Tuesday, December 29

There is no "Climate Catastrophe"

Have a look outside. Nice, isn't it? But wait! We're told we're in the midst of a grand "climate catastrophe". What gives?

This topic is more in my husband's area of expertise. It was the first "red pill" I ever swallowed. I had no reason to disbelieve the standard narrative, and back in 2016 when I mocked Trump for saying the climate crisis was a made up thing, my husband said, "myeh, you may want to have a look at that for yourself." I pressed him on it and got the whole download that I give you here.

This thing is based on the following chain of reasoning

  1. Man burns fossil fuels (FFs).
  2. Burning FFs emits carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.
  3. The emitted CO2 causes the parts per million (ppm) of CO2 to rise significantly.
  4. The Earth is warming at an unprecedented rate.
  5. The increased ppm of CO2 due to FF burning directly causes this warming.
  6. The amount of that warming is so large that it constitutes a "catastrophe" for mankind.
  7. Extreme weather, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, draughts and fires are all getting worse as a result.
  8. Replacing FFs by wind and solar is a practical response.

Number 1 and 2 are trivially true, but big questions exist on all the rest. This whole hypothesis is called "Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming". Anthropogenic means caused by man. It's shortened to CAGW.

We are told that "97% of scientists agree", like "9 out of 10 dentists recommend Crest" but MORE certain than that. There was never any poll of "scientists". If you think about it, the entire statement is an absurdity. How do they define "scientist". What is the question they put to them? It never happened. The 97% is based on two sloppy studies that asked the wrong question of the wrong people. It is true that various Associations and Academies of Science have come out in favour of CAGW, but it is not put up for a vote amongst the members, it is a political statement by the Directors. Besides, science is not done by political consensus anyways.

Let's take the parts in order.

1. Man burns fossil fuels (FFs).

You bet we do! It's been responsible for a vast decrease in poverty. Very little of modern-life can be done without FFs. No cars, airplanes, tractors, trucks. No plastics, cement, no steel. No manufacturing. No food therefore. And so on.

At one time in the history of the earth, CO2 was much more plentiful in the atmosphere. Ten times higher than it is now (and, no, there was no runaway Greenhouse effect, obvi). During that time the plants and little animals thrived. Over time, these plants and animals got buried deeper and deeper and squeezed harder and harder. These carcasses of dead plants and animals, these fossils, are in fact our Fossil Fuels. All that CO2 that used to be plentiful on Earth is now locked away in the FFs deep underground, and yes, we are releasing it slowly now.

Burning of FFs used to be a very dirty thing, emitting real pollutants into the air. However, modern technology combined with responsible regulation has reduced pollutant emissions to negligible levels. That is true for oil, natural gas, and clean coal. The air we breathe in North America and Western Europe is clean and clear. The same cannot be said for other parts of the world that have not yet caught up. THAT is where we should be making a fuss and helping out if we want to improve things.

2. Burning of FFs emits carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere.

Yes, absolutely. But important for people to understand the CO2 is not a pollutant. It is essential to all life on earth. Do not confuse with carbon monoxide (CO) which can kill you. And do not call it "carbon" - that's a sooty black powder (or a diamond, depending on how you take it). We breathe in and out CO2 constantly, and we create CO2 as a by-product of living. Plants use CO2 to grow. Greenhouses inject extra CO2 into the air to make the plants grow better.

The earth has been greening due to more CO2 in the atmosphere. A paper from NASA Goddard Earth Sciences analyzing changes in satellite imagery shows this (Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds). From 1981-2015 the greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.

3. The emitted CO2 causes the parts per million (ppm) of CO2 to rise significantly.

This is where the first doubt starts creeping in. It certainly seems logical, but the amount of CO2 emitted by burning FFs is a drop in the bucket compared to the total CO2 exchanged in and out of the atmosphere daily.

The above is the Carbon Cycle showing all the exchanges of CO2 between earth and atmosphere. It shows the earth putting 217 billion metric tons per year of CO2 into the atmosphere, of which human activity accounts for 5.5 of that, or about 2.5%, with FF burning even less than that. Note, however that the above was an older diagram and no longer up-to-date. More modern analysis suggests that fossil fuels emit about 1/20th of the total exchange per year, still small.

The biggest things that sets the atmospheric level of CO2 is the balance between the ocean and the air. CO2 dissolves into the ocean. The higher the ocean temperature, the less CO2 it can hold, and the more CO2 will be held in the atmosphere as a result. Therefore, if the ocean warms, for whatever reason, you would expect to see more CO2 in the atmosphere. This raises the interesting question, does more CO2 cause warming, or does warming cause more CO2?

Despite all of that tonnage exchanging, CO2 makes up only a tiny amount of the atmosphere. It is currently just over 400 parts-per-million. That's 0.04%. No typo. That is WAY LESS than 1%. Earth's atmosphere is mainly Nitrogen with a bit of Oxygen mixed in. Very little of anything else. Yet CO2 is vital to life.

The ppm of CO2 in the air has been reliably measured at the top of Mouna Loa in Hawaii since 1960. This is what it looks like.

Here we see a zoom on the last few years.

What is interesting is that the global pandemic, now on for over a year that ostensibly reduced economic output and hence FF burning considerable, seems not to register at all. Also, we do not see great accelerations in atmospheric CO2 corresponding to the acceleration in our use of FFs.

In fact, in the past CO2 rise has always lagged temperature rise. We can tell this by looking at ice core samples from the Antarctic. You put a big drill down and pull up a very long tube of ice. The deeper the ice, the further back in time it represents. Scientists can tell what the temperature and atmospheric CO2 was back then. And it turns out that changes in CO2 lag behind changes in temperature, throwing doubt on the claim that CO2 causes temperature to rise.

It is definitely a combination of man-made emissions, and warming oceans that pushes CO2 up, but how much is due to each is a bit of an open question (hint: it's very hard to know how much the ocean has warmed - the ocean is a very big thing and we have very few measurements of it by comparison).

4. The Earth is warming at an unprecedented rate.

When you think about it, it is remarkably hard to know the average temperature all over the earth at any point in time. So difficult that it may in fact be a somewhat meaningless concept.

We can observe the temperature at any one place consistently over time if we are very, very careful. But over the whole earth? Including every square foot of land, every cubic foot of soil, every cubic foot of ocean, and every cubic foot of atmosphere, and average them all at one instant point in time? Hard. The best we have are some very rough approximations.

What makes most sense to my little brain is looking at individual well-maintained, rural weather stations over time. A good one is run in Ithaca New York, by the scientists at Cornell University.

This is a plot derived from the daily min and max temperatures recorded each day of the year. The min and max were averaged each day. Each day of the month were then averaged together to get a monthly. And then each month of the year was averaged together to get the above plot. The years from 1916-1927 had a lot of missing months so they were excluded.

The reason to choose Ithaca is because it has a long history, was very well-calibrated, well-maintained, and zealously measured throughout its history, and it's away from airports and big cities which are subject to the "Urban Heat Island" effect (air above concrete and around buildings is hotter).

So where exactly is this climate crisis? We see no net warming over the period. I know you'll say we cherry-picked, but the only thing we "cherry-picked" for was a well-maintained rural station where we could access the raw data online.

Here is another chart for North America of unadjusted data for a consistent set of stations with a long history and where no TOBS adjustment was needed. (TOBS stands for "time-of-day bias" and refers to a change in practice at some stations where the time of day at which the min and max were reset was changed at some point in the station's history - it is is unclear if TOBS has any impact at all, but it has been used to justify an adjustment that warms the present and cools the past, so I would prefer to avoid those stations impacted by it).

We see the pattern very consistent with the Ithaca data.

  • The earth was warming up out of the so-called "little ice age" from 1900-1930. Of course, during that time there was very little man-made emission of CO2, and yet the warming slope is quite steep. By the way, nobody can explain that warming.
  • From 1930 to 1980 there was a long period of cooling. During this period, use of FFs exploded, so that's a point against CAGW. There were even worries over the "next ice age" coming in round one of "climate catastrophe, the game".
  • Form 1980 to 2000 the temperature went up, supposedly due entirely to FF usage.
  • From 2000-2015 there was a "pause" in temperature rise, while FF use was still exploding.

Why "cherry-pick" North America? North America has the most extensive set of weather stations over the longest period of time, so it has the best directly measured temperature data. Also, you can still get raw unadjusted data for it. Japan and UK are pretty good also, and they also show no long-term warming when the unadjusted data is looked at in the same way. And if "Global Warming" were truly happening, it would be very, very, odd indeed if the entirety of North America was totally skipped over.

The best source of data that approximates a global average is from satellites that measure radiative emissions from near the surface across the entire earth. This has ben going on since about 1980. Here is the latest from the University of Alabama at Huntsville assembled by Profs Christie and Spencer.

