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Prediction: Climate Change Will Be Blamed For Making February Heatwave ‘X Times More Likely’.

 

 

Carbon Brief summed up the media and scientific community’s response to the remarkable spell of summery weather the UK has just experienced when it was supposed to be winter (today is the first day of Spring and it’s much colder!). Reading between the lines, I would hazard to guess that within the next few weeks, the Met Office and/or World Weather Attribution will publish a study saying that the late Feb 2019 UK heatwave was made x times more likely by climate change. Peter Stott and/or Friederike Otto will be among the list of authors. Here’s what Met Office and other scientists have had to say thus far:

Much of the coverage of the high temperatures included statements from scientists.

People were right to ask themselves whether the record temperatures were being driven by climate change, Dr Friederike Otto, acting director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, told BBC News. She added:

“I am very confident to say that there’s an element of climate change in these warm temperatures. But climate change alone is not causing it. You have to have the right weather systems, too.”

Martin Bowles, a Met Office meteorologist cited in the Guardian, said climate change cannot be blamed “directly” as “we’re talking about weather, not the climate”. He added:

“But it is a sign of climate change. There’s been a gradual increase of temperatures over the last 30 years so the extreme weather has also been increasing.”

Several climate scientists also took to Twitter to comment on the role that climate change may be playing in the warm weather.

What is particularly remarkable about the temperature record is “how big of a margin there has been compared to the previous record” and that its “been smashed at multiple locations over multiple days!”, wrote Dr Mark McCarthy, a climate scientist at the Met Office.

Prof Peter Stott, who leads the leads the climate monitoring and attribution team at the Met Office, said he “suspect[s] that human-induced climate change has made the extreme temperatures seen in this current warm spell quite a bit more likely”.

The maximum of 19.6C seen on Tuesday at the University of Reading “smashed” the university’s previous winter record of 17.4C, set the day before, said Prof Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the university.

70 thoughts on “Prediction: Climate Change Will Be Blamed For Making February Heatwave ‘X Times More Likely’.

  1. Here in North Lincolnshire yesterday’s weather one was of the biggest change arounds I have seen.
    Tuesday was sunny, but the night cool so there was a frost..then shorts weather on Wednesday, yet with the change in wind direction Thursday was quite different with mist across the fields still at 3pm.
    Today Friday all overcast and now a cold wind has come in.

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  2. Stew. Delighted to learn just how much climate change was influencing your choice of trouser apparel in Lincolnshire. In the banana belt to the south of you (Norfolk) temperatures did not seem to reach such dizzying heights.

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  3. The March 2018 “Beast From The East” was due to a blocking High pressure over Scandinavia, this February the blocking High was further South, over Belgium/France. Is there a trend in the location of these blocking Highs? How close were we to another beast this winter? How about that for a research topic for a budding climate scientist PhD?

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  4. Down here in Devon we had some lovely warm days followed by very cold nights, with ice forming on all my ponds. On average, I would say it was fairly normal; but everybody you talk to prefers warm, sunny days and cold, clear nights to typical cool (average) cloudy weather.

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  5. Paul,

    The UK data is not in yet, but I don’t expect Feb 2019 to be outstanding as a whole, particularly the average mean temperature, because the nights have been so cold.

    Stew,

    I live in South Lincolnshire and 4 days ago it seriously felt like summer – 24-25C in the full sun and hardly a breath of wind. Today has been cold, grey and with a chill breeze, Much more like your average start to Spring!

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  6. Sounds more and more like climate weirding across the whole country, but then perhaps it always has been.

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  7. The Met Office have now updated their records for the month of February. In terms of mean temperature, since records began in 1910, February 2019 in the UK ranks second warmest, considerably behind 1998 and virtually equal with 1990 and 1945. Once again, we have a difference manifesting between UK data and central England data. In central England, 1998, 1990, 1945, 1961 and 1914 were all warmer than Feb 2019. In England, in the UK wide database beginning in 1910, 2019 ranks equal to 1961, beaten by 1945, 1990, 1998 and 2002.

    One can argue about rankings forever though. In the longer CET database, February 2019 doesn’t look at all unusual. In the shorter UK database, we can see why February has been so warm. It has something to do with that big, fiery yellow thing in the sky, and not CO2.

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  8. The Met Office have actually confirmed that they are going to be doing an attribution study on February’s record breaking temperatures. Richard Betts has pointed this out in his recent Conversation article. I’d have known sooner if Twitter hadn’t banned me! The outcome is almost a foregone conclusion.

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  9. The remarkable feature of the reported statements made by climate scientists is that there is really little to object to in them, if they are taken at face value. Few people contest the fact that the climate is getting progressively and incrementally warmer. Thus incrementally warmer temperature highs should be expected and predictable.
    Yet we also know that these statements are misleading because the hidden implication is always there -that these temperature highs are something to fear, they are our fault and caused by our carbon profligacy. They are harbingers of dreadful things to come.
    Something to be welcomed and appreciated is converted, by sleight of model, into predictions of doom.

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  10. Caroline Lucas: “I like spending an afternoon in the sunshine just as much anyone else, but I think most people would agree it’s impossible to shake the feeling that this incredibly strange weather in February isn’t quite right…”

    Greta Thunberg: “I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day…”

    Yoda: “Fear is the path to the dark side.”

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  11. The Met Office have actually confirmed that they are going to be doing an attribution study on February’s record breaking temperatures.

    They should extend the study to dsicover why it was snowing heavily in Greece and Turkey at the same time as our mini warm spell. Whereupon they will find it was all linked to a well known meteorogical phenomenon called an omega block.

    http://www.theweatherprediction.com/habyhints/144/

    As they are the Met (sic) Office, they might even have heard of it 😐

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  12. ‘We note that it was very cold in Greece and Turkey at the time and this is just weather. However, the record temperatures across the UK are consistent with what we would expect from climate change and such heatwaves have been made far more likely due to the build up of GHGs’

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  13. Jaime. I have thought long and often about the makeup of climate scientists. I knew a fair few, working with some, and I met many more as visitors to UEA and heard them give presentations. I do not believe that any were truly stupid, dishonest or malevolent. They are human, they believe they are right and are doing the right thing. Some believe their message too strongly and are prepared to cut corners. Is this downright dishonesty? Perhaps. It would be easy then to conclude they are deluded, but I just can’t convince myself of this. Many have solid science backgrounds. Could so many be so wrong, – yet we believe they are.

