Climate alarmists rape language between two El Ninos. When an El Nino is in progress, they like to show graphs and pretend to be scientific. They particularly like linear trend lines.
In the lull between two though, they grow restless. The engines of moral outrage and hatred start revving. ‘Science’ cannot sustain. Words become casualties in the attempts to whip up the nervous energy and excitement needed to provide momentum.
Concepts, and your reaction to their destruction, become their very fuel.
They don’t like it – when someone gives it to them in the newspapers.
‘How dare the prestige press – which we literally own – print the heresies of the enemy’ – they seem to go. ‘Think about the readership! ‘What thoughts would enter their minds were it our communion be questioned, disrupted?
Here’s Hereward Corley in the Financial Times:
Corley is talking about this article: a somewhat rambling piece about why Extinction Rebellion is different than the countless other environmental movements that have come before.
Stuck in right in the middle is this (emphasis mine):
If the new movement can focus on climate emergency, and not mind whether it is capitalists or communists who find ways to keep fossil fuels in the ground, preserve rainforests, achieve a quantum leap in battery storage, and gear up carbon capture and storage, it deserves to gain a much wider hearing.
You can look at the online mob started by one Andrea Sella in the twitter thread starting with the one below:
Think about it: Corley’s is a letter to an already published article of a few hundred words – it is already a response, to begin with.
But that doesn’t matter. It cannot be allowed to exist.
- How can the response pass without a response?
- This is ‘slander’! (do computer models have feelings, and reputations? Who is slandered here?
- He worked for big (palm) oil (Kees van der Leun seems to have forgotten he works for a renewable energy outfit himself)
… and so on and so forth.
If the timing is correct, Andrea Sella’s already dashed off a multi-signatory letter to the Financial Times castigating them for their audacity, their utter nerve.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the mob whipped itself up into a frenzy and came down hard on the FT that they withdraw Corley’s letter.
I have to say though, I find Hereward’s Corley’s points to be largely correct: computer models are the only instruments that can produce climate projections, they are largely unable to simulate the past (1910-1940 warming, anyone?), warming is good, so is CO2, and Extinction Rebellion -induced policy disasters will only make life for those in developing countries worse. Not just for those in developing countries though.
More reason to suspect the letter won’t survive.
The latest kid on the climate activist block – and these are constantly born each year – is Extinction Rebellion, a UK-based boomer-adolescent activist group whose ranks are swelled with academics.
Extinction Rebellion has made a name for itself making absurd demands, and pulling assorted antics that include stripping, marching, yelling and vandalization. Which is required to get news coverage, which in turn legitimizes their actions by leading to a Wikipedia page because Wikipedia will only quote official news sources.
Their latest stunt was a traffic-snarling march around London that included smashing glass and painting graffiti. Activist ‘Olivia Evershed’ is quoted by the AP as saying:
If we don’t do anything to change this, our children will die”
This is the new breed of climate activism: marked by utter vapidity and ignorance. This is a generational shift in action.
David Rose posted:
This is Richard Betts’ response:
That’s right: the only way you’re going to get criticism of idiots like Extinction Rebellion from Richard Betts is if Rose repeats the IPCC catechism at the Mail on Sunday. Even then, Betts will deign to explain why ’emissions need to be zero,’ i.e, why Extinction Rebellion is correct.
There are no responses from Tamsin Edwards, Doug McNeall, Gavin Schmidt or ‘Climate Feedback’ ( basically Victor Venema’s ego pad).
In the past few weeks to months, scientists were dewy-eyed about Greta Thunberg, a child who is perhaps the first documented case of ‘scienxploitation.’ Not one person who seemed a bit concerned about the use of children in pushing political agendas, either.
There is a tacit silence in the face of scientific ignorance of the young. This is something new, something missing in earlier years. This is climate activism admitting defeat: they need to go down to 10- and 12-year olds to find believers.
No, scientists don’t have to criticize activists once in a while to balance out some kind of a scorecard. But science doesn’t need deal-making of any kind to be shown correct, either. No journalist is under any obligation to be stenographer for the IPCC
Activists have dragged the name of science into the mud but that doesn’t seem to bother scientists much. Here is the website of ScientistsWarning whose UK head is Alison Green, a lead signatory to Extinction Rebellion’s latest letter to the Guardian:
… and on and on it goes, with more junk buzz words like ‘fly less’ and links to organizations equally as ridiculous as ‘the Alliance of World Scientists.’
Where are the scientists who will laugh these clowns off the podium?
