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Comments 1051 to 1100:

  1. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Don @108... The fundamental facts of CO2 driven warming are incredibly well understood at this point in time. For this to be wrong would require nearly two centuries of physics to be fundamentally wrong. 

    Is there a possibility that nearly all the science is getting something really basic completely wrong? Absolutely. But the question arises, are you willing to bet a sustainable, livable planet for human civilization on the slim odds that the science is wrong?

  2. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    "Why not acknowledge the 'dominant view' was wrong and science coalesced into a new consensus?"

    Don... This comment is exactly what I'm talking about. There was (and still currently is) a dominant view that the earth has been cooling for the past several thousand years. There was (and still currently is) a dominant view that the earth had been cooling from the 1940's up to about the early 1970's. 

    What she's saying is that "contrarians" might exploit these facts of science in order to seed doubt in the minds of the general public about the clear reality of CO2 driven global warming.

  3. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Don... "I can't fathom why an American professor of her status would travel overseas to a conference and present her article is she wasn't aligning herself to the opinions as stated in the article."

    You are very definitely misinterpreting what she's stating again, I believe primarily because you don't understand what she's saying.

    I, or anyone else here, can explain it for you if you're willing to listen.

  4. Don Williamson at 12:30 PM on 16 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Here's a great argument from Oreskes in her 2007 paper on the consensus.

    "might the scientific consensus be wrong? If the history of science teaches anything, it’s humility. There are numerous historical examples where expert opinion turned out to be wrong"

    The "cooling" was obviously in the data (some say cooling from the 1920s, some say cooling from the 1940s) but the warming eventually came to the forefront as Oreske stated in her 2004 article.

    Will the warming continue? That can get into a very complex discussion about the hiatus - where many diverse opinions were offered. Some of the same scientists disputed and supported the reality of hiatus. Can cooling start again despite CO₂? We really don't know so locking in only one direction for temperatures leaves an opening for contrarians to pounce when it's not warming and they took advantage of that with the so-called hiatus. Some well known climate scientists were on both sides and that wasn't very helpful.

  5. Do phrases like ‘global boiling’ help or hinder climate action?

    How about "Climate chaos". This is quite literally true from a mathematical sense (e.g., non-linear dynamics and the emergence of tipping points) and it gives a sense of the impending dysfunction and seemingly random profusion of unpleasant events. But alas, still it comes off as hyperbole. For those of us who see what is happening, "climate change" is sufficient. The devil is in the details, not the title. 

  6. Don Williamson at 10:47 AM on 16 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Rob Loblaw

    "why did geologists shift their attention from cooling to warming?"

    Oreskes keeps reiterating that point for a reason.

    To counter the (pending) exploitation with a convincing argument is required, I haven't seen that argument put forward. I've seen dismissals, denials but are those very convincing? 


  7. Don Williamson at 10:41 AM on 16 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Rob Loblaw

    I never stated that Oreskes wanted to promote the cooling but it was an awkwardly worded challenge to contrarians to exploit if they think about it.

    The most important aspect IMHO is the following:

    "unless we can give a convincing account of the empirical reasons behind that reversal"

    "that reversal" "cooling to warming" "abrupt about-face" needed a convincing argument, I'm not sure simply dismissing it is a very convincing argument.

    Perhaps she is trying to suggest a way to maintain solidarity in needed in order to not "undermine" the consensus argument - when and if the reversal is exploited?

    I think she realizes that without a convincing argument, it's not easy to dismiss it. The reversal has legs, how strong the legs are depends on how strong the arguments are from our side.


  8. Don Williamson at 10:18 AM on 16 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Rob Loblaw

    What is a Geologist?

    A geologist is a scientist who studies the Earth, its history, and the processes that shape and change it. Geology is a broad field that encompasses the study of rocks, minerals, fossils, mountains, volcanoes, earthquakes, rivers, oceans, glaciers, and more. Geologists use a variety of methods to gather information about the Earth, including fieldwork, laboratory analysis, computer modeling, and remote sensing techniques. They often work in teams with other scientists, engineers, and professionals to solve complex problems related to natural resources, environmental protection, land use, and natural hazards.

    That meets the definition of 'climate scientist. btw Prof Michael E Mann has a PhD in Geology, not specifically "climate science"


  9. A Frank Discussion About the Propagation of Measurement Uncertainty


    Thanks for the additional information. From the Bevington reference you link to, equation 3.13 looks like it matches the equation I cited from Wikipedia, where you need to include the covariance between the two non-independent variance terms. Equations 4.13, 4.14, and 4.23 are the normal Standard Error estimate I mentioned in the OP.

    Of course, calculating the mean of two values is equivalent to merging two values where each is weighted by 1/2. Frank's equations 5 and 6 are just "weighted" sums where the weightings are 30.417 and 12 (average number of days in a month, and average number of months in a year), and each day or month is given equal weight.

