Weather is Not Climate: "Settled Science" and Challenged Viewpoints

  • by Jim Scott (he/him)

 

“Hottest Summer” Book Reviews: 

  • The Climate Book, Penguin Press, Compilation © 2022 by Greta Thunberg, 466pp
  • Climate Change, A Very Short Introduction, Fourth Edition, Oxford University Press ©2021 by Mark Maslin, 166pp 
  • On Bullshit, Princeton University Press, © 2005, by Harry G. Frankfurt, 53pp

     Abstract

Greta Thunberg and Mark Maslin employ different styles in pursuit of convincing the reader that the world faces an imminent, predictable fiery end.  As a climate change siren, Thunberg’s book brilliantly portrays in scores of interpreted essays by various, subject-experts’ reviews of IPCC public records, referring to their work enthusiastically as “settled science” and “global policy inaction thereon.” Her moral outrage and frustration are palpable in her 446pp treatise. Mark Maslin, Professor of Earth System Science at University College London, an equally committed climate alarmist, offers as a sotto voce scientist-expert his polished 4th edition. As an award-winning climate researcher, and no less convinced than Thunberg on the certainty of anthropogenic (i.e., manmade) global warming climate change [AGW], Maslin educates the reader, in 166pp of charts and text from IPCC records, lucidly conveying alarmists’ views supported by the “weight of evidence.”  

Both rely heavily on the publicly documented UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) records and non-IPCC sources whose views support the IPCC storyline.  Their books adopt the IPCC’s universal working hypothesis that “anthropogenic [manmade] global warming [AGW] is real… the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate.”

Frankfurt (d. July 16, 2023) was a Princeton & Yale Professor of Philosophy, unassociated with any climate change opinion.  He was, however, lauded for teachings on truth, lies, and particularly on “bullshit”, which he defined as “deliberate misrepresentation, which is distinguished not by its truth or falsity, but by its blatant disregard for the truth.” His global best-seller (On Bullshit, 53pp) is added to this review as a prism through which Einstein, Feynman, Sagan, or any objective reader would see the key scientific shortcomings in these two climate books. The prism adds vitality to science, helping to explain better why so many inquiring persons (including many scientists) durably reject climate activists’ decades-long dogma, which otherwise seems for so many to be universally true. 

In sum: 

Strengths: The Climate Book: a passionate and comprehensive summary of alarmists’ views, perhaps the best genre book available today; Climate Change: good charts, good graphs, a splendid summary of climate change politics, eloquent prose-briefly stated, his latest morsel added to his rich collection of Earth-science teachings.

Weaknesses: further developed below, both climate books are unnecessarily strident in accepting IPCC’s epistemic beliefs, and IPCC’s weak scientific hypothesis and causation analysis/attribution. Neither book implements the cautions dictated by the scientific method.  Those cautions were understood by “giants of science.” 

Feynman: “If it (hypothesis) disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science.” “Try to give all the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or the other.” 

Einstein: “The right to search for truth implies also a duty: one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.”  

When asked to comment on a denunciation of his theory of relativity, Einstein replied “that to defeat relativity one did not need the word of 100 scientists, just one fact.” 

Sagan, in dealing with causation-proof: “Accepting an extraordinary claim requires evidence to be sufficient to make alternative explanations implausible.” 

They knew that disagreements are vital and are neither mere nuisances nor “denials” to the true cause/proof process. Unfortunately, “nuisance and denials” is the pejorative view in the visible IPCC deliberations, parroted in both climate books.

Growing awareness of fundamental weaknesses (cited below) in the multi-decadal, catastrophic end-drumbeat, along with the oversight leadership change in the IPCC (also explained below), may affect change. If so, the focus will include official IPCC causation assessment, process, conclusions, and policy recommendations reflected in future national climate-change policy, advisories, and legal mandates, such as selectively targeted carbon-based fuel bans and comprehensive, mandatory green transition.

                                                                        Review

         Further Discussion of Strengths and Weaknesses of the “Climate Book “and “Climate Change” 

Strengths

Comparing these two climate books with other relevant and highly respected genre works on climate change and global warming, Climate Book and Climate Change are commendable and arguably superior.  

Such benchmark works are “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need”, by entrepreneur Bill Gates; The Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate Crisis, by IPCC Strategist Christiana Figueres and IPCC-political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac; The UnInhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, by journalist David Wallace-Wells; The Story of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here, by geochemist/geobiologist Hope Aahren; The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, by public policy economist Nicholas Stern; the previous three climate-global warming-climate change books, by Earth System Science Professor Mark Maslin; U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Reports-AR4 & AR6 Synthesis Report “Climate Change [2007 & 2023].”

