# Thongchai Thailand

## Archive for February 2020

### DOOMOLOGY AND PROPHETS OF DOOM

Posted on: February 29, 2020

FOREWORD

Regarding the Anthropocene and human caused planetary catastrophe by way of climate change, the exaggerated view of humans on a planetary scale presented here is inconsistent with the relative insignificance of humans in that context.

Even as humans are worried about things like carbon pollution and the population bomb and the planet being overwhelmed by the sheer number of humans on earth, humans, like all life on earth, are carbon life forms created from the carbon that came from the mantle of the planet but a rather insignificant portion of it. In terms of total weight, humans constitute 0.05212% of the total mass of life on earth.

All the life on earth taken together is 0.000002875065% of the crust of the planet by weight. The crust of the planet where we live and where we have things like land, ocean, atmosphere, climate, and carbon life forms, is 0.3203% of the planet by weight. The other 99.6797% of the planet, the mantle and core, is a place where we have never been and will never be and on which we have no impact whatsoever.

In terms of the much feared element carbon that is said to cause planetary devastation by way of climate change and ocean acidification, the crust of the planet where we live contains 0.201% of the planet’s carbon with the other 99.8% of the carbon inventory of the planet  being in the mantle and core.

Like ants and bees, humans are social creatures that live in communities of humans so that when they look around they see mostly other humans. This is the source of our human oriented view of the world. Paul Ehrlich’s overpopulation theory is derived from his first visit to India which he described as “people people people people people!” It is this biased view of the planet that makes it possible for us to extrapolate Calcutta to the planet and come up with the fearful image described by Jeff Gibbs as “Have you every wondered what would happen if a single species took over an entire planet?”

THIS POST PRESENTS  A LECTURE BY PROFESSOR PAUL EHRLICH ON THE TOPIC

AVOIDING A COLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATION

OUR CHANCES, PROSPECTS, AND PATHWAYS FORWARD

THE LECTURE WAS GIVEN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE ENVIRONMENT INSTITUTE IN JULY 2013 AND IS AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING ON YOUTUBE [LINK] . IT IS PRESENTED IN TWO PARTS. PART-1 IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THE LECTURE. A CRITICAL COMMENTARY ON THE LECTURE IS PRESENTED IN PART-2

PART-1: TRANSCRIPT OF THE LECTURE

(1)  “What’s happened to science?”   We are now clearly in the beginning of the endarkenment (as opposed to enlightenment). You go to the United States – the United States is turning into a combination of plutocracy and theocracy. We are no longer in a, uh uh, we are in a faith based society. Amazingly enough, some people in our Congress are quite willing to have their brains operated on by scientists but they won’t listen to the scientists on anything else. They fly on airplanes designed by scientists  – sure that they are not gonna crash – and yet, again, they never listen to the scientific community. This is also partly true here in Australia where in my view, on a per capita basis, you have the best group of environmental scientists in the world, and the best group of ecologists in the world, but too many of them work for state governments that censor them. So the Australians pay a lot of money to get a lot of scientific research done and then of course they block that information from getting to the public. A disgusting situation.

(2)  Sir John Beddington says we face a perfect storm of environmental problems. So what are the odds of avoiding a collapse of civilization? This is serious scientific debate. Uh I my own estimate and the estimate is that we have maybe a 10% chance of avoiding total collapse; but we’re willing to work to make it  an 11% chance uh because we’ve got great grandchildren uh Cory is not as optimistic as that uh Jim Brown uh energy expert and the world’s best geographer who is uh a member of the National Academy among other things, says we’re crazy, it’s a really big debate. He says the chance is only 1% uh but he’s willing to work to make it 1.1%.

(3)  Uh Graham Turner chimed in “Well! actually, I think it could be as high as 25% but don’t count on it, I think you ought to live it up right now. That’s the only significant debate I know of in the scientific community about what’s happening environmentally and what the chances are. In other words, some people will think there’s a big debate about whether human beings are changing the climate. In the scientific community there is NO debate. Not the slightest of hint of anybody who has even the most elementary scientist uh science knew 60 years ago that if you added crap to the atmosphere you will change the climate. But 60 years ago there was some question about whether it would be towards cooling or warming but of course where the most serious effects come that is the effects on agriculture doesn’t matter much. Change in any direction from a period of roughly 10,000 years of unusual stability in the climate you’re going to screw up agriculture, there’s no, not any rocket science, uh, in that.

(4) Most academics don’t have a clue about agriculture. Why are universities not telling people what’s happening to the world and taking leadership to show what’s happening?. Universities are disgraceful in this world. What do American universities seek? Money! All they wanna do is whatever gives them uh Stanford was once described by one of my colleagues as a full service whore house and that was a pretty accurate description. Uh but is it that different in Australia? Uh how many, oh, you, at some places I’m even told that you sort of get paid off for papers and so, on, but the basic point is there is no real leadership coming from the academic community, and that’s a major disgrace.

(5)  We had a presidential election in the United States in which not one single important issue was discussed., ever, or debated. What are they uh what do they talk about? Can gays get married. Well, I told this to many many audiences, I’m totally in favor of gay marriage. Why in hell should us straights be the only ones who suffer? I mean … sorry Ann, but my brain is sitting back there uh and I gotta be really careful uh, hey! Cory! Uh they uh uh debated all of this financial crap uh the uh terrible debt ceiling, the terrible fiscal cliff, the terrible this or that. When they discuss debt they never mention that for every nickel of debt somebody has a nickel of credit, that in fact the whole financial mess could easily be solved by human beings negotiating with each other, it would lead to some uh uh from some people’s point of view, a pretty nasty situation because some of the absolutely filthy rich people on Wall Street might lose some of the money they’ve been stealing from us all these years. Uh but uh It’s easily solvable.

(6)  You can’t negotiate with nature. All the climate scientists I know think is a very high prob …. I know the best … a very high probability we’re going to bust through 2C in warming and continue up even to 5C even the World Bank is worried about 4C or 5C uh and that’s not necessarily the top … when you look at what is happening in other words you’ve got all this talk about climate change … you don’t hear people pointing out that we’re putting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year than before, in other words if people talk about the effort – well we’re building more windmills and so on, yeah! what you have to do is figure out what are the results – what’s happening, I’m, I’m reminded many years ago when Ann and I were in India discussing uh family planning programs and an Indian government official said to us, “you know you gotta give us credit, last year we shipped a million condoms into the field and I said, well, if they weren’t used for flashlight covers, that may have covered the first hour or two of January first’s night, uh but the answer … you can’t judge it by effort you gotta judge it by results. What’s happening to the total fertility rate? OK, so what sorts of things are not being covered uh in the media in this uh uh in this situation. First thing is that they don’t cover agriculture, uh, and the second thing by the way, is that most universities, certainly Stanford University, don’t cover agriculture either. You gotta really seek out the courses to know anything at all about agriculture – humanity’s single most important activity – our biggest business. And if you stop a hundred Stanford professors on campus, professors not students, and ask them where their food comes from the best they can do is “the supermarket”. They don’t know that for example green uh uh uh the the uh the agricultural system in the United States and Australia, heavily dependent on fossil fuels, uh, depending on how you do the numbers, something like 25% to 35% of greenhouse gasses come from agriculture itself.

(7)  The biggest and most important impact uh of climate change climate disruption is not going to be sea level rise, it’s going to be its impact on agriculture and particularly changing precipitation patterns. Virtually none of them realize that we’re faced uh if we’re going to eat in the future, we’re faced with totally revising the energy mobilizing infrastructure on the planet and simultaneously totally uh revising the uh the uh water handling infrastructure and building it for flexibility because precipitation patterns we now know are going to change for the next thousand years at least. It’s not going to go from A to B so we can plan how we’re going to move from A to B. It’s gonna go A to B to C to D and uh essentially in perpetuity and uh we’re in deep trouble in agriculture already for lots and lots of reasons. Uh if you read the uh the idiot literature on how we’re gonna solve the agriculture problem, what do you see? Well, we gotta wait less. You can go back and read in 1960s we gotta wait less. Haven’t done anything about it. Then we gotta have uh better storage facilities. Ditto.

(8)  Then we’ve got to improve our crops and bring the yields up to close the so called yield gap. That’s because if you grow corn in Iowa you can get a certain yield and uh and a very high yield, and if you then grow it in Southern Mexico you can’t get that you don’t get such a high yield. So the idea is to bring the Mexican yield up as the yield everywhere up to developed country standards uh of production. Problem uh a couple problems with that. First of all, all of the literature shows that the major grains, and by the way, don’t fool around with the stuff at the edges. The human feeding base is three grains. And if those three grains are not kept growing, we’re screwed. Put in technical terms, well, in fact, the rate of growth is changing in all of them and it’s going down.I mean the growth it was it was gradually increasing and now the rate of increase is going down and they full expect it to peal off and go the other direction. The yield – the yield gap is going to get smaller at least in part because the yields are not going to be uh the top yields are not going to be as high as they were before. Second thing is uh uh that uh as you warm the planet, it becomes tougher and tougher to keep the yields up not just because you’re approaching the limits of the grains being able to produce but also you are wrecking uh the uh the natural pest control services that normally keep Iowa way down because as one of the main reasons you don’t get as good a yield in the tropics is – guess what? – in the tropics the pests manage to reproduce all year long and so you’ll have a constant problem of pest reproduction. you’re warming up in uh uh in Iowa and the same thing will happen. Iowa is so great because it has a great thing called winter. You get rid of the winter, the pest control problems which are already extremely serious, get much worse.

(9)  We’re expected to have 2.5 billion more people by 2050. That’s a lot more people. When Ann and I were born there were only 2 billion people on the entire planet. We’re gonna add 2.5 billion people bu 2050 who are going to have to be fed by a staggering agricultural system in which we already fail to feed almost a billion people enough calories and another roughly two billion people are micro nutrient malnourished, so, some of them go blind, many of them can’t function at at a reasonable level and uh but there’s gonna be no problem at all adding another 2.5 billion people despite the gigantic non-linearity that are involved that are involved, the disproportionate effects. Why do we have nonlinearities there? Well a major reason is of course, people are smart. Guess what? When we developed agriculture, people didn’t run around trying to find the most marginal land they could grow crops on, grow crops on the marginal land, and then gradually, as civilization developed, more more and more towards the river bottoms and the rich soil. No, we settled down on the river bottom where we developed farms on the very best soil, we drank the clean water coming down the river, we crapped into the river because there weren’t enough of us so you didn’t have a sewage disposal problem, uh uh and guess what? Now every person, first of all, if any of you been to places like New Delhi or Manila you know we’re building our cities over our very best soil uh and so the people we’re going to have to feed in the future, each one of them on average, is going to have to be fed from more marginal land requiring more inputs, requiring more use of energy, and guess what that tends to feedback on uh and not only that they’re going to go water is going to have to be transported farther ?grilled beef before hump further?  more energy uh what are they gonna do for things like metal? Well, you know when we started back with the agricultural revolution we had copper lying around the surface at around a 100% uh now we’re mining ores at half a percent  (blogger’s note: Not possible for pure copper to be lying around on the ground because it would spontaneously oxidize. Also, percent copper in copper ores varies from less than half a percent to more than 12%).