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  14. Alan, I was referring more to people like Lucas and those behind the manipulation of Greta Thunberg. Having said that, a few of the more activist and political climate scientists might fit the bill too. It is entirely conceivable that so many scientists could simply be wrong. Newton, a better scientist the world has rarely seen, who commanded a consensus among his peers for generations was, ultimately, wrong, though his theories almost perfectly explained observations. Climate science doesn’t even have that luxury, though it commands a consensus, rather more fragile than Newtonian mechanics I would hasten to add.

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  15. One of the UEA people commenting on the Green Party mailing list put it like this to paraphrase “even if we’re wrong about climate change, the solutions are still right”.

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  16. Wasn’t all the snow last year due to Global Warming, just as predicted by Climate Science models?

    Since mid December 2018 we (Hampshire) have had very little rain. The weather has been dominated by high pressure with warm days and cold nights. The jet stream has been deflected and cold blasts have hit other places instead.

    The “Named Storm” currently bringing wind and rain is perfectly normal, but it has a “Name” so must be more scary. The next “Named Storm” is forming into the trail of this one. The Blocking High is over. Normal lousy British weather has resumed, and any consequences will be blamed on Global Warming.

    The Met Office got a Sooper Compooter in 1987, and then totally failed to spot Michael Fish’s mistake on 15th October 1987. The Duty FORECASTER that day was actually Ian McGaskgill, but the storm is still known by Michael Fish’s name

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  17. Jaime,

    “It’s impossible to shake the feeling that these people are either incredibly stupid, unbelievably deluded, downright dishonest or palpably malevolent.”

    Imho, you should try. If the dark side is failing to understand the causes and along the way amplifying all the tribal behaviours that lie behind the issue in the first place, not to mention hugely underestimating and misreading advocates of the cause you oppose, then this way indeed leads to the dark side.

    Whether climate scientists, activist versions of same, green politicians, or indeed presidents, prime ministers, high ministers, UN elite, religious leaders, economists, and rafts of other authorities who tell us doom is around the corner, Alan’s experience of the first in that list is exactly what we would expect for cultural belief in the vast majority of all of them. I.e. they are not stupid, dishonest or malevolent, and nor are the very many millions of people who albeit being less influential, likewise share the same behaviours. These come from shared belief, typically passionate belief, cultural belief, which is a group phenomenon that invokes breath-taking levels of bias and inconsistency, yet nevertheless does not have any of your list as primary cause. The nearest is ‘delusion’, but even here we must be extremely careful with terminology, because this in no way implies illness or disability or possession of any inherent nature that is not equally in all of us. Although cultural beliefs are sometimes called group delusions, we are all vulnerable to them at all times. Yet they are also domain dependent, so for instance someone may be an ardent religious believer but not believe in the culture of climate catastrophism. Someone else may be the other way around. In each case, their behaviours on which you are speculating causation, would only occur in the domains of belief, but not outside (unless for allied domains, but that’s another [side] story).

    Until about 150 years ago pretty much everyone was religious, yet nevertheless we do not say (e.g. in this country) that the entire elite plus following of the Church of England (and lesser denominations too) then or now, are stupid, dishonest or malevolent, or indeed even deluded, for believing in a fairy-tale that nevertheless has shunted almost unimaginable wealth and effort into building palaces of worship all across the country and in unconcern regarding many eras of extreme need, and for at one time placing it’s hand on all society and all news and all events, and all interpretation of same and the world at large, from the crowning of kings to civil law to the birth of babies, and being all via the same fairy tale then all very seriously in error. Nor did we, or do we now, say that they are deluded; mainstream church is still in high standing and we don’t deride its followers just for being followers, likewise its priests, or write them onto that causation list.

    It is the same for climate culture. All groups of humanity have some stupid ones (who usually don’t get very far) plus dishonest and malevolent people, who operate across the spectrum, though they may leverage cultural belief sometimes just as they will leverage anything else that is handy to their purpose. We are quite used to the staggering contradictions in the religiously convinced, e.g. God sent his son to die here to save us all from God’s damnation, or whatever other nonsense that they nevertheless wholly believe in, but long familiarity causes everyone except the religiously convinced to work around this with little comment. However, statements like “even if we’re wrong about climate change, the solutions are still right” (per DaveJR above) should be viewed in exactly the same light, not as stupidity / dishonesty etc. This doesn’t mean we should similarly work around it, quite the opposite, if the culture isn’t challenged it could become as entrenched as the church once was, or indeed as familiar as it still is. It should instead be highlighted for the cultural belief that it is, such statements are powerful evidence of exactly the same kind of fairy tale.

    Powerful advocates of climate culture will be intelligent, consider themselves to be very much on the moral high ground, and honest about their goals albeit with an inappropriate level of passion. It is very much the latter that causes them to say things without blushing that unbelievers find so staggering. In addition to many other bias effects this will lead to blind eyes and ‘cutting corners’ as Alan puts it, and in a small minority even to noble cause corruption (which is not dishonesty about belief / motivation / need of goals, but is more than ‘cutting corners’, and indeed can be dishonesty, regarding execution). But in general it is a huge underestimation to think adherents are merely stupid or dishonest or malevolent; such people are very easy to overcome and do not work in large, co-ordinated groups; the vast majority of humanity is inherently honest, so such groups are unsupportable.

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  18. Andy,

    “Powerful advocates of climate culture will be intelligent, consider themselves to be very much on the moral high ground, and honest about their goals albeit with an inappropriate level of passion. It is very much the latter that causes them to say things without blushing that unbelievers find so staggering.”

    I’m afraid your first qualification simply does not stand up to the evidence. Look at Lucas, look at our risible run of dim-witted energy and climate change secretaries, look at Ocasio-Ortez, Gore, Di Caprio. They are all thick as bricks sandwiched between two short planks and their hypocrisy only rivals their stupidity. You may argue that their lack of intelligence functions only in domain, but I would then argue that if rational judgement can be so easily subjugated and so completely consumed by cultural belief, then the robustness of the intellect as a whole must be brought into question.

    Malevolence and mendacity are separate issues which I am not altogether certain do not exist in relative abundance in the Green/climate change movement.

