Heartland's '6 Reasons To Be A Climate-Change Skeptic' Are Six Demonstrable Lies (Synopsis)

"Climate change does not respect border; it does not respect who you are - rich and poor, small and big. Therefore, this is what we call 'global challenges,' which require global solidarity." -Ban Ki-moon

Earlier this week, the executive editor of the Heartland Institute published a declaration that he was a climate change skeptic, and put forth the six major reasons why this was so. These reasons were well-thought-out, specific, and best of all, subject to analysis. So, what better way to test the science than to do that analysis, and to see where the chips fell?

Correctly calibrated satellite data, as well as the more recent temperature data up through 2016, shows that climate predictions and observations are perfectly in line with one another. Image credit: HadCRUT4.5, Cowtan & Way, NASA GISTEMP, NOAA GlobalTemp, BEST, via Ed Hawkins at Climate Lab Book.

That’s exactly what I’ve gone and put together: an in-depth analysis of all six points, to see if there are any good, robust, legitimate reasons to be a climate-change skeptic. This isn’t about scoring points or helping one side win; it’s about sussing out the scientific validity of a position. Is there any?

In warm-weather years, which are statistically more likely with global warming, large, more powerful hurricanes, like 1985's Hurricane Elena, are more likely, but there will be fewer of them. Image credit: Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA-Johnson Space Center.

Come see what the truth behind the claims is, and see if it opens your eyes to what’s going on in this decades-old argument!

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All true, but as denialists know, all they have to do is repeat their lies and let them sit. It's quick and doesn't require any science but they do seem like common sense statements to most people.. They know refuting them takes time and longer explanations that will lose the attention of people. Not promising.

I'll take this point by point.

Point #1 - Ethan claimed:

the models are very much in line with what we observe.

No. They are not. Furthermore, you must know that because your own source on a page you linked to says it flat out.

CarbonBrief wrote:

The new data actually shows more warming than has been observed on the surface, though still slightly less than projected in most climate models.


While I do appreciate the 'slightly' put in there to attempt to blunt the impact, it should be noted the work that claim is based on was more direct on the existence of the problem and where at least where a part of the blame lies.

Santer et al (2017) stated:

We conclude that model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early twenty-first century is partly due to systematic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in the model simulations.


Hand waving about errors other have made does not dispute the science. Cherry picking your end point at an El Nino is a garbage tactic. You're wrong here. The science says you're wrong. Your own propaganda even walks away from the claim, and because you spend all your effort tarring others rather than supporting what you said, I suspect you know your claim was unsupportable.

Heartland: 1
Ethan: 0

lol Denier, your carbonbrief and Santer quotes used are based on your cherry pick use of the 1998 El Nino high anomaly. You AGW Deniers have no shame.

By lou maytrees (not verified) on 26 Jul 2017 #permalink

When the weather channel can model the high and low temps in my city each day to within 1 degree F of actual measurements, 8 days out of every 10, that's outstanding modeling. Yet every day constitutes a measurement of slightly more or slightly less than model prediction. No one is lining up to lobby against the validity of that model.

The science supports that global warming/ climate change is real. The problem is what people are proposing to do about it. Since the culprit is primarily the emission of carbon dioxide, it is being proposed that we simply flatly limit how much CO2 is permitted to enter the atmosphere. PERMITTED being the key word. As in setting up a global regime with the power to dictate carbon dioxide emission standards, regardless of their impact on the economy, regardless of their impact on human quality of life in every area except climate, regardless of their impact on freedom. There are those who are frankly eager to set up something that might be called "ecosocialism", whose first order of business would be to essentially abolish free enterprise and enact the modern equivalent of sumptuary laws. In the name of combating climate change, are you willing to abolish private automobiles? Air conditioners? Meat? Yes, there really are people advocating just such measures. At the ultimate radical fringe are those who declare that the industrial revolution itself was a mistake and that we should go back to agricultural societies.

