As we get closer to the collapse of the biosphere, I have been noticing a huge distortion, if not outright lying, in the use of baseline figures for the planetary temperature increase that humans have caused with our crack like and sadly terminal addiction to carbon.
“The Industrial Revolution, which took place from the 18th to 19th centuries, was a period during which predominantly agrarian, rural societies in Europe and America became industrial and urban. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, which began in Britain in the late 1700s, manufacturing was often done in people’s homes, using hand tools or basic machines. Industrialization marked a shift to powered, special-purpose machinery, factories and mass production.”INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION History.com
“In 1698, Thomas Savery, an engineer and inventor, patented a machine that could effectively draw water from flooded mines using steam pressure.
Savery used principles set forth by Denis Papin, a French-born British physicist who invented the pressure cooker. Papin’s ideas surrounding a cylinder and piston steam engine had not previously been used to build a working engine, but by 1705, Savery had turned Papin’s ideas into a useful invention.” additional information here; Who Invented the Steam Engine?
So in 1698 Thomas Savery had a patent on a steam engine powered by coal and this warming influence on the global mean temperature is casually ignored by the much vaunted IPCC
“The IPCC is currently in its Sixth Assessment cycle. During this cycle, the Panel will produce three Special Reports, a Methodology Report on national greenhouse gas inventories and the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).The 43rd Session of the IPCC held in April 2016 agreed that the AR6 Synthesis Report would be finalized in 2022 in time for the first UNFCCC global stocktake when countries will review progress towards their goal of keeping global warming to well below 2 °C while pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 °C. The three Working Group contributions to AR6 will be finalized in 2021.”
So the IPCC plans to reassess the 1.5C and 2C Voluntary targets in 2021! Considering we are now in early stage runaway for them to pretend that we will be below a 1.5C temperature increase in 2021 is a monumental dereliction of duty in my humble opinion, especially now that our oceans have reached carbon saturation and are now out-gassing carbon instead of being carbon sinks. It appears all the ‘heavy lifting’ that our oceans have been doing has drawn to a close. Yet another feedback loop/ tipping point crossed.
From the good but very conservative Christian and Hilary Clinton supporting climate blogger!!!! Robertscribbler
“Temperature averages for 2016 are so far about 1.22 C above the 1951 to 1980 baseline or about 1.44 C above 1880s averages.”
Scribbler has us in 2016 at 1.44C above the 1880 average and Thomas Savery et al has been burning coal since 1698! What happened to that 182 years of emissions?
Admittedly the emissions in the early days of burning coal and later oil were low but ignoring them is in breach of the “Precautionary Principal”
The purpose of this blog post is to get my readers to question every article that quotes warming levels that ignore emissions before some arbitrary date.
Common people, everything is at stake, lets keep these shylocks honest until the lights go out. Question Everything, brace for imminent impact.
On this graph I note a difference between 1880 and mid-20th baseline of 0,5 C° at first sight. So 1,5 is history. It is said data from before 1880 are to be considered as ‘uncertain’, so they become ignored. I realy hate these baselines. We must be close to two degrees right now. Thanks for warning, Kevin ! https://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/
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Thanks for pointing this out Mr. Hester and for your important voice in the ongoing demise of everything.
It’s another slight of hand trick they’re pulling like when 1.0 degrees C limit became 2.0 degrees thanks to an economist’s opinion at one of the climate change meetings.
Previous to that, in the1980s, an economist declared that Limit to Growth was a failed idea and got lots of press attention for it.
And the organization 350.org continues to spout rhetoric about cap and trade while we’re at 410 currently.
Like back in 1987 when The Bruntland Commission announced the new goal and paradigm of “sustainable development”. All any developer had to do was include these buzzwords in any development package, no matter how excessive and over the top, to gain instant approval from all regulatory boards. After it was pointed out that the phrase was an actual oxymoron they revised it to “sustainability”, with the implicit understanding that it would have the same instant approval magic wand effect.
All development is unsustainable, it puts increased stress on an already totally overstressed biosphere.
