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RESPONSIVENESS OF ATMOSPHERIC CO2 TO FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS

JULY 2017

ABSTRACT: An essential and critical causation relationship in climate science is that changes in atmospheric CO2 are driven by fossil fuel emissions on a year by year basis. This causation relationship implies a responsiveness of atmospheric CO2 concentration to fossil fuel emissions at an annual time scaleA testable implication of the validity of this relationship is that changes in atmospheric CO2 should be correlated with fossil fuel emissions at an annual time scale net of long term trends.A test of this relationship with insitu CO2 data from Mauna Loa 1958-2016 and flask CO2 data from twenty three stations around the world 1967-2015 is presented. The test fails to show that annual changes in atmospheric CO2 levels can be attributed to annual emissions. The finding is consistent with prior studies that found no evidence to relate the rate of warming to emissions

BACKGROUND: The essence of the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is that fossil fuel emissions cause warming by increasing atmospheric CO2 levels and that therefore the amount of warming can be attenuated by reducing fossil fuel emissions (Hansen, 1981) (Meinshausen, 2009) (Stocker, 2013) (Callendar, 1938) (Revelle, 1957) (Lacis, 2010) (Hansen, 2016) (IPCC, 2000) (IPCC, 2014). At the root of the proposed AGW causation chain is the ability of fossil fuel emissions to cause measurable changes in atmospheric CO2 levels at an annual time scale in excess of natural variability. Evidence for this relationship between emissions and atmospheric CO2 has been presented in terms of carbon dioxide flows derived from climate models (Sarmiento, 1998) (Canadell, 2007) (Bachelet, 2001) (Friedlingstein, 2006) (McGuire, 2001) (Bopp, 2002) (Chen, 2000) and also from global carbon budgets based on the assessment of “net flows”.

NET FLOWS: Net flows are differences between large uncertain flows but with the uncertainty removed by making certain assumptions. Net flows thus circumvent insurmountable measurement problems of large and uncertain gross flows with circular reasoning (Massman, 2002) (Aubinet, 2012) (Rosón, 2003) (Giering, 2014) (Smith, 2001) (Lundberg, 1996) (Peltoniemi, 2006) (Ito, 2005) (Haverd, 2013) (Shvidenko, 1996) (Dufrêne, 2005). Net flows and flow information derived from climate models are a form of circular reasoning if they subsume AGW theory in the process of providing empirical evidence for for that theory (Munshi, 2016) (Rodhe, 2000) (Edwards, 1999) and in particular if uncertainty is not given due consideration but used to facilitate convenient assumptions (Munshi, 2015a).

DATA AND METHODS: Weekly mean insitu atmospheric CO2 concentrations in parts per million measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory 1958-2016 are provided by the Scripps CO2 Program of UC San Diego (Scripps CO2 Program, 2017). Discrete flask measurements of atmospheric CO2 from 104 stations around the world are provided by the Earth System Research Laboratory of the NOAA for various sample periods within the range of 1967-2015 (ESRL, 2017). Twenty three of these stations are selected for this study using a criterion of at least 20 years of data availability. The selected stations, listed in Figure 2, provide a wide geographical distribution. They include Mauna Loa as well as stations in the South Pole, Australia, Canada, Alaska, the lower 48 states of the USA, the South Pacific, China, Central Asia, Europe, and Russia and provide more than 102,500 discrete flask atmospheric CO2 measurements for the period 1967-2015. Figure 1 shows that data availability is sparse prior to 1981 in the ESRL dataset and that atmospheric CO2 rose from about 320 ppm in 1967 to more than 400 ppm in 2015. Data availability is more uniform in the Scripps insitu weekly mean data and they also show rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere from less than 320 ppm in 1958 to more than 400 ppm in 2016. Because of the difference in data availability between the early years and later years in the ESRL data, and also because it is helpful to test the robustness of results with respect to sample period, both datasets are studied for different time spans. The full span of the data for both datasets and the period 1981 to 2015, a period with good data availability that is common to both datasets, are studied. An annual time scale is used as is usual in the study of the impact of emissions on atmospheric CO2 (Bousquet, 2000) (Canadell, 2007) (Gillett, 2013). For the NOAA/ESRL data, a single amalgamated time series of all 102,517 measurements from all twenty three stations is created and the mean and standard deviation of atmospheric CO2 for each year of data are derived and used in a Monte Carlo procedure to simulate the uncertainty in the data. Annual changes in atmospheric CO2 are computed as the corresponding difference in parts per million reported by the measuring stations multiplied by 2.12 to convert ppm to gigatons of carbon equivalent (GTC). Data for fossil fuel emissions in millions of tons of carbon equivalent are provided by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center of the Oak Ridge National Laboratories (CDIAC, 2017). Data are available from 1750 to 2013 provided as megatons of carbon equivalent per year. These values are divided by 1000 and reported in this work as gigatons of carbon equivalent per year (GTC). Emissions for later years are inferred from percentage changes reported by other sources (CarbonBrief, 2016) (The Conversation, 2016) (Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, 2016). Correlation between annual changes in atmospheric CO2 and the corresponding fossil fuel emissions are computed both in the source time series and in the detrended series. Uncertainty in the data causes the computed correlations to be somewhat different from one simulation to the next. Ten consecutive simulations are used as a representative sample of the correlation. The standard deviation of correlation is estimated using Bowley’s procedure (Bowley, 1928). Correlation in the source time series can be spurious because it contains both the time scale effect being investigated and an effect of a common drift in time in the two series. For this reason both time series must be detrended to isolate the effect at any given time scale (Podobnik, 2008) (Hu, 2001) (Munshi, 2016). Both source data correlation and detrended correlation are reported and tested for statistical significance. There are three combinations of source and detrended correlations, viz, (1) the source data are correlated and the correlation survives into the detrended series, (2) the source data are correlated but the correlation does not survive into the detrended series, and (3) the source data are not correlated. Only case (1) provides evidence of correlation at the time scale being studied. Case (2) indicates that the correlation in the source data derive mostly from a shared long term drift in time and not at the time scale being studied. Because a positive correlation is necessary to establish the causal relationship between changes in atmospheric CO2 and fossil fuel emissions described in the IPCC carbon budget, statistical significance is established with the one tailed hypothesis test H0: ρ≤0 against HA: ρ>0. Here ρ represents the correlation in the underlying phenomenon that generated the sample data being studied. The maximum false positive error rate is set to α=0.001, much lower than the usual values of α=0.01 to α=05, in accordance with Revised Standards for Statistical Significance (Johnson, 2013) published by the NAS to address an unacceptable rate of irreproducible results in published research (Siegfried, 2010). Since ten comparisons are made for the ten different simulation results for each correlation tested, the probability of finding at least one significant correlation in random data is increased by a factor of ten (Holm, 1979). The maximum false positive error rate is maintained by the requiring multiple rejections of H0 in any given set of ten comparisons rather than applying the so called Bonferroni Adjustment (Armstrong, 2014) (Moran, 2003) (Garamszegi, 2006). For the annual time scale, emissions is set to EJ for the Jth year and atmospheric accumulation is computed as 2.12*(CJ-CJ-1). Here EJ is fossil fuel and cement emissions in gigatons of carbon equivalent in the Jth year and CJ is average atmospheric CO2 concentration for the Jth year denoted in parts per million.
This work represents an update and further study of the relationship between fossil fuel (and cement production) emissions and atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide presented in prior studies (Munshi, Responsiveness of Atmospheric CO2 to Anthropogenic Emissions: A Note , 2015) (Munshi, Responsiveness of Atmospheric CO2 to Fossil Fuel Emissions: Part 2, 2016) (Munshi, Some Methodological Issues in Climate Science, 2016). All data and computational details used in this study are available in an online data archive (Munshi, 2017 Atmospheric CO2 paper Data Archive, 2017).

THE DATA

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For the NOAA/ESRL data, a single amalgamated time series of all 102,517 measurements from all twenty three stations is created and the mean and standard deviation of atmospheric CO2 for each year of data are derived and used in a Monte Carlo procedure to simulate the uncertainty in the data. Annual changes in atmospheric CO2 are computed as the corresponding difference in parts per million reported by the measuring stations multiplied by 2.12 to convert ppm to gigatons of carbon equivalent (GTC).

Data for fossil fuel emissions in millions of tons of carbon equivalent are provided by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center of the Oak Ridge National Laboratories (CDIAC, 2017). Data are available from 1750 to 2013 provided as megatons of carbon equivalent per year. These values are divided by 1000 and reported in this work as gigatons of carbon equivalent per year (GTC). Emissions for later years are inferred from percentage changes reported by other sources (CarbonBrief, 2016) (The Conversation, 2016) (Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, 2016).

Correlation between annual changes in atmospheric CO2 and the corresponding fossil fuel emissions are computed both in the source time series and in the detrended series. Uncertainty in the data causes the computed correlations to be somewhat different from one simulation to the next. Ten consecutive simulations are used as a representative sample of the correlation. The standard deviation of correlation is estimated using Bowley’s procedure (Bowley, 1928). Correlation in the source time series can be spurious because it contains both the time scale effect being investigated and an effect of a common drift in time in the two series. For this reason both time series must be detrended to isolate the effect at any given time scale (Podobnik, 2008) (Hu, 2001) (Munshi, 2016). Both source data correlation and detrended correlation are reported and tested for statistical significance.

There are three combinations of source and detrended correlations, viz, (1) the source data are correlated and the correlation survives into the detrended series, (2) the source data are correlated but the correlation does not survive into the detrended series, and (3) the source data are not correlated. Only case (1) provides evidence of correlation at the time scale being studied. Case (2) indicates that the correlation in the source data derive mostly from a shared long term drift in time and not at the time scale being studied.
Because a positive correlation is necessary to establish the causal relationship between changes in atmospheric CO2 and fossil fuel emissions described in the IPCC carbon budget, statistical significance is established with the one tailed hypothesis test H0: ρ≤0 against HA: ρ>0. Here ρ represents the correlation in the underlying phenomenon that generated the sample data being studied. The maximum false positive error rate is set to α=0.001, much lower than the usual values of α=0.01 to α=05, in accordance with Revised Standards for Statistical Significance (Johnson, 2013) published by the NAS to address an unacceptable rate of irreproducible results in published research (Siegfried, 2010). Since ten comparisons are made for the ten different simulation results for each correlation tested, the probability of finding at least one significant correlation in random data is increased by a factor of ten (Holm, 1979). The maximum false positive error rate is maintained by the requiring multiple rejections of H0 in any given set of ten comparisons rather than applying the so called Bonferroni Adjustment (Armstrong, 2014) (Moran, 2003) (Garamszegi, 2006).

For the annual time scale, emissions is set to EJ for the Jth year and atmospheric accumulation is computed as 2.12*(CJ-CJ-1). Here EJ is fossil fuel and cement emissions in gigatons of carbon equivalent in the Jth year and CJ is average atmospheric CO2 concentration for the Jth year denoted in parts per million. This work represents an update and further study of the relationship between fossil fuel (and cement production) emissions and atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide presented in prior studies (Munshi, Responsiveness of Atmospheric CO2 to Anthropogenic Emissions: A Note , 2015) (Munshi, Responsiveness of Atmospheric CO2 to Fossil Fuel Emissions: Part 2, 2016) (Munshi, Some Methodological Issues in Climate Science, 2016). All data and computational details used in this study are available in an online data archive (Munshi, 2017 Atmospheric CO2 paper Data Archive, 2017).

DATA ANALYSIS:Annual means of the weekly mean insitu atmospheric CO2 data provided by Scripps are tabulated in Figure 3 below. The listed variables are MEAN = annual mean of the reported atmospheric carbon dioxide values, STDEV = their standard deviation, N = number of values reported that year, SE = the standard error of the mean, SIM-MEAN = Monte Carlo simulation of the mean that captures uncertainty implied by the standard error, EMISSIONS = fossil fuel and cement carbon dioxide emissions reported as gigatons of carbon equivalent per year (GTC), SIM-INCREASE = annual accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere computed from the SIM-MEAN column as this year’s CO2 level minus previous year’s CO2 level and converted to GTC, DETEMIS = detrended emissions, and DETINCR = detrended annual CO2 accumulation. Values in the two SIM columns will be different for each simulation. Ten different Monte Carlo simulations are used and the correlation between SIM-INCR and EMISSIONS and that between DETINCR and DETEMIS are computed for each simulation and tested for statistical significance at α=0.001 per comparison.

DATA ANALYSIS; Results for time span = 1958-2016 and time scale =1 year are tabulated in Figure 4 below where CORR refers to the correlation between the source data (SIM-INCREASE and EMISSIONS) and DETCORR to the detrended correlation between DETINCR and DETEMIS. The eleven rows in the Table represent eleven different simulations. The CORR columns in Figure 4 show strong statistically significant correlations for the source data in all eleven simulations. The simulations capture the uncertainty in annual mean CO2 accumulation. The null hypothesis H0: ρ≤0 is rejected in all eleven simulations. At the same time the DETCORR columns show a complete failure to reject H0 for detrended correlations. A graphical representation of these results appears in Figure 5. The combination of a correlation in the source data and absence of correlation at a given time scale in the detrended series indicates that the correlation in the source data derives from a shared long term drift in time and not from a relationship between their annual fluctuations net of long term trend. These results show that the data do not provide evidence that EMISSIONS and SIM-INCREASE are related at an annual time scale. This result is consistent with the findings in prior works (Munshi, 2015) and inconsistent with the IPCC carbon budget and the AGW hypothesis which assume that observed increases in atmospheric CO2 derive from fossil fuel emissions (Le Quéré, 2009) (Canadell, 2007) (Solomon, 2009) (Hansen, 1981) (IPCC, 2000) (IPCC, 2014).

FIGURE 3: THE DATA  bandicam 2020-06-15 09-20-42-805

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FIGURE 4: DETRENDED CORRELATION ANALYSIS 

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FIGURE 5: GRAPHICAL DISPLAY OF CORRELATION ANALYSIS

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TIME SPANS: We now look at the same data for two additional time spans for ease of comparison with the dataset of global flask CO2 measurements. Figures 6&7 summarize the results for the time span 1967-2015 and Figures 8&9 show results for the span 1981-2015. The time scale is annual in both cases. The time for emissions to become well mixed in the atmosphere is thought to be one year (Bousquet, 2000). For the span 1967-2015 (Figures 6&7), strong evidence of correlation is found in the source data but no correlation can be detected in the detrended series. As we did for the full span 1958-2015, we conclude that correlation in the source data derives from long term trends and not from correspondence in year to year fluctuations. Somewhat different results are seen for the span 1981-2015 (Figures 8&9). No statistically significant correlation is found in the detrended series or in the source data. These data fail to provide evidence in support of climate science assumptions that relate changes in atmospheric CO2 to fossil fuel emissions at an annual time scale.