We again see the rising temperatures from 1980 to 2000, the pause from 2000 to 2015, then a rise after that due to a very strong double El Nino (ocean current thing - same as in 1998) which we are just coming off of now.

So in conclusion, yes the earth has warmed since 1980 in my opinion, but it's nothing special. It was just as warm in the 1930's.

So if you say to me, but the ice caps, but the polar bears, but this, that, and the other, then hey, we agree. The earth has been warming since 1980. But is it due to man-made CO2, or is it more due to natural causes, such as what happened up to 1930 which is not explainable by man-made CO2, and what about 1930-1980 when the Earth cooled? Lots of questions. No "catastrophes".

To put global temperature in a bigger context, we can use Greenland ice core data to get a good picture of how temperature varied over the last 4000 years (with a bit of temperature station grafted onto the end in red).

We are in what is called the "Modern Warm Period". Previously there was the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period, and the Minoan Warm Period, all of have been written about historically, and which we can see on the ice core temperature proxy data from Greenland. Burning of FFs sure did not cause those. The cause of those is not well understood.

We can go even further back in time, and see the entire extent of the current interglacial period we are in.

This is showing us warming up from the previous glacial period (colloquially called the "ice age", but in fact the ice age is a bigger thing that we are now in). The axis is in "Years Before Present". 15,000 years ago we were deep into the glacial period. The ice was over a mile high above my hometown of Toronto. Suddenly it came to an end. The "double ending" we see here is particularly mysterious. Some believe, based on good evidence, that a big asteroid hit the earth to cause the sudden rise and then decline before the rise into the interglacial period we now enjoy.

On an even longer scale than this, we can see the glacial and interglacial periods of our current ice age. Here is the last 700,000 years.

Notice how sharp the peaks are. Those are the nice toasty warm interglacial periods in our current ice age. The long descent down seems to be more business as usual on a 100,000 year cycle. The peaks last around 10,000 years or so. We are 11,000 years into our current peak. We have a lot more to worry about regarding the next glacial period that is for sure coming than we have about any dubious global warming.

5. The increased ppm of CO2 due to FF burning directly causes the Earth to warm.

Getting back to the subject at hand, the next contention is that the warming we have seen since 1980 is directly due to man-made CO2, but does science back that up? So it doesn't look good that previous unexplained warming cannot be due to CO2, and global cooling while a lot of CO2 was being emitted cannot be explained either, but we are for sure to trust that since 1980 more man-made CO2 correlating with increasing temps is for sure due to this? Right.

The entire question about global warming centers around the temperature of the air near the surface of the earth. The overall "temperature" of the earth as seen from space is only dependent on one thing, the amount of solar energy incoming. Energy out exactly balances energy in. The near-ground temperature that we experience is the net effect of many different heat transfers and heat reservoirs.

The sun directly warms the surface of the earth without much warming the atmosphere on the way down. Clouds tend to bounce the sun's energy back out into space without warming up too much themselves. So more clouds generally mean a cooler earth (you have experienced this first hand, no doubt).

What is warmed by the sun is the top little bit of earth or of water. On land that heat conducts down into the earth where it gets slowly stored in the summer and slowly released in the winter. In the oceans that heat conducts down into the water where wind and waves and ocean convection take over to move the heat in some cases way down into the ocean where it might circulate for literally thousands of years before popping up somewhere at the surface as a warm current.

These ocean currents have a long-term impact on the temperatures we feel. There are currents such as the El Nino and the La Nina which operate on sub-decadal time scales. There there are longer time scale current such as the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). When these current decide to turn around and do their thing is very largely a chaotic and random process, and this injects a lot of random noise into the temperature record that is hard to separate out from any longer-term trends over less than a 50 year period (i.e., the entire time the earth has been recently warming).

To see this, below are four separate plots of randomly generated "pink noise" which is the sort of thing that happens with these random and chaotic ocean currents of various periodicity.

To my eye, they all look pretty similar to those temperature records that I showed you above. The point is, are you really seeing a cause-and-effect CO2 sort of thing, or does the chaotic randomness of the ocean current explain it all, and how do you separate out the one from the other?

So, heat from the sun hits the land and water and the heat is stored away to re-appear much later. On a more daily timescale, heat conducts up into the atmosphere mainly by moist and dry convection.

Dry convection is the earth heating a little parcel of air in contact with it. That little parcel gets warmer and gets lighter as a result (hot air rises). As the air rises it gives off its extra heat to its surroundings and then stops rising. This is what conducts heat up into the atmosphere and away from the ground.

The other major mechanism is moist convection or evaporation. Water that is on the ground (or on the surface of the water) is evaporated and turned into water vapour continuously. It takes a fair amount of heat energy to convert water from its liquid state to its vapour state with no accompanying rise in temperature. Once it's been evaporated and mixed in with the air, it rises because moist air is less dense than dry air. Once the moist air rises high enough where the surrounding air is colder, it releases its energy to the surrounding air and the water vapor goes back to a liquid droplet state, which is clouds. When there's too much water up there for the clouds to hold, it drops as cool rain.

Those are the two major ways of moving heat up into the atmosphere, and based on that alone you would expect a temperature change from cold up there to warmer down here that is very predictable and is called the "lapse rate" - the rate at which temperature changes with altitude, and its mainly due to the pressure being more on the surface and less high up. That is the main thing that keeps us warm at night and not boiling during the day (like on the moon).

There is one more way that heat is exchanged up into the atmosphere from the ground. It is called "radiative transfer".

Anything that is warm emits radiation. Some of that radiation is light, and we can see it (think of a red hot coal). But a lot of that radiation falls into the infrared. We can feel it against our skin. It is actually light that is too long-wave for us to see, but can heat things over a distance, even across the vacuum of space. The light from the sun that heats up the earth is mainly shorter-wave infrared radiation (SWIR). SWIR passes straight through water and CO2 and heats solid surfaces. The earth radiates heat away at a longer wavelength, called Long-Wave Infrared, or LWIR. All of the energy that hits the earth from the sun is eventually radiated back into space, a lot of it from LWIR.

LWIR typically does not travel too far off the surface of the earth before being absorbed by either water vapour or CO2 (or methane to a lesser extent). The LWIR is absorbed and heats up these molecules. These molecules both bounce into other molecules to transfer their energy, or re-emit more LWIR in all directions (up, down, and sideways).

We can compare the relative strengths of these mechanisms with reference to the following chart taken Roy Clark's The Dynamic Greenhouse Effect.

This is data taken from a sophisticated weather station in a dry part of California. The vertical axis is energy moving per unit area per unit time. Positive numbers are movements down (including down beneath the surface), and negative numbers are movement up.

  • We can see the sun providing all of the energy during the daylight hours, peaking at around 900 Watts per meter squared at high noon. Offsetting that is everything else in the diagram.
  • A big portion, peaking at around 250 is the subsurface flux, which moves the heat down into the earth during the day, and releases some of it back at night.
  • The biggest one at around 450 is dry convection, or hot air carrying the heat away from the surface.
  • Because it is dry location, latent heat (evaporation) carries relatively little away here, but it would get much bigger in a wetter place.
  • Then there's the net LWIR radiative transfer, which netly transfers around 200 away from the earth. By net, it means that LWIR is both transferring energy into the earth, and the earth is transferring it out at the same time. We see the net effect here.
  • We also see on this scale, the tiny impact that a 200ppm change in CO2 has. ~1.7 W/m2 (this is the change in CO2 from pre-industrial times until now'ish).
Clarke judges any contribution from a change in CO2 in the atmosphere to be negligible and to impact temperature by only a fraction of a degree when properly averaged out over the day and over the seasons.

This may fly in the face of other things you may have heard. Let me try to reconcile it for you.

There is no question that, all else being equal (key phrase that), that more CO2 in the atmosphere would increase the surface temperature of the Earth by around 1C from pre-industrial times to now. There is good physics behind this. It is computed using a simulation called MODTRAN that models a column of gas like our atmosphere, provides an energy source like the sun shining in at the top, and computes what the temperature of the gas mix near the bottom would be. The simulation assumes only radiative transfer is present, no other types of heat exchanges that we have discussed above, only radiative. When you increase the amount of CO2, MODTRAN computes that the air at the bottom of the column would get about 1C hotter as a result.

That is cut and dry science. No question there in our opinion. So if you say, "but the physics says CO2 warms the earth" I say, yes, all else being equal.

But all else is certainly not equal, and it is the biggest challenge in climate science is to compute the "Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity" (ECS). ECS is defined as the change in global surface temperature resulting from a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial times.

