Hearing on Using Technology to Address Climate Change

by Judith Curry

The House Committee on Science, Space & Technology Hearing on Using Technology to Address Climate Change is about to begin.

Date:  Wednesday, May 16, 2018 – 10:00am
Location: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building
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Website and livestream [link]
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Witnesses:
  • Mr. Oren Cass, senior fellow, Manhattan Institute
  • Mr. Ted Nordhaus, executive director, The Breakthrough Institute
  • Dr. Phil Duffy, president and executive director, Woods Hole Research Center
  • Dr. Judith Curry, president, Climate Forecast Applications Network; Professor Emerita, Georgia Institute of Technology

Most unfortunately, owing to severe weather in DC last nite, my flight was cancelled and I am unable to attend the hearing.

Here is a link to my written testimony [Curry House science testimony]

My verbal testimony:

I thank the Chairman and the Committee for the opportunity to offer testimony today.

Two overarching policy response options have been articulated in response to climate change: mitigation and adaptation. Both of these policy options exist in context of a broad and complex policy environment that involves energy, transportation, agriculture, economics, security, and land use practices.

Climate-related decisions involve incomplete information from fast-moving and irreducibly uncertain science. In responding to climate change, we need to acknowledge that we cannot know exactly how the climate will evolve in the 21stcentury, we are certain to be surprised and we will make mistakes along the way.

The focus of my testimony is on adaptation. In considering adaptation responses, it is important to recognize that there are multiple causes of climate variability and change, and that climate is just one element of the complex causes of vulnerability of human and natural systems.

Possible scenarios of incremental worsening of weather and climate extremes don’t change the fundamental storyline that the U.S. is highly vulnerable to current extreme weather and climate events.  Nearly all regions of the U.S. have an adaptation deficit relative to the current climate state and historical extreme events.

As a practical matter, adaptation has reacted to local crises associated with extreme events, emphasizing the role of ‘surprises’ in shaping responses. Pro-active adaptation raises the question of:  “Adapt to what?” Unfortunately, climate models do not provide us with the information needed to anticipate the local consequences of climate variability and change.

The challenge for climate change adaptation is to work with a broad range of information about regional vulnerabilities and climate variability, in the context of a decision-analytic framework that acknowledges deep uncertainty.

Rather than developing an optimal policy based on a negotiated scientific consensus, robust and flexible policy strategies can be designed that account for uncertainty, ignorance and dissent.

A focus on policies that support resilience and anti-fragility avoids the uncertainties of attributing climate change to humans versus nature and avoids the hubris of thinking we can predict the future climate.

Rather than ‘bouncing back’ from extreme weather and climate events, we can ‘bounce forward’ to reduce future vulnerability by evolving our infrastructures, institutions and practices.

Sea level rise is one impact area where pro-active adaptation is justified by our scientific understanding of the direction — if not the magnitude — of future sea level change. Global mean sea level has been rising since the mid 19thcentury. There is no question that local sea levels are increasing in some coastal regions at rates that are causing damage.

However attributing sea level rise to human-caused global warming has been very challenging. In the locations that are most vulnerable to sea level rise, natural oceanic and geologic processes plus land use practices are the dominant causes of current local sea level rise problems.  Of direct relevance to the issue of climate variability and change, large-scale ocean circulations can cause regional sea level rise to exceed global values by an order of magnitude on annual to decadal time scales.

If we look at sea level rise only as a climate change problem, then we are missing key components of sea level rise that are important to decision makers.

Confronting our regional and local vulnerabilities to climate variability and change has many potential advantages, allowing for a range of bottom-up strategies to be integrated with other societal challenges. These include growing population, environmental degradation, poorly planned land-use and over-exploitation of natural resources. Even if the threat from global warming turns out to be small, near-term benefits to the region can be realized in terms of reduced vulnerability to a broad range of threats, improved resource management, and improved environmental quality.

As a climate scientist, I am concerned that climate science has focused only mitigation relevant research such as attribution of global climate change and determining the climate sensitivity of climate to carbon dioxide. As a result, there has been little focus on understanding natural internal climate variability and regional climate dynamics, which is needed to inform adaptation. A new emphasis of climate science on understanding natural climate variability and its regional impacts is needed to better understand our vulnerabilities to climate variability and change in the 21stcentury.

JC reflections:  This looks like a very interesting Hearing, with witnesses that are not the ‘usual suspects.’  I may do a follow on post on any interesting topics raised by the other witnesses.

 

 

127 responses to “Hearing on Using Technology to Address Climate Change

  1. The US House doesn’t want to use available technology like GoToMeeting or Skype-like products to hear you live at a discussion on using tech to address climate change? Ironic eh?

  2. Danley B. Wolfe

    Judith Curry – so sorry you were unable to make it … your input is important and needed.

  3. If only your views could make it past the media “censorship”

    • Judith’s views have often been reported in The Australian, our national (and best) newspaper. Their leading environmental writer, who had accepted the warmist position, changed stance and promotes Judith’s views. But the broader debate in Oz largely ignores them, The Australian’s letters page is where counter-CAGW views are most heard.