I wonder how your compatriot chemist Kevin Moore is doing these days in his battles with the local developers. Very few scientific people will mention his ( and Malcolm Light’s ) hypothesis about using the actual instantaneous value of methane’s atmospheric forcing potential, or it’s CO2e value as it’s referred to. IPCC uses a decay value of 100 years and pegs it at 20 times CO2 or so. In 100 years it won’t matter. The instantaneous value is much more realistic if the amount is constantly increasing, which it is. More tricky lying by the officials.
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Reblogged this on Move for Change and the Brooklyn Culture Jam and commented:
My FB friend and writer Kevin Hester blows the lid off a story that those who aren’t climate change experts are being mislead by. Various organizations in the climate monitoring business are busy moving the goalposts. If we agree that the Industrial revolution started in earnest in 1698, then we are some 1.6 C above baseline. But now, groups like the IPCC are moving the starting gate, which makes total warming less–1.4 C if you accept 1880, 1.2 C if you talk turn of the century. It’s mendacious bullshit, and somebody needs to call them out.
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In 2005 Dr James E Hansen said that 1C was the upper limit.
The goal posts keep moving.
James hansen has really been a big liar according to me as Guy Mcphereson has said in his previous interviews james hansen and other scientists but still they are misleading the people by saying we still can solve this.Humans have nothing but caused destruction on this planet and defying laws at every step forcing other species to go extinct for our greed.So according to me this planet will thrive without human animals on it and i will be glad the day when this happens.
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And yes James Hansen is an absolute corporate bought liar severely downplaying the situation.
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[…] CounterPunch radio guest, Kevin Hester, argues we need to use the year 1698 as a baseline since the planet was burning coal during that […]
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Paul reiterates my position on baseline dishonesty and how important it is for us to understand exactly where we are relative to the real baseline.
Anything other than 1750 is a distraction;
[…] on the global mean temperature is (…) ignored by the (…) IPCC. “ Quelle: Kevin Hester (Blogbeitrag vom 1. Mai 2017; link in 1698… u. herv. […]
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I have been rallying against the dishonesty surrounding the baseline dates and Michael Mann’s outright lies for some time,that we can still meet the 2C target. Even the most junior student of climate change can see we can never meet the 2C target.
The narrative around where we are really at is being controlled to hide from everyone the true state of the runaway situation we find ourselves in.
The “independent media” using Christian identity politics makes a joke of itself by the quantity of it: Self anointed interpreters of iron-age literature calling themselves reporters are abundant, united in party chants of climate change denial. Alex Jones is simply more well known, but there many of these. SGTreport, The Official Hagmann Report, Wells’ CTM, you can only see a guy so many times who has a “rap-sheet of goofiness” like Monckton. This Titanic i doomed, the only tools left are full scale spam.
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“Global temperatures have been steadily rising over the past 20 years, and in each of the last three years averages have topped the 1C threshold.”
They are lying about the temp rise by setting a very late baseline. I believe above the 1700 baseline we are already over 1.6C
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The latest from Sam Carana reinforces the point;
You are completely correct. Thank you for your voice of reason and truth with regard to this most critical issue.
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Fascinating story that is a veritable novel.
“Indians were here far longer than previously thought, these researchers believe, and in much greater numbers. And they were so successful at imposing their will on the landscape that in 1492 Columbus set foot in a hemisphere thoroughly dominated by humankind”.
This quote plays to my contention that using baseline dates after 1700 ommits considerable anthropogenic warming.
If this civilisation was dominating the natural world in 1492 then the amount of carbon in the atmosphere would have been less than the accepted 280ppm that is taken as being steady state.
I contest that ignoring any warming in a sensitive climate breaches the precautionary principle.
New paper shows how a genocide reduced the anthropogenic carbon loading of the atmosphere via Patrick Farnsworth of “Last Born in the Wilderness” blog and podcast.
Combines multiple methods estimating pre-Columbian population numbers.
Estimates European arrival in 1492 lead to 56 million deaths by 1600.
