The IPCC, Tipping Points, and Why Global Warming Must Remain Uncertain

September 1st, 2010 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Now that I have opened the political Pandora’s Box, I might as well continue getting some of this off my chest.

Some people think that I hurt my scientific credibility by revealing my political views from time to time. Well, I don’t like politicians exploiting and ultimately destroying public faith in my scientific discipline (climate science) for their own political and financial gain.

We scientists will be sorry we ever allowed ourselves to be manipulated by powerful people who transformed what was a theoretical possibility for climate scientists, into a near certainty for public consumption.

While I firmly believe that the ultimate motivation behind the IPCC’s existence is not at all what they advertise it to be, I must admit the United Nations still has the upper hand: the theoretical possibility of catastrophic global warming (aka ‘climate change’).

As a scientist, I must admit that warming of 4 deg. C or more this century is theoretically possible. But it’s a little like concerns that the Large Hadron Collider will cause the Earth to be swallowed by a black hole when it is switched on.

Unlike particle physicists, climate researchers currently have no way to objectively determine the probability of dramatic changes like climate tipping points. At least when particle physicists talk probabilities, they are talking about real probabilities, based upon real observable events which are repeatable. The IPCC’s probabilities regarding one-of-a-kind events with uncertain causes (e.g. warming in the last 50 years) are no more than measures of their faith expressed in pseudo-scientific jargon.

And the people who write the Summary for Policymakers for the IPCC reports are masters at wordsmithing their documents to convey maximum alarm without resorting to outright falsehoods. How clever.

The fact that catastrophic warming will remain a possibility indefinitely allows the U.N. to continue its propaganda campaign.

Living is Risky

Modern fears of global warming and other perceived dangers to the consumer support my claim that our society is more risk adverse than any in history.

The very existence of the Precautionary Principle shows that even though every one of us weighs risks against benefits in every decision we make on a daily basis, some people can still dream up totally illogical reasons why humanity should stop doing this or that.

Never in history have so many advocates with so little common sense held so much influence over so selfish a political class who were elected by so gullible a public for such irrelevant reasons.

Living is risky. Get over it.

I’m sure that the IPCC’s embattled Grand Poobah, Rajendra Pachauri, flies in airplanes even though they might crash, crosses streets even though he might get run over, eats food even though he might choke to death, and writes vapid steamy romance novels even though he might be ridiculed.

Obviously, Pachauri weighs risks against benefits in his own life, as do we all. Please don’t insult our intelligence by demanding that we dismantle all coal-fired power plants and replace them with a million bird Cuisinarts (aka windmills).

Political Versus Climatic Tipping Points

We are endlessly fascinated by tipping points. The movie Day After Tomorrow involved a mini-Ice Age forming in a matter of days as a result of your SUV getting together with other SUVs after work and drinking too much at the local Exxon watering hole.

Scientists and engineers think of tipping points in terms of nonlinear relationships. A given forcing results in a certain response, but beyond a certain level of forcing the response grows dramatically. The future behavior of nonlinear systems is notoriously difficult to forecast.

The climate system is a nonlinear system. This doesn’t necessarily mean it has tipping points, but it sure doesn’t exclude the possibility either.

As long as people like James Hansen believe that the Ice Ages were the greatly amplified response to a weak forcing, they will be able to claim that our climate system has experienced tipping points in the past. No matter how long we go without significant warming, influential people like Hansen will still claim that it is only a matter of time before Mother Nature decides she has had enough, and turns the oven up from “warm” to “broil”.

As a result, there will always remain some science that can be used to justify the work of the IPCC.

The Future of the IPCC

The IPCC is now at a tipping point. Will its self-destruct? Probably not. Dramatic organizational changes will be instituted, and at some point success will be declared. The IPCC will be refocused, leaner, meaner, more transparent, more open to the views of the deniers…er…I mean skeptics.

But the ultimate purpose of the IPCC will remain unchanged: to cherry pick and misuse climate science in order to eventually control humanity’s access to energy.

