This is fantastic, right until the end. A meter of sea-level rise *will* cause more flooding in many coastal regions. The rise doesn't happen only at low tide. High tide will be that much higher. (As will storm surges, etc.)


But I love the larger point. I've gotten the most hate for https://www.losingmyreligions.net/ from people angry about the environmental chapters. And there are people who agree with it but won't put up a public review because they don't want to be associated with those views.

Expand full comment
Mar 8·edited Mar 8

Interesting graphs. Couple of observations:

* Very stupid people's opinions actually seem to slightly negatively correlate with those of their group! I.e. unintelligent people in religious communities are *less* likely to be religious than unintelligent people in non-religous ones. That's very weird- possibly a statistical artefact that isn't really supported by the data. Or are very unintelligent people unusually contrarian?

* If the two tribes are of equal size, it looks like unintelligent people mostly get the answers wrong, averagely intelligent people very slightly skew correct, and very intelligent people skew correct slightly more (although not nearly as much as one might hope). Assuming intelligence is itself uncorrelated with tribe, it looks like overall correctness does increase with intelligence (if right-wing and religious people are significantly more intelligent that might not be true). This is because the effect of increasing intelligence is stronger for the tribe with the correct answer than the tribe with the wrong one (which make some intuitive sense).

Expand full comment

Surveys of comparatively wealthy Americans, <5% of the global population, a people subject to heavy fossil fuel propaganda and an education system influenced and in many cases designed and headed by Christians., can hardly be held up as meaningful or relevant information.

Expand full comment

Thanks for teaching me something new about global warming.

I usually comfort myself with Genesis 8:22. G-d said that there will always be seasons. That's good enough for me.

Expand full comment

A climate skeptic once tried to get me to stop believing in climate change. He asked me if there was any possibility whatsoever that the scientists were wrong or were lying to me and that it was all a big hoax. I said "yup".

He honed in on that by pointing out my belief in climate change is predicated on an appeal to authority, that the expertise I believe scientists have is sufficient to explain climate change. But it isn't real knowledge, because I didn't do any testing or interpretation of scientific data myself. I'm simply choosing to BELIEVE the scientists when they say climate change is real. So then I responded "yup".

Dude was floored. I wasn't even trying to pretend I knew anything about climate change. And I still don't. So what? Scientists just seem to get stuff right a lot, and the climate feels different around me. So I just choose to believe it. I don't think there's anything wrong with that whatsoever. I have better things to do with my time than painstakingly research every assertion of knowledge I've ever heard.

This article is great because it points this out on the group level. I think people should stop using "scientific literacy" as a measure of a person's intelligence because honestly, most people just don't have any. And I won't pretend I have any either. I believe in institutions that seem correct and that's enough for me.

But I also acknowledge that my belief in these institutions isn't necessarily shared by people of other mindsets. So it isn't really a shock to me when someone says climate change is a hoax, or they believe it is natural, or the will of God. They just chose different institutions to believe in. No less, or more rational than how I chose my institutions. And I chose mine largely based on culture.

Expand full comment

David, you put a lot of credence in the IPCC numbers. You seem to regard them as "holy writ".

As Gretta Thunberg has stated, "they are bullshit".

They systematically understate the degree and severity of the problem because they represent political compromises. Compromises controlled, for the most part, by people who want to minimize social disruption and maximize the length of time required for the transition to a post fossil fuel economy.

Here's the "tell" an old intelligence analyst like me would use to evaluate the reliability of those numbers.

I would find out what the majority of "Climate Scientists" thought. Not what was in the "official report". What they actually thought.

Nature asked them in an anonymous survey.


77% of climate scientists actually think that warming is going to be 2.5℃ or higher.

A majority think it’s going to be 3C or higher.

Top climate scientists are skeptical that nations will rein in global warming. As an analyst I find this significant.

-It reveals what climate scientists, those with the best information and data, think about the climate crisis.

-It shows how skewed the current discussion of the climate crisis is towards the most impossibly optimistic outcome.

Of the scientists who responded to the poll, 88% think global warming constitutes a crisis and nearly as many said they expect to see “catastrophic impacts of climate change in their lifetimes”. Just under half said that global warming has caused them to reconsider major life decisions, such as where to live and “whether to have children”.

More than 60% said that they experience anxiety, grief, or other distress because of concerns over climate change.

This information should concern and scare you David. If you are so willfully blind that it doesn't, maybe you should ask your wife if she is OK with the idea that if you are wrong about Climate Change her grandchildren will probably die of starvation. Her perception of the "risks" may be very different than yours.

These are the most informed people on the planet on the topic of global warming. You should want to know why they think this is the most likely future. What do they know, what do they see, that the rest of us don’t?

We should all want to understand this, because they think we are going to have at least 2℃ more of “observable” warming by 2100.

That means they are forecasting warming of roughly 0.25℃ per decade for the next 80 years. If you think that doesn’t sound too bad let’s put it into context.

Between 1850 (the start of the Industrial Age) and 1980 (the 0℃ baseline we measure warming against) the Global Mean Temperature (GMT) increased at a rate of 0.07℃ per decade.