FIGURES 6&7bandicam 2020-06-15 12-12-41-202

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FIGURES 8&9

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FIGURE 10

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FIGURE 11 & FIGURE 12: GLOBAL FLASK DATA 1967-2015

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FIGURE 13 & FIGURE 14: GLOBAL FLASK DATA 1981-2015

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FINDINGS: The results of detrended correlation analysis of global flask CO2 measurements for the full span of the data 1967-2015 are summarized in Figures 11&12. As in Figures 8&9, we find that although the correlation in the source data appears to be higher than that in the detrended series, no statistically significant correlation is found in either series at the maximum false positive error rate of α=0.001 per comparison used in this study. However, for the shorter time span of 1981-2015 (Figures 13&14) where data availability is more uniform across the study period (Figure 1), the source data correlations are much higher and here we see the results similar to those depicted in Figures 4&5 (Mauna Loa 1958-2016) and Figures 6&7 (Mauna Loa 1967-2015) with a strong correlations in the source data that goes away when the data are detrended. In all of the above cases, the absence of correlation in the detrended series fails to provide empirical support for the usual carbon budget hypothesis that emissions drive changes in atmospheric CO2. In cases where the a correlation is found in the source data, its absence in the detrended series indicates that the source data correlation derives from a shared drift in time and not from shared fluctuations at the specified time scale that is prerequisite to a causation hypothesis (Podobnik, 2008) (Chatfield, 1989). These results are consistent with findings in prior works that also found no empirical evidence that changes in atmospheric CO2 are driven by fossil fuel emissions at an annual time scale (Munshi, 2015) (Munshi, 2016). All data and computational details are available in a data archive (Munshi, 2017).

CONCLUSIONS: A key relationship in the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is that between annual fossil fuel emissions and annual changes in atmospheric CO2. The proposed causation sequence is that annual fossil fuel emissions cause annual changes in atmospheric CO2 which in turn intensifies the atmosphere’s heat trapping property. It is concluded that global warming is due to changes in atmospheric composition attributed to human activity and is therefore a human creation and that therefore we must reduce or eliminate fossil fuel emissions to avoid climate catastrophe (Parmesan, 2003) (Stern, 2007) (IPCC, 2014) (Flannery, 2006) (Allen, 2009) (Gillett, 2013) (Meinshausen, 2009) (Canadell, 2007) (Solomon, 2009) (Stocker, 2013) (Rogelj, 2016). A testable implication of the proposed causation sequence is that annual changes in atmospheric CO2 must be related to annual fossil fuel emissions at an annual time scale. This work is a test of this hypothesis.

We find that detrended correlation analysis of annual emissions and annual changes in atmospheric CO2 does not support the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis because no evidence is found that changes in atmospheric CO2 are related to fossil fuel emissions at an annual time scale.

These results are consistent with prior works that found no evidence to relate the rate of warming to the rate of emissions (Munshi, The Correlation between Emissions and Warming in the CET, 2017) (Munshi, Long Term Temperature Trends in Daily Station Data: Australia, 2017) (Munshi, Generational Fossil Fuel Emissions and Generational Warming: A Note, 2016) (Munshi, Decadal Fossil Fuel Emissions and Decadal Warming: A Note, 2015) (Munshi, Effective Sample Size of the Cumulative Values of a Time Series, 2016) (Munshi, The Spuriousness of Correlations between Cumulative Values, 2016). The finding raises important questions about the validity of the IPCC carbon budget which apparently overcomes a great uncertainty in much larger natural flows to describe with great precision how flows of annual emissions are distributed to gains in atmospheric and oceanic carbon dioxide (Bopp, 2002) (Chen, 2000) (Davis, 2010) (IPCC, 2014) (McGuire, 2001). These carbon budget conclusions are inconsistent with the findings of this study and are the likely result of insufficient attention to uncertainty, excessive reliance on climate models, and the use of “net flows” (Plattner, 2002) that are likely to be subject to assumptions and circular reasoning (Edwards, 1999) (Ito, 2005) (Munshi, 2015a) (Munshi, 2016) (Munshi, An Empirical Study of Fossil Fuel Emissions and Ocean Acidification, 2015).

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Climate Justice, Social Justice

The Green New Deal vs. the Old Green Deals - CityLab

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RELATED POSTS ON THIS SITE: [LINK] [LINK] [LINK]  

THIS POST IS A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE ONLINE LITERATURE CLAIMING A POSITIVE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE CLIMATE MOVEMENT AND THE GEORGE FLOYD INSPIRED ANTI RACISM MOVEMENT SUCH THAT SOMETHING CALLED CLIMATE JUSTICE IS NEEDED TO ACHIEVE SOMETHING CALLED RACIAL JUSTICE

 

 

PART-1:WAYS OF RELATING RACISM TO CLIMATE CHANGE

  1. On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during an arrest for allegedly using a counterfeit bill. This event rekindled America’s unresolved and gruesome racism issue in which police brutality is a significant and sensitive factor. Violent protests ensued around the country after the George Floyd incident and even elsewhere in the world. These events triggered a sudden rise to prominence of America’s unresolved and painful racism problem as it had risen before in similar events of the past with chaos, uprisings, fires, and wanton destruction across the country.  What appears to be an extreme response is best understood in the context of past events that include the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968, and the death of Arthur McDuffie in 1979. McDuffie was beaten to death by police and these officers were later found not guilty. This is the background to the issue in this post and not the issue we discuss below in the rest of this commentary.
  2. The issue in this post is how this event has been used by climate science to push for climate action in the form of overhauling the world’s energy infrastructure away from fossil fuels. It is noteworthy that the involvement of climate science is presented to us as a response to the death of George Floyd but it did not follow the gruesome event itself and is therefore not a response to the death of George Floyd.
  3. The climate activism involvement was initiated about a week after that event in the first week of June when large and violent protest riots had taken place nationwide in what turned out to be a complete capture of America’s attention not only in the media but on the internet and in the neighborhoods and the homes and offices and the factories of America. It was this event and not the death of George Floyd that presented a golden opportunity for climate activists to present their case to America framed as relevant to these events if only they could find a way to hook on to the fiery race issue of America rekindled by George Floyd that had completely captured America and most of the world as well.
  4. It took climate activists a few days to figure it out but they came up with a way to frame their climate change and climate action activism verbiage in terms of the horror of racism in America. The objective here is to take advantage of the opportunity created by the death of George Floyd to press the case for climate action as a racism issue to Americans given the attention of Americans to the racism issue. What we see in the climate change literature below are the arguments for climate action framed in terms of the racism and police brutality issues that have been brought to the attention of Americans by the death of George Floyd protests. Below we list some of the framing types we find in the racism literature of climate science.
  5. Framing Type #1: Black Americans are more likely to live in areas that have a greater potential for harmful climate impacts:  Therefore climate action to help them out in that situation is a good thing that’s worth the cost of climate action and that therefore not taking climate action is a racist and uncaring response to this situation.
  6. Framing Type #2: Disposability: It is claimed that racism creates a sense in the white man that black people are disposable and the environments where they live are also disposable and that therefore white people are less inclined to take climate action because racism prevents them from caring about the welfare of black people. This argument concludes that “we will never stop climate change without ending white supremacy” because their failure to care for black people will lead to the destruction of the planet by climate change. White supremacy leads the way toward disposable people and a disposable natural world and that relates climate change to racism.
  7. Framing Type #3Another way to frame the “disposable” argument is with the sacrifice zones argument – regions that will be left for climate impacts to destroy as in Hurricane Katrina. It says that we will never survive the climate crisis without ending white supremacy because you can’t have climate change without sacrifice zones and you can’t have sacrifice zones without disposable people, and you can’t have disposable people without racism. The climate change problem and the racism problem have a common thread and that is the idea that certain regions and certain people are disposable. The argument goes on to state that the atmosphere is also disposable because in the case of a polluted atmosphere, rich white people would stand a better chance of surviving than poor black people.
  8. Framing Type #4: Pollution is racism: In this framing, it is claimed that white people pollute because their racism prevents them from caring how that pollution will affect black people. “When a child gets asthma from pollution in East Oakland because her home is surrounded by freeways, it’s racism. This same kind of racism pollution of pumping CO2 into the atmosphere causes climate change. Therefore, climate action and anti racism are one and the same.
  9. Framing Type #5Rich Capitalists: Rich capitalists tend to be white and so they tend to pollute because the affected tend to be black but the pollution also causes climate change and our planet is at risk of destruction by climate change from these activities that are perpetrated because white capitalists are racist. If there were no racism and we valued everyone’s lives equally we would put the well being of the many above the profits of the few there wouldn’t be racism and there wouldn’t be a climate crisis.
  10. Framing Type #6: Polluting industries in black neighborhoods: Rich white capitalists build their coal plants in black neighborhoods because black people are disposable and these plants cause climate change. If black lives matter, then these coal plants will not be built and the climate crisis will be resolved and the destruction of the planet avoided. “As long as we keep letting polluters sacrifice black communities we can’t protect the global climate“.
  11. Framing Type #7: Outdoor jobs in an increasingly hot planet: The two groups of Americans who care most about climate change are the black and Hispanic communities because they tend to live in densely populated communities and work in low paid outside jobs. It is thus that they are more directly exposed to the impacts of climate change in an increasingly hot planet. Therefore, to not take climate action is to be racist.
  12. Framing Type #8: Money buys “insulation” and white people have the money:  Poverty stricken black and Hispanic communities are more vulnerable to climate change impacts that are caused primarily by the emissions of rich, capitalist, and industrialist white people. This is climate injustice and therefore climate injustice must be corrected to achieve climate justice with racial justice.
  13. Framing Type #9: John Muir quote about environmentalism “When we try to pick out anything by itself we find it hitched to everything else in the universe”. This quote is used as a Carte-Blanche to relate climate variables to social and political variables and thereby to racism. The Muir quote provides the rationale needed to relate climate change to racism.
  14. Framing Type #10: Pollution likened to police brutality. The argument presented in this complicated logic is that pollution can raise blood pressure and cause cancer and so does a brutal police force. Police brutality can cause the body to produce hormones and other signals including accelerated heart rate and increasing respiration rate and that therefore recurring incidents of this nature poses serious bodily harm not unlike the pollution that causes climate change.

 

 

PART-2: CRITICAL COMMENTARY

  1. CLIMATE CHANGE IS GLOBAL: Racism in America is peculiar and unique to the USA. More specifically, it is not global. Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) and climate change is a global phenomenon in which it is claimed that global fossil fuel emissions cause atmospheric CO2 concentration to rise and that in turn causes warming. The climate action called for by climate science is that global fossil fuel emissions must be reduced all the way to zero in order to stop global warming. What we find in the attribution of AGW to racism is the idea that anthropogenic global warming and climate change is a peculiarly American phenomenon in which racism in America is the ultimate cause of the white man’s cruel, uncaring, and irreverent pollution and destruction of the planet. Yet, what we find in the data is that the USA is responsible for about 15% of the global emissions. By way of comparison, China emits 26% of global emissions and South and Southeast Asia together emits another 11%. It is not possible to understand AGW climate change in terms of USA emissions alone no matter to what extent that may or may not be driven by racism, police brutality and white supremacy.
  2. THE PLANETARY DESTRUCTION ISSUE: Climate science holds that climate action is imperative no matter what the cost because the alternative is the mass extinctions, the end of the human race, and the destruction of the planet itself. The extreme localization of this phenomenon such that it can be analyzed in terms of only the USA and even in terms of black and Hispanic communities within the USA is grossly inconsistent with AGW climate change theory. All such arguments relating racism to climate change can therefore be rejected on this basis. The mass extinctions and planetary destruction phenomena are unlikely to select black communities in the USA to harm.
  3. IS CLIMATE CHANGE WHAT MAKES RACISM BAD?: The implied proposition in the arguments relating climate change to racism is that racism is a bad thing because it causes climate change. This proposition is itself racist. Racism is an evil thing all by itself because that is not how we humans should be treating each other. Yet climate science has decided that what makes racism bad is its impact on the climate. This interpretation is wrong and racist. Climate change is a white man’s enterprise and this kind of racist climate activism can be interpreted in that light.
  4. THE DARKER INTERPRETATION: The darker interpretation of this aspect of climate science is the failure of climate action activism. It had reached a dead end with the dramatic collapse in Copenhagen followed by the bizarre collection of independent INDCs in Paris (intended nationally determined contribution) that has so far gone nowhere even after the recruitment and indoctrination of child activists. As of today, after 25 years of Conference of Parties, there is no binding agreement to curb  global emissions. The darker interpretation of the sudden discovery of the racism connection by climate science is that the racism issue that has captured the world’s attention provides a powerful marketing tool to sell climate change and therefore to sell climate action. This darker interpretation implies that climate science is racist and not beneath using black people and their racism plight to sell the climate agenda.
  5. CLIMATE SCIENCE RACISM: In a related post on racism [LINK] we show that there are serious racism interpretations of climate science and climate activism such that a racist effort to use racism to sell the climate agenda can be understood in that context. Some racism aspects of climate science are discussed below.
  6. Both the industrial revolution and its psychological aftermath including the climate change agenda are inventions of the the Global North (the rich industrialized world of the white man). That the Global North’s environmental activism needs are often served at great cost to the Global South (poor countries closer to the equator populated by darkies) is seen for example in the effects of Rachel Carson’s {Silent Spring} DDT ban that may or may not have saved some birds in the Global North but at great cost and suffering from malarial diseases in the Global South.
  7. Similarly, the planet saving interpretation of AGW climate change constructs the attitude of the Global North towards the primitive stone age forest dwellers of Amazonia in the Global South. It is claimed that the AGW anti-industrialization priority of the Global North must guide the future of the people of the Amazon forest such that they must remain primitive so that their lands can remain a forest and serve the needs of the Global North by continuing to be The Lungs of the Planet. That Europe was once a forest and the Lungs of the Planet that was cleared by the Europeans on the way to their wealth, power, and Industrial Economy must be considered to be a purely historical detail and irrelevant in terms of the urgency of the needed climate action to Save the Planet from climate change by ensuring that the Amazon remains a stone age museum of forest dwellers so that The Lungs of the Planet are preserved for the Global North.
  8. Similarly, the UNDP (United Nations Development Program) that was formed for the specific purpose of fostering economic development in the poverty stricken former colonies of the Global North has now been corrupted by the climate change agenda. The task of the UNDP has thus been changed from economic development to something called “SDG or Sustainable Development Goals” in which climate action and economic development are combined in a way such that the climate priority sets the limits of economic development. The details of this issue may be found in a related post at this site [SDG LINK]
  9. poverty
  10. At the root of the AGW climate action movement is the racism that the Global South must not be allowed to have the kind of industrialization that had made the Global North so rich and so powerful that they can now orchestrate this global agenda apparently for the sake of planetary health. As in colonial times, the Global South is seen by the Global North as something that must ultimately serve the needs of the Global North.
  11. Thus, the population bomb alarm, the limits to growth alarm, and the climate change alarm are different expressions of the same underlying reality in which the Global North is concerned about natural resources to support an Industrial Revolution on a global scale that includes the Global South.
  12. The assumed stewardship of the planet by the Global North is the fountain of racism from which derives the role of the North in dictating global action against perceived environmental crises such as climate change even when these actions are contrary to the real needs of the Global South because, as in colonial times, the Global South must ultimately serve the needs of the Global North
  13. Details of this issue are presented in a related post [RACISM LINK] .

