U.S. to kill funding for the IPCC?

by Judith Curry

Rick Piltz at Climate Science Watch reports that the U.S. House of Representatives votes 244-179 to kill funding for the UN IPCC.

The Republican majority, on a mostly party-line vote of 244-179, went on record as essentially saying that it no longer wishes to have the IPCC prepare its comprehensive international climate science assessments.

A statement from the Congressman who introduced the bill:

Leutkemeyer: The international panel the last year or two has been funded at the rate of about $12.5 million per year. The President has it in his 2012 budget at $13 million a year. This group has been in the headlines for their activities with regard to how they are trying to tinker with the data they put out. Why would we want to fund a group of folks who are nefarious and give us incorrect information? It’s beyond me.

Rick Piltz’s take on this is that “the know-nothings are in the saddle.”  As Piltz further notes, “The Senate can put a stop to this.

Marc Morano at Climate Depot writes a lengthy article on this issue.  Apparently Rep. Leutkemeyer read aloud a report of more than 700 dissenting scientists that was prepared by Morano in 2009.  An updated version of this report (which includes 1000 dissenting scientists) can be found here.

I rate a paragraph in Morano’s article and report, which he fortunately accompanied with the disclaimer “Note: Curry is not included in the count of dissenting scientists in this report.”

JC’s take: My first question is to wonder about  what the $12.5M of U.S. funding actually pays for?  Not the science, but presumably publication and distribution costs of the documents, staff to maintain the websites and manage the review process, etc.?  What portion of the total IPCC costs does the U.S. support? I have never actually seen a budget before for the IPCC.

Of relevance to the previous thread on epistemology of disagreement, it seems that Morano et al. have taken the IPCC strategy of “consensus” and letters to Congress and turned it around on the IPCC with dissent and a large number of signatories that seem credible, at least on the surface, in terms of academic qualifications etc.  Morano is a very clever politician, he is attempting to beat the IPCC at their own game.

The actual first-order science has pretty much gotten lost in this second-order posturing by both sides.  This is bad for science, and bad for policy.  Given that I think the IPCC on balance may not be helping climate science, greater reliance on national assessments or assessments undertaken by other international groups would be a good thing.  Note:  the U.S. has produced a plethora of climate change assessments in the past two years, which are probably more important for U.S. policy than the IPCC assessments.

So what does this mean for the IPCC?  The IPCC derives its authority from the UN, which can certainly proceed without financial support from the U.S., should the U.S. Senate actually vote in support of the House resolution.  However, this would open the door for other countries to delegitimize the IPCC by withdrawing funding or proceeding with their own assessments.  The current framing of the climate change problem and its solution by the UNFCCC/IPCC as irreducibly global is arguably outdated and too narrow.

And finally, a few remarks on Morano’s report.  It is blissfully free of Sky Dragon type arguments, but rather focuses on problems with the models and data, the importance of natural variability, uncertainty, behavior of scientists, bias in funding, etc.  It provides a plethora of links to support its arguments, but the ones I clicked on all go to blog posts, which is not very convincing first order evidence.  Detractors of the kind of activity that Morano’s effort represents commonly state that such dissenting documents reflect inferior quality science, and signatories with inferior qualifications and epistemic levels.  This argument would be more credible if the IPCC and its defenders depended less on arguing from consensus.

383 responses to “U.S. to kill funding for the IPCC?

  1. Judith,

    Do you think IPCC will just take this or start the propaganda machine in full bore?
    Other countries are bound to follow suit.

    • Without a doubt this will be characterized as an “attack on science” as opposed to an attack on a political body that publishes a review of the science in support of a policy. Unfortunately, this spin will be helped along by comments like this: “Why would we want to fund a group of folks who are nefarious and give us incorrect information? It’s beyond me.”

      • It will be so characterized by the political forces that support the IPCC. Spin requires counter spin, hence “nefarious” to counter “anti-science”. This is politics, not science. The language is very different, so best not to confuse them.

      • This is politics, not science. The language is very different, so best not to confuse them.

        Believe me, I understand that (and I’m much more at home in the political realm than the scientific). I am, however, of the school that believes in not providing ammunition to your opponents. Shrapnel from the “nefarious” grenade can come back to bite them (the pool of nefarious players is pretty limited). A better tack would be to stick to objecting to the policy first, science to follow nature of the IPCC itself.

      • The real “attack on science” has been executed by the UN, the IPCC, its subsidiary UNFCCC and its offspring, the SBSTA. Et al.

        If you want a quick review of this campaign, see:

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/13/uncertainty-and-the-ar5-part-ii/#comment-42345

        The UN (UNEP, WMO) initiated claims that human activities might produce extended climate change. As early as 1985, the UN focused on greenhouse gasses, in particular CO2. The IPCC was established in 1988, together with “global warming” as the issue and policies as the solution. By 1989, developing countries were invited in.

        In 1994, the UNFCCC had limited “Climate Change” to that caused by “human activity” affecting the atmosphere. Thereafter, socio-economic aspects and the participation of “developing countries” were introduced. Human influence became “Dangerous”. COPs became increasingly concerned with technology development and transfer and funding for “developing countries”. The price tag became $US 100 billion / year by COP-16 (Cancun). Of course, much COP effort was spent developing bureaucracies.

        I remain unconvinced by conspiracy theories. I do think a confluence of interests is a possibility.

      • Oh, pooh, Dixie!

        OK, so it’s not a conspiracy. Just a confluence of criminal interests by those colluding to control the planet and those milking public coffers for all they’re worth.

        [Oh, wait ... ]

      • Come on now, Brian. Badly chosen strawmen. I did not write “criminal”, nor “colluding”. “Control the planet” is a mixed bag; there are blog references to “global government”, but I did not cite them. And if you look at Cap-And-Trade, Carbon Taxes, and Cancun’s plan to fund “developing countries”, it is not milking “public coffers”, but filling the public bucket.

      • Odd response. I’m asserting that it’s a de facto conspiracy, since the confluent ones are benefiting from the distortions they knowingly promote, and are in (voluminous non-stop) communication with each other.

        You may dislike the word “criminal”, but it is implicit in “conspiracy” in this context.

      • Pooh, I agree with your ‘confluence’ notion – I’ve always felt that the idea of some grand conspiracy was a little far-fetched. It seems far more likely to me that the ‘charter’ of the IPCC, the opportunism of the Greens and the natural tendency for Governments to further their addiction to regulation have all fed off each other to produce an unhealthy ‘whirlwind’ of confirmation bias.

        This has resulted in the skewing of funding dollars towards studies that have significant anthropogenic warming as their premise rather than as an uncertainty. Once it became clear to scientists that acceptance of the CAGW premise in any proposed paper greatly improved one’s chances of funding approval and favourable peer review, the rest of the whole sorry tale was inevitable.

        I’ve long thought that the IPCC is a flawed concept and that a clearer picture of the science would be more likely to emerge from the far more eclectic range of scientific studies that a less centralised system would produce. I’ for one, would not mourn its passing.

      • Saaad: Well said. I could not have described the distinction between “collusion” and “confluence” better.

      • “in support of a policy”

        Quote chapter and verse of the policy you think the IPCC suports.

      • Let’s start here, with UNEP starting with the presumption that “a global climate change will
        result form increases in the concentration of greenhouse gases from human activities”. Then we have the WMO calling for the formation of the IPCC to assess “the scientific information that is related to the various components of the climate change issue such as emissions of major greenhouse gases”. This is followed by the General Assembly resolution determining “that necessary and timely action should be taken to deal within climate change within a global framework”.

      • “as basis for formulating appropriate policy responses at the global, regional and national level”

        You should read your own links.

      • That framework being the UNFCCC, which the IPCC is directed to “concentrate its activities” in support of.

      • You still haven’t identified the policy.

      • The second article of the UNFCCC defines its objective – which, unsurprisingly, returns us to here.

      • You appear to object to the policy that a committee to investigate how dangerous climate change might be should investigate how dangerous climate change might be.

        The committee has left it up to governments to implement a response to climate change.

      • I stated that the IPCC was formed to advance a policy, showed where that policy was predetermined, and then, unsurprisingly, became that policy. You appear to have been unable to follow the conversation since you’re trying to reframe what I said.

    • Here is what a father and son team were able to do without funding. It looks a lot more meaningful than what we are seeing from the IPCC and well worth watching.

      • Excellent stuff! Zero increase rural since 1900. So the AGW/CRU/GISS numbers in the range of .7°+ are basically 50% composed of the 1.5°C UHI increase.

        Heh. Precisely what we Deniers have been scurrilously alleging. Put that in your bungholes and smoke it, Mike and Phil et al.!

