Misperception and amplification of climate risk

by Judith Curry

“Something frightening poses a perceived risk. Something dangerous poses a real risk.” – Swedish physician Hans Rosling et al.[i]

This post is a follow on to my recent post Victims of the faux climate ‘crisis’. Part I: Children.  The issue of psychological trauma of children is one that I am continuing to work on, to identify root causes and a way forward.

The theme of this particular post is how our perceptions of risk differ from the actual risk itself.  Understanding this difference provides insights to understanding these fears, as well as providing insights into how these differences are manipulated by propagandists.

Apart from the objective facts about a risk, the social sciences find that our interpretation of those facts is ultimately subjective.  Risk science makes a clear distinction between professional judgments about risk versus the public perception of risk. Risk perception is a person’s subjective judgement or appraisal of risk, which can involve social, cultural and psychological factors.

No matter how strongly we feel about our perceptions of risk, we often get risk wrong. People worry about some things more than the evidence warrants (e.g. nuclear radiation, genetically modified food), and less about other threats than the evidence warrants (e.g., obesity, using mobile phones while driving). This gap in risk perception produces social policies that protect us more from what we are afraid of than from what actually threatens us the most.  Understanding the psychology of risk perception is important for rationally managing the risks that arise when our subjective risk perception system gets things dangerously wrong.[ii]

The Psychometric Paradigm research of psychologist Paul Slovic and collaborators describes a suite of psychological characteristics that make risks feel more or less frightening, relative to the actual facts[iii] [iv] [v]

  1. natural versus manmade risks
  2. detectable versus undetectable risks (without special instrumentation)
  3. controllable versus uncontrollable risks
  4. voluntary versus imposed risks
  5. risks with benefits versus uncompensated risks
  6. known risks versus vague risks
  7. risks central to people’s everyday lives versus uncommon risks
  8. future versus immediate risks
  9. equitable versus asymmetric distribution of risks.

In each of these pairs, the first risk type is generally preferred to the second risk type. For example, risks that are common, self-controlled and voluntary, such as driving, generate the least public apprehension. Risks that are rare and imposed that lack potential upside, like terrorism, invoke the most dread.[vi]

The risk of manmade climate change is one that people would not be aware of without scientific research. People experience a great deal of weather and climate variability over the seasonal cycle and from year to year.  People would not be aware of the scientific research on climate change if not for the UN having declared climate research to be policy relevant in context of the 1992 UNFCCC Treaty to prevent “dangerous anthropogenic climate change.”  People don’t normally pay much attention to what is going at the UN; this changed circa 2006/2007 with Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truths and the IPCC AR4 and the Nobel Peace Prize.

People really weren’t caring so much about all this; after all what harm could a few degrees of warming actually cause?  Well, I was an inadvertent contributor to explaining the potential harm of 1 degree of warming, with the now famous Webster et al. 2005 paper that identified a doubling in the proportion of Category 4/5 hurricanes since 1970.  For the first time, the connection was made between a devastating hurricane such as Katrina and a small amount of warming.  What was previously understood to be a vague risk (#6) in the future (#8) and caused by humans (#1) became a specific and horrifying risk in the here and now, that was caused by our fossil fuel emissions. 

Climate activists, the media and even scientists seized on the “extreme weather event caused by climate change” narrative as being the ideal vehicle for ramping up the alarm about human-caused global warming.  In addition to striking chords with #1, #6 and #8, extreme weather events also play into #7-uncommon risks, since these risks are uncommon for individual locations.  While the events are far from unprecedented in a specific location, they are sufficiently rare for people not to be prepared for them.

Every extreme weather event is now attributed to global warming, even extreme cold outbreaks and heavy snow. Scientists who should know better just can’t resist the opportunities for media attention and enthusiastically place blame on human-caused global warming.  In spite of the fact that IPCC assessment reports find very little in the way of any contribution of human-caused global warming to extreme weather events.  As emphasized by John Christy, if you look at the first half of the 20th century, you will invariably find equivalent weather and climate extremes.  As emphasized by Andy Revkin, if you look back into paleoclimate record, you will find much worse weather and climate extremes. No matter – never let the historical and paleoclimate data records get in the way of an alarming story that attributes the most recent disaster to fossil fuel emissions, and so amping up the pressure to eliminate fossil fuel emissions.

Extreme weather events have become an increasingly important part of the climate alarm narrative since 2005, but kids didn’t start getting “psychologically injured” until the climate communicators and “educators” took this to the next higher level. The timing of this started around 2017, following the increasingly apocalyptic rhetoric from UN officials and national leaders in support of the Paris Agreement and the coincident formation of the Sunrise Movement, Extinction Rebellion, etc.  I don’t find much in the published literature about psychological injuries to children from climate change prior to about 2018; this is a very recent phenomena.

In terms of risk perception, this amplified narrative of alarm emphasizes that these “climate change” catastrophes are imposed on society by villainous fossil fuel companies (#4), the risks are uncompensated (i.e. there have been no benefits to society from fossil fuels) (#5), and the risks are uncontrollable (#3) UNLESS politicians do the “right thing,” at the very least by virtue signaling with token knee capping of fossil fuel companies. 

And now for the final element of manipulating risk perception: asymmetric distribution of risks (#9), whereby children and under-developed countries are at greatest risk.  Serious virtue signaling tells us we need to eliminate fossil fuel emissions for the sake of the children and the underdeveloped countries.  Well, children in affluent countries are at far less risk than their great-great grandparents (not to mention children in underdeveloped countries) owing to the presence of fossil fuels in their lives that provide secure structures for their homes and schools with central heating and air conditioning, not to mention abundant electricity and also fertilizer to insure their food supply.  

Part II of my “Victims” series (forthcoming) is related to underdeveloped countries.  The proselytizers of apocalyptic climate change are exploiting both children and underdeveloped countries to urge action in eliminating fossil fuels.  The exploitation of children is outlined in Part I of my Victims series. The short summary for Part II is that while affluent countries continue to exploit the fossil fuel resources of underdeveloped countries (especially Africa), they are denying these countries the resources they need to actually use the fossil fuel resources on their land for their own economic development.  Instead, international development and adaptation aid is being redirected towards green energy projects – mitigation of CO2 emissions that doesn’t provide adequate energy and places the countries further in debt. Stay tuned.

I can only conclude that the climate catastrophists focused on elimination of fossil fuels above all else are exploiting and damaging children and underdeveloped countries as part of their political objectives to prioritizing elimination of fossil fuels above all else.  If children and developing countries are collateral damage, then so be it (oops they seem to have forgotten their original virtue signaling of eliminating fossil fuels for the sake of the children and the underdeveloped countries.)

Taking #9 back to the children with psychological injuries: they are being fed (via media targeted at them, educational materials, even story books) an explicitly political message that relates to the inadequate government response. Well I have spent most of my career as an educator, and it is a rare high school student (not to mention the alarmed children who are even younger) who has any idea of what their state/national government is doing on a particular policy issue, let alone a framework for assessing what the government should be expected to do.  Simplistic, alarming and political messaging targeted specifically at young people is clearly responsible for this. 

Consider this counterfactual scenario, whereby 1oC of warming has occurred over the past 100 years owing to natural processes (such a rate of warming is far from unprecedented in the Holocene; notably the period following the Younger Dryas).  Would people necessarily think that warming was “bad”? Presumably people in different climate regimes would have different opinions about that.  Would people blame extreme weather events on the slow creep of warming?  Without any rationale for blaming humans for extreme weather events, would anyone bother to try blaming severe weather on the slow creep of warming?  And finally, would anyone expect (or even want) the government to attempt to control the climate by drawing down CO2 from the atmosphere or promote cooling through solar geo-engineering?  Of course not.

The actual experience of 1oC warming over the past century hasn’t been bad at all: life expectancy has increased substantially, economies have prospered, and loss of life from weather catastrophes has been greatly reduced.  Regions encountering extreme weather events have worked to adapt to them, with affluent countries being better adapted.

The problem here is not not the climate change that has already happened, but rather “pre-traumatic stress syndrome” (see these previous posts).  Climate change pre-traumatic stress response is triggered by the continuing barrage in the media of extreme weather events that are worsened by “climate change,” the apocalyptic projections of future warming from unrealistic emissions scenario, and dystopian warnings of impacts from irresponsible politicians and leading journalists. 

The net effect of all this apocalyptic rhetoric, which effectively exploits how humans misperceive risk, is to increase neurotic worrying in many people (particularly children), which can indeed make people more vulnerable to negative stress reactions.  [LINK

Congratulations to all the proselytizers of climate doom, you have finally demonstrated an actual adverse impact of climate change that is actually caused by humans – psychological distress. This psychological distress is directly caused by you: the mistaken, irrational, politically motivated people that have created effective propaganda that is creating negative stress reactions particularly among children who have yet to develop a clear sense of self and lack a context for being able to filter the BS.   

In closing I would like to return to #3 – whether climate risk is controllable or uncontrollable.  The hubris of thinking that we can control atmospheric CO2 content, not to mention the actual climate itself.  Using the psychological injuries of children as the rationale, the objectives of the lawsuits being filed by Our Children’s Trust are to obtain a declaration of the federal (and state) government’s fiduciary role in preserving the atmosphere and an injunction of its actions which contravene that role.  An implicit assumption of these claims is that governments can actually control the emissions into the atmosphere, as well as control the earth’s climate. Well, dream on.  A key element of the psychological injuries according to the recent literature on this is their frustrations and feeling of abandonment that politicians and government are not paying attention to their concerns about the climate.  This concern arises from the explicitly political messaging that young people are exposed to about climate change.

p.s.  This post is a riff on several paragraphs (identifiable as the ones with footnote) from my forthcoming book Climate Uncertainty and Risk.


[i] Hans Rosling et al., Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong about the World – and Why Things Are Better than You Think (New York, NY: Flatiron Books, 2018).

[ii] David Ropeik, How Risky Is It Really?: Why Our Fears Don’t Always Match the Facts (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2010).

[iii] Paul Slovic, “Perception of Risk,” Science 236, no. 4799 (April 17, 1987): 280-285, https://doi.org/10.1126/science.3563507.

[iv] Carl Cranor, “A Plea for a Rich Conception of Risks,” in The Ethics of Technological Risk, ed. L Asveld and S Roeser (London, UK: Routledge, 2008).

[v] Nicolas Espinoza, “Incommensurability: The Failure to Compare Risks,” in The Ethics of Technological Risk, ed. L Asveld and S Roeser (London, UK: Routledge, 2008).

[vi] Daniel J. Rozell, Dangerous Science (London, UK: Ubiquity Press, 2020).


148 responses to “Misperception and amplification of climate risk

  1. Children are not small adults

  2. Judith …

    “Well I have spent most of my career as an educator …”

    And you still are … at least for me. I may not have an apple for you everyday … but with each passing day I appreciate you more and more.

    Great piece!

  3. Brilliant and incisive article, Judy. Well done.

  4. If only you could present this on “60 Minutes” or to the various late night talk show hosts, or The View, etc so that the harm to kids could be more widely recognized. Alas, none of them want to do anything but ramp up the fear. Sad.

