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  • 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #7

    MA Rodger at 22:43 PM on 27 February, 2022

    Santalives @28,
    You now present a third pile of nonsense here at SkS. At least you show a level of consistency. Coe et al (2021) 'The Impact of CO2, H2O and Other “Greenhouse Gases” on Equilibrium Earth Temperatures' is as ridiculous as the other two you presented. 

    Coe et al (2012) claims that it addresses the issue of Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) which, as is well known, has not been well-nailed-down by science for four decades now. So it would be quite a feat if there was even a smidgeon of promise in this paper to some contribution to the asssessment of ECS.
    I could set out why this is an entirely non-scientific paper that well deserves its place in the trash can but in your ignorance you would likely see this as "one side" being disrespectful to "the other side".

    So instead let me address what these numpties Coe, Fabinski & Wiegleb are doing that is so badly wrong.

    The crux of the ignorance presented within Coe et al (2012) begins to congeal in their Section 1.4. Here they derive entirely on their own** a value called “n” the “energy retention factor” given "a" the "atmospheric absorptivity" (or the proportion of surface radiation gets to space through a clear atmosphere. By using HITRAN to derive "a" (the calculated percentage of surface radiation that reaches space through that clear atmosphere), they derive "n" by balancing "a" against the radiation that has to reach space to balance the incoming solar warming.
    (**Note the one citation presented by the numpties for this grand work,  Wilson & Gea-Banacloche [2012], is a total misrepresentation.)

    The process they use runs as follows.

    If a black body of 288K (representing the surface temperature) was in equilibrium with today's absorbed solar energy which equates to a 255K black body, they calculate that the energy out into space would be just 61.5% of the 288K black body radiation.
    Thus, they derive for today's atmosphere (with a=a0) n.a0 = 38.5% of the surface radiation will be absorbed by the atmosphere. However, they also calculate using the grown-up HITRAN database, that the transmission through today's clear atmosphere of such 288K black body radiation would be a0 = 73.0% allowing them to derive in their Section 2.7 a value for "n"; n = 52.7%.
    And this incredibly simplistic method allows all the sceintific effort over the last four decades attempting to derive accurate ECS values to be sidestepped. Even the complex impact of clouds on this finding is sweetly side-stepped because, as they tell us in their Section 5.1, clouds are already accounted for in the derivation of "n".

    And all this is their own work. No supporting evidence. What clever numpties are these Coe, Fabinski & Wiegleb.

    Of course, there are feedback mechanisms to be negotiated and the numpties calculate (using simplistic assumptins) feedback values for water vapour (+18%) and the wavelength change in the radiation from a warmer world (-5%) with a net result feedback of (1.18 x 0.95 =) +12%.
    They then calculate the impact of differing levels of CO2 GHGs on the absorption of surface radiation through a clear atmosphere to calculate direct warming from a doubling of CO2 (400ppm to 800ppm) of +0.45ºC (when the science is irrefutably sure the value is +1.0ºC) and thus with a feedback of +12%, they can derive ECS = +0.5ºC (when the science says +1.5ºC to +4.5ºC).

    Of course, the GH-effect doesn't work in anything like the manner assumed by Coe et al (2012) so all these numpties Coe, Fabinski & Wiegleb are doing is advertising their own stupidity.

  • 2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #7

    MA Rodger at 22:32 PM on 22 February, 2022

    Santalives @11,

    I fear you are verging on the incoherent with this comment @11.

    There are places on the internet where "censorship" is in operation (or proposed) to remove fake facts. Such removal requires "fact checking" to know what is fake and what is real. You go on to describe such "fact checking" as suppressing argument and that any use of such suppression forfeits the argument to those whose argument is thus suppressed. But such "censorship" is a very narrow interpretation of "fact checking" and your comment suggests you not only consider such "censorship" should not be used, but it cannot be used.

    Rebuttal is not a "back and forth to argue our view of the facts" but a one-way process. You seem to consider that "facts" are not something that can be established but are things that could (& perhaps should) contradict each other. Thus you happily talk of "alternative facts" and of "original facts" and proclaim "I would suggest overtime they work out for themselves what is the correct facts and what is not and no amount of alternative fact propaganda will change that position permantly."

    This website is called Skeptical Science because it addresses the science and in such a forum there is stuff that is obviously correct and other stuff that is plain wrong. And while there is also stuff that has not been classified yet as either correct or wrong, there is no equivalent of "a free society" where wrong stuff is acceptable.
    And thus within science, "fact checking" in the form of a rebuttal (and what you might feel is "censorship") not only can be used but should be used.

    Finally, perhaps you should re-read "that article" Carey et al (2022) as you badly misrepresent what it says.

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

    Eclectic at 15:07 PM on 18 February, 2022

    Santalives @25 , 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Eclectic at 15:19 PM on 17 February, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 23:50 PM on 16 January, 2022

    BaerbelW  @  #902  :  We can look even further, regarding the Forbes 2016 article mentioned by Star-affinity @ #900 .

    The article's author, Mr Earl Ritchie, has grossly misrepresented the vonStorch 2013 survey  ~ the survey simply does not support Ritchie's thrust of argument.   Ritchie is severely misleading the Forbes  readers - readers who are probably good at business but probably rather unthinking (and ill-informed) on science.   And Ritchie is also misleading them about the Cook 2013 survey of scientific papers.

    The vonStorch 2013 survey [now 8 years old] had its interesting points.  And I think the brief "Mertonian" discussion on pages 68 & 69 was a pleasant change of pace.   And at the end of the survey report, Bray & vonStorch published a long list of comments criticizing the deficiencies of the survey (participants' critiques ~ especiallly about the ambiguities of the survey questions).

    Additionally, please note that the survey had a 7% return rate.  (Vastly different from the Cook 2013 survey, which had a different structure.)

    And, the survey was about opinions ~ and much of it was about opinions on technical aspects/adequacies of climate models & future projections.

    Most of the questions were rather vague and fuzzy and "word based" instead of scientific concept based.  So, somewhat difficult for the participants to express themselves about the overall climate science situation  ~ in analogy: they were invited to give opinion about a leaf or two, but not to discuss the background forest.

    (There were a few exceptions in the questions:  one where 2.5%  of respondents opined that they were not at all convinced about AGW.   And another question, where 89% of respondents said they were now more convinced [versus in 2007] that greenhouse gasses had produced modern global warming.)

    All this compares very poorly with the excellent methodology used in the Cook 2013 assessment of scientific consensus.

  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49

    One Planet Only Forever at 03:31 AM on 11 December, 2021

    swampfoxh @22,

    Thank you for clarifying that "I noticed that, so far, no one on this thread has commented on the present number of domestic bovines ..." was not meant to be what it can be understood to imply.

    I am certainly not the most familiar or best able to point you to what you are seeking on this website. But as a regular reader/user of SkS I am aware of the following which may help you find what you are looking for.

    • Check out this SkS item from 2020 "A Skeptical Science member's path to an experiment on carbon sequestration"

    • Use the Search feature on SkS to search for "agriculture". There are 12 related "Skeptic Arguments" found, and many Blog Posts, that may interest you.

    • Searching for "livestock" finds 3 related "Skeptic Arguments" (a subset of the 12)

    • A variety of other searches like "cattle" also find items that may be of interest that are not found by the "agriculture" or "livestock".

    • You can also use the "Search" feature on SkS and search for RedBaron, the individual the first article I pointed to is about, expanding the search to include "Comments".

    My primary interest is increased awareness and improved understanding of what is harmful and understand how to help reduce harm done and develop sustainable improvements for global humanity. I regularly visit Skeptical Science to learn. I occasionally comment when the situation motivates me.

    Climate change impacts caused by the developed and developing ways of living are likely the most significant impediment to achieving sustainable improvements of living conditions for humans, particularly sustainable improvements of conditions for the least fortunate.

    Skeptical Science is very informative on the matters it focuses on which are well described by the website header statement: "Our mission is simple: debunk climate misinformation by presenting peer-reviewed science and explaining the techniques of science denial."

    The science denial aspects of this website are particularly helpful. They help me appreciate the diversity of denial and misrepresentation that happen when people resist learning more about something that contradicts their developed interests and beliefs. And the developed socioeconomic-political systems have developed a lot of "interests and beliefs" that need to be robustly contradicted and corrected by increased awareness and improved understanding.

  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25, 2021

    Daniel Bailey at 07:56 AM on 24 June, 2021

    @citizenschallenge, I've downloaded those and will read them in more depth tomorrow.  Surficially, they appear pretty straightforward and anyone using them to deny the understood science of AGW, land-based ice sheet losses and SLR is being disingenuous and misrepresenting those 2 papers.  They appear to be good news, in that future losses from the ice sheets will more closely follow existing modeled pathways and not something far more extreme.

  • The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

    Nick Palmer at 09:33 AM on 23 June, 2021

    Just in case you lot are still resisting the idea that the politics relating to climate science have become extremely polarised - in my view to the point where ideologues of both the left and right think it justified to exaggerate/minimise the scientific truths/uncertainties to sway the democratically voting public one way or the other - here's a video blog by alt-right hero and part of the original Climategate team who publicised the emails, James Delingpole basically saying that 'the left' have infiltrated and corrupted the science for the purpose of using political deception to seize power for themselves.

    Deconstruct or follow up Delingpoles' rhetoric elsewhere and you will find a helluva lot of intelligent articulate people who believe that the public's environmental consciences are being exploited by closet socialist forces to deceive them, using 'fear porn', into voting for policies which they otherwise wouldn't consider voting for, in a dark strategy to bring in some form of latter day Marxism. They insinuate this has got its tentacles into climate science which they assert has led to the reality of the science, as presented to the public, being twisted by them for political ends. It's absolutely not just Greenpeace, as I already said, who've 'gone red' to the point where it has 'noble cause' corrupted their presentations of environmental matters and, crucially, the narrow choice of solutions they favour - those which would enable and bring on that 'great reset' of civilisation that they want to see. It's much, much bigger than that.

    I think we are seeing a resurgence and a recrystallisation of those who got convinced by Utopianist politics of the left and free market thinkers of the right taught at University - Marxist-Leninism, Ayn Rand, Adam Smith etc. Most of those students eventually 'grew up' and mellowed in time, leaving only a small cadre of incorrigible extremists but who are now, as the situation is becoming increasingly polarised politically, revisiting their former ideologies. In essence 'woking' up. I submit that the real battle we are seeing played out in the arena of climate matters is not between science and denialism of science - those are only the proxies used to manipulate the public. The true battle is between the increasingly polarised and increasingly extreme and deceitful proponents of the various far left and right ideologies and their re-energised followers.

    It is now almost an article of faith, so accepted has it become, amongst many top climate scientists and commentators, that 'denialism' is really NOT motivated by stupidity or a greedy desire to keep on making as much money as possible but is rather a strong resistance to the solutions that they fear are just 'chess moves' to bring about the great Red 'reset' they think the 'opposition' are secretly motivated by.

    Here's an excellent article by famous climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe identifying those who are 'solutions averse' as being a major factor in denialism. It touches on the 'watermelon' aspect. You can turn a blind eye to what I am saying if you want, but in that case you should also attack Hayhoe too - but don't expect many to applaud you...

    Also try this:

    I think some people who fight climate science denialism still have the naive idea that just enlessly quoting the science to them, and Skepticalscience's F.L.I.C.C logical fallacies, will make denialists fall apart. I too used to think that if one would just keep hammering away, eventually they would give up. Anyone who tries this will find that it actually does not work well at all. Take on some of the smarter ones and you will rapidly find that you are, at least in the eyes of the watching/reading/listening public, who are the only audience it's worthwhile spending any time trying to correct, outgunned scientifically and rhetorically. That's why I don't these days much use the actual nitty-gritty science as a club with which to demolish them because the smarter ones will always have a superficially plausible, to the audience at least, comeback which looks convincing TO THE AUDIENCE. Arguing the science accurately can often lose the argument, as many scientists found when they attempted to debate such notorious, yet rhetorically brilliant sceptic/deniers such as Lord Monckton.

    I haven't finished trying to clarify things for you all but right back at the beginning, in post#18, I fairly covered what I was trying to suggest is a more realistic interpretation of the truth than the activist's simplistic 'Evil Exxon Knew' propaganda one. In short, most of you seem to believe, and are arguing as if, the science was rock solid back then and that it said any global warming would certainly lead to bad things. This is utterly wrong, and to argue as if it was true is just deceitful. As I have said, and many significant figures in the field will confirm, I've been fighting denialism for a very long time so when denialists present some paper or piece of text extracted from a longer document as 'proof' of something, I always try and read the original, usually finding out that they have twisted the meaning, cherry picked inappropriate sentences or failed to understand it and thereby jumped to fallacious conclusions - similarly I read the letters and extracts that Greenpeace used and, frankly, either they were trying deliberately to mislead or they didn't understand the language properly and jumped to their prejudiced conclusions and then made all the insinuations that we are familiar with and that nobody else seems be questioning much, if at all. The idea that Exxon always knew that anthropogenic climate change was real (which they, of course, did) AND that they always knew that the results of that would be really bad and so they conspired to cover that bad future up is false and is the basis of the wilful misreading and deceitful interpretation of the cherry picked phrases, excerpts and documents that has created a vastly worse than deserved public perception of how the fossil fuel corporations acted. Always remember that, at least ideally, people (and corporations) should be presumed innocent until proven beyond reasonable doubt to be guilty. Greenpeace/Oreskes polemics are not such proof. Their insinuations of the guilt of Big Oil is just a mirror image of how the Climategate hackers insinuated guilt into the words of the top climate scientists.

    Here's a clip from my post#18

    NAP: "When activists try to bad mouth Exxon et al they speak from a 'post facto' appreciation of the science, as if today's relatively strong climate science existed back when the documents highlighted in 'Exxon knew' were created. Let me explain what I think is another interpretation other than Greenpeace/Oreskes'/Supran's narratives suggesting 'Exxon knew' that climate change was going to be bad because their scientists told them so as far back as the 70s and 80s. Let me first present Stephen Schneider's famous quote from 1988 (the whole quote, not the edited one used by denialists).

    S.S. "On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.""

    Stephen Schneider, as a climate scientist, was about 'as good as it gets' and he said that in 1988. Bear in mind that a lot of the initial framing to prejudice readers that 'Exxon knew' used was based on documents from considerably longer ago, so what are the activists who eagerly allowed themselves to be swept up in it until no-one questioned it turning a blind eye to? It's that the computer models of the time were extremely crude because computer technology back then was just not powerful enough to divide Earth up into enough finite element 'blocks' of small enough size to make model projections of much validity, in particular projections of how much, how fast and how bad or how good... Our ideas of the feedback effects of clouds and aerosols back then was extremely rudimentary and there were widely differing scientific opinions as to the magnitude or even the direction of the feedback. The scientific voices we see in Exxon Knew tend to be those who were suggesting there was lot more certainty of outcome than there actually was. That their version has been eventually shown to be mostly correct by a further 40 years of science in no way means they were right to espouse such certainty back then - just lucky. As I pointed out before, even as late as the very recent CMIP6 models, we are still refining this aspect - and still finding surprises. To insinuate that the science has always been as fairly rock solid as it today is just a wilful rewriting of history. Try reading Spencer Weart's comprehensive history of the development of climate science for a more objective view of the way things developed...

    ExxonMobil spokesperson Allan Jeffers told Scientific American in 2015. “The thing that shocks me the most is that we’ve been saying this for years, that we have been involved in climate research. These guys (Inside Climate News) go down and pull some documents that we made available publicly in the archives and portray them as some kind of bombshell whistle-blower exposé because of the loaded language and the selective use of materials.”

    Look at the phrases and excerpts that were used in both Greenpeace's 'Exxon Knew' and 'Inside Climate News's' exposés. You will find they actually are very cherry picked and relatively few in number considering the huge volumes of company documents that were analysed. Does that remind you of anything else? Because it should. The Climategate hackers trawled through mountains of emails - over ten years worth - to cherry pick apparently juicy phrases and ended up with just a few headline phrases, a sample of which follow. Now, like most of us now know, there are almost certainly innocent and valid explanations of each of these phrases, and independent investigations in due course vindicated the scientists. Reading them, and some of the other somewhat less apparently salacious extracts that got less publicity, and comparing them with the 'presented as a smoking gun' extracts from Greenpeace/Oreskes/Supran etc I have to say, on the face of it, the Climategate cherry picks look more evidential of serious misdeeds than the 'Exxon Knew' excerpts. Except we are confident that the Climategate hackers badly misrepresented the emails by insinuating shady motives where none were. Why should we not consider that those nominally on the side of the science did not do the same? Surely readers here are not so naive aas to believe that everyone on 'our side' is pure as the driven snow and all those on the 'other side' are evil black hats?

    Here's a 'top eight'

    1) Phil Jones "“I’ve just completed Mike’s [Mann] Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s [Briffa] to hide the decline.”

    2) “Well, I have my own article on where the heck is global warming…. The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.” [Kevin Trenberth, 2009]

    3) “I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple." Keth Briffa

    4) Mike [Mann], can you delete any e-mails you may have had with Keith [Trenberth] re AR4? Keith will do likewise…. Can you also e-mail Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his e-mail address…. We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.” [Phil Jones, May 29, 2008]

    5) “Also we have applied a completely artificial adjustment to the data after 1960, so they look closer to observed temperatures than the tree-ring data actually were….” [Tim Osborn, Climatic Research Unit, December 20, 2006]

    6) “I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin [Trenberth] and I will keep them out somehow, even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!” [Phil Jones, July 8, 2004]

    7) “You might want to check with the IPCC Bureau. I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 [the upcoming IPCC Fifth Assessment Report] would be to delete all e-mails at the end of the process. Hard to do, as not everybody will remember it.” [Phil Jones, May 12, 2009]

    8) “If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s warming blip (as I’m sure you know). So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say 0.15 deg C, then this would be significant for the global mean—but we’d still have to explain the land blip….” [Tom Wigley, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, to Phil Jones, September 28, 2008]

    Please at least consider the possibility that Greenpeace, who have been deceiving the public about the toxicity and carcinogenicity of this, that and the other for decades (ask me how if you want to see how blatant their deceit or delusion is... showing this is actually very quick and easy to do) were, in a very similar way, and motivated by their underlying ideology, deliberately (or delusionally) misrepresenting innocent phrases to blacken names excessively too.

  • The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

    Philippe Chantreau at 01:55 AM on 23 June, 2021

    I'm starting to lean the same way as Bob. 

    I have read Nick's efforts in various forums before and I respect his efforts to combat misrepresentation then.

    I am growing tired of his arrogant tone and endless repetition now. Yes Nick, your writing is so subtle and complex, the ideas expressed so profound that no matter how many times you repeat the same thing, everyone still understands it a certain way, which displeases you. I wonder why that is. 

    In post 40 I asked you several very simple yes/no questions. I'm not a lawyer so I don't use dirty tricks to make people say things in an oversimplified way that does not reflect reality. In other words, you don't have to answer any of them with just yes or no. However, you made no effort at all at answering any of them, instead hammering away with the same rethoric over and over. Did you just not have any good answer?

    And stop bragging about supporting Red Baron project, many contributors here have done the same thing, but do not throw it in anyone's face.

    You are not showing that much more intellectual honesty in that immense succession of words here than those whom you criticize so bitterly.

  • The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

    Bob Loblaw at 11:47 AM on 22 June, 2021

    "...getting it, whatever it is" does not seem like a particularly ringing endorsement of whatever Nick is promoting.

    I'm more in agreement with MAR: NIck's writing "does not make for pretty reading".

    Nick has again started off with a diatribe about how "none of us are fully getting what I am saying", but he's not going to tell us why our responses are "flawed" and accuses MAR of  writing something that "is a mirror inage [sic]of the sort of toxic denialist misrepresentation of someone's position".

    Maybe your arguments are not well expressed, and not that convincing, Nick?

    I get that you dislike Greenpeace. I get that you don't like Oreske's work. I get that you have personal anecdotes that convince you that the oil industry really hasn't been behaving all that badly.

    I have personal anecdotes, too. I studied the physics of freezing soils and construction of arctic pipelines from some of the expert witnesses involved in the Berger Inquiry, and then worked in the oil patch and research comunity for three years before going back to grad school. I saw personally how the industry struggled to figure out how to deal with thaw settlement of warm pipelines in permafrost, and frost heave of refrigerated pipelines in unfrozen soils. Building pipelines in the arctic was not like building them in Texas.

    ...and I saw the public position the companies took, blaming delays on "environmentalists", all while working internally to understand engineering problems they had no solutions to. I saw this 40 years ago.

    So, Nick, your argument that you are presenting some new idea that goes against common viewpoints seems odd to me - I've seen the "the environmentalists made us do it" charade a long time ago, and it is a dog that will not hunt - unless you can come up with something more than personal anecdotes. So, when you say "...I realise I've got an uphill struggle with you lot because you are unlikely to have heard anyone arguing this position before...", you are definitely wrong.

    As for your arguments presented here, and your accusations of "denialist misrepresentation", etc., have you really looked at how you have characterized the people you are arguing with here, and the positions (either comments here, or from the larger debate) you are arguing against?

    • "..the appearance of some of the more extreme campaigning activists by, in my view, misattributing dark motivations to and unfairly demonising the actions..."

    • "Greenpeace's highly misleading report"

    • "This is a seriously warped thing to assert."

    • "When activists try to bad mouth Exxon et al they speak from a 'post facto' appreciation of the science,"

    • "it was the far left who more or less started denialism off "

    • "I believe it was the environmental organisations excessive and unwarranted views..."

    • "... Big Oil continued to support the "B.S. factories" because they were effective at trying to protect those corporations against unwarranted attack. "

    • "...chock full of cherry picking and insinuation ..."

    • "...most seem to have been happy to accept Greenpeace et al's interpretation of events as gospel ..."

    • " alternative explanation to the insinuative narrative that just about everyone seems to have accepted. I think that narrative is fundamentally flawed and was constructed by people with a strong ideological bias as a way to socially engineer the public ..."

    • "Perhaps it might help if you and the other two knew three things which might help you..."

    • "Just watch the 'usual suspects' jump on the word 'unabated' ..."

    • "You sound like a denialist! "

    • "You lot are STILL not understanding my main point and are jumping to fundamentally fallacious conclusions about my position."

    • "I think you lot are trying to hard to prop up a very long standing meme, originated by Greenpeace and subsequently promoted by, IMHO, political forces not related to pure climate science"

    • "it's been interesting to see the, in my view somewhat biased, kick-back from long term Skepsci followers. I think what I might do in due course is approach John Cook to see if we can arrange a Zoom meeting. He and Stephan Lewandowsky are right at the forefront of the 'psychological' approach to deconstructing denialist attitudes and methods. Maybe they'll be more welcoming of a new hypothesis than others..."

    • "However, I assure you that..."

    • BTW, as some of you are using exactly the same insinuative style as hardline denialists do,

    Do you realize how your choice of words makes you appear?

    I know nothing about you other than what you post here (and possibly a bit more posted elsewhere - I don't recognize the name)). I also know for sure that you don't know anything about me, other than what I post here or on other climate-related blogs you might have seen me comment on. (You can read about me on the SkS Team page to know how I know this.)

    What's the point? Your self-agrandizement is pretty tiresome, and you really are not doing yourself any favours with your claims of knowing everything better than everyone else. You are not adderssing other people's criticisms - you are just dismissing them based on your fixed ideas about their motivation and (usually incorrect) assumptions about their sources of information.

    By the way, in this thread my count says you've mentioned Greenpeace about 25 times. Did I mention that we already know you don't like Greenpeace?

    You have said "I'll try and restate things later, if I get time,"

    Please don't unless you actually have something new to say.


  • The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

    Nick Palmer at 02:41 AM on 22 June, 2021

    Yet again there are too many, in my view flawed, responses to give answers to all. I still think none of you are fully getting what I am saying. Nigel J is closest to 'getting it', MAR is (waaay) furthest away (his comment #72 in particular is a mirror inage of the sort of toxic denialist misrepresentation of someone's position that we see too often when fighting said denialists).

    I'll try and restate things later, if I get time, and will try to clarify the bits where peoples' defences are causing then to bounce off. In the meantime, remember that all this sponsoring of think tanks, who used denialist rhetoric as part of their lobbying for corporate clients, took place quite a long time ago when carbon capture and sequestration seemed a lot more promising than it has proved to be (until recently) a couple of decades later. Back then it was an entirely reasonable position for a corporation to take to assume technological progress would  be delivering the CCS magic machines in time to do the job of nullifying emissions to atmosphere. The coal industry, for obvious reasons, were most hoping for this get-out-of-jail-free card. I think it was BP or Shell Oil that first had their accountants put a notional 'carbon price' into their financial reports, thus hedging their bets. Should CCS prove economic, any carbon sequestered would not be taxed; should it not, then their financial planning would already be taking a carbon price into account.

    As it happens, just about the only thing preventing the uptake of existing CCS tech is money - the lack of a suitable global carbon price. The actual technology/chemistry, which is pretty simple, works just fine, and has done for some considerable time, it's only the economics of running it which have been dodgy. However, that's likely to change rapidly as Carbon Engineering's system of direct air capture is expected to come in at around $100 a tonne, which is waay better than other systems. This is tech is also about direct capture of CO2 from the ambient atmosphere. Obviously, point of generation 'smoke stack' capture would be even easier. Even doubling that figure means that just a moderate carbon price would be sufficient to justify sequestering carbon just on financial grounds.

    Excerpt from their latest news:

    "Project Dreamcatcher is a key step towards Storegga and CE’s ambitions to build a large-scale DAC plant in the UK within the next five years. The proposed large-scale DAC facility will capture between 500,000 and one million tonnes of atmospheric CO2 each year and then safely and permanently store it deep below the seabed in an offshore geological storage site. One of the locations being considered by the partnership for this facility is in North East Scotland, with access to the Acorn CCS and Hydrogen Project (Acorn).

    Acorn is one of the most mature UK CCS and hydrogen projects and is positioned to be the most cost-effective and scalable CCS project in the UK. The Acorn project is currently in the detailed engineering and design phase of development and is planned to be operational by the mid 2020’s. DAC, CCS and hydrogen technologies are complementary solutions that provide key tools for the UK to meet its net zero targets."

