Friday, January 24, 2020

Part 2: Examining William Happer, Fraudster Against Humanity

The Depravity of Climate Science Denial

Risking civilization for profit, ideology and ego.

(Feb. 9th - Silly me.  I was actually expecting my bud Anonymous 12/12 (Veizer?) to check back the way he promised.  Ready to engage in some serious debate.  But alas, another self-certain loud mouth runs for cover - and since I'm very busy and to be honest literally sick of our current political situation in particular the Democrats continued utter ineptness, this exercise in futility is off the burner again.  The sense of abandonment and hopelessness, along with the terror of what's coming next - because it certainly will be uglier than anything America's white bread liberals can imagine, if current trends are allowed to continue - is getting too heavy.
And no one is out there trying to really engage and network, beyond boosting membership counts.  If we aren't changing minds, we are losing!
To inform and empower and engage, nothing, nothing, nothing, while the Trumpsters are running circles around us with their reality fabrication machine.  It's enough to drive an empathetic observant thoughtful person into the sick bed.  Thus I need to pull my focus in toward what I do have a little bit of control over, my day to day, the people and commitments in my life, and to savor the little time of peace and happiness we have left.)
First, Crucial Facts Republicans and Happer Neglect:
Climate change: Where we are in seven charts
By Nassos Stylianou, Clara Guibourg, Daniel Dunford, Lucy Rodgers, David Brown and Paul Rincon  |  January 14, 2020
State of the climate: Heat across Earth’s surface and oceans mark early 2019
Zeke Hausfather   |  April 23, 2019 |
The Trump administration says the climate will warm by a disastrous amount — and there are few plans to address it
Jeremy Berke Oct 1, 2018
A Grave Climate Warning, Buried on Black Friday

In a massive new report, federal scientists contradict President Trump and assert that climate change is an intensifying danger to the United States. Too bad it came out on a holiday. …
Happer says: Most research that tries to project future climate has focused on developing and applying complex computer models that attempt to simulate the Earth’s climate system. 
Right.  Computer models are powerful.  Think about it, they can even build passenger jet planes.  All sorts of complex modern marvels are totally dependent on “computer modeling,” it’s not to be dismissed.
Those models are filled with increasingly precise information, precise enough to make air to air missiles a reality.  The experts really do know a thing or two that the likes of Happer simply disregard
"Who Says CO2 Heats Up Our Planet?" 
Worse, Republicans don’t want to learn!
Happer also neglects to point out that vast amounts of paleoclimate data has also taught scientists a great deal about the consequence to expect from our neglect.
A Paleo Perspective on Global Warming
Factcheck: What Greenland ice cores say about past and present climate change
Zeke Hausfather  |  March 5, 2019
Happer says: These models have sought to explain past climate and have been used to calculate various future global and regional climate scenarios. These future climate scenarios have, in turn, prompted policy proposals that would reduce future emissions —
Seems to me that’s a rational thing to do.  
Why not incorporate the best information we can get, in order to make intelligent decisions as we move into a future with increasing challenges at every turn?  
Why is that contrived into a problem?
Happer says: thereby, according to the models, limiting future global warming, though admittedly at the cost of reducing future global economic development.
Here Happer gets to the crux of the matter, the heart of our societal conundrum.  
The key to why a half century of increasing evidence and scientific understanding has been woefully impotent at capturing the collective imagination of We The People:            
”reducing future global economic development”
That has been the deal breaker.  Hasn’t it?  
So, we collectively ignore the physical reality that Earth is finite and that there definitely are limits to our growth.  We lie to ourselves - pretending that our consumption and waste doesn’t have real world consequences even as we are burying ourselves in it.  
PERSPECTIVE - Proceedings of the National Academy of Science
Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene

No wonder it’s easy for me to use a term like intellectual juvenile delinquents, our collective lack of action and the trends of the past 50 years speaks for themselves.
Me First and Too Much Is Never Enough has been humanity’s guiding light for so long that no one who matters was, or is, willing to substantively question that fundamental belief system. 
So we’ve doomed our society and condemned our children to a life of misery as our insatiable gluttony continues heedlessly disintegrating this biosphere we depend on for everything.

Limits To Growth - What did it Really say? 

