But RCPs

Just as I thought I was out the ClimateBall Gods pull me back in. The “but RCP” flythe club got the best of me. For the time lost I found talking points for my Bingo. More on this project in due time. Here are the main ones:

  1. 8.5 is bollocks
  2. 8.5 is not BAU
  3. The IPCC calls 8.5 “BAU”
  4. The IPCC uses it as such
  5. Centuries or millennia separate 8.5 and when we might see 8.5W/m2
  6. We never were on an 8.5 path
  7. Only using 8.5 is bad science
  8. Without 8.5, there is no huge alarm
  9. Don’t present a < 1% scenario like the IPCC does
  10. It is not about blame

RCP stands for Representative Concentration Pathway. The acronym is usually followed with the numbers 2.6, 4.5, 6, or 8.5. Stating numbers will suffice in what follows. BAU stands for business-as-usual and IPCC for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Now, for the experimental part of the post. One short paragraph for each talking point. I defer to ClimateBall authorities as much as I can. With your feedback I will revise the responses. I will also add secondary talking points in the comments.

One important caveat. “But RCPs” should not deflect from the main takeaway: global warming will continue until CO2 emissions reach zero. We will need to adapt to warming levels of 1.5C, likely more [Glen]. The answers start with a variation on the main take away, parry the contrarian deflection, correct the misleading information or the falsity, and repeat the main takeaway. A truth sandwich if you please, with a relevant salad, a clarifying soup, and a call to action dessert.

***

§1. It is common knowledge that getting to 8.5 is unlikely . It has been introduced to depict a relatively conservative business as usual case with low income, high population and high energy demand due to only modest improvements in energy intensity [Keywan & alii]. Things changed since 2011, and some might suggest that 3C is the new BAU. In effect, every dollar spent on mitigation now makes RCP8.5 emissions even more unlikely [Justin]. Scenario selection is not so important for impacts in the next decade or two [Glen]. If you don’t like 8.5, add 10 years [Gernot]. If you think that 8.5 is bollocks, well, that’s your unarticulated opinion.

§2. While 8.5 emissions are not BAU, the 8.5 concentration pathway can still arise from a lower emissions scenario if feedbacks are strong [Richard]. We also need to distinguish between emissions pathways and warming outcomes, which depend on emissions, carbon cycle feedbacks, and climate sensitivity [Zeke]. Without getting to net zero a radiative forcing of 8.5W/m2 will happen eventually [SteveE].

§3. It’s also important to call them “concentration pathways” as they’re named since over a decade ago, and to realise that over a decade ago it was already the extreme case with also bio-physical assumptions that differ from the other three RCPs. They never were “business as usual” [Joris]. Most climate modelling studies that use RCP8.5 are using the scenario in the form defined in terms of concentrations (the amount of CO2 & other GHGs bulding up in the atmosphere), not the form defined in terms of emissions (the amount humans are releasing) [Richard]. While the public and politicians at large discuss if and how we can get on a 2.6, to talk semantics about if we should rename “BAU” may be well intended, but is absurd [August].

§4. It would be incorrect to claim that the IPCC used 8.5 as BAU. First, 8.5 has a much faster rise in emissions than 1970-2010 [Richard]. Second, AR5 explicitly said “the term BAU has fallen out of favour because the idea of business as usual in century-long socio-economic projections is hard to fathom” [AT]. Scenarios without additional efforts to constrain emissions (’baseline scenarios’) lead to pathways ranging between 6.0 and 8.5 [IPCC]. Even the family of SSP5 baseline scenarios don’t all end up at 8.5 w/m^2 [Zeke].

§5. The idea that we might see 8.5W/m2 in centuries or millennia is bollocks. The remaining carbon budget in SSP5-8.5 is 7700 GtCO2, so 192 years of current emissions. If emissions increase, we reach it faster. Hence why it’s super important countries meet their Paris agreement commitments. For instance, in the high-end of the current policies estimates you’d get to 8.5 w/m^2 concentrations by 2150, assuming constant emissions of ~65 GtCO2 after 2100 [Zeke]. Its all based on MAGICC model runs. The 8.5 w/m^2 scenario being used in CMIP6 is the SSP5 REMIND Baseline [Zeke].

§6. While we may dispute the likeliness of getting to 8.5W/m2 in 2100, we are indeed in an 8.5 path [Kathryn]. Despite its long term aggressiveness, to date our cumulative emissions are closest to RCP 8.5 [Bob]:

§7. RCP8.5 is popular because trying it first is the best use of finite computational resources. If an effect can’t be found in 8.5, then there’s no point in trying the lower RCPs. However, if 2.6 is tried first, and there’s no effect, it says nothing about the higher RCPs [PaulW]. Anyone saying that 8.5 is a standalone forecast is at best in error; those who know the facts should be held to a higher standard [Bill].

§8. The fact remains that 5C is the baseline warming [Zeke]. Five degrees less is what separates us from the ice age [Gavin]. The claim that without 8.5 there is no “huge alarm” implies that *any” lower value would not be a huge alarm [me]. There will be ONE takeaway from this whole “but RCPs” thing, for most people in policy, business & media, and it will be this: “We can worry less about the effects of climate change!” Great work, guys. Really good stuff [Kate].

§9. If the IPCC could attribute a valid statistic to scenarios, they would make predictions, not scenarios. The that there is a 1% probability to 8.5 certainly doesn’t come from the IPCC [PaulS].

§10. Some may pretend that “but RCP” isn’t about blame. Yet they can’t prevent themselves from appealing to INTEGRITY, credibility or whatnot. (Examples on demand.) The following meme format should reveal how our usual suspects are squirreling with “but RCPs”:

  • Tired – arguing about 8.5
  • Wired – working toward 2.6 [Costa]
  • Inspired – 2.6 is just a milestone, not a final goal [Jonathan]
  • Bored – let’s just get a policy in place that seriously limits emissions and drives toward a broad international emissions trading system [Kevin].

Srsly, the obsession with RCPs is misplaced [mt]. Who cares about “but RCPs” if the conclusion is that we need to stop using fossil fuels no matter what scenario [Somite]. Getting to carbon zero is key in every way. In any event, those who still care about the “but RPCs” ClimateBall fight could take a look at Pietro’s synopsis:

https://pitmonticone.github.io/rcp85-debate/

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99 Responses to But RCPs

  1. Willard says:

    Here:

    Tell me if you can see the tweet, David. My Chrome does not display it anymore.

  2. angech says:

    I have always taken the view that BAU is merely the middle of the road, not the top end.
    From what I see and hear I can only imagine it is going along swimmingly.
    It is not a 1% scenario, it is what is happening now.
    Not happy with those here who want to underplay it.
    The questions are what is it doing and is it as bad as what was scenariorised?

