Steve Horwitz: Global Warming Is about Social Science Too

Both sides in the debate over global warming are known for calling their opposition all kinds of derisive names.  Perhaps the worst is “denier” to describe those who allegedly deny that global warming is “real.”  The echoes of Holocaust denial are indeed offensive, particularly because the debate over global warming often conflates science with social science.  This matters because one could accept that science has established global warming but still reject for social scientific reasons the claim that the policies normally associated with environmentalism are the proper way to address its effects.  Does that make one a “denier?”  It is that question I hope to answer indirectly below.

To help clarify what’s at stake, I offer a list of questions that are (or should be) at the center of the debate over anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming.  I will provide some quick commentary on some to note their importance and then conclude with what I see as the importance of this list.

1. Is the planet getting warmer? 

2. If it’s getting warmer, is that warming caused by humans?  Obviously this is a big question because if warming is not human-caused, then it’s not clear how much we can do to reduce it.  What we might do about the consequences, however, remains an open question.

3. If it’s getting warmer, by what magnitude?  If the magnitude is large, then there’s one set of implications.  But if it’s small, then, as we’ll see, it might not be worth responding to.  This is a good example of a scientific question with large implications for policy.

All these questions are presumably matters of science.  In principle we ought to be able to answer them using the tools of science, even if they are complex issues that involve competing interpretations and methods. Let’s assume the planet is in fact warming and that humans are the reason.

4. What are the costs of global warming?  This question is frequently asked and answered.

5. What are the benefits of global warming?  This question needs to be asked as well, as global warming might bring currently arctic areas into a more temperate climate that would enable them to become sources of food.  Plus, a warmer planet might decrease the demand for fossil fuels for heating homes and businesses in those formerly colder places.

6. Do the benefits outweigh the costs or do the costs outweigh the benefits?  This is also not frequently asked.  Obviously, if the benefits outweigh the costs, then we shouldn’t be worrying about global warming.  Two other points are worth considering.  First, the benefits and costs are not questions of scientific fact because how we do the accounting depends on all kinds of value-laden questions.  But that doesn’t mean the cost-benefit comparison isn’t important.  Second, this question might depend greatly on the answers to the scientific questions above.  In other words: All questions of public policy are ones that require both facts and values to answer.  One cannot go directly from science to policy without asking the kinds of questions I’ve raised here.

7. If the costs outweigh the benefits, what sorts of policies are appropriate?  There are many too many questions here to deal with in detail, but it should be noted that disagreements over what sorts of policies would best deal with the net costs of global warming are, again, matters of both fact and value, or science and social science.

8. What are the costs of the policies designed to reduce the costs of global warming?  This question is not asked nearly enough.  Even if we design policies on the blackboard that seem to mitigate the effects of global warming, we have to consider, first, whether those policies are even likely to be passed by politicians as we know them, and second, whether the policies might have associated costs that outweigh their benefits with respect to global warming.  So if in our attempt to reduce the effects of global warming we slow economic growth so far as to impoverish more people, or we give powers to governments that are likely to be used in ways having little to do with global warming, we have to consider those results in the total costs and benefits of using policy to combat global warming.  This is a question of social science that is no less important than the scientific questions I began with.

I could add more, but this is sufficient to make my key points.  First, it is perfectly possible to accept the science of global warming but reject the policies most often put forward to combat it.  One can think humans are causing the planet to warm but logically and humanely conclude that we should do nothing about it.

Second, people who take that position and back it up with good arguments should not be called “deniers.”   They are not denying the science;  they are questioning its implications.  In fact, those who think they can go directly from science to policy are, as it turns out, engaged in denial – denial of the relevance of social science.

Steven Horwitz

Steven Horwitz

Steven Horwitz is the Distinguished Professor of Free Enterprise in the Department of Economics at Ball State University, where he also is a Fellow at the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise. He is the author of Hayek’s Modern Family: Classical Liberalism and the Evolution of Social Institutions.

 This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

Update: I had similar thoughts here.

This entry was posted in Global warming and climate change policy, Guest Post. Bookmark the permalink.

73 Responses to Steve Horwitz: Global Warming Is about Social Science Too

  1. stackja

    Meanwhile in Asia and Africa, people starve because of a lack of coal energy.

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    The answer to question (1.) is no, as far as the last couple of decades go. During that time pCO2 has risen over 10% absolute, yet there has been no effect except in distorted datasets the activists cite (the first-linked dataset is not so easily distorted).

    Consequently there is no justification for any action at all, even if at zero cost.

    As for the climate activists it is quite fair to say they are ‘totalitarian’ because they wish to control everything. That the world doesn’t need to be saved is merely a piffle.

  3. BoyfromTottenham

    I think Bjorn Lomborg has attempted to thoroughly answer Qs 4-8 in his research and books. I take your point about ‘deniers’, but I think that the use of this word to describe those who disagree with the Climatologists is a key part of their propaganda war, likely based on Alinsky’s Communist-inspired ‘Rules for Radicals’ book of 1971.
    If this is correct, we are wasting our time arguing with these folk – they are not interested in the science or the cost or the rationality of their CAGW claims, just in convincing enough ‘useful idiots’ to support their ‘save the world’ cause, which has nothing to do with climate change.
    Surely the recent statement at the UN Climate Summit that calls for a ‘brave new world financial order’ to redistribute wealth from the developed to the underveloped countries bells the cat?

  4. a happy little debunker

    2. If it’s getting warmer, how much of that warming is caused by humans?

    Ask the right questions you’ll likely get a better answer!

