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Occasional Thoughts on Climate Change


donsutherland1
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The Weaver vs Ball case is similar. This case was dismissed largely because the judge equated Ball's article with similar ludicrous, outrageous, and unbelievable comments which lacked a sufficient air of credibility to be believable in the first place. In other words, it's not defamation if the defendant isn't credible in the eyes of rational thinking persons.

https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/18/02/2018BCSC0205.htm

[75] First, as discussed above, the Article is poorly written and does not advance credible arguments in favour of Dr. Ball’s theory about the corruption of climate science. Simply put, a reasonably thoughtful and informed person who reads the Article is unlikely to place any stock in Dr. Ball’s views, including his views of Dr. Weaver as a supporter of conventional climate science. In Vellacott v. Saskatoon Star Phoenix Group Inc. et al, 2012 SKQB 359 [Vellacott], the court found that certain published comments were not defamatory because they were so ludicrous and outrageous as to be unbelievable and therefore incapable of lowering the reputation of the plaintiff in the minds of right-thinking persons (at para. 70). While the impugned words here are not as hyperbolic as the words in Vellacott, they similarly lack a sufficient air of credibility to make them believable and therefore potentially defamatory.

That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of Ball which paradoxically favored Ball in the eyes of the court. With the precedent set it makes me wonder if the Mann vs. Ball case would have transpired the same way had Ball not petitioned the court for dismissal on what has been said by Mann's legal team to be related to Ball's health (and not the merits of the case).

I was not able to find the official court documents for Mann vs Ball, but here is what Mann posted on social media regarding the matter.

 

 

 

 

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Today's edition of The Washington Post has a feature story on climate change. In part, the story notes:

The mysterious blob covers 130,000 square miles of ocean, an area nearly twice as big as this small country. And it has been heating up extremely rapidly — by over 2 degrees Celsius — or 2C — over the past century, double the global average. At its center, it's grown even hotter, warming by as much as 3 degrees Celsius, according to one analysis.

The entire global ocean is warming, but some parts are changing much faster than others — and the hot spot off Uruguay is one of the fastest. It was first identified by scientists in 2012, but it is still poorly understood and has received virtually no public attention...

The South Atlantic blob is part of a global trend: Around the planet, enormous ocean currents are traveling to new locations. As these currents relocate, waters are growing warmer. Scientists have found similar hot spots along the western stretches of four other oceans — the North Atlantic, the North Pacific, the South Pacific, and the Indian...

The fastest-warming zones include the Arctic, much of the Middle East, Europe and northern Asia, and key expanses of ocean. A large part of Canada is at 2C or higher.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/climate-environment/climate-change-world/

Following a historically hot summer, at the time of this article's publication, parts of Europe are engulfed in their fourth bout of record-breaking heat since June. Record temperatures were set in numerous parts of Finland, Norway, and western Russia earlier today.

And in a recurrent theme, the number of daily record high temperatures vastly exceeded the number of daily record low temperatures. Svolvaer and Tromso, both in Norway, even tied their highest September temperatures on record.

Although the scientific evidence for climate change and its anthropogenic basis is now overwhelming, some persist, especially on Social Media such as Twitter, to deny what is now undeniable when one rationally and objectively considers the scientific evidence. While many of those on Social Media lack scientific backgrounds and/or understanding, and this critique excludes them for that reason, some are involved in science-related fields where, unless they had not kept up with the advances in the literature since the 1970s, there is no defensible scientific reason to push back against the findings related to climate change.

Perhaps astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson described that phenomenon quite well when he observed, "When scientifically investigating the natural world, the only thing worse than a blind believer is a seeing denier." He continued, "When people believe a tale that conflicts with self-checkable evidence it tells me that people undervalue the role of evidence in formulating an internal belief system."

That gets to the heart of the matter. The "internal belief system" of climate change denial--and it's a non-scientific belief system, as the evidence for climate change and its anthropogenic nature, even respecting residual uncertainties, is now unequivocal--is sustained by a fundamental rejection of evidence.

 

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Time has devoted an entire issue to climate change under the provocative title "2050: The Fight for Earth." The publication contains a wide range of articles ranging from a fairly optimistic piece by Bill McKibben of a scenario where the world was able to avert the worst of climate change to an article by Penn State professor of atmospheric science and director of its Earth System Science Center, Michael Mann who writes that lifestyle changes, alone, are insufficient to address the challenge of climate change.

Not every article is science-related. However, the content is based on the dual premises that (1) the world is warming and (2) anthropogenic activities are largely responsible for that warming. Every serious data set shows that there has been an observed and persistent warming. The scientific evidence pointing to the anthropogenic basis of that warming is overwhelming.  Put another way, all serious scientific debate has been settled on the core issues of whether the world is warming (it is) and whether human activities are largely responsible (they are). Residual uncertainties related to feedbacks such as the rate and impact of glacial retreat and non-linear questions concerning the rate of sea level increase remain to be resolved. But the overall reality of climate change and the anthropogenic driver of climate change are established beyond any serious scientific dispute.

