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SkS Analogy 1 - Speed Kills: How fast can we slow down?

Posted on 15 February 2022 by Evan

Tag line

How fast can we slow down?

Elevator Statement

You are a city planner leading a land-use transition project to convert a densely-packed neighborhood into a major road. You have three options.

  • 100-year plan: buy up houses as they come up for sale and remove them. When only a few houses remain, condemn them, move the families, and build the road.
  • 10-year plan: rely less on buying, more on condemnation, forcibly moving families.
  • 1-year plan: rely completely on condemning houses, forcibly moving families.

Aligning the land-use transition —as much as possible— with the natural cycle of people periodically moving out of the neighborhood, minimizes the pain. Unfortunately, the longer we wait to act the less likely this option becomes.

Climate Science

Many plans are being proposed for ramping down GHG emissions to reach net zero by 2050. Beyond the technical issues of what to do, it is unclear how long it will take to implement solutions being proposed and how much resistance will be encountered. In recent decades the deployment of renewable energy has risen rapidly around the world, giving hope that we are turning a significant page in the fight against Global Warming and Climate Change (GW/CC). Are these early successes an indication of how rapidly we will reach net zero, or merely reminders of how easy it is to pick low-hanging fruit? Will the realization of net-zero emissions be controlled by technological or sociological limits?

Will we bend the Keeking Curve over?

Co-existence is easy and fast: replacement is hard and slow

Wind turbines are sprouting up here and there. Texas is the largest US oil and gas producing state. Yet in 2020, 20% of its electricity generation was from wind (read here). Why is wind power popular in a state known for fossil-fuel production? Because wind turbines make financial sense to the power companies running them and for the land-owners hosting them. It is a financial issue, because states like Texas are not known for actively encouraging renewable energy over fossil fuels. Apparently, however, there is tolerance for their co-existence.

Locating wind turbines where there are business opportunities is one thing. Deploying renewable energy with the goal of displacing existing fossil-fuel plants on a decadal time scale is another. There are simply too many vested interests to untangle for there not to be resistance. The faster we decarbonize the energy sector, the more resistance we can expect. Sociological “speed limits” may dictate how rapidly we decarbonize civilization. Read here about opposition to renewable energy facilities in the United States.

Globally, the rise of renewable energy appears to be co-existing with fossil-fuel power plants rather than displacing them, with incremental replacement and early retirement of some coal plants. This is evidenced by the steady, upward acceleration of the Keeling Curve which up to 2021 reveals no hint of the rapid growth of renewable energy.

Crossing the Chasm

It is difficult to forecast deep penetration of a product or technology into society based on  rapid penetration into a population of early adopters. Even though renewable energy has ramped up rapidly in the last couple of decades, supplementing traditional power-generation and transportation with renewables is one thing: supplanting them is quite another. Reaching net zero is not about a quick ramp-up, but instead about deep penetration that requires crossing the chasm between early adopters and the broader population. This not only takes time, it demands a different approach. Early adopters seek out new tech. But many in the broader population will be slow to embrace new tech, preferring that which is known and comfortable. Trusted role models can help others feel comfortable supporting new initiatives and new tech: whether in the voting booth or in the markets.

Other headwinds slowing down rapid, deep penetration

  • Preparing new technology for wide deployment takes time.
  • Deploying new technology takes time, because of limitations of funds and materials. Batteries and electric motors require materials that exist in limited supplies and often come with political and sociological overtones that further limit their supply. There may be material limitations on how rapidly we can deploy new technologies.
  • Those with vested interests in propagating our dependence on fossil fuels will often oppose the transition to renewable energy.
  • Supply-chain issues related to the Covid pandemic illustrate how unanticipated bottlenecks can occur, increase costs, and slow things down.

Baseline Emissions

Burning fossil fuels in vehicles, buildings, and power plants is perhaps the most recognized link between human activity and GW/CC. Many people probably think that once we pivot to a renewable-energy based society that the GW/CC problem is mostly solved, and what remains is a “mopping-up” activity. But much of the remaining problem comes from agricultural-based emissions, many of which are not easily eliminated. These Baseline Emissions on their own constitute unacceptable GHG emission rates (read here). To achieve net-zero emissions, we will likely need Negative Emissions Technology (NET) to counter Baseline Emissions.

Whether or not we can deploy sufficient NET systems by 2050 to counter Baseline Emissions is an open question for a couple of reasons. As of 2022, NET is not ready for widespread deployment. Another problem is that NET has no immediate benefit, and therefore presents itself as a new tax. We will pay for NET deployment and operation, but will receive no immediate benefit. There will certainly be push-back from those required to pay for its operating costs year after year after year.

Laissez-faire attitude and competing interests

If you live in an area not yet strongly affected by climate change, you may be less supportive of efforts to reach net-zero than scientists and policy-makers who are well aware of the dangers, or those with first-hand experience of the dangers. News reports are not as compelling to take action as is personal loss. Even those personally affected by GW/CC will not necessarily support action to combat it, especially if it means de-emphasizing other issues about which they are passionate. Dealing with GW/CC is a long-term issue with no immediate benefit. Other issues about which a person is passionate likely have much shorter time horizons and more immediate “payback”.

Lifestyle to which we’ve become accustomed

Many were born into a high-carbon lifestyle and learned later about its threat to life on Earth. Good people transitioning their lifestyles and habits takes time. Accelerating such transitions demands strong impetus and consistent support.

Achieving net-zero emissions is more about revolution than evolution (watch video here). To summon the courage to not only change our lifestyle, but to encourage others to do the same, requires reliable information and trusted role models to motivate us. Courage is needed to endure the scorn and derision faced from skeptics within our social spheres. This is difficult. The message that we can transition to net-zero without some level of sacrifice, pain, and adjustment does not properly prepare us for the task ahead, which requires decades of consistent, hard work to accomplish. If net-zero is achievable, it will take time, effort, and perseverance to pivot from high- to low-carbon lifestyles. You can help by educating yourself about GW/CC and then discussing these issues with your friends.

You must become a trusted role model.

So, what do we do?

By reading this long-winded post and making it this far down the page you're already doing more than most, and you're obviously interested in doing the right thing.

Tackling the climate issue in a matter of decades requires broad public support for the initiates presented by policy makers. You can help by talking about GW/CC with others.

  • Explain that it’s an inter-generational issue vital for the well-being of your friends' children and grandchildren.
  • Explain that in wealthy, developed countries that we must reduce consumption and not expect renewable energy sources to maintain our current lifestyles.
  • Encourage your friends to support the initiatives that will come. There are armies of scientists and engineers working on the technical issues, but they need broad public support for their ideas to become solutions.
  • Support politicians in the voting booths who support climate initiatives.

It takes time to educate people and to get everyone on board for a common cause, especially in an age of “Alternative Facts” and proliferation of conspiracy theories. Appealing misinformation spreads like wildfire: truth often diffuses slowly. We need your help to spread the truth.

Thanks for your support by reading this blog. Tell us in the Comments section below your ideas for how we can reduce GHG emissions.

Let’s get this done!


