1776 Steve Koonin

The Joe Rogan Experience.

Train by day Joe Rogan podcast by Night, all day.

Joe Rogan

Well, thank you for being here.

I'm really appreciative of your time and the fact that you are willing to talk about this.

This is a a very interesting book.

And extremely controversial, and I'm not exactly sure why that is, but I think it's a part of the times we're living in.

How many caught your book is called unsettled,

Steve Koonin

correct

How many yes?

Joe Rogan

How many copies?

Joe Rogan

This book will be.

Steve Koonin

So, so we've sold since it was published at the end of April. So about 10 months ago we sold more than 120,000 copies.

Joe Rogan

120,000 copies.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, which I you know I don't know anything about publishing, but my agent and publisher is sort of amazed at the numbers.

Joe Rogan

That's a lot and without.

Much fanfare from the media.

Steve Koonin

Fannie, well it depends which media you look at.

Joe Rogan

Where have you gotten coverage?

Steve Koonin

So so I've gotten good coverage from the Wall Street Journal, but if you look at the New York Times, Washington Post, not very good coverage at all.

Didn't make the New York Times bestseller list.

Joe Rogan

That seems strange.

'cause it's a lot of.

Steve Koonin

Copies yeah, right?

Well, you would think.

Yeah CNN, nothing and I think you know people are just ignoring it, which really surprises me.

Joe Rogan

Now your book is on the climate.

It's on climate change and climate science and we should just establish, right?

Away, just because I know you're going to experience some criticism, right right?

Clearly, first of all, your credentials you graduated from high school at 16 you went to MIT, Caltech.

Steve Koonin

Caltech first I was an undergrad at Caltech and then I went to MIT.

I did a pH.

D There in theoretical physics in three years.

And then I.

Went back to Caltech where I was on the faculty for 30.

Joe Rogan

Years and you were on the faculty at 23 years of age was just pretty extraordinary.

Steve Koonin

That's correct, yeah, it's unusual.

Not unprecedented, but really quite unusual.

Joe Rogan

Now there's a.

There's a couple criticisms that people have of you just just to get.

These out of the.

Way right away.

One of them is that you used to work for BP.

Yeah, that is.

This is a big one, so if you worked for some sort of an oil company, you.

Were chief scientist admission chiefs?

Steve Koonin

I'm chief scientist at BP for five years after Caltech, and you know they didn't bring me there to help them find oil right.

They knew how to do that really well.

Well, I was brought in to help figure out what beyond petroleum really meant and that was renewables and alternatives to oil and gas.

And I helped during my five years to help part a strategy for that which is today, now 15 years later, are starting to be realized, but.

Joe Rogan

Once you say you work for BP, there's a certain section of our population that will immediately dismiss anything you've.

Steve Koonin

Said yeah, of course, and and you know, it's part of a structural problem that.

The advantage of having been in BP is I learned about the energy system and I teach it at NYU you these days I just did my first lecture yesterday and so I actually know quite a bit about how the energy system currently works and a lot of people who want to change the energy system have no idea at all.

Of how it works and so they can do great.

Damage if they do the wrong sort of.

Joe Rogan

Thing well, in reading your book, one of the things that became very clear is there's so much data to sort through.

It's it's incredibly complex.

I actually listened to it on audio and there were sections of it where I had to go back over it again. Speaker 2

Ah, great.

Joe Rogan

Just to try to wrap my head exactly around what was happening to squash, more of the criticism really clearly up front.

You are, you're very clear about this.

You believe the climate is changing.

Steve Koonin

Climate is changing.

Joe Rogan

You believe that human beings are having an effect.

Steve Koonin

They are influencing those changes, yes.

Absolutely mostly through greenhouse gases that are accumulating in the atmosphere absolutely.

Joe Rogan

Your position, though, is that there's an either an exaggeration or there's.

There's a way that people are looking at the data.

That's alarmist.

That you don't think is reflected by the actual numbers themselves.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, that's correct.

I think that you know to put it in a British sense.

They have over egged the custard.

Joe Rogan

Now, why do you think this has happened?

Steve Koonin

I you know there's I I have in the book one of my favorite quotes from HL.

Mencken is the purpose of practical politics is to keep people alarmed.

By a series of mostly imaginary hobgoblins so that they can be clamoring to be led to safety.

Joe Rogan

Now, if you think that human beings are affecting the climate, and you think the climate is changing.

What what?

What percentage of an effect are human influences?

Steve Koonin

Yeah, so you know I.

I think we don't really know that the you went into governmental panel on climate change in its last report in August said you know it's all.

Our human caused in the last many decades, although all of it.

But you know, they completely forget that the climate was changing at comparable ways well before human influences became important and and so.

They they say no, no we we're.

Going to ignore.

That we're going to suppress it and say it's all human cost.

Joe Rogan

Now, one of the things you highlight in your book is that when you're looking at the way the temperatures have risen on Earth over a period of, say like 100 years, that if you do it in.

These blocks of.

Time that there's a way to look at it in a deceptive way that makes it seem in the alarmist way.

Where it makes it seem that radical drastic change is happening over a very short period of time, that's all I've ever heard.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, so you know the climate change is a lot on its own.

Maybe we can put up a picture which is one of the ones I wanted to show you.

Can we put up the second chart in that file called cunnin thumbs?

And what I'm going to show you is a record of the height of the Nile River, which has been compiled by the Egyptians.

We go to the net there.

We go so this is.

The height of the Nile.

River from 640 AD up until 1450 eighty.

So about 800 years of data every year about what was the lowest level that the Nile River reached in that year. The Nile was important to the Egyptians. As you might imagine, and so they.

Measured it, pretty cat.

And what you see are two things.

The blue spikes are the annual values.

They go up and down a lot.

1 year it was up at 6 meters 20 feet and then the next year it was down of 1 meter or.

Something like that.

So a lot of variability from year to year, but then if you look at the curve, which is the average trend over 30 years, you can see for example in the 1st 100 years.

It was going down.

And you can imagine some medieval Egyptian climate panel saying new normal new normal.

We got to do prayers and sacrifices.

And of course, if they just waited another 100 years, it came back up again.

And this was all before humans had any influence on the climate.

Joe Rogan

Are we looking at?

Climate and we were looking at these periods of time.

Are we looking at at them incorrectly?

Because we have such a short lifespan ourselves that we tend to think of great change as happening in these incremental ups and downs.

But realistically we should be looking at it on a broad spectrum of hundreds.

If not thousands of years.

Steve Koonin

Yes, so so climate change is on all timescales it changes.

On thousand year timescales it changes on 10,000 year timescales and it changes on decades every decade it changes.

And you know, we also forget a lot in the Midwest there was a drought in 1955 and one of the news magazines.

Time magazine said this drought will be long remembered. Nobody remembers 1955 drought anymore, so we forget and we think things are unprecedented.

When in fact they have happened before.

Joe Rogan

Now you are by training your physicist, correct, correct and another criticism would be that you're not a climate scientist.

People will say that now my question though, and I I think you you'd probably be able to help me on this.

It's like what exactly is a climate scientist?

Most science you have a hypothesis, you run tests, you get results and then you you do these experiments and that's how you get your data with climate science.

Is it based off models?

Steve Koonin

You know it it climate science is a very integrative discipline.

It involves physics, chemistry, biology, geology.

Statistics, computer modeling and so on so nobody can be an expert in everything.

Many prominent climate scientists are trained as physicists.

Look Jim Hansen, Michael Mann, Michael Mann.

Actually once applied to be my graduate student and he decided to go to Yale instead, but that's a different discussion that was many decades ago.

And so some of it is certainly physics.

I have published in physics and about climate science.

I've published a paper in August where we were watching the moon for 20 years to learn how.

Shiny the earth was.

That's very important because if the earth gets less shiny it absorbs more sunlight and so gets warmer.

And we published a paper and it attracted some attention press releases and so on.

So I have published in climate science, but more importantly, the kind of things I point out in the book are obvious to anybody.

Who has any quantitative sense at all?

It's like you know, if I were ordering carpet for a room and the room was 8 by 10, I would need 80 square feet of carpet.

If the carpet guy comes back and says you need 400 square feet, I'm going to ask him some hard questions and and that's the kind of.

Misleading things that I'm pointing out in the.

Book how did.

Joe Rogan

You get started on this journey of being.

Really, I want to say obsessed, but if not fascinated with the science of climate change and the data itself.

Steve Koonin

So I was exposed to climate science in the early.

90s when I was working with a group called Jason, which we can talk about at some point for the government and looking at the impact of then high performance computing and small satellites on.

Joe Rogan

Climate science and the group group. Jason is top scientists in their field that are recruited to work for the US government. And it's like what is it? 70% of it is classified projects.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, something like that.

We work for all government agencies, but a lot of what we do is.

Is for the national security parts of the.

Joe Rogan

Government and it's tackling the most complex scientific.

Steve Koonin

Like the most.

Difficult technical problems sometimes you know mysteries that the government finds going on in other countries.

Things of that sort.

What's going on? It said.

Well, how do we do XY or Z technically?

Joe Rogan

And So what was the initial study that you had read, or what? Speaker 2

Yeah, with.

Steve Koonin

What so so the initial?

Thing that caught me interested was.

The Department of Energy wanted to deploy a fleet of small satellites which remember this was 30 years ago, so that was a pretty big innovative deal to look at the earth and monitor what was going on for climate purposes.

For science, and one of the things that you could do was to measure how.

Shiny the earth was the albedo.

It's called technically whiteness of the.

And of course, being curious, we asked the question well, how was the albedo first measured and the answer was back in the 30s.

Some guy started watching the dark part of the moon and that brightness of the dark part of the moon is lit by light that is reflected from the Earth, and so as a good measure.

Of how shiny the.

Earth, as it hadn't been done for 30 or 40 years and so we started up a program that continues to this day to watch the dark part of the moon to monitor how bright the earth is and we just published a paper in August that showed the Earth has gotten a little bit dimmer over the last many years and so.

Not surprising it perhaps gotten warmer.

Anyway, that sort of got me interested in climate science when I moved into the private sector, I was more concerned with energy technologies and how we.

We could develop and deploy or demonstrate and deploy technologies that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and I did that.

For quite a.

While in both BP and then in the government and then in 2014, the American Physical Society asked me to do a review.

Of their statement about climate science.

They had put out a statement in 2007 which was very controversial among the physicists because it used the word incontrovertible and for a physicist that's fighting words OK, so they asked me, you know, Steve recommended new statement. And so I said, heck, we're physicists.

We're not going to take anybody's word for it. Let's look at the issue ourselves. And so I convened a one day meeting with three.

Mainstream climate scientists and three credentialed skeptical scientists and we sat for a day presentations talk discussion.

In early 2014, it's all up on the web. It was transcribed. You can find the transcript and I came away from that. Thinking this science is not anywhere near as settled as I thought it was.

Because of the problems with the models, the observational data and so on and.

My little group wound up proposing a statement that could not get through the bigger committee that was approving such things.

People would say things like we can't say that even if it's true, because it gives ammunition to the deniers.

#00:15:07

Joe Rogan

Really yeah, Yep now how frustrate as a scientist, how frustrating is that thing?

Steve Koonin

Well, I I.

Got so frustrated 'cause I'm used to through Jason and others of giving advice to decision makers.

You play it straight.

You you know you say this could be this may not be.

Here are the options and so on, but you don't try to spin the advice to get one answer or another, and I was really annoyed by that.

I wound up resigning from the committee, but I wound up then publishing an op Ed in the Wall Street Journal.

They gave me 2000 words which was great. We got a couple of 1000 online comments. Many people said thanks for writing this and trying to expose the real science to what's going.

Of course, the establishment trashed me completely even though I was just repeating what's actually in the reports and in the research now.

Joe Rogan

What was the nature of their criticisms when they?

Steve Koonin

Trashed you oh, you know your cherry and and we get it to this day with the book you know your cherry picked your misleading.

What you said is actually not true, and so and even though I point.

To you know.

Chapter and verse in the reports where these things are said.

Joe Rogan

So is this are the scientists that are claiming you're cherrypicking, are they?

Are they signaling to the other people that follow the ideology that you're not to question climate change and that anything that you say that in any way calls doubt to the settling of the data gives some sort of ammunition?

To the people who are the real climate deniers, who are a real problem?

Steve Koonin

Yes indeed indeed, and book on my sense is that this is a problem. Speaker 1

You would, yeah.

Steve Koonin

It's not an existential threat by any means, and it's a problem that we have time to deal with and we should deal with it in time in a graceful way.

But I think you know when the book first came out.

There appeared an article in Scientific American written by I think, 13 mainstream climate scientists that was a couple 1000 words of mostly ad hominem criticisms, a couple of substantive criticisms which I have rebutted.

I think quite effectively, but it it you know, put a a marker in the ground.

That people who didn't want.

To have the book understood, could point to and said ha ha, you know those guys said Koon is an idiot.

Joe Rogan

Now what what criticisms made sense that you could rebut?

Steve Koonin

Well, you know they said.

For example, I said sea level rise was not accelerating and of course I got a whole chapter that talks about the ups and downs of sea level rise.

But they would criticize a review of what I said by somebody else or they would.

Say sometimes you know Couden said that and it's true, but it's not important because of a B&C.

Joe Rogan

If you don't mind pull that.

Microphone just a little closer to your face.

Steve Koonin

Yes, sure sure sure.

How's that right, OK?

Joe Rogan

Perfect now.

Joe Rogan

So these criticisms that were levied against you did, did anyone of prominence, that is, a climate scientist come out and say.

This is a very interesting analysis of the data.

These are things that I hadn't considered.

Coonan makes a lot of really.

Good points not in public.

Not in power, not in public.

Steve Koonin

In private, you know when I first sort of came out in that Wall Street op Ed in 2014 I I had a chat afterward with a.

The chair of a very prominent Earth science department at one of our best universities.

I won't say who or where, but suffice it to say it's somebody who was firmly in the business and he said, you know, Steve, I agree with almost everything you said, but I don't dare say.

It in public.

Wow all right.

You know there's a whole organization called covering climate now, which is a consortium of media including the BBC and NPR, I think, and so on.

Who have you can look them up on the web and they have signed an agreement or made an agreement that they will not cover anything that diverges.

From the narrative.

Joe Rogan

And who establishes the narrative like what's the top of the?

Steve Koonin

Heap I think you know the authoritative, allegedly authoritative voices are the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC, which issues reports major reports every six or seven years. There is the US.

National Academies of science.

There is the UK Royal Society and the US government issues reports as well, and you know when you get into the meat of these reports they have some problems and you know we can go into them. But by and large they're pretty good summaries of the science, but when you get to the summaries.

For policymakers.

Well, you get to the media coverage or the political discussion.

That's where things get really corrupted.

So it's like a long game of telephone that starts with the basic science and the scientists doing it are by and large you know good, honest, hardworking people and you talk to them privately and they'll admit to all the problems.

That they've got.

But by the time it gets to the end and the public, it's, you know the science is settled.

We're headed for doom, et cetera.

Joe Rogan

Et cetera, but that's always the case with something that's really controversial, right?

There's there's always.

The alarmist perspective and the people that are looking at it that have maybe a less extreme point of view are criticized because they're not taking it seriously enough.

And then there's what you were saying earlier is that people are saying that like they can't even say certain things because it will give ammunition to the people that are real climate.

Skeptics, the people that aren't paying attention to the science that have an ideology or a dog when it goes in.

Steve Koonin

Right, right?

The other direction there's so much analogy.

Here, with the Reformation when the Catholic Church started to come at odds with the Protestant movement, let me give you 2 examples.

In one of the best recent introductions I've had, you know, I'm a humble guy and I usually like to keep the introduction short, but this one was really interesting.

I was compared.

To William Tyndale.

Now I didn't know who William Tyndale was.

I'm not a historian, so I had to look up William Tyndale in the early 16th century did one of the first translations of the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew into English.

So it had been originally in Latin, and so.

That let ordinary people read what was in the Bible.

And of course, the establishment got really mad at him for doing that.

He was eventually burned at the day at stake for that and other reasons.

So you know, I've sort of made these reports are accessible at least parts of it to ordinary.

Non experts.

So that's one, the other one, which is maybe even more amusing a couple years ago, 13 senators led by Mr.

Proposed a bill that says the government may not spend any money to challenge the consensus.

The Council of Trent in the early 16th century said very much the same thing about church dogma, not about spending money.

But you know you you'd be in all sorts of trouble if you challenged.

Dogma, what would?

Joe Rogan

Possibly motivate the government to come out with a statement like that that they can't spend any money to challenge.

The consensus and doesn't a consensus mean most?

It doesn't mean all so in in cases of dogmatic opinions or ideologically formulated opinions.

Steve Koonin

Right?

I you know I, I'm so surprised that the government would try to suppress the scientific process like that.

I think what precipitated it was I had.

For a number of years, been advocating for a Red team review of climate reports.

Now where you get a bunch of credentialed people to look at the report and ask what's wrong with this?

We do that kind of thing all the time.

For spacecraft.

Other matters of consequence when we have to make judgments.

And I almost got to the point.

Where we could have pulled.

It off, but the.

Trump administration, in the end, decided they.

Do it.

Joe Rogan

Now the Trump administration had some of its own problems with climate science the wrong way.

Steve Koonin

Well, gosh.

Yeah, absolutely absolutely.

I you know, I felt I was, of course a little bit concerned about going through the administration, but I had lined up the national academies to play the blue team, or I had assembled.

Pretty much a good red team and then it was stopped at the last minute by a political decision, so I'm I'm really disappointed because I point out in the book a lot of problems with those reports.

You know it says X, but in fact the truth is why?

If you look at the data.

So we need that it's about the integrity of the scientific institutions.

Joe Rogan

So let's go back to your initial impression that the science was not settled when you first walked away from this meeting that you were discussing, and you you realized that this is either far more complex.

Or it's influenced in a way where it's not just about the data, it's about what the narrative is so.

Joe Rogan

How do you?

Joe Rogan

Go from there before you write this book like what is, what are your next steps.

Steve Koonin

So I started.

Paying more attention.

To the disconnect between what was actually in the science versus what was either in the reports or in the political dialogue, I think the next turning point came when I was helping with a study for another government agency and had occasion to look at hurricanes.

And I turned to the.

Official U.S. government report in.

2014 at the time and you see this graph in the body of the report of some property or hurricanes going through the roof over the last 30 years. And it sure looks like if.

You look at that graph.

We're in trouble.

And so I did a little deeper. I look up the reference that they cite and I read in the back of the same report and page 700 and.

Something if I.

Remember it and it says there are no long term trends in hurricanes, which is still largely a true statement.

And I'm looking at that and I said my God, that's a swindle in the part of the report that everybody going to read.

You see this graph going up and it looks like all hell is gonna break loose.

And then in the back it says we don't.

See any long term trends.

Joe Rogan

So what is the graph like?

Steve Koonin

What what is so so the the graph is basically a graph.

Joe Rogan

That's the date of its.

Steve Koonin

It's called the Power dissipation index.

Which is a graph of how many storms and how intense they are over the last 40 years.

Joe Rogan

And what is the trend?

Steve Koonin

Well, in that particular case it was going up OK from 1980 up until 2010.

But what they didn't show you was there was an earlier part of the graph in which it was going.

Down so it was really looked like a return to normal.

Joe Rogan

So in the beginning of the graph from 1970 and 1980s that we're saying it's going down, do you have an image of that? Speaker 2

Yep Yep. Yep I I.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, I I.

I think I do actually hang on many.

Joe Rogan

And So what they were looking at again, where we were talking about how we're measuring things on these very small increments where.

Their time for us is 100 years. It's our lifetime, so we're looking at things like as if that's a lot of time.

Steve Koonin

That's right, and there are these long term trends.

As you saw in the Egyptian River, can we pull up US?

Chart #35 in the unsettled file.

Joe Rogan

And we can safely assume that in those long term trends in the Egyptian data that you're not talking about human influence because it's too long though.

Steve Koonin

Now it's too much to yeah right? OK, so let's pull up chart 35 and then so there is the original graph in the government report from 2014.

And what's shown is from 1980 to 20.

10 and it's.

Joe Rogan

Going up right right, but if you see from 19 looks like 1979 ish.

Steve Koonin

Well, so let's look at.

Let's look at the whole record, which is the next picture.

There it is alright.

Joe Rogan

So it's real similar to the Egyptian data that it's up them down and up and down.

Steve Koonin

That that that's up and down.

And now there's a lot of controversy.

Still, this was.

10 years ago or so, there's a lot of controversy about whether storms are getting more intense.

One paper says yes.

Another paper published in July says no and so on.

So the matter is kind of unsettled.

At the moment, but.

Overall, the as I can read for you.

The official report, the official statement from the most recent UN report, let me just get it.

There is low confidence in most reported long term multidecadal to Centennial trends in tropical cyclone.

That's hurricanes frequency or intensity based metrics.

Joe Rogan

Now that image Jamie, you pull it.

Up again, please.

Yep, that image when you see.

1975 then you see 2005. It's not that much of a difference, so the peak of 19 excuse me. 1945 the peak of 1945 and then you go to 2005. Speaker 2

Yep, yeah.

Joe Rogan

If it's you're not looking at that much of a difference.

Steve Koonin

Right?

Joe Rogan

And clearly there's been a gigantic difference in the amount of human influence.

Steve Koonin

Of course, of course, let me show you another one all right.

Can we go to chart three of the other file and this is one I think I'm going to go public with pretty soon in an.

OP, Ed, but.

Let's put it up.

This is about Greenland.

OK, and the popular image that Greenland is melting and it's melting faster and faster and so on.

All right.

This is the official data set.

For how much ice Greenland is losing every year?

And the IT goes up right until 2021 and it starts in 1900.

And what's interesting about this?

There are several things.

First of all, even though human warming influences have been growing steadily.

Over the course of this.

There are a lot of ups and downs.

So it says it's got to be a lot more than greenhouse gases at play here.

The second thing to notice is that in the most recent decades at the right hand end of the chart.

Greenland is actually starting to melt less rapidly.

Than more rapidly.

Even as the globe has been warming.

#00:30:11

Joe Rogan

And this is from 2010 to 2020.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, correct and then if you go back to 1930.

You can see it was melting just as rapidly in 1930.

As it was in the last decade or two, and the human influences were less than 1/5 of what they are today in 1930.

Joe Rogan

So what are the?

Other influences if they're not just.

Steve Koonin

That's that's an excellent question, and the answer is this has got to do a lot with the long term money decade, cycles of ocean currents and winds in the North Atlantic.

And you can find papers that say that.

Right? Like research papers are.

You don't hear any of that from the official reports or the media.

Joe Rogan

So the the the different factors that play into what we think the different factors are that play into the melting is greenhouse gases.

Steve Koonin

Warming, yes, warming.

Joe Rogan

Warming and what are the other?

Steve Koonin

Ones the others are ocean currents that have their own.

Dynamics that are not, you know, just getting warmer.

They get warmer and colder and the the weather if you like, because how much ice Greenland loses every year is a balance between how much snow accumulates.

That's the weather.

And how much flows out from the.

Joe Rogan

Glaciers. Those are the only.

Steve Koonin

Factors basically, there's a little bit of melting and so on that you have to worry about.

But those ups and downs are really weather.

Joe Rogan

Does anything have to do with the where the sun aligns with the Earth insights?

Steve Koonin

Well yeah so so well no, that's much too slow.

Joe Rogan

Precession of the equinoxes?

Steve Koonin

I mean over this period, year by year, it certainly has a seasonal effect.

These are though.

Annual values so they average out the seasons, but of course the ice grows in the winter and then it melts in the summertime.

Joe Rogan

So there's all this data that shows the UPS and the downs and there's all this data that shows that sometimes it's they're losing ice, and sometimes they're losing less ice and gaining eyes. Speaker 2

Yeah, yeah.

Joe Rogan

Like how do they know what is?

Causing this or that?

Do they just assume that there's these?

This series of factors and.

Steve Koonin

They don't, they don't OK it it is.

You know it's a combination of modeling and physical principles and other data that let them try to say how much is natural variability and how much is human influence.

There's no doubt that if the globe keeps warming that that warming might eventually come to dominate the ice loss, the melting.

But right now and for the foreseeable many decades, it is these natural variables.

Please and instead in the media all you hear is that it's been melting faster and faster over the last two.

Joe Rogan

Decades and this media narrative.

Do you think this is just one of those things where people gravitate towards the most alarmist perspective?

So that's the one that makes the headline.

