by Judith Curry
The House Oversight and Reform Environmental Subcommittee in a Hearing on Recovery, Resilience and Readiness – Contending with Natural Disasters in the Wake of Climate Change begins at 2 pm EDT.
The announcement for the Hearing is posted [here]. Based on previous Hearings from the Committee, live streaming should be available at the above link (and links to the written testimonies), and also a podcast for later viewing.
The link to my written testimony is here [Testimony Oversight and Reform 2019 v2].
Link to Mann’s testimony is here [ ]Mann.20190612.Testimony.
Below is the text of my prepared verbal remarks:
I thank the Chairman, Ranking Member and the Subcommittee for the opportunity to offer testimony today.
I’ve devoted four decades to conducting research related to extreme weather events and climate change. As President of Climate Forecast Applications Network, I’ve been helping decision makers use weather and climate information to reduce vulnerability to extreme events.
The paradox of weather disasters is that they are at the same time highly surprising, as well as quite predictable. We shouldn’t be surprised by extreme weather events, when comparable events have occurred during the past century.
The sense that extreme weather events are now more frequent or intense, caused by manmade global warming, is symptomatic of ‘weather amnesia.’
The devastating impacts in 2017 from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria invoked numerous alarming statements about hurricanes and global warming. However, it’s rarely mentioned that 2017 broke an 11 year drought in U.S. major hurricane landfalls. This major hurricane drought is unprecedented in the historical record.
Of the 13 strongest U.S. landfalling hurricanes in the historical record, only three have occurred since 1970 (Andrew, Michael, Charley). Four of these strongest hurricanes occurred in the decade following 1926.
Recent international and national assessment reports acknowledge that there is not yet evidence of changes in the frequency or intensity of hurricanes, droughts, floods or wildfires that can be attributed to manmade global warming.
The elevated wildfires in the western U.S. since the 1980’s is partly caused by state and federal polices that have resulted in catastrophically overgrown forests. Comparable levels of wildfire activity were observed earlier in the 20th century.
The National Climate Assessment recognized that the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s remains the benchmark period for extreme drought and heat in the historical record.
A few comments regarding projections of future Atlantic hurricane activity.
My company provides seasonal forecasts of extreme weather. For the 2019 hurricane and wildfire seasons, we expect an active hurricane season with substantial landfall risk, whereas we expect the western wildfire season to be relatively quiet.
Out to at least 2050, natural climate variability is expected to dominate future hurricane variations, rather than any warming trend. The most important looming factor is an anticipated future shift to the cold phase of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. This shift is expected to overall reduce hurricane and wildfire risk for a period of several decades.
With regards to projections for 2100, models from the NOAA Laboratory in Princeton show a substantial decrease in the number of hurricanes in response to global warming. Their models show an increase of about 5% in the maximum intensity of Atlantic hurricanes.
Owing to the large natural variability of Atlantic hurricanes, any influence of manmade global warming would not be noticeable for a number of decades.
Blaming extreme weather events on manmade climate change, and focusing only on what to do after lives and property have been destroyed, deflects from understanding and addressing the real sources of the problems, which in part include federal policies.
Possible scenarios of incremental worsening of weather and climate extremes don’t change the fundamental fact that many regions of the U.S. are not well adapted to the current weather and climate variability.
We have an opportunity to be proactive in preparing for weather disasters. Rather than focusing on recovery from extreme events, we can aim to reduce future vulnerability and increase thrivability by evolving our infrastructures, policies and practices.
Adaptation strategies that promote thrivability simultaneously protect against extreme weather events while at the same time providing other benefits to human or natural systems.
Apart from infrastructure improvements, improvements to federal and state policies can substantially reduce the occurrence and extent of wildfires, and can help mitigate the damage associated with landfalling hurricanes. Further, tactical adaptation practices incorporating tailored weather forecast products can help mitigate the damages associated with extreme weather events.
Places that find solutions to their current challenges associated with extreme weather events will be well prepared to cope with any additional incremental stresses from future climate change.
This concludes my testimony.
Will the hearing be broadcast? I cannot find it.
Should be on the link to main hearing page. Hearing hasn’t started yet delayed by half hour or so
My condolences to Dr. Curry on her Congressional Atlantic Decadal Oscillation crack-up.
Invoking natural variability as an excuse for climate policy indifference can backfire when , one is testifying about Atlantic hurricanes at the same hearing as a primary author of the term :
My condolences to Dr. Curry on her Congressional Atlantic Decadal Oscillation crack-up.
How do you mean?
Such procedures yield an AMO signal with an inflated amplitude and biased phase, attributing some of the recent NH mean temperature rise to the AMO. “The true AMO signal, instead, appears likely to have been in a cooling phase in recent decades, offsetting some of the anthropogenic warming. Claims of multidecadal “stadium wave” patterns of variation across multiple climate indices are also shown to likely be an artifact of this flawed procedure for isolating putative climate oscillations.”
Yeah right! It’s always offsetting, exagerating AGW or warming in general. That’s cargo cult science. By the way, why do the models ignore AMO?
Didn’t you watch the hearing. The Mann-Curry confrontation speaks for itself.
Having watched the Democrats in action in the Kavanaugh and other hearings, I chose to avoid the anger. I did, however, read both Curry and Mann’s written submissions.
Curry’s analysis destroyed Mann’s armwaving.
The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) was first identified by Schlesinger and Ramankutty in 1994. Michael Mann didn’t publish anything about the AMO until 2000. As far as who “coined” the abbreviation AMO, according to Real Climate it was Richard Kerr.
Bliss and Gilbert identified the Southern Oscillation in the 1920’s and Hubert Lamb amongst others were studying the various Atlantic based ones back in the 60’s. Do you believe Mann to be the only one with knowledge of the subject or to have invented it?
He must be a funny little man making that claim in that way and referencing his own vanity publication “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars” by way of justification. Methodology uses a model to create a population of possible worlds which unsurprisingly exhibit variability consistent with the model. Cited 52 times, not one of his better efforts.
