Child prophets and proselytizers of climate catastrophe

by Andy West

The role of children in the culture of climate catastrophism

1.Serious scenarios for children: reality or culture?

1.1 Frightening our children: When do we find it acceptable to institutionally frighten children? While our first thought is perhaps that this should never happen, in practice there are at least two scenarios where it’s considered morally acceptable. The first is where dangerous hard realities beyond adult control, require that children must be taught a respect of such realities. This may often involve a certain amount of fear among other techniques, in hope that this will help children autonomously keep themselves safe. An example is gas-mask training in WW21, because adults can’t be everywhere at once to assist all children with their masks in time. The second scenario is where it’s morally acceptable by virtue of supporting a culture that has defined the moral landscape (or an up-and-coming culture that is attempting so to do). In this second case, instilling culturally approved fears is considered normative, to achieve desired social behavior, grant access to group benefits, and provide supposed cultural rewards. An example is scaring children about sin or Hell or the Crucifixion2, in order to reinforce Christian social behavior and introduce the partnering carrot of going to Heaven (instead of Hell) for conformance.

1.2 Children Protesting: When do children band together to try and make a communal voice of protest heard by society? As above, there are at least two scenarios where this happens. The first is a reaction to an existing and widespread serious wronging of children (and possibly adults too) of some kind. The second is in reaction to strong culturally instilled fears, which have incorrectly been interpreted as a real and present threat or harm (section 5). In both cases some action is sought from adults, in order to remove or mitigate the problem. Some adults are typically involved in the organization of a children’s movement, having aligned interests; anything from genuinely safe-guarding their children (or children’s interests) to virtue signaling. Example scenarios follow later.

1.3 Children in charge: When do society’s leaders advocate and implement (or attempt to) main policy expressed by a child? Once again, there are at least two scenarios where this happens. The first is where a widespread wronging such as in the paragraph immediately above, promoted to social leadership by a representative child victim, is deemed to cry out for redress. Whether children are seriously disadvantaged or suffering psychologically or physically or all of these, and indeed whether or not causation involves cultural elements, this is essentially a hard reality issue of present harm. The second scenario is where leaders are emotively disabled from resisting / contradicting the child’s policy, even if impacts are likely net very negative, because this expresses some culturally approved fear that the former are already primed for. Or at least for an up-and-coming culture, resisting is still a major challenge for leadership. Cultural bias blinds folks to downsides, and our ingrained instincts to avoid stigma are likely sharpened in those who want to retain leadership; a lack of support risks serious cultural stigma, including shame for failing to acknowledge moral censure by a ‘wronged’ (i.e. according to the accepted cultural narrative) child. Example scenarios follow later.

1.4 Which is which? A secular, reasoning and reasonable society should aspire to avoid the cultural scenarios from all these cases, which lead to needless fears, trauma, false hopes and inappropriate social actions. A reasonable religious society should aspire to limit context to core values, and prevent alarmist / extremist leverage of our emotive concern for children, plus damage to children who are pushed beyond benign religious participation. Yet for any given protest, or policy expressed to leadership, or instilling of fear, how can we know which scenario is which? And so indeed whether the constant fear about climate change instilled into our children (section 5, last para), the consequent children’s climate strikes, and the dramatic aspirations expressed by Greta Thunberg, fall into the reality bracket or the cultural bracket? Is Greta’s pitch to the UN as reality based as Malala Yousafzai’s pitch, yet needing from them immensely more support for worldwide change? Is the nature of the school climate strikes ultimately as material and justifiable as the 1963 children’s crusade, yet where the scope of the problem being protested by children is hugely more extensive? Large swathes of society enthusiastically support the school strikes and Greta; they’d surely say ‘yes’ to the latter two questions. But how do detailed comparisons actually pan out?

2.Comparative cases of children in charge: Malala, Greta, and Nongqawuse

The article Child Soldiers in the Culture Wars3 notes: ‘The value proposition represented by politically active children is obvious. Sensitive subject matter that withers under dispassionate scrutiny thrives when that kind of analysis is taboo.’ Added to which, the emotive influence of the meme that children by virtue of innocence possess special insight / veracity, significantly enhances the persuasiveness of all these girls. (Despite this meme is false4, irrelevant of personal aspects such as Greta’s Asperger’s syndrome). These factors create an emotive smokescreen that can amplify the irrational in our perceptions. Determining per section 1 whether reality or culture dominates the pitches made to authority by these three girls regarding major, complex social issues, some questions to be asked are:

  1. a) Is the child morally sponsored by a culture?
  2. b) If yes to a), is the child’s pitch rooted in / driven by the culture’s main narrative?
  3. c) Does the pitch represent an issue of current or future wrong[s]? Future is more likely cultural.
  4. d) Does the child dictate a specific solution (and timescale)? Even with great complexity, culture may.
  5. e) If yes to d), and whatever is a)/b), does the solution seem irrational5? Strongly cultural solutions are.
  6. f) How big (behavioral and infra-structure change) is the ask? Cultural asks can be astronomical.

(Level of respect is also interesting, fervent belief ultimately respects no authority above its own). The answers tell us whether emotive enhancement is merely an extra push to an already sound reality pitch, or a critical means to guarantee the invocation of cultural fears6.

The answer to a) is ‘yes’ for all three cases. In her UN pitch advocating education for children (especially girls) and protesting the extremism / bias and poverty that closes this down, Malala, the girl shot in the head by the Taliban, makes very clear that she is a religious adherent. She starts out with thanks to God and later cites inspiration from Mohammed and Jesus Christ (among others). However, regarding b) it’s also clear her case isn’t mainly driven by religious narrative. Indeed, her own victimhood was a result of an (extremist) interpretation of religious narrative, as Malala herself puts it, a ‘misusing of the name of Islam’. Her promotion of the supreme value of knowledge, plus plea for peace, prosperity, universal free education and the protection of rights, is consistent with her religiously framed principles. Yet these aims are nevertheless largely secular, and certainly not owed to culturally (religiously) instilled fears. Question c) is ‘current’ for Malala’s pitch (for details see footnote 7). Regarding d), albeit calling for a rejection of prejudice and for developed nations to pull their weight, Malala doesn’t dictate a specific solution, nor a date by which major progress must be achieved. So e) is n/a. But with an implied goal of assisting current sufferers, the ask is still big. Likely a major acceleration of longstanding efforts plus new initiatives are both needed; however regarding f), this isn’t astronomical8. Malala shows respect to leadership9.

The culture sponsoring Greta’s pitch to authorities is characterized here. The core narrative of this culture, propagated for decades by numerous authority sources from a raft of the highest in the world downwards, is a high certainty of imminent (decades) global climate catastrophe. Greta’s words10 leave no doubt that her pitch is driven by this narrative, so b) is a ‘yes’. Notwithstanding some secondary claims of current harms11, Greta’s pitch mainly concerns future and overwhelmingly greater damage, albeit she emphasizes imminence (to ‘irreversible’). So, c) is ‘future’. Where the main event is clearly occurring already, this cannot be a cultural fear; for a projected future occurrence, it could be (although even in the former case, causality could potentially still be attributed to a fairy tale). Regarding d), Greta does dictate a solution and also a timescale12. Answering e) involves subjective views. However, although Greta takes climate catastrophe, the ‘sacrifice of civilization and the biosphere’, for granted in her short UN speech, her longer UK13 and French13a pitches cite the IPCC as confirming this catastrophe. But the IPCC science13b doesn’t support a high certainty of imminent (decades) global climate catastrophe. [Note: this confirms the assumption from observed social characteristics per the above link, i.e. the policed central narrative of catastrophism is emotively emergent, aka wrong]. Applying this benchmark, Greta’s solution is geared to address emotive invention and not reality. This is indeed irrational; e) is a ‘yes’. On f), Greta is pitching to world authorities, and her ask for the world is astronomical. To fix imminent global apocalypse requires humanity’s largest behavioral / infrastructure adaptation since the industrial revolution, maybe since the invention of farming, on essentially a crash timescale14. Whatever policies mainstream science might call for, it doesn’t justify this radicality. Greta shows no respect to leadership14a plus claims they (generically) lied15; emotive conviction to the catastrophic no doubt makes this seem irrefutable.

In 1856 the Xhosa nation in South Africa, whose lifestyle and economy were largely based on keeping cattle, was under pressure. From a century of serious colonial encroachment, from a fatal lung disease (brought out of Europe) afflicting many of their cattle, and from internal political rivalries as the nation struggled to deal with their difficult situation. In April 1856 a young girl, Nongqawuse, the niece and adopted daughter of a councilor of the overall king, Sarhili, brought a prophecy of salvation to the Xhosa leadership (Sarhili and tribal chiefs). The prophecy was communicated to Nongqawuse, who is variously described as 14 to 16 at the time, by ‘the spirits of two ancestors’. To achieve salvation, she said, all of the Xhosa’s cattle must be killed, grain destroyed and cultivation cease. Plus, new houses / enclosures must be built; essentially nothing ‘contaminated’ must remain. Upon full compliance, new unsullied cattle would be resurrected from the dead, (new) granaries replenished and the European settlers swept away. In time, albeit not across the entire nation as some chiefs resisted, the prophecy gained majority adoption. So, several hundred thousand cattle were killed (of which the meat couldn’t be eaten) and much food was destroyed. The nation soon descended into famine and chaos. The Xhosa homeland population dropped by three quarters (~78,000), from a combination of starvation (~40,000) and withdrawal for colonial wage labor or slavery16. Xhosa independence, already weak, was lost.

The full story is highly complex, see footnote 17 for much more, yet this doesn’t invalidate applicability of the same set of questions. For a), ‘yes’, spiritual beliefs including ancestor worship and blended with elements of Christianity. For b) ‘yes’, in that the pitch came directly from ‘ancestors’, who appeared to Nongqawuse by a river. For c), ‘current’. For d), ‘yes’, Nongqawuse dictated a dramatic solution and a hard date. For e), ‘yes’. Notwithstanding complexity and some disputed secondary aspects17, historians view the Xhosa cattle killings as the millenarian response of a stressed society18. Nongqawuse’s irrational solution could only ever have made things far worse, to the point of mass fatalities. For f), sacrificing the personal resources plus economic basis of the entire nation, can only be viewed as astronomical.

These simple checks are not without value judgements21. Nevertheless, the above table indicates that Malala’s pitch is reality based, and Greta’s is cultural. Notwithstanding the wrongs to Nongqawuse’s society were current, her pitch is cultural too (highly irrational solution). There are striking parallels between the cases of the latter two girls, who are both essentially prophets of salvation demanding full and strict compliance to a narrow cultural (and astronomical) ‘solution’, which they say is the only way to escape dire calamity. In Nongqawuse’s case, the solution is a cultural invention; in Greta’s the emergency is a cultural invention, the corresponding imminent global catastrophe being unsupported by mainstream (and skeptical) climate science. In both cases their leaderships were strongly primed by the relevant cultural narrative22, which when reiterated in distilled form from the mouths of innocent girls, formed a critical means to invoke the cultural fears and hopes that override objectivity, plus unite a wide spectrum of public belief22a. The power of guilt in such pitches is noted by Greta herself22b. In comparison, Malala’s pitch characterizes her as an ambassador for the wronged, presenting serious pleas but not astronomical demands. And yes, spurred by (positive) emotion and some cultural context, but not pitching acutely urgent existential stories carrying an overwhelming weight of emotive (false) persuasion.

From the platform of socially protected mouthpieces of cultural expression, the young girls Greta and Nongqawuse urge swift elimination of what’s been the relevant society’s main means of sustenance and success for generations. While the sacrifice doesn’t necessarily have equivalent impact for very different societies, there’s an equivalent emotive conviction to irrational heritage rejection. In dictating absolutes, both girls effectively command this rather than plead24, albeit in performance of long emergent cultural narrative23. While Greta talks of her own idiosyncrasies being an advantage for her self-perceived role, the personal (including her courage, passion, dedication) isn’t a unique key. Without Greta there’d be a Hreta or Ireta or… to Yreta or Zreta and so on. And not necessarily young and female20. Strong cultural movements create conditions which will surface, from an immense diversity of humanity and numerous adherents, those who’ll most closely identify with the culture and most effectively wield its narrative as commands.

While much of the mainstream media has lauded or at least not explicitly criticized Greta, a millenarian19 angle has not gone unnoticed at more fringe outlets, which also cover the dangers (exampling Greta) of adults over-reacting to messianic children, the major issue stemming from the taboo nature of challenging a school-girl, which results in gross over-simplification, plus the irrational response of adults (UN leaders included) to an uninformed delivery from an (inappropriately) scared child demanding that we all panic. The millenarian sense of a critical change-point for everything can encompass a ‘renewal’ in which the old must be rejected, is somehow contaminated. This angle comes across strongly in the Xhosa case, and potentially explains why many ardent adherents of climate catastrophism reject emission free nuclear25, or natural gas as a ‘bridging’ solution, or indeed anything that smells even vaguely of pre-renewable energy infra-structure25a. The nuclear issue may eventually cause a heretical split within climate catastrophism25b.

3.Comparative cases of children protesting: the 1963 crusade and the school climate strikes

Regarding mass protests of children, the same section 2 questions clarify the cultural or reality nature of the events. The 1963 children’s crusade in Birmingham, Alabama, took place within a wider campaign to desegregate the city and bring wider attention to racial discrimination. Although a non-violent protest (in which techniques the children were schooled), the use of children was considered controversial by many, including some adults within the desegregation campaign itself. In the end, campaigners were gambling that the protected social status of children, the shaming of authorities and emotive reactions in potential wider audiences, would gain them significant advantage. But at risk to their children; and if perceived as cynical, at risk of backfiring too. President Kennedy disapproved, though added that just grievances must be resolved. Churches were physical bases and protesters were supported by their faith, so there was a cultural sponsor. Yet as with Malala’s pitch, the crusade’s aims were secular. Children were themselves wronged (a critical factor) and currently, albeit likewise for their parents and all the community of color. These children weren’t pawns; directly and indirectly they’d suffered injustice and their resistance was genuine. They called for negotiation, but ultimately a specific solution, the end of segregation (the issue scope is pretty narrow). As seen today and wrt principles in the wider US and the world at the time, this was certainly not irrational. And definitely not astronomical, albeit requiring behavioral change from an empowered minority.

Greta being the main spokesperson for the children’s climate strikes, her answers stand for them too:

Would a robot from Mars find the same answers? We can’t know; it’s impossible to free ourselves from bias. Yet the climate strike children are largely privileged plus not suffering current wrongs; their fear is a myth not strangled by adults. They faced no risk of heavy reaction, which doesn’t alone invalidate their cause but they appear to be pushing on an already opened cultural door. There’s been much approval from adults and influencers globally, and essentially no formal opposition from authority. Pushing on an open door seems like a paradox for a protest. It is, because cultural fears aren’t real, but via subconscious mechanisms certainly can’t be admitted as such. This doesn’t mean the children are pawns, except in the sense that they and adult adherents too are subconsciously pawns of the cultural narrative; as Greta herself notes many are (genuinely, see 5 below) anxious plus sad, angry or scared. But it does mean they’re essentially emotive proselytizers of a cultural narrative30b, i.e. climate catastrophism, and this culture will drive them as a wedge into power. In comparison, the 1963 children faced a very heavy-handed response: water-canon, dogs and jail. They definitely pushed against a closed door, which we know retrospectively (and really, even at the time) was bolted by local sub-culture. They certainly weren’t proselytizers acting out the bid of their own strong culture to capture authority commitment in support of belief; they weren’t demanding conformance to emotive existential narrative. Despite deploying their social advantages as children, they represented equity and reason that was countering a long-entrenched sub-culture of racism. History has smiled on their gamble back in 1963, but such cannot be foreseen.

4.Children and cultural absorption

We’ve exhibited cultural behavior since before we were homo-sapiens-sapiens26. Due to long gene-culture co-evolution our brains are geared for cultural behavior, including support for an in-group / out-group recognition and reinforcement system. The latter can bypass our reasoning for the sake of group unity, via strong cultural belief and alignment. Religions are the most familiar class of strong cultures, and due our above inheritance cognitive scientist Justin Barret makes a case in ‘Born Believers’ that children have a default ‘affinity’ or instinct for the concept of god / gods. A religion-shaped hole if you will, just waiting to be filled by a matching social ‘shape’ within the child’s environment27. The theory doesn’t remove a significant role for religious indoctrination (though Barret makes clear his view this isn’t an exclusive / primary enabler of belief take-up), which reinforces default affinity plus delivers details of the particular religious system acquired.

The author speculates that significant effort and re-framing can ‘force-fit’ alternate concepts into this ‘hole’, e.g. the theory of Natural Selection as a world-view foundation. But apart from major potential downsides28, this is a very poor fit. No reasonable framing can imbue this theory with existential hopes and fears, cogent emotive cocktails and of course deeply felt identity, which are all standard features of cultures that for most of our history were figure-headed by god / gods / spirits. However, secular cultures are in essence religions with different details, working via the same mechanisms and exhibiting the same range of behaviors, including emotive convictions that bypass reason. Hence during child development climate catastrophism, with its anthropomorphized climate apocalypse29, carbon sin and tenuous hope of salvation based upon articles of faith such as renewables30, will slip very easily into such a ‘hole’ when children are exposed to this culture. And whatever the affinity / indoctrination mix, climate catastrophe claims carrying this major emotive pay-load are part of school and home life in many societies now. Via repetitive teacher30a / parent / peer / media promotion, indoctrination (not typically the aggressive sort) will occur. And the claims evolve, e.g. to XR’s: ‘Such claims are having the desired effect of terrifying children into supporting the aims of Extinction Rebellion: Thunberg is one of those children.’ [free].

Given enough years / exposure, the above morphs climate catastrophism from ‘learned in adulthood’, so overlaying / modifying existing beliefs, to a ‘received’ culture, absorbed, indeed just like religion, during childhood. This creates much more ingrained belief, and far less opportunity for reason to prevail against bias. Not to mention much more associated (and morally legitimized) fear, and simultaneous hope plus a wide range of other emotions. A problematic byproduct is moral approval of children acting in normally intolerable ways, e.g. public chants30b grossly denigrating a leader, or anyone who is perceived (rightly or wrongly) to be blocking the cultural ‘solution’ for catastrophe. This genie won’t go easily back into the bottle.

5.Interpretation of cultural fear

Fears inculcated by cultural entities aren’t real. We are not meant to believe them literally. Indeed, our brains appear to have a system for subconsciously knowing they’re not real, albeit we don’t yet know how it works31. As part of a ‘moral’ map, their purpose is in-group reinforcement. But sometimes the system goes wrong, producing real fear. For example, regarding: a) a new rising culture or cultural variant where equilibriums aren’t yet established, especially regarding a secular culture using the authority of science as a cloak. b) children, who lack mental experience of distinguishing between culture and reality. And c) likely for certain conditions (e.g. Asperger’s) where communication subtleties aren’t processed, such that cultural narratives not normally interpreted literally, are nevertheless perceived this way32.

a) results in some fearful adults. a) and b) results in many fearful (neurotypical) children. c) may add to a) and b) resulting in fearful young ASD individuals, like Greta. Even where the system works, cultural fears have some impact, are still scary to an extent. But not typically enough to trigger the same intensity and type of reaction as for reality fears33. Ironically, Greta correctly identifies an apparent hypocrisy in relation to this effect, the true cause of which her literal interpretations may have obscured for her32a.

What constitutes scary information and how exposed to it children should be, is subjective, given adult believers and nonbelievers in strong cultural narrative will hold differing views. However, much more objective is the actual manifestation of scared children (and young adults), and the acknowledgement of psychologists and guardians that this is major. Believers in imminent global climate catastrophe might claim ‘moral failure’, or maybe ‘useful discomfort’, but can’t claim the issue doesn’t exist. (Psychologists are generally believers so their advice is unhelpful at best, e.g. ‘grieve for how f** bad it all is’, possibly exacerbating). And there may be a less noble side to the inculcation of cultural fear in children34. Note: emotive cultural engagement isn’t less when failing to internally process that the fear isn’t real. Possibly the reverse; real fear might amplify cultural behavior still more, albeit for most this would be a behavioral stage. The cultural nature should eventually register, causing adjustment (some may lose belief entirely).

6.A cultural spiral

Decades of propagation of highly emotive (and per mainstream and skeptical science, false) catastrophe narrative by rafts of authorities, from the highest in the world downwards and reaching into all areas of society, has provided moral legitimization to foster catastrophic climate culture upon our children throughout their development. Aided by instinctive affinity for a cultural template and indoctrination within some social settings, this has resulted in large-scale take-up of the culture. In turn, this transforms children into mass vocal proselytizers for culture as transmitted by catastrophic / emergency stories, not actual protesters of reality-based wrongs. Per section 5 above, associated and genuine fear is widespread among children (and some adults) where the cultural nature of the threat hasn’t been internally realized, amplifying still further the pressure on society to act irrationally. These fears, along with the millenarian aspect of the culture36, have surfaced protected social mouthpieces for the culture and its uncompromising narrative for salvation, such as Greta and other children’s strike representatives. Such prophets then feed back to the culturally primed (and themselves long propagating) leadership, the ‘morally irrefusable’ plus ‘popular’ grass-roots verification, required for the culture’s next level of expansion and dominance. Yet ultimately, they’re all serving an entity that does not possess agency let alone sentience; it works purely via emotive selection and the consequent engagement of long evolved behaviors.

Swathes of frightened children and the nature of the children’s climate strikes, absolute demands to world leadership made by a child who instructs them to panic about imminent apocalypse (with little serious challenge37), these phenomena should be a big red flag with ‘culture’ written on it. But those disciplines studying such phenomena appear to believe en-masse the piece of the cultural narrative which states that (absent dramatic action) imminent (decades) global climate catastrophe, is an undeniable output of hard science. This is false; mainstream science doesn’t support it. Society is inappropriately scaring millions of children.

7.Postscript

A question raised by the millenarian aspect of catastrophic climate culture and its quest to eliminate plus re-imagine our behavior and energy / infra-structure at ‘emergency’ speed, is: ‘what stress are we under that could cause such a response?’ Plus: ‘how much is real, and how much merely perceived?’ Cultures can potentially create the artificial stresses that keep them in business, and / or utilize prior real / artificial anxieties35. The externally generated stress upon the Xhosa was severe.

Endnotes

Link to [Endnotes ]

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529 responses to “Child prophets and proselytizers of climate catastrophe

  1. Pingback: Child prophets and proselytizers of climate catastrophe — Climate Etc. – NZ Conservative Coalition

  2. “The study of the Earth system—the social and biophysical components, processes and interactions that determine the state and dynamics of the Earth including its biota and human occupants—has reached a point of transition. For the past two decades, our priority has been to understand the functioning of the Earth system and, in particular, the impact of human actions on that system. Science has
    advanced to the point that we now have a basic understanding of how human actions are changing the global environment and a growing understanding of how those changes will affect society and human well-being. This research has provided invaluable insights regarding the biophysical processes that determine the functioning and resilience of planet Earth, the sensitivities of different components of the system, evidence of the accelerated pace of global environmental change caused by the human enterprise, the possible consequences of those changes, and the human dimensions of how to address these challenges.

    This science also tells us that the rate of global environmental change is, so far, vastly outpacing our response and, thus, that our current path is unsustainable. We know enough to state with a high degree of scientific confidence that without action to mitigate drivers of dangerous global change and enhance societal resilience, humanity has reached a point in history at which changes in climate, hydrological cycles, food systems, sea level, biodiversity, ecosystem services and other factors will undermine development prospects and cause significant human suffering associated with hunger, disease, migration
    and poverty. If unchecked or unmitigated, these changes will retard or reverse progress towards broadly shared economic, social, environmental and developmental goals.” https://council.science/cms/2017/05/GrandChallenges_Oct2010.pdf

    If I am ultimately bored to ennui by culturally fabricated but feeble skeptic narratives – think of the children.

  3. Andy West has touched on a very sensitive but precarious narrative obviously triggered by a sick and scared girl, Greta Thunberg, most probably manipulated by misled grown-ups.

    Andy’s text encompasses intellectually all aspects of this unacceptable drive instigated by politically driven grownups: the only word to describe the actions is DESPICABLE. No child unless seriously “brainwashed” by grownups would take the stance of Greta or the many strikes by school children only voicing what their parents are telling them. Even the most educated scientist has difficulties in really understanding the current global warming hype.

    I do recall decades ago, when the first catastrophic storylines were launched by the IPCC and propagated by the green movement. Our Finnish newspapers were running letters to the editors from children who refrained from eating, because of hunger stricken chilren in Africa, nor did the children take a daily shower or pour water in the sink, because of children going thirsty in developing countries, etc..

    Once more, thanks Andy for your wonderful text which actually only shows to what extent fear driven adults may drive their lovable offsprings.

    • “most probably manipulated by misled grown-ups.”

      Anyone who knows anything at all about children would be able to rewrite this as “without a shadow of doubt manipulated by wicked parents exploiting their child to further their own personal political and social agenda”.

      The only people I find more revoltingly than the parents are the politicians, journalists, and assorted members of the ‘great and the good’ who willingly overlook this transparent act of child abuse because it suits their own personal political and social agenda to do so.

      The parents and every single adult who has gone along with this obscene parody should be horse-whipped until not a single layer of skin is left remaining on their back, because I am certain they are unfit to learn by any other method of instruction.

  4. I read an interview with David Wallace Wells, author of The Uninhabitable Earth, conducted by junior high school students. They asked him if the world would be impossible to live in when they were nearing adulthood. Despite his apocalyptic doom saying, he replied, Well, not really…Some places will be a lot less pleasant.

    I guess his scare tactics were ethically constrained when he came face to face with an actual innocent child. I’ll give him credit for that!

    • If we give up fossil fuel, all places will be a lot less pleasant.
      The smell of fumes from fossil fuels will be replaced by the smell of rotting flesh of the people who could not get energy for basic necessities, including food and water.

  5. ‘what stress are we under that could cause such a response?’ Plus: ‘how much is real, and how much merely perceived?’ This is a very useful response/push back to the catastrophists,

  6. This was my review of The Dead Will Arise”: by Jeff Peires, written in 2012.

    THE DEAD WILL ARISE

    Jeff Peires

    BLACK, WHITE, AND GREY

    Logline: When the Xhosa nation follows the prophecies of a disturbed teenager and destroys all its food resources, the English overlords pounce mercilessly on the greatly weakened survivors.

    In 1856 the prophetess Nongqawuse ordered the Xhosa nation to kill all their cattle, to destroy all their corn, and to cease crop cultivation. Once they had proven their belief, their dead ancestors would arise, corn pits would miraculously be filled and new herds of cattle would appear from below the ground.

    Obviously this is totally ridiculous and only a nation of idiots could have taken the prophecies seriously.

    Or is it really so ridiculous?

    Fast-forward a hundred and fifty six years. In a close parallel to the Cattle-killing, the best-educated and technologically most advanced nations meet in Doha to combat climate change. The Pew Institute conducts a survey showing that 84 per cent of the world population believes in a supreme being. The country regarded as the leader of the free world holds an election for president with two candidates both of whom have convincingly demonstrated their utter lack of fitness to govern.

    So let’s give the Xhosa people a break. It looks like gullibility is the norm among humans and the more sophisticated, the easier we are to fool.

  7. They are obviously not my claims per se. But there is all sorts of science around this. Environmental science is a practical, team based, multidisciplinary field that solves complex problems that have ‘wicked’ dimensions of culture, history, economics and environment. It synergistically – the whole is greater than the parts – integrates physical and biological sciences within a real world context of society. It provides the most flexible and comprehensive approach to designing sustainable futures, assessing and managing environmental risk and environmental planning and management. The alternative is the politics of despair.

    “We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced.” http://www.pnas.org/content/115/33/8252

    It is speculative science – tipping points – in the Earth system. There are 9 of them apparently.


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

    So you invent a red herring that there is little certainty of CAGW this century – while the world in many ways is obviously going to hell in a hand basket. We’re a font of cliches today.

    Skeptics have lost the PR war and don’t seem to have a plan B. So sad.

  8. I am building a small library called the Climate Change Debate Education project: http://ccdedu.blogspot.com. So far I have listed about 300 videos skeptical of or debating the hypothesis of dangerous human caused climate change. We should teach the debate.

  9. One issue that’s not discussed much is that Thunberg’s parents are hard core neomarxists. They even had her posing for fotographs in an antifa t shirt, which as far as i’m concerned is as if they had her dressed in a Hells Angels leather jacket.

  10. I bought and read Greta Thunbergs book ‘No one is too small to make a difference’, last week.

    She comes over as a thoroughly naïve, silly, insolent and arrogant school child who knows nothing whatsoever about the climate but just ‘knows’ that if we don’t do something immediately the climate will destroy the world any second. There is no time to waste.

    Astonishingly, she also seems to believe that until she came along last year that climate was never discussed, no one knew anything about it, the media never carried any stories about it to ‘educate’ people and as no one had done anything about the ‘climate emergency’ so it is up to children to do something. So Judith, you have obviously been wasting your time over the last 20 years and more. Why did you never write about climate?

    Even more astonishingly is the way our politicians have bowed down before this person, no doubt trying to get ‘down in front of the kids’ and terrified of criticising the green blob that is whipping up such hysteria.

    The book cost (in the UK) a very tiny £2.99 but took 30 minutes to read, consisting as it does of her various speeches, all of which are identical to each other.

    She is being called ‘St Greta’ but in an ironic fashion. Hopefully people will see through this false prophetess

    tonyb

    • Curious George

      Sorry to ask .. are you really unfit for Davos?

    • Somewhere in one of the Fellini movies is a sequence in which a young girl enthralls multitudes with the impression that she is having visions. The crowds are entranced at first but after a while lose interest.
      Maybe someone reading this will recognize the scene and the movie.

  11. Children’s minds and emotions are malleable and susceptible to coercion, especially by trusted authorities, hence, children’s manipulation by adults with their own agendas. Middle school children on the other hand, the early adolescents on the other hand are easily manipulated by peers; think of cyberbullying. In 1692/1693 the Salem witch trials resulted in the execution of 19 people for heresy on the sworn testimony of adolescent girls. Before that, in 1212 the Children’s Crusade, instigated by adults such as Stephen of Cloyes in Northern France, gathered European children for a march on the Holy Land, ultimately resulting in the participating children’s enslavement and prostitution in Italy. So much for children benefiting from adult’s holy wars.

    It took hundred’s of years for adults to finally stand on their own with Martin Luther and his 95 Thesis of The Church’s abuses. In the current social climate, group think proceeds at light speed through communities, any rational assessment of the climate catastrophe also means that there is insufficient time for the narrative sink into. One of the reasons for the multi-tasking by climate alarmists, including terrorizing children, is because the narrative has to keep changing as everyday reality does not support their perspective. Realizing this, the climate catastrophists need to use every heat wave, cold spell, tornado or hurricane as evidence of the truth of their prophecy is just around the corner. Just you wait!

    And so the world, waits, and waits, and waits. Drought is followed by flood. Scarcity is followed by abundance. Warmth followed by cold. Climate scientists who believe their own story telling, having followed their imagination to some conclusion, repeat their scary scenarios, validating who they are, messaging: “I am important. My life has not been a waste.”

    Observations made in the future will validate climate scientist’s worries, their lives have been spent on the pursuit of turning lead into gold.

    Children on the other hand, will transition, their catechism will change with the vagaries of their social milieu because, their minds are still growing, they are, after all, still children.

  12. Robert,

    “I understand that narrowing focus to a red herring is the preferred skeptic strategy…”

    If you are referring to this post, it is not a ‘skeptic strategy’ or ‘PR’ of any kind, red herring or otherwise. Nor is my assessment of the social domain relating to climate change a response to any of the physical climate science, whether skepticism or support of whatever theories from whichever side therein. It comes from the social data and characteristics themselves, with the exception in this (and some prior) posts of noting that the widely (and authority) propagated catastrophe narrative (aka a certainty absent dramatic action of imminent global catastrophe due to ACO2) is not supported by the IPCC / AR5 tech chapters (or indeed sceptical science either). This is useful confirmation of the cultural nature of the narrative. What’s happening with children is one aspect of the social characterisation of the domain, and if you think this aspect is wrongly potrayed within this post regarding events / speeches made and / or their social implications as highlighted by historical comparisons plus supported by the external references, then please make your case appropriately. The fact of describing something that is what it is, doesn’t make a strategy; how else will we better understand things that are happening without airing such assessments? If you think this *isn’t* what’s happening, then fine, state why you think it is different. Dominant culture can and frequently does obscure science and reason, nor has it any recognition of which science and whose theories, it eventually eats into everything. Hence it will undermine that science you support for your laudable desire of improvement for the world situation, just like anything else, and can end up doing the opposite of what reason would normally suggest is appropriate even for its touted cause (e.g. per the diesel / biofuel debacles), let alone trampling under-foot hosts of other legitimate issues. I hope you will soon recover from your listlessness ;)

    • It was obviously a response to an accusation of conflating issues. What I am wary of is the tendency to tunnel vision from either side. What you do is create a red herring out of scientific uncertainty and then declare that it smells it wrong in a fake equivalency.

      • ‘…What you do is create a red herring out of scientific uncertainty…’

        If you mean me personally here, I am doing no such thing. If you believe so, quote me.

      • “But the IPCC science13b doesn’t support a high certainty of imminent (decades) global climate catastrophe.”

        What science supports is considerable uncertainty. It’s a monster ya know.

      • Robert,

        So you say: “…What you do is create a red herring out of scientific uncertainty…”

        And for your quote of me, you provide: “But the IPCC science13b doesn’t support a high certainty of imminent (decades) global climate catastrophe.”

        Which a) you don’t dispute is correct, and b) being merely a proper reflection of what the mainstream science within the public domain says, is no way no how creating a ‘red herring’.

        If I was deploying this statement in some kind of fashion to disguise or mis-characterise or divert from what the mainstream science says about *uncertainty*, then this could be a red herring or other rhetoric device. But I have not done any such thing. I have clearly and simply stated this as a useful confirmation of what the social characteristics indicate, i.e. that the ‘catastrophe narrative’ is cultural, aka false (as all strong cultural narratives that emerge via emotive selection are); it is not supported by mainstream (or sceptical) science. This is a post about the social characteristics (wrt children); there is no way to make a comparison of mainstream science output with what the principle cultural narrative expresses, without using the sentence I did, or something incredibly similar. Nowhere have I gone beyond this to make any discussion whatsoever of scientific uncertainties, the presence / absence or size or any alleged monster, or indeed any physical science aspects or implications. And no way no how does my observation that the principle cultural narrative is not supported by IPCC / AR5, per the above sentence, amount to any comment on such topics or any rhetoric regarding same, including a red herring.