    ...and all the equations use N when dealing with variances, or sqrt(N) when dealing with standard deviations. That Pat Frank screws up so badly by putting the N value inside the sqrt sign as a denominator (thus being off by a factor of sqrt(N)) tells us all we need to know about his statistical chops.

    In the OP, I linked to the Wikipedia page on MDPI, which largely agrees that they are not a reputable publisher. I took a look through the Sensors web pages at MDPI. There are no signs that any of the editors or reviewers they list have any background in meteorological instrumentation. It seems like they are more involved in electrical engineering of sensors, rather than any sort of statistical analysis of sensor performance.

    A classic case of submitting a paper to a journal that does not know the topic - assuming that there was any sort of review more complex than "has the credit card charge cleared?" The rapid turn-around makes it obvious that no competent review was done. Of course, we know that by the stupid errors that remain in the paper.

    It is unfortunate that the journal simply passes comments on to the author, rather than actually looking at the significance of the horrible mistakes the paper contains. So much for a rigorous concern about scientific quality.

    The JCGM 100:2008 link you provide is essentially the same as the ISO GUM I have as a paper copy (mentioned in the OP).

  10. A Frank Discussion About the Propagation of Measurement Uncertainty

    Bdgwx @21 , allow me to say it here at SkS  (since I don't post comments at WUWT  ) . . . that it is always a pleasure to see your name/remarks featured in the list of comments in any thread at WUWT.   You, along with a very small number of other scientific-minded posters [you know them well]  provide some sane & often humorous relief, among all the dross & vitriol of that blog.

    My apologies for the fulsome praise.  ( I am very 'umble, Sir. )

  11. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Don @ 102:

    Is there any particular reason you keep ignoring the "earth scientist", "geologist" and "geophysicist" qualifiers that appear in Oreske's article?

  12. Don Williamson at 07:18 AM on 16 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Rob Honeycutt

    You appear to have moderator status "[RH] Shortened and activated link" but the link I provided has been disappeared?

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Yes, Rob is one of the moderators here, as am I. As a general rule, though, we do not moderate discussions that we are involved in, except for simple clerical issues such as fixing links.

    In your comment #90, the link is still there, behind the LINK text that Rob added. Hover your mouse over the link and your browser should show you the full link. In any web page, the text that is displayed and the actual link URL are two different items.

    The web software here does not automatically create links from text. You can do this when posting a comment by selecting the "insert" tab, selecting the text you want to use for the link, and clicking on the icon that looks like a chain link. Add the URL in the dialog box. In the dialog box, you will see that you have explicit control over the displayed text and the URL for the link.

  13. Don Williamson at 07:06 AM on 16 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Rob Honeycutt

    To say that the Oreskes article as a draft is an incorrect interpretation.

    It was a pre-print and never published in scientific literature but she did present these views in a European meteorology conference in Germany 

    link: LINK

    I can't fathom why an American professor of her status would travel overseas to a conference and present her article is she wasn't aligning herself to the opinions as stated in the article.

    She offered no rebuttal in her article so one must assume that it stood on its own merits. And to encourage contrarians to exploit the reversal, that's a very powerful argument that the contrarians cooling era argument has merit ~ whether we want to admit it or not.

    Why not acknowledge the 'dominant view' was wrong and science coalesced into a new consensus?

    To assert that a scientific consensus can't be wrong is a foolhardy position to take, I'm sure you'll agree.


    Science moves forward but is dismissing the pov from a science historian as esteemed as Prof Oresekes is - the best way to move forward?

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Link linkified.

  14. A Frank Discussion About the Propagation of Measurement Uncertainty

    I have had numerous discussions with Pat Frank regarding this topic. His misunderstanding boils down to using Bevington equation 4.22. There are two problems here. First and foremost, 4.22 is but an intermediate step in propagating the uncertainty through a mean. Bevington makes it clear that it is actually equation 4.23 that gives you the final result. Second, Equations 4.22 and 4.23 are really meant for relative uncertainties when there are weighted inputs. Frank does not use weighted inputs so it is unclear why he would be using this procedure anyway.

    Furthermore, Frank's own source (Bevington) tells us exactly how to propagate uncertainty through a mean. If the inputs are uncorrelated you use equation 4.14. If the inputs are correlated you use the general law of propagation of uncertainty via equation 3.13. 

    A more modern and robust exploration of the propagation of uncertainty is defined in JCGM 100:2008 which NIST TN 1900 is based.

    And I've told Pat Frank repeatedly to verify his results with the NIST uncertainty machine. He has insinuated (at the very least) that NIST and JCGM including NIST's own calculator are not to be trusted.

    Another point worth mentioning...he published this in the MDPI journal Sensors. MDPI is known to be a predatory publisher. I emailed the journal editor back in July asking how this publication could have possibly made it through peer review with mistakes this egregious. I basically explained the things mentioned in this article. The editor sent my list of mistakes to Pat Frank and let him respond instead. I was hoping for a response from the editor or the reviewers. I did not get that. 