Wrong – Mann first published on the AMO in 1994& 1995,
The paper by Mann Steinman& Miller linked above cites both
Kerr, R. A. ( 2000), A North Atlantic climate pacemaker for the centuries, Science, 288, 1984– 1985. and
Schlesinger, M. E., and Ramankutty, N. ( 1994), An oscillation in the global climate system of period 65– 70 years, Nature, 367, 723– 726.
and provides the following succinct history of the AMO
Evidence for a multidecadal climate oscillation centered in the North Atlantic originated from the work by Folland and colleagues during the 1980s [Folland et al., 1984, 1986]. Additional support was provided in subsequent analyses of observational climate data [e.g., Kushnir, 1994]. The confident establishment of any low‐frequency oscillatory climate signal, however, was hampered by the limited (roughly one century) length of the instrumental climate record and the potential contamination of putative low‐frequency oscillations by forced long‐term climate trends. Subsequent work in the mid‐1990s attempted to address these limitations. Mann and Park [1994, 1996] used a multivariate signal detection approach to separate distinct long‐term climate signals, while Schlesinger and Ramankutty  employed climate model simulations to estimate and remove the forced trend from observations. These analyses provided further evidence for a multidecadal (50–70 year) timescale signal centered in the North Atlantic with a weak projection onto hemispheric mean temperature. Mann et al.  presented evidence based on the analyses of paleoclimate proxy data that such a signal persists several centuries back in time.
Meanwhile, climate model simulations by Delworth et al. [1993, 1997] demonstrated the existence of an internal multidecadal oscillation associated with the North Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (“AMOC”) and coupled ocean‐atmosphere processes in the North Atlantic. Delworth and Mann  provided consistent evidence across instrumental observations, paleoclimate data, and coupled model simulations, for the existence of a distinct multidecadal climate mode. This mode was subsequently termed the “Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation” (“AMO”) in Kerr  [the term was coined by M. Mann in an interview with Kerr—see Mann, 2012]. In this article, we reserve the term AMO to denote such an internal, multidecadal timescale oscillation.
Mann and company get it correct here though. Low solar increases negative Arctic Oscillation/North Atlantic Oscillation states, driving warmer ocean phases in the northern hemisphere. The cold AMO phase is due to stronger solar wind states not aerosol cooling.
Solar Forcing of Regional Climate Change During the Maunder Minimum:
The model consensus is that rising CO2 forcing increases positive AO/NAO, that won’t drive a warm AMO phase.
Russell – it’s interesting to read the papers chasing North Hemisphere variability, which appears to be where started.
Mann is not claiming he discovered the AMO. He claiming in a conversation with Kerr about this thing they were all studying, that he suggested since one aspect of the Pacific portion of Northern Hemisphere variability had already been named the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, that they could the aspect of the Atlantic portion the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.
That he studied Northern Hemisphere variability is beyond dispute. He cites lots of other scientists.
The most interesting thing in reading the 1990’s papers is you get see where is all went very very wrong. The AMO is not an ocean oscillation. It has been going up since AGW poked its face through the mist, and it’s not going negative as long as the AMOC is chugging along, which it is.
Russell Seitz: The 1994 Mann and Park paper is not about the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, it is about shorter quasi-decadal oscillations of 10-to-12-years and interdecadal mode oscillations 15-18 years. The Schlesinger and Ramankutty paper was the first to identify that.
As far as who first coined the term, yes, Mann claims to have coined the term, but then again he claims to have won a Nobel Prize.
The first discussion I heard conderning the Atlantic ( and Pacific ) oscillations was at an AMS seminar at it Boston headquarters in 1985.
The acronyms continue to evolve along with the science, but even then the subject drew a crowd less of climate activists, than commodity analysts from Archer Daniels and Cargill ,worried about the long-term future of beans and bellies contracts.
Why would they concern themselves with CO2 radiative forcing trends way back then ? Because by 1985, the Energy Crisis was over, and the Oli Glut had begun.
Reblogged this on Climate Collections.
“Places that find solutions to their current challenges associated with extreme weather events will be well prepared to cope with any additional incremental stresses from future climate change.”
To paraphrase Roger Pielke Jr., it’s not that we are unprepared for weather of the future, it’s that we’re not prepared for the weather of the past.
Excellent! Your point about our lack of preparedness for the events we’re currently experiencing can’t be made strongly enough: the fault is not in our stars – or our climate – but in ourselves.
If adaption is the only rational, common sense response to climate change, given that whatever may come, our influence over nature is nil, we should be looking more and more to nuclear energy as the risk of cooler weather over the next 30-50 years is anticipated and knowing that someday, it is inevitable.
Naturally I liked this: Possible scenarios of incremental worsening of weather and climate extremes don’t change the fundamental fact that many regions of the U.S. are not well adapted to the current weather and climate variability.
Thanks for linking to your and Michael Mann’s written remarks.
Thank you for posting this excellent testimony and for all your other postings on this site.
Perhaps (but hasn’t started yet):
Lots of power per sentence in Dr. Curry’s testimony today. Well crafted.
Unfortunately it was delivered from an Angel’s lips to mostly Evil Lying Socialist Illegitimate Power Grabber’s ears.
And you will not hear of any of this honest testimony in the press.
The only thing worse than a corrupt politician is a normal Mainstream Media “Journalist”.
“Unfortunately it was delivered from an Angel’s lips to mostly Evil Lying Socialist Illegitimate Power Grabber’s ears.
Elmer Fudd couldn’t have put it better.
Looking at the big picture I think preparing for extreme weather should be the responsibility of the landlord.
In the last decade, private land in the United States has become increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few. Today, just 100 families own about 42 million acres across the country, a 65,000-square-mile expanse, according to the Land Report, a magazine that tracks large purchases. Researchers at the magazine have found that the amount of land owned by those 100 families has jumped 50 percent since 2007.
In a couple of decades the only land left for us regular folks will be landfills, floodplains, abandoned strip mines and overcrowded cities.
The largest land holdings are in western states. These lands are sparsely populated because they are remote and difficult to access or develop. The U.S. has 3.8 million sq miles so 65,000 sq. miles is a tiny fraction. The federal government owns nearly 30% of the land area of the U.S. The wealth of families dissipates in a few generations — 70% lose their wealth within 2 generations
Not much difference if the top 30% buy up the 70% who lose their wealth. By every metric we are at a point of extreme wealth concentration but there is no reason it can’t continue indefinitely as we approach $450 trillion global debt and beyond.