    My firm opinion is that cultural belief coupled with a culpable ignorance of the consequences of that belief is not a get out of jail free card. This applies across the board, not only to Greens and climate change advocates of course.

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  19. Jaime,

    “Look at Lucas, look at our risible run of dim-witted energy and climate change secretaries, look at Ocasio-Ortez, Gore, Di Caprio. They are all thick as bricks sandwiched between two short planks…”

    I’m afraid this is not evidence, it is merely an opinion about causation. While cultural explanations tell us about groups not about individuals and we cannot know how typical or otherwise any particular individual is…

    “…and their hypocrisy only rivals their stupidity.”

    …massive hypocrisy as noted above is exactly an expectation. And speaking more generally, I think it’s unreasonable to state that the high influencers regarding the catastrophic CC narrative are on average much more stupid, which group includes many presidents and prime ministers and high ministers and some scientists and economists and religious leaders and business leaders and so on. Most of these folks have qualifications that speak to their intelligence in the formal ways we tend to assess this, plus actions outside of the climate domain that speak to the same in more informal ways. E.g. winning in business, or merely getting to be a prime minister, which doesn’t absolutely rule out stupidity but I’m willing to bet that the necessities of the game means that on average they are more not less intelligent than the average person. Or at least not less so. If we subjected all these high influencers on CC to an intelligence test, do you really think that they would come out on average way lower than the general population? There will be a spread, some will be duller than others, but you would no more expect less intelligence on average for these people than for religious believers, and once essentially everyone was a religious believer (and 2/3 of global population still is).

    “You may argue that their lack of intelligence functions only in domain…”

    Not exactly. Their innate intelligence is unaffected, but in-domain their reasoning machinery is bypassed by belief.

    “…but I would then argue that if rational judgement can be so easily subjugated and so completely consumed by cultural belief, then the robustness of the intellect as a whole must be brought into question.”

    Exactly! Good logic. Which question has rolled down through the development of several related disciplines since approximately Darwin and the path away from religion, and the roughly same time kick-off of investigations into cultural evolution. Vast amounts of reasoning fall beneath the cultural radar and hence proceed more or less unaffected, but there is a constant war where they do clash. So for instance knowing what triggers the radar is highly useful. Science is the most robust branch of reason, due to the evidence based scientific method (with other branches, e.g. the law, somewhat less robust), but it is still highly fragile to hi-jack by cultural belief, and this has occurred many times in history. Nor does it need to be a full-on main culture like mainstream religion or climate culture, just some domain group-think is often sufficient to hold some area of science hostage for many years. The cellular structure of modern science (i.e. many highly specialised areas that are poorly connected), make it even more fragile, because when one cell falls, through the ‘fraternity of science’ results from this cell tend still to be believed by other cells without full investigation, hence spreading the problem.

    So reason constrains development space for cultures, strangles them if you like, yet culture short-circuits reason, so an endless battle plays out between them. Science is a relatively new weapon on the side of reason in this struggle, but despite the immense material / health etc benefits this has brought, it has by no means won the war against culture, which via gene / culture co-evolution is literally rooted in our biology. The initial advances against religious cultures, have produced a reaction in the rise of secular cultures, of which climate culture is one. And there are practically no populous areas of the planet left where there isn’t awareness of science and its products. Yet 2/3 of the planet still believes in nonsense fairy stories about gods and conduct their lives accordingly, with considerably more still believing in a spiritual dimension of some kind, which beliefs are all still very common even in the developed West; and yet you propose that intellect is not subject to cultural consumption??

    “My firm opinion is that cultural belief coupled with a culpable ignorance of the consequences of that belief is not a get out of jail free card.”

    I’m not quite sure I understand that sentence, but I said nothing about get-out-of-jail-free cards. An explanation must follow the evidence, wherever it goes. And if that means this isn’t mainly down to personal causation along the lines of stupidity or malevolence or dishonesty or psychological flaws, so be it. None of that means that there shouldn’t be appropriate corrective action for any that have ‘cut corners’ in science or in political process or whatever else, or lied or committed a crime due to noble cause corruption (Glieck springs to mind). But you can’t literally throw people in jail for honestly and passionately believing that they are trying to save the planet, or indeed for advocating solutions to avoid the apocalypse that they *genuinely believe* science has discovered will come. This would be the equivalent of throwing all the hierarchy of the church into prison, and then working our way down through the congregation with the most passionate first, just because they believe, and indeed try to propagate their belief, plus solution(s) to their own version of apocalypse.

    Bear in mind that all these same choices of personal causation, plus greed (all the big-oil money the blog proprietors here receive!) are frequently attributed by many CC adherents to ‘deniers’, in which group they’d include you. I think you’d agree this is entirely wrong, which in itself is a clue about why it’s wrong either way around. If the social phenomenon built up around climate change was only due to such personal causations, likely it would long ago have been overturned, or indeed just strangled at birth. I think climate skeptics who actively oppose this face something far more formidable.

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  20. Alan,
    What you are describing is a road to hell tread with small steps that has ended in great leap.

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  21. Hunter(son). Sorry, but I don’t understand your meaning. I would not agree that those who try to understand the climate and/or try to predict it are making giant leaps. As to that hot place, they are predicting it, not on a route march to it.

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  22. I think I may picket the Met Office and Green Party headquarters, holding a sign up saying ‘Bring Back Global Warming’ if February’s lovely mini heatwave is attributed to climate change. I got soaked and very cold walking the dogs today. British weather is firmly back in charge. No sign of any decent spring weather well into mid March. March has been cooling since 2000 and we had a real shocker of a month in 2013 – 14th coldest since 1659. I think they’ve overdone it with the windmills and solar panels to be honest.

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  23. Andy,

    “I’m afraid this is not evidence, it is merely an opinion about causation. While cultural explanations tell us about groups not about individuals and we cannot know how typical or otherwise any particular individual is…”

    I was not voicing any opinion about the causative influences upon that particular group’s idiocy, only presenting them as examples of influential and powerful Greens who happen to be rather thick. As such, it is corroborative evidence for my statement: “It’s impossible to shake the feeling that these people are either incredibly stupid, unbelievably deluded, downright dishonest or palpably malevolent.”

