2020 Year in Review

by Judith Curry

A year ago, there were many things about 2020 that no one anticipated.

A few reflections on 2020.  Are there any insights to be gleaned from this crazy year?

1.Falsification of WHO’s prediction:   “Climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.” – World Health Organization (2018)

2.Triumph of ‘normal’ science: rapid sequencing the COVID-19 virus,  developing vaccines.

3.Triumph of Uncertain T. Monster.  Hubris, overconfidence, wrong predictions about COVID-19 have fed the monster.  With fallout implications for other fields of science.

4.Changing notions of expertise. Many credentialed experts on COVID-19 were proven to be wrong or at least diametrically changed their mind; people from outside medicine and epidemiology made important contributions to our understanding.

5.Unpalatability of the ‘precautionary principle.’  COVID-19 illustrates that many people will not follow precautions deemed necessary by policy makers, even when their own lives could be at risk in the near term. Backlash against overly restrictive lockdowns and hypocrisy from public health officials saying it is ok to violate lockdowns for political protests. Technological solutions preferred over abstinence, restrictions.

6.Climate change takes a back seat.  COVID-19 reminds us what a real crisis and emergency looks like.  Desperate measures by climate activists to keep climate change relevant by trying to ride COVID-19 coat tails.

8. ‘Greens’ shoot themselves in the foot.  The current U.S. omnibus bill includes sensible clean energy R&D, including carbon capture and storage and nuclear power.  Greens object since CCS gives a ‘get out of jail free card’ to the petroleum companies, and they seem to hate nuclear more than fossil fuels. In France, they are decommissioning nuclear power plants and adding wind/solar, which increases the need for natural gas power plants to deal with intermittency.

9.U.S. politics – states matter.  States have been on the front-lines of the COVID-19 response.  Electoral College and a few states dominated the outcome of the U.S. Presidential election

10.Brexit.  Apart from whether you were pro or con Brexit, the management of this has been suboptimal to say the least.  No idea what lessons to draw here, but it does make me worried about relying too much on a popular vote when the populace is ill-informed  about what is at stake and what the outcomes would look like.

11.Redefinition of ‘essential workers.’  The real essential workers are health care workers, the entire food supply chain, utilities workers, truck drivers and delivery workers, teachers, etc.  NOT the Silicon Valley types, traders of stocks and bonds, etc.  Essential workers aren’t adequately paid and there is little in the way of a safety net for them (at least in the U.S.)

12.The year we all stayed home.  The definition of ‘non essential worker’ seems to be that you can do your work from home.  Personally I love working from home.  Wondering how many people will return to the office with onerous commutes.  The IPCC figured out that it can write reports without having thousands of scientists travel all over the world for meetings.

13.C@ncel culture and woke-dom runs amok.  Totally out of control, but there is growing backlash.  In academia, University of Chicago and Univ of Texas – Austin are leading the way out of this mess.

14.Censorship from social media.  This is totally out of control and absolutely pernicious for democracy.  This seems to be driven by the political preferences of the owners of the major social media platforms.

15.Mainstream media becomes completely politicized – U.S.  Joe Biden got a free pass from the U.S. media, in a monolithic effort to get him elected as President.  A very unhealthy situation re the media; hopefully they will rediscover some integrity and critical faculties about the Biden Presidency once President Trump is out of the picture.

16.Uncertainty in climate models increases.  CMIP6 results provide a much larger range of climate sensitivity values, notably on the high end.

17.RCP8.5 is on its way out. Growing support for eliminating RCP8.5 (IPCC high end emissions/concentration scenario) from policy considerations.

18.Emissions are down, but atmospheric CO2 keeps rising.  The CO2 ‘control knob’ appears to be not very sensitive

I look forward to your thoughts on this.

——-

On a personal note, I have been crazy busy – not traveling was a boon to my productivity, but hyper active Atlantic hurricane season wiped out that advantage.  I have been writing a lot, but nothing that is (yet) available for the blog.  I am under contract to write a book, I will provide some occasional snippets.

I will have another post on Jan 1, looking forward to 2021.

Best wishes to all for the holidays.

357 responses to “2020 Year in Review

  1. Thank you, Dr. Curry, for your many contributions – this blog, to the climate debate, and otherwise.

    I would like to see examples of the following two assertions, because it does not comport with my understanding/memory: “Many credentialed experts on COVID-19 were proven to be wrong or at least diametrically changed their mind; people from outside medicine and epidemiology made important contributions to our understanding.

  2. Argh – forgot to check the “Notify me of new comments” button.

  3. “We live in a world of complexity and chaos, where inter-dynamic systems have influences that are difficult to see. The law of unintended consequences drives us to understand these dynamics in order to avert potential problems. The ‘big picture’ is really many smaller pictures. Identifying and understanding stressors and potential stressors is critical to solution strategy. Understanding where synergies can be enhanced is critical to solution development.

    As complexities are discovered it becomes increasingly important to crystallize and simplify what things mean to our society and economy. If “for want of a nail the war was lost”, we need to know ‘where’ the nail is and ‘make sure’ it is in place, or ready to be replaced when needed. Simplification is the new focus. As understanding becomes increasingly important to society’s many challenges, we need to create relevant synergies to achieve mutual goals.” http://ossfoundation.us/about

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=SP38EB9C0BC54A9EE2&v=hVvzVs1AKGY&feature=emb_logo&ab_channel=TheNationalAcademiesofSciences%2CEngineering%2CandMedicine
    http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/radiative-climate-forcing

  4. Just a little look back on the year:
    https://rumble.com/vc0fux-antifa-cheers.html

  5. A 2020 record: Fusion reaction sustained for 20 seconds in 2020

    Korean artificial sun sets the new world record of 20-sec-long operation at 100 million degrees

    “The Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR), a superconducting fusion device also known as the Korean artificial sun, set the new world record as it succeeded in maintaining the high temperature plasma for 20 seconds with an ion temperature over 100 million degrees (Celsius).”
    https://phys.org/news/2020-12-korean-artificial-sun-world-sec-long.html

    Korean Artificial Sun – KSTAR Fusion Reactor – Sets New World Record
    https://scitechdaily.com/korean-artificial-sun-kstar-fusion-reactor-sets-new-world-record/

    They are hoping for 5 minutes but 2025. Unlikely I suspect since it has taken some 70 years of nuclear power development to reach 20 seconds.

  6. What causes global warming and how much the planet might warm or cool this century is irrelevant for justifying climate polices. What is relevant is the impact of global warming on the global economy and ecosystems.

    On previous recent threads I posted a number of comments containing empirical evidence which indicates that global warming is probably beneficial, not harmful. Therefore, policies to try to reduce global warming are harmful, not beneficial..

  7. Here a one-page diagram and text on your last item – why CO2 is not the control knob of the Climate.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ycwtbb0wtrowf7/Arrow%20of%20Causality.pdf?dl=0
    Arrow of Causality
    Here is the text (not the diagram – which is at the link)

    The Scientific Method applies to any assertion or attribution – and needs to be validated by experiment and data collection.
    This slide states that the Sun Angle is the primary driver of local weather and climate in the long run. If the Sun is higher in the sky the temperature is warmer.
    Note there is a delay/lag of 5 to 6 weeks between the maximum sun angle and the maximum temperature – this proves we have got the direction of the causality arrow correct for this assertion. (It can’t be the other way round!)
    As the temperature rises so does the humidity level. Humidity is measured as a percentage as in RH (Relative Humidity). Montreal summers have an RH of about 80%.
    Another way of referring to humidity is to compare the number of molecules of water vapor (WV) to the number of CO2 molecules. In the polar regions, the humidity is low, and the ratio of WV H2O/CO2 is close to 1. In Montreal, in the summer the ratio is in the range of 30 to 50. In the Tropics it can be as high as 100 to 1 – namely, there are 100 times more H2O (WV) molecules than CO2 molecules. In the Tropics the CO2 in the air (and all non-condensing greenhouse gases) is reduced by the WV – so there is less heating from CO2. See the measured data in the slide.
    Also, the Ideal Gas Law by Charles states that as the temperature increases (in degrees Kelvin) this will further reduce the CO2 concentration. CO2 is not the control knob of climate!
    If you agree with this chain of reasoning (cannot prove it is in error) then you will understand that the assertions of the IPCC, the Paris Accord, and the design of climate models that say that CO2 is the main driver of climate change and the hypothesis of global warming (AGW) are all in error. The target should be to reduce pollution of all forms, but not CO2, as it is not a pollutant.

    • Gerald, you are missing a couple of steps that are highly relevant to the Montreal locale….. sun angle>warming>summer photosynthesis> local CO2 reduction….. where”>” means “leads to”….the photosynthesis effect averaged by trade winds over the northern hemisphere is deducible from the Keeling curve.

      • I agree that summer photosynthesis also reduces the amount of CO2 in the air, over and above the effects of Water Vapor and the Charles Gas Law. My simple chart is aimed at the general public to show it is an “Effect” not a driver of the climate. It is still on the right side of the page if you add the extra reduction. I am trying to move from correlation to Causation and show that CO2 is not the driver; not the control knob of the Climate.
        My one page is meant as a summary of the new paper by Douglas Lightfoot (also posted at Climate Etc.)
        http://thelightfootinstitute.ca/imglib/IPCC-3-errors-CO2.pdf

    • Blaming CO2 emissions on global warming/climate change/climate emergency etc. has always been scientific drivel, but makes perfect sense from a Marxist perspective, namely capitalism is to blame. Former Australian PM John Howard warned of the black armband view of history, namely that white capitalists are wholly responsible for all the world’s problems: wars, pollution,slavery, inequality, racism, sexism, Islamophobia etc. so blaming global warming on capitalism was the next logical progression.

  8. I know that given your concern about woke and cancel culture and censorship there’s no way you’ll erase this comment;

    > Triumph of Uncertain T. Monster. Hubris, overconfidence, wrong predictions about COVID-19 have fed the monster.

    Yes, indeed, Nic Lewis really stepped in it with his disrespect of the uncertainty monster in his posts at Climate Etc. about COVID.

    One of the more unfortunate ironies of the year.

    • Unlike you, Nic does real scientific work and is a statistical expert. We should take his work seriously. In your case there is no work and thus you are left with vague childish insinuations. Making a contribution would require work which would require competence. You might give it a try.

  9. Hi Judy,

    Suggestion – A series of CE posts on the impacts of global warming

    Given that climate change alarmism and climate polices are justified on the premise that global warming is harmful, could you run a series of posts on the economic impacts of global warming. Perhaps ten posts: an Introduction, one post for each impact sector, a summary of the total impact of all sectors, and Conclusions, e.g. (based on the FUND impact sectors):
    1. Introduction
    2. Agriculture and Forestry
    3. Human health
    4. Extreme weather and tropical storms
    5. Sea level rise
    6. Ecosystems
    7. Water resources
    8. Energy consumption
    9. Total impacts versus temperature change with comparisons against IAM projections
    10. Conclusions

    I suggest the posts focus on impacts derived from empirical data rather than projections from Integrated Assessment Models (IAM).

    I suggest invite authors for each impact sector who are experts in the field and who are rigorous, honest and unbiased. The CE post by Lang and Gregory Economic impact of energy consumption change caused by global warming might be a useful example for

  10. Thank you Judith for your wonderful commitment.

    “Emissions are down, but atmospheric CO2 keeps rising.  The CO2 ‘control knob’ appears to be not very sensitive.”

    It’s almost as if warming of the higher latitudes is producing the CO2 emissions itself, just like the graphs of past glacial cycles.

  11. Like many, my Inbox is always overflowing with messages competing for my attention.I always make the time to open my Sunday mail from Climate Etc. Thank you for the anchor of sanity this page and the conversations it provokes have brought to the muddled mess called 2020. Happy New Year and good luck with the book!

  12. “ The year we all stayed home.”

    The question is whether the country goes back to old practices, not just organizations but at home, as well. Will organizations evolve in a different direction because they discovered efficiencies with less travel and less expenses for housing staff. Will households find out how much cheaper it is to eat at home thus increasing their standard of living? Will families reevaluate the need for a 2nd and third car? Will leisure activities be redefined? Will growth of housing change affecting development patterns?

    Will 2020 be an inflection point where cultural norms in America take a different turn?

  13. Great post.
    Thanks.
    Item#8

  14. “RCP8.5 is on its way out. Growing support for eliminating RCP8.5 (IPCC high end emissions/concentration scenario) from policy considerations.“

    The IPCC could go a long way to establish some credibility by eliminating R P8.5 and admitting what is becoming obvious. Either they do it or time will.

  15. It is not clear to me why you would single out the media bias as something that only supported Biden. The pro-Trump media is what is keeping these bogus election conspiracies going and causing a lot of harm to a lot of people. The story on the media in 2020 is the final stage of the transformation of news into another entertainment product that sells what its viewers want to hear and no longer seeks to inform or challenge them.

    • Do you not listen to the softball/non questions Biden gets, ( what kind of ice cream are you eating?) compared to the antagonistic grenades thrown at Trump? It is all entertainment, with the media believing they are the story, but journalistic standards have completely collapsed. The opinion section has morphed into all news. Watch the Biden press conferences coming up. The contrast will be self evident. How many Hunter questions will there be? How many tough questions will there be? Zipp.

      • Did you not listen to the softball question’s Trump gets on FoxNews and other Trump friendly media? Especially compared to the antagonistic grenades hurled at Biden?

        Stop pretending there is only one side to the media bias story. More importantly, stop pretending you care about journalistic standards if you are not calling out FoxNews/NewsMax to uphold those same standards.

        The Hunter story is a good example. It is completely irrelevant but Fox and its fellow travelers spend and insane amount of time covering it while ignoring the shameless corruption of the current occupant of the white house (i.e. how many stories on Fox have covered how Trump’s ‘stop steal’ campaign fund is ruse to collect money from small donors to line his own pockets?)

      • Here i disagree the hunter Biden story is not irrelevant. That a presidential candidate’s son is compromised is news and is relevant

      • “That a presidential candidate’s son is compromised is news”

        It is news and all outlets are covering it as details emerge but that does not mean there needs to be story every day like we see on Fox. Especially when a much bigger story is how Trump is using his bogus fraud claims as a means to line his pockets with cash from small donors. How much coverage is this story getting on Trump friendly media?

      • Media criticism of the Biden administration will precede its existence, driven from the left by the Squad (yay! I think…) and by the right. The NY Times will lead the critical charge. Poor Joe…

    • I agree. I also agree that Trump has been pilloried in the media since day one, but that does not excuse the conspiracy mongering where the election is concerned. There is no evidence that Trump actually won the election. What I mourn the most about 2020 is the continued death spiral of classical liberalism and principled thought.

      • Richard Greene

        Concerning the 2020 election results that I have studied since November 3: The number of counties that Trump won, yet “lost” the election, is unprecedented. That includes Trump winning 18 of 19 highly accurate, in the past 40 years, bellwether counties. Also unprecedented. Not to mention Trump winning two bellwether states — Ohio and Florida.

        It seems that with almost no campaigning, as if Joe Biden felt campaigning was not necessary, Biden did best AFTER midnight on election dayt, in five battleground states — Michigan , Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania.

        Trump leads were ended with large after midnight batches of ballots almost entirely favoring Biden, especially large (six figures) In at least two of the ballot counting areas, Detroit, and Atlanta … where poll watchers had been (illegally) kicked out (Republicans only, in Detroit) of ballot counting buildings before those big batches of Biden ballots showed up (timing from the the New York Times real time vote count).

        Nothing suspicious here, if you are biased and/or gullible.

        A few links from my politics blog, Election Circus, sum up the unprecedented election results, starting with three simple charts at the first two links.”Unprecedented” results do not prove election fraud …, but strongly imply much more fraud than usual, at least in several key states.

        In my opinion, anyone who claims this was an honest election is a liar, or a fool. The unprecedented percentage of absentee ballots guaranteed more fraud than usual. The limited signature checking of absentee ballot envelopes practically made fraud “legal”.

        https://electioncircus.blogspot.com/2020/12/trump-won-huge-number-of-counties-and.html

        https://electioncircus.blogspot.com/2020/12/two-charts-sum-up-2020-election-with.html

        https://electioncircus.blogspot.com/2020/12/the-bellwether-counties-18-of-19-went.html

      • Something statistically unusual occurring is not evidence of fraud. Every election includes some fraud. There is no evidence that fraud impacted the outcome. Just as there’s no evidence that Russian interference changed the 2016 election outcome.

      • Doug … “There is no evidence that Trump actually won the election.” If we say that’s true, could we have the same surety in regards to the integrity of the election process in 2020?
        – ballots received after the polls closed were counted
        – ballots without postmarks were counted
        – ballot harvesting
        These modifications were actually approved by several state legislatures. There were others, but these clearly impacted the integrity of the process. How? They essentially eliminated a deadline to vote. This created opportunities for fraud far beyond the norm, say … keeping dead people on voter registration rolls. In past elections it would have been more difficult to alter the results, knowing the actual progress of the election, before the deadline.
        Remember, that these past two Presidential elections have been extremely close. And local elections, which aren’t receiving the same scrutiny, are always close.
        There are legitimate reasons for issuing absentee ballots. But they are the exception, not the rule. And they certainly shouldn’t supersede the deadline for voting in person. Actually, in the past they were required to be received before election day, as many were in this election.
        Election fraud isn’t the sole province of one party. It is in our interest, the voters, to be vigilant and eliminate ANY policy that could have a negative affect on our franchise. The right to vote, the civic act of coming to a public gathering with our fellow citizens to register approval or disapproval, is the only peaceful power we have.

      • There is one fact that persuaded me the election was fraudulent: in PA Trump got 2/3 rds of in-person votes (3 million out of 4.5). Whereas the mail ballots went to Biden – 80%-20% – 2 million vs 0.5 million for Trump. Leading to a 1% total difference for Biden.
        This fact is not disputed.
        This cannot be but fraud in mail ballots.

      • ” but that does not excuse the conspiracy mongering where the election is concerned. There is no evidence that Trump actually won the election.”

        I’m not fond of a lot of the conspiracy thinking, either. But, there is also no credible evidence the Trump lost. I’d say that this year’s election was a horrible mess, and we really don’t know.

        BUT… there have been three presidential elections this century won by Republicans. After each one, Democrats challenged the elector certification in Congress. And after the 2016 one, Democrats utterly refused to acknowledge that Trump was the legitimate president. They told use he was a Nazi and a Russian stooge, and some still hold to those conspiracy theories.

        So, let the people rant. Democrats set the standard: don’t accept the election results. They have no standing to complain.

    • “It is not clear to me why you would single out the media bias as something that only supported Biden. The pro-Trump media is what is keeping these bogus election conspiracies going ”

      Compare the number of outfits supporting Biden, vs the number supporting Trump. The media establishment is on the left, and has been for a long time, but the last 4+ years they have not even tried to appear neutral (other than proclaiming that they are providing the truth).

      How many major networks are supporting the election challenges? I can think of one that only supports it in a subset of its programming: Fox News.

      How much Hollywood entertainment is even close to balanced in its treatment of Americans?

      How many newspapers? I don’t know of any.

      The differential is glaring. I would say that the clear bias of the mainstream media, and their sneering treatment of Trump supporters, has driven some on the right to want their own highly biased media.

      • “How many major networks are supporting the election challenges? ”

        The job of news networks is not to “support” such things. The job is to report on them and all major networks reported how these challenges have no merit and are largely based on innuendo and claims known to be false. The response of judges to these claims have shown that this opinion is shared by the courts.

        “their sneering treatment of Trump supporters, has driven some on the right to want their own highly biased media”

        By any objective measure, Trump is venal, incompetent and corrupt. That said, many people have projected their own desires onto him and see him as a great leader that champions causes they care about. It is not clear to me how any news outlet dedicated to objectivity and honesty could give Trump the fawning coverage that his supporters want to see.

        This is ultimately the challenge that all news media face. They have to give their audience what they want and if their audience does not want unbiased coverage then they cannot provide it.

      • TimG hypocritically lectures: “The job of news networks is not to “support” such things. The job is to report on them and all major networks reported how these challenges have no merit and are largely based on innuendo and claims known to be false. ”
        Pardon me while I throw up. That statement is the conceit of the mainstream news, thrown up as a defense of their bias.

        I guess I was too subtle for you in trying to contrast the major news networks’ influence with that of the few right wing outlets.

        You also seem to have forgotten how the major news networks and other miscreants I mentioned:

        Pushed the narrative that Trump colluded with the Russians, and was not the valid President of the United States.

        Pushed the narrative that Trump was corrupt.

        Pushed the narrative that Trump was a racist and favored Nazis.

        Described seditious riots as “mostly peaceful demonstrations.”

        Criticized everything Trump did, while ignoring anything he did that might case him in a good light.

        Concealed a potentially scandalous story about obvious influence peddling by the son of the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, and never once asked that candidate about it. For that matter, who never asked him a single challenging question during the campaign.

        And yet, you have the gall to attack the small right wing media for supporting Trump’s election narrative. And by the way, if you ever watch Fox News, you would realize that only their opinion voices, not their news voices, support it.

        “”The job of news networks is not to “support” such things. The job is to report on them and all major networks reported how these challenges have no merit and are largely based on innuendo and claims known to be false. ”
        Pardon me while I throw up. That statement is the conceit of the mainstream news, thrown up as a defense of their bias.

        I guess I was too subtle for you in trying to contrast the major news networks’ influence with that of the few right wing outlets.

        You also seem to have forgotten how the major news networks and other miscreants I mentioned:

        Pushed the narrative that Trump colluded with the Russians, and was not the valid President of the United States.

        Pushed the narrative that Trump was corrupt.

        Pushed the narrative that Trump was a racist and favored Nazis.

        Described seditious riots as “mostly peaceful demonstrations.”

        Criticized everything Trump did, while ignoring anything he did that might case him in a good light.

