White House Science Advisor Explains Vortex

January 8, 2014

John Holdren has clearly been watching the videos on this blog.


15 Responses to “White House Science Advisor Explains Vortex”

  1. fortranprog Says:

    Very informative and interesting update, even the Prime Minister of the U.K is talking climate change in regard to recent exceptional climatic events in his country.


    interesting to read the comments in the mail


  2. Andy Lee Robinson Says:


  3. How hard can it be to look in the camera and explain the science in a rational manor?

    He just did it.

  4. petersjazz Says:

    Well, he first said this event was not related to climate change. But this kind of event will be more frequent because of climate change. Is that clear?

    • Listen again carefully. He said
      1. No individual weather event can prove or disprove climate change.
      2. It is the patterns and probabilities of weather events which are informative.
      3. We can expect to see this pattern more frequently.

      Or by analogy:
      1. A single die roll can never tell you if the die is loaded.
      2. The pattern which emerges from lots of die rolls can.
      3. If we progressively load a die it will roll an increasing number of 6s.

      It’s a useful observation though. I suspect that this point will cause the same confusion for a lot of people.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Excellent analogy that further clarifies an already clear video. I am glad to see my tax dollars at work producing this kind of video—the govt should spend some money to push it on TV as a “public service announcement”.

        Which just gave me a great idea for some younger and more energetic folks to pursue. Is not the media required to do this? As in anti-smoking and anti-drug use and anti-drunk diving campaigns? Someone should push for equal time for AGW. I’m sure Peter would be happy to provide video support.

        • petersjazz Says:

          Sorry, maybe its because I’m not that good in English but I don’t like the logic. To say that any event can not be connected to climate change is just wrong. Any event might be connected to climate change. So the correct thing to say is that its not easy to say how much any given event is connected to climate change. And that’s the start of the video, I thought this was one more denier at first.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            I think you perhaps did misunderstand. What I saw was the usual scientific caution at the beginning—-saying that no SINGLE event can definitely be connected to climate change.

            I think they WERE saying what you suggest with “So the correct thing to say is that its not easy to say how much any given event is connected to climate change”.

            This video was certainly not a “denier” piece at any point, and made a stronger case for AGW and how bad it is looking to be with every second that passed.

            (And your “English” looks pretty good to me—it’s a difficult language even for “native speakers”. You may have noticed that we have a number on Crock that have difficulties understanding it)

  5. […] John Holdren has clearly been watching the videos on this blog.  […]

  6. […] John Holdren has clearly been watching the videos on this blog.  […]

  7. daryan12 Says:

    How fortunate that the US has someone sensible in the White House. Imagine if Bush was still there or Sarah Palin (scary thought that…88| ). No doubt they would argue the vortex is “proof” global warming wasn’t happening…and nuke the polar bears or something!

    Much like Abbott in Australia’s been using that trapped ship in the Antarctic as “proof”…ignoring the recent bushfires and record breaking temperatures in the Australia this year.

    So count our blessings! But also remember that if action isn’t taken on climate within the remaining term of Obama, I’m doubtful any action will ever be taken by the US until its too late. Just look at Canada under Harper!

    • dumboldguy Says:

      “…..if action isn’t taken on climate within the remaining term of Obama, I’m doubtful any action will EVER be taken by the US…..”

      You are assuming that some science-impaired and ignorant Repugnant will win the White House after O’Bama leaves? Or that no Democrat will ever be elected again? (Let’s ignore the fact that O’Bama hasn’t been all that we could hope for, either, climate-change wise).

      The way the Repugs shot off all their toes in the 2012 election, and the way they have continued to do so since, there is every hope that O’Bama will be replaced by another Democrat. And it may even be the very NON Thelma and Louise team of Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. Watch the 2014 midterms for clues.

      • daryan12 Says:

        I hope you’re right!

        Also my concern is the window of opportunity to do anything is closing very rapidly. We’re already past 350 ppm.

        The Bush push towards Shale gas/oil and tar sands, etc. has come with a serious danger of lock-in if these policies aren’t reversed soon.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          The fact that we’re now past 350 is not as significant as the fact that we are not making any real progress towards getting back below it. Especially since we’re not really sure if 350 is the “magic number” anyway.

          We are now over 400, a rise of ~150 parts per million above “normal”. It happened in the blink of an eye, geological time-wise, and we have no real idea where the tipping points are, or if we have already passed them.

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