Large population reduction led to reforestation of 55.8 Mha and 7.4 Pg C uptake.
1610 atmospheric CO2 drop partly caused by indigenous depopulation of the Americas.
Humans contributed to Earth System changes before the Industrial Revolution.
What Sam’s latest post on the Arctic News Blog shows is the true level of anthropogenic warming that we have already seen.
Anyone using a date after 1750 as a baseline is complicit in the coverup, considering agriculture, 1700 would be better.
FFS, Thomas Savery had a coal fired, steam driven pump happening in 1698.
Climate sensitivity has been grossly underestimated at the biosphere’s peril.
“Before Price’s work, fisheries biologists used figures from the 1960s as the baseline for a healthy wild population, even though the commercial fishery on the Skeena began in 1877.”
Baseline dishonesty is endemic.
The same thing happened in the climate crisis hence the unfolding crash there as well.
Sam Carana from the Arctic News Blog calculates using 1750 as a baseline we are already over 2C hence the chaos unfolding.
My co-host on Nature Bats Last on PRN.FM reiterates both mine ad Sam Carana’s position above;
One of the reasons we are in such dire trouble is the underestimation of climate sensitivity and what the true steady state carbon balance was.
There is an erroneous assumption that 280ppm of carbon was the ‘steady state’ carbon loading when humans had been interfering in that balance for thousands of years.
“If early agricultural land use began warming our climate thousands of years ago, as the early anthropogenic hypothesis suggests, it implies that no ‘natural’ climate has existed for millennia.”
There in lies the mistake.
“David Roberts wrote for Vox.com in July, about the mental phenomenon of “shifting baselines,” in which we calibrate our expectations to the world we were born into, irrespective of what came before. And in so doing, he wrote, we unintentionally discount the severity of threats to our well-being. The term first came into fashion in 1995, when fisheries scientist Daniel Pauly observed that each generation of fisheries scientists accepts as a baseline the number of fish and the species composition at the beginning of their careers and uses that baseline to evaluate changes. Roberts spoke with Bob in the summer, about the social science of shifting baselines, generational amnesia and the psychological immune system — and what it all means for how we communicate about climate change.”
Fascinating conversation surrounding the cognitive dissonance of shifting baselines.
When I was a kid I remember blizzards of moths at the street lights. Young people wouldn’t understand what I just wrote.
The predicament is always worse than we know. It’s the only constant:
This has implications for the anthropogenic carbon cycle.
We started altering the carbon levels when civilisations began cropping up.
My contention is that the steady state of carbon often touted as 280ppm could well have been much lower and earlier that the 1750.
Underestimating climate sensitivity has been fundamental in driving us off the stability cliff.
“It says if temperatures spike above 1.5C for a significant period of time, ecosystems already affected by existing warming of 1.1C will become even more severely damaged.”
Will Steffen is lying, he’s not mistaken, he’s playing fast and lose with baseline dates to hide how much warming we’ve had already
1750 is the latest date that should be used for a baseline, there are good arguments that it should be much sooner as well.
Nature.com and the IPCC continuing to pretend we haven’t crossed 1.5C
Under estimating previous warming doomed us.
Sam Carana’s latest analysis, following the precautionary principal is unsurprisingly bad news.
Quote from George Brabant on Facadebook:
A History Lesson
Let’s take a short look back in time and work our way to the present, just to gain some perspective. 10,000 years ago we began our transition from a nomadic way of life to a stationary, agricultural civilization. We learned to plow fields and grow grains. As with most things man does, some were better at this than others. Better climate, better soil, better irrigation techniques, better tools, better planning, all of which served to create a primitive hierarchy, and with it, a sense of ego and division within society.
Fast forward to around 3000 years ago and the use of coal ushered in the iron age. Coal provided a stable source for heat, light, and energy. It was reliable and easy to transport. This allowed civilization to populate further reaches of the globe. Famine and disease were still rampant, keeping population growth in check, but still, small gains were made. In the early nineteenth century, steam power through the use of coal ushered in mass transportation capabilities across oceans and continents.
