles


      • Mop up crew

        I read the article, written of course before a large part of her electorate deserted her.

        What the article fails to mention when talking about the friendly media is that merkels husband is a trustee on the board of the springer media group one of the biggest in the world and who own the politico web site


      • Very interesting, Tony, thanks for the reply.

        I’ve had difficulty rationalizing why the specific interest in the Villach location too for climate talks, I’m assuming there’s a relationship to the town and it being the residence of early key ideological player(s), possibly, maybe others have information relating to that. I would have never guessed the early ecological influences on Merkel herself, individuals like Flohn; the depth of her ideological leanings with the radical ecological movement, and her deep Marxist associations and efforts to leverage these to promote globalism. I’m astonished how much the early green movement dovetails into today’s political ideology. Merkel’s relationship with Obama too, as described in the essay, is very intriguing.

      • Mop up crew

        The 1985 Villach conference seems to have been some sort of watershed moment

        Villach has good conference facilities, has lots of reasonably priced hotel accommodation and is a nice place. Pretty accessible from much of Europe due to its train station. Nearest airport is Venice which could be an attraction in itself.

        The place is suitable for smaller scale conferences and perhaps those attending the 1985 conference then saw it as a good place to hold their own spin off conferences.

        All conjecture of course, but equally popular Trieste is relatively close by Villach and has many of the same attributes. It is also hugely atmospheric.

        Presumably a conference in a nice place is better attended than one in a bad place and don’t forget Europe is the front runner in climate change so many events would be held there.


        Urs P. Thomas
        PhD Thesis (Political Science, University du Quebec Montreal, 1992)

        The Prepcom held four regular meetings between 1970 and 1972, and a special conference in Founex, Switzerland in June 1971. Input was provided by intergovernmental working groups on marine pollution,soils, conservation, monitoring and surveillance, and on a draftDeclaration on the Human Environment.
        Numerous other meetings, seminars and conferences were simultaneously attempting to influence the conference preparations. Several intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations got involved, especially IUCN and the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) (Caldwell, 1984:46).
        Of all the preparatory events the Founex conference was politically the most influential. It consisted of a panel of experts in economics, development planning, banking, social research and ecology. The ‘Founex Report’ has had a lasting impact on international environmental affairs; it “helped to alleviate some of the Third World misgivings concerning their developmental aspirations” (Caldwell, 1990:52)7. It was at this conference that the conflicting views of the industrialized and the developing countries regarding envi-ronmental matters were negotiated into a common agenda although it was loose and overloaded to accomodate all parties.
        The industrialized countries originally wanted to limit discussions to pollution issues, whereas the developing countries tended to consider environmental protection measures as an impediment to their development. They argued that their low degree of industrialization created relatively minor pollution problems, and that the few industries they were building up were desperately needed for their development, especially in view of the very high unemployment in the cities. The main point of the Third World countries was that environmental issues could not be separated from social and economic development issues such as poverty, human settlements, health, education and information. In other words, for the Third World, environmental policies cannot deal with pollution problems in isolation, they can only be considered within the framework of comprehensive development policies The outcome of the Founex conference was a victory for the developing countries. The panel concluded in its report that “the kind of environmental problems that are of importance in developing countries are those that can be overcome by the process of development itself” (Caldwell, 1984:46).
        Big Snip P177

        1.2. Climate Change
        While ozone depletion can be stopped through the replacement of a small number of well-known chemicals, the greenhouse effect is caused primarily by carbon dioxide, which is the unavoidable by-product of every form of combustion of fossil fuel, and by methane, which is generated among other things by garbage dumps, natural gas leaks, and a variety of agricultural sources such as cattle and rice paddies.
        Clearly, the greenhouse effect has far more complex and varied sources than ozone depletion, the scientific uncertainties are greater, and the financial interests involved here are of such a magnitude in virtually every sector of the economy in every country, that they cannot be compared with the relatively confined ozone problem.
        A scientific consensus regarding the seriousness of the greenhouse effect was first established in 1985 at a WMO-ICSU meeting in Villach, Austria. Subsequently UNEP and WMO jointly established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Geneva, of which UNEP staffs the secretariat. It had its first meeting in Geneva in November 1988, during which three working groups were established
        These were responsible for scientific issues (under U.K. leadership), impact studies (USSR leadership), and response strategies (USA leadership)178.
        These three groups provided the scientific and policy input for the Second World Climate Conference (SWCC) organized by the UN in Geneva in November 1990, which was attended by 700 of the world’s leadingscientists. This is the most important climate conference ever held, which concluded, that without action to reduce greenhouse emissions, temperatures will increase by 2 to 5 degrees Celsius over the next century, which will cause a sea level rise of 30 to 100 cm by that time (MacNeill, 1991:76). As MacNeill points out (p. 77), the US is the only Western industrialized country which insisted, that it is “too early” to take actions aimed at a reduction of fossil fuel emissions. In 1988 a Conference on the Changing Atmosphere was held in Toronto, sponsored jointly by the Government of Canada, UNEP and WMO. In its closing statement it concluded:
        Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences may be second only to a global nuclear war (Head, 1991:83).

