The Happerning

Hillsdale College – National Leadership Symposium.
Address by William Happer,
Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics, Emeritus – Princeton
How to Think About Climate Change
56 minutes (1.25 speed works)

That link is to Watt’s Up With That? because the YouTube version has a “Climate Change” “fact check” disclaimer from WikiTedia appended, and I cannot find the lecture on Hillsdale’s site. WUWT deserves a hat tip, in any case.

On the off chance that you won’t autonomically watch the whole thing based on my recommendation, at least check this 2 minutes out.

It’s the next to last question of the Q&A. It’s a core question. Any catastrophist who watches this, if they have half a clue about their own position, will bring it up. If they don’t have that clue, they’re likely to make some ad hominem objection. You’ve been warned.

Happer set the stage for how one must think about CO2 “forcing” to design climate models politically acceptable to the IPCC, but did not address it in his lecture.

I noted the rigor of those IPCC models, and the quality of the data, in December 2009: Prometheus unbound

All the models admit that CO2 alone CANNOT cause the predicted apocalypse. So, CO2 must have secondary catastrophic consequences. All the models take this as given.

It’s the “forcing” assumption: A little bit of warming from CO2 will cause increases in water vapor (by orders of magnitude the most important greenhouse gas). Atmospheric carbon dioxide iteratively “forces” more and more water vapor – creating a feedback loop that fries the planet.

Clouds are part of that “water cycle.” But they aren’t part of the modeling. The modeling that depends on a particular prediction about the water cycle: NASA: We Can’t Model Clouds, So Climate Model Projections Are 100x Less Accurate [than is required for policy decisions]

“Because the uncertainties are so pervasive, NASA concludes that “today’s models must be improved by about a hundredfold in accuracy” if we wish to make climate projections.”

Clouds. They cannot say within 1% certainty that the models’ “forcing” policies of immiseration upon us can be used to support those policies.

TOC noted this 15 years ago.
Science tempers fears on climate change
Posted on September 4, 2006
The link in that has rotted, but I’m sure a copy of the Kyoto ‘Treaty’ is out there on the InterTubes.

I’ve looked at clouds from no sides now…
Posted on June 30, 2007
The first link in that has rotted, but the second one has not. Note “water cycle” – of which clouds are but one phenomenon unknown to IPCC “science.” That’s where the title of the post came from.

Your job

…is not to panic. Don’t do it… for the children.

The Extinction Rebellion death cult and the Green Ordeal climate-doom-mongers are attempting to instill existential fear in your children in order to influence you. And they aren’t above abusing vulnerable children like Greta Thunberg.

Here’s a non-hysterical look at what we know. And what we don’t.

Climate ‘limits’ and timelines
-Dr. Judith Curry

“Bottom line is that these timelines are meaningless. While we have confidence in the sign of the temperature change, we have no idea what its magnitude will turn out to be. Apart from uncertainties in emissions and the Earth’s carbon cycle, we are still facing a factor of 3 or more uncertainty in the sensitivity of the Earth’s climate to CO2, and we have no idea how natural climate variability (solar, volcanoes, ocean oscillations) will play out in the 21st century. And even if we did have significant confidence in the amount of global warming, we still don’t have much of a handle on how this will change extreme weather events. With regards to species and ecosystems, land use and exploitation is a far bigger issue.

Cleaner sources of energy have several different threads of justification, but thinking that sending CO2 emissions to zero by 2050 or whenever is going to improve the weather and the environment by 2100 is a pipe dream. If such reductions come at the expense of economic development, then vulnerability to extreme weather events will increase.”

Dr. Curry is a valuable resource if you are interested in climate science, and a valiant defender of free speech and the scientific method.

Her Week in review – science edition feature is an excellent curated overview of, well, what it says. An example.

Curry’s post includes this nice summary quote from Larry Kummer on the IPCC’s Special Report “Global Warming of 1.5°C”

“There is nothing in this Special Report justifying belief that the world will end, that the world will burn, or that humanity will go extinct. It has been misrepresented just as past reports have been (e.g., the 4th US National Climate Assessment). The disasters described the Climate Emergency and Extinction Rebellion activists are those of RCP8.5, the worst-case scenario in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment report – or even beyond it. RCP8.5 is, as a worst-case scenario should be, a horrific but not apocalyptic future that is improbable or impossible.”

Properly skeptical?

In a post describing social media propaganda techniques Corey Doctorow says the following:

“We’re not living through a crisis about what is true, we’re living through a crisis about how we know whether something is true. We’re not disagreeing about facts, we’re disagreeing about epistemology. The “establishment” version of epistemology is, “We use evidence to arrive at the truth, vetted by independent verification (but trust us when we tell you that it’s all been independently verified by people who were properly skeptical and not the bosom buddies of the people they were supposed to be fact-checking).”