All else being equal, and considering ONLY radiative energy transfers, a doubling of CO2 would raise the temperature by 1.7C according to MODTRAN. If there are feedback effects that amplify this, then the net might be +5C. If, on the other hand, the feedbacks are negative, the net effect may only be +0.2C. In either case the ECS would be 5C or 0.2C.

Here is what science currently has to say about ECS.

We see that over time, scientists assessment of the ECS has been going down and down and down as the earth has not been warming catastrophically according to their expectations. If you think "the science is settled" on the key question of what is the ECS, you sure have another think coming now.

All of these estimates though are quite bogus in our opinion. They are based on models called General Circulation Models (GCM), which are similar to weather modelling but done on a much larger scale and on a longer time frame. They make all sorts of assumptions about initial conditions and simplify all manner of the problems, such as the impact of clouds, to something pretty trivial. These models also need to be calibrated based on the past. The calibrations assume that any unexplained warming since pre-industrial times has been due to CO2. So that's a big flaw, and that's why ECS has been dropping as they re-calibrate to the actual world.

In fact, taking all the heat transfers into account, not only radiative, creates a giant system with many variables of non-linear equations (equations with lots of powers and roots in them). Such systems are known to be chaotic. That is to say the answer depends very sensitively on the starting conditions. This is how a butterfly can flap its wings in Africa and you can get a hurricane in Florida as a result. The GCMs are therefore doomed to failure for this purpose, but it's very useful in advancing the art of weather prediction, which has a similar problem and is solved in similar ways.

Roy Clark's approach is to use observation from sensitive weather stations to figure out the ECS. And he thinks its 0.1C at most. We're going with that.

6. The amount of that warming is so large that it constitutes a "catastrophe" for mankind.

So we think the ECS is small, but the United Nations Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (the UN-IPCC) thinks it's higher than that, around 4C. We could go on a lot about the hyper-political nature of the UN-IPCC and the dirty tricks they play to get the results the politicians want in order to keep hyping the "crisis' and to keep their funding going, but I won't bother here.

Even if it is 4C, then so what? It will stave off the next ice age for a few thousand of years. It will create more arable land. Food will grow better, and the climate will get more pleasant for us all around.

Ocean levels would indeed rise, and previously occupied places might become unlivable, but that will happen very, very, slowly, over a time period longer than the time people live in one place, so mankind will adapt.

A Danish economist called Bjorn Lomberg computed the GDP impact of the UN IPCC's ECS. He computed it to be negligible on the timescales we are talking about, and suggests there are other problems that can be solved with all the money being directed to climate change, such as child poverty, that would make a much greater impact. His latest book is False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.

Moreover, Bjorn reminds us that the "cure" would result in increased energy prices that would have a devastating effect on the poorest amongst us.

7. Extreme weather, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, draughts and fires are all getting worse as a result.

So this is an entirely false narrative and even the UN-IPCC agrees with that. As the earth has warmed since the 1980's the frequency and strength of hurricanes and tornadoes has decreased. Floods have caused more economic damage than ever before but are less severe in real terms. Draughts have not been getting more severe. Forest fires are more due to forest management practices than to very slight changes in temperature. They all seem worse because of the breathless reporting on the news channel, but if you look at actual data, it is not the case.

8. Replacing FFs by wind and solar is a practical response.

Windmills and solar panels are the most foolish reaction you can find anywhere. Countries such as Germany who have tried it have become utterly dependent on their neighbours for reliable electricity. 

And they absolutely do not cost less. If they did, you wouldn't need government subsidies to keep these things afloat.

A big problem is that with an electrical system that does not use batteries you need to instantaneously match the electricity generated with that consumed. The only reliable way to do this is with either hydro, nuclear, or fossil fuels, all three of which methods the "Greens" discard out of hand. Battery technology is nowhere near being able to keep up, and is a very eco-unfriendly technology to boot.

Here in Ontario for example, we have subsidized wind and solar. we guarantee that whenever these ventures produce any electricity we will turn down our other sources and pay them a ridiculously high fee to use theirs. Guaranteed for 20 years! It does not save us a cent, as there are frequent times when wind and solar produces nothing and so we need to build and maintain all the hydro, nuclear, and FF anyways. The incremental cost of turning up those sources a slight bit to make up for the lack of wind and solar is tiny, whereas the cost to the taxpayer of that wind and solar is astronomical by comparison. As a result, our electric bills have doubled in Ontario.

And who gets hurt most by that? Rich people who maybe pay 0.1% of their income on electricity, or poorer people where the electric bill is significant? It's f'ing evil and unscrupulous people are getting rich off of this thanks to government subsidies and crony capitalism.

And to try to spend ridiculous sums to reduce CO2 emissions when China, India, and Africa continue using them is pure folly, as the net impact of something like the Paris Accord, even if fully implemented, would be almost nothing.

The right answer is more nuclear. Our Canadian Cando reactors have proven to be a very safe design. 4th Gen nuclear is even safer, can burn the waste from old nuclear reactors, and leaves no nuclear waste of their own. They also don't emit CO2, but we consider that a bad thing. As the next ice age approaches, we will need to develop nuclear tech to keep us warm.

So what about this climate catastrophe thing? Is this a grand conspiracy to fool us? I don't believe in grand conspiracies. I believe in selfish people getting rich and powerful off lies.

I believe that the left, starting with Al Gore, have made this a huge issue to scare us with so that we will vote for them and put them into power. One is more shameless than the next, with current winner being the $75 Trillion "Green New Deal". Yeesh.

I believe that scientists have gone along with this without objecting strongly as their grant money depends on them toeing the government line. And most of them are only peripherally impacted. You can keep studying your butterfly reproduction so long as you say it is a paper about climate change's impact on butterfly reproduction. Need to say that to get the grant.

I believe the businessmen see government subsidized get rich quick schemes building wind and solar.

The weather is actually quite nice outside. Enjoy it before it takes a turn to the colder.


  1. Yes, well written and reasoned.

  2. Why are people making a virtue out of this “ fuck it everything’s fine “ behaviour ? You think almost every climatologist, environmentalist, marine biologist, geologist, the list goes on and on and on - would overwhelmingly agree on such a huge thing? You can’t get people to agree on anything anymore about even the simplest of matters! Yet almost every scientist agrees in this and it’s all a plot to screw the unknowing general public over ?!
    the chance that a large group of people from all different walks of life are saying “ earth is in terrible trouble, every eco system is dying, the climate is changing most likely with dire consequences” is a hoax? To serve who? Who benefits from that ? I hate that people are fighting science again. It’s like when they burned Giordano at the stake for saying the earth revolves around the sun. Science is everything. You can’t see the forest through the trees.
    Even if everything you said was true- what then? You’re trying to promote more of a “ fuck it everything’s fine it’s just the left meeting with aliens about microchipped vaccinations to make people hate trump , don’t believe anything “ . It’s people like you who are taking what should have been a 2 month pandemic problem and expanding it for over a year because “ science isn’t telling us the truth everyone wake up” . Fuck sakes.

    1. Rather than discuss the points I raised rationally, you went on a word-salad rant. I explained that the "consensus" is not meaningful, and explained why self-serving people push this silliness, but it's only possible because people like you that can't reason for themselves are fooled by it. I explained the science to you, either refute that rationally or step back.

    2. Anonymous has a point. It isn't just 90 out of 100 scientists who think global warming is a serious problem caused by human activity, it's more like 99.999%.

      The problem with 1% of warming coming from CO2 is that it warms the ground enough to change the ground cover. That exposes more areas, like Siberia, causing melting of the permafrost. That releases more methane, which is a far more potent GHG than CO2. Which creates a feedback cycle.

      We already have a lot of evidence that ice pack over Greenland is melting away. There is evidence that a huge ice sheet in western Antarctica is melting and may simply dissolve.

      If we actually got 4C warming, the entire mainland U.S. would be one, giant uninhabitable desert. Where are these 300+ million people going to go? Do they all migrate to Canada?

      Just because Democrats want something doesn't make it wrong. I think there are people who are being conned here. Make sure you aren't one of them!

    3. You've been fooled if you think 99.999%. You need to read more different points of view.

      I refer you back to times in the last 4000 years when it was warmer than today and none of those dire predictions came to pass.

      Deserts are more about moisture than heat.

      The science is not with you on this. Be suspicious of those trying to sell you something you can't see so hard.

    4. There’s thousands and thousands of peer reviewed articles on global warming evidence . Or, just look at any glacier in earth in the ost 20 years, beaches in all 3 major Hawaiian islands are disappearing, there’s already entire towns being displaced, and this is just anecdotal but growing up I had a back yard rink every year. The past 12 years it hasn’t been cold enough to freeze. Maybe a small blip in climate. Maybe the Thousands of scientists are right. You’re a contrarian .

    5. You are confusing 2 issues. One is whether the earth has warmed. As I wrote, that has been true from 1980 until now. The other question is whether CO2 has caused it. Don't confuse the two.

