Is climate crisis a religion?

Here is a clip from an article reprinted at Climate Etc. by Garth Partridge, Climate’s Uncertainty Principle. It originally appeared in The Quadrant.

“The significant point in this cost-benefit business is that there is virtually no certainty about any of the numbers that are used to calculate either the likely change of climate or the impact of that change on future populations. In essence it is simply assumed that all climate change is bad—that the current climate is the best of all possible climates. Furthermore, there is little or no recognition in most of the scenarios that mankind is very good at adapting to new circumstances. It is more than likely that, if indeed climate change is noticeably “bad”, the future population will adjust to the changed circumstances. If the change is “good”, the population will again adapt and become richer as a consequence. If the change is a mixture of good and bad, the chances are that the adaptive processes will ensure a net improvement in wealth. This for a population which, if history is any guide, and for reasons entirely independent of climate change, will probably be a lot wealthier than we are.”

The article is short and without jargon, easily grasped. Partridge is an Australian atmospheric physicist, retired, and a man skeptical of the current forces behind the climate crisis paranoia. In his last paragraph, he likens current climate science to religion, beliefs neither proved nor disproved, and about which no debate is tolerated.

2 thoughts on “Is climate crisis a religion?

  1. A religion might be a good way to describe it, it definitely hasn’t got anything to do with science.

    Two recent articles:

    The Guardian – 2019-08-04

    This week in the Monthly, ANU climate scientist Dr Joëlle Gergis wrote that, while in 2013 scientists had estimated that a doubling of CO2 levels from pre-industrial levels (which we’re on track to do by 2060) would lead to a temperature increase of between 1.5C to 4.5C, now as scientists continue to get more data, their models suggest the temperature increase is more likely to be between 2.8C and 5.8C.

    That’s scary because all efforts at the moment are assuming if we reduce emissions by 45% by 2030 we can limit warming to 1.5C. That might now be rather too optimistic.

    So according to this;
    – CO2 reaches like 660 ppm in 2060 (double of 330 ppm, more or less pre-industrial levels)
    – that would cause 1.5-4.5 C (that is a range of 300%?) warming (never cooling, and if it cools in place X, in place Y it needs to warm even more to compensate)
    – new models suggest this is 2.8-5.8 C (which is a smaller, but still more than 200% range)

    So MINIMUM we should see a warming of 2.8 degrees Celsius. On average. For the whole world.

    That is not science, that is a religion.

    The scientific method looks at earlier data; the prediction capacity of former models of the IPCC. Which, it’s good you are no Wall Street traders, because you fail big time, is below credible levels.

    Disastrous Global Worming has been “predicted” indeed for decades. But did it happen? No. So why would I believe you now, Church Of Globalism Warmongering?

    But OK, here’s both sides of the debate – for well over 40 years scientists have been researching and testing evidence that climate change is occurring due to CO2 emissions. They have found conclusive evidence that there is a link and that on the current path by 2100 global temperatures will likely reach 3C above pre-industrial levels.

    So now we have another “prediction” which contradicts the latter, I thought this was about “science”? And not scientism; the religious destruction of real science; applying the scientific method, a philosophy, based on rules, axioms and logic.

    (That was a question by TimR somewhere, but it’s hard to find things back on this blog)

    If it is 3C warmer in 2100, but now 2.8C warmer (at least) in 2060, suddenly between 2060 and 2100 there is hardly any increase in the “pollutant” CO2 (the gas we exhale every second)? Just 0.2 degrees warmer in 40 years? And what about the higher levels; like 5.8? Will it be 5.8 degrees warmer in 2060, but then 2.8 degrees cooler again in 2100?

    Add into the mix came further news this week that glaciers appear to be melting 10 to 100 times faster than expected.

    And that leads to this article, which the author of The Guardian hasn’t read or understood…

    “Scientific” American – 2019-07-26

    Direct measurements reveal a glacier is melting 10 to 100 times quicker than previously thought, with implications for sea-level rise

    So this “Greg Jericho” (what’s in the name) didn’t even read the subtitle of the article he linked to?