        Concealed a potentially scandalous story about obvious influence peddling by the son of the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, and never once asked that candidate about it. For that matter, who never asked him a single challenging question during the campaign.

        And yet, you have the gall to attack the small right wing media for supporting Trump’s election narrative. And by the way, if you ever watch Fox News, you would realize that only their opinion voices, not their news voices, support it.

        TimG: “This is ultimately the challenge that all news media face. ”
        Geez, did you go to J-school or something? Nobody else would believe that drivel. It hasn’t been true for decades, and it sure as heck has never been true in the Trump age.”

        The real that people on the right despise the mainstream media is that their behavior has been despicable. They piously pronounce their objectivity, and then engage in nothing but propaganda. They are no better than Radio Havana or Russia Television.

      • “Pardon me while I throw up. That statement is the conceit of the mainstream news, thrown up as a defense of their bias.”

        It is a statement of objective fact. The claims of election fraud are baseless with no credible evidence. The fact that many people sincerely believe otherwise does not change objective reality.

        “Pushed the narrative that Trump colluded with the Russians, and was not the valid President of the United States. ”

        Trump himself openly called for the Russians to hack his opponent’s emails. He has many business ties with Russian interests. The prima facie evidence of collusion was there for everyone to see. The lack of evidence for formal charges does not invalidate the premise that there was something worth investigating.

        “Concealed a potentially scandalous story about obvious influence peddling by the son of the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate”

        The Hunter story has been reported by every outlet from the beginning. No outlet concealed anything. What you are complaining about is many outlets refused to present the information in the way that Trump wanted but it is not their job to provide propaganda for political candidates.

        “And by the way, if you ever watch Fox News, you would realize that only their opinion voices, not their news voices, support it.”

        And guess what: Fox News is being attacked by right wing pundit specifically because it refused to ignore reality and pretend Trump’s election claims had merit. This kind of crap is why I say complaining about media bias is pointless because media simply reflects the bias of their viewers – it does not create it.

      • In my opinion, media bias should be discussed in two contexts. One in the age of Trump, and one previous to Trump. The media have been biased against conservatives my entire life. This should not be in dispute since there have been multiple studies and polls on the subject that demonstrate the media lean left. These studies go back at least 4 decades and examine biases going back 20 years before then. No R has won the media’s vote for president in my lifetime.

        This is evident in how they handle stories about the different parties also.
        In the Clinton impeachment the media turned a case of obstruction of justice and an inappropriate relation with a subordinate into a private matter between a man and wife. With nuclear power in the 1970s they made it appear that energy experts thought the technology was unsafe. Even though the vast majority of energy experts thoughtit was safe. It is simple to find someone with expert credentials to say something they agree with, that is how they report on many things controversial. They report their views as if they are all experts views.

        The age of Trump has been more obviously biased. Which may be a good thing since people seem to be waking up to this obvious double standard now.

      • Meant to post this link
        http://archive.mrc.org/biasbasics/biasbasics3.asp

      • “The media have been biased against conservatives my entire life. This should not be in dispute”

        All media is biased and exists in a self-re-enforcing loop where the bias attracts viewers that want that bias. But a some outlets are more willing to present information which their viewers may not want to hear.

        For years, Fox News filled the demand for right wing bias and did a reasonable job of it, but the extremes on the left and right have gotten more demanding. Simply being biased is not enough for the woke crowd or Trump supporters. They both want media to produce propaganda and do not want anyone to challenge their view of the world.

        This trend is that 2020 exacerbated and should have been called out. Singling out the MSM is missing the point.

      • “Singling out the MSM is missing the point.”

        No, it *is* the point. The MSM is the dominant media, the media too many people (especially in the middle) have believed to be truthful. In fact, the MSM is now so biased that they are just propaganda outlets for the left.

        Fox News is just one channel. The MSM has many. If you go to newspapers, there are three or four that lean right, and the rest of the hundreds are on the left or far left. Even the Arizona Republic has been taken over by leftists.

        Brushing over the extreme bias, and the strong influence it has, with an “everyone does it” excuse is inappropriate.

        The bias of the MSM is largely why you see such strong reactions on the right. Too many people realize they have been lied to and now have no idea who to trust. The result is that many of them go to fringe right wing sites that are as biased to the right as the MSM is biased to the left.

        This has not always been the case. The MSM used to be quite a bit less biased. They favored Democrats and Democrat policies, but they weren’t as radical, and they didn’t bury information the way they do now.

        I trace the radicalization to Vietnam. The media decided to oppose government “lies” with it’s own narrative. The narrative was that the US was fighting a colonial war against nationalist guerrillas, and was bound to lose. And, they arrogance tied to their ignorance led to them declaring the Tet Offensive a defeat for the US and the south, when it was the exact opposite.

        But the war tied to the draft led to a radicalization of students, including journalism students, and that feed of far left individuals has dominated media (entertainment and news) and academia ever since, growing crazier every year.

      • “…but it is not their job to provide propaganda for political candidates.”

        “The job of news networks is not to “support” such things.”

        My guess is that you’re not aware you are describing MSM as it has been. Their job was to get Biden elected. And to provide propaganda for him.

        MSM’s only job is to make money and when it fails at that, to sell itself. As it has, it keeps selling itself. It’s wearing thin though.

        MSM will find itself as corrupt as they claim the capitalists are. And they’ll be captured by the government.

        I ditched Fox in November. I am sure a lot of other people have left as well. Not for more extreme, but for more productive, so I say.

      • “My guess is that you’re not aware you are describing MSM as it has been. Their job was to get Biden elected. And to provide propaganda for him.”

        You would not be correct in that. I am well aware that the MSM is biased, and has been for decades. And, since the arrival of Trump, the bias has gotten far more extreme, and tendentious, and tedious.

    • Geez, you must seem to think Fox dominates the airwaves. It provides a useful and necessary contrary voice to all the left-leaning news outlets (CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, NPR, CBS, NYTimes, WashPost, etc.), entertainment outlets (Fallon, Colbert, Kimmel, Samatha Bee, SNL, ESPN, The View, and so on…), and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, …). My gosh, you’ve got to see how lopsided this “balance” really is, no?

      • I think the notion of people getting their information from the “airwaves” is antiquated. The fact that Republicans down ticket did quite well is good evidence that the influence of the mainstream media is a lot less than what people assume.

      • Blue Ridge Weather

        Fox is the number one news channel. The GOP also dominates talk radio and owns a sizable chunk of local news channels.

      • “Fox is the number one news channel. The GOP also dominates talk radio and owns a sizable chunk of local news channels.”

        Fox is the number on CABLE news channel. But how does it look when you add up the viewership of CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, and Hollywood entertainment, where the villain is usually a stereotyped “right wing” nut and racist?

        The right achieved its dominance of talk radio exactly because of the mainstream bias – talk radio was the only place conservative thoughts could even be spoken. The left tried to move into talk radio and failed spectacularly except in a few markets, because people on the left didn’t need yet one more outlet spewing the propaganda they could get so easily on the mainstream media.

        So yes, we do have talk radio, and that is clear evidence of the bias of television, now slightly less because there is actually one channel with maybe 1% of the US population watching it that is mostly conservative – FNN. What percent of the population do you think consumes mainstream TV news? It’s a lot more than 1%. What percent consumes the many movies and TV shows from Hollywood that are now mostly loaded with left wing propaganda, right down to the proper intersectionality matrix of race, gender and sex>

        As to “owns a sizable chunk of local news channels” – oh really? How many of those actually have any political slant to their news. I have seen no conservative slant in my local stations, and you would think that if anyplace had it, it would be here in Arizona.

    • Blue Ridge Weather

      I totally agree – right wing media is actually worse. The modern GOP likes to play the victim. I think it must be a rule they have to bash “the media” every day. They think people don’t like Trump because of “the media.” People don’t need the media to hate Trump… just listening to Trump’s own words is enough. He is caught on tape pressuring the Georgia Secretary of State to “recalculate” the votes so that Trump wins. I can’t think of anything more un-American than trying to subvert the will of the voters. That is exactly what Trump has been trying to do and is quite frankly scary that so many people support him.

      • “I totally agree – right wing media is actually worse. The modern GOP likes to play the victim. I think it must be a rule they have to bash “the media” every day. They think people don’t like Trump because of “the media.” People don’t need the media to hate Trump… just listening to Trump’s own words is enough. He is caught on tape pressuring the Georgia Secretary of State to “recalculate” the votes so that Trump wins. I can’t think of anything more un-American than trying to subvert the will of the voters. That is exactly what Trump has been trying to do and is quite frankly scary that so many people support him.”

        People on the right understand the power of media propaganda, which is almost all directed against the right and right wing causes.

        For example, are you aware that Democrats tried to decertify Republican electors in every election this century where a Republican was elected president? Oh… don’t know? Mainstream media isn’t interested in telling you that.

        The mainstream media, which includes almost all of the entertainment media, is far more powerful than FNN and the few other outlets. I know too many people who have been gently led away from the truth by the propaganda from that media. And yes, I use the term advisedly – it reminds of the propaganda I used to listen to on Radio Moscow and Radio Havana – some truth (especially in the later days of Radio Moscow) with subtle misdirection and lies.

        Yes, Trump has some nasty personal characteristics, as did Obama. Both are quite capable of engendering anger by the opposition, and both did. I won’t defend Trump’s rhetoric – I never have liked it. BUT… I look beyond it to his policies and results, and frankly, he has done so much better than I ever expected. And that’s even including some of his actions later in 2020 when he was a bit of a COVID19 denialist – or at least, rode the wave of the anger at restrictions, some of which anger was justified and some of which was misplaced.

        But… if one gets all their news from the mainstream media, they’ll hear many of Trump’s successes derided and called failures or evil. On foreign policy, Trump has been outstanding – propping up alliances that matter, while backing away from multinational alliances and the like that were harmful to US interests. His policy of “principled realism” is long overdue – we haven’t seen it since Reagan.

        His Operation Warp Speed has been spectacular, and defied the predictions of – yep – the mainstream media and the left. Even now, as the not surprising initial confusion and slowdowns at the local level of vaccination, the media is still trashing him.

        The GOP is not the victim – the nation is.

      • BRW
        At some point you’re going to need to come to grips with the 50 years before Trump.

        “In 1981, S. Robert Lichter, then with George Washington University, and Stanley Rothman of Smith College, released a groundbreaking survey of 240 journalists at the most influential national media outlets — including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS — on their political attitudes and voting patterns. Results of this study of the “media elite” were included in the October/November 1981 issue of Public Opinion, published by the American Enterprise Institute, in the article “Media and Business Elites.” The data demonstrated that journalists and broadcasters hold liberal positions on a wide range of social and political issues. This study, which was more elaborately presented in Lichter and Rothman’s subsequent book, The Media Elite, became the most widely quoted media study of the 1980s and remains a landmark today.

        KEY FINDINGS:

        81 percent of the journalists interviewed voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in every election between 1964 and 1976.

        In the Democratic landslide of 1964, 94 percent of the press surveyed voted for President Lyndon Johnson (D) over Senator Barry Goldwater (R).

        In 1968, 86 percent of the press surveyed voted for Democrat Senator Hubert Humphrey.

        In 1972, when 62 percent of the electorate chose President Richard Nixon, 81 percent of the media elite voted for liberal Democratic Senator George McGovern.

        In 1976, the Democratic nominee, Jimmy Carter, captured the allegiance of 81 percent of the reporters surveyed while a mere 19 percent cast their ballots for President Gerald Ford.

        Over the 16-year period, the Republican candidate always received less than 20 percent of the media elite’s vote.

        Lichter and Rothman’s survey of journalists discovered that “Fifty-four percent placed themselves to the left of center, compared to only 19 percent who chose the right side of the spectrum.”

        “Fifty-six percent said the people they worked with were mostly on the left, and only 8 percent on the right — a margin of seven-to-one.”

        http://archive.mrc.org/biasbasics/biasbasics3.asp

        One of the good things about Trump was his disdain for the media. If R’s are smart they will continue to call out media bias where they see it. Just compare and contrast how the media treated Romney when he was a presidential candidate versus now that he opposes Trump on most issues.

        The media’s left leaning bias is obvious and it has been my entire lifetime.

  16. RCP8.5 is a bit old fashioned – replaced by SSP5. To me SSP5 is an aspirational target. We can do it if we really really try. But because radiative forcing by CO2 has increased by 1.68 (1.33 to 2.93) W/m2 since 1750 – confirmed by line by line calculations collated since US Air Force radar experiments in the 1940’s – yes that plane has flown – with positive water vapor and nonlinear cloud feedbacks – it behooves us to develop alternative energy sources and kickstart geoengineering. The risk in our horrendously nonlinear world is – lol – a rapid transition to a warm or cool extreme. The solution is in hand – lots of energy innovation and fortuitously cows are good at geoengineering. The only politically rational thing to do is put your hand on your heart and promise the battle of the ages in defeating global warming – while pursuing the high moral ground of unfettered economic growth.

    https://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S0959378016300711-gr1_lrg.jpg

    “This world places increasing faith in competitive markets, innovation and participatory societies to produce rapid technological progress and development of human capital as the path to sustainable development. Global markets are increasingly integrated. There are also strong investments in health, education, and institutions to enhance human and social capital. At the same time, the push for economic and social development is coupled with the exploitation of abundant fossil fuel resources and the adoption of resource and energy intensive lifestyles around the world. All these factors lead to rapid growth of the global economy, while global population peaks and declines in the 21st century. Local environmental problems like air pollution are successfully managed. There is faith in the ability to effectively manage social and ecological systems, including by geo-engineering if necessary.”

    • Curious George

      “Confirmed by line by line calculations.” I don’t trust models that much. Did they calculate radiative forcing above jungles? above clouds? above Sahara? above tropical oceans? above Antarctica?

      Too much uncertainty there. It should be measured, not mostly calculated.

  17. It is not clear to me why you would single out the media bias as something that only supported Biden. The pro-Trump media is what is keeping these bogus election conspiracies going and causing a lot of harm to a lot of people. The story of the media in 2020 is the final stage of the transformation of news into another entertainment product that sells what its viewers want to hear and no longer seeks to inform or challenge them.

    • Emphasis on MAINSTREAM media

      • I disagree. Trust is problem. The social nervous system is having a immune response and the pandemic just turned up the voltage.
        So where do you stand on repeal of section 230 repeal vs. who owns your data?

      • “MAINSTREAM media”? What does that really mean today? How many people rely on CNN/ABC/CBS/NBC as their primary source of news today and of that group how many are under the age of 40?

        I think we need to rethink how we describe media. Saying that Fox News is pro-Trump and MSNBC/CNN are pro-Biden is reasonable. Claiming that that Trump was some how the underdog because pro-Biden networks exist is not. Trump had his media voice and it was loud.

      • Yes Tim, MAINSTREAM media! There is a lot of Left content on social media also. The problem on social media is mostly allows like-minded people to see it. Trump used Twitter and the only reason it was loud was due to the MAINSTREAM antagonists highlighting word useage to change context – taking it literally and not with the situational usage. I watched ABC and Fox where there were always differences in how something was reported. ABC cut off the dialogue when it fit their narrative. Fox would run a more complete dialogue where actual context came through. As far a fraud “conspiracy” goes – The only thing that cannot be proven is the extent of it. How many went to Biden vice Trump can’t be proven. The beauty of mail-in votes in this situation – no traceable evidence…. There are enough statistical differences to say the outcome was changed by changing how the vote was conducted.
        Those changes were done with no real planning of controls.
        The opportunities for fraud were needlessly created under the guise of COVID.
        There is no validation of who actually voted with mail-in ballots.
        No trust in how some states conducted their shoot-from-the-hip election.
        A demonstrated error with some machines that was corrected but questions remain of whether that was isolated? The Left focuses on this being “corrected” and an “isolated” incident. Implying that it would have been caught and corrected if happened elsewhere…
        Apparent lack of cooperation allowing observation during counts.
        No ability to accurately audit mail-in ballots.
        With all the undermining of integrity, Freudian slips before and during the election, the elitist anti-Trumpers on Left and Right, it is not hard to see a “conspiracy” or at least have a “theory” of one…. Hope you are keeping count of the Biden disinformation, just saying…. “I Did Not Take One Penny”…where did I hear something eerily like that before….

      • “ABC cut off the dialogue when it fit their narrative. Fox would run a more complete dialogue where actual context came through. .”

        That is just what you perceive given your biases. Lots of absurd claims on Fox that are not presented with their proper context.

        “A demonstrated error with some machines that was corrected but questions remain of whether that was isolated?”

        A good example of a provably false claim which are the basis for this entire “fraud” hoax. Paper ballot hand recounts have been done in multiple jurisdictions and they demonstrated that there was no problem with the machine counts on election night. These recounts should have put to rest any concerns about the machines but the goal posts keep getting moved.

        But that brings us back to the original op point: many people do not want their new sources to tell them truth, They want to be lied to if it makes them feel better. This is the media story from 2020. The “MSM has a left wing bias” meme is old news.

      • “That is just what you perceive given your biases. Lots of absurd claims on Fox that are not presented with their proper context.”

        I guess you perceived based on your biases too Tim. I was referring to actual news not opinion pieces. That is, seeing same speaker on ABC and same speech on Fox were often different. One stopped speech short giving an implied context the other ran complete speech for viewer context. Sometimes they presented the same information but one station would emphasize a negative, loosely or unrelated twist, after the report to take away from any perceived positive. Not my bias, theirs…

        “A good example of a provably false claim which are the basis for this entire “fraud” hoax. Paper ballot hand recounts have been done in multiple jurisdictions and they demonstrated that there was no problem with the machine counts on election night.”

        You are talking about GA there. While it may show integrity with GA count, it does not explain the anomaly in Michigan. There was no broad recount in Michigan. Regardless, the Left’s and anti-Trump elites 4 yrs of “not my president” led up to this….

      • “You are talking about GA there. While it may show integrity with GA count, it does not explain the anomaly in Michigan.”

        1) I am glad to hear you acknowledge the significance of the GA recount. Many refuse to do so or move the goal posts.

        2) They did a paper ballot hand count in the affected counties in Michigan (I provided a link in the Biden thread a couple days ago). Same result as in GA. No problems with the machines found. The so called “forensic analysis” was proven to be a sham.

      • Sigh… Everybody check viewership by channel, subscriptions by newspaper/magazine, please, before continuing this conversation.

        Has this decade passed entirely unnoticed? There is no mainstream media anymore, just some titles and brands that are older than others.

      • You raised the challenge on numbers of viewers/subscribers… so why don’t you provide them.

        Mainstream TV: ABC/CBS/NBC/PBS/NPR/FNN/CNN/MSN – viewership of *news* programming

        Newspapers: NYT/WaPo/… – readership (yes, declining, but still significant – and they do have websites which have to count)

        Of those, how many have a bias to the right, how many to the left? Can you name more than 1 major newspaper that has a tilt to the right?

      • mesocyclone, you write: “Can you name more than 1 major newspaper that has a tilt to the right?”

        Wall Street Journal
        New York Post
        Miami Herald
        Arizona Republic
        Orange County Register

        Of course, the Trump Era may have driven some of these a bit away from the party line.

      • “Wall Street Journal
        New York Post
        Miami Herald
        Arizona Republic
        Orange County Register”

        New York Post is major?

        Arizona Republic? What, are you stuck in the 1960’s? The Arizona Republic has gone far left, and did it at least 20 years ago. As an Arizona resident, I was a long time subscriber and used to know some of the editors after it shifted left. But eventually, I just could not continuing paying for highly biased “journalism” at the same time that the actual information content cratered.

        Also, at this point, the Arizona Republic is hardly major. Not surprisingly, it drove away at least half of its readership when it chose to report “social justice” stories instead of news, when it chose to push the leftist cause-de-jour every day, and when it used its political reporters to do their best to undermine Republican state officials while bolstering the Democrats. And, of course, it has been disintermediated by the Internet – Craigslist eating its lunch on the critical local ad revenue, and all sorts of web sites providing alternate news sources.

        I have to confess to schadenfreude as the dimwit propagandists at outfits like that have to repurpose their careers to serving burgers, since nobody pays anymore for their “journalistic” output, and the local TV websites have more and better and less biased journalism.

        Given how far wrong you were on AZR (and you aren’t the only out-of-stater to make that mistake), I have no idea if you are right about the OCR and MH, or if your are relying on decades old knowledge.

      • Joe - the non epidemiologist

        Following up on Mesocycle comment – “Arizona Republic? What, are you stuck in the 1960’s? The Arizona Republic has gone far left, and did it at least 20 years ago. ”

        The same thing happened to the Dallas Morning News.

        The Shift to the left for most all conservative newspapers has been a combination of the A) general shift to the left in journalism as a whole, but also as a cost sharing measure. B) With the rise of the internet, advertising revenue has dropped significantly resulting in the inability to hire / retain competent / actual journalists. The newspapers have farmed out almost all the national reporting to the AP, NYT, washington post. In the case of the dallas morning news, the leftward tilt has filtered down to the local news stories. (almost like a one way left rachet).

    • Journalists have always skewed left–they were talking about it in the 19th century.

      What happened to editors and publishers? They’re the ones that drive a paper’s slant.

      Couldn’t possibly be that they saw the robber barons, Hoover economics, McCarthyism, Nixon, the war in Iraq and four years of Trump and decided that conservatism was not being well-served, could it?

    • “The pro-Trump media is what is keeping these bogus election conspiracies going and causing a lot of harm to a lot of people.”

      We had 4 years of this:
      The MSM is what is keeping these bogus election conspiracies going and causing a lot of harm to a lot of people.

      The Republicans are ready to fight now. And the MSM should blame itself. It gave up its role.

  18. Item#8 CCS

    Maybe climate change is really a reincarnation of the anti fossil fuel movement of the 1960s (in which i had participated).

