The Uncle At The Holiday Dinner Table–And A Get Out Of Jail Free Card

The transition to cranky uncle-hood was rapid and startling. My family and friends at first seemed to accept my lukewarmer status–someone who accepts the science underpinning our understanding of climate change but is skeptical of the more alarmed pronouncements issuing forth from NGOs, politicians and their adherents in the press and blogosphere.

But after the second or third time of me saying ‘Y’know, the science really doesn’t say that,’ I could see the wary look in their eyes and I was as happy as they when the conversation turned to football or its adult equivalent, presidential politics.

So now I don’t talk about climate change very much. I have a 71-year-old aunt who pronounces on it with equal portions of absolute certainty and profound ignorance. I let her speak on, nodding my head and looking out the window. My sister, a head librarian who is arguably smarter than me, regurgitates the conventional wisdom of NGOs and despite never having read a scientific paper, is calmly assured that her point of view is transcendantly correct.

I am the cranky uncle at the holiday dinner party. We tiptoe around the subject, the same way we used to tiptoe around the subject of the Vietnam War when I was a teenager vehemently opposed to our involvement, much to the disgust of most of the elders in the room.

I like it.

Today on NBC’s Meet The Press, climate scientist Kate Marvel came forth with an interesting tidbit–she said that glaciers in one of the US national parks had been receding since 1850, ‘when humans started burning coal and emitting greenhouse gases.’ Spot the bait and switch? Scientists have agreed that human contributions to climate change via greenhouse gases really began in 1945. So what Dr. Marvel (I almost labeled her ‘Captain’) is really saying is that these glaciers began melting a century before humans were responsible for mass emissions. But she labeled it as evidence of our culpability.

I didn’t have anyone to discuss this with. I don’t care. There’s always you in the blogosphere.

In the same program, I saw several company and corporate muckamucks eagerly jump on the bandwagon of blaming climate change for all modern ills, and I realized something I should have realized before. They are offloading responsibility for their decisions about destroying the Everglades, emptying aquifers, diverting river courses, etc. ad infinitum, onto climate change as a get out of jail free card.

What other examples can we bring to the table?


  1. Great to see you posting again, and your essay is spot on.
    Happy New Year wishes to you and yours from one climate crumudgeon to another.
    For me, the biggest get out of jail free card is used by the public officials who blame “climate change” for the flooding and other bad predicted outcomes caused by their squandering of the public’s tax money that was to have been spent on infrastructure maintenance and improvements.
    The next after that is the corruption of media, academia, and sadly corporate behavior excused by “climate change”.
    I am ready to don my yellow vest.
    The American version of this liberation movement should be called “yellow jackets”.
    Of course with the yellow jacket wasp as the logo.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes Tom, climate change has become one of those cultural memes like social Darwinism in the late 19th Century. It is manifested as pseudo-scientific exaggerations that sounds like real science and relies for its credibility on a false sense of “science based” doctrine as well as very pervasive social enforcement mechanisms.

    Social Darwinism and racism became litmus tests among intellectual elites on both sides of the Atlantic. Many progressives became captives of this idea as did the rich and powerful who saw these ideas as a justification of their own superiority and their immense wealth and shady business practices.

    Similarly at the present day, climate change is a way of explaining everything bad that happens and a way of justifying the power and status of elites.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Are you trying to be cute Ken, or are you going to be Clinton and argue about the meanings of words?
    If you take AR5, Figure TS4 shows the kick point of CO2 emissions as about 1950. SPM of WG1 has the following statement “Changes in many extreme weather and climate events have been observed since about 1950” So Tom’s statement is a fair summation of the mainstream research.


  4. Headline: “Paleontologists discovered the remains of a dinosaur that died 65 million years ago last Friday.”

    Damn. One week earlier, and we could have given it a decent, Christian burial!


  5. Thomas Fuller, You’re a good man.

    SWMBO insisted we watch it. We usually watch the Chuck show every Sunday, but as he was getting into it I thought I’d go crazy. He is so confident he has it straight.

    Dr. Marvel didn’t act her education, PhD in Physics from Cambridge, which I have to assume is a serious degree. She called herself a scientist. My brother, who does science tells me to be especially alert if someone calls themselves a scientist, might be credentialed but unlikely to be uncertain enough to ever get anywhere.

