December 20, 2016

Why is Climate Research Important?

The media is full of headlines regarding the potential elimination or reduction of U.S. climate research by the Trump administration.
There are two groups that question the necessity of climate research and they are, strangely enough, on opposite sides of the political/environmental spectrum.   On one hand, there is the "climate hoax" contingent who believes that climate change is a Chinese invention to undermine the U.S. economy or a liberal plot to increase government and take control of our lives.   On the other hand, there are those who suggest that climate change is "settled science" and society has all the information it needs to act.  That "97% of climate scientists" agree on what will occur as greenhouse gases increase.  The dangers of the "settled science" group was made clear in Australia, where the conservative government fired climate scientists in CSIRO with the claim that the science issues were now clear.

I will suggest that both are profoundly wrong and that research is acutely needed to understand and project climate change forced by natural processes AND human-enhanced greenhouse gases.  In this blog I will describe the importance of climate research and will discuss weaknesses in our understanding of human-caused climate change that are rarely admitted by scientists or discussed in the press.  Weaknesses that must be addressed.

So why is climate research so important?  Let me give you a few reasons.

Reason #1:   The is Still Lots of Uncertainty of What Climate Change will Bring both Globally and Locally.

Both basic scientific principles (e.g., the physics of radiation) and our most comprehensive climate models strongly suggest the earth will warm as greenhouse gases increase.  Importantly, as our global climate models get more and more complex, the uncertainty in their projections (the range of potential outcomes they suggest) has NOT CHANGED IN DECADES.    Our best estimate are that a doubling of CO2 results in a range of roughly 1.5 to 4°C iincrease n global temperatures.  We would have said the same thing 30 years ago.

Why so uncertain and haven't we become more confident?   The list of reasons is a long one--here are just a few:
  • Uncertainty in the amount of greenhouse gases there will be emitted and retained in the atmosphere.
  • Uncertainty in how the land surface will change.
  • Major uncertainties in model physics, such as how clouds form or how energy is exchanged with the surface.
  • Inadequate resolution of the global models, making them unable to properly deal with topoography.
  • Poor handling of convection/thunderstorms.
  • Many global models fail to properly simulate natural variability, like El Nino/Nina and the MJO (Madden Julian Oscillation) name only few.
Research is needed to reduce ALL of these and other sources of uncertainties.

The uncertainty of the local impacts of global climate change is even larger than for global changes.  Lack of resolution in global models means they don't properly handle local terrain, land-surface conditions, and land-water contrasts to name only a few factors that have huge impacts on local weather and climate.

To deal with local conditions, either the global climate models need far higher resolution or intense research/development into regional climate modeling is required, something a group of us is trying to initiate here in the Pacific Northwest.

Reason #2:   Current climate climate models are "tuned" to reproduce the current climate and thus may have serious deficiencies.  They may not be adequate for projecting future climate change.

A piece of dirty climate-change laundry is that our current climate models can not duplicate the current climate without "tuning" some parameters for which there are uncertainties.   The fact we have to do this reveals that there are still deficiencies with our knowledge and/or ability to simulate the climate.   Does this impact our ability to predict the implications of increasing greenhouse gases?  We simply don't know.

Reason #3.   There are many uncertainties in critical physical processes.

This reason is related to #1.  How will a warming climate impact sea ice?   Will large amounts of currently frozen methane be released?  How have small particles (aerosols) changed over the past 100 years and how has this impacted the climate system?   I could list dozens more of these:  important processes we don't understand well, including how they will interact with a warming planet.

The bottom line is that our current climate modeling technologies have deficiencies, both on global and local scales.  We have a lot to learn about basic physical processes that are critical for climate prediction.    There is a huge amount of work for climate scientists, earth sciences, meteorologists, and oceanographers to work on.  The science is not settled or certain other than there is little question that the planet will warm.

And society needs better answers from the scientific community for many reasons, including:
  • To determine how serious the climate change threat from increasing greenhouse gases will be.
  • To provide guidance on how society should adapt for future climate change, including construction of long-lived infrastructure
The U.S. will spend trillions of dollars on infrastructure (e.g., dams, roads, reservoirs, etc.), shouldn't decision makers have available the best possible information on what we expect to happen during the next century?