      • Considerable uncertainty about something happening is not the same as a lack of high certainty that it will. The former is inevitable the latter impossible. The former implies risk – the latter dismisses risk based on the false equivalency. Yes I dispute your interpretation. of what mainstream science says. Quite obviously.

      • The catastrophe narrative, which is emergent via emotive selection, says that (absent dramatic / near emissions reduction) there will certainly be an imminent (decades) global catastrophe due to ACO2. It is expressed in the most urgent and emotive terms from many authorities all over the world, from the highest downwards, and in the most emotive terms. See ‘The Catastrophe Narrative’ post here back in November for many examples, which include the ‘end of the planet’, ‘end of civilisation’, ‘no future for children’, various ‘terminal metaphors’, etc. If you think that the AR5 tech chapters support this certain catastrophic outcome of continued ACO2 emission, via their science and impact working groups, can you point to where this is expressed please? If you agree that the AR5 tech chapters do not actually support the catastrophe narrative in all its emotive glory regarding such inevitable consequence of continued ACO2, how would you express this without apparently invoking what you claim is a red herring? Out of the 4 science camps (orthodox huge, catastrophist, luke-warmer and skeptic all comparatively small), only the catastrophist camp propagates actual catastrophe narrative. But this camp disagrees with the IPCC precisely because they too think that AR5 does *not* support the catastrophe that they envision, by virtue of being too conservative and / or politically influenced towards diluting the probabilities of the climate effects and consequent damages wrt to continued increase of ACO2. If even they think this is the case, where have you found support for certain imminent global catastrophe due to ACO2 in the AR5 tech chapters?

      • “”Once the stratocumulus decks have broken up, they only re-form once CO2 concentrations drop substantially below the level at which the instability first occurred,” according to the study.”
        https://www.sciencealert.com/high-levels-of-co2-could-stop-these-cooling-clouds-from-forming-warn-scientists

        As an example. You define it as something other than science – but then rely on science to disprove it. Wrongly – and voluminously – I say. This is motivated reasoning.

      • Robert, so I ask you to point in AR5 where you claim it supports, per the catastrophe narrative, a certain ‘end of the planet’, ‘end of civilisation’, ‘our children have no future’, ‘end of the biosphere’, etc. (absent dramatic reduction of ACO2 emissions), and you point me to a single new paper / proposition elsewhere. Even in the linked article this proposition is quite reasonably treated with caution by other scientists (‘unproven’, ‘maybe too tippy’). The integrated AR5 technical chapters built upon thousands of papers do not support the catastrophe narrative. And you are completely wrong, nowhere do I define your example paper, or any other similar work, as ‘not science’. It is somewhere within a wide spectrum of science, and I have no idea whether the eventual output that prevails overall will be good, bad, indifferent, benign or catastrophic regarding humanity or indeed the planet. Or for that matter whether the paper you point to will be gifted gold stars by future history, or destined for ignomy, or indeed land somewhere in-between. Yet the catastrophe narrative doesn’t come from science or particular orgs / individuals, it is emergent via emotive selection, and the current situation is not only that AR5 doesn’t support it, even the small catastrophist camp among the 4 science camps likewise think so, which is why they criticise the IPCC for being too conservative and / or politically influenced against ‘inevitable catastrophe’. You haven’t provided anything that supports your proposition about a ‘red herring’ regarding my sentence which points out the unsupported nature of the catastrophe narrative in the mainstream science, per AR5. Along the way, you are arbitrarily ascribing to me positions that I simply don’t hold.

      • You define your catastrophe notion as not science – and its falseness as scientifically demonstrated in AR5.

        I gave you just one very recent example from a major journal. Here’s another.

        https://www.pnas.org/content/115/33/8252

      • Robert I Ellison: https://www.pnas.org/content/115/33/8252


        Abstract
        We explore the risk that self-reinforcing feedbacks could push the Earth System toward a planetary threshold that, if crossed, could prevent stabilization of the climate at intermediate temperature rises and cause continued warming on a “Hothouse Earth” pathway even as human emissions are reduced. Crossing the threshold would lead to a much higher global average temperature than any interglacial in the past 1.2 million years and to sea levels significantly higher than at any time in the Holocene. We examine the evidence that such a threshold might exist and where it might be. If the threshold is crossed, the resulting trajectory would likely cause serious disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies. Collective human action is required to steer the Earth System away from a potential threshold and stabilize it in a habitable interglacial-like state. Such action entails stewardship of the entire Earth System—biosphere, climate, and societies—and could include decarbonization of the global economy, enhancement of biosphere carbon sinks, behavioral changes, technological innovations, new governance arrangements, and transformed social values.

        “Exploring” hypothetical risks.Lots of possibilities, or good intelligent conjecture. Does it actually dispute anything written by Andy West?

      • Tipping points in the Earth system have been demonstrated over decades. Science supports the potential for future catastrophe – in the sense of Rene Thom. Andy West is quite obviously wrong on his underlying premise.

      • “You define your catastrophe notion as not science…”

        I do nothing of the kind. It is not ‘my notion’. It is an emergent narrative that has manifestly propagated through rafts of authorities from the highest in the world downwards plus through many different orgs, for the 21st century and longer, in the most highly urgent and emotive terms. See the footnotes at the link below for ~180 examples from presidents, prime ministers, high ministers, UN elite, religious leaders, business leaders, economists, NGOs, and various other orgs and influencers. They cover the usual range of emotive variants including ‘save the planet’, ‘end of planet’, ‘end of life’, ‘end of civilisation’, etc etc all citing ACO2 emissons. Are you claiming that such narrative stretching back several decades is due to a considered output of science?? AR5 (and all previous reports) do not support it, and you provide no evidence of your claim that it does. The small catastrophist science camp agrees, they criticise the IPCC for being too conservative.

        2 examples of papers is no better than 1, which anyhow per the caveats in the very article that you linked above, does not amount either to support for a certainty of imminent (decades) global catastrophe per the above emotive narrative. You haven’t provided anything that supports your proposition about a ‘red herring’ regarding my sentence which points out the unsupported nature of the catastrophe narrative in the mainstream science, per AR5. Along the way, you are arbitrarily ascribing to me positions that I simply don’t hold; I do not define your example papers, or any similar output, as ‘not science’. The long propagating catastrophe narrative is not science; and early catastrophe narrative pre-dates your papers by decades.

      • Let’s get this right. You define the catastrophe meme as unscientific – and then say that the meme is not supported by science in AR5. I say that it obviously does have scientific support and I provide a couple of recent references.

        There are 88 references in the PNAS article linked. The science of tipping points goes back decades. I noted transitions in coastal seagrass, eutrophic lakes and fluvial geomorphology in the 1980’s. Tipping points are a fundamental mode of operation of the complex dynamical Earth system. We have no idea – complete ignorance rather than uncertainty – of how close we are to major or minor tipping points.

        https://www.nap.edu/read/10136/chapter/1

        https://www.pik-potsdam.de/services/infodesk/tipping-elements/kippelemente

        https://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/tipping_points.html

        “The IPCC AR5 defines a tipping point as an irreversible change in the climate system. It states that the precise levels of climate change sufficient to trigger a tipping point remain uncertain, but that the risk associated with crossing multiple tipping points increases with rising temperature.”

        If even Wikipedia knows about it – you are on thin ice.

      • I am saying that the catastrophe narrative is founded in science over a long time. The butterfly evolved into a wild and angry beast. Climate data show the chaotic heart of the beast pounding through woodland and savannah. It moves with immense power and speed across landscapes and oceans. It shifts suddenly and fiercely. We ain’t seen fierce in the 20th century – we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
        But what shall we do now with this wild and angry beast? There are approaches mooted – including shibboleths of neo-green-leftists – which are not worth worrying about. But there are a plurality of solutions to other problems each with intrinsic mitigation or sequestration potential. I can point to a couple of dozen off the top of the heads of Nobel laureate economists. I like to see it as part of a global mission to secure prosperous communities in vibrant and resilient landscapes this century.

        https://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/post-2015_presentation_3.pdf

      • Robert I Ellison: “The IPCC AR5 defines a tipping point as an irreversible change in the climate system.

        By that definition, a “tipping point” need not have “catastrophic” consequences.

        Have there been any identifiable tipping points in the last 9,000 years? Perhaps the mean global warming that started in the late 1800s?

        Better than anything by Rene Thom, let me recommend “Catastrophe Theory” by V.I. Arnol’d. Even a “catastrophe” need not have “catastrophic” consequences.

        You and Andy West are addressing different notions of “catastrophe”; yours more like a mathematical discontinuous function, his more like severe real world consequences.

      • Robert, thank you, I know what tipping points are.

        ‘You define the catastrophe meme as unscientific…’ yes it is an emotive meme indeed, which has long since escaped its roots and has propagated through authority and the public domain in extreme form, carrying the message that absent dramatic emissions reduction then civilisation / life / the planet will *certainly* and imminently end. See the examples. Including all such discussion of tipping points as exists within AR5, this mainstream science does not come to such a conclusion, or indeed anything like this conclusion. Its conclusions regarding likely or even less likely impacts, are rather mild. This by no means rules out the possibility of much worse outcomes (e.g. via tipping points), even globally, but AR5 does *not* characterise such as ‘certain’ or even anything approaching this. So indeed regarding the narrative of an imminent and certain end of civilisation / life / the planet, ‘the meme is not supported by science in AR5.’ The small catastrophe camp within the scientific spectrum generally talk about tipping points as their mechanism, and they rail against the IPCC precisely because they don’t think such mechanisms have received proper attention, or need to be moved from possibilistic to probabilistic or have probabilities increased or whatever, i.e. they too understand that the IPCC / AR5 does *not* support what they consider a proper likelihood of such, let alone an outright and near-term certainty (the latter would be needed to satisfy the meme).

        As Matthew notes, you point to lots of possibilities, some of which no doubt overlap with AR5, but separately or cumulatively within this report they do not amount to a *certainty* of the imminent end of civilisation / life / the world (absent major ACO2 reduction, of course), which is what the catastrophe meme does say, via emotive selection / propagation. And your two examples papers are very recent, your own approach to catastrophe has seemed at this venue to be a modern one related to chaos theory. Yet the catastrophe narrative has been evolving from decades ago, and has been widely propagated by leadership from even before the 21st century, while the approach you support doesn’t even have a large voice within the restricted domain of science even now. For sure such science is becoming a handy link-up for the long established narrative, not least because it hasn’t got any backup from AR5, and it’ll be interesting to see how this development might influence AR6 (signs so far are that it will not radically change from AR5 in this respect). I don’t know whether future history will judge your approach and exampled papers as brilliant science, indifferent science, or very poor science, but it is not IPCC / AR5 science, and that report does not support the long established catastrophe meme, which via emotive selection has come to say that civilisation / life / the planet will *certainly* end imminently without dramatic ACO2 reduction. You have not demonstrated any kind of ‘red herring’.

      • Whatever stories are circulating outside of science are irrelevant to the error of your fundamental premise. While uncertainty of future climate states is indistinguishable from complete ignorance – surprises are inevitable.

        You conflate uncertainty with a lack of certainty and use it to dismiss future risk. This is the sleight of hand I called a red herring.

        Chaos in climate is an idea that has been emerging for many decades. The butterfly evolved into Wally Broecker’s wild beast – as I said elsewhere.

        “The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.” NAP 2002 – https://www.nap.edu/read/10136/chapter/2

        And this paradigm is now the dominant paradigm of Earth system science.

      • Robert, oops missed your latest somehow. I don’t think this makes any difference. Your wild angry beast is no doubt somewhere on the spectrum of genuine science, but it is not an output of IPCC / AR5. Meanwhile the catastrophe narrative did not evolve from that it, this narrative has all the fingerprints and expected variants and all the associated behaviours of an existential emotive cultural narrative, and has evolved from several decades ago through authority and the public domain. It says that without dramatic near-term reduction in AC02, civilisation / life / the planet will *certainly* and imminently end. AR5 does not say this. If you think so, show where.

      • Robert,

        “Whatever stories are circulating outside of science are irrelevant to the error of your fundamental premise…”

        Then you have completely misunderstood the premise. Circulating (co-evolving while propagating) stories are a central mechanism of cultural entities, which when emotive enough trigger a range recognised of behaviours that also bypass reason, and the narratives will develop on a (emotively selected) path of their own not bounded by reason. The cultural behaviours include (in addition to some aspects mentioned here) all the ones listed in this post: https://judithcurry.com/2015/11/20/climate-culture/
        Hence these stories are the heart of my premise too, and my premise has *nothing to do with* the physical science of climate.

        “You conflate uncertainty with a lack of certainty and use it to dismiss future risk. This is the sleight of hand I called a red herring.”

        I am doing absolutely nothing of the sort. You seem to have completely misunderstood once again. I am not talking about the physical science in any way whatsoever, including any of its certainty / uncertainty balances and assessments or anything else related to the physics of climate (or in fact any physics), or indeed any of its projections or risk analyses, past present or future views, anything, *except* merely to note that AR5 does not support the catastrophe narrative, which is a handy confirmation of its cultural status derived from social characteristics / data.

        Cultures form strong consensuses that police narratives of absolute certainty, which narratives are emergent from the above ‘circulating stories’ to use your own words. This is one of the most major parts of their function as an in-group / out-group definition and reinforcement system. All these characteristics and behaviours exist in the climate domain centred upon a narrative of *certainty* of the imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet, and show in social data, and I am *only* talking about this kind of certainty, which is a cultural thing that bypasses reason and has nothing whatsoever to do with your climate science approach or anyone else’s climate science approach, be it skeptical or orthodox or whatever. (and incidentally, culture is perfectly capable of not only biasing science, but completely hi-jacking it). As noted above, it is useful to confirm this *culturally invoked* certainty with fact that 3 of 4 known science camps and including by far the largest, via the IPCC / AR5, indeed do *not* support this *certainty* of imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet, absent the salvation (another standard cultural feature) of dramatic ACO2 reduction (see footnote 21 on these camps / positions). You have claimed that this is not the case for AR5, but cannot show this; if you can, then do so.

        So none of your points about the science surrounding uncertainty are at all relevant to this *cultural* feature and the *cultural* premise, plus also nothing in my premise in any way defines that the science you support is ‘not science’.

      • “Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally
        potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values.49 Nor is that to be seen as a defect. Of course choices between competing values are not made by relying upon scientific knowledge alone. What is wrong is to pretend that they are.” http://www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/units/mackinder/pdf/mackinder_Wrong%20Trousers.pdf

        Both side of climateball have their cultural narratives – as I have said you before. Neither side is able to review assumptions and both have an unswerving faith in the correctness of their views. I suspects groupthink on both sides.

      • Secular hallelujah, I think you’ve got it.
        ‘I suspects groupthink on both sides’
        Generically speaking, you suspects pretty well. However, it is much more complex than just 2 sides. Cultures form ad-hoc alliances locally, which means among other things different situations in different countries, that if the culture gets big enough globally may then iteratively re-organise. For instance cultural mechanics can explain the Rep / Con versus Dem / Lib polarisation over CC in the US, but also why there appears to be just as many skeptics within the UK where all the main political parties officially support CC policies, and indeed where the *conservative* government just introduced net-zero-by -2050. There is not a political divide but there is still bulk scepticism. And all of these publics essentially have no technical knowledge of the domain at all, their positions aren’t knowledge based. Plus other characteristics, for instance why that US public polarisation *increases* with cognitive skill and domain literacy (opposite to expectation if one assumed these characteristics would via the application of reason converge upon the truth). Despite the different local conditions (including cultural alliances), there is universal representation of a catastrophist culture with the same core narrative in all of them. To date there is not a ‘universal skeptic culture’ of the same kind, but indeed various biases also due to cultural mechanisms (the situation in the US representing just one). This is all bulk public domain stuff, and blogs (plus the enterprise of science itself) are tiny and unrepresentative (and with much higher domain knowledge), but can nevertheless be heavily influenced by same. Culture also entangles with the enterprise of science in a number of specific ways so can (potentially very heavily) impact this too, for a list of the ways this happens see the section ‘The entanglement of Science’ here: https://judithcurry.com/2017/02/20/innate-skepticism/

      • There is a skeptic groupthink consisting of common talking points evolved in echo chambers. Such as climate catastrophe is a religion elaborated again here. You seem incapable of seeing it. As for crude and eccentric skeptic theories – it matters little as long as it is not CO2.

        But really – climateballers are relatively small extremes on the population continuum. Neither extreme all that significant – other than for the clamor of noisy self importance.

      • Hmmm… so I say there is cultural bias of various different origins associated with skepticism (it is not a universal single type), and you reply I’m incapable of seeing any.

        There are indeed skeptic theories all over the map, and from plausible to bonkers plus from every kind of angle; I’ve said this here before as has our host here too. And not featuring a universal single type of bias doesn’t grant any level of intrinsic truth; just like the slice of science you support and the non-catastrophic orthodox theory plus the lukewarmer stuff too, and whether or not afflicted by bias, all will eventually get judged on their merits and many will fall. But out of this entire spectrum some theories will stand, and only future history will show which ones, plus there may also be new ones yet to arise.

        Regarding blogs / forums, I just pointed out above that indeed they are tiny compared to the population, and play little part in driving events. However, because of the cultural bias within swathes of the voting public, grass-roots movements and in leadership circles too, culture and cultural conflicts play a big part.

        I’ve presented plenty of structured argument with backup evidence that there is strong culture re climate catastrophism within the public domain, which is built around and propagates the influential catastrophe narrative. Just a talking point, you say; okay, so where is your structured counter-argument with in-context quotes etc backing your position and refuting the above?

      • A certainty of climate catastrophe anytime soon is misguided. As is a vague notion that it won’t happen. It is no discontinuous abstraction but history repeating.

        Climate surprises are inevitable. Unless you have a ‘slice of science’ that definitively proves otherwise.

      • Robert I Ellison: A certainty of climate catastrophe anytime soon is misguided.

        That is refreshingly clear and in agreement with available evidence. Elsewhere we read that we only have 14 months to act to avert a major catastrophe. Something like that, differing mainly in the specificity of the time, is the message of Greta Thunberg, the topic of Andy West’s essay.

      • “A certainty of climate catastrophe anytime soon is misguided. ”

        Well for sure we can agree on that. Yet as Matthew notes, there’s been long-term powerful cultural promotion of this notion within society, indeed promoted not least by child prophets and proselytisers in recent times.

      • The ‘most important line’ was that there is no ‘high certainty’ of ‘catastrophe that not catastrophic’.

        The term catastrophe theory – btw – originated with Rene Thom. Which is why I describe it as in the sense of Rene Thom. After Didier Sornette in fact.

        “We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point. The presence of a phase transition is crucial to learn how to diagnose in advance the symptoms associated with a coming dragon-king.” https://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290

        It was one of a number of strands of mathematics, meteorology, physical and natural sciences coming together at the time that is now the ‘orthodox science’ of the Earth system. See – that’s how you say something substantive.

      • Robert I Ellison: The term catastrophe theory – btw – originated with Rene Thom.

        According to V. I. Arnol’d “Catastrophe Theory”, p. 6 “E. C. Zeeman suggested that the combination of singularity theory and its applications should be called catastrophe theory”. He also calls Rene Thom the “founder” of catastrophe theory, with reference to the loose analogies with a lot of empirical phenomena, and the advertising techniques of cybernetics.

      • With reference to the topology of ‘elemental catastrophes’.

        https://www.math.hmc.edu/~thompson/F13/zeeman.pdf

        Try this one.

        “To study the nonlinear characteristics of natural phenomena, many statisticians and scientists have suggested the chaos theory which analyze and forecast the nonlinear phenomena of the natural system. Lorenz [4] suggested the strange attractor in a simple model of convection roll in the atmosphere. Packard et al. [5] suggested the method of delays and Takens [6] proved the method of delays using differential topology. Grassberger and Procaccia [7] and Farmer et al. [8] demonstrated the estimation of chaotic characterization using correlation dimension. Wolf et al. [9] calculated the largest Lyapunov exponent using the Benettin’s method. Fraser and Swinney [10] suggested a method for the estimation of time delay using the mutual information. Gilmore [11] introduced the topological method for chaos characterization, especially useful for small data sets. Farmer and Sidorowich [12] forecasted the chaotic time series using the local linear approximation. Also, Casdagli [13] forecasted the chaotic time series using the radial basis functions and Casdagli and Weigend [14] modeled and forecasted the chaotic time series using DVS (deterministic versus stochastic) algorithm. Kim et al. [15, 16] suggested a new method for the estimation of delay parameters in chaos analysis. Falanga and Petrosino [17] estimated the complexity of the system by the degrees of freedom necessary to describe the asymptotic dynamics in a reconstructed phase space. The mechanism of stochastic resonance, which is a nonlinear phenomenon, has been applied in the field of the physics of atmosphere since it was introduced by Benzi et al. [18, 19] and Nicolis [20].” https://www.hindawi.com/journals/amete/2015/195940/

        I have been adding references on nonlinear climate dynamics weekly.

      • Robert I Ellison: See – that’s how you say something substantive.

        It may be one way.

        A mathematical catastrophe is a jump discontinuity in phase space. Can you point to even one climate change that can be empirically related to a dynamic system that has such a catastrophe at the time of that climate change? What you have presented to date amounts to a heap of hypotheses about what might be discoverable eventually, and might not be, but what now are at best loose analogies. Like “abrupt climate change”, “climate catastrophe” is a concept without any exemplars.

      • “The actual history shows that even the best scientific data are never that definitive. People can see only what they find believable. Over the decades, many scientists who looked at tree rings, varves, ice layers, and so forth had held evidence of rapid climate shifts before their eyes. They easily dismissed it.” https://history.aip.org/climate/rapid.htm

        What I have presented? It is so very difficult to take him seriously.

      • Robert I Ellison: What I have presented?

        You mean you have forgotten? Just in this thread you presented catastrophes in the sense of Rene Thom, as models of possible “tipping points” in climate change. But no even approximate matches to data.

      • There is not enough data in the AIP link?

      • Robert I Elliison: There is not enough data in the AIP link?

        It does not get beyond the possibilities and analogies stage. This quote will have to suffice for now: And scientists kept turning up more possible mechanisms for feedbacks that could accelerate warming. For example, the system of carbon uptake and release by forests was still so poorly understood that scientists admitted there was a “potential for major abrupt change.”(75*) In any case the known feedbacks were so strong that it seemed likely that — unless human civilization rose to the challenge very soon — global warming would become self-sustaining and irreversible.

        They do use the word “abrupt” a lot, and the word “instability”. They never show even one example of “abrupt” that satisfies the NAS definition that you have quoted. Nor, as I wrote, even one example of a jump discontinuity in phase space, that would qualify as a “catastrophe”.

      • The AIP give dozens of examples. That you can’t admit it…

      • Robert I Ellison: I have been adding references on nonlinear climate dynamics weekly.

        So you have, and you have provided much good reading and lots of downloads. You have also provided me many opportunities to state that none of the climate data have been shown to be well-modeled by any of the dynamic nonlinear models. Newton with the inverse square law of gravitation and Einstein with the constancy the speed of light did not just say they could solve a lot of problems; Newton derived close approximations to Keplers Laws (themselves being good fits to Brahe’s data), and Einstein derived the Lorentz-Fitzgerald transformation (hypothesized in its turn to fit recorded data.)

        Analogies can’t be considered explanations without a close fit of explicit models to data..

      • I can think of a couple – Poincare’s Hamiltoniam, Micheal Ghil’s 1-D climate model and Tsonis’ network model. The AIP descrides a couple more – both physical and mathematical. But as for chaotic ocean and atmosphere simulation at a global scale – you are asking for the nearly impossible. Mojib Latiff has come closest.

        https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00626.1

        ‘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

        Forty odd years later and the problem remains – it is still not clear even that the functions exist.

        But are you saying that unless it can be numerically modeled with high fidelity that climate data is invalid? Utter nonsense. It is data that reveals patterns and not the other way around.

      • Robert I Ellison: But are you saying that unless it can be numerically modeled with high fidelity that climate data is invalid?

        Nowhere have I written anything like “climate data is invalid” unless it can be modeled with high fidelity. What I have written is that without a good fit of the model to the data, the model features can’t be taken as explanations (or accurate analogues) of the features of the data. To repeat an example, a putatively “abrupt” change in a climate data series can not be explained as a “catastrophe” unless there is a dynamic model that fits the data well and displays a “catastrophe” at about that time.

        Had you not abjured exact quotes, you might have noticed what I wrote simply from copying it. You paraphrased sloppily, but luckily you wrote it as a question instead of an inference.

      • ” What I have written is that without a good fit of the model to the data, the model features can’t be taken as explanations (or accurate analogues) of the features of the data.”

        I paraphrased accurately if less pompously.

        One can always fit a function to data. Give me 5 parameters and I can make it’s trunk wiggle.
        Data reveals patterns and not the other way around. But just as Einstein failed to produce a unified field theory – a deterministic solution for the chaotic Earth system is elusive. We know what the equations are – they just can’t be solved with sufficient accuracy (Tin Palmer, 2016).

        But there are other ways to skin a cat. “A Dynamical Systems Explanation of the Hurst Effect and Atmospheric Low-Frequency Variability” for instance.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4358026/

      • Robert I Ellison: I paraphrased accurately if less pompously.

        No. You got it exactly backward.

      • A brain for all seasons: Human evolution and abrupt climate change

        William H Calvin
        University of Chicago Press, 2002
        One of the most shocking realizations of all time has slowly been dawning on us: the earth’s climate does great flip-flops every few thousand years, and with breathtaking speed. In just a few years, the climate suddenly cools worldwide. With only half the rainfall, severe dust storms whirl across vast areas. Lightning strikes ignite giant forest fires. For most mammals, including our ancestors, populations crash. Our ancestors lived through hundreds of such abrupt episodes since the more gradual Ice Ages began two and a half million years ago—but abrupt cooling produced a population bottleneck each time, one that eliminated most of their relatives. We are the improbable descendants of those who survived—and later thrived. William H. Calvin’s marvelous A Brain for All Seasons argues that such cycles of cool, crash, and burn powered the pump for the enormous increase in brain size and complexity in human beings. Driven by the imperative to adapt within a generation to” whiplash” climate changes where only grass did well for a while, our ancestors learned to cooperate and innovate in hunting large grazing animals. Calvin’s book is structured as a travelogue that takes us around the globe and back in time. Beginning at Darwin’s home in England, Calvin sits under an oak tree and muses on what controls the speed of evolutionary” progress.” The Kalahari desert and the Sterkfontein caves in South Africa serve as the backdrop for a discussion of our ancestors’ changing diets. A drought-shrunken lake in Kenya shows how grassy mudflats become great magnets for grazing animals. And in Copenhagen, we learn what ice cores have told us about abrupt jumps in past climates. Perhaps the most dramatic discovery of all, though, awaits us as we fly with Calvin over the Gulf Stream and Greenland: global warming caused by human-made pollution could paradoxically trigger another sudden episode of global cooling. Because of the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the oceanic” conveyor belt” that sends warmer waters into the North Atlantic could abruptly shut down. If that happens again, much of the Earth could be plunged into a deep chill within a few years. Europe would become as cold and dry as Siberia. Agriculture could not adapt quickly enough to avoid worldwide famines and wars over the dwindling food supplies—a crash from which it would take us many centuries to recover. With this warning, Calvin connects us directly to evolution and the surprises it holds. Highly illustrated, conversational, and learned, A Brain for All Seasons is a fascinating view of where we came from, and where we’re going.

  13. Svend Ferdinandsen

    When she has spoken to parliament or other like that they have nearly all applauded her.Then i wonder why any of them haven’t said the same and got the same applaud?
    Please think about that.

    • As the main post notes, cultural narratives are not *literally* true, and most of the adults being addressed have registered this. Due to the stigma they’d get (which is especially a bad thing for leaders) for not approving of a child who is expressing the moral imperatives of the cultural narrative they’re already committed to, they have no choice but to applaud. But that doesn’t mean they themselves (or most of them at any rate) will also act as if the narrative is literally true. They will not. This is mainly a subconscious thing; but if you see some with a weak smile and not really applauding while trying not to look negative, they may be more conscious of the dilemma they’re in 0:

  14. I. It’s you didn’t refer to the American school children protesting about being killed at school.
    Is universal access to guns an aspect of American culture so ingrained it’s not.considered as a normal?

    • Hi Grant, there are very many protests / issues regarding children that I didn’t reference. This post is focused on the climate change domain, and the three other well-known cases are just used for comparison purposes. Quite apart from word count limitations and potential defocus regarding getting into other domains, I’m not a US citizen and also not well clued-up on the gun issue or its characteristics.

    • Excellent point. Maybe analagus to Malala than Greta? I recommend Mr. West look into it because it is a smaller sample of what he is trying to analyze. I am American and I feel that guns are very much a religion in the US.

  15. Thank you for this. Rupert Reed likens the use of children in Extinction Rebellion campaigns to the American civil rights movement so they are consciously using these children.
    Greta is not the first and won’t be the last child to be exploited by the activist campaigners – David Suzuki got a microphone for his young daughter at the Earth Summit. I’m more concerned about how the parents exploit the innocence of their children to advance their objectives. I wrote on Suzuki and Malala’s father back in 2013: https://risk-monger.com/2018/01/20/how-to-use-a-child/.
    And then there is Hitler’s Youth … but clearly today no one is trying to deny dialogue with emotional rhetoric…

    • ‘…Rupert Reed likens the use of children in Extinction Rebellion campaigns to the American civil rights movement…’

      Thanks. It’s because of comparisons like this from some of the advocates of catastrophism that I used the 1963 Children’s Crusade above, which indeed shows they are not the same kind of situation at all.

      • afonzarelli

        i think one could legitimately disagree that the solutions for segregation weren’t astronomical, at least that is, for the african americans themselves. What people don’t understand is that the ensuing white flight post desegregation has never ended. And it will never end until we finally end up with regional segregation. And this is really, really bad for people of colour. Just look at Detroit, the poster child for the lack of segregation laws (even though they never had them in the first place). 600,000 african americans now living in a city that was once home to 2 million people and all the colossal problems that that represents. We can eventually expect that sort of thing everywhere as these things will take some time to unfold. As repugnant as segregation laws were, we cannot now turn a blind eye to the unintended consequences of the good in their abolishment. (yes, the solution was astronomical, yet we had no other choice)…

      • Afonzarelli, I disagree. For a start there is the confounding factor that Detroit (along with other cities around the world which have no significant racial issues), has suffered heavily from the changing face of industry plus over-reliance on a single industry. Industrial / population decline of the city (some being loss to the suburbs) appears to have started in the late 40s / 50s, before the main flashpoint of desegregation even arose. Via redlining and other city-planning processes, the deep segregational foundations laid down for many years in the city, seem to have both carried on far too long and with nowhere near enough effort to unravel them in later times. This then led to intractable problems that have continued into modernity, and tangled up with the housing stock / neighbourhood characteristics and highway routes. I’ve travelled to the area more than once and have known colleagues there, though for sure I certainly wouldn’t count myself as knowledgeable. But I’m not sure where you get the impression that Detroit didn’t have intrinsic racial policy; while not as explicit as Birmingham’s, the inter-web thingy tells me this was endemic. Hence once can certainly argue that these woes are not an unintended consequence of the policy of desegregation, but largely a consequence of not truly driving that policy through. This is admittedly very hard against cultural resistance, yet nevertheless that doesn’t make the solution astronomical. It could in theory have been achieved without major damage / risk to US society overall (which never means there won’t be some winners / losers). The fact that in practice cultural resistance plus external forces (i.e. the industrial thing) impeded the solution, doesn’t make the latter astronomical. It means that while changing deep behaviours is often harder than we think, there is still net benefit in the road taken compared to the other fork, and I do agree that there comes a point where one has to start even not knowing the future. But if we take the approach that any initial step might be considered astronomical in the future because we don’t know where it will lead, then practically everything will become astronomical. In the end there is feedback / consideration in ongoing processes too, and such initial steps are utterly different to saying from the off that one wants the major means of support for all society for generations, per the climate strikes or Nongqawuse, to be put on the line, and immediately.

      • afonzarelli

        Andy, i must admit that you’ve caught me off guard here. i myself have never actually studied the problem. However, i have casually relied on the excellent journalism on the topic in the times-picayune here in new orleans — most notably in their numerous articles on Detroit. (new orleans having it’s own demographic challenges that i do know something about) i never thought that anyone would challenge the notion that Detroit had and still continues to suffer from white flight. The great migration in the 40s from the deep south was viewed predominately as an invasion back then. And even though they didn’t have segregation laws, they certainly improvised on the fly in the private sector. The nine mile(?) long segregation wall was an ugly testament to that. That white flight occurred starting immediately after the invasion may well be a testament as well to the efficaciousness of the segregation laws which were lacking there (but not in the south). It’s also well documented that they’ve had a second wave of immigration and ensuing white flight into the suburbs. i can see that you are familiar with a great deal of what happened in Detroit. Here in New Orleans, of course, the white flight began with the end of segregation laws. The predominate concern appears to be that of integrating schools. People just weren’t willing to sacrifice their children to a government social science experiment. The majority of the population moved up river into jefferson. After an entire generation, african americans began following them west to the point where jefferson became too black (the times-picayune’s words, not mine). So white flight continued across lake ponchartrain into st.tammany in what became known as david duke country, after the famed kkk clansman who ran for govenor in 1991. Lily white st tammany boasts the highest performing public schools in Louisiana. Orleans, of course, rock bottom. In my view, it’s essentially schools. There is no place for a white middle class in new orleans as there are no schools for them to send their kids to. Young people get married, have kids and move to st tammany or elsewhere to raise them. To suggest that this is not astronomical for african amercains i think is short sighted. As the end result has not quite arrived even as yet. Schools(!) As long as the needs of both cultures cannot be met, then they cannot live side by side in perpetuity. White people need good schools and if places where there are predominately african populaces can’t provide them then the end result will be as i have spelled out. Segregated regions instead of (simply) segregated cities. Zat zimple(!) If you can show me any examples here in the states where this hasn’t been the case, then please do. i’m always happy to learn otherwise, as the T-P didn’t cover everything. (and now a day this insomniac has finally given up on his morning paper with coffee… ☹️) Should all black areas of the country wind up like Detroit, i hope we can both agree, that would be astronomical. Some would even say in hindsight predictably so…

      • afonzarelli, thanks for the details, but I’m off the edge of my knowledge now (and I have been to New Orleans just once as a tourist, the January before the flood – it snowed!) I’m for sure not claiming that there isn’t an issue concerning white flight and a host of other complications. And if everywhere in the US suffered the problems of Detroit (which problems per above have anyhow a large non-racial component too), then despite there’s pretty much no chance of that happening (if it veered a lot more that way, people’s attitudes would truly change to compensate) maybe as you say this would be astronomical in a bad way. But a) even this is still not on the scale of destroying all personal resources and the economy (per the cattle killing), or shutting down all fossil fuel usage by 2050 or whenever (per the children’s climate strikes). And b) I think what is more important is that the children’s crusade in 1963 was only demanding the end of segregation in Birmingham, i.e. a very limited and distinctly non-astronomic goal. Neither they nor anyone else at the time could look into a crystal ball and see that several generations down the line there’d be some downsides for their own people as well as upsides. And despite winners and losers throughout society, there is a net gain. Imagine what it’d be like if the civil rights had failed, and so the whole of America ended up being like apartheid South Africa.

