Steve Koonin in the New York Times

Steve Koonin has an Op-Ed in the New York Times called The tough realities of the Paris climate talks. It’s a little odd, in that when I last discussed Steve Koonin he appeared to be suggesting that the effect of climate change would be small. Andy Lacis wrote a fantastic response. Now he seems to be arguing that there is little we can, or should, do.

His basic premise is that there are two scientific realities that should guide our decisions. Firstly, he says,

The first reality is that emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas of greatest concern, accumulate in the atmosphere and remain there for centuries as they are slowly absorbed by plants and the oceans.

Okay, yes, I’ve written about this quite extensively myself. However, he then seems to conclude that because the planned reductions are so small, that they’re really not worth bothering with. However, the long-term atmospheric concentration depends on how much we emit in total. The less we emit, the lower it will be. Arguing that we can’t – or aren’t able to – do much, therefore we shouldn’t do anything, seems remarkably weak. If anything it might suggest that we should do more, not less.

AR5_SYR_Figure_SPM.5He then proceeds with what is apparently the second scientific reality

The second scientific reality, arising from peculiarities of the carbon dioxide molecule, is that the warming influence of the gas in the atmosphere changes less than proportionately as the concentration changes. As a result, small reductions will have progressively less influence on the climate as the atmospheric concentration increases.

Now this is partly true, but also a little misleading. It’s true that the change in forcing depends logarithmically on concentration. However, the change in concentration does not depend linearly on emissions. A bigger fraction of our emissions are likely to remain in the atmosphere as we emit more and more. For example, the figure on the right shows that concentrations will increase by about 200ppm if we emit 3000GtCO2. If, however, we emit a further 3000GtCO2, it produces an increase in concentration of about 300ppm. So, in fact, the warming is expected to depend linearly on total emissions, even though it depends logarithmically on concentrations. On average, the impact of a reduction in emissions will be the same now as it probably will be in the future.

Additionally, given that the initial drawdown of our emissions is quite fast, it turns out that the peak warming from a particular emission occurs relatively quickly (decade or so). So, any reduction in emissons can have an impact on a relatively short timescale. Of course, this could be masked by variability, but the idea that we shouldn’t reduce emissions now because it won’t have any impact on the short-term is wrong.

I don’t know if there is really anything else to say about his article. His first scientific reality is essentially right, but does not obviously lead to the conclusion that we shouldn’t bother reducing our emissions; many would argue that if a reasonable fraction of our emissions will stay in the atmosphere for millenia (as is indeed expected) we should put more – not less – effort into reducing them than we currently are. In fact, part of his first scientific reality, isn’t a scientific reality at all. The scientific aspect of his first scientific reality is right (a reasonable fraction of our emissions will stay in the atmosphere for millenia), but our ability, or lack thereof, to reduce emissions is not a scientific reality, but – at best – a societal reality. There’s no scientific reason why we can’t do so.

His second scientific reality is a little muddled; warming may depend logarithmically on concentration, but it is expected to depend linearly on emissions. If we emit, in total, 10% less, we will – on average – warm by 10% less. So, the idea that future emissions will have ever decreasing impact is simply wrong. What I will say about the rest of his Op-Ed is that it is essentially an argument in favour of adapting, rather than mitigating. Apparently we can adapt to almost anything, apart from a world in which we try to reduce emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Climate change, ClimateBall, Science and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

112 Responses to Steve Koonin in the New York Times

  1. Actually, I was trying to work out if this is as inconsistent with what Steve Koonin was trying to do, the last time I encountered him. Then he was trying to argue that the enhanced greenhouse effect was likely to be small relative to the overall greenhouse effect. He even implied we might not even notice. The fallacy is, of course, that just because one number is small relative to another, does not mean that the impact will be small. Here he seems to be trying to argue that our emission reductions are likely to only reduce our overall emissions very slightly, and that – hence – we just shouldn’t really bother; just focus on adapting. It’s the same kind of idea; make something seem insignificant, and then use that to motivate your argument.

  2. dikranmarsupial says:

    ” However, he then seems to conclude that because the planned reductions are so small, that they’re really not worth bothering with.”

    Ah, the old “My car is heading at 70mph towards a stationary truck, I can’t stop in time, so there is no point in taking my foot off the accelerator” argument!

    “The second scientific reality, arising from peculiarities of the carbon dioxide molecule, is that the warming influence of the gas in the atmosphere changes less than proportionately as the concentration changes. As a result, small reductions will have progressively less influence on the climate as the atmospheric concentration increases. ”

    Has anybody told the IPCC scientists about that? What if they haven’t taken this into account in their models, the projections would be way off! ;o)

    There are a lot of climate myths that are based on some scientific argument that is essentially correct, but which doesn’t support the conclusion drawn from it.

  3. BBD says:

    The Lomborgian fallacy.

  4. T-rev says:

    ==> Arguing that we can’t – or aren’t able to – do much, therefore we shouldn’t do anything, seems remarkably weak. If anything it might suggest that we should do more, not less.

    I encounter the same resistance when I mention we should significantly mitigate our personal emissions (as well as voting for politicians who would enact effective emissions mitigation legislation). It’s countered with “it’s not enough, so why should I bother” , much like the above quote. Why do we need to wait ? If you hit your partner each morning on the way to work, talking about stopping is all well and good but stopping is even better.

    The same thing scales up here in Australia, I often hear/read, “Australia doesn’t need to mitigate, our total emissions are insignificant on an international scale.”

    Using Kevin Anderson’s 10% per annum reduction as a guide, someone has to start somewhere. Paris won’t give us anything but rhetoric, if history is a guide.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/10/keep-fossil-fuels-in-the-ground-to-stop-climate-change

    >If you visit the website of the UN body that oversees the world’s climate negotiations, you will find dozens of pictures, taken across 20 years, of people clapping. These photos should be of interest to anthropologists and psychologists. For they show hundreds of intelligent, educated, well-paid and elegantly-dressed people wasting their lives.

  5. I despair of the endless stream of opinion writers with their mainstream newspaper columns who write sciency-sounding articles denying climate change or advocating complacency. Apart from in the Guardian, where are the scientifically-informed columnists who warn the populace and politicians of the urgency of mitigation?

    It seems to me to all come down to one thing: a total lack of realisation of what the true impacts of climate change could be by the time babies being born today will reach pension age. Maybe the scientific community should concentrate on painting a more vivid picture of how climate change might make the world look in the future? Maybe the militant ‘skeptics’ have been successful in their campaign to tar those showing any real concern as ‘alarmists’?

    Why doesn’t the mainstream media print at least a few articles like this: http://www.thenation.com/article/the-future-of-climate-change-is-widespread-civil-war/ ?

  6. andrew adams says:

    Another dubious statement

    And, overarching all this, the tension between emissions reductions and development is complicated by uncertainties in how the climate will change under human and natural influences and how those changes will impact natural and human systems.

    No, it isn’t. The uncertainty over impacts is factored into the argument for emissions reductions, the tension (which is real) between such reductions and development needs is a political question which is arises from the acceptance of that argument.

    Or have I misunderstood what he’s saying?

