A climate of dialogue

by Judith Curry

A pacated dialogue between two serious thinkers who disagree about climate change.

This post provides excerpts of a dialogue between European scholars Andrea Saltelli and Paul-Marie Boulanger.

There are some real insights here.  But mostly, I like the idea of ‘pacated dialogue’.  Pacated (a new word for me) means to make less hostile, peaceful.

When I first started Climate Etc (over 10 years ago), somehow this is what I envisioned – high-level thinking and civil disagreement (ha!)

I have the permission of both authors and the publisher  to reproduce this; the full chapter can be downloaded here [Dialogue].  References are cited in the full chapter.

I really enjoyed reading this, I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

<begin quote; JC bold>


Two authors contend here about the urgency of the challenge posed by climate change, and about the different roles of science, policy, media and society in debating how to cope.

One contendent argues that science’s epistemic authority is today staked on a sense of urgency of impending climatic catastrophe, which he sees as irresponsible; the other considers climatic action urgent in view of our responsibility to future generations. While one contendent considers that an accelerated exit from a fossil fuel dominated energy mix is both unfeasible and undesirable, the other sees it as an objective to pursue with renewed political determination.

The authors are linked by common interests, including the analysis of controversies involving science and society. While they agree on several of their diagnoses, e.g. on vaccines (Saltelli and Boulanger 2019), they disagree on climate. How is that? The present dialogue explores this disagreement in a style which remains – to the best of the authors’ capacity – pacated.

Science’s public image and science’s roles: a problem of epistemic authority? 

AS: I take issue with the role of science in the present discussion on the urgency of action on climate. Science is here not just providing dispassionate facts. As noted by U. Beck in 1986:

Scientists act as if they held a lease on truth, and they must do this for the outside world, because their entire position depends on it […] Business, science and the like can no longer act as if they were not doing what they are doing, that is, changing the conditions of social life and hence making policy by their own means. (P. U. Beck 1992)

This ‘making policy by its own means’ is precisely what we see now.

By talking about an impending climatic Armageddon, science – or a large sector of the scientific establishment – is staking its epistemic authority on climate, thus creating a virtuous image for itself as committed to the saving of the planet, when the role of science in the present socio-economic trajectories would lend itself to a more mixed judgment (Saltelli and Boulanger 2019). As a result, the media thus incited have come to present a series of processes dominated by decadal dynamic (rise in temperature, in sea level, in frequency and intensity of extreme events) as having jumped through the roof, as happening here and now. [W] are told [by the media] that ‘billions will die’, the ‘world will end in 12 days’, and so on.

This state of excitement – not to say war – on climate is becoming critical. It detracts attention away from other pressing environmental concerns, from the collapse of fisheries to the decline in insects  – not to mention a long list including atmospheric pollution, persistent organic pollutants, endocrine disruptors, and so on.

The unfortunate epithet ‘denier’ may be applied even to those scientists who do not believe that climate is the most urgent environmental threat – let alone the economic and geopolitical one, while “sceptic is a term of derision” (Turner 2015). One needs impeccable ecological credentials to be allowed to say climate is not perhaps the most urgent environmental threat . One of the best-known sociologists of science can be heard declaring his allegiance to the climatic cause and expressing concern about the misuse of his earlier work from deniers . The resemblance of these practices to those of official religion is surprising.

More in general, focusing on the ‘fear’ of the public for the climatic threat appears a convenient distraction from a rapidly evolving crisis involving new media, loss of democratic representation, rising inequality and insurgent populism and nativism (Saltelli and Boulanger 2019). That policy is being ‘distracted’ by climate has been noted, for example, in relation to the G7 meeting in Biarritz of August 2019, where in spite of work done in Chantilly in July in preparation for the meeting, promising to address ‘fairer capitalism’ and inequality, i.e. economic and financial topics befitting the G7 more that global threats, the climate discussion ended up obliterating these important themes (Jaillet 2019).

PMB: I distinguish two main questions here, each of them deserving an article of its own. The first question has to do with the relationship between science and politics. The second is the question of what should have priority on the global political agenda.

A “Long-Term & Society” configuration sees society collapsing in a medium to long future because of its internal contradictions, class struggles or whatever. “Short-Term & Environment” gives priority to the current threats to health and well-being arising from pollution and shortages of water and other natural resources. “Short-Term & Society” focuses on the tensions, inequalities and social contradictions already at work in our society.

As advocates of the cultural theory argue, no attitude is necessarily more accurate or legitimate than any other. All are legitimate and necessary in a complex society. Yet, according to the circumstances, it is possible that one of them becomes prominent for a time because of the necessity to act in a domain that has been hitherto neglected. This, I submit, is the current situation with regard to the climate issue. I am convinced that as soon as significant advances will have been made towards its control and/or adaptation, the corresponding attitude will recede, leaving the place to another priority, long or short-term, environmental or social.

The conclusion of all this is that there is no point in opposing one mode of observation to another. None is inherently more legitimate, more justified than another. As every observation has its unmarked space and its blind spot, no one is complete, totally comprehensive and sufficient. It follows that politics cannot for long favour one point of view at the expense of the others. It must endeavour to satisfy each of them, at least (and necessarily), partially. If climate activists are shouting so loudly at the moment, it is because they feel that their point of view has been for too long neglected since all the Nation-States of the world have endorsed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in 1992.

This being said, let us turn to the wide question of the relationship between science and politics and speculate about what has gone wrong in the climate change case.

Paradoxically, in the case of climate change, the relationships between science and policy is very peculiar. Why? Because of the IPCC; it is a rather exceptional institution which had (almost?) no other equivalent in other fields at the moment of its settlement. Actually, the IPCC is a hybrid of science and policy.

Now, has science been successful in staking its epistemic authority on climate? I am not sure. Except perhaps on vaccination, no domain has been as fiercely controversial as the climate one, especially the issue of human influence on climate. It is not to be denied that something unfamiliar has happened with climate science and the climate issue. Whilst “normal science” conforms traditionally to the ethos described by Robert K. Merton as the conjunction of communism, universalism, disinterestedness, and organized scepticism (Merton 1973) – an ethos that guarantee its legitimacy and credibility – climate science, on the contrary, as institutionalized in the IPCC, has been characterized by a stubborn search for consensus, banishing organized scepticism from the scientific arena and leaving room for un-organized scepticism in the media. In some sense, we are here not very far away from what can happen in the religious domain; the climate-sceptics being considered as heretics and being indicated for disrepute.

Contrary to what happened with the H-Bomb Committee where two rivals labs have been settled and financed on an equal basis (See Turner (Turner 2015), Chapter 15. “Expertise in Post-Normal Science”), the climate issue has been entrusted to a unique scientific (more exactly, a mix of scientific and administrative) body devoid of internal mechanisms for competition and contest.

Paradoxically, it could be possible to argue that the IPCC has done more harm than good to climate science and climate change awareness. It seems that the climate issue was less controversial before its inception in 1988 than after.

On the other hand, I don’t think that science has “staked all its epistemic authority on climate”. There is no evidence that scientific communications on climate change have crowded out scientific communications on fisheries, pesticides, and many other environmental issues. The authors in (Hilgartner and Bosk 1988) have cogently compared the public arena to a Darwinian ecosystem where social problems struggle for recognition, only a few of them succeeding in capturing the attention of the political system. As suggested here above, the fact that the IPCC didn’t provide itself for an internal contradictory debate gave the media an opportunity to organize it itself. As Evelyn Fox Keller notes :

“Even our most responsible newspapers and journals, in their very commitment to the traditional ethic of “balance,” sometimes contribute to the widespread misimpression that climate scientists are deeply divided about both the extent of the dangers we face and the relevance of human activity to global warming.”

One can regret that the climate issue has overshadowed the theme of sustainable development – clearly too complex and cumbersome a concept to have a chance to become a suitable theme for the media. However, it had the merit of putting the whole environmental issue (not just the climatic one, or any other) on the political agenda and by acknowledging the legitimacy of economic and social concerns with regard to environmental ones, so as to exclude nobody from the debate. In regard to the promises of sustainable development, one can lament over the excessive place climatic concerns have taken today at the expense of others perhaps as urgent and vital environmental issues but this is not a very productive attitude. It is not at all assured that it will help putting these others concerns on the agenda. On the contrary, it could just contribute to discard absolutely all environmental concerns as the examples of Trump or Bolsonaro illustrate.

AS: I amicably disagree with your last statement – as discussed, the point of contention is not presence – absence on the agenda, but the Darwinian competition for attention in the public sphere. Additionally, while you reproach the media of a false ‘balancing’ act, inflating the opinion of doubters – or ‘deniers’, ‘delayers’, ‘contrarians’, ‘confusionists’, ‘lukewarmers’, or other denigratory denominations sprouted in the heat of the confrontation, there are voices which reproach media for being more receptive to Apocalyptic warning of end of mankind than to a reasoned assessment of climate science (Nisbet 2019)(Shellenberger 2019)(Kloor 2017).

PMB: I don’t see the point on which you – amicably- disagree with me. The Darwinian competition is precisely for a place on the public agenda, taking account of the limited capacity of the public to tackle several issues at once.

Nuanced observers such as Sarewitz  or, still better, the former chairman of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Mike Hulme , though acknowledging the legitimacy and urgency of the climate change issue, blame the IPCC for having underestimated the autonomy of the political and overestimated the one of science in society.

But, as already stated, the IPCC is not THE science of climate. It is an intermediary institution between climate science (and other things too) and the unfinished, flawed political system of the world society. Its crime is to have subscribed to the linear model of the relationship between science and politics, the “truth speaks to power” model (S. Beck 2011). The problem is probably here: in our functionally differentiated society, hybridicity is an uncomfortable situation.

But we should not throw the baby out with the bath water forgetting that upstream of the IPCC, there are thousands of scientists who are just concerned with finding and communicating the truth, a truth which they know is temporary and incomplete but that, in all honesty, it is their duty – the duty of science – to communicate. They cannot be held responsible for the errors of the IPCC’s Assessment Reports writers; if any.

The challenge is not to set these concerns against each other, but to show their intertwining, their systemic nature and to adapt our modes of governance accordingly.

The fight against climate change is therefore also and perhaps above all a social and political fight. As Greta Thunberg brilliantly put it, she indicts the economic and political elites who consciously let the situation deteriorate (“We could not say that we did not know” Chirac said in Johannesburg in 2002). What I think most shocks the young people who are demonstrating is precisely the gap between the major declarations, the so-called international agreements and the concrete actions. It is the characteristic of youth to think that actions must be in harmony with words. Adults have long ago lost any illusion in that respect, in the political sphere, at least.

This concerns the main difficulty of environmental policies, the beneficial effects of which will only be felt in the medium and long term and therefore benefit future generations, while the costs are borne by current generations. The most sophisticated criticisms of sustainable development are that it seeks to achieve intergenerational justice at the cost of injustice to the poorest of the current generations. And it is obviously a risk, unless public policy instruments are used that place the burden on the most advantaged.

AS: I believe that one should carefully balance the inertia of the elites with the nature of the demands posed by climate activists. The demand to governments to accelerate our transition away from fossil fuel cannot be met without changing our pattern of consumption, lest we meet the same fate of the German Energiewende – whereby the more solar and wind power is installed, the more carbon must be burned to offset the intermittency of renewable energies (Renner and Giampietro 2020). These failures have recently led to disillusionment. To give an example, the failure of Energiewende can be blamed – for some commentators, on a too hastily exit from the German nuclear (Seneviratne 2019).

The Breakthrough Institute, one of the upholders of the Ecomodernist Manifesto, is tireless in its advocacy of nuclear as the only way to ensure a carbon neutral future, just glance to the Energy section of their online presence at https://thebreakthrough.org/energy.

In more general terms I see the following paradox at play: a swift transition is being asked from governments – whose elites are charged with inaction.

[W]e are locked by our own pattern of consumption.

PMB: It is clear that we are stuck in our consumer habits and not only by unscrupulous lobbyists, but above all by infrastructure and buildings that were designed and built at a time when the climate issue was not yet an issue. The question of the transition to a low-carbon economy has, in my opinion, been dealt with in the most rational way by researchers at the Rotterdam DRIFT , adopting an approach focusing on the intermediate level of the socio-technological systems of energy, mobility, housing, etc.

This transition must use many and varied instruments: economic, technological, socio-cultural. But, contrary to what you think, technology is not necessarily “more of the same”.