Well I admit Ted Turner has been a better steward of his land than the BLM has been of ours (public).
As always, Judith, your testimony focuses on reality. Well done.
Thank you very much for your presence/voice at this House hearing. On wildfires, especially in CA, in addition to federal policies, people have been the main cause (negligence, incl. PG&E and SDG&E utilities, arson, freak accidents a la the Lilac fire, etc.). Somehow the front end sentence from IPCC that “population and economic growth” are main factors in human caused warming needs to brought to fore. Again, thank you for your voice of sanity against the many voices that nowadays have transformed a VERY complicated, wicked science problem into a dogma used for political means.
45 minutes late and counting, not including a five minute delay. Sheesh.
(good enough for government work)…
I skimmed through Mann’s testimony and its classical conflation of science with anecdotal evidence used by activists or vitamin salesmen. Oh and the clincher for me was the statement that modern attribution studies used climate models with and without GHG forcings. But wait, I thought these models couldn’t resolve cyclones and showed no skill in patterns of precipitation or indeed SST patterns.
It’s a very sad commentary on how low science has descended.
“It’s very sad…”
What is sadder is that the subcommittee was clearly uninterested in a scientific debate. They only wanted support to their own talking points. And, neither side seemed to be aware of the obvious point that blaming man-caused global warming as the culprit for every ill has zero practical policy payoff, even though that was the essence of one of their expert witness’s testimony. The US cannot control the weather or world CO2 emissions. They would rather scapegoat conservative caused weather instead of liberal forest mis-management. It’s that simple.
The kicker was Mann’s parting shots at Dr. Curry and his claim that AMO was just a mis-interpretation of the effects of the Clean Air Act.
Wow, think about that last claim. (We know AOC didn’t.) How did US policy instantly change global mean temperature? And, if it did wouldn’t there be more questions on that?
Mann is always certain of his righteousness and his evidence. A man more fit for theology than for science. There is always a witch to be rounded up and blamed when he feels challenged.
(maybe all those amish people living around state college have rubbed off on him)…
Ocean cycles sidelined in 20th century temperature record
“Trenberth thinks the team’s adjustments had the effect of fitting the model to an uncertain record. “There is considerable wiggle room in just what the actual record is,” he says.”
I find it disheartening that Dr. Mann bragged about his “iconic” hockey stick work despite the fact that the IPCC no longer features it in their studies. It has always has been a weak study, it has been thoroughly debunked to my satisfaction and to continue to brag about it is just sad.
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The NAO Index remains negative from the end of April.
Unfavorable circulation for the development of hurricanes in the Atlantic.
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I was surprised that Mann chose to spend more than 30 seconds reciting his accolades – all of which is in his written testimony and take up more than a page. I also found it quite amusing that Michael Mann decided to claim the following as justification for his authoritative testimony:
“I am perhaps best known for my paleoclimate research two decades ago that produced the iconic “hockey stick” curve demonstrating the unprecedented nature of human-caused planetary warming.”
The 2010 Stephen McIintyre take on this is still worth a read:
Or as Phil Jones famously said in his Nov 16 1999 email to Bradly, Mann and Hughes (cc Briffa Osborn) “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999 for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.”
Although the first sentence is famous “… Mike’s Nature trick … to hide the decline.”, I haven’t come across much discussion on the second sentence. Why would Phil only use “April-Sept for NH land N of 20N”?
Oh yeah, I remember – because “you have to pick cherries if you want to make cherry pie.” (Rosanne D’Arrigo).
Another source of references from Ross McKitrick’s website::
Which leads me to wonder about the reliability of the models… just as MIT scientists wonder:
“The major radiatively active components of the atmosphere are water vapor and so-called layer clouds … Recent observational studies show that these effects almost balance, but that the cooling effect is somewhat more important. From the point of view of global change, however, it is crucial to note that this small difference is about five times larger than the radiative effect anticipated from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), and that the individual components of the difference are orders of magnitude larger. In existing climate models about one third of the predicted warming due to increasing CO2 arises because of the predicted cloud changes. These predictions, however, are highly speculative because none of the models include interactive cloud physics.
Convection also plays an important role in the surface heat budget. The main mechanism whereby the surface of the Earth cools is not radiation, but evaporation. The heat lost by evaporation is carried deep into the atmosphere by convection and is realized as heat by the atmosphere when water vapor condenses into rain and snow. Much of this heat is released above 6 km. In existing models, another one third or so of the anticipated warming due to increasing CO2 arises because the amount of water vapor (the major greenhouse gas) increases due to increased evaporation with increasing temperature. Moreover, increased evaporation is likely to lead to increased convection.
But convection has two competing effects: increased convection forces increased subsidence in the environment of clouds, which is a strong drying effect; but increased convection also increases the rate at which water vapor from near the Earth’s surface is transported to higher altitudes. However the bulk of this water vapor condenses as it rises and falls out as precipitation leaving open how much is actually available to moisturize the atmosphere. Current representations of cumulus convection handle these processes crudely and the inclusion of more realistic representations of cumulus convection in climate models could alter significantly what is currently thought to be a major positive feedback. A major challenge is the observational validation of representation of cumulus convection.
Clearly, without a proper treatment of both layer clouds and convection, model predictions of climate are uncertain. Cloud effects are so much larger than the anticipated effects of added greenhouse gases, that small changes in the cloud picture can easily alter predictions of global warming. In addition, existing methods of representing convection and clouds are crude, and, in some cases, can be shown even to be qualitatively incorrect.”
I agree with Dr. Currie’s concluding statement from her written testimony: Framework : “By avoiding the conflation of weather disasters with manmade climate change, the acrimony associated with the political debate surrounding climate change can be avoided. Bipartisan support seems feasible for pragmatic efforts to reduce our vulnerability to extreme weather events and increase thrivability.”
“Why would Phil only use “April-Sept for NH land N of 20N”?”
Because that’s the location of the proxies & the assumption that it’s summer temperatures they’re measuring.
Hard to watch this! So many misstatements, exaggerations, and pontification. The closed mind is a scary thing to behold.
Oops – in my previous comment I was on the wrong side of the Curry sandwich! Curry not Currie!
I share with you Hugh’s trick for watching YouTube videos – to hide the decline in human conversational speed. Just watch an old movie – far more dialogue and everyone seems to be talking anomalously fast.