So  even if you have your doubts about climate change (like Trump and some Republicans), doesn't it make sense to do the research needed to strengthen the underlying science and to reduce the uncertainties?

If you are one of the environmentally committed that have no doubt about the reality of climate change, isn't it prudent to get a better answer on what we expect will happen as the concentration of greenhouse gases increase?

The U.S. has the preeminent scientific resources in the world regarding many of the basic science issues dealing with climate change.  It would be a disaster for a Trump administration or any other to dismantle a scientific capability that took a half-century to create.  Ignorance of the future is no advance for Republicans, Democrats or anyone else.


  1. I have absolutely no doubts about climate change. It has and will always change. And I agree with you: the science is most definitely not settled on this one, regardless of what Obama and his ilk say. Let's continue to soldier on through the ebb and flow of this hot button issue, endeavoring to better understand our weather climate. Let us also go slow when it comes to carbon taxation lest we get the proverbial cart before the horse. There is nothing worse than allowing any government to enact a tax that will never be removed.

  2. "Both sides are wrong and I am right so we need bipartisan solutions" has not been a successful strategy for achieving political goals.

  3. False equivalency. I run in lefty environmentalist circles and precisely nobody I know is celebrating the cuts to climate science because "it's settled science." Nobody.

  4. "left-leaning uber-environmentalists" who oppose research into climate change? Do these people really exist or have you just invented a straw man? Could you provide a link or two? I consider myself a "left-leaning uber-environmentalist" and I am unaware of these people.

  5. FOLKS.. YES ITS GETTING WARMER.... BELIEV ME IT IS... I go to Iceland every winter. every winter the ice caves are smaller and smaller. This year I might not even get in them because its so warm... I GET IT !... however I agree with my 4 previous commentators on all counts! Further more... you folks( forecasters) can't get it right anyway... every year forecasts become less accurate. I am a weather nut and really do thing this is the best source for info( over NOAA etc.) however seems the Europeans and Canadians forecast our weather a lot better than we do. Why not save the money and let them do it? They get it right more than we do anyway... remember we are broke and owe the Chinese a few shekels... JG

  6. Definitely a straw man. I've heard lefties (and centrists!) use the phrase "settled science," but almost always in response to someone who denies humans are changing the climate. I've never heard it used as an excuse to stop funding climate research.

    - Douglas

  7. What impact will normal long term weather cycles have on climate change? We are near a peak in these cycles. How will the normal temperature decline that would follow without man's impacts change the climate in the future? I am suspicious of "tangential forecasts" of natural cyclical events. If we do not understand the timing and impacts of these cycles how can we be sure we are making wise choices?

  8. Unknown...not a straw man. That argument was used in Australia to fire many climate scientists. And I have had some "environmentalists' oppose the necessity of research I was doing on Cascade snowpack. But think about it...when you use the term "settled science" how could that be could for those of us trying to secure funds for climate research? It plays into the hands of those trying to cut research funding...

  9. To the Australia point: those scientists were fired by a conservative government, not a liberal one. There is a tendency to oversell the state of climate knowledge on the left, but I have never seen a group on the political left advocate for reduced funding for research because of that. The left should be careful that their arguments reflect real science, but the Australian example is a case of conservative politicians opportunistically jumping on lefty overstatements to justify their own deeply held anti-science attitudes, not of a hard-left opposition to climate research. Anti-science beliefs persist in some areas on the left (vaccines, GMO's, etc), but climate is not one of those.

  10. Thanks for the very candid assessment of where we are today with understanding climate change. The challenge with such a complicated subject like Climate Change is that the more you learn, the more you realize how much you don't know. Today, it's a compliment to our research community to have found all these uncertainties and that you can see the opportunity that funding more research brings.