Thunberg’s offering is unique in supplementing IPCC work with largely independent expert opinions; Maslin’s offering, a fourth compendium in his superb teaching document series, is again presented in transcendent prose, supplemented with informative graphs and charts, which aid understanding of alarmists’ messages. 

Weaknesses

1) AGW causation hypothesis (i.e., increase in CO2 (carbon dioxide) causes an increase in Earth’s temperature) is backward and therefore the premise of manmade causation is readily refutable.

Comments:

a)  In researching the Descartes Prize-winning work (2008) on the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA) and Tyler Prize-winning work (2009) on Vostok Ice Cores, noted science giant of the global, geophysical community, the late Norman Paterson showed unequivocally, by microscopic analysis of the sequence gaps in CO2 increases and temperature increases, that temperature increases have always preceded, not followed, increases in CO2; thus, warming caused the CO2 increase, but not the reverse. This sequence had been repeatedly mistaken in the scores of the simple correlation analyses of the “settled science.”

(See Paterson, Norman R., 2011, Global Warming: A Critique of the Anthropogenic Model and its         Consequences: Geoscience Canada, Volume 38, Number 1, March 2011, pp.41-48).

This disputation alone would have satisfied Einstein of the inadequacy of the AGW hypothesis.  Feynman and Sagan would agree with Einstein. And Frankfurt would label AGW as bullshit.

b)  Scientist Maslin’s 4th edition discussed “Climate Change Impacts,” “Solutions,” and “Changing our Future” but, by using largely unknown 1850-1900 Earth temperatures, the fabricated 1850-mid 20th century and future Earth temperature gradients are meaningless and fail to adequately convince “why warming is detrimental.” Nor, for the same reason (i.e., fabricated gradients) he lacks a convincing presentation of alternative visions of future states of human and non-human life forms or a convincing comparison of Earth’s human habitability in graduated colder and warmer temperatures.  His presentation of comparative cost/benefits of alternative strategic pathways/solutions is weak, particularly given his failure to rigorously plum the availability of extremely important “cost/benefit” analyses & comparisons of alternative policy/governmental strategies in Yale professor William Nordhaus’ brilliant 2018 Nobel Prize speech dealing with climate change and climate policy cost

The benefit of increasing carbon dioxide atmospheric content is also lacking. 

A better hypothesis is missing, which would have tested:

  • If global warming occurs, the extent to which it has done so, and is reasonably projected to do so in the future and will adversely affect life on Earth.
  • Whether the causal relationship exists between the 20th-century patterns of increasing CO2 and changing temperature
  • If nature is causing the temperature increases, what can mankind do to mitigate its impacts?
  • Whether the magnitude or rates of change of temperature experienced falls outside of natural limits of change 
  • Why “alarming” forecasts by climate models have failed to predict the actual course of temperature change since 1990 nor in the 1970s.

 

2)  Even more damning, the birth of the AGW hypothesis birth was rife with unresolved controversy, when created in 1996 by the IPCC, despite its possessing overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary.  In 1995, IPCC’s own science panels’ internal reports indicated that human greenhouse forcing was four to five orders of magnitude less than the major natural events. Furthermore, those internal reports, collectively “The Science of Climate Change 1995,” when re-stated in IPCC’s external 1996 official “Summaries for Policymakers (SFP)” included no reference to the underlying science panels’ actual internal reports which stated

  • “None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.”
  • “No study to date has positively attributed all or part of the climate change observed to date to anthropogenic [man-made] causes.”
  • “Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced.”

Comments: The subsequent failure of external reporting of any of that voluminous IPCC 1995 science research in any of the 1996 and subsequent external IPCC’s “Summaries for Policymakers” finally led in 2010 to the major UN-ordered audit review of the IPCC’s processes and procedures (including its causation analysis and reporting). The audit was performed by the prestigious InterAcademy Council (IAC) [a multinational organization of 15 major national science academies, chartered to provide knowledge and advice to national governments and international organizations on matters of science].  Many of the resulting IAC audit recommendations went to the heart of IPCC’s “causation explanation weaknesses,” and many of the recommendations have yet to be implemented in the 13 years since the audit. See:

  • Climate Change Assessments, Review of the IPCC Processes and Procedures, Report by the InterAcademy Council, October 2010
  • The Frozen Views of the IPCC, Clintel Foundation, The Netherlands, A review of the IPCC AR6, Synthesis Report, Climate Change 2023, Summary pp.1-17).