    However, this doesn't mean that I think that Big Fossil Fuel's original hope that CCS would enable them to indefinitely continue to run their industry at the scale it was will come to pass. I think the business risk they took twenty years ago will not pan out for them. I'm fairly sure that the fossil fuel industry will shrink in future as the price of new renewables continues to fall to below the price of new fossil fuel and the much improved 'failsafe' and modular designs of new generations of nucelar power stations are authorised. It may be that there will always be some remaining niche applications for them to fulfil in future which still need fossil fuels and so CCS can take care of that, whilst sucking out existing excess atmospheric CO2.

    I think Scott's (Red Baron) system of carbon capture by sequestration of carbon into managed agricultural field systems has far more (read 'huge'...) potential than most realise. The arguments against it sound very close to the type of rhetoric that extreme environmentalists and left'ish anti-Big Industry types use to argue (fallaciously, in my opinion) against technological CCS inasmuch as I think it clear that they're antithetical to any solutions which promise to let our current technological civilisation continue as it is and so they jump through mental hoops to undermine them leaving, they hope, their favoured solutions as the only option.

    Whilst I'm throwing cats amongst the pigeons, how about this? Assuming widespread adoption of CCS techniques enables us to start lowering atmospheric levels in future, I don't think we should try to get back to pre-industrial levels of 280ppm. I think 350 ppm would be a great place to stop as it keeps us just about in the 'goldilocks zone' where the long term benefits of moderate global warming are, on balance, neutral or positive and would have the very long term benefit of heading off the next glaciation...

  • The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

    Nick Palmer at 02:48 AM on 13 June, 2021

    I realise I've got an uphill struggle with you lot because you are unlikely to have heard anyone arguing this position before - most seem to have been happy to accept Greenpeace et al's interpretation of events as gospel without deconstructing it enough. When one has been deconstructing the deceit, delusion and/or dumbness from the various denialist factions for decades, as I have, one can't help it if one sometimes notices the very same methods being used by our 'side'. I personally think that demonising Big Oil's past activities and misrepresenting them as if they were real denialism is very counter-productive. Apart from anything else, one of the most powerful arguments I use against tricksy denialist rhetoric is that these days even Big Fossil Fuel fully accepts mainstream climate science and they acknowledge that something serious needs to be done to avoid the very unacceptable risks. I point that if there was a trace of reality in the arguments that have sucked them in, Big Oil's scientists would have noticed and their corporate execs would have then beaten a wide path to the doors of the sceptic/contrarian/denialists with wheelbarrows full of cash to learn about their magic get-out-of-jail-free cards. When I challenge denialists to explain, if they are so sure of their beliefs, why this is not happening, and never did happen, they either shut up or go off into the lala land of conspiracies I list later on. In either case, the wider audience sees they have nothing real...

    Bob Loblaw@25 wrote:

    "Give me a break. I was studying climatology for 10 years before Hansen's speech, and a dozen years before the 1990 IPCC report"

    I refer you again (3rd time) to my quote of Carbonbrief's article and the words of top climate scientist Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M Uni.

    C.B.: "In 1979, the Charney Report from the US National Academy of Sciences suggested that ECS was likely somewhere between 1.5C and 4.5C per doubling of CO2. Nearly 40 years later, the best estimate of sensitivity is largely the same.
    However, Prof Andrew Dessler at Texas A&M University pushes back on this suggestion. He tells Carbon Brief:

    I think that the idea that ‘uncertainty has remained the same since the late 1970s’ is wrong. If you look at the Charney report, it’s clear that there were a lot of things they didn’t know about the climate. So their estimate of uncertainty was, in my opinion, way, way too small"

    "Back in 1979, climate science was much less well understood than today. There were far fewer lines of evidence to use in assessing climate sensitivity. The Charney report range was based on physical intuition and results from only two early climate models.

    In contrast, modern sensitivity estimates are based on evidence from many different sources, including models, observations and palaeoclimate estimates. As Dessler suggests, one of the main advances in understanding of climate sensitivity over the past few decades is scientists’ ability to more confidently rule out very high or very low climate sensitivities."

    I'm not disputing that the basic science of radiative physics and the simple climate modelling of ECS of 'how many degrees per doubling' has been around a long time. As a matter of fact, as a science geek, I knew about some of the scientific views in my later teens (early 70s) - about the time I stopped buying aerosols (apart from WD40...) to protect the ozone layer. The uncertainty of outcome referred to by Dessler is to the 'known unknowns' and 'unknown unknowns' at the time and these were very significant. The (some of) CMIP6 model problems were mentioned just to show that even today some crucial feedback mechanisms affecting ECS are still being nailed down 40 years later.

    It is the solidarity or otherwise of the climate sensitivity figures AT THE TIME of the memos and documents cherry picked in 'Exxon Knew' which is at the very nub of whether, as the populist environmentalist narrative goes, Exxon were evil or, as I am convinced, just cautious because the views of sensitivity at the time were just not solid enough to mandate massive corporation change without a lot more scientific work to more reliably figure out what ECS was (not to mention the Transient and Earth system sensitivities too). If Exxon's scientists told their bosses that, as Dessler wrote, Charney's figures were waay more uncertain than Charney thought they were, that is not evidence of psychopathic evil, it's just evidence of good scientists offering a very valid criticism of another scientist's work.

    Sure, at the time, Exxon's own scientists acknowledged the basic 'settled' science but of course they would also acknowledge the great uncertainties which the 'anti's turned a blind eye to. There was nothing sinister about that and it is the attribution of malignant motives to Big Oil by Greenpeace et al that I have a serious issue with. There is so much deceit, deception, propaganda, selective and misleading information from all sides out there that I think our 'side' should clean up its act and disavow all that stuff and just stick to the best peer reviewed science, the best risk analysis and not indulge in dubiously demonising (probably) innocent'ish corporate behaviour that has been, in my view, massively misrepresented or rule out many solutions, as Mann has done, which have great potential thus making 'the answers' much harder to achieve.

  • The New Climate War by Michael E. Mann - our reviews

    Nick Palmer at 02:56 AM on 9 June, 2021

    3 very thought provoking comments from Nigel J, OPOF and Bob Loblaw. I'm still considering Supran/Oreskes' paper and Supran's presentation. So far I'm still seeing that a (possible) misattribution of motives for the actions of Exxon/Big Oil is at the root of the (possible) misrepresention to the public that these two, and in particular Greenpeace's prior 'Exxon knew' report, have created. I'm not attibuting sinister motives to the researchers, they're probably sincere in the beliefs and judgements that framed their interprations, but I can see other far more benign interpretations than the simplistic one we are presented that 'Big Oil is evil, knew the dangers they were subjecting the public to and didn't care as long as the dollars kept rolling in'.

    Perhaps people ought to remember that Big Fossil Fuel's executives and C.E.O.s have got children and grandchildren they worry about too...

  • Dr. Ben Santer: Climate Denialism Has No Place at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Jim Hunt at 21:04 PM on 27 May, 2021

    Eclectic @17:

    I selected a different quotation from Mark Boslough as my favourite in a recent review article:

    Most of the technical mistakes and misrepresentations in “Unsettled” may simply be attributable to Koonin’s trust of those advisors and lack of rigorous independent verification.

    "Those advisors" being John Christy, Judith Curry, and Richard Lindzen.
    Plus an informative infographic from his suggested source:


  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #17, 2021

    nigelj at 08:14 AM on 3 May, 2021

    Oortcloud @1, what you say is a strawman. Definition of a straw man from Oxford dictionary: "noun, an intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent's real argument." The real argument is too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in a short time frame causes a climate change problem, not that we have to get rid of all carbon dioxide.

  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #9, 2021

    JohnSeers at 20:47 PM on 16 March, 2021


    Looks like SunBurst has been outed as a sockpuppet. Quelle surprise. 

    Someone else has pointed out his example of an Al Gore prediction (of New York flooding) does not hold up. I would just add that I notice he fails to provide a reference to the actual prediction and the actual words Al Gore used, which is an all too common problem in his echo chamber. All the better to misrepresent what was said. 

    I will add one point in refutation. Al Gore made this unreferenced prediction in 2006 according to SunBurst. New York was badly flooded in 2012. That seems pretty convincing to me. 

    I am aware that the science doubters argue until they are blue in the face that this does not count "'Cos it was caused by a hurricane.".  Just a sign of their desperation to cling to their failing zombie tropes.



  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #8

    One Planet Only Forever at 16:07 PM on 23 February, 2021


    In spite of Rob Honeycutt's response, the Reich Opinion piece you refer to (and that I read all the way through then sarcastically - but not effectively - questioned the basis for your comment) is a reasonably robust explanation of the observable history on the matter. Not being a "peer reviewed presentation of repeatable controlled experiments" does not mean it is not a robustly reasoned and defensible presentation of what has been observed to have happened.

    I repeat that I see no parts of the Opinion piece being what you claim (no part is a misrepresentation). In addition, there are other evidence-based reports being presented in many other news sources that substantiate the basis and evaluation presented in the Opinion piece. And the observations of what happened in Texas are consistent with what has been observed to happen in many other places in recent history. Also, there are many books that cover the general topic with detailed observations as their basis that support the Opinion presented (it is not just this power problem in Texas).

    And the problem of pursuers of wealth not considering or caring about the harm that could be caused by their maximization of personal benefit (or maximization of profit) is a major part of the climate change problem, a major reason less correction of behaviour to reduce the harm being done has occurred.

  • How much does animal agriculture and eating meat contribute to global warming?

    Alan Russell at 23:59 PM on 14 November, 2020

    I'm glad to see this article but I think you should reconsider your reference to Poore & Nemecek in the link posted above (LINK).

    I applaud Poore and Nemecek for their efforts to collate and present this information but I believe that any study that uses 100 year emission factors for methane and does not account for the carbon sequestration potential of grazing land (using the best available current evidence) should not be cited without review and correction. Note that accounting for methane GWP correctly, and modelling livestock grazing using best practice (the Savory Institute and Regeneration International have good information on this) wouldn't just change the picture slightly, they would be likely to change the representation of livestock farming into a carbon sink. From review of Poore and Nemecek's Science article that the data has been taken from, you can see in the Erratum that they originally had underestimated the carbon sink potential for land not used for food, but neither in the report, nor the Erratum have they noted the carbon sink potential for grazing land. This is probably mostly because the study is a meta-analysis and understanding of soil microbiology has advanced in recent years so findings based on meta-analyses of outdated information are unlikely to reflect the best of evidence.

    On the representation of methane GWP, methane has a half-life in the atmosphere of about 10 years, so if cattle herd sizes remain the same over the lifetime of methane in the atmosphere they will maintain the same amount of additional methane in the atmosphere year on year. In terms of their contribution to warming, this, in a very simplistic sense, is equivalent to a closed power station (LINK, LINK). Note that the number of cattle in Europe and North America is actually lower than it was in the 1960's whilst India has fewer cattle than it did in the 1980s, LINK, so their associated methane emissions have actually dropped. I put the misrepresentation of methane GWP down to laziness - it's much easier to apply a single figure per head of cattle than to look at how herd size has changed over time.

  • CO2 effect is saturated

    Eclectic at 07:50 AM on 28 October, 2020

    Aoeu @587 , permit me to add my 2 cents as well.

    The WUWT  article is a "nothingburger" - and worse.

    The WUWT  editor has given a completely fallacious headline. (Typical for WUWT) The article is based on a paper - unpublished - by two scientists, one of whom is the eminent Dr Happer.  It is claimed that Happer's paper has been knocked back by three major journals . . . and reading the paper soon shows why a scientific journal would not bother to publish this paper.

    You will see from the above comments by MA Rodger and Tom Dayton, that the Happer paper comes out with a CO2-doubling Climate Sensitivity of 2.2 degreesC  . . . a finding which is wildly misrepresented by the WUWT  editor.  This 2.2C sensitivity is slightly below the 3.0 figure which is a fairer "average" of sensitivity assessments (based on paleo and modern empirical evidence).  So really nothing new there.

    The paper has two weaknesses.  It makes no allowance for cloud effects (the paper is a "clear sky" model).  And as a minor point, it uses constant relative humidity in its modeling.  Apart from that, I have no particular criticism to make . . . other than the humorous one where a typographical error shows "temperature region" where "temperate region" was meant  ;-)

    Clearly the Happer paper is not worth publishing.

    Sadly, the blog WUWT  is trumpeting this paper to the skies (excuse pun).  WattsUpWithThat  and its denialist clientele are always desperate to make much of anything at all which comes even within a million miles of casting some doubt on mainstream climate science.

    Aoeu, have a look at the WUWT  comments column below the article.  There are all sorts of frothing-at-the-mouth comments . . . that this new paper overthrows all previous climate science / disproves the Greenhouse effect / exposes the incompetence & corrupt criminality of all the thousands of climate scientists worldwide.  Etcetera.  All the usual WattsUpWithThat  nonsense and crackpot lunacy.   But among all the madness, you will find a few pearls of wisdom by the genuine scientist  Nick Stokes  (who is thoroughly hated by the usual WUWT  clientele).

    We can expect the Happer paper will be a Nine Day Wonder in many parts of the bloggy Deniosphere . . . until they abandon it for the Next New Thing (by Lord Christopher Monckton or whoever).   It is all very entertaining . . . but it ain't science.

  • Climate's changed before

    Eclectic at 10:44 AM on 25 October, 2020

    Hal Kantrud , I would like to add a few disparate points which may be of interest to you.  (And you may already have come across some of them.)  As always, I shall be grateful if MA Rodger (who is extremely well-informed on climate matters) sees fit to make any corrective comment!

    1.  The term "BP" / bp  stands for Before Present, but does not mean "up until right now this year of [2020]".   BP is a convention used by the paleo scientists to standardize the reference to past ages - whether centuries, millennia or mega-years [ma].  BP at point zero is taken as year 1950.AD

    Some "contrarians" have not been aware of this convention (for instance the slightly-contrarian scientist Loehle has had to go back and correct some of his work, because he was initially unaware of the paleo convention).

    Hal, this paleo convention is enormously important, since there has been a huge rise in global surface temperature since 1950.   Even today, some Denialist blogsites are publishing graphs which misrepresent reality, and are showing a graph's final temperature as 2000.AD or 2010.AD . . . when the original graph only went up to 1950.AD  . . . and worse, the denialists have sometimes doctored or airbrushed-out the most modern temperatures.  Sometimes this deliberate deception is outright concealed - and sometimes the deception is camouflaged under the term "Adapted from [a certain scientific paper]" .

    Another small point is that some of the ice-core temperatures are recorded up until around 1855.AD , since later/shallower levels of ice are unrepresentative of their ambient conditions.

    [You will have noticed how almost all science-deniers are still falsely (and vehemently) asserting that both the Holocene Maximum and the MWP were hotter than 2000.AD and current years.]

    2.  The Holocene Optimum [sometimes called Holocene Maximum] was roughly 8000 years ago, but as MA Rodger rightly points out, the Maximum was more of a plateau of roughly 5 millennia.   Over the succeeding 4 or 5 thousand years, the temperature has dropped roughly 0.7 degreesC as part of the background cooling which would eventually lead into the next glaciation.  But AGW has intervened - with global temperature rising like a rocket in the past 100-200 years (dare I say like the end of a Hockey Stick?)   Hockey Stick is yet another term which causes Denialists to choke on their cornflakes.

    As a consequence of the natural cooling down from the Holocene Maximum, the global sea level has reduced by about 1 or 2 meters . . . and that fall should have continued onwards as we slide into the next glaciation.  Except for the modern AGW-caused rise in sea level, a rise which is slow but accelerating.

    3.  Each glaciation cycle of the past 800,000 has been subtly different, owing to differences in the variations of the Milankovitch cyclings.  That makes it difficult to predict when the next glaciation would have occurred in the absence of human influence.  One figure I recall seeing, is the next chilly glaciation being due in roughly 16,000 years.  So we humans have plenty of time to fine-tune our climatic effects before any threat of severe glaciation!   (Some denialists maintain that the "New Ice Age" was due in a few centuries from now . . . and our anthropogenic CO2 has fortuitously been raised only in the nick of time... )

    4.  I won't comment on your point of interest about the New World grasslands.  The changes there would be quite minor in the overall picture.

  • Climate's changed before

    Eclectic at 12:10 PM on 22 October, 2020

    MA Rodger @835,

    Thanks.  Yes, I had heard that the "frozen Thames" events had occurred even during the Medieval Warm Period (though those are never mentioned by Denialists).

    I was interested in the "meme" of Thames freezings being held up as an example of the world-chilling severity of the Little Ice Age.  And as I was saying to Hal Kantrud (who seems just starting out on learning about climate science) . . . the main point to remember is that the LIA and the MWP were pretty small beer compared with earlier climate changes.

    As you yourself know very well, the LIA is greatly misrepresented by the climate-science Deniers :-

    (a)  Firstly, they exaggerate its severity ;

    (b)  Secondly, they falsely claim that our modern rapid warming is (somehow)  "just a rebound from the LIA" .

    (c)  Thirdly - with amusingly unintended irony - they claim that the huge temperature excursions of MWP & LIA make the modern warming look insignificant . . . and yet at the same time they claim that the planet's Climate Sensitivity is so very low that we need not be concerned about the "slight" warming effect of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.   Superb!

    MA Rodger, you might not have seen it . . . but on one of the Denialist blogs recently, a particular Denier asserted that (by his calculation) Earth's Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity was around 0.4 degreesC.   Improving on that, he then (based on the negligibly-small rise in CO2 which he attributed to humans) calculated that, of the modern warming, only 0.02 degreesC was human-caused.  To repeat: 0.02 degreesC.   Not a misprint.   (Ah, who needs to pursue comedy, when so much is freely available on the Denier blogs! )

  • What does the global shift in diets mean for climate change?

    Alan Russell at 07:49 AM on 15 October, 2020

    As Anne Mottet (Livestock Development Officer at the FAO) has said: "people are continually exposed to incorrect information about livestock and the environment that is repeated without being challenged", however it is disappointing to see Skeptical Science contributing to this.

    To a degree, this is fairly understandable as if you're looking at reports on the environmental impact of foods, it can be hard to find good, objective information, as even reports from professional scientists sometimes seem to verge closer to advocacy than science, but here are some things to look out for:
    - Does it use 100 year carbon dioxide equivalent emissions factors to account for short-lived atmospheric emissions? If so, this is a red flag and you should probably stop paying attention to the author(s) other than being wary of further misinformation from them, see LINK1, and LINK2. Methane has a half-life in the atmosphere of about 10 years, so if cattle herd sizes remain the same over the lifetime of methane in the atmosphere they will maintain the same amount of additional methane in the atmosphere year on year. In simplistic terms, their contribution to warming is equivalent to a closed power station. Note that the amount of cattle in Europe and North America is actually lower than it was in the 1960's whilst India has fewer cattle than it did in the 1980s, (, so their associated methane emissions have actually dropped. This is a classic bit of information that is often unknown/ignored by those pushing the line "the importance of keeping animal products – particularly red meat, such as beef, and dairy – to a minimum". Even professional scientists like Mike Berners-Lee do this.
    - Does it count rainfall as a water consumption i.e. does it distinguish between green water and blue water? For animals grazing on grass, the blue water consumption is pretty much zero: LINK3.
    - Are the soil benefits of grazing accounted for? "Soil C sequestration from well-managed grazing may help to mitigate climate change" ( along with the provision of organic fertiliser, which reduces dependence on and impacts of fertiliser production and use.
    - Does it compare indirect emissions with direct emissions in a flawed comparison? This error was committed in the 'Livestock's Long Shadow' report and despite a lot of effort to correct it, the damage it caused still persists (LINK4).
    - Do reports which link beef to land clearing accurately represent the process that they are reporting on? Often they misrepresent a more complex process in which livestock farming plays a part by associating all of the impacts with livestock (LINK5).
    - Do the reports accurately represent what livestock eat, the vast majority of which is stuff that we can't eat? See LINK6.

    From what I have seen, if you're trying to eat to maximise the sustainability of society, you'd probably be best to try and focus on nutrient density, meaning that most people would probably eat more eggs, fibrous veg, fish, and meat, and less flours, cereals, added fats and oils (mostly the unsaturated ones), sugars, and grains, which are much lower in nutrient density and satiety than meat, and are significant contributors to the obesity and diabetes problems we face, and are also responsible for most of the agricultural monocultures and (fossil fuel dependent) fertiliser and pesticide use. Maximising nutrient density and satiety means that you need to eat less (LINK7, Marty Kendall also has a lot of good information on his Optimising Nutrition site), so reducing your impact and you'd probably waste less food ( The other really good thing you could do is support regenerative systems of food production - focussing on best practice and the appropriateness of where crops are grown can make a huge difference. From the 2017 FAO study that I've linked above, it was calculated that a 21% increase in world meat production could require 95m hectares more land (an increase of 4%). This is an increase in land demand however note that it is based on the following conservative assumptions:
    - up to 15% improvement in feed conversion ratio, which compares to, for example, the halving of feed conversion ratios over the last thirty years for poultry and pigs in Brazil, Thailand, and Europe;
    - constant yields on grasslands, i.e. no improvements from regenerative agriculture (

    If you're trying to maximise your chances of food security, then reducing livestock farming, which contributes to food security by producing some of the most nutrient dense food we can eat from stuff we can't eat, on land where nothing else could be produced seems a bad idea.

    If you're trying to find the best thing to do to maximise the sustainability of society, and you're in the richest 10% in the world, you should probably try to cut back on burning stuff. There are some excellent resources on Gapminder on this. If you haven't seen it already, this is a good place to start: LINK8. Most of the environmental communications against meat seem to me to be misdirection, either consciously or subconsciously. This seems to be for one of two reasons. It seems to be used as a means to look as if effective action is taking place whilst avoiding discussion and implementation of more effective actions e.g. what's an easier sell - you don't need to change your consumptive lifestyle and can have food that looks, tastes, and feels pretty similar to what you eat now but is "plant-based" (whatever the marketers choose that to mean) and therefore doesn't have the impacts of animal products, which may be fine if you don't look too closely at the nutrient density or impacts of whatever is in what you are eating, and the benefits of animal products, or you have to consume less (don't buy/build that thing, don't go that trip, switch that off)? It can also be the case that those propagating the information are so blinded by their anti-animal agriculture ideology, and so disconnected from nature, that they are unable to objectively reason. This is bad enough in itself, but when this is present amongst scientists, it borders on an abuse of their position - people are depending on them for rigorous, objective analysis, and if they are unable to do this, then they are unable to do their job pretending that they are causes more harm than good.

    From all that I have seen and read over the last few years, a nutrient dense omnivorous diet produced using regenerative agriculture is the most sustainable for us as a species. I am just an enthusiastic amateur however, so if you have better information, I'd be interested in seeing it, though all of the publications I have seen that promoted reductions in animal product consumption have been based on the kinds of misinformation I've highlighted above.

    Apologies for the long post but I've seen this kind of misinformation a lot and I think it's important that information like this is represented as accurately as possible as I think that people generally want to aid the sustainability of society, but are too busy to spend much time researching, so misinformation is believed if it is repeated often enough or people trust the source. Decisions based on bad information are dangerous as the consequences are often worse than the problem you tried to solve.

  • Participating in Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training

    Nick Palmer at 04:02 AM on 13 September, 2020

    Has Gore 'denialist proofed' his slides and presentation, by paying attention to whether they can be easily misused?
    When he did 'An Inconvenient Truth', the denialosphere was nowhere near as sophisticated as it is today and the ambiguities in his words back then gave them fertile ground to misrepresent the science in future by shooting the messenger - indeed, those weaknesses of expression helped the denialist ideology to grow...

  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #35

    scaddenp at 10:13 AM on 10 September, 2020

    gseattle - "It was said Berry's arguments are "plainly wrong". Name one?"


    "The IPCC agrees today’s annual human carbon dioxide emissions are 4.5 ppm per year and nature’s carbon dioxide emissions are 98 ppm per year. Yet, the IPCC claims human emissions have caused all the increase in carbon dioxide since 1750, which is 30 percent of today’s total."

    Well the IPCC does not report emissions in ppm per year (that is weird and comes from what the IPCC actually reports which is in Gt per year). However, it is true that FF emissions are a fraction of natural emissions so what gives?

    Notice that Berry doesnt directly reference where in the IPCC reports that his numbers come from. (Hard to imagine a peer reviewer that wouldnt insist on that). I wonder why? Well they come from Chpt 6 of the IPCC, nicely summarized in Fig 6.1.

    Immediately obvious from the diagram is that not only are there natural emission, but there are natural sinks and they balance. ie Berry omits the important detail. CO2 (whatever its origin) is cycled naturally too, however our emissions overwhelm the balance. Man's emissions are responsible for of the Increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. His statement is a misrepresentation of the IPCC argument. If you had got your information from the IPCC or bothered to check his claim, then you would see that. As others have pointed out, there are independent ways (O2 depletion and isotopic composition) to verify that FF emissions are responsible for the increase.

    So I read only half a paragraph of Berry. That was enough.

  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #35

    MA Rodger at 19:43 PM on 7 September, 2020

    gseattle @22,

    While I have no idea what the 'X' stands for, there is no doubt that Edwin X Berry is a real person. It is more "ominous" that he chooses to post his grand paper on as that shows a serious lack of judgement. Those PSI guys are serious nutcases who are actually of the opinion that AGW cannot be real because the theory breaks the Second Law of Thermodynmics (which in their version apparently says that a photon cannot travel from a cold place to a hot place, which would presumably make observing distant snow-topped mountains another impossibility).

    You appear to be asking for an explanation of why the detail of Berry's grand paper is so-much garbage (rather than why his conclusions cannot be correct).

    If you examine his grand model, it says no more than that the atmosphere is like a lake - the level of the water will go up if the input is greater than the output and visa versa (which is of course logical). And the output will be in some way dependent on the level - the higher the level, the more water will pour out of the outflows. He then creates a very simple mathematical interpretation of this situation which has little logic or physical basis.