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/03/23/anti-fossil-fuel-activism-disguised-as-climate-science/

  19. H. Douglas Lightfoot

    A peer reviewed paper published on Dec7, 2020 titled “The IPCC made three fatal errors in assumptions about CO2” is available at this link.: http://thelightfootinstitute.ca/imglib/IPCC-3-errors-CO2.pdf
    The peer review suggested some small changes that improved the paper. It is readable and understandable by most people.
    The IPCC and most scientists do not know that warming by water vapor and carbon dioxide oppose each other. Adding warming by water vapor to that of carbon dioxide reduces overall warming.

  20. “ C@ncel culture and woke-dom runs amok.”

    After hundreds of offending statues were removed and our history of racism was papered over to erase it from our collective memory, how did that help blacks? Unemployment rates for blacks are now double what they were prior to all the wonderful things the history illiterates did for the sake of improving black lives. Did it ever occur to anyone that what is done with an eye to the future is more effective than being obsessed with the past?

    The left once again takes itself for a ride, to divert attention from its failures.

  21. thecliffclavenoffinance

    The most important change in 2020 was how easily governments seized power and reduced our personal freedom.

    And this was primarily led by state Governors, claiming to be guided by “the science” (as if anyone had any experience with COVID — there were no experts), and violating their own state constitutions, by issuing arbitrary economic restrictions.

    One example: Sitting six inches from a stranger on an airplane eating a meal was legal … but sitting less than six feet away from strangers at the next restaurant table was illegal.

    The U.S. deaths and hospitalizations from the SARS2 virus strongly suggest the loss of freedom (for some people, and some businesses) in the US did not pay off. Dozens of nations all over the world had much better results in their fight against COVID.

  22. What I find amusing is that in every one of these blogettes, there are always a number of people who assert that CO2 levels do not affect climate. I wonder how they would explain the wide range of global temperatures that occurred over the past billion years from hothouse to icehouse?

    • CO2 didn’t cause warming – it just followed it. The most telling fact for me in 2020 was Tapio Schneider’s assertion that CO2 concentrations were not anywhere near enough to cause PETM warming. I might have been a little late to the party.

      https://watertechbyrie.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/cloud-computation.png

      • “CO2 didn’t cause warming – it just followed it.” – Ellison

        Isn’t it a possibility that this is what’s happening in today’s climate? The new physics tidal forcing hypothesis would account for all changes of climate observed.

      • If it doesn’t have data and analysis – it isn’t science. I’ll go with the old physics until then.

    • Come on. Continents move, albedo changes, snow accumulates, oceans rise and fall, circulation patterns, ocean currents alter. With or without carbon dioxide changing, climate changes.

    • New physics tidal forcing. The warm equatorial waters are pushed to higher latitudes, increasing precipitation which falls as snow.

    • Richard Greene

      Mr.
      (1)
      We have 4.5 billion years of climate change from natural causes.

      (2)
      We have 500,000 years of ice core proxy studies that show temperature peaks led CO2 peaks, rather than causing them.

      (3)
      We have the unproven claim that, at least since 1975, man made CO2 controls the global average temperature, a new claim relative to (1) and (2).

      (1) and (2) are much closer to settled science than (3)

      The fact that explanations of climate change in the past are theories that are not precise, and not yet proven, makes it extremely hard to believe forecasts of the climate 100 years in the future.

      • thecliffclavenoffinance

        correction:
        We have 500,000 years of ice core proxy studies that show temperature peaks led CO2 peaks, rather than following them

  23. Here is the most important “Year in Review:”
    https://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/dave-barry/article247890015.html

    Happy New Year, Judy!!

    • Both informative and amusing at the same time:

      “Florida, which has totally screwed up in previous elections, surprises everybody by reporting the vote count almost immediately, thanks to an executive order by Gov. Ron DeSantis to “just go ahead and re-use the results from 2016, since we counted those already.” But the process is much slower in states such as Pennsylvania, which uses the base 17 numbering system, and Arizona, where by law votes must be tabulated on cowhides.”

  24. Meanwhile, the Norway Supreme Court signals to the global warming alarmist community that it while the country doesn’t need energy because it’s got unlimited hydroelectric power, it’s not about to interfere with Arctic exploration no matter how much Greta frowns and grimaces and chants the liberal catechism of the Left.

  25. “Brexit ……….it does make me worried about relying too much on a popular vote when the populace is ill-informed about what is at stake ………”

    Such a comment is reminiscent of Clinton’s deplorables and as such, rather insulting to the 17+million/52% of the population who voted for it.

    • I concur. People don’t seem to understand that for many what was at stake was their autonomy. They no longer cared what the economic consequences of brexit were.

      • Randomengineer de Leather

        Well not only that, there are plenty of people who reckon the correct long term course will bring increased prosperity even if the shorter term isn’t pleasant. Reagan was pilloried by many experts for increasing the US debt via military equipment upgrades but the longer term benefit from tech making its way into the civilian world offset the debt many times over. e.g. GPS alone created massive opportunity and countless jobs and saved many lives. Hence the debt was say 100 billion but the increase of tax revenue created by the new jobs and companies brought in 10 times that; this made the upgrades an investment into the US.

        Now it could well be that my take on this is considered as wrong by lots of people, but so what — the point is that people in general are capable of looking at what comes down each road and deciding which vector looks more promising.

      • I agree. I should have specified short term economic consequences were potentially negative. I believe most people who value their autonomy believe such a system creates the most prosperous economy. I know I do.

  26. ‘The CO2 ‘control knob’ appears to be not very sensitive.’

    No and with the PDO heading into negative territory we can expect a new hiatus in world temperatures.

  27. Yet another weirdness about 2020 is that there is a sudden obsession with ozone holes in climate activism. Some kind of frustration maybe that the montreal protocol worked and the climate protocol didn’t. Here’s the latest one.

    https://wp.me/pTN8Y-5Uq

  28. Have you never wondered why emissions are in thousands of millions of tons and atmospheric CO2 is in ppm? After all global warming only responds (or doesn’t) to what is in the atmosphere. Well 2019 emissions were around 39,000,000,000 tons of CO2 which, when spread around the atmosphere and sequestration is just 2 ppm more than 2018. And the rate of change in emissions is minuscule compared to the natural rate of change, so it seems unlikely that the latter is driven by the former.
    And even though carbon footprint is a great slogan it is around 3.6 times smaller in weight than CO2

  29. The latest estimates from the Global Carbon Project suggest that emissions will clock in at 34bn tonnes of CO2 (GtCO2) this year – a fall of 2.4GtCO2 compared to 2019. That’s about a 7% reduction in emissions. 1ppm = 7.8 GtCO2 in the atmosphere. So that’s about 4.4 ppm emitted to the atmosphere. The November 2019 to November 2020 increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is 2.5 ppm.

  30. Can anyone imagine what a 2021 year in review will be like?

    A major tipping point in human endeavor to control mother nature will be the draw-dropping collapse of The Three Gorges Dam:

    An unusually rainy monsoon season was associated with some of the most damaging storms in Asia, where some of the biggest losses were. Over a period of months, heavy flooding in India saw more than 2,000 deaths with millions of people displaced from their homes. The value of the insured losses is estimated at $10bn.

    China suffered even greater financial damage from flooding , running to around $32bn between June and October this year. The loss of life from these events was much smaller than in India.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/science-environment-55416013

    It might not happen in 2021 but who knows what awaits the headlines and video footage in the coming year?

  31. We have not annticipated also that hcq and azt could be so efficient that the Lancet will publish a false study to participate to let the place to remdesivir, a drug expensive useless for covid, and usefull to Gilead business. Gilead has betrayed to much people, this couldn’t be anticipated.

    (Sorry for my english, I am french)

    • I certainly understand what you are saying. Thank you for joining the conversation.

      • Yes. The false studies on the disfavored HCQ were quite alarming.

        There are doctors and patients who now either believe HCQ, zinc cocktail is effective, and the medical research establishment is corrupt, or the cocktail never had efficacy, was a harmful (maybe deadly) Trump hoax. That the studies were set up to ignore the use of the combined cocktail or to be administered only after last resort, insuring failed outcome, showed mal intent. Of course, the positive outcomes in the Henry Ford institute and NYU studies are just left standing with puzzled looks on their faces. Detractors of those studies point out that they were retrospective and open to bias. Maybe so, but formal science was useless in making a determination.

        Remdesivir got carried across the finish line but is now mostly collapsed.

      • The Ford study had a glaring problem: the median age of the treatment group was well below that of the control group. With such a disparity, you would expect the treatment group to do a lot better than the control group – even with no treatment.

        I am not familiar with the NYU study – have a link? Or is it the Zelenko study?

      • NYU May 12, 2020: “The study looked at the records of 932 COVID-19 patients treated at local hospitals with hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.

        More than 400 of them were also given 100 milligrams of zinc daily.

        Researchers said the patients given zinc were one and a half times more likely to recover, decreasing their need for intensive care.”
        https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2020/05/12/nyu-study-looks-at-hydroxychloroquine-zinc-azithromycin-combo-on-decreasing-covid-19-deaths

        Other news May 12, 2020: “Two elite medical journals retract coronavirus papers over data integrity questions” https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2020/05/12/nyu-study-looks-at-hydroxychloroquine-zinc-azithromycin-combo-on-decreasing-covid-19-deaths

        Nov 9, 2020: JAMA study of HCQ as monotherapy finds no efficacy as Covid 19 treatment.

  32. The wide ranges in the models for the Corona virus will have helped many lay persons to understand climate models better. They will now understand that models about 2100 are opinions of the modellers, not facts that are verifiable or falsifiable for perhaps the next 80 years, well beyond the lifetimes of almost all of the modellers.

    • More likely that when the next pandemic hits it will be just a few AI models guiding the response.
      Watch this site (http://cs156.caltech.edu/) for what happens when the vaccine begins to change the spread of the virus.
      The same thing will happen to weather models and then logically extend to long range climate models. Timing is uncertain but AI & ML technology is growing exponentially so it’s more a mater of when not if.
      If you really research why chairman Xi Jinping made that announcement that China was going net carbon zero you will find it’s based on their most advanced climate models and it’s Belt and Road world view – not the economics of fossil fuels. It looks like to me China is going to lead civilization into the next century. Disappointing to me as a classical capitalist but western societies have done a poor job in deploying their intellectual and financial capital over the last few decades.

  33. The 2020 search for the zoonotic origin of SARS CoV2, (the Covid-19 virus), was started by China and ended by China, pointing to a pangolin-crossed bat virus.

    In January the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s bat woman, Dr. Shi Zhengli, published a paper showing that CoV2 was 96% similar genetically to a bat virus found in Yunan in 2013, called RaTG13. But the virus’s spike was very different, making it not spreadable by humans. Thus the search for an intermediary mammal host was launched (by China). Two months later China researchers published the culprit, the Malayan pangolin. Samples from smuggled animals found a genome that was 91% similar to CoV2 and more importantly, a much closer match on the spike protein. News outlets worldwide promoted the question of origin as mostly solved.

    Then almost immediately other international researchers pointed out the obvious conflict as to how pangolin-CoV could have been the source of CoV2 when its ancestor, RaTG13, was a much closer match genomically. The answer was published this month by China researchers. Bats are the reservoir infecting all mammals but that the evolution is driven by re-infection of the bats. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78703-6

    In other words a bat infected a pangolin which then led to adaptation and then, (if natural,) a chance reintroduction to bats by pangolin and then re-establishment, and then human interaction. This leaves us back to the original search for the bat virus, the bat-CoV virus with the RatG13 and pangolin-CoV features that infected Wuhan.

    Questions:

    1) How did the bats infect Wuhan? Are they still out there?
    2) Since there were no bats found in the Wuhan wet market was the initial cases found there just a big coincidence? Or was this a red herring, knowing that wet market smuggled palm civets is where SARS-CoV (2002) was traced?
    3) Is it coincidence that pangolin-CoV was discovered in March 2019, sparking great interest by Chinese virologists, including in the military, and leading to more independent samples being discovered in smuggled animals through the summer of 2019?
    4) Did the 2015 research to produce a SARS virus that could infect humans, funded by an NIH grant to Dr. Ralph Baric through the Univ. of NC and conducted by Zhengli in the WIV, (since it was too dangerous to be in the US), end that type of research when their conclusion (Zhengli-Baric paper) was that making chimera viruses was too dangerous to continue?
    5) When did the Chinese military start collecting bat viruses, as is acknowledged in the WIV database?
    6) Did the WIV stop chimera research once the USA partnership ended?

    Will we ever see the answers to these questions or even see the questions asked by credentialed experts?

  34. Dave Barry has a hilarious 2020 review:
    https://www.miamiherald.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/dave-barry/article247890015.html

    Lots of ads to wade through but it is free.

  35. It looked to me like Linseed Graham Cracker’s crowing over Judge Amy’s supposed determination to ban birth control as thoroughly as in 1983 Ireland prompted women voters to topple anti-choice Republicans. In 1930 and 1932, women voters led by Pauline Sabin selectively toppled “dry” prohibitionists. Once the votes are readily available this hypothesis will be easy to test.

  36. Dr. Curry,
    Excellent list. I know you covered this in #18 but I think this deserves its own bullet: Despite mass lockdowns and ginormous disruptions in economic activity, plus the 90%+ reduction in air travel, CO2 emissions fell a single digit percentage.
    This isn’t just about the CO2 control knob: even if the control knob worked, the notion that massive CO2 output reductions won’t be accompanied by even greather disruption than COVID has induced, is clear.
    Coupled with #5 – it is 100% clear to me that everyone who thinks overall long term reduced CO2 emissions is possible, is utterly deluded.

  37. “Emissions are down, but atmospheric CO2 keeps rising. The CO2 ‘control knob’ appears to be not very sensitive.”

    Especially when CO2 stays in the atmosphere a really long time and emissions are really not down all that much.

    • The half life residence time of atmospheric CO2 molecules is less than 3 years, because about 25% of the CO2 is replaced every year in the great natural flux.

      • Zombie misinformation alert.
        CO2 molecules are readily exchanged so an individual molecule’s residence time is short – a few years, but the plume as a whole is a completely different matter. The plume’s residence time is on the order of hundreds of years and will take tens of thousands to be fully removed by geological processes. In other words not 4 years but, in terms of a human lifetime, forever.
        http://www.acamedia.info/sciences/sciliterature/globalw/residence.htm

    • “…and emissions are really not down all that much.”

      There you have it- shut everything down, halt all commuting, business and vacation travel, and you will get…. “not down all that much.”
      I guess any decline in fossil fuel use was offset by the EU’s mad rush to switch from nuclear to natural gas for electricity generation.

  38. Wishing you, Dr. Judith, a Happy New Year! :)

  39. To me the big thing is that the political divide between the left and right may be as big as 1860. Many of the things noted are just symptoms of this dangerous divide, which may get worse.

    • It is very concerning, indeed. In this case, we have powerful elites in government, academia, media and the world’s largest corporations lined up with marxist-inspired radicals on one side, conservatives of various stripes on the other, and confused moderates who don’t realize that moderation has no place to go. And, the choice of the mainstream media to take sides to an unprecedented degree has made it a lot worse, and driven many on the right to more radical positions, and has destroyed what was left of trust.

    • > To me the big thing is that the political divide between the left and right may be as big as 1860.

      The divide between the left and the right is, arguably, not particularly wide by historical standards. Consider when goons went I to break up striking workers. Consider massive marches in Washington to protest the Vietnam War or segregation.

      What may be unprecedented is the degree to which polarization is aligned along partisan identity. What the implications of that different brand of divide might be – it’s an interesting question. Imo, it mostly means a high level of political disfunction.

      Also, the degree of divide between urban and rural may have particularly unique ramifications.

      • > > To me the big thing is that the political divide between the left and right may be as big as 1860.

        The more I think about this the more interesting it becomes – a conflation of division between left and right with a division between demz and pubz.

        That conflation is an indicator of just how much the divide is between identity orientation more so than values or even views on issues.

        In some ways we’re arguablly LESS split on issues. Pubz have given up their decades of hand-wringing about the debt and deficit, they’ve given up their opposition to government intervention in market economics, they’ve (largely) given up their insistence on discriminating against people based on sexual preference, they’ve given up (largely) their insistence on denying millions access to health insurance. (They’ve evdn fallen in love with a SOSHLIST country – Sweden – that essentially practices euthanasia with older people infected with COVID).

        Yet we’re more divided along partisan identity and people mistake that for being more split among a left/right divide – because they can’t even see values and policy convergence because all they can see is partisan identity. Partisan identify, and the associated hatred, becomes all consuming

      • Joshua mixes analysis with trolling, like usual.

        >”The more I think about this the more interesting it becomes – a conflation of division between left and right with a division between demz and pubz.

        That conflation is an indicator of just how much the divide is between identity orientation more so than values or even views on issues.?

        >In some ways we’re arguablly LESS split on issues. Pubz have given up their decades of hand-wringing about the debt and deficit, ”

        Not true. Trump was less careful about that than most, but the right does care. I suspect the new part of the coalition – blue collar – cares less, but the idea hasn’t gone away.

        And “hand-wringing” is just a sneer at people who understand that federal debt is a serious issue that we have been ignoring too long.

        >they’ve given up their opposition to government intervention in market economics,

        Slightly true – the free trade absolutists have lost their sway. But, the right is still of the opinion that the meddling in markets should be a last resort. Trump is more of a meddler than most, but he too generally is of the opinion that the free market should be free. We all recognize that the free market has edges where it needs correction – such as monopolistic practices, or national security problems such as too much dependence on a hostile power (China, these days).

        >they’ve (largely) given up their insistence on discriminating against people based on sexual preference,

        Never existed.

        > they’ve given up (largely) their insistence on denying millions access to health insurance.

        That’s just trolling.

        >Yet we’re more divided along partisan identity and people mistake that for being more split among a left/right divide – because they can’t even see values and policy convergence because all they can see is partisan identity. Partisan identify, and the associated hatred, becomes all consuming”

        You seem to be blind to the actual characteristics of both “left” and “right.” In the political domain, Dems are naturally left and Repubs are naturally right. It isn’t clear to me how you define left and right, but it seems narrow – economic grounds only.

        The right has undergone significant shifts recently, as has the left. On the right, nationalism has replaced globalism as the dominant philosophy. “America First” has always been the view of the right, for good reason, but it got a bit confused with the nation building wars, and the general attempt to export democracy (which worked after WW-II but not well since).

        On the left, America has become the enemy – at least, the enemy of the vanguard of the left. America is seen as evil, while international institutions (and EU countries) are seen as superior.

        But a very important shift is that the Democrats have become the party of the rich and the masters of the poor, while the Republicans have become more the party the middle. I think this is because “higher education” in the US, where corporate elites come from, has become far left, and has transmitted those values. It is also because the executive class has become so wealthy that they will never feel the pain that the left’s economic and social policies will bring to middle class and blue collar people.

        Republicans, largely because of Trump, have discovered a lot of shared values with the blue collar world. America First, for example, is a shared value – blue collar is largely where military enlisted ranks come from. That shift is going to continue after Trump.

        There is also the cultural domain. The left has been getting ever more radical in their push for intersectional “justice” – classifying people by their sex, their sexual orientation, their “gender identity,” the color of their skin, and their ethnicity, and pushing highly discriminatory policies and truly insane ideologies on people who still hold to the American values as best espoused by Martin Luther King – judge people on their character, not other characteristics. We can see how this aligns with the Democrats by how the Biden administration picks its staff – gotta have someone who is black, gotta have an immigrant background (double win: Harris), gotta have the first gay cabinet member (ignoring Trump’s Grenell appointment), gotta have a native American, gotta have enough females, etc.

        I believe that the culture war being waged by the left is by far the most significant cause of division, and of anger and great concern on the right. Nothing is more destructive to a nation than dividing its people into benefit groups and guilty groups. Nothing is more destructive to a society than devaluing the nuclear family as the source of future generations. In America, religion has always been a social bulwark, but it seems to be hated (and derided) by the left. The substitutes offered are not nearly as healthy for a society, because those who hate religion also don’t understand how powerful American religion is as a secular, community institution (i.e. outside the realm of belief).

      • We have had massive marches by both sides and prolonged riots with looting and burning to boot. The right is convinced that Biden stole the election and he is preaching radical change. A tax revolt would not surprise me, but what I really fear is mass violence at a larger scale than we have already seen.

        I was active in the 60’s. There was never anger like today. It is extreme.

      • > I was active in the 60’s. There was never anger like today. It is extreme.

        You ignored my point. Is there a reason for that?

      • I did not understand your point and since what I did understand was wrong it did not matter.

      • My point is not that there’s less polarization (although you say there is more, merely based on feelings and anecdote and no quantification), but that it isn’t more “left vs. right” polarization, it more polarization along partisan identify – which is different.

        Saying you were active in the 60s is irrelevant – a non-sequitur.

      • The “rioting and looting” was not nearly on a scale of what we’ve seen in the past, many times. The political violence was not nearly on the same scale as we’ve seen many times. But the cross-party antipathy arguably greater. Used to be there was more diversity within parties along the left ==> right spectrum.

      • > The right is convinced that Biden stole the election and he is preaching radical change.

        And this of course is wrong also.

        Trump partisans are convinced that Biden stole the election. There are plenty in “the right” who see that as nonsense – but what’s left in the Pubz party is only that segment of the right that remains in the Trump cult. So you can fairly say that Pubz think that Biden stole the election, but not that “the right” thinks that Biden stole the election.

        Again, we see evidence in your comment of a simple inability or unwillingness or just lack of enough focus to logically parse the difference between “the right” and what’s left of the Pubz party (i.e., the Trump cult).

        Which was my point.

      • Classic liberalism on which the US was founded is in principle about God given inalienable rights to personal freedom. With boundaries set by other people’s freedom. Anything is permissible within that limit.

        In robust democracies we may argue for laws and tax regimes as we see fit – but not everything is up for grabs if we are holding out for economic stability and growth. Economic stability 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.