  5. Andre Lewis

    Good questions and having looked for years at much that has been written about the topic, including the IPCC , there does not seem to be any research outcomes showing that human emissions of CO2 are significant enough to cause warming outside of natural causes. Surely if this cannot be demonstrated our denigration of fossil fuels etc is pointless?

  6. 1. Is the planet getting warmer?

    Nobody knows. There is no way to know with current technology except by using proxy observations such as the amount of ice laying around. The amount of ice seems to be no different to observations recorded more than 100 years ago. So no, the planet is not warming as far as we can tell.

    First, it is perfectly possible to accept the science of global warming but reject the policies most often put forward to combat it.

    Ask Lomborg how that turned out for him. Persona non grata in Australia and most of Europe.
    Are we surprised to see hysterical reactions from women and children (and inner city pooffo pinko latte sipping, bicycle riding soy boys) once we concede (for the purposes of debate only) that mankind is warming the planet?
    This is like admitting to a crime and debating the level of punishment. This is even more stupid than being a warmist lemming.
    No wonder they’re not just winning, they are killing us and will continue to do so.

    There is no evidence that the planet is warming, let alone man’s emissions causing said warming.
    No one knows “the temperature” of the planet. It’s a meaningless, unscientific number cobbled together by activists in places like the BoM, NOAA and the UK Met.

    According to the gold standard climate bible The IPCC, if the planet has warmed by 0.8DegC due to man’s emissions of CO2, then the area in the troposphere about 8-10km above the tropics should have warmed by about 1.6 – 2.4 DegC.
    Radiosonde balloons can’t detect that warming, satellites can’t detect that warming. That means the theory of AGW has been DISPROVED.

    The real “science deniers” are those who cling to this disproved junk science and we know why they are clinging. They’ve told us with their own mouths.
    OTTMAR EDENHOFER, UN IPCC OFFICIAL: “But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole”.
    https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/noel-sheppard/2010/11/18/un-ipcc-official-admits-we-redistribute-worlds-wealth-climate
    Edenhofer was co-chair of the IPCC’s Working Group III, and was a lead author of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report released in 2007

    I helped audit that Fourth Assessment Report (I audited 11 chapters) and can tell you that it is nothing but propaganda. It, and the other assessment reports are ‘conclusion first, convenient only facts gathering second’ political documents. Far from scientific.

  7. max

    You will not get honest answer to any of this guestions and some of them can not be answered with today knowledge and technology.

    Genesis 1:28
    God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

  8. Phill

    The continued intractable non-discussion about global warming consumes mental and financial resources in a way where the discussion itself may be the end of us. Its a bit like saying “oh look, a unicorn, Lets argue about that” while ignoring the lions and tigers and bears.

    What about the vast levels of pollution pouring from China and India, with no Paris restrictions? Keep chucking your plastic rubbish into your rivers, so it can be shared by everyone else on the planet? The global community seems be saying “thats alright, just keep going stinking up the place, until you have banged enough rocks together to lift yourselves out of poverty”. Oh wait, hasn’t China been “civilised” for the past 5,000 years? Are you not the second largest global economy?

    In the meantime, lets distract everyone by framing all of this around the simplistic sins of carbon dioxide, and push all of our resources there. That a great way to not get anything done.

  9. Pyrmonter

    This is slightly off topic, but in a similar vein (from https://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com/2019/09/bans-on-fracking-and-nuclear-power.html)


    Bans on fracking and nuclear power
    If you want evidence that climate policy has become unhinged from science and quantification, becoming more like a religious cult, look no further than the recent Democratic presidential candidates’ proposals to ban fracking immediately and nuclear power soon.

    From Michael Cembalest at JP Morgan

    I’m not a denier. Yes, carbon is a problem, warming is a problem, and a uniform carbon tax, vast expansion of nuclear energy, more renewables, lots of R&D on them, GMO foods, and geoenginnering are solutions. (If indeed warmer weather is an existential crisis, and if indeed $2 billion of soot in the upper atmosphere solves it, that should at least be on the table.) Actual, quantitative, scientific solutions. They don’t atone for our carbon sins.

    A ban on fracking and nuclear are not solutions, and will raise carbon emissions. The US is doing better on carbon reduction than other countries, because of fracking and natural gas. Unlike Germany, who has followed these policies, we cannot rely on Eastern European coal and Russian gas.

    I am delighted to see that despite my fears of how extensive discretionary regulation will silence dissent, Mr Cembalest can still write such a note, with the JP Morgan imprimatur. We’ll see how long such heresy survives more intense financial regulation and “stakeholder” control of corporate boards. “Eco-authoriarianism” and a “coercive green new deal” are already openly advocated, here for example.

  10. Both sides in the debate over global warming are known for calling their opposition all kinds of derisive names.

    Ummm…no, only one side does that.
    As a firm believer in applying their rules to them I refer to so-called ‘alarmists’ (oh my what a derisive name!) as “HOLOCAUSTERS”.
    Because that is what will happen if this cult of death get their way, on a global scale.
    It also happens to be the origins and aims of this entire fraud. Mass depopulation via vastly reduced life expectancy, malnutrition, famine and subsequent wars for resources.
    The left is death. If you disagree, pick up a history of the 20th Century then get back to me.

  11. Rafe Champion

    Important economic analysis by Toll commenting on the relevant section of an IPCC report in 2010, from the comments on Sinc’s post.

    Toll is a leading economist who considered that there are benefits from warming up to two more degrees Centigrade without any drastic issues arising. He provided a comprehensive list of his concerns with the Panel when he resigned from the IPCC in 2014.