        Demanding the destruction of the main means of the whole population’s support for generations, from day one of the protest, now that is a very unambiguous astronomical ask, which you need no crystal ball to see.

      • Taking the idea of segregation to it’s logical conclusion you might end up here:
        https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/political-confessional-the-man-who-thinks-the-u-s-is-better-off-as-a-bunch-of-separate-countries/
        I think Texas still has a loophole to secede but the Supreme Court thinks they can stop it.
        https://www.texassecede.com/

      • (and I have been to New Orleans just once as a tourist, the January before the flood – it snowed!)

        That was actually Christmas Day(!) For about fifteen minutes it was like a blizzard here in the french quarter. Ah, yes, before katrina (seems so long ago)…

        Andy, i’ve got more to say on apartheid vs. the segregated south. But, time for this insomniac to hit the pillow (😖). i just wore myself out with javier below and my battery is at 5%, too. Hopefully in the morn i’ll be recharged (along with my device as well)…

      • afonzarelli

        O.K., fresh as a daisy…

        Yes, Andy, i was only applying the word astronomical to the plight of african america alone. For white america it was (and for that matter still is) a cost, but certainly not an astronomical one. i think the concern on america becoming like apartheid without having had civil rights legislation is in reality the opposite of that claim. Such legislation has triggered what will ultimately become wholesale de facto segregation as the one culture gradually pulls away from the other. Never perhaps totally, but in large part. (just exactly how large i’ve often wondered) And, as i said, it was all primarily about schools. There’s no need for stupid laws like where one can or can’t sit on a bus, etc. White south wanted (and still wants) to make integration work, but it all seems to boil down to schools. Housing, perhaps, but, it’s better to have segregated neighborhoods than it is to have whole cities. At any rate, the ‘desegregation’ process is not over yet. It may take many a decade for this to all play out. (it’s not over til it’s over) White flight is naively thought by many to have been a relic of the sixties. The same naivete can be be seen in catastrophism on climate change. And when neither one pans out as previously expected, then the astronomical asks will be cause for alarm in and of itself.

      • Afonzarelli, yes Chistmas Day makes sense. Considering the amount of alcohol I was drinking on that holiday, it’s all a bit of a haze. I think we got to New Orleans maybe about the 23rd of December and stayed into January, or maybe moved to another city for New Years (and I’ve forgotten even what the next city on the itinerary was!)

        I’m way off the edge of my knowledge here really, and for sure none of us have a crystal ball about how things will pan out. But I dispute the claim that there’s a large net negative even for the community of colour only, compared to if the civil rights had failed. Not only in that case would most people of colour in the south (and by association still more so than now even in the north) still be denied many economic / career / education benefits along with basic rights (and not all up/downsides are economic only – not having rights is pretty bad), it’s also the case that the US would be a pariah state by now had the older ways continued, as South Africa eventually became even long ago. This would hugely limit the entire US economy – while the country is too big to sanction as effectively as SA was, almost every country’s economy depends nowadays on huge international co-operation, and this it would not readily receive from all of the West and a lot of the RoW too. Of course this assumes that these other countries would still have their modern character, and the problem with arbitrarily changing one piece of history is that it’s more interlinked than that. But I think the comparison is still valid enough to make the point.

      • Not only in that case would most people of colour in the south (and by association still more so than now even in the north) still be denied many economic / career / education benefits along with basic rights (and not all up/downsides are economic only – not having rights is pretty bad), it’s also the case that the US would be a pariah state by now had the older ways continued, as South Africa eventually became even long ago. This would hugely limit the entire US economy – while the country is too big to sanction as effectively as SA was, almost every country’s economy depends nowadays on huge international co-operation, and this it would not readily receive from all of the West and a lot of the RoW too.

        Andy, thanks for sticking with me here. (i hope that you’ll get back to read this) What, i think, that you’re not getting is that many african americans are being denied many economic/ career & education benefits now because of defacto segregation. They are simply being left behind by society en mass. And as time goes on, the situation simply gets worse. (as i’ve said, we have not seen the end of it yet) Education in particular has been hard hit. With the advent of brown vs the board of education (out of kansas) it was ruled that “separate but equal” is a no go in that separate inherently means unequal. The result of the ensuing integration of schools after the ruling resulted in white flight so much so where black school districts are now attempting to aquire “separate but equal” through funding(!) (you might say that it’s a case of be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it) Now, what i’m saying here is not strange in the U.S. of A. Most people do not have basic rights in this country. This was recently highlighted by the president’s press secretary being denied service at a restaurant because of her political views. The only real question here being should basic rights be denied in the public sector?
        As far as economics go, i think that your reasoning is highly speculative. Are you suggesting that the U.S. economy would have been perpetually in the tank? And, if so, then would not the world economy have been as well? There is no indicator that the U.S. economy suffered in the forties and fifties. At what point would the U.S. economy have been hugely limited? And would this huge limitation have been so great that it couldn’t be remedied by saving action from the (generally hugely limiting) central banks? i suspect that the economy would have rolled along as it always has. (even more so with FDIC putting an end to the panics that plagued our economy pre wwii) Lastly, this has to be weighed out with the costs of one culture being constantly on the move (only to be followed by the culture it’s moving away from). It’s not inexpensive this desegregation. Not only that, we have the blight of abandoned infrastructure in its wake to contend with. And remember, it never ends! Just as everything else in life, including climate change, we shouldn’t be beholden to static analysis. Let’s face it, anyway you shake it, white america will do just fine. It’s african america that is the concern here. True, there are so many variables at play. But, ultimately, what would have been best for this culture? And more pressing, how do we deal with the mess that the civil rights movement has indeed made? Granted, these questions only apply to the south. With or without the civil rights movement, the problems that i’ve outlined would have plagued most of the country anyway. i’m particularly thinking about the south because much of african america still lives here. So, this is a problem, as i’ve said, that generally pertains to them and them alone. (and only to white america to the extent that we have a tendency towards taking the problems of others to heart)…

      • afonzarelli,

        “What, i think, that you’re not getting…”

        I do get this. However, I think you’re not getting that without the success of the civil rights movement, it would nevertheless be worse still for them in various ways. Not least, it is unconscionable that there’d be a huge swathe of folks who’d be second class citizens within their own country, denied all sorts of benefits, and likely even the right to vote for many as systemic disenfranchisement by lots of sneaky laws was only finally dissolved after the civil rights success, and all this based only on their skin colour. There’s a huge difference between a system where you have a chance of succeeding, and one in which the colour of your skin automatically means you can’t possibly succeed no matter what you do. And nor do we know that things will always and steadily get worse. While indeed a lot is not good, there have been ups and downs, and to think that some form of old style segregation (or survival of same from the past) could be a solution, is likewise unconscionable. Because it wasn’t ‘just’ segregation per se, it was literally treating one lot of citizens like dirt and the other like real people. This doesn’t mean that finding other solutions is easy, but hold in context that (despite a growing rich / poor gap and one in which the poor are all colours), the US is still one of the richest countries in the world and most of its population (again of all colours) still have a standard of living that is by world standards very high, plus for persons of colour this was something much harder to achieve in the past because they were systemically denied rights and opportunities. While less deliberate ways of losing (especially educational) opportunity may have appeared, they are still net better off. And as to new repressions of rights, per your example of no service in a restaurant, well two wrongs don’t make a right! This is just as wrong as the old-style repression of people of colour, and so needs to be fought against just as vigorously.

        “At what point would the U.S. economy have been hugely limited?”

        At the point where the rest of the world declared it a pariah state. If the civil rights had failed due to authorities in the south resisting it more fiercely, and the north plus federal authorities couldn’t or wouldn’t force the southern authorities to accept the changes, there’d either be another civil war, or if the situation limped along with big north / south friction but not actual war, the rest of the world would eventually start forcing the US, which is what happened to South Africa. Other countries would have benefited enormously from the US being economically held back this way, most notably Japan and Germany in early times, and later China would steal a much bigger march than now.

        I’m not saying there aren’t difficulties, in some areas ‘a mess’ even. But to look back at a deeply repressive past as a social or even combined social / economic benefit, whether this is via the civil rights movement never having succeeded, or being re-imposed (this is unimaginable, but if it was attempted would be pretty much a nuclear option; it is hard to imagine the US ever even surviving this in any recognisable form let alone thinking it could represent an improvement), is I believe just magical thinking. Some problems are hard, very hard. This is not an area I know a lot about, but the first step (and presumably there are already people doing this), is to measure everything, find out what’s actually going on with every social metric everywhere (and related to historic context for trajectory), then figure out from this rather than anecdotal data where to go next. It’s pretty much always been my experience that when you investigate some difficult social topic deeply, it turns out to be not at all what one thought, and with all sorts of layers and surprises one never expected at all. Possibly even the very opposite of expectations, for which I cite the whole climate change thing. I first started looking into the social side of this because I recognised some classic memes and presentation techniques within Al Gore’s video, which made me curious. And boy was I surprised!

  16. Roger Knights

    “But the IPCC science13b doesn’t support a high certainty of imminent (decades) global climate catastrophe. ”

    What about the recent IPCC 1.5 report, which is strikingly alarmist?

    • This doesn’t either; at the time of my last guest post here (November), which is only very shortly after SR15 came out, there was nevertheless some initial thoughts on this issue from our hostess plus Roger Pielke Jr, listed in one of the footnotes somewhere. There’s been more since, but I haven’t saved links.

  17. Pingback: Child prophets and proselytizers of climate catastrophe — Climate Etc. – Climate- Science

  18. Trotting out children is a last resort for those unable to make an argument based on logic and reason. The intent is unquestionably to use emotion in an attempt to squelch the opposition by insinuating a lack of concern about the future.

  19. Geoff Sherrington

    Robert I. Ellison | July 29, 2019 at 3:15 pm “This science also tells us that the rate of global environmental change is, so far, vastly outpacing our response and, thus, that our current path is unsustainable.”

    Andy, thank you for the essay. Apologies for this short O/T comment.

    Robert, your view, sadly, springs to a catastrophic theme without the usual courtesy of looking for balance.
    What if, as is sometimes the case, the actions of Man are highly beneficial by usual standards? Would it therefore be Sinful to note that although not sustainable, they might be welcomed? Why did you spring to such a negative future outlook? Why did you seemingly automatically assume that ‘not sustainable’ is a Bad? (In a long term, general analysis, all mineral extraction is eventually unsustainable because there are demonstrable limits to the quantity of each on Earth). Geoff S.

    • “If unchecked or unmitigated, these changes will retard or reverse progress towards broadly shared economic, social, environmental and developmental goals.”

      As opposed to Sherrington’s abject non sequitur – the potential exists to improve conditions of society and the natural world. As I have discussed previously at length. The laws of capitalism, small modular nuclear reactors, restoring soils and ecosystems, etc. Skeptic plan A has failed dismally – it’s time for an actually balanced plan B.

      https://judithcurry.com/2019/07/29/child-prophets-and-proselytizers-of-climate-catastrophe/#comment-896023
      https://judithcurry.com/2019/07/29/child-prophets-and-proselytizers-of-climate-catastrophe/#comment-896031

      Sustainable – btw – is defined as meeting the needs of the current generation while not reducing opportunities for the future.

      • Ellison, you conjecture: (1) there is a problem and (2) we can do something about it. Both require a leap of faith, as neither can be proven.
        Further, we must spend vast amounts of money to “ save the children” as the expenditures do not benefit anybody alive today.
        I propose a more logical approach: concentrate on wisely using energy and things will work out just fine.

      • You propose a blind leap, can’t see anything beyond carbon dioxide, seem to imagine that wind and solar are the only responses available to reduce emissions and that reducing and sequestering emissions won’t do anything. Have I got that ‘logical’ approach right?

      • Seems to me you are making a blind leap of faith that there is a problem and we can do something about it. I merely champion wisely using energy. Saves us money with happy by-product of less pollution. Technology innovation to make a profit. Tried and proven, not a leap of faith.
        However, that does not mean embracing technologies that cannot compete and must resort to forcing folks to subsidize Wall Street and utilities

      • We are quite obviously changing the composition of the atmosphere with little understanding of the outcomes for temperature, hydrology or biology. Hardly news – except to sky dragon slayers redefining physics.

        Electricity and heat is one aspect of the very real risk. .

        https://watertechbyrie.com/2018/06/18/synergistic-technologies-for-energy-futures/

        But there is much more.

        https://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/30/black-carbon-a-health-and-environment-issue/

        Simply repeating tired skeptic rhetoric doesn’t cut it.

      • Changing the composition of a trace gas CO2 may or may not be a problem nor do we know if we can do anything about it. Yet, we are suppose to spend trillions of dollars reducing a trace gas CO2. All this money spent with no benefit to anyone alive today.
        Better idea, use energy wisely and events will take care of themselves. CO2 (and pollution) will get reduced without going off the financial deep end. Refrain from scaring children and trotting them out before the cameras just to line the pockets of the elite.

      • Repeating empty skeptic rhetoric is politically a loser’s strategy. Most people are concerned about climate and are risk adverse. Quite rightly. I’m just suggesting you lift your game.

      • Point of fact: claims that rising CO2 is changing the climate are conjecture bordering on an act of faith. We have no way to accurately assess if higher CO2 is net bad or net good We have insufficient knowledge to make any accurate forecast on the planets future climate, or put any proper probability on the future.

        I noticed you have not refuted my observation that folks alive today (other than the elites) will not see any benefit from reducing CO2. Indeed, the poor and middle class just become poorer as the cost of energy skyrockets. Further, the world’s poor are suppose to remain poor, just so liberals can feel good about themselves.

      • I call sky dragon slayer – and we all know how pointless that is.

        And really – all I talk about is energy innovation and efficiency, restoring soils for food security and productivity, restoring and consrving ecosystems and reducing health damaging pollutants. In some detail. But if you are agin that – just say so.

      • John Ridgway

        Robert,

        “Most people are concerned about climate and are risk adverse.”

        The correct terminology is “risk averse”.

        You should take more care over such detail, especially when suggesting that others should lift their game.

      • Adverse implies a force of nature working against you. Averse that you don’t like cold porridge, Justin Bieber or English language pedants. Adverse seems a stronger form that is worth persisting with without risk of being misunderstood.

      • John Ridgway

        Robert,

        I can assure you that this is not a question of English language pedantry. Yes, ‘risk adverse’ is illiteracy but, more to the point, it is a technical error that no one with any grounding in the relevant subject matter would ever make. So what your slip-up tells me is that you are no expert on the subject you are pontificating upon. And yet you admonish others to up their game. As I said, you really do need to be more careful.

        And whilst were are on the subject, when it comes to climate, most people are uncertainty averse, not risk averse. More pedantry for you, I imagine.

      • Long winded trivia at best.

      • (and, robert, while yer at it, stop pickin’ on the one & only bieb… 😉)

      • John Ridgway

        “Long winded trivia at best.”

        Ah, now I can see what you meant by lifting one’s game – resort to a vacuous insult.

        You know, there was once a time when I earned good money teaching risk management principles to individuals who often, for whatever reason, failed to see the value. Fortunately, I’m retired now and so I can just walk away from the unappreciative.

        I owe you nothing, but I still wish you the best.

      • I have led risk assessment and management for multi billion dollars projects. So what?

      • John Ridgway

        Ah, the old “multi billion dollar project”. I wondered when that might get a mention.

      • “This pragmatic strategy centers on efforts to accelerate energy innovation, build resilience to extreme weather, and pursue no regrets pollution reduction measures — three efforts that each have their own diverse justifications independent of their benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation.” Quoted from – https://judithcurry.com/2011/07/31/climate-pragmatism/

        You seem to have missed the how and the why.

        https://cspo.org/research/implementing-climate-pragmatism-2/

  20. Pingback: Child prophets and proselytizers of climate catastrophe | Watts Up With That?

  21. Sounds like Greta’s having an effect.

  22. And no, your approach is not logical. Assumes we can theoretically fix a theoretical problem.

    • Even in the remote possibility that we are not changing climate – it can be fixed. Electricity is 25% of the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. A multi-gas and aerosol strategy is required – carbon dioxide. 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 Gigatonne (GtC) carbon has been lost from terrestrial systems since the advent of agriculture. More than all emissions ever from fossil fuels. ‘Soil is like a bank account – we must replace what we have removed.”

      Theory and practice is well advanced.

      • Robert

        You know I agree with you on soil. It must be 6 or 7 years since you wrote that piece for CE. It still seems to be a bit of a disregarded subject.

        As regards energy I remember advocating some 10 years ago that the western nations should create an Apollo or Cern type project attracting the best scientists and substantial funding for a defined time limited concerted project.

        Its purpose would be to investigate practical new forms of renewable energy, improve existing technology and to come up with viable batteries that would store surplus energy created when the weather gods are smiling on wind turbines or solar panels.

        tonyb

      • Soil restoration is unstoppable. JC keeps providing links as do I.

        e.g. http://africasoils.net/

        The kids love it. ‘Bioneers’ at work. Tell me this isn’t more fun than some crusty old white guys whining about the world at large?.

        But as we are looking for rapid deployment of commercially viable technology – I’d suggest business led with support for first of a kind prototypes. As is happening with SMR.

      • Robert

        You will remember I prompted you to write your excellent article as a result of reading a rather complex (to a non soil expert) book.

        Are you aware of any small book that outlines the problem, the amounts involved, general facts and figures, diagrams etc and the solution?

        Greta’s book comprises some 69 pages on one quarter of A4 and is highly repetitive. A similar sized pamphlet on soil would be very useful

        tonyb

      • Rattan Lal here gives some history as well. He says that the drawdown potential is 157 ppm CO2 by 2100.

      • Robert! stick to the very important topic instigated by Andy West, and don’t bring your private views trying to belittle the prblem opened by Andy, i.e. uggly misuse of children to promote adult agendas.

      • I suggest that what you find so important is reactive skeptic trivia that neglects the real state of the world for a groupthink obsession with climateball. The is not a hint of a positive agenda – which is what the children really need.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        It is not so simple. After you increase soil C overall, how do you maintain that higher level? Chances are that increased plant growth will be stripping out some of that extra C. Chances are that there is a global natural equilibrium to which soils move over the long term, unless managed. Management costs $$$. Where do the $$$ come from? Is this the best way to spend scarce $$$?
        I do not imagine that you have a model in your mind that, with little effort, vast tonnes of soil can be converted to higher C that is both stable and a permanent assist to agriculture. We both know that the situation is rather complex, but I do not see you expressing reservations about complexity very often. Sometimes you read as if some past allegiance to Green causes continues to taint your words, as by glossing over serious difficulties.
        Andy West is telling you that you are also doing that with regard to Greta, but your ears seem to be closed. Geoff S

      • A Rattan Lal video was linked just above. He and many others provide a solid scientific basis.

        https://seeedcollege.org/soil-carbon-sequestration-dr-rattan-lal-director-carbon-management-and-sequestration-center-ohio-state-university/

        There are many 1000’s of organizations and many millions of practitioners working on management practices that reverse the loss of carbon from soils and biomass. I can’t possibly list them all.

        But the information is there for any with a little effort.

        e.g. http://www.ccmaknowledgebase.vic.gov.au/brown_book/home.htm

        Among the most promising are simple methods of pasture management.

        Among the most inspiring is a million of these for half a billion people by 2040.


        https://www.excellentdevelopment.com/our-strategy

      • “Stereotyping leads members of the in-group to ignore or even demonize out-group members who may oppose or challenge the group’s ideas.” https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-groupthink-2795213

        Phil opts for groupthink.

  23. You all seem to assume that a 15 year old can’t weigh evidence or think for themselves. Young people think and learn faster than we do. They place a higher weighting on the future because they will be living in it. Their opinions are not coloured by decades of cognitive biases.

    • As the article (with support in the footnotes) points out, they are at best no less susceptible to cultural bias. And via the ‘template affinity’ plus regular indoctrination (not the aggressive type, mainly just constant reinforcing in their social environment), most likely considerably more so.

    • Simon

      Read her book and you will see she is another idealistic and naive child who has no idea of how the climate works and has simplistic ideas to ‘fix’ things that would destroy our civilisation if anyone were foolish enough to implement them.

      Again I repeat Mark Twain’s observation

      “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” This quote suits the arrogant know all Greta to a tee.

      The name of her book is ‘No one is no one is too small to make a difference’ published by Penguin in the UK at £2.99. No doubt if you are overseas a local publisher would have jumped on the green bandwagon.

      tonyb

    • The young are dependent for a much longer time than in previous centuries. They need to be able to feed and house themselves before they have any rights to tell their feeders and housers what to do. Catastophizing is one of the most destructive emotional states and leads to mental breakdown and passivity in the long run. Jordan Peterson’s advice, ‘Get your own house in order before saving the world’ is the antidote. Little Gretta has a lot of years ahead of her, and she needs to develop some more meaningful self efficacy to get through. Treating her as a child prophet will delay her becoming a productive adult, able to do things that could practically address the problems she blathers on about.

      Insofar as whether there needs to be major adjustments to the economies of the industrialized nations, the first thing this will do is harm the poorest nations. I remember the deadlines given over the past 30 years for total collapse of the world’s ecosystems, and new deadlines do not impress me. They are all built on the notion that we now understand how climate works, and there will be no further science, or at least science that fundamentally changes the story. It reminds me of my father at 90, university educated in the 1940’s who claimed there was no need for any further research: all was known when he went to school. The fact that he was 90 was a consequence of medical research, all post-dating his university days.

  24. Petter Tuvnes

    Unfair to compare Malala and Greta.
    Malala is a real victim (as pointed out in the article), and is fighting a real problem (education of girls in islamic countries)
    Greta is a spoiled believer of the religion of UN IPCC Pachauri.

  25. Pingback: Ilmasto katastrofin lapset profeettoina ja käännynnäisinä | Ilmastonmuutos ja riippumaton tiede

  26. From here , https://deepundergroundpoetry.com/poems/353368-childrens-crusade/ we have

    Children’s Crusade

    The first Children’s Crusade enslaved
    the gullible and dimwitted.
    But none of us – it seems – are saved
    from child soldier naifs, outwitted
    by propaganda of depraved
    greedy predators. Ill fitted
    is reason to hysteria –
    like talking to diphtheria.

    With sincerity beyond doubt,
    their decency is weaponised.
    The modern Fagin’s send them out
    to pick the pockets of the despised;
    with carbon trading there’s no lout
    to show the theft and be compromised.
    As to this rehearsal scheming –
    a prelude to taxing breathing.

    thought it might be of interest …

  27. My latest CFACT article.

    Guardian discovers skeptical climate videos, urges censorship
    https://www.cfact.org/2019/07/30/guardian-discovers-skeptical-climate-videos-urges-censorship/

  28. David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

    Re: Frightening our Children
    Andy West. Thanks for an interesting exploration on cultural trends. Your discussion particularly helpful in contrasting the pitches by Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg. However, you then cite secularists on: “instilling culturally approved fears is considered normative, to achieve desired social behavior, grant access to group benefits, and provide supposed cultural rewards. An example is scaring children about sin or Hell or the Crucifixion2, in order to reinforce Christian social behavior and introduce the partnering carrot of going to Heaven (instead of Hell) for conformance.”
    Your argument apparently rests on the presupposition that Christianity is but a cultural concoction for a social good. That logically fails by ignoring the objective historic eye witness evidence of Jesus’ resurrection. That reality of Jesus resurrection is detailed by numerous Christian apologists. E.g., see
    Josh McDowell in Evidence that Demands a Verdict. For more detail, see William Lane Craig in his 400 page doctoral dissertation, Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus, popular articles on Jesus’ Resurrection, scholarly writings on The Historical Jesus, posted on Reasonable Faith, and books.
    While some may use emotional arguments to encourage belief, please clarify your analysis to incorporate these detailed examinations of historical facts. I encourage you not to “throw the baby out with the bath water.”

    • Thanks for your comment, David. I was decades ago invited by friends to follow the religious trail, and came out a more confirmed atheist. I believe the overwhelming evidence does indeed point to Christianity being a ‘cultural concoction’ in the way that you term it. However, I don’t believe like Dawkins and others that this is a kind of abnormal delusive trait, but perfectly normal human behaviour.

      • David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

        Andy
        Have you actually studied the evidence and arguments for the resurrection? (vs just “the religious trail”?). Why did those who witnessed to seeing Christ continue to do so at the risk of their lives?
        I respectfully submit that the alternative is “Nature, Red in Tooth and Claw”, “Survival of the Fittest”, and the consequent logic that “Might Makes Right”. That justifies the 100 million killed by their own governments in the 20th century under Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc. See Black Book of Communism. That same methodology is now being applied as the underlying theme to “control Climate Change” (as an equivocation for Majority Anthropogenic Global Warming) with a target of universal global government.

      • David, cultures can very easily commit people to risking or taking their own lives, for instance from a different religion, and some extremist politics too, suicide bombers. ‘nature red in tooth and claw’ is a very old concept long updated, for instance via multi-level / group evolutionary theories, which among other things explain how gene-culture co-evolution led to benign mainstream religions that are a big net benefit to their hosts :) We’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

      • David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

        Andy Your approach still appears grounded on logical fallacy of your presuppositions begging the argument. On Jesus’ resurrection, it still sounds like you have avoided studying the evidence. On origins, have you seen the new integrated theory on complex specified information?
        Monta˜nez GD (2018) A Unified Model of Complex Specified Information. BIO-Complexity 2018 (4):1-26. doi:10.5048/BIO-C.2018.4.

        A mathematical theory of complex specified information is introduced which unifies several prior methods of computing specified complexity. Similar to how the exponential family of probability distributions have dissimilar surface forms yet share a common underlying mathematical identity,… we introduce canonical specified complexity models, for which one-sided conservation bounds are given, showing that large specified complexity values are unlikely under any given continuous or discrete distribution and that canonical models can be used to form statistical hypothesis tests, by bounding tail probabilities for arbitrary distributions.

      • David, overwhelming evidence from cultural evolutionary theory (with gene-culture co-evolution) plus related disciplines, can not only explain why we have religions, but the generic form / behaviours associated with them. I never saved a link, but I think the estimate of how many religions there have been throughout our development is around 100,000. Most of the adherents of these at the time no doubt strongly believed all sorts of arcane details that existed within the related cultural narratives. And while investigating the details of those we still have good information for, or indeed the small subset that are still active, such as Christianity, is no doubt interesting and useful, it’s also an endless task because they all put up ‘irrefutable’ evidence in support of their case, which is exactly what one would expect from being emotionally convinced. A bunch of other religions still alive today are in direct conflict with yours, and likewise offer reams of evidence that it is *their* case that must prevail. Life is too short to go down all these holes :) As to origins, there is still much territory to cover in biological evolution, and very likely vastly more in physics and maths, all of which can add to our understanding of origin. Newton believed he was uncovering God’s laws, and whether new maths, physics, biology, etc is uncovered in this kind of context, or in the context of atheist scientists, it’s all still good and useful.

      • David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

        Andy Your argument exposing the fallacies of catastrophic alarmists is interesting. Yet I still find your asserting cultural fallacies and associating them Christian foundations to be illogical. The religious belief of secular atheism is founded on assertions of chaotic creativity far greater than the objective facts of the resurrection. The specified complexity of the simplest reproducing living cell is far greater than the computing power of all particles in the universe at the fastest rate of inverse Planck time, extended over the age of the universe. That is enormously greater than the “overwhelming evidence from cultural evolutionary theory”. Thus I find you religious belief in the creative abilities of chaos to be foundationally incredible. Publications at Evolutionary Informatics provide the quantitative basis exposing the fallacies of neoDarwinist evolutionary theories.
        Best wishes on testing your beliefs against objective evidence and quantitative probabilities based on objective physical and chemical processes. David
        https://www.evoinfo.org/publications.html

      • Hmmm… well it’s still a developing art but cells can be simulated on an ordinary computer, which kind of implies no universe is required ;) There are new languages like ‘Mechanica’ to assist with this, and there’s even some freeware for simulating cells: https://www.easyfreeware.com/e-cell_system-133479-freeware.html

      • Andy The popular arm waving “overwhelming evidence” is negated by hard mathematics, and probabilities of chemical and biological processes.
        David Gelernter, a famed Yale University professor, has publicly renounced his belief in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, calling it a “beautiful idea” that has been effectively disproven.” See Gelernter’s Claremont article:
        Giving Up Darwin

        Yet there are many reasons to doubt whether (Darwin) can answer the hard questions and explain the big picture—not the fine-tuning of existing species but the emergence of new ones. The origin of species is exactly what Darwin cannot explain. . . .
        Stephen Meyer’s thoughtful and meticulous Darwin’s Doubt (2013) convinced me that Darwin has failed. He cannot answer the big question. Two other books are also essential: The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays (2009), by David Berlinski, and Debating Darwin’s Doubt (2015), an anthology edited by David Klinghoffer, which collects some of the arguments Meyer’s book stirred up. These three form a fateful battle group that most people would rather ignore. . . .
        The total count of possible 150-link chains, where each link is chosen separately from 20 amino acids, is 20^150. In other words, many. 20^150 roughly equals 10^195, and there are only 10^80 atoms in the universe.. . .
        t’s not surprising that your chances of hitting a stable protein that performs some useful function, and might therefore play a part in evolution, are even smaller. Axe puts them at 1 in 10^77.
        In other words: immense is so big, and tiny is so small, that neo-Darwinian evolution is—so far—a dead loss. Try to mutate your way from 150 links of gibberish to a working, useful protein and you are guaranteed to fail. . . .
        The odds against blind Darwinian chance having turned up even one mutation with the potential to push evolution forward are 10^40x(1/10^77)—10^40 tries, where your odds of success each time are 1 in 10^77—which equals 1 in 10^37. In practical terms, those odds are still zero. Zero odds of producing a single promising mutation in the whole history of life. Darwin loses.

        There is far greater improbability for a prior abiotic Origin Of Life.
        Gelernter’s probability analysis would be further amplified by the subsequent Cambrian Explosion.
        Correspondingly social arguments based on neoDarwinism though “beautiful” or widely assumed, are yet logically invalid.
        Thus I encourage you to develop arguments based on solid empirical reality, and not rely on unsupportable Darwinian social constructs.

        See David Gelernter Professor of Computer Science at Yale University.
        Best wishes on your hunt for truth and beauty.

      • David, I don’t buy Meyer’s sophistry and despite Gelernter (mistakenly imo) buys some of it, he nevertheless doesn’t actually believe this offers proof for intelligent design. The numbers above for a one-off jump to what we know now is irrelevant. Primitive replication engines work iteratively, amino acids form very easily from non-biological reactions, even for simple forms billions of combinations of peptides are workable, which over a couple of billion years and practically uncountable reactions per second throughout the soup of the early earth, means viable life is much more likely than not. We are way off topic here, time to stop.

  29. Interesting article, Andy,

    I wonder what is with young females that makes them powerful amplifiers of mass hysteria.

    Besides the cases of Greta Thunberg and Nongqawuse, there are plenty more: Elizabeth Hubbard and Ann Putnam Jr. that started the Salem witch trials accusations, and Lúcia dos Santos that directed the Marian apparitions at Fátima are also famous cases.

    In every single case the problem is with the adults paying undue attention to teenagers fantasies because they share the same concerns. The teenagers are not responsible, as it is through the acts of the adults that the effect takes place.

    We should ignore Greta Thunberg as to follow her advice is the problem, not the solution.

    • Thanks, Javier.

      “I wonder what is with young females that makes them powerful amplifiers of mass hysteria”

      I was struck by this aspect too. Footnote 19 makes brief comment on the prevalence of females figureheads in millenarianism, and apparently this has not been given due scholarly attention. Part of the leverage children get is because they are socially protected, and maybe we just consider girls to be even more socially protected than boys; perhaps it’s as simple as that.

    • Javier, it must have been one hell of a fantasy that Lucy had that it would ultimately be shared with 70,000 people:

      http://crc-internet.org/our-doctrine/catholic-counter-reformation/whole-truth-fatima/10-the-dance-of-the-sun-october-13/

      You might find this whole work of Frere Michel’s quite interesting as you essentially live at ground zero of this whole fatima affair — the iberian peninsula. Makes for very good reading and at least you’ll know a little something about that which you criticize. In the future you might want to abstain from lumping lucy in with the rest. As well as joan of arc, margaret mary, bernadette and faustina for that matter. Though they weren’t all children, they may well all have had similar experiences to those of Lucy. (you can’t rule out the possibility that these women actually were authentic christian mystics)…

      • Afonzarelli,

        I am not criticizing, but merely describing. There is a clear difference among these cases. Nongqawuse and the Salem children advocated a course of action that was clearly damaging to people. Greta advocates a course of action that is very uncertain in economical terms and if wrong could also hurt a lot of people. Lúcia dos Santos advocated a course of action (praying and having faith) that could not hurt anybody.

        Nevertheless, they share a superstitious element, they all saw apparitions according to their beliefs. Nongqawuse her ancestors, including a death uncle that was identified by another uncle. The salem children saw what is called spectral evidence, apparitions that were considered as evidence that the accused had been complicit with the Devil. Lúcia saw the Holy Virgin.

