Statistics

Top Scientists Plead For Someone To Calculate The Probability Of The End Of The World

Here’s how the AP climate doom article starts:

Experts are ignoring the worst possible climate change catastrophic scenarios, including collapse of society or the potential extinction of humans, however unlikely, a group of top scientists claim.

Top scientists.

Those top scientists are Luke Kemp and others, who wrote the peer-reviewed paper “Climate Endgame: Exploring catastrophic climate change scenarios” in the Proceedings of the National Woke Academy of Science.

Our top scientists, says the AP, “raise the idea of human extinction and worldwide societal collapse in the third sentence [of the paper], calling it ‘a dangerously underexplored topic.'”

Well, they’re right.

I counted and it was, indeed, the third sentence.

As far as under-exploring the end of the world due to the possibility of slightly increased temperatures, globally averaged, then no. They are wrong. It has been explored. And explored almost every hour, on the hour, since 1988.

Our top scientists explore it again in this paper. In that exploration, our top scientists discovered that, if the world were to end, and however unlikely this ending is, that it would be a bad thing.

Who knew?

We are in the presence of the pernicious precautionary principle—our authors speak of the danger of “underexplored and largely speculative ‘unknown unknowns'”. In its worst form, it asks us to search are darkest fears, and to give them a probability, of any size, as long as it is greater than zero.

Since your worst nightmare has a probability of greater than zero, it can therefore happen, logically speaking. And since it can happen, it might happen!

And isn’t that scary?

And worth exploring by top scientists?

The obvious problem is that nothing, not even your more effeminate fears, has a probability. You can imagine any evil might happen, a task made easier the greater matriarchal urges rule a culture. The Safety First! mindset, as we have often discussed, is destructive of rational thought.

We see it in this paper:

A thorough risk assessment would need to consider how risks spread, interact, amplify, and are aggravated by human responses (3), but even simpler “compound hazard” analyses of interacting climate hazards and drivers are underused. Yet this is how risk unfolds in the real world. For example, a cyclone destroys electrical infrastructure, leaving a population vulnerable to an ensuing deadly heat wave (4).

Say out loud (really do this) “A population vulnerable to an ensuing deadly heat wave.” Did you notice how whining you sounded? Or how, if you tried to take the scenario serious, you became worried, however vaguely, over a commonplace? The top scientists who wrote that have apparently forgotten that air conditioning is an invention that has only become widespread in the last half century or so. And that it still isn’t everywhere. And that people who go outside when it’s hot often survive.

Yet, to them, the mere thought that somebody somewhere might suffer temporary discomfort has them in a near panic. They are like those hersterical women who screech about their luxury SUV’s seat heater malfunctioning. Safety First!

Our top scientists believe with a faith stronger than a child’s in the Easter bunny in the veracity of climate models. And they are certain sure that the models aren’t telling us how bad it can really get:

Even if anthropogenic GHG emissions start to decline soon, this does not rule out high future GHG concentrations or extreme climate change, particularly beyond 2100. There are feedbacks in the carbon cycle and potential tipping points that could generate high GHG concentrations (14) that are often missing from models.

“Tipping points”, which will bring us a “climate catastrophe”, is a pure model phenomenon. We have passed by, in Reality, dozens of these model tipping points the past thirty years. But, somehow, this is never remembered by modelers. One of a legion of such: A 2009 Wired article:

7 Tipping Points That Could Transform Earth

When the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issue [sic] its last report in 2007, environmental tipping points were a footnote. A troubling footnote, to be sure, but the science was relatively new and unsettled. Straightforward global warming was enough to worry about.

But when the IPCC meets in 2014, tipping points — or tipping elements, in academic vernacular — will get much more attention. Scientists still disagree about which planetary systems are extra-sensitive to climate shifts, but the possibility can’t be ignored.

“The problem with tipping elements is that if any of them tips, it will be a real catastrophe. None of them are small,” said Anders Levermann, a climate physicist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.

So much for end of the world being unexplored.