But you can listen to, absorb and understand much faster than standard delivery, just as most of us read much faster than we speak. In the lower left hand corner of YouTube, there is a gear icon (or three dots upper right in Android). Select “Playback speed” and increase it to whatever is tolerable – 2x is the max but that is easy to understand with practice – just listen with your inner reading voice!
There are many applications that link to YouTube videos but don’t allow you full functionality (e.g. Facebook). I used to grin and bear it, but now I just search out the link on the YouTube app on my phone or computer to ensure that I have access to “Playback speed”.
Life is too short!
from Mann: We also know that warmer air holds more moisture, and the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere has increased, due to human-induced global warming. We’ve measured this increase and it has been unequivocally attributed to human-caused warming. That extra moisture causes heavier rainfall, which has also been observed and attributed to our influence on climate.
Roughly 1.5C warmer-than-normal waters in the subtropical Atlantic where Florence intensified (and keep in mind that “normal” as modernly defined by NOAA as the average during the 1981-2010 period is itself already about 1C warmer than pre-industrial times prior to advent of human-caused greenhouse warming) corresponds to a roughly 11% increase in peak winds.
Now that Michael Mann is on record supporting the increase in the rate of the hydrologic cycle, it might be a good time to ask him for his calculations of how much the rate of (latent and tangible) heat transfer from surface to mid-troposphere has been increased by the 1.5 increase in the tropical Atlantic.
Since the destructive potential of a storm goes as the cube of the wind speed, that that 11% increase in wind speed corresponds to a 37% increase in destructive potential.
Has there been any evidence that actual structural damage due to extreme winds has increased by 37%? I think that this is another of those “potentials” that, if real, would already have occurred. The Alamo, for example, or coastal light houses: have the increased wind speeds caused 37% more damage per storm than before? Other historic buildings such as the Louisiana and Florida statehouses, or landmark university buildings?
from Mann: We also know that …
As the Dothraki would say, “it is known”.
Mr. Mann asserts that storm destructive potential goes as the cube of wind speed. He has his physics wrong. Pressure increases squared with wind speed. But then, he may have his personal definition of destructive potential.
Pressure increases with the square. Power (energy) increases with the cube. From which come the pump laws.
Reblogged this on ClimateTheTruth.com.
As you know, Judy, I am always prepared to disagree with you. Not this time. Clear and correct. Impressive!
Maybe this is a better post to ask the question:
What would you like to see as an outcome of this Congressional hearing?
Good question, I am asking myself why I bother.
And so you should. I don’t know if it’s been mentioned here as I haven’t read all the comments, but who on earth was that Chairman?
I have watched a few hearings on various subjects from the UK, and can’t believe that these clearly biased people are wheeled in to present their own opinions and conduct a hearing to their personal preference.
These are not hearings as we recognise them in the UK, they are rigged political circuses and the US ought to be ashamed they are ever conducted never mind broadcast.
On negative or bad press:
“From a pure business point of view, the benefits of being written about have far outweighed the drawbacks. It’s really quite simple … The funny thing is that even a critical story, which may be hurtful personally, can be very valuable to your business.”
– Donald J. Trump
“… why I bother.”
For myself, when responding to some question in the digital news media, in my mind’s eye, I imagine someone spying on my comments, transmitting such pearls as I can muster to some person or agency that will ultimately see some validity in my comments, then influence some policy, legislation, or twinge someone’s thinking, and, I say to myself, I have made a difference; ie, the outcome has been changed due to my having been on this earth today.
And then, at times, I am just being snarky and getting in a “zinger”, illustrating my own sense of knowledge superiority, and otherwise, giving a little boost to my own ego.
Here at the cottage, close to the 45th parallel, watching another Canadian sunset, I see the end of the day in its spectacular array, and believe I’ll be around for tomorrow’s sunrise and its new beginning.
Because there needs to be at least one expert witness that provides a non-religious assessment, regardless that they needed desperately to stifle your message for their political witch hunt.
“I am asking myself why I bother.”
A record for posterity, if for no other reason, still makes it worthwhile.
Because as one of the most articulate spokespersons of science and integrity in climate studies, one must engage in the public debate or lose by default.
Thanks for all you have done over the years.
Reading JC’s and then MM’s testimonies, they falls into the usual skeptic vs. warmist epistemological types of deductive vs. inductive.
Deductive: the incidence of hurricanes, fires etc. has been carefully examined with time and no clear trend found
Inductive: CO2 traps heat warming the climate; this in turn warms the ocean; this in turn gives more energy to hurricanes and makes fires more likely.
Karl Popper in works such as “Conjectures and Refutations” made it clear that deductive is the more authoritative form of scientce than inductive.
On the subject of sea level rise, this post at NoTricksZone is highly pertinent.
It seems that recent western Indian ocean coral bleaching is associated with ocean cooling (not warming) and sea level fall (not rise):
(yes, but inductive reasoning is a better $ell)…
Deductive reasoning is an observational report.
Inductive reasoning is a story.
People have always liked stories.
Concerning Michael Mann’s comments on ocean temperatures and Hurricane Florence’s intensity:
I live in Washington, NC. In September 2018, we were on the north side of Hurricane Florence. Our community, Beaufort County, suffered unusual flooding from heavy rain, but particularly from the rise of water levels in the Pamlico River. People further south of us in New Bern and Morehead City were more heavily affected because they were closer to the center of the storm.
The feeling among life long residents of the coast is that Florence’s CAT 1 intensity was not an unmanageable problem. However, Florence’s track (east-west) and very slow speed were quite unmanageable for our easterly flowing rivers.
Generally, storms through our area run S->N with approximately 6-8 hours of counter clockwise wind blowing from the east holding the river water back and obstructing the rain from leaving the drainage area. Then we get 6-8 hours on the backside of the storm’s counter clock wise motion while a westerly wind blows the river quickly out as the storm moves north.
The storms are in and out within 12-15 hours.
Florence came very slowly and directly out of the east. From the Cape Fear River north to the Pamlico was subjected to over 24 hours of direct east wind that was brought by a very slow moving storm.