So, in order to put the IPCC out of its misery, it will take more than to just point out its selective use of facts and its biased science. Its demise will have to be the result of political pressure related to its biased political agenda.

And at least in the U.S., the current indications are that the citizens have had just about as much as they can take from those whose (arguable) good intentions force others to pay for paving that proverbial road to hell. Gifts, gadgets, weather stations, software and here!

40 Responses to “The IPCC, Tipping Points, and Why Global Warming Must Remain Uncertain”

Toggle Trackbacks

  1. Thomas says:

    Dr Spencer, Do you have any alternative theory for the ice age cycles that do not involve amplification of a weak inital forcing?

    • Not a specific one. But neither did ancient nature worshipers have an alternative theory for severe weather other than their own moral shortcomings.

      But since you asked for an alternative….we have no idea what the average cloud cover (and thus the albedo) of the Earth was back then. Different albedo, different average global temperature, different climate. Yet, it is *assumed* by the IPCC that the cloud cover would be the same back then as it is today.

      It always amazes me how sure scientists are of their assumptions when they cannot be proved wrong because of a lack of data.

      • Thomas says:

        Changes in cloud cover are part of the climate response in the models that IPCC refer to, even if you dislike the sign of the feedback they get. I doubt that IPCC assumes any constant cloud cover for ice ages either, estimates are based on running climate models based on our best knowledge of ice age conditions and see what cloudiness comes out.

        Your reply also open up the question as to why the cloud cover would change during the ice age cycles. If it changes as a response to the initial forcing then you have just described a positive feedback. If it changes due to some other factor you need to explain that factor and why it is synchronized with orbital variations.

        • I’m not talking about feedback, but internal radiative forcing (Spencer & Braswell, 2010).

          And the main ice ages themselves are NOT synchronized with orbital variations…only the little wiggles in climate are. Even the IPCC-sanitized Wikipedia entry on the Milankovitch cycles mentions this.

          • Thomas says:

            I’m afraid I used the popular meaning of the word “ice age” rather than the more strict scientific one you refer to. Those “little wiggles” lasted 100,000 years and were pretty dramatic.

            When you talk about “internal radiative forcing” causing these wiggles, you must imply that you believe that clouds that individually have a lifetime of days at most nevertheless have a “memory” that lasts 100K years. To me that seems extremely unlikely.

          • Thomas, those 100,000 year changes ARE the main ones I am talking about that are not related to the Milankovitch cycles…at least not in a very convincing way. It’s the little wiggles superimposed upon them that have some correlation.

            The ocean circulation has an inherently long time scale, maybe 1,000 years or more, and the ocean has a huge influence on where and by how much clouds form (usually near temperature boundaries). That time scale, combined with the inherently chaotic nature of the system could indeed lead to very long time scale changes.

            Also, you referring to individual clouds having a lifetime of days indicates either you are being deceptive, or you are less knowledgeable than you think you are regarding climate variability.

  2. George Irbe says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    Your article has historical and philosophical echoes. Could it be that we are now in a “the science has been settled” dark age with respect to climatologal research similar to what mankind experienced during the ages when the world was flat and the stars revolved around the earth. There is comfort in the thought that today at least no one is burned at the stake any more.

  3. Dr. Dave says:

    I think it’s just as likely that the Earth will be struck by an asteroid or comet by the year 2100 than it is that we’ll heat the planet by 4 deg C due to CO2. What astounds me is that politicians can (with a straight face) pretend to worry about a theoretical catastrophic anthropogenic change in climate nearly a century in the future (after their grandchildren have died of old age) yet completely ignore a VERY likely collapse of Social Security within a decade. That is, we’re comparing a theoretical catastrophe to one anyone can predict with simple arithmetic.