Between 1980 and 2010 the GMT increased at a rate of 0.18℃ per decade.

The “normal” interglacial warming rate for the last 800,000 years has been about 0.1℃ PER CENTURY.


A 0.25℃ per decade rate of warming is 25 times faster than any recorded rate of warming in the entire geologic history of the planet with one exception. The Chicxulub Impact Event 65mya, aka “the dinosaur killer”.

That's the last time the planet warmed up this fast.

Scientists estimate that the asteroid that doomed the dinosaurs was as powerful as 10 billion Hiroshima bombs.

Our climate accumulated the equivalent of a total of about FOUR BILLION Hiroshima bombs’ worth of heat between 1990 and 2020 in the world/s oceans.

This is not an estimate or a guess. After asshat deniers kept claiming that the 'Alarmists' were wrong because the oceans weren't warm enough. Scientists got enough funding to build the ARGO float system and actually measure the heat in the oceans. Using a global system of thousands of floats that dive down to 2000 meters then rise to the surface and send in measurements we now know exactly what's going on with the oceans.

They are rapidly warming up. MUCH FASTER THAN EXPECTED.

The Alarmists were right, there was more heat in the oceans than measurements of the first hundred meters indicated. What was staggering was that there was 40% more heat than the models indicated.

The models that indicated "too much" warming for the deniers to accept, are actually 40% TOO LOW.

The rate of warming has doubled to 0.36C per decade. We know this for certain because we can SEE it happening RIGHT NOW to the worlds oceans. Don't you pay attention to anything important David?

The amount of excess heat buried in the planet’s oceans, a strong marker of climate change, reached a record high in 2022, reflecting more stored heat energy than in any year since reliable measurements were available in the late 1950s, a group of scientists reported Wednesday.

That eclipses the ocean heat record set in 2021 — which eclipsed the record set in 2020, which eclipsed the one set in 2019.

Oceans surged to another record-high temperature in 2022 WAPO January 11, 2023


In 2022, the heat content in the upper 2000 meters of the Pacific ocean reached a record level “by a large margin,” researchers say, “which supports the extreme events witnessed, such as intensive heat waves and deoxygenation, and poses a substantial risk to marine life in this region.”

Oceans Broke Yet Another Heat Record in 2022, Scientists Warn Science Alert Jan 12, 2023


It was the 46th-consecutive year with global temperatures above the 20th-century average, according to the NOAA analysis. Gavin Schmidt, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies stated.

“The long-term trends are very clear, the increases in temperature are not due to natural variation. They are not due to the sun. They are not due to volcanoes. They are due to our emissions of greenhouse gases and as long as we continue to emit large amounts of greenhouse gases, these trends will continue.”

World’s Oceans Absorbed Record Heat From Warming Climate in 2022 WSJ Jan 12, 2023



In just 15 more years we will have added another 5 Billion Hiro's worth of energy to the global oceans.

Around 2045 we will have added heat energy equivalent to the dinosaur killer asteroid to our climate system.

The entire planet is going to undergo a complete ecosystem turnover as it adapts to that heat. Every forest in the world is going to suffer die-back and then burn. This is a feedback.

Because the world’s forests hold about 4–5x the amount of carbon that humanity has generated up to now (Siberia alone equals 1.5 times the amount of all human emissions up to 2020). The release of that carbon will cause more warming, which will accelerate burning, which will release more carbon.

When the Dino killer asteroid hit 65 million years ago it caused a flash burn off of the planets biosphere. This released a massive amount of carbon it contained as trees and plants into the atmosphere. CO2 levels spiked by about 1,000ppm and temperatures spiked upwards by 5C-8C.

Asteroid that killed the dinosaurs caused massive global warming.


We could see warming of 5C-6C by 2100.

Now do you understand why things are about to start getting really bad, really fast? We are in the very last years of what will someday be called the “20th Century Climate Optimum”. From here on out the climate news is going to be bad.

Now do you understand why Climate Scientists are starting to do this.

Climate Activist Dies After Setting Himself on Fire at Supreme Court.


David is choosing to believe the 1 out of 5 scientists who are generating the most optimistic projections. The 20% who think that warming will be held between 1.5 and 2.0℃. He asks questions like "how bad would 3C of warming really be"? He uses BS fantasy "projections" about "economic costs" of a warming climate and tries to convince you that "going to war on fossil fuels" is unnecessary.

This is the medical equivalent of having 4 doctors tell you that you have cancer and need immediate surgery but choosing to listen to the 5th guy who tells you that if you lose weight, take vitamin supplements, and drink probiotic smoothies you’ll be fine. It could happen, but it seems unlikely, and we are gambling with the lives of billions.

If you knew nothing about Global Warming and Climate Change, but found out that 80% of climate scientists think 2C of further warming is the most likely outcome, what would you think?


BTW, Xi thinks famine is coming soon. China has 50% of the world grain reserves. They went on a major spending spree in 2021. Right after Putin and Xi met in Siberia to sign a treaty on the construction of a joint "moonbase" of all things.

