Climate science and the Supreme Court

by Judith Curry

An alternative assessment of U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s statements on climate change.

For those of you not in the U.S., confirmation hearings on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court are currently underway.  There are many very political issues surrounding this nomination and its timing.  Lets put all that aside for the moment, and consider her statements on climate change.

Barrett’s statements [link]:

“I will not express a view on a matter of public policy, especially one that is politically controversial.”

“I don’t think my views on climate change or global warming are relevant to the job I would do as a judge. Nor do I feel like I have views that are informed enough.”

“I’m certainly not a scientist,” she said when asked by Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) whether she had a personal opinion on the issue. “I mean, I’ve read things about climate change. I would not say I have firm views on it.”

“I don’t think I’m competent to opine on what causes global warming or not.”

The twitterati are hysterical over these statements.  From a Washington Post article:

“The judge’s exchange on climate change was short, but her critics say it is disqualifying”

“It is a requirement that a Supreme Court Justice be able to review evidence to make a decision,” he said. “The scientific evidence of climate change is beyond reasonable doubt or debate, yet Amy Coney Barrett refused to acknowledge reality.”

“A climate change case is already on the Supreme Court’s docket next year. It will hear a case involving several oil companies, including Dutch Royal Shell, being sued by the city of Baltimore, which is seeking to hold them financially responsible for their greenhouse gas contributions. Barrett’s father spent much of his own career as a lawyer for Shell. “

An article in the Esquire is entitled: Amy Coney Barrett’s answer on this climate change question is completely disqualifying.

“Put simply, this is just totally disqualifying for any official holding public office in the year 2020. This isn’t even an up-to-date Republican bullshit line on the topic. “I’m not a scientist” is so 2014, maybe because even the Elite Political Media—pockets of which are just today allowing themselves to be hoodwinked by another Emails caper—caught on to how dumb it is. Does Judge Amy Coney Barrett accept the scientific consensus that gravity is keeping her in that chair? If so, why? She’s not a scientist, so how could she possibly know?”

There are two issues here that deserve discussion:

  1. Whether  ‘belief’ in climate change actually means anything when spouted by politicians and other non-scientists
  2. What judges should be expected to know about climate science.

“I believe in climate science”

I think that Amy Coney Barrett’s answers to the climate question was admirable.  She wanted to stay out of a contentious political debate.  But more importantly she wasn’t going to pass a judgement on something for which she had not carefully evaluated the evidence and did not find herself qualified to make a judgement on.  I thought her stance on this showed wisdom and humility.

In the 2016 presidential debates, Hillary Clinton said: “And I believe in science” , with specific reference to climate change.

In the political debate on climate change, ‘I believe in climate science’ is a statement generally made by people who don’t understand much about it. They use such statements  as a way of declaring belief in a scientific proposition that is outside their knowledge and understanding. The belief of individuals making such a statement is often more akin to believing in Santa Claus than relating to actual understanding of science. In the case of Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech at the U.S. Democratic National Convention, Clinton’s appeal to science was a partisan rallying cry that was coupled to the mockery of Donald Trump and his supporters as ‘anti-science.’

In the context of the climate change, ‘I believe in science’ uses the overall reputation of science to give authority to the climate change ‘consensus’, shielding it from questioning and skepticism. ‘I believe in climate science’ is a signifier of social group identity that supports one particular solution:  massive government legislation to limit or ban fossil fuels. ‘Belief in  climate science’ makes it look as though disagreement on this solution is equivalent to a rejection of the scientific method and worldview. When exposed to science that challenges their political biases, these same ‘believers’ are quick to claim ‘pseudo-science,’ without considering (or even understanding) the actual evidence or arguments.  An excellent summary of all this is provided in a previous blog post discussing an article by Robert Tracinski.

In my albeit limited experience, very few politicians have made a serious attempt to understand climate science, beyond being able to parrot talking points provided to them by advocacy groups.

Here is what we are left with: One side attacks science and the other side uses science for political attacks. Neither side actually cares about or understands the science.

Kudos to Amy Coney Barrett for providing an appropriate answer to the climate change questions

Supreme Court

A New York Times article discusses why judge’s ‘opinions’ on climate change are relevant to the Supreme Court.  The EPA endangerment finding may be facing a challenge in a future Republican administrations.  There are also lawsuits against the U.S. government and oil companies that could make it the Supreme Court.

The Wikipedia has a good overview on the Juliana case against the U.S. government as well as previous cases.  Apart from procedural issues, I don’t see what kind of ruling by the Supreme Court on climate change that would hinge on the Justices’ understanding or ruling on details of the science.

The Dutch Urgenda ruling accepted the authority of the IPCC assessment reports.  This was an unusual ruling based upon the U.S. court system, which leaves matters of policy to the legislative and executive branches.

 

 

 

375 responses to “Climate science and the Supreme Court

  1. Great post Dr. Curry. I learned a lot about the law watching Judge Barrett. I thought the answer to the stupid question put to her by Sen. Harris was brilliant.

  2. The SCOTUS rules on U.S. law not on science or religion.

    • And yet every one of them will staunchly defend their unqualified belief in a all knowing eternal deity and with a eternal afterlife.
      Man made climate change (reality), plead ignorance, perfect.

      • Have questions of the afterlife came before the Supreme Court in the last 60 years?

      • Every time they approve of an execution of a person by the state.
        They are all theist and they all put the 10 commandments above man laws. But there seems to be a clear failure of true ‘originalism’ when it comes to part about “Thou shalt not kill”.

      • jackx
        JudeoChristian common law is the basis for holding rape and ped0philia to be wrong. If you reject that basis you’ll find yourself having to let go of those standards.
        The strong will be right and the weak wrong.
        The winners will be right and the losers wrong.

        Life after death and magical nonphysical global warming from a trace gas are religious fictions that are irrelevant red herrings.

      • Phil,
        JudeoChristian common law was adapted from the great Axial religions of Zoroastrianism, Babylonians, and Sumerians.
        PS: It’s pretty obvious the old testament was heavily plagiarized from the Epic of Gilgamesh, especially the early parts about the Eden & Great Flood parts.
        Bonus: The entire christian parts of the bible (New Testament) could be a forgery!

      • JudeoChristian common law was adapted from the great Axial religions of Zoroastrianism, Babylonians, and Sumerians.

        None of this detracts from JudeoChristian “common law” – it only enhances it.

        If the New Testament is a “forgery”, what’s not to like about the forger? It’s a bit like saying “Shakespeare wasn’t written by Shakespeare”. Meaningless. Whoever wrote Shakespeare is Shakespeare. Ever heard of “death of the artist”?

      • Danley B. Wolfe

        @jacksmith4tx, your comments suggest that you believe that the climate change movement is a “religion” and not a “science” issue. The framing of the question alone as a trick gotcha’ question speaks volumes of the speaker(s), e.g., Kamala Harris, and not the Judge, whose job and role is to interpret laws and not make laws.

      • A judge is supposed to make a judgement based on the evidence presented and existing law and legal precedence. As such her response is totally appropriate. On the contrary, if she were to declare that she already has a personal “belief” that would bias her judgement: THAT may be called “disqualifying”.

        She refused to drawn into the Dems’ trap. Her response was perfect.

      • A little off point here:
        @ jack-4tx
        Quote “pretty obvious the old testament was heavily plagiarized from the Epic of Gilgamesh, especially the early parts about the Eden & Great Flood parts.”
        Not quite. The Epic of Gilg is also a modified story apparently, based on the following: See here at bottom para https://melitamegalithic.wordpress.com/2020/05/31/searching-evidence-keplers-trigons-and-events-in-the-holocene-2/

        The Akkadian text is here pg17 https://www.zora.uzh.ch/id/eprint/186591/1/Wasserman_%282020%29%2C_The_Flood_The_Akkadian_Sources.pdf
        First line reads thus: “Inanna, listen a little moment” . It is standard semitic in drawing someone’s attention to important issues. It is not the ‘wall’ that is being addressed but Inanna as Mother Earth. And addressed directly.

        We have come a long way in obfuscating all to our immediate advantage. Seen over the millennia the cost to humanity has been enormous.

      • Greg –

        > On the contrary, if she were to declare that she already has a personal “belief” that would bias her judgement:

        (1) so do you really think that she had no “belief?” That seems totally unlikely to me. If say she has an opinion even if her opinion includes something like “Virtually all expert scientist think the earth is warming and virtually all think that humans are contributing to the warmong and that the warning poses a threat, but a small % think that the threat is quite small.”

        (2) stating what her opinion is won’t bias her judgement any more than ducking and hiding her opinion.

        It’s funny to see people who buy the obvious gambit she used so as to duck the issue and play along with the political game.

      • melitamegalithic,
        Interesting. I’m not sure the hypothesis of a planetary alignment causing the Great Flood holds water (pun!). Is there geological evidence for floods around the planet at the same time? At this point I think recent research has discredited linking the Great Flood myths to the sudden inflow of water from the Mediterranean Sea flowing through the Bosporus Strait into the Black Sea. There is evidence that there was some kind of catastrophe prior to the invention of writing (8,800 BCE – 7,500 BCE) but the Mesopotamian flood in the great epics/myths must have occurred much later.
        Just like the recent (1970s) discovery of the Gospel of Judas in Egypt shed new light on the convoluted origins of Christianity there are surly more surprises to come.

      • jacksmith4tx:
        Your question ” Is there geological evidence for floods around the planet at the same time?”
        There are tell-tales, but see link here (easier) https://melitamegalithic.wordpress.com/2018/08/12/searching-evidence-4-prehistoric-mass-burials/ and its followup https://melitamegalithic.wordpress.com/2019/08/12/searching-evidence-deaths-tsunamis-and-earth-dynamics/

        By the way the video in your earlier post above was good. Surprises never cease. If nothing else though, an insight into human nature.

      • melitamegalithic,
        It’s nice to see the data plotted out. Good work. Amazing that they were able to find those ancient human burial sites. They just found hundreds of buried dwellings dating back 3000 years to the Maya period in southern Mexico using airborne LiDAR.
        https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/2020/06/massive-ancient-maya-ceremonial-complex-discovered-hiding-plain-sight/

        Too bad there are so few sites to study around the arctic circle.

      • Jack

        There could be a lot of scope with the ipiatuk of Alaska
        http://www.archaeowiki.com/index.php/Ipiutak

        A lot of artefacts were taken away in the 1940’s but unfortunately the ship sank

        Tonyb

      • “Every time they approve of an execution of a person by the state.”

        Wherein Jacksmith tells us that Stalin and Che Guevara executed millions and dozens respectively because of their deeply held Christian faith. Which, of course, both had denounced and made illegal.

      • magical nonphysical global warming

        Is it your position that CO2, CH4, and N2O do not absorb IR?

      • Jack introducing a red herring and lots biting. Tut tut. Stay on topic.

    • “The belief of individuals making such a statement is often more akin to believing in Santa Claus than relating to actual understanding of science.”

      As Judy is aware of Arctic amplification of radiative forcing , she owes Judge Barrett an amicus brief on the New Year’s Eve North Pole thaw.

    • some data points + a mysterious computer program + time = CAGW
      >> this goes for settled science

      Oh ya, that mound of dirt over there?
      That’s Feynman rolling in his grave

    • joe - the non legal expert

      Greg | October 18, 2020 at 4:27 am |
      “A judge is supposed to make a judgement based on the evidence presented and existing law and legal precedence.”

      Slight clarification – the judge is supposed to make a judgement based on evidence actually presented in court. That is facts properly introduced into evidence. A judge’s knowledge or lack of knowledge should have no bearing on the case.

  3. Give me Justices who are experts in the Constitution and the Law. They don’t need to be experts on thermodynamics or cancer science when liability cases touch on those fields. They rule on their interpretation of the Constitution, not the interpretation of the science.

    More evidence airheads populate the media.

  4. With all due respect, your entire post is out of focus and incorrectly addressed. It should never be up to SCOTUS or the Norwegian Supreme Court to decide which climate measures, if any, the legislative and administrative branche should take. If jugde Barret is a true successor of Scalia, then the first thing she should acknowledge is that the draft constitutionists in 1776 did not have climate change very high on the agenda.

    The Dutch Supreme Court has recently handed down a climate ruling ordering parliament and the government to take action. We have a similar case in Norway in November, the claim is that the government can not grant new exploration licenses for oil and gas in the Barents Sea because it will run counter to some politically agreed agenda. The plaintiffs lost both in the first and second instance, and they will lose in the Supreme Court.(I hope)

    The problem in the United States is SCOTUS, which has become an unreliable and completely random legislator, a role the constitutionalists never intended them to become. I’m a lawyer myself, and I notice that there are far too many lawyers and the like in Congress, the United States is about to be slowly killed by this gang of selfabsoring ¤ # &% holes.

  5. I believe in God. I believe in climate science. I believe in global warming.

    Sounds like a religion.

  6. I notice you left off the actual question Harris asked:

    “Do you believe that climate change is happening and that it’s threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink.”

    Ok – the ” air we breathe and the water we drink”is I’ll posed and as such legitimately controversial. But she didn’t distinguish in her answer as to what she considered as a “very contentious” matter of public debate.”

    Another example of what I love about how some “skeptics” have no particular concern about consistency.

    First, they say that whether the climate is warming and poses a threat is NOT contentious. No, they agree, there is no debate there, and only people who mischaracterize “skeptics” think that “skeptics” doubt that.

    They say that “no one in the room” doubts that. They say they don’t pay attention to people who doubt that. They say that the only question is about the extent of the threat – that is where the uncertainty lies.

    And then they admire Barrett for obviously ducking the question, because to actually answer the question (e.g., “I think that almost all scientists agree that climate change is a threat but I think the magnitude of the threat is the subject of some scientific debate”), would potentially turn off some % of her political supporters and the supporters of her supporters in congress and the Whitehouse.

    • I don’t think that almost all scientists agree that climate change (which, btw, has always happened) is a threat, and I certainly think the magnitude of the effect are subject to debate, since:
      1) they are (here in Italy several scientists expressed non-alarmed views, starting from Rubbia),
      2) the announced catastrophes didn’t materialize (alas, I don’t think forests burn because of AGW).

      What I see is a succession of **crazy** and **hysterical** efforts to stifle any public debate where different voices can be heard fairly.

      • Paolo –

        > (which, btw, has always happened)

        Thanks for the news flash. I’m talking about anthropogenic climate change, as I’m sure Harris was doing as well, and as I”m sure that Barrett was thinking of when she ducked the question.

        Could depend on what you consider “threat.”

        The common narrative here is that no “skeptics” doubt that climate change is happening (the first part of her question) or that there is a range of sensitivity, the high end of which would be considered a “threat.”

        The narrative is that only a small % scientific experts (how many is highly disputed, but clearly a minority) exclude any possibility of a sensitivity that would be a “threat.” In fact, “skeptics” that we see most online at places like Climate Etc., argue that those other “skeptics” are a breed apart – and they often attack them as being unscientific.

        That said, I should be more careful. There are a lot more off-online climate change fanatic “skeptics” who dismiss any idea that climate change is happening altogether. – even though many of the on-line climate change fanatic “skeptics” we see at places like Climate Etc., try to distance themselves from that other contingent because they find them politically inconvenient.

      • Paolo – ask Josh which “climate change” is natural and which is anthropogenic.

      • Jim2 –

        The common narrative here is that “no one” doubts that climate change is happening and that humans are contributing – the only question is the degree of the change.

        At least that’s the narrative until it isn’t convenient to stick to that narrative.

        Maybe we could consult with one of the people who discovered Seth Rich’s connections to the Clinton emails? Anyone who could dig up something like that must be hella good at conducting investigations.

      • Josh is really sensitive about the Seth Rich thing. I hadn’t thought about it in ages until you brought it up. We now all know Hillary & Co. aren’t capable of any wrongdoing whatsoever. Perish the thought!

      • Jim2 –

        It’s a useful example of how gullible some people are.

        Btw, did you see those videos of when Biden relied on the teleprompter during that Telemundo interview? Check it out. Trump and Trump Jr. tweeted about it.

      • Josh – I was more entertained that Biden believes he is running for the Senate. Poor guy …

      • Jim

        I’m entertained by Biden every day. He is the fount of perpetual gaffes. I noticed his campaign grudgingly admitted, maybe he did have an informal, unscheduled meeting with the party who he has said for months that he didn’t have. Intro music from Jaws.

      • cerescokid – Don’t mention Burisma – you’ll upset Josh. We all know that’s a Republican conspiracy theory. Personally, I believe it’s Russia.

    • The question:“Do you believe that climate change is happening and that it’s threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink.” Is either intentionally loaded or indicative of Sen. Harris’s lack of knowledge of the controversy involved. Does she mean “anthropogenic climate change”? Does she mean that climate change is destroying our air and water or depleting them or making them dangerous? Each of those possible aspects of Harris’s question is controversial and to accept any one or several of those and other possible meanings in the question is an act of belief not an acceptance of “settled science” or obvious fact.