    “But you can’t literally throw people in jail for honestly and passionately believing that they are trying to save the planet, or indeed for advocating solutions to avoid the apocalypse that they *genuinely believe* science has discovered will come.”

    I was not advocating jail sentences (though they might be appropriate in some instances). I was merely using the Monopoly ‘get out of jail free card’ as an allegorical reference to the suggestion that these people can be morally exonerated on account of their adherence to a corrosive cultural belief which seemingly blinds them to simple facts. I hold them responsible for their ignorance of the evidence of the significant ‘collateral damage’ which their retrogressive Green policies have inflicted upon the economy, the environment, the taxpayer and the struggling energy user, not to mention the aspirations of the world’s poorest nations yet to even see the economic benefits of cheap fossil fuels.

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  24. You can watch E3G’s Tom Burke being interviewed by the BBC last week here, re the recent extreme sunny day panic. We learn at the 2-minute mark that he’s a climate change expert:

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  25. This so exemplifies the rank dishonesty and/or stupidity of industry “climate change experts”. He talks about a ‘doubling of what the temperature would normally be’. Meaningless waffle – comparing an instantaneous extreme high temperature measurement at a limited number of locations with ‘what it would normally be’. Then going on to scare people by saying: ‘imagine if it was summer and we got twice what it would normally be’. Moron. The mean daily maximum temperature for England in Feb over the period 1981-2010 is 7.1C. Kew measured 21.2C. OMG, so it was actually THREE times what it would normally be! The actual mean daily maximum temperature for Feb 2019 in England was 10.9C. This means that Feb 2019 maximum daytime temperature was about 50% warmer than ‘what it would normally be’, comparing apples to apples, ‘normal’ being the average over 1981-2010.

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  26. Jaime,
    Your responses raise interesting questions…

    “…only presenting them as examples of influential and powerful Greens who happen to be rather thick. As such, it is corroborative evidence for my statement: “It’s impossible to shake the feeling that these people are either incredibly stupid, unbelievably deluded, downright dishonest or palpably malevolent.”

    Thanks for the clarification, but so far I stick with my first assessment. This is not evidence of ‘thickness’; you seem merely to be assuming that the outrageous and illogical (to you, and indeed to many others) nature of their statements, leaves open only the possibility of thickness (or the other things on your list) as cause. Hence this is ‘evidence’ by default. But this assumption is not so, there are other causation possibilities than those on your list. And indeed there is no social psychological evidence for thickness being a likely candidate at all. In fact there’s even some evidence for the opposite, i.e. per Kahan, those who are more domain knowledgeable and cognitively capable, are *more* polarized than the general population on conflicted issues like climate change, not less so.

    “I was not voicing any opinion about the causative influences upon that particular group’s idiocy…”

    …but ‘idiocy’, aka stupidity, is an inherent characteristic of some people that is an agent of behaviour in those individuals, which via constructions like ‘influential and powerful Greens who happen to be rather thick’, and ‘these people’, you are effectively expanding to be an explanatory cause of why ‘these (green) people’ are making their outrageous or illogical statements in the first place. If you mean only that their policy (or whatever other) statements seem idiotic to you, but *not* that they are actually a result of idiocy (aka stupidity) within those influential believers in climate catastrophe who routinely and generally make them, then this is fine. But your constructions don’t seem to me to portray this; rather that their statements are a direct result of their inherent stupidity (or dishonesty or malevolence). Or I’ve completely misunderstood what you do mean 0:

    “I was not advocating jail sentences (though they might be appropriate in some instances).”

    Okay.

    “I was merely using the Monopoly ‘get out of jail free card’ as an allegorical reference to the suggestion that these people can be morally exonerated on account of their adherence to a corrosive cultural belief which seemingly blinds them to simple facts.”

    I didn’t say they should be morally exonerated. I said only what was happening and why. What society does about punishment or exoneration whether moral or physical, if and when such a time comes (for sure the grip of climate culture would have to have failed by then for this to happen) is an entirely different matter. But the moral questions this raises are challenging in the extreme, even in cases where one would think it ought to be clear.

    Here’s a for instance: most of the Gestapo paperwork was destroyed before the allies entered their establishments, so it wasn’t clear how they worked. There was an assumption of a top down hierarchy with orders coming in from the leadership level and a huge stack of officers at the bottom to hold the population in such a tight grip of fear. However, US troops did capture paperwork from a regional HQ covering an area of several million Germans in the south, but unfortunately they were lost in a dusty archive somewhere until the mid-70s I think, at which point someone stumbled across them and started to analyse. The assumptions turned out to be as wrong as wrong could be. There was very little top-down direction, and hardly any officers. What actually happened is that letters poured into HQ every day denouncing folks, and the minimal staff just creamed the top off every day and drove around to arrest those people. Turned out the German population was policing itself through fear. Should all the letter writers be traced, arrested, charged? Maybe, but they formed a significant part of the population. Are they morally responsible? Well yes, but when the entire of their society took a right turn, are they truly perpetrators? Most of the letter writers had no idea of the consequences of their actions, and were trying to gain some favour to protect themselves. Climate culture is also a bottom up not top down thing. And regarding critical groups, Brad of this parish points to the silence of most mainstream climate scientists regarding push-back on the catastrophe narrative, and says this make them complicit, calling them ‘good Germans’ in a comparison to those who didn’t speak out against the above culture, yet without fear of imprisonment or death, only of being called a ‘denier’ by their near-and-dear plus colleagues, maybe eventually losing their job. But how can you punish people merely for staying silent (despite I absolutely agree with him that they shouldn’t)? Are they morally responsible? Well to some extent they must be, after all this is the key issue (see below). Can that responsibility be appropriately attributed to individuals? Well I doubt it.

    “I hold them responsible for their ignorance of the evidence of the significant ‘collateral damage’ which their retrogressive Green policies have inflicted upon the economy, the environment, the taxpayer and the struggling energy user, not to mention the aspirations of the world’s poorest nations yet to even see the economic benefits of cheap fossil fuels.”