    His model shows that with constant input, the CO2 level will tend to an equilibrium level logarithmically. Berry fails to consider that such a finding is entirely without basis for CO2 in the atmosphere as the outflows are pouring into volumes with their own constraints and are not free to accept ever-increasing quantities of CO2. Rather, the logarithmic relationship holds roughly for changes in volume, not changes of rate of volume.

    Yet the big error in his reasoning is to use his fancy model before trying to compare it with the real world situation. He uses it to conclude that the rate outflow which defines the level in his model can be aportioned and thus the level likewise. Thus, if 95% of the outflow is natural, then his model shows that 95% of the level must also be natural. The crazy logic this presents wold mean that in 1750 the influx of CO2 from ocean & biosphere would have been only 150Gt(C)/yr as this would support the pre-industrial CO2 level of 280ppm and since that time this natural influx would have risen 40% to reach today's 210Gt(C) which is required to support 390ppm in the atmosphere which is what Berry tells us is the natural component of atmosperic CO2.

    There is zero evidence for such a 40% natural rise in CO2 emission and no reason given for this natural rise occurring after ten millenia of flat CO2 levels, to magically appear in recent decades at just the time and the same rate as the anthropogenic input.

    Berry however, makes no attempt to check his model against reality. Instead he launches into a misrepresentation of actual modelling of atmospheric CO2 with an analysis with isotope data (which I have not examined but assume it is as crazy as the foregoing analyses).

    I hope this explanation of Berry's crazy theorising will suffice.

  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #35

    Eclectic at 02:32 AM on 6 September, 2020

    Gseattle @ #13  (now recently shuffled to #15 )

    the Climate Myths you are looking for, have a prominent link just below the top left corner of this page; of the Home page; and indeed of almost every page of this website.

    see :-  MOST USED ... Climate Myths       ( in bright red ink)

    And it is worth repeating ~ the Dr Ed Berry you have mentioned via your earlier link, is completely misrepresenting the scientific facts.  His climate ideas are wacky pseudo-science.   As far as I know, he may be a fine gentleman . . . kind to children . . . generous to charities . . . but his arithmetic on atmospheric CO2 is crazy-wrong.   A sad case, to be sure!   Even worse ~ there's a strong suspicion he's getting the science wrong deliberately  (it is hard to believe someone with his tertiary degrees could get it so very wrong accidentally ).  And I am sorry to see he has misled you with his nonsense.   But never too late for you ~ you can go to Climate Myth 34 thread, and learn the real science.

  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #35

    MA Rodger at 22:36 PM on 5 September, 2020

    gseattle @13,

    You are quoting the fake scientific paper of a climate change denier to misrepresent the IPCC. The denier and the IPCC do not reach any significant 'agreement'. Indeed, the denier shows this. You do not.

    You quote the first sentence of the abstract yet the second sentence is entirely wrong. Barry (2019) Human CO2 Emissions Have Little Effect on Atmospheric CO2 which begins its abstract saying:-

    "The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) agrees human CO2 is only 5 percent and natural CO2 is 95 percent of the CO2 inflow into the atmosphere. The ratio of human to natural CO2 in the atmosphere must equal the ratio of the inflows. Yet IPCC claims human CO2 has caused all the rise in atmospheric CO2 above 280 ppm, which is now 130 ppm or 32 percent of today's atmospheric CO2." [My bold]

    The IPCC would give the size of the natural 'inflows' of CO2 into the atmosphere over a year as being roughly 210Gt(C). And the IPCC would give the 'inflows' of anthropogenic CO2 today as being roughly 10Gt(C). So the ratio between these two numbers is roughly 5%. Yet it is not a very informative value. And do note that the second sentence in that abstract is flat wrong.

    210Gt(C) would raise atmospheric CO2 by roughly 100ppm. With the annual CO2 cycle in the atmosphere showing a peak-to-peak value of just 5ppm, it is obvious that there are 'outflows' operating to balance these natural 'inflows'. And year-to-year, with the variation in the pre-industrial CO2 level pretty-much flat, it is evident that the natural inflows & outflows balance almost perfectly.

    Holocene CO2 levels

    Through the industrial period, the rising CO2 levels is entirely due to anthropogenic emissions. And the rising CO2 has also increased the natural 'outflows' so that today about 55% of anthropogenic emissions are diverted out of the atmosphere by natural processes. This includes 'outflows' into the ocean which are evident by increasing ocean acidity. Thus it is not 100% of the CO2 rise that is man-made but 220%.


    You balk at the spreadsheet data presented by the Global Carbon Project (linked @12) and instead present a tertiary reference to another spreadsheet which is almost ten years out-of-date (so add about 300Gt(CO2) to the values given for today's values) and now provides broken links to its data sources. The 1,374Gt(CO2) value for FF 1850-2011  concurs with the GCP value which gives 1,364Gt(CO2). The 1,832Gt(CO2) value "to end of 2010" is not so obvious but presumably includes LUC emissions. (Note, unlike pre-1850 FF emissions, pre-1850 LUC emissions are significant if included.)

  • We've been having the wrong debate about nuclear energy

    nigelj at 08:01 AM on 7 August, 2020

    Michael sweet @14

    "You are not familiar with scientific discussion. In a scientific discussion I say "this paper supports my position". Then you say "this paper supports my position".

    Please don't be ridiculous. Yes its good to quote papers  when appropriate, but  It's possible to have a scientific discussion without having to mention papers. It happens all the time all over the place and by highly qualified people. a highly reputable leading edge climate website and they dont demand that people posting comments have to quote scientific papers. It would just shut down discussion. People dont always have the time and relevant papers might not exist.

    That said, I post references to peer reviewed papers quite often, with respect to this websites rules, and because it is good to back up claims with a source, but its absurd to have to constantly quote scientific papers all the time. I notice you never demand it when people make claims about the benefits of renewables or expound on the dangers of climate change. You appear to apply double standards.

    You have also utterly ignored what I said. Sometimes there are valid criticisms of a scientific issue and no relevant published research to quote in support.

    "In this discussion I have provided a paper that supports my position, Abbott 2012. You say you do not like that paper and we should all agree with you. You have provided no reason why we should all agree with you."

    I did not say that.

    "You must support your claims with at least white papers from industry. "

    I provided a white paper above at comment 12 being a lengthy criticism of Jacobsons work. I provided a published study on renewable energy. I provided entirely credible material on why nuclear projects are being built. So why do you go on misrepresenting me?

    Regarding Abbot, there is no need to provide studies on the known scale of earths mineral resources, this is common knowledge easily googled. Do I need to provide studies that the moon goes around the earth?

    "Your unsupported opinion as a person who claims no training or professional experience in the field"

    Where do you get that from? I have never claimed that. I have said several times on this website I did physical geography at university, which covers the introductory basics of weather and climate. I also have a design degree in architecture and I may have mentioned that here, cant remember. I also did psychology and some basic maths and chemistry at university. Not that any of this makes me right or wrong about anything, but since you raised the issue I have to correct your error.

    "Bringing in information that you pick up in unmoderated forums on the web also does not advance the discussion."

    This is not a valid argument. Its illogical, and pretty much an ad hominem. Whether a forum is moderated or not clearly does not make information either right or wrong.

    And you are wrong to claim is not a moderated forum. It has a moderation policy, and comments get deleted, or sometimes thrown into the junk file.

    "Clack 2016 does not rebut Jacobson 2018."

    Whatever. Who cares. Maybe its because hes tired of arguing with Jacobson. Maybe he's got better things to do. 

    "If you cannot find published critism of someones work then you must look harder for support for your wild claims. "

    Ridiculous statement.

    "Since you have no training or experience in any power systems, and you refuse to read the published literature on the topic, why should I care what you think?"

    I have read some of this material. I have told you that already. I'm trying to find the time to read more.

    "If you want to speculate on these topics many non-scientific boards, like the unmoderated thread at RealClimate, exist."

    All threads at RC are moderated as per previous comments. More lightly than here but they are still moderated.

    "The moderators want to encourage discussion of nuclear power so they have allowed nuclear proponents to make many wild, unsupported claims. I respond to these claims. Since you make many unsupported, uninformed claims I respond so that casual readers do not think that your arguments have merit."

    People make wild unsupported claims about renewables and other matters on this website. I never here you complain about that. You apply double standards.

    "I linked the incorrect Jacobson paper on materials for renewable energy. It is actually Jacobson 2011. He shows that all materials for a renewable energy system exist. Please provide data to support your deliberately false claim that not enough materials exist for a renewable system."

    I have never disputed this so why do you keep implying otherwise.? My point was whether they would last for a thousand years. As far as I can recall Jacobson never considered this. Its a discussion we should be having.

    "Your point that renewable energy projects use more tons of concrete and steel than nuclear power plants was popular with nuclear supporters in 2005 (I remember when they first used this argument). Since Jacobson 2011 was published, all informed people know that it is a false argument. You show your lack of preparation when you cite an argument that is 10 years out of date."

    I never said that. I said renewables look like they use a larger volume of all materials in total, so concrete, steel, copper, fibreglass etcetera combined.

    "By contrast, Abbott 2012 described the lack of rare materials used in the constructions of nuclear plants (especially uranium and "unobtainium"). ..... All known uranium reserves will only produce 5 years of power for the world. "

    I assume you mean land based reserves. Uranium is abundant in sea water, with billions of tons enough to power the world for many centuries assuming we can extract it. Table of quantities here. Uranium has been experimentally extracted from sea water here. Even if the costs are high they would inherently form a very small proportion of the costs of running a nuclear power plant. Abbot looks like it might be out of date in respect of this. 

    "Renewable systems use little of the rare elements,"

    That is just a huge understatement, and ignores other materials in relatively limited supply like copper and aluminium ( bauxite reserves could all be gone in a century or two) required for generators and a vast network of new trasmission lines to enable power to be shared regionally.

    I was not going to respond to you, but I dont like it when people missrepresent my position hence the response.

    Moderator. I have a history here  of quoting studies, more so than other people. Indisputably so.  I will make the effort to quote more papers bearing in mind there are only so many hours in the day.

    However I'm getting really tired of the way M Sweet repeatedly and blatantly 1) puts words in my mouth (hes done it to others as well) and 2) missrepresents my position and 3) misrepresents by background and 4) intellectually bullies people he doesnt agree with, and 5)falsely accuses me of making things up. And the way you let him get away with it.

  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #31, 2020

    MA Rodger at 23:12 PM on 6 August, 2020

    prove we are smart @1,


    You have spotted a soil scientist who is in denial with regard to the causes of AGW. I suppose soil scientists are not a million miles from geologists who often are found on record misrepresenting AGW. At 1:11:20 in the video you link-to we hear:-

    "0.04% of the atmosphere is carbon dioxide. Do you really think that's changing global climate? [Murmurs heard from the audience including 'yes'] Really? There is absolutely no science behind that at all to show. Yes, it [CO2] is a GHG and so is N2O and so is CH4 and so is water vapour. Those molecues all have the potential for what we call radiative forcing. But when it's 0.04% of the atmosphere it contributes very very little to global climate."

    The slides had previously shown this slide:-

    Fred Singer - CO2 is a trace gas

    This graphic is the work of Fred Singer, a well-known aged denialist who died earlier this year. It originates from this denialist webpage and is saying that the human impact on the GH-effect is no more than 0.28% but gives zero references to support such a crazy assertion.

    The webpage tries to make the case for CO2 having increased from 288ppm pre-industrial to 368ppm (which dates the webpage to perhaps 20 years ago as today CO2 is at 410ppm) , an increase of (364-288=) 80ppm but with the bold assertion that only 12ppm of this increase is due to mankind. So from all this we should not be surprised by any denialist outrage.

    The pre-industrial GH-effect boosts average global temperature by something like 33ºC. About three-quarters of this is due to water vapour and clouds and 20% due to CO2. But without the CO2 and other long-lived GHGs, the levels of water in the atmosphere would soon crash (it would take a couple of decades) leaving a snowball (or more accurately 'iceball' earth.

    The speaker in the video does make a stab at a man-made cause of AGW. A graphic @1:11:20 in the video shows two paths to 'temperature warming' - CO2 emissions from soil degradation and H2O emissions from warmer soils. But the speaker insists it is the H2O that is the dominant warming agent:-

    "And when we lose carbon, we lose moisture because that's what gives us our moisture holding capacity. All this moisture, extra moisture, is evaporating and going up into the atmosphere. And it's increasing the temperature, hugely.
    "This is, to my mind anyway, the chief cause of the climate instability that we have at the moment. Because what happens is if you heat something it evaporates, like you put a saucepan of water on the stove and heat it up, it evaporates.
    "So these soils get a lot hotter than these covered soils and we now have huge amounts of water vapour up in the atmosphere that weren't there a couple of hundred years ago. We have to look at the whole system..."

    It would be good if the "whole system" were considered as we would be saved having to listen to the likes of the dysfunctonal account of AGW in this video.

  • Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Eclectic at 23:28 PM on 25 July, 2020

    Preston @184 :  certainly, your proposed OP article should not be "a full-throated defense of nuclear power".

    It is fine for you to be a passionate advocate for Nuclear, but it should be a passion combined with candid assessment of the pros & cons.   And, you must be your own Devil's Advocate.   Detractors of nuclear power do supply some strong arguments, which you should assess frankly and without any misrepresentation or cavalier dismissiveness [ yes, I enjoyed using that phrase  ;-)    ]

    It is only human, to be tempted to score a few points off the (perceived) opposition ~  and you will see lots of that sort of thing in the comments columns.   You must do your best to assess who is speaking/sword-playing in a manner of basic good will & truth-seeking . . . and who is merely trolling or venting or grossly uninformed.

    However, as an OP article author, you are required to be comprehensive and educational.

    You can see merit in the overall economics aspect, of working toward a worthy target per the most efficient allocation of currently-available resources & technology.   And I accept your point that sometimes one should go "outside the box" and select a sub-optimally-economic choice, for the sake of diversification (within limits of course).

    # But enough general waffle.  I would like you to have more of a think about the combination of NIMBY and the fragility of Nuclear power.  The safety of Nuclear power is demonstrated by the past track record (as you have indicated).   But we are moving into a Future of vulnerability to terrorists acts and/or covert political manipulation.   Not just cyber-attacks, plane attacks [ missiles are less deniable !! ], truck-bombs, terrorist commando raids . . . and other conceivable possibilities which I should not mention publicly.

    Even a single OMG event would be a severe setback to the political fate of the Nuclear industry, and also lead to a massive flowering of NIMBY.

    Layers of security "hardening" of NPP targets can be deployed - alas, none 100% effective - but it all costs additional big Big dollars.

  • Models are unreliable

    MA Rodger at 18:08 PM on 5 July, 2020

    ClimateDemon @1240,

    You cite your comments @1173 & @1190 as providing demonstration that the CO2 'control knob' concept of climate is "false".

    I would suggest there is no such provided demnstration.

    It takes little effort to examine these comments of yours.

    @1173 you compare the role of CO2 and H2O when accounting for the energy balance of the atmosphere and jump to the assertion that "there is nothing to indicate that CO2 has any 'control knob' effect." Appended to that rather incomplete analysis, you cite Lacis et al (2010) as describing "the only model that predicts AGW and the CO2 control knob" but that Lacis et al are wrong because  this "only model" simplifies the climate system too much. In particular, you describe this "only model" using the Clausius-Clapeyron equation and with "the earth's temperature is represented by a single scalar value T." Your final assertion sets out "It took several false assumptions to make the control knob argument, so there are very likely problems with it."

    @1190 you call for people "who claim that I am making evidenceless assertions" to provide "just one example of such an assertion" that you have made. You append to this call three ground rules which you insist all will agree. (i) A world witout a "uniform" surface temperature is not in "thermal equilibruim". (ii) Use of the Clausius-Clapeyron equation cannot be extended to include the large global temperature variations. (iii) An equation should not be used beyond its limits.

    (ClimateDemon, do correct me if I misrepresent the intention of your comments @1173 & @1190.)

    I find these comments disturbing in many ways but let me here provide a little more than "just one example" of "evidenceless assertions" by naming that "only model."

    That "only model" @1173 can only be the one used by Lacis et al (2010) and that is GISS ModleE which nobody in their right mind could ever describe as being:-

    "a highly oversimplified, zero dimensional model in which the earth's temperature is represented by a single scalar value T, and the H2O vapor concentration is determined by the Clausius-Clapeyron equation at temperature T. This means that the entire globe is rigidly held to this one fixed value of temperature and corresponding value of humidity, which we know is false."

    Yet that is what I read @1173.

    Further, the initial consideration @1173, that CO2 and H2O are treated identically within energy balance equations and that of the two H2O is the more powerful GHG, ignores the obvious point that GISS ModelE models the hydrological cycle (thus setting H2O as a feedback) while the levels of those non-condensing GHGs (of which CO2 is the major component) are simple inputs into the model (thus setting CO2 as the primary GHG forcing agent). And that treatment of CO2 & H2O is the same as that in other GCMs. GISS ModelE is/was never "the only model that predicts AGW and the CO2 control knob."

  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #25

    Eclectic at 19:13 PM on 23 June, 2020

    And while the Weekly Roundup iron is still hot, I will give some more points extracted from Slarty Bartfast's blog :-

    Slarty, please note that you are most welcome to correct me wherever you think I have made an error.   I have quoted some of your phrases verbatim , but mostly I give what I believe is an honest gist of your blog messages.

    For instance, you will see (above) in post #10 Point 7.  where I wrote The Arctic is not warming ~ and yes, those were not your verbatim words : but they are your exact meaning [see confirmation by MA Rodger @13 ].    Likewise with my other comments, I give the gist of your messages (and if you look closely, you will recognize some "re-cycling" of some of your own phrasings and word-choices).

    Slarty , let us proceed !   You may find it uncomfortable.  But all publicity for your blog is good publicity . . . as the saying goes, eh.   And for convenience of style, I will refer to you in the Third Person.

    A**   "[the AGW] that climate scientists think they are measuring is probably all just low frequency noise resulting from the random fluctuations of a chaotic non-linear system."  

    [ The catchy phrase of climate being "a chaotic non-linear system" ~ was quote-mined from an IPCC report.  The phrase is a half-truth, and is a misrepresentation often quoted in science-denier blogs . . . where most of the readers are clueless about its precise meaning in climate physics. ]

    B**   Modern global warming is largely just the result of a non-anthropogenic 150-year oscillation in global surface temperatures.

    [ But then again, the warming is "not there" anyway ~ because the temperature records fail statistical significance, it seems?? ]

  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #25

    Eclectic at 20:06 PM on 22 June, 2020

    Lawrie @9 , Slarty Bartfast maintains that there is no global warming of any significance at a statistical level or at a physical planetary level.   So to him, albedo is irrelevant.

    Being more than 24 hours since his last posting, it seems unlikely that Slarty will return to attempt rebuttal of criticisms of against his many positions.  But we can hope he will return, to give a grand explication of his apparent errors and inconsistencies.

    In order to save the valuable time of SkS readers, I have looked further into Slarty's blog of May / June 2020 , and I have pulled out some points of interest.   Slarty's statistical/mathematical skills are (IMO) far exceeding his climate science knowledge  . . .  and somehow I am reminded of the very emeritus & climatically-challenged Ivar Giaever !

    I have taken some care not to misrepresent or quote-mine Slarty.   And please note that Slarty, in his blog, describes himself as: physicist / socialist / evironmentalist.

    1.   Sea level rise cannot be more than slight , because there is no CO2-AGW or CO2-led Greenhouse effect.  And so our coastal cities have zero danger of submersion.

    2.   What little CO2-greenhouse effect is present now, is produced by CO2 reflecting IR back to the planetary surface.

    3.   Weather stations fail to give valid planetary data because they are far too few, and (just as importantly) they are not evenly spaced.

    4.   "temperature records just aren't long enough ... to discern a definite trend ... you need at least 50 years."

    5.   "[land ice] In Antarctica (and Greenland) this is virtually all at altitude (above 1000 m) where the mean temperature is below -20 C, and the mean monthly temperature NEVER gets above zero, even in summer.  Consequently, the likelihood of any of this ice melting is negligible."

    6.   AGW forcing does not supply enough heat to melt ice at the poles [he seems to include the Arctic, too].

    7.   The Arctic is not warming.  [Presumably news to those alarmist Inuit who live there.]

    8.   Berkeley Earth Study repeats the sins of Hadley/ NOAA / etc but in a more transparent way ~ and BEST generates a falsely-positive warming trend through its misuse of Breakpoint Adjustments (rather than using raw data).

    9.   Slarty's oceanic thermal expansion calculations are wrong [as pointed out by MA Rodger].

    And there's more !

  • A history of FLICC: the 5 techniques of science denial

    One Planet Only Forever at 12:36 PM on 2 April, 2020

    JoeZ @5,

    I believe it is more important to distinguish between:

    • People who are less aware, with a related lack of understanding, who are interested and willing to learn.

    • People who are less aware, with a related lack of understanding, who are unwilling to learn - including people who have a lack of interest in learning - especially people who sense that learning would require them to change their mind about things they have developed a liking for.

    All skeptics are in the first group. And every scientist has to be a skeptic to be a successful scientist.

    Given the depth and breadth of expanded awareness and improved understanding that is summarized in the IPCC Reports (since the very first IPCC Report), it is unlikely anyone today has a basis to be Skeptical of the Generally Understood Conclusions of the IPCC Reports.

    Many people claim to be skeptical of some specific details of the science that is the basis of the IPCC Reports. But because of the massive diversity of investigations with consistent findings there is not likely to be a new validated learning that changes the Generally Understood Conclusions. If those people claim that their skepticism of a detail in the IPCC Report justifies dismissing the Generally Understood Conclusions of the IPCC Reports, they are clearly in the second category of people.

    Some people even continue to try to claim that things like "already admitted typos in an IPCC Report" or "A few carefully selected Excerpts from a massive packet of stolen emails from climate scientists that are presented out of context" prove that the entire IPCC process and every bit of research that is referenced in the IPCC Reports of the Compilation of constantly improving understanding justifies being skeptical of the entirety of the IPCC. Those people are Conspiracy Theorists - Outright Deniers. And the people who arranged for the stealing of the emails, and organized the sifting through to find a few nuggets, and directed the development and dissemination of the misrepresentations are worse than Deniers.

    So there are:

    • Skeptics who would all accept the Generally Understood Conclusions of the IPCC Reports. Some of them just need to do more learning.

    • Deniers who resist learning.

    • Misleaders who know better but want to encourage Denial. They are the worst. And many of them are very wealthy, or have very powerful positions, or are both (the worst of the worst).

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 22:53 PM on 16 March, 2020

    Thanks, MA Rodger @882 ,

    the Heartland "Climate at a glance"  summaries have also recently been touted on WUWT  website:  I gather Mr Anthony Watts has had some co-writing input for the Summaries.   Unsurprisingly, they are a waste of time for anyone who wishes to learn anything truthful about climate matters.

    I have read a number of the Summaries (they are quite short).  Their pattern soon becomes evident :-  cherry-picking & strawman arguments, and the general tenor is that of advocate-lawyers rather than scientists.

    As you say, the "Consensus" summary did nothing but pick out and misrepresent one single study of members of the American Meteorological Organisation, and did not mention the World Meteorological Organisation . . . or any other organisations of greater relevance.   No nuance; no general context; no honesty of presentation.

    The "Summaries" are a complete waste of time for any inquiring mind ~ their only virtue is that they are brief.  Yet brief as they are, they have a surprising number of typos and spelling errors ~ this is surprising for such brief presentations from a supposedly-slick propaganda "Institute" like Heartland, where one would at least expect some proof-reading of stuff going onto permanent display.   Perhaps there is some truth in the rumors that Heartland has been forced to retrench staff.

  • There is no consensus

    MA Rodger at 05:05 AM on 16 March, 2020

    I see the Heartland Institute has a new format for its misinformation campaign - At-A-Glance Summaries which back up a few bullet points with a page or two of paragraph-long summaries. High on the list of these lie-cards is one entitled "Consensus".

    This "Consensus" lie-card mainly cites (or more correctly misrepresents)  a 2016 survey of American Meteorological Society members.

    The first bold-as-brass assertion runs:-

    "A majority of scientists (including skeptics) believe the Earth is warming and humans are playing a role, but a strong majority of scientists are not very worried about it."

    There is no indication of the evidence they have to support this "strong majority."  Heartland's initial mention of this survey does rattle on about how many responding AMS members said they were "worried" by AGW and to what extent. Yet the survey never mentions the word "worried" once (or anything like it). Perhaps the proper take-away from the AMS survey is the finding from the responses that only "about one in twenty (3 to 5%) don’t think there will be any harm from climate change in the next 50 years." (Note that when the AMS members were also asked in the survey if they considered themselves "expert in climate science" only 37% were able to answer 'yes'.)

    Heartland also say of this same survey:-

    "Fully 40% of AMS members believe climate change impacts have been primarily beneficial or equally mixed between beneficial and harmful. Only 50% expect the impacts to be entirely or primarily harmful over the next 50 years. That is nowhere near a consensus." [My bold]

    The sole basis for this statement made by Heartland actually concerns not 'global' AGW but 'local' AGW -  "the impact(s) of local climate change in your area." It is also a mash-up of two seperate questions, one concerning "the past 50 years" and one "the next 50 years."  And each question is only asked of those who responded 'yes' to two preceding questions of the form "To the best of your knowledge, has/will the local climate in your area change over the past/next 50 years?" with  'yes' response of 74% for the past and 78% for the future. These 74%/78% then answered as follows:-

    The impacts will be exclusively beneficial - past 0%, next 0%

    The impacts will be primarily beneficial - past 4%, next 2%

    The impacts will be approximately equally mixed between beneficial and harmful - past 36%, next 29%

    The impacts will be primarily harmful - past 36%, next 47%

    The impacts will be exclusively harmful - past 2%, next 3%

    Don't know - past 21%, next 19%

    So the lie-card's "fully 40%" concerns the past 50 year's local climate change and is only the view of ([4%+36%] x 74% =) 29.6%. The word "fully" is a straight lie.

