The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Hurricane Irma and Thinking About Future Climate Change

I haven’t written about the hurricanes this season because much of what I’d say, and will say, has become mainstream.

Yes, this is related to climate change, because hurricanes take their energy from the heat of ocean water and ocean water is hotter.

In the late 90s, my friend Stirling Newberry posited that the first major effect of climate change would be more extreme weather events, and more powerful ones. The journals at the time wouldn’t publish, but now everyone knows who cares to know.

So listen, now, and carefully. One of the next great concerns (and it has already begun) is going to be changes in routine rainfall patterns. Those changes are going to disrupt or destroy agriculture in large regions, as well as the typical vegetation of those regions. Forest fires will be one of the results, the great fires of this season will not be the last.

This will go beyond agriculture to what areas are viable to live in with large populations. Heinlein warned in the 50s that California was profoundly unnatural: it required vast water supplies and if they were disrupted, that could cause massive numbers of deaths. I fear large parts of India are also going to be destroyed by this, combined with rising heat. (In fact, leaving Island nations aside, India is one of the nations which will be hit hardest by climate change.)

Because we have also drained and polluted our aquifers, water is going to be a huge problem. I expect the combination of rainfall changes and aquifer destruction to devastate agriculture in many regions, including the US, China, and India.

Right now we produce more food than we need, globally, we just waste a ton of it and distribute it execrably, but that is going to change.

The just-in-time global delivery system is VERY fragile. You should have food and water to survive at least a couple weeks, and ideally a few months. Beans and rice is one option if you can also arrange something to cook with. This is cheap, and done properly you can live on it for a long time. And water, in case the water in your taps goes off or becomes undrinkable.  There are other options, and the survivalist types have done the work, it’s just a question of doing the research and figuring out what is within your means. A couple weeks food and something to cook with isn’t that expensive.(In some places a pot and wood will do the job, but not all places.)

Water, in particular, requires some room to store. But properly stored food and water in a shed, basement or even jammed into the corner of a room could save your life. (You may also or instead wish to have water purification gear available, such as iodine.)

Just something to bear in mind.

The results of the work I do, like this article, are free, but food isn’t, so if you value my work, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


Fiction We Loved as Children and Teenagers


How Much the US Economy Has Recovered for Most Workers


  1. Seems like it’s been forever.

  2. Now we know that the oil companies knew – and my work was based on several predecessors who guess the WWII was not a fluke. Including – but not limited to – von Schelling.

  3. Tom

    Warlordism will also start breaking out in the US and Europe. Governments simply can’t weather this change, and desperate people will flock to those ruthless enough and with a plan to survive.

    Drug Gangs have already made several US Cities essentially a fiefdom for themselves. With the cops breaking apart, those cities will become warzones rather quickly due to the wide availability of guns.

  4. atcooper

    A word of comfort: gangbangers aren’t all that different from cops. Follow roughly the same rules when dealing with them and you’ll be ok.

  5. Steeleweed

    Aside from iodine tablets, there are personal water purification systems like the Life Straw. I grew up in the Rockies when you could drink out of the mountain streams, but they’ve been polluted for the last 30 years or more. If I were headed back-country, Life Straw would be my choice.

  6. steelhead

    This is a feature not a bug as what is a better way to get rid of 95% of the world’s population? Mother Earth is starting to exact revenge from 40 years of neglect with the assistance of the .001% of wealth.

  7. Tomonthebeach

    After 50 years in science, I have concluded that everything in our sensory universe (people, weather, etc. has a built-in homeostatic mechanism that animates forces to sustain balance. Our magnificent genomes are full of such mechanisms. Whether or not politicians and people (pun intended) acknowledge that the climate is out of balance, the forces we generically call Mother Nature kick in to restore balance. In so doing, humans (the principle cause) become collateral damage.

    As we burn forests to make more space to feed and shelter more and more people, as we burn more fossil fuel to sustain our industries, we pollute the atmosphere and create more deserts. Weather changes, and incinerates, crushes, drowns, or otherwise thins the human race – not by intent, but by homeostasis. I doubt that Mother Nature understands or cares who is causing her unbalance. She will just keep giving birth to ever larger Irma’s, floods, snows, wild fires, tornadoes, and coincident wars until things normalize.

    In my mind, survivalist behavior is just part of the war bit. Our decayed and abandoned bomb shelters are a monument to self-destructive stupidity, and remain so. Do we really want to survive Armageddon?

    I write this as an Irma evacuee, safely (we hope) pondering my unknown future ensconced in a Disney Hotel in Orlando. Why not run to the welcoming arms of Mickey Mouse?

  8. Synoia

    Nowhere is safe.

    Cities: unsustainable.
    The Country side: Which one, Future Rainfall patterns are unknown.
    By the Sea: See Houston & Miami.
    With “Friendly:” Not so friendly when they have to choose between who live and who dies.
    The Old: Expendable.
    The Young: Infant Mortality.

    And so it goes, as does this civilization, with a question: “Is intelligence as we know it, an evolutionary dead end?”

    We already know the Economic System we currently practice is an Evolutionary Dead end. The 0.01% who control the resources cannot lift a finger by themselves, they need, and despise, workers.

    Practice being a lackey. It appears to be a path to survival, and some (The Spencers’ in the UK come to mind,) do well while being lackeys.

  9. Blaming this particular hurricane on “warmer oceans” makes no sense, because, as Judith Curry writes,

    ” The surprising thing about this development into a major hurricane was that it developed over relatively cool waters in the Atlantic – 26.5C — the rule of thumb is 28.5C for a major hurricane (and that threshold has been inching higher in recent years).”

    Harvey broke a 12 year drought of hurricanes making landfall, and there’s no general trend of increased hurricanes, or their severity, either.

    (Tropical storms may or may not have increased. Like earlier or more sensitive detection of cancer, the “somewhat statistically significant increase in the number of tropical storms (R² = 0.2274)” may point to a real increase, or not, or something in between.)

    More by Judith Curry on the actual causes of Irma here:

    Dr Roy Spencer has a graph of TX major landfall hurricanes vs. Gulf sea surface temperature here:

    His lying eyes see no correlation, but I wish he would have actually computed this.

    Having said that, I find the close temporal juxtaposition of 2 hurricanes suspicious. Furthermore, the first one just loved Houston, and this one appears to be determined to go directly up Florida. Because weather modification is a real thing (though I’m not sure of our degree of influence), that is always a logical possibility. And since the Deep State are shameless globalists, and CAGW plays so well into their ambitions, I wouldn’t put it past them – if, indeed, they are technically capable of this.