  4. “However attributing sea level rise to human-caused global warming has been very challenging.”

    But dammit, don’t think we ain’t tryin.

    Andrew

  5. bedeverethewise

    Dr. Curry,
    Are you or have you ever been a member of the Intellectual Dark Web.

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/05/08/opinion/intellectual-dark-web.html

    • I have no idea what the dark web is

      • bedeverethewise

        That’s why I linked the piece from the NY Times. It seems your experience over the last few years, in many ways, mirrors those of some of the academics and political commentators who are tounge-in-cheek described as the “intellectual dark web” (having nothing to do with the actual dark web).

      • “Intellectual dark web” huh? Yet another conspiracy theory dreamed up by someone trying to fit human behavior into an ideology. “Deep state” is my personal favorite, mostly imagined by Trumpites who consider government as still being controlled by Obama liberals.

        These things are best ignored. You can’t argue with the proponents, who usually have no facts to base their arguments on. One can spend a lot of time trying to make sense out of nonsense. Forget it.

        “NeoMarxism is another good one, imagined by someone viewing the world through an ideological lens.

      • Yes, scraft1, you are absolutely right. There are no governments (especially in the US) where any threat to our rights should ever be considered endangered. Everyone needs only to sit back and enjoy the will of the powerful. Who was that dummy who warned we must be in constant watch of our leadership – some radical for sure.

    • Peter Lang

      What point are you trying to make?

      What’s the dark web got to do with honest science?

      If you’d been following Climate Etc. for a long time you’d appreciate Dr Curry is focused on and practices honest science … in Spades!

      • The intellectual dark web is used to designate intellectuals, political commentators, scientists, etc who point out the left uses arguments or lines of attack to further their neoMarxist ideology. They are smeared

        The climate change problem is definitely one of the topics being used by the left to advance their cause. For example, the new 6th IPCC report will have 5 pathways based on scenarios. Scenario 1 is the Marxist scenario, Scenario 5 is clearly capitalist. It doesn’t take a genius to forecast that scenario 1 leads to a happy humanity enjoying a sustainable life controlled by wise party scientists, and scenario 5 is Mordor.

        I suspect Dr Curry is leftist on most issues, but the intellectual dark web is center right (they are smeared as Alt Right etc), therefore I wouldn’t expect her to be a bona fide member.

      • Peter Lang

        fernandoleanme , Thank you for that clear explanation. Much appreciated.

      • Actually, the IDW is predominantly Leftists and classical liberals who found themselves slandered, attacked, and driven out for voicing opinions different then what is ‘allowed’, or even just questioning what the Left was pushing.

        They are, in other words, Heretics of the Left. And we all know how The Faithful treat those that question any part of their religion.

        ~¿~

  6. It’s good to see that they have Ted Nordhaus, but Michael Shellenberger would be better. There’s no better proponent of nuclear energy.

  7. Perhaps you could phone in for verbal testimony and Q&A?

    • they don’t allow phone in, but would have allowed videoconferencing. they’re talking about sea level rise wish i was there!

      • That is a shame. Don’t overlook the fact that video conferencing can be accomplished via cell phone also. In many instances those connections will be faster than a commercial Hotel. No matter, thank you for doing what you do to bring some transparency to an opaque science.

      • we had a short time window to figure this out, didn’t happen unfortunately

  8. 
    ”The focus of my testimony is on adaptation.”

    Genius.

    The biggest need in the climate change debate is realizing we humans are still incapable of foretelling the future. But, we can waste a lot of time and money. Academia is carrying out a pogrom against modernity and blaming the productive for stoking the fires of global warming. In concert with these views, the Left’s eager willingness to sacrifice the future of America on the altar of academia’s unverifiable climate models is analogous to witchdoctors in superstitious pagan societies who responded to bad weather by sacrificing virgins to appease their gods.

    We note the difficulties in obtaining definitive empirical clarity due to the complex nature of climate, the feedback between the effects of the IPCC’s advocacy and the government’s willingness to fund the science, the ideological and political agendas at play, the dangers to the integrity of scientific procedure in the context of ideological bias, and the poor performance of the “crony capitalist” enterprises that have grown on the back of politicized science. (Butos, WN, McQuade, TJ.)

    • Adaptation does not require Global Government. On the other hand. Global Warming, AGW, CC, Global SLR etc. Yes, Global Government required. Global Government – really not all that concerned about local adaption.

  9. Nordhaus claims that climate change is primarily anthropogenic. He has no credible basis for making such an argument, a denial of natural climate variability. Duffy quotes the 4th IPCC report for policy makers, hardly a credible source.

    • I consider Nordhaus a political operator. He has been defending RCP8.5 by putting out even more bizarre projections, which AGAIN include rather infantile fossil fuel modules. The new IPCC version 6 also ignores reality, all of their projections fail to handle fossil fuel depletion properly. Therefore all of the work they will be doing is worthless. It’s similar to Lysenkoism.