    A final assertion runs as follows:-

    "Scientists with NASA, NOAA, MIT, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, and Penn, along with scientists who have served as official state climatologist for their states, are climate realists making the case against an impending climate crisis. These include many of the science giants of the past half-century, including Freeman Dyson, S. Fred Singer, and Will Happer."

    So with the exception of a trio of very ancient scientists (one of whom died the month before these At-A-Glance cards were launched), these AGW consensus-busting scientists who are "making the case against an impending climate crisis" appear to be all nameless phantoms of Heartland's imagination.
  • It's CFCs

    EGS at 01:49 AM on 7 March, 2020

    Poorly understood and misrepresented papers? Which papers have I not understood? The paper by Unger et al. in the proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences (citing work by the Fourth Assessment working group of the IPCC) that tropospheric O3’s direct cumulative radiative forcing when combined with fine particulates like black carbon may outweigh that of all the CO2 released since the beginning of the industrial era

  • 3 clean energy myths that can lead to a productive climate conversation

    scaddenp at 06:29 AM on 17 February, 2020

    CzarnyZajaczek, as I pointed out in 51, (and further see also 46) the source of the claim for Financial Times and ABC was LeadingEdge and they blatantly misrepresented the source they quote (easy to check). It is further contradicted by more reliable sources. I would not trust any media source and especially not a media source whose readership is dominated by one or other end of the political spectrum. As was also pointed out, SA wholesale generation prices were not expensive but retail was, so a rather more complex picture than blaming it on renewables.

    Furthermore, if you look at the same source behind the 2017 stories, you will see rather an improvement in Austalian pricing. The Australia Institute is reporting South Australia produces best wholesale electricty prices now.

    Your Jamesnixon link is 404 for me. It is unclear what point you are trying to make.

  • On climate misinformation and accountability

    NoctambulantJoycean at 16:38 PM on 11 February, 2020

    FYI, Roger Pielke Jr. misrepresents your post below:

    This reminds me of the debates on "free speech" vs. "freeze peach", where various conservatives would act as if free speech / academic freedom entailed:

    - freedom from criticism (including harsh criticism),
    - no consequences for what one says,
    - the ability to say whatever nonsense they wanted in any forum and under the employment of any institution,

    Of course, freedom of speech entails none of that.

    And by the flawed logic Judith Curry and Roger Pielke Jr. have been recently using, it's bullying when:

    - virologists make websites correcting Peter Duesberg's distortions,
    - doctors make websites correcting Andrew Wakefield's distortions,
    - biologists + astronomers make websites correcting Duane Gish's distortions

    These aren't just hypotheticals; they actually happened, and I've pointed them out to Pielke Jr. He, unsurprisingly, has no cogent response. For instance, the great website TalkOrigins has a list of creationists, and numerous pages debunking creationists' claims, including creationists with science degrees:

    By Pielke Jr.'s implausible logic, that makes TalkOrigins a malicious attempt to blacklist scientists, make them unhirable, chill academic freedom, and make TalkOrigins "arbiters of all science". That makes no sense; that's not the point of TalkOrigins. TalkOrigins is meant to correct creationist distortions for the purpose of educating the public.

    It might turn out that a young Earth creationist is unable to get hired to teach biology or astronomy, because prospective employers see the creationist's publicly-stated position being debunked on TalkOrigins. But that's fine, since one should be held accountable for what one says, when what one says is relevant to the position one is applying for. That's compatible with freedom of speech. Parallel point for people being unhirable based on their position being debunked on SkepticalScience, and their being listed on SkepticalScience misinformer's pages.

    And in case folks want another example: AIDSTruth + others have lists of AIDS denialists, and numerous pages debunking AIDS denialists' claims, including AIDS denialists with science/medical degrees. Is Pielke Jr. going to object to that to? Does he really not understand the important role websites like AIDSTruth, TalkOrigins, and SkepticalScience play in correcting denialist misinformation/disinformation?:

  • How did climate change get so controversial?

    Philippe Chantreau at 04:57 AM on 26 January, 2020

    UncleJeff, that's wishful thinking. Deniers have shown over and over their willingness to argue in the most blatant bad faith, against scientific realities that they often don't even understand. I have lived through the "carbonic snow in Antarctica" days, or the averaging of percentages without weighing made by prominent deniers at WUWT. I have seen the Soon & Baliunas fiasco, McIntyre&McKitrick junk. I found the standards of the deniers camp to be essentially non existent.

    What you are saying is that there has to be a double standard: deniers can be completely full of it, deliberately lie, misrepresent, cherry pick, harass, misleadingly quote stolen e-mails, threaten opponents, but advocates of a livable future must be perfect, because even honest mistakes will be exploited by deniers. Unfortunately, you're right; that is the current state of this non-debate.

  • The never-ending RCP8.5 debate

    Nick Palmer at 03:57 AM on 15 January, 2020

    To anyone who clicks on the Tamino response link "You seem WAY too eager to accept the one number that will make the bushfires unprecedented, while ignoring the testimony from so many experts (including firefighters and scientists who specifically study bushfire) and from people who lived through both times in Australia""

    Firstly, I did NOT ignore 'testimony' - we were arguing about media reports and how they misrepresented things to the crucially important general audience by tending to imply that the 'unprecendented' nature was that of acreage. Tamino seemed to think that I was unaware that inamongst the hype and exaggeration that there were some voices that were legit. He didn't seem to appreciate how the public sees these things.

    Secondly, I also was not 'accepting the one number' either which, if Mr Sweet had looked to my next comment responding to Tamino, he would have seen this  NP: "The point is that it isn’t just one number. There are multiple examples to see. See my reply to Philippe which includes the paper from which the data came: Appendix D P377 onwards... "

    I really think that if Mr Sweet sincerely thinks that "Barlow's position is much more reasonable than yours" then he ought to re-evaluate his views. Mr Barlow is one of the sort of waay over the top extremists that are one of the two major motivators behind the denialist propaganda (the other being hard right wingers trying to sabotage hard left wingers piggy backing on the science to spread their ideology).

    Just to clarify - I am a significant fighter of denialist deceit and delusion but I will also always take on extremist alarmists and doomists too, and their 'mirror image' rhetoric. I consider both to muddy the waters and cause the public to be more confused about what the science actually says. There is nothing that makes the general public more likely to reject the sensible scientific middle ground between the two extremes than some plausible sounding (at the time) extreme prediction from the past that completely fails to manifest. Continuing public confidence in the science is rather more fragile than many appreciate. Probably the most prominent example of a scientist over-prognosticating was that of Paul R Ehrlich in his book 'The Population Bomb' in 1968 who famously wrote "[i]n the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now". I read it back then and I got misled by it for some considerable time. Perhaps that explains part of why I am now so critical of those who hype things up too much...

    I have to say that 'doomists' tend to be harder to deal with, as they seem so convined of their extremism that they often regard anyone who tries to moderate their views and bring them back down to earth as almost some sort of traitor to their extreme cause.

  • The never-ending RCP8.5 debate

    Nick Palmer at 10:25 AM on 5 January, 2020

    Michael Sweet. Whether you realise it or not, you argue in exactly the same way as denialists do, only in an alarmist mirror fashion. Clearly you are going to continue with your long ill-thought out posts chock full of incorrect assertions and characterisations and I wonder if the moderators need to slow you down a bit. I'll just point out an example of your style: M.S. wrote "I supported William Reese's article advocating allowing people to discuss high danger possibilities of AGW. Currently only low ball projections are publicly discussed"

    It is absolutely untrue that only lowball projections are publicly discussed - you just made that up.

    M.S also wrote: "You claim without suppport that Cauderia says 6 billion dead is scaremongering crap" Firstly, it is Caldeira actually...
    This was extraordinarily easy to check - yet M.S didn't... - again, his aggressive denier/alarmist style shows because he appears to believe that if one don't know of something, that it doesn't exist. Try looking again at the 'Reece article' linked to in the comment#8. In it is this: "Similarly, Ken Caldeira, senior scientist, Carnegie Institution, points out, “There is no analysis of likely climate damage that has been published in the quality peer-reviewed literature that would indicate that there is any substantial likelihood that climate change could cause the starvation of six billion people by the end of this century.”"

    Which rather proves my point about Caldeira's views and demolishes his insinuation and it also strongly suggests that M.S. didnt read or properly understand the words in the article he referenced!. Only reading headlines or cherry picking articles is a classic denialist/alarmist trait

    There is a point which M.S, is fundamentally not getting, which I have addressed several times already - incorrigibly ignoring or failing to understand repeated points is also classic denialist/alarmist think. That is starkly illustrated in his fallacious statement: "You ignore your previous complaints about underprediction and shift the goalposts to a single word Hallam said. You complain about people who discuss worst case scenieros and imply that I discuss worst case scenieros"

    The point is that those who campaign and pontificate using 'fear porn' and say worst case low probability things WILL happen, like Hallam, are simply wrong. Get it? WRONG.... They are also highly irresponsible because they give massive amounts of ammunition to the denialist propagandists, who use it to confuse and mislead the public about what the sensible peer-reviewed science says. No scientist worth his salt would support that nonsense, indeed they get angered by it.  BTW Michael Mann wouldn't approve of Sweet's postion either! It is the implied certainty in the words of Hallam and his ilk that is dangeously misleading.

    I did not 'complain' about people who discuss worst case scenarios at all, all those scenarios are covered in the science and often in restrained magazine articles. It is legitimate to mention low probability outcomes as part of a full risk assesment process. It is not legitimate to tell the public that 'we're all going to die in X years'. Again, I say it is absolute nonsense to say that the very low probablity, worst case scenarios which depend not only on nothing at all being done to fix things but that fossil fuel use, particularly coal, will massively increase in future, which is the R.C.P 8.5 pathway which is next to being abandoned as a possible future, are not being mentioned publicly. However, it's true that climate scientists and policy makers are not 'hyping' them, like the dangerously stupid and irresponsible Hallam's of this world tend to do, for very good psychologcal reasons. Such risks may even be mentioned in the public arena more if only the reporters, fired up by the irresponsible doomers, extremists and alarmists, who create a journalistic hunger for headline worthy quotes about 'worst cases' happening and  make them interview as if those were firm, almost inevitable, predictions, didn't need to be corrected so often by real scientists when interviewed.

    Those types I do, and did, complain about are those who misrepresent the science and the possibilities to be as scary as they can possibly make them out to be in order to plug their cause or their ideology or whatever motivates them. NigelJ, who is probably one of the most regular commenters here, and who knows his stuff, has already confirmed that trying to scare the public with over the top hype to try and stampede them towards a policy, desired by the scarey pontificator, does not work and is actually counterproductive. People like Michael Sweet seem either unaware of this or ignore it

    As Sweet clearly can't acknowledge that others can know stuff he is unaware of, shown by his denier like demands that everything anyone says that he doesn't like be ' proved' - MS: "You provide no data to support your claims", here's a few links that support what I and NigelJ wrote about hyping fear and its countreproductive nature.

     Fear won't do it- Promoting Positive engagement With Climate Change Through Iconic and Visual Representations

    'Loss-Framed Arguments Can Stifle Political Activism' Adam Seth Levine (a1) and Reuben Kline (a2)

    'How Hope and Doubt Affect Climate Change Mobilization Jennifer R. Marlon1*, Brittany Bloodhart2, Matthew T. Ballew1, Justin Rolfe-Redding3, Connie Roser-Renouf3, Anthony Leiserowitz1 and Edward Maibach3

    'Fear-Based Climate Appeals Can Be Counterproductive'

  • Animal agriculture and eating meat are the biggest causes of global warming

    Alan Russell at 23:09 PM on 14 December, 2019

    Another thing that's important to note is the short life of methane in the atmosphere which tends to be misrepresented when GWP100 is used to represent its effects. If cattle herd sizes remain the same over the lifetime of methane in the atmosphere, they will maintain the same amount of additional methane in the atmosphere year on year (the amount of cattle in Europe and North America is lower than it was in the 1960's whilst India has fewer cattle than it did in the 1980s). In terms of their contribution to warming, this, in a very simplistic sense, is equivalent to a closed power station.

  • Video: Is CO2 actually dangerous?

    One Planet Only Forever at 03:22 AM on 9 December, 2019

    John Hartz @54,

    Your links continue to be enlightening. The NYTs Editorial is generally helpful. But it includes ways of telling the story that exposes a sinister reality about the storytelling in the USA (and many other supposedly more advanced nations).

    One of those things is in the quote you chose to share from the article.

    "As Bill Clinton and Mr. Gore discovered after signing the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, there was little enthusiasm in either party for a treaty that essentially required America and other industrial nations to do most of the heavy lifting while giving other big emitters, among them China and India, a far easier path."

    That is an accurate presentation of the claims that were being made, and continue to be made. But it is an incomplete presentation and misrepresentation of what the Kyoto Protocol required and why it required it.

    Everyone should seek out the original development documents, or at least read the final document. The details missed and misstated include:

    • There is a debt owed by each nation for its history of contribution to the current day problem.
    • Every human has equal right to be as harmful as every other human, a presentation of 'all people are equal' that leads to understanding that every nation has the right to increase its impacts to the same per-capita levels as other nations.
    • The highest per-capita impacting nations need to lead the correction of ways of living by reducing their per-capita impacts, to set the upper limits for the less developed nations to develop up to.
    • Since the end requirement is the ending of fossil fuel use it will be beneficial for the more developed nations to help the less developed nations develop more directly to sustainable activity, not follow the path of increased fossil fuel use followed by a need to undo or correct that development.
    • The nations with the highest current day debt (due to total impacts to date) also owe the less impacting and less developed nations assistance in 'adapting' to climate change impacts already created.
    • That means that the Sustainably Corrected future would have less perceptions of superiority and dominance by the current day "Winners of perceptions of Superiority".

    That fuller understanding has been 'removed from discussion, maybe never introduced in the first place' by leadership in some of the supposedly more advanced nations, making them undeserving of being considered 'more advanced nations'. It makes them nations deserving ridicule for having developed misleading storytelling propaganda systems, and apparently not realizing that it has happened, all in pursuit of 'harmfully selfishly tribally trying to maintain and increase unsustainable perceptions of superiority relative to others'.

    This is something that has been able to be understood for decades. Edward S. Herman (with Noam Chomsky) produced Manufacturing Consent in 1988 as a presentation of Herman's Propaganda Model (Movie of the same name made in 1992). And Alan MacLeod produced an update on Manufacturing Consent in the 2019 book Propaganda in the Information Age.

    How stories get told and what stories get told matters (even News Reports and Science Publications are stories). And the harmfully correction resistant among the powerful understand that very well.

    I appreciate that that is 'not a solution'. But any claimed solution that is not based on understanding the problem 'is not a sustainable solution'.

    Another quote that exposes a sinister aspect of the way climate change stories get told is "Climate change, by contrast, has for a long time been seen as remote, something for future generations to worry about, and in polls has appeared far down on the list of voters’ concerns."

    That misrepresents the unacceptability of acting to benefit today in a way that future generations cannot continue to enjoy (fossil fuels are non-renewable). And it dismissively brushes away any sense of guilt about causing harmful challenges that Others (the future generations) will end up having to deal with. It also highlights the grotesque unacceptability of basing Leadership action on Popularity and Profitability, especially in a socioeconomic-political system that is undeniably perverted by propaganda pressures to defend unsustainable developed perceptions of Superiority.

  • Video: Is CO2 actually dangerous?

    BillyJoe at 06:57 AM on 4 December, 2019

    Doug_C, when James Hansen said the seas could boil, he was wrong. It cannot be wrong to point that out. When AOC said the world will end in 12 years, she was wrong. She was wrong to say that even if she meant it as hyperbole. It cannot be wrong to point out that it is wron. The climate deniers have been using James Hansen's howler for decades and will probably use AOC's silly hyperbolic statement for decades to ridicule climate science. That is a bad outcome. And it cannot help to pretend that it didn't happen. Point out that it is wrong. Accept that it is wrong. That's the only way to help prevent the same sorts of errors happening again. 

    Also, I think you should watch Potholer's video on AOC again. He was spot on in his criticism about the negative effects of her hyperbole. It is all over the climate denying blogosphere. The have been blasting climate science as "catastrophism" for years and now they have proof.  They are ridiculing her and the climate science in general. 

    You also misrepresented Potholer's "Science vs feelies" video. Please watch it again. It is not about not being emotional about the consequences of climate change. It is about not relying on intuition to come to conclusions such as "the Sun revolves around the Earth. It is just obvious". Yes, it is obvious, and wrong.

    And I have to disagree with your general criticsm of Potholer. I quite enjoy Potholer looking down on the likes of Christopher Monckton and Steven Crowder and various other politcians and bloggers. They either don't have a clue or do have a clue and are blatantly lying. They deserve to be taken down on and ridiculed. But you can't then just dismiss errors by James Hansen and AOC.  

  • Video: Is CO2 actually dangerous?

    Doug_C at 10:15 AM on 3 December, 2019

    BillyJoe @21

    After the literally decades of work that James Hansen has done, why include the comment at all if your intent is to inform. It totally misrepresents the massive contribution that James Hansen has made to science as a whole and climate change specifically. It was a cheap shot for pure entertainment value and nothing more.

    Potholer's latest video is more meaningless nitpicking as he's going after Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for claiming that we have a very limited amount of time to deal with this crisis which is what all the information is saying, not just on climate change but as far as biodiversity and the presence of life itself on Earth.

    Read the peer-reviewed article I linked above on how humans have killed half the life on Earth already. And as report after report is now indicating, this process is accelerating not slowing down. And climate change is a huge part of that. You'd expect someone concerned about that to be for bold ambitious plans that are now needed after decades of inaction. 

    I get absolutely no impression of that from Peter Hadfield, just petty shots at others who he apparently is convinced lacks his brilliance. 

    There was also a piece from 2013 all about how projections of negative impacts of climate change on a global scale are just one more myth. I can't turn on the news without the latest climate change linked disaster being reported on. I've been caught in several myself with weather so extreme and dangerous I feel like I'm in a disaster movie.

    Watch Potholer's video on science vs. "feelies" to get a sense of the contempt that Hadfield shows for those who dare to be emotional at all about this catastrophe. Which he would probalby claim isn't a catastrophe at all.

    Climate Adam has a constructive purpose, he is presenting what can often be difficult to understand concepts in a way that allows people otherwise not well versed in science to connect with. In some regards with the same sense of whimsy as employed by science communicators like Carl Sagan.

    With Peter Hadfield I'm often left wondering if I'm not in the presense of a sociopath for the almost total lack of empathy he seems to have. Emotional intelligence is a real thing and Adam has heaps of it over Hadfield is my impression.

    Eaxch to his own, I get value from the Climate Adam videos and think they teach more than talk down to his audience. 

    Potholer54 is a master class in how to talk down to literally everyone else on the planet.

  • Video: Is CO2 actually dangerous?

    BillyJoe at 09:14 AM on 3 December, 2019

    Doug_C, James Hansen's "boiling oceans" was a ridculous comment, as he himself has admitted. It even got into his book though he promised to amend it in the next edition. Apparently there would have to be 5 times the carbon reserves we actually have and it would all have to be burnt to produce enough CO2 to cause a runaway greenhouse effect on Earth.

    But Potholer simply shows a video of him making his claim and then says "I think we can safely say that the oceans won't boil" and then moves on. He doesn't get stuck into him. Elsewhere he put James Hansen in a favourable light though I can't remember where.

    I'm surprised you say that you don't want entertainment but at the same time write in support of Climate Adam. He is almost all entertainment - if you like that type of entertainment. You do. I prefer Potholer. No problem. As I say, each to his own.

    But, seeing that you made the claim, I would like to see you provide an example of where Potholer misrepresents someone's position. As for him not being a researcher, no he is not, and he is at pains to explain that he is not even clever having graduated bottom of the class. He is simply giving an account of climate change as advocated by climate scientists. I haven't been able to fault him except for some minor tangentially realted points mentioned above. But he gets the climate science right.

    He also exposes frauds like Monckton and Crowder - who are blatantly misinforming the public about climate change - by tracing down their original sources and showing how those sources do not say what those climate deniers say they are saying. In fact, often the opposite. I have no problem him being "rude, condescending and supercilious" towards these frauds.



  • Video: Is CO2 actually dangerous?

    Doug_C at 08:39 AM on 3 December, 2019

    BillyJoe @19

    I'm not criticizing his production values, but the content. I'm not looking for entertainment in regards to fossil fuels and climate change. Like so many people I want an acceptance of the scale and threat on a policy level.

    I don't need to see someone deriding James Hansen who has put out a great deal of peer-reviewed wotk on this subject over half a century for entertainment value at best and possibly to discredit Hansen at worst.


    In the same way I don't like sound bites on the news that are often used to misrepresent someone's position, I find it highly disigenuous for Peter Hadfield to try and typify a genuine climate change researcher in this manner. If he has so much to offer then do it in peer-reviewed journals.

    But that isn't whatHadfield is doing, he's a performer in this discussion, not a real researcher.

    You kicked off this part of the discussion by making it clear how much you dislike Climate Adam based on his personal approach.

    I find Peter Hadfield to be rude, condescending and supercilious. Maybe that plays well to his audience, but considering he's doing to it sell his viewpoint on what is an existential threat while quite possibly doing more harm than good, I see absolutely nothing of value from his work.

    I do not feel that way about Climate Adam.

  • Here Are 3 Climategate Myths That Have Not Aged Well

    Philippe Chantreau at 04:55 AM on 30 November, 2019

    blub at 13 " manly tree rings"

    That is at best a misrepresentation. I looked through the 47 pages of data listed by PAGES 2K here. I think you should do the same, count how many data series come from trees vs the total number of series, and give a percentage that will subtantiate the word "mainly", which is rather vague. In addition to trees, it includes lake sediments, marine sediments, boreholes, gacier ice, coral, bivalve, sclerosponge, speleothem and documents. The specific proxies for these sources vary. They are compared and correlated to verify validity. The publications explain calibration and validation methods. There are papers exclusively devoted to calibration and validation.

    Following the link in the OP to the PAGES 2k paper leads to these other papers:

    No evidence for globally coherent warm and cold periods over the preindustrial Common Era

    The aberrant global synchrony of present-day warming

    As always, the overall weight of the evidence is what matters. 

  • There is no consensus

    Eclectic at 01:48 AM on 30 November, 2019

    Klmartinson @846 , 

    thank you for your "less wordy" reply  ;-)

    Brevity is truly the soul of wit ~ but not always the soul of precision !

    #0.  My comment of "low quality" applies to the AMS survey as a whole, not just to the 30% reply rate.   Indeed, 30% is poor in itself, because of the dangers of self-selection and unrepresentativeness [oh, what a wordy word! ] . . . as I am sure you are very well aware yourself.   As you have scrutinised the report, you will have noticed that the authors were slightly uncomfortable with the over-representation of student members and elderly/retired members (among other selection criticisms).

    Best if the survey were repeated nowadays, and done more carefully, so that the survey could be of high enough quality to achieve a worthy comparison to other surveys of Consensus.

    I agree the 30% is still rather poor, for the widely cited Doran survey ~ but Doran gains in strength because it closely fits with other surveys.   And "your" AMS survey also loses points, because of the lamentable extent of incompletion of those forms actually returned.

    And the fact that your quoted  52% was such an outlier , should have raised your suspicion that you had misinterpreted the figure or its context (or that the survey itself was faulty).

    #1.  Yes, there is such a thing as a "mandatory" survey.

        They are far and away the best sort of survey, in assessing the Consensus accurately.   [see part A of the Cook et al., 2013 survey]

    #2.  50 years vs 150 years in the questions, should have produced the same answers.   That it didn't do so, reflects rather poorly on the AMS members themselves (rather than on the survey itself!)

    #3.  Now you are adducing one winter in CONUS ?!   And you "don't understand how we can have record heat and yet have record cold seasons" ?!

    Hmmm ~ move another tenth of an inch in that direction . . . and some of the readers here will begin  to feel you are being a tad disingenuous   ;-)

    #4.  As I pointed out above, the survey was by definition limited to Americans.   Is that a bias?   It is only a bias, if the survey is falsely represented as worldwide (misrepresenting through omission).

    Though I hear that a percentage of AMS members are "furriners" . . . but only a small percentage.

    No, I am not shocked  at such (11%) a proportion of "Flat-Earther-type" opinions in some alleged scientists.   I myself know a PhD (in biological sciences) who is a proud member of his local Flat Earth Society . . . indeed, it's even worse , because he was born outside the USA !

    Klmartinson, the historic record is so clear on the fact  of modern global warming ~ that it takes an absolute willful blindness for any meteorologist to deny it, even back in 2012 or 2002.

    #5.  (which really deserves to be #6.)   Klmartinson, if you read a dozen or two of the upthread comments, and if you truly think it through, then you will come to see that a survey of published scientific articles is the far superior method of determining the real consensus.

    The analogy might be political surveys (examples: the Dewey/Truman 1948 election and the Clinton/Trump 2016 election) ~ inadequate survey size plus the tendency for "coyness" of replies to the vox-pop microphone or other polling method . . . results in an invalid "figure".   In reality, the accurate figure is the totality of the "on-paper" survey.  ;-)

  • Here Are 3 Climategate Myths That Have Not Aged Well

    nyood at 22:29 PM on 29 November, 2019

    Thank you for your view nigelj, it is confirming how polarized the debate is.


    However, with the leaked emails that you quote in advance, you mention those which I agree on to be unproblematic with my sentence: "Climategate is not about scientific fraud to me, I am aware of the quotes taken out of context as a cheap trick on the far skeptical side.."

