Climate – qui bono?

TildeB wrote:

“Good climate science is complicated because it has to work within reality. And the reality is that climate is not a state but an ongoing process. Is this process producing results that clearly and unequivocally shows global warming attributable to human behaviour?”

That is the question.  A very good, well-formulated scientific question.

(Though it should have read “show” instead of “shows”; subject-verb agreement.  Results show.  One result shows.)

It’s a pity T can’t keep up the tone though.  In a comment directly to me, he/she attacks me and calls me names for raising the question:  Is there a trend?  Do the climate scientists really have enough evidence to make such (far off the mark, as reality has just proved, but to hell with reality then) predictions?

The past few winters have been records.  That is, records in cold.  I would very much like to see record heat set against that in similar “spot” evidence, at least enough incidences to offset the cold “spot evidence” and balance it.

Climate “science” (or at least, climate warmist science) has taken some extremely weird, apparently illogical turns by now.

Growing ice shelves in the Antarctic are evidence of warming?

More extremes on both sides of the scale are evidence of warming?  (Why not, by the same logic, of cooling?  That’s a real question btw, please bring evidence why it specifically supports warming and not cooling.)

I’ll help you a little with this one:  Hurricanes over the sea need a certain amount of warmth to generate the force of those winds.  This is why they usually occur in the tropics. (Following this, there should have been more hurricanes by the year.  Have there?  That’s a real question too, btw, I haven’t been following hurricane trends recently.) However, I struggle to see that global warming can cause Antarctic ice to grow.  If we follow this logic to its conclusion, global warming should cause the polar caps to grow until they meet at the equator.  A frightening scenario.

This kind of strange logic should lead us to the following conclusion:

If it’s that complicated, we can’t make any predictions at all, because global warming can cause anything whatsoever, from a burnt-out desert planet to the next ice age.  In this case the climate scientists ought to step back and say, “sorry, people, not enough insight to make any predictions”.

That is what the Daily Mail, UK, is essentially doing with its article re the Arctic icecap recovery.

It would be the honest thing to do.

What concerns me most about all this though is the influence of the media:


Climate Gate.  Did it actually happen?  Did people intercept emails covering a scam of tampering with data (a HUGE no-no in the scientific community) and threw them online in outrage for everyone to read?

Back then, it sounded pretty convincing.  Why is nobody saying anything about it anymore?  Why are the media pretending it never happened, and carrying on just as before?

I’m not going to volunteer guesses; to guess is not my job.  I’m only raising the questions, following good scientific method. 

However it’s worth remembering that this is not only a scientific but also an economic and political issue.

In whose interest do the media lean this way then that?  Who gains from spreading panic (only in Western countries, mind you)?

And sadly, an answer does emerge here.

Who gains?  (Ever heard of carbon taxes btw?)

Oil.  The companies selling the same “fossil fuel” that was already supposed to have run out – and is being mined faster than ever before.  Because they can legitimately push up their prices (and therefore their profits) with the moral argument that they are selling the stuff very reluctantly because it causes global problems.

It does cause global problems (ask the seagulls!).

Then why was the electric car pushed off the market (by same oil companies)?   (Don’t come with that it takes fuel-burning to generate electricity.  It doesn’t.  There are many greener ways to generate electricity.  If it were about fuel-burning, the same companies wouldn’t have pushed the e-car off the market but joined in, quietly laughing because they’re still selling the same fuels.)

All these very interesting trends.  Would you buy a Prius?  I wouldn’t – a Prius is a lie because it’s only halfway electric.  Rather buy a bike.  And, of course, there are issues circling on Facebook how Toyota abuses their workers (one worked himself to death apparently).

If it’s on Facebook, there must be a reason.

Don’t you think?



20 thoughts on “Climate – qui bono?

    • None really. If it is true, very sad indeed. But is it? (see next post…) If it is in fact so, then humanity has the responsibility of breeding a sustenance population of polar bears in zoos and reservations in order to reseed the north pole with them when the climate recovers.

      If the climate doesn’t recover despite all the efforts of people not to leave such a carbolic footprint, then what does that tell you about human influence?

