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Climate Change Predictions - How Accurate Are They?

Updated on January 10, 2019
jackclee lm profile image

I am a retired engineer and scientist who has expertise in digital image processing and are engaged in other disciplines like climate change

Introduction

This hub is in response to a challenge from another distinguished hubber who disagree with me on Climate Change. He is Doc Snow and his recent hub Climate Change: How much Time Do We Have? was the start of this debate. To proof each of our positions, we decided to each create a hub detailing the accuracy of recent predictions made by Climate Scientists. We will select a few highlights to make our points and leave it to the readers to decide. We have agreed on a time frame of about one month to complete. I hope you will keep an open mind and wait till you had a chance to read both hubs. Here is the hub by Doc Snow opposing opinion. Let's have a robust discussion with respect. Please take the poll at the end after reading both hubs.

-September 2015

Background

I am an engineer by training and I am also a skeptic when it comes to AGW (man-caused global warming or climate change). I've written several hubs related to this topic and they are linked below. As an engineer, I am pragmatic and I look for solutions that produce results. The reason we are at this point is very simple. The vast extreme claims made by climate scientists over the last 20 years have not panned out. If they were accurate, I would not be a skeptic today.

I have been following this topic with great interest for many years. At first, I bought into the scientific theory that CO2 emissions were causing our planet to heat up. The theory seem simple enough and made some sense. However, after looking into it deeper and reading some related writings available, I began to realize that climate is a very complex issue. No one factor can determine the total effect. That's the genesis of the debate. How much of the warming is due to man-made events and how much of it is due to natural cycles and events.

A Side Bar

Let me give an example where I have been convinced by Science theories just to show I am not anti-Science or an ideolog. In the 1970's, a scientist discovered that our ozone layer was eroding. An ozone hole was becoming apparent in the antarctic pole region. This was alarming because the ozone layer in our upper atmosphere was protecting us from the harmful UV from the sun. The scientific community got together and determined that CFC was primarily responsible for the depletion. The is the chemical Chlorofluorocarbons that are in spray cans and air conditioners. The International community worked with nations to remove and replace CFC usage. Recently, we have seem a reduction of the ozone hole. In fact NASA is reporting the hole is reducing in size and may be closed in a few years. This is a success story I welcome. Just to summary this experience.

  • A problem was identified - Ozone Hole
  • A theory was proposed on the cause by scientists
  • A man-made chemical was identified as the culprit - CFC
  • Policies was adopted to fix the problem by replacing the chemicals
  • The problem seem to be reversing

Progression of Ozone Hole

AGW Climate Change

Getting back on topic, in the case of climate change, this is a very different scenario. Even though it may share some of the attributes of Ozone Holes, there is one important distinction. The projections made on global temperature and climate due to increased CO2 concentrations did not come to fruition. There is something else going on and we don't have a good understanding at the moment.

If the theory say "A" causes "B", and we see "A" causes "?", then we need to revisit the theory. That is why I'm a skeptic in 2015.

Let's example three predictions that were made about AGW and increase CO2 levels.

Here are three bullet points taken from the list published on the EPA main site.

  1. Earth will get warmer
  2. The Ocean level will rise
  3. The annual hurricanes will increase in intensity and frequency

FACT: CO2 Crosses Above 400 ppm 2013

Increase Temperature (Predictions vs. Actual Reality)

As seen from the above chart, CO2 concentration have been increasing steadily and have crossed the 400 ppm level.

Prediction: from Michael Mann, the creator of the "hockey stick" chart and Dr James Hansen of NASA in 1988. Here is a snippet from the NYT article 1988 - (read link below)

"Mathematical models have predicted for some years now that a buildup of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil and other gases emitted by human activities into the atmosphere would cause the earth's surface to warm by trapping infrared radiation from the sun, turning the entire earth into a kind of greenhouse.

If the current pace of the buildup of these gases continues, the effect is likely to be a warming of 3 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit from the year 2025 to 2050, according to these projections. This rise in temperature is not expected to be uniform around the globe but to be greater in the higher latitudes, reaching as much as 20 degrees, and lower at the Equator."

Results: It is 2015, and 27 years since the dire prediction. Does it seem like we are anywhere near the temperature rise predicted by Dr. Hansen? In fact, even a former IPCC lead author Dr. Philip Lloyd recently admitted that global warming is within natural variability.

Rising Oceans

Another dire prediction is the rising sea levels and the impact that will have on all parts of the world especially coastlines. Here is a technical paper on this topic from 1988.

What is the reality?

Increase Hurricanes in Frequency and Intensity

Another projection is that global warming will lead to drastic increases in the frequency and intensity of hurricanes. On the face of this, it seems logical. If the temperature of the oceans are warming, it will create more cloud activity and lead to storms in the summer months.

What is the reality?

In the last 10 years, there has not been a category 3 or greater hurricane making land fall in the US. How is this possible?

Here is the list of major storms in the last 100 years or so…

Scroll down to the listing for the 20th century. You will note that 1938 was the biggest of them all, called the "Long Island Express." Also, 1960 had Hurricane Donna and both were category 5 storms. This happened before any global warming awareness.

I rest my case.

What's The Harm?

Environmentalist have co-opted the climate change movement. They have tied the environment protection to reducing fossil fuel as if the two are one and the same. They are not.

I have heard smart people such as Tom Friedman of the New York Times make the following argument. Suppose the theory of global warming are wrong. What's the harm? the worst is we will end up with cleaner air...They say think of it as an insurance policy.

The answer is lots.

  • destroying jobs in the energy sector.
  • increase cost of electric utility.
  • subsidizing alternative energy production that are not cost efficient.
  • reduced quality of life.
  • Wasted resources and missed opportunities.


What If?

Here is a mental exercise to ponder. If reducing CO2 is the proposed solution to global warming, what if sometimes down the road the earth enters a cooling phase? Would these same scientists propose that we increase CO2 to counter global cooling? Bring back the coal power plants... I tend to doubt it.


Items For Thought...

For all who are concerned about climate change, here are some items to think about going forward.

  • The past dire predictions have not come to fruition. Remember the boy who cried wolf...
  • Climate change is not the same as environment protection. I disagree with the Pope on this even though I am a catholic. I believe we should be good steward of the earth but climate change is not in our power to affect.
  • The hypocrisies of the climate change proponents such as Al Gore and some of the Hollywood crowd. They want us to curtail our energy consumption while they live in mansions and fly in private jets. Who's carbon footprint is larger?
  • Consider the harm that was done and ongoing with large amount of resources put into energy tax credits and renewable development...solar, wind, electric cars
  • Consider the increased cost of basic necessity of electric power for everyone and the lost of coal power plants.
  • Consider the increase of standard of living and improvements for 3rd world nations due to cheap and efficient fossil fuel.
  • Consider the lost of good jobs in the construction of the XL pipeline and the coal industry.
  • How does scientist explain the climate change occurring in the rest of the plants in our solar system?
  • Consider the false prediction of "peak oil" and the high cost of crude oil. Last I check, it is around $45 a barrel.
  • Notice that many predictions are for 25 years or 50 years into the future. Why is that? Could it be that they will not be around when the predictions don't come true. They will be retired and collecting their pensions.

Some Sign Of Desperation

Recently, a group of 20 climate scientists sent a letter to President Obama asking him to use the RICO law to prosecute climate change deniers. Is that a sign of desperation? Now we learned that one of the leader of the group, Jagdish Shukla, is under investigation for corruption.

The Sun

Here is an important quote I discovered from a workshop discussing the Effects of Solar Variability on Earth's Climate - (page 28)

"The basic question in understanding the Sun’s role in climate change is a compelling one: How well is past and present total solar irradiance known and understood? As Haigh pointed out, it is certainly an issue of concern that the existing TSI database has been derived from measurements that could not be intercalibrated to the degree of accuracy necessary for climate studies."

Summary

In this hub and others, I tried to make the case that the science of climate change is still a work in progress. The current models are incomplete and have a poor record of predicting future climate effects. We are about to reached a tipping point in a few short years. The projected rise in global temperature plotted against actual data is about to cross into a zone below that of the variance. If that trend continues, the whole model's credibility will be put to the test.

Let the reader decide. Please take the poll at the end.

The Changing Climate Models

Update 11/23/2015 (Hard Data Nugget)

Recently, I attended a Colloquium at the Lamont Observatory, Columbia University (Palisades, NY). It was a talk by Dr. Neil Pederson of Harvard University.

His specialty is the study of tree forests. The title of the talk was “Did the climate of the late 20th Century mask mechanisms for rapid, large-scale change in eastern US forests?”

It was a very interesting talk because it gave me a real data point that is peripheral to the general climate change environment. What I mean is that his work is related to climate science and how it affects the tree population over long periods of time but it is not a study of climate change per se. In the course of his presentation, he put up a chart showing the average temperature of four regions of forests in the US over a period of last 100 years. His focus was on droughts but it surprised me because the temperature were even over that period and in fact one region even show a slight decline of temperature.

At the Q/A session at the end, I posed the question to Dr. Pederson and ask for his comment with regard to the claim of climate change scientists that the earth is warming. His response shocked me a bit. He didn't see any issue with that and ended his response that we are not seeing warming "yet." I was also struck by the lack of curiosity on his part. Why are we not seeing the predicted warming?

His talk ended with the conclusion that we are in the best time of environment for trees. The last 15 or 20 years are wet and not too warm and ideal for tree life. This was not always the case going back 300 years. his study have found periods of severe drought and frost that have had negative effects on forests in the US.

This incident relates to my assertion that most scientists are just doing their narrow study on the effects of climate change on some specific item. They "assume" that CO2 causes global warming almost religiously and don't even question that fact even when their own data fail to agree with that assertion. Instead of questioning it, they just move along and continue with their study and getting the grants.

Chart by Dr. Neil Pederson (Harvard University)

Update Nov. 18, 2016 (on rising sea level)

I attended a talk at the Lamont Dogherty campus today. It was given by professor Andrea Dutton of the University of Florida. Her topic was polar ice sheet retreat during past warming periods...and their effects on sea level rise. I was particularly interested in this topic because of recent discussions here on this hub and elsewhere on the potential dangers of sea rise due to climate change. She spent a good part of 45 minutes describing the details of her teams work. She went on to expain the difficulty of measuring sea level averages and that they vary from location to location and even places where sea level will go down due to other factors such as topography and gravitational effects. She also mention the recent estimates of a rise of 3mm per year of oceans as accepted range. Going back over the past 3 million years, there have been multiple periods of warming and cooling. Her study focused on how high oceans have risen due to these natural warming cycles. The numbers they came up with using carbon dating and instrumentation were between 6-13 meters for a corresponding 2 degrees C rise in temperature. The implications is that a modern day warming of 2 degrees will possibly cause the same among of sea rise which will be devastating. She ended the talk with the projected chart of the IPCC of rise of 20 feet over the next 100 years.(2000-2100 time frame)

During the Q/A session, I asked the question of how fast the rise will come based on her studies. She was brutally honest and said she doesn't know. Her studies and experiments using coral reefs and radioactive dating does not indicate the timeframe but only the rise and fall of sea level. I found this astounding. When I followed up and ask about her last chart, she said they were based on combining the various work done by her colleagues and various climate models. Again, she does not know how accurate these projections are since they were made by other groups.

Here is the bottom line for me. If these scientists cannot answer the basic question of how fast, then we can't trust any projections. From a birdseye view of an outsider, I can accept the theory that a warming earth will lead to melting polar caps and rising oceans. I just can't agree on the dire nature of their projections. Let me pose the following hypothetical. Assuming a worse case scenario, that our earth will experience an average warming of 2 degrees C. Assuming we know from past history that the ocean will rise as high as 13 meters as a result. How fast will that rise take place? If it is decades, we are in definite trouble. If it is hundreds of years, we have time to mitigate by relocating to higher grounds. If it is thousands of years, then I say we can just forget about it. It is a non issue because other factors will become much more significant. Our civilization has only been here 5 or 6 thousand years.


Update April 21, 2018; A talk by Peter Kelemen - Columbia University

The title of the talk is too long but I will just summarize it. He is a geologist who is the expert on mantle rock formation. His talk which is a summary of works done by over 30 scientists in this field. His idea is to use the natural process that exist today in areas of the world where the tectonic plate shifts is taking place, and accelerate this process of extracting CO2 from the atmosphere. He estimate the venture will cost 40 billion dollars per year to mitigate and remove a significant amount of the manmade CO2 emissions. Sound like a viable solution if it can proven to work.

This is exciting since it is a different approach to fighting climate change. I am wondering how many billionaires will sign up and donate some of their fortunes to save the planet. How about it, Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos and Al Gore?

Unscientific Poll

What should we do in 2015 about Climate Change?

See results

Final Poll After Reading Both Hubs (Started 11/18/2015)

Have your opinion on climate change science moved one way or another?

See results

Projected US Energy Sources by the EIA

Flooding in Paris- Then and Now

An Inconvenient Truth - 10 years later 2016

One of the chart that struck me is the one Al Gore presented in the documentary film released in 2006. It depicts the projection of temperature rise due to man-made global warming. As you can see, it is a complete fabrication to scare people. Here is the official website. The prediction of increased number of hurricanes, rising oceans, disappearing glaciers, polar bears going extinct...all have not come to pass. What happened Al Gore? Please explain the discrepancy...Is the science of climate change really settled? Does 100% of scientists agree with you?

Truth or Distortion?

Latest Temperature Records ...2016

Mann Hockey Stick graph

Al Gore and the IPCC have bought into this. Now, they will have to live with the implications going forward...In particular, the steep rise in just the last 50 years. What will the actual temperature be in the next 25 years?

Projected for 2100...up up and away!!!

