Unsettling Defence of the Undefensible?

As mentioned in a previous episode of my series of reviews of Steven Koonin’s new book “Unsettled”, he published an allegedly “detailed point-by-point rebuttal of the fact check” of his book by Climate Feedback on Medium.

I politely enquired in a comment on Medium “Why does ‘Unsettled’ fail to address the issue of declining Arctic sea ice?”, and Steven was gracious enough to reply that:

All writers have to make choices. I didn’t (couldn’t) write an assessment report…

My focus is on significant points where the popular perception about climate and energy is very different from what the science says. In that way, this book is about more than what’s scientifically correct and what isn’t; it’s also about how the science, with all of its certainties and uncertainties, becomes The Science — how it gets summarized and communicated, and what’s lost in the process…

So limited space (and time writing the book) meant arctic sea ice didn’t get much mention. The topic is also somewhat distant from ordinary folks’ perception (unlike storms, heat waves, SLR, …).

Even so, on page 85 you can find a discussion of the ice-albedo feedback, although I don’t use that term. (no need to introduce technical lingo when it’s not convenient)

However Steven then rather ungraciously chose to ignore my follow up question:

Regarding “the topic somewhat distant from ordinary folks’ perception”, that is largely my point. Is Arctic sea ice decline really any more distant to the average (wo)man in the street than sea level rise?

Etc. etc. For 8 days and counting…


Since Steve is evidently unable and/or unwilling to respond to my enquiry perhaps somebody else might be willing to do so in the space provided for that purpose below?

Meanwhile here’s news of a brand new paper documenting the evidently inexorable decline of the sea ice cover across the Arctic Ocean:


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