      • Nothing prevented Barrett from clarifying so she could answer the question. But she didn’t. She wanted to duck. For obvious reasons. And the reasons are obvious why people want to excuse her for ducking.

      • Once again, she could simply have said something like:

        “I think that almost all scientists agree that climate change is a threat but I think the magnitude of the threat is the subject of some scientific debate.”

        Nothing remotely inappropriate about saying something like that as a candidate for the SCOTUS. But she ducked – obviously for political reasons. She wouldn’t want to alienate any element of the pubz’ political base.

        This completely arbitrary line that she draws between what she can say and can’t say as a SCOTUS candidate is an obvious political gambet.

        And there’s no reason as a non-scientist she couldn’t clarify her non-expert viewpoint.

        The notion that she can’t express a view because she’s not a scientific expert is an absurd argument. She’d just need to qualify her opinion appropriately.

        What makes it even more absurd is that it’s coming from people who regularly argue that referencing scientific expertise is an “appeal to authority.”

      • Asking ACB, SCOTUS nominee, about climate is on par with asking about her favorite cookie recipe. What do either have to do with the Constitution or interpreting law?

      • It’s political correctness. It’s “self-censorship.”

        If you want to study motivated reasoning, follow the bouncing ball about who gets the vapors about political correctness and self-censorship from whom, and when they get it.

      • Joshua: Nothing prevented Barrett from clarifying so she could answer the question

        It was Harris’ job to clarify her question,, not Barrett’s job to answer a question that she had not been asked.

      • Danley B. Wolfe

        I tend to disagree with the interpretation of Harris’ remarks. The were carefully crafted as a “gotcha'” question that cannot be answered without self incrimination. Many of Harris’ talk and questions are framed this way, why she chose to sit in – an office down the hall from the Barrett hearings and read from a teleprompter – rather than be physically present at the hearings speaking into a microphone. Think carefully in the coming weeks whether you are ok with the idea of this person being one step away from the Oval Office.

      • She’s more like a half a step away from the presidency in Bidens case and that should scare people.

      • > It was Harris’ job to clarify her question,, not Barrett’s job to answer a question that she had not been asked.

        Harris is a politician. She’s going to push a political agenda. And so did Graham and every other Pub senator who also all asked a whole series of pokticsl questions.

        What’s funny is to watch people who pride themselves as being “skeptics” convince themselves that Barrett and the Pubz were only concerned with pure law and constitutionality, and not playing political games just like the Demz.

        She ducked for political reasons. You can’t handle the truth.

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/originalism-constitution-founders-barrett/2020/10/16/1906922e-0f33-11eb-8a35-237ef1eb2ef7_story.html

      • If a Republican is a “Pub,” why isn’t a Democrat a “Mo?”

      • And Barrett answered many of the Pubz’ questions in ways that advanced their (and her) political agenda.

        It’s their right to push a political agenda. What’s funny is to see them sent the obvious and to watch people line up to willing suspend a willing sense is disbelief.

        It’s just like I’m the climate wars where “skeptics” (and “realists”) deny their own obvious political biases and claim they’re just pursuing “pure science” and shinning activism. Doesn’t pass the most basic test of due skeptical diligence.

      • Dave –

        Your really obsessed with the whole pube thing aren’t you?

      • Joshua: What’s funny is to watch people who pride themselves as being “skeptics” convince themselves that Barrett and the Pubz were only concerned with pure law and constitutionality, and not playing political games just like the Demz.

        Whatever is that about?

        This is about a specific bad question by a specific Senator.

    • It seems so difficult for people to comprehend the role of a judge in our system of government. Whether climate change is an existential threat or a net positive for humanity is immaterial to that role. The only relevant questions are does existing law allow the actions the government seeks to take, and does the US Constitution allow those actions…whatever the law says.

    • ““Do you believe that climate change is happening and that it’s threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink.”

      dumb question and barret should have said so.

      • Steven Mosher: dumb question and barret should have said so.

        I think the best response to a dumb question is to evade it an leave it hanging. For Supreme Court nominees the appropriate strategy is to avoid answering any questions even remotely related to (hypothetical) cases that they may have to rule on. They don’t know what cases they’ll have to rule on, and it’s best to avoid prejudicing their approaches.

      • Roger Knights

        Yes, it’s dumb most obviously because climate change doesn’t “threaten the air we breathe.” Water pollution from CAGW isn’t likely either—alarmists rarely mention it, IIRC. So what Harris said was a demagogic attempt to push the knee-jerk hot buttons of the audience and demonize the opponent.

      • Curious George

        Dumb question – who dares to say so at a confirmation hearing?

    • Geoff Sherrington

      Joshua,
      If you agree with “I think that almost all scientists agree that climate change is a threat but I think the magnitude of the threat is the subject of some scientific debate” then you should move from belief to data and actually shown how any anthropogenic climate change to data has produced any threat.
      Sorry, I just cannot see that the Hand of Man has generated any climate threat at all. It does not scare me or any of my colleagues who interpret and gather data about these alleged “threats”.
      If you are of sound mind, you have every freason to believe that the world is in better shape now than at any recorded time in history. (Until Covid-19 was released, which has not much to do with climate change).
      Geoff S

      P.S. Oh look, another purple heatwave just flew past my window, with several pink pigs in formation!!!

    • Joshua,

      I notice you left off the actual question Harris asked:
      “Do you believe that climate change is happening and that it’s threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink.”

      I believe Judith was being kind to Harris.

      That question is a perfect example of a “captiosus” question, i.e. fallacious, deceptive question whose intention is to trick your opponent.

      Another classical example of these kind of questions is: “Have you stopped beating your wife?.”

      You do not answer captiosus questions. You duck them. It is the only reasonable action, because the person that asks them has already stated its intention to try to deceit you.

      Later on this thread you say that a possible answer would have been:

      “I think that almost all scientists agree that climate change is a threat but I think the magnitude of the threat is the subject of some scientific debate.”

      Really, Josh?

      Why would that answer be better than what Barrett actually answered, which was in essence that she is not informed enough to provide a qualified answer.

      In your proposed answer, you seem to imply that you would find it acceptable that there is some scientific debate about the extent of the threat posed by climate change.

      Is that true? Do you accept the existence of scientific debate?

      If that is so, why then do you object to the position of Barrett that will not state her stance in a highly contentious and politicized matter outside of her own specialty, when even scientist involved in the issue are still debating?

    • Q: “Do you believe that climate change is happening and that it’s threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink.”

      Yes, climate change is happening. It’s been happening for 4.5 billion years.
      No, it’s not threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink.

      It’s irrelevant to the work she does as a judge. When ruling in a pollution case, she must evaluate the evidence before the court. There are no rational climate change cases, since climate change is not caused by people; it’s due to the sun, mediated by clouds, oceans. [with secondary contributions from volcanoes, asteroids, and continental drift, …]

  7. Michael Jaubert

    Leave it to Esquire magazine to write such an illuminating article with their colorful metaphors. I wouldn’t use that rag to line my cat’s litter box. Does anyone really read those publications?

  8. Do I detect a pattern in the Science vs Politics debate?
    As of this week, The Lancet Oncology, Science, Nature, New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Nature, Science and Scientific American have all publicly announced their opposition to President Trump. Some of these science institutions go back to the 1800’s and have never felt the need to speak out.

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/respected-scientific-journals-publicly-oppose-trump#Nature-pull-no-punches

    The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the rift in the American society.

    • A similar rift occurred about 100 years ago regarding eugenics.

    • Getting rid of more of the very thing that makes us listen to them. With the virus, they should’ve been against the scare tactics Biden and the Democrats have used. With all the damage done to the people they supposedly care about. It was self serving and it was not brave. It would’ve been brave to speak up against some the nonsense we hear all the time. Basically they were saying, don’t cancel us. The Union of Concerned Scientists is against nuclear power. Bunch of frauds.

      • What “scare tactics?”

      • “Kansas’ top public health official warned Friday that the state is “losing the battle” against the coronavirus as it reported another record increase in new cases.”
        In deaths per million to date, they are doing better than MN. The health official should drink their juice box.

        People are afraid fo the virus. What is the cause of that? Not science. Science is saying it will be Okay. Science is saying get back to work. It’s just that the scientists are being outshouted by the media. So the scientists are not using scare tactics, the media is, and the scientists can’t do anything about that. Like going on Fox News. Like having a press conference with Trump or Governors in some cases. No. I was wrong. Scientists are not using scare tactics but rather telling us things will be Okay and start meditating once a day. Scientists are saving the children by unloading both barrels at politicians who want to keep children out of school.

      • David Appell:

        Thank you for your comment. Here’s my proposal. Scientists can rehabilitate their reputations by en mass, going at all the Governors now and telling them to open things up. By going to all their local public radio stations and saying this. By going at the MSM.

        If they have delusions of being leaders, here’s what leaders do: They stand in the middle of a hurricane and summon order from chaos. It’s an archetype. A pretty good one.

      • Small point. Kansas has a Democrat for a governor. At local levels, stealth democrats infest many localities as “non-partisan” elections are held.
        Not surprising fear tactics are used in Kansas. However, I strongly suspect folks have had it with the destruction of the Kansas economy brought about by the political class trampling over their rights. The winds of a return to the rule-of-law are picking up speed in the nation’s heartland. I suspect those winds will reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
        P.S. I live in Kansas

      • Yeah. If only people were more scared of Hunter Biden than grandma dying from this silly little sniffles, Trump could have whole thing locked up.

      • Robert Starkey

        Hunter Biden was mentioned by Joshua. I sincerely wonder the impact of this story on the election/the USA and would appreciate feedback.
        Am I overreacting? It seems either
        1 If the email’s were true it is a blatant example of corruption and foreign influence.

        2 if the email are phony, then we need to know who wanted to create the hoax. Was Trump behind it, Russia?

        From what I have read so far #1 seems more likely as it appears some email are being confirmed.

      • J:
        Grandma is going to die. Sooner or later. Does Grandma want to take the whole country with her? I’ve been told people in hospice want to know everyone will be fine. Is that some right-wing talking point?
        The reactions seem irrational to me. My best point. Poor children deprived of school. Their parents taking on more stuff because of that.

      • > Grandma is going to die. Sooner or later. Does Grandma want to take the whole country with her?

        I think I get now. The only way that you can so persistently ignore any counter arguments is through binary thinking.

      • > I sincerely wonder the impact of this story on the election/the USA and would appreciate feedback.

        We know that Hunts peddled influence. It’s disgusting but it’s nothing we don’t already know.

        I think it’s rather unlikely that Joe took some kind of over payoff. Maybe 10% at best. And the language that supposedly overtly indicates that seems implausible to me. If it happened it would have been more covert. If it were something really solid it would have come out through other channels and serious investigations. This group has made a lot of noise over so many other scandals they have zero credibility. Seth Rich. The “unmasking.”. Etc.

        Meanwhile, we absolutely know 100% that Trump and his family have been engaging in all kinds of influence peddling. Check out “Trump Inc.” or “White House Inc.”. That’s not “they do it too.”. It’s just that it’s hard to take all this” “outrage” seriously from a crowd that displays zero concern about overt and massive corruption all up and down the current administration.”. They don’t even bother to try to hide it. You’d have to studiously avoid any interest at all to not know about it.

        So I tbink it won’t change many minds in the election, at all. It’s a weak attempt at an October surprise. Why would anyone who is independent, and cares about the possibility of Biden corruption care more about that than the massive and overtly apparent Trump corruption. If some is really “ckncerned” with corruption I don’t see how it would throw someone from Biden or leaning Biden to Trump or even leaning Trump.

      • I appreciate your feedback.

        If the emails are accurate/true doesn’t that profoundly change your view of Biden? His son peddling influence is profound.

        If Trump orchestrated the emails it would change my view of him. That seems unlikely given that the laptop was discovered so long ago.

      • > If the emails are accurate/true doesn’t that profoundly change your view of Biden? His son peddling influence is profound.

        His son peddles influence. In a legal way, most likely. It’s nothing new or unusual. Trump’s family does it constantly. I doubt Joe was involved. Could be but I doubt it. And the “chain of evidence” is ridiculously unreliable. There’s a reason this is being rolled out and peddled though such a laughable manner

        >If Trump orchestrated the emails it would change my view of him. That seems unlikely given that the laptop was discovered so long ago.

        That’s not how it works. He doesn’t “orchestrate.”

        And he and his family are as corrupt as all get out. Read “White House Inc.” It’s well researched. The author isn’t a TDS guy.

        This is a pathetic, but orchestrated “October surprise.”

      • Why don’t we ask Hunter, under oath, if Pop got any of the swag from China, Ukraine, etc.? Information on his hard drive indicates Hunter was holding 10% of the ChiCom money laundering scheme for “the Big Guy.” Also, what information on the drive prompted a Grand Jury to give the FBI a subpoena to seize the drive? Anyway, no matter the outcome of the U.S. Presidential Election, I hope we have all the facts before the end of January 2021. All bets are off after that, depending.

      • Robert Starkey

        Joshua

        I am surprised.

        You don’t think that if true the issue would show an unprecedented level of corruption?

        You trying to equate the issue to something Trump’s family has done while he was President that’s just ridiculous and you know that.

        Imo if true it disqualifies Biden from consideration.

      • I think it isn’t likely that he was involved in overt influencing policy for a payoff, as arranged by his son. The whole Hunter/Joe/Burisma/Ukraine thing is full of holes. They’ve been working on it for a couple of years and no official investigations have made anything stick. The FBI/deep state plot to hide dirt on Biden and get Trump is an implausible conspiracy theory. They’ve been working on that for years and made nothing stick. Do you know the boy who cried wolf story? Don’t be suckered again by these cons.

        They are all legally corrupt. Some more so than others. Trump is more legally corrupt by an order of magnitude. Once again, that’s not a “they do it too.”it’s not an excuse. It’s pointing out that the” concern” over the corruption is a joke.

        Remember when Trump was claiming he was only “concerned” about corruption during the impeachment, and thst he wasn’t going after Hunter for political reasons? I actually found “skeptics” who believed that also. It’s hilarious.

      • Read Whitehouse Inc. Listen to Trump Inc.

        It’s hilarious when Trump supporters get the vapors about Demz corruption. Truly hilarious.

        There are plenty of life-long pubz who don’t play this game and put their head in the sand about Trump’s corruption. There’s even a ton of current Trump supporters who explicitly called out his obvious corruption before the election and then they later decided to pretend he isn’t corrupt because it’s politically expedient to play that game.

      • Robert Starkey

        Joshua

        I am simply amazed that you seem to justify the Biden actions based on a claim that trump did bad things

        If the claims that Trump and his family had done bad things were valid they would have been highly publicized already.

        You really don’t find Biden’s actions if true disqualifying from being president

      • > I am simply amazed that you seem to justify the Biden actions based on a claim that trump did bad things.

        LOL.

        I’ll repeat one more time. Beyond that you can just think whatever you want. I said (1) I think it’s possible but unlikely that Joe was involved in explicitly illegal corruption. I think it’s also unlikely that Joe was explicitly involved in legal corruption. (2). We know that his son is an influence peddler – of the disgusting but legal type. There’s nothing new about that.

        The charges being made are being made by a whole cast of shady characters with a long track record of making all kinds of charges that don’t pan out. And there is a whole host of Trump sycophants that have gone along every time and never learn the lesson.

        >If the claims that Trump and his family had done bad things were valid they would have been highly publicized already.

        They are highly publicized. You just ignore them. Or just avoid looking. I have given you two sources. I guarantee that you will not be able to refute the evidence they lay out. They provide well-sourced reporting. Give it a shot. If you choose not to look, that’s entirely on you. I don’t really care. I’ve seen it all before and you’d be just one of the many.

        > You really don’t find Biden’s actions if true disqualifying from being president.

        If he did something explicitly illegal it would be disqualifying. If he did something explicitly corrupt but not illegal, depending on what it was, it would put him in the same category as Trump (and Trump’s family) but likely on a significantly lesser scale.

        You are certainly entitled to get the vapors all you wish. Absent hard evidence of illegal wrong-doing I doubt it will have much impact on the election for the reasons I laid out. It works the same way with the legal but disgusting corrupt behavior all up and down the Trump family and the Trump administration. There are volumes of evidence. Only sycophants deny it. Some people admit it but will vote for him anyway. I can kind of understand that – I don’t agree but at least it’s honest. For most people the cake is already baked. For people for whom party is more important than corruption, the corruption doesn’t matter. For people who actually choose to vote based on corruption (and there’s actually proof of Biden’s legal corruption), there wouldn’t likely be a reason there to choose one over the other (so they’d decide on another factor or not vote of vote third party) except maybe as matter of scale there’d be a reason to choose Biden. If there were actual proof of illegal corruption for one and not the other, I think it could swing the election (by pushing almost all independents onto a particikar side). I don’t think that’s likely to happen, although it might.