  10. Peter


    There is a third hurricane coming so we won’t see the end of this fake science fright attack from the Warmers. The links to researchers directly involved in climate/hurricane study debunking the Warmer memes is refreshing but the true believers don’t seem to want to learn anything.

    If there is any weather modification going on I would blame the Cubans, they have escaped most damage from either of these storms.

  11. At my local rye store, a gallon jug of water costs just under a buck. Not a bad investment to have a week’s worth of water on hand, just in case. And store up some hand sanitizer so you don’t have to wash with your backup water.

  12. Local grocery store. Thanks, autocorrect!

  13. @ Peter

    Well, ‘true believers’ of any sort don’t need special invitations to re-iterate their faith. Whatever that faith might be.

    However, as most main stream media is down with CAGW (at least insofar as we can assume THAT’s what they mean by “climate change”), we can expect the “default” climate memes to continue being propagated.

    Furthermore, we can expect serious scientific counters to the so-called “consensus” to continue to be suppressed. From “Google’s search bias against conservative news sites has been quantified” @ :

    “Google Search is found to be extremely biased in favor of climate alarmism and against climate realism. The PGSTN ranges for climate realism and climate alarmism do not even overlap! Some of the most important climate realist domains, including low-controversial, have such a low PGSTN that they can be considered blacklisted by Google.”

    I note, though, this paragraph that follows this one:

    “Google Search is found to be biased in favor of left/liberal domains and against conservative domains with a confidence of 95%. Further, certain hard-Left domains have such a high PGSTN that their standing raises suspicions that they have been hand-picked for prominent placement. Certain respected conservative domains are blacklisted.”

    I haven’t studied the paper referred to, but I suspect that,their ideology gauges are not finely grained, enough. I’ll guess that they didn’t separate plutocratic-blessed leftism (like CAGW and identity politics), from non-plutocratic-blessed leftism (like anti-imperialism).

    In “It’s getting real: google censors the left—and us” @ , we can see that is on their list of targets.

    I don’t visit much, nowadays, but I’m sure the following is still true:
    they are down with the identity politics and CAGW doctrines
    they are NOT down with US imperialism, war mongering and destabilization.

    So, for the sin of not completely kow-towing to plutocratic imperatives, they are being punished.

    This is my theory, anyway.

  14. Webstir

    Well Stirling, ya beat T.C. Boyle to the punch by a year or two … but he made an @$$load more cash off of his prescience:
    And it’s a pretty damn good read …

  15. Webstir

    But more to your point, Ian:
    Food – check
    Water – check.
    More outdoor gear than any one person should ever own – check.
    Scoped Marlin .30-.30 lever action – check.

  16. Webstir

    You said “I grew up in the Rockies when you could drink out of the mountain streams, but they’ve been polluted for the last 30 years or more.”
    Ok first, I’ll admit, yours is nowhere near the most outlandish comment on this thread — for christ’s sake Ian, you’ve got some real tin-doilies on here of late. But I digress …

    Steeleweed, I too grew up in the Rockies. Still live there in N. Idaho. Just drank from a mountain steam the other day while hiking in the Selkirks. Do it all the time … have all my life. Best fucking water in the world.

    Any dumbass knows not to drink from lakes and rivers due to the risk of giardiasis. But mountain streams? Polluted? Wtf Rockies are you from?

  17. Some Guy

    It still looks to be a long descent to me. Yes, the current system is incredibly and increasingly fragile, but it is also incredibly wasteful, so if push comes to shove, a lot can be done to sustain the important things for quite a while (for the people who ‘matter’ at any rate).

    Of course, you keep pushing and adding energy to a complex system like the climate and sudden, cataclysmic (for humans, at least) change gets more and more likely, so nobody can say for sure – I guess we’ll see, or not, as the case may be.

    Ultimately, the moral/ethical decay in our culture is the root problem, manifesting in our inability to solve (or stop causing) problems collectively – if this could be solved (it can’t – short of some singularity style re-engineering of the species) then our other problems could be solved relatively easily. But back in the real world, the world’s most powerful country can’t figure out the concept of insurance (whether for floods, or health problems), let alone solve any of its many and increasing problems. With major cities already or about to be underwater, Trump is on the road, expressing his concern about the ‘tremendous burden’ of the Estate Tax. At least Nero knew how to play a musical instrument…

    Synoia got to the heart of it above, “And so it goes, as does this civilization, with a question: “Is intelligence as we know it, an evolutionary dead end?”

    To which the obvious answer is, of course not, we’ll make great pets.

  18. Peter


    Most western states put out reports on the safety concerns of eating the fish from their streams due to heavy metals and other toxins. Colorado is very bad with most streams contaminated from over a hundred years of mining all the way up to high elevations. The Rio Grande drainage here in NM is contaminated but most of our high mountain streams are fine.

    Its probably best to check with the state anywhere in the west before drinking too much of the stream water, it can be hard to spot old mines or know what they are leaking.

  19. different clue

    Possibly a billion words have been written about global warming. Possibly more have. Thousands of people are writing millions more words every day. I can’t read all those words. I can’t read enough of all those words to even read a measurable fraction of all those words. I have read maybe a million or maybe less of those words. So what can I do?

    I accept my status as a mere layman and a part-time reader of simple popularized scientific material. I accept that I will only ever do the best I can do.

    So what do I think about global warming and why do I think it? First, I treat the possibility of it as something to be learned about and known about at a layman’s level. I don’t think about it as something to believe in, because belief-in applies to a separate area of thought and behavior, the area of religion. Belief-in is for religion. Religions are believed-in, or not. The Puritan Legacy has left lasting damage to many people’s ability to think about knowing . . . damage going right down to the level of the language that the brain’s speech-center does its verbalized thinking in.

    Second, I think the man made global warming theory is pretty good to work with as of now. Why would I think that, and why would anyone care what a mere layman thinks anyway? Well, I can write down why I think that, and if anyone reads it they can decide whether the writing itself and what was written about seems to have been worth caring about.

    I first read a speculative article several decades ago in an issue of CoEvolution Quarterly ( the magazine published by Stewart Brand and the CoEvolution Catalog people). The article talked about how ever since the industrial revolution we have been finding and burning more and then moremore coal, gas and oil and raising the airborne CO2 amount to levels not seen for several hundred thousand years. The article talked about Svendt Arrhenius and his discovery of CO2’s ability to help the atmosphere retain more heat from entropied sunlight with its presence than in its absence. The article talked about how the earth has to have at-least-enough CO2 in the atmosphere to retain enough heat to keep earth surface warm enough to keep life alive. The article ended by saying that if we re-filled the atmosphere in historical time with all the carbon which life-on-earth spent geological time eco-bio-geo-sequestering over the whole time it took to make the coal beds and the oil fields, that we would trap more heat down here at the surface than we would enjoy living with. That was a totally speculative prediction made decades ago.

