Climate scientists’ pre-traumatic stress syndrome

by Judith Curry

It’s getting worse.

About 5 years ago, I wrote two blog posts on climate scientists’ pre-traumatic stress syndrome:

Mother Jones has a new article on the same topic It’s the end of the world as they know it: The distinct burden of being a climate scientist. The following scientists were interviewed: Kim Cobb, Priya Shukla, Peter Kalmus, Sarah Myhre, Jacquelyn Gill, Katharine Wilkinson, Eric Holthaus, David Grinspoon, Ken Caldeira.

Lots of ‘trauma,’ read the article to get a flavor. This sentence pretty much sums things up:

“There’s deep grief and anxiety for what’s being lost, followed by rage at continued political inaction, and finally hope that we can indeed solve this challenge. There are definitely tears and trembling voices.”

End of civilization?

The title of the article is:  “It’s the end of the world as they know it.”  Some selected quotes:

“I’m tired of processing this incredible and immense decline”

” . . . knows of a looming catastrophe but must struggle to function in a world that does not comprehend what is coming and, worse, largely ignores the warnings of those who do.”

“it’s deep grief—having eyes wide open to what is playing out in our world”

“I lose sleep over climate change almost every single night”

“Climate change is its own unique trauma. It has to do with human existence.”

“I have no child and I have one dog, and thank god he’ll be dead in 10 years.”

Soooo . . .  have any of these scientists read the IPCC Reports?  I’m not seeing this level of ‘alarm’ anywhere in the IPCC Reports?  Where the heck does this ‘end of civilization’ stuff come from?

In a tweet about the article, Lucas Bergkamp asked:

“How can these scientists produce any reliable, objective data?”

Gotta wonder.  Sarah Myhre states:

“I have anxiety exacerbated by the constant background of doom and gloom of science. It’s not stopping me from doing my work, but it’s an impediment.”

Apart from ‘impediments’, what about flat-out bias in research introduced by this extreme world view?

Hardiness

Not all climate scientists are similarly ‘afflicted.’  My previous blog post included statements from Suki Manabe and Gavin Schmidt, who were not afflicted in this way.  The Mother Jones article includes statements from David Grinspoon, Ken Caldeira and Michael Mann, who also do not seem to be so ‘afflicted.’

“Caldeira offers a blunt comparison: “I had a girlfriend once who was a social worker who had to deal with abused children. She had to deal with real shit every day. Climate scientists have it easy.” And Kate Marvel, a climate scientist and science writer, went even further in a tweet in January: “In a world where people have to deal with racism, inequality, and resurgent fascism, the notion that climate science is uniquely depressing is…weird.”

In my earlier blog post, i discussed the concept of psychological hardiness, excerpts provided below:

<begin quote>

And also inform yourself about psychological hardiness (something I learned from days at U. Chicago and hanging out with grad students in Salvatore Maddi’s group).  Excerpt from Wikipedia:

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

The ‘pre-traumatic stress’ thing clicked a link in my mind to my old U. of Chicago pal Colonel Paul Bartone, a military psychologist and a member of the hardiness group.  The following paper seems relevant:  A Model for Soldier Psychological Adaptation in Peacekeeping Operations.  I think these concepts are relevant for what is going on with Parmesan et al.  Seems like skeptics are more hardy?

The psychology of all this is probably pretty interesting, and worthy of more investigation.   But Jeff Kiehl is right – whining scientists aren’t going to help either the science or their ’cause.’

<end quote>

Mann seems peculiarly hardy in this sense: “But Mann, who has had to contend with death threats and campaigns to have him fired from Penn State, derives motivation from being in battle.”

Antidotes

This ‘affliction’ of climate scientists seems rather trendy in some sort of ‘woke’ sense.  If you do not aspire to such trendiness, what might you do to overcome this affliction?

“Professionally coping with grief is part of the job training for doctors, caregivers, and those working in humanitarian or crisis situations. But for scientists?”

To figure out how these afflicted climate scientists can become more hardy, it is useful to speculate on the reasons for their ‘affliction.’

Ignorance may play an important role.  Few of the scientists interviewed are experts on attribution.  They seem to blame everything on manmade climate change, and are extrapolating future consequences that are much more dire and with higher confidence than than those from the IPCC.  Clearly an issue for Greta, but one would hope that actual climate scientists would dig deeper and be more curious and objective.

JC antidote: Apart from blaming anything negative on manmade climate change, take a step back and assess how the planet and the human race are actually doing.  Take a look at humanprogress.org, or follow them on twitter @HumanProgress.  Global life expectancy is increasing, global poverty is way down, global agricultural productivity is way up, global child mortality is way down, the planet is greening, etc.

A lot of this affliction seems to be about ‘ego’:

“I had to face the fact that there was a veritable tidal wave of people who don’t care about climate change and who put personal interest above the body of scientific information that I had contributed to.”

“his anger was driven by the fact that his expertise—his foresight—was not broadly recognized.”

JC antidote:  Try reading some literature on history, philosophy and sociology of science – you will become more humble as a scientist and less likely to believe your own hype.  Read Richard Feynman.  Hang out at Climate Etc.  Listen seriously to a serious skeptic.

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

Roger Pielke Jr tweets:

“The whole phenomena of climate scientists identifying evil enemies who have obstructed revolution, transformation, restructuring is not reality-based, but a reflection of power fantasies & a complete lack of understanding of how political and societal change actually happens.”

JC antidote:  focus more on being a scientist than being a politician.  You might know what you are doing as a scientist.  You are very unlikely to be effective as a politician, and your political activism will contribute to the appearance bias in your scientific research.

 

160 responses to “Climate scientists’ pre-traumatic stress syndrome

  1. I look on the increase in the shrillness of their proclamations as a sign that they know they are losing and the only possible way out is to ramp up the hysteria.

  2. Lance Wallace

    Maybe Mann and Schmidt are not terribly concerned because they know better than anyone how the data are falsified.

  3. A certain percentage of the population has a tendency to react to stressful events by becoming traumatized or depressed. Climate scientists are probably no different. A certain percentage of climate scientists will be traumatized by events such as being unable to persuade colleagues and political decision-makers that the world will end by 2030, or at latest, 2050. However, while climate scientists can define the problem in various alarming ways, the political solutions are outside the field of climate science, and outside the control of any single nation state.

    The technology for eliminating fossil fuels at affordable cost is currently unavailable. Until it is, the climate will continue to be affected by AGW to whatever extent it is affected. If the climate begins a cooling trend again in the next decade or two, as you have suggested, the “climate emergency” story may have to be modified.

  4. Judith

    Imo you are missing the point. It is no longer about actual science but about convincing others about beliefs.

    Actual science looks for evidence of the cause of severe adverse weather. Climate alarmism claims all adverse weather is the result of human released CO2. The world media have largely accepted the hypothesis as fact. WE MUST DO SOMETHING NOW or the weather for our children will be a disaster.

    As an actual scientist in this field you have gained notoriety (rightly) and been provided an opportunity to communicate with the public. The public needs to be convinced regarding what the right course of action to take in response to the new beliefs (CO2 may destroy future weather).

    We have limited financial resources and we must use them wisely. The USA is not prepared today for the adverse weather of 1950. We need to build better infrastructure to protect against adverse weather. The USA is not driving worldwide CO2 emissions growth and can’t stop it from increasing in atmospheric concentration. 25% of the world’s population doesn’t have regular electricity today. It is inevitable that CO2 emissions will increase as more people get electricity and transportation.

    Climate change is inevitable and we should prepare as best as we reasonably are able. Wasting limited financial resources on things like most CO2 mitigation projects will just use up our scarce financial resources.

    • Rob makes an important point. If we don’t know how to solve a problem and blow the budget on a feel good but ineffective “solution” by the time we figure out what the problem really is — if indeed it is significantly anthropogenic — there will no longer be the political will to do anything more.

      By calling CO2 “pollution” as in the “polluter pay principle” for justifying a “carbon tax” the public is misled into believing that CO2, like soot, hangs over the country emitting it, and therefore the climate change emergency can be resolved by national action.

    • I’ve been making the point for over fifteen years that whether or not further warming occurs and whether or not it proves net harmful, the best policies are not costly and economy-damaging emissions-reduction programmes but policies which increase our capacity to deal with whatever uncertain future emerges: policies which increase resilience, entrepreneurship, innovation etc – all of which are fostered by less government involvement rather than the increase in government interference which emisisons-reduction programmes involve.