What do Amazon tribes eat? | Bushcraft Buddy

 

 

PART-3: LITERATURE REVIEW

 

NASA CLIMATE SCIENTISTS KATE MARVEL: Climate justice and racial justice are the same thing. We’ll never head off climate catastrophe without dismantling white supremacy

nasa kate marvel

Bill McKibben - TIME's People Who Mattered in 2011 - TIME

Hop Hopkins | Sierra Club

  1. HOP HOPKINS: The Sierra Club JUN 8 2020: Racism Is Killing the Planet: The ideology of white supremacy leads the way toward disposable people and a disposable natural world: Last week, my family and I attended an interfaith rally in Los Angeles in defense of Black life. We performed a group ritual in which we made noise for nine minutes to mark the last moments of George Floyd’s life. My wife, my oldest daughter, and I played African drums to mark those nine minutes with the rhythm of a beating heart over and over again. I thought about the level of commitment it takes to hold someone down for nine minutes straight. The realization horrified me. The cop who has been charged with murdering George Floyd had to have been deeply committed to taking his life. The police officer had so many chances to let up the pressure, to let George live. Yet the officer made the choice not to. To spend nine minutes taking the life-breath from another person: That is what white supremacy does to white people. That is what white supremacy does to the rest of us too. White supremacy robs each of us of our humanity. It causes white people to view Black people as less than human. Every one of those cops watching George die was convinced that the man pinned to the ground was less than human, was in some way disposable. Otherwise, how could they hold him down for nine whole minutes? How could they bring themselves to do it? You can’t have climate change without sacrifice zones, and you can’t have sacrifice zones without disposable people, and you can’t have disposable people without racism. During the street protests and marches of the past two weeks, many people carried signs that read “Racism Is Killing Us.” It’s no exaggeration to say that racism and white supremacy harm all of us, because in addition to robbing us of our humanity, racism is also killing the planet because we all share. We’ll never stop climate change without ending white supremacy. This argument has entered the outdoor recreation and conservation space thanks to the leadership of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color in the climate justice movement. The mainstream environmental movement do our best to show up for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and all the Black people still living and subject to police violence. I know that a lot of people are struggling with the thought that addressing the environmental crises must involve dismantling white supremacy. At Sierra Club meetings, some people hear me say something like that and think, “Damn, fighting climate change wasn’t hard enough already? Now we have to end racism and white supremacy too? I get that feeling of being overwhelmed. It’s a lot to carry. It’s a lot to hold. We all have enough to do without feeling like we’re taking on even more. But I want to share another lens from which we can view this moment. I really believe in my heart of hearts—after a lifetime of thinking and talking about these issues—that we will never survive the climate crisis without ending white supremacy. Here’s why: You can’t have climate change without sacrifice zones, and you can’t have sacrifice zones without disposable people, and you can’t have disposable people without racism.We’re in this global environmental mess because we have declared parts of our planet to be disposable. The watersheds where we frack the earth to extract gas are considered disposable. The neighborhoods near where I live in Los Angeles, surrounded by urban oilfields, are considered disposable. The very atmosphere is considered disposable. When we pollute the hell out of a place, that’s a way of saying that the place—and the people and all the other life that calls that place home, are disposable. In order to treat places and resources as disposable, the people who live there have to get treated like rubbish too. Sacrifice zones imply sacrificed people. Just think of Cancer Alley in Louisiana. Most of the towns there are majority Black, and nowadays they call it Death Alley, because so many Black folks have died from the poison that drives our extractive economy. Or think of the situation in the Navajo Nation, where uranium mines poisoned the wells and the groundwater and coal plants for decades poisoned the air. Or consider the South Side of Chicago, where I used to live, which for years was a dumping ground of petroleum coke and where residents are still struggling against pollution-related diseases. I’ve lived in a lot of places, and just about every place I’ve ever lived has been targeted by big polluters as a dumping ground. Devaluing Black and Indigenous people’s lives to build wealth for white communities isn’t new. White settlers began that project in the 15th century, when they arrived in North America. Most Native peoples of North America lived in regenerative relationships with the land; they were careful to take no more than the land could sustain. The settlers had another ethic: They sought to dominate and control. They cleared the old-growth forests and plowed the prairies to make room for their wheat and their beef. They nearly drove the bison to extinction in a calculated scorched-earth tactic that was part of a larger ethnic-cleansing agenda. As the Potawatomi author and scientist Robin Wall Kimmerer put it in a recent essay, “the Indigenous idea of land as a commonly held gift was replaced by the notion of private property, while the battle between land as sacred home and land as capital stained the ground red. How could the white settlers bring themselves to do it? They did it by telling a certain story about Native peoples, a story that said Native peoples were less “civilized” than white settlers and therefore deserved to be terrorized and pushed from their lands. This Doctrine of Discovery was a religious belief for many European settlers. The doctrine said that any land “discovered” by Christians was theirs because of the inherent inferiority of non-Christian peoples. Eventually, this pernicious idea made its way into US law. In 1823, the US Supreme Court, in the case of Johnson v. M’Intosh, ruled that “the principle of discovery gave European nations an absolute right to New World lands. It’s no secret that our country was built on a foundation of enslavement of Black people, the theft of Native land, and near genocide of Indigenous people. US institutions, from our government to Ivy League colleges, were built on a foundation of stolen labor and stolen bodies. The compound interest on the profits from that enslavement became the basis of inter-generational wealth for white communities, the inter-generational wealth that perpetuates race-based economic inequality to this day. But the past isn’t past. Structural racism continues 150 years after the abolition of slavery, only in new forms. As Michelle Alexander wrote in her best-selling book, The New Jim Crow, white supremacy has evolved over generations. After slavery came the debt-servitude of sharecropping. After the Jim Crow era was brought down by the civil rights movement, the prison industrial complex and the war on drugs = the war on Black people rose in its place.When a kid in East Oakland gets asthma from car pollution because her neighborhood is surrounded by freeways, that is white supremacy. How does this all connect to today’s environmental crises? It’s part of the same dehumanization. The pollution-spewing global mega-corporations that created Cancer Alley are just the latest evolution of the extractive white-settler mindset that cleared the forests and plowed the prairies. And just as the settlers had to believe and tell stories to dehumanize the people they killed, plundered, and terrorized, today’s systems of extraction can only work by dehumanizing people. Back then we had the Doctrine of Discovery, and today it’s the doctrine of neo-liberalism that say it’s OK to value some lives more than others, that it’s OK for some people to have clean air while others struggle to breathe. The crimes may be hiding in plain sight, but many white people are socialized to ignore how these systems of violence and inequality show up in our society. When it comes to racism, many white people are like fish swimming in water: White supremacy is so pervasive that it’s hard to even know that it’s there. The richest people need for white supremacy to remain invisible so they can continue to plunder our planet. They need those sacrifice zones, and the racism that justifies them, or they’ll have nowhere to put their trash and pollution. In this way, white supremacy serves to divide white working people from Black working people. Today’s one-percenters are able to sacrifice whole communities using more or less the same methods the settlers used: By dividing people into racial categories and directing the worst of their abuse at the people at the bottom of a manufactured racial hierarchy. This punching down usually comes in the form of blame. Media and popular culture often broadcast a twisted version of Black life and make it seem like communities of color have caused their own problems. Many people believe that poor people are poor because they are “lazy.” From there, it’s not much of a jump to believe that “some people” deserve to live next to a coal plant, that they deserve to die of cancer, that their children deserve to live with asthma. Working-class whites are told a story that such a thing could never happen to them. Since the founding of this country, elites have conspired to divide poor and working people by race. Just think about Bacon’s Rebellion, when a wealthy white land-taker led a multiracial group of indentured servants and enslaved people on a mission of violence against local tribes. Afterward, frightened by the cross-racial uprising that had destroyed the state capitol, Virginia leaders began to offer more rights and privileges to white indentured servants to keep them from allying with enslaved African people and rising up against their rulers. They offered slightly better conditions to the white people they exploited, to keep them from seeing what they had in common with enslaved Africans and Indigenous peoples. Now polluters tell low-income white families, “Only someone who doesn’t deserve anything better for themselves and their family would choose to live in such a polluted place as Cancer Alley.” If they just pull themselves up by their bootstraps, the story goes, white people can work themselves out of the poverty and environmental injustice they experience alongside Black people. Because, after all, at least they’re not Black. In the Trump era, messages that blame Black folks for our own persecution come even from the White House. The Trump administration tries to explain away the fact that Black communities are dying at elevated rates from COVID-19 by pointing to preexisting health conditions, yet ignores that those health conditions are the result of generations of racism. The administration ignores the fact that the facilities that cause asthma are located in Black neighborhoods. It ignores the fact that living in a society that treats Black people as less than human causes stress on the heart, literally and metaphorically. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, “Being a person of color in America is bad for your health.” Put another way, Black folks’ only preexisting condition is being Black. I’m still left wondering, how can they bring themselves to do it? I think the answer has to do with the stories a lot of white people tell themselves. Stories that often boil down to a notion that Black people are always guilty and the cops are always right. Stories that take the form of “he shouldn’t have resisted arrest.” If all of this seems too neat a narrative, I’d ask if you remember Hurricane Katrina. In the aftermath of the storm, Black people who were just out looking for essential supplies were described by the news media as “looting” a grocery store. White people who were doing the same thing were described as “finding” bread and water. I’d ask if you remember Eric Garner and Dylan Roof. Eric Garner was choked to death by police for selling “loosies,” or single cigarettes. Dylan Roof murdered nine Black people during a Bible study group at their church; after being arrested, the police bought him a meal at a Burger King on the way to the police station. By dividing us up into racial categories and economic classes, the one-percenters keep us from seeing that 99 percent of us share the same problems. By focusing their extraction and pollution on Black communities and working-class families, big polluters have bought the silence and collusion of white Americans. White privilege offers no escape from climate chaos. Nobody reading this is going to get a spot on the SpaceX shuttle to Mars. Earth is the only planet we have, and, thanks to polluters who profit from exploiting Black and brown communities, we’re in the process of making it uninhabitable. Just as the settlers had to believe and tell stories to dehumanize the people they killed, plundered, and terrorized, today’s systems of extraction can only work by dehumanizing people. When Amy Cooper, a white woman, has an encounter with a Black man bird-watching in Central Park (an extremely racist event) and calls the police—that is white supremacy. She weaponized the police and used them to racially terrorize someone. She knew what she was doing. She knew her threat had power because her target, Christian Cooper, understood the historical relationship between the police and Black people. When a petroleum pipeline corporation calls in the police to bash Indigenous water protectors at Standing Rock, that too is white supremacy. It’s like the Amy Cooper–Christian Cooper incident but on a systemic scale in which a fossil fuel company weaponizes the police to racially terrorize Indigenous peoples. When a kid in East Oakland gets asthma from car pollution because her neighborhood is surrounded by freeways, that is white supremacy. When the Dakota Access Pipeline is built through Native land because the neighboring white communities fought to keep it out of theirs, that is white supremacyWhen the United States pours carbon pollution into the air, knowing that people in countries that have contributed much less to the climate crisis will face the worst of the consequences, that is white supremacy. When big polluters try to buy our democracy so they can keep making money by devaluing the lives of people of color, that is white supremacy. When you come to see and understand these intersections between white supremacy and environmental destruction, you’ll find yourself at a crossroads. That crossroads will force you to decide which side you’re on. You can choose—we as a society can choose—to live a different way. Indeed, we must. If our society valued all people’s lives equally, there wouldn’t be any sacrifice zones to put the pollution in. If every place was sacred, there wouldn’t be a Cancer Alley. We would find other ways to advance science and create shared wealth without poisoning anyone. We would find a way to share equally both the benefits and the burdens of prosperity (SOCIALISM). If we valued everyone’s lives equally, if we placed the public health and well-being of the many above the profits of a few, there wouldn’t be a climate crisis. There would be nowhere to put a coal plant, because no one would accept the risks of living near such a monster if they had the power to choose. (FALSE). Critics of the Black demand for justice and equality like to respond by saying “all lives matter.” It’s true; they do. In fact, that’s the very point of the chants and banners and signs in the streets. After centuries of oppression, the insistence on Black dignity is a cry for universal human rights. If Black lives mattered, then all lives would matter. I know that what I’ve laid out here is a lot of dots to connect. I can imagine you thinking, “OK, so how do we end white supremacy then?” I wish I had all the answers, but I don’t. All I know is that if climate change and environmental injustice are the result of a society that values some lives and not others, then none of us are safe from pollution until all of us are safe from pollution. Dirty air doesn’t stop at the county line, and carbon pollution doesn’t respect national borders. As long as we keep letting the polluters sacrifice Black and brown communities, we can’t protect our shared global climate. I also know that as long as police can take Black lives, then none of us are truly safe. I keep coming back to the murder of George Floyd, the nine minutes a cop took to bring the drumbeat of George’s heart to a standstill. I keep asking again and again, How could they bring themselves to do it? And now I ask you, What will you bring yourself to do?
  2. Bill McKibben:  Racism, Police Violence, and the Climate Are Not Separate Issues. THE NEW YORKER, JUNE 4 2020 [LINK]  A LOT OF KNEES ON A LOT OF NECKSHaving a racist and violent police force in your neighborhood is a lot like having a pollution-emitting factory in your neighborhood. I find that lots of people are surprised to learn that, by overwhelming margins, the two groups of Americans who care most about climate change are Latinx Americans and African-Americans. But, of course, those communities tend to be disproportionately exposed to the effects of global warming: working jobs that keep you outdoors, or on the move, on an increasingly hot planet, and living in densely populated and polluted areas. For many of the same reasons, these communities have proved disproportionately vulnerable to diseases such as the coronavirus. One way of saying it is that money buys insulation, and white people have the money. Over the years, the environmental movement has morphed into the environmental-justice movement, and it’s been a singularly interesting and useful change. Much of the most dynamic leadership of this fight now comes from Latinx and African-American communities, and from indigenous groups; more to the point, the shift has broadened our understanding of what “environmentalism” is all about. John Muir, who has some claim to being the original modern environmentalist, once explained that “when we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” He was talking about ecosystems, but it turns out that he was more correct than he knew: the political world is hopelessly intertwined with the natural world. So, for instance, living in a community with high levels of air pollution impairs human bodies. Pollution raises blood pressure, increases cancer. But so does living in a place with a brutal police force. When faced with a threat, the body produces hormones and other signals that turn on the systems that are necessary for survival in the short term. These changes include accelerated heart rate and increased respiratory rate. But when the threat becomes reoccurring and persistent—as is the case with police brutality—the survival process becomes dangerous and causes rapid wear and tear on body organs and elevated allostatic load. Deterioration of organs and systems caused by increased allostatic load occurs more frequently in Black populations and can lead to conditions such as diabetes, stroke, ulcers, cognitive impairment, autoimmune disorders, accelerated aging, and death. Having a racist and violent police force in your neighborhood is a lot like having a coal-fired power plant in your neighborhood. And having both? And maybe some smoke pouring in from a nearby wildfire? African-Americans are three times as likely to die from asthma as the rest of the population. “I Can’t Breathe” is the daily condition of too many people in this country. One way or another, there are a lot of knees on a lot of necks. The job of people who care about the future, which is another way of saying the environmentalists, is to let everyone breathe easier. But that simply can’t happen without all kinds of change. Some of it looks like solar panels for rooftops, and some of it looks like radically re-imagined police forces. All of it is hitched together.
  3. Emily Arkin, JUNE 2 2020[LINK]  How to help Black people breathe: Climate-concerned people can make a difference in the fight against racial injustice. Nationwide protests over George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police continued last night. In D.C., police fired tear gas and rubber bullets into a peaceful protest on Swann Street, kettling them in so they had nowhere to run. Police perpetrated acts of seemingly senseless violence in other cities, too. The Verge has a short list here.
  4. Frederick Hewett, JUNE 9 2020 [LINK]Racial Justice Is Climate Justice‘:  Climate change activists from Extinction Rebellion stand in solidarity with worldwide Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd. “Racial justice is climate justice” means police reform is climate policy.” Emily Atkin wrote those words last week in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. Atkin is not alone in making a direct connection between climate change and racism. Numerous environmental leaders and prominent climate activists have issued statements condemning police violence and expressing solidarity with racial justice organizations. And for some notable climate movement figures, the relationship between anti-racism and climate activism extends much further than pro forma solidarity. Bill McKibben wrote “Racism, Police Violence, and the Climate Are Not Separate Issues.” Climate activist Eric Holthaus proclaimed “The climate crisis is racist. The answer is anti-racism.” The impacts of climate change take a higher toll on people of color than on wealthier people whose lifestyles cause much more environmental damage. And their stance goes well beyond simply noting that urban neighborhoods predominantly inhabited by black and brown people often lack transportation options, tree canopy and open spaces that help to mitigate the hardships climate change causes. The statement they’re making is bolder. They’re asserting that the movement for a transition to a de-carbonized economy cannot succeed until we redress centuries of systemic racism. The tight coupling of race and climate change seems incongruous at first glance. People commonly regard climate change as a problem to be worked out by scientists and engineers. The linkage between the degradation of global ecosystems and a profoundly moral social issue like racism is not immediately evident. The movement for a transition to a decarbonized economy cannot succeed until there are structural changes in society to redress centuries of systemic racism. To wrap your head around the claim that confronting racism is essential to addressing the climate crisis, it’s crucial first to observe that efforts to slow down climate change proceed on multiple paths. Besides the formidable technical challenges, there are social, economic and political obstacles to overcome. On the technology front, there is undeniable progress. The costs of solar and wind energy have dropped dramatically, and they have made deep inroads into markets formerly dominated by coal and natural gas. And there is encouraging work being done on electric vehicles, grid-scale battery storage, carbon sequestration and regenerative agriculture. But while advances in emissions reduction and carbon-free energy production may be on a trajectory to meet the technological goals of this century, the entrenched complex of political and corporate power that evolved during past centuries is impeding the changes that are needed to dismantle the fossil fuel empires responsible for the climate crisis. The United States has a deep history of reckless exploitation of natural resources, forests, topsoil, water, fish and game, minerals, coal, oil and natural gas, all of which have been extracted for quick economic gain without regard for the ecological and human consequences. The ransacking of the planet’s assets has been perpetrated through colonialism and expropriation at the expense of indigenous people and racial minorities. Our economic system is designed to minimize labor costs and value the production of material goods over the health and well-being of workers. Capitalism relinquishes our economic destiny to an ostensibly free market that under-prices environmental impacts and channels too much of the wealth society generates to the few highest percentiles of the income spectrum and racism perpetuates this system. Racism serves as a political wedge to divide the electorate, enabling the elite to hold onto power. It facilitates the exploitation of a class of underpaid labor. It imposes an economic burden on people of color that inhibits their ability to take action for social change. It stands in the way of bringing about a society centered on basic human dignity and environmental stewardship rather than maximizing economic growth and corporate profit. Is racism the root cause of climate change? No, but its pervasive presence in society is indispensable to the persistence of an extractive, exploitative and inequitable economic system. And that system is inherently incompatible with the ecological and egalitarian model we need to achieve a just transition to a fair, clean energy economy. Buried in the news last week was a report that atmospheric carbon dioxide has risen to its highest level in the last three million years, despite the pandemic lockdown. It will take more than technological innovation to avert the worst-case scenarios of climate change. Racism and climate change both demand that we reconsider the social and economic legacies that our past has left us.

