A paper published today in Geophysical Research Letters finds that warming of the tropical oceans results in a decrease in frequency of the strongest wind events. The paper states that these findings add further evidence to suggest the atmospheric circulation (winds) become less energetic with global warming.
These results are consistent with several other papers showing that global warming reduces the strength or frequency of hurricanes. No doubt, Al Gore will do the right thing and remove the hurricane cover images from his series of books and sci-fi movie:
Evidence for a weakening of tropical surface wind extremes in response to atmospheric warming
Geophysical Research Letters
Authors: Guillaume Gastineau and Brian J. Soden
The changes of extreme winds and its links with precipitation are assessed over the past two decades using daily satellite observations and climate model simulations. Both observations and models indicate a decrease in the frequency of the strongest wind events and an increase in the frequency of light wind events in response to a warming of the tropical oceans. The heaviest precipitation events are found to be more frequent when the tropical oceans warm, but the surface winds associated with these extreme rainfall events weaken.
These results add further evidence to suggest that the atmospheric circulation becomes less energetic as the climate warms. It further suggests that the enhancement of the extreme precipitation events is mainly a result of increasing atmospheric water vapor and occurs despite a weakening of the large-scale circulation, which acts to diminish the mass convergence toward the precipitating zones.
"Chief scientist": I'm a lobbyist
If anyone was under any illusions about the true role of government chief scientists, this interview with the new occupant of that role in the Australian civil service should dispel them.
Chubb says that he will be a proactive lobbyist for science, helping the government and the public to appreciate the role of science in coping with the major challenges facing society. Doing this, he says, should help to insulate science from budget cuts. "If we can get science and its value to the community sufficiently high up the priority list," he says, "the job should be half-made each year before you go into bat for specifics."
Commendable honesty, but why on earth should scientists have their own lobbists on the inside of government? This reminds me of the recent scandals here in the UK, where healthcare trusts were revealed to be paying for union reps out of the public purse. Paying for union reps and paying for lobbyists does not seem materially different to me. Either way, these recipients of all this public largesse are not working for the benefit of the people but for themselves and their pals.
I wonder if [Britain's] Sir John Beddington also sees himself as a union rep for the scientific community who just happens to be paid out of public coffers?
The Inter-NGO Panel on Climate Change
The IPCC has published an SPM of its forthcoming report on renewable energy. The Guardian claims: "Renewable energy can power the world, says landmark IPCC study".
Hmm. "Sven Teske, renewable energy director at Greenpeace International, and a lead author of the report, said: "This is an invitation to governments to initiate a radical overhaul of their policies and place renewable energy centre stage. On the run up to the next major climate conference, COP17 in South Africa in December, the onus is clearly on governments to step up to the mark.""
Isn't it a bit odd, that a policy director of Greenpeace should be a lead author of a report? Isn't the IPCC supposed to start from a policy-neutral perspective? After all, what would we make of such a report if it found the opposite way, and it turned out that one of its lead authors was a director of a free-market think-tank that stood accused of being funded by Exxon?
Teske doesn't appear to be named as a lead author of the new IPCC report. Maybe he didn't have anything to do with the SPM. The following people, did, however, and I've located their profiles online.....
Each of these authors, work, as far as I can tell, in one or more of four sectors: private energy and policy consulting; non-governmental organisations; academia, and government/intra-government. Their jobs are very much attached to renewable energy. That is to say that, of all the people in the world, it would hard to find a group less critical of `renewable energy'. It is precisely as if oil executives were to decide about the future of renewable energy, and had come up with the opposite outcome.
It is no surprise that environmental bureaucrats believe renewable energy can power the world. It is no surprise that environmental economists and other social scientists with an interest in renewable energy also believe that their research can change the world (and bring in a few research grants and raise their academic profiles at the same time). It is no surprise that renewable energy consultants believe that the world needs the services of renewable energy consultants. And it is no surprise that directors of environmental NGOs are in favour of policies that bring them closer to power.