    After that I started reading/hearing more about it here and there, first a little and then a lot as time passed. I read popularised-for-the-layman works like Hothouse Earth by John Gribbin and other books and articles too. I started hearing more predictions being made by more people about what continued manmade carbon skydumping would lead to. At first the predictions were somewhat general and over time they got more and more specific.

    I remember some of the general predictions being that the polar and sub-polar latitudes would be the first to start warming up faster than the temperate and tropical latitudes. I read that glaciers and icefields would melt back and shrink. I read that some species and ecosystems would begin spreading poleward and/or upward up mountains. I read that higher-temperature air would be able to suck more water out of plants and soils leading to stronger functional droughts in places unless/until rain came to those places. I read that since hotter air can contain more water vapor, that if something can shock that water vapor back out of the air; more of it can come down in heavier localized-total raindump events.

    And semi-recently I have read that those things are indeed happening. Ice formations are losing net-volume in the overall meltback Permafrost which arctic-subarctic builders counted on to support their pipes and foundations and roads is thawing and softening here and there, damaging that infrastructure. Various polar tribes ( eskimos and others) report the ice no longer behaves as it used to and age-old tribal memory knowledge can’t be relied on out on the ice any more. I have read that eskimos are seeing birds for which their language has no names.
    I have seen the winters here in South East Michigan lose their conSISTent unbroken coldness relative to what they had used to have, such that every big snow would be followed by a big flash-thaw which would melt all that snow off the still-frozen ground . . . every snow every time . . . such that we would enter spring with zero snow on the ground and hence zero melt-water in the soil to head into spring with.

    Those big general predictions were made before any of that stuff began happening, and then that stuff has begun happening after, often years after, the predictions were made. To my layman’s observation, this looks like mmgw theory has passed the Feynman Test of predicting some basic happenings and then having those happenings happen just as predicted.

    More fine-grained predictions, often based on models, are themselves experiments. Prediction experiments. The models are experimental prediction-engines. Each model will be tested over time to see whether the things its operators use it to predict happen as predicted. That is testing the model. I don’t yet know what to think about all the fine-grained predictions made using the constructed-model prediction-engines. I think I need to see if the fine grained events happen and keep happening the way the fine-grained predictions say they will happen. Every model will go through its own round of Feynman Testing.

  20. mike

    It’s amusing to see the provocations of the nitwits invoking nitwits like Watts, Curry, and Spencer being completely ignored except by each other. Please keep up the good work, y’all.

  21. V. Arnold

    Thinking about the future?
    I’d be careful there; uncertainty can be your friend, if properly applied/considered.
    Which is to say; life is/has always been uncertain; do not lull yourself into complacency.
    Our greatest folly has been allowing governments to rule our lives; give me the jungle…

  22. george hirst

    @Stirling Newberry

    “my work was based on several predecessors who guess the WWII was not a fluke. Including – but not limited to – von Schelling.”

    I would like to read more about this – can you elaborate, or share a link or two?

  23. John

    I like William Gibson’s assessment: “the future is already here, it’s just unevenly distributed” A lot of us live outside the current distribution pattern for catastrophic climate consequences. Thus some think it’s not real. Houston just got included in the distribution. Florida’s next. For me, carbon in the atmosphere is about risk analysis. Never been worth the risk to shit so much carbon in the sky. Graph it over human evolutionary time. We’re going waaaaay outside the bounds. The playas taking big risk. Think they winners. Good luck!

  24. Peter


    You show clearly how people have been conditioned to accept the political and economic mythology of the warmer cult. Carbon and CO2 on which all life is based and depends has become a pollutant because some people claim to know how much is enough or that too much will cause some imagined catastrophe.

    The real target of this Jihad is hydrocarbons that make life as we know it possible. Using hydrocarbons certainly produces pollution other than CO2 but government and industry have made great gains in reducing that pollution and that progress co0ntinues.

    Nearly everything we do as a civilization creates risk and for every benefit there is a cost. Accurate risk analysis requires accurate data but much of the historical temperature data has been if not corrupted manipulated or misrepresented. The IPCC no longer uses the hockey stick graph for its banner for that reason and they admitted there has been little if any GW for the past l5 years.

    The warmers don’t seem to be able of willing to digest new data if it doesn’t support their beliefs and they fall back to parroting political and economic propaganda that their own government and scientific agencies have debunked.

    There has been no increase in major land storms, droughts or hurricanes and the Arctic ice cover is intact and not receding, Polar bears are happy again but some Green sailors were upset they couldn’t get nearer than 300 miles from the NP The Greenland ice sheet seems to be recovering its loses and the Antarctic ice continues its decades long growth according to the latest survey.

    None of this non-catastrophic news means that the climate isn’t changing or that there isn’t some GW. Huston shows us that we need to address the risks of the normal extreme weather events along with moderate GW and rising sea levels. Nailing up Chinese solar panels and disrupting pipeline construction won’t solve any of these problems.

  25. Ian Welsh

    I first read about it in the early 80s. More than read it about, since I was a sci-guy at the time (I took chemistry and physics and math thru grade 12) I followed quite a bit of the science, and it added up.

  26. The Stephen Miller Band

    metamars, great post — your first comment.

    I’m COINING THE TERM here, so please give Full Credit when it becomes our Reality in the Near Future.

    Smart Storms.

    I mean, if we can have Smart Phones & Smart TV’s & Smart Refrigerators & Smart Cars, why the hell not Smart Storms?

    Smart Storms are Storms that possess a form of intelligence that allows them to exist for long periods of time (months or even years) because they can consistently find and move to energy sources that feed & sustain them.

    In the case of a Hurricane and/or Cyclone, it can move inland long enough to wreak havoc and reclaim the Coastal Areas for Gaia and then when its Feedback Mechanisms indicate it’s reaching Critical Weakening, it seeks its energy source, the water, to recharge its Batteries and begin the process anew.

    Smart Storms are Weather-Related Super-Organisms and Humans prepared the Environment for their Crusading Existence.