    He wrote that he Summary Statement:
    Was the result of encouraging over-estimation of hazards due to self-selection of authors and referees.
    Omitted improved irrigation and crop yields.
    Emphasized heat stress but downplayed reduced cold stress.
    Warned about mass climate migrations without any solid evidence.
    Overestimated the consequences of climate change.
    Could have been written by the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

  12. mem

    All these questions are presumably matters of science. In principle we ought to be able to answer them using the tools of science, even if they are complex issues that involve competing interpretations and methods. Let’s assume the planet is in fact warming and that humans are the reason.

    If science was doing its job professionally we would have accurate verifiable figures and transparency in how measurements are collected and adjusted.There would be error bars on graphs and the collection and collation of data would follow standard statistical methodology.
    Unfortunately the science and its presentation is flawed, sometimes deliberately, at its origins and therefore subsequent questions are irrelevant.
    While Lomborg does good work as no doubt Steve Horwitz does, I can’t help but think they are diversions from the important science questions, take up publicity space that might otherwise go to scientists that directly address the very basis of AGW, and in their own way have been sucked in to contributing to the scam.

  13. cohenite

    If you believe in alarmism cost/benefit analysis:

    In a landmark study that should shift the terms of the debate over what to do about global warming forever, Yale economist William Nordhaus has found that the favored programs of Al Gore and Sir Nicholas Stern would cost the world more than unmitigated global warming. He found that global warming under a business as usual case would inflict damage on the world amounting to $22 trillion. Sir Nicholas Stern’s proposed course of action would reduce that damage to $9 trillion, but at a cost of $27 trillion, for a total cost to the world of $36 trillion, $14 trillion more than unmitigated global warming. Al Gore’s package of measures would reduce global warming costs to $10 trillion at a cost of $34 trillion, for a total cost of $44 trillion, twice the total cost of global warming. A variety of measures aimed at keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius would have similar benefits and costs to the Stern proposal. Nordhaus proposes a modest carbon tax as the best way to tackle global warming, providing the most benefit at the least cost, but does not fully analyze a resiliency/adaptation approach such as that advanced by Prof Julian Morris and others, including CEI. Nordhaus’ study should demonstrate that the policies proposed by alarmists are so harmful to the world that they should no longer be seriously considered by policy makers. Instead, the debate should switch to which of the policies suggested by Nordhaus or Morris would be the best way forward.

    In Cool It, Fig 11, Lomborg calculates that if nothing were done then global warming would cost $2 trillion but there would be benefits of $3 trillion. To achieve the preferred IPCC option of restricting global temperature to an increase of 1.5C (as if humanity can control fucking temperature) would cost $84 trillion and have benefits of $11 trillion.

    In 2009 the then NSW Labour government commissioned Frontier Modelling to analyse the effect the 5% ETS proposed by the then Rudd government would have on the Australian GDP. The modelling showed a $2 trillion reduction in the Australian economy directly linked to the effect of the ETS by 2050; that’s $50 billion per annum; enough to pay for the NBN, or the subs, or some other shitty pollie pipe-dream.

    Like every aspect of alarmism, including the scientific evidence (there is none), any economic analysis shows it to be bullshit.

  14. I_am_not_a_robot

    Baa Humbug @ 11:39 am

    … According to the gold standard climate bible The IPCC, if the planet has warmed by 0.8DegC due to man’s emissions of CO2, then the area in the troposphere about 8-10km above the tropics should have warmed by about 1.6 – 2.4 DegC … the theory of AGW has been DISPROVED …

    Not AGW but CAGW.
    I’m no expert but I have followed the ‘ins and outs’ for the past 15 years or so and my understanding is that enhanced tropical mid-tropospheric warming (2 – 3 times faster than the surface) is supposed to be an indication of water vapour feedback adding to the known warming effect of doubling CO2 concentration viz. 1C.
    Without enhanced warming from water vapour feedback, then doing nothing but welcoming a slightly warmer (all else being equal) and CO2 enriched atmosphere is the rational response.
    Roy Spencer has a recent post on this subject.

  15. cohenite

    Baa Humbug @ 11:39 am

    … According to the gold standard climate bible The IPCC, if the planet has warmed by 0.8DegC due to man’s emissions of CO2, then the area in the troposphere about 8-10km above the tropics should have warmed by about 1.6 – 2.4 DegC … the theory of AGW has been DISPROVED …

    Not AGW but CAGW.

    The Tropical Hot Spot is a fundamental prediction of AGW, anthropogenic global warming. The alarmists tried to squeeze out of this but were trapped by Figure 9.1

    I have circled the plates illustrating the results for well mixed GHG’s and those for all sources of warming combined. According to AR4 models predict the effect of GHG’s as distinctly different from that of solar or volcanic forcings. In particular: The tropical tropospheric hotspots appears in the plate discussing heating by GHG’s and does not appear when the warming results from other causes.

    But there is no THS. Along with the absence of Stratospheric cooling, another fundamental AGW prediction, no THS is a profound contradiction of alarmism.

  16. Dr Fred Lenin

    All this modelling stuff is pure conjecture,its like picking racehorses and fudging the facts to suit your own agenda and infallibility , the bookies would love you clean out your wallet .
    The 73 so called scientists rule the lefts world no menntion of the other 10,000bwho didnt get a chance to disagree . Its amost as if soros ,koch bros and the Davos mob allied to the gangrene communists plan to rule the world ,thats not as weird as it sounds there is probably more than a grain of truth in that .

  17. Leo G

    … I offer a list of questions that are (or should be) at the center of the debate over anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming. … 1. Is the planet getting warmer?