    There seems to be some confusion among the catastrophists between the effect of seal level rise and that of subsidence. My take on Dr. Marvel was that for some reason she’s terrified and will take any course that might fall to hand to affect the rest of us equally.

    It could be that I was so anesthetized by their performance that I missed it, but I cannot remember any reference to specific responses – just generalities. For example, what exactly can we do, and in what order of magnitude to stave off the innundation they project for 20100?


  6. Oops, It actually could be pretty wet by 20100, maybe 2100 would be more like it.


  7. Thomaswfuller2. It sounds like you have invested in a “cone of silence” for family gatherings. Does it not concern you that, either you haven’t been able to convince your kith and kin of your beliefs/reasoning, or that those same people may be gingerly stepping around you in connection with those same matters. Are you not deliberately avoiding what usually accompanies a festive clan gathering – a right royal argument?


  8. ATTP: “Where does this come from?” (skim reading again?)

    Thomas told you – NBC meet the press..

    Anne Thompson Chief Environmental correspondent (Kate did not disagree I notice)

    “Because I always liken climate change to cancer. They’re both such huge issues. They’re really hard to get your head wrapped around it, if you will. But if you look at pictures, take a trip to Glacier National Park, out in Montana. In 1850, when the Industrial Revolution started, and we started burning coal and sending greenhouse gases in the air, there were 150 glaciers in that national park. Today, there are 26. And they’re in danger of losing those 26. They’re really threatened. If you look at things that we just know are happening around us, growing zones are moving north. Fish are migrating north to get to colder waters. We’re seeing changes here. That’s what convinces people that it’s happening. And I think the reason why we’re seeing more people believe in it today is because we’re now starting to live climate change in real time in the United States.”


  9. Air and sea temperatures have climbed slowly since the end of the Little Ice Age. Why should anyone be surprised by that?

    It would have been a lot more surprising if that hadn’t happened and the LIA continued indefinitely.


  10. Barry,
    My question was about where the claim the human contribution only started in 1945. If you look at the forcings then you’ll see that the change in anthropogenic forcing by 1945 was already quite substantial; it clearly contributed to some of the warming pre-1945. It may not have been the dominant influence during the early 20th century (the solar forcing increased, and there was a reduction in the aerosol forcing that may have contributed to some of this early warming). However, the claim that the human contribution only started in 1945 is wrong and it is clearly not the case that Scientists agree that this is the case.


  11. Thomas you musn’t overfeed your relatives with climate, just drip feeding works with me. My relatives now also see the positive side of lukewarming and eco-optimism.


  12. aTTP, “substantial” is in the eye of the beholder. If I look at the updated forcing summary by Lewis&Curry18, 0.75 W/m2 in 1945 is not substantial, also I don’t see your reduction in aerosol forcing.


  13. Hans,
    Yes, it’s probably about 0.75W/m^2. It’s between 1/3 and 1/4 of what it is today. So, it’s clearly not negligible. If you follow the link (forcing) in my previous comment you should see quite a lot of volcanic activity in the late 1800s, and little in the early part of the 1900s. The solar forcing also increased during the early part of the 20th century. So, the warming during the early 20th century was probably a combination of anthropogenic and natural. The point, though, is that Scientists do not agree that the human contribution only started in 1945.


  14. “What other examples can we bring to the table?”

    As an answer to this challenge, I propose that (almost) anything that has a local cause can be blamed on this overarching global cause. Dengue fever seems to be a prime example. My reading seems to show that this is exacerbated, not by more suitable climatic conditions for vector or disease, but because of the spread of ephemeral water bodies in residential areas. (Like discarded tyres.)

    The motive for such claims of global cause, says the cynic, is to remove the burden of responsibility away from poor locals, & to place it on (relatively) rich people living far away.

    But it seems that the psychological effect of climate change, or at any rate helplessness in the face of relentless propaganda pertaining to it, has a grave power indeed.


  15. Hans,
    The post claims that “Scientists have agreed that human contributions to climate change via greenhouse gases really began in 1945.” I’m suggesting that this is not correct, both in terms of what Scientists have agreed and also in terms of when human contributions to climate change really began.