AS: Well, I hope I have shown that this is unfeasible in the stipulated time windows, both technically and economically. As per the political will, this is not just the will of politicians, but of their constituencies who are not ready to withstand a change of lifestyle. Not all scientists share this ‘can do’ euphoria. British scientists point out that the UK electric car target for 2050 collide with a physical impossibility – the UK would need about two times the current total annual world cobalt production, nearly the entire world production of neodymium, three quarters of that of lithium production and at least half of that of copper (Editors 2019a).

In order to keep the attention of the citizenry focused on the climate battle, a ‘can do’ attitude is being held, offering simplistic images of an economy which can be made circular, or rapidly decarbonized, against historical evidence of past transformations . Mathematical models are shown as capable of predicting the damage in dollars from hurricanes and draughts up to the year 2050 or 2100 . Problematic quantifications play a key role in these narratives.

For the authors in (Renner and Giampietro 2020) the low carbon narrative of the European Commission is simultaneously heroic and reductionist. These authors deploy tools from relational biology and societal metabolism to identify physical infeasibilities, economic non-viability and – to conclude, dubious social desirability of what would be needed to equip Europe to deal with renewable intermittent energy sources reliant on wind and solar within a few decades. Based on data for Spain and Germany, this analysis identifies in the problem of energy storage, in the monetary costs, and in the greenhouse gas externalities associated with the creation and use of batteries the existing bottlenecks which prevent a plausible rapid way out of carbon by adoption of intermittent renewable sources – in contrast to the domination narrative and promises. These authors confirm the implausibility (for lack of natural resources) of a Lithium based storage system even at the level of a single country, and note how European leaders cannot simultaneously promise (a) to curtain CO2 emissions and (b) to scale-up the supply of intermittent sources of electricity (wind- and solar-based) to obtain a significant decarbonization of European economies within two or three decades, as the construction of the new infrastructure and storage will in all likelihood more than double the emission during the transition period. The concept that more renewable installed capacity will automatically lead to a new greener future – in the absence of a parallel societal change of institutional regimes and patterns of consumption, clashes against historical records that more renewable is weakly linked to reduction of conventional (fossil) energy production.

Is action urgent?

AS: There can be little doubt that science has played a very active role in putting climate change at the top of the policy agenda on a planetary scale. Is this priority and urgency justified? Are we right in moving from concern to alarm? Should we panic as suggested by a passionate young activist (Greta Thunberg 2019)?

PMB: Now, panic is never a good counsellor. However, Thunberg’s call for panic is understandable knowing   that the main information was already available at the end of the seventies and that even Georges Bush (the father) was very close to take measures that would have helped avoiding any panic or hysteria today.

What Nathaniel Rich demonstrates when he says that everything we understand about global warming was understood in 1979 is that we have been very close to a scientific AND political consensus already in the early eighties.

The problem is that despite all these treaties and repeated commitments, nothing significant has ever been done. No wonder the population stops believing in its leaders and politicians, no wonder young people get outraged by the casual attitude of these leaders towards the fundamental conditions of trust: that the words we use and the words we utter have meaning.

AS: None of us can be an expert in this immense field. Comparing facts is undoubtedly useful, but here we are comparing how us, two different scientists, have come to assimilate their knowledge into an opinion about what should be done, in the hope that something we say may resonate with our readers – or ‘irritate’ them.

Coming back to the climate of emergency on climate – pun intended, why do I find it counterproductive? In intimating to be scared Greta Thunberg calls for what Hans Jonas called the hermeneutics of fear – the idea of fear as a paradoxically maximizing energy. Against this moral ‘maximalism of climate emergency’ an appeal to the classical virtues of prudence and phronesis appear in order. The French philosopher Pascal Bruckner shares this vision:

“The idea that decarbonizing economies will be a long and tortuous process, and that an incremental ecological policy therefore makes more sense than thundering declarations, is totally unacceptable to the prophets of the coming Apocalypse. Whereas ecology demands policies that actually work, that take into account the human costs of transition, and that do nothing to harm the poorest among us, they prefer aggressive fanaticism.”

PMB: Greta Thunberg and other whistle-blowers are just the tip of the iceberg.

AS: I am sure that the comparison has been made by others between Greta and Joan of Arc. In both cases the appeal of these figures is extraordinary, and their moral stature is – in a sense, beyond criticism, surely above the non-edifying noise originating from the present contention. In both cases we see ‘sanctity’ of a sort at play.

[B]oth Church and Science have promoted causes which in retrospect we have come to condemn. I stand by my opinion that science cannot prove that climate is more urgent than the Gaza strip, or an incumbent new war in the Gulf, or insectageddon, or too-big-to-fail banks, and I disapprove of those fellow scientists who seem engaged in trying to do precisely that.

PMB: I agree with you on that. It is a thing science can’t prove. It is up to each of us, as citizens, with multiple diplomas or illiterate, to form an opinion based on the information available and our hierarchy of values. However, when you take care of, for instance, what happens in the Gaza strip you can benefit the population living there (but perhaps only a part of it); when you take care of climate change you benefit populations all over the world including of course the one living in the Gaza strip, and this whatever their standing in the conflict. Climate change, more than any other environmental global issue, gives us an opportunity, for the first time in history, to have all nations in the world united in a common endeavour, beyond all that opposes them besides, as is the case in the Gaza strip.

What is the role of public intellectuals and politicians in this discussion?

AS: There is no public figure which is not convinced that climate poses the most urgent threat to mankind, and the patent institutional failures to address the climate threat are presented as a symptom of the deterioration of our global political systems. Thus, the tones of the debate have escalated. For New York Times columnist Timothy Snyder (Snyder 2012) climate scepticism is a crime against humanity comparable to the Nazi exterminations of innocent children. Paul Krugman deplores the ‘depravity’ of climate deniers (Krugman 2018), while Vandana Shiva, Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky and others intellectual sign an open letter calling for citizens to rise up and organise for the climate ‘emergency’.

As discussed in relation to green taxes on fuel, to use a form of taxation which hits the poor more than the rich to fix the environment appears to many protesters as the ultimate effrontery of the elites. This new phenomenon of protest – which appears to pit the aspirations of the have against the needs of the have-not, takes place after Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. All of these events have come as a surprise to the same elites, and new media have played a role in all, offering an example of the interplay between techno-science on the one hand and policy and society on the other (Saltelli and Boulanger 2019). In relation to climate, a majority of the progressive believe that a climate-dominated agenda, as the Green New Deal is the US, is the best strategy to fight populism and authoritarianism. Perhaps they could follow the pope in not ignoring “social justice”.

PMB: The environmental issue is all through an ethical one. This means that social justice includes environmental justice. In this regard, the attractiveness of the idea of sustainable development as articulated in the Brundtland Report is to be rediscovered. In my opinion, except for the population issue, “Laudato Si” is the best articulation of the sustainable development ideal since the Brundtland Report.

I don’t see where the Green New Deal of US democrats is oblivious of social justice. Personally, what I am more afraid of is the risk of a kind of a political climato-socialism oblivious of civil liberties. Now, you ask what is the role of the public intellectual? I think it is to do exactly what we are doing here: communicating open mindedly with one another, exchanging arguments and only arguments, not insults and without impugning motives, in order to help the people who hear or read us to make their mind in the most rational way. And then, let anybody act personally in accordance with his-her conscience and let the political democratic procedures and law decide what is to be done collectively.

AS: Gro Harlem Brundtland, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, is rightly remembered for the words: “Doubt has been eliminated”. The words were uttered in 2007 at a speech before the United Nations. In a Greta-ante-litteram style, she went on to say “It is irresponsible, reckless and deeply immoral to question the seriousness of the situation.” This intimation put Brundtland in trouble with the Norwegian Research Ethics Committee for Science and Technology (NENT). The complaint argued that Brundtland had violated the principles of research ethics, in particular academic freedom, anti-dogmatism and organized skepticism. NENT blandly reminded Brundtland that what she said did not amount to ‘scientific language’ but it was considered that hers was a political – as opposed to scientific – speech, be it that she based her arguments on one of IPCC reports (AR4) and on the Stern review on the Economics of Climate Change.

I recall this episode here as it is instructive of how public intellectuals mobilize science – and of what problematic vision of science in society, this role entails. As noted by Strand, a science-based life-philosophy cannot derive authority from science itself. Of course the sin of former prime minister of Norway – a politician after all, pale before the texts of the scientists / activists such as Naomi Klein (latest book: On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal) and Bill McKibben (latest work: Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?). I hope not to appear unreasonable insisting that, beyond the limits of the IPCC reporting, we have today a problem with science itself.

What will a future historian say?

AS: Take a future historian looking at the XXI century – plagued as it was by a rather normal mix of wars, social and environmental catastrophes, augmented by a rather aggressive season of technological disruptions. This historian might look with puzzlement at humans electing the greenhouse effect as the existential threat of the epoch. She will be studying mathematical models as her predecessors studied papyrus scrolls. To her, models will be read as confessions of an epoch’s unspoken metaphors and zeitgeist. She will be surprised by model-based cost benefit analysis of climate impact. Existential threats, after all, are not counted in monetary numeraires. Yet she knows that each epoch is paradoxical in its own specific way.

PMB: What about a future historian (if it exists at all) looking with puzzlement at humans of the XXI century who whilst having all the information concerning the risks of climate change decided to let go because “the American (or European as well now, with our new EC) way of life is not negotiable”?

Concluding remarks

AS: We are divided by the relative balance of what we resent; I resent Europeans marching against climate while Erdogan marches against Kurds. By the time this dialogue has been written, the signals of a shifting geopolitical landscape have multiplied, and I resent scientists’ role in forcing us to look elsewhere.

I suspect that the climatic day of reckoning is an idol in the Baconian sense, whose function is to assuage anxieties about the present by projecting the threat into a convenient not-so-close-to-affect-me future. Instead of acting as nourishment for a deeper ecological sensitivity it boxes ecological problem into a single planetary container, where an odourless and colourless gas slowly increases the temperature of the planet. This idol risks subtracting energies from the fight against the messier aspects of our impact on the planet, let alone a disturbing social and geopolitical transient.

Science is thus contributing to a hiatus which is likely to alienate from science a majority. This is regrettable, as science is our most valuable tool, and leaving it as the preserve of the elites, as predicted by the so-called techno-spit scenario , is dystopian. In this scenario one would be left with an affluent super-technological and possibly trans-human/immortal minority , and a useless, confused and distracted majority left glued to its mobile phones and tablets.

Before leaving the word to Paul-Marie for his final comment, I wish to report a personal episode which perhaps adds to the reason why a civilized dialogue as the present one is necessary. Recently la Repubblica, the second Italian daily newspaper by copies sold, attacked L’ Accademia dei Lincei (usually abridged to The Lincei, plural, ‘Those who see far’), arguably the most venerable Italian academy. The title of La Repubblica was ‘The Lincei organize a workshop on climate, and give the floor to denier Battaglia’ (my translation). Battaglia is an Italian professor faulted by La Repubblica for having attacked Greta. The article also noted that one of the organizers resigning in protest for this presence. The program of the event (I was one of the invitees) listed 14 talks and eight poster presentations. Only one talk, signed by eight authors, and entitled “Critical considerations regarding the anthropogenic global warming theory” included the aforementioned professor. A few days after the article, the academy cancelled the event, thus offering the opportunity to journals of different orientation, which accused The Lincei of censoring dissent. The intellectual suicide of The Lincei poses ethical problems and vindicates the existence of a science police, whereby “On highly charged issues, such as climate change and endangered species, peer review literature and public discourse are aggressively patrolled by self-appointed sheriffs in the scientific community” .

PMB: In both camps, you will find excessive, irrational, even neurotic people and statements. For me, it doesn’t prove anything. It is never the ones who shout the louder who are right. These are just the skum of the wave, the tip of the iceberg. What matters is the wave, the hidden part of the iceberg. The question is not of the kind either-either, but of the kind and-and. As I tried to argue at the very first of our discussion, a complex world doesn’t need simplistic and one-sided views but combinations of long term and short term, society and nature’s oriented, perspectives.

Climate change is only one of the many dimensions of the current socio-political-ecological crisis we are facing now, as part of a human species gone mad by hubris.

There are certainly lessons to be drawn from what happened with the climate issue, both for the scientific system and for the political one. I think the first should have refrained from mixing itself too closely with the second in the IPCC and kept its full autonomy. Conversely, the second should have endorsed the full responsibility of the collective treatment of the question without putting itself under the authority of science. We see this has been deleterious for both systems and therefore for society as a whole.

JC remarks:  keep your discussion and comments ‘pacated.’