This is not to say that we should do nothing. "Peak Oil" will eventually price out fossil-fueled automobiles, and alternate energy sources like solar, wind or nuclear should be phased in- PROVIDED that they can be made cost-competitive and not just mandated as an "at any cost" alternative to coal and petroleum.
Better science and technology can solve the global warming problem. But we need to beware of anti-technologists who would "solve" the problem by top-down measures such as energy rationing.

By Michael Hutson (not verified) on 26 Jul 2017 #permalink

Point #2
Ethan wrote:

For hurricanes, they are, globally, more intense than they used to be

Although I cannot read the paper as it is pay-walled, it is worth noting the synopsis page you linked to actually notes an opposite observation.

The United States has not seen a major hurricane (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale) make landfall in a record nine and a half years.

The intensity of hurricanes making landfall in the US is decreasing. I don't know about the rest of the world but in the US decreasing intensity is a fact currently. NOAA adds further credence in their report on the links between global warming and hurricanes. While everyone is projecting an increase, and they cite numerous examples, the observations so far just aren't supporting it.

NOAA wrote:

it is premature to conclude that human activity–and particularly greenhouse warming–has already caused a detectable change in Atlantic hurricane activity.


In the battle over extreme weather events I'm awarding no points for anyone. Heartland seems to be overlooking some inconvenient research and projections don't outweigh observations.

Ethan wrote:

In addition, sea level rise is both increasing and accelerating

It is worth noting here that Ethan based most of his claims in this on a the original version of a single paper. That paper was found to have an error in the hindcasting. Rather than retract the work, the authors instead opted to post a correction at the top of the paper admitting the error. The problem is you can't just read the abstract or rely on the various write-ups to know this. You have to actually download and read the paper to know some of the claims made in the original version are not scientifically correct.

That said, lets look at the fun you can have by changing the scope. Sea levels have been rising for the past ~21,000 years. In that time it has gone up ~130 meters, or an average of 6.2 mm per year. The original paper Ethan was citing showed an increase of 14 mm per century, or 1.4 mm per year.

The long term average is 6.2 mm per year an in the last century we've slowed to only 1.4 mm per year. Hooray for us!! We're doing it!

I'm not awarding any points for this one either. Everyone is just spreading propaganda and highlighting whatever aspect looks best for their argument. From my point of view humanity is better in virtually every metric over the past 100 years. Sea level rise is a big nothing burger. If sea level rise causes some things to have to be abandoned and rebuilt you can guarantee whatever the new version is will be way better than the old.

"The intensity of hurricanes making landfall in the US is decreasing."

The claim being examined is based on all tropical hurricanes globally. You have to narrow the scope to those that make landfall, and only in the US. A small tiny slice of all such storms globally. Yeah, that's not cherry-picking. Like, at all.

Ethan is basically on a rinse repeat cycle of what he was taught in college. That can be dangerous, especially to a scientist who does not notice the data does not support alarmist claims. No, extreme weather events have not been increasing, quite the opposite in fact.
If you wish to see behind the curtain of the false consensus, you have to get off your complacent backside and look:

AFAIK Heartland Institute has always been lobbying for the bad stuff... fraking for oil, global warming denying, tobacco.. etc.

a little snippet from their old panflet :
"A modest amount of global warming, should it occur, would
be beneficial to the natural world and to human civilization"

... yeah.. really a WTF moment...


By Sinisa Lazarek (not verified) on 26 Jul 2017 #permalink

@Alan G wrote:

You have to narrow the scope to those that make landfall, and only in the US. A small tiny slice of all such storms globally. Yeah, that’s not cherry-picking. Like, at all.

If you are referring to me, I'm showing what is there. Heartland made the following claim:

For instance, climate models predicted more intense hurricanes, but for nearly a decade, the United States has experienced far fewer hurricanes making landfall than the historic average, and those hurricanes that have made landfall have been no more powerful than previously experienced.

Ethan called it lies. It isn't lies. It is 100% accurate. Now if you're calling the Heartland statement out for being cherry picked, I have to agree which is why I didn't give them any points for it.

Thank you for proving my point. Carry on....