    But the vast majority of those who actively advocate for those policies, genuinely and honestly believe that science is telling us that if we don’t do those things, much, much worse will result. And not only is it not criminal in any way that they haven’t delved enough to ‘know’, this lack may well not be morally challengeable either. Heck the domain is labyrinthine to say the least, plus riven with uncertainty that means no-one has full answers, and the whole point about cultures is that they collectively create their own knowledge base which adherents *honestly* believe in, and it can be incredibly difficult to get the culturally convinced to look outside of that knowledge base. Or even to know there is an outside that isn’t just a fabrication of evil folks. The critical issue is that, because mainstream science doesn’t seriously push back against the catastrophe narrative (that it doesn’t support), per above, why wouldn’t all these advocates believe the narrative that self-proclaims backing by science?

    And all this is without the fact that in some countries (the US especially), the conflict boundary has aligned with an older cultural conflict (rep/cons versus lib/dems) and so most people on both sides believe because of ‘who they are’, not ‘what they know’, and so there is much nonsense on the ‘skeptic’ side as well. Not to mention that all politicians at all times say the opposition’s policies are harming the public; nevertheless if a party gains ascendency it doesn’t then censure or ban its opponents on moral grounds for executing prior harmful policies, not in a proper democracy anyway and assuming all was legal. Nor should they. I’m not saying I know the answer here, but I think it’s a far more complex issue than simply marking most influential CC advocates as morally wrong (and what then would happen in practice anyhow?) Doing this may also strengthen barriers that would prevent them from crossing sides one day.

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  27. Jaime, beware of falling into the trap of talking about a “doubling” of temperatures on the centigrade/celsius scale. I believe that was Tom Burke’s big mistake. If we talk about temperatures on the Kelvin scale, then 10C = 283.15K and 20C = 293.15K, and moving from one number to the other can hardly be described as a “doubling” of temperature.

    Strange that a climate “expert” said such a thing!

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  28. OK Andy, without going into too much detail on your very long reply – which I have yet to read in full, let’s just concentrate on your statement:

    “This is not evidence of ‘thickness’; you seem merely to be assuming that the outrageous and illogical (to you, and indeed to many others) nature of their statements, leaves open only the possibility of thickness (or the other things on your list) as cause.”

    Let’s look at a specific example: Ed Davey, former energy & climate change secretary. Delingpole writes:

    “In an extremely crowded field, Ed Davey is generally reckoned to have been Britain’s worst ever Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. The only reason he got the job was because his predecessor Chris Huhne was unexpectedly banged up in jail and the desperate David Cameron needed a Liberal Democrat, any Liberal Democrat, to take on the job because of his (Cameron’s) suicidally stupid decision to hand the keys to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to his bedwetting Coalition partners.

    Apart from carpeting Britain’s landscape with ever more bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes, Davey’s principal achievement in office was negotiating the contract with the French company EDF to build the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, described by one industry analyst as “the worst deal I’ve ever seen.

    Indeed. The current going rate for electricity is £33 per megawatt hour.

    But the brilliant deal Davey somehow managed to extract from a naturally very reluctant EDF was to persuade them to accept a modest £92.50 per megawatt hour, inflation adjusted. For those, like Davey, unable to do the maths, that is approximately three times the market rate – over a period of 35 years, paid for of course by the taxpayer.

    “I negotiated a very good deal,” declared Sir Ed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.”

    Then Delingpole writes:

    “Having lost his seat at the last general election (for being crap, basically), Davey walked into a series of cushy sinecures in the energy sector, including a part time job at lobbying firm MHP Communications. And guess who one of MHP’s biggest clients are? Why, a certain French based energy company called EDF which – if this misbegotten Hinkley Point deal goes ahead – stands to receive a total of $17 billion in UK taxpayer subsidies.”

    Now, please tell me that this is not evidence that Davey is thick and/or malevolent in that he deliberately negotiated a very bad deal for the tax payer and energy user in order to benefit his friends in the energy industry?

    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2016/03/09/sir-ed-davey-everything-thats-wrong-with-britains-energy-policy/

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  29. Jaime,

    Sorry, I don’t see how this supports your premise in any way.

    As I’ve mentioned several times above, theory can tell us nothing about individuals, only groups. But anyhow most of below is just rhetoric, and what is not rhetoric is opinion, not evidence that by any accepted definition, Davey is ‘stupid’, i.e. seriously lacking in intelligence. Well I don’t happen to think Dellers is a raving right wing loon as some do, I respect your opinions, and I happen also to disagree big time with Davey’s deal on Hinkley Point. But this is still three arbitrary opinions about an issue, not about anything that could measure a single man’s intelligence (for instance we don’t know how the issue was framed to him, what other pressures or constraints were on him, what level of influence his team had etc etc.) And indeed we suspect he’s a believer (see below). If you can prove bribe or payment in kind, this is not stupidity but (clever) dishonesty. However, there are some dishonest people in every walk of life, and this in no way shows it is systemic for those climate catastrophists you oppose or the main cause of their positions. Likewise, even if you could find some way to demonstrate that Davey as an individual was seriously lacking in intelligence (aka ‘stupid’), this in no way supports your premise that green influencers are *systemically* stupid (or dishonest or malevolent, or indeed deluded in the sense of a psychological disorder), i.e. it is primarily these characteristics which cause them to support what skeptics consider to be outrageous green policies. Not only is there no evidence of this at all, this tack is on the same territory as Lew, i.e. trying to say that those one opposes are flawed in some way – whether lacking intelligence or malevolent or psychologically flawed, it doesn’t matter. This is all still wrong wrong wrong in the same manner.

    Many ardent greens don’t support nuclear anyhow 9at any cost), so it’s not the most aligned issue for top green influence. However, Davey is on my list as spouting climate catastrophism, which no doubt he truly believes. Belief doesn’t make people ‘stupid’, it bypasses their reason for issues with in-domain impacts; their general intelligence, whether high or low or in-between, remains just as it was. And the climate catastrophist movement is clearly stuffed full of many intelligent people by any educational standard or achievement standards we could apply, and as is clear from much of their narrative, passion drives them. Honest passion. If it were dishonest it would be easy to deal with and dismantle. But honest passion, especially of the group variety just as for religions, is incredibly hard to combat. If the form of your opposition is based on a belief that stupidity or malevolence or dishonesty is what you are mainly facing, this is a serious underestimation.