Therefore, just as astronomers today accept that the earth revolves around the sun, the magazine proceeds from the climate foundation that has been demonstrated by science. Just as astrophysics gives no weight to disproved belief systems of the past related to the solar system, the magazine ignores disproved denial of climate change. Fiction has no place in the important public discourse, especially that related to a big issue such as the world's changing climate.

In building from the firm foundation of scientific understanding, Time seeks to provide a broad portrait of climate change as it continues to play out. Its articles include a degree of science. They also talk about human society and human health.  Overall, Time's focus on one of today's biggest issues makes an important contribution to public discussion.

 

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Despite the loud and ferocious campaign led by the shrinking climate change denial movement, the latest polling suggests that the American people are increasingly reaching climate-related conclusions based on science.

A new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll revealed, among other things, that 79% of respondents recognize that human activity is causing climate change and that  76% believe climage change is a major problem or crisis (38% each) vs. 59% in 2014.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/washington-post-kaiser-family-foundation-climate-change-survey-july-9-aug-5-2019/601ed8ff-a7c6-4839-b57e-3f5eaa8ed09f/

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On 9/10/2019 at 10:26 PM, bdgwx said:

I was not able to find the official court documents for Mann vs Ball

After a bit more research I was able to find the court documents. It is important to point out that the Mann vs. Ball case is related to Mann vs Frontier Centre for Public Policy as well. The alleged defamatory statements by Ball occurred via an FCPP interview. The Mann vs. FCPP part of the case was settled just a few months ago. Ball was a codefendant in the same case along with 3rd unnamed party. The case number is VLC-S-S-111913 and is accessible here for a nominal fee. It's possible that the admission by the FCPP that "untrue and disparaging accusations" made toward Mann (and presumably by Ball) may have been a factor in Ball's petitioning the court for dismissal before the court made a judgement based on the merits. Seeing the favorable response Mann had with one defendant it would not be unexpected if Mann were to appeal the dismissal against Ball. Refer to the FCPP's letter below. 

20190607_Court-No.-VLC-S-S-111913_press-

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2 hours ago, donsutherland1 said:

Despite the loud and ferocious campaign led by the shrinking climate change denial movement, the latest polling suggests that the American people are increasingly reaching climate-related conclusions based on science.

A new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll revealed, among other things, that 79% of respondents recognize that human activity is causing climate change and that  76% believe climage change is a major problem or crisis (38% each) vs. 59% in 2014.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/washington-post-kaiser-family-foundation-climate-change-survey-july-9-aug-5-2019/601ed8ff-a7c6-4839-b57e-3f5eaa8ed09f/

I would suggest that it is actually the evidences that are the real trigger-points for that modality - not the science alone.

I realize you never said or insinuated otherwise in your statement - I'm strictly speaking to the "straw-man" in the room, and my concern that people do not respond to threats they cannot directly perceive through the corporeal senses...

Being told this or that, via science, is not enough.  It's mere to them ...They need to be burned, and seeing whales wash-up on beaches with barbie doll components blocking their digestive tracks, fair-weather high tides swallowing island nations, and suffering heat waves a degree she of biblical apocalypses, are just ( unfortunately .. .) what are necessary to get this message successfully into minds.  And those evidences ..an entire raft of which are not mentioned here, but are televised, pale in severity the future holds at current profligate pace of Humanity.

Life as we know it is going to change ... or has to.  Certain convenience delivery has one of two options: change;  unable to change.  

Change may come via technologies... biodegradable plastics... sustainable green energy sources... etc..etc... and these technologies have been around for decades, unexplored or shelved, btw.   But it's a race... enters the unable to change and ...well, that ends any discussion of any kind, everywhere - time will tell. 

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1 hour ago, Typhoon Tip said:

I would suggest that it is actually the evidences that are the real trigger-points for that modality - not the science alone.

I realize you never said or insinuated otherwise in your statement - I'm strictly speaking to the "straw-man" in the room, and my concern that people do not respond to threats they cannot directly perceive through the corporeal senses...

Being told this or that, via science, is not enough.  It's mere to them ...They need to be burned, and seeing whales wash-up on beaches with barbie doll components blocking their digestive tracks, fair-weather high tides swallowing island nations, and suffering heat waves a degree she of biblical apocalypses, are just ( unfortunately .. .) what are necessary to get this message successfully into minds.  And those evidences ..an entire raft of which are not mentioned here, but are televised, pale in severity the future holds at current profligate pace of Humanity.

Life as we know it is going to change ... or has to.  Certain convenience delivery has one of two options: change;  unable to change.  