    An interesting question, but one that should not be at the centre of the debate.
    Firstly, the debate should properly be about biospheric not global (whole of planet) warming. Secondly, the meaning and scope of “warming” needs better definition. Thirdly, is the uncertainty about the nexus of man’s activities with physical processes which affect biospheric temperatures.
    This “Great Debate” has never genuinely been about the science. The most influential debaters appear never to have been concerned about those matters. They are more concerned with misusing scientific resources to justify more centralised control of all human activity.

  18. MPH

    Both sides in the debate over global warming are known for calling their opposition all kinds of derisive names. Perhaps the worst is “denier” to describe those who allegedly deny that global warming is “real.”

    So what’s the equivalent derisive name for someone who is a AGW believer? Why start an important article by tarring yourself with the same brush as the AGW lunatics? If you want to win you can’t label yourself a loser.

  19. mem

    Like every aspect of alarmism, including the scientific evidence (there is none), any economic analysis shows it to be bullshit

    .
    Well said.

  20. I_am_not_a_robot

    AGW = human-caused atmospheric warming due to an increasing concentration of one of the greenhouse gases, CO2, as a result of the burning of fossil fuels.
    That is not a controversial statement.
    The issue is the amount of that warming, whether it is harmful or beneficial and the accompanying costs or benefits.

  21. Iampeter

    One can think humans are causing the planet to warm but logically and humanely conclude that we should do nothing about it.

    But this position drops all context. When you say “we should do nothing about it” what do you mean? That we as individuals should do nothing, that we as private enterprise should do nothing, or that we as a matter of government policy should do nothing?

    Because the greenies are ONLY concerned with what the government should do, using the issue of imminent catastrophe to drive a political agenda.

    To counter this requires not scientific arguments, not economic arguments, but political arguments.

    This is the real issue for the skeptics and their supporting movements, like conservatives.
    They don’t really have any political ideology. As a result they are primarily responsible for all the massive gains the environmentalists have made in politics anyway.

    To evade dealing with this massive failure and their urgent need to learn something about politics, they spend their time arguing science (which they also get wrong), or arguing economics (which can’t be used to determine government policy anyway). Anything except politics, which is a topic they wouldn’t even know where to begin.

    The issue is a lack of political literacy from movements claiming to be alternatives to the left/environmentalists and there is no short-cut fix to this.

    There is just no way around the need to learn politics to be a political movement and achieve political goals.

  22. Nob

    In between q2 and q4, one needs to ask: is it even possible to change the macro climate with energy policy?

    I say no. Physically, socially and economically.

  23. pbw

    robot_not,

    From the same article by Roy Spencer:

    Finally, if the climate system is insensitive, this means that the extra carbon dioxide we pump into the atmosphere is not enough to cause the observed warming over the last 100 years — some natural mechanism must be involved.

    So, while there is a theoretical warming from CO2, there is no empirical certainty that the effect has not been overwhelmed or balanced by other factors.

  24. MatrixTransform

    all arguments are political.

    scientific, economic ones are a subset of the political.

    the real issue is that a significant section of the thinking community have abandoned reason

    They arent interested in seek truth as much as they are in inventing the truth

  25. I_am_not_a_robot

    I wouldn’t disputing that proviso, as I wrote above “slightly warmer (all else being equal)”; it’s impossible to differentiate the likely causes of the observed warming since 1979 and if other factors overwhelm the effect of increasing CO2 in future the GAT will possibly fall, who knows, but that’s a far cry from claiming that AGW (human-caused global warming) has been disproved.

  26. Phill

    Iampeter,

    While I agree in the main, the lack of political literacy is not the main issue. There are no arguments based on truth and logic that would work, because that implies a need for them to listen and perhaps agree on common ground. Any on their side of the aisle who show any sign of agreement with “wrong-think” are subjected to character assassination and humiliation.

    It’s Leninism, and its slightly calmer descendents. To be sure, it doesn’t result in a bullet to the head, which was the normal way to punctuate a sentence to the Leninists, but it is still the Lenin thought process. Suppress any counter argument using violence, verbal or actual. Anyone who pretends a degree of political literacy will know this.

  27. Muddy

    Why the freaky ferret are we even giving credence to the concept of a ‘global average temperature?’

  28. JC

    Peter

    If you still have time to post a comment before computer lock-down at the asylum you reside, perhaps you could quickly give us your answer on how to “politically’ counter gerbil warming.

    You know like, you have all the answers.

  29. Muddy

    What is the global average human follicular weight?
    Surely we need to know that, in order to measure the potential effects of potential human-generated existential threats and how the same could potentially be ameliorated – in theory – by collective action and awareness?

    Who here would be willing to risk the welfare of future generations by denying the potential consequences of an as-yet-undefined risk to the global average human follicular weight? Surely it would be better to act now, and get a head start before the problem has materialized? If we wait until we know for certain the exact nature and depth of the problem, and thus what management strategies will be more effective, it will be too late! How reckless.
    So sad. Be sure to unfriend and ostracize anyone you identify as potentially anti-human-follicle-growth before they have an opportunity to poison the minds of our youth.
    ACT NOW.

  30. cohenite

    AGW = human-caused atmospheric warming due to an increasing concentration of one of the greenhouse gases, CO2, as a result of the burning of fossil fuels.
    That is not a controversial statement.

    Sorry it is and I say that with the utmost respect for Roy.