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Comments 1 to 50 out of 103:

  1. Thank's Evan. Imo those are very realistic, well grounded comments and good advice.

    Mitigatating the climate problem is also made difficult by the issue discussed here: "Humans Wired to Respond to Short-Term Problems Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert argues that humans are exquisitely adapted to respond to immediate problems, such as terrorism, but not so good at more probable, but distant dangers, like global warming."

    The ideas seem convincing to me. Not sure what the solution to that is, and sorry for being a bit doomy, but people will generally support things with cost advantages and multiple immediate advantages beyond just mitigating climate change, and solar power, wind power and improving affordability of EV's and PHEV's all have such characteristics. While we should solve the climate problem for noble reasons, the almighty $ seems to be the thing driving the most observable actual changes.

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  2. Why are so many of the articles on this site not based on science.  The climate crises narrative is falling apart faster then Biden presidency but this site doesn't step up and counter the arguments.  To win the argument there has to be direct rebuttal of the articles (especially the peer reviewed) that are shredding climate science as nothing more than voodoo.  Just ignoring the alternative research is vacating the field for the other side.  Maybe updating the climate myths section would be a good place to start, as the content is not very sophtiscated, out of date and does not address the topics and evidence being discussed today

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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Welcome to Skeptical Science!  Every single article and rebuttal here is based on the science, complete with citations and links to the sources cited.  Since you are unfamiliar with the site, first read this post and then this post.  Then if you still have questions, place those questions on the most appropriate post (using the Search function in the upper left area of every page); thousands of posts exist, all with active comments sections.  It would be best to first read the comments section of the post you place a question on in addition to the post itself, to avoid replication of already-answered questions.

    Should you still feel a particle article or rebuttal is in error, you are welcome to submit suggestions for improvement via the process described by Doug Bostrom.  Merely saying "nuh-uh" is insufficient, in a science-based and evidence-based forum such as this.  What this means is that ventured opinions still need to be based on reputable research appearing in the published, peer-reviewed literature.  Failing that, opinions carry little weight here.

    Please construct all future comments to conform to this site's Comments Policy, as this is a moderated forum.  Enjoy your time here!

    Ideology snipped.

  3. Speaking of analogies, SkS is kind of like open source software (OSS).

    If one wants a new feature or a bugfix in OSS, one can ask a developer politely and constructively. Notably, whining blended with complaining won't work.

    But very often the fastest and surest way to improvement of OSS is to author and submit code, if one has the skills to do that.

    Santalives, this is an all-volunteer operation. We work hard to keep the site up to snuff but there is more work to be done than available labor. We can use more help. Audition to become a volunteer by revising a myth rebuttal you find objectionable according to your wishes and standards, then emailing your work to our contact address. Short of that, you could identify some particular, specific issues and do a little legwork in the background, pass the results along. Even a little bit of sincere effort would be appreciated, and quite possibly genuinely useful. 

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  4. Santalives @2 , you seem in an argumentive mood, yet you have (so far) failed to provide any substance to your comments.  Perhaps you could be kind enough to give some of the "not based on science"  examples you were maybe thinking of?

    # Please note this website favors specific reasoned posts, each placed in the most suited individual thread already existing.  Not a general rant or Gish Gallop of umpteen points.  I would suggest you make one, maybe two separate posts . . . and then proceed to play your remaining 50 cards or so, one at a time, once your first cards have been well discussed.

    AFAICT, this SkS website is an excellently efficient source of scientific information (and many links) for those who wish to educate themselves rapidly about climate science.  Many of the "Climate Myths" articles [see top left of page] are a decade old, yet still highly relevant and providing useful links as well as more recent discussion in the attached comments columns.  Remember, much of the climate science has been "settled" for a long time ~ and you won't need much updating to get to "today".

    This SkS website is not about politics of the partisan type.  Solutions & education are sometimes discussed (as in the above article), but mostly SkS is simply about the science of climate.  For myself, I have visited dozens of "climate" websites over the years . . . and find SkS gives the broadest coverage of the science spectrum.  If you have found a better one, please inform me !

    Santalives, if you want to argue "the politics", then you might like to head over to WattsUpWithThat  blogsite.  You won't find much genuine science there - but you will find plenty of angry arguing, mixed in with shoddy or deluded junk science . . . plus a lot of conspiracy theories . . . plus many Flat-Earth-style greenhouse deniers.  You will find it interesting in a psychiatric way, but you will likely find it disappointing if you are hoping for actual political effectiveness.

    # Santalives , it would also be good if you could supply (and discuss) some of the "alternative research"  you mentioned.  For many years I have been looking for genuine research which challenges/overthows the mainstream climate science . . . but nothing genuine found !   Yes, lots of half-baked ideas and (baseless) speculative hypotheses . . . but in the end, they all fail.  Sadly, the mainstream science has not been successfully challenged.

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  5. Santalives is probably a denialist, engaging in some fairly obvious trolling. No warmist or genuine truth seeker would start by saying "The climate crises narrative is falling apart faster then Biden presidency but..." He just wants this website to post lots of articles and details of sceptical research studies on the basis that "all publicity is good publiciity." Dont fall for it. It might be worth looking at just the very occasional sceptical study that raises something genuinely new, and that isn't obvious rubbish. Nothing more.


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  6. Nigelj , you intrigue me.  What are these "sceptical studies"  you mention?  If they prove genuine science, then they get incorporated into the mainstream climate science.  If they turn out to fall flat on their face, as junk science . . . then they get forever reincarnated at WattsUpWithThat   ;-)  

    Nigelj , perhaps we are merely differing on definitions !

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  7. Nigelj@1, agree with your note about how we are wired to respond to immediate threats. But we do respond, at least if we are constantly reminded of the consequences. Many habits do not cause problems until later in life, but we are reminded of the consequences by people who made not-so-good choices 30 years ago and are only now facing the consequences. This motivates those of us trying to make better choices now.

    Hopefully the same will work with GW/CC. Already some are experiencing the consequences of our emissions 30 years ago. There is likely nothing we can do about the emissions we've incurred over the last 30 years. But as they play out, they will be a constant reminder of what will happen 30 years from now if we don't scale back. So, in a sense, the consequences of GW/CC that we increasingly see happening now should provide the kind of impetus needed to make better and better choices.

    That is, for us to effectively respond to future threats, there likely needs to be a certain amount of discomfort now to motivate effective, long-term action.

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  8. In the collaborative spirit, may I make an observation? I like the idea of exploring the practical implications of a 100 year plan vs the 1 year plan of urban relocation for a road, but as most will attest, removing neighborhoods for a big road project really has incredibly bad vibes as a metaphor. Can't we come up with some better metaphors to get the point across? Here are a few ideas, but really this is your metaphor, so I leave the details for you to come up with some more positive role models than one that implies a top-down railroading of an idea down people's throats that is implied with a neighborhood-splitting road project.:

    -Looking at how changing fee structures and allocating bandwidths to new technologies, among other things, allowed for a revolutionary transition from landlines to smartphone communication networks.