A couple days ago I stumbled on AEI’s Mark J. Perry’s April 21st article (yet another regurgitation of Ronald Bailey’s imaginative 2000 Political PR con job) titled: 18 spectacularly wrong predictions made around the time of first Earth Day in 1970, expect more this year.”  This “18” attack campaign is related to malicious attacks on the book The Limits of Growth.  Ugo Bardi who has spent many years studying "The Limits to Growth” points out Bailey ignored the facts of the matter:
“In 1993 Bailey reiterated his accusations in the book titled “Ecoscam.” This time, he could state that none of the predictions of the 1972 Limits study had turned out to be correct.  Of course, Bailey’s accusations are just plain wrong. …”
“Reducing The Limits of Growth, a book of more than a hundred pages, to a few numbers is not the only fault of Bailey's criticism. 
The fact is that none of the numbers he had selected was a prediction and nowhere in the book was it stated that these numbers were supposed to be read as such. Table 4 was there only to illustrate the effect of a hypothetical continued exponential growth on the exploitation of mineral resources. Even without bothering to read the whole book, the text of chapter 2 clearly stated that continued exponential growth was not to be expected
The rest of the book, then, showed various scenarios of economic collapse that in no case took place before the first decades of 21st century. …”
A Case Study in the Demonization of Inconvenient Truths

September 16, 2011 |
By Ugo Bardi | Professor of Chemistry, Analyst, University of Florence, Italy

In 1997, the Italian economist Giorgio Nebbia noted that the reaction against the study had arrived from at least four different fronts: 

*  One was from those who saw the book as a threat to the growth of their businesses and industries. 
*  A second set was that of professional economists, who saw it as a threat to their dominance in advising on economic matters. 
*  The Catholic Church provided further ammunition for the critics, being piqued at the suggestion that overpopulation was one of the major causes of the problems.
* Then, the political left in the Western World saw the study as a scam of the ruling class, designed to trick workers into believing that the proletarian paradise was not a practical goal.

And this is a clearly incomplete list; 
*  the political right, 
*  the believers in infinite growth, 
*  politicians seeking for easy solutions to all problems, 
* and many others. 
Happer says: This emphasis on computer model forecasts has been very costly, with many tens of billions of dollars invested 
This is exactly what I mean by “theater" instead of a serious constructive discussion with serious facts.
What’s the point here Happer?  
What’s wrong with investing millions that over time add up to a few billions???
Lordie, lord, how much do we squander on football and movies or lottery tickets, etc.?  Beer, wine, liquor sales in US was over a quarter trillion dollars last year!  But studying our life enabling Earth systems, that Republicans have the gaul to single out for attack and ridicule?
Yes, computers are expensive, that’s life in our modern world.  They also make impossibly complex computations possible. 
Of course, we also need quality data to feed into those models and that’s were further tens and hundreds of millions of dollars are required for instrumentation, satellites, global deployments, scientists and support staff to operate and process the data.  
I suggest Happer is so beholden to industry retirement money that he’s too biased and lacks the sense to appreciate we depend on a healthy biosphere and weather system for all we hold near and dear.
We are talking about understanding our global weather, that thing we depend on for everything!  Why can’t Happer and fellow Republicans appreciate that fundamental truth?  
Why not invest in what we depend on?  Why do Democrats keep giving corporation beholden liars a pass?
but has failed to accurately* predict the Earth’s climate: 
“failed to accurately predict”  More nonsense.  
Actually it’s worse, such malicious misrepresentation of critically important facts amounts to nothing less than a crime against humanity, considering the consequences of this decades long deception.  Climate models have been amazingly accurate given the gigantic challenge of humanly observing Earth’s global systems.
Even 50-year-old climate models correctly predicted global warming
By Warren Cornwall   Dec. 4, 2019 
STATE OF THE CLIMATE: New record ocean heat
Zeke Hausfather  |  November 23, 2018

