Monday, December 9, 2019

Promoters of Climate Anxiety

There is a special place in the underworld for those who promote anxiety, desperation, and terror in the most vulnerable.  A place where the infernal warmth is particularly torrid.


And one does not have to spend much time looking for candidates for this netherworld--the front page of the Seattle Times will do fine.

On Sunday, our local tabloid featured a story about fearful/desperate folks dealing with their apocalyptic fears about climate change.

Courtesy of the Seattle Times

A forest burning behind them. And if that didn't get the message across, a burning world/head within the article made it clear.

Courtesy of the Seattle Times

Among certain vulnerable people in our region, talk of eco-grief and anxiety has become signs of psychological crises. The UW Bothell has entire class given over to eco-grief, and non-profits like Climate Action Families have sessions for folks that are paralyzed with fear and grief over climate change.  Some local Seattle therapists are specializing in climate grief therapy, and even the UW has sessions for students:

Unbelievably, even the Pacific Science Center is doing a session on dealing with eco-anxiety (see below).

But why stop at the borders of Seattle?   Major media from the Guardian to the NY Times are covering climate anxiety, with anxiety-racked climate stars like Greta Thunberg are tearfully describing how their dreams and their childhood have been stolen by climate change.

I have gotten so many calls and emails from desperate folks I can't list them here.  One woman tearfully told me her mother was desperately ill in California, but she couldn't move to be with her because she was afraid of the effects of climate change in that state.  Another woman called, terribly worried about fires in western Washington from global warming.  A few others asked about where they should move to escape our local apocalyptical conditions.

 Global warming is a very serious issue, but most of the impacts are in the future.  There is much we can do to address global warming, both in terms of adaptation and mitigation. There is, in fact, much reason for optimism.

So why are all these people so anxiety-ridden and desperate?   I believe it is the unconscionable exaggeration, hype, and fear-mongering of our media, special interest groups, some activist scientists, and a number of politicians.  And it is unethical, ungrounded in science, and hurting the most vulnerable among us.

The Seattle Times is one of the worst offenders.  I can provide a few dozen example of fear-mongering headlines, completely adrift from the truth.  Like the June story claiming heat waves will claim hundreds of lives (actually 725) for each heat wave later in century (see below).  It was complete nonsense, with extreme assumptions about warming rates and assuming no one would buy an air conditioner.


By the way, the stories in the Seattle Times are so confused, they can't event get the key facts right, with one claiming carbon monoxide, not carbon dioxide is the problem (I kid you not, proof below).

So the Seattle Times is both producing exaggerated, fear-inducing stories and covering the psychological damage those stories are creating.  Is there something wrong here?

Stories in a number of media outlets, amplified by special interest groups, talk about "tipping points", and that it will be too late in 1, 10 or 12 years.  No hope after that.  Unfounded in the science.  And enough to push some emotionally sensitive people over the edge.




Here in the Washington State there are claims that recent fires are the result of climate change, and that it is about to get even worse.  The truth is very different-- there used to be MANY more wildfires in our region and the relationship of our fires with climate variations is very weak.  But that hasn't stopped irresponsible politicians from claiming just the opposite.

And, of course, there is all this talk about existential threats (yes, the means threats to your EXISTENCE), which have no support in the reports of the international scientific community (the IPCC) or the U.S. Climate Assessment.  They predict a minor reduction in the future GDP, no more.

I could do ten blogs on this topic, but I won't.  The truth is that some very irresponsible folks are hyping and exaggerating the impacts of the minor global warming we have had so far, sending vulnerable individuals into a panic.   And these irresponsible folks and individuals are painting an apocalyptic view of the future that is completely at odds with the best science.  Some do it for more money (advertising clicks), some do it for political reasons, and others like the attention.

But it is just wrong, and the harm they are doing to members of our community is substantial and unconscionable.

172 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Yes, he did, but please read: BIG ICE AGE at: manuelesbri.com

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  2. I cannot thank you enough for this!

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  3. I get the exploitative abuse of climate change. But if the climate is a very complex system and science has established concerning long term trends, then what is the right tone? Isn't "matter of fact" reporting as bad as sensationalism? There seems to be a need to balance dry science objectivity with a compelling narrative for action on individual and political levels...

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    1. If the change is not going to be catastrophic (and indeed slow and incremental), what is the need for a deceptive "compelling narrative for action"?

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    2. It isn't slow and incremental. The most extreme climate model predictions have been the most accurate.

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    3. Unadjusted climate models have been shown to have little predictive value. Cliff Mass says there is there is no known "tipping point" and there is much reason for optimism, in terms of both adaptation and mitigation.
      Scientists like Tony Heller and Cliff Mass are more persuasive than the alarmists:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvrsA0XlYGg

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    4. "The most extreme climate model predictions have been the most accurate." That is flat out wrong and your comment is a clear example of the point this blog is trying to make.

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    5. as far back as the 1600s, everybody knew witches caused bad weather. Evidence was presented in court, discussed and the learned people concluded that witches were indeed the cause of bad weather and convicted in court then executed.
      In view of that overwhelming evidence of the cause of weather (universal belief, convictions in court), why do we think the current round of bad weather is caused by CO2 instead of the proven cause, witches?
      /sarc

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  4. Ah yes, the big changes are coming in the future, whew, what a relief!

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  5. Our entire nation is a sucker for anything headline grabbing, whether it's true or not. Disgusting pandering for views.

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  6. I would agree, however the fear of Hell and the Apocalipse preached for millennia has aflicted anxiety and despair upon billions of people, and for claims that are even more without merit. At least in this case there is a hint of factuality to it...Oh, but I bet in those cases you are one of the "religious freedom" supporters...

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  7. In this time of shrinking revenues for news outlets there is a very real existential threat recognized by the news media to their own existence if they don't control the narrative. For centuries those in positions of power and influence have used fear as a means of social control. As long as you are kept in fear and I alone have the answers if you just trust me then I will never lose my position of power and influence. Here is an excellent summary of the idea of using fear for social control: https://academyofideas.com/2015/11/fear-and-social-control/

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  8. Interesting, this article from Forbes came up in my news feed shortly after reading your post. This is an excellent read on very much the exact same thing you are saying. There are a lot of great facts here which support what you are saying and it sounds like mainstream climate scientists are starting to push back against the fear-mongering. https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/12/04/why-climate-alarmism-hurts-us-all/#73fc488236d8

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  9. My fear is of the incompetent Trump administration and the fossil fuel industry.

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    1. Remember the fossil fuel industry fills a need. That need is societies insatiable appetite for material things as well as the convenience of vehicles and the massive growth of air travel and tourism. One day we won't be so reliant on the fossil fuel industry due to technological change but I doubt societal change will ever occur. People just want things and for now those "things" require fossil fuels.

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    2. To John, 12/10 2:25am,
      Right on Brother!

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  10. Common sense in 2019, I'm shocked.

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  11. Something like this was going through my mind as I read that this November was the dryest since 1976... How have we made it so long? All things move in cycles, especially the weather.

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  12. Thank you Cliff.... some sanity..... I needed that....

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  13. I'm particularly concerned about the effect of despair on young people. They don't have the maturity or experience of having seen people live through or over come problems. They don't have the resources or sense of empowerment to affect change. So they fall in to despair and depression, giving up hope for the future.