    -Looking at various models of urban planning: growth guided by zoning and policies vs unregulated slums created by depopulation of the rural countrysides, punctuated by clearing those slums in order to create some big building zone designed to enrich the developers.

    -model ways of restoring habitat that incorporates local cultures vs projects where those groups are displaced in favor of extractive projects from abroad, with little regard to the environmental consequences.

    Some of the key things to keep in mind are equitable participation in the benefits as well as the issue of externalizing the costs while privatising the benefits, etc., etc. So you're right: people will put up with a considerable amount of discomfort if they see it is for the greater good, of benefit for future generations, etc. Picking the right metaphors could be one key for their perceiving themselves as benefitting from the changes vs being one of the victims of it.

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  9. wilddouglascounty@8 Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I will readily switch to a new metaphor if it seems appropriate, and I appreciate you offering a menu of suggestions. Thanks.

    Part of the reason I picked the land-use change metaphor is that I specifically want to include some level of "hurt" and undesirability. I don't believe we will get out of our climate mess without people making sacrifices that include getting by with fewer conveniences and overall consuming less. Whereas many GW/CC skeptics/deniers say that a switch to renewable energy will ruin our economy, and whereas leading organizations are proclaiming that we can maintain "robust economic growth" while reaching net-zero by 2050 (read the IEA report here), I interpret effective solutions as a mixture of these two views. The degree to which the transition will hurt depends on the time frame involved. Please understand that I am only talking about the pain associated with the transition. Obviously the longer we take to fix the climate mess, the worse it will be for future generations. I am not dealing with that issue here. Only the pain associated with the transition itself. That is, how fast can we slow down?

    If we set a longer time horizon (e.g. more than 50 years) for reaching net zero, then we could possibly maintain "robust economic growth". If we try to reach net zero in 10 years, then we are likely to ruin our economy by trying to accelerate reasonable depreciation schedules so that we prematurely absolecing goods that still have useable lives. Given the 25-year time frame that is being advertized (I am rounding down a bit from 28 years), IMO, we are somewhere in the range where what we are being asked to do will hurt a lot more than I see being advertized. So I like an analogy that implies hurt, even though I agree that whereas we are trying to stabilize climate, road-building does not necessarily convey the same warm fuzzy feelings that building a renewable-energy based society does.

    I will consider your suggestions for a different metaphor.

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  10. Eclectic @6, yes we are probably just differing on definitions. Junk science would describe what I was getting at just fine. I think its useful for this website to occasionally review the failings of such papers, but not too often because it starts to give them free publicity. And the points they raise are often rather arcane and of interest to a minority of people. Imho its still important to put most effort into  rebuting the well established denialist myths, that seem to persist for decades, like zombies.

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  11. nigelj, you are right I should provide real examples.  First let me explain myself as you accuse me being a denier and trolling.  I use to be a what would be a climate alarmist, sucked into the whole thing, world is going to end in 12 years blah, blah.  A friend told me to get a grip and challenged me to learn the other sides arguments.  Can't say that turned me from Alarmist to a Denier but more a skeptic of all of it.  What I get frustrated with is puff pieces or exaggerated alarmist claims that  are easy fodder to get shredded on denier sites.  What is I see on sites like wuwt they will publish peer reviewed climate science and debate it, but I don't see much of that on climate change sites.   I would like to see this site publishing article like this  Then a informed debate by the many experts who contribute to this site.  

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  12. Santilves. So I was basically right. It would seem reasonable to review the occasional more sensible paper that challenges some aspect of the consensus. However imho this website should not waste time on reviewing endless junk science papers and give them publicity. I cant see much point in endlessly debating settled aspects of climate science.  Should we also have never ending debates on Newtons Laws of motion and the theory of relativity?   

    The study you quote seems a good example of junk science. Anyone with half a brain can see no period of time has had a totally and completely  unchanging climate and that the term climate change refers to big obvious changes that interest us particularly, and the paper you quote is just pedantry. The paper you cite also attempts to argue climate change is caused by water. I stopped reading at that point. Dozens of studies have claimed this sort of thing, and have been shown to be junk science. Why would any sane person read yet another? 


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  13. Santalives@11 What point do you think this paper makes that needs to be debated or discussed? I am interested in what you think is of interest.

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  14. I picked a random example of a paper that questions the climate change narrative.  But my point is there are literally hundreds of peer reviewed papers like this that make it very clear the science is not settled.  If it was settled then these papers would not  be getting written or published.  My point is the article above is jumping to conclusions about climate change if they are set in stone and there is only one course of action.  Where this paper shows the static view of climate only being being controlled by C02 is putting the Cart before the Horse.  Obviously this paper is all about we are studying the wrong thing and ignoring the real climate driver H20, not surprisingly for a Hydrologist.  But my bigger point is why isn't papers like this and all the others not up on this website, being debated?   As he said in the conclusion, ...... 

    Plato and Aristotle clarified the meaning and the ethical value of science as the pursuit of the truth; pursuit that is not driven by political and economic interests. 

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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Sloganeering and off-topic snipped.

  15. Santalives @11 ,

    forgive me for intruding so soon again in this thread.  I was at my desk, sipping my coffee, when your post popped up on screen.  ( Though, from my following comments, you may think I have been sipping lemon juice ! )

    Rather than supplying a paper containing scientific research to challenge mainstream climate science, you have instead supplied a paper [really more a discussion article] which leans toward the philosophic.   Titled:- "Rethinking Climate, Climate Change, and their Relationship with Water." by Demetris Koutsoyiannis ~ an engineer, professor of Hydrology ~ and a name not entirely unknown in the Deniosphere.

    The paper fails to be scientific, despite being dressed up in scientific robes (and including some equations ! ).    Essentially the paper is a leisurely rant and a cri du coeur  by the author, who appears greatly offended by the term "climate change".   Which he describes as a "pleonasm".

    Surprisingly, perhaps "pleonasm"  does not translate well into the Queen's English, from the author's native Greek.  But it is ironic that he takes great exception to a lengthy two-word phrase [climate change] when his own article is of such prolixity that [Nigelj among others] many would not bother to read its entirety.

    #  Accordingly, I recommend that SkS readers save their time, and do not bother reading professor K's paper . . . unless they wish to do so for purposes of wry amusement.  It becomes clear that professor Koutsoyiannis does not understand the basics of climate science, and that he does not wish to.

    For example : buried in the mass of the article, the author states that it is temperature change which predominantly causes CO2 change.

    For example : the author states that land use change "may have much more substantial effects on the entire Earth than the infamous fossil fuel burning".

    For example : the author states that Greenhouse LWRadiation absorption is 19% by carbon dioxide and 75% by water.  Largely true ~ but the good professor seems clueless about the significance of it all.

    #  The paper begins with peripatetic discursiveness.  And often a red flag, when pleonasm  and Hipparchus  are mentioned at the start of an article.  As well as Kolmogorov  later.

    After a great deal of waffle, and an extensive excursion into the 200-year record of precipitation at the city of Bologna . . . the author manages to come to the conclusion that :-  "it can be anticipated that many readers would find this paper useless"

    ...Mmm, I can see Nigelj agreeing with that.  But why did not the paper's reviewers not agree with the author's own conclusion?

