Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Truth About Climate Change

Repeat after me: the science is settled. Not only that, but the settled science is settled. Once and for all. Stop the presses. Stop debating the question. Doubt is forbidden. Skepticism is a thought crime.  If you do not accept this scientific truth, based on the clearest of facts, accepted by most of the world’s scientists, we will send the thought police to your door. They will frog walk you down Main Street so that everyone can ridicule your ignorant denial of science. We will publicly denounce you as a climate change denier, just like a Holocaust denier. We will publicly expose your complicity in the denialist movement that wants to destroy the planet and Mother Nature with it. You will be forever cursed and consigned to the lowest circle of the Inferno, reserved for the worst traitors.

For the love of science, climate change must be accepted uncritically. People who insist that we must always remain critical of our government and our civilization force us all to accept their view of climate science. After all, the science is settled.

Recently, Professor Richard Lindzen—the voice of one crying out in the wilderness—wrote a letter to President Trump explaining his views on carbon dioxide, that is, greenhouse gasses.

Who is Richard Lindzen? Glad you asked. Powerline (via Maggie’s Farm) offers a few highlights from his resume:

Professor Lindzen is a dynamical meteorologist with interests in the broad topics of climate, planetary waves, monsoon meteorology, planetary atmospheres, and hydrodynamic instability. His research involves studies of the role of the tropics in mid-latitude weather and global heat transport, the moisture budget and its role in global change, the origins of ice ages, seasonal effects in atmospheric transport, stratospheric waves, and the observational determination of climate sensitivity. He has made major contributions to the development of the current theory for the Hadley Circulation, which dominates the atmospheric transport of heat and momentum from the tropics to higher latitudes, and has advanced the understanding of the role of small scale gravity waves in producing the reversal of global temperature gradients at the mesopause, and provided accepted explanations for atmospheric tides and the quasi-biennial oscillation of the tropical stratosphere.

There’s more. Those are just the highlights. We ought to agree that Lindzen is eminently qualified to offer an opinion about the current mass hysteria about climate change. Hold your breath, gird your loins, Lindzen even knows more than Al Gore and Barack Obama. It is a sad commentary on our current national conversation that a leading voice in the field has been effectively marginalized, his opinions dismissed as irrelevant.

Yes, I understand, because I have heard the drumbeat over and over again, that the majority of the world’s scientists believe in global warming or cooling or whatever. But, I also understand that scientific fact is not established by taking a poll, even a poll of scientists.

What did Lindzen to say about climate science in his letter to Donald Trump? Glad you asked:

For far too long, one body of men, establishment climate scientists, has been permitted to be judges and parties on what the “risks to the Earth system associated with increasing levels of carbon dioxide” really are.

Let me explain in somewhat greater detail why we call for withdrawal from the UNFCCC [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change].

The UNFCCC was established twenty-five years ago, to find scientific support for dangers from increasing carbon dioxide. While this has led to generous and rapidly increased support for the field, the purported dangers remain hypothetical, model-based projections. By contrast, the benefits of increasing CO2 and modest warming are clearer than ever, and they are supported by dramatic satellite images of a greening Earth.


Calls to limit carbon dioxide emissions are even less persuasive today than 25 years ago. Future research should focus on dispassionate, high-quality climate science, not on efforts to prop up an increasingly frayed narrative of “carbon pollution.” Until scientific research is unfettered from the constraints of the policy-driven UNFCCC, the research community will fail in its obligation to the public that pays the bills.

It should be clear. It should be persuasive. If it is not it merely shows how much the dogmas of the Church of the Liberal Pieties have invaded our minds and deprived us of our ability to reason.

Funnily enough, yesterday we also came across a column by Stephen Moore in the Investor’s Business Daily. (via Maggie's Farm) Moore had the temerity to question the results of the European effort to fill the continent with windmills and other renewable energy sources.

This will surely brighten up a snowy day:

In Germany, the world leader in green energy, electricity prices have now reached a level triple those paid in the United States. …

In Britain to comply with renewable energy requirements, power stations are burning hundreds of millions of pounds of wood pellets (pellets imported from the U.S.). Environmental experts confirm that burning wood is much worse for the environment than burning natural gas or even coal.

Australia, another "green energy" leader, saw its electricity prices sky-rocket this past winter.