  15. Ice age predicted in the 70s


    Yes, I agree that the Wikipedia article I linked to does not specifically state that  Gordon MacDonald was of the view that cooling was the dominant factor. That is why I followed up with comment #93. Oreskes does say in the paper that she is examining certain issues "through the experience of one influential individual: Gordon J.F. MacDonald". If you have the information about the conference and other papers that were presented, that may give additional context.

    I disagree with your suggestion that Oreskes wanted to promote the cooling argument. I omitted the lead-up to the quote I presented in comment #92. The lead-up says:

    But one aspect of the debate not often noted by climate
    contrarians, but which they might exploit if they thought about it...

    I do not see that as an intention to promote the idea - rather, it is simply an expression of surprise that the argument is not made more often by people intent on discrediting climate science. It is an observation, not a recommendation.

    I will also re-iterate the point I made in #92 that Oreskes refers to earth scientists, geologists, and geophysicists. Not climate scientists. Climatology as a distinct science was just beginning to emerge in the 1950s and 1960s. Prior to that "climatology" was largely descriptive, not process-oriented. To this date, many earth scientists have little background in the processes that affect climate - and the poorer their understanding, it seems the more likely they are to fall into the contrarian camp.

    The "Further reading" list in the OP is more geared towards what climate scientists thought and published, not what non-climate specialists in earth sciences thought.

  16. Don Williamson at 05:11 AM on 16 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Rob Honeycutt

    Her inclusion of some fearing the coming ice age indicates at least some thought it was going to continue. I'm not aware of surveys of that era so I can't offer insights for what the dominant view predicted for the next years, decades or centuries.

  17. Don Williamson at 05:07 AM on 16 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Rob Honeycutt

    Quoting her article isn't a misinterpretation. Maybe she regrets it now, especially egging on contrarians, but it is what it is [circa 2004]

    Feel free to ask her about it, I'm not able to offer insights into her state of mind.


  18. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Don... I know Dr. Oreskes fairly well, and have had several one-on-one conversations with her in the past during AGU in SF.

    I think perhaps you're misinterpreting what's being stated in this piece. Re-reading it myself, I wonder if you're thinking stating the dominant scientific view in the 1950's, 60's and into the 1970's was that the earth was cooling and would continue to do so. That would be an inaccurate interpretation.

    Mid-century cooling was, and is, very well understood and accepted. There was some exploration at that time whether cooling or warming would dominate in the coming decades, but even then the dominant view was that it would likely be CO2 induced warming.

    Famously, the renowned climate scientist Dr. Stephen Schneider, produced one paper suggesting that cooling due to global dimming from aerosol pollution was the bigger problem. Fairly soon, though, he also became convinced by the weight of evidence that the underlying warming from CO2 was the larger problem.

  19. Don Williamson at 04:41 AM on 16 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Rob Loblaw

    Oreskes stated that it was the dominant view, not that was the only view. The alternative or flip side to that dominant view is that the minority held to the global warming view. It looks like the minority were right and the dominant view was wrong.


  20. Don Williamson at 04:30 AM on 16 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Rob Loblaw

    I couldn't find any reference to MacDonald saying the dominant view of the 1950s to 1970s was a cooling climate in your wikipedia link. Perhaps you could demonstrate that it was his thoughts not hers. I can't really bend my brain into that logic without supporting documents. What have you found?

  21. Don Williamson at 04:26 AM on 16 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Rob Loblaw

    She offered no other context so I can't dispute it, even encouraging contrarians to exploit the reversal - how was that speaking for MacDonald and not her own thoughts?

  22. Don Williamson at 04:19 AM on 16 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    To Rob Honeycutt,

    The article - as is - was presented at a meteorological conference in Germany.

    I'm sure I can find the link to the seminar that hosted her article.

    She's a professor of the history of science so I'll have to defer to her expertise

    Unfortunately she seems to have suggested rather awkwardly, that contrarians exploit the about face.

  23. It's not bad

    Regarding the discussion about cold- vs. heat-related deaths this current blog post from Andrew Dessler on his substack page "The Climate Brink" might be helpful. It is the 2nd of a 3-part series, with the 3rd part expected soon:

    Unraveling the debate: Does heat or cold cause more deaths? Part 2

    This is US-centric and Andrew Dessler points out that there will be a lot of differences across the globe.

  24. Philippe Chantreau at 01:56 AM on 16 August 2023
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?


    As you said yourself, you looked at 2 days of nameplate capacity percentage. Perhaps that is not quite enough to form a good perception of how the power mix is managed. I do not share your assessment, which I think is a little too hasty and lacking context.