Pielke Jr is on a path of re-entry into the climate debate. His offering is a Powerpoint presentation of how ‘climate politics’ is ‘Manichean paranoia.’
Manichean paranoia, huh. What Pielke Jr means is the people involved are stupid yobos who don’t know how to fight. This is something he learned, while floating high above it all. What he also means is that underneath the thick rancor and vitriol flying around there is a problem, waiting to be solved.
Pielke’s position in his Powerpoint is nothing new. There has always been a handful of people who (a) believe in the climate cause (b) think they are smarter (c) know everyone else is a dupe.
So what’s his plan to solve the climate crisis?
Here it is, as it emerges deep into the presentation in slide #57 of a total of 62:
That’s right: the solution lies in starting off with a ‘carbon tax’ and moving on to ‘energy innovation policies.’
No prizes for guessing that these ‘energy innovation policies’ are never revealed in the remaining 4 slides.
Pay attention however, and it’s the same alarmist magic dust in disguise: something called ‘innovation’ will happen with a ‘carbon tax’ (which is yet to take place, despite all the tax governments presently collect), fossil fuels are ‘dirty’ (what was that thing about Manichean paranoia again?), and how increasing fuel costs will make alternatives ‘cheap’ (like how a steak becomes cheap if McDonald’s is coerced to charge $50 for a burger).
While this gruel-thin piffle makes its appearance towards the end, much of Pielke Jr’s slides are taken up in describing his persecution at the hands of the Obama administration. He even has recommendations for the climate debate. One of them is this:
It is hard not to laugh at this eye-watering hypocrisy.
Many years ago, I wrote an post critical of Pielke’s Jr’s claim that the ‘climate debate is over.’ The science is settled and public opinion overwhelmingly supports climate policies, Pielke Jr claimed. I disagreed. The article was published at WUWT.
Pielke Jr didn’t like it. He doesn’t take well to criticism.
Soon, Anthony Watts, who runs WUWT, was contacted by either Pielke Jr or Pielke Sr. Watts collaborated with Pielke Sr on some studies, including one that was headed toward publication. Pielke Sr was supportive of his efforts, in general. Pielke Jr had to have expressed displeasure at criticsm directed at him, appearing on a blog friends with his dad. The message was clear – take the article down or prepare to face blowback. This put Watts in a fix – he did not want to jeopardize a working relationship so he did the next thing he could.
The article was taken down.
Cockamamie excuses of threats were given as an excuse for the take-down. The real reasons were never revealed or discussed, until now.
Despite what he says above, Pielke Jr did not ‘seek out those with whom he disagreed,’ did not ‘engage,’ and nor did he ‘agree to disagree.’ Instead, he sought to penalize ‘engagement.’ Instead, pressure was applied via backchannels to effect censorship.
Regardless of what you might hear, climate alarmists—of all stripes—do not want to engage, debate, or attempt pragmatic politics. The best example is Roger Pielke Jr himself.
What is the greatest barrier for victory for reason in the climate debate? The answer is quite obvious but many refuse to state it plainly.
Stop talking the claims of climate alarmists seriously. Stop pretending to take climate alarmists seriously.
Climate alarmism is a barely-coherent tissue of half-baked concoctions that ‘make sense’ only if you are a committed activist or an unengaged citizen trying to ignore stuff like climate and get on with your life. In many instances the claims are carefully strung up ramshackle talking-points that fall apart unless you ignore all distracting questions. Usually, the climate activist is relying upon goodwill and the desire to not cause harm (to ‘the planet’) than any strength in evidence to hold the narrative together.
Scratch the surface and you will realize climate change actually has no one behind it. Climate change has no natural constituency. The majority of popular support – thin gruel as that may be – consists of people who have a superficial grasp of issues and proceed directly to insults, if pushed hard. The next level of support is from committed activists who are either paid for their support, or true believers who make everyone suspicious with their unwavering beady-eyed glares. Many scientists in fact fall into this category. If any existential threat to funding does materialize, you will find this second level simply melting away.
So who are we paying lip service for?
The third is the geopolitical newspeak that wraps climate at the international level. Climate change is presented as a subtle tool to hold down opponents, force voluntary cash payments from them, berate them and appear pious with a Neomalthusian glow. Everyone attending the annual COP meeting thinks they are going to get something out of it at the end. The answer is no.
International technocrats need to be given a different bone to chew. ‘Climate’ has become a too harmful a mill tied around countries’ necks just because no one can rustle up the courage to shut down the UNFCCC and take away the activists’ toys.