    But to folks who are motivated to deny climate change and it's human influences, the word "uncertainty" it gives them fodder to claim that their is still no scientific proof to stop them from their normal CO2 producing activities. And even if you get them to understand and embrace what uncertainty means to research community, you'll never get this group to agree with your reasoning for more funding, let alone maintaining, until a catastrophic environmental event that can certainly be linked to climate change creates relatively extreme trauma.

    I appreciate your attempt at being pragmatic and trying to be fair with identifying the extremities on the right and left of this issue. But let's not deny that their is a lot more people in the right side of this extremity than the left. So much that I wish we had Australia's problem of not reading past the headline and understand what 97% of research papers submitted who studied causes of climate change and found evidence to suggest human activity means.

  11. Judie said:

    "Let us also go slow when it comes to carbon taxation lest we get the proverbial cart before the horse. There is nothing worse than allowing any government to enact a tax that will never be removed."

    This is extremely flawed logic. While Cliff is in fact fully right on that the need for top-notch unbiased research is critical, the data around carbon emissions is VERY clear: Carbon emissions are more than likely, the primary cause of all warming since 1950, and will become more and more of a driving force in the Earth's climate system over this century.

    The absolute need to reduce emissions is reaching critical threshold, and the most effective way of doing this is with a carbon tax system.

    If you're using political viewpoints on tax policy to dictate your opinion of a carbon tax, your values and intellect need to be checked. Even if the jury is still out on the "details" of global climate warming, the consensus that human emissions are the cause, is not really up for debate anymore. Even if we don't fully understand what will happen over the next 100 years, its imperative that we prioritize the health of the planet over political or economic issues. It just so happens that carbon tax programs also make good economic sense.

  12. On a more pragmatic note as to why we need more climate research, today there was a news report on the underwater volcanic eruption last year off the Oregon coast. The question arises as to the effect on ocean temps caused by the injection of millions of btus from the hot volcanic material? Further did this heat injection interact with the "blob"?

  13. Sorry Cliff, but it is still a straw man argument. It was not used by your boogy men the uber environmentalists, but by conservatives who mostly just wanted an excuse to cut funding to science.

  14. Great blog post. Can you post a link on how we can help support climate research?

  15. If all we want to know is what's going to happen next week or in 3 days, we don't need a lot of climate scientists. We just have to use the tech we have, and then deal tactically with whatever comes our way. This works reasonably well today.

    On the other end of the spectrum, there would be climate science so solid that people will make billion (or trillion) dollar investments according to a climate forecast. Everyone would accept the science and work to the same goal. (OK, we'll never be Star Trek).

    Today, we have opposing views and lack of motivation for investment because the models are crude. Populations lack confidence to act. This is a terrible place to be. Without being able to take action, we're back where weather forecasting is. We can only think tactically or politically, and we all know where that is getting us. Nowhere.

    So step back a bit. The focus of human civilization must be to make life better for our children and grandchildren, etc. This is how a species thrives. The only way climate science can make a difference in that area is to develop a way of forecasting changes in climate so people can adapt before it becomes too painful. Or deadly for some. (Or possibly reduce the change.)

    Climate is an incredible force. It's been picking winners and losers at every level of life for millions of years. Species thrive or fail. If we toss those kinds of historical changes into a world with seven billion people, then billions of lives and the fate of countries could be at stake. Our civilization is very fine-tuned to the climate of the last few hundred years.

    If we don't try very hard at developing believable models to predict and prepare for the inevitable changes in future climate, both natural and anthropogenic, then science had failed its most basic obligation to humanity. We will never act to prepare future generations.

    How can we do that without climate science?

  16. I really have no idea how anyone can say "weather forecasts are getting less reliable" then in the same breath " I'm a bit of a weather nutter"......

    Unless he is being entirely unambiguous with the term "nutter".

  17. Why are recorded temperatures, particularly from satellites and weather balloons, so much lower than the alarmist models had predicted? How do you explain an almost-20-year “pause” in increasing temperatures even as CO2 emissions have accelerated? What are the details of the adjustments to the surface temperature record that have somehow reduced recorded temperatures from the 1930s and 40s, and thereby enabled continued claims of “warmest year ever” when raw temperature data show warmer years 70 and 80 years ago? Suddenly, the usual hand-waving (“the science is settled”) is not going to be good enough any more. What now?

