dinsdag 21 mei 2019

Greta Thunberg’s speech explained

Greta Thunberg’s speech

Greta Thunberg heeft indruk gemaakt. Het Scandinavische tienermeisje heeft klimaat-staken (“Skolstrejk för klimatet” (“School strike for the climate”)) populair gemaakt. Ik heb respect voor haar lef en doorzettingsvermogen. Echter inhoudelijk zijn er kanttekeningen te plaatsen...

 Greta Thunberg’s extensive media coverage has made her a familiar figure—large almond-shaped eyes, brown plaited hair, serious expression, and diminutive stature. This month she was named Swedish Woman of the Year and also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by three socialist Norwegian MPs. She has spoken to world leaders at the United Nations Climate Change Conference and she has delivered a talk to the World Economic Forum in Davos. Her achievements are extraordinarily impressive... Thunberg’s protests outside the Swedish Parliament and clever speeches—a TedxStockholm talk in November 2018 and rallies in Hamburg and London—have brought a fresh face to the environmental movement. Her activism has received uncritical adulation from public figures and world leaders, including Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel and US Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders... There’s no doubt Thunberg is an eloquent, courageous, and precociously intelligent activist and an example to young people who care about the earth and its future. But it is precisely because she is such a popular and effective campaigner that it is important to scrutinise her message. In his Spectator column, Toby Young did just that and concluded that her message is nonsens... https://www.idwnews.org/organizations/quillette/when-children-protest-adults-should-tell-them-the-truth/

"Using simple and effective language, Thunberg is actually explaining – and positioning herself within – a heavily debated issue for global environmental politics. There are indeed two major positions in the debate: a “dark-green” environmentalism, that theorizes that overpopulation and man-made technology are to be blamed for our changing environment, and a “light-green” environmentalism, in which technology is seen as a potential tool to revert the anthropic effects on climate change. According to this second – and prevalent view – overpopulation is not an issue per sè: the root of the problem is the conditions of poverty and inequality that are widespread worldwide. In other words, for light-green environmentalists, the problem is the absence of technology rather than technology itself.
Greta clearly places herself in the first group, as a “dark-green” activist. She believes we need to “pull the emergency brake”, meaning we should immediately stop polluting, rather than looking for ways to contain the effects of pollution. ...
Greta Thunberg, only 15, has great intentions and wants to save the world. Though, her strategy is probably not the best one. Her simple and emotional speech reached a vast number of people over the Internet, but has it really left a clear, understandable track? Did it really help to change the views of people and politicians on the issues that affect our environment?"
(Federico Germani, Received: 08.01.19, Ready: 20.01.19, Editors: CV, RG. https://culturico.com/2019/01/30/greta-thunbergs-speech-explained/)

Her ideas are emblematic of a radical environmentalism aligned with a far-Left anti-capitalism, and parts of her speeches could be mistaken for the recital of a revolutionary manifesto. “We have come here,” Thunberg proclaims, “to let you know that change is coming, whether you like it or not. The real power belongs to the people.”....
Is this a message that children should be served without debate? ... Thunberg’s message is also profoundly cynical and pessimistic: “Our civilisation is being sacrificed for the opportunity of a very small number of people to continue making enormous amounts of money. It is the sufferings of the many which pay for the luxuries of the few,” she says. Today, Thunberg is a vegan and has renounced air travel. She claims to be independent, but in Katowice, where she spoke at the COPD24 conference, she informed her audience that she was speaking on behalf of Climate Justice Now!, a lobby group which describes itself as a “network of organisations and movements from across the globe committed to the fight for social, ecological, and gender justice.” The organisation believes that, since the northern hemisphere has caused emission levels to get too high in the first place, it should pay for the sins of the southern hemisphere..... “Why should I be studying for a future that soon will be no more, when no one is doing anything to save that future?” Thunberg asks. This is a bleak and desperate view of the world, espoused by a girl fortunate enough to live comfortably (her mother is a famous opera singer) in one of its safest and richest countries. Not only is it melodramatic, but it is almost certainly counter-productive. Demands that people panic and warnings that the metaphorical house is on fire might make for effective rhetoric, but her counsel of despair is a strange way to inspire young people.
Thunberg says she has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, an obsessive compulsive disorder, and selective mutism, and that she has suffered from depression and eating disorders that have stunted her growth. Although her fortitude in front of world leaders and the media’s cameras show that mental health issues need not stand in the way of becoming a highly visible public person, her mindset still seems to be mired in gloom. Mental health issues are reportedly on the rise among young people, with one in eight children aged between five and 19 receiving a diagnosis of one kind or another according to official UK figures. The appeal of someone like Thunberg may be symptomatic of a wider pessimism among the younger generation. One wonders if such a vulnerable young girl should be spearheading an international movement that attracts so much attention.
Bjorn Lomborg, author of Cool It and The Skeptical Environmentalist, tweeted: “Thunberg’s solution to ‘just say no’ is not only naive and impossible. Trying to attain it will incur tens or even hundreds of trillions of dollars of net costs.” Those costs would have a dramatic impact on the way of life these protesting schoolchildren presently take for granted. Lomborg argues that instead of ploughing more money into inefficient solar and wind power, more should be invested in innovating green energy to make it so cheap it eventually undercuts fossil fuels and halts climate change for good.
The climate debate is a complicated one. It requires the careful weighing of interests and trade-offs, not the uncompromising fanaticism of an absolutist. A sixteen-year-old should not be expected to see all the nuances, but as adults, we should expose her ideas for what they are: undemocratic, fatalistic, and bereft of the hope and optimism needed to effect consequential change. Thunberg’s speeches and Manichean worldview do not offer realistic answers to the problems we face. Even if her most alarming predictions turn out to be true, solutions will have to rely upon innovation and a realistic assessment of what is possible. Activism might be driven by passionate conviction and founded on good intentions, but as Saul Alinsky, the radical American writer and community organiser, once observed: “Young protagonists are one moment reminiscent of the idealistic early Christians, yet they also urge violence and cry, ‘Burn the system down!’ They have no illusions about the system, but plenty of illusions about the way to change our world.” (Kathrine Jebsen Moore, https://www.idwnews.org/organizations/quillette/when-children-protest-adults-should-tell-them-the-truth/)

Dus haar wereldbeeld is pessimistisch en onrealistisch. Haar oproep tot protest en actie is niet productief. Waarom studeren? De wereld is er straks niet meer... we hebben geen toekomst. Dat zongen de punkbands toch al in de jaren zeventig. Toen was het de dreiging van de bom, en waarom studeren als er straks toch geen werk is? Maar de wereld is veel beter geworden. De doemdenkbeelden van Malthus en Paul Ehrlich zijn niet uitgekomen. Waarom gebruiken klimaat-/milieuactivisten dan weer/ nog steeds dergelijke rampspoed en dystopische toekomstperspectieven?
Waarom zit anarchisme en communisme altijd in milieu verweven? Goed voorbeeld is Groen Links, maar de Sovjetunie en de voormalige DDR hebben toch getoond dat milieu in dergelijke maatschapijen niet gedijt? Hoe paradoxaal het ook voelt, volgens mij is kapitalisme de oplossing omdat je intuïtief daar waarde wil verkrijgen. Milieu dient dan wel waarde te hebben. Het wordt echter gewaardeerd. Niet voor niets liggen de dure villa's in het groen!

dinsdag 30 april 2019

State of Fear in mijn woorden (klimaat van angst)

Zoals gister State of Fear door anderen is becommentarieerd, wilde ik vandaag kort mijn gedachten delen. Ik vind het boek geweldig. Het verhaal is -ietwat ongeloofwaardig- spannend en futuristisch. Net technisch genoeg, maar tegelijk ook een soort van metafoor om de interactie en effecten van de mens op de natuur te tonen. Hub Zwart van de Radboud Universiteit heeft Crichton en fictie geschreven.

Iedereen kent de verhalen over Frankenstein en Dracula uit de verfilmde romans van Mary Shelley en Bram Stoker. Het zijn literaire klassiekers die iets laten zien van de verlangens en gevaren die de bètawetenschappen beheersen. In De waarheid op de wand. Psychoanalyse van het weten werkt Hub Zwart zulke archetypische verbanden tussen de natuurkunde en de literatuur op intrigerende wijze uit....Hub Zwart gaat verder. De waarheid op de wand draait niet om het aanzwengelen van een discussie of om een overzicht van theorieën. Dat de literatuur en de natuurkunde waardevol voor elkaar kunnen zijn, is voor Zwart een gegeven. Het gaat hem om interpretatie, zowel van literaire werken als van de wetenschapsgeschiedenis. De wetenschapper is zowel in de romans als in het historische onderzoek een personage en zijn drive is de stuwende kracht van het verhaal....Zoals de ondertitel aangeeft, is de psychoanalyse het gemeenschappelijk kader....Het gaat hem om parallellen tussen de wetenschappelijke en de culturele context en om de manier waarop archetypische beelden het menselijk handelen sturen en betekenis geven....De analyse die Zwart maakt van Frankenstein is hier een prachtig voorbeeld van en behoort tot de beste van het boek. Dat het Zwart lukt om zo’n overbekende tekst als nieuw te laten lijken is een prestatie. ...De waarheid op de wand houdt niet op bij Newton of Frankenstein. Ook nu nog is de alchemie een populaire context. Zwart noemt de boeken van Michael Crichton (http://www.miriamrasch.nl/wetenschap/hub-zwart-de-waarheid-op-de-wand/.)

Hij verwijst daarbij naar Prey, Jurassic Parc en The Andromeda Strain  (Psychoanalysis of Technoscience: Symbolisation and imagination Door Hub Zwart https://books.google.nl/books?id=vFyLDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA192&lpg=PA192&dq=hub+zwart+crichton&source=bl&ots=QB3yMAkU8N&sig=ACfU3U0-wtZ5w0pYFDcZcfECX8nOfXAL6w&hl=nl&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjNyLCanY_iAhWDJFAKHReiD_4Q6AEwD3oECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=hub%20zwart%20crichton&f=false) Hij noemt State of Fear niet.