The “alternative facts” epistemological method goes like this: “The ‘independent’ experts who were supposed to be verifying the ‘evidence-based’ truth were actually in bed with the people they were supposed to be fact-checking. In the end, it’s all a matter of faith, then: you either have faith that ‘their’ experts are being truthful, or you have faith that we are. Ask your gut, what version feels more truthful?””

However unintentionally*, Doctorow has accurately described the ‘argument from authority,’ shut-down-the-debate propaganda of ‘climate change’ activists.
*He’s compared Greta Thunberg to Joan of Arc. I.e., he approves of Thunberg’s propaganda. She can hardly be considered an authority.

We can imagine he accepts the authority of the ‘97% of scientists agree with CAGW theory‘ misdirection (see also here and here).

We can be sure he would not approve my appropriation of his words in support of the links that follow below. But they do speak to the question he asks about what feels truthful:
ClimateGate fallout continues: CRU admits original data deleted – 2009

“SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.”

“The dog ate my temperature data” would be far less suspicious if the scientists involved hadn’t been caught discussing how to avoid FOIA requests for their data; if they hadn’t asked each other to delete emails expressing internal doubts about some of their research assumptions; if the programmers hadn’t complained in their comments about unreliable data custodianship and sloppy organization, or pointed out algorithms where the actual data record was ‘corrected.’ It might be more believable if one of those scientists, Micheal Mann, hadn’t refused to release data and algorithms used in his hokey stick calculations, and if he hadn’t viciously attempted to destroy – professionally and personally – any who voiced the slightest question about that tree ring magnum opus, including interference and intimidation of scientific publishers. Science is falsifiable or it isn’t science.

On the Validity of NOAA, NASA and Hadley CRU Global Average Surface Temperature Data & The Validity of EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding – 2017

“The conclusive findings of this research are that the three GAST data sets are not a valid representation of reality. In fact, the magnitude of their historical data adjustments, that removed their cyclical temperature patterns, are totally inconsistent with published and credible U.S. and other temperature data.”

GAST is Global Average Surface Temperature.

Canada’s global warming models threw out actual historical data and substituted models of what the temperature should have been – 2019

“Canadians already suspicious of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax are likely be even more suspicious given a report by Ottawa-based Blacklock’s Reporter that Environment Canada omitted a century’s worth of observed weather data in developing its computer models on the impacts of climate change.

The scrapping of all observed weather data from 1850 to 1949 was necessary, a spokesman for Environment Canada told Blacklock’s Reporter, after researchers concluded that historically, there weren’t enough weather stations to create a reliable data set for that 100-year period.

“The historical data is not observed historical data,” the spokesman said. “It is modelled historical data … 24 models from historical simulations spanning 1950 to 2005 were used.””

Maybe the models they used as input to the models were meticulously prepared even though the preparers had a conflict of interest. Maybe it would be better if when they don’t know something, they say so.

Here’s an easily understood critque of how data is manipulated in U.S. National Climate Assessment.
My Gift To Climate Alarmists ~13 min

No way to spin that: So-called scientists feel free to cherry pick their data. The choices strongly imply an agenda. An agenda related to funding.

Finally, here’s a long, insightful, humorous post (That last quality being one possessed neither by Greta Thunberg nor Joan of Arc, though one might suspect Greta does have a martyrdom complex.) touching on arguments from authority and proper skepticism at the website of the invaluable Dr. Judith Curry.
A philospher’s reflections on AGW denial An excerpt:

“…what, if anything, to do about AGW is a political decision, subject to the same forces at play in any other political decision, namely the interplay of conflicting interests. One can hope that someone else’s interests, as she herself sees them, will dovetail with one’s own. But to get in high moral dudgeon when hers don’t betrays the moral maturity of a three year old.”

Ah yes, it is a public policy question about which we’re told we must accept the judgment of some experts (though not experts in public policy) regarding a complete redefinition of our economy.

Ultimately, argument from authority must end in attempts to rank the sincerity, knowledge, methods, and success of predictions from theory of the authorities invoked by each side. The point I want to leave you with is that it’s not the climate change skeptics who are insisting global warming theory is not falsifiable. So, which authorities are practicing science rather than religion?

Conspiracy of silence -2007
James Robert Cardinal Bellarmine Hansen -2008
Who’s a “denier” now? -2009
What a piece of work is Mann -2015

Not so much

From Nature: How much can forests fight climate change?

Jason Funk, quoted below, is talking about planting trees to reduce Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. First, he assumes CAGW (emphasis on catastrophic and anthropogenic) as a clear and present danger. The data on that may be debatable, but everybody knows more trees will help reduce global warming. It’s embedded in the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Accord; resulting in a global industrial complex based on selling carbon credits for planting trees. Planting trees is a lifeline we must seize or the planet will fry. Many governments’ common sense regulations and carbon taxes incorporate this certainty. It must be correct.

Well, no, not exactly.