(10)  If any of you are familiar with the literature on collapse, particularly Joe Tainter’s book from what, about 1990. Collapse of Complex Civilization (The Collapse of Complex Societies, Joe Tainter, 1988 [LINK] ), he pointed out even then, uh that the biggest sign of approaching collapse is diminishing marginal returns. What does that mean? It’s not all that technical, it means, when we had our first oil well in Pennsylvania they started on the surface and went 59 feet and struck oil. The one that blew out in the Gulf uh uh the Deepwater Horizon, didn’t start at the surface of the ground. It started under a mile of water at the surface of the seafloor and had to go down two more miles before it hit oil. And in fact there was a paper in Science Magazine last week or the week before reiterating what a lot of us have been saying for a long long time of course and that is we are forced to use more scattered, less pure, more difficult to acquire, more difficult to refine, more dangerous to get resources, and the paper in Science pointed out that even if we had a sustainable size population and a constant level of consumption, thee system would still be continuously running downhill – just hopefully at a much slower rate. So these things are never considered in the press. They are not considered in most courses. What I am telling you now uh would be total news to 95 to 80 uh 98% of Stanford students when they get their PhD, not when they get their bachelors degrees. Universities are utter failures at trying to prepare people for the real world uh and uh almost nothing is being done about it – uh very sad, uh so, but what the hell, it’s partly my failure and the failure of the rest of you who are faculty members to not try and get this changed uh but I uh I’m sympathetic with those of you who’ve not tried because I’ve tried and it hasn’t worked, so I put a lot of energy uh into failure.

(11)  Most people don’t have any access now to what’s going on in the world. In other words, the media are a total disaster. The social media are uh can be very helpful. The trouble is that for every decent site there is that you can trust in the social media, uh, there are 4 or 5 that’re just solid bullshit, maybe ten. Uh for instance I once googled Uh Uh “missing links”and the first 30 sites that came up were very cleverly expensively done creationist sites. Uh I, I, I tweet myself and some of the stuff that goes through the tweets is absolutely amazing. Sometimes it’s uh very interesting information – uh depends on what who’s you’re you’re tweeting with uh but for instance stuff that just came over uh my desk in the last day or so, one was the paper in Science Magazine I was talking about. Uh a colleague sent me a preposterous thing by a guy named Hans Ross uh Rosling, he’s a statistician who’s totally ignorant of everything that’s statistics and tells us that everything is going to be find because as soon as we make 10 billion people as rich as we are, they’ll have smaller families. Now mind you, if you, if you go to for instance the ecological footprint site, which was a good one on hahahaha you find out that to support permanently, sustainably, today’s population with today’s level of misery, that is with half the population virtually living on under two bucks a day, with all those people hungry or starving, with all the other threats we’re facing, would require, to do it permanently, uh essentially permanently, would be another half an earth. To bring everybody up to the Australian standard, uh and the uh it, in the long run, uh would require 3 or 4 more earths. They’re hard to find these days.

(12)  The flow of crap is about 30 times denser than the flow of information from the scientific community uh and that’s because of the funding, that’s because of Mr Murdoch and his buddies and the rest uh by the way the the distribution of income in the US, you can be proud in Australia that you still have a semi reasonable distribution of income, it’s not really reasonable but compared to the US, uh our distribution of income is like an empire of old uh and it’s getting more so all the time and the uh unfortunately the filthy rich are so stupid that they never even uh learned the basic lessons from Henry uh Ford, who’s not a hero of mine by any means, but Ford priced his cars and paid his workers enough so they could buy the cars. Now the people are getting rich is mostly just through financial manipulation. The uh uh my uh my idea for Wall Street is very simple and that is that every body on Wall Street should be fired or imprisoned. Many imprisoned. Right. They are parasites, they create nothing of any use, most of their main job is to find ways to trick people out of their money and make the rich richer. If they did their job right, what would happen? They allocate capital and so on so that you get more economic growth. Economic growth is the disease, it’s not the cure! If they did their jobs right we’d still want to fire ’em, get ’em the hell out of the way because they are incapable of understanding that you cannot have continued exponential growth on a finite planet as as Kenneth Holding, a very distinguished economist said many years ago, “if you think you can have perpetual growth, you’re either an imbecile or an economist and I, I think that holds today very well.

Conclusion We have to as rapidly as possible reduce the scale of the human enterprise, not just, not just uh try and bring the poor up which we certainly must do, we let them let everybody on the planet have a decent life. The {?batam flies?} re-distribution and people don’t like the idea of re-distribution and of course one of the things about reducing the scale of the human enterprise is to lower the birthrate further, considerably further. How do we do that? We do something that has been done in no nation in the world yet and that is to give women absolutely equal rights and opportunities to men and at the same time give everybody who is sexually active access to modern contraception, and where necessary, back up abortion. If you do those things the odds are you will get population declining gradually in lots of places. The estimate of what might be sustainable over a medium term at least runs generally in the vicinity of a billion to two billion people depending on how much risk … how risk averse you are. Bur of course we’re now at 7.1, we’re aiming for 10 or eleven and uh so the issue of exactly where you stop as you downsize the human enterprise to make it sustainable uh uh can be debated for a hundred years. It’s not going to happen overnight. Just telling people what the science says does not change their behavior.

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

1. The lecture by Paul Ehrlich is an expression of a popular obsession with a coming collapse of our civilization. This theme is evident in Ehrlich’s prior works exemplified by his bestseller The Population Bomb and supported in this lecture by a citation of the 1988 book on “Collapse of Complex Societies” by Joe Tainter [LINK]
2. The Tainter book is cited as support for the claim that “the biggest sign of approaching collapse is diminishing marginal returns” (Note: The essence of the Tainter theory of collapse is rising complexity which in turn creates diminishing marginal returns: [LINK TO RELATED POST]). The current fear of climate change, expressed as climate crisis and climate emergency, is presented here in terms of the collapse of civilization paradigm.
3. Yet, The Population Bomb has been thoroughly discredited and is widely considered to have been a failed assessment of the future of humanity and life on earth [SMITHSONIAN 2018] [REED 2008] in terms of its methodology, its implicit assumptions, and in the context of what turned out to be a spectacular collection of failed predictions. Some of the failed predictions are listed below. The essential thesis is that population growth and economic growth, what Ehrlich calls “The Human Enterprise”,  can’t just continue forever without limits and therefore there has to be limits and therefore reaching and crossing these limits will cause a catastrophic Biblical collapse of The Human Enterprise. The prior expression of this limit in the Population Bomb is thus extended in this lecture to climate change by simply inserting human activities, such as fossil fuel emissions, into The Human Enterprise.
4. The case for limits to population growth and economic growth is presented in terms of the low fruit analogy of Joe Tainter. This analogy states that, in terms of agricultural land, minerals, and energy resources, the global economy grows initially on “low fruit” that is readily accessible, high quality, and plentiful supply of resources such as fertile agricultural land, fossil fuels, and metals, of very high quality and purity, found close to the surface. The low fruit argument is that as the low fruit is used up and the fruit gets higher and higher due to resource depletion and environmental degradation caused by human activity and its exploitation of nature, growth of “the human enterprise” becomes constrained by declining availability and quality of resources particularly so when it is combined with increasing human population. At some point, it is argued, when the fruit too high and the humans are too many, growth ceases . In this condition, continued growth is not possible. It is on this basis that this condition is presented as the proximate cause of “the coming collapse”.
5. However, the low fruit argument of the coming collapse theory of Joe Tainter contains a fatal logical flaw. As humans consume and human population grows over time, humans also change, not only biologically in terms of evolution, but also in terms of progress in science and technology. For example, it would probably not be possible for the Neanderthal cave dwellers of 100,000 years ago to participate in the home building and agriculture of the Neolithic Revolution or for the geniuses of the Neolithic revolution to drill for oil in the ocean.
6. The reason the low fruit argument is flawed, is that it is not the Neanderthals that are drilling for oil in the ocean and manufacturing aircraft and exploring space; but their evolutionary survivors that have vastly increased their capacity to find and make use of resources. As our population changes, so do we. The consumption of low fruit increases our ability to reach higher fruit as the low fruit is used up. This dynamic is missing in the Ehrlich logic.
7. In the climate change era, the lecture on the limits to population and economic growth is extended to include the environmental degradation of “the planet” in terms of climate change. The impact of climate change on the Ehrlich/Tainter limits to growth hypothesis is described as “a perfect storm of environmental problemsbecause you can’t negotiate with nature”. Ehrlich bases his doomology with the argument that “All the climate scientists I know think there is a very high probability we’re going to bust through 2C in warming and continue up even to 5C and even the World Bank is worried about 4C or 5C “.
8. He defends this extreme evaluation of climate change, more extreme than the IPCC,  with the observation that “we’re putting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year, more than before, in other words if people talk about the effort – well we’re building more windmills and so on, yeah! what you have to do is figure out what are the results – what’s happening“. Here we see the Ehrlich genius for linguistic extravagance in the absence of information. The growth in annual fossil fuel emissions since pre-industrial is well known and it is in the equation that determines temperature forecasts for the business as usual scenario. Also, his claim that the investment in wind power made around the world, at the insistence of climate scientists and the IPCC, has had no effect on the rate of warming is a common argument against the renewable energy seen in climate denier websites.
9. Agriculture: Curiously, agriculture plays a key and critical role and in the Paul Ehrlich science of the collapse of civilization by way of population and economic growth. He describes the role of agriculture in the context of climate change when he claims that “The biggest and most important impact of climate-change-climate-disruption is not going to be sea level rise. It’s going to be the impact on agriculture.  Specifically, the issue seems to be changing precipitation patterns. expected to be an impact of climate-change-climate-disruption.  He says that “if we’re going to eat in the future”, we have to overhaul “the energy infrastructure of the planet”. He says that we also have to overhaul and reinvent the water handling infrastructure so that we can adapt to changing precipitation patterns “for the next thousand years at least”. Here the man who says the end is near also advises us to plan ahead when building our water infrastructure for a thousand years.
10. You can’t negotiate with nature:  With respect to the debate between climate science and the deniers, Ehrlich says “Some people will think there’s a big debate about whether human beings are changing the climate. In the scientific community there is NO debate. Not the slightest of hint of anybody who has even the most elementary science.  It has been known for 60 years (since the 1950s) that if you add crap to the atmosphere you will change the climate. But 60 years ago (1950s) there was some question about whether the crap would cause cooling or warming. But of course where the most serious effects come that is the effects on agriculture doesn’t matter much. Change in any direction from a period of roughly 10,000 years of unusual stability in the climate you’re going to screw up agriculture. That’s not rocket science. You can’t negotiate with nature.”
11. The “can’t negotiate with nature” is part of the Ehrlich style of interjecting fearful imagery that has no counter argument because nobody can figure out what it means simply because these declarations have no rational interpretation.
12. The reference to crap changing the climate that could be either warming or cooling is a likely reference to the work of the late Stephen Schneider who had written in the depths of the 1970s cooling period that fossil fuel emissions of the industrial economy contains not only CO2 that causes warming but also aerosols and when the aerosols get into the stratosphere they cause cooling by reflecting incident radiation. He also noted that the progression of of CO2 warming was logarithmic – that is the more CO2 there is in the atmosphere, the less the impact of adding more CO2. In contrast, the progression of aerosol cooling is exponential. That means that the more aerosol you have the greater the impact of additional aerosols. He had written then that this is why there has to come a time in AGW when the warming will revert to cooling. This paper (Rasool&Schneider 1972) was the definitive paper at that time that had explained the 1970s cooling anomaly although shortly thereafter the cooling changed to warming. (Schneider blamed that on the acid rain program that cleaned up sulfate aerosol emissions. In terms of these details, the Ehrlich interpretation in 2014, when the direction of climate change had already established itself as warming, as “crap” causing climate change in either direction and that therefore the rational response is to take adaptive action against agriculture disruption, seems strangely out of sync and out of touch with the climate science literature since the 1950s.
13. Also his assessment that the climate history of the Holocene as “a period of roughly 10,000 years of unusual stability in the climate” is grossly at odds with the literature and with the paleo data for the Holocene presented in a related post [LINK] . The relevant bibliography presented in that post shows that the 10,000 years of Holocene history has a turbulent and chaotic temperature profile consisting of violent alternating cycles of warming and cooling and millennial and centennial time scales.
14. With respect to climate change he says that there is no debate about the science of AGW climate change among scientists but there is some debate about the probability that it will cause a collapse of civilization. He lists probabilities of 1%, 10%, and 25% from this debate among scientists. The wide range of these estimates actually implies that the scientists don’t really know what the answer is. And although these probabilities are supposed to scare us such that we should “live it up” and prepare to die, the uncertainty implies that the scientists making these predictions do not have the information needed to make them.
15. The Ad hominem Fallacy: As is common in climate science, Ehrlich too digs deep into the ad hominem fallacy to support his climate crisis and collapse of civilization views by repeated use of the phrase “the science says” as well as the odd parallels drawn by citing brain surgery and flying in airliners where he implies that to trust these technologies that are the creation of scientists and then to question the climate crisis and ecological crisis and collapse of civilization as forecast by scientists is a contradiction. The need to reach this low in bad logic does not speak well for “the science” that he is trying to support.
16. In summary, the attempt by Ehrlich to put the population bomb and the climate bomb together into a greater scare of an anticipated collapse of civilization is undone by the weakness of his arguments and the absence of a continuity in the lecture except that climate change has been connected to agriculture disruption by way of “changing precipitation patterns”.
17. FOOTNOTE: As a footnote, the Paul Ehrlich scenario for collapse of civilization both in his population & economic growth analysis and now in his climate change analysis bears a close resemblance to what had happened in the Late Bronze Age Collapse (LBAC) described in a related post [LINK] . In this context, it is interesting to note that religions prior to the LBAC do not contain a Judgement Day “end of the world” of any kind even though some of them have different versions of heaven and hell mostly in afterlives or in places deep under the ground. However, religions that got started in the Early Iron Age right after the Dark Ages of the LBAC do contain an end of the world of some kind. It is likely that the existence of doomology in our time, that is an obsession with a collapse of civilization similar to the LBAC, but framed in terms of current events seen here in the form of population growth, economic growth, and fossil fuel emissions of the industrial economy, may derive from a distant genetic memory of the LBAC. It is likely that modern iron age humans carry a doomsday gene and that creates the genetic memory of the LBAC although it is clear that this gene is not universal but rare.