      • Brian,

        Thanks for the info. and the link about the DPF.
        “A Dense Plasma Focus project (alone in being privately funded amongst all the above) is likely to demonstrate break-even this year, and the subsequent engineering of replicable prototypes of its tiny 5MW generators should take 2-4 yrs more. ”
        In their last year’s review with the progress mentioning failure (or high maintenance costs) with the switches at the medium voltage (MV) levels (i.e. below 66kV). SF6 breakers are known and popular choice for high voltage (HV) applications in the power industry. Change to SF6 switches may solve the maintenance problem they are having.

      • The other requirement is response time — must be in the 10 ns range. That’s the kicker. They must be able to cycle in the 400 Hz range reliably, for long periods, and are DC. I couldn’t see any SF6 switches that met all those on a cursory search. They also seem to be designed and configured to be parts of fuses/circuit-breakers. That is a completely different issue. These are used to initiate a plasma ionization event, repeatedly.

  2. What it is, is an attack on corrupt science.
    Had there been a clean-out of the major crooks, and widespread condemnation from the climate community, Climategate would have been forgotten by now. But because they chose instead to back up the original deceit with further deceit, and attempt to whitewash the whole affair, virtually the entire community is now quite correctly seen as dishonest.
    This is the result.

    • I was pleased to note that Congressman Leutkemeyer is from Missouri – the “Show-Me” state.

      Punksta is exactly right:

      Editors of leading research journals and leaders of the US National Academy of Sciences and the UK’s Royal Society tried to “sweep the filth under the rug”, unaware that their actions would ultimately expose decades of data manipulation and bring attention to former President Eisenhower’s 1961 warning about the dangers of a government-funded “scientific-technological elite”.

      See: http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm or

      • Punksta is correct: The target is not science, but corrupt science.

        Dogmatic certainty destroys faith in science and religion, but

        “Truthing” is a process of continuous discovery, via
        a.) Science: Careful observations and experiments, or
        b.) Spirituality: Quiet reflection, meditation or prayer.

        “Truthing” is a path out of the ego cage.
        “Truthing” generates humility and reverence.
        “Truthing” may be the most sane way of living.
        “Truthing” caused Mahatma Gandhi to conclude:
        “Truth is God. God alone is and nothing else exists.”

        I sincerely hope that leaders of the US National Academy of Sciences and the UK’s Royal Society and editors of leading research journals respond by eliminating their past endorsement of arrogant, dogmatic certainty before the target for funding loss expands to include other branches of government-funded science.

  3. The IPCC funding goes to a very large part to paying travel costs of developing country participants of IPCC meetings. The IPCC is a small organization with an small office and a small budget. Most of the costs of IPCC activities are paid by the participants from their regular funding or from other domestic funding.

    In the case of U.S. most of the IPCC related costs are certainly outside the funding of IPCC.

    • Pekka,

      “Most of the costs of IPCC activities are paid by the participants from their regular funding or from other domestic funding. ”

      For curiosity sake, list them.

      • Listing them is not possible as they are distributed all around in various science budgets and some specific funding for direct costs of participation.

        My statement is based on comparison of the extent of activities and the money flows that go through IPCC. The total costs are obviously very much larger.

        The same thing can be deduced also from the fact that almost all work is done by “volunteers” – volunteers from the point of view of IPCC organization. These volunteers are mostly on government payroll of member countries.

        IPCC proper is really a very small organization, which is paying salaries only to an office of eight people or so. In all other respects it is a form of cooperation, where participants pay their own costs. The IPCC proper is so small that its own operating costs are not much more than $1 million.

      • I imagine Pekka is referring to the actual writing of the reports, which is by far the biggest expenditure and which the IPCC does not pay for. Plus travel to meetings by most contributors, although there are relatively few meetings. In this sense the IPCC is like a technical book publisher whose authors are unpaid contributors. (Also, the USA funds the technical group that supports WG1.)

  4. The actual first-order science has pretty much gotten lost in this second-order posturing by both sides. This is bad for science, and bad for policy. Given that I think the IPCC on balance may not be helping climate science, greater reliance on national assessments or assessments undertaken by other international groups would be a good thing. Note: the U.S. has produced a plethora of climate change assessments in the past two years, which are probably more important for U.S. policy than the IPCC assessments.

    You are fooling yourself if you think that the same Republicans that voted to kill funding for the IPCC, and are discussing defunding the EPA, and want to reduce funding for NOAA climate research – that those Republicans will wish to fund continued national climate assessments. This is about killing the messenger.

    • If you think this kind of advocacy and spending makes sense, then you fund it. Our government is spending money we do not have and it’s time for the public sector bubble to burst. We can’t afford to waste money on nonsense.
      You don’t think it’s nonsense? Fine. Reach into your own pocket. Stay out of mine.

      • You wanna fund the war in Iraq? Fine. Reach into your own pocket. Stay out of mine.

      • Is that supposed to be a death blow to my thinking? I can’t think of anything we achieved in Iraq that couldn’t have been done better with one billion dollars and a stack of preemptive presidential pardons.

      • Scary, dude.

      • For balance, and lest anyone be in any doubt, Iraq was supposed to be about WMD’s, not about anything else. Now we all know the truths but that was the stated goal.

        Refer to this article:

        http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2004-03-02-un-wmd_x.htm

        Both the UN and the US inspectors were correct. Petty politicians took over with an agenda that ignored the experts and the known facts. And of course the supposedly liberal mass media colluded and often created the deceptions.

        There should have been a lesson for us all here: It isn’t about truth but about the lies that cause a desired outcome.

        The odd thing about the US is that they have both the most vocal alarmists and skeptics of global waming catastrophism. If the US butted out of the entire climate science process it might turn out much healthier. And that includes the funding of CRU by the US defense department. If the CRU disappeared through lack of funding who’d notice?

    • Indeed, the biggest issue is how to root the Gore-era AGW activists out of their positions of power in the federal science agencies. The USGCRP climate assessments are a disgrace, far worse than the IPCC reports.

    • This is about killing the messenger.
      A messenger who has been caught lying, and has no intention of mending his ways.

      • Punksta

        A messenger who has been caught lying, and has no intention of mending his ways.

        Here is statements that support your point:

        “The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days? – our does ! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it. We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it – thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that. IPR should be relevant here, but I can see me getting into an argument with someone at UEA who’ll say we must adhere to it !” Phil Jones

        http://bit.ly/i4qCjf

        “I would not give them *anything*. I would not respond or even acknowledge receipt of their emails. There is no reason to give them any data, in my opinion, and I think we do so at our own peril!” Michael E. Mann

        http://bit.ly/eIBnT1

      • “I would not give them *anything*. I would not respond or even acknowledge receipt of their emails. There is no reason to give them any data, in my opinion, and I think we do so at our own peril!” Michael E. Mann

        I would not fund Michael E. Mann out of my pocket or the public’s.

    • The only messenger getting put at risk is one that distorts the message for his/her own profit and agenda.

  5. No IPCC – then the AGW problem goes away. Woo-hoo! “…greater reliance on national assessments or assessments undertaken by other international groups would be a good thing.” We all know how well much our lawmakers are using the various NRC reports to formulate policy.

    • I only wish it were that simple. The USGCRP climate assessments are a disgrace, far worse than the IPCC reports. Ten years ago Inhofe and I sued the NSF to keep the first “National Assessment” from becoming US policy. Or as I called it then the National Scare. It will be fun to see what the new skeptical House can actually do, versus Obama and Holdren. What a match! I may run out of popcorn.

  6. Last I knew the IPCC budget was about $18 million so the US pays about two thirds. This action was largely symbolic, one of a huge number of political amendments to the Republican “cut the federal budget” spending bill for FY 2011 (which is already half over). The Democratic Senate will weigh in next (in two weeks). We may get a compromise bill but probably not. There was no spending bill last year when Democrats controlled both houses, so I do not expect to see one this year with Congress deeply divided.

    But given that the House is now controlled by skeptics they will defund the IPCC if they possible can, unless the IPCC makes some serious noises about compromising with the skeptics, which is hard to imagine..

    • So… the Senate will kill this right? I’m a little naive on the procedure here but that seems pretty straightforward to me.

    • “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” — Constitution of the United States of America, Article I, Section 9, Clause 7

      The Federalist 58: “The House of Representatives cannot only refuse, but they alone can propose the supplies requisite for the support of the government. They, in a word, hold the purse—that powerful instrument by which we behold, in the history of the British Constitution, an infant and humble representation of the people gradually enlarging the sphere of its activity and importance, and finally reducing, as far as it seems to have wished, all the overgrown prerogatives of the other branches of government.”

    • @Wokick Last I knew the IPCC budget was about $18 million so the US pays about two thirds.

      David, please source this number. According to my colleague Chris Field, 2009 funding for the IPCC was about $3 million. Eliminating that funding will save each US citizen approximately one penny.

      A cynic might say that this supports the thesis that the time spent on issues by Congress is in inverse proportion to the amount of money involved. I would say it supports the thesis that global warming has been politicized beyond all fiscal common sense.