Critici zouden zeggen dat de kritiek op de klimaatdiscussie niet relevant is omdat het een werk een roman is; fictie. Die kritiek denk ik te kunnen afdoen als onterecht. Een andere roman die ik aangrijpend vond was namelijk 'Haar naam was Sarah' van Tatiana de Rosnay (zie https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haar_naam_was_Sarah). Het verhaal gaat over een Frans Joods meisje in 1942, die in een razzia wordt meegenomen naar een kamp. Ik besef dat het fictie is, maar de context is overduidelijk. Het lijden van ruim 6.000.000 mensen is ongrijpbaar, maar het lijden van 1 persoon, al is die fictief is aangrijpend. Het is een paar jaar geleden dat ik het boek las, maar bij een huilend kind denk ik weer terug aan een passage in dat boek. Romans kunnen dus nuttig zijn om ons bewust te maken van bepaalde situaties.

Hub Zwart verwijst in zijn boek naar de Franse auteur Zola die aangeeft dat een roman een mogelijkheid is om te onderzoeken hoe een mens in een bepaalde situatie reageert.

In State of Fear wordt het fictie spannende thriller-verhaaltje gebruikt als kapstok om een aantal typische situaties te beschrijven. Zo is er de conferentie van milieuwetenschappers die allemaal in outdoor-kleding komen, terwijl velen amper buiten komen en vooral kantoorwerk doen. Andere situaties zijn de discussies tussen voor- en tegenstanders van de theorie van klimaatverandering. Verder valt de roman op door de vele voetnoten, boekenlijst en de uitleg op het einde. Het standpunt van Crichton is duidelijk (Character Filibuster: Pretty much whenever Kenner opens his mouth. It's a Crichton mainstay.
Professor Norman Hoffman seems to exist only to drop Character Filibusters that would be out of place for Kenner to make. He's in one scene, drops two or three, and then the Everyman protagonist leaves, while Hoffman attempts to shout a few more at his retreating back https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/StateOfFear) en je zou het misschien kunnen vergelijken met het werk van Rachel Carson en Galileo Galilei.

Carson (zie https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Carson) schreef Silent Spring; een fictief poetische dystopie over pesticidegebruik. Iets wat nu waarheid geworden lijkt!?

Galileo (zie https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei) schreef zijn verhandeling over de zon ipv de aarde als middelpunt in de vorm van een dialoog tussen fictieve personages.

Een andere opmerkelijke overeenkomst vond ik in het werk van Paul Feyerabend. Feyerabend (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Feyerabend) stelt in van zijn teksten dat elke theorie hoe onzinnig ook een kern van waarheid heeft en dat elke theorie hoe juist ook, een absurd aspect heeft. In een rechtbank voor een jury zou een juridisch steekspel een theorie altijd onderuithalen. Dat is nou net de situatie die in State of Fear wordt voorbereid; een rechtszaak.

Ik vind het een goed boek en duidelijk in het standpunt. Crichton gelooft niet in klimaatverandering, maar heeft wel zorgen over het milieu. In het boek wijst hij heel duidelijk op luchtvervuiling. Tevens verdedigt hij Bjorn Lomborg (zie https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bj%C3%B8rn_Lomborg).

Lomborg werd wereldwijd bekend na de uitgave van het omstreden boek The Skeptical Environmentalist (2001), waarin Lomborg beweerde dat de wetenschappelijke voorspellingen van de opwarming van de Aarde niet realistisch en te pessimistisch waren. Hoewel het boek door verschillende recensenten goed onthaald werd, kwam er veel kritiek van veel wetenschappers op het studiemateriaal en de methodes van Lomborg. Er kwam zelfs een klacht over wetenschappelijke fraude tegen Lomborg, die in eerste instantie bevestigd werd door een onderzoekscommissie, maar die uiteindelijk na tussenkomst van het ministerie onbeantwoord bleef omdat het boek niet als wetenschappelijk kon worden beschouwd.    (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bj%C3%B8rn_Lomborg).

Ook op Wikipedia zie je dat het werk van Lomborg wordt weggezet als niet wetenschappelijk en fictie. Het boek is een -haast onleesbare- bundeling van grafieken en statistiek. Uit die lijnen blijkt dat het doemverhaal van de milieubeweging niet overeenkomt met de feiten. Heel bijzonder. Het enige wat hij doet is aangeven dat we een euro maar één keer kunnen uitgeven en dat het dan verstandig is om bij het uitgeven te kijken waar we de meeste rendement behalen; oftewel de meeste mensen kunnen helpen. Een (paar miljoen) euro voor klimaat zal pas over 100 jaar effect hebben, maar dezelfde investering op een ander aspect zoals gezondheidszorg, wereldhonger of armoede levert veel sneller en meer op. Is het dan zo slecht om het klimaatprobleem minder prioriteit te geven?

De Club van Rome noemde destijds armoede als groot milieuprobleem. Duurzame ontwikkeling is dan ook om welvaart (en daarmee welzijn) toe te laten nemen, zonder afbreuk te doen aan het milieu (en de kansen van anderen om in hun behoeften te voldoen).

In State of Fear is ook aandacht voor de relatie tussen milieu en armoede. Milieubelangen bestreden het gebruik van DDT, waarbij in arme landen veel doden vielen. Milieubelang ging voor gezondheid!? Onvoldoende nadenken over de ongewenste neveneffecten leverde nadelige gevolgen. In het boek is ook aandacht voor kannibalisme en de discussie over het bestaan ervan. (Bradley says he read in a book somewhere that there never were any real cannibals. Guess what happens to him.
https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/StateOfFear) Onbekendheid en onjuiste ideeën kunnen uiteindelijk leiden gevaarlijke situaties.

Crichton heeft in een aantal lezingen aangegeven de milieubeweging als religie te zien, ipv een wetenschap. De filosoof Karl Popper heeft de klimaatwetenschap ook afgedaan als geen echte wetenschap. Het is immers niet te falsificeren. Als voorbeeld noemt Crichton de Drake-vergelijking naar buitenaardse wezens; een formule met onbekende factoren.

Mij gaat het niet zo zeer om de inhoudelijke discussie. Die is te complex voor mij als leek. Het gebeuren eromheen kan ik wel beoordelen. Crichton wijst op de politiek en wetenschapsinstellingen die vanwege padafhankelijkheid en eigen belang het onderwerp aanhangen. Ook de media heeft een belang. Doordat er geen onafhankelijke wetenschap (meer) is naar

Het is opvallend hoe critici weg worden gezet. Crichton werd na State of Fear ook naar beschreven door sommige journalisten. In de roman na State of Fear (Next; een aanklacht tegen de patentering van erfelijk materiaal) werd zo een journalist naar neergezet. Dat vond ik wat onsportief en jammer.

De klimaatdiscussie vind ik fascinerend. Ik geloof niet dat klimaatverandering een probleem is, maar de maatschappelijke discussie is zeer bijzonder. Tegenstanders worden weggezet als medestanders van de olie/kolenlobby, terwijl je amper hoort dat voorstanders medestanders zijn van de kernenergielobby. Vaak omdat ze dat dan ontkennen, maar ook critici staan soms los van de fossiel industrie. Veel onderzoek naar klimaatverandering is computermodelwerk en geen veldwerk. Chriton heeft in een lezing een vergelijking met het wereldmodel van de Club van Rome en een model van een cel (vele malen complexer!?). Waarom doen we zo druk over CO2 en graden Celsius, en letten we niet op gezondheid, welzijn en mensenlevens?

En om terug te komen op welk standpunt Michael Crichton over milieu en natuur heeft: in een interview heeft hij eens aangegeven natuurconservatie belangrijk te vinden. Met Jurassic Parc heeft hij een hele hype gemaakt over dinosaurussen, misschien wilde hij hetzelfde voor natuur? Zijn roman Micro is een verhaal zoals zijn veelverfilmde dino-roman,maar dan over insecten. Een wetenschappelijke kijk op de insectenwereld via een fictief verhaaltje over verkleinde mensen in de insectenwereld. Waarschijnlijk was er de hoop dat hij er eenzelfde hype mee had kunnen creeren. Dat was toch mooi geweest? Allemaal kinderen die allerlei insecten uit hun hoofd kennen...

State of Fear (achtergrond)

State of Fear is een eco-thriller uit 2004 van Michael Crichton waarin een fictief crimi-verhaaltje wordt verteld in de context van milieu- en klimaatwetenschap. Zoals ik het verhaal opvat is het moraal dat de klimaathype onterecht is en de aandacht afleidt van de echte (milieu-)problemen.

"State of Fear (Ned. vert.: Staat van angst) is een boek van de Amerikaanse schrijver Michael Crichton over de theorie met betrekking tot de Opwarming van de Aarde. In deze thriller strijdt een geheim agent tegen een nietsontziende milieuorganisatie die door middel van sabotage de publieke opinie naar haar hand wil zetten..... Alhoewel het boek leest als een thriller, worden grafieken, voetnoten en bronvermeldingen gebruikt om uitspraken kracht bij te zetten. Crichton kiest hierbij (gemotiveerd) de zijde van de sceptici op het gebied van de opwarming van de Aarde. Het boek is voorzien van meerdere bijlagen en naschriften, waaronder:
Opmerkingen van de auteur, waarin Crichton zijn visie met betrekking tot Global Warming verklaart.
Aanhangsel I; Waarom gepolitiseerde wetenschap gevaarlijk is. Een uiteenzetting met betrekking tot het gevaar van de invloed van politiek op wetenschap.
Aanhangsel II; Bronnen van gegevens in grafieken. Een bronverklaring van gebruikte data.
Bibliografie. Een uitgebreide lijst van geraadpleegde literatuur." https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Fear