Florence was not a particularly intense storm. She was a storm with a perfectly placed track, moving directly inland and very slowly across a very wide path. The river was held in place by a long continuing wind, under heavy rain, yet never benefited from the backside of the storm delivering a westerly wind to clear the river.
I feel that Professor Mann’s comments did not make this clear.
Sincerely Warren Smith
Sent from my iPhone
The difference between the two written submissions is tremendous: Judith Curry, fact-filled and analytic. Michael Man, models and scary hand waving.
Totally missed the first half. What I caught, I was pleasantly surprised (very low expectations). It focused on response to recent weather disasters rather than climate change BS, other than cali trying to pretend forest fire disasters aren’t the result of policy and population growth.
Roger Pielke Jr.
I didn’t watch today’s climate hearing w/
I did just read both statements.
& US National Climate Assessment
➡️Mann cited a bunch of news articles & a few cherrypicked studies
Times have sure changed!
But Mann sounds so authoritative. And Curry is just a woman.
Oh c’mon Mann’s credibility is as thin as his hair
I’d be interested in seeing an analysis of Michael Mann’s written testimony. In particular, this section would seem to be at odds with Judith’s testimony:
“The strongest hurricanes (have gotten stronger) because of global warming. Over the past two years we have witnessed the most intense hurricanes on record for (the globe), both (hemispheres), the (Pacific), and the (open Atlantic).”
Is anything that Mann says inaccurate, or is he just choosing different facts to emphasize that Judith? Apart from being from “popular” sources, do the links that he provides provide support for his assertions?
You will notice that the “references” provided are all to press accounts which have essentially no scientific value especially given the descent of the American press into yellow journalism.
Judith’s testimony said in shorter terms.
“We are not prepared for the weather of the past”
or even shorter
“We are not prepared for the past”
Folks might think a congressional hearing is about gathering information
or quizzing the experts.
It’s a moment to make an impression. to brand a position.
Sadly she got dragged into a climate debate
This was especially painful to watch
quibbling over the word “belief” basically robbed you of an opportunity
to make a lasting memorable impression.
“We are not prepared for the past.”
So just to monday morning quarterback Judith i would say this.
It is unwise to get into a debate about the data and what the reports
say. Almost always this is a mistake. because no one on that panel
will get what you are talking about. Repubs will listen to you
Dems will listen to Mann.
And so to make an impression you have to hit the debate from 90degrees
“Whatever your position is on climate change congressman, one fact stands above party politics. One fact transcends party politics:
We are not prepare for the past.”
The storms of our mothers and grandmothers were just as bad if not worse than today. Regardless of what you think about future storms, this much is
new york was not ready for Sandy, even though the past showed them they should be.
california was not ready for drought, even though the past showed them they should be.
Houston was not ready….
you get the idea. One theme, one trope, pound and repound.
Hitting mann head on will always put you in a position where you get the
‘denier’ question. be ready to flip that. Always
in your testimoney you got at a few of the regulations that matter.
it was your opportunity to hit at THEM for their past dereliction of duty.
just sidestep the climate debate, and fight a different battle. always.
you should always pick the field you want to play on.
Congressdude: Do you believe in human caused climate change?
Judith; I am here to talk about your refusal to prepare for the weather of the past.
monday morning quarterbacking is easy. FWIW
Can capitalism make it better?
The smart money will be on geoengineering. Not because we have to. But because we can.
No, those are bureaucrats and cronies and they will make it worse. They made it up in the first place.
It is evident that the weather of the past was often much worse than today. Not always, but sometimes, as there long periods of stability and as with today, long periods of relatively benign weather.
But sooner or later we will get into one of those very unpleasant periods of weather. It might be short lived, it might become the new norm for decades or centuries, but nothing is more certain than it will happen.
We need to future proof new infrastructure and progressively work towards improving all our vulnerable assets..
As far as I can see though there is very little effort to demonstrate to those at the highest level that the past could be very very bad and the future could be the same.
I agree that this is probably the best approach to deal with not only this kind of testimony but also things we hear in the media and by politicians. The one added point to make is that no one is claiming that after we go to completely fossil-free energy that hurricanes, drought, and other extreme weather will stop.
Steve, very good comment/suggestions. Unfortunately, I am a lousy politician and have a tendency to answer questions that I am asked as directly an honestly as I can. I am far more strategic in my writing than I am in interviews or as a witness.
Judith, I strongly agree with Steve’s advice. Don’t let others define the playing field. Find a segue back to your central points whatever the question. This goes double for sympathetic interviewers like Tucker Carlson. Most of them don’t know enough to ask good questions. They especially won’t mind if you make a right turn to a stronger point.
I know it runs against your training and ethics, but when I prepare for encounters with the media, deciders, other experts I always decide in
advance what message I want them to leave with
The one phrase,
the three word summary.
and then I find a way to turn every question into that phrase.
weather amensia was a good trope, its just a matter of twisting every question to allow you to repeat that message.
Q&A is always a battle, reframe, question the question, question the questioner, ignore the question and stay on message.
mann, its clear to me, has been through media training ( basically how to twist questions)
Let me give more unsolicited advice, this time to republicans, skeptics
and the Trump campaign.
The democrats wil have 1 message. 1 line. and they will stay on message:
“we must fight climate change”
as you go around the internet, as you listen to various republicans there
is no 1 single message.. The worst message that some use is that climate science is a hoax, a fraud. Regardless of what you think, this message
misses an opportunity. An opportunity to push for something positive.
Imagine you message were “we are not prepared for the past”
And the solution of course is resilient infrastructure.
Every city you visit, you study the weather history, when asked about climate change, you change the subject: the subject is our weather amnesia. (I rather like that phrase as well) you detail some
weather disaster from the past of that city. simple. its silly to worrry about the future until we prepare for the past.
DO you believe in climate change?
“I think we have weather amenesia. we worry about the future and are
not even prepared for the past. Here is what we need to do on infrastructure.”
every question about green energy, you answer with an appeal to nuclear.
No need to trash renewable energy, embrace it in the form of nuclear.
In short, avoid the head on head ( is climate change real or not) and shift
the topic to a simple, memoramble position: we need better infrastructure, and we need nuclear.
But my sense is republicans will continue to repsond to this question in 642 different ways and lose the power of offering a positive program and staying on message.
its marketing folks, not science
It’s possible to be completely honest while still emphasizing the more important points. You can say “Yes Senator, there is some truth in what you say, but a more important point is …” and then explain why your point is more important. It helps to have a few minutes to explain the details.
