How Scott Johnson Gets It Wrong

Johnson’s essay is a series of ad hominem attacks disguised as a blog post. With his out-of-date post, Johnson has overtly declared himself a mouthpiece for imperialism. I’ll explain briefly.

1. Johnson believes the solution to our myriad predicaments can be found in civilization. But each of the predicaments is rooted in civilization. The average reader can detect the insanity, but Johnson cannot. With respect to climate change, Johnson ignores Tim Garrett’s excellent published research indicating civilization is a heat engine. Like others who care about the living planet, including future generations of humans, I’m working to dismantle civilization. Johnson is working to sustain the omnicide.

2. Johnson believes atmospheric methane will be an issue for the grandchildren to deal with. He ignores abundant science indicating otherwise. He clings to his preconceptions, and ignores the work of legitimate climate scientists.

3. Johnson is motivated by money. He is paid to produce information that supports the status quo. In contrast, I’m motivated by evidence.

I have neither time nor interest in addressing each point Johnson mentions. Furthermore, unlike Johnson, I’m not paid to promote the Sixth Great Extinction induced by civilization. I welcome the efforts of others to write a point-by-point assessment of Johnson’s essay, which is strong on shooting the messenger and weak on attacking the science. But don’t expect to be rewarded for pointing out the facts. As with Johnson, you’ll be rewarded only if you dismiss the message and disparage the messenger.

Class dismissed. Johnson fails. As does his buddy Michael Tobis, as pointed out here.

A few minutes after I posted this brief essay, Johnson responded via Twitter. Ironically, he told me to stop slandering him. Twice. Once would have been sufficient to indicate his inability to properly use the English language.

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Walking Away from Empire was reviewed recently by Michel Weber for Cosmos and History.
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Nature Bats Last has its own YouTube channel, separate from McPherson’s channel. It’s here.

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Catch McPherson here for an interview Friday, 19 December 2014 at 9:00 p.m. Pacific (midnight on the east coast). It’ll be archived, too.

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Catch Nature Bats Last on the radio with Mike Sliwa and Guy McPherson. Tune in every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time, or catch up in the archives here. If you prefer the iTunes version, including the option to subscribe, you can click here.

Our latest show was broadcast Tuesday, 16 December. It included an extensive interview with climate scientist Paul Beckwith, and it’s archived here.

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McPherson’s latest book is co-authored by Carolyn Baker. Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind is available.

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Find and join the Near-Term Human Extinction SUPPORT Group on Facebook here

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If you have registered, or you intend to register, please send an email message to guy.r.mcpherson@gmail.com. Include the online moniker you’d like to use in this space. I’ll approve your registration as quickly as possible. Thanks for your patience.

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Going Dark is available from the publisher here, from Amazon here, from Amazon on Kindle here, from Barnes & Noble on Nook here, and as a Google e-book here. Going Dark was reviewed by Carolyn Baker at Speaking Truth to Power, Anne Pyterek at Blue Bus Books, and by more than three dozen readers at Amazon.

Comments 104

  • Hi Guy,

    Who is Scott Johnson and why is he relevant?

    Thank you.

  • Most humans hold beliefs which are based on questionable evidence or no evidence at all. And the world is full of propagandists, many of them on the payrolls of corporations.

    I know next to nothing about Scott Johnson but guess he fits the above paragraph.

    Civilization and Its Stultifying Consequences

    http://coyoteandwolf.wordpress.com/

  • FriedrichKling, Scott Johnson has a blog post in which he presents a view contrary to mine. It frequently comes up when people attack me and my message. As a result of Johnson’s blog post, he served as one of the “experts” for Alex Smith in Smith’s radio program that slandered me (along with the accompanying blog post, which libeled me). I’ll not honor Johnson or Smith with links.

  • I read Johnson’s essay when it first came out, and again now. He is legion, as far as I can tell.

    I’m enjoying your recent comments about your encounters with people, Guy. We just aren’t very satisfying, and certainly not consistently so. Ice cream and puppies work well for me. Coffee flavored ice cream, and sometimes Cherry Garcia.

    Your work has helped in my liberation in that finally someone with a science background is telling the truth that many people have long seen coming. We knew in the 60s that things were bad and the time to make changes was then. At least, anyone with any toehold on reality knew it.

  • OGF,

    In recent memory, someone, may have been you, recommended & posted a book with a majority black cover, about Indian Nations (ideology?) and the contrast between others. I bookmarked it on Amazon but recently I visited the site to order it and it wasn’t there.

    Any ideas? I would look back but do not know quite where to start.

  • I read some of Scott’s “point-by-point corrections” in April of this year before I had concluded that NTHE could not be avoided. I could only bear reading the introduction and the first five points of his article because of the ad hominem approach. I attempted to point out that he was attacking the messenger. I was told I should read more closely. My take is that Scott sees himself as some sort of educational messiah to masses shackled in Normalcy Bias.

    BTW…great response on the tweet, Guy! He does need to be a big boy if he’s going to play.

  • Hi, shep. I do not remember the post, and I am not familiar with the book, I don’t believe. I’d be interested to know which book you mean. I recommended “Touch the Earth,” for Native perspectives on nature and their relationship to nature.

  • Hi Guy and company…
    I get something that seems vaguely similar at least from some kind of perceptual standpoint, such as, for example, from someone named Nick G over at Peak Oil Barrel.
    http://peakoilbarrel.com/will-bakken-red-queen-outrun-growth-water-cut/

    Humans seem to be able to rationalize away practically anything.

  • I will make a few comments regarding Scott Johnson’s claims. I just noticed the following comments by Scott Johnson at Fractal Planet:

    He wrote: “Obviously, I haven’t made a single dime spending what has added up to quite a large amount of time on this McPherson business. (Does he think I’m selling t-shirts out back or something?)” If I could still post comments at FP, I would ask: Why “obviously” Scott? How can anyone, other than you, possibly know your income? We must and should just take your word for it (just as we presumably must and should believe the energy company advertising) while we have a billion-dollar denial industry operating regarding global heating with accompanying abrupt climate change? I do not presume to know whether you actually receive financial support for your anti-McPherson blogging, but given the highly emotional, strongly biased nature of what I see at FP, it seems not just plausible, but highly probable that you do indeed receive significant funding. Given the things you write and the things you encourage and support others to write, you MIGHT AS WELL receive that funding. Have you considered approaching some of the right people and requesting funding? Given your strong support of their disinformation campaign, you might as well get paid for it.

    He wrote: “I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t be charitable with Guy anymore.” As if Scott ever treated Guy in a “charitable” way to begin with? Actually, when I read and interacted at FP I think I do recall at least one “charitable” comment that Scott made regarding Guy, but a far smaller number than negative comments, and I don’t ever recall him discouraging others from their frequent ad hominem attacks, which suggest to me that he agreed with them and, agree or not, he SUPPORTED them and gave them a platform.

    He wrote: “Title: ‘HOW Scott Johnson Gets It Wrong’. [emphasis Scott’s]
    Body: ‘He’s a big doo-doo head.’” I find this amazing on two accounts: (1) Johnson makes an issue of Guy using a title that REPLICATES HIS own highly biased title. (2) Something I encountered frequently while commenting at FP: He claims that Guy wrote something that GUY DID NOT WRITE. Nowhere does Guy write “He’s a big doo-doo head.” Indeed, I do not see how Guy even implies such an idea. But this remains a typical Scott Johnson straw man argumentation tactic, which I came to experience often and know quite well.

    He wrote as the title of his blog topic: “How Guy McPherson gets it wrong”. Before he banned me from commenting further at FP, I pointed out the highly biased, NON-scientific nature of his topic, beginning with a topic title that does NOT read “Does Guy McPherson get it wrong?”, “What does the evidence suggest concerning Guy McPherson’s conclusions?”, “Does any evidence contradict that which Guy McPherson presents?”, or some similar, neutral questions or statement. Instead, it frames a strong anti-MCPHERSON bias, AND a strong bias that McPherson does indeed, presumably, have it WRONG, versus a title that expresses a scientific bias directed toward dispassionately assessing the EVIDENCE. (He banned me for clearly and respectfully disagreeing with many things written there by him and a number of commenters, while I NEVER attacked anyone there in any personal way, nor wrote in a highly emotional way, despite a number of emotional attacks on me, which Johnson never discouraged.)

    I have considered reviewing Fractal Planet’s McPherson’s Wrong blog and counting the various comments made by Scott Johnson and others regarding Guy McPherson, including ad hominem attacks, neutral, and positive comments, and then calculating two ratios: ad hominems:neutral, and ad homimens:positive. From past experience reading and responding at FP, I expect that I would find both ratios extremely high indeed. But I have not done the counts nor calculated the ratios, and I don’t plan to. Maybe someone will. Meanwhile, amidst the negative, personal bias and attacks that come from FP, Guy must, presumably, never exhibit any human fallibilities by saying or writing anything negative in response.

    I would really like to see a point/counter-point discussion (not a formal “debate”) between Scott and Guy, but I think that for that to work in a positive, productive way, it would have to happen: (1) through writing, thus giving each party plenty of time to think about, research, talk with others, and then respond to the other’s points, while allowing readers time to do the same, and (2) in a MODERATED venue designed to guarantee that the discussion occurred in a respectful way with no ad hominem attacks. I think that such a discussion would prove highly educational, revealing, and helpful for many people—and it could attract A LOT of attention to the issue of global heating with its associated abrupt climate change.

  • OGF,

    I’m afraid I dreamed it. I have read Touch the Earth because of you. It was beyond special. I am now familiar with some of the Iroquois history too that has made life better for me.
    I’ll try to go back and see if I can find what I am looking for. This will give me something to do while waiting for the end.

    Thanks.

  • Johnson’s sidekick in this is Michael Tobis, who has also smeared Guy. Jan Lundberg at Culture Change, who prides himself on his anti-industrialism stance, has put forth Tobis as a “debunking” of Guy, unaware that Tobis and Johnson are both techno-fixers supreme, in particular Johnson, who promotes wind and solar and other “alternatives” as capable of taking over the entire energy supply of contemporary society.

  • “I would really like to see a point/counter-point discussion (not a formal “debate”) between Scott and Guy,
    …..
    and it could attract A LOT of attention to the issue of global heating with its associated abrupt climate change.”

    There is no need to indulge in any discussion. If you wrestle a hog, the hog will enjoy it, and you will end up covered in s**t. Some emmeffs will not be convinced till the SPLAT! – and then there will be no one to convince. Rather than attract attention, winnow the wheat from the emmeffing chaff.

  • Jeff S.,

    I discussed Michael Tobis’ article, and much more, in my long essay posted June, 2014 titled “McPherson’s wrong about global warming!?” (https://guymcpherson.com/2014/06/mcphersons-wrong-about-global-warming-thoughts-on-some-possible-psychological-and-emotional-motivations-for-the-attacks-on-guy-mcpherson/).