      Field claims that “About half of that total [of $3M] was spent on the IPCC Trust Fund, which supports the international coordinating team.” The other half, he says, is spent on supporting U.S. scientists’ travel to meetings to put the report together, as well as funding for a small team of staff that works for Field.

  7. “dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres”
    Poor old Byng may have been hard done by, but it certainly worked.

  8. John Costigane

    Judith,

    The IPCC deserves to be penalised by a major financial backer, the USA. There has been too much advocacy and not enough rigorous science in climatology. The ‘Hockey Stick’ says it all.

  9. But we can give $60 million in federal funds to a rural sociologist to study how farmers feel about changing their farming methods to deal with global warming. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110219/BUSINESS01/102190314/0/NEWS02/?odyssey=nav%7Chead

    The IPCC has been caught lying to the public. I don’t have any problem with the govt deciding that other ways to spend the money should have a higher priority. But even if it had not been blatantly compromised ethically, politics is hardball. The IPCC has become a propaganda PR device to advocate for certain political policies. When you take sides in politics, you can’t be surprised when the other side gains power that you get cut. This is what happens an instutition becomes political.

    • Their turn is coming.

      • Is it not a reasonable expenditure of public funds to plan agricultural responses to climate change, just in the (highly unlikely, I know) case that the vast majority of the world’s scientific bodies actually got it more or less right?

        (Never mind many of the cases raised by critics wherein cooling sets in real soon now.)

        Or is all public sector science supposed to stop?

        Maybe the US would like to get to the back of the line behind North Korea and Madagascar, since it can’t afford to do any science anymore? Obviously a century of leadership in science has done America no good, given the present state of privation and want.

        And what does this project have to do with the topic of defunding IPCC anyway?

      • Michael,

        I think the problem rests with the idea that any agricultural planning from government sources with regard to climate change is based on the rather dubious premise that climate change is going to present a clear and previously unimagined threat to agriculture.

        Given the temperature rise since the end of the LIA hasn’t this far necessitated any major change of tactics for agriculture, beyond the natural progression of scientific and technological advances, I can’t see the need for public funds to be spent on a ‘rural sociologist’, especially at a time when savings desperately need to be made.

        I don’t think anyone’s advocating an end to all science R&D funding. Just a rather more decentralised approach to climate science, specifically one which may better avoid the contamination of science with politics.

      • I don’t think anyone’s advocating an end to all science R&D funding. Just a rather more decentralised approach to climate science, specifically one which may better avoid the contamination of science with politics.

        But that’s what we have now. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that the IPCC’s role is merely to collect and digest the science for consumption by policy makers. Eliminating US IPCC funding will have no effect on climate science itself, which has a much bigger budget than the IPCC, it will merely make policy makers more dependent on the horse’s mouth so to speak. They’ll have to depend more on the literature and reliable sources of coordination thereof.

        Reducing IPCC funding will merely lobotomize government, not science. It’s not hard to guess at the intended beneficiaries of a lobotomized government.

      • Vaughan Pratt

        Your clarity, wit and insight have been missed sir.

        Welcome back.

      • Michael,

        “Or is all public sector science supposed to stop? ”
        No just stop the climate non-science part and we will all be happy.

      • Michael:
        The scientific method of inquiry does not reach its conclusions by a voting procedure among people calling themselves “scientists.” To the contrary, it reaches these conclusions from information made available by observations of the states of nature. Thus, the opinion of “the vast majority of the world’s scientific bodies” is irrelevant to the conclusion of such an inquiry.

      • So are you proposing that nature is better observed by non-scientists than scientists? If so, what do you propose to call an observer of nature if not a scientist?

      • Correction – $20 Mil x 3

        From the article –
        The project is one of three multistate research programs related to climate change that the USDA said Friday it would fund, each with a $20 million grant. The other projects will focus on forestry in the Southeast and wheat production in the Pacific Northwest.

  10. The budget of the IPCC in 2007 was 8,224,000 Swiss francs.
    The USA contributed a little over 2 mio. Swiss francs.
    I do not believe these numbers changed a lot since then.
    See http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session29/doc3.pdf

    The number of 12.5 mio $ given by Republicans looks very strange.
    The world’s IPCC can live quite well without US money, but the world can’t accomplish climate policy without US reduction of CO2.

    • andreas,
      And the US reducing CO2 as the activists demand in the light of India and China not reducing only punishes the US.
      And the US and the world regulating CO2 will have zip impact on weather events.
      So what is your point?

    • “can’t accomplish climate policy without US reduction of CO2″.
      Good! Together at last with China, India and Russia.

      • Yes, true. But take into account, that China and India are developing countries with rather low per capita emissions. Without the USA und Europe demonstrating that high living standards are possible with low carbon emissions, it will be very hard to convince China and India to CO2 targets.
        The world is waiting for the USA for a rather long time. Time runs out…
        Frustrating to see, that for some Republicans the message (i.e. the messenger IPCC) is the problem and not the problem itself.

      • low per capita… very sly really..

        Take a look at emissions per countryCourtesy of the Guardain – a shall we say very pro agw newspapaer)

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jan/31/world-carbon-dioxide-emissions-country-data-co2?CMP=twt_gu

        bit like saying China world leader are the world leader in wind/solar (they are) but not mentioing they are the wolrd leader in building new coal fired power stations as well…. at many orders of magitude more than wind/solar.

        And are building as many nuclear stations as Japn can make the cores for them..

      • From the Guardian above… China are the largest emittas and is any body seriously going to suggest that China’s per capita emission are not going to increase as well. (and India)
        If Europe/USA say we are going to lead by example…

        China and India will just say, that’s nice.. and keep growing.
        Roger PIleke hard(iron) law of economics vs climate policy)

        On pure emissions alone, the key points are:

        • China emits more CO2 than the US and Canada put together – up by 171% since the year 2000
        • The US has had declining CO2 for two years running, the last time the US had declining CO2 for 3 years running was in the 1980s
        • The UK is down one place to tenth on the list, 8% on the year. The country is now behind Iran, South Korea, Japan and Germany
        • India is now the world’s third biggest emitter of CO2 – pushing Russia into fourth place
        • The biggest decrease from 2008-2009 is Ukraine – down 28%. The biggest increase is the Cook Islands – up 66.7%

        But that is only one way to look at the data – and it doesn’t take account of how many people live in each country. If you look at per capita emissions, a different picture emerges where:

        • Some of the world’s smallest countries and islands emit the most per person – the highest being Gibraltar with 152 tonnes per person
        • The US is still number one in terms of per capita emissions among the big economies – with 18 tonnes emitted per person
        • China, by contrast, emits under six tonnes per person, India only 1.38
        • For comparison, the whole world emits 4.49 tonnes per pers

        ——

        from the above, I imagine that EU and USA emission fell due to the recession, rather than any actual real reductions strategy, the governments want their economies to recover, and emission will inevitably rise…

        If all manufacturing is not exported to China that is..

      • The CO2/capita is not a very good metric IMHO, as the economical structure (namely imports/exports), population density and average temperatures are so different. Getting an comparable figure is very hard — take for example the 2nd largest (my last knowledge, please correct if I am mistaken) exporter in the world, Germany, how to assign the emissions from producing exported goods per capita, as they are used abroad? Same applies to many Northern European countries with cold climate, low population density but long average logistical distances and export/import ratio > 1 (i.e. exports > imports).

      • anander
        let me try to answer as a citizen of Germany (sorry for my bad english):
        If you intend to reduce CO2 emissions, it’s very important to attribute emissions connected to exports to the exporting countries CO2-emissions. If we would not be responsible for these emissions, why should we reduce them?
        And if you try to succeed in climate negotiations, per capita emissions is the only measure which could be accepted by all countries.
        So what’s the problem with the USA? We in Europe have less than half of US per capita emissions and believe me: We don’t live up in trees and don’t live from chasing mammoths ;-) And by the way: The economic situation in Germany is much better than in USA. Lowest unemployment rates since nearly 20 years in spite of climate policy (or because of climate policy?). Think about it.

        PS: Sorry for my rude words in the comments before. I like Americans very much and I’m thankful for many things. But I’m concerned about the USA and understand the USA more and more less.

      • Just to clarify if it is not obvious to everyone, I am not an US citizen, just worked there in the past for a short period.

        I am from Finland, a country with large per capita energy footprint (probably larger than in Germany). The footprint is mostly due to cold climate, distances and exports dominant industrial structure, even though the energy infrastructure is top of the class in global comparison with nuclear, hydro and e.g. wide scale usage of CHP. From this standpoint, I’ve looked with great amazement at our politicians who seem to take every step possible to rise the price of energy . A ultra-left-green-wing (a former 70′s stalinist) Finnish EU parliament member took it even further: she sued large Finnish companies for using the Mankala principle in their energy purchases as being violation of free competition – the principle being in nutshell that e.g. steelmakers pay per cost price, not the market price, as they commonly own many of the major electricity producers, i.e. the mills are their own. In my opinion, she should be sued, for treason.