Is it because of the green?

Steve Koonin

Energy industry that it's all of the above but you know I put a lot of it on activist reporters, so this statement that Greenland was melting just as fast in the 1930s as it is today, I made that I got fact.

Checked by a reporter, Jon Greenberg at PolitiFact and he deemed the statement mostly false, OK, and you can look at how he analyzed things.

He talked to some experts.

It's entirely misleading, right?

So I got a non expert reporter with an agenda and a platform criticizing what's actually in the data.

Joe Rogan

So the non expert reporter with an agenda in order for him to.

Print something that's going to get the response that he's looking for.

He's looking for a positive response from the people that are climate that that that believe these models, and that think that the climate is of utmost importance. Speaker 2

Yep, Yep.

Steve Koonin

And we're headed for.

Joe Rogan

Yes, catastrophe and this is the narrative that all that's the only thing I've ever heard.

Yeah, until I read your book.

That's all I had ever heard.

Steve Koonin

Well, that's interesting. You know the most recent UN report, OK, which is 39149 pages, almost 4000 pages. It took several 100 scientists a couple years to.

Right, you can search that report for the words existential threat climate.

Catastrophe and so.

On you find the words climate crisis. Once in that report, no other alarmist words. And the context for climate crisis is not a scientific finding, but a description of how the US media have overhyped this.

Joe Rogan

Situation did this start with?

I remember global warming in the 80s 'cause I'm a stand up comic and there was comics that would do jokes about global warming like this is great.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, yes yeah what?

Joe Rogan

I can go golfing in January.

They were joking around about it, but then I remember an inconvenient truth and Al Gore put this documentary out when he was vice president.

No, I just retired.

Steve Koonin

Just before just after, I can't remember, yeah.

Joe Rogan

And when he put this documentary out it, it scared a lot of people but but there was a lot of predictions in that documentary.

Did any of those come true?

Steve Koonin

You know, apart from the fact that the globe is going to continue to.

Storm and sea levels are going to rise and we can talk about that in a bit.

Most of the predictions you know that hurricanes are going to get more intense or we're going to see more droughts or floods and so on.

Almost all of the high impact things don't show any long term trend.

They're all within natural variability.

Joe Rogan

One of the things that you point out in your book.

That I found was interesting that I hadn't considered is when they're talking about the amount of damage that hurricanes do.

So when they're thinking about what what kind of danger there is to hurricanes, they also talk about the economic danger of these.

Brains and the damage that they do, but that damage is accentuated by the fact that the population is increased in these areas, so naturally, when a hurricane hits it's there's going to be more things there to damage.

Steve Koonin

You're gonna see billions and billions of dollars just 'cause there's more stuff there.

Right more people, right?

Joe Rogan

But that doesn't necessarily mean the energy of the hurricane is greater, or that the energy of the Hurricanes over time is.

Steve Koonin

Greater we can put up if you want to see some of the hurricane statistics, but that's essentially right.

Joe Rogan

You know hurricane so some stuff. Speaker 2

I'm drunk.

Joe Rogan

But the the hurricane thing is not settled, you were.

Steve Koonin

Saying that right, there's some indication with the paper.

Published a year and a half ago that the strongest storms are becoming more common, but then there was another paper that said, no, no, it's just a natural fluctuation, so I think that's unsettled yet.

Joe Rogan

So what how do they come to these conclusions that are different?

Yeah, if they're basing it on data.

Steve Koonin

cause 'cause they're doing? They're looking at two different kinds of data. The paper published in 19 2020, looked at satellite images of the Hurricanes.

We see beautiful images of the Hurricanes and you can try to infer from that how strong the storms are.

OK, they used a new tech.

I think the people who said no no. It's a natural fluctuation looked in the North Atlantic where only 10% of the world's hurricanes happened or 12%.

Something like that.

And they looked at historical records, and so there's an issue that as you go back in time, you haven't seen all of the Hurricanes.

And you got to correct the observations for that. So they tried to do a good job. What they found was that the measure of hurricane intensity went down from about 1960 to 1980, and then from 1980 to.

There 2000s was just coming back to normal.

So, so there's a lot of you know.

There's a lot of controversy about this.

This is at the bleeding edge of unsettled science.

Joe Rogan

This variability when it comes to the temperature of the ocean when it comes to the melting of the ice caps and all these different things that we're talking about, what?

Why does that exist?

In these radical ups and downs throughout the history.

Of the earth.

Steve Koonin

But you know the the earth there are two.

One is that the earth is subject to external influences or influences outside of the climate.

The orbit of the earth around the sun, the way the sunlight falls on the earth.

This is what drives the ice ages.

If you like with the glaciations and so on.

But the other is that climate is a chaotic system.

Which means it has very complicated and variable internal motions all on its own.

We know that because we have cartoons or the equations and they show that we know that because you can't predict weather past about 10 days, two weeks, it's chaotic and so has a lot of variability.

Some of these long term variations we understand, for example, El Nino.

Happens every few years. Takes a couple years. We kind of understand that, but these longer term things that take 70 years or in some cases 1000 years.

Having to do with the motion of the ocean currents, we don't have a very good handle on at all, and part of the problem is the models don't reproduce.

Goes well, and so you don't know where you are in those cycles when you're trying to match the model with the observations.

Joe Rogan

So is it safe to say that what people are looking for or what people would like to to see is sort of a flat?

Easily predictable rise and lower like that, it's there's very little variation and that this is just not consistent with the historical record. Speaker 2

Right, yeah?

Steve Koonin

Absolutely let me.

I'm going to do another one for you.

We haven't.

Talked about sea.

Level yet can we pull up a chart 13 of the cunnin file?

So sea level is one of the things that people worry about this strike, and so you're going to lose Miami, right?

Joe Rogan

Yeah, most we're going to lose Miami.

Steve Koonin

So here's a chart.

I live in Manhattan.

Some fraction of the time, and so I've gotten very interested in sea level at the battery, which is the tip of.

Manhattan and there has been a tide gauge there since about 1850 or 1860, and it measures the height of the ocean. It gotta average out over the tides and the waves and the weather and so on, but OK.

That black line on the graph from 1920 to 2020 is 100 years of actual data showing how fast the sea level is rising.

And what you can see is it goes up and down in a cycle, kind of like the Greenland thing we looked at.

And you know the peak was in 1950 and it was up at 5 millimeters a year. We can talk about what that means in a second and then in 1980 it was down in 2 millimeters a year and now again.

It's up at 4 millimeters a year and looks like it's.

Joe Rogan

Headed down and the peak that you're looking at in the 1950s and 2020 is essentially the same height.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, that's right, and you know to set a scale 3 millimeters a year, which is kind of the average over that time is a foot ascension.

1 foot rise A century, which is about what we've seen over the last 150 years.

It's thought that those ups and downs are due to natural variations in the ocean. Currents are happening on these long timescales 7080 years. What's interesting is those colored graphs going out from the present to 2000.

Show that the expected rate of rise starts at about 8 millimeters a year, twice as much as we've ever seen, and then goes on up from there.

OK, those are the UN projections of based on based on models and you can see there are large uncertainties.

And large variations.

I think you know if it's going to look like that, we're going to know pretty soon within the next 10 or 15 years.

And my bet is it's just going to go down.

Joe Rogan

So why did they have these predictions that are so extreme?

Steve Koonin

I don't know you should ask them.

They don't even match up with what's happening.

Joe Rogan

Today, no, right they?

They're much more extreme if you're looking at those green lines and the blue lines like much more extreme than anything that we've seen. Speaker 2

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.

Joe Rogan

Over 100 years.

Steve Koonin

And then you know this is part of why I think we need a really rigorous review of these.

Allegedly authoritative reports.

Joe Rogan

As a scientist, is how frustrating is it when ideology and dogmatic thinking and when someone is trying to push a narrative and it gets involved in something that is a very complex science with many many variables, some of them.

That aren't totally understood in terms of their effect.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, it's very frustrating to talk to non experts about.

This, but I'm even more frustrated with my scientific colleagues because many of them know that there are these problems in communication and they do nothing about it, or in fact they abet it if yeah.

Joe Rogan

They abet it, and many of them, like you said, who will talk to you privately, will not speak about it publicly for fear of retribution.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, yeah exactly.

You know one of the reasons I wrote the.

Book was in part to inform people, not persuade them, but also to inform my fellow scientists who are not climate scientists about the kind of misrepresentation that's going on, and many of them have written to me privately or spoken with me, and I've said Steve.

Thanks for doing that.

Joe Rogan

Thanks for doing that, but I have to shut.

My mouth yeah.

Steve Koonin

I don't.

I don't dare speak out about this.

Joe Rogan

Has it been a problem for you in your career writing?

Steve Koonin

This book, no, you know I have enough other parts of my life that are interesting and.

Must I'm I'm far enough along in my career that frankly I don't really care very much at this point.

What people think of me?

I've got enough stature.

Uhm, you know I have been advising the government on non climate matters for a long time.

I helped guide the National academies and some of the reports they did to Jason.

I advise companies it's fine.

I really just want to.

Get people to understand you know climate, literacy and energy literacy.

We haven't talked yet much about energy are so important and people need to understand.

Let me give you an example of a different field that I think is a terrible example.

So there's this guy named Jonathan Gruber.

Who's a professor of economics at MIT?

And he was one of the principal architects of the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare.

Now, whatever you might think about Obamacare, what he said at one point was the only way we could get a principle provision of that act passed was to rely on the basic ignorance of the American people.

Wow all right, and you know there's a videotape of him saying this at a conference and you know.

#00:45:44

Joe Rogan

Little crazy thing, they said.

Steve Koonin

For an educator and for an advisor to say that is.

Terrible by Overhyping the climate threat we've taken away from non experts.

The ability to make their own judgments.

We have displaced other priorities and we've got so many priorities that are beyond climate.

We have scared the bejeezus out of young people.

Aren't you talk to young people and they think the world is going to end?

Yeah, and so you know, that's one of the reasons I wrote the book is to just try to.

Get people to understand.

Joe Rogan

Did you see that woman?

I believe it was in Canada, but they listed her cause of death as climate change.

Steve Koonin

No, I've not seen that.

Joe Rogan

You haven't seen that you need to see that because the first time I saw that I was like Oh my God, here comes because and then I mean, I should say before I read your book, I was fairly convinced that we're in for a horrible next 50 years of climate change and rise of sea level and and.

Steve Koonin

I'm no, but I'm not surprised. Speaker 2

Stop, thank you. Speaker 2

Yeah yeah, yeah.

Joe Rogan

I was I was buying all the catastrophic ink.

I mean, I you know I bought it all and then Peter Attia turned me on to your book.

I started reading it.

I started listening to brother and I was just like OK this guy.

I need to talk to him.

I need to find out what's going on.

Let me see see if you find that you found the article.

No one can hear you. Speaker 6

Trying to confirm its accuracy. Speaker 6

cause when I googled it wasn't coming up a lot. Speaker 6

Of places I had to like this.

Joe Rogan

I told you, DuckDuckGo son, get up. Speaker 6

OK, when I looked on the Internet for it. Speaker 6

It was coming up only in one very specific spot, so I'm trying. Speaker 6

To find out like why.

Joe Rogan

Is it in a bad source? Speaker 6

It's it's an interesting source, so I'm just trying to.

Joe Rogan

OK, got it. Speaker 6

See like when.

Steve Koonin

When you find it, I want to talk about economic impacts a little bit, because that's another interesting story, yeah?

Joe Rogan

And there's there's a lot of factors.

That lead to a narrative being established.

What what year do you think?

Is there a time you can pinpoint when this sort of alarmist perspective really took took root?

Steve Koonin

Yeah, I, I think it was the early 90s and it was in part.

The UN, the first UN assessment report.

That said maybe you know, were influencing it and then there was a subsequent report maybe a decade later.

That said, there was a discernible human impact on the climate.

Al Gore's movie I. I think the Obama administration pushed pretty hard and now you've got the Biden administration trying to infuse climate and energy in all sorts of government and private sector activities.

There we go here there's oh, come on. Speaker 6

A decent source.

Joe Rogan

Doctor reveals why he wrote climate change on patients medical chart.

When a Canadian doctor wrote 2 words on a medical chart, he had no idea those few strokes of his pen would make global headlines.

Climate changes with Doctor Carl.

Kyle Merritt wrote alongside of patient symptoms following a heat wave, which resulted in poor.

Air quality across Nelson, British Columbia in late June.

Extreme weather condition.

During the North American summer, the General practitioner believed had deteriorated the health of a 70 year old woman who was suffering from diabetes and heart failure while living in a caravan with no air conditioning.

The idea that that that you would say that's climate change.

Just remember to read that again a 70 year old.

Woman who's suffering from diabetes and heart failure while living in a carriage.

Van with no air conditioning, so she's in a trailer.

She's got diabetes and she's suffering from heart failure and they said climate change, right?

They put.

That on our thoughts.

Steve Koonin

Not not only that medicine bought the fact of taking one summer hot wave heat wave and calling it climate when it's really weather is, you know, displays the ignorance of that doc. Speaker 2

Right?

Joe Rogan

But it's also in vogue, right?

Steve Koonin

Of course, of course, who who doesn't?

Joe Rogan

And that's.

Steve Koonin

Want to be invoke?

Joe Rogan

Yeah, who doesn't wanna like hop on the trend?

I'm sure he got a nice.

Pat on the.

Back oh sure.

Steve Koonin

And of course.

Joe Rogan

Congratulations on this to add in for.

Steve Koonin

And of course, I get all kinds of. Speaker 6

The clarity it was like added on the chart, not her.

Joe Rogan

What's that? Speaker 6

Her diagnosis According to him when asked.

Joe Rogan

OK, it's his reflecting on the decision.

Doctor Merritt said he wasn't trying to make a big deal out of it dur, but he felt it was important for both him and his colleagues to recognize the truth in quotes and add the contributing factor of climate change.

But he doesn't really know.

What he's talking about this right?

Steve Koonin

Of course he doesn't, and let's look at the data.

Can we pull up chart seven of the.

I'm going to show you something about that heat wave.

That's of the Coonan thumbs.

Now it's the other file.

I know why. Speaker 6

I looked this up though just for clarity too. Speaker 2

Yeah Oh yeah yeah OK yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. Speaker 6

This is what when I looked up the battery sea level trends. Speaker 6

This is what pops up on the government website.

Steve Koonin

So, so that is that's the sea level itself, not the. Speaker 6

It shows the trend.

Steve Koonin

Shorter term trends but you can see in the upper right it shows it's going up at 2.88 millimeters a year, just about 3 millimeters a year for the last 160 years.

Joe Rogan

So, but it's so I'm I'm confused here now. 'cause in that other chart it showed that the levels in what was at 1940.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

So that's the scope of the of the other chart that we've been looking at the the shorter term trend.

In other words, you can see like from 1930 to 1940 this level is going up more rapidly, right? Right, so that black line I showed you on on my chart.

Is the.

So how fast it's going up at any given time?

Joe Rogan

That's kind of deceptive then, right?

It's hard to look 'cause what I'm looking at at that chart, I thought.

That was the actual level of the sea.

Steve Koonin

No, no, no, it's not the level.

It's how fast it's going OK.

Joe Rogan

Let's go back to the other one, Jamie, that you pulled up and thank you for doing that. Speaker 2

Yeah yeah yeah yeah.

Joe Rogan

This is a so this shows.

Arise arise level.

Steve Koonin

Six seed levels been rising for 10,000 years. OK, how much well it's got up 120 meters in 20,000 and 10,000 years 100. That's 500 feet out of 400.

Joe Rogan

500 feet in 400 feet in 10,000 years and how much over like the measurable time that we've been paying attention.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, so so can we pull up chart 11 in in my file and I'll show you that there it is so.

This is determined from geology and you can see we started 20,000 years ago and to the present it's gone up.

About 100 and.

Joe Rogan

20 so a lot of this is post ice.

Steve Koonin

That's right, the glaciers were melting. They started melting 20,000 years ago. And what's interesting is that about 8000 years ago, things slowed down a lot. As you can see, OK, and so it flattens out. It's not completely flat.

Joe Rogan

Yeah, it flattens out.

Steve Koonin

The real issue is not where the sea level is rising, as you can see it's been rising for 20,000 years.

The real issue is how fast is it rising and whether human influences are making it rise faster, right?

And that's what I showed you in.

Joe Rogan

The now how do they measure like when they look at the percentage of like how much agriculture has an impact?

How much?

Methane has an impact. Speaker 2

Yep Yep Yep.

Joe Rogan

How much transportation has an impact?

How do they measure all that?

Steve Koonin

Well, it's complicated.

The first question you can ask is how much carbon dioxide?

Is the burning of fossil fuels putting up into the atmosphere and we can pretty well measure that.

We know how much coal is consumed, how much oil, how much natural gas.

Methane is harder.

Because most of the methane.

That comes out is not from fossil fuels.

Joe Rogan

It's from cow burps.

Steve Koonin

From cow burps rice paddies, wastewater treatment and OK.

And of course, if we're going to reduce those emissions, we have a much more difficult task than just stopping to burn natural gas.

Joe Rogan

So what are the percentages when it comes to greenhouse gases?

Like say what?

What's the biggest contributor?

Steve Koonin

Yeah, so CO2 is the biggest and most problematic contributor because it lasts in the atmosphere a long time.

Centuries by some measures, methane is much less problematic, even though it has an impact about half of CO2.

Currently, because it only lives for about.

Joe Rogan

12 years so CO2 is the most significant, but is is it also the most abundant?

Steve Koonin

Yes, but you know you shouldn't talk about abundance because they're very complicated issues about how the greenhouse gas.

Is actually trapped.

The heat in the atmosphere?

What you really want to talk about is their contributions to what's called radiative forcing, which is basically how much they enhance the heat intercepting ability of the atmosphere.

Joe Rogan

So the thing that we talk about when we talk about human impact on climate is CO2.

Steve Koonin

That's correct.

But and methane and methane.

But also there are a couple of other minor gases like nitrous oxide and CFE, but humans also exert a cooling influence on the climate house because when we.

Burn dirty coal.

We make aerosols, smog and so on that I'll.

Joe Rogan

Block out the sun.

Steve Koonin

So that block out the sun a little bit and they knock off about half of what CO2 warms.

And if we stop burning dirty coal, which we should for other reasons, we're going to see the globe get even warmer than we might otherwise.

Joe Rogan

How much of an impact does the burning of coal have to cool?

Steve Koonin

The earth, so as I said, it's about half the warming.

Impact of CO2.

Joe Rogan

Half the.

OK, So what so?

The biggest contributor in terms of greenhouse gases number?

Like what is what industry causes the biggest.

Steve Koonin

So, so power electrical power generation is big.

Heat of various kinds, both for buildings but also for industrial process.

To seize the next biggest contributor, transportation, which is what we usually think of in this country as greenhouse gases globally, is only 14% of greenhouse gases.

Joe Rogan

Now, does that vary by country to country depending upon their?

Steve Koonin

Oh absolutely, absolutely all. If you go to China and India, it's mostly electrical power in the US, about 40% of our emissions are transportation.

Joe Rogan

Regulation we add.

40% yeah, interesting.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, but the US as a whole is only about 6 billion tons of CO2 a year.

Whereas the the globe as a whole is about 50, not CO2 of greenhouse gases. Generally US is about.

188 percent or something like that. No more than that. Let's see. It's about 6 out of 50. So 12% so.

Joe Rogan

Then we have transportation.

Yep, so we have transportation in terms of moving goods and services.

Steve Koonin

Burning, burning gasoline and diesel.

Joe Rogan

And then what what's below that?

Steve Koonin

Electrical power out in the US electrical power is.

Joe Rogan

Electrical power

And what that coal like what is?

Steve Koonin

Coal and gas right wind and solar don't contribute directly to greenhouse gas.

Joe Rogan

OK.

Emissions, nor does nuclear right.

Steve Koonin

Not nuclear certainly doesn't either, right?

Joe Rogan

And then what's after?

Steve Koonin

That you know small potatoes.

You can probably our home heating and industrial heat, but the big ones are power or transportation and agriculture, agriculture and globally I don't know. Speaker 2

Your culture.

Steve Koonin

The US number, but globally agriculture is 25% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Joe Rogan

And this includes animal agriculture and also monocrop agriculture in terms of like growing.

Steve Koonin

Yeah well fertilizer production but also rice paddies and wastewater treatments.

OK, OK, that those bacteria that produce methane.

That's how you treat wastewater.

And yeah.

Joe Rogan

So when.

Talking about these various.

Factors and how they impact the environment.

How much into consideration.

Does one have to take like what are the?

What's the economic impact of making a radical change?

Yeah, that's like, say, one of the things that keeps coming up is electric cars, right?

California has initiated a a new law that I believe it's somewhere in the twenty 30s, right?

They can no longer sell.

Gasoline vehicles right?

Which is really soon.

Steve Koonin

Yes, I know so, so let's.

Talk about economic impacts.

Let me first talk about the economic impact of a changing climate.

OK, and then we'll talk about the economic impact of an energy transition, alright?

So could we put up?

Chart 21 of the.

Chart 21 of the.

Cunnin file.

And I'm going to show you a chart that comes right out of the.

Most recent government report on the subject, which is on the left and what you see is.

The horizontal scale is how much the temperature would go up at the end of the century compared to what it is today, and you know it goes up between one and 10 degrees or 15 degrees Fahrenheit. It's a US chart, so it's in Fahrenheit, not centigrade, and what's shown on the vertical axis.

Is the percent of damage to the US economy in 2100?

And the take away from this is, first of all, as the temperature rise goes up, the damages go up.

But more importantly, for temperature rises of up to 5 degrees centigrade or 9 degrees Fahrenheit, it's 4% of the US economy in 2100.

Joe Rogan

I'm not exactly sure what that means.

Steve Koonin

That means that the economy, if the temperature would go up, the economy would be 4% smaller in 2100 than it would have been otherwise.

Joe Rogan

Now, does that take into account the growth of the economy overall?

Steve Koonin

No it well, it's a relative statement.

OK.

Steve Koonin

So if we go to the next chart, that's a wonderful.

Question there's what would happen, so I'll show you the US economy starting from 2000 up to the end of the century.

If it grows at 2% a year, which is kind of what everybody thinks it should be doing and might do you get that curve. If you assume a 4% impact at the end of the century.

Or even a 10% impact, you just delay the growth by two years or a few years in 21180 years from.

Now all right.

So this is not the climate crisis.

OK, the economic impact is projected to be minimal.

Joe Rogan

And this is the economic impact of as the way things stand today without any major interventions in terms of.

Steve Koonin

That's correct, that's well, it's no.

It's really.

It's done as depending upon how much warmer the globe gets, right?

OK, so remember the Paris Agreement is trying to hold things to two degrees centigrade or about four degrees Fahrenheit, which is a few percent damage to the economy.

In 2100, yes, OK?

Whereas the economy is going to grow by 2% a year.

Right, so instead of.

70 or 80 years from now, it being, you know, I'd say 400.

While the US economy instead of being $80 trillion, it would be $76 trillion or something like that in 2100.

That seems like a.

Lot of money. Well not as a percentage. If it grows by 2% a year, so it's a two year delay in the growth.

Joe Rogan

Right?

Two year delay in the ground OK?

And now if major policy changes are implemented that are going to shift.

Like the sales of the combustion vehicles being banned, which is what they're doing in California. Speaker 2

Yep, Yep.

Joe Rogan

Did that pass in California do?

You know?

Steve Koonin

I think that is the the current policy in California, right?

Joe Rogan

I believe it's 2035.

Is that what it is?

Steve Koonin

And and and you know the yeah and the federal government is pushing for the same policy nationwide. Speaker 6

Putting that up when. Speaker 6

We started on the Chair and sitting on.

Joe Rogan

Now, is there enough?

Of these

Minerals that make batteries to.

Steve Koonin

So, So what?

We forget for people who don't understand energy want to change.

The energy system is that it is a system, and so let's talk about cars.

OK, you have to change the car itself, which means the issues about do you have enough minerals?

You have to change the fueling infrastructure.

Namely, do we have enough charging points and can the grid handle all these cars plugged in at once, and then you have to change the fuel or at least provide more electricity to power the cars in addition to what you're doing now.

And oh, by the way, they want to electrify heat as well.

In the House is so great is yeah, right so. Speaker 2

The griller Speaker 2

Sure, yeah.

Joe Rogan

Here, Governor Newsom announced the California phaseout gasoline powered cars drastically reduced the demand for fossil fuel.