        There was also a great deal of distress in society at the time. The Xhosa suffered colonial attacks by Great Britain and an European cow disease was ravaging through their livestock. Salem village was apparently under a great deal of distress from internal strife with added family feuds and rife with rumours of witchcraft. And the European society of 1917 was afflicted by the first world war, the worst war until then.

        As a raised and cultural catholic I am sympathetic to the Fatima apparitions, but as an agnostic scientist I must maintain my neutrality.

        Now going into “The sun dance” at Fátima, it is clear that it did not affect the sun or it would have been seen at half of the globe. What is left is either mass hysteria or an atmospheric phenomenon.

        Wirowski, A. (2012). Modelling of the phenomenon known as “the miracle of the Sun” as the reflection of light from ice crystals oscillating synchronously. Journal of Modern Physics, 3(03), 282.

        https://file.scirp.org/pdf/JMP20120300012_54732598.pdf

      • afonzarelli

        Thus, before all else Fatima imposes upon us the question of its veracity. And here, we must be insistent: its veracity stems neither from sentiment, nor from faith or even from devotion: but first of all from verifiable historical facts. This is the spirit in which we have undertaken and conducted this whole study.

        Javier, the above are the last few words to the forward of michel’s three volume work. i think you might find it a very interesting and enjoyable read, if only to uncover what exactly fatima was and actually appears to represent. (ordinarily i wouldn’t recommend it, but found it to be so thoroughly and well done that i make the exception here) And if i was spanish and living in spain, as you are, then i would find it oh so much more compelling than reading it from here, across the pond(!) i hope that you at least bookmark it, save it for a rainy day, because true or false it’s one hell of a fascinating read. Especially so with the historical back drop of early twentieth century europe…

        Nevertheless, they share a superstitious element, they all saw apparitions according to their beliefs… …Lúcia saw the Holy Virgin.

        But, here Lucy also has a proof of her apparitions, the requested miracle of the sun. (she asked the apparition for this proof months in advance) Furthermore, the claims of the word of the apparition would have been unknown to a ten year old girl. The rise and fall of the soviet empire, the outbreak of a greater war (than wwi) in the reign of pius xi & after the night of the unknown light. Can these be held in the same light as the examples that you sight? Further still, Lucy had continuing apparitions (as well as revelations) later on as a nun. This would not be unlike so many other christian mystics throughout the course of history. Her case being unusual in that she started out so young. i just don’t see how you can make an equivalency here with the others. And lastly, of course she saw an apparition according to her beliefs. The context here was that of portugal, terra de santa maria. (doubtful that the virgin mary would appear in such a way to protestant england… 😉)

        Now going into “The sun dance” at Fátima, it is clear that it did not affect the sun or it would have been seen at half of the globe. What is left is either mass hysteria or an atmospheric phenomenon.

        Or it was truly miraculous. (why impose such limits on God?) This whole episode of Fatima, if true, is in itself miraculous. The apparition appears and speaks with just one seer. She appears and is heard by another. She appears, but is not heard by a third. Many witnesses neither saw nor heard, but witness accompanying phenomenon. (showers of roses, mysterious cloud, luminous globe) Still others saw nothing at all. We can’t rule out the possibility, at least, of the miraculous. Such is the nature of divine communications throughout the history of the church, even up to this very day…

    • “I wonder what is with young females that makes them powerful amplifiers of mass hysteria.”

      Testosterone and an overactive amygdala at the expense of the prefrontal cortex. Physical symptoms may include a deeper voice, smaller boobs, a receding hairline, and they may need to shave a bit.

    • The amygdala develops earlier in females than males, and I would not be surprised if exposing them to a continual catastrophe narrative would compromise their prefrontal cortex. A mass dumbing down by adversely affecting their brain structure. Like a stupidity plague, with the afflicted marking themselves with an X.

  30. See
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-co2-derangement-syndrome-millennial.html
    Some quotes:
    “A very large majority of establishment academic climate scientists have succumbed to a virulent infectious disease – the CO2 Derangement Syndrome. Those afflicted by this syndrome present with a spectrum of symptoms .The first is an almost total inability to recognize the most obvious Millennial and 60 year emergent patterns which are trivially obvious in solar activity and global temperature data. This causes the natural climate cycle variability to appear frightening and emotionally overwhelming. Critical thinking capacity is badly degraded. The delusionary world inhabited by the eco-left establishment activist elite is epitomized by Harvard’s Naomi Oreskes science-based fiction, ” The Collapse of Western-Civilization: A View from the Future” Oreskes and Conway imagine a world devastated by climate change. Intellectual hubris, confirmation bias, group think and a need to feel at once powerful and at the same time morally self-righteous caused those worst affected to convince themselves, politicians, governments, the politically correct chattering classes and almost the entire UK and US media that anthropogenic CO2 was the main climate driver. This led governments to introduce policies which have wasted trillions of dollars in a quixotic and futile attempt to control earth’s temperature by reducing CO2 emissions…………..Apocalyptic forecasts are used as the main drivers of demands for action and for enormous investments such as those in the new IPCC SR1.5 report and in the work of Nordhaus who advocates a carbon tax .Nordhaus is quoted in the NYT as saying “If we start moving very swiftly in the next 20 years, we might able to avoid 2 degrees, but if we don’t do that, we’re in for changes in the Earth’s system that we can’t begin to understand in depth. Warming of 4, 5, 6 degrees will bring changes we don’t understand because it’s outside the range of human experience in the last 100,000 to 200,000 years……………….Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed taxing the wealthy as high as 70% to fund a climate change plan she’s pushing called the “Green New Deal.” She also says “The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change”……………… fortunately, Reality is finally beginning to intrude upon the dangerous global warming meme.
    Curry, 2017 in “Climate Models for the layman” says:
    “GCMs are not fit for the purpose of attributing the causes of 20th century warming or for predicting global or regional climate change on time scales of decades to centuries, with any high level of confidence. By extension, GCMs are not fit for the purpose of justifying political policies to fundamentally alter world social, economic and energy systems………………Page, 2017 in “The coming cooling: usefully accurate climate forecasting for policy makers.” said:
    ” This paper argued that the methods used by the establishment climate science community are not fit for purpose and that a new forecasting paradigm should be adopted.”
    The reality is that Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between various quasi-cyclic processes of varying wavelengths.
    It is not possible to forecast the future unless we have a good understanding of where the earth is in relation to the current phases of these different interacting natural quasi-periodicities which fall into two main categories.
    a) The orbital long wave Milankovitch eccentricity,obliquity and precessional cycles which are modulated by
    b) Solar “activity” cycles with possibly multi-millennial, millennial, centennial and decadal time scales.
    When analyzing complex systems with multiple interacting variables it is useful to note the advice of Enrico Fermi who reportedly said “never make something more accurate than absolutely necessary”. The 2017 paper proposed a simple heuristic approach to climate science which plausibly proposes that a Millennial Turning Point (MTP) and peak in solar activity was reached in 1991,that this turning point correlates with a temperature turning point in 2003/4, and that a general cooling trend will now follow until approximately 2650.
    The establishment’s dangerous global warming meme, the associated IPCC series of reports ,the entire UNFCCC circus, the recent hysterical IPCC SR1.5 proposals and Nordhaus’ recent Nobel prize are founded on two basic errors in scientific judgement. First – the sample size is too small. Most IPCC model studies retrofit from the present back for only 100 – 150 years when the currently most important climate controlling, largest amplitude, solar activity cycle is millennial. This means that all climate model temperature outcomes are too hot and likely fall outside of the real future world. (See Kahneman -. Thinking Fast and Slow p 118) Second – the models make the fundamental scientific error of forecasting straight ahead beyond the Millennial Turning Point (MTP) and peak in solar activity which was reached in 1991.These errors are compounded by confirmation bias and academic consensus group think.
    See the Energy and Environment paper The coming cooling: usefully accurate climate forecasting for policy makers.http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0958305X16686488
    and an earlier accessible blog version at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-coming-cooling-usefully-accurate_17.html See also https://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2018/10/the-millennial-turning-point-solar.html
    and the discussion with Professor William Happer at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2018/02/exchange-with-professor-happer-princeton.html

  31. Andy

    When you wrote of ‘The Childrens crusade’ I thought you meant the two that took place in 1212Ad but you obviously didn’t

    “The second movement was led by a twelve-year-old[ French shepherd boy named Stephen of Cloyes, who said in June that he bore a letter for the king of France from Jesus. Large gangs of youth around his age were drawn to him, most of whom claimed to possess special gifts of God and thought themselves miracle workers.

    Attracting a following of over 30,000 adults and children, he went to Saint-Denis, where he was reported to cause miracles. On the orders of Philip II, advised by the University of Paris, the people were implored to return home. Philip himself did not appear impressed, especially since his unexpected visitors were led by a mere child, and refused to take them seriously. ……..Although the Church was sceptical, many adults were impressed by his teaching”

    seems like Children have been crusading for years and a few gullible adults were taken in. The children’s crusades eventually ended in failure.

    tonyb

    • Thanks Tony. It is indeed a common theme in history, yet not all children’s protests are cultural in nature, which is why I picked the 1963 crusade as a comparative case. It’s important to know what the markers are that say which is which. For cases that are cultural, which are repetitive enough to suggest this is indeed deeply buried behaviour in humanity, as you note leadership may not always be impressed; this depends upon the extent to which they themselves have been culturally primed (and so could be shamed) before the movement presents its demands. 30,000 people for that age is a heck of a lot of people (very hard indeed even to feed them on the move). Looks like from this example Philip didn’t fall for it, which was no doubt very lucky regarding the fate of most of the followers.

      • P.S. also because some have been comparing children’s strikes and XR to the civil rights movements of the past.

      • Since people deviated from your very important narrative on child abuse through scaring, so please forgive me because I will also take a short detour from your very special topic and step outside into the IPCC realm.

        Several commentators referred to the IPCC, so I want to point out that the latest WG1 report https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf clearly states in FAQ page 666 that CO2 is NOT the main greenhouse gas. IT IS WATER VAPOUR!

        However, to keep the IPCC CO2 scare alive, the CO2 is given a new role. It is said to be the Climate Control Knob. What this means is that a small rise in CO2 will increase evaporation and thus the warming is caused by the very potent greenhouse gas called H2O. This is naturally only a poor excuse to continue demonizing the crucial gas required by all living things.

      • “…so please forgive me because I will also take a short detour…”

        No worries, Boris, and thanks for your compliments :)

  32. It’s not child abuse because, AGW alarmism is a creation of Western science– it’s not unusual for people who have everything to hold erroneous beliefs compared to the rest of the world or anyone who has ever lived for that matter. That is why skeptics believe in the scientific method.

  33. That a child is taken seriously on her views and recommendations involving a complicated subject like climate science and that child shows no indications of a prodigy who has the intellectual capabilities and skills of a scientist or at least one who can readily comprehend the science says nothing about the child’s culpability in the matter or the validity of her notions, but it does say a whole lot about those who might use what she says to promote an agenda.

  34. Greta Thunberg plans to sail to the US East coast; maybe she can later continue to Australia to have a one on one with Robert…..

  35. As a small child in wartime England, I had a Mickey Mouse gas mask. Sadly, it got left behind in a house move.

  36. Despite Matthew’s catastrophe is not necessarily catastrophic – or Andy’s uncertainty is not high certainty – climate surprises are inevitable. Especially at times when the system is being forced to change most rapidly. (NAS, 2002) No discontinuous abstraction – but history repeating.

    I haven’t read Greta’s book or listened to interviews – she is almost a complete mystery to me. But I find the spectacle of grumpy old men trolling a child disgraceful. Is it because she is more on the right side of science – and far more influential – than the perennial catastrophe narrative from skeptics?

    I started at the top with a quote from the grand challenges of Earth system science. 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. Dimensions that remain lamentably invisible to climateballers.

    • the perennial catastrophe narrative from skeptics?

      An 180 degree twist of actual positions. Mann would be proud of you – upside down company.
      It is the alarmists who have the perennial catastrophe narrative.

    • A perennial talking point for both sides. Not immediately obvious to rusted on skeptics?

    • Robert I Ellison: Despite Matthew’s catastrophe is not necessarily catastrophic – or Andy’s uncertainty is not high certainty – climate surprises are inevitable.

      A total non-sequitur. Is a disastrous tornado demolishing the businesses on main street in a small Oklahoma town explainable as a jump discontinuity in phase space? Maybe, but no one has shown it.

      Again, your paraphrase of what I have written is backwards. I have written that what is catastrophic (in the shared or measured world) is not necessarily explainable as a mathematical catastrophe (a jump discontinuity in phase space.)

      Your writing is not merely arrogant and insulting, but sloppy.

      • A regime shift in climate is identifiable as persistent changes in means and variance. But you conflate two strands. The first that this metatheory of catastrophe in which catastrophe is not necessarily catastrophic. A direct quote. The other that multiple lines of data on the history of abrupt change in climate in the AIP link I provided was irrelevant unless it can be modeled as a nonlinear system.

        I discussed a few nonlinear ‘models’. Poincare’s Hamiltoniam, Micheal Ghil’s 1-D climate model and Tsonis’ network model. Then there was Mojib Latif’s haindcast of the 1976/1977 and 1998/2001 Pacific climate shifts. And hysteresis in the eddy resolving cloud model discussed. And the list of approaches to nonlinearity in hydrology in another paper quoted and linked. Another approach is to use data as boundary conditions in coupled ocean/atmosphere models.

        https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016GL071978

        https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00247.1

        https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1029/2009GL042239

        And a brand new one I haven’t read yet. Andy might have a problem with all this dangnabbed new fangled science.

        https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/7/eaax0087

        Then there are the big data approaches to fine scale modeling.

        Even your Tornado in Oklahoma was long ago shown to be turbulently chaotic – the butterfly’s wings – in a physical model. “In the late 1950s, a group in Chicago carried out tabletop “dishpan” experiments using a rotating fluid to simulate the circulation of the atmosphere. They found that a circulation pattern could flip between distinct modes.” What are you looking for? The origin of every turbulent eddy? A spectacularly absurd proposition.

        You approach is superficial. You fail to do the reading and thinking required and spout off the top of your head motivated skeptic reasoning. Much of it seemingly aimed at disputation on personal trivia with me. Then you accuse me of being arrogant and insulting for not taking you at your own exalted estimation. So be it.

      • Robert I Ellison: The first that this metatheory of catastrophe in which catastrophe is not necessarily catastrophic. A direct quote.

        You are seriously confused.

      • “Even a “catastrophe” need not have “catastrophic” consequences.”

        So here is a direct quote.

      • Robert I Ellison: “Even a “catastrophe” need not have “catastrophic” consequences.”

        So here is a direct quote.

        See, you confounded the two senses of “catastrophe”, real world damage and mathematical abstraction, that I distinguished.

        You are seriously confused.

      • Climate shifts may not be catastrophic bur they sure as hell can be.

        You confuse sophistry with substance.

    • “or Andy’s uncertainty is not high certainty”

      As finally established between us in the thread above, I nowhere address scientific uncertainties, but *cultural* certainty (a feature that itself is not a product of reason).

      • You find that that there is no ‘high certainty’ of imminent catastrophe by reference to the
        ‘orthodox science’ of AR5.

        I submit that there is no ‘high certainty’ that there isn’t imminent risk of climate catastrophe by reference to climate data and theory. Thus your thesis – the skeptic meme of not catastrophe – evaporates.

        You may imagine something was settled – but it seems to me more motivated reasoning than in accord with ‘orthodox science’. .

      • Robert,

        “I submit that there is no ‘high certainty’ that there isn’t imminent risk of climate catastrophe by reference to climate data and theory. Thus your thesis – the skeptic meme of not catastrophe – evaporates.”

        Once again you are completely upon the wrong trail. I have made no judgement on the science whatsoever, and as clearly stated above, merely note that AR5 does not support the *cultural* certainty of imminent global catastrophe, a notion you agree is ‘misguided’. I have not made any statement about the science beyond this observation, whether for or against the skeptical, orthodox, lukewarmer or catastrophe positions as defined by their various evidences. I do *not have* any thesis on the physical science of the climate system, only on *cultural* features within the domain, of which one is a narrative of certain and imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet, which is emergent via emotive selection and not owed to any to the science positions. Your submission may or may not be true, I’ve no idea and I’ve made no position on same. Robert, we’ve already been through all this above, which readers can clearly see. Why do you insist on resetting to zero? Why do you insist upon ascribing to people positions they don’t hold (i.e. even after clear explanation)? What possible aim is their behind such erosive tactics? Every time you do something like this, you help negate all the positive contributions you’ve made here, and ultimately if continued this will do great damage to the science you purport to support, by association with such rudeness that can only encourage the worst kind of engagement.

      • “But the IPCC science13b doesn’t support a high certainty of imminent (decades) global climate catastrophe. ”
        This is incorrect. What science supports is uncertainty. And after offering a more inspiring narrative for children – https://judithcurry.com/2019/07/29/child-prophets-and-proselytizers-of-climate-catastrophe/#comment-896023 – that was the second thing I said.

        I suggest you keep walking it back to the logical conclusion.

      • “This is incorrect.”

        As I have made extremely clear multiple times, the certainty is in the context of a *cultural* certainty of an imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet, which notion you noted was ‘misguided’, which indeed is to say not supported by science. Are you now going to argue against yourself? As well as bizarrely continuing to insist that I have some thesis about the physical science? I have *no* thesis about the physical science, only the cultural features of the domain.

        “What science supports is uncertainty.”

        I have made no statement regarding what it does support. Only that AR5 does not support the cultural certainty of imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet, which notion indeed you called ‘misguided’. If you’ve changed your mind since only yesterday, and now think it is not misguided, and *is* supported by AR5, please point out where.

      • Can you really not see that certainty – skeptic or alarmist – is what is not possible? It is what I actually said and from which you extricate a sentence from its context.

      • Can’t you see (especially after I have stressed this several times) that I don’t have any ‘thesis’ about the physical science whatsoever? Including with regard to any ‘skeptic certainty’, however such a concept may be expressed by others and via whatever physical science / maths / logic premise (plus whether considered right or wrong or unproven / speculative by whichever groups), such others are using to form it.

        You: Your theory (of the physical science) is wrong due to X,Y.
        Me: I have no theory of the physical science. I have theory of the culture, of which a certainty of imminent doom is an emergent feature not derived from science, and which indeed is not supported by mainstream / AR5.
        You: Yeah, whatever regarding your culture thing, yeah imminent doom is a misguided concept. But your theory of the physical science is wrong and evaporates because of X,Y!
        Me: I don’t have a theory of the physical science.
        You: Can’t you see that your theory of the physical science (based upon whatever maths / logic) is obviously wrong / flawed because of X,Y.
        Me: I don’t have a theory of the damn physical science!
        (Repeat over two days, without any evidence of said theory).

        Robert, this is not a valid line of argument. It is simply psychological aggression, somewhere in the gas-lighting spectrum. Anything you express via such a technique is automatically void, simply because it is not valid engagement. So along the way, those useful things you have to offer are all sadly lost too, because this is just baseless attack which voids the whole content.

      • You keep going around in long winded circles.

        “But the IPCC science13b doesn’t support a high certainty of imminent (decades) global climate catastrophe.”

        This statement I said is incorrect.

      • ‘ “But the IPCC science13b doesn’t support a high certainty of imminent (decades) global climate catastrophe.”
        This statement I said is incorrect.’

        This statement, as expressed within the head post plus reinforced in comments, is in the context of a *cultural* certainty of imminent (decades) end of civilisation / life / the planet. Yesterday, you said this notion was ‘misguided’, and did not indicate disagreement regarding a lack of support in AR5. So, today, if you now think this misguided notion of a certainty of imminent (decades) end of civilisation / life / the planet *is* supported by AR5, can you please point to where this support is expressed.

      • It is a contorted, motivated construct you repeat. Science doesn’t support a high certainty of anything. So really this cultural narrative you are so fond of narrating about at great and dithering length – could be objectively true?

        But seriously – there is nothing more to be said on this – as you have convincingly demonstrated. 😉

      • Robert,

        “It is a contorted, motivated construct you repeat. Science doesn’t support a high certainty of anything.”

        Grrrr… once again, I do *not have* any theory of the physical science of climate! And this sentence is extremely loose, because ‘science’ on its own would really refer to *all* science, meaning a claim something like there isn’t a high certainty of an object falling in Earth’s gravitational field, which is what Newton’s science says. Or that there’s no high certainty about natural selection being a major driver of speciation and species characteristics, which is what Darwin’s science says. This is a ridiculous stance, so you should be much clearer about what you really mean.

        “So really this cultural narrative you are so fond of narrating about at great and dithering length – could be objectively true?”

        No. The process via which strong cultural narratives emerge is incompatible with reality. Hence they’re typically nonsense, anything from religious fairy tales to way OTT exaggerations. Strong belief bypasses reason (the mechanisms arising via long gene / culture co-evolution).

        “But seriously – there is nothing more to be said on this – as you have convincingly demonstrated.”

        And handy confirmation that the particular cultural narrative expressing an
        imminent (decades) end of civilisation / life / the planet due to ACO2, is indeed way OTT, is provided by mainstream science per the IPCC / AR5, which doesn’t support this notion. And indeed lukewarmer plus skeptical science don’t support this notion either, so all three camps agree that it is wrong. You haven’t demonstrated the ‘red herring’ you claimed, or indeed that the ‘misguided’ (your word) notion of a certainty of imminent (decades) end of civilisation / life / the planet, is supported by AR5.

  37. Bill Fabrizio

    Andy West, an absolutely brilliant sociological piece. If I might be permitted a gross simplification, all scientific theories require some degree of cultural narrative to be fully accepted as cultural norms. Science trades in material descriptions. Cultural narrative trades in emotion/belief. As scientific theories approach extremely high probability (relativity or evolution), they require less narrative. Or, the less probability a scientific theory/hypothesis can posit, the greater the cultural narrative required becoming a cultural norm.
    I really enjoyed it.

    • Thanks Bill, much appreciated. And your rule of thumb is a good one, which is why it’s important to know how mature a science is that claims something. I’d only add to your rule that there is ‘cultural inertia’ too, so that if cultural narratives became really entrenched *before* scientific theories approach or reach their high probability of being true, then even at or long after this point cultural narratives that clash with them can sometimes still present much resistance within populations, e.g. the continued prevalence of creationism in the US today despite the long established reality of evolution.

      • Bill Fabrizio

        You are spot on, once again. My statement was an instant in time. As time moves cultural narratives mix, not only with each other but with new information from science, amongst other variables. And so it is quite difficult to predict where narratives will go, as culture can be chaotic. In a way, as I’d like to think Dr. Curry saw, this is an interesting model not just to view the climate change narrative, but maybe in a way climate science, as well. Meaning, there’s so much more to learn as time goes on. That is, if a narrative doesn’t get in the way. Thanks, Andy!

  38. Paul Ehrlich said the children would starve to death in the United States in the 1980s. The eco-doomsday narrative has a poor track record.
    If you love your children, do something about deficit spending and set policy such that the economy provides them a better lifestyle than today. Current climate campaigning intentionally fails both of those requirements.

  39. Andy,

    Thanks for the article. Another well-researched and thought-provoking piece, if I may say so.

    One thing that strikes me regarding the Greta phenomenon is the willingness of the adult world to abdicate moral authority to the innocence of youth. There is more than a hint of romanticising going on here – something along the lines of “it takes a straight-talking innocent to bring is all to our senses”. It’s a very powerful trope. But, of course, none of this has happened by accident. A lot of smart people have been playing the long game to bring this about. Yes it is culture at work, but it is a culture that has been grown in a well-seeded petri dish.

    • Many thanks, John, appreciated.

      “It’s a very powerful trope.”
      Yes you’re dead right, and appears to have been circling throughout history despite being entirely wrong. There’s a set of ‘core emotive memes’ that are false but continuously recycle (often with a slight new coat of paint each time that makes them appear more relevant again), which I keep meaning to try and collect, but have never found the time. It’s surprising how much social behaviour these still seem to drive.

      Regarding your smart people, it’s hard to separate cause from effect. I tend to take the view that cultural conviction enslaves reason (mostly) rather than (mostly) the other way around. So even people playing conscious long games would be doing this ultimately because of belief (notwithstanding freeloading too, and scammers hiding under the skirts of a powerful culture). Studies / data that may show this to be true or otherwise are hard to come by and not always very definitive, but over a long time evidence seems to me to lean that way. Dan Kahan’s work shows that for the US public, polarization between Reps and Dems on culturally conflicted issues (of which climate change is one such measured) is *more* not less as cognitive capability and domain literacy rise on a composite scale. This is the opposite to what one would expect from more reasoning capability and enabling on both sides, converging to a single ‘truth’. It suggests indeed that these capabilities are in service to belief, and more skill plus knowledge will serve the belief better. Yet elite folks (those who may be playing long-term power games) are not included in the measurement samples of course, so the question is would they measure the same or not? In practice maybe some of both can happen too; the lifetimes of any planners / plotters are for instance fleeting inside the span of a mainstream religion for instance; they cannot possibly forsee a multi-millennia long trajectory. But this may be a different matter for group-think within a company leadership cabal, for instance.

    • Bother, reply just dropped into moderation, hopefully it’ll be out soon…

    • John Ridgway: One thing that strikes me regarding the Greta phenomenon is the willingness of the adult world to abdicate moral authority to the innocence of youth. There is more than a hint of romanticising going on here – something along the lines of “it takes a straight-talking innocent to bring is all to our senses”.

      Immortalized to widespread acclaim in “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”

  40. afonzerelli, a quick fyi. That wall in Detroit was a 1/2 mile long wall on 8 Mile Road. A little information here. http://www.detroiturbex.com/content/neighborhoods/8milewall/index.html
    Mayor Coleman Young famously told muggers and bad guys to “hit 8 mile Road” (where city of Detroit ends/suburban Detroit begins) . 8 Mile also immortalized in song/movie by Eminem.

  41. Excellent and very dense article. When we turn our children into political pawns we are depriving them of their childhood. I remember years ago walking through Berkeley and seeing a table set up to protest rape and sexual crimes. Young girls of maybe 12 were on duty handing out leaflets. I mentioned to the woman I was with about how tragic it was that these girls were not out playing with their friends having fun. I said children should not be turned into political tools of politically active adults. She disagreed with me. She thought it was good for them.

  42. “By the 20th century, scientists had rejected old tales of world catastrophe, and were convinced that global climate could change only gradually over many tens of thousands of years. But in the 1950s, a few scientists found evidence that some changes in the past had taken only a few thousand years. During the 1960s and 1970s other data, supported by new theories and new attitudes about human influences, reduced the time a change might require to hundreds of years. Many doubted that such a rapid shift could have befallen the planet as a whole. The 1980s and 1990s brought proof (chiefly from studies of ancient ice) that the global climate could indeed shift, radically and catastrophically, within a century — perhaps even within a decade.”
    https://history.aip.org/climate/rapid.htm

    Chaos theory defines the behavior of complex dynamical systems in terms of discontinuous differential functions. But it is always climate data that is the compelling argument.
    The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002. A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations. A new science paradigm is one that better explains data – in this case climate data – than the old theory. The new theory says that climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain. Climate is a coupled, nonlinear system – as revealed by climate data.

    Chaos is not fringe science, a competing ideology or a disconnected abstraction. As shown in the AIP link – it underlies every 21st idea of climate dynamics. Abrupt climate change is more common when the system is forced to change most rapidly (NAS, 2002).

    • Not only scientists began to realise catastrophic destructions occurred. The archaeologist Claude F A Schaeffer, by 1942, had come to the conclusion that the destructions and terminal ends of various civilisations came to an end abruptly, from natural disasters, and not as was always being said, from human warfare. As happens many times he was ignored.

      Above, other have been talking on ‘cultural inertia’. It took a long time for archaeology to come to terms with the evidence of natural destructions. It has taken even more time -due to cultural inertia- to begin to see that climate had something to do with it.

    • Robert
      You are using chaos theory of attractor – driven rapid state transitions as a catastrophist argument. But you are doing this in a very general arm-waving manner. Where is the specific precedent in climate history, or analogous experimental system, that shows how that could happen?

      Attractors can work the opposite way – holding the system by internal adaptation at a more or less fixed point in resistance to changing parameters. Miskolczi’s mechanism of adaptation of emission height in response to CO2 change is an example of this.

      Lyapunov stability is the critical parameter of a nonlinear-chaotic system in terms of how firmly it is planted in a particular phase space and resistant to being moved (as set out in his original work “ob ustoichivosti dvizhenniye” (on the stability of movement). We need to have an idea of the Lyapunov exponent and stability before proposing that a system state is unstable and susceptible to rapid flipping to another attractor.

      • phil salmon
        In reply to your last sentence I suggest what you need is evidence. Try this : https://melitamegalithic.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/searching-evidence-5-tectonic-rotations/

      • The AIP_link I provided shows the history of abrupt changes in climate. Chaos is a metatheory – not to be confused with metaphysical waffle.

      • melitamegalithic: https://melitamegalithic.wordpress.com/2019/02/03/searching-evidence-5-tectonic-rotations/

        How does that show flipping from one attractor to another attractor? All it says is that the ball bearing model is accurate.

      • Robert I Ellison: The AIP_link I provided shows the history of abrupt changes in climate. Chaos is a metatheory – not to be confused with metaphysical waffle.

        a set of “Possibilities and Analogies”, as I wrote. No analogy yet shown to be an accurate representation of any climate process. Not beyond the “hand-waving” stage of exposition. For example, there is no empirical showing that any feature of any of the abrupt changes in the AIP link corresponds to a feature of mathematical chaos. “Abrupt” merely means faster than expected (as explained in the text at the link.)

      • Robert
        Lyapunov stability is not metaphysical waffle. It’s just something you don’t know about, even though it’s critical to the argument you are making (trying to rescue the catastrophe narrative with nonspecific chaos waffle).

        https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0167278985900119

      • You can talk Lyapunov spectrum all you like. But applying it to climate is a problem orders of magnitude more difficult than mathematical exercises with defined functions. Are these manifestations of temporal chaos applicable at all?

        “There is something much more complicated and qualitatively radically different from the temporal (Lorenzinan) chaos – the spatio-temporal chaos. There is no established spatio-temporal chaos theory. It is cutting edge and a few people have worked on this only for a few decades. Spatio-temporal chaos deals with the dynamics of SPATIAL PATTERNS. Mathematically we deal with fields described by non linear PDEs; Navier Stokes equation is an example.
        Spatio-temporal chaos is as far from the temporal chaos theory as QM is from classical mechanics.

        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.” Tomas Milanovic

      • We can definitely agree that not enough has been done to study and understand spatiotemporal chaos. Far too much climate narrative is conducted without any consideration of nonlinear-chaotic dynamics. The problem extends far beyond climate science – the discoveries of the likes of Turing, Mandelbrot, Feigenbaum, Prigogine etc. have been largely overlooked and neglected in many scientific fields where they should be playing a key role.

        The whole mathematical apparatus has to be invented from scratch and it will take decades.

        Exactly. Time to get started.

        To know the state of the system, we must know all the fields at all points – this is an uncountable infinity of dimensions.

        That statement is correct of full blown chaos, such as fluid turbulence. However it is not turbulence per se that interests us particularly in climate. It is spatiotemporal pattern formation at the edge of chaos. For example, Matthias Bertram in his study of oxidation patterns on a metal catalyst (that I cited earlier) showed that positive feedbacks within a system cause chaos to be suppressed and replaced by the emergence of oscillation. From this analogy I made the proposal that oceanic oscillations arise where a positive feedback causes chaotic or turbulent spatiotemporal characteristics to collapse into a more ordered oscillation (the system is “exporting entropy” in this way – another Bertram quote.) Thus for example, the Bjerknes feedback between trade winds and Peruvian upwelling causes the ENSO oscillations to emerge. Likewise, the salinity transport – deep water formation feedback in the far North Atlantic is what causes the AMOC to emerge, and the AMO – an oscillation of the AMOC. In this instance, it is not the development of chaos that is interesting (or indeed analysable in any meaningful way) but just the opposite – the suppression of chaos by excitability (positive feedback). As you correct say, in actual chaos and turbulence, each element or atom of the system becomes its own dimension in a phase space of runaway and intractable complexity.

        “Chaos” is a shorthand for a wide range of phenomena including nonlinear pattern formation and the dearth of study in this area is so bad that adequate descriptive terms don’t exist.

        In short, you point to “chaos” to make a case that small perturbations of earth’s climate could push it to catastrophic transition. You may be right – or not. This largely depends on the Lyapunov exponent.

        On the other hand I from the skeptic angle employ “chaos” as a null hypothesis argument, such that chaotic dynamics operate in the ocean and atmosphere and without human help can explain all recent climate change. This also depends on the Lyapunov exponent. And you’re right – we’re a very long way away from knowing this.

        If the flap of a butterfly wings can spawn a monster that threatens us all, then must butterflies be exterminated?

        Or do butterfly wings only spawn normal and mostly benign natural climate change?

        In short, you argue

      • matthewrmarler: the link provides evidence of two separate effects of an abrupt event or events. The obvious one is the tectonic change that can be discerned from the reverse-engineered ancient calendar. There is permanent change. The second is a common dimension in the several calendars built in the stretch of time pre 5200bce to post 2200bce that shows earth tilt shift abruptly one way then another. From one dynamic stable point to another, then reverse to some new position. It has been described in some papers theoretically as ‘climate friction’, but not discerned in the proxies as such. Archaeology reveals that; the proxies agree to that.

        It is chaotic (and seems to follow the theory) in that it shifts from one point that was stable for a while, to another, but is more complex because in between there was tectonic rearrangement; the rotations in the Med, but evidence of that geological disturbance is elsewhere too.

        Eg. in ~5550BP evidence shows tilt move to a low ~14.5deg . Sahara scorched, and high latitude went into deep freeze (with animals preserved abruptly were they suddenly died). Trigger for such tipping unknown, though link to planetary alignment is worth looking into.

        My thoughts here: https://melitamegalithic.wordpress.com/2019/06/02/searching-evidence-keplers-trigons-and-events-in-the-holocene/
        https://melitamegalithic.wordpress.com/2019/06/14/ask-otzi/
        When dates and info match beyond coincidence, there is a devil in that detail.

