Fundamentals that Climate Science Ignores

Updated 08/09/13 am

Updated 08/09/13 pm – M The Null Hypothesis

Climate Science is a hugely complex subject, dealing with phenomena that are essentially chaotic, with vague patterns. Yet the promotion of that science is banal and superficial. Below are some of the fundamentals that have been addressed in established areas like economics, philosophy and English Common Law, but which the Climate Science community ignores. Most overlap, or are different ways of looking at the same thing.

A Positive and Normative

I do not hold with the logical positivism in vogue in the early parts of the C20th and later underpinning the “positive economics” ideas of Milton Friedman that was popular in the 1950s to 1980s. But it made the useful distinction between positive statements (empirically based statements) and normative statements (what ought to be). The language of climate science is heavily value-laden. There is not attempt to distinguish positive from normative in language, nor highlight that competency in the sphere of positive statements is not necessarily an indication of competency in normative ones.  For instance, when scientists make statements about the moral imperative for policy, they may overemphasize the moral questions raised as they may be too close to the subject. In fact believing that that rising greenhouse gas levels causes a worsening of climate can lead to a bias towards the simplified solution to constrain that growth. It takes understanding of the entirely separate fields of economics and public policy-making to determine whether this is achievable, or the best solution.

B Boundary conditions

There is no clear definition of science in general or the study of climate in particular. The only underlying definitions are tantamount to saying that science is what scientists do, and scientific statements are those made by scientists. Without a clear definition of science, scientists end up making unsupported statements, outside their area of competency. For instance, scientists often make statements about the economic case for policy. With the term “climate change” encompassing both, the general public are misled into believing that “climate scientists” cover both areas.

C Open and closed questions

A closed question can by answered by a single word. The narrowest closed questions are those can be answered “Yes/No” or “True/False”. Open questions need fuller answers. Climate change is not just about closed questions. It is about how much, how likely, when and where. If terms of boundary, there is not a closed question of science versus non-science – with the boundary in actual work being between that published in a peer-reviewed journal and that published outside. That leads onto non-triviality and quality conditions and relevancy

D Trivial v. Non-trivial

The strongest evidence for global warming suggests a trivial issue. In one aspect this is true by definition. The non-trivial part – the potential climate catastrophe that policy seeks to avert – relies upon future projections. This relies on temperature rises many times greater than so far experienced. Projections will always be, weaker that the actual evidence. But there is an empirical aspect as well. If the actual trends are far below those predicted (surface temperature warming trends), or fail to show a switch to a path pointing to catastrophe (acceleration in the rate of sea level rise)

E Quality

There is good quality science and poor quality. Peer review should help, but (as suggested in the Climategate emails) acceptance/rejection can be based on criteria other than science. In most areas of science, and indeed in many professions, efforts have been made to improve the quality of results. One minor step towards improvement of quality is the insistence on publishing the data behind peer-reviewed articles. This has led to the quick exposure of shoddy work like Gergis et al 2012 and LOG12 papers, whereas it took many years of persistence by Steve McIntyre to get the full data on Keith Briffa’s deeply flawed Yamal tree-ring temperature proxy. However, as the forthcoming UNIPCC AR5 report will demonstrate, increasing quality is sacrificed in promoting climate catastrophism.

F False Positives and False Negatives

A particular subset of the quality issue is that of false positives and false negatives. With activists pressuring governments and scientific bodies to agree with the dogma, and promotion of pejorative language (e.g. deniers, fake skeptics), misattribution of significant weather events to climate change is a consequence. Whilst in cancer screening there have been efforts made to reduce the number of false positives and false negatives, in climate science there seems to be every effort to increase the numbers of false positives. (Superstorm Sandy that hit New York state last year, the extreme heat wave in Europe in 2003, the low sea ice point in September 2012).

G Relevancy and significance

Some pieces of information, or scientific papers, are more important than others. The vast majority of papers published are on trivial issues and/or fail to make a lasting impact. In terms of catastrophic global warming, most papers in the field are tangential to the subject. The same is true of items of information, statistics and opinions.

