The Week That Was: 2024-03-16 (March 16, 2024)

  • The Week That Was: 2024-03-16 (March 16, 2024)
  • Brought to You by SEPP (
  • The Science and Environmental Policy Project
  • Quote of the Week: "My interest in science was always essentially limited to the study of principles ... That I have published so little is due to this same circumstance, as the great need to grasp principles has caused me to spend most of my time on fruitless pursuits." -- Albert Einstein
  • Number of the Week: 30%
  • By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
  • Scope: This TWTW addresses the following issues. The US film premier of "Climate: The Movie (the Cold Truth)".
  • The use of a probability tree for rational decision making on policy alternatives with suggested additions of the benefits of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide.
  • Issues arising from trying to claim Earth is exposed to a constant sun.
  • The failure of many scientists and commentators to understand that atmospheric carbon dioxide depletion has resulted in mass extinctions.
  • The efforts of Ted Nordhaus and Roger Pielke Jr. to demonstrate that humans are not experiencing an increase in extreme weather events and have never been safer from such events.

Film Premiere: The CO2 Coalition, CFACT, and The Heartland Institute are presenting the American premiere of "Climate: The Movie (the Cold Truth)" at 5:30 pm EDT on Tuesday, March 19 at the Angelika Film Center & Cafe at Mosaic in Fairfax, Virginia. The film is by British filmmaker Martin Durkin who created the film "The Great Global Wining Swindle." Prior to the showing at 6:30, opening remarks will be made including a few by the 2022 Nobel Co-Laurete in Physics John Clauser who has alarmed many in the climate establishment by rejecting the shoddy science (pseudoscience, fake science) used to claim a "climate crisis" or "climate emergency" is now called a "denier." A denier of what, a phony consensus using shoddy survey techniques and statistics? See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.

Probability Tree: Engineering Management and Systems Engineer Michael Cochrane reminds TWTW of his essay posted in WUWT in 2016 on designing a probability tree for modeling climate change policy decisions. Cochrane proposes the following steps in building such a tree:

"The following climate change policy model is designed to help us explore a range of scenarios associated with different answers to a sequence of questions fundamental to the issue of global warming and that must be addressed prior to proposing policy solutions. The questions are:

  1. Is the earth actually warming? A summary of modern climate history suggests that from 1979 to the present there has been 'a large disparity between surface thermometers, which show a fairly strong warming, and independent temperature readings of satellites and balloons, which show little warming trend.' (Singer & Avery, 2007, p. xv). Rigorous data analysis (Heller, 2016) and application of statistical methods that control for heteroskedacity and autocorrelation (McKitrick & Vogelsang, 2014) suggest that apart from a step-wise change in global average temperature (GAT) around 1977 there has been no statistically significant warming trend since ~1958 or earlier.
  2. If the earth is warming, is this actually a problem? There is some disagreement over this question, with global warming activists citing the potential for rising sea levels, more extreme weather events, famines, and other catastrophes. Other scientists, however, argue that rising atmospheric CO2 levels and warming attributable to it may actually have net beneficial effects such as longer growing seasons, expanded growing ranges, increased plant growth, increased food production, and reduced morbidity and mortality from cold snaps. (Davis, 2005) (Singer & Avery, 2007)
  3. If the earth is warming, and this is a problem, to what extent is human activity causing the warming? This question gets at the heart of the issue. Many environmental activists think human activity (i.e., burning of fossil fuels and other activities that generate CO2 and other so-called "greenhouse gases") is the primary cause of global warming, while others believe warming is largely or wholly a natural, cyclical phenomenon primarily caused by solar cycles, ocean current cycles, and the eccentricities of the earth's axial tilt and orbit. (Singer & Avery, 2007)
  4. If human activity is the primary cause of global warming, will reducing this activity also reduce global warming? The assumption undergirding environmental policies such as the (now obsolete) Kyoto Protocol, the "Clean Power Plan" in the U.S., and the global climate agreement negotiated in Paris in late 2015 is that if anthropogenic CO2 causes warming, then reducing the output of anthropogenic