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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Why I (Mostly) Don’t Blog About Climate Anymore

Recently the journal Nature published a “study” arguing that climate contrarians got too much media attention and that, essentially, the media needs to stop quoting them.  A part of the study included a list of climate skeptics and their media influence scores.

It was a little off-putting to be left off this black list, though I feel certain that 10 years ago in my active period I could have easily made the cut.  Nevertheless, it is clear that I have fallen by the wayside.

And that is by choice.  I simply do not have the ability in this blogging hobby to play decades-long games of wack-a-mole with the same arguments over and over.  In a different sphere, I see folks like Mark Perry and Don Boudreaux take on the same anti-trade arguments for years.  I respect them for it and appreciate the effort, but I don’t know how they do it.

From my observation, the world of climate remains the same old sh*t.  No one has come up with a better approach for estimating the all-important value of the temperature sensitivity to CO2 concentration.  Alarmists are still assuming massive amounts of positive feedback in the climate system but have done nothing new to prove this is really true.  Trends are still extrapolated from individual weather events, and trends are often claimed in the media without actually showing any trend data.

And the whole thing has become tribal as hell.  The other day I tried to engage Kevin Drum on twitter about a chart he used that I thought was bad.  I was trying to make the point that there is no scientific reason to believe that worldwide increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration would have 3x their average effect in a 25 mile radius around Phoenix (as the chart seems to show) and that the more logical explanation is that the chart is based on at least somewhat corrupted data.  I said nothing like “and thus global warming is all a scam.”  In fact, the only conclusion I drew was a very modest one everyone interested in global warming should be able to agree with, that it has been a mistake not to have invested in a better surface temperature network given how important the issue is to us.

But even that was too much — you could tell Drum was automatically treating me as a denier and anti-science.  Take this exchange for example

Kevin Drum is one of my favorite people to read because he is one of the few folks in Left or Right who will occasionally question his own tribe.  This is not Kevin Drum thinking, this is Kevin Drum giving the tribal answer because anyone poking even modestly at the edges of climate orthodoxy has put his fur up.

So I move on to other things.  To be honest, this may just be a personality trait of mine related to ADD/limited focus.  I find myself bored with the whole Tesla critic community as well, seeing the SOS ever day.

Postscript:  For those who do not follow me much, here is my current position on global warming

  • Man-made global warming is real but likely exaggerated, in particular from unrealistic assumptions about massive amounts of positive feedback in the otherwise long-term-stable climate system.  The chance of large (>2C) warming is remote but non-zero
  • Most of the claimed relationship of extreme weather events to manmade CO2 are a crock.  Time and again the media and activists claim trends (e.g. in hurricanes, droughts, and tornadoes) that simply are not there when you actually look at trend data.  Where we do see trends, such in sea level rise, those trends have often been going on since the mid 1800’s, making it difficult to attribute them entirely to man-made CO2 produced mostly after 1950.
  • It is possible to create a low cost climate insurance plan that might actually be a net economic improvement over the current regulatory environment, even before considering environmental benefits.  That plan is here.  Speaking of tribalism, it does not run one way.  This plan essentially got me shunned in much of the skeptic community.

Postscript #2:  The skeptic list from Nature has some odd names.  Don Boudreaux and Ron Bailey stuck out to me.   Boudreaux to my knowledge is not engaged in the climate debate at all and I know Bailey is an AGW believer.  Both, however, are anti-authoritarian and pro-market, and in the era of the Green Great Leap Forward, or whatever it is called, I suppose that is enough to put one athwart the climate change alarmists.

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