Change may come via technologies... biodegradable plastics... sustainable green energy sources... etc..etc... and these technologies have been around for decades, unexplored or shelved, btw.   But it's a race... enters the unable to change and ...well, that ends any discussion of any kind, everywhere - time will tell. 

I agree.

Almost certainly, multiple reasons including personal experience, have contributed to the shifting opinions. Those opinions are consistent with scientific understanding. However, scientific understanding, alone, very likely hasn't driven the trend. A poll that probes the shift would be interesting. It would also be helpful to scientists who have been trying to communicate the message against the noise of the climate change denial movement.

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5 hours ago, donsutherland1 said:

Despite the loud and ferocious campaign led by the shrinking climate change denial movement, the latest polling suggests that the American people are increasingly reaching climate-related conclusions based on science.

A new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll revealed, among other things, that 79% of respondents recognize that human activity is causing climate change and that  76% believe climage change is a major problem or crisis (38% each) vs. 59% in 2014.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/context/washington-post-kaiser-family-foundation-climate-change-survey-july-9-aug-5-2019/601ed8ff-a7c6-4839-b57e-3f5eaa8ed09f/

very few doubt global warming now. The new line is "We can't do anything about it anyway" or "we dont know what is really causing it". 

The younger generations are very tuned in to environmental issues, as they should, as they will be inheriting the world from us. 

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1 hour ago, Ginx snewx said:

"And in a recurrent theme, the number of daily record high temperatures vastly exceeded the number of daily record low temperatures."

The USA has had a different year then Don quoted WAPO above. The global data does reflect the quote. .

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datatools/records

 

 

Just so there’s no confusion, my point dealt with temperatures on a global basis. At that time, I noted records in parts of Finland, Norway, and Russia.

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12 hours ago, Ginx snewx said:

"And in a recurrent theme, the number of daily record high temperatures vastly exceeded the number of daily record low temperatures."

The USA has had a different year then Don quoted WAPO above. The global data does reflect the quote. .

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/datatools/records

Great link. Thanks.

On a global basis in the last 365 days daily highs have outnumbered lows by about 1.8-to-1. 

On a global basis in the last 365 days all time highs have outnumbered lows by about 4.9-to-1.

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As the calendar marched deeper into September, France was experiencing yet another bout of record heat. Daily record highs in the 90s (fahrenheit) were recorded in parts of the country on the 15th. In large part due to the third lowest minimum extent of Arctic sea ice (JAXA), Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow) was in the midst of what could become its warmest September on record. That city had already seen 81 consecutive above freezing days through September 14, easily surpassing the previous mark of 68. It had also experienced 55 days of readings at or above 40°, smashing the old record of 32 by more than three weeks. In coming days, the GISTEMP global land and ocean temperature anomaly for August will be released. Once that happens, it will likely show that summer 2019 was either the first or second warmest summer on record globally.

In response to such developments that have been linked to ongoing anthropogenic climate change, the media has begun to focus strictly on science and scientific realities associated with climate. Its former misplaced practice of granting climate change deniers a visible platform to spout their anti-scientific beliefs was showing signs of yielding to scientific reality. This is a welcome and overdue development. Climate change denial is no more robust in terms of science than past notions of a flat earth, an earth-centric solar system, among others.

Toward that end, Nature announced in an editorial:

For one week, starting on 15 September, Nature and more than 250 other outlets — with a combined audience of more than one billion — have committed to a week of intensive climate coverage (see ‘Covering climate now’)...

Along with our colleagues in Covering Climate Now, we are united with all those who stand behind the consensus view of researchers. But there can be no more delay. The time to act is now.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02734-x

Such science-centered coverage is welcome. But one-time coverage over a short period of time is insufficient. If such coverage is sustained to reflect the sustained nature of ongoing climate change, the contribution will far more valuable.

Throughout history, science has advanced in the face of often fierce resistance. The climate change denial movement almost certainly won't relent. The combination of motivated reasoning and the embrace of conspiracy theories is potent nutrition for that movement. 

That movement will continue to advance pseudo-scientific "explanations" for outcomes that can only be explained by anthropogenic forcing. It will deflect attention from science with false narratives and exaggerated caricatures. It will continue to launch vicious ad hominem attacks on climate scientists and climate change activists (especially females). It will seek to throw a cloak of ignorance over global society in a desperate bid to paralyze public policy and hobble the possibility for global collaboration on the challenge of climate change.

But, in the end, as has happened throughout history, science will ultimately triumph. The timing of that outcome still remains uncertain. But once science prevails, society will be better for it.

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Yesterday, National Hurricane Center scientist Eric Blake tweeted that Miami had set the record for the number of days with temperatures of 93° or above at 42 while noting that is "rougly double" the 40-year average.

Blake's tweet was then retweeted by CBS' Jeff Berardelli, who noted that it provided an example of a "warming trend" and that in terms of such warmth "Miami is trending up quickly."