  7. dikranmarsupial says:

    Matt Ridley writes: “At the heart of the debate about climate change is a simple scientific question: can a doubling of the concentration of a normally harmless, indeed moderately beneficial, gas, from 0.03% of the atmosphere to 0.06% of the atmosphere over the course of a century change the global climate sufficiently to require drastic and painful political action today?”

    The article goes wrong right from the first line. This is not a simple scientific question. For a start, whether the change in climate requires drastic political action is not a scientific question, it is a question of economics and politics. Whether the action is painful is a question of values, and also depends on two whom the action is painful. It also isn’t a simple question, see e.g. Mike Hulme’s book “Why We Disagree About Climate Change” (which I would recommend as well worth reading, even if I do disagree with Prof. Hulme on other topics).

    “Most scientists close enough to the topic say: possibly. Some say: definitely. Some say: highly unlikely”

    Evidence to support this assertion appears to be absent. I very much doubt that the implicit parity between “definitely” and “highly unlikely” is remotely valid. Now if you asked a genuine scientific question, such as “will a doubling of CO2 result in a change in global temperatures of 2 degrees C or more”, I suspect that most would say “yes, that is likely”.

    The use of small percentages (0.03% to 0.06%) rather than talking of a doubling (i.e. a 100% change) is a bit naughty as well. The reason that a small change in atmospheric CO2 can have a big effect on climate is because it modulates an enormous energy flux radiated out into space, which is essentially the same in magnitude as the energy we receive from the sun.

  8. bill shockley says:

    Noam Chomsky blames the NYTimes for getting him enraged and the unconscious consequences of that rage, namely…

    a) speeding tickets and
    b) dental bills due to grinding his teeth.

    The real story here is not science but political will and the strangle-hold of State/Corporate propaganda.

    As the leading cumulative greenhouse gas offenders and beneficiaries the United States and other developed countries have the moral obligation to lead the charge for change.

  9. Andrew,

    Or have I misunderstood what he’s saying?

    I don’t know, but if you haven’t it’s more because it’s too confused than anything else. My guess is that he feels that he has to throw in the possibility that future climate change could be significantly natural, which appears to suggest he doesn’t understand the magnitude of the change we’re likely to be producing.

    Dikran,
    Yes, the 0.03% to 0.06% comment in Ridley’s article is particularly bad. Classic “make it seem small” type of rhetoric.

    bill,

    As the leading cumulative greenhouse gas offenders and beneficiaries the United States and other developed countries have the moral obligation to lead the charge for change.

    Yes, I agree.

  10. Your last sentence is a sledgehammer. It needs repeating everywhere. Thanks!

    “Apparently we can adapt to almost anything, apart from a world in which we try to reduce emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere.”

  11. BBD says:

    The usual rubbish from MR:

    Most disappointing of all is the way that science – especially the leaders of the world’s science academies – have joined in with gusto, not just demonizing those who say they are not convinced we face catastrophe, but turning a blind eye to the distortion and corruption of the scientific process itself. That’s what this essay is about. I am a ‘lukewarmer’: somebody who has come to think that climate change is likely to continue to be slow and mild, and that much greater humanitarian and environmental problems deserve more attention.

    The corruption of science, eh? Sounds bad. Evidence would therefore be mandatory, IMO.

    Then from the unsubstantiated smearing of climate science to the unsubstantiated claim that all will be well because lukewarmerism and so on to the Lomborg Gambit (false dichotomy).

    As ATTP says, all boxes ticked on the Bingo card.

  12. BBD says:

    The use of small percentages (0.03% to 0.06%) rather than talking of a doubling (i.e. a 100% change) is a bit naughty as well.

    But it’s the Harmless Trace Gas argument!

    So it has to be in there. It’s climate bingo.

  13. Gisser,
    Thanks.

    BBD,

    The usual rubbish from MR:

    Yup. As I pointed out on Twitter, the subtitle of his article should be “Wanting to say whatever I like, without being criticised”. Standard Matt Ridley “everyone’s mean to me” rhetoric.

  14. Magma says:

    Ridley the coal baron was only writing for the GWPF, but of course his work has and will continue to appear in sympathetic newspapers. Koonin, whose attempts to weaken the APS position statement on climate change last year using his then-position as committee chair seem to have failed (APS council members are scheduled to vote on a revised statement in ten days), here takes the standard “since we don’t understand everything about climate or know if GHG warming is a real problem best to do nothing about it for now and what could we do anyway” line favored by the more clever contrarians.

    Note that newspaper articles, columns and op-eds do not simply appear randomly. People write them with the expectation that they will appear in print or online, newspaper editors choose to run them on an ongoing basis, and owners and publishers set the overall tone and high-level position of a publication or media chain (most notably Rupert Murdoch in the US, Britain and Australia).

    As a thought experiment, consider how long a columnist would continue to appear in a mainstream newspaper if he or she regularly cast doubt on the efficacy of vaccinations and repeatedly raised the debunked specters of autism, seizures, brain damage, toxic preservatives, corrupt medical researchers, government conspiracies and Big Pharma profiting from worthless vaccines. Not long, I suspect. In contrast some global warming deniers have been attacking climate science in print for decades now.

    Perhaps some comfort can be derived from the increasing frantic tone of the ‘skeptics’ and their reliance on arguments that were worn out a decade ago. Hopefully Paris will mark the progression of an effective multinational approach to climate change, and the fossil fuel lobbyists seen for what they are.

  15. RickA says:

    I agree that the use of small percentages is an attempt to minimize.

    But this is used by everybody.

    For example, the people advocating reducing CO2 emissions use small percentages when talking about the economic impact of mitigation or adaptation.

    Statements like only 1% of GDP or the like.

    So everybody is a bit naughty.

  16. Willard says:

    > But this is used by everybody.

    Tu quoque.

    > So everybody is a bit naughty.

    Unclean hands.

  17. Rick,

    Statements like only 1% of GDP or the like.

    Yes, but if it really is possible to mitigate and only reduce growth by a small amount, then that’s what it is. The problem with Ridley saying 0.03% to 0.06%, or Koonin trying to suggest that the enhanced greenhouse effect is small relative to the overall greenhouse effect, is that they’re minimising something that might have a large impact on us. That’s what’s relevant, not that you can make it seem small relative to something else.

  18. Joshua says:

    The NYT is quite an amazing entity.

    It can simultaneously engage in an enormous campaign to scare the public about climate change so that they will go along with a massive restructuring of out capitalist system into a demand economy, and participate in the massive campaign to silence “skeptics,” even as it publishes the opinions of a prominent “skeptic” who advocates for making no changes to our current energy policies.

  19. Joshua says:

    Magma sees this:

    ===> “Magma says:
    November 5, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    “…Perhaps some comfort can be derived from the increasing frantic tone of the ‘skeptics…”

    While RickA sees this:

    ==> RickA says:
    November 2, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    “…“Yet the more evidence that ECS is coming in at the low end of the range – the more irrational and angry the climate consensus scientists get.”

    And I see sameosameo.

    As my father used to say, that’s what makes a horse race.

  20. dikranmarsupial says:

    “Statements like only 1% of GDP or the like.” so what would be better way of expressing it, a very large number of dollars (too large for most people to be able to put it into context accurately)?