    • The moderation genie is digesting my very moderate reply.

    • Rob, you make a good point about it being a belief. I became extremely frustrated, given the overwhelming evidence supporting scepticism, that apparently reasonable “scientists” consistently ignored the evidence and instead pushed quite irrational things.

      However, when I did realise that it was a pure irrational belief, it became obvious that no amount of rational argument could ever change the view of the believers.

      That suggests that rather than the futile attempt to change their beliefs through rational argument, what we need to do, is to find a way to accommodate their beliefs like we would any other religion.

      • Gary Wescom

        SS,
        How about acknowledging that not only is more CO2 better for the biosphere, warming itself is beneficial. Restoring global temperatures to the early Holocene higher temperatures would widen our planet’s temperate zone and could actually re-green the Sahara.

    • WE MUST DO SOMETHING NOW or the weather for our children will be a disaster.

      The greens are trying to hustle the public into solar and wind commitments, before they realize that nuclear is the real solution:

      • Those fears of the bomb, and of nuclear energy, turned out to be grossly exaggerated and, given deadly air pollution and the threat of catastrophic climate change,

        Those fears of catastrophic climate change, turned out to be grossly exaggerated also…

      • But what everybody might be overlooking is the overarching unstoppable trend away from centralized architectures. We may be fighting a loosing battle if what is driving this is the natural evolution of technology. Single point of failure, human error (or malice) are important factors.

        When you read these excerpts just remember Japan runs a perpetual debt over 200% of GDP so it’s really not about the money.
        https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Energy/Nuclear-safety-costs-in-Japan-surge-to-staggering-heights
        “Nuclear safety costs in Japan surge to staggering heights”
        Energy policy called into question as solar and wind power prices fall
        SUGURU KURIMOTO, July 09, 2019
        “The estimated total cost of bringing plants into compliance with current standards sits at roughly 4.8 trillion yen ($44.2 billion)”

        “In 2015, the government estimated that nuclear energy would cost as little as 10.3 yen per kilowatt-hour to generate in 2030 — less than coal at 12.9 yen, or solar at 12.5 to 16.4 yen.
        But the price of nuclear rises by 1 yen per kilowatt-hour for every 100 billion yen that safety-related expenses add to the cost of a new reactor. Meanwhile, solar and wind have become cheaper, dropping below 10 yen per kilowatt-hour in a growing number of cases overseas and even becoming competitive with nuclear in certain areas.
        Consumers may end up bearing a portion of the burden through higher electricity rates.”

      • Japan is very crowded and wind/solar take up a lot of space, besides being intermittent.

    • “By calling CO2 “pollution” as in the “polluter pay principle” for justifying a “carbon tax” the public is misled into believing that CO2, like soot, hangs over the country emitting it, and therefore the climate change emergency can be resolved by national action.”

      If one accepts the premise that:
      1. CO2 is a pollutant because it causes warming and
      2. That warming is universally bad (not even remotely true however)

      The logical course of action for the USA is still the same. We still have limited financial resources, and need to spend those resources wisely. What spending does the most to prevent harm from adverse weather/climate? Better infrastructure without a doubt!

  5. There have been a few night I’ve lost a little sleep because my brain was over-engage (for that time) with thoughts and frustrations induced by various ill-founded efforts and plans impacting the power system because of CO2 fears. I recommend recognizing that you do what you can do during waking hours, then get some light exercise before bed time. It worked for me.

  6. “I have anxiety exacerbated by the constant background of doom and gloom of science.”

    Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by exaggerated feelings of anxiety, worry about future events, which may cause physical symptoms.

    About 12% of people are affected by an anxiety disorder in a given year and up to 30% are affected at some point in their life. They occur about twice as often in women than they do in men, and generally begin before the age of 25.” (Wikipedia)

    An exacerbation of an anxiety disorder can be paralyzing involving a “panic attack”

    If we scrutinize the group of 97% consensus climate scientist, we should find 12% as having an anxiety disorder at any one time. Sounds about right to me.

    Be assured. Therapy is available by altering one’s gut microbiome found at one’s local health food store on the shelf labeled “probiotics”& “prebiotics”.

    However, it’s probably best to lay off the cannabis.

    • It’s important to distinguish between fear and anxiety.

      Fear of something real and imminent, say a mountain lion in your back yard, is beneficial and life preserving if it prevents one from leaving the house.

      Anxiety constitutes mental illness because ideas of imaginary and/or remote threats cause harmful physiological responses which ultimately shorten life.

      Climate change constitutes anxiety, because while warming is observable, the threats are imaginary ( observations don’t bear out change in adverse conditions ) and/or remote ( continued warming over a very long time might be a problem, but many reasons for deceleration are already occurring ).

      • Turbulent Eddie

        I agree: “…cause harmful physiological responses which ultimately shorten life.”

        In the brain, the amygdala, “performs a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making and emotional responses (including fear, anxiety, and aggression)…” (wiki)

        The stress response, hyperarousal, resulting in discharges from the sympathetic nervous system, the adrenal medulla produces a hormonal cascade that results in the secretion of catecholamines, especially norepinephrine and epinephrine. The hormones estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol, as well as the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, also affect how organisms react to stress.

        The anxiety disorder may be initiated in people who are so predisposed, by latching upon the idea of catastrophic human caused climate change. As we have observed, once started, the doom and gloom is really hard to tamp back down.

  7. From Robbuffy >>> Climate change is inevitable and we should prepare as best we can reasonably be.

    So far the best comment. Climate change will not break humanity and will not lead to disaster even if ECS is to be 5 C. High immigration from foreign cultures will have far greater significance for economic strength, social stability and sustainability than climate change. Everything must be seen in context.

  8. Absolutely hilarious!

  9. From here at Climate Etc back in 2015: an overlapping post on emotive messaging within the climate domain, the bias this causes, and a broad categorisation of the emotive responses from 40+ climate / environmental scientists as self-expressed in their letters / videos.
    https://judithcurry.com/2015/04/24/contradiction-on-emotional-bias-in-the-climate-domain/

  10. “Ignorance may play an important role. Few of the scientists interviewed are experts on attribution. They seem to blame everything on manmade climate change, and are extrapolating future consequences that are much more dire and with higher confidence than than those from the IPCC. Clearly an issue for Greta, but one would hope that actual climate scientists would dig deeper and be more curious and objective.”

    I am now even more disenchanted with the establishment than I was before reading this post.

    I had assumed the majority of climate scientists were much more knowledgeable than me about every aspect of climate, including its history. Could it be they have never bothered to investigate what changes our climate has experienced. Have they done exhaustive research about previous warm periods? Are they not aware of extensive subsidence in coastal communities? Do they not know about geothermal activity under the Ice sheets? Are they aware of all the skeptics arguments?

    It’s understandable that the casual observer would convince themselves that the latest extreme weather event is evidence of AGW. But someone in the profession? Really? As stated above, where is the curiosity?

    It is difficult to believe those who view themselves as scientists are not more circumspect.

    • I think I understand a major part of the problem.

      I wasn’t aware of this until I became an active twitterer, but many of the climate cultists on twitter are simply spoiled millenials who live and work in a bubble. Mostly they are academics at a junior level but they act like and interact with tenured faculty who are sheltered from the ordinary consequences of stupid behavior.

      Some of them aren’t even climate scientists, but they hasten to agree with whatever foolishness is purveyed by those with better credentials, and show cliquish behavior in teaming up to do battle with anyone who chalenges orthodoxy. They will block anyone who persists in being disagreeable.

      Twitter is densely populated with this crowd, some of whom I follow, along with tenured academics who set the tone. They retweet each other, adding to the reinforcement and isolation. Some of the elder tweeters are climate zealots who have built a nice career utilizing their knowledge of social media.

      When these people encounter opposition and skeptical stubborness, they can react with anger and frustration. I have encountered several of the individuals interviewed in the Mother Jones article, and they all act like the group of people discussed above. They are naive, sheltered, have a quick emotional trigger, and tweet and retweet constantly. It seems that one source of their angst is the amount of time on their hands.

      This is where a great deal of this overwrought behavior comes from. Twitter has been a serious eye-opener for me. Combine all this with an hyperactive press who exults in publishing any foolishness they can get their hands on, and what you get is a world-view that wasn’t possible before social media. It’s a world dominated by adolescents who haven’t yet been forced to grow up.