Bonus top scientist tweet (A scientist not on the paper, but an analysis of equal climatological scientific awesomeness.)

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Categories: Statistics

22 replies »

  1. The latest ice age (cause unknown) ended approximately 22,000 years ago, for no known reason. For no known reason, the globe was warmer from circa 1,200 BC to 1,300 AD. That’s 2,500 years of temperatures warmer than they are now. And then the “little ice age” dropped global temperatures for 550 years, again for no known reason. Then the globe began to slowly warm again, for, you guessed it, no known reason.

    “Feedbacks in the carbon cycle and potential tipping points” are bunk and hokum.

  2. Top Scientist Andrew Dressler misses another, probably more important, correlation.

    Electricity and Nat Gas prices started a steady rise once the deep state installed Xiao Biadoon as President of the United States

  3. If this world is ‘wiped-out’ it will certainly be the fault of men and women; but not Climate Change, {Catastrophe or Apocalypse, whatever is your favourite word}, but nuclear bombs.

  4. As a child, my greatest fear was somehow finding myself on the New York City Subway track, and a train approaching in real time, while I was trying to escape in very slow motion.
    And yes, I want someone to look into that.
    Thanks.

  5. Briggs: ”You can imagine any evil might happen, a task made easier the greater matriarchal urges rule a culture.”

    And the imagined fear can be instantly phoned to the whole herd, sending cattle stampeding this way or that, as directed by the Overrustlers.

  6. Probability analysis, like wee-p values, are backwards looking only for events that have already occurred.

    Probability of something that has never happened yet is same realm as infinity maths — here be dragons! Make up whatever shit you want.

    Fundamentals — if your maths or analysis cannot make a testable prediction in reality (scientific method!!), then you’re just a BS artist.

    Note: consensus is not testable, fails said method by definition

  7. “Potential tipping points”. LOL. Oh I get it; like Joe Biden on a bicycle or Pelosi having too many shots of Kaoliang in Taiwan.

    I had an interesting conversation over the weekend with a liberal colleague. “But the glaciers, the glaciers!” I said to him the jury is still out on that (see NASAs latest on Antarctica having net gains in mass). He rolled his eyes. Then “There will never be a decline in CO2 again!” I replied “What do you mean by that? CO2 has been much much higher in the past. You mean that it can’t decline again?” No answer. All good fun. LOL.

    Then I said to him, “Why are we even discussing climate change. It’s a non-issue. Isn’t it more important to agree on a single principle – carbon use is simply a measure of consumption and I’m all in favour of using less carbon in everything we do, as long as it doesn’t lower living standards or cause harm to humanity. Then went on to explain Buckminster Fuller’s views on ephemeralization, a word that he had not heard before.” This caught him off guard, as he realized that we were both of the same position ultimately, but the whole field of Climate Science is just a divisive trick. Thus, conversation ended on a good note.

    All good fun.

  8. Where can I find the official ranking of scientists? What prestigious organization delegates these rankings? what percentile of the rankings are considered the top? Why do I never hear any claims of mid-range scientists or bottom scientists? All of these questions have caused me such consternation that I think only a top scientist can help me.

  9. These “top scientists” have limited imagination. An immense rogue black hole speeding through our solar system, sucking up our planets like a kid eating candy. Or our sun going supernova ahead of schedule and vaporizing the rest of the solar system even as it creates new supplies of heavy elements. Those would be much more catastrophic events, and who can say that the probability that they won’t happen is ZERO, huh? Just saying.

  10. “Top Scientists Plead For Someone To Calculate The Probability Of The End Of The World”

    The probability of the end of the world is 1. Of slightly more interest is WHEN it will be…

  11. Briggs –

    Great. Now Taleb will never sleep, pacing his bedroom floor calculating which model will tip first.

  12. Philip McHead: “Why do I never hear any claims of mid-range scientists or bottom scientists?”

    Because the bottom scientists are getting plowed by the top scientists, while the mid-range scientists are busy with black holes.

