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Comments 401 to 450:

  1. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    A lot of computer modelling goes into car design these days, too. And structural engineering for buildings, bridges, slope stability predictions, flood zones, etc. Don't live in a high-rise. Don't travel in cars, trucks, or buses. Only live in grass huts on flat plains, far away from any sources of water.

  2. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    I like to enquire - of people who disparage models - whether they fly. A lot of computor modelling goes into aircraft design, so people so concerned about the performance of models would never, you'd think, fly again!

  3. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Two Dog: You say ' but I am less convinced about the arguments that "all other causes for the current warming have been looked at and ruled out".'

    First of all, I will point out that nobody here, and nobody in climate science (that I am aware of), has ever  claimed that "all other causes ... have been looked at". In fact, I'd be willing to wager that there is not a single scientific subject where any scientist would claim that "all other causes ... have been looked at".

    By putting that phrase in quotes (in your statement in #41), you are making it look as if someone has actually made that claim. If you have a source for such a quote, please provide it. Otherwise, you are creating a strawman argument, and setting impossible expectations ("all other causes").

    In the rest of comment 41, you are basically making an argument from incredulity. You use strawman terms such as "all of those factors", and emotive impossible expectations such as "then accurately measure their hypothetical potential impact". You throw in rhetorical questions such as ' how do we "know" what would have happened to our climate absent human GHG increases?'

    The answer to the last question is, climate scientists do the science. The second figure in my comment 34 shows the results of some of that science:  running models that look exactly at the question you raise - how does the model behave with and without the anthropogenic forcing. They look at hypothetical natural and anthropogenic causes, quantify them as best they can, and perform calculations to determine the relative importance of each factor.

    As Eclectic pointed out in comment 31, saying there might be some "undiscovered mysterious physical cause responsible for the recent rapid global warming" [Eclectic's words] is nothing but handwaving. Unless you can propose a plausible mechanism that would cause the warming (and another one to offset the warming from GHG, as Eclectic points out in #31), then you're just blowing smoke.

    People often try to use the same bogus arguments in denying that fossil fuel combustion is causing the rise in atmospheric CO2. They postulate some mysterious, unknown source of CO2 that remains undiscovered - and avoid the question of what mysterious, undiscovered process is managing to remove all the CO2 from fossil fuels (but can't remove this mysterious, unknown source of CO2 that is making atmospheric CO2 rise).

    You may as well be saying "it could be fairies".

    ...and before you try to counter the graphical evidence in the figure I posted in comment 34 using the "but modelz" argument, I will point out that everything in science uses models. Descriptive, mathematical, statistical, computer simulations - all are different forms of models. If you don't accept models as valid science, then you are rejecting science writ large. (The original post points out that reliabilty of models is one of the myths that was raised in the movie, and proves a link to the SkS page that covers this myth.)

  4. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Charlie_Brown @40.  Thank you, that seems a sensible point and makes sense.

    I appreciate the other responses (e.g. Bob Loblaw @32) but I am less convinced about the arguments that "all other causes for the current warming have been looked at and ruled out". I do not believe that we are that intelligent!  The Earth is a clearly complex "living organism" with multiple factors that interact with each other impacting its climate. Do we really know what all of those factors are, how the affect each other and, then accurately measure their hypothetical potential impact over the last 150 years?  Given we have no idea whether the economy (another complex organism) will grow or contract next year, how do we "know" what would have happened to our climate absent human GHG increases?

    Finally, on the "cherry picking" of the 50s, 60s and 70s. I think its a fair point to pick 30 years out of 150 in this case.  Indeed, the argument above is, as I understand it, that the main and dominant factor in the current warming is human GHG emissions. For that theory to hold, in any period where GHG emissions are increasing year on year, then only a few years "blip" in warming must presumably call the theory into question? (unless we can find another new and temporary factor like air pollution)

  5. It's Pacific Decadal Oscillation

    Please note: the basic version of this rebuttal has been updated on March 31, 2024 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 @

  6. Just how ‘Sapiens’ in the world of high CO2 concentrations?

    On reflection, I believe my @47 comments (on Dr Bierwirth's paper) were lacking the bluntness that our readers deserve.

    His 2024 Abstract shows a notable Red Flag, in his mention of the phrase "existential threat"  ~ a phrase which is not only rather panicky, but is fashionably overused nowadays for subjects ranging from imminent nuclear holocaust . . . through to a possible world shortage of cocoa.

    A second Red Flag is his lengthy laundry list of "potential"  threats of a wide range of nasty diseases ~ cancer; calcification in the kidneys; diabetes; etcetera.

    A third Red Flag is his attribution of all these diseases to a combination of elevated CO2 in association with  low pH.   Actually, such a combination is a brief/transitory situation when CO2 is high  ~ for (as I and others have pointed out, earlier in this thread) the body's kidney function does correct the low pH in the medium & long term.

    Which leaves us with his dubious claim about "protein malfunctions".

    In short, it seems Dr Bierwirth paints with a very broad brush and also draws a very long bow.   Not only that ~ but some of his other papers seem to have a similar flavor.

    All well and good if Dr Bierwirth has supportive evidence ~ but for the meantime, I think we should all remain most skeptical.


    # Obviously, we cannot expect controlled experiments in humans with exposure to years of elevated ambient CO2.   The mouse experiment (mentioned above) was a controlled study using mice in 890ppm CO2 versus mice living in half that level.   The gestation & first 3 months of life might perhaps equal 5 - 10 years of human equivalence.   Still, it is only about 110 days in absolute terms ~ and that might explain the absence of adverse findings in the "high CO2" mice, despite the rapid pace of mouse physiology.