I'm not following the climate debate that much, I think there are easier arguments to make the World a better place. For instance you can come up with plenty of other good reason to stop chopping forests, fossil fuels don't last forever, get rid of smog, nuclear risks, preserve wildlife etc.

Anyway what I wanted to add was a interesting quote I heard the other day; that the weather is fairly unpredictable, but that climate (change) is predictable.

By Elle H.C. (not verified) on 26 Jul 2017 #permalink

Point #3
@Ethan wrote:

There are unexplained pauses and cooling periods, that models cannot account for.

That is not exactly what Heartland said but at its core this is just point #1 all over again. Models don't match observations. At the risk of rehashing what I just wrote in post #1 above, some of the most respected voices in Climate Science, including the much revered Benjamin Santer, looked into the accuracy of climate model predictions and found them lacking. The research was peer reviewed and published in arguably the most prestigious journal a handful of weeks ago.

Speaking specifically toward the NOAA pause-busting paper and subsequent "confirmation", they need to build a model that predicts something. Anyone can hindcast. Hindcasting excuses proves nothing. When a predictive model is built that accurately predicts the next pause in atmospheric temperatures then they'll be able to say something has been confirmed.

In this bit @Ethan started by straw-manning Heartland's statement and throughout ignored published research by actual experts in the field.

Heartland: 2
Ethan: 0

Point #4

@Ethan wrote:

It's not clear that the most widely-used climate data is accurate.

Really?!? You think that is a lie? You yourself pointed to recent adjustments to the satellite dataset made by UAH. You also linked to adjustments made to the RSS dataset. You've referenced HadCRUT but weren't clear on HadCRUT2, 3, or 4? Don't forget the massive adjustment NOAA just made to their dataset for their pause-buster paper. Knowing all of that, you are going to tell me right now there will be no more adjustments made to any of the most widely-used climate data? They've got it all perfect now? No more adjustments?

It is such a stupid thing to say I truly don't believe you actually believe it.

Heartland: 3
Ethan: 0

@ Denier #12,
Ethan won't acknowledge what is politically inconvenient to know, you can go down the line on scientific positions he holds, you won't find any that conflict with popular leftist academic political positions. After his drive by insults and utter ignorance of facts concerning Judith Curry's positions on climate change, I realized he was way outside of his narrow expertise on the matter and had no curiosity or intention of finding out what he didn't know.

Actually ice age is still not completely ended. So Earth right know much colder than it usually is. Even if it becomes hotter because of humans - it doesn't really matter. People just use "global warming" to earn money with science, that is all, IMO.

By Konstantin (not verified) on 26 Jul 2017 #permalink

"Even if it becomes hotter because of humans – it doesn’t really matter"

really? ever been in a desert? you might wanna try it... Nice, cosy 50'C with no water or means to make a shelter.. I'm sure you'll be fine..

Oh wait.. you'll get a heat stroke if your core temperature goes up just 3' from nominal.. and die if you don't get cooler. But you can't get cooler. I'm sure it doesn't really matter. Like Hearthland said.. it would be good for you actually.

By Sinisa Lazarek (not verified) on 27 Jul 2017 #permalink

Point #5

@Ethan wrote:

A slightly warmer climate might actually be good for us.

Agriculture depends on a supply of steady water, and floods and droughts will disrupt that.

Bullshit. The temperature record show this is the warmest we've ever been. We're in record territory. If what @Ethan said were true there would be famines everywhere. Instead we're facing a global epidemic of obesity. We can grow far more food than we can consume and are paying people to not grow food to prop up prices. Undernourished people globally as a percentage of population has never been lower. Ever.


The polar regions may thaw, but the soil up there is poor and that portion of the planet receives little direct sunlight.

Even if this were true, so what? Seriously, we can grow food anywhere. There are even hydroponic setups that have no soil at all. Why would we even bother with trying to grow corn at the North Pole when we already have too much?

Fewer people will freeze to death, but more people will die from the heat.

First of all, 20 times as many people die from cold than die from heat. If you want to save lives, make it warmer.


Secondly, the number of people who die from heat related issues is about one third of what it was even 15 years ago and a tiny faction of what it was 50 years ago. Remember that we are in record high temperature territory and if @Ethan were right we'd be dropping in record numbers. @Ethan made this up. It is bullshit.

