Climate book shelf

by Judith Curry

Reviews of new books by Steve Koonin, Matthew Kahn and Marc Morano.

A year ago, we discussed [link]:

False Alarm, by Bjorn Lomborg

Apocalypse Never, by Michael Schellberger

Earlier this year, two notable climate books were published [reviews]:

How to avoid a climate disaster, by Bill Gates

The new climate war: the fight to take back our planet, by Michael Mann

The Mann and Gates books both assume climate disaster. Apart from this assumption, Bill Gate’s book is rather interesting and describes technological solutions. Mann’s new book is mostly indistinguishable from his earlier books, distinguished mainly by adding to his ‘enemies’ list (including Bill Gates).

The three books that are the focus of this post provide different perspectives on climate change:

Unsettled: What climate science tells us, what it doesn’t and why it matters by Steve Koonin

Adapting to climate change: Markets and management of an uncertain future, by Matthew Kahn

Green fraud: Why the Green New Deal is worse than you think, by Marc Morano

Unsettled: What climate science science tells us, what it doesn’t and why it matters

Steve Koonin has has had a unique personal trajectory through the climate/energy space over the past 15 years. I entered into this trajectory [link] in 2014 in context of the American Physical Society Workshop (which Koonin chaired). In this book, Koonin comes across as very honest and trustworthy, and genuinely concerned about the integrity of climate science and the research process. A welcome contrast to the way Michael Mann comes across.

A review by Forbes provides a good summary of Koonin’s book, excerpts:

“Mr. Koonin argues not against current climate science but that what the media and politicians and activists say about climate science has drifted so far out of touch with the actual science as to be absurdly, demonstrably false”.

One of the key contributions of Koonin’s book is its detailed account of how the climate change message gets distorted as it goes through successive filters as the research literature gets converted to assessment reports and report summaries which are then subject to alarmist and apocalyptic media coverage and politicians’ soundbites. 

In examining “who broke the science and why”, Koonin argues that misinformation in the service of persuasion is not at the behest of “some secret cabal but rather a self-reinforcing alignment of perspectives and interests”. Of the media, Koonin observes that if reporters don’t have a narrative of gloom, they won’t have a story that makes it into the papers since “if it bleeds, it leads”. Scientific institutions seem “overwilling to persuade rather than inform”, and the entire raison d’etre of environmental NGOs is to keep alive the “climate crisis”.

The reviewers on Amazon are genuinely appreciative of Koonin’s book. However, the book has received several adverse reviews:

InsideClimateNews and ClimateFeedback attempt to knock back Koonin’s statements and interpretations about historical climate change. They don’t directly critique Koonin’s statements, but make alternative statements (e.g. with a cherry picked date) that they claim refutes Koonin’s statements. In any event, all of Koonin’s statements are consistent with the likely/very likely range from the IPCC for low/med confidence. Although I do agree that given this book is titled Unsettled and is about uncertainty, some of Koonin’s scientific assertions are not accompanied by the appropriate documentation or a sense of the uncertainty and scope for disagreement.

The reviews mainly address Part I of Koonin’s book (the science). Part II is our response. Koonin divides our response into 3 chapters. The first is “what we won’t do”: rapid CO2 mitigation. IMO this is the best chapter of the book, where Koonin lays out the impediments to global (or even US) carbon neutrality on the timescales of decades. “What we might do” is geoengineering; “what we will do” is adaptation. And the final chapter lays out what Koonin thinks we should do (after keeping the earlier part of the book free from his own evaluation of ‘should’): better observations of the climate system, improve understanding of what climate models can tell us, sloooow energy transition, adaptation, and geoengineering if needed.

When someone asks me for a good primer on climate science and the associated debate, I have been recommending What We Know About Climate Change by Kerry Emanuel and Lukewarming by Pat Michaels. Both of these books are easy to understand, and the combination spans the range of credible perspectives. I can comfortably add Koonin’s book to this list; his selection of science topics are good ones, and the book is very well written with clear explanations, interesting anecdotes and useful analogies. The book serves a useful educational function.

Considering how Koonin’s book might influence policy or change the way we think about climate science or our response to climate change, I would say not much. Other important issues that Kooning raises such as politicization of the science, climate communications, and our policy responses are based on personal experiences and reflections, with little evidence of having explored the broad literature on these topics. Koonin reiterates his push for a climate ‘red team’; personally I think that the climate science enterprise is too broken for this to be useful in context of a government led or sanctioned effort.

Adapting to climate change: Markets and management of an uncertain future

Matthew Kahn is a distinguished environmental economist, who I have come to know via twitter and some email exchanges. Much of his work relates to adaptation. His perspective is summarized in a 2016 essay Climatopolis Revisited:

Many environmentalists view people as passive victims in the face of climate change, but I reject this view. Forward-looking, risk-averse economic actors have strong incentives to take protective actions to reduce their losses in the face of climate shocks. The only decision makers who will not take protective actions against changing circumstances are those who “do not know that they do not know.” But when it comes to “known unknowns,” as Donald Rumsfeld famously described them, economic actors who know that they do not know what climate change will do to assets such as coastal real estate have strong incentives to take defensive actions. In this age of smartphones and easy access to information, who can claim that they are ignorant of emerging climatic risks? If such “climate skeptics” truly do reject the stream of news, then a new market for trusted information providers will emerge.

The blurb for his new book states:

It is all but certain that the next century will be hotter than any we’ve experienced before. Even if we get serious about fighting climate change, it’s clear that we will need to adapt to the changes already underway in our environment. This book considers how individual economic choices in response to climate change will transform the larger economy. Using the tools of microeconomics, Matthew E. Kahn explores how decisions about where we live, how our food is grown, and where new business ventures choose to locate are affected by climate change. Kahn suggests new ways that big data can be deployed to ease energy or water shortages to aid agricultural operations and proposes informed policy changes related to public infrastructure, disaster relief, and real estate to nudge land use, transportation options, and business development in the right direction.

From a brief review in Foreign Affairs:

Kahn reviews findings on how climate change and extreme weather events affect key sectors of the economy. Although he does not dismiss the need to curb rising temperatures, he suggests that American society is getting better at adapting to climate change. Weather shocks provide incentives for businesses to develop new products, such as resilient building materials and in-home battery backup systems. Big data allows utility providers to adjust electricity and water prices in response to weather events, encouraging consumers to modify their usage in environmentally friendly ways. To be sure, it’s not just up to markets to respond to climate change. Kahn highlights the need for investments in public infrastructure to help with climate change adaptation and for reforms of urban planning rules and flood insurance laws. Still, his book shows that one need not be a climate change skeptic to be a climate change optimist.

Here is the table of contents for the book:

Introduction: Why Adaptation? 

  1. A Microeconomics Perspective on Climate Science Prediction 
  2. Daily Quality of Life 
  3. Protecting the Poor 
  4. Upgrading Public Infrastructure 
  1. Will Climate Change Threaten Economic Productivity? 
  2. Protecting Urban Real Estate 
  3. The Market for Big Data Facilitates Adaptation 
  4. Reimagining the Real Estate Sector 
  5. Reimagining Laws and Regulations to Facilitate Adaptation 
  6. Innovation in Agricultural Production 
  7. Globalization and International Trade to Facilitate Adaptation

Human Capital Fuels Adaptation

Nearly everyone at least mentions adaptation as a climate solution (including Koonin), but without any concrete suggestions or insights as to why/how this can be approached. There aren’t alot of books on climate adaptation; much of this is new material for me. While reading Kahn’s book, I was struck with new insights on almost each page. This is a book that I know I will frequently return to as I ponder how we can respond to climate change.

Green fraud: Why the Green New Deal is worse than you think

Morano’s book is clearly pitched at Trump’s base. The book opens with endorsement statements from Hannity, Inhofe, Limbaugh etc. Chapter 1 establishes Morano’s bona fides as the biggest, baddest climate skeptic of them all.

However, if you can get past the first 26 pages, this book provides a very cogent analysis of U.S. climate politics. At the end of Chapter 1, Morano provides a summary of the forthcoming chapters; I’ve rather clumsily taken screen shots of this text.

The book does not ‘deny’ the basic science of climate change, but challenges whether it is ‘dangerous’ (and this topic comprises only one chapter). The book is not about the science, but rather our political response and the failure of the ‘solutions.’. The book includes carefully crafted arguments, spiced with many amusing anecdotes. The book has almost 90 pages of endnotes and references.

As far as I can tell, Green Fraud has not been reviewed by any mainstream outlet. The response from the climatariat has been attempts to get the book ‘cancelled’. From the Daily Kos:

Longtime fossil fool Marc Morano has a ‘new’ book out about how ‘the Green New Deal is even worse than you think.’ ($24.99 on Amazon)…

Given that Amazon claims to want to be a climate savior, how does it justify selling books like this, and so, so many others, that very intentionally work against a goal of climate action? You can either be a climate champion, or you can sell and profit off of climate denial books like Morano’s, that ‘recycle scientifically unfounded claims that are then amplified by the conservative movement, media, and political elites.’

Anyone who wants to understand the U.S. political debate over climate change should read this book. Climate activists should read this book to understand what they are up against (and also some of the foolishness in the name of climate activism). I would love to see a real attempt at critiquing this book (rather than attempts to cancel it or smear Morano).

JC reflections

I really appreciate reading single-authored books on climate change that lay out a vision of the ‘whole thing’. The long form allows for synthesis and extended arguments and single logic, and the single author avoids negotiated agreement that waters down the whole thing. As you can see, there are many different perspectives and ways of framing the climate problem and its solutions.

With regards to ‘The Science,’ there is nothing in Koonin’s or Morano’s book that isn’t within the likely/very likely range of the IPCC for a low/medium confidence finding. Koonin gets it mostly right by focusing on historical observations and acknowledging that much is ‘unsettled.’ We need to get past fighting the climate policy wars through ‘The Science,’ which will remain unsettled particularly with regards to future projections.

The bigger issue is whether climate change is ‘dangerous.’ Lomborg’s and Schellenberger’s books focus on this topic, and it also appears in Koonin’s and Morano’s books. If climate change is perceived to be locally dangerous, then local adaptation (per Kahn) is the way to go.

The science/policy interface is dealt with explicitly by Mann, Koonin and Morano. Koonin touches on some of the key issues regarding the disfunction at this interface.

With regards to mitigation. Morano argues that it isn’t necessary, Lomborg and Koonin argue that it is ineffective at influencing the climate, and Schellenberger and Gates argue for better technologies (with Schellenberger focused on nuclear).

While covering similar territory (climate politics), Morano’s book is the polar opposite of Mann’s book in terms of perspective and who are the villains. Both books are somewhat polemical, but present two very different political world views.

A wicked problem is characterized by multiple problem definitions, knowability, knowledge fragmentation, interest differentiation and a dysfunction distribution of power among stakeholders. These different perspectives clearly reflect the wickedness of the climate change problem.

The most useful way to grapple with this wickedness is to understand multiple perspectives on the problem. This involves individuals reading both Mann’s and Morano’s books, and not attempting to cancel the books that don’t align with your own perspective.

And finally, Amazon’s sales rankings in Environment Policy (as of 5/9)

Bill Gates #1

Born Lomborg #2

Michael Schellenberger #3

Marc Morano #5

Michael Mann #20

298 responses to “Climate book shelf

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    • Peter Lang

      The bigger issue is whether climate change is ‘dangerous.’”

      This is the critical issue. Empirical evidence indicates global warming is overall beneficial, not harmful, for the global economy and ecosystems. Therefore, there is no valid justification for polices to reduce GHG emissions. The cost of reducing global emissions is enormous and the benefits of doing so are negative, not positive.

      • It is not known how climate will evolve this century. So I put little faith in Peter’s prescience. Right now the rational approach is to put billions into advanced nuclear reactors, be God’s steward of the natural world, create wealth and opportunity and build resilient infrastructure. It’s not climate science.×506-1.png

        A core problem is doubling food production on essentially the same land area by 2050. That requires global geo-engineering and carbon cowboys and cowgirls.

      • I completely agree with you Robert – every word. The only possible way to meet our energy needs in the future without trashing the environment one way or the other is via small scale (modular) nuclear. It’s developing but it could be doing better if more attention was focussed there. If I recall rightly Peter is a big advocate for nuclear too.

        Surely though, advances in agriculture is solving the problem of encroaching on natural environments whilst providing ever more food? Then there is vertical farming as well. I’m more worried about the current state of hand-wringing over problems that don’t exist or aren’t imminently meaningful than our ability to meet those challenges. I completely agree with your list for a “rational approach”.

      • This is the future of food production. Geo-engineering on a large scale that lowers costs and increases productivity.

        In large part it is about managing water movement through landscapes.

      • Empirical evidence seems to indicate that global warming is overstated and highly politicized. Let´s get the science right before going into politics and that includes giving a thing the right name, the current discussion should not be about changing climates (for which predictions we only have quite unreliable models anyhow), but warming and attribution.

      • Peter Lang

        Policy and actions need to be justified on the basis of the economic impacts of global warming, not on science predictions about how the climate might change in the future. Empirical evidence strongly indicates that, in total, global warming is beneficial and global cooling is damaging to the world economy and ecosystems. This is the key point that many people seem to try to dodge and want to avoid.

      • The science of climate is settled enough for pragmatic responses.
        And discussion must be broadened to include inter alia loss of biodiversity and nutrient exports. The populations of of 1000’s of charismatic species have crashed by some 68% since 1970. Lakes and rivers are eutrophic – coastal zones anoxic.

        Farming is a big part of the solution – including for mitigating anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

      • Peter Lang

        Recent studies find that biosphere productivity and carbon density increase as global temperatures increase. IPCC (2007) report biomass carbon mass during the pre-industrial period was 3,000 GtC and the increase from Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) to pre-industrial was 300 to 1,000 GtC. Jeltsch-Thömmes et al. (2019) estimate the mass increase from LGM to pre-industrial was 850+/– 400 GtC. Donohue et al (2013) estimate an 11% mass increase in warm arid areas from 1982 to 2010. Zomer et al. (2016) find the increase on agricultural land globally from 2000 to 2010 was 2.07 GtC, an increase of 4.6% – linear projection indicates a 68% biomass carbon mass increase to +3 C GMST.