    This email here by Tom Wigley might be a good quote that shows that there is concern about the antagonism amongst themselves:

    "Dear Eleven,I was very disturbed by your recent letter, and your attempt to get others to endorse it. Not only do I disagree with the content of this letter, but I also believe that you have severely distorted the IPCC “view” when you
    9say that “the latest IPCC assessment makes a convincing economic case for immediate control of emissions.” ...This is a complex issue, and your misrepresentation of it does you a disservice. To someone like me, who knows the science, it is apparent that you are presenting a personal view, not an informed, balanced scientific assessment. What is unfortunate is that this will not be apparent to the vast majority of scientists you have contacted. In issues like this, scientists have an added responsibility to keep their personal views separate from the science, and to make it clear to others when they diverge from the objectivity they (hopefully) adhere to in their scientific research. I think you have failed to do this.Your approach of trying to gain scientific credibility for your personal views by asking people to endorse your letter is reprehensible. No scientist who wishes to maintain respect in the community should ever endorse any statement unless they have examined the issue fully themselves. You are asking people to prostitute themselves by doing just this! I fear that some will endorse your letter, in the mistaken belief that you are making a balanced and knowledgeable assessment of the science—when, in fact, you are presenting a flawed view that neither accords with the IPCC nor with the bulk of the scientific and economic literature on the subject....When scientists color the science with their own personal views or make categorical statements without presenting the evidence for such statements, they have a clear responsibility to state that that is what they are doing. You have failed to do so. Indeed, what you are doing is, in my view, a form of dishonesty more subtle but no less egregious than the statements made by the greenhouse skeptics .... I find this extremely disturbing"

  • Here Are 3 Climategate Myths That Have Not Aged Well

    One Planet Only Forever at 04:10 AM on 20 November, 2019

    The careful deliberate deceiver Dr. Roy Spencer continues to present more evidence of how deliberately deceptive he continues to be.

    His take on the 10th anniversary of Climate-gate opens with the following gem: "... the unfortunate truth is that fewer and fewer people actually care about the truth." He relates that to his set-up point that a believer of Truth would be a "...skeptic of the modern tendency to blame every bad weather event on humans".

    He follows that misrepresentation set-up with a doozy of Fictional Tale built on his carefully selected bits of Non-Fiction. His New Fable makes the initial Climate-gate Fiction appear almost Non-Fiction (less Fantasy) by comparison.

    It opens with the following Fantastically incorrect Fairy Tale claim.

    "You see, it does not really matter whether a few bad actors (even if they are leaders of the climate movement) conspired to hide data and methods, and strong-arm scientific journal editors into not publishing papers that might stand in the way of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) mission to pin climate change on humans, inflate its seriousness, and lay the groundwork for worldwide governmental efforts to reduce humanity’s access to affordable energy."

    And his fans and the lovers of WUWT will fervently passionately belief the Fairy Tales. That is an expected result of developing a powerful personal interest in benefiting from an understandably harmful and ultimately dead-end activity like fossil fuel use.

    Future generations cannot continue to benefit from burning fossil fuels, they are non-renewable. All the future generations get is the increased challenges and harmful results created by what the previous generations 'choose to continue to do'. That Non-Fiction cannot be acknowledged in the Fantasy-Fiction-Filled made-up minds of the likes of Spencer and Watts.

    The Sustainable Development Goals are like Garlic or Sunlight to the Vampire-like fantasy beliefs of the likes of Spencer and WUWT.

  • Top 10 most viewed rebuttals in September and October 2019

    Eclectic at 21:36 PM on 13 November, 2019

    (This post is transferred from an erroneous position in another thread)

    Independently, I can supply a confirmation (semi-quantitative) of a spike in "climate inquiries" in September this year.  Though I wouldn't care to speculate whether the surge of interest comes from the activities of "St Greta of Arc(tic)" or from the Extinction Rebellion actions or from climate action week or whatever.

    I am a fan of the excellent & amusing Youtube video series produced by Potholer54 (science journalist Peter Hadfield).  These debunk climate myths and expose the fabrications and misrepresentations of some of the prominent Denialist propagandists.

    As a little project to engage some of my spare moments, in June this year (and through until today) I jotted down at intervals the cumulative viewing numbers for each of Potholer54's videos.  Now typically, a new video receives a flurry of viewings, presumably mostly from notified subscribers of the series . . . and then the viewing rate decays to a lower level (which might be only 5~10 per day for certain videos, yet over a 100 per day for the more popular videos).

    However, I noticed a surge in viewing rates in late September through to mid October.  The most prominent surges were for about 10 particular videos ~ where the viewing rates rose to around 3~5x the usual background rate.

    So, quite a remarkable increase.  (Numbers have fallen away since then.)

    My record-keeping has been more casual than rigorous, and I don't have a spreadsheet record to permit better analysis.

    Not sure how much more can be teased out of this information: but for those who are interested, these are probably the "most surged" titles :-

    1.     1.Climate Change - the scientific debate

    25.    23-Medieval Warm Period - fact vs fiction

    28.    26-Science vs the Feelies

    33.    Response to "The Global Warming Hoax Lord Monckton & Stefan Molyneux"

    34.    Response to "DEBUNKED : Top 5 "Climate Change" Myths by Louder with Crowder

    35.    Are humans contributing only 3% of CO2 in the atmosphere?

    39.    Top 10 climate change myths

    40.    A conservative solution to global warming (Part 2)

    47.    How accurate are scientific predictions about climate?

    Warning: the left-hand numbers are the numeration used by Youtube for the videos.  But some of the early videos have an older numeration which is incorporated in the video title [as you see, above]. Easy to confuse!

    Science vs the Feelies is a particularly amusing and instructive video, regarding the "intuitive" thinking behind some Denialists.

    Regular readers at SkS may enjoy the videos, and may gain something useful from the comment columns underneath.  Of course I don't mean from the Usual Suspects / the trolls / the loonies etc ~ but I mean that one must admire the deft way Potholer54 responds to them.  He emphasizes that he is not presenting his opinions, but is simply presenting the science (which is found not in newspapers & blogs, but is found in the peer-reviewed scientific papers of respected scientific journals).

  • The Experts Have Spoken: Disbanded Particulate Pollution Panel Finds EPA Standards Don’t Protect Public Health

    Eclectic at 20:15 PM on 12 November, 2019

    We don't have the means to shift your comment but please feel free to copy and repost it to the appropriate thread. It's certainly congruent with our observations, and worth noting in the right place. 

    Independently, I can supply a confirmation (semi-quantitative) of a spike in "climate inquiries" in September this year.  Though I wouldn't care to speculate whether the surge of interest comes from the activities of "St Greta of Arc(tic)" or from the Extinction Rebellion actions or from climate action week or whatever.

    I am a fan of the excellent & amusing Youtube video series produced by Potholer54 (science journalist Peter Hadfield).  These debunk climate myths and expose the fabrications and misrepresentations of some of the prominent Denialist propagandists.

    As a little project to engage some of my spare moments, in June this year (and through up until today) I jotted down at intervals the cumulative viewing numbers for each of Potholder54's videos.  Now typically, a new video receives a flurry of viewings, presumably mostly from notified subscribers of the series . . . and then the viewing rate decays to a lower level (which might be only 5~10 per day for certain videos, yet over 100 per day for the more popular videos).

    However, I noticed a surge in viewing rates in late September through to mid October.  The most prominent surges were for about 10 particular videos ~ where the viewing rates rose to around 3~5x the usual background rate.

    So, quite a remarkable increase.  (Numbers have fallen away since then.)

    My record-keeping has been more casual than rigorous, and I don't have a spreadsheet record to permit better analysis.

    Not sure how much more can be teased out of this information: but for those who are interested, these are probably the "most surged" ten titles :-

    1.     1.Climate Change - the scientific debate

    25.    23-Medieval Warm Period - fact vs fiction

    28.    26-Science vs the Feelies

    33.    Response to "The Global Warming Hoax Lord Monckton & Stefan Molyneux"

    34.    Response to "DEBUNKED : Top 5 "Climate Change" Myths by Louder with Crowder

    35.    Are humans contributing only 3% of CO2 in the atmosphere?

    39.    Top 10 climate change myths

    40.    A conservative solution to global warming (Part 2)

    47.    How accurate are scientific predictions about climate?

    Warning: the left-hand numbers are the numeration used by Youtube for the videos.  But some of the early videos have an older numeration which is incorporated in the video title [as you see, above]. Easy to confuse!

    Science vs the Feelies is a particularly amusing and instructive video, regarding the "intuitive" thinking behind some Denialists.

    Regular readers at SkS may enjoy the videos, and may gain something useful from the comment columns underneath.  Of course I don't mean from the Usual Suspects / the trolls / the loonies etc ~ but I mean that one must admire the deft way Potholer54 responds to them.  He emphasizes that he is not presenting his opinions, but is simply presenting the science (which is found not in newspapers & blogs, but is found in the peer-reviewed scientific papers of respected scientific journals).

  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2019

    scaddenp at 08:23 AM on 8 November, 2019

    I didnt assume - I pointed out that studies show that politics is the best predictor. It may not apply to you.

    "Most of your info says the Arctic caps have melted." Point me to one place on this site where it says the arctic cap has melted. I believe that this is a strawman argument. No reasonable discussion can be had if you choose to misrepresent what is stated. The arctic caps are definitely melting. At lowest, they dropped to around 4m km2 this year, but temperatures are above freezing in high arctic for only about 50-60 days of year. The influx of warm sea water and ice transport are major factors in continuing ice lose.

    Temperatures in high arctic are now more than 20C below zero so hardly surprizing it is cold. For information on what it is like in arctic in terms of temperature, seaice etc. I highly recommend the charts on For why you might be getting more polar air excursions to where you live, try

  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2019

    nigelj at 08:53 AM on 21 October, 2019

    markpittsusa @13

    "(and then as Nigel suggests, you can ban me for making good points that go against your views.)'

    Quit with shoving words in my mouth, and totally misrepresenting what I said.


    markpittsusa @15

    "It would be helpful to me (really) if you could tell me who you think were the professional economists who contributed to estimating economic losses in the Forth NCA report. (There are 177 references in that Part 14 of the report, so it's not obvious.)"

    Find out yourself. Stop being lazy. You are making wild accusations that defy even simple commonsense. It's therefore incumbent on you to provide proof, not me.

  • There is no consensus

    MA Rodger at 17:49 PM on 29 September, 2019

    ERRATA @826,

    I would disagree with Eclectis @827 in that the Myles Allen OP is correctly explaining why the simplistic message “the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says we have 12 years” is being used unscientifically.

    However I would entirely agree with Eclectic @827 that the letter from  "500 prominent scientists" is entirely non-scientific nonsense.


    The message from Myles Allen is that this 12 years concerns the time it takes before potentially we hit the +1.5°C of global warming. The adoption of +1.5°C at the COP21 meeting in Paris in 2018 was a wake-up call to global governments from science and it does show that we were potentially 12 years away from breaching that limit although a more likely timing would have been 22 years. Yet the significance of the SR15 report failed to spur governments globally into appropriate action. The wake-up call was given but the world hit the snooze button, again.

    Mind I was using a 12 year message even before SR15. My own version of a 12 year message would be that, at current levels of emissions, we had 12 years' worth of CO2 emissions to play with. That was emissions limits set out against a +1.5°C limit within  the 2013 IPCC AR5 Synthesis Report. (The limit of 550Gt(CO2) from 2011 is buried away in Table 2.2 which represents 14 years of CO2 emissions from 2011.) And note we are now halfway through that 12 years' worth of emissions.

    The IPCC message has always relied on politicians picking up on the dry scientific message that we are stuffing the planet's climate. Emissions targets are watered down and hidden away in documents because many politicians are unable to cope with that reality. Although the messages of the Climate Emergency movements are often less than scientific, if they convinces the world that we do have an emergency on our hands, I for one am not bothered that there is a scientific problem with the message.


    And then there is the letter from the usual set of denialists.

    They misrepresent thmselves. They are not "a global network of more than 500 knowledgeable and experienced scientists and professionals in climate and related fields." (At least, when they were 400  "independent Climate Scientists and Professionals" almost all were not "knowledgeable and experienced scientists and professionals in climate and related fields.") They make six unsupported assertions, none of which stand up to scrutiny. If you feel any of their bold claims deserve more than this summary dismissal, do say.

  • Medieval Warm Period was warmer

    Eclectic at 16:46 PM on 24 September, 2019

    JP1980 @265 , 

    as Scaddenp (@266) indicates, there is much that is wrong with KalteSonne's blog article.

    In the first paragraph, the blog asserts that the MWP was hotter (or "similar") in temperature to today.  Which is false.  Various types of proxy temperature measurements show that the Medieval Warm Period was cooler than today's global climate.  In addition, the land ice-shelves and glaciers were larger than today's, and the mean sea level was lower than today's.  All these three types of evidence demonstrate the warmth of today and the relative coolness of the MWP.

    KalteSonne is indulging in wishful thinking — not scientific thinking.  Having made such a blunder to start with, it is not surprising to find that there are subsequent errors.

    In the second paragraph, he [presumably he] goes on to present a misleading picture by taking quotes out of context.  He misrepresents the message of the IPCC.  And he fails to understand that the MWP was such a slight deviation of average world temperature, that one would of course not expect it to show up in a "hindcast" of computational models based on 20th/21st Century climate.  (Hence his attack on climatologists' models — an attack which seems to be his underlying purpose in discussing the MWP.)

    A further failure of KalteSonne, is his failure to acknowledge (to himself and to his readers) that the current warming event is not only larger and definitely worldwide . . . and that it is greatly faster & has a continuing steep upward trajectory ~ all of which is distinctly different from the MWP.

    Clearly, he fails to understand the mechanisms causing climate change.

    In short: KalteSonne's ideas are nonsense.

  • Medieval Warm Period was warmer

    scaddenp at 14:49 PM on 24 September, 2019

    Where to start. Firstly as MA Rodger was pointing out, it is misrepresenting what the science says by selective quoting. Secondly, it is playing with a strawman fallacy in the title - CO2 is not the only driver of warming and model reconstructions can reproduce the pattern of warming.

    An important contrast with today's warming is the lack of synchronicity globally. The CO2 science project hides that by going for very long time period and some very dubious baselining. There are numerous peer-reviewed papers which recontruct both NH and global temperatures which take a rigorous approach to handling the proxies (See the AR4 and AR5 for the list and plots) but of course these dont get the "right answer" for denialists.

  • Wind energy is a key climate change solution

    FalseProgress at 10:00 AM on 18 September, 2019

    Attn. Moderator(s):

    This will be my last post on this page, but I'd like to ask why you allow images like the first one below, which claim to compare wind farm blight to long-standing blight from mining but only show the latter. The problem under discussion is NEW damage from the world's 355,000+ wind turbines - and growing. One assumes that goes without saying for people trying to understand objections to newer eyesores. This site is supposed to be about education, right?

    The image titled "Oh yuck..." (single distant wind turbine) looks like the work of a schoolkid who barely understands the scale of Big Wind. The McDonald's photo (not from this forum) is a blatant attempt to manipulate perspective, and the oil field photo (also found elsewhere) shows not a single wind turbine. If it was honest it would at least show all the diesel trucks that haul them and mine their materials. Intrusions from wind turbines are now visible at far greater distances than mines, and the impact is cumulative, not subtractive. You also have to add rare earth mining scars thousands of miles from actual wind projects.


    Below is another form of propaganda that misrepresents wind turbines' scale and context. You don't get this sunny, pastoral aura when collosal machines loom over scenery.


    Here's what they really look like, with some solar sprawl mixed in (I'm fine with rooftop solar). Everyone who understands the scale of wind projects should be frank about their moral angle. This is what the Green New Deal wants to greatly expand.


  • 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #36

    prove we are smart at 20:02 PM on 10 September, 2019

    One Planet Only Forever , @3

    It seems to me there are many  issues that are being falsely misrepresented. At least two are the looming debt crises in America ( and worldwide ? ) , and the much more worrisome climate change. We all can be a role model for thoughtful discussion.  " Ordinary people"  believing their biased media reports, need to become aware of other sources of information , i'm sometimes worried, under some phoney excuse our govts may even control the internet news..afterall , our thoughts on issues are controlled by what we have read/seen. When the powerful control most media, education is the best defence to stop it /getting worse..Maybe its really our flawed and lazy human faults ?, because with just a little effort, you can find most viewpoints on many subjects.

  • There are genuine climate alarmists, but they're not in the same league as deniers

    MA Rodger at 21:01 PM on 8 September, 2019

    sailrick @43/44,

    Those quotes get a bit strong. The source of the quotes is this blog by McPherson which may help put them in context, but what is also required is the science lying behind these strong assertions.

    The link to the OP provided by Postkey @46 is part of this, but the underlying paper is Rosenfeld et al (2019) 'Aerosol-driven droplet concentrations dominate coverage and water of oceanic low level clouds'. Also cited in your quote @43 is Levy et al (2013) 'The Collection 6 MODIS aerosol products over land and ocean'.

    The basis for the strong message presented @43/44 is that coal-use emits both CO2 and SO2. The CO2 is raising climate forcing at a rate of ~0.02Wm^-2/yr. SO2 acts as a seed for aerosols and thus more shiny clouds which cool the planet. SO2 is very short-lived but provides a negative forcing which is not well defined (IPCC AR5 put it at -0.9Wm^-2(+0.8,-1.0) although note the recent work cited by Postkey @45 derives from Haustein et al (2019) 'A Limited Role for Unforced Internal Variability in Twentieth-Century Warming' (described in the CarbonBrief article & the RealClimate article). Haustein reconstruct the global temperature record using known forcings and conclude that the SO2 effect would be roughly -0.4Wm^/2.

    So simplistically, we have what is seen by some as a dilemma facing humanity. If we cut coal-use we will be faced by a net increase in climate forcing boosting AGW. But if we maintain coal-use to prevent such a boost, the CO2 would provide the exact same boost over coming decades (perhaps as few as 20 years) and the dilemma would still be in place.

    Yet it isn't quite as difficult as that. The coal-use will not cease overnight and there is a reduction in CO2 forcing (and also more quickly CH4 forcing which totals so-far 0.5Wm^-2 and of which a significant proportion is down to coal) once we stop CO2 emissions (or the reduction in a past contribution of a particular source once it is shut down).

    As for the strong message, a quick peek at the blog by McPherson shows some serious misrepresentation of cited material, serious enough to suggest the blog is entirely without merit. So I would be surprised if there is any actual support for the bold claim that there will be 2-3 degrees C warming over the period 2019-30.

  • Millions of times later, 97 percent climate consensus still faces denial

    Doug_C at 01:50 AM on 20 August, 2019

    MA Rodger @20

    Quantum Mechanics are the most powerful tool we now have to understand physical interactions at the level relevant to this issue. Before we had QM there was very strong evidence that carbon dioxide is the most important persistent gas in the atmosphere for moderating the global climate. After the development of QM that became far stronger as we then had a detailed explaintion as to why that has allowed experimentation to a degree that simply wasn't possible before.  

    And the science on carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere and its intimate link to global climate got stronger as more data was produced.

    My point about uncertainty is it is being misrepresented by the denialist campaign, not placed in its proper context. There will never be 100% certainty on global warming in scientific terms because there is always room left to expand and adapt scientific theory as new information is acquired.

    The standards of scientific certainty are far higher than in any other discipline, in legal terms the confidence on the link between CO2 emissions and the serious impacts have been recognized at the highest level a long time ago.

    Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency


    The use of uncertainty in the case of global warming denial has nothing to do with advancing our understanding of the physical aspect of this phenomena, it is almost entirely political and economic in nature. It is simply not valid scientific skepticism.

    I use the term existential in regards to global warming in the threat to the existence of human technological culture and society on a global level and the threat to a significant portion of the existing biosphere that is already in the process of accelerated extinction as climate conditions change far faster than many species can adapt to or migrant along with.

    How can you refer to a process that is already well acknowledged to be underway as looney fringe?

    We are already seeing massive dieoffs in the oceans in some of the most important ecosystems, if fully half the Great Barrier Reef system dies off in two years with a projection of almost all coral reefs systems and their diverse biotas gone by mid century, is that not a signficant loss of biodiversity from that one source. 

    Plus the research showing many insects populations in rapid decline, it's at an estimated 2.5% per year now. Many avian species are in rapid decline as well. 

    We now have an estimate of 1 million species at risk of extinction, that would have a profound impact on the overall biosphere.

    Keep in mind that global warming and climate change is not taking place in isolation, it is the major human impact on the physical and natural systems on the Earth. But is taking place in the context of rapid deforestation of much of the worlds rain and temperate forests. In conjunction with a removal of a huge amount of species from the ocean for food with an equally massive polluting of the ocean environments.

    Plus everything else we are doing to replace and remove those natural systems that make complex life possible on Earth in the quantity and diversity it currently has.

    The truly loony fringe are those who think we can keep doing this for any longer without causing a systemic biological collapse.

    Climate change denial is probably the most irrational organized behavior of our species yet.

  • Can Land cause Climate Change? (new IPCC report)

    RedBaron at 22:13 PM on 13 August, 2019

    You can start by actually reporting what they said, instead of what you wished they might say.
    They did NOT say eating a lot less meat will save the planet. That’s a ridiculous statement in your video. But at least you immediately followed it up with a pretty smug disclaimer of your personal biases. 

    While they occasionally make bloopers, they didn’t this time. What the report states with high confidence that balanced diets featuring plant-based and sustainably produced animal-sourced food

    “present major opportunities for adaptation and mitigation while generating significant co-benefits in terms of human health”.

    The key here is sustainably produced balanced diets. In some cases that might mean less meat, in many cases around the world it actually means we need more meat to make properly balanced sustainable diets.

    Do I agree with the actual report when not misrepresented…..somewhat. The report also makes the claim we need to grow biofuels as a way to help mitigate AGW. Couldn’t be further from the truth.
    It’s Time to Rethink America’s Corn System
    That’s the real reason behind the big push to reduce meat consumption…Industry wants more corn and soy for biofuels like gasohol and the land will continue to degrade. Biofuels like corn are the absolute least efficient way to mitigate AGW. In fact most people think the net effect is actually causing more AGW.
    Actually the way to mitigate AGW is to increase worldwide meat production by eliminating excess corn and soy for biofuels, and factory farms too. We need more animals on the land not fewer.

    Running out of time

  • Climate's changed before

    MA Rodger at 22:56 PM on 30 July, 2019

    TVC15 @770,
    Well, let that be a lesson for you!!
    Denialism isn't logical. It turns folk into swivel-eyed loons.

    To correct his nonsense-
    ♣ It was 3 million years ago (not 2) that North & South America collided and joined up, a process that did kick off the Arctic glaciation which then resulted in c3 million years of ice ages. And over tha last 1 million years the ice ages were significantly bigger. Presumably the present warming that is bringing this 3-million-year-period to an end can be blamed on the collision of the USSR and the Republic of China with the United States of America, these all constituting significantly large land masses.
    ♣ You probaly could argue the Arctic was ice-free 100,000 years ago but only through the peak of the summer melt season (as in the Arctic Ocean having the levels of summer ice we would declare today to be ice-free).
    ♣ 15,000 years ago we were still coming out of the last ice age. We were out nearer 10,000 years ago (as the graphed ice core data clearly shows).
    Ice Core Temperatures
    ♣ The extreme global temperature changes since the Last Glacial Maximum were nothing like "10-15 degrees C" except at a regional level (ie Greenland). And the period over which these increases occurred (the data graphed shows two large sudden Greenland increases in the last 20,000 years - +12ºC at 14.5kybp  & +9ºC at 11.5kypb - which were not 10-year periods of increase but 200-year periods. I don't think the ice cap volumes exist in the northern hemisphere to achieve a repeat performance today.
    ♣ The relative temperature of different interglacials has been discussed in this thread before and so we know the swivel-eyed loon is having difficulty hearing this particular message. So, yes, we do think he is "just being crazy" and that craziness is why he has such difficulty accepting the science and its implications.
    ♣ With regard to emisions controls, we can, of course, treat all people on Earth equally as the denialist wishes. The science says that anthropogenic CO2 emissions of more than 700Gt(C) will be bad and with 7.7 billion folk living on the planet, that would be an allowance of 91t(C) per head(historical) ('historical' as your allowance-use is handed down from previous generations).
    So let's calculate that allowance using Global Carbon Project figures and present-day population. Note these GCP territorial emission data only go back to 1959. Getting full historical figures would be possible (& correcting for increasing population could be factored in) but the general result will not change. That would mean that China still had an outstanding carbon allowance of 54t(C) per head, India 82t(C)/head while the good old USA has exceded its allowance and so has to pay back 238t(C)/head into the collective kitty. If full historical emissions were included, the US pay-back would be greater still, not qute as great as the UK pay-back if taken to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. (From 1959 the UK pay-back is a trifling 47t(C)/head). Luxembourg from 1959 has a pay-bacl 0f 199t(C)/head but would be the country facing the biggest carbon-emissions pay-back with full historic figures.

    Denial is a sad thing to behold. Denialist folk become happy to dismiss the evidence witout any assessment of what they are ignoring. It is simply done. "The IPCC assessment reports? A complete pack of lies!!"
    More telling is the misuse of the remiaining information that you do accept. As you are ignoring whole swathes of actual data, your sources tend to be limited and adjusting the findings beyond that limited evidence becomes a necessity. So some, no all previous ice ages were warmer, golly, 10 degrees warmer, 20, 100 degrees warmer. We should be grateful we live now and not then!!!!
    And how does the following rate on the scale of untruthfulness given it comes from a real climatologist, abet a retired one. It's from Lindzen's seminar at the UK House of Commons in 2012. (@ 32.20mins in the first videoed part of his talk linked here. (You-tube link here)

    "Does it [20th century temperature increase] matter?"

    "Okay so some points to take away from the global mean temperature anomaly record. Changes are small. They are in the order of several tenths of a degree. Changes are not causal but rather the residue of regional changes. Changes in the order of several tenths of a degree are always present at virtually all time-scales. And obsessing on the details of this record is more akin to a spectator sport or tea-leaf reading than a serious contributor to scientific efforts."

    "Say, at least so far. I mean if some day I shoud see the changes are twenty times what I've seen so far, that would be certainly remarkable but nothing so far looks that way."

    The implication is that we have here a retired climatologist who considers a gobal average temperature increase of less than (0.7 x 20=) 14ºC to be unremarkable. Are we then supposed to take such a retired climatologist as a serious authority on climate?

    What perhaps we cannot judge is how much a denier knows he is misrepresenting the data he presents, that he is effectively lying. I suppose gross exageration can be justified because the denialist message is to them the correct message and, and denialists don't have the resources to counter all the lies that you climate alarmists generate with all your fake IPCC science.