  16. ATTP, there is a difference between identifying something like the beginning of the Anthropocene and when human emissions of greenhouse gases became large enough to be what your lot claim to be the driving force behind climate change.

    The IPCC says that humans have most likely caused all of the global warming over the past 60 years.

    “The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period … The observed warming since 1951 can be attributed to the different natural and anthropogenic drivers and their contributions can now be quantified. Greenhouse gases contributed a global mean surface warming likely to be in the range of 0.5°C to 1.3 °C over the period 1951−2010, with the contributions from other anthropogenic forcings, including the cooling effect of aerosols, likely to be in the range of −0.6°C to 0.1°C.”

    Skeptics and lukewarmers will be quick to agree that there were other causes of the warming we have experienced since the end of the Little Ice Age. And indeed to argue that those additional contributions continue to this day. And those of us with an anthropological bent will be happy to discuss how first, fire and later, agriculture had appreciable impacts on local, even regional climates.

    But the IPCC has consistently argued that human contributions to the Current Warming Period began in the late 40s or early 50s. It is such a common assumption within the climate science community that it is somewhat difficult for me to accept that your questioning stems from a desire to learn your own tribe’s history. Could this be the beginning of an effort similar to the downplaying of atmospheric sensitivity?

    Sorry, ATTP. It is your lot that identified the 40s as the start of our unforgiveable sin of emission. We on the other side have learned that we have to take your assumptions as holy writ just to have a conversation. Fortunately, the science allows us to do so and still make valid points.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Tom,
    There’s is clearly a difference between when it started to dominate and when it started to contribute.

    But the IPCC has consistently argued that human contributions to the Current Warming Period began in the late 40s or early 50s.

    I don’t believe this statement is true. We are confident that most of the warming since about 1950 was anthropogenic. This, however, is not the same as suggesting that the human contribution to the current warming period only started in the late 40s, or early 50s. One reason is that other factors probably did contribute to that earlier period of warming (i.e., the human contribution may not have been dominant during the early 1900s, but it almost certainly still played a role, and not a negligible one). Also, the information we have does not allow us to make any strong statements about this earlier period. The reason the attribution statement starts in 1950 is – as I understand it – because that is the period over which we can make a confident assessment of the contribution. It is not because this is when the human contribution began.

    Anyway, happy New Year everyone.


  18. To continue this sidebar to the conversation, I find this: “It was one of those moments where science really surprised us. But the results were clear. The climate warming we are witnessing today started about 180 years ago.”

    The article identifies that which we have known for a long time–that the world warmed after the Little Ice Age. However, it is conveniently vague on attribution, attributing warming to our emissions greenhouse gases while admitting those greenhouse gas contributions were miniscule. I will follow up on this comment shortly–something I want to check.

    “An international research project has found human activity has been causing global warming for almost two centuries, proving human-induced climate change is not just a 20th century phenomenon.

    Lead researcher Associate Professor Nerilie Abram from The Australian National University (ANU) said the study found warming began during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution and is first detectable in the Arctic and tropical oceans around the 1830s, much earlier than scientists had expected.

    “It was an extraordinary finding,” said Associate Professor Abram, from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.

    “It was one of those moments where science really surprised us. But the results were clear. The climate warming we are witnessing today started about 180 years ago.”

    The new findings have important implications for assessing the extent that humans have caused the climate to move away from its pre-industrial state, and will help scientists understand the future impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the climate.

    “In the tropical oceans and the Arctic in particular, 180 years of warming has already caused the average climate to emerge above the range of variability that was normal in the centuries prior to the Industrial Revolution,” Associate Professor Abram said.

    The research, published in Nature, involved 25 scientists from across Australia, the United States, Europe and Asia, working together as part of the international Past Global Changes 2000 year (PAGES 2K) Consortium.”

    But I also find this in the same article: “Scientists examined natural records of climate variations across the world’s oceans and continents. These included climate histories preserved in corals, cave decorations, tree rings and ice cores.

    The research team also analysed thousands of years of climate model simulations, including experiments used for the latest report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to determine what caused the early warming.