        Scharlemann et al. (2014) find that above-ground (AG) and below-ground (BG) biomass carbon density increase as latitudes decrease (Figure 2B); i.e. as temperatures increase. Gillman et al. (2015) find that net primary productivity (NPP) of forests increases as latitudes decrease – i.e. as temperatures increase – and “NPP was significantly greater in tropical forests than in temperate forests”. Organic carbon density in the oceans also increases as latitude decreases (Hansel et al. 2009), i.e. as temperatures increase.

        This paper combines the Spawn et al. (2020) data of above-ground and below-ground biomass carbon density per 1° x 1° degree grid cell in year 2010 with the Chen et al. (2019) estimate of the biomass carbon mass increase from 1981 to 2016 to estimate the above-ground and below-ground biomass carbon mass increase from 2010 to +3 C GMST. Projections using the IPCC (2007), and Jeltsch-Thömmes et al. (2019) data are included for comparison.

      • I don’t avoid it. I just can’t imagine how you imagine you can predict climate evolution this century or how that’s relevant to putting billions into advanced nuclear reactors, being God’s steward of the natural world, creating wealth and opportunity and building resilient infrastructure. That should not be done?

      • This I meant to add – instead of repeating precision agriculture.

      • It is not known how climate will evolve this century
        The science of climate is settled enough for pragmatic responses.

        Two comments from Robert Ellison, somewhat at odds.

      • Anthropogenic climate change is superimposed on Hurst-Kolmogorov stochastic dynamics. There is implicit in chaos the risk of dramatic and rapid change in the Earth system – atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere and hydrosphere. That much should be accepted as truth in line with Isaac Newton’s 4th rule of natural philosophy. There are of course those who don’t.

        Pragmatic responses involve ‘raising up of human dignity via three overarching objectives: ensuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.’

  3. Have you considered what the reality of the climate record to date tells us? All we see are cycles. No Monotonic effects. 2 deg range and 0.7/0.8 deg per Century rate for the serious rises and falls. Oncluding the last one from the coldest ever this interglacial. The same warming that we see now, in the 170 year rise from the coldest low this interglacial cycle.

    The cycle is due to turn now and is likely to bottom out 2 deg colder in 200+ years from now, to stage a recovery in time for the next global warming disaster in 3000, probably even colder than this one, the coldest warm spell since the hottest that happened at the peak of the interglacial warming event 8Ka BP. All facts anyone can observe.Except the future, if course. I’ll take the cycles of nature over a model created with an agenda based on observations and the presumptions as to attribution of cause and effect by its programmers.

    • ‘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.’

      We should take it read that prediction of the future states of the globally coupled, nonlinear, chaotic Earth system are unpredictable.

  4. Joe - the non climate scientist

    from the article above – “Mr. Koonin argues not against current climate science but that what the media and politicians and activists say about climate science has drifted so far out of touch with the actual science as to be absurdly, demonstrably false”.
    “One of the key contributions of Koonin’s book is its detailed account of how the climate change message gets distorted as it goes through successive filters as the research literature gets converted to assessment reports and report summaries which are then subject to alarmist and apocalyptic media coverage and politicians’ soundbites. ”

    I recently finished a book on “how George Bush got us into the Gulf war – after 9/11 to unseat Saddam hussein. A lot of plausible intelligence morphed into solid intelligence based the failure to properly and completely verify the intelligence and failure to listen and heed contra information, especially by those with an agenda.

    there are many parallels with the vetting of the gulf war WMD intelligence and the vetting of climate science.

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  6. Thanks Judy. I have Koonin’s book on order.

  7. Interesting statement:

    > The book does not ‘deny’ the basic science of climate change, but challenges whether it is ‘dangerous’…

    The logic of that statement is that “the basic science” doesn’t necessarily spell out significant risk from climate change – irrespective of the level of uncertainty regarding that risk.

    I guess it’s telling that you would make a statement such as that, and go on to characterize a politicized take on the science as “cogent” and “carefully crafted.”

    I’m old enough to remember when you argued that mixing “advocacy” and science was sub-optimal.

    • There is nothing inconsistent with “questioning” whether cllimate change will be serious and a full understanding of the uncertainties. It’s telling that you find it inconsistent. You have a bad habit of finding fault where none exists.

    • And I forgot to mention the unethical mind reading. Josh you are not a real person right?

  8. “ The response from the climatariat has been attempts to get the book ‘cancelled’. From the Daily Kos:”

    Quintessential response from the left. Stifle dissent rather than address the weakness of the book. Why would we expect anything different?

  9. Reminds me of this absolutely classic headline that’s up at Fox News:

    >Democrats ramming through sweeping election reform over GOP objections.

    A work of art and a thing of beauty.

  10. Pingback: Climate Book Shelf | Transterrestrial Musings

  11. While Michael Mann has been adding to his enemies list, he’s also been aligning himself with the far fringe, namely Mark Jacobson. They’ve lately been retweeting tweets from each other.

  12. Beauty of the internet. 50 years ago getting the Kahn book might have taken a week or more. Now 1 minute.

    “the more we discover, the more we are able to discover “

    The essence of his book

  13. Can I add several books on climate that I reviewed over at WUWT?

    Can I especially recommend ‘The Denial’ by Ross Clark which is a fictional satirical look at the way we are heading with our obsession over the ‘Climate Emergency’ and has echoes of “Animal Farm’ by George Orwell.


  14. Judith – My own review of Steve Koonin’s new book differs from yours, perhaps unsurprisingly?

    Bernie – Please let us know what you make of it when it arrives.

    My initial impression was certainly not that Professor Koonin “comes across as very honest and trustworthy, and genuinely concerned about the integrity of climate science and the research process.”

    On the contrary, from my perspective at least, he comes across as the very opposite of that. I don’t know which is worse. That he is ignorant of Arctic “climate science” or that he understands the subject perfectly well but chooses not to mention it in his magnum opus?

    Is there anybody amongst Judith’s denizens who is unfamiliar with this graph?

    Steve Koonin does a very good impersonation of somebody who has never seen it before.

    • Homo sapiens have evidently been around for a few hundred thousands of years. During that span, which includes human Arctic population, Arctic sea ice has been both much greater and much less than contemporary times.

      Did any of these maxima or minima constitute crises?
      Is it possible the were real but irrelevant?
      Doesn’t human existence during all these times indicate that massive Arctic changes were most definitely not an existential crisis?

      • Evenin’ Eddie (UTC),

        How many people lived in London, or NYC, or Miami, or Dhaka a few hundred thousand years ago?

        And what does that have to do with Steve Koonin’s failure to mention a significant chunk of Planet Earth’s current climate system in his new book?

        Not to mention his other “oversights”!

      • Jim

        What does the population of those cities have to do with your graph?

      • CK – I suggest you ask Eddie that question, since he introduced “human population” into the discussion for some reason known only to him.

    • Joe - the non climate scientist

      Jim hunt – your chart above and all your charts at the great white con conveniently omit years prior to the 1980’s

      Isn’t that another form of deception? Cherry picking?

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        Jim – Unfortunately, satellite measurements of arctic sea ice extent did not begin until 1978/1979, which happens to coincide with the end of one of the coldest period in the northern hemisphere over the last 100 years and the corresponding higher arctic sea ice extent. . Using a start date of 1980 (or 1978/1979) for the graphs without attempting to provide longer term data or without even acknowledging the limitations of the graphics is deceptive, perhaps intentionally so.

      • Joe – Can I safely assume that you have never considered the significance of the NSIDC’s Sea Ice Index, which is based on data from SMMR et seq.?

        In which case you will no doubt find this interview enlightening?

        Can I also safely assume that you have never previously seen this NSIDC graph?

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        Jim – my mistake – I missed the one graph posted in Feb 2016 which included data from the 1950’s among the other 100+ graphs that started post 1979.

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        Jim Hunt –
        Below is a link to the NSIDC website. With arctic sea ice extent since 1850’s. Such data provides a much better and much more balanced picture of the arctic sea ice. › sites › › files › G10010_V002.0.pdf

        compare and contrast with other websites who chose to show data designed to mislead the reader. The website GreatWhiteCon ? being one

      • Evenin’ Joe,

        I’ve only just spotted your comment in amongst the peculiar threading on here.

        In answer to you final question, no. Please see:

        where a similarly skeptical fellow opined that:

        These graphs (particularly the one back to 1850) would appear to suffer from “MBH98 disease”, the result of splicing reasonably accurate modern records with relatively well known error bars onto historical anecdotal records with less fine resolution and highly variable error bars.

        YMMV of course?

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        “• Jim Hunt | May 12, 2021 at 1:36 pm |
        Evenin’ Joe,
        I’ve only just spotted your comment in amongst the peculiar threading on here.
        In answer to you final question, no. Please see:
        where a similarly skeptical fellow opined that:
        These graphs (particularly the one back to 1850) would appear to suffer from “MBH98 disease”, the result of splicing reasonably accurate modern records with relatively well known error bars onto historical anecdotal records with less fine resolution and highly variable error bars.
        YMMV of course?”

        Jim your response is illuminating with the deceptive change of subject with your link that is completely off the topic & sleight of hand response with the reference to MBH98.

        The complaint was the cherry picking with the deceptive omission of data prior to the 1980’s which does not provide a balanced history of the sea ice extent.

        Your reference to MHB98 splicing of data was Mann’s intentional hiding of the deception whereas the splicing of the data with the sea ice extent with data prior to the satellite era was to prevent the deception.

      • It seems I can’t win with non climate scientists doesn’t it Joe?

        Damned if I do and damned if I don’t.

        And then damned again for good luck!

    • If you think that the consensus is that this decline is 100% caused by AGW, then you disagree with the IPCC SROCC report (which estimates ~50%). Very weak base for criticizing Koonin

      • Judith – In case it has escaped your notice, I’m criticizing Koonin for not even mentioning the sea ice section of the SROCC report! From the SPM:

        A.1 Over the last decades, global warming has led to widespread shrinking of the cryosphere, with mass loss from ice sheets and glaciers (very high confidence), reductions in snow cover (high confidence) and Arctic sea ice extent and thickness (very high confidence), and increased permafrost temperature (very high confidence).

      • There is no quantitative estimate in these conclusions, implying only ‘some contribution.’ 1%? 10%? Note they do not say ‘all’ or even ‘most.’ This is the kind of misleading spin that Koonin is criticizing.

      • Judith – In which case why doesn’t Steven mention the alleged “misleading spin” about sea ice and then criticise it?

      • That would be because a single author can’t cover everything in one book. The author makes judgments about what to include. Koonin clearly states that the climate is warming.

      • Judith – He even goes so far as to state “the high latitudes near the poles are warming faster than the lower latitudes near the equator” but then for some strange reason neglects to pursue the matter.

        Even though the SROCC states in the executive summary at the start of chapter 3 that:

        The polar regions are losing ice, and their oceans are changing rapidly. The consequences of this polar transition extend to the whole planet, and are affecting people in multiple ways.

        Arctic surface air temperature has likely increased by more than double the global average over the last two decades, with feedbacks from loss of sea ice and snow cover contributing to the amplified warming.

        Dr. Koonin employs some unsettling selection criteria, does he not?

      • jungletrunks

        Jim, the IPCC essentially is saying it would have taken Mother Nature a few decades more, maybe, to get to the same place that, uh, humans reckless behavior has taken us to today; juxtaposed otherwise to where warming due to natural variability would have taken us anyway. This suggests you’re a denier of consensus.

        It should be noted that within these decades of so called reckless human behavior untold numbers of lives were spared from exposure.

        I suggest you take up your manifesto with Mother Nature; her attention span encompasses millennial scales; you have plenty of time to get traction with your gripes near-term; but respect her yawns.

      • Have you still not got the memo JT?

        Steve Koonin’s book makes no mention of what the IPCC has to say about Arctic sea ice. In fact it contains no mention of “Arctic sea ice” at all.

      • jungletrunks

        Koonin’s lack of discussion about arctic sea ice doesn’t change the fact that its recession remained inevitable; humanity took away a few decades grace period, a drop in the bucket for climate time, that’s the only relevant memo.

      • Jim

        Judith just gave you the reply I was going to give. I get frustrated when authors don’t put things into historic context and whilst I enjoyed the latest books by shellenberger and Lomborg it is a fact of life that they can’t cover everything in a single book. If they did it would be so unwieldy it would be unreadable .


      • Tony (and Judith),

        Please see my long response to Richard at:

        which for some strange reason has gone into the moderation queue.

        Night, night. (UTC)

      • The consequences of this polar transition extend to the whole planet, and are affecting people in multiple ways.

        I believe this is bass-akwards.

        If one examines both CERES and reanalysis, one finds that the trends of net radiance are negative for the extreme high Arctic and about the same as the global average for the Arctic as a whole. The real albedo decrease is matched by an outgoing longwave increase.

        Though other factors are at work, greater warming trends of the Arctic are easily explained by increased atmospheric meridional transport of energy.

        So, rather than the Arctic having implications for the whole planet, the whole planet is having implications for the Arctic.

        By the way, I posted a few weeks ago that even the narrative of ice-albedo feedback is not grounded. While estimates of planetary albedo over the Arctic do indicate a decrease, models of CO2 induced global warming actually indicate an increase of Arctic albedo!:

        My point earlier about paleo perspective is that much more extreme Arctic sea ice and temperature change has occurred throughout human evolution, including to Arctic peoples who have thrived through them all.

      • Afternoon Eddie (UTC),

        Join the queue of folks who apparently fail to comprehend my point. Prof. Koonin couldn’t care less about your view on frontwards versus backwards regarding climate science.

        The IPCC is his stated scientific “gold standard”. Period!

        Are you implying that Steven doesn’t know what he’s talking about?

    • September 1979. A blink of the eye in terms of the holocene.

      “Message in a bottle” by Police was No 1 in the UK in September 1979. Surely you are not claiming catastrophic and unique ice loss based on such a short time scale?

      • No Tony,

        I’m claiming that Prof. Koonin made no mention of Arctic sea ice in his new book. Unless of course the hardback version is very different to the Kindle version I have a copy of? Please see:

        It seems safe to assume that Dr. Koonin has heard of NASA, since the organisation is mentioned several times in his list of references and once in the body of the book. However it seems that the United States’ National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC for short) is not very visible on his personal radar screen, meriting only a single reference which is to snow rather than ice data.

      • Curious George

        [Jim Hunt] “Prof. Koonin made no mention of Arctic sea ice in his new book.” Shocking, absolutely shocking.

      • I’m glad you agree with me George!

        My long comment has emerged from purgatory so I’ll direct your attention there:

        Prof. Koonin couldn’t care less about your views on Arctic sea ice, or even mine or Judith’s for that matter. He states in his new book that the IPCC’s reports are his scientific “gold standard”.