Clearly a Feynman and Sagan call for error & Frankfurtian example of misrepresentative bullshit of the rankest order! 

 

3) The mechanisms of Greenhouse Gas Theory, itself thought to be the catalyst of global warming, have been poorly supported by experimental analysis. 

Comments:

  • IPCC's greenhouse gas theory says that CO2 will warm the lower atmosphere first, then the atmospheric heat will radiate back to the Earth’s surface.  However, actual greenhouse gas theory temperature gradients have not been observed in IPCC’s fundamental greenhouse gas theory or popularized, media-touted climate science.  
  • The temperature record for the entire active life of atmosphere measurements (since the late 1970s) has not been proven at any level of certainty by the greenhouse gas theory. (see the YouTube testimony of Dr. John Christy, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science, Director of Earth Science Systems Center, University of Alabama-Huntsville, testifying before the House Natural Resources Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, May 13, 2015)

IPCC in clear violation of Sagan, more Frankfurtian bullshit 

 

4)  Hundred-Fifty-year changes in weather and climate have been fictionalized due to the serious lack of quality, base-year weather records which prejudice the true informational content of more recent, well-documented climate data. The reported so-called Earth temperature has increased from the onset of the Industrial era (circa 1850-1880)-today, dramatically depicted in IPPC reports, multi-color charts, and media, but are fact-deficient, bordering on base-year guesses and interim, multi-decadal year rough estimates of profoundly sketchy temperature data.

Comments:

  • Today, the Earth’s weather is sampled currently at over 30,000 stations, globally, supplemented since the late 1970s by NASA satellites, which also capture necessary near-earth atmosphere readings.  Therefore, global “climate” (i.e., 30 years or more of “weather”) is now being more properly analyzed. However, from 1850 to 1852, the only land-based, surface data for the Earth’s entire Southern Hemisphere was a single observation station in Indonesia!  
  • Globally, in 1850, the percentage of the Earth’s surface (excluding unmeasured near-land-atmosphere) covered by primitive and questionable temperature data was only 12%. By 1865, only three more Southern Hemisphere stations were added.  Fifty percent of the surface Southern Hemisphere was finally reached in 1950, though climate data in massive Antarctica began only in 1957.  
  • The percentage of the Earth’s surface that was covered reached only 33% by the decade of the 1910s; 50% by the 1930s; and 70% by the decade of the 1960s. 
  • Data for greenhouse gas analysis are available for only the last 40 years.

[see the “temperature story” in The National Academies Press Open Book, Chapter 5, Climate Change and Climate Variability: The Climate Record:

“The record identifies three areas of concern even today:

  1. The quality of the observation database- its spatial and temporal distribution.
  2. The validity of spatial averages-the analysis methods used to compile regional and global numbers.
  3. The best ways to interpret results to account for natural variability while detecting trends in climate signals. 

Plus: analytically, five severe problems in homogenizing the 150-year database remain:

  1. Instrumentation (exposure and techniques, from “crude” to sophisticated methodology)
  2. Appropriate station location
  3. Observing time-of-day and methods of computing station daily and monthly averages
  4. Station environment
  5. Analysis methods for computing area averages”]

IPCC Base Year/Baseline temperatures, another Frankfurtian example of mischievous, misleading bullshit

5) The IPPC officially states their climate models reproduce historical results “with only some fidelity” but, despite this admission, the IPCC concludes that “there is considerable confidence in credible estimates of future climate change” due to CO2-induced warming. 

Comments:

Thunberg and Maslin use the official IPCC published projection climate models to reveal the future state of the Earth’s climate.  Weather (short term) is not climate (generally accepted as a 30-year horizon). Thus, the climate models must interpret the weather signals (which they do now, to some extent) along with the estimated energy flows associated with the temperatures and their changes (which they do not do effectively). Complex energy flow models for land surface, ocean surface, and atmosphere are distinctly separate and are attempted (with severely limited estimations) to be integrated in the models. 

As yet, the various integrated models back tested have not been able to capture comprehensively the workings of the powerful natural cycles impacting climate energy flows, such as El Nino/La Nina, the Arctic Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, in addition to the even lesser understood but known to be powerful (some solar scientists allege to be “determinative”) solar effects, and clouds (poorly understood by science community, admittedly and poorly modeled).  