      Also: From a political angle, they could do a lot more (if they were serious). They could outlaw the petrol car and force motor companies to build electric cars; force power producers (eish – like Eskom – this will not be easy on people like you and me) to switch to solar power; and so on. But they don’t. So they can’t be serious, can they?

    • Yeah, I reckon vested interest, especially regarding oil companies – ranks as the prime factor when it comes to inhibiting meaningful and rapid change.

      Electric cars are useless anyhow, as the batteries are not yet capable of delivering the goods in any meaningful way.

      Now….Honda have already produced a car, the Clarity , (been around for a while) that runs on Hydrogen and Toyota are soon to follow suit.
      At the moment availability is limited, but it is seems the better option as Hydrogen can be pumped from a normal filling station.
      There are tons of links…here’s one I picked at random.

    • 🙂 That is super news. I read some articles on how to convert your car to h2 usage, a few years back, but they struck me as dangerously arsonist. If a company builds those cars, that’s safer.

      E-cars weren’t actually useless. The batteries lasted for 30 miles and you could go up to 80 miles an hour (all in America, see), and they didn’t need the same kind of servicing combustion engines do. But you couldn’t buy them, only lease them from General Motors, and then they were recalled and trashed… in a landfill… No reasons given. And since then, silence from that angle. I think it was mainly a test run on how Mr Petroleum would take it.

    • ”E-cars weren’t actually useless.”

      I should have said highly impractical, largely because the infrastructure is not compatible with the way society uses the car, whereas with Hydrogen fuel cells the infrastructure is pretty much in place – standard filling stations.
      In 2008 Honda estimated a garage conversion would cost around $4million a pop – current estimates are down to around $1million and could well be less when they cars are due to be rolled out ‘officially’ in 2015.

      The Tesler is electric(and a sports car!) and one of the best selling cars in California so I am told by my car-mad kids.

    • Hmm! I want a Tessler!
      I agree though, quite impractical. On a normal working day I’d have to recharge twice (at 30 minutes a shot). But with RND it would have come right.

      But probably the H2 car is in any case the cleaner alternative; as we know, electricity is mostly still generated by burning coal.

      Why can’t they in fact power electric stations with H2, too? The reaction also releases more oxygen into the atmosphere; oxygen is a coolant, so voila, global crisis solved along with cheaper power! 😉

    • Aaah, science stuff. Sorry, not my bag.
      The last I heard it was more or less as difficult to ‘get’ as oil, and if they can drill under the North Sea I am pretty sure if there’s money to be made then exploitation of Hydrogen will be no serious obstacle.

      The current developmental paths being forged by those manufacturing electric cars and those developing hydrogen cells reminds me of the fight for market share between Beta Max and VHS, remember?

      Hydrogen seems to be the better way to go, all things considered and when it starts to go it will be like most other things that have hit society.
      Get on board or get left behind.


  1. Mea culpa. I apologize for my poor editing skills. Too fast on the ‘post comment’ button.

    Who benefits by climate science figuring out that ozone depletion is caused by CFCs, halons, and freons? Do the scientists profit by establishing this link with good science? Why should we accept that we should act based on this scientific consensus? Surely healthy skepticism should protect us from harmful UV radiation, I guess.

    Who benefits by climate science figuring out that climate change is caused by human activity? Do the climate scientists profit by establishing this link? Why should we accept that we should act based on this scientific consensus? Surely healthy skepticism should protect us from extreme weather and the effects from changing climate patterns, I guess.

    Who benefits? is the wrong question here. The right question is whether we should continue to run this one-time-only global experiment when every indication collated by climate scientists demonstrates that carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions pumped out by people is a real, growing, and pressing problem that is going to cause increasing negative feedback in changing climate patterns on us as a species.

    You continue to link weather with climate and think cold examples of the former mitigate pattern changes in the later. You. Are. Wrong. This is a typical misunderstanding and misrepresentation of climate change you continue to promote.