  5. A large part of the psychological trauma is caused by lying media outlets like the Guardian, with their constant word games of moving global warming to the “global heating” and the fake “climate crisis”. The “climate crisis” is now a permanent feature of their website’s front page with four climate articles every single day.

  6. where’s my post. I just sent comment and it’s disappeared !

  7. Oh, what is WP doing some spam throttling trick. I posted on an earlier thread within the last hour. What’s game here ?

  8. Judith
    “The IPCC and UNFCCC post modern science establishment’s “consensus” is that a modelled future increase in CO2 levels is the main threat to human civilization. This is an egregious error of scientific judgement. A Millennial Solar ” Activity” Peak in 1991 correlates with the Millennial Temperature Peak at 2003/4 with a 12/13 year delay because of the thermal inertia of the oceans. Earth has now entered a general cooling trend which will last for the next 700+/- years.
    Because of the areal distribution and variability in the energy density of energy resources and the varying per capita use of energy in different countries, international power relationships have been transformed. The global free trade system and global supply chains have been disrupted.
    Additionally, the worlds richest and most easily accessible key mineral deposits were mined first and the lower quality resources which remain in the 21st century are distributed without regard to national boundaries and demand. As population grows,inflation inevitably skyrockets. War between states and violent conflicts between tribes and religious groups within states are multiplying.

    2 The Millennial Temperature Cycle Peak.
    Latest Data (1) https://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/v6.0/tlt/uahncdc_lt_6.0.txt

    Global Temp Data 2003/12 Anomaly +0.26 : 2022/11 Anomaly +0.17 Net cooling for 19 years

    NH Temp Data 2004/01 Anomaly +0.37 : 2022/11Anomaly +0.21 Net cooling for 19 years

    Tropics Temp Data 2004/01 Anomaly +0.22 : 2022/11 Anomaly -0.16 Net cooling for 19 years.

    USA 48 Temp Data 2004/03 Anomaly +1.32 : 2022/11 Anomaly – 0.51 Net cooling for 19 years.

    Australia Temp Data 2004/02 Anomaly +0.80 : 2022/11 Anomaly – 0.56 Net cooling for 19 years

    Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between the phases of natural cyclic processes of varying wavelengths and amplitudes. At all scales, including the scale of the solar planetary system, sub-sets of oscillating systems develop synchronous behaviors which then produce changing patterns of periodicities in time and space in the emergent temperature data. The periodicities pertinent to current estimates of future global temperature change fall into two main categories:

    a) The orbital long wave Milankovitch eccentricity, obliquity and precession cycles. These control the glacial and interglacial periodicities and the amplitudes of the corresponding global temperature cycles.
    b) Solar activity cycles with multi-millennial, millennial, centennial and decadal time scales.

    The most prominent solar activity and temperature cycles are : Schwab-11+/-years ; Hale-22 +/-years ; 3 x the Jupiter/Saturn lap cycle 60 years +/- :; Gleissberg 88+/- ; de Vries – 210 years+/-; Millennial- 960-1020 +/-. (2)

    The Oulu Galactic Ray Count is used in this paper as the “solar activity ” proxy which integrates changes in Solar Magnetic field strength, Total Solar Insolation , Extreme Ultra Violet radiation, Interplanetary Magnetic Field strength, Solar Wind density and velocity, Coronal Mass Ejections, proton events, ozone levels and the geomagnetic Bz sign. Changes in the GCR neutron count proxy source causes concomitant modulations in cloud cover and thus albedo. (Iris effect)

    Eschenbach 2010 (3) introduced “The Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis – how Clouds and Thunderstorms Control the Earth’s Temperature”.

    Eschenbach 2020(4) in https://whatsupwiththat.com/2020/01/07/drying-the-sky uses empirical data from the inter- tropical buoy system to provide a description of this system of self-organized criticality. Energy flow from the sun into and then out of the ocean- water interface in the Intertropical Convergence Zone results in a convective water vapor buoyancy effect and a large increase in OLR This begins when ocean temperatures surpass the locally critical sea surface temperature to produce Rayleigh – Bernard convective heat transfer.
    Short term deviations from the solar activity and temperature cycles are driven by ENSO events and volcanic activity.”
    The above is a quote from my blog – post:
    “Earth shows net cooling for 19 years and The Rules of the Lebensraum game.”
    I suggest that you consider posting the entire piece as a guest post on Climate Etc as a basis for discussion. The main problem with the “Consensus” is the failure to recognise the glaringly obvious Millennial solar acivity peak at1991/2 in their model projections.
    The entire Dangerous Anthropogenic Warming meme is simply a mass delusion.

    • Norman wrote:
      Eschenbach 2010 (3) introduced “The Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis – how Clouds and Thunderstorms Control the Earth’s Temperature”.

      Eschenbach has tropical cooling well understood and explained. He writes nothing about Polar Ice.
      It snows more when polar oceans are thawed and it snows more and gets colder after that.
      It snows less when polar oceans are frozen and it snows less until ice is depleted and it gets warmer as the ice retreats.

    • Norman, ” A Millennial Solar ” Activity” Peak in 1991 correlates with the Millennial Temperature Peak at 2003/4 with a 12/13 year delay because of the thermal inertia of the oceans. ” How did you calculate this? For the GMST the thermal inertia of the mixed layer of the oceans is most important, it’s deep is only about 30m in global average, so the thermal inertia of this water column is much smaller. Or do you mean the whole watermass of the oceans? It’s thermal inetrtia seems to be much larger. I have no clue what yo mean and how you define it.

  9. The issue of risk from AGW is, from a practical standpoint indistinguishable from any other type of climate change. It is great marketing to claim that all bad weather is ultimately due to human released CO2. It is terrible science but great fear marketing.

    Notice how great weather isn’t caused by AGW. Climates change over time, and this won’t stop when humans stop releasing CO2.
    If people want to limit the risk of harms due to adverse weather (regardless of the cause) build robust infrastructure.

  10. Thank you Judith, an almost perfect analysis.

  11. This was written:
    Risk science makes a clear distinction between professional judgments about risk versus the public perception of risk.

    Risk science should explain that Risk Science is a Science that is dedicated only to scaring people, no interest in learning anything scientific about the actual risk.

    The public perception is exactly what they are trying to control and risk science is their primary weapon.

    • Evan K Friedman

      Risk science has nothing to do with scaring people. Claiming something is a risk and publicizing that risk with alarmist language is a communication/persuasion tactic, not risk science/management.

      Risk science is a planning tool. The goal is to identify which risks require active handling strategies, which require monitoring, and which can/should be ignored.

      A standard method for risk planning starts with identifying as many of the future events that might interfere with goals as reasonable. The list won’t be exhaustive, starts from historical data of known events related to the goals (e.g. house fire causes for building code authors) and then includes approaches to consider risks that haven’t been seen before. Next the risk managers assess those risks for two characteristics, likelihood to occur and severity (frequently specified as cost) if they occur. The likelihood multiplied by the severity provides a net value of the risk.

      The net value of the risk allows risk managers to rank the risks from highest to lowest. Because no one has unlimited resources, that list is the basis for deciding handling strategies. Handling strategies attempt to reduce the probability of occurrence (e.g. adding a lock to make theft more difficult), decrease the severity if the risk does occur (e.g. having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen handy for grease fires), or both.

      High net value risks may have plans that require significant resources (money, effort, expertise, etc.), mid value risks may only be monitored to see if the probability of occurrence is changing. Low value risks are frequently ignored.

      Anyone planning to reach a goal (Program managers, governments, individuals looking at their financial future, etc.) can, and probably should, use risk science/management in their plan.

  12. Aplanningengineer

    Talk of risks around flooding and disasters probably hit a different part of the brain the explicit graphic depictions of potential suffering. I would expect that children’s nightmares and anxieties don’t come from sober assessments of likely risks as much as they do from sensationalized depictions of remote risks. Even children who understand and believe there are no such thing as vampires can be traumatized by horror flicks.

    • Curious George

      In 1861-1862 “California was hit by a combination of incessant rain, snow, and then unseasonally high temperatures. In Northern California, it snowed heavily during the later part of November and the first few days of December, when the temperature rose unusually high, until it began to rain. There were four distinct rainy periods: The first occurred on December 9, 1861, the second on December 23–28, the third on January 9–12, and the fourth on January 15–17. Native Americans knew that the Sacramento Valley could become an inland sea when the rains came. Their storytellers described water filling the valley from the Coast Range to the Sierra.”

      “The entire Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys were inundated. An area about 300 miles (480 km) long, averaging 20 miles (32 km) in width, and covering 5,000 to 6,000 square miles (13,000 to 16,000 km2) was under water. The water flooding the Central Valley reached depths up to 30 feet (9.1 m), completely submerging telegraph poles that had just been installed between San Francisco and New York. Transportation, mail, and communications across the state were disrupted for a month. Water covered portions of the valley from December 1861, through the spring, and into the summer of 1862.


      I consider a repetition of this event very likely. We are preparing for imaginary risks, not for extreme but documented weather.

      • Curious George:

        Yes, a repetition of this event is VERY likely, and this time it will be man-made, although not necessarily in the same place..

        It was caused by an approx. 11 year interval between the 28 Dec 1861 VEI4 eruption of Makian and the 1872 eruption of Sinarka (exact date not known)..

        For periods of 4-5 years without a VEI4 volcanic eruption, temperatures always rise because there are few dimming volcanic SO2 aerosol emissions in the atmosphere, most having settled out, cleansing the air..

        When they settle out, there are far fewer moisture nucleation sites in the atmosphere, and rainfall decreases, but evaporation increases because of the higher temperatures .

        Eventually, It has to settle out somewhere, coming down in a deluge.at scattered times and locations.

        Current net-zero attempts to abandon the burning of fossil fuels (which also release SO2 aerosols) will have the same effect as extended intervals between volcanic eruptions, and we will inevitably see increasing temperatures.

  13. One prevalent meme among kids is the notion climate change will make winter worse. https://twitter.com/ecowarriorss/status/1600674506850578434?s=46&t=GQohDmITs4bPdht3yMYjCQ

    Warming causing old extremes and a wavy jet stream is a fringe hypothesis that is not in evidence. The reality is the jet stream has stabilized with climate change. Cold extremes have become rarer, less intense, cover less area, and shorter.




  14. It is also true that people who are insecure are more susceptible to fear and panic. I noticed this in my life as well. When I was feeling vulnerable, my mind would wonder to highly improbable events that might happen, like my flight crashing. When people feel secure they are less fearful and more confident they can address risks by adaption.

    This would explain why a lot of young people are panicking about this.

    • Fifty years ago children were presented with mostly exciting and wonderous visions of the future. They saw rocket ships blast off on their newly invented color TVs. They saw the invention of the electronic calculators cheap enough for kids to have. In the late 1970s and early 80’s kids were promised that they could have a personal computer soon and a video game now while you wait. What exciting inventions does a kid today get to interact with or own? Smart phones? What is now around the corner? Climate change, racism and pandemic lockdowns. What a gyp!

      • Exactly, Ron.

        The Cold War. The Viêt Nam War. The War on Drugs. The Civil Rights’ movement. Watergate. Nuclear drills. Roe c Wade.