  11. Peter McIlroy

    I too find this kind of article uninteresting, as I do most social science articles: since the development of expericmental game theory, economics has been superceded as the “dismal science.” That said, I am far more interested in the various repeated 500 year events around the globe recently, notably in Europe and Alaska…and how they relate to the current string of low years of Arctic sea ice coverage. I would kill for a credible article on this topic.

    • The hot weather in France and 90 degree temperatures in Alaska were not 500 year events. They were abnormal but not unprecedented. Eastern Europe is now experiencing exceptionally cool mid-summer weather – as extreme as the hot weather was in France last week. But there’s no media coverage. Mainstream media sensationalizes every extreme weather event nowadays if it furthers the anthropogenic climate change narrative and you’ve apparently been swayed but this reality.

  12. “The psychology of all this is probably pretty interesting, and worthy of more investigation.”

    Unfortunately, all the psychologists appear to believe that imminent global climate catastrophe is a certain output of hard science, or at least in the absence of explicit statements, appear to make assumptions along these lines. Hence they’re approaching the issue from completely the wrong angle, kind of similar to if the original trauma was completely unavoidable such as for front-line troops. Hence the plethora of very ineffective coping strategies, which are a bit like applying sticking plaster to an infected wound rather than investigating the true nature of the malaise. My long-ago series at WUWT covers some of this ground, from memory mostly within part 3, but may not make sense if starting at that point. Link for part 1 is here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/06/wrapped-in-lew-papers-the-psychology-of-climate-psychologization-part1/

    • Good WUWT post, Andy. I’ve always been very honest and trusting, since my earliest memories; I have strong integrity and a good disposition. Yet I constantly got into trouble. I first got stoned on cannabis in Istanbul in 1965, when I was 25. The experience showed me that there were thousands of ways of looking at the world, that the understanding of the world I had been shown by the elders of my society (UK) was wrong: they were either ignorant or lying. I had to find out for myself the nature of reality – something I’ve pursued ever since. This was the beginning of skepticism, realizing the need to question and investigate things rather than accept that what others said was based on knowledge and wisdom. So with CAGW, I took it seriously from the late ‘80s but knew it was subject to further information; the more I learned, the more skeptical I became of alarmist claims.

  13. The medical term should be: acute climathestenia.

  14. Apart from blaming anything negative on manmade climate change, take a step back and assess how the planet and the human race are actually doing. Take a look at humanprogress.org, or follow them on twitter @HumanProgress. Global life expectancy is increasing, global poverty is way down, global agricultural productivity is way up, global child mortality is way down, the planet is greening, etc. Heck, even the corals are doing really well, following the 2016 El Nino.

    They might also take note that the economy has been doing really, really well, too, thanks to the push for alternative sources of energy. In the U.S., gasoline prices are low and electricity prices have not increased either in this unprecedented economic expansion. This has kept inflation low which has allowed the federal reserve to keep interest rates low as well, thus furthering economic growth*. In fact, it should be considered a selling point that green is good for the economy. (think of how many would sign on to that idea!) Our energy future is our economic future. And a diverse energy future is the key…

    *if trump can succeed in getting rid of this dingbat, then we’ll be back in business:
    https://fortune.com/2019/06/19/can-trump-fire-jerome-powell/

  15. Joseph Ratliff

    Reblogged this on Quaerere Propter Vērum and commented:
    Wow. Just wow. The climate is changing, but the sky isn’t falling.

    • Quote: “— but the sky isn’t falling”. Don’t be so sure.

      Herodotus; Mela > ” the stars changed their courses “. ; Plato > ” a declination of the bodies moving in the heavens ” ; Berossus > “The very heavens I made to tremble, the positions of the stars of heaven changed, and I did not return them to their places.

      Quaerere Propter Vērum

  16. Hot World Syndrome—fear of a hotter, more intimidating world than it actually is prompting a desire for more protection than is warranted by any actual threat. ~Wagathon

  17. I have posted a small collection of Curry videos:
    http://ccdedu.blogspot.com/2019/07/
    What a hoot.

  18. Honestly, climate anxiety, and general anxiety does not surprise me one bit considering the scientific preponderance to a materialistic, mechanistic view of the world.
    In fact, it is, in some sense, an exceptional thing for someone with such a world view NOT to be riddled with anxiety.
    If we consider the number of everyday disasters that could spring from nowhere-car crash, job loss, victim of a crime, loss of a loved one, health issues-its almost as if we live in the most dreadful horror movie ever imagined. Each variable we improve leaves ten others dangling and exposed.
    So climate anxiety is a useful projection-wrap all those anxieties up, deflect and project them into something, and thus gain a little bit of relief from the everyday.
    Its a solution, albiet a rather primitive and uncivilized one, and, ultimately, a lie.
    The real cure, of course, is the belief in God, Tolstoy’s merciful ‘net’ from his confessions, i.e. a sense of divine providence.
    This exact issue us why the science ideology has NEVER sustained a people, and never will. Trying to account for all the variables and still maintain some piece of mind is insanity.
    Especially since we know that our onevitable fate is decay, sickness, the eventual dissolving if each our inner membranes until we become one thoroughly mixed and inert fluid.

    • I would put it another way. Many people have an innate need to have a set of beliefs. In the past this was taken up by conventional religion. As conventional religion has waned, this set of people must have something to take its place. In the 1950’s for some, Freudian Psychoanalysis replaced confessions in the Catholic Church. In recent times, one occasionally sees bumper stickers reading “worship Mother Earth”. Although the bumper stickers are rather rare, the sentiment they express is not. In this belief system, people are considered to be apart from the natural world of animals, vegetables, and minerals. People must do as little harm as possible to this natural world which would be eternally unchanging and beautiful if it were not for the evil attacks made on it by people. Keeping the climate unchanged is just one aspect of this new religion.

    • Nickels, your post reminds me of a 1948 essay by C.S. Lewis, “On Living in an Atomic Age”. Although Lewis’ subject was the fear of nuclear annihilation, his essay is equally relevant to Living in an Age of Climate Change.

      Unfortunately, Lewis’ essay isn’t public domain. It can be found in “Present Concerns: Journalistic Essays”, available at Amazon.com. Here’s an except, in which I’ve substituted, with apologies to Lewis, the phrase “climate change” for Lewis’ references to the chief anxiety of 1948, the atomic bomb:

      “In one way we think a great deal too much of [climate change]. ‘How are we to live in an age of [climate change]?’ I am tempted to reply: ‘Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.’
      In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation….”

      “The first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together….”

  19. David Sloan Wilson explored the adaptive value of religions in his book “Darwin’s cathedral.” The very interesting hypothesis that religions have a clear adaptive value explaining why they are so universally present in human societies.

    If the hypothesis is correct, irreligiosity is anti-adaptive and after such a long cultural evolution it might create a problem for a lot of people, that might be lost or look for something to substitute it. And the difference between science and religion is not in the answers they provide, but in the method to reach those answers. Science also provides an explanation for the origin of the universe, the origin of mankind and even the future. But it is the method and not the answers what is important. The scientific method is what makes science fundamentally different to religion. However most people are unable to grasp the scientific method that took centuries to develop.

    I am afraid a lot of people is approaching science as a new religion, a belief system that provides absolute answers, has a sacerdotal caste that interprets the signs, and requires faith and the scorn and prosecution of those that do not share it. And when science is used as religion it becomes detached from the scientific method. Scientists not supporting the core believes become apostates. The worst crime in any religion.

    Not surprisingly some scientists have also bought into it and are happy to take their role as penitents sharing their visions of the reveled truth. They suffer like the medieval mystics that developed neurosis from their intimate contact with divinity.

    The West is afflicted in a bigger measure by climate alarmism because Judeo-Christian tradition is heavily rooted in apocalyptic beliefs. First century Judaism saw the emergence of many apocalyptic sects like the one from John the Baptist. One of them was Christianity, and the first Christians were convinced the second coming of Jesus was going to take place during their lifetimes or immediately after. They believed the end of the world was nigh, as climate alarmists do. Also they saw humanity as sinners that need redemption. Climate alarmism does fit like a glove into irreligious westerners filling their religious void.

    And regarding science I guess one can’t go wrong by taking the opposite position to the Pope. If the Catholic Church believes in climate alarmism, that is a powerful reason to be a skeptic. The papal infallibility in questions of doctrine turns into absolute fallibility in scientific questions. Perhaps to compensate.