PART-3: SOME PRIOR FORECASTS OF PAUL EHRLICH

1. 1968:  The battle to feed humanity has been lost. There will be a major food shortage in the US in the 1970s and hundreds of millions are going to starve to death and by the 1980s most of the world’s important resources will be depleted. 65 million Americans will die of starvation between 1980-1989 and that by 1999, the US population will decline to 22.6 million. The problems in the US will be relatively minor compared to those in the rest of the world.
2. 1968: By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.
3. 1970: In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.
4. 1970: Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years. Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born and by 1975 food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Between 1980 and 1989, some 4 billion people, including 65 million Americans, will perish in the “Great Die-Off.”
5. 1970: Air pollution will take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone and 200,000 Americans will die in 1973 due to “smog disasters” in New York and Los Angeles. DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945 and these people have a life expectancy of only 49 years. Life expectancy will reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out.
6. 1975:  Since more than nine-tenths of the original tropical rain forests will be removed in most areas within the next 30 years or so, it is expected that half of the organisms in these areas will vanish with it.
7. 2015:  Australia is working to become a third-world country through its economic dependence on mining natural resources for export and reliance on coal mining.

### Fear Based Activism for Climate Action

Posted on: February 29, 2020

1. 1985, GLOBAL WARMING COULD CAUSE FUTURE PROBLEMS, Roger Barry, Univ of Colorado data center for glaciology. Atmospheric CO2 will double by the end of the century due to burning fossil fuels. CO2 induced warming will be evident in the 1990s particularly in the melting of glaciers and polar ice caps. Glacial melting in the last century is explained primarily by global warming. There is a possibility of a seasonally open Arctic (after the summer melt) in the next century brought about by a doubling of atmospheric CO2 but it is unlikely because Arctic ice “is more stable than we thought”. The future is pretty scary all the same.
2. 1985, WILL MOTHER NATURE’S SCREEN SAVE OUR CLIMATE? CO2 induced global warming is self correcting because warming increases cloud formation and clouds reflect sunlight back into space. Richard Somerville, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UC San Diego.
3. 1985, SAGAN WARNS, STOP GREENHOUSE EFFECT NOW, Carl Sagan testimony in Senate hearing. Global warming will flood coastal cities and turn Midwest farmlands into a dust bowl. The greenhouse effect makes life possible but too much or too little will kill it off.Use of fossil fuels is pushing earth into too much. The answer is to reduce fossil fuel consumption by switching to nuclear and solar.  If we do nothing we condemn our children and grandchildren to the effects of global warming. The greenhouse effect of fossil fuels is the most dangerous threat to mankind we have ever faced.
4. 1985, RISING SEA LEVEL, The Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences says that the sea level will rise 4-6 cm by 2000 and 12-27 cm by 2030 because global warming from the greenhouse effect will warm the oceans and melt glaciers and polar ice caps including Greenland.
5. 1986, SCIENTISTS PREDICT CATASTROPHE IN GROWING GLOBAL HEAT WAVE, Scientists at Senate subcommittee hearing. The greenhouse effect will cause th earth to be warmer in he next decade than at any other time in the last 100,000 years and cause shoreline erosion, droughts, and other catastrophic changes just as the depletion of the ozone layer is doing.
6. 1986, WARMING PANIC PREMATURE, presentation by NASA scientists to a Senate committee. The warnings of “greenhouse effect”  catastrophe by 2030 are overblown because the computer models used are not good enough to make those predictions. Northern hemisphere temperatures have declined in the last 50 years (since 1935). The National Research Council’s report of 1983 shows two warm years at the end of the record but that is not enough imply a warming trend. The Diaz and Quayle 1981 article in Monthly Weather Review shows a cooling trend from 1949 to 1979. The northern hemisphere temperature history detailed in the February 1986 issue of the Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology does not show a warming trend. Although global warming is being promoted as “inescapable” and “undeniable” the caveat in the National Research Council’s 1983 paper says “we do not believe the overall pattern yet confirms temperature changes attributable to CO2”. The DOE’s 1985 report also makes similar caveats such as “the findings constitute insufficient evidence that the climate models are correctly projecting the effects of CO2 on climate”. Northern hemisphere ocean temperatures have not gone up since WW2. Since rising CO2 is not causing warming of the northern hemisphere there must be other more potent variables at work that are not in the model. An increase of 4% to 7% the formation of certain types of clouds could offset the heat effect of doubling CO2 (Bretherton and Coakley 1985). Yet, cirrus clouds are an unknown and not in the computer models.  Most of the computer models contain major limitations in oceanic heat transfer and changes in regional rainfall. The southern hemisphere is behaving differently and appears to be warming so perhaps the same will occur in the north eventually.
7. 1988, GLOBAL WARMING HAS BEGUN, EXPERTS TELL SENATE: James Hansen of NASA tells the US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that “the earth has been warmer in the first five months of this year than in any comparable period since measurements began 130 years ago” and therefore that the effects of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels are now palpable. The nightmare has arrived, “the greenhouse effect is here” with the NYT reporting that “humans, by burning fossil fuels , have altered the global climate in a manner that will affect life on earth for centuries to come”. Southeast and Midwest states in the USA will experience “frequent episodes of very high temperatures and drought in the next decade and beyond”.
8. 1988, CLIMATE CHANGE ALREADY HAPPENING, A buildup of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels  emitted by human activities into is causing the earth’s surface to warm by trapping infrared radiation from the sun and turning the entire earth into a kind of greenhouse – just as mathematical models had  predicted. Sometime between 2025 to 2050 the earth will be 3F to 9F warmer with higher latitudes 20F warmer. mathematical models had  predicted. Melting glaciers and polar ice and thermal expansion of the oceans will cause the sea level to rise by one to four feet by 2050.
9. 1988, WARMEST YEAR EXPECTED, The hottest years on record occurred in the 1980s with the first 5 months of this year very hot. Just as the models had predicted, the rise in temperature is greater in high latitudes than in low, is greater over continents than oceans, and there is cooling in the upper atmosphere as the lower atmosphere warms up. Clearly, global warming by greenhouse gas emissions as predicted by these computer models has begun. “We can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and observed warming.” The snow is melting earlier each year and the rain belt is moving northwards.
10. 1988, 35-NATION CONFERENCE ADDRESSES GLOBAL WARMING, A global warming meeting in Geneva will examine the scientific evidence. “The effort could lead to an international treaty to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide and other gases in the atmosphere that trap heat from the earth in a ”greenhouse effect” and to “justify actions by governments to limit and cope with climate change” . To mitigate global warming we must reduce the use of fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide and also agree to further reductions in chlorofluorocarbons beyond the 50% reduction mandated in the Montreal Protocol. The global warming problem is real because ”We know that greenhouse gases are accumulating and in principle, they should lead to a global warming”.
11. 1989, DEFORESTATION SPEEDS UP GLOBAL WARMING, Destruction of forests will speed up global warming because the drying forests will release carbon dioxide. We need a sharp reduction in the use of fossil fuels that produce carbon dioxide, and end to deforestation, and a program of reforestation. The re-development of nuclear power could also slow global warming. The world must immediately ratify a treaty to reduce the use of chlorofluorocarbons because they destroy ozone and contribute to global warming.
12. 1989, GLOBAL WARMING STIRS STORM, “Despite Hansen’s assertions, there is widespread scientific disagreement over global warming trends. Some experts say there is no evidence that the climate has experienced any significant change over the past several decades.”
13. 1989, FORECAST DISSENT ON GLOBAL WARMING, Skeptics are challenging dire greenhouse views” (NYT). Skeptics contend that forecasts of global warming are flawed and overstated and that the future might even hold no significant warming at all and that if the warming is modest, as they believe likely, it could bring benefits like longer growing seasons in temperate zones, more rain in dry areas and an enrichment of crops and plant life”. “It would be a mistake to take drastic and costly steps to limit emissions of carbon dioxide”. Much of the dissenters’ criticism is aimed at computerized mathematical models of the world’s climate on which forecasts of global warming are largely based. The critics also cite data on past climatic trends, and they say the theory of greenhouse warming has not yet been fully explored. “”We have an incomplete theory with a lot of bad science being done”. ” Current forecasts of global warming ”are so inaccurate and fraught with uncertainty as to be useless to policy-makers,” Richard S. Lindzen.
14. 1989, RACE TO ASSESS GLOBAL WARMING, Scientists are using powerful computers and advanced mathematical models to simulate the world’s climate. The computer models predict that the greenhouse effect will make the earth warmer. The resulting climate change will have “important consequences for life on earth”. One problem is that the models don’t agree on what areas will suffer drought and where there will be increased precipitation. The dilemma faced by policymakers is that they don’t have information that is precise enough to make policy but if they wait for more precise information it may be too late to take effective action.
15. 1990, SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS CONFIRMS GLOBAL WARMING (NYT) Global warming will cause serious environmental damage starting early in the next century long before the maximum predicted temperature is reached. We must set limits beyond which the global temperature and sea level should not be permitted to rise to avoid serious and ever increasing risks posed by the continued flow of heat trapping gases into the atmosphere at present rates. The IPCC report serves as a prelude to the Second World Climate Conference in Geneva later this year.
16. 1990, BUSH ADMINISTRATION COOL ON GLOBAL WARMING. (NYT)The Bush administration’s global warming policy is tepid because of conflicting views within the White House where some are skeptical of the computer models on which forecasts of global climate warming are based because these models have a history of past failures. These models are not good enough to form the basis for policy, they say, but that is only an excuse for inaction. Even though the computer models may not be precise, their forecasts are so grim that we must take corrective action immediately as we do not have to luxury of waiting until all the bugs are worked out. These actions should include preserving tropical forests, banning greenhouse chemicals, and increasing energy efficiency.
17. 1990, EXPERTS WARN ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING COSTS. A UN panel of international climate experts came out to strongly support the global warming theory saying that the buildup of CO2 from fossil fuel consumption lead to rising temperatures worldwide, altered weather patterns, lower food production, and rising sea levels. In the long run the cost of inaction exceeds the cost of mitigation. The panel put political pressure on President Bush who is not inclined to take costly measures against CO2 as long as there are credible scientists who oppose the global warming theory and as long as there is no “scientific consensus” on the issue.
18. 1991, PROMPT ACTION TO CURB GLOBAL WARMING THREAT, The National Academy of Sciences says US should act quickly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by developing new generation nuclear power plants and by implementing reforestation, mass transit, and higher fuel efficiency standards for cars. The plan represents a compromise between the more extreme positions of the EPA and the Bush administration. Despite great uncertainties,global warming poses a threat sufficient to merit a prompt response.