"Bestsellerauteur Crichton speelt een leep spelletje
Het milieu heeft het zwaar. Je daarover bezorgd maken hoort bij het contraproductieve gezeur uit de jaren zeventig, toen de linkse kerk het voor het zeggen had. Wie nu wil meetellen, moet een SUV voor zijn deur hebben.
Sjaak Priester
Een gevoelige dreun krijgt de kwakkelende milieubeweging nu van de Amerikaanse bestsellerauteur Michael Crichton. Waar deze in zijn vorige 'technothrillers' de angst voor technologische ontwikkelingen flink aanwakkerde (virologie in The Andromeda String, DNA-onderzoek in Jurassic Park, nanotechnologie in Prey) richt Crichton nu zijn pijlen de andere kant op: niet de technologie moet het ontgelden, maar degenen die deze trachten tegen te houden met gezeur over het milieu. Daarmee heeft Crichton zich pal achter het conservatieve Amerika van George W. Bush geschaard. De titel die hij zijn laatste boek meegaf, verhoogt de politieke lading: 'Staat van angst.' Een boek dat zo heet is geen thriller, maar een pamflet.
Crichton gebruikt zijn roman dan ook in de eerste plaats om een boodschap uit te dragen: de zogenaamde deskundigen die zich zorgen maken over het broeikaseffect en het ozongat zijn in het gunstigste geval oliedom, meestal doortrapt, en in sommige gevallen ronduit crimineel. Ze remmen de economische ontwikkeling met geld dat ze van naïeve burgers losweken. Niet alleen verstoort dat de Amerikaanse vooruitgangsdroom, uiteindelijk is de hele wereld daarvan de dupe.
'Staat van angst' bevat het scenario voor een Hollywood-thriller waarin een klein groepje dappere figuren het opneemt tegen een oppermachtige kongsi van gewetenloze milieuactivisten. De wereld dreigt slachtoffer te worden van ecoterroristen, die hun gelijk willen halen door zelf diverse milieurampen te veroorzaken. ... Tussen de actiescÈnes door wordt er gepraat. De helden brengen hun politieke inzichten vermetel onder woorden en bekvechten af en toe met de tegenstanders. Zoals bij Crichton gebruikelijk, is de informatiedichtheid van deze dia- en monologen ongewoon hoog. De argumenten zijn bovendien afkomstig uit echte wetenschappelijke literatuur, zoals uitgebreid in voetnoten wordt verantwoord. Zelfs bevat het boek een groot aantal eveneens aan de werkelijkheid ontleende grafieken, die bijvoorbeeld moeten aantonen dat de opwarming van de aarde een sprookje is.
Crichton speelt met dit alles een leep spelletje. De helden krijgen veel meer argumenten in de mond gelegd dan de milieuactivisten. Ze kennen de boeken van anti-milieupropagandisten zoals de Deen Björn Lomborg uit hun hoofd, terwijl de milieukliek er niets anders tegenoverstelt dan lege, verkalkte kretologie. Dat de helden in een thriller het gelijk aan hun kant krijgen is natuurlijk niet zo vreemd, maar door het gebruik van echte gegevens wil Crichton de lezer zo ver krijgen dat deze er ook zo over gaat denken. De Nederlandse uitgave, die in het kader van de Maand van het Spannende Boek prominent werd uitgebracht, draagt om dat te versterken als ondertitel: 'Ze liegen u voor...'
Crichton schrijft als een tierelier. Maar zijn page turners worden bevolkt door buitengewoon irritante, volstrekt sjabloonachtige karakters. De helden beschikken over superieure eigenschappen en komen na veeleisende omwegen precies op tijd om verschrikkelijke rampen te voorkomen. In 'Staat van angst' zijn er extra veel van dit soort mannen, die allemaal erg op elkaar lijken en het verhaal nodeloos ingewikkeld maken. Ze worden aangevuld door een aantal al even irritante, intelligente en goed geproportioneerde blonde bimbo's die voor een precies afgemeten hoeveelheid steriele seks zorgen. Het is nog een meevaller dat in 'Staat van angst' dit keer de hoogst vervelende, hyperintelligente kinderen ontbreken die Crichton meestal in zijn verhalen verwerkt.
De bad guys, de vermaledijde milieuaanhangers, zijn al even eendimensionaal. Voor Crichton zijn het allemaal halve debielen en gevaarlijke griezels. Voor de spanning hoef je dit boek dan ook niet te lezen. Waarvoor je het wel zou moeten lezen? Ik zou het eigenlijk niet weten.
Michael Crichton, 'Staat van angst'. Vertaald door Hugo Kuipers. Oorspronkelijke titel: State of fear. Luitingh. ISBN 90 245 5609 0. 495 p., 19,90 euro."

"State of fear
Titel beschrijving
Titel: State of Fear
Auteur: Michael Crichton
Jaar van verschijnen: 2004
Aantal bladzijdes: 567
‘There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.’
- Mark Twain
‘Within any important issue, there are always aspects no one wishes to discuss.’
- George Orwell
Volgens een theorie zorgt de overheid voor angst. Zo worden de burgers bang en hopen dat de overheid iets eraan doet. De burgers betalen hiervoor belasting. Als de burgers zonder angst leven, dan is er ook geen reden om belasting aan de overheid te betalen. Een zogenaamde ‘State of Fear’.
Een erg interessant personage komt pas tegen het einde van het boek tevoorschijn. Norman Hoffmann, een verstrooide professor sociologie, staat los v/h verhaal en geeft in enkele bladzijden de essentie van het boek aan. Mensen leven in een staat van angst, die na de val v/d Berlijnse Muur (einde koude oorlog) niet meer gegenereerd wordt door het militair-industrieel complex maar door het politico-legal-media complex. Weergegeven door drie citaten van Hoffmann.
“Politicians need fear to control the population”
“Lawyers need dangers to litigate and make money”
“Media need scare stories to capture an audience”

"State of Fear is a 2004 techno-thriller novel by Michael Crichton, in which eco-terrorists plot mass murder to publicize the danger of global warming. Despite being a work of fiction, the book contains many graphs and footnotes, two appendices, and a 20-page bibliography in support of Crichton's beliefs about global warming. Many Climate scientists, science journalists, environmental groups, and science advocacy organisations dispute Crichton's views on the science as being error-filled and distorted.[1][2][3][4][5][6]
The novel had an initial print run of 1.5 million copies and reached the #1 bestseller position at Amazon and #2 on The New York Times Best Seller list for one week in January 2005. The novel itself has garnered mixed reviews, with some literary reviewers stating that the book's presentation of facts and stance on the global warming debate detracted from the book's plot.
State of Fear is, like many of Crichton's books, a fictional work that uses a mix of speculation and real world data, plus technological innovations as fundamental storyline devices. The debate over global warming serves as the backdrop for the book. Crichton supplies a personal afterword and two appendices that link the fictional part of the book with real examples of his thesis.
The main villains in the plot are environmental extremists. Crichton does place blame on "industry" in both the plot line and the appendices. Various assertions appear in the book, for example:
The science behind global warming is speculative and incomplete, meaning no concrete conclusions can be drawn regarding human involvement in climate change.
Elites in various fields use either real or artificial crises to maintain the existing social order, misusing the "science" behind global warming.
As a result of potential conflicts of interest, the scientists conducting research on topics related to global warming may subtly change their findings to bring them in line with their funding sources. Since climatology can not incorporate double-blind studies, as are routine in other sciences, and climate scientists set experiment parameters, perform experiments within the parameters they have set, and analyze the resulting data, a phenomenon known as "bias" is offered as the most benign reason for climate science being so inaccurate.
A key concept, delivered from the eccentric Professor Hoffman, suggests, in Hoffman's words, the existence of a "politico-legal-media" complex, comparable to the "military-industrial complex," of the Cold War era. Hoffman insists climate science began using more extreme, fear-inducing terms such as "crisis," "catastrophe," and, "disaster," shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, in order to maintain a level of fear in citizens, for the purpose of social control, since the specter of Soviet Communism was gone. This "state of fear" gives the book its title.
Numerous charts and quotations from real world data, including footnoted charts which strongly suggest mean global temperature is, in this era, lowering. Where local temperatures show a general rise in mean temperature, mostly in major world cities, Crichton's characters infer it is due to urban sprawl and deforestation, not carbon emissions.
Crichton argues for removing politics from science and uses global warming and real-life historical examples in the appendices to make this argument. In a 2003 speech at the California Institute of Technology, he expressed his concern about what he considered the "emerging crisis in the whole enterprise of science—namely the increasingly uneasy relationship between hard science and public policy."[7]...
Several critics have suggested that Crichton uses the major characters as proxies for differing viewpoints on the topic of global warming in order to allow the reader to clearly follow the various positions portrayed in the book.
Joseph Romm suggests that Kenner is a stand-in for Crichton himself.[9]
David Roberts suggests that Evans is the stand-in for the reader (who Crichton presumes accepts most of the tenets of global warming without any detailed study of it, but not unquestioningly) and also that Ted Bradley is a stand-in for people who accept the "environmentalist" party line without question.[10]
Ronald Bailey suggests that Drake is a stand-in for the environmental movement "professional" activist.[11]
Bruce Barcott suggests that Sarah,[12] and Michael B. McElroy and Daniel P. Schrag suggest that Jennifer[13] are stand-ins for the academic community (intelligent enough to follow the debate but undecided until the evidence is presented) with Sarah being the portion of the community likely to believe in global warming on less than undeniable evidence (they will accept "Likely, but not proven" as sufficient proof) and Jennifer representing the part of the community that accepts undeniable evidence only.
Michael B. McElroy and Daniel P. Schrag also suggest that Jennifer is simultaneously a stand-in for conflicts of interest created by how the research is funded (i.e. her "official" story changes based on who is paying the bills but in private she makes her true feelings known).[13]
Gregory Mone suggests that Sanjong is a stand-in for the local university library/reputable Internet source verification, etc.[14]... Crichton included a statement of his views on global climate change as an afterword. In the "Author's message", Crichton states that the cause, extent, and threat of climate change are largely unknown. He finishes by endorsing the management of wilderness and the continuation of research into all aspects of the Earth's environment.
In Appendix I, Crichton warns both sides of the global warming debate against the politicization of science. Here he provides two examples of the disastrous combination of pseudoscience and politics: the early 20th-century ideas of eugenics (which he directly cites as one of the theories that allowed for the Holocaust) and Lysenkoism.
This appendix is followed by a bibliography of 172 books and journal articles that Crichton presents "...to assist those readers who would like to review my thinking and arrive at their own conclusions." (State of Fear, pp, 583)."  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Fear

"Well, the bibliography sings
Michael Crichton's global-warming novel, State of Fear, is long on detail, short on thrills, says Peter Guttridge
State of Fear
by Michael Crichton
HarperCollins £17.99, pp603
Michael Crichton's techno-thrillers all have in common the concern that scientists can't be trusted to keep control of advances in science and technology. The consequences can be potentially devastating.
In State of Fear, he takes this mistrust a stage further. Underlying the novel is what he regards as 'the postmodern view of science' - that science is not a quest for knowledge and/or truth but another power struggle in which competing scientists are more likely to be influenced by self-interest and prejudice than by any objective evaluation of evidence."