  18. This article about spiking winter temperatures in the Arctic is concerning.

  19. I find it absolutely rediculous when environmental groups hold a mass protest against oil drilling in their petroleum based kayaks. If you want to stop oil drilling stop using oil. This is a prime example of the credibility, (or lack there of, rather) and logic of the "urban-environmental" people of this day and age.

  20. Excellent Cliff. This restores my faith in you as more science oriented. Yes we should absolutely try to understand climate. But the politicized "we must act now" "science is settled movement" is pure BS. And you did not mention the quiet Sun as another not fully understood variable in the equation. The thing that is so unsettling about the politics on either side is the arrogance and certainty. Any serious scientist knows that proclaiming certainty is a great way to lost credibility quickly.

  21. I'd argue that what Cliff should have said is not that the right is claiming "solved science", but rather that the most scientific people on the right are starting to say it is inevitable science - the effect of man is to raise temperature, and there is nothing we can do to stop it.

    The main drivers of greenhouse gases in the future might be China and India and others, and so that is a legitimate argument. The US has put its share of it in the air, now others want their turn to convert their fossil fuels to prosperity, just as we have for 100 years.

  22. This uncertainty as a reason to procrastinate argument is scientific gibberish. Sure, the climate change effect might be in the low range or the high range of current estimates. However, in any case temperature is going to rise, and by waiting to see the exact effect, we're losing the ability to be most effective in countering the temperature rise. Even if the odds of disaster in 100 years were only 50%, it would still pay off very favorable to invest heavily to minimize the chances of the disaster.

    Just because the odds are not 100% of the median scenario, we are not justified to conclude that there is not reason to act.

    This constantly reminds me of the “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” ― Upton Sinclair. The biggest corporate global warning deniers and their supporters are not dumb, but neither are they disinterested observers.

  23. Excellent point, John. Money has a way of perverting reality. But so does ego and popular acclaim. People like Bill Nye have a lot of incentives to maintain the views he has, as do most popularizers of any stripe.

  24. My thoughts about climate research and conservatives start with: where is the evidence that is completely convincing of any particular action to take, how much research and researchers will remain if any cuts are made-by metric exposition, and what actions will actually make a scientifically replicable experiment that defines those actions.
    These questions never seem to perturb any quantifiable response from "climate science" as it currently is being presented in our media. Cliff is a brilliant teacher and seems to be highly concerned with wx science. I have enjoyed and preferred his prognostications about our Puget Sound/WA State wx for many years now. He appears to be a scientist worthy of research funding as he is not one who has an answer and is looking to prove it. This is my entire problem with the pap that passes for much of what's referred to as "climate science" today. In addition, what happens/has happened to any researcher who doesnt support the proscribed pathway is of vital interest to me. Science and inquiry cannot stand when those whose views diverge from the pathway are castigated, stripped of standing, drummed out of research altogether. This way of research, representing much of current policy and funding regimes, is not science. I leave it to the sentient beings who join me in celebrating the fine work of scientific researchers who truly follow the scientific inquiry. Politics on climate research have been infected with a deadly disease, lack of inquiry and high minded social-science guessing adds to this cancer.

  25. @mathbrown73 Your attitude is understandable but misguided. To oversimplify, if someone points a gun at us, we do not need to be absolutely 100% sure they are going to shoot us to take defensive action.

    We do not need to have every single person completely convinced of an exact deterministic scenario of climate change to take action. The small chance of saving some money is more than compensated by the large chance of having great damage inflicted.

    As usual, it reminds me of those who "weren't sure" about cigarettes, seat belts, the ozone hole, etc., which incidentally coincides with those who would have to pay a price (which turned out to be heavier for having procrastinated).

  26. President Obama from 2014 State of Union speech on man-made climate change: "...the debate is settled..."

  27. I have never met a lefty- not a single one -who called for reducing or ceasing climate research.

    I think that Cliff's worthy argument about the need to keep going on climate research has been muddied by a dubious claim.