        Have you got that yet?

    • Igor Polyakov has suggested more than once that the Arctic is in transition. With someone of Polyakov’s stature as a scientist – I take it on board. Although the causes are scientifically arcane and I have an insufficient basis on which to judge. It seems to involve the ‘Atlantification’ of the Arctic Ocean and the stability of the Arctic halocline.

      With of course multiple feedbacks.

      Jim has his hobby horse – and the misuse of science is demonstrated on his blog. The loss of Arctic sea ice in the satellite era is quite obvious – but understanding is not advanced with such a narrow focus.

    • Richard Greene

      The subject is GLOBAL warming.
      Not ARCTIC warming.
      And if you insist on an ARCTIC warming focus,
      there should also be an ANTARCTICA non-warming focus.

      Could you be any more obvious about your desire for data mining — being so interested in the global warming “poster child” (Arctic), where the warming and melting ice doesn’t raise sea level ?

      How about mentioning the warmer winter nights in Siberia and Alaska? That’s some SCARY “climate emergency” — do you think the few people living in Siberia are upset with a little global warming in the past 45 years?
      Richard Greene
      Bingham Farms, Michigan
      … where we LOVE global warming,
      and want more !

      • Richard – It seems that I need to repeat myself very slowly.

        1) On page 21 (of the Kindle edition) of Prof. Koonin’s magnum opus it states:

        Along with its comprehensive AR series of assessments, the IPCC also publishes more focused special reports, such as those on Extreme Events, the Ocean and Cyrosphere (sic), or Climate Change and Land.

        followed on page 22 by:

        The assessment reports literally define The Science for non-experts. Given the intensive authoring and review processes, any reader would naturally expect that their assessments and summaries of the research literature are complete, objective, and transparent—the “gold standard.” In my experience, the reports largely do meet that expectation, and so much of the detail in the first part of this book, the science story, is drawn from them.

        2) On page 36 (of the Kindle edition) of Prof. Koonin’s mighty tome it states:

        The land is warming more rapidly than the ocean surface, and the high latitudes near the poles are warming faster than the lower latitudes near the equator.

        3) On page 205 of the IPCC’s SROCC, at the very start of the “Polar Regions” chapter it states:

        The polar regions are losing ice, and their oceans are changing
        rapidly. The consequences of this polar transition extend to
        the whole planet, and are affecting people in multiple ways.

        Given the “gold standard” planetary consequences, why is there no in depth discussion of the loss of ice cover across the surface of the Arctic seas in “Unsettled etc.”. In fact why is there no discussion of that topic at all?


      • Richard Greene

        I will add to my prior comment.

        If it is true the IPCC actually said:
        … ” the high latitudes near the poles are warming faster than the lower latitudes near the equator.”
        That is not true, no matter who said it.

        Latitudes from 60 to 90 north
        show a lot of warming from 1979 to 2019

        Latitudes from -60 to -90 south
        show no warming from 1979 TO 2019

        Therefore, anyone who claims “the poles are warming faster” is not telling the while truth, whether you look at UAH MSU satellite data, or HadCRUT surface data.

        So, I repeat:
        Any focus on the poles needs to include BOTH Arctic warming, and to be fair and balanced, AND Antarctica non-warming too.

        I typed slower this time, so even you could understand, capiche?

        Relevant 1979 to 2019 temperature change by latitude chart is located here:

        Richard Greene
        Bingham Farms, Michigan

      • Evenin’ Richard,

        That quotation is from page 36 of the Kindle edition of Steven E. Koonin’s new book, reviewed by Judith above.

        If you disagree with the statement I suggest you pursue the matter with him and/or his publisher rather than me.

    • Jim

      I don’t understand what you think is the significance of your graph. If you want show the earth is warming why not use a graph of global temperatures.
      Or do you think this is a better indicator of the attribution problem? Or do you have a special affinity for the Arctic?

      We all know we have been warming. That has been going on since the end of the LIA. SLR has been occurring for at least that long. A graph showing that would also indicate global warming.

      Your graph doesn’t prove it is unprecedented nor does it prove attribution.

      Curious what you think it proves.

      • CK – If you are ever fortunate enough to see a copy of Steve Koonin’s “Unsettled etc…” you will discover that graph is conspicuous by its absence.


    • Geoff Sherrington

      Here in lovely Australia we have no glaciers, no sea ice, a little snow in winter and not a lot of interest in synthetic climate scares that seem to bother you.
      It is easy for us here to be comfortable about minimal discussion about how the north pole weather is forecast to harm the globe. Geoff S

      • Presumably it’s evening in your neck of the woods Geoff?

        You’ll no doubt be overjoyed to learn that, unlike Arctic sea ice, Australia does merit a mention in Prof. Koonin’s new book?

        Drought exacerbates wildfires, which garner more dire headlines than any other precipitation-related phenomenon. Media coverage of devastating fires around the world—most recently in Brazil, Australia, and California—portrays them as a horrendous consequence of a warming globe. They can indeed be horrendous…

        And in fact, changes in climate do play a role in the frequency, location, and character of wildfires. But understanding that role, and the part humans play (and might play in the future), requires we dig deeper than headlines.

        What say you?

  15. Excellent post

  16. George6328

    It’s amazing how ‘The Science’ of Climate has morphed into such vitriol. Why hasn’t ‘String Theory vs. Standard Model’ fallen into the ‘Climate’ chasm?

    • Because ‘String Theory vs. Standard Model’ is not asking Conservatives and Free Marketeers to try to amend their way of lives such that exploitation and the search for profit at all costs comes second to the need to moderate consumption and to try to leave a planet that our children/grandchildren can exist in without cursing us. Heresy to those of a Right-wing persuasion, apparently, because they don’t see why they should do anything that they don’t really want to do – unless Donald Trump says it’s OK.

  17. george6328

    Amazing the vitriol between the Climate Activists. How is it that “String Theory vs. Standard Model” didn’t fall into the Climate chasm?

  18. Matthew R Marler

    Judith, thank you.

  19. I apologize for my sloppy comments. The comments box on my IPAD has shrunk to the height of 1 line and I can only see the top half of the letters. After that I can’t see anything I have typed. I’m on my phone now.
    This pertains to the first chapter of Kahn’s book on predicting future climate risks. He seems to imply the more information we have the better we are able to assess risk. Fair enough. But he makes some assumptions about the correlation of level of information and the quality of our actions that oversimplify what actually could be involved.
    First, the time dependence of our actions as to how far out we believe the risk is. I could believe we have significant risk in 2100, but minimal risk in 5-10 years. I’m going to be dead in 2100, so my personal choices for my own welfare has no bearing on the risk to society in 2100.
    Second, someone with no knowledge about past climate or about the multitude of oscillations would place equal risk from climate in the next few decades simply extrapolating from the last 40 years. However, someone with some knowledge would realize there is a possibility of flat temperatures for the foreseeable future. He doesn’t give skepticism enough credit and assumes they are skeptics because they have been watching too much Fox or they are not knowledgeable enough about the climate risks.
    But they might also be knowledgeable enough to know for any time period the risks vary depending on where they are and what period they are assessing risk for.

    • I have the same problem (shrunken height on comment line) using my I-Pad, but not a PC. Virtually impossible to provide comment using Ipad.

      • I’ve been on here for 10 years and never a problem. I’m not sure how to fix it. What a pain to not be able to see what I’ve typed. Some of my comments in the last week show that I couldn’t see the text.

      • Ckid

        I have the same problem over at chiefios but never here. I use an ancient iPad. The box expands here when you press into it but not at chiefio

        Does it happen all the time or sporadically?


      • Tony
        This last week is the first in 10 years here. Can’t figure out how to change it.

      • iPad stopped supporting a lot of older browsers a few months ago so it may be that word press can no longer offer the options it used to.


      • Geoff Sherrington

        Same problem when commenting on WUWT, but not here on Climate Etc.
        Is someone wanting to curb some comments?
        Geoff S

  20. This might be of interest as it critiques the ‘Covering Climate Now Coalition’ which has the slogan “good journalism is grounded in science”:

  21. “Mr. Koonin argues not against current climate science but that what the media and politicians and activists say about climate science has drifted so far out of touch with the actual science as to be absurdly, demonstrably false”.

    And indeed public attitudes to climate-change are dominantly a reaction to those unsupported (by the mainstream / IPCC) narratives. So whether belief or rejection at whatever level, they are demonstrably a function of cultural mechanisms triggered by the emotive content of the narratives. Likewise for activism itself, and per below even the deployment of renewables (solar and wind-turbines) across nations, which also follows a cultural pattern:

    • Public views on catastrophic climate change are based on the proximity of the last natural disaster. Scientific views on tipping points – AKA Hurst-Kolmogorov stochastic dynamics – are much more nuanced.

      • This is measurably not so.

      • Measurable? Which bit? Risible nonsense.

      • Public attitudes to climate-change are indeed measurable across nations. They are typically also strongly expressed, and stable over time (the same or very similar across a few years). They are also predictable from other national cultural characteristics. All this means that such attitudes are not (largely) a feature of ‘the last disaster’.

      • So you don’t object to the Earth system as chaotic with inevitable tipping points? That is the dominant scientific paradigm.
        ‘Figure 1. Percentage of Americans who believe that they have seen effects of global warming’ – typically as natural disasters by those you deem scientific illiterates.

      • I don’t personally object to or support any of the spectra of positions held by scientists regarding the physical climate system. But what’s that got to do with the price of fish? Public attitudes to climate-change are not as you characterized them above.

        The ‘effects of climate-change’, and indeed pretty much all perceptions of climate-change by publics, are interpreted culturally, as can be determined by filtering the views via cultural memberships. But if you increasingly divorce the dominant CC catastrophe narrative from the questions by emphasising the stand-alone contexts about say flood mitigation or wild-fire management, then you’ll get less and less cultural response (which is related to cultural memberships such as religion / political tribe), and correspondingly more reason related to such policy areas. Standard stuff; but the issue is that the catastrophe narrative *is* still dominant in the public space, and public attitudes on climate-change are determined by reaction to same (whether acceptance or rejection and to what level). This is even to the extent of ‘apparent’ contradictions that the nations who are most concerned by far about climate-change (say, the personal impacts of), have the *least* impetus for action against all other policies. This is due to a cultural interaction.

      • I have no idea what that means or why I should bother with it. I’d say it is one of the more convoluted expressions of your cultural identity.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        To which natural disaster do you refer?
        If you are thinking multiple choice dependiing on where you live, then that local event might not be a national disaster. Also, IPCC has problems discerning natural from anthro.
        I cannot recall a single disaster caused by climate change. Geoff S.

      • ‘North America’s climate has changed and some societally relevant changes have been attributed to anthropogenic causes (very high confidence). Recent climate changes and individual extreme events demonstrate both impacts of climate related stresses and vulnerabilities of exposed systems (very high confidence)…Many climate stresses that carry risk—particularly related to severe heat, heavy precipitation, and declining snowpack—will increase in frequency and/or severity in North America in the next decades (very high confidence).’

        Now apparently that was WG2. I don’t know – unlike yourself I read science. Although we were talking US public perception of natural disasters being synonymous with climate change. Some 75% of the US have seen the effects of climate change. But if you don’t know what a natural disaster is – perhaps look it up.

        ‘… but the issue is that the catastrophe narrative *is* still dominant in the public space, and public attitudes on climate-change are determined by reaction to same…’

        Extracting it from West gobbledegook – that seems to be what I said.

      • Robert, “that seems to be what I said.”

        No, you said: “Public views on catastrophic climate change are based on the proximity of the last natural disaster.” Which is completely different.

        The linked survey doesn’t assess basic attitudes to climate change by cultural worldview / membership, e.g. regarding political tribes in the US. It uses these only as predictors for mitigation in very specific policy areas related to flooding and wildfires (which occur with or without ACC). There is a huge difference in public perceptions of CC (and consequent priorities), depending on such membership, as survey after survey for many years consistently show. E.g. Pew 2020 (below): CC a priority for 78% Dem / Dem-lean, only 21% for Rep / Rep-lean. 81% liberal Dems think policies to reduce CC do more good than harm, only 25% for conservative Reps. This polarization seems to be somewhat increasing over a period of years. And going outside the US, views on CC are not for example more supportive for nations who experience more natural disasters, in fact from memory Kvaloy et al found a slight reverse effect here; but at any rate attitudes to CC are likewise determined mainly by cultural factors, plus are long-term stable, and not a function of ‘the last natural disaster’.

      • ‘The linked survey doesn’t assess basic attitudes to climate change by cultural worldview / membership, e.g. regarding political tribes in the US.’

        Long winded gobbledegook. The complexities of social dynamics reduced to pop psychology babble about tribes. Some 75% of Americans have seen climate change – given the cautionary notes from science about natural disasters that are amplified in the public arena. That has political and not culturally based ignorance implications.

        The lower end of these CMIP6 projections may be benign and the upper end catastrophic. Climate may do something else entirely.

      • Robert, nothing you’ve presented at all suggests that: “Public views on catastrophic climate change are based on the proximity of the last natural disaster.” Nor do publics receive their climate-change views from CMIP6, or indeed any science. The catastrophe narrative is emergent via emotive selection, and we can see the narrative variants via which this occurs, their emotive leverage, plus their propagation at all levels of authority.

        This process which occurs in all cultures, is independent of the enterprise of (climate) science. That Americans see natural disasters (which also have occurred forever) does not in any way speak against the profoundly different perceptions of climate-change (and priority of same) from different cultural groups in the US, per the survey above and very many more over many years. This is true outside the US too, although the important cultural memberships are different.

        There are indeed very serious implications, for instance consider this outside of the US: Across 24 nations, the % response ‘A Great Deal’ to the question ‘How much of an impact, if any, do you believe climate change will have on your life?’ strongly correlates with national religiosity (any faith, r=0.94). Across 48 nations (including 22 of the 24 above), the % response of those who place ‘Action on climate-change’ as the most important of 6 policies in a list of 17, strongly *anti* correlates with national religiosity (any faith, r=0.75). Such a huge contradiction could not possibly occur if public attitudes to climate-change were largely informed by science, or even anything vaguely logical. This outcome occurs because religion and catastrophic climate-change culture both cooperate and compete at the same time (cultures can do this). If science is ever to be heard, if say CMIP6 or whatever else is ever going to matter more across nations than faith texts, power must first be cut to the rock-concert volume of cultural catastrophe narrative.