  27. The Stephen Miller Band

    Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is a symptom just as is over-population. They’re both symptoms of a Dysfunctional System. The System is Civilization as we know it and have known it. This System is predicated on Perpetual Growth. It’s the Holy Grail of this System — Perpetual Growth. We need a new System that is Universe, versus Human, Centric and is predicated upon sustainable harmony with Nature & The Universe. That means we Humans must abide by Universal Limitations. If we don’t, we perish much sooner than was ever necessary.

  28. Hugh

    Some highlights from the most recent (2014) IPCC report. The next the sixth will come out in 2022.

    Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of green-house gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.
    Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen.
    Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era, driven largely by economic and population growth, and are now higher than ever. This has led to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that are unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Their effects, together with those of other anthropogenic drivers, have been detected throughout the climate system and are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.
    Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. Limiting climate change would require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which, together with adaptation, can limit climate change risks.
    Surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century under all assessed emission scenarios. It is very likely that heat waves will occur more often and last longer, and that extreme precipitation events will become more intense and frequent in many regions. The ocean will continue to warm and acidify, and global mean sea level to rise.
    Many aspects of climate change and associated impacts will continue for centuries, even if anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are stopped. The risks of abrupt or irreversible changes increase as the magnitude of the warming increases.

  29. atcooper

    It’s been mentioned elsewhere that various mixtures of air affect human functioning. I can attest to the reality of difference in tenths of a percent in oxygen quantity. It affects cognition definitely.

    It’s just one datum among so many in the wacked out disequilibrium we’re living in now, but it would not surprise me if the increase in ppm CO2 were making people stupider.

  30. @hugh

    “Each IPCC report seems to be required to conclude that the case for an international agreement to curb carbon dioxide has grown stronger. That is to say the IPCC report (and especially the press release accompanying the summary) is a political document, and as George Orwell noted, political language “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

    With respect to climate, we have had 17 years without warming; all models show greater tropical warming than has been observed since 1978; and arctic sea ice is suddenly showing surprising growth. And yet, as the discrepancies between models and observations increase, the IPCC insists that its confidence in the model predictions is greater than ever.”

    from “Lindzen: Understanding The IPCC AR5 Climate Assessment”, Oct 8, 2013


    If you want to understand more about the fraudulent way that more solid IPCC reports are framed, you can listen to Donna LaFramboise’s 50-1 interview.

    I WISH we could trust seemingly authoritative bodies to live up to their potential, but in this corrupt world, it’s hard to find any institution that hasn’t been tampered or manipulated, such that we can trust it 100%.

    Even art criticism was monkeyed with! :

  31. It is amusing, isn’t it? The effects of diminished maxVO2 remarkable.

  32. DrFrank

    re Climate change: the argument always comes down to believers v. non-believers and whether or not humans are responsible. As I see it, if there is just an outside chance that the climate is changing in a way that will have disruptive and probably adverse consequences, it would make sense to take precautions and to try to reduce the human inputs that may be making matters worse. One fact seems incontrovertible: the industrial processes that are critical to the way we live now require–and have long required–much higher temperatures than pre industrial processes, and this must have consequences.
    Climate change apart, I think it is also worth saying that the extent of the hurricane damage done to Houston and likely to be done to Florida reflects certain decisions about urban development, I mean fast money decisions about urban development. Like the famous “American Dream” has ended up meaning ownership of an uninsured house in a flood plain, probably with a fraudulent mortgage likely to be foreclosed despite defective documentation.

  33. At least we have screamers, spammers, and suits from the climates deniers. How much are you getting paid?

  34. Webstir

    Stirling, who are you addressing? If it’s me, I don’t understand your reply.

  35. > ” The surprising thing about this development into a major hurricane was that it developed over relatively cool waters in the Atlantic – 26.5C — the rule of thumb is 28.5C for a major hurricane (and that threshold has been inching higher in recent years).”

    Aside from the questionable nature Judith Curry – its a rule only of rudest significance. Even in 1956 Edwin Fisher found several storms moved over colder water. This observation has been confirmed several this since.

  36. Webstir

    Ah, now i get it 🙂
    Sorry, Stirling it took me a bit to get the tongue in cheek humor.
    As for how much I’m getting paid? Well, in relation to my environmental lawyering the Equal Access To Justice Act provides me with this:

    28 U. S. C. §2412 provides that the agency shall pay attorney fees of a prevailing party in a court case against the agency, unless the court finds that the agency position was substantially justified.

  37. Webstir

    And if you haven’t read “A Friend of the Earth” by T.C. Boyle, you should. As far as literature goes, he was lightyears ahead of everyone else on this.

  38. @Stirling

    “Aside from the questionable nature Judith Curry – its a rule only of rudest significance. Even in 1956 Edwin Fisher found several storms moved over colder water. This observation has been confirmed several this since.”

    Your last comment did not make your previous one any more intelligible, to me. What, exactly, is your point? I think you agree with Curry’s “rule of thumb”, but don’t want it mentioned, apparently because then the politically incorrect thought that this storm does NOT support CAGW narratives becomes obvious.

    Nobody has ever paid me to post anything online. I care about scientific integrity and irrational behavior by scientists. I read – and posted – on that subject years before I got interested in pathological “climate science”. You can google metamars + Woit and metamars + Smolin (the authors of “Not Even Wrong” and “The Trouble with Physics”) to prove this to yourself. Woit and Smolin were mostly concerned about dysfunction in the particle physics community bringing real progress to a standstill, but their insights are clearly applicable more widely.

    You apparently don’t think much of Curry, but I’d say that’s your problem, not hers. One of Curry’s most important points (IMO) is that climate science is “messy”. If you’ve ever seen graphs of contemporaneous temperature proxy data, you’d immediately grok the depth of the “messiness”. Therefore, when people make statements about climate science that suggest a precision and certainty reminiscent of celestial mechanics (say limited to the solar system, in time periods of millenia; so no need to worry about corrections and uncertainty for dark energy expansion; or the Sun turning into a red giant in 5 billion years; or even proton decay leading to a “Big Rip” in 55 billion years), they are spewing malarky. That may be politically expedient, but it’s a scientific travesty.

  39. subgenius

    @ webstir

    You might want to read ‘Standard on Zanzibar’ and ‘The Sheep Look Up’ by John Brunner before making a statement like that. Brunner beat Boyle to that particular post by 20+ years.

    @ everybody else (well, most…)
    Also worth a read

  40. That would the Cheney Doctrine, DrFrank: it there’s a one percent chance someone is a threat we have the right to pre-emptively defend ourselves.

    A good place to start is with those so blind they will not see. A clear and present threat to all of our grandchildren’s future.