Cynical? Perhaps. But the point remains that the IPCC is once again being passed off as a policy-neutral research organisation when it is in fact merely a club for people given to a particular view of the world, to further their pre-determined agenda with pre-determined `research'.
This is policy-based evidence-making. The IPCC's report on renewable energy was written by the renewable energy sector.
Wolf heads and carbon credits
Can a central authority ever know enough?
Abraham Lincoln, in vivid recollections from early childhood, described the cashing of bounty for freshly severed wolf heads on the steps of an Indiana courthouse. In 1816 killing wolves at public expense was seen as an obvious necessity, and probably represented a genuine emotional reassurance to the intrepid settlers of the era. Though it places me squarely out of the "in" crowd to equate this now-discarded policy with the newfound wisdom of publicly funded carbon-reduction schemes, I can't quite help seeing a corollary.
Now before Greenpeace hones a quill for a sharply worded reprimand, let me clarify: I am not dismissing concerns over anthropogenic carbon emissions (or nineteenth-century wolf-phobias for that matter), but wondering aloud whether or not our policy choices will have similar long-term unintended consequences. The amateur historian in me thinks the likelihood high that we will come to regret large-scale managed "solutions" to what ails us, whether the dragons we slay come slavering at night or quietly in the air.
A Pause for Reflection
Battling grievous menaces to public welfare ought, by all reason, to be supported at public expense. Or so the prevailing wisdom goes. Take wolves for instance. The long-running nationwide government wolf extirpation program has lasted for longer than our history as a nation. It continued for well over a century after Lincoln's firsthand experience, and Jefferson himself had recalled state wolf bounty programs more than a century earlier. By 1914 the program really got down to business, and Congress gave the U.S. Biological Survey primary responsibility for wolf eradication, insisting that a third of its budget be used to kill wolves and their ilk ("survey" had an apparently different connotation in Great War America). Federal trappers killed the last two wolf pups in Yellowstone National Park in 1926, and wolf killing was being done from the air by Fish & Wildlife rangers as late as 1948.
And no, it wasn't for lack of romantic attachment that wolves were removed from the habitable continent. Ernest Thompson Seton wrote with vivid prose lingering and sympathetic accounts of wolf trapping from the turn of the century (who can forget "Lobo" and "Blanca"?) Aldo Leopold writes with some dismay in Thinking Like a Mountain of his experience killing wolves as a forest ranger in Arizona in 1909. Qualms or not, however, wolves were a threat to progress. Government, clearly in the business of promoting progress by this time, was harnessed to do the dirty work and was, not surprisingly, rather successful at it.
Obviously Kevin Costner films weren't yet in vogue. Or perhaps wolf imagery hadn't quite made it onto the t-shirt scene. Either way, government bureaucrats weren't privy to the sort of enlightened ecological sensitivity that even a grade-schooler possesses today.
Today Is Different
Well of course, you say, that was a darker, dumber era now firmly behind us. We ought now to rest easier, allowing officials license to focus their efforts on solutions to today's clearly pressing concerns to the public welfare. Things like carbon pollution. Since the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has deemed carbon emissions a "clear and unmistakable threat to the public welfare" and since an awful lot of experts seem to agree on this point, why buck the facts? Oh sure, there are a few misgivings by a few cranky troglodytes, but there are always some crackpots who won't get with the program. I mean, when was the last time a panel of experts was wrong? Ignore for the moment Galileo's interrogation proceedings, eighteenth-century European naturalists on the new world's "stunted" growth, the Royal Society's views on geologic superposition, the science of eugenics, socialism as a masterpiece of human happiness, the Population Bomb and Snowball Earth madness of the 1970s, Y2K, and more. There were probably even a handful of skeptics who claimed that killing all the wolves was a bad idea in 1816. Imagine.