      • Fix: “…as one of the most important 6 policies in a list of 17…”

      • I have perused polls – U.S., Australian and international. Your problem is political and nor cultural. Unless we count your oddly obsessive behaviour.

      • If you have perused polls, then you’ll know the very high polarization that the climate-change figures break down to for different cultural groups. And that issues framed outside of climate-change (‘protect our national parks’) will not show those huge polarizations. Nor does your latest suggest any more than the rest that: “Public views on catastrophic climate change are based on the proximity of the last natural disaster.”

      • Tip: for international polls, compare the climate-change most supportive responses of reality-constrained questions (e.g. CC as most important in a list of 10 policies or whatever), against the climate-change most supportive responses of unconstrained questions (e.g. how much will CC impact me personally). You will see huge skews like that described above.

      • …and if you want to see the hugest skews in this respect, see India or Thailand or the Philippines, or other very highly religious nations.

      • joe the non climate scientist

        To add to Andy West comment regarding polls, the wording and sequencing of the questions will lead to very skewed results
        One of the best examples is nearly 80% of republicans supported the following question

        “Should the government ban the pollution that causes global warming?”

        Notice the use of the word pollution.

      • Take it that I am aware of potential problems with polls and almost invariably check the methodology. And while you may believe in a polarized public opinion – given the internecine warfare between alarmist and contrarians – niche players at best – the real public remain risk averse. So what should we do?

        Put billions into advanced nuclear reactors, be God’s steward of the natural world, create wealth and opportunity and build resilient infrastructure. It’s not climate science.

      • Joe, you point is very important. But the really interesting thing about this is that such biased questions across a wide range of options, actually *help* us to find out in many cases what publics really think. Or in other words, cultural bias in the questions is exactly what we need to see how people *culturally* respond (or not, and to what level). This means that in some cases we aren’t using the surveys to see what the survey designers originally envisaged, and indeed some surveys (especially from advocates for one side or another rather than mainstream survey orgs) are pretty deliberately framed to get lean towards their most desired result. And where for instance we cross-correlate a biased survey against cultural outlooks such as political tribes or high / low religiosity, then we get to see (because the bias is an emotive cultural message in itself) who from these outlooks responds positively to this bias and who rejects it, as a function of their own cultural outlook. We wouldn’t be able to do this if all the surveys were completely reasonable and objective 0:

      • P.S. the ‘huge skews’ I mention above are not ultimately due to the questions. They are genuine cultural attitudes that contain immense contradiction, because such can occur with cultural belief (all strong cultural narratives are essentially contradictory anyhow).

    • How about when people say they accept the “basic science” of climate change, but question whether or not climate change is “dangerous.”

      That’s incoherent, logically, as the basic science implies danger (within a range of uncertainty).

      I’d say it’s likely a cultural mechaniam triggered in an emotive response, often channeled into a form of political advocacy.

      Not entirely unlike supporting a president’s and party’s policies on climate change, which are embedded in a cultural mechanism triggered by an emotive response to the unsupported views that climate change is a “hoax.”

      • Chinese hoax…

      • The vast majorities of publics across nations don’t perceive a difference between ‘the science’, and ‘dangerous’; indeed certainly and imminently and catastrophically dangerous, as the dominant narrative by far hard-links these concepts. Acceptance or rejection is based on this linked perception. To what degree in either case (and also differently for unconstrained and reality-constrained scenarios), reflects what emotive level the catastrophe narrative is referenced within survey questions (or within equivalent reality scenarios).

        Re cultural / political membership: Outside the US, it’s largely a 2-way cultural dance where membership of political tribe isn’t too important. Inside the US, it’s a 4-way cultural dance where the extra players are Rep/Con and Dem/Lib tribes. Note this is all for *publics* only; they are not climate literate, and they can be measured via many surveys and studies. Neither of these things is true for say climate-science bloggers or indeed scientists.

      • Andy –

        As a repeat of past exchanges, try as I might I can’t even parse what you said, particularly the first paragraph, or see how it relates to what I said.

      • “That’s incoherent, logically, as the basic science implies danger (within a range of uncertainty).”

        It is perfectly reasonable – in fact the only rational choice – to conclude climate change is not “dangerous,” mostly because its most fervent believers don’t think it’s dangerous.
        The climate glitteratti wrote the international plans that encouraged China to quadruple coal consumption. The EU climate contingent is energetically closing emissions-free energy sources and replacing them with Russian fossil fuels. And any thoughtful analysis of the Green New Deal would have to note that it has not the slightest impact on climate.

        One thing I’d add to this list of recent publications is the recent film expose of fake climate solutions by Michael Moore – the socialist gadfly. I don’t think you can have Koonin’s book without the fact that both Hansen (from the science perspective) and Moore (from the political) have publicly and loudly dressed down the movement. It may have to wait until the mid-terms in the US, but world-wide and on the left as well as right, there is a great awakening underway.

      • J: Your ‘how about’ proposition largely doesn’t arise for publics. The dominant public domain narrative and corresponding perception, is that science not only underwrites CC as dangerous, but the most certainly and catastrophically and imminently dangerous thing that there is, and for the whole planet too. Majority cultural acceptance or rejection occurs on this basis, not on perceiving scientific acceptability as in some way separate to acknowledging catastrophic consequences. The narrative glues these together. Especially within the US, this is exactly what leads to the counter ‘hoax’ narrative from some Rep/Cons. I.e. because ‘science says there is a certain imminent global catastrophe’, this is culturally rejected as wrong, ergo it must ‘a hoax’ (for how else can science be wrong). Indeed that message *is* wrong, but the hoax assumption is of course completely wrong too. The answer is simply that (mainstream) science doesn’t state certain imminent global catastrophe in the first place. This is an emergent cultural narrative completely separate to science (of any position), and yet nevertheless the phenomenon that mainly determines public attitudes.

      • Andy –

        Some 1/2 of the American public think that “the science” shows that climate change is a hoax.

        They think that despite that not only is that not what the science tells us, it’s also true that actually they don’t have much of an idea what the science does say.

        Even people who are expert on the science and engage on the topic of climate change frequently, say things like they accept the “basic science” but question whether ACO2 emissions are dangerous – despite that the “basic science” that they say they accept necessarily shows that AC02 emissions are “dangerous” (even if there is a range as to quantifying that risk).

        There are many in this country who think that the last election was stolen, who thought that Obama was a Kenyan Muslim, who think that the risk of getting vaccinated is higher than the risk of getting COVID, who think that vaccines come with microchips injected into your bloodstream.

      • J: ‘Some 1/2 of the American public think that “the science” shows that climate change is a hoax.’

        Even in the natural home of this response, i.e. the conservative US, it is by no means all of them because there are various other theories such as say big government / grants corruption (very different to a considered hoax), or just simple noble cause corruption, etc. However, whatever the precise figure and no doubt it’s big, the explanation above is *exactly why*. And the public don’t think the science shows its a hoax; as you note below they don’t know any science. They think a science which tells them apocalypse is just around the corner can only be the result of a fraudulent science.

        ‘They think that despite that not only is that not what the science tells us, it’s also true that actually they don’t have much of an idea what the science does say.’

        Of course they aren’t climate-science literate. Not even in the slightest, as indeed neither are the other half of the public who support the Dem / Libs. This is part of *why* it is so easy for cultural narratives to get their grip. Especially powerful cultural narratives that hi-jack the cloak of science and claim their message is in it’s name. The whole point is that *both* sides in the US *believe* this narrative, **including its false backing by science**. But one side *culturally* rejects it upon this basis, and the other side *culturally* accepts it on the same basis. As Kahan notes, for both sides it is not ‘what they know’, it is ‘who they are’, in cultural identity terms. This turns out to be true right across the world, and indeed the Rest-of-World turns out to be much more interesting than the US, because where the obscuring nature of Rep/Con versus Dem/Lib isn’t present, a catastrophic climate culture in it’s own right is much easier to see and also to measure, albeit it is also still there in the US too.

        “Even people who are expert on the science …”

        Such people are miniscule portions of the population and not in targeted demographics for surveys and studies (generally). Hence we can’t say anything about them from a cultural PoV. And yes there are lots of other fictional narratives that find cultural niches (or cultural rather than reasoned rejection), though maybe none so long-evolved, widely spread, and indeed transmitted from all authority levels, as the narrative of certain imminent global climate-catastrophe. . The formal fairy-tales of main religions are maybe the only competitors of the same size and scope.

      • Andy –

        > And the public don’t think the science shows its a hoax; as you note below they don’t know any science.

        My point is rather precisely that those two beliefs aren’t mutually exclusive.

        Polling shows that a lot of the people who have the most confidence in their view a out what the science says are among those who actually have the least understanding of what the science says. Let alone that they lack the skills and/or knowledge needed to interpret such complex science

      • And that dynamic isn’t remotely limited to climate change.

        Go on to twitter and you will encounter tons o’ people who confidently tell you that “the research” says “masks don’t work.”

        Rjere are tons o’ issues like this. You’ll encounter many people who are quite certain that there is tons o’ evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election, that HCQ works to provent COVID, etc. It’s particularly interesting, imo, that they are highly represented at “skeptic” sites such as this one -although I make no assertion that on a population level, confident belief in unsupported views is disproportionately distributed in association with ideological view or views in climate change (which are effectively one in the same anyway).

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Surely it is hard to get reliable measures of public attitudes to climate change when your average Joe has been fed an unbalanced advertising assault that is laced with distorted interpretations of research. People might be confused between natural disasters and. Man made one, because the advertising promotes such confusion. As Peter Lang has long noted, the social cost is often a positive benefit but the advertising omits emphasis on benefits. The community is not stupid. If they have felt the benefits of cheap reliable fossil fuel electricity, they will not accept expensive unreliable unless they are forced upon them. So we have natural inclinations to downplay climate change and an increasingly desperate advertising campaign selling the proverbial unicorn farts to a public getting weary of others trying to tell them how to run their lives. Geoff S

      • In bulk publics in any nation on any side, those who think they know the science are modest anyhow. But I think you’re missing the point. Stopping before blogger level and staying firmly with the bulk public, whatever side they are on and whatever they think they know about the science, they believe the *cultural* fabrication that certain imminent global catastrophe *is* the output of mainstream science. This is not (largely) a case of biased belief in one’s own understanding of science, from mainly one side (in the US). It is symmetrical, and is the *belief* of a cultural message by *both* sides, which one must reject from their home cultural perspective, and one must accept from their home cultural perspective. This same message is believed by the entire Rest-of-World, where Rep/Con versus Dem/Lib does not exist and political alignment is an extremely poor indicator of attitudes to CC, and where of course all the same levels of intelligence and human bias effects exist as within the US.

      • ‘And that dynamic isn’t remotely limited to climate change.’

        Cultural behaviours are long evolved, through 100,000 religions to start with, and numerous secular cultures and hordes of minor cultural trends since. What we see on Twitter has existed forever, and albeit the numbers are smaller hunter-gatherer tribes would be very familiar with the cut and thrust and gossip and trends there. I can’t recall who said it now, but gossip has been described as ‘power without responsibility’, and it is often in service to cultural power. However, few cultural trends whether benign or barmy, extend to such levels of propagation and authority and social penetration as catastrophic climate-change culture, including the impact on global infra-structure, for instance. The deployment of solar and wind-turbine renewables across 35 nations is demonstrably to a cultural pattern, and as such strongly anti-correlates with the religiosity of nations too (because catastrophic climate culture and religion interact in various ways, as cultures can).

      • > *is* the output of mainstream science..

        Well, people on the right tend towards the view that “mainstream climate science” equates with a cabal of communists who want to line their pockets and destroy America and install a one world government. At least people on the right who have strong views on the topic. We see the same thing with covid or other scientific issues that overlap with policy making under conditions of uncertainty when they get politicized.

      • Yes, in the US those occupying the stronger-viewed right indeed spout the notions you note, because they can’t contemplate another explanation for why mainstream science is saying there’s a certain global catastrophe around the corner. And those of the stronger-viewed left spout the notion that there’s a certain global catastrophe around the corner, because they likewise believed the cultural fabrication that this is what mainstream science says. But both sides are wrong, and the acceptance / rejection is only what best suited their home cultural bases (plus kept them each in opposition, of course), and they both bought the cultural falsity that science backs the catastrophe narrative. For sure cultural conflict intrudes into many science areas, not always in the same surface manner but to the same underlying rules.

      • >… and they both bought the cultural falsity that science backs the catastrophe narrative.

        You keep saying that. On the right, the view is often not that science backs a “catastrophic” scenario, but a cabal of scientific fraudsters say that, *in contradiction* to what the science backs. They think the science backs the view that there won’t be warming, or if there is it will most certainly be beneficial. They’re absolutely certain nothing even approaching catastrophe will occur. You’ll see that in thread after thread, day after day in these here parts and others like WUWT or at Fox News.

        Again, no different than the dynamic with other politicized issues where there’s uncertainty in the science. Climate change isn’t a special case.

        It’s a function of how vulnerable risk assessment is to political/ideological biases when there’s high uncertainty, and where higher order thinking like conditional probability is required. People’s ability for risk assessment gets stuck with an easier path under pressure from ideological/political pressure.

        Think of it as a journey. You have to go from the town of uncertainty through the village of probabilistic reasoning, to the land of risk analysis.

        But most people get detoured at the village of probabilistic reasoning by a headwind and move onto the road of least resistance to the land of motivated reasoning. No actual risk analysis required.

        It’s rampant on Twitter. People absolutely certain about issues such as the efficacy of interventions, mask-wearing, vaccines, etc. They’re absolutely vetsin they know what rhe “science says,” even thigh they don’t. Because they’re pushed quickly into the land of motivated reasoning before they can get to the village or risk analysis.

      • This is all just human nature. Most people can’t evaluate science themselves so they rely on science communicators and writers who are often quite biased, activist, or both. It’s also true of what you read in the New York Times, an official organ for critical race theory and the climate catastrophe.

      • 7 day average # of deaths in Sweden:

        February 27 = 20 deaths per day
        April 17 = 20 deaths per day

        David Young:

        “dpy6629 | April 4, 2021 at 12:46 pm |

        .. deaths were declining throughout March.”

      • Joshua

        Here are the latest stats for England and Sweden taken from the Office of National statistics and compiled by actuaries.

        I don’t know if they prove your point or not?