Expand full comment

Really cheap comment here.

Anyone who "believes in" any scientific result doesn't understand anything about science. People "believe in" God, sometimes explicitly because the stories about Him are impossible (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credo_quia_absurdum).

It's no wonder that they believe - or not - in creationism, evolution, etc. etc. based on what their tribe believes.

People don't use that language about facts, unless they are being cute. I don't "believe in" the chair I'm sitting in right now. I don't "believe in" the length of something I measured. I don't "believe in" the results I get from my bookkeeping program when I check how much I spent last year.

I consider Newton's laws to be an excellent model of physical interactions outside of relativistic domains. To say I "believe in" Newton's laws would be incoherent.

Perhaps next week one or other US political "tribe" will stop "believing in" Newton's laws. Maybe they'll all learn to say "those only work at really slow speeds, and so are worthless", having absorbed an incoherent mathless idea about special relativity. And if climate change is any sample, their political opponents will immediately declare the opposite, i.e. that these are universal laws, applicable at any speed.

The unbelievers may or may not stop using these laws, for a job lot of routine engineering purposes; my guess is that members of their tribe who happen to use those laws professionally would keep on doing it, with a new name and explanation for public consumption. And opponents who work in areas where Newton's Laws don't make good predictions (less common) would keep on using relativistic laws. At least, those where accuracy of results matters. This would not include science text books (for children or undergrads), predictions of the future beyond the extreme short term, etc. etc..; for those purposes, mythology will seem more than adequate.

Expand full comment

Well, at least Matt isn't stupid here. The author clearly has no idea what he's talking about.

Newsflash David, the WARMING IS ACCELERATING. Since 2014 the rate of warming has DOUBLED.

The Earth is now warming at a rate of 0.36C PER DECADE.

Here's another NEWSFLASH David. NOAA, the MOST OPTIMISTIC analysis you will find on sea level rise, now says that it's going up: 1 foot by 2050. At a MINIMUM.

U.S. coastline to see up to a foot of sea level rise by 2050 --Report projects a century of sea level rise in 30 years.


That was last February 15th. The week after that came this report based on DIRECT OBSERVATION and MEASUREMENTS.

Rapid basal melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet from surface meltwater drainage.


Which found that Greenland is melting anywhere from 5X to 10X faster than anyone expected. Because we couldn/t predict everything when we made our models back in the 70's, 80's, and 90's and we got shit wrong.

It turns out that melting surface ice forms huge lakes on top of the glaciers each summer. The water finds\melts cracks in the ice and starts flowing down. Deeper and deeper into the glacier. Until it reaches the bottom and the lake suddenly drains.

When it finds a weakness in the ice, huge amounts of water can drain out of one of these lakes in just hours. Flowing from the surface to the bottom of the glacier.

What no one foresaw, was how much the movement of the water in one of these flows could warm the water up further.

The Greenland glaciers are 5,000 feet thick on average, about one mile. Water, falling through the glacier for that mile picks up speed. Speed plus friction makes heat. Falling water also has kinetic energy. That energy also becomes heat. The study found that.

“The ice sheet covering Greenland is melting rapidly at its base and is injecting far more water and ice into the ocean than previously understood, which could have serious ramifications for global sea level rise.

“Unprecedented” rates of melting have been observed at the bottom of the ice sheet, caused by huge quantities of meltwater falling down from the surface, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

As the meltwater falls, its gravitational potential energy is converted to kinetic energy, which ultimately warms the water as it pools at the base of the ice sheet. In that process, the study found that the Greenland ice sheet produces more energy than the world’s 10 largest hydroelectric dams combined.

“However, the heat generated by the falling water is not used to generate electricity. Instead, it melts the ice” stated Poul Christoffersen, a Canmridge University senior scientist who took part in the study.

That meltwater contributes to more melting at the bottom of the ice sheet. Where it also behaves as a lubricant that promotes faster flow and increases the quantity of ice discharged into the ocean.

The water flows become like hot needles being pressed into the ice, accelerating glacial melt by about 8% every year.

That bump of 8%. That’s like compounding interest. It starts out fairly small, but it builds on itself rapidly.

Once this effect started happening. Once we crossed the “tipping point” of enough ice melt accumulation during a summer for these conditions to occur. Greenland’s meltdown started accelerating.

We don’t know anymore how long Greenland will take to melt. Because every time we adjust our models, something new happens.

That should scare you. Because it could happen very quickly.

We could get 10 feet of sea level rise from Greenland by 2100. That “fast melt” scenario usually results in most of the world’s coastal cities being “drowned”. Including the ports that are the nodal points of the global supply chain.

I think an "informed" person, which David is clearly not, would be unloading their beachfront houses now. While they still can

Here's a clue the "super rich" think David's a fool.

Analysis of the Panama Papers and other "tax haven" data leaks shows that the 1% are unloading their real estate investments in Florida and other "risky" areas. They might still have a house or two near the beach but not their serious money. The super rich do not agree with David. At least not with their actions, whatever they might say in public.

Expand full comment