Any serious look at the Miami climate record should have ended the discussion there. Berardelli was on the mark.
Miami has had a clear temperature trend. Further, its 30-year moving average figure for annual temperatures reached a record high of 77.5° in 2017 and was tied in 2018. 2019 could lead to a slight increase in that figure.

Miami09162019-1.jpg

When one looks at Miami's years with a mean temperature of 77.0° or above, there were 26 such cases. 2 occurred prior to 1980. 22 occurred since 1990. 14 occurred since 2000. 8 occurred since 2010. 2019 is on track to become the 27th such case. Overall, there are a total of 119 cases in Miami's climate record.

However, Berardelli's observation was questioned in spite of the data supporting it.

Roger A. Pielke, Sr. went off on a tangent about dew points.


That dew point temperatures are a distinct metric recorded by the NOAA needs to be emphasized. Blake's and Berardelli's observations concerned temperatures. They did not mention dew point figures.

So, what happens when dew point data (which goes back to 1980) is included?

Miami's dew point data revealed that the average number of days per year with dew point temperatures of 75° or above has generally increased in recent decades (20-year moving averages are in parentheses):

1980-89: 111.7 days per year
1990-99: 131.1 days per year (1980-1999: 121.4 days per year)
2000-09: 126.2 days per year (1990-2009: 128.7 days per year)
2010-18: 139.0 days per year (1999-2018: 130.8 days per year)

The most recent 30-year period (1989-2018) averaged 130.7 days with dew point temperatures of 75° or above. That is the highest such average for a 30-year period on record.

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Serious scientific debate over climate change has ended. Residual uncertainties persist, but the fundamentals (observed warming; anthropogenic causes; broad increase in heat waves, droughts, and floods, etc.) are widely-agreed. As a result, non-science institutions are increasingly incorporating climate change into their work.

One such institution is the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In its April 2019 World Economic Outlook, the IMF observed:

There is a need for greater multilateral cooperation to resolve trade conflicts, to address climate change and risks from cybersecurity, and to improve the effectiveness of international taxation...

Over the medium term, climate change and political discord in the context of rising inequality are key risks that could lower global potential output, with particularly severe implications for some vulnerable countries...

Risks of a somewhat slower-moving nature with serious implications for the medium- and long-term outlook include pervasive effects of climate change and a decline in trust with regard to establishment institutions and political par-ties. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported in October 2018 that, at current rates of increase, global warming could reach 1.5°C above preindustrial levels between 2030 and 2052, bringing with it extremes of temperature, precipitation, and drought. Such extremes would have devastating humanitarian effects and inflict severe, persistent output losses across a broad range of economies (Chapter 3 of the October 2017 WEO). The warning from the IPCC comes amid substantial distrust of establishment institutions and mainstream political parties—a distrust often born of rising inequality and entrenched beliefs that existing economic arrangements do not work for all. The accompanying polarization of views and growing appeal of extreme policy plat-forms imperil the medium-term outlook by making it difficult to implement structural reforms for boosting potential output growth and strengthening resilience, including against climate-related risks.   

Low-income developing countries have also borne the brunt of climate change and potent natural disasters. Lowering the fallout from these events will require adaptation strategies that invest in climate-smart infrastructure, incorporate appropriate technologies and zoning regulations, and deploy well-targeted social safety nets...

By adding to migrant flows, climate-related events compound an already-complex situation of refugee flight from conflict areas, often to countries already under severe strain.
Box 3.1 of Chapter 3 discussed the price of manufactured low-carbon energy technologies.

The IMF recognizes the growing importance of climate change because, among other things, the IMF has member countries that are substantially and adversely impacted by it. For example, earlier this month, the IMF developed a climate change policy assessment for the Federated States of Micronesia.

In sum, broad scientific consensus on climate change and its effects are being incorporated outside scientific fields. The IMF provides just one example of how science is beginning to inform the work of such entities.

 

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As the world's attention focuses on climate change, a matter over which the scientific fundamentals are settled, at least one climate change denier has cited a discredited petition allegedly signed by "31,487 scientists."

https://twitter.com/tan123/status/1174432569854705669

The 1997 petition comes complete with a non-peer reviewed paper written by Willie Soon, Arthur Robinson, and Noah Robinson, none of whom have backgrounds in climate science or a related field.

But there's more. Just as the paper's conclusions were inconsistent with scientific understanding even then, its conclusions were incompatible with basic physics related to greenhouse gas properties (some findings, of which, go back to the 19th century), its signers are far from authentic.

The May 1, 1998 issue of The Seattle Times reported:

The petition with 15,000 signatures surfaced shortly before the April 22 Earth Day and quickly became music to global warming's critics. They highlighted it in news releases, at congressional hearings, even on the Senate floor...