Glacier National Park 2017

Discrepancy Between Predicted Warming and Revised...

A New Question About Models? 2/2/2018

I attended a talk today on the intricacies of volcanic crystals. The speaker‘s research was on the makeup of magna in the depth of volcanos...and how to deternine their ages and their composition to help with future predictions of eruptions.

This gave me an inspiration and a philosophical question.

Why is it so hard for scientists to predict volcano erruptions and earthquakes in localized regions and yet they are so confident in their models to predict global climate years into the future?

Think about it. Does it seem reasonable or odd that this is the case?

Can someone explain this contradiction or dilemma?

Rising Oceans Projections...

Energy Production By Source in 2017

Postscript - October 2018

My latest realization on the climate debate. It may just be both sides are right. Let me explain my thought. First of all, we all agree that climate science is very complex. It is not a one answer fits all type of problem or solution. If I were to use math as an analogy. It is not as simple as 1 + 1 = 2. It is more like a differential equation with many variables and some are unknown.

Therefore, it is unfair to ask the simple question that what percent of the warming in recent years are due to human activity and what percent is natural causes?

The answer may be multi-faceted.

From all my interactions with scientists and layman, it is clear to me that there are at least two scenarios and both are in play in any given moment in time.

First, in ordinary periods, the natural variablility of our climate is small compared to the recent run up in fossil fuel use by humans. As the concentration of CO2 indicates, it has been rising steadily and has surpassed the 400ppm a few years ago and rising still. This is the scenario that most climate scientists adopt to be true and they also assume this to be the reality we face. Therefore, their estimate on climate change causation to be 95% human is understandable.

Second, in other extra ordinary periods, such as a weak sunspot cycle, or a major volcanic errption, or an asteroid striking from outer space, the effects of these natural occurances, though rare, can be major in its effect.

Therefore, combining both scenarios, the estimate on human contribution to climate change needs to be qualified and re-stated. It can be stated as a three part solution.

If condition A, Human contribution to climate change is 95% and natural causes 5%.

if Condition B, Human contribution is 50%, and natural causes 50%.

if Condition C, Human contribution is 5%, and natural cuases 95%.

Can you guess what condition C might be?


Finding Causation in the Noise

Climate change is hard to detect. The reason are many but one of the problem is climate is changing in nature. In fact, temperatures vary as much as 40 degrees F from day to night. Therefore, to detect a change of .5 degrees C over a decade is almost impossible. Another problem is looking at averages. In mathmatics and statistics, there is a thing called standard deviation. This indicator measures how much of a swing in data variation. For example, take a series of measurement over 10 years, 10, 11, 9, 10, 11, 9, 10, 11, 9, 10 and you will say the average is 10. However, another series of 10, 20, 0, 10, 20, 0, 10, 20, 0, 10 the average is also 10. The deviation in the first case is 10% while the deviation in the second case is 100%.

In climate change, we are looking for changes so small, it is hiding in the noise. In any given year, we have a large variation of temperatures around the globe. The science is trying to detect a small change over a long period of time. Climate cycles can be as long as 60 years and as short as 1 year. To extract a change due to one particular source is almost impossible. You would have to exclude all other natural elements that could come from a very long cycle and also may be random in nature such as a volcanic erruption.

So far, the change in warming of 0.5 degrees over the last 20 years is among the natural variability of the earth. I am not saying it is not human induced. I am just saying, it is not significant enough to say it is definitively outside of natural causes.

A new Observation - Oct. 4, 2018

Over the past year, I attended numerous talks given at the Lamont Dogherty Earth Observatory campus. I heard a talk by a vulcanologist on some details of volcanic activity. I head a talk by a seismologist on the science of tectonic plates and relations to earth quakes. Of couse, I heard numerious talks on the study of climate science.

In the first two cases, my question to the speakers at the end of their talk focused on why it is so hard to make predictions regarding volcanic erruptions or earth quakes and tsunamis. They had no answer. Apparently, these are real hard problems for scientists.

However, when it comes to climate science, which by all comparison are much more complex and much more global in its effects, they claim their various models are accurate in predicting our future climate.

As an engineer, I am perplexed. How is this possible? When we speak of a volcano, we are only talking about one mountain. When we speak about earth quakes, we are only talking about the ring of fire around our globe. There are two specific regions where volcanic activities are most active. Yet, these advanced models and sensors and all kinds of monitors cannot predict the next erruption or the next “big one.“

Climate science, covers our whole globe. It includes numerous natural cycles like the the sun, and moon and the major planets and the precession of the earth and earthquakes and volcanic activities and various climate related effects such as the jet stream and the North Atlantic oscillations and known la Nina and el Nino...

The 64 thousand dollars question is this. How can these climate scientists be so confident that their models are correct and that their projections for the next 30 years are true? Does anyone have an explanation?

© 2015 Jack Lee

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    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      I'm cross-posting this from my thread, but an engineering team at MIT just published a paper on responsible geo-engineering research which you may find interesting.

      http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2019/01/study-crea...

      The author calls geo-engineering potentially "the biggest engineering project in human history", and likens it to an airbag with respect to the climate 'crash'. Paraphrasing, he says that while you still need brake when you see the accident coming, the airbag may well limit the damage to more tolerable levels.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, you should know me well enough by now to guess that, yes, I'm well aware that we've had low CO2 levels in the past.

      Yes, humanity has survived and prospered precisely by adapting to conditions--including conditions of our own creation. But we haven't done that by ignoring reality, or pretending that things aren't changing when they are, or by avoiding difficult choices.

      If, in relation to climate, we ignore the realities which by now are frankly pretty clear, or pretend that we don't need to make difficult choices, then we won't prosper this time round. That's what it's about--not saving polar bears, or feeling all cozy about a romanticized 'nature', nor yet again about somebody's idea of socialism.

      It's about our future health, wealth and well-being. It's about recognizing reality.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Mike, the article you link doesn't support what you said about it. Yes, there was an error in the paper on ocean heating, but the story makes it clear that it was rapidly recognized by other scientists, corrected, and the corrections acknowledged frankly by the original authors. Hence, there was no 'creation of false beliefs'.

      And no, there are not 'many' climate scientists who think that human action doesn't affect climate. That's well-established by multiple surveys over more than a decade. There are some, but they amount to just a few percent of researchers active in the discipline(s).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_o...

      Note also the section on statements by scientific bodies in the preceding section of the same article.

    • Readmikenow profile image

      Readmikenow 

      12 days ago

      Doc Snow

      Still not convinced. There are many climate scientists who don't believe climate change is man made. I'm not worried. It's no longer science, but a political football. Here's an article about one mistake that led to false beliefs on global warming. If there is one, there is many more. There have been several situations where climate information has been created. Here's the article.

      https://phys.org/news/2018-11-climate-scientists-w...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      12 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      Did you know 65 million years ago, the co2 concentration in our atmosphere was 1700ppm?

      It is not a matter if we need to produce these emissions, but we do at this point in our history.

      Our culture and development has produced the current scenario. We went from hunter gathers to farmers to industrial and now to the information age...

      Every stage, we have used our environment and resources to produce the stepping stone to the next level.

      We are now a heavy dependent on fossil fuel. It won’t always be that way. Man adapts...we invent...we migrate... we will survive one way or another. That should be the lesson of history.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      12 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      mike, a couple of points.

      First, being married takes commitment... yet most people marry, and quite a lot of them stay married, even today. The question isn't whether commitment is needed; it's whether commitment improves one's life, and whether one can act on one's best interests. It's also about whether social structures help or hurt individuals in doing the latter.

      None of the stuff that we are doing to cut our emissions is more than a nuisance. We enjoy our lives. And what we do is mostly on our own hook.

      But if social structures were optimized for sustainability, the effort and commitment at the individual level would be mostly unnecessary. (For example, fast food places wouldn't give out straws; everybody would keep a set available. Containers would all be compostable, and there would be containers to collect such all over the place. And people would use them without ever much thinking about it.)

      Second, there isn't any 'chaos' in Canada. There's a political struggle between some provincial governments and the federal government over the carbon tax, but it's nothing out of the ordinary as political debates go.

      (I'd thought the French protests had fizzled out, but apparently not; still, the numbers are down considerably from November. And it's not primarily about fossil fuels; it's about economic underperformance and the means chosen to fight it. For example: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46771363 "...issues involving families' struggle to make ends meet, with calls for higher wages, lower taxes, better pensions and easier university entry requirements.")

      Second, yes, we can do 'something' decisive about the global warming that undoubtedly does exist. (The data are quite unequivocal about the latter.) We can stop emitting fossil carbon to the atmosphere. After all, for most of human existence, we didn't have any considerable fossil carbon emissions; why should we need them now? Our numbers are greater, of course, but so are our technological options. We can decarbonize our economy.

      Third, it's very unclear whether, in fact, we can adapt to the kind of climate change we are on track to induce. Yes, we are demonstrably an adaptable species. Yet everywhere we have adapted in the context of functioning ecologies. Keep on with business as usual ('BAU') and that will not be the case.

      To make that a bit more specific, anatomically modern humans have been around for about 200,000 years, and agriculture is an invention of the last 11,000 years or so. But a warming of just 3 C in the global mean would take us beyond any climate state we've experienced as a species, let alone for which we've bred crop species. Yet that's what we're on track for, by 2100.

      So, when you say "people survived", it must be admitted that "people" have not previously taken the test we are gradually administering. Yes, we survived the Ice Ages, by abandoning the cooler parts of the planet. Not hard, when total global population was probably well below 5 million humans.

      But if we have to abandon the tropics to meet an unexampled warming challenge this century, how do you think that is going to go? Especially considering the hysteria over immigration that has characterized the political climate in many places around the world over the last few years?

      (Oh, and by the way--climate is playing its part in driving migration today, too. Quite a few immigrants have said in interviews that one reason for their choice to flee their homeland was that it was increasingly difficult to grow their traditional crops as patterns of heat and precipitation changed. And that's not even considering the role of climate change as an agent promoting political and military conflict, as in Syria.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      12 days ago from Yorktown NY

      I agree it is cool. Who would have thought people back then would have the foresight to do these measurements.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      12 days ago from Camden, South Carolina

      About the Huybers et al. paper, no, I hadn't seen that, so thanks for pointing it out.

      You ask how this squares with the warming of the deep ocean that has been discussed in connection with climate change. I think the answer in broad terms at least is found in your link:

      "As expected, the comparisons showed most of the world’s ocean has been warming up over the last century.

      "In the deep Pacific Ocean, however, temperatures are dropping. This effect could be seen at a depth of around 2 kilometers (1.2 miles)."

      So, not the same waters.

      I looked up the paper itself, which is not paywalled. So if you are interested, you can read the whole thing here:

      http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6422/70

      I've only done a quick scan, but it doesn't seem to be too hard a read. Lots of interesting implications.

      Getting back to your question, their numerical models of ocean circulation predict this:

      "At depths below 2000 m, the Atlantic warms at an average rate of 0.1°C over the past century, whereas the deep Pacific cools by 0.02°C over the past century."

      Apparently, that's what the observational data suggest. Pretty cool that they were able to use oceanographic data from 1870!

    • Readmikenow profile image

      Readmikenow 

      12 days ago

      Doc Snow,

      I think your solutions do take a commitment, but it it the kind of commitment that only a small fraction of people will follow. If the government tries to impose these things, it would lead to chaos like in France, Canada and other places.

      I hold the position that if there is global warming, there is nothing we can do about it. We can adapt to it. There have been other periods during the earth's existence where there have been global warming as well as global cooling. This happened long before man had industry. The planet survived and people survived.

      This is how humans have survived for so long, they'e always been able to adapt to change.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      12 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      My newest hub for 2019 on the climate front.

      Have a great new year.

      https://hubpages.com/politics/A-Climate-Change-Ske...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      13 days ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      Did you see this story?

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-65...

      What do you think?

      How is this possible?

      If true, what about the warming of deep seas caused by current warming as some scientists suggested?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Tsad, you've just done a lengthy and picture-perfect example of what is technically called an 'ad hominem'--and it's doubly wrong in that it is an ad hominem *by proxy*: not only are you saying that one particular climate change science advocate is wrong because he is allegedly guilty of assault, you are apparently trying to suggest that *all* climate science is wrong because Aaron Doering is allegedly guilty of assault.

      Clearly, that quite simply doesn't follow, in any way, shape or form.

      And if Doering is such a 'climate big dog,' why have I never heard his name before? I've been following climate science for well over a decade now, and I could easily name a score of prominent researchers and/or activists just off the top of my head.

      A quick Google search makes it pretty darn clear that he is a local figure:

      https://search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=AwrC_DN7_...

    • tsadjatko profile image

      2 weeks ago from now on

      Global alarmists aren't just hypocrites, seems some are even worse than that - not the company I'd think you'd want to keep "Doc," or is it?

      A leading climate change apologist and tenured professor at the University of Minnesota was recently taken into police custody after he was basically caught in the act of beating, choking, and dragging his fiance across the room by her hair during a violent outburst.

      Widely recognized as one of the big dogs perpetrating the man-made climate change hoax, 47-year-old Aaron Herbert Doering will likely now go down in history as a raging wife-beater – the same fateful reputation as biotechnology propagandist Jon Entine, by the way, who we previously reported engaged in similar acts of extreme domestic violence against his wife and daughter, causing a restraining order to be filed against him.

      In this case, though, Doering so victimized the woman who would have become his wife that she told her legal counsel that she now fears Doering “will kill her if he returns to the apartment,” official court documents indicate. Doering is currently in police custody, and he’s reportedly being charged with one felony count of domestic assault by strangulation, according to Minnesota’s StarTribune.com.