        Three Mile Island, Harvey Milk. The D&D satanic scare. John Lennon. Grenada. Olympics boycotts. Farm Aid.

        Those were the days. Made boomers tougher. Look how tough they are, punching hippies behind their keyboards.

        The richest generation humanity ever produced.

        Be proud.

      • Shame on you, Ron! Punching hippies behind their keyboards! Didn’t your mother teach you better?

      • Most “hippies” would be appalled by today’s climate activists, they actually cared about the environment. As in the old days, some are just useful tool of Russia- the best sales reps Gazprom had.
        Now, the real hippies are stuck watching “climate concerned” countries burn more coal and oil as a result of their “climate” policies. the pseudo-hippies are busy trying to distract people from the fact that they ensured the populace is broke, freezing, and using dirtier energy than they were in the 1990s.

      • Kids today!

      • Hippies of yesteryears are now boomers, Jeff. A reversion to the mean, if you please. It is my hope that one day Denizens will do as troglodytes sometimes do and open a damn history book. For then they often find out that the kids are alright. Only kindness ages well:

        Analysis of climate change contrarians from multi-signatory documents reveals 3 per cent of signees to be climate experts, while the remaining 97 per cent do not meet expert criteria and are also involved with organizations and industries who make up the climate change countermovement. The data also reveal most contrarians to be aged sixty-five or older. As a result, we explore other factors (for example, collective memories and ideological views) that may have also contributed to expert and non-expert views.


        Never forget that the lawn you cherish so much is lent to you for a limited time only.

        Enjoy the festivities!

      • Willard … I used to have a lawn, not now. The last one I leveled the ground and set the turf. Watered, fertilized and cut it. According to Marx, and Historical Materialism, that lawn had value through my labor. I owned it, thus. How dare you say that lawn was ‘lent’ to me! Are you one of those capitalists rentiers? Say it ain’t so, Will.

      • Willard, you sound like Billy Joel: “We didn’t start the fire.”

        I never implied that we didn’t have problems but we seemed to take them without questioning humanity’s right to existence. I had many friends in the 60s and 70s who were hippies and also ones that were clean cut conservatives. Their conflict was about the merits of dodging the draft and spitting on returning soldiers. Both sides were half right, half wrong. I do look at history nd I hope in makes one more thoughtful to do so.

        Joshua: “Kids Today.”

        What? No Socrates? Seriously, I am not putting down kids today and I understand you point of each generation growing a selective memory. This is not that, although boys today seem much kinder, girls tougher and more independent. I can still tell them apart (most of the time). Yes, I respect the trans community too and I am happy gay marriage is no double legal.

      • Willard
        “The data also reveal most contrarians to be aged sixty-five or older. ”

        With age comes wisdom?

        After all we were there when it was never going to rain again [Australia]
        Never snow again [England]
        Never have Trump elected [USA].
        You remember too. Willard .
        Or are you shudder less than 65?
        and naive.

        By the way age is no barrier to being contrarian, or hippie but it has the advantage of life experience.

      • In reverse order:

        Gerontocracy is the more technical word, Doc.

        Your point was more about wondrous and exciting visions than selective memories, Ron, but one concept explains the other. I was going for We Didn’t Start the Fire, so you got me there. Please revisit the lyrics when you got time.

        You may be confusing the Marxian analysis of value with the notion of property, Bill. If you would ever wish to preserve the nature of your lawn for generations to come, do like the other Bill did, dispossess yourself and start a foundation. Never trust kids.

        As a point of clarification, age isn’t everything:

        Reeves said the modern economy renders the post-World War II concept of marriage obsolete because women are no longer as financially dependent on men, but men remain emotionally dependent on their wives and families. He argued there have been no changes to the social conception of a father as the “breadwinner,” or employment benefits to encourage men to contribute to child care and create relationships with their children.

        According to a 2021 Pew Research Center study, moms that work from home all or most of the time are twice as likely as work-from-home dads to say they have “a lot” of child care responsibilities.

        Reeves acknowledged the “political sensitivities” of his writing but said this prompted him to write the book.

        “The left turn their backs to the problems facing boys and men,” Reeves said. “On the right, the response is to turn back the clock on women’s rights.”

        Because policymakers from neither side are willing to engage in solving these issues, Reeves said an opportunity opened for people like former [teh Donald], whose base skews disproportionately male, to exploit and exacerbate the gender divide.


        Never misunderestimate the destructive power of uneducated and powerless males. Not that they *never* start fires.

      • Nice try, Willard. But you said ‘lawn’, so I kept it to lawn. And my comments were sarcastically absurd, in response to your comments.

      • Now that I have a minute:

        You said you owned a lawn, Bill. That is ownership. You also said that you worked on it. That is value.

        Value. Ownership. Not the same thing.

        You could add value to a thing that is not yours, just like Bill did when he coaxed WarrenB to give a good portion of his fortune to his foundation.

        Contrarians should stop thinking like arsonists or else they will end up becoming reactionaries.

      • Willdard:

        “…the kids are alright.”
        They will be.
        They will transistion to not trusting those that led them astray and damaged them.
        And then they will be all right as Ayn Rand intended them to be.

        And peace will guide our planet,
        and love will steer the stars.

      • Willard, my point at the top of the thread was that kids fifty years ago were presented a mostly positive view of the future. Your counter to my point was pointing out there were world events happening just like Billy Joel’s song: “We didn’t start the fire.”

        We never thought the cold war would go on forever. The anti-war movement worked. The US began reversing course on Vietnam as soon as Nixon got in power in 1969. That was also about the time the women’s movement got into high gear. “I am woman; hear me roar.” Just before and overlapping the anti-war movement were the civil rights marches, which led to president Johnson’s Great Society legislation.

        You end the string by shear chance talking about societal consequences of cultural upheavals. These were the exact concerns that conservatives had but could not articulate in advance. Most today see these problems as serious but easily fixable with time as a culture matures. My point is that to motivate that hard work and all the work ahead we should avoid overwhelming our youth with purely dystopian visions of humankind.

      • Your point was already loud and clear, Ron.

        Mine was that is was nostalgic baloney.

        But at least it was not like when you cited Donald’s own task force advisor who worked for a neocon think tank and advocated against the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, and public insurance in the other thread. Which means that this time you are not promoting.theories that jeopardized the life of many. So no real harm done. Suit yourself.

        Still, either we cuddle kids or we do not. Which is it? Please don’t tell me Goldilocks saves the Denizens’ day once again.

      • “Mine [point] was that is was nostalgic baloney.”

        Actually, I think that was Joshua’s: “Kids today…”

        Your point was “we didn’t start the fire.” Neither addresses my point that inspiration is a necessary component of leadership, whether it be little kids or the nation at large, But kids especially are forming their aspirations. Many of them are turning to unproductive pursuits, fearing life, fearing having a family and escaping to drugs. Yes, kids haven’t changed. We need to lead with positive examples and positive visions.

      • Two points, Ron.

        First, no I was not saying what Billy Joel said. I was saying quite the opposite. I used his *theme* however.

        Second, by using his theme I *was* addressing your point. In your process of becoming an old troglodyte, you simply forgot about all the scares of your youth.

        Never forget that the US of A jails more people than any other country, including China which has four times your population, and that this record is mostly because of the war on drugs:


        But at least we got at least 20 years of movies out of this, so more power to you.

      • Willard,

        The Billy Joel point is that the barrage of bad news we get every day is not knew, things haven’t changed. This is similar to your point that my age bias makes me nostalgic for my childhood. If your point is the opposite then you need to explain that because you are all over the place.

        My point was clear: we need more inspirational leadership. AOC rose to prominence with a positive message that we need to make fighting climate change the current generation’s call to arms, “our WWII,” (as she acknowledges the greatest generation’s all hands on deck triumph over fascism). I support her style. I disagree with her substance. We need an all out effort to graduate new engineers to accelerate fusion technology, energy efficiency, even experiments in geoengineering. It is ridiculous to think that we will never learn how to influence weather, seed rainfall in droughts, seed snowfall on Greenland or disturb cyclone formation off Africa.

        Locking down and cowering is the wrong way to go, and that is what scares result in. It leads to much larger dangers of collapse or greater panics.

      • Alright, Ron.

        Allow me to clarify:

        The song was spawned out of a conversation that Joel had with Sean Lennon in the studio. Sean was with a friend who told Joel that it was a “terrible time” to be a young person. Joel was on the eve of his 40th birthday, and he told the despairing youth that things weren’t much brighter when he was 21 either. Ultimately, he decided to elucidate this point by depicting the entirety of his 40-year history in an ecstatic textbook of song.


        This is the common story about the song. And this the less common one:

        As Billy Joel told biographer Fred Schruers, he wrote “We Didn’t Start the Fire” in an attempt to get young people to put the world events of the day in the proper historical context. After all, no matter how bad things seem now, humanity has survived all the dramatic world events from the past. “What does the song really mean? Is it an apologia for the baby boomers? No, it’s not. It’s just a song that says the world’s a mess. It’s always been a mess, it’s always going to be a mess.” Given the state of the word in the 2020s, that is a message that remains valuable to this day.


        I do not think neither viewpoints are correct, as I believe things are getting better. Including in the media, in contrast to what you claim. My only area of agreement with Billy is on our collective duty of memory. Boomers indeed deserve an apologia. Things are getting better thanks to them. Every generation did what it could.

        Je me souviens.

        Living is hard. We all do our best. Including troglodytes like you.

        If you could open a book from time to time instead of framing stupid narratives that help no one, things would get better faster.

      • Former ABC News producer Kristen Hentschel allegedly used her credentials to undermine politicians while receiving thousands of dollars from a political lobbying firm, according to a new report.

        Hentschel primarily worked on ABC’s “Good Morning America” as a freelance producer and used her ABC ties to gain access to Florida politicians, according to NPR. She was on the payroll of Alabama-based lobbying firm Matrix LLC while she was reporting on issues directly involving the companies funding Matrix, the outlet reported.


      • “I do not think neither viewpoints are correct, as I believe things are getting better. Including in the media, in contrast to what you claim.”

        I really didn’t bring up the media, but now that you mention it I am hopeful that we are realizing we hit bottom when we find the US intelligence community was becoming well ensconced in the media. I am hoping we can agree that the USIC should be required to report to congress the minute they think about a phone call to say hello or reimburse postage to any media organization.

        The one thing we can do for the future generations is to show them how to make peace. It starts by committing to honesty and the golden rule, i.e., having principles.

      • Ron -.

        > when we find the US intelligence community was becoming well ensconced in the media.

        I’m sure that as a “skeptic” you’ve conducted a careful analysis of trends over time to draw that conclusion. No doibt, starting with the sedition act>/i>.

        That if any person shall write, print, utter or publish…or shall knowingly assist or aid in writing, printing, uttering, or publishing any false scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or to bring them…into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them…the hatred of the good people of the United States, or to stir up sedition within the United States, or to excite any unlawful combinations therein, for opposing or resisting any law of the United States…then such person, being thereof convicted before any court of the United States having jurisdiction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars, and by imprisonment not exceeding two years

        Or, maybe, this is another example of “kids today?”