According to an analysis by the Institute for Energy Research, power costs surged unbelievably from $100 per megawatt hour to $10,000 per megawatt hour, because of heavy dependence on its unreliable renewable energy program. The government had to reopen one of its shuttered natural gas plants to keep prices from further exploding.

Sweden announced a decade ago that it was all in on green energy and launched a wind power program that the politicians have now had to embarrasingly acknowledge has become hopelessly expensive and inefficient.

They are now shutting down wind turbines and the government will phase out the subsidies that have been lavished on the industry.

In each of these cases, the economies and local factories are taking a big hit.
According to the IER analysis of Australia:

"The government has found that its electric system that is heavily reliant on wind power (40% comes from intermittent renewable sources) cannot cope without reliable power from traditional generation sources. The fallout is that Australia is finding that its energy-intensive businesses are relocating to Asian countries that provide stable regulation and costs, lower taxes, cheaper wages, and less red tape."

Sad to say, but these are facts. They count as inconvenient facts, the kinds that undermine the climate change movement’s headlong charge to repeal the Industrial Revolution.

The European and Australian folly about clean energy has worked to the advantage of the good old USA. Who knew?

Moore continues:

This has given American steel, auto, light manufacturing, agriculture, and technology firms a big competitive edge in world markets.  This is why European nations and Australia are understandably desperate for the U.S. to move to the same green energy policies that they adopted years ago.

Those are the facts, amigos. Read them and go running back into your dogmas.


trigger warning said...

People forget (or, more likely, never learned) that Ptolemaic astronomy was "settled science" for 1000 years. And it worked, with great precision. Then Copernicus, followed by Galileo. Hm.

The very notion of "settled science" is radically unscientific, even anti-scientific.

An excellent read is a small book, The Half-Life of Facts by Samuel Arbesman:

"The author, an applied mathematician, explores the nature of knowledge: why it changes, how it changes, and why this is so vital for scientific exploration. Knowledge, like life itself, evolves; science regularly revises its truths to include new discoveries. The book is also a history of a field many readers might never have heard of: scientometrics, 'the science of science,' a way of quantifying the growth of ideas."

James said...

The Left is giving a pretty good reprise of the "Sacred Congregation of the Inquisition", they've just forgotten what happened to it in the end.

David Foster said...

It's interesting that 'carbon' (how many people who use that term understand the difference between carbon and carbon dioxide?) has become shorthand for pollution in general. So, if a company introduces a more-efficient turbine or locomotive, they will issue press releases about how much it reduces 'carbon' emissions, without mention of its impact on known pollutants that really do have an impact on human health.

I suspect there are many people who think 'carbon pollution' is about visible particulates in the air, like those plaguing China's cities.

Andrew_M_Garland said...

Government scientists find there is money in global warming alarmism, and they ostracize opposing views. This weeds out the opponents quite well.

CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) is the new reason to have One World run by socialists, because otherwise “we are all going to die”, even if it is supposedly 1000 years in the future.

I support science, the process of careful data collection and experiment followed by a transparent release of data, computer code, and plain argument. Real science is sceptical. It rejects fuzzy argument and unsupported or unrepeatable claims. Experience shows that anything less leads to costly error.

Claims about catastrophic global warming rely on a few facts about carbon dioxide and direct warming, and a pile of speculation, models, and government manipulation. Most of climate science is not science. Publishing only a graph is scientifical, not science.

I trust in results produced by a group of skeptical and independent scientists attempting to disprove/improve on the theories floating around. Government climate scientists embrace one result but not one model, and they obscure the data leading to their conclusions. That is a cabal, not a scientific community.

It is ridiculous to trust in the integrity of a "scientific community" or "peer review" where prominent members of academic and government institutions announce they are willing to lie for the good of the peasants.

The models are complex, Dr. Mann won't release his data, and manipulations of peer-reviewed, published graphs to "hide the decline" are explained as unfortunate limitations of space. The people who push Climate Change (was: Global Warming) have no credibiility, meaning that there is no reason to believe anything they say which is not supported in transparent detail. They are revolutionaries or true believers, not scientists.

One might argue that these liars are only a few. If so, why aren't the rest denouncing them, proclaiming proudly that the data is what counts, proclaiming that exaggeration and lying are not needed? Their silence demeans the global warming community and their science.

( http://pjmedia.com/eddriscoll/2012/03/03/unless-we-announce-disasters-no-one-will-listen/ )
Lying for climate change
3/3/12 - Ed Driscoll [edited]
=== ===
It is a fascinating development when people admit that they are lying for their cause.