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    1. I came of age during the Cold War. If we didn't fall into despair and depression from the actual threat of nuclear war, what business do Millenials have to be so upset? Our older generations had even more serious worries, but kept it together.

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  14. I'm a teacher and was ‘assigned’ to show students a video series from a National Geographic curriculum called "One Strange Rock." Here’s one comment from a difficult but thoughtful student: "That's depressing." He knew quite well the bent that National Geography was pushing. But the pessimism in the series goes way beyond simple climate anxiety (which is delivered without hesitation in the “Shield” episode). The series promotes a fatalistic philosophy: out of chaos came the earth and into chaos it will return. The fatalistic spillover into society’s mental spaces goes way deeper than just climate anxiety. It is deeply rooted in a belief system of chaos. What I emphasize with my students is that even scientists are not immune from philosophical take-over. They are not post-modern omniscient gods (society tends to bow down to sci-tech in the modern age). I also emphasize that when we actually study natural systems we discover the opposite of 'order from chaos' to be true. We find a self-organizing system where life begets life.

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  15. These false apocalyptic statements are also sort of a meta-climate denial. By making such statements they promote skepticism among those who are informed about the true state of affairs (such as wildfire frequency or the fact that one can still live in California).

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  16. I couldn't agree with this more. The Seattle Times isn't just guilty of bad science, they're guilty of fear mongering.
    Have you noticed that when conservative evangelicals hold national office the apocalypse thinking (and predicting) gets louder? I have. The Apocalyptic Imagination is an evolutionary holdover that interferes with critical thinking. Its voice waxes and wanes through time, cycling its presence from buried to strongly present in the collective unconscious. Its such a strong piece in us entire religious groups build their foundation around it (Jehovah's Witnesses for example). We are in a "strong" phase now. Climate change is this cycle's focus.
    The world is not coming to an end (sorry protestants, it isn't). The only thing a burning forest and your vision of hell have in common is fire. That doesn't mean one is leading to the other.
    But I have to admit, I'm kind-of okay with the over-reaction of those fretting about climate change. I want them to scream their concerns about long-term environmental damage, and vilify oil companies, and possibly/maybe re-adjust their thinking from self-serving to earth steward. Sure they're going to get a bunch of the science wrong (no point in being even and rational about this), but if several hundred million people come out the back end treating the planet more carefully then I'm okay with the crazy in this cycle.

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    1. Conservative evangelicals?? Like Jay Inslee?---"Our house is on fire!", who is hardly a conservative evangelical. All the hype is coming from the Hard Left--Elizabeth Warren---"What do we have...11 years?"AOC and the other "world-class scientists" lol.
      But in the end---all that matters is truth. And Cliff Mass pushes that---the truth. Not hype like Inslee and his climate-alarmist-religion friends. Let us have truth and we will be fine. Thank you, Cliff.

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    2. Thank you Coop, just thank you on so many levels...

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  17. We live in a world of tribalism, histeria and hype. That said I think this is not a unique topic, this is true with virtually every issue anymore due to media structure. We are collectively losing our ability to think critically. People seem to be sliding into these almost pre-set archetypes ... I'm a pro-this or a anti-that and then one must take on the entire mantle of whatever that is. You can be pro-environment, a full believer in man made climate change ... AND ... someone who believes there is still hope, and that there is certainly a reason to keep living your life. Thanks Cliff! Well said and a moderate message that should be repeated!

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  18. The truth is that some very irresponsible folks are hyping and exaggerating the lack of impacts of the global warming we have had so far, sending vulnerable folks into a panic as they live through floods, receding coastlines, diminishing glaciers, sever air pollution, etc. And these irresponsible folks and individuals are painting a view of the future that is completely at odds with any ideals surrounding conservation.

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  19. Michael PsyD
    OK I get it. The Left hypes GCC a bit.
    And anxiety can be projected on to anything!
    But first you went after your own Department now its the Seattle Times.
    Any nothing yet from you about Customs and Border Patrol locking kids up as their families are seeking refuge. You are one sided against the Left.

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  20. Thanks Cliff. Now if anybody will listen...

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  21. Cliff - have you done a post on what reasonable steps would be? Specifically, what can an individual do that address the issue, in my day to day activities, what can I and my family do? I know what Inslee, AOC, and the Seattle Times want (to give all control to them), but a reasonable person can do ... what?

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  22. Climate grief therapy = first world problem

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    1. Climate grief therapy---Quack Medicine

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  23. Cliff stick to meteorology and stfu about climate.

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    1. Did this post hit a little close to home or something?

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    2. You want to silence disagreement. The true colors come out.

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    3. Cliff, It's a great service to the community to point out climate hype. I can imagine people reach out to you for honest feedback regarding meteorology and climate information. Reliable facts aren't always apparent, people without a background in these matters don't know who to believe, and let's face that fact that some of it is an unknown even to those most knowledgeable. I am in favor of your willingness to debunk climate change myths! Keep up the good work.

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    4. Thank you Cliff, maybe you could show all their fearmongering failed doom and gloom predictions.They are corporate so called scientists,any real predictor knows how hard it is to forecast past 5-10 days,they are all money skimming liars.All of their lying predictions are completely opposite of what they've said.Sad now that they've moved on to using children to get their lying money grabbing message out.

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    5. No JeffB. It's called he's a meteorologist not a climatologist. He's out of his lane, and even though his intentions are good he's unintentionally aiding and abetting people who will misinterpret his words (intentionally) as contradicting well established climate science.

      People like you I suspect.

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    6. Kaz, "well established climate science" has put out over 15 claims of "we have 5 years", "we have 10 years", "by 2010, coastal cities will be inhospitable".
      You kidding me? Climate predictions have been off, every single time. Look at the history of climate science as well. Every time, scientists put down the scientists before them, claiming the past predictions were wrong because it was old science. Its an endless stretched truth. Yes the planet is warming due to human activity. But warming fast enough to validate the panic that media has caused? Not one bit. Oceans have risen some 8" in the last 200 years. They are rising at 1/8" per year. So, in 5 years, levels will have risen LESS than an inch. How does that justify the media hype again?

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    7. Yay. Yes. And also, eliminating bags and straws does near zero to mitigate the carbon emissions of dozens of new Chinese and Indian coal and gas power plants coming online. So anyone who is serious about carbon emissions should be talking about practical solutions and not punitive taxes on carbon in the West. We could use Thorium Nuclear to get all the energy we need and at a much lower cost than carbon sources. And that would be a reasonable solution. But all we get are scoldings for using the energy sources we have now that we have no choice but not to use, and catastrophic predictions about the end of the earth in twelve years.
      No rational person is going to stay tuned in to such nonsense.

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    8. Thank you, Cliff for having the courage to post this, as it's been on my mind a lot lately and not a popular stance to take currently. Climate change is a growing societal concern indeed for which anyone is entitled to speak, write, or express their views. You are undoubtedly well qualified in this arena. There are many who will support, respect and agree with your views.

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    9. kaz,

      When people say things like "stfu" and "stay in your lane," I tend not to listen to those people.

      When people back the things up with intelligent commentary and science, along with reason ... I tend to listen to those people.

      Guess which group you're in? Guess which one Cliff is in? I'll give you three guesses, and the first two don't count.