  10. No mention of using AI to analyze what the critical issues (if any) will result from our current technology trajectory. https://earthtime.org/ Not surprising. The Chinese or Europeans will do it just so their nations will be able to make long term plans.

    • Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM)*
      The E3SM was conceived to advance earth system modeling on three fronts:
      1) Improving the resolution of earth system processes by developing new processes in the model, increasing the model resolution, and by enhancing computational performance.
      2) Providing a more realistic model of the interactions between human activities and natural processes, especially as they impact US energy demand.
      3) Implementing ensemble modeling for the purpose of quantifying uncertainties in the simulations and forecasts.
      https://www.top500.org/news/doe-unveils-exascale-earth-modeling-system/
      https://www.top500.org/news/doe-takes-earth-modeling-to-exascale-uk-bets-big-on-ai/
      * Please note: E3SM requires exascale supercomputers not available in the US until 2021.

      • Implementing ensemble modeling for the purpose of quantifying uncertainties in the simulations and forecasts.

        ‘Our models are usually spectacularly wrong, but if we avargae a bunch of them together we can fool a lot of people into thinking they are useful. Because people have been taught to assume when they see an average that it is more accurate then the individual runs.’

      • schitzree, open your eyes. It’s happening. It’s what technology wants.

        Machine Learning’s ‘Amazing’ Ability to Predict Chaos:
        https://www.quantamagazine.org/machine-learnings-amazing-ability-to-predict-chaos-20180418/
        “In a series of results reported in the journals Physical Review Letters and Chaos, scientists have used machine learning — the same computational technique behind recent successes in artificial intelligence — to predict the future evolution of chaotic systems out to stunningly distant horizons. The approach is being lauded by outside experts as groundbreaking and likely to find wide application.

        After training itself on data from the past evolution of the Kuramoto-Sivashinsky equation, the researchers’ reservoir computer could then closely predict how the flamelike system would continue to evolve out to eight “Lyapunov times” into the future, eight times further ahead than previous methods allowed, loosely speaking. The Lyapunov time represents how long it takes for two almost-identical states of a chaotic system to exponentially diverge. As such, it typically sets the horizon of predictability.

        This makes the machine-learning approach powerful; in many cases, the equations describing a chaotic system aren’t known, crippling dynamicists’ efforts to model and predict them. Ott and company’s results suggest you don’t need the equations — only data. “This paper suggests that one day we might be able perhaps to predict weather by machine-learning algorithms and not by sophisticated models of the atmosphere,” Kantz said.”

      • Sounds exciting, Jack.

        So, how long till we start seeing actual weather reports produced by these super chaos predicting computers? Because as the man says, ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’

        ~¿~

    • Curious George

      I prefer climate models to AI.

    • Centralized economic planning by the AI overlord? Does this count as an idea or a thought bubble?

  11. Dr. Duffy is clueless about sea level changes and contributing factors. He’s,a victim of propaganda. I sure wish Dr. Curry could have participated.

  12. Congressman Posey fails to understand the difference between ice ages and glacial periods. Dr. Duffy similarly confused the two. This hearing exposes the ignorance of experts and scientically challenged elected representatives.

  13. Dr. Curry, I don’t know how you control your emotions when you participate in such hearings. The combination of arrogance, ignorance, and politics would put me over the proverbial edge. I had to stop watching after Congressman Posey said an asteroid caused the last ice age.

  14. Pingback: Hearing on Using Technology to Address Climate Change — Climate Etc. – NZ Conservative Coalition

  15. We must consider the possibility of error of what little we think we know– “Rather than developing an optimal policy based on a negotiated scientific consensus, robust and flexible policy strategies can be designed that account for uncertainty, ignorance and dissent.” ~J. Curry

  16. Pingback: New Proposal To Solve Global Warming: Get Rid of Dogs

  17. David Wojick

    Perhaps adaptation includes allowing more time for travel when severe storms are predicted. Just an ironic thought.

  18. Ulric Lyons

    “As a result, there has been little focus on understanding natural internal climate variability and regional climate dynamics, which is needed to inform adaptation.”

    Who decided that natural climate variability is internal?

  19. Pingback: New Proposal To Solve Global Warming: Get Rid of Dogs | PoliticsNote

  20. Peter Lang

    Adaptation is the right approach, not mitigation. Mitigation will do far more harm than good. The world should do all it can to increase economic growth and improve human well-being, especially the poorer countries. Blocking fossil fuels is bad policy, ans is incentivizing renewable energy

    Bjorn Lomborg says: :Why we need to stop aiming for the 2°C target, which is both impossible and a hindrance to better policies” whichh he quotes from Ted Nordhaus: “The Two-Degree Delusion” http://ow.ly/H5kF30j79X9