  13. This plan was along time in the making the first bio-test run was the anthrax attack of
    2001 subsequent to 911 solved by convenient suicide. What the world is up against is an
    almost alien form of intelligence devoid of any scruples that plans in terms of decades and
    centuries. With AI and robotics slaves manning assembly lines are redundant. With that
    and life extension science which holds the potential for immortality a select few will guide
    spaceship earth into the future. They firmly believe the future belongs to those intelligent
    enough to shape and create it. AGW is but the multi billion dollar hobby horse they rode
    into your mind on.

  14. Reminds me of the last scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. Jones asks the fat government guy where the Ark is. The bureaucrat tells him it’s in the hands of “top men”. Indy asks who they are. The guy just stares him down and flatly repeats “Top Men.” That’s all we need to know.

  15. “…leaving a population vulnerable to an ensuing deadly heat wave.”

    Oh, the humanity! I grew up in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino valleys of southern California. It gets brutally hot there for months on end, every year (and always has). In the 1950s and 1960s, nobody I knew had any kind of air conditioning. We opened windows and turned on fans. I never went to a school with air conditioning. Some kid would be assigned to the long pole with a hook on the end, to go around and open the classroom windows. Nobody died! In fact, nobody even got sick, and society didn’t shut down in any way. I never lived anywhere with air conditioning until I moved into my current residence in 2005. I’m spoiled now. When it gets hot, I want my HVAC on. But if it broke down, or if California’s ever-growing inefficient renewable energy sources can’t keep up and the power goes off, I’m not the least bit worried about dire consequences. I’ll just open the windows, turn on the fans, and sweat for awhile. No big deal.

  16. Apocalypse 7 [1] After these things, I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that they should not blow upon the earth, nor upon the sea, nor on any tree. [2] And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the sign of the living God; and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, [3] Saying: Hurt not the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, till we sign the servants of our God in their foreheads.

    Thus, it is literally impossible for scientists to calculate when the end of the earth will occur because it is solely up to God irrespective of what man does or does not do.

    That day when the Four Angels are not told by the the Angel “Hurt not….” is the day the world ends.

    I’d say its fiddy-fiddy every new day under the sun that this is the Day the Lord has chosen – since before the foundations of the world -to end time/world

  17. This blog is pretty hard on “Experts”. A regular reader couldn’t be blamed for questioning if there is even such a thing as a true expert. If the term is defined narrowly enough, I think that even I could qualify for the label, albeit in a field of endeavor that is so excruciatingly narrow as to be of interest to at most a half-dozen humans on the planet.

    At the risk of coming across as a fanboy, Veritasium has just surprised me with a video on the topic, “The 4 things you need to be an expert”:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eW6Eagr9XA

    While interesting on a superficial level, at a deeper level I take it as an absolutely scathing assessment of “Experts”, and those that take them seriously.

  18. Having heard the wailing of humanity for answers I have applied my new status as a ‘top scientist’ (awarded by my 10yer old daughter) to this serious issue. Knowing Dr. Briggs’ disdain for computer models I have utilized the next best thing- calculations on the back of a cocktail napkin. Unfortunately my calculations do indicate that the earth will suffer a cataclysmic climate event. All life on earth will be extinguished- in about 5 billion years when the sun goes nova. However these calculations do not count for unforeseen occurrences like, for instance, Earth being targeted for destruction by an Imperial Death Star. It is in the realm of possibility, after all.
    I await the Nobel Committee.

  19. I think it would be a lot better if the political classes went back to haruspices and stuck to consulting the chicken entrails. It’s a much simpler and cheaper mechanism to guarantee they get the answers they want.

  20. The whole universe will end when Jesus Christ comes again. Here you go, and in the meantime, share your Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, let us do our part and do and teach the children that God created each of them as He would have them be, boys, girls, no mistakes!!

    “The Coming Day of the Lord

    3Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

    8But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

    A New Heaven and Earth

    10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. 11Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

    14Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, 18but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2Peter 3-18.

    God bless, C-Marie

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