    Robin Datta,

    I guess I enjoy wrestling hogs and getting covered in s**t. I find that I learn much of value about myself, other people, and issues, as well as practicing expressing myself in respectful ways. And I know VERY WELL—and I deeply, emotionally accept—the nature of the emotional “reasoning” that so many people use, and the fact that some people will NEVER change their most cherished beliefs no matter WHAT quantity and quality of evidence may exist. Meanwhile, I remain naïve enough to think that many people watching the hog wrestling learn plenty of value, just as I do, making it all doubly worthwhile. But I confess: I qualify as certifiably weird in most ways.

    Otherwise:

    Scott Johnson just posted this comment at FP: “Yes, McPherson says he doesn’t work for money… he just begs for money instead:” followed by Guy’s request for donations. If I could still post comments a FP, in response to this I would write:

    Scott, you appear to have posted this as an intended insult (which you supposedly do not do, remember?) and as some kind of negative reflection on Guy McPherson’s character. If so, you have shot yourself in the foot (again) because I and MANY others interpret this as a very POSITIVE reflection of Guy’s character, most certainly not anything negative. Actually, I feel glad that you mentioned this because I did not have any awareness of it. Now that I have become aware, I will definitely contribute to him, so thanks for educating me! Now, how about you post your most recent income tax return as a similar, balanced reflection of your character, in order to prove that you do not receive industry funding as you insist that you do not?

  • Bud,

    I posted a critical comment on McPherson’s FB page, it was immediately expunged and I was banned. OK, it’s his, no biggy. But I do note that Johnson did engage with you for at least a time, I’ve seen nothing but dismissal by McPherson for any critical comments, no matter how politely framed or factually based. His response to such criticism is “I don’t have time, denialists can’t be convinced, etc.” rather than “Johnson’s point is wrong because…” You’ll note that Johnson provided links, citations, explanations, etc. in his original post. Maybe every point he made was incorrect but McPherson’s only rejoinder is “take my word for it.” McPherson will say “I’ve laid out the evidence elsewhere” but it’s precisely this layout of evidence that Johnson disputes. His reluctance (refusal, actually) to address these points is quite telling, almost a tacit admission that Johnson’s points are accurate.

    McPherson did NOT say “Johnson may be paid by those motivated to maintain the status quo.” He did NOT say “I infer from his tone and content that it’s plausible that Johnson may be paid by those motivated to maintain the status quo.” He said, inter alia, “He is paid to produce information that supports the status quo.” Evidence of such payment was conspicuous by its absence. Your request that Johnson post his tax return to prove he isn’t taking money from industry is quite despicable, I’d thought better of you prior to this. He may just as well ask you to prove that you don’t contribute money to eco-terrorists.

    McPherson also accused Johnson of actively working to kill everything(“Johnson is working to sustain the omnicide” can have no other interpretation). As I said on the FB page, whether or not this is false, defamatory, and damaging, thereby constituting libel would be a triable issue of fact that could decided in Court. In the event of a lawsuit (as extremely unlikely as that may be), a Motion for Summary Judgement on McPherson’s behalf would be doomed.

    As to Tobis, his “debunking” is fact based. The (very long) essay (which I read) that you posted and linked in your response to Jeff has elements of psychoanalysis and philosophy (ontology, epistemology, politics, etc) but NOTHING regarding the factual errors and the misrepresentation of conclusions (intentional or otherwise) to which Johnson and Tobis draw attention. Nor do we find any such thing in what McPherson has written (at least that I’ve been able to find). And, contrary to your assertion therein, both Johnson and Tobis write extensively about issues other than climate change that they decry with respect to the future of both mankind and other Earth inhabitants. To imply otherwise (as you do in your essay) is a misrepresentation.

    In any case, reading comments and responses on FB and here, it’s apparent that only doomer porn sycophants need apply.

  • Rob Ryan, do you have any issue with this post of mine? Can you point to any errors in my long essay? Do you believe humans will survive a rapid rise in global-average temperature to 4 C above baseline? Do you deny abrupt climate change is under way?

    Do you have any contribution to make beyond disparagement? If not, you’re clearly in good company with Mr. Johnson, the master of the ad hom.

  • In THE END those who chose to debate, spin, lie, and falsify will have helped no one, not even themselves or their loved ones.

    But, in the end those who chose to tell the truth will have helped not only themselves but hundreds maybe even thousands, they never knew or will ever know. Everyone much choose which character they will be?

    TRUTH WILL PREVAIL AFTER ENDLESS WORDS HAVE BEEN SPOKEN.

    CONTINUE TO OPERATE IN TRUTH DOCTOR MCPHERSON THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS IN THE END. ENDLESS WORDS WILL NOT CHANGE THE TRUTH AHEAD FOR THE PLANET AND FOR US ALL.

  • Old Scott definitely an abrupt climate change denier[A breed doomed to extinction] Was’t he in that video with the cooling dude called [Scientific reality part 1 The shrinking sun]? Anyway Most excellent comments in Leave a Repay Thanks Enjoy it

  • I can’t believe I have to come over here and do this, but no, Bud, I did not write the comment you’re quoting about Guy’s request for donations. Someone else left that comment on my blog.

    I don’t believe I have *ever* attacked Guy’s character. I’ve certainly said that I think certain arguments of his are wrong, and I’ve even said that I believe his arguments display motivated reasoning. I’ve also frequently said that I found him to be quite likable and genuine. On more than one occasion I have responded to commenters judging Guy to be fake or lying and said that I disagree.

    Today, however, a straw broke the camel’s back, and I concluded that Guy is either delusional or lying when he repeatedly claims I haven’t even tried to show errors in his scientific claims. So I can’t say I’ve never commented on his character anymore.

    Guy, I don’t think you know what ad hominem arguments actually are. Here’s a summary: When I characterize the style of your arguments before detailing specific problems, as I did at the start of my post and I believe you’ve taken exception to (and may not have read past), that’s not ad hominem. When you claim that anything I’ve said can be summarily dismissed because I’m “working to sustain the omnicide” and am somehow being paid to lie about you (a false and thoroughly ungracious accusation without even an attempted substantiation), that’s ad hominem. Arguing that a message is wrong is not attacking the messenger. Proclaiming that you don’t have to engage with the message because the messenger is a dirty rat is.

    I politely decline the crown of Master of the Ad Hom. You can keep it.

    As I’m sure commenting here would ignite quite a lot of argument, I won’t reply again without invitation (and a clear and productive purpose).

  • Scott Johnson, do you believe humans will survive a rapid rise in global-average temperature to 4 C above baseline? Do you deny abrupt climate change is under way? What’s my “motivated reasoning” beyond identifying and forwarding evidence? I only managed to read partway into that ad hom pile of crap you posted 10 months ago. But I didn’t need to read far to discover plenty of statements that indicate this line is a lie: “I don’t believe I have *ever* attacked Guy’s character.”

    When you denied the abrupt release of methane and its consequences, I knew you were unqualified to write about climate change. It’s small wonder Alex Smith welcomed you onto his show and found you so riveting. You simply confirmed his incorrect view that there’ll be no consequences for relatively wealthy, middle-aged, Caucasian men.

  • Many of us have had the misfortune of having read the infamous Scott Johnson Fractal Planet piece about Guy’s work.

    It is only one in a long series of several other poorly informed, and potentially financially motivated bloggers who try to distract people from the truth of the sinking Titanic we are on.
    These distractors are doing a fine job as Goebbles taught that if you repeat a lie enough times the people will think it’s true.
    It’s a simple task:
    Sow seeds of doubt in Guy’s abilties as a conservation scientist and environmental biologist and then call him deluded, or cray cray, or simply wrong. Calling someone wrong may not seem so terrible, may not seem as an ad-hominem, but the church called Galileo wrong too.
    Do you think he was a little upset?

    Guy has ignored the Fecal Planet post until now, after dozens of folks keep asking him to do or say something for months now. And so the child squealed “No fair! Slander!”
    Scott Johnson, methinks thou doth protest too much.
    If you can’t take the heat or light of truth, then get the hell out of the kitchen.

  • Pauline, et al, as usual say “Scott Johnson is wrong, poorly informed “potentially” (not a very deft distancing of herself from a scurrilous accusation) financially motivated. Guy McPherson put up a post with a series of points and various citations and links. Scott Johnson and Michael Tobis evaluated them and contend that numerous errors of fact, of misinterpretation, of misattribution, of faulty analysis, etc. exist in the post. Maybe they’re wrong. Maybe not. But both Nye and McPherson ignore the actual meat of Johnson’s and Tobis’ expositions and simply say “they’re wrong, trust me.”

    I’m not able to find anything on Nye’s background (other than his titles, “R.N., M.S.”) but McPherson represents himself to be a scientist. I’ll stipulate that his degree and position justify that. So, in what sense does saying “Johnson and Tobis are wrong in their citation and analysis filled essays regarding my position on NTHE and its causes. Nevertheless, I don’t have time and they, as deniers, can’t be convinced, and I already laid out my case (albeit, the specific one against which they argue) and so you’ll have to take my word for it.

    Notably, both Johnson and Tobis consider climate disruption, economic discontinuity, overshoot, etc. to be THE PRIME THREAT to our future. But they argue that “we’re doomed, we’ll be extinct in two or three decades, the die is cast, any other analysis is hopium, learn to exit gracefully” is based on faulty analysis. Neither McPherson nor Nye is will (apparently) to address their analysis beyond “they’re wrong.”

    As to slander, it’s perhaps not the right word (I’d use libel) but McPherson stated as fact (and Nye attempted weakly to dilute that by saying “well, the content makes me think it’s possible or even likely”) that Johnson is being paid to publish pieces supporting the status quo. Evidence for this statement? None provided. Nye even went so far as to demand proof in the form of publishing Johnson’s tax return, a reprehensible demand reminiscent of McCarthyism where it was demanded that people prove that they weren’t communists. This speaks to character.

    As to Galileo, every crackpot cites him. Note that I don’t accuse McPherson of being a crackpot, but lots of people have been called wrong AND WERE WRONG. The fact that a person was famously right and was punished does not mean that being called wrong is evidence that someone is right.

    Finally, “dozens of folks keep asking him to do or say something for months now…” Is this really the best he has to offer?

  • Rob Ryan, you failed to respond to my questions. Tellingly, so did Scott Johnson. I’ve made the case in exquisite detail. Johnson and acolytes deny the ongoing threat of abrupt climate change, even though the evidence is obvious (based on exponential release of atmospheric methane).

    Again, I’ve made the case, in great detail. That Johnson and his fan club disparage me and my work — but not that of climate scientist Paul Beckwith, for example, who recognizes abrupt climate change is under way — reveals more about their fear than about the reality of climate change. Johnson claims I misrepresent the work of others while misrepresenting my work at every turn. You think he’s a reliable source?

    Note that Johnson also claims there is no support for the paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicating a 5 C temperature rise in 13 years. Apparently the refereed journal literature isn’t sufficient, if it disagrees with his personal perspective.

  • Good you took the bait you bottom feeder,All your big words you common pseudo intellectual. I’m sure you see whats going off on this planet, Dr.Mcpherson has given up everything to help us see and disseminate the words about abrupt climate change,based on factual data. How dare you crawl out from under your bog of stinking information, go back to your blog and pull some more rabbits out your a$$$$ are you really that blind or just a bad seed

  • Eppur Si Muove

    Galileo said, “And yet it moves,”
    To tell you and me it behooves
    Us to base verbals acts
    On observable facts,
    Regardless of who disapproves.