H Necessary and Sufficient

For a climate policy to give net benefits, a number of conditions are necessary, both in the science (greenhouse gas effect, significant warming, adverse consequences) and in policy area (policy with theoretical net benefits > costs of doing nothing, large enough policy area, effective policy management). Sufficient for policy success (net policy benefits > costs of doing nothing) all are to some extent necessary. For policy failure, it is only sufficient for one of the necessary conditions to fail. It does not matter whether this is

–       climate sensitivity being much lower than assumed

–       or adaptation at the non-governmental local level is much more effective than assumed

–       or the net adverse consequences of any given amount of warming are grossly exaggerated

–       or the theoretical economic case for policy is flawed (such as demand for energy is far more inelastic with respect to price over time than assumed, or that renewable energy is not a close substitute to fossil fuel energy)

–       or the actual policy enacted does not encapsulate the economic theory, diluting or nullifying the effectiveness

–       or unilateralist policy where success requires that the vast majority of the biggest economies to participate

–       or the policy on paper is potentially successful, but it is not project managed to drive through the maximum benefits at least cost

I Levels of evidence

In the legal systems, especially in criminal law, it has long been recognized that there are different qualities of evidence. The strongest is DNA, fingerprints, or catching somebody in the act. There is then secondary evidence from witnesses. There is then circumstantial evidence, such as the accused being near to the scene at the time, with no clear reason to be there. The lowest form of evidence, and usually rejected, is hearsay evidence. That is opinions of people with little interest in the case, giving unsupported opinions. The judicial process also views more highly evidence that is corroborated by other pieces of evidence, and evidence that on its own seems quite strong is downgraded or ruled out by contrary evidence, or alternative explanations.

J Values of the Legal Process in Reverse

Climate science, fails to grapple with the grading of evidence, as some its strongest arguments – consensus amongst scientists – is actually hearsay. Improving the quality of evidence would mean critically examining past forecasts in the light of evidence. In the judicial process, creating prejudice in the eyes of the jury against the defendants, or seeking to deny the accused a defence, is forcefully dealt with. Creating prejudice and denying a voice to those who question the climate change dogmas is viewed as part of the cause.

K Underdetermination Thesis

“The underdetermination thesis – the idea that any body of evidence can be explained by any number of mutually incompatible theories”

Quote from Kuhn vs Popper – Steve Fuller 2003

The global warming hypothesis is but one of a number of hypotheses trying to explain why climate changes over time. The problem is not just of a potential number of competing theories. It is that there might be a number of different elements influencing climate, with the various weightings dependent on the method and assumptions in analysis. It is not just trying to determine which one, but which ones and to what extent that they interplay.

L Vulnerability

Every scientific hypothesis is vulnerable to being refuted. Human-caused catastrophic global warming (CAGW) is based on extremely tentative assumptions, and is a forecast of future events. As the warming the past one hundred years is tiny compared that forecast to happen in the future, and that warming is partly obscured by natural variations, then the signal of future catastrophe will be weak. The issue is further clouded by the lack of long periods of data on climate variability before when human emissions became significant. That is data prior to 1945, when the post war economic boom led to a huge increase in human emissions. Assuming the forecasts of CAGW are correct, the hypothesis becomes incredibly vulnerable to rejection.
But if CAGW is false, or massively exaggerated, then the hypothesis is deeply susceptible to confirmation bias by those who only look to find evidence of its truth. The core belief of climate science is that the catastrophist hypothesis is true and the job of the “science” is to reveal this truth. The core mission of many co-believers is to stop any questioning of these core beliefs. The alternative view is that evidence for CAGW has become stronger over the last twenty-five years, making the hypothesis less vulnerable over time. This can be tested by looking at the success of the short-term predictions.

M The Null Hypothesis

Wikipedia’s definition is

In statistical inference of observed data of a scientific experiment, the null hypothesis refers to a general or default position: that there is no relationship between two measured phenomena,…… Rejecting or disproving the null hypothesis – and thus concluding that there are grounds for believing that there is a relationship between two phenomena …………….. – is a central task in the modern practice of science, and gives a precise sense in which a claim is capable of being proven false.

It applies to AGW theory, as the hypotheses are empirical relationships. With highly complex, and essentially chaotic, systems it is only by confronting the data using a battery of statistical tests that you can disprove the null hypothesis. Without the null hypothesis, and without such rigorous testing, all the data and observations will only confirm what you want to believe. Some of the best established empirically-based hypotheses, like “HIV causes AIDS” and “long-term heavy smoking significantly reduces life expectancy” have been confronted with the null hypothesis many times against large, high quality data sets. At extremely high levels of significance, the null hypothesis of no relationship can be rejected.