    I’ll start with this one because it is one of the most fiercely defended shibboleths of alarmism which says humans are responsible for the slight warming since ~ 1850 through CO2 emissions. An increasing amount of scientific literature states that the increase in CO2 has been natural so even if you accept increased CO2 causes warming, I don’t, if it’s natural then wtf:

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/EE20-1_Quirk_SS.pdf

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281111296_RESPONSIVENESS_OF_ATMOSPHERIC_CO2_TO_ANTHROPOGENIC_EMISSIONS_A_NOTE

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818116304787

    http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo?journalid=161&doi=10.11648/j.earth.20190803.13

    http://www.sciencepublishinggroup.com/journal/paperinfo?journalid=298&doi=10.11648/j.ijaos.20190301.13

  31. cohenite

    AGW = human-caused atmospheric warming due to an increasing concentration of one of the greenhouse gases, CO2, as a result of the burning of fossil fuels.
    That is not a controversial statement.

    Sorry it is and I say that with the utmost respect for Roy.

    I’ll start with this one because it is one of the most fiercely defended shibboleths of alarmism which says humans are responsible for the slight warming since ~ 1850 through CO2 emissions. An increasing amount of scientific literature states that the increase in CO2 has been natural so even if you accept increased CO2 causes warming, I don’t, if it’s natural then wtf:

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/EE20-1_Quirk_SS.pdf

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281111296_RESPONSIVENESS_OF_ATMOSPHERIC_CO2_TO_ANTHROPOGENIC_EMISSIONS_A_NOTE

  32. cohenite

    Why the freaky ferret are we even giving credence to the concept of a ‘global average temperature?’

    Good question since alarmism as defined is NOT about temperature but radiation. AGW says more radiation stays on Earth since the extra human CO2 stops it leaving the planet. This supposedly increases something called the Earth Energy Balance, EEB. It doesn’t matter that NASA satellites at the TOA show more radiation leaving then staying the argument is fallacious for another reason.

    Pay attention head prefect, you cheeky lad.

    The EEB can be the opposite of the temperature trend; that is global average temperature (GAT) may be going up while the EEB is declining; 2 words and an equation explain; the 2 words are Stephan-Boltzmann (SB) and the equation is (A + B)^4 > A^4 + B^4; GAT can increase but the EEB need not change; conversely, the EEB can vary but the GAT temperature stay the same. SB explains this; the SB equation is E = sigma x T^4, where sigma = 5.67×10^-8, and T is temperature in K.

    What this means is that the radiated energy increases as the 4th power of temperature. The base temperature is crucial; for instance, a 50C rise in temperature has a different change in radiated energy depending on the base value; for example:

    From 200K-250K radiated energy increases from 91-222 W/m^2 – an increase of 131 W/m^2.

    From 300-350K radiated energy increases from 459-851 W/m^2 – an increase of 392 W/m^2.

    And this is where the equation, (A + B)^4 > A^4 + B^4, comes into play. The GAT is the average of all the anomaly temperatures at various sites around the world. If you average all those sites you get (A + B)^4; but that ignores the base temperature at the particular sites which is where A^4 + B^4 comes into play; for instance the base temperature at the Arctic is very cold so this means an increase in temperature at the Arctic or the West Antarctic Peninsula, which are both slightly warming, has a much less radiated energy effect than a slight decrease in temperature in a warmer region. This actually happening.

    The slight increase in temperature at the poles will increase GAT but the slight decrease in temperature at the warmer parts will mean based on SB that the EEB will decline.

    Anyway all of this is explained in a simply divine paper by Roger senior:

    https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/r-321.pdf

  33. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Thanks cohenite, bookmarked.

  34. I_am_not_a_robot

    I say that with the utmost respect for Roy …

    Dr Spencer is very good at explaining the theory to non-scientists and dealing with theories that make “skeptics look bad”.

  35. JC

    Of course, I always pay attention to you, sunshine.

    The EEB can be the opposite of the temperature trend; that is global average temperature (GAT) may be going up while the EEB is declining;

    Okay, but why is this likely and how is it proven?

    The slight increase in temperature at the poles will increase GAT but the slight decrease in temperature at the warmer parts will mean based on SB that the EEB will decline.

    If the Earth energy balance rises, why would get a rise in temps at the poles and a fall in the say, the middle latitudes? If the EEB is causing a rise at the extremities, it’s difficult to understand why the opposite would occur at the equator. I don’t get that one.

  36. cohenite

    Oh, you nearly had it head prefect.

    Say the Arctic increases by 10C, but the equator decrease by 2C: 10 – 2 = 8. Just looking at this simple example would give you an increase in GAT of 8C which is the average in temperature movement.

    But because the Arctic has a much colder base temperature than the equator, the slight decrease in temperature at the equator more than compensates in the EEB for the much larger increase in temperature at the Arctic.

    Look at the radiation examples I offered:

    From 200K-250K radiated energy increases from 91-222 W/m^2 – an increase of 131 W/m^2.

    From 300-350K radiated energy increases from 459-851 W/m^2 – an increase of 392 W/m^2.

    Say the first one is the increase in temperature at the Arctic which gives us an increase of radiation of 131 W/m^2

    With the second one at the equator, say instead of increasing it decreases from 350K to 300 which means a decrease of radiation of 392 W/m^2.

    So we have a situation where the Arctic has increased in temperature by 50 for an increase in radiation of 131 W/m^2 but an equal decrease in temperature of 50 at the equator has produced a decrease in radiation of 392 W/m^2 for a loss in EEB of 392 – 131 = 261 even though the average temperature has not changed = 0.