      • The Founex Conference
        Engaging the developing countries: the Founex initiative

        In the run up to the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, relations with developing countries became the most contentious issue in the spring of 1971, on top of the other challenges highlighted above. Maurice Strong received alarming signals in March from Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia reported a deep dissatisfaction among developing countries. The developing countries felt that the environmental discussion was too oriented towards the interests of industrialized countries, particularly the disproportionate attention given to in the preparations, and they also perceived that Strong’s travel programme was oriented mainly towards industrialized countries. Yugoslavia also conveyed a thinly veiled threat of a developing country boycott of the Conference.
        For Strong, it was a dilemma.
        To highlight the links between environment and development, Strong initiated the holding of a landmark seminar, which brought together top experts in the field of development and environment. We publish extracts about the Founex Initiative from a study, by former Swedish Ambassador Lars-Göran Engfeldt, entitled “From Stockholm to Johannesburg and beyond”. The Founex report laid the foundation for the concept of sustainable development, which is much discussed and debated these days:

        Hunger, Poverty, Population and Environment
        by Maurice F. Strong, Chairman, Earth Council, April 7, 1999 –
        Madras, India

        It is now twenty-seven years ago since representatives of 113 nations assembled in Stockholm in June 1972 for the inauguration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. Stockholm was thebeginning of “a new journey of hope”.
        It was during the preparations for the Stockholm Conference that the link between environment and development was finally made. The most important single event in this process was the informal meeting we convened in a motel in Founex outside of Geneva with some 30 leading experts and policy leaders. The discussions were intense and characterised by a degree of intellectual integrity and rigour that ultimately enabled them to find common ground despite divergencies of opinions and interest. The meeting is inscribed in my memory as one of the best intellectual exchanges in which I have ever participated and it certainly had a profound influence both on the Stockholm Conference and the evolution of the environment-development relationship. The meeting resulted in the production of the Founex Report on Development and Environment, which I regard as a seminal milestone in the history of the environmental movement.
        The Founex Report called for an expansion of the entire concept of environment to link it directly to the economic development process and the priorities of developing countries. The basic thesis was that although in individual instances there were conflicts between environmental and economic priorities, they were intrinsically two sides of the same coin. It is, after all, through the process of economic development that we impact on the environment, both positively and negatively. And it is only through better management of the development process that the basic goals of development to eradicate poverty and to improve the lives and prospects of people in environmental and social as well as economic terms could be achieved.
        It recognised that priorities would vary in each country depending on its stage of development and its own priorities. It also recognized that the needs of developing countries could best be addressed by a renewed commitment to the development process itself and dealing with the environmental dimension as an integral dimension of development rather than a separate impediment to development.
        Essentially, the Founex Report, and the Stockholm Conference for which it was prepared, confirmed that poverty and environment are linked in a vicious spiral in which degradation of the environment
        increases poverty while poverty increases environmental degradation.
        Mrs. Indira Gandhi made this point cogently when she said: “the environment cannot be improved in conditions of poverty how can we speak to those who live in villages and slums about keeping the oceans, the rivers and the air clean when their own live are contaminated at the source.”

      • Yes, Tony, yours are reasonable assumptions. I think the “front runner” status is a likely impetus to convene at such a place. My point has been that Germany represents the epicenter for radical ecological ideology, and as genesis for many of the ecological movements; sort of a regional stage one cancer for ecological radicals that have since metastasized into various incarnations globally. I suppose it’s rather moot, distracting from geopolitical ramifications of how climate science has been co-opted.

