“There are now dozens of hockey sticks and the all come to the same basic conclusion. The recent warming does appear to be unprecedented as far bas as we can go. But even if we didn’t have that evidence, we would still know that humans are warming the planet, changing the climate and that represents a threat if we don’t do something about it.” -Michael Mann

The latest climate science results are out, and 2016 was the hottest year on record. Again. Breaking the previous record… from 2015. Which broke the previous record of 2014. In fact, of the 17 hottest years on record, 16 of them have occurred in the 21st century.

At an average warming rate of 0.07º C per decade, the Earth's temperature has not only increased, but continues to increase without any relief in sight. Image credit: NOAA National Centers for Environmental information, Climate at a Glance: Global Time Series, published January 2017, retrieved on January 18, 2017 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/.

At an average warming rate of 0.07º C per decade, the Earth’s temperature has not only increased, but continues to increase without any relief in sight. Image credit: NOAA National Centers for Environmental information, Climate at a Glance: Global Time Series, published January 2017, retrieved on January 18, 2017 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/.

The question isn’t whether the Earth is warming (it is), whether it’s human-caused (it is), whether burning fossil fuels is the major contributor (it is), or whether we need to do something about it (we do). The question is whether we will. And that begins with accepting the scientific truth.

Global land and global ocean surface temperature anomalies. Light lines are 12-month running means and heavy lines are 132-month (11-year) running means. Image credit: "Global Temperature in 2016", J. Hansen et al. (2017), via http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2017/20170118_Temperature2016.pdf.

Global land and global ocean surface temperature anomalies. Light lines are 12-month running means and heavy lines are 132-month (11-year) running means. Image credit: “Global Temperature in 2016”, J. Hansen et al. (2017), via http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2017/20170118_Temperature2016.pdf.

It’s easy to dupe you if you want to be duped, but the science doesn’t lie. Come learn it, and what the arguments you’re likely to encounter are. Arm yourselves. We’re in for a hell of a fight.

Comments

  1. #1 t marvell
    virginia
    January 18, 2017

    Let’s face the facts: deadly climate change is going to happen no matter what. World-wide CO2 is growing at an explosive pace, with no sign of a change. The effects of CO2 on climate have a long lag, decades, so temperature increases are bake in. The Paris agreement is too weak to make a noticeable difference. That is, the non-deniers are doing virtually nothing to mitigate the problem.
    In this situation it makes little difference if Trump and his friends lie and deny the effect of civilization on climate change. It has become a purely symbolic issue, us eggheads versus the silly rubes.

  2. #2 dean
    United States
    January 18, 2017

    Very well done, and very timely, writeup. It is concerning that there are nominations for so many positions are more devoted to their view of reality than to facts: DeVos’ comments on the success of charter schools here in Michigan when they rank at the bottom of barrel in performance on the very tests she promotes (and her opinion, repeated in hearings and expressed in talks here, that schools should not be required to provide aid to students with disabilities), people for positions in health who but into the “dangers” of vaccines, and the perennially dishonest and out of step with reality Ben Carson’s comments on, well, just about everything.

    It isn’t just science and science policy being threatened by the incoming administration, it’s public heath and basic rights. I do believe the sane people in the system will be able to prevent the worst of what Trump, Ryan, and the rest of the people who dislike anyone who isn’t rich and white, have planned, but even so they can do a lot of damage.

  3. #3 Wow
    January 18, 2017

    “Let’s face the facts: deadly climate change is going to happen no matter what.”

    If we stop quickly enough and there are still several decades left at ~400ppm, then we can remove carbon from the atmosphere and negate the overrun before tipping points occur.

    So much time has been lost, losing more is not a huge difference, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to try for now.

    At the very least, if we can only hold at 420ppm for 80 years we may stave off much of the problem for long enough to adapt to the change and spend the money and time to move our infrastructure and/or make it less prone to disruption.

    If we give up now, then there’s no chance to soften the blow, even if it’s inevitable. And we don’t know how much change is inevitable.

  4. #4 SteveP
    January 18, 2017

    We are now, in the US, about to transition to an authoritarian “leader” who does not respect science, and until or unless he gets educated in the matter, it is doubtful that anyone will convince his authoritarian followers that climate scientists are right about climate science.

    Worse, seeing the sorts of sadistic bullies that the new “leader” is consorting with makes it appear that our government has been taken over by someone with a malignant personality disorder.

    Unless Trump suddenly grows up and stabilizes very quickly, we all may have to make a full and total comittment to his ouster. Climate change is a slow mo train wreck, but it is positively benign when compared to the damage that russian agent orange could bring to this planet in minutes.

  5. #5 Omega Centauri
    January 18, 2017

    marvell @1. Its not quite that bad, some/many are stepping up.
    China has just volunteered at Davos to lead the worlds decarbonization efforts. Even in the US at the state and city level many are stepping up. Hawaii plans to become carbon neutral. California is making big efforts along similar lines. Many corps are trying to switch to 100% renewables. And clean energy is rapidly becoming cheap energy, so even skeptics should soon start turning to it.

    That doesn’t mean a lot of damage won’t be done, nor that we can let up our efforts.

    wow @3. We don’t really know where the tipping points are. We’ve probably already crossed some, like for West Antarctic icesheet collapse, and probably parts of Greenland as well. But the lower we get atmospheric concentrations down, and the sooner we do it, the risks will decrease, so even if we have crossed some big ones, there is still marginal benefit from marginal improvements.