Fast forward again to 1859 and the world’s first drilled oil well in Titusville, Pennsylvania. The use of oil ushered in a host of new technologies that further simplified and enhanced life. These advances brought us the automobile, airplanes, centralized home heating and air. It brought about the American industrial revolution and enabled leaps in industrial technologies across the globe. Modern industrial agricultural farms were made possible using large machinery, which also introduced chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides to improve yield. All made possible through fossil fuels. The world became smaller, leisure time was increased (in the industrialized world), and modern medicine enhanced survival and longevity. This allowed a population that had remained below 1 billion for 10,000 years to balloon to 7.3 billion by 2010.
Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish scientist, first explained the greenhouse gas theory in 1896. He posited that the burning of fossil fuel and releasing of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere had the potential to act as a blanket around the earth, trapping the heat of the sun’s energy within the earth’s atmosphere. Twenty years ago, Professor Michael E. Mann produced the hockey stick graph from data collected from ice and mud core samples taken around the globe. This data showed the planet had begun warming after a long slow cooling, caused beyond any reasonable doubt by man’s activities.
Around ten years ago we began seeing signs visible to the naked eye rather than requiring specialized tools and and algorithms to make sense of the information. We also began to feel these signs in our wallets. Changing weather patterns, larger and more devastating storms, more frequent and longer periods of drought (check out Syria’s drought for a prime example) causing devastation, states of emergency, all costly in dollars, but more importantly, in lives.
A Walk on the Macro Side
On the Macro side, it follows the same concept, but on grander, societal scale. Work to design a society that is symbiotic, mutually beneficial, and produces no waste; something resilient and magical. Return to a focus on community and less on unhealthy competition. Nurture diversity in people as nature does with species.
The earth, in its 4.5 billion years, has evolved to find a comfortable, relatively stable climate for all of man’s’ history. This was accomplished through a process that began way before we came along called the carbon cycle. The symbiosis of plants breathing in CO2 and exhaling O2 while the animals breathe in O2 and exhale CO2 . This symbiosis has found such balance and stability that for the last 10,000 years we have seen less than a one degree celsius change in the earth’s temperature. As a result, flora and fauna have thrived.
Until now. Our short, childlike insistence on the continued use of fossil fuels has thrown the delicate, but stable balance out of sync. For 10,000 years, nature has manage to maintain its balance in spite of the presence of man. Human activity worked in concert with nature, not against it. That is, until recently. The past 200 years, and mostly the last 60 years, has seen an incredible shift in nature’s balance. The use of fossil fuels continually rising has released millions of years of carbon that was stored deep within the earth’s soil, now working against nature, once slowly, but now rapidly destroying what remains, this delicate balance gone.
We began altering the balance as we cleared the forest and planted the fields that were left behind. In the name of food, lumber, and energy we destroyed as we settled our globe. We were naive to believe we could wipe out old growth forest with all their plants animals and fungi and the many functions they performed, along with their diverse roles in the ecosystem that had created our atmosphere, without consequence. We limited our ability to sequester excess CO2, all the while, designing modern society that relied on the emission of even more CO2 through the use of fossil fuels.
But we can and must change!! Moving forward, using nature as our guide, we can redesign society to be in sync with nature once again. We can once more be part of rather than feeling bigger or better than nature. This is permaculture! We must create food forests rather than barren fields. We can create regenerative, rather than degenerative systems. In doing so, we will create many levels of food producing, CO2 sequestering, oxygen supplying, water storing, soil creating, life giving, planted living systems that work with nature rather than against her.
Rather than stubbornly insisting on the continued use of fossil fuels, rather than maintain the harmful status quo, we must begin collecting and storing energy of many forms. We must learn to value and use renewable sources. We must learn to integrate rather than segregate. We must learn to use, reuse, and repurpose, producing no waste. We must learn that valuing diversity and using it to enhance nature and society is mutually beneficial and symbiotic to the whole.