Plans to reduce (and eventually eliminate) carbon dioxide emissions are not all that different from the plans to reduce (and eventually eliminate) wolf populations. A reward, of sorts, is given for each unit of reduction-be it a cash bounty for wolf heads, or a "credit" to keep a carbon emitter from having to pay a stiff fine. These credits, under a veneer of "free-marketism," can be traded or sold to someone else who wasn't as successful at reducing emissions as they were told. In Lincoln's era, it was optional to hunt wolves, but today we are approaching a point where we are all coerced into the hunt for carbon credits. Even if you don't happen to be a large-scale carbon emitter yourself, your consumption of things (electricity anyone?) will inevitably draw you into the chase.
Whether wolves or carbon, activity is being driven by central decision-makers as to what constitutes the proper way to handle things.
Again, it is not my intention to argue that carbon emissions aren't important, or even to question whether or not they represent a public menace (they may well be as threatening as wolves!). My only purpose is to cast a jaundiced eye on the proposed solutions to the crisis du jour. The Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, now has the power to regulate carbon emissions and by all indications appears intent on restricting the output of the dangerous stuff. Does anyone else feel another "survey" coming on?
What Lurks Beneath
Society's tastes and mores are in constant flux, driving the inexorable drift of the tectonic structures we erect to "improve things." And while norms can change radically and quickly (Hula Hoops? birth control?), the plans, programs, bureaus, and institutions generally do not. In fact they generally continue along their predetermined paths, creating errors of Himalayan proportions. If we believe the myopic shortsightedness that nearly extinguished Canis lupus has been corrected, we are fooling ourselves. We know many more things, to be sure, and particularly in the fields of natural science and ecology. But to believe that we can remotely grasp, let alone master, the intricacies of global climate is surely hubris at its best.
When you ask government to get things done it generally does. And that's precisely the danger. What is an unambiguously brilliant notion for one generation may not sit so well with the next. The apex of Progressive Era thinking in the 1930s gave us the magnificent damming projects of the arid west, projects now roundly decried (oddly enough) by heirs of the Progressive Left who now wish us to demolish these projects at taxpayer - oops - "government" expense. This sort of policy-pendulum is inevitable in a world marked by a less-than-perfect grasp on information.
The only way to mitigate this effect is to ensure that action keeps pace with the values and knowledge of the day. This can only be accomplished through the diffusion of power to an individual level, where actors with firsthand observations can react to dynamically changing situations.
I know we're worried about global warming today. Nobody wishes to see Vanuatu slip under the Pacific. And maybe, for the first time in history, human-caused climate change represents "The Big Problem" that we need "The Big Fix" for. But I doubt it. Something tells me, deep inside, that managed overreaction to carbon emissions will lead just as surely to the kind of devastating policies that gave us wolves-as-an-endangered-species.
In fact, writing as I do from ground zero in the Gray Wolf reintroduction zone, I'd be willing to posit a bet. One hundred years from now (if carbon emissions are "solved" by the authorities), I give it better than even odds that governments will be requiring carbon emissions. Lincoln probably wouldn't take the bet.
The Sierra Club's Profitable Descent into Leftism
The Sierra Club was once an honorable organization, and not that long ago either. A few decades ago, it was truly bipartisan, as befitted a group trying to protect wilderness. Conservatives were not shunned as members, but were welcomed as part of the team. One example was life-long Republican Dr. Edgar Wayburn, who helped save more than 100,000 acres of scenic wild places during his 103-year lifetime. He was a five-term president of the Sierra Club during the 1960s. But it's inconceivable that a member of the GOP could be elected to that post in today's organization, which has been fundamentally corrupted by left-wing political influence and millions of dollars with ideological strings attached.
How corrupt is the Sierra Club today? It has become so debased that it has done nothing to combat the destruction of parts of treasured national parks like Yosemite and Sequoia by invading Mexican drug gangs. The cartels have moved into public lands in the United States and set up toxic marijuana plantations that environmentally degrade protected places that are supposed to remain pristine. But the Sierrans have made a political marriage with open-borders Hispanic Democrats, and maintaining good relations with political allies is now more important than what was once the Club's prime directive.