  • Well Guy, that’s par for the course here and, literally, the point I continue to raise. You have never addressed Johnson’s and Tobis’ points. I’ve never even contended that they’re right and you’re wrong, only that you’ve made no effort to show why they’re wrong.

    Here are your questions:
    “Rob Ryan, do you have any issue with this post of mine?” Here, I assume you mean the post on this page. In that case, how could I? You’re simply stating what you believe Johnson believes and what you believe to be his motivation. There’s nothing factual there on which I can opine.

    “Can you point to any errors in my long essay?” To provide more than a facile answer will take time – I have to track down your various citations and devote time to analysis. It may be worth doing but I’d ask you to extend the same courtesy to Johnson.

    But I’ll start with this: Your first “double asterisk” point as of today’s date at the exposition you linked (of course, that essay is, in large part, the original essay to which Johnson and Tobis responded) is “** Unimpressed with evidence and public opinion, some scientists forge on, illustrating that the progressive perspective often means progresssing toward the cliff’s edge. As reported in the 27 November 2014 issue of New Scientist, initial efforts to cool the planet via geo-engineering have taken shape and are scheduled to begin in two years. **”

    The actual linked article states “Proposals for the first trials to cool the planet include cloud brightening and spraying aerosols into the ozone layer. They might start in just two years.” It pointedly DOES NOT say that they are “scheduled to start in two years.” Further, what is proposed are experiments to validate models, not “initial efforts to cool the planet” It is precisely this type of misrepresentation that Johnson points out in multiple points in the original essay. Note that I (here) take no position on the advisability of such an experiment or on whether it indicates that the scientists proposing the trials are “progressing toward the cliff’s edge.” I’m only saying that your characterization of the article is misleading at best.

    More to follow (probably) on your essay.

    “Do you believe humans will survive a rapid rise in global-average temperature to 4 C above baseline?” The more rapid the rise the more damage it will cause. I don’t think that such a rise will transpire by 2030 and, even if it does, it would be catastrophic but would not result in human extinction.

    :Do you deny abrupt climate change is under way?” Define “abrupt climate change.” I think that the climate equilibrium has been and will continue to be significantly disturbed by CO2 emissions and other human activities. I fear that this disruption and various other kinds of “self-poisoning” of humans will potentially cause widespread hardship. I think that hardship is likely unavoidable, that catastrophe is not unavoidable but may not be avoided, and that NTHE is so extremely far fetched as to be out of the question.

    Guyo Smith: take a deep breath.

  • Rob Ryan, thanks for your response. I edited the long essay to address your minor, editorial point.

    With respect to Tobis and Johnson, I can only stand to read their fear-filled nonsense in small doses. And when they deny exponential release of methane into the atmosphere, contrary to the abundant evidence, I conclude they’re not worth reading. Others love to read their nonsense, presumably because they confirm the primary point of neoclassical economics: We can have infinite growth on a finite planet with no adverse consequences, and technology will rise to every challenge.

    Methane clearly is running the show now, as pointed out by the data. As Paul Beckwith indicates, based on previous events, we could witness a 5-16 C global-average temperature rise within a decade or two. Non-scientists such as Johnson deny that could happen, even though it’s happened in the past, but they present no contrary evidence. Tack on the other self-reinforcing feedback loops, summarily dismissed by Johnson based on opinion rather than evidence, and I doubt we need to wait two decades for that 5-16 C temperature rise.

    And when that happens, there will be few phytoplankton. Land plants will be rare. But relatively wealthy, privileged Caucasian men think we’ll survive. It’s delusion.

    Finally, the avoidance of the topic of civilization as a heat engine is expectedly bizarre. Johnson and Tobis clearly love their privileged positions at the apex of empire. The notion that civilization could be problematic apparently is just too difficult to accept.

  • Rob Ryan:

    I actually didn’t need Bud Nye’s response to Tobis, i don’t know why he put it forth. I criticized Tobis way back when. Both Tobis and Johnson are techno-fixers who are out to promote solar, wind and other “alternatives” as if these methods of generating power can actually take over the task of powering the global industrial structure AS IT CURRENTLY EXISTS. And that is outright BULLSHIT. Lots of sites have debunked this notion, be they Jan Lundberg’s Culture Change, Alive Friedemann’s Energy Skeptic and Gail Tverberg’s Our Finite World.

    Your remark
    ““Do you believe humans will survive a rapid rise in global-average temperature to 4 C above baseline?” The more rapid the rise the more damage it will cause. I don’t think that such a rise will transpire by 2030 and, even if it does, it would be catastrophic but would not result in human extinction.”
    shows to me a high degree of cluelessness as to what a 4 C rise would mean. Your generally dismissive attitudes towards the danger of methane releases, which you share with your two perfect masters, has been found wanting by the likes of Dahr Jamail, who takes the work of front-line Arctic researchers such as Shakhova and Semiletov seriously, unlike you and your team.

    YOU are the one who needs to take a deep breath.

  • All.
    Strongly suggest investing an hour to view Dr. James White’s presentation from the AGU meeting last week. It is entitled ‘Abrupt Change – Past, Present and Future’. I had to register at the AGU website, which was a bit of a chore, but worth it. Hopefully, this link will get you close:

    http://virtualoptions.agu.org/media/C23D-01.+Nye+Lecture%2C+Presented+By+James+White/0_r289t1qf

    Directly applies to today’s discussion. Looking carefully at his slides & how he words the things he says… reminds me of that video/interview with Dr. Shakhhova a couple of years ago (“do not like”).

    Shakhova –

    Regarding Dr. White – There is a similar tone in his voice. An uncomfortable vibration in his presentation. He knows we are done. He desparately wants to be wrong, but he presents a picture as bleak as any I can imagine.

    Sorry Scott Johnson. Evidence is not on your side.

  • Jeff S., you say: “Johnson’s sidekick in this is Michael Tobis, who has also smeared Guy. Jan Lundberg at Culture Change, who prides himself on his anti-industrialism stance, has put forth Tobis as a “debunking” of Guy, unaware that Tobis and Johnson are both techno-fixers supreme, in particular Johnson, who promotes wind and solar and other “alternatives” as capable of taking over the entire energy supply of contemporary society.”

    Your implication that Tobis’ and Johnson’s status as (in your view) “techno-fixers supreme” has anything to do with whether either of their debunking of McPherson’s post and that Lundberg should presumably ignore them on that basis is a classic example of a non-sequitur. The points they raise are either correct or they are not, whether they believe in the tooth fairy or bigfoot or techno-fixes.

    While I’d like to keep the conversation on the topic at hand (whether or not Johnson and Tobis are correct in their counterpoint to McPherson), I will point out that Tobis (of whom I’ve read a fair amount) cannot fairly be accused of contending that wind turbines and solar panels will fix everything. Heck, even Amory Lovins doesn’t think that. But the McPherson camp is of the opinion that (correct me if I misunderstand) no measures of any kind will have any effect on our trajectory toward extinction, and any such proposal or strategy is just “hopium” (such a precious word). Tobis and Johnson (and I) certainly don’t believe that.

    I will say that at least the discussion about methane can be about facts and evidence. And there is scant evidence of the sort of the possibility of the sort of methane release posited by Shakhova. I am curious about your “two perfect masters” quote though.

  • PS. The reference above to Dr. James White’s presentation is presented and discussed in more detail at Gail’s ‘Wit’s End’ Blog here:

    http://witsendnj.blogspot.fr/2014/12/all-about-us.html

    “To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”
    ~ Arundhati Roy
    Never forget. Amen.

  • Keep cool Guy. Don’t let the aholes drag you down into anger and frustration.You’re a unique man motivated by decency and ethics rather than self-gain venality.You truly are a wonder in this fallen world of greed and money grubbing self gain you stand tall on principles which in the modern world is almost incomprehensible.

  • Bud Nye:

    Maybe you should visit the wallow from time to time to keep the critters from straying.

  • Guy; you aren’t alone. It’s safe to say that all of us who have considered NTE seriously are experiencing rejection and all that follows, if we even dare to mention it to family and friends. Not everyone can handle that territory. We like to belong. So we belong here.

    Thinking is an expensive occupation as explained by Paul C. Roberts.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/12/03/thinking-expensive-occupation-paul-craig-roberts/

  • I have neither time nor interest in addressing each point Johnson mentions.

    This is a telling comment. So Guy posts a, what?, certainly not a rebuttal, but a string of unsubstantiated attacks and even dismisses a tweet as grammatically incorrect.

    Almost everyone else weighs in with more ad hominems and many (including Guy) even admit to not reading Scott Johnson’s piece (or at least not all of it). Instead of addressing the points Scott Johnson, or others, raised, Guy asks the question, do you think humans can survive a 4C rise, implying that it will occur, and occur fairly soon, without question. Just one example of how Guy seems to be trying to seek the truth, not (he’s often claimed that he’d like to be proven wrong yet never engages those with a counter view).

    I feel sure that eventually Guy will see that his current approach isn’t particularly productive (except to perhaps harden his hard core followers) and I don’t think that day can come soon enough.

  • love the cat fights, won’t get involved but, this is the best thing since Kolbert attacked Klein.

    i only know there is no way in hell we can buy the 8 billion people perishable solar-wind-battery power every 25 years forever and ever. Just imagine looking out over a vast suburban tract and seeing them all covered with solar panels, wind turbines and batteries. We can’t afford all the minerals required to give each home its own personal power station. stupifying. solar-wind is the additive, productivist, intermittent, extraction intensive, recycled planned obsolescence of mass and energy — a vast waste of effort and time in the face of extreme weather like the Philippines and Sao Paulo.

    i don’t know, trust or even care about Alex, Guy and Beckwith, but I like their work, and i like their work because of the preponderance of evidence. I don’t give a fuck for Alex’s hopium, but I sympathize. I don’t give a fuck if NTME is next year or 100 years from now. I don’t give a fuck if humans go extinct or not. I do care about my family, so i keep my ears and eyes open. the more i do that, the more the evidence overwhelms.

    Selling doom-n-gloom for a living is tough, at best. Go to almost any environmental site, or watch any environmental video, and you’ll see they’re all the same. Scary at first, with an extra large helping of if-we-all-pull-together-as-a-team near the end, usually accompanied with a sickenly sonorous musical crescendo. Most of those sites also sell ad space for things like pipeline companies. Grist is even promising a chance to win a free trip to Costa Rica.

    Repetition works for FOX, this is why i am so repetitive. But, since i’ve already blew my empathy budget for the day, I’ll keep it short for the casual viewer. I’ve added a couple of new ones from Barnoski’s new mass extinction book.