      If you think there are "thousands and thousands of peer reviewed articles" that prove that CO2 causes warming, then you reveal yourself as not knowing the first thing on the topic.

  3. I am so sick and tired of this "gloBULL Warming" Enviro-WHACKO agenda being spewed upon us. I don't want ANY restrictions on my personal individual freedom in the name of ANY Environmental GARBAGE, EVER !

    1. Well I wouldn't go that far. You can't pollute the little stream going by your house because your neighbours use it also. So a bit of responsible regulation is good for us all, but not when it descends to virtue signalling like straws and sea turtles nonsense.

  4. You are responsible for global warming Julie, you warm David's bottom a lot with your spankings

  5. A real pleasure to read such a clear debunking of the hysteria about our coming climate doom!!!
    Whenever I'm told that 97% of scientists agree I always ask how many scientists there are....you can't have 97% of an unknown number...math doesn't work that way!!!
    I laugh when politicians say that we in North America can save the world while India and China are opening new coal burning plants as they try to keep up with the energy demands of their people....maybe we should build a wall to keep their climate out...
    Thanks for the time and effort to put this out there!!!

    1. My pleasure. Hopefully we can get one or more converts.

  6. There is another angle to consider here. So let's assume that we have over egged the pudding so to speak. Reducing dependency on fossil fuels is likely to be the catalyst for immense economic growth and prosperity if carefully managed. By continued use of fossil fuels we become, over time, subject to the law of diminishing returns. Also, and whilst I generally accept scientific consensus on the medium to long term effects of climate change, there is the issue of how we can be the best stewards of our planet? There are so many alternative energy streams coming online now. These are receiving a lot of investment and are already yeilding benefits. Continued use of fossil fuel is a short time solution by its very nature. It seems entirely sensible to invest in those sectors which will afford the most sizeable long term gain. I could breakdown some of the points raised in the various articles you cite, but there is actually no need. The economic imperitives fatally undermine your central point. So you can continue with these arguments, but the rest of world, including China, is now committed to innovative and sustainable solutions? Why? Because it makes economic sense. Because it strikes a sensible cost/benefit balance. Because fossil fuels are going the way of the Dodo anyway.

    1. There is much more fossil fuels left in the ground than has yet been extracted. In particular natural gas locked beneath the ocean that the Chinese are most expert at mining.

      But wind and solar are fools gold. The Chinese only pursue them because it's easy money from the west.

      Nuclear is where it's at to get us through the next glacial period.

    2. We have about 50 to 60 years of fossil fuels left - which isn't much. And that is a very short period of time considering the investments and infrastructure needed to make the switch at the right time and for the supply side of things to adjust. So the switch has to begin now so it can be ramped up later on.

      Also your comment that it is fool's gold isn't accurate. It cuts CO2 emissions by about 30%, saves about $10B in fuel costs among other benefits. But I do concede that they are inherently unreliable and may do well in certain regions of the world - US (wind), India (solar, wind), China (wind), Africa (wind, solar) - few examples (but countries that will have an immense impact on the world in this century and where the population of the world is concentrated).

      Nuclear energy is indeed cleaner than fossil fuels and offers a viable alternative. But it is extremely and painfully costly, time consuming and not to mention risky (from a safety standpoint) to setup and run a nuclear power plant. Everyone wants nuclear power plants, but no one wants it near them.


    3. They keep discovering more and more. Techniques such as fracking have a huge potential. Then there is all the natural gas frozen at the bottom of the ocean which is estimated to be 10x more than everything we have used to date.

      But nuclear is the way to go. The mew generation is super safe, quite small footprint (house sized), burns waste from older reactors, and produces no mew waste. Look up Gen4 nuclear. Bill Gates has a company at the forefront. I'll have one close to my house, no problem.

    4. Julie, I disagree with your belief that climate change is less serious than the overwhelming consensus of climate scientists tells us. I’m not going to address your arguments because they have all been patiently debunked elsewhere, so I am not going to waste time trying to counteract the “red pill” you have swallowed.

      However, I agree with you that solar and wind power can’t replace fossil fuels. There is no way renewables can power the industrial processes required to create the quantities of solar panels and wind turbines that would be needed to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. The only source of energy intensive and reliable enough to replace fossil fuels is nuclear. We do need to decarbonize our economy to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change. Unfortunately, most environmentalists currently oppose both fossil fuels and nuclear energy. To make real progress towards decarbonization, they need to drop their opposition to nuclear energy.

    5. Methinks you are not capable of cogently presenting said debunking? You realize that not being able to present this debunking means you prove yourself to rely 100% on the judgment of others and no make no attempt at your own thought. Therefore you are rife to be hoaxed, not having the faculties to challenge what you have been told.

      We absolutely do not need to "decarbonize" anything, but we do agree that nuclear is the future.

  7. I don’t think that “ wake up sheeple ,you are being conned “ adds very much to your case.

    Once upon a time “ scientists “ could prove by means of observation and charts , that the earth was the centre of the universe and that the world was flat

    I’m even old enough to remember that tobacco companies would put a man in a white coat on your TV screen to back up the claim that smoking was good for you. Why they even put menthol in the tips of some brands to give you that bracing sea air feeling.

    So on one side of the table you can demonstrate your case with graphics and graphs
    On the other side of the table ,so can I.

    I’m a simple soul, and I was reminded of the words of Blaise Pascal when he was asked about the existence of God
    I paraphrase
    “ If I believe in God and life after death
    And you do not
    And if there is no God - then you are no worse off
    But if there is a God
    Then I will be having a fantastic time”

    Apply that to climate change
    If I do nothing
    And it’s all a lie
    Then I’m no worse off ( mostly because I’m dead but my personal frredoms have not been impinged)
    But if I act
    And global warming becomes a reality
    Future generations will thank us

    Take you pick

    1. That's an overly simplistic argument. It does not take into account the vast cost of reducing CO2 and what other things can be done with that money. It also does not address the fact that increasing energy costs will hurt the worlds poor. For Pascal, believing in God himself had no negative repercussions for others. Pascal would give you an F for applying his argument to this case, and actively seeking to harm others.

  8. Do you have a degree in climatology? Have you done twenty years of research on the subject? If not, why are you posting about a subject that know very little about? You have adopted a position on an issue, not based on the science, which you clearly do not understand, but on a political position.

    1. You are the type of person easily fooled. There is nothing mysterious about science. You should have studied more at school. Anything scientists do, the essence and the argument can be explained to non scientists. If a "scientist" cannot make a convincing case, without holes, you are being lied to.

  9. Yes its all one big scam for lefty government control over the oil industry they hate so much as well as to spread the money to their special interest lobbyist friends and to the so called scientists who manipulate the data with "models". Plus the industrialized and populated earth accounts for 2.6% of the surface of the earth the majority of which is water and the rest uninhabited land. http://www.newgeography.com/content/001689-how-much-world-covered-cities

    Just taking that into account you know all the lefty ideas of global cooling oops I mean global warming oops I mean Climate Change is fake and just a way to gain more power and control and get more money.

    Gotta love when a domme is right thinking as you but also doesn't mind a bit of kink ;-) definately a little jelly of david.


  10. Very well reasoned and put together. The states abandoned the scientific method and replaced it with feelings, emotion and opinion in the ‘70’s

  11. Well presented. I have been reading Bjørn Lomborg for 20 years. I am fond of his view that even if the changes are anthropomorphic and lead to dire climate changes, there is not a damn thing we can do about it. Not enough time or money to throw at it.

    That said you pissing in Al Gore and friends rice bowl and their plan to take more control and enrich themselves along the way. Biden has already selected people to punish us all.

    You are alright for a blonde girl.

  12. I do believe there is global warming - I have seen and felt climate change over time, in my home country. Like increased levels of drought, hotter summers, cooler winters and so on. Not to mention the melting permafrost at the poles. That said, I dont actually know or understand the science - I am not a scientist. Neither have I met anyone who argue for or against the topic. In short am not too bothered by the science - regardless of its relevance/correctness.

    I support climate change initiatives not so much for the scientific claims but for the fact that they are cleaner and healthier for us, if not for anything else. I mean better to not burn coal, and instead use hydro, no? Common sense. Better to not litter your environment and reduce trash and recycle. Healthier for us. Better to implement engineering solutions at factories (through enforced regulations), that force them to take steps to filter out gases before they let them out into the atmosphere - again healthier for us.

    That said, I do agree there is a lot of dogma out there. Like that girl from Sweden, crying “How dare you” lol.

    Climate change is being promoted as absolutely necessary only because there is BILLIONS to be made. For example, change all lighting to LEDs - who manufactures it? GE, Phillips etc - BILLIONS of $$$. Similarly, imagine the investment required to institute changes in just about every industry. So I think these companies fund non profits, who inturn get a public face in the form of Greta Thunberg, Scientists etc. These people are the same as doctors who are paid by big pharma to promote certain drugs. Not very genuine imo.