    The cost of climate policies is substantial and is in addition to the economic impact of reduced global warming. Climate Change Business Journal estimates put the climate change industry at $1,405 billion in 2013 [33]; this was about 1.9% of world GDP. Insurance Journal (2015) states “according to Climate Change Business Journal the ‘climate change industry’ grew at between 17 and 24 percent annually from 2005-2008, slowing to between 4 and 6 percent following the recession with the exception of 2011’s inexplicable 15 percent growth” [36]. Further, any reductions in temperature would be minimal but at high cost. Lomborg (2015) [37] says “the only peer-reviewed estimate shows that the climate impact of all Paris promises 2016-2030 will reduce global temperatures by just 0.05C in 2100; if they continue to 2100 they would reduce temperatures by 0.17C”. And, using the “the best available climate economic model ensembles from the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum, the Asia Modeling Exercise and the EU/EPA CLIMACAP-LAMP project” the most likely cost would be $1,848 billion per year in 2030. This is about 2% of projected world GDP in 2030, but does not include all costs of the climate industry.

    [33] Ferrier, G. The Climate Change Industry; EBI Report 4000; Climate Change Business Journal: San Diego, CA, US, 2015. https://ebionline.org/product/report-4000-the-climate-change-industry/

    [36] Jergler, D. Is Climate Change Now Its Own Industry? https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2015/07/30/377086.htm

    [37] Lomborg, B. The impact and cost of the 2015 Paris Climate Summit, with special focus on US policies. In The House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology, 114th Congress, First Sesion ed.; U.S. Government Publishing Office: Washington, US, 2015; pp 98-118. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-114hhrg97771/pdf/CHRG-114hhrg97771.pdf

    • Steven Mosher

      “Adaptation is the right approach, not mitigation.”

      then you failed to understand Judith’s point about deep uncertainty.

      If we believe what Judith argues, then there is only one losing position.

      The Position that we know enough.

      Know enough, that mitigation is the answer
      Know enough, that mitigation is not the answer.

      What Judith argues is that there is irreducible uncertainty. The future
      could be worse than predicted or better than predicted.

      If you ignore the uncertainty monster, you migfht argue that mitigation is the only solution. LIKEWISE when skeptics ignore the uncertain monster they argue that no mitigation is required.

      We have three non exclusives responses to the uncertain future.
      we can try some mitigation ( how much?)
      we can try some adaptation ( how much0
      we can try some innovation ( invest in technology)

      There is no optimal path. there is no engineering the future or calculating a precise cost/benefit. remember this is deep uncertainty.

      As a PRACTICAL MATTER, facts on the ground, humans are in fact
      taking all three approaches, some are mitigating by going green; some are vesting time and effort in technology — http://www.deepisolation.com/
      and some are focusing on adaptation ( like bio engineering plants )

      We dont know enough to say no mitigation will be required. We dont know enough to say adaptation will be enough. We dont know enough to say the opposite of those. Uncertainty is not our friend

      So, how do you plan for future outcomes that span such a huge space and where the costs and benefits and damages are poorly constrained?

      First thing is you get rid of the guys who think like you.

      • SM

        “….get rid of the guys who think like you.”

        Exactly get rid of how? As in liquidate, a la Putin or NK Prince Charming?

        Get rid of how, like Michael Corleone or Paulie Cicero would do?

        Or would you prefer the more elegant but just as nefarious, as some politicians on the left would prefer, silence by intimidation or the deep state?

        Further proof that climate science has pushed some over the edge.

      • some are vesting time and effort in technology — http://www.deepisolation.com/

        Steven, I appreciate that you are looking into what to do about used Nukey Power fuel, but I don’t see how that activity is related to Adaptation, Mitigation, or Climate Change.

        Nukey Power could have assisted with reducing CO2 emissions, but that boat has left the dock in the USA, that ship has sailed, we’ve blown our wad on Nukey Power, &etc.

        Some countries, well advanced in all aspects of Nukey Power, do not need deep isolation. Instead they put their used Nukey fuel to good uses, you might say. Some countries have already for decades taken care of their used fuel, in far better ways than by stacking it up out in the fresh air across from the parking lot like we do here.

        I think you tried to sneak in a sneaky self-reference. Godel has a few words to remind us about self-references.

      • > Godel has a few words to remind us about self-references.

        Which ones?

      • Peter Lang

        Steven Mosher,

        As you have admitted, in many replies to my comments in the past, you have little understanding of the impacts of global warming. You also don’t understand risk analysis. When the projected impacts of energy expenditure per degree of GMST change are corrected, the economic impacts of climate change are beneficial for the world economy up to about 4C GMST increase. Mitigation reduces the benefit of warming. Furthermore, it reduces world GDP growth by around 2% p.a. (according to the references listed in my previous comment). That’s huge. That’s the damage the climate alarmists, and the ideologues that believe their scare stories, are doing to world economic growth.

      • Peter Lang

        Dan Hughes,

        Nukey Power could have assisted with reducing CO2 emissions, but that boat has left the dock in the USA, that ship has sailed, we’ve blown our wad on Nukey Power, &etc.