It could be claimed that the null hypothesis in not applicable to AGW theory as it forecasts something much worse happening than has so far been experienced. However, it is more important because of this. There is no bridge between reality and the theoretical relationships (with assumed magnitudes) in the climate models. The null hypothesis (general or default position) for testing against actual data is not that there is no relationship, but the double-negative of no non-trivial relationship. So the null hypothesis for testing “CO2 causes warming”, is not “CO2 does not affect temperature”, but “CO2 has no non-trivial impact on warming”. The reason is that the claimed requirement for policy is avoidance of a climate catastrophe, with relationships being non-trivial in magnitude.

Ed Davey’s anti-science, anti-British and anti-Liberal attack on Climate Sceptics

Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Climate and Energy has, according to the Telegraph recently said

“Of course there will always be uncertainties within climate science and the need for research to continue.

I agree that there are uncertainties with climate science. But if you only allow believers in that “science” to contribute, without any training in decision-making under conditions of uncertainty, then the conclusions drawn out of that research will be wrong.

“But some sections of the press are giving an uncritical campaigning platform to individuals and lobby groups,”

Such as the Guardian, the BBC, or central government departments? It can work both ways.

“This is not the serious science of challenging, checking and probing.”

Are you speaking of sceptics or of climatology? You must first establish that climatology is not just a science, but is a science of the highest standards.

“This is destructive and loudly clamouring scepticism born of vested interest, nimbyism, publicity seeking contraversialism or sheer blinkered, dogmatic, political bloody-mindedness.”

Matthew 7:3-5 says

Why do you stare at the splinter in your neighbour’s eye, but ignore the plank in your own? How can you say to your neighbour “Here – let me get the splinter out of your eye,” when you’ve got the plank in your own? You’re just play-acting! First take the plank out of your own eye, then you’ll see clearly to take the splinter out of your neighbour’s eye.”

These two thousand year old words, translated by Tom Wright (Britain’s leading New Testament Scholar and former Bishop of Durham), show the issue of climatology. Professor Stephan Lewandowsky or Bob Ward, or desmogblog are some of the “planks” that deliberately blind and prejudice people from examining the evidence, moral and political arguments for themselves. Putting in a milder fashion, you cannot say that people are wrong, or have a massively inferior argument, if you cannot first demonstrate that you are on the side of truth, or encourage others compare and contrast your arguments with the opponents. As I posted last week, there is a strong lack of a positive case for the science. As I posted last week, this should be a combination of trumpeting the short-term predictive successes, showing that climate science build on the traditions of the greatest scientists and philosophies of science and also of the moral case covered below.

“This tendency will seize upon the normal expression of scientific uncertainty and portray it as proof that all climate change policy is hopelessly misguided.”

Rubbish. Criticism of policy is often for separate reasons to scientific uncertainty. The argument is that the costs of policy are far greater than then benefits. Some of the policy might be totally ineffective, or in trying to reduce CO2 emissions may make people less capable of dealing with the impacts, through making them poorer.

He added: “By selectively misreading the evidence, they seek to suggest that climate change has stopped so we can all relax and burn all the dirty fuel we want without a care.”

Sceptics say that climatologists selectively read the evidence. Many would say that increased CO2 provides net benefits, and I do not come across any blog that we should create general pollution without a care. Many of the leading sceptic blogs (WUWT, BishopHill, Jo Nova) accept that increased greenhouse gases will lead to some level of warming, but not a significant one. As put by Warren Meyer, most sceptics deny the catastrophe, not the basic science.

“Those who argue against all the actions we are taking to reduce emissions, without any serious and viable alternative, are asking us to take a massive gamble with the planet our children will inherit, in the face of all the evidence, against overwhelming odds.”

I believe that morally politicians should act like medical professionals. They should have a duty of care towards the patient. That duty should be based on the reasonable expectation that treatment will leave the patient better off than not being treated at all. If anyone claims that climatology and public-policy making have the same level of knowledge of diagnosis and treatment as medical professionals and pharmacy on such ailments as common cancers or arthritis, then they are wrong. I would say that climate “ethics” needs to catch up with medical ethics as well.

Finally, let me point to four areas where Ed Davey is severely out of line.

First, my late father voted for the Liberal Party for over 50 years at every election – bar at one local election where no Liberal was standing. Then he voted for the underdog Conservative candidate. He believed in the consensus through seeking the middle ground, a thoroughly British trait. This middle ground was the opposite of the extremism of climatology, which is increasingly about demeaning the opposition and denying them a platform to speak.