  41. Webstir

    Subgenius — I have. Trust me, I turned a-lot of sci-fi pages as a kid. Well, I still do.
    My point, if you have read Friend of the Earth, is echoed (supra) by different clue, that stated:

    “I remember some of the general predictions being that the polar and sub-polar latitudes would be the first to start warming up faster than the temperate and tropical latitudes. I read that glaciers and icefields would melt back and shrink. I read that some species and ecosystems would begin spreading poleward and/or upward up mountains. I read that higher-temperature air would be able to suck more water out of plants and soils leading to stronger functional droughts in places unless/until rain came to those places. I read that since hotter air can contain more water vapor, that if something can shock that water vapor back out of the air; more of it can come down in heavier localized-total raindump events.”

    Boyle features each of these issues prominently in describing the environment the protagonist inhabits. Boyle is about my age — maybe a little older. I expect different clue from the description is too. Brunner doesn’t capture it like Boyle. It’s still too “fiction.”

    But yes … maybe lightyears what a bit of an overstatement.

  42. Hugh

    A few things to consider about the IPCC are that it represents the consensus scientific view on climate change but also the political one since many of the countries signing off on its reports are important fossil fuel producers and users. The IPCC uses a variety of models but this political angle explains why, as dire as its predictions are, they tend to understate the magnitude of climate change.

    There’s not much you can do about climate change deniers. They are like rich passengers on the Titanic. The water is up to their noses and they are still going, “Ice berg? What iceberg. Silliest idea I ever heard.” If, despite all the scientific data and the personal experience over decades of what we see out our windows and on the news, they are still in denial, they will stay in denial.

  43. > What, exactly, is your point?

    The sentence you wrote made no sense.

  44. “The IPCC uses a variety of models but this political angle explains why, as dire as its predictions are, they tend to understate the magnitude of climate change.”

    ? Perhaps you are confused by the difference between their “most probable” model predictions, as compared to their worst case model predictions? What I’m talking about is the difference between their “most probable” model predictions, and what, in fact, actually transpired.

    Do you deny that the “most probable” model predictions did, in fact, run hot compared to what has ACTUALLY been OBSERVED? If I show you a graph of their various model predictions, which, ON THE SAME GRAPH, shows historical temperature data (by “historical”, I’m talking about recent past, not hundreds of years, ago), do you understand where the latter graph line will fall, if the models are running hot, vs. where the latter graph line will fall, if the models are running cold? This is not a trick question. And it’s not hard, if you remember your grammar school introduction to Cartesian axes – with the usual directional assignments.

    I vaguely seem to remember a painful conversation with somebody called “Phoenix woman”, a strident CO2 catastrophist, at firedoglake, who, it seemed, couldn’t interpret a graph that was under discussion….that she (or he) had introduced….

    You remind me of this guy on the latest Bill Maher show (Sept 8), who thought he was knowledgable about climate. Bill’s other panelist was some lady with blond hair, who made sure to point out that she “believed in climate change”. She pointed out that there hadn’t been a hurricane to make landfall in the US in 12 years, and the other guest flatly contradicted her (and reality). Bill Maher, who seems to be a smart guy, doubtless picked up on the flat contradiction, but had no criticism of the clueless guy – not on this point of unambiguous fact, anyway. A good example of tribal non-thinking, masquerading as knowledge and thought. I’m sure Maher would be the first to admit that he’s an entertainer. Yet, I’m also sure he wants to be taken seriously on “climate change”, as well as a number of other topics.

    IMNSHO, he should try harder.

  45. @ Stirling

    “> What, exactly, is your point?
    The sentence you wrote made no sense.”

    Well, that’s unfortunate. I suggest you find somebody more articulate than myself to seriously discuss climate change. I don’t have much time for this stuff.

  46. The Stephen Miller Band

    Climate Change is a Red Herring. Neither side of that Distracting Debate wants to address The Root of the Issue, which is The System, Stupids. The System is destroying The Environment. The System is Anti-Life. The System is a Giant Horrible Gang-Rape of Planet Earth and if it has its druthers, it would be a Giant Horrible Gang-Rape of the Universe.

    The Establishment, or part of it, has usurped the Environmental Movement and turned it into a distracting debate about Anthropogenic-Induced CO2 in the atmosphere and the impact of that at, and to, the detriment of everything else Humanity is doing to Planet Earth. Climate Change quite literally sucks any chance of Positive Change out of the air just as a Fire consumes all of the Oxygen in a room.

    The part of The Establishment that has co-opted the Environmental Movement and made it all about Climate Change has done so because it wants to ensure anything that is done from an Environmental Perspective is done so with Perpetual Growth in mind, so Climate Change is now seen as a catalyst for more Growth — Growth of The Green Economy.


  47. realitychecker

    Bill Maher was a hero for truth in the 90’s, but now his fanatical Dem bias is just as obvious as his million dollars campaign contributions he keeps bragging about.

    A very sad case. Enormous waste of potential.

  48. You’ve certainly wasted enough time on “this stuff”.

    Nothing you’ve said makes any sense, in fact three of the arguements you’ve made just in this thread directly contridict each other, which why this thread is so amusing.

  49. Webstir

    @Ten Bears.
    I wouldn’t wipe my shoe off on metamars if I’d stepped in crap for fear of getting some metamars on my it. Seriously, troll of the first order.

  50. The Stephen Miller Band

    Ironically, as is to be expected considering Irony is thicker than Pea Soup these days, Irma is going to turn out to be a Bust for the most part and America looks like over-reactive silly Fools in the process.

    The answer to impending catastrophes emanating from a wasteful & destructive Human-Centric System predicated on Perpetual Growth is yet more waste. Think of all the waste generated from the Collective Reaction (promulgated & enabled by an Insane Mainstream Media that fosters a Siege Mentality with its Breaking News every Minute on the Minute) to Hurricane Irma.

    All that gas used up. All that bottled water that will ultimately go to waste. For nothing. It was an Over-Reaction to the effects of Harvey which was another kind of Hurricane and didn’t resemble Irma in the slightest. If this is America’s response to future Crises, the rest of The World ought to be scared shitless because America has Nukes and America Over-Reacts. That’s a Human-Extincting Equation if ever there was one.

  51. @ The Stephen Miller Band

    “Climate Change quite literally sucks any chance of Positive Change out of the air just as a Fire consumes all of the Oxygen in a room.”

    Denis Rancourt, a lefty physicist who has written on the physics and politics of CAGW (and doesn’t believe the catatastrophic claims), has basically made the same point. See .