      • Joshua, for fear of misreading your mind perhaps you can make a point in regards to your quoting an ancient law that recently got resurrected by the current administration to prosecute political prisoners in the US. Are you for or against having the Sedition Act on the books? Are you for or against having intelligence officers collaborating with major media outlets? Are you saying we need tighter relationships between the government and their constitutional watch dogs? What is your definition of fascism? All these are honest questions that I think others are curious about too. Give us your heart felt truths without cryptic or snide retorts or deflections.

      • Ron –

        I’d be happy too answer your questions but you gotta go first.

        On what basis do you think that we’re worse off than we used to be? When does your timeline start? Does it start with the sedition act, when our leaders where explicitly calling for anyone who publishes any false scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or to bring them…into contempt or disrepute; be imprisoned?

        Or does it start at time some after that? If so, when? The kids today want to know.

      • Ron, The Sedition Act of 1918 was a response to WWI and criminalized dissent pretty broadly. It was repealed in 1921 but was probably unconstitutional. The older Sedition Act as I recall has never been used to indict and prosecute anyone. It also is probably unconstitutional. The evolution of the deep state into an internal intelligence agency that spies on people and colludes to censor very broadly and influence elections and prosecutes candidates replicates what our elites like to decry in Russia for example. They are consummate hypocrites and liars.

        When this is tested in court it will almost certainly be found to be illegal as there is settled case law on this. But given how most of our institutions are presenting a united front of authoritarianism, I’m guessing no one will be prosecuted for what is clearly illegal. It really is a sad day for our country and a good reason to be an armed citizen and move to a red state where your rights are a lot more likely to be enforceable. A lot of states are now constitutional carry states. The right to carry a firearm is in the constitution. But if you are going to carry, be sure you are really thoroughly trained, an excellent shot, and sober.

        What I think is likely to happen is that self segregation by ideology will accelerate. Places like Florida have really changed into deep red states. California and New York are on the way to people’s republic status.

      • You notice Ron what Joshua is doing here? His persona is purely reactive and critical. He has no well formed defensible ideas, so to engage he needs you to state yours so he has something to say.

      • Ron,

        The very first thing you mentioned was TVs, so I am not sure what you mean when you say that you did not mention medias.

        Read the following by imagining Newt Gingrich speaks directly to you as you sit in your car driving to meet citizens you wish to represent:

        As you know, one of the key points in the Gopac [instructional tapes] is that “language matters.” As we mail tapes to candidates, and use them in training sessions across the country, we hear a plaintive plea: “I wish I could speak like Newt.” That takes years of practice. But we believe that you can have a significant impact on your campaign if we help a little. That is why we have created this list of words and phrases. This list is prepared so that you might have a directory of words to use in writing literature and letters, in preparing speeches, and in producing material for the electronic media. The words and phrases are powerful. Read them. Memorize as many as possible. And remember that, like any tool, these words will not help if they are not used.


        The title is of course Language: A Key Mechanism of Control

        Be proud of you par tax dollars at work, and please tell me more about integrity.

      • “On what basis do you think that we’re worse off than we used to be?”

        I am supposing you are referring to the overall trajectory of our society relative to the educational and technological tools available at present, but I might be giving you generous pass on what you meant, if anything other than a vague, none too deep question.

        There must be hundreds of ways we are worse off in relative terms than 50 years ago or 150. The idea that we have made no mistakes in our experimentations in progress is ludicrous IMO. This might be a fundamental difference between progressives and conservatives, whom I do not pretend to speak for. My opinion is that there is much to be learned from the past. We have no choice but to continue to progress because stagnation is failure. What Willard derogatorily calls “technofix” in his Climateball Bingo is exactly what I think we should be inspiring our engineers and future to pursue.

        I agree with Musk’s visions of making bold strides toward technological fixes, including off planet colonization. The closed loop recycling that would allow it, after all, is exactly the technology that would preserve our current home. At the same time Musk understands that censorship is political retrograde. We can’t realize any success if society falls into a new dark age, the un-enlightenment.

        The reason that many like myself have chosen the red pill is that we humbly appreciate the wisdom accumulated in culture, especially in regards to politics and human nature. I find it ironic that you quote Socrates on “kids today” yet seem not to appreciate past lessons.

        “I’d be happy too answer your questions but…”

        If your intention to persuade those of opposing opinions it would help your cause to state them and defend them rather than just being a ankle bitter, as some call you. Because if being a bomb throwing soldier is your only interest it not only harms your cause, it harms the cause of society. Being open with your thoughts builds trust. Trust is the only medicine that can build understanding between ideological adversaries to evolve toward cooperation and consent rather than sabotage or tyranny.

      • There are objective measures that tell us something.

        Life expectancy is at a 25 year low in the US. Due to increases in murder, drug overdoses, and a strange increase in overall mortality that seemed to coincide with the vaccine campaign taking off. This is not due to covid which is in decline.

        Another measure is stable family formation which has been declining for decades. It is scientifically indisputable that children do better with a father and a mother. Fakebook is a terrible nanny.

        Or you can look at the fad of Canadian assisted suicide which in some areas accounts for a significant percentage of all deaths. This is truly what Catholics call a culture of death.

        In fact one can argue that declining fertility overall is a long term problem as the increasing burden of social security and medicare on those still working shows.

        Generally, young men and boys face a crisis situation with addiction being high and college enrollment declining sharply. Legalized marijuana is causing psychological diseases. They face a double wammy of a perverse ideological headwind that tells them they are the oppressors and often the absence of a father. A shocking number are falsely diagnosed as “ADHD” and on mind altering medication to “calm them down.” Those who objectively point this out are shouted down.

        Similarly young women are facing an epidemic of “trans” ideology and transitions that are tremendously harmful to their health. This is being spread by social contagion. But the paper proving this is being hidden from the public. Since white women are also oppressors, their only way to become a favored victim class is to “transition.” It was only a few years ago that everyone knew that genital mutilation was painful and barbaric. What we have is an epidemic of malpractice that professional societies condone and often endorse. We are literally castrating children and putting them on puberty blockers that have well known harmful side effects. It is the ultimate science denial. Yet our elites support science denial and try to cancel real scientists.

        If you had told most people 20 years ago about these outcomes, they would have laughed at you. Something is deeply wrong with our elites. Woke ideology is poisonously divorced from reality and does real harm.

      • Ron –

        > I am supposing you are referring to the overall trajectory of our society relative to the educational and technological tools available at present, but I might be giving you generous pass on what you meant, if anything other than a vague, none too deep question.

        I was asking in reference to the except I provided.

        > > when we find the US intelligence community was becoming well ensconced in the media.

        So I thought it should be clear.

        I would day as a trend, we have considerably more access to “media” that is independent from the influence of government. I could certainly detail well-known examples of a nexus between “the media” and the government throughout our history of you’d like me to.

        That is why provided the quote about the sedition act. I thought that should be clear. So I was asking ii at what point you start your assessment that there is a trend of “becoming well ensconced in the media.” if you’re comparing to the Era of the sedition act it would seem you don’t have a leg to stand on.

        >If your intention to persuade those of opposing opinions it..

        Trust me, I have no intention of persuading you or many others here of anything. That’s not why I engage here, of all places. As for your advice about how to persuade people..let’s just say you’re not one of the people people of be looking to for such advice.

      • A few scientists are starting to push back against censorship and cancellation. But we are indeed in a much worse censorship regime that even 10 years ago.


        Creating a false consensus by censoring information and preventing scientific debates might lead scientists, and thus also policymakers, to sink into the ruling paradigm, causing them to ignore other, more effective options to cope with the crisis or perhaps even prevent it. Such a “consensus” leads to a narrow worldview, which impairs the public’s ability to make informed decisions and erodes public trust in medical science and in public health (Cernic 2018; Delborne 2016; Martin 2014, 2015; Vernon 2017).
        Yet, there are three main differences. First, when it comes to COVID-related knowledge, the censorship tactics used against dissenters are extreme and unprecedented in their intensiveness and extensiveness, with scientific journals, and academic and medical institutions taking an active and involved part in censoring critical voices. In fact, as one of our respondents indicates, even pre-print servers and academic social networking sites censor scientific papers that do not align with the mainstream narrative, and this seems to be a growing trend. … Furthermore, what our respondents describe goes way beyond censorship, and includes a wide range of suppression methods intended to destroy their reputations and careers, solely because they dared to take a different position from that dictated by the medical establishment.

      • Joshua, You are just badly wrong on this. 20 years ago there were occasional instances of high government officials asking a media organization to withhold a story for a short period of time. Sometimes they did and sometimes they didn’t.

        What we have today is deep involvement of low level intelligence and law enforcement officials with media trying to suppress massive amounts of opinions and facts that have nothing to do with national security. They seek to cover up true information in order to help political candidates and influence election outcomes. That’s what we used to think only happened in Russia. Today it happens here.

        You response to this was a puerile attempt to smear the reporters reporting this information.

        The sedition act of 1918 was quite bad and almost certainly unconstitutional. I am unaware of any significant use of this to silence people.

      • I believe there were as many as 17 former FBI or CIA officials employed by Twitter when Musk bought it including James Baker, the lying former chief lawyer for the FBI who actually tampered with evidence. He was quite high in the chain of command at Twitter but I’ve forgotten his exact title. He apparently tried to keep certain information from going to Taibbi before he was justly fired.

      • From the abstract:

        “Our findings point to the central role played by media organizations, and especially by information technology companies, in attempting to stifle debate over COVID-19 policy and measures. In the effort to silence alternative voices, widespread use was made not only of censorship, but of tactics of suppression that damaged the reputations and careers of dissenting doctors and scientists, regardless of their academic or medical status and regardless of their stature prior to expressing a contrary position. In place of open and fair discussion, censorship and suppression of scientific dissent has deleterious and far-reaching implications for medicine, science, and public health.”

      • Joshua, thanks for your clarification. If I understand you correctly you are saying the recent news of the US national security state being in bed with domestic media outlets is nothing new or newsworthy. This is certainly the reaction of the legacy media to the Twitter files and earlier Zuckerberg revelation to Joe Rogan regarding the FBI approaching Facebook to “be on the lookout” for an imminent Russian op days before the NYP broke the Hunter Biden laptop story. The media are spiking the story or worse, accusing Musk or irresponsible censorship. Talk about projection?!

        So, it already set in precedent in our country’s ugly youth in 1798 with the Alien and Sedition Acts. And this ugliness was cemented into our DNA with the Sedition Act of 1918. This what you are saying?

        The professors of political science when I went to school saw these as notable aberrations from the principles of America’s founding. One thing certainly that separates these historical overreaches of power from today is that the US federal government was puny in 1918 relative to today. Surveillance technology and tools of mass misinformation through the use of huge bureaucracies did not exist.

        Those in the 1970s that accused the federal government of being secretly embedded in media through Operation Mockingbird were brushed off as conspiracy buffs. What we are seeing at Twitter is the Que’s followers nightmare come true.

        But you are saying it’s fine. My alarm is just that I am just being nostalgic for my youth. It’s always been this way. I am upset because now the commies are in charge when before the conservatives controlled the CIA, the time of the Warren Commission. Is that close?