Second, a virtue of English Common Law is that of letting the accused have the same rights of presentation, and to have the same rules of evidence as for the prosecution. This is not in the belief that the most notorious criminals can get off scot free. It is because the most guilty who proclaim their innocence will most convince an independent jury of their guilt as their lies and ridiculous stories unravel. On the other side, if the prosecution, convinced of the guilt of the accused perverts or supresses the evidence, the later unravelling of the case will undermine the rule of law. It did with the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six, men falsely sentenced for heinous crimes that they did not commit. Another example is that I strongly believe that those who do not accept that around six million Jews were massacred in the Nazi genocide should not be silenced. Rather, comparing their evidence will the overwhelming evidence of the historical truth will demonstrated that there is no debate, and those deniers are have an inability to assess the evidence. Silencing such views will lead to false conspiracy theories that there is something to hide.

Third, is the British sense of fair play. The very British idea of having a level playing field is not unconnected to the fact that most major sports are British inventions, or have been strongly influenced by British rule-making. Winning is not at any cost is not the point. It is playing the game to the best of one’s ability. There is a lesson in life as well. Somebody might be far superior in a sport, or in science, or in any intellectual field, than anyone else alive. But it is only by going head-to-head with others that everyone will be convinced. But in losing in sport, we go back and try harder. If we are beaten in science, we are forced to re-examine our conclusions, and may improve. Finding out where we went wrong, or how to improve from failures is a general lesson in life. Within wider society it leads to improvement.

Fourth is something very anti-British. The most evil powers, whether governments, religious cults or tribal gangs, are those who assert their power by belittling and silencing others. Ed Davey and climatologists are not in their league by any means. But they fall into a false sense of superiority by demeaning others. It is a very human trait to practice this, but has mostly held back humanity.

The previous Secretary of State, Chris Huhne, earlier this year convicted of perverting the course of justice, was similarly dogmatic. Why there should be two ministers so at odds with the older philosophy of the moderate Liberal Party traditions is the subject of the next post.

Outflanking Al Gore & other alarmists

At Wattupwiththat there is a proposal to build a database by

Find(ing) every false, misleading, scary, idiotic, non-scientific statement they have made in the past twenty years. Create an index by name with pages listing those statement with links to the source. Keep it factual. Let their own words come back to haunt them.

My comment was

A database of all the exaggerations, errors and false prophesies on its own will do no good. No matter how extensive and thorough and rigorous, it will be dismissed as having been compiled by serial deniers funded by big oil. Getting a fair hearing in the MSM will be impossible. It the coming battle the alarmists have decided the field of battle and have impenetrable armour.

To be brief, there needs to be two analogies brought to the fore.

First is the legal analogy. If there is a case for CAGW, it must be demonstrated by primary, empirical evidence. That evidence must be tested by opponents. It is not the bits, that may be true – like lots more CO2 will cause some warming. But that there is sufficient CO2 to cause some warming, which will be magnified by positive feedbacks to cause even greater warming, and this substantive warming will destabilize the planet weather systems in a highly negative way. The counter-argument is two-fold – that many of dire, immediate, forecasts have been highly exaggerated and more importantly, the compound uncertainties that have been vastly underestimated. That the case is weak is shown by the prominence given to what is hearsay evidence, such as the consensus, or the proclamations of groups of scientists, or to the image of the hockey stick. In some cases, it has been tantamount to jury-tampering.

Second is the medical analogy. A medical doctor, in proscribing a painful and potentially harmful course of treatment, should at last have a strong professionally-based expectation that post treatment the patient will be better off than if nothing was done. The very qualities that make politicians electable – of being able to make build coalitions by fudging, projecting an image, and undermining the opponents by polarizing views – make them patently unfit for driving through and micro-managing effective policy to reduce CO2. They will of necessity overstate the benefits and massively understate the costs, whether financial or in human suffering. They will not admit that the problem is beyond their capabilities, nor that errors had been made. The problem is even worse in powerful dictatorships than democracies.

I have tried to suggest a method (for those who are familiar with microeconomics) the IPCC/Stern case for containing CO2 here.

Also, why there is no effective, global political solution possible.

What is missing is why the costs of global warming have been grossly exaggerated.