black-america

 

 

 

 

CARBON CYCLE DIAGRAM  FROM THE IPCC

[LINK TO THE HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE]

RELATED POSTS ON THE CARBON CYCLE [LINK] [LINK]  

RELATED POST:  AN EXCLUSIVE RELIANCE ON FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS OVERLOOKS NATURAL CARBON FLOWS. [LINK]  

Seeps Give a Peek Into Plumbing

THIS POST IS A STUDY OF THE UNCERTAINTY IN CARBON CYCLE FLOWS MADE WITH MONTE CARLO SIMULATION. STATED UNCERTAINTIES ARE USED FOR FLOWS FOR WHICH UNCERTAINTY ESTIMATES ARE AVAILABLE. FLOWS FOR WHICH UNCERTAINTY ESTIMATES ARE NOT STATED BY THE IPCC, AN UNCERTAINTY VALUE IS DERIVED FROM THE STATED VALUES.

PART-1: CARBON CYCLE FLOWS AND THE AIRBORNE FRACTION

The IPCC describes the carbon cycle in terms of carbon dioxide flows among multiple sources and sinks. The atmosphere plays a role in nine of these flows. These mean flows, averaged over the decade 2000-2009 (Figure 7) and their standard deviations (SD) as reported by the IPCC are listed below in units of GTC/y (IPCCAR5, 2013). Non availability of data is indicated by N/A.

  1. Natural: Ocean surface to atmosphere:Mean=78.4,SD=N/A.
  2. Natural: Atmosphere to ocean:surface:Mean=80.0,SD=N/A
  3. Human: Fossil fuel emissions:surface to atmosphere:Mean=7.8,SD=0.6
  4. Human: Land use change:surface to atmosphere:Mean=1.1,SD=0.8
  5. Natural: Photosynthesis:atmosphere to surface:Mean=123.0,SD=8.0
  6. Natural: Respiration/fire:surface to atmosphere:Mean=118.7,SD=N/A
  7. Natural: Freshwater to atmosphere:Mean=1.0,SD=N/A
  8. Natural: Volcanic emissions surface to atmosphere:Mean=0.1,SS =N/A
  9. Natural: Rock weathering:surface to atmosphere:Mean=0.3,SD=N/A
  10. TOTAL TO ATMOSPHERE:  207.4
  11. TOTAL FROM ATMOSPHERE: 203
  12. NET TO ATMOSPHERE=4.4 = 56% AIRBORNE FRACTION OF EMISSIONS.
  13. THIS RESULT SITS AT THE FOUNDATION OF THE THEORY OF ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING (AGW)  AND CLIMATE CHANGE BECAUSE THIS IS THE ONLY CLAIMED ROLE OF HUMANS, THE SOLE ARGUMENT FOR HUMAN CAUSE, AND THE SOLE BASIS FOR THE CALL TO CLIMATE ACTION
  14. THE THEORY OF AGW STATES THAT FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING BECAUSE THE AIRBORNE FRACTION INCREASES ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION
  15. HOWEVER, AS WE SHOW BELOW, THE COMPUTED AIRBORNE FRACTION HAS NO INTERPRETATION IN TERMS OF ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION BECAUSE IT DOES NOT TAKE UNCERTAINTIES INTO ACCOUNT; AND WHEN UNCERTAINTIES ARE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT NO STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT AIRBORNE FRACTION IS FOUND IN THE DATA AND THAT THEREFORE THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF HUMAN CAUSE AND NO EVIDENCE OF EITHER THE NEED OR THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CLIMATE ACTION. 

PART-2: A CARBON CYCLE FLOW BALANCE IN THE PRESENCE OF UNCERTAINTY

FIGURE 1: MONTE CARLO SIMULATION VIDEO 

FINDINGS OF THE MONTE CARLO SIMULATION ANALYSIS

FIGURE 2: FLOWS TO AND FROM THE ATMOSPHERE WITH FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS

MONTE-1

FIGURE 3: FLOWS TO AND FROM THE ATMOSPHERE: NO FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS

MONTE-3

FIGURE 4: NET CO2 FLOW TO THE ATMOSPHERE WITH FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS

MONTE-2

FIGURE 5: NET CO2 FLOW TO THE ATMOSPHERE: NO FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS

MONTE-4

ANALYSIS 

  1. THE IMPORTANT CARBON CYCLE FLOWS ARE AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE LARGER THAN FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS AND THEY CANNOT BE DIRECTLY MEASURED BUT MUST BE INFERRED FROM RELATED DATA. THEREFORE, THEY ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE UNCERTAINTIES THAT ARE OFTEN LARGER THAN FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS.
  2. THE COMPLEX MASS BALANCE OF UNCERTAIN FLOWS IS CARRIED OUT WITH MONTE CARLO SIMULATION WHERE 150 RANDOM VALUES ARE DRAWN FROM ALL POSSIBLE VALUES WITHIN THE STATED UNCERTAINTY OF CARBON CYCLE FLOWS.
  3. THE IPCC PROVIDED AN UNCERTAINTY VALUE FOR THE FLOW OF CO2 REMOVED FROM THE ATMOSPHERE BY PHOTOSYNTHESIS AS A STANDARD DEVIATION OF σ=8 IN A FLOW WITH A MEAN VALUE OF μ=123. THE UNCERTAINTY IN THIS CASE CAN BE REPRESENTED AS σ=8/123 OR 6.5% OF THE MEAN . THE UNCERTAINTY FOR THE OTHER UNCERTAIN CARBON CYCLE FLOWS ARE NOT PROVIDED AND ARE THEREFORE ESTIMATED AS 6.5% OF THE MEAN.
  4. IN THE MONTE CARLO SIMULATION, 150 POSSIBLE VALUES ARE  DRAWN FROM WITHIN THIS UNCERTAINTY BAND FOR EACH UNCERTAIN CARBON CYCLE FLOW. LINES DRAWN THROUGH THESE 150 VALUES ARE DEPICTED IN THE CHARTS ABOVE FROM FIGURE 1 TO FIGURE 5. 
  5. IN FIGURE 4 ABOVE WE FIND THAT WHEN FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS ARE  INSERTED INTO THE CARBON CYCLE FLOWS, THE MEAN OF THE 150 RANDOM MONTE CARLO SIMULATION VALUES OF THE AIRBORNE FRACTION IS μ=4.77 WITH A STANDARD DEVIATION OF σ=12.7 . THE RESULTS SHOW NO STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION OF FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS TO ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION. 
  6. THE MASS BALANCE IS REPEATED IN FIGURE 5 ABOVE WITHOUT FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS. HERE WE FIND THE MEAN OF THE AIRBORNE FRACTION IS CLOSE TO ZERO AS WE WOULD EXPECT WITH A COMPUTED MEAN OF μ= –1.7 BUT WITH A LARGE STANDARD DEVIATION OF σ=12.1. THE LARGE STANDARD DEVIATION IMPLIES THAT THE COMPUTED MEAN HAS NO INTERPRETATION BECAUSE IT IS NOT STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT.

SUMMARY OF NET CO2 FLOWS TO THE ATMOSPHERE

CASE 1: NO FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS: MEAN=-1.7, STDEV=12.1, TSTAT=0.14

CASE 2: WITH FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS: MEAN=4.77, STDEV=12.7, TSTAT=0.375

THE RESULTS IMPLY THAT THE TWO MEAN CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE CARBON CYCLE WITH AND WITHOUT FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS TO ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION HAVE NO INTERPRETATION BECAUSE OF A COMPLETE ABSENCE OF STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE DUE TO LARGE UNCERTAINTIES.

CONCLUSION: WE CONCLUDE THAT WITHIN THE STATED UNCERTAINTIES OF CARBON CYCLE FLOWS, NO EVIDENCE IS FOUND IN THE DATA THAT FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS CAUSE CHANGES IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION. THE UNCERTAINTIES IN CARBON CYCLE FLOWS ARE TOO LARGE TO DETECT THESE ASSUMED EFFECTS.

THE ASSUMED SENSITIVITY OF ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION TO FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS IS THE ESSENTIAL BASIS FOR THE THEORY OF ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING BY THE INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY AND THE CALL FOR COSTLY CLIMATE ACTION; BUT NO SUCH SENSITIVITY IS FOUND IN THE DATA. THIS RESULT IS SUPPORTED BY CORRELATION ANALYSIS PRESENTED IN A RELATED POST AT THIS SITE [LINK TO CORRELATION ANALYSIS].

POSTSCRIPT: IT IS NOTED THAT THE ESSENTIAL MESSAGE OF THE CLIMATE MOVEMENT IS NOT CLIMATE CHANGE BUT CLIMATE ACTION. CLIMATE CHANGE IS SEEN THROUGHOUT THE HOLOCENE AS CYCLES OF WARMING AND COOLING [LINK] . CATASTROPHIC CLIMATE CHANGE SERVES ONLY AS THE RATIONALE FOR CLIMATE ACTION. AS SUCH AGW CLIMATE CHANGE IS JUST THE LATEST INCARNATION OF THE ANTI FOSSIL FUEL MOVEMENT AS DESCRIBED IN A RELATED POST [LINK] . THE REAL ISSUE IN THE CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUE IS HUMAN CAUSE AND NOT CLIMATE CHANGE.

RELATED POSTS  [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] 

WHAT IS MONTE CARLO SIMULATION? 

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THIS POST PRESENTS A 2004 GUARDIAN ARTICLE [LINK]  ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING CLIMATE CHANGE IN TERMS OF CATASTROPHIC CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE BY THE YEAR 2020 PREDICTED BY THE PENTAGON.  THE RELEVANT CONTENT OF THE ARTICLE IS PRESENTED BELOW. 

THE CONTEXT OF THE ARTICLE IS THAT IN 2004, THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA WAS GEORGE W BUSH WHO WAS WIDELY SEEN AS A CLIMATE DENIER JUST AS TRUMP IS TODAY, BUT WITH SOME DEGREE OF REBELLION IN THE ADMINISTRATION. THE PRIMARY SUCH REBELLION IS CITED AS THE CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT ISSUED BY THE PENTAGON THAT LAID OUT THE CASE FOR HUMAN CAUSED GLOBAL WARMING AND ITS CATASTROPHIC IMPACTS SUCH AS EXTREME WEATHER, SEA LEVEL RISE, FLOODS, AND DROUGHTS THAT THE PENTAGON HAD DECIDED WOULD LEAD TO COLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATION AND A NEW KIND OF GLOBAL WARFARE SCENARIO BY THE YEAR 2020 FOR WHICH THE USA MUST PREPARE.

PRESIDENT BUSH SUPPRESSED THE REPORT FOR 4 MONTHS AND THAT LED SOME ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS TO REBEL AGAINST THE PRESIDENT FOR HIS CLIMATE DENIAL. JEREMY SYMONS OF THE EPA RESIGNED IN PROTEST  SAYING THAT THE WHITE HOUSE WAS TRYING TO “BURY THE THREAT OF CLIMATE CHANGE”. 

THE GUARDIAN ARTICLE BELOW WAS ONE OF MANY SUCH ANALYSES THAT USED THESE EVENTS TO BOOST CLIMATE ACTIVISM AND TO ATTACK CLIMATE DENIERS INCLUDING PRESIDENT BUSH. REPORTS OF THESE EVENTS PUBLISHED AT THAT TIME CAPTURE THE EUPHORIC MOMENT FOR THE CLIMATE MOVEMENT THAT SAW THE PENTAGON REPORT AS A VINDICATION OF THEIR CLIMATE ACTIVISM AND THE ATTACK ON PRESIDENT BUSH AS A REJECTION OF CLIMATE DENIAL. 

HOWEVER, WHEN VIEWED 16 YEARS LATER FROM THE YEAR 2020, THESE 2004 EVENTS AND FAILED CATASTROPHIC CLIMATE FORECASTS FOR THE YEAR 2020 PAINT A VERY DIFFERENT PICTURE ALTHOUGH ACTIVISTS CAN INTERPRET THE COVID PANDEMIC AND THE GEORGE FLOYD PROTESTS IN THAT LIGHT. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THE BIG ISSUE OF THE TIME RIGHT AFTER THE 911 ATTACKS WAS TERRORISM AND SO MUCH OF THE FEARS OF CLIMATE CHANGE INCLUDED THE SPREAD AND RISING THREAT OF TERRORISM. 

