Shortfall — A Climate Blog

By David Siegel

Select links and thoughts on climate, decarbonization, energy, and energy policy. I plan to update this page daily (more or less). Please link to ClimateCurious.blog. For more structured information, visit ClimateCurious.com.

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2020

December

Why Carbon Credits For Forest Preservation May Be Worse Than Nothing — ProPublica investigates

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November

“I am a co-founder Of Greenpeace in 1971–1986. I left because they became a fundraising racket using sensationalism, misinformation and fear.” — Patrick Moore, who is fundraising to write a new book. Please consider supporting him.

Are we in the middle of a “mass extinction event” caused by humans? Uh, no, explains Michael Shellenberger.

Germany Has No Plan To Recycle Wind Turbines: 1.35 Million Tons of Hazardous Waste.

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I’m not a fan of Vox, because they have taken on the task of alarming everyone about future climate disaster (gets readers, which makes money), but some of their pieces are very well written. I liked this one: Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout.

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The Guardian reports: Climate ‘apocalypse’ fears stopping people having children — Survey of 600 people finds some parents regret having offspring because of climate change.

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Radio-Canada Ombudsman Finds Standards Violations in Inaccurate Reporting on Extreme Rainfall Trends in Canada

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From a new paper, The EV revolution: The road ahead for critical raw materials demand:

Without major changes in certain technologies, the cobalt and lithium supply chains could seriously constrain the widespread deployment of EVs. Significant demand increases are also predicted for copper, chrome and aluminium. The results also highlight the importance of China in driving demand for EVs and the critical materials needed to produce them.

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Ten Reasons Why Boris’s Green Agenda is Just Plain Wrong, from Matt Ridley’s blog.

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The following chart is from a NOAA technical paper discussing the history of temperature measurement in Death Valley. Note the years (HT: John Robson):

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The Vattenfall Group is a hydro/solar/wind energy company in Sweden promoting a fossil-free future. They are very good at communication. But they rely on climate hysteria to grow their business. Please see their site and reach out to Markus Friberg, their head of media relations. We should have a serious conversation with them about the fundamental science behind claims against fossil fuels.

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The following two paragraphs come from a short piece on Michael Crichton talking about consensus, showing many examples of consensus being wrong.

Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.

Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.

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Highly recommended: Apocalypse Never, by Michael Shellenberger:

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Get the book: Inconvenient Facts, by Gregory Wrightstone. His work has been censored on many platforms, because he challenges the status quo and shows his sources.

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The Impact of Recent Forcing and Ocean Heat Uptake Data on Estimates of Climate Sensitivity — Judith Curry takes a closer look at the claims of sensitivity to increased CO2 in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate. She concludes the sensitivity is far lower than the IPCC claim in their alarming reports.

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Historic Variation in Arctic Ice — long and detailed, it gives you an appreciation of the history behind today’s hysterical claims of the “melting Arctic.” See also my video:

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Nuclear power provides energy that works — CFACT

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Wrong Again: 50 years of Failed Eco-Pocalyptic Predictions, by the Comptetive Enterprise Institute, showing Tony Heller’s findings.

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The Paris Climate Agreement — would it have any impact at all, even if we could all comply? Let’s ask John Robson:

Few things in climate science are easily read in ten minutes. Andy May gives a cogent overview of the estimated climate sensitivity to increased CO2 and a short history of the UN reports on climate change.

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Greenwashing is the process of conveying a false impression or providing misleading information about how a company’s products are more environmentally sound. Greenwashing is considered an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly.

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Germany is one of the world’s leading renewable-powered countries. Because their renewables are growing so quickly, they have to increase the number of natural-gas power plants to keep up.

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I claim that the definition of science does not include the word consensus. If you also believe that, then you will be surprised to learn that Scientific American does not agree. In his piece, The Idea That a Scientific Theory Can Be ‘Falsified’ Is a Myth, Mano Singham argues that:

Science studies provide supporters of science with better arguments to combat these critics, by showing that the strength of scientific conclusions arises because credible experts use comprehensive bodies of evidence to arrive at consensus judgments about whether a theory should be retained or rejected in favor of a new one.

Really? So Scientific American has jumped the Karl Popper shark and is now in favor of popularity contests and groupthink to determine scientific “truths”? If you’re interested in this, Charles Rotter breaks it down.

