25 thoughts on “The Precautionary Principle And Climate”

  1. You probably should write up your own response because Worrall’s is pathetic. I’ve seen no scientific evidence supporting the possible existence of witches, there’s plenty supporting the existence of ACC, and as Taylor argues, expensive climatic changes are genuine possibilities.

    1. While politicians rant about ‘Global Heating’ (I gather that’s the new, politically-correct, Guardian-accepted term) parts of America have planted only 20% of the normal amount of corn this year due to the unusually cold and wet winter that broke many historic records. That’s the real kind of ‘climate change’ we should be scared of.

      If CO2 can’t keep us out of the next Little Ice Age, billions of people may die.

      And that’s what I call a worst-case scenario.

      1. Increased variability is the prediction, so you’re right, arctic air moving southward more frequently is something to worry about.

        1. No, it’s not. The general prediction from the models is that CO2 will cause the Arctic to warm and the rest of the world will remain pretty much the same.

          Pretty much no-one was predicting ‘increased variability’ until the warming trend stopped a couple of decades ago. That’s when ‘Global Warming’ became ‘Climate Change’.

          Remember just a few years ago when ‘climate science’ was telling us that California was going to have a decades-long drought? That kids would never know what snow looked like? That ski-slopes would have to close due to lack of snow?

          And now California is drenched, and we’ve had many record snowfalls across the world.

          Next they’ll be telling us that ‘Global Heating’ is causing record cold.

          1. I don’t know when increased variability was first predicted, but given that the research really only got going 3 decades ago I wouldn’t expect that aspect to have been predicted more than three decades ago.

            “Remember just a few years ago when ‘climate science’ was telling us that California was going to have a decades-long drought? That kids would never know what snow looked like? That ski-slopes would have to close due to lack of snow?”

            No paper published on this list of journals ever made any of those claims.

          2. Nearly 30 years ago, I read in a Federal government agency report about a technique to determine the air exchange between a house and the outside environment.

            The way this is measured in home energy audits is be replacing your front door with a powerful blower, a pressure gauge and an airflow gauge. There really isn’t any direct way to measure how much air is leaving and how much is entering your house through the many gaps and cracks, so you run the blower to pressurize the house to run some large multiple of the expected air infiltration level out this blower door. You record the flow and the resulting pressure, and from this you extrapolate the air infiltration rate under the expected lower pressure differential from a cold winter wind.

            The proposed technique purports to measure air exchanges under actual environmental conditions without artificially applying a pressure differential to the whole house. The idea is that you run a dehumidifier that cycles on and off to maintain a nearly constant humidity level in the house. You measure outdoor temperature and humidity, indoor temperature and humidity, you collect the moisture condensed by the dehumidifier in a known number of hours and quantify that with a measuring cup. You then do some calculations akin to what you did for homework in your Thermodynamics class using steam tables.

            The idea is that the water that is condensed came from the more humid air outside (under humid summer conditions), and from the partial pressure of water vapor calculated from the steam tables for the outdoor and indoor air, you can figure out how much outside air infiltrated into the house.

            Boy did that give varying and inconsistent answers. What I think is happening is that the air volume in the house is not the only and perhaps not even the largest reservoir of humidity. Moisture must be stored and released somewhere, and I speculate that the concrete in your basement, the strongly hygroscopic gypsum wallboard used in most construction and carpeting and other fabric in the house are another reservoir.

            Furthermore, the dewpoint temperature and hence partial pressure of water vapor increases if the house warms up, and these quantities diminish if the house cools down at night. Think of running a clothes dryer. If you heat fabric, you drive out moisture from the fabric into the air. If you cool fabric, conversely, it soaks up water vapor from the air back into the fabric.

            I have hit upon this effect to save energy in how much I run the A/C at different times of the day to soak up the humidity, which is the driver of household comfort in the Great Lakes region climate where I reside. In addition to the materials in the house storing sensible heat, these materials store latent heat associated with the storage of moisture drawn from the air. These two modes of energy storage can be use to advantage in deciding how much to run the A/C.

            The certainty of which some scientists purport to measure temperature let alone the carbon cycle belies having had any practical, experimental experience trying to measure the micro climate of a single house.

          3. If you pull a high vacuum in your house you can get rid of a lot of those variables. The water is going to boil off at room temperature as the pressure passes through about 2850 Pascals, or 0.41 psi. Once that’s gone, along with any residual CO2, O2, N2, argon, and methane, you should be able to get temperature and humidity readings uncontaminated by convection, condensation, and evaporation, and you can see how your house handles conduction and radiation, especially when treated as a compressed but inhomogeneous mass with fractal exterior dimensions.