    • The Samalas eruption made 1258 the first taste of the coming climate misery that the LIA brought, characterized by crop failure, famine, epidemics, and social disruption like the appearance of the bizarre flagellant movement

      From Wikipedia:
      “The first recorded incident [of flagellants] was in Central Italy in Perugia, in 1259, the year after severe crop damage and famine throughout Europe.
      The practice peaked during the Black Death.”

      It was a time when people also thought that their sins had brought about climate disruption and the associated famines and pestilences, and saw necessary to punish themselves for it. The only progress is that climate alarmists of today want to inflict the punishment on everybody.

      • If anybody here believes that lack of warming for a couple of decades could bring some sense into alarmists, well I am very skeptic of that too. History shows that once emotions run the show, reason takes a leave of absence and facts no longer matter. I don’t think there is a way of stopping this now. It will have to run its course.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        In the southern solar hemisphere the first weak spots of the next 25 solar cycle appear.

      • afonzarelli

        If anybody here believes that lack of warming for a couple of decades could bring some sense into alarmists, well I am very skeptic of that too. History shows that once emotions run the show, reason takes a leave of absence and facts no longer matter. I don’t think there is a way of stopping this now. It will have to run its course.

        If the facts become undeniable, they’ll matter. It’s not as though paradigm shifts haven’t happened in the past. We need look no further than the the hostess of this illustrious blog. (was once on board before she jumped ship) We’ll see what happens once these el ninos get out of the way and are replaced by cooling or a continuation of said pause. At that point, there may be gaping holes that open up in agw theory that even the establishment won’t deny…

      • If the facts become undeniable, they’ll matter.

        Not here to spoil the party, but facts are always deniable. The people that accumulate power and money and control the media are not going to let the facts get in their way. If the IPCC does not support the alarmism the IPCC is deemed too conservative and ignored. And data can always be adjusted more. Besides nature is never clear about what makes it tick. It won’t provide irrefutable proof for decades or centuries.

      • afonzarelli

        (hopefully we shall soon see)…

      • afonzarelli

        It was a time when people also thought that their sins had brought about climate disruption and the associated famines and pestilences…

        Javier, it’s not just that particular time when people thought thus. The alleged apparations of the Virgin Mary at Fatima are near and dear to catholics of all ages. And they occured just one century ago. The following was reported to have been said to the principal seer, Lucia dos Santos, on July 13, 1917:
        When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine and persecutions against the Church and the Holy Father.
        This alleged night illumined by an unknown light occured on January 25, 1938 which, coincidentally, was the same night that the Red Symphony* was recorded. (the red symphony being the apparent blueprint for the outbreak of the war) So, the notion that sin has consequences is alive and well even in our day…

        *i shan’t elaborate on the content of the red symphony lest the russians come and snatch our blog hostess away (😉)

      • 80’s warmer than 70’s; 90’s warmer than 80’s; 00’s warmer than 90’s; 10’s warmer than 00’s. If anybody here believes that lack of cooling for four decades could bring some sense into skeptics, well I am very skeptic of that too.

      • The fact that the world has been warming for a long time is not under dispute here. However, the warming with little CO2 increase (1910-1950) is not significantly different from the warming with a large CO2 increase (1950-2019). In fact there was no warming between 2002 and 2013, and El Niño warming between 2014-16 that has been mostly retraced since.

        And despite how sure are a lot of people that the warming is going to continue the truth is that nobody knows. Nature is perfectly capable of doing this:

      • afonzarelli

        Jeff, it’s not the skeptics who are pushing the shrill narrative and demanding that we dismantle civilization. If people are going to buck the status quo, then they ought to have a valid reason for doing so. (in short, it’s not the skeptics who need sense brought to them, it’s the alarmists)…

      • Javier, did you check your figures? Linear fits to Best, Gistemp and Hadcrut4 at Woodfortrees for 1910-1950 indicate the global temperature anomaly increased 0.51, 0.43 and 0.47, respectively. And for 1950-2019 the fits indicate 0.90, 0.98 and 0.82. The average of the second group is 1.9 times the average of the first group. Is that really “not significantly different?”

      • Exactly. +0.5°C for a 12 ppm increase (1910-1950).
        +0.8°C for a 97 ppm increase (1950-2019).

        So I guess 85 ppm produce +0.3°C, and a doubling from 300 ppm +1.06°C. This is more or less what some scientists like Lewis & Curry are getting.

        It was Phil Jones, former director of HadCRUT who said the warming periods are not significantly different.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm
        13 February 2010
        “So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.”

        I have to agree. CO2 produces very little warming. Most of the warming appears natural and independent of the increase in CO2.

      • Javier, when you write “In fact there was no warming between 2002 and 2013” are you saying that the trend over that time span was definitely zero or less? When the time span is short (and when you have selected a peak for the start and a trough for the end), the uncertainty is large enough to allow for significant positive or negative trends. Consequently, “no warming between 2002 and 2013” may be correct, or it may be incorrect.

      • Javier at 9:42pm, your post at 3:55 had multiple errors, admit it. The warming over the two time periods seems to be significantly different. I see you don’t dispute that point (although you use convenient choice of data set and rounding to reduce the difference). The “no warming 2002-2013” claim isn’t supportable with any reasonable estimate of uncertainties.

      • This is HadCRUT since 2002.

        What part of it leads you to believe that the increase in 35 ppm CO2 that took place over those 17 years (the same increase as 1875-1970), has produced increasing warming?

        All I see there is ENSO variability within the 0.1°C uncertainty of the measurement.

        If CO2 was the main cause of the warming it should be accelerating because of the strong acceleration in CO2 production. We now produce in two decades the CO2 that previously took us a century to produce. The warming rate is not significantly different, as Phil Jones said. The obvious conclusion is that CO2 is not the main cause of the warming.

        To defend that CO2 is responsible for this warming but not for the previous one goes against the scientific method. Richard Feynman explained it. A scientist must try to shoot his hypothesis, not try to keep it alive despite the bullet wounds. We need a new hypothesis for global warming, the present one does not explain all the observations.

      • Javier:

        +0.5°C for a 12 ppm increase (1910-1950).
        +0.8°C for a 97 ppm increase (1950-2019).

        While I haven’t been paying close attention to the comments here, I haven’t seen this point made before. I think it’s a powerful one and a simple one.

        Old is: 2.4 ppm = 0.1 C.
        New is: 12.1 ppm = 0.1 C.
        2002 – 2019 is: 35 ppm = 0.1 C.

        It’s been said there was no pause. I’d call it, CO2 gives up. My own theory is the oceans are gaining traction and warming. And it’s not primarily cyclical. They’re a huge sink. The hope for their storyline is they’ll stop being that. And look over there. Ice shelves are going to collapse.

        To steal a line, CO2’s power contains the the seeds of its own destruction. It shifts the system. Increasing the oceans role and the importance of their transport functions.

      • Javier at 9:42PM July 9 and 7:26AM July 10; Ragnaar at 8:46AM July 10th. Taking differences between carefully selected intervals is a pretty silly way to measure sensitivity. I’m not normally one to invoke the dearly departed; but you did, Javier. Feynman would laugh at you. I would never claim that CO2 is the only possible influence on global temperature. Therefore, I have no need to explain every wiggle in temperature. Plot the 5-yr averages BEST has published vs log(CO2). Fit a straight line to it. It doesn’t matter much whether you start with the first average in 1852, or with your favorite year of 1910. The slope is 3.4 to 3.5 C/neper. R^2 is an impressive 0.92. That gives a sensitivity for doubled CO2 of about 2.4 C. If you wish to use Hadcrut4, Javier, please do; but don’t just throw out the data you don’t like. This doesn’t mean that I think 2.4 C is the right estimate for sensitivity. But I do think that “CO2 produces very little warming” is not supported by the data.

        As others have shown, it is easy to fit straight line segments to selected time intervals of temperature data and find that every slope is negative, as long as there are jumps between fitted intervals. That is what you are doing when you plot the last 17 years of data in isolation. Javier, aren’t you smart enough to realize that such a procedure produces nonsense?

      • I have no need to explain every wiggle in temperature.

        Then don’t. There is also an overall disagreement between CO2 changes and temperature:

        The early 20th century warming is unexplainable by CO2. The coincidence in warming and CO2 increase in the 1975-2000 period (late 20th century warming) is no proof of causality. The lack of coincidence for the rest of the periods is evidence against the hypothesis.