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Electric cars are good fun for wealthy virtue signallers, but a dreadful way to save the planet — by Bjorn Lomborg

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The Ethical Skeptic puts forth a theory of internal warming. He claims that in addition to adding CO2 to the atmosphere, much of the observed warming may come from the earth’s core. While I don’t happen to agree with the first part, I think his contribution (the second part) is worth reading. He says:

I am not a ‘climate change denier’. Do not trust anyone who mindlessly employs such weaponized phrases, nor those who target the person rather than engaging the argument. Nor especially should you accept their boast to represent science.

He has constructed an interesting world of many essays that takes time to survey and understand. I have found several of his pieces (but not all) insightful.

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No, Hurricanes are Not Getting Bigger, Stronger and more Dangerous — by Roger Pielke, Jr.

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Look up the definition of the word science. You will not find the word consensus in that definition. Look up the word policy. There you will find the word consensus. Do not confuse these two things.

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Bjorn Lomborg talks with Mikhaila Peterson about his book, “False Alarm

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“It would appear that biomass burning is the only environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional sources of power. It is considered carbon neutral, at least according to many countries’ legislation, but my graduate students and I have shown that biomass is worse than even coal. It simply takes too long to recover the CO2 debt that biomass creates relative to the fossil fuel.”
— from The Problem with Renewable Energy and Intermittency, by Cornelis Van Kooten

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Here’s a recording of Alex Epstein’s webinar for the oil-and-gas industry last week.

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Scott Sumner’s research paper on setting up prediction markets for future temperature predictions. Would let citizens vote their convictions with their own money and better involve the crowd in future forecasting. Smart.

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A quick review of the Monckton, Soon, Legates, and Briggs paper that stabbed a huge wooden stake through the heart of the IPCC alarm of catastrophic warming.

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Scott Adams sums it up well (though in political terms):

On top of our mass delusions, we also have junk science that is too often masquerading as the real thing. To the extent that people can’t tell the difference, that too is a source of mass delusion.

In the 2-D view of the world, mass delusions are rare and newsworthy. But to trained persuaders in the third dimension, mass delusions are the norm. They are everywhere, and they influence every person. This difference in training and experience can explain why people disagree on some of the big issues of the day.

For example, consider the case of global warming. People from the 2-D world assume mass delusions are rare, and they apply that assumption to every topic. So when they notice that most scientists are on the same side, that observation is persuasive to them. A reasonable person wants to be on the same side with the smartest people who understand the topic. That makes sense, right?

But people who live in the 3·D world, where persuasion rules, can often have a different view of climate change because we see mass delusions (even among experts) as normal and routine. My starting bias for this topic is that the scientists could easily be wrong about the horrors of climate change, even in the context of repeated experiments and peer review. Whenever you see a situation with complicated prediction models, you also have lots of room for bias to masquerade as reason. Just tweak the assumptions and you can get any outcome you want.

Now add to that situation the fact that scientists who oppose the climate change consensus have a high degree of career and reputation risk. That’s the perfect setup for a mass delusion. You only need these two conditions:

• Complicated prediction models with lots of assumptions

• Financial and psychological pressure to agree with the consensus

In the 2·0 world, the scientific method and peer review squeeze out the bias over time. But in the 3-D world, the scientific method can’t detect bias when nearly everyone including the peer reviewers shares the same mass delusion.

I’m not a scientist, and I have no way to validate the accuracy of the climate model predictions. But if the majority of experts on this topic turn out to be having a mass hallucination, I would consider that an ordinary situation. In my reality, this would be routine, if not expected, whenever there are complicated prediction models involved. That’s because I see the world as bristling with mass delusions. I don’t see mass delusions as rare.

When nonscientists take sides with climate scientists, they often think they are being supportive of science. The reality is that the nonscientists are not involved in science, or anything like it. They are taking the word of scientists. In the 2-D world, that makes perfect sense, because it seems as if thousands of experts can’t be wrong, But in the 3·D world, I accept that the experts could be right, and perhaps they are, but it would be normal and natural in my experience if the vast majority of climate scientists were experiencing a shared hallucination.

To be clear, l am not saying the majority of scientists are wrong about climate science. I’m making the narrow point that it would be normal and natural for that group of people to be experiencing a mass hallucination that is consistent with their financial and psychological incentives. The scientific method and the peer-review process wouldn’t necessarily catch a mass delusion during any specific window of time. With science, you never know if you are halfway to the truth or already there. Sometimes it looks the same.