    ALL U NEED TO KNOW
    ► 97% of Tigers gone since 1914.
    ► 90% of Mountain Gorillas gone since 1985.
    ► 90% of Lions gone since 1993.
    ► 90% of Sea Turtles gone since 1980.
    ► 90% of Monarch Butterflies gone since 1995.
    ► 90% of Big Ocean Fish gone since 1950.
    ► 75% of River & Riverbank Species gone since 1970.
    .. ► 75,000 dams block U.S. rivers built over 75 years.
    ► 60% of Forest Elephants gone since 1970.
    ► 50% of Great Barrier Reef gone since 1985.
    ► 50% of Human Sperm Counts gone since 1950.
    ► 50% of Fresh Water Fish gone since 1987.
    ► 40% of Giraffes gone since 2000.
    ► 30% of Marine Birds gone since 1995.
    ► 28% of Land Animals gone since 1970.
    ► 28% of All Marine Animals gone since 1970.
    ► 93 Elephants killed every single day.
    ► 2-3 Rhinos killed every single day.
    ► Bees die from malnutrition lacking bio-diverse pollen sources.
    ► Malnutrition weakens bee colonies for disease and poisoning.

  • Last Dec 22 2013 I was clearing away two feet of snow from my driveway in a temperature of minus 15 C, this year the grass is still green and we await on Christmas day a temperature of plus 15 C and torrential rain, is this abrupt enough for the naysayers? This is real world from the northern shore of Lake Ontario, oh geez I just posted on Nature Bats Last again, best go wait now for the knock at the door from the authorities.

    Best of the season Mr McPherson I continue to hang in I wish you the same.

  • Despite the misinformation cranked out by Johnson and his fans, the exponential release of atmospheric methane almost certainly will cause exponential rise in global-average temperature. Keep denying the elephant in the room, boys. Keep turning the focus away from the science, out of fear.

    With respect to “scant evidence” regarding methane release, I refer to you an actual expert on the topic, Paul Beckwith. And then I refer you to the data (again), which you will patently ignore as you continue with your Johnson-inspired ad hominem approach.

    Global methane levels

    global methane in atmosphere

    Even ignoring methane, the International Energy Agency expects up to 6 C global-average temperature rise by 2050. As with previous projections, I suspect this one is conservative. I also suspect Johnson and his acolytes believe a few people will survive, further indicating (1) the utter failure of public education and (2) widespread ignorance of ecology.

  • fuckn awesome!
    i wanna maka graf!
    i wanna maka graf!
    – king kirby 🙂
    no positive reinforcing feedbacks, no peace! sing it kids! hellalujia!
    every graf in the fuckn universe is exponential since about 1958. d.o.b.
    – nuff said

  • Robin Datta,

    I do! I do! But the stubborn critters stray anyway. It’s really hard to keep ’em corralled.

  • ” the McPherson camp is of the opinion that (correct me if I misunderstand) no measures of any kind will have any effect on our trajectory toward extinction, and any such proposal or strategy is just “hopium” (such a precious word)”

    I guess I could be considered a member of “the McPherson camp” by you and those who think like you, so will give it a shot a responding directly to this comment, since others, such as Robert Callahan, have brought up the scientific facts upon which us “in the camp” base our conclusions on far better than I could have. Perhaps I should have underlined “scientific facts”? Because that, and that alone, not the assumption (which I personally think the moniker “hopium” would indeed fit very well here in it’s place)that we, as a species and as a culture, will come up with a solution, is what we draw our conclusions from. It is indeed a “precious” word, hopium. It means that when we don’t SEE any solutions, we don’t ASSUME that one is on the horizon. It means that we look at the evidence and don’t ignore what is uncomfortable or even terrifying.

    I personally would dearly LOVE to be wrong about our near term extinction. I have no doubt that Guy McPherson and many others here feel the exact same way. Unfortunately, we don’t have any EVIDENCE that proves anything otherwise. And when I see something presented that BEGINS with an ad hominem attack on a presenter of an uncomfortable truth, you will have to pardon me if I question everything that follows.

  • .
    yes, we can dismantle the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization, decommission all nuclear power plants, safely dispose of all nuclear weapons, and enforce world-wide birth control… Yes, we can.
    .
    …plant no crops, build no cities…
    .
    …kill nothing, live only on that which falls from the trees, sleep on the ground, drink from the river…

    …a breakdown of society could arise from rapid global population growth and unsustainable resource exploitation.
    .
    .
    Just ridin’ on this runaway train, staring out the window, with a cat on my lap.
    .

    .
    The Voluntary Extinction Movement
    Thou shalt not procreate.
    .
    The Church of Euthanasia
    Save the planet, kill yourself.

  • Rob Ryan Says:
    December 21st, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    “Jeff S., you say: “Johnson’s sidekick in this is Michael Tobis, who has also smeared Guy. Jan Lundberg at Culture Change, who prides himself on his anti-industrialism stance, has put forth Tobis as a “debunking” of Guy, unaware that Tobis and Johnson are both techno-fixers supreme, in particular Johnson, who promotes wind and solar and other “alternatives” as capable of taking over the entire energy supply of contemporary society.”

    Your implication that Tobis’ and Johnson’s status as (in your view) “techno-fixers supreme” has anything to do with whether either of their debunking of McPherson’s post and that Lundberg should presumably ignore them on that basis is a classic example of a non-sequitur. The points they raise are either correct or they are not, whether they believe in the tooth fairy or bigfoot or techno-fixes.”

    No, i was presenting that aspect as an irony. And nice try, presenting Tobis/Johnson’s ravings as if they were obviously “debunking” Guy McPherson.

    ———————-

    “While I’d like to keep the conversation on the topic at hand (whether or not Johnson and Tobis are correct in their counterpoint to McPherson), I will point out that Tobis (of whom I’ve read a fair amount) cannot fairly be accused of contending that wind turbines and solar panels will fix everything. Heck, even Amory Lovins doesn’t think that. But the McPherson camp is of the opinion that (correct me if I misunderstand) no measures of any kind will have any effect on our trajectory toward extinction, and any such proposal or strategy is just “hopium” (such a precious word). Tobis and Johnson (and I) certainly don’t believe that.”

    Putting forth measures and claiming that they can keep industrial capitalist civilization going and even growing is hopium of the worst sort.

    ————————

    “I will say that at least the discussion about methane can be about facts and evidence. And there is scant evidence of the sort of the possibility of the sort of methane release posited by Shakhova. I am curious about your “two perfect masters” quote though.””

    Not “posited,” but observed, and written about by her in a peer-reviewed journal this past month.

  • i thought it said scarlett johansen

  • With my thanks to the contenders for showing up to discuss ideas, and maybe put aside discussing people, I think the essay disputing Guy must be titled “How Shakhova Gets it Wrong”, and then proceed to question those facts, or estimates, on methane release.

    If I make it to their blog posts, that is what I will be looking for.
    I would like to be more optimistic, too, but my quest for realism is stronger, I hope. I’ll bet that’s what we all THINK we are doing, trying to be realists, so there should be more room for appreciation of that than we see as yet. The NTE topic is a new one, takes some getting used to, no?

    (I still think one hurdle to get over is the gap between mass die-off and NTHE, which most people cannot consider unemotionally, since the first event is likely to contain themselves starving to death.)

    I re-read parts of those citations about methane release every six months or so; they don’t stick in memory, just the general implications. Beyond that, I think Guy’s advice on gittin’ down to some good living is spot on, whatever the provocation, or timeline, and I suspect he’d like to spend more time on that.

    I appreciate that he is frequently trying to point us toward his own area of new realizations, and that it is difficult to “defend” it, when the people trying to chew up your scientific stance are nowhere near discussing or acknowledging that which interests him most.

  • I could be mistaken but I have the distinct impression that, in a radio interview some time ago, Scott Johnson admitted he has NO SCIENTIFIC QUALITIFACTIONS.

    So, just for clarification Scott, please tell us what your scientific qualifications are, and why you think you are qualified to make judgements about atmospheric chemistry and the trajectory humanity finds itself on.

  • Semiletov & Shakhova are true heroes to empiricists.

    Their original posits/hypotheses/ as well as their predictions were based on inductive/observational/quantitative data gained from hard won field research in the Arctic.

    Much of their earlier posits/hypotheses were advanced from 2005 forward, when most researchers weren’t even considering arctic methane release as a possibility worthy of discussion or research.

    Subsequent empirical & quantitative data has overwhelmingly confirmed their earlier hypotheses.

    When Gavin Schmidt openly denigrates S & S’s proven empirical work, he commits a reprehensible crime against all science & all humankind.

    Johnson & Tobias are NOT doing science.

    They are playing at adversarial masquerade, as in lawyering.

    S & S make extraordinary claims, & they support their claims with equally extraordinary evidence.

  • “And there is scant evidence of the sort of the possibility of the sort of methane release posited by Shakhova.”

    When people cannot agree on what is or is not “evidence,” what can be addressed? Who has time for that sort of thing, an argument that cannot be resolved not because of evidence, but because of people and who and what we are, and how and what we communicate?

    I looked at Mr. Ryan’s website. I do not see that he is any kind of working expert with years of experience and observation of the Arctic, like Shakova. Have you ever even seen the Arctic, Mr. Ryan?

    Because of this difference between Mr. Ryan and Dr. Shakova, the dismissal of Shakova and her work and the work of her colleagues is something I cannot accept as is. I should believe Ryan over Shakova? Why? In fact, I believe his site says he is a machinist. People who are big on engineering and machines usually think those things will fix the perceived “problems” of the living world. That’s part of how we got where we are, by not being able to understand that which is mechanical versus that which is organic and living and responsive. We’re very proud of our machines and magical technology. As someone so eloquently stated here recently, humans cannot put a broken eggshell back together as it was. You don’t just replace the fan or the wire.

    Great post, Amy. You are so correct. Humanity banked on that man-as-god insanity with nuclear power, assuring the world that before anything was a problem “we” (scientists, engineers, babies not yet born) would figure it out. Fukushima is almost four years going and no one has figured it out.

    From my perspective geoengineering is simply more anthropocentric hubris. As for Johnson’s essay, it is disrespectful in the very beginning, and that appears to be the entire point of the essay and not a discussion of the facts, and it only gets worse from there. The “bizarro denial” caught my attention immediately. There is enough heartache and suffering in the world without being verbally assaulted because that how another person rolls.

    We treat people the way we treat them because of who we are, not because of who and what they are. Our behavior is ours, not theirs. Scott makes accusations, such as stating that Guy is the equivalent of climate deniers due to quoting snippets of science that don’t support their claims, and then stating, “this is McPherson’s modus operandi.” There is no evidence or examples of Guy’s work offered to back up this defamatory characterization of Guy. Most likely this lack is due to the fact that Guy’s “modus operandi” isn’t what Scott says it is.

    I will say that I very much share Guy’s doubt that the IPCC, or any career person with anything to lose, has any genuine value for the truth, or at least sharing it with the rest of us if they do happen to know it. I’ve worked in places of power for decades in my life, and the higher up you go the more it is the emperor’s new clothes. That is where human hubris reigns supreme, and truth doesn’t live there.