    During the day, solar picks up considerably. Over a 24 hours summer day, it changes from 0% of the mix to over 20%. You looked at the percentage of nameplate capacity, but if flexibility is to be a part of the system, it is inevitable that this percentage be low during some periods. Solar picks up to 23% of the total capacity during the peak demand time of the days I looked at, and that was pretty close to the variation in total demand. It is therefore not surprising that nuclear's share be reduced, especially if waste heat is to be limited.

    This site shows generation by source as the data is compiled. I find the graph very interesting and the ability to compare time periods is handy too:


    It also shows that coal, gas and oil make up a very small percentage of the mix. Although GHG emissions were not the main concern when this system was developped, it did reach the goal of achieving a very low level of dependence on fossil fuels. That is a good thing, no matter what, under the circumstances that we are now facing.

    I do not see the ability to be flexible as a weakness. Flexibility was in the plans for a long time for the nuclear part of electricity in France. The increase in river water temperatures is what was not planned for. Design features can allow to exploit warm/hot water instead of discharging it, as has been done in Olkiluoto (albeit somewhat experimentally or small scale).

    These plants exist and generate enormous amounts of electricity without greenhouse gases production. They do have a useful role to play, and they can be succesfully integrated in a cleaner system:


    Flexibility is not a bad thing: 



    You seem to suggest that no new nuclear produciton should be added anywhere in the world. I think it is debatable and depends on local and grid factors. Of course there are problems that can not be ignored. Waste, safety, waste heat, vulnerabilities from natural factors. Every solution has problems and vulnerabilites. There is no free lunch.

    By the same token, the question that is the title of this entire thread is ill posed. There is no single solution to the problem we face. There is no silver bullet, but the fight is on and any ammo that has a chance of reaching a mark should be used. I do not see a massive ramp up of nuclear generation under the form we have it now (gen III reactors at best) as the solution, but it does not mean that there is no merit in the existing plants, or that new ones muct be banned under all circumstances. No way of generating electricity without producing CO2 should be discarded.

  25. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Reading further into the Wikipedia page on Gordon MacDonald, it seems that he became concerned about the effects of climate change in the 1960s (both natural and anthropogenic),  and was warning about the risks of fossil fuel combustion and global warming back in the 1960s.

  26. It's not bad


    Studies of excess heat deaths, etc, run into a common problem in epidemiology: you can't do controlled experiments, and analysis of data requires a rather convoluted mix of causes that need to be isolated through various models. In the end, you get probabilities, not explicit cause-effect relationships.

    Even in a "simple" autopsy, the cause of death is often a series of factors that combined to yield a fatal result. Did Covid cause that death? Well, he was elderly, had COPD and diabetes. The death certificate says his heart gave out. But he was living with those diseases and had prospects for many more years of life until Covid came along and hit him.

    The tobacco industry used this limitation to great effect: "you can't prove that this person got this cancer from smoking our cigarettes", etc.

    That's not to say that you suggestion is without merit. It will be considered, but I"m not sure how we might go about it.

  27. Ice age predicted in the 70s


    That is a pretty short article by Oreskes, with very few references, and carries no date. It has a email address (U California at San Diego). For her current Harvard web page, you can find a link to her CV, which tells us she was at UCSD from 1998 to 2013. So it is potentially a rather old article.

    In the 1970s, there was indeed speculation that the observed cooling might continue, but the "Further reading" section of this rebuttal shows more detailed analysis of how much of the scientific literature believed it was likely (not much).

    Also note that the title of the paper you link to includes "The work of Gordon J.F. MacDonald". Wikipedia has a page on Gordon J.F. MacDonald, and it is likely that Oreskes is summarizing the views of MacDonald rather than presenting her own detailed analysis. After all, she is a science historian. Also note that in her first paragraph, Oreskes states (emphasis added),

    ...not very long ago most earth scientists held the opposite view. They believed that Earth was cooling. Throughout most of the history of science, geologists and geophysicists believed that Earth history was characterized by progressive, steady, cooling

    MacDonald was a geophysist, and according to the Wikipedia page he also was skeptical about continental drift/plate tectonics. The contrarian community is littered with geologists that have limited understanding of climate science.

    I don't see this as an expression by Oreskes that she thought the "it's cooling" crowd had a legitimate argument.

  28. It's not urgent


    As Eclectic points out, Judith Curry's shtick is basically a "sow doubt" approach with a lot of maybes and ifs and other qualifiers. If you ignore the maybes and ifs,  her statements act as dog whistles to the contrarians. The approach allows her to walk back with an "I never said that" response when her "interesting" or "curious" pronouncements about highly speculative (or sometimes clearly wrong to begin with) ideas are shown to be incorrect.

    She presents herself as being open to new ideas (although they are usually the same-old, same-old debunked talking points), while feeding red meat to those that think the mainstream climate science community is close-minded. This approach works well to those who, as the saying goes, are so open-minded that their brains have fallen out.

    Curry's favourite method is to beat the Uncertainty drum and call up the Uncertainty Monster at her earliest convenience. Although the following cartoon was prepared for the recent post on Pat Frank's horrible paper on measurement uncertainty, Judith Curry was not far out of sight when the idea for the cartoon (and preamble to the Pat Frank post) was being prepared.