Steven Mosher: In short, avoid the head on head ( is climate change real or not) and shift the topic to a simple, memoramble position: we need better infrastructure, and we need nuclear.
Or just continue to ridicule the anti-science of Anastasia Occasional-Cortex and the Democrats who rally to her.
“Or just continue to ridicule the anti-science of Anastasia Occasional-Cortex and the Democrats who rally to her.”
nope. doesnt work.
What does work is what motivates the Yellow Vest movement: Massive, unnecessary cost increases to the working middle class.
Fear mongering only works until: 1) The predicted disaster doesn’t happen on time; and/or 2) People realize their standards of living will take a big hit.
Mr. Mosher, do you believe that the UN IPCC climate models’ predictions are sufficient to fundamentally alter our society, economy and energy systems?
Steven Mosher reminded me of something. A and B are squared off. It’s not going to be productive. Point to C which is not A or B. C is the weather of the past.
Climate politics is A versus B. Some of us point to the costs of things like wind turbines and solar panels and not how climate science is this or that.
When we point to the IPCC, they attack the IPCC. This is not optimal. It’s triangulation that reveals but may not help.
Agree about keeping things short and simple. I understand her urge to comment on the word belief though. Perhaps something short and simple like “Belief is a religious term. I’m a scientist.” and then continue on before they can interrupt you.
CLIMATE VARIABILITY IS EXPECTED TO DOMINATE FUTURE HURRICANE VARIATIONS RATHER THAN ANY WARMING TREND. THE MOST IMPORTANT LOOMING FACTOR IS AN ANTICIPATED SHIFT. THIS SHIFT IS EXPECTED TO OVERALL REDUCE HURRICANE AND WILDFIRE RISKS FOR A PERIOD OF SEVERAL DECADES. – Professor Curry
Link(s) to peer-reviewed studies supporting this?
It is in the IPCC AR5, under time of emergence. Kerry Emanuel has recent publications on this, also see Bender et al. (2012). No time to provide links.
In California, the jet from the Pacific gives protection against fires.
There’s a great video online of a boy trying to “start” a vacuum cleaner using the electric cable like you’d start a petrol driven lawn mower using the pull starter.
It was the excruciating embarrassment watching the democrats who “just knew” that the electric cable of climate was CO2.
I felt sick reading Mann’s garbage submission, preaching death and destruction without actually providing evidence of any physical link between anthropogenic CO2 and climate change (much less global warming), other than the discredited computer models. Fortunately Dr Curry’s written submission does provide actual data countermanding just about all of Mann’s claims.
However, we all know that the whole thing is driven by politics and vested interests and so facts are of little significance. The frustrating thing is it will always be this way while research agencies depend upon government funding. I can’t imagine the head of a research agency going before the government committee allocating funds and saying that actually things are fine and just following natural processes. Nor can I imagine a player in the green industrial complex ever admitting that solar and wind are in fact not viable alternatives to fossil fuel or nuclear for global energy needs. Nor can I ever imagine an editor knocking back a disaster lead article. Nor can I imagine any politician passing over an issue that might give political advantage. Nor can I imagine a radical protestor turning down any issue that might provide a platform to vent their anger.
The only hope seems to be those few remaining experts who have enough integrity to stand up and call out the scam, whatever the cost. May they continue to receive our gratitude and support. Ultimately the whole issue will be resolved by nature herself, though sadly by then countless billions of dollars that could otherwise have been used to solve some real world problems like disease and poverty will have been wasted lining the pockets of rent-seekers and pushing political agendas.
Numerous definitions of atmospheric blocking exist in the literature and all involve a level of subjectivity. We use the blocking index of Tibaldi and Molteni (1990) modified from that of Lejenas and Okland (1983). The index is local and instantaneous, ideally suited for real-time atmospheric monitoring, isolating regions of easterly flow at 500 hPa associated with high-latitude blocks.
The blocking of circulation at high latitudes is typical in periods of low solar activity, as the ionization of the lower stratosphere by the GCR increases, while the UV with the shortest wave decreases.
In late years the GOME solar irradiance has degraded to about 20% of its value near 280 nm in 1995, so that the GOME data have become noisier.
Very long periods of low solar activity can lead to the escape of water vapor into space.
Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and SST anomaly maps are generated from NOAA Optimum Interpolation SST version 2 (OISST V2). OISST is a 0.25° gridded dataset derived by blending satellite, ship, and buoy measurements. The SST anomalies is based on a 1971-2000 climatology calculated by NOAA.
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Substantial hurricanes in the 17th, 18th & 19th centuries shaped a spit of land and carved out a bay in Norfolk known as Willoughby Bay. A 1749 hurricane caused the Chesapeake Bay to rise 15 feet, as the Northeaster pushed the ocean water into the Bay,
A couple of simple points on temperature gradients in the troposphere and sea surface temperature is an almost complete neglect – understandable as that is in the context – of anthropogenic climate change. The talk of clusters and extremes hints at the presence of bi-stable subsystems in climate with implications that go far beyond periodicity in IPO, AMO, AMOC, etc to deterministic chaos at the heart of extreme change in biology, hydrology, temperature, sea level rise, etc.
“A study of Earth’s climate history suggests the inevitability of “tipping points”—thresholds beyond which major and rapid changes occur when crossed—that lead to abrupt changes in the climate system. The history of climate on the planet—as read in archives such as tree rings, ocean sediments, and ice cores—is punctuated with large changes that occurred rapidly, over the course of decades to as little as a few years. There are many potential tipping points in nature, as described in this report, and many more that we humans create in our own systems. The current rate of carbon emissions is changing the climate system at an accelerating pace, making the chances of crossing tipping points all the more likely. The seminal 2002 National Academy Report, Abrupt Climate Changes: Inevitable Surprises (still required reading for anyone with a serious interest in our future climate) was aptly named: surprises are indeed inevitable. The question is now whether the surprises can be anticipated, and the element of surprise reduced.” https://www.nap.edu/read/18373/chapter/1#vii
Here’s a selection of references from PAGES – if someone is inclined to refute science. Do us a favor and do it on an informed basis and not as partisan motivated blather.