  • oldgrowthforest,

    Thanks for a number of well-made points in your most recent comment. In particular you wrote:

    “Because of this difference between Mr. Ryan and Dr. Shakova, the dismissal of Shakova and her work and the work of her colleagues is something I cannot accept as is. I should believe Ryan over Shakova? Why? In fact, I believe his site says he is a machinist. People who are big on engineering and machines usually think those things will fix the perceived ‘problems’ of the living world. That’s part of how we got where we are, by not being able to understand that which is mechanical versus that which is organic and living and responsive. We’re very proud of our machines and magical technology. As someone so eloquently stated here recently, humans cannot put a broken eggshell back together as it was. You don’t just replace the fan or the wire.”

    (In emphasizing the irreversible nature of complex systems, I recently pointed out how we cannot even put a broken, single-cell egg back together, yet many of us wish, with incredibly arrogant human supremacist values and thinking, to believe that we can, should, and will “fix” Earth’s now badly “broken” biosphere. [Here, I acknowledge that considering Earth’s biosphere “broken” itself amounts to a human supremacist idea, as though WE, with our massive ignorance, presumably know how the biosphere “should” work!]) In your paragraph, copied above, you point to perhaps the main reason why Scott banned me from commenting further at Fractal Planet: I persistently and assertively emphasized the simplistic, linear, mechanistic, Baconian, Cartesian, Newtonian, human supremacist nature of the scientific reasoning that he and most commenters, there, naively insist on using while for the most part ignoring and/or denying the relevance of modern physics, nonequilibrium thermodynamics, and complexity theory, which so clearly point to the unpredictable and irreversible nature of Earth’s biosphere. (I developed those points in my July 23, 2014 essay titled “What ‘purpose’ do I have?” here: https://guymcpherson.com/2014/07/bits-from-reese-jones-and-bud-nye-and-an-idea-from-daniel-drumright/ .)

  • “If you don’t listen to the news, you’re uninformed. If you listen to the news, you’re misinformed.”

    If I tried to read every article and watch every video regarding climate change presented on the web, I’d go nuts. I pick and choose what I spend my limited time and energy on. Once I detect an obviously blatant conclusion based on incomplete data, I exit and move on and am not likely to study further work by that individual. Anyone influencing the public on climate change while refusing to include the methane feedback is a fraud. The evidence is there. I can’t blame Guy in the slightest for not wanting to waste his time on Johnson’s writings.

  • If Dr. McPherson, Semiletov & Shakhova, Beckwith and the rest of the doomsayers are wrong, Jolly Good! Here’s to hoping (hopiuming?) that the others are right….

    No need for a hullabaloo about whether or not we’ll go extinct. Even if the doomsayers are wrong, the situation is bad enough as we go down to the carrying capacity of a degraded planet. You’ve gotta be in the less than 1‰ to make it. Otherwise, it’s BBB (bye bye baby).

  • My thoughts on Guy vs. Johnson and his fans (The Technological Stairway to Heaven?).

  • After a brief exchange with Scott Johnson a few months back (may have been summer), it became clear that he denies facts, obscures anything he disagrees with and isn’t worth the time. He and his coterie are fear-filled hard-core deniers and will be ‘so surprised’ when the fecal matter makes contact with the rotating blades or the obese woman belts out her last song. Whatever – good bye hubris-blinded humans, the truth will become excruciatingly obvious before long. Enjoy the remaining time with your heads in the sand (or someplace a bit more personal and smelly in Scott’s case).

    The evidence piles higher every day and those who refuse to see it (Tony, Rob Ryan, Scott, and others who can’t accept that humanity screwed up royally in creating the predicament we find ourselves in) aren’t worth bothering about.

    here’s today’s – in the mainstream news no less:

    http://phys.org/news/2014-12-methane-leaking-permafrost-offshore-siberia.html

    Methane is leaking from permafrost offshore Siberia

    [sample quote]

    It was previously proposed that the permafrost in the Kara Sea, and other Arctic areas, extends to water depths up to 100 meters, creating a seal that gas cannot bypass. Portnov and collegues have found that the West Yamal shelf is leaking, profoundly, at depths much shallower than that.

    Significant amount of gas is leaking at depths between 20 and 50 meters. This suggests that a continuous permafrost seal is much smaller than proposed. Close to the shore the permafrost seal may be few hundred meters thick, but tapers off towards 20 meters water depth. And it is fragile.

    “The permafrost is thawing from two sides. The interior of the Earth is warm and is warming the permafrost from the bottom up. It is called geothermal heat flux and it is happening all the time, regardless of human influence. ” says Portnov.

  • @Robyn. I say, old boy! Bloody ‘ell, here here, what what!

  • This is off-topic but if anyone’s interested:

    http://www.wired.com/2014/12/mathematicians-make-major-discovery-prime-numbers/

    This past August, two different groups of mathematicians released papers proving a long-standing conjecture by the mathematician Paul Erdős about how large prime gaps can get. The two teams have joined forces to strengthen their result on the spacing of primes still further, and expect to release a new paper later this month.

    Erdős, who was one of the most prolific mathematicians of the 20th century, came up with hundreds of mathematics problems over his lifetime, and had a penchant for offering cash prizes for their solutions. Though these prizes were typically just $25, Erdős (“somewhat rashly,” as he later wrote) offered a $10,000 prize for the solution to his prime gaps conjecture — by far the largest prize he ever offered.

    [there’s more to the article – if you want a good read sometime, to take your mind off the doom, check out a book about Paul Erdos – The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: The Story of Paul Erdos and the Search for Mathematical Truth about the homeless genius mathematician who’d just show up on mathematicians’ doorways at all hours with the exclamation: “My brain is open.” From Wikipedia: The book, on the whole, portrays Erdős in a favourable light, pointing out his many endearing qualities, like his childlike simplicity, his generosity and altruistic nature, his kindness and gentleness towards children. However, it also attempts to illustrate his helplessness in doing mundane tasks, the difficulties faced by those close to him because of his eccentricities, and his stubborn and frustrating behavior. So many stories about him: he may have been the person responsible for ‘paying it forward’ according to the book, for example.]

  • While I have limited familiarity with Scott’s entire reams of arguments, if I was in a boat on, say, an Amazon river and Guy told me there was a falls around the bend and if we didn’t get to shore before then, it may be too late, and Scott said something else, like it’s dangerous but Guy is wrong on some detail, I would get out just to be on the safe side.

    The other thing that I appreciate with Guy is he seems to value anarchism as do many of my faves. Unsure Scott does, but we are all already in glorified prisons we call the crony-capitalist state plutarchy. This is very important with regard to mother nature as it effects how much control we have over our own lives. If Scott and anyone else doesn’t get how important such things as complexity, oligarchy and control are, they are already, in a way, wrong wrong wrong. That’s what this system is– wrong! And if it continues, Guy, whether he misses some detail here or there according to whomever, will be right.

    Back later.

  • I very much appreciated your insightful comment, Bud.

    Humans don’t really “create” anything. We reassemble materials at hand to make something that isn’t alive. That’s all we can do. We didn’t make any of this wonderous, life-giving world. We can destroy it all, but we can’t make any of it. Nothing humans ever made can compare to the living planet and its countless life forms in all their complexity, all their beauty, and their mysterious consciousness.

    Humans are smart apes. Even if the world needed “fixing,” which it doesn’t, it always needed preservation and respect, we aren’t smart enough to do it. Engineering and technology used by humans is the problem, not the answer. Because we aren’t smart enough, because we cannot anticipate the consequences of our actions, because we’re insane creatures who cannot know anywhere near as much as some of us think. Words confuse us greatly.

  • Kevin,

    If you’d bothered going to Scott Johnson’s blog, you would have found this: “I’m a geoscience educator, hydrogeologist, and freelance science writer contributing at Ars Technica”

    Why did you even bother slinging that muck without lifting a finger to find out?

  • Guy,

    This photo profoundly describes a great deal, to me, about your mission here.

    https://guymcpherson.com/forum/index.php?topic=611.msg65075#msg65075

    OGF,

    Must have been a dream. Cannot find it. The black dust cover I mentioned sort of cinches it. I guess. Damn!

    “Words confuse us greatly.”
    Brilliant.

    Caelan,

    “we are all already in glorified prisons we call the crony-capitalist state plutarchy.”

    10-4, young man.

  • Good summary Amy:
    “I personally would dearly LOVE to be wrong about our near term extinction. I have no doubt that Guy McPherson and many others here feel the exact same way. Unfortunately, we don’t have any EVIDENCE that proves anything otherwise. And when I see something presented that BEGINS with an ad hominem attack on a presenter of an uncomfortable truth, you will have to pardon me if I question everything that follows.”

    Musical interlude:
    Rest in peace and sail on into the great mystery:

    ~

  • Tony

    “I’m a geoscience educator, hydrogeologist, and freelance science writer contributing at Ars Technica”

    None of those are qualifications.

    I have an honours degree (Chemistry, incorporating units on spectroscopy) from a UK university and a postgraduate diploma in industrial technology. Those are qualifications.

    I could call myself a history educator, since I passed ‘O’ level history. However, I don’t normally call myself a history educator, even though I know more history than most of those around me.

    The other thing is, my question was directed to Scott Johnson, not you.

  • Joe Cocker RIP

    ==

    With A Little Help From My Friends

    Nobody around here pretends
    Very much, as we come to our ends;
    I face the unknown,
    But I’m not all alone:
    I get by with a little help from my friends.

  • Sad to hear about Joe; better here than elsewhere. Almost had a beer with him long, long ago. Listening to g.f. talk to her mom; Thai sounds so musical, Joe will have to wait an opening. Then we’ll do the entire “Help from my friends” contortions a la Woodstock. (If that don’t scare her off…)

    The problem I hear behind response to the 4 degree questions is that you can just HEAR the wheels turning inside the responder’s head, thinking it STOPS there. That some/many human habitats survive at 4 degrees. I can just see those rural, pastoral images forming in the listeners’ brains. Hell, in mine, too.

    Trouble is, 4 degrees is just a waystation on the way to complete PETM-like methane release, removing whatever probabilistic uncertainty may validly be cited at present, and that’s why the evidence or estimates about methane quantities, locations, and rates of release are so important, indeed, perhaps the only topic worth discussing.

    So many processes in Nature are self-limiting, and habit brings us to categorize unique phenomena like methane release in a similar way.

    A process that is self-accelerating is an offense to the human sense of control, and to have to watch a process that WE have triggered taken completely out of our hands is galling in the extreme. But that is what we are absorbing here as the likely phasal shift to come.

    I think our role here as “IndCiv therapists” deems that we treat all predictable psychological responses similarly, as symptoms of the larger malady, without personal reproach Our “bedside (or couchside) manner” should follow from that. (or in Buddhist terms, “skillfulness in means.”)

  • BenjaminTheDonkey Says:
    December 22nd, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Joe Cocker RIP…

    Nice one, Ben! 🙂

    Yet, the lucky ones are gonna’ be the first to go..

  • Kevin,

    Scott has stated that he’s not a scientist but I don’t see why that makes his opinion totally invalid. He writes primarily on climate science (as least that’s what he says on his Ecoshock interview) so I don’t see why his opinion is not valid. Indeed, I think Beckwith chastises those who only want published climate scientists to have an opinion on the climate. I got the impression that Guy agrees with that. Beckwith isn’t a published scientist but Guy regards him as the foremost authority on Arctic methane.