        Anyway, I continue to see this per capita calculation problematic: firstly there are demographic issues I addressed above and differences in climate which make a huge difference, and for which little can be done without Stalin-style population relocations. Which, as a light sidenote has been already seen as Finns moving to Costa Del Sol by tens of thousands over the past couple of decades, without Stalin of course. Climate refugees indeed…

        Another point relating to footprint are the exports: isn’t the final user at least equally (in my opinion solely) responsible for the resources needed to manufacture e.g. a brand new BMW? My point being, that if it was not the Germans who made it, it would be Japanese or even the US (pun intended) who manufactured it, and the global emissions would be at least the same, and probably in case of non-western country with strict environmental legislation like the Germany has, much higher. Another alternative for footprint could be specific energy per produced quantity, or even carbon per produced quantity. Tons of C per tons of steel, for example. While I realize it would be very hard and require large scale bureaucracy to be even close to fair, that would serve the final purpose: as long as there is demand, there will be supply, so we better make sure the supply is best possible in terms of environment, issues of national economics aside.

      • Funny, a German meets a finnish citizen in an american blog. Globalisation works ;-)
        I think, your arguments will be an very important point at the moment (in future), when countries should be obliged to reductions to fixed per capita values. I agree, that it would be unfair to compair Finland with Germany or Spain. But we are far away from commitments like this. In EU we just try to reduce emissions by 20-30% until 2020 independent of the absolute values.

        PS:
        Germany is overestimated, still lots of coal and worse: new coal power plants planned. Most of the impressive looking 30% reduction resulted from the collapse of east-germany’s industry. The only remarkable law was the fed-in-tarifs for renewable energies, but the last 6 years were lost years for climate policy. But we are world champions in announcements ;-)

      • A Belgian citizen kick in ;)

        You two raise very valid points: per capita seems like the fairest indicator, but when you consider the nature of emissions in different types of economies and geographies, it show that fairness is not so easy. The central questions are

        For industry: who benefit from the emissions? The final user of the product? the producer? Each person from production to user, in proportion of the value derived from the product (benefits, but for the final user it is the utility instead of monetary benefit). This is absolutely not measurable imho, even a huge administration could not manage this. So all industrial regulations would be somewhat unfair.

        For final use of energy, where energy is not used to “produce” but as a life quality-enhancer: heating, air conditioning, non-work-related transport,…
        As you said, the problem is that the energy per degree of comfort is different for different climates, population densities, typical construction style, and so on. Which of these factor can be considered as “easy to change” and which is considered as “fair local difference” which can not be changed and thus should be taken into account into allowed per capita carbon emission?

        Tha fact that it takes more energy to heat a home in finland than in spain is fair? what about aircon? The fact that in Belgium, the population density is much higher and average travel distance much lower than in Canada must be taken into account?
        Is it “traditional” that US home are on average larger, with less floor level, and less often urban than in Europe, and use more heating/aircon than in Europe?
        Do Indian traditionally live with no car, in small homes without electricity, running water, using logged wood as main combustible? And thus “traditionally” deforest while the west increase its forest surfaces?
        What can be expected to be a fair effort to reduce CO2?
        For american to use smaller car, more public transport, build smaller homes or appartments?
        For finns to regroup in cities or move to costa del sol?
        For indians to keep their “traditional” way of life, except use solar oven for cooking and use double-layer undulated steel roof in their “traditional” home (yes, it is intentionally ironic)
        This is even more impossible to get a fair emission here, because it demands the definition of an acceptable way of life for all, who live reasonably and who is shamelessly killing mother gaia. It is not only an administrative problem, it is an horrible dictature…

        Now there is a third problem with per-capita measure, that you did not mention (maybe because it will be politically incorrect? ;-) ).
        It seems fairer than per country, or per area. Maybe it is. But it also encourage population growth and penalise population decrease. Imho, if there is one global ecological problem, appart from local ones that can be solved by local regulations on industrial waste rejection, it is population growth. It is the root cause of most problems, much more than increased consumption per capita (I am surprised that climate people usually do not say so, when they are prompt to classify GH gas as long lived (and problematic) or short lived (part of feedback)
        Focussing on per-capita CO2 and telling China thay do worst than their Indian neighbor is not only unproductive (because china will never listen), it is also unfair, almost criminally so…

        Now, if we abandon the notion of fairness and consider CO2 tax as a way to:
        - increase tax without too much opposition
        -allow one more entry barrier in advanced economies against goods produced in growing economies (like diesel in Europe, or crash tests, or food standard, or…), by producing some stringent regulations that are easier (or just more rentable because it concern their home market) to meet by local industries, then it makes sense. It also open a new administrative niche with all the intermediates, growing the part of “administrators”, “facilitators” or “intermediates” in the economy, compared to producers and consumers. Again, a very western sickness with it’s booming services “3rd sector”.

      • Yes, per capita, the only fair measure. Or can you give good reasons, why an American may blow four times more CO2 than a Chinese or European citizen?

        Sometimes one learns a lot by listen to foreign medias. While the negotiations in Cancun I looked interested in US media. I saw a rather low coverage, and noone honestly discussed the USA being the main problem for progress in cancun. The american perception seems to differ significantly from the rest of the world.
        Recently I saw the leader of the greatest and most powerful nation, Obama, addressing his nation and anxiously avoiding to speak out the simple words “climate change”. Bizarre.

        PS:
        May I remember that US president Clinton signed the kyoto protocol, but it was never ratified? Here’s a nice map:

        http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Datei:Kyoto_Protocol_participation_map_2009.png&filetimestamp=20091217115359

      • Yes, per capita, the only fair measure. Or can you give good reasons, why an American may blow four times more CO2 than a Chinese or European citizen?

        So we penalize people who have to use more energy in the North to heat and light their homes? We penalize winter countries who have to import fresh foods? Nonsense.

      • Well, in case of US it is not completely true that the large footprint is due to food imports and cold climate. There are countries on similar latitudes, with similar or some might say even higher average living standards, but with much lower per capita energy consumption. This comes from small things, such as larger cars which are used more (partly because of cheap gasoline), general use-once culture at least I observed, little or no public transport, etc. I’m not to criticize the US lifestyle – but there is something fundamentally different in the average consumption that is different from e.g. Germany, with similar or higher average per capita income.

      • I would put it down to the lower car-fuel costs (currently equivalent to 36 UK pence per liter versus 120 p/l in the UK), which encourage longer commutes, less public transport use, larger area towns, etc.

      • oops make it 45 p per litre in the US. Double conversions are tricky.

      • anander “Well, in case of US it is not completely true that the large footprint is due to food imports and cold climate. There are countries on similar latitudes, with similar or some might say even higher average living standards, but with much lower per capita energy consumption.”
        Let me suggest some other differences.
        1) This is a very, very large country. (All of New England is about the land area of Romania.)
        2) We are a mobile population. A larger car is important if one is to drive 600 miles non-stop safely.
        3) Many of us are, indeed, dispersed. We are not crammed together like hamsters in an automatic warehouse. We take care of our land; no tragedy of the commons in that respect.
        4) One can drive tens of miles in the Midwest seeing nothing but corn and an occasional farmhouse.
        5) There are roads in the southwest that are straight as an arrow clear to the vanishing point, well before the mountains on the horizon.
        All of this and more is available to the average citizen. They earned it. The EPA wishes to restrict it.
        We are fortunate to have a Constitutional form of government that provides for a rebellion every two years. We just had one.

      • Pooh Dixie,

        Frankly I don’t want to be critical about your way of life. There are of course various differences, but for instance where I live the average distances are also long, and average population is around 20 inhabitants/sq km whereas in the US it is around 30 or so. And climate is much colder than in US.

        Anyone have the figures, who much of the per capita energy costs actually is from personal transportation (i.e. gasoline)?

      • There are countries on similar latitudes, with similar or some might say even higher average living standards, but with much lower per capita energy consumption.

        So what? This is a FREE DEMOCRACY! People can consume what ever they want to pay for. If we consume more energy, too bad. That’s the way it is. You have NO RIGHT to dictate to anyone how we live our lives.

      • According to the best available evidence, you are using a common resource, the atmosphere. Accordingly your rights are limited.

        In the same way that BP can’t spill 80 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico just as a matter of rights, you don’t have an unlimited right as an individual to dump CO2 into the atmosphere. The rights of others to the enjoyment of the common environment is at issue.

      • According to the best available evidence, you are using a common resource, the atmosphere.

        Luckily we live in a society where one has to provide evidence that emitting CO2 will harm the environment. So far all we have gotten is speculation. CO2 is good, so is less cold winters.