The impetus for the loss of integrity was simple greed. In the 1990s, the Club came across a deep-pocketed donor with an interest in the environment, one David Gelbaum, a Wall Street investor who had made hundreds of millions of dollars. He was willing to be a generous funder to the Sierra Club, but with one stipulation. As he was quoted in a Los Angeles Times article ("The Man behind the Land," 10/27/04), "I did tell [Sierra Club Executive Director] Carl Pope in 1994 or 1995 that if they ever came out anti-immigration, they would never get a dollar from me."
That restriction posed a problem, since existing Sierra Club policy dating from the 1960s recommended a steady-state population for the United States and recognized immigration's being a major cause of increasing human numbers. In 1969 the organization expressed hope that American population could be stabilized by 1980. In 1970 the Club endorsed a resolution from Zero Population Growth (later renamed "Population Connection") that included support for actions that would "bring about the stabilization of the population first of the United States and then of the world." In 1989 a Sierra Club policy specifically noted that "Immigration to the U.S. should be no greater than that which will permit achievement of population stabilization in the U.S."
But with big money beckoning in return for the disavowal of the clear connection of environmental harm with excessive immigration and population growth, Sierra leadership folded like a cheap lawn chair. In 1996, the Club rescinded its previous population policies that could be seen as related to immigration levels. The elite management team probably rationalized that enormous environmental good could be done with great riches, and therefore merited dispensing with integrity about an increasingly controversial topic.
And the Club was very well rewarded indeed by the generous David Gelbaum; the organization received over $100 million dollars in a couple donations over the years 2000 and 2001. In any normal circumstance, such a transaction would be considered a bribe and roundly condemned. But the Club leadership kept the source of the new riches secret, until the 2004 LA Times article revealed Gelbaum as the sugar daddy. Even after the dots were connected, however, the liberal press couldn't bring itself to recognize an Enron-sized environmentalism scandal of an iconic organization.
Of course, any honest and educated environmentalist understands that human overpopulation is a great danger to sustainable natural systems. If you care about preserving wilderness, protecting species, and having enough water, then piling in another hundred million people every few decades into the high-consuming United States is not the way to go.
Starting in 1996, a concerned group of grassroots members became alarmed at the Club's reversal on long-held population policies. Your humble correspondent was a member of this group, known for a time as Sierrans for U.S. Population Stabilization until threatened with a lawsuit for using the Club's name (despite existing Gay Sierrans, Sierra Club Seniors, etc.). The acronym SUSPS then became the operating title (SUSPS.org online).
We spent untold volunteer hours working to return the Club to its former sensible, environmentally appropriate positions. We gathered member petitions to qualify candidates for the Board of Directors and pose policy referendums for the membership's consideration in the annual Club-wide elections. We succeeded in getting several fine environmentalists elected to the Board, although our important population initiative of 1998 failed to make the cut.
Had SUSPS members known in the beginning that the Sierra Club had been bought and paid for, I doubt we would have spent eight years trying to reform a morally bankrupt and dishonest institution.
By 2004, Club management began to fear that democracy might win the day because of SUSPS' strong slate of candidates. Carl Pope and his leftist cronies MoveOn.org and the SPLC launched a most reprehensible smear campaign of false accusations, with the help of a compliant liberal press. It took a truly supine media to accept and recite the idea that the former Democratic Governor of Colorado Dick Lamm and former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Frank Morris were racist right-wingers. But the press swallowed the Sierra propaganda because who would think that the virtuous environmentalists would be fighting dirty for their faction's selfish greed. So the Sierra management's approved slate of obedient toadies swept the election, and the SUSPS candidates lost under the barrage of inuendo and outright lies from the left-wing establishment.
Along the way to its new identity, the Sierra Club lost many old members who were disgusted by the tragic devolution of John Muir's wilderness club into the leftists in hiking boots. However, the group acquired new associates which it appears to find quite agreeable, like MoveOn.org, the SPLC, La Raza, and George Soros. So there is no shortage of money, even if the potential membership pool is greatly diminished.