  • Models are unreliable

    Eclectic at 00:34 AM on 30 July, 2019

    MA Rodger @1121 ,

    thank you for the link to McKitrick & Christy 2018.   The paper suffers from major logical non-sequitur in arguing from the status of the high altitude Upper Troposphere (which he elsewhere misrepresents as the lower troposphere "TLT" ) instead of examining the planetary surface temperature and (even more important) the ocean heat content.   Severe cherry-picking . . . as well as poor logic.

    Thank you also for the link to Dr Christy's talk at the GWPF (actually given in May 2019, not in June).   Much of the earlier part, as well as the middle part, must have been as clear as mud to most of the audience !

    The talk contained the same logical fault as the McK & C 2018 paper . . . and then expanded into a great deal of waffle.   And then finalized with poor analysis of storms and Californian wildfires . . . and with much irrelevant but emotion-charged rhetoric (including how Christy's Californian land-holder neighbour had dishonestly moved Christy's property-boundary marker peg ~  ??possibly a metaphor for all those dishonest mainstream scientists at the IPCC?? )

    Irrelevancies, poor science, and demagogic rhetoric  ~ just another ordinary day at the GWPF.

    Considering that Dr Christy makes similar misleading presentations at senate/congressional committee hearings . . . it comes as no surprise that he was "uninvited" to return to contributing to the IPCC.

  • Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    MSMITH at 21:42 PM on 12 July, 2019


    "expansion of nuclear power generation is incapable of making a significant abatement of the global warming problem (during the next say, 30 years) "

    I would say "next 20 years."  But that's a quibble.  It is true that people don't want to take the economic risk.  

    And they should not.  

    But companies can, subject to approval of their shareholders and board of directors.

    As for "build times" the only way NuScale is successful is if they actually build on schedule.  And for that plant, it's a 5 year proposed time-line. 

    "ideologically opposed to wind/solar generation"

    I think you might be misrepresenting some opinions.  Very few people I know are "opposed" to wind or solar.  They may be realists and recongnize that since both wind and solar have capacity factors in the 25% range that substantial additional costs will need to be paid to allow them to be baseload plants.  

    Can it be done?  Sure.  Will it be cheap?  No.  Having the mix of generation, diversity of fuels and technologies, allows for better resource allocation.  It doesn't make sense to make the grid entirely nuclear powered.  

    But for me, the most promising use of something like the SMRs is the "Joint Use Modular Project" (JUMP) that the INL plans to run with one of the modules.  

    When not making electricity, they can keep the module at full power and use the steam for something else, like production of natural gas, which they can then store.  

  • Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    MSMITH at 08:29 AM on 12 July, 2019

    Michael Sweet:

    I need to respond immediately to one thing:  "In general I do not discuss radioactive waste or problems that radioactivity causes because nuclear supporters do not care how many people they kill with radioactivity."

    I care very much that the death rate from nuclear power, at all levels of the process, from mining to final disposal is much less than that of other technologies.  This has been mentioned early.  But I would never accuse you of not caring (for example) about the number of people killed during erection of a wind turbine, nor would I accuse you of not caring about the number of people who die falling off a roof maintaining a solar panel.

    I therefore consider it a misrepresentation of my position.  You imply by your statement the following:

    1.) The death rate from nuclear is higher than all other sources of power.

    2.) Nuclear supporters know this.

    3.) Nuclear supporters choose nuclear anyway, for some other reason.

    Number 1 is demonstrably false.  Number 2 are therefore rendered irrelevant. 

    "Personally attacking other users gets us no closer to understanding the science."

    You are, however, correct that I did not mention transuranics.  But my statement did say "on the order of natural uranium."  Yes, transuranics are there, but as there has been no study that has detected any increase in death rates due to radiation exposure on the order of natural background radiation 

    From the  Radiation in Everyday LIfe by the IAEA:

    "There are many high natural background radiation areas around the world where the annual radiation dose received by members of the general public is several times higher than the ICRP dose limit for radiation workers. The numbers of people exposed are too small to expect to detect any increases in health effects epidemiologically."

    So, if we have been unable to detect the health effects from doses several times higher than the limit for people working in the nuclear power industry, does it not stand to reason that health effects from doses of about 10% of that limit would also be undetectable? 

    "Nuclear supporters hope to have breeder reactors in 2050 which is too late."

    No it's not.  For the first 700 - 900 years or so, the radioactivity in spent fuel is dominated by the Sr-90 and Cs-137 I mentioned earlier.  If somebody was worried about the dose due to transuranics, storage for even 100 years, followed by reprocessing at that point, provides adequate protection from that portion of the dose that comes from transuranics.  

    "I note that you have provided no citatioins even to nucear industry propaganda."

    As stated in the beginning of my first post, I would establish facts and then support those that you did not agree with.  As much of what I said comes from many years of study, from textbooks and in-depth coursework, and from references, it would be useless to go to great lengths to provide adequate references to something that you acknowledged openly.

    But now that it's been questioned, I will respond to specifics:

    "(90% of current reactors face serious flooding issues which they have not addressed)"

    As we are talking about expansion of nuclear power, it makes sense to talk about new designs, not current designs.  And specifically, since I did in fact mention SMR in reference to the Clinch River site, we'll simply mention that the flooding issue for the NuScale SMR is simply n/a.  The reactor sits in a below-grade pool of water, and requires no power to remain in a safe condition.  Flooding is literally not a concern. 

    And that's not my position.  It's the NRCs position.  They have accepted that the NuScale reactor needs no AC or DC power to remain safe, which of course is what killed Fukushima, and which all of the flooding concerns ultimately hinge upon.

    "It is easy to say a location is suitable without considering the suppy of cooling water,"

    A nuclear plant needs about as much cooling water as a coal plant.  Replacing a coal plant with a nuclear plant uses the same water a coal plant was using.

    "local population, availabiity of land,"

    Site boundary sized Emergency Planning Zone.  Those words mean something.  They literally mean that I could place an SMR facility to replace of a coal plant and not need to worry about evacuations, or off-site dose, and not even worry about zoning, as it stays zoned for industrial.

    Again, as reference,  Here is  the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Clinch River site.


  • Climate's changed before

    TVC15 at 14:51 PM on 14 June, 2019

    @ 737 MA Rodger

    Dear MA Rodger,

    I deeply appreciate all your knowledgeable responses to my posts with respect to the deniers I deal with! I have learned so much from you!
    With respect to that denier who loves to misrepresent Jim Hansen he also loves to quote mine him and this is exactly what he posts about Jim.  

    I don't understand the mindset of folks who behave in this disingenuous manner.

    James Hansen is the Grand Imperial Kleagle Wizard of Global Warming and he had this to say:

    In his book Storms of my Grandchildren, noted climate scientist James Hansen issued the following warning: "[i]f we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty."

  • It's the ocean

    jesscars at 15:10 PM on 13 June, 2019

    I believe this is a misrepresentation of the "skeptics'" argument being made.

    "Skeptics" believe that, before the industrial revolution, the correlation betweeon CO2 and temperature (as shown on records such as the Vostok Ice Coe records) was explained by:

    1) Natural factors causing the earth's temperature to change e.g. Milankovitch cycles, solar radiation cycles, and the circum-polar jet-streams.

    2) The ocean beng warmed or cooled due to these natural factors - which takes several hundred years (thus explaining the 800-year lag found on the Vostok Ice Core samples).

    3) The release or absorption of CO2 from the oceans, as the natural solubility or equilibrium level of CO2 in water changes with temperature. (The linear relationship of CO2 to water temperature (below about 23 degrees C.) also explains the linear historic relationship of temperature to CO2 (found at Vostok): which is about 1 degree C. to 10 ppm atm. CO2.)

    So yes, the historic source of CO2 was the oceans - and it was the temperature change, caused by natural factors, that caused this change.

  • Climate's changed before

    TVC15 at 06:25 AM on 3 June, 2019

    I meant to state that I think he's cherry picking and misrepresenting. 

  • Climate's changed before

    TVC15 at 06:24 AM on 3 June, 2019

    I've come across another climate change denier who stated these things.

    If you read the peer-reviewed scientific articles, you will see that in every Inter-Glacial Period going back 800,000 years the sea level rose 3 meters to as much as 14 meters.

    Sea levels during MIS-7 and MIS-9 were 10 meters to 14 meters higher than present.

    What did you just say?

    You said CO2 levels haven't exceed 300 ppm CO2 in 1 Million years.

    So, what exactly is the point?

    Who was burning fossil fuels in any of the previous Inter-Glacial Periods?

    No one, yet sea levels still rose 3 meters to 14 meters.

    In fact, CO2 levels ranged from 260 ppm to 280 ppm CO2.

    So, the reality is that it doesn't matter if your CO2 level is 270 ppm or 470 ppm, because your sea level is going to increase 3 meters to 14 meters and neither you, nor anyone living, dead or who will ever live can stop it.

    Once you accept that scientific reality, the best thing to do is let the Free Market handle it, instead of ramming useless laws down people's throats that will do nothing except screw people over.

    I this he's cherry picking and misrepresenting.  

    My questions are:

    1. Is it an accurate claim that in every Inter-Glacial Period going back 800,000 years the sea level rose 3 meters to as much as 14 meters?
    2. Is it accurate to state that it doesn't matter if your CO2 level is 270 ppm or 470 ppm, because your sea level is going to increase 3 meters to 14 meters and neither you, nor anyone living, dead or who will ever live can stop it?


  • 3 clean energy myths that can lead to a productive climate conversation

    scaddenp at 09:05 AM on 24 April, 2019

    Thinkingman. You made the claim:
    "See: The point is: South Australia’s electricity price became the HIGHEST IN THE WORLD during the second half of 2017." The price was AUD47.13c/kWh.

    I understand that your accusation of moving the goal posts consists of:
    1/ I put a of comparison of countries rather than states
    2/ I used data from other than 2017 when the accusation was made.

    I disagree. While the statement about highest prices in the world is made using 2017 price, the data being used to support that claim is from a report in using comparitive data from 2015 (and published 2016). That report considered only OECD not whole world for comparison. My world countries basis did indeed show countries but it can be trivially seen that AUD47.13 (the SA price) is less than US99.

    In fact, let me summarize what I believe are the facts based on those sources.

    • In 2015, South Australia had higher electricity prices than average price of any OECD country at market exchange rates and higher than any other Portugal on PPP basis (though Japan and Ireland are in there too).
    • In 2017, South Australia may have had a higher rate than any of the OECD countries, but to honestly claim that, the comparison would need to be updated with 2017 prices for those other countries and there is no evidence in either that Leading Edge nor Financial Review did that.
    • In none of 2015, 2016, or 2017 did South Australia have the highest electricity prices in the world whether compared on exchange rates or PP basis.


    I would additional concluded that both FR and LE misrepresented their sources and misled their readers, including you.

    I am glad you do recognise that Lazard uses capacity factor since so much misinformation claims they dont. What is your basis for claiming Lazards range of capacity factor and lifetime are flawed? Hopefully not another FF schill.

  • Should a Green New Deal include nuclear power?

    sauerj at 00:29 AM on 24 April, 2019

    All, I am hardly a NP biased proponent. I have only just began to learn about NP (only starting in the last 9 months). I was technologically agnostic before that (instead only focusing on revenue-neutral carbon tax policy). I would call myself a proponent of skeptical science and due-diligence. I have made my primary motivations (zero GHG emissions) quite clear in the above comments. The above characterizations and snide remarks toward me (#16: "black is white and up is down") are unprofessional. I have been fair, professional and forthcoming; referencing all of my points and pointing out (w/o meanness) where the refs that I provided were not correctly understood (ex. 1.2mm panels per day and for US only). ... Nigelj points out that this latter point doesn't matter b/c NP is cheaper (#14); but, this cost detail is very complicated and not so clear, as I explained above & further explain below. Regardless, I still think a continuous replenishment of 1.2mm panels per day, for the US, forever, (assuming a conservatively high 40-yr life span), even if recycling, is something not to dismiss lightly.

    I am still worried that a 100% RE plan (per Jacobson's plan, who was a big part of this greenman video) would be imprudently bias against NP and close-minded to how NP can help us (in the mix) get to zero GHG emissions as quickly, smartly & justly as possible. I believe that Jacobson's 100% RE 35-year roadmap plan needs more careful cross-examination; and I base this on what appears to be a thorough review video (cited above & again HERE for convenience), as well as per what other reputable people are saying, also pointed out above, such as highly respected people like James Hansen & others), and I feel that this sort of on-going diligent cross-examination of Jacobson's plan should be pointed out (as I have done).

    In the end, I feel that cost should decide, but only provided we are truly & earnestly looking at all costs, and also including all external, long-term costs in the cash flow analysis (which is what the EICDA bill ultimately gets us at (concerning GHG pollution). I am not convinced that that kind of total & comprehensive cost analysis is done w/ Lazard's cost #'s, mostly b/c of the two missing big factors (mentioned in my comments above) which are: non-equal service-life & non-equal reliability (which are not included in Lazard's cash flow analysis).

    1) Abbott (MSweet's 16.1): I didn't address the Abbott 2011 paper (material resource issue, #13 in his paper) b/c it is way over my head technically. By myself, I could never get to the bottom on what is the definitive truth on this. To fairly review this paper, it would take a team of senior NP & geological experts, to be able to give Abbott's conclusions due analytical diligence. I am nowhere near qualified for that.

    But, in order to meagerly attempt to do that (in the last 2-3 days), I have submitted this Abbott 2011 paper to NP experts (who frequent this "RE vs NP" FB public group) to give them a chance to review & comment on this. A 'Colby Kirk' has given me the following information that throws the Abbott 2011 paper into doubt.

    1.1) On Abbott's Material Resource Issue (his point #13):
    Per Colby Kirk: "I reviewed his [Abbott] claims on the limited materials. He didn't give a number of materials per reactor, he just claimed all of these materials are required for nuclear reactors and then did a basic algebra formula based on the reserves limited to only the U.S. This is far from being scientific, quantitative or honest.

    "For instance zirconium ... "15 Metric tons per reactor unit of ACR1000" at 15,000 reactors will still not be an issue [see page 73 of this site HERE for this 15MT/rx #]. 225,000 tons for the world nuclear fleet against a world supply of 73,000,000 tons [sauerj insert: Abbott has this at 56,000,000 tons]. That's also assuming we only use that reactor design, which advanced reactors will eliminate the need for zirconium cladding.

    "None of this brings up the possibility of recycling which would become a large part of the supply line as these materials go up in price. Fuel assemblies go in and come out with the technical possibility of reprocessing and recycling. Different reactor designs have different needs and any bottle neck on certain materials will just motivate a substitution or design pivot."

    1.2) On Abbott's paper being "peer reviewed":
    Per Colby Kirk: "I've learned to not rely on the approval of peer review since lots of easily refuted antinuclear hit pieces get published in the literature under "peer review". Editors and reviewers can play favorites, have bias and also not know what they are looking at, which is unfortunate. I've seen lots of terrible work pass under "peer review". I can say for sure he [Abbott] is citing some widely refuted anti-nuclear hit pieces that were not peer reviewed like SLS. [sauerj inert: See my note below about this SLS paper below (*).]

    "There are also some egregious errors and mistakes in the rest of the paper that any honest reviewer would catch, like cherry picking U235 as the only viable nuclear fuel.
    "The document is labeled under "point of view" [sauerj insert: see top of the Abbott paper & on every corner] which looks to be a debate platform in the IEEE content stream. They talk about "personal positions" and "predictions" without mention of peer review like they do for the rest of the journal. Therefore I doubt it is peer reviewed. HERE is the description of that page. "

    (*) About the non-peer reviewed SLS paper (that Abbott cites 3 places in his 2011 paper): Colby Kirk also sent me the following two rebuttal articles about this SLS paper, see HERE & HERE.

    Finally, on this 16.1 point, I personally could not find where Abbott says that the shortage limit of Be, Nb, Zr, Y, Hf will limit NP to 5% max of total power (NP currently provides 11% of global power today). MSweet, could you cite where Abbott claims this?

    2) Lazard pg 13 Methodology (MSweet's 16.4, 2nd para of 16.4): This page 13 is just an example free cash flow analysis for just one technology (wind). That is why it doesn't show a comparative table for NP. But regardless, no, they probably don't include disposal costs for NP; so that is a fair point. But, they probably don't also include replacement & recycle costs with the RE options either; though this is probably much less $ than that for NP.

    3) Costs (MSweet's 16.4, 1st para of 16.4): My statement above (comment #13) about NP being less than solar & equal to wind (based on slide #2 on THIS site) was not apples-to-apples in comparison; I did not read the slide carefully enough (my error). This slide is a comparison of old fully depreciated NP and new un-depreciated solar & wind, which shows old NP being less cost than new solar & equal to new wind (but this not a fair comparison on new vs new). As MSweet pointed out above (pt 16.4) (in the PDF that I sited), new NP is much more than solar & wind. ... My next thought (per the bottom citations I gave above in #13, & for convenience citing again HERE & HERE) does NP have to be this expensive (based on installations in China, India & South Korea being 25-30% less and per the 3.1 & 3.2 paragraphs below that give credible evidence & references that Jacobson's 100% RE plan would cost 3x more than a Gen III NP plan in reguards to capital costs). But, I fully admit & agree, per Lazard's #'s, without any correction for service-life & equal reliability differences (or without consideration of the capital cost differences per 3.1 & 3.2 below), that new NP does cost more than new RE.

    Lazard's #'s do not account for differences in service-life (per its pg 13 methodology), nor offsetting to achieve equal on-demand reliability (ditto). I think these two are big cost factors that are missing from Lazard's cash flow analysis, which is otherwise quite rigorously & technically well done. This lack of 100% apples-to-apples comparison (due to these two missing points) is the same lack of apples-to-apples consternation as cited in the Grist article above (conveniently cited again HERE, see below the "Are renewables cheaper?" header)

    On comparing capital cost differences b/w a 100% RE plan vs a mostly NP plan to supply the US with enough non-carbon energy to de-carbonize the US, the following information is noteworthy:
    3.1) Capital cost to put the US on 100% RE: Per Jacobson, to supply the 1591GW US demand using his 100% RE plan will cost $15.2tr (not counting necessary pumped hydro back-up which adds $1.3tr for every 4 hours of total US grid back-up). Ref: See this video (3:15-4:15) for these Jacobson 100% RE costs #'s.
    3.2) Capital cost to put the US mostly on NP: The Gen III reactors (in SKorea) were built for a cost of $4.4bn/GW. Therefore, to satisfy the US power demand, this would cost $6.7tr (almost 1/3 the cost of the 100% RE costs if the RE plan includes a moderate amount of pumped hydro back-up). And, this NP capital cost could fall to $3tr with Gen IV MSR reactors. These NP costs are per this video (4:50-6:30).

    4) Shellenberger (MSweet's 16.2 [the first 16.2]): MSweet, Could you post which video (& time) is pertinent to where you said he (Shellberger) contradicted himself? If that is so, then you are most right; and I would agree. Yes, there is absolutely nothing wrong with RE driving power prices down.

    5) Shellenberger (MSweet's 16.2 [the 2nd 16.2]): About Fukushima deaths: Shellberger's claims of no deaths due to NP (this video at 14:37) are backed up by the May-2013 UN report (see wiki article, below the "UNSCEAR Report" header), which cites "No radiation-related deaths or acute diseases have been observed among the workers and general public exposed to radiation from the accident". In addition, Shellenberger ref'd the actual UN report, (in the above linked video slide at 14:37), which appears to be extremely thorough (200 pgs). Therefore, I see nothing to make me believe that Shellenberger misrepresented the facts in his video stating that there were no radiation deaths due to NP. Therefore, b/c the nuclear industry didn't technically kill anybody (that all associated deaths were only due to the fault of inappropriate emergency response) per this reputable UN report (that Shellenberger cites), my conclusion is contrary to MSweet's above statement: "Shellenberger denied that the nuclear industry is responsible for the people they killed at Fukushima. The industry demonstrates their complete lack of concern for safety when they do not accept responsibility for the people they kill."

    Regardless to no one dying due to radiation, the Fukushima accident was still not good. But do we throw out any good that NP can provide, in getting to zero emissions, if done safely and prudently, due to a possible bad & risky design at Fukushima?

    6) Material Mass/Power Comparison (MSweet's 16.3): MSweet, On this "tons/Mwh" point, you mentioned above having trouble finding ref docs that Shellberger referenced. To be clear, I used this Shellenberger video at 18:39 for the mass/power ratio #'s that I posted in #9 above. When I check Shellenberger's references here, I was able to quickly find his referenced doc HERE, which then points to HERE to access it. But, you have to have a sign-on clearance to access it, which I don't have. My expectation is that this doc will, in fact, have a Table 10 (that matches the same figures on Shellenberger's slide). So, I believe you might have been too quick to say that Shellenberger's graph was "falsified"; and to call him a "liar". Now possibly you were looking at a different video and slide, b/c the reference Shellenberger cites here (18:39) is not a "pro-nuclear book" but instead a DOE paper (which led me to the above two sites). If you are able to access this report (again HERE), and find no Table 10 to back-up Shell's slide here, then this does discredit him.
    To try to find additional docs on this tons/Mwh ratio subject, I could also ask the above mentioned NP experts for more refs on differences between NP & solar & wind on this point. On the surface, it does jibes w/ my eng sensibilities that solar & wind would far outweigh NP on this ratio due to much lower energy density of the RE's vs NP, especially for the required large scale (per Jacobson's #'s) as outlined in this video (2:40-3:30, and 6:35-8:30).
    At this point, on this mass/power ratio matter, I see nothing that gives me reason to doubt Shellenberger's numbers; and certainly no definitive evidence to classify him as a "falsifier" and a "liar".
    Also, his presentation cites people who were once very anti-nuclear (Brand, Monbiot), but now in their zeal to really get to zero emissions (as smartly & quickly as possible), and in their honest examination of all the facts, these people have changed their minds. This is profoundly moving to me. Hansen's word is also profoundly moving to me, as I mentioned above (#13).

    7) NP Maturity (Nigelj 14): In my learning's about NP (in the last 9 months), I have learned that the NP industry is certainly not fully mature. It may be more mature than the solar industry, but there are many things that could be strategically done to bring the capital cost of safe NP down via alternations/upgrades to different paradigms (from Gen II to Gen III, IV) and construction streamlining techniques. Other countries are moving forward into these more cost competitive & safer paradigms (per all of my points above in #3 of this reply) and lower cost construction techniques.

    In Conclusion: I am not a NP hack; please do not characterize me of that. I am a CC mitigation hawk and active CCL member, who is simply asking questions & trying to learn to find the truth, and I feel that reputable sites & people (as ref'd) legitimize my questions & concerns about a 100% RE plan. With this reply, I feel I have addressed your points comprehensively and professionally, and on subject concerning this greenman video and its Jacobson referenced content.


  • 3 clean energy myths that can lead to a productive climate conversation

    ThinkingMan at 06:26 AM on 23 April, 2019

    This post replies to the:
    • Apparent confusion about the distinction between the cost of reliable electrical service and the prices at which wind turbines sell electricity.
    • Erroneous claim solar panels can take the place of spinning reserves
    • Allegation of fakery
    It also includes an insider’s comment about how preferential treatment by government influences wind’s role as source of electricity.

    The comment is “…we get a tax credit if we build a lot of wind farms. That's the only reason to build them. They don't make sense without the tax credit ...”. We is Berkshire Hathaway, which owns about 8.5% of U.S. wind turbine capacity. The quote is from the 12 May 2014 issue U.S. News & World Report. Other periodicals have the same quote.

    Disputing my point about reliable power’s cost by pointing out wind wins the bidding process reveals confusion about who picks what. A brief, basic description of the decision making process may resolve the confusion.

    Electricity system decision makers choose between capacity and energy offers from wind turbines, solar panels and conventional generators. Relative prices, government mandates and dispatchability heavily influence how much of each is selected. The quantities are combined into firm service and interruptible service. Reliable service’s cost reflects the sum of prices paid for all the components (baseload + dispatchable + renewables + … ). The same is true of interruptible service’s cost.

    Households, businesses, schools, government agencies and other electricity users choose between firm service and interruptible service. Some choose both. The cost of firm service vs. interruptible service influences the decision. Wind’s selling price typically only indirectly influences the decision, if wind is considered at all.

    Firm service is reliable service. Customers get all the electricity they want when they want it—24 hours a day, 365 days a year …. .

    Interruptible service allows the system operator to restrain or to reduce the quantity of electricity delivered to a customer. Typically, the limitations are temporary. Sophisticated electricity buyers understand the cause and effect relationship between the behavior of wind power and the amount of power delivered to them. They also have expectations for the adverse financial consequences of reduced deliveries. The adverse consequences are weighed against interruptible service’s discount relative to reliable service. Wind’s concurrent selling price influences the decision only if wind obviously influences on the discount (An example is an electricity user that prices some or all of its power with reference to wholesale or spot power prices. Wind power frequently dominates wholesale / spot electricity prices).

    Spinning reserves perform functions different than the pairing of wind turbines with solar panels, and the need for the functions persists when wind is paired with solar.

    Solar and wind can complement each other where seasonal, daily or other surges in one offset contemporaneous lulls in the other. The pairing can also compensate for mismatches between seasonal, daily or other routine fluctuations in demand for electricity and wind turbine output or solar panel output.

    For example, the Georgetown, TX municipal electricity utility pairs solar with wind. A major reason for the pairing is: Seasonal demand peaks when the solar panel capacity factor is high and the wind turbine capacity factor is low.

    In contrast, a major function of spinning reserves is to cope immediately with very short term fluctuations in electricity demand and supply. The causes, timing and nature of the fluctuations typically cannot be forecast. But, experience has taught operators of large electricity systems that something routinely goes wrong somewhere. When Murphy causes a problem, spinning reserves are part of the solution.

    When backing up renewables, spinning reserves help cope with routine, very large short term changes in wind turbine output. Such changes occur during the night, when solar panels are idle. They also occur during the day, when the electricity system is already tuned to the inflow of solar electricity.