        As far as the UK goes 2020 was the worst year for ‘excess;’ deaths since 2008. Every year before that going back to 1900 was worse than 2020 (taking into account demographics)


      • “Climate change isn’t a special case.”

        Of course it isn’t. Though partly due to longevity it’s the biggest in scope and spread. And neither is any cultural side a special case. They both perceived the same cultural message, and their reaction to it is likewise from their cultural home positions. Certain imminent global catastrophe is just as culturally wrong as a hoax. And also the entire RoW perceived the same, where there isn’t the huge Rep/Con v Dem/Lib polarization anyhow, but there are very marked cultural effects indeed. And per Kahan (in the US) there is not a lack of trust in science across the population either.

      • Activists misrepresent the “hoax.”
        The “hoax” is the gaggle of claims by warmists that China is irrelevant, you can “save the planet” by eliminating CO2 emissions in only western nations, and that solar panels are a great way to heat Boston and Chicago in February at night.

        Let’s try an analogy: You’re in New York City, your chief financial advisor tells you that to avoid bankruptcy you must be in Los Angeles for a meeting at 9 a.m. tomorrow. So you start to pull up sites to book a flight and…. he tells you “no, no, you have to walk there. It will be cheap and easy.”
        All of the following are true:
        There might be an issue with your finances, you should check.
        There could be someone in Los Angeles who could help, it’s worth looking into.
        You absolutely do not need to be in LA tomorrow- the claim that you do is a hoax pushed by someone unreliable.

      • I also link Lindzen’s analogy: “In punching away at the clear shortcomings of the narrative of climate alarm, we have, perhaps, missed the most serious shortcoming: namely, that the whole narrative is pretty absurd. Of course, many people (though by no means all) have great difficulty entertaining this possibility. They can’t believe that something so absurd could gain such universal acceptance. Consider the following situation. Your physician declares that your complete physical will consist in simply taking your temperature. This would immediately suggest something wrong with your physician. He further claims that if your temperature is 37.3C rather than between 36.1C and 37.2C you must be put on life support. Now you know he is certifiably insane. The same situation for climate (a comparably complex system with a much more poorly defined index, globally averaged temperature anomaly) is considered ‘settled science.’

        And, in case this situation isn’t sufficiently bizarre, there is the governmental response. It is entirely analogous to a situation that a colleague, Bruce Everett, described. After your physical, your physician tells you that you may have a fatal disease. He’s not really sure, but he proposes a treatment that will be expensive and painful while offering no prospect of preventing the disease. When you ask why you would ever agree to such a thing, he says he just feels obligated to “do something”. That is precisely what the Paris Accord amounts to. However, the ‘something’ also gives governments the power to control the energy sector and this is something many governments cannot resist. Information is unlikely to change this despite the fact that even the UN’s IPCC acknowledges that their warming claims would only reduce the immensely expanded GDP by about 2-3% by the end of the century – something that is trivially manageable and hardly ‘existential.’

      • tony –

        > I don’t know if they prove your point or not?

        What’s my point to which you’re referring?

        As to death counts:

        Ariel Karlinsky says:
        May 11, 2021 at 5:16 am
        Overall the US is undercounting COVID deaths. There may be cases where people who died not from COVID got classified as such, but other cases where people died from COVID but did not get classified as such. This happened quite a lot in the early days of the pandemic such as in elderly homes, and not just in the US.

        I suggest reading our paper on this:

      • > Your physician declares that your complete physical will consist in simply taking your temperature.

        God, that’s silly.

        We need better contrarians.

        It’s not science, but it’s important.

      • Exactly. It’s a silly as claiming we have a climate emergency because we fear temps may rise by 1.5 to 2 degrees by the end of the century, which is the point of his comment. The entire climate scare narrative is simply absurd.

      • I love how Lindzen both sees use of the term “denier” as akin to Eugenics, and basically calls vast numbers of people to neo-Eugenicists.

      • > It’s a silly as claiming we have a climate emergency because we fear temps may rise by 1.5 to 2 degrees by the end of the century

        C’mon, Barnes.

        First, the official range is from 1.5 to 4. Second, everybody knows that it’s all about the consequences of the temperature rise, not the temperature rise itself.

        People don’t die because their thermometers indicate 42C. They die because it damages their brains. Use yours while you can.

      • Oh, I see. We are certain that unless we stop burning fossil fuels now, we will experience a rise in temperatures up to 4 degrees over the next 80 years which will be catastrophic – just like all the models predict. And since models have gotten everything else right so far and just like all the doomsday predictions that have come true so far, we need to panic now, eliminate use of fossil fuels in favor of wind turbines and solar panels (which are not possible without fossil fuels by the way) to provide intermittent and unreliable energy so we can experience not just rolling blackouts, but weeks long blackouts. To paraphrase an old quote – if I ever needed a brain transplant, I’d take one from a climate alarmist because I would know it was never used.

      • > Oh, I see. We are certain

        Don’t be ridiculous, Barnes.

        You just got caught minimizing the 1.5-4 range.

        Why would you minimize it if it did not matter?

      • Nice try Willard. No serious person would hang their hat on any prediction of what the global temperature will be 80 years from now. No one knows. But let’s just say temps do rise, the predictions of catastrophe caused by such a rise in temperature are equally as preposterous. There is zero evidence that temperatures rising even by 4 degrees would cause the kinds of catastrophes alarmists predict. It’s simply scare tactics to promote fear so governments can gain control and power.

      • Joshua retreats to “but Covid deaths,” then later in the day the CDC admits that masks aren’t even necessary anymore. Even the Biden administration pays attention (well, not Biden for obvious reasons, but whoever it is in charge in the White House).

      • W is afraid to dip his toe in the boiling oceans.

      • > No serious person would hang their hat on any prediction

        You just said “because we fear temps may rise by 1.5 to 2 degrees by the end of the century,” Barnes. Your own uncertainty range is 4 times shorter than the accepted spread!

        Squirreling “but prediction” won’t get you out of that one.

      • Give it up Willard. I am not “squirling” anything. You are making an issue out of a simple misstatement – I guess you’ve never done that right? I don’t care what the predicted range is or the predicted catastrophes – they are meaningless and preposterous and your continued “gotcha” comments are foolish.

      • > I don’t care what the predicted range is or the predicted catastrophes

        The 1.5-4C range isn’t a prediction, Barnes.

        You should care about 4C:

      • 1.5 to 4 is not a prediction…

        Then what is it? And why should I worry about 4 degrees?

      • Barnes,

        Check the video. You should notice when Gavin says that the difference between an ice age and our climate is 5C. So one should expect that a 4C world won’t look like the one we’re used to.

        1.5-4C is my own lowballing of the projected ranges based on sensitivity estimates and scenarios:

        Charney gave 1.5 to 4.5 in 1979. The IPCC gave 2-4.5 in 2007, and 1.5C to 4.5C in 2014. To constrain that range might not be possible, for studies mostly increase our uncertainty measures. Personally, I think that the lower range as 1.5 starts to sound quite silly since most models are above 2C.

        In other words, I’m giving you the best deal you can get. If you insist, my offer will be 2-4. And if you insist furthermore, it’ll be 2.5-4, then 2.5-4.5.

        Take it.

      • So, why would I believe anything glimategate Gavin projects. And, why would I believe anything models project given that models have yet to come close to predicting anything correctly so far? Virtually all of them run hot with a couple of outliers, but the ensemble taken as a whole show higher temps than observations – we’ve all seen the graphs.

        As to the world not looking like the one we are used to, are you saying we or other species will be unable to adapt? I don’t expect the world to look exactly like it does now in 80 years regardless of what the temps are. Lot’s of things can happen in 80 years.

      • > Why should I believe

        You’re your own man, Barnes. Believe what you will. See if I care.

        The planet already survived at least five major extinctions. If the species we know won’t survive, others will. Nature bats last:

        The short of it is that the C in CAGW begs a question that contrarians never answer: how do they know that what they don’t know is unjustified?

        That makes absolutely zero sense!

      • “The short of it is that the C in CAGW begs a question that contrarians never answer: how do they know that what they don’t know is unjustified”

        Talk about ridiculous.

        How do you justify anything that you know nothing about?

        You chose to believe people who have been caught lying multiple times, who disparage and smear people who challenge their work, and who basically use models to manipulate data to achieve a predetermined desired output. You may call that science – I call it fraud.

      • “The IPCC gave 2-4.5 in 2007, and 1.5C to 4.5C in 2014.”

        The estimate of warming decreased, and we all remember it being reported as “it’s worse than we thought” followed by the promotion of RCP 8.5 as gospel even though it’s a fairy tale.

        Barnes, here’s how to translate the range:
        It will be about 1.5 max, probably less, but too many partisans and NGOs depend on disaster for their fundraisers so they’ll leave 4 on the books to prevent tears and unemployment. Meanwhile, the NYT, Washington Post and Guardian are going to go with 8 because it’s fun and it’s not like anyone involved in “science” will tell them to stop it.

      • > The estimate of warming decreased

        4.5 = 4.5

      • “4.5 = 4.5 ”

        1.5 < 2

      • > How do you justify anything that you know nothing about?

        I don’t know if I will roll a seven with two dice. I know I have more than fair chances to hit it in the long run. Maths.

        Hope this helps.

      • So in other words, you think it’s all a crap shoot which justifies taking taking extreme and expensive measures that may have zero impact. Great idea.

      • Barnes –

        Top shelf stuff…


        > How do you justify anything that you know nothing about?

        After this:

        > 1.5 to 4 is not a prediction…

        >> Then what is it?

        So you don’t even know what it is, and why it isn’t a prediction.

        But yet you think you’re in a position to evaluate the science.

        Top shelf!

      • So Joshua the non climate scientist, if the narrative says we must limit Co2 emissions, or stop them altogether to avoid a rise in temperature by anywhere from 1.5 to 4.5, then how is that not a prediction of future temperature rise if we do nothing? And, given the enormous uncertainty of the “science”, what justification is there to pursuing expensive and frankly, unworkable “solutions” to combat “climate change”. That’s why Lindzen’s quote is spot on – the entire global climatewarmingchange narrative is absurd, but as his friend quoted, activists “feel” like they need to do something even though that something it is extremely expensive and they don’t have any idea if it will work. The absurdity is simply stated as activists think we can control climate by controlling a single variable – co2. That is what it all boils down to, and it is insanely absurd.

      • Barnes –

        > So Joshua the non climate scientist, if the narrative says we must limit Co2 emissions, or stop them altogether to avoid a rise in temperature by anywhere from 1.5 to 4.5, then how is that not a prediction of future temperature rise if we do nothing?

        I have a model in my head. That model says if you think this through carefully and let go of a rhetorical and ideological agenda, you’ll see more clearly what is and isn’t a prediction.

        Is that a prediction that you’re going to see this question clearly?

        Another model says that if you aren’t actually interested in a meaningful discussion, but are more interested in banging on a rhetorical drum to signal your identity as a “skeptic,” you’ll continue to argue over a semantical point rather than discuss how to meaningfully incorporate uncertainty into views on future climate change.

        Is that a prediction about what you’ll be interested in gong forward?

      • More word salad from Joshua. The only truly meaningful discussion to have is whether or not we should be taking the kinds of drastic actions being proposed by many western leaders to combat “climate change” given that in reality, there is zero certainty around predictions of future state. We have historical data that tells us the world has been both warmer and colder in the past and that in colder times, humans have generally faired less well than during warmer times. We have data that tells us co2 levels have been as high as 7000 ppm, yet life survived.

        When the absurdity of the activist argument is stated simply – that all the drastic actions being proposed are because of the claim that by controlling co2 levels, the climate can be controlled. Again, that’s what the argument boils down to and it is insanely absurd.

      • > The only truly meaningful discussion to have is whether or not we should be taking the kinds of drastic action

        Well done, Barnes: you just moved from Level 2 to Level 3 of the Contrarian Matrix:

        You still have time to discover Level 4 and 5.

        The last one is my favorite!

      • Still can’t reply to the substance can you Willard? Please try to defend, using actual observed data – not models – why you think a single variable – co2 – is the sole control knob for climate or show me where there is any discussion of any other variable where we need to take drastic, economically destroying action to get that other variable to net zero in any timeframe.

      • Actually Joshua, the topic started off with my quote from Lindzen re: the absurdity of the alarmists narrative which apparently triggered both you and Willard. Re: my 1.5-2 degree change comment, that is the predicted range we must keep to according to the Paris Climate Accord: “The Paris Agreement, also known as the Paris Climate Accord, is an agreement among the leaders of over 180 countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the global temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above pre-industrial levels by the year 2100.1 Ideally, the agreement aims to keep the increases to below 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F).2 The agreement is also called the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).3

        Both you and Willard elected to obfuscate and smear along the way as usual. Neither has provided any evidenced based data that shows how co2, all by itself, controls climate and that is the claim made by alarmists. Please explain to me why that is not an absurd claim, or show me where any narrative exists that does not state in absolute terms that we must stop burning fossil fuels and reduce our “carbon” footprint to net zero. The implication is that by doing so, the climate will magically stop changing.

      • What substance, Barnes? You’re just saying stuff.

        At least own the fact that you just moved the goalposts.

      • Willard – as I said to Joshua, both you and he are quite good at nitpicking with gotcha! chatter while ignoring my main point, the entire AGW/GAGW/climatewarmingchange narrative is absurd on it’s face. The essence of the narrative is that if we can control co2, we can control climate. All the rhetoric around getting to net zero centers singularly on co2 emissions – nothing else. By getting co2 emissions under control, we will avert what will surely be climate catastrophe – it’s a crisis and it’s urgent that we do this now. Is your position that this is sane?

      • “I have a model in my head.”

        I dispute this.

        “That model says if you think this through carefully and let go of a rhetorical and ideological agenda, you’ll see more clearly what is and isn’t a prediction.”

        1.5 (and dropping) has a different global response than 4.
        Currently, there is no meaningful global response, there is arm waving at western nations accompanied by irrational demands which, even if someone were daft enough to attempt, would not have any noticeable impact on 4 degrees, much less 1.5.
        As of today, no western nation has actually been daft enough to seriously attempt the irrational demands despite 30 years of effort by activists. And there isn’t a single climate activist seeking a genuine global effort on CO2, but there are hundreds of them energetically closing emissions-free power plants in the west.

      • Barnes –

        Looks like for some reason that I don’t understand, Judith deleted my comment to you.

        Anyway, once again, in this sub-thread entered in reference to your statement about not understanding why something that isn’t a prediction, isn’t a prediction.

