Judith A. Curry is a climatologist and former academic who is “appalled at the state of both the scientific and policy debates surrounding climate change.” In her second appearance on the podcast (the first was on October 20, 2020) Curry, the president and founder of Climate Forecast Applications Network, talks about her recent essay, “The climate ‘crisis’ isn’t what it used to be,” why we have to get better at understanding risk, the “propaganda machine” that promotes climate catastrophism, the “toy models” used by academics to justify all-renewable schemes, and why Twitter is an “indispensable tool for wicked scientists.” (Recorded December 12, 2022.)
Robert Bryce 0:04
Hi, everyone. Welcome to the power hungry Podcast. I’m Robert rice. This podcast we talk about energy, power, innovation and politics. And I’m pleased to welcome back Judith curry. She has been on the podcast before it was October of 2020. She is the president of climate forecast applications network. Judy, welcome back to the power hungry podcast.
Judith Curry 0:23
Well, thank you. It’s a pleasure to be back.
Robert Bryce 0:26
I warned you guests introduce themselves. Now I know you’ve been on the podcast before but imagine you’ve arrived somewhere. You don’t know anyone you have about a minute to introduce yourself. Go.
Judith Curry 0:37
Okay, I spent you know, I’m trained as a geo scientists. And I’ve spent most of my academic career researching climate related topics. Most recently, in academia, I was chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech for 13 years. I retired from academia in 2017. Since then, I’ve been focused on my company, which is climate forecast applications network, and also writing a book climate uncertainty and risk trying to wrap my head around the whole thing.
Robert Bryce 1:19
Okay, good. And I saw on your bio, your grandmother? Oh, yes. Okay. Okay, well, tell us about your kids before we grandkids before you go on who?
Judith Curry 1:31
Okay, well, well, my grant daughter lives in Reno where I am living, which is why we moved to Reno. And she’s in seventh grade, very bright, and just just a wonderful kid. And I also have a number of step grandchildren, also, and they live in Colorado. Gotcha. Yeah, so I
Robert Bryce 1:57
asked about the grandmother, because you referenced this in your one of your recent postings on your website, like,
Judith Curry 2:01
you know, in the the age thing is relevant for a couple of reasons. First, the only people who can afford to speak out against the establishment and climate consensus are the people who are retired and whose academic income or reputation doesn’t rely on the approval of their activist peers. And also, with age comes a different kind of wisdom in terms of being able to reflect more broadly on things rather than as young scientists, you know, everyone’s focused in these very narrow silos. So I think age provides some really different perspectives and some changing values even. So it’s interesting
Robert Bryce 2:49
that you bring that up. Because I think if I looked at my guest list on the podcast, it definitely skews older. And I’m of the same mind in terms of particularly around grid and power issues that I want to talk to people with gray hair, because they’ve been around and no have some experience. So I think if you’re 68 or 69, if your Wikipedia is correct.
Judith Curry 3:12
I’m in spitting distance of 70. And a few months, yeah, okay.
Robert Bryce 3:17
Well, so we were on the podcast now more than two years ago, and a little more than two years ago. And as I said, before we started recording, I don’t, I don’t want to dig too deep into this climate science stuff, you know, in terms of forcings in the rest of it. But I want to ask, this was the question more than any other I thought I wanted to put to you, you know, right off the bat, what’s changed in the last couple of years has? I mean, there’s a lot of still a lot of activism around trying to reduce emissions, or we’ve had another COP meeting, which I want to talk about cop 27. How, in your view, given your perspective, over the last couple of years, how have things changed in terms of our debate around climate and energy policy?
Judith Curry 3:57
Okay, think back like, seven years ago, five years ago, the activists were Greenpeace, Environmental Defense, Sierra Club and stuff like that. And in hindsight, I mean, those seem like totally sane organizations. Okay, now we’ve got extinction rebellion and stop oil now with massive infusions of money. I mean, this is coming from the Gettys and the Rockefellers and even the Kennedys I mean, these are people throwing money and these are the like insane you know, throwing tomato soup you know, advance masterpiece and gluing themselves and blocking bridges and doing all this crazy stuff. So the whole what I would say the activists weighing of all this has gone way off the deep end, has gone way off the deep end. The other thing that’s going on is there’s a lot of propaganda out there that is aimed at kids. Okay, two things going on. You know, decades ago, people figured out well, we have to start young. So but that by the time they’re adults, they’re understand, but then they realize that the kids can be effective at convincing their parents. Well, the byproduct of all this is that we have a lot of suicidal, depressed and whatever kids who are not coping, you know that they think they have no future. I mean, there’s a book. I can’t remember the exact title, but it’s Greta Thunberg. World, ages three to eight. Greta thinks she might not have a future because of climate change. So why should she go to school? You know, this is a kind of message that’s being, you know, fed to young children.
Robert Bryce 5:49
So if I get a rip, what you’re saying is that from over the last five years, and I think that’s right, I think it’s a correct assessment that the climate activism has become more radicalized and aimed at younger and younger people is that?
Judith Curry 6:03
Yes, exactly. And there’s all these lawsuits, you know, our Children’s Trust, is basically using kids to sue the US government, every State of the Union. Now they’ve gone international, you know, doing lawsuits. And and then the the kicker is that they play a play off the psychological injuries, that the children are suffering from climate change. And it’s not real injuries. It’s pre pre traumatic stress syndrome. They’re worried about the future because of all the junk and garbage they fed. They’ve been fed, you know, so, I mean, you come full circle with this stuff. And I’ve never heard
Robert Bryce 6:41
that pre traumatic stress. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah, this
Judith Curry 6:45
is? Yeah. I mean, it’s a it’s a real issue. Like in the military, let’s, let’s say, a guy is in the army, and he’s headed towards the front lines. I mean, he might be anxious about what’s going to happen and whatever might really affect him badly. Okay. So that’s real pre traumatic stress. This other stuff is just this vague nonsense. And apocalyptic rhetoric that goes way beyond anything that adults are fed, which goes way beyond anything that is actually consistent with the IPCC reports. And so we just have this absolute craziness, just absolute craziness. And it’s being. Yeah, I’m deep into this issue at the moment, which is why I’m talking about it.
Robert Bryce 7:41
And is this part of the focus of your new book, which you said was climate uncertainty and risk is your title?
Judith Curry 7:47
Yeah. I don’t even know that that particular issue is even mentioned in my book. But it’s, again, I’m working on something for a client right now on that topic. And I’ve even done a recent blog post on the topic, this whole pre traumatic stress syndrome and all the garbage that’s polluting the children’s mind and scaring them. And I can relate to this. Because, you know, I grew up in the 50s and 60s, remember the communists and all that. So I was raised as a Catholic. And when I went to my weekly catechism, or whatever, the nun would feed us all this stuff about the Russians, they’ve infiltrated, they’re taking over, you know, there’s going to be nuclear bombs, and on and on all this. And I got genuinely freaked out. You know, I was very worried every time my dad was late, coming home from the office, you know, I’d be looking out the window, did the Russians get them, you know, on and on, it went, and at the ripe old age of a third grader, I had an ulcer. Okay, so I see how this can happen. I see. So, you know, I think this stuff is real. I think the kids are suffering real psychological injuries, but it’s caused by all this nutty, apocalyptic propaganda, you know, like, what I’m doing.