    And that fits with other evidence, of mice and men . . . and dinosaurs. 

  7. Just how ‘Sapiens’ in the world of high CO2 concentrations?

    Res01 @46 : thank you for resuming the conversation of 2023, and the mention of the new [2/2024] paper by Dr P. Bierwirth (please note the second "r" in Bierwirth).

    His 2024 Abstract quotes: "Protein malfunctions in cells due to elevated CO2 and associated low pH has [sic] the potential to cause threats to life including cancer, neurological disorders, lung disease, diabetes, etc.      ... overexpression of carbonic anhydrase, the enzyme that catalyses CO2 in the body, causes calcification in the kidneys arteries and tissues, along with other diseases and this may be an existential threat."

    Please excuse my adding of underlining emphasis, in the above.  The body of the paper does not really add much, I think, to earlier comments on the topic.  # It is all rather breathless [please forgive my feeble attempt at a pun, of sorts].

    Looking at the bigger picture, we see that the dinosaurs survived millions of years of "high" ambient CO2.   Were their bodily proteins shaped by evolution to perform satisfactorily at high CO2 levels ~ or did their kidneys simply compensate for high CO2 ?   We don't know ~ and yet we know that the dinosaurs did survive and thrive.

    Is there any experimental evidence to support Dr Bierwirth's gloomy comments about long-term CO2 exposure?   # Well, for what it's worth, there is a 3-month study in mice, by C. Wyrwoll et al (2021).  Gestation through to 3-months of age.   Despite some slight ambiguity in the Abstract, they quote: "There were no clear anxiety, learning, or memory changes.  Renal and osteological parameters were minimally affected."  [my emphasis]


    If there be some clear-cut evidence of failure of the mammalian body to make (renal or other) adjustment/compensation in high ambient CO2, then I would be pleased to learn of it.

    At SkS , we all know the potential of increasingly severe adverse effects of higher atmospheric CO2 levels.  But these dangers are terrestrial, rather than physiological, for mammals.

  8. Just how ‘Sapiens’ in the world of high CO2 concentrations?

    Skeptical Science Team, Eclectic @42, et. al, 

    Recent paper by P. Bierwith (2024)*  notes, "There is now substantial evidence that permenant exposure to CO2 levels in the future will have significant effects on humans." The article goes on to summarize recent findings; all of which generally support the subject article here.  I find though the article does contain a few "technical errors" as it was written with the knowledge as it was best known a few years back, it is in no way unnecessarily "alarmist."  The problem I believe is that to some the subject itself is "alarmist", and in truth it should be. 

    To address Eclectic's concern a bit more succinctly; the human body's CO2 compensary mechanisms have been considered in the papers being questioned. Basically, though the body can compensate for very high levels of CO2 for short periods of time, eventually these mechanisms will "give out" over time as one is continually immersed in even mildly elevated levels of CO2; the effect becoming noticeable around 800-1200 ppm. The general effects are bone dimeneralization, calcification of soft tissues, and neurological agitation which will give rise to a range malidies not favorable for human health and well being.


    *P. Bierwith, (2024), "Long-term carbon dioxide toxicty and climate change: a critical unapprehended risk for human health. Australian National University.

  9. Charlie_Brown at 02:15 AM on 30 March 2024
    Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Two Dog @32
    The reason for a plateau in the temperature data in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s (the 40’s were relatively hot, so a setup for part of the reason for a plateau) was large increases in air pollution, primarily sulfates, that reduced solar radiation incident on the Earth’s surface. SO2 control systems were installed to prevent acid rain and that cleaned up the sulfates. Don’t be fooled by data cherry-picked for the short term to mislead about the global warming over the longer term of 150 years.
    We know that current warming is not, not even in part, caused by the same historical factors observed in the temperature record because none of those historical factors are supported by the evidence. E.g., it is not the Milankovitch orbital cycles around the sun that caused ice ages in the past. Meanwhile, man-made increases in GHG concentrations have never happened before in the history of the planet.  The mechanism of warming from increasing GHG is well understood and well supported by evidence.

  10. One Planet Only Forever at 13:21 PM on 29 March 2024
    Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Two Dog @32,

    Bob Loblaw has provided a good response to your question about the lack of warming from 1940 to 1970. And Eclectic has posed good questions for you.

    I have something to add that may help you better understand things.

    The SkS Temperature Trend Calculator (link here) can be used to see that the temperature trend for the data set from 1940 to 1970 was indeed negative (GISTEMPv4 Trend: -0.043 +-0.052 C/decade). However, within that time period:

    • trend for 1945 to 1965 was positive (+0.017 +-0.108 C/decade)
    • trend for 1950 to 1960 was more positive (+0.126 +-0.302 C/decade)

    What’s up with positive trends within a negative trend? You may notice that the 2sigma values are significantly higher for the shorter data sets. The 2 sigma for 1940 to 1970 is also quite high. So look at longer data sets.

    • trend for 1935 to 1975 is -0.003 +-0.040 C/decade
    • trend for 1925 to 1985 is +0.048 +-0.024 C/decade

    Factors other than CO2 appear to be the cause of the negative trend for the 1940 to 1970 data set. But within that data set the trend of the temperature was still positive. What’s up with that? A significant part of the explanation is apparent in the Temperature Trend Calculator image for the longer data sets.