The Sierra Club, the Democratic Party, and Al Gore all claim to be deeply concerned about global warming caused by spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But it's hard to take their worries seriously when all are quite happy with immigration-fueled skyrocketing population growth in the world's top resource-using country. If any of the climate worriers truly cared about global warming, they would be leading the charge for limiting immigration. By rapidly increasing the number of residents of America, Washington makes the United States an even bigger engine of pollution and greenhouse gases. Immigrants don't relocate to this country for the better recycling opportunities: they come hoping for an American level of material consumption (also known as "seeking a better life").
In December, we learned the results of the 2010 Census. The total population of the United State on April 1, 2010, was counted at 308,745,538, an increase of 27,323,632 over just 10 years. The science- and math-ignorant press did not think that was a big deal; in fact some media sources emphasized the slowdown, as did MSNBC's headline "Population growth slowest since 1940, census shows" (12/21/10). That assessment is certainly accurate, particularly from the rate of growth, expressed in percentages: the 2010 growth rate was 9.7 percent, compared with 13.2 percent from the previous decade. However, there is no increase in the natural resources like water necessary to support the additional 27 million people, and the loss of farmland continues to reflect the profitability of housing construction over food production. If there were any environmental organizations pointing out the effect of continuing rapid population growth on natural resources after the Census announcement, it was muted at best.
Sadly, the degradation of the Sierra Club from a bipartisan science-friendly environmental organization into a semi-outdoorsy left-wing political group is bad news for the earth, Our planet needs all the friends it can get, judging by worsening species extinction, the collapse of major fish stocks like the North Atlantic cod, the enormous Great Pacific Garbage Patch of floating plastic, and many other symptoms of ill health. No matter what anyone's opinion on the idea of human-caused climate change, the Sierra Club's position on that issue or any other can no longer be trusted as genuinely environmental when the organization is now all about left-wing globalist politics.
A timely illustration of today's Sierra Club priorities can be found in the campaign statements of the eight persons running in the 2011 Board of Directors election. There is not a single mention of population, not even that the global number is forecast to reach seven billion later this year. That's a one-billion person increase since 1999, when the six-billion threshhold was crossed, in just 12 short years. One might hope America's top green organization would recognize the meaning of those numbers and provide much needed leadership and public education. But the Club is too politically correct to suggest how unprecedented human growth threatens our planet's natural systems of replenishment. Elite Clubbers prefer to lecture Americans about resource use rather than acknowledge the whole picture, in which population and consumption multiply each other's effects, as expressed by Paul Ehrlich's I=PAT formula (Human Impact on the environment equals the product of P= Population, A= Affluence, T= Technology).
Another aspect of the current Club Board of Directors election deserves attention. One candidate is Larry Fahn, who was President during the decisive election when SUSPS Board candidates were poised to possibly take power. Fahn helped lead the shameful smear campaign against our highly reputable candidates, and he now states his pride in being a Club hatchet man, saying in his 2011 campaign statement: "I led the Club during trying times, the `hostile takeover attempt,' when outsiders, anti-immigration activists like former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm, ran for several board seats. Lamm and others sued me over my leadership against them."
It's sad reflection on the current Sierra Club that being an enthusiastic purveyor of character assassination is now considered an advantage for gaining office. Interestingly, the late David Brower, an admired conservationist, resigned from the Board in 2000 because the Club leaders had lost all passion to save the earth. "The world is burning and all I hear from them is the music of violins," he said.
Music would be an improvement at this point. The earth needs defenders now more than ever, but the Sierra Club is playing a different tune indeed.
Computer Models: The Bane of Modern Society
by Dr. Tim Ball
In a hearing before Rep. Henry Waxman's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board (a position touted as one of the most powerful unelected offices in the world), said he got it wrong in answer to questions about his role in the recent financial meltdown. His extremely mobile face deadpanned that his economic models, which he had relied on for 40 years, were wrong. He did not apologize; it was merely a statement of fact that portrayed no irrational exuberance. He gave no hint of concern about the massive damage his reliance on the models had done. Huge losses of money among those who exploited the situation his models allowed garnered no sympathy. However, the dashing of hope at the bottom of the economic pyramid, the disaster of losing one's home or job, the stress created by worrying about losing either, and myriad other such stories in the US and across the world appeared to be dismissed with a wave of the academic and intellectual hand.