  37. Mark M

    A reminder that climate hysterians believe in “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming” even though they try to claim it’s a “denialist” plot …

    IPCC report paints catastrophic picture of melting ice and rising sea levels—and reality may be even worse

    “This could cause major problems for communities that depend on local seafood.”

    https://phys.org/news/2019-09-ipcc-catastrophic-picture-ice-sea.html

    Northeast Lobster Industry Outlook. Maine lobster catch has increased by 65% over last 20 years to record levels despite hysterical claims from climate hysterians …

    https://www.farmcrediteast.com/knowledge-exchange/Blog/todays-harvest/northeast-lobster-industry-outlook

  38. JC

    But because the Arctic has a much colder base temperature than the equator, the slight decrease in temperature at the equator more than compensates in the EEB for the much larger increase in temperature at the Arctic.

    Oh yea, that’s it.

  39. Nob

    JC
    #3171677, posted on September 30, 2019 at 6:27 pm
    If the EEB is causing a rise at the extremities, it’s difficult to understand why the opposite would occur at the equator. I don’t get that one.

    I dunno but the temperature has been remarkably stable in my visits to equatorial West African shitholes over the last 23 years. I’d say it’s somewhat more comfortable now than in the 1990s. Or maybe I’m just older.

  40. cohenite

    Bolt eviscerating this moron who is the Lord Mayor of Wagga Wagga and is a dyed in the wall greenie:

    G Conkey OAM

    An ex media hack marking his mark. Apparently the fool has to drive the newly purchased council EV to Sydney a distance of 450km when the stupid thing needs recharging after 220km.

  41. mem

    An ex media hack marking his mark. Apparently the fool has to drive the newly purchased council EV to Sydney a distance of 450km when the stupid thing needs recharging after 220km.

    I just looked up electric charging stations in Australia and there is a map but, like everything else Green, I’m not sure what is marked on the map yet exists.The map doesn’t work to hone down on locations, so it is crap.
    I do know there is a station around Rutherglen in Victoria as a friend of mine said his neighbor drives down from the hills to charge his car but according to the locals no one else has used it in 6 months. I have taken a photo of it on my way through as it is sitting sort of lonely outside a store with a pathetic little sign on it. I wonder what the subsidy or grant was to install it.

  42. Crossie

    Bolt eviscerating this moron who is the Lord Mayor of Wagga Wagga and is a dyed in the wall greenie:

    How does a greenie get to be a mayor in Wagga Wagga?

  43. Dr Fred Lenin

    There is no global warming ,its a u.n.globalist plot to get more money for u.n, bureaucrats abs sling a few bucks to the dictators of shithole countriesin Africa ans the middle east . The westis to bee madee into a huge EUu bureaucracy wwith no free speech or liberty .

  44. Beertruk

    cohenite
    #3171696, posted on September 30, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    Sorry cohenite, reading that fried my brain.

  45. cohenite

    How does a greenie get to be a mayor in Wagga Wagga?

    The guy looks like a conservative and maybe on any other topic comes across as normal; maybe this fooled voters who are easily fooled; but listening to him on Bolt it was obvious he had been consumed by this idea of man made global warming. It is literally a contagious mental disease; not everyone is susceptible and to those who are not it is amazing to see the effect it has on other people, sometimes intelligent other people. And it would be amusing except that the infected now are close to controlling the West. Only Trump and Pauline stand between them and victory!

  46. mem

    “How does a greenie get to be a mayor in Wagga Wagga?” Because the greenies are specifically targeting local councils and organisations such as the Farmers Federation as they then can manipulate the agenda and the media statements so that the Green agenda dominates and policy decisions are in their favor. Real farmers, as opposed to organic green “blockies”, are generally busy running their farms. When some lady or bloke with a 3 acre block and a bag of cash from Get – up puts their hand up to stand for a position on council it is welcomed with open arms. Little do they know that their council has just become another Greenie haven because once one of them gets in, he or she recruits others and the rot sets in.

  47. cohenite

    Sorry cohenite, reading that fried my brain.

    Ok, sorry, it was aimed at head prefect, whose brain is merely boiled.

  48. pbw

    Regarding EEB and the greenhouse effect: for those who don’t actually do maths and science, Lindzen provides an understandable description of the process in this GWPF lecture.

  49. Iampeter

    all arguments are political.
    scientific, economic ones are a subset of the political.

    No, only political arguments are political. All knowledge is hierarchical and integrated. What that means is that it’s all connected but it only works in a certain order.
    For example, you can’t learn arithmetic from advanced physics. You have to learn the arithmetic first before proceeding.
    Likewise your politics will determine what kind of science and economics is available to you but these fields cannot be used to determine your politics.

    In a way you’re right though, the issue is a complete rejection of reason. This means the issue isn’t so much that people don’t understand politics, but it’s that they don’t even have the requisite thinking skills to even start in on the subject.

    Meantime the left just wins by default. There’s zero political opposition.

  50. Iampeter

    If you still have time to post a comment before computer lock-down at the asylum you reside, perhaps you could quickly give us your answer on how to “politically’ counter gerbil warming.

    I like how dummies at the cat think that their concession of total ignorance is an argument to be used belligerently.
    Mate, I’ve explained numerous times in long patient threads what it is you need to know.
    You’re not interested and to be honest you simply don’t get it.
    Politics is an abstract science, which means it requires thinking skills before you can even begin.
    But you’re dumber than dirt.
    And I’m not here to waste time LARPing with someone who has no business on a politics blog in the first place.

    Also, I see that my comment from awhile back, about many cat posters seeming to dial in from the same mental health facility, really cut you deeply…

  51. Herodotus

    And I’m not here to waste time
    Fact Check: False

  52. OldOzzie

    Iampeter

    #3172114, posted on October 1, 2019 at 5:57 am
    If you still have time to post a comment before computer lock-down at the asylum you reside, perhaps you could quickly give us your answer on how to “politically’ counter gerbil warming

    I think Jeremy Clarkson sums it up nicely

    JEREMY CLARKSON The world may be getting hotter, Greta Thunberg… but having a meltdown isn’t going to help

    SORRY MS THUNBERG

    I’m sorry Ms Thunberg, but if you’re going to lay into my generation, you must accept it when I lay into you and yours.