  3. Steven Mosher says:

    I hope you guys enjoy parasite

  4. verytallguy says:

    “For instance, in the high-end of the current policies estimates you’d get to 8.5 w/m^2 concentrations by 2150”

    This.

    One of my major gripes with climate science is the tendency to assume to world ends at 2100.

  5. David B. Benson says:

    verytallguy — What leads you to opine that “the world”, i.e., civilization, won’t end buy 2100 or 2150?

  6. John Hartz says:

    Willard: Does the “reality” scenario described in this article fall outside the bounds of your paradigm? If it does, you might want to add a new category.

    Worst Case Climate Change Scenario Is Scary, But The Reality Could Be Even Worse by Steve Hanley, CleanTechnica, Feb 5, 2020

  7. Willard says:

    > If it does, you might want to add a new category.

    No.

    I stopped at

    First of all, it is just that — a commentary, not a peer-reviewed scientific article. That must be kept in mind by anyone somehow thinking this overthrows conventional scientific thinking. It doesn’t. It’s basically an opinion piece.

    Since that comes from a blog post, I will apply the author’s own logic and disregard what he says.

    Thanks.

  8. “One of my major gripes with climate science is the tendency to assume to world ends at 2100.”

    It doesn’t make that assumption. It accepts that predicting energy sources 100 years out is not a useful exercise. To put the year 2150 in perspective, we’re currently living the plan written in the year 1890. (The horse tax worked!)

  9. John Hartz says:

    Willard: Thanks for your prompt response. I suspect there may be published, peer-reviewed papers that present outlier scenarios at both ends of your spectrum. They may, however, be irrelevant for your particular purpose

  10. John Hartz says:

    Speaking of published, peer-reviewed, scientific papers about climate change l and related matters, Doug Bostrom creates and publishes a weekly compendium of just released papers on the Skeptical Science website. Here’s the url for last week’s.

    https://skepticalscience.com/new_research_5_2020.html

  11. Willard says:

    > It accepts that predicting energy sources 100 years out is not a useful exercise.

    Not in the way you’re implying, JeffN.

    You only have a second chance to say stuff. Use it well.

  12. Willard says:

    Doc,

    All your claims are misleading at best:

    1. I have always taken the view that BAU is merely the middle of the road, not the top end.

    8.5 was first advertized as a conservative BAU pathway. At the time there was no realistic middle of the road. We were following the top end. We still are, in fact, and only our prognostics regarding future fossil fuel usage make us doubt we’ll reach 8.5 in 2100.

    In other words, BAU changed.

    ***

    2. From what I see and hear I can only imagine it is going along swimmingly.

    A 5C world provides even more water for you to swim.

    ***

    3. It is not a 1% scenario, it is what is happening now.

    The IPCC has yet to apply likelihoods to scenarios. That’s a fabrication that has been peddled here by Junior, HAS, and others. It would be nice to have such statistics, and researchers are working on it as we speak.

    To give you an idea, even BillN gives a 35% odds to 8.5 concentrations:

    ***

    4. Not happy with those here who want to underplay it.

    Since “but RCPs” has nothing to do with the question if things are going swimingly or not, that’s just your way to remind that “but CAGW” is the central square in the ClimateBall bingo.

    ***

    5. The questions are what is it doing and is it as bad as what was scenariorised?

    The pronoun “it” does a lot of implicit work here.

    If we knew the answer to your question, we would not need scenarios. In other words, scenarios are there to help us deal with variables we can’t determine. The only thing we can say for sure is that a lower BAU makes investing in getting to carbon zero more profitable.

  13. Joshua says:

    FWIW –

    (and Willard if you delete this because my repetition is annoying, no hard feelings).

    As a non-expert who isn’t particularly smart, I always thought that business as usual would mean “unless anything changes significantly going forward.”

    Doing such an estimate seems very worthwhile to me when evaluating the risks of various future scenarios. Attacking the idea of such an analysis seems rather silly to me – although the outcomes of such an analysis should be fair game for critique.

    By definition, such an analysis would necessarily change as you advance forward in time – as it is likely that changes in the interim would change the basis of “unless anything changes going forward.’

    I get that term “BAU” could be used in misleading ways (if it is highly unlikely that we’ll go forward without significant changes taking place). It that happens, then it seems to me that the discussion should be about how to make the understanding of the term IN SPECIFIC CONTEXT more precise, not about whether the term should be used, or generic arguments about what the term actually means, or finger-pointing about use of the term.

    I dunno. That all seems like basic common sense to me. Imo, point-scoring and bickering about “BAU” is like bickering about “consensus” or bickering about “denier.”

    That bickering. IMO, is much more about the way that discussions of climate change are often predominantly proxy battles in a tribal war.

    I think we’d be better served if more people spent more time thinking about how their tribal nature affects them when they’re discussing issues like climate change.

  14. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    Since that comes from a blog post, I will apply the author’s own logic and disregard what he says.

    Checkmate. This is the kind of reflexive logic that the world needs way more of.

    I would elaborate on this form of ClimateBall end-gaming, but anything I could say here would be deservingly disregarded.

  15. Willard says:

    > the discussion should be about how to make the understanding of the term IN SPECIFIC CONTEXT more precise, not about whether the term should be used, or generic arguments about what the term actually means, or finger-pointing about use of the term.

    As I like to study the history of how concepts came to be used, I don’t mind doing just that. But I don’t think it matters much for the main objective, which is to focus on getting to carbon zero.

    In all my ClimateBall career I never once had to invoke RCPs. They are meant for policymakers, not ClimateBall players. Getting to carbon zero applies to any pathway possible.

    So once again scientists are being suckered in by contrarians on futilities.

  16. Willard says:

    > This is the kind of reflexive logic that the world needs way more of.

    It’s more a personal policy about bloggers with attitudes. I expect the same from those who dislike mine. It’s a big world. There are many voices. We all have one life.

  17. John Hartz says:

    Joshua: From my perspective, the BAU label, by definition, can only be used in making short-term projections, e.g., five years or so. As the horizon year for a projection period is increased, the more likely significant changes in the current situation will occur. I therefore suggest that the concept of a “flexible BAU” is inherently flawed.

  18. Willard says:

    > From my perspective, the BAU label, by definition, can only be used in making short-term projections, e.g., five years or so.

    That’s an important point, at least insofar as BAU is related to policy-making, e.g.

  19. Joshua says:

    JH –

    > Joshua: From my perspective, the BAU label, by definition, can only be used in making short-term projections, e.g., five years or so.

    Maybe. But it’s almost impossible to resist projecting further into the future even if, just like we don’t know what will be the “current” situation 50 years from now, we don’t really know what it will be six years from now either.

