Climate Strike Set For Friday

When Lisa Podurgiel heard Bill McKibben interviewed on “Fresh Air,” her ears perked up.

And her heart sank.

The environmentalist’s new book is called “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?” Though the Westporter thought she knew plenty about climate change, McKibben opened her eyes to “new, very frightening — and infuriating” ideas.

For example, McKibben said:

fossil fuel companies knew everything there was to know about climate change in the 1980s. They knew how much it was going to warm and how fast, and they believed it. Exxon began building all its drilling rigs to compensate for the rise in sea level they knew was coming.

What they didn’t do was tell any of the rest of us — just the opposite. Beginning right about 1989 or so, they began to pour huge sums of money into this architecture of deceit and denial and disinformation that kept us locked for 30 years in a sterile debate about whether or not global warming was real, a debate that both sides knew the answer to at the beginning.

Realizing that we’ve wasted the past 30 years, Podurgiel was inspired to act. She joined 350.org, McKibben’s citizen movement. (The name comes from 350 parts per million — the safe concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.)

Through 350, she learned of an international, youth-led, all-ages Global Climate Strike. The Westport event is set for this Friday (September 20, 11 a.m.,  Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge).

Several years ago, activists held a climate change protest on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Post Road bridge. (Photos/Bruce McFadden)

Podurgiel says that New York City public schools will excuse the absences of  students who participate in the strike.

The Westporter hopes Westport youngsters — and anyone else — will join her on the Post Road bridge, the traditional site of political protests.”Strike like your future depends on it,” she says.

“Because it does.”

63 responses to “Climate Strike Set For Friday

  1. Why not organize such an event off school hours *IF* you truly want kids to get involved. I have five kids and there’s zero chance any of them will be excused from school to participate in any such demonstration regardless of cause. It’s nice that a school system, like NYC’s excuses the kids, but parents >> school committees. Really strikes me as working against yourself here.

  2. Rosalie J.. Wolf

    Mccubbin is a proselytizer/prophet. He dramatizes and uses extreme statistics to make his point. He is NOT a scientist. Blaming the oil companies is beyond foolish: who takes airplanes, buys SUV autos, wastes power fueled by coal? Probably Lisa. And the rest of us. But it is troublesome that prophets continue to preach doom and gloom instead of practical and scientific approaches. You should not be among them.

    • You are correct: Bill McKibben is not a scientist. He is a writer and journalist, and the Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College. He is a recipient of both a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Lyndhurst Fellowship, among many other honors, and has a solid, well-earned reputation for accuracy in his scientific reporting.

      In other words: He accurately reports on what the overwhelming majority of world scientists have reached a strong consensus on.

      You trying to discredit him (to attack the messenger) doesn’t change the science.

      It is a fact that the fossil fuel extraction industry has known about climate change since at least 1977, when James L Black, a scientist at Exxon, gave a presentation to the company’s board detailing his research into global warming. A year later, in 1978, Black would write a memo saying: “Present thinking holds that man has a time window of five to 10 years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical.”

      Instead of responding to that information in a responsible manner, most energy companies instead poured money into well-orchestrated media campaigns and lobbying efforts to refute, dismiss and undermine science and perpetuate a narrative of denial.

      “Climate change isn’t happening,” they claim, “and even if it is happening it’s nothing to do with us,” and “even if it is something to do with us it would be too expensive to change it.”

      They are no different from those who claim cigarettes aren’t really bad for you. In fact, many of the people now paid by the fossil fuel industry to spread climate-change denial were once paid by tobacco companies to discredit and refute the overwhelming scientific evidence about the toxic dangers of smoking.

      There exists a well-funded, highly-complex, fairly coordinated “denial machine” made up of pseudo scientists, fossil fuels corporations, conservative think tanks, politicians and various front groups fighting against what they perceive as a threat to a western social order built by industrial capitalism powered by fossil fuels. They specialize in manufacturing conspiracies, hoaxes, skepticism, uncertainty and doubt. They attack good, sound science. They lie.

      You don’t have to be a scientist to learn, understand and write about science. You don’t have to be a scientist to learn, understand and write about the dangers of cigarettes. You don’t have to be a scientist to learn, understand and write about climate change.

      You can also be a consumer of fossil fuels — as we all are — and push for and demand cleaner, more efficient ways of using and extracting energy, and support efforts to find alternative and renewable sources of energy.

      The scientific evidence regarding climate change, and the consequences of human-caused release of global warming pollution, is conclusive and overwhelming, with even stronger evidence seeming to come forth every week.

      The consensus in the worldwide scientific community is overwhelmingly unanimous, undeniable and strong, as is the actual on-the-ground evidence. To deny this is happening at this point is akin to denying the world is round and cigarettes are bad for you. It’s time to wake up and do something.

      • The central claim is that of causality, and yet where are the explicit tests for causality?

        • There’s plenty of causality. It is causality. It’s all based on cause and effect. Increased C02 and other greenhouse-gas emissions contribute to a warming planet that results in a changing climate.

