Scott Pruitt On Climate

I agree with Professor Curry that the media has distorted his statement beyond recognition (and I basically agree with his position, as does she). I also agree that this statement is nonsense:

The right’s refusal to accept the authority of climate science is of a piece with its rejection of mainstream media, academia, and government, the shared institutions and norms that bind us together and contain our political disputes.

The “authority of climate science.” Sorry, but “climate science” has no “authority” (no science does). It and its ignorant defenders have beclowned themselves.

[Update a few minutes later]

Related: A new paper says that only five out of thirty climate models can capture the Asia Pacific Oscillation. But sure, let’s use them as a basis to pauperize much of the world.

[Update a while later]

Oh, look, here’s some insanity from NBC News:

Pruitt’s view is at odds with 99.99 percent of climate scientists, according to peer-reviewed studies.

At least it’s precise, if not accurate.

37 thoughts on “Scott Pruitt On Climate”

    1. Yes, it has been warming at an essentially steady rate since the end of the Little Ice Age. That is why they call it “the end of the Little Ice Age.” It’s pretty much tautological – an Ice Age ends when temperatures rise, and temperatures rise when an Ice Age ends.

      But, that trend was set in place long before the mid-20th century sharp increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration. The cause cannot precede the effect. None of your links establish human culpability, because they cannot.

      IOW, a warming world is not evidence of human activity causing a warming world. Do not be a frightened child. There are no monsters under the bed.

    1. Speaking as someone with an extensive water chemistry background and a more than passing knowledge of geology, the whole ocean acidification thing is pure fear mongering idiocy.

    1. Take a glass and fill it approximately half full with ice. Add water until the water level is about 3/4 of the way up the side, then cover the glass with plastic so it can’t evaporate. Mark the water level and let the glass sit for a day. When the ice has melted, note the water level. It will not have changed. That’s a third grade science experiment, and you’ve been fooled by shysters with an agenda.


    As a rule, misinformed people do not change their minds once they have been presented with facts that challenge their beliefs. But beyond simply not changing their minds when they should, research shows that they are likely to become more attached to their mistaken beliefs. The factual information “backfires.” When people don’t agree with you, research suggests that bringing in facts to support your case might actually make them believe you less. In other words, fighting the ill-informed with facts is like fighting a grease fire with water. It seems like it should work, but it’s actually going to make things worse.

    1. Yes, and people like you, not even having the cerebral capacity or knowledge base to actually critically evaluate math and scientific evidence, are poster children for this phenomenon.

    2. Misinformed people? Like the individual who posed this question:

      “Do you believe that it’s been proven that carbon dioxide is the primary control knob for climate?”

      Note the word: “climate”. Not “global warming”, not “climate change”, not even my favorite: “climate chaos”.

      Is that what you mean by “Misinformed people”?

    3. Dude, you gotta step up your game beyond copy/paste. Show that you have synthesized the information by using your own words and your own thoughts.

    4. dpd: Electric power generation is one of the major sources of CO2 emissions, and it is one of the things that as individuals we can exercise considerable control over. If you live in a cold climate and if you live in a stand-alone house, it becomes really expensive to insulate an existing structure past a certain point and you can only turn the thermostat down so far. But there is much that can be done to limit one’s electric consumption, especially if you know what you use and what it is going towards. This is something most people are quite unaware of — the electric bill is something “you just pay.”

      What general part of the world are you from, and what is your household average yearly use of electricity in kWHr (or MJ if outside the U.S.)?

    5. As the late Robert Heinlein put it, “It’s very hard to reason a man out of something he wasn’t reasoned into in the first place.”

      Facts? Science? You do not appear to understand what these words mean.

      1. Read some of the comments over there and one of them, CB, challenged people to argue with her. A lot of people disagreed with her but one guy went to drastic measures with personally annotated charts from peer reviewed studies. After arguing through insult and demanding people jump through her proof hoops, she ignored the comments that did as she requested.

        Then when all of the badgering has failed, she resorts to the, “We all gonna die!” argument without any data to back up her “scientific” claim.

    1. dpd, aren’t we all wits that pick at nits? Therefore, your accusation has no information content other than to say you lack a reasoned argument.

      Do people effect climate? Of course, but nobody has quantified that effect because it’s the story of the blind men and the elephant. We don’t have a coherent whole and any ‘authority’ that claims they do is a fraud.

  2. The Carbon Lobby’s reaction to Global Warming is exactly like the Tobacco Lobby’s reaction to the SG declaring that smoking causes cancer.