    And I think we still HAVE to make decisions now on the basis of what might be the “current” situation 6 years from now AND 50 years from now. Even if that’s because deciding to do nothing because we dont have crystal balls is svtuslly deciding to do something (despite not having crystal balls – which is what Judith and many other “skeptics” avoid gaming out).

    I mean I suppose we could just resist, say it “makes no sense” to project the current status out beyond 5 years, and leave it at that. But that seems to me to be contra- human nature.

    And I also think it’s questionable whether such a method for evaluating future risk (not projecting current status beyond give years) would more advisable (less error prone in average) than trying to estimate what changes might take place more than five years out, and then doing projections based on those kinds of estomates. Maybe someone smarter tban me can bring math or statistical skill to that question.

    It seems to me that it’s messy whatever we do. So then what’s best is to look at all options together and do the best that we can and work from the premise that our results MAY be the least suboptimal. And in the mean time we can stop pretending that the choices that most closely matches our biases is the most valid, and asserting that others pick other options because they want to starve children.

  20. John Hartz says:

    Joshua: You missed my point completely. I am not against making long-range forecasts. In fact, I actively engaged in doing so during my professional career in transportation planning. I do, however, believe the BAU label. by definition, can only be applied to short-range planning.

  21. Joshua says:

    JH –

    OK. Gotya. So then what would we call a (level) line extended forward beyond five years from the current state, as a way to examine different possible risks?

  22. Jon Kirwan says:

    I apologize for the following “rant,” but the blog’s closing “Getting to carbon zero is key in every way,” comment made me do it. So blame the comment. 😉

    ***

    I have spent a lot of personal time studying everything from Dr. Lovejoy’s work product on the quilting of Brazilian forests and its impact on species to my own playing around with fine-grained slab models of incoming and outgoing radiation models of the Earth’s atmosphere — starting when first working on Dobson column-UV instruments in the mid 1980’s. But I’ve concluded, after all this time, that climate is but **one** symptom of a terrible disease that no one is addressing, squarely.

    That disease is population. We humans and our domesticated animals now represent, by mass ratio alone, almost all of the land-based vertebrates. And that’s not by any stretch all of our impacts (other than climate.) If we don’t get a wrap on population (which actually needs to be **lower** than it already is), then ocean and land ecologies will continue to disappear, forest systems will be further quilted and criss-crossed by roads and fencing and also replaced by savanna (or worse), and the required diversity of multi-celled species will continue to dwindle (bacteria seems to be able to find a way to survive almost anywhere — as evidenced by the recent report on Chicxulub.) We really are in a new rapid age of “the dying.” The beautiful quilt of interwoven life on this planet is frayed from human machete hacks through it and is literally unwinding as we watch.

    Climate is one of several “smoke detectors” that are going off and sounding the alarm that there’s a fire. But rather than go look for the fire and deal with it, we look for how to reduce the smoke reaching the “climate detector,” instead. (Or we just decide to remove the batteries in it, so that it stops bugging us.) But there are so many other smoke detectors, other than climate. And even if we focus on removing the smoke reaching the climate detector, by closing a door, it does nothing at all for the smoke that’s reaching all of the other detectors and alarms going off. Population is the issue. Address it and you begin to address **all** of the rest of the alarms. And I think then it also makes sense to more directly address each of the alarm systems once the fire is out and we can divide our attention to the rest.

    Addressing climate will relieve some of the pressures. Admitted. But it won’t address deforestation for construction and business uses. It won’t address over-fishing and the loss of healthy fisheries. It won’t address the conversion of complex ecologies developed over millions of years into vast monocultures that serve our food needs. That isn’t to say that addressing climate won’t help stay the destruction of corals (it will help a lot, there.) But the over-arching theme is over-population of humans and the continued conversion of an entire planet without a whit of long term planning and nothing but the short-term views towards supporting the next quarter’s or the next year’s business needs. (What “owner” prefers to sit around allowing a forest to grow at 2% a year in value, if they can get an easy 10% or more return on investment if they just harvest the whole thing right now and use the money elsewhere?)

    I enjoy listening to, and learning from, what I read here. But it doesn’t address the cause. I spent a lot of time arguing and debating these issues in the 1990’s with scientists and engineers I worked with and around. But I’ve come around to realizing the core issue and the fact that we can do a yeoman’s job with climate and still have a world we don’t recognize anymore. Dr. Lovejoy’s recent comment, last month, that the tipping point for the vast stretches of earlier forest systems in Brazil has been reached and exceeded and that he sees it turning inevitably into savanna now, is far more about the human destruction using heavy equipment than it is about climate change. His work back in the late 1970’s and 1980’s quite clearly documents what was happening long, long before any of modern climate change effects showed up. It was already happening then. It’s just that combined effects now have pushed things over perhaps a little earlier than later. But the result would be the same, regardless.

    I respect the contributions I see here and the thought that often goes into them. So it’s worth a relaxing moment of my time to skim through. But in no way am I confused about the source of the fire that’s setting off so many different alarm systems. It’s population. Lasting solutions will flow out of squarely addressing that issue. The rest is but temporary if population isn’t addressed.

    (And it will be addressed, one way or another. I’m very confident of that fact. It’s just the several not-so-good manners by which it will be likely addressed that worries me, for my grandchildren.)

    Rant over and I’ll go back to “mostly reading and learning” from your excellent discussions.

  23. jacksmith4tx says:

    Jon Kirwan;
    “That disease is population.” An excellent summary of my own thoughts.
    As a fellow mammal (homo sapian) I would like to refer to the readers to the Mouse Utopia (AKA The Behavioral Sink) experiments from the 1960s. Many years after John B Calhoun’s experiment psychologists have extended his research and added important theories to include the effects of compressed social networks. I think the introduction of social media has accelerated the process. The seeds of our destruction were encoded in our brains 100,000 years ago, Monsters of the Id* indeed.
    *Pop culture reference to the 1950s SiFy film “Forbidden Planet”

  24. It’s problematic to cite population as THE issue since the highest income folks on the planet are truly responsible for such a large slice of the devastation, but yes, I agree with you JK. Population and population pressure is a problem.

  25. Jon Kirwan says:

    @smallbluemike

    The very subject of population is complex. No question. And there are large “nuances” to any discussion — including the one you bring up. Some time could be bought. I won’t argue.

    But just to keep things in context here, the Boxing Day tsunami that took place off the Indonesian coast of Sumatra on Dec. 26, 2004 was “one of the world’s worst disasters.” It killed a quarter of a million people.

    Do you know how long it took to replace that horrible and tragic loss of human life?

    One day.

  26. Joshua says:

    Jon –

    Interesting post, as is your follow in comment.

    So here’s a question. If, as you point out, even if the tragedy of deaths looks different in the context of how long it takes to “replace” them (the choice of “replace” assumes a certain perspective that I don’t think I share), then what is the crux of your concern about population?