          Much of what scientists predicted would happen from a warming planet is happening: cause and effect.

          Up north in Alaska temperatures are increasing twice as fast as most other places; Rivers and lakes are getting as hot as 80 degrees; Thousands of salmon and trout are dying; Wildfires are raging through subarctic forests; The permafrost is thawing; Villages are sinking.

          Our world is rapidly unraveling from the top down.

          The scientific evidence regarding climate change, and the consequences of human-caused release of global warming pollution, is conclusive and overwhelming, with even stronger evidence seeming to come forth every week. Where I live, in Montana, those of us who are close to the land, and spend time among wildlife in wild places, are seeing much of this evidence first hand: Warmer temperatures, shorter winters, less snow pack, earlier snow melt, less water and more drought.

          Several years ago, I hiked from my front porch in Missoula, Montana, to Waterton, Alberta. During this ten-week, 800-mile backpack trip, mostly off trail, I only crossed three roads, traveling through the Rattlesnake, Mission Mountains, Bob Marshall, Great Bear and Scapegoat Wilderness Areas, and Glacier National Park. This is some of the wildest, most unique and precious country left in the United States, providing the last strongholds for rare, threatened and endangered species such as grizzly bears, wolves, mountain lions, lynx, wolverines and pure strains of Westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout. With strong populations of elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, moose and other wildlife.

          But even here, in such remote, wild places, I witnessed evidence of what scientists and wildlife biologists have been warning us about for years. Snowpacks, so crucial in the arid West for supplying water to our rivers and streams, are rapidly declining. Diminished water flows makes for shallower, warmer streams, with less oxygen, making it more difficult for coldwater fish such as trout to survive. Increasingly, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks are implementing summer closures of rivers to fishing to protect trout overly-stressed from hot, dry conditions. On my journey, I also saw large chunks of forest impacted by increased occurrence of mountain pine beetle, which scientists are linking to trees being less resistant to insect and disease because of drier, more stressful conditions, and was particularly concerned by the rapid death of most white bark pines, which provides an important food source for grizzlies and other wildlife. I also walked through large expanses of charred forests burned by recent wildfires. Our western forests evolved with, and are adapted well to fire. However, drier conditions, combined with an increase in dead trees from beetle infestations, are resulting in more frequent, more damaging fires than what historically and naturally occurred, with serious implications for wildlife. Towards the end of my adventure, while hiking through Glacier National Park, I could visible notice a profound decline in the size of glaciers I have visited in past trips. Many scientists are predicting the glaciers in the park will be gone in ten years.

          I know and have worked with hunters, anglers, outfitters, guides, ranchers, county commissioners, tribal leaders and others throughout Montana and the West, and I hear similar reports and concerns from them about changes on the landscape, and its impacts to water, fish, wildlife and farming and ranching.

          The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has compiled some particularly startling predictions: If current trends continue, we could lose up to 60 percent of our western wild trout populations, 90 percent of our bull trout populations and 40 percent of our northwest Pacific salmon populations by 2050. Trout and salmon require cold water, and climate change equals warmer water and less water.

          I could go on. We know the effects. We know the cause.

          Causality:

          Thanks to what we collectively call “science,” here is what we know: Carbon Dioxide (C02) and methane were involved in all of Earth’s past changes in climate. When they were reduced, global climate became colder. When they were increased, global climate became warmer. When C02 levels jumped rapidly, the global warming that resulted was highly disruptive and sometimes caused mass extinctions. Humans today are emitting prodigious quantities of C02 at a rate faster than even the most destructive climate changes in earth’s past.

          Thanks to science, here are a few other things we know about past changes in Earth’s climatate: Sudden releases of freshwater from glacial lakes can rapidly modifying the surface circulation in the North Atlantic and the climate of adjacent regions. Massive volcanoes can have similar affects. The oscillation between glacial and warm conditions can also result from periodic and predictable changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun. These changes influence the seasonal distribution of solar radiation and can potentially cause abrupt changes in El Niño, monsoons and the global atmospheric circulation. Scientists also hypothesize that abrupt changes in climate can result from “crossing thresholds,” such as when fresh water from melting ice rapidly flushes into the North Atlantic, shutting down ocean thermohaline circulation that influences climate with regional and global consequences.

          What is ocean thermohaline circulation? It is something we have come to understand though science. Driven by the sun’s heat absorbed by tropical oceans and impacted by variations in salt content in the water, thermohaline circulation is a powerful force on the world’s climate system. It’s conveyer belts of currents, moving water of various temperatures around the planet that influence regional and global climate.