      Doering’s fiance says this isn’t the first time he physically assaulted her

      So here’s how it all reportedly went down. On the evening of December 26, 2018, police reportedly received a complaint about a domestic assault in progress. After arriving at the apartment shared by Doering and his fiance, located on the 1700 block of Madison Street NE in Minneapolis, officers who were standing outside say they could hear a man and a woman inside the residence arguing.

      As they entered the apartment, officers say Doering’s fiance had red marks on her forehead, along with bruising “in the shape of fingers” on one side of her neck. Upon being questioned, Doering’s fiance explained that Doering had grabbed her by the hair and dragged her around the apartment in a violent fit of rage. Doering then proceeded to beat and choke his fiance until she was unable to breathe “and felt as if she’d lose consciousness,” reports indicate.

      Doering’s fiance then admitted to these same officers that Doering had beaten her on many previous occasions, showing them photo evidence of various injuries she suffered in the past after Doering assaulted her – an extensive history of violence, in other words, that’s caused her to now fear for her life.

      University of Minnesota still hasn’t fired Doering, says it’s “reviewing the matter”

      When questioned about whether or not Doering is still employed at UoM following these revelations, a spokeswoman at the school indicated that Doering’s employment status has not changed – suggesting that it’s apparently not that big of a deal to the university, which would rather protect the reputation of a prominent climate change mouthpiece than protect the life of an innocent woman.

      “We’re aware of the situation, and will be reviewing the matter,” said Lacey Nygard, UoM’s assistant director of public relations, in an empty followup statement to the media, further suggesting that UoM isn’t all that concerned that a known woman-beater remains on its payroll.

      Doering now being held on $30,000 bail without conditions

      Despite UoM’s seeming lack of concern about the matter, Hennepin County where these crimes took place is, in fact, pursuing justice. According to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, Doering is being charged with one count of domestic assault by strangulation, and is currently being held on $30,000 bail without conditions, or $5,000 with conditions.

      The latter conditional bail includes requirements that Doering not contact his fiance; not use any alcohol or non-prescribed drug medications; agree to random drug testing; agree to a domestic abuse no contact order; and forfeit his Second Amendment right to possess firearms. A judge has already ordered that Doering relinquish any and all firearms that he currently possesses, news reports indicate.

      For more related news, be sure to check out CelebrityReputation.com and Corruption.com

      Why do so many mainstream, play-pretend “do-gooders” turn out to be violent woman-beaters?

      Once again, the similarities between Doering’s crimes and Entine’s crimes are striking – as is the fact that both men were once looked at as authoritative voices on status quo matters like climate change and biotechnology. Both men touted the mainstream narrative in their respective fields, and now both of them have been exposed for being violent aggressors against women.

      In the case of Entine, this charlatan was actually fired from his position at ABC News after it was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had manufactured fake evidence against a company in order to destroy it. It remains to be seen whether or not UoM will take similar actions against Doering, especially if he ends up being convicted of his crimes – which is highly likely.

      And let’s not forget pop astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, another status quo celebrity pushing phony science who now faces allegations from at least four different women who say he assaulted, date-raped, or otherwise violated them without consent.

      Somehow, the mainstream media remains largely silent when establishment hacks like Jon Entine, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and now Aaron Herbert Doering are caught committing egregious crimes against women. But when conservatives like Justice Brett Kavanaugh are merely accused of such crimes, without evidence, the mainstream media automatically convicts them as guilty via the court of public opinion.

      The question that remains in light of all this is: Where’s the justice?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "Are you saying you are victims because our society is systemically reliant on fossil fuel? It appears you are trying to say those who believe in man made climate change are victims of society."

      No, you are reading too much in. I'm simply saying that it's very difficult and very limiting to try to opt out of society as an individual (or even a small group).

      "To that I say "Where is your conviction in your belief?""

      Well, let me tell you what my wife and I have done, in part. For years we've chosen to limit consumption in ways that reduce our footprint in terms of carbon and waste in general (I already mentioned a couple of specifics under point #5 below, but there are more.)

      We've taken many steps on energy efficiency, from efficient trip planning, to better-mileage vehicles and where possible, alternate options, to efficient lighting options and efficient appliances. We've adopted a near-vegetarian diet. We recycle religiously, even when it is inconvenient. We reuse everything we can, from small things like water bottles to lumber and hardware. We compost virtually all food waste and waste paper, including a good additional bit from church.

      I devote hours almost every day to communicating the importance of this issue, and why I am convinced of the reality of the problems we face. I participate in various organizations toward the same end, including leadership at said church, where I devote further hours to running what I call our "Green Team."

      Oh, yeah, and barring token payment for the climate change-related Hubs I've written, I receive zero compensation for any of that--other than the proverbial 'warm feeling.'

      I don't feel 'victimized' by this. I choose to do it. But I hope it gives you some assurance that, yes, I do take it seriously enough to provide considerable shaping influence on the course of my life every day.

      "If I see those who believe in climate change living a life without fossil fuels..."

      You have to be looking. For example:

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/how-to-raise-a-...

      I also know a number of people who won't fly any more because of the carbon emissions. (I haven't gone that quite that far, but I do consider emissions when I am making or contemplating travel plans, and have ruled out flying as an option on that basis.)

      One specific comment: I don't think you're quite getting the idea of the carbon fee I discussed under point #3.

      First, it's not primarily a matter of distribution--that is, 'taking' money from one group of people and giving it to another, as you put it. Yes, there is a distributive consequence, in that people who choose to spend more, and especially those who choose to spend more on things that are carbon-intensive in some way, will pay more of that tax/fee. What it *is* about is providing a price signal that is lacking in the marketplace.

      As with all price signals, the whole point is that it affects people's *choices*. Drive a Leaf, or drive an F-350? Turn the thermostat up to 78, or put on a sweater? And it doesn't stop at that sort of first-order consequence. If more people are buying the Leaf, then it's a more profitable product for Nissan, and they are encouraged to invest more in improving it, or designing better successors for it. Competitors take notice. Zero-carbon mobility expands.

      And as it does, it becomes more and more profitable to provide EV charging stations and EV-centered accessories (can't think of any, off-hand, but I bet they exist.) Such effects exist all across the economy, too, not just in the instance of transportation. Price signals can be very powerful things! ;-)

    • Readmikenow profile image

      Readmikenow 

      2 weeks ago

      Doc Snow

      "And that gets us to my last point (probably a relief). It's a bit unfair to accuse 'warmists' of hypocrisy simply on the basis that we belong to a society that's systemically reliant on fossil fuel."

      Are you saying you are victims because our society is systemically reliant on fossil fuel? It appears you are trying to say those who believe in man made climate change are victims of society.

      To that I say "Where is your conviction in your belief?" Is it, I believe in this and it's horrible and people who don't believe in it are ruining the planet. I may be living the same way as them, and causing the same level of damage, but I'm virtuous because I believe in man made climate change. I may not change my lifestyle, but I'm saying something about it. We're just victims of a society reliant on fossil fuel and has made us that way. It's not our fault!

      Sorry, I can't take this serious. It is no longer a matter of science, it is now a political topic. Politics have changed this completely.

      As far as your suggestions, As France and other political situations have proven, scream all you want about man made climate change, if you start hitting people in the pocketbook with it, they will become violent.

      1. Okay, I'm sure people could live with this.

      2. A solution that involves economic damage would cause serious chaos. There is just not the support for this in the world.

      3. If you suggest taking money from people and giving it to others who allegedly are affected by man made global warming, expect chaos to ensue. I don't believe support for this will ever occur.

      4. I think this is realistic. I enjoy riding a bike, backpacking and I walk the majority of places I go on a weekly basis. No everyone is physically able to do this and that would be a real problem.

      I don't see things changing. I'm not worried about it. If I see those who believe in climate change living a life without fossil fuels, I will pay attention. Until that happens, I view them as hypocrites.

      Happy belated New Year. It's going to be a good one.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, thanks for the kind words about my sincerity. I certainly am not aware that I have any 'outside' agenda--other than perhaps a philosophical orientation that says that human welfare is very important, and is a shared responsibility. (In other words, I don't accept, for instance, the radical individualism espoused by many contemporary Libertarians, especially those influenced by Ayn Rand's 'Objectivism' and such.)

      "What is disturbing about your belief is in our discussion, you have said hypothetically, if in 20 years, the theory of AGW turned out to be false, you are still OK with it. You think of these policies proposals as insurance policy.

      I am not comfortable with that attitude."

      I think you may have misunderstood me a bit on that point. I believe you are referring to a comment quite some time back, in which I said I would be glad if AGW turned out to be wrong in 20 years. The reason I would be glad is that we would then only have the usual range of reasons for worry--an existential threat (or the possibility of one) would have been lifted from our necks.

      "For me, before we make these drastic moves, which affects millions of people worldwide, reducing their living standards, as we see in Paris and else where, we need to be sure of the science and also of the cure... that is why I support more study and alternative mitigation techniques that are less drastic or harmful..."

      Well, there are many 'no regrets' or 'low regrets' strategies, such as encouraging energy efficiency, discouraging deforestation, improving the typical American diet in order to reduce per capita meat consumption, or even the mercury standards which the current administration is (IMO, foolishly) trying to roll back. For that matter, renewable energy is now in that category as well, since costs have gotten so low.

      So, can we agree aggressively to pursue some of them--just in case? After all, there are good reasons to think that the current status is in itself harmful--so delaying action will definitely be costly.

      But I don't hear much support from the right on that. Rather, it seems that the goal is to be against anything that 'liberals' may seem to be for. (Plus, there is the fact that large corporate fossil fuel-allied interests have invested massively in the GOP--that is a matter of public record.)

      And, by the way, I don't agree that the fuel tax in France meaningfully reduced anyone's standard of living, since it amounted to just a couple of percentage points on just one item (albeit an essential one.) What was really motivating, as far as I can tell from 3,000 miles away, was a sense that the central government was not listening to ordinary voters--especially ones in more rural areas. Telling in this regard is the fact that the protests continued for several weeks after the fuel tax had already been dropped.

      More generally, the costs of action are systematically 'hyped' by those who are ideologically opposed to action, often with little or no empirical basis. Indeed, many economic modeling studies have found sizable net benefits for taking action.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      I believe you are one of those who are sincere in your beliefs and wanting to help. That is one of the reason I engaged you in this debate. However, there are different groups on your side who have a bigger political agenda. They are using this climate change issue to get their way. Unfortunately, some scientists and people like yourself are playing it along. People like Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio is another class of celebrities using their fame to push an agenda. They themselves do not follow the recommendations they want therest of us to follow...that should tell you so ething.

      What is disturbing about your belief is in our doscussion, you have said hypothetically, if in 20 years, the theory of AGW turned out to be false, you are still OK with it. You think of these policies proposals as insurance policy.

      I am not comfortable with that attitude. For me, before we make these drastic moves, which affects millions of people worldwide, reducing their living standards, as we see in Paris and else where, we need to be sure of the science and also of the cure... that is why I support more study and alternative mitigation techniques that are less drastic or harmful...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Mike, it's not about giving 'vast amounts of money to the government.' That's a caricature, not a proposal on the table.

      Policy options are too numerous to list, and many are in force now, in one place or another. Just a few:

      1) Encourage the substitution of renewable (or nuclear--but that's much more expensive) energy for fossil fuel energy. That can be, and is being done by using incentives of various sorts around the world, but such economic incentives are less and less necessary now that increasingly wind and solar are actually the cheapest options for new power builds.

      2) Discontinue existing subsidies for fossil fuel use, such as the US exploration credit, or numerous fuel subsidies around the world which artificially lower the price of fossil fuels. These amount to many billions of dollars. Doing so can be unpopular, though, just as the French gas tax you mentioned was. Best to provide cushioning measures of some sort to offset the economic damage. Which brings us to--

      3) Put a price on carbon emissions. The free market is a fabulous mechanism for efficient allocation of resources (or, as some like to put it, of scarcity). But it has drawbacks, one of which is the fact that items (such as air) which are freely available are not priced, and hence effectively 'invisible' to the economy. These are termed 'externalities.' One such is climate; the costs of climate change are not borne directly by those who emit greenhouse gases, but by everyone, and in an indirect fashion whether (for instance) they commute by bicycle or Hummer.

      The cure is to 'internalize' such costs by what is called a "Pigovian" tax or fee. This is currently done, with varying degrees of effectiveness--because the specific numbers and parameters you pick matter!--around the world. A notable example right now is the new Canadian measure currently coming into effect, and the subject of much political drama and rhetoric.

      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-31...

      But the point that relates to #2 above is the fact that the plan is revenue neutral by design. My understanding is that the carbon tax revenue is not commingled with general tax revenue, but paid into a separate account of some sort. It is then rebated to the public in the form of a tax credit (not a deduction, so that you receive the benefit regardless of the status of your tax bill).

      4) Transportation is a big emitter, so we also need to encourage emissions-free mobility. The biggest single solution is electric vehicles. Currently, they are still more expensive up front than ICE vehicles (though that may not be true of lifetime ownership costs), but the differential is decreasing, and will continue to do so with increasing choice, volumes and adoption.

      Tesla is a big leader here--they were profitable in Q3 2018, probably more so in Q4 and going forward (at least till the next product to enter production, which will of course take another round of investment). They are on track to sell ~400,000 units this year. But we need vehicles at lower price points, too. The forthcoming Hyundai Kona Electric looks interesting to me; buzz is that it will come in at a price somewhere around the $35 mark not yet achieved by the Tesla 3. And it's got 258 miles of range, which I think would work for me.

      https://www.hyundaiusa.com/kona-electric/index.asp...