183 responses to “A climate of dialogue

  1. Robert L. Bradley Jr.

    So could we have had this same debate in the early 1970s about the MIT/Club of Rome resource famine scare? Same consensus, same ‘market failure,’ and omnipotent government to the rescue. https://www.masterresource.org/club-of-rome/club-of-rome-redux/

  2. If they’re offering no climate change then fear of change becomes their new reality and all reasonable people must long for a stable climate even if at the cost of economic instability. That’s politics not nature – the Left has declared war on free enterprise and the scientific method at the cost of sacrificing individual rights, the ethic of personal responsibility and the spirit to overcome barriers to growth, superstition and ignorance.

  3. Huge amount to unpick here. But it’s a great discussion. I lean very much to the cultural arguments that AS makes, but I think PMB makes some great points too, and to see such debate conducted in this manner is refreshing in itself; there so much conflict, typically 0:

  4. Can I trot out my usual comment here. There are many actions which make sense regardless of the nature, extent, cause and direction of climate change. That my work if mainstream views are correct but make sense even if climate change were a damp squib, temperatures crashed (e.g. after a major volcanic eruption like Tambora in 1815) or a major food crop failed. Examples of such win-win options are reducing waste, restoring fish stocks while cleaning up the world’s oceans, cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels, silviculture, soil carbon capture via regenerative agriculture, combining conservation with careful use and reducing the impact per head and probably numbers of conventional livestock. Methane-reducing feed additives have existed for decades but not been adopted even though some boost growth.

    These ideas need investment and support but the last 30-40 years have been spent bickering about who is right instead of adopting options which cover all bases. OK, nobody wants the job or the bill for doing something useful when we can all let off steam about those we regard as misguided or just plain wrong. I accept that a pacated and civilised debate is worthwhile but useful actions are even better. My attempts to bribe some local farmers to adopt the feed additives haven’t worked so far mind you. Farmers innate conservatism can be tricky to shift.

    • Hi Iain,

      So you are so into this, I assume you’ve done a cost/benefit analysis. If all this drives up costs, our standard of living goes down. Does it impact our Constitutional freedoms, including the DoI right to pursue happiness?

      I assume you already have some of this. Could you provide a link?

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        Jim2 – “So you are so into this, I assume you’ve done a cost/benefit analysis.”

        While I agree that cost benefit should be down, cost benefit analysis is often the wrong method. The better method is Marginal Cost/ marginal benefit analysis. Each incremental cost results in incrementally less benefit. Some people know it as the law of diminishing returns.

        Using cost benefit analysis without adjusting for the marginal cost vs the marginal benefit will result in erroneous conclusions in most every application.

      • It is questionable if there is a sound cost-benefit analysis behind the green policies. Rather it is more of an ideological imperative to which YOU WILL CONFORM.

    • “…but the last 30-40 years have been spent bickering about who is right instead of adopting options which cover all bases.”

      I’m afraid that’s a common misconception. Politically, the issue has become binary- Naomi Klein/Noam Chomsky or nothing.
      As a result there has been worse than nothing done over the past 30-40 years.
      During that period, with the willing and enthusiastic endorsement of the international climate activism establishment, CO emissions in China have tripled. China now emits almost twice as much as the US. But… justice! Or something, but not climate.
      Western CO2 reductions, meanwhile, are minimal and largely thanks to natural gas. This is because the very same climate establishment demand “alternatives” that aren’t.
      The chart in this link was Kyoto in action- the straight-up arc of Chinese emissions was written into the protocol by the climate concerned, the flat to slightly down lines of Europe and the US were the collision of Kyoto press releases with reality.

    • Well said Mr Climie. I’ve been saying similar things to you for about 15-20 years. The way to get 7 billion people actively involved in sustainability is to identify a few very small, achievable things they can do.

      One which seems to be taking hold in the UK right now is linking up tree surgeons with those who want to use woodchips in organic gardens/allotments. There are websites to promote this and I actually bought the woodchips produced by surgeons felling a neighbour’s trees. I got about 6-8 cubic metres for £50 and it is now all over the paths on my vegetable patch, all over many beds planted up with trees, bushes and bulbs with some still left to be used to make compost over the next 3 years. It’s great stuff for water conservation in regions which suffer water deficits in summer.

      One I would like to see happening far more is better transfer of rainwater from roads not into drains, rather into ditches for drainage into water tables. That can be done at the level of local communities, it doesn’t need national direction.

      Another is distinct collection of autumn leaves for the creation of leaf mould.

  5. “As Greta Thunberg brilliantly put it” is a statement that should never be heard or appear in print. You lost the argument.

    • That was my instant reaction. Invoking an adolescent’s name into a serious discussion about science is counterproductive, if for no other reason than it gives skeptics a reason to discount the salient points which otherwise might have been relevant. Her whole involvement was a publicity stunt.

      There is a reason I don’t seek investment advice from a teenager.

  6. Both sound very “European.” (Hard to define.)

    • Hard to imagine a U.S. environmental scientist being so detached and rational :)

    • “Both sound very European”: Yes, see my post down near the bottom; although their English is superb, I doubt that they’re native speakers.

  7. I did not find this discussion particularly enlightening either in substance or tone. Neither discussant seems particularly familiar with what I take to be the core issues in climate change: How much, how fast and with what consequences – though they seem to have unstated positions on all three issues. I do not know where each stands on these issues except in the vaguest terms. For me it was like eaves dropping on a discussion between two medieval theologians. Perhaps I am being too harsh or missed the point?

    • Agreed, bernie.

    • I think they both indicated that “we don’t really know” all the facts and science, but, PMB believes that what we do know is likely enough to justify action.

      From my reading they were discussing more about the noise that people and politics generate and what effect that has on, or should/should not have on, science. One opinion was that politics and social inertia are playing a larger role in driving, controlling, science than science itself. That there is no “consensus” and that science is not a consensus driven field. The other opinion is that the politics and social inertia are mostly correct, minus admitted fanatics, and that the resistance to these things is the problem we are facing. I did not, however, read PMB refute or address the fact that scientists get marginalized and black-listed for dissension.

      What I think they agreed on was that no one is served by the political and social noise. We really should all calm down and look at what we actually need to do instead of just charging in to the breach of change, sword held high, eyes wide shut (which is what I would argue is the current model).

      • Dave: I hope you are correct, but I fear you are reading a lot into what they are saying. I guess I would have preferred a more Q&A type of format. They used a lot of words to get to the point you nicely made. I also dimly recall the debate of the role of Science in Society as essentially being a JD Bernal type of framing of the issue which was always presumptively Marxian in format, For me, once the premise is that “Science” and “Society” are anthropomorphized then progressives win and actual individual scientists and individual citizens lose. It is why I vastly prefer very concrete types of arguments about the specifics with identifiable individual proponents and opponents. For example, the IPCC does not write a report – the report comes from individuals and bureaucrats associated with the IPCC. It is sometimes reasonable to use a collective as if it is an actor,as a kind of shorthand but it should not hide the various dispositions and motives of the actual individuals in that collective, Those reviewers who questioned the content and framing of past reports and were essentially silenced would certainly point to specific individuals who “silenced” them.

    • You’re not missing the point of their “discussion”, Bernie, because there isn’t one.

      Just the same old same old. Exactly the dichotomy that has been present on this website for about a decade. One can reduce visits here to once every 6 months and on return, find nothing has changed.

      This is caused by the weakness of the argument underlying the push for reduced living standards. The twerp from MA in the video above (Dan, 6:53pm, Feb 12th) understands this. His answer is to bash people into submission. Home heating and individual mobility ? Not allowed … but this cannot be said openly, which is the nauseating tactic behind the protagonist in the “pacated” discussion above.

    • That’s how I saw it. A conversation based on the assumptions of Naomi Klien and the Post Modernists with all the jargon and floating abstractions one could ever hope for. PMB destroyed his case right out of the gate with this gem: “As advocates of the cultural theory argue, no attitude is necessarily more accurate or legitimate than any other. All are legitimate and necessary in a complex society.” And AB seemed perfectly happy to go along with this philosophical nonsense. One of the threads contributing to the collapse of Western Civilization is that scientists themselves seem to have forgotten their roots and those roots are in empirical evidence, not as Naomi Klein would have it, ‘expert opinion.’ How do we know the experts got it right. We ask them for their world view. Correct world view, Left and authoritarian. Everything follows.This is a giant step backwards for science. While civility is pleasant, just as manners are, it’s hardly a substitute for ‘hard evidence,’ or serious argument or identifying the Left as Authoritarian and scientists as being willing participants in politicizing climate. Left out of this civil conversation was all the atrocious behavior towards those they have hurled epithets at like ‘denier.’ Merely for the crime of disagreeing with the ‘official’ wisdom.
      People have been attacked, fired, had their lives disrupted or destroyed for disagreeing with the mob. But look at how civil we can be. Aren’t we wonderful.
      Where is the mention for the need for empirical evidence to prove the case made by the climate alarmists. Where is the mention of the dishonesty in reporting by scientific organizations who speak for their members without their consent, for the dishonesty of journalist who report on these matters for the dishonesty of institutions like NASA who decry the hottest month yet, and yet when you look at their numbers they constitute not the hottest month but noise.
      I think bending over backwards to be civil does no one any good if by being civil we say nothing that would upset anyone.
      How many times does one have to ask for proof of CATASTROPHIC warming that is wholly ANTHROPOGENIC? Warming, cooling or stasis is not the issue or the contention. Yet how many times in social media is it said that ‘deniers’ deny global warming. Period. They don’t even have the honesty to state the contention as it is. I find it hard to treat people who do that in a civil manner.

    • I must say that having digested the late Prof Bob Carter’s various presentations since 2000, I found the arguments of both here somewhat at odds with my own understanding of the situation.

      First of all this concept that all scientists have agreed about climate change since the 1970s is absolutely not my experience of life.

      The second that Greta Thunberg is someone to be looked up to I take strong issue on. I’ve yet to see Ms Thunberg ever subject herself to critical challenge by those who are not groupies or politicians. You create credibility through standing up to criticism, especially when it is specific, detailed and demanding of specific responses.

  8. The two seem to share an implicit underlying assumption/belief that our current climate is at least close to optimal. Lomborg has looked at this from an economic standpoint – my reading of his work is that it’s not. From a health standpoint, influenzas (covid and otherwise) fare worse in warmer climes. Once we divorce ourselves from the scientific silliness of RCP 8.5 and the dire projections it has spawned, one has to question such a panglossian assumption.

    • The new scenario is Shared Socioeconomic Pathway 5. I regard it as aspirational. I don’t think you have nailed Lomberg either. His message is that philanthropy has limited dollars that are better spent elsewhere. Including on energy technology R&D. And the point is not optimum climate but that we are making changes to the nonlinear Earth system without knowing our arse from our elbows.


      • How do you propose to glean a plan from a chaotic and highly nonlinear problem beyond our ability to solve? Abandon such as effort as unhelpful. Concentrate on reasonably improving the lot of mankind and avoid resorting to hysteria.

      • There are enough clues to follow.

        “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.” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0959378016300681

    • True, true… where I live, in southern California, if things were so much better, e.g , 50 years ago compared to today, you’d have to believe it was better to have anchovies off the coast than sardines but… sardines were off the coast a hundred years before that and was the foundation of an industry that existed in Monterey, the history of which can be seen today despite the fact that ‘today,’ the sardines returned to southern California many years ago.

  9. Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  10. Vincent DiCarlo

    Very interesting. Too bad we will never see this kind of dialong in Congress or on cable news. I hope this is the beginning of a series. I would like to see more stuff like this.

    • Really? What did you get out of this? Other than the experience of two people talking without yelling or hurling epithets? Was that of great value?

  11. “This (the gap between major declarations and concrete actions) concerns the main difficulty of environmental policies, the beneficial effects of which will only be felt in the medium and long term and therefore benefit future generations, while the costs are borne by current generations. The most sophisticated criticisms of sustainable development are that it seeks to achieve intergenerational justice at the cost of injustice to the poorest of the current generations. And it is obviously a risk, unless public policy instruments are used that place the burden on the most advantaged.”

    Today’s environmentalism insists upon the populace’s altruism and their faith in leaders and institutions to carry forward the actions necessary to achieve the perceived benefits, making current sacrifices all worth while. While elitists will survive in such a system, not so for the poorest of current generations.

    Experience (Soviet Union for instance) has shown, that such a belief system is a false god. In the long slog, self-interest prevails.

    • Such a belief system is a false god because it is false. It is dismissive of reality and focuses on the wishes and desires of a smug and self-righteousness minority. It was the same belief system that propelled the Soviet Union into existence, the Nazis and Mao’s China. Have we not had enough of Utopia to last for several centuries?