      • Joshua, there is no such thing as “legal corruption.” Any politician is punishable for proven official corruption.

      • J:

        Here’s what you did: Look over there. WH Inc and Trump Inc. Neither has a Wikipedia page, which is a standard. I read the Amazon reviews which were probably copy and pasted from the book.

        No specific charges. Sanders, Warren, Amy K, Gabbard go through the list. Which of them did something like Biden has done? If you can separate Biden from his son, do that. I think that would be your loss in this situation.

        Biden will win. Your team will win. And that’s the compromise the DNC made for your team. And most of you will go along with it. Even fight for it. There’s this deal where they make you do something. I decided to it myself you may say. That’s worse, I think.

        Trump made your team like his team. He wins again. The Republicans make people vote for them, even though they are a bunch of frauds. But one time they didn’t. Which is different than Biden getting elected President.

        The woke revolution happened about 4 ½ years ago. The sitting power was dethroned which was the RNC.

        This is a revolution of Joe and Hunter Biden. Which is like his rallies. Nothing. The four candidates I listed above had a chance of reforming D.C. Gabbard and Sanders the best. But we got Biden. The reason people will vote for Biden is to not have a revolution. They keep saying those extremists are White Supremacists. And they are certainly not us.

        You argued something like Trump is worse than Joe Biden’s ineptitude with all the foreign money his family took. Trump made you do that. Defend Biden. And the DNC made you do that. Who are your allies? I know who the rulers are. Which you are defending.

        You can come up for a name for what I call this psychological condition. We both have to some degree. We defend our crooks.

        Which the libertarians have been saying all along. They’re crooks. We have two mafias. This is how a libertarian society works. Trump proved that the libertarians were right. As did the Democrats. The Democrats have their own private police force. The intelligence agencies. The Republicans haven’t been able to pull that one off very well. But they did a good job having their own private judges.

        So, now you’re a libertarian. And you can thank Trump for that.

      • Things don’t look good for Biden. It’s bound to get worse.

        Some have wondered about a retroactive impeachment for Obama. The loons wanted to impeach Trump before he was inaugurated. That raises the question about a preemptive impeachment for Biden, before the election. Due to time constraints, no special prosecutor, no articles of impeachment in the House. Just straight to an up or down vote to convict in the Senate.

        What did Joe know and when did he know it?

      • Either way, there will be time enough after the election to delve into the Biden family corruption.

      • Scientists can rehabilitate their reputations by en mass, going at all the Governors now and telling them to open things up.

        Why should they do that?

      • People are afraid fo the virus. What is the cause of that? Not science. Science is saying it will be Okay. Science is saying get back to work.

        What science says that?

    • It simply means that formerly scientific magazines have been taken over. The process started with The Scientific American in 2002. They devoted a whole issue to a rather primitive criticism of Lomborg’s book The Skeptical Environmentalist. They allowed him one(?) page for rebuttal. When he posted the accusations and his replies on his website, they sued him for a copyright infringement, since the accusations were their intellectual property.

    • Ragnaar –

      > So, now you’re a libertarian. And you can thank Trump for that.

      I’ve changed nothing about my perspective on Biden or the Demz as the result of Trump getting elected. I’ve hanged nothing about my perspective on the Pubz as a result of Trump gettkng elected

      There has always been much overlap in my perspective with that of “libertarians,” just not with extremist libertarians, and libertarians stuck in a binary mindset, and utopia-deluded libertarians, and bizarro libertarians who can’t bring themselves to see the violently anti-libertarianism of Trump.

    • Lancet Oncology, Science, Nature, New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), Nature, Science and Scientific American … blah

      They are publications not institutions. I’ve actually conversed with one of the editors of Nature. He was a blind climate change fanatic. He couldn’t offer me any good evidence for man-made climate change. Nor could he justify the lack of research spending on basic climate science, and the plethora on modeling pseudoscience.

      • As long as mark4asp will never ever use one of those publication to support your conception of how to do science then my job is complete. Live in ignorance dude.

      • mark4asp commented
        He couldn’t offer me any good evidence for man-made climate change.

        By now, if you can’t find evidence for man-made climate change on your own it’s because you aren’t interested in trying.

  9. Presumably, if Judge Barrett is supposed to be enough of an expert on climate science to opine on the details of the science, I or any other Ph.D. scientist should be qualified to be on the Supreme Court. The thing is, we appoint judges to appellate courts to know how to apply the law.

    I suppose Judge Barrett could have responded to the question by asking the Senators whether they could scientifically justify whether CO2 has an ECS of 2,3,4 or some other number of degrees C. For even a scientist not involved with actual climate science, it takes a bit of work to dig into the details rather than follow the general discussion. We all have other things on our plates.

    Judge Barrett handled it correctly by avoiding the ambush.

    • Presumably, if Judge Barrett is supposed to be enough of an expert on climate science to opine on the details of the science, I or any other Ph.D. scientist should be qualified to be on the Supreme Court.

      That’s false. If you really do have a PhD, and you don’t understand why your claim is obviously false, you need to go back to school.

  10. I wonder what her views are on atoms.

    • She couldn’t answer. Because at some point in the future there might be a case involving atoms.

      Plus, she’s not a scientist so she has no opinion. Non-scientists can’t have opinions on issues like atoms. Anyone who believes atoms exist is like a religious fanatic.

    • relativistically speaking?

    • It would be another dumb question by a Democrat

    • David Appell, let’s assume for purposes of argument that you are called upon to testify as a climate science expert witness in a lawsuit involving one or more climate science topics.

      In your role as this expert witness, how would you answer the following questions if these were to be put to you in the course of a trial:

      Question #1: What is the expected global mean temperature (GMT) of the earth at an average global atmospheric CO2 concentration of 350 ppm?

      Question #2: Referring to Question #1, how long should that expected GMT persist through time if average global atmospheric CO2 concentration is being maintained continuously at or near 350 ppm?

      Question #3: At an average global atmospheric CO2 concentration which is being being maintained continuously at or near 350 ppm, then in an average year:
      — How many acres of US land, and of what landscape categories, can be expected to burn annually in major wildfires?
      — How many named hurricanes, and of what average intensity, can be expected to make landfall annually on US coastlines?
      — How many miles of US coastline can be expected to flood annually in major storm surge events?
      — How many acres of US land, and of what landscape categories, can be expected to flood annually in major rainfall events?
      — How many cyclones and tornadoes, and of what average intensity, can be expected to occur annually within the boundaries of the continental US?

      It is understood that each answer involves an expected range of values, plus their associated probabilities, not just a single discrete number.

      • Doubtful you can expect a meaningful reply in this context absent any real understanding or appreciation of the ‘Daubert’ standard.

      • Sorry, I’m not going to spend my time answering all those questions. You can research them as well as I can.

      • See what I mean? In Justice Barrett’s courtroom, his testimony would have to be seen as that of a witch burning AGW religious fanatic on the Left who is more interested in creating mass hysteria than engaging in science.

      • Why should I spend a nontrivial amount of time answering these detailed questions? What difference would it make here?

    • Gravity causes things to interact with a gravity well.
      G is True

      Gravity is Science
      G is S
      This thing that is true, happens to be in the category of Science.

      Climate Science is Science
      C is S
      Climate Science is in the category of Science.

      Since G is true, all S is true. C is S, so C is true.

      We know all S is not true. S is sometimes true.

      This is some fallacy. I could state it better that’s for sure. It’s a misdirect. It’s prostituting Science for one’s selfish reasons. It drags down Science. Into the arena of sleazy rhetoric. That is, politics.

      Politicians ruin everything.
      P is R.

      • The same thing that causes the creation of mass.

      • Rob, Thank you.
        Which of the 7 types of reasoning best supports your assertion?
        https://simplicable.com/new/reasoning

      • It’s the warping of space/time. Newton did a pretty good job for most things. Such as for Apollo 11. I think Willard said, Lots of unanswered questions. In higher resolution, that gravity does this can be true. We lack a complete understanding of gravity. Dark stuff maybe. But center of a blackhole very likely. When is gravity not true? At some limits. I recently was reminded that photons have no mass, which seems like cheating. But it helps if your trying to go very fast. But, I believe in Science. As I wave my Bible at you.

      • It intrigues me to wonder how many ways there could be to ‘reason’. Prof. Google can list 6-10 modes of human thinking but there is no hard limit to that number. Using *intuition* I can imagine there could be ways to use quantum computer algorithms that manipulate time to reveal new aspects to our perception of reality. I admit there may be a potential problem with that line of thinking because our brains won’t be able to create a frame of reference to understand the results!

      • Gravity is caused by the curvature of spacetime due to mass or energy.

      • Dave Appell

        Do bosons get impacted by gravity?

  11. I’m not willing to bet my U.S. economy on multi-decadal speculation about anything, including climate. Nobody has any proof about any future event or trend. Leave people alone to mind their own legitimate business, just as you should mind your own business and stay out of things you can never truly understand. Over the long run, those ideas have served the U.S. well.

    • Nobody has any proof about any future event or trend.

      How do you think people project future trends?

    • I’m not willing to bet my U.S. economy on multi-decadal speculation about anything, including tax rates.

      • I am willing to be 2 dollars against 1 dollar, raising the standard 21% corporate tax rate in the United States to 28%, will all things being equal, move more jobs overseas. Results to be determined by 5 randomly picked Nobel Prize Economists. Considerations limited to only jobs moved overseas.

        This is on much firmer ground than whatever response to climate means. Which includes a lot of pork and infighting. For instance, natural gas suppliers working against nuclear power.

        BEST said something about natural gas to nuclear. It’s so messy, that lost to politics. For instance, the North East can’t build a natural gas pipeline these days.

        The corporate tax rate question is 10 times purer than the response to climate change. And it’s in the impure where the grifters live.

        Which is another thing, has BEST endorsed Joe Biden? Trump unambiguously gave you natural gas. Joe is still trying to hear what his handlers are saying.

      • Non sequitur, Mr. Mosher.

    • Rob Starkey commented:
      Do bosons get impacted by gravity?

      Sure; so do fermions. Anything with mass or energy is impacted by gravity.

  12. Steinar Midtskogen

    If people are made to recite a climate creed to qualify for anything, then there’s a need to write one.

    “I believe in climate change in heaven and on earth, and that mankind is its creator. I believe in global warming, extreme weather and climate catastrophy, conceived by CO2, born by mankind, etc. In nomine climatis, mundi et consensus sancti. Amen.”

  13. “The judge’s exchange on climate change was short, but her critics say it is disqualifying.”

    Probably so and if that’s , true it’s probably because, the dogma lives loudly within them…

    • Climate change is based on evidence, not dogma.

      • Michael Jaubert

        Thats not true. Climate change has become far more political than scientific. With the media, it is dogma.

      • The evidence that the climate is changing, due predominately to human actions; in a net negative manner on a long term basis is very weak.

      • Rob: What evidence is your claim based on?

      • Shorter Michael: “I don’t understand the science.”

      • Michael Jaubert

        Shorter David: What are you talking about?

      • This evidence: Wildly varying UN IPCC CMIP model ECS’s, with the Russian model being the most accurate historically?

      • Michael Jaubert

        David: what do I know? “The science?”

      • Huh?

      • Michael Jaubert

        Exactly

      • Then you should have said that in the first place.

      • ‘Climate change’ is merely stating the obvious– climate change is only a Left vs right issue because AGW is an obvious myth.

      • Clearly you don’t know the science of climate change. I’ve never thought you did.

      • You’ve always been all mouth, never impressing anyone.

      • Appell to Rob: “What evidence is your claim (that climate science is based on “dogma” based on?”

        The incompetence and intolerance of its leading figures, such as Michael Mann who can’t even get straight whether he won a Nobel prize. Also, even if future warming was as predictable and harmful as most warmists claim, it is still an economic and political decision as to whether the benefits of fossil fuels outweigh the harm, yet the warmists intolerantly and obtusely claim that there can be no real substantive debate, much like Kamala Harris equating climate change and its policies with the science of smoking.

      • jddohio commented
        The incompetence and intolerance of its leading figures, such as Michael Mann who can’t even get straight whether he won a Nobel prize.

        Fred Singer also made the same claim about him and John Christy:

        “John Christy, my fellow skeptic and fellow co-recipient of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize (by virtue of having our names listed in IPCC reports) in the WSJ [ITEM #4]….”
        http://www.sepp.org/twtwfiles/2007/November%203.htm

      • Appell –“Fred Singer also made the same claim about him and John Christy” (concerning claimed Nobel prize) Thanks for making my point stronger. That there is another person in the “climate science” field making inaccurate claims just adds credence to the weakness of the field.

      • How oh so terrible they were caught up in the excitement that an organization they worked hard for had just won the Nobel Prize.

        They deserve some kind of recognition for it. How would you prefer to label them?

      • Appell: “How oh so terrible they were caught up in the excitement that an organization they worked hard for had just won the Nobel Prize.

        They deserve some kind of recognition for it. How would you prefer to label them?”

        Accurately — As members of an organization that won a Nobel prize. My understanding is that hundreds if not thousands of people contributed to the work. It is no big deal for any one person who contributes, what in virtually all instances would be a very small percentage of the work. I would add that I don’t see why giving a Nobel to an organization should be a super exciting event for anyone.

      • Have you ever been part of such an organization?

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        David Appells comment -” David Appell | October 20, 2020 at 1:54 pm |
        jddohio commented
        The incompetence and intolerance of its leading figures, such as Michael Mann who can’t even get straight whether he won a Nobel prize.”

        David appell’s comment – “Fred Singer also made the same claim about him and John Christy:””

        In reference to this comment – John Christy, my fellow skeptic and fellow co-recipient of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize (by virtue of having our names listed in IPCC reports) in the WSJ [ITEM #4]

        This comment was an obvious insult to Michael Mann and the rest of the climate scientists who support Manns’ work. It certainly wasnt Christy or Singer claiming to be Nobel prize winners.

        Does anyone else find it strange that someone who was unable to recognize the insult some how possesses the superior intellectual capacity to ascertain the quality of climate science.

      • It certainly wasnt Christy or Singer claiming to be Nobel prize winners.

        He called himself a “recipient.” You know what that word means.

  14. The power to make environmental law is conferred on Congress by Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. ‘To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.’ Congress has the authority to make environmental law – an authority recognised by the Supreme Court in ‘deference’ to this authority since Theodore Roosevelt. There are diverse Earth System pressures – of which climate change is at the low end of risk.

    Risk from climate change in our nonlinear world there is. Modelling of Earth climate at a fine enough scale to use fundamental equations of state rather than parameterisations is impossible. It would require quantum computing at the least. It is possible to nest fine scale modelling within a coarser model.

    The results for low level marine stratocumulus show that an abrupt climate shift to a very much warmer state is possible. You may dispute it from agnotology if you like – but what would be the point.

    The point of the precautionary principle is to devise cost effective strategies to reduce the risk of far reaching and irreversible change in the Earth system.

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

    https://watertechbyrie.com/

    “It isn’t enough to repair the damage our progress has brought. It is also not enough to manage our risks and be more shock-resistant. Now is not only the time to course correct and be more resilient. It is a time to imagine what we can generate for the world. Not only can we work to minimize our footprint but we can also create positive handprints. It is time to strive for a world that thrives.” Jean Russell

    Aiming to reduce multiple pressures on the Earth system with practical responses is immensely more rational than head in the sand denial.

    • Michael Jaubert

      Indeed. However, that is the problem with the progressives in the US. They believe the SCOTUS should enact legislation from the bench, despite what our laws dictate. ACB’s answer was brilliant, but leave it to the “idiocracy” of the media; WaPo, Esquire, and the like, with their PolySci and communication degrees to pervert the scientific process with their progressive ideology. To compare the paradigm of gravity to climate change and then somehow stipulate that ACB is unqualified to sit on the SCOTUS because she did not provide the answers they want to hear on the question of CC is just beyond ridiculous.

      • I doubt that the sound and fury signifies much. Amy Coney Barrett is an ‘originalist’ – and so can’t be expected to upset the the applecart of Constitutionally valid law whoever makes it.

      • Yeah, they knew nothing about climate change in 1789. So yeah, for sure, let’s base all our laws on that, forever. Yeah, that’s smart.

      • First the representatives of the people must pass laws.

      • Michael Jaubert

        David Appell, your incoherent at this point. Whether it is 1789, 1889, 1989, or 2020, the judiciary does not legislate from the bench, so regardless of how ACB answered that loaded question on CC, it does not disqualify her. Thats ridiculous. She admitted she is not a scientist, hence has a very limited understanding of this topic. Just like the senator from California who isn’t either. I actually commend here for her humbleness unlike some others on this issue.