      • “We are living in a world driven out of equilibrium. Energy is constantly delivered from the sun to the earth. Some of the energy is converted chemically, while most of it is radiated back into space, or drives complex dissipative structures, with our weather being the best known example. We also find regular structures on much smaller scales, like the ripples in the windblown sand, the intricate structure of animal coats, the beautiful pattern of mollusks or even in the propagation of electrical signals in the heart muscle. It is the goal of pattern formation to understand nonequilibrium systems in which the nonlinearities conspire to generate spatio-temporal structures or pattern.”
        http://www.ds.mpg.de/LFPB/chaos

        “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.” Tomas Milanovic

        Quasi standing waves in the Earth system – ENSO etc – shift in the mean and variance of time series in persistent regimes until driven to shift again by perturbations. Data shows how extreme these shifts can be.

      • Quasi standing waves in the Earth system – ENSO etc – shift in the mean and variance of time series in persistent regimes until driven to shift again by perturbations. Data shows how extreme these shifts can be.

        One wonders how many such extreme climate shifts have been experienced by the horseshoe crab, during its 400 million year life on Earth, more or less unchanged? Or sharks and crocodiles, during their 200 million years?

        Conversely, the evolution of humans within the primates actually required significant climate changes to incentivise (evolutionarily) growth of intelligence and rational adaptability:

        https://judithcurry.com/2018/01/25/impact-of-climate-change-on-human-evolution-the-odyssey-from-africa/

        Please note that in a system possessing chaotic-nonlinear dynamics (which we at least both agree includes the biosphere with its myriad life forms and ecological niches, and also climate) will exhibit fractal pattern in its spatiotemporal trajectory. This is intrinsic. Fractal means is that most changes will be small, a much smaller number will be medium sized, another log order less will be big and yet another log order fewer and rarer will be massive. This is intrinsic to the system itself, not requiring any forcing from outside. This fractal frequency-magnitude distribution can also be called “log-log”. John Gribbin in his book “Deep Simplicity” explained this in the context of life form extinctions. Species survive on earth an average of one million years. (About the same length of time required for complete speciation.) Ecosystems of organisms are nonlinear networks. Some species extinctions affect no other species. Others cause one or a handful of other species also to go extinct. A few species extinctions cause a large avalanche of extinctions. And just occasionally a single extinction could trigger something like a mass extinction of most life forms.

        What is the point of this discussion of extinctions? The point is that it follows inevitably from consideration of the biosphere as a nonlinear network that extinctions will show this fractality of magnitude as an intrinsic behaviour of the system, not needing any perturbation from outside . So in theory the big extinctions like the end Permian don’t even need a catastrophic climate event. It might have all started on an ordinary sunny day.

        Of course perturbation from outside is a reality and we know about events like the Chixilub asteroid 66 mya, for instance. But the point remains that for a chaotic-nonlinear climate, the absence of external perturbation is no protection against catastrophe. Theory allows catastrophe out of nowhere from the fractal scale variations of adverse events arising from within the system.

        CO2 is greening the earth. We know that plants stabilise climate, that the land masses were arid before the Carboniferous, before the land conquest of plants brought the hydrological cycle and humid soils onto land (also aided by prior Cryogenian glaciations making lots of powdered rock to later become soil). Plants transpire water increasing precipitation. For all we know, if some huge international effort actually succeeded in reducing atmospheric CO2 levels, the resulting reversal of plant abundance and vitality might easily destabilise climate, and why could this change not also be a butterfly wing that precipitated disaster?

        Chaotic-nonlinear dynamics means that even if we could somehow make no perturbation of the environment and climate, this would be no protection from the possibility of catastrophe. Plenty of these have happened with no humans on the scene.

        And is it impossible to imagine or conceive any human actions on earth actually doing – dare I even say it … or even think it …

        good??????

      • Climate surprises are inevitable and despite your fractal musings – we have no idea how close the system is to tipping or of the scope and speed of the next transition.

        But you neglect the other side of the equation entirely – the human dimension and the fragility of life – that I have been at pains to point out for some time now. Including in the quote in my comment at the top – and elsewhere. To see only pettifogging disputation from grumpy old men who seem very out of sorts in the modern world.

        At the risk of repeating myself – because people seemingly have the attention span of gnats. Electricity is 25% of the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. A more comprehensive multi-gas and aerosol strategy is required for many reasons – carbon dioxide. CFC’s, nitrous oxides, methane, black carbon and sulfate. Ongoing decreases in carbon intensity and increases in efficiency and productivity bring their own rewards. And technical innovation across sectors – energy, transport, industry, residential and agriculture and forestry brings productivity windfalls. Cultural stagnation is the way to extinction.

        Some of the answer is under our feet. Rattan Lal – himself a scientific treasure – estimates that some 500 Gigatonne (GtC) carbon has been lost from terrestrial systems since the advent of agriculture. ‘Soil is like a bank account – we must replace what we have removed.” Carbon is much more productive in soils than the atmosphere.

        This soil carbon store can be renewed by restoring land. Holding back water in sand dams, terraces and swales, replanting, changing grazing management, encouraging perennial vegetation cover, precise applications of chemicals and adoption of other management practices that create positive carbon and nutrient budgets and optimal soil temperature and moisture. Atmospheric carbon is transferred from the atmosphere to soil carbon stores through plant photosynthesis and subsequent formation of secondary carbonates. The rate of soil carbon sequestration ranges from about 100 to 1000 kg per hectare per year as humus and 5 to 15 kg per hectare per year inorganic carbon. The near term potential for carbon sequestration in agricultural soils is approximately equal to the historic carbon loss of 80 GtC during the modern era. This is about 10 years of global annual greenhouse gas emissions. At realistic rates of sequestration 25% of current annual global greenhouse gas emissions could be sequestered over 40 years.

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

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

        If we had any vision, intellect, strength, faith and love – we could in this century resolve the problems that concern our children.

      • Climate surprises are inevitable and despite your fractal musings – we have no idea how close the system is to tipping or of the scope and speed of the next transition.

        That is true, if we do not study proxy data and history, we have no idea, we do not even suspect, climate changes in natural cycles that are very robust ant the repeating cycles show it only tips toward warmer from cooler and tips from cooler to warmer and does not ever come close to tipping out of bounds. But then again, that would require learning a little bit about history and actual real data.

      • Here we are Alex. Knock yourself out. They even mention Ewing and Donn.

        https://history.aip.org/climate/rapid.htm

      • The last paragraph in R I Ellison’s link says it all.
        “First scientists had to convince themselves, by shuttling back and forth between historical data and studies of possible mechanisms, that it made sense to propose shifts as “rapid” as a thousand years. Only then could they come around to seeing that shifts as “rapid” as a hundred years could be plausible. And only after that could they credit still swifter changes. Without this gradual shift of understanding, the Greenland cores would never have been drilled. The funds required for these heroic projects came to hand only after scientists reported that climate could change in damaging ways on a timescale meaningful to governments. In an area as difficult as climate science, where all is complex and befogged, it is hard to see what one is not prepared to look for.”
        Except that ‘historical data’ ought to be given a much wider perspective.

      • Robert
        At the risk of repeating myself – because people seemingly have the attention span of gnats.

        Who’se the grumpy old man now? 😁

        Electricity is 25% of the problem of greenhouse gas emissions.

        The problem? What problem? With my gnat-like memory I must have forgotten your explanation of why adding CO2 to the atmosphere when the biosphere was within a few tens of ppm of CO2 starvation is a problem. Or why mild warming during a glacial epoch is a problem? I would love to hear that – I’m all gnat-ears!

        The rest of your post about good land management practices to conserve soil, is of course all motherhood and apple pie. Of course we all want a vibrantly habitable world and thrivingly diverse biosphere for our descendants.

        Economic development is needed to lift populations out of subsistence poverty so they care about and have means to do something about environmental issues. This requires energy – not fantasies about nonexistent grid batteries. Green deals will hold populations in poverty and achieve the opposite of their goals – damaging the environment.

      • Life survived repeated glaciations perfectly adequately – despite the mistaken skeptic CO2 starvation meme. All I have suggested is that fossil fuel CO2 is better returned as carbon to soils and ecosystems than in the atmosphere – where it creates risks of unpredictable dynamic changes to biology and climate.

        And the problem as I have clearly said is that the next inevitable tipping point will be triggered by changes in the system.

        “Who’se the grumpy old man now? 😁”

        They behave as if there is no context over several years – or complain that I repeat myself. As you did.

        I have given you the benefit of the doubt that a comment of yours since moderated was an attempt at humor. It seems not to be.

      • Robert
        As the Russians say “in every joke a little bit is joke and the rest is true”.

        But I went too far in my earlier (moderated) comment and I apologise for that.

      • Melita
        On a long enough timescale, tectonic movement is part of the climate system, as it rearranges ocean circulation. This (and NOT CO2) changes climate on the 10^8 – 10^9 year scale. Milankovitch orbital cycles are also part of climate.

      • melitamegalithic: matthewrmarler: the link provides evidence of two separate effects of an abrupt event or events. The obvious one is the tectonic change that can be discerned from the reverse-engineered ancient calendar. There is permanent change.

        You gloss over what I perceive as a difficulty: actually demonstrating that the mathematical terms, such as “attractor”, are close approximations to the dynamics underlying what has been observed. The change could be like the change in a mathematical system from one attractor to another. Or it could be a reversible excursion from one region of phase space to another. Computational examples of both, and other phenomena of dynamical systems, abound in the literature.

        I think that it is a mistake to identify empirical phenomena as examples of mathematical objects (abrupt change as mathematical catastrophe, turbulent flow as chaos) when there is not in fact a dynamical mathematical model that provides a close fit to the observed relations. The mathematical entities are just loose analogies, and making the assertion that they are relevant is what Phil Salmon elsewhere called “hand waving”.

      • The world is a not a set of nonlinear equations. That would seem fairly obvious. It merely behaves like one.

        “The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.” https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsta.2011.0161

        As indeed do physical models. Matthew goes way beyond hand waving to intellectual onanism.

      • phil salmon:
        The events I refer to are dated from various proxies, and C14 from archaeology. They are 5200bce and 3200bce. Certainly not on the “on the 10^8 – 10^9 year scale”. Which incidentally also leave the Milankovitch orbitals out. From what I can see CO2 does not figure in it.

        mattewrmarler:
        I attempted to fit chaos theory to the evidence (if it does not fit, then dump the theory). In other respects your quote “a mistake to identify empirical phenomena as examples of mathematical objects” touches a sore point. Pls recall that climate science bases a lot on the formula for obliquity change, which is a math fit on a partial problem of earth dynamics, which does not agree with reality, and ignores other modes dynamical response than what was considered (Stockwell/Newcomb considered only secular case, a polynomial fit based on 3 points, and ignored possible step inputs, ie a step change with exponential decay superimposed). This was noted by GF Dodwell, investigated by Axel Wittmann (A Wittmann “obliquity of the ecliptic”). I happened to have stumbled on the evidence.
        The evidence points to a dynamical system plagued by friction. It never repeats from an exact earlier point (thus chaotic). Various variables are changing, two obvious ones are geology and earth axial orientation to ecliptic.
        None of the latter two is found clearly in the usual proxies.

      • melitamegalithic: Pls recall that climate science bases a lot on the formula for obliquity change, which is a math fit on a partial problem of earth dynamics, … .

        Yes. Too much of the debate is dominated by extreme/overconfident/overly-precise claims based on partial fits and limited data.

        The evidence points to a dynamical system plagued by friction.

        I agree. And also plagued by random measurement error. I liked that article on sub-Mediterranean dynamics. I only queried about the claim of moving from one basin of attraction to another. Like claims about “tipping points”, “bifurcations”, “butterfly-shaped” phase spaces, “catastrophes” and such, it claims more than can reasonably be shown..

        On the whole, the field is plagued with loose use of language.

      • Robert I. Ellison: which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are,

        You should always remember to include the words “suggests”, “may” and synonymous words and phrases.

      • What a confusion of minds. A catastrophe, a tipping point, a phase transition, a bifurcation – are terms for climate shifts – of which there are innumerable examples. Nothing else has any concrete application.

    • Australia has adopted the activist-approved climate plan- make your citizens suffer, export coal to China so that global emissions increase, blame American Republicans.

  43. AClimatologistWalksIntoABar

    What about ‘prophets’ like Curry who went around saying we’d be in a cooling period years ago. Is everyone here just going to pretend she didn’t do that? SHE GOT IT COMPLETELY WRONG.
    ———————————–
    Curry warned of possible global cooling. “We also see a cooling period starting around the turn of the (21st) century.” She also suggested that the “current cool phase will continue until the 2030s.” [Also see: Scientists and Studies predict ‘imminent global COOLING’ ahead – Drop in global temps ‘almost a slam dunk’]
    “Even on the timescale of decade or two, we could end up be very surprised on how the climate plays out and it might not be getting warmer like the UN IPCC says,” Curry noted.

    https://www.climatedepot.com/2014/09/16/climatologist-dr-judith-curry-warns-of-decades-of-global-cooling-the-current-cool-phase-will-continue-until-the-2030s/

    • “Dr Rex Fleming has a PhD in Meteorology and spent years at NOAA, as he said involved with climate research from the beginning, and responsible for funding scientists who “pushed” the theory of man-made global warming. He’s written a book called The Rise and Fall of the Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate Change (2019) and has just done a podcast with James Delingpole.”

      • A former NOAA ready to spill his guts. Incoming!

        Dive for the foxholes. Data tampering? Could get beyond messy.

      • Ceresco Kid

        Here is a link to his book together with previews.

        https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030168797#aboutAuthors

        I am not aware of this author nor how much credibility he has. Or had before publishing this book if the contents are as you describe

        tonyb

      • Tony

        I’m most interested in the extent to which there are officials in organizations such as NOAA who take the official position yet have doubts or opinions at variance with the establishment position.
        That alone may take years to discover, one person at a time.

        He and Roy Spencer are both alumni from University of Michigan. They can’t be all bad. :)

      • Ceresco kid

        I certainly know of some in the Met office who are dubious, or at the least don’t believe we are any warmer than at other points in the Holocene.

        I also know of some in other govt agencies who are dubious and conceal their identities

        tonyb

      • Data tampering?

        Just like when Obama rushed the NOAA paper so it would be out before the Paris Climate Accord. It was a preposterous accusation before it left the first set of lips.

      • I just read the book “The Rise and Fall of the Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate Change” by Dr. Rex Fleming yesterday.

        Although it has interesting parts I didn’t like it very much. It is short, 135 pages without appendices and some of the chapters are too superficial. The bibliography is meager, with most chapters having less than 10 references. The first chapter is on the “Creation of the Universe” that is not relevant to climate but allows the author to briefly mention his religious views.

        Some of the figures are old internet figures commonly used by skeptics, like this one:

        that have been superseded by more modern data.

        The book talks about many things superficially but tries to make two points in more detail. One is that the contribution of CO2 to the warming has to be analyzed by “integration of the Schwarzschild equation with many thousands of lines and coefficients, and over the complete troposphere”. According to the author this integration shows that CO2 has no effect on climate, which together with the lack of correlation between CO2 and temperature showed by the figure above demonstrates that the carbon dioxide theory of climate change is wrong (and falling).

        The second is that the climate is controlled by the magnetic field of the sun. The author subscribes to the solar system baricenter theory of solar activity of Landscheidt, to the cosmic rays effect on clouds theory of Svensmark, and to the galactic arms theory of Shaviv. He defends that these theories have been proven. As many other skeptics he also believes a grand solar minimum is starting and serious cooling is around the corner.

        Rex Fleming’s views of climate change can be found in his recent article:
        Fleming, R. J. (2018). An updated review about carbon dioxide and climate change. Environmental Earth Sciences, 77, 1–13.
        The book is just an expansion of the article without adding much of interest in my opinion.
        http://rexfleming.com/wp-content/uploads/Fleming-MS2.pdf

      • javier

        thanks for the review . I have taken it off my birthday present wish list, which still leaves 3.

        tonyb

      • Javier: I just read the book “The Rise and Fall of the Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate Change” by Dr. Rex Fleming yesterday.

        Thank you for your review.

      • AClimatologistWalksIntoABar

        So what? The guy is apparently a religious fruitcake who has to pay groups like Marquis Who’s Who to give him fake awards.

        https://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/463065/rex-fleming-phd-presented-with-the-albert-nelson-marquis-lifetime-achievement-award-by-marquis-whos-who

        You didn’t respond to what was actually contained in my post. Temps keep rising. July was the hottest month in recorded human history. Stop reading cranks and go take a look at what’s actually transpiring on the planet

    • The reduction in the rate of warming since the late 1990s is evident.

      The 2015 El Niño did interrupt this decrease, but for the last three years it has turned negative producing one of the longest more profound cooling periods since the 1970s.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/08/14/the-planet-is-experiencing-an-unexplained-major-cooling-and-scientists-are-ignoring-it/

      It is just that people aren’t paying sufficient attention to what is going on.

      The coming Niña has the potential to make this cooling period the biggest since 1973.

      • To be like the La Niña events of 2008, 10, 11, and 12, conditions that are not currently present have to evolve, and there is no hint right now that they are evolving.

        So the next La Niña is likely to be next record warmest La Niña in the instrument record.

        Your big cooling:

      • JHC,

        You are among those that don’t understand. Between 1975 and 2000 none of the cooling periods made it to the top 10 except for those linked to two strong volcanic eruptions. That’s the main reason why the planet warmed faster, the absence of significant cooling period.

        Then after that cooling period we have the 1998, 2006, 2008 and 2016 (start dates) cooling periods. That’s why all the 1990s predictions failed spectacularly starting with the 1990 IPCC prediction of +1°C by 2025.

        So the presence of these cooling periods that you disdain is determinant to the rate of warming.

        I expect the next Niña to take the temperature lower than in early 2018 (13-month averaged) making this short cooling period similar to those starting in 1953, 1961, and 1973. A truly remarkable event unseen in nearly half a century.

      • Javier,
        Also thanks for your book review.

        Like Tony B, I appreciate expert assessments and reviews.

        I still stubbornly think, the changes to add to recent measured temperatures and lowering of historical measured temperatures for theoretical adjustments are improper. The scientific response to uncertain data variations in measured observations is to increase the error bars of the observations but that would show the intrinsic variations in the measured results.

        Scott

      • — ‘Those who control the present, control the past and those who control the past control the future.’

        That’s just the way things are. The advantage is that if it was cooling people would notice. But as long as it is not cooling the CO2 team remains in control. People don’t really care if it is warming 0.14°C/decade instead of the promised 0.30.

        And to their simple “our emissions did it because CO2 is a GHG” we can only oppose complex hypotheses about climate that most people are unable to understand. Why would they trust us?

      • scott

        Unfortunately our media and politicians are ignoring history and instead are marching to the alluring drum beat of the co2 induced ‘climate emergency’ promoted by individuals who loudly tell us what to do, but ignore their own advice.

        There are no worse self righteous zealots than those jetting vast distances to attend climate conferences and celebrities, who are often one and the same.

        tonyb

      • Javier
        the coming La Nina

        A cold tongue has now appeared in the east equatorial Pacific – right on queue:

        https://www.ospo.noaa.gov/Products/ocean/sst/anomaly/

      • AClimatologistWalksIntoABar

        A reduction in the rate of warming is not cooling. Let’s not be sophists here, ok? She. Was. Wrong.

        As far as the ‘hiatus’

        https://eos.org/scientific-press/study-sheds-new-insights-into-global-warming-hiatus

        In any event, things are on track for quite tremendous difficulties for humankind. It’s incredible what ISN’T discussed on this site. I mean current events such as this-

        https://www.sciencenews.org/article/arctic-burning-greenland-melting-thanks-record-heat

        July was the hottest month in recorded human history. That’s worth repeating,

        JULY WAS THE HOTTEST MONTH IN HUMAN HISTORY

        Does that sound like global cooling?

        There’s been record precipitation events broken all over the place in the past few years. Why do you guys ignore that? Hmmm?

      • A reduction in the rate of warming is not cooling. Let’s not be sophists here, ok? She. Was. Wrong.

        Not according to your quote:
        “Even on the timescale of decade or two, we could end up be very surprised on how the climate plays out and it might not be getting warmer like the UN IPCC says,” Curry noted.
        From 2014 we are just halfway the first decade and the IPCC said the planet should warm at 0.3°C/decade in 1990. It is clear it is not getting warmer at the rate the IPCC said. And since Feb 2016 we are cooler, not warmer. Let’s see where that ends. By 2025 we can compare what Judith Curry said and the IPCC said and see who is more correct.

        As far as the ‘hiatus’ I will match every article that says it didn’t happen with an article that says it did.
        Fyfe, J. C., Meehl, G. A., England, M. H., Mann, M. E., Santer, B. D., Flato, G. M., … & Swart, N. C. (2016). Making sense of the early-2000s warming slowdown. Nature Climate Change, 6(3), 224.
        “It has been claimed that the early-2000s global warming slowdown or hiatus, characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming, has been overstated, lacks sound scientific basis, or is unsupported by observations. The evidence presented here contradicts these claims.”
        So let’s agree that we (and scientists) disagree.

        Things are on track for quite tremendous difficulties for humankind.

        Are they? Not likely from climate change. The future is unknown, but after 350 years of global warming from the bottom of the Little Ice Age we have left behind quite tremendous difficulties. Are you sure you are not being one of Chicken Little companions about to be eaten by the fox?

        It’s incredible what ISN’T discussed on this site. I mean current events such as this arctic-burning-greenland-melting-thanks-record-heat

        You are being lied to. Go to this page and check Arctic temperatures for every year since 2000:
        http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php
        Summer temperatures do have changed since 2000. The Arctic is cooler in the summer. Don’t believe it? Check the seasonal graphs here:
        http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n_anomaly.uk.php
        The summer curve is the red one. Now ask yourself why are you being lied to.

        July was the hottest month in recorded human history.

        No it wasn’t.
        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2019/08/july-2019-was-not-the-warmest-on-record/

        Does that sound like global cooling?

        The planet has been warming for the past 350 years. While we might have added to the warming it is unlikely that we are responsible for most of the warming since the effect cannot precede the cause. There is no acceleration in the rate of sea level rise and very little in the rate of warming. This indicates that any change we make to our energy systems and our economy will not have a significant effect on climate. The answer that our CO2 emissions are mainly responsible for the warming is simple but there is no evidence supporting it. In fact quite a lot of the evidence contradicts it.

        There’s been record precipitation events broken all over the place in the past few years. Why do you guys ignore that? Hmmm?

        The more parameters you measure at more places the likeliest it is that records are more frequently broken. It is a statistical thing. If then you blame every record breaking, no matter in which direction, to climate change, whether colder, hotter, drier, wetter, you can scare yourself purposeless as a teenager in a terror movie.

      • JCH: So the next La Niña is likely to be next record warmest La Niña in the instrument record.

        That’s a good way to phrase your forecast.

        Javier: The coming Niña has the potential to make this cooling period the biggest since 1973.

        We have a clear distinction of forecasts here: “likely” vs “potential”.

      • We have a clear distinction of forecasts here: “likely” vs “potential”.

        They are not mutually exclusive. It could be both the warmest Niña on record and make this cooling period the biggest since 1973.

        The planet is warming. Just not as expected.

      • Javier
        The more parameters you measure at more places the likeliest it is that records are more frequently broken. It is a statistical thing.

        If weather fluctuations are fractal in nature, then a mathematical consequence of this is that even if the climate is static, fluctuating around a stationary mean, then with the passing of time all records of any kind will periodically be broken. This will continue forever. The log of the amplitude of the event scales with the inverse of the log of the frequency. Events get bigger and rarer in the log-log relationship that is diagnostic of nonlinear-chaotic dynamics. Records will continue to be broken forever even if the system is static. They don’t mean very much.

      • AClimatologistWalksIntoABar

        ‘Local European hot weather in July is not the only weather story this year ‘

        Correct. It isn’t. This is quite a story too-

        https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-19/arctic-summer-melt-shows-ice-is-disappearing-faster-than-normal

        It’s just funny how everything actually happening in the world is mostly ignored here.

        And for the ‘geniuses’ here who post articles from 100 years ago- give it a rest. They didn’t have the technology we do today to see what was happening on a large scale. It’s farcical in the extreme and just shows you have no idea how to respond to facts.

        As far as ‘record cold’, we’ve gotten that in the American South when there was extreme heat way up north. Go learn about the Jet Stream and read Jennifer Francis’ work.

      • This is quite a story too
        arctic-summer-melt-shows-ice-is-disappearing-faster-than-normal

        Faster than normal?
        What is supposed to be the normal speed of ice melting during a warming period?
        Why do you assume that changes in CO2 are responsible for the melting?
        Do you know about the increase in light absorbing particles (LAP) mainly associated to the increase in biomass burning and industrial activity, ultimately caused by the increase in human population and the betterment of life conditions?

        I think you are not interested in the questions, only in the answers, and science is all about the questions. You look for your answers in the media and therefore you have nothing to contribute to the debate. Your knowledge is faith based. You are not different to the religious cranks you critizice. You have just deposited your faith in a different bank and as with all religions you believe yours is the only rightful.

        We get people like you all the time. You’ll soon get tired or you’ll learn.

      • A.C.W. Bar
        Thanks – I’ll move on to Jennifer Francis when I’ve finished reading Greta Thunberg.

      • A C W into a Bar, it looks like the 35+ year trend in diminishing global sea ice cover is basically unchanged:

        That some part may be disappearing faster than before right now doesn’t matter that much, any more than the record snowfall accumulations in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mtn.

        But if there is overall evidence of surface cooling, I am not seeing that either. It is interesting that the downward trend of ice cover continued during the surface warming hiatus. How much of Trenberth’s missing heat went into melting all that ice?

      • None of the cooling periods were preceded by a gigantic high-dive El Niño. That is all you are seeing. There is less cooling after the 14-16 El Niño, as is becoming very apparent with each month. Mantua’s PDO has only 2 negative months since 2015. The people producing PDO series with more negative months, I don’t see their names on the first PDO paper. Count the dead marine animals.

      • Bar

        You might want to educate yourself on the impossibility of proving anything happening today is unprecedented. You can’t. Try learning more about climate than reading the an edition of People magazine. It really is more complex than that.

      • Bar

        IPCC AR5 says that Antarctica contributes .27mm/yr to GMSLR, which is precisely 1/5 the thickness of a US dime (a brand new dime, of course).

        A couple of weeks ago I sat with my Urologist as we studied an x-ray of my 6mm kidney stone. It occurred to me that my kidney stone was larger than 20 years of SLR coming from Antarctica. If my ureter can accommodate 6mm I think the global oceans can withstand another 6mm over the next 20 years.

      • Bar

        you do realise that the records started in 1979 and that the arctic did exist prior to that?

        !979 is the blink of an eye and you should not read too much into them . You are aware of the 1908 to 1940 arctic warming and the 1811 to 1835 arctic warming? And perhaps you have heard of the Vikings?

        On a lighter note there are some here who will remember the top of the charts in 1979 as if it were yesterday. Ironically in America it was;

        . Gloria Gaynor I Will Survive
        Donna Summer Hot Stuff

        Obviously the two singers involved have great powers of prophecy as regards the longevity of the ice and the season in which ice will melt fastest

        tonyb

      • Bar

        The titanic was sunk in 1912 by an iceberg caused by abnormally warm waters which affected the jakobshaven glacier and was first noted in a scientific expedition in 1907. There is a book in the Smithsonian archives by various authors including Nansen.

        As a result of the disaster an ice patrol was set up to warn shipping of icebergs which I believe operates to this day.

        Here is some pathe news reel from 1922 which records the abnormally warm water coming from Greenland.

        https://www.britishpathe.com/video/ice-patrol-aka-to-prevent-repetition-titanic-disas/query/icebergs

        I believe the jakobshaven is one of those glaciers said to be increasing in size again

        tonyb.

  44. There once was an aphorism: “children should be seen, but not heard.” It seems to have disappeared far more thoroughly than Arctic ice.

  45. It’s disgusting how the Murdoch media has resorted to name calling because they can’t actually dispute what she is saying.

    • Simon

      I suggest you actually read her extremely simplistic and naïve book then report back

      tonyb

    • What every child should know………but doesn’t.


    • The “Mudoch media” is pro-science.
      There is a reason every competent nation has laws around age of consent, drinking age, driving age, and the entire globe has worked together to outlaw child labor and military service.
      Your argument that teens have excellent reasoning and decision making skills is counter to decades of solid, thorough scientific research, thousands of years of common sense and a global consensus of politicians, medical and social sciences professionals.
      That you would ignore all of this, eagerly, for political reasons is completely unsurprising. In fact it’s one of the reasons for inaction.

  46. Pingback: Child Prophets And Proselytizers Of Climate Catastrophe - The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  47. Andy West, thank you for this illuminating essay on an intriguing subject, and your many responses to comments and critiques.

  48. “When do we find it acceptable to institutionally frighten children?”

    Andy,
    Interesting and obviously thought-provoking post. I found myself provoked to consider a related and perhaps weightier question, “When do we find it acceptable to USE children?” To run a grocery errand? To advance a political agenda? To stop a bullet?

    If the value of a child is more intrinsic than utilitarian, it seems that the answer must give greatest weight to the welfare of the child, not to any allegedly higher purpose. It would follow that a 12-year-old ought to be focused more on playing with friends, doing his or her schoolwork, assuming greater responsibilities in the family, and beginning to learn basic adult social skills. Saving the planet, whether from witches, war, or weather extremes, can wait.

    Since children are virtually powerless as activists unless one or more adults – often for their own purposes – empower them, such adults ought to be held morally accountable for any damage that results, both to the children and to society.

  49. Thank you, silvertomster. I think we might reasonably expect that a grocery errand could be part of a child’s contribution as well as their education about the real world :) But indeed advancing a political agenda or being a child soldier in a real not just political war, is quite another matter. And the latter should *never* happen I guess. I think a key issue is, for strong cultures where both parents and children are strong believers (the latter most likely via influence from the former), when does child participation amount to ‘being used’, and when is it ‘passionate volunteering’? I don’t think strong belief should excuse everything; whether it’s a political, religious, or indeed a ‘save the planet’ protest, I think parents should be asking themselves very serious questions about whether their children ought to be involved, whether they are indeed allowing them to be used, however moral the protest may seem. And that’s even when there’s not likely to be any physical threat to them from participating (there *was* this in the 1963 crusade, and there is *not* in the children’s strikes). The list of questions in the head post ought to be a guide, but for parents who are strong believers they won’t view this list objectively relative to their belief. Maybe an easier guide is: if the children themselves aren’t directly suffering significantly and *right now* due to the issue, they shouldn’t be involved.

  50. ENSO very clearly influences surface temperature. The problem is whether this transfer of energy to oceans in La Niña and from in El Niño result in net global
    cooling or warming respectively respectively. Because most global energy content by far is in oceans. So will the next La Niña result in surface cooling and global warming as intensified westerly winds in the Pacific hide heat at depth?

    In principle surface heat should reflect ocean heat content – and both the energy integral of radiant power flux at TOA. The problem there is that only modern, purpose designed instruments and program provide precise and reliable data.

    Net is reflected shortwave plus emitted infrared. Up is warming by convention. Changes in solar irradiance are a minor component of energy dynamics – and so may be to first order neglected. Adding solar intensity changes adds a problem of inter calibration that is addressed by using ocean heat changes as a baseline for a one off adjustment of energy imbalances creating a structural bias..

    Both TOA power flux and ocean temperature show global warming this century – reflecting state shifts in eastern Pacific sea surface temperature. A cool La Niña epoch earlier in the century and a warmer El Niño epoch more recently. The rate and direction of future change depends on sulfide, black carbon, nitrous oxide, CFC’s, carbon dioxide, methane, ice changes, biology, sea surface temperature and cloud dynamics…

    • Evolution of Ocean Heat Content Related to ENSO

      ABSTRACT
      As the strongest interannual perturbation to the climate system, El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) dominates the year-to-year variability of the ocean energy budget. Here we combine ocean observations, reanalyses, and surface flux data with Earth system model simulations to obtain estimates of the different terms affecting the redistribution of energy in the Earth system during ENSO events, including exchanges between ocean and atmosphere and among different ocean basins, and lateral and vertical rearrangements. This comprehensive inventory allows better understanding of the regional and global evolution of ocean heat related to ENSO and provides observational metrics to benchmark performance of climate models. Results confirm that there is a strong negative ocean heat content tendency (OHCT) in the tropical Pacific Ocean during El Niño, mainly through enhanced air–sea heat fluxes Q into the atmosphere driven by high sea surface temperatures. In addition to this diabatic component, there is an adiabatic redistribution of heat both laterally and vertically (0–100 and 100–300 m) in the tropical Pacific and Indian oceans that dominates the local OHCT. Heat is also transported and discharged from 208S–58N into off-equatorial regions within 58–208N during and after El Niño. OHCT and Q changes outside the tropical Pacific Ocean indicate the ENSO-driven atmo- spheric teleconnections and changes of ocean heat transport (i.e., Indonesian Throughflow). The tropical Atlantic and Indian Oceans warm during El Niño, partly offsetting the tropical Pacific cooling for the tropical oceans as a whole. While there are distinct regional OHCT changes, many compensate each other, resulting in a weak but robust net global ocean cooling during and after El Niño.

      • “This study examines changes in Earth’s energy budget during and after the global warming “pause” (or “hiatus”) using observations from the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System. We find a marked 0.83 ± 0.41 Wm−2 reduction in global mean reflected shortwave (SW) top-of-atmosphere (TOA) flux during the three years following the hiatus that results in an increase in net energy into the climate system.” https://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/6/3/62

        I have seen the Cheng et al study. But CERES and Argo data show ocean warming and net energy gains largely the result of cloud changes in the upwelling region of the Pacific. A region that extends beyond ENSO to epochal changes in the Pacific state. The Cheng et al analysis suffers from a lack of distinction between ENSO events that happen in a warm Pacific epoch and those that occur in cool.


        http://joellegergis.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/01/Henley_ClimDyn_2015.pdf

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

        With warmer sea surfaces and a reduction in low level marine boundary cloud – there is net warming.

    • Robert
      1, When will you be updating your ARGO graph. Look at 2016 thru 2018, the gradient appears to be reducing.
      2, Was 2004 the end of a downward slope? – no-one knows.
      3, Has anyone tracked the movement of the floats to see if they are moving toward traditionally warmer areas. That is, a selection of the floats showing the greatest level of temperature increase. Any measurement device that moves location and records change needs thorough investigation prior to claims of warming ocean.
      4, Your comment – “The rate and direction of future change depends on sulfide, black carbon, nitrous oxide, CFC’s, carbon dioxide, methane, ice changes, biology, sea surface temperature and cloud dynamics” – is highly questionable.
      Before the options are simplistically narrowed down as you have, first a clear understanding and documentation of the energy (heat) exchange efficiency between the global ocean and the atmosphere needs to be presented. That is – is all of the energy presented at the convection interface removed at all times. Also – what volume of energy re-enters the ocean by warm rain etc. No-one knows, or even questions.