    Allegations of fakery put forth by a fossil fuel troll violate the “3 Myths … “ expressed goal of promoting positive discussion (see the blog's introduction). Furthermore, such allegations are blatantly false. Those alleging fakery are challenged to point out where fakery occurred.

    Is there fakery, an arithmetic mistake or a typo in these calculations?
    • $90 = (.29 * $205 + .61 * $40 + .1 * $55)
    • 1.65 is approximately $90 / $55
    • $112 = (.43 * $205 + .49 * $40 + .08 * $55)
    • 2 is approximately $112 / $55

    Do $205, $40 and $55 misrepresent 2018 values for peaker, wind and baseload costs shown on the levelized cost graph featured in the “3 Myths …. “ blog? Does the graph misrepresent the relative prices of each?

    Do you challenge the validity of data provided by ERCOT and ISO New England?

    Do you dispute that wind electricity is intermittent and variable, as generally described and as shown by data provided by ERCOT, ISO New England, The Alberta Electric System Operator, the Australia Energy Market Operator, Germany’s regional operators and others?

    Do you dispute that reliable service has been and remains a key objective of electricity system operators?

    Do you dispute the necessity of supplementing wind with other sources of power to create reliable service?

    With regards to the shares of reliable energy supplied by peakers, wind and spinning reserves, my estimates favor wind. Wind turbine opponents in the recent past typically claimed that every 100 MW of wind capacity had to be backed up by 80 to 100 MW of conventional generating capacity, and that much of the back-up capacity had to operate 24/7. In contrast, my split is 100:55 approx., and only about 5 needs to operate continuously. Furthermore, my splits suggest reliable service structured around wind turbines cuts by 40-50% CO2 emissions relative to reliable service structured around natural gas. These are NOT results a fossil fuel troll would proclaim.

    A wise person once advised: Progress should not be impeded by the pursuit of perfection. Those truly concerned about the environment should settle for progress achievable and feasible today to improve conditions over the next several years and concurrently work towards better solutions to be implemented in the future. That is far more constructive than savaging suggestions that differ by degree rather than direction.

  • 3 clean energy myths that can lead to a productive climate conversation

    scaddenp at 07:40 AM on 16 April, 2019

    Thinking Man, I followed your link which was to again blog (and from a energy advocacy) but the blog did fortunately link to their source of data namely CME here. On pg 6, we find:

    "The comparator countries are all members of the Organisation for Economic
    Cooperation and Development (OECD)."

    which is somewhat different from "highest electricity rates in the world". The data is from 2015 except for exclusions noted. So no, I was not moving the posts back several years, and not updated since SA installed the storage battery for instance. Note too that the leading edge energy blog compares 2017 prices in Oz to 2015 prices in rest of world.

    Furthermore, the prices paid in other countries are converted to AUD at "Purchasing Power Parity", which is a good methodology, but a different basis to that for world electricity comparison in my source.

    I would say that your industry blog is misrepresenting their data source frankly. I would also say, that if you want to make a case renewables and electricity pricing, then you need to be comparing wholesale generation rates not retail, since retail is affected by many considerations other than the full cost of generating the required power. In your reference, I find wholesale cost makes up 31% of the retail price. The report does quite an analysis of change in wholesale price. Retirement of coal plants and slow development of new capacity certainly do figure but SA is also particularly vunerable to gas price. Market issues around concentration and gaming the system were also identified.

  • Climate's changed before

    scaddenp at 12:11 PM on 6 April, 2019

    This is more motivated reasoning. Well obviously there is science behind it - the whole IPCC WG1 is nothing but science. However, solving it is political and economic and the argument he is trying is that there is a nefarious plot by scientists who want everyone including themselves to suffer massive economic damage for no good reason except... But people which view the world through ideological glasses seem to believe this.

    There is also the IPCC WG3 on ... solutions. In there you can see the published opinion from the many that have studied the issue instead of the opinions (misrepresented at that) of carefully chosen few.  I wonder how well Ottmar Eddenhofer feels his views were represented by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

  • Arctic sea ice has recovered

    Eclectic at 07:44 AM on 30 March, 2019

    Gsmakin @117 ,

    thank you for the link to "the blogger's presentation" [ = WUWT blog ] of 22 February 2018.

    If you scroll down about halfway on the comments section there, you see an interchange between Nick Stokes and the guy who calls himself "Kenneth Richard" (who is a major propagandist at "No Tricks Zone").   Quite informative.   Continue through to the final post, which is by Kristi Silber (who is also one of the handful of commenters worth reading on WUWT).

    Gsmakin, I am unsure of your degree of familiarity with WUWT.  My take on that blog, is that the usual articles are worth a quick glance (but are typically puerile propaganda spin) and the comments columns are mostly filled by posters who are (A) political extremists somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan, and/or (B) crackpots who maintain that CO2 has negligible effect on terrestrial climate, and/or (C) tinfoil-hat conspiracists.

    ~ So, please do not waste too much of your valuable time in detailed reading of the articles at WUWT . . . and as for the comments columns, best just to scroll down at high speed, but pausing to read anything by Nick Stokes, Steven Mosher, and Kristi Silber.   (NB: up until recent times, the WUWT site allowed commenters to give each other a vote of thumbs-up or thumbs-down.   It was highly noticeable, how the above three persons always received a heavy downvote ~ but with that system gone, the other commenters simply express their vitriol verbally . . . when they can spare time from berating the general science community.)

    As for Kenneth Richard ~ oh what a blackened conscience he must have, from the persistent way his output is brimful of mendacities, doctorings, and misrepresentations.  A propagandist, in the most pejorative sense.  (To quote from Nick Stokes on 22 Feb 2019 there : "There is no truth in Kenneth Richard's misrepresentations" )

  • Holistic Management can reverse Climate Change

    Kevin C at 00:42 AM on 20 March, 2019

    A couple of comments to facilitate the discussion. First, let me set some context. (This post could go at the bottom of any rebuttal.)

    The aim of Skeptical Science is to communicate what we as a species know (and don’t know) about climate change, and to call out claims which misrepresent what we as a species know about climate science.

    This raises the question of how we, as a species, can know something. Clearly, there are things that we do know – that the earth is round and orbits the sun. A few people dispute these things, but we consider it nonetheless as something that is known. So how do we know that we know?

    The answer is laid out in lay terms in this talk by science historian Naomi Oreskes, and in many more academic talks she and others have given on the same subject. The problem is that people are human, and have incomplete information and cognitive biases. So we can’t trust people. Scientists train themselves to focus on evidence, but are still people, and so not very reliable. Scientific papers are a little more reliable, because of two additional social factors – when we attach our name to a paper, some of our reputation goes with it, and also the paper should be rigorously critiqued by (when the system works) independent scientists looking to find holes in our work. But science is hard, so we still expect many individual papers to be wrong. The best measure of what we as a species know comes from an assessment of all of the scientific literature on the question, because more diverse and more dispersed groups are less subject to groupthink and other biases.

    When we address a claim on SkS, we have to have a standard against which to evaluate a claim. And the most reliable standard is to compare that claim against the whole body of scientific opinion relevant to that claim. We expect a diversity of opinion, but we can assess the breadth of diversity on a particular question. We can then identify whether a particular claim is representative of the scientific knowledge on a particular question, or whether it is part of a spectrum of diverse opinions. In the latter case we can further identify whether the claim falls in the middle of that spectrum, on the edge, or is an extreme outlier with little other support.

    Obviously this can’t be done by citing individual papers, it must be done on the basis of an extensive review. Hence the lengthy citation list. We expect to find outliers on any question – I’ll discuss some of these later. However, we also expect multiple systematic reviews to reach similar conclusions, so comparison with the IPCC reports is an important starting point.

    So, that raises two questions:

    1. Where do Savory’s claims stand with respect to the spread of scientific opinion on those questions?
    2. Does the rebuttal do a good job of communicating the spread of scientific opinion and the relative position of Savory’s claims?

    I'll try and look into the first of these in my next post.

  • Next self-paced run of Denial101x starts on March 5

    Philippe Chantreau at 04:18 AM on 10 March, 2019

    It's been educational allright. Let's get back on topic, namely the OP, which I feel that  should copy and paste to encourage everyone to read it attentively again:

    "The next iteration of our free online course, Making Sense of Climate Science Denial, starts on March 5 and it will be the 12th run since the very first one in April 2015. Since then, more than 40,000 students from over 180 countries have registered for our MOOC which has been running either as a 7 weeks long paced or a longer running self-paced version like the upcoming one. The next run will be our longest self-paced run thus far and will stay open until December 17 2019, giving you ample time to work through the material at your own pace.

    Our MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is a collaboration between Skeptical Science and The University of Queensland and takes an interdisciplinary look at climate science denial. We explain the psychological drivers of denial, debunk many of the most common myths about climate change and explore the scientific research into how to respond to climate misinformation. With all the misinformation and outright lies coming out of Washington regarding climate science - not to mention many other topics in this age of fake news - our MOOC will give you the knowledge to spot and the tools to effectively counter them."

    It is very evident that there is a lot of outright denial, myths and lies. We've seen them countless times, many examples are cited and analyzed on this site. Instances of misleading, misrepresentation, cherry picking, taking out of context, using logical fallacies are in fact quoted or otherwise imported in multiple SkS posts, then debunked. So, now let's look at how one poster chose to interpret these word:

    "The point of this post is to promote the idea that rather than listening to a skeptic, point your finger at anyone other out there skeptical oppinion and tell them they have a psychological 'denial' issue, which not what any persons who supports freedoms of thought should do."

    This is the most grotesque possible misrepresentation of the OP. There is absolutely nothing in the words I initially quoted that could even remotely be construed in that way. It is so far off that it's not even funny. It sets the tone from the get go as highly adversarial, it is a direct accusation of dishonesty, since it makes the assumption that the entire SkS MOOC team's intent is to shoot down by rethorical means any possible dissenting opinion, regarless of its intrinsic value. It is by all means an outrageous statement with no grounding in reality, and nothing is produced to back it up. Later, Prometheus whines about adversarial tone. My take is if you can't take the heat, don't light the fire. Moderators are nonetheless generous enough to let this pass without the customary warning, ironically demonstrating that even a completely dishonest attack can be let through for the sake of debate and openness, the exact opposite of Prometheus' claim. White is black, up is down, well in line with the times...

  • Next self-paced run of Denial101x starts on March 5

    Prometheus at 12:55 PM on 7 March, 2019

    Many of you are demanding proof of bias from the government when this was not the point of my comment! Read my comment from earlier carefully:

    "I don’t trust the government. Do you think it would be fair for me to state “Most climate science is run by the government who are actually paid to intentionally misrepresent the science in order to support policy”? Being an intellectual, I don’t, and I do read the IPCC reports anyways and try to learn about what they are trying to say. I hold my criticism in pure objectivity and cross a number of information sources (including my in-depth knowledge of physics) to form my understanding. For me, it isn’t difficult to weed out the dishonesty using this strategy. And if I see it, the authority is gone, and I will seek other sources. This is no different with the organizations you listed above."

    The point was to say is that I do not discount government funded research, and you shouldn't discount company funded research. Government bias was not the focus of that statement. I was challenging the claim that skeptic organizations cannot be trusted simply because of association with their financial supporters. All funding sources are usually tied with a bias. The determination of good or bad research should be purely by using critical thinking and objectivity. The goodness of the research should always be based on objectivity and critical thinking, not association. And the motive of reading research is to learn and understand. 

    As for "Massive bias" part, I did not expect this to turn into a massive soul sucking black hole of an argument, so let me explain what I mean. The bias in that government is simply because the government is not in the business of science, its in the business of policy and governance (and thats not bad). The government is not interested in scientific investigation and exploration (with the exception of NASA back in the day when it explored space and the moon, but it still was political fueled by the space race). Therefore, they are not interested in science, except if it supports a policy. If you don't believe me, read material from Faynmann about the topic and how he exposes the issues with government bias in his investigation of the columbia accident. Read the historical account of MIT and how their funding in fusion was pulled in order to support a forign multigovernment research project for the purpose of intergovernment handholding. Read about Einsteins issue with governments propensity to block freedoms of thought when politicians and government get out of control. There are a number of very promenant scientists who speak on this topic of government bias. My view is that while government have an important role in this world, they cannot overstep their bounds like they have historically done in the limitation of the freedom of thought in scientific investigation. This includes Climate Science studies.

    There, you squeezed it out of me. I hope this was constructive.

  • Next self-paced run of Denial101x starts on March 5

    Prometheus at 06:32 AM on 7 March, 2019


    You're heading us into a lot of side arguements that I'll try to avoid. I need to straight somethings out first.

    "Your post is full of ideology and every bit as biased as you suggest others are."

    Proving my point that this site gets adversarial really quick.

    The only time I mentioned bias was in this statements:

    "If it were my world, which it isn't, then all skeptics would be funded by groups without any bias."

    "I believe that the government organizations have a massive bias, yet they are the source of funding for much of the climate science research"

    How did these statements marit your attack? The attempt was to point out that you think bias is from corperations, and I was pointing out that it can be from government too. Bias isn't the issue. If it were a perfect world, science would be funded by organizations with no bias, but those organizations don't exist. Skeptics need to get money from somewhere, and they are not going to get it from the government.

    The point of me saying that "I don't trust the government" was completely missed. Let me repeate this statment without that sentence. Maybe it'll make more sense to you:

    "Do you think it would be fair for me to state “Most climate science is run by the government who are actually paid to intentionally misrepresent the science in order to support policy”? Being an intellectual, I don’t, and I do read the IPCC reports anyways and try to learn about what they are trying to say. I hold my criticism in pure objectivity and cross a number of information sources (including my in-depth knowledge of physics) to form my understanding. For me, it isn’t difficult to weed out the dishonesty using this strategy. And if I see it, the authority is gone, and I will seek other sources. This is no different with the organizations you listed above."

    The point was that it isn't fair, nor is it fair for anyone to discount any skeptic funded by a company in as much as government. In fact, such argements are fallacious, because you are trying to say the research is bad by association. If you don't know about this fallacy, here is a link:

    If you're arguement is that the population needs to ONLY trust government funded research because government is out for the good of the population, than I totally disagree. No matter what the source of the funding is, government or private, what matters is the research, and if its good research, its funding source is irrelavent. Good research can be determined by objectivity and critical thinking. 

    "You're talking about NASA and NOAA as if they were shady organizations bent on deceiving the public."

    I never said no such thing. Please don't take my words out of context. I do not believe they are shady organizations. I learn from them as much as I learn from other sources. In fact, I have worked for NASA, so I'm very familiar with that organization.

    "Fossil fuel interests have billions of dollars of profit per quarter at stake. Who do I trust? Seriously? What a joke."

    Lets have a scientific objective discussion here. Government also has interests with trillions of dollars at the mercy of public oppinion and elected officials. It doesn't matter. 

    I want to give you something to think about with this question. This is a question purely related to science. If the federal government was to oversee ALL of the scientific research, do you think it can maintain its objectivity? In other words, instead of universities and colleges funding their own research, there is a gigantic organization under the federal government the maintains all the research. Do you think objectivity would be maintianed?

  • Next self-paced run of Denial101x starts on March 5

    scaddenp at 06:14 AM on 7 March, 2019

    I think it would be truer to say that this site is extremely adversarial to those promoting misinformation and downright medacious misrepresentation of science, especially for ideological purposes.  Science is the best means we have to investigate the nature of reality and policy should be guided by available science understanding at the time.

  • Next self-paced run of Denial101x starts on March 5

    Prometheus at 01:20 AM on 7 March, 2019

    There are a lot of responses, and I'll try to capture all of them the best I can.

    Can you please explain to people how strawmen, cherrypicking, out of context statements, and fake experts are not some form of intellectual dishonesty? .. Nobody says all sceptics use these, but they do feature quite frequently.

    I don't need too, it should be obvious. I'm speaking only to skeptics that don't get caught up in intellectual dishonesty. There are two different modes of rhetoric in the context of Climate Science - Science and politics. It’s easy to see the dishonesty in politics, and I personally don't care to speak to those, but these people are driven by a fight over a fear of what they see as government oppression. I'm speaking to the pursuit of science and science alone, which is a subject of learning and understanding. Yes, there are a number of skeptics that are clearly in pursuit of this. Frequency of good skeptics doesn’t matter. It only took one Einstein to change the whole perspective of physics.
    You think this website is adverserial? What about the death threats climatescientists like M Mann have received? Theres some real adversity for you.
    Does this insinuates that you agree that the site is indeed adversarial? It’s just not the worst.

    And what about Trumps blatant exaggerations and mistakes about the climate issues? You ok with that?

    I am not interested in political discussions. I think subjects of science need to be outside of the politics. Politics, by nature, lacks critical thinking and only reacts to a motive. The weakness in mistakes, exaggerations and the like are a weakness of both sides of the political spectrum

    Nobody has said anyone has a psychological denial issue.

    The above article has the text "We explain the psychological drivers of denial," So while this statement speaks to drivers, its clearly putting it in context of an issue, and further explains how to use mythbusters to counteract the denial.

    Prometheus, can you cite an example of "relavent arguements made by the skeptics that has changed the perspective of climate change science and advocates alike"?

    I would like too, but this commentary is about the post of denial, and I could see this turning into a massive argument over the arguments. I’d be happy to go over these either privately or in another discussion setting. I love exploring these arguments.

    How about enroling in our MOOC and working through the material to find out what it is about and how much merit the comments made by „skeptics“ actually have?
    I've never heard of the MOOC, but I am interested and would love to join.

    “For climate change, there are many scientific organizations that study the climate. These alphabet soup of organizations include NASA, NOAA, JMA, WMO, NSIDC, IPCC, UK Met Office, and others.
    One of the main weaknesses in climate science is the far too close coupling between government and the science. People have a natural (and well deserved) propensity to not trust the government. All of these organizations you listed are government organizations. Science is not an authority unless people trust it.

    If you have to dismiss all of these scientific organizations to reach your opinion, then you are by definition denying the science.

    Incorrect. This is exactly my problem. This is a political statement. Denying a science does not have anything to do with denying any organization. Science is about learning, and people are denying learning because the science is too political. The information in the science is only as good as its authority. People do not consider these organizations as authorities because they are government organizations.

    Many of these are run by lobbyists (e.g.., Climate Depot, run by a libertarian political lobbyist, CFACT), or supported by lobbyists (e.g., JoannaNova, WUWT, both of whom have received funding and otherwise substantial support by lobbying organizations like the Heartland Institute), or are actually paid by lobbyists to write Op-Eds and other blog posts that intentionally misrepresent the science.”

    If it were my world, which it isn't, then all skeptics would be funded by groups without any bias. However, we are not in that world. If a skeptic wants to be funded for research that challenges climate change hypothesis, how do you think they should get funded in this world? Do you think the government organizations you listed would fund them? They can only be funded by those who are interested in it. I believe that the government organizations have a massive bias, yet they are the source of funding for much of the climate science research.

    I don’t trust the government. Do you think it would be fair for me to state “Most climate science is run by the government who are actually paid to intentionally misrepresent the science in order to support policy”? Being an intellectual, I don’t, and I do read the IPCC reports anyways and try to learn about what they are trying to say. I hold my criticism in pure objectivity and cross a number of information sources (including my in-depth knowledge of physics) to form my understanding. For me, it isn’t difficult to weed out the dishonesty using this strategy. And if I see it, the authority is gone, and I will seek other sources. This is no different with the organizations you listed above.

  • Next self-paced run of Denial101x starts on March 5

    Postkey at 19:25 PM on 6 March, 2019

    "Now, it appears to be more likely that it is a hoax to get more money from civillians . . . "

    “For climate change, there are many scientific organizations that study the climate. These alphabet soup of organizations include NASA, NOAA, JMA, WMO, NSIDC, IPCC, UK Met Office, and others. Click on the names for links to their climate-related sites. There are also climate research organizations associated with universities. These are all legitimate scientific sources.

    If you have to dismiss all of these scientific organizations to reach your opinion, then you are by definition denying the science. If you have to believe that all of these organizations, and all of the climate scientists around the world, and all of the hundred thousand published research papers, and physics, are all somehow part of a global, multigenerational conspiracy to defraud the people, then you are, again, a denier by definition.

    So if you deny all the above scientific organizations there are a lot of un-scientific web sites out there that pretend to be science. Many of these are run by lobbyists (e.g.., Climate Depot, run by a libertarian political lobbyist, CFACT), or supported by lobbyists (e.g., JoannaNova, WUWT, both of whom have received funding and otherwise substantial support by lobbying organizations like the Heartland Institute), or are actually paid by lobbyists to write Op-Eds and other blog posts that intentionally misrepresent the science.”

  • It's waste heat

    AEBanner at 05:42 AM on 6 March, 2019

    Energy causes Global Warming

    michael sweet @174

    In this post you have completely misrepresented some of my ideas/remarks; in reality, you are not the only one to have done this previously.
    Or perhaps you have simply completely understood my post @172
    Or again, perhaps, you carelessly made a genuine mistake, in which case no apology is expected.

    I quote your first two paragraphs.
    “You contradict yourself. You have claimed that sensible heat emitted by humans accumulates in the atmosphere. Yet you now claim that sensible heat from volcanoes is emitted to space as radient energy. A contradictory argument can automatically be dismissed.
    You cannot have it both ways. If human heat accumulates than volcano heat must also accumulate. If volcano heat is emitted to space than human heat must also be emitted. Since the volcano heat is so much greater it is the dominant effect.
    End Quote.

    Now I shall quote from my own previous post @172 to you, last three paragraphs.

    My Quote
    “Anyway, back to the volcanoes. As far as I know, the output from a volcano consists of hot lava, hot material particles, and much heat energy in the form of sensible heat, that is kinetic energy. And, of course, the adjacent land area will also be raised in temperature.

    The hot materials including lava, particles and the hot adjacent land will radiate energy, in line with black body radiation, which ultimately escapes to space. The sensible heat in the form of kinetic energy of the air molecules mainly enters the oceans, in line with the 97% value you are no doubt referring to from the IPCC AR4 report, and Kevin Trenberth’s 3% into the atmosphere. ( This latter subject to further interaction with the oceans and associated subsequent radiation.)

    But the important thing here is that the oceans, being liquid, will also radiate, eventually to space, and this will proceed to maintain a satisfactory balance. Yes,
    the volcano emissions started billions of years ago, but so did the balancing radiation, so maintaining a satisfactory temperature for the Earth’s surface, and not boiling away the oceans.”

    End my quote

    You will see that I wrote that, in respect of volcanoes, sensible heat in the form of kinetic energy of the air molecules mainly enters the oceans.
    Then see my third paragraph.

    Another quote from your @ 174

    Scientists have shown that waste heat is emitted to space in the year that it was created

    End quote

    This, at least, is interesting. Please grant me the courtesy of a reference to this.


  • It's waste heat

    AEBanner at 18:14 PM on 4 March, 2019

    Energy can cause Global Warming

    As we have relocated to a new thread, I think it might be helpful for possible new readers if I were to mention again my wordpress post at

    MA Rodger @217 Big Picture

    Thank you again for your recent post, but I am afraid I’m rather puzzled about some of your questions.
    Quote 1. “If the 97% of the warming that didn’t end up in the atmosphere didn’t result from the AGW, what was the cause of it?” End quote.
    I cannot quite see what you are getting at here. But my best assessment is that, for the period 1961 to 2003, 31% of the increase in global heat content came from geothermal sources, 11% from anthropogenic energy and the remaining 58% presumably from the Sun. But this is puzzling, because for Earth’s energy balance, the energy received from the Sun is equalled by the energy radiated back to space.
    Quote 2. “And happily your numbers are not inaccurate within your grand theory that CO2 at 288K cannot emit photons at 15 microns because the energy of such a photon is roughly twice the average kinetic energy of a molecule in such a gas. But do remind me - what is the minimum number of gas molecules you require to create a collision? There is further consideration of the statistical profile of molecule velocity and the other means such molecules have of holding energy.” End quote.
    Firstly, I should like to clarify this point about the kinetic energy of a molecule at 288 K. It is not the average kinetic energy, whatever that means here, but the total kinetic energy of the molecule. In other words, even if the colliding molecule could somehow give up all its energy to the GHG, it would still be less than half that required to enable a subsequent photon.
    I think the answer to your question is probably 2, but the probability of an instantaneous collision involving more than 2 is very small, in view of the extremely short times taken. Subsequent collisions would have the same problem.
    However, a proper study with statistical mechanics is really needed on this matter. Please, is there a reader out there who would be prepared to consider doing this?
    Quote 3. “Simply put, to refute the existence of 15 micron IR being radiated by CO2 in the atmosphere is to popishly refute a whole pile of very straightforward physics. The IR can be measured.” End quote.
    I’m afraid you have totally misunderstood my position on this. I have never denied the ability of carbon dioxide, or any other greenhouse gas, to emit infrared photons. As you say, this is straightforward physics. A more careful reading of my posts should make this very clear.
    What I am questioning is the probability of CO2 to be raised to the required excited state by simple collision with other molecules in the atmosphere. The GHG theory does not require this; it relies on absorption of photons of the matching energy. Yes, standard physics.
    Please do not misrepresent my ideas and statements.


  • 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #8

    Philippe Chantreau at 03:48 AM on 25 February, 2019

    This could be the mother of all Gish gallops. If you want  anyone to give some attention to such a huge pile of nonsense, you should break it up in smaller fragments and take them to the appropriate thread. No references are provided and some parts of the gallop will show up obivously as the gross lies they are with only a few minutes of scrutiny. Other parts are more sophisticated and relfect craftmanship in misrepresentation. Some are accurate and of course out of context or used outside of their significance. It is obvious he is advocating for his industry. If you want to argue, perhaps you should do your own work. There is plenty on this site, and Google scholar is your friend.