    The attack of the Uncertainty Monster


    SkS has a page on Judith Curry, as does DesmogBlog. The DesmogBlog text includes the sentence

    Climate scientists have also criticized Curry’s “uncertainty-focused spiel,” as Sourchwatch [sic] has put it, “for containing elementary mistakes and inflammatory assertions unsupported by evidence.

    Desmog links to this SourceWatch page.

    If I wanted to stoop to Curry's tactics, I probably should litter this comment with multitudinous use of qualifiers such as "it appears as if", "my initial impression is", "people have said", "if this is the case", "it would certainly be interesting if", "there is a chance that", "maybe we should consider the possibility that", etc. You get the idea.

  29. Ice age predicted in the 70s

    Don... Best I can tell, this looks like an early draft of an abstract for a potential paper or even a draft for a chapter of a book. I wouldn't put much credence in this piece, one way or another, since people are allowed to explore ideas and decide in the process they're wrong and choose not publish.

  30. Don Williamson at 23:40 PM on 15 August 2023
    Ice age predicted in the 70s

    There was an article by Naomi Oreskes regarding the cooling climate dominant view of the 1950s to 1970s.

    I was finally able to locate her work after months of research, I heard rumors about it but it turns out to be real.

    It might advance the discussion if this is included in the consensus debate. It needs to be tackled head-on, what does Naomi Oresekes say about her previous paper?


    Moderator Response:

    [RH] Shortened and activated link.

  31. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?


    My understanding is that it is much more difficult to ramp up/down a nuclear plant than a coal plant.  Some of the reaction products poison the chain reaction.  If you change the reaction conditions the balance between the chain reaction and poisoness elements in the waste also changes.  It is difficult to keep everything under control.  You cannot shut the reaction down and then start it up again immediately like a coal plant can.  In the USA none of the reactors can load follow.  In France some of the reactors can slowly ramp production (maybe 1-2% per minute).  It is hard to find references that describe how France lowers their production.

    Here David-acct claimed that nuclear plants ran 92% of the time at full power.  France currently has installed nuclear nameplate of 61.4 GW.  The highest capacity factor in the two days I looked at was 51.5% in the middle of the night.  The lowest was was 41.6% during peak power.   

    The point is that claims that nuclear plants are "always on" are easily demonstrated to be false.  Cold weather, hot weather, drought, flooding, nearby fires and other natural changes can all cause reactors to shut down on short or no notice.

    In a renewable energy world stored power will be most valuable.  Baseload power will not be valuable.  Baseload power that shuts down during peak times is very low value.  If the reactors in France were not owned by the government they would be bankirupt.

  32. It's not urgent

    PM @42 , please report on anything genuinely valid  which these deniers can produce from Mr Stossel or Dr Curry.  I'm betting that's Zilch.

    You won't change the deniers, but you may influence "onlookers'.   Myself in this situation, I'd figure it is reasonably justified to "poison the well".   Point out that Stossel once, years ago, was a reputable journalist . . . but now he's an angry propagandist and has received money from the billionaire Charles Koch, whose propaganda "institutes" encourage propaganda half-truths & cherry-picking slanted information.

    I would probably also go ad hom  [ ad fem ? ] on Curry ~ whose arguments are vague & tenuous & rhetorical . . . and are therefore difficult to get to grips with.   Point out that the real climate scientists find her a joke, and laugh at her and her vague position.

    Challenge the deniers to come up with anything definite  from these two anti-science propagandists.

  33. PollutionMonster at 19:18 PM on 15 August 2023
    It's not urgent

    Now the denier is linking to the infamous John Strossel and Dr Judith Curry. I am attempting to show the errors of their source, but having trouble.

  34. There is no consensus

    Rkrolph @948 , as far as I have seen, Dr Curry has not changed her expressed views in recent years (she has retired academically, but AFAIK still maintains a commercial interest in weather/hurricane season predictions).    # I follow her blog most days ~ the blog is slightly redeemed by one or two of the commenters there.   The blog is a somewhat more genteel version of WUWT  blog.

    Unlike Drs Spencer & Christie, and the definitely-emeritus Prof Lindzen, the good Dr Curry maintains a certain amount of vagueness in her speech and presentations . . . implying that she is not quite opposed to the mainstream climate science.   Vagueness & a degree of "uncertainty"  are her game  ~  enough fuzziness for some Plausible Deniability, when someone tries to pin her down now or at a future date.   But it is as obvious as an elephant in your kitchen, about which side of the scientific fence she occupies.   And this goes down well with the usual group of denialist U.S. senators.

    **  Up to as much as two-thirds of modern rapid global warming might possibly  be owing to "natural variations" or ocean/atmosphere cycles . . . that's the sort of Plausible Deniability she goes for.   So no need to take any climate action.