        The divide between classic liberals and pissant progressives or conservative curmudgeons is economic rationalism or not.

        https://watertechbyrie.com/2016/03/11/all-bubbles-burst-laws-of-economics-for-the-new-millennium/

      • Joe - the non epidemiologist

        Adding to Mesocycle’s comment on the political divide, – one major divide is between the public sector employees – those that receive compensation from payments from the government vs those who receive little in benefits from the government.

        See Steve mcIntyre’s twitter feed for frequent examples of the “elite public sector”

      • Curious George

        RJE, was Germany a “robust democracy” in 1931? Is the US a “robust democracy” in 2020?

      • A perfect example of what is so remarkable how how some people can’t see the ways that alignment aling issues has converfed even as partisans think “the right” and “the left” have become more hostile.

        > >they’ve (largely) given up their insistence on discriminating against people based on sexual preference,

        Never existed.

      • See – exactly what I was talking about re: convergence on issues even as polarization along partisan identification has increased.

        We’ve come so far towards convergence on the issue of discrimination based on sexual preference, that someone on “the right” is so embarrassed by the history of “the right” favoring discrimination based on sexual preference, that s/he can’t even acknowledge undeniable history.

        It follows a similar patten as race-based discrimination as well as gender-based discrimination.

        It’s actually a sign of progress even if it’s less optimal as it would be of more people on “the right” would acknowledge the obvious facts of history.

        But I’m not greedy. I’ll tales meso’s signal of progress even if it is grudging, unintentional, and embedded in an odd form of denial.

      • “We’ve come so far towards convergence on the issue of discrimination based on sexual preference, that someone on “the right” is so embarrassed by the history of “the right” favoring discrimination based on sexual preference, that s/he can’t even acknowledge undeniable history.”

        Joshua – you love to throw insults. Too bad you don’t have facts to back it up.

        “It follows a similar patten as race-based discrimination as well as gender-based discrimination.”

        You mean, the racism of the Democratic Party? And gender based discrimination was hardly owned by the right or the Republicans.

        >But I’m not greedy. I’ll tales meso’s signal of progress even if it is grudging, unintentional, and embedded in an odd form of denial.

        You mean, throw insults.

        Typical for you.

      • meso –

        > Joshua – you love to throw insults. Too bad you don’t have facts to back it up.

        I didn’t “throw” any insults. I said that there is a history of lessening discrimination against people based on sexual preference on the right. That’s a good thing, not an insult.

        > You mean, the racism of the Democratic Party? And gender based discrimination was hardly owned by the right or the Republicans.

        Of course discrimination along any particular line is not ‘owned” by the right or Republicans.

        > You mean, throw insults.

        Once again, I didn’t throw any insults. I certainly didn’t insult you or any particular individual. I described an obvious pattern, over time, of lessening discrimination on “the right.”

        > Typical for you.

        lol. That’s Chief-level unintentional irony.

      • Just in case there are some snowflakes lurking about..

        There has been discrimination based on sexual preference, race, and gender for just about forever. They have been lessening over time.

        They have not existed exclusively on “the right” or on “the left.”

        But clearly they were more prevalent on “the right” and I’d guess that in a relative sense, to the extent that there has been a convergence and I think there has been a convergence, “the right” has moved more to the level where “the left” has been rather than the left moving the same amount (in which case there’d be no convergence), or regressing.

      • Pubz have given up their decades of hand-wringing about the debt and deficit, they’ve given up their opposition to government intervention in market economics…” Joshua

        The unintended irony is that out of control debt and a centrally planned economy remain anathema to economic rationalists. As opposed to economically irrational pissant progressives like Joshua. That is the essential divide – socialism as opposed to free markets in this contemporary version of an old struggle. We endorse economic growth as the moral high ground.

        e.g. https://judithcurry.com/2020/12/27/2020-year-in-review/#comment-937573

        The alternative narrative is a myopic vision involving 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.

        There are ways to a bright future for the planet, its peoples and its wild places – but these need to be consciously designed in a broad context of economics and democracy, population, development, technical innovation, land use and the environment. There is a stark choice in which narratives of catastrophe and economic, environmental and social collapse have no place. Which future is for you and your children? Economic collapse, civil strife, war – or prosperous and resilient communities in vibrant landscapes?

    • What is most disappointing and dangerous is the increasingly dictatorial tendency of the woke as they take over more and more institutions of our culture. This is now affecting science itself as papers are withdrawn because they are correct but might offend the “woke.” They are as aggressive and self-righteous as the pseudo-scientific racism and social Darwinism of the late 19th Century. The difference is that the “professional class” and the “administrative state” are much more powerful and can reach into every aspect of our lives. Resistance is the only viable option and the push back is gaining force.

      • This is absolutely correct. If it continues, we could be facing civil war, or secessions. The woke are playing with fire.

        And civil wars really suck, as do secessions. I wish these arrogant, entitled fools would stop it before they destroy out society and our government.

      • I hope you guys are starting to stock your bunkers.

      • “….dictatorial tendency of the woke…”

        That’s because they are intellectually and morally superior to mortal souls and arrogated the role of moral scold.

        If they weren’t such history illiterates they would know their predecessors were the real heroes and they didn’t bore us with tactics of clubs and vitriol. Because of their lofty goals of saving humanity, the contemporary woke would kill freedom of speech and expression in a millisecond.

  40. Here is my latest article. A review of sorts but not of 2020 as it covers 2013-2018.
    https://www.cfact.org/2020/12/28/wind-and-solar-are-losing-ground-to-gas/

  41. Matthew R Marler

    No idea what lessons to draw here, but it does make me worried about relying too much on a popular vote when the populace is ill-informed about what is at stake and what the outcomes would look like.

    That’s pretty much the problem with democracy. At every level, nearly all decisions are made by the votes of non-experts. But does anyone ever know what the actual outcomes “will be”, instead of “would be”? For GB and Brexit, the outcomes will be created by the voters, and many of the outcomes will be unanticipated by the experts.

    Me, I worry at least as much about decisions that can not be initiated or overturned by voters, despite the fact that I usually vote in the minority (beginning with my vote for Hubert Humphrey for US President.)

  42. Judith

    I find your point 10 about brexit to be quite insulting. There has been an informed debate for some 25 years on the EU and numerous upsurges in public information and debate that related to the various treaties that were signed without the permission of the British people, such as Maastricht. I’ll informed? I don’t think so.

    There was further considerable debate during the 2015 general election campaign in which a referendum was promised and the Cameron govt won precisely because of that promise .

    A debate of enormous proportions then began that lasted some 15 months , that escalated when the referendum was three months away. It took place in every possible medium and at great length and depth so to argue we didn’t know the issues is nonsensical in the extreme.

    In simple terms how would you like it if, without your permission,you found that American laws were being written in chile Paraguay and Argentina and judges from Venezuela and brazil were able to override your laws? That is the position we found ourselves in after 40 years of mission creep as the EEC changed from an economic union to a political one without anyone bothering to ask us if that was what we wanted.

    Many of us had four decades of test driving the increasingly Broken down EU jalopy so we had very practical daily experience of the shenanigans , rules and regulations of this jumped up bunch of bureaucrats, so we knew precisely what we were voting for and had the courage to put sovereignty ahead of ease of convenience, so we were very well ware of the consequences of our actions.

    Perhaps you have been reading too much of the Guardan diatribe of hate against brexit or similar anger from the BBC?

    Tonyb

    • Curious George

      Tony, congratulations to finally making a Brexit, and a happy New Year. Your view is one from the inside. From the outside I saw Theresa Maybe who never managed to make the Brussels take her – or the UK – seriously. Even in 2020 it felt like von der Leyen always thought that Boris was only bluffing. Please remember that the EU elites do not know how to play poker.

    • Tony

      I probably should keep my nose out of this but the sovereignty issue is really about what a society’s values are and their inherent right to establish their preferences for what is most important to them. It’s analogous to having someone tell me what my favorite color ought to be. Those kinds of choices are ultimately a personal choice and there are no absolutes or rights and wrongs. We are having that philosophical battle at home as well, within different contexts.

      The best to the descendants of my ancestors across the pond.

    • You must be joking, tonyb! Informed debate?
      Most of the criticisms against the European Union have always been either lies (claims of the EU banning bent bananas, fish and chips, imperial measures, etc., etc.; the EU imposing laws on the UK; Turkey is going to join the EU and then they’ll ‘flood’ us with illegals) or half-truths uttered by cynical politicians (350 million extra money every week for the health service if we’re not paying it into the EU; workers rights and food safety would be written into law, etc., etc.). And that’s without getting into the scare tactics of immigration, new world orders and anti-white British populism.
      Now that Donald Trump has (nearly) gone, Boris Johnson is going to find himself very alone on the world stage, trying to make deals without any decent cards in his hands.
      As to where the money is going to come from to pay for all the Covid recovery policies, get ready to pay for the privilege of being alone, tonyb. You may think it’s a price worth paying for splendid isolation but there are plenty of British people now who realise they were had and can’t afford to pay the price.

      • JMurphy

        Whether you agree with the decision or not, as we had been a member of the EEC/EU for 40 years I think that some 15000 days of practical every day involvement should mean we know what the organisation is all about.

        It was rejected on that practical knowledge of what it had become, which was far different to what we went into in 1973.

        Let it go, the EU is history and lets look forward to the future not the past

        tonyb

      • “Let it go, the EU is history and lets look forward to the future not the past”

        The classic response from politicians, the elite, and those who don’t want a spotlight shone on dodgy claims! However, I’m afraid that, even if everyone tries to forget and wants to look forward, the mistakes made and the consequences to come will make that very difficult, especially for the younger generations. First global warming, now Brexit – what other problems can we pass on to them?!

  43. All those that didn’t attend/watch EVENT 201 and the January 2020 DAVOS gathering, and didn’t payed attention to the 20 years of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation operations/investments (just for starters! All the rest of the Foundations of the SRF are also coordinating efforts to RESHAPE THEIR PLANET)… were indeed really in the DARK, and still are.

    • More unfair treatment of poor Donald from the leftwing loons in the fake news media.

      He’s so innocent and such a victim.

      It’s not like he does anything to inspire criticism from the press.

  44. Thank you Dr. Curry and the blog post’s commentators for making the 2020 edition of Climate Etc so engaging. Here’s wishing you a Happy New Year.

    “Emissions are down, but atmospheric CO2 keeps rising. The CO2 ‘control knob’ appears to be not very sensitive.”

    Are we back at the “Trace gas radiation transfer model” discussion again? Are the two poorly modeled factors: water vapor and clouds, will they come into their own as control knobs?

    I guess a lot of “walk-back” may be necessary before research dollars/efforts are channelled away from the CO2 control knob story and redirected to other avenues.

    The cancel culture would have to be addressed to minimize their damage on new areas of climate research and researchers. The cancel culture scenario reminds me of people who are innocent of a crime yet have spent decades in jail for that crime. There is just no way to recapture that missing part of one’s life. New faces are needed.

    • Hypothesis without test is just personal opinion. “The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.” https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10712-012-9175-1

      The latest estimates from the Global Carbon Project suggest that emissions will clock in at 34bn tonnes of CO2 (GtCO2) this year – a fall of 2.4GtCO2 compared to 2019. That’s about a 7% reduction in emissions. 1ppm = 7.8 GtCO2 in the atmosphere. So that’s about 4.4 ppm emitted to the atmosphere. The November 2019 to November 2020 increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is 2.5 ppm. Fundamental principles say that this should lead to warming. Check?

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_November_2020_v6.jpg

      Warming should lead to more water vapor in the atmosphere. Check?

      http://images.remss.com/figures/climate/vapor_global60.png

      The Pacific decadal mode modulates global temperature and hydrology. Does positive cloud feedback to sea surface temps play a part? Check?

      https://www.mdpi.com/climate/climate-06-00062/article_deploy/html/images/climate-06-00062-g002-550.jpg
      https://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/6/3/62

      • Robert I. Ellison

        I am afraid my simple mind isn’t following the “Up the Down Staircase” argument.

        “emissions will clock in at 34bn tonnes of CO2 (GtCO2) this year – a fall of 2.4GtCO2 compared to 2019.”

        Then:

        “The November 2019 to November 2020 increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is 2.5 ppm.”

        Aside from the commingling of the metrics of GtCO2 with ppm, have CO2 emissions for 2020 gone up or down? If CO2 emissions are down and atmospheric CO2 are up, if so why? Or, has global temperatures followed CO2, or, CO2 followed global temperatures or it can’t be determined on such movement dependency.

        Enquiring minds want to know.

      • The conversion of emitted GtCO2 to CO2 in the atmosphere is simple enough. Emission this year will be some 34 GtCO2 – or 4.4 ppm in the atmosphere. Down 7% from last year. Concentration in the atmosphere will increase this year by about 2.5 ppm. This should add to warming with a biokinetic CO2 feedback.

        https://watertechbyrie.files.wordpress.com/2020/12/gisstemp.png

        The nonlinear Pacific oscillation both adds to and counters warming – but it doesn’t invalidate greenhouse gas geophysics. .

      • RiH008 …

        The amount of CO2 emissions this year is estimated to be down compared to last year. So, the increase in the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere ‘did’ increase … but at a slower rate. Hope that helps.

        Thanks for the info, Robert. Happy New Year!!!

      • Robert I Ellison

        “Emission this year will be some 34 GtCO2 – or 4.4 ppm in the atmosphere. Down 7% from last year. Concentration in the atmosphere will increase this year by about 2.5 ppm”

        I am really dense, please help me understand. Are the 4.4 ppm in the atmosphere from the 34 GtCO2 emissions reflected in an increase in atmospheric CO2 of another 2.5 ppm? What will the final atmospheric CO2 in ppm be December 31 2020?

        BTW, the recent “see-saw” pattern of global temperatures, particularly the dip between 2017 and 2020 where the atmospheric CO2 was steadily rising also gives me some pause. Namely, a steady forcing should provide a steady response; ie, turning up the heat on the stove should give a steady response; not “see-saw.”

        Your thoughts.

      • The increase in the atmosphere in 2019 was about 2.8 ppm – so not increasing as fast. Hey – how about that?

  45. FDR

    “We may not be able to build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.”

    LA Times article about climate change crisis.

    “Such dire predictions can affect mental health, particularly among young people. Polls have found that climate change-related stress affects daily life for 47% of America’s young adults; over half of teenagers feel afraid and angry about climate change; and 72% of young adults are concerned that it will harm their community.

    Climate depression played a central role in teenage activist Greta Thunberg’s political awakening, and according to Varshini Prakash — executive director of youth-focused climate activism group the Sunrise Movement — it’s not uncommon for her group to meet kids who have contemplated suicide over the climate crisis.”

    Biden weighs in on climate crisis in one of his tweets, that he is going to address it on day one.

    The kids are terrified because of the cabal of climate science activists, politicians and the media. Subtext: let’s all join hands and have a Jonestown Redux.

  46. “18.Emissions are down, but atmospheric CO2 keeps rising. The CO2 ‘control knob’ appears to be not very sensitive”
    Yes indeed, as has been repeatedly seen before.
    1929-1931, a 30% decrease in human CO2 production with no change in the atmospheric CO2 trend, with temperature increasing to 1941, then decreasing through the years of WWII and post-war reconstruction CO2 production. And no significant change in the CO2 slope.

    Clearly, CO2 is not in charge of climate change at this time, at these levels, and we are not in control of atmospheric CO2.

    Climate change is a given, not a problem. CO2 mitigation is a problem, not a solution.

    • ‘Clearly, CO2 is not in charge of climate change …’

      Correct, the main candidates at the moment are the ocean oscillations with a solar connection.

      • In a previous post, I gave other reasons why I think CO2 is not the “Control Knob” of the Climate. As you suggest – I think the IPCC and others ignore the Sun as our primary source of energy. The Sun is a complex interaction of many physical processes and most scientists concentrate on the TSI – Total Solar Irradiance, which measures incoming radiation in the light spectrum (incoming photons of different wavelengths). This ignores other forms of energy from the magnetic forces to the solar wind. People cannot see the magnetic forces and the solar wind shows up in the Northern Lights – which few people ever see.
        Please look at this short introduction to the Grand Solar Minimum, which started in 2020. It has lots of links – if you are interested. I like the Don Easterbrook PowerPoint for an easy start to the topic.
        https://www.dropbox.com/s/9agyyxdbmem4dne/Path%20to%20GSM.pdf?dl=0

      • With respect, Don Easterbrook made predictions earlier this century which turned out to be wrong.

        Why didn’t global cooling begin on time?

        Also, what are the mechanisms involved and the effect on the ground during the first five years of a GSM?

      • I think Don Easterbrook has previous charts that show the hiatus in the temperature record from 2000 to 2020. Maybe this is not cooling but the increase predicted by the IPCC models are clearly incorrect. I still recommend the Easterbrook PowerPoint as a long-term geological look at the impact of the Sun on our Climate.
        For the current effects on the ground look at the Electroverse website. This is not meant to be a scientific paper but reports on broken climate records around the globe.
        For the full story on the analysis of the magnetic signature of the Sun look at the links to Valentina Zharkova. They are not easy (technical and mathematical) reading but the data sources and analysis have been peer-reviewed and published in Nature.

  47. Excellent list, by the way, Judith.

  48. Apparently Trump stalling the Transition of Joe:
    https://rumble.com/vc8wax-biden-dec-28.html

    • Its not like Obama was helpful in the trump transition – especially with the investigation the fake russian collusion

  49. ‘No wonder fall temperatures have stalled. The warm phase of the AMO has peaked and has been heading down since 2008. CO2 is not what is driving the climate.’ Kirye and Gosselin (wuwt)

  50. “ Unpalatability of the ‘precautionary principle.’ COVID-19 illustrates that many people will not follow precautions deemed necessary by policy makers, even when their own lives could be at risk in the near term.”

    This is just false.

    Precautionary principle is not a principle in the sense of Occum’s razor. It has very limited applicability.

    One cannot apply it to a case where the precautionary measure itself has non-negligible costs (in the case of covid19 measures like lockdown, it can be deadly). Otherwise, nothing stops it being invoked to just stay in bed.

    We do many things as a matter of precaution; it is not new.

  51. Judith,

    18.Emissions are down, but atmospheric CO2 keeps rising. The CO2 ‘control knob’ appears to be not very sensitive

    I look forward to your thoughts on this.

    I found this to be an odd conclusion. Firstly, “control knob” refers to CO2 being the dominant non-precipitating greenhouse gas and, hence, playing a key role in setting energy fluxes and, consequently, surface temperatures. Secondly, that atmospheric CO2 has kept rising despite emissions being down is unsurprising. It’s pretty well known that atmospheric CO2 will continue to rise until we get emissions close to 0. A drop in emissions doesn’t imply that we would then expect atmospheric CO2 levels to also start dropping.

  52. “OVERVIEW

    black body temperature

    QUICK REFERENCE
    The temperature that the surface of a body (such as a planet, like the Earth) would be if it were not warmed by its own atmosphere. It can be calculated using the Stefan–Boltzmann equation. The black body temperature of the Earth is -23°C, but the actual surface temperature is about 15°C. The difference (38°C) is the amount by which the planet is warmed by the absorption of radiation within its atmosphere, by the natural greenhouse effect.”
    https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803095509515

    Now we know that the difference (38°C) should be attributed to the
    PLANET SURFACE ROTATIONAL WARMING phenomenon.

    https://www.cristos-vournas.com/446907987

  53. C@ncel culture and the heavy handed social media companies are worrisome. Will it be safe to transmit information in 2021?

  54. Good luck with the book, Judith. Looking forward to the snippets here :)

  55. “Ecosystems support all life on Earth. The healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet – and its people. The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration aims to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean. It can help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent a mass extinction.” https://www.decadeonrestoration.org/

    We are beyond the planetary limits of nitrogen and phosphorus in waterways and on coasts – blue green algae continues to bloom and coastal anoxic zones expand exponentially, oceans are full of plastics, the air with photochemical smog, carbon particulates, sulphate and mercury, the populations of 1,000’s of charismatic species have crashed by 60% on average since the 1970’s – these are the species we know of – we are on the brink of an extinction crisis – we continue to change the composition of the atmosphere transforming ecologies from the Arctic to the Australian desert – with little idea of how the nonlinear Earth system will respond over the course of the century.

    https://www.stockholmresilience.org/images/18.3110ee8c1495db74432636f/1459560224012/PB_FIG33_media_11jan2015_web2.jpg

    If is not as if there are not multiple pressures – and as populations grow with demand for food and energy expanding. The latter is inevitable but the former is contingent on the global response. We talk about climate depression – but there are underlying realities and the way to counter it is to proffer solutions. Thus Greta is a psychologically healthy manifestation in a sick world. Made necessary by an abdication of responsibility we see far too much of.

    2021 sees the start of the decade of ecological restoration – and much of the world is on board. The link is under the quote above. Rattan Lal estimates than 150 ppm of carbon dioxide can be sequestered in soils and ecosystems by 2100. Making many of the arguments of the past 40 years moot.

    • “…oceans are full of plastics…”.

      No they are not. Reckless exaggerations hurt the legitimate cause. Please avoid them!

      Interestingly, surveys of oceans show far too low plastic in relation to what is produced (~ 0.01% of *annual* production). It is puzzling.

      • … and it pours out through a handful of rivers.

        ‘It turns out that about 90 percent of all the plastic that reaches the world’s oceans gets flushed through just 10 rivers: The Yangtze, the Indus, Yellow River, Hai River, the Nile, the Ganges, Pearl River, Amur River, the Niger, and the Mekong (in that order).’

      • This takes denial to fantastic new heights.

      • It isn’t and and it pours our of third world rivers. There is enough plastic in the oceans to be getting on with – and there is a bigger picture.

