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2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #4

Posted on 28 January 2018 by John Hartz

Breaking News... Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... SkS in the News... John Cook Quoted... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus...

Breaking News...

Donald Trump appears to misunderstand basic facts of climate change in Piers Morgan interview

Donal Trump and Piers Morgan

Donald Trump has expressed doubts over the existence of climate change, as it is understood by the vast majority of scientists.  

After proclaiming his belief in “clean air and clean water”, the US President questioned some of the central tenets of climate science in an interview with Piers Morgan.

Mr Trump also repeated previous statements that he could “go back” into the Paris climate agreement, but said that he would only make such a decision if he could get “a good deal” for the US.

US President Donald Trump dismisses climate change and global warming in a TV interview this evening where he justifies leaving the Paris Accord because it was "a disaster" for America.

In a rambling and somewhat incoherent response to questions from Piers Morgan. He says, "There is a cooling, and there's a heating. I mean, look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming. That wasn't working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place.

"The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they're setting records. They're at a record level." 

Donald Trump appears to misunderstand basic facts of climate change in Piers Morgan interview by Josh Gabbatiss, The Independent, Jan 27, 2018

Story of the Week...

Reckoning with climate change will demand ugly tradeoffs from environmentalists — and everyone else

Nuclear Power Plant 

Climate change is a crisis. Serious damages are already underway, there’s enough carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to ensure more damages to come, and if carbon emissions continue unchecked, species-threatening damages become a non-trivial risk.

Lots of people acknowledge this. But it’s one think to acknowledge it and another to really take it on board, to follow all the implications wherever they lead. Very few people have let the reality of the situation sink in deep enough that it reshapes their values and priorities. Being a consistent climate hawk, it turns out, is extremely difficult.

Let’s take a look at an example of what I’m talking about, and then pull back to ponder the broader problem. 

Reckoning with climate change will demand ugly tradeoffs from environmentalists — and everyone else by David Roberts, Energy & Environmnet, Vox, Jan 27, 2018 

Toon of the Week...

2018 Toon 4 

Quote of the Week...

Just a year into his term, President Trump has already gained a reputation for being staunchly anti-science, with his administration recently described as showing “greater distain for science” than any other in modern history. Every day, it seems, there is a new report of the administration reducing public access to scientific information, cutting funding for scientific research, or downplaying the views of qualified scientists. To keep track of these developments, the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, in association with the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, today launched a new Silencing Science Tracker (SST).

The SST is intended as a comprehensive record of government attempts to “silence science” since the November 2016 election. By recording all attempts in a single database, the SST enables users to easily see the myriad of ways in which scientific research and discussion are being undermined by government, and (hopefully) take action in response. This is vital as, in the words of Michael Gerrard, Faculty Director of the Sabin Center:

Scientific knowledge is the very foundation of all environmental regulation. When the government ignores science, it’s like a truck driver who wears a blindfold and drives based on what is whispered into his ear — dangerous and intolerable. The vital work of scientists must be supported, made public, and listened to. When government officials block this, we plan to shine a harsh light. 

New Silencing Science Tracker Launched by The Sabin Center and Climate Science Legal Defense Fund by Romany Webb, Climate Law Blog, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, Jan 19, 2018

Graphic of the Week...

State of the Global Climate 2017 

WMO confirms 2017 among the three warmest years on recordWMO Press Release, Jan 18, 2018

SkS in the News...

In his Independent article, Donald Trump appears to misunderstand basic facts of climate change in Piers Morgan interview, Josh Gabbatiss references and links to:  

Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming, Cook et al, Environmental Research LettersVolume 11Number 4, Published 13 April 2016 

John Cook Quoted...

From Monthly Messenger: Could Inoculation be the Cure to Climate Denial? posted by the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL): 

A separate study conducted by John Cook – author of the “Debunking Handbook,” which addresses how to debunk myths – resulted in similar findings. Cook’s study found that highlighting scientific consensus could increase people’s perceived consensus on a topic. This reduces the impact of misinformation. Many people believe that the most appropriate way to address false information is to not discuss the myth, rather to only highlight the facts. However, Cook’s research found it is best to address misinformation head on.

“You can’t talk around it; otherwise it persists. What’s important is to lead with the facts — the facts are the headline — then introduce the myth, and then explain why it’s wrong.” –John Cook  

From Dino Grandoni's Washington Post article, The Energy 202: Republicans love NASA. But why do they doubt its climate science?:

But the love for NASA doesn't mean the GOP embraces the agency's stance on climate science.Last year, only 18 percent of Republicans said they worried a great deal about climate change, according to Gallup.

The incongruity between support for the space agency and its climate warnings stems from a "crucial tension in conservative attitudes towards climate change, according to John Cook, a research assistant professor at the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University.

“On the one hand, there is respect for scientific institutions like NASA,” Cook wrote by email. “On the other hand, acceptance of human-caused global warming is low.”

Photo of the Week...


