The Climate Of My Position: Summary

Some listeners to my recent video discussion, “Post-Election Connection”, felt a lack of shared reality with the casual rejection of consensus climate science. Before recording, I might have better expressed to Darrell my goal to reach a wide audience of my friends who are not [already] part of our research communities like Tragedy & Hope. So I should explain this position with a bit more detail, relative to its complexity.

I never really questioned the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) theories until 2007 Al Gore claimed the debate was over in Congress. I minored in math, took and obsessed in a course specifically on chaos. And I think models for the most complex collection of chaotic systems and subsystems should always be up for serious debate, even when perfect information is available.

Over the years, I periodically attempted to research all the strongest arguments from ‘both sides’, and eventually it was a research obsession for a good six months. This resulted in compiling an attempt to re-frame the debate using essays and videos, which you can find at SolarNotBombs.org. It takes an hour to fully describe my position, but will do my best to summarize…

The science is all about predicting the temperature, and this should be the primary evidence used to endorse or reject the theory. “Climate change”, including increasing extreme weather, is still allegedly caused by the net rise in average global temperatures. Sea-level rise is another alleged symptom which, to be an accurate sub-theory, also still requires the premise of catastrophically rising temperatures.

Given the scope and complexity of these temperature predictions, all parties agree that the computer models are only intended to be reliable for predicting temperature changes over decades. The first Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predictions came out in 1990, so the first human experiment to compare observations with projected temperatures is only in year 26. Most seem to argue that it might not have be long enough to start taking the data seriously. Therefore, the burden of proof still logically lies upon those alarmed about climate change, not those skeptical about the computer models, which are the primary expression of theory.

But if we were to take the observational data seriously right now, then 26 years ago the IPCC models projected there would be at least twice as much warming as has been observed now in 2016. That’s a serious margin of error, over 100%, so the IPCC data alone should classify “climate skepticism” a totally rational position.

Regarding the scientific consensus, the majority of scientific research has been done on the symptoms of climate change, not on proving the CAGW premise. And out of the 11,944 peer-reviewed studies analyzed by Cook et al., shockingly only 73 papers explicitly endorse or reject the theory with quantification. Meaning only 0.6% of these papers can be proven false, quantifiably.

Just last year, scientific bodies adjusted the recent history of temperature records, inching them closer to projections. The predictions should changed to match the observations, not vice-versa. Also, since the models are created in part by calibrating simulations to match data records, adjustments in that data must also logically adjust the models. If the calibration data was wrong, the models logically have to be wrong too. So last year’s temperature record adjusted should not actually help the consensus position, as it appears to.

All that said, I also want to see societies quickly move to renewable and free energy sources. If the United States had put every federal climate change dollar straight to buying solar panels for government buildings since 1990, then the country would now have 10 times as much solar installed, and it would already be half the price per watt (and that’s without factoring in any positive feedback loops in the markets).

Basically, I wish the environmental movement and scientists hadn’t been distracted with the least provable theory. I wish the focus wasn’t on re-framing the sixth element on the periodic table as a catastrophic pollutant, while people have invented countless other potential ecological disasters, the mitigation of which could still achieve the same shared needs of a cleaner, safer world. Because the science is so weak, I don’t like solutions that focus our eggs in the greenhouse gas basket, and I would prefer if two halves of the country weren’t ridiculing each other, or using labels like “denier”.

Finally, I don’t like solutions that expand global governance, as corruption in government increases with distance from those “represented”. Unfortunately, this is a related topic. I prefer solutions that decentralize the creation, distribution, accessibility, and usage of power, in all its forms.

Global Warming Hiatus is on Pause?

Apparently two extra years, ‘the warmest on record’ (though by far less than the raw data error-bars), can somehow erase the 15 year hiatus in a warming trend explicitly described by the IPCC’s AR5 in 2013. I honestly expected many more years before having to update my analysis comparing the climate models with the observational data.

