“The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible." -IPCC
Thank you for a nuanced assessment of an issue which has been painted in black and white by people on both sides.
There are some things we should be able to agree on. Approaches to climate mitigation need not cost trillions of dollars, and need not involve huge risks of side effects.
Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI.org) has been documenting available cost savings in energy use for 40 years. We can be doing more with less energy, and saving money in the process.
* There is no need for heating systems in homes and apartment buildings. If the same money that is usually used for furnaces and ductwork is used instead for intelligent controls, superinsulation, and heat-exchanged ventilation, buildings can be designed to use no heating fuel, yet cost no more. RMI headquarters in Snowmass, CO is a showcase of this technology, and it is >20 years old.
* Bullet trains use a lot less fuel than airplanes, and they are faster and more convenient for travel legs under 1500 miles.
* Public transit uses a lot less fuel than private automobiles. It is slower and less convenient only because we haven't scaled up public transit so that it covers major cities with trains that run every few minutes. Traffic jams and smog can be avoided in the process.
* Amory Lovins talks about streamlining industrial processes to use less petroleum and less electricity. This is not being done only because energy is cheap and engineers are conservative. https://dailyinspirationblog.wordpress.com/2021/03/29/15280/
* Small-scale organic farming is much more energy efficient than industrial farming, and produces more per acre. Organic farming also preserves topsoil and avoids environmental damage in the process of manufacturing fertilizers and pesticides. Industrial agriculture is only economical because of vast externalized costs.
None of these common-sense, cost-saving policies are part of the agendas of people pushing climate mitigation projects. Instead they want to build nuclear power plants and pump CO2 into the ground, deploying substituting electric cars that move the environmental impact out of the cities into power stations and lithium mines.
Thank you, Dr Setty! I teach ecology at a university and we have a "climate change" lesson coming up this semester....this article is better than my discussion points. One of my instructors years ago was part of the IPCC...he told us decades ago that this agenda was an elaborate crap shoot. You nailed it.
Madhava, you are a kind person. I had the same "problem" with Dr. Bhattacharya. You're being FAR too easy on Al Gore. There was a time not too long ago- about the time when we were at MIT- that he would have been laughed out of the auditorium where he gave that presentation. It was obvious that temperature increases preceded those of CO2, superimposed or not. He tried to hide it with that big time scale but even that didn't obscure the truth.
Man's influence on the CO2 in the atmosphere is one person in a football stadium of 85,000 and that's if we removed every molecule of CO2 man could possibly be responsible for, including exhaling. Will that one fan leaving the stadium appreciably change any measurable human characteristic, such as average number of fingers on the right hand of the 85,000 people in the stadium?
I'm not worried. There are too many negative feedback systems keeping everything together.
Not to mention that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere does not correlate with temperature as a driver of that temperature, on any time scale.
I know you know all of this, by the way.
As staunch environmentalists, let's make it our duty to not let anyone get away with confusing air pollution with increases in CO2. That's where this is heading after the public finally comes around to understanding the futility of climate hysteria. We've spent hundreds of billions of dollars over the last 25 years and the CO2 rate of increase hasn't even flinched.
Modeling, with its copious amounts of data, charts, and hard numbers, acts like science but it’s not. I believe Lorenz’s “Butterfly Effect” was a critique of modeling’s massive shortcomings and how it is an art at best, not a science. Butterflies do NOT cause hurricanes!
Thank you for your clear and thorough articles.
Here I share a link to a 5-min video which I found a good intro for getting acquainted with the climate issues:
*Climate Change: What Do Scientists Say?*
⬆️ Description: "Climate change is an urgent topic of discussion among politicians, journalists and celebrities...but what do scientists say about climate change? Does the data validate those who say humans are causing the earth to catastrophically warm? Richard Lindzen, an MIT atmospheric physicist and one of the world's leading climatologists, summarizes the science behind climate change."