These are just a few of what we call the permaculture principles, and that is the focus of this, and future blogs. My purpose is not just to expose what is wrong and what needs to change. My purpose is not just to rail against the government and existing systems for detrimental practices and policies. My purpose is not to make my readers feel guilty for their lifestyle today. My purpose is to inform and educate. Sometimes it comes in the form of vehement opposition to the status quo. Sometimes it comes in the form of a klaxon. Regardless of form, the purpose is to encourage change, personal and societal, one reader at a time.
Thank you for reading,
Edited by Sonya Johnson
Maybe if we had started on all this as a species even 30 years ago we might have at least mitigated some of what we are going to experience.
Instead it was, literally, pedal to the metal. The term ‘doubling down’ doesn’t even come close to covering the reality.
This guy is obviously a serious optimist. I don’t begrudge the idea of it because I will continue to do more with less by choice but…that 30 year lag time is going to be a bitch don’t you think?
I think it’s getting hotter outside. I think I need to turn this machine off and go downstairs as even with curtains closed, big floor swamp cooler, big square box fan, and a cooling Bionaire tall oscillating cooling adjustment fan isn’t keeping it down at this point. Almost 5pm and the heat is leaching in as the sun moves to the west… I literally can feel the difference now. Back to the book, cold sun tea, and cannabis bubbler for the rest of the day. Time to hibernate.
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“Baseline temperature refers to the predicted increase in average global temperature rises. Earlier in the year, the UK Met Office and World Meteorological Organization released research demonstrating that there is more than a 40% chance that the annual average global temperature in at least one of the next five years will temporarily reach 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.”
The article lies from the very first paragraph.
Using 1750 as a baseline we have already surpassed 1.5C
This blog has regularly questioned how much warming we have experienced.
Sam Carana has drilled down into this aspect of the unravelling.
The latest from Sam Carana at the Arctic News Blog;
You might find this one a bit interesting.
How Much Did Ancient Land-Clearing Fires in New Zealand Affect the Climate?
A new study adds to the evidence that forest clearing and the spread of agriculture affected the Earth’s atmosphere and temperature earlier than previously believed.
Our species has always made an impact it seems.
Guy’s latest science roundup quotes our former guest on Nature Bats Last Dr Andre Glikson’s contention that we have passed 2C which is what Sam Carana, myself and others have been saying when using 1750 as a baseline. The aerosol masking effect is masking at least another 1.5C
He quotes the Environmental Defence Fund article proving that the IPCC was set up to fail, using many of the tactics developed by the tobacco industry. This article feature in my latest post on the IPCC
He also addresses ‘Climate Reticence’ from scientists.
They are all wracked with grief for underestimating climate sensitivity or are bought off with research grants or in Michael Mann’s case no doubt a bunker to hide in with like minded sociopaths as the world around them burns and angry kids wielding pitchforks hunt down the adults who set the fire and lied about the severity of the crises we face.
Nope, Guy, since COP 1 it has only gotten worse. Being as even the IPCC is saying… so here’s an Extinction music vid by The Grit:
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[…] As we get closer to the collapse of the biosphere, I have been noticing a huge distortion, if not outright lying, in the use of baseline figures for the planetary temperature increase that humans have caused with our crack like and sadly terminal addiction to carbon. Baseline Temperature dishonesty at the Edge of Extinction […]
[…] less anthropogenic warming than we’ve in reality triggered . I covered this issue previously Baseline Temperature dishonesty at the Edge of ExtinctionSam Carana at the Arctic News Blogspot is one of the few prepared to address the science and be […]
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From a comment on a post of mine on Twitter. I have yet to verify the numbers.
“In 1065, there were 271 metal-working places in China. According to the tax records, it is estimated that China produced about 20,000 tons of iron, nearly 13,000 tons of copper, and about 60 tons of silver.”
Fantastic thread on Twitter talking about shifting baselines on the top comment;
I’ve leaned against trees this big here in Washington State but only in protected groves. Even have a couple of pictures of standing by the largest Sitka Spruce in the world and a monster Red Cedar that are out where I surf on the Olympic Peninsula. They are the ONLY ONES LEFT on the coast I think as the Olympic Peninsula is for the most part completely butchered, too. Everywhere our species goes we leave devastation behind.