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    10. Kaz, if a meteorologist is "out of his lane" about climate, are politicians, professional activists and journalists even on the same highway? Are those people climatologists??

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    11. Ha. Stfu? Yeah, we'll get right on that. You're funny

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  24. Of course you're right that folks shouldn't be pushing an agenda with unsubstantiated and unscientific claims - and they are wrong to do so. However, most of these folks feel they are well-intentioned and are acting in the best interests of humanity and the biosphere. I think a lot of the willingness to ascribe just about natural phenomena that seem out of the ordinary to climate change arises out of desperation that no one is listening and few or no actions are being taken to reduce carbon pollution. "Just what does it take to get everyone to take notice and DO something?" is what they are asking. They are thinking "maybe if we scream louder or more often it will help". Certainly based on government (in)action so far, I can appreciate why a certain sense of desperation, and the grabbing at straws it entails, has arisen. The fossil fuels industry has a profound influence on our democracy that is unfortunately probably not going to be affected by articles published in scientific journals. Lawmakers seem to only respond to public groundswells that could affect their re-election. It's as if you had a slow smouldering fire in your house that will gradually consume it, and you kept calling the fire department but they wouldn't come because they say they can't see any flames. (Perhaps also the fire chief is in the pocket of a real estate developer that wants your house to burn down). In desperation you start screaming to anyone that will listen that your house is on fire (and maybe even about to explode) when actually no flames are visible and there's little to no chance of an explosion. But you have to do SOMETHING, even exaggerate the facts a little, to get some ACTION. Not saying these tactics are honest, appropriate, or justified, but I can see where they are coming from.

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  25. Way to go Cliff. It needed to be said.
    Socialists have linked with the environmental movement for the last 50 years when looking for the crises needed to convince the general population to vote to enslave themselves. Climate Hysteria is just the latest fad in a long line of scary stories. We are an intelligent and adaptable species. And we've got far bigger problems than global warming. I am sure you will take a lot of blow back for this courageous post, but don't worry, there a vast number of rational people who have come to the aid, financial and otherwise of those who dare challenge the orthodoxy.

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    1. Oh no! Socialism!!!!! Aaaaaahhhhhh! I'm not alarmed by climate change. But socialism, that's the true threat. Whenever I check into a hotel, I always check behind the curtains and under the bed to make sure there are no socialists hiding there to take my guns while I sleep.

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    2. More truth to this than most of us are willing to admit. There is a great and underlying reason for this movement indeed. A brief stroll down the lanes of history of mankind may reveal the truth hidden behind the veil of urgent climate emergency

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    3. Oh the hypocrisy...

      You are contradicting yourself and this article with your own "scary stories."

      It always amazes me (maybe not) that the far-right never use their prefrontal cortex, instead, assess the world around them with their limbic system.

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    4. What a joke. Hope you can some treatment.

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  26. Most people ingore the fact that increased carbon dioxide is beneficial to plants. Some people with greenhouses artificially increase carbon dioxide levels in their greenhouse to increase plant growth. There are positive things to higher carbon dioxide levels too.

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    1. This may be true in greenhouses, but not true for the planet as a whole. It may be that higher temperatures limit plants ability to absorb carbon. See August 2010 and January 2018 Scientific American articles about this effect. Obviously this is complicated and scientists are still studying the problem, but it seems we can't count on thriving plants to sequester extra carbon.

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    2. for a fuller understanding of the complex and NOT 'all beneficial' effects of rising CO2 levels on plants, please see https://skepticalscience.com/co2-plant-food.htm. The article includes references, though those are by scientists and probably not well-suited to anyone with a simplistic notion of plant growth.(I'd use the word extremist but won't because I may be dinged by this blog's PC police)

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  27. While I agree that climate, like other natural forces, moves slowly; your article makes it sound like climate change is a hoax. It also give deniers an arguing point.

    Whether or not climate change is real, taking sensible steps to minimize our impact on the environment is a common sense thing to do.

    Your article sounds like the only important thing is a "minor reduction in GDP." This is shortsighted and saying immediate monetary gain is more important than long term ecological health is reckless journalism and a selfish mind set.

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    1. Apparently you missed this paragraph:

      "Global warming is a very serious issue, but most of the impacts are in the future. There is much we can do to address global warming, both in terms of adaptation and mitigation. There is, in fact, much reason for optimism."

      The thrust of the blog is in no way climate change denial - it's about debilitating fear of climate change and how people come by those fears.

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  28. cliff, im 14 i understand what you are saying but guess what this blog is the best i have ever seen. not taking this out on you but i think you are bored get some rest we have a blob and warm weather that's all that is needed to be said get some rest cliff the comments got your back!! :)

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    1. Much older than you (if you are really 14), but in the 70s we were going to die in an ice age; in the 80s the ozone hole was going to give all of us cancer. Climate crisis will likewise be relegated to the dustbin of history. For “adults” to succumb to imagined scenarios and terrify children is child abuse. They need to stop it. Mr. Mass is spot on.

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    2. The ozone hole was fixed by a global ban on the chemicals that were thinning it...it’s actually an example of how listening to the science and taking the necessary steps can solve these kinds of problems.

      The idea that mainstream science was predicting an ice age in the 70s is a myth. It was mostly a media thing. The majority of scientific papers about climate change in the 1970s were predicting (drumroll please) global warming.

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    3. People still peddling the global cooling myth I see. Large majority of scientists in the 1970s favored warming. Old and busted myth.

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  29. Maybe the reporters read your 8/27/2017 blog entry. Here's an excerpt:

    2090s? Yikes...a different world, with some places warmer by 6-8F.

    A different world?! Sounds alarming to me. Maybe even dare I say, existential?

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  30. While I agree that climate change worries can be overblown, there is a simple way for individuals to significantly reduce their carbon footprint and take back some level of control, even if it is small.

    More than recycling, planting trees, buying an electric car combined., if you move to a more plant-based diet then you will reduce your carbon footprint significantly.

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  31. This also demonstrates the severe lack of scientific literacy or education in some areas of the media and by some politicians and political organizations. Politicians and editors/producers don't need to have degrees in science but they should at least have a solid understanding of the scientific method and have scientific advisers they can lean on to keep them from peddling bad science. The AAAS does have a fellowship program that sponsors scientists into advisory positions in the federal government and legislature. (https://www.aaas.org/page/fellowship-areas) State legislatures and some media organizations would seem to benefit greatly from a similar arrangement.

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  32. Why scientists may actually be underestimating the pace of climate change: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/scientists-have-been-underestimating-the-pace-of-climate-change/

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    1. I sure hope Cliff is right and the rest of the community, who seem to be moving toward a more rapid change than predicted, are wrong.

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  33. Time to move on from Cliff, just as I moved on from Seattle. I can get excellent weather analysis without the crap commentary elsewhere. Plenty of good meteorologists who can address climate change without having to tilt at every windmill.

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    1. Unknown, writing disparaging comments merit a name in order to be taken seriously.

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  34. Hope is a wonderful thing, isn't if Cliff. But for some, that isn't helpful anymore. Nothing has changed, nothing will change. We as a species are marching toward extinction as we chase the might dollar. Only when it's too late, once millions have died or been displaced, will we decide to face our issues. And then....?