        True, except nukey power is not permanently finished in the USA. True it will take many decades to return to pre-disruption learning and deployment rates, and this cannot begin until the vast majority of the population understands that nuclear power is the safest way to generate electricity, potentially the cheapest way by far, and sustainable effectively indefinitely. No other known technology/fuel can provide all the world’s energy (not just its electricity) for tens of thousands of years. Certainly so called “renewables” cannot.

        This 1 page opinion piece:
        WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN – IF NUCLEAR POWER DEPLOYMENT HAD NOT BEEN DISRUPTED https://www.thegwpf.com/what-could-have-been-if-nuclear-power-deployment-had-not-been-disrupted/ explains that

        If not for disruption by the anti-nuclear power protest movement the world could have had cheap, reliable, secure, sustainable comparatively safe electricity supply by now (Lang, 2017).

        The benefits for the global economy and human wellbeing could have been substantial: clean, safe, reliable power supply, 4.2 to 9.5 million lives and 69 to 174 Gt CO2 emissions avoided, and nuclear providing up to 66% of the world’s power at around 10% of its current cost.

        The full paper is here: http://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/10/12/2169/htm

      • Peter Lang

        SM,

        As you have admitted, in many replies to my comments in the past, you have little understanding of the impacts of global warming. You also don’t understand risk analysis. When the projected impacts of energy expenditure per degree of GMST change are corrected, the economic impacts of climate change are beneficial for the world economy up to about 4C GMST increase. Mitigation reduces the benefit of warming. Furthermore, it reduces world GDP growth by around 2% p.a. (according to the references listed in my previous comment). That’s huge. That’s the damage the climate alarmists, and the ideologues that believe their scare stories, are doing to world economic growth.

      • Would someone who believes mitigation is the answer promote Bitcoin? Would this mean that Bitcoin promoter, Steve Mosher, believes mitigation is NOT the answer?

    • Uncertainty is not our friend. Especially if it involves offsetting a small risk of extreme change – that exists quite naturally apart from CAGW – for idiotic ambitions for societal and economic transformation. Read societal disruption, war and civil unrest, increased poverty, environmental degradation, poor education and health services, unsafe water and sanitation, child mortality, premature deaths, etc.

      Rational and cost effective responses are the bête noire of the pissant progressive.

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

      Ironically, it involves opportunities to both mitigate and adapt. Nuclear waste – btw – is a resource that modern designs can utilize. Leaving behind smaller amounts of fission products that decay to background levels within 300 years.

  21. Peter Lang

    Three of the last five paragraphs in Judith’s testimony focus are about sea level rise. But sea level rise is of negligible (trivial) consequence compared with other impact sectors. The economic impact of the main impact sectors in 2100 (relative to 1900), as projected by FUND3.9, are:

    Storms -0.01%
    Agriculture 0.64%
    Water supply -0.18%
    Sea Level -0.03%
    Health -0.05%
    Energy -0.93%
    Ecosystems -0.17%
    Total -0.72%

    Furthermore, mitigation would have next to zero influence on sea level rise.

  22. Very well put. Clear, simple, and right on point.

  23. Dr. Duffy was the voice of reason there, and he was patient with some wacky questions from the Republicans.
    Mr. Cass seemed fixated on using the straw man of heat deaths as the main cost, so of course air conditioning is the only thing you need to adapt. Seemed a bit one-dimensional and US-centric. One Dem asked him rhetorically if AC will help the shellfish.

    • The so-called “open science” is bad because it discounts almost all medical studies that need to keep medical records confidential in order to gain access to them, which is probably all medical studies not just pollution related. Would you subject drug companies to this so-called openness for government approval?

      • I don’t get your point. Why can’t they redact confidential information in the files, thus making them usable?

        You’re on the wrong side of this issue. “Open science” is an accurate description. It’s not right to use evidence for public policy that people can’t have access to.

      • See my reply to DM. How does this apply to foreign and past studies used to accumulate data? How does it apply to drug trials overseas? Does America isolate itself from global science and its own past with this new red tape based on an irrational mistrust of medical data?

      • Don Monfort

        Stop the clowning, yimmy. You don’t understand the basic premise here.

      • The data is medical and therefore automatically masked. What problem are you trying to solve?

      • Don Monfort

        You still have not read, or you still don’t understand the story you keep commenting on and making a fool of yourself. I can’t help you any more.

      • Help me out. Distinguish the EPA from the FDA and NIH and CDC. What medical studies do you accept without the names and addresses and what do you not? I want to see how you justify that. There is no distinction that I can see.

      • Don Monfort

        no

    • Don Monfort

      You might avoid some of the embarrassing situations you put yourself into, if you actually read the damn thing before commenting:

      “The most common criticism is that the rule rules out the use by EPA of health studies that include data on individuals. This sort of data cannot be shared, due to privacy laws and these sorts of studies can be very important. There is also the issue of proprietary business data, etc.