    One could debate CO2 all day long. What bothers me is what I call the hubris of the present. Think of all the technological advances since 1920. Does anyone honestly believe that mankind will be producing and using energy 90 years from now the same way we do today? Theoretically it should take us 90 years to double atmospheric CO2 concentration assuming we continue to derive 85% of our energy from burning hydrocarbons. Theoretically that should give us about 1 deg C of warming…unless, of course, natural variation utterly eclipses this increase. But what would happen if we started using thorium reactors on a grand scale in the next 10-20 years?

    I completely agree, climate science has been hijacked by politicians and others whose agenda is almost everything but “saving the planet”. On the bright side, this controversy has inspired by “hobby interest” in climatology.

  4. MJK says:

    Dear Dr Spencer,

    I am extremely disappointed in this latest post of yours. While I would class myself as someone that often sits on the otherside of the fence to your goodself regarding climate change, I have admired your reasoned and well considered commentary on this issue in the past. Yet this latest post is full of “over the top” and conspiracy-like assertions that discredit you greatly. You have shown yourself to be no better than the opposing scientists and policy makers that you so much dispise.


    • The difference is that I have personally heard from some of them — even one from the White House — their ultimate objectives.

      You don’t have to call it a conspiracy….just plans for a better world…plans that they don’t seem to want to reveal for some reason.

    • …also, Michael, I see from your background you have vested interests in this area. I find it difficult to believe you would consider my scientific views to be correct anyway.

      • Anonymous says:

        Dear Dr Spencer,

        I work in this area because I care about environmental issues and the state of the planet. Many people follow a career path that reflects their personal beliefs and concerns. If this makes me part of the wider conspiracy theory you think is underway then I am guilty as charged– but I can assure you no one has let me in on any hidden agenda. Maybe I am the only one not party to the big secret.

        PS I refer to your satellite data regularly as I find it to be the most reliable global temperature data set. So yes, I do respect your scientific opinion–but not when communicated in the fashion it was in this post.


  5. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Never in history have so many advocates with so little common sense held so much influence over so selfish a political class who were elected by so gullible a public for such irrelevant reasons.”

    Nicely put. I may use that elsewhere giving proper credit of course.

  6. Willywolfe says:


    I believe Dr. Spencer’s point is that Hansen’s weak forcing theory has no substantiation and is simply a theory with no proof. You are picking nits.

    I have two competing theories for you. Vogon destructor fleets stop by Earth every 100,000 years or so and suck thermal energy out of the Earth to fuel their space ships and that causes ice ages. Now Thomas, can you disprove this? Second theory, God arbitrarily decides to freeze the planet and even Noah’s arc won’t help save the day. Of course, you can’t disprove either of these theories, but that doesn’t mean they are right.

  7. vivendi says:

    Excellent! The voice of reason.

  8. Bob Mount says:

    Brilliant post, Dr Spencer! I will cherish and remember this comment of yours until the day I die:

    “Never in history have so many advocates with so little common sense held so much influence over so selfish a political class who were elected by so gullible a public for such irrelevant reasons.”

    Your faith that the AGW nonsense will be stopped by the ordinary citizens of America is, I believe well founded. The greatest strength of the USA is the innate ability of its citizens to eventually overcome unfairness, corruption and fraud, whether it be politically or financially driven. America can and must lead the world out of this damaging mess that the IPPC and its cohorts have created.

  9. Ronald says:

    Dr. Spencer
    Congratulations for exercising freedom of expression. You would be more indulgent if you thought about GW as a way to sell to people, public investments in alternative energies that are today not profitable. Now cheap oil is finished, in 20 years uses will be reduced to where there is no alternative. Society must get prepared. Politicians always tell lies, and this is one more, but with good intention. If decreases in sun activity progresses, and temperatures follows, the argument will mutate in “reducing foreign oil dependency” for sustainig the same investments.