California's fight against climate change. Yeah, it's 2035 death, so he wants all new passenger vehicles to be 0 emission by 2035 and additional measures to eliminate harmful emissions from the transportation sector. Yeah, says there the transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all California's carbon pollution.

80% of smog forming pollution and 95% of toxic diesel emissions, all while communities in the Los Angeles Basin and Central Valley see some of the dirtiest and most toxic air in.

Steve Koonin

The country so so you know this conflates.

I mean it's a wonderful example of.

The political discussion.

First of all, he's making a policy that will go into effect long time after he's gone OK from the political scene.

The second is it conflates carbon pollution and I.

Hate that word.

Because CO2, which is what they're talking about, is essential for plant growth, the more CO2.

The more plants grow all right, so in that sense, it's not at all.

Joe Rogan

Is that an inconvenient truth?

Steve Koonin

Yes, that's happened. You know the earth has gotten 40% greener since 1980, yeah. Speaker 2

In person.

Joe Rogan

I had heard about that from Randall Carlson.

Yeah, who explained that to me. Speaker 2

Yeah, yeah.

Joe Rogan

And then when I saw it, it's it's actually in your book as well.

Yeah, the.

The the thought process of carbon is only that carbon is a negative thing that's put out by human emissions emissions, right vehicles?

Yeah, but it's the fuel of plant.

Steve Koonin

It's the fuel of plants so we can talk about the carbon cycle for a second, but let me continue with Governor Newsom for a moment.

OK, OK, I think what is going to happen as.

People start heading in that direction.

Is that there and with other emissions reducing measures, is there's going to be popular pushback?

People won't be able to buy the kind of cars that they want or need.

Actually, they're going to see their electricity rates go up.

They're going to see the grid becoming less reliable.

Certainly a phenomena you know about here in Texas, and they're going to say, tell me again why we're doing all this when the US is only 13% of global emissions, we're going to see geopolitical leverage disappear as we rely more on imported oil.

It's already happened that kind of pushback in the UK where the government tried to mandate heat pumps in the houses.

It would have been about 15,000 per house and people. The legislature just said hell no, we're not going to do this.

And I believe.

That that's what's going to happen in this country because.

They're pushing too far and too fast.

I like to say you need to.

Change the energy system not by tooth extraction, but by orthodontia slow steady changes.

Joe Rogan

Is it possible that battery technology will shift so radically that our concept of what's required to create a battery, specifically the type of conflict, minerals, and it's very rare?

Earth minerals that we need right now currently that that would shift by 2035.

Steve Koonin

I no, I, you know people are doing a lot of research on batteries.

I think that's one of the fields we should be researching.

More, but it's not as though people haven't been trying and and you know there are issues not only with the minerals you use, but the lifetime of the batteries because they get charged and discharged, and that does mayhem at the molecular level that tries to destroy the structure.

Or there's also the weight and size of the batteries so.

And there are many things that go into making a good viable battery.

I think we will see scope steady progress.

But are not optimistic that there will be great breakthroughs.

People been trying this for a.

Joe Rogan

Long time, but there's no great breakthroughs on the horizon or concepts that may lead to.

Steve Koonin

Well, you know here you hear people saying, well, we can produce a battery that's 50% better, but.

Joe Rogan

Some sort of new technology here?

Joe Rogan

That's not enough.

Steve Koonin

That's not enough.

And what I've learned is that while things might look really promising in the lab to actually get them out at scale, in the real world is a long difficult.

Job that you often fail.

Joe Rogan

At have they done an analysis on all the rare earth minerals and what the quantities are and what would be required to make all the vehicles on Earth?

Steve Koonin

Electra I'm I'm sure somebody has done those numbers.

I don't have them at my.

Fingertips, is it possible?

Yeah, so let let me tell you about resource.

OK, whether it's minerals or oil or gas and so on, the amount that you can get out depends upon the cost.

To get it out and that depends upon the technology as well as how much.

There, and so as the price goes up.

You're willing to consider more extreme technology, which might cost more, but you can still produce it.

Oil is a wonderful example.

You know, at $20 a barrel, there are very few ways to produce oil, but at 80 or $90.00 a barrel, which where we are today, then offshore production shale, many other technologies become economically viable and so you shouldn't think about, you know, are we going to run.

But are we going to be able to open up new resources with new technologies fast enough in order to be able to satisfy the demand?

Joe Rogan

So you you can't just look at it in terms of what you want to see.

You have to look at it in terms of there's a.

Steve Koonin

Lot of factors, yes.

So you know nobody has put together a sensible.

Decarbonization plan for the US, let alone the globe. A sensible plan would entail technology economics business because people have to make money doing this.

It would entail what are the right policies and regulations and it would also entail consumer behavior and preference the plans.

That are put out.

By the National Academy by universities.

Are generally formulated by.

If you'll excuse me, a bunch of academics.

OK, and I can say that because I used to be.

One and I.

Still am OK, but.

Very few people who have experience with the real energy system of having to create and operate, whether it's fueling or electrical power.

And so on.

So I think the best thing that can be done right now is to get that kind of group together, spend a while we've got the time and let's come up with something that will let us decarbonize in a graceful way rather than the kind of very disruptive things that are being proposed.

Joe Rogan

Now we were looking at this proposal for an enormous machine that was like the size of a skyscraper.

Have you seen?

Steve Koonin

This no well tell me what does the machine do?

Joe Rogan

The idea was that this machine extracts carbon and particulates from the atmosphere, so it reduces pollution.

Steve Koonin

So there are a number of people working on that.

It's called direct air capture.

And the question is, can you do it cheaply enough per ton and can you do it at scale? Namely, to do enough of it to make a material difference in how much carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere? Right now it's about $500 a tonne of CO2.

To extract it from the atmosphere.

Joe Rogan

How much is CO2 worth? Yes. Well.

Steve Koonin

That unless the government intervenes, it's not worth anything.

But if you look at the right question, I think to ask is what does the price need to be to start to shift the power sector away from coal.

And the answer is about $40 a ton or $50.

At time OK.

So people who are trying to do this hope to bring that $500 a ton down to $100 a ton. Still too.

Answer, But if the price of carbon goes up to $100 a tonne then you can start to make money.

But then the real question is, can you do this at scale right? And there I'm very doubtful. You need to suck out 10 billion tons a year or CO2 and to think about how much atmosphere you need to pass through this machine with the capture efficiency you have.

And so on.

Yeah, if you want to capture CO2, the best way to do it is to plant trees really. Yeah, so a little bit about the carbon cycle, right? Speaker 2

OK, yeah.

Steve Koonin

New interest, you know.

When I was a kid, I hated Earth science because you had it no too much.

Alright, I like math, physics 'cause you don't need to know much, you just need to be clever.

But as I've gotten older.

It's not to realize these things are just wonderful science, so about 200 billion tons of carbon. So roughly 800 billion tons of CO2 go up and back between the atmosphere and the earth surface every year.

More or less in balance. 800 billion up 800 billion down having to do with the seasonal cycle of plant growth and changes in ocean temperature and so on.

So 200 billion tons of carbon is a good number to remember. We are digging out of the ground.

About 9 billion tons of carbon every year in the form of oil, gas and coal.

And burning some forests as well and putting it up into the atmosphere into this cycle, and it's gradually going up about half of it, stays in the atmosphere every year.

So if you could tweak that big cycle of 200 every year by a little bit, you could compensate in part, or perhaps in whole.

For those 9 billion tons that we're putting in.

Every year and the way to do that is to grow more trees.

Or other living things 'cause they suck carbon out of the atmosphere to make what they to make plant material.

Joe Rogan

And when you pointed this out in your book, you were talking about the study of green leaves and the percentage of green leaves.

This is all gotten through satellite imagery.

Steve Koonin

Yes, so we can measure what's called.

Well, not only the color, but what's called the Leaf area index, which is the fraction of the land covered by leaves in any particular place.

Of course it's really high in the Amazon, it's pretty low in the Sahara or the Southwest, and we can watch that over the years. And we've been watching it for forty 5060 years.

And it's gone up as I said by about 40% globally.

The world is getting greener because there's more CO2.

Joe Rogan

That's inconvenient because we don't want to think about it that way.

We want to think everything is catching on fire and it's all brown and there's no more water and. Speaker 2

Right?

Steve Koonin

You know crop yields. I've been going up steadily since 1960. A lot of that is agronomy.

That we've gotten better at farming.

We've gotten better genetic.

Strains of plants, but some of it also is more CO2. Plants love CO2. We put CO2 into greenhouse is to get them to grow more.

They also love warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons and so for example, I don't like to cite.

You know this year, etc.

But I will in this case you know India has seen record.

Grain harvests this year, more than any other year and long term over the world.

The yields have been going up.

Hmm OK 'cause it's getting warmer.

We're getting better at agronomy and there's more.

#01:15:04

Joe Rogan

Is there a point of diminishing returns? Like is there a point where there's so much CO2 in the atmosphere that then it becomes detrimental?

Steve Koonin

Yes, so so there's a lot of controversy about that.

Some people say you know eventually you're going to be limited by water or nutrients in the soil, but we haven't seen it yet, right?

Joe Rogan

We haven't seen it yet, so these factors that lead to climate change the the human contributions of agriculture transportation.

All the various ones that you discussed earlier.

How much of that can be eliminated?

Steve Koonin

At what cost?

All right, and and here I want to take a global view. OK, we in the US have a very distorted view of the world where big country. Many people don't travel. They have no sense of what's going on in the rest of the world.

In the developed world, the US.

Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada and so on, about 1 1/2 billion people and we have high energy use and we have a pretty good standard of living. There are 6 billion other people in the world.

Who need energy in order to improve their economic heart?

One point, something billion people in China.

Another one point.

Something billion people in India and so on.

The best way for them to get their energy in terms of reliability.

And convenience is fossil fuels.

And who are we to tell them?

No, you can't do that.

That's a moral issue, as Alex Epstein, for example, has pointed out.

And so when you say, can we reduce and what's it going to cost?

I think you have to distinguish between those of us in the developed world where we can do it.

You know we can cut our emissions if we have enough financial capital and political capital.

We'll do it, but what are you going to?

Do about the.

People in Indonesia, China, India who need the energy.

What do you tell them?

And nobody has a good answer for you.

Joe Rogan

So we're looking at it from perspective of this first world country and we're not taking into consideration that there's a lot of countries, particularly third world countries that are already struggling, and if we implemented these radical restrictions, it would devastate their economy.

Steve Koonin

Well, we can't implement restrictions on them, we can.

Implement restrictions on ourselves, which will come at some cost and benefit.

Cost minimal benefit. We're only 13 in the US. 13% of emissions.

Joe Rogan

Right now when we look at all these factors, agriculture, transportation, all these different things.

If you eliminated that, how much of an impact would that have on overall climate change?

And you know, warming.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, so you want to do that for the world.

There's a whole word just for.

EU let's just.

Do it for the US, so we're 13% of emissions.

What you need to understand is that emissions accumulate in the atmosphere and so by eliminating US emissions.

You have only slowed down the rate at which the amount in the atmosphere accumulate.

Joe Rogan

When you say we're third, so we're 3rd 13% globally.

Steve Koonin

Correct, correct?

So the rest of the world the emissions are growing because they're burning coal and they're burning oil and gas because they need all that.

So all 13% decrease if we could do it tomorrow would be wiped out by about a decade's worth.

Of growth in the rest.

Joe Rogan

So the growth in the rescue world they would just contribute so much that it wouldn't matter what we'd taken out.

Steve Koonin

Yeah yeah, that's right.

And and yes, yeah.

Joe Rogan

So they're growing and their economies are booming and you know.

Steve Koonin

And who's going to tell them you shouldn't do that alright? Speaker 1

Right?

Steve Koonin

I'd like to say you know they've got the wolf at the door alright, uh, real immediate problem with.

They need gliding, refrigeration, transportation and.

So on and they're not going to worry about their cholesterol.

The long term, you know what's going to happen 2 generations from now?

And it's kind of vague.

And who knows exactly what's going to happen?

So they are making what I would think is actually a pretty sensible solution for a sensible course of action from their point of view.

Joe Rogan

Let's say if that didn't happen.

Let's say if the rest of the world stayed static, exactly how it sits now, what what we do?

If we could, what what is possible to do to eliminate our impact?

Steve Koonin

Yeah you if the rest of the world stayed static.

Are our influences would still contain global influences, would continue to grow because they keep emitting and it keeps accumulating even if they're not emitting anymore in the future.

They're still emitting and it's accumulating.

If we wanted to just stabilize human influences.

Not let them grow. We would have to go to. Net 0, namely 0 emissions overall by 2050, thirty years from now if we want it to stabilize at a 1 1/2 degree rise.

We'd have to go to 0 by 2075 if we wanted to stabilize at 2 degree rise, and if I look at the issues of development, demographics, technology, economics and so on, I would say both of those goals are fantasy. It's just not going to happen because people need the energy.

They need to develop. We in the developed world in the US might reduce our emissions, but it ain't going to make much difference.

Joe Rogan

So the proposals that you hear when you hear about government proposals for addressing climate change, and when you hear about these summits, where these countries get together and talk about what they're going to do to implement climate change.

How much of that is just sort of signaling that they're working towards doing something good?

I mean, they're always criticized for taking private jets to these things in the 1st place, which is.

Very odd, but what what, what, what impact could happen from any of these things that they're?

Steve Koonin

Proposing, well, let me let's talk about what has happened in the past.

Joe Rogan

OK.

Steve Koonin

We just finished in Glasgow in Nov.

Remember COP 26. The 26th Annual Conference of Parties.

And during that time it started 26 years ago, which is probably 1995 or so.

Greenhouse gas emissions have grown spectacularly, or it, despite all of the rhetoric and the Treaties or cords, promises and so on, and the UN itself said that a lot of the Pudge is that countries have made to reduce their emissions over the next.

5 to 10 years are not going to be met or not being met.

Right?

So I I think it's a lot of politicians talking.

Joe Rogan

So they're not met, but what if they were?

Steve Koonin

So we might reduce emissions now from 52 billion tons a year, equivalent down to 46 or something like that.

So a lot.

Remember we got to go to zero in 30 years.

If you want to stabilize and.

Joe Rogan

But is that real?

So if they go to zero in 30 years, what is the actual result?

Steve Koonin

Well, we will have stabilized, not eliminated, but just prevented from growing.

Human influences on the climate.

Joe Rogan

And what percentage of the change in the climate is human influence?

Steve Koonin

We said that's a, you know, a subject of some debate right now.

The audience.

Joe Rogan

What is is what is the, is it?

Steve Koonin

Half half, maybe of the warming, but there's a lot more than warming going on.

There are storms, and there are droughts and floods and so on.

Most of those are within natural variability.

Joe Rogan

So in terms of like your 100 year chart of ups and downs, most of those.

Steve Koonin

Not going to change that, not going to change.

Joe Rogan

So is it a percentage point?

Steve Koonin

I know I don't think people have tried to.

Joe Rogan

Quantify, yeah, because it's too complex.

Steve Koonin

At that level, yeah.

It's too complex, yeah, and we have limited data.

OK, we don't have 100 years worth of data right in many variables.

Joe Rogan

And again, this is what we're talking about at the beginning.

That when you're looking at a human lifetime, it's such a short period of time that we we look at a shift in our lifetime.

When you're like, Oh my God, this guy is.

Steve Koonin

Falling Yep, think about the Egyptians in the river, right?

They said Oh my God.

Clouds coming and you just waited another 100 years and it comes back.

Up again, right?

That's not true.

For everything, humans are certainly having an influence, but a lot of the variability.

The daily weather that the weather people talk about as climate change.

It drives me crazy when I hear Al Roker talk about that as climate change.

Joe Rogan

It's not.

Steve Koonin

It's not.

Joe Rogan

It's just the variability in the chaos of weather itself.

Yeah, and this is for certain.

Based on the models.

Steve Koonin

Well, you know it's.

Our best guess.

This is an uncertain science.

The models are kind of all over the place and.

Uh, if you had a bet, many of these phenomena are not being influenced by.

Joe Rogan

Human now what?

Prominent scientists and climate scientists have arguments against your your book and against you?

And what the way you're relaying this information?

Steve Koonin

So you know Michael Mann, for example.

Naomi oreskes.

Alvin Dressler

Kerry Emanuel at MIT.

I'll tell you an interesting story about Kerry in a minute.

Have all spoken out and said, you know Koonin doesn't have it right.

Very few of them offer specifics.

Carrie did.

And and I think I have.

I have a medium page that people can look at where I've written detailed rebuttals to the science.

I mean when people say you're a show for the oil business or your physicist.

What do you know about?

Comment I can't answer those all right, but I can try to rebut the specific facts.

That they say I've misrepresented and I do, I think, effectively again you can find it on my medium page.

Sorry about Kerry.

So Kerry was one of the people who criticized me early on.

He said, you know, anybody who talks about 100 year trends and hurricanes doesn't understand that we only have good data until 80 years.

But previously in this conversation I read you the official statement.

Which says no long term trends over a century.

Alright, so he was being, I think.

You know he's putting on his Cambridge bow tie and saying.

Nobody who understands et cetera, et cetera.

I had the opportunity to share the stage with Kerry at MIT in October, and it was convened by John Deutsch, who's a good friend of both of us and a senior.

Scientific figure.

And I had my 1015 minute presentation and I went through some of.

The things we've talked about.

Kerry had 10 or 15 minutes and he didn't challenge the science at all.

I was really surprised.

Instead, he started talking about fat tails, namely, improbable things that might happen with high consequence but no disagreement with the science.

Joe Rogan

So the improbable things with high consequence these this is the sky is falling here.

Steve Koonin

Oh yeah, yeah.

So Greenland starts melting.

The permafrost Outcast is the Atlantic circulation slows down.

The Amazon dries out and so forth.

Joe Rogan

Did you try to press him?

Steve Koonin

Or no, I didn't because I was too polite.

He was being too polite.

Joe Rogan

Interesting, yeah and.

Steve Koonin

Actually, that exchange was not recorded.

Joe Rogan

More interesting.

Steve Koonin

Even, even though I would love to be on a stage with some of these scientists, OK?

Joe Rogan

What about on a podcast like one of the things that I know? Speaker 2

Oh yeah.

Joe Rogan

I understand this this is going to be a very controversial podcast and you know 'cause controversial.

Joe Rogan

I would like to get someone to come on opposite of you next and either.

Joe Rogan

By themselves 1st and then you with them together or depending upon their what they would like maybe.

Steve Koonin

I I would certainly be up for that, but let me tell you what.

You should do.

Have somebody else on and you can have them say where that guy Kun is wrong.

Joe Rogan

But then have them.

Steve Koonin

Write it down.

OK, you're really.

If you're going to do a scientific discussion debate, you gotta put it in writing.

You can't call names and you can't say OK, so get him to write it down. Speaker 2

Right?

Steve Koonin

I've across written down everything with citations.

Better to write it down and then get the two of us on together and let's have a discussion now.

Joe Rogan

I know there's been some articles that have sort of attempted to debunk this is.

Joe Rogan

What is the best?

Joe Rogan

One that you've seen.

Steve Koonin

You know, I don't think any of them are really very good.

A young guy who I'll get his name wrong, but you can look him up.

Who's a real climate scientist and and he wrote a book review and he said, you know, in terms of the data and the historical data.

I I got it about right.

Yeah, which was a very brave thing for him.

To say, but he said I underestimated the ability of the models to talk about what's going to happen in the future.

I would disagree with that.

We can have a discussion.

About that but.

I I thought that was a pretty fair.

Joe Rogan

Review now how do they shape the models like how do they can construct them?

Steve Koonin

Boy, the model.

So projecting the future more generally, is very complicated.

First of all, you got to say what?

Emissions are going to.

Be out going forward and that depends on technology and regulations.

But even given some.

Scenario for emissions over the next 80 years, you've got to feed that into a climate model and you use that to predict the temperature and other changes in the climate.

The climate models.

Cut the earth into zillions hundreds, millions of cubes that.

Joe Rogan

Cover the earth.

Steve Koonin

They go up into the atmosphere, 2030 layers of cubes, and then down into the atmosphere down into the ocean of 2030 layers.

Joe Rogan

And and then.

Steve Koonin

The models use the laws of physics to.

Move water, air, energy.

Light and so on through these cubes.

10 minutes at a time typically.

And you do that for centuries, so millions of steps in time.

There are a number of fundamental problems in doing that, but let me just highlight two of them.

One is that the boxes are typically 60 miles on a side.

You can't make them smaller because then you got too many boxes in the computer.

Can't follow them all rapidly.

And our 60 mile scale.

There are a.

Lot of things that happen in the weather that are much smaller than 60 miles.

How many clouds are there there?

Thunderheads visit, training and so on.

And so you have to make assumptions about.

#01:30:29

Joe Rogan

You know, given the temperature in the.

Steve Koonin

Box and the humidity and so on.

How much, how much clouds are there?

What kind of clouds are there and?

So on and different.

People make different assumptions and so you get different answers coming out of the model.

That's one.

The second is the models.

Human influences are physically very small.

The flows of sunlight and heat in the climate system are measured in hundreds of watts per square meter.

The human influences are two watts per square meter.

And so the model has to be very precisely balanced.

If you're going to see the effect of human influences balanced to about a percent, right?

And there are different ways to getting that balance to tuning the models, for example.

One of the models changes the way in which marine organisms on the surface produce a chemical called dimethyl sulfide.

This is a wonderful bit of Earth science.

OK, so there are these bacteria micro organisms, plankton that live on the surface of the ocean.

And if they get too hot, they excrete, they put out a chemical that creates a haze, so it's a kind of natural sun shade that they make.

And depending upon.

How much you say they do that, you can change the reflectivity a little bit and tune the model.

Who would have thought that that's what you need?

In order to get the climate of the Earth right, but OK, so those are the knobs that they turn different people TuneIn different ways. And so you get different answers.

Even more importantly, there are these long term oscillations.

We've talked about a little bit and the models don't necessarily produce the amount of those or their timing, and so you get different answers as well so.

As some of the modelers have said in professional papers but not in the media, they only give us a hazy picture of what might happen globally.

And other people have said again, credentialed members of the consensus that for local or regional predictions like the sea level in the battery or the drought in Texas are they're not capable of giving us anything useful.

Joe Rogan

So these people that think that there is.

Joe Rogan

An established settled climate change.

Joe Rogan

What are they pointing to?

Steve Koonin

They point to the global temperature rise OK, and then they'll point to things like Greenland melting, of course, which we've seen is up and down, and kind of not driven by human influences, right?

Joe Rogan

Global temperature rise.

Steve Koonin

But they'll point to the temperature wise, we could.

Pull that up.

If you want to see that, let's do that OK.

And I think this is something most.

It's one of the.

First charts in one of the files.

Joe Rogan

Which numbers?

Steve Koonin

I'll tell you in one moment.

Joe Rogan

Lose it.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, that's it great.

OK so on the left is a measure of the global temperature.

It's not the global temperature itself, averaged over the gold.

Because we don't know that number, actually very accurately. Speaker 2

We don't.

Steve Koonin

No, we don't know it to within a degree centigrade or so, maybe a bit.

More, but we know why we know changes.

Joe Rogan

When did start knowing it? Speaker 2

We know Frank.

Steve Koonin

It's easier than no changes and you can see this graph of changes in the global temperature averaged over the globe.

Starts in about 1860. This is data from a project at Berkeley led by my friend Rich Miller, whom I I helped get this project funded and off the ground and what you can see is that the data show up until about 18, nineteen 20.

From 1860 it wasn't doing very much and then the temperature started to rise in about 19.

10 It went up by about half a degree to 1940. It then actually went down a little bit until 1970, and then it started to go up again.

And it's been going up now.

And the dashed line shows somebody projection, or at least just continuation of the trend to 2060. And what's interesting about this graph is first of all you can see that the rise has not been steady.

That the rate of rise from 1910 to 1940 is about the same as the rate of rise from 1980 to 2010.

How could that be?

And in fact, it was even including from 1940 to 1970. How could that be? If human influences have been growing steadily since 1900, and the answer is they don't know.

Joe Rogan

They don't know now when you're looking at this from 1860 to 2020, yeah.

Joe Rogan

How far back can we look with this?

Joe Rogan

And do we do it based?

Joe Rogan

On core samples, so I get it.