Disease-carrying insects like mosquitoes will thrive in warmer temperatures and carry diseases to new places, an effect we're already seeing.

Global Warming is not the same thing as Global Trade. Mosquitoes do not travel from Africa or Brazil to Florida in months even if Florida is 1 degree warmer this century. Invasive species hitch rides on goods shipped from one place to another and infected people can travel from one side of the planet to the other in a day. It is a degree of mobility unparalleled in history and that is why we are seeing what we are seeing.

The Truth of the Situation

We are carbon based life. Carbon is at the heart of the Krebs Cycle/Citric Acid Cycle/Cellular Respiration in animals. Carbon is at the heart of photosynthesis in plants. For the biosphere, carbon is us. We do also need liquid water and available energy. Seemingly everywhere on Earth there is all 3 there is life.

The process of Anthropogenic Global Warming is gently adding resource carbon to the carbon cycle, adding liquid water to the water cycle, and adding net energy. That is all it is. We are gently giving the biosphere more resources and it is responding exactly like you’d think it would. Satellite data over the past 35 years has shown a significant greening on the planet.


Not only do we draw from modern scientific evidence be we can also look at a millennia of history. During the Medieval Warm Period food in Europe was plentiful and population tippled. Then in the early 1300's the Little Ice Age set in and the Famine of 1315-1322 alone wiped out 10 percent of Europe's population. The entire Little Ice Age was beset with droughts, crop failures, famines, wars, and death.


The best scientific evidence we have, the overwhelming preponderance of human history, and common sense all point to warmer being better for the world and colder equating to death.

Heartland: 4
Ethan: 0

@ #19 Sinisa
Born and raised in Texas and know what HOT is, and Lived in Hawaii and Live in Minnesota and FROZE/FREEZE My ass off there so you can PISS OFF, have you ever lived in a FROZEN HELL HOLE?
IT SUCKS. I will take the heat over the lack of heat north side any flippin day. You wanna experience outer space? Oh Space it's beautiful blablah F'n BLAH
Go LIVE in Siberia or Any Northern Climate place where it get's 20 below.. for weeks/months., It SUCKS and it's INSANE

@ Denier, thanks for your reason research and input.

By Ragtag Media (not verified) on 27 Jul 2017 #permalink

@Sinisa Lazarek wrote:

really? ever been in a desert? you might wanna try it… Nice, cosy 50’C with no water or means to make a shelter.. I’m sure you’ll be fine..

Here's a fun link for you Sinisa: http://metrocosm.com/map-history-cities.html

It is the history of cities here on Earth. Notice the early ones appear in warm climates. This is the case in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. We don't get a cool weather city anywhere on the planet until 3.5 millennia after warm ones have been established.

If you are so convinced that warmer climates are bad for humans and cooler climates are better then I'm curious to hear your explanation for why this is.

@Sinisa Lazarek,
You are making the same logical fallacy as Ethan. Please so some homework and learn something about how the climate and weather work. Warmer weather is not equivalent to drought, or drier weather for that matter. Ever been to the Amazon? Central or South America? Florida? Droughts are caused by a lack of precipitation due to shifting wind patterns, not heat. Heat is actually what puts water in the air to being with. If you pack many millions of people into a place where fresh water is naturally scarce (like Southern California), and refuse to build more water reservoirs or develop desalination technology to offset your vastly increased population, you can get water shortages as well, but that is due to poor planning and political eco stupidity. Los Angeles would never have even become the high population center it is if someone (William Mulholland - circa 1905) hadn't once procured ridiculous amounts of water from out of state (the Colorado river via aqueduct) to keep it green.
Both you and Ethan should do your actuarial math on deaths related to temperature. You are both embarrassing yourselves. badly.
Observation would appear to trump your computer generated alarmism.

Oh damn, look at that. Cold wins the argument by about 20 to 1. Who knew? You would have, if you had done your research. This is what happens when you substitute your political bias for doing your homework.