      5) We need to move away from a culture of disposabiity. Single-use plastic bags were just banned in Jamaica--they find it's hard to attract tourists to beaches clogged with plastic debris--and need to be discouraged all around the world. (On the 'trying not to be hypocritical' front, I use reusable bags, and frequently refuse plastic bags, simply hand-carrying purchases. Disposable straws, too; I have reusable ones in my car for those trips to through the drive-through. That doesn't deal with the cups, but at least they recycle better than the straws, which apparently are very prone to clog and/or elude the materials handling systems at recycling plants.)

      And that gets us to my last point (probably a relief). It's a bit unfair to accuse 'warmists' of hypocrisy simply on the basis that we belong to a society that's systemically reliant on fossil fuel. We may take steps to lower our emissions--as our household has, and by no means just the ones listed above!--but unless we opt completely out of this society, then we are still going to be 'responsible' for some emissions, somehow. I may not like it that I'm still driving a gasmobile--and never mind that it's an economical 2003 with over 260,000 miles on it, partly because when we bought it we were already concerned with finding ways to use less fuel--but I still face the necessity to plan for a sensible, affordable alternative that does what we need it to do in our particular context. I may not like the fact that a significant portion of the power I use is generated by dirty coal plants, but I can't change that overnight, either. Do I sound like someone who fails to "understand what practical or workable means in this situation?"

      Bottom line, if one is concerned about climate change, one is pretty much constrained to work within the system that exists. That doesn't make one a hypocrite--provided, of course, that one actually does the 'work', in all its various forms.

      (And Happy New Year, belatedly!)

    • Readmikenow profile image

      Readmikenow 

      2 weeks ago

      Doc Snow, okay, so, what is your practical solution?

      Give vast amounts of tax money to the government? Then what? What can the government do? That didn't go over too well in France.

      Go on forums on the internet saying "Climate Change is real, you're wrong, I'm right, here are hundreds of links to prove my point, so there." That is being tried and isn't changing anything.

      So, what is the practical and workable solution? I say this to most people who follow the Climate Change religion and hear "We have to do something," "You're the problem because you think it's a hoax," "Stop the coal industry, stop the oil industry, force renewable energy." This is most often spoken by people who are driving a gas powered car, while enjoying the many benefits of petroleum products. There are many blind hypocrites in the Climate Change religion. So, that is a big reason I can't take them serious.

      Should one of them come up with a practical workable solution, I'll listen. I don't think followers of the Climate Change religion understand what practical or workable means in this situation.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "...in the past, humans were not around and could not be blamed [for warming]. Why the blame start now and what about the natural effects?"

      Suppose I leave a pot of water on my stove for a few days before ultimately using it to poach a couple of eggs. When I turn on the burner, why would I expect that to cause a particular change in temperature, when the water has been changing temperature the whole time with every fluctuation of my heating system?

      Well, the fact that I basically understand how burners work, and why. I understand that if I turn on that burner, I will add energy to the pot.

      Similarly the greenhouse effect. It is more complex than a burner of course, but our general level of understanding of it is much better than the level of understanding an average cook has of the physics of the burner. In fact, our practical, operational understanding of the radiative physics of the atmosphere--including that of greenhouse gases, especially water vapor, which is highly variable as we all know--is validated with every weather forecast you hear or read. We simply could not accurately forecast temperature without accurate knowledge of radiative heating and cooling in the atmosphere.

      I fail to understand why, in debating this issue, so many people neglect the reality of knowledge that we possess, by pretending that in assessing reality of AGW we must start with correlations and nothing else. We know to an effective certainty that when we add GHGs to the atmosphere, we add energy to the global 'pot.'

      "You cannot predict how the climate will be in 30 years or in 100 years."

      No, but you *can* project what it will be *given certain conditions*. Climate is not chaotic in the way that weather is: "Climate is the odds, weather is the roll of the dice." Odds are relatively stable and predictable; by definition, dice rolls sample the entire range of variability, if there are enough of them.

      "The 100 year storm is one example. We have climate and we have extreme weather. Once in a blue moon, we have an extreme event..."

      And when the 100-year storm becomes a 10-year storm, climate has changed. In recent decades, extreme precipitation has been seeing quicker and quicker return times. Here's one analysis:

      https://digitalcommons.odu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi...

      Or you could ask the good people in Ellicott City.

      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ellicott-city-marylan...

    • Readmikenow profile image

      Readmikenow 

      2 weeks ago

      Okay, so what if there is Climate Change? What can be done about it? Does anyone think giving their money to the government will solve anything? What can the government do? I always say if anyone really believes in man made climate change give up everything in your life associated with fossil fuels. If not, they're just talking. I'm looking for a group of climate change supporters who have taken action in their own life to eliminate their use of fossil fuels. If they do, I won't hear from they from a computer.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      I agree with the general premise that climate is not just one number. It is an average of many events across our globe. It cannot be quantified as just an average temperature.

      Since it is very complex, it needs to be understood as a state of being.

      The 100 year storm is one example. We have climate and we have extreme weather. Once in a blue moon, we have an extreme event...

      This frequency is rare and catch people by surprise and we have no good understanding how they come and go...

      The same goes with climate change predictions...

      You cannot predict how the climate will be in 30 years or in 100 years.

      There are too many factors that can change like the butterfly effect.

      As I said, I do beleive the earth is warming to some degree. Just as it has done so under previous cycles of climate and ice ages and warmings. In each case in the past, humans were not around and could not be blamed. Why the blame start now and what about the natural effects? Who is to say, it is not another natural cycle that is causing the changes?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      We kicked off the latest round--well, arguably, anyway--with the link comparing the change in mean temperature with the normal diurnal swing. Here's a post I wish I'd had at hand then. Note how the extremes shift, compared with the change in the mean:

      https://tamino.wordpress.com/2019/01/02/what-is-cl...

      Or if you are pressed for time, just check out the 'money' graph, which puts the effects in a pretty good nutshell.

      https://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/hist_Ju...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Yet, though the fuel tax was axed, the protests have fizzled and Macron is still in power to enact other measures; the climate-denying antics of the Australian Liberals seem to have positioned them for an electoral drubbing; and Prime Minister Trudeau leads the opposition in polls as well.

      So, don't count your chickens, my friend.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Here is news not bolding well for your side...

      https://dailycaller.com/2018/12/31/climate-change-...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Speaking, as I was, of interacting factors in complex systems:

      https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-nex...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Actually, Jack, they have, going back years now. Given the complexity of the systems involved and the necessity for economic assumptions--the 'future discount rate' is particularly ubiquitous and problematic--they should certainly be taken with a grain of salt. But they absolutely do exist.

      Here are just the first 5 random search results as instances/places to start:

      https://globalwarmingisreal.com/2014/06/26/acting-...

      https://www.huffingtonpost.com/h-a-goodman/the-cos...

      https://necpluribusimpar.net/discounting-cost-bene...

      https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-0...

      https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/article/...

      Note that I don't take any position on any of these (and indeed haven't read most of them beyond a quick scan).

      Oh, and yes, we've been very wet here, too--I think December's precipitation total is several inches above the climatology. It's also unseasonably warm so far--currently almost 65 degrees at 6:17 PM, for instance. I hope we don't follow that up as happened last year, when a slightly-warmer-than-average December was followed by a viciously frigid January (and then a warm February!)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, no one has done a cost/benefit analysis of the various policies being proposed. I wish our government along with the international organizations do the work first before jumping in... that’s just me being a pragmatic engineer with a common sense...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, I stated on my Hub thread that for smallish amounts of warming there are benefits in some places. That's neither new, nor controversial; the IPCC has been saying that all along. But it should answer your question.

      The problem is that the change we are in the process of forcing is both larger and faster than natural variability has been at a global level during our existence as a civilized species.

      You say, "Either way, we are not on the brink of extinction if the planet warms or cools by 2 degrees C."

      All I can tell you is 1) that that is a pure statement of faith, since we have not previously experienced such swings in mean conditions, and we have no conclusive way of determining what the interacting effects of climate change *in conjunction with* ocean acidification *and* serious economic and infrastructure challenges *and* elevated population *and* ongoing biological species extinction and ecological collapse would be; and 2) we're on track for more than 3 C currently anyway, which rather renders moot the '2 C' part of your statement.

      Sorry if you find the recognition of this danger to be 'crazy', but it's grounded in specific concerns and recognized effects--even if the second- and third-order effects are difficult to predict.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      So do you deny that warming can have benefits to some regions while damage other regions? If not, then the global warming is not a one way street.

      Some warming is fine and within the normal variation of our planet pre-humans and there is nothing wrong with that. We just adapt to the changes that occur over years and possibly 100s of years. We have only been living as a civilization for 6,000 years or so. I am saying some amount of warning is acceptible under current circumstance. I would not go crazy and say it is the worst threat to our existence as some have portray-it to be.

      Just as if in the next decade, some cooling will occur due to natural cycle or reduced sun activities, It would be welcomed as well. Either way, we are not on the brink of extinction if the planet warms or cools by 2 degrees C.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, I'm not too sure what you really mean to say here. We're observing Global Mean Surface Temp (GMST) warming rates of 0.1-0.2 C per decade, and we're already at basically 1 C above pre-Industrial temperatures.

      So clearly we are on track, based on the existing observed trend, to exceed the 1.5 guardrail in 2.5-5 decades, and the 2 C guardrail in a like additional period. (That is to say, by 2118, and probably much sooner.)

      And that doesn't account for the well-known feedback mechanisms which are likely to accelerate warming, all other things being equal.

      Yes, the sea level rise consequence will take additional time to be fully realized, but not so many of the other consequences, such as heat wave mortality and infrastructure loss, enhanced drought (on one hand) and extreme precipitation (on the other) resulting from the acceleration of the water cycle, ecological fragmentation, challenges to agriculture, and so on.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I think it is good to keep in mind the size of the earth...

      As an engineer, the size does matter. Any changes no matter how large or small cannot violate the law of physics. That is to say, a global warming cannot happen in a short period of time...that is our saving grace. Assuming the earth is warming as projected, the effects csnmot happen in decades. It will happen gradually in hundreds or perhaps even thousand of years.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      It's pointless-to-misleading. As the post itself says:

      "Rephrased, we’re going to illustrate, and confirm *something you already know*..."

      Yes, we already know that the change in the mean is much smaller than typical diurnal temperature range. So demonstrating that undisputed fact is pointless.

      The misleading part is the implication that it is a meaningful demonstration of the 'insignificance' of observed temperature rise. For anything resembling a normal distribution, a small shift in the mean will produce large changes on the margins of that distribution. So a 1.5 C change in the mean is by no means negligible, despite Mr. Tisdale's obfuscation.

      One simple demonstration from reality is conditions during the Pliocene:

      "The global average temperature in the mid-Pliocene (3.3 Ma–3 Ma) was 2–3 °C higher than today, global sea level 25m higher and the northern hemisphere ice sheet was ephemeral before the onset of extensive glaciation over Greenland that occurred in the late Pliocene..."

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pliocene_climate

      I think we can agree that 25 meters of sea level rise is non-trivial.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      Merry Christmas!

      What do you make of this latest analysis?

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/12/24/it-is-the-c...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      5 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Where is thegatewaypundit.com's apology for misrepresenting what Gore said?

      https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/ice-caps-melt-go...

      As to Paris "burning", you're rather overdramatizing it--and (IMO at least) overstating the role of the fuel tax rise, which was all of 4%. And which, by the way, had already been withdrawn prior to last weekend! Now the 'gillets jaunes' want Macron to step down, which I think unmasks this as a much wider-based political phenomenon. Essentially, it would be a 'putsch', or perhaps I should say 'coup d'etat.' (How many of Marine Le Pen's partisans were out there looting shops and vandalizing monuments, I wonder?)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      5 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/12/10-years-...

      Where is Al Gore’s apology or even just a humble pie?

      Meanwhile, Paris burns, with the Energy tax that global warming proponents enacted...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      6 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, you hit the nail on the head. Deficit spending by the US is unsustainable. We are 22 trillion in debt as of today.

      The only reason we are able to do so so far is because of China. They have been buying our treasury notes and the fact that the dollar is the currency of choice. If by chance, tomorrow, the dollar is no longer the common currency in the world market, we will be in deep trouble, we have printed so much paper money that it is not worth very much...It is sad both Democrat and Repubican do not understand this principle. As a conservative, I believe we are in way over our head.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      6 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Thanks for sharing your views, Jack.

      You ask how long I think we can keep up deficit spending. I'm not very knowledgeable about fiscal matters, I will readily admit, but apparently the answer is "decades at a time," given that the last surpluses occurred during the Clinton Administration:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federa.../media/File:Total_Revenues_and_Outlays_as_Percent_GDP_2017.png

      Not that I'm approving; prolonged spells of deficit spending don't seem like a good idea to me, either. I would suspect that the whole thing depends on economic growth to continue, and that therefore it is ultimately unsustainable in any sense. That's because we know from physical first principles that we cannot sustain energy growth indefinitely--even with, say, a cheap and practical fusion reactor, at some point waste heat would become a problem.

      And if we must, at some point, have a zero-energy-growth society (at least at the planetary level), then economic growth becomes problematic, too--it may or may not be possible, but folks who have tried to think through what economic growth might look like in a zero-energy-growth society have run into some strange paradoxes.

      In this respect, I think conservatives and liberals may share a certain suspicion of deficit financing in general, albeit founded on slightly different grounds. (To be clear, I don't mean to dismiss the more 'conventional' concerns of deficit hawks; there are certainly historical examples of nations running themselves into serious trouble by reckless spending. That's one of the components of Venezuela's travails, and Argentina has had repeated bouts. Italy is pushing it right now, too.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      6 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      I appreciate your honesty. At least you admit that you don’t know.

      The fair tax has some progressive component. It has some minimum limits and also tax credits for those at the very bottom.

      The basic theory on taxation is that everyone should participate and have a skin in the game.