  56. Geoff Sherrington

    Robert I. Ellison | December 29, 2020 at 8:54 pm |
    This takes denial to fantastic new heights.
    (Video of alleged garbage in the oceans).
    Hi Robert,
    Wishing you a great year for 2021, with the hope that you will imporove your ability to discern actual garbage from invented garbage. Geoff S

    • I sometimes watch a reality show in which helpless Brits are dropped off on a deserted island somewhere or other. And amuse myself with devising ways to distill water or start fires with just the endless flotsam washed up on beaches. Look up starting a fire with an aluminum can.

      And this is yet more of your recalcitrant contrarian curmudgeons rubbish. See how good I am at identifying garbage. I had lots of practice. Almost every one of your comments is just like this and directed to me. I hope you get over your obsession in 2021 and have a actual thought that is relevant, interesting, technically correct and not merely reactionary.

  57. You have to read between the lines, they have been denied the right to fish so to make ends meet they have become recyclers.

    Always keep in mind that propaganda works best when deceit is clothed in truth.

    • I get annoyed with people arbitrarily starting new threads. Either continue where it has a beginning a middle and hopefully an end – or not.

      • Really?

        I thought the article was ‘relevant, interesting, technically correct and not merely reactionary.’

        Also you will note that fishing is forbidden as they try to rejuvenate the river. Within five years they should work out how to capture plastic deeper down and sell the idea abroad.

  58. Judith writes: “Censorship from social media. This is totally out of control and absolutely pernicious for democracy. This seems to be driven by the political preferences of the owners of the major social media platforms.”

    There is a lot of mis-information about internet censorship. I suggest the podcast from the National Constitution Center on Section 230. For those in a hurry, start at 35:45. The NCC was chartered to educate the public on the Constitution (freedom of speech in this case) on a non-partisan and always pairs a liberal expert with a conservative one.

    https://www.constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/podcast/what-is-section-230

    Early in the Internet era, courts ruled that internet platforms couldn’t be sued for what users wrote if they were unmoderated. However courts ruled that platforms were publishers if they moderated, and therefore could be sued for what users wrote. Section 230 was created so that Judith can moderate this blog without being liable for what commenters write. Some key points:

    Repeal of Section 230 could force Facebook to allow porn or be sued for any false libelous statements users publish on its site.

    Without Section 230, when Trump makes a libelous tweet, Twitter would be forced to remove the Tweet or risk being sued by those Trump liable.

    Both guests argue that Section 230 promotes much more vigorous speech, because few would read or comment at this blog if it were completely unmoderated and the blog wouldn’t exist if the host or WordPress could be sued for false statements.

    When Twitter adds warnings to Trump’s tweets, they are acting as a publisher are can be sued for making false statements about Trump’s tweets. Therefore, they said that Trump’s claim of victory on Election night was “disputed”, not that the claim was a lie (which it was at the time).

    • Thanks for that link, Frank. If you have any other on this topic, I’d be appreciative.

      • Joshua: The NCC has hosted at least a half-dozen public forums or podcasts around the subject of freedom of speech on the Internet (and probably a dozen if you want to expand to freedom of speech on college campuses over the past five years: all with an equal number of guests from the Federalist Society and the Constitutional Society. The host, Jeffrey Rosen, apparently wrote one of the first articles about censorship on the Internet more than a decade ago. Some of the guests have worked with Facebook’s or Google’s independent advisory boards and have real world experience with the conflicts they face. Others are prominent critics. Some are libertarians, who think we should let “all flowers bloom” and let the public decide whose nectar to imbibe. One podcast is called “We the People” and the other is “Live at America’s Town Hall”. I listen while exercising, but transcripts are available for some podcasts at the NCC website if you are in a hurry. I like them because I get to decide what to believe after hearing two experts, but when they both agree upon something (as they did about the rational for Section 230 and the consequences of its repeal mentioned above), it makes sense (IMO) to accept their consensus as reasonably accurate.

    • “Early in the Internet era, courts ruled that internet platforms couldn’t be sued for what users wrote if they were unmoderated. However courts ruled that platforms were publishers if they moderated, and therefore could be sued for what users wrote. Section 230 was created so that Judith can moderate this blog without being liable for what commenters write.”

      Section 230 was created in a very different age. There was no monopolistic domination of the platforms of discourse.

      In today’s world, monopolies hide behind the Section 230 shield while they engage in viewpoint based discrimination. Arguably, it constitutes in-kind campaign contributions. In any case, it is toxic and very dangerous.

      When companies can acquire the powers that used to be available only to governments, then they should be required to adhere to the rules of government – in this case, the First Amendment.

      >Repeal of Section 230 could force Facebook to allow porn or be sued for any false libelous statements users publish on its site.

      Porn – yes, if Section 230 was not replaced with something more narrowly airlored.

      Libelous? – as you write above, courts ruled that they could *not* be sued unless they moderated.

      ?Without Section 230, when Trump makes a libelous tweet, Twitter would be forced to remove the Tweet or risk being sued by those Trump liable.

      Again, only if Twitter moderates their platform.

      >Both guests argue that Section 230 promotes much more vigorous speech, because few would read or comment at this blog if it were completely unmoderated and the blog wouldn’t exist if the host or WordPress could be sued for false statements.

      So, tailor a replacement for 230 that doesn’t shields non-dominant platforms.

      On dominant platforms, the ability to create private groups with moderation by the creators of the groups would allow the level of crud to be kept down. That ability exists today, but for it to work right, those moderators would need liability protection.

      • Mesocyclone wrote: “Section 230 was created in a very different age. There was no monopolistic domination of the platforms of discourse.”

        While Facebook is effectively a monopoly that hasn’t been properly restrained by anti-trust law, Twitter is a minuscule company in comparison. Conservatives are already turning to Parler. I wouldn’t be surprised to see conservative alternatives to Facebook and Google search develop. There are already as least as many right-wing news shows available on my cable TV as left-wing ones. Concerns about monopolies only apply to Google and Facebook and extend far beyond freedom of speech.

        No major platform practices viewpoint discrimination. As private companies, they have every right to censor propaganda from the Russian Internet Agency or China. At one point, about one-third of Tweets were being produce by bots, not real people. As private companies competing for users, they have every right to ban porn from their sites, Holocaust Denial, incitement to violence, lies about the danger of coronavirus, and beginning on November 3, Trump’s false claims to having won the election. Trump can suit Twitter as a publisher if Twitter shows reckless disregard for the truth while putting up comments interfering with his Tweets.

        Trump has called Twitter “his megaphone” for speaking directly to his supporters without interference from the press. Twitter isn’t “his megaphone”, it belongs to a modest size private company and is obligated only to consistently apply the rules in Twitter’s terms of service.

        Uniquely in the United States, the Supreme Court has interpreted “freedom of the speech” to mean that “the best solution to the problem of bad speech is more speech”, meaning that our enormously powerful federal government generally doesn’t have the right to ban “bad speech” – unless it incites violence or amounts to verbal assault. Everywhere in Europe, Holocaust denial (and some other subjects) are banned by the government. Our internet platforms operate in Europe and must therefore must follow local speech on their platforms. In the US, private organizations, universities, churches, businesses, AND INTERNET PLATFORMS, are NOT bound by our first amendment. Private organizations regulate the speech of their employees, customers, and members as they see fit, but larger more diverse organizations tend to place fewer constraints on free speech than smaller less diverse organizations.

        The fundamental problem Mesocyclone misses is that very few individuals want to engage in free speech on Internet platforms when “anything goes” and “there is no bad speech” principles are applied. Almost everyone wants to speak or hang out were there is some moderation to prevent me from calling him an ignorant &*^%$@^&!@. If Judy moderate her blog to make it more attractive to users; without Section 230, the courts will treat her as a publisher, making her liable for damages if any user posts a libelous comment. This is how National Review Online got sued by Michael Mann, as a publisher that hosted Steyn’s article about Mann that allegedly exhibited reckless disregard for the truth. Without Section 230, Climate Etc. could be a defendant in the same lawsuit. If Trump posted a libelous Tweet, both Trump and Twitter can be sued.

        Therefore, simple repeal of Section 230 would end the current business model of many internet platforms and destroy “Trump’s Megaphone”. So far, Congress has not been interested negotiating more protection for free speech in Section 230 – the call is for repeal. Congress’s power over interstate commerce allowed Congress to control the prices charged by dominant railways. They can also try to regulate transportation of free speech by dominant platforms in the same way. Mark Zuckerberg is practically begging Congress to regulate speech on the Internet because that will limit options for future competitors to distinguish themselves via more free speech or safer speech, and to steal a share of their market. Dominant companies often “capture” their regulators and use them to suppress competition. From a practical point of view, experts think the right-wing has made more effective use of social media and internet platforms than the left-wing. I don’t think Trump cares about an improved Section 230; he wants “his megaphone” for free to use as he sees fit, he enjoys threatening the business models of his enemies in Silicon Valley and he thrives on claims of persecution that follow their attempts to limit Trump’s most abusive lies. He’s a bully, not a judicious regulator.

        The owners of privately owned platforms are not required to support the creation of small private groups that perform their own moderation. The Russian IRA is a small private group. Do you want Twitter to be forced to host their lies and political subversion? What about similar organizations from China? Qanon? What about Trump urging participants at Charlottesville’s Unite the Right Rally into the streets to protest Election Fraud, where they will be confronted by Antifa and BLM – permitting Trump to declare martial law and hold a new “non-fraudulent” election. The Silicon Valley platforms didn’t let Trump prematurely declare victory on their privately owned platforms and they certainly intend to prevent Trump from using their platforms to initiate a “coup”.

      • “No major platform practices viewpoint discrimination. As private companies, they have every right to censor propaganda from the Russian Internet Agency or China. At one point, about one-third of Tweets were being produce by bots, not real people. As private companies competing for users, they have every right to ban porn from their sites, Holocaust Denial, incitement to violence, lies about the danger of coronavirus, and beginning on November 3, Trump’s false claims to having won the election. ”

        I don’t think you appreciate how invidious that is. As for “No major platform” – that’s utter BS. I have seen YouTube ban, or demonetize, mainstream conservative figures and organizations. I have had my own posts hidden by Facebook, and they were not false, and didn’t come from Russia – and one was satire by a well know satire site.

        You say conservatives have their own platform. Clearly you do not understand the power of network effect. If I leave Facebook for some conservative site, I lose connection with lots of people. And, if we do this as a group, then discourse between conservatives and leftists will suffer as we both hide out in our own bubles.

        Network effect makes some of these platforms natural monopolies, as much as the economics of building power distribution turns electric utilities into natural monopolies.

        You say they have every right – that’s true under current law, which is the whole problem. They are monopolies (including Twitter), but the harm they cause cannot be addressed by antitrust laws, because those laws were focus on price fixing, not the sort of harm done by these companbies.

        They should lose some rights the same way that public utilities do. I’d say: let them be regulated as common carriers, or something similar. They are monopolies in very important areas, and cannot be allowed to duo whatever they want with speech.

      • Mesocyclone: I need to revise my statement. All major platforms published statements say they practice and fully support viewpoint neutrality and never discriminate on the basis of viewpoint. They all have independent advisory boards of free speech experts, some of whom have expressed intelligent skepticism of the company’s ability to practice what they preach. A Facebook “Supreme Court” began operating in September that reviews serious allegations of viewpoint discrimination and its rulings can’t be overturned by the company. I’ve listened to members of such groups talk about their experiences dealing with real world problems.

        https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-54278788

        Do I suspect a liberal Youtube moderator is more likely to ban borderline conservative content as prohibited hate-speech or incitement to violence than analogous liberal content? Absolutely. Do it think moderators routinely censor content they don’t like for no good reason? No, but you can discuss your personal experiences if you want. While trying to find an official statement from Youtube citing their viewpoint neutrality policy just now, I ended up listening to Sydney Powell telling listeners that the software invading voting machines was created by the CIA and smuggled into the US via Venezuela. I found her positively demented, but her (highly dangerous IMO) viewpoint is still available. I can’t claim she actually incited violence to protest election fraud, but she’s making me really uncomfortable about provoking an excuse to declare martial law. She claimed some Twitter accounts have been blocked.

        It appears that some of the platforms tolerance diminished greatly after the polls closed on November 3, which could make some of my information obsolete. The platforms correctly recognized that Trump planned to use fraud and the expected delay in counting absentee ballot to claim victory on Election Night and they were well-prepared to stop the spread of viral misinformation. They let the campaign end under existing policies, but cracked down on outright lies immediately afterwards. I don’t understand where things stand right now.

        Whether or not Twitter constitutes a monopoly depends on how broadly one defines the marketplace Twitter competes in. Every company who creates a unique business appears to be a monopolist in that narrow area, but I doubt the courts will view them as monopolists.

      • this is a stickie

        I don’t collect the anecdotes on censorship of conservatives – they are way too frequent.

        Yes, YouTube censors conservatives routinely, and I am not talking about crazy conspiracy theories (which they also should not censor). Dennis Prager, a mainstream conservative intellectual, has his programs marked as non-suitable for younger people. Many others are censored.

        Twitter is far worse.

        Facebook is the least objectionable, but they do censor – I’ve seen it a number of times.

        None of this censorship is justifiable. It is not censorship of personal attacks or incitement of violence. It is censorship of viewpoints disfavored by the censors. Period. That is true of every of the hundreds of instances I have been aware of.

        None of this should be surprising. Silicon Valley corporations are run by leftists, and their lower ranks are full of raving loon Marxists and other nuts. As one in the industry, I am thoroughly aware of it.

        Look at how Google fired a guy who published a nerdish paper, on their internal BBS, on the idea that women are at least partly underrepresented in technology because they are less attracted to it. That idea should not have resulted in him losing his job, but he was hounded out of the industry for it. As one with a long career in the industry, it is exactly consistent with my observations – fewer women are attracted to technology, and those who are often focus on the human-oriented side of the technology. I say that as one whose mother was a mathematician and engineer.

        Notice how Brendan Eichs, the creator of JavaScript, was forced out of his role as CEO of Mozilla (creator of the Firefox Browser). Eichs’s “sin” was that years earlier, he had contributed $100 to a winning voter referendum in California to prohibit gay marriage. His “sin” – I use that word advisedly – was only discovered when someone – never punished – illegally revealed to donation roles of an organization favoring the referendum.

        Silicon Valley corporations are run by leftists (with a few exceptions, such as Oracle), and populated by far leftists. They have the power to censor, and it should hardly be surprising that they censor, and even deny service to conservatives.

      • Mesocyclone: I think you should think more broadly about the issue of “censorship” by privately owned internet platforms that have pledged to protect viewpoint diversity and have taken serious efforts via oversight boards to deal with the inevitable problem that the rules need to be enforced by biased human.

        Firstly, as one libertarian comment pointed out on one the the NCC’s excellent podcasts on this subject: If the company’s aren’t allow to censor/moderate, THEN THE GOVERNMENT WILL HAVE TO DO IT. Most of the people working for the government are as liberal as the those in Silicon Valley and the government is far worse at almost everything than private companies. You can complain about moderation/censorship by Internet Platforms – but what is the alternative? The Federal government? No. The First Amendment. No, that allows me to respond to your [poorly informed] comments by insulting your mother and posting her [allegedly] naked picture. Or much worse. Yes, if you could identify me, you might be able to defend yourself by threatening a lawsuit, but in reality you would simply self-censor by not speaking at all at an unmoderated forum.

        I didn’t say the conservative already have their own platforms. I predicted that such platforms will evolve in response to publicity about the some inevitable failures to practice viewpoint diversity and false claims of censorship by those who arguably crossed the line. Long ago, we used to have three or four liberal sources of news and then Fox came along and exploited the unmet demand for a conservative viewpoint. Now there are as many conservative news channels as liberal ones and none or them make the slightest attempt to practice viewpoint diversity. The liberal channels fail to live up to their ideals of viewpoint diversity.

        The libertarian position is to keep the government out of internet platform moderation/censorship and let customers and the market gradually determine what systems work best. Of course, the original platforms from Silicon Valley have an immense lead at the moment (the free market at work), but that will erode. Libertarians assert that Mark Zuckerberg is encouraging Congress to legislate and get regulators involved to prevent competition from developing. A huge investment in censorship software and legal staff will be needed before any competitor can enter a government censored marketplace.

        Given the waning but still significant idealism of the Silicon Valley founders and the ability of conservatives to make valuable political use of alleged and real persecution and censorship, right-wing conservative are probably not net losers as things are today. Moderation/censorship has probably limited calls for and real violence in the streets and prevented the most outrageous aspects of “stop the steal” reaching the attention of the MSM, which is trying to ignore the issue. If you look at the trend over the last four elections, we’ve gone from the Dem’s running the most liberal Senator (Obama) and the Republicans running a centrist (McCain) who wanted to make a Dem his VP; to the Dems rejecting Bernie for a centrist (Biden) and the Republicans running a radical conspiracy theorist. I’d say the extreme right-wing is winning the war on social media.

      • “Firstly, as one libertarian comment pointed out on one the the NCC’s excellent podcasts on this subject: If the company’s aren’t allow to censor/moderate, THEN THE GOVERNMENT WILL HAVE TO DO IT. ”

        Libertarians also vote for a candidate that cannot possibly win, and preen about it. Libertarians imagine they live in the world of Libertopia, or that it is just around the corner. And the funny thing is that the left lumps Libertarians into “the right.”

        No, the government will not have to do it. The government in the US is limited by the First Amendment (among other things). The government can only censor in sharply limited areas – such as threatening speech.

        As for letting the “free market” solve the problems… so Libertarians don’t think electric and water utilities should be regulated, because the “free market” will solve the issues? The big Internet companies are just as entrenched monopolies as electric and power utilities. They are “natural monopolies”, a term Libertarians should seek to understand.

      • Frank –

        > Do I suspect a liberal Youtube moderator is more likely to ban borderline conservative content as prohibited hate-speech or incitement to violence than analogous liberal content? Absolutely

        You seem to think this is highly likely and a non-stater that it exists. Could you give an example, hypothetical or a real example, where you’d say that would happen? .

      • Mesocyclone: Dennis Prager testified about his censorship by Youtube, but he apparently was only denied access to a subpopulation of Youtube users, children. Furthermore, his situation has apparently been taken up by Google’s external free speech advisors. I remember seeing dubious, but not-necessarily-worthy-of-censorship material from Prager U. The myths he promotes about Confederate status and the “good people on both side” in Charlottesville at particularly obnoxious and subversive. Americans don’t have a tradition of celebrating their great military leaders by erecting statues of them unless they become President. There are few if any statues of Greene, Scott, Sherman, Pershing, Patton, MacArthur, Ridgeway or Schwarzkopf and certainly no statues of losers like Westmoreland. The ubiquitous statues of Robert E. Lee were not erected to honor him as a great general; they were erected well after the Civil War as POLITICAL SYMBOLS of Southern victory: over the multiracial democracy the victorious North tried to impose on the South via military occupation, over the 14th and 15th amendments, and over the idea that slavery was the cause of the Civil War (rather than the just cause of state’s rights).

        Prager’s defeat of Trump’s statement that there were good people on both sides in Charlottesville is a bad joke. He named one self-proclaimed good person who drove all night from Wichita came to Charlottesville to protect Lee’s statue, Michelle Piercy (according to the NYT). Sheer idiocy. Anyone who traveled that far for the cause must have been a fanatic. Indeed, she turn out to be a member of and traveled with a group from the Wichita chapter of American Warrior Revolution. If my personal internet platform company were involved, I would love the flag this stuff as nonsense – not because Prager isn’t entitled to his opinion, but because his facts are wrong.

      • You write: “Mesocyclone: Dennis Prager testified about his censorship by Youtube, but he apparently was only denied access to a subpopulation of Youtube users, children. Furthermore, his situation has apparently been taken up by Google’s external free speech advisors. I remember seeing dubious, but not-necessarily-worthy-of-censorship material from Prager U. The myths he promotes about Confederate status and the “good people on both side” in Charlottesville at particularly obnoxious and subversive. Americans don’t have a tradition of celebrating their great military leaders by erecting statues of them unless they become President. There are few”

        “Children” meaning youth – his target audience. That Prager is still having his stuff censored years later tells you that he is being effectively censored. That you think it is okay because you don’t approve of his material says all we need to know. You do not understand the value of free speech, if you don’t like the content of the speech.

        There is no myth about “good people on both sides” – it is a fact, a simple fact. There were also bad people on both sides, perhaps more bad people on the “save the statues” side.

        Your rant about statutes is – well, it’s a rant – it has no relevance to the topic of censorship. But to answer it: statues are part of history. Tearing them down is an act of censorship akin to the Taliban blowing up Buddhas – it has no value, and is only done to assert power. At least the Taliban had a religion on their side… oh wait… the cancel culture *is* a religion, and a very puritan one at that.

      • Mesocyclone: I’ll make one last try, because I think you are smarter than your comments so far.

        The First Amendment – as currently interpreted by the Supreme Court – prevents federal and local governments from making laws that distinguish between good and bad speech – although there are some exceptions (libel, inciting violence, verbal assault). We do so because: 1) the state (unlike private organizations) has the awesome power to imprison or fine, and 2) democracy is based on the idea that ordinary people are capable of learning enough about their government and public policy from the “fire-hose” of unregulated free speech to elect on the average better leaders than are produced by totalitarian systems of government. Free speech is essential to educating the public. Nevertheless, all other major democracies regulate speech far more than we do. In much of Europe, Holocaust denial is a crime. Speech is regulated everywhere, but least in the US.

        Free speech is commonly regulated in the private sector and the government generally doesn’t interfere. Experience shows that unregulated private spaces quickly become crowded with bullies, porn, and other unacceptable behavior. Look what the left does when a provocative conservative speaker comes to a liberal college campus. They get shouted down. And some minorities are bullied on college campuses. For this reason, colleges place more limitations on free speech than governments do. The fact that colleges do a lousy job of regulating speech does not change the fact that some regulation is needed. The problems illustrate the difficulty that confronts all private regulators of free speech.

