Making Sense of the Politics of Extreme Climate Projections
I was watching President Biden's speech yesterday - the background screen kept flashing Fifth National Climate Assessment. Most of the report is not ready for download but the catastrophe scenario summary is. I noted RCP 8.5 remains prominent. How do we deal with once reputable organizations like NOAA and NASA being bent to political tasking?
I especially like the phrase. " Diminishing the primacy of Prognosticative climate change." Why? There two reasons: (1) The methodology used by the IPCC climate modelers has never been validated. See, "Validity of climate change forecasting for public decision making" by K.C.Green, J Scott Armstrong and Willy Soon in the International Journal of Forecasting 25, (2009) That was a long time ago but the principles of forecasting still apply today. (2). Any increase in the concentration of CO2 beyond the current 421 ppmv will have a negligible effect on average global temperature anomaly . See Challenging Net Zero with Science, by Happer and Lindzen. comments by Robert W. Street
An interesting thing about snakes is that their teeth have evolved to help trap their prey. The snake's teeth are inward facing so if a clever serpent bites well, even if non-venomous, they can only escape with great difficulty. Snskes jaws are evolved in duch a way that they can swallow prey much larger than their mouth's size implies. If we humans had equivalent jaw structures we could swallow footballs, for instance. Which perhaps makes "jaws of a snake an even better metaphor for climate hype than you may have realized.
excellent post, thank you.
a philosophic question: if we didn't have the ability to instantly communicate or have the ability to calculate data to the 12th decimal point, would climatism (per Dr. Hulme's definition) exist? In other words, is climatism a product of our technology, or is it a product of our polarized "us or them" mentality? I look forward to reading Ragosta's book, "For the People, For the Country: Patrick Henry's Final Political Battle," which discusses the formation of two political parties, Federalists (Adams, eg.) and Democratic Republicans (Jefferson). It will be interesting to see if there are parallels.
"Models only say what they are told to say." - Matt Briggs
Rather than compare model outputs using different emissions assumptions, using only models which assume that carbon dioxide is the dominate climate forcing, why not compare those IPCC models with models which consider natural forcings as well as GHGs?
Javier Vinos discusses a rational approach to models in his "Solving the Climate Puzzle," chapters 49 through 51.
Nice post. The inappropriate use of extreme future scenarios (RCP8.5, 6.0) needs to be pointed out as often as possible.
The multiple vested interests will not give it up without a fight. (Alinsky's Rules for Radicals #11)
To paraphrase former President Obama: "The climate alarmists cling to their RCP8.5 and their eco-religion."
Governments everywhere are fast running out of other people's money, the renewable bubble is collapsing as was inevitable.
Is nuclear like democracy, to paraphrase Churchill, its the worst of all energy systems, except for all the rest?
I am open in that i don't believe there is a climate crisis (confirmed by Roger here) and i think we have seen all the warming we are going to get from increased greenhouse gas emissions, haven't seen anyone take down Happer's points, but there is also no reason to keep using fossil fuels for electricity generation when they could be saved for better things, mostly manufacturing.
Because its inevitable anyway we should be working toward nuclear for all electricity generation beginning yesterday.
Besides, it is the only possible way to get to "electrify everything".
We need to stop throwing good money after bad with the renewables craze, entirely a waste.
My hope is Roger's post inch us toward that goal
The state of NY plans to eliminate natural gas and propane as a heating source. Not just in new construction but existing structures as well. They want citizens to switch to heat pumps for heat. This will of course strain the grid. Add EV’s more strain. This will have no impact on climate, but it certainly will be a financial heart ship for people in that state. Talk about sticking your head in the mouth of a snake.
Roger - I deeply appreciate your writings and am happy to support you.
I have a question that , if you have time, I would like you to answer. If you already have an article on it, please refer me to it.
We know there are huge uncertainties in our assessment of future climate projections. But the focus seems to be on the dread of higher CO2 and the possible disasters that MAY come with it. Aren't these events largely based on models? And how reliable are they? What about THOSE uncertainties?
We are told that in our geologic past, there have been much higher CO2 levels that did not correlate with higher temperatures. So there are obviously multiple natural sources of CO2.
And those times do not seem to be associated with apocalyptic weather events. And given the benefits of CO2 to plant life, we are in a CO2 deficit compared to the more lush vegetation of past ages.
So why are you concerned with mitigation efforts now? How is it that human-sourced CO2 is widely assumed to be associated with catastrophes, when in our own human past, warmer times were associated with human flourishing?
I apologize if these questions seem simplistic, but I have been studying climate change for many many years, and I see this urgent insistence that we must act NOW in ways that are damaging to our own way of life. Yet the data on CO2 does not, to me, seem to justify both the expense and the radical modification of our energy systems.
I do think you have a more sensible approach, but you still focus on mitigation. I am wondering what it is that is the most motivating factor for you? Thank you.
I was just on a webinar last week in which the Feds were using 8.5 and 4.5 in a projection of future old growth forests. They did both but only showed us the 8.5 maps. I don’t think it’s exactly laziness nor inertia in the system. They feel like they have to pick one, and pick that one because it’s more illustrative. I think it would be great if grad students would do interviews and try to understand the psychology of this.. I firmly believe that they don’t want to intentionally mislead (at least not at that agency) but there are psychological factors at work.
Also I really liked the paper you posted last week about the water folks and scenarios. In my field, there has been the feeling as if climate projections, downscaling etc. have no uncertainties nor error bars. I tried to resist this during my paid employment to no avail. What the water folks are doing is giving climate projections their appropriate place in decision-making. It would be interesting for grad students also to survey different adaptation fields and see how they treat projections (there’s also a good paper by hydrologists on that.)
Finally in my field, I’ve seen economists (50 years ago) as the source of policy science; this transferred to wildlife biologists (as per ESA); perhaps now it should be wildfire science but instead we get climate models of potential future wildfires. The science you pick to be experts seems to directly affect policy outcomes. So when we hear “follow the science” we must ask “what discipline? What scale?” And follow it to what policies to fix (e.g. energy) and who are the experts in that field. Noting that fixes can’t be accomplished simply by writing papers with more emotive words in fancier journals and op-eds, fixes need to be accomplished by people working in the physical world with complicated bio-physical-human systems of all kinds including financing, resource availability, supply chains and trained people. Way too much for climate modelers alone to understand!
Making Sense of Extreme Climate Projections: Without open jaws, the snake can't capture any prey.
Roger, I think you just created a meme that's going to go viral--- Jaws of the Snake. It's going to be a major blow to Climate Catastrophism.
The politicians in favor of bigger governments will do whatever they can to prevent this from happening. Like the “Population Bomb” decades ago, they will desperately try to protect the perceived scientific expertise that allows them to forecast catastrophe and therefore accrue resources, power and control. It’s never really been primarily about the science. It’s about a really good pretext for politicians to become much more powerful. They will not let it go until the evidence becomes so overwhelming that they have no choice.
Nicely and memorably written article. I am with Indiana Jones and presumably St. Patrick, I hate snakes! Yours and Peters charts remind me as much of the forked tongue of a snake as its jaws!
Excellent post. I have long been interested in getting a sense of the range of warming uncertainty with respect to climate sensitivity for a given emissions scenario within a next-century timescale, and the figures from Mr. Peters provide exactly what I was looking for. And I love the jaws of the snake concept, I immediately realized what you meant when you said it can be seen everywhere.
Thanks for providing this valuable service for those of us who are interested in this subject but lack the time/expertise to dive deep into scientific reports or monitor climate twitter.
That was quite a quick dismissal of Hansen's paper. Can you say more?