    Mr John Stossel is a reporter that has gone over to the Dark Side, years ago.   Basically a propagandist.   I haven't followed him closely enough to allow me to make a psychiatric assessment.

  35. There is no consensus

    I have been wondering lately if some of the more famous climate change skeptics, climate scientists like Judith Curry, have modified or adjusted their outlier positions as the global warming crisis grows worse year by year. 

    But apparently not, based on the article I read in the Torrance Daily Breeze by John Stossel, titled "The fake climate change consensus", that quoted her extensively,   Most of the article I recognized as long ago debunked garbage, but it seems surprising to me that experienced climate scientists like Curry would still be promoting this kind of nonsense.   


  36. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    I know next to nothing about nuclear reactors but I know coal-fired power stations well. When less power is needed then less coal is fed into furnace (making a mile of other adjustments especially to air flow and feedwater as well), so steam output is reduced. I would assume nuclear similarly slows output by slowing the nuclear reaction. To me, a partial shutdown is stopped one or more generation units not reducing steam output.

    All steam plants have to reject heat back into the environment to convert steam back to water, usually by cooling towers. High summer temperatures play havoc with this especially if there are restrictions on temperature of cooling water going back into rivers. This usually means easier (and more efficient) to generate at night. If close to limit, then you have to reduce power as the day warms up.

  37. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Phillippe Chantreau,

    My understanding is that many reactors stop generating electricity on weekends for economic purposes.  Since France often has cooling issues on hot summer days, and they are reported to be in drought, a lack of cooling water could also contribute to less generation.  If a reactor was off line both days for cooling issues it would not have registered in the data I copied (a good reason not to do your own analysis).

    Here are my personal definations:


    If a reactor is taken off line so that it no longer generates electricity it has been shut down.  It does not matter what the reason is or if they keep the reactor hot so that it can be more rapidly started up again.  I do not know the Wikipedia defination.

    If a reactors power output has to  be reduced for any reason that is a partial shut down and is an indication that the reactor is an unreliable power supplier.  I note that nuclear supporters frequently claim that reactors are "always on".  

    What is your defination of shut down?  If they insert all the control rods the chain reaction stops. The decay of radioactive fission products continues to produce a very large amount of heat.  Enough heat to keep the boilers hot and requiring a large amount of water to prevent disasters.  For me that is completely shut down but a nuclear technician might have a different defination. 

    Do you have a link that describes what the French do on weekends to lower nuclear power output by 20%?  I would  also like to know why they generate less power during the peak periods than during the low at night.  I suspect waste heat is causing at least some of the decline (as you mention).

    My understanding is that some reactors are taken below the critical level.  The control of reactors is extremely complex so I could be incorrect.

    The dates are from August 2023.

  38. Do phrases like ‘global boiling’ help or hinder climate action?

    Less guesswork may be needed than we may imagine. There's extensive literature on this topic. Try and then tweak "emotional language climate change communication" w/Google Scholar to get a foothold. 

    Susan Moser's work is especially helpful for getting the big picture of climate communications to the public. This slightly old synthesis by Moser is still quite useful: Communicating climate change: history, challenges, process and future directions.

    More germane to the immediate topic of this article, see “Be Worried, be VERY Worried:” Preferences for and Impacts of Negative Emotional Climate Change Communication.

  39. Do phrases like ‘global boiling’ help or hinder climate action?

    "Man, its freezing outside"  Lawyers and ChatGPT's may complain.  Everybody who is human knows what I'm saying.

  40. Philippe Chantreau at 02:01 AM on 15 August 2023
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    I would like participants here to clarify one thing: "shut down."

    Growing up in France, I got to do school field trips to nuclear power plants. On these occasions, engineers would instruct us on basic elements of these plants' operation. A reactor is rarely "shut down" except for major maintenance or emergency/abnormal procedures. The reaction can be slowed, the reactor isolated from the rest of the system and/or generators taken offline, is that what we're talking about here? Otherwise it would imply taking the reactor below critical level and that is not practical if it is to be used again, especially on short notice.

    Slowing down the reactor can be necessary when cooling is an issue, when the weaather is already hot and they want to avoid spilling too much warm water in the environment. This has become more of a concern as river water temperatures have been increasing. It could be why power output is higher at night in August. Unless of course, these dates are under European format, which would place them in October and May.

  41. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    I posted this on another thread where questions were raised about nuclear.

    David-acct at 12:

    I went back and looked at your link to French electricity generation where you claim: :

    "This link from France's gov shows no such shutting down of nuclear on weekends."

    My emphasis. The days are not cherry picked, they are the only days I looked at. 8/10 is a Thursday and 8/5 is a Saturday.

    date time Power MW
    8/10 2:45 31645
    8/10 13:45 30424
    8/5 4:15 28489
    8/5 16:15 25548

    Several question about this raw data occured to me.