"He argues the point robustly both within the novel and an appendix, in which he states: 'I believe people are well-intentioned. But I have great respect for the corrosive influence of bias, systematic distortion of thought, the power of rationalisation, the guises of self-interest and the inevitability of unintended consequences.' What has caused controversy is that he has chosen global warming to demonstrate this point of view. Crichton's argument is that there is no incontrovertible proof that global warming, in the way we envisage it in relation to carbon-monoxide emissions, actually exists.
He tries to be even-handed, but the plot thrust of the novel clearly aligns him with those people, such as President Bush, who are sceptical about global warming and prefer inaction to action on the issue.
Nobody can doubt that he does his research - there's a 20-page bibliography attached to State of Fear - but a thriller in which environmentalists are the enemy makes for a curious and unsettling read. Crichton's thrillers sometimes have shortcomings such as cardboard characterisation and clunky writing but he is usually excellent at passing on all the research he has done in an interesting way. Here, however, his didacticism gets the better of him.
In State of Fear's 600-plus pages, there is a great deal of discussion about global warming. Technical information is sometimes conveyed through graphs and charts. This, in the end, gets in the way of the thriller elements. This is a thriller that reads more like a polemic.
The starting point is a lawsuit against the US's Environmental Protection Agency brought by the citizens of a series of south Pacific atolls who are endangered by the consequences of global warming. The citizens blame the US's carbon-monoxide emissions for their plight." https://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/jan/16/crime.michaelcrichton

"Crichton Thriller State of Fear
by Brenda Ekwurzel, 2005
Michael Crichton's book State of Fear has characters debating data (complete with graphs and footnotes) and concepts that cast doubt on the validity of global warming evidence. This doubt is echoed in the author's message at the end of the novel and in public interviews. Readers may understandably take away some misconceptions from his book. To clear up these misconceptions, we have selected some representative cases to discuss; the list below, however, is not intended to be an exhaustive list of the errors in Crichton's book.
...Anyone can delve into the climate literature and come to a deeper understanding of global climate change evidence. Yet the literature examples Crichton picked, and the way they are presented, seem to make a case against global warming.  Scientists with climate expertise have considered not just the narrow sampling of the scientific literature that Crichton cites but many hundreds of additional papers in order to understand the full complexity of the climate system.... Although Crichton likes to claim that consensus is not relevant in science, we disagree.  When scientists with climate-relevant expertise evaluate the data and the majority comes to the same basic conclusion, this is an important result.
Twenty of thirty-three graphs shown in the novel for various localities do not demonstrate a warming trend. The characters raise common sense reactions to these graphs.   One character illustrates how one location (West Point, NY) can show a warming, cooling, or no trend depending on how many years are shown on the graph. ... This pattern of warming and cooling in the U.S. may be part of a worldwide pattern: while most of the earth has warmed, the regions that are downwind from major sources of air pollution (specifically sulfur dioxide emissions) have generally cooled ... In general, climate trends are often difficult to detect in data from individual stations because each station is subject to local effects.  These variations can be reduced by averaging together the data from many stations, which is why climate scientists rely on such averages in detecting the first signs of the effect of CO2 increases on temperature.  So far, the initial effect is still relatively small for two reasons: (i) part of that effect has been canceled temporarily by increases in sulfate aerosol, and (ii) the warming has been delayed because it takes a long time for the vast mass of the ocean to heat up.
Crichton's novel includes a graph showing the relationship between global average temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels between 1880 and 2003.  This graph shows a broad correlation between temperature and CO2, although some time periods do not match up.  A character in the novel asks, "So, if rising carbon dioxide is the cause of rising temperatures, why didn't it cause temperatures to rise from 1940 to 1970?"
The answer is that CO2 is only one of several factors that influence temperature, such as volcanic eruptions, solar variability, sulfur dioxide emissions (see Figure 1), and small changes in the earth's orbit. The combined impact of all effects was cooling for those middle decades of the 20th century. When climate scientists look at the entire last century, however, they are unable to explain the significant temperature increases solely from natural causes.
Mr. Crichton picks evidence that supports his position and then sprinkles this data throughout the novel. He discusses the advance of many glaciers in Iceland and Norway, for example, while the evidence for accelerated melting of the major Greenland ice sheet is ignored. The rapid melting of the Kilimanjaro glacier is mentioned only to be dismissed. Crichton doesn't let the reader know, however, that this ice sheet has survived the past 11,000 years, including a 300 year long African mega-drought. At present rates of melting, Mt. Kilimanjaro glacier is likely to be gone before 2020.   Most other tropical glaciers studied are also undergoing unprecedented retreat, and big changes are also underway in Antarctica.  The Larsen B ice shelf, for example, broke up in 2002 in response to coastal warming, after having survived for more than 12,000 years. The precise mechanism responsible for these massive events is a matter of lively inquiry in the scientific literature, but the fact that they are all happening now that human activities have increased the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration to a level not seen over the past 400,000 years, after having survived millennia, is powerful circumstantial evidence that should not be lightly dismissed.
Michael Crichton says we can't predict the future.  Does this preclude our taking steps to reduce heat trapping gas emissions?
By way of analogy, the occurrence of large earthquakes is also very difficult to predict. Just because we can't predict when the next big earthquake in California will occur, should we stop building earthquake-resistant buildings? "

"Novel on global warming gets some scientists burned up
Originally published February 4, 2005 at 12:00 am Updated February 10, 2005 at 7:33 am
Michael Crichton's latest work challenges contentions that greenhouse gases are raising temperatures — or even that temperatures are rising worldwide.
Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A provocative new novel that says fears of global warming are unjustified and stoked by an environmentalist-media conspiracy is taking Washington by storm.
“State of Fear,” a novel by Michael Crichton, the best-selling author of “Jurassic Park,” and the creator of the TV show “ER,” compares scientists who warn of global warming to advocates of eugenics who said that the mixing of races would ruin the world’s genetic stock.
In an appendix explaining his position, Crichton writes: “Nobody knows how much of the present warming trend might be a natural phenomenon. Nobody knows how much of the present warming trend might be man-made. Nobody knows how much warming will occur in the next century.”
Sixteen of 18 top U.S. climate scientists interviewed by Knight Ridder, however, said the Harvard-trained author is bending scientific data and distorting research.
“Wrong, wrong, wrong,” said Martin Hoffert, a professor of physics at New York University. “The best face I can put on this is that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. The worst is that he’s intentionally deceiving people as he accuses environmentalists (of doing) in ‘State of Fear.’ “
The majority of climate scientists say the world is warming, mainly because of emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The biggest increase in those gases comes from the burning of fossil fuels. U.S. and foreign authorities predict a 5-degree Fahrenheit increase in the world’s average temperature by the end of the century. Ice sheets are melting, and species of birds and animals have moved to new areas because of warming.
Nevertheless, Crichton’s novel has grabbed the fancy of Washington political conservatives. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., in a Senate speech last month, called the book “the real story” of climate change. Conservative think tanks and columnists promote the novel. Crichton has also addressed the neo-conservative American Enterprise Institute and the National Press Club.
Jerry Mahlman, a senior climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., attributes Washington’s embrace of Crichton to fear: “The fundamental reality of the elementary physics of global warming is spooking the heck out of people, and they’re looking for ways to get out of it.”
“It was a fun read and the science was handled intelligently and responsibly,” said one, MIT meteorology professor Richard Lindzen. “Crichton has studied the science for the last three years and comes to the issue with intelligence as well as a professional scientific background.”
For his part, Crichton writes, “Everybody has an agenda. Except me.”
“State of Fear” follows a mainstream environmental group’s foray into terrorism. The environmentalists try to trigger a tsunami, flash floods and calving icebergs to convince the world of the dangers of climate change and raise more money.
Amid that plot, Crichton drops in graphs and footnotes to buttress his contention that global warming isn’t a real problem.
Three scientists — Hoffert, physicist Ben Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California, and NASA’s James Hansen — told Knight Ridder that Crichton distorted their research in the novel." https://www.seattletimes.com/entertainment/books/novel-on-global-warming-gets-some-scientists-burned-up/

"The newest Michael Crichton thriller, State of Fear, is a real page turner--in more ways than one, unfortunately. The book starts off in classic Michael Crichton tradition, with the bad guys gathering a baffling set of very specialized and expensive high-tech equipment--hypersonic cavitation generators, wire-guided projectiles, shaped explosives, a deep-diving submersible. They also quietly seek out a mysterious and worrisome collection of information, including data on hurricanes, tsunamis, use of explosives in seismic recordings, and more. As the bodies of those who get in their way begin piling up, it is clear we are dealing with a ruthless, well-organized foe with plans for major high-tech mayhem. The story is exciting and the pages turn quickly as we read on to find out just what kind of mayhem lies ahead.
We meet the main character, Peter Evans, a Los Angeles lawyer with an interesting romantic life and a very interesting primary client--millionaire environmental philanthropist George Morton. Morton bankrolls the National Environmental Resource Fund (NERF), an environmental group suing the U.S. on behalf of the island nation of Vanutu for damages caused by Global Warming-induced sea level rises. We watch Peter Evans as he meets the legal and scientific team assembled by NERF to prosecute the sea level rise lawsuit, and here the story really slows down as the NERF team tries to educate Evans about the uncertainties of the Global Warming theory. As you might suspect from the NERF group's name, Crichton is not a fan of environmentalists--nor of the Global Warming theory. As the book progresses, Crichton repeatedly attacks environmentalists and the science behind Global Warming though a series of mock trials that Evans sits though.
As the plot and action moves ahead in fits and starts between Global Warming science lectures, we find that the bads guys are a group of eco-terrorists, with possible ties to George Morton's NERF organization. We meet the main hero of the story, Dr. John Kenner, professor of Geoenvironmental Engineering at MIT, and secret agent for an unnamed national security organization. Kenner, along with Evans and two of his romantic interests, relentlessly pursue the baddies to Antarctica, Arizona, and a remote Pacific island infested with cannibals. Kenner also happens to be a brilliant and well-informed critic of Global Warming, and proceeds to "educate" Evans (and the reader) about the truth about Global Warming through a series of conversations throughout the rest of the book. The conversations come complete with page after page of graphs and charts and footnotes. Mixed in with the lectures on Global Warming are formulations of Crichton's more general environmental philosophy--that a new politico-legal-media complex has taken over control from the military industrial complex, and is dedicated to controlling the population by promoting a state of fear about false environmental scares like catastrophic Global Warming.
The story finally ends, mercifully, after 567 pages, of which at least 100 are devoted to anti-environmental sermons and Global Warming "education". A full 20 pages of scientific references follow, along with a few pages of the author's comments on his environmental philosophy and what he feels should be done to fix the State of Fear created by the politico-legal-media complex.
I give Crichton credit for attempting to weave what is obviously to him a very important bit of personal philosophy into an action-thriller novel. I also give him credit for taking the initiative to educate himself on the Global Warming issue, something that I believe all citizens should do"

