Hooray! How To Talk To A Climate Contrarian (If You Must)

The first piece of advice I’d give The Week’s Ryan Cooper would be to act like an adult and leave the insults out of the mix

How to talk to a climate change contrarian (if you must)

Climate trolls make the link between climate change and extreme weather seem highly complicated. It isn’t.

No, it isn’t complicated, because it doesn’t exist except in the talking points of Warmists. Starting out with “troll”, ie, people who don’t adhere to the same religion as Warmists is probably a Bad Idea.

Nate Silver’s hiring of noted stats whiz Roger Pielke Jr. to write for FiveThirtyEight sparked a minor internet scrape last month over climate change, extreme weather, and how those issues are covered in the press. Pielke made his career repeatedly accusing climate scientists of scientific malfeasance for exaggerating the link between climate change and extreme weather (see here for dozens more). His latest effort was another entry in the canon, arguing that the rising economic costs of extreme weather had little to do with climate change.

Now the Breakthrough Institute, which is about as troll-y as they come with regards to climate change, is out with a true-to-form defense of Pielke, claiming that a new, devastating report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change entirely vindicates his approach to weather disasters. (I know, I know, I’ve called on the universe not to feed the trolls, but sometimes I’ll take requests.)

As is typical for Breakthrough, Pielke, and other climate change contrarians, the debate they’re trying to have is almost totally pointless. It’s long past time to kill forever the idea that quibbling over the current costs of weather disasters matters either for climate policy or politics. When it comes to climate change and extreme weather, one simple fact takes care of the vast majority of what’s really important. You ready? Here it is, drum roll…

More global warming means more extreme weather.

Mr. Cooper actually forgets to explain how one should talk to a “climate contrarian”, instead focusing on the discredited notion of extreme weather. Thing is, there has been no statistically significant warming in 17 years and 8 months. No US landfalling major hurricanes since October 2005. Only one barely-a-hurricane since October 2008. We’re seeing very low fire and tornado seasons. Then he kind blows his own argument out of the water that we’re doomed from extreme weather

The Pielke post that kicked off this whole mess is about an ancillary question: is the economic damage from past natural disasters the result of climate change? Right away we’re in trouble, because extreme weather events are by definition rare and random, and there have been only a few decades on record that have been much hotter than average. As this post explains in detail, with the exception of heat records, we simply don’t have very much data yet on the question, and it will take a while for the statistics to shake out.

OK, we don’t have much data, but we’re supposed to change our entire society for the prognostications of what may possibly happen in the future? In fact, we have lots of data from news reports about “extreme weather” occurring well before CO2 hit 350ppm. And we know what humans went through during the Little Ice Age. We know that humans do much better during warm periods than cool periods. We also know that Warmists are so utterly concerned about CO2 that they change their own lives to match their rhetoric.

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7 Responses to “Hooray! How To Talk To A Climate Contrarian (If You Must)”

  1. Jeffery says:

    Wow, all your zombie lies in one paragraph!

    “OK, we don’t have much data, but we’re supposed to change our entire society for the prognostications of what may possibly happen in the future?” We can begin to change the way we generate energy or the events will change all the societies on Earth for us. We all have home, auto and health insurance for ‘what may possibly happen in the future’. Transitioning to non-CO2 producing energy sources is like having insurance.

    “In fact, we have lots of data from news reports about “extreme weather” occurring well before CO2 hit 350ppm.” Yes, and we will experience more “extreme weather” as CO2 continues to climb.

    “And we know what humans went through during the Little Ice Age. We know that humans do much better during warm periods than cool periods.” We know no such thing. Humans have not experienced a global mean surface temperature like the present, and it’s still going up. Even if the Earth warms 10 degrees Celsius there will doubtless be bands of humans clustered in the few remaining temperate areas. The species will survive; we’re adaptable; but your great, and great-great-grandchildren and human civilizations may not.

    “We also know that Warmists are so utterly concerned about CO2 that they change their own lives to match their rhetoric.” This is actually true. States such as CA, NY, MA, CT, MD, WA – liberal states, all have CO2 emissions/capita much, much less than the national average. Conservative states like WY, ND, TX and the old confederacy have CO2 emissions/capita much, much greater than the average. Wyoming’s AVERAGE CO2 emission per person is much greater than President Obama’s!! Interestingly, the liberal states also have higher GDP than most conservative states. It’s as if whatever the liberals are doing to lower CO2 emissions make their economies better!