    Your optimism is cute, but many don't share it.

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  35. Large wildfires are increasing in Washington State and Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing. You can't draw a direct link with this data, but it's worth talking about.

    http://geo.wa.gov/datasets/6f31b076628d4f8ca5a964cbefd2cccc_0/data

    https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide

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  36. I see a definite pattern around me - the more time people stare into their smartphones swiping through page after page of "content", the dumber and more gullible they get. Hmmm.. how can this possibly be?

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  37. It is comforting to hear the sound of reason. Thank you.

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  38. Cliff you are actively hurting the science you claim as your life's work. You are incredibly naive about that. You can continue to knock down straw men but just know that greedy politicians and their corporate overlords will use your words to do harm.

    If you just read this blog you'd think climate hysteria was an actual problem. It is to laugh. Such asymmetrical warfare.

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  39. There is nothing different from the Climate Change cultists to fanatical religious cults. Jim Jones and his followers would nod their heads approvingly.

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  40. https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/12/10/greenland-ice-losses-have-septupled-are-pace-sea-level-worst-case-scenario-scientists-say/


    But, we shouldn't worry?

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  41. Sometimes you have to slant the truth a little bit to get people to react. You have already said that its too late to change it. Why would we want anyone to use your article as a means of "I told you so, its a hoax". People should be terrified so they will do something. I can't get people on this island to give up plastic drinking straws as it is "inconvenient".

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    1. It's not because it's inconvenient. It's because it's ineffective. Most can see that drastically lowering their quality of life without a reasonable plan isn't going to be acceptable to most. May he who has no need for heat close his natural gas shutoff valve first.

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    2. What exactly is the issue with drinking straws?

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    3. Single use plastic that is for the most part is not feasibly recyclable, processing the bad habit of being found along beaches and roadsides. They take hundreds of years to decompose. Right up there with water bottles.

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    4. Single use plastic chokes sea life, a huge source of our food and people are still asking what's the big deal about it? Seriously?

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  42. Fear mongering on that scale goes-to "unconscionable." Good post!

    Unfortunately, I know first-hand that money motivates a lot of this particular narrative (drought grants, anyone?) There's HUGE money involved. I've seen presentations by completely unqualified people ('experts' with no grounding in 'hard science') making wild predictions about 'effects' without acknowledging or understanding the gazillion factors that relate to real 'cause.'

    Climate does change of course, and there may be trends beyond what's cyclical. But not all change is or will necessarily be negative over time (more rain, for example). Mother Nature is big on adaptation (fish have fins, birds have feathers) and adaptation has been the key to survival - whatever causes are in the mix (surely a combination of factors has always driven climate change). Has there ever been a "perfect" temperature or climate? Climate (and weather) varied in "pre-industrial" periods.

    I doubt many reading this will see Year 2100 - we won't see how it plays out (who ever really does?). So I'm "game" for rational. Shame on those who take glee in (literally) shouting FIRE in a crowded forest. [I refer to that Seattle Times illustration - outrageous!]

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    1. There is huge money involved, Glacier. On that point you are correct.
      I wonder if you have the right sources of "huge money" identified....
      Perhaps you could investigate some more.... i would suggest starting at first principles. E.g. which moneyed interests have the most to lose from a substantial change to the current economy (which is powered by and based on the extraction of fossil fuels). Might open some eyes - if you are willing to open your eyes at all....

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  43. This is nothing.

    I survived the nuclear holocaust of the 50's and 60's, and I survived the population explosion/global famine/acid rain/ice age of the 70's and 80's. Though I must say, I did suffer some damage, and I spent some sleepless nights as a child and then again as a young father.

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  44. Because there are so many people that don't even agree that climate change is real, I think this kind of blog hurts the cause of waking people up to the current and future dangers of climate change.

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    1. Yes, I agree. The article is being circulated by people who write of “ liberal fascism” and the likes.
      While I respect Cliff Maas, having heard him on radio, met in-person and read his words here, he would do us all a favor by taking the matter up with the other atmospheric and global climate researchers involved with the peer-review process. That is if Cliff Maas thinks the IPCC’s reporting contains fear-mongering.

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  45. Most people aware of climate change are probably hoping to be dead before climate change actually becomes an issue. Ultimately that some one smarter will succeed them in figuring it out, armed with a war chest brimming with tomorrow's tech. Tech developed by someone who is not them.

    It creates a scenario where apathy is considered the right answer for everything for the majority of people. Perhaps future generations will be less individualistic, smarter, and more civic minded. For now, its still everyone for themselves and how to make a buck. Anything past that...who cares?

    Apathy is probably almost as pandemic as hype since its fair to say there is a relationship between the two. Hype either creates the "woke" or it just shuts people down to retreat into their own thoughts, tribes and echo chambers. Most just resign themselves that it is subject matter they have zero control over as it is so vastly larger than comprehension. So why care? Its so easy to NGAF.

    In due honesty the apathetic ones are probably better off. If there is a barrage of choices, media sources, opinions, real news, fake news, facts, alternate facts all at ones finger tips, it becomes an overload. Opting to ignore all of it means not having to vet, choose etc.

    The climate is going to change. Regardless. It will be like anything else considered a tragedy as well. Its an opportunity for money, influence and ultimately controlling power. In other words, the usual things Humanity desires. If that is motivation enough to find solutions to problems, than fair enough.

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    1. Exactly. Which is why with our constitution republic it is difficult to reach consensus by design. Unless something is widely agreed upon, it should not be easy to make happen. Like destroying our economy over a potential crisis 50 years out.

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    2. Nuclear power - for or against?

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    3. Nuclear is fine as a bridge tech between fossil fuel and what comes next. Something HAS to come next. Fossil fuels are not the future.

      Economies can retool. There is no need to destroy the economy as long as people can look past the status quo.

      "In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity"

      So said the scientist's scientist. The optimism lies in the fact that our species have the ability to stay positive, find solutions, new perspectives and adapt.

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  46. You keep mentioning that there are reasons to be optimistic, but you never get into them. Why should we be optimistic Cliff? You're a scientist. I'm a scientist. Please provide EVIDENCE to be optimistic, not some glowing trust in the unknowable generational advances of civilization.

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  47. Great article Dr. Mass, well reasoned, sober and very timely. Thank you for being a professional and not succumbing to the hysterical pronouncements of Alarmists attempting to panic the public into accepting their point of view.

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  48. Thank you Dr. Mass. I'm a 'believer' in climate change. But more and more, i see cities plan to adapt to potential climate change by funding bike lanes or promoting carpooling... Humans are clever. But, can bureaucrats help us? We must adapt and develop resilient cities and transportation networks, so whatever climate brings, we are ready. Bring it on. Raise seawalls, railways, freeways where needed. Improve building insulation standards. Billions of people in Bangladesh don't need to die. Gads. the US has room, but sorry not in major cities.

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  49. Hearing hard science that dissuades fear would be welcome, then -- especially in a climate (har) where greedy rich people who will be dead in a few years have a long history of lying to us.

    Self-indulgent ad hominem attacks, on the other hand, just sound suspiciously like someone has received a big tasty pile of KochBucks.

