The trouble starts when sloppy language is used

Posting February 09, 2019

The State of the Union speech by the President of the United States on Tuesday the 9th February 2019 was modest with regard to climate change. It had been different from his assertion during the election campaign in 2016. A few months ago he distanced himself from thinking

climate change is a “hoax” anymore, but he made clear that he still doubts whether humans are driving the phenomenon and thinks the whole thing could reverse itself. He used an interview (with CBS ) “to suggest scientists with “a very big political agenda” have fanned concerns about the phenomenon”. Is this about faith against science? The topic receives more and more attention. Meanwhile it is discussed as “Religious Identity, Beliefs, and Views about Climate Change” (Sonya Sachdeva, Sept./2018), or more recently David DeSteno in The New York Times (Feb.01), considering “What science can learn from religion”.

For sure, believe in matters concerning climate change is a dangerous venture. It’s one thing when the president “thinks”, but something completely different when climate science bridges knowledge gaps with “faith.”  The trouble starts when sloppy language is used. On the other hand, if dimensions are hardly considered.
As regards the first complex, it should be remembered that the word climate is merely a general description, as the following quotes show and nothing has changed in this respect.

Here are a few excerpts:  (Various I-IV)

1953: Until recently, few meteorologists believed that we were living in a period of climate changes that could be substantiated by meteorological data. The changes deduced from such data were often dismissed as random, and it was thought that over longer period of records they would average out.
John H. Conover, 1953, ”Climate Change as interpreted from meteorological data”, in: Harlow Shapley (ed), Climate Change Evidence, Causes, and Effects, Cambridge 1953, p. 221-233 (221) (Various II)

1963: In the past, the climatologist has been rather scorned by his colleagues in meteorology as a collector of tabulated data and a dabbler in statistics but this phase is happily passing into history and all the best meteorologists are now becoming climatologists.
R.C. Sutcliffe, 1963, Theories of Recent changes of Climate”; in: Changes of Climate, Rome Symposium –UNESCO & WMO; UNESCO 1963, p. 277-280 (277, 279) (Various I)

1969: Only thirty years ago, climatology was generally regarded as the mere dry-as-dust bookkeeping end of meteorology.

H.H. Lamb, Meteorological Office Bracknell, Berkshire (UK), “The New Look of Climatology”, NATURE, Vol. 223, September 20, 1969,

pp.1209ff; (Various II)

1979: This is obviously the decade in which climate is coming into its own. You hardly heard the word professionally in the 1940’s. It was a layman’s word. Climatologists were the halt and the lame. And as for the climatologists in public service, in the British service you actually had to be medically disabled in order to get into the climatological division! Climatology was a menial occupation that came on the pecking scale somewhat below the advertising profession. It was clearly not the age of climate.
Kenneth Hare, 1979; „The Vaulting of Intellectual Barriers: The Madison Thrust in Climatology“,  Bulletin American Meteorological Society , Vol. 60, 1979, p. 1171 – 1124 (Various IV)

2007: __At the middle of the 20th century, the study of climate was a scientific backwater. People who called themselves “climatologists” were mostly drudges who compiled statistics about weather conditions in regions of interest—the average temperatures, extremes of rainfall, and so forth.
__Climatology could hardly be scientific when meteorology itself was more art than science.
__(Aside)….. meteorology was scarcely seen as a field of science at all, let alone a science firmly based on physics. Meteorology, one academic practitioner complained to another in 1950, “is still suffering from the trade-school blues.”
Spencer Weart, 2007, “The Discovery of Global Warming”: Chapter: Climatology as a Profession; . Available as book: HARVARD UNIV.PRESS , 2003. (Various III)

On the other hand, the climate change subject may quickly drift into pseudoscience, alarmism, and propaganda, if relevant dimensions are widely ignored; respectively if extensive ignorance is bridged by faith. If a science declares this to be proven facts then things can hardly get any worse. The field of ignorance is easy to name, namely the oceans.

There are first of all the water volume. There is always water in the atmosphere. One estimate of the volume of water in the atmosphere at any time is about 3,100 cubic miles (mi3) or 12,900 cubic kilometers (km3). That is only about 0.001 percent of the total Earth’s water volume of about 332,500,000 mi3 (1,385,000,000 km3. If all of the water in the atmosphere rained down at once, it would only cover the globe to a depth of 2.5 centimeters, about 1 inch. MORE

This one inch water in the air, is the main part of the so-called greenhouse gas, distributed as water-vapor throughout the atmosphere to a height of 6,000 to 10,000 meters, where nearly all weather conditions take place. The two other main greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane, contribute mere 4-5%, while water-vapor accounts for 95%. Even more relevant is the correlation between the water volume of the oceans, and what the atmosphere keeps in the air. About every 10-14 days the entire water in the atmosphere is replaced. Ocean condition decides largely on the transition from water to water vapor. Every day, meteorologists can watch the battles between low pressure cyclones generated by ocean evaporation, and anti-cyclones, a high-pressure area with low moisture. The weather

making dominance does not end here, but needs to include the mean ocean temperature of just plus 4° Celsius. A fair assessment can only come to the conclusion that the global warming issue, as far as only based on calculating the role of carbon dioxide and methane, is mere speculation. Insisting on such speculation is reckless, pseudoscience, alarmism, and propaganda.

The outcome of the climate change discussion is a mess. Where climate science fails to explain what they do not understand yet, they abuse critics and require allegiance. Until now, they got the upper hand. Politics follows suit. Right and wrong disappears in the haze. What Trump is saying is worthless. Critic on his Union speech neither improves the matter, as the immediate reply by Senator Bernie Sander shows, who said:

“How can a president of the United States give a State of the Union speech and not mention – not one word – about climate change when the leading scientists of the world tell us that climate change is real, that climate change is caused by human activity, that climate change is already causing devastating harm in the United States”.

It will remain useless discussing climate change matters as long as science fails to show that not the oceans are the main driver of changing the weather on short and long terms, and evidently human activities at sea can be excluded as a contributor for sure.