19. 1991, COST OF REVERSING GREENHOUSE EFFECT WILL BE HIGH. There is division in the scientific community as to the existence and the extent of the greenhouse effect. Environmentalists say that a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions from the industrialized countries is needed. An energy saving program could reduce CO2 emissions by 35% over the next 25 years but it will be costly and it assumes technological breakthroughs.
20. 1991, COOLING IMPACT DISCLOSED. Burning fossil fuels produces aerosols that reflect sunlight and cool the earth. The resulting rise in temperature could more than offset the cooling achieved by reduction in CO2 emissions in the next 10 to 30 years according to an article in Nature by Prof Wigley, a climatologist at the University of East Anglia in England. The aerosol effect is a sleeping giant because it is something that has been missed and its effect is not trivial. It implies that reducing fossil fuel consumption will cause acceleration in global warming for 10 to 30 years before the gains from CO2 emission reduction kick in.
21. 1991, PANEL SAYS THE U.S. CAN ADAPT TO GLOBAL WARMING. (NYT), The National Academy of Sciences says that the cost of inaction is not high because the US can easily adapt to the effects of global warming due to the greenhouse effect of pollutants in the atmosphere. It is more costly to control the climate change than to adapt to it. Human adaptability has been grossly underestimated. A dissenting committee member said that indirect costs of global warming have not been adequately considered. The report said it might be harder for developing countries to adapt to global warming. It encouraged “efforts to advance regional mobility of people, capital and goods,” better preparations for disaster and famine relief and expansion of free-market economies, so that changing prices can serve as market signals that would encourage people to adapt to global warming.
22. 1992, TREATY TO CURB GLOBAL WARMING. Sixty nations sign an agreement at the Earth Summit in which they promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels. The agreement is not binding and there is no time table.
23. 1992, WHITE HOUSE VOWS ACTION TO CUT GLOBAL WARMING GASESThe concentration of greenhouse gases is growing because of human activity and that could lead to catastrophic warming of the earth in the next century. On the eve of the Earth Summit in Rio, the US is seen as uncooperative by the Europeans who insist on a year 2000 deadline for stabilizing CO2 emissions. The US supports increasing energy efficiency and a budget of $75 million in aid to developing countries to do likewise although it does not target CO2 stabilization. Global warming advocates say that this move is positive and shows that the US has abandoned the flat earth society of global warming deniers. 24. 1992, GLOBAL WARMING ANOMALY. Critics of global warming point out that their computer models predict a temperature rise of 1C for the last 100 years whereas the actual rise has been 0.5C; and that most of the warming in the last 100 years occurred prior to 1940 whereas most of the CO2 was added after that. 25. 1992, GLOBAL SNUB ON GLOBAL WARMING. To control rising temperatures due to the greenhouse effect of CO2, the Europeans want industrialized countries to put a cap on CO2 emission but the Bush administration is wary. The USA is seen as a laggard and an impediment to global action to ward off the potentially dangerous effects of global warming. A cost effective way to check global warming is for the USA to give foreign aid to developing countries like China to implement clean burning coal technologies. The impasse is that the USA is opposed to imposed CO2 emission caps. As it is, there are countries endorsing emission caps but not implementing programs to achieve them. The real cost of emission caps could be sky high. 26. 1993, CLINTON ADMINISTRATION: “CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION PLAN”. Emissions of CO2, CH4, NO, and CFC have caused temperatures to rise by 0.5C in the last 100 years, and unchecked, global warming could cause melting glaciers and polar ice caps, rising sea level, flooded coastal areas,droughts, damaged ecosystems, and reduced agricultural production. The Clinton administration’s Action Plan proposes 44 action steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000 mainly by voluntary participation of business and industry. The plan is consistent with international efforts outlined by the Earth Summit in 1992. 27. 1993, SCIENTISTS CONFRONT RENEWED BACKLASH AGAINST GLOBAL WARMINGConservatives and industry groups attacked the Clinton Administration’s climate change action plan and the global warming scenario characterizing it as hysteria and a plan by socialists to control the economy. Two books, one by the Cato Institute and another by Dixy Lee Ray attacked the greenhouse effect hypothesis. The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal published articles debunking global warming. A column by Jeffrey Salmon of the George C. Marshall Institute said that there was no scientific evidence that the earth is warming because of man-made greenhouse gases. Richard Lindzen of the MIT wrote that the heat trapping amplification through water vapor assumed by the global warming computer model is flawed and therefore that even a doubling of CO2 will have little effect on temperature. Other critics point out that the computer models can’t be right because they give incorrect and inconsistent results for known historical data. Although scientists disagree on global warming the political debate is more extreme than the scientific debate. 28. 1993, THE NEW YORK TIMES DEFENDS GLOBAL WARMING. There are two undisputed facts about global warming – carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels has been accumulating in the atmosphere for a hundred years, and carbon dioxide traps heat ?reflected? from the earth’s surface that would otherwise radiate out to space. It only remains to compute exactly how much the earth will heat up after an amount of CO2 is injected into the atmosphere. Since a real world experiment is not possible it must be carried out in mathematical models on supercomputers that simulate the earth’s climate although these models are far from perfect. Scientists have examined the results from the best computer models and advised the UN that CO2 will double by 2100 and cause a temperature rise of somewhere between 3C and 5C. These findings are supported by leading experts in the field at the UN and the National Academy of Sciences. Although the amount of heat trapped by the minute amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is small, it snowballs because it causes water to evaporate and water vapor is also a heat trapping gas. The ability of computer models to predict temperature will be greatly improved once the aerosol effect of fossil fuels is incorporated. 29. 1993, PRESIDENT CLINTON’S PLAN TO HALT GLOBAL WARMING. Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in millions of tons annually: energy efficiency in home and appliance design = 16.3, non-industrial private forest management = 9.5, private sector investment in efficient electrical motors =8.8, increased efficiency of public transit and transportation = 6.6, better regulation of chemical industry = 5.0, recycling and pollution prevention =4.2, methane recovery from landfills = 4.2, natural gas star program to reduce methane emission = 3.0, promote natural gas = 2.2, promote hydroelectricity = 2.0. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). 30. 1993, RISING SEAS A PRECISE MEASURE OF GLOBAL WARMING. Using the most accurate system ever devised for measuring global sea levels,scientists have found a steady rise of 3 mm per year for the past two years. These data now establish beyond any doubt that the greenhouse effect is causing global warming. If this trend continues for another few years it will be solid evidence of a warming trend related to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Doubts about the reliability of older and less precise temperature data may now be put aside as the very accurate sea level data clearly establishes the scientific basis of global warming. The sea level measurement satellite of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory takes 500,000 sea level measurements per day. 31. 1994, GLOBAL WARMING MAY HELP U.S. AGRICULTURE,(NYT). Civilization is playing a high stakes game with mother nature by emitting heat trapping greenhouse gases that could forever alter our fragile ecosystem in catastrophic ways. The planet is going to get hotter with radically altered weather and rainfall patterns. Yet, a new study appears to show that its effect on American agriculture will not be the dust bowl catastrophe that was once predicted. In fact, global warming is now expected to benefit American agriculture by greatly increasing crop yields. It will be a lot harder in the wake of this study to motivate the American will to fight global warming. It was once predicted that although Canadian and Russian farmers would gain from longer growing seasons, American farmers would lose more than$20 billion per year with “corn blistering on the stalk”. These studies were based on the inability of U.S. farmers to adapt to changes. If farmers change the crops they grow as the climate changes, they will not lose but in fact may gain in the net.
32. 1994, HOT AIR ON GLOBAL WARMING. The Clinton Plan of Action against global warming is “so much hot air” because it is too vague and not practical. It is typically Clintonian window dressing to give the appearance of doing something.
33. 1995, GLOBAL WARMING RESUMED IN 1994, CLIMATE DATA SHOW
After a three year hiatus and a bitter winter in 1993-1994, the warming trend has returned with a warmer than usual winter in 1994-1995. Global warming is not gone, it was just temporarily interrupted by the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. Aerosols in the upper atmosphere from the eruption reflected sunlight and cooled the earth. In 1994, temperatures rebounded to the levels of the 1980s – the warmest decade on record –reaching the record high of 60C reached in 1990. Global temperatures from March to December were the warmest since 1951. The mainstream view among researchers on climatic change is that atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases could double by the end of the next century and that this could produce a global warming of 1.5C to 4.5C. By comparison, the earth is 3C to 5C warmer now than in the last ice age, which ended about 10,000 years ago. A 2C warming,could cause ice at the poles to melt, rising sea levels, shifting climatic zones, and more extreme floods, droughts, storms, and cold and heat waves. Violent and frequent weather extremes have become more common since 1980.
34. 1995, NEW EVIDENCE POINTS TO HUMAN ROLE IN GLOBAL WARMING
Global warming will bring altered crop growing seasons, more severe storms, more tropical diseases, and the inundation of low lying areas by rising seas. As to the cause, the scientific debate about whether the warming is a natural variation or caused by man has now been settled. A scientific consensus due to advances in computer modeling has emerged that the cause of the warming is the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide emitted by man’s fossil fuel consumption. This finding is issued in a new report of the UN-IPCC panel of scientists and is based on the best data and science available. These findings are now beyond question. The debate as to the cause of the warming in the last 100 years is now over. The job now is to implement worldwide emission reduction plans to reverse this trend. If no action is taken global temperatures will rise 1.5C to 4.5C in the next 100 years. It is a very significant rise if you consider that 3C can make the difference between an ice age and an interglacial. Emission reduction starting right now could limit the warming to 0.5C to 2C. The warming cannot be stopped because the CO2 that is already in the air will continue to trap heat. Although it is impossible to know for sure to what extent global warming is caused by man, it only makes sense, in light of the new scientific consensus, to work with other nations to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
35. 1995, GLOBAL WARMING JURY DELIVERS GUILTY VERDICT (New Scientist)
UN-IPCC scientists issued a report in Dec 1995 saying that the warming of the earth by 0.5C in the last 100 years is the biggest since the last ice age and is not within the range of natural variability. Therefore it must represent a man made influence on global climate.Periods of cooling during the overall warming period can be explained in terms of global warming.
36. 1996, GLOBAL WARMING TO BLAME FOR BLIZZARD
Just four days after scientists announced on Jan 3 1996 that global temperatures had crept to a record high in 1995, the Northeast US was hit by record cold and snowfall but scientists say that the blizzard of 1996 as well as the bitter cold in Europe were actually caused by global warming because warming increases evaporation that in turn increases precipitation. Besides, the effects of global warming are small compared with seasonal variations and so severe winters are not necessarily incompatible with global warming. The bitter winter this year represents a southward bulge of the Arctic air mass and not a cooling trend.