Steve Koonin

So, so that's a great question. This is the instrumental record as it's called, so it's based on thermometers on the ground these days in the last 30-40 years we have satellites also, but this is just the the measurements of weather stations.

And there's a problem that there weren't too many weather stations starting in 1860, and even for that, far fewer.

The thermometer was only invented in the 18th century.

I think the mercury thermometer and so.

We have proxies.

We have weather records.

Not measured temperatures.

We have crop Diaries and so on.

And and then ice cores, of course can.

Tell us at particular places what the temperature was doing.

We do know.

You know, if you go back to 16 hundreds 1700s, there was the little Ice Age, and while there's still people who say it was only a regional phenomena, it certainly looks like it was around the globe and then it was about 1 1/2 degrees cooler than what is shown there.

Joe Rogan

And what year would did?

Joe Rogan

This started, oh late.

Steve Koonin

1600s early 1700s.

Joe Rogan

And how did they measure it back?

Steve Koonin

Then we have ice records from.

Joe Rogan

From a core.

Joe Rogan

Sample well well.

Steve Koonin

Not only that, but the Thames in London was frozen over.

Winters were much harsher than than they were.

The world was in a pretty solid state actually.

Joe Rogan

So this is just through anecdotal reports or newspaper reports.

Steve Koonin

We have ICE core data also, when you see the little Ice Age, we can also.

An interesting thing.

We can't go back too far.

You know, if you drill into a oil well or or well in the ground, the water in the well remembers the temperature when what the surface temperature was, and so you can get some measure over the last 100 and.

Joe Rogan

Somehow, so how does it remember?

Steve Koonin

Well, you know the heat diffuses, kind of travels down from the surface and by it travels and so by looking down you can get a measure of what it was like 100 years.

Ago people do that.

It it you know, Paleo climatology is wonderful field or we can.

There's a lot more techniques to look even further.

Back, it's just great science.

Joe Rogan

When you put this out, were you uneasy about this at all?

Joe Rogan

We were like, oh boy, here we go.

Steve Koonin

No, I knew what I was in for, but I was pretty confident.

I you know everything in the book is referenced to the official government reports or the quality data or the research literature that has happened since the reports.

Were issued so people say coolants not up to date.

Well, in fact, most of the stuff.

Stuff that is new was presaged.

In the in the book.

So I was pretty confident I obviously I wouldn't put it out if I didn't feel I was confident in it.

I knew I'd make a lot of people mad.

But you know, I see my job again is to inform people, not to persuade them.

Joe Rogan

Yeah, then the making the people Batman thing when you when that initially started happening would.

Joe Rogan

Was there any consideration that maybe you could have worded things differently?

Joe Rogan

Or maybe you?

Joe Rogan

Could have appeased them in any way, was it?

Steve Koonin

You know, I wanted to do something that was.

Kind of in your face.

Because in fact I wanted to get their attention.

I'm still, I believe, very accurate and very fair and balanced in the way I talk about the science.

But I didn't want to soften it at all because I I've been doing that a bit in other things I wrote and it kind of people tend to dismiss it at that point, so I I really wanted to get people.

Mention but still remain accurate to what the official sciences.

Joe Rogan

And when it wasn't listed in New York Times bestseller list would were you shocked by that?

Steve Koonin

Now what what has shocked me?

Not so much.

That particular incident is that that I think there really are two media universes in the country.

And I think, quite apart from climate, there are.

That's a very bad thing to happen.

Let me give you one example.

So when the book was just about to come out, we had sent copies around.

And my wife and kids turn on Bill Maher one night in I think early April and Bill Maher goes off on a 10 minute rant about this guy cooling who publishes a book that says climate science, et cetera, et cetera.

I haven't had the stomach to watch it again.

But you know, Bill Maher of real people who you know is against religion and dogma and so on.

He obviously hadn't read them.

Look, but he just went off.

It's just. Speaker 2

You know, really bad now.

Joe Rogan

What do you think motivated him to do something like that?

Steve Koonin

You know there is a narrative to preserve and anything at the Council of Trent or the Senators, but.

Joe Rogan

Why Bill Maher?

Joe Rogan

Because Bill Maher is not a.

Joe Rogan

Politician Bill Maher.

Steve Koonin

What is what is Bill Morneau?

About climate right?

Right OK, I.

Joe Rogan

Don't know, so is it that he's signaling to the tribe?

Steve Koonin

I think so.

Joe Rogan

Yeah, well.

Steve Koonin

We think so.

Joe Rogan

He has to.

Joe Rogan

Do a little of that I think, unfortunately.

Steve Koonin

I can't get into his head, but I can tell you and I'll I'll say it.

People can hear it.

I'd love to get on a stage with him and show him XY&Z and Bill tell me why this is not true and it's counter to what you probably believe.

Joe Rogan

Well, the problem is, if anybody hasn't read your book and they would make an assumption based on the idea.

Joe Rogan

That you are a climate denier.

Joe Rogan

So it starts with that which is. Speaker 2

Yeah, sure.

Joe Rogan

Very clear from the very.

Joe Rogan

Beginning of the book, that's not the case, like.

Steve Koonin

How can I deny?

What is actually in the official reports?

You know?

If you say I'm a denial, let's have a conversation about who's denying what.

Alright, yeah, OK, you're going to deny the Greenland story.

You gotta deny the hurricane story.

You're going to deny the economic impact story.

I think it's really hard when you look at the actual documents and see it's right.

Joe Rogan

There, and particularly that you're not.

Joe Rogan

Saying that the climate isn't changing.

Joe Rogan

You're not saying that human beings don't have an influence on it.

Joe Rogan

You're saying what is unsettled is the amount of impact we.

Joe Rogan

And why it's happening the way it's happening.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, and and the consequences of it for ecosystems in society, right?

Joe Rogan

That worked.

Steve Koonin

Yes, you know, there's let me come back to economic impact.

For a minute.

I mean, I believe we should be doing something about this, but what is being proposed is much too fast and is much too sweeping.

There's a guy named William Nordhaus.

Who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2018 for a fundamental insight about this problem and that is that there is an optimal best pace to decarbonize.

If you decarbonize to rapidly change out the energy system as is being proposed, you incur a lot of cost associated with economic disruption. Speaker 2

You know 8.

Steve Koonin

Percent of the US GDP is oil.

And gas production.

You also deploy immature technology less than the best solar panels or nuclear reactors or whatever.

If you do it too slowly, you'll incur a greater risk that something bad might happen with the climate due to human causes.

Bad things are going to happen anyway, but maybe they happen more often when.

Humans are influencing the climate.

And so there is an optimal pace.

And his initial estimate was we could let the temperature go.

Up to three.

Degrees by the end of the century and still be optimal.

Best course, I think he's revised that downward a little bit now, but still, we've got the time and we should do it in a thoughtful and graceful way, and not.

Again, try to do tooth extraction.

Joe Rogan

So there should.

Joe Rogan

Be some interventions, something done to deal with what we're doing, and to mitigate the effect that human beings are having on the climate.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, I I think the other.

Yes, we should do that.

We've got time.

It's going to be very difficult because.

Of the developing.

World Problem the other thing.

We need to do is be thinking about adaptation and resilience.

You know, I like to think about 3 categories of things we could do.

We should do and we will do.

And I like to try to stay away from the shirt because you've got to balance all these competing demands, particularly the developed world.

What I think we will do.

Looking at all the drivers is we're going to adapt.

That's going to be the main way in which we will respond to a changing climate, and you know, adaptation has got a lot of things going for it.

It doesn't matter whether the climate is changing because of human influences or because of natural phenomena.

It's proportional if the climate changes a lot will adapt a lot.

Climate changes a little or adapt the little.

Adaptation is local, and so it's much more palatable.

You're spending for the here and now and not for something halfway around the world and a couple of generations away.

And it's also very effective considering the consider the following that the globe as I showed you has warmed about it.

Degree centigrade 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 19.

During that time, we've seen the greatest improvement in human welfare we've ever had the population in 1900 was 2 billion people.

Today it's almost eight, so it's gone up by a factor of four, and we've seen spectacular improvement in nutrition in health, in literacy, et cetera.

Et cetera right to think that another one or 1 1/2 degrees is going to completely derail that just beggars belief.

#01:45:34

Joe Rogan

And this one to.

1 1/2 degrees is projected over a period of how many years?

Steve Koonin

That's by the end of this country, yeah.

By the end of.

Steve Koonin

UN projection.

So so I should say the.

Right now, making some assumptions about emissions is that will go up another 1 1/2 degrees.

Joe Rogan

Now, what is the worst case scenario? If it does go over this 1 1/2 degrees?

Joe Rogan

And like what?

Joe Rogan

What is the impact on it?

Joe Rogan

Is it mostly on the coasts?

Joe Rogan

Is it?

Steve Koonin

Well, you know you show the sea level projections.

I don't think it's going to change very much.

Maybe it goes from 1 foot a century to two feet a century.

Even that would be pretty spectacular if that.

We might see more high temperatures, but then.

There are other parts.

Of the globe.

As you move north.

That will become more temperate.

And on a timescale of 100 years.

Society learns how to adapt to that, at least in the developed world.

Joe Rogan

You were saying also in your book that when they're looking at the global temperatures.

Joe Rogan

When they're listing these highest global temperature years that there's also lowest temperature that sometimes coincides with those.

Steve Koonin

Years, so what's happening globally is that the.

Record high temperatures are not going up very much, but they are going up.

But what's also interesting is that the record low temperatures are going up faster.

Name means faster than the high temperatures.

Joe Rogan

Than high temperature.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, and so we're getting the carbon.

Some ways it's becoming milder temperature wise than it is at the same time as it's warming and and also the warm parts of the globe.

The tropics are warming not as rapidly as the polar regions, particularly the Arctic.

OK, that's running pretty rapidly.

Joe Rogan

So the Arctic is warming rapidly, but other parts of the globe are not warming as rapid as rapid as right. Speaker 1

Apple, right?

Joe Rogan

And what did they attribute that to?

Steve Koonin

There are various processes in the Arctic.

That are happening.

Things that accelerate the warming.

For example the ice, the see ice in the Arctic Ocean or on the land disappears, or at least doesn't come back as rapidly in the winter time and consequently the the Earth absorbs a little bit more energy because the ice is reflective.

Whereas the seawater is not.

Joe Rogan

Now when you talk about adaptation and we talk about the rise in the global temperature.

Joe Rogan

So if it does rise up a couple of degrees, what sort of adaptation will be required and what areas of the world, or at least of our country, will actually benefit?

Joe Rogan

From a warming is that, uh, is that. Speaker 2

Yeah, yeah.

Joe Rogan

A real factor, yeah, sure.

Steve Koonin

Or I mean, you know again, because the projected economic impact is pretty small, there are going to be winners and losers, all right?

And I would say the southern parts of the US are going to get warmer. The northern parts will become more temperate, and so Kansas the Dakotas.

Montana etc.

Will become a.

Little bit more temperate agriculture will probably shift north as it's already happening.

You change the genetics of what you're growing.

You change the agronomic technologies and we'll do just fine. Speaker 2

We've already been.

Steve Koonin

Warming a degree of century and I don't see that they've been great disruptions.

Joe Rogan

Well, we've really only.

Joe Rogan

Had the sort of large scale industrial age you know over this past century, this is.

Steve Koonin

This century and that makes us more capable of adapting than but.

Joe Rogan

It also makes us terrified that the changes happened so quickly and it leads to this fear of what's going to happen and what kind of damage we're doing. Speaker 2

Right, right?

Steve Koonin

It's irreversibly so OK.

People in the end what we do about this, I'd like to say is a value judgment OK?

The science is what it is.

I've tried to portray it accurately, certainties and done so.

These what we decide to do about it depends on risk tolerance.

Are intergenerational equity north South equity and justice cost benefit?

Generally those are not scientific issues.

Those are value issues.

They're the proper.

Concern of the politicians.

And but you have to have an accurate representation of the risks and certainties and uncertainties in order to have that discussion.

So, and I think what people have done in the political and popular discussion is overhyped.

The threat in order to move the discussion.

One way or the other.

Joe Rogan

Is it safe to say that even if there was no impact by human beings on climate change, if there was zero impact because of our society and civilization, that there would still be change that we would have to?

Joe Rogan

Work with absolutely.

Steve Koonin

Outlook, we had the Dust Bowl in this country in the 30s OK, and that was partly climate.

Natural climate and partly farming practices.

And of course we had to deal with that, and we had the little Ice Age.

Not in, you know, in anybody's lifetime, but it was certainly there and they had to deal with it.

And it was pretty bad.

Joe Rogan

And there's a thing about the coast too that always drives me.

Joe Rogan

Kind of nuts when I think about it.

Joe Rogan

It's like we know when you look at maps of the world. You know when you go back a million years or 100,000.

Joe Rogan

There's the tides have risen and like the the where the coastline is is shifted.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, this your sword was out, you know 400 feet in 20,000 years. Yeah, yeah, 400 feet pushes though. Speaker 2

Well, all right.

Steve Koonin

Though the coastline in tremendously, of course it happens, but for the time that we've had accurate measurements, you know, with tide gauges and so on, it's been going up at less than a foot a century, right?

And we've been perfectly fine in adapting to it.

Joe Rogan

And you think that that's going to continue?

Joe Rogan

To happen with.

Steve Koonin

Well, who can say what's really going to happen in the future?

Joe Rogan

Look at the surface.

Steve Koonin

But if I had a bet, I would and you.

Know the politicians believe that too.

I mean, you see the former, President Obama.

You see, Bill Gates, all of whom are raising.

Her arm they've.

Got houses on the beachfront right, so if you really believe that.

He'd be living in Colorado or something.

Joe Rogan

OK, now there's some alarmism in. I think it was the 1970s. Worried about the next Ice Age that an Ice Age was coming, but it was.

Joe Rogan

Not based on that.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, so we saw that cooling trend and people started to get.

The data from ice cores for the first time to understand the cycle of not water called ice ages, but glaciations and interglacials OK.

They happen because of the way in which the sunlight falls on the earth and how it changes due to the Earth's orbit and tilt of the axis.

Of the earth and so on. They happen about once every 100,000 years.

The last interglacial, the last time the Earth was mostly ice free.

Happened 125,000 years ago. The temperature was thought to be 2 degrees warmer than it is currently and the sea level was thought to be 20 feet higher than it is.

Joe Rogan

Currently so 125,000.

Joe Rogan

Years ago was.

Joe Rogan

Very little ice.

Joe Rogan

Yeah wow yeah.

Steve Koonin

And it's got to do again with how sunlight falls on.

The earth it's called the Eemian, named after a river in in Holland, where they first realized it and we see that kind of thing happen pretty regularly. Roughly 7000 thousand year intervals are back for a million years at least.

OK and and it's paced by again the way in which the Earth's orbit changes and allows sunlight to fall on the North Pole.

Joe Rogan

Now I mentioned Randall Carlson, one of the things that Randall it said to me.

Joe Rogan

He said what we really should.

Joe Rogan

Be scared of his global cooling we.

Steve Koonin

Don't know so you know by some measures would do OK, it's been.

You saw the last glaciers disappeared about 20,000 years or started disappearing about 20,000 years ago.

And 20,000 users about how long these interglacials last before the ice starts growing again takes a long time for it to grow, and then it warms up pretty suddenly.

I I have often thought you know what.

What are the signatures that we would start to enter a glaciation again?

What should we be?

Looking for one of the obvious ones is that the snow cover in the northern hemisphere starts to last through the summers right.

If and when that happened, it would cost take some thousands of years for the glaciers to build up, but you might ask.

Also, what geoengineering could we do?

What interventions would we do if we saw that starting to happen in order to forestall it from happening or slow it down and I don't think anybody?

At least I haven't found anybody.

Who's thought seriously about?

That it's a great academic exercise, I think.

Joe Rogan

Well, there have.

Joe Rogan

Been some theories, some suggestions on geoengineering as far as cooling the earth, right?

Joe Rogan

Yeah, there's a suspension of reflective particles and.

Steve Koonin

Good, yes, so this is an idea that's been around for, you know some number of decades.

And the idea is to put as you said, some reflective particles into the stratosphere, where they will hang around for a couple years and enhance the reflectivity by a little bit.

And you don't need to do very much in order to offset the warming.

There are several downsides to doing that.

One is that you gotta keep putting the particles up there because they fall out and if they fall out, it's going to.

Get warmer again.

Joe Rogan

Right, so how how?

Joe Rogan

Do they follow their so so they're suspended this?

Steve Koonin

Just pick gravity and they get trapped by water vapor and they fall out as rain and so on.

OK, this is what happens every time a big volcano goes off.

Joe Rogan

Right?

Steve Koonin

Alright, so you remember putting 2 bowl perhaps lovely sunsets after in the whenever it went.

Off in the 90s, ninety one and 90.

Two and then it fades off air for about two years, right?

So we'd have to keep.

Doing it otherwise the temperature would rebound if we stopped.

Joe Rogan

And the fear would be that those suspended particles suspended particles.

Joe Rogan

We get into our water supply.

Steve Koonin

No no no no no.

Joe Rogan

And you know.

Steve Koonin

It's so this is we already put a lot of junk up into the atmosphere by burning dirty coal.

Those stay in the lower atmosphere and come down pretty quickly.

They get rained out.

The amount you'd have to put up there is only 110th of what we put into the lower atmosphere already.

Joe Rogan

And would it change the way the sky looked?

Steve Koonin

Yep, it would make it a little bit.

Hazier and dimmer.

It would look like what happened after a volcano by the other bad thing.

Or at least.

Somewhat downside to it is it doesn't exactly cancel out the greenhouse gases because it only cools when the sun is shining, whereas the greenhouse gases are effective all the time.

It will change precipitation patterns somewhat, and people have done studies and with models about how it would change, you can just imagine the fights.

That would occur if.

The world decided to start to do this.

Somebody would say, hey, you know it was rainy the last two years and much more rainy than it should have been.

And it was your Geo engineering that did it, and therefore you owe me money, OK?

Joe Rogan

So there is some Geo engineering that I was reading about.

Joe Rogan

Uh, believe, it's Abu Dhabi that does they do cloud seeding.

I think.

Joe Rogan

They do it once a week, so 50.

Joe Rogan

Maybe two times a year.

Joe Rogan

They make it rain, yeah?

Steve Koonin

So those are local effects yeah?

And and that's about weather modification and you know the Chinese are said to have done that before the Beijing Summer Games to keep the rain away, really, yeah.

And so it it possible that it works actually.

But this is different.

OK, because that's in the lower atmosphere, this is way up there.

There are other.

Steve Koonin

Schemes besides stuff in the atmosphere, people have proposed creating mist near the ocean surface on low lying clouds, and you can calculate how many boats you need to do that and putting stuff up into the lower atmosphere to make that happen.

Joe Rogan

So is there a technology that would involve the boats?

Joe Rogan

Extracting water from the ocean and steaming it somehow.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, sold crystals actually as well.

Joe Rogan

Salt crystals.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, there's nucleates, you know, ships already create tracks behind them just from the diesel exhaust.

That means you can see him on the saddle.

Then if you can see them on the satellite and can tell you where the ships been for a day or two.

So it would be more that we could develop the technology.

The question is, you know who's allowed to do it.

Is the world really going to do this?

One nation could decide to do it, but it would affect the global climate.

The real issues are governance, not the technology so much.

Joe Rogan

And also the potential negative consequences.

Steve Koonin

Of course, of course, of course we're going to have to, you know, balance the pluses and minuses, and I'm all for research into this.

Joe Rogan

Using this technology that they didn't anticipate.

Steve Koonin

Both the technology and the impacts, both positive and negative.

I'm very much against deployment of it, but we should know whether we have it.

As a tool that we might take out someday, if the climate started to go really bad.

Joe Rogan

There's a lot to think about.

Steve Koonin

This is complicated stuff, art it's nuanced the the amount of climate illiteracy and energy.

Joe Rogan

See it's very complicated stuff.

Steve Koonin

Illiteracy is stunning and we're trying to make these decisions without people really understanding or how much we know and what we don't know what the possibilities are.

So that's why I wrote the book.

Joe Rogan

You know there's also this reflexive pejorative term of, you know, a climate science denier, OK?

Steve Koonin

I you know.

So if I were younger, I would say you're triggering me all right. So if you go back 2 generations in my family, 200 of my relatives died in the Holocaust in the camps.

So denier by itself the.

Joe Rogan

Just word.

Steve Koonin

Word, if I were younger, I'd say you're triggering me, but in fact you know what am I doing?

I'm just telling you what's in the reports.

Joe Rogan

Right no I'm not. Speaker 2

No, no, I'm I'm.

Joe Rogan

In any way.

Joe Rogan

Of course, it's just.

Steve Koonin

I'm I'm no I'm I'm speaking to a hypothetical.

Joe Rogan

It's, uh, it's so reflexive.

Joe Rogan

I mean it's just a reflex.

Joe Rogan

People do it and you know and they say it with so.

Joe Rogan

Much conviction and and and confidence.

Joe Rogan

And it's I know that just this episode getting out there is going to do that, especially in this day and age where everybody reacts sort of signaling to their tribe almost before they analyze the science.

Steve Koonin

Of course, of course both.

Right, So what I hope is that you know people will read the book before they criticize.

Yes, although that usually doesn't happen and those who do read it will look up some of the references and say, yeah, that guy Koonin seems to be right.

Go ask your favorite climate scientist is that guy, including right and if he is, what else haven't you?

Exactly couldn't, and if he is, what else haven't you told?

Joe Rogan

Me, well, I think they.

Other than bill.

Joe Rogan

Maher criticizing, was there anybody else that criticize it?

Then you clearly could tell that they haven't read the science or.

Joe Rogan

Having but oh I think many.

Steve Koonin

Of the scientists who wrote.

The criticism in Scientific American clearly hadn't read the book because I said, Kuhn says, when in fact woman after he said not.

The criticism in Scientific American really hadn't read the book because they say clean says X, when in fact, CUNA actually said not X.

So what can you do about that?

I actually submitted a Scientific American that refused to publish wow.

I actually submitted a rebuttal to Scientific American that refused to publish it.

Wow, OK, that's crazy. Speaker 2

OK.

Joe Rogan

It's not scientific knowledge.

Steve Koonin

Sounds like you know, as a kid I used to read.

Scientific American cover cover.

Because it was interesting and I discussed science.

I and many other people I know have stopped reading it over the last 20 years because it's become so political and the content has been dumbed down.

I and many other people I know I've stopped reading it over the last 20 years because it's become so political and the content has been dumbed.

Joe Rogan

Now, when did that start happening?

Steve Koonin

If you.

Joe Rogan

Now that there was?

Steve Koonin

A German firm that.

Took over the ownership of the magazine at least a decade ago.

I don't know exactly. Speaker 2

We can look it up.

Steve Koonin

And I think that has exercised about editorial.

Joe Rogan

Control in that editorial control is going through an ideological. Speaker 2

Filter I believe so.

Joe Rogan

Right, well Steve, is there anything else you'd like to talk about before we wrap this up as anything?

Steve Koonin

You feel like we miss no yet you know.

I mean, maybe just a summary.

I'm fine, just I try to stick with the data and reasonable implications and I understand something about modeling from a previous life.

Out of scientists, I try to stick with the data and reasonable implications of it, I understand.

From a previous life or a book on computational physics four years ago.

I wrote a book on computational physics for many years ago.

It did pretty well.

People should really understand that this is not a simple subject as we've been exploring and to do a little bit investigating for themselves.

People should really understand this is not a simple subject as we've been going and to do a little bit investigating for themselves.

Don't believe everything you hear like so many other things these days.

Steve Koonin

Audio file

2022-02-12 11-26-26.mp3

Transcript Speaker 1

The

Joe Rogan

experience.

Train by day

Joe Rogan

podcast by Night, all day.

Joe Rogan

Well, thank you for being here.

I'm really appreciative of your time and the fact that you are willing to talk about this.

This is a a very interesting book.

And extremely controversial, and I'm not exactly sure why that is, but I think it's a part of the times we're living in.

How many caught your book is called unsettled, correct?

How many yes? Speaker 2

Fakers right.

Joe Rogan

How many copies?

Joe Rogan

This book will be.

Steve Koonin

So, so we've sold since it was published at the end of April. So about 10 months ago we sold more than 120,000 copies.

Joe Rogan

120,000 copies.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, which I you know I don't know anything about publishing, but my agent and publisher is sort of amazed at the numbers.

Joe Rogan

That's a lot and without.

Much fanfare from the media.