Extremist Global Warming Paper Taken Down

The Guardian reports that a paper that report predicting that global temperatures would rise by 2.4oC or more by 2020, has now been dropped from the
Eurekalert!, a news service operated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). It was checked by Osvaldo Canziani, Nobel-prize winner and a former co-chair of the UNIPCC.

Problems with the report are

Expert Review

The report was meant to have been checked by Canziani. At a minimum that means that the reports major prediction is validated. As it was based upon the UNIPCC climate assessment report of 2007, then any figures that were substantially out of line should have been carefully justified. Instead, the author, Ms Liliana Hisas, says that instead of withdrawing the report

We are just going to go ahead with it. I don’t have a choice now. The scientist I have been working with checked everything and according to him it’s not wrong.

Therefore, the report is correct because a distinguished person put their name to it. However, they appear not have done basic checks, so the validation process has failed. Very much like the peer review

Ignoring Adaptation

The claim that the 900 million people extra people by 2020 will go hungry relies on some ignoring some basic adaptive facts.

  1. Changes in climate can be partly met by changes in crops. A slightly warmer climate in Europe can be met be changes in crop varieties.
  2. One of the countries with lower yields across crop varieties is Brazil. Having visited Brazil a number of times, I have observed vast tracts of farm land that are underutilized. I have picked oranges from trees that act as wind breaks, and where most of the fruit rots. I have sampled star fruit and large avocados from trees where the fruit is never commercially harvested. Similarly for large papaya, watermelons, bananas and cassava. Increased food prices have been, and will continue to increase outputs. It is not just in Brazil, but in the Russian Steppes, much of Africa and the plains of Canada that agricultural productivity can be increased.
  3. Low productivity is more often due to poor economic policies than natural factors. In the extreme, the greatest famines of the twentieth century are due to the collectivization of agriculture. Even the lesser famine of Ethiopia in 1984, where “only” 500,000 died was partly due to the collectivization policies of the communist government, and the need to feed the city populations where disaffection was centred.

Ignoring the Burden of Government

The claim that the 900 million people extra people by 2020 will go hungry relies not only on the rapid warming claim, but also upon no change in government policy. World food prices have doubled in the last few years due to vast areas being given over to growing fuel for cars. Repealing the subsidies and ethanol content regulations in fuel will release vast acres for food production. Back to Brazil, there are thousands of square miles given over to sugar cane production for ethanol production. Growing food instead in Brazil would probably close half the global gap. In Europe, where the less productive sugar beet is grown for ethanol (or USA where maize is used), then switch to food production could have similar dramatic impacts on food production. A lesser increase in productivity could be made from abandoning organic farming for more intensive varieties. Most studies have shown no difference in quality, or health effects with artificially-fertilized production. Also, by adapting more GM crops, which can vastly increase productivity and provide greater resistance to extreme weather.

Extreme position also requires Extreme Climate Disruption

The claim that the 900 million people extra people by 2020 will go hungry relies is based not only on the rapid warming claim, but also that this results in extreme weather and changed climate patterns. Even if we accept that the 2.4oC+ of warming is likely, the forecast changes in the weather as a result are speculative. Any mitigation policy should cost these as a risk, not as a certainty. The likely cost therefore should be weighted downwards by a risk factor.

Alarmist Policies Discriminate Against the Poor

The report is from a group trying to justify more intensive mitigation policies, whilst believing “in the need for a more equitable society, especially for those living under underprivileged circumstances.” That means that they should consider whether the policies will leave the poor in a worse position than if nothing was done at all. But the main policies of Cap-n-Trade or a Carbon Tax are highly regressive. It is those on the margin who will have to give up their cars and central heating, or hundreds of millions in developing countries who will be denied the opportunities to every obtain what is viewed as the staples of life in Europe. To work, both must impose economic pain, and that pain is greatest for the poor. Furthermore, if policies are imposed that are ineffective in controlling CO2, (such as windmills) then society as a whole will be made poorer for no benefit.


The Universal Ecological Fund (Fundación Ecológica Universal FEU-US) has produced an extremist report in more ways than just having a silly forecast. In failing to consider the wider adaptive ability of the human race, it is overstates both the likely consequences, whilst understating the harm to the poor of the policies it advocates. The author states

“Scientific information is usually not easy to understand. Communicating climate change is often also complicated. As a result, the understanding of climate change has led to misconceptions.”


A report that spreads undue alarmism is the enemy of true science, and will entrench the misconceptions.