Climate science is a polarizing topic (ironically). So let me just generalize the point to say that compared with the average citizen, trained persuaders are less impressed by experts.

To put it another way, if an ordinary idiot doubts a scientific truth, the most likely explanation for that situation is that the idiot is wrong. But if a trained persuader calls BS on a scientific truth, pay attention.

Do you remember when citizen Trump once tweeted that climate change was a hoax for the benefit of China? It sounded crazy to most of the world. Then we learned that the centerpiece of politics around climate change — the Paris climate accord — was hugely expensive for the United States and almost entirely useless for lowering temperatures. (Experts agree on both points now.) The accord was a good deal for China, in the sense that it would impede its biggest business rival, the United States, while costing China nothing for years. You could say Trump was wrong to call climate change a hoax. But in the context of Trump’s normal hyperbole, it wasn’t as wrong as the public’s mass delusion believed it to be at the time.

I’ll concede that citizen Trump did not understand the science of climate change. That’s true of most of us. But he still detected a fraud from a distance.

It wasn’t luck.

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Andy May’s new book, Politics and Climate Change: A History, describes the history of the climate situation, how we got here, and many accounts of the money involved in climate alarmism.

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Another very qualified climate researcher breaks ranks, exposes the agenda at NASA — Dr Mototaka Nakamura, an MIT PhD scientist, has published more than 20 papers on cloud fluid dynamics. He says: “OUR MODELS ARE MICKEY-MOUSE MOCKERIES OF THE REAL WORLD”

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170 Years of Earth Surface Temperature Data Show No Evidence of Significant Warming by Thomas Bjorklund

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The Truth Behind Renewable Energy, by Dr. Lars Schernikau, HMS Bergbau Group

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Energy Talking Points by Alex Epstein

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Evidence of significant publication bias toward alarmist and against skeptic climate papers in the major scientific journals.

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Antarctica is rising, so predictions of catastrophic ice-sheet collapse may have to wait a few more million years.

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Conversation between Bjorn Lomborg and Jeff Nesbitt.

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What It Really Means When Google and Apple Say They Run on 100% Renewable Energy

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No Certain Doom — On the Projections of Average World Surface Temperatures, by Pat Frank, PhD (chemistry) on climate-model accuracy

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How Clouds Think about Climate Change, by Willis Eschenbach

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The Right Climate Stuff — a group of ex-NASA engineers and physicists against the NASA narrative of catastrophic climate alarm

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Why Biden Can Unite America With Nuclear Power — Or Divide It With Renewables — by Michael Shellenberger

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Global Warning: a film by Canadian filmmaker Mathew Emby.

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Fresh early snowfall in Lahaul, India, elates hoteliers, farmers

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Britain faces green energy disaster as lack of wind triggers new blackout warning

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Revisiting Antarctic ice loss due to marine ice-cliff instability — Nature paper says it doesn’t look like Antarctica will be contributing much to sea level rise this century.

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November 2020: 80 Percent of Russia is Covered in Snow

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A Critical Review of Global Surface Temperature Data Products — Ross McKitrick, Ph.D.

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Where’s the sea ice?” Right where it’s been for most of the Holocene — David Middleton

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End wind subsidies — StopTheseThings.com

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It appears that every second person has become an atmospheric physicist understanding that carbon dioxide is the main driver of global warming and switching to renewables will save us from devastating hurricanes and floods reaching the ceilings of our dream seaside properties. Every other person appears to be an energy specialist being certain that wind, solar and battery-powered vehicles will be a happy, safe and environmentally friendly way to power our everyday electricity and transportation needs. However, little could be farther from the truth.
The truth behind renewable energy, by Dr. Lars Schernikau, HMS Bergbau Group

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Climate Sensitivity Estimates are diverging — that’s generally not how science works.

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File under Greenwashing: Airbus Hopes to Be Flying Hydrogen-Powered Jetliners With Zero Carbon Emissions by 2035

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Global Warming: Fact or Fiction? Featuring Physicists Willie Soon and Elliott D. Bloom

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David Siegel is a serial entrepreneur in Washington, DC. He is the founder of the Pillar Project. He is the author of The Token Handbook, Open Stanford, The Culture Deck, Climate Curious, and The Nine Act Structure. He gives speeches to audiences around the world and online. His full body of work is at dsiegel.com.

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Provocateur, professional heretic, slayer of myths, speaker of truthiness to powerfulness, and defender of the Oxford comma.

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