    The temperatures from 1940 to 1947 can be seen to be unusually high. That set of unusually high temperatures needs to be explained, not the apparent lack of warming through the next 30 years compared to that ‘high set of values' (just like the ‘appearance of cooling for a period of time after 1998’ is explained by the explanation for the unusually high temperature in 1998 - also see the SkS myth/argument “Did global warming stop in 1998, 1995, 2002, 2007, 2010?” which could have included 1944)

    I am sure if you put in some effort you could find a reliable source (perhaps you could find such information on this SkS website) that would effectively explain why the 1940 to 1947 set of years were unusually warm (warning: there is an explanation - nothing mysterious or magical happened - warming influence of increased CO2 still happened)

  11. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Steveeeej @36  :-

    Hmm, you have three questions, not just a couple.

    Eh, that sounds like I am qualified to answer you, on math alone ;-)

    And I would reply a tad differently from John Mason @37.

    Seriously though (and answering in reverse order) . . . .

    "What is the goal?"   Er . . . you don't say what you mean by that.  I'm guessing you mean the goal of achieving a better world than it would be after rising to 2 or 3 degrees (Celsius) hotter than the present.   That hot world would have much more of heat waves /droughts /floods /and sea level rise . . . and salinization of a big bunch of fertile farmland . . . and consequently have hundreds of millions of desperate migrants seeking other countries to live in.   ~That might be tolerable for Texas . . . but most of the rest of the world would find it all a bit troublesome.   And expensive.

    "How much money would ....?"   Again, I'm guessing you mean the cost of fixing most of the warming now (i.e. by say 2060 or 2070?) versus the cost of letting things rip as per "business as usual".  Were you thinking the cost in dollars, or the cost in human misery & massive social disruption?  Or both?   Some rich people only think of cost in the $ today, rather than total/long-term.  Strangely, they call themselves "Realists".

    "Was there ever a period in the earth's llfe span when the climate wasn't changing?"   Er, what is the relevance of your question?   #When you are holding your hand of cards at poker, do you decide how to play your cards according to the hand you are holding right now ~ or do you play your cards according to a hand of cards you held yesterday evening?

  12. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Re - post #36:

    The second questions's rhetorical and since I neither own nor moderate Skeptical Science it's irrelevant to me.

    Thr first question is more interesting. On a geological time-scale, the answer is no.

    Earth has continually rearranged itself through slow processes such as plate tectonics that operate over tens of millions of years. Since landmasses and oceans move around during such goings-on, climate is bound to be affected, but the fossil record indicates no big problems because of the time factor. Stuff could adapt.

    However, rapid change is and has been dangerous.

    Past instances of rapid change fall into two camps with a spectrum in between. We have bolide impacts (instant major change) at one end and Large Igneous Provinces (thousands to tens of thousands of years of major change) at the other.

    Large igneous province events only occur every few tens of millions of years. Humans have never seen one. It's volcanism on another level.

    The trouble with such rapid events is they are associated with mass-extinction with rapid climatic changes having a big role. The geological record preserves clear evidence for such things.

    What we've done with carbon since pre-industrial times is directly comparable to a Large igneous province in terms of pollution created and dispersed around the globe. This current climate change may not feel fast - you may not see remarkable events on a daily basis - but geologically speaking it is going along at breakneck speed. I guess I could now ask a question back:

    Just HOW bad do you want things to become before you take notice?

  13. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Just a couple of questions for someone smarter than me to answer. 

    Was there ever a period in the earth's life span when the climate wasn't changing?

    How much money would the moderator/ website owner be comfortable with in order to achieve whatever goal is desired?

    What is the goal?

  14. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    William @ 21: you say "Interstingly it left out the best point for sceptics of climate alarm: Deaths from disasters have fallen by a large amount."

    Unfortunately, you may be correct that "the best point for sceptics" is claims such as the one you point out. As "best points" go, the sceptic inventory has a pretty low bar to rise over.

    Unfortunately for sceptics, such claims are usually very poorly supported. Damage from natural disasters (including deaths) is hugely affected by human ingenuity in building better and better structures, and developing better and better weather forecasts that help people avoid tragic outcomes. The sceptic claims usually rely on a couple of factors:

    1. Choose a subset of the global data that makes for noisy results, making it hard to find a statistically significant result.
    2. Do not account for technology improvements that reduce damage and loss of life over time, even if climate was not changing.

    SkS has a rebuttal that looks at the damage costs (although it does not look specifically at deaths). has had several posts over the years that look at many of these "sceptic" analyses. A couple of links:

    Absence and Evidence

    The most comon fallacy...

    Of course, you could provide a link to the study you are using as evidence...

  15. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Two Dog @ 32:

    You seem to be under the impression that nobody has tried to explain the observed temperatures using anything other than CO2. This is patently false.

    This SkS rebuttal looks at conclusions drawn by the IPCC in 2007, looking at a variety of possible explanations.  The first figure from that post shows contributions to radiative forcing from several sources:

    IPCC 2007 SPM figure 2


    ...and the second figure on that post shows modelling of temperatures over the last century with and without anthropogenic forcing:


    IPCC 2007 SPM fig 4


    So when you try to answer Eclectic's question, you'll need to come up with something that is not on that list.

    If climate scientists have been "shutting down the debate", it's because they have looked at the proposed alternatives and found that the evidence is against them.

  16. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Two-Dog @32 :-   Okay, I'll play along.

    Your final sentence : "How do we know this current warming is not, at least in part, one such warming period?" [unquote]

    For your question to be sensible ~ you would need to specify what approximate percentage of non-anthropogenic warming is occurring (caused by the mysterious undiscovered factor you mentioned above ).