--> Prof. Chris Folland, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research
“The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.”

--> Dr David Frame, Climate modeler, Oxford University
“The models are convenient fictions that provide something very useful.”

--> Paul Watson, Co-founder of Greenpeace
“It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”

--> Sir John Houghton, First chairman of the IPCC
“Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.”

--> Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment
“No matter if the science of global warming is all phony … climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
=== ===

The global warming scare is political, not scientific. It represents an old political ploy. When you scare the sheep, they are more willing to be sheared.

There can be no discussion with liars. It is worse when the liars claim the status of learned, dispationate science, and then tell you that your peasant mind should just believe, because you can never match the facts to their models. You are not allowed to question their models because they were never designed to be questioned.

It does not surprise me that an average person cannot directly evaluate the claims and models. It amazes me that the average person can't tell when they are being lied to, even when the liars say it right out and have the shears (tax schemes) in their hands.

Anonymous said...

New York City was supposed to get a foot of snow today in a blizzard with 100 mph gusts. Didn't happen. But when weather is unusual, it's proof of climate change. But we're told weather isn't climate. The point is scientists cannot accurately predict meteorological phenomenon within 24 hours, but they've got computer models that give them absolute certainty about what will happen decades, centuries and millennia from now. Follow the money, find an agenda. Not too scientific.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: Repeat after me: the science is settled.

You can be sure what is going to follow isn't about truth when the first line starts as a strawman argument.

Trigger warning brings up the science of astronomy, and even 300 year old Newtonian physics was defeated by special and general relativity 100 years ago, YET, that 300 year old science is still taught in high school and college physics classes, and is still used for computing the orbits of satellites around the earth, and probes to the outer solar system.

So if someone says "the science is settled" the only rational meaning of that is "We have sufficient understanding to work with our understanding. We can no longer put out head in the sand and play innocent and say we know what we're doing."

Richard Lindzen also made public statements against the idea that smoking causes lung cancer, and that's another place most people think the "science is settled", yet it is obvious to anyone that some smokers will die of lung cancer at age 50 while others can live past 100 so "cause" is clearly too strong of a word, not like "cause and effect", but a risk factor. So you can't say what's going to happen if you smoke 6 packs of cigarettes a day for 40 years, but you can say there's a higher chance of getting lung cancer than if you merely breath in average sooty air in a city in China, or maybe not. We don't know, but at least you have a choice in the first case, while you're more trapped by civilization on the second.

It would be GREAT if we had 7 billion earths, and we could run global warming experiments, and the inhabitants of each world could agree to their choice we could and see how much CO2 we can add to the atmosphere without causing irreversible warming, and we could see how many centuries that warming would stay before natural processes lowered the CO2 again and see what short of biosphere can exist in that new environment, and see how many humans it can support.

And it is similar to the lung cancer problem in that once the consequences on any specific "experiment" are cooked, there's a high cost at the end if we don't like it. And if most of the unwanted consequences don't happen for decades, it is easy to stay in denial, and mock anyone who claims we know enough to say we're adding to the overall risks of future misery.

Myself, I can say climate change is more of a 3rd level problem. The first problem we have is economic (our economic system needs constant growth to not collapse). Our second level problem is resource depletion (we have to keep spending more and more one-time energy to extra lower and lower grade resources). And third environmental (destruction of rainforests, and pollution and net CO2 gains in the atmosphere and oceans.)

I rank those problems based on when they are going to affect our "happy days" the soonest. So we're already hitting our economic limits because high growth in established economies require an even higher growth of debt. And yet, we're still EXTREMELY wealthy compare to every time in the past, even if only because we're able to extract more energy per year than every time past.

And so we prefer to solve problem one by pushing it into problem two, and solve problem two by pushing it to problem three. And in this sense it is silly to talk about problem 3 UNLESS we also acknowledge it only exists because of problems 1 and 2, and we don't know how to solve those.

If we want to play Titanic, we can say "Full speed forward", and maybe we can blame the Muslims when we hit an iceberg? Or the Mexican farm laborers? As long as we can find a scapegoat we can avoid seeing our own participation in madness.

trigger warning said...

"A straw man is a common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while refuting an argument that was not advanced by that opponent..."

In testimony to Congress,
"The science is settled, Gore told the lawmakers..."
--- NPR (3/21/07)


Anonymous said...