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  50. Cliff, respectfully, as a concerned scientist, this and previous columns on this topic come across with two messages. 1) That climate change isn't affecting you/us personally, so therefore we shouldn't worry, and, 2) That examples of warming and other events in the pacific northwest that are observed are not the effects of climate change because computer models don't predict that climate change is going to function that way.

    On point 1) it seems to me that there are populations of humans that will, in fact, be affected by climate change and while they may not affect affluent Seattleites, they will affect some people negatively, perhaps with their lives. That makes me worry, even though I may be likely unaffected by climate change personally. On point 2), it seems that the scientific method is defined as letting observations drive model building not that models drive the observations (an absurdity). So I'm not sure how computer models can repeatedly tell us what is influenced by climate change and what isn't, particularly in light of the poor accuracy of long range weather prediction in general. On that note, the lack of accuracy of models is another reason I worry.

    I also worry about scientists (like me) who don't do a good job of communicating to political ears.

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    1. Agreed. His is a very PNW-centric perspective. What happens when 100 million people or more are displaced from their homes? When their food systems begin to fail? There are indirect effects that we are likely to experience. Some effects we may be feeling already (like the collapse of our salmon fisheries) or will feel soon (like the decreased output of shellfish farming and harvest from OA), to name a few.

      I'm also worried about Cliff's optimism. I've read about him being so optimistic for the future many times, but he doesnt get into any detail as to why we should be optimistic, or provide any evidence. It appears to be the belief that some inevitable progress of human civilization and technology will just solve the problem when it gets bad enough... I, for one, have not seen any convincing reason to be optimistic.

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    2. I seriously doubt we can "technology" ourselves out of the inevitable abrupt climate change that has been modeled by many reputable scientists, vetted in multiple aspects of environmental sciences. Most variables are the fruit of decades if not centuries of human inputs. The release of methane sequestered in shallow seas is the bogeyman. Optimism? Or delusion?

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  51. Great dangers stem from the fears of man. And the ideaologies that propel us toward visions of the future often lead us down a dangerous and destructive path. As history repeats itself, so much is it evident that man is his own worst enemy. I have noticed a great hostility forming against anyone who rebuts or challenges the panic driven narrative of climate change. The great panic/ fear is weaponizing us against one another. Hostility is forming against anyone who impedes their progression toward the redemption of our planet. Either go along with the story of climate change in it's most extreme sense or you are the enemy as time is running out. This is a physlcological issue inherent to mankind that deserves much immediate attention. More so imminant are the dangers within mankind than that of the affects of human induced climate change.

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  52. Another cool, humid day in NW Bellingham today. Max temp was 39.6F and min temp was 36.7F. 0.04" of precip so far today which brings me up to 0.5" total precip for the month so far.

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  53. I was left wanting a bit more from your blog post. You and others are quick to point out when the science is exaggerated but I don't see any discussion of the very valid scientific findings in the journal articles that form the foundation of those articles. Your perspective that climate change is an easily solvable problem is not shared by the majority of the scientific community and you don't have evidence to support your viewpoints, only pointing out that main stream news outlets do a poor job communicating complex scientific findings.

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  54. Absolutely, 100% spot-on Cliff.

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  55. You also neglected to mention that some of those who are most prone to climate despair are the very climate scientists and researchers who are already seeing the very real effects firsthand: https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2019/07/weight-of-the-world-climate-change-scientist-grief/

    Look, for many of us who aren't locked in an ivory tower, the despair isn't necessarily about apocalyptic predictions for the future, but about the very real effects that are happening right now. Extinctions, desertification, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, islands that are barely habitable due to sea level rise, eskimo villages that are forced to relocate due to melting permafrost, walruses forced to cluster on tiny islands due to disappearing sea ice. I could go on. All of this is real stuff. Does it mean that we're all going to die due to global warming? No. Humans are remarkably adaptable and we'll figure it out. But many of us feel a profound sense of loss and despair regardless, and you just come off as callous and insensitive, even if your intention is to instill hope (or maybe your intention is to make yourself feel better or stroke your own ego by putting others down - I don't know).

    Which brings me to my main point: that we need to be able to grieve our past and future losses be aware of the real impacts, AND also to find reasons to hope. Things will be bad in a lot of ways. We'll lose a lot more species, many places will be unrecognizable in 50 or 100 years, and there will be displacement and climate refugees due to continued desertification and sea level rise. There will likely be more wars over water. Yet humans will find ways to adapt. We always have. I'm just a bit worried that we're not doing enough, fast enough, to stave off some of the real, serious effects.

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  56. Perhaps the alarmists are taking the results of climate computer models to be real, whereas actual measurements show modest changes at best.

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    1. Actual measurements show alarming changes. Can you show me some actual measurements which are coming in substantially "better" than the middle of the road estimates? Otherwise you seem to be purposefully promoting false science for some reason - probably because you struggle to accept facts that are not consistent with your identity as being on on a certain "team". It is difficult to do that - I sympathize. But try harder, if you want to be a real scientist Jeff.

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  57. Doomsday prophecy and those who exploit it are a fixture in humanity, just as is the notion that the current age is finally enlightened, unlike all those quaint ages before us.

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  58. None of you have science degrees I take it? PhD in Physics here, former lecturer on Environmental Sciences. When scientist speak, not the media not technologist, about climate change we are discussing events that will unfold in 100 to 300 years. Not tomorrow. Humans don't notice slow changes. But, regardless, the worst case scenario you here is actually not very accurate. Even we magically made all cars and cows disappear tomorrow the planet would still warm another 6 to 8 degrees celsius over the next 800 years or so. Not Fahrenheit. Celsius. That means most of the Earth will be unlivable for mammals. If you don't believe this just go walk around the Sahara or Gobi deserts.

    There is little that can be done at this point to save humanity/mammals. You might spare your grand children and great, grand children but that is reality.

    The reason people are so adamant about making changes is because the more greenhouse gases we admit the closer that date comes. In reality, no one alive today will really suffer en mass. The youngest people alive today will only really begin to truly suffer around the equator in their advanced age.

    Did you know? We are already at the point where Europe in the summer is unlivable. And by unlivable I mean that the temperature/humidity is above the wet bulb temperature which means if you are outside your body can not cool off anymore and you will overheat and die. Not heat. Heat plus humidity. People talk about there has always been days above x degrees, but there has NEVER been days above x AND 85% humidity in Europe until the last decade.

    This is already happening. If we didn't have air conditioning hundreds of thousands of people would die ever summer from the heat. The reason is pretty simple.

    Proteins don't function in the body when the body overheats. You know this already we call it a fever. You probably have kids and were told that a high fever for more than a few minutes can be fatal. Once the temperature/humidity is above the wet bulb value you can't cool off so you will heat up. The proteins in your brain will denature and you will have a seizure then die.

    And this is already happening.

    And, this doesn't just directly effect us. It indirectly effects us as well. High temperatures equates to higher physical and emotional stress. Lower crop yields. Less drinkable water, etc.

    But, go ahead and continue to PROFIT off you blog here. You are taking ad revenue, right? So you are not only wrong and ignorant you are also a hypocrite.

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    1. If you are so sure, why not post with your name?

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    2. Wow, Anonymous has a PhD in Physics.

      Greta Thunberg would like to use your quote in her speeches. "The proteins in your brain will denature and you will have a seizure then die."