    The data and simulations pinpointed the early onset of warming to around the 1830s, and found the early warming was attributed to rising greenhouse gas levels.

    Co-researcher Dr Helen McGregor, from the University of Wollongong’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said humans only caused small increases in the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere during the 1800s.

    “But the early onset of warming detected in this study indicates the Earth’s climate did respond in a rapid and measureable way to even the small increase in carbon emissions during the start of the Industrial Age,” Dr McGregor said.

    The researchers also studied major volcanic eruptions in the early 1800s and found they were only a minor factor in the early onset of climate warming.”


  19. As a follow up to my previous comment, I consulted the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC). It conveniently lists estimated human emissions of CO2 annually, going back to 1751.

    The data is given in million metric tonnes of Carbon (mmt). To convert to CO2, multiply by 3.667.

    The data is here:

    You will note that our emissions rose from 3 mmt in 1751 to 24 in 1830, the new birthday of human caused global warming, apparently. And in fact there was a step change around that period–estimated emissions rose from 10 mmt in 1810 to 24 in 1830.

    However, in 1948 emissions were a bit higher–they had risen from 1065 mmt in 1928 to 1469 mmt in 1948, a rather more dramatic increase.

    More importantly, the estimates I have seen of CO2 concentrations for the early 1800s hover around 280 ppm. By 1948 they had risen to only 310 ppm, suggesting that the rise was both gradual and not large. (Those of us participating in this late phase of the conversation need to all acknowledge that there is considerable uncertainty in all these figures.)

    There are many who argue that the initial effects of CO2 emissions have a disproportionate impact on global warming–but to date, most of those making such an argument have been skeptics who are frankly dismissive of the effects of future emissions. They say that CO2 has done most of its work already.

    It is possible that there is a case to make for early human emissions of greenhouse gases affecting climate prior to 1948. So far, I would argue that that case remains unproven.


  20. Well Thomas, I suggest looking at McIntyre’s numerous posts on PAGES2K. His opinion is that paleoclimatology as a field has very shaky foundations as some in the field were quick to admit before the Hockey Stick of the Mann reared its political and ugly head and caused a strong consensus enforcement effort. I would place this field in the same league as nutrition science with very weak methods and lines of evidence dominating the field and bias very prevalent.

    The problem with the early AGW claim is that the rise in temperature from 1800 say to 1945 was pretty large, I think O(0.5C) from memory. You would need a lot of forcing to make that happen especially in light of the rising SO2 emissions. It looks to me from Hans’ chart that estimated total anthropogenic forcing in 1945 was roughly 0.6 W/m2. If TCR = 1.5 say, we would have seen 1.5*0.6/3.7 ~ 0.24C. Something but not as high as the record shows happened.


  21. Does anyone else welcome ATTP for exemplifying just what a pseudo-scientific bunch of crap climate science is?

    As soon as you start trying to pin down definite statements of what happened when, the hands start waving and everything becomes vague and indeterminate.

    It is fascinating and horrifying that such total bullshit has achieved such traction in government and the mass media


  22. On the BS about ‘Climate Change ™’ being blamed for everything – this was the explanation trotted out when Cape Town nearly became the first major city ever to run dry. The fact that the population had almost doubled, while no new water supply dams had been built by the national government (and the money for them sorta disappeared) didn’t come up until MUCH later!


  23. min,
    You took the words out of my mouth, so to speak.
    ATTP’s banality is only matched by his obtuse evasiveness, and only surpassed by his post-rational approach to discussion.
    He is a classic missionary. Not coming to discuss and test ideas, but rather to demonstrate his self-designated superiority and to attempt to convert skeptics to the one true faith.
    His students (victims) are really owed an apology.
    That said, Happy New Year wishes to all!
    May 2019 be the year that ends the parasitic corrupt COP / IPCC process. May the liberation start that allows humanity to gift itself abundant cheap energy for all.