Robert Bryce 9:10
So let me let me propaganda is a powerful word. And I think in some cases, it applies in terms of some of the the claims around the energy transition. And I’ve used that that one myself that, oh, we’ll just switch to something else, when in fact, because of the scale of the network and the scale of the challenge of our energy and power networks, how big they are. We’re not going to make some quick pivot TVs or wind turbines or whatever, whatever it is. But since you brought this up, you become Have you will I’ll ask it this way. Even outside of academia in I think you were attacked by a lot of different people for your views, which are outside of the orthodoxy about so outside of the catastrophist orthodoxy, I’ll put it that way. Yeah. Have you become more comfortable with it? I mean, you maybe with time with age, you mentioned age earlier, that But you still, the way you were talking about it, it seems like it’s still, just as my late brother John’s had grilled cheese are just still
Judith Curry 10:08
mad. You know, when I was in academia, even though I started speaking out, while I was still a faculty member, I still had to pull my punches, I had to reflect on this, that and the other and consider this, that and the other. And I decided I don’t want to operate that way. I mean, that’s antithetical to science, you know, I want to be able to pursue what I want to pursue, I want to be able to say what I want to be able to say, and I want to engage much more broadly, not just within the narrow confines of my discipline for which, you know, I am professionally evaluated on so it just, you know, apart from all the grief that I received, it just made no sense to me, you know, just to stay in that environment. So you know, I am not a partisan on either side, I, you know, I don’t have a group that I belong to, I just call it like I see it, I investigate a range of topics driven by what my clients hire me to do, or where my personal interest leads me. Okay. And I write about some of that on the blog, a lot of it’s in my new book, climate uncertainty and risk, and a lot of it is some new issues like this one about the brainwashing of the kids. I mean, that this is one that disturbs me greatly. So that was where I’m at. And I work with a lot of utility companies, you know, the clients of my company, I have a number of clients, even more broadly in the energy sector. So I’m pretty up to date on what’s going on. And, you know, you got people like Mark Jacobson pushing, you know, for the 100%, renewables, whatever, and I have a model, you know, these toy models and, and then he criticizes anybody. Well, where’s your publication? I said, Well, excuse me, there are 1000s of engineers, and electric utilities, companies that have operational expertise on this, okay, they know what’s going on, they know what can work, they know what can’t work. Okay. And he’s saying, well, that’s inferior to his model, because he has a peer reviewed publication. I mean, you know, that, to me, that’s very reflective of how insane academia has become, and how detached from the real world, you know, it’s all become a game, oh, man, I have so many publications, and so many citations, and a press release and whatever. But it’s completely not useful and counter useful relative to, you know, the real world. So it’s really become detached from reality. That’s
Robert Bryce 12:57
that, that rhymes with my view, as well. And it confirms my feeling about it, that there are these elaborate models, and these, you know, elite academics from elite universities. And they’re putting together these models, and I’ve had one of them on as a guest on the podcast, but they have no relation to the physical world. And they’ve never built these projects. And I’m looking at it primarily, you know, from one of the many vantage points but the land use conflicts. And that’s never even considered, of course, oh, build all this high voltage transmission, and I look at these press releases. Oh, you will, will you?
Judith Curry 13:31
Here’s the funny thing. The heritage, environmental advocacy groups, you know, Greenpeace, that kind of stuff. They’re the ones who are fighting against the transmission lines and installations of wind turbines because of ecosystem impacts. Right. Okay. And they were they played a big role in stopping the hydropower transport from Canada into New England. Right says, so the heritage environmental groups have become detached from the extreme climate activist, you know, in. I mean, that’s a pretty interesting phenomena really?
Robert Bryce 14:09
Well, sure. Yeah. And well, yeah. And there are a lot of different interest groups who have interest in their neighborhoods in the state of New Hampshire blocking that project that was going to take Quebec hydro hydro power into Massachusetts, saying, well, we’re not going to let you build a power line through the White Mountains here. This is our this is our our state forget about it. Exactly. Let’s back up for just a minute. So how’s business? You started climate forecast application network? What, four or five years ago now? Something like that?
Judith Curry 14:36
No, it No. It was founded in 2006. Oh, no. It was launched as like a Georgia Tech, Venture Labs startup, you know, kind of thing. And we in our early Okay, our first client this was a humanitarian project in Bangladesh to forecast floods, so people could evade could wait earlier and save their seeds and their livestock and whatever. And then the second one was a client was a petroleum company. This was after Hurricane Katrina and all the catastrophe for the oil companies in the Gulf. And they wanted longer range forecasts than what they were getting from the National Hurricane Center. A, they needed more warning, and B, they wanted to make money on natural gas trading and stuff like that. So that was the second client. Okay, so two very different user spaces. And this was during a period when I was, you know, parroting the party line about global warming. Okay, I think at one time, I even joked that the profits from my oil company Grant was helping subsidize the humanitarian work in Bangladesh. And so people think that’s when I came under the evil influence of big oil. Well, that’s not how it played out. I was doing hurricane forecasts for them, basically. So what I would call the weather forecast side of my company, sort of ramped up over the decade, you know, temperatures, you know, demand, a lot of it was energy related. We moved into the insurance sector, they got they were very interested in the hurricane stuff. Wind power is a big one now. And so there’s the weather forecasting side of what we do, and we emphasize the longer range, you know, what happens beyond five days? I mean, people mostly get it right, you know, but, you know, we’re looking out weeks 234, and providing insights that are better than anybody else, as far as I can tell, which is why the what why our clients pay us.
Robert Bryce 16:49
Sir, can you give me an idea in terms of revenue employees, any of those numbers?
Judith Curry 16:55
Small Company, okay. And it’s a little bit hard to count on employees, because some of them are part time. Some of them are in other countries, what our I would say, maybe 12 FTE employees, many of them outside the US, many of them are contractors, rather than w two employees. Revenue is in seven figures. You know, we’re not huge, but you know, we’re very stable and viable. My goal isn’t to make money, it’s a nice side effect. But I’m trying to figure out better ways to use weather and climate information to help people manage risk. So we do a lot of r&d, okay. And
Robert Bryce 17:50
so if I get interrupted, an applicant, or one of your customers would be heating degree, my first book was on Enron back 20 some odd years ago now, heating, heating degree days, right, this is one of the main things there. So they’re, they’re going to look to you for help on weather forecasting. So they can be long or short gas power. And that’s of high value return for them, because you’re able to give them pretty accurate data for what you’re forecasting in terms of weather.