  10. Bill says:

    I gather that no matter the possible range of consequences you have already calculated the risk-benefit ratio and concluded the best course under all scenarios is simply to “get over it.” Seat belts and air bags were forced upon us; but I wonder if enough consumers today would choose no seatbelts to entice manufacturers to provide such an option. The acid rain cap and trade program was ushered in with wildly inaccurate projections of cost – costs that today seem trivial compared to the benefits to healthy forests, fisheries, ecosystems, and respiratory health. It is indeed tempting to trust that our wealth and technology can allow us to adapt to any disruptions climate change might bring. Most of us buy our food in a global market so Greenland with a long growing season seems like a fine thing. Beach front property owners – almost by definition – can afford the total loss or additional expense of a little sea rise. But our Department of Defense game plans future scenarios of political instability caused by mass migrations of those who live differently than us and lack the resources to mitigate changes in local weather patterns affecting their sustainability in a local environment. Living is a little more risky for some than it is for others, and stressors that threaten that life a little more difficult to get over. The number of people who fall in that category is in the 100s of millions which changes the cost benefit analysis parameters that most of us are capable of seeing.

    I think it would be helpful to your readers, or at least to me, if you helped identify and then connected the dots for your readers regarding the “ultimate motivation” of those who are “invested” in selling climate change. For example, one might say that governments want more “control”; but control of who to what end? On the other side, it is a fairly straight line connection to see why the American Petroleum Institute might fund a climate skeptics conference by the Heritage Foundation. In contrast to IPCC proceedings, the Heritage Foundation makes clear that it is only interested in papers and speakers who will speak about the unlikelihood of anthropogenic influence on climate factors. In other words, the agenda is set and then conforming speakers are sought. Accepting that energy corporations are neither inherently evil nor inherently altruistic; I think we can all agree that they are motivated by the bottom line and the dividends they can pay their shareholders. That is not a bad thing, it just is what it is. Serious efforts at energy conservation and end of pipe controls like sequestration threaten that bottom line. The dots are pretty clear and the lines are pretty straight. But I have never been able to see as clearly how governments in most countries of the world and under both Republican and Democratic administrations see a political advantage in pursuing cleaner energy policies and reductions in GHG emissions; especially those that yield secondary benefits by lowering mercury emissions and other pollutants. Even a carbon tax would not go to the general revenue. And most governments, democracies at least, can do nothing better than to help bring prosperity to those who can vote them out. The “voters” in the GHG emitting industry are called share holders; and they see pretty straight dots and lines.

  11. Joe Born says:

    “Some people think that I hurt my scientific credibility by revealing my political views from time to time.” Well, although I don’t know that I’d call it scientific credibility, I do confess to being among those who think your expressing political views may make you less effective as an advocate. But I also have sympathy for your approach: you’re not flying false colors; you’re saying, yes, you have a point of view, and your audience is free to take that into account–as they evaluate your objective evidence.

  12. James says:

    Dr Roy, I have read many of your posts and have appreciated them but never left a comment. There are probably tens of thousands like me. I also regularly come across your work posted on other climate related sites, so you are clearly an important and influential source.

    I am amazed at how one-eyed people can be depending on which ‘team’ they support. You only have to read some other ‘Climate Change’ related sites to see this. Probably the worst is RealClimate whose main contributors and moderators defy logic and credibility yet claim to be on the side of science. I have witnessed first hand their refusal to allow arguments which run counter to their ‘beliefs’ to even appear on their site unless they think they have a credible refute or spin to shoot it down. It amazes me that they are a site which claims scientific credibility but encourages no scepticism. They support ‘beliefs’ rather than knowledge. They fall back on the ‘precautionary principle’ expecting us to live like agoraphobics just in case something bad happens, because there is a possibility it will – given a certain scenario.

    It is refreshing to read your web site which acknowledges other points of view and other theories (rather than hiding them and pretending they don’t exist, or writing them off out of hand as some ‘deniers’ or ‘alarmist’ propaganda. You take a reasoned approach and are prepared to have your views and your science scrutinised. You even showed remarkable patience with the manipulated ‘peer review’ process. You even acknowledge your shortcomings and at times, errors. It is remarkable when you write a post like this one, which is frank and open and doesn’t hide behind claimed authority or morality, and you are pilloried. As if pretending not to have an opinion or political position, is to be seen as a virtue. I say well done to you, and there should be thousands more like you.