AO: What would you do if irrefutable evidence emerged that the climate change hypothesis was a hoax?

Anonymous said...

--> Paul Watson, Animal Rights Activist & Co-Founder of Greenpeace (he was kicked out of the organization):
"There's nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win. Then you write the history." -2002

Ares Olympus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ares Olympus said...

Anonymous said... AO: What would you do if irrefutable evidence emerged that the climate change hypothesis was a hoax?

I think its more useful to argue environmentalism as a religion more than a hoax. However I can see once you have true believers in anything, someone else is happy to co-opt the language for a different purpose like personal greed.

We might ask "What would you do if irrefutable evidence emerged that the smoking-causes-lung-cancer hypothesis was a hoax?"

If these questions were merely one-sided, I might have sympathy for the oppressed people who are no longer able to smoke in indoor public settings. But the reality is there is greed on the side of encouraging more smokers and they have a vested interest in suppressing and obfuscating evidence that they don't want people to think about.

And so if you add up all the collective risks from a behavior, you don't need conspiracy theory to protect your denial. You can say "If this issue is slightly exaggerated, there are still enumerable other negative risks as well to consider."

I am still suprised that we get away with such high taxes on cigarettes, and for climate change I'd lean the same way - national carbon taxes are the economists way of tipping the playing field towards a better future, while waiting for the deniers to die off. And we can add excises taxes against countries who don't institute their own carbon taxes.

Someday our lucky descendants might thank us for leaving an economy that can function without fossil fuels. Certainly we won't be burning coal on Mars, even if we found 2 billion year old coalbeds there just below the surface, since there's no free oxygen to burn it. We've been living off a "free lunch" for 200 years, and we now don't know any better.

Someday we're going to have to learn how to live on renewable energy resources, and so if climate change is only 1/10 as bad as some fear, we'd still be on the correct path.

Expecting our descendants can and will make sacrifices we're unwilling to make is immature and selfish, but mostly its the behavior an average drug addict.

Ares Olympus said...

Anonymous said... --> Paul Watson, Animal Rights Activist & Co-Founder of Greenpeace (he was kicked out of the organization): "There's nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win. Then you write the history." -2002

Hey Anon, I looked that up, and found an article from Watson, if you're willing to trust the words of the person you're condemning by a quote with no context:
... The fact is that neither Sea Shepherd or I have ever injured a single human being, we have never been convicted of a felony nor we have never even been sued. Yet he makes an accusation that I routinely resort to “physical violence” against humans to save an animal. As it happens our campaigns are not designed to “save an animal.” The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is an anti-poaching organization and our objective is to uphold international conservation law against illegal activities. We don’t protest, we intervene.

Beck then adds that I made the statement that “there’s nothing wrong with being a terrorist, as long as you win. Then you write the history.” I did say this but in quite a different context than Beck would have Americans believe.

I said in a lecture that history is not to be trusted because the winners write the history and their version does not favor the losers. Thus Sir Winston Churchill would have been condemned as a terrorist if Hitler had won the war and “terrorists” are not “terrorists” is we agree with them. "One man’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter.” It’s a valid observation and does not mean that I have ever advocated terrorism.

trigger warning said...

"Someday our lucky descendants might thank us for leaving an economy that can function without fossil fuels."

Youre mistaking our "descendants" for our forebears. That was the period between the Pleistocene and the Industrial Revolution when the average life span was about 45, public health was basically nonexistent, and disease was rampant. Windmills were very popular in the 13th Century.

Ares Olympus said...

trigger warning said... You're mistaking our "descendants" for our forebears. That was the period between the Pleistocene and the Industrial Revolution when the average life span was about 45, public health was basically nonexistent, and disease was rampant. Windmills were very popular in the 13th Century.

It is very confusing when so-called conservatives don't believe in conserving things.

You complain about liberal hysteria but use the same strawman arguments they use.

So-called liberals have at least some dignity, saying (with some hypocrisy) "Live simply so others can simply live" while your position is more like "I deserve my private jet for my weekend trips to Vegas, if I can afford it, because without my consumption civilization would collapse and poor people will die if there's a higher fuel tax on my jet."

If such problems were easy, we've have solved them already. The fact that they're hard (and likely impossible in relation to our current demands), doesn't mean we should just give up and run off every cliff we can find because we don't know any other for lemmings to live.