The Official Start to The Most Difficult Decade

I’ve been writing for several years now that this would be the toughest decade for climate activists. My reasoning has been that the economics of the prescriptive measures being pushed would become clearer (and people would start to understand how expensive fighting climate change really is) and that many of the factors that worked to push temperatures up in the last decade have switched modes–the alphabet soup of AMO, PMO, ENSO, accompanied by solar cycles, etc.

I even bet climate activist Joe Romm $1,000 that this decade wouldn’t warm more than 1.5C, based just on the changes in these factors. I still think I’m going to win.

There’s been a lot of pushback, but uber climate scientist James Hansen made it official the other day–temperatures are not rising. Temperatures have stalled. He writes, “The 5-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slowdown in the growth rate of the net climate forcing.”

And so begins a decade when activists will have to fight twice as hard just not to lose ground. They couldn’t convince everyone back when temperatures actually were rising quickly–it will only be tougher now. (Which is one reason that tying their fortunes to their new pet toy Xtreme Weather is idiotic.)

Their real best bet? They need to make the following point early and often: If all of the cyclical or periodic components that drive the weather are pushing in a downward direction–and temperatures don’t fall–this global warming stuff is not only real, but probably pretty powerful.

We’ll see if they figure that out.

About these ads

3 responses to “The Official Start to The Most Difficult Decade

  1. “Their real best bet? ”

    They don’t have one.

    If all the cyclical is pushing down now then all the cyclical was pushing up in the 1980-2000 period. You are left with an underlying trend that can’t be described as ‘alarming’.

    Personally i would go for the ‘long term sustainable’ energy discussion and leave ‘climate’ as an after thought.

    • “You are left with an underlying trend that can’t be described as ‘alarming’.” Exactly what I’ve been saying for years. My best guess is about 0.5C/century from co2 alone..
      “Personally i would go for the ‘long term sustainable’ energy discussion and leave ‘climate’ as an after thought.” I couldn’t be happier.

  2. Well, they built over 300 GW of nuclear before 1990 just to cut down the oil bill. Renewables have their problems (except hydro and firewood) but by 2020 all forms of energy have to stand on their own feet, without subsidies.

    Of the climate trend, temps will probably remain flat until 2020. Does Joe Romm take any additional bets?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s