    For high-carbon industries to continue to be attractive investments, then, they must spin a tale of future growth. They must make potential investors believe that even if there is a Carbon Bubble, it is decades away from popping — that their high profits today will continue for the foreseeable future, so their stock is worth buying.
    How would you maintain this confidence?
    You’d dispute climate science — making scientists’ predictions seem less certain in the public mind— and work to gut the capacity of scientists to continue their work (by, for instance, defunding NASA’s Earth Sciences program).
    You’d attack global climate agreements, making them look unstable and weak, and thus unlikely to impact your businesses.
    You’d attack low-carbon competitors politically, attempting to portray the evidence that they can replace high-carbon industries as fraudulent (or at least overly idealistic).
    You’d use every leverage point to slow low-carbon industrial progress — for example, by continuing massive subsidies to oil and gas companies, while attacking programs to develop new energy sources.
    You’d support putting a price on carbon, since this makes you look moderate and engaged, but you’d make sure that the definition of a “reasonable” price on carbon was so low and took so long to implement that it was no real threat to your business, and at worst would replace the dirtiest fossil fuels with others (switching for example from coal to gas).
    You would ally with extremists and other sources of anti-democratic power, in order to be able to fight democratic efforts to cut emissions through the application of threats, instability and violence.
    Most of all, you’d invest as heavily as possible in new infrastructure and supply. For oil and gas companies, this means new exploration and new pipelines. Why would you do this, if you know you may have to abandon these assets before they’ve paid off? Two reasons: First, it sends a signal of confidence to markets that you expect to continue to grow in the future. Second, it’s politically harder to force companies to abandon expensive investments than it is to prevent those systems from being built in the first place — the mere existence of a pipeline becomes an argument for continuing to use it. This, too, bolsters investor confidence. (Note that whether these assets are eventually abandoned or not is of little concern to current investors looking to delay devaluations).

      1. The carbon (hydrocarbon?) bubble has already popped. There is such an abundance of the stuff it’s hard to make any profit.

    1. making scientists’ predictions seem less certain in the public mind

      It really hurts when someone who does that is well-educated, well-credentialed and… well-informed, doesn’t it?

      by continuing massive subsidies to oil and gas companies, while attacking programs to develop new energy sources.

      Yeah, because solar and wind are just fine with no subsidies. Companies like Solar City don’t need any of that, right?

      You would ally with extremists and other sources of anti-democratic power, in order to be able to fight democratic efforts to cut emissions through the application of threats, instability and violence.

      Hell, you’d never stoop to anything like that.

      the mere existence of a pipeline becomes an argument for continuing to use it.

      And because they’re buried in the ground they tend to last a long time, unlike windmills. So unfair!

      Let me guess, mommy and daddy have quit cleaning up your basement room and asked you to do it yourself, and that’s got you cranky, right?

    2. Get back to me whenever even ONE climate model works. None of the 1997 IPCC models predicted the “pause”. If they can’t get it right over a 20 year time span, then what possible hope have they of getting it right 100 years in the future?

    3. Second, it’s politically harder to force companies to abandon expensive investments than it is to prevent those systems from being built in the first place — the mere existence of a pipeline becomes an argument for continuing to use it

      Not sure why I am responding to something copy/pasted from some talking points posted someplace but I will take the bait cause I am bored.

      The government shouldn’t be used to force businesses to comply with a party’s political ideology. People engaged in legal activities shouldn’t be abused by government simply for engaging in a legal activity. This is especially true when the activity is so vital to society.

      A business will have no problem ditching an unprofitable investment. You should look into the concept of sunk costs. It’s strange you think that this infrastructure wouldn’t turn a profit and would need to be abandoned though. Oh, you think you can make it unprofitable through punitive taxation.

      Have you noticed how your arguments are ideologically based and not scientifically or rationally?

      You would ally with extremists and other sources of anti-democratic power, in order to be able to fight democratic efforts to cut emissions through the application of threats, instability and violence.

      Wow, just wow…

      The only people who are using threats, violence, and are creating instability are the Democrats. Whether it is environmentalists, or their other militant activist groups that don’t respect the peaceful transition of power, the Democrats are engaging in widespread use of organized and funded violence.

      In your bizzaro world, people following the law = anti-democratic violence but people using actual violence = democratic process.

      This is why the majority of the country doesn’t take AGW alarmism seriously.

    4. The only “Carbon Lobby” of consequence is the Anti-Carbon Lobby for which you are an enthusiastic cheerleader. The major oil companies have all long since been browbeaten into submission instead of forthrightly challenging the massive fraud and power grab the leftist Environmental-Academic Complex has ginned up. The only groups actively opposing this totalitarian nonsense are a few barely-funded conservative public interest groups. They punch well above their weight owing to the inconvenient (for you and yours) fact that all the actual data about climate contradicts the Radical Warmist orthodoxy.