    And the whole field of predicting the human/societal consequences of climate shift is totally rudimentary. Much, much more work desperately needed.

    Abe Jacobson

  28. Abe... my point is that the claim of "settled science" and agreement of 97% of climate scientists has NOT been helpful. It is being used by those opposed to dealing with climate change or supporting the necessary research. Other than agreeing the earth as a whole will warm and sea level will rise, there is very little that is "settled" and much research still needs to be done. That is my point.

  29. the "settled science" meme is (as usual) nothing but a distortion or outright misappropriation of understanding. That is what is not helpful.

    Perhaps someone should simply explain that "settled science" is short for a consistent and robust consensus opinion on best known current belief among a substantially trustworthy institution of knowledge and skill ( perhaps even the most trustworthy) known to mankind. "Settled" does not imply certain, which the cynics (usually mischaracterized as skeptics) like to promote.

  30. I think you are misinterpreting what people mean when they say the science is settled. What is settled is that the chemical reaction we call combustion results in the carbon in fossil fuels burned by humans being combined with oxygen in the air to form CO2. That this combustion has resulted in an increase in CO2 in the atmosphere from 270ppm to 400ppm which will continue to rise as long as we keep burning fuel. That the earth is heated by short wave radiation from the sun and cooled by long wave radiation going back out to space. That changing the incoming or outgoing radiation will change the energy balance resulting in a change in climate. That CO2 and other green house gases like methane absorb and reradiate some of the long wave radiation back towards the earth causing an overall long term rise in temperature. That if we continue on our current course this will cause climate change that will result in a warmer earth. The frustration is that many on the right deny these basic facts which could only mean that our sciences of chemistry and physics are fundamentally wrong.

    What is not settled is how this will effect specific areas and how quickly the increase in temperature will happen. Those are just a couple of reasons why we need to continue climate research, but really even without that there are plenty of valid reasons to study the climate. The idea that climate scientist depend on the threat of a changing climate to keep their jobs is absurd. Man has always been motivated to understand the natural world and that would not change if there was not the threat of climate change.


    I've been studying this for two or three years. Finally, and pretty much in a flash, my thoughts crystallized. So here goes:

    1. CO2's (carbon dioxide's) causal role in atmospheric temperature fluctuation is inferred from laboratory data, but unconfirmed by empirical data from the atmosphere.

    2. Human emissions of CO2 are less than 5% of the total.

    3. The proponents of the AGW (anthropogenic, or human-caused, global warming) hypothesis made a series of predictions that have not come true. Normally, this leads to the discarding or significant alteration of the hypothesis, per the scientific method. The fact that this hasn't happened tells me that whatever it might have been, the AGW hypothesis is no longer a matter of science but of politics and personal interest.

    4. Whenever someone says that a hypothesis, in particular, is "settled science," that person(s) fails to understand scientific inquiry in its fundamental sense. Scientific facts and laws can be said to be "settled," and theories are theories because the hypotheses from which they are derived have survived repeated, independent tests.

    This is not true of AGW, which remains a hypothesis, and a very shaky one at best. For it to be labeled as "settled science," and for those who dispute it to be harassed and vilified as "denialists," does real violence to the logical underpinnings of scientific inquiry and to logic itself -- in the name of science, no less!

    5. There is a statistical element to the AGW hypothesis, and it is flatly invalid.

    6. The U.N. agency, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is not an inquiry panel but an advocacy group based on the AGW hypothesis being true and "settled." Therefore, any IPCC reports should not be seen as research reports, but as political advocacy of a predetermined conclusion.

    7. The practices followed by most AGW-favoring climatologists are dubious at best, starting with the underlying structure of research, which is highly prone to confirmation bias and groupthink, and extending all the way to misrepresentation and outright falsification of pertinent data.

    8. The so-called scientific consensus in favor of the AGW hypothesis has been wildly overstated and misrepresented.

    There are plenty of points that follow from what I just wrote. They are more polemical. But what I just wrote consists of carefully chosen words. I can supply links to support each point. I honestly think the day will come when a vastly humbled scientific research establishment will be eating a gigantic crow dinner over the embrace of the AGW hypothesis.