      • Any Supreme Court Justice should be knowledgeable of the basic facts of science — of gravity, of the existence of atoms, of man’s responsibility for the ozone hole, of man’s responsibility for modern climate change.

        Anything else is profound intellectual ignorance that should disqualify any potential Supreme Court Justice from that position, no questions asked.

      • As if conservatives aren’t expecting Barrett to overrule Roe v Wade.

      • Michael Jaubert

        David, of course ACB understands the very basics of science; gravity, existence of atoms, etc. Climate change and the question in the venue it was proposed was purely political. It is much more of a complex issue and I’m sure you understand that. You’re being ridiculous at this point.

      • Climate change science isn’t political — it’s a matter of basic physics, known now for over 120 years.

      • Do we need a policy to respond cost effectively to gravity? Or can we just laugh at David falling on his face repeatedly?

      • It’s not political to ask if ACB understands the basic science of climate change, considering its importance, and the loudmouth idiots who still try to deny it….

      • DA

        If the inevitability of ACB’s confirmation has you this agitated, I can only imagine the kind of basket case you’re going to be November 4. Being in a lockdown, seeing the 6-3 and facing 4 more years, it’s going to be a long winter. I hear Double Oreos are a good comfort food for some.

    • A pile of words signifying nothing, Robert I. Ellison. We need specific details as to your “cost effective strategies” before we are able to have rational discussions. What are the detailed cost estimates of your proposed actions? What are the specific alternative costs of any assumed negative consequences of inaction? Do any of your alternatives suppose particular economic or technological trajectories? As a prior planner, I assure you anything you think today will be wrong 10 to 20 years out. In 30 years (2050) those of us left alive will be in a vastly changed world.

      Capitalism works because many different people put their own money on their differing visions of the future. Many bets fail; it is those surviving that move us forward. Letting the government make the only bet(s) is a proven failure.

      • Not surprisingly I have had this discussion with David before. Pollution control is well advanced in developed economies, the environment better managed, there is more resilient infrastructure and better disaster planning, higher educational and health standards with higher wealth. It is driven by economic freedom. I suggest David look at the US ranking and see how he might improve things.


        https://www.heritage.org/index/about

        “Today’s nuclear reactors that use existing technology are currently too expensive to be competitive. The U.S. nuclear industry is in decline. To reverse this trend, we believe our country must do what it does best: bring the ingenuity of its people to bear on creating new ways to produce nuclear energy safely, cleanly and at much lower cost.” Christina Back – General Atomics

        There is much detail and a lot of economic and policy discussion on my wordpress site – that we can contrast to David’s. We are left with his contrarian statement here that is much ado about a misguided agnotology.

        “A new climate strategy should take a page from one of America’s greatest homegrown traditions — pragmatism— which values pluralism over universalism, flexibility over rigidity, and practical results over utopian ideals. Where the UNFCCC imagined it could motivate nations to cooperatively enforce top-down emissions reductions with mathematical precision, US policymakers should acknowledge that today’s global, social, and ecological systems are too messy, open, and complicated to be governed in this way. Whereas the UNFCCC attempted to create new systems of global governance, a pragmatic approach would build upon established, successful institutions and proven approaches. Where the old climate policy regime tried to discipline a wildly diverse set of policies under a single global treaty, the new era must allow these policies and measures to stand—and evolve— independently and according to their own logic and merits. And where the old regime required that everyone band together around the same core motivation and goals, policymakers today are likely to make the most progress to the degree that they refrain from centrally justifying energy innovation, resilience to extreme weather, and pollution reduction as “climate policy.”

        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. As such, Climate Pragmatism offers a framework for renewed American leadership on climate change that’s effectiveness, paradoxically, does not depend on any agreement about climate science or the risks posed by uncontrolled greenhouse gases.” Climate Pragmatism: Innovation, Resilience and No Regrets – Breakthrough Institute

        Judith Curry’s take on Climate Pragmatism in 2011 can be found here – https://judithcurry.com/2011/07/31/climate-pragmatism/

        For God’s sake lift your intellectual game David.

      • OK, Robert I. Ellison, I’ll play: I believe in capitalism, as opposed to collectivism, and can go along with many of your feel-good statements. I disagree with your collectivist conclusion that CO2 is a pollutant, something that is poorly hidden in your latest pile of pseudo-intellectualism.

        As in the past, I now decline to follow you down your rabbit hole of words. So long, mental masturbator!

      • Climate change has nothing to do with nuclear reactors. OK?

        It has to do with the CO2e concentration of the atmosphere. That’s not difficult to understand.

      • Where do I mention nuclear reactors, David? Anyway, CO2 has been proven to be a minor player in global warming. Read more, comment less.

      • Oh yeah, climate change has nothing to do with economic freedom, either.

        This is obvious. Why do you pretend otherwise?

      • What is this “climate change” of which you speak, David?

      • 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.

        And innovative, cost competitive energy sources ia key reducing emissions. One wonders how these things are beyond even David’s grasp.

      • How is any of this beyond my grasp?

      • I am not arguing your grasp of the relevance of innovative energy sources or the importance of economic resources for solving social and environmental problems. It is evidently far too miniscule.

      • Not so sure we need specifics of cost effective strategies in this kind of forum, but do agree that capitalism and innovation are key.
        Are there technologies capable of being environmentally responsible and cost effective? Sure, but only if approached from a reasonable-man standpoint. Unfortunately, in today’s world, extremism is the norm. That makes finding practical solutions difficult.

      • Mike, you hit the problem squarely. It is futile to argue specifics with those holding faulty fundamental premises.

    • Here is one of Jean M. Russell’s books. It doesn’t look all that impressive.

      For example: “The same is true
      of trickle-down economics – the myth that when the rich do well, they will
      pay for goods and services that employ the lower classes, thus cascading
      wealth down the financial prosperity ladder. ” But this largely was a problem with outsourcing goods and services, not of capitalism Per Se. The Trump approach did indeed lift all boats.

      “Especially in the United States, what was once a useful distinction
      between the left and the right has become the artificially crafted polarity
      of two sides to the same position. ” Well, that was a popular position at one time. Now the two sides are killing each other, literally.

      “A number of recent books by experts in the field confirm what many of
      us already suspect – that there is a financial and economic crisis at hand ”
      Things were going great until the Purple Plague hit.

      “I want to be able to say that we are thriving. ” The world is thriving and will continue to thrive after the Purple Plague has run its course.

      I’m not all that impressed with Jean M. Russell. Lot’s of straw men to knock over.

      Click to access thriva_website_introch.1.pdf

      • I had to Laugh. Paul Gilding I knew 30 years – wasn’t impressed then. There are many people with a litany of impending disasters and no practical social or economic principles. Their myopic vision involves narratives of moribund western economies governed by corrupt corporations collapsing under the weight of internal contradictions – leading to less growth, less material consumption, less CO2 emissions, less habitat destruction and a last late chance to stay within the safe limits of global ecosystems. And this is just in the ‘scholarly’ journals. But it is hardly the point.

        Jared Diamond has a thesis on environmental collapse leading to social implosion. The point is to learn the lessons of the past and build thriving and prosperous communities in vibrant landscapes.

    • “Aiming to reduce multiple pressures on the Earth system with practical responses is immensely more rational than head in the sand denial.”

      That only works if the effort is worldwide, not unilateral by the developed countries. If the Rest Of the World isn’t on board, then the best course for the developed countries is adaptation, not mitigation.

      • Excessive nutrients in waterways lead to blue green algae in rivers, lake eutrophication and coastal anoxic zones. Solutions include managing water movement from industrial and urban development and through carchments. I can design and cost from the bottom up – but it is all site specific. As are benefits from flood mitigation, improvement in public safety and infrastructure protection. Managing agricultural soils for carbon content and to reduce erosion work because they reduce costs and improve yield. This is a global movement involving millions of people and hundreds of countries.

        There are other video’s on my WordPress site.

    • It appears Jared Diamond might be the next Paul Erlich. There have been so many predictions of various sorts of apocalypse, I am somewhat curious about the book, but the whisper in the other ear says it probably a waste of resources.

      • Jared Diamond has a thesis repeated endlessly. The Iriai – literally entering the joint use of resources – are sent to give us wisdom. Nobel Prize in Economics winner Elinor Ostrom is a more practical and informed source.

    • Appeal to multi-authorities?

    • “The power to make environmental law is conferred on Congress by Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution. ‘To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.’ Congress has the authority to make environmental law.”

      Why don’t you say simply: Congress has the authority to make environmental law, because that’s how I read Article 1 Section 8.

  15. Reblogged this on Climate Collections and commented:
    “In the political debate on climate change, ‘I believe in climate science’ is a statement generally made by people who don’t understand much about it.”

  16. “Believing in climate change” is a loaded vague phrase that needs to be attacked and deconstructed. Another one is “take action”. The people who like to use this phrase aren’t talking about building nuclear plants or helping poor people in the third world move from cooking with wood and dung to using propane.

  17. ‘I believe in science’ that’s why “I’ll not ban fracking“… courtesy of Joe Biden, candidate for the US Senate!

  18. The idea that a judicial appointment needs confirmation by the legislature results in confirmation hearings in the US that are uniquely an American bloodsport. They serve no real purpose.

    Any halfway intelligent candidate nominated by either party knows how to play the game. The senators of the other party do not ask questions because they are seeking information. They ask questions because they were looking for media coverage that will make them look good in the eyes of voters in their states.

    There are two kinds of questions.One is to seek their views on non-legal issues that are highly controversial. Climate change is one such issue.The other kind of question is on a legal issue such as what would you do about law X.

    The only intelligent answer to the first question is evasion, because whatever the answer, it will be attacked. Evasion can take many forms, such as “I believe in the science” without specifying what that science is. Or “I am not a scientist and that is a scientific question.”

    The only intelligent answer on the legal question is too say that if and when that question comes before my court I will judge it on its merits. However, I am not prepared to prejudge it at this time. Or words to that effect.

    Regardless of the question, therefore, the answer will be unsatisfactory to the questioner. And that is the very reason why the questionnaire is asking that question: to obtain an unsatisfactory answer that can then be attacked.

    On the other hand, the political party whose appointee this is will ask questions intended to make the appointee look good.

    The failure to recognize this game for what it really is will lead to a lot of wasted space in journals and websites..

    • The idea that a judicial appointment needs confirmation by the legislature results in confirmation hearings in the US that are uniquely an American bloodsport. They serve no real purpose.

      Gee, they’re only required by the US Constitution.

      But I’m sure you know better.

    • Andrew –

      > The only intelligent answer on the legal question is too say that if and when that question comes before my court I will judge it on its merits. However, I am not prepared to prejudge it at this time.

      You wouldn’t by any chance be in the market for a bridge in Brooklyn, would you?

    • The problem is one party has lost all pretense of civility in pursuit of extremism. That can only be cured at the ballot box,

  19. I have not said anything about the U.S. Constitution. Name another country that requires confirmation of judicial appointments?

    Do you really believe that they serve the purpose of producing better judicial appointments? There are many judges who would rather not be promoted to the US Supreme Court if they have to go through this highly partisan attack. It serves as a deterrent to a lot of potentially good appointees.

    • Ihave not said anything about the U.S. Constitution. Name another country that requires confirmation of judicial appointments?

      Senate confirmation is required by the US Constitution. It doesn’t matter what any other country does or thinks.

      • The US Constitution doesn’t require that the Senate follow any particular process for vetting the thousands of people appointed every year to numerous positions. Turning it into a mobbing partisan attack on every potential Supreme Court nominee is not constitutional fidelity. It is not surprising that these nominees fight back with vagueness. What would you do in their position?

      • The US Constitution doesn’t require that the Senate follow any particular process for vetting the thousands of people appointed every year to numerous positions.

        I never wrote that, did I?

        So why are you bringing it up?

      • Turning it into a mobbing partisan attack on every potential Supreme Court nominee is not constitutional fidelity.

        The US Constitution *DOES* require that SCOTUS nominees be approved by the US Senate.

        Why are you even whining about this?

    • The original intent was for the State-installed Senators to place a check on runaway Federal Executive and House of Representatives’ power [The U.S. is a Republic of Sovereign States, not an unbridled rule of a wholly democratically-elected Federal Government.]. This was unwisely changed to directly-elected Senators by Constitutional amendment. The increasingly violent national political dogfights are an unfortunate result of that mistake. Further proof that the Founders of the Republic were very much wiser than the current electorate.

  20. I’m not sure my views on this will be printable but there is an obvious oversight.  Many ideas essential if mainstream views are correct (as I believe) make sense even if climate change were a damp squib or temperatures fell e.g following a major volcanic eruption like Tambora in 1815.  Examples include less waste, silviculture, restoring fish stocks and combining conservation with careful use. So arguing about who is right instead of adopting such win-win options is something of a shooting offence.Regards,IainSent from my Samsung Galaxy S7 – powered by Three

  21. I think a case could be made that discussing and studying climate change with those of a religious persuasion in that regard would make a serious consideration of the law in that respect seem like a personal moral dilemma. Can our politicians handle the fact that most elections are roughly 50/50 and that approx. one hundred million of people don’t agree with them. Where is the humility to accept the election and fold into their governmental world view an approach that makes the life of the average citizen what he or she expects and needs. We are a country not a political party. No political party is totally right or wrong. . Except for a inflexible ideology divorced from reality. Stopping thinking is deadly. Don’t tell me about other countries. We are where we are because we didn’t listen to other countries. Not that we are perfect either, but our approach is newer and more effective. I hope we are not over the hill. I have feared for years that we are starting to feel that we are not just exceptional, but entitled. Pragmatism has gotten us to where we are. Let’s continue to solve problems and not just look out from our castle on the hill.

  22. Judith,

    I agree 100% with your comment:
    “I think that Amy Coney Barrett’s answers to the climate question was admirable. She wanted to stay out of a contentious political debate. But more importantly she wasn’t going to pass a judgement on something for which she had not carefully evaluated the evidence and did not find herself qualified to make a judgement on. I thought her stance on this showed wisdom and humility.”

    Comments like these are simply ideologically biased nonsense:
    “The scientific evidence of climate change is beyond reasonable doubt or debate, … ”
    and
    “Put simply, this is just totally disqualifying for any official holding public office in the year 2020. This isn’t even an up-to-date Republican bullsh#t line on the topic. “I’m not a scientist” is so 2014, maybe because even the Elite Political Media—pockets of which are just today allowing themselves to be hoodwinked by another Emails caper—caught on to how d#mb it is. Does Judge Amy Coney Barrett accept the scientific consensus that gravity is keeping her in that chair? If so, why? She’s not a scientist, so how could she possibly know?”

    Yes, the climate is changing. It always has and always will. The planet is in a unusually multi-million year cold period. The last time it was this cold was 300 Ma ago and that period lasted 70 Ma. The planet was much warmer then now for most of the past 542 Ma. For only 25%-30% of that time was there any ice at either pole. Life thrived when the planet was warmer – 50 Ma ago there were tropical rain forests from pope to pole; and alligators and frost intolerant palm trees in the north polar region.

    Climate change is not what is relevant. What is relevant is whether global warming is harmful or beneficial. The empirical evidence indicates global warming is beneficial, not harmful.

    “Figure 15. FUND3.9 projected global sectoral economic impact of climate change as a function of GMST change from 2000. Total* is of all impact sectors except energy.”
    Source:
    Lang, P.A.; Gregory, K.B. Economic impact of energy consumption change caused by global warming. Energies 2019, 12, 3575. https://doi.org/10.3390/en12183575

    And:
    Dayaratna, K.D.; McKitrick, R.; Michaels, P.J. Climate sensitivity, agricultural productivity and the social cost of carbon in FUND. Environmental Economics and Policy Studies 2020, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10018-020-00263-w

    • Peter, is this paper peer reviewed? I’m wondering, since good journals don’t often accept and run an Excel chart….

      • The standard graphics file formats accepted by journals are independent of the format used by the source applications. Many source applications in fact display graphics using the same standard file formats.

        Attempts to connect graphics file formats with the “quality” of the journal and peer review is somewhat tenuous. Less than tenuous in fact; the connection does not exist.

        In many cases, a connection between peer review and ‘good journals’ is also somewhat tenuous.

        It’s very likely that the actual contents of a paper or report are a better place to look for quality, and not file formats.

      • Good journals have good graphics.

        Since you won’t say, I’ll take it that your journal isn’t peer reviewed.

    • Peter, what exactly is “empirical data”? Another projection?

  23. asking scotus about science is just dumb

    But republicans should remember this and use it
    when president harris ( biden being removed per article 25)
    when she nominates the next justices

    To Scotus nominee: Do you agree with the science that
    says hurricanes are getting more frequent or the science that says no?
    ( repeat for a bunch of issues are not settled”

    do you agree with the models that show 5C of warming or those that show
    2.5C?

    trap questions: The science shows (state some false fact), do you agree?

    it could be fun to show that judges know little about science.
    who knew the job about the law?

    personally, I would ask them whether graham’s number was bigger than Tree 3

  24. I was also shocked that barret didn’t call them out more forcefully for their recusal trap questions. How would you rule on X, or what’s your opinion of X is
    just a bullying tactic aimed at generating a recusal demand later.