      Even if you make the minimum wage, I believe it is the duty of every citizen to contribute even if it is a dollar as a token.

      This is an incentive and a reminder. It incentivize people to watch their money. If you are living off other people’s money, there is no incentive to save or ask for accountability...

      As far as a fair tax rate, I do believe a maximum of 25% is my limit. Any government, outside of major disaster or war, should be able to take care of business with 25% of my income. The main duty of a government is national defense and roads and bridges and airports for transportation and commerce... and social services under the umbrella of “promote the general Welfare...” of the Constitution.

      This year after year deficit spending by both democrats and republicans is just insane. How long do you think we can keep it up?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      6 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      I'd do a "flat tax cut", personally. If Congress wanted to commit, say, 2.4 trillion dollars to a tax cut, I'd simply divide that by the number of taxpaying households. For instance, this Forbes article put the number of what they call "tax units" at around 170 million.

      https://www.forbes.com/sites/beltway/2015/10/06/ne...

      So, divide 2.4 trillion by 170 million, and issue a tax credit for just under $15k to everybody. Now *that* would stimulate the economy! (Just don't do it when inflation is rising!)

      Sure, it would mean a lot more at the bottom than at the top, but I don't see that as a bad thing.

      As to your question about a "fair tax rate," I don't know how to answer that, honestly, so I guess you won't get a 'straight answer' from me, either. I don't see why any of the wide range of median national tax rates that exist around the world is a priori more "fair" than any other. If they have been duly blessed by the electorate in question, who am I to carp?

      I do think that the much-hyped 'flat tax' is not, in fact, particularly fair because it neglects the obvious reality that needs are not proportional to total income; in other words, minimum living standards also imply a certain minimum cost. At the lower economic margins, everything is tighter, and it's a continuous function. So I think that taxes should be "progressive", as they are to some degree in just about every jurisdiction I know about. (Obviously, getting the function right is a whole other question, and one involving values as well as the raw mathematics.)

      If I had to set tax policy, I'd take into account a variety of principles and national preferences, such as cost of living; incentive to improve one's economic status; preferred national level of services, as determined by political choices over time; and necessary infrastructure (in all senses of the word). And you can sure bet I'd consult, consult, consult.

      I support the Constitution, too, but I think that the conclusions you are drawing from it are a bit overstated; there's no Constitutional bar to deficit spending (and for good reason, IMO). And while it's obviously sensible to monitor the effectiveness of all programs and reallocate funding accordingly, I don't see anything in the Constitution itself mandating that particular sort of common sense. (Probably it was taken for granted.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      6 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      So let me ask you, what would you do to implement a tax cut that is “fair”?

      And while we are at this, what do you think is a fair tax rate?

      For people like you and me?

      I have never been able to get a straight answer from a liberal.

      It comes down for me is that I support our Constitution, which calls for a limited federal government, which means it should live within its means and not increase our taxes to pay for programs after programs that does not work...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      6 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      It certainly is a Democratic talking point, but it is not incorrect:

      "Three-quarters of the tax cuts would benefit the top 1 percent of taxpayers and the highest-income taxpayers (0.1 percent of the population, or those with incomes over $3.7 million in 2015 dollars) would experience an average tax cut of about $1.3 million, 16.9 percent of after-tax income. Households in the middle fifth of the income distribution would receive an average tax cut of almost $260, or 0.5 percent of after-tax income, while the poorest fifth of households would see their taxes go down an average of about $50, or 0.4 percent of their after-tax income. In 2025, the top 1 percent of households would receive nearly 100 percent of the total tax reduction."

      http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/sites/default/files...

      Got that? The top got 16.9%, the middle 0.5%, the poor 0.1%. That's not due to the absolute taxes paid, as you suggest; that's proportionally. If you consider absolute numbers, it's even more inequitable.

      "The Paris accord was hurting the US and left China, who is the biggest polluter with little penalty."

      There were no 'penalties' on anyone, so the second part is true. However, since the Chinese had moved from an adamant refusal to do *any* climate mitigation--a position the US had been urging them to change since the first Kyoto negotiotions--to a pledge to progressively *decrease* emissions, their movement on the substantive issues was quite significant. I don't think it's good business, when your opposite party in negotiations accedes to a long-reiterated demand, to pack up your things and leave in a snit!

      As to "hurting the US", I think that's a stretch at best. There's no evidence I know of that policies in force were doing any real economic harm--the US has experienced pretty steady and generally accelerating economic growth since 2010:

      https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/gdp-gro...

      It is true that we spent some money on Paris, amounting to a few billion. That's a few tenths of a per cent of *annual* Federal tax revenue, which I think is hardly 'hurtful'. If climate change is a problem, and the evidence says that it is, then addressing it is an investment, not a just a 'cost'.

      "If put to a vote or a referendum, I believe most Americans would support pulling out and renegotiate a better deal."

      It's possible you are correct, but more likely not:

      https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/0...

      For one thing, the existing deal is basically what America had been negotiating toward for decades. Trump doesn't really care in this context what is good for America or not: what he is highly aware of is that any climate agreement that decreases fossil fuel use is unacceptable to his core donor community.

      And of course, any climate deal that *doesn't* decrease fossil fuel use is not actually a climate deal; it's just a fig leaf. That, Trump would take. But most of the world won't, because they know that allowing business as usual will wreck our planetary environment, and that is not truly in anyone's interest. The current US government thinks differently only because they are in denial of the facts.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      6 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      That is a democratic talking point, tax saving for the rich...

      The tax reform Trump passed was across the board and gave back taxes paid by people who paid taxes. Of course, the people at the high end of income and businesses, who paid the most taxes to start with got the bigger benefits.

      The Paris accord was hurting the US and left China, who is the biggest polluter with little penalty.

      If put to a vote or a referendum, I believe most Americans would support pulling out and renegotiate a better deal.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      6 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "Here is where I draw the line. I cannot support government mandated tax policies that favor one group over another."

      Then I presume you were adamantly opposed to the Republican tax package that delivered massive benefits to the wealthiest Americans, and at the cost of an inflated deficit at that?

      "It is exactly a transfer of wealth scheme, hidden under the climate change umbrella."

      Why do you think that? It seems much more plausible to me that it is a climate change-motivated policy--albeit one that mismanaged the real-world impacts on working people. Macron did not run as a 'class warrior' for either rich or poor, but he did run on, among other things, meeting French climate commitments. And there is political advantage to be had in doing so: in 2015, 56% of the French population viewed climate change as a "very serious problem", and I dare say the number would be higher today.

      "If they want to do it, it should be across the board that all citizens vote for, not some politician currying favor in the world stage."

      Then I presume you would support a citizen referendum to validate our president's planned withdrawal from the Paris Accord, as well as his gutting of numerous extant measures protecting our air and water? At other times, you've argued that, essentially, 'elections have consequences.' Shouldn't Macron's position on climate, which was no mystery to anyone, allow him some measure of power to actually make decisions once elected?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmanuel_Macron#Envi...

      P.S. Also, I think "punitive" is inaccurate, both in terms of the tax's value and its intent. It wasn't meant to punish anyone, and the increase, though significant, was hardly draconian, at a reported value of "up to" $0.25 per US gallon.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/04/world/europe/fr...

      That's on a French average price of 1.53 Euro a liter:

      https://www.globalpetrolprices.com/France/gasoline...

      And that's $1.74 US/liter, or, multiplying by 3.78541, $6.59/US gallon. In turn, that makes the proposed tax increase a tad less than 4%. I think you have to see the tax as a 'straw that broke the camel's back'--not a huge deal in and of itself, but a tipping point.

      And the 'load' that spilled over into the protests was a load of prolonged economic underperformance. Ironically, it was exactly that which Macron was elected to deal with, and which he has in fact been addressing with market-oriented reforms designed to make the French economy more competitive--but which tend to hurt in the short run. (For example, making the French labor market more flexibile by reducing regulation--just the sort of thing I expect you would tend to approve of.) Macron created a movement which was in large part populist, but has not yet delivered that much positive change in people's everyday lives (I suspect mostly because fundamental reform of this sort takes time to work through the economy), and has exacerbated that with a style that has been perceived as too distant and out of touch.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      6 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, here we see real consequences of policies that affect millions of people. These people ar protesting against something you and I take for granted, expensive fossil fuel, caused by punitive taxes.

      Here is where I draw the line. I cannot support government mandated tax policies that favor one group over another. It is exactly a transfer of wealth scheme, hidden under the climate change umbrella.

      If they want to do it, it should be across the board that all citizens vote for, not some politician currying favor in the world stage.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      6 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      I think that Macron has made a major political gaffe. Perhaps he should have followed James Hansen or the Citizen's Climate Lobby here, and made the tax revenue-neutral, as was done for instance in British Columbia.

      The idea of 'taxing that which you seek to discourage' is a classic economic tactic, often termed a "Pigouvian tax," and is a way of addressing the market failure that results when there are significant 'externalities'--ie., real costs which do not fail on those causing them. A classic example is cigarette smoking, which imposes costs not only on smokers but on society as a whole, but which do not fail on the tobacco industry. Pollution of all sorts is even more pervasive in this regard.

      But a fuel tax tends to be highly regressive, inflicting much more economic loss on the poor end of the economic spectrum than on the rich. This can be addressed, as it was in BC, by rebating the tax money in some way--in BC, by means of tax credits which actually created a net *benefit* for the less-well-off, or in the proposed bi-partisan legislation in Congress now, by means of a direct rebate check to every household in the country.

      By doing that, you keep the macroeconomic cost of the tax vanishingly low, address the regressive effect of a tax on a commodity, yet retain the pricing signal that is the whole point of the exercise: high-carbon items become more expensive relative to lower-carbon alternatives.

      Here's the CCL explainer, in case you or a reader here would like more detail:

      The legislation:

      https://citizensclimatelobby.org/energy-innovation...

      The backgrounder:

      https://citizensclimatelobby.org/why-we-support-a-...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      6 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      What do you think about what is going on in Paris?

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/france-to-delay-fuel-...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Thank you for considering my points. I appreciate that. I hope you will reflect further, as time moves on, as to whether the 'beliefs' you identify on each side are supported by the evidence both of science and of everyday news and personal observation.

      I do have a couple of comments, which I will try to keep uncharacteristically brief!

      1) In both your second and your last paragraphs you argue for 'taking time to study.' That is correct and laudable in principle. However, it misses a couple of things. One is that business as usual has costs, too--one can't assume that only change does. Another is that there is no guarantee that we have the time to spare. I've previously presented a good deal of evidence that that is the case, and I won't repeat it here. A final one is that we have been studying this problem for quite a while now--after all, the Kyoto Protocol is now largely in the rear-view mirror of history. In complex situations such as this one, we'll probably never run out of things to learn, but nevertheless at some point we will know *enough* to guide our action. To use a military analogy, Gen. George Patton said, "A good plan, executed violently today, is better than a perfect plan tomorrow." In sum, the value of further study declines, eventually becoming negative. It's too late to sell once the company is bankrupt.

      2) "We also believe the environmental extremist should not be included in this “process” because they have a different agenda. They believe we humans are the problem for just breathing..."

      I implore you to reconsider this idea. Nobody actually thinks that. While some environmentalists may argue for the intrinsic value of other species or ecosystems in their own right, they don't go on to say that humans should not exist--only that we need to adapt our economy to the real limits of the environment to support it.

      3) "Finally, we believe the solutions should be based on science and not politicized. That is to say, we should not rely on the recommendation of the IPCC which is under the corrupt UN and has many bad actors as members..."

      Here you succumb to ad hominem argumentation, arguing that because the IPCC is nominally 'under' the UN, which you hate and distrust, therefore it 'must' be politicized. While virtually all human beings are to some extent also political beings, and hence politics can never be excluded, the reality is that the IPCC has done what it was tasked to do--not by the UN, mind you, but by the nations party to the framework Convention--which is periodically to accurately summarize the existing scientific literature.

      Anyone can verify that for themselves by cross-checking the reports with said literature. Of course, no-one can check it all, not in any reasonable length of time, anyway, but anyone can do what I've done, which is to look at the bibliography and compare with the literature.

      The politicization of the topic proceeds not from the IPCC, but from those who deliberately obfuscate things--those who repeatedly raise incorrect arguments; those who cherry-pick data in ways patently calculated to mislead; those who prefer rhetoric to logic. You can identify them for yourself, if you try.

      It seems to me that those advocating the exclusion of the IPCC, or of 'environmental extremists' (however one defines that term) because they are 'political' use the term as a bludgeon. As I said, politics is the process of making social decisions, so excluding legitimate stakeholders--and however 'extreme' a particular environmentalist may or may not be, they do have the normal spectrum of human and civil rights, and are hence legitimate stakeholders in the debate--is in itself just another political tactic.

      Conservatives, or so-called ones in today's context, may well prefer the perspective of a oil executive to that of a biologist. But one is not more 'political' than the other, nor should either be excluded from the discourse. If we want to see durable solutions to our problems, we won't get there by exclusion. That's just a recipe for more division, more polarization, more conflict.

      Well, I'm already at much greater length than I wanted or intended, so just one other comment:

      At the end of the day, we must live in the world we [re]create together.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, It took me a while to digest what you posted in your last comment. It appears the future does not bold well. I understand your position that you think global warming is a complex problem, and that the environmentalists are part of the equation to solving it and finally it will always contain a political element.

      I and others like me disagree. We believe the problem is very complex, and that so far, we don’t know enough to make any drastic changes that may affect millions of people’s standard of living or livelihoods. We should take the time to study the problem, and understand all the interactions and how climate will change in the future and how we might best adapt or mitigate the effects of it. We need to develop a unified model of our planet that will accurately predict the future...

      We also believe the environmental extremist should not be included in this “process” because they have a different agenda. They believe we humans are the problem for just breathing...