          As heat from the tropics is carried by the Gulf Stream into the North Atlantic where it is vented into the atmosphere, a deep convection of ocean waters is caused by surface cooling, with the flow of water then sinking to depths and then upwelling back to the surface at lower latitudes – making some parts of our planet colder or warmer than other parts. Some places are cold enough to freeze water into glaciers and icecaps. (Glaciers store about 69% of the world’s freshwater. If all land ice melted our seas would rise about 230 feet. During the last ice age — when glaciers covered more land area than today — the sea level was about 400 feet lower than it is today. At that time, glaciers covered almost one-third of the land. During the last warm spell, 125,000 years ago, seas were about 18 feet higher than they are today. About three million years ago the seas could have been up to 165 feet higher.) Frozen water releases salt, and thus when it melts it is salt-free. This factor and the heavier density of salty water is particularly important in polar regions where the convergence of fresh and saline waters influences ocean currents. In other words, when the frozen waters melt, not only do sea levels rise, but the world’s “conveyer belts” of currents change, slow down, perhaps stop and thus regional and global climates also change.

          Ocean thermohaline circulation is dynamic and has been known to dramatically shift, as it appears to have done just after the last Ice Age and perhaps during episodes of abrupt climate change. Shifts in the thermophile circulation’s “conveyor belts” of ocean currents can cause major changes in climate over relatively short-time scales (10-20 years) which in turn can have enormous impacts.

          Because massive human-induced releases of C02 and other greenhouse gasses are warming our planet and melting glaciers and polar ice caps, understanding the thermohaline circulation has become a major focus for scientists who conduct climate research. Here is what they have thus far discovered and accurately predicted: Thermohaline circulation is slowing down in as a result of greenhouse warming. The slowdown is occurring because the rapid melting of glaciers and icecaps is flushing freshwater into the North Atlantic making it less dense and less able to sink to depth.

          In other words: The engine that runs the system is breaking down. We are breaking it. We can fix it, but some would rather deny the problem so as to protect greed and profit. They would rather kill the proverbial goose that lays the golden eggs, so they perpetuate and disseminate deceptive lies, half-truths and misconceptions to an ignorant public that has little understanding of science.

          Records show that the Earth has been warming at a steady rate and there is no sign of it slowing any time soon. 2017 was the hottest year on record. The global temperature was 1.24°F above the long-term average, besting the previous record holders by 0.07°F. Thirteen of the 15 hottest years on record have all occurred since 2000. This is the 38th consecutive year with global temperatures above average. And that’s just surface temperature. Oceans give a much more alarming indication of the warming that is happening. More than 90% of global warming heat is absorbed by our oceans, while less than 3% goes into increasing the surface air temperature. Last year was the highest ocean temperatures on record, coming in at 1.09°F degrees above average. Oceans continue to warm, changing the currents that change temperatures that change regional and global climate.

          Since global warming influences ocean currents that influence regional climates, this results in severe and record-breaking fluctuations in weather in various places – from unusually warm to unusually cold, at times, with more frequent extremes such as tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzards. This is why, on an unusually cold and snowy February day in Washington DC, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma was able to throw a snowball on the Senate floor in an ignorant attempt to “prove” that human activity isn’t causing climate change. It’s also why Washington DC now experiences record-breaking heat most every summer, and why springtime in our nation’s capital is now, on average, seven degrees above the historical norm.

          How do we know all this? Scientific data gathered through scientific research in accordance with rigorous standards of the scientific method and compiled by scientists into scientific reports that are scientifically peer-reviewed by other scientists who scrupulously and methodically try to find flaws in the works of their fellow scientists. Scientific theories, hypotheses and results are constantly challenged and tested over and over again until something is either disproved or, as is the case with human-caused climate change, an overwhelming consensus is reached. It would be impossible, yes impossible!, to bring together all the world’s leading scientists to agree to a secretive plot. Climate change is not a hoax. The science is real.

          In the scientific field of climate studies – which is informed by many different disciplines – the consensus is demonstrated by the number of scientists who have stopped arguing about what is causing climate change – and that’s nearly all of them. A survey of 928 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject of global climate change shows that not a single paper rejected the consensus position that global warming is man caused. A follow-up study of more than 12,000 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subjects of global warming and global climate change found that, of the papers taking a position on the cause of global warming, more than 97% agreed that humans are causing it. The scientists who authored the research papers were also contacted and asked to rate their own reports, and again more than 97% who took a position on the cause said humans are causing global warming.

          Several studies have confirmed that “The debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.” In other words: More than 97% of scientists working in the disciplines that contribute to studies of our climate conclude that current climate change is being caused by human activities. There are no national or major scientific institutions anywhere in the world that dispute the theory of human-caused climate change. Not one!

          Why do so many Americans believe a handful of paid corporate lackeys and right-wing politicians who manufacture conspiracies, hoaxes, skepticism, uncertainty and doubt instead of an overwhelming majority of the world’s top scientists — and the actual, growing evidence throughout our rapidly changing world that scientists have been predicting for years?

          Cause and effect. Causality.

          • You made no reference to specific tests for causality. It would be helpful if you did. Asserting causality is not a test for causality. Anecdotal evidence is not a test for causality. And a consensus is not science.