            However, I’ve found that womenfolk often don’t understand the importance of getting clean numbers on such things, no matter what your spreadsheets and computer models show. That’s probably why I’m not married.

          4. @Andrew – it took about 10 seconds to find this:

            A ‘megadrought’ will grip U.S. in the coming decades, NASA researchers say (2015)

            There are plenty of people who were predicting dire consequences for California and other places. Maybe not on your hand picked list, but this new fangled thing called Google helps.

          5. Tom W, I don’t understand your point, while the paper was published in 2015 what is claimed is something that is predicted to happen in the later half of the 21st century, not 2018, so it hasn’t been proven wrong, and even if a subsequent review of the paper has found errors that’s how science progresses.

            Also you link to the media interpretation of the paper, rather the paper itself, did you read the paper, or do you prefer all your science news second hand, through the journalists eyes rather than the researchers?

    2. I’ve been watching this pretty closely for better than 10 years now. I’ve yet to see any evidence of the A part of AGW that breaks out of the “My models don’t work without anthropogenic CO2, therefore any change must be man-made.”

      The only C part of CAGW that I’ve seen is even less convincing and seems to fall into the fraud bucket (e.g. persistently inverted Tiljander varves, or “What data can I get away with hiding?” or “Wouldja delete that inconvenient data before someone finds it?”).

      To me, at least, the Witches! analogy is spot-on.

      A W (obviously not the same one)

      1. The evidence is warmer seas, sea level rise, glaciers retreating world wide, declining icecap mass, declining Arctic sea ice, rising atmospheric temperatures. Combined these things are solid evidence that the Earth is in net terms absorbing energy.
        It’s anecdotal but there’re certainly less morning frosts where I live compared to 40 years ago and temperatures are noticeably milder.

        1. That is also evidence of natural climate. Remember, everyone is freaking out over something that easily fits in the statistical noise of natural variation.

          Climate chaos became a term because people were making fun of warmists every time a blizzard took out a climate conference or some other unfortunate weather event that poked holes in the predictions. “Weather isn’t climate!” They yelled while blaming weather events on climate change.

          They had to concoct a way to never be wrong even when they were wrong, so everything became evidence. Too much rain/snow/sunshine? Too little rain/snow/sunshine? Average rain/snow/sunshine? All evidence of global warming. There is no consistency. No predictions have value or accountability.

          No matter what the young, untested, and unproven field of climate science says, how it is being used to manipulate populations is a scam.

          1. “Remember, everyone is freaking out over something that easily fits in the statistical noise of natural variation.”

            No it doesn’t, the imbalance between Earth’s incoming and outgoing radiation is too large and too consistent to be natural.

            The religious in the climate change debate are those that hypothesize that despite all the physics that says that more GH gases will lift Earth’s temperature, there must be some unspecified force (evidently supernatural because scientists haven’t been able to find it) that will block the natural laws of radiation physics.

    3. I’ve seen no scientific evidence supporting the possible existence of witches,

      Witches are pretty easy to find. Try googling it ;*)

      1. Wodun, hahaha, from the context that Eric Worrall is using it’s obvious that either he’s referring to magical witches.

  2. What about the the Specter of Unknown/Unintended Consequences?
    Consider the importation of the Cane Toad to Australia? Or the planting of Kudzu for erosion control in the American Southeast…
    There always, Always! needs to be a Precautionary Principle Against People invoking the Precautionary Principle.

  3. A renewed period of glaciation would kill billions, and if there’s even the slightest chance of averting it by driving SUVs as fast and often as we can, we would be grossly irresponsible not to.

    1. Glaciation is crimethink. “We are in an interglacial” is blasphemy. Where do I report.

      1. Climate optimum has suddenly dropped out of the vernacular. Apparently we have always had climate stasis where any big changes we always in dinosaur time and not as recent as 15,000 years ago much less repeatedly over the last 15,000 years.