    What about the pills you take when you have a headache?

    What about the clean water that comes out of your tap? What about the food you can buy at any time of the day and night?

    No 16-year-old was responsible for any of that.

    What about the aid missions currently being run in some of the poorest countries of the world, or the drugs that help keep Aids at bay?

    Think about all the movies you’ve enjoyed. Movies made by grown-ups. And all those comedians who’ve made you laugh.

    How dare you sail to America on a carbon fibre yacht that you didn’t build which cost £15million, that you didn’t earn, and which has a back-up diesel engine that you didn’t mention

    And then pause for a moment to consider how soundly you sleep at night, knowing that adults are building and servicing and flying Sweden’s fighter planes. To keep you safe.

    We gave you mobile phones and laptops and the internet. We created the social media you use every day and we run the banks that pay for it all.

    So how dare you stand there and lecture us, you spoilt brat.
    SPOILT BRAT
    And yes, you are spoilt because when you told your mum and dad to stop using planes and give up meat, they didn’t behave like sane parents and ignore you. They actually said, “Yes, dear.” And did.

    What they should have done is point out that life is tragic.

    Some people are born bright and some are born stupid.

    Some are beautiful and some are not.

    Some have rich parents who give them everything but love.

    Some have poor parents who have nothing to give except love.

    Now shut up and let them get on with it.

    This is how the world works. It’s how the world has always worked.

    And banging your fists on the table won’t change a thing. You’ll learn that when you’ve got a few more years under your belt.

    I agree with you that the world is heating up. You may even be right that man has something to do with it.

    Science is what will solve the problem eventually… Not scowling and having screaming ab-dabs every five minutes

    And there is no doubt that as deserts eat into currently habitable places in Africa and the Middle East, Europe will face an unimaginable refugee crisis.

    Something needs to be done about that. So how’s this for an idea. Get back to school as quickly as possible and work hard in your science lectures.

    Because science is what will solve the problem eventually. Not scowling and having screaming ab-dabs every five minutes.

    Many thousands of people who you had the temerity to blame this week are trying to do exactly what you want.

    So be a good girl, shut up and let them get on with it.

    And no. You cannot stay out past ten. And you cannot go out in a skirt that short.

  53. max

    Iampeter:
    Politics is an abstract science, which means it requires thinking skills before you can even begin.

    Peter,It takes two to tango.

    fault is on your side too, you assume that all of us can follow a long chain of reasoning.

    In many area of life Pareto principle rules — why do you think that it does not rule in our intellect?

    Aristotle was/is wrong same as libertarians, anarchist and Randians/Objectivist.

  54. max

    reason do not lead to freedom it lead to arguments and intolerance — it lead to anarchy.

    Robert Winthrop
    All societies of men must be governed in some way or other. The less they may have of stringent State Government, the more they must have of individual self-government. The less they rely on public law or physical force, the more they must rely on private moral restraint. Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them, or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible, or by the bayonet.

  55. Iampeter

    Peter,It takes two to tango.
    fault is on your side too, you assume that all of us can follow a long chain of reasoning.

    Politics is an abstract science at the end of a long chain of reasoning. If that’s outside your ability then you’ll never understand politics. Not sure how any of that is my fault. It doesn’t take two to tango if one side in a discussion doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

    reason do not lead to freedom it lead to arguments and intolerance — it lead to anarchy.

    Firstly, this is logically false. In the absence of reason all you have is force, violence anarchy. Reason is the only alternative to these things.
    Secondly, this is observably false. You can verify this for yourself and find that wherever individuals or cultures move towards reason they become more free and prosperous. When they reject reason they become more authoritarian and violent. This is a causal relationship. Just like eating and feeling full, for example.

  56. Iampeter

    Science is what will solve the problem eventually… Not scowling and having screaming ab-dabs every five minutes

    No political problem will ever be solved by science. Politics is not derived from, nor can be informed by, physics or something. LOL!
    Until you figure out what politics is even about then all you have is scowling and screaming.
    As we keep seeing at the Cat…

  57. JC

    Peter I’m still waiting for your answer to the question I posed earlier. This:

    perhaps you could quickly give us your answer on how to “politically’ counter gerbil warming.

    from the Right that you suggested.

    Could you please hurry as I know computer lockdown at the asylum where you reside is not far off and I would like answer today if possible.

  58. Iampeter

    Robert Winthrop
    All societies of men must be governed in some way or other.

    Yes but those who know what they are talking about know what a government should do and why. No “some way or other” about it.

    Peter I’m still waiting for your answer to the question I posed earlier. This:

    perhaps you could quickly give us your answer on how to “politically’ counter gerbil warming.

    Then you concede you don’t know anything about politics and given the expert tone you affect means you are just embarrassing yourself on a political blog you have no business on.
    Not to mention that I’ve answered this question a few times in this very thread: step 1:learn what politics is about.
    Then you can counter the lefts global warming agenda and any other agenda from them for that matter.

    Until then, you are a politically illiterate leftist and a raving crackpot.

  59. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Not to mention that I’ve answered this question a few times in this very thread: step 1:learn what politics is about.

    Tell me in one paragraph. If you can’t at least say why.

  60. JC

    No Peter, There’s absolutely no concession at all and obviously, you’re just hallucinating if you’re sincere in making that suggestion.