Judith Curry 18:19
Absolutely. And I have clients on the coast electric utilities, who highly value the hurricane forecasts, and one of them we’ve developed a lot of customized products for them, and our forecasts feed into their outage models. And, you know, they use this to plan in advance how many mutual aid people they need to bring in and where to position, you know, their mobile repair units, and on and on it goes. So, you know, it’s helping reduce power outages, you know, are forecast very directly.
Robert Bryce 18:56
Oh, that’s really, that’s really interesting, because this resilience issue is one that I’ve been paying a lot of attention to, and a lot of people in the utility sector are very concerned about availability of transformers, wires, all these things that are, you know, the commodities that they need, if you have damaged facilities that they can come in and replace them. So that’s, I didn’t realize that that that would be
Judith Curry 19:15
they want seasonal forecasts from us. Also, you know, hurricanes, you know, it’s a little bit that’s more voodoo like, but so they can plan as to you know, what kind of equipment they need to have on hand and how much of their budget they might have to allocate and you know, they’re going to be inactive or a quiet season. You know, so So I’m on the ground, you know, working with these people who are on the front lines of dealing with these issues. And to say that I haven’t published, you know, renewable energy or whatever completely misses the point, you know, that I have operational knowledge about what’s going on with these utility companies as they grapple with extreme weather. And the variability and the variability of you know, of the renewables. I mean, once you get past a certain penetration, it just becomes very, very difficult to handle. And you people have these statistics and the one and 10 rule and all this kind of stuff. But at the end of the day, you can be hit with these crazy outages that one of my clients, you know, who works in Texas. He wrote an anonymous guest post on my blog about the period between this year between mid August and late September when there was no winner. So I mean, just nothing. I mean, not only was it quiet, but it was also clapping. You know, and it was just nothing coming from the renewables. I mean, unfortunately, I mean, the temperatures were over 100 It wasn’t a crazy Heatwave, but it was still plenty up.
Robert Bryce 20:58
Well, I that that I’m sorry to interrupt, but I read that that was from energy meteorologist, I guess that was about ERCOT. By energy.
Judith Curry 21:04
Yeah, yeah, he’s he’s, so he’s a guy who works in this space, you know, is intimately involved in what goes on. With ERCOT, he works for a company that owns power plants, conventional and renewable, and does energy trading and stuff like that. So he’s on the front lines of all this. You know, and that kind of, I mean, it was unusual, but that kind of thing is never factored in to like, the Mark Jacobson kind of analyses. And this idea that, Oh, well, if you have, you know, this globe, fancy global transmission grid, you know, if it’s not, the wind isn’t blowing here, it’s going to be blowing over there and you’re just transmitted. But these big high pressure systems, I mean, they’re continental and scale, right, you know, gives you the low winds and especially during winter, there’s no solar there’s hydropower is at a minimum, yeah. Where where’s this going to come from? The transmission lines just don’t help under these continental scale weather systems. And you know, this kind of stuff just isn’t factored into all these models of the 100% renewable system.
Robert Bryce 22:18
Well, I’m glad you brought that up, because that is one of the key takeaways in and I’ve reported on it in regarding the outages here and our cotton I live in Austin of course. But yeah, that this the there was a wind and solar drought in the in the in the days leading up to winter storm Yuri, but I’ll bring it up even to today. And today’s December 12. Javier blas from Bloomberg reported yesterday, on Twitter, he said that, I’m going to read it here, UK, wholesale electricity prices surged to a record high as cold, dry and calm weather triples, wind production. And since demand soaring so high.
Judith Curry 22:51
And following that closely, I’ve been collecting all these all these articles of what’s going on this winter. I mean, this is not a good thing. And you know,
Robert Bryce 23:00
hasn’t even started yet. I mean, we’re doing with nine days away from the beginning of the official start of winter in
Judith Curry 23:06
meteorological winter is really December one. But yeah, and some, some years, December is worse than February. But, you know, there’s a lot of variability and this is not adequately accounted for. And even if you look at the statistics for the last 10 or 30 years, you can still get a surprise that goes beyond that envelope. And the surprises are invariably on the cold side. I mean, the electric utilities worry a lot more about coal, because what can happen is, you know, really unbounded, you know, on the high side, you know, it’s going to be over 100 105, you know, there’s sort of bounds. But on the cold side is pretty much in the surprises can be of much greater magnitude. And the utility companies even in the southeast, are more worried about the cold extremes than the heat extremes.
Robert Bryce 23:59
Well, I think that I think it was my friend, Meredith Angwin. She was pointing this out to me that the temperature differentials in the summer, you know, if we think 72 is the ideal, right? Where we’re really comfy, right? My room is something like that now, right? Well, in the summer, it might get to 100 or 110. Okay, so we’ll call that a difference of 30 or 40 degrees, but in the winter, it can be a difference of 70 degrees 70 or 80 degrees, if you’re below zero, right? And using the Fahrenheit scale, exactly, but I hadn’t done that’s a very simple way to think about it. But it’s one that I you know, when she said it, I thought oh, well done, right, Bryce, why don’t you think of this before? Right. But that’s a greater, it’s a bigger gap that has to be filled with other energy to make us stay in a comfortable range. And I thought that was a very good insight. If you don’t mind, I want to I want to reach back to these ideas around belief because I was interested in you know, I was raised Catholic as well. And this idea about belief in you know, he will here’s the short question I won’t get I won’t make the preface any longer. I know we’re talking about climate and this is your expertise, but What makes us believe what we believe? I mean, this is where you’ve been, you’ve had a long tenure in academia, you have, you know, conflict there. What do you think? What do you think about that? Why do we believe what we believe?
Judith Curry 25:13
Okay, well, I’ll narrow the focus of the question down to something that I have been thinking about and section 10.1, in my forthcoming book, and this is perception of risk. Okay. And this is what’s really germane to what we’re talking about. And I wish I would have prepared for this a little bit. So I had more of the details on you know, at the tip of my tongue, but basically,
Robert Bryce 25:39
you don’t know. Okay, that
Judith Curry 25:40
there’s certain things like mean, the whole world is, you know, gripped by global warming is the biggest risks facing the world and whatever. And even individual kids are worried about it, when the real risks that they’re the biggest risks they’re facing to their life is probably being riding their bicycle and being hit by a car. Okay, you know, that’s the biggest risks, and they don’t even think about that one. So So, I mean, like, the dread of nuclear power is completely I mean, way more people have died from installing wind turbines and been killed in any kind of nuclear power plant issue. So so our perceptions of risk and it’s certain thing, and Slovak, when people have done research, psychologists have done research on how we perceive risk. So if it’s man made, versus natural, the man made risk is perceived as much worse. So if we were talking about another degree of warming in the 21st century, and it was going to be natural, you know, people wouldn’t worry about it. But manmade, oh, my gosh, okay. If it’s something that we can control versus something we can’t control, you know, a volcanic eruption being the latter, you know, we tend not to worry about the stuff we can’t control. And there’s all these other things, that there’s a list of 10 Different things like that, that I’m only remembering to off the top of my head. But oh, in a recent experience, like living where a hurricane struck, right, ya know, skews your perception about the future of the hurricane risk, you know, even though it’s like a once in a century event or something, you know, the odds of it striking, you know, but it really bumps up here, so
Robert Bryce 27:50
the perception, so some of that is about the perception of risk. But the follow on question I had to that because I see,
Judith Curry 27:59
the propagandists use this, okay, while they emphasize extreme weather events, okay, they emphasize the human component of climate change, not the manmade one that they emphasize the things that trigger the misperception of risk. Okay, and they do that in their communications. Okay, so So, so this is how we’re being influenced, okay, the by people not understanding or having an object being able to objectively assess their risk. And this is basically what my book is all about, you know, we’ve portrayed we’ve, we’ve really stressed the climate risk, and appropriately, we’ve mis portrayed it, we’ve miscommunicated. And the reason people are bumping up the alarm and the pop apocalyptic rhetoric, is to spur immediate action on this transition to renewables, which does not give, you know, if you lose the urgency, you know, then you have time and space to figure out well, what do we really want to do? You know, with the power system for the 21st century, can we do better than we’re doing now? Probably.