    Like

  30. P.S. see Fig 5 in here:
    https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2015/11/who-is-who-aux-file.docx
    …which shows that people are more polarized, not less, on climate change, as their domain related capabilities / literacy increases. This is measured in the US where CC support / opposition aligns to Lib / Dem versus Rep / Con conflict, so it’s easier to filter out the two sides; but this also means there is culture on both sides. The implication here is that intelligence / knowledge serves cultural belief, so the more of these the individuals have, the better they can advance or defend a cultural position. This is the exact opposite of the premise that stupidity is in any way explanatory, and in terms of opposing a cultural position with hard evidence, suggests that the most difficult folks to persuade, those also deploying the strongest cultural narrative, will be the most intelligent and knowledgeable ones.

    Like

  31. Andy, Davey is dim, he’s Green, he’s left wing and he’s a fanatical believer in climate change as evidenced by bad weather and the accepted wisdom of the herd. He is, I’m sorry to say, typical of many movers and shakers among environmentalists, Greens and climate change catastrophists. This is not just my opinion, it’s common knowledge, as evidenced by the facts re. the public behaviour and attitudes of these characters.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2559924/Ed-Davey-From-Quentin-Letts-withering-portrait-Lib-Dem-Minister-week-called-climate-sceptics-diabolical.html

    His predecessor, Huhne, also a climate change fanatic, was, if anything, even more stupid and bereft of rationality, comparing climate change sceptics to appeasers of Hitler. You’re probably right though; belief does not make people stupid and I never argued that it did. It’s far more probable that the weak-minded, the stupid, the gullible, the ideologically driven, the fanatical, and lastly, the greedy and the egotistical are attracted to Green culture and politics because it offers them a safe space in which to thrive, where they can squat comfortably on the high moral dung pile, convincing themselves that they are ‘saving the planet’.

    Like

  32. Jaime,

    “It’s far more probable that the weak-minded, the stupid, the gullible, the ideologically driven, the fanatical, and lastly, the greedy and the egotistical are attracted to Green culture and politics because it offers them a safe space in which to thrive, where they can squat comfortably on the high moral dung pile, convincing themselves that they are ‘saving the planet’.”

    While not the dominant effect, I agree that this is indeed very likely part of what happens for any major culture, including climate culture. For instance the recent scandals regarding priests in the Catholic church, very clearly demonstrated that they were hiding within the moral protections and authority of that culture. This will also scale with size, and the climate domain has grown huge indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Hunter, if climate catatsrophism is a mental disorder, Ian Jack, Guardian columnist, has it bad:

    “The February heat was unnatural. I used to find wild weather exciting, but now it evokes the apocalypse of climate change.”

    “For many people, that may still be true: “FABruary: record-breaking sunshine [as] UK has hottest winter day ever”, announced the Sun’s celebratory front page on Tuesday, with any reference to climate change confined to a final paragraph on page five. But that treatment seemed old-fashioned somehow, and discordant with a belated but gathering alarm at the prospect of crop failure, biodiversity loss, water scarcity, forest fires, sea-level rise, soil degradation, mass migration and all the other horsemen in the cavalry of the apocalypse that threatens to sweep through the world before the end of the century. A new American bestseller, The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells, lays out the territory with the slogan, “It is worse, much worse, than you think”– though its prophecies are drawn from scientifically respectable projections that are far from worst-case.

    How can we live with this prospect and not go mad?”

    Answer: You can’t. You have.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/02/freak-weatherfebruary-heat-apocalypse-climate-change

    Like

  34. Jaime: “I got soaked and very cold walking the dogs today. British weather is firmly back in charge.”

    It snowed heavily here yesterday evening, and the forecast for the next fortnight is cold and wet. It’s global warming, aka climate change, obviously.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Jaime. You must have very tolerant dogs. Our 4 month old puppy took one look outside, experienced some wet stuff for the first time and promptly drilled into the ground, refusing to move. This action was shortly agreed to by our shop steward Scotty who also went on strike. I do so hope climate change returns.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Alan,

    Poor Alfa has a tummy bug, so we’ve been letting her out throughout the wild, wet and windy night. I blame that on climate change too.

    Like

  37. Jaime. Climate change is blamed for Freya Night or the tummy bug? (Or perhaps both, but that might just be stretching matters a wee tad).

    Like

  38. The tummy bug Alan. Freya may be ‘just weather’ as it appears to have interrupted climate change and we can’t have climate change interfering with climate change because it would all get too complicated then and climate scientists might lose sight of their 5 sigma gold standard detection of the anthropogenic climate change signal!

    Like

  39. Thanks for the link to Ian at The Grauniad.
    He is clearly a badly effected sufferer from Catastrophist ideation.
    He is, in a way he can’t understand, correct:
    His ideas on the danger of “climate change” are in fact man made- they are created by and exist only in his head. Like people who think Men In Black are part of a UFO conspiracy, or people who think astrology is a science. The climate catastrophe he is so obsessed either exists only because of his internal mental condition.
    I hope he can get the therapy he so desperately needs.

    Like

  40. Jaime. Is modern-day climate alarmism any worse than earlier varieties? Fear of the cold war turning hot was seemingly a very real threat in the 1960s (reaching a peak during the Cuban crisis) but rather oddly was associated with, if anything, sexual liberation (well certainly amongst many of my undergraduate contemporaries; not me you understand).. More inhibiting were fears resulting from predicted overpopulation and future starvation. Around this time I went to Canada, where the current fear was of food OVERproduction and loss of government jobs. There’s always something to fret about, and always some that go overboard with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Alan,

    I think maybe yes, in terms of its longevity, its direct impact upon people’s lives and livelihoods and its increasing stranglehold on the younger generation owing to brainwashing in schools, colleges and universities. I can’t think of a contemporary scare narrative which has had quite the wide ranging impact that catastrophic global warming has had over the years.

    Like

  42. “the late Feb 2019 UK heatwave”

    Did we have a heatwave? WMO defines it as a period during which the daily maximum temperature exceeds the maximum normal temperature by 5C for more than five consecutive days. It wasn’t hot everywhere, even in West Wales where the record was noted.

    Temperatures hit 20.8C (69.4F) in Porthmadog, Gwynedd, a place which often gets Wales highest temperature spot. This was on one day, the following day it was back down to 12 deg C.