      • So Joshua, I believe you are saying that our secret until this month collaboration of the national security state with private media is on par with the worst unconstitutional overreaches of government in US history. With that we are in agreement but we may not yet have uncovered the full extent of the corruption nor taken much action to correct it. On the question of if these things are bad and if they are associated with one political party over another I think you answered earlier that it is a both sides thing and it is not a big deal. With that I will agree to disagree.

      • Ron, You are giving Joshua too much credit. His non-assertion assertion is just wrong on its face. The sedition acts so far as I know were not extensively used to prosecute people. If anyone wants to do the research on this, I’d welcome it. The 1918 Sedition Act was repealed in 1921. Certainly from 1960 up until 2008, the media as a whole was suspicious of the government and its power.

        BTW, Woodrow Wilson was president in 1918. He believed the US Constitution was obsolete and that the country should be run by the experts and the deep state. What we are seeing today is his “dream” being realized. Despite being a virulent racist, Wilson was also a “Progressive.” During WWI, there was state overreach on both sides of the pond.

      • Ron –

        > So Joshua, I believe you are saying that our secret until this month collaboration of the national security state with private media is on par with the worst unconstitutional overreaches of government in US history…..

        Allow me to try again. I don’t think there’s a trend as you have described. But to really engage on that issue I’m asking you to note where you’re identifying a starting point for the trend and what metric you’re using as a way to measure.

        I’m not really sure what “it” is referencing there. You go from “these things” to “it” and so I’m not clear exactly what your describing.

        So again I’ll ask for more specificity.

      • The filter is acting up so this is a little out of sequence.

        For example, evidence surfaced of the pentagon using Twitter as a way to put out propaganda in Arab countries, and gaining some (limited) measure of cooperation from Twitter towards achieving that goal in a non-transparent manner. I do think that’s a concern (although I’m not in a blanket way totally opposed to all cooperation between media and our government to promote what our government sees as in our interests – I think it depends very much on aspects of the context) but I don’t think it represents some kind of step change in the pattern of the American media cooperating with the American military to promote propaganda.

      • I would guess that your concern is more focused on a domestic terrain – so I’m asking you to describe in some more this trend you’ve alluded to.

        The previous reference to “it” should have been with this (if it goes through)

        > On the question of if these things are bad and if they are associated with one political party over another I think you answered earlier that it is a both sides thing and it is not a big deal. With that I will agree to disagree.

      • For Willy and Joshy, it appears there is more to come on our Silicon Valley “Quislingians” as Taibbi describes them. I predict our local obfuscators will respond with the Sargent Schultz routine of “I see nothing, I know nothing.” In their case it is true enough.

        “A group of us spent the last weeks reading thousands of documents. For me a lot of that time was spent learning how Twitter functioned, specifically its relationships with government. How weird is modern-day America? Not long ago, CIA veterans tell me, the information above the “tearline” of a U.S. government intelligence cable would include the station of origin and any other CIA offices copied on the report.

        I spent much of today looking at exactly similar documents, seemingly written by the same people, except the “offices” copied at the top of their reports weren’t other agency stations, but Twitter’s Silicon Valley colleagues: Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn, even Wikipedia. It turns out these are the new principal intelligence outposts of the American empire. A subplot is these companies seem not to have had much choice in being made key parts of a global surveillance and information control apparatus, although evidence suggests their Quislingian executives were mostly all thrilled to be absorbed. Details on those “Other Government Agencies” soon, probably tomorrow.”

  15. Parents should take a page from the activist playbook and start suing media corporations for damages on behalf of children.

    NPR should probably be one of the first.

    As I’ve sent a letter to NPR which has gone ignored:

    “I hear blatant untruths on NPR regarding climate almost daily, this seems to have become policy. https://www.npr.org/about-npr/1122885448/announcing-the-npr-climate-desk

    “No story touches as many people as climate change. Heat waves, mega-droughts and unprecedented floods are all becoming more intense and frequent.”

    This contradicts known science and cast serious doubt on the credibility of NPR as a whole.

    There is no detectable increase in any of the events listed.

    How will this be corrected? Why was such a blatant untruth allowed to be published?”

    They have been lying to the public and it should not go unpunished.

    • Agreed.

      The activists have the seemingly never-ending financing for lawfare. That’s the key.

    • Joe - the non climate scientist

      Aaron – I concur with your assessment of NPR
      I have been stuck on the road travelling when NPR was the only station I got reception.

      During the 1st Trump impeachment, there were hours upon hours of coverage discussing improper action for trying to investigate a political opponent , though nary a word of the biden family corruption.

      During March, April and May of 2020, hours upon hours of experts discussing how it was impossible for covid to have excaped from a lab.

  16. Yes Judith, We have a media and an elite class that is panicking that the internet allows things like your blog to exist. This dilutes their monopoly on “truth” and results in a crescendo of bannings, professional consequences, and even threats of violence. These institutions are corrupt and are using the climate propaganda to keep the public clicking on their stories and funding their research.

    The only ray of light here is what Musk is doing at Twitter. My best case scenario is that Twitter gains millions more users, become very profitable, and becomes a defacto townhall that drives the corrupt media into bankruptcy and irrelevancy. Oh and we do need the exposure of elite corruption everywhere, just as Musk is doing at TWitter.

  17. …the more politicized, opinionated and self-important scientists become the less reason there is to have science.

    • “Let’s think back to people in 1900 in, say, New York. If they worried about people in 2000, what would they worry about? Probably: Where would people get enough horses? And what would they do about all the horse****?” ~Michael Crichton, Aliens Cause Global Warming: A Caltech Lecture

  18. In my experience kids below 11 are hardly busy with this kind of heavy topics; some teenagers and youth are on the other hand. As higher education became business first, promoting as many as possible fee paying clients became most profitable. Quantity over quality in the name of equality, woke grade cogs.
    Luckily daily reality brings most back to Earth, where scare stories regarding sea levels or dangerous temperatures are not experienced. Power cuts are much more of a hot topic amongst developing nation’s youth as these are still happening frequently. Same for petrol price hikes.

  19. Judith,

    The IPCC has been quite open regarding its intentions to manipulate the perception of risk as a ploy to ensure support for its policies. It’s all laid out in AR5, WG3, Chapter 2. The following quotes from that document are germane here:

    “In this section, we review what is known about public support or opposition to climate policy, climate-related infrastructure, and climate science. In all three cases, a critical issue is the role that perceptions of risks and uncertainties play in shaping support or opposition.”

    “There is substantial empirical evidence that people’s support or opposition to proposed climate policy measures is determined primarily by emotional factors and their past experience rather than explicit calculations as to whether the personal benefits outweigh the personal costs.”

    “One of the major determinants of popular support for climate policy is whether people have an underlying belief that climate change is dangerous. This concern can be influenced by both cultural factors and the methods of communication (Smith, 2005; Pidgeon and Fischhoff, 2011).”

    “The use of language used to describe climate change — such as the distinction between ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’ — play a role in influencing perceptions of risk, as well as considerations of immediate and local impacts (Lorenzoni et al., 2006).”

    “An important question related to climate change communication is whether the popular reporting of climate change through disaster scenarios has the effect of energizing people to support aggressive policy intervention, or to become dismissive of the problem.”

    Spoiler alert, but the IPCC then answered that last question for itself, concluding with a list of things to do, including:

    “Characterize the likelihood of extreme events and examine their impact on the design of climate change policies.”

    ‘Cynical’ is a word that comes to mind.

    If anyone is interested, I examined this question of the perception of risk and the machinations of the IPCC in a 5-part series of articles, starting with, “The IPCC on Risk, Part 1: New Developments? — The IPCC resorts to psychological manipulation”.


    The introduction to part 1 reads as follows:

    “There can be no doubt that those who consider anthropogenic global warming (AGW) to be a problem worthy of the epithet ‘emergency’ have increasingly invoked extreme weather events in support of that view. It is not my intention here to argue whether or not such events confirm the critical level of risk posited for AGW. Instead, I wish to place such arguments within the context provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its observations regarding the perception of risk. In particular, I wish to remind the reader of what was said in Chapter 2 of the IPCC’s Assessment Report 5, Working Group 3 (AR5 WG3): Integrated Risk and Uncertainty Assessment of Climate Change Response Policies. I shall argue that, whilst developments in causal analysis have undoubtedly enabled a more scientific assessment of the significance of extreme weather events, it was the IPCC’s declared desire to manage perceptions of risk that provided the prime motivation for the recent emphasis on weather event attribution.”

    • John, EXCELLENT stuff, thanks for pointing this out to me. Are you on twitter? could spot your ID. I would also like to reproduce some of this for a future CE post, with your permissions

      • Judith here are some quotes from my Blog from Jan 2019 See
        “The CO2 Derangement Syndrome – the Millennial Turning Point and the Coming Cooling”
        …….The origins of this disease can be traced to Ehrlich’s 1968 book “The Population Bomb”. He said:
        ” In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate”
        Such apocalyptic forecasts are a prime indicator of the CO2 Derangement Syndrome. In “The Limits to Growth” 1972 the disease metamorphosed first into a search for “sustainability” and then rapidly into a war on CO2 . This is a bizarre turn of events because CO2 is the basis of all organic life and the increase in CO2 alone is the cause of 25 % of the increase in world food production in the 20th century.
        The UN and Sweden organized a meeting in 1972 in Stockholm to discus the interaction of humans with the environment. Maurice Strong was appointed by his UN friend U Thant , to be the General Secretary of the meeting. Strong, produced an incredibly detailed 109 point action plan designed to give the UN input and even control over individual Government environmental policies world wide. As one of the actions, the United Nations Environmental Program ( UNEP) was organized in 1973 with Strong himself as Executive Director.
        Ten years later it was obvious that the predictions of imminent death and disaster were wrong but Hansen et al NASA 1981 in “Climate Impact of Increasing Carbon Dioxide” resurrected many of the doomsday establishment scenarios :
        “A sea level rise of 5 m would flood 25 percent of Louisiana and Florida,10 percent of New Jersey, and many other lowlands throughout the world. Climate models (7, 8) indicate that 2°C global warming is needed to cause 5°C warming at the West Antarctic ice sheet. A 2°C global warming is exceeded in the 21st century in all the CO2 scenarios we considered, except no growth and coal phaseout.”
        “The global warming projected for the next century is of almost unprecedented magnitude. On the basis of our model calculations, we estimate it to be 2.5°C for a scenario with slow energy growth and a mixture of nonfossil and fossil fuels. This would exceed the temperature during the altithermal (6000 years ago) and the previous (Eemian)interglacial period 125,000 years ago(53), and would approach the warmth of the Mesozoic, the age of dinosaurs”… Hansen said :”The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.”
        ….” if we burn all fossil fuels, we will destroy the planet we know. Carbon dioxide would increase to 500 ppm or more. We would set the planet on a course to the ice-free state, with sea level 75 metres higher……………………the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was set up to select from the evidence and from time to time produce reports which would show that CO2 was the main driver of dangerous climate change. A second recommendation resulted in a meeting in Rio in 1992 chaired by Maurice Strong himself which produced the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,later signed by 196 governments.
        The objective of the Convention is to keep CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that they guessed would prevent dangerous man made interference with the climate system.
        This treaty is a comprehensive, politically driven, political action plan called Agenda 21 designed to produce a centrally managed global society which would control every aspect of the life of every one on earth.
        It says :
        “The Parties should take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize the causes of climate change and mitigate its adverse effects. Where there are threats of serious or
        irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing such measures”
        Apocalyptic forecasts are used as the main drivers of demands for action and for enormous investments such as those in the new IPCC SR1.5 report and in the work of Nordhaus who advocates a carbon tax .Nordhaus is quoted in the NYT as saying “If we start moving very swiftly in the next 20 years, we might able to avoid 2 degrees, but if we don’t do that, we’re in for changes in the Earth’s system that we can’t begin to understand in depth. Warming of 4, 5, 6 degrees will bring changes we don’t understand because it’s outside the range of human experience in the last 100,000 to 200,000 years.”
        Nordhaus’ science and economics basis is discussed in “Projections and Uncertainties about Climate Change in an Era of Minimal Climate Policies” https://doi.org/10.1257/pol.20170046
        which states:
        “The climate module has been revised to reflect recent earth system models. The equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is based on the analysis of Olsen et al. (2012).The reasons for using this approach are provided in Gillingham et al. (2018). The final estimate is a mean warming of 3.1°C for an equilibrium CO2 doubling. The transient climate sensitivity or TCS (sometimes called the transient climate response) is adjusted to correspond to models with an ECS of 3.1°C, which produces a TCS of 1.7°C” NORDHAUS WAS AWARDED
        IPCCSR1.5 says
        “C2. Pathways limiting global warming to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including
        transport and buildings), and industrial systems (high confidence). These systems transitions
        are unprecedented in terms of scale, but not necessarily in terms of speed, and imply deep emissions reductions in all sectors, a wide portfolio of mitigation options and a significant
        upscaling of investments in those options (medium confidence)………..