@ Denier

I am not saying "warmer climates" are bad. Far from it. What I am saying is that if EVERYTHING becomes hotter, that's bad. And this has nothing to do with living in Texas vs. living Michigan... btw.. US is not the whole world.

Let's take continental climate as an average... not siberia and not sahara as extremes. In continental climate the hot summer goes up to 32-35'C ... sometimes 37'C, which is bad enough to be outside without shade or inside without air-conditioning. What I'm saying is if that 35 becomes 50 or 55.. that's hell. Our crops wither away in such temperatures, and us as humans don't function properly at such temperatures. If continental climate goes 10-15'C up.. then sahara, numibia etc.. go to 70-80'C ... If some of you think it's fine and dandy to live in 50'C ... ok... I don't. And this has nothing to do with "i'd rather be warm then cold"...

By Sinisa Lazarek (not verified) on 27 Jul 2017 #permalink

@Sinisa Lazarek wrote:

What I’m saying is if that 35 becomes 50 or 55.. that’s hell.

I agree. That's hell. It is an imaginary place concocted to scare people into behaviors the storytellers deem moral.

We're not going up 20'C in continental temperatures. That isn't reality. The temperatures we can reasonably expect are scientifically and historically shown to be beneficial.

@Denier #20,

Stop talking nonsense.

The problem with the little ice age and the great famine, was the change in climate and the large amounts of rain, and not specifically the cold.

BTW "The Great Famine may have been precipitated by a volcanic event, perhaps that of Mount Tarawera, New Zealand, which lasted about five years." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_of_1315–17

By Elle H.C. (not verified) on 27 Jul 2017 #permalink

@ Denier
" The temperatures we can reasonably expect are scientifically and historically shown to be beneficial."

and what are those? What is, in your opinion, the rise we can expect? As far as I know.. I haven't heard any farmer in continental region ever saying "I wish it was hotter then it is now". We don't want it to be colder as well. The point is that the temperatures we have are what our plants/animals and us are use to and what works. Well balanced climate with regular rain intervals. Even temperature aside.. that balance of sun vs rain vs temperature is critical. Long periods without rain are bad, but so are long periods with rain and little sun. Hail storms in the middle of summer that wipe crops etc..

By Sinisa Lazarek (not verified) on 27 Jul 2017 #permalink

@lou maytrees wrote:

lol Denier, your carbonbrief and Santer quotes used are based on your cherry pick use of the 1998 El Nino high anomaly. You AGW Deniers have no shame.

The CarbonBrief page is @Ethan's source, not mine, and the snip from the Abstract of Santer's peer reviewed paper has nothing to do with the 1998 El Nino anomaly. That said, I'm glad you decided to post your thoughts.

@Elle H.C. wrote:

The problem with the little ice age and the great famine, was the change in climate

Yup. The change from warm (good) to cold (bad). That the cold was caused by volcanoes doesn't matter. The net results are historically instructive where agricultural production is concerned.


Nice of you to leave ot the rainy part while you were proclaiming droughts. Note, climate change increases the probability of heavy rains and flooding. You're a troll.

By Elle H.C. (not verified) on 27 Jul 2017 #permalink

Point #6
@Ethan wrote:

Finally, we're going to develop cheap, clean energy anyway, so even if this problem is real, it will solve itself.

Yes. This problem is already demonstrably solving itself.

Fact #1 – Technological advances make processes more efficient and that serves to reduce per capita CO2 production in mature economies. In the United States we have been reducing our per capita CO2 production since 1973. The EU countries were a little behind and their per capita CO2 peaked 6 years later in 1979 and has likewise been declining ever since. Time after time after time, in country after country this same pattern has held true.

Fact #2 – The largest contributor to the increase in global CO2 emissions over the past decade has been China. In the past couple years they are showing that their economy is reaching maturity. As a result Global CO2 emissions have been flat for the past 3 years. That is worth repeating. Despite economic and population growth worldwide there has been NO INCREASE IN CO2 EMISSIONS GLOBALLY FOR 3 YEARS RUNNING.