  12. Australia has gone down the “Green” road and is now reaping the “benefits”.

  13. “One contendent argues that science’s epistemic authority is today staked on a sense of urgency of impending climatic catastrophe, which he sees as irresponsible; the other considers climatic action urgent in view of our responsibility to future generations. ”

    I don’t see “any sense of urgency” nor any “responsibility to future generations.”
    It seems obvious that burning wood, solar, and wind power are merely stupid.
    I am not particularly eager about nuclear energy, but it would work to lower CO2 emission.
    If there was sense of urgency and it related to CO2 emissions, one would determine the effects of what higher CO2 levels would have. And there is no progress in that score in last 50 years.
    If there was any sense of urgency, can anyone point to a single leader of country who demonstrating any sense of urgency.
    Can anyone point to anything Obama did in eight years, that indicates even beginning to do something?
    Anyone with any sense, would credit increase use of natural gas as path to lowering CO2 emission. And one advantage is using pipelines to transport energy. And using pipelines to transport other kind of energy {crude oil} is also a way to reduce CO2 emission. Imagine a world where water is transported on trucks or trains rather than by pipeline. It seems 20 years ago, everyone knew that natural gas was part of answer to lower CO2 emission.
    How this knowledge was lost, not exactly sure, but President Biden doesn’t appear to want more natural gas and is against having pipelines. And if there was a sense urgency, it seem someone would give Biden a clue.

  14. Geoff Sherrington

    The pity is that neither of these chatterers has displayed any knowledge of, or competence in, the proper nature of hard science – observation, measurement, deduction about the physical world that originally gave rise to Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Botany. Their experiences have been in social matters and number crunching, not hard science. Since each appears devoted to the pseudo-craft of ‘environmentalism’, it is safe to assume that there is not much new to be learned from them.
    They do not know how or why hard scientists think. This does not prevent them from assuming that they know, then being critical of the points they invent and attribute (falsely) to scientists. For symmetry, I can ascribe to them the sin of not asking the unsettled question of whether CO2 plays more than a trivial part in climate change. A hard scientist might wish to settle that foundational question before wanting to destroy the present global electrical energy system.
    They should examine themselves, for deflection and obfuscation is used through their statements. Example, “everything we understand about global warming was understood in 1979 is that we have been very close to a scientific AND political consensus already in the early eighties.” What is not said is the then-best “scientific and political consensus” about CO2 emissions was to do nothing.
    I know this, I was there. These authors are trying to pin blame on scientists for not surrendering in the early 1980s to a rag-bag mob of badly-educated unhappy hippy people who did not resile from filling the minds of children with pseudo-scientific poppycock. These children, some now professors, repeat such poppycock without knowing what it is. It is simple dogma. They do not know about the proper science – or if they do, the thought of it frightens them to the extent of trying to ‘cancel’ it.
    My interest is in “replicate” more than “placate”.
    I offer this comment “amicably”.
    Rating? Netflix has better entertainment. Geoff S

    • “HITRAN is an acronym for high-resolution transmission molecular absorption database. HITRAN is a compilation of spectroscopic parameters that a variety of computer codes use to predict and simulate the transmission and emission of light in the atmosphere. The database is a long-running project started by the Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories (AFCRL) in the late 1960s in response to the need for detailed knowledge of the infrared properties of the atmosphere.”

      Sherrington goes long on a claim to the socially powerful imprimatur of objective science – but is short on detail. Global warming is superimposed on large internal variability in our nonlinear world. I frankly doubt that he knows his arse from his elbow.

      • Global warming is linked to large internal variability, primarily through the oceanic oscillations, CO2 has no part to play.

      • ‘And since the MWP held sway when the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration was something on the order of 285 ppm, as compared to the 400 ppm of today, it would appear that the air’s CO2 content has had essentially nothing to do with earth’s near-surface air temperature throughout the entire Holocene, when the air’s CO2 concentration at times dropped as low as 250 ppm. Other factors have clearly totally dominated.’

        CO2 Science

      • What other factors would that be in our nonlinear world? What quantitative impact have they had in the Holocene? What are the implications for the future in changing the planetary energy dynamic over the past century?


      • ‘What other factors would that be in our nonlinear world?’

        Everything that nature throws at us.

        ‘What quantitative impact have they had in the Holocene?’

        D-O Events destroy civilisations.

        ‘What are the implications for the future in changing the planetary energy dynamic over the past century?’

        Energy generated by humanity over the past century has had no impact, I see lots of negative feedbacks in the system.

      • Since the planetary energy dynamics have been perturbed by human activity by a maximum of only about 1%, how would that miniscule change engender a tipping point? And don’t give me the “butterfly effect” B.S.

      • Civilization arose after the end of the last glacial thus DO events aren’t relevant. What you see is irrelevant – what counts is what is proved with empirical science.

    • That there are tipping points in the Earth system seems to have been conclusively demonstrated.

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

      On scales of decades to eons.


      It is caused by slowly varying controls that ultimately force the system past a threshold at which stage the response emerges at a pace and to an extent determined by complex internal system dynamics. Quite obviously not the rigid contrarian nonsense spouted by these guys – but it is the dominant scientific paradigm.

    • Seems to me that the discussion whilst nicely pacate, is arguing past the sale.

      Science is not consensus and the guilt of the main actor in the climate drama drama, has yet to be established. Has CO2, basis of life on Planet Earth, only 0.039 percent of our atmosphere but vital for plant growth, oxygen and us, gone rogue? Read Professor Richard Lindzen’s paper regarding the politics behind the climate-change science where he traces conscious efforts to politicize Climate Science, the most impressive exploitation for political purposes being ‘creation of the International Panel on Climate Change by two United Nations bodies, the United Nations Environmental Panel and the World Meteorological Organization.‘ https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.3762.pdf

      Then there’s that failure of the models to match observations and that’s a major fail, you could reread Judith Curry’s 2016 /11/12 climate models for lawyers, shaky foundations there, never mind how much the discussion appeals to the pain and fears of young adolescents given the apocalypse climate story, seems more like another of those madness of crowds ASSumptions than a sound basis for drastic action.

      • Beth

        While science is not consensus there is in the Kuhnian sense of scientific progress a dominant paradigm. Without much doubt it is that human emissions of greenhouse gases cause a warming of the planet against a backdrop of large variability of the nonlinear Earth system. Science itself beavers away in the background producing much fine work. To focus on politics external to the scientific process is to pacateingly miss the point entirely. To be unable to ignore the clamour and deny the truth of science for ideological purposes is to turn back the clock on scientific enlightenment.

        “Remember, then, that scientific thought is the guide to action; that the truth at which it arrives is not that which we can ideally contemplate without error, but that which we can act upon without fear; and you cannot fail to see that scientific thought is not an accompaniment or condition of human progress, but human progress itself.” William Kingdon Clifford, The Common Sense of the Exact Sciences (1885)

        Quoted from a favourite article on uberty and hypothesis testing in a system in which observation and analysis is the rule and not elaborate hypothesis and testing. I quote the abstract as it gives the flavour of a world directed approach to science in which ‘big data’ is a necessity.

        “Modern hydrology places nearly all its emphasis on science‐as‐knowledge, the hypotheses of which are increasingly expressed as physical models, whose predictions are tested by correspondence to quantitative data sets. Though arguably appropriate for applications of theory to engineering and applied science, the associated emphases on truth and degrees of certainty are not optimal for the productive and creative processes that facilitate the fundamental advancement of science as a process of discovery. The latter requires an investigative approach, where the goal is uberty, a kind of fruitfulness of inquiry, in which the abductive mode of inference adds to the much more commonly acknowledged modes of deduction and induction. The resulting world‐directed approach to hydrology provides a valuable complement to the prevailing hypothesis‐ (theory‐) directed paradigm.” https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2016WR020078

        And then you decry the failure of a class of models to do what they are ill suited to do. They are chaotic. There is no unique deterministic solution. Solutions diverge exponentially until divergence saturates after sufficient time at a level determined by the model dynamics. It is a matter of nonlinear maths of the governing partial differential equations of the Earth system.

        Tim Palmer – a leading edge numerical modeller over decades – put it as follows. .

        “As our nonlinear world moves into uncharted territory, we should expect surprises. Some of these may take the form of natural hazards, the scale and nature of which are beyond our present comprehension. The sooner we depart from the present strategy, which overstates an ability to both extract useful information from and incrementally improve a class of models that are structurally ill suited to the challenge, the sooner we will be on the way to anticipating surprises, quantifying risks, and addressing the very real challenge that climate change poses for science.” https://www.pnas.org/content/116/49/24390

        If the dominant scientific paradigm has validity and even if there remains uncertainty about the future – it must be responded to with pragmatic policy. What that entails is the challenge for other than climate scientists.


      • Only my friends call me Robby.

      • Chief, I well remember looking at the pro’s and cons of scary global warming going into ‘Climate debate daily’ for references to the for and against, and being directed to Climate Audit and Climate Ets, reading your post on clouds as part of that discussion. One of the things that steered me to scepticism was the problems with those climate models that didn’t do CLOUDS and were already being employed as a political tool, and those Climate-gate emails that didn’t invite confidence in the politics behind the scene.

        Re Thomas Kuhn, given that global warming from CO2 had to remain constant, altering old records, adjusting temperature records, çooling the past,’seems to me, fits Kuhn’s ‘normal science’ validation process, required so that temps stayed within error margins. Lots more on the politics of climate science in Professor Lindzen’s paper, those pressures to inhibit enquiry and problem solving when an issue becomes a vital part of a political agenda.

        And there are lots of falsifications that should have weakened the theory. Case of the missing hotspot, supposed to be the CO2 warming signature, missing ocean heat, seas not rising, and that so called ‘pause’ in warming, so they had to change the name from global warming to … ahem, climate change.

        Here’s my post on some of those readings, you may be interested to read, including those Vaal River floods and droughts…a sceptical view of AGW.

        And all the best, Chief, to you and yr blue horse. ) from beththeserf.

  15. Historians will say that the ‘precautionary principle’ was concocted by charlatans who believed that CO2 caused global warming.

    Unfortunately for them the climate returned its 1945-76 cool cycle and Hele coal fired power stations became popular again.

    • Global warming fears while living in an Ice Age.

      The future could only simply laugh about their silly elders.
      And wonder how they could have been so “earth centric” as
      they are living in spacefaring civilization- and some living on Mercury, Venus, and the colder Mars.

  16. … As Greta Thunberg brilliantly put it, she indicts the economic and political elites who consciously let the situation deteriorate (“We could not say that we did not know” Chirac said in Johannesburg in 2002)….

    We could not say that we did not know? Don’t we have error bars that are larger than projections?

    • Is the author being ironic? I have gretas book on my bookshelf and it is full of the trite and simplistic nonsense that you would expect..

      When she wrote it at 15 she had very little knowledge as would be expected from someone who regularly plays truant

      It is worrying that a intelligent person would make that sort of comment. Presumably because they believe so passionately in the cause?


      • You seem to have a lot to say about Greta but nothing about contrarian nonsense.

      • Robert

        The subject was Greta so I wrote about her. I suspect I am one of the few people on this board to have read her book.

        Yes, there is nonsense on both sides


      • Trying for some balance. As a teenager – Greta may deserve more latitude and amused indulgence than grumpy old contrarians.

      • So, ignorance trumps experience?

      • There is hope Greta. None at all for David.

      • Dr. Curry, thank you for providing a (unearned) platform for the oblivious.

      • Why? She is an international figure whose word carries much weight with her peers and fawning statesmen and women.


      • So fame obviates the need to show civility to a child. And it is far from an isolated comment on your part but a regular feature. And it seems also to excuse the lack of criticism of grumpy old contrarian nonsense. Of which there is an obvious abundance.

      • Robert

        Greta has become famous based on her pronouncements. The earth is “not on fire” and it is not OK for celebrities to jet around the world because we think of them as ‘gods’. Do read her book. Nor is it ok to pull stunts such as with the Atlantic yacht, which required far more expenditure of co2 as a crew had to be flown to New York and the original crew flown back.

        Greta is a very rude person in her own right. What harsh criticism have I made of her that begins to match the things she has said of others?

        You do a very good job in refuting grumpy contrarian nonsense in your own inimical manner, but just yesterday I was defending the met office over claims they have been deliberately deceitful with their temperature recording.


      • My criticism is not with Greta. It’s with adults who are using her and should know intuitively that a teenager should not be put into a position of shaping global public opinion, regardless of the subject matter. Kids do what kids do. Adults should have the role that societies have, by default, granted them for millennia, be the adults in the room.