Donna Laframboise at

To compare Environmentalists to Baptists is to insult Baptists

The THES, directed at a British audience, compares BP and environmentalists to bootleggers and Baptists – they have common cause.

However, some British Baptists may take deep offence at environmentalists being likened to them as (from the mainstream viewpoint of the Baptist Union of Great Britain) the following tends to be true.

1)      Each person should read the Bible (their data) and come to their own conclusions. They try not to overstate their case, but to come to conclusions after reflection and prayer.

2)      They are proud of their history as non-conformists and dissenters. As such they believe in religious liberty.

3)      The understanding of theology is not settled, and there are quite valid differences of opinion. There is room for doubt.

4)      Resolution of debate is not by a few experts handing down an opinion. It is from discussion and mutual understanding at the local level, to which all believers can contribute.

5)      You will not find these British Baptists looking for signs of the end times in every minor event, or proclaiming that those of other denominations or faiths are agents of the Devil.

6)      When studying their religion, contemporary theology tries to put meaning of the text in the context of what has gone before and after. Also, they look in the context of the time and place when the passage was written. Further, they would look at the original text in Hebrew or Greek. The antithesis would be to cherry-pick a few juicy quotes, mistranslate from the Hebrew and Greek, add in some unsupported assertions, add a good dash of sensationalism and proclaim loudly.

Found via Bishop Hill

A few Baptist blogs to demonstrate the point are Baptist Bookworm, Nah then, Andy Goodliff and Sean the Baptist.

Climate Change – Evaluating the Evidence

Roger Pielke Jr. reports here that the Australian Prime Minister proposes to form a citizens’s assembly on climate change. She says

And so today I announce that if we are re-elected, I will develop a dedicated process – a Citizens’ Assembly – to examine over 12 months the evidence on climate change, the case for action and the possible consequences of introducing a market-based approach to limiting and reducing carbon emissions.


Pielke finds problems with the last part. My problem is with examining the evidence on climate change. Given that the climate science is highly polarised, with a lot of complex arguments, this is not something that your average citizen can pronounce upon. Also, given that on one side you have a consensus of experts pronouncing the science is settled, with it being widely promoted that the opposition are just spokespeople for the fossil fuel lobby, there will be a vast majority in support of action and a small minority of dogged skeptics.

The only way for a consensus to be formed objectively is for the panel to act as a jury, with

  1. Clear guidelines as to what constitutes evidence, and levels of evidence to sort out the facts and strongly-verified science, from the, weak circumstantial evidence, and hearsay.*
  2. For a clearly defined barrier to establish the need for action. Like in a criminal trial under English common law, where you have to establish beyond reasonable doubt. The barrier may be set lower (like in civil cases), but it still needs to be there.
  3. To clearly separate the science from the policy. That is to clearly take into account the costs, benefits and risks of policy changes.


*To be clearer, the levels of evidence in decreasing order are.

  1. Facts
  2. Established or independently verified (& not rebutted) science.
  3. Peer-reviewed statistically verified science.
  4. Other peer-reviewed science based on circumstantial evidence.
  5. Papers by advocacy groups.
  6. Hearsay. E.g. “The vast majority accept…..”

Towards Public Consensus on Climate Change


John Redwood posted the following under heading “How a Prime Minister Loses his Job

The outgoing PM in Australia serves as a warning to incumbents. If you combine unpopular climate change legislation with a big tax increase, you lose your job. The legislation was defeated, and the tax increase on mining has now been abated.

Just posted on  blog comments

This illustrates the importance of carrying people with you through difficult and necessary decisions. On tackling the problem of the deficit the government is being brave and honest about the gravity of the problem. The Coalition is also making attempts to minimise the impact on service provision.

On climate change, we have had many dogmatic statements about the collective opinions of experts and the science being settled. This is accompanied with wild allegations on the motives of critics (in the pay of oil companies) or their very sanity (flat-earthers, or equivalent to holocaust deniers). To carry the majority forward, the scientific case needs to be made more clearly. That means opening up the black box of climate models to independent investigation and subjecting empirical studies to full statistical tests. Conflicts of interest should be stated and recognised. Like in a court of law, when people can see the robustness of the case, then the doubters will be the silenced and sacrifices willing made for the sake of our descendant’s futures.

We have been delivered with a fait accompli, with no reasonable person being able to question. It is not just the basic science that we are unable to question, but also the policy perscriptions. This is alien to an open society.