  6. #6 Denier
    United States
    January 19, 2017

    @Ethan wrote

    [1] the Earth is warming
    [2] it’s human-caused
    [3] burning fossil fuels is the major contributor
    [4] we need to do something about it

    The first 3 points are tired to the point of being vapid. It’s meh and gets more meh with each telling. Point number 4 is what everything is about.

    Why do we need to do something? You give only the briefest of support for that point in a pasted graphic from NOAA of 2016 statistics of interest. One year is weather and you know this. When talking climate, 17 years is the accepted lower limit on granularity. You mention 15 years, but whatever. Close enough. Either way, you know that 1 year doesn’t constitute climate. Your inclusion of it as argument support and even titling of it as ‘the effects of climate change’ is intellectually dishonest. Scientists being intellectually dishonest in the service of overstatements are a big problem in the greater debate.

    A good place to start in the decision on if we should do something is in the costs. What are the costs of doing something? What are the costs of doing nothing? The biggest greenhouse gas polluter on the planet is China. To get greenhouse gas emissions down, should we kill all the Chinese people? You said we need to do something, and that would be something. Is that what you think we need to do? Kill off the Chinese? Of course it is ridiculous but any discussion of actions we must take without weighing costs is inane.

    I would argue that you are wholly unqualified to generate those cost figures. I strongly doubt you have the economics background. I know that I don’t have that knowledge and am reliant on experts. Then you have the political scientists who would understand what costs the public could be made to bear. There are half a dozen other types of experts whose input would be required to make an informed decision. I’m willing to listen to all these people, and that would be my advice; before you gear yourself up for a hell of a fight, make sure you fully understand if this is even a fight that needs to be fought.

  7. #7 Sinisa Lazarek
    January 19, 2017

    IMO .. and I’m sure to get flac for this… this debate between science and politics and deniers about GW etc.. is just a distraction from the real issue…and that’s economics of all this.

    It’s not the congress or white house, or kremlin or Pjong Jang or Vatican that’s doing the emissions. It’s the companies. And it’s the companies in the private sector. And when you combine all of those companies and people who work in them / for them .. you get enough scientists and PhD’s and engineers to fill several countries. They don’t doubt science, they don’t doubt GW. They just don’t frakin’ care. Or to put it differently.. they might even care… but they care more about their income and well being. Most people on this planet don’t give a rats ass what’s gonna happen to the planet in 200-300 years. Period. They much more care for the morgage or sending kids to a good school. And if that means dumping several more tons of CO2 in the air… frak it..

    All of you are stuck with the talk about media and politics… but those people only say what they get paid to say by lobbists or CEO’s… noone wants to talk about actual private companies. It’s not the car fumes of you and me that are doing most of the polution. It’s energy and industry. Why not talk about i.e. Google.. or Apple… or… Mitsubishi Corporation? Google dumps 1.5 million tons of CO2 every year into atmosphere…

    Your call to action should be targeted to professionals and scientists and engineers that work the for the tech and light that drives our world. It’s them doing most of the poluting/emissions, and it’s them not wanting to decrease them. And they full well know all the science and what they do.

    If you want to save the world by pleading with the politicians that they should care more about science… then sadly I think we have already lost.

  8. #8 Sinisa Lazarek
    January 19, 2017

    p.s. and this hurts me to write… but maybe if we want to be honest and transparent, we should start with science itself. How much does our quest for knowledge pollute? I know that i.e. CERN draws about as much power as a smaller city. So how much CO2 and green house gasses have we emitted in order to find the value of one number? And who has a moral high ground to say that i.e. Higgs is more “important” then i.e. new cloud storage hangar or a new oil rig. Sure, to everyone in their fields, theirs is more important… thus it seems none are that important.. it’s just what we do.

  9. #9 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    “wow @3. We don’t really know where the tipping points are. We’ve probably already crossed some, like for West Antarctic icesheet collapse,”

    Aye, but we don’t know we’ve crossed. And it would be too late to do anything if we wait until we know.

    Which stage of denial is “it’s too late” again? t seems to have reached it

  10. #10 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    “but maybe if we want to be honest and transparent, we should start with science itself. How much does our quest for knowledge pollute? ”

    Not hard to guess. CERN uses the same power as a small town. How many small towns do we have?

    “So how much CO2 and green house gasses have we emitted in order to find the value of one number?”

    How much of what we’ve done is yet to be done? Silly question? Yes. Look up JAQing off.

    “Your call to action should be targeted to professionals and scientists and engineers that work”

    Yeah, didn’t you claim it was mostly private industry and companies earlier?

    “All of you are stuck with the talk about media and politics… but those people only say what they get paid to say by lobbists or CEO’s”

    Were you paid to say all this?

  11. #11 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    “A good place to start in the decision on if we should do something is in the costs. What are the costs of doing something?”

    Go ahead and work it out.

    Or take this:

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/sternreview_index.htm

  12. #12 Julian Frost
    Gauteng North
    January 19, 2017

    @Denier #6:

    [1] the Earth is warming
    [2] it’s human-caused
    [3] burning fossil fuels is the major contributor
    [4] we need to do something about it

    The first 3 points are tired to the point of being vapid. It’s meh and gets more meh with each telling.

    Unfortunately, there are people who disbelieve these points and organisations funded by vested interests who lie and say AGW isn’t happening, that there are other causes or other false and repeatedly refuted claims.

    Why do we need to do something?

    Are you kidding me? If we carry on as before, the environment will collapse. We’re already seeing proof of the damage. If the environment collapses, humanity will suffer. I’m talking a death toll in the hundreds of millions (if not billions) and the possible extinction of humans as a species.