    Why do they often get hottest welsh temps? This is from June last year, when they recorded 32C. https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/reasons-porthmadog-always-hottest-place-14846827

    The local paer explained:
    “These are the reasons why Porthmadog is always the hottest place in Wales.The town has been the hottest place in the UK this week and it’s all down to geography and science”

    Met Office meteorologist Mark Wilson said: “With the wind coming from the north east Porthmadog is getting a lot of shelter.

    “Although it’s by the coast it’s not really getting a lot of breeze off the sea meaning the temperatures keep rising and rising.

    BBC Weatherman Derek Brockway tweeted then:

    “The weather station in Morfa Bychan is on sandy soil which heats up rapidly. Wind direction is east-northeast. Air flows over the mountains sinks & warms boosting the temperature in Porthmadog.”

    A year earlier, temperatures in February didn’t go above 9 deg C, almost 12 degrees warmer this year, proof positive of Global Warming…

    Like

  43. Freiderike Otto, Acting Director of Oxford ECI is an import from Potsdam, having been part of sea level scaremonger Anders Levermann’s team. Potsdam’s Schellnhuber was once Director of Scientific Strategy at Tyndall.

    https://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/people/fotto.html

    Her entry at Potsdam says Dr Otto has a PhD in Philosophy and specialises in the Philosophy of Climate Modelling. http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~anders/group.html The web page shows the Potsdam Cuckoos…

    Another one, Ricarda Winkelman, was a co-author of last year’s “Hothouse Earth” paper, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45084144

    Like

  44. Dennis, the WMO appear to have a more loosely defined definition of a heatwave now – probably so they can label more hot days as official ‘heatwaves’!

    “A marked unusual hot weather (Max, Min and daily average) over a region persisting at least two consecutive days during the hot period of the year based on local climatological conditions, with thermal conditions recorded above given thresholds.”

    It probably wasn’t a heatwave by the old definition; also, coming in winter, it’s dubious if one can call it a heatwave at all.

    https://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/ccl/opace/opace2/documents/DraftversionoftheGuidelinesontheDefinitionandMonitoringofExtremeWeatherandClimateEvents.pdf

    Like

  45. Jaime, Alan,

    Agree with Jaime. This is a cultural biggy: multi-generational, monster resources now in service to it, big and increasing impact upon society including law / politics / education / diet / morals etc, as well as the more obvious things such as energy use / land use / transport etc. So huge scope (applies itself to most aspects of society). And in the end far less justification for its doom scenario than for likelihood of major nuclear conflict, which would also be far less immediate even should possibilistic worst-case scenarios ever start to converge towards that doom. The cultural biggies are generally much more disconnected from reality, which is what gives them the memetic / emotional freedom to flourish without easily being brought back down to earth. Whether ACO2 turns out to be good, bad or indifferent, current climate catstrophism is a secular full religion replacement, and also it works on exactly the same (ingrained / instinctive) mechanisms.

    The narrative of climate catastrophism and wind turbines may not be wholly equivalent to the bible and churches, but they have far more in common with those than with scientific proofs and power stations.

    Liked by 2 people

  46. Andy West, I’m an illiterate where the internet is concerned, so I’m unable to “like” your last comment. Nevertheless, may I express my admiration for your last comment:

    “The cultural biggies are generally much more disconnected from reality, which is what gives them the memetic / emotional freedom to flourish without easily being brought back down to earth. Whether ACO2 turns out to be good, bad or indifferent, current climate catstrophism is a secular full religion replacement, and also it works on exactly the same (ingrained / instinctive) mechanisms.

    The narrative of climate catastrophism and wind turbines may not be wholly equivalent to the bible and churches, but they have far more in common with those than with scientific proofs and power stations.”

    That’s exactly what I have long thought, only you expressed it far better than I would have done. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  47. Jaime, Alan,

    There seems to be a growing trend for fearing that things are going to get much worse, and I fear this trend will get much worse.

    Liked by 4 people

  48. Jaime, Andy. To dispute which was worse, the threat of thermonuclear war as a consequence of east-west tensions or climate change alarmism is a rather pointless exercise in my view. Yet I certainly would not make a judgement so readily. The cold war lasted more than 45 years, caused major changes in the makeup of our societies – remember warnings about the military-industrial complex, increased paranoia, and increased competition for influence across the globe. However, some effects were more subtle but just as significant. Much of the youthful rebellions, in all different directions, were stimulated by the rejection of the status quo – the view that the old had “mucked things up” which had led to the global impasse.
    For me, however, it was the Cuban missile Crisis that sets the East-West tensions apart. Never have I known such a moment – when I and all my new university friends despaired of living through it; we gave up, didn’t attend lectures and played cards all day, listening to the radio about news from the Caribbean. In East London we expected to be in the blast zones of strikes taking out central London. Our lives would be forfeit. That day, and the buildup to it, is still vivid to me. Nothing in climate alarmism comes remotely close.

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  49. Alan,

    I was but a child during the Cuban Crisis. My parents, like yourself, lived through an episode in which they had come to expect imminent death – and yet I was blissfully unaware, shielded from the horror by my parents. Contrast that with today, in which adults spoon-feed our children daily with tales of climatic horror that leave then traumatised and desperate.

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  50. Alan,

    I recall all that from the mid-60s onwards, and my parents being very politically / world aware, related earlier stuff. But despite the various cultural angles, including reactions / movements against, the heart of the issue was much more of a genuine problem. Mass nuclear weapons manifestly existed, and so people’s fears were relatively justified, more via error / misunderstanding rather than deliberate intent as the Cuban crisis showed. So it is not a comparison of which is ‘worse’; it is largely that one is a mainly real fear which society reacted to (largely) correctly, in order to bound / mitigate / de-tension / avoid, and the other is a cultural / emotive / largely unreal fear which has emerged through the same processes via which religions emerge. And the relatively modest cost of the necessary societal changes to pressure governments from grass roots and undertake SALT reduction actions and UN policing or whatever, to reduce / remove the issue, are orders of magnitude less than the untold trillions and proposed wholesale social changes (some already spent / underway), we are instructed are necessary in order to reduce / remove the imminent certainty of global climate catastrophe that even mainstream science does not actually say exists in the first place. In this it can be seen that emotive conviction is a double-edged sword; sometimes it is appropriate and right for communal correction, or at least rightish, and sometimes it is largely the fuel which powers imaginary monsters. Social science has ways of pursuing which are which.