    The planet itself will survive our destruction. I would think that some forms of life, sustained within an infinitely complex web, will survive as well. The specifics will certain be different (although maybe not from the perspective of bacteria – which given their numbers also provide a perspective of scale), but in one sense it will be a kind of same same but different.

    So in the context of 250,000 lives being quickly replaced, in what sense is this a tragic disease-like scenario? Why isn’t it just a value-less transformation?

  27. Joshua says:

    Jon –

    As a kind of follow up.

    You say:

    > bacteria seems to be able to find a way to survive almost anywhere

    And you say:

    > We humans and our domesticated animals now represent, by mass ratio alone, almost all of the land-based vertebrates.

    Wikipedia gave me this:

    > The total live biomass of bacteria may be as much as that of plants and animals or may be much less.

    Does the crux of your framing boil down to the distinction between different degrees of sentience, or consciousness?

  28. Jon Kirwan says:

    @Joshua, “Why isn’t it just a value-less transformation?”
    @Joshua, “Does the crux of your framing boil down to the distinction between different degrees of sentience, or consciousness?”

    Many decades ago, I might try to argue such things with you. I’d have taken them more seriously. But I don’t now. Such questions simply exist in the minds of those who hold them. But it’s beyond my pay grade. So I leave those things to philosophers.

    My points remain. The value one assigns them is their own, of course.

  29. Joshua says:

    Jon –

    FWIW, i’m not asking for an argument. I’m curious what your thinking is.

  30. izen says:

    @-vtg
    “One of my major gripes with climate science is the tendency to assume to world ends at 2100.”

    That assumption is made because it is certain that for all discussing the issue, the world will have ended.
    They will be dead.

    It is extremely rare for people to seriously consider the future beyond their own lifetime.
    Except as speculative philosophy.

  31. Jon Kirwan says:

    @Joshua “I’m curious what your thinking is.”

    Thinking about what? I seem to have lost the question and cannot seem to work it out from what you earlier wrote. Perhaps you could re-phrase it?

  32. Ben McMillan says:

    The silliest thing about Ritchie’s comment is that deciding whether you should try to follow a low emissions path (eg by funding low-emissions technology deployment) or instead just adapt to/suffer the consequences of RCP8.5 is exactly why these scenarios exist.

    As far as I can tell, RCP8.5 derangement syndrome is mostly about failing to understand over and over again why it is useful to consider a range of pathways to plan how we should respond to climate change. The RCPs are not predictions!

    Instead, pathways like RCP8.5, where fossil fuel usage continues to grow at historic rates (actually slower than the last 60 years), are meant to teach us something useful: we need to choose a different future. You only know that choosing RCP8.5 is a bad idea, and therefore make it a low probability outcome, once you have studied what the consequences would be.

  33. David B. Benson says:

    Ben McMillan, well stated!

  34. Dave_Geologist says:

    First of all, it is just that — a commentary, not a peer-reviewed scientific article.

    Why Willard?? That’s exactly what it is. It says so on the tin:

    nature
    COMMENT 29 JANUARY 2020
    Emissions – the ‘business as usual’ story is misleading

    “It appeared in Nature” ≠ “It’s a peer-reviewed scientific paper (Article or Letter in Nature-speak)”.

    Nature also publishes Correspondence (letters in normal-speak), Book Reviews, News, general-interest summaries of some of its own articles, and editorial opinion. Zeke’s comment is none of the above. It’s a commentary. A commentary by a practitioner more than ordinarily skilled in the art, but nevertheless a commentary. Zeke’s opinion.

  35. verytallguy says:

    verytallguy — What leads you to opine that “the world”, i.e., civilization, won’t end buy 2100 or 2150?

    It might. In which case we don’t need to worry about climate science ‘coz all the worst impacts are beyond 2100.

  36. Chubbs says:

    Ben – Well put.

    Another way to construct scenarios: assume a certain amount of warming after strong climate policies are introduced – for the sake of argument say 1C. If strong policy started today, scenario warming would flat line around 2.2C = TEMP2.2. TEMP3.2 starts strong policy at 2.2C. TEMP4 starts strong policy at 3C and so on. At minimum would make the scenario discussion more policy relevant.

  37. Joshua says:

    Jon –

    I’ll let it lie for now – not wanting to further divert from the post’s topic. If you check, I’ll try to circle back in a few days

  38. Willard says:

    > That’s exactly what it is.

    I suspect you already know that stating a true fact isn’t enough to make a good argument, Dave. So I take it that you’re simply asking a rhetorical question. A rhetorical question to return to a topic I don’t want to discuss. That’s just great.

    Mike’s argument sucks because the distinction that matters here isn’t between peer review and commentaries, but between what the IPCC says and what researchers say. And the resarchers keep saying what the IPCC already stopped to say – 8.5 is not BAU. Mike made me waste too much time in the past. In this episode he won’t.

    ***

    > Zeke’s opinion

    Commentaries contain facts. You present them as opinion. Yet you don’t underline that Mike’s commentary isn’t opinion. Why is that?? If you dismiss Zeke’s argument as mere opinion, it is perfectly fine to do the same with Mike’s blog post.

  39. Willard says:

    > not wanting to further divert from the post’s topic

    Once one enters the ClimateBall bingo, it’s hard to delimit topics. All the “but X” claims are interconnected. For instance, once Mike is on the table contrarians could come and try “but Mike,” which is indeed a square in the Bingo. They could also try related ones. The Habs are not doing great this year and I’d rather forget hockey until next September.

    Digressions are fine as long as they remain digressions. They can dominate for a while, but they should not hinder commenters from discussing more central topics. I think this works the same way real-life conversations work. Turn-taking is tried and true.

  40. Dave_Geologist says:

    I wasn’t dismissing it as an opinion Willard. That’s why I said it was the opinion of a practitioner more than ordinarily skilled in the art. An expert opinion and so worth more than a random opinion, more than my opinion, more than mike’s opinion and more than your opinion (in the context in which he wrote it). From a ClimateBall perspective he may of course be rather inexpert when it comes to rhetoric as opposed to science… but as a BESTie who “let the side down” I expect he’s been exposed to a fair amount himself. And it’s given an additional imprimatur in that Nature has its scientific reputation to think about and will have given it editorial review. Mann’s rebuttal or whatever you want to call it is also an expert opinion, and worth more than ours. But I seem to have blundered into a pre-existing argument so will leave it there.

    Actually I think neither piece had much in the way of facts. It’s hard to predict, especially about the future. Cumulatively we’re still on an 8.5 path, if only just, but do seem to be flattening out so maybe we’re at last diverging. Too soon to tell IMO, especially given political developments around the world. If Trumpo/Bolsonaro/Duterte are re-elected? If China is hurting badly this year economically, I can see a lot of its green efforts being de-prioritised. And forests are not looking good.