    What are the costs of doing something? What are the costs of doing nothing?

    The costs of doing nothing will be a gargantuan loss of lives.

  13. #13 Sinisa Lazarek
    January 19, 2017

    One point that I wanted to send across, but haven’t touched. In order for us, as species to do something about it, is inevitably to give up something of our own lifestyles. And IMO, it should be the first thing to think on hard. What are we willing to give up? Because as long as we want faster CPU’s, cheaper cars, more storage in my cloud, more bandwidth, better batteries, rockets, cabins in the woods etc etc… there is no stopping this. There isn’t a scenario where our industry (all of it… energy, tech, consumer..etc) continues to rise, but planet gets cleaner in 100 years. That’s a pipe dream IMO.. one shinny happy planet earth.

    The only feasible way out of this loophole IMO is to first try restraining our consumer self. And I’m not sure we are that willing to do that. I will admit of myself first.. I DO WANT better and more. So yeah.. how to change the world when we don’t want to stop? I recall seeing one piece about methane emissions… and they said that i.e. about 30% of methane emission come from cows. In terms of meat production… the worse “emitter” of greenhouse gasses by far. So the conclusion was.. that i.e. by just refraining from eating cows and going i.e. for rabbits or chicken i guess.. the world can lower it’s overall methane emission by 20-30%… which is more than any carbon treaties or debates will do. Now maybe the above numbers are media hype of one way.. but even if half is true, is enough. The point is, it’s out way of life that needs to get tampered first. Google isn’t building more hangars because they want to, they are building them because we want more from them. It’s in maybe in our genes. Don’t know.

    In any case, we have to change. And not wanting to sound like Star Trek – The Undiscovered Country … I think it’s the fear of that realization of change that anti-GW people are driven by inside. But before we point fingers, we should ask ourselves, how willing to accept that change are we ourselves? In a way, they are at least honest in their objection of change. But will you/me/we refrain from buying a new car.. or a new mobile phone? Are we today trying our best to put our own power consuption to it’s minimal?

  14. #14 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    What we need to give up as far as AGW is concerned, is the burning of fossil fuels and unsustainable land clearance as the second place.

    There’s nothing there about CPUs or even cars. If we decarbonise our energy then we can keep cars no problem.

    There are OTHER problems with a high level of overt consumption, but AGW isn’t one of them.

    “But before we point fingers, we should ask ourselves, how willing to accept that change are we ourselves? ”

    What change? I’m very willing to decarbonise energy. Currently using a renewables only tariff.

    New car? If it’s electric, then you don’t need to give that up. If it’s not, then diesel cars can use renewable biodiesel, if not the mix we have on the markets now, since they’re not much bio renewable diesel. But you can cut out trips to the shops less than 2 miles, you can buy and use a bike to get to work, you can let your kids walk to school, and none of those require you get rid of the car, just that you get rid of much of the use of it when it’s not strictly necessary.

    What you need to ask yourself is whether you’re making up a hairshirt demand to stop AGW just so as to get out of having to do anything other than hang wring that hair shirts aren’t being worn by others.

    You need to ask yourself what you need to give up and whether that intersects what you THINK what needs giving up.

    You also need to work out what the hell “we should ask if we can give X up” has to do with lying or not about the science and the facts of reality.

    It’s a huge WTF??? tangent that really doesn’t do anything to change or inform on the goddamned subject, does it.

    Especially when it sounds like those alarmist deniers’ claims that to do anything about AGW we’d HAVE to give up modern life and go living back in the stone age.

  15. #15 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    “Unfortunately, there are people who disbelieve these points and organisations funded by vested interests who lie and say AGW isn’t happening, that there are other causes or other false and repeatedly refuted claims.”

    Julian, that’s what denier means when he goes “Meh”. He’s been told for decades and STILL denies there’s a problem (other than NWO capture of all science and politics, apart from the science and politics that he agrees with), and he’s not gonna change, so to all the proof, he goes “Meh, denied it all before, gonna deny it all again. Get me something NEW to deny”.

    He means “Meh, it won’t affect ME, so why should I give a fuck?”.

  16. #16 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    I DO WANT better and more. So yeah.. how to change the world when we don’t want to stop?”

    Bolded two terms there. Why do YOU want more shiny but WE have to change? How about YOU change what you want?

    Stop blaming others for what you want.

  17. #17 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    ” that i.e. by just refraining from eating cows and going i.e. for rabbits or chicken i guess.”

    Change the gut flora of cows and the methane goes away. How do you think rabbits, with the same diet, get away with lower methane emissions?

    BTW, this is already done for cows, rolling it out is the issue. And, much like your comments, the problem with beef production has very little to do with AGW, but with things like healthy stock, humane conditions and the use of massive (and I mean MASSIVE) amounts of antibiotics to increase weight yield to monstrous proportions (many turkeys are too heavy to walk: they break their own legs walking about) that produces most of the “superbugs” with antibiotic resistance: the effluent is massively dosed with a broad spectrum of antibiotics and is diluted to vaccination levels when dumped in the rivers as being cheaper (and “not polluting”) than any other method of getting rid of the waste.

  18. #18 SteveP
    January 19, 2017

    Just have to say that the denialist who is willing to listen to the input of economists, political scientists, and a half dozen other types of “experts” …”There are half a dozen other types of experts whose input would be required to make an informed decision. I’m willing to listen to all these people, and that would be my advice; before you gear yourself up for a hell of a fight, make sure you fully understand if this is even a fight that needs to be fought.”