Robert Bryce 29:18
Can we? So what I’m saying is that we’re by this person skewing of the perception of risk. We’re making malinvestment, we’re, we’re, we’re
Judith Curry 29:27
rushing, you know, and we’re doing more harm than good because, I mean, there’s no way that the whole world can run on wind and solar, there’s just no apart from land use and the resources on Anona goes when these things the economics don’t work. I mean, these things have to be replaced every 15 years. You know, the, the way they’ve done the economics just totally doesn’t make sense. Um, the environmental impacts of all the used and the recycling of them, you know, there’s just no Why it’s so material intensive, the supply chain doesn’t exist. And then what do we do with all the stuff? Once it’s past its lifetime, that there’s just no way it makes sense, either from a materials, or a land use or an economic, you know, but But there’s other things out there. I mean, I think that the next generation, nuclear power, there’s so many advances that are amazingly exciting, and some of these things are starting to come online. Advanced geothermal looks very cool in many regions, and my state of Nevada is looking at a new investment in geothermal. And that’s a great place for geothermal. So you know, there are things that could be coming down the pike, and if we’re not rushing to install wind turbines, and whatever, you know, we can invest our money in developing these technologies, doing, you know, small local experiment experiments to see how they work, you know, get a learning curve going. And then, you know, by 2080, we’re in a pretty good place, you know, with really reliable, power sources, cleaner, more abundant, and whatever, rather than this mess with renewing with wind and solar that you know, just aren’t going to work. I mean, biomass is a disaster, I don’t think we need to go there. Hydropower is pretty much built out, although there are some things you can do with pumped hydro storage that the US is doing, but it’s not done in a lot of other places. So there is, you know, something, some more you can do with hydro. But I mean, rooftop solar is an okay, so I have rooftop solar, and I do it for energy security. I have to Tesla power walls, you know, so when the power goes out, you know, I’ve got something although I’ve been electrifying, but when I installed the solar panels, since I installed the post solar panels, I added two electric water heaters, one electric heat pump, and an electric induction stove. Um, now the solar power is now produced, and we have an electric vehicle. So so the solar panels are now only producing half of our electric usage relative to when I purchased it. So
Robert Bryce 32:24
because of ramped up the electrification, I mean, I’m,
Judith Curry 32:27
I’m interested in the technologies. I mean, I want gas out of the house just for air quality issues, and, you know, nitric oxide, and carbon monoxide and whatever, I just didn’t want gas in the house, for that reason. So, and I, regarding that car wasn’t my choice with my husband’s, you know, we just wanted to try the technology, we’re in this space, we need to be knowledgeable of these technologies. Okay. So I’m pretty, I’m pretty close, I still have a gas clothes dryer, and one gas furnace. But other than that, I’m almost completely electrified. But and Nevada has pretty clean electricity source. So but I see the drain that adding all this stuff does to the electricity plot, you know, if we doubled the electricity use, you know, by households all doing what I’ve done. I mean, whoa, you would have a big
Robert Bryce 33:26
issue. That’s huge. And then and that peak would come in the wintertime, would you it’s just disgust is key, because the I’ve written about this, that the the amount of gas delivered on a per bt u basis or dual basis during the winter is far greater than the electricity delivered during the summer in the form of to support air conditioning. So that’s that’s an interesting point. But I just wanted to reach reach back if I could to the issues around belief, because you’ve given it some ideas, some some thought is that the Alaska very directly has his belief in catastrophic climate change then supplanted for many people. It’s not everyone, right? traditional religious belief, right, because I see a lot of parallels and you’re, you know, we’re both raised Christian about this idea about damnation and sin and we have to pay and you know, these ideas around redemption. Does that ring true to you? Well, it is catastrophism around climate is that replaces traditional religion for for a lot of people.
Judith Curry 34:26
I don’t know that it’s replaced. I mean, I think that decline and traditional religion has happened, you know, long before this. And people have supplanted it with various secular, you know, environmentalism, broadly defined, you know, maybe one, with climate change being its most recent incarnation. So I think it’s probably part of a broader environmentalism, belief system kind of thing that is part Are the but
Robert Bryce 35:03
your circular is a more secular Church of some.
Judith Curry 35:06
Oh yeah, and the words that you know, the the Herot, heretic and dogma and all of this stuff and canceled culture of heretical people and whatever the the alarmists are being are behaving like high priests in some very strict religion. So a lot of that’s, you know, enforced by the leaders, the either you know, the people with a big megaphone or big bucks behind them or whatever. Some are politicians, some are scientists, some are in the media, and some are in these crazy new environmental climate activist groups, you know, extinction, rebellion, and so on. I mean, so I have to because
Robert Bryce 35:50
I got Okay, so if I was listening to this, and I didn’t know yet, well, there’s a cranky old grandma, you know? laughing because I want to laugh about it. But do you ever think about that? Because I’m cranky. I’m old and grumpy now. But you ever worry that that’s the kind of the thing that you have that vibe that you would be painted with that brush? I guess?