      • Greta did a podcast about her car trip across the US and Michael Shellenberger criticized it for being condescending;


      • Shellenbergers latest book “apocalypse Never” is well worth reading. Greta’s is trite. They are in different leagues. Not surprising as Shellenberger has years of practical experience


      • There is an animus – and entrenched resentment – that I have always found puzzling. You know those teens are not listening don’t you?

      • Animus? Pointing out lies and misdirection is animus? They don’t listen because they are uneducated, ignorant and self-religiously oblivious. Propaganda reigns.

      • Yes – animus from grumpy old contrarians resentful of the success of her message. Whatever its technical merits. As a sociological phenomenon it strikes a chord. If some surly old contrarian curmudgeons can’t beat her – and you haven’t – you are simply repeating the same insane behaviour and not getting a different outcome. It is all so tedious and pointless.

        At the same time I find Dave’s science to be nonexistent and Shellenberger’s questionable.

  17. Dr. Curry deletes my comments saying that the “meme” about her among climate scientists is a result of her own behavior, but leaves up all sorts of crank nonsense, even this outlandish and rash attack on her and Dr. Muller. Odd.

  18. I agree, R. Carrington, and I will ask Professor Muller to address empirical facts and observations on the Sun – Earth’s heat source – in open reviewers comments of BEST.

  19. An issue analysis of this lengthy discussion would reveal its cognitive structure. http://www.stemed.info/reports/Wojick_Issue_Analysis_txt.pdf

    • For example this discussion is just a small fragment of the issue.
      See https://www.cfact.org/2020/11/17/the-structure-of-complex-issues/
      Given the issue tree diagram it would be easy to see which major subissues were not covered.

      • I should mention that while I coined the term “issue tree” when I discovered this structure in 1973, if you search on that term today you will get references to something quite different, developed by other people. Mine should probably be called the Wojick is due tree.

    • So can an initial issue tree be generated by software or AI?

      • Probably. Each sentence except the first is doing one of three things:
        1. Answering an unspoken question posed to a prior sentence. This is the primary case and question answering AI should be adaptable to this.
        2. Objecting to a prior sentence. Likewise probably doable, especially for clear cases.
        3. Addressing what a group of prior sentences collectively say. This is when we shift into the metalevel. It could be difficult and it causes considerable confusion among people.

        The tree structure is there because in case 1 there can be multiple questions, as well as multiple answers to a given question, in case 2 multiple objections and in case 3 more than one thing to say meta wise.

        Issues discussed over time tend to have branching rates around 3.0 branches per node having branches, as issues actually get thrashed out. One shot meeting are usually much lower, like 1.3 or so. Interesting to know what the branching rate for this long discussion is?

      • Sorry but in case 2 there can also be multiple objections. This is common,

  20. Here are 265 Sites that show no warming trend. Somehow the laws of physics cease to exist in these locations…if the AGW Theory is valid.

    • GW is a statistical concept so a lot of sites can cool and the average still warm. A real problem though is when false homogenization is used to adjust away the cooling sites. Homogenization is basically a “majority rules” method. Real temperatures are not like that.

  21. Sorry Judith. I stopped when RMB fondly quoted Greta — the great thinker. WTF is wrong with you folks, pretend to be serious but only in tine spans of perhaps milliseconds.

  22. pacated

    What’s wrong with “pacified”? Or just peaceful?

  23. Here’s a pacated dialogue about sea level rise.

    Person 1
    Hey what’s going on with the sea? At the beach I could have sworn the sea is further up the beach than it was an hour ago!

    Person 2
    Yes, wait 3 more hours and it will get higher still.

    Person 1
    Holy Moley you’re right – it keeps getting higher and higher! At this rate it will overflow the sea walls and flood the town in a few hours! This is down to CO2 I guess – worse than we thought and time to act, I’d say. Like they said on the BBC, there’s no sea B.

    Person 2
    Ha ha bro. But it’s high tide now – so soon you’ll see it receding back lower.

    Person 1
    Hey 2 ya dude – not a denier are you? How can it go up and … then down! Climate changes are only unidirectional and constant, how could they be otherwise? Like going round in a circle? How weird would that be? Like we live in a Hindu universe or something.

    Person 1
    Hell’s bells – looks like it is going down! Any ideas as to how that could happen? Did they fix that CO2 already?

  24. “There can be little doubt that science has played a very active role in putting climate change at the top of the policy agenda on a planetary scale. Is this priority and urgency justified? Are we right in moving from concern to alarm?”

    Yesterday I drove through a community that was devastated by Hurricane Michael just as I did the last 2 Februarys while visiting Florida. They are slowly rebuilding, as they have for decades when Tropical Storms and Hurricanes hit the area. All construction was on 10 foot stilts as were the homes and condos that were destroyed. They aren’t putting buildings on stilts because of impending SLR. At current rates of SLR that wouldn’t be necessary for several hundred years, long after the residents have died and the economic utility of the buildings expired. They built them 10 feet above grade because they know the history of storms along this coast and the accompanying storm surges.

    They know that Hurricanes and Tropical Storms have made direct or indirect landfall in this county in 1871, 1875, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1882, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1889, 1894 1896, 1898, 1899, 1901 etc, etc, etc etc, etc, etc. If humans had kept records, they would have showed many more storms before 1871.

    Who is going to be alarmed by the hypothetical rise in Sea Level perhaps hundreds of years from now when they know they are in harms way in the next decade based on records predating any discussion about CO2.

    The residents on this coast face natural threats. Those threats that have existed, with or without human beings, for thousands of years. With or without AGW actions and treaties, the threats continue.

  25. Do not mean to change the subject. Just wanted to inform you of a new arising looney tunes approach to getting the public to support their cause. The latest…… “scientific” modeling study ……. proves…Climate change caused the pandemic!

    Shifts in global bat diversity suggest a possible role of climate change in the emergence of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 (Science of The Total Environment, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.145413). Coronaviruses comprise over 30% of the bat virome, thus making bats a likely source of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2. They then evaluate the role of climate change in the creation of global hotspots—areas of climate change-driven increase in bat richness. By combining longitudinal data sets pertaining to climate, vegetation, and species-specific occurrence and habitat requirements over time, the authors were able to estimate climate change-induced richness in bat species across the globe. This approach identified a very large hotspot in Yunnan Province (People’s Republic of China) and adjoining regions of Myanmar and Laos. Consequently, spillover of bat coronaviruses may be enabled by a changing climate. Reducing the likelihood of future spillover events is of critical importance. Approaches include protections for natural habitats, regulations in hunting and agricultural practices, and climate change mitigation efforts. The number of CoVs present in an area is strongly correlated with local bat species richness. An increase in local bat richness may therefore increase the probability that a CoV with potentially harmful properties for human life is present, transmitted, or evolves in the area. Species richness, in turn, is affected by climate change, which drives the geographic distributions of species by altering the suitability of ecological habitats.

    Examining the climate change-driven shifts in the distribution of natural biomes and the habitat requirements of bat species in the region around the southern Yunnan province can provide insights into the estimated increase in the local bat richness. Whilst most forest biomes in the area have not substantially changed in total size, our data suggest a large-scale shift from tropical shrublands to tropical savannas and deciduous woodland over the past century, driven by climatic changes characterised by higher atmospheric CO2 levels, increased temperature, altered precipitation patterns, and decreased cloud cover. Given the possibility raised by our analysis that global greenhouse gas emissions may have been a contributing factor in the SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks, we echo calls for decisive climate change mitigation, including as part of Covid-19 economic recovery programmes, as a means to minimise future zoonotic spill-overs and the tremendous social and economic damage associated with them.

  26. “Now, panic is never a good counsellor. However, Thunberg’s call for panic is understandable knowing that the main information was already available at the end of the seventies and that even Georges Bush (the father) was very close to take measures that would have helped avoiding any panic or hysteria today”

    .Charles Mackay-born 1814- wrote the book ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,” commenting: “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one,” which chimes with todays mass climate hysteria.

    Climatically there is nothing new under the sun. The last ‘Climate Emergency’ was declared in Parliament by King Charles in January 1661 due to the ‘unseasonableness’ of the weather, following a series of very warm winters and very hot summers. This ended abruptly in the bitter cold of the 1690’s .

    Equally the ‘emergency’ may have reflected the extreme hot weather of the 1540’s or extreme cold weather of the 1560’s or two years of incessant rain from 1315, providing five times annual average rainfall with devastating floods and famine. Older readers will remember the 1970’s alarm over an imminent ice age.

    So we have known for hundreds of years or even thousands, as the Romans kept records, that climate changes. It is difficult to see anything unique about the present circumstances except for the computers programed to spill out never ending climate doom that enables the operators to gather in more grants.

    • The cyclic nature of climate change can be easily discerned.

      ‘For the first time since 1963, parts of the River Thames were frozen over as witnesses spotted seagulls perching on the icy surface in Teddington. The River Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire was also frozen over leaving boats stuck. It comes as temperatures dropped to below 0C in parts of England.’ (BBC)

    • There was an unnamed centennial solar minimum starting from around 1550.

  27. Harold Hurst analysed almost 1000 years of Nile River height records.
    Andrey Kolmogorov studied the fractal patterns of turbulent flow. What they discovered was something Dimitris Koutsoyiannis dubbed Hurst-Kolmogorov stochastic dynamics. Benoit Mandelbrot in 1968 characterised it as Noah and Joseph effects. Extremes can be very extreme and regimes of high or low flows can be very persistent. It is the canonical behaviour of a chaotic system in which the global flow field is forced past a threshold and shifts state. With extreme outliers – what Didier Sornette called dragon-kings – near transitions. It is against this backdrop of a chaotic Earth system characterized by regimes and abrupt shifts that we are making changes in planetary energy dynamics with little to no understanding of consequences. A forcing can result in abrupt and dramatic change in the Earth system. We can’t fix climate change but we can reduce the risk of our contributing to future climate surprises at the same time as communities globally meet their legitimate health, education and environmental aspirations.

    “Since “panta rhei” was pronounced by Heraclitus, hydrology and the objects it studies, such as rivers and lakes, have offered grounds to observe and understand change and flux. Change occurs on all time scales, from minute to geological, but our limited senses and life span, as well as the short time window of instrumental observations, restrict our perception to the most apparent daily to yearly variations. As a result, our typical modelling practices assume that natural changes are just a short-term “noise” superimposed on the daily and annual cycles in a scene that is static and invariant in the long run. According to this perception, only an exceptional and extraordinary forcing can produce a long-term change. The hydrologist H.E. Hurst, studying the long flow records of the Nile and other geophysical time series, was the first to observe a natural behaviour, named after him, related to multi-scale change, as well as its implications in engineering designs. Essentially, this behaviour manifests that long-term changes are much more frequent and intense than commonly perceived and, simultaneously, that the future states are much more uncertain and unpredictable on long time horizons than implied by standard approaches. Surprisingly, however, the implications of multi-scale change have not been assimilated in geophysical sciences. A change of perspective is thus needed, in which change and uncertainty are essential parts.” https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02626667.2013.804626

    The pragmatic response to change and uncertainty is to maximise economic growth. Economic growth provides resources for solving problems – conserving and restoring ecosystems, pollution management in both air and water, better sanitation and safer water, better health and education, updating the diesel fleet and other productive assets to emit less black carbon and reduce the health and environmental impacts, developing better and cheaper ways of producing electricity, replacing cooking with wood and dung with better ways of preparing food thus avoiding respiratory disease and again reducing black carbon emissions.

    The global economy is worth about $100 trillion a year. To put aid and philanthropy into perspective – the total is 0.025% of the global economy. If spent on Copenhagen Consensus smart development goals such expenditure can generate a benefit to cost ratio of more than 15. If spent on the UN Sustainable Development Goals you may as well piss it up against a wall. Either way – it is nowhere near the major path to universal prosperity. Some 3.5 billion people make less than $2 a day. Changing that can only be done by doubling and tripling global production – and doing it as quickly as possible. Optimal economic growth is essential and that requires an understanding and implementation of explicit principles for effective economic governance of free markets.


    Markets exist – ideally – in a democratic context. Politics provides a legislative framework for consumer protection, worker and public safety, environmental conservation and a host of other things. Including for regulation of markets – banking capital requirements, anti-monopoly laws, prohibition of insider trading, laws on corporate transparency and probity, tax laws, etc. A key to stable markets – and therefore growth – is fair and transparent regulation, minimal corruption and effective democratic oversight. Markets do best where government is large enough to be an important player and small enough not to squeeze the vitality out of capitalism. Markets can’t exist without laws – just as civil society can’t exist without police, courts and armies.