    First, a good belly laugh! Tighten up those stomach muscles and have a good laugh at the expense of the absurd kind of beliefs that cause people to think that hard physical science and engineering are BS and that political science is anything more than a rearrangment of gilded deck chairs on a sinking vessel in the fog, at night..

    Coastal infrastructure is at an ever increasing risk of being destroyed as sea levels rise and natural massive storms bring ever more overtopping surges that eat away at things like houses, berms, docks, roads, barrier dunes, agricultural land, and groundwater sources. Pretending that this is only a figment of the imagination of the silly people who study science is a really idiotic form of human behavior.

  19. #19 Denier
    United States
    January 19, 2017

    @Julian Frost wrote

    Are you kidding me? If we carry on as before, the environment will collapse. We’re already seeing proof of the damage. If the environment collapses, humanity will suffer. I’m talking a death toll in the hundreds of millions (if not billions) and the possible extinction of humans as a species.

    Bullshit. Just because math may be able to prove that a^2+b^2 = c^2, it doesn’t prove that if we don’t band together to eradicate the chupacabra we’re all going to die. Including screeching ridiculousness in with valid science is why the general public safely throws the call to action in the waste bin. Their jobs are real. Economic downturns are real, and they hurt. Chupacabras? Not so much.

  20. #20 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    ” it doesn’t prove that if we don’t band together to eradicate the chupacabra we’re all going to die. ”

    Don’t give a shit, since we’re not using a^2+b^2 = c^2’s proof (of what? you don’t say) to prove that. So, what about AGW, the actual topic of conversation?

    Why do you insist on running off down fantasy lane?

    ps economic downturns are caused by ridiculous capitalist dogmas being used to determine what OUGHT to happen under free markets, then ignoring that those economic theories are bollocks.

  21. #22 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    “Their jobs are real. ”

    Actually, their jobs are a social construct and a phantom of the earlier ages of mankind. It’s their lives that are real.

    Pity you discount that.

  22. #23 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    January 19, 2017

    @Denier #19:

    …screeching ridiculousness…

    That’s not screeching ridiculousness. What do you think happened right before every extinction event in Earth’s history? A catastrophic event that led to environmental collapse. We’re already seeing bleached corals and other signs our oceans are dying. If things continue as they are, there will be an environmental collapse with all the damage to humanity that means.
    The U.S. Military has also declared climate change one of the foremost threats they will face in the years to come. Do you think they are stupid?

    Their jobs are real.

    Ah yes. The old and completely discredited “jobs or the environment” argument. Except that (for one example) in South Africa, electricity generated from wind and solar is cheaper than that from coal.
    Even if that weren’t the case, we’d have to balance the cost of doing nothing and dealing with the consequences against taking action to mitigate against global warming.

  23. #24 dean
    January 19, 2017

    ” Including screeching ridiculousness in with valid science is why the general public safely throws the call to action in the waste bin.”

    And there we see the true problem with the denialists: lip service is given to saying there might be a problem. hard core dishonesty is applied to explaining why the predictions that come from the science are pure hogwash.

  24. #25 dean
    January 19, 2017

    (Once again – drat the no preview button issue)

    The type of comment I referenced in #23 comes from people who don’t understand and don’t care to understand the underlying science.

    The “don’t understand” part could be addressed by education and detailed explanations, but the “don’t care to” part prevents it.

  25. #26 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    We can only hope that Denier changes his mindset next time he hears someone screeching “Don’t put that plastic bag over your head!!!”.

    Or not.

  26. #27 Denier
    United States
    January 19, 2017

    @SteveP

    Pretending that this is only a figment of the imagination of the silly people who study science is a really idiotic form of human behavior.

    I don’t have to pretend. Your certainty is a figment of your imagination.

    Coastal infrastructure has a useful life. Even if there were no rising seas and no increase in storm energy, they’d still need to be actively maintained and ultimately replaced. There is a cost to do so. If the replacements need to be more robust than would have otherwise been required, then you can use the difference between the designs as a cost of doing nothing to arrest climate change. You have absolutely no idea what that number is and it is you, not I, who is pretending otherwise.

    First, a good belly laugh! Tighten up those stomach muscles and have a good laugh

    When it comes to incorporating economics into the discussion, or engineers who can provide the data on which a discussion can take place, climate scientists all too often sneer down at us lower life forms. Here is the thing you don’t get: Your science doesn’t matter in the discussion of policy. It is completely irrelevant. You might as well have devoted your life to studying the squishiness of mud. The same goes for politicians spouting off whatever anti-science that has your panties so knotted. It doesn’t matter.

    Policy is all about accounting the costs. People should do what is in their best interest. So let’s figure out what is in our best interests. Labeling people Nazis and instructing others to throat punch them if they don’t do ‘X’ because CO2 is a greenhouse gas in a lab doesn’t make you an intellectual. It makes you a thug who can’t recognize the gigantic logical hole in your thought process. As a side note, your condescension doesn’t make people take you any more seriously.

  27. #28 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    “I don’t have to pretend. Your certainty is a figment of your imagination. ”

    Well, clearly that’s how YOU get facts, just imagine them, but the rest of the world mostly uses real world evidence, the conclusion of which isn’t “imagination”, no matter HOW certain it is.

    “climate scientists all too often sneer down at us lower life form”

    Salty.