Judith Curry 36:12
Well, yeah, well, I don’t know. You know, back when I started speaking out against the consensus, and this will be circa circa 2010. And this is, long before anybody called me a denier, or there was any real scientific, a great disagreement, but Scientific American did a big profile on me, and I was explaining the concerns I have about what we don’t know, and how the community of climate scientists is behaving, it was a lengthy interview, they a two hour photo shoot with, you know, makeup and the whole works. I thought, well, you know, this could be a really good article, the title of the article, climate heretic, Judith curry turns on her colleagues, I mean, this was the big takeaway of this big interview, just because I wasn’t, you know, bowing down to the tribal leaders and trying to make myself a member of the tribe, you know, I was just as some awful person, you know, and that triggered, you know, like, this is dogma, you know, if what I’m doing is heresy. All this is really become dogma. And of course, you know, a year or two later than after I criticize Michael Mann, and his hockey stick, then I became a denier. So that was the threshold for me becoming a denier was basically criticizing the hockey stick. You know, so so the whole, I mean, not all climates are like that. But a lot of the most vocal ones are the ones with 200,000 Twitter followers, and the ones who hire publicity agents to get themselves on all the, you know, mainstream media, TV shows, and whatever. I mean, that isn’t science. I mean, that they’re, they’ve just become co opted into the propaganda machine with great professional rewards. I mean, not only do they make money off of this, but they’re given, you know, recognition from the professional scientists. You know, that’s, oh, wow, he’s doing something good. He’s doing something important. You know. So I mean, at some point, academia just made no sense. It was bad when I left in 2017. It is way worse now. Three years later,
Robert Bryce 38:36
the orthodoxy is much more strict around these issues. Is that what you’re saying? Oh, yeah.
Judith Curry 38:40
Oh, yeah. It’s big money. Every but I mean, there is no climate scientists out there right now who can’t find a job. universe so much research. We’re hiring. We’re starting a new center. We’re starting a new program are advertising for 10 faculty members, the private sector is hiring in this area left and right. And nobody you know, who is a climate scientist is sitting there, unemployed right now, when 10 years ago, you know, people were struggling from postdoc to postdoc, you know, trying to get something going now, everybody’s there’s plenty of money. Scientists are hot commodities. Yeah. Right.
Robert Bryce 39:23
So quick station break. My guest is Judith curry. She’s the president of climate forecast applications network. She’s on Twitter, at Curry je A and you can find her on the web at Judith curry.com. You have a lot of traction on your blog on your website. I mean, you’re getting hundreds of comments. That’s I mean, even for a I would say a mainstream media outlet that’s a lot at that. Do you know how many hits or how many m&e readers you have on your website?
Judith Curry 39:50
Um, I haven’t checked lately, but okay, it’s in terms of unique visitors in a year. I haven’t checked recently but it would be You know, like 500,000, maybe on a daily basis, and
Robert Bryce 40:05
you don’t carry advertising, you’re not trying to make money off of your website. As far as I can tell, I’m
Judith Curry 40:08
just I’m just trying to have a diet, you know, the and when I started this, I wanted to have a dialogue with people out with different perspectives. Okay, I just wanted to allow a forum for people to talk about the uncomfortable things that the establishment was trying to push under the rug. I mean, that’s why I started it. The unintended consequence of this is that I have developed a network of people all over the world. Academics outside, you know, like, lawyers, economists, philosophers, you know, from many different social psychologists, social psychologists, from all over the world, who are interested in these alternative perspectives, many of them contribute guest posts. And then I’ve, a lot of the people I’ve interacted are people with operational knowledge. And this would be like energy meteorologists and planning engineer. And I will mention planning engineer specifically because it’s so relevant to your show. This is somebody who posted over the years has probably posted 40, blog guest posts on various aspects of energy transmission, the duck curve and renewables and on and on it goes. And who this is, this is Russ Schuessler, he’s the recently retired Vice President of planning for the Georgia transmission Corporation. Okay, when he started posting, he was anonymous, he thought he would, you know, he didn’t want anybody to know, you’d want to get in trouble with his employers. While somehow he was outed. And as employers just thought it was wonderful and wanted him to do more of this outreach, writing, which he did. And then he’s been retired for a few years. And after going off and having fun, I follow him on Facebook, he’s been having a lot of fun. He’s back to writing posts on my blog again. And it’s this kind of operational knowledge, you know, about people in the agricultural sector, farmers hydrologist, you know, energy experts, and so on. Which has been so valuable to me, and trying to wrap my head around this whole thing. There’s a new term for what I’m trying to do. And I had a blog post on this a couple months back, it’s called wicked science. This is, you know, when you’re dealing with a massively complex problem that you don’t even really know how to define and enter it has, and it intersects with politics. You know, we have a wicked problem. I mean, people can’t even agree on the problem, they can agree on the solution. All of the proposed solutions have unintended consequences. And this is called a wicked problem. Well, some universities are starting to grapple with this. Well, how do we train people to grapple with these problems, you know, rather than these siloed disciplinary type people, and they call this wicked science and wicked scientists, and there’s a couple universities that are developing innovative programs, where people work in teams, you know, and they challenge and they look at all the perspectives, and they’re interacting with stakeholders and decision makers, and whatever. This is all the stuff that I’ve been doing with my company, you know, for the past 15 years, I have a name for it. You know, it’s what I’m trying to do on my blog. It’s wicked science.
Robert Bryce 43:44
So you had you had a blog entry about this just a couple of days ago. And that was the headline of the essay was JC navigates the new media and I wanted to read this. You I’m quoting here, I like doing wicked science, where complex problems and politics intersect and public communication of the same. I am appalled at the state of both the scientific and policy debates surrounding climate change. I’m hoping that my little voice can help bring some common sets to this situation. And I wrote right here question. Appalled. Appalled. That’s the right that’s the right word. Yeah. Because there’s not because it’s not robust to that there isn’t that there isn’t? Well, I’ll say for instance, I’ve invited Bill McKibben to come on the podcast at three times four times he won’t reply to my emails. I mean, like, you know, he is getting a lot of media attention. I’ve debated him before will then come on the podcast. I had Jesse James, you’re
Judith Curry 44:40
in the wrong tribe. They don’t want it to bait I mean, I didn’t
Robert Bryce 44:44
debate about what his plan is because he’s you know, he was on PBS just the other night and it was getting more people involved in climate action. Okay, well, I appreciate you want to get more people involved. What are you promoting what is it that what is your because we can disagree about here’s my View quickly was just we can disagree about what that right number of parts per million in the atmosphere is. What are we going to do? Because we can talk about the signs and the rest of what is our plan. And that to me is where when you mentioned nuclear before, I want to come back to that my I’ve been saying the same thing for a dozen years natural gas to nuclear war seriously, it’s a no regrets strategy going forward. What let’s pursue that. But if he won’t debate then that I think that’s won’t answer, then I think that’s indicative of a unwillingness to an unfortunate one, an unwillingness to engage in any kind of substantive discussion, forget debate, just discuss it. I mean, you know, but that’s not
Judith Curry 45:36
they don’t want that that whole list of people are blocked from Twitter, you know, by these McKibben, Michael Mann, all these people. And some people said, Oh, I’ve never heard of Michael Mann. I’ve never even done anything. You know, I went to look, see what he’s doing on Twitter, and I’m blocked. How and why did that happen? I’m this whole blackball list of people, he must have commented on what’s up with that blog or something, and that’s enough to get you blacklisted. These people don’t want you know, it’s it’s again, religious, you cannot challenge the dogma. And they’re not interested in debating say, they lose a couple of them are interested in debating. Andy Destler is a climate scientist at Texas a&m. And he tries to gret grapple with aspects of the wickedness and he’s willing to debate. He goes out there and debates and CITES, you know, Steve Koonin, I don’t know all who’s debated with Andy desk, right. And Andy gets wiped out, you know, but he’s out there doing it. I give him a lot of credit for that. I do too. But but the people like Steve Koonin, and Bjorn Lumbergh, and myself and Alex Epstein, and, you know, a lot of these people, you know, it’s pretty tough to take on in any kind of a debate. Okay, because we’re broadly knowledgeable, and we’re smart people. So you’re not going to take us down, you know, trivially. Now, in any kind of, I’m not interested in winning a debate, I’m interested in talking to people on the other side, finding common ground and unraveling where we disagree, why we disagree. Doing that court sort of thing. I mean, that’s my interest in this, I’m not interested in trying to win a debate. I’m trying to advance our understanding. And part of that is getting a better realization of where and why we disagree. And where we overlap, and how do we take this overlap of where we agree on something, and take it forward to no regrets policy? Responses, something like that. So it’s more of a problem solving approach? I mean, that’s my interest in debating. So I’m not interested in these tribal kind of debates, although I’ll take on anybody who wants to debate me. And let me tell you, nobody from that side will debate me. I mean, I said, open if anyone wants to debate me, bring it on, but nobody does.