    Guy,

    That eye-popping chart from Sam Carana appears to be mixing different data sets. The AR5 data doesn’t look much different from what you’d see at representative measuring stations (where the rate of increase is “only” about the same as prior to 2000. Then he’s added some data points from different data sets, including one from satellite data, as far as i can tell, measuring methane not at ground level but at many kilometers into the atmosphere. Doesn’t seem like a valid graph to me. One can find other graphs of methane concentrations that don’t look anywhere near as scary (e.g. any of the ESRL station plots). Why do you prefer Sam’s version?

  • Jeff: “And nice try, presenting Tobis/Johnson’s ravings as if they were obviously “debunking” Guy McPherson.” “Debunking” was your word. I debated not using it outside of my quotation of you because I don’t like it. I’d prefer something more like “counterargument.”

    In any case, both cite facts, studies, papers, data, etc. While you, McPherson, Nye, or anyone else presumably could point out errors, misinterpretations, etc., none have done so. The closest example is McPherson’s citation of Beckwith, whose interpretation differs dramatically from others in the field and others’ citation of Shakhova with the same proviso. Colose, Archer, and Smith all dispute her interpretation and question her data.

    Jeff, you say “Not “posited,” but observed, and written about by her in a peer-reviewed journal this past month.” Please provide a citation, I’d like to see it (I ask sincerely, not sarcastically). I can’t find a reference to such an article on Google Scholar, only to a 2010 article in Science, the 2012 article in Nature, and some AGU presentations.

    oldgrowthforest: You mention that my web site demonstrates no special expertise in the arctic. Agreed, nor do I have special expertise in geophysics, fluid dynamics, dynamical systems and chaos, etc. I’m not a machinist though, that’s just a hobby. Thus, presumably like you, I have to decide on whom to trust. Someone upthread questioned Johnson’s credentials. I don’t know him but he certainly didn’t rely on his credentials in his counter to McPherson’s essay. He provided ample data, links, and references for anyone interested to investigate for themselves.

    McPherson’s education, publication record, and teaching specializations are related to ecology, not any of the subjects related to climate physics, cryosphere/atmosphere/ocean dynamics, etc. Does this disqualify him to opine on such matters? Of course not! I don’t have any way to evaluate his understanding of physics, mathematics, system dynamics, etc. And, as a non-specialist, I have to choose the people on whose credibility I must rely. After reading McPherson’s post and Johnson’s and Tobis’ counters, it’s clear to me that, at least for now, I’m going with the latter. McPherson’s reluctance to address the noted shortcomings (even if only to say why they are inaccurate) make the decision easy. Nevertheless, I’m reading everything I can find (other than blog opinion) on Arctic methane.

    Reading the post and the comments, I’d contend that no one here has actual subject matter expertise. Since I last commented here, there’s an awful lot of commentary, and this comment of mine only replies to a sporadic selection – I have a day job.

  • This might have been posted before but in case it wasn’t:

    ‘Global crop yield response to extreme heat stress under multiple climate change futures’

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/3/034011/article

    Abstract:
    “Extreme heat stress during the crop reproductive period can be critical for crop productivity. Projected changes in the frequency and severity of extreme climatic events are expected to negatively impact crop yields and global food production. This study applies the global crop model PEGASUS to quantify, for the first time at the global scale, impacts of extreme heat stress on maize, spring wheat and soybean yields resulting from 72 climate change scenarios for the 21st century. Our results project maize to face progressively worse impacts under a range of RCPs but spring wheat and soybean to improve globally through to the 2080s due to CO2 fertilization effects, even though parts of the tropic and sub-tropic regions could face substantial yield declines. We find extreme heat stress at anthesis (HSA) by the 2080s (relative to the 1980s) under RCP 8.5, taking into account CO2 fertilization effects, could double global losses of maize yield (ΔY = −12.8 ± 6.7% versus − 7.0 ± 5.3% without HSA), reduce projected gains in spring wheat yield by half (ΔY = 34.3 ± 13.5% versus 72.0 ± 10.9% without HSA) and in soybean yield by a quarter (ΔY = 15.3 ± 26.5% versus 20.4 ± 22.1% without HSA). The range reflects uncertainty due to differences between climate model scenarios; soybean exhibits both positive and negative impacts, maize is generally negative and spring wheat generally positive. Furthermore, when assuming CO2 fertilization effects to be negligible, we observe drastic climate mitigation policy as in RCP 2.6 could avoid more than 80% of the global average yield losses otherwise expected by the 2080s under RCP 8.5. We show large disparities in climate impacts across regions and find extreme heat stress adversely affects major producing regions and lower income countries”

    The bit I was attracted to was the obvious nonsequitur:

    “…soybean to improve globally through to the 2080s due to…”

    2080….?
    The planet will probably still be rolling, but one never knows.

    😉

  • Guy,

    it is indeed correct that currently existing civilization is a heat engine of catastrophic proportions. But then, what is not? The Nature itself is a heat engine. It gets sunlight as input (“fuel”), then it “burns” that fuel (photosynthesis), producing “work” (forming tissues, hydrocarbons, proteins, etc). Animal kingdom (including humans) is heat engine too – using chemical energy as input (which is in reality “stored sunlight”, so to speak), we do work (our bodies grow and function and radiate heat).

    The problem with civilization is not that it’s a heat engine. The problem is, it’s a heat engine which ruins natural heat engines’ (= Nature) functioning. The solution is not to dismantle existing civilization (practically impossible – you’re worse than David fighting Goliath, WAY worse – billions or people who want to eat and be warm and get better is the goliath, not corporations or governments). The solution is this:
    – using remaining sane powers within current civilization, create a new heat engine – set of technologies, social structures, knowledge and infrastructure, which, unlike the current civilization, would be able to function for a long time (millenia) without making any much harm to Nature – in remote regions which are likely to suffer the least when full extent of climate change will start to happen;
    – protect it (present global civilization die-off will certainly produce extreme hostility all around the globe), by force, by secrecy, by remoteness and, if required, by destroying paths and roads to the region);
    – manage to survive through the bottleneck.

    It’s nothing new. Traditional cultures, such as indigenous tribes and early civilizations all around the globe, were often able to be just that – “compatible with nature” heat engines. Few still are. Problem is, in a dramatically warmer world, old ways to do it are likely to become insufficient – even impossible in many locations, as 6th great species extinction takes place. That’s why if we are to try to prevent complete humans’ extinction, then we’d need good bits and pieces modern civilization can give. There are many, just one example – much of Ecology science did not exist even 100 years ago, and much of this science is definitely worth keeping, in my book.

    If we _won’t_ try to prevent complete human extinction, then everything is useless, including this discussion, so we may simply enjoy the festivities while the fun lasts, eh.

    Best wishes from Russia,

    F.Tnioli

  • Tony, when considering the worth of the two charts above or indeed of any material from “Sam Carana” one should bear in mind that “Sam Carana” is fictional, he doesn’t exist.

  • [hat tip bassman @ comment section of robertscribbler’s latest post]

    http://www.climatecentral.org/news/corals-secrets-of-warming-18468

    Clues in Coral Hint at Looming Temperature Spike

    [selected quotes]

    Chemical clues in skeletons produced by coral growing at Kiribati contain a newly discovered warning. They caution of a global climate system that’s capable of drawing decades’ worth of hoarded heat out of the Pacific Ocean, and belching it back into the atmosphere.

    The coral-based findings, published Monday in Nature Geoscience, provide new historical data supporting previous modeling results and observations that point to the long-term waxing and waning pattern of the trade winds in affecting worldwide temperatures.

    For the past few decades, the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation, as the influential cycle is known, has been in what’s called a negative phase, meaning trades winds have been strong.

    “We know that winds flip-flop between periods of strong trade winds and periods of weak trade winds,” Thompson said. “Our study shows that these winds play a role in the rate of global temperature rise.”

    [concludes]

    Evidence of rising temperatures deep in the Pacific Ocean, even as surface temperature rise has slowed, has come in part from measurements of the rise of expanding seas. As global temperatures continue to increase, the hastening rise of those seas as glaciers and ice sheets melt threatens the very existence of the small island nation, Kiribati, whose corals offered up these vital clues from the warming past — and of an even hotter future, shortly after the next change in the winds.

    lede story at JJFH today:

    2014-12-21 – Two billion-dollar blimps on the East Coast tasked with identifying ‘Air Breathing Threats’

    “Note: Mentioned these blimps in the last week, but hadn’t seen that the #1 entry on the list of primary missions for these blimps is detection of ‘Air Breathing Threats’. All I’d seen them mention was that it would help detect cruise missiles. Well, we have satellites for that, good enough to pick out license plate numbers, worldwide, so something with limited range for that purpose, like these blimps, didn’t make much sense, especially considering the cost. But for air breathing threats, it does make sense, especially with that 2.5 gigaton methane clathrate deposit dissociating off the East Coast…”

  • McPherson says: “Note that Johnson also claims there is no support for the paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicating a 5 C temperature rise in 13 years. Apparently the refereed journal literature isn’t sufficient, if it disagrees with his personal perspective.”

    So should we expect “a 5 C temperature rise in 13 years”? McPherson doesn’t mention that the paper refers to events 55 million years ago, when the Earth was very different. The specified “13 years” has no relevance to our time.

    Perhaps more significantly, McPherson also fails to mention that the same journal carried at least three papers arguing directly against that “5 C temperature rise in 13 years”. (see bottom of linked page)

    McPherson said of Johnson: “Apparently the refereed journal literature isn’t sufficient if it disagrees with his personal perspective.” Hmm…

    What else did McPherson say about Johnson? Oh yes: “You think he’s a reliable source?”

    http://www.pnas.org/content/110/40/15908.abstract

  • Landbeyond, with respect to Sam Carana, do you have any comments about the science? Or, as usual with critics, are you willing to ignore the science?

    I agree the world is much different today than it was 55 million years ago. Today we have industrial civilization producing myriad self-reinforcing feedback loops that didn’t exist 55 million years ago.

    Scientists took issue with Garrett’s work, too. But none have refuted his science. Similarly, the authors of the original paper pointing out the 5 C global-average temperature rise in 13 years responded to each of the three straw-men. That response is here.

  • I’ve posted a new essay, courtesy of Bud Nye. It’s here.

  • It’s never been clear to me what “surface temperatures” are. Doesn’t the sea have a surface? Are we talking about the temperature of the land and how deep do we go? Water pipes are buried 4 feet to avoid freezing with “surface” temperatures -30F. Below 4 feet the temp. stays at 52F. Or are surface temperatures dealing with the air just above the ground line, which we know will circulate as high as 20 miles when the wind blows, where the temperature is -60F. Top soil and air both cool at night.

    Regardless, it seems to me what really counts when measuring the temperature of the earth is the temperature of the oceans. It takes a lot of heat (specific heat of water is highest of any common material) to heat water and the water can be up to 5 miles deep and it circulates and the water doesn’t all cool off at night. Guy calls it the worlds battery; it stores a lot of energy compared to land or air. (I don’t believe that we forgot to count this heat sink, 3/4 of the earth surface and up to 5 miles deep) This energy ends up in the air as moisture or warmth and the water flows into the Arctic and Antarctic causing melting of ice and floor.