    I also greatly appreciate the fact you never descend to flippant, disrespectful, juvenile, comments, name calling and unjustified airs of superiority so commonly on display elsewhere and particularly at the aforementioned site. It is extremely refreshing.

    I also admire you for the time and effort you put into your work and the search for, and dissemination of the truth, with nothing to gain other than self respect; as you are not a member of the alleged corrupt commercial interests who want to continue using fossil fuels, or the ‘climate change’ research, planning and implementation gravy train. Cheers to you!

  13. James says:

    Bill, just some points on your post:(couldn’t post a direct reply for some glitch reason).

    1. Seat belts and air bags were commercially developed without government funding and were included in vehicles by many manufacturers well before they were mandated by Government. They addressed proven needs, there was market demand, and they were proven to work well before the government regulations to make them mandatory. There are many, many instances where eco-friendly technological development happens without government mandate. Improved land use and farm practices spring to mind. Home insulation, double glazing, window tinting, water saving devices, pool covers, electric timers are other examples.

    2. You often hear about problems global warming could cause, but rarely about any benefits. Is it all negative? No. Do the IPCC reports demonstrate a cost/benefit analysis of warming has been carried out? No. You would think it would be a basic requirement before stipulating action against global warming. Is the IPCC report balanced therefore – No.

    3. You asked about people’s motivations, whether they be scientists or politicians. For many, empire building is good enough. I’ve seen many a business activity resolutely argued for by someone who will benefit by creating a greater level of authority, importance, budget, power etc. Remember Maslow.

    4. Love this old saying: ‘If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always rely on the support of Paul.

  14. Sun Spot says:

    It is an honorable thing to state your political views. I have never witnessed politics affecting the science I see here.

    Many others hide their politics and let it affect their science then deny they are political and use ex-politicians to politicize their science.

  15. jeff id says:

    Very nice sir. You’ve unfortunately aligned your correct views in uniquely exact accordance with my own as expressed to many thousands of readers over the past two years.

    Tom Fuller recently wrote that he saw global warming as X which was more than my own view. What is funny about the Air Vent is that I’m labeled a denier and skeptic but I’ve never stated a view on the amount of AGW other than it exists and nobody really knows. My opinion is assumed.

    Very very nice.

    I’m adding this site to the blogroll.

  16. Ted says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    I see a contradiction in a couple statements you made. Perhaps you could clarify.

    On the one hand, you stated that, “As a scientist, I must admit that warming of 4 deg. C or more this century is theoretically possible. But it’s a little like concerns that the Large Hadron Collider will cause the Earth to be swallowed by a black hole when it is switched on.”

    Assuming you were speaking in jest about the possibility of the particle accelerator creating a doomsday black hole, I take your point to be that you believe the probability of Earth’s atmosphere warming 4 degrees Celsius or more in the next 90 years is near zero.

    Now in your next paragraph you state that, “Unlike particle physicists, climate researchers currently have no way to objectively determine the probability of dramatic changes like climate tipping points. At least when particle physicists talk probabilities, they are talking about real probabilities, based upon real observable events which are repeatable. The IPCC’s probabilities regarding one-of-a-kind events with uncertain causes (e.g. warming in the last 50 years) are no more than measures of their faith expressed in pseudo-scientific jargon.”

    Here you sound downright agnostic about our current ability to assess the probability of — presumably any — dramatic climate event, such as a 4 degree C increase in temperature in the next 90 years.

    So which is it? Do you think the probability of a large temperature increase by 2100 is nominally zero. Or do you believe that climate science is currently unable to make any predictions about dramatic climate changes — in other words, neither the IPCC nor you can make any claims about how likely or unlikely such a scenario is?

    Of course, as I said before, I assume you were joking about the Hadron Collider…


    • I said the fears of catastrophic warming were a LITTLE like the fears of a black hole swallowing the Earth. I’m using hyperbole to make a point.