Steve Koonin

Fannie, well it depends which media you look at.

Joe Rogan

Where have you gotten coverage?

Steve Koonin

So so I've gotten good coverage from the Wall Street Journal, but if you look at the New York Times, Washington Post, not very good coverage at all.

Didn't make the New York Times bestseller list.

Joe Rogan

That seems strange.

cause it's a lot of.

Steve Koonin

Copies yeah, right?

Well, you would think.

Yeah CNN, nothing and I think you know people are just ignoring it, which really surprises me.

Joe Rogan

Now your book is on the climate.

It's on climate change and climate science and we should just establish, right?

Away, just because I know you're going to experience some criticism, right right?

Clearly, first of all, your credentials you graduated from high school at 16 you went to MIT, Caltech.

Steve Koonin

Caltech first I was an undergrad at Caltech and then I went to MIT.

I did a pH.

D There in theoretical physics in three years.

And then I.

Went back to Caltech where I was on the faculty for 30.

Joe Rogan

Years and you were on the faculty at 23 years of age was just pretty extraordinary.

Steve Koonin

That's correct, yeah, it's unusual.

Not unprecedented, but really quite unusual.

Joe Rogan

Now there's a.

There's a couple criticisms that people have of you just just to get.

These out of the.

Way right away.

One of them is that you used to work for BP.

Yeah, that is.

This is a big one, so if you worked for some sort of an oil company, you.

Were chief scientist admission chiefs?

Steve Koonin

I'm chief scientist at BP for five years after Caltech, and you know they didn't bring me there to help them find oil right.

They knew how to do that really well.

Well, I was brought in to help figure out what beyond petroleum really meant and that was renewables and alternatives to oil and gas.

And I helped during my five years to help part a strategy for that which is today, now 15 years later, are starting to be realized, but.

Joe Rogan

Once you say you work for BP, there's a certain section of our population that will immediately dismiss anything you've.

Steve Koonin

Said yeah, of course, and and you know, it's part of a structural problem that.

The advantage of having been in BP is I learned about the energy system and I teach it at NYU you these days I just did my first lecture yesterday and so I actually know quite a bit about how the energy system currently works and a lot of people who want to change the energy system have no idea at all.

Of how it works and so they can do great.

Damage if they do the wrong sort of.

Joe Rogan

Thing well, in reading your book, one of the things that became very clear is there's so much data to sort through.

It's it's incredibly complex.

I actually listened to it on audio and there were sections of it where I had to go back over it again. Speaker 2

Ah, great.

Joe Rogan

Just to try to wrap my head exactly around what was happening to squash, more of the criticism really clearly up front.

You are, you're very clear about this.

You believe the climate is changing.

Steve Koonin

Climate is changing.

Joe Rogan

You believe that human beings are having an effect.

Steve Koonin

They are influencing those changes, yes.

Absolutely mostly through greenhouse gases that are accumulating in the atmosphere absolutely.

Joe Rogan

Your position, though, is that there's an either an exaggeration or there's.

There's a way that people are looking at the data.

That's alarmist.

That you don't think is reflected by the actual numbers themselves.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, that's correct.

I think that you know to put it in a British sense.

They have over egged the custard.

Joe Rogan

Now, why do you think this has happened?

Steve Koonin

I you know there's I I have in the book one of my favorite quotes from HL.

Mencken is the purpose of practical politics is to keep people alarmed.

By a series of mostly imaginary hobgoblins so that they can be clamoring to be led to safety.

Joe Rogan

Now, if you think that human beings are affecting the climate, and you think the climate is changing.

What what?

What percentage of an effect are human influences?

Steve Koonin

Yeah, so you know I.

I think we don't really know that the you went into governmental panel on climate change in its last report in August said you know it's all.

Our human caused in the last many decades, although all of it.

But you know, they completely forget that the climate was changing at comparable ways well before human influences became important and and so.

They they say no, no we we're.

Going to ignore.

That we're going to suppress it and say it's all human cost.

Joe Rogan

Now, one of the things you highlight in your book is that when you're looking at the way the temperatures have risen on Earth over a period of, say like 100 years, that if you do it in.

These blocks of.

Time that there's a way to look at it in a deceptive way that makes it seem in the alarmist way.

Where it makes it seem that radical drastic change is happening over a very short period of time, that's all I've ever heard.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, so you know the climate change is a lot on its own.

Maybe we can put up a picture which is one of the ones I wanted to show you.

Can we put up the second chart in that file called cunnin thumbs?

And what I'm going to show you is a record of the height of the Nile River, which has been compiled by the Egyptians.

We go to the net there.

We go so this is.

The height of the Nile.

River from 640 AD up until 1450 eighty.

So about 800 years of data every year about what was the lowest level that the Nile River reached in that year. The Nile was important to the Egyptians. As you might imagine, and so they.

Measured it, pretty cat.

And what you see are two things.

The blue spikes are the annual values.

They go up and down a lot.

1 year it was up at 6 meters 20 feet and then the next year it was down of 1 meter or.

Something like that.

So a lot of variability from year to year, but then if you look at the curve, which is the average trend over 30 years, you can see for example in the 1st 100 years.

It was going down.

And you can imagine some medieval Egyptian climate panel saying new normal new normal.

We got to do prayers and sacrifices.

And of course, if they just waited another 100 years, it came back up again.

And this was all before humans had any influence on the climate.

Joe Rogan

Are we looking at?

Climate and we were looking at these periods of time.

Are we looking at at them incorrectly?

Because we have such a short lifespan ourselves that we tend to think of great change as happening in these incremental ups and downs.

But realistically we should be looking at it on a broad spectrum of hundreds.

If not thousands of years.

Steve Koonin

Yes, so so climate change is on all timescales it changes.

On thousand year timescales it changes on 10,000 year timescales and it changes on decades every decade it changes.

And you know, we also forget a lot in the Midwest there was a drought in 1955 and one of the news magazines.

Time magazine said this drought will be long remembered. Nobody remembers 1955 drought anymore, so we forget and we think things are unprecedented.

When in fact they have happened before.

Joe Rogan

Now you are by training your physicist, correct, correct and another criticism would be that you're not a climate scientist.

People will say that now my question though, and I I think you you'd probably be able to help me on this.

It's like what exactly is a climate scientist?

Most science you have a hypothesis, you run tests, you get results and then you you do these experiments and that's how you get your data with climate science.

Is it based off models?

Steve Koonin

You know it it climate science is a very integrative discipline.

It involves physics, chemistry, biology, geology.

Statistics, computer modeling and so on so nobody can be an expert in everything.

Many prominent climate scientists are trained as physicists.

Look Jim Hansen, Michael Mann, Michael Mann.

Actually once applied to be my graduate student and he decided to go to Yale instead, but that's a different discussion that was many decades ago.

And so some of it is certainly physics.

I have published in physics and about climate science.

I've published a paper in August where we were watching the moon for 20 years to learn how.

Shiny the earth was.

That's very important because if the earth gets less shiny it absorbs more sunlight and so gets warmer.

And we published a paper and it attracted some attention press releases and so on.

So I have published in climate science, but more importantly, the kind of things I point out in the book are obvious to anybody.

Who has any quantitative sense at all?

It's like you know, if I were ordering carpet for a room and the room was 8 by 10, I would need 80 square feet of carpet.

If the carpet guy comes back and says you need 400 square feet, I'm going to ask him some hard questions and and that's the kind of.

Misleading things that I'm pointing out in the.

Book how did.

Joe Rogan

You get started on this journey of being.

Really, I want to say obsessed, but if not fascinated with the science of climate change and the data itself.

Steve Koonin

So I was exposed to climate science in the early.

90s when I was working with a group called Jason, which we can talk about at some point for the government and looking at the impact of then high performance computing and small satellites on.

Joe Rogan

Climate science and the group group. Jason is top scientists in their field that are recruited to work for the US government. And it's like what is it? 70% of it is classified projects.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, something like that.

We work for all government agencies, but a lot of what we do is.

Is for the national security parts of the.

Joe Rogan

Government and it's tackling the most complex scientific.

Steve Koonin

Like the most.

Difficult technical problems sometimes you know mysteries that the government finds going on in other countries.

Things of that sort.

What's going on? It said.

Well, how do we do XY or Z technically?

Joe Rogan

And So what was the initial study that you had read, or what? Speaker 2

Yeah, with.

Steve Koonin

What so so the initial?

Thing that caught me interested was.

The Department of Energy wanted to deploy a fleet of small satellites which remember this was 30 years ago, so that was a pretty big innovative deal to look at the earth and monitor what was going on for climate purposes.

For science, and one of the things that you could do was to measure how.

Shiny the earth was the albedo.

It's called technically whiteness of the.

And of course, being curious, we asked the question well, how was the albedo first measured and the answer was back in the 30s.

Some guy started watching the dark part of the moon and that brightness of the dark part of the moon is lit by light that is reflected from the Earth, and so as a good measure.

Of how shiny the.

Earth, as it hadn't been done for 30 or 40 years and so we started up a program that continues to this day to watch the dark part of the moon to monitor how bright the earth is and we just published a paper in August that showed the Earth has gotten a little bit dimmer over the last many years and so.

Not surprising it perhaps gotten warmer.

Anyway, that sort of got me interested in climate science when I moved into the private sector, I was more concerned with energy technologies and how we.

We could develop and deploy or demonstrate and deploy technologies that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and I did that.

For quite a.

While in both BP and then in the government and then in 2014, the American Physical Society asked me to do a review.

Of their statement about climate science.

They had put out a statement in 2007 which was very controversial among the physicists because it used the word incontrovertible and for a physicist that's fighting words OK, so they asked me, you know, Steve recommended new statement. And so I said, heck, we're physicists.

We're not going to take anybody's word for it. Let's look at the issue ourselves. And so I convened a one day meeting with three.

Mainstream climate scientists and three credentialed skeptical scientists and we sat for a day presentations talk discussion.

In early 2014, it's all up on the web. It was transcribed. You can find the transcript and I came away from that. Thinking this science is not anywhere near as settled as I thought it was.

Because of the problems with the models, the observational data and so on and.

My little group wound up proposing a statement that could not get through the bigger committee that was approving such things.

People would say things like we can't say that even if it's true, because it gives ammunition to the deniers.

Joe Rogan

Really yeah, Yep now how frustrate as a scientist, how frustrating is that thing?

Steve Koonin

Well, I I.

Got so frustrated 'cause I'm used to through Jason and others of giving advice to decision makers.

You play it straight.

You you know you say this could be this may not be.

Here are the options and so on, but you don't try to spin the advice to get one answer or another, and I was really annoyed by that.

I wound up resigning from the committee, but I wound up then publishing an op Ed in the Wall Street Journal.

They gave me 2000 words which was great. We got a couple of 1000 online comments. Many people said thanks for writing this and trying to expose the real science to what's going.

Of course, the establishment trashed me completely even though I was just repeating what's actually in the reports and in the research now.

Joe Rogan

What was the nature of their criticisms when they?

Steve Koonin

Trashed you oh, you know your cherry and and we get it to this day with the book you know your cherry picked your misleading.

What you said is actually not true, and so and even though I point.

To you know.

Chapter and verse in the reports where these things are said.

Joe Rogan

So is this are the scientists that are claiming you're cherrypicking, are they?

Are they signaling to the other people that follow the ideology that you're not to question climate change and that anything that you say that in any way calls doubt to the settling of the data gives some sort of ammunition?

To the people who are the real climate deniers, who are a real problem?

Steve Koonin

Yes indeed indeed, and book on my sense is that this is a problem. Speaker 1

You would, yeah.

Steve Koonin

It's not an existential threat by any means, and it's a problem that we have time to deal with and we should deal with it in time in a graceful way.

But I think you know when the book first came out.

There appeared an article in Scientific American written by I think, 13 mainstream climate scientists that was a couple 1000 words of mostly ad hominem criticisms, a couple of substantive criticisms which I have rebutted.

I think quite effectively, but it it you know, put a a marker in the ground.

That people who didn't want.

To have the book understood, could point to and said ha ha, you know those guys said Koon is an idiot.

Joe Rogan

Now what what criticisms made sense that you could rebut?

Steve Koonin

Well, you know they said.

For example, I said sea level rise was not accelerating and of course I got a whole chapter that talks about the ups and downs of sea level rise.

But they would criticize a review of what I said by somebody else or they would.

Say sometimes you know Couden said that and it's true, but it's not important because of a B&C.

Joe Rogan

If you don't mind pull that.

Microphone just a little closer to your face.

Steve Koonin

Yes, sure sure sure.

How's that right, OK?

Joe Rogan

Perfect now.

Joe Rogan

So these criticisms that were levied against you did, did anyone of prominence, that is, a climate scientist come out and say.

This is a very interesting analysis of the data.

These are things that I hadn't considered.

Coonan makes a lot of really.

Good points not in public.

Not in power, not in public.

Steve Koonin

In private, you know when I first sort of came out in that Wall Street op Ed in 2014 I I had a chat afterward with a.

The chair of a very prominent Earth science department at one of our best universities.

I won't say who or where, but suffice it to say it's somebody who was firmly in the business and he said, you know, Steve, I agree with almost everything you said, but I don't dare say.

It in public.

Wow all right.

You know there's a whole organization called covering climate now, which is a consortium of media including the BBC and NPR, I think, and so on.

Who have you can look them up on the web and they have signed an agreement or made an agreement that they will not cover anything that diverges.

From the narrative.

Joe Rogan

And who establishes the narrative like what's the top of the?

Steve Koonin

Heap I think you know the authoritative, allegedly authoritative voices are the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC, which issues reports major reports every six or seven years. There is the US.

National Academies of science.

There is the UK Royal Society and the US government issues reports as well, and you know when you get into the meat of these reports they have some problems and you know we can go into them. But by and large they're pretty good summaries of the science, but when you get to the summaries.

For policymakers.

Well, you get to the media coverage or the political discussion.

That's where things get really corrupted.

So it's like a long game of telephone that starts with the basic science and the scientists doing it are by and large you know good, honest, hardworking people and you talk to them privately and they'll admit to all the problems.

That they've got.

But by the time it gets to the end and the public, it's, you know the science is settled.

We're headed for doom, et cetera.

Joe Rogan

Et cetera, but that's always the case with something that's really controversial, right?

There's there's always.

The alarmist perspective and the people that are looking at it that have maybe a less extreme point of view are criticized because they're not taking it seriously enough.

And then there's what you were saying earlier is that people are saying that like they can't even say certain things because it will give ammunition to the people that are real climate.

Skeptics, the people that aren't paying attention to the science that have an ideology or a dog when it goes in.

Steve Koonin

Right, right?

The other direction there's so much analogy.

Here, with the Reformation when the Catholic Church started to come at odds with the Protestant movement, let me give you 2 examples.

In one of the best recent introductions I've had, you know, I'm a humble guy and I usually like to keep the introduction short, but this one was really interesting.

I was compared.

To William Tyndale.

Now I didn't know who William Tyndale was.

I'm not a historian, so I had to look up William Tyndale in the early 16th century did one of the first translations of the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew into English.

So it had been originally in Latin, and so.

That let ordinary people read what was in the Bible.

And of course, the establishment got really mad at him for doing that.

He was eventually burned at the day at stake for that and other reasons.

So you know, I've sort of made these reports are accessible at least parts of it to ordinary.

Non experts.

So that's one, the other one, which is maybe even more amusing a couple years ago, 13 senators led by Mr.

Proposed a bill that says the government may not spend any money to challenge the consensus.

The Council of Trent in the early 16th century said very much the same thing about church dogma, not about spending money.

But you know you you'd be in all sorts of trouble if you challenged.

Dogma, what would?

Joe Rogan

Possibly motivate the government to come out with a statement like that that they can't spend any money to challenge.

The consensus and doesn't a consensus mean most?

It doesn't mean all so in in cases of dogmatic opinions or ideologically formulated opinions.

Steve Koonin

Right?

I you know I, I'm so surprised that the government would try to suppress the scientific process like that.

I think what precipitated it was I had.

For a number of years, been advocating for a Red team review of climate reports.

Now where you get a bunch of credentialed people to look at the report and ask what's wrong with this?

We do that kind of thing all the time.

For spacecraft.

Other matters of consequence when we have to make judgments.

And I almost got to the point.

Where we could have pulled.

It off, but the.

Trump administration, in the end, decided they.

Do it.

Joe Rogan

Now the Trump administration had some of its own problems with climate science the wrong way.

Steve Koonin

Well, gosh.

Yeah, absolutely absolutely.

I you know, I felt I was, of course a little bit concerned about going through the administration, but I had lined up the national academies to play the blue team, or I had assembled.

Pretty much a good red team and then it was stopped at the last minute by a political decision, so I'm I'm really disappointed because I point out in the book a lot of problems with those reports.

You know it says X, but in fact the truth is why?

If you look at the data.

So we need that it's about the integrity of the scientific institutions.

Joe Rogan

So let's go back to your initial impression that the science was not settled when you first walked away from this meeting that you were discussing, and you you realized that this is either far more complex.

Or it's influenced in a way where it's not just about the data, it's about what the narrative is so.

Joe Rogan

How do you?

Joe Rogan

Go from there before you write this book like what is, what are your next steps.

Steve Koonin

So I started.

Paying more attention.

To the disconnect between what was actually in the science versus what was either in the reports or in the political dialogue, I think the next turning point came when I was helping with a study for another government agency and had occasion to look at hurricanes.

And I turned to the.

Official U.S. government report in.

2014 at the time and you see this graph in the body of the report of some property or hurricanes going through the roof over the last 30 years. And it sure looks like if.

You look at that graph.

We're in trouble.

And so I did a little deeper. I look up the reference that they cite and I read in the back of the same report and page 700 and.

Something if I.

Remember it and it says there are no long term trends in hurricanes, which is still largely a true statement.

And I'm looking at that and I said my God, that's a swindle in the part of the report that everybody going to read.

You see this graph going up and it looks like all hell is gonna break loose.

And then in the back it says we don't.

See any long term trends.

Joe Rogan

So what is the graph like?

Steve Koonin

What what is so so the the graph is basically a graph.

Joe Rogan

That's the date of its.

Steve Koonin

It's called the Power dissipation index.

Which is a graph of how many storms and how intense they are over the last 40 years.

Joe Rogan

And what is the trend?

Steve Koonin

Well, in that particular case it was going up OK from 1980 up until 2010.

But what they didn't show you was there was an earlier part of the graph in which it was going.

Down so it was really looked like a return to normal.

Joe Rogan

So in the beginning of the graph from 1970 and 1980s that we're saying it's going down, do you have an image of that? Speaker 2

Yep Yep. Yep I I.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, I I.

I think I do actually hang on many.

Joe Rogan

And So what they were looking at again, where we were talking about how we're measuring things on these very small increments where.

Their time for us is 100 years. It's our lifetime, so we're looking at things like as if that's a lot of time.

Steve Koonin

That's right, and there are these long term trends.

As you saw in the Egyptian River, can we pull up US?

Chart #35 in the unsettled file.

Joe Rogan

And we can safely assume that in those long term trends in the Egyptian data that you're not talking about human influence because it's too long though.

Steve Koonin

Now it's too much to yeah right? OK, so let's pull up chart 35 and then so there is the original graph in the government report from 2014.

And what's shown is from 1980 to 20.

10 and it's.

Joe Rogan

Going up right right, but if you see from 19 looks like 1979 ish.

Steve Koonin

Well, so let's look at.

Let's look at the whole record, which is the next picture.

There it is alright.

Joe Rogan

So it's real similar to the Egyptian data that it's up them down and up and down.

Steve Koonin

That that that's up and down.

And now there's a lot of controversy.

Still, this was.

10 years ago or so, there's a lot of controversy about whether storms are getting more intense.

One paper says yes.

Another paper published in July says no and so on.

So the matter is kind of unsettled.

At the moment, but.

Overall, the as I can read for you.

The official report, the official statement from the most recent UN report, let me just get it.

There is low confidence in most reported long term multidecadal to Centennial trends in tropical cyclone.

That's hurricanes frequency or intensity based metrics.

Joe Rogan

Now that image Jamie, you pull it.

Up again, please.

Yep, that image when you see.

1975 then you see 2005. It's not that much of a difference, so the peak of 19 excuse me. 1945 the peak of 1945 and then you go to 2005. Speaker 2

Yep, yeah.

Joe Rogan

If it's you're not looking at that much of a difference.

Steve Koonin

Right?

Joe Rogan

And clearly there's been a gigantic difference in the amount of human influence.

Steve Koonin

Of course, of course, let me show you another one all right.

Can we go to chart three of the other file and this is one I think I'm going to go public with pretty soon in an.

OP, Ed, but.

Let's put it up.

This is about Greenland.

OK, and the popular image that Greenland is melting and it's melting faster and faster and so on.

All right.

This is the official data set.

For how much ice Greenland is losing every year?

And the IT goes up right until 2021 and it starts in 1900.

And what's interesting about this?

There are several things.

First of all, even though human warming influences have been growing steadily.

Over the course of this.

There are a lot of ups and downs.

So it says it's got to be a lot more than greenhouse gases at play here.

The second thing to notice is that in the most recent decades at the right hand end of the chart.

Greenland is actually starting to melt less rapidly.

Than more rapidly.

Even as the globe has been warming.

Joe Rogan

And this is from 2010 to 2020.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, correct and then if you go back to 1930.

You can see it was melting just as rapidly in 1930.

As it was in the last decade or two, and the human influences were less than 1/5 of what they are today in 1930.

Joe Rogan

So what are the?

Other influences if they're not just.

Steve Koonin

That's that's an excellent question, and the answer is this has got to do a lot with the long term money decade, cycles of ocean currents and winds in the North Atlantic.

And you can find papers that say that.

Right? Like research papers are.

You don't hear any of that from the official reports or the media.

Joe Rogan

So the the the different factors that play into what we think the different factors are that play into the melting is greenhouse gases.

Steve Koonin

Warming, yes, warming.

Joe Rogan

Warming and what are the other?

Steve Koonin

Ones the others are ocean currents that have their own.

Dynamics that are not, you know, just getting warmer.

They get warmer and colder and the the weather if you like, because how much ice Greenland loses every year is a balance between how much snow accumulates.

That's the weather.

And how much flows out from the.

Joe Rogan

Glaciers. Those are the only.

Steve Koonin

Factors basically, there's a little bit of melting and so on that you have to worry about.

But those ups and downs are really weather.

Joe Rogan

Does anything have to do with the where the sun aligns with the Earth insights?

Steve Koonin

Well yeah so so well no, that's much too slow.

Joe Rogan

Precession of the equinoxes?

Steve Koonin

I mean over this period, year by year, it certainly has a seasonal effect.

These are though.

Annual values so they average out the seasons, but of course the ice grows in the winter and then it melts in the summertime.

Joe Rogan

So there's all this data that shows the UPS and the downs and there's all this data that shows that sometimes it's they're losing ice, and sometimes they're losing less ice and gaining eyes. Speaker 2

Yeah, yeah.

Joe Rogan

Like how do they know what is?

Causing this or that?

Do they just assume that there's these?

This series of factors and.

Steve Koonin

They don't, they don't OK it it is.

You know it's a combination of modeling and physical principles and other data that let them try to say how much is natural variability and how much is human influence.

There's no doubt that if the globe keeps warming that that warming might eventually come to dominate the ice loss, the melting.

But right now and for the foreseeable many decades, it is these natural variables.

Please and instead in the media all you hear is that it's been melting faster and faster over the last two.

Joe Rogan

Decades and this media narrative.

Do you think this is just one of those things where people gravitate towards the most alarmist perspective?

So that's the one that makes the headline.

Is it because of the green?

Steve Koonin

Energy industry that it's all of the above but you know I put a lot of it on activist reporters, so this statement that Greenland was melting just as fast in the 1930s as it is today, I made that I got fact.

Checked by a reporter, Jon Greenberg at PolitiFact and he deemed the statement mostly false, OK, and you can look at how he analyzed things.

He talked to some experts.

It's entirely misleading, right?

So I got a non expert reporter with an agenda and a platform criticizing what's actually in the data.

Joe Rogan

So the non expert reporter with an agenda in order for him to.

Print something that's going to get the response that he's looking for.

He's looking for a positive response from the people that are climate that that that believe these models, and that think that the climate is of utmost importance. Speaker 2

Yep, Yep.

Steve Koonin

And we're headed for.

Joe Rogan

Yes, catastrophe and this is the narrative that all that's the only thing I've ever heard.