    Which leads me to talk about cows. I know cows pretty well. If I have a cow with a temp. of 98.6, I will go get my gun and shoot her to end her misery. She is dying. Why do cows need to be 101.5F to work correctly? I don’t have that answer but if my body has a temp. 3 degrees above normal, I have a fever and I have a problem. “Global warming” doesn’t sound like a problem and neither does “climate change”. Ho hum. But I can identify with “global fever” or better yet “global terminal cancer”. First, though, I need to SEE the earth as a body of systems that only functions well, (lives) at a certain temperature, however we measure it, that works. It’s not the temperature of the room, it’s the temperature of the living body in the room that we are concerned with.

    What we can all agree on, regardless of our credentials, is that we have burned a lot of buried fuels and this never has happened before. We can agree that a certain level of CO2 is just right for life on earth acting as a blanket to keep the temp. just right and that this fuel burning has put extra CO2 in the air, an extra blanket. We can agree that if one blanket is just right for a person to get a good night’s sleep, a couple of extra blankets will be a problem, a fever.

    Let’s keep it simple so that scientifically illiterate people have at least a chance of understanding. Might ever lessen arguments.

  • Rob, thank you for responding. In your post that I mentioned that you state there is insufficient evidence for the methane release discussed by Shakova and others. You did not cite an expert. Shakova is an expert. You framed it as though it was your conclusion versus hers, without mentioning your sources. That was all I needed.

    I’m not worried about credentials here in the way other people might be. It took me forever to get through college. I was certain, in 1972, that if I continued I would never have an original thought again. When I went back in 2000 for about the fourth time, nothing I experienced changed my original assessment of “higher conformity for smart people.”

    During the Exxon Valdez trial in Anchorage in the 90s, the finest marine biologists and geologists and chemists that money could buy testified on behalf of both sides, using the same evidence and drawing vastly different conclusions. Apparently, when you have a PhD the arguments are more erudite, but evidence still means a lot of things depending on who is looking at it.

    Scott Johnson relies on the accepted experts of this culture, the IPCC, etc. Guy makes solid points as to why the information Johnson uses lags years behind current observations. I wish I had a dollar for every time the accepted experts said, “We’re surprised/shocked, blah, blah,” which they say all the time. I read several of Scott’s posts, and he relies on studies that are years out of date, and that were years out of date at the time they were published.

    Johnson could have made every scientific point he wanted without all the personal nastiness and character targeting of Guy. I’ve never seen Guy speak or write in a way that relies so heavily on negative judgments of a person: Johnson states or clearly implies that Guy is the most extreme voice, his claims are “wild,” he misrepresents science, he’s a conspiracy nut (scientists are trying to keep the information “secret” ~ something Guy has explained quite differently and more realistically, I think), and all of this is just the introduction, the first four sentences. No examples to support Johnson’s characterizations of Guy, just statements, judgments, conclusions.

    Then, he begins with the very objective and scientific term, “Bizarro denial.” He quickly goes on to add more personal insults, those I mentioned above.

    I can find very little climate information in Scott’s post concerning Guy. It is just a character assault. I have provided examples to support my contention in this short post. Johnson doesn’t do that a single time to support his own characterizations.

    http://www.cnvc.org

  • Guy McPherson, with respect to “Sam Carana” why do you give so much credence to the output of a phantom? Are there no credible flesh-and-blood scientists to whom you can refer for the same facts?

    Do you accept that the paper you cited does not support the idea of “a 5 C temperature rise in 13 years” in our time?

  • Let me clarify, I’ve never seen Guy speak or write about other people in any negative way at all, unless he was responding to someone like Johnson, and even then he still points to the information, and doesn’t define people in insulting ways. I’ve never seen him write or say anything like Johnson does about Guy. Guy discusses the issues consistently, and presents himself with far more personal integrity than Johnson, in my view.

    If you took away every personal insult in Johnson’s blog post, what would be left? Not very much.

  • oldgrowthforest,

    Regarding your December 22nd, 2014 at 2:59 pm comment: Yep. Well put and I agree. Regarding your comment “Humans are smart apes”, I think yes: on one hand smart enough to create extremely efficient killing tools, but on the other hand, obviously not wise: not smart enough to manage our population viably within Earth’s various living communities over tens of thousands of years so as to avoid using those efficient killing tools in competing with each other and other species.

    Robin Datta,

    I have thought in terms of the carrying capacity of our NOW HIGHLY DEGRADED planet for several years, so I especially appreciate the link you provided with its outstanding graph that visually displays this important concept and biological reality so well, along with its accompanying explanation. Thanks! And thanks for the new verb, “hopiuming”. Cracked me up. I love it, and will probably start using it as in, “I find myself hopiuming that I have all of this global heating stuff with its associated abrupt climate change wrong, Wrong, WRONG!”

    Tony,

    Now you have me feeling curious: Where, exactly, does Scott teach as a “geoscience educator” and at what level? What course or courses? Where does he work as a “hydrogeologist”? (Exxon? BP? Chevron?) In what capacity does he work as a hydrogeologist? What degree, or degrees, does he hold? Also, how does it presumably amount to “slinging that muck” for Kevin to ask for clarification about something that he understood Scott to say? Kevin wrote: “I could be mistaken but I have the distinct impression that, in a radio interview some time ago, Scott Johnson admitted he has NO SCIENTIFIC QUALITIFACTIONS.”

    Thought for the day:

    The wishful-thinking-based, fanciful, denialist term “clean energy” refers to extracting energy from Earth in ways and from sources that make it much more difficult to determine the harmful ecological consequences of that energy extraction, including its effects on global heating with its associated abrupt climate change. Further hiding the harmful effects of our energy extraction does not in any way eliminate those effects as so many believe.

  • Rob Ryan Says:
    December 22nd, 2014 at 11:51 pm

    “Jeff: “And nice try, presenting Tobis/Johnson’s ravings as if they were obviously “debunking” Guy McPherson.” “Debunking” was your word. I debated not using it outside of my quotation of you because I don’t like it. I’d prefer something more like “counterargument.”

    In any case, both cite facts, studies, papers, data, etc. While you, McPherson, Nye, or anyone else presumably could point out errors, misinterpretations, etc., none have done so. The closest example is McPherson’s citation of Beckwith, whose interpretation differs dramatically from others in the field and others’ citation of Shakhova with the same proviso. Colose, Archer, and Smith all dispute her interpretation and question her data.

    Jeff, you say “Not “posited,” but observed, and written about by her in a peer-reviewed journal this past month.” Please provide a citation, I’d like to see it (I ask sincerely, not sarcastically). I can’t find a reference to such an article on Google Scholar, only to a 2010 article in Science, the 2012 article in Nature, and some AGU presentations.”

    They “question her data”? Like she made it all up? It’s not “her data,” as she was part of a TEAM of researchers, including her colleague Igor Semiletov, who has observed the same phenomena she had. And it’s so LAME that you couldn’t find this, took me a second via Google.

    http://juneauempire.com/state/2013-12-01/researchers-say-arctic-ocean-leaking-methane
    Researchers say Arctic Ocean leaking methane, Weston Morrow, 12/1/14.

    “Ounce for ounce, methane has an effect on global warming more than 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and it’s leaking from the Arctic Ocean at an alarming rate, according to new research by scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
    Their article, which appeared Sunday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Geoscience, states that the Arctic Ocean is releasing methane at a rate more than twice what scientific models had previously anticipated.”

    Landbeyond claimed no education background for Guy aside from ecology. You haven’t done very good research either.

    Tony et all (funny how all these people quite suddenly show up here en masse, i’m sure a coincidence :-))keep trying to make it seem as if Guy’s writings depend upon “Sam Carana” and maybe Paul Beckwith, when in fact it incorporates more and more front-line research., as shown above. And climatologists whose credentials even you and your gang cannot deny, such as Jason Box, are getting extremely alarmed, as are very well-informed journalists such as Dahr Jamail, who is quite open to Guy’s views.

  • F.Tnioli

    I find your thinking interesting. I’m in the funny position of being more and less optimistic at the same time. We should probably not lump all civilization into one. There may be different, more advanced ways to do civilization–as in putting life before power and money.

  • Guy, being only human and Scott, perhaps being only human ( though I am only aware of his rants against Guy), both miss the point. Guy, being waylaid by his weakness, damn patriarchy and Scott? Who knows? Where is Ulvfugl when you need him? 😉

  • Bud,

    Kevin implied that Johnson had no particular scientific expertise, without actually trying to find out. I pointed out a quote on his blog about his background. There is also a bit of information on Ars Technica about him, “Scott has a master’s in hydrogeology from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. He has taught Earth science at Madison College and worked as a hydrogeologist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey.” It wasn’t hard to find.

    oldgrowthforest,

    I’ve never seen Guy speak or write about other people in any negative way at all, unless he was responding to someone like Johnson

    Really? So responding to people who disagree with him, in a negative way (actually, often a very insulting way, with many ad hominems) is OK. He’s also had very negative things to say about Hansen and McKibben. Maybe you block out such writings from Guy? I have a hard time recalling when he has ever responded to the substance of any criticism; my impression is that it’s usually insults and deflection. Witness Landbeyond pointing out alternative research to the idea that temperature rose 5 degrees in 13 years, millions of years ago.

    Jeff S,

    keep trying to make it seem as if Guy’s writings depend upon “Sam Carana” and maybe Paul Beckwith, when in fact it incorporates more and more front-line research

    No, Guy often invokes Carana’s dodgy analysis as though it is factual, valid and accurate but Carana plays loose with mathematics quite often. He invokes Beckwith as the foremost authority on Arctic methane and perhaps misleads about what Beckwith is saying (Beckwith wouldn’t be surprised if temperature increased by 5C over a period of a decade or so, but hasn’t predicted which decade that will happen – he has also said that other science may show the 13 year theory to be wrong, even if he believes it for now). Yes Guy also points to front line research though, as others have pointed out, he doesn’t always interpret it the same way as some do.

  • Tony Weddle, if you’ll actually read my long essay, you’ll see that Paul Beckwith admits — finally — we’re in the midst of abrupt climate change. As a result, he predicts a 5-16 C temperature rise within 10 or 20 years. People with insufficient knowledge of ecology and biology believe humans will survive such a rapid rise in global-average temperature, even though humans haven’t survived on Earth at more than 3.22 C above baseline. It’s delusion, and it’s rampant.

  • Tony:

    “es Guy also points to front line research though, as others have pointed out, he doesn’t always interpret it the same way as some do.”

    Guy points for example to research done by Shakhova and Semiletov, and “interprets” it the same way THEY do, which is to reach some pretty dramatic conclusions. Who are “some” who do otherwise? Johnson? Tobis? YOU?!! Why has Jason Box said that we are “r*%cked”? (OK, maybe he spelled out the word).