I wish to commend you, Madhava, for this thoughtful and clear analysis of the whole climate change
issue. If nothing else, (and there is much else!) your article certainly points to the much more
complicated science underlying the simplistic "science"/narrative that is presented to us.
I will share a few other thoughts that have arisen for me over the past few years in my less thorough
exploration of this topic:
You graciously, as usual, decline to attribute any motive to the distortion of data on this issue
(as well as the whole covid plandemic, and possibly 9/11 as well), but simply ask questions that may
implicitly lead to possible motives. I do have great respect for this restraint, because it skillfully avoids
exacerbating an already polarized climate we are in, but will offer a couple of, to me undeniable pieces
of evidence that suggest an intentional agenda to generate both fear and de-population for the
purpose of global control and a more subtle form of tyranny than was possible in the past.
1) With respect to the "hockey stick" graph in Al Gore's film, I have heard from several sources
that there was a deliberate omission of previously known elevated CO2 levels in the atmosphere
long before the industrial revolution. I think it was Michael Mann who apparently created this
graph (from Pennsylvania I believe). The impact of this omission naturally made it look like this
spike had occurred only since the modern era. You have thankfully pointed this out in your article
with several references.
2) Even among various thoughtful and knowledgeable climate scientists/skeptics of the official
alarmist narrative with a much broader perspective on the complexity of climate science, there is often
no mention of the decades long geoengineering technology and weather modification through
HAARP, chemtrails, satellites and EMFs that are having a harmful impact on our environment. I don't know how true this is, but a genuine expert on all of this, Elana Freeland, has said that there is very little natural weather in our skies these days, and the the extremes we are witnessing are strategically
manufactured by the military. So, yes, humanly caused climate/environmental turmoil for sure,
but minimally, if at all, by the CO2 boogeyman.
Many blessings for your on-going spirit of clear inquiry on these troubling issues, Jane
...None of the information given here is an argument for the unmitigated use of fossil fuels....
Why the qualifier? I would like someone to explain to me what's wrong with the "unmitigated" (whatever that is) use of "fossil" fuels?
Tangentially, fossil fuels is a misnomer. There is no such thing as "fossil" fuels. Petroleum is produced deep within the earth in a chemical process. The only reason there are organic compounds in the petroleum is because as the oil migrates to the earth's surface, it picks up organic contaminants along the way. This is nothing new but the popular press still talks about fossil fuels as if all the oil that has been tapped and used by man was produced by condensing animal and plant material into the concentrated energy we call petroleum. Seriously? Just try to do the math to calculate how much organic material it would take to produce all that concentrated energy. It's laughable. Bottom line, petroleum is a renewable resource as evidenced by old "dead" wells refilling with petroleum that shouldn't exist per current "popular science".
In 2021-22 there was a volcanic eruption in Tonga. When I saw pictures of that I thought to myself, I could drive a gas guzzling hotrod around every day for the rest of my life and not make as much smog as that thing creates in a fraction of a second. This event generated very little corporate media coverage, and crickets from the climate change crowd. Something is definitely amiss when an event with a significant impact on the environment is basically ignored by the powers that be.
This 3-part essay describes the way in which the dangerously incomplete narrative surrounding CO2 being the single driver of climate came about.
There are two main drivers, or “two legs” to the human caused climate change; CO2 and LAND USE. This was well established once upon a time but the media, industry, governments and even the IPCC latched on to the CO2-only narrative and made it the single focus.