    The scientific approach is to express the amount in terms that are most meaningful for the purpose of the discussion. In this case (as the forcing is logarithmic), it is much more meaningful to express the rise in terms of a doubling, rather than percentages, which is what scientists actually do. I suspect economists would use percentage of GDP for much the same reason, it is a much better way of expressing the economic plausibility of a course of action.

    Is everybody a bit naughty in this respect? No, not really, but it is worth noting that Ridley is doing this in an article complaining about the distortion of science – pretty ironic really!

  21. Magma says:

    Am I angered by thirty years of systematic lies and disinformation campaigns carried on in the face of mounting evidence?

    Damn right, and unapologetically so.

    The skeptics have always been free to make their case using data and scientific methodology. That the sum total of their contributions to date amounts to a very small number of papers and a handful of hypotheses that fail to add up to anything approaching a coherent whole speaks volumes.

  22. bill shockley says:

    joshua says:

    [The NYTimes] can simultaneously engage in an enormous campaign to scare the public about climate change so that they will go along with a massive restructuring of out capitalist system into a demand economy, and participate in the massive campaign to silence “skeptics,”

    I wasn’t aware they are doing this. Perhaps I will have to pay closer attention. Any articles you care to cite as examples?

  23. Joshua says:

    Bill –

    I admit, I can’t give examples of the whole public scare/silence “skeptics” type. I’m going on what non-biased “skeptics” at blogs like WUWT and Climate Etc. have explained to me about the NYT.

  24. Sam taylor says:

    I wonder if Matt ridley would be all that bothered if the concentration of hydrogen sulphide in the air around him were to increase to a mere 0.06%. Only a trace gas.

  25. bill shockley says:

    Joshua,

    NYTimes only soften and obscure the truth rather than bombing it to smithereens… thus the hostility from the WUWT guys who wear their denialist badge with pride.

  26. Willard says:

    > Statements like only 1% of GDP or the like.

    Look! A grrrrowing squirrel!

    Since I can, I will note that 1% is 1000% smaller than MarkB[ahner]’s number for his Dyson sucking trees Leprechaun plan to work:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/10/18/drawing-down-atmospheric-co2-part-3/#comment-65138

  27. MarkB says:

    It’s also relevant that the very reason a 0.03 ppm increase matters is precisely because CO2 is a trace gas. Nobody is concerned about the corresponding 0.03 ppm decrease in O2 because it’s such an insignificant fraction of the baseline.

  28. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Predictably, Dr Judith Curry thinks that Koonin has “hit one out of the park” with his op-ed.

    I agree with ATTP – and said much the same by way of criticism here:
    http://judithcurry.com/2015/11/04/steve-koonin-the-tough-realities-of-the-paris-climate-talks/#comment-740850

    Oh well – Today She-who-advocates-for-integrity-in-climate-science is running with Chip ‘n’ Pat, and Tom Fuller.

    Paris gets under everyone’s skin.

  29. Can’t find where she runs with Tom Fuller, but I might as well point out that Tom seems to think that using “denier”/”denial” is appalling and unacceptable, but saying that someone is a KKK member looking to kneecap your policy opponents is okay – oh, and calling someone a bigot is apparently okay too. My one confusion with regards to Tom Fuller is that there are people I respect who seem to think he’s worth talking to. I’ve seen hints of why this might be, but they seem quite hard to find.

  30. Michael 2 says:

    Joshua says: “a massive restructuring of out capitalist system into a demand economy,”

    That’s command economy (socialism/communism). It is already a demand economy (capitalism).

    [On other news: wordpress is really acting weird today; my last post on this page redirected to an entirely different page on hitting “Post” so there’s no telling where my comment went.]

  31. wheelism says:

    Tom isn’t stupid, but he’s trying to play denier AND honest broker, depending on who’s paying him. Hard to pull that off in the internet age. MT seems to think Tom’s criticism of the congressional NOAA witch hunt is worthy of an entire post, though, so what do I know?

  32. Willard says:

    Judy, boo.

    Groundskeeper Willie, boo.

    What a conversational thrill we’re having.

  33. Willard,
    It just reminds me of the early days 🙂

  34. Joseph says:

    If my understanding is correct, the more we emit the higher the risks are for negative impacts and their severity. I also believe that reducing emissions through action now even if inadequate for the long term can at least buy us some time to improve technologies that will make the transition even faster.

  35. Joseph says:

    ot but I see you are quoted over at Dr. Curry’s in Tom Fuller’s book.

    http://judithcurry.com/2015/11/05/lukewarming/

  36. Joseph says:

    sorry and the quote..

    So what is a Lukewarmer? Let’s start with how the opposition describes us. This is what ATTP writes: “The fundamental problem I have with the Lukewarmer position is that it appears to be based on the idea that everything could be fine, therefore let’s proceed as if it will be fine. That’s why Eli Rabett calls them Luckwarmers – we’ll be lucky if they’re correct.”

  37. Joseph,
    Interesting, still haven’t quite worked out what a Lukewarmer is. Seems quite a moveable target.

  38. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Fuller:

    To be clear, I have no objection for asking for data, models, calculations. But emails between scientists? No. That way lies poorer science.

    Poorer science, boo.

  39. wheelism says:

    Funny how the Third Column’s opposition refers to representatives of the consensus, as opposed to out-and-out deniers.

  40. Willard says:

    > But emails between scientists? No.

    You may also like:

    For those who have heard that the emails were taken out of context–we provide that context and show it is worse when context is provided. For those who have heard that this is a tempest in a teacup–we show why it will swamp the conventional wisdom on climate change. And for those who have heard that this scandal is just ‘boys being boys’–well, boy. It’s as seamy as what happened on Wall Street.

    http://www.amazon.com/Climategate-Crutape-Letters-Steven-Mosher/dp/1450512437

  41. Willard says:

    Sometimes, the climate conversation becomes the climate debate:

    In any event, a growing lukewarm movement is a healthy sign for the climate debate.

    http://judithcurry.com/2015/11/05/lukewarming/

  42. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    > But emails between scientists? No.

    Knowing when and where to draw a line in the sand can very much depend on which way the wind is blowing.

  43. BBD says:

    To be clear, I have no objection for asking for data, models, calculations. But emails between scientists? No. That way lies poorer science.

    You. Are. Kidding.

    Tom Fuller wrote this???

    Oh please.

  44. Willard says:

    Mr. T has its own tribe:

    Well, if you are delineating three ‘tribes’ – alarmist, denier, lukewarmer – then I more naturally align with the lukewarmers.

    However, I have my own little ‘tribe’, whose figure head is the uncertainty monster. While the evidence that we do have points in the direction of lukewarming, the uncertainties are sufficiently large that we can’t rule out large sensitivity and catastrophic outcomes.

    Op. Cit.

    Lukewarming is lukewarmingly betting under 3, unless one’s lukewarmingly rooting for Mr. T.

    Seems that lukewarmingly betting under 3 does not preclude from not lukewarmingly betting around and over 3, like we can read in the IPCC’s reports.

  45. wheelism says:

    As Jesus said, “I pity the fool.”

    I’d LOVE to see all of the evidence that suggests lukewarmity.