        If you didn’t want to talk about that, you could have just not responded on that topic. But you did respond on that topic and then after my response to your response, you then changed the subject. There are many interesting subjects to discuss, but I say let’s finish up on the topic of why things that aren’t predictions, aren’t predictions, before moving on to a different subject.

  22. You are so behind the 8 ball. Put billions into advanced nuclear reactors, be God’s steward of the natural world, create wealth and opportunity and build resilient infrastructure. It’s not rocket science.

    ‘Science is a global common good on a quest for truth, knowledge, and innovation toward a better life. Now, humankind faces new challenges at unprecedented scale. The first Nobel Prize Summit comes amid a global pandemic, amid a crisis of inequality, amid an ecological crisis, amid a climate crisis, and amid an information crisis. These supranational crises are interlinked and threaten the enormous gains we have made in human progress. It is particularly concerning that the parts of the world projected to experience many of the compounding negative effects from global changes are also home to many of the world’s poorest communities, and to indigenous peoples. The summit also comes amid unprecedented urbanization rates and on the cusp of technological disruption from digitalization, artificial intelligence, ubiquitous sensing and biotechnology and nanotechnology that may transform all aspects of our lives in coming decades.’

    • Geoff Sherrington

      I realy get annoyed when people quote this line of ”world’s poorest communities, and to indigenous peoples’. Go back in time, to the point where we were mostly equal, or much more equal than now, and give thanks to those groups that led the way to a better future. Don’t whine about those who did not do so well. Their fault, not mine. What on eath does it have to do with book reviews anyhow? Geoff S

    • What I did was point the way to a different take – in video and text – on global systems that go well beyond the narrow climate focus of the books reviewed. And started with a precis of ridiculously obvious solutions.

      I’d guess you are pretty much annoyed all the time Geoff. You are up against slick and powerful operators. I fear you are destined to remain disappointed.

  23. Victor Ovid Adams

    About those “tipping points”: In a recent op ed., Professor Richard Lindzen argues against the likelihood of a catastrophic tipping point in earth’s warming as it would violate Le Chatelier’s principle that says “when a settled system is disturbed, it will adjust to diminish the change that has been made to it.

    • An op-ed aye? The global climate system is composed of a number of powerful subsystems – atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. The interactions between the subsystems give rise to abrupt climate change on all time scales. Climate states emerge at a rate and to an extent determined by the system itself. Complex dynamical systems are not stoichiometry. It is a false analogy.

    • Victor Ovid Adams: Le Chatelier’s principle that says “when a settled system is disturbed, it will adjust to diminish the change that has been made to it.

      Le Chatelier’s principle applies to a system in equilibrium, not a “settled system” (whatever that is). It is an assertion, not an empirical generalization with a lot of supporting instances, or an abduction with a lot of empirically supported derivations. I agree it’s popular and widely cited, but that’s about it. Notice that, in other words, it asserts the non-existence of positive feedbacks, and what are called “unstable equilibria”.

    • ‘Tipping points’ ??
      Listen to the ancients “— A long time ago, when I was angry and rose up from my dwelling and arranged for the Flood, I rose up from my dwelling, and the control of heaven and earth was undone. The very heavens I made to tremble, the positions of the stars of heaven changed, and I did not return them to their places. Even Erkalla quaked; the furrow’s yield diminished, and forever after (?) it was hard to extract (a yield). –“.
      Ask: ‘how come all agree on the source of the problem?’ and the ultimate effect on the productivity of the land? One thing humanity knows well is ‘Famines’.

      The statement “when a settled system is disturbed, it will adjust to diminish the change that has been made to it.” ‘may’ be correct provided the parameters dictating its settling point are unchanged. But many times it is those parameters that change and the system response is to obey to the change.

      Above quote from

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  25. Comparing atmospheric CO2 levels over the geophysical record Dr. William Happer testified under oath before congress that currently the Earth is CO2-starved. Leftists’ fixation on CO2 will result in an Earth that is energy deprived… for those living in the third world.

    • At 400 odd ppm CO2 – plants are not starved. We could drive that to 1000 ppm this century. Maybe not the best idea. Instead we could pack a lot of it into soils and ecosystems – geo-engineering enhancing productivity needed to feed the world. Along with developing cost competitive energy technologies.

      • Curious George

        “Rubisco aims to fix carbon dioxide, but can also fix oxygen molecules, which creates a toxic two-carbon compound. Rubisco fixes oxygen about 20 percent of the time, initiating a process called photorespiration that recycles the toxic compound. Photorespiration costs the plant energy it could have used to photosynthesize.”

        “However, plants have evolved another form of photosynthesis to help reduce these losses in hot, dry environments. In C4 photosynthesis, where a four-carbon compound is produced, unique leaf anatomy allows carbon dioxide to concentrate in ‘bundle sheath’ cells around Rubisco. This structure delivers carbon dioxide straight to Rubisco, effectively removing its contact with oxygen and the need for photorespiration.”

        You can interpret it either as “plants are CO2 starved” or “plants are O2 poisoned”. Take your pick.

      • Plants reduce the number and size of stomata in carbon rich atmospheres to limit water loss – water being limiting in many environments. When aridity is critical – stomata close and there is a build up of oxygen in the leaf structure while photosynthesis continues. When the concentration of carbon dioxide is low relative to oxygen gas, then oxygen joins with RuBP as phororespiration is initiated. In photorespiration, oxygen gas combines with RuBP to form an unstable molecule that breaks down into glyceraldehyde phosphate and glycolic acid, a two-carbon molecule that is further catabolized into carbon dioxide. In other words – in conditions of water stress plants close stomata and make their own carbon dioxide. That uses energy dissipated as heat that could otherwise be used in sugar production. Stayin’ alive during dry weather may however be an evolutionary benefit. The C4 pathway minimises the problem – and in deserts the CAM pathway. Ain’t life adaptable?

      • Curious George

        I haven’t seen a deeper analysis of the greening earth yet. The additional CO2 should give a preferential treatment to C3 plants, but that’s only my theory.

      • Obviously not starved then.

    • Because fauna ultimately derive their energy from the photosynthesis of flora, animal mass correlates with plant mass.

      Satellite measures indicate increased plant mass which probably means both increased total biomass including animal biomass.

      It is an amusing contradiction that the “existential threat” of carbon dioxide is increasing life on earth.

  26. Pingback: Local weather ebook shelf – Watts Up With That? – Daily News

  27. Pingback: Climate book shelf

  28. Thank you for these reviews.

    I enjoyed this discussion between Koonin and Alex Epstein:

  29. Pingback: Climate book shelf – Climate-

  30. If you prefer short books, here is all you need to know about climate change in three paragraphs.

    About two thirds of CO2 is dissolved in the oceans and one third is in the atmosphere. The oceans have been warming since the little ice age causing de-gassing in accordance with Henry’s law. Natural shifts in atmospheric concentration such as this dwarf any human emissions.

    Water vapour is the dominant greenhouse gas with CO2 in a secondary role. The CO2 IR absorption bands are now saturated so future increases in CO2 are of NO CONCERN. This limited IR absorption capability explains why life evolved over millions of years even though the atmosphere often contained many thousands of ppm of the gas. The ability to warm the planet to an ideal temperature then take no part in further warming is what gives the earth its Goldilocks characteristics.

    The water cycle and clouds give a net negative feedback which acts as a thermostat that stabilises temperatures, particularly in the tropics where thermal distribution begins. This is why the main characteristic of our planet is its stability. We should welcome increased levels of the plant food, CO2 which is increasing crop yields and greening our planet.

  31. “Ladies and gentlemen: We live in a world in which people are suspicious of politicians, but still respect scientists. Politicians are therefore eager to borrow the prestige of science, to camouflage their own agenda with a veneer of scientific authority“. I found this quote in a presentation made by Donna Laframboise from 2015. It is an excellent presentation that exposes the political nature of the IPCC and is well worth reading.

    As to the climate emergency, anyone who has not read Willis Eschenbach’s posts on WUWT re:, should. As to the “solutions” being proposed to fix a non-problem, the recent posts by Charles Rotterre: renewable performance in the UK, Germany, and France are quite enlightening. The one re: the UK specifically is here:

    While I respect Judith Curry, I find it a bit disingenuous to characterize Morano’s book as being pitched at Trump’s base. His perspective has nothing to do with Trump or his base – he is simply putting into book form much of what he has been preaching ever since he started his blog. As to the GND, I find it stunning that anyone actually believes it makes any sense at all. This quote from Charles post re: renewable performance is 100% correct: “An excellent way to undermine Western economies is to render their power generation unreliable and expensive. That objective of Green thinking is progressively being achieved by Government policies throughout the Western world, but without popular mandate”.

    • “Ladies and gentlemen: We live in a world in which people are suspicious of politicians, but still respect scientists. Politicians are therefore eager to borrow the prestige of science, to camouflage their own agenda with a veneer of scientific authority“.

      Great quote.

      The respect for the scientific community is destined to crash within the next 5 years imo. Not only Einstein’s convoluted mathematical description of reality but also Newton’s simplistic idea of only one type of matter.

    • I flagged Willis’s post at the (London) Times online, which many people will have seen. I hope that some eyes have been opened.

    • jungletrunks

      I appreciate this post.

      CAGW activists want to suspend all questioning, so they indeed use the veneer of science to appear unreproachable. There’s little recognition for other, more likely, existential threats that would come from their “remedies”. They instead are looking down an ideological tube, deliberately detaching themselves from common sense peripheral vision, anything that distracts from their straight-line goal; they will not allow anything to dilute their messaging. Activists have intentionally implemented tactical measures to assault the rational.

      It’s actually more likely that an alternate existential threat of global economic collapse will develop, on a much quicker timeframe, if activist “remedies” are implemented.

      What peripheral vision am I speaking of? Activists will ask. So where’s the massive technological curve that’s been self-evident for over a century fit into the equation as the more logical alternate “conviction”, over the presumed need for punitive mitigation over the fear that CO2 is an imminent threat? I’m mostly not referring to the advancement of current technologies; but rather new paradigms that will surely develop from the explosive growth curve of technology, likely near-term on a relative basis. This renders much of the CO2 threat over the next century mute. There’s certainly no real basis for the activist prognosis of 10 years until doom from CAGW, they use faulty models to contrive. So essentially activists want us to embrace pessimism, by sculpting a veneered charade in order to suspend prudent, more logical optimism; our technology curve is observable, climate science isn’t. We do know how fast technology is advancing. That the Wright brothers flew a little over 100 years ago, then putting a man on the moon half a century later helps us to visualize this. Determination isn’t needed to advance alternative energy sources, the work’s already being done without much need for much government intervention.

  32. Arctic ice, plus or minus? Heller cites observations from the early 1900’s that raise doubts that there is anything alarming going on today.

    • Afternoon Peter,

      You cannot be serious? “Steve”/Tony has no idea what he’s talking about in his Arctic ramblings. See for example:

      • How do you account for the various newspaper clippings he shows, e.g., the NYT 3/9/07 report on Amundsen seeing a Northwest Passage where none had been before? Lots of cherry pickers out there. The only thing I’m sure of is that if there is a CO2 crisis, solar panels and wind turbines are a waste of money.

      • Evenin’ Peter,

        I suggest that if you want to pursue that discussion you follow the link I helpfully provided earlier.

        It is off topic in here. (IMHO!)

      • I believe the topic was your observation that Koonin’s book failed to account for declining Arctic ice. Heller took issue with that general contention, and, unlike me, he is very serious.

      • Jim

        Let’s put Heller and Koonin’s book aside. My questions have nothing to do with either.

        Do you agree or disagree with the following statements.
        1. There was Arctic amplification in the past.
        2. Parts of the Arctic were warmer than present during the Holocene.
        3. Part of the current reduction in Arctic Sea Ice is from Natural Variability.

      • Evenin’ CK,

        In case you hadn’t noticed this is Judith’s “new book review” thread.

        Your question is irrelevant to the OP, and would perhaps be better posed elsewhere? How about over here for example?

      • 2.
        Radiocarbon-dated macrofossils are used to document Holocene treeline history across northern Russia (including Siberia). Boreal forest development in this region commenced by 10,000 yr B.P. Over most of Russia, forest advanced to or near the current arctic coastline between 9000 and 7000 yr B.P. and retreated to its present position by between 4000 and 3000 yr B.P. Forest establishment and retreat was roughly synchronous across most of northern Russia.
        During the period of maximum forest extension, the mean July temperatures along the northern coastline of Russia may have been 2.5° to 7.0°C warmer than modern.
        and extreme Arctic penetration of warm North Atlantic waters.

      • You’re on the wrong thread as well Alan,

        At the risk of repeating myself, here you go:

      • Let me translate for you your answer.


        That is what I expected and why you have been putting on a Fred Astaire impersonation by tap dancing around the issue.

      • You’re the one “tap dancing around the issue” CK.

        At the risk of repeating myself, repeating myself, whilst simultaneously staying on topic:

        “The IPCC is Prof. Koonin’s stated scientific “gold standard”. Period!

        Are you implying that Steven doesn’t know what he’s talking about?”

      • “ The combined sea ice data suggest that the seasonal Arctic sea ice cover was strongly reduced during most of the early Holocene and there appear to have been periods of ice free summers in the central Arctic Ocean.”

        Jakobssen 2010

      • “ Through a fingerprint pattern matching method, we estimate that this internal variability contributes to about 40–50% of observed multi-decadal decline in Arctic sea ice”

        Ding 2018

      • “ Using multimodel mid-Holocene simulations, we show that the annual mean Northern Hemisphere temperature is strongly correlated with the degree of Arctic amplification and sea ice loss.”

        Park 2019

    • ‘This synthesis study assesses recent changes of Arctic Ocean physical parameters using a unique collection of observations from the 2000s and places them in the context of long‐term climate trends and variability. Our analysis demonstrates that the 2000s were an exceptional decade with extraordinary upper Arctic Ocean freshening and intermediate Atlantic water warming. We note that the Arctic Ocean is characterized by large amplitude multi‐decadal variability in addition to a long‐term trend, making the link of observed changes to climate drivers problematic. However, the exceptional magnitude of recent high‐latitude changes (not only oceanic, but also ice and atmospheric) strongly suggests that these recent changes signify a potentially irreversible shift of the Arctic Ocean to a new climate state.’

      Anthropogenic climate drivers there are – set against a backdrop of ‘complex dynamical’ change.

