Illustrations of Conjectures Are Not Evidence for Them

A new post up at WUWT by Lawrence Hamlin supports the recent Lindzen et al petition for the USA and others to leave the UNFCCC, and he draws attention to this phrase buried deep in the IPCC report (AR5), concerning outputs from coupled socioeconomic and climate models:

The scenarios should be considered plausible and illustrative, and do not have probabilities attached to them. (12.3.1; Box 1.1)”

I’ll decide for myself what I find plausible, and fodder for CO2 Alarm would struggle to qualify, but I suspect such scenarios are seen as vivid portents of an all but inescapable doom-laden future by the victims and perpetrators of that Alarm. But why should more sensible members of society pay them much heed? And why on earth would anyone want to build major policy decisions around them? There’s more to this than the fledgling science of climate can account for, or support, that’s for sure.  Let me follow Hamlin and reproduce the Lindzen et al petition and part of his supporting letter:

The February 25 Petition to President Trump requesting U.S. withdrawal from the UNFCCC states:

Petition

We urge the United States government, and others, to withdraw from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). We support reasonable and cost-effective environmental protection. But carbon dioxide, the target of the UNFCCC is not a pollutant but a major benefit to agriculture and other life on Earth. Observations since the UNFCCC was written 25 years ago show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign — much less than initial model predictions.

In the letter supporting his withdrawal request Dr. Lindzen notes:

“We petition the American and other governments to change course on an outdated international agreement that targets minor greenhouse gases, primarily Carbon Dioxide, CO2 for harsh regulation. Since 2009, the US and other governments have undertaken actions with respect to global climate that are not scientifically justified and that already have, and will continue to cause serious social and economic harm—with no environmental benefits. While we support effective, affordable, reasonable and direct controls on conventional environmental pollutants, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. To the contrary, there is clear evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful to food crops and other plants that nourish all life. It is plant food, not poison.”

Hear, hear, and hear again!

Update 09 March 2017.  Richard Lindzen makes it even clearer why the USA, and every other country, should leave the UNFCCC. This is by way of his response to MIT staff who recently wrote, ex cathedra, to President Trump to plead their special case.

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Illustrations of Conjectures Are Not Evidence for Them

  1. That woolly phrase about the scenarios is actually from the Technical Summary of WG1, that’s supposedly the serious science bit. It refers to the “Representative Concentration Pathways”

    There is some talk that Trump may be going to take some action with regarded to rolling back Obama’s climate-related legislation or pulling out of the Paris agreement later this week.

    Like

  2. If Trump does pull out of the UNFCC and the Paris Agreement, it will be all but game over for the climate change mitigation industry in the US and probably in other developed nations. The ‘science’ upon which urgent action has thus far been mooted is going to have to up its game considerably if it is going to survive increasing public scepticism plus a raft of emerging scientific research on natural causes of (natural) climate change. I have a hunch there will be some revelations re. the carbon cycle too, which might seriously shake the foundations of CO2 alarmism.

    Like

  3. Pulling out of UNFCCC is likely. Under US laws passed in the early 1990s, US MUST defund any UN entity that recocognizes Palestine as a member state. US defunded UNESCO in 2011 under these laws ( there are two-1991 for UN agencies, 1994 for agency affiliated organizations like GreennClimate Fund at UNFCCC). Withdrawing from the Pact is just a small further step than legally mandated defunding. My understanding is exiting UNFCCC automatically pulls US out of the Paris accord as a subsidiary agreement. There is some legal doubt about that, though, as nothing in the Paris accord requires signatories to be UNFCCC members. The most interesting part is that the second $500 million tranche Obama sent the GCC was clearly illegal under longstanding US statutory law, as it took place months after Palastein was recognized. The US needs to claw that back, which has significant political ramifications in US concerning the ‘Obama legacy’.

    Like

  4. “The scenarios should be considered plausible and illustrative, and do not have probabilities attached to them.”

    That’s some quote. So much in the media is plausible and illustrative, without probabilities attached, from hyperrealist photographic images of planets discovered 40 light years away to journalists’ analyses of what Brexit will look like. A poem or a cartoon can be plausible and illustrative – or not – depending on the talent of the poet or illustrator.

    Paul usefully points out that it comes from the Technical Summary of AR5 WG1, which can be found at
    http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_TS_FINAL.pdf
    which is a handy bite-size 113 pages, full of “possibles and ‘”low confidences” and “as likely as nots”.

    It’s as likely as not that the entire political establishment has been led up the garden path, not by the scientists who wrote WG1AR5, bless them, but by the journalists and activists and PR men who lied to them about what the scientists were saying.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Geoff Chambers:

    It’s as likely as not that the entire political establishment has been led up the garden path, not by the scientists who wrote WG1AR5, bless them, but by the journalists and activists and PR men who lied to them about what the scientists were saying.

    That’s most of the enchilada in a single sentence. Bravo.

    Like

  6. John Shade asks a couple of sensible questions with respect to the output of climate science. First

    But why should more sensible members of society pay them much heed?

    It is always going to be very difficult to convince people that climate is going to get catastrophically worse, and well beyond the range of any experience. One way would be to establish a track record in short term predictions of the climate and associated elements changing for the worse. For example
    1. polar ice cap melt, or glacier melt accelerating.
    2. Sea level rise accelerating
    3. The rate of warming accelerating in line with the rate of rise in CO2 levels – not slowing down.
    4. Hurricanes getting worse following Katrina.
    5. Increased droughts causing up to 50% decrease in food production in some African countries.

    The response is to ignore the problem. Some, when cornered will be quite rude in their avoidance of reality.

    Second

    And why on earth would anyone want to build major policy decisions around them?

    Even if there is evidence for a potential major problem, for mitigation policies to be enacted there should be evidence of a workable set of solutions that will mot cause more harm than good. That is for the expected policy costs being not much greater than than the expected costs of the harms averted (assuming that the relevant community is risk averse). One condition on the policy side to assess if this will happen is to look at the marginal impact of policies on future emissions scenarios, like Bjorn Lomborg did of the INDC submissions to COP21 Paris. The climate believers fooled themselves and others into believing that collective global policy proposals would have a much bigger impact, by comparing with completely implausible non-policy scenarios. For instance Climate Interactive (whose data Joe Romm likes to quote) forecast that China emissions would continue to grow until 2090. So by China saying their emissions would peak by 2030 (which would happen anyway) a politician’s word “reduces” forecast global emissions by 10-20%. Similarly, in the US, where per capita CO2 emissions peaked in 1973, the non-policy scenario forecasts that they will rise. President Obama bravely combating climate change thus makes a huge difference simply by making some speeches and signing Executive Orders. President Trump, simply by rescinding the Executive Orders endangers the future of the planet. In the real world it is just a set of manufactured delusions.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s