      • Michael,

        “… you don’t have an unlimited right as an individual to dump CO2 into the atmosphere. ”
        Please don’t breathe. Thank you for not polluting the air with your CO2!

      • I’d agree with Michael here. Not only that but many odd people were arguing that the oil spill would somehow fix itself and that the bacteria ocean would take care of it, and that even if there was a problem from the oil spill then it was surely due to Obama and/or environmentalists (by some really arcane logic). At that point I stopped reading Wattsup’s nonsense blog on the simple basis that common sense had clearly left the room.

        Accordingly there will never be rapprochement on any environmental issue until people leave their dogmata (including unreasonable pessimism and optimism) at the door. Many folk on this blog have done that, alas many haven’t.

        My own reference points are all the previous world-ending environmental scares. They were largely overblown but they might have been important. That’s why the theory isn’t enough, we need to confirm everything with proper data. And models aren’t data.

        There is one important caveat, in that moderate warming should be beneficial overall, all other things being equal. So will it be moderate, or not? So far the data says it will be and only the inadequate (note not imperfect but inadequate) models say otherwise.

      • To the extent that food is a biofuel, breathing is carbon neutral.

      • James G., a sensible position. However, I and many others would contend that the data are already reasonably clearly in support of theoretical understanding. That understanding, in turn, indicates that the risks we already face, even given the most rigorous plausible policy response, are high.

        Given that absolute certainty is unattainable except in hindsight, exactly what standard of evidence would you recommend in advance of a policy implementation, and why?

      • To the extent that food is a biofuel, breathing is carbon neutral.

        How is this different from the discredited claim that fueling cars with biofuel is carbon neutral?

        The carbon-neutral argument seems to assume that food can be grown without fertilizer, harvesters, etc. all of which add CO2 to the atmosphere.

      • jrwakefield

        “Luckily we live in a society where one has to provide evidence that emitting CO2 will harm the environment.”

        Actually, that would be the opposite of what we are lucky to have.

        We live in democracies where no one need consent to having their rights trampled unless they can prove harm.

        It is enough to prove the trespass, and to not consent to that trespass; harm is immaterial.

        Who demands proof of harm to cease their trespasses is a boor, a trespasser, and antidemocratic.

        If I have a freedom, it is to my air.

        To a facist, the utility of the consent of another is of no value. If my air is trespassed, calling upon me to prove a harm before making a complaint is simply CO2 facism.

        You argue against the values your father and grandfather stood for.

        Shout away.

        Won’t make what you say any more true.

      • Michael Tobis
        “To the extent that food is a biofuel, breathing is carbon neutral.”
        Carbon neutral! Are you finding an excuse for your CO2 breathing out polluting the air? Its not carbon neutral if your breathing out of CO2 is not immediately absorbed by plants or thru other means of CO2 absorptions. Breathing adds to the ppm level in the air.

        With your logic, burning coal, wood, grass, biofuels, gas, fossil fuels are all carbon neutral as they had absorbed CO2 in the air at different time frames. To the Mother Earth/Nature, they are carbon neutral.

      • Michael,
        Once we remove your strawman and red herring arguments, there really is not much left.
        Would you like to try again?
        Whose science panel, just for starters, said the oil was gone?
        Who claimed that it was BP right to dump 80 million barrels of oil in the Gulf?
        For starters.

      • Michael, February 20, 2011: “According to the best available evidence, you are using a common resource, the atmosphere. Accordingly your rights are limited.”
        A modest proposal for the IPCC and the EU: since the atmosphere is a resource, and the U.S. is contributing to its CO2 content, let us charge the UN, the IPCC and the EU for its increased agricultural yields, reduction in agricultural water consumption, and reduction in its heating bills for the next 20 or 30 years. Perhaps longer, if this turns into a prolonged solar minimum, ala Dalton.

      • Well, jrwakefield, there is no reason to yell. I certainly apologize if I said something that you found offensive. I did not make any such claim – or did I? – I was just making comparisons. Of course, from the point of view of outsider the comparison and your reaction to certainly suggests something, but again, I leave it to that.

      • I’m passionate about my freedom and the democratic process. If I were in Egypt, I would have been one of those in the crowd yelling for freedom. So yes, when someone challenges that freedom here I will be forceful back. My grandfather in WWI volunteered to fight tyranny, and got a medal for doing so. My father also volunteered to defeat fascism in WWII. We fight for freedom and democracy in my family.

      • You have NO RIGHT to dictate to anyone how we live our lives.

        Anarchists unite.

      • Andreas,
        7 billion people live on this earth because of CO2 emission and because the developed countries provided technology, medical care, education and food for the world.
        This per capita argument has nothing to do with fairness, because there was and is still no alternative to the use of fossil fuels.
        Moreover, I see a lot of people paying lip service using this argument, I never see people who use this argument acting on this argument in their daily live. Did you start already?
        And I guess also the solutions will come if necessary from the developed countrie.
        This per capita argument is short-sighted
        Best regards
        Günter

      • Guenter,
        nice to meet you.
        I suggest, further discussion in private e-mails ;-)

      • Moreover, I see a lot of people paying lip service using this argument, I never see people who use this argument acting on this argument in their daily live. Did you start already?

        2.5 years ago we put $50,000 into 7.5 KW of solar panels (36 of them) on our roof. Four more years and we’ll have recovered that cost in eliminated electricity bills plus government subsidies. Thereafter our annual electricity bill will be zero thanks to being able to sell the surplus to the power company (PG&E) at the going rate (variable but as high as $0.29 per KWH on summer weekdays between 1 and 7 pm). Moreover the appraised value of our house has gone up by $50-100K depending on when we sell because the new owners will have free electricity for ever. It’s a no-brainer.

        This per capita argument is short-sighted

        Nowhere near as short-sighted as those who argue that alternative energy costs more than fossil-fuel energy. With solar it’s the opposite, provided you’re prepared to invest significantly up front and recoup your investment, and more, a few years later. No different from betting on the stock market, other than that the return is essentially guaranteed.

      • Andreas –
        And if you try to succeed in climate negotiations, per capita emissions is the only measure which could be accepted by all countries.

        Which means the the goal is to destroy the economies of the developed countries. Sorry, but “per capita” emissions only makes sense if you’re talking about “RAISING” that number for everyone on Earth. Otherwise you’re talking about raising “some” people out of poverty while reducing others “to” poverty. Do you understand that “poverty” is a relative term?

        This is a case of conflicting requirements. And the “obvious” solution is not viable without major conflict. The “real” solution is very different from anything that’s yet been proposed wrt Global Warming mitigation.

        Yes, per capita, the only fair measure. Or can you give good reasons, why an American may blow four times more CO2 than a Chinese or European citizen?

        Partly because they can afford to do so – which is one of the reasons millions of people want to emigrate to the US. Keep in mind that those “wasteful” Americans have also propped up the economies of many of the countries of the world through charity, development funding, outright grants, loans (that are rarely paid back), etc, etc, etc. The ROI is incredibly low.

        Partly because there is no comparison between the distances in the US and Europe. How close do you live to where you work? How close is the nearest market? How many people in Germany live 100 miles from where they’re employed? Or 100 miles from the nearest hospital – or major market?

        Partly because we’ve developed a culture that actually is somewhat “wasteful” and “materialistic”. No secret about that – and there are efforts to trim that tendency. In time, that will happen. And, in fact, has happened to some extent in the last few years.

        While the negotiations in Cancun I looked interested in US media. I saw a rather low coverage, and noone honestly discussed the USA being the main problem for progress in cancun.

        The main problem in Cancun was not the Americans – it was the questions regarding 1) What to do?, 2) How to do it?, 3) What would it cost? and 4) How would it be implemented?
        And there’s little agreement wrt any of the answers – particularly between the developed and developing nations. Not that the Americans were blameless, but the message sent by the last US election was exceedingly clear.

        The american perception seems to differ significantly from the rest of the world.

        Yes. It’s ALWAYS been so. Which is one of the reasons millions of people want to emigrate to the US.

        May I remember that US president Clinton signed the kyoto protocol, but it was never ratified?

        I don’t believe Clinton “signed” the protocol. Kyoto was treaty which required ratification by the US Senate. And the Senate passed a resolution telling Clinton that they would reject it. I believe the vote was 99-0. Clinton’s signature would have been meaningless even had he signed it.

        Kyoto – someone can correct me if necessary, but I believe the US is one of the few countries that “might” have met a target if involved. The US emissions were reduced over the last decade – which is more than can be said for most of the Kyoto signers. I know – Germany DID meet its goal – but not for obvious reasons.

      • Dear Jim -
        I understand your arguments and agree that low carbon economy and society is impossible today or the next decade.
        But what about a time scale of 20 – 50 years?

