Category Archives: Science And Society

The Global Warming Consensus Claim

Two years later, it continues to not stand up to even the mildest scrutiny:

Consensus has no place in science. Academics agree on lots of things, but that does not make them true. Even so, agreement that climate change is real and human-caused does not tell us anything about how the risks of climate change weigh against the risks of climate policy. But in our age of pseudo-Enlightenment, having 97% of researchers on your side is a powerful rhetoric for marginalizing political opponents. All politics ends in failure, however. Chances are the opposition will gain power well before the climate problem is solved. Polarization works in the short run, but is counterproductive in the long run.

In their paper, Cook and colleagues argue that 97% of the relevant academic literature endorses that humans have contributed to observed climate change. This is unremarkable. It follows immediately from the 19th century research by Fourier, Tyndall and Arrhenius. In popular discourse, however, Cook’s finding is often misrepresented. The 97% refers to the number of papers, rather than the number of scientists. The alleged consensus is about any human role in climate change, rather than a dominant role, and it is about climate change rather than the dangers it might pose.

But other than that, it’s a compelling argument.

Yet the warm mongers continue to repeat it, because it fits the narrative.

[Update a while later]

Thoughts from Judith Curry on climate change, Ted Cruz, and “the Stupid Party.”

I agree with her that Cruz’s statements were actually quite reasonable.

[Update a while later]

Don’t ask how bad a paper has to be to get it retracted, ask how bad it can be and still be published.

Use of the “97%” number, at this point, is a sign of someone who is either a liar, or profoundly ignorant about the issues. In either case, such people should not be taken seriously.

Arguing Science

Ten mistakes people make.

Here’s an eleventh one:

A common battle-line between climate change deniers and people who actually understand evidence is the effectiveness and representativeness of climate models.

The phrase “climate change deniers” to describe people properly skeptical of crap science is a) unscientific and b) offensive demagoguery.

[Late-morning update]

“Elite” reporters explain why they don’t have to have balanced reporting, or give “deniers” a voice.

IOW, “Shut up,” they explained.

Climate Activists

You people lost the scientific argument. Get over it:

Essex said that there seems to be a cultural shift and that scientific arguments have deteriorated. Individuals in society have moved away from “civilized dialogues in which people have a collegial attitude and work together to try to find the truth.” Essex characterized the pro-climate change philosophy as a form of sophistry, catering to popular opinion rather than being concerned with the truth.

You don’t say.

California’s Social Priorities

…are pretty screwed up:

California continues to lead the country, and by some measures even the world, in environmental quality and climate change initiatives. But public policy must evolve to leverage these environmental achievements into corresponding improvements in educational attainment and middle class job creation. With more than 18% of the nation’s poor, and less than 1%3 of global greenhouse gas emissions, California should also embrace the challenge of leading the world in the creation of middle class manufacturing jobs for the rapidly evolving clean and green technology that California’s laws mandate, California’s educational and technology sectors invent, and California’s venture capital investors bring to the global market.

Instead, California’s policies, and regulatory and legal costs and uncertainties, tend to divert thousands of middle class jobs even in emerging green industries (including those not requiring high school diplomas) to other locations, including the Tesla battery manufacturing facility, which moved to Nevada. The loss of projects that help achieve important environmental objectives, create high quality jobs, and comply with California’s strict environmental and public health protection mandates, continues to occur in part because well-funded special interest groups ranging from business competitors to labor unions file “environmental” lawsuits as leverage for achieving narrow political or pecuniary objectives rather than to protect the environment and public health. This study suggests that the state must work much harder to ensure that California’s landmark environmental laws are not misused or pursued in a manner that adversely affects other, equally important policy priorities for California’s large undereducated and underemployed population.

The idiotic carbon law is going to do huge harm to the economy and the middle class, while doing nothing about “climate change.”

[Monday-morning update]

A tale of four droughts. All true, but, as Paul Dietz notes in comments, the biggest problem is that there is no rational water market in the state.