            • Correct: consensus is not science; but scientist can reach consensus.

              In the scientific field of climate studies – which is informed by many different disciplines – the consensus is demonstrated by the number of scientists who have stopped arguing about what is causing climate change – and that’s nearly all of them. A survey of 928 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject of global climate change shows that not a single paper rejected the consensus position that global warming is man caused. A follow-up study of more than 12,000 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subjects of global warming and global climate change found that, of the papers taking a position on the cause of global warming, more than 97% agreed that humans are causing it. The scientists who authored the research papers were also contacted and asked to rate their own reports, and again more than 97% who took a position on the cause said humans are causing global warming.

              Several studies have confirmed that “The debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.” In other words: More than 97% of scientists working in the disciplines that contribute to studies of our climate conclude that current climate change is being caused by human activities. There are no national or major scientific institutions anywhere in the world that dispute the theory of human-caused climate change. Not one!

              We know the cause. The effects were long predicted.

            • PS: Most of what I posted above is not anecdotal evidence.

              It’s compiled from scientific data gathered through scientific research in accordance with rigorous standards of the scientific method and compiled by scientists into scientific reports that are scientifically peer-reviewed by other scientists who scrupulously and methodically try to find flaws in the works of their fellow scientists. Scientific theories, hypotheses and results are constantly challenged and tested over and over again until something is either disproved or, as is the case with human-caused climate change, an overwhelming consensus is reached.

              • Thanks for taking the time to respond, but all of the data in the world does not constitute a test for causality. Have you ever seen the climate models you accept as accurate? Have you ever examined how they were developed? Perhaps you could share one that you feel is representative of the work of climate scientists. So far, all I have found is very little science and much conjecture, and almost never a test for causality.

                • Michael, does this mean that you do not accept the link between smoking and cancer because, in your opinion, scientists have never sufficiently established a test for causality? Or, to frame my question in a different way, do you think it would be a prudent decision for your kids (if you have any) or your nephews or nieces to take up smoking?

                  • Different issues, different math required. There is a big difference between making a personal decision and forcing your will on others, don’t you agree? Choosing not to smoke is a personal decision. Forcing taxpayers to spend $trillions based on your belief is not.

                    • Michael, of course making a personal decision about smoking is different. I only brought that up in terms of trying to determine what you believe about the validity of the link between cancer and smoking.

                      You didn’t answer my question re the standard of causality, so that makes me wonder whether you believe the long-established science on the link between smoking and cancer.

                      And, scientists have overwhelmingly believed for some time now that evidence of the link between our emissions of greenhouse gases and climate change is every bit as strong as the link between smoking and cancer.

                      Thankfully, based on widespread acceptance of scientific evidence re the harm from cigarette smoke—particularly the effects of second-hand smoke—we have as a society changed on a large scale where smoking is permitted.

                      Hopefully, we will soon take more significant steps in addressing climate change before it is too late for the next generations.

                    • Actually, Michael, I’d argue that you’re trying to force your personal views on me, the 8 billion people we both share this planet with, and untold generations that (we hope) will follow.

                      As for causality, if you’re sitting in a theater when someone yells, “fire!” — and you see smoke and flames — are you going to start wondering about the source of the fire?

                      Asking for a friend.

                    • In order for the yelling “Fire!” in the theater analogy to be equivalent to Climate Change, you would have to yell “Possible fire in the future!”

                      As for the cigarette analogy, first, I have no doubt there are a lot of people that are worried about climate change that also smoke cigarettes, or cigars, or vape or chew tobacco…just as there are a lot of people that worry about climate change that have big houses with heated pools, have second homes, many cars and take many vacations to tropical islands where the climate is nice and warm….secondly, one would have to wonder if sending money to poor nations to help them increase smoking would reduce the cancer rate, the same way sending money to poor undeveloped nations to help them develop is supposed to decrease CO2 rates.

                    • Russell Gontar

                      As usual, you refused to answer a direct question.

                • The cause and effect — the causality — is abundant and clear. Your blindness to it doesn’t change that.

                  Yes, I have seen and participated in some of the research. The scientists I’ve met and talked to are smart folks doing good work. I suggest you meet and talk wit them. A great place to start would be the NASA bass in Huntsville, Alabama. I’m sure they could answer your questions and help clarify things for you — but you might have to open your mind a wee bit.

                  • Now, now Bob. I asked for a test for causality, and you produced none, so now I am blind. In have seen the models; they cannot do what the scientists claim they can do, predict the future.

                    • Michael Petrino

                      Wrong Stalling; Dave thinks I am blind. Must be the cigar smoke.