  52. Peter


    I hope someone writes a book about how so many pinko liberals were converted into pseudo-religious fatalist Warmers. Their eschatology is very similar to many the other religions but they do offer some hope if only their technocrat priest class can wrest control of the world from the evil fossil fuel demons and their deplorable minions.

    Brunner is an excellent example of their preacher class a cleaned up and presentable version of the soapbox crackpot preacher waving the same kind of the Ends of the World message to the frightened snowflake mobs.

  53. realitychecker

    The desire for certainty is too often seen to overwhelm the desire for accuracy.

  54. Yeah Web, as usual I am laughing at the “superiority”.

  55. Peter


    Robert Watson was the first chairman of the IPCC and such a flaming Warmer that Exxon supposedly had him removed. In 20l0 he warned the IPCC against overstatement because of their error trend and also challenged them to show respect for qualified skeptics. As we see from the certainty in this report his memo was ignored.

    The political agendas at the top of the IPCC are known but I could only find bios on two of the working group’s chairs. One a French woman CS works for the French Nuke industry while the other co-chair of Group III is another researcher who is also the executive director of the Blackrock New Energy Investment Trust. These are representatives of powerful economic interests who see a different kind of Green coming from their dedication to the Warmer agenda.

  56. BlizzardOfOz

    The political agendas at the top of the IPCC are known but I could only find bios on two of the working group’s chairs. One a French woman CS works for the French Nuke industry while the other co-chair of Group III is another researcher who is also the executive director of the Blackrock New Energy Investment Trust.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but you blew me away with that one. No attempt to avoid or even conceal the conflict of interest? Incredible.

    Out of curiosity I looked up their “About” page, and here is the first sentence:

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change.

    Shouldn’t an organization with those aspirations shun financial interests totally? What has happened to standards.

  57. > Well, that’s unfortunate. I suggest you find somebody more articulate than myself

    Perhaps some who read the actual science, rather than propaganda – which excludes you. Tell me what other fringe right beliefs do you hold? Whyte supremacist? Large tax cut for corporations creating jobs? Everybody going armed enforces order? You are a world of misinformation.

  58. Ché Pasa

    This argument (quote-unquote) became sterile several decades ago. Contrarianism may feel good to contrarians, but it won’t save them when irreversible and inescapable events overwhelm them.

  59. realitychecker

    @ Peter

    I was making a statement of general applicability vis a vis public discourse as practiced in modern times.

    I don’t know enough to debate climate science with this group. 🙂

    @ Blizzard

    “What has happened to standards.”

    They have passed out of society’s digestive tract.

  60. The Stephen Miller Band

    America is Hysterical and it has enough Nukes to blow up The World. America’s reaction to Hurricane Irma is Flat-Out Ridiculous.

    Just to be on the safe side, I think South & North Dakota, due to Hurricane Irma, should declare a State of Emergency and evacuate everyone to the Polar Icecap until the storm blows over. In the least, call school off for a few days just to be on the safe side.

    I’m convinced at this point that America will destroy The World within the next decade or two. This Crazed Siege Mentality Over-Reaction to ALL THINGS will result in letting the Nukes fly and then it’s Game Over for REAL.

  61. johnm33

    Global warming or the next ice age were both being pushed in the late 70s and early 80s, it took a while but I figured that the whole point of weather was to move energy from the equator to the poles, so if the poles began to lose ice it’s definitely warming.
    The big surprise for everyone will be the quantity of permafrost that melts away increasing the size of the Arctic ocean by a significant fraction, with no going back, and it has begun.

  62. different clue


    I don’t read much fiction. I should probably read more than I do, but I don’t. So I don’t know if you are saying my understanding of man made global warming is just as fiction based as Boyle’s novel, or if Boyle’s novel is just as reality-based as my understanding of mmgw?

    Assuming everyone here thinks they know what is happening and everyone here are stating their truly-held understandings in the truest-to-themselves possible way; I think we can all agree on this: some of us are right and some of us are wrong. And events over the next few decades will prove some of us to have been right and some of us to have been wrong. Who will be proved which? I am satisfied to Let Darwin Decide.

    The God of Selection is a Callous God and Its first True Prophet was Darwin.

    Meanwhile, I thank Ian Welsh for offering this first of hopefully several-to-many comments to come on facing and addressing the upcoming survival challenges. I interpret this comment to have been offering advice on storing water for a short-term interruption so as to survive long enough to benefit from water-service restoration after the short-term interruption. After all, one can only store so much water at one time in a small house or apartment.

    For the longer term, one hopes posts are also offered on crafting non-aggressive and non-abusive survival-lifestyles for the long term in a future-decades world of life-support-grid erosion and reduction and background-biophysical survival-conditions unpredictability of oscillating expression. And we the commenters could add value to such posts by offering our own information sources on such medium-term survival-lifestyling; most especially by offering web-based and net-based info-sources to be read and learned in the remaining few years before interwebnet brownouts and blackouts make these sources unavailable at first intermittently and then for good.

  63. “Perhaps some who read the actual science, rather than propaganda – which excludes you. Tell me what other fringe right beliefs do you hold? Whyte supremacist? Large tax cut for corporations creating jobs? Everybody going armed enforces order? You are a world of misinformation.”

    P-f-f-f-t. Do you realize you forgot to ask me whether I belong to the KKK? You also forgot to tell us when you’re going to stop beating your wife.

    Have you thought of applying for a guest spot on Bill Maher’s show? You appear to be as well qualified as the guy that was on 2 nights, ago.

    What you are apparently NOT qualified to do is to have a rational discussion.

    Here’s a suggestion for you to do something USEFUL for ferreting out the truth of Exxon Mobil. Why not organize a shareholder lawsuit of ExxonMobil, against their management? If their management has continued to invest in drilling rights that are supposed to have a 20-30 year productive lifespan, but they’re likely to get shut down before then, as earth-killing global warming, with attendant catastrophic sea level rise, forces the world’s governments to react, then their management is incompetent. OTOH, if the “holy models” are as crappy as the data shows that they are, Exxon Mobil should be using their awesomely deep pockets to educate the public about what science says (not fraudulent ‘science’ like Michael Mann’s hockey stick). To not have done so, in this scenario, ALSO puts their assets at risk, if only because brainwashed masses may vote for politicians that will act as if scenario A prevails. And thus we can again conclude that Exxon Mobil management is incompetent.
    Hence, suing Exxon Mobil for incompetence is something that BOTH CO2 catastrophists (who are sincere) and CO2 realists can agree on, even if their ultimate motives for doing so are diametrically opposed.