      Willis has pursued cloud formation acting as a natural thermostat regulating surface temperature and ocean penetration. I believe that consideration to what percentage of the energy presented at the surface makes its way to cloud formation also acts as a thermostat or controller. Efficiency at the convective interface precedes the cloud thermometer. What is left behind is measured by the Argo buoys ?
      With regards
      Martin

  51. “In the late 1950s, a group in Chicago carried out tabletop “dishpan” experiments using a rotating fluid to simulate the circulation of the atmosphere. They found that a circulation pattern could flip between distinct modes.” https://history.aip.org/climate/rapid.htm

    Changing patterns of turbulent flow at the core of fluid dynamics. Changing patterns in space and time – spatio/temporal chaos – bear little resemblance to temporal chaos. Although there are turbulent pattern shifts at scales of micro eddies to planetary flow – relevant scales are not infinite so it is not fractal. It may be ergodic in that all possible states are revisited over a long enough period. There are no temporal bifurcations or e-folding times – instead there are shifts between circulation patterns that persist for a while and then shift again. Driven by control variables – carbon dioxide, orbital variation, solar irradiance, sulphur emissions – at planetary thresholds. Shifts in atmospheric and ocean circulation cause changes in albedo – dramatically with ice sheet formation – with associated feedbacks.

    Tipping points are inevitable and we have not a clue how close we are to one or what the scope and speed of the next climate shift will be.

    But skeptics feel lucky enough – who knows it might be good – or are cognitively dissonant enough – to want to roll the dice because it is cooling since 2016 and dismantling global economics is the only alternative. Meanwhile let’s not tell the children anything as it might upset them. 🤣

    • Robert
      Again you are copying and pasting chunks of text about chaotic dynamics and attractors and “tipping points” without saying anything specific and evidence based regarding climate, past and present.

      We have a lot of good palaeo data such as ice cores over the last few million years that allow us to reject any notion that the climate system is somehow riding along a knife edge, ready to plunge into a catastrophic abyss at the slightest perturbation from anthropogenic CO2 or Trump tweets. But the evidence of the data is that in the contrary, climate resides in a valley and significant shifts are needed to push it over a saddle or ridge from one attractor basin to another.

      This is the point that Javier has been making. Yes chaos dynamics allow us to talk about butterfly wings and allow you to endlessly post your favourite tipping point image – here it is again:

      However the Pleistocene record shows that it takes an obliquity peak, coinciding with optimal precession and eccentricity also, plus a 6500 year lag for ocean thermal inertia, for the earth’s climate to be lifted from glacial to interglacial.

      Yes there are the DO events, the micro-interglacials. They do show greater climate instability during glacial than interglacial intervals since up to now they have not happened during interglacials. Instead there are much smaller and rarer mirror image downward temperature fluctuations such as 8k and 4k years ago and the LIA. These show flicker between attractors.

      I guess what you are proposing is essentially a DO event during an interglacial, a thing which has never happened before. Then spell this out. “CO2 risks a DO event happening now.” That would something specific and interesting. One could even try to model such an outcome. Then there might be an alarmist case.

      In fact I would expect you to talk more about the Dansgaars-Oeschger (DO) events since they are real examples of the tipping point flipping (or more correctly, inter attractor flicker) than your hand waving examples. And yet you seen strangely reluctant to discuss perfect examples of the theory you repeat so many times like the DO events – leaving that to others such as Javier.

      It’s not difficult to guess why this is. DO events are uncomfortable for alarmists. They are incredibly violent episodes of climate change – more than 10 C changes in global temperature, both up and then down, over only a few centuries. There were 19 or 20 such events (depending on whether you count the Bolling-Allerod as one) in the last glacial interval alone. We can sympathise with the awkward problem posed by these numerous DO events. How can an alarmist claim that a single warming excursion of 1.5 degrees will send the world over a catastrophe tipping point and drive to extinction all insects, let alone humans, and extinct all life on earth – if 20 such episodes with 10 times greater warming only made a few megafauna extinct, and insects sailed through unscathed? The optics aren’t good for the coherence of the catastrophe story.

      Please reply to my points specifically in your own words, rather than just firing more copy-paste artillery covering the general area. (It’s all good tho’ 😁 )

      • There was an introductory quote from the AIP – along with a link that discusses in detail the history of abrupt change in ice and sediment records.
        Including DO events. Try reading comments before committing absurdities to a page.

        Glacials happen because of ice sheet growth. Figure out how that happens.

        But your talk of humps and valleys – even attractors, Lyapunov exponents and e-folding – is just so much irrelevant verbiage. All there is – is shifting patterns in turbulent flow.

        You quoted earlier a book blurb about population bottlenecks – that I ignored. Despite the blurb there are today nearly as many species as 10,000 years ago. Figure that out rather than repeating specious motivated reasoning.

      • Robert I Ellison: All there is – is shifting patterns in turbulent flow.

        May we quote you on that?

      • A promising way forward has recently appeared in the form of a method of analysis of complex systems called Attractor Landscape Analysis. So far it has been applied primarily to genetic cell biology and cancer:

        https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.researchgate.net/publication/233738768_Attractor_Landscape_Analysis_Reveals_Feedback_Loops_in_the_p53_Network_That_Control_the_Cellular_Response_to_DNA_Damage/amp

        where genomes and gene expression lead to either normal organism development and attainment of complexity, or the collapse of complexity associated with cancer, by the generation of an attractor landscape.

        The approach has also been applied to human behavioural science:

        https://www.systemic-insight.com/attractors/

        The next logical step is to apply attractor landscape analysis to the climate system. Then we would know for sure if we are in a stable attractor basin or whether there is a nearby attractor which could either be a bad place or a good place – for the biosphere.

      • Phil Salmon: The next logical step is to apply attractor landscape analysis to the climate system.

        I am skeptical because so few of the climate attributes have been measured systematically for long enough periods of time. But I would not want to seem to rule it out a priori either.

        You write good posts. Please continue to visit.

        You might be interested in the book “Analysis of Chaotic Data” by H. I. Abarbanel, though it’s now 20+ years old. Perhaps you already own it.

      • Matthew
        Thanks.
        I am skeptical because so few of the climate attributes have been measured systematically for long enough periods of time. But I would not want to seem to rule it out a priori either.

        You are quite right – on the face of it this would seem an impossible task due to the complexity of the system – how can we measure enough about the system to model the phase space and find attractors?

        The book by Henry Abarbanel could well be a good practical starting point – if studied systems are low dimensional (borderline chaos) rather than high dimensional (noise or turbulence). This is where feedbacks are important – especially positive ones – since they can lower dimensionality. The book (from a review I read) deals with intrinsic and extrinsic periodic motions, so the methods it contains could be highly relevant to the study of natural oscillations such as ENSO, the AMO, PDO etc. Perhaps also glacial inceptions and terminations.

      • “May we quote you on that?”

        You may quote whatever you want to.

        But there is little doubt that there are spatio-temporal chaotic flow patterns at the core of climate change.

      • Robert I Ellison: But there is little doubt that there are spatio-temporal chaotic flow patterns at the core of climate change.

        sure. It’s the specious theoretical claims where you get into trouble, such as that the change from the warm phase to the cool phase of the PDO is “abrupt climate change”, or a “catastrophe”.

    • “Meanwhile let’s not tell the children anything as it might upset them”

      Far from the above course, society has repeated endlessly to them the cultural narrative of a certain and imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet, absent a near decades shut-down of fossil fuels, and that they will have no future unless this is done. A narrative not supported by mainstream (per AR5 tech chapters), skeptic, or lukewarmer science. Just as one might expect, this has resulted in many of them manifestly being upset / scared, per the head post.

      • Without any life experiences the children are most vulnerable to these narratives. Why not. It’s inconceivable to the young that adults would be lying to them.

        Even some adults, with many life experiences, are not able to process that. Pre-Vietnam that would have been commonplace.

      • I am far less interested in your straw man meme than in what Earth system science has to say.

        There are multiple planetary boundaries we are coming up against. Climate is just one – where examples of extreme and rapid change abound.

    • I don’t prattle on about attractors, Lyapunov exponents, basins, knobs, or whatever else you imagine might or might not be involved.

      The data on patterns in the spatio-temporal chaotic Earth system flow field speaks for itself and has for a very long time.

      “The hydrologist H.E. Hurst, studying the long flow records of the Nile and other geophysical time series, was the first to observe a natural behaviour, named after him, related to multi-scale change, as well as its implications in engineering designs. Essentially, this behaviour manifests that long-term changes are much more frequent and intense than commonly perceived and, simultaneously, that the future states are much more uncertain and unpredictable on long time horizons than implied by standard approaches.” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02626667.2013.804626

      Nor do I indulge in pettifogging quibbles that have zilch support in observation and nothing in the way of any concrete scientific refutation.

      “In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions inferred by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true, not withstanding any contrary hypothesis that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.” Isaac Newton

      I think I’ll stick to the idea that climate data – rather than being random noise – is characterized by regime shifts to states that persist for a while before shifting again driven by changes in diverse control variables. Just like the Pacific Ocean state. Until a better idea comes along.

  52. Average global water vapor (WV or TPW for Total Precipitable Water) has been accurately measured by satellite and reported publicly by NASA/RSS since 1988. The numerical data for June, 2019 are at http://data.remss.com/vapor/monthly_1deg/tpw_v07r01_198801_201906.time_series.txt (last six digits are year-month). This is graphed as Figure 3 at http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com . Calculated in Section 8 there, water vapor increased about twice as much as calculated from average global temperature rise 1988-2003.

    The planet atmosphere is still impoverished for CO2. https://twitter.com/DanPangburn/status/1105523403685941248/photo/1

    CO2, in spite of being a ghg, does not now, never has, and never will have a significant effect on climate. Average global temperature tracks water vapor, not CO2.
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EAbq6CaVUAAPdos?format=jpg&name=small

    • The question is whether water vapour tracks CO2 via the Clausius–Clapeyron relation?

      • Dan Pangburn

        RIE,
        Are you unaware that is a nonsense question? The Clapeyron equation (AKA Clausius-Clapeyron equation) relates “between the volume change and the enthalpy change when a liquid changes into a vapor.” (CC only applies to a single constituent, e.g. either H2O or CO2, and only at saturation.)

      • “Moisture and temperature interact, and one controls the other. As temperature changes, so does the amount of evaporation and moisture, or humidity, in the air. Thus, temperature, evaporation and moisture are interrelated environmental phenomena.” https://sciencing.com/temperature-ampamp-humidity-related-7245642.html

        Hmmmm….

    • Dan,

      Total precipitable water vapor is more complex than you represent it.

      Remote Sensing Systems TPWV data that you present is not global, but ocean only:
      “This quantity can be measured using microwave radiometers over the world’s oceans.”
      http://www.remss.com/measurements/

      And it is in total contradiction with the results from NASA NVAP-M project that showed TPWV displaying a decreasing trend (at p>0.95) in the 21st century:

      https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2012GL052094

      This caused quite a lot of controversy over the skeptical blogosphere in the 2013-2014 period, with articles at WUWT and Tallbloke’s Talkshop. Clive Best even recalculated the average from the original grid data:

      Ken Gregory from Friends of Science.org did a more complete analysis of the data, layer by layer and by latitude, comparing it also to NOAA radiosonde data:

      https://friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/Water_Vapor_Decline_Cools_the_Earth__NASA_Satellite_Data.htm

      That CO2 would increase and water vapor decrease is truly remarkable. Even if TPWV shows no trend it is clearly against climate model understanding. A deafening silence befell upon this issue and ocean TPWV from RemSS became the default choice despite land and ocean apparent opposite response. GEWEX-NVAP (GVaP) has continued the studies and should take the data one more year to 2010, but so far has produced only 5 years of data 1988-1992. I bet if water vapor results supported the CO2 effect we would be hearing about it every other day.

      • Jav,
        Thanks for the comments.
        I am aware (because that is what they say) that the NASA/RSS data is only for clear sky over ocean. What matters (to me) is the change; not so much the absolute value. The change (slope of the trend) when normalized by dividing by average value is corroborated by NCEP R1 and NCEP R2. The following indicates the slopes over ocean and land appear to be about the same https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DRDSe7SV4AAasuR.jpg . Also, it appears the work you refer to ended in 2014, prior to the last big el Nino. In the period 2002-2014 temps and (NASA/RSS) WV were both going down as shown at https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EAbq6CaVUAAPdos?format=jpg&name=small . Is there still disagreement in the longer term, at least thru 2018?

        WV is both cause (it’s a ghg) and effect (liquid water warming raises vapor pressure and thus specific humidity. IMO long term WV trend has increased with increasing irrigation (it correlates) while short term WV fluctuations track the short term fluctuations in ocean surface temperatures associated with the roiling (at this tiny temperature variation) of the ocean surface. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ir1w3OrR4U A scaled overlay of UAH and TPW is revealing: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DtTCm9VVYAUIDlV.jpg

        CO2 going up while WV is going down is completely compatible with my findings that CO2 has little, if anything, to do with climate on earth’s WV laden atmosphere.

      • TWP increases with atmospheric temperature as an AGW fast feedback. Against a backdrop of internal variability. Very basic geophysics.

        https://public.wmo.int/en/resources/bulletin/observing-water-vapour

      • RIE,
        Apparently the WMO administration has been infiltrated and corrupted by those with political interests to control others by controlling energy. The article is partly correct to gain credibility. The part about both CO2 and water vapor being ghg is correct. The part about water vapor being responsible for the GHE making the planet warm enough for life as we know it to have evolved is correct. The part about CO2 having any significant influence on climate is wrong.

        Your statement implying that atmospheric temperature increase causes TPW (Total Precipitable Water) increase is at best misleading. Warmer atmosphere allows more TPW before saturation but it does not cause more TPW. TPW is driven by (caused by) the vapor pressure of the liquid water which depends only on the temperature of the liquid water. And yes, it’s very basic physics.

        I explain briefly how CO2, in spite of being a ghg has no significant effect on climate in the last paragraph of Section 2 in http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com .
        A more detailed explanation is provided in http://diyclimateanalysis.blogspot.com as follows: (2nd paragraph after Figure 1): “Well above the tropopause, radiation to space is primarily from CO2 molecules. If you ignore the increase in water vapor near the surface (big mistake), WV averages about 10,000 ppmv. The increase in absorbers at ground level since 1900 is then about 10,410/10,295 = ~ 1%. WV above the tropopause is limited to about 32 ppmv because of the low temperature (~ -50 °C) while the CO2 fraction remains essentially constant with altitude at 410 ppmv; up from about 295 ppmv in 1900. The increase in emitters to space at high altitude (~> 30 km, 0.012 atm), and accounting for the lower atmospheric pressure, is (410 + 32)/(295 + 32) * 0.012 = ~ 1.4%. This easily explains why CO2 increase does not cause significant warming (except at the poles) and might even cause cooling. The exception at the poles (about 13% of earth area) is because it’s cold there at ground level so WV is already low.”

      • In the article you referenced, the part about CO2 having any significant influence on climate is wrong.

        Your statement implying that atmospheric temperature increase causes TPW (Total Precipitable Water) increase is at best misleading. Warmer atmosphere allows more TPW before saturation but it does not cause more TPW. TPW is driven by (caused by) the vapor pressure of the liquid water which depends only on the temperature of the liquid water. And yes, it’s very basic physics.

        I explain briefly how CO2, in spite of being a ghg has no significant effect on climate in the last paragraph of Section 2 in http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com .
        A more detailed explanation is provided in http://diyclimateanalysis.blogspot.com as follows: (2nd paragraph after Figure 1): “Well above the tropopause, radiation to space is primarily from CO2 molecules. If you ignore the increase in water vapor near the surface (big mistake), WV averages about 10,000 ppmv. The increase in absorbers at ground level since 1900 is then about 10,410/10,295 = ~ 1%. WV above the tropopause is limited to about 32 ppmv because of the low temperature (~ -50 °C) while the CO2 fraction remains essentially constant with altitude at 410 ppmv; up from about 295 ppmv in 1900. The increase in emitters to space at high altitude (~> 30 km, 0.012 atm), and accounting for the lower atmospheric pressure, is (410 + 32)/(295 + 32) * 0.012 = ~ 1.4%. This easily explains why CO2 increase does not cause significant warming (except at the poles) and might even cause cooling. The exception at the poles (about 13% of earth area) is because it’s cold there at ground level so WV is already low.”

    • Dan
      “The increased water vapor also causes increased cloud cover which counters temperature increase and will eventually limit it.”

      Higher SST’s are generally associated with less low cloud cover apart from the central tropics and the Arctic. The UK has seen an 8% increase in sunshine hours since the mid 1990’s. Surface wind speeds over the ocean have increased since the mid 1990’s too.

      • UL,
        True, local and temporary conditions can contradict the average. But realize that increased clouds reflecting sunshine reduced heating and increased water vapor reduced cooling in a temperature balance that allowed the evolution of life as we know it. Water vapor has been increasing, mostly from increased irrigation, but, so far, the added warming is merely countering the cooling that would otherwise by occurring because of the quiet sun and ocean surface temperatures in their 32 year downtrend.

      • It is neither local and temporary. It is multi-decadal and multi-regional, and follows the AMO envelope. Realise that increased clouds reflecting sunshine and reducing heating doesn’t increase water vapor. Especially when coupled with slower surface winds over the oceans.

        Tropics:

        Global:

      • UL,
        I am familiar with those old graphs and would like to see them updated and an explanation of how the data was acquired that they are plotted from.

        The top graph is consistent with my thinking that less clouds in the tropics, where most of the WV comes from, results in more WV globally and warmer global surface temperature.

        Also, I should not have used the dumb word ‘temporary’ which is subject to interpretation. IMO anything less than about 60 years is temporary and it might be longer.

      • I understood that in the central tropics, cloud cover increases with warming. The increase in Arctic cloud cover will cause warming except in the summer when it will cause cooling relative to the mean, the latter is seen since 2001.
        So the warmer ocean phase reduces low cloud cover in most regions, and coupled with the increased ocean surface winds, generates more water vapour. And the reduced cloud cover also allows upper ocean heat content to rise.
        Returning to my high-mid latitude region. How much of the warming:

        is due to increased water vapour, or due to increased sunshine hours?

  53. ““Tipping points are inevitable and we have not a clue how close we are to one or what the scope and speed of the next climate shift will be.”
    “But skeptics feel lucky enough – who knows it might be good – or are cognitively dissonant enough – to want to roll the dice because it is cooling since 2016 and dismantling global economics is the only alternative. Meanwhile let’s not tell the children anything as it might upset them. “”

    Robert, I would offer up to you that there has been an unknown relationship between climate and geology, and the standard models of geology and climate is where our difficulties reside in not understanding completely our current and past climate variability. With the exception of volcanic eruptions, we treat these two fundamental models as being, at best, casually connected, and what connections we do acknowledge are usually only considered remotely associated due to the large time scales involved in whatever particular processes that are being observed.

    Robert, I would like to introduce to you a geologic model that will actually show you with incredibly robust predictions of observations that a direct connection exists, and that this new and accurate model of our planet’s mode of operation will also make robust predictions of observations of our current and past climate.

    I have spent the last 7 years developing this new dynamic model of our planet’s plate tectonic mechanism. It can be viewed at: https://www.electroplatetectonics.com/

    Geologist James Kamis has assembled a substantial compilation of evidence in his Plate Climatology Theory http://www.plateclimatology.com/ that convincingly supports the geologic forcing of climate.

    The video he introduced Jun 1, 2019 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GX1e_uU5u3A is a wonderful introduction to his idea’s concepts and evidence.

    I would add that his video is a perfect introduction to my model as well, as they are mutually supportive of the concept of geologically driven climate change.

    The most wonderful thing about science is that it can turn on an instant when new and novel evidence requires it to do so.

  54. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #370 | Watts Up With That?

  55. Discussion seems to have drifted away from the main topic.

    • Unfortunately true!

      • Maybe not quite. One has to look at the wider perspective.
        Now you may take this with a pinch of salt – good marine salt-. I have posted above and referring to evidence from megalithic structures. But if you ask an archaeologist what those structures were for you likely are told for cult including human sacrifices to avert more natural calamities (actually heard so the other day). The preferred sacrifice were children, and the better to quell the gods, beautiful daughters. We don’t need to ask why children may be concerned. 😉

      • …as it happens so often thanks to always the same old faces…

      • Andy

        A big part of your article is the catastrophe narrative.
        Some of us were discussing whether the science of nonlinear-chaotic systems argues either for or against a catastrophe narrative. Such things can get technical but are not irrelevant to your article. Only one step away from the major theme of catastrophism.

      • Come on Andy, you would have received the agreed £50000 from Big oil for your article and probably Russian money as well.

        It was a truly great and thought provoking article but Judith needs to throw the denizens some new meat. I hear Big Cow, concerned about the upsurge in vegans might be willing to make a contribution to authors here and at WUWT.

        Mind you, I bet I am probably still the only one here who has read Gretas book

        tonyb

      • Thank you, Tony. Somehow the cheques seem to have lost their way.

    • Catastrophe is at the core of the post – and there is abundant evidence of extreme and rapid change in a complex dynamical system.

      Imagining that a minor strand of climate narrative – one that cannot be gainsaid with ‘high certainty’ as clouds dissipate or ice sheets expand in future – is the problem de jour is the log of skeptic myopia.

      • Robert,

        “Catastrophe is at the core of the post ”

        A *cultural* narrative of catastrophe, i.e. a certainty that civilisation / life / the planet will imminently end (absent near-term shutdown of fossil fuel use), is at the core of this post, which narrative propagating / developing over decades has soaked society and our children. (The narrative is not supported by AR5 tech chapters, or sceptic or lukewarmer science). As a result of long exposure, many children are genuinely scared, and many have taken this cultural narrative to heart and proselytise themselves.

        “…and there is abundant evidence of extreme and rapid change in a complex dynamical system…”

        This may or may reflect in future climate behaviour. But such is a matter of debate within the sphere of the physical science, and indeed as part of that debate a small minority of scientists argue the IPCC is too conservative regarding its consideration of tipping points. However, the apocalyptic cultural narrative has a life of its own within the social sphere unrelated to reasoned debate within science (strong cultural belief bypasses reason). Nor is the public domain blessed anyhow with any useful level of climate knowledge. And this catastrophe narrative is a powerful driver of events. You characterized this narrative of a certainty of imminent catastrophe as misguided; scaring millions of children with a misguided narrative is much of what this post is about. It isn’t about debate regarding the characteristics of the physical climate system, whatever future history will finally decide these are.

      • fix: ‘…this may or may not reflect…’

      • The future will resemble the past. And there there is nothing to show that you and other skeptics are not culturally magnifying the significance of your cultural construct beyond its intrinsic importance in a wicked problem.

        Meeting intersecting global social, economic and environmental challenges would be more productive – and reassure children.

      • Robert,

        ‘…you and other skeptics…”

        My view on the climate change domain does not stem from skepticism of the (orthodox) climate science, or indeed any support or objection to the position of any of the scientific camps. I have no theory about the physical science.

        ‘…culturally magnifying the significance of your cultural construct…”

        It manifestly has major effects in (global) society. It explains why there are rep / pubs versus dem / libs on the climate issue in the US. It explains why there is bulk skepticism in the UK despite all the main political parties support climate policies (and the *conservative* government just went for net-zero by 2050). Plus similar in other countries. It explains the child prophets and proselytisers. It explains the emotive nature of the narrative put out by presidents and prime ministers and UN elite and religious leaders and rafts of other authorities since before this century, and the emotive conviction of those in whom this messaging has taken root. It explains why some of the policies are so passionately pursued even when they work against the very ideals they’re supposed to help with. It explains why so many globally (and so many authorities, from the highest in the world downwards) are working towards goals that are not justified by either mainstream or sceptical or lukewarmer science, yet are *not* lying and are *not* engaged in some bizarre global conspiracy (strong culture supports belief in fairy tales and wide group co-ordination, subconsciously. Despite some bad apples and some noble cause corruption, lying is not causal / primary). It explains the ‘denier’ thing, and various different biases and comebacks from skeptics (e.g. in the US via the polarisation noted above). And more. Clearly, pursuing / debating the physical science and evaluating what all the camps therein have to offer, is critical. However, that debate provides no help with all the above, which cultural insight does. These things are happening. Notwithstanding which, there are indeed various biases on the skeptic side which may seek advantage from perceptions of some of same. But if you believe you can show that I have ‘magnified’ anything, please do so, with in-context quotes etc.

        Reassuring children would indeed be great. Starting with unravelling the inculcated fear that they face a wrecked or stolen or ‘no’ future because it is certain that, without a near shutdown of all fossil fuel usage, the end of civilisation / life / the planet is imminent.

      • You create a narrative about catastrophe – that you repeat yet again – and then magnify its significance in a cultural fable. That would seem to have been clearly stated in plain English. And what – you imagine that this has something to do with ‘science camps’? The divisions between extremes derive from culturally based storytelling – sometimes superficially in the objective idiom of science – and you are clearly in one camp.

      • Robert,

        “You create a narrative about catastrophe – that you repeat yet again…”

        I’ve done no such thing. The catastrophe narrative manifestly exists completely independently of me, and circulates in authorities and society generally. Quite apart from the childrens proselytization noted here, see: https://judithcurry.com/2018/11/14/the-catastrophe-narrative/

        “– and then magnify its significance in a cultural fable. “

        Please point to where I have magnified anything, with in context quotes.

        “And what – you imagine that this has something to do with ‘science camps’?”

        I’ve lost you here. I said that what’s happening regarding cultural effects in society is separate to any positions about the physical science (and indeed none of them anyhow say there will be an imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet – even you regarded this as ‘misguided’). Although the former can bias scientists (on any ‘side’) involved in the latter. And the public have no significant climate science literacy anyhow.

        “The divisions between extremes derive from culturally based storytelling –“

        Yes! In the public domain, indeed they do. And biases from that the wider social domain can influence all sides in say discussions on blogs.

        “– and you are clearly in one camp.”

        I have no theory of the physical science. To note that the largest cultural effect has developed around the catastrophe narrative, is not to indicate support for or against any of the theories regarding the physical science of climate.

      • You repeat all this endlessly – and quite frankly I have stopped reading . You invent a catastrophe straw man and then magnify this to vastly more than a single and minor strand in climate discourse. And you are part of the story telling.

      • So you think the narrative of a certainty of an imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet (absent dramatic near-term emissions reduction), as propagated over decades by presidents, prime ministers, high ministers, the UN elite, religious leaders, NGOs, economists, plus many influencers, celebrities, businesses and other orgs, latterly joined by the childrens strikes and Extinction Rebellion, which narrative is frequently cited as the main reason to act, which narrative you characterised as ‘misguided’ and which is scaring millions of children, is just minor?? And that pointing out its social presence is straw-man? Goodness me. So what would be ‘major’ in your book? This is coming from the highest authorities in the world downwards (excepting Trump in the last 2.5 years, of course), and from many grass-roots movements upwards. As noted above, this narrative drives far more effects (in alignment and opposition) within the public domain than any of the considered science, even the (easily) most subscribed science position, i.e. as described by the AR5 tech chapters. To the extent that some who quote said chapters in the public domain are sometimes smeared as ‘deniers’. And unless you’ve suddenly switched horses and now believe in a certain and imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet yourself, then likewise far more effects than your science position too. If it’s the case that you feel giving this narrative a free pass despite you think it’s misguided, will help move the mainstream science needle away from the current position and nearer to your own views, then this is likely a major mistake. Quite apart from the inappropriate fear and damage, strong cultures based on such narratives cannot be controlled, will undermine all science given any opportunity at all.

      • There is a ‘high certainty’ of climate catastrophe – that may be precipitated by human greenhouse gas emissions. The timing and scope of change is a little more problematic. But rational policy is still the Earth system science ‘grand challenges’ mentioned in the top comment.

      • Robert,

        Well one one hope that rational policy would always be the goal regarding human affairs, in the climate domain or any other. And indeed with regard to such our host favours ‘no regrets’ policies. But unfortunately strong cultural narratives are irrational and so drive society away from that goal, as indeed is the case for the cultural narrative claiming the certainty of an imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet (absent the near-term shut-down of fossil fuel usage).

      • So you have no problem with catastrophe per se – it’s just that playing to the skeptic peanut gallery and their massively misguided certainty that catastrophe can’t happen is what you do best.

      • Robert,

        This is a complete mis-characterisation of my position. I hold no angle on the physical climate science, and thus no position regarding any of the theories thereof, for or against and whichever one future history will regard as correct or not. Highlighting the manifest and widespread narrative of a certainty of the imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet, and the associated major cultural behaviours, has nothing to do with skeptic or orthodox or indeed any other bloggers. The former exist whether such bloggers like it or not, just as a bunch of people promoting the incorrect notion of a climate change hoax / scam exist, whether they like that or not too. Disassociating yourself from the above narrative, which you say is ‘misguided’, when negative effects are noted such as the scaring of millions of children, yet then associating yourself with it when you believe it can be framed as supporting your position, simply via the ruse that your particular favoured science theories involve a conception of ‘catastrophe’, is highly disingenuous. The cultural catastrophe in question is expressed in the most emotive terms as the certain and imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet. Public belief is through emotive conviction, not reason. And when pressed you admit, as shortly above, that your favoured science position (including its concept of catastrophe) simply does not support this. Yet ever and again, you then revert to mis-framing this irrational cultural narrative as though it is both a product of reasoned science, plus also some kind of justification / support for your particular theory. It is not.

      • What I actually said was that the certainty of catastrophe anytime soon is misguided – as is the certainty that it won’t. Yours is a massive straw man feeding into the latter.

      • It is not – btw – my science or based on some obscure theory. It is the history of the planet.

        e.g. https://history.aip.org/climate/rapid.htm

      • Robert,

        “What I actually said was that the certainty of catastrophe anytime soon is misguided”

        And the cultural catastrophe narrative, which features a certainty of an imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet (absent a near-term shut-down of emissions), as propagated over decades by presidents, prime ministers, high ministers, the UN elite, religious leaders, NGOs, economists, plus many influencers, celebrities, businesses and other orgs, latterly joined by the childrens strikes and Extinction Rebellion, which narrative is frequently cited as the main reason to act, which narrative is scaring millions of children, is not a straw-man and per above even by your own characterisation, is indeed misguided.

      • “Yours is a massive straw man feeding into the latter.”

        Per immediately above, the cultural catastrophe narrative manifestly exists as propagated by those listed and has consequent social influence and effects. Attempting not to confront the cultural (= irrational) nature of this narrative and its influence, because you feel that doing so will encourage those you disagree with, and attempting to reframe it as some product of reason that provides support for your scientific theory, will not serve you at all well. Strong cultural narratives cannot be controlled, and in the end will undermine the efforts of all reason, all science, including yours.

        “It is the history of the planet.”

        All theories on the spectrum of climate science, including the mainstream / orthodox, the sceptic and lukewarmer theories as well as your own, cite historic records. But future history has yet to judge which theory or combination thereof, will be considered correct. While it’s not a voting game, for now the orthodox has by far the most signed-up support.

      • God you are long winded. That each side is busily telling stories to themselves ans each other is obvious. It is just not the either all that interesting or the remedy for anxiety in children. The latter having some evident justification in reality.

      • Andy West: Per immediately above, the cultural catastrophe narrative manifestly exists as propagated by those listed and has consequent social influence and effects.

        I have been having too much fun reading RIE’s verbal contortions. I shall have to stop trolling/teasing him, to spare our readers. I do not mean to criticize you and your attempts, but at some point, it seems to me, you have to realize that his writing is nonsensical. Articles he cites and links are often quite informative, but not his own commentary.

      • Robert,

        “…or the remedy for anxiety in children. The latter having some evident justification in reality.”

        There is no reality in a cultural certainty that civilisation / life / the planet will imminently end (absent near-term shutdown of fossil fuel use), whether the narrative of cultural certainty is bench-marked against mainstream science (AR5), sceptic or lukewarmer science, or your own theory per your summary above; hence indeed your characterisation of this narrative as ‘misguided’. So it is inappropriate that society is allowing millions of our children (and many adults too) to be scared by same. If you’ve changed your mind and now believe that there is justification in reality for a certainty of the imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet, this belies your prior characterisation of ‘misguided’, plus I’d appreciate if you can point out the scientific support for same.

      • There is no ‘high certainty’ of either catastrophe or not catastrophe. As I have said all along.

      • “There is no ‘high certainty’ of either catastrophe or not catastrophe. As I have said all along.”

        The jury would still seem to be out regarding what the science of the physical climate system says about probabilities / possibilities and the associated certainties / uncertainties on whatever timescales. Hence the different science camps and robust debate between same. I’ve no idea about the physical science; your own theory appears to be challenged by both sceptics and the orthodox but for all I know could win out. I guess only time will tell. But in the social domain and independently of any such debate, the cultural certainty of an imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet is driving fear and inappropriate behaviour on a large scale. Of course it’s just as true that a cultural conviction that there can’t be an issue (which has a more variable nature and also per country, but e.g. for some on the US right ‘because its all a left-wing hoax’) likewise has no basis in reality. But the very considerable influence over decades from the former cultural certainty as propagated by presidents (recently excepting Trump of course), prime ministers, high ministers, the UN elite, religious leaders, economists, NGOs, plus many influencers, celebrities, businesses and other orgs and grass-roots movements as latterly joined by the childrens strikes and Extinction Rebellion, exceeds anything coming from science or indeed the miniscule voice of blogs (on any side).

      • Prediction may remain out of reach – but the history of the planet says that there is real risk of meeting surprises.

        https://history.aip.org/climate/rapid.htm

        This is missed by models, lukewarmer climate sensitivity and most others. You may discuss the precision, reliability or underlying mechanisms – but such a consilience of data is not up for debate.

      • Robert,

        “Prediction may remain out of reach – but the history of the planet says that there is real risk of meeting surprises.”

        I don’t doubt anyone from any science camp would baulk at the term ‘surprises’. But what probabilities of which scopes over what timescales for which categories of same, is presumably a significant part of why said camps still disagree.