Fact #3 – The rate of global population growth has been slowing. Experts in the field predict global population will peak in the next few decades and decline thereafter. In CotW158 Ethan cited sources that pegged the peak at 40 years from now.

Fact #4 – There is absolutely no indication that all possible technological advancements and the accompanying productivity gains have already been achieved. We are still learning, still getting more efficient, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Seeing as global CO2 emissions are currently flat, population growth is slowing and is set to reverse into population decline, technological advancement is still humming along, and every historical example shows roughly the same peak and decline curve, the trend is undeniable. This problem is solving itself.

Heartland: 5
Ethan: 0

Did anyone in this chat room ever take a Western Civilization history course? Agriculture and the civilizations it sustains in prosperity like it warmer, because that usually translates to higher crop yields and longer growing seasons especially in higher latitudes. If anyone can point to prosperity being linked to colder climates, shorter growing years, and less food, please let me know when that was.
Instead of taking an alarmist position, you might want to instead study the beneficial effects that higher CO2 also has on agricultural crop production, it allows plants to grow considerably faster with less water.

@CFT #32 Your argument was discussed in the article on Forbes. Also I can point to prosperity linked to colder climates: Northern Europe is colder than southern Europe but produces a lot more food crops and (for completely other reasons) is currently more prosporous than southern Europe. The better crop yield is probably due to the availability of more rain water in the colder parts. Your 'benificial' CO2 argument was also discussed in the Forbes article.


I personally find the topic of Climate Change to be fascinating. It is not for the technical details of man's influence on climate but rather the effect of a perceived threat on social cohesion that is so interesting.

You are absolutely correct in warmer climates bringing higher crop yields and supporting prosperity. The data on that is overwhelming, but those on the 'other side' can't see it.

In human groups it is the external enemy that supplies the cohesive force. Nobel laureate Bertrand Russell in his work 'Authority and the Individual' used the example of two competing businessmen. They are adversaries but if you introduce the threat of Socializing whatever it is they do they suddenly the two become brothers.

As soon as something devolves into an 'us' versus 'them' demonetization of the other side is inevitable. As a 'them' when you make a solid point like you did most readers will simply look for the flaws or an opportunity to paint you as an enemy to all that is good. If neither can be found the information is simply discarded. You have to be wrong. You have to be a bad person. You are 'them'.

This same behavior shows in virtually every contentious topic but with Climate Change there are really smart people on the alarmist side. There are also gaping holes in some of the ideas being espoused. It is fun when people who pride themselves in their intellect sacrifice their own objectivity on the alter of tribalism.

You've got a good point but for the other side to admit it is not human nature.

@ #32 CFT "Instead of taking an alarmist position,"

Well, CFT, that's the problem with the political mindset of people who ascribe to left leaning politics and policies.
Their logic fails so they resort to FEAR MONGERING!!! LOL

By Ragtag Media (not verified) on 28 Jul 2017 #permalink

Shorter denier: "I do that like the science so I declare it to be wrong."

Shorter rt: "I was cold once so climate change he is fake."

It's morons like those two that make the lies spread by Heartland and the other dogma sites effective. One type of denialist simply says the scientists are wrong because he knows they are, the other isn't capable of that low level of argument.

As usual, you make a non existent argument (not even a strawman) of your opponent to make your own ...point? You don't have one actually, just that you don't like those that disagree with your position...thanks ok, but it isn't an argument. Those that disagree with your position have been making many arguments against those that support an alarmist position, none of them have said scientists are wrong 'because we just know'. That's something silly you said, not those you disagree with.

CFT, you've never provided anything other than "the science center is wrong". I don't know whether it is political for you, wait is with deniers fact free crap, or sheet of orange, as with ragtag. Maybe you don't like the use of statistical modeling, something else it's a fair bet you don't understand?

It isn't that you disagree, it's the complete lack of reasons from you and the other cranks that is amusing and sad atrhe same time. The fact that you failed your science center education has been on display for far too long. The similarities between your tactics and the anti vaccine folks we have locally is astounding: declare the science wrong, offer nothing valid as a counter argument , and repeat.