"Several scientists whose research had been referenced in the novel stated that Crichton had distorted it in the novel. Peter Doran, leading author of the Nature paper,[30] wrote in the New York Times: "our results have been misused as 'evidence' against global warming by Michael Crichton in his novel 'State of Fear'".[25]
Myles Allen, Head of the Climate Dynamics Group, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, wrote in Nature in 2005:
Michael Crichton's latest blockbuster, State of Fear, is also on the theme of global warming and is, ...likely to mislead the unwary.... Although this is a work of fiction, Crichton's use of footnotes and appendices is clearly intended to give an impression of scientific authority.[23]
The American Geophysical Union, consisting of over 50,000 members from over 135 countries, states in their newspaper Eos in 2006, "We have seen from encounters with the public how the political use of State of Fear has changed public perception of scientists, especially researchers in global warming, toward suspicion and hostility."[31]
James E. Hansen, former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies at the time, wrote that Crichton "doesn't seem to have the foggiest notion about the science that he writes about."[4] Jeffrey Masters, chief meteorologist for Weather Underground, writes: "Crichton presents an error-filled and distorted version of the Global Warming science, favoring views of the handful of contrarians that attack the consensus science of the IPCC."[32]
The Union of Concerned Scientists devote a section of their website to what they describe as misconceptions readers may take away from the book.[29]
US Congress
Despite being a work of fiction, the book has found use by opponents of global warming. For example, US Senator Jim Inhofe, who once pronounced global warming "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people",[33][34] made State of Fear "required reading"[35] for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which he chaired from 2003 to 2007, and before which he called Crichton to testify in September 2005.[35]
Al Gore said on March 21, 2007 before a US House committee: "The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor [...] if your doctor tells you you need to intervene here, you don't say 'Well, I read a science fiction novel that tells me it's not a problem'". Several commentators interpreted this as a reference to State of Fear.[36][37][38][39]
AAPG 2006 Journalism Award
The novel received the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) 2006 Journalism Award. AAPG Communications director Larry Nation told the New York Times, "It is fiction, but it has the absolute ring of truth". The presentation of this award has been criticized as a promotion of the politics of the oil industry and for blurring the lines between fiction and journalism.[31][40] After some controversy within the organization, AAPG has since renamed the award the "Geosciences in the Media" Award.[41]"  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Fear

Answers to Key Questions Raised by M. Crichton in State of Fear
... Although Crichton attempts to use real-world data and studies within the novel to highlight some of the realities and uncertainties in climate science, the novel contains a number of strawman arguments, misinterpretations of the scientific literature, and even a few misleading statements drawn from the so-called “skeptics.”  Despite his research and the book’s many footnotes, Crichton has a less-than-commanding understanding of climate change science.  The book is much more of a vehicle for his own opinions on the issue rather than an objective commentary on the state of the science and policy debate. Discussion of key questions raised by Crichton in State of Fear follow:
Sea-Level Rise – Is it Accelerating?  In the dialogue, one of Crichton’s characters attacks the concept that the rate of sea-level rise has accelerated in recent years. It is unclear what point Crichton is trying to make here. Given that the ability to identify an increase in the rate of sea-level rise in the present has no bearing on whether that rate will increase decades down the road, the statement by Crichton’s character is irrelevant. Crichton may be using his character to dispel a public misconception about sea-level rise, but it’s not a misconception commonly shared by the scientific community.  For example, the 2001 IPCC report explicitly stated that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the rate of sea level rise has increased.
Cooling Trends – Are They Inconsistent with Global Warming?  Much of the data presented within State of Fear are temperature data from specific locations throughout the world.   Crichton makes two points with these data.  First, he uses the data to demonstrate that not all locations of the world show warming trends. This is correct, and is acknowledged by the climate science community – as one moves to smaller geographic scales, local factors (e.g., terrain, altitude, land cover, wind patterns, etc.) become increasingly important in determining climate conditions.  Hence, the importance of averaging temperature data over large areas, which yields an unambiguous warming trend. Crichton’s cherry-picking of sites to show cooling is a common, yet irrelevant tactic.  Crichton’s second point is that warming appears to manifest only in urban areas, suggesting the effects of urban heat islands explain warming trends.  This issue has been investigated repeatedly over the past decade (including a few papers just in the past 18 months), using a variety of methods.  Although heat islands are known to occur around urban areas and affect local temperatures, the consistent conclusion is that their influence on global temperature trends is negligible.
20th Century Temperatures – Did Scientists Forecast a Coming Ice Age during the 1970s? In the novel, Crichton’s characters discuss one of the more popular myths of climate change science – that the scientific community projected during the 1970s that another ice age was imminent.  The scientific community predicted nothing of the sort.  This myth emerges from three sources.  First, global temperatures did cool slightly from the 1940s until approximately 1970, but the scientific literature cautioned against interpreting anything from short temperature records (e.g., a U.S. National Academy of Sciences report recommended further research).  Second, during the 1970s there were a number of studies and publications investigating the mechanisms responsible for past Ice Ages.  These papers suggested that such climatological events were cyclical in nature and, as a consequence, another ice age was possible on time-scales of ~20,000 years (i.e., not in the near future). More recent research indicates that there is potential for another ice age, but on a time scale on the order of 50,000 years – making it an even more distant proposition than suggested during the 1970s.  Third, research was also being conducted on the potential for atmospheric aerosols to have a cooling influence on the global climate. Since then, research has confirmed that sulfate aerosols do indeed have a cooling effect and largely account for the cooling observed during the 1940s-1970.  However, the magnitude of their influence has been revised downward, and thus warming from CO2 now outweighs the effects of aerosol cooling.  In any case, the published literature from scientists during the 1970s does not reflect alarmist predictions of an impeding ice age, and, in fact the research conducted at the time has proven to be robust.
Hurricanes – Are They More Frequent?  Crichton’s novel also mentions recent literature examining 20th century trends in hurricanes that show periods of high and low hurricane frequency, but no trend despite rising temperatures.  Here, too, Crichton is correct – no long-term trend has been observed globally, although all hurricane experts agree that the frequency of hurricanes has increased in the North Atlantic, which is where hurricanes form that affect the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast of the U.S.  Here again, Crichton is attacking a strawman - at the time that State of Fear was published, no scientists had claimed that global warming was affecting hurricanes.  However, several papers published since June 2005 now provide evidence that hurricane activity may indeed be responding to global warming (a conclusion which is supported to some extent by historical observations, but remains controversial).  A more serious scientific flaw in Crichton’s story is that his character extrapolates data from hurricanes to extreme weather events in general, suggesting there is no evidence of a change in extremes of any kind.
Glaciers – Are they retreating?  Crichton’s characters also attack the prevailing wisdom that glaciers worldwide are in retreat via three arguments:  a) we don’t have data for all of the world’s glaciers, b) we have long-term data for even fewer, and c) some glaciers are advancing.  All of the above are true.
James Hansen’s 1988 Testimony – Did He Exaggerate the Problem? In the book, Crichton’s characters recall the 1988 Congressional testimony of James Hansen.  The book reports that in his testimony, Hansen presented an alarming scenario of future warming, which, as of 2000, was 300% greater (0.35oC/decade) than what had been observed (0.11oC/decade). However, the description of Hansen’s testimony within Crichton’s book is not the real version, but a distorted version presented by the well-known skeptic Patrick Michaels ten years later
Attribution – What’s Causing Climate Change? In the appendix, Crichton proposes three explanations for recent and future global warming.  The first is “a natural warming trend that began in 1850 as we emerged from a four-hundred year cold spell known as ‘Little Ice Age.’”  Skeptics frequently discuss the idea of a natural warming trend or rebound, yet they never offer a mechanism to explain the rebound (e.g., what has changed in the climate system that has enabled it to recover from the Little Ice Age?); they simply state that it is natural.
Crichton’s second explanation is land-use change, via urban heat islands and forest clearing.   Here, Crichton appears to misinterpret or simply ignore the scientific literature. As mentioned earlier, Crichton exaggerates the influence of urban heat islands on global temperature trends, despite the existence of a number of scientific studies demonstrating negligible effects of urbanization.
As a third explanation, Crichton acknowledges a role for greenhouse gases, although he argues this will be a “minor component” of future climate change, rather than a driver of the changes already observed to date.
Climate Models – How Large is the Disagreement?  Crichton points out in his appendix that the projections of warming from different climate models vary by 400%, suggesting models do not, and cannot, agree on future climate change. What Crichton is really saying is that the high estimate from IPCC’s projected range for 2100 (5.8oC) is 400% greater than its lowest estimate (1.4oC).  This isn’t a valid expression of model variation or uncertainty.  The variation around the average warming projected by the IPCC of 3.6oC is about 60%. Perhaps more importantly, the reason for the wide range (1.4-5.8oC) is not due to the models themselves, but the use of a range of emissions scenarios.  The rate of future warming is not solely a function of the response of the climate system to greenhouse gases, but also the future atmospheric concentrations of those gases, which is a function of population growth, economic development, and technological change.  Crichton also inserts a number of disparaging comments about climate modeling throughout the book. He refers specifically to the absence of real world data, the lack of model testing and validation, and the lack of independent assessments of model performance.  Here Crichton seems unaware that the discussion of climate model validation is a common feature of publications utilizing these models and model errors and biases are often explicitly quantified and described.  Similarly, Crichton appears unaware of the various model comparison, evaluation, and validation projects that currently exist.  For example, the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been conducting model comparison and validation tests since 1989 (including the climate models used by the IPCC), and published a publicly available report of its research in the summer of 2004.  [see http://www-pcmdi.llnl.gov/ ]
Crichton’s Personal Views – Where Does the Author Stand? In his appendix, Crichton offers his personal views on climate change.  He acknowledges that the world is warming and that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 are increasing, but argues that no one knows how much of the observed warming is due to natural versus human forces.  Further, because it is impossible to know exactly how much warming the world will experience a century from now, he argues that his guess is just as credible as the projections from any scientist. By this argument, if my doctor is not 100% certain of his diagnosis of my medical condition, then I’m just as well served by self-diagnosis via random guess.
Crichton also states that fossil fuels will reach their demise regardless of the efforts of politicians or environmentalists, future populations will be better off, and environmental principles represent unfair attempts to prevent the developing world from achieving the standard of living obtained by the developed world. Here, Crichton is encapsulating the arguments of the late Julian Simon, which have recently been resurrected by Bjorn Lomborg (The Skeptical Environmentalist). Crichton goes on to warn about the dangers of politicizing science, arguing (citing Eugenics as a case in point) that the insertion of subjective values into science corrupts the scientific process leading to bad policy decisions. Instead, all values should be eliminated from scientific endeavors, scientists should be dispassionate, objective analysts and suppress the temptation to use science to advocate for or against certain policies or actions.
Crichton concludes by stating that the policy measures currently being implemented or debated to address climate change, “have little basis in fact or science.”  Actions to address climate change are being advocated by groups with hidden agendas, and those actions will have adverse consequences for others.  ... Crichton does not go as far as to suggest that climate change is a hoax (although he certainly believes the consequences are exaggerated), but rather that climate change is a vehicle that many have seized upon, for various reasons, as a means to an end."