To factually underscore Happer’s ignorance regarding Earth’s complexities, please visit Google Scholar and look up Dr Happer’s accomplishments, his expertise was in atomic physics, optics and spectroscopy. 
Nothing dealing with complex global system science or even biology, it’s all fundamental straight forward physics.  
But Republicans love pretending he’s some climate expert.  He is not!  Expert B.S. artist perhaps. 
The Skeptical Inquirer, 
Fall 1989, Vol. 14, No. 1, Pp. 35-44

the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) estimates of the critical parameter, the equilibrium climate sensitivity, for example, have not become more precise over the past 25 years. 
Again Happer misrepresents the true.  But that’s how Republicans make their political hay, misrepresenting what the scientists have actually reported - and refusing to learn from mistakes or new information.
Carbon Brief ,  June 19, 2018
Explainer: How scientists estimate ‘climate sensitivity
Graph by Zeke Hausfather with animation by Rosamund Pearce for Carbon Brief.
Happer says: Figure 1 summarizes the IPCC’s findings, as documented in its five comprehensive research reports released over more than three decades, as well as the findings of two major pre-IPPC research reports. Since scientific research is generally aimed at reducing uncertainty, the lack of progress over more than three decades is extremely unusual.
Perhaps unusual, more likely an indication of how well scientists grasped the fundamentals to begin with - plus it’s a reality check to the size and complexity of global systems.  We do the best we can with what we have.
It’s silly to expect that the exact computations should be simple and absolutely accurate.
Although in reality that’s their game; keep this discussion confused and off point - that point being that our planet simply can not support our ballistic population and economy growth - we knew that damned lesson by the 1960s and have been working overtime to deny it to ourselves ever since.
Pretty much all of us chose to turn a blind eye and enjoy the party while the getting was good.  So sad, so self-interested, so destructive and devastating for the generations to follow our tenure.

If what I’ve written about Dr. Happer’s fraud against humanity offends you, please know that I remain ready for an Honest Constructive Physical Fact Based Debate with anyone who wants to champion Dr. Willy Happer’s words and claims.  
Leave a comment.  Text and simply spelled out links only, I will not accept tricky dick embedded coding.

Summary for Policymakers

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased (see Figures SPM.1, SPM.2, SPM.3 and SPM.4). {2.2, 2.4, 3.2, 3.7, 4.2–4.7, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5–5.6, 6.2, 13.2}
 Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850 (see Figure SPM.1). In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983–2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years (medium confidence). {2.4, 5.3}
D.2  Quantification of Climate System Responses
The net feedback from the combined effect of changes in water vapour, and differences between atmospheric and surface warming is extremely likely positive and therefore amplifies changes in climate. The net radiative feedback due to all cloud types combined is likely positive. Uncertainty in the sign and magnitude of the cloud feedback is due primarily to continuing uncertainty in the impact of warming on low clouds. {7.2}
• The equilibrium climate sensitivity quantifies the response of the climate system to constant radiative forcing on multi- century time scales. It is defined as the change in global mean surface temperature at equilibrium that is caused by a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence)16. The lower temperature limit of the assessed likely range is thus less than the 2°C in the AR4, but the upper limit is the same. This assessment reflects improved understanding, the extended temperature record in the atmosphere and ocean, and new estimates of radiative forcing. {TS TFE.6, Figure 1; Box 12.2}
• The rate and magnitude of global climate change is determined by radiative forcing, climate feedbacks and the storage of energy by the climate system. Estimates of these quantities for recent decades are consistent with the assessed likely range of the equilibrium climate sensitivity to within assessed uncertainties, providing strong evidence for our understanding of anthropogenic climate change. {Box 12.2, Box 13.1}
• The transient climate response quantifies the response of the climate system to an increasing radiative forcing on a decadal to century timescale. It is defined as the change in global mean surface temperature at the time when the atmospheric CO2 concentration has doubled in a scenario of concentration increasing at 1% per year. The transient climate response is likely in the range of 1.0°C to 2.5°C (high confidence) and extremely unlikely greater than 3°C. {Box 12.2}
  • A related quantity is the transient climate response to cumulative carbon emissions (TCRE). It quantifies the transient response of the climate system to cumulative carbon emissions (see Section E.8). TCRE is defined as the global meansurface temperature change per 1000 GtC emitted to the atmosphere. TCRE is likely in the range of 0.8°C to 2.5°C per 1000 GtC and applies for cumulative emissions up to about 2000 GtC until the time temperatures peak (see Figure SPM.10). {12.5, Box 12.2}
  • • Various metrics can be used to compare the contributions to climate change of emissions of different substances. The most appropriate metric and time horizon will depend on which aspects of climate change are considered most important to a particular application. No single metric can accurately compare all consequences of different emissions, and all have limitations and uncertainties. The Global Warming Potential is based on the cumulative radiative forcing over a particular time horizon, and the Global Temperature Change Potential is based on the change in global mean surface temperature at a chosen point in time. Updated values are provided in the underlying Report. {8.7}