Several environmental groups questioned dozens of the names: "Perry S. Mason" (the fictitious lawyer?), "Michael J. Fox" (the actor?), "Robert C. Byrd" (the senator?), "John C. Grisham" (the lawyer-author?). And then there's the Spice Girl, a k a. Geraldine Halliwell: The petition listed "Dr. Geri Halliwell" and "Dr. Halliwell."

https://archive.is/eQIGW

The article also noted:

Robinson, who acknowledges he has done no direct research into global warming, said the petition includes thousands of people "qualified to speak on this subject" including biochemists, geophysicists and climatologists.

Nevertheless, Robinson felt fit to put his name on a "paper" concerning a matter over which he claimed he had "done no direct research."

Flawed-Paper.jpg

What does that say about Robinson?

More broadly, what does it say about the three authors, none of whom have relevant climate science backgrounds to submit peer-reviewed work on climate change, to essentially manufacture a paper, have it posted on Robinson's organization's website in a font and structure that leaves casual readers with the perception that it was published in a journal?

What does it say about those peddling the petition, which was documented to have been riddled with fake names?

 

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The court transcript related to Mann v. Ball is now available.

Key excerpts:

There have been at least two extensive periods of delay. Commencing in approximately June 2013, there was a delay of approximately 15 months where nothing was done to move the matter ahead. There was a second extensive period of delay from July 20, 2017 until the filing of the application to dismiss on March 21, 2019, a delay of 20 months. Again, nothing was done during this period to move the matter ahead...

The evidence is that the defendant intended to call three witnesses at trial who would have provided evidence going to fair comment and malice. Those witnesses have now died. A fourth witness is no longer able to travel. Thus, in addition to finding that presumption of prejudice has not been rebutted, I also find that there has been actual prejudice to the defendant as a consequence of the delay...

Turning to the final factor, I have little hesitation in finding that, on balance, justice requires the action be dismissed. The parties are both in their eighties and Dr. Ball is in poor health. He has had this action hanging over his head like the sword of Damocles for eight years and he will need to wait until January 2021 before the matter proceeds to trial. That is a ten year delay from the original alleged defamatory statement. Other witnesses are also elderly or in poor health. The memories of all parties and witnesses will have faded by the time the matter goes to trial.

I find that, because of the delay, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for there to be a fair trial for the defendant. This is a relatively straightforward defamation action and should have been resolved long before now. That it has not been resolved is because the plaintiff has not given it the priority that he should have. In the circumstances, justice requires that the action be dismissed and, accordingly, I do hereby dismiss the action for delay.

https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/19/15/2019BCSC1580.htm

In sum, the lawsuit was dismissed on grounds of delay. The delay had nothing to do with Mann's failure to provide materials related to his "hockey stick" analysis and had nothing to do with the substance of climate change. The lawsuit was dismissed on procedural grounds.

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More inaccurate information on the climate change denier front. From twitter:

One of the biggest flaws in AGW theory are increased heavy rain events. Rain comes from clouds, which form when warm, moist air rises, and cools. This only happens if there's a steep drop in temp with altitude to force the temp to reach the dew point, otherwise, NO clouds form.

https://twitter.com/ChrisMartzWX/status/1174553165745786880

The problem with the above claim is that the dew point is not a fixed value. That both the surface and troposphere are warming does not mean that atmospheric temperatures can no longer reach the dew point.

What the literature shows is that the warmer atmosphere, which remains capable of cloud formation, holds more moisture. As a result, the frequency of intense precipitation events in parts of the world increase. Such an increased frequency has also shown up in some of the data.

https://science2017.globalchange.gov/chapter/7/

Some attribution analyses related to a number of extreme precipitation events can be found at: https://www.worldweatherattribution.org/analysis/rainfall/

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As the world's youth engage in demonstrations to break the unwillingness of policy makers to meaningfully launch a sustained effort to address the challenge of anthropogenic climate change, some of those with high profiles in the shrinking movement that rejects the overwhelming and unequivocal basis of climate change, are now launching broad ad hominem attacks against the youth, particularly 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg.

One denier, who has no known medical degree or any expertise in the field of psychiatry, diagnosed 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who has galvanized the international youth movement, as "mentally ill."

Nelson-Ad-Hom-Attack.jpg

Another dehumanized her, labeling her a "puppet" while gloating about rising global greenhouse gas emissions.

Milloy-Ad-Hom-Attack.jpg

Yet another mocked her as a child who enjoys "sacred status" only due to her youth.

Lomborg-Ad-Hom-Attack.jpg

What do these ad hominem attacks by such climate change deniers as Bjorn Lomborg, Steve Milloy, and Tom Nelson say?

First, they demonstrate that they lack credible evidence or knowledge to rebut the overwhelming and unequivocal body of scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change. They cannot explain the observed warming. They cannot escape the reality that solar irradiance has not increased to produce such warming.