  46. Eli Rabett says:

    Eli took a look at the Koonin op ed. It is important to remember that adaptation is not the only choice. You can die. Your family can die. Your situation can deteriorate to the point it is not worth living (see Somalia, Syria, etc.). Happens frequently to individuals during major changes. Adaptation is not a magic wand that makes everything good again, and sometimes it is not possible, certainly not for individuals, and often enough, not possible for populations.

    Oh yes, and while you are adapting, things are getting worse because you refused to mitigate so your adaptation is not worth a bucket of warm spit, or the other stuff.

  47. izen says:

    1) It is not Happening. (Denial)
    2) It is not us.
    3) It is us, but not serious. (Lukewarmer)
    4) It is us and serious, but there is nothing effective we can do about it.
    5) It is us, serious and we need to act with urgency. (Activist)

    It might be a matter of some progress that Ridley has gone from denial to lukewarmer, and Koonin has reached stage 4…

  48. whimcycle says:

    (Remember that, per Tom above, “Activist” = “Alarmist”. Presumably “Lukewarmer” = “Activist”.)

  49. dhogaza says:

    BBD:

    “Tom Fuller wrote this???”

    He opposes asking for e-mails … he doesn’t say he opposes someone stealing them, and making portions public. In Tom’s world, one can state “gentlemen don’t read stolen mail”, then write a book about the stolen mail because well, it’s already public and he’s not responsible for that. Because that’s just what he did with Climategate.

  50. Since Tom and I have mutually banned each other, I don’t have too much issue with discussing him here anymore, but let’s make sure we keep it to a minimum.

  51. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Eli:

    You can die. Your family can die.

    Everything that lives dies.

    But during your short tour of planet Earth, we do suggest trying to avoid the soylent green.

  52. anoilman says:

    Judith is the Tentacle Kitty of Climate Argument. She’s got a tentacle in everything.

    I’d love to have a debate about how much money she collects from oil and gas, and whether she has deliverables just like Willy Soon had. Just what exactly are the deliverables? I mean its clear that Willy had to spell things out to get paid. Is Judith still getting money? If so, how much?

    By the way, we’ve recent discovered issues with industry paying academics to do things in Canada. When you get paid by industry it taints the notion that you are expressing independent factual views, versus simply doing what you’re told. Industry on the other hand craves he reputation of scientists because they are considered to be doing independent work free from the ties of industry paid contracts.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/university-calgary-enbridge-sponsorship-1.3286369

  53. anoilman says:

    The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse: The cost of living hasn’t affected its popularity…

  54. Eli Rabett says:

    Oilman, unfortunately when one does not have any, life becomes much less popular.

  55. Joshua says:

    BBD –

    Re: your 5:19

    Hard to know which is more flat out hilarious, that he wrote that or that he wrote:

    “Presenting reasoned arguments and dispassionate data, Fuller suggests heated rhetoric be set aside so a rational way forward can be found.”

  56. Joshua,
    Yes, I did ask what he was actually suggesting.

  57. Joshua says:

    I have to say, Judith’s latest actually breaks new ground:

    First she says:

    “The politicization of climate science has gotten extreme. I don’t know where to start in trying to ameliorate this situation,

    And then she says this?:

    “but Congressional oversight and investigation into what is going on in government labs does not seem inappropriate under these circumstances.”

    And this is after post after post self-victimizing about McCarthyist efforts to “silence” and persecute “skeptics.”

    Judith says that she isn’t engaged at a political level, and then supports a direct intervention of a politician to investigate the work of scientists? After months of hand-wringing about the politicization of climate science, the horrors of advocate scientists, etc.?

    .

  58. verytallguy says:

    Time to reset irony meters as the crusade against politicising science continues,  where else but in Fox news?

    by Judith Curry

    My op-ed in Fox News:  Is government tinkering with global warming data?

    Just asking questions y’understand. 

    http://judithcurry.com/2015/11/05/jc-op-ed-the-politics-surrounding-global-temperature-data/

  59. Willard says:

    Is Gavin honest?

  60. Magma says:

    @verytallguy: will Professor Curry also be disclosing her own personal and university emails, full records of her discussions and dealings with ‘skeptic’ groups and foundations, notes and preparations made for her congressional appearances, details of her for-profit forecasting business venture, etc.?

    Just harmless questions, of course.

  61. BBD says:

    @ Joshua

    Tom’s determination to beat his personal best almost deserves our admiration.

    🙂

  62. verytallguy says:

    Magma,

    your hounding of prof curry is a disgraceful example of intimidation and the politicisation of Science.

    Shame on you.

  63. Joshua says:

    BBD –

    Actually, my bad…as I just realized that he ‘prolly didn’t write the blurb for his book. So the statement that the Reverend kindly highlighted remains unequaled as far as I can tell.

  64. verytallguy says:

    Willard,

    is he still beating his wife?

  65. I’m with “Eli” here. re NYTimes, they’re in a pickle, as they are bound to please their advertisers and keep their government connections (to get “news” and appear “fair”), and everyone wants to hide from the truth. There are subtle ways in which they kneecap full understanding, such as verifying deniers at a high rate to indicate they are open-minded. Operatives keep moving the goalposts here, so they can continue to miss that truth has a liberal bias as much as they please.

  66. Oh dear, my pronouns. “They” above also moves to the political right, probably not worth sorting … but the point about being flexible with the truth remains. I was looking at something different and found a delightful “Mythbusters” piece, and even more delightful first comment on the page:

    andy765gtr 1 week ago
    holly shit. science is proven correct on tv by laymen. so it was right after all. phew

    who’d a thought it. im sooooo glad they checked just to make sure SCIENTISTS weren’t wrong about something they’ve known about for a 100 years

    This is simple minded and old, hopefully it won’t post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPRd5GT0v0I

  67. For New York Times watchers, this (no comment section):
    “Scientists Study Links Between Climate Change and Extreme Weather”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/06/science/climate-change-extreme-weather-global-warming.html

    Right and left hand unacquainted …

  68. anoilman says:

    Judith Curry actually said all this crap? I mean really?
    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/11/05/is-government-tinkering-with-global-warming-data.html

    I have to ask if Judith Curry understands the difference between an ensemble average and a temperature data set. It seems clear to me that she does not. The ensemble averages output from models all show large increases in temperature (possible short term events) as well as actual decreases in temperatures (also possible short term events). Haitus? Its in the data, and it always was.

    Does she understand that XBTs are first and foremost military devices? Does she understand that the folks processing this data are as often as not military? Does she have any evidence that the military is committing treason by tinkering with data?

    Or was that ‘news’ piece a deliverable as required from her oil contracts?

  69. mt says:

    The logarithm thing is very slow to kick in. For example, going from a baseline to a doubling is as bad as going from a doubling to a quadrupling; this means that as we get from 1195 ppmv to 1200 ppms we will do only (to a good approximation) half as much direct radiative impact as going from 555 ppmv to 560 ppmv.

    Of course, the damage curve bends the other way, so the “help” this offers is problematic, never mind being necessarily on top of a huge disruption in the first place.

    I can’t believe that a major publication allows this trivial 1995 talking point to be revived. It really seems that all our efforts to elucidate the problem are wasted effort, sometimes.