37. 1996, GLOBAL WARMING POSES THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH
(NYT) According to UN scientists, there are serious threats to public health if actions to reduce global warming come too slowly. The earth’s climate will change rapidly in the coming century as greenhouse gases trap solar radiation. Thousands could die in major cities in heat waves and tens of millions will face malaria epidemics in areas where the disease does not now occur. Last July a heat wave killed 465 people in Chicago alone. This is an issue that must be taken seriously. Climate negotiators are warned against taking a wait and see attitude because the consequences of inaction are dire. We must act quickly even as industry backed lobbyists call for a go slow approach fearing harm to economic growth.The voluntary approach in the USA is not working as emissions have continued to rise since the 1992 treaty at the Earth Summit. Carbon dioxide emissions rose 12% from 1990 to 1995. Immediate action is needed to reverse this trend. Because adverse public health is likely to result from climate change, we do not have the luxury of seeking definitive empirical evidence before acting.
38. 1996, UN IPCC REPORT
Ahead of Geneva, the second follow up meeting on global warming after the Earth Summit in Rio, the UN IPCC has issued a report that says that humans are influencing global climate. Excerpts from the report issued in June 1996 say that Earth’s temperature will rise by 2C in the next 100 years with serious negative effects. Extreme temperatures will become normal. Habitats will change. Many plants and animals will become extinct. Some regions will suffer water shortages. Polar ice will melt. The sea level will rise. Emissions of greenhouse gases that trap solar energy will double by the year 2010. A 50% reduction in emissions over the next 50 years is needed to reverse the warming trend. We are currently not on track to meet emission reduction guidelines set in the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio. Yet the Rio commitments are not enough to halt global warming.
39. 1996, U.S. URGES BINDING ACCORD ON GLOBAL WARMING
As an endorsement of the IPCC report the Clinton administration is urging 150 nations meeting in Geneva to agree to binding cuts on greenhouse gas emissions to control global warming as long as the targets are moderate and achievable; although many feel that Clinton is playing politics with global warming in an effort to garner the green vote. Ratification of binding reductions in the Republican controlled Congress is unlikely.
40. 1997, THE BBC MAKES THE CASE FOR THE KYOTO PROTOCOL
Twenty years of hard data from meteorological stations and nature show a clear warming trend. Growth rings in Mongolian and Canadian trees are getting wider. Butterflies in California are moving to higher ground once too cold for butterflies. Stalactites in Britain are growing faster. The growing season for crops in Australia is getting longer. Permafrost in Siberia and Canada is melting. The evidence is there anywhere you look. A warming rate is one 1C per century is enough to wreak havoc. The cause is the greenhouse effect of CO2 emissions from fossil fuels as well as CFCs and HCFCs that trap heat. The effect is being compounded as deforestation simultaneously removes trees that absorb CO2. Some scientists are skeptical but the majority view is that the greenhouse effect is real and it requires urgent action. This conclusion rests on the results from sophisticated computer simulation models that give the best possible information on this topic even though they are not perfect. These models are giving us scary accounts of the future and we should be paying attention. The IPCC tell us that melting ice and thermal expansion of oceans will cause the sea level to rise one meter by 2037 and inundate low lying areas and island nations. Extreme weather events will become common. El Nino and La Nina cycles will become more extreme. There will be millions of climate refugees driven from their home by global warming. Some regions of the world will become hotter, others colder, some wetter, others drier. Entire weather systems will be dramatically altered. The Gulf Stream will switch off making Europe colder. Tropical diseases such as malaria will ravage the world as vectors migrate to higher latitudes and altitudes. Some wheat farmers may be able to grow more wheat but the net effect of global warming is overwhelmingly negative.
41. 1997, THE ROAD TO KYOTO
In the Earth Summit of 1992 developed nations promised to hold their year 2000 greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels but they have not acted because of the perceived economic impact of cutting emissions. Forecasts show that CO2 emissions in 2000 will be 14% above 1990 levels. Research in the USA and Australia show that reduced emissions will mean reduced living standards while those in Europe indicate emission reduction will actually have a positive effect on the economy. The industrial lobby is stronger in the USA and it is opposed to emission reduction. The Earth Summit agreement has no teeth because it cannot be enforced. The upcoming meeting in Kyoto in December is expected to address these deficiencies with legally binding cuts in greenhouse gas on a timetable.
42. 1997, U.S. STANCE ON GLOBAL WARMING OFFERS COLD COMFORT
(LA Times) The USA is out of sync with the rest of the world in the crucial ecological issue of global warming. President Clinton’s statement was met with disdain in Bonn where 150 nations are meeting to control global warming. The U.S. is seen as an environmental pariah in this meeting.
43. 1997, WORLD VIEWS ON GLOBAL WARMING (LA TIMES)
Entire nations among the Pacific islands vanish beneath the waves, coastal communities in the USA from North Carolina to the Texas Gulf wash out to sea, wild swings in precipitation first bring drought and then torrential rains and floods, coastal mudslides in California become routine, and maple trees of the North die out as dengue fever and mosquito borne encephalitis move in. In December delegates from 167 nations will go to Kyoto to write a binding treaty among nations to fight against carbon dioxide emissions and save the planet. There are serious implications for humanity if actions to curb global warming come too slowly.
44. 1997, THE MYTHS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING
(Chicago Tribune, climate denier?) The Union of Concerned Scientists, President Clinton, and VP Gore have repeatedly stated that “the threat of global warming is real and it is already here”. Yet, the IPCC has admitted that none of their computer models of climate has been validated by the record. Man made emissions of carbon dioxide are so small compared to natural emissions that they could not possibly cause climate change.
45. 1997, NATIONS DIVIDED ON HOW MUCH TO CUT EMISSIONS AND BY WHEN
A global warming summit of 150 nations opened in Kyoto Monday. Its agenda is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are causing potentially catastrophic increase of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere. The summit is dogged by contentious economic, political, and scientific questions. “People are still very cautious about acting on climate change because they count the economic costs but not the benefits”.
46. 1997, WRANGLING CONTINUES OVER GLOBAL WARMING TREATY
(CNN) Climate delegates in Kyoto are working overtime to forge a treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gas emission reduction targets of 6%-8% below 1990 levels by 2008 have been set for 34 industrialized nations. None has been set for developing countries. Contentious issues remain. They include the twin American proposals to allow the industrialized nations to achieve their reduction target by buying carbon credits and offsets from developing countries; and the imposition of binding emission cuts on four non-industrialized countries, namely, China, India, Brazil, and Mexico to prevent these emerging economies from gaining from unfair competition. U.S. ratification is not likely without these provisions.
47. 1997, SCIENTISTS WARN KYOTO DELEGATES
“Without reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, scientists warn that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could double in the next century, warming the atmosphere and triggering an environmental chain reaction that could raise sea levels, change ocean currents and intensify damage from storms, droughts and the spread of tropical diseases” (CNN).
48. 1998, WEATHER TREND IS PROOF OF GLOBAL WARMING
Last year was the hottest year on record and this decade has already produced 9 of the 11 hottest years of the century. The data show that man made greenhouse gases are causing a potentially disastrous warming of the earth. These data should help Pres. Clinton as he seeks Senate approval for the Kyoto Treaty. That there is a human component in the rising temperature is becoming clearer with each year’s measurements and the likelihood that the rising temperature is a natural phenomenon is becoming increasingly remote. For the last three years the data have pointed in the direction of man made global warming.
49. 1998, U.S. SIGNS INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL WARMING TREATY
Delegates in Kyoto hammered out a treaty that sets 2000 as the deadline for creating a a global mechanism to police emissions reductions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming and to hold failing nations accountable. The treaty allows industrialized nations to meet emission reduction targets by trading emission credits or funding clean air projects in poor nations. In the USA there is stiff opposition from Senate opponents who demand similar emission reduction by developing countries.
50. 1998, IT’S OUR MOVE ON GLOBAL WARMING
The debate on global warming started with the scientific question about whether the problem was real and evolved into an economic and political debate between developed and developing countries on who should act to reduce emissions. At the global warming conference in Buenos Aires this weekend the USA signed on to the Kyoto Accord but there is stiff opposition to ratification in the Senate without an equal commitment by developing nations.
51. 1998, NEW DATA SHARPEN GLOBAL WARMING DEBATE
Satellite measurements of temperatures of the lower troposphere show a cooling trend from 1979 to 1995 contradicting the warming trend in ground based temperatures. However, this discrepancy can be offset by revising the satellite measurements with the “falling satellite effect”. As the satellite slows and drops the instrument perceives the same temperature as cooler. The amount of this revision is in dispute. It could be insignificant or it could be enough to make the apparent cooling trend into a warming trend again. NASA scientist James Hansen says that the perceived cooling is just an artifact of the falling satellite phenomenon and not real but John Christy of the University of Alabama Huntsville says that the corrected satellite data do not show warming.
52. 1998, WORLD DEBATES GLOBAL WARMING
Climate scientists in the Hadley Center on Climate Change have issued a report on global warming timed to coincide with the meeting in Buenos Aires where delegates from 180 nations are meeting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The findings of the report based on a computer model for the case with no emission reductions are as follows: 1998 will be UK’s hottest year since 1106, “the warmest year of the millennium”; sometime between 2041 and 2070 we will see a sharp rise in sick, hungry, and thirsty people; by 2048 the world’s forests will become so degraded that they will change from net CO2 sinks to net CO2 producers further accelerating global warming; human greenhouse gas emissions have contributed substantially to global warming over the past half century; the climate model is validated by its ability to reconstruct the last 150 years of climate conditions; the 1997-1998 ElNino is the most extreme on record; in the next 100 years global temperatures will rise by 6C – the most extreme in the last 10,000 years. The Amazon forest will die out and rot releasing carbon dioxide. Tropical grasslands will be transformed into deserts. For the first half of the 21st century, vegetation will absorb CO2 at a rate of about 2-3 GtC per year while human emissions of CO2 are about 7GtC a year. From 2050 onwards, vegetation dying under the impact of climate change will itself add about 2GtC a year to greenhouse emissions, further intensifying global warming. Global warming will accelerat due to “positive feedback” – a way by which the global warming we have caused will itself cause further global warming. More than 170 million people will suffer from water shortage. Crop yields will increase in areas like Canada and Europe, but nearer the equator they will shrink. Some 18% more of Africa’s people will be at risk of hunger simply because of climate change. Sea levels will rise by 21 cm inundating 20 million people. Malaria infection will increase, and spread to areas where it is not currently seen. The overwhelming consensus of scientific opinion is that climate change is real, and that we are playing the chief part in causing it. The report confirms previous findings of the panel of scientists at the IPCC, “the world’s most authoritative group of climatologists”.