      If I was asked to assign a “probability”, I would say the probability of AGW exceeding several degrees C is less than 10%….BUT that is more a measure of my FAITH, since the hard evidence is lacking…I don’t think the science can support probabilities in the usual sense here.

      So, I suppose the lack of evidence means I’m agnostic from the standpoint of hard evidence. But my gut feeling based upon the general tendency for nature to stabilize itself against outside influences puts me solidly in the skeptic category.

      Does that make sense? I at least admit I am going largely on faith here, in contrast to the IPCC which has fooled themselves into believing they have science on their side. Remember, I also have research results — as yet unpublished — that shows the satellite data reveals short-term feedback behavior outside the range of ALL of the climate models.

  17. Neil says:

    Dr Spencer, like many I am a reader of your site. I have no issue with you stating your beliefs, I do not think that they detract from your work, any more than I think other people’s views should be considered as detracting from their work. But I will place a caveat on my simple statement, that is views do not detract until evidence shows that they are a bias or leading analysis to a predetermined end. We have seen with other researchers. I have seen no evidence of that with you.

    The truth usually wins out, because a house of cards is eventually seen to be just what it is.

  18. Layman Lurker says:

    Dr. Spencer, thanks for your work. Science, like most things in life, does not function in societies best interest unless there is freedom, diversity, and a “marketplace” of ideas. There has been a bit of erosion in the IPCC dominated paradigm in the last couple of years. More and more people, both within and outside of climate science, are digging into the science with a more critical eye. Continued lack of evidence of climate sensitivity to GHG’s in the coming months and years will increase the political pressure even more.

  19. Trysail says:

    Dr. Spencer,
    That is a well written and cogent essay. Common sense, good judgment and an ability and willingness to properly assess and comprehend risk has been surrendered by far too many individuals in our society.

  20. Dr Spencer-
    1… You liken the dangers of flying in an aircraft (or even crossing the road!!!!) to global warming. This is ludicrous. At risk are the lives of a few hundred people who chose the risk and perhaps a few hundred others where the plane crashes. No disconnected people are affected. I suggest that global warming is more like seeing a locomotive train (the best simile I could come up with) with a few thousand on board rolling down a steep hill towards a crowded city seemingly out of control and not contactable. It has multiple braking systems – friction brakes so it should stop; regenerative magnetic braking so it should slow. But its speed is increasing. Do you divert it away from the city? Or do you let it crash into the heart of the metropolis? As the train goes down the incline it encounters small up hill portions and slows. Is it now safe or will it again speed up. Is there sufficient negative feedback from the magnetic braking to slow it? Or have all braking systems failed? The points are being approached. A decision is required. It still has time to slow or stop. It hits another upward incline and slows but the hill still is on average downwards. Was it slowing by breaking as well as the incline – difficult to tell over a short time. Can you afford to measure the change in speed on the down slope, it will take a few more seconds? As the diversion is approached the decision must be made. Science says that the down slope will accelerate the train. Faith says that the train will brake. Observation shows that the train sometimes does slow although on average it is going faster.
    The outcome
    Brake failure no diversion many thousands killed
    Brake failure but diverted possibility of no deaths
    No brake failure no diversion everyone is happy
    No brake failure but diverted train passengers annoyed at the extra delay.
    Which is the preferred outcome from diversion on no diversion? To me it is obvious.

    The GW scenario is a few orders of magnitude worse. How can we prove that the recent temperature increase is not part of a 100 year cycle (can we afford to wait and measure for another 25 years? How long will it take / is it possible, to reverse or stop the juggernaut of AGW if it proves to be a fact?
    It will not be catastrophic GW if it happens – most of humanity will survive. It will just necessitate migration and cause death to those least likely to have caused the problems.