        Were you aware of the depth of Merkel’s involvement with radical ecological views, and her associations with organizations using, as described in essence 1930s tactics to leverage her ecolocal philosophy into a globalist vision? I had no idea. Merkel’s apparent belief that Al Gore wasn’t ideological enough comes across as hilarious for anyone in the middle right political spectrum, though a money grubber, no question.

      • It appears Flohn and Hansen came from the same mold; here they’re quoted together in an article, “Scientists predict World’s Climate Will Warm Up” ~ The Leader-Post, Jan 9, 1982:

        Flohn stated:
        “Hermann Flohn of the University of Bonn, West Germany, said studies of the Arctic Sea ice cover have shown that prolonging the summer melt season by as little as two weeks annually would free the Arctic of ice in about 20 years.”,1812228&dq=james-hansen&hl=en

      • Mop up crew

        The left leaning elite generally like open borders. When merkel opened the borders in 2015 she was following that dogma and many of those welcoming them were from the left, as well as good hearted ordinary people of course.
        As we saw from the German elections this caused the right wing to surge.

        Merkel was well aware of the likely political reaction to her open borders policy but ideologically she was comfortable with her decision. So, yes, I think her left leaning credentials have been on display for some time but your article nicely summarised them


      • “The left leaning elite generally like open borders.”

        Yes,Tony, at least that much is readily dicernable for that particular issue among even most of the uninformed in the US.

        While the ideological romance between Merkel and Obama and the concept behind the Lefts new world order is widely known, not so much is readily known about Merkel’s roots in Marxism and her radical ecological history which has served to influence her policy on climate and her ideological globalist view in general centered on ecology. It’s important to illuminate dishonest manipulative motivations. It’s one thing to legislate based on a belief in the scientific integrity of data delivered to determine policy; quite another to knowingly propagandize data to leverage ones beliefs for a new world order, as exemplified in this passage: “Both Merkel and Helmut Kohl spoke in their introductory statements about carbon dioxide as “climate poison carbon dioxide.” As a Ph.D. in physics, she should have known that carbon dioxide at levels of 400ppm is not a poison. Only at concentrations of greater than 5% (50,000ppm) is it toxic.” So this speaks to dishonesty that would not be recognized by those not familiar to the science, probably most people, whom would otherwise know if the media pointed it out, if it were not for their own dishonesty and Leftist ideology, as you pointed out earlier.

        The Obama administrations manipulation of deportation data is another example that helps illuminate the disinformation and manipulation used to facilitate globalism, different tactics used by both Merkel and Obama for the same ends; i.e. the rationale for the E.U. Commission and the Obama administration to halve calories per refugee from 2,800 to 1,600 per day for UNHCR operations in Iraq and Syria, described in the essay. What would one imagine these people were going to do? Perhaps migrate away from famine? Was Merkel astonished that’s exactly what happened as a result? And other tactical policy contrivances Obama initiated for the globalization agenda of US policy to undermine security at the US border to achieve similar outcomes. For example; the recategorization of data for the way deportation data was tabulated in 2012 by the DHS; the Obama administration changed the definition of deportation to include those who were turned away at the border crossing as being counted as deported. This greatly inflated Obama deportation stats, the resulting manipulated data has been used as propaganda to create an illusion for the Obama administrations tough stance on borders, and therefore to soften further enforcement policy initiatives.

        Fortunately Merkel and Obama have lost power, but the movement is another question entirely.

  77. Re: “Short summary: scientists sought political relevance and allowed policy makers to put a big thumb on the scale of the scientific assessment of the attribution of climate change.”

    Same nonsensical conspiracy theory many conservatives made up about scientists on the attribution of smoking-related diseases.

    “[…] there are some who deny that second-hand smoke is dangerous. In large part this was due to the efforts of the tobacco industry to deflect attention to other putative causes of smoking-related diseases, from stress to keeping pet birds. The reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have suffered similar attacks from commentators with links to major oil companies.
    For example, tobacco companies describe academic research into the health effects of smoking as the product of an ‘anti-smoking industry’, described as ‘a vertically integrated, highly concentrated, oligopolistic cartel, combined with some public monopolies’ whose aim is to ‘manufacture alleged evidence, suggestive inferences linking smoking to various diseases and publicity and dissemination and advertising of these so-called findings to the widest possible public’.”