    If your proposed percentage were (roughly) around say 80-90% . . . then your question becomes very important.

    If you propose around say 10% . . . then your question becomes ridiculously unimportant.

    If you propose around say 50% . . . then we are back to the situation where we have the problem of a rapidly warming planet, and the intelligent course of action is to take urgent measures to reduce GreenHouse Gas emissions.   Not so ?

  17. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    "One Planet Only Forever" - I get the point about "having some merit" but couldn't the "deniers" make the same case?  i.e. that there are uncertainties in the man-made climate change narrative. One uncertainty that confuses me is why was there no global warming from about 1940-1970?  Presumably CO2 was increasing over that period.


    John Mason - not sure I understand the point.  Over history there has been many cooling and warming factors that are observed by the temperature record but largely unexplained.  How do we know this current warming is not, at least in part, one such warming period?

  18. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    John Mason @30  : Quite right !

    "Denier" is as good a term as any, for the deniers /climate deniers /science deniers.   The term has been around for decades, and everyone knows who & what  is meant by it.   Yes, the Deniers themselves know full well that it accurately applies to them ~ even though they bristle (and distract) about the "denier" label.   For the Lady doth protest too much , when she keeps insisting desperately that she is a "realist" or "skeptic".

    Possibly the poster Two-Dogs has not given any actual thought to the old hand-wavy claim that there might be some undiscovered mysterious physical cause responsible for the recent rapid global warming.

    That's where I find that the self-styled "skeptics" run into the problem of (what I call) the Two Sides of the Coin.   Indeed, I have never had any decent answer from any denier /provocateur /troll /sealion whatsoever.  

    And the problem is this :-   since the known anthropogenic causes of rapid warming are neatly explaining the global warming ~ then, if the modern warming were  largely caused by mysterious forces unknown to today's science . . . then it follows that there must exist another unknown mysterious factor, a cooling  factor, which precisely (and increasingly) is counteracting the ongoing warming effect of higher GreenHouse Gasses in the atmosphere.

    Mr W. Occam must have very raised eyebrows indeed, at the suggestion of at least two  new mysterious explanations !

    Quite the puzzle.  Perhaps, maybe, Two-Dogs can give the answer.

  19. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Re #26 (Two Dog):

    Skeptical Science was founded in 2007. By that point, 'climate change denial' and 'climate change deniers' were long-established terms. So in a sense they are 'grandfathered' - meaning that they are terms in wide use that everyone understands. We see this in mineralogy, for example the main ore of lead, galena, was named by Pliny the Elder around AD79. It does not accord with post-1959 mineral naming convention, but because its use is ubiquitous, the name is retained. It is a grandfathered mineral name.

    I'm not sure when the denial terminology was developed or who introduced it, but I know it had been around long before SkS.

  20. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    There's a lot of "inside baseball" language in play involved with meta-climate discussion, Two Dog.

    "Climate change denial" seems to have become shorthand for "climate science denial" and "climate change denial." Both phenomena have rich factual basis.

    There is still to this day a shrinking population of folks who don't believe Earth's climate and climate-mediated systems are changing at what current and paleoclimate data indicate are unusually rapid rates. This would be "climate change denial" as labeled on the tin.

    Meanwhile another population are focused on what is still slightly more fertile ground, that of calling into question the scientific community's (geophysicists in this domain, specifically) competence of understanding the controlling processes of Earth's climate. This is "climate science denial.'

    While often uttered in a context of emotional heat and frustration, "climate change denial" and "climate science denial" are not fundamentally emotive but rather are descriptive language attached to facts.

    Both species of denial face what will prove an insurmountable common challenge: consilience. By example, biologists are observing phenonena that would demand answers from geophysicists focused on Earth's climate systems. As it happens, geophysicists already had substantially useful explanations for what biologists are seeing in the natural world. This is retail level consilience. One of the purposes of our weekly climate-related academic research listing is to help people to see consilience on anthropogenic climate change, understand the overall perspective of experts having connection to matters influenced by climate— which includes numerous disciplines not directly connected with geophysics. 

    if one follows climate research output and its present concerns, it's plain to see we're quite far past the "huge unknowns" stage with respect to the geophysics of climate. The accidental perception of "huge unknowns" in climate geophysics is a mark of the success of climate science deniers in the public square. It's a product of what we might clinically term "synthetic ignorance," a feeling of not knowing what we actually know perfectly well enough, thanks to calculated practice in public messaging.

    Is every stripe on every graph we see 100% about us? No. Certainly the climate change we see today is influenced by "natural variation," on the time scale we're concerned with a matter of dithering around a mean. However, numerous and broad secular trends we're seeing not only in direct geophysical attributes of climate but myriad other features having climate as a major controlling variable find reliable explanation and predictive power in one naturally evolved feature of Earth, namely the planet's human population and culture— and how we've powered ourselves by liberation of energy from fossil fuels. We can hypothesize elaborate mechanisms for system-wide changes of the type we're seeing but scientific parsimony asks "why invent where no invention is necessary?" The dominant rationale for such invention seems to lie outsiide of scientific practice. 

    As to greening, greening enthusiasts should note that this phenomenon is accompanied by loss of albedo for a variety of reasons. Loss of albedo is not something we need at this juncture. It's also notable that for "climate change deniers" of all stripes, greening is a powerful contradiction of the basis of preferred beliefs. 