    The author's other conclusion of note is :-

    . . . "Climate is not static but dynamic."   And at this point, I see the Nobel Committee putting away their pens and notebooks.



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  16. (continued from @15 ~ and please excuse the typo double negative at one point.  The intended meaning is nevertheless quite clear.)

    Santalives @11 , I agree with you that the media show a great deal of puff pieces and exaggerated alarmism.  But that is not the actual climate science.  The science clearly shows that there are big problems approaching us: kind of like a slow-moving freight train.  But going into denial and closing one's eyes, is not the intelligent way of dealing with the situation.

    Santalives , you seem rather unfamiliar with the blogsite WattsUpWithThat.   I visit it daily ~ and I can assure you that there is extremely little debate on published peer reviewed climate science.  Extracts from reputable journals are scoffed at and ranted at (inbetween the extremist political rants, and the repetitive rants about the "non-existent" Greenhouse Effect).   But I live in hope that someday, some year, WUWT  will uncover some killer evidence that the mainstream climate scientists are wrong.

    There are a few - very few - intelligent & well-informed posters on WUWT.   Istvan and Tillman come to mind ~ but they all have an Achilles Heel.  They do not have the insight to recognise the emotional poison that is spreading all the way up from their heel, and is distorting (via motivated reasoning) their rational processes.  A great pity.  But please note I am not here referring to the small number of rational genuine scientist - Nick Stokes is a prominent example - who all-too-rarely  pop in to the WUWT  comments columns . . . where their scientific accuracy & common sense produce infuriated responses from the denialists.

    Sadly, even a recent paper by Happer & Wijngaarden , is quite misunderstood / misrepresented by the WUWT-ites.  It simply does not overthrow the scientific consensus.

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  17. Santalives @14 ,

    sorry to have cross-posted with your #14.

    I don't know where you get your ideas from.  There is no climate scientist who is saying that climate is only being controlled by CO2.   And there is no climate scientist who ignores H2O .

    Santalives, you have a great deal of education to acquire, on climate.  It seems you are angry about something, and for some reason you have chosen to listen to rubbish coming from non-scientists . . . or from scientists who should know better.  And please take that as a friendly comment.   

    You can find a great deal of knowledge (and relatively  quickly) here at the SkS site.   If you genuinely wish to learn it, then you may well find the science very interesting.  And you will perhaps be able to point out the errors of the friend you mentioned (but he probably doesn't want to understand where he is wrong).

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  18. Santalives @11,
    The exemplar you provide (Koutsoyiannis [2021] 'Rethinking Climate, Climate Change, and Their Relationship with Water') of "publish peer reviewed climate science" which you claim are 'debated' on "sites like WUWT" presents utter nonsense. It is likely a very good exemplar for the utter nonsense served up by denialist sites like WUWT, served up with the aim of diminishing the science, the science which conclusively shows that AGW is a big big problem and needs sorting ASAP and actually should have been sorted many years ago.

    You will note that Koutsoyiannis [2021] is now a year old and was published in a journal entitled 'Water' alongside 136 other articles in Vol 13, Issue 6 of that journal and one of just 3 so far published on a Special Issue "Climate, Water, and Soil" web page. The journal 'Water' is one of 386 titles published by MDPI (including a journal entitled 'Climate' which for some reason Koutsoyiannis did not publish in). MDPI is a controversial publisher who charge the author a significant sum for publication (for Koutsoyiannis [2021] the publishing fee was 2,200 CHf) and don't do a thorough job of peer-review. The reviews of this paper are accessed here. It is a pale imitation of serious scientific publishing.

    (Perhaps I should add here that passing peer-review does not mean the thesis presented has to be correct. Profoundly flawed work that presents an interesting new analysis can still be passed for publication.)

    The true test of a work like Koutsoyiannis [2021] is whether it makes any headway within the science. And the answer to that is, despite its strong conclusions, after a year it has sunk into total obscurity. And within the week it would have been replaced by some other controversial AGW-denying theory at WUWT which will likely be entirely incompatable with the arguments set out by Koutsoyiannis [2021]. And so it goes on.

    You are entirely correct when you write @14 "there are literally hundreds of peer reviewed papers like this" but you are entirely wrong when you assert that such a volume of work "make it very clear the science is not settled." All those papers do not unsettle the settled science.

    Are you truly interested to learn why Koutsoyiannis [2021] is a pack of nonsense?

    If you are, I will give it a proper read. But that it attempts to overturn the entirety of climate science without due indication of that being its aim/conclusion is enough for me to dismiss it out of hand. Such works of obcession are too numerous. Life is too short.

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  19. Santalives@14 Here is an explanation of why CO2 currently controls atmospheric temperature.

    Climate scientists have been well aware for a very long time that waer is a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2. No disagreement there, and nothing to write about.

    Almost everyone in the world knows that H2O condenses when there is too much in the air. As temperature rises the amount of H2O the air can hold also increases. We know this in Minnesota, because in winter the air is dry and in summer it is humid. Therefore, the amount of H2O in the air is controlled by temperature. This is what we refer to as the dew-point temperature. The dew-point temperature is the temperature at which H2O begins to condense.

    If you raise the average temperature, then the dew point temperature can increase (becasue the dew point temperature must stay below the air temperature for H2O not to condense). This means that as the average temperature increases the amount of H2O the air can hold increases. It is temperature that controls the amount of H2O in the air.

    Now we introduce CO2. Add however much CO2 to the air that you want. It will not condense. Add a little CO2 and the average temperature increases. With the increasing temperature, the air holds more H2O. The amount is governed by the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. This is all standard thermodynamics known by engineers and scientists around the world.

    Because H2O will simply condense if you try to add more of it to the air, but CO2 will simply accumulate, it is the CO2 concentration that controls the amount of H2O in the air, and not the other way around. If we lived in an age when something else was causing the temperature to increase, then that something else would control the H2O conentration in the atmosphere. But we live in an age when CO2 is increasing at 2.5 ppm/yr in the atmosphere, and this increase is causing the air temperature to increase, which allows the air to hold more H2O.

    It's all basic physics that has been studied and is well understood by professional climate scientists. There is nothing to write about, nothing to debate. I wrote an analogy about it to explain the physics in lay terms, which you might like (read here).

    This analogy explains that even though water is a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, it is the CO2 that controls the amount of H2O in the atmosphere, and not the other way around.

    It's known science and nothing to debate. We explain this physics at SkS to people like yourself who may be unfamiliar with climate science, but it is not an item for debate or discussion anymore.

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  20. "Hundreds of peer-reviewed papers?" Wow. Hundreds, really? I'm shocked. Such an enormous volume of evidence has gone unnoticed?

    Not all journals are created equal. The predatory kind like outlined earlier by MA Rodger are not worth considering in a world where there is more scientific information than one has time to examine. Journals of that kind are essentially fraudulent. That culls down the number of "papers" to consider.

