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2100, and the Fundamental Fallacy of Climate Change Predictions


2100, and the Fundamental Fallacy of Climate Change Predictions

Gordon Clark

As a new global-warming charged hurricane dumps historic amounts of rain over the Carolinas, reporting on climate change is seeing another uptick. However varied the predictions, there is one number that will always be included in the article: 2100 - as in the year 2100. Or sometimes just “by the end of the century.”


Climate scientists certainly don’t neglect feedback loops. If there one thing James Hansen has focused on it is feedback loops. However, predictions including feeback loops are unlikely as accurate as predictions not including feedback loops. I think were there is often a failing is to clearly point out the feedbacks are not included. Relatively small changes in temperature can amplified by positive feedback loops. But nobody knows where tipping points are for these feedback or the speed that they will occur. We have to accept that there are a lot of unknown when dealing with climate change.Basically we are left with worst case scenarios and best case scenarios and everything in between.


Says the man who used to head up a group which actively opposes the development of potentially one of our largest sources of low-carbon energy.


The previous rainfall record in NC was 24 inches. That record will be broken by over a foot. Not an inch…but over a foot. That is like instead of breaking the 4 minute mile, you went straight to 3 and a half. The latter because of steroid abuse, the former…global warming. But here in NC you can’t use those words, so lets keep it our secret.


It is incredible to watch the slow motion, surreal unfolding of conditioned cultural blindness. With news and information widely disseminated, cultural machinery magically fabricates a social conceptuality disconnected from and unaccountable to its own thoughts and actions. We all see it politically and economically every single day.
While modern people tend to see themselves as civilized and intelligent, history is documenting our mythologized and psychotic lives as irrational, pathological, disconnected from accurate language, ideology and actions. With or without university, whether highly paid or poorly paid, regardless of religious commitments and ‘dedication’ to positive human values, the behemoth of cultured ignorance and corruption rolls on, the inertia of societal conformity irresistibly powerful like gravity.
But all fabrications can be changed. The false necessity and corrupted power is fully recognizable. The conformity and the social coercion is visible. As darkness gives way to light, human beings can recognize and change the self replicating cultural machinery of ignorance and domination. And we can start right this very second. Let’s go . . . . !!!


The collapse of civilization is a negative feedback loop.


That’s just bullshit. You have no data to support that assertion.

This is the fool’s way of thinking about this issue. First of all, the magnitude of the risk (being existential in nature) far outweighs giving any weight to imagined small probabilities and so demands a maximum effort to avoid it.

Second, the solutions to the problem appear to be cost-effective, especially when externalities are included, so we should be doing what cures the climate problem anyway. See, for example, Natural climate solutions, Policy Implications of Deep Decarbonization in the United States and Decarbonizing the World Economy

Third, technological improvements are starting emerge at a break neck pace, but without implementation mean nothing. See, for example, Photoelectrode Harvests 85% Of Sunlight and EIA: 700 MW of utility-scale battery capacity installed in US.

You act like this is some kind of insurmountable problem. Most of the solutions already exist. For those that don’t, recent experience indicates that they will become available if we set ourselves on the path of implementing solutions. Hand wringing, which seems to be your forte, is a useless, indeed counter productive, activity.


Got news for you, linear is geometric so what exactly do you mean by geometric? Probably you mean you don’t really understand what you are talking about with respect to mathematical progressions. Geometric, does that mean logarithmic…exponential…what??? It means nothing other than the fact the author doesn’t understand what he is talking about. Not that he isn’t correct about global warming and feedback loops though.


Oh, and by the way, it is not climate change it is global warming. I really don’t understand the tendency of people to muddy the waters by not referring to the root cause as what it really is. Global warming is causing the climate we are used to to change. Sea level rise is not caused by climate change, it is caused by global warming.


Yes, and his assertion that science cannot predict non-linear changes in a property is also nonsense - let’s start with just Newton’s Second Law, for example.

The logn-running poor state basic science and maths education in the US can really hurt activists on the left.


In addition to not understanding linear, geometric, and exponential progressions, this guy fails basic chemistry as well. Carbon isn’t a gas. It’s a solid. Methane has exactly the same amount of carbon in each molecule as does carbon dioxide. He repeatedly talks of carbon and methane as though they were different somehow.