  21. Charlie_Brown at 03:24 AM on 28 March 2024
    Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Two Dog @26,

    If you include CH4 and other greenhouse gases, then man-made increases clearly are by far (100% or very close to it) the cause of current (overall within the last 150 years) warming. The factors and mechanism that drive global warming are very well known and have been explained in research journals, media articles, videos, and blogs for decades. There are no huge unknowns and no good reasons for doubt. Other theories (I prefer to use the word hypotheses because theories are supported by evidence) have been considered and refuted for lack of credible explanation and evidence. The descriptor “skeptic” is fine for one who raises questions and pursues evidence and explanation to support a hypothesis. The descriptor “denial” is accurate for one who denies the solid, fundamental scientific principles supported by massive evidence and cross-checks. That is why tolerance about the question has worn thin and why “denial” has become emotive. You need to apply critical thinking to the reading that you have been doing. Or perhaps you have some credible support for your thinking that you could offer?

  22. One Planet Only Forever at 02:59 AM on 28 March 2024
    Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Two Dog @26,

    The movie in question is still questionable and misleading even if it contains 'points that have merit'.

    I am a structural engineer with an MBA. I present two examples for the merit of my opening point:

    1. A structure design is unacceptable even if some parts of the design could be claimed to be 'perfect'. All it takes is one obvious error to justifiably declare the design to be unacceptable.
    2. A business plan is unacceptable even if some parts of the plan could be claimed to be 'perfect'. All it takes is one obvious error to justifiably declare the plan to be unacceptable.

    As for the ‘merit’ of things in the questionable misleading movie you perceive to have merit:

    1. Climate Change can be understood to be the term applied to the vast body of science that has proven conclusively that human impacts, not just CO2 from fossil fuel use, have caused significant rapid changes to the climate conditions of regions on this planet. “Climate Change Denial” is a term referring to people who resist learning about the constantly improving understanding of Climate Change science.
    2. The answer provided above questions the merit of your second ‘perceived point of merit’ about the significance of human impacts. There are many presentations of better understanding that shatter the ‘merit of what you perceive is a point of merit’. One example is SkS Myth/Argument 192 “The IPCC confidence in human-caused global warming is based on solid scientific research”. A related presentation is the Carbon Brief item form 2017 “Analysis: Why scientists think 100% of global warming is due to humans” (and more recent investigations have strengthened that understanding).

    I will conclude with the following: “Resistance to learning”, not “shutting down debate”, is the real problem. Being ‘hard-of-learning’ (see my comment @18), can cause people to claim that justifiably criticizing their ‘questionable attempts to debate points they unjustifiably believe have merit’, and pointing out that ‘repetition of already well-debunked misunderstandings has no merit’, is “shutting down debate”.

    Note: Regarding ‘covid’ you did not present an example of a ‘conspiracy theory’ you believe was proven to be correct. But I would suggest that for this topic on this website you should focus on presenting an example of what you believe is a ‘climate change conspiracy theory’ that has proven to be correct. One example I am aware of is the ‘conspiracy theory’ that undeserving wealthy powerful people have been deliberately misleading regarding Climate Change science resulting is massive amounts of unjustified “Climate Change Denial”.

  23. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    I am relatively new to criticisms of the man-made global warming narrrative but it seems to me that some of the points made in this film have merit.

    First, the use of emotive language in a critique like "climate change denial" (what does that even mean?) is problematic. The climate has never been in perfect equilibrium, so presumably nobody denies it changes - best to stick to the arguments. Second, we seem to focus on the wrong question. I think very few anthropogenic climate change skeptics would deny we are pumping more CO2 into the atmosphere right now than ever before and that has a warming effect (the "greenhouse effect"). Surely the question is: "To what extent are man-made increases in CO2 emissions driving the current warming we are experiencing?". It clearly cannot be 100% and for me that is the nub of the question.

    Given the huge unknowns about the factors that drive climate (and their significance) it seems unfortunate to me that there is an intolerance around this question. The BBC, for instance, should consider other theories on this. It may well be that the scientific weight suggests anthropogenic CO2 is by far the major cause, but in my reading there are some good reasons to doubt that.

    The problem with “shutting down debate” is best evidenced with covid where many of the “conspiracy theories” proved to be correct.

  24. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Hi William -  you are referring to separate Skeptical Science myth-rebuttals there, simply appearing (approximately) in the order in which the myths got trotted out in the movie. So of course 'bear' does not debunk 'hurricane'. Separate topics: however one important thing to watch out for with these Merchants of Doubt (I really really recommend you read the book with that title) is the way they chuck talking points into a food blender, firing it up on occasion, so you end up with a sort of bolognese of confusion!

  25. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Sorry for the typos 

  26. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    There is increasing evidence that hurricanes are getting stronger due to global warming.



    Polar bear numbers are increasing

    The below does not debunk the above. The above is a fact the below is an opnion/speuclation.. You can't deny a fact by a prediction foir the future 

    Polar bears are in danger of extinction as well as many other species.


  27. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    As this is your first post, Skeptical Science respectfully reminds you to please follow our comments policy. Thank You!

  28. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    I have just watched the movie and found it interesting.I agree  It lost its way after about 20 minites, especially when it got political .

    Interstingly  it left out the best point for sceptics of climate alarm: Deaths from disasters  have fallen by a large amount.  It is pretty hard to claim the end of the world - if fewer people are dying from the climate.

  29. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    I just want to th you for the great job of debunking and putting together such a great and helpful post just two days after this "documentary " was released. As usual, the denier crowd is talking about the movie being "shadowbanned" and "censored". I didn't ask for it and found it in my video suggestions on YouTube.

    I endured the whole thing and could detect lots of details by myself, but your research helps me a lot... and I discovered this site. Thanks again!