    There is plenty, however, outside of the junk publish-for-pay rags: the IPCC compiles approximately 14,000 real peer-reviewed science articles to produce a report. It's perhaps not entirely exhaustive, but a very comprehensive survey of all the scientific litterature on the field. A remarkable effort. These reports show where the weight of the evidence points. That's what matters.

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  21. Evan,

    I appreciate the reasons for switching the basis for the analogy from 'sea level rise'.

    My suggestion would be to use the harmfully abused 'eminent domain' claim instead of 'condemning'. The eminent domain argument is the claim that the 'greater good' requires the harmful displacement of others, or that harm done to others is justified, because of a wish to 'develop' something that a portion of the polulation would to benefit from.

    The harm being done to future generations, and less powerful and less fortunate people today, is justified by a similar 'eminent domain' claim by those benefiting today that 'their benefit at the expense of others' is the 'greater good'.

    The harder point to make is to include that the current incortctly developed ways of living need to be undone along with the need to develop sustainable ways of living. The claim that the people perceived to be 'living better superior lives' should not suffer a loss of status is indeed a tragic powerful harmful restance to the required lesrning and changes.

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  22. OPOF, as always, thanks for your input.

    Yes, perhaps "eminent domain" is a more appropriate phrasing. I will consider using it.

    Whereas I agree conceptually with your points that "we need" or "should" do this or that, with CO2 at levels sufficient to take us to 1.7C and 8 billion people pushing the levels higher at an accelerating rate, and with nationalism on the rise, it's difficult for me to see how we're going to change the basic modus operandi of humans. But if we are, the first task is to get those, like yourself, moving in the same, and the correct direction. Even that is a big task. Hopefully when we have the "climate-conscience" people on board and moving together as a unified force, we will be sufficiently large to draw others on the periphery with us.

    That is, after all, why many of us at SkS volunteer our time to get the word out. Thanks for your continued input and suggestions. Hopefully others out there are listening and will come up with some good ideas for how to change basic human nature. :-)

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  23. Evan,

    Ultimately, what is required is education that helps everyone develop increased awareness and improved understanding of how to be less harmful and more helpful to others.

    The effort to educate people that way is more difficult if a person has already developed a preference for acting harmfully based on misunderstandings. The preference for harmful misunderstanding is hard to dislodge. People perceiving that personal benefits can be obtained from delayed learning, prolonged harmful misunderstanding, will be powerfully motivated to fight nonsensically, because common sense won't work for their interests.

    All humans 'always' have the ability to learn. The resistance to learning to be less harmful and more helpful to others is a problem caused by the sociopolitical environment they developed their beliefs and biases in (everyone's thoughts are their developed perceptions, beliefs and biases. A sustainable common sense must be less harmful and more helpful to others).

    That understanding helps expose how harmful it can be to simplistically pursue 'individual interest', 'freedom', or 'nationalism'. But I openly admit that my awareness of that is 'not the norm'. And changing those norms is what is required. That requires helpful collaboration to govern over competition for perceptions of superiority - which can trigger war cries of the 'evil pursuit of World Government' and 'evil Socialists'.

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  24. One action people should take to help reduce the rate of climate change impacts, and ultimately reduce the peak of climate impacts to reduce how much undoing of harm done is required, is to change their recreational activities to reduce artificial power consumption. Examples would be walking, hiking, biking, cross country skiing, kayaking, canoeing, and sailing.

    People should also revise their recreation to not require travel to do it. Doing it close to home is better. Doing it starting from home is best.

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  25. Thanks for the responses but I am little dismayed by the coments that it's all junk science, the science is settled, author is a denier.  Science is never settled, yes they still debate the theory of Relatively. What I find most interesting is however the attacks on the Man, Iooked up his cv its quite impressive.  But to dismiss his paper out of hand as we don't like the topicj, the journal or its peer review is elitism.  As Einstein said 
    No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong. 

     Eclectic @16' look at. wuwt occasionally but it's a bit like a tabloid newspaper most days.  Sometimes there are great articles with good debates but mostly it's a echo chamber, but I think this site might be much the same.  In terms of reading I am making my way through the 2021 papers list from the Notrickszone website


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  26. Santalives@25

    Yes, some science is settled. When Apple decides how to make the iPhone14, I don't think they will entertain debates about the science of how semiconductors works. Your iPhone works because it is based on settled science. Maybe the iPhone 20 will be based on some new methods, but companies like Apple rely on using settled science to make neat gadgets.

    Hold a ball in your hand. Open your hand. What will happen?

    As you noted about Einstein, you cannot "prove" it will fall, but you know it will fall. Would you bet against the ball falling? Only if you're foolish. You can go into a lab day after day after day and show that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Day after day you get the same result. You can't "prove" that the next day CO2 will cause heating when illuminated by infrared radiation, but after the millionth experiment you declare this settled science.

    So this is my last comment to you, because you are being led astray by slick-sounding arguments. There is settled science. It is contained in reference books that engineers use to design all the things that make our society run. Yes, there are advancements. Yes, sometimes the reference books contain errors. But by in large a scientist is one who develops new science. Engineers are the ones who apply settled science to make things.

    If you believe that no science is ever settled, does that mean you will spend time reading papers that say the Earth is flat and that the Sun orbits the Earth? What self-respecting astronomy journal would publish an article questioning whether we really know if the Earth orbits the sun and if it's spherical?

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  27. Santalives @25 , 

    . . . as Evan says, you seem to be getting yourself bogged down with words & definitions.   If the term "settled science" is something that sticks in your craw ~ then simply look at the science itself.  Look at what is happening in the physical world of atoms, molecules, radiations and temperatures.  The real world ~ not the rhetorical world of the propagandists & science-deniers.

    #  And thank you for the link to the list of papers provided by the notrickszone  website (usually referred to as "NTZ").

    From time to time, NTZ  does come out with lists of 100's of papers, which NTZ  alleges do overthrow the mainstream climate science.  It is the "shotgun" approach, intended to impress the hell out of the layman who will never read anything more than the titles of the papers (if even that much).   The layman who wishes to believe that all those 10,000+ scientists (worldwide) are massively wrong.   The layman who doesn't wish to do some thinking (and legwork) for himself.  This is very much the target audience for NTZ.

    So,  Santalives , please have a look in detail at about half-a-dozen  of those NTZ  papers, and get back to the readers here at SkS  when you have identified one or two "killer arguments" from the papers (arguments or lines of evidence that the consensus climate science is wrong in some major way).

    It is fair to warn you that NTZ  has a track record of complete failure in this regard.  (NTZ  loves to "cherry-pick" ~ pick out a tree or two, while ignoring the forest.)

    #  Santalives , if you are not keen on doing a lot of climate reading (as is my impression so far) then you might enjoy viewing some YouTube videos by science reporter PotHoler54 who is a very knowledgeable guy ~ he debunks a lot of junk science & "fake media".   His climate series (now 58 videos) range from 5 - 30 minutes.   You could comfortably do one a day, and get up to speed about the climate controversies.   All of the videos are informative, and most of them are amusingly humorous in parts !

    One of the PotHoler54 videos from 2017 is titled:  "Have 400 papers just DEBUNKED global warming?"    And you guessed it ~ unsurprisingly the list of 400 papers comes via NTZ .