        Porn, trolls and cyber-bullies are the reason everyone’s business models for sponsoring and profiting from speech and communication on the internet involve some form of moderation, a form of censorship. Few of us would be here at Judith’s blog if trolls and cyber-bullies were allowed to run wild. That’s reality. Facebook would never have become the major communications hub it is today without the ability to protect users (especially children) from abuse. It wouldn’t exist without the right to moderate/censor. The same goes for Twitter. That’s reality. When you sign up to used these platforms, you agree to play by their rules.

        If WordPress or Judith moderate, they are considered publishers. Without the protection of Section 230 (or some revision thereof), they can be sued for libel if they fail to remove libelous comments from users. They won’t exist without the ability to moderate/censor.

        If moderation/censorship is essential to today’s internet platforms and blogs, either the owners of those private entities are going to set the rules for moderation/censorship or the government will need to be involved. That’s reality. That is the choice you are unwilling to face. By totaling eliminating Section 230, you will be getting rid of all of the public communication/speech being made via Facebook, Youtube, and blogs.

        Your solution to the problem of moderation/censorship of privately owned internet platforms is to get the federal government involved in how they moderate/censor.

        Yes, governments do regulate natural monopolies like railroads, electricity distribution grids and so on. And we all know they do a horrible job of doing so. Those regulated businesses are grossly inefficient. Regulated companies are allowed [guaranteed] a minimum return on invested capita – incentivizing companies to make the largest possible capital investments. Regulators offer priority higher prices to unreliable “green generators” whose intermittency raises costs for other producers who are relegated to meeting variable demand. Part of Texas successfully de-regulated its electricity grid. Airlines were deregulated. You better be darned sure that government regulation is the BEST solution to the problem of moderation/censorship on the internet, because it’s hard to get rid of. I mentioned the libertarian perspective (the market will evolve to provide what is needed and be superior to government regulation) only because it is a viable alternative worth considering. It won’t fix the problems you see immediately. When someone proposes revision (not repeal) of Section 230, you will be exposed for the first time to what government regulation could entail. Examine it carefully. The government can fine you or put you in jail; private companies can only close your account. Expect implementation to be far from ideal.

        The problem is that most of us hear only one side of an issue. Listen to experts of different persuasions who deal with free speech issues, especially those who have been recruited by internet platforms to help them deal with real world problems involving viewpoint neutrality. The NCC will provide you with a forum dedicated to non-partisan education on constitutional issues where, for example, an expert who has been representing plaintiffs in college free speech cases is respectfully exchanging views with another expert serving on Facebook’s independent review board.

      • You have not told me anything I didn’t already know before I made my point.

        If you can offer nothing other than to leave it as it is, I will consider that you do not perceive the magnitude of the danger.

        Government action is *always* a tradeoff between dangers or between outcomes. That is an obvious fact. And yes, government is slow and ugly, among other things. And I agree with you the government action is a last resort.

        But, government action is required for some situations. Antitrust is one of those, but antitrust, as the laws are currently written, is inappropriate to apply to giant tech, since they charge nothing for their “service” – we, the public, are not the customers, we are the commodity that is sold.

        You have not addressed the network effect, without which, this would not b3e much of a problem. Another issue I didn’t raise that is relevant is the international nature of these corporations, which greatly increases their power over the citizens of any country they choose to mistreat.

        So… do you have anything to offer other than the usual platitudes? If government action as a last resort is out, then are we just stuck with these arrogant, insensitive but all powerful corporations? Is it okay to have these robber barons control our political discourse, even as they engage in the long traditional, legal bribery of our politicians?

      • Mesocyclone wrote: “You have not told me anything I didn’t already know before I made my point. If you can offer nothing other than to leave it as it is, I will consider that you do not perceive the magnitude of the danger.”

        I offered you links to listen to experts on both sides who make their living dealing with freedom of speech issues, so of whom work with major internet platforms to help them create their rules and some who criticize them. I suspect you hear only one side of the issue. The things I like most about National Constitution Center podcasts is they don’t sell one side of the story: You listen to both sides of the story and decide what to conclude for yourself. Usually I can’t decide with any certainty which side won, but my pre-existing prejudices remain along with a much better understanding and empathy for why “my side” may not win.

        “Government action is *always* a tradeoff between dangers or between outcomes. That is an obvious fact. And yes, government is slow and ugly, among other things. And I agree with you the government action is a last resort.

        And when there is some legislative proposal, we can debate its merits. The devil is in the details. Trump is an idiotic bully trying to attach an absolute repeal of Section 230 to must-pass legislation in the waning days of his administration to punish his enemies. Everything is always about what is good for him personally and impulsive.

        “But, government action is required for some situations. Antitrust is one of those, but antitrust, as the laws are currently written, is inappropriate to apply to giant tech, since they charge nothing for their “service” – we, the public, are not the customers, we are the commodity that is sold.”

        I think anti-trust needs to be reformed to deal with these Tech giants. The profit margin of corporate America has more than doubled since 2000 (and rose during the Great Recession), which tells me that something is out of balance: either labor is too weak to demand a “fair” fraction of the sales price (which is not the problem in the well-compensated tech industry) or competition is not reducing prices to a “normal” profit margin adequate reward investment. And since profit margin has doubled, the value of the stock market (at constant P/E) has doubled and so has “income inequality”. Since increasing the power of labor horrifies me, I’m looking for increased competition via more vigorous and effective anti-trust to drive down prices for everyone, and minimize the threat that leftists will use the issue of income-inequality to destroy capitalism. With their high profit margins and “natural monopolies” and dubious consolidation, big tech is a great place to start. It will be hard to fashion new effective rules, both for anti-trust and for freedom of speech. Since the tech industry moves quickly and the government slowly and incompetently, I’m hoping that competition provides choices to deal with freedom of speech issues.

      • In general, we are actually in agreement.

        And I don’t get “one side” of this? Heck, I’m *in* the tech community. You don’t need to do a lot of reading to recognize the danger of censorship of large platforms. I don’t need an expert to tell me that.

        As to how to change it – yes, that’s more complex. But you are misinterpreting things if you think that Trump’s attacks on Section 230 were really just to eliminate it. Those attacks were to highlight the problems with it – it’s a normal rhetorical technique.

        Trump isn’t a detail guy, he’s a big picture guy. The big picture is that 230 has given the largest monopolies of history, who control the largest communications means in history, the freedom to censor the world’s communications according to whatever they want. And, since big tech is almost all controlled by leftists, and populated by far leftists, they all have the same perspective. Hence, we see censorship justified by racist comments (definition in the eye of the all powerful beholder), incitement to violence (as we have seen with the Capitol rally, one man’s incitement is another’s mere rhetoric), “hate speech” – a made up term by leftists that is so vague that it can be used against anything controversial.

        I know in depth how the Internet works. It is not hard for them to shut down almost all communication of large groups, because most people are not die hard activist who will do the work to get around the roadblocks. If you pressure platforms, platform providers (web hosting services, WordPress, etc), content delivery networks, Internet Service Providers, and DNS providers, you can lock folks out very thoroughly. The original idea of the Internet – built by idealistic academics – no longer applies. The modern Internet makes it about as easy to shut someone out as it would have been in the past to pull their telephone service.

        So when Reddit censors r/donaldtrump, which they just did, they left 70,000 or so people suddenly without the communications they had. Those folks can’t even use the forum to organize movement elsewhere, if they could find a good alternative. A sudden ban like that is brutal.

        Some say: start your own service. Right! Parler is that, and the Apple/Google duopoly is banning their app, thereby crippling them. And any app one writes that would provide access to it would get that app banned. I know – among many other things, I have an app in the marketplace, and I read the dictatorial “agreements’ app developers are bound b. Those are almost identical between Apple that utterly controls app access to iOS, and Google, which controls access to most apps on Android, and controls services that are important are are limited to apps that come from their store.

        Can you see how dangerous this concentration of power is? The tech community have nearly the power of Xi in censorship – the only difference is that they can only put people in Internet laogai, rather than a physical one.

      • Blue Ridge Weather

        So you want big government to prohibit companies from being able to ban users that violate their terms of service?

  59. TonyB is correct. Dr Curry demonstrates ignorance about Brexit, but this is not surprising. A great many Americans and other nationalities do not grasp the fact that over four decades the EU took over most of the law making in the UK and in all other EU member states. Let me spell it out for you, so that there is no mistake.

    The unelected EU commission has control over the following: all trade within the EU and with the rest of the world, agriculture, fishing, aviation, shipping, railways, road transport, pharmaceuticals, medical protocols, medical implants, food standards, food manufacture, labelling, industry, energy, environment, consumer protection, competition rules, social policy, freedom, security, justice, research and technology, employment law, tourism, health improvement, aspects of education and so on. The EU calls these “competences”, areas in which the EU has supreme control.

    Can you imagine the US allowing an unelected political construct in a foreign country to take control of these areas in return for access to free trade? It took four decades and a tactical error by David Cameron for UK voters to get a chance to vote on this democratic outrage. Read the above list again and then ponder on whether it was a “populist vote with the populace ill-informed about what was at stake.” Yes, the process was a mess but that was due to the incompetence and treachery of politicians.

    In the first minute of 2021 UK time, the UK will take back sovereignty in the areas listed above. That is what was at stake in Brexit.

    • You miss the point I made about Brexit. The vote was taken before adequate information was available, resulting in many people not voting and being ill informed and massively muddled response by policy makers. I am personally sympathetic to the broader concerns and objectives of Brexit.

      • judith

        With great respect we have had 40 years of practical day to day experience of this organisation.

        We had wall to wall coverage of the issues for 18 months with a frenzy of detailed information for the last six months. No electorate was more briefed and knowledgeable than the referendum electorate and NO ONE else also had the benefit of living with the organisation they are voting on for up to 40 years!

        If we were not able to make an informed vote then I would suggest that no one in the entire history of democracy has been able to either

        tonyb

    • Peter and Tonyb: While I completely sympathize with frustration with the amount of power Britain ceded to the EU, your situation is a familiar part of American history. Thirteen independent states agreed to give up local power to “form a more perfect union” – a federal system analogous to the EU. With 50 states and 330 million, the US is fairly comparable union to the EU, with 27 states and 450 million people. Thankfully, we have a single language (mostly) and have only fought one internal war. In addition to the massive power wielded by the executive branch of the federal government (which is responsive to elections every four years), we have a host of semi-autonomous agencies and rule-making agencies whose leadership is insulated from control of the executive branch to varying extents, the Federal Reserve, FDIC, SEC, CFTC, CFPB, EAC, FCC, FTC, NLRB, ODNI, CFTC, ITC, …

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_agencies_of_the_United_States_government

      Furthermore, our Supreme Court unilaterally decided that it could declare unconstitutional any law written by Congress and signed by the President. They also arbitrarily decided that they could apply the Bill of Rights to limit the rights of state governments, not just the federal government, as originally intended. And the “due process of law” clause allows the Supreme Court to review just about any action of state court that it sees fit.

      The biggest problem I see with the narrow Brexit vote is that Brexit was a nebulous concept that could be described by both supporters and opponents is unrealistic terms. Would a majority of Britons have approved: A realist Brexit that left a customs border between the two parts of Ireland or between Northern Ireland and the rest of Britain? A Brexit that will impose as much damage to the financial industry – the heart of the British economy – as the Brexit that has still been only partially negotiated? That devalued the pound by 10(?)%. A Brexit that now appears likely to lead to the loss of Scotland? I think the Brexit referendum should have been structured in two parts: First, authorization to begin negotiations. Second, a referendum to approve the best Brexit the government could negotiate. A two-part referendum certainly had the drawback of allowing the EU to adopt a hard line in negotiations that could result in an unattractive Brexit that couldn’t win approval in a second referendum. However, the painful process Britain has been through is clear evidence that the vision of Brexit that was approved by the voters wasn’t a vision that could be implemented by the governments. Normally, citizens want elected officials to do the ugly sausage-making of governing and retain the ability to vote out the bastxxxx when we don’t like the way the sausage tastes. When voters are offered the opportunity to make the sausage, they end up voting for tasty, low-calorie sausage that costs 10% as much as today’s sausage. (Reliable, cheap, well-paying-job-creating, green energy, for example.)

      On the other hand, I totally sympathize with your desire to go your own way. In particular, I believe Americans have the right to determine who is allowed to enter our country and become citizens. Immigration exists for the benefit of Americans, not foreigners. And while I may personally believe that American immigration has been stealing many of the hardest working, optimistic people in the world and growing our economy. However, maintaining a feeling of national identity and unity comes first. History teaches that backlash follows “excessive” immigration. In a democratic government the people decide what is “excessive” and respond to their mistakes (including our exclusion of Jewish refugees during WWII, some of whom built the amazing country of Israel). Survival of the fittest has endowed all humans with a strong innate sense of tribal identity that can’t be ignored and can be partially overcome only by voluntary reasoning. The Schengen Agreement was a triumph of idealism over tribal reality. The Euro may also be impractical as a common currency for diverse people. As an American, I’m grateful for the special relationship between our two countries and wouldn’t think of advising you how to VOTE on such difficult decisions. Hopefully, reliable information about the American experience dealing with such issues is not resented.

      • Frank

        Thanks for your thoughtful comments. This is of course a Debate that had been carried on for a quarter of a century. We were refused permission to vote on those treaties that in effect changed the organisation we belonged to, from a free trade area to a political entity. These dated back to 1992

        The referendum was in effect structured in two parts. The negotiations commenced in 2013 .

        We were promised a vote on the results of the negotiations if Cameron won the 2015 general election. To his surprise he won it outright.

        More negotiations with the EU then commenced in 2015/16, who again negotiated in bad faith not believing a state would ever decide to leave. The elite of britain also did not believe we would leave.

        The considerable ins and outs of what Cameron asked for and what the EU offered is here

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/19/eu-deal-what-david-cameron-asked-for-and-what-he-actually-got/

        The subsequent votes in general elections and european elections were a demand by the british electrate that the elites in both Europe and Britain actually did what they were told to do and eventually they have done so.

        We were fully aware of all the consequences of our actions

        Tonyb

      • Thanks for the reply, Tony. Any comment on the recent poll showing 39% now support Brexit and 51% regret it? If one could interpret the 10% who didn’t answer as accepting the reality of Brexit, then a 3% erosion of support+acceptance of Leave doesn’t seem like appreciable “Buyer’s Remorse”. If one interprets it as a 12% loss of support, then something like 20% of those who voted for leave have Buyer’s Remorse for some reason – assuming you trust the poll and it wasn’t influenced by temporary difficulties. It’s hard to believe the process has taken longer than the Trump presidency and is still underway.

        I gather some are unhappy with Northern Ireland remaining in the EU customs union and the imposition of a customs wall across the Irish Sea.

      • frank

        A poll isn’t an election.

        The pols were wrong in 2010 (GE) 2015( GE) 2017 (GE) 2016 (referendum) 2019 GE 2019 EU elections plus many local elections.

        People say one thing and vote another probably because we are so fed up with pollsters spinning stories. The vast majority of people tell the pollsters they want ever more harsh lockdown measures but I see precious little evidence of that in the real world. The only thing that matters is the actual election

        I expect most people like me are utterly sick of the protracted political shenanigans over the last four and a half years and this is their way of telling the pollsters to shove off and sticking their fingers in their ears

        tonyb

      • Tony: Sorry to set you off about polls. Always the skeptic about what I read, your confident statement that Brits fully understood what they would be getting from Brexit prompted me to realize there must be polling data on this subject. (I’m sure you knew.) As you note, the value of the information produced by polls is another subject. I enjoy this definition of statistics: Getting meaning from data.

        Obtaining “meaning” or value starts with recognizing that an ideal random poll of 1000 people has a 95% confidence interval of +/-3%. And when the “meaning” you are seeking is a CHANGE in opinion, that confidence interval expands to +/-4.2%. Obtaining meaning then moves on to the difficulty of obtaining a random representative sample. Apparently only about one out of twenty people who are called by pollsters actually respond today – guaranteeing that responders are an unusual subset of the population in at least one regard. As you suggest, some may now be choosing to sabotage pollsters, but I suspect few do. Importantly, if a pollster uses the same methodology and fairly asks EXACTLY the same question, his assessment with constant biases of CHANGING opinion should be meaningful. Under ideal circumstances, the reported shift in opinion about Brexit would be meaningful. Deciding what to think about the 10% who didn’t answer is difficult, and acceptance or tolerance of Brexit are real possibilities.

        Election polls predicting the outcome of a single race (sampling “likely voters” and accounting for undecided) are far more challenging than opinion polls (sampling the entire population). When your national leader is selected by the outcome of many individual races, the problem of prediction is even more complicated. British elections with four parties are even more challenging than ours. Despite being run by liberals, fivethirtyeight.com is sophisticated CONSUMER and CRITIC of polls and useful for getting “meaning” or value out of polls. For US presidential elections, they use a Monte Carlo calculation that combines recent weighted-by-past experience polling data, confidence intervals from previous election polls, historic correlation between state polling errors caused by errors in predicting subpopulation turnout, undecided voters, and possibly other factors. In 2016, their Monte Carlo calculation gave Trump a 25% chance of winning, but only a 10% chance in 2020. In 2016, Trump won four states with 95 Electoral Votes by 0.3-1.2% and narrowly lost three states totaling 12 Electoral Votes and MN with 10 EV by 1.5% (with 7% to minor candidates). Under the circumstances, their Monte Carlo approach did a reasonable job of extracting “meaning” from 2016 polling data. Nate Silver’s preliminary assessment was that 2020 polling data was so bad that he no longer had confidence in his approach to obtaining meaning from polling data, but he said that months of analysis of exit polls and final results were needed to understand how badly things went wrong. Part of the problem was that 20% more Americans voted in 2020 than ever before (31% more in AZ than 2016), many more voted with mail-in ballots, and several Mid-West states and some sub-populations were ridiculously far off.

        Interestingly, fivethirtyeight.com had a model that allowed users to pick the winner of 1 to15 battleground states and see how their choices influenced the model output. Simply assigning one state, Pennsylvania to Trump (a state he was predicted to lose by 3%) increased Trump’s chances of winning from 10% to 60%, because errors in PA polls correlate with errors in other critical nearby states. The final margin in PA was 1.2%. Silver tried to explain to readers that a 90% chance of Biden winning didn’t mean that Biden would win. It meant that Trump had a 10% chance, and that betting $1 on Trump to win $100 would have been a big money winner if it could be repeated many times.

        A post-it with notes from reading 538.com is still taped to my computer. 2016: 306 EV for Trump. 281 EV after Trump loses WI and MI (which appeared inevitable given the polls and over-confidence on my part). If Trump managed to win PA, Biden would need to win one of two toss-up states: GA (Trump losing with 264 EV) or NC (265), while winning toss-up AZ could produce a tie (at 279 EV). As bad as the polls were, I still got a reasonably accurate picture about the election. Despite all of their problems, polls are data and I feel I managed to extract valuable information from them when I properly accounted for their uncertainty and/or limitations. As scientists, we should rationally value all data and not let our personal biases mislead us. A US senator once famously said: We are all entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts. Data – once you account for uncertainty and the possibility of systematic error – are facts and polls are data. I find today’s disdain for facts and experts particularly disturbing (despite being at a climate skeptic blog).

        Respectfully, Frank

    • It is difficult to understand what’s happening in someone else’s country from afar. Tony has expressed confusion about what is happening here in the US with the election, but of course he doesn’t live here. We have our version of the ‘elites’ in the US. Some are politicians on both sides of the isle, the Chamber of Commerce, international business men who like to ship our jobs overseas, and the list goes on. Trump stood against that collection of Dr. Evils and I might note he was all in for Brexit. That’s not a coincidence.

  60. No country had ever left the EU before and neither the EU or the UK knew how Brexit would end. That part is true. But that was factored in by the electorate. For example, some who were concerned about personal financial certainty and security voted to remain, despite disliking the EU.

    Generally, those who were most concerned about sovereignty wanted to leave whether or not it would have a financial cost.

  61. What, no point about Bill Gates’ plan to pollute the atmosphere to prevent global warming? How will that affect northern latitudes? Will solar panel lose effectiveness? Will fish die?

  62. Sea level rise acceleration:

    https://www.sealevels.org/

    Around 3.3 mm/year. It wasn’t that long ago this was acceleration and ominous.

  63. Philanthropy is a minor part of the global economy – but if focused effectively can change many lives. And to be pragmatic – better maternal health and child survival – along with better education for women and girls – is the most effective way to rein in population growth.

    https://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/sites/default/files/styles/full_width_content/public/copenhagen_consensus_-_maternal_and_newborn_health_booklet-page-003.jpg
    https://www.copenhagenconsensus.com/publication/cost-effectiveness-maternal-and-newborn-health-interventions

    From Bjorn Lomborg’s latest newsletter – https://mailchi.mp/lomborg/jbpl570n9d-623812?e=b51ec965d8

  64. As one living in the USA, it was and is difficult for me to understand why BJ kept crawling back to make a deal when no-deal looked so attractive. Could one of you Brits clarify?

    • jim
      The EU side did just as much crawling.
      It was always going to be last minute.
      After 4 years of pantomime, real negotiations only began a month ago.

    • Because Donald Trump will not be president in a week or so and Boris has no other big friends to give him a fall-back solution. I.E. without Donald, Boris has no cards to play and needed an agreement, so he blinked.

      • What with the 5th largest GDP, it seems the UK could make a stand on its own with President Trump as a backstop. They have a lot of negotiating power as is. I’m not sure I understand why Trump as President would matter so much. I’m sure a Dimowit admin would want to make a trade deal with the UK in any case, but they have become a bit haywire lately, so nothing’s in the bag with them these daze.

      • “As long-standing friends of the United Kingdom, the United States respects their decision,” Biden said. It’s “not how we would have preferred it to be, but [we] respect their position.”

