Anthony Watts has written about a new paper in Nature Climate Change by Katharine L. Ricke and Ken Caldeira. (In his haste, Anthony doesn't seem to have realised that the article he copied relates to the Nature CC article. )
The paper is about how, because natural variability influences short term weather, people's perceptions of weather can adversely influence policy on climate change. If policy makers depend on people's perceptions rather than hard science, then action to mitigate and adapt to climate change could be delayed, maybe by decades. This would seriously limit society's choices. It would mean that in future we'd be dealing with very difficult climatic conditions and environmental hazards. Here is how Katharine Ricke explains it:
The takeaway message is:
You can read about the paper at ScienceDaily.com. It's a short article so I'll copy it in its entirety:
Despite overwhelming scientific evidence for the impending dangers of human-made climate change, policy decisions leading to substantial emissions reduction have been slow. New work from Carnegie's Katharine Ricke and Ken Caldeira focuses on the intersection between personal and global impacts. They find that even as extreme weather events influence those who experience them to support policy to address climate change, waiting for the majority of people to live through such conditions firsthand could delay meaningful action by decades. Their findings are published by Nature Climate Change.
Nearly every year, extreme weather events such as heat waves and hurricanes spur the discussion of climate change in the media and among politicians. This can create a window of opportunity for those seeking to enact policy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But this window of opportunity could be delayed by decades due to the vagaries of weather.
"When support for doing something about climate change is based on personal observations of local weather, policymaking may end up being dictated by the roulette wheel of natural climate variability," says Ricke.
Ricke and Calderia's modeling studies show that within 50 years nearly every country in the world will experience the kind of extreme weather that can be a policy trigger. However, local natural variability in weather means that majority of people in each nation, particularly large countries like China and the United States, could personally experience these extremes for themselves either tomorrow or many years from now. If citizens do not support emissions reductions and other efforts to fight climate change until they experience extreme events firsthand, naturally-driven variations in weather could delay action by decades, Ricke and Caldeira found. They find that sound science should guide policy rather than the vagaries of weather. "Local weather is anecdotal information, but climate change is sound science," Caldeira said. "Good politics can be based on a good anecdote, but good policy needs to be based on sound science."
Wait till the water has reached the ceiling before evacuating, sez Anthony Watts
So what does Anthony Watts think about planning and preparedness in the face of known risks? Well, he effectively advocates to wait until seas have risen two metres and heat waves have forced people to leave large areas of earth and fires have burnt down millions of hectares and cities have run out of water - before taking any action. He writes (archived here):
Climate Craziness of the Week: don’t wait to ‘feel’ climate change, act now!
From the Carnegie Institution and the department of feelings, quite possibly the dumbest press release about climate I’ve ever seen. basically what they are arguing for is “don’t look at current and past data go with what we tell you” aka trust us, we are paid climate scientists with a model.
Anthony Watts doesn't want to act now. He reckons it's dumb to prepare for known consequences. He wants to wait until it's too late. He'd never get a job in the insurance business.
From the WUWT comments
Michael Putnam goes even further and suggests we wait for some time after the worst has happened, just to make sure. You know, wait till your house is nothing but a charred mess, just to make sure that the fire won't go out all by itself. He says:
April 25, 2014 at 9:17 pm
Wouldn’t we have to experience “extreme” conditions over several years before those conditions could be reliably associated with a change in climate? Even highly variable temperatures are evidence of nothing changing from previous history. Denken Sie nicht für sich selbst, wird es nur geben Sie Kopfschmerzen
Mac the Knife is convinced that climate science is a hoax says:
April 25, 2014 at 9:59 pm
This is a climate change propaganda and behavior modification paper. It is a study in indoctrination and how to use it to skew public policy. It is already embedded in the ‘millennials generation’.
Martin C decided to "show them" that the scientific illiterati won't abide nonsense like knowledge and science and says he wrote a shouty comment:
April 25, 2014 at 10:09 pm
I just left this comment. THIS is the type of thing I am trying to, even though it is just one person. Addressing these articles with an ORGANIZATION as Anthony did a poll one might help. But until then, this is what I can do.
YOUR STUPID article of “Climate Change: don’t wait until you can feel it.
Please stop with this “Alarmist Drivel”. A modeling study? Why not take REAL weather data. I have researched the ‘Catastrophic Global Warming issue for a number of years now, and I am tired of the ‘alarmist’ position that so many of yo take. The ‘Extreme weather ‘ you try to refer to IS NOT HAPPENING AT ANY GREATER RATE than it ALWAYS happened. Global average temperatures have been roughly flat for 15+ years, even WITH the increase CO2.
Read Roger Pielke JR. and Roger Pielke Sr. Visit Dr. Judith Curry’s Website. Visit Anthony Watts’ webiste.
You don’t know them? Yeah, I bet you don’t. BUT if you really don’t, then Google them and learn.
AND I WOULD LIKE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT THAT YOU HAVE READ THIS. Ref. my e-mail address above.
SAMURAI says he could eat it (excerpt):
April 25, 2014 at 9:57 pm
The desperation of the left is palatable…
Brad wrote to Ken Caldeira (but not Katharine Ricke for some reason), explaining that Dr Caldeira "doesn't know nuffin'" and, irrelevantly, that Brad is struggling to make ends meet. He says:
April 25, 2014 at 11:24 pm
Sent Caldeira an email about the futility of his position. Will be interesting to see his response.
Sorry Ken but your latest report won’t fly.
Try doing some actual research for yourself and stop spouting what your grant-money providers dictate.
Sound science would tell you that all the hype about “extreme weather” is purely BS.
At what point in your life will you take a stand that differs with your salary? I took that step in 2005 when I shut down my MEP design office, and have had an uphill battle since. I live paycheck-to-paycheck, trying to make people understand that simple resource conservation matters, on an economical basis.
We have no control over our climate…
Brad Weaver, PE
Northwest Energy Consulting
Katharine L. Ricke, Ken Caldeira. Natural climate variability and future climate policy. Nature Climate Change, 2014; 4 (5): 333 DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2186