                    • A. David Wunsch

                      Mr Petrino: here is your causality. Walk into a greenhouse on a sunny but cold winter day. It’s warm inside. Why? The glass traps the infrared radiation generated within . This is why you feel warm. CO2 is a greenhouse gas which functions much as the glass does. This effect was understood by the Swedish scientist Arrhenius , circa 1900. NASA maintains a web site that explains this clearly.
                      ADW Staples 1956

                    • I think you meant “Now, now Dave”…my brother.
                      We agree on some things and disagree on others, which is normal and healthy, as long as he knows I’m always right.
                      As kids we would settle things by fighting, and I held my own until he became a Force Recon Marine…it got a little harder after that.
                      I suppose we could end any disagreements on this or any other subject the old fashion way…
                      “I’m telling Mom!”

                    • I’m Dave. Bob is my brother. The science is based on far more than just models. They’ve done a pretty good job in the past predicting what is now happening. It’s possible to examine the past, link cause and effect, test cause and effect and predict future effects from certain causes. It’s called science.

                      If, in the past, I ate a quart of ice cream, two-dozen chocolate chip cookies, three pumpkin pies and drank four milk shakes everyday for 360 days and I gained weight, I would know the cause of that weight gain and could explain it with some pretty thorough nutritional science. By looking at the science and evidence, I could also make accurate predictions about what will happen if I continue a to eat a quart of ice cream, two-dozen chocolate chip cookies, three pumpkin pies and drank four milk shakes everyday for the next 360 days.

                      Through science, I can understand future health risks if I choose to smoke two packs of cigarettes everyday for the next ten years.

                      The scientific consensus on climate change is overwhelming. The causation is well-understood.

                      I’m going with the overwhelming majority of world scientists, and every major scientific organization in the world, and all the actual on-the-ground evidence I see every day that was predicted long ago when scientists in the past accurately predicted the future that is now — clearly demonstrating cause and effect.

  3. Rosalie J.. Wolf

    Please delete my corp info. And I am a Westport resident

    Rosalie J. Wolf

  4. A. David Wunsch

    I’m 100% behind this climate strike. It is a tragedy that our so-called President regards belief in anthropogenic climate change as a hoax being perpetrated by the Chinese to undermine our economy, In the fullness of time his stance will be seen as morally reprehensible as a defense of slavery circa 1860.
    A. David Wunsch Staples 1956

  5. If these strikes work, can somebody throw in an MTA strike, maybe get our trains a wee bit faster

  6. Mary Cookman Schmerker

    Ruth Steinkraus Cohen would be delighted to know her name sake bridge is used in this way. Congratulations Westport.

  7. Can I request everybody who plan to join the strike please ride a bicycle or jog to the site, or at least use carpool?

  8. Thank you, Dave Stalling for taking the time to write this.

  9. An observation and a few questions:

    A “strike” will do nothing to solve any predicted future catastrophes, other than to cause some more C02 to be emitted by people driving to the strike…

    If the purpose of the “strike” is to make people more aware about taking actions to prevent future catastrophic predictions, then I have a few suggestions….for the sake of the future:
    – Stop traveling/vacationing so much
    – Ban private planes
    – Lose the boat
    – Get rid of the snowmobile
    – Stop heating your pool
    – End all sporting event night games
    – Ban Christmas lights
    – Shut off the most of the lights on Broadway
    – Ban Carnivals, Fairs, Concerts, Amusement parks,Motocross, NASCAR, Drag racing etc..
    – Ban night skiing
    – Ban air conditioning units
    – Stop driving to strikes
    And so on..
    If it is true that scientific theory should constantly be challenged and tested, then why are those who ask questions labeled “deniers” in an effort to shut down any challenge?
    Is it the act of “denying that is causing the future predicted catastrophes? Or is it the actions that are causing the predicted future?
    I say “causing” future predictions, because it seems as though we treat the future as if it is already fact.
    Is it a fact that the Global Average Temperature (GAT) has risen over the past? Yes….and that is the “consensus”….average temperature has risen, in fact .8C over the past 150 years. That’s an average….
    There is not a “consensus” of the future consequences of this warming, because there are too many millions upon millions of variables to be considered at too many locations throughout the earth.
    So I have a few questions that perhaps someone here can answer, perhaps one of the strikers…
    Climate sensitivity (the change in globally averaged temperature in response to changes in radiative forcing) is an estimate. Basically, it tells us what the change in earths temperature would be if the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere were to double..
    The number is an estimate because it is based on several models that come up with different numbers and the average is taken from those models..
    So question…
    1.What role does Carbon Fertilization play in the GCM’s? How does it affect the future predicted number?
    If someone were to check The NASA website, they would see just how much
    greener the earth has become due to an increase in CO2 levels (Carbon Fertilization)
    So if the earth is becoming greener, and plants are taking in more CO2, how does this affect the future models?
    2. If the GAT has increased .8C over the past 150 years, what percent of that number is a direct result of man? And what percent of the part caused by man can be controlled/reduced by how much, over what period of time, affecting what part of the world and at what elevations?
    3. The United Nations has implemented The Millennium Development Goals (MDG’S) in part, to help develop the poor nations to fight Climate Change. They recently changed the name to The Sustainable Development Goals)
    You see, the poor undeveloped nations are more susceptible to climate change, and the large, rich. developed nations are responsible for this because they pillaged the resources of the poor nations to make themselves rich by using the earths resource to cause the predicted future catastrophic Climate Change.
    In other words, the rich nations “owe” money to the poor nations so that they can develop in the name of social justice, fairness and equality…this of course, is our moral and legal obligation. But I digress….
    Anyways, here’s the question..
    How will redistributing money from rich developed nations to poor undeveloped nations in the form of carbon taxes and a “Green Fund” reduce overall CO2 emitted world wide?
    Keep in mind, that the development of nations will require more use of the earths resources, construction materials, transportation, shipping, etc., and so on…and as the nations develop, more people will use more resources.
    So development may be a good thing for poor people, but how does this affect the overall future predicted catastrophes when it comes to climate sensitivity? And what role does this play in the Global Climate Models?
    I have many more questions, but I’ve rambled enough…