 

THE FORECASTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS BY THE YEAR 2020 INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING.

  1. CATASTROPHIC IMPACTS OF ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE EVENTS
  2. EUROPEAN CITIES WILL BE SUBMERGED UNDER SEA LEVEL RISE 
  3. COLLAPSE OF GLOBAL PEACE AND ORDER THAT IS WORSE THAN TERRORISM.
  4. MILLIONS OF LIVES LOST IN WARS AND NATURAL DISASTERS.
  5. MEGA DROUGHTS AND FAMINE THAT WILL LEAD TO NUCLEAR WAR.
  6. WIDESPREAD RIOTING AROUND THE WORLD. 
  7. ABRUPT CLIMATE CHANGE WILL DESTROY CIVILIZATION AND CREATE ANARCHY. 
  8. AS PEOPLE START RUNNING OUT OF FOOD, WATER, AND ENERGY THERE WILL BE WIDESPREAD RIOTING AND WARFARE THAT WILL LEAD TO NUCLEAR CONFLICT. 
  9. HUMAN CIVILIZATION WILL BE GONE AND REPLACED WITH A STATE OF WARFARE. 
  10. ESSENTIALLY, IT WAS POSTULATED THAT CLIMATE CHANGE WILL DESTROY HUMAN CIVILIZATION AND WE WILL HAVE TO START ALL OVER FROM OUR CAVEMAN DAYS. 

 

 

 

 

WHAT THE 2004 GUARDIAN ARTICLE SAYS

  1. Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us. Secret report warns of rioting and nuclear war. Britain will be ‘Siberian’ in less than 20 years. Threat to the world is greater than terrorism. Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters. A secret report, suppressed by US defense chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a ‘Siberian’ climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.
  2. The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents. ‘Disruption and conflict will be endemic features of life,’ concludes the Pentagon analysis. ‘Once again, warfare would define human life. The findings will prove humiliating to the Bush administration, which has repeatedly denied that climate change even exists. They will also make unsettling reading for President Bush who has insisted national defense is a priority.
  3. The report was commissioned by influential Pentagon defence adviser Andrew Marshall, who has held considerable sway on US military thinking over the past three decades. He was the man behind a sweeping recent review aimed at transforming the American military under Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Climate change ‘should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a US national security concern’, say the authors, Peter Schwartz, CIA consultant and former head of planning at Royal Dutch/Shell Group, and Doug Randall of the California-based Global Business Network.
  4. A scenario of imminent catastrophic climate change is ‘plausible and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately’, they conclude. As early as next year widespread flooding by a rise in sea levels will create major upheaval for millions. Last week the Bush administration came under heavy fire from a large body of respected scientists who claimed that it cherry-picked science to suit its policy agenda and suppressed studies that it did not like. Jeremy Symons, a former whistleblower at the EPA, said that suppression of the report for four months was a further example of the White House trying to bury the threat of climate change.
  5. Senior climatologists believe that their verdicts could prove the catalyst in forcing Bush to accept climate change as a real and happening phenomenon. They also hope it will convince the United States to sign up to global treaties to reduce the rate of climatic change. A group of eminent UK scientists recently visited the White House to voice their fears over global warming, part of an intensifying drive to get the US to treat the issue seriously. Sources have told The Observer that American officials appeared extremely sensitive about the issue when faced with complaints that America’s public stance appeared increasingly out of touch.
  6. It is alleged that the White House had written to complain about some of the comments attributed to Professor Sir David King, Tony Blair’s chief scientific adviser, after he branded the President’s position on the issue as indefensible. Among those scientists present at the White House talks were Professor John Schellnhuber, former chief environmental adviser to the German government and head of the UK’s leading group of climate scientists at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. He said that the Pentagon’s internal fears should prove the ‘tipping point’ in persuading Bush to accept climatic change.  {More about Schellnhuber[LINK] .
  7. Sir John Houghton, former chief executive of the Meteorological Office – and the first senior figure to liken the threat of climate change to that of terrorism – said: ‘If the Pentagon is sending out that sort of message, then this is an important document indeed. Bob Watson, chief scientist for the World Bank and former chair of the IPCC, added that the Pentagon’s dire warnings could no longer be ignored.
  8. Can Bush ignore the Pentagon? It’s going be hard to blow off this sort of document. Its hugely embarrassing. After all, Bush’s single highest priority is national defense. The Pentagon is no wacko, liberal group, generally speaking it is conservative. If climate change is a threat to national security and the economy, then he has to act. There are two groups the Bush Administration tend to listen to, the oil lobby and the Pentagon,’ added Watson.
  9. You’ve got a President who says global warming is a hoax, and across the Potomac river you’ve got a Pentagon preparing for climate wars. It’s pretty scary when Bush starts to ignore his own government on this issue,’ said Rob Gueterbock of Greenpeace.
  10. Already, according to Randall and Schwartz, the planet is carrying a higher population than it can sustain. By 2020 ‘catastrophic’ shortages of water and energy supply will become increasingly harder to overcome, plunging the planet into war. They warn that 8,200 years ago climatic conditions brought widespread crop failure, famine, disease and mass migration of populations that could soon be repeated. Randall told The Observer that the potential ramifications of rapid climate change would create global chaos. ‘This is depressing stuff,’ he said. ‘It is a national security threat that is unique because there is no enemy to point your guns at and we have no control over the threat.’
  11. Randall added that it was already possibly too late to prevent a disaster happening.We don’t know exactly where we are in the process. It could start tomorrow and we would not know for another five years,’ he said. ‘The consequences for some nations of the climate change are unbelievable. It seems obvious that cutting the use of fossil fuels would be worthwhile.’ So dramatic are the report’s scenarios, Watson said, that they may prove vital in the US elections. Democratic front runner John Kerry is known to accept climate change as a real problem. Scientists disillusioned with Bush’s stance are threatening to make sure Kerry uses the Pentagon report in his campaign.
  12. The fact that Marshall is behind its scathing findings will aid Kerry’s cause. Marshall, 82, is a Pentagon legend who heads a secretive think-tank dedicated to weighing risks to national security called the Office of Net Assessment. Dubbed ‘Yoda’ by Pentagon insiders who respect his vast experience, he is credited with being behind the Department of Defence’s push on ballistic-missile defense.
  13. Symons left the EPA in protest at political interference and holds that the suppression of the report was a further instance of the White House trying to bury evidence of climate change. ‘It is yet another example of why this government should stop burying its head in the sand on this issue. Symons said the Bush administration’s close links to high-powered energy and oil companies was vital in understanding why climate change was received skeptically in the Oval Office. ‘This administration is ignoring the evidence in order to placate a handful of large energy and oil companies,’ he added.
  14. THE GUARDIAN SPEAKS OUT: We’ve never had a better chance to make a greener world than the Covid19.  The pandemic has delivered unusual environmental benefits: cleaner air, lower carbon emissions, a respite for wildlife. Now the big question is whether we can capitalize on this moment. The Guardian aims to lead the debate from the front. In the weeks and months ahead, our journalism will investigate the prospects for a new green settlement. We will showcase the big thinkers and protagonists and amplify the arguments for authorities everywhere to consider as they lead us out of coronavirus.
  15. THE GUARDIAN STATES ITS CLIMATE ACTIVISM AGENDA: Our credentials suit us well to the task: we are independent, we have no owners, no paymasters or oligarchs pulling the strings. We have committed to carbon neutrality, divested from the oil and gas sectors and renounced fossil fuel advertising. But at this crucial moment, news organisations like ours are facing a daunting financial challenge. As businesses everywhere feel the pinch, the advertising revenue that has long helped to sustain our work has plummeted. We need you to help fill the gap. Our journalism is open to all because we believe everyone deserves access to factual information, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. If you can afford to, we hope you will consider supporting our journalism today. The Guardian believes that the climate crisis we face is systemic. We will inform our readers about threats to the environment based on scientific facts, not driven by commercial or political interests. We will keep reporting on the efforts of individuals and communities around the world who are fearlessly taking a stand for future generations and the preservation of human life on earth. We want their stories to inspire hope. We need your support to keep delivering this kind of open, committed independent journalism. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable.
  16. LINK TO SOURCE DOCUMENT [LINK] .

 

US-based climate scientists to take research to France

 

THAT A SELECTED CLIMATE EVENT IS UNPRECEDENTED DOES NOT PROVE THAT THE CURRENT WARM PERIOD MUST THEREFORE HAVE BEEN THE RESULT OF HUMAN CAUSE 

  1. The climate science position that unprecedented climate events prove human cause of the current warming trend has no basis. That selected climate events can be found that are unprecedented proves only that they were unprecedented and not that therefore the current warm period must have a human cause.
  2. For example, the PETM (Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum) ocean acidification event 55 million years ago is unprecedented in the paleo record but it was not human caused although it serves as the model for the ocean acidification fears in the current warm period.
  3. The ETE (End Triassic Extinction) 200 million years ago is unprecedented in the paleo record but it was not human caused although it serves as a model for fears of a human caused mass extinction of the current warm period.
  4. As for deglaciation transitions to interglacials, the extreme climate change events of the Eemian is unprecedented in the paleo record but it was not human caused although it serves as a model for a predicted catastrophic sea level rise event in the current warm period by way of a collapse of polar ice sheets.
  5. Briefly, the lengths to which climate science has gone to prove human cause by arguing the case that various events in the current warm period are unprecedented is an oddity. That a climate event that is unprecedented is therefore human caused is not credible because it is illogical, unscientific, and without a rational basis.
  6. The credibility of this argument is further weakened by the selection of arbitrary  reference time periods such as 1,000 years or 2,000 years for various claims to prove that the current warming is unprecedented.
  7. CONCLUSIONHuman cause must be proven in terms of the case against humans made in climate science u terms of the use of fossil fuels in the industrial economy, and not in terms of whether selected climate events in the current warm period is unprecedented. To do that it must first  be shown that being unprecedented requires a human cause.
  8. The case against humans in climate science is that since the Industrial Revolution, humans have been releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels and that this carbon dioxide is not in the current account of the carbon cycle but from carbon cycles millions of years ago.  It is thus argued that fossil fuel emissions of the industrial economy have caused atmospheric CO2 concentration to steadily increase and that steady increase has caused warming by way of the climate sensitivity of surface temperature to atmospheric CO2 concentration.
  9. That climate science has now resorted to proving human cause by way of whether selected climate events in the current warm period are unprecedented may imply a weakness in the science.
  10. Some sources of this weakness are explored in the related posts at these links
  11. [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK]
WHAT WE SEE THE MORNING AFTER

 

 

QUESTION BY THAI VIEWER:

WHAT DOES “BOARDED UP” MEAN?

ANSWER:

DESTROYED GLASS WINDOWS AND DOORS REPLACED WITH WOODEN BOARDS. 

 

 

 

 

WHAT THE MEDIA SHOWED THE NIGHT BEFORE

 

COMMENT BELOW BY JOCHEN UEBEL SAYS THAT BOARDING UP IS NORMAL CLOSING PROCEDURE IN MANHATTAN IN THESE TROUBLING TIMES AND THEREFORE NOT IN ITSELF EVIDENCE OF MAYHEM. 

IN THE FOX NEWS LINK JOCHEN PROVIDED WE READ: 

A growing scene for those who venture out into the streets of Manhattan these days is boarded up storefronts.  From luxury retailers to small bars, establishments that have no idea when they are going to be allowed to reopen are putting up protection over their glass doors and windows. The businesses have taken the unsightly measure in an effort to defend against the potential for civil unrest caused by the coronavirus and a lack of officers on the streets.

Sorry, dears: This was Fake News. The wooden walls are made for the time they had to close.

https://www.fox5ny.com/news/store-owners-boarding-up-buildings-across-manhattan

Best regards, – – Jochen Mobil: +49 176 23911198

 

 

BUT THEN THERE IS THIS FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES: 

Shattered Glass in SoHo as Looters Ransack Lower Manhattan

As the protesters moved north, fringe groups hung back, setting fires, breaking windows and grabbing goods from a string of luxury boutiques [LINK] 

Looters smashed windows and emptied boutiques of merchandise in Flatiron, SoHo and other parts of downtown Manhattan. 

 

AND WHAT ABOUT MILLIE WEAVER? IF SHE IS CREDIBLE, THIS IS A BIGGER MESS THAN ANYONE MIGHT HAVE IMAGINED

 [LINK TO MILLIE WEAVER]  

bandicam 2020-06-04 19-15-59-701

[LINK TO THE HOME PAGE OF THIS SITE]

RELATED POST [HISTORY: ARRHENIUS TO CALLENDAR]

RELATED POST: [GUY STEWART CALLENDAR] 

According to the BBC, there were three “PIONEERS who “PREDICTED” climate change. They are identified as Eunice Foote, Guy Callendar, and Charles Keeling [LINK]

THE TEXT OF THE BBC STATEMENT

Three pioneers who predicted climate change

  1. We’ve known about the idea of the greenhouse effect since the 1820s, but it was Eunice Foote – a women’s rights activist who first showed how it could actually work. In 1856, she used an air pump to fill glass cylinders with different gases and then tested the effect of sunlight on them. One was carbon dioxide, CO2. “The receiver containing the gas became itself much heated… and on being removed, it was many times as long in cooling…” Foote’s experiment suggested that CO2 and water vapour trap heat more than other gases do and the potential effects on our climate began to emerge. “An atmosphere of that gas would give to our Earth a high temperature.” That year she submitted her findings to an American scientific society. At their conference she wasn’t able to take questions directly because someone else presented her work for her and it wasn’t published in the proceedings of the society. Another journal did end up publishing her paper, but it went largely unnoticed. Three years later, Irish physicist John Tyndall did more complex experiments, finding other greenhouse gases that trap heat. He went on to become one of the founding figures of climate science. Nobody knows if he’d read Eunice Foote’s paper, but his own didn’t mention her or her glass cylinders at all. No pictures of Foote have survived, and her contribution remained buried for 150 years only coming to light by chance in 2010, when a retired geologist discovered a citation of her work in an antique science annual.
  2. Guy Stewart Callendar was a steam engineer by day and an avid collector of climate data in his spare time. By the 1930s, he was collecting temperature readings from 147 weather stations around the world. No-one had ever collated the data like this before, and when he compared his temperature readings to historic measurements of CO2, he discovered a clear pattern. Callendar saw that not only was climate change happening, it was at least partly down to the burning of fossil fuels. In 1938, Callendar presented his findings to a scientific body but the idea that we humans could influence something as huge as the Earth’s climate was still, for many, too hard to believe. It wasn’t until after the Second World War that the effect of human activity on global warming the “Callendar Effect” – was proved right.
  3. In 1958, chemist Charles Keeling‘s colleagues were studying the relationship between ocean acidity and carbon dioxide. Until then, it had been thought that the oceans quickly absorb most CO2, taking it out of the atmosphere, but that didn’t appear to be true. Keeling had a hunch that scientists had been underestimating how much of the gas was actually over our heads. I was telling these people that the whole field was pretty badly screwed up. Atmospheric CO2 readings had been taken for decades, but the data was unreliable. Keeling was convinced he could do better, and looked for a spot that was as far as possible from the pollution of cities and industry. He went to the middle of the North Pacific, 4,000 metres above sea level, to the huge, active volcano of Mauna Loa, in Hawaii. If you had to have picked a spot anywhere, which would have given a representation of the whole world with one single site, Mauna Loa Observatory is probably about the best choice. His new data proved two things. Firstly, it showed that CO2 goes up and down with the seasons. But if you zoom out from these “saw’s teeth” you can see the second thing that Keeling proved atmospheric CO2 was increasing year on year. Keeling began plotting his readings on a graph, and the ominously upward-curving line – the “Keeling Curve” – was born. But the Mauna Loa project faced challenges. Equipment broke down, and it struggled to secure funding. It was only through sheer perseverance that the observatory kept taking its readings. Keeling was eventually awarded a National Medal of Science for his work, and today, Mauna Loa is still the world’s benchmark site for measuring CO2.
  4. It’s now more than 160 years since Eunice Foote suggested the cause of global warming, more than 80 years since Guy Callendar demonstrated the planet was warming because of human activity, and more than 60 years since Charles Keeling showed CO2 was rising at an alarming rate. And here we are…

CRITICAL COMMENTARY

EUNICE FOOTE:  

IT IS TRUE THAT IN 1820 EUNICE FOOTE CONDUCTED EXPERIMENTS THAT SHOWED THAT CO2 ABSORBS HEAT BECAUSE BOTTLES FILLED WITH CO2 GOT HOTTER IN THE SUN THAT BOTTLES NOT FOLLED WITH CO2. HOWEVER, THIS EXPERIMENT WAS THE ENTIREITY OF HER RESEARCH INTEREST AND HER FINDINGS. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE EUNICE FOOTE STORY THAT FOSSIL FUELS CAUSE ATMOSPHERIC CO2 TO RISE AND THAT  THE RISING ATMOSPHERIC CO2 IN TURN CAUSES GLOBAL WARMING AND THAT GLOBAL WARMING IS A BAD THING THAT NEEDS TO BE AVOIDED.