Yeah, until I read your book.

That's all I had ever heard.

Steve Koonin

Well, that's interesting. You know the most recent UN report, OK, which is 39149 pages, almost 4000 pages. It took several 100 scientists a couple years to.

Right, you can search that report for the words existential threat climate.

Catastrophe and so.

On you find the words climate crisis. Once in that report, no other alarmist words. And the context for climate crisis is not a scientific finding, but a description of how the US media have overhyped this.

Joe Rogan

Situation did this start with?

I remember global warming in the 80s 'cause I'm a stand up comic and there was comics that would do jokes about global warming like this is great.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, yes yeah what?

Joe Rogan

I can go golfing in January.

They were joking around about it, but then I remember an inconvenient truth and Al Gore put this documentary out when he was vice president.

No, I just retired.

Steve Koonin

Just before just after, I can't remember, yeah.

Joe Rogan

And when he put this documentary out it, it scared a lot of people but but there was a lot of predictions in that documentary.

Did any of those come true?

Steve Koonin

You know, apart from the fact that the globe is going to continue to.

Storm and sea levels are going to rise and we can talk about that in a bit.

Most of the predictions you know that hurricanes are going to get more intense or we're going to see more droughts or floods and so on.

Almost all of the high impact things don't show any long term trend.

They're all within natural variability.

Joe Rogan

One of the things that you point out in your book.

That I found was interesting that I hadn't considered is when they're talking about the amount of damage that hurricanes do.

So when they're thinking about what what kind of danger there is to hurricanes, they also talk about the economic danger of these.

Brains and the damage that they do, but that damage is accentuated by the fact that the population is increased in these areas, so naturally, when a hurricane hits it's there's going to be more things there to damage.

Steve Koonin

You're gonna see billions and billions of dollars just 'cause there's more stuff there.

Right more people, right?

Joe Rogan

But that doesn't necessarily mean the energy of the hurricane is greater, or that the energy of the Hurricanes over time is.

Steve Koonin

Greater we can put up if you want to see some of the hurricane statistics, but that's essentially right.

Joe Rogan

You know hurricane so some stuff. Speaker 2

I'm drunk.

Joe Rogan

But the the hurricane thing is not settled, you were.

Steve Koonin

Saying that right, there's some indication with the paper.

Published a year and a half ago that the strongest storms are becoming more common, but then there was another paper that said, no, no, it's just a natural fluctuation, so I think that's unsettled yet.

Joe Rogan

So what how do they come to these conclusions that are different?

Yeah, if they're basing it on data.

Steve Koonin

cause 'cause they're doing? They're looking at two different kinds of data. The paper published in 19 2020, looked at satellite images of the Hurricanes.

We see beautiful images of the Hurricanes and you can try to infer from that how strong the storms are.

OK, they used a new tech.

I think the people who said no no. It's a natural fluctuation looked in the North Atlantic where only 10% of the world's hurricanes happened or 12%.

Something like that.

And they looked at historical records, and so there's an issue that as you go back in time, you haven't seen all of the Hurricanes.

And you got to correct the observations for that. So they tried to do a good job. What they found was that the measure of hurricane intensity went down from about 1960 to 1980, and then from 1980 to.

There 2000s was just coming back to normal.

So, so there's a lot of you know.

There's a lot of controversy about this.

This is at the bleeding edge of unsettled science.

Joe Rogan

This variability when it comes to the temperature of the ocean when it comes to the melting of the ice caps and all these different things that we're talking about, what?

Why does that exist?

In these radical ups and downs throughout the history.

Of the earth.

Steve Koonin

But you know the the earth there are two.

One is that the earth is subject to external influences or influences outside of the climate.

The orbit of the earth around the sun, the way the sunlight falls on the earth.

This is what drives the ice ages.

If you like with the glaciations and so on.

But the other is that climate is a chaotic system.

Which means it has very complicated and variable internal motions all on its own.

We know that because we have cartoons or the equations and they show that we know that because you can't predict weather past about 10 days, two weeks, it's chaotic and so has a lot of variability.

Some of these long term variations we understand, for example, El Nino.

Happens every few years. Takes a couple years. We kind of understand that, but these longer term things that take 70 years or in some cases 1000 years.

Having to do with the motion of the ocean currents, we don't have a very good handle on at all, and part of the problem is the models don't reproduce.

Goes well, and so you don't know where you are in those cycles when you're trying to match the model with the observations.

Joe Rogan

So is it safe to say that what people are looking for or what people would like to to see is sort of a flat?

Easily predictable rise and lower like that, it's there's very little variation and that this is just not consistent with the historical record. Speaker 2

Right, yeah?

Steve Koonin

Absolutely let me.

I'm going to do another one for you.

We haven't.

Talked about sea.

Level yet can we pull up a chart 13 of the cunnin file?

So sea level is one of the things that people worry about this strike, and so you're going to lose Miami, right?

Joe Rogan

Yeah, most we're going to lose Miami.

Steve Koonin

So here's a chart.

I live in Manhattan.

Some fraction of the time, and so I've gotten very interested in sea level at the battery, which is the tip of.

Manhattan and there has been a tide gauge there since about 1850 or 1860, and it measures the height of the ocean. It gotta average out over the tides and the waves and the weather and so on, but OK.

That black line on the graph from 1920 to 2020 is 100 years of actual data showing how fast the sea level is rising.

And what you can see is it goes up and down in a cycle, kind of like the Greenland thing we looked at.

And you know the peak was in 1950 and it was up at 5 millimeters a year. We can talk about what that means in a second and then in 1980 it was down in 2 millimeters a year and now again.

It's up at 4 millimeters a year and looks like it's.

Joe Rogan

Headed down and the peak that you're looking at in the 1950s and 2020 is essentially the same height.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, that's right, and you know to set a scale 3 millimeters a year, which is kind of the average over that time is a foot ascension.

1 foot rise A century, which is about what we've seen over the last 150 years.

It's thought that those ups and downs are due to natural variations in the ocean. Currents are happening on these long timescales 7080 years. What's interesting is those colored graphs going out from the present to 2000.

Show that the expected rate of rise starts at about 8 millimeters a year, twice as much as we've ever seen, and then goes on up from there.

OK, those are the UN projections of based on based on models and you can see there are large uncertainties.

And large variations.

I think you know if it's going to look like that, we're going to know pretty soon within the next 10 or 15 years.

And my bet is it's just going to go down.

Joe Rogan

So why did they have these predictions that are so extreme?

Steve Koonin

I don't know you should ask them.

They don't even match up with what's happening.

Joe Rogan

Today, no, right they?

They're much more extreme if you're looking at those green lines and the blue lines like much more extreme than anything that we've seen. Speaker 2

Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah.

Joe Rogan

Over 100 years.

Steve Koonin

And then you know this is part of why I think we need a really rigorous review of these.

Allegedly authoritative reports.

Joe Rogan

As a scientist, is how frustrating is it when ideology and dogmatic thinking and when someone is trying to push a narrative and it gets involved in something that is a very complex science with many many variables, some of them.

That aren't totally understood in terms of their effect.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, it's very frustrating to talk to non experts about.

This, but I'm even more frustrated with my scientific colleagues because many of them know that there are these problems in communication and they do nothing about it, or in fact they abet it if yeah.

Joe Rogan

They abet it, and many of them, like you said, who will talk to you privately, will not speak about it publicly for fear of retribution.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, yeah exactly.

You know one of the reasons I wrote the.

Book was in part to inform people, not persuade them, but also to inform my fellow scientists who are not climate scientists about the kind of misrepresentation that's going on, and many of them have written to me privately or spoken with me, and I've said Steve.

Thanks for doing that.

Joe Rogan

Thanks for doing that, but I have to shut.

My mouth yeah.

Steve Koonin

I don't.

I don't dare speak out about this.

Joe Rogan

Has it been a problem for you in your career writing?

Steve Koonin

This book, no, you know I have enough other parts of my life that are interesting and.

Must I'm I'm far enough along in my career that frankly I don't really care very much at this point.

What people think of me?

I've got enough stature.

Uhm, you know I have been advising the government on non climate matters for a long time.

I helped guide the National academies and some of the reports they did to Jason.

I advise companies it's fine.

I really just want to.

Get people to understand you know climate, literacy and energy literacy.

We haven't talked yet much about energy are so important and people need to understand.

Let me give you an example of a different field that I think is a terrible example.

So there's this guy named Jonathan Gruber.

Who's a professor of economics at MIT?

And he was one of the principal architects of the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare.

Now, whatever you might think about Obamacare, what he said at one point was the only way we could get a principle provision of that act passed was to rely on the basic ignorance of the American people.

Wow all right, and you know there's a videotape of him saying this at a conference and you know.

Joe Rogan

Little crazy thing, they said.

Steve Koonin

For an educator and for an advisor to say that is.

Terrible by Overhyping the climate threat we've taken away from non experts.

The ability to make their own judgments.

We have displaced other priorities and we've got so many priorities that are beyond climate.

We have scared the bejeezus out of young people.

Aren't you talk to young people and they think the world is going to end?

Yeah, and so you know, that's one of the reasons I wrote the book is to just try to.

Get people to understand.

Joe Rogan

Did you see that woman?

I believe it was in Canada, but they listed her cause of death as climate change.

Steve Koonin

No, I've not seen that.

Joe Rogan

You haven't seen that you need to see that because the first time I saw that I was like Oh my God, here comes because and then I mean, I should say before I read your book, I was fairly convinced that we're in for a horrible next 50 years of climate change and rise of sea level and and.

Steve Koonin

I'm no, but I'm not surprised. Speaker 2

Stop, thank you. Speaker 2

Yeah yeah, yeah.

Joe Rogan

I was I was buying all the catastrophic ink.

I mean, I you know I bought it all and then Peter Attia turned me on to your book.

I started reading it.

I started listening to brother and I was just like OK this guy.

I need to talk to him.

I need to find out what's going on.

Let me see see if you find that you found the article.

No one can hear you. Speaker 6

Trying to confirm its accuracy. Speaker 6

cause when I googled it wasn't coming up a lot. Speaker 6

Of places I had to like this.

Joe Rogan

I told you, DuckDuckGo son, get up. Speaker 6

OK, when I looked on the Internet for it. Speaker 6

It was coming up only in one very specific spot, so I'm trying. Speaker 6

To find out like why.

Joe Rogan

Is it in a bad source? Speaker 6

It's it's an interesting source, so I'm just trying to.

Joe Rogan

OK, got it. Speaker 6

See like when.

Steve Koonin

When you find it, I want to talk about economic impacts a little bit, because that's another interesting story, yeah?

Joe Rogan

And there's there's a lot of factors.

That lead to a narrative being established.

What what year do you think?

Is there a time you can pinpoint when this sort of alarmist perspective really took took root?

Steve Koonin

Yeah, I, I think it was the early 90s and it was in part.

The UN, the first UN assessment report.

That said maybe you know, were influencing it and then there was a subsequent report maybe a decade later.

That said, there was a discernible human impact on the climate.

Al Gore's movie I. I think the Obama administration pushed pretty hard and now you've got the Biden administration trying to infuse climate and energy in all sorts of government and private sector activities.

There we go here there's oh, come on. Speaker 6

A decent source.

Joe Rogan

Doctor reveals why he wrote climate change on patients medical chart.

When a Canadian doctor wrote 2 words on a medical chart, he had no idea those few strokes of his pen would make global headlines.

Climate changes with Doctor Carl.

Kyle Merritt wrote alongside of patient symptoms following a heat wave, which resulted in poor.

Air quality across Nelson, British Columbia in late June.

Extreme weather condition.

During the North American summer, the General practitioner believed had deteriorated the health of a 70 year old woman who was suffering from diabetes and heart failure while living in a caravan with no air conditioning.

The idea that that that you would say that's climate change.

Just remember to read that again a 70 year old.

Woman who's suffering from diabetes and heart failure while living in a carriage.

Van with no air conditioning, so she's in a trailer.

She's got diabetes and she's suffering from heart failure and they said climate change, right?

They put.

That on our thoughts.

Steve Koonin

Not not only that medicine bought the fact of taking one summer hot wave heat wave and calling it climate when it's really weather is, you know, displays the ignorance of that doc. Speaker 2

Right?

Joe Rogan

But it's also in vogue, right?

Steve Koonin

Of course, of course, who who doesn't?

Joe Rogan

And that's.

Steve Koonin

Want to be invoke?

Joe Rogan

Yeah, who doesn't wanna like hop on the trend?

I'm sure he got a nice.

Pat on the.

Back oh sure.

Steve Koonin

And of course.

Joe Rogan

Congratulations on this to add in for.

Steve Koonin

And of course, I get all kinds of. Speaker 6

The clarity it was like added on the chart, not her.

Joe Rogan

What's that? Speaker 6

Her diagnosis According to him when asked.

Joe Rogan

OK, it's his reflecting on the decision.

Doctor Merritt said he wasn't trying to make a big deal out of it dur, but he felt it was important for both him and his colleagues to recognize the truth in quotes and add the contributing factor of climate change.

But he doesn't really know.

What he's talking about this right?

Steve Koonin

Of course he doesn't, and let's look at the data.

Can we pull up chart seven of the.

I'm going to show you something about that heat wave.

That's of the Coonan thumbs.

Now it's the other file.

I know why. Speaker 6

I looked this up though just for clarity too. Speaker 2

Yeah Oh yeah yeah OK yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. Speaker 6

This is what when I looked up the battery sea level trends. Speaker 6

This is what pops up on the government website.

Steve Koonin

So, so that is that's the sea level itself, not the. Speaker 6

It shows the trend.

Steve Koonin

Shorter term trends but you can see in the upper right it shows it's going up at 2.88 millimeters a year, just about 3 millimeters a year for the last 160 years.

Joe Rogan

So, but it's so I'm I'm confused here now. 'cause in that other chart it showed that the levels in what was at 1940.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

So that's the scope of the of the other chart that we've been looking at the the shorter term trend.

In other words, you can see like from 1930 to 1940 this level is going up more rapidly, right? Right, so that black line I showed you on on my chart.

Is the.

So how fast it's going up at any given time?

Joe Rogan

That's kind of deceptive then, right?

It's hard to look 'cause what I'm looking at at that chart, I thought.

That was the actual level of the sea.

Steve Koonin

No, no, no, it's not the level.

It's how fast it's going OK.

Joe Rogan

Let's go back to the other one, Jamie, that you pulled up and thank you for doing that. Speaker 2

Yeah yeah yeah yeah.

Joe Rogan

This is a so this shows.

Arise arise level.

Steve Koonin

Six seed levels been rising for 10,000 years. OK, how much well it's got up 120 meters in 20,000 and 10,000 years 100. That's 500 feet out of 400.

Joe Rogan

500 feet in 400 feet in 10,000 years and how much over like the measurable time that we've been paying attention.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, so so can we pull up chart 11 in in my file and I'll show you that there it is so.

This is determined from geology and you can see we started 20,000 years ago and to the present it's gone up.

About 100 and.

Joe Rogan

20 so a lot of this is post ice.

Steve Koonin

That's right, the glaciers were melting. They started melting 20,000 years ago. And what's interesting is that about 8000 years ago, things slowed down a lot. As you can see, OK, and so it flattens out. It's not completely flat.

Joe Rogan

Yeah, it flattens out.

Steve Koonin

The real issue is not where the sea level is rising, as you can see it's been rising for 20,000 years.

The real issue is how fast is it rising and whether human influences are making it rise faster, right?

And that's what I showed you in.

Joe Rogan

The now how do they measure like when they look at the percentage of like how much agriculture has an impact?

How much?

Methane has an impact. Speaker 2

Yep Yep Yep.

Joe Rogan

How much transportation has an impact?

How do they measure all that?

Steve Koonin

Well, it's complicated.

The first question you can ask is how much carbon dioxide?

Is the burning of fossil fuels putting up into the atmosphere and we can pretty well measure that.

We know how much coal is consumed, how much oil, how much natural gas.

Methane is harder.

Because most of the methane.

That comes out is not from fossil fuels.

Joe Rogan

It's from cow burps.

Steve Koonin

From cow burps rice paddies, wastewater treatment and OK.

And of course, if we're going to reduce those emissions, we have a much more difficult task than just stopping to burn natural gas.

Joe Rogan

So what are the percentages when it comes to greenhouse gases?

Like say what?

What's the biggest contributor?

Steve Koonin

Yeah, so CO2 is the biggest and most problematic contributor because it lasts in the atmosphere a long time.

Centuries by some measures, methane is much less problematic, even though it has an impact about half of CO2.

Currently, because it only lives for about.

Joe Rogan

12 years so CO2 is the most significant, but is is it also the most abundant?

Steve Koonin

Yes, but you know you shouldn't talk about abundance because they're very complicated issues about how the greenhouse gas.

Is actually trapped.

The heat in the atmosphere?

What you really want to talk about is their contributions to what's called radiative forcing, which is basically how much they enhance the heat intercepting ability of the atmosphere.

Joe Rogan

So the thing that we talk about when we talk about human impact on climate is CO2.

Steve Koonin

That's correct.

But and methane and methane.

But also there are a couple of other minor gases like nitrous oxide and CFE, but humans also exert a cooling influence on the climate house because when we.

Burn dirty coal.

We make aerosols, smog and so on that I'll.

Joe Rogan

Block out the sun.

Steve Koonin

So that block out the sun a little bit and they knock off about half of what CO2 warms.

And if we stop burning dirty coal, which we should for other reasons, we're going to see the globe get even warmer than we might otherwise.

Joe Rogan

How much of an impact does the burning of coal have to cool?

Steve Koonin

The earth, so as I said, it's about half the warming.

Impact of CO2.

Joe Rogan

Half the.

OK, So what so?

The biggest contributor in terms of greenhouse gases number?

Like what is what industry causes the biggest.

Steve Koonin

So, so power electrical power generation is big.

Heat of various kinds, both for buildings but also for industrial process.

To seize the next biggest contributor, transportation, which is what we usually think of in this country as greenhouse gases globally, is only 14% of greenhouse gases.

Joe Rogan

Now, does that vary by country to country depending upon their?

Steve Koonin

Oh absolutely, absolutely all. If you go to China and India, it's mostly electrical power in the US, about 40% of our emissions are transportation.

Joe Rogan

Regulation we add.

40% yeah, interesting.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, but the US as a whole is only about 6 billion tons of CO2 a year.

Whereas the the globe as a whole is about 50, not CO2 of greenhouse gases. Generally US is about.

188 percent or something like that. No more than that. Let's see. It's about 6 out of 50. So 12% so.

Joe Rogan

Then we have transportation.

Yep, so we have transportation in terms of moving goods and services.

Steve Koonin

Burning, burning gasoline and diesel.

Joe Rogan

And then what what's below that?

Steve Koonin

Electrical power out in the US electrical power is.

Joe Rogan

Electrical power

And what that coal like what is?

Steve Koonin

Coal and gas right wind and solar don't contribute directly to greenhouse gas.

Joe Rogan

OK.

Emissions, nor does nuclear right.

Steve Koonin

Not nuclear certainly doesn't either, right?

Joe Rogan

And then what's after?

Steve Koonin

That you know small potatoes.

You can probably our home heating and industrial heat, but the big ones are power or transportation and agriculture, agriculture and globally I don't know. Speaker 2

Your culture.

Steve Koonin

The US number, but globally agriculture is 25% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Joe Rogan

And this includes animal agriculture and also monocrop agriculture in terms of like growing.

Steve Koonin

Yeah well fertilizer production but also rice paddies and wastewater treatments.

OK, OK, that those bacteria that produce methane.

That's how you treat wastewater.

And yeah.

Joe Rogan

So when.

Talking about these various.

Factors and how they impact the environment.

How much into consideration.

Does one have to take like what are the?

What's the economic impact of making a radical change?

Yeah, that's like, say, one of the things that keeps coming up is electric cars, right?

California has initiated a a new law that I believe it's somewhere in the twenty 30s, right?

They can no longer sell.

Gasoline vehicles right?

Which is really soon.

Steve Koonin

Yes, I know so, so let's.

Talk about economic impacts.

Let me first talk about the economic impact of a changing climate.

OK, and then we'll talk about the economic impact of an energy transition, alright?

So could we put up?

Chart 21 of the.

Chart 21 of the.

Cunnin file.

And I'm going to show you a chart that comes right out of the.

Most recent government report on the subject, which is on the left and what you see is.

The horizontal scale is how much the temperature would go up at the end of the century compared to what it is today, and you know it goes up between one and 10 degrees or 15 degrees Fahrenheit. It's a US chart, so it's in Fahrenheit, not centigrade, and what's shown on the vertical axis.

Is the percent of damage to the US economy in 2100?

And the take away from this is, first of all, as the temperature rise goes up, the damages go up.

But more importantly, for temperature rises of up to 5 degrees centigrade or 9 degrees Fahrenheit, it's 4% of the US economy in 2100.

Joe Rogan

I'm not exactly sure what that means.

Steve Koonin

That means that the economy, if the temperature would go up, the economy would be 4% smaller in 2100 than it would have been otherwise.

Joe Rogan

Now, does that take into account the growth of the economy overall?

Steve Koonin

No it well, it's a relative statement.

OK.

Steve Koonin

So if we go to the next chart, that's a wonderful.

Question there's what would happen, so I'll show you the US economy starting from 2000 up to the end of the century.

If it grows at 2% a year, which is kind of what everybody thinks it should be doing and might do you get that curve. If you assume a 4% impact at the end of the century.

Or even a 10% impact, you just delay the growth by two years or a few years in 21180 years from.

Now all right.

So this is not the climate crisis.

OK, the economic impact is projected to be minimal.

Joe Rogan

And this is the economic impact of as the way things stand today without any major interventions in terms of.

Steve Koonin

That's correct, that's well, it's no.

It's really.

It's done as depending upon how much warmer the globe gets, right?

OK, so remember the Paris Agreement is trying to hold things to two degrees centigrade or about four degrees Fahrenheit, which is a few percent damage to the economy.

In 2100, yes, OK?

Whereas the economy is going to grow by 2% a year.

Right, so instead of.

70 or 80 years from now, it being, you know, I'd say 400.

While the US economy instead of being $80 trillion, it would be $76 trillion or something like that in 2100.

That seems like a.

Lot of money. Well not as a percentage. If it grows by 2% a year, so it's a two year delay in the growth.

Joe Rogan

Right?

Two year delay in the ground OK?

And now if major policy changes are implemented that are going to shift.

Like the sales of the combustion vehicles being banned, which is what they're doing in California. Speaker 2

Yep, Yep.

Joe Rogan

Did that pass in California do?

You know?

Steve Koonin

I think that is the the current policy in California, right?

Joe Rogan

I believe it's 2035.

Is that what it is?

Steve Koonin

And and and you know the yeah and the federal government is pushing for the same policy nationwide. Speaker 6

Putting that up when. Speaker 6

We started on the Chair and sitting on.

Joe Rogan

Now, is there enough?

Of these

Minerals that make batteries to.

Steve Koonin

So, So what?

We forget for people who don't understand energy want to change.

The energy system is that it is a system, and so let's talk about cars.

OK, you have to change the car itself, which means the issues about do you have enough minerals?

You have to change the fueling infrastructure.

Namely, do we have enough charging points and can the grid handle all these cars plugged in at once, and then you have to change the fuel or at least provide more electricity to power the cars in addition to what you're doing now.

And oh, by the way, they want to electrify heat as well.

In the House is so great is yeah, right so. Speaker 2

The griller Speaker 2

Sure, yeah.

Joe Rogan

Here, Governor Newsom announced the California phaseout gasoline powered cars drastically reduced the demand for fossil fuel.

California's fight against climate change. Yeah, it's 2035 death, so he wants all new passenger vehicles to be 0 emission by 2035 and additional measures to eliminate harmful emissions from the transportation sector. Yeah, says there the transportation sector is responsible for more than half of all California's carbon pollution.

80% of smog forming pollution and 95% of toxic diesel emissions, all while communities in the Los Angeles Basin and Central Valley see some of the dirtiest and most toxic air in.

Steve Koonin

The country so so you know this conflates.

I mean it's a wonderful example of.

The political discussion.

First of all, he's making a policy that will go into effect long time after he's gone OK from the political scene.

The second is it conflates carbon pollution and I.

Hate that word.

Because CO2, which is what they're talking about, is essential for plant growth, the more CO2.

The more plants grow all right, so in that sense, it's not at all.

Joe Rogan

Is that an inconvenient truth?