    I have already responded to the lack of knowledge about this ‘60% sea ice recovery’ to show why it’s false. You ignore this. Now you throw in the slight expansion of Antarctic coastal ice as if this, too, was contrary evidence. It’s not. Climate science has already examined this data and clearly shown why it is not contrary evidence whatsoever. But you don’t seem to care in your quest to present your climate denialism as reasonable skepticism. By all measn be skeptical about claims but for crying out loud don;t stop there! Inquire. Find out why. It’s not reasonable now to maintain skepticism when the work has been done to account for the reasons that inform the skepticism (after all, scientists themselves are prone to be of the most skeptical bunches of them all). Yet even after climate scientists have done the work necessary to explain why the examples you are raising are not meaningful, you just ignore it and carry on under your banner of ‘skepticism’ when that’s not longer true; you now carry on under the banner of denialism.

    When the vertical thickness of ice is reduced, we have a net loss even if the remaining horizontal spread appears larger. Do the experiment yourself: grab some putty, place it on a table, look at it from above. Now remove a third of it but push down on the remaining putty to spread it out over a greater area. Is there really more putty when it is thinner?

    This is happening both in the Arctic and the Antarctic. That’s why sea levels are rising. But what is causing this loss of ice thickness? Well, in the Arctic, it’s because of several reasons but this understanding requires more than a passing smear of climate science justified by a claim for skepticism under the banner of gleaning some hidden for-profit conspiracy.

    If you care at all. If you care about what’s true. I don;t think you do; I think you care about your own opinion more. Just like a creationist.

    There is good information out there to learn why AGW is real, why every major scientific body in the world shares this consensus, and why the IPCC continues to advocate for a responsible global response. Maintaining skepticism without trying to understand the science is not skepticism: it’s denialism, plain and simple. And this is what your proving every time you utilize a discredited criticism no different that what evolution deniers do and for very much the same reason: your methodology is broken because of your reliance on confirmation bias.

    Either respect the method of science or don’t. But what you are doing here is trying to hide your science denialism regarding climate change behind the shield of science as a method of inquiry. This kind of relativistic nonsense – where up is presented to mean down and white presented to be another kind of black and science denial presented to be pure science – is another in a growing list of clues why it is simply an observation and not a personal insult to call you a climate change denier. And to do what you do requires you to cherry pick which bits of science to accept and which bits to ignore (claiming skepticism) no different in methodology than similarly carried out by an evolution denier who favours creationist POOF!ism as the more reasonable explanation and justified in the same way – as a proper exercise in skepticism! That is the company you are choosing to keep and it’s a warning sign you continue to ignore.

    • You sadden me. You make such promising starts with your comments and then you disintegrate into insults and name-calling.

      Is there evidence that the ice is actually “thinner” vertically?

      Than: 10 years
      100 years
      1000 years back? How would you measure that?

      If you care at all. If you care about what’s true. I don;t think you do; I think you care about your own opinion more. Just like a creationist.

    • As a Canadian, I am quite aware of the changes in the arctic. As a Canadian who worked in a lab studying ice core samples, I am well aware of the expertise of the scientists doing research. Do you honestly – and I mean that to be with emphasis – think for one second that some of these scientists are going to slap their collective foreheads in surprise that no one thought to require comparative data about the thickness of sea ice they have been measuring? Seriously?

      When you say stuff like this, you are doing nothing more than waving your hands and trying to avoid the fact – and that’s what it is – that climate change is occurring at unprecedented rates with unprecedented results caused (we now know) by human activities. We are now and shall continue to pay more and more and more costs to not doing what we need to do to ameliorate this negative consequence. In the meantime, the problems go unaddressed while a group of so-called skeptics wave their hands about and think they are not part of this problem of even recognizing what the problem is.

      Look , for nearly 50 years we have known we are changing the composition of the atmosphere enough to cause ourselves problems. The US military was well aware in the 60s that missile guidance systems (heat seeking) was being degraded by higher levels of atmospheric CO2 than in the 50s. Hansen presented a watershed finding to Congress about definitive climate change linked to human activities in the 80s and ALL – and I mean ALL – further inquiries into these effects have accounted for solar radiation, volcanic activity, sun spots, natural variations in climate patterns, and all unequivocally point to human activity – a combination of many activities like deforestation, altering river flows, emissions, farming practices, energy production, and so on – as the primary cause of this rapid change.