Climate change is a typical example of a ‘captured moral domain’ model. What this means is politicians, leaders, CEOs, basically anyone with a real job, would be afraid to voice their frank opinion on the matter. If you are skeptical you are likely to stick out like a sore thumb, even if others have the same opinion as you because they’re keeping mum. Climate skepticism is shy.
A ‘captured moral domain’ gives several immediate advantages to issue ground troopers. For one, it gives them a license to smear opponents without compunction, and they use it. ‘Climate change denier.’ If you are a leader who’s worked hard to attain a powerful position, it is different being publicly labeled a ‘denier’ than when you were fighting your way to the top.
Climate change is a bubble configuration issue. When you live in the real world, it is easier to laugh at global warming. Inside government, surrounded by bureaucrats for whom global warming is a religion, it is harder to so. Politeness intervenes. If you are forced to attend parties where Leonardo DiCaprio shows up regularly, it is easier to nod along as he bores you about global warming and his latest DVD. Once inside, the climate bubble becomes the entire landscape for many leaders – they are surrounded by officials, celebrities, scientists, activists, party members and assorted hangers-on who inevitably believe in the climate consensus. You may be ‘the leader of the free world’ but your leadership projects outward, starting with the circle closest around you.
Because it is a bubble issue, climate like many progressive ’causes’ is a smartness trap. With a little effort on consensus material, you can appear really smart. With a lot of effort, you can become a skeptic and look stupid. As a result, for leaders the value of climate as social currency exists on the consensus side. Thankfully, this is the opposite of the real world social gatherings where if you utter the word climate people will run away from you.
Climate has long survived by making itself relevant to geopolitics. In the 1950s Cold War era, scientists successfully persuaded the US government to fund research by raising the specter of weather manipulation by the USSR. Today, Anthony Watts bans chemtrail conspiracy theory adherents from his blog. From the 1980s onward, climate became a staple of geopolitical chicanery following the successful template of acid rain and ozone control. Politicians have been successively tempted to play climate politics to harm their opponents, and allies. You have to pretend to believe to buy a ticket to play.
Climate activists focus all their efforts in targeting prestige media outlets and powerful politicians. They tell them climate change is an opportunity for international ‘leadership’ and statesmanship. As an example, take a look at this Tom Freidman article trying frantically to push all the right buttons for Donald Trump. Activists say climate research is an arena of global contest. War, peace, ‘clean energy,’ environmental ‘protection’ – there is virtually no end to areas in which global leaders could transform into beloved statesman by simply believing in the climate cause. ‘Go on, push the switch, keep the train going.’
Climate activism and research are mature fields filled with professionals with decades of work and with careers and families on the line. Want to be the one to tell them they’re out of work? It is far easier for leaders to let it go even if activists work toward reconfiguring or destroying whole-scale, segments of the economy because climate activism works slowly. The problem of climate activism is wickeder than ‘global warming.’
Climate is forever a problem of the future. Leaders and politicians, on the other hand, have more pressing matters to attend to. A politician may calculate it to be not in his or her best interest to tackle a slow-moving target like climate. It may appear more convenient to lob the hot potato to the next incoming guy if you are constantly surrounded by professional whiners.
A climate skeptic in the White House? Yes, that’s what we have.
While there are several ways in which the climate debate can move, as a skeptic, observer, and occasional participant, I wanted to outline some key points.
Who does the climate issue belong to? Here is one of the darkest, damnedest of secrets of climate/AGW activism: the climate issue belongs to no one. As a political issue, climate change has no owner. Climate has no natural constituency. It has no vote bank, no demographic, no sect or group.
What this means is, if you don’t push the climate cause as an elected government, no one will be angry or upset because there is no one to be angry or upset. No one cares about the climate, including climate activists who pretend to do so the most. Despite their best efforts not enough people have taken up climate change as part of the array of topics they hold partisan views about. ‘Climate change’ is an unparalleled repellent and buzz kill. But there is a constant noise and drumbeat in the media about climate, where does it come from? Only paid activists. There are many paid activists but they have precisely one vote each, and their money cannot buy elections. See Clinton, Sanders, Jeb Bush … See Obama, he did not utter the word climate in his re-election campaign.
If this comes as a shock you don’t have to take my word for it, I can provide two impeccable sources. First, the scholarly work of Roger Pielke Jr. He proved conclusively there is a ‘iron law’—people will pay for the climate cause to a point but not more. This is the same as above stated in reverse. If you don’t care at all about something, you would still be willing to part with some money for it. Second, the climate activists themselves. There is an entire body of academic work obsessing about why climate change has not earned widespread public support, with such luminaries as Stephen Lewandowsky and Dan Kahan, to mention a few. They wouldn’t be doing it if climate had widespread support, would they?