  24. My conclusion after observation of something like 30 years regarding the climate change consensus is that the obsession either CO2 has been a waste of time and resources on a monumental scale.
    It is similar to the waste of time and resources that eugenics believers expended, but much larger financially. In both cases the intellectual and political leaders were the most vociferous proponents. With eugenics the sciencey distraction was evolution. And that contrived rationalization just happened to support the bigotry and prejudice that the intellectual and political leadership had.
    Think of the ridiculous ideas of the climate consensus regarding the alleged failures of free markets, or the evils if fossil fuels pushed as axioms today. Or the consistent cowardly pose of the climate warriors that their beliefs grant them the power to suppress and censor free speech.
    These are not scientific positions. They are bigotry and prejudice hidden behind the shabbiest facades of science. So may 2019 see the end to the climate change consensus.


  25. I’m just trying to get my head around the claim that 24 mmt of carbon annually can have roughly the same impact on temperatures as 1065… and I have read quite a bit about the logarhythmic effect of CO2, so in theory I can accept that CO2 is the Emily’s list (Early Money Is Like Yeast) of gases. But 24?


  26. Thomas – if you are a true believer (especially a missionary like Hunter pointed out), then silly things like maths and logic are irrelevant. ATTP can’t defend his statements, he just makes these vague assertions to sow doubt.


  27. Well, actually it’s Kate Marvel that concerns me–that she would parrot this tripe on a national news program like Meet The Press means something. Something not good.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Tom,
    The response is logarithmic and depends on the change in atmospheric concentration, rather than specifically on emissions. By 1950, the atmospheric CO2 concentration had increased from about 280ppm to about 320ppm. This means that the resulting change in forcing was

    \Delta F = 5.35 ln (320/280) = 0.7 W/m^2.

    Since 1950, the atmospheric CO2 concentration has increased to about 400ppm, so the resulting change in forcing is

    \Delta F = 5.35 ln (400/320) = 1.2 W/m^2.

    So, the change in anthropogenic forcing up until 1950 was a bit more than half that from 1950 to now, or a bit more than 1/3 of the total change in anthropogenic forcing. (For completeness, there are also short-lived GHGs and aerosol emissions that I’m ignoring, but they roughly cancel.)


  29. What happens when you perform those calculations on the rise from 10 mmt in 1810 to 24 mmt in 1830?

    Do you really believe that a well-mixed gas in such small proportions can have roughly the same impact on global temperatures as that which you note in more recent decades?

    I am perfectly willing to believe that warming began in the 1830s. I struggle to understand how such a small quantity of CO2 can be considered a contributor to the rise.

    If that were truly the case then the expansion of rice as a cultivar throughout SE Asia with its attendant emissions of methane should surely have prevented the Little Ice Age in the first place. The expansion of rice cultivation in the New World and Africa was also dramatic and I’m sure led to emissions of methane that swamped those listed for CO2.


  30. Tom,
    I really don’t fully understand what you’re asking anymore. A key thing is that CO2 accumulates. If we emit CO2, the atmospheric CO2 concentration will continue to rise and will remain elevated for thousands of years. If we had stopped emitting in the late 1800s, the impact would have been small. That we’ve continued to emit, and that emissions have continued to increase, means that the anthropogenic influence has increased and is now the dominant driver of climate change (it’s not the only driver, and I’m not suggesting that it dominates at all scales, but the reason we’re warmer today than we were in the mid-1800s is predominantly because of anthropogenic factors).


  31. ATTP, I’m sorry I’m not clear.

    From above: “Lead researcher Associate Professor Nerilie Abram from The Australian National University (ANU) said the study found warming began during the early stages of the Industrial Revolution and is first detectable in the Arctic and tropical oceans around the 1830s, much earlier than scientists had expected.”

    This is new and different. I had noted that the IPCC identified the late 1940s and the ‘start’ of human-caused climate change. You correctly corrected my statement to show that that was the time that it was statistically possible to identify emissions as ‘the dominant cause.’ (I reserve judgment on this, but…)

    CDIAC reports that CO2 emissions in 1830 were 24 million metric tonnes per year. This had risen from 10 mmt in 1810.

    I am trying to understand how such a small quantity of CO2 could have any impact on temperatures, let alone the ‘start of human-caused global warming.’ The weight of the world’s atmosphere is variously listed as roughly 5.5 quadrillion tons (not tonnes).