    Odd, too, since it’s only denier who insists this is so, THEN GOES AHEAD AND INSISTS HE KNOWS BETTER.

    A rather odd inversion of persecution. Common in the USA among the dominant WASP population, all of whom are MASSIVELY put upon by those pesky minorities by changing the meaning of marriage for them, not teaching everyone’s children THEIR god’s existence, and so on and so forth.

    Now we know that AGW deniers manage the same inversion and hypocritical whining. Neat.

    “Your science doesn’t matter in the discussion of policy”

    See again the inversion. JUST AFTER claiming that science looks down on lower lifeforms like Denier, he then looks down on them by proxy.

    Not to mention being back-asswards wrong on the whole subject.

    “Policy is all about accounting the costs.”

    No, that’s cost accountancy.

    “People should do what is in their best interest”

    No, that’s antisocial behaviour

    ” Labeling people Nazis and instructing others to throat punch them”

    Ah. Right. Google “Monckton Nazi Youth”. And “Not enough knives Glenn Beck”.

    See also the complete willing blindness to what being called a denier means (hint: it was around a century before WWII) and the insistence that they’re the victim here.

    Classic moron.

    “if they don’t do ‘X’ because CO2 is a greenhouse gas in a lab doesn’t make you an intellectual.”

    That statement makes you an idiot who is asking for a punch in the mouth.

    Because CO2 is a greenhouse gas outside a lab, for a start. It doesn’t know it’s in a lab. It hates it when you anthropomorphise it.

    “It makes you a thug who can’t recognize the gigantic logical hole in your thought process”

    Irony alert.

    The gigantic logical hole being “I DON’T LIKE IT!!!!” denial of reality, which logically means that asking you to do X is a waste of time, so you have to be forced to do it. Like all the other shit you do that is forced on you to comply. Things like murdering women, raping children and littering in the park.

    After all, what we’ve learned form Duck Hunter is that the only thing that keeps people like him in line is that gawd will punish people, else he would be doing all sorts of shit like this.

  28. #29 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    “You have absolutely no idea what that number is and it is you, not I, who is pretending otherwise.”

    Maybe he read, unlike you, this:

    http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/sternreview_index.htm

    It seems like you, not everyone else, is pretending otherwise.

  29. #30 thetentman
    Earth
    January 19, 2017

    It will get worse before it gets better. Life is tough. Humans are creatures that like comfort. Show them an easier, more comfortable way and they will take it every time. And once inured to comfort they’ll not give it up without resistance or fighting. Power, wealth and status enables comfort. Perceived threats will be ignored to keep the Status Quo. The only way to change behavior and attitudes is to show the benefits of change. Humans fear change. Alleviate the fear of change, show the economic benefits of the desired change and there might be a chance. If it is not too late. But to quote the new ‘Fearless Leader’ “Never gonna happen.” At least until it can no longer be denied or that Elite status is threatened. Good luck.

  30. #31 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    No, it’s more that some people are hideously selfish and egotistical, therefore they will deny reality if it looks like they’re not a nice and good person.

    There are other ways to deal with morons.

    Ignore them would be the simplest. Just go ahead and if idiots don’t like it, they can buy an island and make a libertarian paradise of that kingdom where they will be free to fick each other over to their hearts content.

  31. #32 t marvell
    Virginia
    January 19, 2017

    An important point to keep in mind is that the “denier” movement is limited to the USA. The rest of the world recognizes the magnitude of human-caused warming. But the rest of the world is doing very little about it, end even their promises offer little encourangment. So it is hard to blame the deniers.
    A stark bit of evidence is that Japan and Germany are shutting down nuclear plants, using more coal and gas. China and India are building coal electrical plants at a furious pace.

  32. #33 Denier
    January 19, 2017

    @Julian Frost

    What do you think happened right before every extinction event in Earth’s history?

    Shock cooling. In the case of the K-T extinction that did in the dinosaur, some reconstructions have temperatures dropping by 26 C immediately and the earth remaining in sub-freezing conditions for up to 16 years. Cold kills.

    Antarctica was covered in scrub brush before the gap between it and South America started the circumpolar current froze it. Just about everything died. Cold kills.

    The environment does well in warmer times. Even now plant growth is up worldwide. Screeching about how billions are going to die from climate change is hysterics.

  33. #34 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    “An important point to keep in mind is that the “denier” movement is limited to the USA.”

    Not really. It’s biggest there but Saudi Arabia, for example, is huge, as is Australia, for climate denial. They’re a lot noisier in the USA, and since it styles itself as the world police (cf Team America), it’s a lot more problematic. We find it easier to ignore Saudi international interference than the USA’s imperial leanings.

  34. #35 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    “Screeching about how billions are going to die from climate change is hysterics.”

    You have absolutely no idea what that number is and it is you, not I, who is pretending otherwise.

  35. #36 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    “Shock cooling.”

    Idiot. PETM. Google it, moron.

    “Antarctica was covered in scrub brush before the gap between it and South America started the circumpolar current froze it.”

    And therefore you have disproved the “saturated gas argument”. Deniers, in their zeal to “score points” inevitably hole the hulls of their, or other deniers’, arguments, without even noticing it.

    “The environment does well in warmer times.”

    PETM, moron. And count the number of humans available in the Cretaceous period.

    “Cold kills.”

    Moron:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-192562/3-000-die-French-heatwave.html

    “The environment does well in warmer times. ”

    Proof plz.

  36. #37 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    ” China and India are building coal electrical plants at a furious pace.”

    And, oddly, closing them at a furious pace, more furious than their production, because they’re replacing old stock.