    • Michael Petrino

      This is one test for causality. If you find it anywhere in any scholarly papers by climate scientists, please let me know. http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Granger_causality

    • Mary Cookman Schmerker

      Please smile. I believe climate change is real and we need to do something. Just to “lighten the discussion I was with you on your list until I got to Night Skiing…that might, just might be one too far for this family. Although one family members hikes up back country mountains, with his skis on his back. He avoids lifts all together.

  10. Michael Petrino

    Dan; I am not forcing anything on you. On the other hand you want to force taxpayers to pay up $trillions on the basis of a hypothesis for which you have offered no empirical evidence,

    • I know. Only 97% of the scientific community, plus the UN. My bad.

        • Michael, I just looked at the page that comes up when you click the link. Where does it say that 97% is “fake news?”

          And, if you accept the scientific evidence linking smoking to cancer, the link is at least as strong between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change (and has been regarded as such for quite some time):
          https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-risks-as-conclusive-as-link-between-smoking-and-lung-cancer/

          The sad thing from my perspective is that the portion of our society that refuses to believe the overwhelming consensus by scientists on what’s happening with climate change have seemingly not stopped to consider: what if the scientists are right? What is our insurance policy protecting future generations?

        • Russell Gontar

          Really, Mike? You’re going with “fake news”? Gee, I wonder where you got that idea. Tell me Mike, was the Russia attack on our election fake news? How about the attendance on inauguration day for Obama vs. Trump? Was that fake? Here’s a reminder in case you need it: https://www.snopes.com/tachyon/2017/01/a17.jpg

          Sad!

          • Michael Petrino

            Sorry for your problems Russ. I did not say “Fake News” I asked for verification; a test for causality. You know what that looks like right? If not, I supplied a link above.

            • Michael Petrino

              The 97% figure was fake, the global warming issues is in question.

            • Russell Gontar

              Mike. I hate to quote Julián Castro, but you did indeed say fake news and here it is:

              Michael Petrino | September 15, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Reply
              No Dan, that 97% is fake news.https://skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus.htm

              No, you’re not looking for a test, you’re looking for certainty. That’s in short supply these days. And that’s not the way science works. I would think you would know that.

              And by the way, we’re all waiting for your answer to the simple question, does smoking cause cancer.? Hint: The readers are looking for a yes or no. But I’d say if anything is a certainty, it’s that you will not answer that question.

              • First show me the test for causality as it applies to man made global warming. BTW I did answer the smoking question. Read the thread. The Fake News statement was in regard to the much debunked survey of scientists, not the central issue of man made global warming, which may turn out to be fake news if and when the tests for causality are applied. Why do MMGW believers reject science?

            • David Stalling

              A survey of 928 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject of global climate change shows that not a single paper rejected the consensus position that global warming is man caused. A follow-up study of more than 12,000 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subjects of global warming and global climate change found that, of the papers taking a position on the cause of global warming, more than 97% agreed that humans are causing it. The scientists who authored the research papers were also contacted and asked to rate their own reports, and again more than 97% who took a position on the cause said humans are causing global warming.

              Several studies have confirmed that “The debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.” In other words: More than 97% of scientists working in the disciplines that contribute to studies of our climate conclude that current climate change is being caused by human activities. There are no national or major scientific institutions anywhere in the world that dispute the theory of human-caused climate change. Not one!

              Why do so many Americans believe a handful of paid corporate lackeys and right-wing politicians who manufacture conspiracies, hoaxes, skepticism, uncertainty and doubt instead of an overwhelming majority of the world’s top scientists — and the actual, growing evidence throughout our rapidly changing world that scientists have been predicting for years?

              It’s time to ignore dangerously ignorant corporate mouth-pieces like Patrick Moore — people paid to fuel climate-change denial so as to protect greed and profit while diminishing the health of the planet that sustains us. It’s time to listen to the overwhelming majority of knowledgeable, informed scientists throughout the world who have reached near-unanimous consensus in regards to human-caused climate change. The science is in. It’s time we collectively move past denial towards acceptance and action.