    I understand you don’t need much cyanide to kill someone. But that’s 1.81818182e-9. That’s an awful lot of bang for your CO2 buck.


  32. The historical period in question was a time of extensive deforestation for the purpose of bringing land under the plow. If scientists want to claim that humans impacted climate, this seems by far the more likely mechanism.


  33. Tom,
    I think the argument is that without our emissions, atmospheric CO2 would have reduced slightly, and so our emissions increased it very slightly, and hence counter-acted some cooling. This is based on – as I understand it – comparing to previous inter-glacial to glacial transitions. It doesn’t seem implausible to me, but I think it would still be a pretty small effect. To answer your question, I think it seems possible, but I don’t know enough to have a sense of whether or not it is likely (it wouldn’t, however, surprise me if more evidence emerged to support this).


  34. ATTP, Your 0.7 W/m2 is by itself higher than the 0.6 W/m2 total forcing shown in the figure posted earlier. The SO2 more than cancelled the other GHG’s. In any case, I don’t think this can account for all the warming observed, perhaps half of it?


  35. A key thing is that CO2 accumulates.


    A trace gas, being absorbed in massive quantities every minute “accumulates”. I’m sorry, but this is the sticking point that makes me unable to be an alarmist. It’s a flipping trace gas for a reason — or else all the oxygen would have long since been converted.

    I’ve seen the Berne Model, and it’s rubbish. It takes slices of CO2 and assumes that those slices will be treated to infinity, so once the grass has absorbed the fraction which given to grass it won’t start on the fraction which is designated as for longer term processes. Bern is a massively stupid way to do anything involving equilibria (well, stupid if you want reality, not stupid if you need a certain answer). Equilibria don’t run in parallel, they run simultaneously, and your model absolutely needs to take account of that.

    The equilibrium position for the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has shifted thanks to our increased production. That is totally different from it accumulating. It’s like saying that heat accumulates when a heater is turned on, and it won’t cool back down to ambient when the heater is turned off.


  36. dpy,
    As I said already, the warming prior to 1950 was probably a combination of anthropogenic and natural. I don’t think we have enough information to make a confident attribution statement, which we can do for the warming post-1950.

    What I mean by accumulate is that if we emit CO2 into the atmosphere, the atmospheric CO2 will increase and this enhancement will persist for thousands of years. This is largley because of the Revelle factor (this limits how much the oceans can take up) and that atmospheric CO2 is ultimately drawn down by weathering until the rate of uptake by the slow carbon sinks matches the rate at which it is emitted by volcanoes. This is slow, and so if we increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere it will remain enhanced for a long time.


  37. ATTP is doing the same trollishness banality as always,but derailing the conversation into distinctions with no difference.
    So CO2 was powerfully logrithmic at trivial changes, yet now when it’s increased significantly, the logrithmic effect is irrelevant.
    Additionally, dismissing the physical reality that CO2 and H2O largely overlap in absorption of energy, and that H2O is in massively larger concentrations is just bad faith.
    Finally, allowing the troll to avoid addressing the elephant in the room, that the climate changes are trivial, that the world is doing better with higher CO2, and that his side has flat out lied about it is annoying.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Hunter,
    The radiative response of CO2 is still logarithmic. The CO2 and H2O bands do overlap which does mean that if you’re trying to assess their individual contributions the result does depend on whether you’re doing single factor removal, or single factor addition (see, this paper). If you look at that paper, you’ll also see that H2O does contribute more to the overall greenhouse effect than CO2, but CO2 is the dominant non-precipitating GHG – without it, H20 would precipitate (this is one reason why we expect feedbacks to amplify warming compared to what it would be due to CO2 alone).

    Finally, allowing the troll to avoid addressing the elephant in the room, that the climate changes are trivial, that the world is doing better with higher CO2, and that his side has flat out lied about it is annoying.

    We have the potential to warm the climate by an amount comparable to what happened between a glacial and an inter-glacial. Many (myself included) would not regard this as trivial. The world does indeed seem to be doing better now than it was before. This is probably more to do with access to energy, than because of elevated atmospheric CO2. I don’t know what side you think I’m on, so am not sure what you think people have been lying about.


  39. I actually believe ATTP is conversing in good faith in this thread. He has snarked on other threads. I have done the same at his blog.