Steve Koonin

Yes, that's happened. You know the earth has gotten 40% greener since 1980, yeah. Speaker 2

In person.

Joe Rogan

I had heard about that from Randall Carlson.

Yeah, who explained that to me. Speaker 2

Yeah, yeah.

Joe Rogan

And then when I saw it, it's it's actually in your book as well.

Yeah, the.

The the thought process of carbon is only that carbon is a negative thing that's put out by human emissions emissions, right vehicles?

Yeah, but it's the fuel of plant.

Steve Koonin

It's the fuel of plants so we can talk about the carbon cycle for a second, but let me continue with Governor Newsom for a moment.

OK, OK, I think what is going to happen as.

People start heading in that direction.

Is that there and with other emissions reducing measures, is there's going to be popular pushback?

People won't be able to buy the kind of cars that they want or need.

Actually, they're going to see their electricity rates go up.

They're going to see the grid becoming less reliable.

Certainly a phenomena you know about here in Texas, and they're going to say, tell me again why we're doing all this when the US is only 13% of global emissions, we're going to see geopolitical leverage disappear as we rely more on imported oil.

It's already happened that kind of pushback in the UK where the government tried to mandate heat pumps in the houses.

It would have been about 15,000 per house and people. The legislature just said hell no, we're not going to do this.

And I believe.

That that's what's going to happen in this country because.

They're pushing too far and too fast.

I like to say you need to.

Change the energy system not by tooth extraction, but by orthodontia slow steady changes.

Joe Rogan

Is it possible that battery technology will shift so radically that our concept of what's required to create a battery, specifically the type of conflict, minerals, and it's very rare?

Earth minerals that we need right now currently that that would shift by 2035.

Steve Koonin

I no, I, you know people are doing a lot of research on batteries.

I think that's one of the fields we should be researching.

More, but it's not as though people haven't been trying and and you know there are issues not only with the minerals you use, but the lifetime of the batteries because they get charged and discharged, and that does mayhem at the molecular level that tries to destroy the structure.

Or there's also the weight and size of the batteries so.

And there are many things that go into making a good viable battery.

I think we will see scope steady progress.

But are not optimistic that there will be great breakthroughs.

People been trying this for a.

Joe Rogan

Long time, but there's no great breakthroughs on the horizon or concepts that may lead to.

Steve Koonin

Well, you know here you hear people saying, well, we can produce a battery that's 50% better, but.

Joe Rogan

Some sort of new technology here?

Joe Rogan

That's not enough.

Steve Koonin

That's not enough.

And what I've learned is that while things might look really promising in the lab to actually get them out at scale, in the real world is a long difficult.

Job that you often fail.

Joe Rogan

At have they done an analysis on all the rare earth minerals and what the quantities are and what would be required to make all the vehicles on Earth?

Steve Koonin

Electra I'm I'm sure somebody has done those numbers.

I don't have them at my.

Fingertips, is it possible?

Yeah, so let let me tell you about resource.

OK, whether it's minerals or oil or gas and so on, the amount that you can get out depends upon the cost.

To get it out and that depends upon the technology as well as how much.

There, and so as the price goes up.

You're willing to consider more extreme technology, which might cost more, but you can still produce it.

Oil is a wonderful example.

You know, at $20 a barrel, there are very few ways to produce oil, but at 80 or $90.00 a barrel, which where we are today, then offshore production shale, many other technologies become economically viable and so you shouldn't think about, you know, are we going to run.

But are we going to be able to open up new resources with new technologies fast enough in order to be able to satisfy the demand?

Joe Rogan

So you you can't just look at it in terms of what you want to see.

You have to look at it in terms of there's a.

Steve Koonin

Lot of factors, yes.

So you know nobody has put together a sensible.

Decarbonization plan for the US, let alone the globe. A sensible plan would entail technology economics business because people have to make money doing this.

It would entail what are the right policies and regulations and it would also entail consumer behavior and preference the plans.

That are put out.

By the National Academy by universities.

Are generally formulated by.

If you'll excuse me, a bunch of academics.

OK, and I can say that because I used to be.

One and I.

Still am OK, but.

Very few people who have experience with the real energy system of having to create and operate, whether it's fueling or electrical power.

And so on.

So I think the best thing that can be done right now is to get that kind of group together, spend a while we've got the time and let's come up with something that will let us decarbonize in a graceful way rather than the kind of very disruptive things that are being proposed.

Joe Rogan

Now we were looking at this proposal for an enormous machine that was like the size of a skyscraper.

Have you seen?

Steve Koonin

This no well tell me what does the machine do?

Joe Rogan

The idea was that this machine extracts carbon and particulates from the atmosphere, so it reduces pollution.

Steve Koonin

So there are a number of people working on that.

It's called direct air capture.

And the question is, can you do it cheaply enough per ton and can you do it at scale? Namely, to do enough of it to make a material difference in how much carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere? Right now it's about $500 a tonne of CO2.

To extract it from the atmosphere.

Joe Rogan

How much is CO2 worth? Yes. Well.

Steve Koonin

That unless the government intervenes, it's not worth anything.

But if you look at the right question, I think to ask is what does the price need to be to start to shift the power sector away from coal.

And the answer is about $40 a ton or $50.

At time OK.

So people who are trying to do this hope to bring that $500 a ton down to $100 a ton. Still too.

Answer, But if the price of carbon goes up to $100 a tonne then you can start to make money.

But then the real question is, can you do this at scale right? And there I'm very doubtful. You need to suck out 10 billion tons a year or CO2 and to think about how much atmosphere you need to pass through this machine with the capture efficiency you have.

And so on.

Yeah, if you want to capture CO2, the best way to do it is to plant trees really. Yeah, so a little bit about the carbon cycle, right? Speaker 2

OK, yeah.

Steve Koonin

New interest, you know.

When I was a kid, I hated Earth science because you had it no too much.

Alright, I like math, physics 'cause you don't need to know much, you just need to be clever.

But as I've gotten older.

It's not to realize these things are just wonderful science, so about 200 billion tons of carbon. So roughly 800 billion tons of CO2 go up and back between the atmosphere and the earth surface every year.

More or less in balance. 800 billion up 800 billion down having to do with the seasonal cycle of plant growth and changes in ocean temperature and so on.

So 200 billion tons of carbon is a good number to remember. We are digging out of the ground.

About 9 billion tons of carbon every year in the form of oil, gas and coal.

And burning some forests as well and putting it up into the atmosphere into this cycle, and it's gradually going up about half of it, stays in the atmosphere every year.

So if you could tweak that big cycle of 200 every year by a little bit, you could compensate in part, or perhaps in whole.

For those 9 billion tons that we're putting in.

Every year and the way to do that is to grow more trees.

Or other living things 'cause they suck carbon out of the atmosphere to make what they to make plant material.

Joe Rogan

And when you pointed this out in your book, you were talking about the study of green leaves and the percentage of green leaves.

This is all gotten through satellite imagery.

Steve Koonin

Yes, so we can measure what's called.

Well, not only the color, but what's called the Leaf area index, which is the fraction of the land covered by leaves in any particular place.

Of course it's really high in the Amazon, it's pretty low in the Sahara or the Southwest, and we can watch that over the years. And we've been watching it for forty 5060 years.

And it's gone up as I said by about 40% globally.

The world is getting greener because there's more CO2.

Joe Rogan

That's inconvenient because we don't want to think about it that way.

We want to think everything is catching on fire and it's all brown and there's no more water and. Speaker 2

Right?

Steve Koonin

You know crop yields. I've been going up steadily since 1960. A lot of that is agronomy.

That we've gotten better at farming.

We've gotten better genetic.

Strains of plants, but some of it also is more CO2. Plants love CO2. We put CO2 into greenhouse is to get them to grow more.

They also love warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons and so for example, I don't like to cite.

You know this year, etc.

But I will in this case you know India has seen record.

Grain harvests this year, more than any other year and long term over the world.

The yields have been going up.

Hmm OK 'cause it's getting warmer.

We're getting better at agronomy and there's more.

Joe Rogan

Is there a point of diminishing returns? Like is there a point where there's so much CO2 in the atmosphere that then it becomes detrimental?

Steve Koonin

Yes, so so there's a lot of controversy about that.

Some people say you know eventually you're going to be limited by water or nutrients in the soil, but we haven't seen it yet, right?

Joe Rogan

We haven't seen it yet, so these factors that lead to climate change the the human contributions of agriculture transportation.

All the various ones that you discussed earlier.

How much of that can be eliminated?

Steve Koonin

At what cost?

All right, and and here I want to take a global view. OK, we in the US have a very distorted view of the world where big country. Many people don't travel. They have no sense of what's going on in the rest of the world.

In the developed world, the US.

Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada and so on, about 1 1/2 billion people and we have high energy use and we have a pretty good standard of living. There are 6 billion other people in the world.

Who need energy in order to improve their economic heart?

One point, something billion people in China.

Another one point.

Something billion people in India and so on.

The best way for them to get their energy in terms of reliability.

And convenience is fossil fuels.

And who are we to tell them?

No, you can't do that.

That's a moral issue, as Alex Epstein, for example, has pointed out.

And so when you say, can we reduce and what's it going to cost?

I think you have to distinguish between those of us in the developed world where we can do it.

You know we can cut our emissions if we have enough financial capital and political capital.

We'll do it, but what are you going to?

Do about the.

People in Indonesia, China, India who need the energy.

What do you tell them?

And nobody has a good answer for you.

Joe Rogan

So we're looking at it from perspective of this first world country and we're not taking into consideration that there's a lot of countries, particularly third world countries that are already struggling, and if we implemented these radical restrictions, it would devastate their economy.

Steve Koonin

Well, we can't implement restrictions on them, we can.

Implement restrictions on ourselves, which will come at some cost and benefit.

Cost minimal benefit. We're only 13 in the US. 13% of emissions.

Joe Rogan

Right now when we look at all these factors, agriculture, transportation, all these different things.

If you eliminated that, how much of an impact would that have on overall climate change?

And you know, warming.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, so you want to do that for the world.

There's a whole word just for.

EU let's just.

Do it for the US, so we're 13% of emissions.

What you need to understand is that emissions accumulate in the atmosphere and so by eliminating US emissions.

You have only slowed down the rate at which the amount in the atmosphere accumulate.

Joe Rogan

When you say we're third, so we're 3rd 13% globally.

Steve Koonin

Correct, correct?

So the rest of the world the emissions are growing because they're burning coal and they're burning oil and gas because they need all that.

So all 13% decrease if we could do it tomorrow would be wiped out by about a decade's worth.

Of growth in the rest.

Joe Rogan

So the growth in the rescue world they would just contribute so much that it wouldn't matter what we'd taken out.

Steve Koonin

Yeah yeah, that's right.

And and yes, yeah.

Joe Rogan

So they're growing and their economies are booming and you know.

Steve Koonin

And who's going to tell them you shouldn't do that alright? Speaker 1

Right?

Steve Koonin

I'd like to say you know they've got the wolf at the door alright, uh, real immediate problem with.

They need gliding, refrigeration, transportation and.

So on and they're not going to worry about their cholesterol.

The long term, you know what's going to happen 2 generations from now?

And it's kind of vague.

And who knows exactly what's going to happen?

So they are making what I would think is actually a pretty sensible solution for a sensible course of action from their point of view.

Joe Rogan

Let's say if that didn't happen.

Let's say if the rest of the world stayed static, exactly how it sits now, what what we do?

If we could, what what is possible to do to eliminate our impact?

Steve Koonin

Yeah you if the rest of the world stayed static.

Are our influences would still contain global influences, would continue to grow because they keep emitting and it keeps accumulating even if they're not emitting anymore in the future.

They're still emitting and it's accumulating.

If we wanted to just stabilize human influences.

Not let them grow. We would have to go to. Net 0, namely 0 emissions overall by 2050, thirty years from now if we want it to stabilize at a 1 1/2 degree rise.

We'd have to go to 0 by 2075 if we wanted to stabilize at 2 degree rise, and if I look at the issues of development, demographics, technology, economics and so on, I would say both of those goals are fantasy. It's just not going to happen because people need the energy.

They need to develop. We in the developed world in the US might reduce our emissions, but it ain't going to make much difference.

Joe Rogan

So the proposals that you hear when you hear about government proposals for addressing climate change, and when you hear about these summits, where these countries get together and talk about what they're going to do to implement climate change.

How much of that is just sort of signaling that they're working towards doing something good?

I mean, they're always criticized for taking private jets to these things in the 1st place, which is.

Very odd, but what what, what, what impact could happen from any of these things that they're?

Steve Koonin

Proposing, well, let me let's talk about what has happened in the past.

Joe Rogan

OK.

Steve Koonin

We just finished in Glasgow in Nov.

Remember COP 26. The 26th Annual Conference of Parties.

And during that time it started 26 years ago, which is probably 1995 or so.

Greenhouse gas emissions have grown spectacularly, or it, despite all of the rhetoric and the Treaties or cords, promises and so on, and the UN itself said that a lot of the Pudge is that countries have made to reduce their emissions over the next.

5 to 10 years are not going to be met or not being met.

Right?

So I I think it's a lot of politicians talking.

Joe Rogan

So they're not met, but what if they were?

Steve Koonin

So we might reduce emissions now from 52 billion tons a year, equivalent down to 46 or something like that.

So a lot.

Remember we got to go to zero in 30 years.

If you want to stabilize and.

Joe Rogan

But is that real?

So if they go to zero in 30 years, what is the actual result?

Steve Koonin

Well, we will have stabilized, not eliminated, but just prevented from growing.

Human influences on the climate.

Joe Rogan

And what percentage of the change in the climate is human influence?

Steve Koonin

We said that's a, you know, a subject of some debate right now.

The audience.

Joe Rogan

What is is what is the, is it?

Steve Koonin

Half half, maybe of the warming, but there's a lot more than warming going on.

There are storms, and there are droughts and floods and so on.

Most of those are within natural variability.

Joe Rogan

So in terms of like your 100 year chart of ups and downs, most of those.

Steve Koonin

Not going to change that, not going to change.

Joe Rogan

So is it a percentage point?

Steve Koonin

I know I don't think people have tried to.

Joe Rogan

Quantify, yeah, because it's too complex.

Steve Koonin

At that level, yeah.

It's too complex, yeah, and we have limited data.

OK, we don't have 100 years worth of data right in many variables.

Joe Rogan

And again, this is what we're talking about at the beginning.

That when you're looking at a human lifetime, it's such a short period of time that we we look at a shift in our lifetime.

When you're like, Oh my God, this guy is.

Steve Koonin

Falling Yep, think about the Egyptians in the river, right?

They said Oh my God.

Clouds coming and you just waited another 100 years and it comes back.

Up again, right?

That's not true.

For everything, humans are certainly having an influence, but a lot of the variability.

The daily weather that the weather people talk about as climate change.

It drives me crazy when I hear Al Roker talk about that as climate change.

Joe Rogan

It's not.

Steve Koonin

It's not.

Joe Rogan

It's just the variability in the chaos of weather itself.

Yeah, and this is for certain.

Based on the models.

Steve Koonin

Well, you know it's.

Our best guess.

This is an uncertain science.

The models are kind of all over the place and.

Uh, if you had a bet, many of these phenomena are not being influenced by.

Joe Rogan

Human now what?

Prominent scientists and climate scientists have arguments against your your book and against you?

And what the way you're relaying this information?

Steve Koonin

So you know Michael Mann, for example.

Naomi oreskes.

Alvin Dressler

Kerry Emanuel at MIT.

I'll tell you an interesting story about Kerry in a minute.

Have all spoken out and said, you know Koonin doesn't have it right.

Very few of them offer specifics.

Carrie did.

And and I think I have.

I have a medium page that people can look at where I've written detailed rebuttals to the science.

I mean when people say you're a show for the oil business or your physicist.

What do you know about?

Comment I can't answer those all right, but I can try to rebut the specific facts.

That they say I've misrepresented and I do, I think, effectively again you can find it on my medium page.

Sorry about Kerry.

So Kerry was one of the people who criticized me early on.

He said, you know, anybody who talks about 100 year trends and hurricanes doesn't understand that we only have good data until 80 years.

But previously in this conversation I read you the official statement.

Which says no long term trends over a century.

Alright, so he was being, I think.

You know he's putting on his Cambridge bow tie and saying.

Nobody who understands et cetera, et cetera.

I had the opportunity to share the stage with Kerry at MIT in October, and it was convened by John Deutsch, who's a good friend of both of us and a senior.

Scientific figure.

And I had my 1015 minute presentation and I went through some of.

The things we've talked about.

Kerry had 10 or 15 minutes and he didn't challenge the science at all.

I was really surprised.

Instead, he started talking about fat tails, namely, improbable things that might happen with high consequence but no disagreement with the science.

Joe Rogan

So the improbable things with high consequence these this is the sky is falling here.

Steve Koonin

Oh yeah, yeah.

So Greenland starts melting.

The permafrost Outcast is the Atlantic circulation slows down.

The Amazon dries out and so forth.

Joe Rogan

Did you try to press him?

Steve Koonin

Or no, I didn't because I was too polite.

He was being too polite.

Joe Rogan

Interesting, yeah and.

Steve Koonin

Actually, that exchange was not recorded.

Joe Rogan

More interesting.

Steve Koonin

Even, even though I would love to be on a stage with some of these scientists, OK?

Joe Rogan

What about on a podcast like one of the things that I know? Speaker 2

Oh yeah.

Joe Rogan

I understand this this is going to be a very controversial podcast and you know 'cause controversial.

Joe Rogan

I would like to get someone to come on opposite of you next and either.

Joe Rogan

By themselves 1st and then you with them together or depending upon their what they would like maybe.

Steve Koonin

I I would certainly be up for that, but let me tell you what.

You should do.

Have somebody else on and you can have them say where that guy Kun is wrong.

Joe Rogan

But then have them.

Steve Koonin

Write it down.

OK, you're really.

If you're going to do a scientific discussion debate, you gotta put it in writing.

You can't call names and you can't say OK, so get him to write it down. Speaker 2

Right?

Steve Koonin

I've across written down everything with citations.

Better to write it down and then get the two of us on together and let's have a discussion now.

Joe Rogan

I know there's been some articles that have sort of attempted to debunk this is.

Joe Rogan

What is the best?

Joe Rogan

One that you've seen.

Steve Koonin

You know, I don't think any of them are really very good.

A young guy who I'll get his name wrong, but you can look him up.

Who's a real climate scientist and and he wrote a book review and he said, you know, in terms of the data and the historical data.

I I got it about right.

Yeah, which was a very brave thing for him.

To say, but he said I underestimated the ability of the models to talk about what's going to happen in the future.

I would disagree with that.

We can have a discussion.

About that but.

I I thought that was a pretty fair.

Joe Rogan

Review now how do they shape the models like how do they can construct them?

Steve Koonin

Boy, the model.

So projecting the future more generally, is very complicated.

First of all, you got to say what?

Emissions are going to.

Be out going forward and that depends on technology and regulations.

But even given some.

Scenario for emissions over the next 80 years, you've got to feed that into a climate model and you use that to predict the temperature and other changes in the climate.

The climate models.

Cut the earth into zillions hundreds, millions of cubes that.

Joe Rogan

Cover the earth.

Steve Koonin

They go up into the atmosphere, 2030 layers of cubes, and then down into the atmosphere down into the ocean of 2030 layers.

Joe Rogan

And and then.

Steve Koonin

The models use the laws of physics to.

Move water, air, energy.

Light and so on through these cubes.

10 minutes at a time typically.

And you do that for centuries, so millions of steps in time.

There are a number of fundamental problems in doing that, but let me just highlight two of them.

One is that the boxes are typically 60 miles on a side.

You can't make them smaller because then you got too many boxes in the computer.

Can't follow them all rapidly.

And our 60 mile scale.

There are a.

Lot of things that happen in the weather that are much smaller than 60 miles.

How many clouds are there there?

Thunderheads visit, training and so on.

And so you have to make assumptions about.

Joe Rogan

You know, given the temperature in the.

Steve Koonin

Box and the humidity and so on.

How much, how much clouds are there?

What kind of clouds are there and?

So on and different.

People make different assumptions and so you get different answers coming out of the model.

That's one.

The second is the models.

Human influences are physically very small.

The flows of sunlight and heat in the climate system are measured in hundreds of watts per square meter.

The human influences are two watts per square meter.

And so the model has to be very precisely balanced.

If you're going to see the effect of human influences balanced to about a percent, right?

And there are different ways to getting that balance to tuning the models, for example.

One of the models changes the way in which marine organisms on the surface produce a chemical called dimethyl sulfide.

This is a wonderful bit of Earth science.

OK, so there are these bacteria micro organisms, plankton that live on the surface of the ocean.

And if they get too hot, they excrete, they put out a chemical that creates a haze, so it's a kind of natural sun shade that they make.

And depending upon.

How much you say they do that, you can change the reflectivity a little bit and tune the model.

Who would have thought that that's what you need?

In order to get the climate of the Earth right, but OK, so those are the knobs that they turn different people TuneIn different ways. And so you get different answers.

Even more importantly, there are these long term oscillations.

We've talked about a little bit and the models don't necessarily produce the amount of those or their timing, and so you get different answers as well so.

As some of the modelers have said in professional papers but not in the media, they only give us a hazy picture of what might happen globally.

And other people have said again, credentialed members of the consensus that for local or regional predictions like the sea level in the battery or the drought in Texas are they're not capable of giving us anything useful.

Joe Rogan

So these people that think that there is.

Joe Rogan

An established settled climate change.

Joe Rogan

What are they pointing to?

Steve Koonin

They point to the global temperature rise OK, and then they'll point to things like Greenland melting, of course, which we've seen is up and down, and kind of not driven by human influences, right?

Joe Rogan

Global temperature rise.

Steve Koonin

But they'll point to the temperature wise, we could.

Pull that up.

If you want to see that, let's do that OK.

And I think this is something most.

It's one of the.

First charts in one of the files.

Joe Rogan

Which numbers?

Steve Koonin

I'll tell you in one moment.

Joe Rogan

Lose it.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, that's it great.

OK so on the left is a measure of the global temperature.

It's not the global temperature itself, averaged over the gold.

Because we don't know that number, actually very accurately. Speaker 2

We don't.

Steve Koonin

No, we don't know it to within a degree centigrade or so, maybe a bit.

More, but we know why we know changes.

Joe Rogan

When did start knowing it? Speaker 2

We know Frank.

Steve Koonin

It's easier than no changes and you can see this graph of changes in the global temperature averaged over the globe.

Starts in about 1860. This is data from a project at Berkeley led by my friend Rich Miller, whom I I helped get this project funded and off the ground and what you can see is that the data show up until about 18, nineteen 20.

From 1860 it wasn't doing very much and then the temperature started to rise in about 19.

10 It went up by about half a degree to 1940. It then actually went down a little bit until 1970, and then it started to go up again.

And it's been going up now.

And the dashed line shows somebody projection, or at least just continuation of the trend to 2060. And what's interesting about this graph is first of all you can see that the rise has not been steady.

That the rate of rise from 1910 to 1940 is about the same as the rate of rise from 1980 to 2010.

How could that be?

And in fact, it was even including from 1940 to 1970. How could that be? If human influences have been growing steadily since 1900, and the answer is they don't know.

Joe Rogan

They don't know now when you're looking at this from 1860 to 2020, yeah.

Joe Rogan

How far back can we look with this?

Joe Rogan

And do we do it based?

Joe Rogan

On core samples, so I get it.

Steve Koonin

So, so that's a great question. This is the instrumental record as it's called, so it's based on thermometers on the ground these days in the last 30-40 years we have satellites also, but this is just the the measurements of weather stations.

And there's a problem that there weren't too many weather stations starting in 1860, and even for that, far fewer.

The thermometer was only invented in the 18th century.

I think the mercury thermometer and so.

We have proxies.

We have weather records.

Not measured temperatures.

We have crop Diaries and so on.

And and then ice cores, of course can.

Tell us at particular places what the temperature was doing.

We do know.

You know, if you go back to 16 hundreds 1700s, there was the little Ice Age, and while there's still people who say it was only a regional phenomena, it certainly looks like it was around the globe and then it was about 1 1/2 degrees cooler than what is shown there.

Joe Rogan

And what year would did?

Joe Rogan

This started, oh late.

Steve Koonin

1600s early 1700s.

Joe Rogan

And how did they measure it back?

Steve Koonin

Then we have ice records from.

Joe Rogan

From a core.