  30. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    As it can be cumbersome to explain why CO2 fertilisation is not a get-out-of-jail-free-card in fora such as Twitter/X, I usually try to get the 'sceptic' to look up Liebig's Law of the Minimum, which states why all nutrients need to be optimised in order to get more healthy growth.

    Link to wiki article

  31. One Planet Only Forever at 06:47 AM on 26 March 2024
    Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    I wholeheartedly agree with Doug Bostrom’s evaluation @3. And I have the following to add regarding the ‘hard-of-learning’ people I refereed to in my comment @16.

    Regarding people trying to build popular support by being misleading about the use of the term "freedom" (who would argue against Freedom?), I offer “Freedom” meanings in addition to "I get to do whatever I want regardless of costs to others". For them Freedom means:

    • Not having to learn to be less harmful and more helpful to others
    • Believing whatever you want and dismissing or ignoring justified criticism
    • Making up unjustified criticisms of what you don’t like
    • Believing that any belief is just as valid as, and superior to, the constantly improving evidence-based understanding of how to be a more sustainable part of the robust diversity of life on this amazing planet.

    As an engineer I was required to try to educate and, if necessary, restrict the freedom of (and disappoint) clients (or less knowledgeable or less ethical engineers) by informing them that what they wanted would not be done, was unacceptable, was harmful or had an unacceptable risk of harm.

    Asking about the following competing objectives may help if you encounter a person who is resisting learning about climate science and the corrections of human development that it requires:

    1. Pursuing things you think you would benefit from or enjoy and wanting them to be easier and cheaper
    2. Pursuing learning to be less harmful and more helpful to Others

    Common Sense Ethical consideration should lead to prioritizing the second objective and having it justifiably govern and restrict the freedom to pursue the first objective.

    An unsettling aspect of understanding what is going on is the awareness that people who are ‘hard-of-learning’ regarding climate science (and many other important matters that really matter) would be fans of this misleading movie and they get to vote for leadership candidates. They will demand unrealistic certainty of proof that their belief needs updating before they will stop liking a belief that is based on flimsy bits of evidence and wobbly reasoning (they refuse to learn what they don’t want to learn).

    More unsettling is being aware that a person who understands climate science and wants to limit climate change harm may still be tempted to vote ‘against that interest’. They could be tempted to like something else about a political leadership candidate and allow that ‘other interest’ to over-power their desire for less climate change harm to be done.

  32. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    The greening of the Earth is approaching its limit.

    When plants absorb this gas to grow, they remove it from the atmosphere and it is sequestered in their branches, trunk or roots. An article published today in Science shows that this fertilizing effect of CO2 is decreasing worldwide, according to the text co-directed by Professor Josep Peñuelas of the CSIC at CREAF and Professor Yongguan Zhang of the University of Nanjin, with the participation of CREAF researchers Jordi Sardans and Marcos Fernández. The study, carried out by an international team, concludes that the reduction has reached 50% progressively since 1982 due basically to two key factors: the availability of water and nutrients.

    "There is no mystery about the formula, plants need CO2, water and nutrients in order to grow. However much the CO2 increases, if the nutrients and water do not increase in parallel, the plants will not be able to take advantage of the increase in this gas", explains Professor Josep Peñuelas. In fact, three years ago Prof. Peñuelas already warned in an article in Nature Ecology and Evolution that the fertilizing effect of CO2 would not last forever, that plants cannot grow indefinitely, because there are other factors that limit them.

    If the fertilizing capacity of CO2 decreases, there will be strong consequences on the carbon cycle and therefore on the climate. Forests have received a veritable CO2 bonus for decades, which has allowed them to sequester tons of carbon dioxide that enabled them to do more photosynthesis and grow more. In fact, this increased sequestration has managed to reduce the CO2 accumulated in the air, but now it is over. "These unprecedented results indicate that the absorption of carbon by vegetation is beginning to become saturated. This has very important climate implications that must be taken into account in possible climate change mitigation strategies and policies at the global level. Nature's capacity to sequester carbon is decreasing and with it society's dependence on future strategies to curb greenhouse gas emissions is increasing," warns Josep Peñuelas.

    The study published in Science has been carried out using satellite, atmospheric, ecosystem and modeling information. It highlights the use of sensors that use near-infrared and fluorescence and are thus capable of measuring vegetation growth activity.,nutrients%20in%20order%20to%20grow.

  33. One Planet Only Forever at 04:33 AM on 26 March 2024
    Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Nick @14 and John @15,

    I am no expert regrading the greening or browning of the planet. But I am aware that 're-greening' happens fairly quickly after the 'browning' of a forest fire. However, it seems it could take a long time for the 're-greening' to re-lock-away all the locked-away carbon that was released by the fire. Also, the carbon released by a forest fire would include locked-away carbon  that is released as the dead wood decays.

    Hopefully there is enough data now for the experts to complete a robust evaluation and reach a reasonably sustainable conclusion.

    It would be tragic if this was another 'we need to wait for more evidence' excuse (waiting is delaying). The early arguments against the science were 'we need to wait and see how things actually turn out'.

    That 'there is not yet enough proof (to satisfy me to the point of changing my mind and changing my behaviour)' appears to continue to be the basis for many of the misunderstandings that are passionately believed and espoused by people who continue to be 'hard-of-learning' regarding climate science - demanding the freedom to believe whatever they want and do as they please, including resisting learning to be less harmful and more helpful to others (as Doug Bostrom explained so well @3).

  34. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Thanks, Nick!