        What the temperature rate of change shows doesn’t look at all as CO2.

        You say CO2 doesn’t have to explain short term changes but it doesn’t explain long term changes either. There have been two periods of warming in the last 120 years, and that is unexplainable by CO2.

        The next couple of decades are going to be interesting. Warming rates evolution suggest lack of warming, despite the steep increases in CO2.

      • So now we get into a cherry-picking. 1950 is a banner year. So says the IPCC. A split into two portions over the time frame 1910 to 2019.

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl

        1910 might be a cherry-pick. But the magnitude is not great. 1950 looks Okay as not much of a cherry-pick. Of what use is the term inflection? And how do we find one in data? To change from 2.4 ppm (see my above) to 4.8 ppm is still an inflection. You can’t bury what happened. CO2 lost traction in regards to the GMST. I can’t read the situation any other way, I am sorry.

        Of all the cherry-picks in this world, taking a long time frame and splitting it into two is one of the least problematic.

        RealClimate knows how to do break-point analysis. They ought to do another one taking the return per increase in ppm into account.

        “If we continue to use the temporary slowed surface warming as an excuse to delay climate action, we’ll regret that decision when the surface warming kicks in with a vengeance.”

        I just love the above quote. I hope it gets disappeared to prove how good it is. Can’t have vengeance without an inflection.

      • Javier, plotting derivatives is just a way of emphasizing higher frequency (i.e., short-term) aspects of the data.

      • I’ve already been there. Temporal analysis shows the change is not linear:

        There are clear break points, showing that the Goldilocks warming period is the only one that behaves as expected. But we already knew that, didn’t we? It is the other parts that don’t fit the hypothesis. Hence the aerosols “ad hoc” explanation.

        And the really fast warming for a little CO2 increase between 1910-1947. Gosh that was really scary. We should be dead already if it was due to CO2. It is a good thing our previous generation was so tough, otherwise the climate anxiety syndrome Dr. Curry writes about would have wreak havoc at the time.

      • Wiggles with periods of a decade or even a few decades aren’t very important. Obviously, there are additional variables besides CO2 concentration that have effects on those time scales. You obsess over details so much that you miss the big picture. A linear fit of temperature to LN(CO2) accounts for more than 90% of the variance over 160 years. Such a correlation doesn’t prove that CO2 is the dominant influence; but it is certainly not an indication that CO2 is a minor influence.

      • Such a correlation doesn’t prove that CO2 is the dominant influence; but it is certainly not an indication that CO2 is a minor influence.

        The correlation only indicates that both CO2 and temperature have been increasing.

        But over 160 years CO2 has only increased while temperature first decreased, then increased, then decreased, then increased, and then increased little.

        Given the disparity in CO2 levels over the past 160 years if CO2 was a major influence the last part of the record should show a much bigger warming than the first part, and it does not. This was clearly understood in 1990 when IPCC projected:
        1990 “Under the IPCC Business as Usual emissions of greenhouse gases the average rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century is estimated to be 0.3°C per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0.2°C – 0.5°C)”
        IPCC FAR. 1990
        Since 1990 the warming rate has been from 0.12 to 0.19°C per decade depending on the database used, outside the uncertainty range of 1990. CO2 emissions have tracked the Business as Usual scenario.

        1990 “Under the IPCC Business as Usual emissions of greenhouse gases … this will result in a likely increase in global mean temperature of about 1°C above the present value by 2025”
        IPCC FAR. 1990

        With 80% of the time passed, the warming is about 1/3 of the expected.

        It is clear that the theory is faulty and CO2 causes much less warming that it was thought in 1990.

        How much less? Impossible to tell, as alternative hypotheses are not being considered.

      • So to with the 1852-2016 they are burying the problem on the left side of the plot with the date on the right side. They are fixing that problem by adding more data. Which is a cherry-pick. Smothering the inconvenient attributes.

        I am just an accountant. I don’t know what R squared means or half the other relevant stuff. From an overall view, the unexplained things don’t matter. Many a corporation has failed with just such a story.

    • Another good reference is Gustave Le Blonde’s ‘The Crowd’, where he thoroughly debunks the rationality of humanity and asserts the need for a ‘mythology’.
      Now, of course, from a Christian perspective this is all a matter of ‘science-splaining’ something rather obvious, but, since we arrive at the same conclusions, so be it.
      Also, any newly invented mythology, any heresy, will tend to the apocalyptic, as the simple social projection of the rather simple problem of psychointernalizing personal death.

    • I like your analysis. To take it a bit further, anthropogenic climate change is a modern, secular substitute for Satan. Not too many people still believe that Satan is a real entity of some sort, but he was blamed for all evil. So today, CO2 is Satan, responsible for floods, tornadoes and wild fires that will create an irreversible climate emergency by 2030, just 11 more years.

    • Javier:

      ‘…irreligiosity is anti-adaptive…’

      We can only deduce *was* anti-adaptive, not necessarily *is*. This is tied to group (in the context of multi-level) selection. Without strong cultural belief a 1000 people have 1000 views; with it large groups have common consensus and framework to act / work together, even in the face of major irresolvable uncertainty (and not too far back practically everything was uncertain, as we had no real grip on origins, disease, our own behaviours, climate, physics, chemistry, biology, etc etc.) Plus other advantages (e.g. originally group coalition against individual ‘strong-man’ dominance). However, recent (in relative terms) enterprises like the law and science provide ways to apply logic and reason at large social scale, which means in theory at least that we don’t need to rely on culture so much (albeit these also interact with culture). In practice, we can’t know whether strong cultural behaviour is still a net advantage or not, but even long ago a significant *net* advantage doesn’t mean there won’t occasionally be various negative instantiations / phases, some even very negative.

      “…and after such a long cultural evolution it might create a problem for a lot of people, that might be lost or look for something to substitute it.”

      This is for sure the case, because due to long gene-culture co-evolution our brains are architected for cultural behaviour and this’ll take a very long time to grow out of. Although rather than ‘lost’, a more representational way of putting it is that we all still have a strong pre-disposition towards cultural behaviour, yet there are complex factors as to when it gets expressed and how strongly. It may also be that *fully* growing out of culture is not optimal for humanity, the range of emotions / emotive convictions it creates include hope, joy, inspiration as well as anxiety, fear and more, e.g. even inspiration within science sometimes. But science and the law are still fragile to shorter term bias from culture, and even complete hi-jack on occasion. To this extent we do indeed need to improve ways to combat inherent disposition; grow out of it rather more.

    • Yes! I’ve been reading into this as well and I fully agree. I was raised Catholic but became a non-believer in my early teens, but I can now see that I took the green movement as a sort of pseudo-religious belief without realizing, and as you said, the concepts of guilt, repent, and the Apocalypse were very present (happily I also became atheist of those beliefs later in life). I also see these elements in other modern “movements” like in nutrition, where people gather in sects (paleo, keto, vegan, etc) and behave very similarly; the true science doesn’t matter anymore to them. It’s becoming pretty obvious that religion/divinity is a human necessity and that people are replacing traditional religions with a strange form of “science”. I find this endlessly fascinating from a sociological point of view

  20. My lead letter in today’s The Australian newspaper in response to an article on climate change in a geological time perspective:

    While I fully endorse the article, the problem remains that this was never about climate, since the 1980s it was always a vehicle for political change from a radical leftist, anti-Western perspective. As the Earth stubbornly refuses to warm even at the lowest bound of the IPCC models and there is no evidence of increased cyclonic activity or unusual sea-level rise, the proponents of doom rely more and more on unfounded scares and gaining political support from those too ignorant to examine the scientific facts of climate change. Essentially, we still have limited understanding of our vastly complex climate system, although we do know enough to know that economic devastation through extreme emissions-reduction policies will damage our capacity to deal with present and (unknown) future issues while having little if any impact on future climate. The fight is on the political level, and the extreme alarmists are winning. Simple presentation of the facts, as here, will not be enough.

    >> I hope that reading this will not further distress tearful warmists.

    • The fight is on the political level, and the extreme alarmists are winning.

      And how, pray tell, are they winning? It looks to me like they are losing big time. (unless you consider pledges of doing something about agw thirty years down the road winning) Thus far, all i can see is that they’ve made fossil fuels cheaper by entering in green energy to the market. Hansen has it right. Paris was a paper tiger. Delusions about a carbon free future, but a pipe dream. Politics has its own negative feedback. It’s called the ballot box. Politicians ain’t stupid. They know just how to pay homage to the green god all the while appeasing the masses. Skeptic fears of a green takeover is merely reverse pre traumatic stress disorder

      • Exactly.