The IPPC admits the resulting models reproduce historical results “with only some fidelity.” 

Yet, the IPCC states that “there is considerable confidence in credible estimates of future climate change” due to CO2-induced warming.  

This conclusion is clearly “Frankfurtian” bullshit.  The models should not be used confidently in 50-100-year future projections, though they are the bedrock support for climate alarmists.

 

6)  Both climate books and IPCC pronouncements lament Antarctica’s frightening loss of ice as evidence of global warming and threats of worldwide flooding, citing the enormous loss of 150 gigatons (one gigaton equals one billion metric tons) per year of ice from the northern and western areas of Antarctica, while failing to report larger ice gains in other Antarctica regions.  They ignored previously available estimates of Antarctica ice gains as more precisely reconfirmed ice gains of 262 gigatons per year in other parts of Antarctica, reported by the European Geosciences Union, in its 11-year study of net ice gains on that continent. (See the study at: Andreason, J.R., Hogg, A.E., and Shelley, H.L.: Change in Antarctica ice shelf areas from 2009-2019, The Cryospere,17,2059-2072, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-17-2059-2023,2023.

With consensus exaggeration of global warming unsupported by the facts, Feynman, Einstein, and Sagan would all frown, and Frankfurt would call it utter bullshit. 

 

7)  The alleged “the Earth’s blistering weather” is demonstrably overplayed and ill-supported as a “story,” credibly refuted by both the British Royal Society published research and a closer analysis of actual temperature records of USA’s official weather agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA]

Comment:

Thunberg’s and Maslin’s references to the extraordinarily warm summer weather are grossly exaggerated. 

The Climate Book: “The weather seems to be on steroids.” But, according to the organization charged with the maintenance and analysis of the US temperature databases (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], “Climate Change: Global Temperature, August 14, 2020… “the average temperature of the Earth had increased by 2 degrees F for the period 1880-2020…an increase of 0.014degrees F/year, well within the measurement margin of error.” Or NOAA, June 18, 2020, “What’s the hottest Earth’s ever been?” “The planet has often been much warmer than it is now…Compared to most of Earth’s history, today is unusually cold; we now live in what geologists call an interglacial.”

Climate Change: “The latest IPCC report states that it is virtually certain anthropogenic climate change has caused the increase in the frequency and severity of hot extremes and decreases in cold extremes on most continents.” 

  • Yet, NOAA reports On NOAA Climate.gov on August 15, 2023: “Record-warm temperatures covered (only) 9.3% of the world’s surface this month (July 2023, though alleged by NASA in NASA Global Climate Change, August 14, 2023: NASA clocks July 2023 as the Hottest Month on Record Ever Since 1880.”
  • And a deeper probe by CO2 Coalition of NOAA’s official global data record (U.S. Historical Climatology Network) found that both the number of weather stations reporting temperatures over 100 degrees F and the Maximum Average Temperature for July 4 {alleged broadly to be the hottest day in Earth’s recorded history} were slightly declining since the NOAA’s data record began in 1895.
  • Stoking of a fear-outlook, including conflating regional wildfire problems into global catastrophe and destruction, which ignores comprehensive global, contrary to published research by the British Royal Society in 2015 and updated in 2020, on global and regional trends of wildfire and its impacts, also publicly available at the time of the 2023 IPCC fear-reports and publication of Thunberg/Maslin books. Royal Society conclusions: “The quantitative evidence does not support the perceived overall trends (fire occurrence, severity, and resulting losses) and have declined over past decades.” (see http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2015.0345

Another case of misrepresentation of the truth, Sagan's “over-exaggeration”, Frankfurtian bullshit.

 

8)  Stealthily unmentioned by Thunberg or Maslin, in their “green transition as the appropriate option to save the world,” critical issues must be addressed, such as: 

China, engineering feasibility, toxicity and pollution, nearly incalculable transition-cost magnitude, and reduction in aggregate wealth among all nations, including developmental nations. 

One must go to other sources (see below) to reveal insights into the shockingly, formidable scope of the tasks and obstacles so frivolously ignored by these books and other “green world” devotees’ sleights of hand.