    Just like Germany, where deniers insist they’re building more coal plants, yet “forget” that these are replacements and closing more than they’re building, not to mention that they were all started before they agreed to close down power stations.

    As for China, not only are they set to build 130GW of renewables by 2020:

    http://in.reuters.com/article/china-coal-idINKBN1511A2

    “In latest move, China halts over 100 coal power projects”

  37. #38 dean
    January 19, 2017

    In addition to deniers’ foolishness about “doing better in heat” lines, this

    Your science doesn’t matter in the discussion of policy. It is completely irrelevant.

    he implies is done because it should be done, completely glossing over the fact that he is saying making decisions based on ignorance and dishonesty is the preferred way.

    Again, that is the denialist way: lie and obstruct.

  38. #39 Chuck
    Boston
    January 19, 2017

    Ethan,

    Love your blog. I am not a scientist, but I enjoy learning about all sorts of subjects.
    Your approach to this particular topic disappoints me.

    Just do not accept the consensus before opining. Look at the evidence. As Denier said above the first 3 of your points are not the issue. I disagree with the view that all GW is caused by man, but whatever; it is some uncertain percent.

    There is little evidence, none decisive, that the GW is Catastrophic. That is where the disagreement with most skeptics/lukewarmers lie. The main “evidence” for high sensitivity are the models, which are neither validated or verifired.
    In any case models are not evidence. In fact their prediction for a temperature increase have been too high from the get-go.

    Consider the ideas/data of knowledgeable people like Lindzen or Nic Lewis. Then make up your own mind.

    I still enjoy your teachings of subjects about which you are knowledgeable.

  39. #40 Wow
    January 19, 2017

    “Just do not accept the consensus before opining.”

    Could ask you not to reject consensus when you have no idea what caused it and leap on a consensus that it’s all fake.

    You, however, would never listen.

    “As Denier said above the first 3 of your points are not the issue”

    And he’s lying. He knows that it’s 100% relevant, since there are still plenty of deniers insisting it’s all unproven.

    “There is little evidence, none decisive, that the GW is Catastrophic.”

    Stop reading denier blogrolls, the only place where it’s called catastrophic global warming. So, given that this is merely evidence that doesn’t exist to a denier claim, this one is moot.

    Did you bother to read, or did you make your opinion up before you bothered?

    “The main “evidence” for high sensitivity are the models, which are neither validated or verifired.”

    Nope. We have actual measurements. Go read the IPCC reports to see for yourself. You should have read that before you made up your opinion on the subject.

    And we even have real genuine measurements today.

    We have half a doubling and about 1.2C warming during that time. That makes TCS about 2.4C per doubling CO2. ECS is going to be higher, so it’s very close or over the IPCC best estimate for what you claim is “high sensitivity”.

    note: you haven’t defined why that’s high. Just labeled it.

    “In any case models are not evidence. ”

    Yes they are.

    “In fact their prediction for a temperature increase have been too high from the get-go.”

    Nope, only denier blogs insist on that still being true. It’s wrong, by the way, doing very well, and reading low, for most measures of the changes expected.

    “Consider the ideas/data of knowledgeable people like Lindzen or Nic Lewis.”

    They’re not knowledgeable, they’re idiots.

    “Then make up your own mind.”

    And if it doesn’t agree with your already made up mind, then Ethan is wrong and part of the conspiracy, right?

    #DriveBy.

  40. #41 SteveP
    January 19, 2017

    First mistake or outrght lie :”There is little evidence, none decisive, that the GW is Castrophic.

    Second mistake or lie: “That is where the disagreement with most skeptics/lukewarmers lie. The main “evidence” for high sensitivity are the models, which are neither validated or verified. ”

    So basically, the idiots have taken control of the helm. People who don’t garden, farm, hunt, or otherwise observe nature over time typically don’t have a clue what is going on. People who don’t trust scientists and peer review have taken control of the helm . Fine. They will pretend that we don’t have a problem. They will keep on investing in last century’s energy source. You will continue to pray for help from your bronze age Gods. You will expect your subordinate god, the all so holy “free market” equilibrium effect, to suddenly save you from disaster …. . You effing idiots.

    Carbon dioxide intercepts infrared photons and inhibits them from escaping to space to cool the planet’s surface. If you are too stupid to get that, than why don’t you please spend more of your time at Breitbart or some other suitable stable for circle jerk idiots, and less over here. They will love you over there. Over here, not so much. Have a nice idiot day. Idiots.

  41. #42 eric
    January 19, 2017

    There is not much amusing about AGW, but the masochist in me will look forward to all the deniers (general term; not specifically referring to our regular poster) doing a whiplash 180 degree reverse the moment GOP leadership decides it’s a problem that’s negatively impacting their profits rather than a business cost they’d like to ignore. It will be another “we need a tough immigration policy like Reagan” or “get your government hands off my medicare!” moment.

  42. #43 Julian Frost
    Gauteng North
    January 19, 2017

    @t marvell #32:

    An important point to keep in mind is that the “denier” movement is limited to the USA.

    Unfortunately it isn’t. There are several high-profile denialists in South Africa. Also, Chris Monckton is probably the UK’s most famous denialist.