"A novel view of global warming
State of Fear by Michael Crichton
HarperCollins: 2004. 603 pp. $27.95, £17.99
Myles Allen
... Michael Crichton’s latest blockbuster, State of Fear, is also on the theme of global warming and is, in its own way, equally likely to mislead the unwary.... Crichton has evidently been inspired by
the eco-conspiracy theories of Bjørn Lomborg’s The Skeptical Environmentalist. Both books demonstrate how intelligent reviewers, given a complex issue and sufficiently rich literature, can find support for whatever position they care to adopt. For example, Crichton opens with the fact that glaciers are advancing in Iceland and Norway, failing to mention that they are retreating just about
everywhere else outside the polar ice caps.
Given the thousands of temperature records available on the Internet, it is unsurprising that he can find some to support the claim that much of the apparent warming during the twentieth century is due to urbanization... Although this is a work of fiction, Crichton’s use of footnotes and appendices is clearly intended to give an impression of scientific authority. He appears to have succeeded, as
the book has already been respectfully cited in the US Senate as a serious contribution
to the climate-change debate.
Crichton does make some nice observations, for example about the outdoor gear worn to climate conferences by people who never stray from a computer (let’s face it, we’re badly paid office workers). With his medical background, he also finds the lack of double-blind studies in climate research troubling. Here he has a point, but the solution is far from obvious, given that we are all studying a single patient, and we learn in the first term of graduate school how the patient is believed to have behaved over the past century.... Is it just a
matter of political taste whether to believe
Crichton and Lomborg over, say, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)?...
The IPCC said in 2001 that there is up to a one-in-three chance that the warming observed over the twentieth century might be “entirely natural in origin”. If Crichton and Lomborg were equally frank about the chances of their basic premises turning out to be wrong, their scientific views would be
a lot more credible.
But in the end, State of Fear is about people: the transformation of Peter Evans, a lawyer who drives a clean ‘hybrid’ car and is too shy to admit he has never fired a gun,into a gun-toting carbon-junkie at the wheel of a fuel-hungry sports utility vehicle.It definitely helps him get the girls. “There was something about him. Some surprising quality she hadn’t noticed before.”He had become… a climate sceptic.
That pretty much says it all about this book:Viagra for climate sceptics."

"Dr. Kenner attacks the notion that extreme weather has increased in the past 15 years, or that Global Warming will cause in increase in extreme weather, noting, "If anything, global warming theory predicts less extreme weather." This is false, global warming theory does not predict less extreme weather. The latest IPCC Assessment Report concludes that we don't know enough to determine if events like hurricanes, tornados, and hailstorms will increase or decrease in frequency due to Global Warming.
Dr. Kenner asserts that Mt. Kilamanjaro's glaciers are not melting because of global warming, stating: "So why is it melting? Because of deforestation." However, the lead author of the study Crichton cites in the footnote for this assertion stated in a New York Times interview (PDF File) that he objected to his study being used by greenhouse skeptics to portray the melting of Kilimanjaro's glaciers as a "black-and-white picture that says it is either global warming or not global warming". Another author of the study noted that, "Using these preliminary findings to refute or even question global warming borders on the absurd".
In a debate about whether the U.S. should sign the Kyoto Protocol to combat Global Warming, Dr. Kenner asks why we should sign a treaty that "won't, in effect, do anything at all?", stating: "The effect of Kyoto would be to reduce warming by .04 degrees Celsius in the year 2100". Again, this assertion has serious problems. The Kyoto Protocol calls for the industrialized countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to 5.2% below 1990 emission levels for the period 2005 - 2012. Developing countries do not have to cut emissions. Since the Kyoto treaty expires in 2012, it is absurd to talk about the worth of the Kyoto Protocol by extending it to 2100, assuming no emission control demands will be put on developing countries at some point in the future. A true measure of the Kyoto Protocol's worth must be measured by combining its effect with the effect of new treaties that must be negotiated to succeed Kyoto in 2012.
On the positive side, Crichton does emphasize the little-appreciated fact that while most of the world has been warming the past few decades, most of Antarctica has seen a cooling trend. The Antarctic ice sheet is actually expected in increase in mass over the next 100 years, according to the IPCC. Additionally, Crichton correctly points out that there has been no rise in hurricane activity in the Atlantic over the past few decades (a point unchanged by the record four hurricanes that struck Florida in 2004).
In a conversation about trying to educate an ignorant environmentalist about the realities of Global Warming, Kenner sums up for me the essence of Crichton's presentation of science in State of Fear:
"Her intentions are good," she said.
"And her information is bad," Kenner said. "A prescription for disaster."
The excessive interruptions of an otherwise good story by Crichton's bad science make State of Fear a bad buy. " https://www.wunderground.com/resources/education/stateoffear.asp

Michael Crichton’s “Scientific Method”
James Hansen
Columbia University Earth Institute and Goddard Institute for Space Studies
 Michael Crichton’s latest fictional novel, “State of Fear”, designed to discredit concerns
about global warming, purports to use the scientific method. The book is sprinkled with
references to scientific papers, and Crichton intones in the introduction that his “footnotes are
real”. But does Crichton really use the scientific method? Or is it something closer to scientific
 Several people have pointed out to me that Crichton takes aim at my 1988 congressional
testimony and claims that I made predictions about global warming that turned out to be 300%
too high. Is that right?
 In my testimony in 1988, and in an attached scientific paper written with several
colleagues at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and published later that year in the
Journal of Geophysical Research (volume 93, pages 9341-9364), I described climate simulations
made with the GISS climate model. We considered three scenarios for the future, labeled A, B
and C, to bracket likely possibilities.... So how did Crichton conclude that our prediction was in error 300%? Beats me.
Crichton writes fiction and seems to make up things as he goes along. He doesn’t seem to have
the foggiest notion about the science that he writes about. Perhaps that is o.k. for a science
fiction writer4." http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/2005/Crichton_20050927.pdf