Trump Officials, Energy Execs Speak Together at Conference Sponsored by Climate Denier Groups by Itai Vardi, DeSmog, Jan 25, 2018

Coming Soon on SkS...

  • State of the climate: how the world warmed in 2017 (Zeke)
  • Natural gas killed coal - now renewables and batteries are taking over (Dana)
  • Is warming in the Arctic behind this year’s crazy winter weather? (Jennifer Francis)
  • Guest Post (John Abraham )
  • New research this week (Ari)
  • 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #5 (John Hartz)
  • 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5 (John Hartz)

Poster of the Week...

2018 P0ster 4 

SkS Week in Review... 

97 Hours of Consensus...

97 Hours: Mark Cochrane 

Mark Cochrane's bio page and Quote source 

High resolution JPEG (1024 pixels wide)


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Comments 1 to 6:

  1. "After proclaiming his belief in “clean air and clean water”, the US President questioned some of the central tenets of climate science in an interview with Piers Morgan."

    Despite this, Trump has begun dismantling Obama’s clean water rules. The contradictory,  two faced nonsense he speaks is just incredible.

    "The ice caps were going to melt, they were going to be gone by now, but now they're setting records. They're at a record level."

    Some people like Trump have great difficulty separating out short term climate noise, for example a one year 'recovery' in ice levels,  from longer term trends of declining ice cover. I dont know why, and with Trump he just seems to take simple statements on face value if he likes the person delivering the message. Or perhaps some people just have trouble differentiating between short and long term trends, and I'm becoming increasingly convinced of this.

    Or perhaps some people resent carbon taxes and government rules, and lifestyle changes, so deny the science, possibly without even realising they are doing this.

    I havent really seen any investigation claiming a single reason stated for the climate denial, and it may just be a combination of these things.

    There are of course much blunter ways of putting all this.

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  2. The likes of Trump are reacting to the environment they developed in. Their unjustifiable attitudes and actions are encouraged to develop in competition to 'appear to be superior to others - any way that can be gotten away with'.

    Popularity and profitability are lousy measures of acceptability.

    The reality is that there are many people with over-developed and unsustainable perceptions of superiority, prosperity and opportunity. They are the reason that serious action to correct the direction of economic development did not occur when the unsustainable and damaging reality of the unanatural economic developments was identified decades ago.

    Humanity's only path to a sustainable future requires low-tolerance for people who are Big Winners to deliberately be incorrectly aware or misunderstand important understandings. Those types of undeserving winners need to be Losers until they 'Learn to Care to Change Their Minds'.

    This is not Rocket Science. Any business that would allow its Leaders to be incorrectly aware or misunderstand what is actually going on has no real future. Any perception of Winning those types of Winners/Leaders develop will never last. Unfortunately they can do a lot of damage if their removal from influence is delayed by Successful Poor Excuses (Good Reason would remove them from their Winning - only Poor Excuses can support them as Winners).

    The early thinkers about free market capitalism who were concerned about the potential for marketing to distort things and develop damaging results were clearly correct (many early thoughts in England were that advertising should be restricted to the inside of the shop that was selling an item or service - no mass-marketing allowed).

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  3. The power of marketing. Facebook designed to be addictive:

    Phones, cars, and high carbon consumption all the same. Designed and marketed to be addictive.

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  4. Few people that support Trump can adequately explain global warming, even the basics. Just hand one you know in real life a sheet of paper with a semi-circular "sun" on the left and "Earth" on the right, and watch them utterly flounder to explain even the least of the basic ideas underlying the theory.

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  5. Trump will have one and maybe two terms in office if he's lucky, so I can't see his impact on US emissions being in any way significant in the long term.  Actually, if there is real economic merit in advnacing renewable energy solutions then Trump will be on board anyway, so ironically his legacy might actually turn out to be positive for climate change mitigation in the USA.  Personally, I'm more concerned about emissions growth in the developing world, and along with that other extreme emvironmental impacts stemming mostly from unsustainable population.  Net CO2 emissions from OECD countries have peaked and are now tracking slowly downwards, whereas non-OECD emissions are rising stratospherically.  

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  6. Art Vandela@5,

    While total population is a concern, the real concern is the highest consuming and impacting portion of the total population.

    I share the concern about developing nations following the damaging and unsustainable development part of the supposedly most advanced nations, because many of those supposedly more advanced have developed to massive unsustainable over-consumption and negative impacts.

    But I identify the real problem as the individuals whose way of living and earning a living make them the largest consumers and highest impacting people. They can be found in every nation (higher percentages of them in the populations of the supposedly more developed/advanced nations).

    It is members of that group that clearly will need to be forced to behave better; the ones who choose not to sacrifice a potential for personal benefit to help advance all humanity to a sustainable better future, leading by example by being the lowest negative impacting people on the planet (being the lowest impacting because they can afford that way of living while working to charitably improve the cost-effectiveness of everyone living that more responsible way is developed, especially acting to charitably help developing nations go directly to more responsible ways of living).


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