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RealClimate: Unforced Variations: Jun 2021

Killian says:

26 mike says:
5 Jun 2021 at 8:04 PM

at K at 23: Yes, I agree with you that much of what is being reported on the tipping points has been easy to see for quite a few years now. You and I agree that it should have been obvious to scientists and they should have been speaking out about it.

I think it has been obvious to climate scientists, but what drives their thinking are “most likely” pathways. Their normal mode is to dismiss outliers. I suspect it becomes more central to their thinking than perhaps they realize. Scientific reticence is real in more ways than one.

I think the price for speaking out is pretty high.

Sure, but price of not doing so has ended up being so much higher. But is acknowledging long-tail risk really “speaking out?” Those risks are real, not fake news. I do not fault them for their reticence, per se, but for the lack of balance. It’s easy enough to say, “Yes, everything could go sidewise even faster than our worst-case scenarios, BUT the likelihood is tiny, so we need to focus on the 1 and 2 sigma stuff, maybe some 3 sigma, unless or until we get stronger signals on extreme risks.”

Or, at the least, not be so hard on those that have been willing to, both scientists and laypersons. Gavin, in particular, has been downright rude to fellow scientists.

I think there is a lot of fairly conservative groupthink going on in many academic circles these days. I don’t mean conservative, like, hey they are voting for republicans, but conservative as in taking few or no risks with public statements that might subject them to the kind of vendetta that the redstaters and climate deniers like to launch against scientists who speak too clearly about our situation.

Let the nuts run the nuthouse, you get bad outcomes.

It is possible to feel pretty sad watching this play out, but it’s not clear to me that feeling sad accomplishes much, so I am working on connecting things within a very large and long time frame for the planet that recognizes that the planet and its ecosystem have rebounded numerous times from extinction events.

I almost never feel sad or down, maybe a few days out of any given year, because I know how fast it’s coming, but also know it’s very, very fixable – except for SLR! Meters of that coming no matter what we do. BUT, we can, I will say for the umpteenth time, be back to 260ppm in my remaining lifetime if we so choose – just not the way every else thinks.

I do hope that the current extinction event proceeds very slowly because I really love my grandkids.

With regenerative simplification, yes. Without it, no.

Full stop.

P.S. No idea why I called you Chris above! Sorry.

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