  25. UK-Weather Lass

    Thank you, Dr Curry, for a welcome glimpse into the professionalism of Amy Coney Barrett as compared to the often amateurish antics of political appointees (on all sides) given the right to question her. If what I watched of the judge’s performance at the Senate hearing is anything to go by then the USA has a very worthy new member of its Supreme Court.

    But I am left with that nasty taste in my mouth about the apparent poor quality of the political appointees and whether or not they really do understand what climate science truly says about our planet’s health. Is their race towards renewables helping or hindering an advance towards a better quality of life for all citizens of this planet? Is the obsession with wind and solar just another get rich quick scheme for those who have benefitted and are benefitting from it? The answers are there for politicians if they want to find them and yet they are seemingly ignored. And so why are politicians not being better advised and talking nuclear energy and securing proper management of baseline grid transmission before proper informed and innovative development and assessment of viable alternative technologies which may work for us in the future? Isn’t that better than creating ever bigger problems for the future which solar and wind are certainly achieving on a massive scale.

    We seem to have made ‘differences of opinion’ unhealthy and unhelpful when truth suggests they often help in reaching honest, sensible and inclusive decisions. I fear for the quality of our democracies when listening to the political classes we currently have and that is frightening.

    • Politics have been ever-thus, Lass. It is simply modern communications that amplified this into a deafening cacophony.

  26. Four years ago, US Senators put Scott Pruitt through their gauntlet, called the Confirmation Hearing for the Nominated Director of the EPA. Pruitt provided 242 pages of written responses to hundreds of questions from senators. The interchanges revealed the preoccupations of climate activists and the contrasting worldviews of climate alarmists and skeptics. For example:
    Q16.Are you aware that each of the past three decades has been warmer than the one before, and warmer than all the previous decades since record keeping began in the 1880s? This trend is based on actual temperature measurements. Do you believe that there is uncertainty in this warming trend that has been directly measured? If so, please explain.

    A.I am aware of a diverse range of conclusions regarding global temperatures, including that over the past two decades satellite data indicates there has been a leveling off of warming, which some scientists refer to as the “hiatus.” I am also aware that the discrepancy between land-based temperature stations and satellite temperature stations can be attributed to expansive urbanization within in our country where artificial substances such as asphalt can interfere with the accuracy of land-based temperature stations and that the agencies charged with keeping the data do not accurately account for this type of interference. I am also aware that ‘warmest year ever’ claims from NASA and NOAA are based on minimal temperature differences that fall within the margin of error. Finally, I am aware that temperatures have been changing for millions of years that predate the relatively short modern record keeping efforts that began in 1880.

  27. What amazes me and most Europeans who are concerned with constitutional issues is why the Americans do not deal with this madness you call SCOTUS, this is not a court, it is just another political body. Why is there so little interest in attacking the fundamental problem this undemocratic institution represents, instead of just exacerbating the problems by tricking in just another judge of the right political color?

    • Rune – I don’t see the magic in democracy. Our founders didn’t either. In fact, they saw the potential for “tyranny of the majority.” The bottom line is that democracy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

      tyranny of the majority(Noun)

      A situation in which a government or other authority democratically supported by a majority of its subjects makes policies or takes actions benefiting that majority, without regard for the rights or welfare of the rest of its subjects.

      As Madison said: Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions.[3]

      https://finance.townhall.com/columnists/jimhuntzinger/2018/12/07/why-the-founding-fathers-despised-democracy-n2537155#_ftn3

      • No one has addressed the problem that could break the American system of government. The courts of all democracies – at least in Western Europe – are at least trying to act party-neutral and it is considered bad practice if a government or the body that appoints high-court judges selects judges based on political positions instead of legal merit. With such a practice, the court’s ability to act as a neutral tiebreaker in constitutional matters no longer has any legality, it is just another political body that does not care about what is right or wrong, but who has the most votes. Should there be any mess on November 3 and this mess is to be decided by SCOTUS along party lines, the American system of government will be an additional international joke, as it became after Bush/Gore, and if I were an American myself I would not have accepted it, no matter who I voted for.

      • Rune – by all accounts, in the last decade, all nominees to the Supreme Court have been qualified from a legal standpoint. However, there are different schools of thought regarding the interpretation of the Constitution. Liberal candidates tend to be of the “Living Document” school who believe the Constitution should be interpreted in a modern context. Conservatives tend to select “strict constructionists” or “originalists” who generally believe the Constitution should be interpreted in the social context of the time it was written.

        I suppose either philosophy can be bent to one political vein or another, but I would say the living document school is more likely to allow current politics to influence a decision.

        But there is no doubt some judges, perhaps even in the Supreme Court, rule according to their political party. Given the political split down the middle in the US, there isn’t a way to remove those judges. And it might be dangerous to try because if the wrong political party rules all, the judges might all be made into political tools.

      • “Liberal candidates tend to be of the “Living Document” school who believe the Constitution should be interpreted in a modern context. Conservatives tend to select “strict constructionists” or “originalists” who generally believe the Constitution should be interpreted in the social context of the time it was written.”

        I agree, Jim. But a point that is usually never discussed in this context is that, for a conservative, “strict constructionist” or “originalism”, is indeed amenable. Laws need to be amended within the confines of the legislative process, those laws that are deemed outdated. The Left wishes to bypass U.S. legislatives process and offer this power to the highest court. It was never meant to be there, and this in fact is “originalist” intent.

      • Legal method a hundred years ago lived under the illusion that justice existed, it was only a matter of searching long and deep enough, then any just judge would find true justice. This is of course foolish, any judge will be influenced by one’s political and social position and no one today tries to portray the Supreme Court or other judges as objective. But from this extreme (that there is a natural and universal law) to judges being selected precisely based on the political and legal positions the president thinks they hold, is a whole new animal. And that it is mostly so-called liberal judges who have shown activism is not my impression. Citizens United is an excellent example of the opposite. And of course the constitution must be a living document, Scalia’s theory is so full of exceptions that in practice there is no great difference between the two ways of thinking. How else can one interpret a constitution established by men who were largely slave owners.

      • Rune, Citizens United was determined based on the valid Constitutional and legal observation that corporations have the same political rights as individuals. No, nobody is talking about American corporations (or private businesses, LLCs, partnerships, etc.) voting. It is, however, their right to spend political money as their owners see fit. Your private cobbler shop can spend its profits the same as you can spend your income from the shop, as allowed by political and tax laws. That is far removed from conservative judicial activism.

        Since day one, U.S. Presidents have appointed judges based on their assessment of individual fitness, character and adherence to the Presidents’ political philosophies. This is not something new – not “a whole new animal.” The American electorate and U.S. Senate ensure Presidents do not abuse that authority, at least not for very long. In 2016 and 2018 the American electorate twice ensured that President Trump and the Republican Party would fill SCOTUS vacancies during the President’s term of office. I personally hope that will continue for another four years.

        The U.S. Constitution is, in fact, not a “living document.” It is in black and white, subject to reasonable SCOTUS interpretation. It has been amended a number of times in accordance with its provisions. I really don’t want five individuals deciding on any Frankenstein, “living” permutations. Let’s leave it up the the individual States to change any provisions of of the document that resulted in and defines their union – a union of sovereign States.

        Rune, your characterization of the Founders as “largely slave owners,” supposedly having something to do with the mutability or not of the U.S. Constitution, is fallacious reasoning. Your use of that term is also emotionally ladened and highly offensive. You are attacking the very legitimacy of the U.S. Constitution. It indicates you have nothing intelligible to add to this conversation.

      • Dave Fair: “The U.S. Constitution is, in fact, not a “living document.” It is in black and white, subject to reasonable SCOTUS interpretation. It has been amended a number of times in accordance with its provisions.”

        The Lefts belief that the Constitution is a “Living Document” invited the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision in 1857. Democrats refused to accept the court’s interpretation of the US Constitution as a permanently binding document then, they still don’t today. They continue with their attempts to redirect power towards the judicial branch, for them it’s the efficient way to usurp power away from congress and the American people.

        As has been cited by some, if SCOTUS had used strict constructionist principles when deciding the Dred Scott decision then blacks would have been recognized as citizens, and possibly the Civil War would have never happened. The Dred Scott decision is generally considered the worst ruling ever of the court.

        “In his inauguration address, Democrat President James Buchanan hinted that he had been tipped off that the Supreme Court would soon render a decision that he believed would settle the question of slavery in the territories. Two days later, on this day in 1857, the Supreme Court did indeed announce its infamous Dred Scott v. Sanford decision. The slave, Dred Scott, having travelled in northern states, where he was free, was suing for his freedom after returning to Missouri. The Justices had been wrestling with how a person could be a slave, then free, then a slave again depending where he was.”

        “The solution for the seven Democrats on the Supreme Court (the two Republicans dissented) was that blacks could not be citizens anywhere, North or South, so they had no standing to sue in court for anything. This was despite the fact that free blacks had fought in the Revolution and the War of 1812, voted for five of the state conventions that ratified the Constitution, and could vote in several northern states. Chief Justice Roger Taney, who had been Andrew Jackson’s Attorney General, wrote: “A black man has no rights a white man is bound to respect.”

        “Atrocious as that was, the really explosive part of Dred Scott decision was striking down of a federal law for the first time since Marbury v. Madison in 1803. The majority opinion declared unconstitutional the Missouri Compromise of 1820, which banned slavery in the territories north of Arkansas. Congress, Taney wrote, did not have the authority to ban slavery anywhere because to do so would violate the Bill of Rights, specifically the 5th Amendment’s safeguard against being deprived of one’s property without due process.”

        “Justice John McLean, one of the two dissenters in the 7-2 decision, had sought the 1856 Republican presidential nomination and would vie for the 1860 Republican nomination.”
        https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2007/03/republican_justices_dissented.html

      • >>Rune, your characterization of the Founders as “largely slave owners,” supposedly having something to do with the mutability or not of the U.S. Constitution, is fallacious reasoning. Your use of that term is also emotionally ladened and highly offensive.

        Indeed, when did it become offensive to point out a historical fact that American jurists use as a telling example that the constitution must necessarily in practice be a living document. Was xxx porn allowed in 1910? If not, how did it become legal in 2020 while the constitutional amendment on freedom of expression has not been changed? Do you really think that the constitutionalists believed that rough porn was covered by freedom of expression, but that this was something SCOTUS only became aware of two hundred years later.

      • Rune –

        > Indeed, when did it become offensive to point out a historical fact…

        You have to understand that here in the US we have a lot of snowflakes that want to demand political correctness and self-censorship,

    • If your attitude is representative of Europeans, then Europeans clearly don’t understand the difference between law and democracy.
      Among other things: None of the European nations, or the US, are direct democracies.
      Even were they direct democracies, there still lies the difference between interpretation and enforcement of existing laws vs. passing/repealing of laws.

    • So let’s just use a political process to avoid “… tricking in just another judge of the right political color?”

      • What’s your problem? Do you not understand that the lack of confirmation of Obama’s proposal for a new judge totally crashes with Trump’s “last minute” conformation of Barret. I assume that the American people have a certain unified understanding of justice, that equal cases should be treated equally, etc. But now the spiral of violence has been screwed up a notch further, and there is a risk that the Democrats will expand SCOTUS to 11 or for that matter 17 members. Which is permissible under the US Constitution, but which SCOTUS with its current composition may declare unconstitutional. And then it’s complete, you become a Banana Republic. Whether you are a climate denier or a climate alarmist, everyone should understand that this should not be the United States of the future:

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/14/armed-militias-conspiracy-theorists-anti-vaxxers-red-pill-expo

      • Its amusing, Rune, that you expect a Marxist newspaper to accurately reflect what is going on in a Constitutional Republic. And, additionally, that you actually have any insights into the U.S. political landscape. It would take a lifetime to properly educate you.

      • Why has it become such a climate”skeptical” trait to respond with inflated arrogance when one has no arguments.

      • The “lack of confirmation” in 2016 was by agreement – the agreement in turn occurred entirely because everyone expected Hilary Clinton to win the election.
        I have no idea what you are referring to by “cycle of violence”.
        The fact of the matter is this:
        “and [the President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.”
        This is what the US Constitution says, and that is all that actually matters under the law of the land.
        Of course, what you apparently fear is a conservative reprisal of what liberals did in the 1960s/1970s: an activist Supreme Court using its power to confirm or deny laws passed by Congress.
        Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander. This process is exactly how the Founding Fathers intended it to work: any major changes require both immediate majorities in Congress and approval (or at least, lack of disapproval) in both executive and judicial branches.
        Deadlock is the goal for anything remotely controversial.

  28. 1. Whether ‘belief’ in climate change actually means anything when spouted by politicians and other non-scientists
    2. What judges should be expected to know about climate science.

    Excellent questions.
    1. CO2-catastrophism is beyond any doubt a religious article of faith combined with a tribe-defining shibboleth. Like an 1slamic terrorist identifying mus1ims or non by asking them the name of m0hamm@d’s mother. This is pure murderous tribalism, nothing more. Recite our creed the way we like or we’ll cancel you.

    2. Judges from now on should be expected to take the position that Amy Coney Barrett has. It’s the only defensible and rational position for a judge regarding science. They can no more be expected to have a view on atmosphere-ocean nonlinear thermodynamics than they should have one on quantum chromodynamics, the S matrix, M theory or dark flow.

  29. Recently I saw an activist website complaining that jurists were going to seminars led by staff at Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University. I wondered what might be on offer different than alarmist materials from Union of Concerned Scientists, National Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace, World Wildlife, and so on. So I went looking to see what was upsetting to the climate faithful, and found some unexpected resources for climate realists, including those serving on the bench.

    The Scalia Law School at George Mason University has a long standing Mason Judicial Education Program providing continuing education for jurists. The linked website provides this description:

    For over four decades, the LEC’s Judicial Education Program has helped train the nation’s judges and justices in basic economics, accounting, statistics, regulatory analysis, and other related disciplines. The Program offers intellectually rigorous, balanced, and timely education programs to the nation’s judges and justices in the belief that the fundamental principles of a free and just society depend on a knowledgeable and well educated judiciary. To date, over 5,000 federal and state judges from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including three current U.S. Supreme Court Justices, have participated in at least one of the LEC’s judicial education programs. As one JEP participant has put it: the courses have “made us better at our work and improved the administration of justice.”

    From time to time there are seminars where jurists discuss cases indicative of newer tendencies in litigation. The school publishes reports of these gatherings as well as studies and articles by legal scholars in its Journal of Law, Economics and Policy.

    Some excerpts from these resources are at this post:
    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/critical-climate-intelligence-for-jurists-and-others/

  30. It is still shocking to me that THERMOMETER readings for the past century show no increase whatsoever within error bars–unless they are changed, modified, varnished, tampered with–after which they are no longer data.

    • Oiltranslator
      That is the biggest issue in my mind. I don’t accept the adjustments. Always question after measured adjustments. Mosher’s friend,Haususfer? published a useful discussion of the adjustment basis here some time ago. Having studied that, it still seems appropriate that the as measured data should be published along with any adjustments to demonstrate the observation and basis for adjustment along with estimated error bars. I think they show not much difference in measured vs historical.(1933-6) History rules and especially considering the 900 to 1200 high temps and droughts in SW US that disrupted those civilizations. Still in the range of natural variability.
      Scott

      • Steven Mosher

        “That is the biggest issue in my mind. I don’t accept the adjustments. Always question after measured adjustments. Mosher’s friend,Haususfer? published a useful discussion of the adjustment basis here some time ago. Having studied that, it still seems appropriate that the as measured data should be published along with any adjustments to demonstrate the observation and basis for adjustment along with estimated error bars. I think they show not much difference in measured vs historical.(1933-6) History rules and especially considering the 900 to 1200 high temps and droughts in SW US that disrupted those civilizations. Still in the range of natural variability.
        Scott”

        1 nobody cares whether you accept the adjustments to the land record or not.
        2 The the unadjusted data is posted with the adjusted data, along with
        the adjustment codes ( there are several techniques)

        3. When you look at THE SUM TOTAL OF ALL ADJUSTMENTS
        you will see see that the Adjustments
        REDUCE THE TREND IN WARMING.

        Thats right, when we consider ALL the adjustments, those to STT
        (70% of the record) and those to land (30%) of the record, you
        will see that the adjustments REDUCE THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF
        GLOBAL WARMING

        want raw data? it has MORE warming than adjusted data.

