Cassandra has moved. Ugo Bardi publishes now on a new site called "The Seneca Effect."

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Climate Science Deniers Start Feeling the Heat. Now it is Foot-Dragging Time!

Greta Thunberg is both a cause and an effect in the great shift that's ongoing in the public opinion about climate change. Climate science deniers are feeling the pressure and they are preparing to change their strategy. No more denying that AGW exists and that it is a danger for all of us. It is time to move to foot-dragging for profit. 

A post by Tim Ball on the despicable WUWT blog is well worth reading because it summarizes the plight of climate science deniers in the current debate. Ball says that he calls it quits because:

"you are asking people to believe that a small group of people managed to deceive the world into believing that a trace gas (0.04% of the total atmosphere) was changing the entire climate because of humans. In addition, that group convinced many others to participate in the deception. The public view is that deceiving so many is just not possible. "
Stark clear: Ball perfectly summarizes the problem for him and his band of science-deniers: how could anyone believe what they are saying? With Greta Thunberg bursting into the debate, their position is rapidly becoming untenable. So, they are shifting away from discussing whether AGW exists or not. Ball says,
"I decided to stop trying to educate people about the global deception that is AGW. ... The challenge now is to help people understand the differences between deceptively derived policies, and what is the best, most adaptive, most profitable, and most rewarding strategy for survival of the individual, business, or industry. "
And I couldn't have said it more clearly. Ball and his ilk are preparing for a war of attrition against the attempt to do something to save humankind before it is too late, all in the name of the "most profitable" strategy. 

(I know, I know, I shouldn't link to anti-science blogs, but this one is a must read -- anyway I put a no-follow clause on it. Note also a recent post by Michael Barnard on Medium that notes the same thing as I did)


  1. Ugo
    That cheered me up last night.
    I have a brother who used to talk about how nice it was to get good English wine and how the Mediaeval monks had done a profitable line in vineyards in warmer times.
    The Michael Barnard link is interesting. How are people going to react as it sinks in that we have barely seen the beginning of climate effects already in the pipeline for our children and grandchildren? Do I remember correctly that the measured climate 'signals' only went above 'background' at '95% significance' around the turn of the century? Which was about what had been predicted a decade earlier? Accelerated change looks more likely now. It is likely London will need that 2nd Thames Barrage a few decades earlier – and then what?

    Your and my economies have not recovered to 'normal' during the decade since the financial crash and fly-over America appears still in the doldrums. (This seems not unreasonably to be associated with the grand arc of the fossil fuel secular cycle.) There was some unusual footage on our Channel 4 News last night. There was debate whether we could afford to get rid of our gas (NG) boilers for heating over the next decade; (80% of our homes are heated by gas boilers). I probably would have preferred it if they had dropped talk of 'scrapping them'. There is a case to be made that most people would live more comfortably and be less financially fraught if their homes could be retro-fitted to a better standard. A fifty percent reduction in energy consumption for heating looked very 'doable' in technical studies I was looking at here 10 years ago, which would greatly benefit those who are less well-off. Similarly, I would have preferred them to be talking about getting cars out of our cities on health grounds, not so much about substituting with electric cars – brakes, tyres, all pollute. In any case London for example could never function without public transport, so let that become the substitute.
    There is going to be a lot to get used to. Cognitive dissonance is not going to be confined to 'Climate Deniers'.

  2. I've given this some thought.

    That is something K-Dog would say but I really have given it thought. I have the science gene in my pedigree.

    Look up or out a window. One-half of the atmosphere is below a surface 3.5 miles (5.6 km) up. Sometimes the bottoms of clouds make a blanket this high up. A beam of infrared light that far away has half the chance of being scattered by the atmosphere getting to you as an infrared beam from the sun does.

    How much atmospheric mass is this? The same as only 3 meters of water. Clear water would let you see a coral reef with great detail through a glass bottom boat in former times; but if water had one part in 2000 of silt in it, the bottom would be hard to see.

    If you stop and think about the dynamics of the situation. The probability of an infrared photon pointed up and out being scattered about before finally being flung into to space, then AWG makes total sense. Adding CO2 throws a blanket over the earth which keeps heat in. It does not take much CO2 because the atmosphere has several kilometers in which a CO2 molecule can get in the way to absorb or scatter an infrared heat photon.

    So math says AWG, if you really get into it can be reduced to a classroom physics problem though not a simple one at all.

    What happens to a beam of infrared photons at standard temperature and pressure over a distance of a few kilometers and how does this affect temperature? AWG falls right out of the equations I'll contend, and I do not believe anybody has ever looked at AWG in this way.

  3. 'Anthromorphic' Global Warming !

    Sorry about that I should have typed (AGW) the first time for anthropogenic global warming, and then I'd not have repeated my mistake.

    1. In a sense, you could say it is anthropomorphic -- it has the shape humans are giving to it!

  4. Hi Ugo,

    Not related to this post but can I ask, if there is any information about when your book The Seneca Strategy is due to be published?

    1. Final touches to the text this month, then send it to Springer. The book should be out in October, I hope.

  5. Many thanks Ugo, for your interesting blog. I had been wrote some articles about Seneca and Cassandra's effects, inspired in your publications and others about environment, soil, water, and so on, in the Chilean digital non profit periodic, in spanish, La Ventana Ciudadana (LVC),, in which I'm member of the edition committee. Finally I must tell you than at 1973 year casually I was found an interesting article about The Limits to Growth in a Playboy magazine that impressed me so much, but I think: very nice MIT work but the mankind will don't take any action. Unfortunately, the time gave me the reason to my thought.

  6. Climate disruption is just one of many symptoms of OVERPOPULATION, OVERCONSUMPTION & ecosystem destruction.
    If we weren't so dam overpopulated, we wouldn't be in the delema we are in now.
    It's too dam late now to prevent our collapse, there are too dam many of us & some of us consume way too many resources & trying to replace declining essential resources with a resource dependent TECHNOLOGY is both FUTILE & STUPID!
    We are burning even MORE FOSSIL RESOURCES by trying to produce more of these stupid EV's, solar panels & wind turbines.


    For the last four years "my" swallows have been unable to breed here because there are no longer enough INSECTS to feed them & their young.
    Their back again this year, they look at their nest box, go inside but have not even started to build a nest. They fly about for a while then return south.I expect they will not breed this year either.

    How much longer will "my" swallows live?
    How soon will it be before I never see another swallow?
    I hope I'm DEAD before then!

    1. Dear Sheila

      How right you are!

      I have done everything to turn my small plot of land into some kind of shelter for wildlife - which I think of as our life - and it seems to be working (although I am choking on pollution these days).

      But the whole thrust of our civilization is to destruction, and naive little Greta will not change a thing. She's become part of the media circus already.

      The resource degradation will not stop until collapse occurs, and then it may well be too late for other advanced life forms.

      The little toys which are called 'green technology' are no solution, merely an attempt to extend industrial civilization a little longer: they are in fact, part of the problem, not a solution.

      The naive advocates of 'green' technology are pitiable, and apparently can't see how the concept has already been co-opted by the great financiers and industrialists.

      I, too, hope to die before the final ecological catastrophe, but I fear it is advancing with greater rapidity than anticipated.

      All the best to you, you see things clearly.

  7. Negative trends:



Ugo Bardi is a member of the Club of Rome, faculty member of the University of Florence, and the author of "Extracted" (Chelsea Green 2014), "The Seneca Effect" (Springer 2017), and Before the Collapse (Springer 2019)