“Scientists who champion forests say that although more research is always good, existing results are mature enough to support the use of forests to fight climate change, especially given the urgency of the problem. “We can’t necessarily afford to hold off on those things; we have to begin taking some action,” says Jason Funk, an environmental scientist in Chicago, Illinois, who served as an adviser and observer to the Paris agreement.

Researchers are now turning to sophisticated computer models and using larger and more-comprehensive data sets to nail down exactly what forests in different places do to the climate. [Why, if we already know we have to plant more?] In some cases, the results have been sobering. [What?] Last October, a team led by ecologist Sebastiaan Luyssaert at the Free University of Amsterdam modelled a variety of European forest-management scenarios. The researchers concluded that none of the scenarios would yield a significant global climate impact, because the effects of surface darkening and cloud-cover changes from any added forests would roughly eliminate their carbon-storage benefits.

Those models will definitely have to be tweaked. Or maybe ‘disappeared,’ as we’ll note below.

I found the implied separation of scientists from researchers amusing. If you substitute the same word to begin each paragraph, you might realize it says climate scientists think it’s a good idea to fund more research by climate scientists.

Implying there are two groups may just be writing to avoid repetition, but it definitely minimizes the self interest aspect. Scientists want researchers to have more funding is different from scientists want scientists to have more funding.

A short version of this article is that while trees absorb carbon dioxide, the incredible complexity of photosynthetic biology also results in emission of many chemicals. Among those; a lot of nitrous oxide, methane and isoprene, i.e., ‘greenhouse gasses.’ Trees also reduce Earth’s albedo (reflectivity), and thereby directly contribute to higher temperatures. Scientifically, it is not clear that the net effect of planting trees is what envirostatists tell us it is.

The most upsetting, if not unexpected, thing from this article is the following quote:
I have heard scientists say that if we found forest loss cooled the planet, we wouldn’t publish it.

“Never mind,” says Mr. Funk, “we have to DO SOMETHING!” Yes! Get the government to create a crony market* to solve a problem that may not exist, using a method that isn’t supported by science. Nice job of virtue signaling, and that’s “something.” Of course, the treasure we spend now won’t be there if we need it for a valid purpose later.

The article doesn’t mention it, so I don’t know if it occurred to any the modellers, but more CO2 makes trees grow (sequester carbon) faster.  What, if any, effect does that represent?


*With the additional effect of wealth transfer to poorer countries: Paying second and third world countries for space to plant trees by taxing corporations who need carbon indulgences because of first world regulation and carbon taxes. After all, poorer countries have more votes at the UN, and if we’re going to excuse India and China from much of the Kyoto and Paris agreements, everybody else should get something, too.

Funding the immanentization of CAGW

I’m not sure when we accepted the idea that government funding is non-ideological, even apolitical. But, today, when an idea is discredited because of its funding source it’s almost always the evil corporation(s) said to be at fault. It’s the Koch brothers or George Soros taking the heat. When government funds something that proves to be disastrous, idiotic or even evil, government gets a pass. As if government has no agenda and always has good intentions.

We’ve become blasé about Federal pecuniary feasance, mis-, mal- and non-, in many areas: Medicare, where periodically someone is arrested for multi-million dollar fraud; Corporate welfare, where billions are shoveled into the furnace, but those responsible are rarely held accountable; Federal grants promoting cowboy poetry, about which most merely shake their heads in wonder; Planned Parenthood, where we pretend money isn’t fungible.

Nowhere, however, is the damage worse than in funding science research. Especially in the case of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW).

We’re told that anyone skeptical of CAGW is bought and paid for by Big Oil – their opinions should therefore be dismissed. Fully half the arguments from CAGW proponents would disappear if they couldn’t argue ad hominem. Well, turnabout is fair play.

In CAGW huckster Professor Jagadish Shukla, who urges the President to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against CAGW skeptics we have an excellent example.

Nuking Consumers Energy

I offered my support to Consumers Energy if they would get on with building nuclear plants and get rid of windmills.

This is the most obvious way to rapidly reduce CO2 emissions. Those afraid of “climate change” should be all in. Warm mongers who oppose nuclear power simply aren’t serious about CO2 reduction.

But don’t take my word for it, take the word of a leftwing “science is settled” magazine

In just two decades Sweden went from burning oil for generating electricity to fissioning uranium. And if the world as a whole were to follow that example, all fossil fuel–fired power plants could be replaced with nuclear facilities in a little over 30 years…

Such a switch would drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, nearly achieving much-ballyhooed global goals to combat climate change. Even swelling electricity demands, concentrated in developing nations, could be met. All that’s missing is the wealth, will and wherewithal…

“As long as people, nations put fear of nuclear accidents above fear of climate change, those trends are unlikely to change,” Brook adds. But “no renewable energy technology or energy efficiency approach has ever been implemented on a scale or pace required.”

Also consider the opinions of Dr. Patrick Moore, Co-Founder of Greenpeace, and Stewart Brand, publisher Of The Whole Earth Catalog.