IT SHOULD ALSO BE MENTIONED THAT HER EXPERIMENTS WERE CONDUCTED IN 1820 AND THAT DOES FALL IN THE CLIMATE CHANGE ERA ACCORDING TO THE FIRST IPCC REPORT THAT SAID THAT CLIMATE CHANGE BEGAN IN 1760. HOWEVER, THE IPCC HAS SINCE CHANGED THE START DATE TO 1850 BUT THAT YEAR TOO HAS NOW BEEN DISCARDED IN LIGHT OF THE ETCW ISSUE IN CLIMATE SCIENCE (EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY WARMING). THE ETCW ANOMALY IN CLIMATE SCIENCE IS THAT THE CURRENT THEORY OF ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING (AGW) IS UNABLE TO EXPLAIN THE WARMING FROM PRE-INDUSTRIAL TO 1950. THE ETCW ANOMALY IS DESCRIBED IN SOME DETAIL IN A RELATED POST ON THIS SITE: [LINK]

IN VIEW OF THESE COMPLEXITIES WITH EARLIER DATES FOR WHEN AGW GOT STARTED, NASA AND CLIMATE SCIENTISTS SUCH  AS JAMES HANSEN OF THE USA AND PETER COX OF THE UK HAVE CHANGED THE START DATE OF AGW TO 1950 OR LATER. EUNICE FOOTE’S WORK DOES HELP TO SUPPORT AND UNDERSTND THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT OF CARBON DIOXIDE BUT SHE DID NOT PROPOSE A THEORY OF GLOBAL WARMING CAUSED BY THE BURNING OF FOSSILL FUELS IN THE INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY.

Happy 200th birthday to Eunice Foote, hidden climate science pioneer | NOAA  Climate.gov

GUY CALLENDAR:

GUY CALLENDAR PUBLISHED THE WORLD’S FIRST AGW PAPER IN THE YEAR 1932. DETAILS ARE PRESENTED IN A RELATED POST ON THIS SITE: [LINK] . IN THE PAPER HE NOTED THAT FROM 1900 TO 1932 BOTH ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION AND SURFACE TEMPERATURE HAVE RISEN. HE ATTRIBUTED THE RISE IN CO2 TO THE BURNING OF FOSSIL FUELS BY THE INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY AND HE ATTRIBUTED THE RISE IN TEMPERAURE TO THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT OF ATMOSPHERIC CO2. QUITE UNLIKE THE MODERN VERSION OF THIS THEORY, HE DID NOT PRESENT THESE FINDINGS AS SOMETHING TO FEAR AND SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE STOPPED WITH HUMAN INTERVENTION, BUT RATHER AS A WELCOME RELIEF FROM THE LITTLE ICE AGE WITH AN ADDED NOTE ON THE POSITIVE PHOTOSYNTHESIS EFFECTS OF HIGHER ATMOSPHERIC CO2 CONCENTRATION.  

HOWEVER, AS IN THE EUNICE FOOTE CASE CALLENDAR’S WORK TOO IS NOW DISCREDITED IN THE MODERN VERSION OF THE THEORY OF AGW BECAUSE HIS DATA FROM 1900 TO 1938 ARE FIRST OF ALL TOO BRIEF TO COMPUTE A STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT CLIMATE SENSITIVITY. THAT RELATIONSHIP REQUIRES TIME SPANS LONGER THAN 60 YEARS. THE OTHER ISSUE WITH THE CALLENDAR FINDINGS IS THAT HIS STUDY PERIOD TOO IS IN VIOLATION OF THE ETCW ISSUE IN MODERN CLIMATE SCIENCE WHERE THE CURRENT VERSION OF THE STRT YEAR FOR AGW IS 1950. THE OTHER INCONSISTENCY BETWEEN THE WORK OF CALLENDAR AND THE MODERN THEORY OF AGW IS THAT CALLENDAR DID NOT CLAIM GLOBAL WARMING AS A BAD THING THAT NEEDED HUMANS TO UNDO BY TAKING CLIMATE ACTION BY GIVING UP FOSSIL FUELS. AS IN THE WORK OF EUNICE FOOTE, THE CALLENDAR WORK TOO IS IRRELEVANT IN THE CONTEXT OF THE MODERN VERSION OF AGW.  

callendar

CHARLES KEELING:  

The “Keeling curve,” the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide... |  Download Scientific Diagram

Charles David Keeling - Wikipedia

THE KEELING CONNECTION TO THE MODERN THEORY OF AGW IS THAT HE WAS THE PROVIDER OF RLIABLE ATMOSPHERIC CO2 DATA FROM MAUNA LOA THAT SHOWED BOTH A SEASONAL CYCLE EXPLAINED IN TERMS OF PHOTOSYNTHESIS AND A LONG TERM RISING TREND THAT IS TAKEN TO BE THE EVIDENCE THAT FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS CAUSE ATMOSPHERIC CO2 TO RISE. THIS RELATIONSHIP IS THE FOUNDATIONAL EVIDENCE OF ANTHROPOGENIC GLOLBAL WARMING (AGW).

HOWEVER, KEELING DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE EXTENSION OF THE THEORY FROM RISING ATMOSPHERIC CO2 TO RISING GLOBAL MEAN SURFACE TEMPERATURE (GMST) POSSIBLY BECAUSE A THEORY OF WARMING THAT RESTS ENTIRELY ON HUMAN CAUSE IN THE FORM OF THE INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY COULD NOT EXPLAIN THE OTHER WARMING TRENDS OF THE HOLOCENE THAT PREDATES THE INDUSTRIAL ECONOMY OF HUMANS. THE OTHER WARMING AND COOLING CYCLES OF THE HOLOCENE ARE DESCRIBED IN A RELATED POST:

LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2021/05/12/human-cause-in-the-anthropocene/

EVENTUALLY, HE PROPOSED HIS OWN THEORY OF GLOBAL WARMING. THIS THEORY DOES NOT RELY ON THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION AND DOES NOT RELY ON THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT OF CO2 AND SO IS ABLE TO EXPLAIN NOT ONLY WARMING BUT COOLING AND NOT ONLY THE CURRENT WARMING BUT PRIOR WARMING CYCLES OF THE HOLOCENE DESCRIBED IN THE RELATED POST LINKED BELOW. HE PUBLISHED THAT PAPER WITH CO-AUTHOR TIMOTHY WHORF.

LINK: https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/08/05/tidalcyclesbiblio/

KEELING AND WHORF

TIDAL CYCLES AND GLOBAL WARMING

THE TIDAL CYCLE THEORY OF CLIMATE CHANGE EXPLAINS THE 12,000 YEAR HISTORY OF MILLENNIAL SCALE WARMING AND COOLING CYCLES SEEN IN THE HOLOCENE [LINK] . IN CONTRAST, THE CLIMATE SCIENCE AGW CLIMATE CHANGE THEORY EXPLAINS THE POST LIA WARMING BUT HAS NO EXPLANATION FOR THE OTHER WARMING AND COOLING CYCLES OF THE HOLOCENE [LINK] .

HERE WE PRESENT A BIBLIOGRAPHY ON THIS SUBJECT OF TIDAL CYCLE RESONANCE. THE KEELING AND WHORF 2000 PAPER THAT CONSIDERS THE CLIMATE EFFECTS OF GRAVITATIONAL INTERACTIONS AMONG SUN, EARTH, AND MOON ONLY IS DESCRIBED IN SOME DETAIL BELOW. IT IS NOTED THAT OTHER PAPERS IN THE BIBLIOGRAPHY BELOW, VOISIN 2020 IN PARTICULAR, ALSO INCLUDE GRAVITATIONAL INTERACTIONS AMONG THE PLANETS – SPECIFICALLY THAT BETWEEN EARTH AND VENUS. 

Tides are the creation of the gravitational interactions among earth, sun, and moon. This interaction is able to create the energy required to form tides on earth’s oceans. This energy is eventually released into the earth system and the gravitational interactions can also act as a perturbation of the earth’s internal geothermal heat in the mantle (Voisin 2020). Various papers by Keeling and Whorf and a few other authors (see Bibiography below) propose a mechanism in which periodic resonance in the gravitational interaction among earth, moon, and sun explains the cycles of millennial scale warming and cooling events over the 12,000 years of the Holocene that are described in a related post [LINK] . In that context, it is proposed by authors of tidal cycle papers that a study of the current warming period since the Little Ice Age should not exclude a role for tidal cycles.

SUMMARY: THE POINT OF THE BBC ARTICLE, THAT CLIMATE SCIENCE IS MADE MORE CREDIBLE BY THE REFERENCES TO FOOTE, CALLENDAR, AND KEELING, DOES NOT HOLD IN THE CONTEXT OF THE ADDITIONAL DETAILS PROVIDED ABOVE.

Tamson Pietsch | University of Technology Sydney

Research by Senior Lecturer Tamson Pietsch Establishes the Knowledge of Climate Science and the Credibility needed for formulating climate policy in terms of climate action and the role of the university in climate activism

 

The New Social Contract podcast team
Host: Tamson Pietsch, Associate Professor, Social and Political Sciences
Impact Studios Executive Producer: Emma Lancaster
Impact Studios Digital Communications Manager: Ben Vozzo
Audio Producer: Allison Chan
Journalist: Kathy Marks
Sound Engineer: Adrian Walton”

Programs > Brochure > Study Abroad Office

  1. Pietsch, Tamson. “Wandering scholars? Academic mobility and the British world, 1850–1940.” Journal of Historical Geography 36.4 (2010): 377-387. At the Allied Colonial Universities Conference, held in London in 1903, delegates from across the universities of Britain’s settler empire professed the existence of a British academic community, defined not by location, but by shared culture, shared values and shared ethnicity. This article examines the extent to which these claims reflected actual patterns of academic mobility in the settler empire between 1850 and 1940. By mapping the careers of the 350 professors who served at the Universities of Sydney, Toronto, and Manchester during this period, it concludes that, between 1900 and 1930 especially, there existed a distinctly British academic world within which scholars moved frequently along different migratory axes. Though not as united, extensive and uncomplicated as that in which the 1903 Conference delegates believed, this world nonetheless shared more in common with their vision of an expansive British academic community than it did with the image of an unconnected and isolated periphery that has characterised portrayals by subsequent university historians.
  2. Pietsch, Tamson. “A British sea: making sense of global space in the late nineteenth century.” Journal of Global History 5.3 (2010): 423-446.  It is the contention of this article that historians of the nineteenth century need to think about notions of empire, nation, and race in the context of the social production of space. More specifically, it posits that the moving space of the steamship functioned as a particularly important site in which travellers reworked ideas about themselves and their worlds. Supporting this contention the article pays close attention to the journeys of J. T. Wilson, a young Scottish medical student who between 1884 and 1887 made three voyages to China and one to Australia. For it was in the space of the ship, literally moving along the routes of global trade, that Wilson forged a particular kind of British identity.
  3. Pietsch, Tamson. “Many Rhodes: Travelling scholarships and imperial citizenship in the British academic world, 1880–1940.” History of Education 40.6 (2011): 723-739.  Since its Foundation in 1901, the Rhodes Scholarships scheme has been held up as the archetype of a programme designed to foster imperial citizens. However, though impressive in scale, Cecil Rhodes’s foundation was not the first to bring colonial students to Britain. Over the course of the previous half-century, governments, universities and individuals in the settler colonies had been establishing travelling scholarships for this purpose. In fact by the end of the nineteenth century the travelling scholarship had become an important part of settler universities’ educational visions. It served as a crucial mechanism by which they sought to claim their citizenship of what they saw as the expansive British academic world.
  4. Pietsch, Tamson. “Rethinking the British world.” Journal of British Studies 52.2 (2013): 441-463. This article rethinks the concept of the “British World” by paying close attention to the voices of those who attended the 1903 Allied Colonial Universities Conference. They identified not one, but three different kinds of British world space. Mapped, respectively, by ideas and emotions, by networks and exchange, and by the specific sites of empire, this article suggests that, in the light of criticisms the British World concept has faced, and in the context of recent scholarship on the social and material production of space, this tripartite approach might offer a useful framework for British and imperial historians interested in the history of the global.
  5. Pietsch, Tamson. “Bodies at sea: travelling to Australia in the age of sail.” Journal of Global History 11.2 (2016): 209-228. This article considers the bodily experience of being at sea in the age of sail. Using shipboard diaries written by eight passengers during the high period of free migration to the Australasian colonies, it argues that oceanic journeys disrupted and upended the land-based bodily practices being fashioned in nineteenth-century Britain. At sea, these mechanisms of bodily comportment were rendered fragile and unstable, leaving middle- and working-class bodies alike vulnerable and open to refashioning and reformation. In so doing, it points to the need for scholars to bring together land- and sea-based histories and to historicize and particularize oceanic spaces.