  70. Mal Adapted says:

    ATTP:

    Tom seems to think that using “denier”/”denial” is appalling and unacceptable

    Fuller is a cypher. He calls himself a lukewarmer, that is, a species of AGW-denier, but he’s impossible to pin down. He accepts that AGW happening, and that humans are largely responsible. AFAICT, he’s not even a mitigation skeptic. What is clear, though is that he’s an AGW-denial-denier.

    Actually, I think he’s just all about the throw-down.

  71. bill shockley says:

    RE: NYTimes vs The Truth

    Susan, that Times story was mild and ended on a reasonable note with Mann saying, essentially, we are in a new normal. No tooth-grinding here.

    Came across this remarkable lady on youtube the other day

    Did some checking and saw that the New Yorker did a profile and checked it out. (USED to be a huge fan of The New Yorker). Found a severely slanted, misleading hit-piece.

    Vandana responded, noting with a link, Conde Nast’s connection with Monsanto of all “people”. LOL 😦

    Makes me think Conde Nast’s acquiring The New Yorker mag was probably the turning point. They also own ars Technica. McKibben, long ago, was the Talk of the Town editor.

    Climate Progress coverage of the Indian Farmer suicide epidemic.

    It’s a roller coaster of a story — I had a couple vertigo moments. Worth a blog post, at least.

  72. I can’t believe that a major publication allows this trivial 1995 talking point to be revived. It really seems that all our efforts to elucidate the problem are wasted effort, sometimes.

    Yup.

  73. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    MT:

    I can’t believe that a major publication allows this trivial 1995 talking point to be revived.

    I can.

    A glance at the coverage of the Republican nomination race has convinced me that trivial talking points from 1955 still sell copy remarkably well.

    There’s a reason that Curry has to go to Fox to get people to take her stuff seriously.

    As the good Marshall said: the medium is the message.

  74. Eli Rabett says:

    No even Medium takes anything that comes in over the transom.

  75. afeman says:

    Once Ben Carson seems reasonable, Curry’s easy.

  76. “Fuller is a cypher. He calls himself a lukewarmer, that is, a species of AGW-denier, but he’s impossible to pin down. ”

    Tom is easy to understand. Not at all what you think.

  77. “Joseph,
    Interesting, still haven’t quite worked out what a Lukewarmer is. Seems quite a moveable target.

    Err no.

  78. anoilman says:

    Also in New York…the Attorney General has subpoenaed Exxon Mobile for lying to its investors about the risks of Climate Change… ’cause they knew the science was correct;
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/14/exxons-climate-lie-change-global-warming

    In court, hiding facts is pretty much considered admission of guilt, so it will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

  79. Err no.

    Err yes. I know you may have a well-defined definition, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who describes themselves as one ascribes to your definition.

  80. Marco says:

    bill Shockley, that response from Shiva was very, very weak, as should be expected from her when challenged on her ‘science’. It doubled down on her claim that the increase in farmer suicides is due to GMOs and monopolies (using some personal stories as if it were general evidence, a definite scientific no-no, and a graph that at best showed suicides stabilised when Bt-cotton was approved…), it ignored the reference to her support for the pseudoscientific claims in one journal (“Entropy”, which blamed just about any and all illnesses on glyphosate), and her objections to the corn and soy shipment (“was an attempt to circumvent India’s ban on the import of GMOs”) does more than just hint at conspiracy ideation.

    A response from the New Yorker is here:
    http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/09/02/new-yorker-editor-david-remnick-responds-to-vandana-shiva-criticism-of-michael-specters-profile/

    Shiva has become the prime example of what ideological bias can do to people who supposedly follow the science on the political left wing. All the way up to accepting she is advertised as “one of India’s leading physicists”…with just a PhD in her bag but no publications!

  81. Joshua

    “… Judith says that she isn’t engaged at a political level, and then supports a direct intervention of a politician to investigate the work of scientists? After months of hand-wringing about the politicization of climate science, the horrors of advocate scientists, etc.?”

    Yes, her support for Lamar Smith’s witch-hunt is contemptible – and not forgetting another example of her ”‘not”’ engaging at political level:

    http://www.desmog.uk/2015/06/16/uk-climate-deniers-invite-american-sceptic-judith-curry-speak-house-lords

    Then of course, Judith ‘What’s wrong with free speech’ Curry was one of Singer’s curious band of fellow travellers who were plotting to stop the film ‘Merchants Of Doubt’ (based on book by Oreskes & Conway) …

    http://insideclimatenews.org/news/12032015/leaked-email-reveals-whos-who-list-climate-denialists-merchants-of-doubt-oreskes-fred-singer-marc-morano-steve-milloy

    Not political? Give me strength.

  82. Marco says:

    Richard, please note that Curry was on the cc list of that e-mail; whether she was actually *involved* is an unanswered question, and thus referring to her as a “fellow traveller” may be overinterpreting the available evidence.

  83. Marco, fair enough, and being addressed as a “Gent” she might not have replied in this instance http://www.sourcewatch.org/images/2/2f/S_Fred_Singer_emails_about_attacking_Merchants_of_Doubt_March_2015.pdf
    But the last line @ 8.21 holds. Supporting Lord Lawson’s campaign (and I am sure there are many other examples), makes the point.

  84. BBD says:

    Steven

    Err no.

    In your book (of 2010) you wrote (with co-author Tom Fuller):

    Both of your authors consider themselves to be Lukewarmers, and we attempt to explain why at the conclusion of this book.

    Commenters here (including me) are unsure of where you stand these days. Confusion can be avoided if you re-state bits from the book so that they accurately represent your current position. Here are the original quotes (emphasis added):

    The defining characteristics of a “Lukewarmer” have emerged over time and can best be described as follows. “Lukewarmers”, like “alarmists” and “warmers” believe that man’s activity of adding GHGs to the atmosphere will indeed warm the planet. However, they tend to attribute the warming seen to date to a variety of sources: GHGs, land use changes, Urban Heat Island, and natural variability. With regard to policy, the “Lukewarmers” takes the position that actions should be taken based on the certainty of the science. Perhaps most notably, the “Lukewarmers” focus much of their effort on getting access to scientific data and methods.

    And:

    As lukewarmers, people who believe in global warming but not that it will be a catastrophe, we feel a fair bit of distance from both sides.

    So, do you endorse this as it stands?

    If not, please re-state the above to accurately and unambiguously reflect your current position.

  85. And how did I describe it

    So what is a Lukewarmer? Let’s start with how the opposition describes us. This is what ATTP writes: “The fundamental problem I have with the Lukewarmer position is that it appears to be based on the idea that everything could be fine, therefore let’s proceed as if it will be fine. That’s why Eli Rabett calls them Luckwarmers – we’ll be lucky if they’re correct.”

    I guess that’s not entirely consistent with how it’s described above, but it seems pretty close. I should add that opposition isn’t my descriptor. For some reason that’s how I’m being described, not how I would describe myself.

  86. bill shockley says:

    Marco,

    I was totally taken in by Helen Caldicott on the nuclear safety issue, and was later persuaded the other way by James Hansen, and I’m not ruling out that that could happen again here. But the NYer piece was unfair and deceptive in places. That type of reporting is not needed to discredit a fraud. Mere facts will do. Overall, I gave the credibility win to Shiva. As far as what the facts and science say, I’m reserving judgment.

    I have high esteem for Richard Heinberg, who was a presenter at one of her conferences. And the other presenters seemed scientifically sound and passionate about their work. That’s a very strong endorsement from highly qualified peers.