    1) You state clearly that the data shows no nuclear power stations were shut down. Please explain why the power generated on the weekend is so much less than the power generated on Thursday. How does this show that no power stations were shut down over the weekend? It appears to me that about 6 of 31 power stations (20%) were turned off.

    2) On both days they are generating more power at night when power is generated at a loss than they are generating during the day when the price of electricity is much higher. Can you explain why the "always on" nuclear plants generate less power during the most expensive part of the day than they do when electricity is cheapest?

    This example proves beyond doubt that examining cherry picked factoids without any analysis is a complete waste of time. Please do not cite raw data any more. You need to cite analysis of data that filter out gross errors.

  42. Just how fast will clean energy grow in the U.S.?

    David-acct at 12:

    I went back and looked at your link to French electricity generation where you claim: :

    "This link from France's gov shows no such shutting down of nuclear on weekends."

    My emphasis.  The days are not cherry picked, they are the only days I looked at.  8/10 is a Thursday and 8/5 is a Saturday.

    date   time   Power MW  
    8/10 2:45 31645  
    8/10 13:45 30424  
    8/5 4:15 28489  
    8/5 16:15 25548  

    Several question about this raw data occured to me.

    1) You state clearly that the data shows no nuclear power stations were shut down.  Please explain why the power generated on the weekend  is so much less than the power generated on Thursday.  How does this show that no power stations were shut down over the weekend?  It appears to me that about 6 of 31 power stations (20%) were turned off.

    2) On both days they are generating more power at night when power is generated at a loss than they are generating during the day when the price of electricity is much higher.  Can you explain why the "always on" nuclear plants generate less power during the most expensive part of the day than they do when electricity is cheapest?

    This example proves beyond doubt that examining cherry picked factoids without any analysis is a complete waste of time.  Please do not cite raw data any more.  You need to cite analysis of data that filter out gross errors.

    moderator: I thought this was appropriate posted here because it addresses the topic of examining data without analysis.  I plan to also post it in the nuclear thread because it addresses common nuclear issues.

  43. It's not bad

    Sorry, Jlsoaz @420 , but you would be on a Fool's Quest if you try to make the definitive Debunk of temperature-related deaths and suchlike measuring-sticks of what is (or isn't) an emergency or catastrophe.  The idea you put forward is quite fundamentally flawed.

    " Catastrophic" is a rubbery weaselword.   Too much room for semantic sophistries & lawyerly one-sided advocacy & "Gotcha" public debating of incomplete truths.   # Also there is the question of when  to use catastrophe  ~  is it only for right now today, or is it including major problems which are approaching us in the near- or mid-term future?   ( Or the approaching Heat Death of the universe? )

    Is it a catastrophe or calamity when you run your car off the road at high speed? . . . or only when your car overturns or strikes a large boulder, etc?    Or is it like the old joke about the optimist who experienced the catastrophe of falling off the top of the Empire State Building  ~  yet reassured himself by counting the number of floors he had fallen past without encountering a catastrophic outcome?

    A fool's game there, Jlsoaz.


    [ On  side-note : It is not only "premature deaths" but also many other adverse effects that now (or in the future) can be consequences of AGW.   In particular the "temperature-related deaths" that show up in studies of heat-related vs. cold-related deaths are rather poorly-documented for comparison purposes.   Cold-deaths are usually well-documented, while heat-related  deaths are rather poorly documented because they tend to occur more in a Third-World country, where the deaths are poorly recorded in cities & slums . . . and in the remoter regions, may not be recorded at all (in any medical/official assessment). ]

  44. It's not bad

    Hi -

    As has been remarked by others, arguably this "It's not bad" response is good, but may be trying to cover too much ground.  In particular, I'm here to request that the team consider writing a response to the related or subordinate myth(s), which are in my opinion arguably the most important myths not yet debunked on this site, that
    - nobody has died from climate change,
    - any claim of increased deaths can't be attributed to climate change.
    - and, therefore, calling this a "climate emergency" is exaggerating, alarmist and hysterical.

    I believe the science here would fall in the area of social science or biological sciences (i.e.: discussing increased mortality above what is expected per time period, and whether it is attributable, under established scientific practices, to climate change).  There are peer reviewed publications out there which may give some idea and basis for a proper rebuttal, though admittedly we could use more of such publications to lean on in the face of such arguments.  A couple of examples:
    Published: 31 May 2021
    The burden of heat-related mortality attributable to recent human-induced climate change

    1.  I think these two links relate to the same study published in Nature in 2021:

    Global Study Evaluates Heat-Related Deaths Associated with Climate Change
    By David Richards

    Also in 2021, this may be a completely different study (I can't tell for sure at a glance.  It seems to have been published in The Lancet Planetary Health.
    World’s largest study of global climate related mortality links 5 million deaths a year to abnormal temperatures
    08 July 2021

    Global, regional, and national burden of mortality associated with non-optimal ambient temperatures from 2000 to 2019: a three-stage modelling study