    I agree that BAU is a bad choice of words, because we each get to define our own “usual”. Unfortunately absent-mitigation, with barebones Paris, with Paris plus additional commitments, with Paris plus additional commitments plus help for developing countries to follow a low-carbon path to development, etc. don’t exactly trip off the tongue.

  41. Willard says:

    > I wasn’t dismissing it as an opinion

    Sure. I don’t always say “Zeke’s opinion” but when I do it’s just to state a fact. That’s the kind of infelicity that makes me dismiss everything else you say.

    ***

    > Unfortunately absent-mitigation, with barebones Paris, with Paris plus additional commitments, with Paris plus additional commitments plus help for developing countries to follow a low-carbon path to development, etc. don’t exactly trip off the tongue.

    And now ridicule. Prfct.

  42. Willard says:

    Here’s a proposal. The baseline for our high-end scenario (SSP5) is 5C:

    The IPCC talks about baselines. Use it. “Baseline” is shorter than “business-as-usual.” It’s not an acronym. It’s punchy. It circumvents the absurdity of taking our highest scenario as our safest bet out of inertia.

    Even if we are onto 3C, we really really really do not want 5C.

  43. John Hartz says:

    Willard:

    Even if we are onto 3C, we really really really do not want 5C.

    Given what went down last year and what’s projected to go down this year, I doubt we really want to reach 1.5C either.

    For example, here in Columbia SC, this winter has been one big roller coaster with periods of normal winter temperatures followed by periods of abnormally high temperatures that used to occur in late spring. Because of this cycle, plant life and insects are going bonkers responding to it. It’s also been an abnormally wet winter.

  44. Willard says:

    Yes, John. Things definitely could get worse. My inner businessman still does not hear “most plausible worst-case” when listening to “BAU.”

    Perhaps I should make clear that I’m looking for a playbook that *I* would use against contrarians. (You, dear Reader, should use it too – but I know You, and let’s say I’m not holding my breath.) Coming with a wordology that would be contrarian-proof is a hard problem. Since Richard does not like that we speak of baselines, I asked for his suggestion:

    I like that “current policies” is made explicit. I like “on track” above all – a prfct metaphor for commitment. I asked him for a title, after all it’s “BAU is 3C” or “The High-End Baseline is 5C” that he needs to top.

    Will report.

  45. John Hartz says:

    Willard,

    Very interesting indeed.

    Lest there be any misunderstanding, my primary point was that even if the human race were to find the where-with-all to hold the line at 1.5C, the biosphere would not be the warm and fuzzy environment that it has been. James Hansen had it right years ago when he warned it would be dangerous to exceed a CO2 concentration of 350 ppm.

  46. Jon Kirwan says:

    @John Hartz: “James Hansen had it right years ago when he warned it would be dangerous to exceed a CO2 concentration of 350 ppm.”

    Even if that were achieved, we’d still face a radically changed planet since climate is only one of many symptoms of exceeding the Earth’s carrying capacity given our current patterns of resource consumption and habitat conversion. So even that isn’t sufficient. It’s just necessary.

  47. Willard says:

    > even if the human race were to find the where-with-all to hold the line at 1.5C, the biosphere would not be the warm and fuzzy environment that it has been.

    We *will* need to adapt to warming levels of 1.5C, John, likely more. With the actual policies we’re on track to a 2-4C world by 2100. That’s not ideal. Which is why we need to get to carbon zero as soon as we can.

    Notice how I respond to your comment by rewording what you said in a way that coheres with my own framing. The title I suggested to Richard was On Track to 2-4C with Current Policies, with “2100” to be added in subtitle. It could be shortened.

  48. Joshua says:

    FWIW –

    > There is a growing need to analyse the knowledge controversies about climate change. Human geography has a role in understanding of the motivations and sources of the participants in the debate. In this study, we explore the scientific background of the contrarian arguments, using Climate Change Reconsidered published by the conservative think tank Heartland Institute, in comparison with the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change The Physical Science Basis. Firstly, we surveyed the reference lists, which showed that in general the contrarian report used the same journals, as their most important sources. However, the differences are in the details: journals dealing with paleo-issues are more important for the contrarian report. Further, it is noteworthy that we found only 262 identical references (4.4% of all references) in the reports and their contextual analyses revealed that the rhetoric can be remarkably different, as can the way in which an article is used. These results indicate that we cannot state that the opponents use completely different sources, but the complementarity of their reference list raised some questions which are discussed in the last section of the paper. Should we take the ‘contrarians’ and their arguments seriously or not?

    https://www.academia.edu/8651032/Reviewing_the_climate_change_reviewers?

  49. John Hartz says:

    Willard: The human race’s ability to adapt to 1.5C will not be a walk in the woods as we will soon find out.. It’s ability to adapt to 2.0C will be exponentially harder.

    Here’s a disheartening forecast of what is likely to happen in the Upper Midwest of the US this coming Spring while we are still under the 1.5C mark.

    Second Year of Major Spring Floods Forecast for U.S. Heartland by Thomas Frank, E&E News/Scientific American, Feb 10, 2020

  50. David B. Benson says:

    A 4-fold increase in extreme heat periods:
    http://bravenewclimate.proboards.com/thread/159/climate-change-emergency?page=4#post-6244

    Can’t cool off at night.

  51. Willard says:

    > [W]e found only 262 identical references (4.4% of all references) in the reports and their contextual analyses revealed that the rhetoric can be remarkably different, as can the way in which an article is used.

    Ouch.

  52. Willard says:

    > The human race’s ability to adapt to 1.5C will not be a walk in the woods as we will soon find out..

    Good point. It may not be easy. But consider – “ButRCPs” is mostly about high-end projections. In response to that concern, we could invoke lower ones, e.g. to underline that our contrarians are less incredulous about all the Carbon and Capture Storage that lower RCPs like 2.6 are presuming.

    (I raised the issue twice with Justin. He failed to respond twice. That told me all I needed to know about Justin.)

    Compare our arguments. The CCS argument implies no commitment whatsoever. Yours would force me to claim that even the increase already in the pipeline will be problematic, and it’s only indirectly related to the questions of RCPs. Without adjudicating your claim, I already know it bends both relevance and economy.

  53. Jon Kirwan says:

    @Joshua says: “I’ll let it lie for now – not wanting to further divert from the post’s topic. If you check, I’ll try to circle back in a few days”

    Agreed. I’ll keep an eye out. If in a few days you still have an interest in asking, I’ll gladly see if I can satisfy you.

    I do still remember your mentioning of “tribal affiliation and policy preferences”:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2018/06/02/the-scicomm-merry-go-round/

    Perhaps you’ll do me a favor and expand a little on that, in return.