RESPONSE TO CLAIM#1: The corresponding amount for AGW climate change research from government research funds alone is estimated by the University of Sussex and the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs as $1.64 billion per year or more than 8 times the claimed oil industry funding for climate denial. Additional funds for AGW change from private sources are estimated by Jacob Nordangard [LINK] to exceed the amount claimed to flow from oil companies to climate denialism. These data do not suggest that AGW climate change science is at a disadvantage against climate denialism because of funding of denialism by oil companies. CLAIM#2: Recent polls suggested over 75% of Americans think humans are causing climate change. There also seems to be a renewed optimism that we can deal with the crisis. School climate strikes, Extinction Rebellion protests, national governments declaring a climate emergency, improved media coverage of climate change and an increasing number of extreme weather events have all contributed to this shift. These positive developments have driven climate deniers to desperate measures of “Climate Sadism”. Climate Sadism is used to mock young people going on climate protests and to ridicule Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old young woman with Asperger’s, who is simply telling the scientific truth. RESPONSE TO CLAIM#2: If Climate Sadism mocking of young people deployed in climate activism is a bad thing for which we must feel sorry for the plight of these young people, we should surely demand that deniers must stop the mocking and more importantly we must demand that climate activists must cease and desist from this kind of child abuse and child exploitation that places children at risk of Climate Sadism. Children should be allowed to have a childhood and a normal school education and not burdened with climate change issues or scared with climate change holocaust scenarios. It is also noted that the use of extreme weather as reason to oppose climate denialism requires empirical evidence for the attribution of those events to AGW climate change The Bizarre-Culture article says that there are five types of climate denial described as (1) Science Denial, (2) Economic Denial, (3) Humanitarian Denial , (4) Political Denial, and (5) Crisis Denial. We now discuss each of these in turn as a series of five distinct claims. CLAIM#3: Science Denial: In Science Denial, deniers say that the science of climate change is not settled, that climate change is just part of the natural cycle, that climate models are unreliable and too sensitive to carbon dioxide. Some suggest that CO₂ is too small a part of the atmosphere to have a large warming effect or that climate scientists are fixing the data to show the climate is changing (a global conspiracy that would take thousands of scientists in more than a 100 countries to pull off)All these arguments are false because there is a clear consensus among scientists about the causes of climate change. The climate models that predict global temperature rises have remained very similar over the last 30 years despite the huge increase in complexity, showing it is a robust outcome of the science. RESPONSE TO CLAIM#3: The history of science has progressed through a process of propositions and interpretations of data, their critical evaluation, active and even acrimonious debate, and the resolution of differences by the exchange of ideas and data as seen for example in the resolution of the theory of relativistic gravity described in Nugayev 2014 {Origin and Resolution of the Modern Theory of Gravity, January 1987 Methodology and Science 2014):177-197} where we find deniers of the initial theory of relativistic gravitation challenging the theory and the interpretation of data followed by resolution of the differences with an active exchange of ideas and without any party claiming to God given truth by virtue of their status as scientist. Contentious issues in climate science – as for example the spurious correlation problem [LINK] , should be debated and ideas exchanged until a resolution is found without the need for either side of the debate to claim a unique and singular access to truth by virtue of their description as scientist. CLAIM#4: In Economic Denial, deniers propose that climate action is not cost effective although economists say we could fix climate change now by spending 1% of world GDP. But if we don’t act now, by 2050 it could cost over 20% of world GDP. We should also remember that in 2018 the world generated GDP of$86 trillion and every year World GDP grows by 3.5%. So setting aside just 1% to deal with climate change would make little overall difference and would save the world a huge amount of money. What the climate change deniers also forget to tell you is that they are protecting a fossil fuel industry that receives US$5.2 trillion in annual subsidies which includes subsidised supply costs, tax breaks and environmental costs. This amounts to 6% of world GDP. The International Monetary Fund estimates that efficient fossil fuel pricing would lower global carbon emissions by 28%, fossil fuel air pollution deaths by 46%, and increase government revenue by 3.8% of the country’s GDP. RESPONSE TO CLAIM#4: A sense of Ad hominem runs through this series of claims. Here, individuals whose profession is described as “economist” are considered infallible sources of economic and financial information such that their estimate of the cost of climate action must not be questioned. The reality is very different. In a related post it is described how the 2008 financial crisis in the USA was repeatedly and comically misdiagnosed by economists and their “economic action” programs to resolve the problem such as “Quantitative Easing” and “TARP” had actually made it worse [LINK] . As in the case of climate science described above what is relevant in these disputes is the evaluation of the arguments presented by the two sides and not their professional titles. CLAIM#5: In Humanitarian denial Climate change deniers also argue that climate change is good for us. They suggest longer, warmer summers in the temperate zone will make farming more productive. These gains, however, are often offset by the drier summers and increased frequency of heatwaves in those same areas. For example, the 2010 “Moscow” heatwave killed 11,000 people, devastated the Russian wheat harvest and increased global food prices. Geographical zones of the world. More than 40% of the world’s population lives in the Tropics where from both a human health prospective and an increase in desertification no one wants summer temperatures to rise. Deniers also point out that plants need atmospheric carbon dioxide to grow so having more of it acts like a fertilizer. This is indeed true and the land biosphere has been absorbing about a quarter of our carbon dioxide pollution every year. Another quarter of our emissions is absorbed by the oceans. But losing massive areas of natural vegetation through deforestation and changes in land use completely nullifies this minor fertilization effect. Climate change deniers will tell you that more people die of the cold than heat, so warmer winters will be a good thing. This is deeply misleading. Vulnerable people die of the cold because of poor housing and not being able to afford to heat their homes. Society, not climate, kills them. This argument is also factually incorrect. In the US, for example, heat-related deaths are four times higher than cold-related ones. This may even be an underestimate as many heat-related deaths are recorded by cause of death such as heart failure, stroke, or respiratory failure, all of which are exacerbated by excessive heat. RESPONSE TO CLAIM#5: Here the authors make some good points about certain questionable and pointless denialist claims that are common – as for example that higher atmospheric CO2 causes greening and increases agricultural yield and so therefore AGW must be a good thing. A similar argument is that hotter is better than colder because more people die of cold than of heat. CLAIM#6 Political denial: Climate change deniers argue we cannot take action because other countries are not taking action. But not all countries are equally guilty of causing current climate change. For example, 25% of the human-produced CO₂ in the atmosphere is generated by the US, another 22% is produced by the EU. Africa produces just under 5%. Given the historic legacy of greenhouse gas pollution, developed countries have an ethical responsibility to lead the way in cutting emissions. But ultimately, all countries need to act because if we want to minimise the effects of climate change then the world must go carbon zero by 2050. Per capita annual carbon dioxide emissions and cumulative country emissions. Deniers will also tell you that there are problems to fix closer to home without bothering with global issues. But many of the solutions to climate change are win-win and will improve the lives of normal people. Switching to renewable energy and electric vehicles, for example, reduces air pollution, which improves people’s overall health. Developing a green economy provides economic benefits and creates jobs. Improving the environment and reforestation provides protection from extreme weather events and can in turn improve food and water security. RESPONSE TO CLAIM#6: Climate change deniers argue we cannot take action because other countries are not taking action. This is of course a weak denialist argument because where all must act to achieve a certain goal there is no room for the discussion of who must act. However, it must be said that this ideal has already been undone by the United Nations which in both the Kyoto Protocol and the UNFCCC segregated the world’s nations into Annex-1, Annex-2, and non-Annex countries with different emission reduction obligations such that non-Annex countries have no emission reduction obligation and when they do cut emissions they can sell that emission reduction in the dysfunctional carbon credits market described in a related post [LINK] . CLAIM #7 CRISIS DENIAL: The final piece of climate change denial is the argument that we should not rush into changing things, especially given the uncertainty raised by the other four areas of denial above. Deniers argue that climate change is not as bad as scientists make out. We will be much richer in the future and better able to fix climate change. They also play on our emotions as many of us don’t like change and can feel we are living in the best of times – especially if we are richer or in power. But similarly, hollow arguments were used in the past to delay ending slavery, granting the vote to women, ending colonial rule, ending segregation, decriminalising homosexuality, bolstering worker’s rights and environmental regulations, allowing same-sex marriages and banning smoking. The fundamental question is why are we allowing the people with the most privilege and power to convince us to delay saving our planet from climate change? RESPONSE TO CLAIM#7: The denialist arguments claimed in this section do not sound well thought out and I am not familiar with them as I have not seen them before. As a postscript, I should add that if the author of these claims against denialism is Mark Maslin, whose name appears at the bottom of the linked document above, it should be emphasized that Mark’s work and opinions in AGW climate change can’t be assumed to be unbiased scientific inquiry. In a related post his emotional activism against human activity is described by Mark himself in terms of the Anthropocene [LINK], a concept derived from an extreme and irrational form of environmental activism [LINK] . SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS: JUST BECAUSE THERE ARE BAD ARGUMENTS AGAINST AGW CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE DOES NOT MEAN THERE AREN’T ANY GOOD ONES. WHAT IS CLAIMED TO BE FIVE DIFFERENT KINDS OF CLIMATE DENIERS ARE IN REALITY ONE TYPE OF CLIMATE DENIALIST BUT WITH FIVE DIFFERENT ARGUMENTS AGAINST AGW CLIMATE CHANGE. HOWEVER, IN REALITY, CLIMATE DENIERS ARE NOT A HOMOGENEOUS GROUP THAT CAN BE DESCRIBED IN TERMS OF CERTAIN CHARACTERISTICS, ARGUMENT TYPES, MOTIVATION, OR PURPOSE. THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF DENIALISTS MORE DIVERSE THAN THE FIVE TYPES LISTED THAT SEEM TO HAVE BEEN TAKEN FROM THE SAME MOLD. THERE SURELY ARE THOSE WHO HAVE MADE THE WEAK ARGUMENTS HIGHLIGHTED IN THE BIZARRECULTURE ARTICLE. SOME ADDITIONAL WEAK ARGUMENTS PUT FORTH BY THAT GROUP OF DENIALISTS THAT ARE NOT FOUND IN THE BIZARRECULTURE ARTICLE ARE LISTED IN RELATED POSTS ON THIS SITE [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] . THE EXISTENCE OF THIS GROUP OF DENIALISTS DOES NOT IMPLY THAT THERE ARE NOT CRITICAL EVALUATIONS OF CLIMATE SCIENCE THAT REQUIRE CONSIDERATION AND RESPONSE. THERE ARE SERIOUS ISSUES IN CLIMATE SCIENCE THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED AND THEY CANNOT BE RESOLVED BY SEEKING OUT WEAKER ARGUMENTS OF CLIMATE DENIALISM THAT CAN BE DISCOUNTED. AS AN EXAMPLE, CONSIDER THE REMAINING CARBON BUDGET ISSUE IN CLIMATE SCIENCE [LINK] . A SERIOUS ISSUE IN CLIMATE SCIENCE IS THAT ACTIVISM BY CLIMATE SCIENTISTS MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO TAKE THEIR FINDINGS AS A PRODUCT OF UNBIASED SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY BECAUSE IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR A RESEARCHER TO CARRY OUT UNBIASED SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY ON A RESEARCH QUESTION IN WHICH THE RESEARCHER HAS AN ACTIVISM INTEREST THAT FAVORS SOME ANSWERS OVER OTHERS [LINK] . EMOTIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM BY CLIMATE SCIENTISTS IS APPARENT IN THIS VIDEO. ### The 2008 Financial Crisis Explained Posted on: February 21, 2020 [LINK TO THE HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE] THIS POST IS AN (EDITED) TRANSCRIPT OF THE TED TALK BY BRIAN WESBURY ON THE 2008 FINANCIAL CRISIS BLOGGER’S SUMMARY The 2008 financial crisis caused a complete meltdown of the American economy that showed no positive response to the intervention by the Federal Reserve and the government in general with regulatory innovations. It turned out that the financial crisis and economic collapse of 2007/2008 was a replay of similar events in 1929/1930. Both of these crises were the result of the mark to market accounting rule. In both cases, the government’s effort to solve the problem with regulatory intervention failed and possibly worsened the crisis – and in both cases, simply rescinding the mark-to-market rule (by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1938 and by Barney Frank on April 2, 2009) brought about a recovery from the crisis and healthy economic growth immediately followed. The lesson is that free market systems are not operated by the government but by innovators and risk taking investors in new ideas and the financial system that funds these ventures. The government’s job is not to operate the economy but to provide the right kind of regulatory infrastructure where innovators and investors can thrive. Brian S. Wesbury is an American economist focusing on macroeconomics and economic forecasting. He is the economics editor and a monthly contributor for The American Spectator, in addition to appearing on television stations such as CNBC, Fox Business, Fox News, and Bloomberg TV frequently. Born: September 8, 1958 in the United States. Education: Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Rock Bridge High School, University of Montana. (Source: Wikipedia) BRIAN WESBURY’S LECTURE 1. How most people view the financial system: “The free market system of capitalism is a domain of the greedy rich and particularly so, the bankers. Their greed drives them to go through periods of excess speculation that causes a collapse of the financial system. The financial crisis thus created then causes an economic crisis that affects the entire population including workers, investors, and small business – seen as victims of greedy rich speculators in financial markets. As for example, the Great Depression is described in this way in textbooks and in the popular press. This conceptual model of the financial system also forms the basis of the way the 2008 Financial Crisis has been presented the way most people understand it. 2. How the financial system actually works: A key element of the financial system is the Federal Reserve Bank (The FED) because it controls short term interest rates through the Fed funds rate. As it had done in the 2008 financial crisis, the Fed drops interest rates, to zero if necessary, to stimulate the economy in crisis situations – trying to get the economy moving again. 