    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 growth and stability is best served with government at about 25% of GDP, price stability through management of interest rates to keep inflation in a target range of 2-3%, balanced government budgets, effective prudential oversight, effective and uncorrupted enforcement of fair law and a commitment to free and open trade.

    • I second Dave, AGW theory doesn’t deserve a free kick.

    • I added the missing economic dimension to the dialogue along with some science on modes of climate change. The comment was in moderation for its length I suppose – but was released in short order.

      Neither of these of guys have distinguished themselves with a depth of critical thinking – – and seem to prefer a contrarian echo chamber to open discourse.

    • Dave Fair and others

      I find the repetition by Robert I Ellison of quotes of famous thinkers, scientists and philosophers useful for me as I re-read and gain a tad bit more insight into these utterances.

      I am an admitted slow learner so repetition is a positive learning tool for me.

    • Panta rhei from Koutsoyiannis was germane to the earlier discussion on natural climate change. Koutsoyiannis is a brilliant, sometimes difficult but always erudite hydrologist. The complaint recently was on the sheer number of different sources quoted. Links are always provided – people may always choose to peruse the original source. My feeling is that most don’t – hence the quotes. It might always be new to some.

      Some of the comment was new and original. Neither graph from the Heritage Foundation have I ever posted before. Some of the words while original were copied – but I always change, rearrange and polish to make the meaning as clear as I can.


      We should understand that ironicman is an unreconstructed socialist in an objurate contrarian package. Implacably if simplistically opposed to free markets and AGW. And no one is making them read.

  28. Geoff Sherrington

    The 1980s “Do Nothing” response to alleged climate change threats proved to be wise. In the 30 years since, I have not seen one credible, unbiased claim of actual harm or damage caused by man-made CO2 emissions causing climate change.
    Anyone who knows differently is welcomed to provide genuine examples, not mere modelled projections or statements from authority. Geoff S

    • “While risk assessment is often seen as purely defensive, it can and must be connected to value creation. It is not just about potential downside impacts, but about developing a unique and value creating way of responding to challenges.” https://www.dukece.com/insights/new-guide-managing-environmental-risk/

      Risks there most certainly are of crossing planetary boundaries in our nonlinear world. The trends are manifestly observable.


      And the world is responding to the all too real problems.


      • Geoff Sherrington

        Probable-Possible, my black hen,
        She lays eggs in the Relative When.
        She doesn’t lay eggs in the Positive Now,
        Because she’s unable to postulate How.

        F. Winsor & M. Parry, quoted by Jeff Masten in “Epistemic Ambiguity and the Calculus of Risk: Ethyl Corporation vs. Environmental Protection Agency,” South Dakota Law Review, 1976.
        Geoff S

      • It is almost inevitable that a chicken that has laid an egg will lay another. Geoff and the Earth system are in the same coop. Although with the Earth system it’s called surprises. Surprises are inevitable and the fact that not much else is known with certainty doesn’t preclude pragmatic, value adding risk management responses. Continuing blindly along a path with obvious risks and uncertain but possibly severe consequences – on the other hand – seems the height of folly.

      • ‘ … seems the height of folly.’

        History will mock the demonisation of CO2.

      • “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/

        They will be too busy building resilient infrastructure, inventing new technologies and planning new successes.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        More from the dominant “do nothing” way of thinking in the 1980s:
        “How extraordinary! … The richest, longest-lived, best-protected, most resourceful civilization, with the highest degree of insight into its own technology, is on its way to becoming the most frightened.”
        Aaron Wildavsky, political scientist, University of California, New York Times, 1979.
        (To be read thinking of the last US election result).
        I agree with him. Puzzled why you often call me a contrarian. I have agreed with the dominant, relevant, “do nothing” policy for the last 40 years. You are the one denying that “do nothing” is best.
        Why are you fixated on what could hppen as opposed to what might happen? I love surprises, so often they make happiness. You want a surprise that kills people? Why are you so negative, so contrary?
        You cannot assume that hundreds of nations favour drastic action under the banner of climate change, just because they agreed at Paris. International agreements do not work so simply. I’ve been to the High Court examining international agreements and learned a bit along the way. Many countries opposing action would have signed to be part of the club of enemies to keep current with what they were up to. Never any intention to harm their people or economies in the way communists are known to do.
        Sorry, mate, I spent too much of my career fighting against the drivel of not-very-bright people, non-achievers silly enough to don a label of “environmentalist”.
        Where is your list of actual harms caused to date by alleged anthropogenic climate change? I have shown you my list. It reads “NIL”.
        Geoff S

      • The world has in fact made great progress in many areas and the momentum is building. Building resilient infrastructure, tackling pollution, a proliferation of new technologies, more productive farming methods. It is not about fear – it is about entrepreneurs in free markets meeting the challenges facing humanity and the planet and making a buck. It doesn’t work otherwise. It is about building prosperous and resilient communities in vibrant landscapes in the 21st century. Just one quick example.


        There is a huge misunderstanding – btw – of what happened in Paris. Reading the voluntary country commitments puts a different complexion on it. Countries committed to developing the energy technologies that most suited their development needs. The most promising progress on climate mitigation – and food security – occurred outside of the main event. The French 4 per 1000 soil carbon initiative. Adding 4 parts per 1000 to existing soil carbon content in agricultural soils per year. Carbon that remains in soils for as long as these 21st century agricultural practices – importantly mob grazing – are maintained. This is yet another thing Sherrington fails to grasp.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVLnH_dKH4U .

        For a more comprehensive technical discussion I recommend the Rattan Lal video that can be found on the front page of my WordPress site. And note that the land sector in the US became a net carbon sink relatively recently. If you know of a more recent graph – please let me know.


        And he quotes 1980’s political scientists? It’s like he spent the past 40 years in a daze.

  29. Antarctic single ice core will be significantly increased in the near future to drill deep into ice laid down over 800,000 years ago. It’s a shame the Mid-Pleistocene Transition has already been put down to greenhouse gases:
    Extending the ice core record from 800,00 years to as distant as 1.5m years would reveal how the atmosphere’s composition changed during a period known as the Middle Pleistocene Transition (MPT) when the time between ice ages switched from 41,000-year cycles to 100,000 years.

    Pedro said it was currently an open question about why the Earth’s ice age cycles shifted. But the ice core would reveal “fundamental information about [the Earth’s] sensitivity to CO2.”

    Pedro said that as well as revealing the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and how they changed, the analysis would also look for other gases – xenon and krypton – that can be analysed to estimate ocean temperatures.

    I’m convinced it’s an increase in tidal forcing due to a shift in a major astronomical body such as the capture of a ‘dark moon’ by Jupiter.

  30. UK-Weather Lass

    In his closing arguments during Trump’s latest impeachment case, Michael Van Der Veen demonstrated the nature and purpose of evidence, of due process, and of the essential nature of the whole Constitution of the USA in a way that kind of shamed the way our media, our academia, our larger organisations, our politicians, our chattering classes operate. You can talk as much as you like to each other, at each other, or even over each other but where is the evidence? Where is the process? Where is your framework? Where is your structured debate on all matters of public interest? It certainly isn’t coming from the IPCC. It certainly isn’t coming from academia. It certainly isn’t coming from the media. They already made up their minds without the most important parts of it and so it would seem have our politicians.

    Any collapse into partisanship can be unhealthy when someone claims the matter is settled without clear and substantial evidence to support that claim. Circumstantial evidence proves nothing. Implementing alternative green energy delivery based on falsehoods is not just lying to everybody it is also breaking the rules about your own professional conduct. When money is being thrown around based on such a falsehood then isn’t that fraud? We have had nuclear capacity for a long time and it can deliver the promise of reliable low carbon energy output relatively quickly backed on by a more cautious use of fossil fuel until we are absolutely sure that carbon dioxide is or isn’t an important player in climate matters. What is so hard about delivering on a solution we already have and using the time that will create on exploring new technologies be they at grid level, batteries, or other energy sources?

    • Geoff Sherrington

      IMO, you have spoken well. It would be interesting, for once, to see some answers to your questions. tThank you Geoff S

  31. Curious George

    [“normal science” conforms traditionally to the ethos described by Robert K. Merton as the conjunction of communism, universalism, disinterestedness, and organized scepticism.]
    Philosophy tends to explain a reasonably understandable notion in terms of four extremely foggy notions.

  32. Who decided to use the word pacated? Looks like the spell checker doesn’t recognize it. If the word means peaceful, why not use peaceful.
    Aslin for a friend 😂🤦🏻‍♂️

  33. Contrasting views on tackling a nonexistent problem, episode too many hundred and something.

  34. Stephen Segrest

    Heat waves are red
    Cold spells are blue
    The first are more common now
    By a factor of two

  35. If they were dealing with actual science themes here, they would be dealing with the history of CO2 and temperature for the last 550 million years, and the exponential decline in CO2 GHG effect. They don’t, so they aren’t. It’s posturing.

  36. I agree with the general sentiment, a couple of characters talking through their hats.

    I don’t understand why the NH jet has returned to zonal flow, it should be meandering under a negative NAO? It appears to be out of phase, but I cannot pin point the teleconnections.

  37. OT but defunding the police in Minneapolis went about as well as could be expected


  38. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #442 – Watts Up With That?

  39. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #442 – Climate- Science.press

  40. Matthew R Marler

    To me, this “pacated” dialogue was not the least bit interesting. It’s a long-winded avoidance of the most obvious: clear and simple propositions about CO2 and climate change require more evidence for us to have confidence in them (e.g. doubling CO2 will increase mean global surface temperature by 2C; increasing mean global surface temperature will cause increases in famine), or in their denial.

  41. The CO2 radiative forcing curve is of course approximately logarithmic. Post industrial emissions have increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere to levels last seen in the very deep past. Temperature is now higher than at any time in the Holocene. What happens in the Pleistocene is that the planet warms, the Arctic melt changes thermal and salinity gradients, thermohaline circulation declines, northern climes cool, ice sheets grow and the planet is plunged into a deep freeze. Tell me it ain’t so?

    • “Temperature is now higher than at any time in the Holocene.” It ain’t so.

      • http://www.realclimate.org/images/Marcott.png

        If you have some better data… don’t keep us in suspense.

      • [Graph wouldn’t post. It showed multiple Holocene temperature reconstructions, not just Marcott.]

        “This graph is taken from Wikipedia. It shows eight different reconstructions of Holocene temperature. The thick black line is the average of these. Time progresses from left to right.
        On this graph the Stone Age is shown only about one degree warmer than present day, but most sources mention that Scandinavian Stone Age was about 2-3 degrees warmer than the present; this need not to be mutually excluding statements, because the curve reconstructs the entire Earth’s temperature, and on higher latitudes the temperature variations were greater than about equator.
        Some reconstructions show a vertical dramatic increase in temperature around the year 2000, but it seems not reasonable to the author, since that kind of graphs cannot possibly show temperature in specific years, it must necessarily be smoothed by a kind of mathematical rolling average, perhaps with periods of hundred years, and then a high temperature in a single year, for example, 2004 will be much less visible.
        The trend seems to be that Holocene’s highest temperature was reached in the Hunter Stone Age about 8,000 years before present, thereafter the temperature has generally been steadily falling, however, superimposed by many cold and warm periods, including the modern warm period.
        However, generally speaking, the Holocene represents an amazing stable climate, where the cooling through the period has been limited to a few degrees.”

        Robert, you know one cannot simply tack recent thermometer readings on the end of paleo reconstructions. Paleo reconstructions are smeared over decades to centuries. You have proven nothing.

      • I was keeping it simple for you Dave. You have to add recent warming (since 1950 when proxies end) to get the whole picture. And you may find that proxies have much higher resolution than decades or centuries.


      • Same comment; you prove nothing by pasting thermometer reading on paleo reconstruction graphs.

      • It adds the Pages 2k reconstruction that has unparcelled scientific rigour as these things go. You sort of linked a spaghetti graph from Wikipedia that lacks modern warming. You have refuted nothing. And that seems par for the course for you.

      • Re PAGES2K, spend some time at Climate Audit, which will disabuse you of a perception of PAGES2K’s scientific rigor

      • I have reviewed their methodology – and I did say as these things go. Then there is the consilience of Marcott el al and PAGES2k.

        I haven’t gone deeply into Steve McIntyre or the origins of the Wikipedia spaghetti graph – at least since the hockey stick. Modern reconstructions have many more proxy series to choose from and much more refined methodologies. It was a simple point – among others – that modern warming – along with emission, atmospheric CO2 concentrations and radiative forcing – takes us into new territory for the Holocene.

        How much proof do your contrarian denizens require? Always more it seems. As I have said – the dominant scientific paradigm is anthropogenic change superimposed on large internal variability in a nonlinear system. I’d posit from your words over the years that you endorse that paradigm. As sensible scientists do.

