See Update 1 near the end of the post.
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Hans Rosling’s book Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
In her October 31, 2018 post Systematically Ignorant Nobel Laureates at NoFrackingConsensus, Donna Laframboise quoted from Hans Rosling’s Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think. The quote Donna chose and her discussion of it as it relates to the IPCC should make you smile. So take a few minutes to read it.
NOTE: This post will not be cross posted at WattsUpWithThat. As I was preparing to upload this post there, I noticed a post about this book was already in the queue, to be published today—a curious bit of timing, I must say. Maybe it’s simply an indication of the greatness of Rosling’s book. So I’ll link this post in the comments of that WUWT post so as not to step on the other WUWT author’s toes. [End note.]
At Donna’s suggestion, I’ve been reading Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World slowly but surely (Thanks, Donna!) and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve selected another more-lengthy quote from it for this post, which I’ve commented on as it progresses. It comes from Chapter 10 THE URGENCY INSTINCT.
First, let me warm you that Hans Rosling firmly believes in human-induced global warming/climate change. Regardless, you’re sure to agree with him on most of these quotes about the pitfalls of alarmism (My Boldface):
Climate change is way too important a global risk to be ignored or denied, and the vast majority of the world knows that. But it is also way too important to be left to sketchy worst-case scenarios and doomsday prophets.
But that’s all we seem to get from the IPCC and their activists “sketchy worst-case scenarios and doomsday prophets.” Latest example: the IPCC’s recent and so-jam-packed-with-alarmism-it’s-comical Special Report 15.
When you are called to action, sometimes the most useful action you can take is to improve the data.
“Improve the data” does not mean to constantly change the data (which are our best understanding of reality) so that it better matches the outputs of climate models (which are, at best, politically motivated science fiction). But, sadly, on the topic of data improvement, that seems to be all we get. Don’t agree? Name all of the instances where changes to climate-related data took the data farther from the outputs of climate models or farther from gloom and doom.
Rosling continues further (My boldface):
A Convenient Fear
Still, the volume on climate change keeps getting turned up. Many activists, convinced it is the only important global issue, have made it a practice to blame everything on the climate, to make it the single cause of all other global problems. They grab at the immediate shocking concerns of the day—the war in Syria, ISIS, Ebola, HIV, shark attacks, almost anything you can imagine—to increase the feeling of urgency about the long-term problem. Sometimes the claims are based on strong scientific evidence, but in many cases they are far-fetched, unproven hypotheses. I understand the frustrations of those struggling to make future risks feel concrete in the present. But I cannot agree with their methods.
Most concerning is the attempt to attract people to the cause by inventing the term “climate refugees.” My best understanding is that the link between climate change and migration is very, very weak. The concept of climate refugees is mostly a deliberate exaggeration, designed to turn fear of refugees into fear of climate change, and so build a much wider base of public support for lowering CO2 emissions. When I say this to climate activists they often tell me that invoking fear and urgency with exaggerated or unsupported claims is justified because it is the only way to get people to act on future risks. They have convinced themselves that the end justifies the means. And I agree that it might work in the short term. But.
And, of course, the Caravan of Central Americans making their way to the United States through Mexico has been said to be filled with Climate Refugees. See the WattsUpWithThat post Weapons grade stupidity at The Guardian: “climate change is driving force behind migrant caravan”.
And Rosling continues:
Crying wolf too many times puts at risk the credibility and reputation of serious climate scientists and the entire movement. With a problem as big as climate change, we cannot let that happen. Exaggerating the role of climate change in wars and conflicts, or poverty, or migration, means that the other major causes of these global problems are ignored, hampering our ability to take action against them. We cannot get into a situation where no one listens anymore. Without trust, we are lost.
Rosling, Hans. Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World–and Why Things Are Better Than You Think (p. 233). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition.
Now consider that ACTION TAKEN ON CLIMATE CHANGE is at the top of the list of things you can vote on at the UN’s MyWorld2015 global poll, which is about what matters to everyone most, yet the climate category ranks near the bottom globally. One might conclude that the IPCC has lost, lost long ago, and will continue to lose, because no one who truly understands what motivates them trusts them.
So, dear reader, what about the IPCC turns you off the most? Why are they failing, in your eyes?
That’s it for this post.
I just ran into another noteworthy quote from Factfulness that definitely applies to climate science. On page 236, Rosling writes:
A problem-solving organization should not be allowed to decide what data to publish either. The people trying to solve a problem on the ground, who will always want more funds, should not also be the people measuring progress. That can lead to really misleading numbers.
Ain’t that the truth? [End Update 1]
STANDARD CLOSING REQUEST
Please purchase my recently published ebooks. As many of you know, this year I published 2 ebooks that are available through Amazon in Kindle format:
- Dad, Why Are You A Global Warming Denier? (For an overview, the blog post that introduced it is here.)
- Dad, Is Climate Getting Worse in the United States? (See the blog post here for an overview.)
To those of you who have purchased them, thank you. To those of you who will purchase them, thank you, too.