Robert Bryce 48:10
And that’s deeply unfortunate, because I think these issues and they deserve robust analysis and robust engagement. And but I want to talk about that, because you also on that same blog post where he talked about navigating the new media. I thought this is a really important point. You said Twitter is the indispensable tool for wicked scientists. And that rang exactly true with me because on, I don’t know, it’s a month or two ago. Now I have Matt Ridley on and he’s written a great new book
Judith Curry 48:40
called viral about COVID. And I know, I know, Matt is great.
Robert Bryce 48:43
And just a remarkable book of investigation when he met his co author Alena Chan. I mean, Matt, of course, lives in the UK. And Alina is I think, in Boston or in went to MIT. But they met on Twitter. I mean, they they then began collaborating, wrote a book together, never never they wrote a book together without ever meeting. And then they met after the book was finished. But Matt said the same thing that but for Twitter, he would have not been aware of a Llinas work, they would have never begun their collaboration. And then they produced a remarkable book, and the new preface of it is in talking about what’s happened in terms of COVID. But so they went on to write a book together, but I’ll just ask you this the question I put there. So Elon Musk is now you know, opening Twitter files, we’ve had all these revelations about who’s been blocked and why and all these internal messaging about, we can’t let them have a voice. Do you like what Elon Musk is doing with Twitter?
Judith Curry 49:40
I am. I couldn’t be a bigger fan if I tried. Oh, no, I think I think it’s wonderful. And he’s introducing a lot of chaos. And which isn’t a bad thing as long as it doesn’t actually break technically. So he’s introduced Seeing a lot of chaos, but this is how innovators work, you know, they break it, they try new things doesn’t work, they fix it, they get feedback, you know, all this stuff that he’s doing, and he’s responding to people’s suggestions. You know, I can see it, you know, online, Elon, why don’t you try this? Good suggestion, I’ll get one of my engineers started on this, you know, this kind of thing. This is how great innovators operate. And I see that any, you know, some people say, Oh, this, all this chaos makes me nervous. You know, well, welcome to the real world. I mean, what I see is a great innovator. And I mean, this whole, you know, some of the free speech issues that have been raised are tricky ones. Yeah. You know, I don’t know how that’s going to be resolved. But we need to have a dialogue. And this goes way beyond Twitter. I mean, you know, this extends, really to every aspect of what’s going on, you know, in our society, our government, etc. So it raises a whole host of free speech issues that need to be confronted. But his basic instincts on this are absolutely right, in my opinion.
Robert Bryce 51:16
Well, I think you make an important point in that in your recent blog post on the on the new media that that Twitter has become this instant, indispensable, that if you if we can’t have a forum where, you know, you can be shouted down, or you can be, you know, engage or debate or something, you know, I’m, I engaged rarely on that, because I just don’t have enough time in the day to debate everybody all the time, right. But I do see a lot of incredibly good content. And a lot of people on my podcast I’ve met only because of Twitter. And to me, it’s become a place where I can vet people and see what they’re thinking. And then I had Alexander stayhome, who’s a, an investor and based in Switzerland, and he’s incredibly sharp analysis on the electric grid in Europe, and I had him on and he’s just amazingly knowledgeable. And it’s been one of the most popular podcasts we’ve done. And I want to have him back on again, because I think you’re somebody’s just got an just an amazing breadth of knowledge and understanding of how the grid is operating, who’s short, who’s long, and how it’s all going to work. So do you think you were shadow banned? Or that there were some limits on what you’re really?
Judith Curry 52:19
Okay, I, you know, my early action actions on Twitter, I would post my blog posts, you know, on cross posted on Twitter, and I would retweet a few things. I wasn’t real active. But I was, you know, building a slow, follow. I mean, I would like 30,000 followers, which is non trivial, but it’s not huge, but the standard of, you know, the big Twitter people. And whenever I did tweet, I would get a lot of retweets, I would get a lot of likes, I would add a bunch of new users. Then for about two years, it was like I was tweeting into the void. You know, I would put tweets out there, I would get one or two kind of responses and my followers, you know, all but stalled out. So, you know, a week after Elon Musk took over. Okay, now, I’ve increased my Twitter followers by almost 30%, you know, on the timescale of a month, which is pretty big.
Robert Bryce 53:35
Matt Ridley made the same comment that he’d seen a big jump in the number of hoof his followers since my site
Judith Curry 53:39
and I get tons more replies, but most significantly, is some people commented, he says, Oh, wow. I didn’t realize Judith Curry was still on Twitter. I haven’t seen any tweets from her and ages. You know, and these people were following me but my tweets didn’t show up. Okay, so, you know, in their feed, you know, if you searched you to curry, but they just weren’t showing up on anybody’s feed. So, you know, I’m, I’m small potatoes compared to, you know, some of the big people who were apparently shadow banned and I look forward to seeing what Jay Bhattacharya you know them. Epidemiologists what he honors regarding, you know, his situation, almost certainly, I was shadow banned in some way. And there’s a direct example with my YouTube my recent YouTube video.
Robert Bryce 54:34
You mentioned that yeah, go ahead. Yeah.
Judith Curry 54:37
For me, I mean, this in a week’s time, it went up to 500,000 views, you know, which is viral in my little world, and then all sudden, you could not find it. You do search Judith curry climate business, you could not find it. You know, it was just not findable. It was bare or even, I guess
Robert Bryce 55:01
this was an interview you did with which was the outlet. I don’t recall biz news,
Judith Curry 55:05
it was an interviewer in South Africa. You can still find it on the business TV channel. But like if you search under my name or whatever, you know,
Robert Bryce 55:16
it’s different disappeared from YouTube. So Well, you mentioned that Acharya, I wanted to ask that about, I wrote this one question here about the role of experts. And the it will I wrote it this way, I said, there’s all the fear around things like COVID and vaccines. And now, of course, we’re talking about climate. And, and we talked about belief earlier. My question was, does this degrade the public’s belief in experts and or institutions? Does it make is Do you think that this is having an effect of making people more cynical and less trusting of anyone with any kind of authority? Is that making key broad of a question here? How do you see that?