    The practical goal of the lawsuit would not be just financial damages, but also learning EVERYTHING that Exxon Mobil knew, during the process of discovery.

    As I’m quite sure that, collectively, Exxon Mobil scientists know most everything I learned from my study of climate science, and a hell of a lot more, I have little doubt about what discovery would reveal. Viz., it would reveal that Naomi Oreskes is fixated on the 1980’s because a) that narrative pays off for her and b) she’s full of crap, extrapolating forward the way she did.

    For one thing, the “pause” (which my quote of Lindzen alludes to) didn’t begin until the late 1990’s. So, of course Exxon Mobil didn’t know about that, because nobody did. Of course, Oreskes knows about The Pause, so the last thing she’d want is to disprove her own narrative, unless she was a truly honest person. (Real scientists, BTW, will try to disprove their hypotheses, long before publishing.) The Pacific Decadal Oscillation was also discovered around that time.

    You would do well to study more about the philosophy of science, at least to to figure out if you support falsifiability, or are you going to be hunky-dory with faith based science (presumably as long as it dovetails with your political predilections)? If so, you’d be doing anybody who thinks you’d be interested in a rational discussion, a favor by preceding every comment with “I don’t believe that science should be falsifiable, but ……”

    You’d also do well to study the parts of “The Trouble with Physics”, where Smolin discusses the ethics of science. Secondarily, read the parts where he discusses string theorists ignorantly mischaracterizing loop quantum gravity results (which were well-established, but the stringy guys spoke about it as though it were unproven, theoretically/mathematically); but ALSO spoke as if conjectures in their specialty were theoretically/mathematically proven, when, in fact, they weren’t.

    His narrative reminded me of the Woody Allen movie, where people were discussing the meaning a movie while waiting in line, and Allen interrupted them, with the actual playwright in tow.

    You’d do well to base your thoughts and conclusions on more reality based sources – ya know, like Woody’s character did, in the movie – but that’s just my opinion. If you’re basically just interested in swimming in your own thought bubble, there’s nothing anybody can do to help you out of it.

  64. different clue

    Here’s an article about the current ongoing wildfires in Canada. We know that part of the cause for them is profit-oriented forest dismanagement involving artificial fire suppression with its attendant artificial excess-fuel mega-buildup all neatly and tidily in place to make the overdue and eventually unsuppressable fire into an excess-fuel mega-fire.

    Do global-warming’s regional effects such as rainfall-deprivation and premature snowfield-snowpack removal through sudden high-temperature flash-thaws make the excess-fuel artificially unburned forest even more mega-burnable than otherwise? Opinions differ.

    Anyway, here is the article.

  65. bruce wilder

    Like a different clue, I do not think I can ever bring anything more to climate change science than an educated lay person’s tolerance for a modicum of careful popularization. I did look at / skim parts of IPCC 5. Having tried myself on occasion to digest projections of the future into “scenarios” useful to, but not prejudicial for, policymakers, I am sympathetic to the impossibility of the cognitive and political task the IPCC working groups were assigned.

    I was trained as an economist, and rightly or wrongly, I see the political problems posed by the addition of carbon to the carbon cycle as rooted fundamentally as an economic problem. I do not mean particularly the coordination cum free rider problems of getting cooperation amid the global anarchy of nation-states, though, of course, economists might have something to say about that. I mean the economic problems of production: entropy, waste, accumulation, depletion and control of production processes. I mean the handling of uncertainty, as residual, risk, learning and externality.

    I cannot say on my own authority that the IPCC gets the climate science right or wrong. To a large extent, I think they fail as popularizers: it is hard to extract an essential albeit metaphoric intuition from what they have written. And, yes, if they are writing for policymakers in government, then their job re: “the science” is and was “popularization”.

    I will say with more personal confidence that the economics in IPCC Mitigation 5 was atrocious. This is in large part because mainstream economics and the academic establishment that nurtures it are by and large corrupt and incompetent. Reputable economists are ill-informed and incurious about how important economic institutions work and squander their capacity for critical thought defending indefensible conventions (e.g., aggregate supply, production function, rational expectations, markets).

    What I get from the science is that certain direct effects of adding even seemingly small amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere (small, as in measured in ppm) and oceans are small but practically significant and that practical significance may be amplified over long periods (a half-century, a century, three centuries). Those direct effects are scientifically certain. That CO2 and methane have direct greenhouse effects is known, as is the effect, say, on ocean acidity. This is established chemistry. The direct effects and the immediate consequences of those direct effects are well-understood. Moreover, the accumulation of CO2 and methane can be projected with actuarial confidence for decades ahead. It is the amplification of consequences by indirect effects — positive forcings that may amplify the warming effects and disruptions to the natural and anthropogenic ecology — where speculation is, well, speculative and tends to the hyperbolic.

    That there will be some amplification beyond direct effects is something we can have a lot of confidence about, even if any particular lurid scenario is assigned a low probability. Competition for scientific fame and funding assures a steady stream of speculation from otherwise sober quarters. But, however many the proposed ideas and however low the probability assigned to any one of them in our Bayesian ignorance, altogether the probability of something happening is high.

    Disruption cannot quite be separated from amplification, but belongs to a conceptually separable path toward economically significant consequences. Disruption suggests quite a lot might happen — not further positive forcing on temperatures so much as just a lot of something, something. Change. And, more change. Floods, droughts.

    I do not think hurricanes are a scientifically respectable representative of disruption. Ocean ecology collapse and mass extinction — now that is some serious disruption. Be that as it may be, the question is, how to think about the economics. The economics of overpopulation, resource depletion and exhausting the assimilative capacity of the environment, with special attention to the implications for productivity.

    Here, on conceptualizing the economics of our common or individual predicaments, I do not believe we are doing well.

    I find myself in unaccustomed sympathy with TSMB. It is The System, and narrowing the political focus to climate change and away from the general and diverse damages (I will not say “risk” which connotes possibly winning a bet) done by all use of energy in economic activity. And away from the extent to which economic activity is actively wasteful and harmful at the considerable margin: we could live happier lives doing less for The Man and damage our earth less in the process. And, away from the dangers of technological advances pressed into money-making uses on a global scale, with too little concern for the later recognition and public regulation of consequences (privatize the profit, socialize the losses).

    Neither establishment thinking nor apocalyptic reverse-millennialism are serving us well politically. Speaking personally, I do not think we can come together and solve this thing globally. We have already gone too far. There is no reverse-gear on carbon added to the carbon cycle. There is a reverse gear on human overpopulation, but . . . who wants to even imagine going there? The future, as another commenter quoted the wag, is here now but unevenly distributed. Florida and Texas are getting a taste. Syria has been getting a taste for a decade.