Joe Rogan

Sample well well.

Steve Koonin

Not only that, but the Thames in London was frozen over.

Winters were much harsher than than they were.

The world was in a pretty solid state actually.

Joe Rogan

So this is just through anecdotal reports or newspaper reports.

Steve Koonin

We have ICE core data also, when you see the little Ice Age, we can also.

An interesting thing.

We can't go back too far.

You know, if you drill into a oil well or or well in the ground, the water in the well remembers the temperature when what the surface temperature was, and so you can get some measure over the last 100 and.

Joe Rogan

Somehow, so how does it remember?

Steve Koonin

Well, you know the heat diffuses, kind of travels down from the surface and by it travels and so by looking down you can get a measure of what it was like 100 years.

Ago people do that.

It it you know, Paleo climatology is wonderful field or we can.

There's a lot more techniques to look even further.

Back, it's just great science.

Joe Rogan

When you put this out, were you uneasy about this at all?

Joe Rogan

We were like, oh boy, here we go.

Steve Koonin

No, I knew what I was in for, but I was pretty confident.

I you know everything in the book is referenced to the official government reports or the quality data or the research literature that has happened since the reports.

Were issued so people say coolants not up to date.

Well, in fact, most of the stuff.

Stuff that is new was presaged.

In the in the book.

So I was pretty confident I obviously I wouldn't put it out if I didn't feel I was confident in it.

I knew I'd make a lot of people mad.

But you know, I see my job again is to inform people, not to persuade them.

Joe Rogan

Yeah, then the making the people Batman thing when you when that initially started happening would.

Joe Rogan

Was there any consideration that maybe you could have worded things differently?

Joe Rogan

Or maybe you?

Joe Rogan

Could have appeased them in any way, was it?

Steve Koonin

You know, I wanted to do something that was.

Kind of in your face.

Because in fact I wanted to get their attention.

I'm still, I believe, very accurate and very fair and balanced in the way I talk about the science.

But I didn't want to soften it at all because I I've been doing that a bit in other things I wrote and it kind of people tend to dismiss it at that point, so I I really wanted to get people.

Mention but still remain accurate to what the official sciences.

Joe Rogan

And when it wasn't listed in New York Times bestseller list would were you shocked by that?

Steve Koonin

Now what what has shocked me?

Not so much.

That particular incident is that that I think there really are two media universes in the country.

And I think, quite apart from climate, there are.

That's a very bad thing to happen.

Let me give you one example.

So when the book was just about to come out, we had sent copies around.

And my wife and kids turn on Bill Maher one night in I think early April and Bill Maher goes off on a 10 minute rant about this guy cooling who publishes a book that says climate science, et cetera, et cetera.

I haven't had the stomach to watch it again.

But you know, Bill Maher of real people who you know is against religion and dogma and so on.

He obviously hadn't read them.

Look, but he just went off.

It's just. Speaker 2

You know, really bad now.

Joe Rogan

What do you think motivated him to do something like that?

Steve Koonin

You know there is a narrative to preserve and anything at the Council of Trent or the Senators, but.

Joe Rogan

Why Bill Maher?

Joe Rogan

Because Bill Maher is not a.

Joe Rogan

Politician Bill Maher.

Steve Koonin

What is what is Bill Morneau?

About climate right?

Right OK, I.

Joe Rogan

Don't know, so is it that he's signaling to the tribe?

Steve Koonin

I think so.

Joe Rogan

Yeah, well.

Steve Koonin

We think so.

Joe Rogan

He has to.

Joe Rogan

Do a little of that I think, unfortunately.

Steve Koonin

I can't get into his head, but I can tell you and I'll I'll say it.

People can hear it.

I'd love to get on a stage with him and show him XY&Z and Bill tell me why this is not true and it's counter to what you probably believe.

Joe Rogan

Well, the problem is, if anybody hasn't read your book and they would make an assumption based on the idea.

Joe Rogan

That you are a climate denier.

Joe Rogan

So it starts with that which is. Speaker 2

Yeah, sure.

Joe Rogan

Very clear from the very.

Joe Rogan

Beginning of the book, that's not the case, like.

Steve Koonin

How can I deny?

What is actually in the official reports?

You know?

If you say I'm a denial, let's have a conversation about who's denying what.

Alright, yeah, OK, you're going to deny the Greenland story.

You gotta deny the hurricane story.

You're going to deny the economic impact story.

I think it's really hard when you look at the actual documents and see it's right.

Joe Rogan

There, and particularly that you're not.

Joe Rogan

Saying that the climate isn't changing.

Joe Rogan

You're not saying that human beings don't have an influence on it.

Joe Rogan

You're saying what is unsettled is the amount of impact we.

Joe Rogan

And why it's happening the way it's happening.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, and and the consequences of it for ecosystems in society, right?

Joe Rogan

That worked.

Steve Koonin

Yes, you know, there's let me come back to economic impact.

For a minute.

I mean, I believe we should be doing something about this, but what is being proposed is much too fast and is much too sweeping.

There's a guy named William Nordhaus.

Who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2018 for a fundamental insight about this problem and that is that there is an optimal best pace to decarbonize.

If you decarbonize to rapidly change out the energy system as is being proposed, you incur a lot of cost associated with economic disruption. Speaker 2

You know 8.

Steve Koonin

Percent of the US GDP is oil.

And gas production.

You also deploy immature technology less than the best solar panels or nuclear reactors or whatever.

If you do it too slowly, you'll incur a greater risk that something bad might happen with the climate due to human causes.

Bad things are going to happen anyway, but maybe they happen more often when.

Humans are influencing the climate.

And so there is an optimal pace.

And his initial estimate was we could let the temperature go.

Up to three.

Degrees by the end of the century and still be optimal.

Best course, I think he's revised that downward a little bit now, but still, we've got the time and we should do it in a thoughtful and graceful way, and not.

Again, try to do tooth extraction.

Joe Rogan

So there should.

Joe Rogan

Be some interventions, something done to deal with what we're doing, and to mitigate the effect that human beings are having on the climate.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, I I think the other.

Yes, we should do that.

We've got time.

It's going to be very difficult because.

Of the developing.

World Problem the other thing.

We need to do is be thinking about adaptation and resilience.

You know, I like to think about 3 categories of things we could do.

We should do and we will do.

And I like to try to stay away from the shirt because you've got to balance all these competing demands, particularly the developed world.

What I think we will do.

Looking at all the drivers is we're going to adapt.

That's going to be the main way in which we will respond to a changing climate, and you know, adaptation has got a lot of things going for it.

It doesn't matter whether the climate is changing because of human influences or because of natural phenomena.

It's proportional if the climate changes a lot will adapt a lot.

Climate changes a little or adapt the little.

Adaptation is local, and so it's much more palatable.

You're spending for the here and now and not for something halfway around the world and a couple of generations away.

And it's also very effective considering the consider the following that the globe as I showed you has warmed about it.

Degree centigrade 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 19.

During that time, we've seen the greatest improvement in human welfare we've ever had the population in 1900 was 2 billion people.

Today it's almost eight, so it's gone up by a factor of four, and we've seen spectacular improvement in nutrition in health, in literacy, et cetera.

Et cetera right to think that another one or 1 1/2 degrees is going to completely derail that just beggars belief.

Joe Rogan

And this one to.

Joe Rogan

1 1/2 degrees is projected over a period of how many years?

Steve Koonin

That's by the end of this country, yeah.

By the end of.

Steve Koonin

UN projection.

So so I should say the.

Right now, making some assumptions about emissions is that will go up another 1 1/2 degrees.

Joe Rogan

Now, what is the worst case scenario? If it does go over this 1 1/2 degrees?

Joe Rogan

And like what?

Joe Rogan

What is the impact on it?

Joe Rogan

Is it mostly on the coasts?

Joe Rogan

Is it?

Steve Koonin

Well, you know you show the sea level projections.

I don't think it's going to change very much.

Maybe it goes from 1 foot a century to two feet a century.

Even that would be pretty spectacular if that.

We might see more high temperatures, but then.

There are other parts.

Of the globe.

As you move north.

That will become more temperate.

And on a timescale of 100 years.

Society learns how to adapt to that, at least in the developed world.

Joe Rogan

You were saying also in your book that when they're looking at the global temperatures.

Joe Rogan

When they're listing these highest global temperature years that there's also lowest temperature that sometimes coincides with those.

Steve Koonin

Years, so what's happening globally is that the.

Record high temperatures are not going up very much, but they are going up.

But what's also interesting is that the record low temperatures are going up faster.

Name means faster than the high temperatures.

Joe Rogan

Than high temperature.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, and so we're getting the carbon.

Some ways it's becoming milder temperature wise than it is at the same time as it's warming and and also the warm parts of the globe.

The tropics are warming not as rapidly as the polar regions, particularly the Arctic.

OK, that's running pretty rapidly.

Joe Rogan

So the Arctic is warming rapidly, but other parts of the globe are not warming as rapid as rapid as right. Speaker 1

Apple, right?

Joe Rogan

And what did they attribute that to?

Steve Koonin

There are various processes in the Arctic.

That are happening.

Things that accelerate the warming.

For example the ice, the see ice in the Arctic Ocean or on the land disappears, or at least doesn't come back as rapidly in the winter time and consequently the the Earth absorbs a little bit more energy because the ice is reflective.

Whereas the seawater is not.

Joe Rogan

Now when you talk about adaptation and we talk about the rise in the global temperature.

Joe Rogan

So if it does rise up a couple of degrees, what sort of adaptation will be required and what areas of the world, or at least of our country, will actually benefit?

Joe Rogan

From a warming is that, uh, is that. Speaker 2

Yeah, yeah.

Joe Rogan

A real factor, yeah, sure.

Steve Koonin

Or I mean, you know again, because the projected economic impact is pretty small, there are going to be winners and losers, all right?

And I would say the southern parts of the US are going to get warmer. The northern parts will become more temperate, and so Kansas the Dakotas.

Montana etc.

Will become a.

Little bit more temperate agriculture will probably shift north as it's already happening.

You change the genetics of what you're growing.

You change the agronomic technologies and we'll do just fine. Speaker 2

We've already been.

Steve Koonin

Warming a degree of century and I don't see that they've been great disruptions.

Joe Rogan

Well, we've really only.

Joe Rogan

Had the sort of large scale industrial age you know over this past century, this is.

Steve Koonin

This century and that makes us more capable of adapting than but.

Joe Rogan

It also makes us terrified that the changes happened so quickly and it leads to this fear of what's going to happen and what kind of damage we're doing. Speaker 2

Right, right?

Steve Koonin

It's irreversibly so OK.

People in the end what we do about this, I'd like to say is a value judgment OK?

The science is what it is.

I've tried to portray it accurately, certainties and done so.

These what we decide to do about it depends on risk tolerance.

Are intergenerational equity north South equity and justice cost benefit?

Generally those are not scientific issues.

Those are value issues.

They're the proper.

Concern of the politicians.

And but you have to have an accurate representation of the risks and certainties and uncertainties in order to have that discussion.

So, and I think what people have done in the political and popular discussion is overhyped.

The threat in order to move the discussion.

One way or the other.

Joe Rogan

Is it safe to say that even if there was no impact by human beings on climate change, if there was zero impact because of our society and civilization, that there would still be change that we would have to?

Joe Rogan

Work with absolutely.

Steve Koonin

Outlook, we had the Dust Bowl in this country in the 30s OK, and that was partly climate.

Natural climate and partly farming practices.

And of course we had to deal with that, and we had the little Ice Age.

Not in, you know, in anybody's lifetime, but it was certainly there and they had to deal with it.

And it was pretty bad.

Joe Rogan

And there's a thing about the coast too that always drives me.

Joe Rogan

Kind of nuts when I think about it.

Joe Rogan

It's like we know when you look at maps of the world. You know when you go back a million years or 100,000.

Joe Rogan

There's the tides have risen and like the the where the coastline is is shifted.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, this your sword was out, you know 400 feet in 20,000 years. Yeah, yeah, 400 feet pushes though. Speaker 2

Well, all right.

Steve Koonin

Though the coastline in tremendously, of course it happens, but for the time that we've had accurate measurements, you know, with tide gauges and so on, it's been going up at less than a foot a century, right?

And we've been perfectly fine in adapting to it.

Joe Rogan

And you think that that's going to continue?

Joe Rogan

To happen with.

Steve Koonin

Well, who can say what's really going to happen in the future?

Joe Rogan

Look at the surface.

Steve Koonin

But if I had a bet, I would and you.

Know the politicians believe that too.

I mean, you see the former, President Obama.

You see, Bill Gates, all of whom are raising.

Her arm they've.

Got houses on the beachfront right, so if you really believe that.

He'd be living in Colorado or something.

Joe Rogan

OK, now there's some alarmism in. I think it was the 1970s. Worried about the next Ice Age that an Ice Age was coming, but it was.

Joe Rogan

Not based on that.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, so we saw that cooling trend and people started to get.

The data from ice cores for the first time to understand the cycle of not water called ice ages, but glaciations and interglacials OK.

They happen because of the way in which the sunlight falls on the earth and how it changes due to the Earth's orbit and tilt of the axis.

Of the earth and so on. They happen about once every 100,000 years.

The last interglacial, the last time the Earth was mostly ice free.

Happened 125,000 years ago. The temperature was thought to be 2 degrees warmer than it is currently and the sea level was thought to be 20 feet higher than it is.

Joe Rogan

Currently so 125,000.

Joe Rogan

Years ago was.

Joe Rogan

Very little ice.

Joe Rogan

Yeah wow yeah.

Steve Koonin

And it's got to do again with how sunlight falls on.

The earth it's called the Eemian, named after a river in in Holland, where they first realized it and we see that kind of thing happen pretty regularly. Roughly 7000 thousand year intervals are back for a million years at least.

OK and and it's paced by again the way in which the Earth's orbit changes and allows sunlight to fall on the North Pole.

Joe Rogan

Now I mentioned Randall Carlson, one of the things that Randall it said to me.

Joe Rogan

He said what we really should.

Joe Rogan

Be scared of his global cooling we.

Steve Koonin

Don't know so you know by some measures would do OK, it's been.

You saw the last glaciers disappeared about 20,000 years or started disappearing about 20,000 years ago.

And 20,000 users about how long these interglacials last before the ice starts growing again takes a long time for it to grow, and then it warms up pretty suddenly.

I I have often thought you know what.

What are the signatures that we would start to enter a glaciation again?

What should we be?

Looking for one of the obvious ones is that the snow cover in the northern hemisphere starts to last through the summers right.

If and when that happened, it would cost take some thousands of years for the glaciers to build up, but you might ask.

Also, what geoengineering could we do?

What interventions would we do if we saw that starting to happen in order to forestall it from happening or slow it down and I don't think anybody?

At least I haven't found anybody.

Who's thought seriously about?

That it's a great academic exercise, I think.

Joe Rogan

Well, there have.

Joe Rogan

Been some theories, some suggestions on geoengineering as far as cooling the earth, right?

Joe Rogan

Yeah, there's a suspension of reflective particles and.

Steve Koonin

Good, yes, so this is an idea that's been around for, you know some number of decades.

And the idea is to put as you said, some reflective particles into the stratosphere, where they will hang around for a couple years and enhance the reflectivity by a little bit.

And you don't need to do very much in order to offset the warming.

There are several downsides to doing that.

One is that you gotta keep putting the particles up there because they fall out and if they fall out, it's going to.

Get warmer again.

Joe Rogan

Right, so how how?

Joe Rogan

Do they follow their so so they're suspended this?

Steve Koonin

Just pick gravity and they get trapped by water vapor and they fall out as rain and so on.

OK, this is what happens every time a big volcano goes off.

Joe Rogan

Right?

Steve Koonin

Alright, so you remember putting 2 bowl perhaps lovely sunsets after in the whenever it went.

Off in the 90s, ninety one and 90.

Two and then it fades off air for about two years, right?

So we'd have to keep.

Doing it otherwise the temperature would rebound if we stopped.

Joe Rogan

And the fear would be that those suspended particles suspended particles.

Joe Rogan

We get into our water supply.

Steve Koonin

No no no no no.

Joe Rogan

And you know.

Steve Koonin

It's so this is we already put a lot of junk up into the atmosphere by burning dirty coal.

Those stay in the lower atmosphere and come down pretty quickly.

They get rained out.

The amount you'd have to put up there is only 110th of what we put into the lower atmosphere already.

Joe Rogan

And would it change the way the sky looked?

Steve Koonin

Yep, it would make it a little bit.

Hazier and dimmer.

It would look like what happened after a volcano by the other bad thing.

Or at least.

Somewhat downside to it is it doesn't exactly cancel out the greenhouse gases because it only cools when the sun is shining, whereas the greenhouse gases are effective all the time.

It will change precipitation patterns somewhat, and people have done studies and with models about how it would change, you can just imagine the fights.

That would occur if.

The world decided to start to do this.

Somebody would say, hey, you know it was rainy the last two years and much more rainy than it should have been.

And it was your Geo engineering that did it, and therefore you owe me money, OK?

Joe Rogan

So there is some Geo engineering that I was reading about.

Joe Rogan

Uh, believe, it's Abu Dhabi that does they do cloud seeding.

I think.

Joe Rogan

They do it once a week, so 50.

Joe Rogan

Maybe two times a year.

Joe Rogan

They make it rain, yeah?

Steve Koonin

So those are local effects yeah?

And and that's about weather modification and you know the Chinese are said to have done that before the Beijing Summer Games to keep the rain away, really, yeah.

And so it it possible that it works actually.

But this is different.

OK, because that's in the lower atmosphere, this is way up there.

There are other.

Steve Koonin

Schemes besides stuff in the atmosphere, people have proposed creating mist near the ocean surface on low lying clouds, and you can calculate how many boats you need to do that and putting stuff up into the lower atmosphere to make that happen.

Joe Rogan

So is there a technology that would involve the boats?

Joe Rogan

Extracting water from the ocean and steaming it somehow.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, sold crystals actually as well.

Joe Rogan

Salt crystals.

Steve Koonin

Yeah, there's nucleates, you know, ships already create tracks behind them just from the diesel exhaust.

That means you can see him on the saddle.

Then if you can see them on the satellite and can tell you where the ships been for a day or two.

So it would be more that we could develop the technology.

The question is, you know who's allowed to do it.

Is the world really going to do this?

One nation could decide to do it, but it would affect the global climate.

The real issues are governance, not the technology so much.

Joe Rogan

And also the potential negative consequences.

Steve Koonin

Of course, of course, of course we're going to have to, you know, balance the pluses and minuses, and I'm all for research into this.

Joe Rogan

Using this technology that they didn't anticipate.

Steve Koonin

Both the technology and the impacts, both positive and negative.

I'm very much against deployment of it, but we should know whether we have it.

As a tool that we might take out someday, if the climate started to go really bad.

Joe Rogan

There's a lot to think about.

Steve Koonin

This is complicated stuff, art it's nuanced the the amount of climate illiteracy and energy.

Joe Rogan

See it's very complicated stuff.

Steve Koonin

Illiteracy is stunning and we're trying to make these decisions without people really understanding or how much we know and what we don't know what the possibilities are.

So that's why I wrote the book.

Joe Rogan

You know there's also this reflexive pejorative term of, you know, a climate science denier, OK?

Steve Koonin

I you know.

So if I were younger, I would say you're triggering me all right. So if you go back 2 generations in my family, 200 of my relatives died in the Holocaust in the camps.

So denier by itself the.

Joe Rogan

Just word.

Steve Koonin

Word, if I were younger, I'd say you're triggering me, but in fact you know what am I doing?

I'm just telling you what's in the reports.

Joe Rogan

Right no I'm not. Speaker 2

No, no, I'm I'm.

Joe Rogan

In any way.

Joe Rogan

Of course, it's just.

Steve Koonin

I'm I'm no I'm I'm speaking to a hypothetical.

Joe Rogan

It's, uh, it's so reflexive.

Joe Rogan

I mean it's just a reflex.

Joe Rogan

People do it and you know and they say it with so.

Joe Rogan

Much conviction and and and confidence.

Joe Rogan

And it's I know that just this episode getting out there is going to do that, especially in this day and age where everybody reacts sort of signaling to their tribe almost before they analyze the science.

Steve Koonin

Of course, of course both.

Right, So what I hope is that you know people will read the book before they criticize.

Yes, although that usually doesn't happen and those who do read it will look up some of the references and say, yeah, that guy Koonin seems to be right.

Go ask your favorite climate scientist is that guy, including right and if he is, what else haven't you?

Exactly couldn't, and if he is, what else haven't you told?

Joe Rogan

Me, well, I think they.

Other than bill.

Joe Rogan

Maher criticizing, was there anybody else that criticize it?

Then you clearly could tell that they haven't read the science or.

Joe Rogan

Having but oh I think many.

Steve Koonin

Of the scientists who wrote.

The criticism in Scientific American clearly hadn't read the book because I said, Kuhn says, when in fact woman after he said not.

The criticism in Scientific American really hadn't read the book because they say clean says X, when in fact, CUNA actually said not X.

So what can you do about that?

I actually submitted a Scientific American that refused to publish wow.

I actually submitted a rebuttal to Scientific American that refused to publish it.

Wow, OK, that's crazy. Speaker 2

OK.

Joe Rogan

It's not scientific knowledge.

Steve Koonin

Sounds like you know, as a kid I used to read.

Scientific American cover cover.

Because it was interesting and I discussed science.

I and many other people I know have stopped reading it over the last 20 years because it's become so political and the content has been dumbed down.

I and many other people I know I've stopped reading it over the last 20 years because it's become so political and the content has been dumbed.

Joe Rogan

Now, when did that start happening?

Steve Koonin

If you.

Joe Rogan

Now that there was?

Steve Koonin

A German firm that.

Took over the ownership of the magazine at least a decade ago.

I don't know exactly. Speaker 2

We can look it up.

Steve Koonin

And I think that has exercised about editorial.

Joe Rogan

Control in that editorial control is going through an ideological. Speaker 2

Filter I believe so.

Joe Rogan

Right, well Steve, is there anything else you'd like to talk about before we wrap this up as anything?

Steve Koonin

You feel like we miss no yet you know.

I mean, maybe just a summary.

I'm fine, just I try to stick with the data and reasonable implications and I understand something about modeling from a previous life.

Out of scientists, I try to stick with the data and reasonable implications of it, I understand.

From a previous life or a book on computational physics four years ago.

I wrote a book on computational physics for many years ago.

It did pretty well.

People should really understand that this is not a simple subject as we've been exploring and to do a little bit investigating for themselves.

People should really understand this is not a simple subject as we've been going and to do a little bit investigating for themselves.

Don't believe everything you hear like so many other things these days.

Don't believe everything you hear, like so many other things these days.

In the media.

Joe Rogan

All right, well thank you very much for your time.

Alright, well thank you very much for your time.

I really appreciate it and thank you for writing this book and sticking your neck out and examining this at a very detailed level.

I really appreciate it and thank you for writing this book and sticking your neck out and examining this at a very detailed level.

It was, it was very interesting to read and listen to actually, and I really enjoyed our conversation.

It was.

Steve Koonin

My you know my goal is to just inform people that can make their own decisions about what to do, but at least they should do it.

Goal is always to just inform people they can make their own decisions about what to do, but at least they should do it.

Of the basis. Speaker 1

Of the. Speaker 1

Past, we've certainly served up a lively debate. Speaker 1

Debate great thank you. Speaker 1

Great, good thank you. Speaker 1

Thank you very much. Speaker 1

Very very appreciate. Speaker 1

Alright bye bye.

Don't believe everything you hear, like so many other things these days.

Steve Koonin

In the media.

Joe Rogan

All right, well thank you very much for your time.

Alright, well thank you very much for your time.

I really appreciate it and thank you for writing this book and sticking your neck out and examining this at a very detailed level.

I really appreciate it and thank you for writing this book and sticking your neck out and examining this at a very detailed level.

It was, it was very interesting to read and listen to actually, and I really enjoyed our conversation.

It was.

Steve Koonin

My you know my goal is to just inform people that can make their own decisions about what to do, but at least they should do it.

Goal is always to just inform people they can make their own decisions about what to do, but at least they should do it.

Of the basis. Speaker 1

Of the. Speaker 1

Past, we've certainly served up a lively debate. Speaker 1

Debate great thank you. Speaker 1

Great, good thank you. Speaker 1

Thank you very much. Speaker 1

Very very appreciate. Speaker 1

Alright bye bye.

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