“What happened to the two-legged approach to climate? It’s really kind of simple. Not only were the living processes difficult to model, they stood directly in path of the industrial “green” energy solution being promoted. If land destruction is recognized as a driver of climate change, the notion of a hugely land-intensive, industrial solution becomes problematic indeed.
sadly the left with its drive for world domination shows itself with the use of a child who has been shown one side of a coin to influence her beliefs that CO2 is the problem her drive stating this isn’t usual for a child. people listening are focused on the child, disregarding the facts she speaks on. Science was my favorite subject in school. understanding the basics isn’t hard. why are so many fooled by the CO2 claims that it is the cause of global warming? The main reason is lazy people without the ability to reference memories of what was learned in school. or do they teach it anymore? Trying to explain to people I am assaulted with accusations that I don’t care about our planet. at the ready with well rehearsed reasons that mankind is the only cause of global warming. reference to data that has its only reliable readings taken within the last fifty years are used as proof. ignored are the data from the ice cores taken from both artic zones that have proof of climate going back millions of years. why is this ignored? Using just simple math calculate the BTU’s it would take to raise one cubic foot of sea water one degree and how long it would take. then acquire the data on how many BTU’s man produces in one day. the simple division will show you that mankind hasn’t produced enough BTU’s or has had enough time on Earth to raise earth’s sea water one degree. do the math, I did. Then look at the data that tells us how much heat is delivered by the sun each day. why is the data that shows the heat radiated back out into space each night shown in their data? looking at the ice core data it is easy to see that it is our sun and the tilt of earth’s axis that has the most effect on earth’s climate. Then add in all the cosmic events like asteroid strikes and earth events like volcano eruptions that are the actual cause of climate change. If I wanted to scare everyone I would tell them we are at the start of another ice age. Were I to convenience anyone to control our climate I wouldn’t put the government in charge of it. All they know for solutions is to spend more money to fix it. money that does no actual result of any kind other than enrich themselves and friends and family. Actions that pollute are stupid and should be changed. Not by government intervention. Government wastes more each day than can be recovered. they cut down more trees to generate more printed paper than all the students from all the world. it seems your importance is measured by the amount of paperwork you generate. Global warming? the planet’s weather isn’t static and never has been. listening to the government makes you just as stupid as they are. ————— I, Grampa
Interesting to flip the correlation between temperature and CO2 and to consider which one is the primary driver (and how the earth's rotation may account for both rising and falling at intervals).
As a side note, I sat next to a man at a party yesterday who build solar plants for a living all over our country. He point blank told me "solar isn't green" and while there is place for some alternative energy, he said nuclear is the way to go.
Love the fact that you used facts to make your argument. But the left doesn’t and never will. Facts to them is something to be avoided at all costs I reject out of hand that humanity is nothing more than a cockroach on this planet and that our activity is killing it. That is the ultimate position of the entire green climate change industry/lobby/science
Human-driven global warming has a precise birthday: April 1, 1979 (April Fools Day). The whole concept came from a memo of the JASON scientists: https://irp.fas.org/agency/dod/jason/co2.pdf
Put into context, the four short Carter years saw a dramatic change in energy policy, as did the 1970's as a decade, which put into greater context fits into the New World System global population plan. It's a scientistic narrative with an ostensible purpose that has nothing to do with the true purpose. Once you see it, you can't unsee it.
Thanks for the essay, good points! Is there also a flaw with the "well-mixed gas" theory for CO2? I have recently had trouble understanding why the greenhouse gas layer is depicted as being 25,000 - 35,000 feet up in the atmosphere. Doesn't it make intuitive sense that most CO2 molecules would be closer to sea level given that the density of the atmosphere decreases rapidly with height? Plant stomata are usually on the underside of leaves, so forests are using CO2 molecules underneath the forest canopy for growth. These points suggest that the high cloud layers and water vapor are more significant in determining the greenhouse effect even with rising CO2 emissions since the pre-industrial era. I hope to see a shift in focus to restoring our disrupted water cycle rather than totalitarian carbon controls. If people with old pickup trucks want to deliver materials to restore wetlands, reforest degraded areas, remove old dams, and build organic farms, I am all for that as an environmentalist.
The Ultimate Goal Of A Leftist Lunatic
Is To Become Their Own Victim.
- Of Course That They Start There
- - Doesn't Spoil The Journey.
Great summary. Thank you for the effort this took!