      That’s where your analogy to tobacco-cancer denialism breaks down. People who posited a link between smoking and disease had all the data on their side. All you carbonphobes have is “models.” Measurement always trumps modeling in the real world.

      Actual temperature measurements don’t, to put it mildly, come close to aligning with the “predictions” of the “models.” Nor do actual measurements of ocean acidity. The fraudulent assertion that it is increasing is not based on measurements, but on another scientifically and mathematically incompetent “model.”

      One can certainly understand the appeal of “models” to people on the left. Socialism was supposed to be “scientific” after all. And what was socialism if not a societal “model?” Problem is, when actual socialist experiments were run, the resulting data always wound up being tyranny, penury, starvation, gulags and mass graves. There were and are no exceptions. The most recent is on display in the pitiful remains of Venezuela, once the wealthiest nation in Latin America.

      Repeated failures, though, seem not to have dimmed the appeal of socialism as a “model” to a certain sort of dogmatic personality. No more so than the stubborn refusal of the world to actually boil in its own juice despite a notable superfluity of dire predictions that “The End is Near” made in recent years, all of which, we were solemnly assured, were based on “climate science.” We are now, for example, four years beyond the date at which the Arctic ice cap was supposed to have melted in its entirety. Not so’s you’d notice, Bub.

      Having now purged essentially everyone from the field of “Climate Science” who isn’t all-in for the “Climate Change (nee Global Warming) cause, the academic left now insists that everyone bow down to the idols and graven images erected in its self-constructed scientistic Potemkin Village, foremost being its manufactured “consensus.” During the short, but eventful, life of the late and unlamented Third Reich, there was a similar “consensus” in the German academic anthropology professoriat as to the scientific validity of Nazi “Race Theory.” It’s easy to get a “consensus” when the alternative to going along is to be sent to the death camps. The “Climate Science” establishment hasn’t got any Auschwitzes or Sobibors in operation yet, but it’s certainly not for lack of abundant calls by leading “Climate Science” commissars for the establishment of same.

      The unbridled will to power is something we’ve seen quite a lot of in the world these last 100 years. The results, when the self-righteous and megalomaniacal have actually achieved power have not, to put it mildly, been pretty. “Climate Science” will, I think, not likely join “Scientific Socialism” and Nazi “Race Theory” in the ranks of infamous ideologies at peer rank, but only because I suspect we are now on the reverse slope of this particular totalitarian lunacy, “Peak Warmist-ing” having passed now without having decisively gained the total power it was designed to justify. Germany, South Australia, California and a few other unfortunate places that fell for this bushwah in a big way will have to sober up and come to their senses, perhaps, but most of the world has remained outside the Climate Caliphate.

    5. What the tobacco precedent establishes is that it is quite possible, even easy, to get scientists to prostitute themselves for enough pay and prestige. The big money to be made these days is in supporting the AGW theme, not opposing it.

      1. Rand as host of this fine virtual salon may know a lot more about who people are and why they are posting here.

        For example, Rand and us, his many guests, share an interest in space and aviation technology, but Rand’s political opinions may clash with the beliefs of some who come here for the space and aviation discussions. I always thought “Jim” and Chris G.(whatever happened to Chris?) and other regulars who could be counted upon to offer contrary political opinions were in that category?

        On the other hand, it seems that there are people who patrol the Web with a missionary zeal and a religious purpose to not leave heresy unanswered. Rand’s fine Web site is one of the last that haven’t given in to heavy moderation and limited openings for required registration that discusses controversial topics.

      2. Agreed. If being an ideologically blinkered, ill-informed doofus was actually a capital crime, the traffic where I live (California) wouldn’t be nearly as irksome.

      3. By posting numerous times with one link per post, he’s trying to get around the spam filters.

    1. I dunno. It’s helpful to step outside the space geek bubble once in a while, just to see what “arguments” are floating around out there. It’d be nice if dpd wasn’t making it trivially easy on us though and had something at least challenging to rebut.

      By the way, dpd, this blog is frequented by physicists, engineers, and other associated space geeks. You know, the kind of people who do math in their heads for fun. To make a dent you really must step up your game. A lot.

  3. Well so now we have a hit and run link poster who thinks posting a few links makes an argument. I speak, of course, of

    dpd (DePenDs? DePraveD? DePloreD?)

    Well no matter…he can be ignored like all the rest

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