              The empirical and causal evidence is overwhelming. Some can’t see it because they don’t want to; they refuse to.

              So instead they pretend to know more than the majority of the world’s scientist and every major scientific organization in the world.

              They’re either uniquely, amazingly brilliant people or dangerously ignorant and severely suffering from the Dunning Kruger Effect.

              Now excuse me while I go tell the American Medical Association that there’s absolutely no empirical or causal evidence to link cigarettes, poor diet or obesity to heart disease.

        • The link you provided to Dan confirms the 97 percent consensus:

          Science achieves a consensus when scientists stop arguing. When a question is first asked – like ‘what would happen if we put a load more CO2 in the atmosphere?’ – there may be many hypotheses about cause and effect. Over a period of time, each idea is tested and retested – the processes of the scientific method – because all scientists know that reputation and kudos go to those who find the right answer (and everyone else becomes an irrelevant footnote in the history of science). Nearly all hypotheses will fall by the wayside during this testing period, because only one is going to answer the question properly, without leaving all kinds of odd dangling bits that don’t quite add up. Bad theories are usually rather untidy.

          But the testing period must come to an end. Gradually, the focus of investigation narrows down to those avenues that continue to make sense, that still add up, and quite often a good theory will reveal additional answers, or make powerful predictions, that add substance to the theory.

          So a consensus in science is different from a political one. There is no vote. Scientists just give up arguing because the sheer weight of consistent evidence is too compelling, the tide too strong to swim against any longer. Scientists change their minds on the basis of the evidence, and a consensus emerges over time. Not only do scientists stop arguing, they also start relying on each other’s work. All science depends on that which precedes it, and when one scientist builds on the work of another, he acknowledges the work of others through citations. The work that forms the foundation of climate change science is cited with great frequency by many other scientists, demonstrating that the theory is widely accepted – and relied upon.

          In the scientific field of climate studies – which is informed by many different disciplines – the consensus is demonstrated by the number of scientists who have stopped arguing about what is causing climate change – and that’s nearly all of them.

          Authors of seven climate consensus studies — including Naomi Oreskes, Peter Doran, William Anderegg, Bart Verheggen, Ed Maibach, J. Stuart Carlton, and John Cook — co-authored a paper that should settle this question once and for all. The two key conclusions from the paper are:

          1) Depending on exactly how you measure the expert consensus, it’s somewhere between 90% and 100% that agree humans are responsible for climate change, with most of our studies finding 97% consensus among publishing climate scientists.

          2) The greater the climate expertise among those surveyed, the higher the consensus on human-caused global warming.

          consensus studies
          Expert consensus results on the question of human-caused global warming among the previous studies published by the co-authors of Cook et al. (2016). Illustration: John Cook. Available on the SkS Graphics page
          consensus vs expertise
          Scientific consensus on human-caused global warming as compared to the expertise of the surveyed sample. There’s a strong correlation between consensus and climate science expertise. Illustration: John Cook. Available on the SkS Graphics page
          Expert consensus is a powerful thing. People know we don’t have the time or capacity to learn about everything, and so we frequently defer to the conclusions of experts. It’s why we visit doctors when we’re ill. The same is true of climate change: most people defer to the expert consensus of climate scientists. Crucially, as we note in our paper:

          Public perception of the scientific consensus has been found to be a gateway belief, affecting other climate beliefs and attitudes including policy support.

          That’s why those who oppose taking action to curb climate change have engaged in a misinformation campaign to deny the existence of the expert consensus. They’ve been largely successful, as the public badly underestimate the expert consensus, in what we call the “consensus gap.” Only 16% of Americans realize that the consensus is above 90%.

      • If you go to the NASA website regarding a 97% consensus, you will find they cite the Doran/Zimmerman report as a reference.
        Funny thing about this report…it is based on the question of whether or not the earth is warming and has nothing to do with a consensus on the consequence.
        It is also based on the answers of 79 scientists!

        Look here:
        “In our survey, the most specialized and knowledgeable respondents (with regard to climate change) are those who listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change (79 individuals in total). Of these specialists, 96.2% (76 of 79) answered “risen” to question 1 and 97.4% (75 of 77) answered yes to question 2.”

        Here are the questions:
        Q1: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?” 76 of 79 (96.2%) answered “risen.”
        Q2: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” 75 of 77 (97.4%) answered “yes.”

        https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/testfolder/aa-migration-to-be-deleted/assets-delete-me/documents-delete-me/ssi-delete-me/ssi/DoranEOS09.pdf

  11. Michael Petrino

    Fred; I believe smoking is a health hazard for me. If you want to smoke, go ahead. If others want to smoke, that is their choice. A very few climate scientists have tried to establish a cause and effect relationship between man made gases and global warming using empirical methods. Based on the articles I have seen, the results have not been conclusive. So, how do we do a cost benefit analysis if we don not know the outcome of our actions. We know we will spend $trillions; how do we know the benefits.