  43. #44 t marvell
    January 20, 2017

    WOW at 37. Don’t believe Chinese PR. The central government announced the suspension of 100+ coal plants, but the realities in China are that the local governments are the ones in control of building power plants, and they want to expand even though China has a surplus of electricity. The Chinese renewable energy program so far is not doing well, with wind and solar power facilities sitting idle.
    There is no chance of cutting CO2 back to anything like normal levels. So temperature must keep rising. The temperature rise so far only reflects the impact of about half the CO2 rise so far, do to the lagged effect of CO2 on temperature.
    Deniers and most non-deniers are equally victims of wishful thinking.

  44. #45 Wow
    January 20, 2017

    “WOW at 37. Don’t believe Chinese PR.”

    I don’t believe denier PR, t. How do YOU know what the “realities” are, given that your reality is birthed entirely from your will to deny reality if it dares interfere with your politics.

    They’re a hell of a lot less corrupt than you lot are.

    “Deniers and most non-deniers are equally victims of wishful thinking.”

    Nope, false equivalence there, you denier. “But I’m no worse than anyone else” is a tired old ego-protecting lie that is tirelessly cuddled to by the lacking in morality like yourself.

  45. #46 Wow
    January 20, 2017

    ” The temperature rise so far only reflects the impact of about half the CO2 rise so far, do to the lagged effect of CO2 on temperature.”

    Nope. Wrong.

    Half of the CO2 is going into the oceans, acidifying it causing things like coral bleaching (ask an Australian).

  46. #47 Wow
    January 20, 2017

    “There is no chance of cutting CO2 back to anything like normal levels”

    Oh really?

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-38666232

    shouldn’t believe Scottish PR either, eh?

  47. #48 t marvell
    January 20, 2017

    WOW – I am not a denier, and nothing I said would suggest that I am.. I am saying that non-deniers tend to understating the problem.
    To deal with CO2 increases, the world needs to make radical changes far beyond what is proposed now. The non-deniers seem to think we are on a realistic track. That is wrong.

  48. #49 Wow
    January 20, 2017

    Then you’re aping both denier screed AND acting like they parody realists.

    If you’re quacking like a duck, don’t get pissed off that someone goes “Was that a duck?” and instead stop quacking.

  49. #50 Wow
    January 20, 2017

    “To deal with CO2 increases, the world needs to make radical changes far beyond what is proposed now.”

    Nope, there are several 100% renewable proposals right now. Reducing our CO2 footprint to pre-industrial levels definitely would reverse the problem

    IPCC reports have several scenarios of how that would pan out, and the 100% reductions would not necessarily have a delay in the increase in CO2 output, though the outgassing of absorbed CO2 in the oceans would delay the drop.

    So, no, your claim is incorrect to the best of the knowledge of experts looking into the problem.

    Which stage of denial is this one? Stage 4: guilt? Stage 6: depression? Two more to go…

  50. #51 Denier
    United States
    January 20, 2017

    @t marvell

    WOW – I am not a denier, and nothing I said would suggest that I am.

    It is 2017. Other people labeling you and assigning your values is how it works now. You are a denier. You’re also a misogynist, a racist, worship a bronze age god, and congratulations your Presidential Candidate was just sworn in to office! I can see you’re new to this set of ideas so if you need any pamphlets to help understand your new mindset and associated character flaws, just let me know. Welcome!

  51. #52 Wow
    January 20, 2017

    “It is 2017”

    Goodness, you only just noticed?!?!?

    “Other people labeling you and assigning your values is how it works now.”

    1) Right, “Kenyan commie muslim” ring a bell, moron?
    2) Labeling you from your actions is 100% legitimate, no matter how hurt your special feelings are

    “You’re also a misogynist, a racist, worship a bronze age god”

    Goodness. I only labeled him a denier, you went and claimed all sorts of other things wrong with him. AFTER you whined about how that’s done in a way that was supposedly dismissive rather than gleeful at the opportunity.

    “your Presidential Candidate was just sworn in to office”

    He’s not yet. He doesn’t start work until Monday.

    Moron thinks he’s the employer, not the employee…

  52. #53 t marvell
    January 20, 2017

    It is in denial to say the world is getting anywhere with respect to climate change. The exponential increase in CO2 has not abated in spite of decades of governments claiming they are addressing the problem. There are lots of pie-in-the-sky promises, which so far have not panned out. Even if they did, they are totally inadequate.
    But the bottom line is, and always will be, the CO2 trends. it continues to increase exponentially, so there is no sign that all the stuff that is supposed to address climate change has had any impact.

  53. #54 Wow
    January 20, 2017

    It is a denier tactic (well, any malcontent tactic, really) to pretend the colours of another group then present an extremism to be attached to that group and get them painted as bad people because of your caricatured antics.

    It’s also denial to ignore the evidence that you’re wrong about inevitability of AGW or whatever ridiculous claim you’re making, even if you’re not an AGW denier, you#re still a crackpot screaming and denying all evidence you’re wrong.

    ” Even if they did, they are totally inadequate.”

    Such as that.

    Pure crap.

    “so there is no sign that all the stuff that is supposed to address climate change has had any impact.”

    https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-uk-emissions-fall-again-after-record-drop-in-coal-use-in-2015

    Yeah, right. Nothing is changing. Might as well continue, right?

    And you’re crying over being called a denier….

  54. #55 t marvell
    January 20, 2017

    Again, CO2 levels are increasing exponentially, in spite of decades of talk, promises, and supposed actions.
    Deniers say this is not relevant. Ignorant non-deniers say that somehow, magically, this trend will be reversed by continuing present policy trends.

  55. #56 Wow
    January 20, 2017

    Yup, more denial.

    You read anything today?