    Similarly, While it makes sense to adopt cleaner practices in general, I generally do think that climate change is a distant priority. The immediate priority is dealing with poverty, hunger, disease, war and conflict in different regions, infrastructure development, social issues etc., I mean go tell a poor farmer in Africa, that they cannot do something because it is polluting the environment - and that they won’t be able to put food on their tables that night because the environment has to be protected.


    1. Based on the temperature record, I doubt you've felt it. In your lifetime global average temps might have gone up by less than 0.5C. Temperature fluctuates with the day and across days by much, much more than that. You are just experiencing weather, some of which you have not experienced before.

      I agree that cleaner is better, but CO2 itself is very clean and should not be demonized. Some of these "clean" technologies are not so clean. The stuff that goes into batteries and solar cells is very bad for the environment. The manufacturing of giant windmills is very dirty also. Plus they are a blight on the landscape and need to be replaced every 20 years.

    2. No temperatures have changed significantly. I remember when I was a kid, summer temperatures would be 38C max. Now it is closer to 45C every summer. Clearly, that is not a local weather phenomenon. I can only attribute that to more greenhouse gases and pollution because of increased industrialization.

      And regarding windmills and such - well everything needs to be manufactured and they have an environmental impact, yes. Like Elon Musk wants to replace all vehicles with electric. What would we even do with all the toxic batteries once they are dead?

      The ONLY way to have a cleaner environment is to reduce consumption. But that means regressing - which is what the unabomber was promoting lol.

    3. Don't rely on your memory, lookup your local temperature station data. That much of a rise is not explainable by the AGW theory. There might be something else going on where you grew up.

      And reducing consumption is not the only way. Consumption has increased dramatically over the last few decades and yet we have been cleaning up the earth.

    4. I am talking about actual temperatures reported (and observed) over the years. Directly caused by the development of the city - more cars, factories etc. These temperature rises you mention are worldwide or nationwide averages - am talking localized. Localized impacts are more severe (Beijing being covered in smog for example) - but the point I am trying to make is - more consumption, more waste, more pollution - bigger the impact on climate/environment - naturally. And this is more visible in my country than in Canada, as developmental changes in Canada are not as drastic as it is in my home country (because it has been a developed country for a long time).

      If you dont reduce consumption the only other way is to use alternatives - windmills, hydro etc., Also earth hasn’t become cleaner - rather the opposite. You dont see trash and the streets appear cleaner - but the landfills are larger and a lot of the waste gets dumped in developing countries.

      Overall it is just common sense that as the population of the world increases, consumption increases, waste production naturally increases, CO2 and other emissions naturally increase and consequently the corresponding negative impact on the environment. It would be unreasonable for anybody to not accept that.

      However, how important is it for us to worry about this impact over other priorities? I would give it a much lower priority than other issues.

      That is all I have to say about this matter.


    5. Yes, urban heat island is very real.

  13. Replies
    1. That's it? Where do you find my reasoning to be off? Or is it "oh dear I've been fooled for all these years"?

    2. Math is real undisputable ,climate change is cyclicale, every 10.000 years, lighten up. The next iceage everytining will be alright.....lol

    3. Yes, exactly, we are overdue for the long descent. Get your woollies on.

  14. Why? Why did you ruin this blog?

  15. So how do you account for the increase in retained heat by the planet then? Obviously something must be causing it.

    And how do you explain the spectrographic IR satellite data that shows a corresponding drop in radiated infrared wavelengths in the exact wavelengths that are absorbed by CO2?

    1. If by retained heat you mean the temperature has gone up, then that is something that has happened many times in history, most of them unexplained. One theory is around solar activity and cloud formation, but the evidence is not a perfect match. Science does not know for the most part. Even the glaciation cycles are not known for sure (though orbital changes are a leading hypothesis).

      Re the spectrographic sat data, that is not evidence that more CO2 warms the earth. That is only evidence for what wavelengths leave the earth. The claim is that because the BB curve is notched the whole curve moves up to a higher BB temp, and if the height of effective emission is the same, lapse rate would make it warmer on earth. There are many assumptions in that reasoning that render it invalid. Emission height is not constant, for one. More CO2 would raise it.

  16. And how do you account for the isotopic data that directly refutes your point #5?

    1. If anything that refutes point 3? It's the idea that man-made emissions have a different mix of carbon isotopes in the CO2, and there is evidence of those in the atmosphere therefore for sure man made emissions are causing the rise in Atmos CO2. No question man made CO2 changes the mix in the atmo, but the total level may be much more determined by ocean temp is my point there, though it's all a big unknown.

  17. Wow! Look at the brain on Julie. So smart and can beat my ass.
    I'm in love.

  18. Radicalize yourselves, fellow patriots.
    They fuck you in unparalleled proportions, for many years.
    Shit this world of lies.
    Study everything again, read fucking books.
    Stop behaving like fools, for ease.
    Fight for a better world!
    It's even less hard than Verdun, what I'm asking you!
    It's even less hard than disembarking, your duty!
    Into the light I call you, my opponent.
    I bend you to the debate, my new -ism is ready.
    No censorship will keep the truth from shining!
    Explode all their scandals!

    1. Jaures from Avnoel if research serves?
      I agree with everything above. But it has a bit of a violent "feeling". Make love, not war. Truth and beauty will overcome. But peaceful activism for a good cause is always welcome. Be safe.

  19. Julie,

    I used to look forward to reading your blog. Unfortunately, you have now become a victim of your own personal digital echo chamber. The more you write about your opinions, the more you feel entitled to sharing them with others. The more alt-right blogs, feeds and websites you look at, the more you fed by the bots that feed what you look at. Posting a few charts and graphs by alt-right climate change denier groups does not equate to "science." Dig deep into these groups. You will find that near 100% of them are funded by big energy money. It's much more will hidden than it was 10 or 20 years ago when the Koch brothers openly funded these groups, but the trail is still there.

    Let's look at just one of the facts that you poo-pooed - the 97% number. Scientists publish papers. Other qualified scientists review these papers. It's called peer review. They agree, disagree, or partially agree/disagree. The quoted 97% number (and it may be 95%, it may even be closer to 100%) are peer reviewed climate change studies. On the converse, look at the dissenting studies. You will find that almost universally, the "studies" were not done by qualified climate change scientists, nor have they been properly and thoroughly peer reviewed per accepted standards.

    I bit my tongue on your previous political rants about what's going on in the USA. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even if they're wrong (like you were.)

    But don't start arguing settled science. Have you even taken the time to actually read the IPCC Fifth Assessment? Do you even know what IPCC stands for (no fair looking it up first.) Until you actually do, you really need to stop looking at contrarian "studies."

    Use your critical thinking skills, don't depend on what the people who are 100% vested in fossil fuels tell you.

    I used to admire you for who you were and your approach to life. Stick to what you're good at. You're way over your head in this one.


    1. Gary, Your comments indicate you did not read my article at all. I reference the IPCC several times. Yes, I have looked at the 5th assessment report, and the NIPCC report as well. Can you say the same?

      The 97% was from a study by Australian John Cook that looked at the abstracts of papers that took a view. Of those that took a view (only about 34%) they were assessed on whether they agreed warming happened and man was partially responsible. And many of those papers that stated it were not making the case for it, just parroting. You need to do better research, Gary.

      All research is funded by somebody. The amount of money flowing into supporting pro-CAGW research dwarfs any funding of the other side, so I wouldn't go there.

      All in all, your comment displays a complete lack of understanding of any actual science and just parrots what you have been told. So empty, and displaying 0 critical thinking skills at all, but thanks for playing.

    2. Julie,

      “Looking” at a report and actually reading a report are two different things. As for saying I lack an understanding of actual science, you couldn’t be more wrong. We all have our areas of expertise, and I guarantee that I am way more qualified at looking at and interpreting scientific data than you are.

      You’re delving into areas where your opinion is just parroting meaningless alt-right drivel. Go back to what you’re good at writing about. If you need Yao, start another blog with your little QAnon friends where you can commiserate with other science-denying folks.

      David I’d really needs to take better control of you. You can no longer be trusted to be on your own

    3. I read it, it's only about 100 pages, but you really need to read the referenced papers as well, and that is daunting and hard to find. I have it as a PDF on my iPad, along with the NIPCC for reference. So why don't you shut the fuck up about things you don't know anything about?

      If you are qualified, you offer no evidence of it, as your comments are empty drivel. If you claim to know the science then refute the points I made, else move on, sunshine.