    It’s a new year. It’s a new thread.


  40. Tom, I sincerely hope you are correct. Perhaps an emergent change is occurring that’s for the best. 2019 promises to be a very complicated year. But perhaps some seeds of actual progress can be planted and prosper.


  41. How ya doing, Hunter? I hope you had a great holiday season!

    Yes, 2019 will be… complicated. But at least there is no shortage of areas where progress can and should be made.


  42. The NBC Kate Marvel interview mentions the Glacier National Park in Montana where the glaciers have been retreating since 1850. Another park, which used to have far more extensive glaciers is Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska. The National Park website has a little graphic to show estimated glacial extent for four different periods.

    Between 1680 and 1750 the glaciers extended. There was rapid retreat through to 1880. Since then there has been little retreat. A more detailed tourist map shows the glacier extent at for actual years. Note the John Hopkins and the Grand Pacific Glaciers have both advanced slightly since the 1920s.

    From around 1780 to 1945 CO2 levels rose by about 10%. Since 1945 there has been about a 30% rise. I cannot see evidence for a relationship between CO2 rise with glacier retreat in this area.


  43. Thomas ends the article with the comment

    In the same program, I saw several company and corporate muckamucks eagerly jump on the bandwagon of blaming climate change for all modern ills, and I realized something I should have realized before. They are offloading responsibility for their decisions about destroying the Everglades, emptying aquifers, diverting river courses, etc. ad infinitum, onto climate change as a get out of jail free card.

    What other examples can we bring to the table?

    One of the most popular last year was forest fires, particularly the massive Camp Fire in California that over 80 dead. Many got frightfully uppity when President Trump (odious man that he is) tweeted

    There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor.

    His diagnosis is essentially correct. Curtailing small fires, failing to create fire breaks and preventing the removal of trees next to houses have all contributed to the catastrophic problem. The ignition of the fires is usually human-caused, either by accident or design. A slight change in average temperatures is insignificant next to these. For the adverse consequences of laudable aims of protecting forests, the climate wild card is played.
    Trump followed up his comments with a couple of measures to help prevent such catastrophes happening again.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Ken’s explanation of why GHG radiative forcing can explain a significant portion of pre-1950 warming, though logical, neglects to mention the fact that a large portion of that pre-1950 warming occurred during the very rapid 1910-1940s warming, most pronounced at high latitudes. The smooth increase in GHG concentrations does not adequately explain the early 20th century rapid warming; also the mid 20th century cooling is problematic in light of the then quite rapidly increasing GHG concentrations. Climate scientists like to assign this cooling also to anthropogenic influences, i.e. lower tropospheric aerosols.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. The New Scientist has an article that should help with science-denying warmist family members:

    FAMILY gatherings can bring up contentious topics we prefer to avoid, and with the festive season in full swing, it might be hard to dodge your more science-averse relatives. At some point, you know they will start spouting falsities, such as: “HIV doesn’t cause AIDS”, “Genetically modified foods are not safe to eat”, “Climate change is a conspiracy” or “Vaccines cause autism”. (Again, all these statements are untrue.) If this happens, you don’t have to just sit there quietly …

    The rest is for subscribers only. Can anyone show us more?


  46. Geoff, well, if you really want more:

    If this happens, you don’t have to just sit there quietly fuming. “Is it worth making an effort to correct people?” says Jason Reifler at the University of Exeter, UK, who studies ways of challenging misperceptions. “I think so.”

    Obviously, it is inherently more difficult to refute false beliefs than to spread them. Anyone can parrot a lie, but it usually takes a bit of time and knowledge to explain why a statement is wrong.

    Take a classic: “The climate has always changed, it’s nothing to do with humans.” To counter this, you need to explain how the world is now warming at an unprecedented rate, when otherwise it would be cooling slightly were it not for our carbon dioxide emissions.

    Then it gets even worse and starts quoting Cook and Lewandowsky.


  47. Interesting, pathetic, misleading typical article pushing climate consensus propaganda.To assert that the temperature has never risen this quickly in the past is to deny the evidence. however, denying evidence has never been a big challenge for the climate consensus.


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