Column: David Koch’s real legacy is the dark money network of rich right-wingers

By Michael Hiltzik   |  AUG. 23, 2019 

The passing of billionaire David Koch, announced Friday, already is inspiring retrospectives about the noxious influence he and his brother Charles have had on government policies — but it may be better to remember him for his real innovation in the sphere of public discourse.
That’s the creation of a network of moneyed donors so potent and ubiquitous that the voice of the individual voter has been drowned out.
The Koch brothers’ individual efforts to undermine policies on climate change and other problems are bad enough, but the system they pioneered bodes even worse for the future of American democracy. And let’s not ignore that this system has spread throughout American politics, with huge funding networks on the right and the left.
As muckrakers, including Jane Mayer and Christopher Leonard, have documented, the Koch network — the brothers and affiliated entities — spent some $900 million on political activities during the 2016 electoral cycle. The money was not only the brothers’, but came from like-minded millionaires and billionaires. But this army marched to the brothers’ tunes.


By Climate Investigations Center on March 7, 2019

The Washington Post broke the story that the White House plans to “create an ad hoc group of select federal scientists to reassess the government’s analysis of climate science and counter conclusions that the continued


How Big Money in Politics Blocked U.S. Action on Climate Change

By Diana Toomey May 10, 2017

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse believes the 2010 Supreme Court decision unleashing corporate money into politics derailed any chance of U.S. climate legislation. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, he talks about how fossil-fuel interests have intimidated Republicans from tackling the issue.
In his new book, “Captured: The Corporate Infiltration of American Democracy,” Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, rails against the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, which opened up a floodgate of corporate political contributions, much of it in the form of “dark money” whose origins do not have to be disclosed. 
Whitehouse, calling the ruling “a mischief-riddled legal monstrosity,” argues that the resulting meteoric rise in corporate political spending has had a profoundly disabling effect on the democratic process, including when it comes to climate change legislation.



April 4th, 2017  |  Climate

Who is bankrolling our political system? Jane Mayer takes us behind the scenes to expose the powerful group of individuals who are shaping our country.
Jane Mayer, Staff Writer, The New Yorker and Author, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (Doubleday, 2016)
This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 4, 2017.


The Depravity of Climate-Change Denial
Risking civilization for profit, ideology and ego.

By Paul Krugman  -  Opinion Columnist  -  Nov. 26, 2018

The Trump administration is, it goes without saying, deeply anti-science. In fact, it’s anti-objective reality. But its control of the government remains limited; it didn’t extend far enough to prevent the release of the latest National Climate Assessment, which details current and expected future impacts of global warming on the United States.
True, the report was released on Black Friday, clearly in the hope that it would get lost in the shuffle. The good news is that the ploy didn’t work. …


Exxon’s decades 
of deceit and deception:

A timeline of what Exxon knew about climate science, and what they’ve done to deny, hide, and muddy the truth.