70 Years of China's Economic Growth In One ChartThe Changing Landscape of China's Socialism - Raed Jumean - Medium

ENTERPRISE REFORM IN CHINA 1981-2001

SOCIALISM WITH CHINESE CHARACTERISTICS & CAPITALISM CHARACTERISTICS

Jamal Munshi, International Securities Consultancy, Hong Kong, 2001

All rights reserved by International Securities Consultancy, Hong Kong

 

  1. Social welfare functions of the Chinese Communist regime are largely relegated to state-owned industrial enterprises (SOE). In addition to productive assets, the SOE also comprises employee housing, health care, pension plans, schools, hospitals, recreation facilities, and even infrastructure. Depending on the type of industry, a quarter to a half of SOE assets may be tied up in these non-production assets. SOE managers are Communist Party bureaucrats whose job is to follow procedure and carry out orders.
  2. Their orders include production targets, wages, pricing of all inputs and outputs, and social welfare of the employees who are the “workers”. Communism in theory is a social organization of the workers by the workers and for the workers and its primary objective is to ensure the welfare of workers. Labor is to communism what capital is to capitalism. Lifetime employment is guaranteed. SOE managers use a Soviet style socialist fund accounting to report their revenues and costs,and compute fund excess to be returned to the State or funding needs to be received from the State. Outmoded technology, over-staffing, and gross inefficiency characterize the productive portion of these enterprises. The managerial line of command does not contain a point of responsibility for efficiency or quality. SOE managers are evaluated only on their ability to meet or exceed production targets.
  3. In the reform era considerations other than production targets were introduced into SOE management. Thereafter, the additional funding needs of money-losing SOEs emerged as a significant financial burden for the government. In the reform era the State has decided to offload its SOE funding obligations to the state owned banks and at the same time embarked on a program to improve SOE efficiency. In what may be described as a “carrot and stick” approach, the managers are given authority to make production, pricing, and marketing decisions and they are held to efficiency targets.
  4. A business accounting system is used to compute efficiency measures. Managers who exceed efficiency targets are rewarded in a profit sharing scheme. They are expected to operate as business managers who make business decisions rather than as bureaucrats who carry out orders. The State, as the owner of the assets under their care, charges them with “conserving or increasing the value” of its assets under their management.This enterprise governance scheme, called the “contract responsibility system”, was tried and fine-tuned but it failed to achieve the efficiency gains the State wanted partly because measures of managers’ ability to manage the productive assets are confounded by the non-production social welfare obligations that are bundled in with the productive function.
  5. Besides, enterprise governance in the contract responsibility system provides no substitute for direct state control to monitor and discipline managers. Accordingly, the contract responsibility system was discontinued in favor of a system patterned after corporate governance in mature market economies. The prototype for this new format was a state owned retailer in Beijing.
  6. The productive assets of the SOE were disgorged and a shareholding corporation was formed to receive them. The original SOE was left with only the schools and hospitals and other non-productive assets and it received about 30% of the shares in the new corporation. Approximately 10% of the shares went to employees of the two firms. The other 60%of the shares authorized were sold in a direct subscription IPO. Half of these shares was sold to the public and the other half was reserved for “legal persons”, mostly state-owned or state-controlled institutions. IPO proceeds were apparently used to pay down debt and to invest in profitable projects. The corporate structure was superficially familiar with bylaws, a board of directors, shareholder meetings, and new accounting standards but the corporate governance structure was incomplete.
  7. The incorporation of the shareholding firm was a turning point in Chinese reforms because it introduced recognizable capitalist elements into the Chinese socialist economy.
  8. The CPC leadership packaged the radical changes into socialist language for general and consumption and also promulgated rules and procedures to ensure the primacy of and control by the CPC. To make sure that the ownership mix that the government had put into place does not change, trading of shares was strictly prohibited. Perhaps the State was fearful of foreign ownership or of financial warfare by the Taiwanese; or they may have wanted to avoid the rapid concentration of shareholdings that occurred in some of the CEEFSU countries during transition. In any case, these measures did not succeed.
  9. The demand for liquidity and the power of market forces took over and curb markets formed spontaneously. China’s reform program is based not on relinquishing state ownership of economic enterprise but on improving its efficiency. It is motivated by the State’s inability to continue funding SOE losses from state revenues. The extent to which reforms have in fact reduced the State’s role in the economy and engendered the private sector is likely an unintended consequence of policy changes whose real purpose was enterprise reform. The dynamics of this process is best understood in terms of what happens to household savings taking into consideration that centrally planned economies are most advanced in heavy industries and least advanced in the financial sector. 
  10. Banking and the NPL Problem: During the 1950s the CPC nationalized all banks and merged them into the People’s Bank of China (PBC). It remained the only bank in China for decades and also served as China’s central bank and its regulatory authority for the financial sector. It was the nation’s financial monolith. Its power ensures that the financial sector will be the most inflexible to reform measures. During the reform era, decentralization and the movement towards a market economy have progressed rapidly in all sectors except for banking. The PBC is still a formidable monolith and an oddity in an otherwise progressive transition economy. The PBC can assert its power at will because the reform era organizational chart is fuzzy and lines of authority are not clearly drawn.
  11. Four large state-owned banks dominate banking in China. They are controlled by the PBC. Banking is still centrally planned. Lending policies are influenced by powerful insiders and dictated by a political agenda perhaps with some consideration for social engineering. Market forces are now allowed but the allocation function of capital markets is subverted. As in other transition economies the extent of the bad debt problem in China is impossible to measure. The data on non-performing loans are supplied by the state owned banks themselves and there is not an independent assessment of their validity. The variation in accounting methods compounds this problem. Standards for the classification of loans, treatment of overdue interest, and provisioning for loan losses differ considerably from those articulated by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and from other Western norms. It is impossible to make a comparative analysis without taking these differences into consideration.
  12. Competition:  Self-sufficiency and isolationism were important elements of Chinese socialism. Trading was a sign of weakness. Comparative advantage was not permitted. Prior to reform China remained closed to the outside world behind the so-called “bamboo curtain”. When Mao and Deng successively decentralized the economy, provinces, municipalities, and even counties were directed to be self-sufficient. Labor mobility was restricted. Capital was allocated. Even regional trade within China was retarded. The central planners set prices and dictated production and consumption quotas. Producers were told what to produce and in what quantity with all inputs and outputs priced by the authorities.
  13. Citizens carried “ration cards” that contained instructions on what they would consume, how much, and at what price. There was little scope for competition. This economy became characterized by gross inefficiencies. The government determined that a cause of inefficiency in production was that the bureaucratic chain of command did not contain responsibilities or incentives. In the reform era the State has sought to improve the efficiency of these enterprises by liberalizing price controls and production quotas. Managers are given greater autonomy and allowed to make commercial decisions. In the so-called “contract responsibility system” or CRS, each firm is evaluated and rewarded based on performance. For example, a revenue sharing scheme may be applied to a certain level of profit and beyond that, the firm may be able to retain all earnings.
  14. These schemes are not immune to subversion or perverse incentives. Since the inception of this program various performance formulas have been tried and the CRS has been successively refined. The objective is that the firm should operate less as an agency of the State and more as a business enterprise while still remaining in State hands.The most radical feature of this system is that the State’s firms are pitted against each other in a nationwide competition. Theoretically, market forces and not central planning determine prices and production levels. The market also determines which of the multiplicity of firms will survive because it enforces a process of attrition that is expected to weed out excess capacity and inefficiency.
  15. Mergers, acquisitions, bankruptcies, and unemployment are expected in the restructuring process. It is an experiment in economics to determine whether central control is separable from central planning and whether the benefits of a market economy may be attained without ceding state ownership. The stated objective of these reforms is a “socialist market economy” as in have your cake and eat it too.
  16. The success of this strategy requires that competition in itself can be a substitute for privatization. Researchers have argued otherwise because of fundamental differences in corporate governance and the transaction cost mechanism. What would be an optimal systemic transaction cost of price competition in the private sector is a real cost to the monolithic state. As the owner of all competing firms in the same industry the State has both the incentive and the opportunity to manipulate prices and undermine real competition.
  17. State-owned enterprises in China are engaged in a form of centrally planned competition. For example, airlines are allowed to engage in price competition only within very narrow guidelines and banks are completely forbidden to set interest rates on either side of the balance sheet. This is capitalism with socialist and Chinese characteristics – a giant economics experiment that the outside world can neither see nor understand but with which it must engage in financial and economic transactions.

70 Years of China's Economic Growth In One Chart

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RELATED POST ON CONFIRMATION BIAS [LINK] 

 

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THIS POST IS A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE US ARMY RESEARCH PAPER UNWRITING THE FUTURE THAT PRESENTS A SERIES OF MILITARY SURPRISES AND SHOCKS IN THE HISTORY OF WARFARE FROM PEARL HARBOR TO THE 911 ATTACKS TO ARGUE THAT THE DATA SHOW THAT THESE ASSUMED SHOCKS WERE IN FACT PREDICTABLE IF WE HAD ONLY KNOWN BACK THEN WHAT DATA TO LOOK FOR AND HOW TO INTERPRET THEM. THE FULL TEXT OF THE RESEARCH PAPER IS AVAILABLE AT THIS SITE IN PDF FORMAT AND CAN BE DOWNLOADED BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK  unwriting

RELEVANT SECTIONS OF THE LARGE SOURCE DOCUMENT ARE PRESENTED BELOW

 

HERE WE ARGUE THAT THE INTERPRETATION OF THE DATA EX-ANTE MADE WITHOUT INFORMATION ABOUT THE OUTCOME IS RESEARCH INTO THE UNKNOWN WHERE THE ONLY INFORMATION IS THE EX-ANTE DATA AND WHERE A FORECAST IS MADE WITH THE DATA AND NOTHING ELSE. A TRACK RECORD OF CORRECT FORECASTS IN THIS WAY IS EVIDENCE OF SOUND RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND GOOD DATA. HOWEVER, THE INTERPRETATION OF THE SAME DATA EX-POST BY INDIVIDUALS WITH INFORMATION ABOUT THE OUTCOME IS LIKELY TO BE GUIDED BY THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE OUTCOME AND THUS IMPOSE A FORM OF CIRCULAR REASONING KNOWN AS CONFIRMATION BIAS. IT IMPLIES THAT THE DATA ANALYSIS WAS NOT OBJECTIVE AND UNBIASED BUT RATHER BIASED BY THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE OUTCOME. IN SUCH CASES A MUCH HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF CORRECT FORECASTS CAN BE FOUND BUT THE BETTER PERFORMANCE OF THESE FORECASTS HAVE NO INFORMATION VALUE ABOUT THE UTILITY OF THE DATA IN MAKING AN OBJECTIVE AND UNBIASED FORECAST. CONFIRMATION BIAS DOES NOT LEAD TO USEFUL RESEARCH OUTCOMES. 

THE AUTHORS ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEIR METHODOLOGY INTRODUCES CONFIRMATION BIAS IN THEIR RESEARCH BUT DEFEND THE METHODOLOGY TWO WAYS. FIRST, THEY POINT OUT THAT IN THE CASE OF THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS OF 1962 AND THE ARAB-ISRAELI WAR OF 1967 BOTH THE NIC AND THE CIA WERE ABLE TO MAKE CORRECT FORECASTS USING THE CONFIRMATION BIAS METHODOLOGY IN A SIMILAR BUT NEW SITUATION.

IN A SECOND DEFENSE OF CONFIRMATION BIAS, THE AUTHORS CITE THE CASE OF THE  PEARL HARBOR ATTACK WRITING THAT THE FORECAST FAILURE WAS A CREATION OF NOISE IN THE DATA – THINGS THAT LOOK LIKE DATA BUT ARE REALLY IRRELEVANT. THE PROBLEM WAS THAT THE ANALYSTS WERE BURDENED DOWN WITH “NOISE”, DATA THAT APPEARED TO BE RELEVANT EX-ANTE BUT WERE FOUND TO BE IRRELEVANT EX-POST . 

 

RESPONSE#1 TO THE DEFENSE OF CONFIRMATION BIAS: IN THE CASE OF THE CORRECT FORECASTS WITH CONFIRMATION BIAS METHODOLOGY, WE WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT THAT THE ARGUMENT IS NOT THAT CONFIRMATION BIAS GUARANTEES A FALSE FORECAST BUT SIMPLY THAT THE FORECAST IN AND OF ITSELF DOES NOT CONTAIN USEFUL INFORMATION. CONFIRMATION BIAS DOES NOT RULE OUT THE POSSIBILITY OF CORRECT FORECASTS IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS. 

RESPONSE#2 TO THE DEFENSE OF CONFIRMATION BIAS: THE ARGUMENT THAT CONFIRMATION BIAS HELPS US TO UNDERSTAND EX-POST THAT SOME OF THE DATA WERE IRRELEVANT AND THEREFORE NOISE DOES NOT IMPLY THAT THE DATA THAT WERE NOISE IN ONE SITUATION ARE ALSO NOISE IN SITUATIONS THAT ARE NOT EXACTLY THE SAME. 

CONCLUSIONWE CONCLUDE FROM THIS ANALYSIS THAT THE PROPOSAL IN “UNWRITING THE FUTURE” THAT CLAIMS AN ADVANTAGE OF CONFIRMATION BIAS SUCH THAT SITUATIONS THAT WERE PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT TO BE UNPREDICTABLE CAN BE RENDERED PREDICTABLE  BY THE USE OF CONFIRMATION BIAS IN THE INTERPRETATION OF DATA IS STATISTICALLY AND METHODOLOGICALLY FLAWED. THE FINDINGS OF THIS RESEARCH AND THOSE OF ANY RESEARCH THAT RELY ON CONFIRMATION BIAS ARE UNRELIABLE. THE USE OF CONFIRMATION BIAS IS ALSO FOUND IN CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH  [LINK] . PREDICTABILITY MEANS CREATING INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUTURE WITH EX-ANTE DATA. THE PROPOSED PROCEDURE OF CREATING INFORMATION ABOUT THE FUTURE WHEN INFORMATION ABOUT THE OUTCOME IS USED IN THE PREDICTION IS NOT PREDICTABILITY. 

 

 

RELEVANT SECTIONS OF THE SOURCE DOCUMENT

Unwriting the Future: Decoding the Next Strategic Shock
by Colonel Sean Hunt Kuester
United States Army War College Strategy Research Project
Under the Direction of: Professor William Braun

ABSTRACT: Strategic shocks are predictable and the trend for the next defense relevant strategic shocks are extant and discernible. Specifically, gray zone exploitation, enhanced by technological advances, are elevating the probability of confrontation between the US and competitor states, and erosion of the liberal world order. To avoid the next shock the US must assess gray zone competition and contest gray zone actors through a whole of government approach. Rival states are increasingly emboldened to exploit the gray zone and take advantage of outmoded US security policy and legacy defense concepts. The US defense establishment must prioritize efforts to replace these strategy documents with ones that match the reality of the current and projected security environment.