    But it gets worse:

    From Alaska to Antarctica, thousands of glaciers flow over the land and out to the ocean. These tidewater glaciers are rapidly retreating and melting, like much of Earth’s ice, continually adding to rising sea levels. But to date, scientists have struggled to pinpoint where on the face of a glacier’s terminus the most intense melting occurs—and exactly how fast it is happening—because of the difficulty and danger involved in getting close enough to these frozen behemoths.

    The whole concept of a glacier is that it is melting. At the end. A glacier is not much more than a river of ice. And just like rivers of water they encounter the oceans (in deltas), there is absolutely nothing strange about this.

    Of course glaciers melt at the bottom; calving relatively warm and saline seawater will melt ice faster than mere sunshine, whoever has ever lived in winter conditions knows this.

    They present this in the “Scientific” American FFS as if this is all shocking.

    “Oh no, look at the Mississippi! It is losing water downstream from New Orleans, quick, we have to do something?!! The world is ending!”

    (this is quite literally what they say about a river of ice…)

    Now, however, a team of researchers has figured out how to directly probe these melt processes and has tested the method out on one glacier in Alaska. What it found, published this week in Science, is worrying: the glacier is melting far faster than current theories had suggested “The melt rates that we measured were about 10 to 100 times larger than what theory predicted,” says lead study author David A. Sutherland, an oceanographer at the University of Oregon.

    So then your theory was wrong. Nothing “alarming” about that, just that you need to work on your scientific models; your dataset is not complete apparently.

    And how come you only have theory? We just read there are 1000s of glaciers, worldwide. Now you’re measuring data on 1 glacier, where are all the other measurements? How can you have 1000s of possible data points and still have such a faulty theory? Glaciology is a science; you need to live up to standards….

    Unstable tidewater glaciers such as the one the team measured flow into the sea relatively quickly and calve, or spit off icebergs, often. Although these glaciers tower above the ocean, most of the melting action happens beneath the waterline. Meltwater on the glacier’s surface trickles down through cracks in the ice, creating a stream beneath the glacier that lubricates its flow over land and spills into the ocean. It stirs up the salty, comparatively warm seawater and pushes it up the glacier’s face, causing the ice to melt faster and ultimately calve.

    I won’t claim I am a glaciologist or expert on glaciers, but this all sounds very very natural, nothing shocking.

    What is more shocking, is why the heck would anyone want to take a quick calving glacier as a data point to study?

    If you want to study the movement speed of animals and you just started figuring out how to measure their velocities, what animal would you test your equipment on; a hummingbird, cheetah or rather a tortoise?

    Rising temperatures increase surface melting; scientists expect more meltwater will trickle down as the climate warms, exacerbating this process and ultimately threatening coastal cities around the world.

    This doesn’t make any sense. First you say that the melting takes place mostly at the base, and physio-chemically that makes the most sense. Now suddenly “rising temperatures” (that do not exist on a large scale) is now the culprit?

    Icebergs form at the end of glaciers, that is the whole natural idea behind it.

    “Oh no, the Amazon River deposits tons of mud in the Atlantic Ocean?!”

    (It really is this silly, what they write here)

    Time-lapse video taken over eight hours from a ridge above LeConte Glacier shows the strong meltwater plume flowing away from the glacier, as well as icebergs calving and swirling in the near-glacier fjord. Credit: Jason Amundson University of Alaska Southeast

    I mean, the timestamps are in the GIF?! 19:20 to 22:20 is 8 hours for Jennifer Le(h?)man? Go back to school Jenny, or in any case stay far away from anything to do with science. Oh wait, you already work for the “Scientific” American…

    The sonar data revealed seasonal differences, with higher melt rates in August than in May, as well as changes in where melt occurred. In May rates were higher on the top of the glacier; in August they were higher along the bottom, deep below the waterline. As the summer sun beat down, more meltwater flowed beneath the glacier and into the ocean, pushing the relatively warm seawater against the submerged face of the glacier and melting it. This process causes the glacier to become top-heavy and thus more likely to calve. It is a vicious cycle: as more ice cleaves into the sea, there is less friction to keep the glacier from sliding farther into the water—and it therefore melts faster. “The glacier starts speeding up because it’s like removing a plug in front of the glacier,” says glaciologist Eric Rignot of the University of California, Irvine, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

    Since when do we need Jet Propulsion for glaciers? Weren’t they melting too fast already?