      What is complex dynamics? –

  33. Former Greenpeace Canada president Patrick Moore argues against the ‘settled science’ of climate change and has written a book called Fake Invisible Catastrophies And Threats of Doom:

    • The respect for the scientific community is destined to crash within the next 5 years imo. Not only Einstein’s convoluted mathematical description of reality but also Newton’s simplistic idea of only one type of matter.

      The greatest threat to civilisation is Alan Lowry.

    • UK-Weather Lass

      A few serious questions that I do not know how to answer arise from my understanding that nature doesn’t need to differentiate between the many and various sources of the component elements in its continued work since it simply adapts and explores change continuously in real time and always will. It does this because for no two moments in time are all things ever exactly the same. The process has infinite variation and infinite space to explore even if in human terms these represent impossible to understand scales.

      According to estimates, anything up to one hundred lightning strikes happen every second of every day, and there are something in the order of thousands of electric storms every day. It is estimated one modest sized storm contains more energy than all human beings in total use in one orbit of the Sun. Let that sink in alongside the destructive forces of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc., etc.

      Given the relative scale of our operation on planet Earth, can we truly be capable of causing a tipping point (e.g. from burning fossil fuel), when nature is capable of much more and frequent and sudden large scale, and forceful events which may have led to planetary change but didn’t stop life evolving, growing, thriving, and developing?

      Have we allowed ourselves to become fearful of the very context of our human-ness in that we simply cannot know nature as well as we would like to or to win her over?

  34. Robert Clark

    I guess no-one believes the explanation of the Ice Ages based only on physics. I am disappointed in our education system.
    I am appreciative of those that helped with COVID-19. Ms. Curry plaid a large part in that.
    THANK-YOU to all.
    Robert D. Clark

  35. Dimetris Koutsoyiannis kindly reached out this morning and sent some links. I have previously read ‘Hen and Egg’ and ‘Revisiting the global hydrological cycle: is it intensifying?’

    I’m in fact much more concerned with soils and nutrient pollution – along with a crash in wildlife populations globally – than water and climate. I am far from a voice in the wilderness in this. But you may cherry pick as you like to shore up one position or another – or reject it outright. A clear and present danger to the scientific enlightenment itself. Wiser to cultivate the art of scientific skepticism.

    It doesn’t advance public policy. We are putting billions into advanced nuclear reactors, we are learning to be God’s steward of the natural world with tremendous advances in biological, ecological, and systems science, we continue to create wealth and opportunity and we must build resilient infrastructure. It’s not climate science and never has been.

    Water conservation is the foundation of a sustainable agriculture that is ready to double food production within a few decades. It feeds back into carbon sequestration, managing nutrient pollution, creating a more drought and flood tolerant agriculture, reducing downstream flooding, conserving and enhancing biodiversity, refilling aquifers, maintaining dry weather flow in wetlands… There is nothing not to like about this.


    It can be done in two ways. Conserve and restore soils and increase their infiltration rates and water holding capacity with farm practices that create positive soil organic content budgets. Water in the top layers of soils seeps slowly into stores that feed both groundwater aquifers and seeps that maintain dry weather flows in downstream wetlands. The complementary measure is to retard the movement of water across landscapes – giving more time for infiltration. Holding back water in sand dams, ponds. terraces and swales, replanting, changing grazing management, encouraging perennial vegetation cover, precise applications of chemicals and adoption of other management practices that create positive carbon and nutrient budgets and optimal soil temperature and moisture.

    ‘Worried about climate and water? Consider calming down by reading my book and articles below:

    Stochastics of Hydroclimatic Extremes: A Cool Look at Risk –
    Rethinking climate, climate change, and their relationship with water –
    Atmospheric temperature and CO₂: Hen-or-egg causality? –
    Revisiting the global hydrological cycle: is it intensifying? –

    Not interested in historical developments of hydrology? Consider develop some interest by reading:

    From mythology to science: the development of scientific hydrological concepts in the Greek antiquity and its relevance to modern hydrology,

  36. A new 366 page opus from Dimetris Koutsoyiannis. The first paragraph of the foreword is promising enough to be quoted. Defending the gates of science against the barbarians.

    ‘I feel really honoured and pleased to have received invitation from Professor
    Koutsoyiannis to write a foreword to his fascinating scientific book entitled Stochastics of hyydroclimatic Extremes: A Cool Look at Risk. As a matter of fact, Professor Koutsoyiannis and myself do not always agree on different aspects of the science of climate change and its impact as well as on the justification behind mitigation and adaptation. However, we are both doing our best to heed the story that the raw observation data are telling us,
    without forcing them to say what they are expected to say. The book is in this spirit, taking a reader for a guided magical mystery tour to objective, and rational, methods and being free of ideology or pre-conceptions.’
    Stochastics of Hydroclimatic Extremes
    A Cool Look at Risk

  37. Mornin’ all (UTC),

    I feel sure this will amuse you guys’n’gals as well?

    • And that, folks, is why the West Side Highway in New York City is underwater today, Miami is uninhabitable, Tuvalu is gone (and therefore can’t have a new international air terminal), and the Arctic has been ice free since 2005.

      Meanwhile, speaking of the WSJ, they note the International Energy Agency finds that, like all the others that come out the mouths of greens, the claim of “clean” renewable energy isn’t supported by any evidence at all and is, in fact the opposite of true:

      The gist is that the IEA is admitting the Easter Bunny Solutions clan is still making promises that are unsupportable based on simple math and physics. If anyone was daft enough to actually try, it would require destroying the planet. But, we’ve known this since 1988.

    • Dave Andrews


      From long before ‘Twatter’

      “In Spitsbergen the open season for shipping at the coal port lengthened from three months in the years before 1920 to over seven months of the year by the late 1930s. The average total area of the Arctic sea ice seems to have declined by between 10 and 20 percent over that time.”

      H H Lamb ‘Climate, History and the Modern World’ 2nd Edition p260

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        Dave Andrews –

        Useful and interesting tidbit – As previously noted in other comments, Much of the data presented by the advocates use starting dates circa 1980. Data presented without better and more complete long term data is a form of cherry picking,

        Its both baffling and illuminating.

      • Evenin’ Dave (UTC),

        I really don’t comprehend why you and the others keep going on about the minutiae of Arctic sea ice. My point (and the joke) is that Steve doesn’t mention it in his book and neither he nor Tucker mentioned it in their Fox News interview.

        However Steve did mention the Greenland Ice Sheet in “Unsettled”, so please feel free to pick the bones out of my extensively referenced critique:

        Personally I have very high confidence that Professor Koonin had great difficulty cherry picking a Greenland Ice Sheet quote from the IPCC that could be “spun” into supporting his case. Frankly his “southern tip of Greenland” effort smacks of desperation.

        Unsettling, is it not?

      • Hello Jim.

        I just got my copy of Settled, and given my reading speed and competing interests, this thread will probably grow cold by the time I’m finished.

        However, Koonin’s main thesis appears to be that climate change is real but exaggerated.

        To be sure, reduced Arctic sea ice is one of the predicted outcomes of
        GHG warming. But, mindful of single cause fallacy and confirmation bias, Arctic sea ice appears to be a trailing indicator, and not all that significant. It’s pretty icy in the Arctic today and things thought to result from the decline, such as jet stream fluctuation, appear to have been in error, or at most, insignificant compared with interannual fluctuation.

        Is Arctic sea ice the only issue you have with the book?
        If so, is that an indicator of its validity?

      • Afternoon Eddie (UTC),

        I have numerous issues with Prof. Koonin’s “Unsettled”. So much so that I haven’t had enough time to write about all of them yet! My review thus far:

        Perhaps you could check if the print copy of the book says the same things as my electronic version? At the risk of repeating myself, page 23 states:

        The assessment reports literally define The Science for non-experts. Given the intensive authoring and review processes, any reader would naturally expect that their assessments and summaries of the research literature are complete, objective, and transparent—the “gold standard.” In my experience, the reports largely do meet that expectation, and so much of the detail in the first part of this book, the science story, is drawn from them.

        My and/or your opinions about the importance or otherwise of Arctic sea ice and Greenland Ice Sheet decline are irrelevant in this context. Steve says the IPCC ARs are his “gold standard”, so why don’t we start with what AR5, and the subsequent IPCC special reports, have to say on these and other matters mentioned in his book?

      • Will let you know.

      • Thanks Eddie,

        Hopefully you’ll be able to swiftly skip to page 23 to see if it says the same thing as mine?

        Or perhaps Judith wouldn’t mind trying that little experiment too?

      • I’ve skimmed the first five chapters now.

        So far, this is a good broad based overview which attempts to make detail and process widely accessible, though ‘widely’ is relative – still only a narrow slice of the population is equipped to understand this content.

        Figure 4.5, which demonstrates just how poor even the latest models are, stood out in particular.

        Koonin does mention Arctic sea ice decline on page 46 but not in detail.
        To be sure, Arctic sea ice decrease is a prediction of AGW.
        However, the Arctic Ocean is only about 3% of the earth’s surface, it is not directly relevant to the majority of humans at mid-latitudes, past Arctic sea ice declines occurred naturally before at far greater extent to humans(HCO) and polar bears(Eemian and HCO), who appeared to do just fine, and it’s not falsifiable what percentage of the recent decline is attributable to thermodynamics or more natural fluid dynamics of ice flow.

        There is a phenomena in [sic]social justice wherein obvious categorical members of a group ( racial, gender, other ) become ‘excommunicated’. It’s kinda funny to see Koonin, an Obama appointee, be excommunicated so.
        Climatism does have parallels in religions including the newer social religions.

        One may ask also, why Koonin ( or Schellenberger ) would choose to author such works given the attacks. Koonin makes his case that he is fulfilling a scientific duty to honesty and that duty is the only duty of a scientist.

        It is also interesting how many lukewarm assessments of climate change quote almost entirely from the IPCC reports because, while they are highly spun, the IPCC reports are quite moderate and belie the exaggerations.

        Will the zealous attempt to #CancelTheIPCC?

      • Thanks Eddie,

        Since you haven’t quibbled with my assertion, can I safely assume that you agree that Prof. Koonin states that the IPCC ARs and SRs are his “gold standard” for “the science”?

        “Koonin does mention Arctic sea ice decline on page 46 but not in detail.”

        As mentioned in my own review, albeit seemingly on a different page in the Kindle edition:

        Rising temperatures at the surface and in the ocean are not the only indicators of recent warming. The ice on the Arctic Ocean and in mountain glaciers has been in decline…

        Why Steve doesn’t use the same terminology as the IPCC and pretty much everybody else is beyond me. Not only that, but also there’s that strange absence of any “detail” whatsoever:

        A paragraph I can broadly agree with, but I am compelled to ask why Dr. Koonin does not quantify the “decline of the ice on the Arctic Ocean” anywhere in the book? There are a wide variety of metrics used to quantify the “amount” of sea ice in the Arctic, but here is one readily available for download from the NASA web site. It is hard to believe that a scientist of Dr. Koonin’s experience, particularly one writing about climate change, has never previously come across a similar graph of Arctic sea ice extent.

        “However, the Arctic Ocean is only about 3% of the earth’s surface, it is not directly relevant to the majority of humans at mid-latitudes.”

        That’s not what Steve’s “gold standard” says Eddie! Quoting the SROCC Executive Summary for the “Polar Regions” chapter:

        The polar regions are losing ice, and their oceans are changing rapidly. The consequences of this polar transition extend to the whole planet, and are affecting people in multiple ways

        What say you?

      • joe - the non climate scientist

        Jim Hunt’s comment – “As mentioned in my own review, albeit seemingly on a different page in the Kindle edition:

        “Rising temperatures at the surface and in the ocean are not the only indicators of recent warming. The ice on the Arctic Ocean and in mountain glaciers has been in decline…”

        Jim Hunt – do you have any good references to Mountain glacier melt by year starting circa 1900. Most of the data sources tend to truncate and/or hide the data prior to the 1980’s. Not sure why the climate scientists want to highlight a short time frame. Always welcome a more complete and comprehensive picture in order to evaluate the long term history.

      • Evenin’ Joe,

        Perhaps you should ask Eddie to peruse the “Unsettled” list of references on your behalf, since that is a quote from Steve Koonin himself.

        As you may have realised by now, I’m a sea ice nutter rather than a mountain glacier nutter! Perhaps there’s something relevant in here?

      • The consequences of this polar transition extend to the whole planet, and are affecting people in multiple ways.

        “What say you?”

        I say that multiple ways is not defined, but probably exaggerated.

        And, the 97% of the rest of the planet is probably affecting the 3% of the Arctic ( by transporting to it some excess sensible and latent heat ), much more than the 3% of the Arctic is affecting the 97% of the rest of the planet.

      • But once again, Steve’s declared “gold standard” for “the science” is the statements in the IPCC ARs and SRs, not the thoughts of Turbulent Eddie

      • But once again, Steve’s declared “gold standard” for “the science” is the statements in the IPCC ARs and SRs, not the thoughts of Turbulent Eddie

        Well, you did ask for my thoughts.

        But it appears you are missing the point of the book –

        The IPCC, cited by Koonin (and Pielke Jr. and Curry and Shellenberger and others ) debunks the commonly held exaggerations.

      • Afternoon Eddie (UTC),

        On the contrary, I understand the point of the book perfectly. Which is to misrepresent Dr. Koonin’s alleged scientific “gold standard”, namely the IPCC ARs and SRs.

        Please feel free to add yourself to the list of recipients of a slap on the chops from “Snow White’s” snow white gauntlet:

        “The rate of global sea-level rise 70 years ago was as large as what we observe today,” according to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)”

        Perhaps Marc would like to show me where in his cited reference that phrase can be found? Failing that perhaps he’d prefer to show me where it says words to that effect? Failing that perhaps Steve Koonin himself could rise to the challenge?

      • Mornin’ Eddie (UTC),

        I’m afraid you’re going to have to explain to me in greater detail what on Earth your image has to do with the Washington Post op ed’s apparent confusion concerning the IPCC’s current pronouncements about sea level rise.

  38. Dr Curry, if you chart the Monthly Data for Antarctica you discover that there is no warming in the S Pole. CO2 has increased by about 25% over the time period of these graphics. This is pretty solid evidence that if you control for the Urban Heat Island and Water Vapor effects CO2 does not cause warming. I have also found over 500 weather stations, that when controlled for the UHI, Water Vapor and low BI, show no warming. This is clear evidence that data corruption through exogenous factors, not CO2 is causing the warming.

