Friday, February 12, 2016

AGW vs Terrorism? Open Letter to Matt Ridley, Benny Peiser, WSJ

Dear Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser,

The ease with which you two misrepresent the facts in your Wall Street Journal op/ed “Complete Guide to the Climate Debate” is appalling.  Your opening shot reveals a determined self-imposed ignorance regarding the seriousness of today's AGW threat to our planet's life support system that demands a pointed rebuttal.  

You write:  "In February President Obama said, a little carelessly, that climate change is a greater threat than terrorism.What do you mean?  "A little carelessly"!??  Where do you two get off belittling the physical reality and future consequences of ongoing documented trends?  You willfully ignore decades worth of global news so as to remain "innocent" to the evolving situation.
(At the end this letter I share a response to the op/ed's lies from 7 leading climate scientists.) 

What terrorist threat to New York is greater than the threat of it's streets, subways and subterranean infrastructure being inundated by the ocean?  What terrorist threat is greater than killer heat waves, such as the one visited on France in 2003 and sure to revisit?  What terrorist threat is greater than the potential impacts of continued severe drought on California?

Any objective awareness of the evolving world news would make you understand that I could fill pages with examples of such monstrous real world threats from our warming and rapidly evolving global climate system - threats that far outweigh our self created and fueled, terrorist problems.



The Human Cost of Weather Related Disasters.  1995-2015

The Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED)
CRED’s Emergency Events Database (EM-DAT)
The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

Who we are
Executive Summary 
Chapter 1 . . .  Weather-related disasters 1995-2015
Chapter 2 . . .  Human costs of weather-related disasters
Chapter 3 . . .  Impacts of weather-related disasters by country
Chapter 4 . . .  Weather-related disasters & national income
Chapter 5 . . .  Counting the economic costs of disasters 

A warming planet promises threats for our modern top heavy society, that only an appreciation for it's complexity will allow one to grasp.  Sadly your Republican/libertarian PR Machine has been very successful at confusing and dumbing down the public.  When honest education is what's required, you conjure fairytales, hostility, lies, bullying and slam your minds shut.

It is simply ludicrous pretending our weather doesn't have a deep impact on the wellbeing of our economy at every level, from agriculture, to transportation, construction, communication, the power-grid, even your beloved military-industrial complex and beyond.  Not to mention our own wellbeing as we go about our day to days. 
Future, too hideous to imagine?  After half a century of knowing, yet doing nothing but pursuing personal greed and powerlust, no doubt.

Still, our global heat and moisture distribution system can't behave any differently.  It's a geophysical thing.  

Neither fancy-word-dancing, ideological hatred, or the God of ancient tribal texts can do anything about it.  We've done this to ourselves and it's ours alone to deal with.  Pretending it's not happening won't help. 

More heat in the system, more water in our atmosphere, plowing into more concentrated weather systems, by an increasingly erratic Jet Stream pushing and pulling droughts and deluges, occasionally forcing hot air masses to punch their way into the Arctic, thus forcing intensified, if short lived, 'Arctic excursions' into temperate zones, with all their destructive cascading consequences.

This is not a perhaps of the future - this is here and now. 

Grow up already!  
Sequestering yourselves within your exclusionary echo-chamber and blinding yourself to most of the evidence out there, 
won't make it go away! 



FYI ...

Jennifer Francis - Understanding the Jetstream 

Why Climate Change Makes Stronger Storms



A learned detailed response
Bales, Bamber, Barnosky, Jacobson, Sherwood, Ramanathan, Wolff

The opinion piece published in The Wall Street Journal by Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser (“Your Complete Guide to the Climate Debate” Nov. 27, 2015) is riddled with false statements, cherry-picked evidence and misleading assertions about climate science, according to an evaluation by a dozen scientists.