    Another of his videos debunks Christopher Monckton's spurious claims about scientific papers regarding the Medieval Warm Period (MWP).

    You will find PH54 very informative on the misrepresentations and deceptions practised by science-deniers such as Monckton, Heller, and others.

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  28. Hi Evan,  interesting analogy the ball. Knowing the ball will fall does not mean you know why?  Do you subscribe to Newton or Einstein theory of gravity?  It's an interesting off topic discussion as now Einstein's theory is being challenged.  But back to climate science if someone does an experiment that shows c02 is not as powerful a GHG as currently assumed, how do you process that information,.. Re evaluate your theory or ignore it as your assumption is its settled science so we should not be studying it.   Here is such an experiment.   I am hoping we have some real insights to this, has anyone replicated it?  Have the numbers been plugged into the climate models to, assess the Impacts.  I am not niave and remember the cold fusion scam that sucked in the whole world at the time.  But i have been disappointed that most of the responses, on this site seem to confirm the deniers claims that Climate change advocates won't debate, won't accept new data and attack the messenger rather then message. 

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  29. @Santalives

    How about you brush up your climate science knowledge by working through our MOOC "Denial101x - Making sense of climate science denial"? It should help with no longer falling prey to content published on WUWT or NTZ as we explain not just climate science basics but also how and why even those basics still get attacked and denied. We started this year's run last week and this blog post summarizes the content.

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  30. By the way, Santalives , I think you have the wrong idea about "attacks on the Man" ~ I presume you mean Prof. Koutsoyiannis.  He is probably a very nice guy in private life : kind to children and animals.  And presumably the good professor is definitely competent in his field of Hydrology . . . but clearly he is "out of his depth"  [excuse pun]  when it comes to climate science.

    You should be asking:  Why is he out of his depth . . . Why has he not bothered to learn the basic physics of climate?

    Sadly, there is a small group of eminent scientists who speak loudly and confidently . . . but who are to a large extent clueless about the basics of climate.  The marker is ~ that they never have anything of substance to back up their views.   All talk, no hard evidence.   They choose not to see the forest.  There must be some deep emotional current within them, forcing them to embarrass themselves in public (the scientific public stage).

    Yes, Santalives , you are wise not to spend much time at WUWT  blogsite.  The "good debates"  there must be rare ~ and you must have been very lucky to have found some.  For I can't recall seeing even one that had any virtue to it (but perhaps you and I have different standards, eh ).

    #  For my sins, I visit WUWT  frequently.  Partly for entertainment, and neck exercise  [ shaking my head at the stupidities daily on view ].   And it helps reinforce my cynicism about the craziness that human beings are capable of . . . even including some academic professors, most of whom are not Greek.

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  31. Santalives @28 ,

    the paper you link to, does not invalidate the mainstream climate science.

    Nothing new there ~ the laboratory setup does not equate to the Greenhouse Effect found in the real physical world.  I won't criticize it further, than saying it was a waste of time in that respect !

    Santalives , you are not "reading the room"  ~  the people at SkS  are very keen to see new data which could prove the climate science to be wrong.  The problem there is : that no-one (even yourself) has provided any.

    btw , when will you give the results of your careful survey of the handful of NTZ  papers mentioned above?  Evidence, please sir !  Evidence.

    What the SkS  people are of course not wishing to do, is waste time "debating" with Flat-Earther-types who do not supply evidence.  The WUWT  mob are forever claiming no-one debates them . . . but they never supply any valid evidence to back up their (many different & contradictory) ideas.  They are little better than disgruntled Flat-Earthers.  And what Chutzpah they have, saying that they must be right . . . 'cos those horrible scientists won't "debate".

    Well this is all fun & entertainment ~ no trolling whatsoever, eh.  But if you're serious, Santalives, then drop the silly rhetorical games, and get on with supplying the convincing evidence (which you believe may exist somewhere).  Best of luck in your search !

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  32. Eclectic 11 @25.   Sorry Never watched a climate change video.  Only take my information from Peer reviewed papers.  You might notice the ntz are all peer reviewed Published papers.  If you are looking for knock-out paper, it won't exist,  but there is an awful lot that shows we are not in a climate crises, it's not 1 minute to midnight and the world is not going to end in 2030.  I would like to see some sensible debate about the science and what it actually means. 

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  33. @Baerbellw.  It is not the site, whether this one wuwt Or ntz its the content of peer reviewed science that is published.  So far all I have seen denialism that there is any science that challenges the orthodoxy.  If this site was really about skeptical science it would have every climate science paper, but it really just appears to be a echo chamber of alarmists views that refuse to even read other papers.  

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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please refrain from name-calling and start addressing the responses of others to provide credible evidence for your claims.  In this venue, ideologies are checked at the door, leaving the focus on the scientific evidence to support claims.

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right. This privilege can and will be rescinded if the posting individual continues to treat adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

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  34. Santalives @32  . . .  yes, very droll.

    And yes, I have already noticed that those NTZ  papers do not show any evidence which overthrows the consensus climate science.  Despite their speleothem isotopes and strontium/calcium ratios.

    Strike One, against you.

    Is there any evidence ~ any at all ~ that you can produce to show that all the climate scientists are wrong?  Well, it shouldn't take you more than a day or so to produce . . .  for yourself, as a maven of published scientific papers !

    The smart money is on : Strike Two, against you.

    Let's look ahead to Ball Three  (which the Moderators may suggest you play on a thread more appropriate to such discussions).   And while you are having a few practice swings at home . . . I will remind you that no climate scientist has stated the world is going to end in 2030.

    And remind you that your "1 minute to midnight"  reference actually applied to pending nuclear warfare  [readers at a later date will ~ I hope ~ have largely forgotten about the current brinkmanship of the Ukraine crisis].

    But first, Santalives , you need to define what is meant by "climate crises"  [unquote].

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  35. This is a run through the input of commenter Santalives (a curious name to chose as Santa is known to be buried in Bari, Italy) down this comment-thread. It may be useful given the mercurial argumentation being presented.

    @2 we are told that there are "articles (especially the peer reviewed) that are shredding climate science" although quite where these were was not made plain.
    @11 we are told it is "sites like wuwt" which "publish peer reviewed climate science and debate it" and an exemplar of this literature is given - Koutsoyiannis (2021) 'Rethinking Climate, Climate Change, and Their Relationship with Water'. This paper sets out a denialist thesis and isn't worth the paper it would be written on if you bought a paper version of it.
    @14 it was explained that this exemplar paper was "picked at random" but there are "literally hundreds of peer reviewed papers like this that make it very clear the science is not settled." Yet they go undebated at SkS.
    @25 it is argued that branding Koutsoyiannis (2021) as nonsense is not good enough and it deserves to be properly rebutted because "science is never settled" and can be overturned by new research with the Einstein quote that "a single experiment can prove me wrong". And dozens of papers showing new research which is perhaps doing that 'overturning' is featured at NoTrickZone rather than WUWT. NTZ actually has a second half to this list here.
    @28 another exemplar paper is presented Seim & Olsen (2020) 'The Influence of IR Absorption and Backscatter Radiation from CO2 on Air Temperature during Heating in a Simulated Earth/Atmosphere Experiment' (a paper that describes an experiment meant to measure the GH-effect of CO2 but shows a complete misunderstanding of how the GH-effect works. This is not a controversial rebuttal. At WUWT, a review said the paper is "not saying much about the Greenhouse effect" although a NoTricksZone review was accepting of the paper's worthless findings).
    @32 it is admitted that there is no "knock out" paper (which the Einstein quote @25 requires) but that "there is an awful lot that shows we are not in a climate crises" in some crazy non-scientific collective manner.
    @33 the true task of SkS is described. "If this site was really about skeptical science it would have every climate science paper."