  54. David B. Benson says:

    https://m.phys.org/news/2020-02-ancient-antarctic-ice-sea-metersand.html

    So even less than 2 °C higher than now results in 3+ meters of sea level rise just from WAIS.

  55. angech says:

    Willard. Think I replied to you but maybe I forgot to hit send. If I did the thank you for reading it.
    I am a bit forgetful at times.
    “In all my ClimateBall career I never once had to invoke RCPs. They are meant for policymakers, not ClimateBall players. Getting to carbon zero applies to any pathway possible.”
    “Perhaps I should make clear that I’m looking for a playbook that *I* would use against contrarians. (You, dear Reader, should use it too – but I know You, and let’s say I’m not holding my breath.)”

    I would like to say that sometimes I just do not get where you are coming from or what you are achieving. Comments like that above help clarify.
    You may be far more left field than I am which is a fantastic achievement.
    The touch of Loki in your writing about Ragnarok though leaves me still confused.
    “ Let them come to you” might fit the playbook. But then I am a contrarian, not a strategist.

  56. Joshua says:

    I think this article gets to the root of why arguing with with “but RCP”ers may be futile:

    > Even if there is little evidence that this stuff can be persuasive in terms of getting many people to really change their views, there is some reason to suspect that it can have consequences for their second order beliefs about others’ beliefs, and about whether the system is fair or not.

    ***

    Zero sum engagement on technical points, in the end, may be counterproductive. The effective outcome of “skepticism” (as opposed to skepticism) is that the zone is flooded with conflicting information. It’s not so much that people need to believe in the climate change hoax, but that mitigation won’t occur as long as people don’t know what to believe.

    I think that arguing that we don’t have mitigation because people are resisting change, largely misses the point.

    > An illustration of the effectiveness of the Trump truth-defying operation can be found in an article by McKay Coppins in the current issue of The Atlantic, “The Billion-Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Re-elect the President.”

    Using a false name and portraying himself as an unwavering Trump loyalist, Coppins inserted himself into the digital underworld of the Trump campaign and its maze of interlocking websites, data analytics, text messaging and novel electronic paraphernalia.

    Coppins, an astute critic of the Trump administration, found he was becoming strangely and unexpectedly disoriented:

    There were days when I would watch, live on TV, an impeachment hearing filled with damning testimony about the president’s conduct, only to look at my phone later and find a slickly edited video — served up by the Trump campaign — that used out-of-context clips to recast the same testimony as an exoneration. Wait, I caught myself wondering more than once, is that what happened today?
    Coppins “assumed that my skepticism and media literacy would inoculate me against such distortions. But I soon found myself reflexively questioning every headline. It wasn’t that I believed Trump and his boosters were telling the truth. It was that, in this state of heightened suspicion, truth itself — about Ukraine, impeachment, or anything else — felt more and more difficult to locate. With each swipe, the notion of observable reality drifted further out of reach.”

    ***

    Given the mechanics of the “deficit model” shortcomings, (the deficits of the deficit model)…whats the way to deal with the flood the zone effect?

  57. Willard says:

    > The touch of Loki in your writing about Ragnarok though leaves me still confused.

    You are not alone.

    What I just did is what a serious game player would need to do as a preparation for a tournament. It’s called a repertoire. Games and sports are based on resource attrition. Time is the most crucial resource. Knowing what to play in advance is key. Only preparing cheap tricks is the best recipe to finish last. So one prepares for the most frequent moves. They often are the best ones.

    This kind of habit instills objectivity. It reduces the number of commitments to a minimum. This leads to a kind of detachment that may be confusing in a game like ClimateBall, where partisanship rules.

  58. Willard says:

    > Given the mechanics of the “deficit model” shortcomings, (the deficits of the deficit model)…whats the way to deal with the flood the zone effect?

    The same way disinformation campaign are done, i.e. by keeping the eye on the ball, by framing your message properly, and by repeating it over and over again.

    My current hypothesis is that the information needs to be repeated long enough to learn it like a foreign word. Something like 10 times in a week or so. Recall then becomes rediscovery, and people start to believe they’re the ones coming up with the idea.

    The only way people are convinced by anything is when they think the idea comes from them or when they emulate role models. We can’t expect much cooperation from contrarian role models. It needs to come from contrarian themselves.

    And if that does not come up, it won’t matter much if one has kept the eye on the ball. To keep the eye on the ball is independent from convincing anyone but yourself.

  59. izen says:

    @-Joshua
    “It’s not so much that people need to believe in the climate change hoax, but that mitigation won’t occur as long as people don’t know what to believe.”

    You might want to look into the career of Vladislav Surkov.
    This is Putin’s PR man who is credited with the technique of funding both pro, and anti Putin groups and leaking both positive and negative stories about Putin.
    It was not to persuade people that Putin was good, but to make it impossible for any negative messaging to be trusted or credible.
    His ideological fans would continue to support Putin despite the ‘poisoning of the well’.

  60. Willard says:

    ML and his crew keeps ignoring the elephant in the “but RCPs” room:

    A good sign they’re losing.

  61. Ben McMillan says:

    Lets imagine that the ‘no way can we use that much coal’ people are right, and the relative proportion of fossil fuels used stays constant over the 21st century. So for the same energy use, a bit more gas gets used, and a bit less coal than RCP8.5. How much difference does it make to future emissions? Maybe 10%. So we are at RCP7.8. Hurrah!

    I’m betting that the RCP8.5-is-bollocks squad aren’t arguing that we should retire 8.5 and replace it with 7.8.

    How much difference does it make to climate policy? Pretty much none. If we were going to run out of fossil fuels before we got to RCP4.5, then maybe that would change things.

    So if you think RCP8.5 isn’t physically plausible, what do you think is? Because if the answer is RCP7.8, then who cares.

  62. Willard says:

    > I’m betting that the RCP8.5-is-bollocks squad aren’t arguing that we should retire 8.5 and replace it with 7.8.

    I’ve seen two lines of argument. At first both Judy and ML claimed that without 8.5 there would not be alarm. Then ML changed his tune and went for “but INTEGRITY” instead, e.g.:

    I asked Judy twice to clarify to be on record that any pathway under 8.5 would be a piece of cake. No cookie.

    You might like Zeke’s numbers comparing various SSPs and IEA’s of cumulative GtCO2 estimates from 2020-2100:

    IEA STPS – 3056 to 3188
    IEA CPS – 3456 to 4171
    SSP1-2.6 – 1098
    SSP2-4.5 – 2785
    SSP4-6.0 – 3313
    SSP3-7.0 – 5156
    SSP5-8.5 – 7705

    I have another backstory with ML. Later.

  63. izen says:

    @-Ben
    “I’m betting that the RCP8.5-is-bollocks squad aren’t arguing that we should retire 8.5 and replace it with 7.8.”