        We’re also seeing political equilibrium on the issue. Germany will be exporting automobiles, trucks and heavy industrial equipment in 2050. Greta’s generation will continue to use Chinese made smart-phones to download from millions of energy gobbling servers. Often to book their flights to somewhere fun.
        This is because the political left recognizes that it needs the tax base for its desires. And the political center and right have this stubborn desire to work and have an economy.
        This means Germany will use more energy in 2050 than it does today and the cost of it will not rise (if anything it will decrease). If Germany really believes the alarmists, they won’t turn off the nukes. It seems certain they will turn off the nukes.

  21. Discussing global warming leads to greater acceptance of climate science –

    “That is, discussing global warming with friends and family leads people to learn influential facts, such as the scientific consensus that human-caused global warming is happening.

    In turn, stronger perceptions of scientific agreement increase beliefs that climate change is happening and human-caused, as well as worry about climate change.”

    https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/07/02/1906589116

    As anyone who doesn’t ‘believe’ in UN 97% doomsday global warming knows, there is nothing to worry about.

  22. It makes me thinking of the work of Lewandosky: you are a denier because you’re mentally ill.
    And now we learn from David Corn: you become mentally ill if you are a believer?
    We are outta luck here.

  23. Pingback: Climate scientists’ pre-traumatic stress syndrome | Watts Up With That?

  24. Rob Johnson-taylor

    “Paris was a paper tiger” – the main point of Paris was sustainability not just climate. The UN came up with 17 sustainability goals with action on climate coming in position 13. How many are screaming for action on the first 12? How many know what those sustainability goals are? Come to think of it how many know what sustainability is?

  25. My significant other has struggled with real diagnosed anxiety disorder since almost dying from wasp sting induced anaphylactic shock at our mountain cabin in north Georgia, with help a perilous 20 minute down mountain journey away. Despite three drug treatment regime, occasionally gets so bad “I can’t breathe”.

    So I have zero sympathy for folks like Eric Holthaus or Sarah Myhre, where the anxiety is from a figment of their imagination that their climate science is solid. As Judith pointed out, even the worst of the IPCC doesn’t support their feigned climate horrors. As a propaganda technique, FAIL.

    • https://www.amazon.com/Way-Up-Down-Priscilla-Slagle/dp/0312929145

      Istvan, the above book literally saved my life(!) i was hospitalized and subsequently diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder about a decade ago. Turns out that my symptoms came about, not because of anxiety itself, but because of a poor diet. (i wasn’t eating any meat) A relative had the presence of mind to send me a copy and that was all she wrote for my GAD. i was amazed that one could get as sick as i did, without actually dying, just by not eating meat. i was amazed, also, at my recovery once i started in on the hamburgers again. My only real anxiety now is that animals have to die just so that i can live, (but am dealing well with my left leaning scruples… ☺️). Don’t know if this will help, but just thought i’d pass on to you this valued information.

      • Thank you. She eats meat, but maybe not enough beef. Mostly fish, chicken, pork.
        I just ordered a special European fish extract supplement ‘Stabilium’ that contains neurotransmitter precursors. It has helped in several small (40-80 subject) European clinical trials. Is the next try..

      • afonzarelli

        i’ve found that beef is the very best. (purely unscientific, i know) So, i always make sure to have beef around and then supplementing that with pork, turkey, dairy and eggs. Vegetable protein doesn’t hurt either, although Slagle says it’s virtually impossible to do it on veggies alone. i also take a one a day vitamin & b complex. Don’t know if that really helps, but it can’t hurt. Lastly, she might also benefit by reading Abraham Low’s mental health through will training (a la Recovery, Inc.). That’ll take the scary out of things. Best wishes…

  26. Thank you again Dr. Curry, I honestly can’t state how much you have helped me and others realizing the distortions and lies that are behind this “woke” apocalyptic view of the future! It’s insane how these people have managed to make this terrible anxiety “trendy” amongst young people, with no real science behind it.

  27. Pingback: Climate Scientists | Transterrestrial Musings

  28. Robert Sparrow

    Edward Bernays was the master of manipulating public opinion. Maurice Strong created the IPCC to utilize one of Bernays ‘s methodologies. Create a so called expert panel but control the funding and politics at a higher level to make sure a consistent message even if it is based on false assumptions.

  29. Dr. Curry ==> Thank you. A great piece.

    15 years ago, I told one of my children, who had a new baby and was terrified that climate change would destroy the world for her child, that we need to wait another ten years before we began to worry about any of that.

    Now, 15 years later, I still think we have to wait yet another ten years to see if there is anything that needs worrying about. She knows to check back with me in 2030, by which time her child will be graduating from University.

  30. Pingback: Climate Scientists’ Pre-Traumatic Stress Syndrome - The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  31. Pingback: Local weather scientists’ pre-traumatic tension syndrome – Daily News

  32. I’ve used a variety of ways to recast the narrative when arguing with alarmists, based on the fact that their fears require an unlikely set of things to be true, while they also have to ignore many other obviously true things.

    “You evolved on the African savanna and can jog there through the noon heat, but you live in Michigan. You’ve got plenty of thermal margin to play with.”

    “If anthropogenic warming was hazardous, young folks wouldn’t be flocking to urban heat islands to get as much of it as possible.”

    “How come Floridians don’t go to Montreal for the winter? Are they just crazy?”

    “Thriving in the tropics just requires a pair of flip flops and a T-shirt. Thriving in Norway is actually hard.”

    “How come climate is at the bottom of the list of concerns when you get a job offer halfway around the world? Below weighing state and local tax rates, local schools, the nightlife, the commute, the employer’s health plan, and what kind of office furniture they have? If a two degree change is catastrophic, how come job seekers blithely ignore ten degree changes in climate?”

    And on and on. Basically, they need a dose of something akin to cognitive behavioral therapy or the usual approaches to addressing a bizarre phobia.

  33. I despair of both climate narrative extremes. One vision involves narratives of moribund western economies governed by corrupt corporations collapsing under the weight of internal contradictions – leading to less growth, less material consumption, less CO2 emissions, less habitat destruction and a last late chance to stay within the safe limits of global ecosystems. The alt right narrative is purely contrarian. Neither can see beyond wind and solar or nuclear power.


    http://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/planetary-boundaries/planetary-boundaries/about-the-research/the-nine-planetary-boundaries.html


    https://wwf.panda.org/knowledge_hub/all_publications/living_planet_index2/

    There are ways to a bright future for the planet, its peoples and its wild places – but these need to be consciously designed in a broad context of economics and democracy, population, development, technical innovation, land use and the environment.

    • What was meant was this graphic rather than the EM2 US gas price comparison.

      Determining present day impacts on nonlinear Earth systems is far from theoretical.

      Global warming can be solved with economic benefits accruing to innovative societies as it always has. Electricity is 25% of the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. The solution there is technological – and cost competitive nuclear most likely.

      Beyond that – a multi-gas and aerosol strategy is required – carbon dioxidem, CFC’s, nitrous oxides, methane, black carbon and sulfate. With ongoing decreases in carbon intensity and increases in efficiency and productivity. And technical innovation across sectors – energy, transport, industry, residential and agriculture and forestry.

      Some of the answer is under our feet. Rattan Lal – himself a scientific treasure – estimates that some 500 Gigaton (GtC) carbon has been lost from terrestrial systems. ‘Soil is like a bank account – we must replace what we have removed.”

  34. Treating hypothetical scenarios about the future as if they are real today is a clinical description of psychotic delusion. Lets not mince words. These people are mentally ill and could benefit from treatment.

  35. Marty Anderson

    When confronted with waves of negativism and threats of collapse of civilization, I often find it useful to look at real long term data on the state of humanity.

    See:

    https://www.gapminder.org

    Check out the talks by Hans Rosling, now deceased but forever unbent.

    Maybe it could help the larger conversation to apply some of these kinds of graphics to the complexities of both past realities and future scenarios of the global climate.

  36. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Tropical depression now works in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
    July will also be wet in the US.

  37. It’s not climate change that scares me. Alarmists and their plans do.

  38. By condemning a political slant to the work of scientists, you may also be saying that bioethics in genetics is unnecessary and there should be no limits to weapons research. I hope not.