      • Lots of problems with Marcott also. I endorse the paradigm of modes of natural variability dominating, with external forcing projecting onto these modes. The paleoreconstruction gang are set on minimizing natural variability relative to manmade warming. In 20 years that community hasn’t made much progress and are still making some of the same mistakes and including the same unreliable proxies.

      • Sergey Kravtsov et al 2018 put it at about 50/50 natural/forced at decadal scales in the 20th and early 21st century. That seems about right given the surface warming trend in the modern era – being the period of interest far and beyond any paleo proxy result.

        “Indeed, the reconstruction of this pair of modes for regional climate indices (Fig. 3b, c) manifests as a multidecadal signal propagating across the climate index network (with certain time delays between different indices)—a so-called stadium wave (refs. 20,35,36,37)—which we will refer to as the global stadium wave (GSW) or, when referring to the global-mean temperature, Global Multidecadal Oscillation (GMO), although, once again, the oscillatory character of this phenomenon is impossible to establish due to shortness of the data record. The phasing of indices in the GSW is consistent with earlier work (ref. 20), which analysed a limited subset of the Northern Hemisphere climate indices (Supplementary Fig. 6). The global-mean temperature trends associated with GSW are as large as 0.3 °C per 40 years, and so are capable of doubling, nullifying or even reversing the forced global warming trends on that timescale.”

        Indirect solar effects projecting into nonlinear, Hurst-Kolmogorov stochastic dynamical internal modes?

        As far as proxy based temperature reconstructions go – it is not adequate simply to say that there are problems. Of course there are problems. Records get more problematic with time – but cross modern proxy comparisons are somewhat consistent.


      • yes, i have coauthored several papers with Kravtsov on this topic.

        The problem with the proxy-based temperature reconstructions is cherry picking of the proxies to get the right answer.

      • This does demonstrate how misleading a single value such as global average temperature can be.

        Consider the seasonal change of insolation ins W/m^2 since the Holocene Climatic Optimum:
        ( https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2005PA001152 )

        Arctic HCO summers were much sunnier. So too were Northern mid and low latitudes, presumably also much hotter.

        But then consider that Northern mid and low latitudes were significantly less insolated during winter, presumably much colder.

        The Holocene Optimum was optimal in being ice free, but was of a much more extreme climate.

      • Less high northern insolation in June allows more snow and ice to survive over summer in a complex interplay of systems.

        e,g – https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/2017GL076350

        With wind driven ice and freshwater export from the Arctic apparently.

        “Ice production and sustained draining of freshwater from the Arctic Ocean in response to winds are the key contributors to the salinification of the upper Arctic Ocean over recent decades. Strength of the export of Arctic ice and water dominates the supply of Arctic freshwater to subpolar basins while the intensity of the Arctic Ocean FWC anomalies is of less importance. Further research is required to provide quantitative estimates of impacts freshwater export and ice production may have on high-latitude FWC changes.” https://journals.ametsoc.org/view/journals/clim/21/2/2007jcli1748.1.xml

        “Figure 2 Changes in incoming solar radiation as a function of latitude in December, January and annual average, due to the astronomical Milankovitch cycles (known as orbital forcing). Source: Marcott et al., 2013.”

      • joe - the non climate scientiest

        RE ‘s comment – “How much proof do your contrarian denizens require? Always more it seems”

        Most contrarians would settle for any proof.

        RE’s comment “I have reviewed their methodology – and I did say as these things go. Then there is the consilience of Marcott el al and PAGES2k.”
        “I haven’t gone deeply into Steve McIntyre ”

        It quite appropriate to review S Mcintyre’s work. As noted by JA, marcott and pages2k have multitude of serious errors. The failure of the climate community to acknowledge those errors, and the continued promotion of those studies should give you an indication of their scientific rigor

      • I don’t do blog science. I seem to recall McIntyre’s critique of a single tree for the hockey stick – but it was so long ago. And you are long on contrarian rhetoric and lacking in any scientific detail.

        Mike’s Nature trick? Take all proxies with a grain of salt – compare and contrast – build an holistic picture. Express your paradigm in a few sentences – look for confirming observations – refine. That’s how science works. Modern instrumental data rules – models are theoretically useless for temperature ‘projections’.


        Above all – it has almost no implications for pragmatic, economically rational Earth system – in the wider sense – policy. Other than warming or cooling might be a problem in future, An example – anti-correlation of SST and low level marine boundary cloud – observed in the real world – might according to fine scale modelling – they have their purposes – encounter a tipping point this century with an 8 degrees C global average temperature rise. Is this certain proof? Of course not – science just doesn’t work that way.


        But if you imagine that you are cleverer than the dominant scientific paradigm – I’ll take that with a grain of salt. I’ll wait for your proof with bated breath.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Robert I Ellison: As far as proxy based temperature reconstructions go – it is not adequate simply to say that there are problems. Of course there are problems. Records get more problematic with time – but cross modern proxy comparisons are somewhat consistent.

        What is meant by “somewhat consistent”? More importantly, what is the approximation error of the reconstructions?

        The main problem is that short-term segments of totally independent time series can be selected that are highly correlated — consequently, retrocasts (so to speak) based on short term recent records that have been selected because they have a high correlation may be extremely inaccurate, with little hope of estimating the degree of incaccuracy. This has been much discussed here at Climate Etc, and demonstrated with Monte Carlo methods by McIntyre and others.

    • Your very deep past is the last 15 million years? How short-sighted.
      CO2 at present is near the lowest of the past 550 million years, which have spent maybe half the time at temps very near 25C. With CO2 ranging up to 4000 and even 8000 ppm. Including the 4000 ppm just before the onset of the Hirnantian Ice Age. And in the REALLY recent Eemian, 120,000 years ago, the temp was 2C higher and CO2 was 280 ppm.
      What bollocks!

      • It was in fact some 3 million years ago – predating the Pleistocene that saw modern climate dynamics emerge. In the modern era there has been rising CO2 concentrations emitted in the industrial era with a rising temperature trend superimposed on decadal variability in a nonlinear system. CO2 levels are some 410 ppm – and in my preferred high energy future scenario could reach 1000 ppm by 2100 – higher than at most times in the past 400 million years. Emissions in the high energy demand scenario – if there are no new cost competitive energy sources – are consistent with current energy demand growth and very similar to RCP 8.5. This is not business as usual – it is hyper-business in a libertarian world. The difference is that business will create solutions. Tell me – are you or have you ever been a socialist Jiminy?


        There is little enough to recommend drawing conclusions from proxies for the Holocene let alone over 550 million years. When background states – ice, cloud, biology, insolation, etc – are very likely to have been very different. Even over such relatively short scales as the peak of the last interglacial proxies are broadly imprecise and background states different.

        “The Eemian or peak of the Last Interglacial [Marine Isotope Stage 5e (MIS 5e); ca. 129,000–116,000 years Before Present (BP)] is the most recent geologic period when global temperatures were similar to present, but in response to orbital forcing rather than greenhouse gas loading of the atmosphere. While this makes the Eemian an imperfect analogue for near-future climate due to anthropogenic global warming, the latitudinal temperature distribution was similar to the present1,2,3,4. Eemian global mean temperature was 0—2 °C warmer than present, mean global sea surface temperatures (SSTs) were indistinguishable from current SSTs5, though sea level was around 6–9 m higher from meltwater inflows from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets. Therefore, understanding the climate of the Eemian may provide valuable insight to future climate and its variability.” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-75071-z#:~:text=The%20Eemian%20or%20peak%20of,gas%20loading%20of%20the%20atmosphere.

        And I understand that you are arrogant enough along with any other dumb contrarians – including the guy who wants to overthrow general relativity – to think you can overturn the dominant scientific climate paradigm with simplistic assertions that don’t bear any resemblance to the real world. I will wait for your proof.

      • “..including the guy who wants to overthrow general relativity.” RIE

        It’s not just me. Modified Newtonian gravity is becoming mainstream and set to replace Einstein’s GR:


      • Physics is in crisis. Due to Newton’s early mathematical equation, the concept of a nucleic density core at the centre of the Earth eludes the greatest minds trying to tackle the problem:


      • Robert
        Your reply is the usual bucket load of waffle and copy-pastes, with trademark derogatory language thrown in. But you’ve not even touched on jim’s point – that the deep time record in not by any stretch of the imagination compatible with a dominant effect of CO2 on climate. Indeed the end Ordovician glaciation occurred with CO2 in the thousands ppm. And it’s worse than that – the CO2 level increased – not decreased – at the onset of that glaciation as the glaciers spread.


        This is actually a general trend – CO2 increases at glacial inception.


        Alarmists have up to now shared an argument strategy with 6-day creationists – being able to cast doubt on the fossil record. But as these linked papers shows, major advances in isotope analysis technology are taking away this fig-leaf from alarmists. Now temperature records with almost millenial scale resolution can be achieved hundreds of millions of years ago, for instance focusing in on the end-Permian extinction in more and more detail (finding, by the way, that it was associated with an ice age and sea level regression, NOT warming as has typically been assumed without evidence by climate “scientists”).

        Click to access Did_changes_in_atmospheric_CO2_coincide_20160504-5750-17f7bcu.pdf


      • Phil

        There was one highly relevant quote – so stop whining. And dumb contrarians are a problem in inevitably gravitating to their cultural bias. Part of it involves scatterbrained denouncing of science itself as well as characterization of those who understand and accept the dominant scientific climate paradigm as religious loonies. And of course you object to my calling a spade a spade because that’s your quite obvious and very strange contrarian cultural bias. So you have a go at me and not the guy who believes – without a shred of evidence – that there is neutron star material at Earth’s core – or flying around the solar system at superluminal speeds without being noticed – and that a new theory of gravity driving climate change is just around the corner.

        Volcanoes spewed carbon dioxide at levels well in excess of weathering and deposition rates at times in Earth’s history. So carbon dioxide accumulated in the atmosphere to perhaps some 1000 ppm. Faster but more modest biokinetic feedbacks at other times tracked temperature in the Earth system. At this time anthropogenic emissions are accumulating in the atmosphere and may – in the SSP5 hyper-business scenario – reach 1000 ppm by 2100. It won’t happen because business, farmers, people generally and governments do understand and are responding to multiple anthropogenic pressures on the Earth system.


      • Robert
        To be honest I also find it troubling that climate alarmist skeptics also turn out to be skeptical of relativity and mainstream physics and the standard model, of string theory, the Big Bang, vaccines, even sometimes tectonic drift (and obviously of evolution for reasons of personal belief).

        Be that as it may, what Pierre Gosselin’s NTZ site shows is that peer reviewed publications in high impact journals continually refute the case for acute climate alarm. Warming (or cooling) by themselves are not a story – for the alarmist agenda to be valid the warming must portend impending catastrophe. It doesn’t – and no reference to fringe unpublished narrative is needed to show this, it’s in the main scientific literature.

        There is a more nuanced case for catastrophe to be made. While climate temperature changes of a few degrees are nothing exceptional and catastrophic by themselves, in combination with human disruption of the biosphere – overfishing, resource depletion, pollution, habitat (eg forest) reduction and fragmentation, then yes – added to all that, a little climate change might exert an inflated harmful effect.

        I do also believe however that there is a baleful political influence that forces scientists to ascribe a stronger role to CO2 in climate than is supported by evidence. Also in recent palaeo climate studies there is a disturbing tendency to ignore probably the dominant factor in slow climate change over tens to hundreds of millions of years: ocean circulation changes due to a changing world map. Instead, CO2 changes from either volcanos (to increase it) and silicate weathering at newly exposed rock (to decrease it) are invoked to account for all CO2 driven climate change. The oceans are ignored entirely. This is wrong.

        The effect of continental tectonic rearrangement on climate is not via CO2 – increased or decreased as needed by volcanos/weathering – that primarily change climate. They exert only secondary effect. The primary effect is via ocean circulation changes. For instance, the continual cooling after the Cretaceous is due mainly to tectonic developments:

        – formation of a meridionally bounded ocean, the Atlantic, accelerating meridional circulation at all depths, causing interhemispheric heat piracy south to north and also fertilising ocean productivity due to vertical mixing;

        – isolation of a pole-covering Antarctica surrounded by a latitudinally continuous Southern Ocean.

        – connection of north and South America cutting off connection between Pacific and Atlantic.

        But these dominant ocean processes causing Tertiary cooling are overlooked in favour of accompanying supposed changes in CO2. As so often cause and effect are inverted. CO2 falling due to cooling oceans is switched from the effect to the cause of the same cooling.