      Finally, we believe the solutions should be based on science and not politicized. That is to say, we should not rely on the recommendation of the IPCC which is under the corrupt UN and has many bad actors as members...

      I want the solution to be purely based on science and to take into account the cost/benefits of any proposals to adapt or mitigate the future effects.

      We also believe time is on our side. We don’t need to rush into this with a half cocked proposal that may not do very much in the long run but cost human suffering especially in the third world nations.

      Unfortunately, that is where we are at...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      I'm serious, too, Jack. The science is inherently tough, and the fact that human society's collective choices matter, despite the unpredictability of politics, just makes it worse. But we don't have the option to quit, really--to quote the song by Rush, "If you decide to to decide/You still have made a choice." We need to look at the evidence honestly and critically, and make the best choice we can.

      "How can we, collectively, tackle this issue without the interference of politics and environmentalism?"

      First, I think that you should stop demonizing environmentalists. You can certainly disagree with them, but they have a legitimate point of view which needs to be considered in policy-making, just as, say, business leaders do. Or, to put it another way, environmentalism isn't an 'interference' with the process, it is a *part* of the process.

      Second, what I've called "the process" in that last paragraph is, in fact, politics. So we'll never, by definition, avoid politics in making social decisions, any more than we could avoid water while swimming. Theoretically, we could have politics that were less partisan--though that seems a faraway possibility in the present context, I grant you.

      (But it may not be impossible--there are structural reforms that might work, such as introducing alternative voting methods. It's well-accepted that the current 'winner-take-all' method, usually called 'first past the post' in accordance with a horse-racing analogy, favors a two-party system. But several states are running alternates now--California, for instance, has a system whereby candidates are ranked by voter preference on each ballot, and votes automatically transfer down the list according to set criteria. (I'm sure you could envision algorithms to do that very easily.) So, for instance, a conservative might put as her first choice the Libertarian candidate, secure in the knowledge that her vote will transfer to a Republican candidate if necessary, and will not be wasted because the Libertarian is not sufficiently mainstream. You could also imagine a liberal voter doing the same with respect to, say, a Green Party candidate. Over time, the stranglehold of the established Big Two can in theory be broken, opening up choices for voters and, one hopes, eroding the political polarization we see today.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, we seem to be going around in circles. It dawned on me in recent weeks that our current political debate between Democrats and Republicans falls into the same camp. Each side has a certain core believe system and they are fed by media and think thanks and groups with an agenda. Therefore, we end up with two opposing groups and very little progress is made in Washington DC. The american people are caught in the middle, with most people not knowing who to trust or believe...

      I am beginning to think there is no solution and it proabably does not matter in the end. We will get what we get...and deserve...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I am serious. What is the answer then? How can we, collectively, tackle this issue without the interference of politics and environmentalism?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      No, it's the frustrating thing about dealing with highly complex interacting non-linear systems which--to top it off--also involve the results of human free will as significant variables.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Plus, they don’t know how bad and they don’t agree on how long it will takes... this is the frustrating thing about dealing with climate scientists.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      7 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Well, not NASA officially, I guess. But well-said.

      "So we all know what's causing climate change, we can't tell you what to do about it but we can say it's time to do something about it."

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      7 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      8 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Yes, management is an issue, and no, it's not a California issue specifically. While the initial tweet threatened to 'withhold funds' from California if management weren't 'addressed', the reality is that it's overwhelmingly Federal agencies doing (or not doing) the managing. And the biggest reason for non-management is lack of Congressional funding. So it was an instance of seriously misplaced victim-blaming.

      But more generally, the national data on fire acreage--which goes back to 1926--lets you see that the biggest factor was the progressive implementation of a policy of blanket fire suppression, backed by extensive, modern technology. It cut acres burnt by a factor of about 10--in 1930 (the heart of the Dust Bowl years) over 52 million acres burned! (This year, which is a bad one by modern standards, won't reach 9 million.)

      And yes, fire is natural, and ecosystems are adapted to a certain level. I recently read this excellent Stephen J. Pyne account of fire through deep time on Earth:

      https://www.powells.com/book/fire-a-brief-history-...

      But no, weather and climate aren't 'bit players'--they are strongly determinative of the level of fire activity. Practical firefighters and Dr. Pyne are unanimous on that!

      And it's a simple reality that hydrological drought in California has increased quite significantly:

      https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/statewide/time-serie...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      8 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, isn’t part of the issue with wild fires in CA is land and forest management?

      Sure drought and weather play a bit part but you must know it is nature’s way of getting rid of the dead wood restarting new...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      8 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, if you are interested in reading further on the California wildfire question, you could do a lot worse than this discussion:

      https://tamino.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/temperatur...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      8 weeks ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Well, the good governor is entitled to his opinion (as is the editorial board at investors.com) but I'm afraid he is insufficiently cynical.

      He might be able to remedy that deficit by reading their Bulletin, though. For instance, they say that the number of fires in California has been decreasing, and strongly imply that that means that the wildfire problem doesn't actually exist--despite the fact that their own story, linked by them in support of this supposed point, also says this:

      "Despite the decline in overall fires, the amount of acres burned by wildfires isn’t following the same trend. In fact, acreage burned by wildfires is doing just the opposite.

      "“For most ignition sources we have found a decline in the numbers since the 1980s, but not a decline in the area burned,” Keeley said.

      "Large wildfire numbers from 2000 to 2015 illustrate the growth in burned acreage. While the numbers are volatile year to year, the overall trend shows growth in fire sizes."

      Let's highlight the bit they left out, just for emphasis:

      "GROWTH IN BURNED ACREAGE."

      I don't have time just now to put in on investigating the Gish gallop of various other supposed 'failed projections'--most of which we've already examined multiple times on this thread, anyway.

      But I strongly suspect that if I were to do so, I'd find a laundry list of cherry picking, misleading framing and wording, and probably outright invention. The example of the wildfire study is highly suggestive of bad faith--with the only alternative explanation being a carelessness with journalistic norms so strong that it led them not to bother reading the whole of the story that they cited.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      8 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Another dire prediction by Governor Brown of CA...

      https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/cali...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "Who knows what new technology could change the whole dynamics of climate change... Some genius may come up with a new and simple way to mitigate carbon emissions...we just don’t know do we?"

      No, we don't know what abilities we will have in 50 years, and yes, it's rather amazing looking back to see what has changed in the last 50 years.

      However, we do know that whatever they may be, if we fail to take action on the problem visible now, those abilities will be deployed in an environment a good deal less favorable to human health, wealth and prosperity than it could otherwise have been. And that would be a darn shame.

      But let me also look forward a little, as you invite.

      I expect:

      1) Cheap and abundant renewable energy within 2 decades. It's pretty cheap now--currently undercutting conventional power in many applications and locations--and will continue to become cheaper even without dramatic technical changes, merely because of more favorable regulation, finance, and economic factors, all of which boil down to scale. It will be 'firmed' by a mix of factors: energy efficiency, demand response, battery and other storage, and, yes, nuclear power, too.

      In my opinion, this is the only thing approaching what you propose under the heading "a new and simple way to mitigate carbon emissions." Remember, if the mainstream science is right, we need to be at net-zero emissions by 2050 if we are to have any hope at all of avoiding 1.5 C warming. That implies emissions should really be falling *now*, not (as they actually are) rising.

      So, let's suppose that a genius or team thereof comes up with a simple, cheap design for a workable, economically practical fusion reactor. How fast could it be validated, built and replicated at massive scale all around the world? Real-life experience would say, to put it briefly, "several decades". I would say that even Gen IV fission technology--reportedly about to come online in a few demo projects--is already too late to solve our immediate problem. And ditto for carbon-capture technology. These things may help us out, but there is no silver bullet on the horizon, and even if one should appear, it's unlikely to be scalable fast enough.

      RE isn't there yet, either, but it's reasonably close--we're probably deploying it at about 1/5th or 1/6th of the rate we need to to meet our decarbonization timetable. That's probably a doable change, if we really put our minds and hearts into it. And the cost--yes, it wouldn't be cheap!--would be compensated for over multiple time scales by the public health benefits and the benefits to national treasuries, many of which are currently crippled by ongoing subsidies to fossil fuels. (Egypt, for instance.)

      2) If I had to bet, I'd expect that we'll see fusion at at least the energy break-even point by the end of the century, if we maintain the ability to do relevant research at more-or-less comparable levels of commitment. It may even reach the threshold of practical application.

      3) I think it's clear that we'll continue to see dramatic increases in the capacity of AI, big data analytics, and all manner of developments in CAD. These, I think, are likely to transform our day-to-day world in ways that may be unexpected. I know you're a bit skeptical on, for instance, autonomous autos, but in 50 years--again assuming we don't impair our R & D capabilities too badly one way or another--I think things could change an awful lot in this respect.

      4) We'll also have vastly augmented knowledge of, and control over, genetics. Again, it's hard to guess what that will mean in practice, but since a big problem relative to climate change is food [in]security, one can imagine that genetic prowess will very likely be brought to bear on engineering climate resilience into our food crops--all of which were created by selective breeding from wild forbears during the climatically stable Holocene.

      We may even genetically engineer ourselves (and even other animal species) to better endure a warmer climate. It's been demonstrated to be possible that certain areas of the global could attain wet bulb temperatures under really extreme warming:

      https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2010/1005...

      (To be clear, note that these are extreme scenarios, and are probably not possible until long after 2100, and only then if we keep burning fossil fuels at something like the current rate indefinitely--something I don't expect, since it would be incompatible with point #1 above.)

      More immediately, though, there's evidence that the labor productivity is already being intermittently but increasingly affected by high temperatures:

      https://unu.edu/publications/articles/productivity...

      Such an effect could be addressed in several ways. One would be genetically engineered heat adaptation, as suggested above. If normal human body temperature were adjusted upward by a degree or so, say, it could make a big difference.

      Or perhaps human labor could be replaced or augmented by robots. They might be controlled by AI or by remote pilots as drones are today, or perhaps by a combination of the two.

      It's possible, too, that genetic modification could be used for conservation purposes--that if we see particular species in trouble due to climate change, we may make the choice to save them by modifying them, rather than simply losing them altogether.

      A lot of this poses knotty problems of ethics, practicality, cost, and of course possible unintended consequences. So, while it's fun to speculate about, the practical course of action would clearly be to avoid placing our society in a position where these sorts of actions are needed. Every study that's looked at this has concluded that expenditures on emissions mitigation now can be expected to produce much larger savings in the future.

      Thanks for the invitation to speculate! Hope it's of some interest for you.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      Here is a hypothetical exercise for you to think about. assume all that you claim is true and come to fruition sometimes in our future, say 50 years. That would be the year 2068.

      Now, think, based on all your scientific knowledge and our history, and our technological prowess...

      Where do you see mankind be?

      By the same token, if you go back 50 years, the year 1968, would you have guessed correctly where we are today.

      I was only 17, still in high school. The moon landing was just about to happen in 1969. Could we have imagined the web, smart phones, tablet computers and large flat screen TV...or LED lighting or solar panels...

      My point being, we cannot phantom what will happen 50 years from now. Some may be colonizing the moon and mars.

      We may self destrust with a nuclear world war...

      Or Aliens may arrive like Independence Day film...

      To worry about something so far ahead of us is limiting.

      Who knows what new technology could change the whole dynamics of climate change... Some genius may come up with a new and simple way to mitigate carbon emissions...we just don’t know do we?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, I'm glad that my impromptu list is helpful, or at least interesting. It just scratches the surface, though; IIRC, the list of authors on the last Assessment Report runs to over five thousand authors.

      Possibly I should have included James Annan, who has the colorful propensity literally to put his money where his mouth is, by betting with climate contrarians:

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-co...

      https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060103497

      Short version: He's up over 500 pounds (one win for 666, one loss for 100), plus a bad debt on a $10,000 USD bet with two Russian solar physicists who don't want to pay up.

      He and his partner, Julia Hargreaves, write a blog which is interesting--often a bit too technical for me to grasp fully, but also quite often presenting the human face you write about.

      http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/

      Anyway, I'm also glad that my comments about the jargon were helpful; I was a bit afraid that they'd seem a bit bumptious.

      You are right, of course, that humankind has historically had relatively little influence on climate. To be sure, there is the Ruddiman hypothesis that land use changes due to agriculture have had effects detectible at the global level for centuries:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ruddiman

      But even if that is correct--a matter that the jury is still out on--that didn't, in my view, amount to actual 'control' in the human sense, which would imply intentional manipulation. We're not even 'in control' in that sense now, although our *influence* on climate is, in my view, now practically undeniable: should we succeed in the intentional mitigation of carbon emissions sufficiently quickly to mitigate the worst warming effects, then and only then we will have achieved some measure of "control" over climate. (Also over ourselves--arguably even more important, in a way.)

      Obviously I'm disagreeing with you when you say that we can't change climate significantly--as indeed you already say yourself with "you and I diverge." You're probably correct to say that 2 C will take thousands of years to melt Greenland and Antarctica. (I say "probably", because while pure melt would definitely take that long, there is a potential joker in the hand in the form of dynamic effects on ice flow to the sea, which could speed things up drastically.)

      However, that isn't the whole story. Since pre-Industrial times, we have already increased the GHG burden in the atmosphere by over 40%. That's history, not speculation. We've already raised GMST by about 1 C. Again, not speculation. And while the trajectory those numbers will follow is necessarily uncertain because it depends on actions we undertake in the coming decade, it's quite clear that we're going to see somewhere from 0.5 C to nearly 5 C. (Note that since land temps warm about twice as fast as ocean temps, the change as experienced by humans will be significantly greater.)