    I agree human resilience is a good thing but are you saying that infrastructure resilience and similar as a response to AGW is unnecessary because ‘the science is not yet settled’?

  39. “Seems like skeptics are more hardy?”

    Ostrich effect in full force.

    Grasping for any sign – an odd cold snap, an anomalous growing glacier, a pathetic stadium wave, the entrails of solar cycle, the mysterious natural variation?

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      The mysterious lack of tropical cyclones on the oceans?

    • It would be helpful if we could agree on the danger. We’ve seen plenty of people trying to do that. It’s always difficult to boil it down and project a future value for it. Take for instance SLR under the two middle IPCC emission scenarios. 2.3 inches per decade. The argument is not about CO2. It’s what to do about this 2.3 inches? Winning the debate against the hard right doesn’t improve anything. Nor does following Germany’s lead on renewables.

  40. I hope I can be forgiven for laughing out loud at the term “Pre-traumatic Stress Syndrome.” It strikes me as techno-babble for ordinary fear or anxiety such as man has known since the beginning of his existence.

    For the antidote, I’d look not only to modern academic publications, but also to the ancient and enduring, if occasionally out-of-fashion, writings of men with names like David, Solomon, Luke, Paul, etc.

  41. Thank you Ms Curry. Please keep blogging.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  42. Ireneusz Palmowski
  43. I once challenged an environment assigned newspaper editor about where he found the number of three feet sea level rise prediction for the Georgia coast. He replied ‘they all say that!’.
    I bet if we query any alarmist where the 10-year climate apocalypse and the 1.5 degree tipping point analysis came from, the answer will be identical.

  44. About a week ago, John Kasich sent a note deploring our withdrawal from cooperation against climate change, and requesting funds. I replied:
    Dear John Kasich
    I could disagree more, but suffice it to say that the science does not support any expenditure on CO2 mitigation.

    And not for the thoroughly practical reason that there will never be enough international agreement and cooperation to accomplish that.
    Rather, it’s because the natural experiment has been done, in 1929-1931, when human global CO2 production declined 30% and atmospheric CO2 did not change its languid rise. Not surprising, since our contribution to the annual production is only 4%. Temperature kept rising for the next 10 years. And then it declined during the WWII and post-war reconstruction years, when a good deal of CO2 was produced. This slight decline produced alarms about the oncoming Ice Age – see the covers of Newsweek and Time and Science News in the early 70s.

    The science does not support mitigation even theoretically, since CO2 produces half its GHG effect in the first 20 ppm and, as Arrhenius noted, declines exponentially after that. We are in the fifth half-life of that decline, which means that the next doubling to 800ppm will add less than 2% to CO2’s effect. We know that global temperature did not “run away” at previous levels of 2,000, and 4,000, and 8,000 ppm. We know that no temperature reversal for the last 550 million years has ever been preceded by a CO2 change.
    So CO2 is not in control of climate, and we are not in control of CO2.

    On 6/2/2019 9:05 AM, John Kasich wrote:
    work with our allies to heal the damage done to our planet.
    But, please, not by CO2 mitigation.
    The fact that mankind is having a measurable impact on Earth’s climate is undeniable by modern science.
    Very true, but not because of nice clean CO2 which warms us and cools us and feeds us. It would be because of paving and plastics and clear-cutting and the like. Particulates in the air are bad, but CO2 isn’t. Submarines don’t even take any countermeasures until CO2 reaches 8,000 ppm.
    Of course, we don’t have as much effect on the climate as beetles and termites, but still…
    Best wishes…

    • Ireneusz Palmowski

      Is New Orleans prepared for a tropical storm? Is the water level in the Mississippi River high?

      • afonzarelli

        Is New Orleans prepared for a tropical storm?

        YES! (we’ve got plenty of booze… 😉)

    • Jimmww,

      Dear John Kasich
      I could disagree more, but suffice it to say that the science does not support any expenditure on CO2 mitigation.

      and

      But, please, not by CO2 mitigation.

      I agree. The evidence suggests that any global warming we might get this century will be beneficial for ecosystems and the global economy. Therefore, actions that reduce global warming are harmful not beneficial. Not only do they reduce the benefits of global warming but they are costing around $1.5 – $2 trillion per year (around close to 2% of global GDP) for no benefit whatsoever.

      • Right, Peter. And that’s assuming that anything that we do will reduce global warming, if that’s what Mother Gaia wants. Very doubtful, that.

  45. Ireneusz Palmowski

    Man has influence on coping with climate effects and only locally.

  46. Ireneusz Palmowski

    If La Nina is formed in the winter, strong stratospheric intrusions in North America threaten.
    https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_int/

    • The one to watch carefully will be the 2020-21 winter. The probable combination of low solar activity, easterly quasi-biennial oscillation and La Niña could make for a very cold northern hemisphere winter with lots of snow. The QBO should still be westerly this winter.

      “Why is the QBO important?

      The Quasi-Biennial Oscillation can affect the Atlantic jet stream. The speed of the winds in the jet stream weaken and strengthen with the direction of the QBO. The jet stream is an important atmospheric feature that brings us our weather here in the UK, and the risk of winter conditions in Northern Europe can differ depending on the phase of the QBO:

      -When the QBO is easterly, the chance of a weak jet stream, sudden stratospheric warming events and colder winters in Northern Europe is increased.
      -When the QBO is westerly, the chance of a strong jet, a mild winter, winter storms and heavy rainfall increases.”

      https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/learn-about/weather/atmosphere/quasi-biennial-oscillation

      • The figure shows tropical wind speed and direction (brown, positive westerly; blue, negative easterly). The QBO is defined at 30 hPa.

        The relationship between the QBO and the solar cycle appears clear:
        “Why is the QBO important? It is certainly relevant for seasonal prediction, where the state of stratospheric winds affects interactions between the tropics and the mid-latitudes, and may also affect the tropical troposphere directly and possibly how the solar cycle interacts with the atmosphere.”
        https://www.ecmwf.int/en/about/media-centre/news/2015/why-quasi-biennial-oscillation-matters

        “The poor representation of the QBO in climate change models means that no-one knows what will happen to the QBO in the decades ahead.”

        It also means one of the main effects from solar activity is not reflected in models.

      • Ireneusz Palmowski

        During low solar activity, the ionization in the lower stratosphere increases. It is worth observing what is happening above the pressure of 50 hPa. This has a direct effect on the circulation in the upper troposphere.
        SH Polar Temperatures Relationship with Eddy Heat Flux. This plot shows the strong relationship between the July-August-September eddy heat flux towards the South Pole at 100hPa and the late September SH polar temperatures at 50hPa. The late September SH polar temperatures control how much ozone is depleted and the ozone hole size and volume. The colder the temperatures, the greater the likelyhood of Polar Stratospheric Clouds to form and the greater amount of photochemical distruction of ozone by activated chlorine molecules. The 2016 relationship is shown as the blue diamond. The 1986-2016 means of the 50hPa Temp and V’T’ are shown as the horizontal and vertical lines, respectively.

    • “The MEI, which combines both oceanic and atmospheric variables, facilitates in a single index an assessment of ENSO. It especially gives real-time indications of ENSO intensity, and through historical analysis – provides a context for meaningful comparative study of evolving conditions.” https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

      The MEI-V2 shows the ENSO system remains uncommitted.

      But ENSO transitions when they occur happen as oceanic feedbacks. And unless there are physical linkages between multiple causes and ocean conditions that lead to internal ocean and atmosphere feedbacks – speculation remains just that.

      The QBO is characterized by downward propagating – in the stratosphere – aperiodic temperature oscillations. ENSO by changing SST and tropospheric temperature. Atmospheric connections – including with cloud cover – remain dynamic, complex and nonlinear.


      “Zonal monthly mean temperature anomalies from GNSS RO from 20∘ S to 20∘ N and 2 to 35 km. The gray line near 17 km indicates the tropopause height for the monthly mean temperature profiles, calculated according to the WMO definition of the lapse rate tropopause (WMO, 1957). For illustration, the thinner black lines indicate the conventional QBO30 and QBO50 wind indices (depicted at 30 and 50 hPa, respectively, with arbitrary scale), and the Niño 3.4 SST index (depicted at an arbitrary altitude level with arbitrary scale). The corresponding mean RO pressure levels are indicated on the right y axis.” https://www.atmos-meas-tech.net/11/1333/2018/

      Physical links between solar variability and ENSO seem more likely via modulation of polar vortices and resultant subpolar winds and gyres producing conditions for enhanced upwelling in the eastern Pacific and ocean/atmosphere feedbacks. But there are as well multiple causes and multiple feedbacks in polar annular mode variability. Including ENSO and the QBO it seems.