  • Guy,

    I read the update from time to time. I assume you mean this bit:

    (he drops the “could” in reinforcing the point in a 25 November 2014 video, “Abrupt climate change is underway already”, and he also concludes Earth could experience a 16 C temperature rise, albeit from 5 C lower than today’s global-average temperature)

    He certainly thinks abrupt climate change is in it’s early stages, according to that video (though later in the video at about 10 minutes he merely says he’s “leaning more and more” towards saying that we’re in abrupt climate change), but he didn’t drop the “could” about the temperature rise. In the first mention of that, he uses the word “could”. In the second mention, he says he “wouldn’t be surprised” if temperature rose 5-6 degrees in 10 or 20 years. The reference to 16 degrees is not a prediction but just a note that, from a colder starting point, there was a 16C rise (though he has also mentioned before that research can be superseded). Your characterisation of the 16C mention is wrong; he didn’t “conclude” a 5-16C temperature rise, in his video.

    Jeff,

    Guy points to many pieces of research. I said they aren’t all interepreted in the same way as he has done. Regarding methane, Shakhova is worried but in her last paper, she didn’t even mention the word Hydrates or the word Clathrates, as I recall. She calls for more research.

  • Tony

    “Jeff,

    Guy points to many pieces of research. I said they aren’t all interepreted in the same way as he has done. Regarding methane, Shakhova is worried but in her last paper, she didn’t even mention the word Hydrates or the word Clathrates, as I recall. She calls for more research.”

    The article i pointed to in responding to Rob Ryan quotes her as being extremely alarmed,not merely “worried.” And you totally leave out the fact that NASA’s Gavin Schmidt tried to have her and her colleague Igor Semiletov left out of a climate change conference, specifically on Arctic ice. You are establishing a record of denial and seem intent on attacking Guy no matter what.

  • I don’t like Hansen or McKibben, either. And McKibben is fibbin’, or he’s just not bright. It’s pretty clear to me that 350 was too much already, and that humanity isn’t going back to even that. That’s what I have concluded from reading all of the information I have read over the years. But I’m a purist that way, with a different way of seeing. Not nice, necessarily, but with relevance to the science, I think.

    I catch outrage for criticizing Hansen, too, when I have. People go all red and bothered. Who the hell thinks they have the right to plunder the earth to study space? What was the cost of all that great human knowledge, that IC human knowledge that is built on death and murder like everything else? What entitled, destructive, narcissistic personality does it take to be in places of power? If Hansen cared about his grandchildren, he would have chosen a different way long ago. He has supported this destruction in his actions, if not always in words, and enriched himself from it his entire life. Now that he’s a famous person, and retired with plenty, now he’s “working” for climate. I don’t care.

    I’ve seen power plenty in my life. I don’t like Hansen at all, and I never have.

    But please, provide me a copy of Guy’s work that looks anything like Johnson’s. I have read Guy’s blog for years, and I’ve never seen Guy write about another person that way, devoting an entire long essay to slights, insults, devaluing, defaming, ridiculing, with sentence after sentence just dripping with ugly and lies, things that must invariably be stupid also.

    Johnson’s essay shows me a person I could never respect. His own psychological violence that he express through such unrelenting personal opinions and attacks is extreme. Where did people ever get the idea that expressing themselves that way was intelligent or sane?

    Notice that I don’t call Johnson names here, nor define him in ugly ways, as he does others, apparently. And Johnson doesn’t have to change a thing. Neither will his actions have terrible effects on the world, nor will dire consequences occur if he continues in his whatever-I-think-is-wrong.

    His essay, however, is as Guy describes, nothing but personal attacks that really are extreme, and appear to be, as much of our psychological violence is, projection.

    Hopefully, this will all settle down soon, because I feel misanthropic enough and this isn’t helping.

  • Sam Carana may be “fictional”, but the facts and data aren’t. I am STILL seeing the “SSDD” from the attackers in the peanut gallery, and it’s getting old. Attack the messenger, ignore the message. Or insist that it be “documented” by the same system that is denying the severity of the situation. And STILL no argument against the science that Dr. McPherson and others have drawn, just the conclusions, which, while grim, are far more accurate because they don’t deny the observations and the reality of abrupt climate change.

  • “the science Dr. McPherson and others have drawn FROM” I meant to write.

  • oldgrowthforest,

    But please, provide me a copy of Guy’s work that looks anything like Johnson’s. I have read Guy’s blog for years, and I’ve never seen Guy write about another person that way, devoting an entire long essay to slights, insults, devaluing, defaming, ridiculing, with sentence after sentence just dripping with ugly and lies, things that must invariably be stupid also.

    Well, Johnson did pick up particular pieces of research from the climate summary and provided reasons why they may be interpreted other ways. As far as I know, Guy has never challenged any of those criticisms specifically. This post of Guy’s has no specific rebuttals but sleights Johnson personally. It may not be as long as Johnson’s but probably contains at least as much personal attack as you feel Johnson’s contains.

    Jeff,

    As I understand it, Gavin Schmidt didn’t invite anyone to that conference, which was organised by others.

    Amy,

    Some of Carana’s data may be accurate but the way he presents it is not always accurate, with graphs that are often most certainly fiction. I’ve tried to comment on some of them (on both his blog and his facebook page) but he either doesn’t publish them (his blog) or removes them (his facebook page). I don’t think anyone who doesn’t countenance serious criticism is worth following.

  • And Johnson should have stuck with the research. He did not provide reasons, he only supported an alternate interpretation of the evidence without saying why. Johnson is so in the wrong here, Tony, and so are you. Now, please go away and put this to rest. Johnson has his own blog. And no one here cares much for his way of doing things, I don’t think. Or yours. I don’t like to make any “you” statements, Tony, but your ethical judgment is not great. I’ve seen small children do better. In fact, studies in psychology indicate that eight-month-old babies know who the aggressor is in puppet shows. It takes a needy adult to miss the obvious wrongdoing of nasty people.

  • oldgrowthforest,

    Again, I think you have made many good points. To me, your December 25th, 2014 at 8:16 am comment points to the extremely important attachment theory issues that Susan Johnson summarized so well and that I reported in my most recent ESG Model proposal. Some of your other comments point to the ways we BUILD relationships, versus producing still more of the unhelpful disconnection and alienation so popular today, and that lie, I think, near the core of so many of our chronic, destructive behaviors over tens of thousands of years.

  • Tony:

    “Jeff,

    As I understand it, Gavin Schmidt didn’t invite anyone to that conference, which was organised by others.”

    I never said anything about Schmidt not “inviting” anyone, i said he tried to keep out Shakhova and Semiletov. There is a HUGE difference. Again, you distort, as you did with Shahokva, making her seem “worried” when in fact she stated she was ALARMED (yes, there is a huge difference) and stated she wanted more research, as if this somehow makes her seem not quite sure about how bad things are, when she further started she had been quite conservative in her paper and that the actual situation is probably worse than what she related. Your attempted “interpretation” of her is gross distortion. You have developed a track record. People should accord you zero credibility.

  • Hi Guy ! I’m from Brazil and I study Business ADM so I’m not I cientist but 30 years ago I have a “dream” that showed our planet going to a economic , biological and than climate chaos. So I have reasons to be interested in the subject. As Im not a cientific specialist I feel free to thin and say nonsenses things. Let me ask you 2 possibilities.

    1-) Can an asteroid such as Apophis or similar chance our climate if it hits the Earth ? The dust it could liberates can generate a glacial era by reducing the sunlight incidence ?
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2259136/Apophis-Doomsday-asteroid-hit-Earth-2036-whizzed-past-us.html

    2-) Can lots of nuclear bombs form clouds of dust that covered the planet and produce amini glacial era too?

    Not that I like those plans B or C or D , but just thinking in options hehehehehe

    Sorry for my english !!
    thanks

  • Magnus Castro, I suppose either phenomena is possible. And I suspect either would cool Earth, as least temporarily. But I don’t think humans would be around to observe the cooling: An asteroid strike or nuclear Armageddon surely would cause our extinction in the very near term.

  • oldgrowthforest,

    The alternative interpretations are the why. If you think there needs to be more explanation for the alternative interpretations, why do you not ask Guy for the “why” in his interpretations? As for your put down, it is no better than the style that you appear to abhor.

    Jeff,

    Can you point to any evidence of your claims regarding Schmidt? You might be right, and I’ve seen such claims before, but I don’t recall anyone providing any proof. Regarding Shakhova, well, your interpretation is just that. As she presumably knows, the historical data about the areas she’s researched is not great, so it is very difficult to reach conclusions on it. Meanwhile, methane levels at measuring stations continue to edge up, rather than spike up, so that must be something to consider.

    Magnus Castro,

    You’re right that there are unforeseen events that could drastically alter how climate change will play out but some events will not retain a world as we’ve come to know it. However, it might enable some life to go on in some locations.

  • Tony says:

    “Jeff,

    Can you point to any evidence of your claims regarding Schmidt? You might be right, and I’ve seen such claims before, but I don’t recall anyone providing any proof. Regarding Shakhova, well, your interpretation is just that. As she presumably knows, the historical data about the areas she’s researched is not great, so it is very difficult to reach conclusions on it. Meanwhile, methane levels at measuring stations continue to edge up, rather than spike up, so that must be something to consider.”

    Nice Try. Robert Scribbler is NOT someone who thinks we are facing near-term extinction, but he noted Schmidt’s role in this entry on his blog, which includes Shakhova’s statement about the matter.
    https://robertscribbler.com/tag/observational-science/

    And no, what i said regarding her being alarmed and her presentation of the findings being conservative, in contrast to how she really feels, that;’s not “an interpretation,” it is what she said. See the page i referenced earlier for Rob Ryan. As for methane levels edging up, that’s because they’ve already spiked from historical norms. Your main science expertise appears to be the arts of deception and obfuscation. I’m done, any further “debate” with you would maintain the fiction that you are actually anything except a disinformation operative.

  • Tony is getting quite desperate.

    “Jeff,

    Can you point to any evidence of your claims regarding Schmidt? You might be right, and I’ve seen such claims before, but I don’t recall anyone providing any proof. Regarding Shakhova, well, your interpretation is just that. As she presumably knows, the historical data about the areas she’s researched is not great, so it is very difficult to reach conclusions on it. Meanwhile, methane levels at measuring stations continue to edge up, rather than spike up, so that must be something to consider.”

    Robert Scribbler is NOT someone who thinks we are facing near-term extinction, but he noted Schmidt’s role in this entry on his blog, which includes Shakhova’s statement about the matter.
    https://robertscribbler.com/tag/observational-science/

    And no, what i said regarding her being alarmed and her presentation of the findings being conservative, in contrast to how she really feels, that;’s not “an interpretation,” it is what she said. See the page i referenced earlier for Rob Ryan. As for methane levels edging up, that’s because they’ve already spiked from historical norms. Your main science expertise appears to be the arts of deception and obfuscation. I’m done, any further “debate” with you would maintain the fiction that you are actually anything except a disinformation operative.

  • Regarding Schmidt, here’s an item from Robert Scribbler, who actually is quite conservative regarding NTE, but knows fraud when he sees it, the piece includes comments by Shakhova.

    And again, her being alarmed and that her report understated the gravity of the situation is not my interpretation, it’s her own words. See the article i provided the URL of for Rob Ryan.