1984-chocolate

James Corbett was kind enough to respond to my question about this, as he has done more research into the manipulation of climate data, which I avoided for the purposes of these essays.
http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2015/noaa-analysis-journal-science-no-slowdown-in-global-warming-in-recent-years.html

https://www.corbettreport.com/the-global-warming-pause-explained/

https://www.corbettreport.com/what-is-the-average-global-temperature/

More Significant Details

These points were originally included in my essays, but removed to keep those arguments as focused as possible. But I do still think these are important points to be aware of…


CO2 Lags Temperature

One of the specific points I find more important is the historical correlation of carbon and temperature. I’m not sure how often this perspective finds the mainstream discussion, but Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth strongly implies that there is causality on the side of carbon driving increases in global temperatures. However there is wide agreement that based on Antarctic ice core data, changes in CO2 have followed changes in temperatures by about 600 to 1000 years.

This is consistent with carbon being one of the smaller temperature feedbacks, which seem to be dominated by water vapor and clouds. This “carbon lag” is accepted by both sides, and creates a opportunity for AGW proponents to confirm that CO2 has not been a dominant driver of climate and the real debate is focused on the feedback loops.

Some critics of this “lag” argument cite our current century as the one counter-example when temperature changes have lagged behind carbon changes (Al Gore’s side of causality). But in order to consider this modern counter-example as evidence of carbon being a significant driver of temperature, you must first presume the certainty of the above AGW models. So again, this counter-argument begs the question.

Changes in CO2 have lagged behind changes in temperature, so if there is causality within their correlation, the historical record demonstrates the opposite of popular opinion.

While this correlation is not inconsistent with basic carbon-temperature feedback concepts, many assumptions are necessary to count it as solid evidence for the large multiplying feedbacks in the models. Increases in carbon, one of the weaker greenhouse gasses, have never caused temperature increases before this century, so the burden of proof remains on the AGW models and the correlation cannot support the theory of catastrophic man-made global warming.

For more than five years I have been asking carbon-related questions, and I am more concerned about man-made elements added to the periodic table. Novel elements we have invented for the first time earth’s known history, which may affect the environment (and us) but not necessarily the climate.


Perspective

The graph above with temperature and carbon over the past 400,000 years shows us in our current higher temperature ballpark every 100,000 years or so. Had we modernized 20,000 years earlier, there would be zero concern on rising temperatures because we would be debating at a low-point in the 10 degree Celsius fluctuations within this time-scale.

The following chart is the most common perspective in the mainstream discussion of this debate. It goes back until only 1880, and is very short-sighted but helpful for encouraging alarm:

It should be noted that in this graph above does not have the scope of the current century, where atmospheric carbon levels approach 400 ppm. This rise of carbon before temperature is certainly an anomaly without historical precedent. But also keep in mind that each doubling of CO2 concentration, temperature increases by a constant value.

Anatomically modern humans had thousands of years on an earth more than 2.5 degrees Celsius warmer than this century (almost 5 degrees Fahrenheit warmer):

And our great ape ancestors lived on an earth more than 7 degrees Celsius warmer than this century (around 13 degrees Fahrenheit warmer). It was definitely very different, and might not be preferable, and a rapid rate of temperate change may be another issue, but those temperatures alone were clearly not catastrophic enough to prevent our evolution or complete destruction of ecosystems.

And of course, the concern is really about maintaining our human status quo, life on earth itself will go on with or without us, and is not threatened.


Links embedded in this essay:

theguardian.com/environment/2007/oct/11/climatechange (Inconvenient Truth)

skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/lacis_01/

altbib.com/?fresh=1&s=co2+lags+temperature

grist.org/article/historically-co2-never-caused-temperature-change/

youtube.com/watch?v=8nrvrkVBt24 (Peter Sinclair)

nytimes.com/2015/01/17/science/earth/2014-was-hottest-year-on-record-surpassing-2010.html

washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/01/23/sorry-skeptics-nasa-and-noaa-were-right-about-the-2014-temperature-record/

columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2015/20150116_Temperature2014.pdf

data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/FAQ.html

skepticalscience.com/C02-emissions-vs-Temperature-growth.html

wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_evolutionary_history_of_life


Videos Worth Entertaining

Possibly the only debate on the topic without a single ad hominem attack:


Why the models matter:


Issues with the IPCC itself, Donna Laframboise Interview: