How Would You Make Climate Policy Using These Facts?

Someone once said that everybody is entitled to their own opinion, but everybody has to rely on the same facts. All but one of the statements below are made by, or in stories about statements by scientists. Spot the one that wasn’t and win a cookie! Now, no Googling blocks of text or I’ll be very annoyed.

What do you do when people state things as fact that are wildly different? If you’re a city planner evaluating developments on a coastline, who do you listen to? If you’re a voter trying to make sure your choice means something, who do you believe?

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I’m going to do this with no links, as I want you to decide what to do based on statements, not your opinion of where it appeared.

1. “The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade.”

2. “No, climate change is not experiencing a hiatus. No, there is not currently a “pause” in global warming.”

3. “A new study has found sea level rise accelerated faster in the past two decades than it did for the majority of the 20th century.”

4. “A new paper shows that sea levels rose faster in the ten years from 1993-2003 than they have since. Sea levels are still rising but the rate has slowed since 2004.”

5. “The number of victims caused by climate change is very big–bigger than the victims of wars.”

6. “I’ll put this in a crude way: no amount of climate change is going to cause civil violence in the state where I live (Massachusetts), or in Sweden or many other places around the world.”. “If we want to reduce the level of violence in other places, then it would be more efficient to focus on these factors: to bring people out of abject poverty, to provide them with the technology that loosens the connection between climate and survival, to reduce corruption, and so forth, rather than on preventing climate change.”

7. “In the context of global warming, extreme atmospheric flows are causing extreme climate incidents to appear more frequently.”

8. “There is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e., intensity, frequency, duration), after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities.”

mmm, okay, some of them were IPCC, Michael Mann, Osama bin Laden, James Hansen, but not in that order…

7 responses to “How Would You Make Climate Policy Using These Facts?

  1. Yay, I got this right! (Although I didn’t remember the names of some of the scientists.) Do I win any quatloos?

    To answer your questions:
    If you’re a city planner evaluating developments on a coastline, who do you listen to? The pessimistic view, because if things go visibly poorly I’ll get the blame, but the opportunity cost of preventing development is hidden and there’s a plausible reason for erring on that side. Somewhat less cynically, the long-term trend is clear, whether it be fast of slow.

    If you’re a voter trying to make sure your choice means something, who do you believe? The ones who don’t sound like an ass. That immediately eliminates anyone using the phrases “existential crisis” and “global warming hoax”. Going beyond that, I feel fortunate to be able to understand the papers, at least enough to peg nonsense/hype/speculation. For others not as technically knowledgeable, since the scientists (in general) are unknown in reputation, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if many go by the reactions of people they trust (perhaps their Senator or Representative).

  2. I am hoping the statement not made by scientists or not in stories about statements by scientists is “The number of victims caused by climate change is very big–bigger than the victims of wars.”.

  3. He was a lot of things but was he a scientist

  4. Of course the President has his own special way of dealing with the increasing uncertainty surrounding the alarmist consensus. He has directed FEMA to withhold funds from states and cities who fail to accept his views on the climate apocalypse.

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