The climate issue needs a public face. Myron Ebell is a great pick for the EPA. While the apoplexy proceeds apace on the regulatory side, it would be good to be proactive on the climate side, too. Pick Roger Pielke Jr to front your climate policy team (create one, you’re going to need it). Now skeptics might hem and haw a little but Pielke Jr is one of the ‘good guys.’ It would be karmic justice and a triumphant comeback, having been knifed by Obama climate ‘czar’ John Holdren and perennially wrong data czar Nate Silver, for saying no more than the most reasonable and scientifically valid things. He is a veteran, knows the climate players and the issues very well. He and his Hartwell colleagues are stabilists – they have the uncanny ability to make perfectly agreeable statements on climate policy that lead nowhere. Plus, Pielke Jr has the added benefit of driving climate activists completely nuts whenever he says anything. That is exactly what is needed.
The Paris agreement is a dead duck. Obama and the Democrats figured they could screw over sections of the US whose livelihoods were directly connected to coal. They tried to electorally counter-balance it by recruiting ‘Hispanics, Blacks, and women.’ Hispanics, Blacks and women do not care about the climate, did not vote in enough numbers to propel the Democratic candidate to the presidency, and coal communities voted strongly against. Implementing the Paris agreement would mean replicating this clean coal voting experiment throughout the country. Wanna try?
Even if implemented, the Paris agreement is not binding on countries that enter it. Such agreements harm western countries like the UK, UK or Australia more than the developing world, for a variety of reasons. Governance and regulation are of a higher standard and penalties are stiff, and there is a tendency to obey rules, even unenforceable and self-harming ones. People don’t see it this way but one of the innovations of the Paris agreement is its non-binding nature, and it needs to be shot down for this very corrupting influence.
Moreover, there is science on the skeptics’ side. The Paris agreement is scientifically absurd and nonsensical.
Funding and how it is organized
This is a longstanding issue in the climate field. The funding of climate studies – be it in science or the humanities – is a major driver of climate activism and alarmism. Much has been written about the self-fulfilling and self-aggrandizing nature of climate alarmism. Sections of ‘the science,’ and in particular certain climate scientists, are relentless alarmists and have carved out whole careers in ‘scicomm’-ing and climate alarm. Climate humanities are fully sold on alarm and constantly spend their efforts trying to figure out ways of persuading, or pathologizing the public. Vast sums of money are expended on climate models that never provide output commiserate with reality but yet form the basis of policy-making. These models are under IPCC/UNFCCC evolutionary selection pressure and ones with jacked-up sensitivities and lacking natural variability get picked. Warmed-up model output is even used to up-tweak raw observational data.
A dramatic shift toward observational science and a break away from modeling is needed. This can be achieved by restructuring funding. Take the example of Australia, which reorganized and pared down its CSIRO workforce.
Global temperature average measurement has been excessively complicated. The NOAA/NCDC collects global data and produces its own average. But it cannot provide satisfactory justifications for the numerous adjustments that are made in the process. Certain adjustments may be necessary but there is suspicion the rationale behind them is politically motivated and unsound. A lack of openness and transparency has only worsened doubts. Adjustments are propagated retrospectively to data, meaning trends, values, even the whole shape of centuries-long global temperature curve can change overnight. There is no telling what lies ahead in the peer-reviewed publication conveyor belt of adjustment logic, down the road. Additionally, there are multiple agencies producing a global temperature average, creating a sense of independent confirmation but under the hood they rely on the same data. In other words, there is wasteful expenditure. To top it, government officials spread alarm on social media using monthly global average figures that are meaningless in a climatological sense.
To prevent conflicts, as a starting point, temperature data gathering and archival and average estimation functions must be separated. Secondly, duplication can be eliminated between NOAA and GISS. Thirdly, the land and ocean average can be co-analyzed and cross-verified with satellite data to estimate a single temperature index, eliminating a portion of the ad-hoc adjustments, and reducing waste in one go. Two birds with one stone.
Renewable energy porkies and handouts are entirely wasteful. Renewable energy projects are environmentally harmful. But ‘renewable energy’ research is research – it provides for tinkering and good things can come out of even the worst research. As much as the electorate hates hearing the words ‘climate change’, a baseline bare minimum of renewable projects keep guilty consciences sated, and years of climate propaganda has produced some guilt. Withdraw the boondoggles but don’t completely drain this swamp.