    Re: “Well, increasing temperatures say nothing about the causes of climate change. Scientists are still debating the tropical upper troposphere ‘hot spot’, which was the ‘smoking gun’ identified by Santer in 1995”

    No, it wasn’t. People have corrected you on this multiple times. For example, Victor Venema wrote:

    “Judith, do yo have a reference for that? It is my understanding that warming for any reason would cause a “tropical hotspot” in climate models.”

    Andanter made this clear for you again:

    “In the tropics, moist thermodynamic processes amplify surface warming […]. Such tropical amplification occurs for any surface warming; it is not a unique signature of greenhouse gas (GHG)-induced warming, as has been incorrectly claimed (Christy 2015) [page 383].”

    The hot spot has next-to-nothing to do with attribution, since you’d get a hot spot from warming caused the Sun, El Nino, increased CO2, etc. And the hot spot exists. There is no excuse for continuing to peddle myths to the contrary.

    Anyone who cares to can actually bother to read the read the relevant literature on this. The hot spot appears in various sources, such as:

    In satellite data:
    #1 : “Contribution of stratospheric cooling to satellite-inferred tropospheric temperature trends”
    #2 : “Temperature trends at the surface and in the troposphere”
    #3 : “Removing diurnal cycle contamination in satellite-derived tropospheric temperatures: understanding tropical tropospheric trend discrepancies”, table 4
    #4 : “Comparing tropospheric warming in climate models and satellite data”, figure 9B

    In radiosonde (weather balloon) data:
    #5 : “Internal variability in simulated and observed tropical tropospheric temperature trends”, figures 2c and 4c
    #6 : “Atmospheric changes through 2012 as shown by iteratively homogenized radiosonde temperature and wind data (IUKv2)”, figures 1 and 2
    #7 : “New estimates of tropical mean temperature trend profiles from zonal mean historical radiosonde and pilot balloon wind shear observations”, figure 9
    #8 : “Reexamining the warming in the tropical upper troposphere: Models versus radiosonde observations”, figure 3 and table 1

    In re-analyses:
    #9 : “Detection and analysis of an amplified warming of the Sahara Desert”, figure 7
    #10 : “Westward shift of western North Pacific tropical cyclogenesis”, figure 4b
    #11 : “Influence of tropical tropopause layer cooling on Atlantic hurricane activity”, figure 4
    #12 : “Estimating low-frequency variability and trends in atmospheric temperature using ERA-Interim”, figure 23 and page 351

    Re: “Bernie Lewin has written an important new book:
    SEARCHING FOR THE CATASTROPHE SIGNAL:The Origins of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change”

    Another contrarian resorts to the “catastrophe” straw man.

    “Another claim advanced by those who reject the mainstream scientific agreement on climate is that the consensus position consists of a claim of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming or the frequently used acronym CAGW […]. However, CAGW is rarely, if ever, defined or sourced to a mainstream scientific organization or study. Any scientific study’s result, or statement by a researcher, that does not fit a contrarian’s personal, flexible definition of CAGW can therefore be adopted as ostensibly supporting their view and refuting the mainstream, even when such results are actually consistent with the mainstream position on climate […].
    Additionally, we find that *catastrophic anthropogenic global warming* [CAGW] is essentially a term that is never used in the relevant scientific literature by mainstream sources. Furthermore, in the press it appears to be used exclusively by climate contrarians. The term is typically neither defined nor attributed to a mainstream scientific source. Our conclusion is therefore that CAGW is simply a *straw man* used by climate contrarians to criticize the mainstream position (50).”

    Anyway, the IPCC tends to under-estimate the impacts of climate change, which runs contrary to the charge of alarmism:

    “Climate Change Skepticism and Denial: An Introduction
    A constant refrain coming from the denial campaign is that climate scientists are *“alarmists”* who exaggerate the degree and threat of global warming to enhance their status, funding, and influence with policy makers. The contribution by William Freudenburg and Violetta Muselli provides an insightful empirical test of this charge and finds it to lack support.”