        Those proselytizing the warming scenario are closely following the UNFCCC Agenda 21 political plan of action. Bernie Sanders says :” Climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet. The debate is over, and the scientific jury is in: global climate change is real, it is caused mainly by emissions released from burning fossil fuels and it poses a catastrophic threat to the long-term longevity of our planet. If we do nothing, the planet will heat up five to ten degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century. That would cause enough sea level rise from melting glaciers to put cities like New York and Miami underwater – along with more frequent asthma attacks, higher food prices, insufficient drinking water and more infectious diseases.”
        Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed taxing the wealthy as high as 70% to fund a climate change plan she’s pushing called the “Green New Deal.” She also says “The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change”
        Judith the MSM,especially the BBC,Guardian and the “consensus”academics have vested interests in the Net Zero
        meme,What can be done to turn things around since Science and Nature Journals have been actively promoting the AGW meme and are unlikely to publish countervailing articles.

      • Judith,

        I am pleased that you recognised our mutual interest in this area. No, I am not on Twitter, but feel free to reproduce anything of mine that you think may help the cause. My only warning to you would be that I rarely find enough time nowadays to devote to extensive online commentary, and so I cannot guarantee that I will be available to respond to anyone seeking further clarification, or indeed registering disagreement.

  20. The use of extreme weather events to promote alarm about an observed modest secular increase in global mean temperature since 1850 was a purely political and cynical decision by those seeking to justify the abandonment of fossil fuels. Not enough people were sufficiently alarmed by the observed modest increase in mean temperature, nor were they even sufficiently alarmed by long term projections of supposedly ‘extreme’ global warming. So they picked on something which the public experienced in the here and now – bad weather, and its detrimental impacts on daily life. All that remained was for them to demonstrate the link between bad weather and alleged man-made climate change, so they invented the ‘science’ of extreme weather attribution in order to provide the veneer of scientific respectability to their empirically unevidenced claims that 1.2 degrees of global warming since 1850 has been responsible for an increase in the frequency and severity of various types of extreme weather events. But the ‘science’ is little more than pseudoscience.

  21. “Green Energy” is a much bigger existential threat than global warming. It shuts down entire basic industries, runs up heating and cooling costs, and due to transportation, runs up the cost of everything else. It is a civilization killer.

  22. Climate Doomers are taking down Europe.

    Europe is weathering sky-high electricity prices this week, with some countries experiencing record day-ahead power costs, as temperatures plummet. The cold spell will end this weekend, with temperatures returning to normal levels. But the cold weather is likely to move to North America, with rising chances of a blizzard hitting the US around Christmas.
    Today’s Top Stories

    Short-term power prices in Europe soared again even as a forecast of warmer temperatures and higher winds brings some relief from the region’s first major test of winter. Intraday prices in France traded at more than €600 ($638) per megawatt hour for some half-hour periods, with levels in Germany and the UK not far behind.


  23. Fear is an often useful emotional response to real and present danger.

    Anxiety is an often harmful emotional response to imagined or remote danger.

    Much of climate change is not real, but imagined from of an unbounded array of forcings and results.

    Similarly, much of climate change is not present, but of an unverified remotely future state.

    Anxiety over climate change appears to me to be a great distraction from the real and present dangers. Of course, our own human nature may pose the greatest threat.

    • TE, yes, exactly, we all know innately that humans pose the greatest danger, and not through their CO2. Nobody in Ukraine is worried about CO2 enhanced 0.5C warming in 2050 of 2100 right now.

      In fact the main concern about “climate change” is that it is connected with evil and dangerous humanity. If we found out that the 1.1C in warming since 1850 was natural and that we are in for another ~1C in warming in the next 100 years there would be almost no concern.

      • Yes, in investment, distractions from the most important things are termed ‘misallocation of capital’.

        Given the nearer term threats, climate change may represent a ‘misallocation of worry’ ( leading to misallocation of capital, time, government, not to mention the wasteful nuisance of the clueless, gluing themselves to art and highways ).

  24. Thanks Dr. Curry, excellent analysis of risk and risk perception. Perceptions of stressful events are indeed subjective, and some people tend to see greater threats (or risks) in a given scenario than others. Psychologists Folkman and Lazarus characterize this in terms of cognitive appraisals. The appraisals that people make are a function of personal factors and tendencies, but are also influenced by the social / cultural environment. Here, the dominant political and media narrative of doomsday climate change is very likely influencing the kind of appraisals people are making of weather events, carbon emissions etc in a negative direction. More worryingly, it may be facilitating development of a mindset of generalized anxiety and fear about the future, especially in children.

    With all the publicity and apocalyptic pronouncements about climate destruction, are we unwittingly creating a generation of existential neurotics, children who see the world as a massively dangerous place they are powerless to change?

    The late U. of Chicago psychologist Sal Maddi gives a nice description of the “existential neurosis” in his 1967 paper:

  25. Pingback: Misperception and amplification of climate risk - Climate- Science.press

  26. Judith,
    Chauncey Starr (1912-2007) was a pioneer in risk analysis, with particular emphasis on nuclear power. Basically, he claimed that people are willing to accept risk in proportion to their perceived benefit. Using his data, I have demonstrated that a log-log graph of risk vs. perceived benefit shows a straight line relationship. The issue is that people subjectively form their impression of risk about things like nuclear reactors and firearms based on what they read from the MSM, whose objectivity is questionable.
    Some additional background reading is here:
    [I know that some people question the objectivity of Wikipedia, particularly on political topics, but I’ve found it useful for initial searches for providing background and sources, particularly for technical topics.]

    Perhaps more germane to the topic of climatology is a piece he wrote in 2003 comparing the Precautionary Principle and Risk Analysis : https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1539-6924.00285

    • thanks for this! hadn’t previously encountered starr

    • More on Starr
      Paywalled, but sometimes open access versions can be located:
      Plenary: Twenty Year Retrospective on 1969 SciencePaper of C. Starr, “Social Benefit vs. Technological Risk”

      Starr, C. (1991). Plenary: Twenty Year Retrospective on 1969 Science Paper of C. Starr, “Social Benefit vs. Technological Risk”. In: Zervos, C., Knox, K., Abramson, L., Coppock, R. (eds) Risk Analysis. Advances in Risk Analysis, vol 8. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-0730-1_1

      How Safe is Safe Enough? A Psychometric Study of Attitudes Towards Technological Risks and Benefits*
      https://www.cmu.edu/epp/people/faculty/research/PS FSLRC HowSafe.pdf

      Might work out:
      http://w2agz.com/Library/Chauncey Starr/UCLA & Risk Analysis (1966 – 1971)/(1969) C Starr, Social Benefit versus Technological Risk, Science 165, 1232 (1969).pdf

      Vaclav Smil on the Strange Choices We Make
      From Pandemics to Nuclear Power: Why People Why People Take the Risks They Do

      The problem is that those with an agenda, exactly as in the case of opposition to nuclear-fueled generation of electricity, get to set the preconceptions. Nobody has experienced the “existential threat” to (a) ‘our democracy’, (b) the national defense of the USA, (c) the very existence of human lives, (d) the possibility that no location on planet Earth will be livable, (e) the very existence of an inhabitable Earth, as projected by those who insist that CO2 no longer be released by human activities.

      Given the complete absence of empirical data, the preconceptions can be set at any degree of alarm desired.

      In the meantime, nuclear-fueled generation of electricity hums along all around Earth.

      • thanks for these refs. In my forthcoming book this is addressed in context of Info-Gap decision theory, which balances robustness with opportuneness in decision making

      • If I remember correctly, “Social Benefit vs. Technological Risk” is where I saw Starr’s semi-log graph that I converted to log-log and referred to above.

  27. Did some quick scientometrics on the science of climate anxiety. The academic field is small but exploding. Since 2018 there have been about 2,000 journal articles at least mentioning the term “climate anxiety”, while prior to that fewer than 200. There are another 500 or so using the term “climate change anxiety” but that may include some overlap. A sizeable fraction are about anxiety in young people. There are also a lot of closely related articles that do not use these specific terms.

    There is even a “Climate Anxiety Scale” with about 75 articles mentioning it. There is something country specific involved.
    See https://scholar.google.com/scholar?as_q=&as_epq=climate+anxiety+scale&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_occt=any&as_sauthors=&as_publication=&as_ylo=2018&as_yhi=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C49&as_vis=1&scioq=allintitle%3A+%22climate+anxiety%22

    Just scanning some Google Scholar snippets I see that many routinely begin with the climate emergency being real, which is not surprising for left wing academics. There is no way this community is going to question scary AGW.

    There may be some useful statistics, especially in the anxiety scale articles.

    • V helpful, i also noticed 2018 inflection point

      • BTW Google Scholar’s “Related articles” is very useful when the language is not standardized, which is typical for rapidly emerging fields. It uses something called term vector analysis, where every word is part of the search “term” as it were. Basically it measures cognitive closeness. (I developed a new way to map new research fields using it. Alas, no one is interested.)

  28. There is a reason why risk perception is politically amplified. This amplification is by no means limited to climate change. The reason is to enhance the political power of those escalating risk perception into powerful emotions of fear.