Second, it reveals that individuals who have less exposure to the consequences of climate change than the youth simply don't care about the future to which they seek to confine the world's young people and succeeding generations. After all, by the end of the 21st century when the consequences of climate change will be growing ever more severe, those reactionaries will have long departed this world.

Third, it potentially says a lot about their character and who they are as people. A recent article published in The New Republic explains the underlying dynamic that may be driving those who engage in the nasty attacks aimed at tearing down the youth, a disproportionate share of whom are female, leading today's climate change movement.

As Thunberg approached America, she was followed by a tsunami of male rage. On her first day of sailing, a multi-millionaire Brexit activist tweeted that he wished a freak accident would destroy her boat. A conservative Australian columnist called her a “deeply disturbed messiah of the global warming movement,” while the British far-right activist David Vance attacked the “sheer petulance of this arrogant child.”

While these examples might feel like mere coincidence to some, the idea that white men would lead the attacks on Greta Thunberg is consistent with a growing body of research linking gender reactionaries to climate-denialism...

In 2014, Jonas Anshelm and Martin Hultman of Chalmers published a paper analyzing the language of a focus group of climate skeptics. The common themes in the group, they said, were striking: “for climate skeptics … it was not the environment that was threatened, it was a certain kind of modern industrial society built and dominated by their form of masculinity.”

The connection has to do with a sense of group identity under threat, Hultman told me—an identity they perceive to be under threat from all sides. Besieged, as they see it, both by developing gender equality—Hultman pointed specifically to the shock some men felt at the #MeToo movement—and now climate activism’s challenge to their way of life, male reactionaries motivated by right-wing nationalism, anti-feminism, and climate denialism increasingly overlap, the three reactions feeding off of one another.

That reactionaries would assail those leading a reform movement is not new. When Martin Luther King, Jr. was leading the American Civil Rights movement during the 1960s, he and many of those involved in the movement, encountered vicious attacks aimed at delegitimizing the movement and violence aimed at suppressing it altogether.

Once one looks beyond the noise and ugliness of the dying climate change denial movement of today, there is reason for optimism. Today's engaged youth appear to be embarked in sustained pursuit of a long-term goal supported by overwhelming empirical evidence. In other words, the movement won't end with today's demonstration. Today's youth have also demonstrated a capacity to leverage the Internet and Social Media to organize intensively across national borders to take on what is a global, not national, challenge. This capacity will serve them well as they become of voting age and enter the political realm. That advancing scientific knowledge has prevailed across time offers the prospect that the youth will ultimately prevail in their cause.

Perhaps in decades from now, just as the Segregationists were permanently discarded onto the proverbial trash heap of history, so will the climate deniers, particularly those who engaged in the vile and reprehensible conduct cited in the above examples. In stark contrast, just as Martin Luther King, Jr.'s place in history as a reformer who advanced human welfare is secure, the place of Greta Thunberg, among the other organizers of today's demonstrations, will also be secure. Most importantly, the world will be far better off from the courage, effort, and persistence of the youth who made that better world possible.

 

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Don,  thank you for initiating this important forum thread.  In my opinion, academic-based climate science lacks a much-needed legal-judicial administrative structure and our state governments lack effective state to state climate laws and climate statutes.  Each of our fifty state governments must put forth a plan with the goal of each state leaving the best possible state climate for future generations.  We collectively created the problem and we all collectively set for the solution.  Influential climate experts need to create a legal backstop similar to that of the American Medical Association.  Our best climatologists need to speak to all of our citizens with a compelling voice. Consider the manner in which physicians have stabilized their profession with post-graduate board exams and detailed state law throughout the USA.  If some evidence-based-medicine denier starts tweeting that modern medicine is a contrivance, the general public will shrug off the kook and turn to a qualified health care expert.  The climate experts must invite all of us here, around the US and around the world to access the best possible version of the truth regarding climate change.

The problem facing modern meteorology and modern climatology is that anyone can post worthless drivel without repudiation.  Gosh, rumors abound of a US president that posted a Sharpie-faked hurricane prognostication.  Perhaps we need a Cabinet level Department of the Climate, if only without any political bias.   If our nation continues to pursue climate policy slathered with political bias, we've declared war upon our planet.   Based upon recent US trends, historically poor decision making has become a form of persistence.

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10 minutes ago, winterymix said:

Don,  thank you for initiating this important forum thread.  In my opinion, academic-based climate science lacks any legal-judicial administrative structure and lacks effective state by state climate laws and statutes.   The climate experts need a backstop similar to that of the American Medical Association.  Consider the manner in which physicians have stabilized their profession with post-graduate board exams and detailed state law throughout the USA.  If some kook starts tweeting that modern medicine is a contrivance, the general public will shrug off the kook and turn to a qualified health care expert.  The climate experts must invite the public interested in understanding climate change to locate and tap knowledge portals that merit trust

The problem facing modern meteorology and modern climatology is that anyone can post worthless drivel without repudiation.  Gosh, rumors abound of a US president that posted a fake hurricane prognostication.  Perhaps we need a Cabinet level Department of the Climate, if only without any political bias.   If our nation continues to pursue climate policy slathered with political bias, we've declared war upon our planet.