    You're right - 'CO2 is plant-food' is the one that comes closest. The specific claim that the planet is greening does not have a rebuttal. Onto the to-do list. We ran into a similar situation last summer when claims that surface temperature had somehow been swapped for surface air temperature started doing the rounds.

  35. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    I've just checked and SKS does not appear to have a rebuttal yet to the 'Earth is getting greener due to CO2 fertilisation' meme, which is currently a very popular argument in the 'Climate Brawl' online and in the media.

    My current response is to point out that the 'sceptic' almost always refers to the first paper from NASA, that does indeed conclude that there has been a greening and that it has been most likely caused by the CO2 fertilisation effect. However, the second paper several years later in fact noted that alarge part of the hreening was actually down to China and India planting millions of trees to reforest areas, de-desertification and expansion of agriculture.

    There are papers which say that, in fact, the greening stopped a while back and Earth is now browning although there are others that say the greeninh has continued. Thoughts?


  36. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Further to ubrew12 and "adapt or die," it's helpful to remember that in nature adaptation is powered by what we humans call "excess mortality." But for us this means of adaptation is not axiomatic, no longer comprehensive.

    As a product of nature we're a force of nature. Unlike other natural phenonena we have evolved a uniquely powerful adaptive feature called foresight. This means that we can control and change our own nature of adaptation, our chances for success— at least as pertains to our cultural practices.

    By paying attention to and adapting our modes of living, we can certainly make ourselves more survivable as a natural threat to ourselves. With a lot less dying in the process.

    So far, this seems to be a substantially latent competence. Perhaps we should more consciously exploit it.

  37. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Nick Palmer says "It's becoming increasingly clear that virtually all of the 'engine' behind 'denialim is the Machiavellian manoeuvring of highly motivated political ideologues who believe their cause is so overwhelmingly important that it justifies the use of mass deception and the naked propaganda that is in this film."

    Love this statement. So accurate. It concisely sums up the whole thing.

    At the level of the general public denialism is probably a bit more broadly based, including people with vested interests in the fossil fules industry, or just worried about costs, and others with a more ideological or political agenda. Or a combination. Just based on my anecdotal impression and reading studies by various people but the pattern is very clear.

    As to Margaret Thatcher, not my favourite politician, but not totally bad either. She had a chemistry degree. She undestands science and accepted anthropogenic global warming. Probably also a bit opportunistic promoting nuclear power but at least she accepted the science. The idea it was all to impoverish poor people is in the realms of tin foil hat conspiracy theory.

    Certainly I have read many comments by deniers where they cant help reveal their political ideologies, and its frequently small government, libertarian freedom loving (taken to an extreme), or very conservative, or sometimes hard left concern trolling (mitigation will hurt poor people). Sometimes the right use the same argument that mitigation will hurt poor people, but I would suggest they couldnt care less and just use any ammunition they can get.

    According to psychological studies people who value security as a priority tend to vote left, those who value freedom (of action) as the main priority tend to vote right. However these tendencies exist on a spectrum and most people value both. The freedom loving libertarian ideologues are way out at the extreeme to the point its a bit pathological and where they resent all laws except very minimal and basic criminal and property law. You cannot run a society like that. It doesnt work. An example:

  38. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    walschuler @9

    Thanks for the heads-up! I switched the history graphic to a version where "Callendar" is spelled consistently with two "l". Having active links on these graphics isn't really feasible AFAIK. Your other suggestions will need jg's involvement for a possible future version (which may or may not be feasible, given that we also have a few translated versions of the image and I remember that it was quite an effort when we added Eunice Foote to this set of graphics a few years ago).

  39. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    I meant to say changes in the graphical timeline...

  40. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    This post is already useful and clear. A few suggested changes: choose which spelling of Callendar is correct (one "l" or two); add a temperature scale at the left margin for the green curve, in degrees C and F; make the web link to Weart's piece larger print and live, so one can jump directly to it.

    You might also consider live links to the works of Fourier, Foote, Tyndall, Arrhenius, Keeling and successors; add an entry and link for the icework of Petit et al; define "enhanced greenhouse effect."

  41. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    nico_macdonald @ 7:

    You want a case against Climate The Movie using evidence and science? All you need to do is follow the links to the existing rebuttals of the old, tired, frequently-debunked myths it repeats. They are all linked in the table that lists them in this blog post. There is literally nothing new in this movie.

    Or are you unwilling to do a bit of reading?

  42. nico_macdonald at 23:19 PM on 24 March 2024
    Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    A ‘mishmash of populist conspiratorial themes’; the BBC ‘only recently stopped giving deniers equal exposure’; ‘tired old cliches’; an ‘80-minute assault on reality’. Methinks you protest too much!

    If you can make a case against Climate The Movie using evidence and science, why resort to such language?

    As your comments policy notes, “using labels like 'alarmist' and 'denier' as derogatory terms are usually skating on thin ice’. 

  43. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Doug Bostrom's post #3 is very well thought out.

    It's worth remembering that the producer of this Gish Gallop is Martin Durkin, who was also responsible for The Great Global Warming Swindle. Now, denialists will whine that the following is 'ad hominem' but it is highly relevant to assessing the motivation behind, and the (lack of) accuracy and credibility of Durkin's output. At the time he did TGGWS, he was a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party. It's clear that in that film he was trying to suggest that climate science was more or less invented by Maggie Thatcher to sabotage the mineworkers union, deny the poor people's of the world access to fossil fuel energy and also to encourage the nuclear industry.

    He seems to have changed his politics somewhat nowadays and I believe he is now some form of libertarian but he now seems to be pushing the angle that climate science is an attack on industrial capitalism.