      We have an increasing appreciation of what kind of roles various carbon sinks play, and we damned well know there is a tipping point from feedback forcings that really do directly threaten how humans live on the surface of this globe (a global rise of 8*C will render more than half the planet deadly to humans. That means you will die within 20 minutes, not because it’s 8*C warmer but because of how that global rise translates into climate change and produce sections of the world that reach 75*C locally. I’m not making this shit up. And once we reach a tipping point, the process takes on a life of its own and we can do nothing to stop it. Nothing.)

      Farming patterns have already begun to experience these adverse effects and we see the impact on declining global food production, on the availability of recharged fresh water (dropping water tables and reducing aquifers), on too much rain in one part of a country while the other part suffers a drought; the flooding then runs off rather than recharge the water table. I’ve taken hydrology; I know what I’m talking about.)

      We see weather patterns stall and dump a years worth of precipitation in a few dozen hours here in Canada. We see bug populations migrate northward. We watch forests the size of European countries get eaten by bugs that couldn’t live here four decades ago, and we see a loss of hundreds of billions of dollars in forestry losses alone. We see fish stocks like the Pacific Salmon head north to maintain their preferred water temperature that once populated more southern reaches. I know fishermen, and what they tell me isn’t based on my beliefs but the hard economics of their livelihood negatively affected by changing patterns not just of atmosphere but of ocean waters much greater in amplitude than anything faced by any of their ancestors. I’m not making this shit up.

      We see hurricanes run the wrong way because the jet stream has slowed. We see snow in southern reaches of the continent side by side with mid summer temperatures in the far north. This is the effect of meandering jet stream. I am related to senior Air Canada pilot who tells me how fuel calculations have been affected to this new – and I mean NEW – flying conditions from a meandering jet stream. I’m telling you what is all around you but that you cannot see because you refuse to look.

      We see more and more tornadoes show up where few have ever been. We see huge chunks of ice break off from where they have been historically moored and find complete melt across glaciers where no melt has ever been recorded. (Did you know Greenland is really an atoll of five islands currently filled with glacial ice being eroded from beneath by encroaching sea water? That deep water is warmer than it has ever been. Have you talked with a submariner lately? Ask about the changes – radically new changes – in isotherm levels.

      Did you know the Ross ice shelf is moored now by less than a meter of ice – the lowest amount ever since its formation? Check a map, and tell me what sea level rise can be expected not if but when the shelf floats away and melts. If you’ve thinking in millimeters, you’re using the wrong scale.)

      Look, we have compelling reasons to wake the fuck up and pull our collective heads out of the collective ass in which we have so carefully placed it in the name of skepticism. We have significant and serious challenges ahead to cope with what we’ve already done. Allowing the negative conditions to continue unabated while sitting around waving our hands at imaginary issues in the name of skepticism is not helping. In fact, it’s very much part of the problem that no amount of compelling evidence will overcome as along as people like you refuse to respect what it’s telling us. We make the job that much harder and more urgent the longer we fail to act cohesively as a species. Allowing the situation to continue to deteriorate while we continue to calculate a tiny fraction of what the real costs will be in the form of tax is foolish beyond measure; it’s immoral. We need to change our behaviour and carbon taxes are one way to facilitate achieving some small measure that supports this goal. But it’s not a fix.

      This ‘debate’ isn’t just an intellectual exercise and the cumulative effect of our personal opinions are not our own. They are our legacy. We need to start treating it with the due respect it deserves and not the flippant hand waving resubmitting inanities like wondering about comparative ice studies that so many people think is adequate to justify ongoing skepticism about what reality is telling us is true. It’s not. It’s a warrant of needless cost to the fortunate and suffering to the unfortunate who shall follow in our inadequate but indelible carbon footprints.

    • Ok tildeb: Except for your insulting tone and uncontrolled temper I could almost enjoy this answer.

      FINALLY some actual data (instead of name-calling and mud-slinging)!

      You call me a denialist. All I called for was what you have finally condescended to supply: Evidence. How can you call someone a denialist who is basically asking for data? You were expecting I should simply believe the MSM (and you based on the info that you’re an insurance bloke), just because “everyone should”.

      I’m a minority, believe me. People “like me” make no dent in your movement. What I’d like to know in actual fact is:

      And what is the plan?