    FINALLY: I reject the global warming consensus, but I do NOT think we're in the clear on other environmental issues. My point here is narrow – that “carbon pollution” and “climate change” are not problems. There are plenty of real environmental problems out there. Let's work on what's real!

  32. Fascinating stuff Placeholder.

    Now don't take this the wrong way, but after reading your own entirely hypothetical hypothesis, the following occurred to me:

    instead of spending a few years educamating yourself on a subject that usually requires at least ten years of dedicated practice and collaboration in the best possible environment to just get into a skill position where validation is possible, wouldn't it be smarter to first spend maybe a week or two gaining an entirely untechnical understanding of the Dunning Kruger effect?

    Like I said, I don't mean to be anything but helpful in this recommendation. I once had a hilarious argument with a similar climate change denier who assumed that his long career as a building contractor gave him all he needed to extract meaning from any scientific paper, despite the fact that he generally could only understand the abstract and then only if he read it 5 or more times. It turned out he had never heard of the Dunning Kruger effect, nor WSIATSI nor system 1 and 2 nor the illusion of expertise nor the optimism bias nor loss aversion nor anything else that is intrinsically associated with his own processes of judgement.

    The hilarious part was that he also had spent many years, assuming that was all it takes, to arrive at a confident judgement. Boy did that little dose of humble enlightenment pop his bubble!

    Merry xmas and happy reading in the new year!–Kruger_effect

  33. Thanks for your eve so typical "proigressive" smugness, arrogance, and condescension, Bruce Kay. Now please go tell it to President Trump, and good luck with that. See, we won and you lost. A major reason for that was your stereotypical attitude toward anyone who doesn't worship at the altar of the Church of Global Warming.

  34. You're welcome, and yes we should all uniformly tell exactly this to Donald Trump and I'll tell you why.

    As much as you dislike the style of my messaging, neither you nor Trump can refute the substance, which you clearly illustrate by admonishing me only for what you perceive as smugness, rather than my substance. If you like, I can tell you many stories where I myself have engaged in the Dunning Kruger effect, which i hope would alter your assessment of smug superiority. It is endemic to all human judgement and I make no pretence of being uniquely immune. The Dunning Kruger effect is as "real a thing" as CO2 is a greenhouse gas. All humans, that is, you me Cliff Mass and everyone else you encounter are prone to the phenomena and unlike climate, we can all recognize it in every day life..... particularly when we know how it works, which unlike climate science, is a knowledge that is functionally available to nearly anyone at the click of a mouse. Better yet,if we are aware how it really happens, we can deliberately use strategies to avoid it.

    Now I realize that not all people are interested in learning about the cognitive errors in human judgement. Some people, such as Donald Trump, prefer the illusion of skill and wisdom that is so easily projected on any reality TV show. In fact, under this sort of investment, anything that pops the bubble is considered the enemy. These people, such as Donald Trump, are invested in style over substance. I suggest you forget about my style, as difficult as that may be, and instead consider my substance. In fact you should consider it skeptically, as anyone interested in the truth should. There is no guarantee it will help your position but it is the best known strategy for steering to the truth. At any rate, the alternative is amply demonstrated throughout history to be highly destructive under conditions of high risk, as we now find ourselves with a rapidly warming climate.

  35. You didn't even bother to address anything of substance. Your insulting, smug, supercilious passive-aggressive "Dunning Kruger" references didn't escape me.

  36. Not true, even remotely. Look old chap, you wrote a long winded treatise on how and why you think AGW is a load of bunk. You frame the entire thing by one justification:

    "I've been studying this for two or three years. Finally, and pretty much in a flash, my thoughts crystallized."

    I am succinctly and unambiguously pointing out that your justification is, even if only statistically, completely unreliable as has been proven time and again by modern psychology. Now how you can call that "passive aggressive" is beyond me but then perhaps it only further indicates your general ignorance of your own processes of judgement.