Top Ten Documents Every Reporter Covering Exxon-Mobil Should Know
If you are a reporter covering ExxonMobil and the unfolding #ExxonKnew investigations underway in several states, the story can get very complex. Exxon is claiming it did nothing wrong. Exxon’s paid accomplices are martyring themselves and screaming about the First Amendment.
We thought we would take it back to basics – the source documents. We created an online file cabinet of the key documents that have been revealed by investigative journalists over the past nine months and those in our Exxon archives from 25 years of watching the climate denial machine at work. We will add documents as they arrive on our desks.
These documents all live at, an archive built on the Document Cloud platform familiar to journalists, created with a grant by the Knight Foundation.
There are three basic phases to this story.
What Exxon knew and when they knew it – The crux of what was revealed in the fall and winter of 2015 by the Inside Climate News investigation and the Columbia University/ Los Angeles Times collaboration is extensive new evidence that Exxon and the rest of the oil industry had a more thorough understanding of climate science in the 1970s and 1980s than had previously been realized. And that they also understood the policy and economic implications of the climate threat. This serves as a new backdrop for what happened next.
What Exxon did to block rising concern about climate change – This phase starts in the late 1980s, heats up in the mid 1990s and extends into the late 2000s, changing shape and tone with increased governmental attention to the climate threat. Here there are key documents showing Exxon’s (and Mobil’s and later ExxonMobil’s) ringleader role in driving the corporate campaign against advancing national and international policies to avert dangerous climate change.
What Exxon would like hide from investigators now – Exxon executed a turn about a decade ago with clever PR tactics, declaring that they had always known about climate change but had been “misunderstood”. This is detailed extensively in Steve Coll’s increasingly important book Private Empire (see chapter 15 “On my honor”). Between 2006 and 2008, the company began to mark its words on climate change more carefully and abruptly stopped funding multiple non-profit organizations and front groups it had been coordinating to apply pressure in the public policy arena by attacking climate science, climate scientists and elected officials who took up the charge. This campaign ramped up after the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and escalated during the first 5 years of the Bush Administration.
This leaked plan was launched the year after the Kyoto Protocol was signed. It was developed by representatives from the API, Exxon, Southern Company, Chevron, and a team of people at free market organizations along with communications professionals. The plan includes a multimillion dollar, multi-year budget to install “uncertainty” in the public policy arena. Target audiences are detailed including media, policy makers and science teachers and the plan includes an objectives list titled “Victory will be achieved…” itemizing the measurable goals of the plan. Multiple groups Exxon would subsequently fund are named in the plan.
A 1980 report, “Review of Environmental Protection Activities for 1978-1979,” produced by Imperial Oil, Exxon’s Canadian subsidiary, again suggests that Exxon knew that CO2 was a harmful pollutant in the atmosphere in the 1970s. The distribution list for the Imperial Oil report indicates that it was disseminated to managers across Exxon’s international corporate offices, including in Europe.

February 3, 1981 letter from Gilbert Gervasi, scientist at Esso Eastern to G.A. Northington, Exxon Research and Engineering regarding CO2 calculations for the Natuna Gas Project finding “the total release of CO2 from producing Natuna gas and burning of LNG manufactured from the gas would be almost twice that emitted by burning the equivalent amount of coal.”
There are multiple other key documents on Natuna in the ClimateFiles archive. The majority of these were illuminated by the Inside Climate News team.
This document contains a “final draft” of a to-be-published document by the Global Climate Coalition responding to the IPCC Second Assessment. It has been edited by Lenny Bernstein a Mobil Oil scientist (page 2). The document contains a back section with extensive rebuttals of major counter-arguments used by climate deniers. This part was never published.
Exxon Corporation’s Spring 1996 Publication, “Global warming: who’s right? Facts about a debate that’s turned up more questions than answers,” includes a statement by then Exxon CEO Lee Raymond trumping up uncertainty in the science behind global warming as well as the cost of a carbon-restricted market. The publication cites to Exxon funded climate change deniers.
In this speech, delivered in October 1997, weeks before the Kyoto Protocol final negotiations commenced, Raymond launches attacks on climate science and policy proposals. He exclaims that proposed international climate change policies will adversely affect Asian countries desiring economic growth.
This pamphlet, circulated to both U.S. and international policy-makers questions whether climate change is man-made and if so, the extent of contribution of fossil fuels to the problem. Although statements in this pamphlet are partially true in that Exxon “carefully studied” the science behind climate change, it contradicts its own internal early climate change research and findings and instead emphasizes unknowns in the “honest debate.”
In April 2000, Exxon published a collection of Op Eds it had submitted across the country in order to influence public understanding of the risks of climate change and proposed solutions. The series here includes articles entitled “Do No Harm,” “Unsettled Science,” “The Promise of Technology,” and “The Path Forward on Climate Change.” Each of these propaganda pieces highlights uncertainty regarding impacts and paints Exxon as a key to the solution for global climate change rather than the problem. Readers can review highlighted excerpts and the rhetoric used in 2000 with Exxon political activity at the time.
This fax and memorandum dated February 6, 2001 from Exxon lobbyist Randy Randol to John Howard at the White House Center for Environmental Quality makes recommendations for changing the U.S. team working on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment and Synthesis Report and delaying IPCC proceedings.
Another 2002 memo from Randy Randol to the Bush Whitehouse outlined what would eventually become the Bush program

This meeting invitation and agenda illustrate the ongoing ringleader role ExxonMobil played in organizing asymmetrical attacks on the Clean Air Act and other environmental protections laws. The meeting was hosted by Heartland Institute which received a $115,000 grant from ExxonMobil that year. The meeting was held at the offices of DCI Group, a public relations firm contracted by ExxonMobil.

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