      What would you as individual do to stop & reverse this trend?

      Not as the US president (I don’t see him doing much) but as a normal, day-to-day insurance salesman?

      What could you personally recommend (because you are also doing it) that will indeed stop global warming?

      If this is the Titanic, how will you prevent the crash? Or is this just the pointless creation of panic about a meteorite strike that’s coming our way regardless?

      (Btw if you worked in ice core labs, why are you now selling insurance? Strikes me as a strange career move.)

    • I’m not an insurance agent. But when you posted about who benefits – as if those making money would reveal the real source of the problem – I offered what I thought was very compelling evidence that the industry involving trillions of dollars relating directly to the negative effects of climate change gives us some insight. When the major reinsurance companies allocate significant financial resources to this problem, then I’m not the source. What I believe doesn’t matter. The companies tell us the problem is here, it’s real, and it has profound effect on their business. I thought this might compel you to reevaluate your assumptions to your approach.

      The data I’m giving you is widely available to anyone who wants to honestly find out what the commotion is all about. If you’re willing to assume it’s somehow false, then you are suggesting that you know what you’re talking about. I have expressed that you don;t. It’s not my job to provide all the evidence for your perusal; it’s your job as a skeptic NOT to jump the kind of conspiratorial conclusion you’ve already jumped to. It’s your job to recognize that your knowledge base is probably lacking when someone comes along and tells you in no uncertain terms that your knowledge is lacking. Accept the possibility. But even when faced by the scientific consensus of tens of thousands of working climate scientists, you still assume your conspiratorial conclusions are magically equivalent! This is an indication that your skepticism is not based on a reasonable basis of scientific knowledge but aligned with powerful activism dedicated to denying the public acceptance of climate change caused by human activity. That’s why I pointed out the company you are keeping because this is an indication of the quality of information you are empowering.

      The first order of business is to recognize that there is a problem. This is the stage we’ve been at for thirty years. Only now is the younger generation tipping the balance in public opinion towards accepting reality rather than denying it. Thank goodness.

      In the same way the problem is a process, the solution is, too. The next step is to empower public policies to start this process with public support that address the root causes of AGW. That means giving support to political platforms to bring about this necessary and meaningful change (not the anti-whatever campaign favoured by the stupid). It means advocating for smart change, advocating for municipal plans to build a better, smarter city, advocating for smarter buildings, smarter planning, smarter infrastructure projects, smarter development requirements. My spouse, for example, works in an accredited building that meets the highest environmental standards available and can inform people how and why this works cheaper, smarter, and with a positive and lasting environmental impact. (‘If you build it, they will come…’ kind of thing)

      This process means accepting personal responsibility to doing what we can do on an individual basis to address the problem as best we can according to the choices we have available. In my case, I am a homeowner. I spend the money to make my home as energy efficient as I can, to reduce my home’s impact on my environment. I recognize that it emits greenhouse gases so I use the property itself to create a larger carbon sink than it produces. I don;t expect others to be able to do this without first appreciating why and how my home and property are cheaper, more enjoyable, and less work to maintain than others. The property is now a small woodland in an urban environment teeming with life, aromatic with flowers and bushes that don’t require much maintenance. My adjoining neighbours have extended this simple yet delightful plan across their properties so that guests marvel at the wild yet park-like setting that greets them. In other words, each does what one can in small ways and large if possible. Make smart choices that bring benefit to both one’s self and one’s environment, that reduces the dependency on greenhouse gas and the emissions they produce. Try to make a positive impact by creating even small carbon sinks but always be aware that our consumer choices have an accumulated effect.

      People are not intruders on the natural world but a significant player in it. This means that natural resources are not sacrosanct but must be used in smarter ways than in the past, in ways that must provide evidence of environmental sustainability. (For example, with the pronouncement of the Montreal Protocol demanding a commercial ban on CFCs, many consumer industries came up with cheaper alternatives almost overnight. Think of the pump spray rather than CFC aerosols, for example). And that’s the magical word we need to remember: sustainability.