        Trump — “It’s a great thing. It’s going to be great. I think it’s a fantastic thing.”
        “If you don’t get the deal you want If you don’t get a fair deal then you walk away,”

        As for a trade deal between the US and UK he said he would “work on it very, very quickly.” “I’d go all out,” “It would be a great advantage for UK.”

        Now, Boris has no Donald and, sooner rather than later, he will have no UK! He is the only British prime minister I can think of who is opposed by all parties in Northern Ireland – not surprising when they, and the Scots, voted against Brexit.
        Boris got his ‘independence’ from Europe by sacrificing the United Kingdom. Genius.

      • Jmurphy

        The vote was a nationwide one, not by county or country. London also voted out so do you suggest they can go their own way? We need to abide by the democratic majority of the entire UK not bits of it.

        The Union has endured for hundreds of years and will endure long after the EU has continued its slide into irrelevance

        tonyb

  65. If climate deniers could study and understand the airborne fraction issue in climate science, they would deny no more.
    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/12/29/climate-scientist-explains-the-carbon-budget/

    • So CO2 in the atmosphere hovered between 260 and 280 ppm over the Holocene and the increase to 415 ppm since 1800 AD is not related to the industrial revolution? I am all in favor of the industrial revolution – but we need to do it smarter.

      https://notrickszone.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Holocene-CO2-10500-Years-Ago-to-1800-AD.jpg

    • What’s your definition of a “climate denier”?

      • I don’t really mean that literally but was trying convey the lecturer’s implied view that those who understand these details will see the reality of AGW and the need for climate action.

      • Oh okay. So just asking out of curiosity.. what *is* your opinion on the cause of current climate change? Do you agree with Dr. Curry’s view that although manmade global warming is definitely a part of the story, at least 50% is due to natural variability?

      • Not sure that one needs an alternate view to point out methodoligical errors.

    • Chaam
      All that red text is cute.
      It reminds me of those bibles you can get where the words of Jesus are all in red.

    • Chaamjamal: “Climate deniers” is an offensive catchall term that is misapplied to wide range of positions. Most well-educated skeptics recognize that increasing GHGs reduce the rate at which the planet radiatively cools to space and that conservation of energy demands that it warm in response. Many who call us climate deniers don’t understand that the real debate revolves around how much the planet must warm to restore a balance between incoming and outgoing radiation. Climate models suggest that a 1 K rise in GMST will result in an addition net outward flux across the TOA of about 1 W/m2 to negate the inward imbalance created by rising GHGs; but the historic record of warming in response to rising GHGs indicates that the correct answer is about 2 W/m2/K. That huge difference provides plenty of room for responsible skepticism about the IPCC’s consensus.

      We don’t need to get into highly uncertain details about how the airborne fraction might increase as terrestrial sinks saturate. The ocean sink is essentially unlimited and CO2 distributed 98:2 between the ocean and atmosphere before the Industrial Revolution. In the long term, the vast majority of anthropogenic CO2 will be taken up by the ocean. Due to rising pH, the equilibrium ratio will be more like 90:10. Yes, in the long run, today’s roughly 50% air-borne fraction is destine to drop to about 10% as the deep ocean overturns (millennial time scale). The IPCC prefers to distract our attention with geological burial requiring millions of years, but CO2 is destine to fall below 400 ppm in a few thousand years no matter what we chose to do about fossil fuels.

      In the real world, our governments have trouble planning for even the next decade or two. Social security will be bankrupt in a decade. The amount the air-borne fraction rises later this century is subject to significant uncertainty and likely isn’t central to the controversy about what to do.

      • I apologize for using that offensive phrase and thank you for this comprehensive and informative comment.

      • Frank –

        Out of curiosity, do you likewise inform people that the catchall terms “alarmists” or “warmistas” or even the term “deniers,” etc, when applied to non-“skeptics,” are offensive and misapplied to a wide range of positions?

      • That’s why I call them pissant progressives and contrarian curmudgeons. I’m equal opportunity cancel culture. Looking at a climate history in which tipping points feature prominently – the future will regard both sides with bemusement.

        https://watertechbyrie.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/unstable-ebm-fig-2-jpg1.jpg

        This 1D model by Michael Ghil has two stable states with two points of abrupt climate change – the latter at the transitions from the blue lines to the red from above and below. The two axes are normalized solar energy inputs μ (insolation) to the climate system and a global mean temperature. The current day energy input is μ = 1 with a global mean temperature of 287.7 degrees Kelvin. This is a relatively balmy 58.2 degrees Fahrenheit. How long can this last?

      • Joshua asked: Out of curiosity, do you likewise inform people that the catchall terms “alarmists” or “warmistas” or even the term “deniers,” etc, when applied to non-“skeptics,” are offensive and misapplied to a wide range of positions?”

        I think twice about using any of these terms, particularly since deniers is associated with Holoxxxxx Denxxx. In this particular case, I didn’t think misleading information about airborne fraction of CO2 was appropriately addressed to “deniers”, and I apparently succeed in being enlightening. If there is a polite term for those who exaggerate the likely danger from future climate changed and the importance of current change, please educate me. I often use the phrase “supporters of the IPCC consensus”, but that often covers an immense range of possibilities. Alarmists are focused on the worst end of the IPCC’s projections (especially RCP 8.5) or go past them. FWIW, I’m content to be called a “luke-warmer” even though that phrase is [comfortably] ambiguous.

        Since AR5’s 70% confidence interval for climate sensitivity ranges from 1.5 to 4.5 degC and no climate models have an ECS much below 2.5, almost all of the IPCC projections might be called “alarmist” – because they are made using models that don’t include the central estimate of historic climate sensitivity. And no, I don’t buy the explanation that unforced variability is responsible for the disagreement between models and historic climate sensitivity. When not a single run out of 100 MPI model runs comes close to reproducing the past, blaming unforced variability seems to be a rejections of the scientific method.

      • Frank –

        > If there is a polite term for those who exaggerate the likely danger from future climate changed and the importance of current change, please educate me.

        Well, that’s a bit circular, as you’ve embedded in that “exaggerate,” which implies, IMO, a conflation of opinion with fact, and you likely are in many cases employing an offensive (pejorative) catchall phrase.

        If I am more concerned than you about the upper end of the “consensus” range of climate sensitivity, does that mean that I’m “exaggerating?” Does it mean that I’m an “alarmist?” I don’t think so. I just think that for any variety of reasons, one of which may indeed be an inferior ability or knowledge base to evaluate complicated science, I have a different evaluation of high damage/low probability risk assessment in a situation of high uncertainty and complicated time horizons.

        IMO, the difficult of a complex situation is only made more complex when people (1) aren’t careful about conflation opinion and fact and (2) employ pejoratives (I presume out of identity-protective and/or identity-defensive cognition).

        > I often use the phrase “supporters of the IPCC consensus”,

        Well that would make more sense to me. But it also, IMO, is problematic.
        I think that something like “those more concerned than I am about the risks from ACO2 emissions.”

        > but that often covers an immense range of possibilities.

        Right. That’s the point. So how does one deal with that? Just lump a wide range together with a pejorative term? Well, the efficacy of that approach, I guess, would depend on your goals. If you goal is to fight tribal warefare, then that term might just be quite efficacious.

        > Alarmists are focused on the worst end of the IPCC’s projections (especially RCP 8.5) or go past them. FWIW, I’m content to be called a “luke-warmer” even though that phrase is [comfortably] ambiguous.

        Well, “luke-warmers” are focused on a truncated version of those projections. What does that make them? Pollyanna-ists? Dreamers? Utopians? Naive? Hopeless romantics?

      • Joshua: I think you are right. If you focus on the upper end of the 1.5-4.5 degC range, I’ll likely to call you an “alarmist”. And if you only mention RCP 8.5, I will certainly call you an “alarmist”. And if I focus on the lower end of the 1.5-4.5 range and RCP 6.0, you can call me a “lukewarmer”, which sounds modestly politer than an “alarmist”. Since you have proposed no alternative for “alarmist”, you’ll have suffer the imprecision of the English language. Since the term “den1er” was deliberately chosen with the HoloXXXXX in mind, I’m usually not in favor of applying it to those who think climate sensitive is indistinguishable from 0. Nevertheless, I’m appalled at their ignorance, because I think they do more damage to the credibility of my position than yours.

        Joshua wrote: “Well, “luke-warmers” are focused on a truncated version of those projections. What does that make them? Pollyanna-ists? Dreamers? Utopians? Naive? Hopeless romantics?”

        I’d prefer the term “lukewarm” or “optimist” or “realist”. IMO, the terms you suggest don’t apply to those focusing half of a 70% confident interval – those terms apply to the 15% outside that confidence interval. If I’m an “optimist”, I could call you a “pessimist” about climate rather than an “alarmist”, but people who are vocally pessimistic and urging action are raising alarm. I like “realist”, because historic climate sensitivity is the simplest and most reliable. I’d say, “Based on experience with rising forcing, things are going to get at least X warmer, if we follow Scenario RCP 6.0 (which might be called progress-as-usual). Warming could be worse, up to about two-fold worse. So let’s get moving reducing CO2 emissions knowing this is a best-case scenario and the need for more serious efforts could become apparent in the future.” Demanding that we prepare for a worst-case scenario is impractical because many are not affluent enough to insure against other worst-case scenarios. (Few people purchase adequate disability insurance, for example.) And only the really affluent can afford to spend money now to ensure that their descendants (living in what should be a much more affluent society) don’t have to adapt to climate change.

  66. 18.Emissions are down, but atmospheric CO2 keeps rising. The CO2 ‘control knob’ appears to be not very sensitive.

    The CO2 level increases might be due to some ocean warming in the last 4o years rather than the small human contribution.

    Hansen has predicted a world’s warmest year for GISTEMP
    “November 2020 was the warmest November in the period of instrumental data, thus jumping 2020 ahead of 2016 in the 11-month averages(Fig. 1). December 2016 was relatively cool, so it is clear that 2020 will slightly edge 2016 for the warmest year, at least in the GISTEMP analysis.”
    The gap seems too large to overcome in 1 month but prolonged cooling for the last 3 weeks of December seems certain to bring the difference which was small down and mean it will be an extremely fine difference in the end..

    Nick Stokes daily review of temperatures shows nearly a week of temperatures at approx 0.0 C degrees anomaly for the first time in a long while.
    BOM has at last readjusted their ENSO chart to fit the high SOI index since it went over the 15 that their chart allowed for.

    My feeling is that to unveil the uncertainty monster we need several years of dropping temperatures with hopefully a CO2 pause and backtrack once the temperatures revert to the average for our time frame.
    Fingers crossed 2021 achieves the start of this.
    The current early and weak La Nina [according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology] might yet discover some legs in the new year if the American predictions are closer to the mark.

    • As someone who has studied Pacific decadal variability for 40 years – my opinion is that feelings and $5.00 will get you a cup of coffee. In this era of unlimited data availability – let us know what you hope about this.

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_November_2020_v6.jpg
      https://psl.noaa.gov/enso/mei/img/meiv2.timeseries.png

      • Temperature should fall about 0.3 C because of La Nina and assuming the PDO slips into negative we should expect a rerun of the hiatus.

        The AMO is expected to settle into neutral sometime in the near future, with temps falling further.

      • Robert,

        One sees plenty of charts with more pronounced trends in financial markets and all but hardened gamblers would dare bet even tiny sums for a year ahead on those.

        I wonder why we have not had climate betting markets yet. The scientist types who are very sure of their predictions would make a killing, no? It seems they are very confident in their 100 year gaze!

        PS
        The noise in that chart is so big, one would have to snort stuff to learn from that data.

      • I am pretty sure that unpredictability is the core of my comment. You should read harder.

        But if the Pacific states have a periodicity of 20 to 30 years – and if the hiatus has lasted for 20 – in what sense can we confidently wish it to return?

      • UAH is interesting, completely out of tune with my feelings. Our data sources are still very limited and sketchy, not unlimited.
        I expect a drop in UAH satellite based on the known last 3 weeks of cool weather, the SOI of 17.4 and the massive current cooling in Antarctica and Siberia.
        I hope this will happen and persist for some time. That is a hope not a feeling. BOM says their feeling is that La Niña is going away very soon.
        BOM fortunately has a history of being wrong.

        The ENSO index shows unpredictability, long term and short term. I hope we throw a double six in terms of a prolonged drop in world temperatures which would reflect in longer lasting and larger La Nina’s.

        Warmer oceans equals more atmospheric CO2 I thought?

      • CO2 is less soluble in warmer water – it slightly changes equilibrium concentrations. There are other chemical transitions in oceans that result in biologically mediated calcium carbonate precipitation and settling to the bottom.

      • ‘ … in what sense can we confidently wish it to return?’

        If we leave CO2 out of the equation then a cool PDO should produce more La Nina conditions in the coming decade.

      • You cannot predict that a cool Pacific state will continue for another decade. And it doesn’t matter a damn if it did.

      • ‘You cannot predict that a cool Pacific state will continue for another decade.’

        Not if you accept the yarn that AGW has made the PDO unpredictable.

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/12/191217105223.htm

    • “The CO2 level increases might be due to some ocean warming in the last 4o years rather than the small human contribution.”

      Agreed. Tidal forcing pushing warm equatorial waters to higher latitudes would be a viable mechanism imo.

    • Oceans are a carbon sink ffs. Even at WUWT that’s understood.

      https://i1.wp.com/wattsupwiththat.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/clip_image0085_thumb.jpg
      “Up to now calcite precipitation isn’t taken into account. But this is done in figure 4, which explains how CaCO3 forms and thus collects still other huge quantities of CO2. Red curve represents C(T) as a function of temperature with no precipitation of calcite (the same as fig. 1), green line with complete calcite precipitation (We assume C(T) = 1.85 to be a constant value).

      The real situation is slowly moving from the red to the green curve, which will be reached at the end. How long does it take? Should be a question of some years or more but the phenomenon will go that way and not the reverse. Blue line is the quantity of limestone at the end of process (green curve). Limestone in geological time will be pushed to subduction by plate tectonic movements, heated by magma and in the far end decomposed to CO2 and calcium silicates. CO2 will be emitted in the volcanoes again in the air after million of years, far enough so that all fossil fuels are burned out !

      Conclusions : CO2 is at 410 ppm far above the equilibrium value (315) , provided a standard seawater composition and an average ocean temperature of 17°C (taken from wikipedia). No doubt that solubility will force more CO2 to be stored in oceans . Moreover if we consider CaCO3 formation (seawater has overshot the solubility of this salt nearly 50 times but nucleation and growth are slow) still more CO2 will be stored by limestone.”
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/05/18/co2-and-ocean-chemistry/

  67. Happy New Year all

  68. Who should get the 2020 Nobel prize in medicine for eradicating influenza?
    https://apps.who.int/flumart/Default?ReportNo=6

    Happy New Year!

  69. Happy new year amigos!
    Thank you Judith for the blog, for the work you do.

    Let me end this year – a year where i started studying climate change problem – with a thought provoking quote:

    “We simply cannot afford to gamble… by ignoring it. We cannot risk inaction. Those scientists who say we are merely entering a period of climatic instability are acting irresponsibly. The indications that our climate can soon change for the worse are too strong to be reasonably ignored.”

    ~ Lowell Ponte, The Cooling – Has the next ice age already begun? (1976), p. 237

    • That book was out of date almost as soon as it was published!

    • “Ice age CO2 reductions coincide with an increase in ice sheet extent and therefore an increase in global albedo, and this should result in further cooling of the climate. But what actually happens is that when CO2 reaches a minimum and albedo reaches a maximum, the world rapidly warms into an interglacial. A similar effect can be seen at the peak of an interglacial, where high CO2 and low albedo results in cooling. This counterintuitive response of the climate system also remains unexplained, and so a hitherto unaccounted for agent must exist that is strong enough to counter and reverse the classical feedback mechanisms.” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1674987116300305

      Changes in thermohaline circulation are associated with transitions to glacial states. It is related to changes in heat and salinity – but also to patterns of wind and ocean circulation driven the the polar vortices. Reductions in Atlantic bottom water formation in periods of low summer insolation trigger runaway ice sheet feedbacks. Although Wally Broecker in this paper from 2000 talks about cycles – on our nonlinear planet they are abrupt shifts between states at periods and to an extent dictated largely by internal dynamics. Given the recent changes in the Arctic state described by Igor Polyakov and others – we should be wary of Wally’s angry beast at which we are poking sticks.

      “Based on studies of ice-rafted debris in northern Atlantic sediments, a strong case (1) has been made that a cycle averaging about 1,500 years in duration punctuated the climate in this region both during the Holocene and during the last interglacial period. This finding reinforces the earlier suggestion of a 2,000-year cycle (2) based on CaCO3 measurements in a high accumulation rate core raised off Bermuda. Because the frequency of these cycles is about the same as that for the much larger (and hence more famous) Dansgaard–Oeschger cycles of glacial time, the possibility has been raised (1) that both the glacial and the interglacial cycles share a common causal factor. Because a considerable amount of circumstantial evidence suggests that the Dansgaard–Oeschger cycles are linked to a seesawing of deep water formation between the Northern Atlantic and the Southern Ocean (3, 4), it has been suggested further (1) that perhaps the weaker interglacial cycles may also be driven by alternations in the mode of deep water formation. In addition, the LIA, well recorded in the region around the Northern Atlantic, was the most recent of this series of cold pulses (1). An extension of this logic would then suggest that a change in thermohaline circulation accompanied the LIA.” https://www.pnas.org/content/97/4/1339.full

  70. The uncertainty monster is clearly in charge of the planet – it is a wild and angry beast at which we are poking sticks. An idea countered only by a few contrarian curmudgeons with their crude, eccentric and downright mad certainties. Future risks can be reduced by cleverly reducing the human pressures on the Earth system – while building prosperous communities in vibrant landscapes.

    https://www.stockholmresilience.org/images/18.55ead82716e7faa929d326/1574869072357/TP_1920.gif

    In 2021 there are ways to a bright future for the planet, its peoples and its wild places.

    https://www.stockholmresilience.org/

  71. Happy New Year! And especially to the UK’s exit from the EU. It seems the degree of graft, elitism, and bad decisions is proportional exponentially to the distance between those on top and those on bottom. Putting place a world government to combat climate change, fight poverty, or anything else throws out our individual freedoms. The people at the top won’t live by their own rules – we’ve seen a lot of that lately. A multitude of smaller governments serves the needs of the average citizen much better.

    • You mean like before the Second World War; before the most peaceable period in history, i.e. that periodafter the Second World War and after, especially, organisations like the EU?
      A period similar to during the generally more peaceful period during the Roman empire, otherwise known as the Pax Romana?
      Hmm, I believe you are not correct but are showing your political colours – just like tonyb and his ‘forget about what happened and concentrate on the ideal post-brexit manna from heaven that will come. Eventually. I’m sure…’ ( I paraphrase, of course, but the nationalistic, elitist, I-know-better, Dominic Cummings-type sentiment is very recognisable!).

  72. On our record of poking around complex systems, the damage the media and various activist movements do …

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MDCCvOv3qZY

  73. “We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage…. 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 liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in the power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost.” F. A, Hayek

    Elinor Ostrom’s emphasis was on devolving decision making of the global commons to the people most directly affected.

  74. 6. Io’s (Jupiter’s satellite) MEAN SURFACE TEMPERATURE CALCULATION
    Tmean.io

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Io_highest_resolution_true_color.jpg

    So = 1.361 W/m² (So is the Solar constant)
    Io’s albedo: aio = 0,63

    Io is a rocky planet without atmosphere heavy cratered, Io’s surface irradiation accepting factor Φio = 1
    Most of Io’s surface is composed of sulfur and sulfur dioxide frost.

    Cp.sulfur = 0,17 cal/gr.oC, Cp.sulfur.dioxide = 0,12 cal/gr.oC
    cp.io = 0,17 cal/gr.oC *0,5 + 0,12 cal/gr.oC *0,5 =
    cp.io = 0,145 cal/gr.oC

    β = 150 days*gr*oC/rotation*cal – it is the Planet Surface Solar Irradiation Absorbing-Emitting Universal Law constant
    σ = 5,67*10⁻⁸ W/m²K⁴, a Stefan-Boltzmann constant

    1/R² = 1/5,2044² = 0,0369 times lesser is the solar irradiation on Jupiter than that on Earth, the same on its satellite Io.

    Io’s orbital period is 1,799 days. Io’s sidereal rotation period is synchronous.
    N = 1/1,799 rotations/per day

    IO’S MEAN SURFACE TEMPERATURE EQUATION Tmean.io is:

    Tmean.io = [ Φ (1-a) So (1/R²) (β*N*cp)¹∕ ⁴ /4σ ]¹∕ ⁴

    Τmean.io = { 1*(1-0,63)1.361 W/m² *0.0369*[150*(1/1,799)*0,145]¹∕ ⁴ /4*5,67*10⁻⁸ W/m²K⁴ }¹∕ ⁴ = 111,55 K

    Tmean.io = 111,55 K is the calculated

    And the satellite measured is almost identical
    Tsat.mean.io = 110 K (- 163 oC)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Io_%28moon%29

    https://www.cristos-vournas.com

  75. Matthew R Marler

    Now let me say Thank You! again to Dr Judith Curry for allowing us to congregate here virtually all year long, ad lib. Thank you posters for lively, and usually illuminating debates! And may you all have a Happy New Year 2021!

  76. The last NOAA SST anomaly map of 2020. The pattern of the negative (cool) Pacific decadal mode is intensifying.

    https://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/cb/ssta/ssta.daily.current.png

    This millennial ENSO proxy is based on enhanced westerlies and higher salt content in a Law Dome ice core during La Nina.

    https://watertechbyrie.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/vance2012-antartica-law-dome-ice-core-salt-content-e1540939103404.jpg
    https://journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/clim/26/3/jcli-d-12-00003.1.xml?tab_body=fulltext-display

    Enhanced westerlies in the polar vortex are linked to low solar activity. I was reading an old Wally Broecker study yesterday. He suggested reduced North Atlantic deep water formation during the LIA. Cold NH summers coincide with periods of a quiet sun. Could there be a modest centennial global cooling influence with a quieter sun? Would feedbacks stop there? Does it matter as we push our nonlinear world towards inevitable tipping points?