    The NYer has turned the corner towards propaganda and unholy corporate partnerships. That’s a big red flag.

  87. Marco says:

    Bill, how and where did the NYer “turned the corner towards propaganda and unholy corporate partnerships”?

    Just because it is part of a bigger organization of which one part wanted to do a video series that would reportedly be sponsored by Monsanto?

    If that is how it works for you, do remember that Heinberg, who you esteem so high, was advisor to the National Petroleum Council, a 100% *industry* group.

    Or is it because it was so critical of someone who others consider a hero of the ‘noble fight’ against Monsanto?

    They may have gotten a few things not quite right (but as the rebuttal by the NYer shows, not quite as wrong as Shiva tried to suggest), but not nearly as wrong as Shiva is about e.g. farmer suicides and the role of Bt cotton in India.

    This should be an interesting read:
    http://government.arts.cornell.edu/assets/faculty/docs/herring/WhoseNumbersCountWarangal_RH_IJMRA.pdf

  88. bill shockley says:

    Marco says,

    Bill, how and where did the NYer “turned the corner towards propaganda and unholy corporate partnerships”?

    I read the NYer for many years and never had the feeling I was reading something terribly slanted and unfair. Bill McKibben, who authored and edited the Talk of the Town column from 1982 to 1987 would throw up if he read that article by Specter. From McKibben to Monsanto. I’d say a corner was navigated.

    Just because it is part of a bigger organization of which one part wanted to do a video series that would reportedly be sponsored by Monsanto?

    What more do you need? It was done deceptively (even dogs know when they’re doing wrong) in concert with the poster child` (surprisingly good concert) for corporate evil.

    If that is how it works for you, do remember that Heinberg, who you esteem so high, was advisor to the National Petroleum Council, a 100% *industry* group.

    He advised the Natural Petroleum Council. What was his intention? What was the effect? This was not a case of defection by Heinberg (I’m guessing), but an industry organization recognizing valuable knowledge. Looks like a ringing endorsement to me.

    They may have gotten a few things not quite right (but as the rebuttal by the NYer shows, not quite as wrong as Shiva tried to suggest),

    I found Remnick’s reply shallow and niggling for the most part. Shiva’s written like 10 books and they’re arguing over her academic credentials which apparently were overstated on her website and book jackets and then understated by Specter in his article. Chomsky complains about the content on his book jackets but has no power over what goes on them. Do you think NYer writers would be aware of such nuances in the publishing industry, writers that they are?

    The Orissa CARE shipment controversy coverage was a hack job, as Shiva makes clear in her response. Apparently Specter relied on a single press release without checking for more context.

    I would also say that Shiva displays some cultural insecurity and paranoia. I experience the same things regarding corporate dominated society, so I don’t blame her.

    but not nearly as wrong as Shiva is about e.g. farmer suicides and the role of Bt cotton in India.

    It’s possible she’s wrong, but she was right on top of the story, living in its midst from the very start (and before), right up till now. I don’t think she’s a liar, but like I said, I’ve been wrong before. It’s natural in a fight to exaggerate and distort so this may be a significant factor as apparently it was with Helen Caldicott.

    This should be an interesting read:
    http://government.arts.cornell.edu/assets/faculty/docs/herring/WhoseNumbersCountWarangal_RH_IJMRA.pdf

    I’ll have a look at your link. Thanks.

  89. bill shockley says:

    The linked Neil Young concert was supposed to be “The Monsanto Years”, his latest album. The Monsanto song is at 9:46.

  90. Willard says:

    > The Monsanto song is at 9:46.

    To link to a specific second, Bill, forward to it and click on “start at” in the Share box on YT. Then copy paste the link, like this:

  91. bill shockley says:

    Thanks Willard, very slick! tech-check

  92. Marco says:

    “The Orissa CARE shipment controversy coverage was a hack job, as Shiva makes clear in her response. ”

    Well, to me she doesn’t make it clear at all. In fact, she manages to not respond at all to what Spencer wrote, probably because it was all true (she *did* write a letter to Oxfam telling them not to send GE food, she *did* claim “the US has been using the Orissa victims as guinea pigs for GM products”, and she *did* ask the Indian government to reject the aid).

  93. Marco says:

    “What more do you need? It was done deceptively (even dogs know when they’re doing wrong) in concert with the poster child` (surprisingly good concert) for corporate evil.”

    I need much more to accuse a newspaper of giving itself over to corporate interest, not just reference to what another member of the larger conglomerate may have done. Besides that, the ‘worst’ thing was that Monsanto provided funding for the project. There was no evidence that Monsanto had *any* control over the content, or even was directly involved. Shell and BP provided funding to CRU – do we now reject all the research they pumped out because “tainted by corporate interest”?

  94. bill shockley says:

    Marco,

    Specter’s piece created the impression that, faced with a helpless population, all Shiva could think about was her ideological opposition to GMO’s, starving people be damned. As it turns out (according to Shiva), she has been involved with disaster aid situations in that region of India all along, so presumably she knows about suffering and what the priorities and procedures are in response. I think Specter overstepped the bounds of common sense on this one. Do you actually think she could be that blind and callous and continue to be called on to do that work?

    I need much more to accuse a newspaper of giving itself over to corporate interest, not just reference to what another member of the larger conglomerate may have done. Besides that, the ‘worst’ thing was that Monsanto provided funding for the project. There was no evidence that Monsanto had *any* control over the content, or even was directly involved. Shell and BP provided funding to CRU – do we now reject all the research they pumped out because “tainted by corporate interest”?

    It’s not just another member of the conglomerate, it’s the owner. Do you think the owner has any say in hiring and firing at the subsidiaries and overall editorial policy? According to Shiva, Specter is pro-GMO. Doesn’t sound to me like your typical NYer staffer when I was a reader.

    The article didn’t feel like the NYer I knew.

    The shady way the potential speakers were approached… the fact that it was f*ing Monsanto dangling the eye-popping bait, and the subject of the panel discussion was food policy.

    Plus, what I’ve seen of climate change coverage at ars Technica, who were bought by Conde Nast a few years back, and it adds up to a lot of consistent evidence. Oddly enough, two of my favorite mags were bought by the same company. ars, while I was still a reader; NYer after I had already stopped reading them.

  95. bill shockley says:

    Comments to the National Petreoleum Council

    No defection, he’s just musing about peak oil, one of a bunch of experts who were asked to comment.

  96. wheelism says:

    Re: Steven M’s “Tom is easy to understand.”

    Yes. He’s a [Mod: ummm, no]

  97. BBD,

    “The defining characteristics of a “Lukewarmer” have emerged over time and can best be described as follows. “Lukewarmers”, like “alarmists” and “warmers” believe that man’s activity of adding GHGs to the atmosphere will indeed warm the planet. However, they tend to attribute the warming seen to date to a variety of sources: GHGs, land use changes, Urban Heat Island, and natural variability. With regard to policy, the “Lukewarmers” takes the position that actions should be taken based on the certainty of the science. Perhaps most notably, the “Lukewarmers” focus much of their effort on getting access to scientific data and methods.”