        I remember Kennedy’s announcement to send an American to the moon within ten years. Impossible people could have said, but the USA accomplished it.

        Where is this spirit today? As long as I remember the USA were a shining example to the world, admired by the rest of the world. We also need american ideas, technology and leadership today to demonstrate, that low carbon life will be a wealthy life.

        Yours sincerly

      • If climate sensitivity to CO2 is small the more germane metric will be ‘energy footprint’ and all the lies told about labour can be retold about energy. Tragic and farcical, what’s not to like?
        ============

      • Which means the the goal is to destroy the economies of the developed countries.

        Apparently you’ve bought the fossil fuel industry’s slogan, “Apres moi la deluge.” When has this fantasy ever turned out to be based in reality?

        How could reducing CO2 emissions by switching energy sources “destroy” an economy? (As if the last decade hadn’t already destroyed it.)

        As long as energy consumption rises faster than population growth, which has been the situation for over a century and seems unlikely to change, there will continue to be jobs in the energy sector. Whether those jobs will be in those industries that emit CO2 is irrelevant to the economy, only to those industries themselves, who fantasize that their welfare is inextricably coupled to the public’s welfare.

      • How could reducing CO2 emissions by switching energy sources “destroy” an economy? (As if the last decade hadn’t already destroyed it.)

        What energy source do you envision as replacing fossil fuels? Wind? Solar? Nuclear? Other?

        What time frame do you envision for the “switch”? A year? 10 years? 50? 100?

        As long as energy consumption rises faster than population growth, which has been the situation for over a century and seems unlikely to change,

        You haven’t listened to the ravings of Jim Hansen & Co, have you? Or some of the enviros? They’ve taken Reagan’s “Tear down this wall” and transformed it to “Tear down this coal plant – NOW”.

        You also seem to have missed some discussion on another thread – this is just one part of that -

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/11/scale-of-the-clean-energy-challenge/#comment-41679

        Follow the thread.

        Whether those jobs will be in those industries that emit CO2 is irrelevant to the economy, only to those industries themselves

        It’ll be relevant to you if the extremists get their way. Will they?

        Do you believe that the “green” energy sources can/will entirely replace fossil fuels so we can shut down all the oil wells? Warning: this is a trick question. :-)

      • Ok, I read your long comment on the clean-energy thread, Jim. It was all about mobile power plants, specifically trucks but why not planes and ships too? I have no concern about mobile power plants continuing to use carbon-based fuel as long as there’s no practical alternative. However I don’t buy your argument that in 30 years time we’ll be no further along than today with practical alternatives. Humans are nothing if not creative.

        What energy source do you envision as replacing fossil fuels? Wind? Solar? Nuclear? Other?

        For stationary power plants, inertial confinement fusion. (I don’t see tokamak going anywhere.)

        What time frame do you envision for the “switch”? A year? 10 years? 50? 100?

        30-40 years.

        It’ll be relevant to you if the extremists get their way. Will they?

        You seem determined that oil will always be the only practical energy source. That seems a pretty extreme position to me, especially given that even the optimists aren’t willing to extend peak oil beyond 2020, and the International Energy Association regards it as having happened in 2006.

        Seriously, Jim, how long do you think oil is going to remain an economically viable energy source? By 2050 it will be an economic no-brainer to switch to alternatives to oil, which by then will have become totally unaffordable compared to the alternatives.

        Do you believe that the “green” energy sources can/will entirely replace fossil fuels so we can shut down all the oil wells?

        We own oil wells?

        Or were you contemplating occupying some of the OPEC countries?

      • How about 5-10 yrs? As ITER is to ICF, ICF is to IEC, and IEC is to DPF.
        A Dense Plasma Focus project (alone in being privately funded amongst all the above) is likely to demonstrate break-even this year, and the subsequent engineering of replicable prototypes of its tiny 5MW generators should take 2-4 yrs more. It will be openly licensed to all comers world-wide for manufacture and local deployment. Waste-free, non-radioactive. Costs <<10% of best N.A. retail.

        The entire CO2 dispute will be moot, and all "renewables" boondoggles will be economic roadkill if it succeeds.

        Here's hoping!

      • @Vaughn –
        It was all about mobile power plants, specifically trucks but why not planes and ships too?

        I covered those (somewhat ) in an earlier thread. If the trucks don’t roll then the ships have no reason to sail. Planes? – might still be some of them, but not nearly as many –

        I have no concern about mobile power plants continuing to use carbon-based fuel as long as there’s no practical alternative.

        Yeah – and that’s the point you missed. That thread was a response to an article that advocated shutting down fossil fuel usage totally within 30 years. Whatcha gonna do if the trucks stop rolling? I hope you’re a good farmer.

        However I don’t buy your argument that in 30 years time we’ll be no further along than today with practical alternatives. Humans are nothing if not creative.

        Don’t believe I said that. Partly because I don’t believe it. Wrote a long comment a couple days ago about exactly that. But it got lost between here and there. Point of it was that 100 years ago, anyone who talked about TV, spacecraft, nuclear reactors, etc would have been a candidate for the looney bin. Assuming that we, today, have the ability, wisdom or knowledge to solve problems for those 100 years in the future is sheer bloody arrogance. We need to solve our own problems. Which is the only way we’ll get to that presently unimaginable future. As the man said: Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

        I’m an engineer, Vaughn – I solve problems. Been doing it for over half a century. But you’ve gotta know the problems before you can solve them. And one of the problems is keeping lots and lots of people fed, clothed, employed, etc. What I outlined in that comment was specifically targeted to “What happens if you shut off all fossil fuel usage in 30 years.” Other boundary conditions get other comments.

        For stationary power plants, inertial confinement fusion. (I don’t see tokamak going anywhere.)

        Cool. But I think within 50 years there will be other sources as well. Some that haven’t even been imagined yet

        30-40 years.

        OK – if you don’t include heavy transport, I think the 40 years might be close. IF and ONLY if – you can get the enviros to sit down, shut up and stop the lawsuits. Otherwise we’ll still be in court when the last barrel of oil is pumped out of the ground. I’ve done reactor design, and system design and construction for large installations, and system operations. I know how long it takes. If we’re not started down the road soon, we won’t get there in 40 years, let alone 30.

        You seem determined that oil will always be the only practical energy source. That seems a pretty extreme position to me, especially given that even the optimists aren’t willing to extend peak oil beyond 2020, and the International Energy Association regards it as having happened in 2006.

        Think we already covered at least part of this, but – in 1960 the oil reserves were – 40 years. In 2000, the oil reserves were – 40 years. Clue – my father-in-law is a geologist.

        Seriously, Jim, how long do you think oil is going to remain an economically viable energy source? By 2050 it will be an economic no-brainer to switch to alternatives to oil, which by then will have become totally unaffordable compared to the alternatives.

        Heh! Economically viable? How about next month? With the present deteriorating state of the Middle East, ANWR will be drilled within 5 years, the Republicans will try to beat Obama up about his drilling policies (or lack thereof) and the price of gas will be $6/gal. Which will put us right in the middle of another depression. As I said – I hope you’re a good farmer.

        We own oil wells?

        Or were you contemplating occupying some of the OPEC countries?

        Oh, yes, we own them, just not enough of them. Ever been to the North Slope? Try driving through Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming – you can’t miss them. Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia? Yup.

        How long will they last? Who knows – some of them have been pumping for a long time. Will they fill the hole that would be left by the Middle East being cut off? Nope. What’s the solution? Well, we could go for the OPEC wells, but I don’t think much of that idea.

        Anyway, the ”trick question” wasn’t about fossil fuels, it was about – machinery. Which needs oil to keep running regardless of the power source. And which comes from — oil wells. We won’t be shutting down ALL the wells or all the refineries, regardless.

        Lots more to be said on the subject, but I’m out of time. For now.

      • “Or can you give good reasons, why an American may blow four times more CO2 than a Chinese or European citizen?”

        Because there are no negative aspects to emitting CO2. A warmer world would be a healthier world. Longer growing seasons, higher crop yields for poor countries, etc. The claims of doom and gloom are lies that anyone who takes the time to investigate the issue would see. Increased CO2 has improved plant growth and crop yields an estimated 20%. The primary aim of alarmists organizations such as 350.org for example, is to REDUCE world population. The only way to do that is to starve the world’s poor.
        Your statement blatantly shows that you believe emitting CO2 is evil. It is not. The attempts to control CO2 is an attempt to control a society. Western society (primarily the US and GB) has done more to promote freedom and health and happiness in the world than anything else. The riots in Egypt and elsewhere are from people desiring the lifestyle and freedom of the west. That lifestyle comes from CO2!

      • Jose Danobeitia

        No, I cannot give you a reason why an american may blow more CO2 than individuals from other nationalities.
        Hoever, can you give any reason why a family from many developing countries can blow more CO2 than an American or Canadian family?