      Permission granted?

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    3. This post is so crazy that I am having a difficult time believing that it wasn't made in jest.

      Europe has become unlivable in the summer? Somehow myself and the rest of my family survived each of our annual July visits. Along with basically every other single person there.

      Billions of humans live in parts of the world where the AVERAGE daily humidity and temperature values are considerably higher then the PEAK levels of the occasional European heatwaves.

      How have humans and animals existed for millennia in these places? How did civilization ever start in the Middle East?

      Global warming alarmists conveniently forget that people, animals, and plants are already flourishing under conditions that may (or may not) EVENTUALLY come to more temperate locations such as North America and Europe.

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    4. Ah, yes - another claim of expertise from someone "anonymous." For a supposed PHD in physics your post is laced with grammatical errors and terrible punctuation. Did you get your degree from the back of a cereal box?

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    5. Why be "anonymous"? If you truly believe that your claims and criticisms are valid, why diminish them by hiding in the dark?

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    6. PhD in Engineering here. You are basing your temperature projections upon models that have never been validated and when actually compared to measured data, fail. the Scientific Method requires abandoning the models and starting over.

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    7. In addition to the other replies to "Anonymous with a Physics PhD"...

      An 800-year prediction model would have a probability cone as wide as the Grand Canyon, heck, even a 100 - 300 year prediction model would be so wide ... it should be taken with a grain of salt (at best) for long-term predictions.

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    8. Dear Anonymous,

      I too have a PhD in Physics, and I actually know something about this topic! Imagine that! Hence, I am willing to sign my name here.

      You are basing your predictions on Climate Models that have a very poor track record predicting the future. Hence, you have no basis for your hysteria.

      Recent published scientific work shows that humans are small players in the Earth's climate and especially in the Earth's carbon cycle. Even the UN IPCC agrees that Mother Nature dumps 200 GtC into the atmosphere every year, to our total emissions of 10 GtC per year. That makes us 5% of the problem, if there is a problem.

      To claim that human CO2 is far more important than that, the UN IPCC needs to assume that natural processes remove exactly what Mother Nature contributes every year, leaving the human contribution to accumulate. Does that sound physical to you?? Of course not.

      Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics - University of Chicago)
      Corbett, Oregon USA

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  59. My condolences,Cliff. It is fascinating to see the willful blindness to what you actually wrote! Science deals with reality, as best we can characterize it, and is assailed from every side when it declines to provide political actors and activists the "right" answer. Activism is not shy about using emotional manipulation through exaggerated claims to achieve its ends.

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  60. Well it certainly is convenient to take this stance, and I had always suspected you thought this way. Maybe you'll change your tune when firestorms hit Seattle. I give it ten years max, 2030.

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  61. It's all okay! Alaskan cod populations have crashed and the 2020 season has been cancelled, Greenland lost 370 billion tons of ice in 2019, Australia and the Amazon are burning like never before, but humans will adapt. Screw the plants and animals that won't be able to. Forget that it's possibly our food source, but there's always soylent green to fall back on.

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  62. Dr. Mass and fellow readers:

    I write to argue why strong rhetoric is warranted, and to advocate for empathy those grieving in the face of the climate crisis. This evening, Tacoma became the first city in Washington State to declare a climate emergency, echoing a resolution passed by the Puyallup Tribe this morning. I take these dual declarations as an example of how fear and grief over the climate crisis can act as steps toward hope and meaningful action.

    Firstly, recognizing a state of emergency is imperative for committing governments to action. The language of emergency is not designed to cause widespread panic and grief, but rather to acknowledge the urgency of the situation and establish clear, time accountable items for action. This language provides a unity of purpose, and promises a commitment of time and resources to addressing the issue.

    Secondly, the feelings of grief and despair associated with the climate crisis are very real, and do fall disproportionately on the vulnerable. Please have empathy for those who are suffering, and don’t discount the depth or reality of our emotion. As a scientist, I agree that we must urge the media to get the facts straight, to report honestly and ethically about published findings. Even ignoring the examples of erroneous/exaggerated reporting you present in your post, there is solid, reputable science that causes concern (please refer to the IPCC reports among others). Using the language of emergency validates these emotional responses, while creating room for hope through action.

    You write that “There is a special place in the underworld for those who promote anxiety, desperation, and terror in the most vulnerable.” The most vulnerable are the members of our society who have participated the least in generating the climate crisis, and yet they are the ones who stand to suffer the most. You claim that most of the impacts are in the future; that does not negate that there are impacts happening now. In fact, the consequences of the climate crisis are already being felt most in marginalized communities. (All the heat waves, floods, hurricanes, etc.) My own anxiety and grief comes from the suffering I witness, and it is my moral responsibility to draw attention to this reality.

    Grief, anxiety, and despair are not the end of the story, though they are valid parts of it. The climate emergency declaration provides a way for us to move through our grief, channeling those emotions into action. You acknowledge that “There is much we can do to address global warming, both in terms of adaptation and mitigation”. I agree that there is much cause for hope. But I view hope as an action, one that requires continual work.

    I find some of the rhetoric around youth activism found in the comments demeaning. The implications of these comments are that youth are not mature enough to envision or affect change, that we just whine and complain about our dismal future. I see our youthfulness as a strength. We are willing to creatively envision a better future, ones where fossil fuels are not a necessity, where justice is not just an ideal. Yes, this smells like optimism, but you argue for optimism. This is hope in action. And I saw it working tonight as my elected leaders addressed our concerns and committed to addressing the climate crisis head-on.

    To all readers, I invite further discussion, in a respectful manner. Please take a moment to pause and consider the implications of your words, even if you can’t see who is reading them. If you would truly like to understand why the younger generations are grieving, taking to the streets, demanding radical change, please come talk with us. Your local chapter of the Sunrise Movement may be a good place to start. I encourage you to listen with an open mind and an open heart. Hear our pain. Join us as we practice hope.

    Respectfully,
    Sarah

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  63. Climate change is real and driven by the sun (and some other factors but it is cold climate change we have to worry about not man-made global warming.....which is a sociopathic ripoff of human consciousness.... https://coldclimatechange.com

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  64. As a long-time follower of your blog, I find it remarkable that you dedicate so much time down-playing the impacts of climate change and bashing those who are urging action on this important topic. While you seem to think Greta Thunberg is an ill-informed climate alarmist who is depressing the masses, most folks who follower her consider Greta to be an inspiration fighting for the future of humankind. I applaud her efforts as she is expressing the concerns of her generation and inspiring millions of people to take and demand action. Which is urgently needed …

    While you may not care that scientists tell us we are living through the Earth’s 6th mass extinction and that climate change is accelerating it, those of us who care about wildlife and enjoy knowing there is a vast abundance of life on this planet certainly do and would like to do something about it. While you may not care this week’s news that Pacific cod populations are crashing due to climate change, leading to the cancellation of the 2020 North Pacific cod fishery, those folks who work in that industry certainly do and wish we would be doing something about it. So do the millions of people who enjoy the taste and health benefits of eating fish protein, or simply rely on it to feed their families. What important food source for human kind will crash next?