      But in fact the proposed rule allows for these studies, in two different ways. First, it allows for what is called “masking” of data. If the data is properly structured then masking technologies enable the computer to easily remove or replace the sensitive stuff. Second, in extreme cases the EPA Administrator can simply exempt the study from the regulations.”

      • OK, so they can just rule out all the past and overseas studies that didn’t and don’t have that technology? I like the one-man over-ruling idea. Can’t possibly get political, right, with Pruitt in charge? How about the FDA and drug companies? What does their science look like under this new regime? The whole thing is based on a ridiculous anti-science prejudice because it assumes a kind of fr@ud that doesn’t permeate science. It’s like the voter fr@ud fears that are based on almost no actual cases, and the main intent is likewise to suppress inconvenient truths in the numbers.

      • Maybe you’ll say that the FDA isn’t subject to this rule with their medical studies. Perhaps this administration trusts studies of health effects related to food, drugs, and disease, but not those related to air and water quality for some reason. Is there a line there? Is that line related to the financial interests of certain industries? Will they trust past and foreign studies on which current pollutant policies are based in many countries, or are those now thrown out? These are the questions to think through. I see it as a transparently political anti-science move, especially if they are drawing that line there between the EPA and FDA (if they have).

      • Don Monfort

        You are digging a deeper hole, yimmy. We are amused, but not surprised.

      • Thanks for your input, Don. Would you apply those rules to FDA medical studies or just EPA ones? Think the logic through a bit. Check your assumptions.

      • Don Monfort

        I would allow data to be used for any legitimate purpose, if it was properly masked. What is your problem with that, yimmy? Do you know what ‘masking’ means?

      • It is masked by the researchers or their sources like hospitals already. Who would you have do the masking instead, the gubmint? Which agency? What problem exactly would you be trying to solve? How many more people outside the medical community need to have the names and addresses in order to mask them? Think it through.

      • Don Monfort

        You are blathering, yimmy. Patient data without the particular patient’s name attached is not going to invade the privacy of the patient. End of story. Yammer about something else. You don’t get this, at all.

      • Why do they need the patient data?

      • Don Monfort

        They want to find out stuff on the patients so they can blackmail them, yimmy. Make them vote Republican. But you knew that.

        (The left loons at huffpo HQ need to send in a replacement for this worn out character.)

      • Don, I guess I have to spell it out for you. It’s to check if the patients are, as they suspect, fake, and pollution health effects and medical research in general are just one vast conspiracy. Or, it is to suppress inconvenient research results showing that pollution affects health. One or the other. You can choose.

      • Don Monfort

        Read the MF’ing thing, yimmy:

        “The most common criticism is that the rule rules out the use by EPA of health studies that include data on individuals. This sort of data cannot be shared, due to privacy laws and these sorts of studies can be very important. There is also the issue of proprietary business data, etc.

        But in fact the proposed rule allows for these studies, in two different ways. First, it allows for what is called “masking” of data. If the data is properly structured then masking technologies enable the computer to easily remove or replace the sensitive stuff. Second, in extreme cases the EPA Administrator can simply exempt the study from the regulations.”

        You are really pathetic.

      • Don, you can read all my previous questions to you about the practicalities and extent of this, and that your snippet doesn’t address them either.
        1. Should it affect other medical studies (drugs, etc.)? Why not?
        2. What about past and foreign studies? Are they now discounted?
        3. The data is already protected. What exactly do they need to be unprotected going forwards?
        Find the answers to these and report back if you can find anything.
        Also, openness applies to industries and their data too. They can be asked for proprietary data like what pollutants and how much they emit as part of this “openness” deal too. Also they may do studies that favor themselves and their data should also be open. Pruitt has discretion based on which studies he likes to waive the need for openness. See anything wrong with that? That’s not how to do science-based decision-making. If it’s open on one side, it needs also not to protect industry.

      • Don Monfort

        You do not understand the issue, yimmy. Your questions are dumb and irrelevant. We are done.

      • I understand perfectly well what Pruitt is doing. If they were serious, they would apply their rules across the board in medical science and they wouldn’t leave it possible to waive it on a seat-of-the-pants decision by a complete non-expert. This is a thinly veiled act of politically suppressing inconvenient science, and you either can’t see through it or tacitly agree with the suppression effort of studies quantifying the effects of pollution.

      • Don Monfort

        Explain how the EPA can apply it’s rules across the board in medical science, yimmy. This is just nuts. Stop the foolishness.

      • Don, exactly the point. Is there a problem in medical science or not? The EPA is the only agency that thinks so and wants to add new restrictions on a case-by-case basis at one non-expert person’s whim. Decades of globally published and peer reviewed science is fine for everyone except them. They assume, on no basis, that it’s a conspiracy or the published work is mostly fr@udulent, and that needs this type of action to police it, much in keeping with the post-truth views of the people in charge of the congressional science committees.

      • Don Monfort

        You do not know WTF you are yammering about:

        “But in fact the proposed rule allows for these studies”

        We do not need to know the patients’ identities, clownboy. That is where the masking comes in. the masking is not to exclude studies, but to include them, you goofball. Stop the dumb BS.