  4. –Despite many decades of research, scientists are still uncertain about how sensitive the atmosphere is to greenhouse gas loading. Evidence from the peer-reviewed literature suggests that a doubling of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere above pre-industrial levels (which we’re likely to see sometime after mid-century) will eventually warm the planet anywhere between 1.5C and 4.5C (2.7F to 8.1F). That’s a very large spread–

    Ever wonder why the term pre-industrial levels is used. Why not simply give a date. In England, pre-industrial is before about 1750 AD, and in the US it about before 1850 AD. And for entire world sometime after this.
    Most agree that Little Ice Age ended around 1850 AD.
    Now by mid century or 2050 AD, global temperature are not going to warm by 1,5 C.
    But by 2050 AD global temperature might increase by 1.5 C from pre-industrial levels. And even possible it’s already warmed by 1.5 C from pre-industrial levels.
    It is supposed that in last 100 years [or from about 1920] global temperature has increased by about 1 C.
    So maybe by 2050 AD global temperatures may risen by about 1.5 C [or more, depending when you comparing to some time prior to say 1850 AD or some time prior to 1750 AD. Or there is a fair amount of uncertainty of what the global temperature was prior to 1900 AD.
    Some claim Little Ice Age may have been 2 to 3 C colder than the present time and some like to pretend LIA didn’t exist. Or didn’t exist as global difference in temperature- it was only colder in Northern Hemisphere.
    Funny thing is we didn’t know what global temperature was over hundred years ago, nor do we really know what the global temperature is, currently.
    How people are aware that southern hemisphere is about 1 C cooler than Northern Hemisphere. Or perhaps I should say people known for centuries that Southern Hemisphere is cooler, and have argued why it is colder than Northern Hemisphere.
    Anyhow, people have said the global temperature is about 15 C for more than century. And one can say that today global is about 15 C, and we could say in 2050 AD, that global temperature is about 15 C.

    How could people say before people went to South pole, that global temperature is about 15 C? Mainly because the average temperature of the Antarctica is not very important in terms of global average temperature. It too small of percentage of total Earth surface to make much difference.
    What makes Earth average global temperature about 15 C is that about 40% of Earth surface is in the tropics. And tropics average temperature is about 25 C [77 F] or it’s about room temperature.
    Or human are tropical animal and the animal is comfortable in tropical temperatures- and that is what we make our room temperature- 20 to about 25 C.

    So average global land surface air temperature is about 10 C and average global ocean surface air temperature is about 17 C.
    And tropical [40%] ocean average surface air temperature is about 26 C and rest [60%] of global ocean outside of tropics is about 11 C.
    And if exclude Alaska, US average surface air temperature is about 12 C. Europe and China are a bit less than 10 C. And Canada and Russia are about – 4 C. And India average is about 24.5 C:
    And, location city [has country, too]:
    Indians generally are not worried about global temperature. And India has about same population as China and has about 1/3 of land area of China. And roughly has about a the same average temperature since beginning of human civilizations, and is one country having earliest civilizations, and always had higher populations. Or having an average temperature of about 24 C, is not vaguely civilization ending temperatures- not a disaster for human or plants and animals.

    Now what is commonly known, is that we living in an Ice Age, and presently we living in an interglacial period within a Ice Age which is continuing and has been going on for millions of years.
    And we during our interglacial period have live thru a rise of sea level of about 140 meters, and lived when sea level have risen by more than 1 meter per century. And in last 100 year sea level have risen by about 7″.
    Anyhow we in an Ice Age. It also called a global icebox climate or global icehouse climate.
    And anyone thinks 15 C [59 F] is warm is crazy.
    And humans normally consider centuries of warming as “good new” or period happiness and prosperity, and centuries of cooling being bad news, and give them name like the Dark Ages. And humans lived through many periods lasting centuries when it warmer and older.
    And polar bear and walrus doing just fine. We probably have to start shooting them due them having populations too high.

    Now, how do polar caps melt?
    Well if oceans are warmer they melt.
    During last million year our average volume temperature of our ocean has been in the range of 1 to 5 C.
    They have habit of saying 90% of the volume of our ocean is 3 C or colder. And our ocean has average of about 3.5 C.
    In Earth’s history tens, hundreds of millions of year, the ocean temperature normally is about 10 C or warmer- and not in a global icebox climate. And icebox climate has polar ice caps and a cold oceans- that’s it’s definition.
    And as general rule ocean don’t warm and cool by 1 C within a thousand years. So ice caps are not going to melt within thousand year [and not vaguely likely within ten thousands years].

  5. As Eric says, there’s not the slightest evidence that higher CO2 levels are any sort of problem. He’s right.
    Anyway Andrew W can soon enjoy the consequences of the policies of the loon in charge of New Zealand, Jihadi Ardern.

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