    Whenever I hear politicians talking about “the war on” or the “fight against” I mentally put my hand over my wallet to protect it. Most of us will remember the war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the war on terror, etc., and now, the fight against climate change. It may be bad science but it’s good politics: escalate fear and offer a solution – vote for me. As well, when there is a politically created war or a serious fight against a perceived high risk, responsible citizens will want to support their government to help win the fight. This is true whatever the alleged reason for the fight, even if there is no real reason beyond political self-interest.

    Once entrepreneurial businesses and academics can see which way the political wind is blowing they can easily figure out how to profit from it.

    In summary, the misperception of risk of climate change is a feature, not a bug.

    • Conversely, one’s political affiliation tends to be based on how one perceives various risks. Different parties fear different things.

      • > Conversely, one’s political affiliation tends to be based on how one perceives various risks.

        Do you have ANY evidence for that? You speak as if is an established fact.

        What’s the causal mechanism?

      • Joe - the non climate scientist

        Joshua | December 14, 2022 at 7:56 pm |
        > Conversely, one’s political affiliation tends to be based on how one perceives various risks.

        Do you have ANY evidence for that? You speak as if is an established fact.

        What’s the causal mechanism?”

        Joshua – all your commentary regarding covid is a prime example of evidence how political affiliation affects the perception of risk

      • No causal mechanism, Joshua. Parties are formed by people with similar beliefs. What each fears is clear from their platforms. For example, Dems fear climate change while Reps do not.

        Being in a political party does not cause beliefs; it reflects them. Beliefs come first.

      • David –

        > No causal mechanism, Joshua. Parties are formed by people with similar beliefs. What each fears is clear from their platforms. For example, Dems fear climate change while Reps do not.

        Again, you state as fact something that is in the least arguable.

        Consider that it’s not what you know, or what you believe, that best explains party identification – but who you are. E.g., where your born, who your family is, etc. Of course there’s not likely any perfect dichotomy here. I’m reasonably sure that the dynamics are multifactorial. But your statement of fact with a simplistic mechanism of causality runs counter a large body of literature on the subject.

        > Being in a political party does not cause beliefs; it reflects them. Beliefs come first.

        Again, imo much too reductive and actually, in balance prolly just wrong. I’m actually kind of surprised to see you write this as I recall over the years you’ve respected that power of identity in its interaction with beliefs.

      • multi-directional as well as multi-factorial.

      • Joe –

        > Joshua – all your commentary regarding covid is a prime example of evidence how political affiliation affects the perception of risk

        I’m sure that it is. Is there someone here who’s commented on COVID for which the same can’t be said?

      • Jim –

        Do a tiny bit of searching and you’ll find it. You could start with the work of Dan Kahan, who Judith has referenced many times and whose work Andy has referenced a number of times in his Climate Etc. posts.

      • The logical fallacy: Appeal to a Non-existent Authority.

        No, I don’t want to chase around the the internet to find what you claim is there. Just cite it or stop pretending to know.

      • Just cite what you claim supports your assertions. Funny you mentioning games. Pot – Kettle – Black.

        If you supply the quote that backs up your assertion, I can be sure that’s what you were referring to. If I just wander around the internet, I can’t be sure if what I find was what you were referring to or not. I’m not a mind reader.

        Just supply a quote and a link. Otherwise, I have no reason to believe you know anything about what you are talking about.

      • Jim –

        > Otherwise, I have no reason to believe you know anything about what you are talking about.

        If I gave you links you’d just disparage the source or claim I’d cherry-picked. I don’t care whether you “believe” I know what I’m talking about. This is about what YOU know. I already know what I know. I have no interest in convincing you to “believe* anything in particular about what I do or don’t know.

        If you’re interested enough to learn about this, it would merit spending a little time searching. And then you could reference whatever source you want, and would know it wouldn’t be a matter of me cherry-picking.

        I’m fact, you could have done a search in a fraction of the amount of time you’ve spent stomping your feet and tellkng me you won’t do a search, and making toothless authoritarian demands.

        It’s up to you. Educate yourself or not.

      • “Different parties fear different things.”

        I would rate this true for all the scares that are imaginary and mostly harmless. The US Great depression, however, was born of a nonpartisan financial panic that bore a self-perpetuating cycle of collapse. The fear was mostly unjustified except for the fear itself.

        The legitimate fear nuclear arms race between the US and USSR was also nonpartisan. That fear was productive when in the hands of conservative presidents to effectively negotiate.

      • Republicans controlled both the executive and legislative branches of government from 1921 to 1930, Ron.

      • David, You just discovered why discussions with Joshua are usually not productive. From past experience, his sources are almost always very soft sciences where the results are highly influenced by bias. Perhaps that’s why he is hesitant to cite one of them. I have never seen someone with a higher word to actual substance ratio. But, Josh is an expert in spotting bias in other people he doesn’t know based on mind reading or something like that.

      • “Republicans controlled both the executive and legislative branches of government from 1921 to 1930, Ron.”

        Republicans through Laissez Faire capitalism created a booming economy. However, we found out that banks and brokers needed special regulations to prevent over speculation. We also learned about government economic stimulus. One hundred years later the US is a morass of regulation kept afloat with an unsustainable appetite for ever more stimulus.

        My original point was that fear can be unhealthy and self-perpetuating. Conservatives are plenty cautious. I would venture to say the main difference between liberals and conservatives comes down to fear of each other. There is no good reason or single principle I can think of.

      • The GOP of the roaming 20s was protectionist, Ron. It also was a big believer corporate in trust. Being able to profit from its own market also helped friends exploit the economic casualties of the first war.

        My point is that you should reduce your self-serving crap.

  29. After reading this post, I can’t wait for your book!

  30. ” The hubris of thinking that we can control atmospheric CO2 content, not to mention the actual climate itself.”

    Over at WUWT I have demonstrated that despite a CO2 average 10% and maximum monthly decline of over 18% (April) during the pandemic shut downs in 2020, there is no measurable decline in the growth of atmospheric CO2, as measured by the slope of the seasonal ramp-up phase or the seasonal peak (May). The 2019 and 2020 atmospheric curves are indistinguishable. I have also shown that there is no correlation between the monthly flux rates of anthro’ emissions and the atmosphere.

    Before we destroy the global economy by eliminating fossil fuels, we should demand empirical evidence that reduction of practical amounts of anthro’ emissions will result in a reduction in even the RATE of increase of atmospheric CO2, let alone the actual concentration.

    • Well Clyde, most of us accept the law of conservation of matter!

      • Matter isn’t conserved Franktoo. OTOH, matter and energy are conserved.

      • I don’t completely understand the point you are trying to make. But, I’ll make an assumption and point out that the amount of CO2 generated from fossil fuels is smaller than the uncertainty in the ocean -> air and air -> ocean flux. So, yes, mass is conserved, but we don’t really have a good measure of the quantity. Did you read my articles before commenting?

  31. Geoff Sherrington

    Have you crossed paths with Dr Norman Fenton from UK who is active in risk assessment under “wicked” constraints (my words quoting yours)? I really like his realistic approaches.
    Geoff S

    • Geoff: This guy appears too be a con man. Absolute risk reduction is measured in % reduction per month or per unit time. It constantly changes. Relative risk reduction is the key parameter because it doesn’t change with time or when a surge occurs or cases decrease dramatically. Technically, it is a dimensionless ratio expressed as a percentage.

      Vaccine side effects invariably occur within a few weeks of vaccination. They are a one-time problem that doesn’t grow over time, unlike the absolute benefits. He is comparing apples and oranges.

      Scientists have been conducting good clinical trials for about 70 years. The companies that sponsor these trials have a huge incentive to artificially improve the benefits or reduce the side effects through . The FDA (like Steve McIntyre studying mining claims) has seen every statistic trick in the book. They get a database with the raw data from a clinical trial (populated by nurses and doctors who don’t work for the company and don’t know who got placebo and who got drug) and both the company and the FDA independently analyze efficacy and safety. The endpoints and method of statistical analysis is always chosen before the trial begins. None of the post hoc stuff Steve loved to complain about. John Ionnaidis made a big splash with “Why most research results are wrong”, but the FDA had stopped allowing the flaws he publicized years before.

      At the peak of the pandemic, about 1% of people were testing positive every month, so the number infected during the two weeks waiting for an immune response to develop was relatively small. No patient moved from the treatment group to the vaccine group as Fenton describes. Trials are double-blind, and neither patient nor evaluators know what group any patient is in, just the unique code on the vial of vaccine or saline he got. If any patient was infected before the two week period needed to develop a full immune response, that patient was omitted from both the treatment and placebo groups. The efficacy was determined by the patients who complete the treatment: vaccination/placebo followed by two weeks to develop an immune response. Then you start counting the number of people in your trial who get infected without knowing whether they got vaccine or placebo. When you get to about 150 infected patients, you have enough information to statistically distinguish between 50% reduction in relative risk and 40% reduction in relative risk. The former had been predetermined to be worth moving forward into large numbers of people and the latter not worth pursuing. Only then do you unblind your study and find that only about 7 infections occurred in the vaccine group, roughly 95% efficacy.

      In reality, the complete vaccine treatment was a 5 or 6 week protocol involving two doses. First dose. Wait 3-4 week, Second dose, Wait 2 weeks for full immunity to develop after second dose. Then start counting infections, Then unblind the study.

      The other thing you should know is the FDA convenes an outside advisory committee to make a recommendations about approval. These outside doctors are experts who also personally look in the eyes of patients they treat – and when they come back with some horrible side effect. They see the male adolescents who rarely get cardiomyopathy from mRNA vaccines or at least the disapproving doctors caring for them. These advising doctors and FDA scientists have nothing to gain personally from approving a drug, except another treatment that might help their patients. They and their friends and families take the drugs they approve and miss the potential benefits of those they reject. It is personal for them

  32. Dennis Laughton

    As a crop science / plant physiologist, I would point out that more CO2 = more photosynthesis = more food and general greening of the earth. Most commercial greenhouses use 2-3 times ambient to maximize production. All life on earth is carbon based.

  33. Gautam Kalghatgi

    This review paper might be of interest to people on this thread. It can be accessed at this link:
    The abstract of the paper reads –
    The dominant narrative in the affluent west is that climate change poses an “existential threat” and very rapid cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and hence fossil fuel use are needed to avoid it. Simultaneously oil, gas, coal, aviation, steel and cement industries and livestock farming have to be largely shut down to eliminate GHG. This review argues that globally all this will not happen by 2050, let alone 2030 because the scale of the problem is too large. Transport is particularly difficult to decarbonize and current policies focusing entirely on battery electric vehicles will not and must not succeed. GHG levels are unlikely to come down significantly in the next several decades and even if they did, extreme weather events will not disappear. It is better to recognize such realities and make societies more resilient to the effects of climate change. Humanity will have to adapt to any further warming as it has successfully done with the previous warming of about 1.1 C over the past century. Combustion research, particularly of fossil fuels and in internal combustion engines is currently seen as unnecessary in many countries. However, it will be absolutely necessary, along with the development of the alternatives in order to ensure that energy use is improved since combustion will continue to be central to supplying global energy and driving transport for decades to come. The gap between current policies and reality will perhaps be bridged as energy security concerns come to the fore.

  34. The Climate Doomers are now endorsing violence to achieve their misguided goals. These people need to be stopped by any means available.