  12. Michael Petrino

    Science is not done by consensus. The Article says there is no consensus much less 97% agreement. Once again, I am not asking you to subsidize someone’s smoking. You are demanding that taxpayers finance your program.

    • Nancy Cleveland

      Spot on Michael! By the way we are still at your prior home on the Saugatuck and love it mor every day….35 years later

    • “Demanding that responsible human beings preserve the earth for the future” would perhaps be a better way of phrasing it.

    • Russell Gontar

      And you are demanding that planet earth be used as collateral in your “no climate change here, keep moving…experiment. Problem is, if you’re incorrect, the whole place goes down. If the other side is wrong, then we will have spent a boatload of money, but will have created countless new technologies and jobs in the process. Your bet is reckless.

      • You are correct: science is not done by consensus. However, through the scientific method the scientific community can reach consensus.

        There is a consensus among the scientific community that the earth is round, not flat.

        There is a consensus among the scientific community that cigarettes are bad for you.

        There is a consensus among the scientific community that humans have and continue to alter and change the world’s climate.

        They know the cause. They know the effects. The empirical and causal evidence is overwhelming. There is a scientific consensus.

        You not liking their scientific results doesn’t change the science.

        Again: The scientific data is gathered through scientific research in accordance with rigorous standards of the scientific method and compiled by scientists into scientific reports that are scientifically peer-reviewed by other scientists who scrupulously and methodically try to find flaws in the works of their fellow scientists. Scientific theories, hypotheses and results are constantly challenged and tested over and over again until something is either disproved or, as is the case with human-caused climate change, an overwhelming consensus is reached.

        Hence: Scientific consensus.

        In the scientific field of climate studies – which is informed by many different disciplines – the consensus is demonstrated by the number of scientists who have stopped arguing about what is causing climate change – and that’s nearly all of them. A survey of 928 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject of global climate change shows that not a single paper rejected the consensus position that global warming is man caused. A follow-up study of more than 12,000 peer-reviewed abstracts on the subjects of global warming and global climate change found that, of the papers taking a position on the cause of global warming, more than 97% agreed that humans are causing it. The scientists who authored the research papers were also contacted and asked to rate their own reports, and again more than 97% who took a position on the cause said humans are causing global warming.

        Several studies have confirmed that “The debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes.” In other words: More than 97% of scientists working in the disciplines that contribute to studies of our climate conclude that current climate change is being caused by human activities. There are no national or major scientific institutions anywhere in the world that dispute the theory of human-caused climate change. Not one! Zero! Zilch!

        Yet you know more than all of them. That’s pretty damn impressive! 😉

        • I’m not a mathematician, but I’m pretty sure the earth is round can be proved by mathematics and satellites measuring distances to certain points. Or something like that. Pretty sure the proof has nothing to do with consensus.

          • Yes. The world being round has been proven by science. Among the world’s scientist, there is consensus that the world is round. The consensus derives from the scientific evidence. But there are some folks who insist the world is flat, despite the scientific evidence and consensus.

            Scientific consensus implies general agreement, though not necessarily unanimity. Scientific consensus comes about from scientific data gathered through scientific research in accordance with rigorous standards of the scientific method and compiled by scientists into scientific reports that are scientifically peer-reviewed by other scientists who scrupulously and methodically try to find flaws in the works of their fellow scientists. Scientific theories, hypotheses and results are constantly challenged and tested over and over again until something is either disproved or, as is the case with the world being round and human-caused climate change, an overwhelming consensus is reached.

            • Not science, math.

              • David Stalling

                Math is a tool of science and was used in combination with the science of astronomy to prove that the earth is round. After other scientists questioned, tested and achieved the same results, a consensus was reached that the world is round.

                Math is also used in the various scientific disciplines of climate change. A lot of scientists use math. 😉

                • Michael Petrino

                  You cannot “prove” anything using science. The application of the scientific method may produce paradigms which are then tested by further application of the scientific method. Nothing is ever “proven”.

                  • That’s true. There’s no proof that anything exists. Reality is an illusion (though I can’t prove that). There is no proof that climate, or earth exist. The earth’s climate can’t change if neither exist, and there’s no proof humans exist to cause nonexistent climate change even if they did exist. The majority of scientists don’t exist and neither do their scientific organizations, but if they did, they should have asked you (if you exist) and saved all of us no existing folks a lot of nonexistent time, money and effort.

                    • Fake non-existence!

                    • A hypothetical hallucinatory illusion impervious to proof with no beginning or end in sight! (Damn these scientists!)

                    • Those might be the arguments of Descartes but Peirce (the father of Pragmatism) might argue, whatever works for you. On the other hand Poincare’ s view of reality may be more to your liking.https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40329-013-0009-x

                      The issue might be framed differently. Since, we cannot prove with certainty that man made gases cause global warming, at what level of uncertainty do we reject the hypothesis? A test for causality, such as the one I suggested above, should be an early step in determining the level of uncertainty.

  13. This thread has run its course. It is now closed to comments.