      In terms of impacts, we're seeing many of them now. For instance, the global increase in coral bleaching due to warmer SSTs--yes, in combination with other environmental stressors, from dynamiting to toxic (to corals) sunscreen chemicals--means that coral reefs are at risk *now*. (You may remember from the exchange on my Hub that the observed destruction of coral reef habitat due to bleaching was what was depressing Dr. Camille Parmesan.)

      Loss of coral reefs may sound like a problem for tourists, but in fact it represents a direct loss of billions of dollars of economic activity, probably tens of millions of livelihoods globally, and a very significant chunk of global marine biodiversity and productivity. It's a big deal, and it's just one impact that's being observed on decadal, not millennial, time scales.

      Again--observation, not speculation.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Thanks for the extensive list of climate scientists. I have my work cut out in front of me.

      You are correct about my idea of mitigation is adaptation as you say the proper jargon. I mean man has always adapted to the climate and have not been able to control it...we leave that up to the Gods...

      We can adapt to warming and cooling and rising oceans and even the next ice age... we cannot change our weather or climate significantly.

      That is where you and I diverge. My believe is the earth is too large.

      The law of large numbers has constraints. That is to say, because the earth is so massive, even a small change in temperature will take a long time to show up. For example, a warming of 2 degrees will take thousand years to melt the polar caps...to a degree that will cause coastal flooding on the order of Al Gore’s documentary.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "Doc, you forgot one thing. I am an engineer by training."

      Opinion on climate change among engineers is not monolithic, either--which says to me that there is no a priori guarantee about infallibility on that basis. Or to put it another way, some engineers think the science of climate change is just fine; others, like you, the reverse. One group must be wrong (assuming there is no possible 'half-fine' scenario.)

      An interesting case in point is this 2012 sociological study of opinion on climate change among members of APEGA (the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta).

      https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0170...

      Not easy reading, and I take it with a grain of salt. But it's interesting that in a group of engineers and geoscientists active in the fossil fuel industry, the largest single sub-group, 36%, turned out to be the "comply with Kyoto" group.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "Don’t tell me you don’t see what they are trying to do. Given all this back drop, what I see today is not science but politically driven."

      Of course the *activism* is political, and rightfully so. Deciding what society will do (or should do) is the job of politics, and we can't both maximize the profits of fossil fuel companies and maintain the climate which nurtured our development as a civilization. So there's political conflict to decide that question.

      However, if you look at the actual research, you do find science proceeding as science should. I am trained as a scholar, not in a scientific field, true, but I do understand how research is supposed to be done--the norms of citation, the ultra-precise if stilted language, as well as the concepts and statistical norms.

      By contrast, most of what I see from the 'other side of the aisle' doesn't qualify. Most of it is propaganda in varying degrees of blatancy.

      "Yes, our climate may be warming and we may have contributed to it in some way... but it is not as destructive or dire as projected. It cannot be. If we could affect it in such big way, then we should be able to reverse it."

      That doesn't follow; there are many examples of processes which are easy to initiate but difficult to reverse. For example, if you nick your timing belt so that it breaks while the engine is running, you are quite possibly going to suffer damage which can only be 'reversed' by replacing many parts in your engine head(s). Or again, the effects of persistent overeating can well be lethal, and have spawned a sizable medical sub-industry; but reversing the behavior or its effects can be very, very difficult. Similarly, there really is no reason why we couldn't do irreversible damage in the case of Earth's systems, too. (Of course, it won't be eternal in some aspects; climate has always changed slowly, and will do so in the future. But species and ecosystems we lose, we do lose for eternity.)

      "Apparently, we cannot and only left with the only other sane option of mitigation."

      We do have the technical ability to reverse our emissions behavior--or so the recent Special Report concludes. What we don't seem to have is sufficient political will to address as quickly as is necessary to minimize present and especially future harms. I try to advocate for prompt action, which seems to me to be prudent.

      (By the way, the usual jargon in this regard is a bit counter-intuitive, at least for me. Usually, "mitigation" is taken to refer to reducing (ie., "mitigating" emissions, whereas steps to "mitigate effects ("impacts")--which I think is what you intended by "mitigation"--are conventionally referred to as "adaptation." So if you wanted your concluding sentence to use the conventional jargon, you'd have written "Apparently, we cannot [mitigate emission] and only left with the only other sane option of adaptation." It may not be important--I knew what you meant (or at least I think I did, subject to your confirmation.) But I thought you might like to know that in case you run into the jargon somewhere else.)

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "What are the names of the top ten climate scientists in your opinion? And what are their current position on the theory of AGW in 2018?

      "This is important in the sense we need to put a face on these people."

      I'm not well-placed to say who the 'top ten' should be; my knowledge of the literature is not on a professional level. I can give names of some notable climate scientists that I am aware of.

      Syokuro Manabe: responsible for many of the most seminal papers in the early development of computer climate models

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syukuro_Manabe

      James Hansen: responsible for important studies of radiative transfer within planetary atmospheres, initially Venus, then Earth, and for using this knowledge to implement remote (ie., satellite-based) sensing of temperature; later, a notable activist for climate action

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hansen

      Carl Mears, John Christy: Other important figures in remote sensing. The former is chief investigator with the RSS data set; the latter, for UAH, and a noted 'lukewarmer'.

      Kevin Trenberth: Leading expert on Earth's energy budget, highly influential

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_E._Trenberth

      Kerry Emmanuel, Christopher Landsea: Leading experts on hurricanes; the former is something of a climate 'hawk', the latter is more skeptical

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerry_Emanuel

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Landsea

      In my perception at least, their disagreements have contributed to the current mainstream view that hurricanes are likely to become stronger but less frequent overall; that 'back and forth' is how science is supposed work.

      Jason Box, Eric Rignot: noted glaciologists studying climate-related ice loss in Greenland and/or Antarctica

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Rignot

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jason_Box

      Box is particularly outspoken, and has said that his choice to reside in Denmark was determined largely by the consideration that it would be a climate-resilient place for his daughter to grow up in.

      Cecilia Bitz: Another glaciologist of note who has spoken out

      https://www.atmos.washington.edu/~bitz/vitae.pdf

      Here's her op-ed in the NYT early this year:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/opinion/tempera...

      Here's her testimony to Congress in 2015

      Written: https://www.atmos.washington.edu/~bitz/BitzTestimo...

      Oral follow-up questions & responses: https://www.atmos.washington.edu/~bitz/BitzFollowU...

      Jennifer Francis: prominent oceanographer and early proponent of the idea that Arctic sea ice loss increases extreme weather in the Northern temperate zones

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennifer_Francis

      Michael Mann: originally skeptical about anthropogenic climate change, he became an outspoken advocate for climate action. He is much-honored for his seminal work in using 'proxy data' to reconstruct ancient temperature records

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_E._Mann

      Katherine Hayhoe, Gavin Schmidt: both are noted communicators in the sphere of climate science, and both have solid research records involving use of numerical climate models. The former concentrates mostly on impacts and on downscaling methodology (which is concerned with improving the accuracy of regional forecasts); the latter is more concerned with the 'big picture' accuracy of GCMs, as in 'isotopically enabling' them to allow comparison of isotope distributions in models and observations.

      Dr. Hayhoe is also notable as an example of the fact that religion and science need not conflict, by virtue of her Evangelical faith.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavin_Schmidt

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katharine_Hayhoe

      https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&use...

      This is obviously pretty scattershot, not systematic. But perhaps it helps put something of a human face on things, as you requested.

      "In a few years, they are going to be recognized either as prophets or frauds. Either they will be rewarded for saving our planet from impending doom, or they are the latest version of the boy who cried wolf."

      I doubt it. I think that the denialist machine will never concede defeat; it will just be a long, slow withering away. Thus there may never be an 'aha' moment on this question--let alone 'in a few years.'

      "It is a real possibility, over the next decade, the planet will either stay the same, get extremely warm, or actually go the other way. Which is it?"

      A decade does not prove anything by itself; the observed warming trend globally is about 0.18 C/decade. But a cursory look at the yearly means shows that we routinely experience swings fully two-thirds of that magnitude from year to year, and occasionally we even see year-to-year swings *exceeding* it--for instance, 1982 was fully 0.2 C cooler than 1981 (and also 0.18 cooler than '83.)

      https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GL...

      That means that you quite frequently get ten-year periods with no obvious warming trend. Contrariwise, you also get ten-year periods with exaggerated warming trends. Both are misleading with regard to the long-term trend, however.

      But if the trend *within* any given decade is not necessarily going to conform to the long-term trend, the trend *between* decades is much more consistent. For instance, here are the decadal means from 1970 (in anomaly values of hundredths of a degree C):

      70-79: 2.9

      80-89: 25.3 (+ 22.4)

      90-99: 38.8 (+ 13.5)

      00-09: 51.9 (+ 13.1)

      And for comparison, the most recent 10 years:

      2008-2017: 65.9

      So, the next decade as a whole will almost certainly be warmer than the last--but that does not mean that the temperature will necessarily rise *during the course of* that decade. (It's more likely to than not, but that's the most I can say. Presumably a professional statistician could calculate the exact odds, although that wouldn't consider changes in forcings--just past behavior of the system.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, you forgot one thing. I am an engineer by training. I see things and I can tell if the science is solid or not. I also know about computer models. I worked for IBM for 28 years and part of my job was to run simulation models... I also know about the environmental extremists.

      Don’t tell me you don’t see what they are trying to do. Given all this back drop, what I see today is not science but politically driven. Yes, our climate may be warming and we may have contributed to it in some way... but it is not as destructive or dire as projected. It cannot be. If we could affect it in such big way, then we should be able to reverse it. Apparently, we cannot and only left with the only other sane option of mitigation.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "You forgot to include our last President Barack Obama who claimed climate change is the top of our issue and being an existential threat to human kind...

      It is that kind of rhetoric that turned me off."

      Well, sorry you didn't like that. But in my opinion, he was factually correct. At 1 C warming, we've already lost well in excess of 100,000 lives prematurely ended, and $100 billion in economic losses. That damage will increase by some exponential function, which we are not able presently to characterize well.

      I won't go into all the possible impacts; it would be tedious and depressing. But the bottom line is that there is reason to think that the cumulative, interacting effects of climate change--large-scale food insecurity, infrastructure loss, massive refugee flows, loss of eco-system services, public health threats, all leading to economic chaos and military conflict--could potentially destabilize our entire civilization. That's a worst case, of course, but risk planning is supposed to involve considering worst cases.

      "Anyway, disinformation does not explain people like me."

      I beg to disagree. While I feel certain that you are telling the subjective truth when you say that you have no agenda, I must point out that you evidently consume disinformation at a considerable scale. Is it really logical to think that it has no effect on your thinking?

      That's particularly the case, since I rarely see you deploy your skepticism when you present it. For instance, you clearly have the background to ask, when you saw the item you presented from 'iceagenow', "Hmm, what does this little term 'thermosphere' mean? And what does it imply about this comment and its presentation?"

      Contrariwise, you view the mainstream science with great skepticism, ascribing conclusions to prejudice at the drop of a hat--as in:

      "...the people making the decisions to publish are all on the other side and skew the results. In fact, there are many more that the 3% of scientists who disagree with human caused climate change. They are just not allowed to publish."

      That would be professional misconduct, and is, or should be, a pretty serious allegation.

      So from my perspective, it appears that you are much more skeptical in one direction than in the other.

      (To be fair, I, too, am much more skeptical in one direction than the other--but the directions are reversed. But I didn't start that way; I started by taking every denialist talking point (as I would now term them) seriously and investigating whether it was correct or not. After 10+ years of finding out that mostly they are not, I've drawn some conclusions. But I still try to investigate, especially with questions or claims that are new, partly because it's only responsible and partly because it's almost always an exercise in which one learns something new, and that has a lot of value.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, here is a serious question for you. What are the names of the top ten climate scientists in your opinion? And what are their current position on the theory of AGW in 2018?

      This is important in the sense we need to put a face on these people.

      In a few years, they are going to be recognized either as prophets or frauds. Either they will be rewarded for saving our planet from impending doom, or they are the latest version of the boy who cried wolf. Climate science is complex and most people get it. These are our most trusted people, who have spent years and our tax dollars doing diligent research...what do they have to show for it?

      My questions are not in jest. It is a real possibility, over the next decade, the planet will either stay the same, get extremely warm, or actually go the other way. Which is it?

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      You forgot to include our last President Barack Obama who claimed climate change is the top of our issue and being an existential threat to human kind...

      It is that kind of rhetoric that turned me off.

      Anyway, disinformation does not explain people like me.

      There are quite a few of us who have no agenda, are not being paid by big oil, are scientists and engineers, who look at the real world and see the problems with current climate science and how it has been politicized...

      Time will tell who is right.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      In a word, political tribalism, backed by a determined and well-funded disinformation campaign, and influenced by deeply vested economic interests.

      I think soul-searching is always in order, but not only on 'my side' of the question. Consider that George W. Bush campaigned to some extent on the environment and yes, climate change, saying things like "My administration is committed to a leadership role on the issue of climate change."

      https://www.azquotes.com/author/2246-George_W_Bush...

      Consider that John McCain did the same in 2008--and that although he did give up on the practical politics of climate change, he never changed his mind about the issue per se.

      https://insideclimatenews.org/news/26082018/john-m...

      So, what accounts for the shift in GOP views on climate? Why was it a vital issue for George W. Bush and John McCain, but a mere punchline to Mitt Romney in 2012? It's not a matter of the scientific evidence, because a) that continued to deepen, widen and strengthen, and b) Republican politician increasingly refused to look at it, relying instead on public professions of agnosticism such as "I'm not a scientist."

      Concern about climate is dramatically up among Democrats and up among independents. Why is it that it is actually down among Republicans?