      But this is so typical, audience. I provide a carefully laid out science-rich and fact-based argument with references and charts, and you get critics like this guy who come with zero understanding and attempt to belittle. Thank you, anonymous commenter for being an object lesson.

    4. "So why don't you shut the fuck up about things you don't know anything about?"

      This could be said about lay people those writing about science and medicine...

    5. There you are wrong. You are writing about whether or not I was aware of or have read the IPCC. Since I reference it in the blog post you apparently did not read, and since I am the expert on what I have and have not read, it means you are totally full of shit, and it's not even a debate.

      As to lay people discussing science, that's how it should be, you are the anomaly in thinking you cannot understand anything the "high priests" utter. It makes you gullible and easily fooled.

  20. Julie:

    I don't disagree with everything you say here, but I do thing climate change is a huge problem that we need to address.

    I worked with several leading scientists decades ago - before Al Gore got on board. There is no way these colleagues were motivated by grant money, fame or anything other than the fact they believe increased concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane are a real problem.

    Many folks who understand the problem also believe that economic incentives (such as cap and trade or a carbon tax) are the only practical way to solve the problem. Cap and Trade has worked with SO2 emissions to curb acid rain. Many of us were frustrated when Al Gore put his money where his mouth is and invested in the policies he was promoting - it was obvious his motives would be questioned and a dumb thing to do.

    You are right that you cannot look at a single (storm) and attribute it to global warming. But we do have sea level rise, which will have huge effects first on low lying countries like Bangladesh. And temperatures are rising, which should be a concern - perhaps less so in Canada!

    Many conservatives get it. Former Secretary of State George Schulz and others went to DC at the beginning to the Trump presidency albeit to no avail.

    The partisan divide over climate (and environment generally) is distressing to me. It is a very tough problem but needs solving not ignoring.



    1. The Maldives have been a poster-child for rising sea level, yet nothing of the sort has happened. Sea rise is very hard to measure, and is expected to go along with warming temps. You still need to make the link that man-made CO2 is causing the atmospheric CO2 to rise (and not the warming itself), and then that CO2 is the cause of this and future warming. Both of those are in doubt.

      I think there are far better uses for the trillions of dollars they intend to spend to make energy less affordable and hurt the poor. Like, actually helping the poor.

  21. Ms. Julie...I don't know if you're a fan but all of this was addressed in a sci-fi book from the 70's "Fallen Angels" written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
    It was wild sci-fi back then but now it reads like they saw the coming future....it's still available on Kindle, and still in print in dead tree editions!!!
    I highly recommend it to you...every couple of pages was a "Wow....how did they know!" moment...
    I think you'd really enjoy it.
    Keep up the good fight!
    Love Kaaren

  22. This is your Blog, I respect that you can state what ever you wish, but I will be glad when you get back to the reason we all visit. Jack

  23. This is one of the very best skeptical articles about anthropogenic global warming (AGW) I have read. There are several aspects missing from it, ones which collectively lead me to conclude the opposite of you, Julie, i.e. that AGW is significant, but this article is free of so much wooly thinking and conspiracy rubbish I see elsewhere.

    For what it's worth, I am a trained physicist who has personally analyzed various types of climate data, though not as part of my day job.

    Also, compliments on your blog, source of many ideas and experiences for my S.O. and me.

    1. Than you! That means a lot to me. I am open minded on the subject, so if you can tell me the key evidence you think turns it for you, I would be most interested. You can email if you prefer (see top right for address).

    2. I think a nice starting place is the 1956 paper linked below, by Plass. Clearly the paper is far too old to be victim to the (specious IMO) "grant money" derogation.

      We see in the article, as well as in the references to Arrhenius (1896) and Högbom (1894), that the simplest, oldest, and most robust possible models of CO2/Temperature relations agree (to within about +/- 30%) with the effects we are observing. This is fundamentally similar to the MODTRAN you cite, but without the tricky complexities that lead to your (and Clarke's) skepticism.

      Some folks question the measurement side of warming, as for example when one uses the Ithaca station. I'm not comfortable with single-station arguments so to my mind you should have left that part out. Well-done global measurements I have seen are relatively unequivocal (I didn't see the source for the one you show). The urban heat island effect, a favorite whipping boy (haha), has been known -- and corrected for -- for decades time in the measurements. I was making those corrections for my employer back in 1999 before Al Gore (who I hate for non-climate reasons) started his schtick.

      Measurement and robust-model prediction also happen to agree over about a million year timescale, as I found about a decade ago when when analyzing Antarctic ice core data for a lecture series I was putting together.

      With basic robust physics and measurement in agreement, there is, to my mind, a *heavy* burden of proof on anyone claiming some other relationship between anthropogenic CO2 and temperature. It is telling that, even with a *lot* of money available from e.g. Koch brothers, no one has constructed a credible climate model *not* showing AGW.

      One of the problems for non-scientific citizens is that nearly *all* the literature, both skeptical and credulous, is comprised mainly of arguments on authority or on little twists to the modeling/measurement. Logically-minded folks who only read, say, simplifications in The Economist or WSJ or NYT or Fox or CNN are really not given a reasonable basis on which to judge.

      I want to add that I am in *complete* agreement with you about nuclear power. It is a tragedy of climate and geopolitics both that nuclear has not been more important. France seems to be the only place to do it well.

      I am now bemused by the fact that the most I have ever written on climate change (outside of work) is on a fetish blog of all places.

      Plass Article: https://geosci.uchicago.edu/~archer/warming_papers/plass.1956.radiation.pdf

      -That Physicist Guy

    3. I don't think the old Arrhenius, Tyndall, Fourier and this Plass paper take into account the complexities of the climate system. It is why ECS is still so hard to determine and why it is all over the map, and why so much money is spent on GCMs. If you confine the discussion to a radiative forcing, then fine, that is done more accurately by MODTRAN which has the forcing as lower than any of these earlier estimates.

      I like single station data and I like satellite data. The surface record data aggregations between have so much arbitrary adjustment (such as the TOBS) and so much infilling of absent data that I do not trust them. But I do agree that there has been warming since 1980, so it's not actually that important in the end.

      I think if you discount good single station data, the same data that experts include in their aggregated data without issue, the onus is on you to explain why significant global warming bypassed these stations for so long. And Ithaca is not unique. It is a similar pattern in well maintained rural stations everywhere. See the now unfortunately defunct RUTI dataset for example "Rural Unadjusted Temperature Index".

      I think the burden of proof is in the opposite direction given the historical record which shows much unexplained variation without man made CO2 being a factor. Even as recently as 1890-1930. It is a hypothesis that man-made CO2 has been responsible for virtually all post-1980 warming, and it needs to be proven which has not been done.

  24. Julie. I could try and go into a huge argument with you about the matter of climate change, but honestly, it’s just too complex and large a topic for me to embark upon. So here’s the thing:

    You and I can argue all that we want about whether or not Climate Change is real or not, and whether it’s affected by humanity or not. But at the end of the day, god only knows how many people with long educations and specialties within this field have been telling us that in their expert opinion, the planet is warming up, and mankind is having a direct hand in it. Various other experts have also been telling us why temperature changes are bad for us, seen from within their particular field of expertise.

    You can choose to believe these people or not, but ask yourself this: If you want to know something about a given topic, who do you thing is going to give you the most reliable answer to it? If your car makes funny noises when you drive, who are you going to ask about it? A structural engineer, a mechanic, or a grocer?

    Can we survive an increase of the average temperature on Earth? Probably, depending on a number of specifics (i.e. just how much high temperatures, how will the ecosystem be affected, and what will the various other consequences of the change be?) However, do we WANT to have to try and deal with the potential consequences of a climate change on Earth? Not if we can avoid it!

    The simple fact here is that the Earth’s ecology and climate system is an insanely complex pair of systems that function and affect each other in ways we simply don’t comprehend in detail yet. And at the moment we have for decades been pumping various substances into the atmosphere, seas and various other local places. And what do you think is more likely in this scenario?

    A) We can pump whatever the hell we want into the air, sea, and ground, without any risk.
    B) We run the risk of somehow affecting one or more of these complex and delicate systems that create the foundation we’ve build human civilization upon.

    Personally I think “B” here, and I’d prefer if my son or possible grandchildren won’t have to risk living through any of the potential “doomsday” scenarios that have been put forth by various experts within their field. Given the choice, I’d rather deal with some economic challenges born out of an attempt to rapidly change away from various areas of fossil fuel use on the planet.

    I do agree with you that we should be looking to convert more of our existing power production to nuclear power. Maybe not your traditional nuclear power plants, but some version thereof. I'll direct your attention to this company as an example hereof: https://www.seaborg.co/

    We also agree that it's no good for the US to try and cut FF emissions, if China, India etc. don't also do so. But for the same reason we need EVERY damned nation to do their part in this, including the US. And it needs to happen NOW! We don't have another 20 years to piss away on political discussion without action.