Here’s a summary of their latest workshop.
A linear extrapolation of century trends is not credible. Periodicity and oscillations in natural systems are rather thresholds and abrupt and unpredictable climate shifts. So while it is good to prepare for past events – attention should then turn to minimizing anthropogenic risk.
If only they had a carbon (sic) tax …
New Year’s Day 1788 was greeted by another storm and very cold weather around Tasmania, with reports of snow.”
200+ years later …
2019, Feb 13: “The Bureau of Meteorology says the snow is unusual, given Tasmania’s hotter than average summer.”
Mann. Page 2. Last paragraph. “the oceans are warming due to the human-caused build-up of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere”. How?
Robert I Ellison: A study of Earth’s climate history suggests the inevitability of “tipping points”—
“suggests” is a good word in that sentence.
So while it is good to prepare for past events – attention should then turn to minimizing anthropogenic risk.
A good suggestion: first prepare for the past, and then attend to the hypothetical futures.
Inevitability is a better word. But I had suggested that discussion be on an informed basis rather than motivated blather.
Robert I Ellison: But I had suggested that discussion be on an informed basis rather than motivated blather.
Robbie, every informed reader can tell that there is unsufficient evidence for the “inevitability” of tipping points; given the peaks and troughs of the temperature record, and its proxies, over the holocene era. This model though does at least have a “route to chaos” and may be an accurate representation of the quasi-biennial oscillation: Periodicity disruption of a model quasi-biennial oscillation
Antoine Renaud1, Louis-Philippe Nadeau2, and Antoine Venaille1
1 Univ Lyon, Ens de Lyon, Univ Claude Bernard,
CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique, F-69342 Lyon, France
2 Institut des Sciences de la Mer de Rimouski, Universite du Quebec a Rimouski. Rimouski, Quebec, Canada
(Dated: January 17, 2019)
The quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) of equatorial winds on Earth is the clearest example of the spontaneous emergence of a periodic phenomenon in geophysical fluids.In recent years, observations have revealed intriguing disruptions of this regular behaviour, and dierent QBO-like regimes have been reported in a variety of systems. Here we show that part of the variability in mean flow reversals can be attributed to the intrinsic dynamics of wave-mean flow interactions in stratied fluids. Using a constant-in-time monochromatic wave forcing, bifurcation diagrams are mapped for a hierarchy of simplied models of the QBO, ranging from a quasilinear model to fully nonlinear simulations. The existence of new bifurcations associated with faster and shallower flow reversals, as well as a quasiperiodic route to chaos are reported in these models. The possibility for periodicity disruptions is investigated by probing the resilience of regular wind reversals to external perturbations.
Judith Curry put it up for discussion few weeks ago.
Chaos in a model study of the QBO? Deterministic chaos is everywhere in the Earth system. Seen in the many nonlinear oscillators as nodes in the global stadium wave – such as the QBO – and in emergent regimes of biology, cloud, ice, temperature, clusters of cyclones, hydrology, etc.
But if you are still thinking that butterflies cause cyclones – or that Hurst is the statistics of extremes rather than of clusters and changing regimes – there is little to usefully add.
Robert I Ellison: But if you are still thinking that butterflies cause cyclones – or that Hurst is the statistics of extremes rather than of clusters and changing regimes
Robbie, you made up that “thinking” you attribute to me.
No – I did not.
Where David Hagen assumed that peak floods were misunderstood and underestimated – neglecting the actual cookbook used for PMF estimation by hydrologists. Where the Oroville Dam failed it was due to to structural design, construction or maintenance failure. Not hydrology. White noise and Markov series have no place in real hydrological estimation.
What a Hurst coefficient of 0.84 says is that climate is wild. But it is not something transferable to other catchments to estimate extremes – unless they have a similarly impressive length of record.
As for butterflies – “I wonder if anyone has ever shown that a storm or even a small dust devil resulted from the flapping of a butterfly wing.”
Robert I Ellison: Deterministic chaos is everywhere in the Earth system.
Robbie, you and everyone else know that very few climate/weather related processes have had accurate enough deterministic chaotic mathematical models fit to them that any of the features of mathematical chaos might be inferred: routes to chaos, catastrophes, large Lyapunov exponents of not all the same size, strange attractors, etc. They Reynaud et al paper on the
QBO is one of the few examples, and is a step forward in modeling and understanding.
“The biggest difficulty comes from the fact that we lost this convenient finite dimensional phase space. That’s why almost nothing transports from temporal chaos to spatio-temporal chaos. There are no attractors, bifurcations and such. The whole mathematical apparatus has to be invented from scratch and it will take decades. To know the state of the system, we must know all the fields at all points – this is an uncountable infinity of dimensions. As the fields are coupled, the system produces quasi standing waves all the time. A quasi standing wave is a spatial pattern that oscillates at the same place repeating the same spatial structures in time. However in spatio-temporal chaos these quasi standing waves are not invariants of the system on the contrary to the attractors which are the invariants of the temporal chaos. They live for a certain time and then change or disappear altogether.
You can see spatio-temporal chaos if you look at a fast mountain river. There will be vortexes of different sizes at different places at different times. But if you observe patiently, you will notice that there are places where there almost always are vortexes and they almost always have similar sizes – these are the quasi standing waves of the spatio-temporal chaos governing the river. If you perturb the flow, many quasi standing waves may disappear. Or very few. It depends.” https://judithcurry.com/2011/02/10/spatio-temporal-chaos/
It can be seen on a larger scale in Earth’s turbulent flow field – climate is a fluid flow problem.
“Perhaps we can visualize the day when all of the relevant physical principles will be perfectly known. It may then still not be possible to express these principles as mathematical equations which can be solved by digital computers. We may believe, for example, that the motion of the unsaturated portion of the atmosphere is governed by the Navier–Stokes equations, but to use these equations properly we should have to describe each turbulent eddy—a task far beyond the capacity of the largest computer. We must therefore express the pertinent statistical properties of turbulent eddies as functions of the larger-scale motions. We do not yet know how to do this, nor have we proven that the desired functions exist.” Edward Lorenz
“But if you observe patiently, you will notice that there are places where there almost always are vortexes and they almost always have similar sizes – these are the quasi standing waves of the spatio-temporal chaos governing the river.”