    The commenter Santalives hasn't taken me up on my offer @18 of a full rebuttal of Koutsoyiannis (2021). Seim & Olsen (2020) is very obviously nonsense. As for the dozens of papers in the 2021 NoTricksZone listing, I would suggest it is from start to finish either papers that are clearly denialist nonsense or, more likely, selective quotes that misrepressent the quoted papers. The list begins with 70-odd papers purportedly demonstrating "A Warmer Past: Non-Hockey Stick Reconstructions" They will demonstrate no such thing. If any of them had established some evidence to overturn the accepted global temperature record based on proxy data, I'm sure we would soon have heard about it. I say 'from start to finish'. The first paper in this list is concerned with the SST seasonality in the South China Sea and establishing proxy methods. There is no Hockey Stick busting to be seen. And the final paper in the big long list shock-horror demonstrates "Abrupt, Degrees-Per-Decade Natural Global Warming" which is a well-known phenomenon but only found in the depths of an Ice Age. So I would suggest this NoTricksZone listing is yet more denialist nonsense.

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  36. MA Rodger @35 ,

    yes, poster Santalives seems confused and muddle-headed about what he wants & where he is going.  And he seems very reluctant to ask for help.

    Maybe he can't recognize the difference between climate science and climate politics ~ and thinks they are exactly the same thing.  Most of the denizens at WUWT  blogsite have that sort of major Fail in their thinking . . . as well as their usual Fails.

    His evident inability to show the science to be wrong, leads him to grasp the wrong end of the stick.  (He is batting at zero because he is holding the thick end of the baseball bat . . . and he does not even look at the ball being pitched at him . . . if I may make that sports analogy.)

    Yet perhaps Santalives will surprise us all, by suddenly lifting his game.  He could start by by defining his words "climate crises".   But I strongly suspect he has not given much thought to these matters.

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  37. MA Rodger @35 ,

    oh, by the way, you deserve a round of applause for your phrasing "mercurial argumentation".

    Mercurial.  So many shades of meaning.  Some not entirely flattering.  Confirmed per OED.

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  38. "The list begins with 70-odd papers purportedly demonstrating "A Warmer Past: Non-Hockey Stick Reconstructions"

    I came across a similar list a couple of years ago. I read through the first 20 abstracts on the basis that if there was a killer blow it would be in the first few papers. It turned out to all be studies on a few  individual cities or very small regions that were warmer than recent temperatures. But we know not all cities / locations were like that  and the  list obviously just cherrypicked those with unusually warm temperatures. Not one of the studies was for Europe as a whole let alone the entire planet. We know from such studies that  the MWP was a weak event and not truly global.

    I doubt Santilves has looked at even the abstracts of such papers and just assumes they invalidate the consensus or there must be a smoking gun there. The devil is in the detail. Denialists are intellectually lazy.

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  39. Nigelj @38 :

    speaking of Hockey Sticks and MWP's and vast lists of scientific papers

    . . . leads us to one of PotHoler54's encounters with that well-known paragon of truthfulness, Lord Christopher Monckton :

    (shown in PH54's video "Medieval Warm Period - fact vs fiction" )

    Monckton speaks:   "700 scientists from more than 400 institutions in more than 40 countries ... have contributed to papers that I know about, and can on notice list, saying that the Medieval Warm Period, which is well-known in history and archeology, as it is in climate science - was real, was global, and was noticeably warmer than the present."

    in his video commentary, Potholer54 states :-

    "Monckton was as good as his word, and when I asked him for the list, he gave it to me.  Unfortunately, I am probably the only person who ever asked him - because the list doesn't live up to his claim.  The 700 scientists who contribute to the papers listed, don't say the Medieval Warm Period was real, global and noticeably warmer than today - or anything like it."

    Nigelj, I'm sure you won't be the least bit surprised.

    [ There is more entertainment to be had, in a whole 5 (five) videos by PotHoler54, titled "Monckton Bunkum" . . . exposing Monckton's . . . er, taradiddles & self-contradictions. ]

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  40. Thanks for all the feedback, including the moderator, I have posted 7 times on sks and been pinged 5 times.  Sorry about that.  Would really like to get back to the science,  this I  posted earlier The Influence of IR Absorption and Backscatter Radiation from CO2 on Air Temperature during Heating in a Simulated Earth/Atmosphere Experiment.

    Rodger @35.  Your response was the author ...... shows a complete misunderstanding of how the GH-effect works.  How?  His explanation of Backscatter radiation seems to be standard stuff and is referenced from the IPCC.

    The experiment is a fairly straight forward test of the physical properties of c02  to produce back scatter radiation.. The conclusion is the temperature effect is far

    . Esthens

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  41. Cont from 40.   

    ..... Is far less than expected. So in terms of rebuttal is the physics wrong, the maths wrong or is the sound physics.  

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  42. Santalives @ 40/41 , 

    my apologies for chiming in again so soon ~ but I am having a good laugh at the experiment / paper you link to (by Seim & Olsen).

    In the words of a certain famous scientist of yore :- the experiment is so bad it is "not even wrong".   And Santalives, I did warn you earlier in the thread that this paper was useless.  And a million miles from overthrowing mainstream climate science.

    But I am sure you would prefer to have an assessment from someone completely unconnected with SkS.   But as a useless experiment / paper, it has not been so easy to find anyone who has bothered to critique such a paper.   Real scientists usually don't waste their valuable time critiquing all the rubbish which is "out there".

    So, for your special benefit and appreciation, Santalives, I managed to find a review of it at your spiritual home WattsUpWithThat.  The reviewer said :- 

    "The result of this experiment seems reasonable, but it says nothing about the Greenhouse effect."  And he added :-

    "You cannot take the results of an experiment done wrong in a number of ways as meaning much of anything."

    Which was the reviewer's polite way of saying : It's complete crap. 

    And Santalives, that is about the level of the evidence that you will find to challenge the consensus science.  It's either crap (also see Prof. K's paper, above) or it's irrelevant to the question (like the papers you linked to about speleothem isotopes in Siberian caves & suchlike).   That is why I said there is no valid evidence against mainstream climate science.

    And that is why 99+% of expert scientists are in consensus about climate . . . and the remaining <1%  have wacko opinions and nothing to support themselves.

    Sorry, Santalives, but you have chosen to play for the wrong team.

    And that is:  Strike Two, against you.