  • A Green New Deal must not sabotage climate goals

    One Planet Only Forever at 03:19 AM on 7 February, 2019

    I understand that the wording of the letter could be improved. But the statement that “Fossil fuel companies should pay their fair share for damages caused by climate change, rather than shifting those costs to taxpayers”, is a valid criticism of a Carbon Tax (even with a dividend) or Cap and Trade. These mechanisms do not 'penalize the investors and executives' pursuing profit from fossil fuel burning. Profit and bonuses would still be made in those industries which would incorrectly motivate resistance to the understood required corrections.

    Some people also criticize statements like this letter, particularly social statements of the need for the corrections to be done in ways that improve the conditions of living for the least fortunate, as being divisive because the statements made are not acceptable to everyone. That presumes that everyone needs to accept that everyone else is justified in their beliefs, that no beliefs are incorrect or harmful. That is clearly a potentially harmful 'systemic' misunderstanding that can be related to the incorrect belief that Good Results will develop if everyone is simply freer to believe what they want and do as they please without being governed to ensure their actions do no harm to any others.

    There have been many documents published through the decades exposing how 'free pursuit of personal interest' has developed damaging results, including the development of powerful resistance to correcting the damaging developments.

    I have read: the letter, this article regarding the letter, the New Green Deal, and the Leap Manifesto (an understanding developed by Canadians that is similar to the New Green Deal developed by Americans).

    I see them all being closely aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which I have an understanding of, including understanding their origin.

    The SDGs are the result of global development of improved awareness and understanding. That effort has led to many things including the understanding of the need to create the League of Nations, which was eventually understood to be failing to achieve the objective that was understood to be required. The failure of the League of Nations resulted in the creation of the UN. And the UN's first major effort succeeded in creating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    It has been a struggle to have that understanding honoured by global Winners. And, in many other ways the UN has struggled to achieve the understood to be required objective. However, in spite of those struggles the UN has persisted. And it has succeeded in continuing to develop improved understanding of what is required to achieve the required objective. And one of the most recent presentations of that improving understanding is the SDGs.

    A particularly important element of the SDGs is reducing the harmful climate change impacts on future generations by current day human activity. More rapidly reducing the rate of impact reduces the magnitude of negative impact on the future generations. And reducing the negative future impact makes it easier to sustainably achieve many of the other identified required goals (SDGs) for the benefit of the future of humanity.

    The missing link in 'debates that get nowhere' regarding the corrections required that have been identified by climate science is a lack of common sense regarding the Universal Objective of human activity. In spite of a potential robust diversity of views it is possible for debate and discussion to result in Good Conclusions as long as all parties have a shared common understood objective and a desire to improve awareness and understanding (their own and of others).

    My developed understanding (open to improvement by Good Reasons) is:
    The Universal (Highest level) Objective is:

    • Improving awareness and understanding and applying that constantly improving knowledge to develop a sustainable constantly improving future for humanity.
    • The understanding of the viable sustainable future for humanity is: A robust diversity of people sustainably fitting in to the robust diversity of life on this, and other, amazing planets.
    • Another way to understand the Universal Objective is from the perspective of Future Generations: What sustainably helps the future generations into the distant future?

    That understanding does not care what any individual's personally developed desires and interests are. It only cares that every individual's actions do not harm Others or the Future of Humanity. And the aspiration is that people would strive to help Others and the Future of Humanity. A logical conclusion would be that the more rewarded a person is (in status relative to others) the more they would be expected to be helpful, the less acceptable it would be for them to be harmful.

    That understanding requires corrections of many developed world-views or perception of image/status. Resistance to the losses of impressions of image or status that the corrections would produce is not a reason to water-down or compromise the presentations of understandings from that perspective. Compromising that understanding would be like misrepresenting climate science in order to increase the popular support for what is being claimed.

    As an engineer with an MBA who has been paying close attention and tries to understand what is going on, I have learned the importance of maintaining a Universal Objective that limits the options for people pursuing personal interests (all that happens is people pursuing personal interests developed by the socioeconomic-political environment they experience). I understand the need to set hard limits on what is acceptable, not allowing potential popularity or profitability of an alternative to compromise the Universal Objective. And I understand that some engineers have allowed temptations for popularity and profit to compromise their adherence to the Universal Objective. So I understand that even being taught the importance of always being governed by the Universal Objective (and improving understanding related to the Universal Objective, including improving the Objective) is no assurance that people will care to be governed by it (many will dislike it intensely- because it imposes limits that are contrary to their developed personal interests).

    So I understand why people who should 'Know Better' can deliberately resist improving their awareness and understanding in ways that would limit their ability to justify doing what they have developed a desire to do. And I understand that everyone can be easily motivated to improve their image or perception of status relative to others (including defending the status of a tribe they associate with), and try to enjoy their life any way they can get away with, including ways that are understandably harmful to Others (just finished reading “The Opposite of Hate” by Sally Kohn which reinforces and improves that understanding).

    I understand how easy it can be for undeserving Winners to gather popular support for understandably unacceptable pursuits of personal interests of their “In-Group” - their tribe (or collection of tribes as is the case with a political party that Unites the Right Tribes, with Right being understood to be tribes resisting correction of unacceptable things that have developed). So I understand how important it is to not compromise the understanding of the Universal Objective just to 'get along' with someone who resists being governed by that Universal Objective.

  • A Green New Deal must not sabotage climate goals

    Doug_C at 14:09 PM on 1 February, 2019

    michael sweet @4

    Not at all, I'm saying that in earlier attempts to have an in depth discussion of nuclear power I've been instructed by moderation that it was taking the discussion off topic.

    What really needs to be said about nuclear power that is needed to convince anyone of its utility as part of a new energy model that is free of fossil fuels?

    To be clear, I'm not advocating for a large scale expansion of Pressurized and Boiling Water(PWRs & BWRs) nuclear power plants which are wasteful of fuel, have faulure mechanisms that cannot be 100% addressed and produce large amounts of very long lived waste some of it transuranic actinides like Plutonium that need to be safely stored for thousands of years.

    I do however support investment in develping the kind of molten salt reactors pioneered at ORNL in the 1950s and 60s that can run on both the uranium and thorium fuel cycles. Thorium 232 being a fertile not fissile material needs to be transmuted into U-233 to be then used as fuel in a slow neutron reactor is far more proliferation tolerant than uranium as it is many neutron captures away from weapons grade Pu-239 not the one of U-238. And if you pull U-233 out of a running molten salt reactor that is breeding its own fuel it will cease to function. The break even is almost identical in neutrons released by fission in the reactors and the neutrons needed to maintain the fission and breed new fuel.

    Molten salt reactors also offer advantages not available with PWRs and BWRs as they cannot melt down - molten salt core with U-233 in solution - a two stage Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor(LFTR) would utilize almost 100% of input fuel while uranium cycle PWRs and BWRs currently utilize less than 1% of input fuel. Nuclear poisons like Xenon-135 can be removed instream while the reactor is running as can useful medical isotopes like Technetium-99m, Iodine-131 and Bismuth-213. Any moderate scale implementation of LFTRs would mean an end to any shortages of material for nuclear medicine which is very important in imaging and cancer treatment currently.

    As they run at high temperatures compared to PWRs and BWRs and near atmospheric pressures, LFTRs have a much higher thermal efficiency, do not need massive secondary containment and can also be used for things like salt water desalination after heat has been pulled off for the power loop. Which can be run by far higher efficiency Brayton Cycle gas generators.

    Because of their nature LFTRs can be built in flexible modular design and placed in locations that would never be suitable for PWRs and BWRs. Current interest in LFTRs was started by NASA looking at nuclear power generation on the Moon for instance where water would not be available for moderation, cooling and heat transfer to the generation loop. Cooling would be done with a radiation fin alone.

    As for the safety factor of nuclear power, I find it quesitonable that the Linear No Threhold(LNT) model of biological risk from exposure to ionizing radiation is accurate as the biological response to ionizing radiation does not seem to be linear.

    "The concept of DNA “repair centers” and the meaning of radiation-induced foci (RIF) in human cells have remained controversial. RIFs are characterized by the local recruitment of DNA damage sensing proteins such as p53 binding protein (53BP1). Here, we provide strong evidence for the existence of repair centers. We used live imaging and mathematical fitting of RIF kinetics to show that RIF induction rate increases with increasing radiation dose, whereas the rate at which RIFs disappear decreases. We show that multiple DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) 1 to 2 μm apart can rapidly cluster into repair centers. Correcting mathematically for the dose dependence of induction/resolution rates, we observe an absolute RIF yield that is surprisingly much smaller at higher doses: 15 RIF/Gy after 2 Gy exposure compared to approximately 64 RIF/Gy after 0.1 Gy. Cumulative RIF counts from time lapse of 53BP1-GFP in human breast cells confirmed these results. The standard model currently in use applies a linear scale, extrapolating cancer risk from high doses to low doses of ionizing radiation. However, our discovery of DSB clustering over such large distances casts considerable doubts on the general assumption that risk to ionizing radiation is proportional to dose, and instead provides a mechanism that could more accurately address risk dose dependency of ionizing radiation."

    Which means the main threat of nuclear power - exposure to ionizing radiation - is not the linear to zero threat it has been treated as from the start.

    In fact there are preliminary results that would seem to indicate that exposure to ionizing radiation within a certain threshold may have a positive health benefit. As the US Navy found with its Nuclear Shipyard Workers Study that was implemented after anecdotal evidence of a link between workers exposed to activated steel producing cobalt-60 having higher rates of leukemia.

    Although the study was never published as it found no links to leukemia from exposure to slightly higher levels of gamma radiation, the results did show a significantly lower mottaility in the nuclear worker cohort as compared to the non-nuclear workers.

    "Abstract: This paper is a summary of the 1991 Final Report of the Nuclear Shipyard Worker Study (NSWS), a very comprehensive study of occupational radiation exposure in the US. The NSWS compared three cohorts: a high-dose cohort of 27,872 nuclear workers, a low dose cohort of 10,348 workers, and a control cohort of 32,510 unexposed shipyard workers. The cohorts were matched by ages and job categories. Although the NSWS was designed to search for adverse effects of occupational low dose-rate gamma radiation, few risks were found. The high-dose workers demonstrated significantly lower circulatory, respiratory, and all-cause mortality than did unexposed workers.
    Mortality from all cancers combined was also lower in the exposed cohort. The NSWS results are compared to a study of British radiologists. We recommend extension of NSWS data from 1981 to 2001 to get a more complete picture of the health effects of 60Co radiation to the high-dose cohort compared to the controls."

    Then there's the fact that as organisms we like everything else are radioactive;

    "All of us have a number of naturally occurring radionuclides within our bodies. The major one that produces penetrating gamma radiation that can escape from the body is a radioactive isotope of potassium, called potassium-40. This radionuclide has been around since the birth of the earth and is present as a tiny fraction of all the potassium in nature.

    Potassium-40 (40K) is the primary source of radiation from the human body for two reasons. First, the 40K concentration in the body is fairly high. Potassium is ingested in many foods that we eat and is a critically important element for proper functioning of the human body; it is present in pretty much all the tissues of the body. The amount of the radioactive isotope 40K in a 70-kg person is about 5,000 Bq, which represents 5,000 atoms undergoing radioactive decay each second."

    Ionizing radiation in any amount stops seeming a threat when it is understood that we are constantly exposed to ionzing radiation from within and like every other organism on the planet have evolved mechanisms to not just deal with this but quite possibly use it to our benefit.

    Which us why I commented that the risk of nuclear power is often misrepresented often to highly unreasonable levels.

    And while Acute Radiation Syndrome is a concern, it is very rare in association with nuclear power. And it is also not an automatic death sentence as conventional "wisdom" by some would have us believe.

    The Chernobyl accident resulted in almost one-third of the reported cases of acute radiation sickness (ARS) reported worldwide. Cases occurred among the plant employees and first responders but not among the evacuated populations or general population. The diagnosis of ARS was initially considered for 237 persons based on symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Ultimately, the diagnosis of ARS was confirmed in 134 persons. There were 28 short term deaths of which 95% occurred at whole body doses in excess of 6.5 Gy. Underlying bone marrow failure was the main contributor to all deaths during the first 2 mo. Allogenic bone marrow transplantation was performed on 13 patients and an additional six received human fetal liver cells. All of these patients died except one individual who later was discovered to have recovered his own marrow and rejected the transplant. Two or three patients were felt to have died as a result of transplant complications. Skin doses exceeded bone marrow doses by a factor of 10-30, and at least 19 of the deaths were felt to be primarily due to infection from large area beta burns. Internal contamination was of relatively minor importance in treatment. By the end of 2001, an additional 14 ARS survivors died from various causes. Long term treatment has included therapy for beta burn fibrosis and skin atrophy as well as for cataracts."

    The primary cause of death with emergency responders at the Chernobyl reactor accident was from infection in 3rd. degree beta burns. And while there are serious health issue with survivors, many were still alive decades later.

    To sum up my position on nuclear power of certain types.

    - Thorium has an energy denisty of more than 1 million times coal. A lump of thorium that fits within your hand could provide all the energy you need in a lifetime.

    - Modern reactor designs are far more safe and efficient than older designs.

    - They provide benefits such as an endless supply of medical isotops that would likely result in a revolution in nuclear medicine.

    - LFTRs produce far less transuranic actinides and most of the fission products that remain after the original fuel is consummed have decayed to ground state within a decade leaving a little over 10% of the waste needing to be stored long term. This in a reactor design that will produce about 1% of waste as current reactors.

    - Thorium is in the same abundance as lead.

    - If we choose to utilize uranium in fast spectrum molten salt reactors we can burn up all the current high level nuclear waste and have a virtually unlimited supply of fuel as the oceans contain about 4.5 billion tons of uranium before we even look at terrestrial reserves. This comes with the proliferation risk of producing large amounts of Pu-239.

    A new family of absorbents is being developed to efficiently extract uranium from sea water.

    To be clear, I'm not advocating the implementation of nuclear power over other low carbon sources of energy. 

    I think we need to develop everything we can because the next few decades are going to be a challenge that is going to require innovation and flexibility that leaves no room from political agendas and poorly implemented science such as with the LNR which is almost certainly inaccurate and yet remains the main plank of opposition to nuclear power as it presents ionizing radiation as a health risk down to a level of zero. A factor that is present in all our lives at varying rates.



  • A Green New Deal must not sabotage climate goals

    michael sweet at 10:57 AM on 1 February, 2019

    Doug C.

    As you suggested a full blown nuclear discussion is generally unhelpful.  You can help us deal with nuclear here at Skeptical Science.  

    For the past 4 or 5 years I have asked any nuclear supporters to write an OP about the benefits of Nuclear Power.  If you cite peer reviewed data to support your claims I am sure it would be posted.  Unfortunately, none of the nuclear supporters has been willing to do the work to support their claims.  Perhaps in their hearts they all feel that nuclear is destined for the scrap heap of history.

    As you state, there is a great deal of misrepresentation around nuclear power.  I see many points in your post that I think are incorrect.  If you write an OP you can correct me.

    You should address the concerns about nuclear power raised in Abbott 2011 and Jacobson 2009.  A discussion of the economics of nuclear power would also be helpful.

    I look forward to reading your OP.

  • A Green New Deal must not sabotage climate goals

    Doug_C at 09:21 AM on 1 February, 2019

    "There are certainly legitimate objections to nuclear power, but it is nevertheless a zero-carbon energy source. If we consider climate change an urgent, existential threat and if we want to meet the Paris climate targets, then eliminating fossil fuels must be our first priority. Only after fossil fuels have been replaced can we consider doing the same to other zero-carbon energy sources."

    Not to start an in-depth debate on this, but there is also a great deal of misrepresentation of the risk of nuclear power. Even with the dramatic "disasters" at TMI, Chernobyl and Fukushima, nuclear power still remains the safest form of energy production.

    Nuclear power offers an energy density that is unrivaled and with "new" - molten salt reactors date back to the 1950s - technology a level of safety that is much greater than even current PWRs and BWRs that have had most of the failure mechnisms engineered out of them.

    Molten salt reactors in both the slow and fast spectrum and using both the thorium and uranium fuel cycle offer centuries of energy at current levels of consumption at least. And have benefits no other source of energy generation does like producing medical radio-isotopes and other highly valuable fission products like nobel metals and xenon.

    They can also be used for large scale salt water desalination which could be a real boon in places that will be suffering from drought as a result of climate change. California comes to mind for this.

    As for phasing out large-scale hydro-electric and all forms of combustion, where is the sense in that at all. Climate change is a potential existential threat, local air quality and watershed integrity are not. Here in BC many of our older dams are under-utilized, retro-fitting older dams with modern generation equipment could go a long way to filling the gap.

    And with process like thermal depolymerization, any long chain organic waste can be coverted to light crude quivalent to Texas light in a matter of hours.

    How about America phases out all its landfills and sewage treatment facilities in large centers and replaces them with catalytic plants that can handle all orgnic waste while producing petroleum suitable for refining and manufacturing while also producing large amounts of methane - much of which is fed back into the process to power it - naptha and black carbon.

    And to pay for the transition, introduce a revenue neutral fee and dividend system that allows individuals to choose which new source of energy generation they want to support.

    Fee and dividend

    The US and all nations need to tackle climate change first and phase out all fossil fuels as quickly as we can. Then deal with other concerns that are less pressing.

    And that certainly applies to nuclear power which has never been the threat so many have presented it as being.

  • SkS Analogy 18 - Cliff jumping and temperature changes

    Doug_C at 12:01 PM on 31 January, 2019

    michael sweet @3 

    You're right to advise caution as weather extremes are often misrepresented as "proof" that a long term warming is not taking place.

    It's important to note that global warming and climate change is a long term trend taking place over the entire globe. And while local cold weather records may be broken, this is almost certainly a result of the chaotic disruption of weather caused by a global transition to a warmer Earth.

    In the case of some periods of cold weather in North America, this may be due to the fact that generaly warmer temperatures in the Arctic have disrupted atmospheric circulation that in the past has tended to isolate very cold air masses above the Arctic in the winter.

    This can result in unusual weather across North America such as a few year ago when we in Edmonton Alberta were experiencing unusually mild weather well above freezing when Florida was seeing sub zero weather and snow.

  • Hurricanes aren't linked to global warming

    John Hartz at 03:54 AM on 21 January, 2019

    @ Norm Rubin #82

    Here's one response to pseudo-science poppycock written by Paul Homewood and posted on the GWPF website:

    GWPF’s “Incoherent” Climate Reports Misrepresent IPCC; Chairman’s Resignation Unrelated, ClimateDenierRoundup, DailyKos, Jan 18, 2019

  • Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Doug_C at 08:34 AM on 2 January, 2019

    "However, drawing conclusions on short-term trends is ill-advised because what matters to climate change is the decade-to-decade increase in temperatures rather than fluctuations in warming rate over a few years. Indeed, if short periods were suitable for drawing strong conclusions, climate scientists should perhaps now be talking about a “surge” in global warming since 2011, as shown in this figure:"

    Which makes sense seeing as how climate is weather averaged over time.

    And to understand climate does in fact require looking at decadal and centuries of change. And the trend is clearly towards a warming Earth as most of the warmest years on record are in this century which is now 19 years old.

    An entirely consistent with the fact that carbon dioxide has been recognized as a heat trapping gas for a century and a half.

    As is explained by the evidence over and over, there is no pause in warming, just misrepresented short term variability in weather that when included in a longer term graph of temperature is cancelled out by a greater presence of above average points.

  • Models are unreliable

    scaddenp at 16:54 PM on 31 December, 2018

    AFT - based on a comment izen in this discussion,  I believe this has been attempted but it is anything but straightforward because of changes to compilers, hardware and the state of the data files. There is more about the veracity of the model in this article here and perhaps further comments about Hansen 1988 belong there. In short, the model produces a climate sensitivity that is on the high side compared to modern models for a variety of interesting reasons. However, the article also points out a number of ways in which the model has been misrepresented by deniers. Continued work on reproducing the model is unlikely to help with those who determined to deceive. 

  • Climate scientists are in it for the money

    Philippe Chantreau at 08:27 AM on 26 December, 2018

    AFT, these claims are popular among people sharing a certain ideology. They amount to slightly more than conspiracy theory but not much, and they do not hold up to scrutiny. Virtually nobody arguing that way ever spends the time and effort necessary to determine how much reality underlies these claims.

    1) A large amount of research comes from NASA, and it continues to point in the same direction. Another body of research is from the military, i.e. Navy and Air Force. It shows the same as the rest of the evidence, some of it was very early on. Repeated attempts at silencing scientists or suppressing their work have been reported during the Bush administration, it has reached rdiculous proportions under Trump, so the problem is actually the other way around: anti AGW (whatever that may mean) actors actively try to silence researchers and do not fund research because they know that it will show the opposite of what they want to see. The BEST project was a shining example, look it up. Exxon did fund research and it showed the same thing as the research from other sources (see appropriate thread); it is not very surprising that they stopped funding it now, is it? Why would these actors continue to fund research that they know will show exactly the opposite of what their financial interests demand? How much have they actually funded, then suppressed, because it did not serve their interests?

    2) The only way to get funding should be to propose quality research that advances knowledge. That is the case for the vast majority of it. Denial motivated research in virtually all the publicized cases ends up of such poor quality that it generates questions on the review process that allowed it through. Multiple cases have been shown to be the results of intentional, organized peer-review hijacking, or the publicity was owed to gross misrepresentation of results, or press releases advertised conclusions that were not supported by the paper. A while ago, it was the infamous Soon-Baliunas, Legates, and a few others are there for your examination. The stream has dried up somewhat lately. Prominent denial voices (Spencer) still can not come up with research that truly supports their publicly voiced opinions.

    3) Exactly why would that be? Reviewers are often anonymous, what interest do they have to allow poor quality papers? Scientists tend to try to undermine each other's work far more than people realize. There is seldom better satisfaction than proving a competitor wrong.

    These arguments are neve accompanied by specifics. They simply don't hold up. Those who want to be convinced by them simply assume that they are true because it make sense to them, flatters their already held beliefs, and they never bother digging or just exploring the logic of it, as for the first argument. The real problem is this: nobody has a real financial incentive in climate science being correct, including scientists themselves. The effort that societies will have to produce to deal with it, whether they try to mitigate, remediate, or any combination will be enormous. Ask any any climate scientist if they wish climate science was wrong and see what their answer are.

  • 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    MA Rodger at 01:08 AM on 25 December, 2018

    There was a second comment from Thomas Thorne that has been disappeared. It did try to provide some evidential basis for the assertions being made @1. It wasn't particularly exact in doing this. There was an alleged "UN in 1989" talking about catastrophe by 2000 and also a reference to Al Gore and catestrophic sea level rise. It seems both these 'predictions' concern SLR. The 1989 UN 'prediction' came from a 'Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP.' Now bear in mind that this is coincidental with Montreal and the threat from CFC-caused AGW was as big as was CO2 back then. Even so, the predicted 1 to 7 degree in 30 years temperature increase (Fahrenheit) has happened. The "by 2000" comment was about SLR - "entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000." They are, of course small low-lying nations and I would ahve thought the warming by 1989 was probably enough to do the job without a further 10-years of AGW.

    Myself, I have been bashing on about AGW since 1995. The requirement for CO2 back then was a reduction of 50% by 2050. That has since become 80% and now 100%. The need for action prior to that was always expressed as a need to see CO2 emissions peak by 2020. I don't think that has ever changed. So from my memory the idea that "the IPCC ... have been making these 10-12 year claims for almost 30 years now," is a gross misrepresentation. The IPCC has been tightening the requirement, not the opposite which would have been the case if allowing deadlines to float along, always 10 years in the future.

  • Like health care, climate policy could tip elections

    Doug_C at 07:45 AM on 14 December, 2018

     EsaJii @4

    "The problem seems to be that they cannot "feel it in their bones." My denialist "fiend" in Finland said exactly that. I asked him if he would be able to tell if it is -22C or -20C outside, just by standing outside. He had no answer. Right wingers have usually some small government preferece so studies paid for by any government as suspect."

    That's a misrepresentation of what global warming forced climate change will do. It's not a slight warming everywhere that has little discernible impact, it is an increase of the global average temperature that has catastrophic impacts at the local level.

    Like 86 people being killed by the Camp Fire and almost 20,000 buildings destroyed. It's killer heat waves that are ten times more common now and that can kill thousands. Or years long droughts that can help trigger wars that kill hundreds of thousands and send millions fleeing for their lives.

    As for your denier "friend" in Finland, it's not a slight warming he should be concerned about now. Due to the large amount of melting fresh water off the Greenland ice sheet, global warming is already desreceasing the ocean currents that warm much of northern Europe. While the rest of the world warms, places like Finland could experience a drop in temperature.

    What climate change means is chaotic weather conditions for decades or possible centuries that are already deadly.

    Pretty sure the humans who were vapourized by the intense heat of the Camp and other other fires felt it in their bones. And when half the North American continent is covered in smoke from fires tied directly to climate change and we're getting smoke here from wildfires in Siberia due to the same then how out of touch with reality itself do people have to be to not get the link and the risk.

  • But their Emails!

    sout at 18:26 PM on 1 December, 2018

    It's a bit disappointing that already, and even here, David Kirtley's concerns described above are being fulfilled- cherry-picking, misrepresentation, fake concern etc.

    JP66 quoted a passage out of context, which was part of an email discussion that went on for several emails (10 July 2000 email by Ray Bradley, with replies by other people). The discussion was evidence of scientists doing science and working hard, talking together, to try to get to the bottom of what was happening 1000 years ago, well before thermometers and barometers.

    Even if JP66 didn't look at the other emails in the discussion, they could hardly have missed key lines in the one he/she cherry-picked. After explaining some of the difficulties of sorting through data to get valuable information, Ray Bradley wrote:

    In Ch 7 we will try to discuss some of these issues, in the limited space available. Perhaps the best thing at this stage is to simply point out the inherent uncertainties and point the way towards how these uncertainties can be reduced. Malcolm & I are working with Mike Mann to do just that.

    That's leaving aside the fact that the email thread was yet another example showing the dedication of scientists. They were working late into the night. (Researchers do not stick to 9-5 hours. For a lot of them, like the ones writing these emails, it's a 24-7 commitment.)

    Now if anyone is concerned about how scientists view or speak about fake sceptics, they hold them in the same contempt as I do. Who can blame them?

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