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  51. I can’t comment on the social/economic impact of the 60s/70s nuclear arms race, but it seems to me that it was a natural consequence and extension of WW2, which was very real of course and caused enormous global upheaval. So it’s difficult to view the Cold War in isolation from WW2 which, in turn, was an extension of unfinished business after WW1. The 20th century was essentially a centennial length sabre rattling exercise which exploded into global violence on two occasions and came within a whisker of nuclear armageddon during the 60s. As Andy points out, in many respects, it’s not a good comparison to the cultural/religious phenomenon which is global warming catastrophism.

    But anyway, my personal experiences of scares similar to the global warming panic are the 80s AIDs scare and the hysteria about the Antarctic ozone hole. Both were relatively short-lived but intense events which captured the public imagination and generated mass media coverage at the time. I believed all the hype for a while and even subscribed to New Scientist to get the latest shocking updates on the unfolding twin global catastrophes!

    Liked by 1 person

  52. A couple of weeks ago Tom Burke, climate change expert, flew a thousand miles to tell a Catholic university that were are all primates. He then waffled for half an hour then flew another thousand miles back home again:

    https://www.e3g.org/news/events-and-speaking/climate-trust-tom-burke-speaks-ukranian-catholic-university-lviv-ukraine

    Archbishop Burke’s theory is that primates are successful because their instincts tell them to cooperate as well as to compete. Climate change is tipping the balance between these two urges in favour of competition because it is shrinking the planet’s boundaries, meaning that we each have less of it to live in and the less we have, the more we compete. Climate change is perverting our apelike instincts by putting its grubby paw on the scale of what’s right.

    Therefore we must tackle climate change. To do that we must insulate our atticstip the balance back in favour of cooperation by being more apeliketrusting, because in a very real sense trust is the very basis of cooperation. We will now all rise and sing from the same sing hymn sheet. And then we’ll all fly home (in a very real but unacknowledged sense). Amen.

    (I wonder who paid for his two-way trip to Lvov/Lviv. And how come he was there in Feb this year talking at the Biennale of Trust when the Biennale of Trust was in October last year? Never mind. I trust Tom Burke. He has opposed nuclear energy for nearly fifty years. He is clearly a man of character. If not wisdom.)

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  53. John. Look at old newsreel footage of anti-nuclear protests, and count the children.

    Andy. To those afraid of their futures, it matters not if the threats are real, exaggerated or imaginary. Only belief is required, especially if the fears are renewed by new and worse claims.
    I have also been recently reading assessments of Soviet nuclear capabilities. Some revisionist assessments suggest the USSR would have been most unlikely to have initiated nuclear war. But this is totally immaterial, the West thought Russia would then, and on that dreadful day, British bombers were in the air. Greta thinks climate Armageddon is on the horizon, perhaps just as much as we did in 1962 (God, can it be so long ago?)

    Like

  54. Alan,

    “To those afraid of their futures, it matters not if the threats are real, exaggerated or imaginary. Only belief is required…”

    Well indeed. But it absolutely matters to the major social outcomes. You cannot start The Church or the global show of Climate Catastrophism from (relatively) real fears, because the reality constraints are too strong to allow the many iterative exaggerations / expansions, and the consequent useless but immense social and physical infra-structures / changes, long enough and / or enough degrees of freedom, for them to seriously amplify / accumulate.

    I think even at the (broad) time (by mid-seventies at least) as far as I recall, there was a general feeling that neither side would with full and cool considered intent, deliberately initiate a nuclear holocaust. But the opportunity for it to happen almost by accident, due to the innate suspicion, the potential swift nature of events and misunderstandings, and heightened tensions plus the nature of the systems involved, plus indeed some wild card edge-players like Castro, was well within the possible, as the Cuba incident itself showed. The fear in 1962 may have been exaggerated, but it had some basis in reality; the weapons and delivery systems were real, and they did nearly go off. By comparison Greta’s Armageddon is just an emergent fairy story; it does not come from mainstream science let alone skeptic science, and there is no accepted mechanism by which it could happen as billed. As noted above, while the fear seems the same to individuals, there are means to pursue the identification of the different scenarios, which if they were but properly pursued would allow society to dispel the fears in cases where they could be shown to be mainly imaginary.

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  55. LOL Vinny, so Tom Burke jetted thousands of miles to lecture Catholic Primates on the fact that we’re all primates and only if we become more like the Planet of the Apes can we hope to tackle climate change!

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  56. Alan,

    “Look at old newsreel footage of anti-nuclear protests, and count the children.”

    I don’t think that is the relevant metric. There is a tendency for those people who are motivated enough to attend a rally to then take their children along. So, the abundance of such children cannot be taken as a representation of childhood involvement and awareness within the wider community. On the day when the RAF’s V-Bombers were sat on the apron with engines running, and you were playing cards in bleak resignation, I’m sure the campaigners’ children were crapping their pants, but the rest of us were outside, bored and kicking a can against a wall. I’m not saying that children were completely shielded from the reality, but I do believe nowadays attitudes have changed and children are increasingly expected to assimilate the adults’ worldview long before they have the emotional and intellectual maturity to do so.

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  57. It seems as if some people in Germany are realising that the climate change religion might have serious consequences for them
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-02-28/peak-car-poses-a-mortal-threat-to-germany-s-most-important-industry

    “as people shift to ride-hailing, car-sharing, and driverless electric vehicles, many of Germany’s advantages will evaporate”

    Given that the EU as currently configured seems almost designed to ensure German dominance of the economic bloc, then the shocks caused by declines in key German industries – and the associated foodchains that wind through the poorer countries in the bloc – need careful consideration. I wonder if great thinkers such as Tusk, Juncker and Merkel have given any thought to them? It is clear that the wouldbe Napoleon hasn’t because he wants to build an army

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  58. On February 27th, the Met office tweeted that they would definitely be doing an attribution study on February’s warm weather. We’re still waiting. Did they discover that they just could not attribute February’s warm weather to climate change, no matter how hard they tried, or did they get cold feet and realise that the public is starting to get increasingly sceptical about their repeated claims that the extremes of the British weather are mostly due to global warming? I wonder. It’s only May. There’s still time to slip it out before the next climate change induced summer heatwave I guess.

    Like

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