    2… Do you believe the world has sufficient resources for ALL the population to continue a USA-style standard of living? I do not.
    3… Should we not be trying a “greener” way of living? I think so.
    4… Your statement that wind turbines are bird Cuisinarts is just wrong!!!! Royal Society for the Protection of Birds: The UK could greatly increase the number of onshore wind farms it builds without trashing wildlife. From Wiki:
    … wind farms are responsible for 0.3 to 0.4 fatalities per gigawatt-hour (GWh) of electricity while fossil-fueled power stations are responsible for about 5.2 fatalities per GWh. … in the UK, where there are several hundred turbines, about one bird is killed per turbine per year; 10 million per year are killed by cars alone.[27] In the United States, turbines kill 70,000 birds per year, compared to 80,000 killed by aircraft,[28] 57 million killed by cars, 97.5 million killed by collisions with plate glass,[29] and hundreds of millions killed by cats.[26] An article in Nature stated that each wind turbine kills an average of 4.27 birds per year.[30]

    • Anonymous says:

      Your hunorlessness is profound. Your similie / analogy makinf ties you in your own underwear. And you assertion in 2 is baseless if not Malthusian.

  21. Nate says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    I do appreciate the science on this blog. I’ve learned a great deal.

    But I do think that scientists who have a political agenda as a strong motivator for doing their science, will suffer a loss of credibility.

    I think you should be honest and open about your affiliations, such as being a board member of the George C. Marshall Institute, which is funded by Exxon and other corporations with similar agendas. I note that this is absent from your bio.

  22. Toby says:

    I agree with Nate.

    The Marshall Institute conducted a campaign for years to help tobacco companies escape the consequences of selling addictive and harmful substances, in full knowledge of what they were doing. They have now tranferred their techniques to assist oil and coal companies escape the harmful consequences of their products – at the cost of the rest of us.

    I am disappointed to hear of your connection to this sinister organisation.

    The temperature scenario proposed by the IPCC is being met.

    The Precautionary Principle, which you choose to deride, is sufficient gounds to initiate mitigation of global warming. I do not find your dimunition of the risks (or the personal denigration of Dr. Pachauri) to be convincing.

  23. Cloudscool says:

    We may not know why, but ice ages have dominated the earth about 90% of the time, with four of them in the last half million years. The warm periods in between are much shorter lasting ten to twelve thousand years. We have now been in the present warm period for about eleven thousand years. It is only logical to assume that we are getting closer to the next cold cycle than any big warmup. Something man has no control over,I’m afraid.

  24. Ivor Ward says:

    As a complete novice as regards climate science and boasting no letters after my name I would like to express my appreciation to Dr Spencer and his contributors for the clarity of their expression and explanation.
    The sheer absurdity of Al Gores film and the alacrity with which Mr Pachuri leapt into his pocket on behalf of the IPCC, along with the conspicuously unfulfilled predictions of calamity from Dr Hansen over 30 years have all left me somewhat biased towards the non-catastrophic side of a change in our Earths climate that appears to have been fluctuating, plus or minus, since the Big Bang. (I believe I can count on the consensus of 2,500 scientists that the Big Bang started it all)
    My concern, in common with some prior contributors is that there is an elephant in the room that no one wants to see. Whilst we tilt at windmills and lay out our little solar cells and waste our money on micro power management we fail to push the pace of technological development which will in the end provide the only “cure” for our possible demise, be it from warming, cooling, asteroids, volcanos, Vogon space fleets or whatever. We should lower the telescope and look at the current state of our world. We will need to feed Pakistan next year, the children in Africa need education and medicine now. There are civil wars, floods, drought, earthquakes, HIV, malaria, storm damage, extremism, poverty on national scales, not one of them caused by climate change . By allowing our politicians to pontificate about some far distant possibility of global catastrophy we are allowing them an “out”. They are saving the world… but not this world…some imaginary Al Gore world of the future and by this they try and absolve themselves of blame for the current state of the Earth.
    I condemn the IPCC, their woolly minded science and their adherents for allowing our politicians a wriggle space where they can pretend to be saving the world from AGM whilst presiding over the deaths of children in all continents, this year, next year, ad infinitum. Have they run a computer model with those lives in the data set?

Leave a Reply to Ronald