        Demographics play a very important role here. Spain, for example has practically no population growth. Some Provinces in Canada have very low growth if any.

        People born in other countries that emigrate, where do you attribute the CO2 they “blow” as you say.

        I have 2 children late in life, so as a family we are below “replenishing” level. Why should my children have the same “quota” than the children that are part of very large families?
        Consideration is given to import/exports as part of CO2 generation from industrial processes. I do not see much difference in terms of industrial “quotas” versus population growth and movement of people accross countries and continents.

        It is true that we overconsume, but it is also true that other societies overpopulate. How do we reach a balance?

        There are several European countries that have almost zero growth (if you do not include emigration) in the same period that other nations have double their population.

        A simple per capita allocation is not very reasonable.

      • Jose, CO2 is not a pollutant. Please pick another demon.

      • Jose Danobeitia

        Ken:
        I was responding to Andreas Fuchs | February 19, 2011 at 3:17 pm : “per capita, the only fair measure. Or can you give good reasons, why an American may blow four times more CO2 than a Chinese or European citizen?

        I inserted my replay at the wrong point. If you look in the comment above, it includes that statement in quotes. I miss that and I thought that was the original statement.

        Sorry for the confusion, but I still cannot understand why you would get the impression that I think CO2 is a pollutant.

        To begin with I do not subscribe to the “blowing CO2″ allocations concept. Not only I do not subscribe to the concept expounded by Andreas Fuchs by also I would not even consider that a per capita allocation would be reasonable, if it were needed.

        Sorry, I did not mean to create confusion, and I do not have demons to pick.

      • per capita seems more fair than other indicators. But it also encourage population growth, instead of population stabilization or decrease.
        This reason alone is enough to rules it out if the intention is to achieve sustainability or lower ecological footprint or the prefered target du moment…

        A comparison between India and China is very telling in this way. China has grown more in term of CO2 emission. But I think that long term, the country is on a far better track than India and other south asian giants…

      • Jose Danobeitia

        Kai:

        Here is a similar view to yours, unfortumately I attached it to the wrong comment.
        Reply No, I cannot give you a reason why an american may blow more CO2 than individuals from other nationalities.
        Hoever, can you give any reason why a family from many developing countries can blow more CO2 than an American or Canadian family?

        Demographics play a very important role here. Spain, for example has practically no population growth. Some Provinces in Canada have very low growth if any. In addition the country occupies an enormous land mass.

        People born in other countries that emigrate, where do you attribute the CO2 they “blow” as you say.

        I have 2 children late in life, so as a family we are below “replenishing” level. Why should my children have the same “quota” than the children that are part of very large families?
        Consideration is given to import/exports as part of CO2 generation from industrial processes. I do not see much difference in terms of industrial “quotas” versus population growth and movement of people accross countries and continents.

        It is true that we overconsume, but it is also true that other societies overpopulate. How do we reach a balance?

        There are several European countries that have almost zero growth (if you do not include emigration) in the same period that other nations have double their population.

        A simple per capita allocation is not very reasonable.

      • The whole proposition is insane. The prospect of “allocators” who can decide who gets to generate hydrocarbon energy is truly dystopian.

        China, because of its one-child-policy induced dire shortage of women, and Japan because of its minuscule fertility rate, are going to be howling for more young people in a decade or two. Maybe by then the technology will be available to grow fetuses in vats or pods.

        CO2 is the greatest agricultural stimulus and asset available. Onwards to 1,000 ppm, full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes!

      • andreas. I should have added “/sarc” after “together again”.
        1) Actually, we are all economic rivals as well as traders. Hunter is correct. Our (U.S.) proposed emission reductions are a trivial fraction of human emissions of a trace gas that is essential for plant growth, among other things. Further, the energy produced from fossil fuels is essential to the well being of ~300 million people in the U.S. alone.
        2) There is, in fact, an alternative energy source that does not produce emissions. Clinton, Obama and Edwards were in favor of nuclear so long as it was “safe”, the definition of which they left for later. Nuclear was stifled by environmentalists and killed by Harry Reid (D, Nevada): Yucca Mountain was safe.
        3) Other alternatives are either fully exploited (hydro) or intermittent (solar, wind).
        4) Finally, the “messenger” is the proper target; it is the problem. The messenger is a money pit. The message is black propaganda. It is better to send assets to sincere scientists who demonstrate integrity.

  11. The IPCC made a fatal mistake in 1988 when it focused on the anthropologic influences on climate and at the same time short changed the importance of natural influences. This narrow minded policy led to circular reasoning, biased funding, biased review processes, and slipshod research elevated to high status. The IPCC had a chance to reform itself after climategate but refused.
    Time to hit the IPCC delete key.

    • “The IPCC made a fatal mistake in 1988 when it focused on the anthropologic influences on climate and at the same time short changed the importance of natural influences. This narrow minded policy led to circular reasoning, biased funding, biased review processes, and slipshod research elevated to high status. ”

      Exactly! GW confirmation bias also increased dramaticaly around ~80s/90s. As a result, the official average temperature “anomalies” after mid 70′s were overestimated and UHI effect (strongest in the last few decades) was underestimated.

      • Funny, Since RSS matches the ground record since 1979, the “bias” attributable to UHI ( during that period) is rather small.

        If people want to find the UHI bias they should look between 1940 and 1980. ( supressed cooling over land)

  12. A call to defund IPCC, NOAA Climate Science, EPA regulation of greenhouse gases, and maybe defund a portion of NASA that is trying to rebrand itself into a climate agency, is likely to galvanize a number of scientists who see that climate research, that is, understanding the world we live in and what influences it, into a political group. Politics, and the funding of science is likely to make strange bedfellows, at least for the lukewarmers and lukecoolers. There may even be a future for climate science when the consensus elects to put a muzzle on Gavin, Mike, Kieth, etc. There may even be a civil dialogue between people who know well small portions of applicable science which contributes to greater understanding without the need for a comprehensive overarching paradigm. After all, a spacial temporal chaotic system needs a lot of the little science to construct a working hypothesis from which more intelligent decisions can be made. We don’t need the whole ball of wax, and not likely to get it, to make a stab at where to go next. What we don’t need is our anal retentive fixation on the trace gas hypothesis. The pipeline for funding always waxes and wanes depending on societies current paradigm. Uniting the center, which is inherently larger, or at least should be larger, will go a long way to keep the troughs from becoming too deep or prolonged, that is of course, the scientists in the great middle, become intolerant of the squaeking outliers.

  13. This has been interesting though as an opportunity to observe those who for years claimed they just wanted to improve the science, improve the data and improve the methods.

    As soon as an opportunity to defund the IPCC, NASA and the NOAA and make sure no further inconvenient science gets done or published in a coherent way they’re all over it.

    What’s to be done with people who claim the surface temperature stations are just not good enough, the satellites just haven’t been in orbit long enough (where long enough is some multiple of however long they’ve been there) and so plan to just shut them all down.

    It’s almost as if they don’t want to improve the science at all, they just want it to go away and stop bothering them with things they don’t want to hear.

    • Since the IPCC doesnt actually do any science, I’m not sure what your point is

      • I’m referring to the totality of proposals which include removing funding from NASA for climate research hence why I said ” done or published in a coherent way”

      • For once I agree with you Sharperoo…..well, partly at least. I do think that there is something of a ‘knee jerk’ reaction taking place at the moment that seeks to remove funding from any and all institutions that have any perceived involvement in the ‘gatekeeping’ problems and political advocacy that has plagued climate science for many years now.

        I think it would make much more sense to remove the unwieldy and clearly tarnished IPCC. As far as funding is concerned I think it should continue as long as the subject of peer review is reformed to meet a much more openly accountable format.

        That said, it would be a shame to see institutions such as GISS and NOAA suffer the chop simply because some of their employees took advantage of a system that allowed them to advance their political beliefs on climate change beyond the practice of science, for which they are being paid.

        Hopefully common sense will prevail in the end and we will simply see a long overdue re-appraisal of the way the whole system works. That would only be a good thing, and a big step towards restoring public confidence in the scientific process for which they – we – largely foot the bill.

      • Saaad,

        “That said, it would be a shame to see institutions such as GISS and NOAA suffer the chop simply because some of their employees took advantage of a system that allowed them to advance their political beliefs on climate change beyond the practice of science, for which they are being paid.”

        These organizations allow their employee to do so at their own reputations, should be held responsible.

      • So you see the current method of publishing science as being coherent?
        Hmm. Anyway, I’d much rather see more money go to Nasa and Noaa and see better reports out of those organizations than the “science” papers I see them publishing.

  14. Excellent news and less money the USA has to borrow from China. This is the best way to correct the errors they have fostered and start to put a stop to the $trillions of dollars wasted in dumb public policy decisions that have resulted from the “science” they have been pushing and the careers they they have been promoting.