      • Don Monfort

        Trump Derangement Syndrome. Whatever POTUS Trump and his administrators do, is presumed by the left loon victims of TDS to be utterly malicious. Elections have consequences. And the consequences on the mental health of the huffpo left loons in the last election has been catastrophic. Well, actually it’s well-deserved and amusing.

      • Don, yes, they don’t need to know the identities, and they don’t under the current system either, so what’s the difference they are asking for? I have asked you this three times now. Most of the studies done on pollutants and their effects go back many decades, possibly to the 1960’s, and to other countries and current regulations are based on those studies. What would they do with those? You won’t be able answer these questions, so I don’t expect much from you.

      • Don Monfort

        You TDS sufferers are funny. You are presuming that the rules are to exclude your favorite CAGW science/dogma. Explain how the rules accomplish that. Continue to make a fool of yourself.

        You really need some time off from your incessant denier blog haranguing. Put in a request to huffpo HQ for a couple of months of R&R (Repair&Re-programming).

      • As I expected, you can’t answer the question about whether they will use this rule on past or foreign pollution-related studies to exclude them. Nor on why the EPA needs to treat medical data differently from anyone else that uses it. It’s the same questions now as I had three days ago, and your responses to those have been completely useless.

      • Don Monfort

        You won’t answer the question. How do they exclude studies that are masked to protect client privacy? I will help you:They don’t, you clown. Can you imagine a situation where the authors of the studies would not allow the patients’ identities to be masked, you clown? What medical researchers pass around data with the patient’s identity included? Haven’t you ever heard of patient confidentiality, yimmy? Get outta here.

        I am seriously done with you. If I didn’t know better, I would suspect that you are deliberately playing dumb.

      • Don, you haven’t understood that the question was about past and foreign studies and whether changing the rules affects the use of those results. You haven’t understood the question about why the EPA should trust medical data less than anyone else including the FDA or CDC. You haven’t explained why the extra paperwork makes “skeptics” more likely to believe the results if they still can’t gain access to identities to check for themselves while they are still being barred for privacy reasons.

      • Don, it is not in effect yet, but there are complications. For example read this. They have a lot to think about when they start requiring all underlying data and even peer-reviewed studies because industry doesn’t work that way, so that may lead to some internal resistance. Bottom line, they still have to find a way to just target the scientific studies. Not sure it’s a done deal yet.
        http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/04/trump-s-epa-wants-stamp-out-secret-science-internal-emails-show-it-harder-expected

  24. David Wojick

    I cannot figure out what adaptation to climate change means as far as actual policies go. We are already adapted to extreme weather events because they have always occurred. No one is surprised by droughts, floods, hurricanes, etc. If it is argued that we should do more to prepare for these expected events, that has nothing to do with climate change.

    Climate change is a statistical event not a physical event. If a certain sort of extreme event is going to happen on average every 30 years instead of every 50 years, or every 100 instead of every 200, there is no new sort of preparation that follows from this.

    The concept of adaptation to climate change looks to be operationally empty.

    • Adaptation is waiting for the disasters to happen and then preparing for the next one after doing the repairs. A key part of proper adaptation is forward thinking and adapting to 500-year events becoming 50-year events that need updated infrastructure and insurance planning considerations, preferably before they happen. Rapid climate change increases the frequency of tail events, aka disasters. Slowing down climate change is a sensible precaution too.

      • Don Monfort

        Best way to slow down climate change is to go with nuclear power. So, why don’t you stop spending ALL your time haranguing CE denizens, who mostly are for it, and go harangue your left loon hysterical anti-nuke buddies?

      • How much of the world’s population would you want to have nuclear reactors? Good for some, not for all.

      • “Adaptation is waiting for the disasters to happen and then preparing for the next one after doing the repairs.”

        No it isn’t. Adaptation is fixing you problems you already have and addressing items of observed risk. For example, Miami already has a slr problem and they are addressing it now. They’re also addressing future problems which they will have even at historical rates of slr. This is also true for Manhattan Island and other parts of NYC.

        It also includes, as Dr. Curry says, addressing problems we know we’ll have, like storm events, regardless of whether the problems are anthropogenic in origin. These problems and risks provide us with a full plate. Planning for 3 feet of slr is premature, and we’ll know if or when it’s time to address that.

      • I think some influential people deny that the problems will get worse, so they would only adapt to past events. Big mistake. Recognition of the scale of ongoing climate change is vital for that to even work a little. The leading edge of climate change is extreme events that get worse. Unless we prepare for previously 500-year events becoming much more frequent and coming into the infrastructure planning range, these will be bad news. Similar considerations go for what we are willing to insure and where we are allowed to build.

      • Don Monfort

        I don’t have a problem with folks having nuclear reactors to produce electricity, yimmy. Are you implying that fear of nuclear weapons proliferation is the argument the left loons are using to squash peaceful uses of nuclear power? That’s foolishness, yimmy.