    Furthermore, I will point out something even more obvious. You are deliberately and repeatedly involving yourself in a forum of science. To repeatedly defend your claims and credibility by focusing entirely on perceived "insults" and an entitlement of respect for those claims rather than the points of science which I raise (Dunning Krugger effect, illusion of expertise, System 1 and 2, WYSIATI, etc....) is to reveal yourself as a subversive of science. Your opinions are only deserving of respect if they can withstand a challenge of substance, which i have provided and i am sure others can see even if you cannot.

    The facts are clear. The primary lesson of the Dunning Kruger effect is, to quote:

    -from the book "Unskilled and Unaware of It:...
    The same knowledge that underlies the ability to produce correct judgment is also the knowledge that underlies the ability to recognize correct judgment. To lack the former is to be deficient in the latter. (Justin Kruger and David Dunning)

    As an interesting lab experiment, I suggest that everyone here on this forum google "Dunning Kruger Graph" and plot their own position on the provided graph of Skill/ Experience, then see what it tells you about your Confidence / Reality. Very illuminating!

    Further knowledge on this matter can be found in Daniel Kahneman's book "Thinking, Fast and Slow" or for our best understanding on the acquisition of skill, Malcom Gladwell gives a snapshot in his own book "Outliers".

    The other book i recommend to you, this one on moral psychology, is Jonathan Haidt's "The Righteous Mind" which quite well delineates the political polarization of climate change.

    If any of this is too much of an investment (or too scary) for you, try this:

    Here, Joe Bageant, nearly ten years ago, clearly lays out the appeal of Trump to those who have come to resent knowledge and skill. As a matter of interest to you, he very well supports your observation that liberals and progressives have contributed to the polarization by way of "insults" and "condescension" or perhaps what is worse, a lack of empathy. Here I do agree with you but as i said, here on a forum of science you really need to get over it, if you really do want to argue points of science rather than butt hurt. Pay particular attention to Joe's words regarding "the worst kind of prison".

    New years is coming up Placeholder. Might be time for an achievable new years resolution!

  37. You still haven't provided any substance. All a "progressive" in Seattle can do when someone disagrees is to call them stupid. And then they'll turn around and call for a "conversation" about Topic A or Topic B, which actually means a once-sided, smug, arrogant, supercilious lecture.

    And then, eventually, they wind up wondering why, oh why, the idiots rebel.

  38. Whatever place you are attempting to hold, you have a pretty shaky grip on it.

    I'm not calling you "stupid", I am calling you woefully and badly mistaken in your judgement. Not only that but I provide compelling evidence to support my claim. You on the other hand seem to spiral ever deeper into your entitlement of butt hurt. I can tell you one thing, if I ever had a guy like that on my job site, his ass would be fired pretty quick.

    Did you at least watch the video? There are others that you should be all over like a fly to....
    Here, try this one. As you can see Joe is entirely sympathetic to your anguish, as am I. However, I doubt either of us should be expected to facilitate it, just to make you feel better. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps man!

  39. Yo Placeholder!

    I noticed that you like VOX, so I assume that if you trust the validity of one of their articles, you might be bold enough to consider another.

    I say bold because I have to warn you. This article essentially corresponds to everything I have been providing you.

    In other words, their substance provides substantiation for my substance.

    As a sweetener, consider this. Much of the cognitive errors in judgement illustrated here, in other circumstances certainly but also in the context of climate change, can be found in equal measure with liberals and their "social imperatives". For instance, while they might trust the scientists on climate, they will not trust them on nuclear energy. This is because what they say conflicts with their tribal belief system. Unfortunate for you (more specifically, unfortunate for your kids) in a context of climate change, it is the Conservatives who have chosen the wrong heuristic of trust.

    Remember, new years is a tradition of change. There are a lot of useful books you can order on Amazon, at the click of a mouse, if only you have the courage.

  40. Pull the funding, ad watch the charlatans move on to some other scam.

  41. You got a good point - the Insurance industry is (along with any skilled institution that understands risk) well ahead of the game.

    A damn sight further ahead than you (and by extension, your kids)

    Thanks for the link and Happy New Years Placeslipper !


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

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