 

Thank you for the kind words.

Perhaps, as the number of climate scientists expands and the field increases in scale, such a professional organization will be established. Certainly, it would be beneficial, as the AMA has played an invaluable role in the medical field.

I'm not sure how a Cabinet-level department can be safeguarded from political bias from a determined President/hostile Administration. In recent years, the EPA has essentially been stripped of its climate-related work and other federal scientists involved in climate-related research have been hindered or worse (e.g., the Department of Agriculture's climate research group). Congress has been unwilling or unable to protect them.

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1 minute ago, donsutherland1 said:

Thank you for the kind words.

Perhaps, as the number of climate scientists expands and the field increases in scale, such a professional organization will be established. Certainly, it would be beneficial, as the AMA has played an invaluable role in the medical field.

I'm not sure how a Cabinet-level department can be safeguarded from political bias from a determined President/hostile Administration. In recent years, the EPA has essentially been stripped of its climate-related work and other federal scientists involved in climate-related research have been hindered or worse (e.g., the Department of Agriculture's climate research group). Congress has been unwilling or unable to protect them.

All of the above should of been in place during the Carter administration and subsequently. We are too late for semantical efforts.

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9 minutes ago, Vice-Regent said:

All of the above should of been in place during the Carter administration and subsequently. We are too late for semantical efforts.

To be fair, some of the big breakthroughs that led to contemporary understanding of anthropogenic climate change i.e., Hansen's work, Mann's proxy research, etc., were still years in the future. Today' scientific understanding of the fundamentals of climate change is unequivocal. Yet, there's a large gap between the urgent realities of the continuing rapid rise of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and political will.

For at least the next 5 or perhaps even 10 years, the unfortunate reality is that a path pretty close to the status quo is probably the base case for policy. I very much hope my dreary assessment is wrong, because delay only magnifies the scale of an already great challenge.

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"... Misplaced practice of granting climate change deniers a visible platform to spout their anti-scientific beliefs was showing signs of yielding to scientific reality ..."

It's really, really difficult to do so in many cases, that is, not suppress opinions in a democratic society founded upon the basic principle ( among many others ) of freedom to expression ...

Fact of the matter is, despite the ethical virtues, and intentions of the founding forefathers with the 1st Amendment's provisions of free speech ... that ethic was created in an era that was too different to really make the rigidity of it's interpretation as valued in the same way as it was when it was first necessarily formulated

...hundreds of years ago. 

The reality of our time is one parted company with the ethos/pathos of that long ago era.  As an aside, part of the problem with the Constitution, that "bible" of American cultural heritage ... is that it really does not allow the natural process of cultural evolution take place - it stymies that process, a process that is now becoming increasingly more influenced by the entire spectrum of modern science and technologies. These forces have a power well beyond the imagination of those that engineered those principles back whence.  This may seem like a bunch of long words,... but I really feel this 'smoldering dystopia' of untenable non-sustainability for Humanity that we're dancing around ... is more than just a climate-based one. And strategies to evoke necessary positive change, should be addressing this bigger sociological pallet of concerns, in how to handle contrived dissension. 

Yes...there are some opinions that not so much we "think" need to be suppressed, but if allowed to cultivate opinions ( immoral efforts, or ignorant ) would be so detrimental to the very survival of the species ( and countless others...) they cannot possibly be be heard - yet we are hand-cuffed to free-speech.  I'm not questioning the virtuosity of that - just the philosophical quandary we've arrive upon as a civility.  

Hey, that's just as valid - if that's what society wants, to be dead ...by all means, dissension from consensus truths so that people can continue to feel good now - that's name of the game, then.    

That problem is, no one person should be jury and judge and force the silence of any tongue or pen - so it's a delicate matter. How to preserve the intention of free-speech, in an era where there is no time to educate - interesting dilemma.  

 

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18 hours ago, donsutherland1 said:

To be fair, some of the big breakthroughs that led to contemporary understanding of anthropogenic climate change i.e., Hansen's work, Mann's proxy research, etc., were still years in the future. Today' scientific understanding of the fundamentals of climate change is unequivocal. Yet, there's a large gap between the urgent realities of the continuing rapid rise of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and political will.

For at least the next 5 or perhaps even 10 years, the unfortunate reality is that a path pretty close to the status quo is probably the base case for policy. I very much hope my dreary assessment is wrong, because delay only magnifies the scale of an already great challenge.

So as the Yahs and the Nays batter each other; the audience falls into a dangerous state of ennui.