    Final comment. Bjorn Lomborg does have some good points. But even he agrees that we need to do something. The main argument is that we need to spend our money on things that give us the most "bang for the buck", so to speak. And in that case that could mean spending the money on research into new technology, that will be able to contribute meaningfully in 10 years, rather than on subsidizing i.e. electrical cars now. The risk of this approach, however, is that we risk investing in technology that doesn't pan out, or we simply run out of time, before these future technologies show up.

    1. Since I dont believe it has been adequately demonstrated that CO2 has caused much of the 1980-now warming, or will be the cause of much future warming, I therefore disagree on most of what you write. There are many experts, including multiple Nobel Lareates on my side of this issue. You just don't hear about them if you stick to your traditional news sources. Action NOW will harm countless billions of the world's poor and is irresponsible.

    2. The fact that CO2 causes warming is scientific fact - outside of the global warming debate. It is a greenhouse gas. The reason that the planet Venus has a surface temperature of 470C, is because of this runaway greenhouse effect (Its atmosphere is 97% CO2). So if the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased in the last 40 to 50 years (it most certainly has with increase in population and industrialization), then it most certainly has contributed to some warming.

      However action should be measured and not be a knee jerk reaction like "Stop all fossil fuels, NOW!" that AOC proposes in her green new deal.


    3. That was the subject of my post, how much warming does CO2 cause. Your bald statement does not deal with any of the nuance I explained. It seems more like a religious article of faith to you.

      Based on what I have seen, it has not been proven that it causes enough to be harmful. The earth has warmed from 1980-now for other reasons that are not well understood.

      At points in the Earths natural history, CO2 concentrations were 10 times higher than now, yet nothing "ran away".

      Venus has a much denser atmosphere than earth and is much closer to the sun. That is adequate to explain its hotter temperature.

    4. Venus is hotter than Mercury, which is closest to the sun. So yes the greenhouse effect is the reason it is hot. OF course the denser atmosphere means more atmospheric pressures, which further increase temperature.


      Like I said, neither you nor I understand the science very well - your posts on this article are just "scientific fact" from right wing media/sources to support a position. Regardless of that I have already stated my position that I am uninterested in the science, as I am not a scientist.

      Its common sense to me.

      More people = More C02
      More Cars = More pollution
      More Consumption = More Waste
      More Waste, More pollution, More CO2 = Greater the negative impact on the environment.

      You are arguing the impact is small to negligible. Someone else is arguing the impact is big. I am saying there IS an impact, which is a fact. Saying there is NO impact or negligible impact is an unreasonable position on the face of it.

      However, when should we act on it? I think we should start now, but we dont have to rush. We have other priorities and we aren't in as much of a hurry, I dont think.


    5. The thicker atmosphere of Venus is sufficient to explain the difference without reference to atmospheric composition.

      Ha ha! I have never heard a right wing media source go into the kind of scientific detail I have. You are silly to say so.

      Your assertion that more CO2 is bad is also silly. There are many ways it is actually very good. Beneath about 200ppm all the pants die. The earth's most lush periods have been when CO2 is 10x higher, which is approximately the same concentration that you exhale. You only think it is bad because people have told you it leads to catastrophic warming. I am skeptical about that, because science.

    6. Denser atmospheres alone dont cause the kind of temperatures you find on Venus. It is because of a dense atmosphere of CO2. Meaning a different composition would have led to lower temperatures. The scientific consensus on the greenhouse effect of CO2 is universal. The quarrel here is not whether CO2 causes a greenhouse effect, it is about how much of that contributes to catastrophic warming.

      On that question you fail to look at what is obvious in your own answer - that the most lush periods have been CO2 rich - that very much proves why global warming is a concern today. Those were periods of lower population, more vegetation and lesser industrialization. Plants use CO2 and release O2. But with more population, industrialization etc we are suffering large scale, massive afforestation, which means we are releasing more and more CO2 and other pollutants into the atmosphere, while reducing vegetation. So the planet is less lush, and more polluted. Hence warming.

      It is reasonable to take the position that warming exists, but it isn’t as serious as it is made out to be - with the caveat that action needs to be taken on an incremental basis. But it is silly and unreasonable to suggest that there is absolutely no negative impact, given the current state of the world today - increasing population, afforestation, industrialization, pollution etc.,


    7. Oh my gosh, read my blog with comprehension. I provide evidence that the earth is greening.

      I also provide evidence that there is great scientific uncertainty around how much warming CO2 causes.

      You are being fooled by a political narrative because you have no understanding of the science.

  25. This page should be changed to “strict Julie spanks, gets spanked, and believes in some dumbass Qanon bullshit”.

    1. There's only one dumbass between the two of us. We'll let the readers decide based on the quality of the argument from each.

  26. The list of 8 reasons for CAGW is by no means exhaustive and your attempt to argue it although seemingly thorough falls into the category of Argument from fallacy - the formal fallacy of analyzing an argument and inferring that, since it contains a fallacy, its conclusion must be false.[1] It is also called argument to logic (argumentum ad logicam), the fallacy fallacy,[2] the fallacist's fallacy,[3] and the bad reasons fallacy.[4]
    We have catastrophic fire , drought and a floating plastic heap of trash in the Pacific, how about we clean something and burn less stuff, instead of having to categorically prove a concept before we pick a trash heap in the ocean that the plastic industry supplies and we help create?

    1. You present a "meta-argument" without an "argument". If I did indeed do what you say, then indeed I would agree, but I didn't start from a fallacy in my 8 statements. In fact, I am laying out the chain of reasoning from the other side.

      You're confusing actual pollution with CO2. I have no trouble cleaning up garbage (but think a ban on plastic straws is virtue signalling without making any real difference, but that's a different topic entirely!)

      There is no evidence of more dry spells and droughts at this time in history than in previous times (see 1930's dustbowl). And I do not dispute that we are currently in a time as hot as the 1930's, so such is expected. But is CO2 causing it? That is the key question that you just completely jump over but that I addressed at length.

      If, in fact, forest management practices is more at fault for California forest fires than a slight rise in CO2, you will be merrily spending dollar after dollar after dollar on wind and solar while forest fires in your State get worse and worse and worse. Foolish in the extreme.

  27. Most people are asking the wrong question. Fossil fuels are a finite resource. Whether they last 69 years or another 300, they’re finite. The less our reserves get the more power house countries invade and and take advantage of poorer countries. On top of that, it’s bad for the environment. I’m not going to argue how bad, but overall it’s bad.

    The only question that needs answering is this- how do we produce a 100% sustainable, renewable energy that doesn’t kill the planets ecosystems and that we can transfer over to without completely devastating the economy. Everyone stop arguing and focus on that .

    1. Nuclear energy is also a finite energy source. And waste disposal is dangerous for the environment - even with a gen 4 reactor.

    2. No waste with Gen4, and infinite for all practical purposes.

  28. Hi Julie:

    I have been thinking about your post and want to respond again. I think what bothered me most was not the science of your argument, but a few (actual or inferred) political statements. I will refer to those first, then to the science.

    You begin by pointing out the huge merits of fossil fuels, bringing people out of poverty and creating our modern world making so much possible. That is indisputably true, even if you might have to pry it out of some people with a crowbar. In my view it seems overly defensive - just because something has tremendous merits, however, does not mean it doesn't also have problems.

    You argue carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Certainly it is not in the same sense of NOx, SOx or Various PMs. The question at hand is if we are putting too much of it in the atmosphere and, if so, how to stop doing so. A serious discussion of this question is warranted that is independent of whether CO2 is called a pollutant. (Similarly, I have told mostly left leaning friends not to call Donald Trump names when arguing against his policies.)

    You also opine "I believe that the left, starting with Al Gore, have made this a huge issue to scare us with so that we will vote for them and put them into power." I do infer from that statement that you believe climate change is a deliberate hoax and that leaders on the left is simply using it for political purposes. I'll posit that leaders on the left truly believe climate change is real and therefore want to do something about it (albeit some politicians of ALL stripes don't give a rat's ass about the merits of anything, just the politics).

    Again, I personally know leading PhD. scientists who have made climate change their life's work. I have 100% confidence in their integrity.

    How worried we should be about the build up of carbon dioxide (and methane) in the atmosphere is the core issue. How much (if at all) will global temperatures rise? What will it mean for sea levels and weather patterns?

    I agree that variations in weather have always occurred and we cannot say that last year's weather was weird due to climate change. It may be by the time we can say a certain hurricane was the worst ever, it may be too late. I do understand your skepticism.

    I am out here in California, however, and we have seen more wildfires in the last few years than ever before - to a degree that cannot be explained by building in the wrong areas, power lines etc. I suspect we have had more hot days with gusty winds, but I don't know that anyone has those records.