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  43. Santalives @40/41,

    ❶ You use the term "back scatter radiation" and you may be forgiven for using it as the term even appears in the title of Seim & Olsen (2020). But the term is not correctly used. Backscatter concerns the physical reflection of radiation. The radiative effects being modelled involves only absorbtion and re-radiation. The peer review should have been down on this like a ton of bricks but evidently the paper was not properly subject to such review.

    ❷ You are correct that Seim & Olsen (2020) reference the IPCC (although rather sloppily) to support their description of the GH mechanism. However, Houghton et al (1997) 'An Introduction to Simple Climate Models used in the IPCC Second Assessment Report' does not provide such description (and why should it, it is desribing model representation, not what the model represents). Again, peer review should have been onto this non-reference like a ton of bricks.

    There are further references provided for their description of the GH mechanism.
    The first is a text book Benestad (2006) 'Solar Activity and Earth's Climate'. The full text is available on-line but not downloading for me. The content pages are available and it is Section 5.4.3 which would provide a description of the GH mechanism, but this section is not being very come-hitherish.

    So to the last reference provided by Seim & Olsen (2020) which is Pierrehumbert. (2011) 'Infrared Radiation and Planetary Temperature'. It is no surprise to see zero support for the Seim & Olsen (2020) description of the GH mechanism. Instead we find the following description of the GH mechanism.

    "An atmospheric greenhouse gas enables a planet to radiate at a temperature lower than the ground's if there is cold air aloft. It therefore causes the surface temperature in balance with a given amount of absorbed solar radiation to be higher than would be the case if the atmosphere were transparent to IR. Adding more greenhouse gas to the atmosphere makes higher, more tenuous, formerly transparent portions of the atmosphere opaque to IR and thus increases the difference between the ground temperature and the radiating temperature. The result, once the system comes into equilibrium, is surface warming."

    So yet another non-reference within Seim & Olsen (2020) has slipped through the peer review, as did the silly description provided by Seim & Olsen (2020) itself.

    And if this is how the GH mechanism operates, does the wonderful experiment of Seim & Olsen (2020) in any way demonstrate the GH mechanism? Or is it just demonstrating a pair of numpties playing climate-change-denial in a lab?

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  44. @ electric42.  Not sure what is funny.  This is a peer reviewed Published paper on the basics physics of C02 and back scatter radiation which is the foundation stone of climate change science.  The conclusions are fairly clear, 

    These findings might question the fundament of the forcing laws used by the IPCC.

    So far no one has produced any alternative evidence to disprove this experiment,   calling it complete crap is not evidence.  Really it's surprising because if C02 was so effective at creating scatter radiation then it should be easily demonstrated.  Maybe a skeptical scientist might think.... maybe they are onto to something. 

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  45. @Santalives #44

    Just because a paper is peer-reviewed doesn't make it correct and others have already explained what is at the very least questionable in Seim & Olson (2020). There unfortunately are publishers out there who are more interested in making a (quick) buck than in publishing properly peer-reviewed articles. There however is a list with potentially predatory journals called Beall's List and Scientific Research (SCRIP) does make an appearance there, which is a warning flag about how much weight to give their publications.

    Another such red flag is that scrolling through the paper you link to, I don't quickly see the somewhat customary information about the timeline from manuscript "received" via "accepted" to "published". For properly peer-revieved papers this tends to span several months at least but you often see it happening within a few weeks (if not days) for predatory journals. I might well have missed it for the paper in question but if not, does failing to disclose this important information increase or decrease your confidence in the publication? It sure decreases mine!

    In addition, here is a link to a short article published recently by Yale Climate Connections titled "Scientists agree: Climate change is real and caused by people". It starts with this:

    "The scientific consensus that climate change is happening and that it is human-caused is strong. Scientific investigation of global warming began in the 19th century, and by the early 2000s, this research began to coalesce into confidence about the reality, causes, and general range of adverse effects of global warming. This conclusion was drawn from studying air and ocean temperatures, the atmosphere’s composition, satellite records, ice cores, modeling, and more."

    Last but not least, let me repeat my invitation to join our MOOC Denial101x. It explains - among other things - why a lot more than a questionable paper would be involved to overturn the scientific consensus explained in the Yale article.

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  46. Santalives @44  :- to reinforce BaerbelW's comment . . . 

    something else that is funny, is that you seem to believe that all peer review is perfect and of equal quality . . . and therefore every paper published (in any journal whatsoever) is perfect  ~ and has no faults.  Or perhaps you are just pretending to, in order to argue  [ Never, I'm sure, eh.   ;-)    ]

    Sorry to disillusion you , Santalives . . . but as BaerbelW says, journals range from the reputable respected ones (which only rarely publish crap) . . . through to middling journals (which more occasionally publish crap because the reviewers/editors don't recognise crap often because it's not stuff in their field of expertise).   And through to journals which frequently publish any old crap, provided the authors pay enough cash.      So it ain't all equal, Santalives !

    As above, your Seim & Olsen  paper was [politely] described as crap by Prof. Kevin Kilty (a Wyoming professor of engineering) who seems reasonably respected at WUWT  ~ and despite that, I don't know anything to his discredit.  From the little I've read of his, he seems to speak quite sensibly.

    Santalives, until you can educate yourself to know more than Professor Kilty, then I suggest you temporarily accept his carefully considered verdict that your Seim & Olsen  paper is the sort of crap which is a waste of time for everyone.

    (And is also a waste of time for you . . . 'cos you're already at Strike Two.)

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  47. The optical properties of CO2 have been thoroughly investigated and are well known. The effectiveness of the MODTRAN model, how tightly it is validated by measurements, and the even better HITRAN prove that beyond doubt. If Seim and Olson really believe they know better, they should put forth their own effort and create a better model than MODTRAN, then validate it. Let's see where these chips fall. 

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  48. Santalives appears to be providing an example of what I comment on @23.

    They appear to be powerfully motivated to resist learning. They resist developing the constantly improving common sense understanding of climate science, the consensus understanding. They appear to be motivated to prolong harmful misunderstanding, likely because they fear having to give up developed harmful actions that they benefit from.

    Tragically, people like Santalives also behave that way regarding other helpful learning and corrections required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. And people who resist unlearning harmful misunderstandings can be seen to collectively gather, and excuse or adopt each others harmful misunderstanding, in attempts to harmfully compromise leadersip action that seeks or relies on popularity or profit.

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  49. @48.   So far no one has answered the question,  "where is the heating? ". Surely someone by now has done a controlled experiment to show that Co2 can cause warming.  

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  50. In the 1850's John Tyndall showed that CO2 in the presence of infrared radiation causes heating.

    In the 1890's Svante Arrhenius calculated how much the Earth would warm if we doubled CO2 concentrations.

    The value that Arrhenius got using pencil and paper is within the range estimated by current scientists.

    This is very, very old science. Well known, well established, the kind of science that is taught in college classes and no longer debated by professional climate scientists.

    What is debated, if you want to debate something, is how much warming we can expect for a doubling of CO2.

    But the debate about whether CO2 causes warming ended a long time ago.

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