There were warnings. In October 2005, Stephen King wrote in the British newspaper The Independent,
Despite Mr Greenspan's colossal reputation, I have my doubts that his approach will survive his departure: by giving the impression that all risks can be contained through his own wizardry, Mr Greenspan may have encouraged excessive risk-taking, most obviously with the equity bubble in the late 1990s and, more recently, with the emergence of a housing bubble.
The wizardry was his models. Greenspan likely believes he absolved himself from any blame or responsibility by his statement that it was the model's fault - I am not responsible or accountable. As the Naked Capitalism blog puts it,
Being an objectivist means never having to take responsibility for your actions. Greenspan has now decided to pin the financial market crisis on models.
The clich‚ about models is garbage in garbage out (GIGO); but who put the garbage in, decided what happened to the garbage while it was in the model, and then decided how the garbage was used once it was out?
Ironically, to a certain extent, Greenspan is correct. The models are the problem. Models are useful tools as long as they are used for simple readily measured situations. However, even there they can be wrong. Consider the failures that occur with constructions. The bridge in Minneapolis is a good example. When complexity increases, particularly through interactions between various segments, their use becomes extremely questionable. They depend upon the amount and accuracy of the data on which they are built, and in most cases this is less than adequate. They assume an ability to quantify every variable, but this is not possible. Even the largest computers cannot include all variables. Which ones do you leave out? How would you quantify Greenspan's irrational exuberance? Indeed, how do you quantify human behavior?
Greenspan failed to quantify human reaction to policies he formulated based on his model output and in his testimony he admitted he did not anticipate what happened. This is a typical academic response and why the phrase "it is purely academic" means it is irrelevant to the real world. What is remarkable is his naivete, his belief in his model, and his lack of understanding of human nature. Unfortunately, he is not alone in an implicit belief in models and their ability to simulate the complexity of real world conditions. He is not alone in the application of the model outputs as the basis for major public policies. They are the bane of society wherever they are used.
Models range in form from hardware models (which are simply scale reductions, such as a model airplane) to purely abstract models that replace individual components with symbols. These, in the simplest model, are usually letters of the alphabet to represent a variable. Everyone is familiar with Einstein's famous model, symbolized in the mathematical formula E = MCý. E represents energy, M is for mass, and C is for the speed of light. Almost all models in science or social science are mathematical.
Modeling became dominant in every discipline with the advent of the computer. This allowed for inclusion of vast amounts of data on which complex calculations could be performed. Unfortunately, this gave them a credibility that they didn't deserve. As Pierre Gallois said,
If you put tomfoolery into a computer, nothing comes out of it but tomfoolery. But this tomfoolery, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled and no one dares criticize it.
Working with models in a laboratory or academic environment only requires logic, rigorous method, and adherence to scientific standards. Too often today even these are not being met, but they only do damage within academia. However, once you use the output of your models for policy, then a social and political responsibility is required - and as we see more and more, often it is not being met. Greenspan and his model are a disastrous example.
Economics is a discipline within the general area of the social sciences. The term implies that somehow you can apply the scientific method to individual and group behavior within a society. However, there is a fundamental difference between science and social science - and that is the ability to predict. A simple definition of science is the ability to predict. The scientific prediction does not trigger a response or a change, but remains measurable. Social science predictions inevitably produce a response and triggers change that jeopardizes the prediction. For example, if an economist studies a community and produces a predictive report, leaders and innovators in the community react by changing their behavior and thus that of the community. This results in invalidating the original predictive report. Obviously, this is what happened when Greenspan applied his predictive model output to the US economy.
