On this page, members of the Climate Realists group and others offer notes and observations about climate change and our approach to it.
Worth quoting: This isn’t the first time the world has ‘ended’
From a column by Gerard Baker, Wall Street Journal, April 23, 2023
We have plenty of evidence that the past half-century has been the best for humans, including Americans, than any period in history. It takes an almost Old Testament fateful determinism to think that the current crises won’t succumb as all others have to the creativity of human ingenuity and the science and technology it generates, or that this time, unlike all the other times in history, humanity indomitability has met its match.
I don’t minimize the various challenges we face, and it’s true that past triumphs have sometimes come at staggering cost, but I suspect part of the current immanent gloom is a direct result of the dramatic relative success we have achieved. We have lived so long without a world war—more than three quarters of a century—that actual existential misery is unfamiliar to most of us so it needs to be replaced with an imagined one. The ease with which we analogize opponents to Hitler or their objectives to the Holocaust tells us only how far removed we really are from understanding genuine menace.
It’s a kind of obverse of the “Minsky moment” in finance—an extended period of relative calm and prosperity induces complacency and risk-taking among investors that ends in crashes. But I suspect in the nonfinancial world, it works the other way—the long period of calm induces only fear of something much worse.
You can see this in the frailties of the generation now emerging into maturity, the furthest removed from actual calamity in their lives and the ones most attuned to the supposed imminence of it. They require trigger warnings to read Shakespeare or Jane Austen, as they fill their socialmedia accounts with lurid panics over climate, gender, race, elections.
This is an excerpt from a column in the Wall Street Journal.
Worth quoting: Climate moralists’ fake virtue is creating misery for millions
From a column by Gerard Baker, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 20, 2022
The left has always deemed itself morally superior—peace, love and understanding and all that. Conservative ideas and solutions are characterized as the product of self-interest, bigotry and greed. They might be grudgingly tolerated, but morally defensible in their own right? Never.
Take climate change. The obligation to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions has been established firmly as the ultimate moral imperative. If you oppose it you are condemning us literally to a future of hellfire—and doing so out of your own selfish desire to drive a big car or fly somewhere for a vacation.
But we are now seeing the terrible consequences of the power this fable has exercised over leaders for decades—in moral as well as economic terms. The reckless push to decarbonize has dramatically reduced the supply and increased the cost of energy, leaving hundreds of millions vulnerable to the twin shocks of scarcity and unaffordability in the wake of the war in Ukraine. How many people in Europe or the developing world will suffer or die this winter because of the climate extremists’ monopoly of moral virtue?
Worth quoting: Americans are booting out ‘progressives’
By Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal, Jun 11, 2022
This column outlines the qualities of ‘progressive’ U.S. politicians that have sparked a growing number of citizens’ campaigns to oust them. ‘Progressives’ in Canada, including those who support the ‘climate catastrophe’ story, are no different.
Progressive politicians have been around long enough running cities that some distinguishing characteristics can be noted. One is they don’t listen to anybody. To stop them you have to fire them. They’re not like normal politicians who have some give, who tack this way and that. Progressive politicians have no doubt, no self-correcting mechanism.
Another characteristic: They are more loyal to theory than to people. If the people don’t like the theories the progressives impose, that’s too bad; the theory is pre-eminent.
Progressives say: We are changing all rules on arrest and incarceration because they are bad for minority groups. The minority groups say that sounds good in the abstract but let’s make sure it’s good in the particular. It proves not to be. The minority groups say: Stop.
The progressive says: You have to like what we’re doing, it’s good for you! What are you, racist? The minority groups say: We’re going to fire you. No you’re not, don’t be ridiculous. Watch. And they fire him. And he’s shocked.
Here’s the third distinguishing characteristic: The progressive can’t understand why. He tells reporters the voters are “in a bad mood” because of inflation and housing costs.
A final characteristic of progressive politicians is that they tend to be high-IQ stupid people. They are bright and well-educated but can’t comprehend the implications of policy. They don’t understand that if an 18-year-old is repeatedly arrested for assaulting people on the street and repeatedly let go, his thought may not go in the direction of, “What a gracious and merciful society I live in, I will do more to live up to it.” It is more likely he will think, “I can assault anyone and get away with it. They are afraid of me.”
Criminals calculate. Normal people know this and anticipate it. It is a great eccentricity of progressive politicians that they can’t.
So I do think America is on a campaign to remove them, one by one. And this is good.
Worth quoting: Climate change solutions that are worse than the problem
By Jason De Sena Trennert, Wall Street Journal, April 7, 2022
The climate-change solutions the West is pursuing pose a danger to the environment. The lodestar of the environmental movement today appears to be electric vehicles. One would be hard-pressed to find a product more dependent on resources from extractive materials. An electric car requires almost four times as much copper as an automobile powered by an internal combustion engine. The widely accepted goal of having 30% of the world’s vehicle sales be electric by 2030 would require enormous investments in mining industries that are decidedly not eco-friendly.
And whatever emission cuts America and Europe manage to make by forcing electric vehicles and other inefficient technology on consumers will be negated by emissions from other nations. Regimes like Russia and China won’t put aside their geopolitical ambitions for climate activism; developing countries like India won’t sacrifice economic development and their peoples’ well-being in the hope it’ll slow global warming.