The article attempts to throw clouds of uncertainty around the hard facts about climate change that are agreed to by the scientific academies of every major country in the world and the vast majority of the world’s climate scientists. Here are just a few examples:
  •      The statement that the world has warmed at half the rate predicted in 1990 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is false. The IPCC predicted that warming between 2015 and 1990 would be between about 0.35 and 0.60 °C. The actual temperature change during that period is 0.5 °C. The statement, besides being false, also ignores that the world has already warmed a total of 1 °C since the start of the industrial revolution, and that as temperatures continue to climb, we are headed into territory not seen in thousands of years. The assertion that the world has been warmer several times in the past 10,000 years is not supported by the most comprehensive temperature reconstructions, and ignores the fact that a continued temperature rise this century will rapidly take the world beyond any climate experienced in that 10,000 year period.
  •    The statement that there has been no increase in the frequency or intensity of storms, floods or droughts also is flat-out wrong. A recently-released UN study found that both the frequency and intensity of storms and floods has increased over the past decade, and that weather-related disasters are occurring at almost twice the rate as they did two decades ago. The authors also ignore the clear increases in the most deadly type of extreme events caused by climate change — heat waves.
  •      The claim that Antarctic ice is increasing is based on an isolated paper that has numerous uncertainties associated with it and is contradicted by many other observations. But more importantly, everywhere on Earth, it is clear we are losing ice and that we have likely already entered a period of major ice shelf retreat, with no mechanisms in sight to stop this retreat over the next hundreds to thousands of years. As University of Bristol Professor Jonathan Bamber has written: “West Antarctica has been losing mass at an increasing rate since the 1990s and that trend looks set to continue. The Greenland ice sheet has also been losing mass at an accelerating rate since around 1995. These trends at both poles are huge signals that are unequivocal and uncontested.”
  •      Finally, the assertion that the cost associated with warming “does not significantly deviate from zero until 3.5°C warming” is one that hardly any scientists or economists agree with, and is contradicted by the overwhelming weight of evidence showing that the adverse impacts from climate change will far outweigh the benefits.
Ridley and Peiser are correct that the challenge of decarbonizing the world is enormous. But obfuscation about strongly supported scientific facts is not the solution.

Prof. Roger Bales, University of California, Merced; 
Prof. Jonathan Bamber, University of Bristol; 
Prof. Anthony Barnosky, University of California, Berkeley; 
Prof. Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford University; 
Prof. Steven Sherwood, University of New South Wales; 
Prof. Veerabhadran Ramanathan, University of California, San Diego; 
Prof. Eric Wolff, University of Cambridge

List of scientists who have contributed to this analysis:
Dr William Anderegg, Princeton University
Prof. Jonathan Bamber, University of Bristol
Prof. Anthony Barnosky, University of California, Berkeley
Dr Rasmus Benestad, The Norwegian Meteorological institute
Dr Alexis Berg, Columbia University
Dr Julien Emile-Geay, University of Southern California
Prof. Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford University
Dr Twila Moon, University of Oregon
Prof. Steven Sherwood, University of New South Wales
Dr Victor Venema, University of Bonn
Dr Emmanuel Vincent, University of California, Merced
Dr Britta Voss, U.S. Geological Survey
Prof. Eric Wolff, University of Cambridge


IanR said...
This BBC item would suggest Ridley & Peiser are wrong on the costs and tipping point of global temperature for their economic model.

citizenschallenge said...

Thanks Ian,
21st Century US 'dustbowl' risk assessed
By Jonathan Amos - 13 February 2016
"He has been taking part in a discussion session on so-called "food shocks", where the failure of key crops can lead to rapid global price hikes. ...
Dr Elliott is a member of a joint US-UK taskforce that last year assessed the resilience of the world's food system. The fall-out from extreme weather was deemed to be a major concern, especially if future climate change is not moderated by a reduction in the emission of heat-trapping gases from the burning of fossil fuels.
Looking at the production of the major grains - rice, wheat, maize and soybeans - the taskforce's scientists found that the chances of a one-in-100-year production disruption was likely to increase to a one-in-30-year event by 2040.
Implementing reforms that would enable the system to cope better in the future was seen as a priority. …"

Yeah considering they have turn misrepresenting the science in a high art form, it's not hard to find informative stories and papers that disputing their crazy claims and conclusions.

citizenschallenge said...

- dispute -

citizenschallenge said...

It worth mentioning that I emailed both Ridley and Peiser and have received no response.
They are all about yodeling for a circus "debate" in the media
but when someone challenges them to constructive debate based on substance, rather than soundbites…
SILENCE every time.