How has the climate blog world reacted to Donald Trump winning the US presidential election? Skeptics and regular people are probably walking around, celebrating, waving their mental middle finger at climate alarmists whose plans have been rudely interrupted.
Here’s the Sou meltdown:
My first reaction on hearing of Donald Trump’s probably (sic) victory was an emotional jolt, accompanied by the physical sensation of nausea. …
That’s the picture – a nauseous Sou, staggering for the smelling salts.
The first comment on the thread began:
I cried today …
CRR Kampen wanted to move to a ‘safe space’
I might now adopt ‘despair’ and see about planning for the remainder of my existence in some safe place on the globe if there be any. […]
Bernard J, ever ready to bury people under the weight of his prose, begins:
I’ve been working …to increase resilience both in my own personal sphere and in my local community, at the expense of my previous engagement online …
And on and on it goes, for more than 250 comments from shrinking violets and snowflakes, only many of them are properly geriatric.
The American people have spoken, and they chose Hillary Clinton
Don’t make a choice that you, your children and your children’s children will regret forever.
Apart from the ‘think of the grandchildren’ nonsense, out-of-touch ‘group’ was as tone deaf with Trump as it was during Brexit. Without a doubt its members’ jet-setting around the world and rubbing shoulders with celebrities has only hastened the schism.
Susan Fiske, a professor of psychology at Princeton University recently wrote a longish rant about critics of research who operate out of social media platforms and blogs. This has people like Andrew Gelman and neuroskeptic quite excited (see their respective articles here and here)
Why am I dinging these excellent bloggers, you ask? After all, their response to Fiske who accuses bloggers of ‘methodological terrorism’ and as being ‘destructo-critics’ contains a number of valid points.
Both Gelman and neuroskeptic have seen the work of Stephen Lewandowsky. They had every opportunity to examine his work thoroughly and reach their conclusions. Both chose to stand in support of Lewandowsky.
Gelman has not commented on Lewandowsky’s papers directly but nonchalantly promoted one of his opinion pieces with Dorothy Bishop. The paper was on methods of efficient gate-keeping and preventing methodological terrorists (bloggers) from getting published . neuroskeptic’s attitude toward Lewandowsky’s methods can only be described as a form of aggressive ignorance, as he promoted the now-retracted ‘Recursive Fury’ paper, which retailed labeling the same methodological terrorists as ‘conspiracists’.
In other words, what mattered was who was being disparaged and labeled. When the critics were climate skeptics, they’ were ok. When it appears as though Fiske’s open-ended vague attack might include bloggers like them, they are unhappy.
This simply shows acceptance or serious consideration of criticism of scientific results depends not merely on the validity of the points being made, but on the social context, the packaging and the channels through which it arrives. Gelman and neuroskeptic are no more immune to wild rants, ideological blind-spots and irrational thinking against ‘methodological terrorism’ than Susan Fiske is.
They would do good to stop preaching to her.
A sudden crisis nearly always brings out hidden currents, which may have otherwise never surfaced. In his string of tweets Schmidt appears to blame ‘Brexit’ for the killing. His tweets followed the incident so closely in time there was no reliable information on motive.
The only possibility, then, is Schmidt was influenced by early reports that said the killer shouted “Britain first!” or the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee who wrote a long article squarely laying the blame for the murder at Brexit’s feet.
Schmidt pulls the trick climate activists have been resorting to, for decades:
This is an incredible giveaway, isn’t it? Here we have an activist climate scientist, in the throes of a heated crisis, capitalizing on an event to attribute blame for murder on his political opponents, and going beyond, that if his side is defeated — in a fair election no less — more such incidents would occur.
It is speculation, wrapped in plausible deniability, capped off with a threat. How does he know the incident had anything to do with ‘Leave’?
Rremember, reliable information available on the killer’s motive was next-to-none at the time he wrote this. Yet Gavin Schmidt was quick off the bat.
Why wouldn’t I think he does the same with climate, and weather? ‘While no single weather event can be attributed to anthropogenic global warming, more such disasters would occur in a climate-changed world’ — how many times have we heard this from activists and scientists alike?
It is a reflexive exploitation of a crisis – you ascribe blame on your target, and while you cannot be fully sure it was what caused it, you nevertheless proceed to forecast more of the same, investing the threat with a cloak of probabilism.
Note: I wrote this originally on Medium. Only slightly modified here.