        “You may discuss the precision, reliability or underlying mechanisms”

        In practice I don’t, though indeed those supporting views across the whole spectrum of the science of the climate system, do.

        “– but such a consilience of data is not up for debate.”

        This would only be the case if climate science was a mature domain from which consilience had long emerged (and I guess even mature domains occasionally get a bit of a surprise). Of course some in the orthodox camp claim that this is already so, although they haven’t reached the same conclusions as you or indeed the skeptics (or lukewarmers). However, from the outside so to speak, it doesn’t on the surface at least seem to obviously have the characteristics of a mature domain.

      • The answers to the opening questions would be unknown, unknown and unknown. The you was non specific – but may practically be confined to someone with a science education. The history of the planet shows rapid and sometimes extreme change – still far from completely explained. But data from different sources using different methods are consistent.

      • Robert,

        Okay. Well I have a degree in physics, but apart from some basics this doesn’t stretch very far into the complexities of the climate system. And anyhow that’s not where I go, so as we’ve reached the edge of that territory I’ll walk no further.

      • Well – as I said – where you go is peripheral to practical social, economic and environmental progress.

      • Robert,

        Perhaps, but where the culture of catastrophism (based upon a certainty of an imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet) goes, is highly relevant to those spheres. Mostly generating fear and irrationality, with consequently inappropriate behaviours / policy.

      • You couldn’t resist repeating this yet again? However – irrational complacency could be more of a problem. .

      • Robert,

        The former is happening now. Regarding useful guidance about the latter, even from your own favoured science there is currently only ‘unknown, unknown, unknown’. Meanwhile strong cultures such as that of climate catastrophism based on a certainty of imminent apocalypse, are polarising, so causing irrationality both aligned *and* in opposition; a worst case that among many effects tramples no regrets policies and via multiple biases and cultural conflict works against progress towards understanding those unknowns.

      • My ‘favored science’ is really just expectation that the future will resemble the past – with some added impetus.

      • Robert,

        Well using the past as a guide is eminently reasonable. However, as noted above all of the climate science positions draw upon proxies for the past, yet nevertheless still come to different conclusions.

      • “First scientists had to convince themselves, by shuttling back and forth between historical data and studies of possible mechanisms, that it made sense to propose shifts as “rapid” as a thousand years. Only then could they come around to seeing that shifts as “rapid” as a hundred years could be plausible. And only after that could they credit still swifter changes. Without this gradual shift of understanding, the Greenland cores would never have been drilled. The funds required for these heroic projects came to hand only after scientists reported that climate could change in damaging ways on a timescale meaningful to governments. In an area as difficult as climate science, where all is complex and befogged, it is hard to see what one is not prepared to look for.” https://history.aip.org/climate/rapid.htm

        The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002. A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations. A new science paradigm is one that better explains data – in this case climate data – than the old theory. The new theory says that climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain. These days – you would be hard pressed to find any informed opinion that climate doesn’t change abruptly in response to internal mechanisms.

      • I note that the science camp which rails against the IPCC for being too conservative, afaics mainly with regard to consideration of tipping points and abrupt events, appears to be a small minority. One presumes that this isn’t because the mainstream don’t acknowledge abrupt events too (there’s certainly discussion in AR5), but because they have a different take on the probabilities, scope, timescales and impacts of same. Being in the minority doesn’t necessarily mean being wrong, yet as (also minority) sceptics and lukewarmers are tilting against the IPCC too but in the opposite direction, it would seem to me that this is all far from resolved.

      • I( read the first assessment report in 1991 – decided the solutions were technological and carried on with hydrology. I was engaged even then in a quest to understand decadal variability.

        e.g. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233871224_Geomorphic_Effects_of_Alternating_Flood-_and_Drought-Dominated_Regimes_on_NSW_Coastal_Rivers

        By 2007 I did a subject search and have not read much on the IPCC since. They are uninspired, internally inconsistent and plodding at best. It is not of course the primary literature. The responses from the chattering classes is of even less interest.

        The fundamental rapidity, scope and frequency of past changes is known. This will happen again. How close the planet is to another tipping point is unknown – but they were most common when the planet was changing most rapidly. Evade it as you may try – but these are ineluctable facts.

        If you have some science that says otherwise and not just sociological chatter?

      • Robert,

        No, I don’t. The physical science is not my thing. Nor am I disagreeing (or agreeing) to your above. I just note that all the science camps have quite different views on the nature, probabilities and impacts of abrupt change / tipping points. And in particular the mainstream / IPCC camp takes a more conservative view, to which the minority camp you seem to be aligned to objects. So from this…

        “They are uninspired, internally inconsistent and plodding at best.”

        I take it you likewise think their approach is wrong / too conservative?

        “It is not of course the primary literature.”

        Well regarding ACO2 effects and the climate system in general, the world thinks that it is. This doesn’t necessarily make it correct of course; it could even be nonsense on a stick. But it’s essentially the definition of the mainstream, what the world points to for ‘the’ science, and involving far more scientists than any other consolidated view. Of course, the sceptics think the IPCC is wrong too.

        I’ve no idea which view future history will endorse. I just note that where there is such a wide spectrum even within the enterprise of science itself, and however earnest and genuine those pursuing particular theories are, perhaps the only real conclusion is that the science is still immature.

      • What bizarre dissonance. I don’t read the secondary literature – or indeed any (groan) climate blogs other than this – no new thoughts in decades.

        But I think you will find that there are no ‘science camps’ about what happened in the past. The future is another country. And there it is probably hydrology and biology at most risk. I certainly wouldn’t endorse complacency in the face of ignorance – whatever summer camp prevails – 😎

        I think that the ruling climate paradigm has been decided on. There are – however – always science dinosaurs and the intransigently oblivious commentariat.

        “Since knowledge of the climate system’s past and current states is generally imperfect, as are the models that utilise this knowledge to produce a climate prediction, and since the climate system is inherently nonlinear and chaotic, predictability of the climate system is inherently limited. Even with arbitrarily accurate models and observations, there may still be limits to the predictability of such a nonlinear system.” AR4

      • An emphatic no on agreement with the IPCC then. But I think they and other camps do have a different interpretation of what the events of the past tell us, otherwise their positions would be much closer.

      • You have lost me. There are tipping points in the Earth system. You obviously understand little of Earth system geophysics – but that’s what the IPCC says. And that they are not predictable.

        Primary literature – btw – is the stuff in peer reviewed journals that the IPCC reports on.

      • Indeed geophysics not my thing. Re primary literature, this is indeed what I thought but you seemed to indicate above that the IPCC didn’t deal in this. I guess I misunderstood you. Yes as I noted above AR5 discusses tipping points and abrupt change, but their overall conclusions (which therefore incorporate all their considerations of same), as you name it the ‘the ruling climate paradigm’, are quite different to yours. My point was only that to get to that paradigm they must have a different interpretation regarding the lessons of past events.

      • No they are not different – but if you have any specific citations in support of your nonsense feel free.

        The IPCC assessment reports remain not primary literature as I gave as a reason for not wasting my time wading through. Which you then insisted were. The confusion – or post hoc dissimulation – is yours.

      • Quite likely the confusion is mine. However, I was only trying determine your position re the IPCC / AR5 (and we’ll stick to the tech chapters). You seem to be quite definitive about disagreeing with same, but when I say that this must necessarily include their assessment of abrupt change, you fall back to the papers and not the IPCC conclusion. Well fine, but this still means your interpretation differs to what is considered as the mainstream position. You may not consider this to be valid, by virtue of a flawed IPCC process, and indeed from a very different viewpoint sceptics would very much agree with that too. But it is nevertheless the de facto standard.

      • I gave you what is the mainstream position from AR4. Climate is a nonlinear, chaotic system. You simply miss the relevant passages – if you have done more than a cursory reading – because you don’t have the relevant cognitive architecture to understand what it means. It is what the IPCC says and has since 2001.

      • Robert,

        consolidated this thread to my comment at August 9, 2019 at 7:47 pm, on other thread below.

  56. Pingback: Weekly Local weather and Vitality Information Roundup #370 – IT INFORMATION

  57. Pingback: Weekly Local weather and Power Information Roundup #370 – Daily News

  58. 1. State of Fear: Our elites have chosen a deeply irresponsible path over several decades in bombarding the population including children with a propagandising catastrophe narrative that is intended to create fear. It is false, not based on real science. Fear is the objective, the currency that they need to achieve their political ends.

    Strongly agree.

    2. Greta Thunberg is an analogue of Malala.

    Disagree. Malala did not choose a bullet through her head. She was that rarity, a real victim in an endless sea of wannabe faux victims. Her response showed real courage, whereas all Greta has done is cashed in on privilege. Malala works in rural Pakistan to make things better for people, exposing herself to danger. Greta joins the millionaire club and sails the Atlantic in a millionaire sail boat, and gets called a hero for it.

    3. Greta Thunberg is an equivalent of Nongqawuse.

    Strongly agree. Nongqawuse preached a difference between impure, contaminated cattle and grain, as against the pure cattle and grain that would miraculously appear after the great sacrifice. The great sacrifice that Nongqawuse demanded is directly equivalent to the great green sacrifice now demanded of us, to destroy fossil fuel and nuclear energy resources that are economically needed for the population’s survival. After the great sacrifice, Nongqawuse prophecies that pure cattle would miraculously rise up out of the sea. In the same way, the Greta PR machine prophecies that in response to our obedient sacrifice of energy resources, pure green energy generation and grid batteries will in like manner rise up miraculously out of the sea. Out of a sea of research funding at least. The belief is that enough money can buy you any technology including a time machine. It won’t happen and disaster will follow.

    4. Greta Thunberg is the equivalent of David Attenborough.

    Strongly agree. Greta is naive and simplistic on account of youth and mild autism. David Attenborough is naive and simple partly from senility and partly from the mind numbing effect of a lifetime spent in the Talebanically hard left environment of the BBC. Both GT and DA provide a cutesy, not quite all there mascot for devotion to the green religion and belief in the great green sacrifice.

    5. Scaring children is OK.

    Disagree – but everyone does it.

    In bring you our three daughters – who are now teenagers – it struck me the extraordinary level of shocking and ugly violence that is present in the traditional repertoire of children stories that we feel obliged to regale to our children. This even includes bible stories.
    Pigs eaten by a wolf
    Wolf boils to death in cauldron
    Old witch tries to eat children
    Children push witch in oven
    Wolf eats grandmother
    David kills Goliath with stone and cuts his head off
    Herod kills all children in town trying to get the messiah
    Etc…
    Anyone looking objectively at our culture from outside could be forgiven for thinking it extraordinarily violent, with violence inculcated almost from birth. (I resorted to making up my own stories to tell our children.)

    • Phil, thanks for your input.

      “Greta Thunberg is an analogue of Malala.
      Disagree.”

      So for consistency with the head post, I think you mean:
      ‘Greta Thunberg is not an analogue of Malala.
      Agree.’

      Per section 1.1 in the head post, we do indeed scare children all the time culturally (which includes religious fears and to some extent fairy tales). Reasonable and reasoning secular societies should avoid or at least minimise this, and religious societies (given these aren’t going away any time soon) should limit the practice to core values and ensure that the cultural nature of the touted fear registers (which means it’ll have far less impact than a reality fear, yet still serve the religious purpose of reinforcing group identity / values). However as the post points out, climate catastrophism features a strong cultural fear, i.e. a certainty (absent a near-term shut-down of fossil fuel usage) of an imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet, which despite the cultural narrative claims full backing by science, is not in fact supported by mainstream (AR5) or skeptical or lukewarmer science. So as one would expect many children mistake this for a real fear, and hence are genuinely afraid.

    • I should clarify that I have great respect for David Attenborough. Only I’m disappointed that he’s being used as something of a political totem. Also I wonder how good it is for him to still be engaged in filming and politics at his very advanced age.

    • Andy
      So for consistency with the head post, I think you mean:
      ‘Greta Thunberg is not an analogue of Malala.
      Agree.’

      Yes – thanks for that correction!

      I agree wholeheartedly both that (a) the coordinated and determined media – political strategy of endlessly ramping up alarmist language of doom and imminent harm is irresponsible to the point of being abusive to those mentally susceptible to anxiety and chronic stress (about climate, pollution, genetic modification, “harmful” electromagnetic waves from WiFi and mobile phones and all the other techno-dystopic phobias); and (b) that, as you have comprehensively proved in previous posts, the catastrophe narrative is not supported by mainstream science, being refuted as groundless without any need of reference to marginal “skeptical” literature and narrative.

      You are making your points in the right way, with thorough and meticulous research, logical argument, measured language and patience – an example to us all!

  59. Seaweed sinks deep, taking carbon with it

    https://phys.org/news/2019-08-seaweed-deep-carbon.html?fbclid=IwAR1Dy-YTxNfLsdlPi2uXekCqQkpNVhns5BaCDX_3d5ciyF_N9y6aaY8Nv3A

    “This finding has huge implications for how the global carbon dioxide budget is calculated,” says Ph.D. student Alejandra Ortega…”

    Good news. More seaweed, less carbon near the sea surface. When it’s climatically colder, less sinking and storing.

  60. hello Andy West,

    A lot of words about Greta Thunberg.
    And a lot of words – same number! – to much. We should have sent her back to school. Immediate!

    But you weren’t talking about Greta. You were talking about a nerve which is hindering you, some unwelcome element in a discussion which you would like to see based on material values.

    And by writing this post you evoked Robert I. Ellington.
    Who also doesn’t want to talk about that nerve.
    Ellington wants to talk about the wrongness of your attitude toward climate change.
    Ellington wants to talk about his rightness of his attitude to climate change.

    He delivered 79 comments on that.
    You started answering him about halfway – adding a lot of words to your essay. To no avail.

    I wish you all the best with these traders in communication blurrers.

    • leonardo
      communication blurrer is a good term.
      No matter how much anyone reaches out to him, he just ploughs on regardless.

    • Challenging cultural memes of not catastrophe is a challenge to skeptic dogma that obviously can’t go unanswered by many in this would be skeptic echo chamber – with much obvious personal disparagement.

      The inevitability of catastrophe undermines the foundation of skepticism. So we get much in the way of motivated reasoning and cognitive dissonance – equal to anything seen on the other side.

  61. “The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.” https://www.nap.edu/read/10136/chapter/2

    Abrupt climate changes – internal variability rather than forced – have been analysed for decades. That it’s unknown how close the system is to tipping – and that transitions are more common when the system is being forced to change most rapidly – is not a scientific leap of faith. Internal variability is missed by models, ‘lukewarmer’ climate sensitivity and by Leonardo. Who misses much else it seems.

    Arguing against the skeptic anti-catastrophe meme in this forum is what seems to have hit a nerve.

    • Internal fallibility more like. Force the climate harder and it responds with a cold AMO and multi-year La Nina, which then increases low cloud cover in the mid latitudes and reduces lower troposphere water vapour. As in the 1970’s and early 1900’s during stronger solar wind states. That puts a firm lid on your warming tipping points. The major periods of hunger, disease, migration, poverty, and civilisation collapse historically, are consistently associated with grand solar minima.

      • I find it difficult to imagine what forcing you are referring to. If not the solar indirect effect on the Arctic Oscillation. But the AO is very variable with multiple causes and feedbacks.

        That solar intensity may bias the system to La Nina like states seems possible. Over the past 1000 years.

        But problems seem more to do with associated hydrological variability – megadroughts and megafloods such as was not seen in the 20th century. In the longer term climate changes with ice and other slow feedbacks. Data shows. It is all physical, internal and nonlinear.

      • Solar effects dominate the NAO/AO anomalies at weekly-monthly scale. Much of that noise would not otherwise exist.
        During the next solar grand minimum series, El Nino intensity will be double the 1997-98 El Nino, like from 3300 years ago.

      • More to the point. See fig 4 in link here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/307704719_Glacier_response_to_North_Atlantic_climate_variability_during_the_Holocene
        Between 8k2 and 4k. In (C) the four sharp spikes correlate to abrupt events. In (B) the two abrupt changes at 5k2 and 7k2 also correspond to geologic/seismic events. All correlated to other proxies. Eg. the spike at (C) 5550BP is the Sahara drying (DeMenocal).

        The problem is not to throw away what has been gained, but to keep it all in the face of drastic changes. The ancients succeeded before us.

      • Your ‘Core Findings on Rainfall’ chart is from where? It shows it wetter during centennial solar minima, i.e. during a warm AMO and with increased El Nino conditions.

      • melita:
        There was a series of great earthquakes around the Mediterranean 1250-1200 BC during a grand solar minimum, and again in the 350-60’s AD during the early antique little ice age.

      • Ulric – I have given the reference many times before. It refers to Australian rainfall – enhanced in negative IPO/La Nina like states.
        .

        https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00003.1

        But making too much of a single data point – the millennial solar max and El Nino – and lower activity with centuries of La Nina like states before that – in a system with multiple causes and feedbacks is just not science.

        I have an idea that the multi-decadal modes arise from wind driven modulation of Pacific Ocean gyres. That based on periodicity may be related to solar magnetic reversal rather than irradiance. Small changes biasing the physical ocean system to one state or another.


        https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/gsofacpubs/140/

        Even then – stating that AO variability is dominated by solar variability goes beyond what science – or you – can demonstrate.

      • Completely backwards. Negative NAO/AO increases during centennial solar minima, and -NAO/AO is directly associated with slower trade winds, and hence increased El Nino conditions. I don’t see that rainfall chart in the paper that you linked. Northern Australia does get wetter during a centennial solar minimum, but the South gets drier. The claim in the paper that Southeast Australia was wetter from the mid-1780s to the mid-1830s, is garbage.

        1803 Drought in New South Wales (NSW) that produced severe crop failures.
        1809 Beginning of an unusually severe drought in NSW that continued until 1811.
        1813−15 Severe drought in NSW that prompted searches for new pastures.
        1826−29 Severe drought in NSW that caused Lake George to dry up and the Darling River to cease flowing

        Because the frequency of El Nino episodes roughly doubled, as they have done since 2014, as per my forecast.
        https://sites.google.com/site/medievalwarmperiod/Home/historic-el-nino-events

        Effects on winter circulation of short and long term solar wind changes:
        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273117713005802

      • Low solar activity may be one of the factors in a negative AO – but this spins up trade winds directly – and results in more eastern Pacific upwelling – as a response to enhanced winds and ocean currents off the Peruvian and Californian coasts. The flows diverge eastward near the equator due to the Coriolis effect.

        But it is clear from multiple sources that eastern Australia was comparatively wet and California dry over much of the last millennium.

      • The chart – btw – comes from the Antarctic ‘Center of Excellence’ and is consistent with data graphed in the study.

      • You need some help with the basics Robert.

        https://www.amap.no/documents/download/1746/inline

      • The key is westerly winds penetrating deeper into lower latitudes. It’s the penguins wot dun it.


        http://www.climatekelpie.com.au/index.php/climatedogs/

      • Multi-decadal variability in the Pacific is defined as the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (e.g. Folland et al,2002, Meinke et al, 2005, Parker et al, 2007, Power et al, 1999) – a proliferation of oscillations it seems. The latest Pacific Ocean climate shift in 1998/2001 is linked to increased flow in the north (Di Lorenzo et al, 2008) and the south (Roemmich et al, 2007, Qiu, Bo et al 2006)Pacific Ocean gyres. Roemmich et al (2007) suggest that mid-latitude gyres in all of the oceans are influenced by decadal variability in the Southern and Northern Annular Modes (SAM and NAM respectively) as wind driven currents in baroclinic oceans (Sverdrup, 1947).

        And you need to survey the literature and think about physical mechanisms.

      • You should thank me for correcting you with the real association of negative NAO/AO with slower trade winds, rather than lecture me on surveying the literature when you obviously have not.

      • Trade winds picked up this century with cooler La Nina like conditions – until the pause ended. Now you just have to decide what the AO was doing and how that influenced things.

        https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/teleconnections/ao/

  62. Robert I Ellison: Abrupt climate changes – internal variability rather than forced – have been analysed for decades.

    Abrupt climate changes that are not forced do not satisfy the NAS definition of “abrupt climate change” that you like to cite.

    “What defines a climate change as abrupt? Technically, an abrupt climate change occurs when the climate system is forced to cross some threshold, triggering a transition to a new state at a rate determined by the climate system itself and faster than the cause. Chaotic processes in the climate system may allow the cause of such an abrupt climate change to be undetectably small.” https://www.nap.edu/read/10136/chapter/3#14

    Thus, in practice, you allow at least two kinds of “abrupt” climate change, those that satisfy the NAS definition and those that do not.

    If this be pettifoggery, make the most of it.

    • Seriously? Obviously not. Can we put that definition in a graphic?

      • Ooo – gets me every time!
        Post it again!

      • Then you should understand what it means in illustration of the NAS definition. And not solely as childish denigration.

      • Robert I Ellison: Seriously? Obviously not. Can we put that definition in a graphic?

        Does a change in a “control parameter” correspond to internal variability rather than forced or the climate system is forced to cross some threshold ?

        Do you not distinguish between catastrophes and bifurcations?

      • To save people from the same confusion Matthew suffers from. A control parameter causes the system to cross a threshold after which a transition between climate regimes is determined by internal variability in interacting multiple physical subsystems.

        “The global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems — atmosphere,
        biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere — each of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another. The interactions between the subsystems thus
        give rise to climate variability on all time scales.” https://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/9789814579933_0002

        Understanding science requires understanding the concepts behind words – and not merely playing with words.

      • Robert I Ellison: A control parameter causes the system to cross a threshold after which a transition between climate regimes is determined by internal variability in interacting multiple physical subsystems.

        You don’t distinguish between parameters and forcings, do you? Or catastrophes and bifurcations, eh?

      • What do you imagine the difference is?

      • No answer suggests – as he admits in a comment above – no serious intent as I said.

        Climate shifts in response to the physical state of the system with fast and slow feedbacks. Ice, ocean and atmospheric circulation, cloud, etc. It may be called bifurcation, catastrophe, phase transition, tipping point, etc. It may hint at simple rules at the heart of climate complexity.

        e.g. http://www.ajsonline.org/content/312/4/417.short

        But poncing about playing with words is a waste of everyone’s time.

      • It may be called bifurcation, catastrophe, phase transition, tipping point, etc.

        These are totally distinct terms, cluelessness about whose exact technical meaning is hidden by resorting typically to a projection:

        [P]laying with words is a waste of everyone’s time.

      • “We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point. The presence of a phase transition is crucial to learn how to diagnose in advance the symptoms associated with a coming dragon-king.” https://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290

        The problem with angry hand waving at terminology is that it means so very little.

        “There is something much more complicated and qualitatively radically different from the temporal (Lorenzinan) chaos – the spatio-temporal chaos. There is no established spatio-temporal chaos theory. It is cutting edge and a few people have worked on this only for a few decades.” https://judithcurry.com/2011/02/10/spatio-temporal-chaos/

        Not even that any of these terms strictly apply to the physical climate system.

      • Merely regurgitating ideas that are, at best, tangential to specific topics in science is an indicator of lack of technical competence. Constantly quoting the abstruse mathematical ruminations of Milanovic on spatio-temporal chaos as if they were proven physical principles is no more than pretentious scientific posturing.

      • And waffling on with tendentious irrelevancies is the best you can manage. I am concerned with climate data – in which emergent patterns suggest spatio-temporal chaos. But if you had a clue it would be lonely.

        e.g. http://www.ds.mpg.de/LFPB/chaos

      • John321s: These are totally distinct terms, cluelessness about whose exact technical meaning is hidden by resorting typically to a projection:

        quoting RIE:[P]laying with words is a waste of everyone’s time.

        I think you are witnessing a positive dedication to sloppiness.

      • And yet there is not only a lack of any explicit distinction between these abstract – and not strictly applicable – terms. But no sense at all of how the paradigm is based on empirical data. The test is that the hypothesis explains observation. Otherwise it is just not science.

      • Robert I Ellison: No answer suggests – as he admits in a comment above – no serious intent as I said.

        No answer doesn’t generally suggest anything, but in this case it signaled the expectation of a nonsensical reply.

      • Yet there is still nothing more than the ‘trolling’ Matthew seemed very pleased with himself about yesterday.

      • Robert I Ellison: To save people from the same confusion Matthew suffers from. A control parameter causes the system to cross a threshold after which a transition between climate regimes is determined by internal variability in interacting multiple physical subsystems.

        Well, as I wrote, I think it is you that is confused. You transit back and forth between mathematical spaces (“control parameters”) and measured phenomena (“patterns” [in other posts] and “internal variability”) with no coherent relations between the two regions of intellectual space (so to speak.) In each realm you abjure careful awareness of definitions and other details. At some times, you claim to avoid the mathematics all together, even after quoting some.

        I addressed these remarks in response to a post from you. But I have written them for the denizens. For my autobiographical details anyone can read about me, and read some of my other work, at my ResearchGate page. It little matters in the blogosphere that I have a PhD degree in statistics, but so I do. I have experience in nonlinear dynamic modeling of non-stationary multivariate time series. On the topics for which I engage you, I know more than you do.

        As I wrote, “You are seriously confused.”

      • The control variable is a physical phenomenon in a physical system. And you don’t know your arse from your elbow. I have given dozens of examples of mathematical approaches to Earth dynamics. None of them advanced enough to provide predictive analysis of the large and complex Earth system. Whatever hand waving at ‘nonlinear dynamic modeling of non-stationary multivariate time series’ you pretend to.

        e.g. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

        Or perhaps more practical big data approaches.

        https://www.pnas.org/content/112/13/3856

        https://www.pnas.org/content/112/13/3856

        I – and Didier Sornette – defined ‘phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point’ as equivalent terms and you suggest it is sloppy thinking. With neither you or John providing anything to back these amazing claims to the contrary.

        What I have said is that there is a real world out there and that only patient observation can provide the data required to understand it.

  63. Quote “Abrupt climate changes – internal variability rather than forced —“.
    Evidence point to ‘climate change’ as a runner-up collateral to geologic and earth dynamic change. It is the prime forcing agent that is completely unknown.

    As to the question of “how abrupt?” geology point to as fast as ‘a day and a night’. On a much much smaller scale look at Pompeii, Akrotiri, Sendai, Mt St Helens.

    • We are looking at transitions in physical states when driven a past a chaotic threshold by changes in ‘control variables’. Orbit and solar variability primarily, anthrpogenic emissions and land use changes potentially. The rest is all multiple positive and negative feedbacks against a backdrop of geologically varying resonance. And with random elements – volcanoes and meteorites. No intrinsic mystery – but the devil is in detail.

  64. Some in this thread have referred to Greta Thunberg as “mentally ill”. This is not correct. Being on the autism spectrum is a disability for those at the extreme end. But for a much larger number including Greta, and probably quite a few others on this discussion including maybe myself who are at the milder, high functioning end of the autism spectrum, I don’t think it is inappropriate to call it a sickness.

    It’s really just an alternative type of mind and mental / behavioural organisation.

    There are broadly two neuro-tribes (a term coined by Steve Silberman): the autists and the byzantines. You are either one or the other. Autists are often happy within themselves, but byzantines are uncomfortable with them since they don’t operate by byzantine rules. So byzantines call autism a sickness. When the problem is with the byzantines’ reaction to autists, not with the autists themselves.

    Autists are sometimes good at solving technical problems such as computer programming and maths. (Although I’m not much good at either). The modern technological world has resulted in a slow increase in the proportion of autists in the population.

    • Correction of double negative :
      I don’t think it’s appropriate to call it a sickness.

    • Thanks for that, and absolutely right it’s not a mental illness of course. As it happens I have a nephew at the extreme end of Autism, and know very well two people with Asperger’s (actually one sadly passed away so ‘knew’ in this case). There are a couple of footnotes referring to young people and cultural (mostly religious) belief, but also in regard to ASD and literal interpretations, as non-literal interpretation is an important cultural feature.

    • You’re right. It’s not a mental illness. I am have it mildly I think. One son has it enough to be challenged with it. Another son is working on his PhD in physics. Which may be a form of mental illness.

  65. Pingback: Gretas vuxna | Frihetsportalen

  66. I think it’s true. For me was always a hard topic…

  67. Reference 16 is extremely vague about slave status of the Xhosa. This was in a British Colony where slavery had been abolished long before 1856. The Great Trek of 1836 where the Boers left the Colony was partly associated with compensation arrangements for abolishment of slavery. The British settlers of 1820 to this region were specifically not allowed to have slaves on their farms. Sounds like revisionist history creeping in here.

    • Thanks, Warrick. Quite possibly. I scanned many sources created over a very long period, and some in contradiction regarding details about numbers who died and their fates. Slavery was mentioned in a couple but indeed as you note it would have been done illegally as this was abolished (depending on quite how you measure it) in 1834 or 1838, about 20 years before the cattle killings. Not that illegality is unknown in the colonies, but there have been various biases surrounding this topic over time, and so maybe this is just a product of same and I shouldn’t indeed have let the word creep in.

    • P.S. wage labour as also mentioned, would presumably in any case be dominant.

  68. What has slavery got to do with it?
    The Xhosa habitually launched cattle raids over the traditional border and were smashed by the British.
    The sulked in their kraals wondering how to get revenge, then along came the demented young female witch and they did their best to commit ethnic suicide.
    Their avowed enemy, the British, provided humane aid to save them from starvation and death.
    After a few years they recovered and resumed their cattle raids to replenish their self-decimated herds.

    • “What has slavery got to do with it?”

      Very little indeed, if anything. A couple of sources mention that of the many thousands who left the area after the cattle killings rather than starve, some ended up in slavery. As Warrick notes above this might just be historical bias, and I probably shouldn’t have allowed the word to creep in anyhow.

  69. speaking of child prophets (or at least childish ones) even a stopped clock is right twice a day:
    From Judith’s retweet
    https://www.weareiowa.com/news/national-news/new-michael-moore-backed-doc-tackles-alternative-energy/

    “It was kind of crushing to discover that the things I believed in weren’t real, first of all, and then to discover not only are the solar panels and wind turbines not going to save us … but (also) that there is this whole dark side of the corporate money … It dawned on me that these technologies were just another profit center.”

    • “We all want to feel good about something like the electric car, but in the back of your head somewhere you’ve thought, ‘Yeah but where is the electricity coming from? And it’s like, ‘I don’t want to think about that, I’m glad we have electric cars,’” Moore said.“

      Apparently for some the distance from the back of the head to the front of the head is farther than for others. Or, it could be blamed on one of those slow starting lightbulbs.

      Last summer I drove by the supposed walled in mansion/fortress of the man of the people Moore in northern Michigan. Reminds me a little of Bernie.

      • It’s always interesting to see people discover that what they’ve been told isn’t true.
        Germany will be particularly fascinating- as it slowly dawns on people they’ve spent hundreds of billions of Euros on wind and solar with negligible impact on emissions, more than double the price for electricity, and the grand “green” plan to turn off the nukes means a switch to natural gas.
        But I’m not sure it will dawn on people. When you do something that stupid, at that grand a scale, the desire to hide in a pretense of “success” will be excruciating. I think they’ll pat themselves on the back for their noble endeavor, watch more Greta videos, and never ever do it again.

  70. “We find a broad range of transitions passing our classification criteria (Fig. 1, Table 1, and SI Appendix, Table S1), which can be grouped into four categories (Table 1 and Fig. 2). They include abrupt shifts in sea ice and ocean circulation patterns as well as abrupt shifts in vegetation and the terrestrial cryosphere.”
    https://www.pnas.org/content/112/43/E5777#F1

    There is a high certainty of abrupt shifts in climate in future – complicated by human changes to land use and atmosphere. Three or four times this century at least as shifts in ocean and atmospheric circulation happen at multidecadal scales -with dramatic effects on global hydrology and biology.

    Andy handwaves at the IPCC and imagines that there are other interpretations. Phil contemplates fractal geometry and discovers that small shifts are more common than large. Ulric unwittingly provides a proof of extreme hydrological variability over the Holocene in the Moy et al ENSO proxy. Matthew doesn’t know his arse from his elbow.

    Abrupt climate change is the new black. In a war that has been lost in the public domain – it is the last nail in the coffin of skepticism.

    • “Andy handwaves at the IPCC and imagines that there are other interpretations.”

      You think that the conclusions of AR5, from the IPCC that you characterise as ‘science dinosaurs’, those ‘uninspired, internally inconsistent and plodding at best’ folks, are the same as yours in this respect?? If their interpretations are broadly the same as yours, why the battery of insults?

      • As with the primary sources – the reports are far from internally consistent.

        The out of context quotes are consistent with the parson’s egg nature of the reports. I give you the politically inspired summary for policy makers. But you have still to give any specific citations I can agree or not with. I gave you a very specific quotation on the unpredictability of climate that I agree with. Don’t you?

        But there are always science dinosaurs as I said in full.

      • Well I don’t disagree with your assessment of SPMs and inconsistency and at any rate was referring (similarly to above) to the tech chapters. But for instance their overall impacts in cost terms, are mild. Is it not the case that this is *not* what you are predicting, but something far more impactful?

      • “While climate models exhibit various levels of decadal climate variability and some regional similarities to observations, none of the model simulations considered match the observed signal in terms of its magnitude, spatial patterns and their sequential time development. These results highlight a substantial degree of uncertainty in our interpretation of the observed climate change using current generation of climate models.” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-018-0044-6

        Only if you *believe* that the future is predictable. I believe in surprises.

      • Robert,

        “I believe in surprises.”

        Yet all of the science positions acknowledge surprises in some form, the issue being their different interpretations of how these might change (or not) from a past that may also be interpreted differently, and what meaning this has for future impacts and timescales / probabilities thereof. It goes without saying that you think the evidence for your own theory (no doubt held by others too) is the strongest. But it is only one position on a spectrum within the enterprise of science. Challenging the de facto mainstream IPCC position due to the nature of its process is also perfectly valid (sceptics do likewise, and the process is hardly one that is typical of science). But if all the scientists directly or indirectly involved in this process were magically released from same and any pressure to conform, how many would sign up to your theory rather than say a skeptic or lukewarmer theory? Or indeed continue to cleave to an IPCC-like line or perhaps even take a new position? We cannot know this, and until science gets to work as it should regarding the evaluation of all propositions, it remains the case to date that whether future history grants your theory stellar status, puts it in the bin, or somewhere in-between, it is only one position on a spectrum.