Ain’t it great that you can go take a picture of what your species is destroying so someday you can show your grandkids what humans killed? s/
Talk about shifting baselines. The ‘forests’ that surround me here are just baby trees but people from the city go ooooo and ahhhhh to be in the forest with all these ‘big’ trees and think it’s beautiful and unfortunately I can’t really see it through their eyes because I ‘see’ what is missing. That glass ain’t even half full, ya know?
I have ‘large’ trees on this property, Ponderosa & Lodgepole pine mostly, that are about 100 feet/30+ meters tall. And one lovely red fir that is the largest I’ve seen on this ridgeline left that is maybe five feet in diameter. Definitely more than 100 feet up. Never measured her circumference but she is just inside my S/E corner property line.
I don’t know how it managed to not get cut down because these mountains have been worked over terribly (and are still being clear-cut raped by corporate ‘investment’ firms). She’s been growing a long time I guess. And how it hasn’t fallen over as it’s somewhat undercut because it grows out of an edge of rock on the ridge where it starts going up but I’ll tell ya, it is the spot to go sit. It’s also an animal trail zone for deer and moose and the song dog pack… Seen cougar paw pad tracks and bear scat there, too. I take a beach chair and a book some days (when it’s not boiling hot) and just hang out in the trees that surround it. But they only surround it on my property side because it’s been butchered starting right behind it east going up and the property on the south side was chopped in 20010 or so.
There is a place called ‘The Roosevelt Grove of Ancient Cedars’ to the northeast of me in the Kaniksu Nat. Forest. It is just inside Washington on the edge of Idaho and it’s actually easier to drive up on that side than the Washington roads though I avoid Idaho like the plague if at all possible. This place is worth it to just walk among the giants. It’s just incredible because ALL the trees are like these in the picture, and it is far more of a ‘cathedral’ spirit place than anything ever built by humans. It’s so far out of the way that it isn’t really much of a tourist attraction so you can catch it completely empty of human sounds… I really can’t describe the ‘hush’ is has. You have to experience it yourself.
But I don’t think there are many places left anywhere ‘in the wild’ like that since there isn’t much left of the ‘wilds’ that loggers can’t get to in this state. Roads are everywhere…skid trails are everywhere, and now they use helicopters.
Big sigh. I should go there this fall when it cools down. Just because it’s there.
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Wow, this is outrageous. HTF could he say that 2C was achievable.
I stopped following him long ago and he’s back tracked even more since;
“Scientists are seeking to define a new baseline from which to measure global temperatures – a time when fossil-fuel burning had yet to change the climate.
At the moment, researchers tend to use the period 1850-1900, and this will often be described as “pre-industrial”.
But the reality is that this date range came after industry really got going.
And the influence of humans on the climate was already in play, judging from the ice cores that retain a record of carbon dioxide emissions.
These show a perceptible uptick by 1850-1900; likewise for other greenhouse gases such as methane.
It is these inconsistencies that prompted Ed Hawkins from Reading University and colleagues to look for a more appropriate historical reference period.
And in a new paper published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), they suggest 1720-1800 might serve as a better “starting line”.
More genius archelogy from Sam Carana
The Watt Steam Engine 1764
“Watt came to realize that the greatest fault in the Newcomen steam engine was poor fuel economy due to its rapid loss of latent heat. While Newcomen engines offered improvements over earlier steam engines, they were inefficient in terms of quantity of coal burned to make steam vs. power produced by that steam.”
Steel was already being used in Europe 2,900 years ago, shows study
“Since the preindustrial times of the mid-1800s, Earth’s climate has warmed by about 1.2 degree Celsius (2.2°F).”
Yale continuing to lie about how much warming we’ve triggered by moving the baseline.
What about the Iron age emissions? The Bronze age emissions?
Thomas Savery developing a coal fired pump to drain coal mines in the 1698.
They can fool the public but not the ecosystem.