    1. yes GHGs will warm the planet
    2. yes the warming is due to things IN ADDITION TO GHGS
    a) land use changes.. yup IPPC says so.
    b) UHI. circa 2009, I was convinced the UHI in the record was non zero, but
    less than .15C — climate audit circa 2007. Probably somewhere between
    Jones estimate of .05c and .15C. After the work Zeke and Nick stokes
    and matt menne and claude williams did… I was happy with a .05C estimate
    Subsequent to that the berkeley work even destroyed this estimate.
    c) natural variability. Yup that can cause warming over short periods.
    In the end it better integrate to zero or somebody created something from nothing.

    3. Policy. Tom was always bigger on policy than I was. you should remember the debates
    at Kloor place where folks all wanted to know my position on policy.. and frankly what i think
    about policy is that my opinion doesnt matter. But in 2009 I would not have disagreed with mcintyre that policy makers should listen to scientists. Today, Im less confident that science can actually inform policy.

    4. Access to data and methods. Yup.

    “As lukewarmers, people who believe in global warming but not that it will be a catastrophe, we feel a fair bit of distance from both sides.”

    So, do you endorse this as it stands?

    1. The problem is the indefinate reference “it” . Obviously if “it” refers to 6C of warming then you have something that would rise to the level of a catastrophe. Not so sure about whether 2C qualifies as a catastrophy. 3.15 C might be a catastrophe.. 3.456C is certainly a catastrophe.

    2. Distance from both sides? i would say in 2009 I felt like I was 5 feet from skeptics and 7 feet from catastrophists. today… i am 8 feet from skeptics and 4 feet from catastrophists.. wait
    8.3 feet from skeptics and 3.7 feet from catastrophists.

    How about you?

    is 1.789C of additional warming a catastrophe? or just a really big pain in the ass.

  98. Marco says:

    “As it turns out (according to Shiva), she has been involved with disaster aid situations in that region of India all along, so presumably she knows about suffering and what the priorities and procedures are in response.”

    “According to Shiva” is the problem. Yes, she claims she has been involved. Possibly they offered to help. Possibly they even helped. But what help is it to deliberately stop food aid and loudly proclaim people are being used as “guinea pigs”?

    “It’s not just another member of the conglomerate, it’s the owner.”

    Not it wasn’t. It came from the Strategic Alliances group within the Condé Nast Media group. But let’s leave that, because your next comment is just plain and outright silly:
    “Do you think the owner has any say in hiring and firing at the subsidiaries and overall editorial policy?”
    Again: how does making a video series for which Monsanto apparently provides some financial support mean that Condé Nast is promoting GMOs and forces the NYer to do so, too?

    “According to Shiva, Specter is pro-GMO. Doesn’t sound to me like your typical NYer staffer when I was a reader.”
    Well, yes, of course Shiva will accuse anyone who criticizes her unscientific claims if being pro-GMO and tries to link them to Monsanto. It’s so much easier to just reject criticism that way.
    If you want the NYer to hold on to ideological beliefs, that’s fair enough, but then just say so. I prefer to follow facts, and Spencer was much closer to it than Shiva. Shiva, however, is hailed as a hero and gets honorary doctorates. It’s almost as silly as the Nobel peace prize for Obama, and as funny as Wangari Maathai getting the Nobel peace price, despite consistently blaming the US for having created HIV as a bioweapon.

    I don’t quite see any problem the with climate change coverage by Ars Technica. You may consider whether you are perhaps a bit too skeptical of corporations, and see conspiracies everywhere when a media organization does not present the facts exactly the way you want it.

  99. bill shockley says:

    Marco, thanks for the discussion. It’s an opportunity to check my own assumptions and perceptions. I believe I”ve learned as much as I’m going to in this one.

    Regards.

  100. BBD says:

    Steven

    Thank you for your response.

    1. yes GHGs will warm the planet
    2. yes the warming is due to things IN ADDITION TO GHGS

    But CO2 is the main driver and the climate sensitivity to increased CO2 forcing looks likely to be 2.5 – 3C when all the evidence is taken into account, which precludes lukewarm complacency.

    But in 2009 I would not have disagreed with mcintyre that policy makers should listen to scientists. Today, Im less confident that science can actually inform policy.

    If we are talking of the simple imperative to reduce CO2 emissions, then I see no reason why science should not inform policy. The pathways to decarbonisation remain moot.

    1. The problem is the indefinate reference “it” . Obviously if “it” refers to 6C of warming then you have something that would rise to the level of a catastrophe. Not so sure about whether 2C qualifies as a catastrophy. 3.15 C might be a catastrophe.. 3.456C is certainly a catastrophe.

    Things that bother me about this:

    – Ecological (including agricultural) impacts are going to depend more on the rate of change than the absolute magnitude
    – And then there’s the long-term SLR
    – And ocean acidification

    In 200 years time, what is underway now may well be regarded as a catastrophe.

    is 1.789C of additional warming a catastrophe? or just a really big pain in the ass.

    If it comes with a locked-in multi-metre SLR that goes on and on for centuries, yes
    If warming doesn’t stop at 1.789C because the future does not stop in 2100, yes
    If the global food supply becomes uncertain, yes
    If the warming, pH-shifted oceans cause marine ecosystem collapse, yes

    today… i am 8 feet from skeptics and 4 feet from catastrophists.. wait 8.3 feet from skeptics and 3.7 feet from catastrophists.

    Who are these catastrophists? Those who argue that unless emissions are reduces the potential consequences could be very severe? That’s not ‘catastrophism’, that is what palaeoclimate behaviour and the scientific understanding of ecosystem vulnerablility to rapid environmental change strongly suggests. Arguing from the science that emissions reduction is necessary to avoid the high likelihood of adverse consequences is rational, not emotive catastrophism.

    So I remain puzzled.

  101. “But CO2 is the main driver and the climate sensitivity to increased CO2 forcing looks likely to be 2.5 – 3C when all the evidence is taken into account, which precludes lukewarm complacency.”

    1. Huh. all the evidence points to a range of 1.5 to 6.
    2. Likely to be 2.5-3 would mean what 66% of the PDF in that range?
    3. It doesnt preclude ANYTHING… and who is complancent? The complacent
    folks are those who continue to think that a global treaty on the demand side will work.
    4. Again, the complacent ones are those who fight a big push to nuclear for example.

    “But in 2009 I would not have disagreed with mcintyre that policy makers should listen to scientists. Today, Im less confident that science can actually inform policy.

    If we are talking of the simple imperative to reduce CO2 emissions, then I see no reason why science should not inform policy. The pathways to decarbonisation remain moot.”

    1. I didnt say that science Should not inform policy
    2. I said I am less confident that it CAN inform policy
    3. read harder.

    In 200 years time, what is underway now may well be regarded as a catastrophe.

    1. It very well may be regarded as a catastrophe. Reagen is regarded as a good president.
    2. using the passive voice is a dead give away. stop it. The question is to YOU and
    what YOU regard. I answered directly, don’t think you can answer a direct question
    about what you believe by adopting the passive voice.

    is 1.789C of additional warming a catastrophe? or just a really big pain in the ass.