    Of course not.
    The whole point of the RCP8.5-is-bollocks trope is to disparage by implication ANY RCP projection.
    BY mounting a speciously credible attack on one RCP they hope by association to discredit all possible usage of modelled future CO2 accumulation -> temperature predictions as a basis for policy decisions.
    They certainly do NOT want to replace RCP8.5 with any other supposedly more credible number, the intention is to, by inference, invalidate ALL numerical arguments.

  64. izen says:

    @-W
    “I asked Judy twice to clarify to be on record that any pathway under 8.5 would be a piece of cake. No cookie.”

    I would wager you would not even get a crumb if you suggest that as RCP2.6 is at least as improbable as RCP8.5 this meant that the most benign outcome is excluded.

  65. Ben McMillan says:

    So, stated/current policy is somewhere between 4.5 and 7.0 with substantial (but inadequate) mitigation. Almost as if the people setting up RCP8.5 had some idea about what an unmitigated scenario might look like.

    Izen: yep. I’m just repeatedly pointing out that the objections to RCP8.5 are irrelevant for any practical purposes.

  66. John Hartz says:

    The headline of this story says it all…

    ‘The Saddest Thing Is That It Won’t Be Breaking News’: Concentration of CO2 Hits Record High of 416 ppm by Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams, Feb 12, 2020

    Remind me again why we spend show much time jawboning about stuff like RCPs, CS, etc.?

    We just might accomplish more by marching in the streets.

  67. Willard says:

    Kate for the win:

  68. angech says:

    John Hartz says:
    ” Concentration of CO2 Hits Record High of 416 ppm”.
    Thanks for putting that up John.
    Along with CO2 is a GHG that is the other factor most important to everyone’s views.
    Still disagree with most everything but it is nice to have a stable reference point or 2 to argue from.
    Willard.
    “My inner businessman still does not hear “most plausible worst-case” when listening to “BAU.”
    BAU possible cause of CO2.
    “Games and sports are based on resource attrition. Time is the most crucial resource.”
    That is very clear.
    Lets hope for some resource attrition?
    Shame it is not a game.

  69. John Hartz says:

    The human race seems hell bent on self-extinction. Here’s just one example its collective inability to control its appetite for natural resources and to ignore the external costs, i.e., damage being done to the biosphere. As the saying goes, “Mother Nature always bats last.

    Deforested parts of Amazon ’emitting more CO2 than they absorb’ by Gabriel Gatehouse, Science & Environment, BBC News, Feb 11, 2020

  70. David B. Benson says:

    rustneversleeps will especially appreciate
    https://m.phys.org/news/2020-02-smaller-lighter-shielding.html

  71. David B. Benson says:

    Fracking failure:
    https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/12/17/us-fracking-shale-wood-mackenzie-child-wells

    Better not to start down this path.

  72. Willard says:

    I’ll be damned:

    > What really struck me, though, was that it would be fantastic article for playing something like Climate Wars Bingo. I’d only read the first few paragraphs before encountering a discussion of Lysenkoism. There’s the obligatory mention of Green funding. There’s Greenpeace. There’s alarmism. I haven’t waded my way through the whole article, but it seems to cover all possible bases. Is anything missing?

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/06/19/climate-wars-bingo/

  73. angech says:

    Willard says: May 12, 2018 at 12:04 am
    “On January 2016, between the 5th and the 7th, there was an exchange at the Auditor’s involving HAS and the Editor (edited for conviviality):
    [Andre] Since climate talks usually take rcp85 as business as usual, maybe an explicit comparison for that would be interesting?
    [HAS] RCP8.5 isn’t business as usual. It is an upper bound on the IPCC AR5 scenarios, in general reflecting the 75% upper limit of the scenario drivers.
    [Doc] It is the 50% marker, as Business worse than usual which makes up the other 50% is not modeled [I thought]. Consequently any average of models is already missing 50% of predictions on the high side as they were never made.
    [HAS] Not business as usual.” [edited by me]
    “Doc is our own Doc. Good ol’ Doc”.
    Steven did most of the blogging I thought. Was it really that long ago?

  74. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    I’ll be damned:

    Not that surprising…
    ClimateBall bingo’s conceptual history could be traced all the way back to Protagoras.
    Sharelle Jabobs likely studied ClimateBall bingo call-outs under the venerable Matt Ridley.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.


    Is anything missing?

    The first, and still the best, modern ClimateBall call-out: But Al Gore.

  75. “I’ll be damned:”

    I skimmed through your link. It’s remarkable how little the debate has changed in five years. Every one of the comments could have been written yesterday. Keep digging, though, you and your friends have been playing some version of climate ball bingo for a lot longer than this! But congratulations on how thoroughly you crushed old Matt Ridley a half decade ago in the realm of public opinion! Has anyone even seen the poor man or anyone else from his silly party ever since this post? PM Corbyn should send a search party!

  76. Joshua says:

    > you and your friends…

    Sums it all up right there. Shows exactly what this is about.

  77. Joshua says:

    Lest you think it’s about climate change, economics, etc.

  78. Willard says:

    Speaking of search parties, JeffN, if you could find back Junior, that’d be great. I miss him already:

  79. You got junior deleted from Twitter? Congrats! I’l bet you miss him.

    The last obstacle to making Germany 100% solar and wind is gone! You must be excited that, now, finally, everyone can focus on the mitigation plan. Is it too early to change the 2050 targets to 2025? Or do you need to wait until they shut down ClimateEtc?
    Tick tock!

  80. Willard says:

    > You got junior deleted from Twitter

    He deleted himself, JeffN. In a tweet he claims retiring from ClimateBall. Once again. Must be his third or fourth time. Getting a gig at Forbes was too good to pass, perhaps. Look at his titles:

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerpielke

    Lots of bingo squares.

    Oh, and “but nukes” drive-by done.

  81. izen says:

    @-W
    Junior’s Forbes articles show a classic trope of the luckwarmist position.

    He spends a lot of effort comparing the cost assessments of damage from extreme weather events between the Insurance businesses reported by Aon and Munich Re.
    Or at least he spends a lot of effort investigating why the estimates from Aon are higher than Munich Re by questioning the Aon methodology. He makes no comparable investigation into the methodology of Munich Re.
    The overt implication is that Aon are inflating their estimates, while Munich Re are more accurate because lower.
    As so often is the case (cf RCP8.5) the higher estimates are targeted with the implication they are dubious while any low estimate is left unexamined.
    Auditing is selectively applied.

  82. Willard says:

    Izen,

    Just for you:

  83. izen says:

    @-W
    Thanks of the list of juniors’ Forbes articles…. I think.
    Ugh. He fits Forbes.