        The Ocean is COOLED, the land is warmed slightly. The TOTAL
        is a net REDUCTION of the trend

        Dont confuse the US land record with the ENTIRE land record
        and dont confuse the entire land record with the ENTIRE globe.
        Adjustments to the GLOBAL RECORD

        REDUCE
        THE
        WARMING

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Steven Mosher,
        re Reduce the warming
        Is there any particular data set on which you rely to make this statement?
        So we can look at it and wonder where our own work went wrong?
        It is rather hard to make this claim about the Australian official raw record (Climate Data Online) versus the latest adjusted set named ACORN-SAT version 2. Some of us are still working through version 2.1, released a few weeks ago, where excessive cooling of the past has been reduced here and there compared to CDO.
        How recent is your data set that allowed you to claim reduced warming after adjustment? Some of these sets are altered almost daily.
        Geoff S

  31. Pingback: Climate science and the Supreme Court |

  32. What’s really interesting is that the liberals used the Supreme Court to enact major legislative changes in the 1970s – and now they fear the same being done by conservatives.
    Sauce for the goose, sauce for the gander.
    This is doubly ironic because the “deal” in 2016 largely occurred because the Democrats believed HRC would win and they would be able to both replace Ginsburg and fill the open seat.

  33. Her intellectually honest responses disqualify only the media peddlers of tendentious presumption from any serious debate..

  34. Carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and cement production – from 1750 to 2011 – was about 365 billion metric tonnes as carbon (GtC), with another 180 GtC from deforestation and agriculture. Of this 545 GtC, about 240 GtC (44%) had accumulated in the atmosphere, 155 GtC (28%) had been taken up in the oceans with slight consequent acidification, and 150 GtC (28%) had accumulated in terrestrial ecosystems (IPCC 2014)

    We are in reach of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations last seen at the time of the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM). A period in which the planet was substantially warmer. A warmth contributed to by low level marine stratocumulous feedback – a conclusion reached by eliminating the scientifically impossible.

    Wildlife was doing quite OK – with a great profusion of types and abundance of creatures. With 120,372 species assessed. 32,000 threatened species and 160,000 target species to be assessed by 2020 – ecologies are increasingly under pressure in our nonlinear, unpredictable world.

    As are soils, aquifers and agriculture. But there are practical responses that start with renewing the democratic, individual freedom and free market narrative for the 21st century. What is needed for this is a song and not something dour and too severely practical. A song of a great, global spanning civilisation forged this century and nested in a profusion of nature. Populations replanting and replenishing in a triumph of human ecology in the Earthly garden – a sound foundation for our next steps to the stars. Great art and great music flourishing – song and poetry inspiring and amusing. Technologies proliferate and to be directed to the tasks of bringing our lives into balance with the world. The great task of renewing the world and empowering its peoples will bring a resolution that releases immense energies. What seem like dire and insoluble problems of the moment will fade like midnight forebodings in the morning light.

    “We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage. What we lack is a liberal Utopia, a programme which seems neither a mere defence of things as they are nor a diluted kind of socialism, but a truly liberal radicalism which does spare the susceptibilities of the mighty (including the trade unions), which is not too severely practical and which does not confine itself to what appears today as politically possible…Those who have concerned themselves exclusively with what seemed practicable in the existing state of opinion have constantly found that even this has rapidly become politically impossible as the result of changes in a public opinion which they have done nothing to guide. Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our livliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost.”
    —Friedrich August von Hayek, Studies in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (1967)

    To gain and retain political power requires unabashedly appealing to the aspirations of humanity and not our pettifogging divisions.

    • OK, Robert I. Ellison, I’m suckered into your rabbit hole again: The “aspirations of humanity” are starkly revealed by their activities over time. Humanity has demonstrated that it has no interest in some undefined “great, global spanning civilisation” that will usher in some mentally masturbated “liberal Utopia.” If we are not very careful, we will experience a global civilization modeled after Communist China. Free market capitalism must compete economically and militarily or die. You would not like the world without Western civilization’s standards of individual freedom. Worldwide democracy would kill that.

    • “A warmth contributed to by low level marine stratocumulous feedback – a conclusion reached by eliminating the scientifically impossible.”
      A little scientific hubris.

      • The mechanism has been observed in the modern era and the physical processes investigated mathematically.

        The PETM problem is that CO2 levels by itself were insufficient to explain the degree of warming.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      RIE,
      If these matters are so clear and reliable, perhaps you can quote a valid number for climate sensitivity, or even show a proof that ECS cannot be zero.
      Your little essay is no more than one unproven assertion after another. Science does not progress that way.
      3/10 for effort, 0/10 for science? Geoff S

  35. The Washington Post is a doublespeak factory, there is no direct evidence for human driven climate change, only the theory that more CO2 should cause some amount of surface warming. Denying debate halts scientific progress.

    • In the words of Michael Ghil (2013) 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.’

      Hurst-Kolmogorov stochastic dynamics – based on analysis of 1000 years of Nile River data and of turbulence respectively – suggests that the system is pushed by greenhouse gas changes and warming – as well as solar intensity and Earth orbital eccentricities – past a threshold at which stage the components start to interact chaotically in multiple and changing negative and positive feedbacks – as tremendous energies cascade through powerful subsystems. Some of these changes have a regularity within broad limits and the planet responds with a broad regularity in changes of ice, cloud, Atlantic thermohaline circulation and ocean and atmospheric circulation.

      Whether you ‘believe’ in CO2 or not doesn’t seem to cover it. But anthropogenic warming is some 50% of warming in the last 40 years. Kravtsov et al – https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-018-0044-6

      • That Nature article doesn’t say what you think it says, Robert I. Ellison. It turns out to be a scathing critique of UN IPCC climate models and says nothing about anthropogenic warming.

      • “The global-mean temperature trends associated with GSW are as large as 0.3 °C per 40 years, and so are capable of doubling, nullifying or even reversing the forced global warming trends on that timescale.”

        GSW is global stadium wave. Anthropogenically forced warming is not in question. But I can and have given chapter and verse on models.

      • The AMO is not unforced internal variability, it acts as a negative feedback to net changes in climate forcing like ENSO does, largely to changes in the solar wind strength. Rising CO2 forcing has been overwhelmed by weaker solar wind driving a warmer AMO since the 1990’s.
        CO2 forcing has no excuse to circumvent the North Atlantic Oscillation, and rising CO2 forcing should make it increasingly positive, which can only drive a colder AMO and La Nina conditions. Just like stronger solar wind states did in the 1970’s.

        https://archive.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-3-5-6.html

      • The idea that internal variability is unforced is your original category error, And arguing your narratives – that claim to be science – would be mine.

      • re. anthropogenic warming being 50% of warming in the last 40 years:
        Total CO2 has increased 20% in the last 40 years, and there is supposed to be a near-direct correlation between temperature rise and CO2. Hence a temperature increase of 50% is to be caused by 10% increase in anthropogenic CO2. Kiel/Trenberth 1997 stated CO2 greenhouse gas attribution at 26%, and Schmidt 2010 at 20%. Now figure a fraction of these percentages being man-caused and the figure of 50% warming cause becomes far beyond logic.

      • The contrast is between forced and internal variability. Do you have another mechanism for climate change in mind?

      • potsnirong wrote:
        Total CO2 has increased 20% in the last 40 years, and there is supposed to be a near-direct correlation between temperature rise and CO2.

        There are feedbacks accelerating warming beyond CO2’s basic effect.

        Using NOAA data, and standard linear regression, I calculate that 70% of warming (since 1880) has happened in the last 40 years, or 0.73 C.

        60% has happened in the last 30 years (0.63 C).

      • Such precision is misguided. And neglecting internal variability at any scale is not consistent with any geophysical time series.

        “The global-mean temperature trends associated with GSW are as large as 0.3 °C per 40 years, and so are capable of doubling, nullifying or even reversing the forced global warming trends on that timescale.” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41612-018-0044-6

      • And neglecting internal variability at any scale is not consistent with any geophysical time series.

        I’m just quoting the temperature changes, not attributing any causes to them.

  36. Traces of carbon dioxide (400 ppm) in Earth’s atmosphere are not capable of warming Earth’s surface.

    Carbon dioxide (CO2 molecules) is beneficial for crops. It is not a warming factor because we are talking about trace gasses here.

    From the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

    Carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere

    “Concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere were as high as 4,000 parts per million (ppm, on a molar basis) during the Cambrian period about 500 million years ago to as low as 180 ppm during the Quaternary glaciation of the last two million years.[2] Reconstructed temperature records for the last 420 million years indicate that atmospheric CO2 concentrations peaked at ~2000 ppm during the Devonian (∼400 Myrs ago) period, and again in the Triassic (220–200 Myrs ago) period.
    Global annual mean CO2 concentration has increased by more than 45% since the start of the Industrial Revolution, from 280 ppm during the 10,000 years up to the mid-18th century[2] to 415 ppm as of May 2019.[3][4] The present concentration is the highest for 14 million years.[5] The increase has been attributed to human activity,”

    We have few very serious reasons not to waste the fossil fuels, but Climate Change is not happening because of the burning the fossil fuels.

    http://www.cristos-vournas.com

  37. “It is a requirement that a Supreme Court Justice be able to review evidence to make a decision,” he said. “The scientific evidence of climate change is beyond reasonable doubt or debate, yet Amy Coney Barrett refused to acknowledge reality.”

    USSC isn’t going to judge whether climate change is happening. USSC will be called upon to judge something narrow such as:

    1. Did the plaintiff have standing to bring a suit?
    2. Did the plaintiff bring the suit to the correct court?
    3. Did the agency have the authority to issue a ruling?
    4. Did the agency follow the law (“due process of law) in reaching its ruling?

    and so on. In a murder case, to step into a different realm, the USSC does not have to decide whether the convicted person has a soul, or which religion is the true religion. Likewise, USSC never ruled that selling marijuana was good or bad, only that Congress has the authority under the Constitution to prohibit its sale.

    • as to CO2 and global warming, USSC may be called upon to rule whether the legislation prohibiting the regulation of CO2 emissions is authorized under the Constitution, not whether doubling the concentration of CO2 will cause a global mean temperature increase closer to 2C or to 6C.

    • I think you’ve nailed it. There will be questions of law, and questions of fact. The questions of fact will be important only as to how they relate to questions of law, e.g. does the definition of this thing fall within the purview of that agency’s congressionally authorized mandate AND outside the various forms of protection accorded individuals, businesses, and states.

  38. Legislation would need to be crafted to create policy that effects the presumed need and belief that climate must be changed; policy must be deliberated and delivered with an understanding that humans can measurably effect climate if the correct policies are implemented. Legislation must be signed into law only because the American people elect representatives to govern for this outcome. It’s then in SCOTUS’ court to uphold these policies created by legislation and signed into law by the POTUS. That’s the way it works in U.S. democracy. The before is already happening, i.e., emission standards. But the Left wants to bypass this process and have SCOTUS “mint” policy that would be seen as draconian to a large swath of the electorate, and most likely, eventually most of the electorate when they experience the consequences of totalitarian decrees.

    Dr. Curry presents it correctly “I don’t see what kind of ruling by the Supreme Court on climate change that would hinge on the Justices’ understanding or ruling on details of the science.”

    It’s not SCOTUS who must “judge” the veracity of science, or to craft policy based on hunches. Yes there’s warming, but what percent of it is truly AGW, and what’s the economic, or other risks/costs to society by erring on the radical side of CAGW, and resultant dramatic efforts to effect change to address it that many on the Left want? SCOTUS is supposed to figure this out? These questions are the foundation of CE discussion, these arguments continue notwithstanding that change is indeed already occurring as industry has adopted best practices to reduce their respective carbon footprints, and as technology advances. No side of the climate debate is opposed to alternative energy. New energy sources provide supplemental power to the grid today. Ingenuity continues to advance. CO2 in the U.S. has been declining since circa 2005, pollution in general has been declining since the 1970s. So where’s the real beef?

    What the Left actually wants is to supersede all efforts of democratic judgement, of democracy in action, and on multitudes of issues, not just climate change; they would prefer to replace debate with draconian policy serving to advance their political causes. The fastest path in their aim is to use SCOTUS as a cudgel to bypass the legislative process entirely; to enable SCOTUS with powers of a totalitarian state, to create laws that force people through coercive government force to live a certain way, allowing little say in the matter. They won’t be happy until they take the sugar out of your Gig Gulp as they find crafty ways to enable rule by decree, a totalitarian state without a revolution.

    • > “I don’t see what kind of ruling by the Supreme Court on climate change that would hinge on the Justices’ understanding or ruling on details of the science.”

      So then Barrett should have no reason to pretend that she doesn’t have any opinion, and she could have not played the game of political correctness and self-censorship and just stated a (qualified) opinion

      • Everyone has personal opinions, this is not relevant unless review suggests these personal views have had a prior poor effect in the interpretation of laws already on the books. It’s the Senates job to reveal where personal opinions had effected a judges law decisions, based on precedent of a judges prior rulings, i.e., were they fair, reasonable to the laws already on the books in previous judgements? Barrett had already gone through the process of Senate interrogation one other time before.

        A SCOTUS opinion is based on interpreting written law, it’s not based on inserting ones personal political opinions or religious beliefs. It’s fair game to reveal if this has happened in a particular judges prior rulings. Democrats in the Senate used their time to bash Trump because they had nothing but “the dogma lives within you” nonsense; and nothing to point to that indicated dogma has ever been part of Barrett’s prior rulings.

      • Steven Mosher

        “So then Barrett should have no reason to pretend that she doesn’t have any opinion, and she could have not played the game of political correctness and self-censorship and just stated a (qualified) opinion”

        of course she does.

        If she says she believes, then one side will ask her to recuse herself
        If she says she disbelieves, then the other side will ask her

        It’s not that hard

        https://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=granuleid:USC-prelim-title28-section455&num=0&edition=prelim

        for the federal court

        “(a) Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.

        (b) He shall also disqualify himself in the following circumstances:

        (1) Where he has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding;”

      • Steven –

        People want judges to recuse all the time, when they don’t. They get to decide.

        Does it fill you with confidence when judges duck and play games and pretend they don’t have opinions?

  39. Very interesting question and thread. Strong coffee fueled the following:

    NB: I am a devout environmentalist and believe we should not damage the environment. I also have long experience in the industries of pollution control, so know that abstracted science and law don’t always fit the complex realities of human polluting behavior.

    And…

    Judith posts a very interesting question.

    It is related to the recent question: what has science learned from the CV19 Pandemic?

    Why?

    Because the subject directly relates to…human behavior in organizations.

    Hypothesis: “Without human organization, there is no such thing as ‘science’, or ‘law’..”

    (This is related to the question: if a tree falls in the forest and there are no humans to hear it…did it make a ‘sound’. Think clearly about what humans call ‘sound’…it has both sending…and receiving elements…in “science”.)

    My experience is in tracking human and other organizations…on the ground…around the world from bottom to top. Industries, societies, governments, disciplines, religions, communications, etc.

    Helped build the core models of US automotive and industrial pollution control regulations. Have observed first hand how almost all of the “expert” assumptions of the 1970s have proven wrong over time – because as humans we are constantly learning.

    Also participated as researcher in several very large anti-trust cases, and in litigation around pollution control.

    Data:

    1. The US judicial system is “only” a hierarchical human organization. It is not an abstract universal truth delivered from on high.

    Almost everyone in the system, from the local clerk to the Supreme Court is…paid….with money.

    Same for the Legislative and Executive branches. They are paid human organizations.

    They also get various forms of non-monetary social value: praise (and condemnation), peer-review, power, fun, multi-dimensional fulfillment, fame, knowledge, etc.

    This means the core rules of a successful Democracy recognize that humans are whimsical, error-prone, irrational…and many other wonderful things.

    2. The global “environmental movement” is also a confederation of – paid – humans in organizations. The IPCC, UN, “Not-for-Profit” Organizations, etc are all paid for their individual work – and for their work that gets the organizations more money in the future. These people are also rewarded with power and fame…or un-rewarded by rejection.

    3. Therefore – in their ORGANIZATIONAL FORMS – there is no difference between a “corporation”….any paid branch of “government”….or any grant-receiving “not-for-profit”…or “social movement” with paid leaders.

    They are all hierarchical human organizations that are motivated – at least partly – by money, satisfaction, power, fame, and beliefs.

    All.

    If you want proof of this, get the financial statements of many non-profits, universities, and others who are in the “non-corporate” parts of society.

    Many of the officers of non-profits are paid $200,000 to $600,000 per year. Some are paid more than $1,000.000 per year to “not earn profits”.

    I just checked some data from a non-profit state university system.

    Found more than 100 people who were paid more than $200,000 per year for part time teaching, field research, police duties, etc. Many were paid $300,000 or more per year.

    All of these are “non-profit” organizations….paid lots of money.

    So what?

    Think carefully about this. The job of a Supreme Court Justice is to REFLECT ON VARIOUS FORMS OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR….COMPARE THESE CONSTANTLY-EVOLVING FORMS TO THE US CONSTITUTION…THEN…AS A SMALL GROUP….NUDGE THE PARAMETERS OF THESE HUMAN ORGANIZATIONAL FORMS….WITH GUIDANCE…NOT DIRECT ON-GROUND ACTION.