Comment:

  • China: Perhaps the most serious potential problem inherent in the advocated global green policy is the inevitable, formidable shift of concentrated and unprecedented, energy-based political and economic power to China, which will remain by own choice the largest fossil fuel polluter in the world, yet the foremost producer of electric vehicles for the world, plus with virtual, monopoly, global mining and distribution allocation-control of the necessary minerals needed by green power generation of all forms (wind, solar, battery) in all countries, and which shall easily trivialize current OPEC’s dominant fossil-fuel, global energy supply/price dynamics.  
  • The extraordinary horrors of the proposed transition from fossil fuels to green technology begin from the technical/mining and engineering scale realities that have never been attempted by mankind.
  • To the horrific levels of toxic metals pollution and conventional pollutants in magnitudes, which dwarf the current befoulment of civilization, deforestation, ecosystem collapse, biodiversity loss.
  • The enormous cost already approaching $5 trillion to supply roughly 5% of global energy of transition to unconventional, unpredictable, inefficient technologies such as wind, solar, and battery power. Reaching 50-100% substitution at that cost rate outstrips by far any fantasies of affordability by global economies.
  • The reduction of aggregate wealth among nations, including developing nations forced to adopt uneconomical energy strategies, under the impact of the unavoidable inflationary result in commodity and equipment markets (including sourcing new, massive diesel-powered construction resources, the only viable equipment for the mining required), responding to forced adoption of minerals-intensive energy systems could sap the will of all (even the most ideologically-committed alarmists) to fully implement the green energy transition. 

See the following sources:

World Bank: The Growing Role of Minerals and Metals for a Low Carbon Future, The World Bank, June 2017. “Executive Summary” pp. xii-xv.

https://document1.worldbank.org/curated/en/207371500386458722/pdf/117581-WP-P159838-Public-CLIMATESMARTMININGJULY.pdf 

In 2015, the UN promulgated its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) achievable by a forced shift in energy production from carbon-based fuels to renewables, over the next few decades to reach a 50% reduction of carbon emissions (i.e, build enough solar and wind utilities to produce half of the electricity to power half of the world’s economy by 2050).  

In response in 2017, the World Bank quietly announced (an epic understatement) that reaching such goals will require a dramatic increase in metal and rare-earth minerals extraction, already among the biggest drivers of deforestation, ecosystem collapse, and biodiversity loss in the world. (A more recent update on the projected environmental disasters appears in “The Limits of Clean Energy”Foreign Policy, 6 September 2019, by Jason Hickel.)

    Some examples of the World Bank’s current estimation of the potential environmental disaster, which would accompany squelching carbon-based energy sources and implementing substitute green strategies, follow:

  • Massive increases in toxic materials over existing levels of extraction of wind turbine materials (neodymium), silver and indium (solar panels), lithium (battery storage), copper-cobalt-dysprosium (cars), ranging from 70% increases to nearly 3000% 
  • To produce one ton of lithium requires 500,000 gallons of fresh water; green strategies will require an increase of 40 million tons of lithium, which would kill the freshwater supply of the world.

==>To reach zero emissions instead of merely a 50% reduction, the mining required is called “staggering” and vastly exceeding current levels: 34 million tons of copper, 40 million tons of lead, 50 million tons of zinc, 162 million tons of aluminum, and 4.8 billion tons of iron

  • To produce the amount of silver needed would require finding and digging more than 130 new silver mines the size of the world’s 5th largest, open pit mine, the legendary “Earth-scar” Penasquito, Mexico, currently covering nearly 40 sq. miles, with a miles-long tailings dam full of toxic sludge, retained by a wall as high as a 50-story skyscraper.   

Manhattan Institute: The “Energy Transition” Delusion: A Reality Reset, by Mark Mills, senior Fellow, August 2022, pp1-69:

https://media4.manhattan-institute.org/sites/default/files/the-energy-transition-delusion_a-reality-reset.pdf 

Translating World Bank announcements into engineering realities, Mills calculates “that fully replacing hydrocarbons using solar-wind-battery technologies would require a quantity of minerals that vastly exceeds the known, global reserves of those minerals. 

Meeting such unprecedented new mineral demands will require opening far more mines than now exist, and far faster than at any time in history.  The average time from the qualification of a property to bring a new mine into operation is 16 years.  Meeting transition goals will require dozens of new mines for each of a dozen classes of minerals, each at the scale of some of the biggest mines in the world today and each requiring tens of billions of dollars of investment.  This means that regardless of price, policies, and mandates, “the world’s technical/engineering capabilities will be unable to build the machines to meet transition aspirations.” 