    You suggested the Right doesn’t know how to win the gerbiling argument politically and I asked you for an explanation, preferably today. Obviously because the mental facility where you reside has a strict time for locking down computers and other gadgets there’s no time to waste.

    Hurry!

  61. Iampeter

    No Peter, There’s absolutely no concession at all and obviously, you’re just hallucinating if you’re sincere in making that suggestion.

    If you have to ask what the right wing alternative to the lefts global warming agenda is then you concede you don’t know. Otherwise why would you be asking? You’d be educating me.

    You suggested the Right doesn’t know how to win the gerbiling argument politically and I asked you for an explanation, preferably today.

    No, I never suggested that.
    I said a lot of people who think they are on the right, are in fact on the left and don’t even really know anything about politics. You are a perfect example. So is the conservative movement in general.

    The only question left to be answered is why you are on a right wing political blog, when you know nothing about politics and are not right wing?

  62. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Senpai

    These lessons don’t teach themselves, fella.

  63. Iampeter

    Senpai

    These lessons don’t teach themselves, fella.

    No, they don’t. They take a lot of time and effort for those of us who are genuinely interested instead of trying to impress other people that you are smarter than you really are.

    Once JC and you have gone to that effort and have learnt what politics is about, then we can talk. Until then I can’t imagine why you’d be posting on a right wing political blog.

    Incidentally I’ve posted quite a bit on the basics and at some length here earlier in the year.
    It’s not like this is the first time this same evasion from dishonest idiots has come up.

    Happy Googling!

  64. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    You’re full of shit. You can’t even give a source.

    Pathetic John, you ought to be ashamed.

  65. max

    Peter say:
    wherever individuals or cultures move towards reason they become more free and prosperous.

    You mean like US of A and England today.

    Since 1770 American and English people have more government and more taxes than before american revolution.

    Man with 80% of people you can not reason with, they will follow person who promise free goodies without much work and salvation by government.

    Your Reason is elitist social utopia same as communism, comies want to remade man by force you want to remade man by education, but fact is not all of us can be educated, all of us can be trained for a job — education mean to read at leas 1000 fat books about religion, philosophy, politic, economy … and to think.

  66. Lazlo

    I still have a strong memory of attending a meeting of the Socialist Society at my university in my freshman term in 1970. I was so committed. The whole meeting was like The Life of Brian, I never went back.

    This thread is bringing those memories flooding back.

  67. Iampeter

    I still have a strong memory of attending a meeting of the Socialist Society at my university in my freshman term in 1970. I was so committed. The whole meeting was like The Life of Brian, I never went back.

    Yes, yes. You’re a real political aficionado and totally know what you’re talking about.
    Not another refugee from GetUp who is posting on Australia’s right wing blog for some reason…

  68. Iampeter

    Since 1770 American and English people have more government and more taxes than before american revolution.

    Yes both America and England are much freer today. We also enjoy a much higher standard of living as a result. All despite higher taxes, which while relevant are not a measure of freedom.
    ISIS controlled area on the other hand, people who reject reason just like you, was not so free and prosperous.
    There’s really nothing more to say on this. Your very obviously wrong.

    Man with 80% of people you can not reason with

    I don’t think its anywhere near that bad by virtue of us living in a pretty advanced society, but this is the issue that needs to be solved before any others. That’s my whole point.

    Your Reason is elitist social utopia same as communism, comies

    It’s rejecting most people as being unable to reason, which is what you’re doing, that is elitist.
    Also, rejecting the role of mans mind in mans life is exactly what the communists did. That’s why they thought labor should own the means of production. Just like you they rejected reason and thought it could all be done by unthinking muscle.
    You’re the one on the side of commies. You even sound like them.

  69. max

    Iampeter say:
    All despite higher taxes, which while relevant are not a measure of freedom.

    you are really moron,
    should government tax you 100% that you can see if taxes are relevant or not for freedom

    Federal Register: Over 83,500 Pages in 2010
    3 colums tick
    The Federal Register is the U.S. government’s daily publication of new regulations. Here is an extract from 2010.

    https://www.garynorth.com/public/9227.cfm

  70. Iampeter

    should government tax you 100% that you can see if taxes are relevant or not for freedom

    I specifically said taxes were relevant but not alone a measure of freedom.
    Would you like to go back to zero income tax but chattel slavery?
    I’d rather neither of course but if I had to choose it’s not going to be hard.

    You’re basically trying to argue that a time with literal slavery was freer than a time without despite other, nowhere near comparable problems.

    Once again, you’re arguing something that is observably false.

  71. John A

    Rafe Champion #3171493, posted on September 30, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    Important economic analysis by Toll commenting on the relevant section of an IPCC report in 2010, from the comments on Sinc’s post.

    Toll is a leading economist who considered that there are benefits from warming up to two more degrees Centigrade without any drastic issues arising. He provided a comprehensive list of his concerns with the Panel when he resigned from the IPCC in 2014.

    He wrote that the Summary Statement:
    Was the result of encouraging over-estimation of hazards due to self-selection of authors and referees.
    Omitted improved irrigation and crop yields.
    Emphasized heat stress but downplayed reduced cold stress.

    To which last statement we apply (not-so-)common sense:
    Looking at the earth’s latitudes, ask yourself Where do most people live? Answer: temperate and tropical zones rather than polar zones.
    Ask yourself Why is it so? Because we prefer warmth more than cold.

    But this entire scam is not about logic or scientific evidence.

    I am now in the habit of asking “climate change alarmists” if they wish to buy a bridge, or an opera house.

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