    While you may not believe or care that California’s wildfire season is amplified by the fact that since 2010, an estimated 129 million trees have died in California’s national forests due to conditions caused by climate change, unprecedented drought, bark beetle infestation and high tree densities, those of us who remember a time before these unprecedented wildfires long for a world where we are actually trying to address this issue head on. Not just the forest mis-management part, but the climate change part as well.

    Is it really that surprising that people are depressed about this topic? Should we not be concerned and want to take action even though the worst impacts of climate change will fall future generations, not ours? I get that you think the impacts won’t be as dramatic as some in the media portray, but why make that the sole focus of your blog posts about climate change? Why not balance the over-hyping posts with posts about the impacts that are happening now and how we can and should all work together to address them? Without doing an exhaustive review of your blog posts, it seems that 80% are about the topic of over-hyping the issue. While I am no climate scientist, I know for certain that over-hyping climate change is not the most important aspect of this issue or debate.

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  65. I love how many of you have stated that you are scientists, as if this makes you infallible or affords you some special authority. It reminds me of the priests of the middle ages claiming they had all the answers by divine right! Science has become the faith based religion of the modern age. Wake up guys. Science is a tool only. All of you scientists should know that our understand of client change is an evolving discovery, not settled science. Cliff, your statements about the IPCC seem to imply it is settled science. Is it? Hardly. We are leaning more everyday but your comments imply current IPCC statements about future effects should be trusted. True arrogance.

    Further the IPCC is as much a political organization as a scientific one. Meaning that much of the prediction of the IPCC is negotiated and compromise based, and therefore likely to be highly conservative and understated.

    I think your hubris is just as irresponsible as those you claim are manipulating the current situation. Check yourself.

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  66. Submitting weather-related comments which, for no apparent reason, are not posted gets annoying. It would be helpful if specific rules for commenting were included as a component of the site since it's not clear, at least to me, where the line of acceptability is drawn.

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  67. Cliff, you make claims such as these:

    "2090s? Yikes...a different world, with some places warmer by 6-8F." - Cliff Mass

    "I can't stress this enough.... the big changes due to human-caused global warming in the Northwest are AHEAD of us." - Cliff Mass

    The facts are that warming such as this will lead to changes that we cannot foresee and that are potentially catastrophic. I can't even begin to list the problems that would occur with this kind of change.
    Imagine adding 6-8 degrees to some areas of the planet? That is so much energy that neither you, me or anyone can grasp the changes that would come with such warming.
    Things are exaggerated by some now, yes of course, that's how humans work.

    But the warming you talk about for our grandchildren involved terrible consequences, and this needed to be addressed 20-30 years ago, yet here we are arguing amongst ourselves. The reason people and media are up in arms, is because, like you said, no large-scale correction is occurring. We no longer are part of the Paris agreement, which isn't perfect but it’s a sign of solidarity and shows a willingness to work as a species to solve the problem. The senate and house votes on climate change and environmental changes are 95%+ bipartisan. Meaning that republicans almost always vote against ANY action and Democrats vote for it almost every time. This is where the big change happens, and no headway is being made.

    We cannot even make the smallest changes, we are still opening new oil grounds, we are rolling back regulations on coal, we are losing ground to other countries on green energy. Instead of cementing our place as the next superpower through green energy we have an entire political party that fights it every step. How do we reach these people, many whom are my friends?

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    1. "We cannot even make the smallest changes, we are still opening new oil grounds, we are rolling back regulations on coal, we are losing ground to other countries on green energy."

      There's good reason for this. Demand. Are you going to be the first one to shut off your computer and stop commenting here? Or the first one to skip out on any non-essential driving, road trips, flights, and such? The first to turn down your heat to the point where you have to wear long underwear and outdoor gear inside?

      This is why people are resisting. It has nothing to do with climate and everything to do with energy. If the plan is to punish people to where they are going to take a severe quality of life or cost of living hit with their personal energy needs without any reasonable policy to replace that with a different energy source you deem to be more sustainable, more earth friendly then you can expect massive resistance. Solar and wind are a few percent of our baseload energy supply. Where do you get the other 90+%? Magic?

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    2. I have solar panels on my house and drive a Tesla. The means to get off of fossil fuels is within our reach, if you can't see that it's your problem, not the Earth's.
      You know that digging up billions of gallons of oil and burning it into our atmosphere is a horrible thing. Do you defecate where you eat? Of course not.

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    3. Jeff B, excellent comment. I have argued for years that mass consumption,the convenience of driving, as well as the massive growth in air travel worldwide is what is driving energy companies to expand (and why oil isn't going anywhere). The oil companies simply fill a need created by today's narcissistic, materialistic, "I want everything and I want it now" society. People like Greta Thunburg blame goverments and leaders. She should be really blaming society as a whole and working to change how people live, for people to adopt more sustainable living, rather than how goverments operate. She shouldn't expect that politicians will put forth policies that weaken the economy. That's unless they want to lose the next time an election comes around. If society changes to not be addicted to buy every gadget and smartphone the minute it is released, if staycations and domestic tourism was promoted more instead of foreign tourism, and if people weren't so addicted to cars, than oil companies wouldn't build pipelines. The demand simply wouldn't be there.

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  68. I love that Greta has been named Person of the Year. A very intelligent, brave young lady that I hope you listen to.

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    1. I love that Greta has been named Person of the Year too. It's telling that the media and elitist voices in our political and cultural leadership would anoint a 16 year old who's on the autistic spectrum as their most compelling voice regarding a scientific issue with vast economic and political implications. Most will see that as a defacto admission that climate hysteria is glossy magazine cover couture and not something to take seriously.

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    2. I find it hilarious that anyone would listen to the ravings of a spoiled brat.

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    3. Jeff B- Do you accept the fact that Global warming is occuring?

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    4. If You Can't Sell Your Hysteria to Adults, Try Kids..

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    5. You have an odd way of looking at things. Most would say a fun house mirror way. You just tried to validate your argument by claiming some invented majority agrees with your POV. How silly is that, JeffB?

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    6. Great Thunberg: A Perfect Hero for an Unserious Time
      https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/12/greta-thunberg-is-the-perfect-hero-for-an-unserious-time/

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    7. Jeff, I'm curious why you think someone's place on the autism spectrum is somehow disqualifying. There are people on the autism spectrum who have a unique ability to see certain issues very clearly and simply. Apparently she's also a spoiled hysterical brat. I hate how horrible internet culture has made people. You all should be ashamed.

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  69. Cliff, Thank you for this note. I agree with you and it concurs with my education, unfortunately it does not follow the NPR hype so I expect you will be forced out like Juan Williams. I will miss your Show.

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  70. On the upside, there is actual weather happening now!

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  71. It's really too bad as I believe the earth is and will be affected by increased greenhouse emissions. But when I see politicians of a certain party and the news media work together to turn it into an apocalyptic nightmare, I just shake my head. Now because I don't pass the environmental religious litmus test and believe 100% of the hysteria, I have become a "climate denier" in their eyes, worthy of ridicule and contempt. Scary what is happening and what mass hysteria can do to entire societies.

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  72. It is unfortunate that the loudest voices in the climate change "debate" are those at the extremes: the talk radio and cable TV gasbags who simply deny everything (never mind that most of them probably haven't had a science class since 11th grade) and think it is all some sort of mass global left-wing conspiracy (the overall goal of which is muddy, but might have something to do with ushering in a one-world socialist government), and then the alarmists and doomsayers who seem fearful that the whole planet will be a Sahara Desert during their grandchildren's lifetimes.