Sadly, environmentalism has grown into a secular religion in which reasonable debate is regarded as heresy. But if politicians and voters can approach climate change with an open mind, they’ll see that economic growth is likely to solve the issue without heavy-handed government intervention. History has shown that free markets produce incredible leaps in human ingenuity. The greater access the world has to all sorts of energy sources, the faster humanity will discover new technologies that are more environmentally friendly. Rationing fossil fuels would only retard the process of decreasing carbon emissions and cost lives in the process.
Worth quoting: Climate models are poor climate predictors
By Mototaka Nakamura, Introduction to Confessions of a Climate Scientist: The Global Warming Hypothesis is an Unproven Hypothesis. 2018
Climate simulation models are fine tools to study the climate system, so long as the users are aware of the limitations of the models and exercise caution in designing experiments and interpreting their output. In this sense, experiments to study the response of simplified climate systems, such as those generated by the ‘state-of-the-art’ climate simulation models, to major increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases are also interesting and meaningful academic projects that are certainly worth pursuing.
So long as the results of such projects are presented with disclaimers that unambiguously state the extent to which the results can be compared with the real world, I would not have any problem with such projects. The models just become useless pieces of junk or worse (worse, in a sense that they can produce gravely misleading output) only when they are used for climate forecasting. [Emphasis added]
All climate simulation models have many details that become fatal flaws when they are used as climate forecasting tools, especially for mid- to long-term (several years and longer) climate variations and changes.
These models completely lack some of critically important climate processes and feedbacks and represent some other critically important climate processes and feedbacks in grossly distorted manners to the extent that makes these models useless for any meaningful climate prediction. It means that they are also completely useless for assessing the effects of the past atmospheric carbon dioxide increase on the climate.
Worth quoting: Should we grow up about energy?
By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., The Wall Street Journal, Feb 26, 2022
Unfortunately, some scientists, like many journalists, pretend to be inquirers into reality when they are really advertising their affiliation with their chosen virtue movements. The consistent failure of the climate movement has been its towering lack of realism. Developed and developing nations were never going to forgo energy use, but higher and lower carbon paths to the future were still possible. The U.S. and others might have enacted carbon taxes long ago to foster the necessary technologies. They still might, though not because of the climate lobby’s persuasiveness. It’s far more likely to happen now because politicians want revenues to finance pro-growth tax cuts.
Give the public a choice between believing climate change is the end of the world or a crock, they will choose crock. Even more so if choosing “end of the world” also means volunteering to surrender their standard of living. Making climate change an antihuman, anti-progress, anti-prosperity creed was the biggest mistake of all if the goal was to advance climate policy, though more useful if the real purpose was assuring true believers they are special. This can be seen again in the parade of fops piously demanding humanity forgo the potential of solar geoengineering. [Emphasis added]
—Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
The Wall Street Journal, Feb 26, 2022
The IPCC is back where it started
By Ken Wilson, P.Eng. (ret)
From an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Climate Scientists Encounter Computer Models’ Limits,” Feb. 7, 2022:
While vital to calculating ways to survive a warming world, climate models are hitting a wall. They are running up against the complexity of the physics involved; the limits of scientific computing; uncertainties around the nuances of climate behavior; and the challenge of keeping pace with rising levels of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases. Despite significant improvements, the new models are still too imprecise to be taken at face value, which means climate-change projections still require judgment calls. …
By adding far more detailed equations to simulate clouds, the scientists might have introduced small errors that could make their models less accurate than the cloud assumptions of older models, according to a study by NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) scientists published in January 2021.
Bert Bolin, a Swedish Professor of Meteorology, was one of the early proponents of CO2-caused global warming in the late 1950’s. He had done some rough calculations to show that this might be the case. What he needed was more computing power to substantiate his assumptions.
The IPCC was created in 1988. Bert Bolin became its first Director. He launched a crash program, hoping to provide definitive proof by 1990 that CO2 was the primary driver of current global warming. He did not succeed. The problem was that the IPCC needed more funding, more programmers, and more powerful computers. Western Governments, the primary funder of the IPCC, concurred. Thirty-two years later, the result is still the same. The IPCC has still not proven that CO2 is the current driver of global warming.
The diagnosis? The IPCC needs more funding, more programmers, and more powerful computers.
It is worth noting, however, that the IPCC is still confident that it is on the right track. It realizes now that clouds are an issue, and that cosmic rays are an issue as well, all of which Hendrik Svensmark pointed out 25 years ago and was roundly disparaged for his foolish thinking. Perhaps in another 10 years, the IPCC will begin to suspect that the sun and the solar wind are also significant factors, which Hendrik Svensmark also pointed out 25 years ago.
The one thing that has remained constant over the past 34 years since the founding of the IPCC is the confidence of their experts in their own expertise, and in their ability to provide wise council to Western Governments. Western Governments still concur. After all, the Science is settled!
Unfortunately, it is ordinary citizens who will suffer the most as we needlessly continue down the present path toward a Green Energy future.
Droughts are not more severe today
Despite numerous alarming claims of increasing drought, the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDI) shows zero increase in dry conditions over the last 120-plus years.
Fig. 8a shows annual values of the Palmer Drought Severity Index for 1895-2020, averaged over the entire area of the contiguous 48 states. Positive values represent wetter-than-average conditions, while negative values represent drier-than-average conditions. A value between -2 and -3 indicates moderate drought, -3 to -4 is severe drought, and -4 or below indicates extreme drought. The thicker line is a nine-year weighted average.
The severity of the 1935 drought stands out in the record.
Source: CO2 Coalition at https://co2coalition.org/facts/droughts-are-not-increasing-in-the-u-s-noaa-part-2/