 

BLACK SWANS, SHOCKS, AND GRAY ZONES

  1. STRATEGIC SHOCK: A strategic shock is an event that punctuates the evolution of a trend, a discontinuity that either rapidly accelerates its pace or significantly changes its trajectory, and, in so doing, undermines the assumption on which current policies are based… Shocks are disruptive by their very nature, and … can change how we think about security and the role of the military. We have to approach one nuance of this definition with caution; that is, the use of the word discontinuity. The Japanese were not shocked by the attack on Pearl Harbor, nor was Usama bin Laden shocked by 9/11. For these actors, the shocks they triggered represented a natural progression or manifestation of their intended continuity. This is a salient point illustrating the need to find the trend with an aim toward thwarting the shock. At the other end of the definition spectrum, Peter Schwartz and Doug Randal offer a simpler yet excellent distillation of this concept. According to Schwartz and Randall, at its most elementary level, a strategic shock is a “game changing event.”7 Shock events require the affected organization to transform.
    Dr. Helene Lavoix adds further clarity, expanding the definition with a view respecting urgency and compulsion toward decision making, “…strategic shocks are unexpected changes occurring in a society’s or polity’s environment and to which actors will and must react…”8 A final characterization offered by Professor Freier will serve as the benchmark, “Strategic shocks jolt convention to such an extent that they force affected institutions to fundamentally reorient strategy, strategic investments and mission. Topical literature incorrectly uses the word surprise and shock interchangeably. Professor Freier argues that, “There is no scientific break point between strategic shock and strategic surprise.”10 To the contrary, the two terms are not the same in this context. A shock is more severe both in initial impact and ramifications. A shock necessarily impels an action, whereas a surprise might impel action. The developments resultant from surprise can be addressed using preexisting resources, doctrines, intellectual models and policy. Conversely, and this is the crucial discriminator, a shock requires “…affected institutions to fundamentally reorient strategy, strategic investments and mission.”11 Broadly speaking, a shock requires immediate and more consequential change, compelling organizational adaptation to avoid an existential consequence.
  2. THE BLACK SWAN: Also found within the body of literature is the idea of “black swans.” Black swans are those rare shocks that defy analysis and operate unattached from discernable trends. The 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant accident is a contemporary example of a black swan. Curiosmatic illustrates this point, “With a high sea wall, backup generators and extensive emergency planning, the Fukushima nuclear plant seemed ready for anything. It wasn’t. On March 11, 2011 a massive tsunami struck, resulting in the partial meltdowns of three reactors.”12 A.J. Masys describes the phenomenon most simply and succinctly, “Black swans represent the unpredictable.” This essay will not address or strive to anticipate black swans. By their nature they are unpredictable. Therefore, devoting resources to their prediction is folly. Strategic shock, however, is predictable. Preparing for shocks will reap strategic security benefits, even if the preparation is for a general phenomenon and not a specific event.
  3. THE GRAY ZONE; The gray zone, according to Freier and others is “…a broad carrier concept for a collection of sometimes dissimilar defense-relevant challenges.”14 The authors go on further to state, “…A coherent whole-of-government concept for combatting gray zone challenges would be ideal. However, it is likely not forthcoming. Thus, the DoD should not wait for definitive national-level guidance on countering gray zone competition before thoughtfully considering its own options.”15 However, this definition wholly understates that at its’ core, the gray zone is a space where adversaries hope to advance political ends by employing all instruments of power in traditional, unconventional and unpredictable ways. Freier et. al. acknowledge this, but shied away from addressing it in detail and thereby restricted gray zone challenges to a mostly military sphere.16 The authors’ consistent trajectory toward the military instrument of power and forfeiture of national level coordination is antithetical to efficient corporate practice and leads to a misconception of the gray zone. According to Michel J. Mazarr, employing gray zone approaches, Pursues political objectives through cohesive, integrated campaigns; Employs mostly nonmilitary or non-kinetic tools; Strives to remain under key escalatory or red line thresholds to avoid outright, conventional conflict; and, moves gradually toward its objectives rather than seeking conclusive results in a specific period of time. Employed by US challengers, gray zone strategies: use all instruments of power; conspire to bypass US traditional advantages like military hegemony, domain over-match, and strict adherence to international law and accepted norms.
  4. SECTION II: TRENDS PRECEDING STRATEGIC SHOCKS. Here we examine historical shocks to make a case for their detectability. The analysis shows that each shock was preceded by large bodies of data that can be related to the shock after the fact. When assembled, these data constitute trend lines indicating the impending shock. The presence of a trend line is the discriminating factor between a strategic shock and a black swan. The following three examples illustrate the predictability of shocks.
  5. SHOCK EXAMPLE#1 PEARL HARBOR: The actual attack on Pearl Harbor lasted only 2 hours.18 Yet the brief duration of the physical assault belies decades of political signaling; years of deteriorating Japanese-US relations; and a gradual but evident uptick in Japanese aggression in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Significantly, the aggression noticeably heightened in the weeks preceding the attack. The US met each act of perceived hostility or aggression with countervailing moves that Japan thought unjust. By 1941, Japan felt existentially threatened by the US. However, the horror and suddenness of the assault result in a consistent focus on the day of the attack, not its lengthy and visible build up. This factor combined with the American narrative of a “surprise attack” obfuscate the underlying causes; implying that Americans may be predisposed to short-termism, viewing events as discrete occurrences versus episodes along a continuum. As early as 1932, US military war games identified the vulnerability of Pearl Harbor to carrier borne aircraft. In these war games, the adversary was understood to be Japan. “The strategic threat of Japanese surprise attacks”was not something the American military missed. Gordon Prange, author of the gold standard account of Pearl Harbor, describes conclusively the net result of trends stretching back into the previous century coupled with the code breaking system known as Magic when he concludes, “Make no mistake about it, Japan was going to war, and those with access to Magic knew it. The trend supporting an impending shock was clear.
  6. SHOCK EXAMPLE #2: FALL OF THE SOVIET UNION: Contrary to popular conceptions, the Soviet Union did not collapse. It crumbled steadily, and visibly, the way a sea cliff crumbles under the relentless pressure of the surf. Naturally, foretelling the dissolution of a state as vast as the USSR is more difficult than detecting a single discreet attack such as Pearl Harbor. Nevertheless, the sign posts for this dissolution were abundant. Prior to 1991 the CIA had raised the issue of Soviet state fragility. Specific trends were identified in policy decisions, economic factors, and adjustments by the security apparatus that all supported the CIA assessment that “the communist order was finished”. In his book, Leon Aron begins with the surprise hypothesis but in fact ends up making the case for the utter predictability of the Soviet Union’s downfall in 1991 and the end of the Cold War and the rise of more plentiful and powerful non-state actors, a new and more complex security paradigm.
  7. SHOCK EXAMPLE#3: 911 ATTACKS: The September 11th 2001 attacks are the clearest example refuting the myth that the proliferation of non-state actors make prediction impossible. The 9/11 strikes were part of an established Al Qaeda pattern. Some of the precursor incidents occurred in close proximity to the final attack provide ominous indicators, that establish trends. In his book, Erik  Dahl makes a solid case for the trends that unequivocally indicated the coming 911 attack because of the known Al Qaeda intent to strike the US. The strategic warnings were prolific and, as in the case of Pearl Harbor, intensified immediately preceding the final blow. Dahl lays out an explicit trend line dating back as far as 1995. Stephen Marrin illustrates a similar case and reinforces the point that was crystal clear to the intelligence community; Al Qaeda was not just plotting attacks, they were prosecuting them in an ever more lethal fashion. While the attacks were chiefly overseas against US installations such as embassies and warships, it was undeniable that A lQaeda was resolved to strike on US soil. While it is debatable whether or not all the 9/11 hijackings and separate strikes could have been thwarted, there was credible evidence that Al Qaeda intended to target the US with a high profile, mass casualty producing attack employing aircraft.
  8. SECTION III: WHY THESE SHOCKS WENT UNDETECTED: It is now evident that each of the aforementioned shocks were not black swans. Each shock was preceded by observable incidences and data whose constituent parts formed obvious trends. So why did governments, academia, and the assemblage of stakeholders fail to see the signals and synthesize this data into action? Unfortunately, there is no answer that will categorically satisfy this question for any of the examples. Here we offer an insight into the reasons for failure, and there relevance to the next strategic shock.
  9. Kuester addresses the Issue of Confirmation Bias: The topic of futures versus hindsight pattern recognition must be discussed. Critics will certainly stress that following an event it is easy to sift and pick data to reconstruct the pattern of an impending shock and thereby misrepresent the true difficulty in forecasting said event. There is no argument that after the fact, analytical reverse engineering is possible. By no means, though, does this diminish the ability to conduct predictive analysis. In fact, there is strong historical precedent and it is this:  the National Indications Center (NIC) successfully predicted Cuban missile crisis events in 1962 and the Arab-Israeli war in 1967.  The CIA, like their colleagues in the NIC, also foretold the 1967 Six-Day War.
  10. The reality is analytical failures garner more attention than successes. Also, consequences of repeating failure fuel a worthy desire to prevent recurrence. Finally, fixation with failure is attributable in part to human psychology. As Kathryn Schulz states in her book, Being Wrong, “…we positively excel at acknowledging other people’s errors. In fact, if it is sweet to be right, then – let’s not deny it – it is downright savory to point out that someone else is wrong.
  11. About the Noise in the Pearl Harbor prediction data: In the case of Pearl Harbor, as Stephen Marrin tells us, there existed “…a body of evidence which could have been pieced together to warn national leaders.” What then, went wrong? If the necessary information was available, why was the garrison at Pearl Harbor not fully prepared for the Japanese onslaught? A major reason is, in addition to the highly valuable intelligence possessed by analysts and decision makers, the former was burdened with sifting through what has come to be known as “noise.” Noise is background information that while related to the case, is for all practical purposes, irrelevant and does not assist analysts or decision makers. What’s more, the Pearl Harbor case revealed “a sea of extraneous noise.” Further, the Pearl Harbor attacks occurred in an era that experienced increased use of radio and trans-oceanic cable communications. This foreshadowed that technology was on the cusp of rapidly accelerating volume and velocity of communication. As Dahl illustrates in numerous case studies from Pearl Harbor in 1941 to the 2012 attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, analysts now confront the challenge of sweeping increases in the sheer quantity of data from which the identification of the relevant is not easy.
  12. The Soviet Union and the US: Paradigm Paralysis:  For a quarter century now, the US has suffered from “paradigm paralysis” imposed by the paradigm of containing Soviet communism. This paradigm was the basis of US global policy throughout the Cold War and into the the 21st century. It is derived from a global state of centric order led by the US on the basis of conventional military force as the primary vehicle to ensure compliance. The flaw in this paradigm became evident after the demise of the Soviet Union. At the conclusion of the Cold War it was thought that we had shifted from a bi-polar to uni-polar world but almost immediately a multi-polar world began to take shape.
  13. Non State Actors: Additionally, we saw the rise of non-state actors as a significant factor in global affairs. This development is a challenge to the Westphalian notion of state supremacy in the international system. Secondly, one of the more virulent expressions of this challenge became radical Islam. From a US lens this latter hazard eventually emerged as the fundamental ideological threat, just as Communism had been. Yet, US national and defense policy making enterprises are only now waking up to the need for new defense frameworks and paradigms to address these fundamental changes in the global power architecture.
  14. The 1991 Gulf War: A significant event in these developments was the 1991 Gulf War. It exposed the false sense of security, overconfidence and complacency that seeps in following what is considered to be a huge success – as in the fall of the Soviet Union. The rest of the world took note of the Gulf War’s results. States and non-state actors alike easily grasped that a head to head classical military confrontation with the US would be ill-advised; new methods were required. Conversely, having subdued Saddam Hussein and with no peer competitors, the West was content. The Gulf War validated the dominance of conventional forces and doctrines; Air Land Battle was the supreme war fighting concept and was even updated in 1993. Moreover, the 1991 Gulf war followed closely on the heels of the fall of the Berlin Wall; Western states desperately thirsted for a long-sought peace dividend. Confident and assured in proven methods and concepts, western military and security related thinking stagnated.
  15. US defense doctrine, strategic theory and security thinking became anachronistic. These models were ideally suited for the most dangerous forms of aggression but not for the most likely. Victor Davis Hanson in his 2009 edition of The Western Way of War, captures the essence of the fatal flaw of mirror imaging. This defect sees one preparing for what one most desires, that manner of conflict for which he or she is best suited. Hanson describes the western predilection for classical direct combat as a narcotic we cannot put away.
  16. 9/11 and New Conceptions of Warfare. A deficiency of imagination prevented the US defense and security establishments from predicting the 9/11 attacks. They were looking for a different kind of threat. The establishment failed to realize that the nature of warfare was changing and Gulf War era defense concepts were mismatched for emergent threats. The 9/11 attack definitively marked the pivot to a new appreciation for the emerging threat. Since those attacks, numerous other events have solidified this evolution toward new conceptions of warfare. However, in 1989, even before the Gulf War, a small team of military thinkers posited that the character of warfare was, in fact, entering a new phase. These theorists saw clear trends developing in the security environment and referred to this latest evolution as Fourth Generation Warfare, 4GW. Envisioning that US technological and material dominance would necessarily drive competitors to avoid such strengths, this team predicted a rise in unconventional off-setting methods as major features of the 21st century operational environment (OE). Some of the characteristics of this new OE they presaged were: ideological based movements using low tech means to contest high tech forces; the desire of adversaries to collapse enemies from within, avoiding military might altogether and attacking enemy society at home; adversary use of democratic state freedoms against that state; direct attacks against a state’s culture; a “…blurred distinction between war and peace…” and reliance of “non-national or transnational” ideological support.45 Today, these characteristics are all too clear in the visage of terrorism and those nations exploiting the gray zone. Yet, the bureaucratic defense establishment during this era was unable to imagine a new paradigm or conceive that the nation with the globe’s premier military could be appreciably wounded. As stated above, the categorical success seen by US and other Western forces in the 1991 Gulf War against a linear array of conventional forces further solidified the unflagging belief in established doctrine and defense concepts.
  17. Yet, the nineteen 9/11 attackers were a loosely confederated group of terrorists driven by ideology, employing methods that did not conform to Westphalian conceptions of warfare and operated on US soil. AQ represented an entirely different sort of enemy whose practices and structure presented a challenge ill-suited for DoD’s mostly conventional wherewithal and conceptions of adversaries and how to confront them. In short, one major reason the 9/11 attacks occurred was that the terrorist archetype was not the preferred adversary the DoD was purpose built to oppose. The 9/11 attack was the unfortunate validation of 4GW. It demonstrated that the US was vulnerable to new unconventional forms of attack that mitigate traditional advantages, particularly military strength. The nearly two decades since have illustrated that the US has yet to address this fact.
  18. Larry Hancock describes the depth of institutional, and intellectual malaise at the time of the 9/11 attack. National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice…testified…that very few government or military officials had considered that hijacked planes might…be used as weapons…no one had ever even contemplated commercial aircraft being used as weapons in attacks on American cities.46
    The 9/11 commission report provided the most damning judgement of all, however, when it stated, “…the most important failure was one of imagination.
  19. A corollary to the 9/11 attack, that further illustrates a western lethargy in grasping new adversarial models, is the Russian annexation of Crimea. Like 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, this event was a deliberate, well planned and highly orchestrated action with ample warning signs. There were clear indications Russia would act boldly to maintain sway over those areas it considers within its sphere of influence. Russian intentions toward Ukraine became known as early as the 1990’s with contingency plans to annex this region. Ukrainian leaders issued warnings of the same in the late 2000. In 2008, the Russian foreign minister stated that they will do all they can to prevent Ukraine’s and Georgia’s accession into NATO.
  20. In that same year Russia actually invaded Georgia. With NATO and the US consumed in Iraq and Afghanistan the timing was highly calculated and opportunistic. The fact that Georgia was not a NATO member ensured blowback on Russia would be an acceptable risk. Six years after the Georgia invasion Russia deftly seized Crimea. To do so, Russia exploited the gray zone, employing multi-domain and whole of government actions below the threshold of armed conflict representing a mixture of hybrid, unconventional and conventional warfare. The annexation saw no massing of troops on international borders or a declaration of war. Rather, Russia exploited Ukrainian domestic politics and populations, inflamed internal grievances, manipulated social media and saturated the information domain with misinformation.
  21. Confronted by a new conception of warfare, the west was outmaneuvered. Yet, like 9/11, this shock had a trend line. Russia was heavily invested in understanding the inner workings of the Crimea; the West was not. As Stephen Blank explains, “Russian intelligence, military, economic, informational, ideological, and other forms of penetration of the Crimea in anticipation of an overall nullification of Ukraine’s de facto…sovereignty over the area have been long apparent.”50 Russian actions were years in the making, but awareness of this 21st century gray zone exploitation is relatively nascent.


  • chaamjamal: Thank you for your input
  • Ruben Leon: When your mind is made up you ignore the data and try to justify the bias you acquired as a juvenile and never questioned. The fact that the Antar
  • chaamjamal: Thank you for raising these interesting points. We live in strange times. Some day we may figure this out.