    And this is some of the relevant supporting research on this point:

    “Reexamining Climate Change Debates: Scientific Disagreement or Scientific Certainty Argumentation Methods (SCAMs)?”
    “Climate change prediction: Erring on the side of least drama?”
    “Global warming estimates, media expectations, and the asymmetry of scientific challenge”

    Furthermore, the IPCC’s tone tends to be more tentative and less “alarmist”, with sufficient attention paid to uncertainty:

    “The language of denial: Text analysis reveals differences in language use between climate change proponents and skeptics”
    “Comment on “Climate Science and the Uncertainty Monster” by J. A. Curry and P. J. Webster”
    “Guidance note for lead authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on consistent treatment of uncertainties”

    • OK, so you think “[…]” and “[…]”. Really? Furthermore, alarmists are –snip– and –snip–.

      […] Climategate gave away the game. Ha Ha!

      “[…]” The pause…has killed the cause.

      “[**elections have consequences**]” Trump rules!

      Get the –snip– over it.

      End of story.

    • It’s fast, but everything will be fine:

      Focus. How many people say, It’s fast. It’s never been this fast. SLR is guess what? Accelerating. The Arctic? On crack. But the consensus says, it’s fast but not dangerous. It’s the speed of change. CO2 is like cocaine. CO2 levels haven’t been this high since this and that, but it’s not dangerous. Insurance claims will go up, but that’s not dangerous except for maybe a few paper cuts. People will die from heatwave and crops from drought and half the world will try to sneak into the United States as climate refugees, but that’s not dangerous. The great threat to mankind? Climate change, and since it’s not nuclear weapons, those are safe and so is nuclear power.

    • “19.1. Introduction
      This chapter draws on the results of the entire TAR to assess the state of knowledge concerning Article 2 of the UNFCCC. Article 2 of the UNFCCC states that:
      ” …the ultimate objective of this Convention…is to achieve…stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved with a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.” (UNEP/WMO, 1992).”

      – IPCC

      Not have CO2 so much to avoid danger. The ultimate objective is to do what? Avoid danger. But it’s not dangerous, read the peer reviewed science you say. Skeptic’s made that up. I guess we made up the stuff quoted above by sneaking in the back door and getting them to write it. If it wasn’t dangerous we could just go back to watching reality TV and eating potato chips. But the call is given to go out and save the world, but maybe from just from being inconvenienced which I’d prefer to desolation. Now who actually has an ultimate objective? I mean I have a few objectives. Subjecting Japan was an ultimate objective but that has come and gone. We could have world peace but we aren’t running for the Miss America title.

      • Maybe you can review how you would distinguish between dangerous and catastrophic. It may be a helpful exercise. To me there is a major difference.

      • OK, I’ll go first. To me danger is connected to the concept of risk. It is an elevated risk of something bad happening. Catastrophic on the other hand has the sense of unavoidable widespread destruction. Big difference, and more care is needed in its use.

      • Jim D:
        I’ll grant a difference that matters between the two words. I’ll prefer the word danger. I don’t think it’ll be dangerous to me.

      • The difference is being used to frame the impact issue wrongly on the anti-AGW/IPCC side. They can then deny catastrophe when the IPCC are suggesting danger. Reframing the debate is a common propaganda trick designed to fool the unwitting, which is why blogs and op-eds protest against catastrophe, but not danger. Protesting against increased risks would make them look reckless, and is in more direct conflict with the IPCC statements, but they carefully don’t do that. It’s very cunning.

    • Atomsk’s Sanakan: Another contrarian resorts to the “catastrophe” straw man.

      Would you be happier with “danger” for “catastrophe” and “dangerous” for “catastrophic”? I don’t think it matters: the “dangers” listed in publications and testimony were mostly if not entirely extrapolations beyond evidence (polar bears “threatened”, for example; flooding of the Manhattan freeways), and those examples defined the terms “danger” and “catastrophe”.

  78. Progressives are Out Of Touch on a Biblical Scale; NAACP Should Demand Re-Direction of Climate Change Funding to Inner-Cities

    If you go into a black community and poll the residents, I feel confident that none, not a single resident, would rank preventing climate change as one of their top 10 priorities. The social and economic statics of the black community are horrifying, and yet on MLK day 2018, the NAACP claims that “MLK’s Vision Can’t Be Achieved Without Fighting Global Warming.” This, out of all examples, highlights the complete and absolute corrupting force that Climate Change has become. No example I have found demonstrates that absurdity of Climate Change more than the NAACP betraying those whom they claim to represent, and putting the needs of the Democratic Party above them.

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