      Simple speculation might be right – on the same basis as guessing the outcome of a coin toss. Coupled atmosphere and ocean dynamics remain too difficult to credibly unravel.

  47. And Kate Marvel, a climate scientist and science writer, went even further in a tweet in January: “In a world where people have to deal with racism, inequality, and resurgent fascism, the notion that climate science is uniquely depressing is…weird.”

    Irony is, the only place I see potential resurgence of fascism is from the climate community.

  48. The state of Earth system science is at the proof of concept stage – or disproof of concept in the case of opportunistic ensembles. This is how it possibly works. Thus we have stadium waves and synchronous chaos. The favored notion among Earth system science is that climate is a coupled nonlinear system that is sensitive to small change. I can’t decide whether warming with nonlinear cloud feedback – or cooling with AMOC disruption – is more likely.

    Personally – I think both sides of the climate war are nuts.

    content/uploads/2019/01/climate_change_american_mind_december_2018_3-3.png

      • Yes. And 48% of Americans believe in ghosts:
        https://www.cbsnews.com/news/poll-majority-believe-in-ghosts/

        I think this type of polls tell more about the gullibility of people than anything else.

        People are born gullible. Becoming a skeptic requires training and developing a distrust for what others say. “Nullius in verba.”

      • “One of the fundamental challenges of environmental science is to understand and predict the behavior of complex natural ecosystems. This task can be especially difficult when multiple drivers (e.g., species interactions, environmental influences) interact in a nonlinear state-dependent way to produce dynamics that appear to be erratic and nonstationary.” https://www.pnas.org/content/112/13/E1569

        The two extremes in the climate war are where the problem lies. Urban doofus hipsters and skeptic curmudgeons with crude and eccentric theories – both with an impossible certainty.

        My training and experience of decades suggests that the broad middle ground of the body politic is correct.

      • Just another baseless opinion. Training and experience mean nothing in highly uncertain paradigms. Expert prediction has failed to prove that is superior to simple methods, as Philip Tetlock demonstrated:
        https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-experts-are-almost-always-wrong-9997024/

      • The equation free ecology reference was cited for a purpose. Mechanistic interpretations fail and basing simple methods on graphology and narrative as you do is misleading in such systems.

      • Another expert opinion?

      • afonzarelli

        i recently saw a break down of those numbers (somewhere) and was very surprised to see that belief in climate change was much higher in those cultures which were non white. My guess is that it’s that dependency on government mentality in those cultures that does it. They are probably still much more likely to have faith in media & trust in government than their white counterparts. (the independent minded verses the herd mentality)…

      • Many are much more reliant on family than government. But responding to such facile nonsense as this is beyond pointless.

      • afonzarelli

        Yes, but there is a likelihood of them being more reliant on government than white people. So, therefore, as a culture they’re much more likely to pay attention to what the government says. These numbers were stark. Like 80% of african americans professed a belief in climate change. i don’t think it’s because they’re smarter than the rest of us. So it must be something or other. Just being clued into government, i propose, would make one more likely to believe in climate change than not. (or maybe it’s just because they’re liberals and that’s how liberals think) i was quite surprised to see that they had an opinion either way on the issue. i thought that was the sole domain of white upper middle class latte liberals

      • Black people are more likely to believe government? Nonsensical and frankly repellent racial profiling.

      • afonzarelli

        Black people are more likely to believe government?

        Yes, just simply by their closer association with government. People of color here in the states do have a greater need for government whether it would be entitlements, civil rights legislation or even affirmative action. That closer association, i would think, would make them more likely to be disposed toward what government has to say. Far from being bigoted, it’s not their skin color, rather it’s their historic dependency on government that creates that disposition. Now, maybe i’m wrong, but it would be nice to hear a counter argument from you, bobby (😉), as opposed to your racial grandstanding thus far*.

        *never thought i’d be lectured to on race by someone from a country that doesn’t allow immigration to people of color. (sheesh)…

      • Where on Earth did you get the idea that only whites are allowed in?

      • Afonzarelli– correlation does not equal causation.

        I’d recommend you consider based on that you wrote:

        1. “Yes, but there is a likelihood of them being more reliant on government than white people.”

        The comment of “them” is interesting as it seems to create a “them” vs. “my team” viewpoint.

        2. “therefore, as a culture they’re much more likely to pay attention to what the government says.”

        You have not demonstrated that people who take government services at a higher rate have any corresponding increase in acceptance of a particular government’s position(s). What about when governments change and as a result their positions change? Do people support the old government position or the new and why.

        3. Like 80% of african americans professed a belief in climate change.

        This may have been from actual survey results. Be careful with statistics with limited understanding. What was/were the actual questions that drew your conclusion? What did non African American answer to the same questions? How did 20% say they didn’t believe the climate changes? On what basis did they believe human influence was zero?

    • Robert I Ellison: “One of the fundamental challenges of environmental science is to understand and predict the behavior of complex natural ecosystems. This task can be especially difficult when multiple drivers (e.g., species interactions, environmental influences) interact in a nonlinear state-dependent way to produce dynamics that appear to be erratic and nonstationary.” https://www.pnas.org/content/112/13/E1569

      My training and experience of decades suggests that the broad middle ground of the body politic is correct.

      Where exactly (or approximately if you prefer) is the broad middle ground, and how much of the nonlinear state-dependence of complex natural ecosystems do you think they appreciate?

      Is the “nearly half” of Americans who think they will be harmed by global warming the “{broad middle ground”? Is their belief accurate?

      • One might ask how much Matthew understands and whether he is correct. Irrelevant to the political game that skeptics have lost. I agree with the majority.

      • “Is the “nearly half” of Americans who think they will be harmed by global warming the “{broad middle ground”? Is their belief accurate?”

        More accurate answer- Very probably. “Nearly half” of Americans will be harmed by adverse weather regardless of global warming.

      • Robert I Ellison: . I agree with the majority.

        In the US, a large majority always omits controlling CO2 from their top 10 most important issues.

      • Simple ideas? More water vapor in the atmosphere leads to more intense rainfall. Ocean warming and broadening of cyclogenesis zones leads to more intense and frequent cyclones. AMOC reduction leads to colder NH extremes. Are these observed changes distinguishable from natural variability? Is future risk in a nonlinear system sensitive to small changes known with any certainty?

      • There are related issues – environment, AGW, clean energy – that favored Democrats in the last election.

        Despite the Idée fixe of skeptics like Matthew – politics is never a single issue zero sum game.

      • Simple ideas?

        Simple does mean correct. Stupid is also often simple.

        A higher CO2 environment will result in some places having a worse climate and some places having a better climate. What percentage fits each? Nobody knows.

      • Robert I Ellison: Despite the Idée fixe of skeptics like Matthew – politics is never a single issue zero sum game.

        Ii didn’t say it was.

        What I wrote was this: Robert I Ellison: . I agree with the majority.

        In the US, a large majority always omits controlling CO2 from their top 10 most important issues.

        What majority do you agree with? The majority that don’t think they will suffer from climate change? The “middle” 51%?

        You also wrote: Irrelevant to the political game that skeptics have lost.

        What is the evidence that skeptics have lost the political game?

  49. A predictable feature of superstition is that it has in every case invented hobgoblins that only the initiation of force can stave off. Just as Millerites changed names rather than admit error, so these lot demanded and got a ban on good freon. The bad freon perforce replacing it is breaking cooling equipment, so the blame must ipso facto fall on a warming environment. Observe that no political party has ever admitted the error of past policies.

  50. It could be a new mental disorder “climate change syndrome.”
    Climate activists have a milder version.

  51. Your mental health depends greatly on which Memes you subscribe to. There are many rather nasty Memes out there and when they go viral heaven help humanity, let alone your own sanity.

  52. Ireneusz Palmowski

    The tropical storm will be over New Orleans today.

  53. Ken Van de Burgt

    Climate change depression results from having to pay a carbon tax that has no basis in science.

  54. ..”I have no child and I have one dog, and thank god he’ll be dead in 10 years.”
    hohoho…must read…I`ll be….

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