    • Hi CDiL,

      At the risk of drifting off topic, can you please provide a link to your data?

      What do you discover if you produce a similar time series for the “North Pole”?

      • Joe - the non climate scientist

        I will make the same complaint of the chart provided by “co2islife “as with the numerous charts at the greatwhitecon

        Its starting point is 1979 which is too short of a period to gift a balanced picture of the true temperature trend. Same issue with sea ice extent in the arctic starting in 1980. The greatwhitecon appears to have only one chart covering a period prior to 1980.

        Its cherrypicking and intentionally deceptive.

      • Jim, here is a link to the data:
        Lower Troposphere:

        The N Pole is impacted by ocean trends. I deliberately chose the S Pole as a control for the UHI, Water Vapor, and other exogenous factors.

        You can also go to NASA GISS and search for desert stations and other stations with low BI values. I’ve found over 500 that show no established up-trend.

      • Life’s trying to become the new cool contrarian memer, Jim:

        Does this Link Work?

        If yes, pass it on to everyone you know.

      • Aha!

        Thanks Willard. No doubt CDiL is beavering away on the northern hemisphere version even as we speak.

      • Jim Hunt Says: Thanks Willard. No doubt CDiL is beavering away on the northern hemisphere version even as we speak.

        No, I would expect a lot of non-CO2 related variability with the N Pole. You have El Ninos La Ninas PDO ADO and all sorts of exogenous variables impacting the temperatures. You even have underwater volcanoes by the Bering straight. The whole goal is to identify locations in advance that should show no warming. The S Pole is ideal to isolate the impact of CO2 on temperatures. Hot and Cold deserts are also great controls. I’ve found over 500 stations with no warming, some going back to 1880.

  39. Pingback: Climate Bookshelf – Ciung Wanara

  40. Greg Byrne

    The Galactic Milankovitch cycles cause our climate cycles of Continental glaciers with lower sea levels (Dwarka, Mu continent) brought on by East to West global tsunami’s (Mid Atlantic ridge pushed up by Africa, pacific ring of fire torn apart).

    Eccentricity with the Galactic Bulge regulates intensity with perihelion happening every 120,000 years of 240 ka full rotation.

    Obliquity causes global warming/cooling due to Increasing/Decreasing Direct sunlight as the earths magnetic north tilt changes according to our location to our galaxies Electromagnetic field in 4 quadrants 4 x 60 ka of E-W declination reference the Galactic Bulge.

    Precession crossing the galaxies electromagnetic plane every 13,000 years half the Great Year causes EM plasma bursts at eh conjunction of the Sun and planets magnetospheres, Asteroid impacts from crossing the galaxies Kuipers belt, and E-W global tsunami’s from the increased EM gravitational pull as we cross the galactic plane.

    Covid like CO2 is a LIE strawman built upon an inconvenient truth. The Baby Boomers who were born en mass 75 years ago are starting to die from the usual suspects of seasonal FLU/Pneumonia and old age.

    The Mask of the Beast is a pretext for the contact tracing, testing and 5G heavy metals final solution vaccine of the BEAST.

    Judaism & Islamism teach tribalism because they were born out of the oppression of their tribes. Us & them Goylim/Gentiles/Infidels.

    Christianity teaches HUMANISM because Jesus Christ taught us that there is only one race, the HUMAN race, and only one minority, the minority of one the human individual.

    Humanity is being divided distracted dispersed to be conquered again by the devil that is within all of us when it comes to self preservation.

    • Milankovitch eccentricity and glacial cycle theory is due to the Sun. The crossing of the galactic plane by the solar system every 26 million years or so is thought to be responsible for asteroid impacts leading to mass extinctions. You appear to have conflated the two.

  41. ‘Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto
    Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical.
    Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about
    themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific
    language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not
    questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally
    potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to
    fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values.49 Nor is that to
    be seen as a defect. Of course choices between competing values are not
    made by relying upon scientific knowledge alone. What is wrong is to
    pretend that they are.’ Gwyn Prins & Steve Rayner, 2007, The Wrong Trousers: Radically Rethinking Climate Policy

    Climate data has never been more available. It is treasured as a talisman and trotted out like a prize pig at a rural show. Reminds me of a Papua New Guinean joke about a three legged pig. Can’t eat such a good pig all at once. Our rural show is on again in June having skipped a year. I like the show jumping, wood chopping, baked goods and the parade with the miniature ponies and old fire engine red trucks. It is comfortingly familiar.

    ‘Today, we live in the most prosperous time in human history. Poverty, sicknesses, and ignorance are receding throughout the world, due in large part to the advance of economic freedom. In 2021, the principles of economic freedom that have fueled this monumental progress are once again measured in the Index of Economic Freedom, an annual guide published by The Heritage Foundation, Washington’s No. 1 think tank.’

    The U.S. is ranked number 20 btw. Climate change is a threat – real or imagined matters little. But it is not the main game by a long shot. The objective is as always to advance freedom. This I believe requires championing economic freedom.

    With climate change it is not climate science that matters for policy – ‘the organising principle of our effort should be the raising up of human dignity via three overarching objectives: ensuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.’

    My view is that the Earth system is pushed by greenhouse gas changes and warming – as well as solar intensity and Earth orbital effects – past a threshold at which stage the components start to interact chaotically in multiple and changing negative and positive feedbacks – as tremendous energies cascade through powerful subsystems. Before settling into a new emergent state. Some of these changes have a regularity within broad limits and the planet responds with a broad regularity in changes of ice, cloud, Atlantic thermohaline circulation and ocean and atmospheric circulation. Demetris Koutsoyiannis says that extremes are much more extreme than standard statistical hydrology methods allow for. Didier Sornette says that there are ‘dragon-kings’ at these transitions. Tim Palmer says the richness of geophysical series testifies as to the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system we are attempting to predict – ‘and emphasizes the importance of continuing to focus on observing and understanding processes and phenomena in the climate system.’ Nothing is certain.

    • Curious George

      “Climate change is a threat – real or imagined matters little.”
      Exactly. And that’s what is wrong with the world.

      • Whatever you imagine the problem with the world is George – the solution is to preserve economic dynamism while addressing energy, infrastructure and environment. Climate science is surplus to requirements and repeating the same silly little memes endlessly – in ways that haven’t changes in decades – is both not science and futile.

      • Curious George

        We have lost the ability to distinguish real and imaginary threats.

    • Dollars are scarce – do the things with the biggest payoff. And get out of the mindset where you are constantly reacting to the world and not acting on it.

      • Correct, money is scarce which is why pushing wind and solar as solutions is beyond idiotic. From the environmental impacts to the inherent intermittency issues that cause grid instability and require backup from some other source, we are wasting precious time and money on non-solutions to an imaginary (or real if you think so) problem that could be used to address real problems. Much of what you say makes absolute sense. Problem is, western leaders are not listening to you or anyone else who does not promote the dogma that human emissions of Co2 are the sole cause of all climate change and the only way to stop the climate from changing is to eliminate our use of fossil fuels. As Willis Eschenbach asks, “where is the emergency?”
        As to environmental impacts, Mark Mills has written several excellent articles delving into the mineral and mining requirements needed to build unreliables. Most recently in the WSJ – That is on top of the massive land use requirements of unreliables.

        As to the overall performance and cost,

        So the question is, how do we stop this madness? You and many others have promoted the use of nuclear. How do we get western leaders to listen?

      • You are reacting to the wrong issue. Wind and solar are a small part of the energy equation and will remain so. They now produce relatively cheap electrons, the lack of rotational inertia is easily and precisely compensated for with small battery banks or synchronous condensers and they may be balanced with dispatchable but low capacity sources like hydroelectric. The real problem is that they can’t be scaled up to provide the amount of energy that will be required globally this century. Especially when factoring in the transport sector and industrial process heat. Li-ion batteries are a limitation – but other interesting battery chemistries are being developed. Lightweight high capacity batteries are not needed for grid storage. The essential limitation, however, is simply the energy density of wind and solar.

        As for advanced nuclear reactor – governments and industry are putting many billions into the technology. It is not new technology but new build needs to be cheaper than dinosaur light water reactors.

        As I said – the central problem is to build economic dynamism while addressing energy, environments and infrastructure. You don’t counter madness with other madness.

      • Robert – first, thanks for your response. Again, what you are saying makes sense and I have no argument with it. My argument is with the direction our western leaders are taking. Wind and solar are indeed a small part of the equation and will remain so, however, our “leaders” continue to insist on investing heavily in those technologies which in my opinion is a complete waste of time and money. You say that private industry and governments are putting billions into advanced nuclear reactor technology which I hope is true, but it would make a lot more sense to stop all investment in wind and solar and focus on ANR and battery technology.

        In your response to jeffnsails850, you posted a link to an IEA report. I believe it is the same report Mark Mills wrote about here,

        Building economic dynamism cannot be done by making energy more expensive, since by making energy more expensive, everything becomes more expensive, since everything relies on energy. An example of the madness is here:

      • It is the same report – Popular Mechanics was more even handed on U.S. politics.
        Economic dynamism is fundamentally economic freedom. That is consistent with government support of sunrise industries – including advanced nuclear.

  42. There is not any measurable greenhouse warming effect on the Earth’s surface.
    Earth’s atmosphere is very thin to produce a significant greenhouse warming effect.
    The main greenhouse gasses H2O and CO2in the Earth’s very thin atmosphereare considered as a trace gasses.

  43. I’ve been reading Demetris Koutsoyiannis’ Stochastics of Hydroclimatic Extremes A Coo! Look at Risk – which is a wealth of analysis and erudition. Meteorology lost the second world war for the Germans because of a mistaken assumption of statistical independence?

    Baur was requested by the headquarters of the German Air Force to distribute his long-range forecasts to about 25 military offices. A forecast for winter 1941-42 was issued by him, probably at the end of October 1941, based on regional climatology and (supposed) sun-spot-climate
    relationships. The prediction called for a normal or a mild winter. Baur’s main justification for this rested with the assertion that never in climatic history did more than two severe winters occur in a row. Since both of the preceding two winters, 1939-40 and 1940-41, were severe in Europe, he did not expect that the forthcoming winter would also be severe…

    The cold outbreak of early December, coming after a cool to-cold October and November […] gravely hit the German armies that were not appropriately clothed (Hitler expected to break the resistance of the USSR before the coming of winter) and which were not equipped with armaments, tanks, and motorized vehicles that could properly function even in a “normal” winter in the northern parts of the USSR, let alone in a winter as rigorous as that of 1941-42. On or about 8 December, K. Diesing, chief of the CWG and scientific adviser to the chief of the Weather Service of the Air Force (General Spang), asked Flohn to listen in on a second earphone to a telephone call to Baur. In the call, Diesing cited to Baur the reports of very low temperatures
    in the East and asked him if he maintains his seasonal forecast in face of the reports. Baur’s response was “the observations must be wrong”.

  44. Kahn’s book is a great PomPom section for Capitalism. Economic actors reacting to market price signals have exactly what they need to optimize and take advantage of their innovative instincts. Those ubiquitous individuals will always be striving to stay ahead of the curve and they will always have visions decades and generations ahead of mere mortals. With Capitalism as a carrot they will be obsessively innovating and inventing for their own reasons which will benefit society. Smith’s invisible hand.
    While, according to one temperature data set, global warming progressed by only a couple of tenths of C, the founders of Facebook, Tesla and Google went from grade school to transforming elements of society.
    Human ingenuity is the ace in the hole for whatever nature has up its sleeve.
    Only a minor quibble with his book. He refers to AOC and Greta as environmental leaders. C’mon man.

  45. Pingback: Something for the weekend #151 – 2020 : Tracking Optimism

  46. You can see spatio-temporal chaos if you look at a fast mountain river. There will be vortexes of different sizes at different places at different times. But if you observe patiently, you will notice that there are places where there almost always are vortexes and they almost always have similar sizes – these are the quasi standing waves of the spatio-temporal chaos governing the river. If you perturb the flow, many quasi standing waves may disappear. Or very few. It depends. Tomas Milanovic.

    Tipping points are ubiquitous in the Earth system at scales from moments to eons and micro-eddies to planetary waves. It is first of all the nature of turbulent flow. Quasi standing waves in the Earth system are the ‘oscillation’ of planetary indices – shifting patters in the flow field. If we dip a foot in the mountain stream vortices may change a little or a lot.

    Closed cloud cells persist for longer over cool oceans before raining out to leave open cells. Increased domain albedo over vast areas of tropical and subtropical oceans cools the planet. Open cells over warm oceans let the sunshine in. Could we destabilise this bistable system? Science says maybe.

    At the other end of the spectrum is the potential for slowing of thermohaline circulation to trigger runaway ice sheet feedback in conditions of low NH summer insolation.

    How one could not be a catastrophist (in the sense of Rene Thom) escapes me.

    It is much worse than we thought – 🤣 – I would put the envelop of future global temperature changes at +/- 10° C and it could happen in as little as a decade. What we need is strong and secure societies. Nuclear powered wealth with a vibrant natural world and resilient infrastructure.

  47. Pingback: Green Fraud and Why No One Wants to Talk About ItNatural Gas Now

  48. It seems as though Steve Koonin’s fan boyz are crawling out of their holes over on Twatter:

    • Jim

      Why do think A76 is such a big deal. That is what happens with ice shelves, they discharge ice bergs. Always have, always will.
      No one mentions Antarctic Sea Ice being above 40 year median for the last few months either. It’s because it’s no big deal.

      • Afternoon CK,

        The Filchner-Ronne ice shelf seems to calve a biggun perhaps once a decade, so it’s news. A “big deal” if you prefer. It is also a convenient illustration of the process you mention.

        It seems we are in agreement about Antarctic sea ice extent. A first I believe?!

  49. “O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
    (S)he chortled in their joy.

    Over at WUWT Andy May is “Fact checking the fact checkers” about Greenland, and for some strange reason he doesn’t mention “Snow White” once!

    Since both Snow and I are persona non grata over there perhaps somebody wouldn’t mind bringing the “Tweet” just above to Andy and Anthony’s attention?

  50. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #455 – Watts Up With That?

  51. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #455 | ajmarciniak

  52. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #455 – Climate-

  53. Pingback: Steven Koonin vs the cancel culture | Catallaxy Files

  54. Popular cosmologist Dr. Brian Keating is soon to interview Laurence Kraus about his new book The Physics of Climate Change.

  55. What is also needed are similar books on the real, total cost of renewable energy sources.

  56. Great list. Thanks for sharing!

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