    Prof Qi Zhao, PhD
    Prof Yuming Guo, PhD
    Tingting Ye, MSc
    Prof Antonio Gasparrini, PhD
    Prof Shilu Tong, PhD
    Ala Overcenco, PhD
    et al.
    Show all authors

    Open AccessPublished:July, 2021DOI:

    These above are just one or two recent examples.  There are probably other credible-seeming ones if the team is able to look, in preparing a rebuttal, and they may vary as to which climate change impacts (heat, drought, rise in sea level, increased storms, etc.) have what mortality increase (or decrease, in some isolated cases, I suppose is possible) figures associated with them.  As to "associated", I think it's to the scientific papers to clarify what the correct approach is.

    Anyway, to simplify, please take a look at what I believe to be arguably the most important myth not yet addressed on this site.

    Moderator Response:

    [RH] Shortened and activated links. You can do this yourself in the future. Just look in the tabs above the text box.

  45. Just how fast will clean energy grow in the U.S.?


    You have still not linked the Jacobson et al report you claim to be citing.  Perhaps it is this one.   

    In the paper you appear to be citing the analysis by Jacobson et al show that renewable energy can provide all needed energy for the entire world 24/7/365 with a monetary savings of approximately US$62 trillion per year (mostly health savings from reduced pollution).  The system will be at least as reliable as the current fossil system.  The supposed problems you claim to expose have been dealt with completely.  Linking to cherry picked factoids with no analysis does not support your argument (and you provide no links).  

  46. Just how fast will clean energy grow in the U.S.?

    David-acct at 10:

    You continue to insist that the industry standard terminology is misleading.  If you do your homework you will be able to understand commonly used technology terms without confusion.   Industry terms are intended for use by people who have read the backiground information and understand the meaning of the vocabulary used.

    Your nuclear comments are off topic.  World wide nuclear capacity factors are much lower than your cherry picked high years in the USA.  80% capacity factors is more the mark.  France, the country that generates the highest fraction of their electricity using nuclear power, had a capacity factor of 51% in 2022.  I addressed this in the post linked above.



  47. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?


    It is not my problem that you have not done your homework and do not know that France nuclear reactors shut down on weekends. From Wikipedia:

    "France's nuclear reactors comprise 90 per cent of EDFs capacity and so they are used in load-following mode and some reactors close at weekends because there is no market for the electricity.[59][10] This means that the capacity factor is low by world standards, usually in the high seventies as a percentage, which is not an ideal economic situation for nuclear plants."

    It is common knowledge among those who have done their homework that France generates too much nuclear power at night.  They sell some at a loss to their neighbors (presumably those who use cheaper solar during the day).  They shut down some reactors on the weekends since no-one wants the power.  

    In 2022 France generated approximately 279 TWh of nuclear electricity.  Their installed capacity was 61.4 GW.  I calculate their capacity factor at 51.8%.  They forecast generating about 330 TWh in 2023 which gives a capacity factor of 61% in the unlikely event that they make their forecast.  They have to shut down many reactors on hot days.  Will that work with record hot summers?

    Since nuclear reactors can't really load follow (in France they just shut them down on weekends), they generate too much power when load is low and not enough when load is high.  They average out the daily usage in the data youo show so that it appears that they generate more usable power than they really do.  They sell at night at a loss and buy during peak power at the highest prices.  France uses their reactors differently than other nuclear countries because they were stupid and over built their reactor fleet. 

    They have limited storage so they turn off the reactors.  In the USA the biggest pumped hydro storage plants were built to store nuclear power at night for use during the day peak.  Nuclear supporters ignore the immense cost of storage for nuclear reactors while exaggerating the cost of storage for renewable energy. 

    No current scientific groups studying future energy systems recommend building any nuclear plants.

    I recommend you read more background information (this thread would be a good start) so that you don't keep repeating long debunked nuclear myths.

    Nuclear is too expensive, takes too long to build and there is not enough uranium.

  48. Just how fast will clean energy grow in the U.S.?


    Your posts supportuing nuclear power are off topic on this thread.

    I have replied to you on topic here.

  49. CO2 is just a trace gas

    Please note: this rebuttal has been updated on August 13, 2023 and now includes an "at a glance“ section at the top. To learn more about these updates and how you can help with evaluating their effectiveness, please check out the accompanying blog post @

  50. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #32

    One issue we all have here is just what constitutes 'doomerism'? It's a term that is currently thrown around too loosely.

    One man's doom is another's bad weather day, after all. The ultimate picture is that Earth and biodiversity will survive the human age. We know that through the fossil record. Evolution will once again fill any gaps it can over a few million years. That has happened time and again through the deep past.

    So putting that aside, it's about  - as Katharine Hayhoe's book title clearly states - saving us! In that case, 'doomerism' needs a very clear definition, for I do not think there is such a thing at present.

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