  56. #57 lyle
    January 20, 2017

    Re #6 yes I want to see the issue of what to do about the issue treated as a decision do we or do we not as a world pay the premium to insure that the bad things don’t happen? No one treats the problem in that way but at the root the issue is economic how much can we afford to spend on mitigating climate change? (In particular in light of other issues that demand resources.)
    Of course with the birth rates in asian cities the problem may get better sooner than expected with a total fertility rate of .8 children per woman in places like Shanghai. In fact the one sure way to combat it is a campaign to reduce the number of children as a child not born can not cause a significant emission of CO2. Why not encourage folks to limit themselves to 1 child to combat global warming.

    Of course another issue related and perhaps part of the deniers mindset, is when the world will end. With a significant part of the US evangelical population expecting the second coming in their lifetime they may not see climate change as an issue. On the religious side there is also the attitude from the Sermon on the Mount, “take no thought for the morrow….”
    Now of course the goal of many of cramming many folks into a modern version of tenements will help as part of the reason for low total fertility in asia is cramped living space.
    Since the US is no longer the leading emmitter(China) let the leading emmitter pay the price for the research development and manufacturing improvements in solar tech
    Hawaii is of course a special case with electricity costing 2 to 4x what it does on the mainland (depend on where you live in my case it could be up to 4.5 times)
    Plus of course you don’t have big heating bills no large cooling bills since the Islands are surrounded by a big thermal buffer.

  57. #58 Wow
    January 20, 2017

    “how much can we afford to spend on mitigating climate change? ”

    Put it this way: if we’re all dead, why would it matter how much cash is in the stock market? Basically, it really doesn’t matter “can we afford it”, it’s can we afford not to? When treatments to keep you alive is going for $40,000 per year in the USA, can we say that it’s not worth that per person?

    So it’s not can we afford it, but how can we best afford it.

  58. #59 Wow
    January 20, 2017

    Some things we do will save money.

    Insulate and buy more efficient things and you safe money. If you can’t afford the upfront cost, then when it comes to replacing things, replace them with efficient models. Using the car less means that you spend less on your car. All of them save money.

    Replacing older fossil fuel generation with wind or solar will be cheaper, saving money.

    So no need to ask how much it will cost, many options will be saving money.

  59. #60 eric
    January 20, 2017

    Why not encourage folks to limit themselves to 1 child to combat global warming.

    The easiest and most humane way to do that is to educate women, give them equal access to the job market, and cheap and easy access birth control. IIRC that has dropped the birth rate to just a smidgen below the replacement rate in every single country where it’s been done – save France. Don’t ask me why France is the exception, I just remember that it was the one exception.

  60. #61 SteveP
    January 21, 2017

    in the US, homeowners in many locations can have solar panels installed on the roof of their home, or on their lawn, for no cost to them. They do however get locked into some sort of leasing agreement, but their monthly electricity costs are less than if they did nothing.

    The internet has allowed workers in knowledge industries to, more and more ,be able to work from home and forgo using a car or mass transportation.

    Trades people have the skills to easily and economically install various solar heat collectors, even build their own wind generators, further improving their home energy efficiency. Unfortunately, the zeitgeist of the day tends to discourage independent efforts to do things like that. After all, if the Breitbarts and Drudges and Foxes and other Deniers are telling gullible people that there is no global warming, or that it is not a problem or even that it is a good thing, why would people make themselves a target for scorn by advancing energy efficiency….. by publically displaying it on their roof?

    And on television, the automotive-fossil-fuel industrial complex, through their constant advertisements, preaches the heavenly joys of owning gas guzzling cars, all day long.

    Our economic systems seem to be divorced from intelligence, which to many of us looks like a recipe for collapse, but who knows. One thing that I do know. The denigration of science and scientists does not serve the country or the world. A country where science minded people are under near constant attack by the thoughtless preachers of narcissisitic and sadistic self interest is doomed to destruction from within, IMO.

    Have a nice day.

  61. #62 Ken Krechmer
    California
    January 28, 2017

    Focusing on the science of climate change to explain the human impact on the Earth may too complicated for many. Perhaps the issue is as straight forward as, “Clean up your room!”
    Those of us who have parented teenagers may recall saying that to them. In response we heard, “Why should I.” “It is not a mess.” “I don’t have the time/energy.” Such comments remind me of the climate change deniers. Let’s focus on “Clean up the Earth” and use science to tell us the better ways to accomplish that.

  62. #63 Wow
    January 29, 2017

    Problem is that that requires collective effort, therefore politicians must be made to join in, and deniers, complaining all the while about politicisation of science (that they caused), have already scared many people off it and definitely poisoned the well on getting politicians to

    a) make commitments on it
    b) make people listen to their commitments

    Indeed the entire reason for Trump being allowed in may be to ensure that everyone dives into (b), because he’s been and is still being, a complete fuckup. Remember, nothing trump will do will cause harm to the wealthy overall (unless one of the wealthy happens to call Orangina a waste of space incompetent). So any net benefit will be in their favour, no matter what incidental “populist” act is made against them. And the next president will undo those acts anyway, but the distrust and refusal to engage will last generations.

    The changes are now so obvious that the deniers’ train wreck drivers know that the writing is on the wall for denial in politics, just as denial in science ended pretty much 20 years ago. So now they have to divorce everyone from collective action, leaving them free to pollute while everyone else either gives up or tries extra hard to make up the difference.

  63. #65 Wow
    January 31, 2017

    1. Someone important said so
    2. Someone important from the other side said it was legit
    3. I’m frightened.

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