@Sinisa Lazarek

"really? ever been in a desert? you might wanna try it… Nice, cosy 50’C with no water or means to make a shelter.. I’m sure you’ll be fine..

Oh wait.. you’ll get a heat stroke if your core temperature goes up just 3′ from nominal.. and die if you don’t get cooler. But you can’t get cooler. I’m sure it doesn’t really matter. Like Hearthland said.. it would be good for you actually."

BTW I'm from Siberia and we have -40 in winter. So I'm actually know better than you about extreme weather conditions. Modern humans can live in desert and snowfields, so yes, it doesn't matter. And there always would be hotter and colder places, most people just will migrate to places with more comfortable conditions. Moreover within few hundred years we will be able to make artificial living conditions on a large scale, maybe even to an extent of vitalise the Lune and make it possible to live there.

By Konstantin (not verified) on 31 Jul 2017 #permalink

Ethan does a great job on high energy physics but has drunk the Koolaid when it comes to "Climate Science" which is mostly not science at all (non-science = nonsense).

While I admire the energy of "Denier" on this thread he is wasting his time as it is not possible to persuade a fanatic using facts.

Having said that here are some facts about sea levels. There is strong evidence that sea levels were 20 meters higher during the PETM (55 miilion years ago). Clearly humans had nothing to do with the warm climate back then.

Currently we are in an Ice Age punctuated with warm periods called inter-glacials. The previous inter-glacial occurred ~120,000 years ago with temperatures 2-4 Kelvin above today's. As you might guess that caused sea levels to be much higher than today without any help from humanity.

During the present inter-glacial (the Holocene) it was much warmer 6,000 years ago than it is today and sea levels were several feet higher.

I am pretty sure Ethan is totally ignorant about the huge volume of scientific research supporting the above statements. With a mind as closed on this issue as his appears to be I doubt that he will take the trouble to read the link below but hopefully some of his fans are more open minded:

Given that there is hard scientific data showing that sea levels varied by ~150 meters over the last 150,000 years it seems pretty dumb to blame humanity for the tiny fluctuations in sea level that are going on today.

By gallopingcamel (not verified) on 03 Sep 2017 #permalink

@Denier, comment #34,
Now you are getting to the heart of the matter. Junk science is being used to justify bad public policies. Thus we are wasting huge sums of money building useless windmills while failing to address real problems.

Unfortunately junk science affects all kinds of important issues including medicine, behavioral sciences and education:

By gallopingcamel (not verified) on 03 Sep 2017 #permalink

In comment #42 above the NRP (National Reading Panel" determined that only 426 (out of 115,00) papers on reading research met the generally accepted standards for behavioral science which is "Two Sigma". Two sigma means that there is a 5% probability that the null hypothesis is correct.

Ethan, our esteemed host is real scientist who would not dream of publishing a result at less than the "Three Sigma" level. Three sigma means that there is a 0.3% probability that the null hypothesis is correct.

It makes me wonder how many of the papers that the NRP blessed would have passed the three sigma standard. My guess is ten at most (out of 115,000). Now ask yourselves how many "Climate Science" papers would survive at the three sigma level.

By gallopingcamel (not verified) on 03 Sep 2017 #permalink

If Earth passed thru times of much more CO2 in the atmosphere and/or much higher sea levels in the past, are we really sure that means those conditions would be okay for human civilization now or in the future? Obviously some people think so.
Earth also was a ball of fire further back in the past, would that be okay now too? :-)

If extreme volcanic activity in distant past created much higher CO2 etc, is that mean it is okay if we create those conditions artificially (by taking out massive amounts of fossil fuels from underground and burning it)?

If Earth passing thru extreme climate cycles, is that really mean we should not do everything we can to minimize the damage coming our way?

@Frank, #47,
What is the "damage coming our way". Higher concentrations of CO2 are proving beneficial.
Maybe you mean higher temperatures that are much to be preferred over lower temperatures.

The GWPF is an organization with several Nobel prizewinners on its governing council. Here is one of their publications:

By gallopingcamel (not verified) on 05 Sep 2017 #permalink