Judith Curry 55:59
Well, okay, here’s the big issue, we have to go back to wicked problems. Okay, if you take a wicked problem, climate change COVID global pandemic, and you try to make it a timeline and control it, you have to come up with some specific information and some strategies to control. We have no idea what’s going on. So the specific information that’s being used is invariably going to turn out to be wrong. Okay, real expert tees would be like, Jay Bhattacharya, you know, we don’t know, you know, this is what we don’t know, this is these are scenarios that could happen. We’re not going to be able to control this, let’s figure out what we can do to manage the most adverse impacts. And if people took that kind of approach to climate change, and to COVID I mean, then experts would have a real role to play in terms of figuring out how we can best manage this with, you know, by not causing even worse, you know, adverse impacts, you know, the cure worse than the disease kind of situation, right. So the challenge, you know, two issues, I mean, experts who want to control something that’s uncontrollable, you’re going to run into trouble every time. Experts in the university are very different from operational experts, people on the frontlines treating COVID Peace patients, people on the frontlines trying to keep an electric utility operational. So there’s an overemphasis on academic expertise. In pursuit of control, this is where we get into trouble. And that the elites
Robert Bryce 57:48
are having too much. I’m saying that I don’t like to use that word, but it is true. I mean, if you’re in one of these elite academic institutions, and you have tenure, you’re pretty well insulated from a lot of bad things happening with your career. So my
Judith Curry 58:03
cheerio is a case in point where he suffered. He was she had about I forget, maybe at Stanford, I mean, he’s he’s a big Dutch,
Robert Bryce 58:12
right? I think he’s at Stanford, and I’ll just Yeah, and his career
Judith Curry 58:15
was extremely adversely affected by all that. Okay, so here’s here’s a case in point. And I don’t know enough about that off the top of my head to give you a great deal of detail. But it’s worth looking. And this is someone where the institution, the affiliation with an institution, and your reputation and publication of whatever was not sufficient to insulate you. Right. The same with, you know, same with me, in the climate circle. So
Robert Bryce 58:44
we’ve talked about we’ve mentioned no regrets. And I put forward my my ideas, which I’ve been putting, you know, very simple ones end to end natural gas to nuclear. I’ve been saying the same thing for more than a dozen years. What actions should we be taking? And I know you’re saying that you, I would care to categorize you as a non alarmist around climate change? I think that’s fair to a fair assessment, isn’t it? But what action should we be taking then if, if climate is if climate change is, in the longer term, a real issue? What action should we be taking now?
Judith Curry 59:17
Okay, so if we look at the long term, like, in the 22nd century, we’re even independent of climate change, we’re probably not going to be relying so much on fossil fuels, they’re going to be more expensive to extract there are the geopolitical issues and on and on it goes. Okay, so we need something better, not just to replace what we’re currently doing with fossil fuels, but we need a lot more energy and not just to fuel electric this and that and to Power Africa. But we need electricity for all of the conceivable and currently inconceivable innovations that we want For the 21st, you know, robotic, this artificial intelligence cyber that quantum this and new materials and on and on it goes, we’re going to need more electricity. And no matter how, what we transition to or on what timescale, we’re gonna need a lot of fossil fuels to actually get us there. Right? This idea of trying to kneecap fossil fuel production in the near term, thinking that this is going to burn recklessly somehow provide us with cleaner energy was just going to provide us with inadequate energy, intermittent energy, insufficient amounts of energy, people, you know, in Sweden or being say, if you have an electric car, you know, don’t charge it, we don’t have enough electricity to support your electric cars, and on and on it goes. So this whole thing doesn’t make sense. I am all in favor of modernizing our whole electricity, energy transfer protection infrastructure to meet the needs and provide the infrastructure for opportunities in the 21st century for human advancement for thriving. So I’m all in favor of doing something. I’m just saying, you know, we have to do something that’s a lot better than what we have right now. And whatever we do, going to take a lot of fossil fuels to get us there. Right. And like I said, big fan of the advanced nuclear technologies that are coming online. And I’m very enthusiastic about geothermal. Solar is a niche solution for households and whatever, personal energy security, I had to come up this personal energy security issue is a huge one. people buying diesel
Robert Bryce 1:02:02
tank, standby generators. Yeah,
Judith Curry 1:02:04
standby is huge. In California, the Obamas bought 5000 gallon tank to as backup for electricity at their house on Martha’s Vineyard, right on the ocean. You know, so, you know, the people who have money will do this. You know, even some climate advocates. I mean, like California is a very green energy kind of place. And Obama’s certainly an outspoken climate advocate person, but they’ve all got backup power, they’re not relying on the rank and file, you know, whatever. That’s,
Robert Bryce 1:02:39
that’s a good point. Generac sales Generac sales are through the roof. Um, you know, yeah.
Judith Curry 1:02:43
Robert Bryce 1:02:45
So you’re saying if I can bear it paraphrase, is that what you’re saying? What we should be doing are our best no regrets strategy is to understand that we’re going to need hydrocarbons for a long time to come. And then developing, you mentioned geothermal. But I’ve also heard you say, advanced nuclear, so that those are the those are the ways those are the ways forward. And we shouldn’t get and I’m completely in agreement on all of that. I think that, especially nuclear, and I fear that the US is going to, we’re going to lose the foreign countries are going to steal a march on us, because we’re just moving too slowly. But that’s we’ve got
Judith Curry 1:03:16
the best technology, but like, Russia, is the one who’s building nuclear power plants around the world,
Robert Bryce 1:03:25
the best technology and the worst regulation.
Judith Curry 1:03:28
I know, I know, I know, I know, I would put it down hoping I’m hoping that this can you know, that will really take off in the US, the Department of Energy is putting a lot of money into this, which is really good. I see all these new technologies that are being tested and coming online. And it’s enormously exciting. It’s enormous ly exciting. So you know, this is where it will be, you know, by 2100. This is almost certainly what it will look like nuclear, geothermal, hydro, including using hydro storage and some household solar, micro grids. The other I don’t know if you’ve had anybody on your show, talking about smart micro grids, but this is the other thing that I think is really, really exciting. And one of the electric utilities companies that I work with is a leader in doing the micro grids where they can Island smart micro grids this that on the other. So it’s pretty exciting stuff.
Robert Bryce 1:04:31
So your technical person, quick question, what do you think about there’s a recent announcement about fusion, what do you what’s your take on that? We’ll see. Fair enough. That’s been my husband my analysis.