That’s where the boulder resides. “… quasi standing waves of the spatio-temporal chaos governing the river …” is just a complicated reference to a rock.
The rock is a boundary condition.
Robert I Ellison: No – I did not.
That is not a quote by me. The quote was not made up by you, but the attribution to me is false.
Oh – and here’s the thread it belongs to/
Abstracting a sentence and commenting on its syntax is about as intellectually dishonest as it get’s.
Robert I Ellison: Oh – and here’s the thread it belongs to/
What is “it” that belongs to that thread?
Robert I Ellison: Abstracting a sentence and commenting on its syntax is about as intellectually dishonest as it get’s.
I disagree. More dishonest is to ascribe to someone something other than what he or she has written. Especially repeatedly and without any accurate direct quotes.
“To know the state of the system, we must know all the fields at all points – this is an uncountable infinity of dimensions.”
Amen. To this little pea brain of mine that is all that needs to be known.
And that load of nonsense was first written Tomas Bolognavic, the GMST has gone up by .047 ℃ per year and SLR has gone up by 4.65 mm per year, and, the fervent predictions the pause was going to continue for a decade or more got leveled with extreme prejudice:
And, the AMO is not an ocean oscillation. Get it now; get it later; you are going to get it.
There are 20 to 30 year regimes in global climate.
Since the last shift in 1998/2001 – there was some short term warming – mostly cloud feedback to sea surface temperature in the eastern Pacific.
The eastern Pacific is cooling again now – along with global surface temperature. These things happen. More to the point is the potential reversion of ENSO this century from the El Nino bias of the 20th century to a La Nina bias seen over most of the last millennia.
You seem to be making the case that historical data shows that CO2 does not necessarily drive any of the climate metric changes, Robert I. Ellison.
Both sides share an inability to walk and chew gum.
OT: Some may find this news interesting:
ExxonMobil and Global Thermostat to Advance Breakthrough Atmospheric Carbon Capture Technology
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Four Flavors of Doom: A Taxonomy of Contemporary Pessimism
The “Just You Wait” Pessimist
“Both kinds of thinking are dangerous for the same reason—they imply a utilitarian calculus about the future in which the stakes are infinitely high.”
The Cyclical Pessimist
“Humankind has experienced periods of relative prosperity and peace before, but all have come to an end sooner or later.”
Just you wait for when these renewables collapse. Because of their inherent lack of value. I can be a pessimist too.
No pause existed. And if it did, it was cyclical. Things are just as bad because when they were good, that was temporary.
Robert I Ellison: A study of Earth’s climate history suggests the inevitability of “tipping points”—
Oh? When was the last one?
1998/2001. Heard of the hiatus?
I don’t know where they think these more of less extreme regimes come from if not shifts in ocean and atmospheric circulation.
“1998/2001. Heard of the hiatus?” You mean during a period of rapidly rising atmospheric CO2 levels, Robert I. Ellison?
I keep asking: Is the minor (if any) concerns with increasing CO2 (according to the UN IPCC) justification for fundamentally altering our society, economy and energy systems? If anyone says yes, they are fatally misinformed, ideological slaves or insane.
What I mean is that there is AGW against a backdrop of dynamic climate variability. Can’t hold 2 ideas at the same time? 3 if you include sensitive dependence and a dynamic climate.
I have discussed the other with you in detail. It is an especially pointless exercise.
Should we change society? God yes.
Should we change economies? Doubly yes.
Should we develop 21st energy sources? FFS.
Repeating your inane skeptic rhetoric at me seems a waste of everyone’s time.
Robert I ellison: A study of Earth’s climate history suggests the inevitability of “tipping points”—
billbedford: Oh? When was the last one?
Robert I Ellison: .1998/2001. Heard of the hiatus?
The onset of the hiatus was a tipping point? It has been explained as the amalgam of natural oscillations, and changes in forcings (including cloud cover, mentioned by you.) What made it a “tipping point”?
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Good stuff, Judy! The ship is turning, finally, however slow. Dogma is something that takes time to extinguish. Have a great summer, my friend.
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“why I bother” – for what it is worth, in my view, the world very much needs and many of us appreciate your steadfast commitment to the science in its plain and unpoliticized state.
I am a lawyer here in Canada, not a scientist, and until a few years ago I unquestioningly accepted the alarmism that is commonplace in the media, and the IPCC as the unchallenged authority or consensus that supported alarmist concerns. However I began to question Canada’s policies as our economy has strained under a taxation regime that is green-washed as being in the name of saving the environment when it has no benefit in that regard and has put 100’s of thousands of workers out of their jobs in the past 5 years, in my home province of Alberta. In an effort to understand whether this was really in our best interests, my journey has been to try as best I can to understand the science at its sources as opposed to through political agenda and sensationalized media reporting, and it has led me to follow your blog closely. I am very grateful for your willingness to blog the science, in this vast and extremely complicated field, as it develops and without bias or agenda. Others with whom I have spoken also greatly appreciate your work. Perhaps the thing that I personally appreciate the most, and find to be most convincing is your humility in the face of superciliousness and partisanship. It must have felt very dismissive, but that is their shame, not yours.
Without your work, the western world might well be committing the economic suicide that climate alarmists seem bent on achieving. With the Trudeau government, Canada has gone a long way down that path, I hope the U.S. does not follow. Taken to its logical conclusions, I think climate alarmism fundamentally threatens democracy, including social welfare policies, technological research and development, and many other great ideas and institutions that are born of it and make it great.
I think climate change is the greatest political issue of our time, climate alarmism rivals the threat of communism that western democracies faced in the early to middle decades of this century. When you consider that C02 is also directly correlated with economic activity (I say far more conclusively so than as a driver of climate change), alarmism really advocates authoritarianism – a forced redirection of the western economy, the likes of which has never been achieved, at the direct cost of economic activity, and all the while, those nations who do not espouse man made climate change as a great threat to humanity, fill the economic void. Of course these are socioeconomic musings…
All to say, and although belief may not be part of your vocabulary, I believe that one day, when the western world awakens from this madness, you will be recognized as a light to the truth, that despite great efforts to extinguish, never faltered.
Oops – it occurred to me that my reference to this century is “a bit dated” of course I meant to write “last century”
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