A Climate Realist’s (not so) short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change. Question 10 (of 16) Why do people question climate change?

NOV. 28, 2015 gave his answers to 16 questions in the N.Y. Times regarding Climate Change. This Climate realist added his answer.

 Answers to Question 1: How much is the planet heating up?

Answers to Question 2. How much trouble are we in?

Answers to Question 3. Is there anything I can do?

Answers to Question 4. What’s the optimistic scenario?

Answers to Question 5. Will reducing meat in my diet help the climate?

Answers to Question 6. What’s the worst-case scenario?

Answers to Question 7. Will a tech breakthrough help us?

Answers to Question 8. How much will the seas rise?

Answers to Question 9. Are the predictions reliable?

Justin Gillis answer to Question 10. Why do people question climate change?

“Hint: ideology.

Most of the attacks on climate science are coming from libertarians and other political conservatives who do not like the policies that have been proposed to fight global warming. Instead of negotiating over those policies and trying to make them more subject to free-market principles, they have taken the approach of blocking them by trying to undermine the science.

This ideological position has been propped up by money from fossil-fuel interests, which have paid to create organizations, fund conferences and the like. The scientific arguments made by these groups usually involve cherry-picking data, such as focusing on short-term blips in the temperature record or in sea ice, while ignoring the long-term trends.

The most extreme version of climate denialism is to claim that scientists are engaged in a worldwide hoax to fool the public so that the government can gain greater control over people’s lives. As the arguments have become more strained, many oil and coal companies have begun to distance themselves publicly from climate denialism, but some are still helping to finance the campaigns of politicians who espouse such views.”

My answer to Question 10. Why do people question climate change?

Nobody except total ignoramuses deny climate change. We can learn from history that the Swedish army crossed the Great belt on ice during the little ice age, Greenland had a cheese farm “Gaarden under sanden” during the Medieval warming period,  tree stumps emerging from the melting Mendenhall Glacier, shows there was a forest there 1000 to 3000 years ago, the wine making in England during the Roman warm period, the cooldown during the Dark ages causing massive deaths, the emerging of a man preserved in ice for 5000 years, even before the Minoan warming period. We can see marks from multiple ice ages, such as the finger lakes, “giant kettles” in Sweden from the river that emptied the Baltic Ice lake, and so on. All this happened during stable CO2 levels.

The recent sharp rise of CO2 levels is unprecedented and it should be studied if that is good or bad for the climate since it is a greenhouse gas. We had a little ice age and are still coming out of it, but worldwide temperatures are still lower than during the Medieval warming period. So the question is: how much of the recent warming trend can be attributed to the rise of CO2 and will we ever get back to the Minoan optimum at any level of CO2? On the other hand, what can we do to stave off, or at least delay the onset of the next ice age? These are questions that should be made, but unless you take the “politically correct” position it is very hard to get funding. On the other hand, the “ideological position”  taken by the IPCC,  has convinced numerous countries, which have spent in the hundreds of billions of dollars, to prop up the “research” on the evils of increasing CO2.

The main cherrypicker of data and climate denialism can be can be represented by Michael Mann and his famous “hockey stick” denying both the little ice age and the Medieval Warming period. Another example is how homogenization of temperature data to make the data fit when the environment around the temperature stations change. The temperature adjustments form a near perfect straight line, the less CO2, the more old temperatures are adjusted downward to conceal previous warm periods. This is not science. It may be political science where perception is reality, but science demands the models are checked versus reality.  To adjust temperatures as a function of CO2 levels to prove rising temperatures as a function of CO2 levels is scientific fraud.


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Retired engineer, graduated from Chalmers Technical University a long time ago with a degree in Technical Physics. Career in Aerospace, Analytical Chemistry, computer chip manufacturing and finally adjunct faculty at Pennsylvania State University, taught just one course in Computer Engineering, the Capstone Course.

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