    The past few months have seen a flurry of climate protests. In Marseilles, a cement factory was sabotaged by activists for its high emissions. In London, tomato soup was thrown at Van Gogh’s Sunflowers by members of the group Just Stop Oil. Other activists have taken to deflating SUV tires in cities across Europe and the US to discourage use of the gas-guzzling vehicles. 

    This is only the beginning of what climate activists need to do in order to be effective, says Andreas Malm, associate professor of human ecology at Lund University and author of How to Blow Up a Pipeline. “The task for the climate movement is to make clear for people that building new pipelines, new gas terminals, opening new oil fields are acts of violence that need to be stopped — they kill people,” Malm says on Bloomberg Green’s Zero podcast.


  35. FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany is bleeding cash to keep the lights on. Almost half a trillion dollars, and counting, since the Ukraine war jolted it into an energy crisis nine months ago.

    And it may not be enough.

    “The national economy as a whole is facing a huge loss of wealth.”

    The money set aside stands at up to 440 billion euros ($465 billion), according to the calculations, which provide the first combined tally of all of Germany’s drives aimed at avoiding running out of power and securing new sources of energy.

    That equates to about 1.5 billion euros a day since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. Or around 12% of national economic output. Or about 5,400 euros for each person in Germany.


  36. Wind/Solar vs Nuclear: No Contest.

    That the nuclear-powered French pay prices around half that suffered by their wind and solar-obsessed German neighbours is the kind of barebones fact the wind and sun cult absolutely hate.

    The French set the benchmark for generating clean, safe and reliable nuclear power; they’ve been doing so for nearly 60 years and still get over 75% of their electricity from their nuclear plants, and export large volumes of what they generate to power-starved Germans and Brits.

    The French put paid to the lie that nuclear power is expensive; the French power consumer pays around half what wind and solar-powered Danes and Germans do (see above). Since Vladimir Putin’s adventure in Ukraine, German power prices have rocketed, further still, recently hitting a record 40 US cents per kWh.


  37. Satyajit Datar

    If the earth is not warming due to humans, and even if it was, it is not a bad thing, then we shouldn’t be alarming children so. That makes sense and would reduce their psychological harm.
    That is true of any ‘perceived risk’ that isn’t actual. Risk perceptions are personal and subjective depending on the risk, context and the individual. A lot depends on the past impressions we carry within us towards perceived risks. Someone is scared of heights or crossing a busy road, and another is not. Someone is afraid of abduction or assault, and another is not.

    But it also depends on what is actually going on, based on the laws of nature. If you are a boiling frog, with no past impressions of temperature risk, you would have no perceived risk of boiling to death.

    It seems that you deny warming can be due to greenhouse gases. If so, then how do greenhouses work? How it is warmer on a cloudy night after a sunny day, compared to a clear night?

    Is it not determined by the amount and types of gases in the atmosphere to let in various frequencies of the sun’s radiation, but to not let out re-radiated infrared frequencies, thus trapping that heat?
    Many scientists believe certain gases, typically minimum 3-element such as H2O, CO2, CH4 and so on, trap such radiation, including Carl Sagan in the 70s. It would be very easy to prove or disprove, with scientific experiments in a controlled environment, such as a real greenhouse, with each gas introduced and removed. Clearly water vapour, H2O does trap heat. We know that for sure.

    Your assertion/implication that fossil fuels have done more good for societies than harm, is dubious. Not backed up, with all the metrics, including social and environmental damage of pollution, land use, extraction, waste …. on a longer term scale than just a lifetime.
    Before cars, planes and coal powered electricity, horses and carts also did a lot of good for societies. But we adapted, innovated and evolved. Before the wheel was invented, the world didn’t end either.

    I don’t see how a transformation to a renewable energy or safe nuclear energy (if there is one, such as with thorium) world, is a bad thing. It is innovative, circular in economy with less waste, and has less externalities, so it is better economically when using TBL metrics, and in the case of comparison with new coal mines, beats them on single bottom line metrics too. I don’t see why the world should rely upon 18th century technology, using the sky as an “open sewer”, for any longer than it needs to, as there are better technologies available at scale.

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    • However, it’s an inertial confinement machine. Many, many, many more than three to get electrons onto the gird. The LLNL machine was designed and built to support USA nuclear-weapons programs by NNSA. Cannot do continuous firing.

      All experimental fusion test rigs have many, many, many milestones before electricity hits the grid.

      The Universal Fusion Time Constant remains at 20 years, unmoved by the reported results. In the real world, the Fusion Time Constant is very highly likely much bigger than 20 years.

      • Dan … Please explain “Universal Fusion Time Constant”. If … it is a step contained in what the article calls Q2, engineering break-even, the minimum time they estimated was a decade, and maybe much more. I suppose they’re basing that estimate on what they said was 1980s technology that was still being used, which should be upgraded, i.e. the lasers, the capsule, … That takes funding, but I have a feeling funding will be less of a problem than it was.
        Regardless of what’s ahead, and I’m sure it won’t be without problems, this is an amazing accomplishment. Have to give them props for that. In the meantime, we need to drill for as much NG as we can find.

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  42. Two things.

    I think politicians have discovered and embraced the benefits of selling fear. Almost all the messages we get now, from the left and the right, are vote for me because the other guy will destroy this or that. Covid was serious, but politicians sold it as some kind of existential threat. Climate change, up until now, has been the ultimate fear gambit. You could scare people witless with no consequences. That looks to be changing now with the energy crisis. So it’s logical to assume politicians will soon take contrarian positions.

    As society becomes wealthier and less connected to the natural world, our sense of risk becomes distorted. Kids are no longer allowed to play outside by themselves. We see relatively uncommon storms as the end of the world. We are riddled with fear about even small amounts of pollution, while people in poor countries burn dung indoors.

    Hopefully we find a way to overcome these trends and discover a more balanced perspective.

  43. The UK Met Office say that ‘global heating’ will cause heatwaves like 2003 and 2018 to happen every other year by 2050. That is who the UK government listen to.
    I contend that those heatwaves were discretely solar driven, and that the next heat event of that type is not until 2045. And the next 1540/1936/2006 type heat event is not until 2116.
    Really we have been very fortunate in having many so many major warm events in a centennial solar minimum instead of extreme cold events.


  44. Germany spent 10 billion on a LNG terminal. Imagine the amount of European-based fossil fuels could have been produced if that money had been spent to encourage fossil fuel development there.

    Germany’s bill for new floating liquefied natural gas terminals is ballooning, with the cost now more than three times higher than initially budgeted.

    The facilities are estimated to cost €9.7 billion ($10.2 billion) for the period from 2022 — when the first units are set to start — until 2038, German Economy Ministry spokeswoman Beate Baron said at regular government news conference in Berlin Friday. 


  45. Coal use surpassed 8B tons in a single year for the first time …
    So much for the Green Revolution.


    When I woke up today it was 15F outside. And they want to sell us on heat pumps.

  46. Europe listened to the Climate Doomers and failed so develop local fossil fuels. This decision to go with “green” energy has cost them more than 1 TRILLION dollars, and it is just the beginning of pain for them. We in the US need to vote out any politician who pushes green energy.

    Europe got hit by roughly $1 trillion from surging energy costs in the fallout of Russia’s war in Ukraine, and the deepest crisis in decades is only getting started.

    After this winter, the region will have to refill gas reserves with little to no deliveries from Russia, intensifying competition for tankers of the fuel. Even with more facilities to import liquefied natural gas coming online, the market is expected to remain tight until 2026, when additional production capacity from the US to Qatar becomes available. That means no respite from high prices. 


  47. While Norway’s climate can be harsh, Norwegian children are taught weather is never intolerable.

    They are instead raised to recognize that the real problem is inadequate clothing, and that the solution is to adjust their dress accordingly.

    This approach may be relevant to children distressed by climate rhetoric, as in the last decade both sides have made enormous advances in dressing for the Climate Wars.


  48. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #533 - The Crude Truth


  50. A startup claims it has launched weather balloons that may have released reflective sulfur particles in the stratosphere, potentially crossing a controversial barrier in the field of solar geoengineering.

    Geoengineering refers to deliberate efforts to manipulate the climate by reflecting more sunlight back into space, mimicking a natural process that occurs in the aftermath of large volcanic eruptions. In theory, spraying sulfur and similar particles in sufficient quantities could potentially ease global warming.

    It’s not technically difficult to release such compounds into the stratosphere. But scientists have mostly (though not entirely) refrained from carrying out even small-scale outdoor experiments. And it’s not clear that any have yet injected materials into that specific layer of the atmosphere in the context of geoengineering-related research.


  51. I think the emotional state of a person is intrinsically related to how well they quantify risk, in particular, whether they let fear of some very unlikely event completely cloud their judgement of the true risk.

    Parents are understandably guilty of this. They worry about their child killing themselves in a risky sporting endeavour (be that kayaking, surfing, back country ski-ing, winter mountaineering, skydiving etc etc), some take it even further to the extent that children become mollycoddled out of all normality.

    I once led a ski party in the French Alps where a mother seriously thought it was too dangerous for her 12 year old son to cross the vehicle-free square to the hotel and pick up something from his room. A twelve year old!! The poor guy was desperately trying to find a way to escape his infantilising mother and we tried to do our bit to help him.

    Parents also use the construct that ‘times are so much more dangerous now’ to stop children cycling to school, walking to school alone and, nowadays, if as a mother you let your 8 year old son not come home from school for 2 hrs (because he was playing football, cricket or train sets with his mates on the local common or in their houses by the side of the common) you would probably now have social services on your case. This was my absolutely normal daily routine during summer time and all my mother would do would be to drive around the common and knock on doors to find me. She never once lost me….

    Where climate is concerned children will find it hard to find information which refutes the scaremongering they get on TV, on ‘news websites’ (which are mostly fear porn), from school teachers. I was lucky enough not to have any meteorological education NOR brainwashing growing up, so my views on weather and climate started with about 30 years of sponge-like observation, then specific noting down of unusual events, then starting to predict future events.

    By the time I bothered to start educating myself formally on the subject, I had had 30 years of unadulterated data acquisition in real life.It meant I was free of fear porn because my mind had moved beyond fear based on ignorance or lack of experience.

    I think that the current generation of parents are far worse in terms of their non-acceptance of low-level risks of normal life. They have created a generation of mollycoddled, unexposed frightened children who are now emerging in adult bodies.

    It must be really wierd being educated like ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’: how on earth can you tolerate all the nonsense spouted in schools about global heating, net zero, carbon dioxide as a pollutant, the world’s going to end in 12 years nonsense?

    If I were going to start research on this subject, I would find two cohorts of children: the first homeschooled by skeptical, conservative parents; and the second cohort brainwashed in schools by crazy Net Zero Democratic Education mandates.

    The difficulty would be in eliminating the effects of the parents. I just can’t see how skeptical, conservative parents could remain sane sending their children to brainwashing schools, so it’s likely that that cohort will have far more Democrat liberal ‘trump is Putin’s whore’ green zealots……

    So distinguishing between a home life full of no-risk doomsday parents and a school brainwashing you with climate heating claptrap might be harder to achieve than first imagined.

  52. Pingback: Klima og risiko – Klimarealisme.dk