    “If it comes with a locked-in multi-metre SLR that goes on and on for centuries, yes
    If warming doesn’t stop at 1.789C because the future does not stop in 2100, yes
    If the global food supply becomes uncertain, yes
    If the warming, pH-shifted oceans cause marine ecosystem collapse, yes”

    1. This is hilarious. If 1.789C comes with a catastrophe, then it is a catastrophe.
    2. Will it lock in multi meter SLR? whats the science say?
    3. Imagining MORE warming than my question specifies is bad faith
    4. WILL the food supply become “uncertain?” its already uncertain.
    5. Will marine ecosystems collapse? This is the really funny one.
    1.789C will be a catastrophe if there is a marine ecosystem collapse.. well DUH.

    today… i am 8 feet from skeptics and 4 feet from catastrophists.. wait 8.3 feet from skeptics and 3.7 feet from catastrophists.

    Who are these catastrophists?

    1. generally people who say that if 1.789C of warming also comes with a catastrophic
    marine eco system collapse, then 1.789C of warming is a catastrophe.. Big brains
    like that.
    2. Hmm Guys who thought the arctic was going to melt in 2015.
    3. Methane “bomb” type folks…
    4. http://guymcpherson.com/

    LESSON BBD… DONT ARGUE WITH QUESTIONS.

    Those who argue that unless emissions are reduces the potential consequences could be very severe? That’s not ‘catastrophism’, that is what palaeoclimate behaviour and the scientific understanding of ecosystem vulnerablility to rapid environmental change strongly suggests. Arguing from the science that emissions reduction is necessary to avoid the high likelihood of adverse consequences is rational, not emotive catastrophism.

    1. Yes the consequences could be severe. we agree.

    So I remain puzzled.

    1. I answered your questions. You dodged mine. you are puzzled? get over it.

  102. Joshua says:

    Straw men do bad things. But don’t ask me who those straw men are. That would be arguing with questions.

    From above:

    Err no.

    Err yes. I know you may have a well-defined definition, but that doesn’t mean that everyone who describes themselves as one ascribes to your definition.

    It goes further than that, IMO. There are also quite a few who don the mantle of “lukewarmer” (I thought we all agreed to use luckwarmer?) but who make arguments that are based in arguments that are logically inconsistent with a view that ACO2 emissions are affecting our climate. There are many of them, in fact. There are also many who don the mantle, but who dismiss any attempts to create policy to address risks associated with the higher end of the sensitivity range that is putatively the backbone of “lukewarmersim” (e.g., Ridley’s calls for more coal).

  103. Joshua says:

    Steven –

    Just curious about what this means in the real world:

    ==> “today… i am 8 feet from skeptics and 4 feet from catastrophists.. wait 8.3 feet from skeptics and 3.7 feet from catastrophists.”

    Just as you haven’t actually explained who the “catastrophists” are, you haven’t actually explained who the “skeptics” are – as differentiated from your conceptualization of “Lukewarmers.”

    Do you consider Ridley, Lomborg, Watts,Spencer, Christy, Morano, to be Lukewarmers? If you think any of them aren’t Lukewarmers, then what are your exclusion criteria?

  104. BBD says:

    Steven

    1. Huh. all the evidence points to a range of 1.5 to 6.

    With a best estimate of about 3C, as stated. This doesn’t need revisiting, so you are playing games.

    3. It doesnt preclude ANYTHING… and who is complancent? The complacent
    folks are those who continue to think that a global treaty on the demand side will work.
    4. Again, the complacent ones are those who fight a big push to nuclear for example.

    The complacent ones are those who argue that while there will be some warming, it will not be dangerous.

    3. read harder.

    Own your bullshit. Not only *can* science inform policy it *does* inform policy. That is what the word ‘decarbonistion’ means.

    This shit is irritating me.

    2. using the passive voice is a dead give away. stop it. The question is to YOU and
    what YOU regard. I answered directly, don’t think you can answer a direct question

    Oh FFS. As you would say, read harder (and stop fucking nitpicking and playing stupid games). Everything I wrote above is perfectly clear. You can safely assume that I agree with my own views, even if expressed in a passive voice.

    1. This is hilarious.

    No, it really isn’t. Nor are you remotely as clever as you appear to think you are. Your evasions are transparent.

    1. I answered your questions. You dodged mine. you are puzzled? get over it.

    Bullshit.

  105. BBD says:

    1. This is hilarious. If 1.789C comes with a catastrophe, then it is a catastrophe.

    Read harder.

    2. Will it lock in multi meter SLR? whats the science say?

    Yes.

    3. Imagining MORE warming than my question specifies is bad faith

    Pretending that this is all about TCR this century is bad faith. Doubling down like you do here really does stink to high heaven.

    4. WILL the food supply become “uncertain?” its already uncertain.

    FFS. Of course there will be negative impacts on agriculture. Complacent.

    5. Will marine ecosystems collapse? This is the really funny one.

    What’s funny about marine ecosystem collapse. Are you insane?

    1.789C will be a catastrophe if there is a marine ecosystem collapse.. well DUH.

    WTF?

    Please raise you game, Steven.

  106. mdenison says:

    “A bigger fraction of our emissions are likely to remain in the atmosphere as we emit more and more. ”
    Where did you get this? WG1AR5 p495 states that the fraction is 0.44 increasing by 0.05 in 50 years. ie pretty much constant. As far as I know the linearity between temp rise and CO2 emissions has nothing to do with a changing airborne fraction. Fig 8 p104 shows this linearity. The discussion has no mention of an increasing airborne fraction.

  107. mdenison,
    I don’t mean the airborne fraction of our annual emissions, I mean the fraction that remains for millenia if we stop emitting. If we stop emissions then something like 20-30% of what we’ve emitted in total will remain in the atmosphere for millenia, the fraction increasing as we increase total emissions. Figure 1 of Archer et al. (2009) shows this.

  108. Used the Lacis link for PW Anderson, who wanted to know about Koonin. He was totally impressed with Lacis acuity. Just sayin’

    Thanks for the careful work, as always.

  109. Susan,
    Does PW Anderson have a public view about Koonin?

  110. Short answer: no

    Dad is almost 92, and aside from signing letters and discussing with his friends and colleagues, is not active on climate, though he is concerned and readily admits we all should do what we can. He is also concerned about not pronouncing outside his own area of expertise, though he satisfied himself about CO2 heat-trapping properties in the 1970s. He also supports my hotheaded efforts, though with some concern about my going where angels fear to tread and doing more harm than good.

    He asked me about Koonin because his friend Bill Brinkman (formerly of Obama’s energy department) mentioned the NYTimes article. I came here because I remembered you had talked about it, and the Lacis piece got unusually high praise from him, which I thought I should pass on.

    The NYTimes is a sticky situation; they seem wary of offending political and commercial interests; for example they have not covered the execrable Lamar Smith NOAA inquisition and though they present less false balance than they usedta, are still a bit that way inclined. Unfortunately, Andy Revkin with his seniority and long-term reputation occupies a slot that should be filled by somebody who covers, for example, progress in clean renewable energy, storage, and delivery (unless it’s Elon Musk).

    I assume you have my email, and welcome any suggestions as to efforts he can sign on to. We are in touch with Mike Mann.

  111. Susan,
    Thanks. If you’re in touch with Mike Mann, you’re probably getting pretty solid advice. If I can think of anything, though, I’ll get in touch.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s