    The political assertions that argue Judge Barrett is not qualified for the Supreme Court because she is not schooled in the “Climate Science” – seem not highly relevant to the larger job she would have if appointed to the Supreme Court.l

    Why?

    It is evident to even the casual reader of the US Constitution that the US Supreme Court is NOT structured to be a local traffic court.

    It is not required to have expertise in all…or even any…specific forms of human activity or knowledge.

    It is intentionally ISOLATED from the ever-changing “knowledge”…”science”… or whimsy of a FREE, DEMOCRATIC, MESSY society….

    …so it can pay attention to, and help society adjust to….”the truths we hold to be self-evident”….

    Read the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.

    The sustainable magic of both is that they recognize that powerful human systems emerge and evolve all the time….and make mistakes all the time.

    Both documents are written to prevent – precisely – the human mass whimsy, fear, and beliefs – that resulted in the Bills of Attainder, witch trials, etc in the Empires of the old world….

    …and in modern herd phenomena so evident on the global internet….like the various…conflicting….faith-based beliefs about masks and bits of CV19 debris.

    So.

    Historic intent and precedent would argue that any US Supreme Court Justice must have a certain…socially-responsible….INTENTIONAL …”INTELLIGENT IGNORANCE”….

    ….that bars them from getting monetary, social, psychological, or emotional reward from…”being part of the in-crowd”…in any social movement or industry.

    You can read this job description in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    Now – how might a US Supreme Court Justice have to deal – directly – with the “climate change” movements?

    Just like it dealt with social movements like: temperance/prohibition…human rights…

    It will be asked to pass STRATEGIC judgement on forms of human organization that bump up against the guard rails of democracy…..

    …Organizations that threaten individual…universal….freedoms and right.

    The SC did not argue that alcohol was good.

    It argued that the form of government “Prohibition” control was inconsistent with the larger principles of a free society.

    The SC did not argue which human physical traits were good or bad – they said many forms of discrimination based on many human characteristics were illegal in a democracy.

    So, based on history, no Supreme Court justice was required to have special, temporal, technical knowledge.

    They were required to demonstrate a history, and temperament that could help them warn the Ship of State when there were icebergs ahead…if the Ship kept sailing in that direction.

    So what, again?

    The most likely role of the Supreme Court with respect to the – ever-changing – science, politics, and profits that come from the global “industry” of “Climate Change”….

    ….will be to assess the legalities…of structures/behaviors…built by “climate change” organizations…(both private and public)…who seek to influence or control human behavior in a democracy.

    One that comes to mind immediately is the current US cultural practice of “treble damage lawsuits” that seek to change….Constitutionally significant….groups or behavioral trends.

    It is very unlikely that the US Supreme Court will argue that Electric Vehicles are better than small petrol-fired cars.

    It is much more likely that the US Supreme Court will have to address questions about whether certain Congressional or Executive Branch policies subsidizing human transportation modes violate Constitutional standards….in HOW they mandate changes…..not WHAT changes they mandate.

    Here’s a possible example:

    The US has developed a rare, but huge “Third-party Damages” lawsuit industry.

    The structure of this industry is as follows:

    Small group of lawyers identify a “harmful thing” – like cigarettes, talc, sudden-acceleration, petrol cars, etc.

    They pay to post billboards all over the US, seeking “plaintiffs”. Then they hire lawyers all over to help build litigation and lobbying structures by collecting “plaintiff” signatures.

    They pick a local/district court system that might be favorable to the collective of plaintiffs, and if they win….then the car company…or whomever…must pay TREBLE damages to all the plaintiffs….
    …after the organizing law firm gets big profit off the top of the settlement payment (for the “costs” of the billboards, etc).

    Recent environmental example. Many people got a check for about $14.00 because of the VW dyno-emissions lawsuit.

    That was to pay for their “social harm” of the VW software.

    It is clear that the various….well-motivated….organizations who want to prevent “climate change” are organizing to use this “treble-damage”, class-action system to change both Executive and Legislative policies in the US.

    The VW emissions process was a bellwether for this emerging trend,

    So it is most likely that Justice Coney Barrett – or whomever fills the seat – will be dealing with the underlying principles of “beneficial coercion” in society…

    …not the amazing ever-changing technical advances in the Climate Sciences.

    • SCOTUS did not rule that “… “Prohibition” control was inconsistent with the larger principles of a free society.” Prohibition was enacted by a U.S. Constitutional Amendment and removed by another Amendment, after people regained their sanity. The U.S. Constitution trumps various ideas as to what are “larger principles of a free society.” Ask any 100 people as to what are the larger principles and you will get 100 different answers. The problem with unbridled democracy is it leads to mob rule. People voting on their transitory, feel-good whims always scares the hell out of me.

    • Geoff Sherringtonmu

      FollowTheAnts,
      Can we hope that the regulatory material you claim to have written was both shorter and more lucid than your blog post?
      It would be my expectation that your past experience has led you to be able to state that you would be disqualified from a hypothetical position on the Supreme Court. Your personal choice of joining with activism that thrives on ever more regulation surely indicates a disposition towards poor, biased judgement, anthesis of what a Court needs. Geoff S

  40. What I heard was je bdn got h bdn a job > 80 gees a month with a foreign entity. The je bdn got half of that. Wash the mny, right?

  41. Note: I tried to post the october 18, 2:45 post in common English, but it got eaten. Tried about 6 times with variations in wording. It may be that WP is filtering like Twatter and Farce book.

  42. Harris’s question and Barrett’s response clearly indicate the difference between the activist and originalist schools of thought: whereas Harris obviously wants to get stuff out of the court, Barrett has announced her commitment to an interpretive method. Barrett writes extensively on constitutional and statutory interpretation, and (wisely) knows she has not put in the time to develop her own expertise in climate science. She has also declared that Scalia’s method is her method, so you know what you’re going to get: a Constitution which activists cannot press into service to address legislators’ failure to write the laws they desire. In all likelihood, if a “climate case” comes up, the only questions of relevance will be legal ones, not scientific ones, so ACB having preconceived notions of “bottom line” climate science conclusions would serve no purpose except to give the impression of bias. Regardless of whether ACB thinks we should do more (or less) on climate change, she will have a lot of very pertinent things to say about whether state X has standing to sue state Y, or whether federal agency F can compel state S to cut CO2 emissions by threatening to withhold highway funds. To what degree the planet is warming and how much of that is anthropogenic are irrelevant to these questions. Harris, as a lawyer, is well aware of that, so she is just playing to the cheap seats when she asks ACB that sort of question.

  43. In 2015, Professor Philippe Sands QC, a distinguished UK lawyer, gave a speech entitled ‘Climate Change and the Rule of Law’ in the UK Supreme Court. I published some notes on the speech: https://ipccreport.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/notes-on-sands-lecture_ty.pdf I believe they are relevant to this discussion. See especially my item 4.

    (Note: several of the links I provide no longer work – my apologies.)

  44. Question: Why does climate science need to be sold as a belief system with assumed selling powers of words such as “science” and “consensus”?

    Answer: Because it is not objective scientific inquiry. It is corrupted by advocacy and confirmation bias. Pls see

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2019/02/03/hidden-hand/

    Also this

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/03/confirmationbias/

  45. ““Judge Sotomayor’s record evinces no clear bias in favor of or against environmental claims,” wrote the groups. “Instead, it reflects intellectual rigor, meticulous preparation and fairness. Her record demonstrates a consistently balanced and thoughtful review of complex legal issues.””

    Obama’s nominee was praised by 60 environmental groups for holding the same position they now claim is “disqualifying.”
    Funny how the keepers of “science” work- just as with gatherings in Covid times, anything someone on the left wishes to do or say is fantastic, while if said or done by anyone on the right, the exact same thing is “disqualifying.”

    https://www.politico.com/story/2009/07/greens-energetic-about-sotomayor-024930

    • Also, note to our friends on the warm side, the internet is a thing, it’s searchable.
      And the lawsuits against fossil fuel companies are so egregiously wrong that even New York state courts are tossing them with prejudice. The anger at Barrett is because the warm cannot abide a judge that follows both the law and basic facts.

    • joe - the non climate scientist

      Sotomayer is also the justice who wrote in dissent (shuette v Bamn ) that a State constitutional amendment requiring compliance with the 14th amendment of the US constitution was unconstitutional. Joined in dissent by Ginsburg

  46. Judith. If you want to see belief in science and the scientist’s get you, have a look at this list https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronavirus-covid-19-response-membership/list-of-participants-of-sage-and-related-sub-groups And then add that to the “independent” SAGE committee stuffed full of David Kings nominations. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/coronavirus-sage-dominic-cummings-david-king-a9496546.html In the UK the politians are getting fed up with both committee’s and are not following the “science.” The word on the street is that the government is “Guided” by the committee. So what will happen in the UK should the government try and impliment some of the greens agenda based on the science. Well we already have one big city Manchester looking at rebellion on the streets and the Army has told the politicians they will not intervene. We live in interesting times.

  47. I have leapt to these Sergey Kravtsov conclusion. The presentation as a whole is easily accessible and a reasonable summary of the dominant scientific paradigm.

    The problem with models is insufficient understanding of complex global flow fields – coupled with the propagation of error from initial ‘ad hoc parameterization’ consistent with known mathematical properties of the core nonlinear equations. Better observations and much finer scale computing – using fundamental equations of state – obviate both. As technologically possible.


    Click to access AMS_Chapter_Talk.pdf

    I disagree with the idea that the global stadium wave originates in the North Atlantic. Rather there are two centres of action modulated by solar variability – and the energy content of the planet – at each pole.


    https://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/3/4/833
    https://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/3/4/833

    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 Hurst-Kolmogorov stochastic dynamic 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).

    On the odd chance that he is curious – I can suggest to Sherrington how that might work. What I do suggest is that we adopt the Jeffersonian adage that what we don’t know vastly exceeds what we do – and measure science by that with some humility.

    • Geoff Sherrington

      RIE,

      You quote with seeming enthusiasm that “Warming is geographically non-uniform … the dynamics of these regional effects are complex …”

      My thoughts go to very remote places with very simple regional effects possible, certaintly no complicated regional effects easy to envisage.
      Take for example remote Macquarie Island.

      A simple geographic case, a simple temperature case. No discernable change in 50 years. Nw, one swallow doth not a summer make, but to understand these connections to alleged global warming, a good logical start is with the simplest systems.
      Macquarie island data can mean that CO2 has caused no warming. There are many other sites with similar conclusions.

      Please explain how global CO2 seems not to work its magic here. Then please explain the logic behind the opening line of which you seem to approve, “CO2 is increasing. Overall climate is warming.” To which I might add as a logical test, “No pigs are flying”.
      Geoff S

    • “The problem with models is insufficient understanding of complex global flow fields”

      not really.

      feel free to publish something that is reviewable

      • You reveal a lack of comprehension of the sources of error propagating in models – known since the 1960’s. And a lack of understanding of the limits of currents knowledge of climate itself. That latter is front and center in the Kravtsov et al paper.

        “Finally, Lorenz’s theory of the atmosphere (and ocean) as a chaotic system raises fundamental, but unanswered questions about how much the uncertainties in climate-change projections can be reduced. In 1969, Lorenz [30] wrote: ‘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’. Thirty years later, this problem remains unsolved, and may possibly be unsolvable.” https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsta.2011.0161

        Nor can I envisage the day when all of the relevant physical properties and processes are known precisely. The graphics on Arctic amplification in the Kravtsov talk is an example.

        “We are suggesting a new approach to climate model development (23). This approach should aim to reduce climate models’ dependence on subgrid parameterizations where possible and account for their uncertainty where not. To be successful, this approach must master and motivate technological innovations, particularly in computing, and be given a sense of purpose commensurate to the task at hand.

        Global storm and ocean-eddy resolving [O(1 km)] models make it possible to directly simulate deep convection, ocean mesoscale eddies, and important land–atmosphere interactions. Prototypes of such models are already being developed (21), 3 examples of which are compared with a satellite image. By avoiding the need to represent essential processes by semiempirical parameterizations, the simulated climate of such a model is more constrained by the laws of physics. This can be expected to lead to the reduction or even elimination of many systematic biases that plague the present generations of models (24⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓–31).”

        https://www.pnas.org/content/116/49/24390

        Perhaps you should concern yourself more with curiosity about natural science and math than tribal shibboleths.

      • The ocean does not interact with the atmosphere by convection.
        Ocean interacts energy-wise with atmosphere by the oceanic surface evaporation and the oceanic surface IR emission.

        http://www.cristos-vournas.com

      • Except it’s been shown that climate models have done a pretty good job — certainly a good *enough* job:

        “We find that climate models published over the past five decades were skillful [14 of 17 projections] in predicting subsequent GMST changes, with most models examined showing warming consistent with observations, particularly when mismatches between model‐projected and observationally estimated forcings were taken into account.”

        – “Evaluating the performance of past climate model projections,” Hausfather et al, Geo Res Lett 2019.
        https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL085378

        figure:

      • Only if the mathematical fact that beyond a certain lead time there is no longer a single, unique solution and all forecasts must be seen as probabilistic. The spread of solutions from slightly different starting points can only be reduced by better observations and finer scale modelling. Zeke’s prestidigitation neglects what’s happening below the surface.


        “Schematic of ensemble prediction system on seasonal to decadal time scales based on figure 1, showing (a) the impact of model biases and (b) a changing climate. The uncertainty in the model forecasts arises from both initial condition uncertainty and model uncertainty.” https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsta.2011.0161

        “Atmospheric and oceanic computational simulation models often successfully depict chaotic space–time patterns, flow phenomena, dynamical balances, and equilibrium distributions that mimic nature. This success is accomplished through necessary but nonunique choices for discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupled contributing processes that introduce structural instability into the model. Therefore, we should expect a degree of irreducible imprecision in quantitative correspondences with nature, even with plausibly formulated models and careful calibration (tuning) to several empirical measures. Where precision is an issue (e.g., in a climate forecast), only simulation ensembles made across systematically designed model families allow an estimate of the level of relevant irreducible imprecision…

        The flow is chaotic, and it exhibits sensitive dependence with respect to individual vortices. If one takes the narrow view that the governing equations are nonnegotiable and follows a conservative computational practice by limiting the size of Re to make the viscous dissipation scale (also known as the Kolmogorov scale) much larger than the grid scale, then this system is widely believed, but not proven, to be structurally stable with respect to the only available discretionary modeling choices: the value of Re, the choice of discrete algorithm, the grid resolution, and the particular initial-state realization. Call this the fundamental formulation for the problem…

        Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.”
        https://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

        “As our nonlinear world moves into uncharted territory, we should expect surprises. Some of these may take the form of natural hazards, the scale and nature of which are beyond our present comprehension. The sooner we depart from the present strategy, which overstates an ability to both extract useful information from and incrementally improve a class of models that are structurally ill suited to the challenge, the sooner we will be on the way to anticipating surprises, quantifying risks, and addressing the very real challenge that climate change poses for science. Unless we step up our game, something that begins with critical self-reflection, climate science risks failing to communicate and hence realize its relevance for societies grappling to respond to global warming.” Palmer and Stevens

      • From the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

        Carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere

        “Global annual mean CO2 concentration has increased by more than 45% since the start of the Industrial Revolution, from 280 ppm during the 10,000 years up to the mid-18th century[2] to 415 ppm as of May 2019.[3][4] The present concentration is the highest for 14 million years.[5] The increase has been attributed to human activity,”

        “…from 280 ppm during the 10,000 years up to the mid-18th century[2] …”

        What makes us believe “Global annual mean CO2 concentration” was so much constant “280 ppm during the 10,000 years”?

        http://www.cristos-vournas.com

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        “What makes us believe “Global annual mean CO2 concentration” was so much constant “280 ppm during the 10,000 years”?”

        Another question – What makes us believe that going from 280ppm to 281 or 282ppm caused the shift from a 200-400 cooling trend to a warming trend circa mid to late 1800’s

      • What makes us believe “Global annual mean CO2 concentration” was so much constant “280 ppm during the 10,000 years”?

        This kind of thing is easy to research, which you would have done if you’re really interested. Start with IPCC AR5 WG1 Ch5.2.2.2

  48. There are a lot of specific points upthread, here are my basic opinions as a lawyer.

    1. Judges, including Supreme Court judges are not competent to understand the science of climate change. Supreme Court Justices have 4 law clerks and there is no way the justices and clerks could knowledgeable wade through difficult scientific and statistical questions. Their job should be to review whether the decisions and rules of true experts (realize this is aspirational in a lot of circumstances) are reasonable.