    The thing again is that none of this is alarming or strange; he is just describing what a glacier is and does.

    A glacier by definition is fed by ice in the upstream part (and the origin), just like rivers are by water. Retreating and advancing glaciers is just as normal as the fecking tide, Prof. Dr. Mr. Ir. Eric Rignot…

    Sutherland and his colleagues also noticed variations across the face of the glacier, which suggested melt rates were higher than they had expected in places besides where the meltwater flows into the ocean. This finding means factors other than meltwater discharge also influence how and where the glacier melts. The next step, Sutherland says, is to identify those mechanisms.

    From my comfy couch in a formerly (Pleistocene) glaciated area I can already tell you there are other factors than “meltwater discharge”. Salinity of the ocean waters, tidal currents, deepwater upwelling areas, the albedo of the glacier (and surrounding areas), the amount of cloud cover, the shape of the valley where the glacier meets the ocean, and so dozens of factors more.

    If in 2019 you have to identify these mechanisms, I wonder what you have done with all that time and money since Louis Agassiz…

    He suspects melt rates could actually be even higher than his team reports, because frequent calving changed the face of the glacier too quickly for the sonar to get accurate readings during some parts of the study.

    Rrrright. So by definition this particular glacier was a poor choice to test your models and acquire data. One of the captions also refers to that, that it was hardly possible to measure anything.

    In a truly scientific investigation, you would mark this data with a red pen, assign huge uncertainties to it and all kinds of other operations. No serious scientist would draw conclusions on the basis of his/her WORST data point. And certainly not use this as a stepping stone for more.

    That is scientism; cherry-picking, a religion, if you will.

    Rignot, who was not involved in the new research, is not entirely convinced about the high rates of melting it found. Previous work he did to model ocean conditions in front of a glacier face at a high resolution returned much lower rates. He says he would like to see more detail in comparing these most recent data to those of previous models to sort out the differences.

    Rignot does think the process used in the study could be very useful for getting a better handle on how fast glaciers are melting. “The methodology is fantastic. The results are fantastic,” he says. “This is the kind of data set that we need to make progress” in understanding interactions between ocean and ice along the face of a calving glacier.

    It doesn’t happen often, but I am almost speechless.

    I see only one place where this article could serve real science.

    In a psychology class on how to recognize psychopaths and compulsive liars.


    1. 10-100 times faster than expected? One, what is the basis for expectations? Wild ass guesses? And two, “10-100” is a wide range, indicating massive uncertainty, again, based on wild ass guessing.

      Glaciers can either get bigger or smaller, but don’t stand pat. Some are getting smaller, some are getting bigger (southern hemisphere).The general warming trend we have enjoyed these past 400 years or so means some glaciers gotta go, but that’s OK, as a warmer, more hospitable planet leads to more food and more people leading better lives. I am flexing to grasp the coming cooling period predicted to start around 2030 as the planet makes its way through the spiral arms of the galaxy. A cooling planet is a dangerous place, crop failures, famines, plagues … fossil fuels, abundant now with fracking technology, may be our life preserver.

      One thing to watch, a curiosity … the hand wringers use the term “carbon” instead of CO2 now, as carbon implies soot and black gooky matter. Their job, from a propaganda standpoint, is to take a gas that occurs in 4 parts per million in our atmosphere and demonize it. CO2 is fertilizer. The larger goal is less use of fossil fuels, which provide cheap and abundant energy and help us create wealth. These creeps are the new Luddites, wanting fewer humans leading worse lives. They are a curse upon us.


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