    At best, we can try to free ourselves from domination by advertiser-supported Media and do what we can for a politics we own, as well as pay for. We can admit we do not know the answers, and stop believing-in b.s. just because it is mildly entertaining. (And, no, you cannot buy either moral superiority or survival on Amazon for delivery by Wednesday. sorry.)

  66. Judith Curry recommends “Global Warming and Hurricane Harvey” @

    “So Hurricane Harvey developed in an environment in which temperatures were near normal in the atmosphere and slightly above normal in the Gulf. The clear implication: global warming could not have contributed very much to the storm.

    OK, let me go out on a limb. Let us assume that all of the .5C warming of the Gulf was due to human-caused global warming. That NONE of it was natural. And that the air was warmed by the same amount. Using the scaling described above implies an increase of 3.5% in the extreme precipitation of this storm. So for places that received 30 inches, perhaps 1 inch resulted from global warming. Not much. Immaterial regarding impacts or anything else.”


    “The bottom line in this analysis is that both observations of the past decades and models looking forward to the future do not suggest that one can explain the heavy rains of Harvey by global warming, and folks that are suggesting it are poorly informing the public and decision makers.

    They are using hand-waving arguments to push an agenda, which observations, theory, and modeling show to be incorrect. Global warming is a serious issue and mankind must deal with it, but hype and exaggeration of the current effects is counterproductive in the long term.”

  67. Ché Pasa

    What’s the agenda? And whose? When you can explain that comprehensively and coherently, you may have a point. Until then, you’re merely doing your share of handwaving.

  68. different clue

    @Bruce Wilder,

    I hope Tony Wikrent is reading this post and thread. If he is, and he thinks he has a useful response to bring to your comment, I hope he brings it here.

    Especially now that Naked Capitalism is a No Comment Zone.

  69. subgenius

    @ metamars

    Ever studied dynamical systems? complexity/chaos theory/math…?

    The ‘scaling’ that you propose is simply not how it works.

  70. @ subgenius
    I have most of a master’s degree in applied math, analysis discipline. So, “yes” to dynamical systems, but “no” to formal study of chaos theory (I studied a little on my own).

    You are apparently referring to Cliff Mass’ reference to the Clausius Clapeyron relationship.

    “There is a well known relationship between temperature and the maximum amount of moisture air can hold, the Clausius Clapeyron (CC) relationship, which says that air can hold about 7% more water vapor for every 1°C increase in temperature.

    It turns out that there is a lot of theoretical and modeling work that suggests that extreme precipitation in storms might increase at roughly the same rate. So increase the temperature of the air 1C and extreme precipitation might increase as much as 7%. Keep this number in your head…it will be important.”

    The “scaling” to which he refers is, AFAICT, simply the ratio 1C : 7% .

    So what, exactly, is your problem with this?

    I’m guessing that you think this relationship will break down, perhaps catastrophically, if the temperature rises more than the additional 1.1 deg C, or thereabouts, that non-CAGW scientists (like Lindzen) are expecting to result from another doubling of atmospheric CO2.

    Why don’t you tell us, instead of keeping us in suspense?

  71. There’s an interesting article related to ExxonKnew lawsuits.
    “Thwack! Federal Judge Deals Major Blow to Gore and #ExxonKnew Crusaders”

    “The same could be said of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has changed the focus of his own ExxonMobil investigation at least three times, shifting from what ExxonMobil knew about climate change, to what it predicted, to what it supposedly failed to predict. Schneiderman, CLF, and the rest of the #ExxonKnew campaigners are all working backward from their assumption that ExxonMobil must be guilty of something – they have the verdict, now they just need the evidence”

    I’m not a lawyer, but I think my idea of shareholder lawsuits against management incompetence is viable. In any event, I doubt it could fare any worse in the courts, than the various attempts mentioned in the article.

    BTW, I made this same suggestion at, to my fellow “climate change deniers”, at least as early as April 16, 2016. See my comment here:

    see also my comments here:
    and here:

  72. @ metamars
    “His narrative reminded me of the Woody Allen movie, where people were discussing the meaning a movie while waiting in line, and Allen interrupted them, with the actual playwright in tow.”

    I forgot to mention that Smolin actually looked up an author of a paper, widely cited by the string theorist community as validating some key tenet of their scientific faith.

    His quoting of the author, showing the community was wrong, reminds me of Woody Allen with his authoritative source, in tow in the line at the movie. String theorists probably have the highest IQ’s of any scientific group, but that’s insufficient protection from tribalistic groupthink.

  73. Webstir

    So metamart, you talking to yourself again? Freudian slip?

  74. Webstir

    @bruce wilder
    Thanks for taking the time to submit your comment. Great stuff. As economist who has “seen the light,” you conveyed what I’ve been ineptly trying to say for years now. It’s the economists stupid! They are the classic example of three blind men trying to describe an elephant. And world leaders beg and scrape before their useless assumptions. I’ll swear I’ll never get it.

  75. whoah this weblog is wonderful i really like studying your posts.

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  76. subgenius


    That comes out of the August Roch Magnus approximation (7% per 1c), rather than C-C, but I was not talking about that at all…more the weather patterns that allow eg a storm to sit over Houston for a week and dump water.

    The patterns are changing and the dynamical system that is the atmosphere is increasingly unstable, leading to unusial patterns in local conditions.

    Admittedly the increase in atmospheric water is helping this, but where the systems move is more important.

    I don’t think c-c/a-r-m is going to change – the approximation is good longer than humans could survive lol

  77. different clue

    Here is a hopeful-if-true technological system being worked out for photoelectric-driven production of ethanol and ethylene. The article claims it to be possible and already proven to be real in the lab. If that is true ( and not just fake news), then the next steps would be to see if it can be real-world mass-big-huge, and energy cost-effective.

    Because if it can be, then it offers a way to solve the problem of solar energy storage for when the sun goes down or when clouds cover the sun. Naturally most people will look at it and say . . . ” wow! motor fuel for the cars!” But the ethanol and ethylene which it is claimed the process uses photo-voltaic electricity to produce could be stored during sunlight production hours, and then burned during darkness hours to boil water to turn turbines to make electricity. The CO2 and H2O produced by the burning could all be saved in tanks, and then used as the reactants to be turned into ethanol and ethylene all over again by the next day’s solar photovoltaic energy.

    Here is the link.

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