    Where is the "sane middle" on this topic . . . where there can be rational, fact-based discussion, inclusive of realistic solutions, without hurling insults and without any conspiracy accusations? Where discussion can be framed in terms of what we know, what we don't know, and the probability and timelines of various outcomes.

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  73. I would like to know how the climate hype you cite is preventing us from proceeding with adaptation and mitigation. Would we be doing more of that if there were no scary headlines? How would you mitigate and adapt to the acidification of the oceans? How would you bring the coral reefs back to life and raise the small islands that are going under water?

    Yep, I'm anonymous for now, only because I don't feel like registering with Blogspot. I suppose I'll have to get around to it.

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  74. The only problem I have with this article is that it seems to equate treating anxiety with validating the thoughts behind the anxiety. Why is it "unbelievable" that organizations are addressing this problem? It is a very real generational phenomenon with serious repercussions (teen suicide etc.). When treating the anxiety the mistaken thinking about climate change can be addressed, so treating anxiety is a good thing in more ways than one.

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  75. @JeffB:

    If you look at those items such as the straws, bags, water bottles, excessive plastic packaging etc in only the terms of their embodied energy than perhaps they are not a huge deal. Still a big deal but not a huge deal. They are also representative of items that if done away with will pose little impact on quality of life. At least in juxtaposition to banning cars, red meat or placing a moratorium on babies. Most of the time do you really need a straw for a beverage? Do you really need a bag for that one item? Does an item really need so much packaging it requires tin snips and a utility knife to open? This is an area where a bit of ground can be given at least in the name of common sense.

    There is also the fact that they are pollution in their own right.

    Its the same as the argument about fossil fuel use or hydrocarbons in general. If you remove the climate impact/pollution aspect completely from the calculus, there is still the overarching issue that there is only so much of it that can economically be exploited. It is something the world has to move past.

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    1. I actually agree and practice a very conservationist policy in my own life. But in the big scheme of global energy, these eco gestures are meaningless if huge portions of the global population don't agree. It's the height of elitist arrogance for First Worlders to obsess over bags and straws while we enact policies that limit the energy needed for survival in the Third World. I don't blame the less developed nations one bit for going big on coal and oil. We did the same when we were less developed. And again, if the leadership in our blue cities and states was really serious about limiting carbon emissions, they would be talking about Thorium nuclear instead of wind and solar.

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  76. The overwhelming issue is not hyping of climate change. It's rather that we're doing so little to address it. Yes, here in Washington state, most of the consequences lie in the future. Far enough out that we may be dead before any big impacts occur. But what about our children and grandchildren?

    Moreover, we are blessed with a moderate climate. Already, there are catastrophic consequences in other parts of the world. The equatorial parts of our planet are most at risk. There are nations that will soon be under water. And in this country there are regions that will be deeply impacted. In Florida, there is currently a great deal of distress because public dollars are not adequate to raise roads to withstand stronger storms and higher tides. Some folks will soon find they have no road to their property.

    Yes, the media hypes stories. That's how they sell news. This isn't a new phenomenon; entire publishing empires have been built on fear and sensationalism. But that's a side show. People have been asleep about climate change so anything that wakes them up is good in my book. I don't think you should be talking it down because people are always seeking any excuse they can find to put their heads back in the sand.

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  77. Weather has happened and will happen whether humans are here or not. We are arrogant enough to think that what we do will actually change it. Yes most people pollute. We buy 99% effective antibacterials that kill good and bad bacteria. Not good. We buy plastics, as we have been told by those who supposedly "know", that plastics are super. We were told paper bags were bad. Jeesh. The earth is going to do what the earth is going to do. It has always done that and will continue to do that long after we are gone. Can we control it. I don't think there is a chance of that. Do I believe all the hype, not a chance. After all "they" were the ones who convinced us all that plastic is good, and we still buy it. Oh sigh

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  78. So typical of the far-right / alt right.
    They're always moaning about their lack of freedom of speech, and promoting freedom of speech, but when criticism comes their way, they block and delete your comments.
    Hypocritical clowns!

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  79. https://arctic.noaa.gov/Portals/7/ArcticReportCard/Documents/ArcticReportCard_full_report2019.pdf

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  80. It is a continued disappointment that Cliff repeatedly excuses the Republicans and other conservtives who deny that climate warming is a threat to human existence. And Al Gore suggested that by 2050 rising sea levels and other atmospheric changes were a threat to NYC, Cliff ridiculed that, the threat became actual years ago.

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    1. The Goreacle sold his failing cable network for millions to oil sheiks. Obama built a 15 million dollar mansion on the coast of Mass. I'll believe this is a crisis when those who keep proclaiming it start to act like it.v

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  81. The issue of climate change is known for 50 years, now we're looking at roughly +4°C in a single human lifetime. The terms catastrophic and apocalyptic are reasonable at this point to get the average idiot into finally acting.

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  82. Replies
    1. not a snowballs chance in hell

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    2. He did already and it was another well written and thoughtful article: https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2018/05/why-one-should-never-use-term-climate.html

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  83. OK, so what if we DO make the planet a cleaner, better place for no reason? Or is that not as important as a couple of snotty billionaires getting to hoard a few more dollars?

    Also: Follow the money. Those same billionaires can be very generous to their mouthpieces.

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    1. So it's about others having more money? In Washington state most billionaires are progressives.

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    2. You must have a middle class to do that. The money has to come from somewhere and without a middle class there is no base. China has been 'cooking' the books as they have no real economy. Look up China Uncensored as a starting guide to what's really going on and get your head straight from MSM garbage.

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    3. bahahahaha. Most wa billionares are progressive... thats funny.

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  84. Thank you, Cliff, for an EXCELLENT article that shows that some folks still employ critical thinking skills (something that is short supply these days).

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  85. REALLY appreciate this. The scare mongering is meant to weaken our thinking and just emotionalize. I am trying to teach my kids to take in reality and "put on the proverbial shoes of others" to see other points of view but some are so toxic. There may be some truth in the shouting but use your own reasoning to see if it seems correct and verify EVERYTHING. There is a show called "Adam Ruins Everything" where he tackles the green movement and for the most part is pretty funny. Again there is a scare mongering moment but they do soften the blow after the Armageddon moment. Its funny how media feels they have to spin you up just to get a reaction..... Half don't care and the other half cares too much.
    Humans are so darn goofy.

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  86. Hard to deny the science in this article.

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/as-climate-change-melts-alaskas-permafrost-roads-sink-homes-tilt-and-greenhouse-gases-release/#comments

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  87. Jim K - That is the most inspired comment I've heard in all these last few years of 'climate-freaking' (I THINK I just made that phrase up). Made me laugh out loud. Thanks very much for brightening my day! (Though perhaps I should put my witch hat and my broom away. Hmmm.)

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  88. We as a nation need to stop paying any attention to the main stream media. Its not news, its propaganda and liberal ideals. And to what end? Lets see,,,,, hmmmm, how is LA doing? San Fran? Seattle? What a proud legacy.

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  89. Cliff, thank you for your commitment to the truth and for all that you do.

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