    I do understand such as yourself can be skeptical, and skepticism is generally a very good thing.

    I do not understand, however, how you conclude theta there is no reason for concern - essentially that it is all a hoax (my interpretation, not a word you used).



    P.S. Interesting to hear your opinions. After several years writing as a dominatrix and a few as a switch, you're sharing politics and science. Variety is the spice of life.

    1. I tried to avid the political, but some of it crept in.

      I felt i should point out the benefits of fossil fuels so that everybody understands there is a severe cost from moving away from it, which people demonizing FFs do not seem to acknowledge at all.

      And I completely agree that if CO2 is catastrophically warming the Earth, then too much CO2 would be a bad thing, regardless of what we call it. But the whole point of the blog was not to pre-judge that, but to look at the evidence. I cringe when I hear a politician attempting to "sell past the sale" by wanting to put a tax on "carbon pollution".

      A lot of scientists in the field will agree that politicians and some notable extremist scientists indeed go too far and make wild claims not justified by the data. A number of eminent scientists have resigned from the IPCC based on the fact that their work is misrepresented in the Summary for Policymakers (e.g. Prof. Judith Curry).

      There are many, many skeptical scientists as well, but they are shouted down, denied grant money, and demonized in this political climate (Roy Spencer, Judith Curry, PAtrick Moore, Ivan Glaever, Freeman Dyson, William Happer, Don Easterbrook, Murray Salby, John Bates, John Coleman, John Christy, Time Patterson, Jan Veizer, Ross McKitrick, Ian Clark, Richard Lindzen, Tim Ball, Fred Singer, Steven Koonin, and on and on and on).

      I felt I had to somewhat address the motivations of people to pursue CAGW with such zeal, and why it splits out along party lines. If you look at the history of Al Gore embracing it, it was not for altruistic reasons. I would not go so far to call it a fraud or a hoax. It is a valid scientific opinion that is amplified for personal gain in many cases, and for which many people by now have a tremendous vested interest in maintaining, hence bias setting in hard.

      The fact that we are in a hot period, and therefore some of the excess California fires may be explained by that, is not something I argue against. the 1930s dustbowl was an equally hot and dry time, and that was not due to CO2. Making the leap that it is CO2 to blame this time is what I think is unjustified based on the evidence.

      I would not say there is NO reason for concern. I jjust think that overly much concern is not justified based on the evidence, and certainly not to the tune of a $73 Trillion "Green New Deal" given other societal priorities (including getting us off the Earth for when the next asteroid, glacial period, or super-volcano hits!)

    2. CO2 is used as a catch all term for green house gases. I hope you make that distinction in your argument. So it is not so much about CO2 as it is about greenhouse gases in general - CO2, Water Vapour, Methane, HFCs, Nitrous Oxide and so on. CO2 has the least global warming potential amongst these. The others are far more dangerous.

    3. Based on your last paragraph here, why are you arguing with me? That is precisely what I have been saying - "There is cause for some concern, but no need for knee jerk reactions to completely shut down fossil fuels or related industries, but incrementally invest in this effort over a period of time, while prioritizing more important things".

      - Rubberdoll.

    4. Water is the strongest greenhouse gas by far, but it is generally considered a feedback, rather than a forcing.

      Yes we agree on the conclusions, but I will continue to challenge anybody's assumptions that burning FFs cause global warming. But I agree the argument is moot if we agree on the way forward, which is great, as you say!

    5. Burning fossil fuels does contribute to global warming. How can you say it doesn't? Burning anything will emit greenhouse gases - you yourself stated average temperature increases in your article. However, I do agree that it is not severe enough to panic right now and shut down fossil fuels or related industries immediately.

    6. I explained that in the blog. Insufficient evidence that it does and contrary evidence. Can you not understand the blog?

  29. Thanks for taking the time to write a thoughtful reply.

    Personally I think action is warranted. The "Green New Deal", however is divisive hyperbole which drives me crazy. I so want to make our political dialog more productive.


    - Rosco

  30. Your data points are incorrect. Human activities dont account for 5.5 billion metric tons. It was 40 billion metric tons of CO2 released in 2015. Source: CDIAC (Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory).

    Your argument fails right there.

    PS: I am not interested in any argument that attempts to challenge this data point saying this isn't true. This is from a scientifically credible source. So any comment that you make saying - "You need to look at alternate sources for numbers" is an invalid argument. Correct your sources and then make your point, and state sources that are considered an authority in the field.

    1. Calm down bucko, and get off your high horse. It was an older diagram. The yearly amount is now 10 or so and my point remains that's it's a small percentage of the overall exchange.
      Wikipedia backs me up https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_cycle
      Your own source backs me up (you misread it): "The 2014 global fossil-fuel carbon emission estimate, 9855 million metric tons of carbon, represents an all-time high and a 0.8% increase over 2013 emissions." https://cdiac.ess-dive.lbl.gov/trends/emis/tre_glob_2014.html

    2. Right, so you were wrong.

      Your statement in the article - ".... of which human activity accounts for 5.5 of that, or about 2.5%, with FF burning even less than that.".

      My statement: "Human activities dont account for 5.5 billion metric tons. It was 40 billion metric tons of CO2 released in 2015"

      Your Statement again - "The 2014 global fossil-fuel carbon emission estimate, 9855 million metric tons of carbon, represents an all-time high and a 0.8% increase over 2013 emissions"

      See the error? You claimed HUMAN ACTIVITIES account for 5.5B metric tonnes of CO2 emissions. I said it was 40B metric tonnes. You came back with the data point that FF account for approx 10B metric tonnes - which is TWICE of what you quoted for HUMAN ACTIVITIES (of which FF are just a part).

      So yes, CO2 emissions due to FF are significant, as they account for 25% of emissions due to all human activities.

      Your argument is based on misquoted data.

    3. No, you were 4x too high, I was using an older chart and was 2x too low. Assuming all else remains equal, man-made FF emissions account for <1/20th of the total exchange, I.e. small, which was my main point.

      You are being pedantic and missing the main point of a minor argument in my blog. Begone.

    4. How am I 4X higher? 40B metric tonnes of CO2 emissions due to human activities of which burning FF are a part. FF alone accounts for 10B metric tonnes, per your quote.

      So that is 25% of all emissions due to FF.

      Your initial figure of 5.5B metric tonnes for ALL human activities is misquoted data that purposefully low balls the environmental impact of FFs.

      Nothing pedantic here. The main point of your blog is to say that the impact of burning FF is miniscule to none. That is NOT true, based on data presented.

      When presented with appropriate data, you have to admit to it, rather than sticking your head in the sand and arguing otherwise. Your argument is sorely wrong and based on manipulated and misquoted data to push a political position. Nothing more.

  31. I sold my company for a lot of money to an Ontario based company. Do you know why? Because most of the cabinet were (and I am sure they are...) so conceited as you... Now I live a wonderful Life thanks to Toronto :))

    1. Well the champs for buying over-priced Canadian companies seem to be California, so I think your argument backfires. Have a nice day.

  32. Oh what a shame - have always enjoyed your blog, and I'm fine to keep politics and such out of the kink arena. But if you're . going to post such nonsense, I can no longer follow. There IS absolute consensus among actual legitimate scientists - the only disagreements are about how fast. You only need to look at pictures of glaciers a few decades ago vs now. Or look at the Arctic ice mass breaking up. Or at the rising sea level. Or at the increased intensity of storms due to the increase in energy in the atmosphere.
    Feel free to keep denying for whatever reason you have - but if you have offspring, they are going to be living in an increasingly dangerous world.
    I'll be unfollowing now. It's very sad how many people are willing to ignore the data because it's inconvenient.

    1. You are confusing the earth warming from 1980 to now (much more slowly last 20 years), with the cause of the warming. I do not dispute the warming, I dispute attributing it exclusively to CO2, and I dispute that there is, or will be, in any sense, a "catastrophe". There are zero scientists who say extreme weather is getting worse, only propagandists. Even the IPCC does not acknowledge that.

      Your reading comprehension is poor, you are ignorant of the science, and you don't add anything to the discussion. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out :-)

  33. A lot of heated debate here, but I think I have a solution that we could all agree upon. We need to find a climate change expert with a submissive streak and give her a job at the UN. She could ask for any resources and liaise with any government. At the end of each work day she would get a spank for each ten thousandth of a degree the average global temperature had risen, with further punishment for not meeting pre-agreed upon milestones. Videos of this would be uploaded to the internet for free viewing.You

    The only issue would be perverts around the world burning extra fossil fuels and attacking the ozone layer, but that will stimulate the world economy.

    1. Only if we get submissives on the other side of the argument getting spanks every time the global average drops. They would be having very sore bums the last couple of months!