So he fails high school math and he fails high school chemistry. But I’m supposed to take him seriously as he lectures me on climate change?


@Lrx @Yunzer @DerekMaddox @sbrownn

All you pedantic dissemblers are obfuscating the TRUTHS in this activists assessment of accelerating climate chaos: Scientists have consistently UNDERESTIMATED the rate of change, and have consistently UNDERVALUED the feedback mechanisms involved, so that they have consistently found the empirical changes in the climate are OUTSTRIPPING their most “extreme” scenarios; and IMMEDIATE, COMPREHENSIVE ACTION is needed, to have any hope to avert utter disaster.

But hey, thanks so much for your super important contributions! Now, what prospects do you see for humanity to effectively address the need for IMMEDIATE, COMPREHENSIVE CHANGE to the human economy to stop adding accelerants to the accelerating process underway, and to support natural and technological processes to slow this unfolding disaster?


For some reason you don’t seem to not understand what I am saying about climate change. I am for taking urgent action. You seem to have gotten the impression that I support the opposite.I don’t know how much clearer I can make it. You seem to think it is taboo to bring up any nuances. No, nuances are part of reality. My view is action to fight climate change needs to be taken faster and on a larger scale. It is mystifying that you misrepresent what I write.


I’d be willing to engage in that conversation, with qualifications. There’s no question that the climate is changing. It has been changing since the dawn of time, and will go on changing for another billion years or more. We can also agree that this change is driven by both human and natural causes to one degree or another. I think we can also agree that computer models are created by humans and are subject to the normal conditions of bias and error, which is why none of the extant models can be completely validated.

So let’s start our discussion of economic change by finding agreement on what percentage of climate change is driven by human activity instead of natural causes. After all, the same natural forces that ended the last ice age are still there. What percentage of today’s changes are attributable to those natural causes? And how is that percentage validated without resorting to a computer model? If the maximum contribution of human activity is 5% of the total, maybe we take different actions than if the max was 45 % or 55%.


So far as technology is concerned, I’m fairly optimistic about our prospects. There will be the social problem of how to get around the opposition of “environmentalists” like Mr. Clark here, and his Peace Action group, but even there, I think cooler heads will ultimately prevail.


No. The climate scientists are not underestimating the rate of change. Global mean temperatures are following their predictions remarkably well going back to Hansen’s prediction 30 years ago.

And btw, this article stated that this July was the warmest on record. that is wrong. It was the 4th warmest. The warmest was July 2016, an El Nino year.


We don’t need shrill fabricated-from-thin-air facts (aka “fake news”) from the left - we get enough of that from the extremist right, thank-you.


I am appalled at the level of scientific and mathematical illiteracy in the American population. This is only amplified when you move into computer models and simulations. Most Americans understand enough about computing to send each other emojis, but not enough to understand how easily and naturally computer models can be biased. If the computer says it is true, then it must be true. And they don’t even know what questions to ask to sort the wheat from the chaff.


I completely disagree with your “maximum effort” statement. No one has ever articulated (to my knowledge) the exact percentage of climate change that is driven by human rather than natural conditions. If that can be done empirically, without resorting to computer models, then we can discuss whether a maximum effort is warranted to achieve, say, a 2% reduction in the overall warming pressures.


No, let’s not. This is a silly dead-end question and, worse, one that has, for practical purposes, been decided. The science is settled. The climate is warming. Humans are causing that to happen. Warming is an existential threat to humanity and millions of other species. We need to be doing everything in our power to stop it.

We need to start with all those things that already cost-effective:

  1. All technically feasible, cost-effective energy efficiency.

  2. Replacement of fossil fuels in the electric sector as quickly as possible.

  3. Replacement of fossil fuels in the transportation sector as quickly as possible.

These changes are cost-effective because of the externalities in our current economic system that fails to include the impacts (costs) of fossil fuels in their prices and allows those costs to be borne by others (for example, the health care system).

In the meantime, technology is emerging to make these changes even more cost-effective.

The tone of your argument implies that you believe it will cost society more to solve the climate challenge than not. But you are wrong.


Much of your statement here is true in the sense that most people don’t have the skills to properly model a problem such as this. However, the people that do have these skills have modeled this problem and they are telling us we are in serious trouble and need to take action as soon as possible.