      No matter what we do, we should constantly ask ourselves if what we want to do, whether individually or collectively, meets the sustainability criteria. This is the benchmark. Resource extraction is no different. Burning is no different. Consuming oil-based products is no different. We need to curtail the excess production that is driving climate change (that is clearly UNsustainable) and not assume that we must return to the caves (but with Birkenstock sandals and a tofu salad). We need to reward consumer companies that find the means to provide a product or service that is environmentally sustainable in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. If they are not sustainable, then individually we must stop supporting it as best we are able. I think the conglomerate effort will yield benefits that not just addresses meaning responses contrary to worsening the conditions for AGW but a change in lifestyle that is smarter and better than what came before. This is an opportunity to incrementally change everything in line with the changes to our economic life where jobs our parents had have long evaporated. I have great hope that the next generation is smart enough to implement these changes themselves, to not fall into the same consumer traps that have driven previous generations into lifestyles of security that mean little in personal value. There are better ways to live, smarter ways to live well, and wisdom enough to mitigate the kinds of major environmental changes that are coming our way if we continue to do next to nothing but put paper into the recycle bin. This is the time ripe for being sustainably creative in smart ways and to find profit in doing so.

    • Ok this is getting out of hand. I’m going to stop replying to your arrogant thread now. You’re goading me into flinging mud right back at you and I don’t want to do that to any visitor, not even if they insist on insulting me on my own blog.

      I could recommend a few things to you personally to reduce your carbon footprint.
      It might entail what you regard as returning to the caves in Birkenstocks.

      1) Good on you for that woodland grove. It’s nice to be privileged. Come up with an equivalent answer for the majority of people, who rent poky apartments in the mid-city?

      2) Let go of your clothes drier, use the washing line. Clothes driers use a lot of electricity.

      3) Wash your dishes by hand, in lukewarm water, with environmentally friendly soap (please no triclosan, that causes raised dioxin levels in fish). Leave them to air-dry, that saves laundry.

      4) Save electricity in winter by using more blankets, doing more exercise and not using so much central heating. The colder regions are deeply guilty of adding to the world’s carbon footprint due to their heating in winter. It’s very much a North-American problem. Dress warmly and build correctly.

      5) Upgrade your home to incorporate at least one Trombe wall to improve efficiency.

      6) Use solar energy (you seem moneyed, not installing a solar generator on your roof would be hypocrisy). Also replace your electric geyser with a solar geyser.

      7) Walk, cycle or take public transport to work. The third option is really not a good option but better than adding your own car’s emissions. Or, if this is too “cave” for you, tele-commute. Use your solar-driven laptop to do your work from your grove.

      8) Instead of heating at night, fill a 2L Coke bottle (plastic) with hot water and use as warm water bottle. It works like a charm and saves a huge bill (to the Earth, if everyone were to do it).

      9) Eat fresh raw food. Besides the immense health benefits, you are thereby a) reducing your electricity consumption, b) supporting the organic farming practices in your locality, c) being kind to animals and d) reducing your overall carbon footprint.

      … I’m not going to suggest you bury your deceased in a shallow grave in the Mojave desert… that is the option with the smallest carbon footprint though.

      10) You clearly believe in American democracy and freedom, so please make sure during the next election a responsible president who does more than just raise a carbon tax, is elected. They may actually be able to pass laws regarding factories, pollution etc.

      11) Also, divert a part of your monthly income (and encourage other likeminded people to do the same) into supporting research into real solutions (now that you have clearly defined the problem). These could entail boosting research in solar energy and H2 as fuel; more intelligent building styles; sealed environment “bubbles”; extending zoos (we’re expecting a lot of species to get in danger of extinction, right?), space research (we have to find another place to stay, if we can’t stop it from tipping); and lastly join a religion…

      You don’t need one for yourself. But what are you going to tell your children (if you have any), that they’ll die young? How will you stop their hearts from breaking? Believing in life after death is their only hope. As a responsible parent you ought to support this.

    • I’m not going to allow any further comments from you as you cannot seem to modify your scathing, insulting style. Go play with the creationists, they’re as zealous as you are.

    • haha… now it looks as though I were talking to myself. Maybe I need to “unspam” TildeB’s comment again, just for readers to get the connection. And I had such fun sticking the dude in the spam box…

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