"Michael Crichton’s State of Confusion
Filed under: Arctic and Antarctic Climate modelling Climate Science Greenhouse gases Instrumental Record Reviews — gavin @ 13 December 2004 - (Français)
In a departure from normal practice on this site, this post is a commentary on a piece of out-and-out fiction (unlike most of the other posts which deal with a more subtle kind). Michael Crichton’s new novel “State of Fear” is about a self-important NGO hyping the science of the global warming to further the ends of evil eco-terrorists. The inevitable conclusion of the book is that global warming is a non-problem. A lesson for our times maybe? Unfortunately, I think not.
Like the recent movie “The Day After Tomorrow”, the novel addresses real scientific issues and controversies, but is similarly selective (and occasionally mistaken) about the basic science. 
The issues Crichton raises are familiar to those of us in the field, and come up often in discussions. Some are real and well appreciated while some are red herrings and are used to confuse rather than enlighten.
The first set of comments relate to the attribution of the recent warming trend to increasing CO2. One character suggests that “if CO2 didn’t cause the global cooling between 1940 and 1970, how can you be sure it is responsible for the recent warming?” (paraphrased from p86) . Northern Hemisphere mean temperatures do appear to have cooled over that period, and that contrasts with a continuing increase in CO2, which if all else had been equal, should have led to warming. But were all things equal? Actually no. In the real world, there is both internal variability and other factors that affect climate (i.e. other than CO2). Some of those other forcings (sulphate and nitrate aerosols, land use changes, solar irradiance, volcanic aerosols, for instance) can cause cooling. Matching up the real world with what we might expect to have happened depends on including ALL of the forcings (as best as we can). Even then any discrepancy might be due to internal variability (related principally to the ocean on multi-decadal time scales). Our current ‘best guess’ is that the global mean changes in temperature (including the 1940-1970 cooling) are actually quite closely related to the forcings.
Secondly, through the copious use of station weather data, a number of single station records with long term cooling trends are shown. In particular, the characters visit Punta Arenas (at the tip of South America), where (very pleasingly to my host institution) they have the GISTEMP station record posted on the wall which shows a long-term cooling trend (although slight warming since the 1970’s). “There’s your global warming” one of the good guys declares. I have to disagree. Global warming is defined by the global mean surface temperature. It does not imply that the whole globe is warming uniformly (which of course it isn’t). (But that doesn’t stop one character later on (p381) declaring that “..it’s effect is presumably the same everywhere in the world. That’s why it’s called global warming”). Had the characters visited the nearby station of Santa Barbara Cruz Aeropuerto, the poster on the wall would have shown a positive trend. Would that have been proof of global warming? No. Only by amalgamating all of the records we have (after correcting for known problems, such as discussed below) can we have an idea what the regional, hemispheric or global means are doing. That is what is meant by global warming.
Crichton next raises the apparently unrecognised (by the lawyer character at least) fact that the interior of Antarctica is cooling (p196), an issue discussed in another post (Antarctica cooling, global warming?). This is more or less correct (given the obvious uncertainties in long term data from the continental interior), but analogously to the example above, local cooling does not contradict global warming.
Next, and slightly more troubling, we have some rather misleading and selective recollection regarding Jim Hansen’s testimony to congress in 1988. “Dr. Hansen overestimated [global warming] by 300 percent” (p247). Hansen’s testimony did indeed lead to a big increase in awareness of global warming as a issue, but not because he exaggerated the problem by 300%. In a paper published soon after that testimony, Hansen et al, 1988 presented three model simulations for different scenarios for the growth in trace gases and other forcings (see figure). Scenario A had exponentially increasing CO2, Scenario B had a more modest Business-as-usual assumption, and Scenario C had no further increases in CO2 after the year 2000. Both scenarios B and C assumed a large volcanic eruption in 1995....The ‘300 percent’ error claim comes from noted climate skeptic Patrick Michaels who in testimony in congress in 1998 deleted the bottom two curves in order to give the impression that the models were unreliable.
Dr Hansen is further quoted (a little out-of-context) saying: “The forcings that drive long term climate change are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change”. Given the discussion above it is clear that without good estimates of the actual forcings, the differences in the model projections can be large. It is widely accepted that exact prediction of what will happen to climate in 50 or 100 years is impossible. ... Hansen’s quote is often taken to imply that models are so unreliable they are useless in helping assess the issue. In fact it is the opposite – Hansen is actually claiming that the uncertainty in models (for instance, in the climate sensitivity) is now less than the uncertainty in the emissions scenarios (i.e. it is the uncertainty in the forcings, that drives the uncertainty in the projections).
Continuing to p315, it is claimed that “in the 1970’s all the climate scientists believed an ice age was coming” (and, as described on p563, the MIT academic apparently still thinks so). However, this is not an accurate statement and William Connolley’s pages on the subject are an illuminating read for those wanting more details.
Another issue that often comes up in discussion about the surface temperature record is the impact of the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE), and here it appears on p370. It is undisputed that the centres of cities such as New York are significantly warmer than the surrounding countryside. This issue has been extensively studied and is corrected for in all analyses of the global temperature trends. To see whether there might still be a residual effect in the corrected data, a recent paper (Parker, Nature, 2004) looked at the differences in the trends if you looked separately at windy and not-so-windy conditions. Wind is known to diminish the impact of urban heating, and so the trends on windy days should be less than trends on still days if this was important. The trends actually end up almost exactly the same. Other validating data for the corrected surface temperature record comes from the oceans, which have also been warming in recent decades.
A central issue in the book concerns sea-level rise. Vanuatu is singled out for special attention since the islanders there are understandably concerned about their low-lying islands eventually being swamped. Sea level however is a surprisingly difficult thing to measure. Tide gauges are very noisy, and are usually located on the continental coast. Global trends in sea level from these gauges are between 1.7 to 2.4 mm/yr. Sea level though is not rising everywhere. In Scandinavia the continents are still rebounding from the ice age and local sea level is receding. Satellite data (TOPEX/POSEIDON and JASON) can give a global picture, and indicate that although the global mean rise over recent years (2.8 mm/yr) is significantly larger than the longer term trend estimated from tide gauges, sea level change is actually very dynamic. There are many patterns of behaviour particularly in the Pacific, associated with El Nino variability – possibly related to Vanuatu’s lack of actual sea level rise over the last 40 years. Curiously, Crichton cites the higher satellite derived number to claim that the rate of sea level rise has not increased recently (“[Sea level is] rising faster, Satellites prove it”,”Actually they don’t”), p424. There are clearly some problems in comparing tide gauge and satellite data, and of course, satellites can have their problems (cf. MSU data), but the quoted numbers don’t support the actual statement at all – though it would be fairer to say that the satellites are consistent with a recent rise in the rate, rather than a proof that it is occurring.
There are only a few out-and-out errors, but to be generous, they probably just slipped through the editing process. For instance, on p187 “higher temperature means more water vapor in the air and therefore fewer clouds” – Presumably, he meant that if the temperature is higher, the relatively humidity could be lower (and so there might be less clouds). On p368. “Croplands are warmer than forested lands”. This is probably a confusion with the urban heating issue, but the actual impact is the opposite – croplands have a higher albedo than forests, reflect more solar radiation, and are thus cooler. In fact, while this is not yet fully quantified, it appears to have been a significant cooling term in the global budget over the last 150 years. On p461 “…Greenland shows that, in the last hundred thousand years, there have been four abrupt climate change events” More like 40. And that is probably an undercount given that Greenland may not record events in the tropics."

"At the end of the book, Crichton gives us an author’s message. In it, he re-iterates the main points of his thesis, that there are some who go too far to drum up support (and I have some sympathy with this), and that because we don’t know everything, we actually know nothing (here, I beg to differ). He also gives us his estimate, ~0.8 C for the global warming that will occur over the next century and claims that, since models differ by 400% in their estimates, his guess is as good as theirs. This is not true. The current batch of models have a mean climate sensitivity of about 3 C to doubled CO2 (and range between 2.5 and 4.0 degrees) (Paris meeting of IPCC, July 2004) , i.e an uncertainty of about 30%. As discussed above, the biggest uncertainties about the future are the economics, technology and rate of development going forward. The main cause of the spread in the widely quoted 1.5 to 5.8 C range of temperature projections for 2100 in IPCC is actually the different scenarios used. For lack of better information, if we (incorrectly) assume all the scenarios are equally probable, the error around the mean of 3.6 degrees is about 60%, not 400%. Crichton also suggests that most of his 0.8 C warming will be due to land use changes. That is actually extremely unlikely since land use change globally is a cooling effect (as discussed above). Physically-based simulations are actually better than just guessing.
Finally, in an appendix, Crichton uses a rather curious train of logic to compare global warming to the 19th Century eugenics movement. He argues, that since eugenics was studied in prestigious universities and supported by charitable foundations, and now, so is global warming, they must somehow be related. Presumably, the author doesn’t actually believe that foundation-supported academic research ipso facto is evil and mis-guided, but that is an impression that is left." http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/michael-crichtons-state-of-confusion/

"Onno v/d Boomen                                                                                                                             Max Voncken
Het boek State of Fear is een erg spannende thriller en tegelijkertijd wil Michael Crighton de lezer iets duidelijk maken. Hij wijst op het gevaar dat de media en de politiek (kortom de belangrijke kanalen waarlangs de massa te bereiken is) een fenomeen zwaar overdrijven of simpelweg verzinnen om de mensen bang te maken. Bange mensen zijn immers gemakkelijk te contoleren, ze kopen bijvoorbeeld massaal wapens als ze maar te horen krijgen dat ze in een verschrikkelijk gevaarlijke samenleving leven [1]. Er zijn heel veel andere voorbeelden te noemen waarbij mensen onnodig angst wordt ingeboezemd teneinde ze controleren [2].
In dit boek wordt het idee van Global warming gebruikt als wetenschappelijk fenomeen. Milieuorganisaties, die heilig overtuigd zijn van Global warming, zien dat hun probleem niet de aandacht krijgt die het verdiend. Om die aandacht wel te krijgen willen ze een aantal milieu rampen veroorzaken, om zo structuur te geven aan de informatie die verstrekt wordt tijdens een groots opgezette conferentie over Abrupt Climate Change met veel media aandacht. Op deze manier willen ze de wereld zover te krijgen dat ze iets gaan doen aan het negatief beïnvloeden van het milieu. Ze zijn er namelijk van overtuigd dat de mens niet veel goed doet voor moeder aarde. Ze geloven heilig in hun zaak en zijn daarom bereid om mensenlevens op te offeren. De milieu organisaties handelen meer vanuit de publieke opinie en niet zozeer vanuit de wetenschap, aangezien de onderzoeken die tegen het idee van global warming ingaan worden afgedaan als pro industrie. Hier komen we dus op een belangrijk punt: de wetenschapper heeft subsidie nodig en zal dus moeten oppassen met zijn of haar beweringen. De kans bestaat namelijk dat hij de “goede” milieu organisaties aanvalt en zo zichzelf in een kwaad daglicht zet. Hierbij wordt de wetenschap bijna gedwongen om onderzoek te doen dat in verlengde ligt van de publieke opinie.
Hieruit volgt dus onze vraagstelling: Wat is de invloed van de media op de wetenschap?
In dit boek maakt de auteur een opmerkelijke ommezwaai ten opzichte van zijn vorige boeken, zoals Jurassic Park en Prey. In deze boeken werd gewaarschuwd voor de gevaren van de wetenschap, terwijl State of Fear juist waarschuwt voor het onterecht creëren van angst. Nog een tegenstelling met zijn vorige boeken is dat nu de wetenschappers als de “goeden” worden neergezet, en in zijn vorige boeken waren hetz juist de wetenschappers die te ver gingen met gen- of nanotechnologie.
Het staat eigenlijk onomstotelijk vast dat de media invloed heeft op de wetenschap. Zonder de milieubewustheid van het volk, dat beïnvloedt is door de media, zouden producten zoals spaarlampen, schone diesel en hybride auto’s misschien nooit ontwikkeld zijn. Ook is het zo dat het als onethisch wordt gezien als je het opneemt tegen de “goede” milieuorganisaties. Het is ook noemenswaardig dat de media vaak wetenschap verdraaid tot een zeer kort, eenzijdig en zelfs foutief, samengevat geheel. Hierdoor krijgt het publek een verkeerd beeld. Het is dus de vraag of dit ooit zal veranderen. Waarschijnlijk niet zolang het gaat om de winst en niet om de inhoud."

"Rollin Shultz
The problem with all the climate change fear, which Michael deftly covers, is lack of information of the common masses. Most people even though they have more options for news and research available to them than ever before in history do not avail themselves of most of it, being content to view TV news and feed on it like a baby on pablum. They have no clue that this form of media belongs to 6 corporations that have an agenda to keep everyone's eyes focused on the ambiguous issue of climate change by which they create a climate of fear, therefore keeping the pubic's eyes off of the real and fixable issue of Pollution."

maandag 29 april 2019

Climate Change Alarm (SR15)

Laatst kwam ik een berichtje tegen dat het IPPC te optimistisch is. Het gaat immers voorbij aan de combinatie van verschillende ontwikkelingen. ALS de temperatuur stijgt,smelt het ijs en stijgt de zeespiegel en is er minder leefgebied en landbouwgrond en minder insecten en minder dit en minder dat en ga zo maar door....