    It's becoming increasingly clear that virtually all of the 'engine' behind 'denialim is the Machiavellian manoeuvring of highly motivated political ideologues who believe their cause is so overwhelmingly important that it justifies the use of mass deception and the naked propaganda that is in this film

  44. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Nice piece John and Baerbel. Very informative!

  45. It's El Niño

    Please note: a new basic version of this rebuttal was published on March 24, 2024 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 @

  46. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    I'm sure everyone has heard this joke: Two guys are hiking and they run into a bear.  The first takes off immediately, but the other stops to remove his boots and put on running shoes.  The first says: "Are you crazy?  That's a bear!"  Says the second: "I don't have to outrun the bear.  I just have to outrun you."  It's funny, but this philosophy is no joke to people addicted to the concept that capitalism is a no-holds-barred cage match, in which the operating principle is 'Adapt or Die' (this is literally a response I've gotten from social media posts in which I complain about climate consequences).  To push the analogy, 'some of us' prefer to use binoculars to check if we're wandering into bear territory before we are actually upon them.  Unfortunately, to those regurgitating ad nauseum obvious lies about climate change, the act of 'seeing where you are going and adjusting your path on that basis' is, apparently, a form of communism.  And communism must be fought above all else.  And as Bostrom@#3 relates they are well-financed by the wealthiest industry in the history of commerce.  Hence, we are now well into the part of this journey where people start running from bears, and 'Adapt or Die' becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  The good thing is, even as 'The Devil takes the Hindmost', more and more people will be calling for binoculars, I believe, and Climate Science will finally get the respect it is due, after all this time.

  47. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    "Climate vs. Freedom" is the main point of the movie, the mainspring of the climate denialist clockwork. Careful disassembly and reverse engineering of this particular brand of synthetic ignorance inevitably reveals solipsism expressed in ideology as the movement's power source; so-called "freedom" here means "I get to do whatever I want regardless of costs to others," and powers the entire affair. 

    The film's funders would like us to confuse the freedom to think that is central to enlightened governance with freedom to dump sewage at our property line. This brings us into the territory of irony. Enlightenment thinking delivered the facts governing the anxieties of the film's producers— and this film is essentially trying to wind back the clock on several hundred years of the results of freedom to think. 

    The producers of the film are not at all concerned with freedom of thought and its outcome of science and enlightened understanding of our world. Their fears are centered on application of scientific results to public policy dealing with climate effects of CO2 emissions, circumspect and informed decisions proscribing unaccounted external costs. This will threaten any ideology founded on "everything's all about me." 

    Is application of climate science to public policy decisions itself ideological, even socialist? In a way it's true that climate policy is "socialist" if we're thinking in terms of social vs. antisocial, if we're employing the word "social" in its basic meaning.

    Climate policy is an outcome of "socialist ideology" in the same sense that traffic regulations are a social response to selfish automobile drivers. Individual irresponsible actions come at cost to bystanders. Society is generally concerned with fairness and rejects that one person may destroy another for no good reason. 

    Some small percentage of persons are so poorly socialized as to care nothing about others, so we must resort to various forms of coercion to force societally-compatible behaviors. Reckless driving is discouraged by force of policy and law, ranging from fines to imprisonment because we attach such high value to fairness.

    So it's proving to be the case with the external costs of vending fossil fuels, and hence we end up with climate policy that ultimately will end up with sharp edges of coercion to deal with diehard antisocial elements, given that some very tiny fraction of our society is composed of people truly uncaring of anybody but themselves.

    If vast amounts of money were to be made by driving over the speed limit, we'd find a vigorous public relations industry centered on denying that e=1/2mv2. The intent would be the same as with climate science and climate policy, to fool us into thinking we don't know established facts and by extension the outcomes of those facts.

    We'll never see "Traffic Tickets: The Movie" because there's no group of people for whom a vast revenue stream is threatened by being forced to drive safely. In this case of climate science and (more importantly) climate policy there is indeed a postively astronomical vector of money that will change due to policy arranged around facts and fairness and informed by science. So here we are, dealing with a slickly produced film created entirely for the purpose of prolonging profoundly anti-social behavior and employing the tactic of propagating synthetic ignorance. 

    Freedumb isn't freedom. It's the opposite. Freedom to think well and to make informed choices isn't the same as freedumb, feeling free to make stupid decisions because we've been fooled into believing we're ignorant. 

  48. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    Re #1: if you object to anything we've posted here, just let us know and cite published information to back up your argument. Just waving your arms in the air and essentially saying, "I hate this", doesn't get you very far, I'm afraid.

  49. Climate - the Movie: a hot mess of (c)old myths!

    what a load of nonsense.

    You people have NO idea.

    Not skeptical ... just stupid.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] As a new user, I assume that you took the time to read the Comments Policy?

    Your first statement is correct - the "movie" in question is indeed a "load of nonsense".

    Your second statement fails to explain who "you people" are, nor does it explain just what "ideas" those people are alleged to have missed.

    Your third statement is also a very accurate description of "Climate - the Movie".

    Thank you for taking the time to share with us.  Skeptical Science is a user forum wherein the science of climate change can be discussed from the standpoint of the science itself.  Ideology and politics get checked at the keyboard.

    Please take the time to review the Comments Policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.


  50. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12 2024

    NigelJ mentioned "extreme marine heatwaves"

    Heatwave spikes in the each of the major ocean basin indices — Pacific (Nino 3.4), Atlantic (AMO), and Indian (IOD). These are additive in terms of a global anomaly.




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