    2. As an example of the institutional and individual incompetence of judges, the DC Court of Appeals found that Michael Mann had been exonerated by the British Climategate inquiries which is totally wrong because those inquiries didn’t specifically focus on his work. A sixth grader should be able to figure that out, but it was beyond the Court of Appeals. My more complicated analysis of other errors is here. https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/12/01/analysis-of-court-of-appeals-defamation-opinion-holding-that-climategate-inquiries-exonerated-michael-mann/?cn-reloaded=1#comment-2540411

    3. Also, it should be pointed out that this case has been pending for about 8 years and doesn’t appear to be close to a trial — another example of institutional incompetence.

  49. I too thought that Amy Coney Barrett’s answers to the climate question was admirable. The contention is the *cause* of climate change, not whether it’s happening or not. The consequences of assuming manmade CO2 emissions need to be stopped in order to halt climate change *isn’t* beyond reasonable doubt.

    Even Professor Katherine Hayhoe, an atmospheric climate scientist, admits that there is no direct scientific evidence for manmade CO2 causing climate change but that it is a default position that needs to be disproved.

    When I explained that orbital forcing of past climate cycles via inclination rather than eccentricity was a better fit to the glacial data, she ceased responding to my tweets, deleted her previous replies & blocked me.

  50. This was obviously a centrally directed, concerted campaign, by the left, to defame her. Much like campaigns directed against Judith Curry, Willie Soon, and Roger J.Pielke Jr. We’ve seen it all before: same tactics as woke; different politics. When one challenges these defamers on Twitter one finds they don’t really have an argument. The only argument they gave me was “there’ll be millions! (their term) of climate law suites in the next few years so she needs to be a climate aware judge to adjudicate” (meaning: alarmist ultra-lefty).

  51. Before trying to understand the science shouldn’t we first be asking why trust it, what system is it operating in? I think we can easily fool ourselves and assemble a case appearing logical and all the evidence used is correct, but it fails to realise the very different reality, I think this can easily happen without the right system. It seems to me courts are being dragged into this in a way that may destroy any chances of ensuring we have a suitable system within which to effectively and safely do science in these high consequence situations.

    Before anyone invests their time studying the official view on climate science, before, based on climate science; any court makes decisions, we make major changes, we conclude it’s settled and stop checking the consensus, stop looking for other explanations that might revolutionise our understanding of longrange weather and climate preventing many disasters and enable correct solutions to environmental issues etc shouldn’t we first ask why trust climate science? Why trust their data, analysis, conclusions, recommendations?

    How do we decide if it is safe to eat in a restaurant – maybe we look for the food hygiene certificate. How do we trust dangerous household appliances – maybe we look for the CE, kite marks etc. How do we decide it is safe to fly in a plane – there is a huge system of procedures, independent audits, certifications. Each of those examples should have a paper trail someone can follow. I presume there are many court cases where such a paper trail is followed? No engineer wants their plane to fall out of the sky, but despite best efforts and no intention to do anything wrong mistakes do happen, I think in the wrong system dangerous fooling ourselves mistakes are quite likely to happen.

    If I go with what I think is the answer to why trust science (wts) from the lectures and book by the same person I think is playing a key role in many of the oil industry court cases, I presume the answer is peer reviewed papers process, consensus of approved experts, precautionary principle, improvements in vehicle reliability. Each of those terms in my mind opens up a list of further questions that I think may have been overlooked or wrongly dealt with in wts. I presume precautionary principle would not suffice in court.

    Isn’t vehicle reliability engineering? What do we do to improve reliability, safety, minimise mistakes for engineering and which of those processes apply to climate science?

    At a very simple level I think the answer to 1st part is along the lines of my points 3 paragraphs above: A process of learning from mistakes, like aircrash investigations that things happen the apparent consensus of experts said cannot happen. Those lessons giving rise to procedures, independent audit, certifications, almost the opposite of the wts answer.

    2nd part of question; I don’t know, maybe there is a similar system for climate science as for engineering? But, if for example there was no requirement to audit the global surface temperature network, a significant part of perhaps its most widely publicised metric (although I question what use only temperature and averages are in understanding where the energy is going in such a complex thermodynamic system) that suggests to me there probably isn’t much of such a system comparable to engineering e.g. to improve product reliability, avoid dangerous mistakes. That wouldn’t be their fault if the system didn’t require it of them. But I would suggest it is vital to have that system.

    If it’s putting so much reliance on the peer reviewed papers process, what guides that to ensure balance and structure? If we knew nothing about the effects of exercise on health but were concerned about injuries, heart attacks etc so funded 100 groups of scientists to research its dangers, presumably we’d quite likely conclude it was dangerous and might seek to ban it. Then the sports equipment companies and professional athletes point out they have scientists helping them, they confirm there can be dangers, but also have found many benefits and exercise is necessary for health. Unfortunately it is decided their view on any benefits does not count due to a conflict of interest, worst still they are taken to court accused of trying to cast doubt on the science and causing delay, the accusers saying the accused knew it was dangerous. So we are left with only evidence exercise is bad, and all that evidence could be genuinely correct so the conclusion seems obvious, proven, settled, beyond any doubt. Maybe a bad example in that I don’t want to claim we should necessarily be increasing CO2, but used to illustrate my question about how we base science on the peer reviewed papers process, how the evidence can be sound and the conclusion may seem obvious but we have dangerously misunderstood, and I used the example to illustrate the way the oil industry is perhaps being treated: I presume they have to know how to get to the truth with science as well as any others (fierce competition) otherwise they go out of business so there may be a huge amount climate science can learn from them in many ways; science, how to do and assess it when your survival depends on it.

    I think in engineering, customers, both other engineering companies and end users play an important role by acting as sceptics, it can become like a blue team, red team process. I think this greatly improves reliability/safety. Often a new customer is not just new business, but a chance to learn a lot more about doing engineering well, quality control, technology, etc. Perhaps they should have to see the oil industry as customers they have to work with because they provide our power needs and need to know the truth about climate to plan for the future and thus need to ensure climate science is doing it right, have a lot of useful skills and experience and we are all missing out on those wasted opportunities to contribute to the science.

    I’ve not studied the relatively recent 737Max issue in detail so could be wrong but I think the current conclusion is the FAA failed to remain independent of Boeing, thus failed to correct Boeings inadequate use of procedures. I think this shows the disastrous consequences of not having the right procedures and fully independent audit, or that system failing.

    I wrote more on my comparison between science and engineering in the comments on the thread on how we fool ourselves. I think the engineering approach speeds up the whole process, innovation and validation whilst also making validation more robust by avoiding fooling ourselves.

    I fear that with the “help” of the legal system we might be approaching a tipping point, the door may be closing. Perhaps the real emergency is that we need to think how we do science in situations like climate, a virus, where we need quick innovation, quick robust validation, the lessons we may urgently need to learn and implement from other areas like engineering in order to avoid disaster. I think an important element of that is the scepticism, different perspective and skill set customers bring (particularly when they are also large engineering companies); this treatment of sceptics, oil industry etc as enemies needs to stop and we urgently need to look at whether climate science is in a suitable system compared to other high consequence situations, products. Or is it already in a suitable system like the other high consequence situations?

  52. First time commenting though I’ve enjoyed this blog for some time. SCOTUS has the final say on admissibility of expert opinion evidence. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/daubert_standard I’ve done a lot of cases in this area and can’t get past testability, forget data integrity and all the other concepts. In theory, they could go back to Frye’s generally accepted criteria or come up with a new test altogether.

  53. For me it starts with democracy and the rule of law – the hard won freedoms of the enlightenment. To quote from Hayek if I may. For a classic liberal there is a commitment to ‘political principles which enable him to work with people whose moral values differ from his own for a political order in which both can obey their convictions. It is the recognition of such principles that permits the coexistence of different sets of values that makes it possible to build a peaceful society with a minimum of force.’ The outcome is a social contract – the rule of law – that is compromise arrived at in the cut and thrust of politics. It may be obvious that democracy is the foundation for social progress – but it is always worth restating.

    In robust democracies we may argue for laws and tax regimes as we see fit – as long as they are constitutional – but not everything is up for grabs if we are holding out for economic stability and growth. Economic growth is best served with government at about 25% of GDP, price stability through management of interest rates and money supply, balanced government budgets, effective prudential oversight, effective and uncorrupted enforcement of fair law and a commitment to free and open trade.

    I read Marijn Poels essay – featured in Judith’s twitter link above. I’ve seen the movie. It’s sloppy thinking. Mathematical chaos is not disorder. Responses to environmental and social problems occur on different scales.

    Global warming can be solved. 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. Along 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.

    At the plot scale lifting soil organic content requires cost effective methods and security of tenure. At the catchment, fishery, aquifer or forest scale an informed balance of the interests of many stakeholders is needed. Innovation is best served by economic freedom.

    At the core of climate is uncertain and unpredictable chaos.

    “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 – based on observed tipping points in the Earth system. But there are still some 10% of people – old white guys usually – arguing superficial denials of the dominant climate paradigm. Consensus is something else – equally simple minded.

  54. “The problem with models is insufficient understanding of complex global flow fields”

    The problem with current models is that they dictate the narrative, and the narrative dictates the politics. The politics have been usurped by an agenda which has nothing to do with reality or the state of people’s world view, rather, politics are the only metric that is viewed as relevant.

    The evil of some people’s suppression of other’s opinion resides in the hubris in their declarative statements, which, when viewed objectively, are false and demeaning and should be ignored; but are not for agenda driven reasons. The media shares in this evil.

    • They delude themselves that science is on the side of their impractical policy agendas. And skeptics waste our time with unscience and a failure to forge any realistic agenda. A coin with two arse’s.

      “The idea that the science of climate change is largely “settled,” common among policy makers and environmentalists but not among the climate science community, has congealed into the view that the outlines and dimension of anthropogenic climate change are understood and that incremental improvement to and application of the tools used to establish this outline are sufficient to provide society with the scientific basis for dealing with climate change.” Palmer and Stevens

    • In the light of the Paris accord – it is far from settled enough for any developing nation to forgo the benefits of coal and gas. The world needs a different strategy – and I’m sure it is not coming from the likes of David.

      • Ignoring climate change, coal causes more harm than good based just on the air pollution it causes and the mercury contamination of water and the oceans. It’s a 19th century fuel and fortunately its use is rapidly declining and will be completely gone in a few decades.

        The IEA just announced that solar energy is the cheapest electricity in the history of the world.

        “The Atlantic Daily: Why the Climate Story Is So Exciting Right Now,” The Atlantic, 10/15/20.
        https://www.theatlantic.com/newsletters/archive/2020/10/why-the-climate-story-is-so-exciting-right-now/616749/

        It says:

        “The International Energy Agency announced, in its enormously influential annual report, that solar energy is now the “cheapest electricity in history.” At the same time, it substantially downgraded its forecast for coal, saying that the fuel source will soon enter a prolonged and irreversible decline. That means global carbon pollution could peak in the next several years—though, without further policy, it will not decline as rapidly as needed to avoid catastrophic global warming.”

      • HELE is the go to in the near future according to the ASEAN Centre for Energy. Thermal efficiency is improved by some 10%.

        Pollutants can be reduced by 99.9%.

        “Renewables grow rapidly in all our scenarios, with solar at the centre of this new constellation of electricity generation technologies. Supportive policies and maturing technologies are enabling very cheap access to capital in leading markets. With sharp cost of reductions over the past decade, solar PV is consistently cheaper than new coal- or gas fired power plants in most countries, and solar projects now offer some of the lowest cost electricity ever seen. In the STEPS, renewables meet 80% of the growth in global electricity demand to 2030. Hydropower remains the largest renewable source of electricity, but solar
        is the main driver of growth as it sets new records for deployment each year after 2022.” EIA 2020

        Renewables grow from a low base. Low LCOE (for a technology with a 10-20% capacity factor) is always encouraging but it is far from the entire story. In some markets penetration supported by subsidies are high enough to result in higher prices for retail energy. Solar may be usefully balanced with hydro – or some other dispatchable energy source with a limited fuel resource. In cases where electricity plants are under utilized as a result of renewables penetration – it is a wasted investment. The most cost competitive mix – including grid costs – requires detailed option modelling.

        David relies on an article in the Atlantic – the reliability of that depends on a journalist understanding technology – and not just selectively reinforcing an unrealistic ideology.

      • David relies on an article in the Atlantic – the reliability of that depends on a journalist understanding technology – and not just selectively reinforcing an unrealistic ideology.

        Actually all the journalist had to do was quote from the IEA report or its press materials. Not difficult.

      • I quoted from the IEA – the journalist misquoted.

        The International Energy Outlook – 2019 reference case – cited by the EIA. Fossil fuels are still some 70% of energy consumption in 2950. Most of the growth in consumption is in non-OECD countries. All consistent with Paris country commitments.

        https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/images/2019.09.24/chart4.svg

        David uses superficial and fallacious arguments for an irrational world view.

  55. Remember what made Joe Biden decide to run for President.
    “Wikipedia was the first non-right-leaning publication to debunk the hoax by including for the first time the entirety of the President’s statements. In the past week, I’ve seen other major publications debunk it as well, while pretending they are not. By that I mean they show the second part of the quote that debunks the hoax. They don’t frame it as a debunking, choosing instead (every time) to descend down the hoax funnel to find something – anything – that is tangentially related to the topic that they can claim is what they meant all along, or is true enough, or at least changes the subject. I include among the debunkers this past week the Washington Post, Vox, CNN, FoxNews, TheDailyBeast, RealClearPolitics, Breitbart, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and even Politifact.com.”
    He also says:
    “You won’t change any minds. In my experience, the hoax believers go all the way down the hoax funnel and then forget the journey, returning to the top as if it had not been debunked one minute earlier.”
    He has a daily podcast on youtube.
    https://www.scottadamssays.com/2019/04/30/the-fine-people-hoax-funnel/

    Why would Biden say what he did recently? I think it is to try to win on racism. Which is a pretty low thing to do at this time given the recent riols.. And I think it show he uses Blacks which many people have said in various ways.

    Where are you Cross? I am reminded of the Russians planting that computer on Hunter Biden. Many are still saying. A Russian hoax. Schiff. He’s your guy. Trump exposed all of this. No wonder he’s hated. Rose colored glasses no more. They’re corrupt and they speak B.S. Who said that? The libertarians.

    • I heard a new joke today, It’s a play on the way evangelicals stuck with Trump after the Hollywood Access tapes.
      Biden: “I could shoot a republican on the White House lawn and not loose any voters”

      Frank Luntz at the Hill https://tinyurl.com/y4j4sp6z
      “Nobody cares about Hunter Biden … why is [Trump] spending all his time on him?” Luntz asked. “Hunter Biden does not help put food on the table. Hunter Biden does not help anyone get a job. Hunter Biden does not provide health care or solve COVID. And Donald Trump spends all of his time focused on that and nobody cares.”

      This is one weird year but the fun ain’t over yet.

      • I wonder if Joe is hearing the Jaws music right now?

        Luntz, like a lot of commentators, doesn’t understand the essence of this year’s campaign and what turns on his base. Its unlike traditional elections. It’s not about governance and government and what can be done for the Trump voter. It’s about the big FU.

      • Kid –

        > Luntz, like a lot of commentators, doesn’t understand the essence of this year’s campaign and what turns on his base.

        Right. He does focus groups with Republicans day after day. Interviewing them. But he doesn’t understand, unlike you – who reads Breitbart, assorted blogs, watches Fox News. You understand. And you know you’re right because…

        Well, you tell yourself you’re right.

      • After Biden publicly claimed the Boilermakers Union endorsed him, one of the officers of that union went on TV to strongly state they instead had endorsed Trump. Boilers run on nat gas and coal. Boilermakers also work on chemical plants and refinerys. They aren’t too hot on shutting down fossil fuels, which Biden and Camela have said they would do multiple times before they got to Pennsylvania.

      • Except Trump needs more than his base to win. So far, he doesn’t have it, and hasn’t had it since 2016.

      • He does focus groups of a dozen people at a time. I’ve read 500,000 comments from his supporters. Sorry, but you’re caught up in the same group think as Luntz, thinking this election follows the usual pattern, sucked in by the same flawed polls.Trump wins. Biden is in hot water. Cue in Jaws music.

  56. Gravity theory isn’t settled therefore climate science isn’t settled.

    Venus mid-latitude detection of both phosphine & glycine supports equatorial cooling/mid-latitude warming hypothesis.

  57. Even the deepest, coldest parts of the ocean are getting warmer:

    “This warming is much weaker than in the upper ocean, Meinen says, but he also notes that since warm water rises, it would take a lot of heat to generate even this little bit of warming so deep.”

    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/ocean-warming-deepest-coldest-temperature/amp

    I’m convinced tidally increasing bottom currents are redistributing equatorial heat to higher latitudes.

  58. If only religious leaders had the wisdom of Amy Coney Barrett.

    https://wp.me/pTN8Y-4VC

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s