I did not get a D in Physics in high school. What happened is that I missed the exam and the teacher did not know me so, he did not give me any grade. It feels good to get this off my chest, finally. I maimed two birds with one pebble, so to speak because this confession also re-affirmed something I have been admitting ad nausea: I don’t have even minimal credentials in any field that would be related to climate or temperature. I am a “denier” but I am not arguing much with any of the real scientists who are said to believe that:
- There is significant, non-cyclical warming of the atmosphere that is more or less global in scope;
- That is principally caused by human activity;
- That we, collectively, need to worry about now or very soon.
I am not arguing with the specialized studies by scientists for scientists. I don’t read them, of course. This does not necessarily make me illiterate. I know quite a bit about statistics and about probabilities. And, I have 100% vision for good study design. (It’s the same in all empirical research irrespective of the discipline). Mostly, I don’t easily get awed by experts, neither real experts nor pretend-experts. That’s a powerful asset. And no, I never got a big check from the Big Oil Corporations but I am hoping.
In keeping with my lack of technical credentials, I turned to the non-technical part of the latest (September 2013) United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. It’s entitled: “Approved Summary for Policy Makers.” Policy makers would include presidents, parliamentarians and, of necessity, even mayors of cities and councilmen and council women.
Now, I am not sure about the mayor of Santa Cruz, California where I live but I will bet I am as smart as the average Congressman (and woman) and better read than some presidents of the US. So whether or not I understand text written for officials by official climatists is a legitimate test of the Panel’s clarity. The extent to which you understand it is also a valid test.
Remember, what I am going to show you is not addressed to scientist, to specialists. It’s intended to help ordinary but powerful people with average intelligence act right with respect to the dread of climate change.
Before I finally implement my threat, let me admit to a strong bias I have as a teacher and as a writer: If several smart and well educated people do not succeed in expressing something clearly, it’s probably poppycock or, they are so trying to obfuscate that they trip themselves up.
Of course, everyone who wants to know, knows by now, that there has been no global warming in the past fourteen or fifteen years. Whether this is a significantly long interval in connection with the validity of the climatist vision, I don’t really know. However, I note that they sometimes volunteer illustration based o the next hundred years. Fifteen years is fifteen% of that duration. At any rate, the climatists-in-charge seem to feel compelled to address the issue, perhaps because it’s been often raised in the “denier” media.
Here is what the part of the IPCC report addressed to non-scientists says on this topic on P. 10:
“The observed reduction in surface warming trend over the period 1998–2012 as compared to the period 1951–2012, is due in roughly equal measure to a reduced trend in radiative forcing and a cooling contribution from internal variability, which includes a possible redistribution of heat within the ocean (medium confidence).
The reduced trend in radiative forcing is primarily due to volcanic eruptions and the timing of the downward phase of the 11-year solar cycle. However, there is low confidence in quantifying the role of changes in radiative forcing in causing the reduced warming trend. There is medium confidence that internal decadal variability causes to a substantial degree the difference between observations and the simulations; the latter are not expected to reproduce the timing of internal variability. There may also be a contribution from forcing inadequacies and, in some models, an overestimate of the response to increasing greenhouse gas and other anthropogenic forcing (dominated by the effects of aerosols).”
Now, remember this is supposed to help you make wise decisions if you are President Obama, or a city councilor in Santa Cruz California, or in Podunk, Kansas. And how are you doing so far?
I think any group or association or agency that offers a product in judgment should be judged precisely exactly by the quality of its products. That’s what the UN special- purpose agency in charge of summing up scientific knowledge on global warming/ climate change did. I suspect that either they don’t know what they are talking about or that they are so busy hiding something that they manage to confuse themselves.
Let me try to translate (again, I have as much right as any decision-maker to do so – See above) :
“There is global warming caused by human activity except when there isn’t.”
And how about that guy with the Indian name that used to head the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change? Is he still doing consulting on the side ( but giving away all the proceeds to a foundation that bears his name) ?
See also my other postings on the general subject:
Note :The links below send back to essays in reverse chronological order (not that it matters much).
One of these days, I will tell you why I spend so much time fighting the warmist system of superstition rather than other superstitions.