    The ClimateBall(tm) matrix provides a nice descriptive list of the features or characteristics that can be found in the analysis and debate about AGW.
    It is akin to the anatomical features used in biological systems of classification.

    I wonder if it can be used not just as a ‘bingo’ exercise, but to identify the taxonomy of the debate.
    Whether the structure and form of a dissertation on the subject can be determined from which climateball features are used, and how they are put together.

    So ‘but CAGW’ is a common domain feature, but are there different species of argument that perhaps always include ‘but AlGore’, but never ‘but Goldilocks’ and vice-versa ?

  84. Willard says:

    > So ‘but CAGW’ is a common domain feature, but are there different species of argument that perhaps always include ‘but AlGore’, but never ‘but Goldilocks’ and vice-versa ?

    Yes. Most contrarians have their own playbook. They all string their buts differently, but as you suggest we can observe various realms of concerns. Ideally these would correspond to the levels of the contrarian matrix:

    http://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com

    The Matrix echoes Gorgias’ proof of inexistence:

    1. Nothing exists;
    2. Even if something exists, nothing can be known about it; and
    3. Even if something can be known about it, knowledge about it can’t be communicated to others.
    4. Even if it can be communicated, it cannot be understood.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorgias#On_the_Non-Existent

    Rev had thus the right of it when he mentioned Protagoras earlier.

    ***

    That said, most bingo squares can be used by any contrarian. A contrarian could accept that AGW is real and still raise concern about the Sun’s time series, say because Nir is the new Galileo. Witness Sherelle:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2020/01/25/sherelle-s-bingo-squares/

    But you’re right – there could be contrarian profiles or archetypes. The bingo squares would be the genetic makeup, so to speak.

    There are two different usages we could make of the Bingo. The first is to register the “surface grammar” of the contrarian memes. The second is as a classifier. This usage means that choices need to be made. For instance, a contrarian recently mentioned the Minoan Warm Period. I told him I had “but Holocene” for that. He disagreed. Then I showed him Jo’s post:

    Of course if contrarians start to spam me with Minoan crap, I would need to revise my classifier!

  85. Willard says:

    The “centuries or millennia separate 8.5 and when we might see 8.5W/m2” claim is from ML:

    This makes little sense, as there’s only 50 years between 2100 and 2150, the year where 8.5 can hit according to Zeke’s calculations.

    Today’s blunder from ML is to infer that getting to 8.5 at a lower ppm level would be a Good Thing:

    ML is more successful than most of us. Yet he keeps saying stuff. Either rationality and truthfulness are overrated, or SpeedoScience is misunderestimated:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2017/01/18/speedoscience/

  86. John Hartz says:

    Willard: Out of curiosity, have you given any thought to joining the Extinction Rebellion? I’ve been mulling over doing so.

  87. Willard says:

    > have you given any thought to joining the Extinction Rebellion

    I’m giving more than enough, in fact I will need to cut ClimateBall ice time for a new project. If I ever wanted to do activism, I’d contemplate

    https://art.350.org/

    as I believe only art can save us. This extends to scientific products, which I believe ought to be more artistic in general. Or at least more mediatic. If young rascals can make money by being watched playing video games, there needs to be a market for more sciencey stuff. TED talks ought to have reduced talks length already. One can subscribe to master classes. The list goes on and on. We like to see people telling stories that move us. Without good scientific stories, I hope God kept a copy of His bootstrap procedure.

  88. John Hartz says:

    Willard: Thanks for your thoughtful response. I will ponder what you said,

  89. David B. Benson says:

    Encore!

  90. Willard says:

    Via David Brooks, yes *that* David Brooks:

    I spent time with a Georgian peach farmer who faced a failed crop because the winter never got cold enough to set the fruit. I met ranchers in North Dakota who’d been devastated by a sudden and severe drought that had turned spring grass into stubble that left their cattle starved. A “frustrated Republican” fly fisherman from Montana longed for the conservation-minded Teddy Roosevelts of his party who might care about the increasing number of rivers closed to fishing because the waters are too low to fish, and too warm. There were a dogsledding father and daughter losing their sport because of erratic snowfall, a coal-country community struggling to explain why eight of their citizens were swept away in a flood, and young evangelicals turning to God to justify climate action. I sought them out because I wanted to see what climate change looks like up close, see its impacts on those who grow our food or fuel our power, the uncertainty it causes for people who live to race their dogs through snow or spend their afternoons fishing. What are the perceptions of those experiencing the changes under way to every aspect of American life?

    Of human life.
    Of life.

    https://orionmagazine.org/article/united-in-change/

    ClimateBall is not about point scoring. It has never been.

  91. angech says:

    “Willard: Out of curiosity, have you given any thought to joining the Extinction Rebellion? “

    I have been rebelling all my life.
    The alternative is not good.

  92. David B. Benson says:

    Off-topic:

    Computers @ JPL in 1957.

  93. Nice Green New Deal posters, Willard. But it looks like ClimateBall will continue in the project.

    “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal, is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all,” Chakrabarti (chief of staff to the author, Rep. Cortez) said to Inslee’s climate director, Sam Ricketts, according to a Washington Post reporter who attended the meeting for a profile published Wednesday.

    “Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing,” he added.

    https://news.yahoo.com/aoc-chief-staff-admits-green-124408358.html

  94. Willard says:

    Yes, JeffN. Universal health care and basic decency are not exactly climate-related. I thought you knew, but then:

    The Cato Institute in Washington, D.C., quietly shut down a program that for years sought to raise uncertainty about climate science, leaving the libertarian think tank co-founded by Charles Koch without an office dedicated to global warming.

    The move came after Pat Michaels, a climate scientist who rejects mainstream researchers’ concerns about rising temperatures, left Cato earlier this year amid disagreements with officials in the organization.

    https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/05/us-think-tank-shuts-down-prominent-center-challenged-climate-science

    RyanM’s page is still there, however:

    https://www.cato.org/people/ryan-maue

  95. dikranmarsupial says:

    “I have been rebelling all my life.
    The alternative is not good.”

    No, accepting the truth is a good thing, and rebelling against it is pointless and destructive.

  96. Cato still blogs about climate- like the recent failed court cases. Not much need for a special department if the former climate campaigners are transitioning to be advocates for universal health care.
    The interesting part about the shift to “justice!” and away from that “climate thing” is the fact that justice often demands the opposite of climate concern. No regressive taxes on the poor, like the carbon tax. No subsidies for rich people, like government checks for rooftop solar and Tesla buyers. An emphasis on government spending for existing national social programs instead of new jobs programs, ie put the money into French pensions instead of an army of people to erect cheap Chinese panels and windmills. Not to mention, of course, the justice league’s fight for the right of developing nations to take their turn building lots and lots of new smokestacks.
    And so.. “it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all” makes perfect sense.

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