    Whatever happens we will adapt and flourish. We have the technology. That means being innovative and proactive. There is a world of dire problems to resolve this century on our way to the stars.

    • “ENSO proxy is based on enhanced westerlies..” – Robert

      Can you provide a link to a research study which came to this conclusion?? I’ve only ever heard the phrase used as a default mechanism/assumption because nothing else can be thought of.

      • Elias Archer has asked whether and how string theory solves “difficulties and complications” that he sees in the quantum field theory on curved spacetime backgrounds. Well, I do understand this kind of a question. When I was leaving the high school, I still wasn’t quite comfortable with quantum mechanics and I did think that string theory would revolutionize the understanding of the measurement so that it would look more materialistic, deterministic, or classical. This idea evaporated in a year; of course the postulates of quantum mechanics are extremely universal and string theory doesn’t change anything about these rules and philosophy that are shared by all quantum mechanical theories. And there are no problems with the general postulates of quantum mechanics.

        But this broader theme is generally repeated. We the people often misunderstand something about an “older, approximate theory” and expect the “newer theory” to fix the problems or “difficulties and complications”. In some situations, the expectations are justified (and sometimes they succeed); in others, they are wrong because our misunderstanding of the “older theory” is our personal misunderstanding that we shoud solve by thinking harder – we really don’t understand even the “older theory” correctly and this cognitive problem of ours has nothing to do with the changes that are made by the “newer theory”.

        https://motls.blogspot.com/2021/01/uv-dynamical-problems-are-problems-with.html

      • jim2 quotes “..in others, they are wrong because our misunderstanding of the “older theory” is our personal misunderstanding that we shoud solve by thinking harder – we really don’t understand even the “older theory” correctly and this cognitive problem of ours has nothing to do with the changes that are made by the “newer theory”.

        Yes, I understand where this is coming from. Wrt quantum gravity, the imagery I use is very similar to a vibrating string: a corkscrew graviton that has *structure* so that it can impart a force of attraction upon an object.

      • There is a more elementary problem with the very basic “program” of all these armchair physicists. They seem impressed – and they want you to be impressed – with some solutions’ appearances that resemble some objects in the real world like raspberries or the tiger’s skin. Will a theory deeper than the Standard Model or Einstein’s theory directly imply tigers and raspberries? Well, if that were the case, the Standard Model and Einstein’s theory would be totally circumvented. These two (and hundreds of similar) geniuses’ theory would construct the macroscopic object in the real world directly. It would mean that the theory is capable of making “several steps” at the same moment so that all the 20th century progress in physics could be ignored and replaced by something totally different. It is an extraordinary claim that requires extraordinary evidence. If you claim to have something deeper than the Standard Model or general relativity, you need evidence that is deeper, broader, and/or more precise than the evidence supporting those 20th century approximate theories. Of course, the geniuses don’t have anything of the sort. They can’t even get 1% of the correct predictions that the 20th century theories made correctly. They are self-evidently on the wrong track. Their whole thinking is an absolute non-starter.

        One way to describe the failure is to say that they just don’t understand reductionism. Before string theory, we didn’t know the final theory but we still knew a lot about the structure of tigers and raspberries and the mechanisms that create them (evolved them and replicate them) and that keep them alive. And these mechanisms just don’t follow from elementary magnetic raspberries; or elementary bits on a binary checkerboard. We know that these are wrong models of these objects, even as approximations. Natural processes may produce the structures on the tiger’s skin that have similarities with Rule 30 of Stefan Tungsten. But we know that the mathematical ability of such hypothetical processes, even if they agreed (which they almost certainly don’t), isn’t a feature of the fundamental laws of physics. The processes that generate raspberries and the tiger’s skin are self-evidently emergent i.e. not fundamental. You can’t determine the fundamental laws of physics out of them directly!

        https://motls.blogspot.com/2020/12/midsize-miracles-of-perturbative-string.html

      • jim2 quotes “There is a more elementary problem with the very basic “program” of all these armchair physicists.”

        When the latest research on galaxies is confirmed, a whole new era of armchair physicists will emerge, saying that they knew Newtonian/Einstein gravity theory was wrong all along.

        https://youtu.be/ip1Ri4o0HCc

      • Alan, if you read carefully, Dr. Motl states Einstein gravity theory is an APPROXIMATION. Logically, one must deduce it isn’t correct. This isn’t genius territory.

      • jim2 – yes, there’s a difference of opinion. Milgrom and the MOND supporters believe that GR is *fundamentally* incorrect, not just due it being an approximation.

        Let further robust testing of the galaxy data prove Milgrom’s team right… or wrong.

    • This millennial ENSO proxy is based on enhanced westerlies and higher salt content in a Law Dome ice core during La Nina.

      A link to the reference is provided under the graph.

      You seem to be thinking of the equatorial easterlies. The term Walker Circulation was first introduced in 1969 by Professor Jacob Bjerknes, referring to the large-scale atmospheric circulation over the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Jacob Bjerknes was an early giant of physical oceanography. He was he originator of what are now known as Bjerknes feedback that link the Southern Oscillation with ENSO.

      https://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/maproom/ENSO/New/bjerknes.html

      If you weren’t so busy proposing prolific nonsense you might have time for some actual science.

      • “You seem to be thinking of the equatorial easterlies.” – Robert

        So I was. There’s a logical error been made by Professor Jacob Bjerknes:

        “While the surface winds are being driven westward along the equator by the zonal SST gradient, they act to create the cold upwelling ocean water in the east.”

        The equatorial winds are known to be very weak and therefore wouldn’t have the energy required for deep ocean upwellings.

        Why is this obvious fact being ignored??

      • There are brisk trade winds in the central Pacific that have been known about by sailors for 1000’s of years.

        https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-150.76,2.33,557/loc=-156.226,-1.795

        https://www.jfarchitects.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/lakatoi-idea-1.jpg

        The way it works is by shear stress on the water surface over 100’s to 1000’s of kilometers. It is how surface waves are generated – they get larger with stronger winds and a longer fetch. It can be quantified – as opposed to your habitual superficial hand waving. But that would require application, patient observation and some intellectual humility on your part. I’m not holding my breath.

      • “..superficial hand waving..” – Ellison

        Your response is a joke. There is no scientific evidence showing equatorial easterly winds have the power to drive cold water upwellings – fact.

        Tidal forcing is a viable alternative – fact.

      • Just one thing. It doesn’t ‘drive’ upwelling. Turbulent abyssal current emerge with s shoaling of the thermocline. There is a great deal of science on ENSO processes – and a goodly amount of precision equipment.

        Yet you deny it along with general relativity. And propose unseen neutron star moons travelling at superluminal velocities – many of them it seems – as the cause of climate change. I don’t want to prejudge the Galileo Galilei awards – but you are the frontrunner.

      • “Turbulent abyssal current emerge with s shoaling of the thermocline.”

        That’s word salad Robert. All the literature I’ve read states it’s an increasing equatorial wind speed which creates upwelling.

        Btw I’m not saying the hyperon moons travel faster-than-light but much faster than Planet Nine is assumed to be travelling, so therefore would be missed in their detection technique.

        It’s an important point.

      • “I make a tentative prediction that it is in a 1:1 orbital resonance with the Sun’s core and therefore has a period of just 7 days.

        The hyperon planet’s velocity is 790,000 km/s.” Alan Lowey

        So planet nine is travelling much faster than the speed of light – and all these neutron star moons are travelling faster still. It is obvious why he is an award front runner.

      • “Yet you deny it along with general relativity.”

        Again, your high religiosity shines through. I’m in agreement with Sabine Hossenfelder that Einstein made some incredible insights but GR falls short in the region of ‘black holes’ and quantum gravity.

        It therefore isn’t the complete picture. I make the unique conjecture that the problem is one so fundamental, it goes back to the imagery used by Newton.

        It’s nothing to be afraid of Robert, it doesn’t infringe on one’s personal belief system. I’m very respectful of our religious and spiritual founders, along with all the stories of humanity’s progression to where we are today.

      • Sabine Hossenfelder is looking for a more fundamental quantum mechanical theory. There is a video I linked below.

      • Yet more random irrelevant nonsense?

      • Lol. I’ve already stated that it’s not necessarily a 1:1 and/or the solar core may have a slower rotation than estimated.

        I’m confident on the angle of 6° along the solar equator and also the ballpark distance of 7.6 billion km. The rest is pure guesswork.

      • So ‘planet 9’ doesn’t travel at 790,000 km/s and these unseen neutron star moons missed because general relativity is wrong don’t travel even faster? It’s all utter nonsense and you then declare that science is religion.

      • “It’s all utter nonsense and you then declare that science is religion.” – Robert

        The notion that the force between two rocks held together is the force which keeps the Moon in orbit is a nonsense imo.

        It makes much more sense to assume a strong gravitational force between the cores is responsible:

        “Electromagnetism – the force we know best – is 10 to the 36th power stronger than Gravity. That’s 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times stronger! The “strong” nuclear force is 10 to the 38th power stronger than Gravity. That’s 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times stronger!”

      • It was shown to be space-time geometry. I don’t know what else you are rabbiting on with. There does come a point…

      • “Many politicians and bureaucrats have no grasp of the limits of knowledge. Often, they invoke the term “science” without understanding that the scientific method requires rigorous testing against all physical evidence. For them, “science” is a term for political persuasion, not a method for gaining knowledge of the physical world.”

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/01/04/climate-and-energy-news-roundup-437/

        Climate change has *not* been put to the rigorous testing of new physics tidal forcing. Fact. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest it’s a possibility. The debate has now become politicised and those speaking out vilified.

      • Sounds almost reasonable. Although quoting WUWT as a reputable source is decidedly dodgy. Until you remember the neutron stars whizzing around the solar system – at superluminal velocities – unnoticed because general relativity is wrong. Then he calls skepticism religious.

  77. It seems the right time to call for nominations for the Galileo Galilei awards for the worst contrarian ‘science’ of 2020. The winner will be burned at the stake by the scientific inquisition unless they recant.

    Alan Lowey for his hyperon moon postulate?
    Christos Vournas for his rotational planet proposition?
    Dan Pangburn for his irrigation led climate change?
    Judith Curry for her claim that emissions are down but atmospheric CO2 keeps rising has something to do with a control knob?

    • Sir … you forgot me, ocean oscillations rule.

      I strongly support Dr Curry’s suggestion that CO2 may not be the temperature control knob.

    • I discussed decadal to millennial natural variability just above – and in response to your question a little above that. Are you proposing that this is all there is to Earth’s climate?

      I went through the math above. There was some 7% decrease in emissions in 2020 with about a 2.2 ppm increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. Down from a 2.8 ppm increase in 2019. This concentration has increased dramatically over the course of the industrial revolution.

      It’s a minor brain fart on Judith’s part – but I thought it amusing to include it.

      • Yes but what about when CO2 was low and temperatures were higher than our modern climate optimum?

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/12/31/new-evidence-that-the-ancient-climate-was-warmer-than-todays/

      • Both of these studies are freely available. They need to be put into a context of what is known, what is uncertain and what is unknown. Ask just what it is that the data informs us of. They do not invalidate fundamental geophysics – being radiative transfer or nonlinear dynamics.

        https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-67281-2?utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=commission_junction&utm_campaign=3_nsn6445_deeplink_PID100032693&utm_content=deeplink

        https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0959683620972775

      • ‘ … patient observation and some intellectual humility on your part. I’m not holding my breath.’

        I know zip, but reading through the comments over at wuwt its obvious they all know more than Loy.

        Moving along, If the Indo Pacific Warm Pool didn’t exist, would the cold La Nina water reach the Indian Ocean?

        https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/surface/currents/overlay=sea_surface_temp_anomaly/orthographic=-211.79,0.15,1060/loc=152.854,-16.095

      • WUWT is much too depressing.

      • ‘Are you proposing that this is all there is to Earth’s climate?’

        No, its a complex non-linear system and I’m convinced that CO2 won’t save us from imminent global cooling.

        ‘Could there be a modest centennial global cooling influence with a quieter sun?’ The Gleissberg Cycle failed to show up on time.

        ‘Would feedbacks stop there?’ The natural variables, with their negative feedbacks, will overwhelm the AGW signal during the next five years.

        ‘Does it matter as we push our nonlinear world towards inevitable tipping points?’ There is no reason to suspect that a tipping point, caused by the natural increase in CO2, is inevitable.

      • Surprises are inevitable. I am more in mind of THC in an Arctic in transition. And the last time CO2 levels were this high it was the result of emissions from the Siberian Traps. What with low level marine stratocumulus positive feedback it was a bit too warm.

        And what puzzles me the most is that you believe you know the future of a complex dynamical system.

      • ‘ … you know the future of a complex dynamical system.’

        Yes, I have seen it in the entrails of paleo climate history. The problem for me is to prove there is nothing new under the sun and convince government that the next five years will be cool and wet in the Murray Darling Basin.

      • A warming trend and some minor wiggles? The paleo record shows non calculable tipping points. In a system changing so radically in many ways we can expect abrupt transitions to cooler or warmer states sooner rather than later. The intensity and extent of human influences on the world is something new under the sun.

        https://watertechbyrie.files.wordpress.com/2021/01/cowtan.png

        But I am afraid that whatever happens with climate – we have had 20 years of the ‘hiatus’ – convincing the public and politicians to your cause – whatever that might be – is a lost cause. You could of course contemplate pragmatic responses that accord more to your politics – but that seems unlikely as well. So you continue to tell yourselves stories – you and your mates at WUWT – superficially in the objective idiom of science and hope in hell that things pan out your way.

      • The latest Pacific non-periodic and non-computable climate shift was to a cool state in 1999/2001. These states last for some 20 to 30 years in the centennial to millennial proxy records. Is it over or nearly so? Will the next warm state – if such emerges – see renewed strong warming?

      • ‘Is it over or nearly so?’

        There was a hiccup when the PDO unexpectedly moved back to neutral around 2014, which created the hottest decade in recorded history. So the next five years should be cooler.

        ‘Will the next warm state – if such emerges – see renewed strong warming?’

        Yes. When the PDO goes into its warm phase we should expect more El Nino and higher temperatures.

      • It moved strongly positive. And there may have been more than one reason for the ‘hottest decade in recorded history’. You do know that it only adds energy to the system – rather than merely shuttling energy between ocean and atmosphere – if there is a positive cloud feedback?

        https://www.mdpi.com/2225-1154/6/3/62

      • Matthew R Marler

        Robert I Ellison: Are you proposing that this is all there is to Earth’s climate?

        Nobody said that.

        There was some 7% decrease in emissions in 2020 with about a 2.2 ppm increase in CO2 in the atmosphere.

        Judith Curry for her claim that emissions are down but atmospheric CO2 keeps rising has something to do with a control knob?

      • The obvious discrepancy between covid reduced emissions, La Nina cooling yet accelerating warming at mid & high latitudes has been reported in the media:

        “Parts of the world economy may have been on pause during 2020, dampening greenhouse gas emissions for a while. But that didn’t slow the overall buildup of atmospheric carbon dioxide, which reached its highest level in millions of years. 
        ..
        If anything, research during the year showed global warming is accelerating.
        ..
        Some scientists noted that the persistent heating came even with the tropical Pacific Ocean tilting toward a cyclical cooling phase that suppresses the global average temperature slightly.”

        https://insideclimatenews.org/news/03012021/five-aspects-climate-change-2020/?amp

  78. Surprises are inevitable.

  79. “Large, abrupt climate changes have affected hemispheric to global regions repeatedly, as shown by numerous paleoclimate records (Broecker, 1995, 1997). Changes of up to 16°C and a factor of 2 in precipitation have occurred in some places in periods as short as decades to years (Alley and Clark, 1999; Lang et al., 1999). However, before the 1990s, the dominant view of past climate change emphasized the slow, gradual swings of the ice ages tied to features of the earth’s orbit over tens of millennia or the 100-million-year changes occurring with continental drift. But unequivocal geologic evidence pieced together over the last few decades shows that climate can change abruptly, and this has forced a reexamination of climate instability and feedback processes (NRC, 1998). Just as occasional floods punctuate the peace of river towns and occasional earthquakes shake usually quiet regions near active faults, abrupt changes punctuate the sweep of climate history.” Abrupt Climate Change” inevitable surprises – https://www.nap.edu/read/10136/chapter/3

    Abrupt climate change – hot or cold and driven by internal subsystems – happen at all scales.

    https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1386a/images/gallery-2/large/pp1386a2-fig34.jpg
    https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/p1386a/gallery2-fig34.html
    “Figure 34. Temperature variations in the Summit ice core (Greenland ice sheet) during the last 35 kyr of the late Pleistocene and Holocene Epochs. The late Pleistocene was characterized by cold temperatures, interrupted by about 7 short Dansgaard-Oescher warm intervals. One Heinrich event (H3) is shown when an ice stream on the eastern margin of the Laurentide ice sheet surged. At the end of the Pleistocene, longer warm intervals occurred, including Bølling and Allerød. A final cold period, the Younger Dryas, occurred at the end of the Pleistocene near the beginning of the Holocene. The Holocene is a warm interval with less extreme variations in temperature after the Younger Dryas (see fig. 35). Modified from Ahn and Brook ( 2008, figure on p. 84). The original source is the Greenland Ice-Core Project (see also Kerr (1993, figure on p. 891)).”

  80. The University of Bern has put together what they call a “Holocene Climate Atlas”.
    https://wp.me/pTN8Y-5Yg

  81. (e) GENDER-INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE.—
    (1) In clause 1(c)(9) of rule X, strike ‘‘seamen’’
    and insert ‘‘seafarers’’.
    (2) In clause 4(a)(1)(B) of rule X, strike
    ‘‘Chairman’’ and insert ‘‘Chair’’.
    (3) In clause 8(c)(3) of rule XXIII, strike ‘‘fa-
    ther, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, fa- ther-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in- law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, step- mother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, step-
    1 sister, half brother, half sister, grandson, or grand-
    2 daughter’’ and insert ‘‘parent, child, sibling, parent’s
    3 sibling, first cousin, sibling’s child, spouse, parent-
    4 in-law, child-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepparent, step-
    5 child, stepsibling, half-sibling, or grandchild’’.

    Pelosi has new House Rules. Lysol disinfecting objectionable language. Along with tearing down statues, there is no end in actions by the Democrats to address America’s major issues of the day.

    • The Census Bureau shows there are 128,451 Households in the US. In 2019, the upper limit for the bottom quintile of Household Income was $28,084. It was $24,002 in 2016 and $20,072 in 2008.

      So, from 2016 to 2019, it went up by $4,082, while from 2008 to 2016 it increased by $3,930.

      I wonder if those in the bottom quintile will enjoy a higher standard of living by having their Representatives speak woke language.

  82. Wheeler reviewed his 2020 and concluded he was cuckold by “antifa” and BLM and he’s not happy about it! Could we say he’s been “pink pilled?”

    Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is promising to “push back harder” against anarchists and Antifa radicals after another riot rocked the city on New Year’s Eve, admitting that months-long efforts to stem the violence have failed.

    “My good faith efforts at de-escalation have been met with ongoing violence and even scorn from radical Antifa and anarchists,” Wheeler said during a Friday news conference, according to KOIN. “In response, it will be necessary to use additional tools and push the limits of the tools we already have to bring the criminal destruction and violence to an end.”

    Seven months after the first riots hit the city, Wheeler said that it was time to take further steps to quell the violence.

    “Lawlessness and anarchy come at great expense and great risk to the future of our community,” he said. “It’s time to push back harder against those who are set on destroying our community, and take more risks fighting lawlessness.”

    He also noted the demographics of the rioters, who often claim to be fighting for racial justice.

    “Why would a group of largely white, young and some middle-age men destroy the livelihood of others who are struggling to get by?” he asked, before calling it the “height of selfishness.”

    Wheeler said it was hard for him and others “to accept the reality that there are just some people on this planet who are bent on criminal destruction; that there are some people who truly just want to watch the world burn.”

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/portland-ted-wheeler-pledges-antifa-riots

  83. Youtube video:

    Dr. Debra Soh, on Gender, Femininity and the Dangers of Anti-Science Woke Culture | Ep. 31

    Very clearly gives the science on gender.
    2020 was the year of that we became aware of young women making permanent changes to their bodies and the many problems in the neighborhood of that. And the year that some people started pushing back.
    Soh has made the rounds of the IDW appearing on other podcasts.
    The argument needs to be better than, You’re a transphobe. Try harder. Jesus. Speak up, Jesus.

    • Towards the end she says academics are leaving the field. You couldn’t have planned a better way to get even with higher education better than this. Do stupid things and smart people leave.

    • 2020

      The year when parents abdicated their responsibilities as parents, the very foundation of society.

      There are no longer any adults left in the room. They have been guilt shamed. But we have total equality. The adult brain became the child’s brain.

  84. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #437 – Watts Up With That?

  85. Essential workers aren’t adequately paid and there is little in the way of a safety net for them (at least in the U.S.)

    Sweeping statements about the pay of tens of millions of people is unwise, but claiming there is “little” in the way of a safety net for Americans is utterly vapid. Do better.

  86. Dr Curry thanks for this and all of your efforts over the years. Can you pls elucidate on “In academia, University of Chicago, and Univ of Texas – Austin are leading the way out of this mess”? It would be great to feel some optimism about the ordinarily dreary state of affairs in higher ed.

  87. Blue Ridge Weather

    I hope Trump supporters trying to overturn our Democracy makes your 2021 in Review list. It is completely despicable.