      • “… and since the climate system is inherently nonlinear and chaotic…” AR4

        The imperfectly known past is a prelude to the unknowable future. But the fundamental mode of climate is as firmly established as the 2 other great ideas of 20th century physics. Even by the IPCC.

      • You repeat yet again this attempt to marginalize ‘my theory’. And suggest that there are alternate views. Even if so – uncertainty about the future is absolute and complacency absurd.

        But you are clueless about the power of this paradigm (of mine – 🤣) to explain climate data – and the breadth of it’s acceptance in dynamical Earth system science. How to adapt?

        “The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind,
        i.e., it depends on the accuracy and reliability
        of the forecast …”
        https://dept.atmos.ucla.edu/sites/default/files/tcd/files/michael_ghil_p1-mac2i-2017.pdf

        But the question is better addressed front on than farting around with motivated skeptic trivia.

      • Robert,

        “You repeat yet again this attempt to marginalize ‘my theory’. ”

        I am not trying to marginalize your theory (plus understand that others share your approach too). All that you present in terms of physical climate science (and generic maths / physics) supporting it, and in challenge to others with different theories, is perfectly fine and dandy. And indeed I don’t claim to understand ‘the power’ of this paradigm. But to claim it has inarguable primacy and obvious policy outcome essentially ‘because past events’ or ‘because surprises’, is inappropriate as all positions have some consideration of these, nevertheless drawing different lessons about the scope / categories / timescales / probabilities of future surprises, and so impact assessments from same. As you noted regarding these bounding issues even from your own perspective, they are currently ‘unknown, unknown, unknown’, so indicating immature science. And very little is inarguable within immature science. I think your engagements with others would make far more progress if you acknowledged this and simply stood upon your evidence, rather than attempting to claim what amounts to a divine right for your (and others) interpretation of what chaos / tipping-point theory must mean for us regarding future climate impacts upon any useful / meaningful horizon. This improved engagement may in turn assist with the attempt to ‘Better understand the system and its forcings’, as the slides you linked to state in its ‘what to do’ conclusion.

      • Again – it is not all that difficult. There are tipping points in the Earth system.

        This is a version of a graphic in the Ghil article. It is not clear what theories you think there are – but climate is neither linear or periodic. Even the IPCC says so.

        We are changing the atmosphere with little understanding of consequence.

    • “Even the IPCC says so”

      Well of course. But you nevertheless disagree with this ‘dinosaur’. Exactly my point, that outcomes are disagreed upon.

  71. Abrupt climate change is the new black. In a war that has been lost in the public domain – it is the last nail in the coffin of skepticism.

    Sole reliance upon unverified models coupled with the religious fervor of CAGW rhetoric “in the public domain” is what exposes the “abrupt climate change” scare as wholly unscientific. The only coffin nail in sight is for your obsessive commentary.

  72. I rely on empirical science. John’s specialty is tendentious verbiage.

    https://history.aip.org/climate/rapid.htm

    The model results he refers to are both interesting and inconsistent. The discussion of mechanisms more interesting.

    With climate models the specific solution trajectory depends on initial conditions and boundary conditions. Presuming that these are accurate and that the physical mechanisms are well represented – a hugely improbable presumption in fact – then models may give some insight into possible futures. They are still not analogues of the system modeled.

    It is a way to anticipate a future for which the past is prelude.

    • I rely on empirical science. John’s specialty is tendentious verbiage.

      The “empirical science” referenced by your link consists entirely of poorly supported speculations from the usual cast of paleoclimatologists, who are utter strangers to rigorous geophysics and validated signal analysis of their proxy data. The cited “finding” that GISP2 and GRIP ice-core data agree closely is contradicted by a demonstrable lack of strong cross-spectral coherence. And the putative “abrupt” climate changes–for which they still fail to provide truly credible explanations–take place over centuries or more, not years.

      You remain pitifully unaware that to anyone experienced in doing bona fide research, the mere citation of speculative verbiage does not establish scientific validity.

  73. From Professor Curry’s twitter feed, a discussion about Climate Etc.:

  74. What happened to prolific little Jimmy Dee? Has he become the silent-junior partner of another omnipresent carpet bomber? Someone with inside knowledge implied that the two former antagonists have teamed up under one banner to perpetuate the incessant saturation bombing of this board….

    • Another egregiously meaningless comment from the peanut gallery. To go with the other dozens of personal attacks, trolling, repetitive ‘replies’ and pompous knowing (in the Feynman sense) from the CE would be echo chamber. Because if the science of the third great idea of 20th century physics is right on past and future abrupt climate change – then it puts the cat among skeptic pigeons.

      “What we’ve been able to work out about nature may look abstract and threatening to someone who hasn’t studied it, but it was fools who did it, and in the next generation, all the fools will understand it. There’s a tendency to pomposity in all this, to make it deep and profound.” Richard Feynman

      But what matters of course at the boundary of knowledge is… how little we do know. Don has an edge on mere mortals in this.

  75. I do not know who Jimmy Dee is, nor someone named “John” (referenced by Ellison). The comments have lost relevence. “incessant saturation bombing” is an apt description.

    The topic was about the catastrophic effect of climate alarmism on society and not the legitimacy of predicted catastrophic effects of climate change.

    • I don’t know who John is. But recognizing the potential for catastrophic climate change seems precisely the point. Even if beyond the cognitively dissonant comfort zone of skeptic curmudgeons. It undermines this entire skeptic meme.

      The remedy them – for the children – is to acknowledge risk and do something about it. I’ll leave the something up to you.

  76. Carpet bombing is a good description. 30% of the comments on this thread by one person. Most contain pejorative commends, abuse, snide remarks, personal insults, strawman arguments, diversions, and do not address the point.

    • The reality is polite responses to many dozens of repetitive ‘replies’ from Andy. Adding more science and new references conscientiously as I go.

      The other reality is many personal attacks such as this from Peter. The breadth and depth of this antipathy is a measure of how fundamental this non-catastrophe meme is in the skeptic universe. If it is untrue – if there are tipping points in the Earth system – then the skeptic raison d’être evaporates.

      There are phase transitions (equivalently…😎…) at decadal scales – delivering megadrought and megaflood. It is a truism that a system with such variance has a large dynamic sensitivity. We have seen how these vary sequentially and spatially across the globe.

      https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-018-0044-6/figures/3
      https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-018-0044-6

      Changes in AMOC have triggered profound changes in the past. Recent declines are expected to continue.

      https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-018-0044-6

      Sea ice feedback could see rapid reduction in temperature by as much as 10C in higher NH regions.

      Warming ocean elsewhere results in in more open convection cells in marine boundary layer stratocumulous and a positive warming feedback. I have provided many references to studies both observational and model based on cloud dynamics.

      A warmer equator and cooling higher norther latitudes is a recipe for climate turmoil well beyond our predictive capacities. Even for one with the blithely certain powers of Peter Lang. Shall we bake it and see on the basis of his gut feeling? Little wonder the kids are concerned.

      • This sentence from above is critical. Quote (REI) “A warmer equator and cooling higher norther latitudes is a recipe for climate turmoil well beyond our predictive capacities.”
        Yes, but its unlikely from no change in obliquity (as per the scientific thinking). However the empiricals say otherwise, and the next on the cycle based on evidence is a swing to low – by several degrees – .
        Impossible??? Prove it.

      • I was playing with scenarios from here. It involved a collapse in AMOC by 2060.

        https://www.pnas.org/content/112/43/E5777#F1

      • REI
        To clarify a point. I answered your post, however the following comment was aimed to the general field.
        Following the very recent events I add something here. As I see things, there are two opposing fields, one somewhat complacent, the other seemingly heading somewhere blindly. A recent event of UK blackout rang a bell. Some systems rely heavily on windpower. What do the off-shore machines withstand in terms of possible rogue-waves? (Thinking of Fukushima here)
        From https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10816-018-9386-y quote “archaeological evidence for palaeotsunami inundation, and they also appear to be contemporaneous with the as-yet poorly documented Garth tsunami (~ 5500 years BP).” The archaeological record shows 5550BP was a large tilt change.

    • melitamegalithic @ August 10, 2019 at 1:24 pm

      This sentence from above is critical. Quote (REI) “A warmer equator and cooling higher norther latitudes is a recipe for climate turmoil well beyond our predictive capacities.”
      Yes, but its unlikely from no change in obliquity (as per the scientific thinking). However the empiricals say otherwise, and the next on the cycle based on evidence is a swing to low – by several degrees – .
      Impossible??? Prove it.

      Regarding your “Yes”, empirical paleo evidence indicates that:

      1. the equator to polar temperature gradients are much less than now when the planet is warmer (Scotese 2018, Phanerozoic Temperatures, p20, compare chart for present against charts for 39.5 to 102.6 Ma ago: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324017003_Phanerozoic_Temperatures_Tropical_Mean_Annual_Temperature_TMAT_Polar_Mean_Annual_Temperature_PMAT_and_Global_Mean_Annual_Temperature_GMAT_for_the_last_540_million_years

      2. There is less wind when the planet is warmer and the temperature gradients are less (for example dust in ice cores during glacials versus interglacials, and grain size and accumulation rates of loess deposits during cold compared with warm times http://www.kobe-u.ac.jp/research_at_kobe_en/NEWS/news/2019_07_03_01.html

      Regarding your agreement with this quote:

      Quote: “A warmer equator and cooling higher norther latitudes is a recipe for climate turmoil well beyond our predictive capacities.”

      Yes, the statement is correct, but it is a strawman, because the opposite will happen as the planet warms. As the planet warms extra-tropical temperatures increase much more than tropical temperatures. Therefore, the tropics to polar temperature gradients reduce. (see Eocene equitable climate, the explanation of it, and Flora and Fauna here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eocene ).

      The most important point to get across is that global warming will be beneficial, therefore, there is no valid justification for policies that attempt to reduce global warming. If this statement is wrong “Prove it” with valid empirical evidence. (see: https://judithcurry.com/2019/07/12/week-in-review-science-edition-105/#comment-895281)

      • “The AMOC effectively collapses after year 2060. As a result of the AMOC collapse, cooling in the Nordic Seas spreads westward toward other deep water formation areas, like the Labrador Sea. Increase of sea ice in the whole Atlantic sector of the Arctic causes a temperature decrease of more than 4 °C in a 20°-wide latitude band (55°N−75°N), stretching from 60°W to 40°E. Between Iceland and Svalbard, a large region develops that features cooling above 10°C. South of 40°N and outside the Atlantic, global warming dominates.” https://www.pnas.org/content/112/43/E5777#F1

        Cosmic rays, Phanerozoic temperature and Wikipedia. It is all a bit desperate.

      • Peter Lang
        I was just pointing to one possible gremlin, defined as “Confounding Variable: An unforeseen, and unaccounted-for variable that jeopardizes reliability and validity of an experiment’s outcome.”
        The subject (of larger tilt change) made it into several papers some two decades ago but remained elusive. It has since been swept under the carpet. The subject is a killer – of careers admittedly- , and in other ways.

      • melitamegalithic,

        Thank you. Yes I understood your point. My comment was an attempt to redirect the topic back to what is important – that is, that global warming is probably beneficial. The basis for the CAGW cult’s beliefs is probably a false premise – i.e. that global warming will be harmful. That false premise needs to be debated at length; the evidence should be discussed, not continual diversions and avoidance of addressing it. Unfortunately, most attempts to discuss this key premise underpinning the CAGW belief get diverted to discussing irrelevancies.

  77. Peter,

    I could not agree more. Some of my personal favourites are:

    “You can lead an ass to water but you can’t make it drink.”

    “You should go back to more useful occupation Jimmy. Like sacrificing virgins”

    “We’re a font of cliches today”

    “I paraphrased accurately if less pompously”

    “Long winded trivia at best.”

    “You confuse sophistry with substance.”

    “You keep going around in long winded circles”

    “…this cultural narrative you are so fond of narrating about at great and dithering length”

    “metaphysical waffle”

    “pettifogging disputation from grumpy old men”

    “At the risk of repeating myself – because people seemingly have the attention span of gnats”

    “I don’t prattle on…nor do I indulge in pettifogging quibbles”

    “…it’s just that playing to the skeptic peanut gallery and their massively misguided certainty that catastrophe can’t happen is what you do best.”

    “God you are long winded”

    “just sociological chatter”

    “…poncing about playing with words is a waste of everyone’s time”

    “Waffling on with tendentious irrelevancies is the best you can manage”

    “If you had a clue it would be lonely.”

    “Matthew doesn’t know his arse from his elbow”

    “But the question is better addressed front on than farting around with motivated skeptic trivia”

    “John’s specialty is tendentious verbiage”

    “Another egregiously meaningless comment from the peanut gallery”

    “…cognitively dissonant comfort zone of skeptic curmudgeons”

    The shame is that, by drawing attention to some of Robert’s many self-indulgencies, I just know I am about to be the subject of another. What’s it to be this time, Robert? We are all waiting with bated breath.

    • Thanks – some of these show a nice turn of phrase. Many not personal – unless your sense of self is invested in being a skeptic. Some are responses to the peanut gallery. Metaphorically the cheap seats with so little recourse to science and so much vituperation that modest and colorful language seems reasonable when taken in context.

      As I said to Peter the depth and breadth – if not the frequent vacuity – of the antipathy shows how the non-catastrophe narrative is the foundation of skepticism in this try hard skeptic echo chamber.

      Why don’t you take it in context and argue from the literature that there are no tipping points in the Earth system? Why doesn’t anyone? 🤣

  78. Robert,

    You mention the peanut gallery quite a lot. Might I suggest that the more relevant gallery is the host of imaginary admirers that seems so vital to your sense of self-esteem. They may find your ‘modest and colourful language’ has been used for many a ‘nice turn of phrase’, but I am not one of your imaginary friends, and I just think you are being obnoxious. This has nothing to do with scepticism and everything to do with self-restraint.

    I won’t be saying anything more since I think I have already fed the troll too much.

  79. Geoff Sherrington

    Andy West, Robert Ellison,
    Andy, yours was a nicely-crafted, thought-provoking article on a topic that I for one had not studied in depth, so it was much appreciated. Then you encountered RIE, gatekeeper of the last word and super-active cutter and paster.
    In previous times I have asked RIE why he hates Judith Curry so much that he tries to monopolise just about every topic she posts. Other bloggers more sympathetic say that RIE should stay, that he produces useful material. ( In the present instance, Andy, you were the interesting writer by a country mile).
    In an amateur analysis, I note that RIE has confessed to being a proponent of the Green style of thought (about global warming et seq). I have confessed to no such thing, which makes it hard for RIE, who tries to compartmentalise bloggers and ascribe a sceptic a reason why he/she became a sceptic. No matter the topic, I have been and will be a sceptic of poor science. This is hard for him to label. Andy, you have provided reasons for your preferences and again RIE seems nonplussed as to how to label you. So he goes on and on, trying to sus you out while spoiling fot others much of the effort that you put into your essay.
    There are many sceptics I have encountered whose scepticism comes from simple disbelief in the Establishment science, or any poor science. Science scare stories have not been uncommon, so scepticism about the next one that comes along seems natural. This is, it seems, hard for an ex-green to accept. Judith Curry included, I think it is hard for a change of course to be free of the Green taint if it had a strong prior. (I do, however, deeply appreciate the contributions of the reformed, since often they have more to pass on about the Establishment ways. I have much respect for the Judith of today).
    Overall, it is damaging and pointless to make “them and us” distinctions because often they are wrongly deduced. Over to you, RIE, the wrong deducer. Again, thank you Andy West.

    .

    • This post is all about us and them. The catastrophist scaring children and the high minded skeptic.

      The skeptic story founders on tipping points in the Earth system. Science – not scare stories. Argue that it ain’t so from the literature and refrain from this sort of nonsense.

      • “This post is all about us and them. ”

        You did read it, right?

      • Really Andy? It is a false cultural narrative fringing on religion – alarmists – versus a rational endorsement of the IPCC – skeptics. Irony much? I argue that you have been both selective and superficial in your IPCC endorsement.

      • Robert,

        “I argue that you have been both selective and superficial in your IPCC endorsement.”

        The post doesn’t endorse the IPCC. It does point out (in support of the post’s main theme), that the cultural catastrophe narrative of a certainty of imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet, which indeed you characterise as ‘misguided’, is not supported by the IPCC (per AR5 tech chapters). In comments to you off the post topic, I likewise do not endorse the IPCC. I merely point out that its output per AR5 is in disagreement with other scientific positions, for instance that of the skeptics and the luke-warmers too. And indeed their ‘ruling climate paradigm’ as you call such output from the ‘scientific dinosaur’, is something you also challenge.

      • Your post and many of your ‘replies’… eh

      • P.S. you think there is *not* a cultural narrative of catastrophism, aka a cultural certainty of the end of civilisation / life / the planet, which among many effects is producing child prophets and proselytisers? Can you show your working on that?

      • Hmmm… I guess ‘eh’ means ‘no reply’.

        A chain of reasoning is sufficient.

      • Andy West: You did read it, right?

        That is a most interesting question, isn’t it? Not to start a whole new tangent on the question of how to ascertain whether RIE has read what he has written about, …, but I do not think that the answer is obvious.

    • Thank you Geoff, much appreciated. Yes, I have continued far too long and too off topic with Robert. But following such winding paths where they might lead, can sometimes and unexpectedly result in those who may not be used to doing so, accidentally glimpsing themselves.

      • Tipping points are the sine qua non of climate catastrophe. Through innumerous repetition you fail to show that rapid and extreme climate change is not inevitable – perhaps exacerbated by human activity. Abrupt change is how the system works – and I have shown you sufficient evidence along the way.

        One of the first questions I asked is what if this catastrophe narrative was true if for the wrong reasons?

      • Robert,
        “…what if this catastrophe narrative was true if for the wrong reasons?”

        It would likely be the first strong cultural narrative in history where this has occurred, because the process by which they emerge is incompatible with truth / reality. However, let’s assume a scenario in which the narrative of a certainty of the imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet, is true. The worst thing you would want in control is a culture, because cultures bypass reason and work (via emotive selection – they are not sentient or agential) towards behaviours that keep the cultural narrative going as long as possible, while doing as little as possible to actual fix the posited ‘problem’. i.e. the opposite of what you’d need for a fix. The ideal ‘solution’ from the PoV of the culture (this is just a useful way of looking, as noted it is not agential or sentient) is vast amounts of virtue signalling and money / infra-structure tie-up in efforts that will only prolong uncertainties (from which the culture benefits) plus cultural adherence / commitment (which it blindly acquires). That blind acquisition also causes polarisation as a side effect (cultures are an in-group recognition and reinforcement system, which means an out-group too, with demonisation etc), which then produces yet more irrationality in opposition as well.

  80. Judith

    New meat please, before the denizens tear each other apart sifting through the bones of an excellent and thought provoking article.

    hopefully in your review of new articles you will mention the very interesting one about the impact of spoil in absorbing or outgassing co2.

    This was an older reference that I thought was interesting as it gives the amount of co2 sequestered in soil and the huge amount more the soil could take

    https://seeedcollege.org/soil-carbon-sequestration-dr-rattan-lal-director-carbon-management-and-sequestration-center-ohio-state-university/

    I think this would be right up Roberts street

    tonyb

    • Second paragraph of my post. That should be ‘soil’ not ‘spoil’ but for all I know the latter might have an effect. Some large amounts of research money might be needed to find out…

      tonyb

  81. It is incorrect to imagine that there is a scientific debate about climate as a nonlinear chaotic system. But these are just words. They signify change due to internal variability at many scales.

    It is unlikely to stop now.

    • please try to stick to the topic :)

      • The skeptic not catastrophe cultural meme is the topic in its entirety. Elaborated on mightily here to ringing skeptic approval. The underlying premise is on shaky ground.

      • Robert,

        Goodness. So reportage on a public domain culture which may to any degree be perceived as subtracting or even distracting from your message, must be proclaimed invalid. No matter that it doesn’t actually do this, if your message truly stems from science as you claim. No matter that you consider the culture’s core narrative to be misguided. No matter that in the long run it would undermine your own position and desired policies too. You still defend that which is current steamrollering both your ‘thems’ in the public domain, the sceptics and the orthodox. Do you really think it won’t steamroller your ‘us’ too? If you are true to science, it will, because strong culture is blind to which science theory is which. But then again, when your message has come to mean more than your science, maybe you’ll enjoy the steamroller.

      • No – it is simply that recognition of abrupt change – tipping points – in the climate system – the IPCC nonlinear, chaotic climate – doesn’t support the not catastrophe skeptic meme. This meme is misguided at best – truculent and anti science mostly.

      • Given the reality of climate risk – the way to reassure children is with practical and effective policy. Not sticking your head in the sand of heedless verbiage.

      • This post doesn’t address any of the theories of physical climate change or their assessments, except to say that the AR5 tech chapters don’t support the cultural certainty of the imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet. It doesn’t address various skeptic biases / beliefs such as the ‘left-wing hoax’ meme, or for instance cultural polarization in the publics of some countries like the US, where sides believe not because of ‘what they know’ but ‘who they are’, as Kahan neatly puts it (though I have discussed this elsewhere). It does discuss child prophets and proselytisers arising from catastrophist culture centred upon the above narrative of certain doom.

        “the way to reassure children is with practical and effective policy”

        On topic! :)

        I doubt anyone would disagree with that. But cultural fears are in direction opposition to rationality, hence most policies likely to meet those criteria. So a great start both to reduce fear in children and prepare for future effective policy, is to stop frightening them to death with tales that it is certain that civilisation / life / the planet will end if we don’t shut down fossil fuel usage in near decades (and much else).

      • You seem incapable of reviewing assumption, misdirect to change goalposts, use value laden language to trivialize and marginalize objections and show contempt for the other. These are all classic symptoms of course. And you seem to repeat yourself until the cows come home.

        The AR5 tech chapters do not support a cultural certainty of no catastrophe.

      • “The AR5 tech chapters do not support a cultural certainty of no catastrophe.”

        I have never said anywhere that they do. I said (indeed repeatedly) that they don’t support a cultural certainty of an imminent end of civilisation / life / the planet (absent a near decades shutdown of fossil fuel usage), which cultural narrative you characterised above as ‘misguided’. As for your claims about my engagement, if you truly believe these, demonstrate them with in-context quotes. Given especially your completely unnecessary rudeness (as summarised by John R), your claim of ‘contempt for the other’ is rather rich.

      • Well – I really wasn’t going to continue – but it completely one eyed to see these responses of mine as anything other than mild and colorful ripostes to crude vituperation by truculent skeptics defending their meme – having little in the way of cogent argument otherwise. Feel free to revisit and quote in context.

      • You are rude to everyone, whether or not they are polite. In the latter case, this encourages polarisation, and neither do two wrongs make a right. Your responses to me have nothing to do with ‘crude vituperation by truculent skeptics’. And in most cases very little to do with the post too. You have positive contributions, but unfortunately these are badly undermined by such a needlessly aggressive style. Why not just let your arguments stand upon their own strengths?

      • You misrepresent and use value laden language to trivialize and marginalize. This is obsessive rather than objective. Your have a meme and are sticking to it year in year out. .

      • Robert,

        Demonstrate misrepresentation. If you can’t, your claim is false. I presume by your mention of a ‘meme’, you mean essentially that the thrust of this post and / or the events described within, have largely no basis in reality. So please set out your logic chain as to why this is so, with supporting evidence and in context quotes for those specific points in the post where you think the reasoning is weak. If you don’t, then we can only assume likewise that this claim is false. Thanks.

      • Andy,
        You make good points, well argued, well explained and well supported. However, I wonder why you “feed the troll”. It is pointless. You are dead right that he is habitually rude. That is his way. He also continually avoids the point, misrepresents and is disingenuous. There is no point debating people like this. I am surprised he hasn’t been moderated off Climate Etc. long ago.

      • ‘crude vituperation by truculent skeptics’.

        An instance – just one – of a partial quote that distorts the meaning of the sentence.

        What I went on to say was that these comments consisted of empty rhetoric. Zilch reasoning rather than weak.

      • Robert,

        You failed to represent my whole sentence, which was: “Your responses to me have nothing to do with ‘crude vituperation by truculent skeptics’.” And in the specific context of your replies to me, which is made clear, the clip is appropriate, i.e. you were still rude to me without said prompting.

      • Peter,

        You are right. But I’ve just kept hoping that civility and patience might encourage the positive in Robert’s contributions to exceed the negative. Guess I’m hoping in vain…

      • Robert,

        …added to which the latter part of this, after the dash: “…to crude vituperation by truculent skeptics defending their meme – having little in the way of cogent argument otherwise” , in no way mitigates the use of ‘vituperation’ and ‘truculent’ in the early part of the sentence.

      • I gave you the partial quote. That distorts my meaning. And really – insults and feigned outrage. After all the crude vituperation and empty rhetoric of such as Peter Lang? .

      • “That distorts my meaning.”

        You haven’t demonstrated this; see above.

        “And really – insults and feigned outrage.”

        The sentence referenced your answers to me.

      • Robert, your reference merely points back to an assertion, not to any demonstration of such claims. Re outrage, first definition on the web: ‘an extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation’. I’m not outraged, nor have you demonstrated feigned outrage from me; I am encouraging you to engage more positively.

      • You must be aware of the adamant indignation expressed by numbers of cultural skeptics. With so little in the way of argument from relevant science. Indeed some outrage at the very notion of quotation or citation. Overwhelmingly empty rhetoric about alarmists, greens, cultists and that I insult the poor little dears.

        And you join the chorus. Set the tone from the title onward. And this is a meme so dear to the skeptic heart – and unsupported by the IPCC to draw a parallel. Draw the obvious conclusion if your evident cognitive dissonance allows it. 🤣

        But for me it is goodbye.

      • Robert,

        “You must be aware of the adamant indignation expressed by numbers of cultural skeptics.”

        Of course this occurs. But you also clarified that your claim immediately above regarding faux outrage, was about me.

        “And you join the chorus. Set the tone from the title onward”

        But you have in no way demonstrated this, which is necessary for your claim to stand. The post addresses a particular phenomenon in the public domain, with reference to real-word events and supporting works as backup, all of which has nothing to do with your claim. Cultural bias both for and against CC belief / policy in the public domain is variable in geography and does not stem from climate knowledge (the publics are not climate literate), but from cultural mechanisms. The blogs are tiny and non-representative, have far higher climate literacy, yet are influenced by the former, and have their own effects too. This post does not address the physical science arguments within the blogs (and the enterprise of science itself), nor cultural effects on the participants from any side therein. Your claim is false, unless you can demonstrate it; if it is so obvious to you, should it not be easy to demonstrate via weaknesses in the logic chain of my post, challenge to my portrayal of events, key in-context quotes where you can provide alternate explanations? If you can’t even make a stab at this, there isn’t in fact any real claim to start with, just a vague accusation that therefore would be impossible for me to defend against.

      • John Ridgway

        “But for me it is goodbye.”

        If only this were true. Alas, Robert has merely transferred his self-validating wrath to another CE posting. “Pissant quibbles”, no less. Another classic plucked from Robert’s thesaurus of contempt.

        Andy, your self-restraint has done you credit. I wish I could say that I have an unblemished record when engaging in such debates, but I haven’t. The main difference between Robert and I, however, is that, when this has been drawn to my attention, I have shown a willingness to accept the criticism. Robert, on the other hand, is actually quite proud of his outbursts and feels perfectly entitled to them.

      • John,

        Your support is very much appreciated. As has been your accommodation and all of your contributions. I have learned muchly from you; this is how it should be :)

      • John Ridgway

        Likewise. But let us not throw any more bouquets at each other; people will say we’re in love :)

  82. I’m sorry Andy but I need to address this.

    “Tipping points are the sine qua non of climate catastrophe. Through innumerous repetition you fail to show that rapid and extreme climate change is not inevitable – perhaps exacerbated by human activity. Abrupt change is how the system works – and I have shown you sufficient evidence along the way.”
    “One of the first questions I asked is what if this catastrophe narrative was true if for the wrong reasons?”

    “They signify change due to internal variability at many scales.”

    Robert, That graph you posted shows undeniable evidence of what is and has been a continuous and direct climate forcing extending throughout Earth’s climate history. Yes, they have at times been both extreme and abrupt, but that does not support your position that this current warming is caused by human activities.

    Would a model that makes incredibly accurate predictions of observations change your mind? Or are you so entrenched that you cannot pivot to accept any new and direct evidence that shows the same forcing mechanism at play in that graph you presented is causing this most recent warming period?

    If you can merely accept you could be wrong, I can show you in both timing and intensity, that the exact same forcing mechanism in that graph is driving our current warming.

    If I can show you such a cause and effect is happening now, why would we want/need to spend trillions to counter a naturally occurring phenomena that has up to now simply failed to be reasonably constrained, and as a result, just simply misunderstood that it is beyond our abilities to control or influence? https://www.electroplatetectonics.com/

    • “That graph you posted shows undeniable evidence of what is and has been a continuous and direct climate forcing extending throughout Earth’s climate history.”

      What it shows is changes in Earth’s interacting subsystems producing changes in top of atmosphere power flux – orders of magnitude more significant in Earth climate than geothermal flux. Much recent warming was the result of cloud feedbacks to ocean circulation changes.

      “The global climate system is composed of a number of subsystems — atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere — each of which has distinct characteristic times, from days and weeks to centuries and millennia. Each subsystem, moreover, has its own internal variability, all other things being constant, over a fairly broad range of time scales. These ranges overlap between one subsystem and another. The interactions between the subsystems thus give rise to climate variability on all time scales.” https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/3df8/284c921d0194a443411db7a63772b659a79c.pdf

      I have had a look at your stuff. It is really out there.

    • Marc, your theory could be valid re. plate tectonics or even continental drift following Wegener’s and later Runcorns ideas, but the issue here is not really relevant for this current topic, i.e. catastrophic global warming caused by manmade CO2.

      We are discussing climate variability. An issue that I personally favour is to explain why our Earth has been the home of countless varying lifeforms. Why is that? There is only one acceptable answer and that is that Earth is a water planet.

      The actual “thermostat” for keeping our environment habitable is based on the rather narrow thermal conditions guaranteed by the three different phases of water and the thermodynamics involved in changes between the phases: water as a gas (vapour), water as a fluid and water as a solid (ice).
      Naturally the main driver is the Sun as the energy source. The position of our planet’s climatic zones have changed places during past eons, probably due to plate tectonics shifting continents, etc. The actual mechanism does not have to be solved to understand climate variability. ITS THE SUN STUPID as somebody pointed out a long time ago.

      • Marc linquist

        Boris, I think you are probably unfamiliar with what this model is capable of.

        It’s not only Solar radiant energy that is involved in Earth’s climate. This model will show you that solar magnetic energy proxy measurements will unlock the door to the engine room of both geologic and climate phenomena.

        A fully dynamic model of the Earth should be able to explain plate movement and the engine that drives it and all subordinate geologic phenomena that follows in turn. And, just as important, it should also be fully integrated into, and capable of explaining, all climate variability.

        This includes the cause of historic hyper-thermal events as well. For example, the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) that is at one end of the thermal scale and then the Snowball Earth period that is at the other, and as this model will show, everything else that has occurred in between those two extremes.

        That is what Earth’s climate variability is capable of and any suggestion that they could be explained without a geologic origin is likely to be woefully inadequate and/or naive.

        This paper below outlines the difficulties involved with the PETM.
        https://www.clim-past.net/7/831/2011/cp-7-831-2011.pdf
        Down the Rabbit Hole: toward appropriate discussion of methane
        release from gas hydrate systems during the Paleocene-Eocene
        thermal maximum and other past hyperthermal events
        G. R. Dickens, Department of Geological Sciences, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

        And this paper is suggesting that the Snowball Earth period occurred simultaneously with a complete shutdown of plate tectonic activity.
        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/223745786_Evidence_and_implications_for_a_widespread_magmatic_shutdown_for_250_My_on_Earth

        Once you see the evidence for the mechanism and how it applies, you will realize that only a geologic forcing can explain these two extreme events. The model shows that a geologic fingerprint is seen at every stage in the Earth’s climate history.

        This model shows with remarkable rigor what climate variability and plate tectonics have in common.

        I would also suggest you visit James Kamis’ site and watch his video presentation, it is very persuasive evidence that our current warming is geologically driven.

        His site here: http://www.plateclimatology.com/

        The video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=10&v=GX1e_uU5u3A

        And of course here, where this model explains how geologic forcing makes it all work together: https://www.electroplatetectonics.com/

  83. “I have had a look at your stuff. It is really out there.”

    Robert, you say that as if it were a bad thing. :)

    I would respectfully offer it is no more “out there” than continental drift or even plate tectonics were at their first exposure to scrutiny. In fact they had much less corroborating evidence for support at the time, and even now, with regards to what plate tectonics has in actual observations of mantle convection, my model is extraordinarily robust by comparison.

    I’ve gone to great effort to backup every prediction my model makes with first order observations from the most reputable sources and first rate research. And these research papers are all within the last decade or so at the most.

    This new model is not encumbered by the old paradigms that are incapable of addressing those same new and ground breaking observations that my model predicts with ease. If that is not what science is supposed to do then what is it? And if that doesn’t change our current poorly working paradigms then what could? https://www.electroplatetectonics.com/

  84. I began with a serious alternative to the perennial skeptic meme of not catastrophe – along with a throwaway line that I – and the children – were bored to ennui by this fruitless game. Then I was castigated left and right by truculent skeptics with empty snark.

  85. Pingback: Energy & Environmental Newsletter: August 12, 2019 - Master Resource

  86. Marc, could you please give me a very short description, in plain words, how your model works and what drives the changes. I am fully aware of the role of the Sun and its variable magnetic field.

    The solar effect (magnetic activity) on global climate is well established, e.g. through the work by Henrik Svensmark and Nir Shaviv, etc. We know that a calm Sun has previously led to detriorating climate, The Maunder and Dalton minima and there effect on climate are well established.

    The climate connection between solar magnetic activity and amount of galactic cosmic radiation penetrating through Earths magnetic field is well established. There also seems to be a 1000 year cycle that is visible as climatic variability, but I am also skeptical re. cyclicity, like the Milankovich cycles.

    If you look at the 5 mil.year graph showing the change towards glaciations some 3 mil.years ago, which seems to oincide with the closure of the Panama Isthmus??? So , can you for example see this connection in your model?

  87. Pingback: Energy And Environmental Newsletter – August 12th 2019 | PA Pundits - International

  88. Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    Fascinating article and well worth reading.

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