3. Here is a financial history from 2001 that is relevant to the 2008 crisis in light of the elements of the financial system described above. In 2001, when the Fed funds rate was 6.5%, the Fed began dropping the short term interest rate lower and lower until it had reached 1% in 2004. How does the Fed funds rate affect us? When you are making a decision to take out a loan or buy a house, the most important variable in that decision is the interest rate. 4. When Alan Greenspan had pushed interest rates down to 1% in 2003 and 2004, interest rates were below the rate of inflation for almost 3 years. So if you are shopping for a house with a mortgage rate proportional to the Fed funds rate, the lower the interest rate the more money you will spend – particularly so if the interest rate is below the inflation rate. Here is an analogy. When you drive up to a green light you don’t stop or look both ways to make sure it is safe. In that way, low interest rates are like a green light to spend and buy with little or no motivation to save and invest. This effect of low interest rates distorts not just the purchase habits of consumers but the financial system as a whole by changing the financial decisions of bankers investors, and business corporations of all descriptions. With interest rates at 1%, all the lights are green and that changes decision making across the entire spectrum of the economy. 5. Housing prices went up 8% in 2001 but in 2004 and 2005 they went up 14% and 15% respectively. Low interest rate drives up housing prices and prices of non consumer goods in general. Thus, at low mortgage rates and high price appreciation rates of home prices, buying houses becomes an attractive option whether for a home or as an investment. The result was consumers and businesses over-invested in real estate and other investments in real assets with low interest loans and high rate of price appreciation. 6. These conditions of course encouraged banks to give out more loans at higher and higher loan to asset ratio and raise their risk level. This is what had created the housing bubble that preceded the 2008 financial crisis. If interest rates were higher – even 2 or 4 percentage points higher, the housing bubble would likely not have formed the way it did. 7. This is not the first time that interest rates that are too low created an unstable economy. Back in the 1970s, the Fed had also held interest rates too low for too long. Farmers bought too much land, we sank too many oil wells betting on oil prices going up with cheap debt. Then in the 1980s when oil prices and farmland prices collapsed, banks also collapsed. In fact the entire savings and loan industry also collapsed. Although this crisis is remembered as the savings and loan collapse, it was in fact an economic crisis across the board that had affected the savings and loan industry most severely. They made too many loans at low interest rates and and when interest rates went up the market value of those loans shrank and they collapsed. 8. At the same time, the government encouraged the big banks to make large loans to Latin American countries. So, in the 1970s the banks expanded making loans to farmers, home buyers, oil companies, and to Latin American countries – and all of those sectors of the economy collapsed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The banking system was in big trouble. In 1983 the eight biggest banks in America had no capital because the very large loans made to Latin America were in default. 9. The 1980s crisis contains insights and lessons that are relevant and useful in understanding the 2008 financial crisis the most salient of which is that the banking problems of the 1980s did not take down the entire economy but the 2008 financial crisis did take down the entire economy. The question is why this difference exists between these two otherwise similar financial crises. 10. Below is a chart showing the collapse of the S&P500 index from January 2008 to March 2009. The S&P500 index tracks the stock prices of the 500 largest listed companies in the USA. The transcripts of all the Federal Reserve meetings in 2008, that recently became available to the public, contain useful insights into the causes and evolution of the 2008 financial crisis. The red dots in the chart below mark dates of the 14 Federal reserved meetings during 2008 and 2009. In these meetings there are 18 or 20 people sitting around a table and each of them talk for 3 or 4 minutes. The transcript is a record of what was said. Proposed actions to be taken are voted on and these propositions and the votes are also recorded in the transcript. The transcripts of the 14 meetings are 1,865 pages long. 11. The chart above shows that the steepest decline in the S&P500 index in the 2008 financial crisis occurred during September and October of 2008. In the so called called “bloody weekend” of the 2008 financial crisis, September 13&14, Lehman Brothers had failed, and AIG, and Fannie Mac and Freddie Mac, and all those things had happened, and he Federal Reserve started a program called “Quantitative Easing” (QE) meaning that the Fed will buy back their bonds as a way of injecting cash into the system (increasing the money supply) in an attempt to save the economy from complete collapse. A few weeks later in October 8, 2008 Hank Paulson the Treasury Secretary in concert with the Bush white house and Congress passed TARP , the Troubled Assets Relief Plan that involved$700 billion of government spending to save the banking system.
12. Note in the chart above that QE and TARP were passed during the near vertical decline of the S&P500 and they did nothing to stop it. In fact, the 2008 financial crisis escalated after TARP. The stock market lost 40% of its market value with financial companies losing 80%. The chart appears to indicate that the more the Feds met and the more the government took action to ease the crisis, the worse it got.  The government did not save us. It is wrong to think of the government as the architect and manager of the financial system.
13. The free market of capitalism does not have a press agent but the government does, and the Federal Reserve does. Market forces are invisible but their agents aren’t. There are two thousand books about the financial crisis. The three main ones are:  (1) Geithner, Timothy F. Stress test: Reflections on financial crises. Broadway Books, 2014, (Geithner was head of the New York Federal Reserve Bank in 2008); (2) Bernanke, Ben S. The Federal Reserve and the financial crisis. Princeton University Press, 2013,  (3) Paulson, Henry M. On the Brink: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial System–With Original New Material on the Five Year Anniversary of the Financial Crisis. Business Plus, 2013. In all such books, speeches, and media commentaries these government agents credit government interventions such as TARP and QE as what Geithner calls “stress tests” (as for example, stress testing banks so that people will trust them again because they passed the test).
14. The underlying question is how a banking crisis turned into an economic crisis that caused the collapse of the world’s largest free market system. The data show that in the late 1970s and early 1980s banks suffered more financial losses than they did later in 2008 and yet the economy had not collapsed back then and in fact it had actually started to grow without government interventions like TARP and without QE. In fact, in the early 1980s, Paul Volcker was raising interest rates as the economy recovered; whereas in TARP & QE the government cut the interest rate essentially to zero and the economy has grown relatively slowly – slower than in the early 1980s. {Footnote: In the Fed transcripts we find that Ben Bernanke had asked his staff of 200 PhD economists to “Go out and find out how big the problem is and how many sub-prime loans were made, how many losses we could face“. This research estimated that the loss could be as high as $228 billion. This loss estimate is only 1.52% of a$15 trillion economy
15. Therefore, the question here is how this relatively small problem brought the $15 trillion economy down into an economic crisis. The answer to this question is the accounting innovation called MARK TO MARKET ACCOUNTING. It was re-adopted and enforced in November 2007 after the concept had sat in the accounting books without enforcement since 1938. 16. This accounting rule is best understood in the historical context. In the 1800s accountants were yet not elevated to a professional category and were called bookkeepers and bookkeepers of that time did in fact mark all valuation to market instead of computing inflation adjusted historical cost. So as assets went up in value, the bookkeepers marked them up in the books. So in good times things look better but then when you start marking things down to market they look worse. This is surely one of the reasons why the economy in those times was so volatile with panics and depressions alternating with good times. In other words, mark-to-market accounting causes economic and financial volatility. In fact in the crash of the 1930s, mark to market accounting caused many bank failures. It was then that mark to market accounting was considered to be a bad law by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the SEC advised President Franklin D Roosevelt to abolish mark to market. Roosevelt complied and Mark-to Market was abolished in 1938. And it did not come back until 70 years later in 1970. 17. What does mark-to-market do? How does it affect financial and economic volatility? Suppose that you live on the coast in Galveston TX and you have a$500,000 house on the beach with a $300,000 mortgage; and there is a hurricane on the way and you are told to evacuate. So you pack up all your most important belongings and as you are leaving, your mortgage banker shows up and worried about their loan of$300,000 because of the risk that the asset on which it is based may be worthless after the hurricane hits. If they choose at that point to mark to house to market. The problem is that in the hurricane crisis situation there is no one around to bid on the house so that its market value can be determined. Let us suppose that a random stranger is summoned and asked for a bid and they bid $20,000. That then is the best estimate of the market value of the house at that precise moment in time. In that situation mark to market accounting would imply that the homeowner should pay the balance in cash ($280,000) or lose the house. Essentially, the homeowner is bankrupt. This is what mark to market accounting can do although the example is somewhat theatrical.
18. It is in this context that we can understand what happened in 2008 after mark-to-market accounting was reinstated in 2007. What happens in bad times with mark-to-market accounting is that banks can’t sell assets and they won’t buy assets and what happens as a result is that their losses spiral out of control. And this is how a $300 billion banking problem blew up into a$4 trillion economic collapse.
19. The amazing thing is what happened right at the bottom when the SP500 indexed had bottomed out on March 9 2009. Something changed the world on that day. It involved Congressman Barney Frank, now retired. His financial services committee actually held for a year and he brought the accountants in and argued against mark-to-market – and this is how mark-to-market was removed once again. They announced that the hearing would be held on March 9. The hearing was held on March 12; and the accounting rule was changed on April 2 and mark-to-market was removed from the accounting rules once again.
20. It was then that the both the stock market and the economy reversed their slide and began to grow. From that point on, the economy has grown. The stock market is up 200% (in 2014) Thank you Barney Frank.
21. We conclude from the data and analysis presented that the 2008 financial crisis was not a creation of over-speculation that may in fact have been triggered by the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policy in the first place – and it was the change in the accounting rule that brought about the recovery of the economy from the depths of the 2008 financial crisis.
22. It is a generally held belief that the government has brought about the recovery with the Quantitative Easing policy of the Fed and the TARP initiative of the Obama administration. The role and effectiveness  of the Fed can best be understood in terms of their activity which involves either buying or selling government bonds. When they buy bonds they inject cash into the banking system which in turn increases lending. But in the last 5 years (2009-2014) that did not happen. Instead, the banks just sat on the excess reserves. The economic growth seen in the economy today (2014) is driven by entrepreneurship.
23. Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen never stayed up all night drinking Red Bull, eating pizza, and writing Apps. They’ve never fracked a well, they never built a 3D printer. So when you look at the economy and try to understand its behavior, you must see it in terms of free market capitalism and that if the free market actually works we will see economic growth and prosperity. The appropriate role of the government is to provide the appropriate legal and regulatory infrastructure, for example for interest rates, where the free market can function at its best. The people are the actors and drivers of the free market system with the conventional wisdom and motivation needed for their primary role in capitalism. They are not puppets that move when the government pulls the string. Although the free market system needs to be regulated, regulation can be flawed or overdone when governments misread their role in a free market system where wealth creators can create wealth by “staying up all night drinking Red Bull, eating pizza, and writing Apps” when the government provides the optimal regulatory regime for the free market system.
24. The conventional wisdom that the 2008 financial crisis was brought about by banking failure because the bankers lost control is wrong. It was the government that lost control or misread its ability to control economy with more and more  regulation. In this case it was a case of regulation gone wrong with a flaw in the accounting rules and the government’s efforts to overcome that flaw with more and more regulatory interference with the free market system. In this case it turned out that not more and more government regulation but simply changing a flawed accounting rule fixed the economy.

### NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Posted on: February 20, 2020

THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF A NASA YOUTUBE VIDEO [LINK] DESCRIBED AS “NASA’s Research on Climate Change Above and Beyond” WHERE WE EXPECT TO FIND THE CLIMATE CHANGE ROLE OF AN AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION. THE YOUTUBE LECTURE IS TRANSCRIBED AND PRESENTED AS A SERIES OF “CLAIMS” FOR EACH OF WHICH WE OFFER A RESPONSE.

CLAIM#1: NASA has unique capabilities because we have the point of view from space. With NASA’s carbon monitoring system you can see the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere decreasing in the spring and the summer. Plants and the oceans and the land surface are greening up and pulling the carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. And then in the fall and in the wintertime you’ll see the CO2 in the atmosphere increasing because plants and animals are releasing the carbon dioxide that was captured during the growing season.

RESPONSE TO CLAIM#1:  The seasonal cycle in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is well known and has been well known for some time simply from Mauna Loa data as explained in a related post [LINK]  and as shown in the video display below. The red and yellow video displays created by a space exploration agency with a $20 billion annual budget are surely more colorful and more entertaining but the simple video below is a clearer expression of the essential data in this seasonal cycle particularly so in terms of the magnitudes and numerical values in these cyclical changes. CLAIM#2 There is a graph called the Keeling Curve where you can see the summer and winter cycles. This process is very natural. Contrast that with old slow carbon. So this is a chunk of coal (speaker holds up a large chunk of coal). It was also made by plants. It also contains carbon dioxide that was in the atmosphere, but the carbon in this chunk of coal was taken out of the atmosphere 350 million years ago. And since the Industrial Revolution, we’ve been taking it out of the ground and using it for fuel. The burning of fossil fuel, whether it is coal, oil, or natural gas, has released this very very old carbon back into the atmosphere a lot faster than the plants and the oceans can take it out of the atmosphere. Bit by bit it is moving the Keeling Curve up. 1989 was the last time we saw atmospheric CO2 below 350 ppm. And it appears that 2016 will be the last time we see CO2 below 400 ppm. RESPONSE-A TO CLAIM#2: The NASA animated graphics showing the Keeling curve from 1979 to 2014 is very impressive and certainly useful in evaluating this system in terms of fossil fuel emissions. However, it is not clear that we need a$200 billion dollar space exploration agency to provide us with this kind of information when the same information is readily available from the University of California, San Diego (or from one of many such research institutions) in formats that are just as useful if not more so. The Keeling curve made freely available by the Scripps Institution, where the late great Charles David Keeling had worked, is shown below. There is nothing lacking in this chart in terms of information or useful presentation of information that suggests the need for technical assistance from a space exploration agency .

RESPONSE-B TO CLAIM#2:  This is a response to the statement that the carbon in this chunk of coal was taken out of the atmosphere 350 million years ago. And since the Industrial Revolution, we’ve been taking it out of the ground and using it for fuel. The burning of fossil fuel, whether it is coal, oil, or natural gas, has released this very very old carbon back into the atmosphere a lot faster than the plants and the oceans can take it out of the atmosphere. Bit by bit it is moving the Keeling Curve up“.

This argument is the the essence and the foundation of the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming and Climate Change. It claims that since the carbon in fossil fuels is not part of the current account of the carbon cycle and therefore external to the carbon cycle, its introduction into the atmosphere is a perturbation of the carbon cycle such that the extra and external carbon from fossil fuels causes atmospheric CO2 concentration to rise as seen in the Keeling Curve 1979-2014 presented by NASA and 1960 to 2015 presented by Scripps. The evidence presented for this causation hypothesis is that atmospheric CO2 concentration has been going up during a time when the industrial economy was burning fossil fuels. In terms of the principles of statistics, this argument does not provide evidence of causation. Tyler Vigen’s collection of spurious correlations sheds some light on this issue [LINK] .

Correlation between time series data arises from two different sources. These are (1) shared trends and (2) the responsiveness of the object time series to the causation time series at the time scale at which the causation is supposed to occur. Only the second source of correlation has a causation interpretation. The first source, shared trends, is what creates all those spurious correlations demonstrated by Tyler Vigen. Therefore, to show that atmospheric CO2 concentration is responsive to fossil fuel emissions, we must first remove their trends. And if the causation occurs at an annual time scale, that is if year to year changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration is explained by annual fossil fuel emissions, then the detrended correlation between the two detrended series will show a statistically significant correlation at an annual time scale. Only this detrended correlation and not the observation that atmospheric CO2 concentration has been rising during a time of fossil fuel emissions, serves as evidence of causation, i.e., that fossil fuel emissions cause atmospheric CO2 concentration to rise at an annual time scale. Detrended correlation analyses of this nature are presented in related posts on this site. No evidence is found that the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration during a time of fossil fuel emissions are caused by fossil fuel emissions  [LINK] .

A further investigation of the effect of fossil fuel emissions on atmospheric composition is presented in terms of the the carbon cycle. Carbon cycle flows are an order of magnitude larger than fossil fuel emissions. These flows are not directly measured but inferred and they therefore contain very large uncertainties. Although these uncertainties are declared, they are ignored when carrying out the mass balance that shows  what’s called the “airborne fraction” of fossil fuel emissions, that is the portion of fossil fuel emissions that is thought to remain in the atmosphere and thereby explain the observed rise in atmospheric CO2 driven by fossil fuel emissions. However, this computation is flawed because it does not include the uncertainties declared by climate science to exist in the estimation of carbon cycle flows. In a related post it is shown that when the uncertainties in carbon cycle flows declared by the IPCC are taken into account, it is not possible to detect the much smaller fossil fuel emissions because the carbon cycle balances with and without fossil fuel emissions. [LINK] . The carbon cycle mass balance and the detrended correlation analyses taken together show that no evidence exists to attribute observed changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration to fossil fuel emissions.

It is noted that in this presentation NASA embraces the theory that AGW climate change began after the Industrial Revolution when the Industrial Economy began to burn coal but their official position is that AGW climate change began in 1950. This contradiction requires an explanation.

CLAIM #3: And what the heck is 400 parts per million? What does that even mean? Well, we know from the analysis of ice samples from Antarctica that before the Industrial Revolution the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was about 275 parts per million (ppm). It had been there for thousands of years. Something has increased the number from 275 to 400. We are quite certain that it is due to the human activity of burning fossil fuels.

RESPONSE TO CLAIM #3: It is claimed that the observed rise of atmospheric CO2 concentration from 275ppm to 400pppm was caused by fossil fuels. No evidence is provided to support that claim. Instead, the claim is supported by the statement that “We are quite certain that it is due to the human activity of burning fossil fuels“. Perhaps this claim is a reference to the scientific credentials of an AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION such that if scientists in such high places are “quite certain” it must be so. This claim is an Ad hominem fallacy. The implication is that if the very knowledgeable scientists at NASA are “quite certain” it must be true. This conclusion is therefore rejected because of the absence of evidence.

CLAIM #4: We take these satellite measurements, and the variation over time of how the world is changing as facts. We’ve seen warming over the last century and a half …. very very meticulous measurements … and it shows a really sharp acceleration in the warming over the last four decades.

RESPONSE TO CLAIM #4:  Presumably, the first two sentences are not related because taken together they imply the impossibility that satellite measurements have seen warming over the last century and a half. But perhaps the real message of this claim is the acceleration in warming seen by NASA with satellite measurements that they take as facts. Below are decadal warming rates for the twelve calendar months found in the global mean lower troposphere temperature measured by satellites for the four decades 1979-2018. The charts for the twelve calendar months are presented as a GIF animation that cycles through the twelve calendar months. Acceleration in the rate of warming will be evident in these charts as a rising trend in decadal warming rates. Such a rising trend is seen for the months of January, February, October, and perhaps November. No acceleration is seen in the other eight months of the year. The annual mean decadal warming rates are seen in the chart below the GIF animation. No evidence of acceleration is found in the annual mean decadal warming rate. These data are inconsistent with the claim of a “a really sharp acceleration in the warming over the last four decades“.

CLAIM#5:  People have a hard time understanding what’s the big deal for a planet that it is warmer by 1C or warmer by 2C. The impact that we are worried about is being treated not at a 20-degree warmer world but they are being treated at a one degree warmer world.

RESPONSE TO CLAIM#5: It is true that 2C is 100% higher than 1C but 21C is only 5% higher than 20C but that is not the issue. The issue is that climate science had initially marked the point of “irreversible climate change” at 5C and proposed plans to limit warming to 5C. Later that danger point of warming that must be avoided was dropped to 4C and then again to 3C and then again to 2C and finally in 2018 IPCC released a special report lowering the “do not cross” line to 1.5C – only 0.5C warmer than today. If NASA and the other climate scientists really understand this warming phenomenon well enough to demand an overhaul of the world’s energy infrastructure, this slide from 5C to 1.5C requires a rational explanation.

CLAIM#6:  Over the last decade (2007-2016) we’ve seen the ice melting. We’ve seen the melting in the ?Wo? Pole, we’ve seen the ice melt really fast on Greenland. They’ve fallen off Greenland into the ocean. We’ve had Pacific Islands that have already had to be abandoned because of sea level rise. We can combine our data with global climate models and say how is sea level rise going to change in the next 5, 10, 15 years because if we continue on the path we’re doing there’s going to be a lot of coastal communities all around the world that are going to be flooded. As scientists, we’re taking the most precise data that we can. It’s open data. It’s factual. For instance the enormous droughts and fires that we have around the world that are directly related to a warmer climate. That has a huge impact on people, was unprecedented. If you have a warmer atmosphere that can hold more moisture. That’s what warmer atmospheres do, they can suck up more moisture. That means more convection, more big thunderstorms, more hurricanes, more extreme weather. That’s one of the likely outcomes of a warming world. We built our civilization around the current planet, our coastal cities, our food resources, our water resources … they’re all pegged to the climate … and there’s not much slack in the system. We’re already seeing the impacts and the impacts are going to increase. In a 2-degree warming world there will be more. And in a 3-degree warming world there’ll be even more … and when you’re looking at those kinds of scenarios, 3, 4, 5 degrees warmer – that are totally plausible.  If we go down that path, we’ll be looking at a different planet.

RESPONSE TO CLAIM#6: Claim#6 reads like the usual alarming climate scare stories we read in the newspapers everyday and does not appear to be a scientific argument from rocket scientists. For example in the large fluctuations in Greenland ice melt from gain to loss what is the significance that there was a loss in a specific decade?  And if there are Pacific Islands that have already had to be abandoned because of sea level rise, why have those islands not been identified and the data provided? And that sea level is going to change in the next 5, 10, 15 years also requires data and their interpretation. Is the sea level going to change in 5 years or 10 years or is it 15 years? and by how much will that change and how was that change interpreted as a calamity? And statements like this “We’re already seeing the impacts and the impacts are going to increase. In a 2-degree warming world there will be more. And in a 3-degree warming world there’ll be even more … and when you’re looking at those kinds of scenarios, 3, 4, 5 degrees warmer – that are totally plausible.” contain no useful information and suggest that the speaker has none to offer.

CONCLUSION: It does not appear from this presentation that NASA has the climate science expertise it claims to have and to which it apparently aspires. In terms of their aeronautics and space expertise, their role in AGW climate change that would best serve climate science and taxpayers is their priceless technology used for collecting the relevant data from space and making that data available to both taxpayers and climate scientists. Rocket scientists should not be involved in climate action strategies any more than climate scientists should be involved space exploration strategies.

• chaamjamal: Thanks. A specific issue in climate science is correlation between time series data where spurious correlations are the creations of shared trends, s
• Jack Broughton: I remember a paper published in the 1970s by Peter Rowe of UCL in which he showed how even random numbers can be processed to seem to correlate by usi
• chaamjamal: https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/10/09/a-data-selection-bias/