Erg dystopisch beeld. Maar als ik op google zoek vind ik nog meer alarmisme:

UN Says Climate Genocide Is Coming. It’s Actually Worse Than That.
By David Wallace-Wells
... the international goal it established of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius began to seem, to many of the world’s most vulnerable, dramatically inadequate; the Marshall Islands’ representative gave it a blunter name, calling two degrees of warming “genocide.”
... Hundreds of millions of lives are at stake, the report declares, should the world warm more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, which it will do as soon as 2040, if current trends continue. Nearly all coral reefs would die out, wildfires and heat waves would sweep across the planet annually, and the interplay between drought and flooding and temperature would mean that the world’s food supply would become dramatically less secure. Avoiding that scale of suffering, the report says, requires such a thorough transformation of the world’s economy, agriculture, and culture that “there is no documented historical precedent.” The New York Times declared that the report showed a “strong risk” of climate crisis in the coming decades; in Grist, Eric Holthaus wrote that “civilization is at stake.”
If you are alarmed by those sentences, you should be — they are horrifying. But it is, actually, worse than that — considerably worse. That is because the new report’s worst-case scenario is, actually, a best case. In fact, it is a beyond-best-case scenario. What has been called a genocidal level of warming is already our inevitable future. The question is how much worse than that it will get.

Climate change impacts worse than expected, global report warns
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the world is headed for painful problems sooner than expected, as emissions keep rising.
The impacts and costs of 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) of global warming will be far greater than expected, according to a comprehensive assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released Sunday in Incheon, South Korea.
The past decade has seen an astonishing run of record-breaking storms, forest fires, droughts, coral bleaching, heat waves, and floods around the world with just 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1.0 degrees Celsius) of global warming.
...While a 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit (0.5 degrees Celsius) increase in room temperature is unnoticeable, permanently heating the whole planet that much will have “substantial” consequences, the report warns. The impacts will be felt across ecosystems and human communities and economies.
Global warming is like being in a mine field that gets progressively more dangerous, says Michael Mann, a climatologist and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State. “The further we go the more explosions we are likely to set off: 1.5C is safer than 2C, 2C is safer than 2.5C, 2.5C is safer than 3C, and so on,” said Mann, who was not directly involved in this latest IPCC report.
“Stabilizing global warming at 1.5C will be extremely difficult if not impossible at this point,” Mann said via email.
The Special Report is like getting a troubling diagnosis from your doctor, said Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University. “Every possible test has been done and the news is not good,” Hayhoe said in an interview. “The doctor, the IPCC in this case, then explains possible treatment options to ensure our future health. We (the public) decide which option to follow.”

The IPCC global warming report spares politicians the worst details
Bob Ward
Mon 8 Oct 2018 09.00 BST
The dangers if governments ignore efforts to limit warming to 1.5C are more grave than the summary makes out...‘There is no mention in the report’s summary of important thresholds that might, for example, cause shifts in the occurrence of the monsoons in Africa or Asia.’.... The report is a comprehensive review of the published evidence painstakingly compiled by hundreds of authors and reviewers over the past two and a half years. The summary of the report was approved line by line by governments, including the US, Australia and Saudi Arabia, during long and intensive discussions last week in South Korea.
It is written in matter-of-fact language, but it omits some of the biggest risks of climate change, which are described in the full text.
For instance, the summary indicates that warming of 2C would have very damaging impacts on many parts of the world. But it does not mention the potential for human populations to migrate and be displaced as a result, leading to the possibility of war.

Precipice of Doom: the dire implications of the IPCC 2018 climate report for New York City and State
Stephen Metts
Oct 17, 2018
It doesn’t take much effort to get to page 6 of the IPCC 2018 Summary for Policy Makers where readers are faced with a cataclysmic, cliff-like chart plotting an extremely compressed time frame in which the world must flat-line at net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in order to avoid just the worst of run-away climate impacts....

Climate Change: Even Worse Than We Thought
Things to get very gnarly by 2040, IPCC writes
Humans can still prevent the worst effects of climate change, says the newest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But we have less time than anyone hoped to undertake a dramatic and speedy transformation of the global economy that, the IPCC scientists concede, has “no documented historic precedent.”
While the countries that signed on to the Paris Agreement promised to work together to prevent atmospheric warming of more than 3.6°F (2°C), the IPCC report released Sunday concludes that the dire effects predicted to happen at 3.6°F are likely to occur much sooner, at 2.7°F (1.5°C).
That means those dire effects are not far away. The atmosphere has, on average, warmed 1.8°F since the Industrial Revolution (with the majority of that caused by an exponential growth in the use of oil, gas, and coal after the 1950s). If greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate, atmospheric warming will reach 2.7°F around 2040—a little over 20 years from now. .... In this scenario, 2040 will not be a great time to live. The world’s coral reefs will have declined by 70 to 90 percent from their current levels. Many marine and coastal ecosystems will have crashed beyond the point of recovery. The famines, floods, heat waves, polar vortexes, wildfires, hurricanes, and tropical cyclones that have dominated the news recently will increase in number and ferocity.

All of the report’s warnings are couched in very careful, scientific language, because the IPCC is a very cautious, scientific group. It was created by the United Nations Environmental Programme and the World Meteorological Organization in 1988 to serve as a trusted source of information about climate change.
The group’s reports are written by volunteer scientists from around the world who synthesize their conclusions from thousands of peer-reviewed studies. The synthesis is slow, thorough, and involves a lot of consensus-based decision making (consensus doesn’t absolutely have to be reached on every statement in the report, but the scientists involved do have to agree the science behind each statement is accurate).
This gives the IPCC an unusual reputation. Some climate researchers have often accused the IPCC of actually being too mild in its assessment of the danger we’re all in...

Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040
By Coral Davenport
Oct. 7, 2018
... INCHEON, South Korea — A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”
The report, issued on Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to guide world leaders, describes a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs as soon as 2040 — a period well within the lifetime of much of the global population.
The report “is quite a shock, and quite concerning,” said Bill Hare, an author of previous I.P.C.C. reports and a physicist with Climate Analytics, a nonprofit organization.
... “This report makes it clear: There is no way to mitigate climate change without getting rid of coal,” said Drew Shindell, a climate scientist at Duke University and an author of the report.

Wake Up, World Leaders. The Alarm Is Deafening.
The U.N.’s climate panel warns leaders the time for dithering on climate change is over.
By The Editorial Board
The editorial board represents the opinions of the board, its editor and the publisher. It is separate from the newsroom and the Op-Ed section.
Oct. 9, 2018
New research has found that wildfires are likely to worsen if steps are not taken to combat climate change.
Credit Noah Berger/Associated Press
When a cautious, science-based and largely apolitical group like the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the world must utterly transform its energy systems in the next decade or risk ecological and social disaster, attention must be paid.
The panel, created in 1988, synthesizes the findings of leading climate scientists, an undertaking for which it received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. It is not in the habit of lecturing governments. But its latest report, issued near Seoul on Monday, is very different. One United Nations official described it as “a deafening, piercing smoke alarm going off in the kitchen” — an alarm aimed directly at world leaders. “Frankly, we’ve delivered a message to the governments,” said Jim Skea, a co-chairman of the panel and a professor at Imperial College, London. “It’s now their responsibility … to decide whether they can act on it.”... The report, written by 91 scientists from 40 countries, came about at the request of several small island nations that took part in the Paris talks, where 195 countries pledged their best efforts to limit increases in global warming to 3.6 degrees (2 degrees Celsius) above preindustrial levels. Fearing that their countries might someday be lost to rising seas, they asked the intergovernmental panel for further study of a lower threshold, 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius). The panel’s report concluded that the stricter threshold should become the new target. The alternative is catastrophe — mass die-offs of coral reefs, widespread drought, famine and wildfires, and potentially conflict over land, food and fresh water.

Wacht even deze doemscenario's zijn gebaseerd op modellen:

Climate models project robust differences in regional climate characteristics between present-day and global warming of 1.5°C,and between 1.5°C and 2°C. These differences include increases in: mean temperature in most land and ocean regions (high confidence), hot extremes in most inhabited regions (high confidence), heavy precipitation in several regions (medium confidence), and the probability of drought and precipitation deficits in some regions (medium confidence). {3.3}
B.1.1. Evidence from attributed changes in some climate and weather extremes for a global warming of about 0.5°C supports the assessment that an additional 0.5°C of warming compared to present is associated with further detectable changes in these extremes (medium confidence). ... B.1.2. Temperature extremes on land are projected to warm more than GMST (high confidence): extreme hot days in mid-latitudes warm by up to about 3°C at global warming of 1.5°C and about 4°C at 2°C, and extreme cold nights in high latitudes warm by up to about 4.5°C at 1.5°C and about 6°C at 2°C (high confidence). The number of hot days is projected to increase in most land regions, with highest increases in the tropics (high confidence).... B.2. By 2100, global mean sea level rise is projected to be around 0.1 metre lower with global warming of 1.5°C compared to 2°C (medium confidence). Sea level will continue to rise well beyond 2100 (high confidence), and the magnitude and rate of this rise depend on future emission pathways. A slower rate of sea level rise enables greater opportunities for adaptation in the human and ecological systems of small islands, low-lying coastal areas and deltas (medium confidence)....B.2.1. Model-based projections of global mean sea level rise (relative to 1986–2005) suggest an indicative range of 0.26 to 0.77 m by 2100 for 1.5°C of global warming, 0.1 m (0.04–0.16 m) less than for a global warming of 2°C (medium confidence). A reduction of 0.1 m in global sea level rise implies that up to 10 million fewer people would be exposed to related risks, based on population in the year 2010 and assuming no adaptation (medium confidence)....B.4.1. There is high confidence that the probability of a sea ice-free Arctic Ocean during summer is substantially lower at global warming of 1.5°C when compared to 2°C. With 1.5°C of global warming, one sea ice-free Arctic summer is projected per century. ...B.5.2. Any increase in global warming is projected to affect human health, with primarily negative consequences (high confidence). Lower risks are projected at 1.5°C than at 2°C for heat-related morbidity and mortality (very high confidence) and for ozone-related mortality if emissions needed for ozone formation remain high (high confidence). Urban heat islands often amplify the impacts of heatwaves in cities (high confidence). Risks from some vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever, are projected to increase with warming from 1.5°C to 2°C, including potential shifts in their geographic range (high confidence).

Uiteraard zal 1,5°C in vergelijking met 2 of 3,5°C opwarming beter zijn in je rekenmodel. Maar hoe zijn die voorspellingen en verwachtingen? Hoe geloofwaardig is dit? De rampscenario's en toonzetting van de persberichten doen me sterk denken aan State of Fear van Michael Crichton...