Greenspan's model was the basis for US financial policy for the entire time he was Chairman of the Reserve Board after his appointment in 1987. It was also the basis for world economies, as the reverberations of the collapse demonstrate. However, it is not the only flawed model influencing global policy and driving it in the wrong direction. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate model is the sole source of evidence that human CO2 is causing climate change; yet it is being used to create completely unnecessary taxes, policies, and hardships.
The IPCC models are also the source of predictions about threatening future climates. This despite their own warning in their first Report (Climate Change 1992) that.
Scenarios are not predictions of the future and should not be used as such.
.while the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios says,
Scenarios are images of the future or alternative futures. They are neither predictions nor forecasts.
By Climate Change 2001 they were saying,
The possibility that any single in emissions path will occur as described in this scenario is highly uncertain.
They later say,
No judgment is offered in this report as to the preference for any of the scenarios and they are not assigned probabilities of recurrence, neither must they be interpreted as policy recommendations.
The hypocrisy of these words is provided by the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) they produce.
Some argue climate models are better than economic models because they are based on physics. If this was true, then their predictions would be accurate; but they are not. It's not surprising, because they are not validated. This is a standard test in which a model attempts to recreate previous known conditions. Everyone is aware they cannot provide accurate weather forecasts beyond 5 days, so it is unreasonable to claim they make accurate climate forecast for 50 and 100 years. The argument that weather forecasts are different than climate forecasts is not upheld because climate is an average of the weather. They are only as accurate as our knowledge of the weather and its mechanisms. At a recent conference on climate modeling in Reading, England, Tim Palmer, a leading climate modeler at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, said:
I don't want to undermine the IPCC, but the forecasts, especially for regional climate change, are immensely uncertain.
A paper by Demetris Koutsoyiannis et al argues that climate models have no predictive value.
The failure of the IPCC models is not surprising. They are built on the theory of warming/climate change, which uses the fundamental assumption that an increase in CO2 will cause an increase in temperature. In every record of any duration for any time period in the Earth's history, temperature increases before CO2. However, a major problem is the models' focus on human causes, as their mandate dictates. As Roy Spencer said in his testimony before the US Senate EPW Committee:
And given that virtually no research into possible natural explanations for global warming has been performed, it is time for scientific objectivity and integrity to be restored to the field of global warming research.
The IPCC and their totally inadequate and incomplete climate models exploit people's fears and lack of understanding while driving politicians to completely wrong policy. They present scenarios and warn against using them as predictions, yet produce a Summary for Policymakers. Individual IPCC members actively encourage policies.
Greenspan's bland and unapologetic statement that his model failed is frightening. It is even more frightening that the solutions do not deal with the fundamental flaws that allowed it to exist. Spending more than you earn is a problem from the individual through to government. He encouraged credit and then chastised the irrational exuberance with which it was adopted. Now, those who provided and often exploited the credit shock him.
The same is true of climate models. They are grossly flawed, being built on at least one critically false assumption, on inadequate data, and omit major mechanisms while consistently making inaccurate predictions. The damage of energy and environmental policies based on their output is already extensive and will get worse as politicians plan massive CO2 reductions. The question is, how did Greenspan get away with it? Why wasn't he challenged? How are the IPCC getting away with their deceptions and failed models? Bartholomew and Goode provide the answer succinctly in this paragraph on mass hysteria:
Many factors contribute to the formation and spread of collective delusions and hysterical illness: the mass media; rumors; extraordinary anxiety or excitement; cultural beliefs and stereotypes; the social and political context; and reinforcing actions by authorities such as politicians, or institutions of social control such as the police or military. Episodes are also distinguishable by the redefinition of mundane objects, events, and circumstances and reflect a rapidly spreading folk belief which contributes to an emerging definition of the situation.
They should add academia as a reinforcing authority.
The "redefinition of mundane objects" applies to weather events and climate change. These natural events have been redefined as unnatural and therefore problematic. They are then wrapped in the larger environmental hysteria. It also appears George Orwell was correct when he wrote,
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
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