The unconventional, unpredictable, inefficient technologies such as wind and solar power are enormously costly. Mills reports that “for the past two decades, the cumulative subsidies…across the world already approach $5 trillion, all of that to supply roughly 5% of global energy.”  Reaching 50-100% substitution at that cost rate outstrips by far any fantasies of recapturing, current annual fossil fuel subsidies, hoped-for technical improvements and innovations or “growing pain” green adjustments, fundamentally unreliable, and deeply environmentally problematic in terms of horrific levels of toxic metals pollution and conventional pollutants in magnitudes, which dwarf current befoulment of civilization, deforestation, ecosystem collapse, and biodiversity loss. 

 

9) The fatuous promise of reparations.  The final thrust in Thunberg’s book is the advocacy of reparations to be paid to the developing world by the industrial countries. To evaluate the merits of this tactic, reparations may be viewed as a means of achieving restorative justice, improving the quality of victims’ lives, to helping them return to the state they would have been in had the injustice never occurred, with those representing the unjust perpetrators making the payments.

Comments:  

  • The injustices are difficult to measure in a world in which people are living longer, healthier, and more comfortably than people living before them, even in the most poverty-stricken clusters remaining.  Indeed, it may be impossible to sort out what restorative justice means in this environment.  Who were the unjust perpetrators?  In a world where (as shone by United Nations’ research) in 1820, 84% of humanity lived in extreme poverty, 42.7% in 1981, further down in 2017 @ 9.3%, so who should pay? and why?  
  • Undeniably, fossil-fuel-driven economic growth has lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic model in history.  When the Gates Foundation staff provided “green transition activist” Bill Gates with that supporting data, he responded (reported by The Guardian, 29 January 2019): “This is one of my favorite infographics.  A lot of people underestimate just how much life has improved and that free-market capitalism has been great for everyone.”
  • Thunberg’s and Maslin’s decade-old inspirations for social/economic justice will fulfill the hyper-political visions of a former head of the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change, who stipulated an otherwise previously hidden political agenda, that climate policy was about more than reducing emissions: 

“It will provide the biggest opportunity since the industrial revolution to 

rebalance economic activity towards a more stable and equitable path 

for every nation.” (Yvo DeBoer, December 2009)

       

 Book Recommendations

An inconvenient reality for both authors, which surfaced after the publication of both climate books and during this recent “scorching summer,” is the unofficial repudiation of the end-of-the-world “existential-threat storyline” by the newly appointed Director of the IPCC, Jim SkaeSkae, Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College of London, is an expert veteran of 40 years of practice in climate change scientific research analysis. His bombshell rejection was published in his July 30, 2023, interview by Der Spiegel

Indeed, Thunberg and Maslin are right on one certain, important thing: “We’ve not been moving in the right direction” (but for reasons other than what they cite, for the current direction has been guided to date by too much involvement by too many uninformed politicians and celebrities, too much one-sided media hysteria, too little balanced discussion among scientists of important science issues, and too much bullshit).

This is not to say that the climate books are no more than “Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing.”

Reading the books is essential, for the subject (climate change) is important and Thunberg /Maslin offer the best representations of the state of “settled science.” But the status of their science should be understood for what it is, i.e., seriously wanting.  The weather is not the climate; and the world’s history includes hurricanes, monsoons, volcanoes, wildfires, America’s “Dust Bowl” and other painful phenomena.  The “climate” of Earth is not feverish, but the “weather” may certainly be so in scattered places, but can it yet match the feverish ferocity felt historically in the making of the Gobi or Sahara or Death Valley?

Read all three books.  Heed philosopher Frankfurt, question the “settled science.”  Demand that official climate analysis work welcomes competent, skeptical researchers to sit at the table of climate-change causal analysis, from which they have been derisively shunned.  

Accordingly, do take Thunberg’s and Maslin’s advice “to make your enlightened concerns aware to political decision-makers,” but insist they pause and review seriously their thinking about climate change and their comprehensive, strategic intervention into the lives of citizens by radically restrictive, fossil-fuel focused, climate-change policy and resource allocations. 

 

Jim Scott (he/him)

November 2023

 

 

The Climate Book: The Facts and the Solutions By Greta Thunberg Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593492321
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - February 13th, 2024

Climate Change: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) By Mark Maslin Cover Image
$11.69
ISBN: 9780198867869
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Published: Oxford University Press, USA - October 19th, 2021

On Bullshit By Harry G. Frankfurt Cover Image
$8.96
ISBN: 9780691122946
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Published: Princeton University Press - January 30th, 2005