    Let’s recap:

    Climate realists argue that the Earth is warming rapidly because of CO2 that we’re adding to the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. They use thermometers. Liberals appear to be responsible for much less CO2 production than conservatives.

    The common sense Kochsuckers claim it’s not warming, and even if it did warm, it would be good, because everyone knows it’s better to be snuggly warm than shivering cold, but it’s not even warming; but if it does it’s not because of CO2, but because of something else we don’t understand yet, so there’s nothing we can do about it anyway, but it’s not even warming – 17 years and 8 months, Hello!! algore flies in airplanes. Sandy was not a hurricane. Benghazi!! Doing anything, anything at all, to slow fossil fuel burning means we all will have to live in caves, like the cavemen, who also had low CO2 emissions/capita. Plus, the Earth may have been hotter a few billion years ago and humans are still alive, so had bad can it be. Q.E.D.

  2. John says:

    We also know that humans have adapted to the current climate and any abrupt change will be difficult for the most vulnerable humans to adapt to

  3. luagha says:

    It would be difficult to get into your many misstatements of fact. You would have to be willing to learn statistics to understand.

    Liberal states have higher GDP than most conservative states because they have dense population centers; like New York and Los Angeles. If you measure GDP by population you get the same list. GDP correlates with population. Liberalism correlates with dense population centers.

    You should look into the ‘Pacific Decadal Oscillation’ and the similar Atlantic effect, and that will tell you why we were warming from 1906 to 1945, cooling from 1945 to 1975, warming from 1975 to (a time between 1998 and 2005) and have been cooling since.

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  5. Jeffery says:

    If you divide state GDP by the population you get GCP/capita. So for 2012 we find:

    Dist. of Col. 145,663 L
    Delaware 61,183 L
    Alaska 61,156 C
    North Dakota 55,250 C
    Connecticut 54,925 L
    Wyoming 54,305 C
    Massachusetts 53,221 L
    New York 53,067 L
    New Jersey 49,430 L
    Oregon 48,069 L
    Washington 47,146 L
    Virginia 47,127 –
    Minnesota 47,028 L
    Maryland 46,720 L
    Texas 46,498 C
    Colorado 46,242 L
    Illinois 46,151 L
    California 46,029 L
    Nebraska 44,943 C
    Hawaii 44,442 L
    South Dakota 43,181 C
    Louisiana 43,145 C
    New Hampshire 42,958 –
    Iowa 42,222 L
    Rhode Island 41,678 L

    The US GDP/capita $42,784. Mississippi’s is $28,944. Why are the liberals from Delaware over twice as productive as the conservatives of Mississippi? The mean per capita GDP is significantly greater for liberal states ($44,909) than for conservative states ($39,362). Liberals produce more and pollute less than conservatives.

    The top 25 states are 16 to 7, liberal to conservative. I’m not sure why liberals seem more productive than conservatives but the data are the data. I’m not sure why liberals pollute so much less. I am sure why liberal states send more money to the feds which in turn is redistributed to poor conservative states.

    “You should look into the ‘Pacific Decadal Oscillation’ and the similar Atlantic effect, and that will tell you why we were warming from 1906 to 1945, cooling from 1945 to 1975, warming from 1975 to (a time between 1998 and 2005) and have been cooling since.” I have. It’s my understanding that these intra-Earth phenomena DO contribute to the variability seen in surface measurements (heat moves from atmosphere to sea and back again) but do not add heat to the overall system. The overall heat input is from the Sun and more and more heat is retained because of increased atmospheric CO2. What is your understanding of the PDO?

  6. Robaroo says:

    “Transitioning to non-CO2 producing energy sources is like having insurance.” If home insurance cost more than your house, you wouldn’t have it. And if your insurance agent was one of the tinpot, crackpot totalitarians that infest the Greenist cadres, you wouldn’t allow them within a stone’s throw.

    The rest of your “arguments” are just lies. There was a Maunder Minimum, it did happen and it was terrible for human life.

    But please, oh enlightened one, lead us to the promised land, tell us exactly what is the “correct” temperature for this out Earth? Give us a number oh wise one, and what date it occurred….

  7. Jeffery says:

    Your implication is that mitigating global warming will cost more than the damage caused by global warming. That’s ridiculous. It’s very unlikely your house will burn down; it’s certain the Earth will continue to warm.

    Point out the “lies” and we can discuss.

    What does the Maunder Minimum have to do with global warming now?

    There is no “correct” temperature for the Earth. The current global mean surface temperature is higher than at any time in the past 10,000 years, and is still increasing, with no end in sight.

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