      Finally, I would ask you to consider the long-term trend seen in Gallup polling on climate change, which has been ongoing since 1990:

      https://news.gallup.com/poll/206030/global-warming...

      Obviously, there is a lot of variability in those numbers, and highs and lows can be correlated with newsworthy relevant events (such as the high last year in connection with a record-warm year with lots of climate-related extreme weather, and, conversely, a drop in concern following the "climategate" hack and the ginned-up controversy surrounding it.) But it does appear that the mainstream science and advocates for it are progressively making our case, despite all the disinformation.

      (And note that the proportion of folks who believe that climate is changing due to human influence has only once dropped as low as 50%, and as of 2017 was standing at 68%.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, if what you say is the total truth, the American people must be so stupid... why half of them still don’t believe it? That is a serious question to you and the scientific community. How is it possible, if the science is so solid, and it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the people are not convinced?

      I am not being a cynic. You have to do some soul searching...what are you guys doing so wrong that you can’t make your case to the American people?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      I'll address your first post in this sequence point by point.

      "I think you missed the bigger point of the interview. What he is saying is that government has taken over what science used to be...individual and private research facilities..."

      This has happened virtually around the world, and it is understandable and probably necessary. With STEM activities accounting for a large proportion of economic activity, it becomes an important priority to maintain competitiveness in science. And it's not that government has replaced privately-funded science; it's that they have assumed complementary roles, with government concentrating more on basic research and corporate research focusing more on applied research.

      "The fact that climate change is one main focus demonstrate the skewing of the research by government grants."

      I don't see how. Why shouldn't such a vital topic be funded as a priority?

      "When I attend talks at the LDEO, most speakers mention about their grants that funds their studies..."

      I hate to break it to you, but grants are important to research in almost all areas, and especially fundamental topics--not just climate science.

      "Some will use extreme stretch logic to tie their topic to climate related studies in order to get the grants."

      Of course. It's called human nature. I'd suggest we adapt to it.

      "Many in the climate science community points to the fact that very little peer review papers are written to counter the theory of AGW."

      Who are these alleged "many"? As I pointed out a couple of comments ago, the main points of the theory have already survived extensive reality testing. Perhaps most don't think there is anything there to find any longer.

      "Well guess what, the people making the decisions to publish are all on the other side and skew the results. In fact, there are many more that the 3% of scientists who disagree with human caused climate change. They are just not allowed to publish."

      The only authenticated case of 'pal review' I know of was on the other side of the 'aisle', with Chris Freitas pushing faux-skeptic articles through without proper review. The result was a scandal, retractions, and long-term damage to the reputation of the journal in question.

      https://www.desmogblog.com/skeptics-prefer-pal-rev...

      Moreover, the 3% number (and others close) have come up in quite a number of surveys and studies now, so forgive me for being skeptical of the contrary assertion until I see some actual evidence to support it.

      "By the way, I have no agenda. I will go where the science leads. If tomorrow, the climate models proof to be totally accurate, I will have no objections to doing all we can to stop AGW or at least try the best we could. Until then, I remain a skeptic."

      Well, I've already presented a lot of evidence of accurate projections by climate models--although I'd note that "totally" certainly leaves a lot of wiggle room. What human activity, in any sphere, is characterized by "total accuracy?"

      But, if I may speak frankly, you seem highly resistant to accepting any of that evidence.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, it appears you have a new friend is Congress...

      “I just want to let you all know how proud I am of each and every single one of you. For putting yourselves and your bodies and everything on the line to make sure we save our planet,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

      Ocasio-Cortez then talked about her own experience protesting climate change.

      “We don’t have a choice. We have to get to one hundred percent renewable energy in 10 years. There is no other option,” Ocasio-Cortez added.

      Reincarnation of Al Gore...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, in your climate model... this cannot happen... yet it is happening.

      https://www.iceagenow.info/lack-of-sunspots-to-bri...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      I think you missed the bigger point of the interview. What he is saying is that government has taken over what science used to be...individual and private research facilities...

      The fact that climate change is one main focus demonstrate the skewing of the research by government grants.

      When I attend talks at the LDEO, most speakers mention about their grants that funds their studies...

      Some will use extreme stretch logic to tie their topic to climate related studies in order to get the grants.

      You see this distortion also in research publications.

      Many in the climate science community points to the fact that very little peer review papers are written to counter the theory of AGW. Well guess what, the people making the decisions to publish are all on the other side and skew the results. In fact, there are many more that the 3% of scientists who disagree with human caused climate change. They are just not allowed to publish.

      By the way, I have no agenda. I will go where the science leads. If tomorrow, the climate models proof to be totally accurate, I will have no objections to doing all we can to stop AGW or at least try the best we could. Until then, I remain a skeptic.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, the idea that all science is somehow being channelized into climate study is wrong, too. (These two incidences aren't alone--frankly, it's rather amazing to me how much sheer falsehood Dr. Michaels shoehorns into one brief interview.)

      But don't take my word for it about research topics. Go to Google Scholar and search for ones that have no relation whatever to climate change; the search engine will tell you how many hits it gets. You'll find that all kinds of research is being done across the board, and that in fact climate research--much as it has expanded with the recognition that it's a topic of considerable practical interest today (which it was not, for a long time!)--remains just a small corner of the scientific edifice as a whole.

      https://scholar.google.com/

      Just paste the link, and enter whatever search terms you want to investigate in the search box. (Just to fact check myself, I tried "particle physics" vs. "climate research".)

      To remind you of a previous iteration of dialog on this point, I've previously shared the various categories that the NSF actively funds, and most of them do not naturally relate to climate change.

      Here's the page if you want to check it:

      https://www.nsf.gov/funding/

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      His point is how did we get here...how the the government became the main scientific organization? Prior to WW2, basic science and reserach was done in private or individual organizations...

      After WW2, the success of the Manhattan project, the government under FDR and Truman, decided to start the NSF to keep all these smart scientist employed and working...

      climate change study became a focus and a source of major funding.

      I came across a scientific study a while back in a book store...in the 1940s... and it covered a wide range of diciplines...

      Today, just look at recent scientific papers and topics... it is mainly related to climate change? How come?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Pat Michaels is a paid disinformer, on retainer from fossil fuel interests for years now. And this is just incorrect:

      "It is nowhere near as warm as it's supposed to be."

      In fact, the observed warming matches the computer ensemble very well. As that's at the root of his argument, everything else fails.

      As to the inception of the NSF, your point remains a bit obscure to me, though I could perhaps make some guesses.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Here is important history that started all this -

      https://archive.org/details/scienceendlessfr00unit...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Check this out -

      https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/dr-patrick-mich...

      Dr. Patrick Michaels on climate change models and why they are wrong...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      2 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      How about checking the prediction record of that so-called 'climate model?'

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      2 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Russian climate model more accurate...

      http://notrickszone.com/category/russian-climate-s...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "The environmentalist claim we humans are the cause of these problems. The best in their mind is if we are all poor or just die, the plant will be so much better..."

      No, it's not a typical environmentalist view that humans should be poor, much less die. And if you read SR 1.5, you'll find that a major concern is harmonizing our need to, as you very rightly put it, be good stewards of the environment, with the need to alleviate poverty and provide opportunities for humans to thrive.

      I don't disagree with what you believe, even if I wouldn't necessarily ground those beliefs upon the same fundamental theology. (I'd also consider the precept to 'multiply' as having been amply fulfilled at this point. Time to check that box and move on, IMO!)

      "To think we humans can control the weather is rather hubris..."

      Again, no-one is claiming that we can control the weather. What we *can* do is to influence *climate*--not the same thing as weather. The evidence is that that is exactly what is happening today.

      Imagining you control what you don't is hubris. Failing to recognize what you *can* control is irresponsibility. We're called to walk a fine line. To do so, we need to use our gifts of wisdom and intelligence to recognize what is happening around us--and that certainly includes the warming of the planet under the influence of its increased GHG burden.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, that is the whole point of what we are saying. The environmentalist claim we humans are the cause of these problems. The best in their mind is if we are all poor or just die, the plant will be so much better...

      We totally disagree with that concept. Here is what I believe. We are put on this earth by God to be fruitful and multiply...

      We are provided with vast amount of resources and riches.

      It takes work to get at them and prosper. Just like it takes hard work to drill for oil or dig for coal.

      We are givien a mind to dream and come up with new inventions. Renewable energy including nuclear power comes under that same unbrella. We are also told to be good stewart of our planet. Thst includes protecting our environment and not polluting and also not abusing animals in our care....

      However, the fruits and trees and animals are put here for our use. They are our sources of food and companionship...

      These are very different world views.

      We have made a lot of progress in thr 5000 years we have recorded history. Who knows what the next 5000 years will bring?

      To think we humans can control the weather is rather hubris...

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      "If climate change is so complex, much more so than volcano or earthquakes, and yet we humans seems to believe we have a better prediction model in climate than the other two."

      The complexity of the subject is only one side of the equation, the other being the availability of good data, allowing the formation of robust mathematical models.

      To use a hypothetical analogy, you could have a system composed of 100 major components, for which you have data on 20, or you could have a system with a million major components, for which you have data on 900,000. Obviously, the odds are that you'd have a better understanding of the second than the first.

      On the 'don't be rich' comment, I don't think it's all *that* idiotic. To be sure, if you were rich, but didn't consume much, then your carbon footprint would be low. But how many people actually behave like that?

      And after all, isn't that precisely why Breitbart et al. pillory Al Gore as a hypocrite, despite his carbon offsets, solar panels and energy efficiency measures?

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Most idiotic statement of the year...

      “The best way to reduce your personal carbon emissions: don't be rich”

      https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/7/...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 months ago from Yorktown NY

      My question is more a theoretical one. If climate change is so complex, much more so than volcano or earthquakes, and yet we humans seems to believe we have a better prediction model in climate than the other two. Whereas, the other two disciplines are more realistic in recognizing their limitations.

      This latest article captures exactly what I feel. What if despite all the extreme proposals to combat climate change, what if we are helpless? What if, as it turned out, it is one of those things we cannot control? Just like we cannot control how the beaches are being eroded on the west coast? Or stop iceburgs from drifting off the polar regions...? Or even prevent coastal flooding in Miami.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      My reaction to the Kavanaugh article: it's highly hypocritical of Lindsey Graham to bitch about Democrats going to the mat over Kavanaugh when he and the GOP caucus did the same thing by simply refusing to take up Merrick Garland's nomination.

      The other article seems to be paywalled; all I can see is the first couple of lines, followed by a subscriber sign-in notice.

      As to your last section, we've already had that conversation; you previously asked me essentially the same question in a comment somewhere in the thread below. In a nutshell, there's *much* more relevant data available for weather/climate than for seismology, and as a result much better theoretical models describing the relevant processes.

      (It's your *assumption* that climate is more complex than practical seismology--while it would be mine too, were I forced to assume, I don't think we actually understand the seismology well enough to refute or to validate that assumption today.)

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 months ago from Yorktown NY

      The best article this year on climate change IMHO

      https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/glob...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      I just read this article...and was wondering what your reaction would be.

      https://freebeacon.com/politics/graham-challenges-...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, I just added a new section above. This was my observation after attending another talk at the LDEO. Care to comment?

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Cool! Check it out. There's a few older comments that you may or may not have seen, too.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Sure. I have no problem discussing it anywhere.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Did you read the comment over there? If we're going to talk about it, I'd prefer to have the conversation there, too.

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc, funny how you mentioned Tesla and people voting with their pocket book.

      I actually have some real experince here with my neice. She is a liberal who lives out in Venice Beach CA. She runs in the crowd of liberal hollywood since her husband works in the film industry as a producer. She bought a Tesla model S and later upgraded to the Tesla SUV. Her biggest fear is running out of power on the highway. She avoid a drive to Irvine, some 40 miles away on highway 405 because she does not want to get stuck. In addition, she bought a 5 million dollar home newly renovated with radient cooling. This was suppose to be ecologically friendly...except it does not work well in hot humid weather. In her case, she means well but suffer the consequences.

      A lesson for all liberal progressives that buy into the environmental argument of climate change. The truth is, one has little to do with the other.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 

      3 months ago from Camden, South Carolina

      Jack, no offense, but if that's a worry of yours, I'd suggest not patronizing news sources whose business it is to systematically minimize or deny the impact of climate change. Their efforts are why (IMO) you'd forgotten about the various hurricane impacts that have seriously affected the Southeast every year since 2015. (By the way, while we're fine here, the flooding still hasn't subsided in Conway, where the Waccamaw was just reported yesterday to have dropped below the previous record high! The flooding isn't expected to subside completely for at least another week.)

      I'd certainly say that it's a worry of mine; humanity's social structures are for the most part oriented toward short time horizons, and climate change is to a considerable degree a long-term problem. But the real kicker is that climate 'commitment' is now, according to all the best information we have, now very much a short-term problem.

      I suppose it's good in theory, but the problem is that it's the 'realization' component that gives us the most direct and forceful feedback, letting us understand the consequences of our actions in an unequivocal way.

      Changing the subject for a moment, I don't know if you've noticed the last few comments I've posted on my 'predictions' Hub; the latest is this morning, and concerns a fact about the Tesla 3 that you are probably also not aware of. And it actually does have to do with citizen concerns, in a way--that is, people voting with their pocket books:

      https://hubpages.com/politics/Climate-Change-Predi...

    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      3 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Doc,

      There may be another scenario. Instead of smoking and lung cancer as an analogy, it may well be, the boy that cry wolf. What if climate change is as bad as you say but the full effects won’t be felt in 100 years. While creating alarm now as some has, and nothing serious happened over the next few decades, the public is lulled into believing it is benign. Then, when the real effects come, in 100 years, people would not pay attention because they say it was exaggerated...

      See what I mean?

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