      • Not just that. Radioactive materials in general. Dirty bombs, etc. Those are bad enough, right?

      • Don Monfort

        So, you are saying the hysteria of your left loon fellow travelers over nuclear power is about the dirty bombs, yimmy. You keep sinking. Why don’t you harangue somewhere where it might have some effect? you been here for about a decade constantly bombarding this blog and all you do is create animosity towards your cause. You ain’t woke.

      • Actually all the advanced countries, probably accounting for 90% of emissions, all have nuclear power and I have no problem with that. Between them, they can make a large dent in emissions. We don’t need low-emitting countries to have nuclear power as it has little practical effect anyway when you think about it.

      • Don Monfort

        Now you are talking, yimmy. What was all that other crap about? So, get on your horse and take your haranguing crusade to your left loon comrades. Tell them it is OK for the industrial countries to use nuclear power. Hey, it might save the planet.

      • It is OK, and I have always said so. Many do. I wish Germany and Japan didn’t pull back after Fukushima.

      • Don Monfort

        OK, it’s OK. Spread the word to your left loon brethren. They’ll listen to you, unlike the folks here who just use you as a foil.

      • Thanks, Don. Safe nuclear to go.

  25. Moy et al (2002) present the record of sedimentation shown below 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 the Holocene. 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 some 5,000 years ago 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 associated with the demise of the Minoan civilization (Tsonis et al, 2010). Red intensity was in excess of 200. For comparison – red intensity in the 98/99 El Niño was 99. It shows ENSO variability considerably in excess of that seen in the modern period.

    The US is in the firing line for magadrought and megaflood such as has not been seen in the 20th century.

    https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/2008JCLI2170.1

    The strength of little Jimmy and Co. is the breadth and depth of their historical perspective.

  26. At the risk of starting a major conflagration, how is it that Nuclear is now being proposed as “safe”? Half-lives haven’t changed. We still don’t know how to handle waste except by burying it – not a solution, but a postponement. Heavy water systems are apparently not the way to go, but that’s all we have at the moment. I don’t understand.
    And I’m sorry Dr. Curry couldn’t make it, ironically because of the weather!

    • Peter Lang

      SRB,

      here are response to you statements. As you admit at the end “I don’t understand”. You certainly do not.

      1. How is it that Nuclear is now being proposed as “safe”?
      It is the safest way to generate electricity and has been since the first power reactor started supplying power to the grid in 1954. The deaths per TWh on a full life cycle analysis have been showing that in all authoritative comparisons for decades.

      2. Half-lives haven’t changed.
      Half lives are irrelevant. The relevant figures are the deaths per TWh of electricity generated. Most chemical pollutants have no half-live – i.e. they last indefinitely. So they are much worse.

      3. We still don’t know how to handle waste except by burying it – not a solution, but a postponement.
      Rubbish. We’ve known for decades the way to dispose of the permanent waste. And nuclear is the only technology that does know how to dispose of its waste. Please explain how you permanently dispose of the waste (i.e. the actual toxic pollutants) from fossil fuel and the production of renewable energy technologies? However, more relevant is that we are not going to dispose of our once used from thermal reactors. They have used only 1% of the available energy. So, we will continue to store them until it becomes economic to reuse the fuels in fast reactors. We’ll need the energy in the future.

      4. Heavy water systems are apparently not the way to go, but that’s all we have at the moment.
      Complete nonsense. Most reactors are light water reactors, not heavy water.

      5. I don’t understand.
      You certainly don’t. You haven’t a clue.

      Have you actually read the full paper I linked in my comment, including the notes in Appendix B, and the relevant references cited in the paper?

    • S R.B
      At the risk of starting a major conflagration, how is it that Nuclear is now being proposed as “safe”?

      If implemented objectively by scientist and engineers, nuclear is the only safe and relievable energy available. Hopefully, in the near future fusion will be the standard of excellence. The issue and problem is that decisions are made by politicians and vested interests. Even considering political and vested interests nuclear will win by default. It is just a matter of time and time is the only thing of value that we have.

  27. Here:
    https://theconversation.com/the-case-for-nuclear-power-despite-the-risks-41552
    a kind of safe is argued to exist. Automobiles are not safe yet they are also a part of our lives.

  28. It’s a pity Judith could’t make it. Now we only hear about congressman Mo Brooks claiming that rising sea level is caused by the erosion of cliffs.
    https://www.livescience.com/62613-erosion-causes-sea-level-rise-mo-brooks.html

    Which is a convenient strawman for the alarmist narrative.

  29. The best technological response to climate change is to address the secular trend of CO2 starvation in our glacial Pleistocene world (evidenced by c4 plant evolution and desertification) by enriching the atmosphere with much-needed, non toxic, life-giving CO2. Companies like Chevron, Exxon-Mobil, BP, Total etc. should be able to help them with this.

  30. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #316 | Watts Up With That?

  31. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #316 |

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