Judith Curry 1:04:48
I mean, it’s exciting if it works, but you know, I think I think we should be in an r&d mode on all these new technologies. And you know, Start once they’re ready for prime prime time, start testing them out in, you know, limited areas. So we can develop a learning curve and drive the cost down and then it will slowly take off. And and to the extent that the government is going to invest in infrastructure, energy infrastructure beyond what the scattered power providers and electric utilities do, that remains to be seen. But, you know, like giving a good electricity background for the US is a hugely important not just for the economy and health and safety, but for national security. So, you know, we’ll see, I mean, that’s something to debate, you know, what role should the federal government play in ensuring this, but right now, they’re just, you know, President Biden is trying to kneecap the fossil fuel industry and push wind and solar. This is hurting our economy messing up our environment, and is gonna people die from the cold. When somebody can’t provide heat, you know, that they die from the cold and then there’s enormous property damage when the price pipes freeze, and on and on it goes so so just setting us up for disaster. I’m politically an independent, I don’t align myself with either party. But if the Democrats are going to possess some in that that’s reason for me not to vote for Democrats, you know, in the next elections, I mean, that to me, this is such a foundation for disaster in our country.
Robert Bryce 1:06:43
Well, yeah, I’m that I have to agree with you. Because, yeah, this this, this administration, I’m the same way as I say, I’m not a Republican. I’m not a Democrat. I’m disgusted and I am disgusted. But yeah, this this administration, that’s a longer discussion. So just a few more questions. And again, my guest is Judith curry. She’s the the climatologist, you can find her on Twitter at Curry J and also on the web. Judith curry.com. I know you mentioned some of the many people and you have many contributors to climate, etc, your blog. But who else in this space who had other people who are active in this intersection of climate and policy and the actual physical world whose work on this do you admire? There you have two or three names that you would like to share?
Judith Curry 1:07:30
Well, people who have a foundation in climate science that have successfully bridged the gap into the policy and applications, the list isn’t really large. People who have written popular books on the subject who I, I’ve read and that I listened to, again, Steve Koonin, Bjorn Lomborg, Alex Epstein. I mean, these are Michael Shellenberger. These are people who I pay attention to do I agree with everything? They say, No, I don’t. But I’m fairly unique in this space, in all honesty, with having like, what you would call deep climate science expertise with a lot of publications and some recognition for what academic record recognition for what I’ve done, who has really transitioned into the applied space, not just the policy world, but also the operational aspects of electric utilities, precision, agriculture, things like that, I have really stepped into the operational aspects of it. So I honestly don’t know of any other climate scientists with a profile like that, you know, on either side of the debate, will talk about policy, you know, when they get invited to testify to congressional committees, but I don’t know that they actually do hardcore work in that area. There’s people who there’s all these lawsuits, you know, people testifying on one side or the other for these lawsuits. But I don’t know, I’m fairly unique, as far as I know. In the pure wickedness of what I’m trying to
Robert Bryce 1:09:26
do, right, so just the last couple of questions here, Judy, and I appreciate your time. So we’ve talked about a lot of things we’ve covered a lot of ground, what are you reading any books on your bookshelf and in books on your on your desk that you’re paying attention to? If so, what?
Judith Curry 1:09:42
Oh, my gosh, I read so widely. I’m actually delving into the this whole children’s psychology issue. And I’m reading a book On hardiness, psychological hardiness, one of the authors is Paul Bartone, which I think is providing me with a lot of insights into that. But I do so much technical reading, you know, the luxury of just like reading a book. Oh, okay. Okay, I’ve got two that I’m reading. And then I’m doing a blog post, that there’s a new genre, and CLI fi or climate related science fiction, which I will call dystopian Net Zero books, where these books are positioned, 510 years in the future, and all the horrible things that have happened because of, you know, net zero. And so, so I’m coining a new fiction genre dystopian Net Zero fiction. And there’s two books that have recently been published. And I don’t know if I’ll get the titles, right, I make a plug, I should have been prepared to make a plug for these. But there will be, I will be writing on these two books on my blog, probably, by the weekend. so on.
Robert Bryce 1:11:12
So dystopian, dystopian net zero, if we’re gonna really do this, how bad how bad it will be, like
Judith Curry 1:11:18
what’s gonna happen, you know, further down the line, if we proceed in this direction. One is set in 2026. And the other is set in 2032. The first one is more of a thriller kind of thing. And the other one is more of a, you know, a day in the life or what’s happening to real people kind of things. And they’re both beautifully written. And very intriguing. So
Robert Bryce 1:11:42
sounds a little like one second after by William Forsythe or something like that the were hit by a solar flare. EMP.
Judith Curry 1:11:49
Yeah, right. Except it’s a slow creep. And it’s something that we decided, right?
Robert Bryce 1:11:55
Drive ourselves in the ditch, like the Europeans. So last question, Judy, what gives you hope? What, what gives you hope?
Judith Curry 1:12:05
What gives me hope. Um, while the environment is quite resilient, there’s a lot of collective intelligence out there in the world. And I’m a techno optimist, you know, I think we can we can we can fix these issues, we can make exciting things happen. So I’m a techno optimist. The environment is not as fragile as people think. And there’s a lot of intelligence out there. What worries me the most is what’s going on with the kids with all this kind of brainwashing. But the other thing is another decade, I don’t think we’re gonna see the climate proceed on the warming trajectory that’s being predicted, I think there’s a lot of other things going on in the climate, you know, that are going to take us in a cool direction in the next couple of decades that at least partially counter this. So I think, once we see a period with reduced extreme events, we see a period when the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation shifts to the cold phase, you know, some of these things are going to take the weather and climate in a slightly different direction that are going to be not as bad as predicted. So So I think we’re going to be able to count on the climate itself and the weather events, to calm this down a little bit at some point.
Robert Bryce 1:13:34
So we’ve had a quick climate, if I’m gonna read that back to you, the climate will cool the rhetoric.
Judith Curry 1:13:39
Yeah. You know, the rate of warming, I anticipate will slow down relative to what they’re predicting. And I think we’ve seen a particularly bad combination of natural climate very ability that’s given us some bad extreme weather in the last five years, I think that’ll settle down. So I think we can count on that to settle things down. And in all honesty, worrying about all this stuff is a luxury, you know, a rich countries, you know, once something really bad happens. And the war in Ukraine is one thing you know, people quickly forget about their global warming pledges and all this, you know, as survival and more important political issues come to the forefront. So I mean, I, well, one doesn’t hope for things like that to happen. If it does happen, I think this whole issue of climate change will move away from the forefront of what people are worried about.
Robert Bryce 1:14:39
Gotcha. Well, listen, that’s a good place to stop. My guest has been Judith curry. She’s easy to find easy to find on the interwebs. She’s on Twitter, curry at Curry J and also Judith curry.com. She’s the president of climate forecast applications network. Judy, thanks for coming back on the power hungry podcast. been great fun to talk to you.
Judith Curry 1:14:57
Thank you. It is a pleasure. Thanks to
Robert Bryce 1:15:00
all you in podcast land tune in for the next episode of the power hungry podcast until then see you