As I watch the fabled Northwest Passage open up every spring and wonder if Santa has flood insurance; I ponder the sad result of the above. Cover the eyes, the ears and the mouth all at the same time. What finally does get our attention may not be very pleasant.

As always ......

 

 

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An other problem imho is the dissonance between the rhetoric and the actions of the leading AGW politicians.

The public sees that both Al Gore as well as Barack  Obama bought large oceanfront estates shortly after leaving office. Presumably these well informed individuals would not buy such homes if they anticipated losing them shortly to rising seas.  John Q Public takes comfort from this evidence that there is no imminent danger. 

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7 hours ago, Typhoon Tip said:

"... Misplaced practice of granting climate change deniers a visible platform to spout their anti-scientific beliefs was showing signs of yielding to scientific reality ..."

It's really, really difficult to do so in many cases, that is, not suppress opinions in a democratic society founded upon the basic principle ( among many others ) of freedom to expression ...

Fact of the matter is, despite the ethical virtues, and intentions of the founding forefathers with the 1st Amendment's provisions of free speech ... that ethic was created in an era that was too different to really make the rigidity of it's interpretation as valued in the same way as it was when it was first necessarily formulated

...hundreds of years ago. 

The reality of our time is one parted company with the ethos/pathos of that long ago era.  As an aside, part of the problem with the Constitution, that "bible" of American cultural heritage ... is that it really does not allow the natural process of cultural evolution take place - it stymies that process, a process that is now becoming increasingly more influenced by the entire spectrum of modern science and technologies. These forces have a power well beyond the imagination of those that engineered those principles back whence.  This may seem like a bunch of long words,... but I really feel this 'smoldering dystopia' of untenable non-sustainability for Humanity that we're dancing around ... is more than just a climate-based one. And strategies to evoke necessary positive change, should be addressing this bigger sociological pallet of concerns, in how to handle contrived dissension. 

Yes...there are some opinions that not so much we "think" need to be suppressed, but if allowed to cultivate opinions ( immoral efforts, or ignorant ) would be so detrimental to the very survival of the species ( and countless others...) they cannot possibly be be heard - yet we are hand-cuffed to free-speech.  I'm not questioning the virtuosity of that - just the philosophical quandary we've arrive upon as a civility.  

Hey, that's just as valid - if that's what society wants, to be dead ...by all means, dissension from consensus truths so that people can continue to feel good now - that's name of the game, then.    

That problem is, no one person should be jury and judge and force the silence of any tongue or pen - so it's a delicate matter. How to preserve the intention of free-speech, in an era where there is no time to educate - interesting dilemma.  

 

Just so there's no confusion, everyone enjoys free speech under the U.S. Constitution. However, the guarantee of free speech does not mandate that publications grant one's views equal weight to all other views. Thus, disproved or discredited theories typically won't appear in the scientific journals. They also won't be touted in the larger mainstream media. Still, that does not mean that those who hold such beliefs cannot enjoy their right to free speech. That's a crucial distinction. 

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1 hour ago, etudiant said:

An other problem imho is the dissonance between the rhetoric and the actions of the leading AGW politicians.

The public sees that both Al Gore as well as Barack  Obama bought large oceanfront estates shortly after leaving office. Presumably these well informed individuals would not buy such homes if they anticipated losing them shortly to rising seas.  John Q Public takes comfort from this evidence that there is no imminent danger. 

Nobody out there claims that the sea shores will be under water in the next 20 years. The timeline for mass coastal inundation starts around 2100. Before then, coastal areas will cede land to the sea, but mainly in already vulnerable areas.

You ever been to Martha’s Vineyard where Obama bought his house? Many areas have massive dunes and hills, it’s not really a low lying island. Same as California. It’s not like they bought property on Key Largo. 

Further,The imminent danger may not exist for everyone’s backyard today, but the imminent danger will come at different times for everyone. In the Pacific Ocean it’s already happening, in some areas it may be invasion of diseases carrying insects. 

The idea that a liberal buying a house on a beach disproves or sheds doubt on climate change is absurd.

 

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32 minutes ago, psv88 said:

Nobody out there claims that the sea shores will be under water in the next 20 years. The timeline for mass coastal inundation starts around 2100. Before then, coastal areas will cede land to the sea, but mainly in already vulnerable areas.

You ever been to Martha’s Vineyard where Obama bought his house? Many areas have massive dunes and hills, it’s not really a low lying island. Same as California. It’s not like they bought property on Key Largo. 

Further,The imminent danger may not exist for everyone’s backyard today, but the imminent danger will come at different times for everyone. In the Pacific Ocean it’s already happening, in some areas it may be invasion of diseases carrying insects. 

The idea that a liberal buying a house on a beach disproves or sheds doubt on climate change is absurd.

 

Exactly and aging liberal boomers like Obama (who are too old to be inundated). He is divested from the future with good reason.

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