        I believe in general relativity btw, and also string theory. I even think that Heisenberg’s S-matrix approach still has a role to play, maybe l’m biased toward observation over theory (except in regard to strings).

        So overall the scientific community can be trusted to arrive at – or closer to – truth. In regard to climate alarm, within the scientific literature as a whole the alarmist-catastrophist position is already a marginal and implausible minority view. Andy May’s articles on the “catastrophe narrative” make this clear.

      • Pure contrarian nonsense. The dominant climate science paradigm involves Hurst-Kolmogorov stochastic dynamical nonlinearity in the Earth system. We may reach 1000 ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere under the SSP5 hyper-business scenario. It would take us unpredictably closer to or beyond the next global tipping point where +/- 10 degrees C in short order has happened in the past and is possible in future. It might not happen because people more generally acknowledge the risk. And that Andy West labels irrational religiosity. Contrarians should rather look to the log in your own eyes.

        In the sense of Rene Thom – it is called catastrophe theory.



        Tim Palmer has interesting ideas on a superdeterministic – rather than probabilistic – theory of quantum mechanics. One involving fractal geometry resolving the lumpiness of QM with the continuity of GR.



        And I think that entropy and gravity time dilation is more likely than unobserved dark matter or string theory. Everything wants to be where time moves more slowly.

      • The dominant climate science paradigm involves Hurst-Kolmogorov stochastic dynamical nonlinearity

        Dominant!? Hardly – even though both you and I wish it was.

        Everything wants to be where time moves more slowly.

        So cosmology boils down to hating Monday mornings? I can go with that at least.

      • But, Elly, all you do is draw pretty pictures. Judith is trying to educate you, alas as unsuccessfully as the rest of us. You present no evidence (graphs are not evidence) that CO2 is, or has been in the last 550 million years, in control of climate change. You insist that it must be because of…well, it was at one time, back in the day. You acknowledge the “logarithmic process” of CO2 without admitting that its GHG effect is in exponential decline, such that the next doubling to 800ppm will produce an increase of perhaps 2%.
        You really are most devout. CO2 is not in control of climate, and we are not in control of CO2. Climate change is a given, not a problem, and CO2 mitigation is a problem, not a solution.

      • CO2 is emitted from volcanoes or as a biokinetic feedback. Volcanic emissions have sometimes exceeded sequestration that originally laid down the fossil fuels we use now to change the climate. Such that CO2 levels in the atmosphere reached some 1000 ppm with temperature changes of some 10 or 12 degrees C. It is possible that in the hyper-business SSP5 scenario I endorse that CO2 concentration could reach in the atmosphere could reach 1000 ppm this century with an increased forcing of several W/m2. Temperature shifts in the past have happened in as little as a decade. It is not happening because most of the world are not contrarian dinosaurs.

    • Robert Ellison, your forcing curve is only part of a bigger picture. A picture that has so far escaped the minds of climate science and their minions. I’ll give you a short synopsis.

      Earth’s greenhouse has windows.

      A greenhouse prevents solar energy entering through its glass windows from escaping. This keeps the interior of the greenhouse warm. While not exactly like a greenhouse, certain gases in our atmosphere do absorb energy (IR radiation) from the planet’s surface and redirect it back towards the surface. This has led to a description of our atmosphere acting like a greenhouse. it has been assumed that this redirected radiation will warm the Earth. CO2 emitted from human activities is one of those gases.

      What if the greenhouse has windows? What if the windows get opened? Will the redirected energy find a way out of the greenhouse??

      The answer to all 3 questions is YES. Just like we often open our windows at evening on a warm day to cool our homes, the Earth’s climate system has the equivalent of windows, these windows open at night and almost all of the energy that has been assumed to be trapped by greenhouse gases is dissipated through these windows every night.

      This feature of the climate system is due to the interaction of two seemingly unrelated items.
      1) The large difference in heat capacity between the Earth’s surface and its atmosphere.
      2) The way moisture controls Earth’s surface cooling.

      The high heat capacity of the surface prevents redirected energy from significantly increasing its temperature. The surface has a heat capacity almost 1000 times greater than the atmosphere. As a result, the energy that could raise the temperature of the atmosphere by 1 C will only raise the surface temperature by about 0.001 C even though the energy levels are equivalent. A good analogy would be a container that holds 1 gallon vs. another one that contains 1000 gallons. If you add a quart of water to both container the first one is 25% full while you’d barely get the bottom wet in the 2nd one.

      This small amount of temperature change prevents the air above the surface from warming and the humidity from increasing since those processes are based on temperature and not energy levels.

      At night the sun’s energy is eliminated and the atmosphere quickly starts to cool. As it cools the difference in temperature between it and the surface increases and the redirected energy stored in the surface along with the heat built up from daytime heating start to radiate away (into the atmosphere and then into space). The moisture level of the atmosphere (the dew point) controls how much cooling takes place. When the dew point and the surface temperature are nearly the same, they both radiate energy at the same level. That keeps their temperatures the about same.

      Since the atmosphere did not see any increase in temperature during the day from the redirected energy, the dew point is never changed. While it takes longer for the surface to lose its energy due to having significantly more energy than the atmosphere, all the excess energy still gets radiated away. The surface eventually reaches equilibrium with the atmosphere at the same temperature that would have existed without any redirected energy.

      That is the way the redirected energy is removed. The high heat capacity of the surface prevents the added energy from significantly increasing the surface temperature thus keeping the moisture content of the atmosphere fairly constant. It is this moisture content that determines the equilibrium temperature and that temperature ends up almost the same as it would have been if there was no redirected energy. That means the redirected energy is lost … right out the greenhouse window.

  42. Pierre Gosselin at NoTricksZone is very good at finding peer-reviewed papers in high impact journals that give consistent paleoclimate evidence that the Holocene has been many degrees C warmer than now for most of its duration. The evidence is abundant, varied in source and of high quality. This would not be contentious at all if it were not for the efforts of the likes of Mann, Marcott and Shakun to iron flat the Holocene temperature record.


    Regarding selection of proxies the approaches of Steve MacIntyre and Marcott, Shakun et al are in sharp contrast. MacIntyre’s approach is to apply stringent quality criteria and only accept the highest quality reconstructions.


    The approach of Marcott and Shakun is the opposite – in their Holocene reconstructions something like 50 proxies of all kinds are tossed in together in a proxy stir fry. This includes a lot of biological proxies such as of midges and pollen. Some of these are of such poor quality that they scarcely resolve a difference in temperature between the last glacial maximum and the Holocene optimum. Their purpose is to iron flat the Holocene to then allow “Mike’s nature trick” of stitching on the instrumental record at the end to work to maximum dishonest effect.

    • Climate changes abruptly and nonlinearly and it is not globally uniform – nothing new there. We can add 3 or 4 degrees C to Greenland temperature over the past century.


      • Using a Mannian hand-lens, I could easily see the other y-axis of CO2 atmospheric concentration peaking along with proxy temperature spikes in that Quaternary Science graph.

        Thanks for showing us, sport.

      • No worries sport. But it’s pretty clear that Mannian lens are unreliable. Try a kaleidoscope next time. The US National Academy of Sciences defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002. A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations. A new science paradigm is one that better explains data – in this case climate data – than the old theory. The new theory says that climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain.

    • Thanks, Phil. I doubt it will do any good. Those with ears, hear.

    • Partial quote from above:
      “– evidence that the Holocene has been many degrees C warmer than now for most of its duration. —– to iron flat the Holocene temperature record.”

      Ironing flat the Holocene obliterates the most important evidence. However stating that the Holocene was warmer leaves a lot out of the picture.
      1. Several times it was warmer at the poles, but cooler in equatorial. At other times the reverse occurred.
      2. Those changes were driven by other factors, and the trip point was abrupt.
      3. There are several independent proxies that show/highlight those trip points. These range from ice rafting from polar, to sediment layers from sea floor sites. The dates agree in all cases. Post holocene max the dates also correlate to following civilisation wax/wane.
      4. It is the sharp changes in some of the proxies that indicate the abruptness of the event (see abrupt and distinctive sapropel layers in otherwise inert sediment in Med). Others, like temperature, show increased rate of change.

  43. Pingback: Back to energy, again – DON AITKIN

  44. I commend AS for his calm. PMB is the ‘practico-inert’ I disbelieve!

    Epistemic authority? Is a nonsense term; an auto-critique of itself! There is no ‘authority’ over truth. The more authorities concern themselves with truth the more corrupt they make it. Authorities supporting corrupt and degenerate ideas of truth are an important contributor to the present epistemic relativism in society (postmodernism, self-styled critical theory and the other sides: MAGA). Those of us who really care about truth need to decouple it from institutions of power and anti-power (practico-inert). In science, this means defending the scientific method from relativists, modellers, bureaucrats, billionaires, activists and careerists who think nothing of destroying the scientific method as the source of scientific legitimacy. Future scientists will need to understand this peril. As soon as science enters the political realm it ignites its own auto-destruction. We clearly saw that in climate when untestable, non-validated models were defined as ‘settled science’. The scientists who spoke out for the scientific method were routinely slandered, harassed and often cancelled. These attempts to corrupt science will be an ongoing issue for tomorrow’s scientists; probably until the end of time. Pseudo-science is a real thing and much of it is made by government.

  45. The proposition of a planet destroying catastrophic climate impact of humans likely derives from the Genesis that gives humans dominion over nature.


  46. FWIW, another word I’d never heard of (besides ‘pacated’) is ‘contendent’. Several online dictionaries say it’s obsolete (but then, so am I…). Likewise ‘hybridicity’, which seems to be based on ‘hybridize’, but which was listed in no dictionary that I could find. (Or ‘insectageddon’, but I’m pretty sure that was intentional.)

    I’m pretty sure these are not native speakers of English, although I wish my foreign language competencies were 1/10th as good as their skill in English.

    But overall, a nicely ‘pacated’ discussion. We should do as well.

  47. FollowTheAnts

    Extremely interesting post and comments

    As I read this and similar debates my mind moves to one thing- the large gap between what humans imagine, and what they do.

    My background and skills are:

    1. Mapping out complex global systems by traveling them on the ground, with teams of diverse perspectives and disciplines. Over 40 years have mapped the – global – mine, to manufacture, to sale, to use, to re-use, to scrap, to recycling chains of:

    – transportation (autos, aircraft, etc)

    – healthcare (from science to patient realities in US, EU, Africa, India, Asia) – most recently the deployment of laparoscopic surgery in Mongolia)

    – Energy – most recently the global supply-use-scrap chains of solar and wind technology. From lithium salars in LATAM to shiploads of e-waste in India and LATAM. I helped create the CAFE standards so was in the room for the creation, and have mapped the – not surprisingly counter-intuitive results on the ground.

    – Etc

    2. Helping to reorganize large complex human organizations. I cut my teeth on the Chrysler bankruptcy, the transformation of the global auto industry with the expansion of The Toyota Way. Helped facilitate the Philips global reorganization (see Centurion Program).

    For the past 25 years have been traveling the world with small teams carrying various mobile devices and mapping out the amazing expansion of the global “internet’ and the transfer of human consciousness and behavior to this meta-sphere

    3. Tracking global human “swarm” behaviors. My first real job was extracting genomic material from rat brains to track the early effects of drugs crossing the blood-brain barrier. So had my hands on the massive scintillation counters that were the precursors to modern genomic miracles like the CV19 vaccines. So I am blown away – but not altogether surprised – at the miracle of this global current “genomic modification” process.

    So what?

    The element of human reality missing from most climate science – and other human politicized science – is the almost complete avoidance of how messy human behavior is in reality.

    If you read the top level policy or theory or strategy of ANY human organization, and then follow the implementation of that policy down through the human networks meant to implement it – you will find that about 3 “network hops” down from top leaders – people are already doing things that are about 50% to 80% “off plan”….or “not what the strategic plan intended.”

    This is the same problem with ANY “climate change” – or “government” – or “scientific” human organization.

    By the time one tries to apply central, small-group theory to an ever-changing world – the hard evidence of the complex world does not meet the – necessarily – simplistic strategy, or vision – of tiny groups of human “central managers” or “experts”

    That’s just life.

    I am absolutely blown away by the global human APPLIED science of 7 billion people trying to help each other beat the first truly global pandemic – with amazing scientific collaboration across “enemies”

    As I read the debate of the two scientists, I see the centuries-long miracle of messy human survival in a nutshell.

    Best wishes to you all

  48. if we spend money to cleaning the oceans then we sufficiently tackle the global warming.
    as oceans are lungs and heart of earth planet and absorbed the 30 percent of emission of co2.