    Next up, defund the entire useless mountain of corruption that is the UN.

    • I assume you think borrowing trillions from China to fight pointless wars is also dumb. Curiously, heeding the UN might have prevented a few of them.

  15. Even though I am in the camp that believes it is more likely than not that some level of AGW is occurring, I also can see that there have been some issues that have shown that the IPCC, at the very least, needs a major overhaul, and perhaps just to be completely disbanded and then something more open and effective put into its place. But having said that, I also think that anthropogenic climate change is serious enough of an issue that some sort of credible international body needs to be in place to study the issue and to form an international consensus on what (if any thing) needs to be done.

    What I find alarming in the current Republican budget cuts is that there does seem to be an almost anti-science effort to “Silence Galileo”, in that sweeping cuts to scientific research into climate and and environmental issues that don’t serve the Republican interests seem more motivated, not by sound fiscal policy, but the attempts to bring the same kind of laissez-faire approach to environmental issues that nearly brought down the world’s financial system. Take for instance, the attempt to gut EPA regulatory authority over clean water and wetlands. What can be the motivation? Do Republicans really think that companies will voluntarily spend money to monitor their own pollution if there is no financial or regulatory reason to do so?

    I think most telling in what amount to peanuts with the recommended cuts to the EPA and support of programs such as the IPCC, is that the Republicans did not bother to suggest any significant cuts in the largest discretionary portion of the U.S. budget– the Defense Department. This traditional “sacred cow” of the Republicans would be an obvious target if true fiscal concern were the primary motivation. As a fiscally conservative, Independent voter, I find the only real voice of reason comes from the likes of Ron and Rand Paul, who recognize the bloated nature of the current DOD and have repeatedly held it up to the same level of cuts as any other programs. To put the $12.5 million budget of the IPCC on the chopping block may indeed be good move, but I feel it is probably for the wrong reasons (a general attempt at silencing of the science coming from the annoying “green left” probably being the bigger reason). If the House Republicans were serious about balancing the budget in an honest way, they’d take $50-$100 Billion out of the DOD budget. But of course, they can’t do that, as those big money interests who helped get them their seats in Washington wouldn’t stand for it…

    • R. Gates It is better to defund Galileo than to subject him/her to the Inquisition when (s)he is forced to say “no” while all the time thinking “yes.”
      The current funding paradigm, along with the abuses of peer-review, have the Inquisitors necessitating a repeat of the catechism before proceeding with one’s research. That has to stop. There are alternative realities in climate science and the trace gas hypothesis is just one of them. In a spacial temporal chaotic system, many good minds are needed, not less.

      • Mind you, I am not saying that we ought not to stop funding the IPCC, but rather, in looking at the sum total of the Republican suggestions, it does not seem that fiscal responsibility is at the top of their list of reasons, but rather a political agenda to silence anything and anyone that could be financially harmful to some of their major backers, such as the Koch Bros. Ron & Rand Paul seem to have the true fiscal well-being of the country in their minds and rightfully see funding of the IPCC and EPA as mere chump change, when the serious cuts can be found in reducing the bloated DOD.

    • If the House Republicans were serious about balancing the budget in an honest way, they’d take $50-$100 Billion out of the DOD budget.

      Keep in mind that DOD is one of the few parts of the government that actually has a legitimate mission under the Constitution. Funding the IPCC and the UN is……another story. While I would agree that there’s some “waste” in DOD, it’s not nearly as much as you think. And cutting that much would result in additional deaths in the two “wars” that we’re committed to right now.

      • Considering that our spending at the DOD is about equal to the rest of the world military spending combined, I think we could pretty easily shave $100 Billion of the DOD budget and still be quite “safe”. There is, by any measure, lots of fat on the DOD budget. Unfortunately, the close ties and tight control that military contractors and lobbyists have on D.C. and the DOD is enormous, but truly our Constitution does not call for the U.S. to spread a hegemonic empire around the world nor other attempts at controlling and manipulating the internal affairs of other countries nor being the general policeman of the planet.

        Serious fiscal Conservatives, such as Ron & Rand Paul get this. We simply can no longer afford our hegemonic policing of the planet, and attempting to do so, rather than making us stronger, actually weakens us in the long run. When I see the majority of Republicans asking for a serious look at the bloated DOD budget, I’ll know that they are serious about budget cuts, and not simply using budget cuts as an excuse to make political statements.

      • Do you really want to tell me that if we withdraw from Afghanistan immediately, it would not affect our National Security?

        As I said – yes, there IS fat in the DOD budget, but not nearly as much as you or the Pauls think there is. Tell me specifically what you think is “fat” and we’ll talk about it, but the generalized “fat” that you speak of is just handwaving. Jimmy Carter cut the “fat”, too – and the military and intelligence organizations still haven’t recovered from that.

      • Here’s some general areas we could cut:

        • Reducing the US nuclear arsenal to 1000 warheads
        deployed on 160 Minuteman missiles and seven
        nuclear submarines,
        • Curtailing nuclear weapons research and the
        planned modernization of the nuclear weapons
        infrastructure,
        • Curtailing national missile defense efforts,
        • A reduction of approximately 200,000 military personnel,
        yielding a peacetime US military active-duty
        end-strength of approximately 1.3 million,
        • Capping routine peacetime US military presence in
        Europe at 35,000 and in Asia at 65,000, including
        afloat,
        • Reducing the size of the US Navy from its current
        strength of 287 battle force ships and 10 naval air
        wings to a future posture of 230 ships and 8 air
        wings,
        • Rolling back the number of US Army active-component
        brigade combat teams from the current 45 to
        between 39 and 41,
        • Retiring four of the 27 US Marine Corps infantry
        battalions along with a portion of the additional
        units that the Corps employs to constitute air-land
        task forces,
        • Retiring three US Air Force tactical fighter wings,
        • Ending or delaying procurement of a number of
        military
        systems – the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter,
        MV-22 Osprey, KC-X Aerial Refueling Tanker, and
        the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle – and fielding
        less expensive alternatives,
        • Reducing base budget spending on R&D by $5 billion
        annually,
        • Resetting the calculation of military compensation
        and reforming the provision of military health care,
        • Implementing a variety of measures aiming to
        achieve new efficiencies in DoD’s supply and equipment
        maintenance systems, and
        • Setting a cost reduction imperative for command,
        support, and infrastructure expenditures.

        For a full report, see: http://www.comw.org/pda/fulltext/1006SDTFreport.pdf

        Much like the ancient Romans, our modern U.S. military empire begins to cost more than the value of it to maintain or derived through the acquisition of additional resources, and we will find more and more challenges to it the more we try to expand it.

        Ron Paul assisted in the creation of the report link above, and if the main body of the Republicans were serious about getting our spending under control, they’d embrace this report and its recommendations, rather than trying to protect their political interests by penny-ante cuts to programs such as the EPA and IPCC. Lot’s of fat on the Pentagon Lamb, but only a few brave voices willing to get out the carving knife…

      • Read this excerpt from a Fox News story, and see if you can see what’s wrong with U.S. Military policy:

        “Discussion of permanent bases resurfaced in recent weeks after a leading U.S. senator proposed their establishment last month. Karzai’s stance reflects a desire to assert greater control over the country’s future as U.S. troops prepare to begin drawing down this year.

        “Speaking in response to a question at a press conference, Karzai said a number of American officials have raised the issue of establishing permanent U.S. bases in Afghanistan as part of broader negotiations on a long-term security partnership. He didn’t say whether any formal requests had been made.

        The Afghan people should have the final say on any bases, Karzai said, adding that the decision would need to take into consideration the concerns of Afghanistan’s neighbors, which include Iran, Pakistan and China.”

        Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/02/19/karzai-says-afghans-decide-bases/#ixzz1BW8snqoh

        What is wrong here? How about the statement by a foreign leader that “the Afghan people should have the final say” on U.S. bases being built in their country? What?! The AFGHAN people have the final say on how our AMERICAN TAX PAYER money is going to be spent? This is no different than the UN or IPCC telling the U.S. taxpayer how to spend OUR hard-earned taxpayer money.

    • R. Gates: I think your budget comment is a deflection from the real issue. It is not about source of funds, nor the amount of the funds. It is about the liberty of the American people.
      Recall that when Cap-And-Trade went nowhere, the EPA threatened to implement it through “command-and-control”. It is now busily engaged in carrying out its threat. The EPA based its “endangerment” finding on the IPCC propaganda, even suppressing EPA internal reports advising caution.
      The original Cap-And-Trade was a resurrection of the Soviet Union’s “Turnover Tax”. The EPA’s plan is diktat.

      • When talking about the budget, the issue is ENTIRELY about both the source of funds and the expenditure of those funds– irregardless of the amount. I’ve got no problem looking at cutting spending…way way down, including looking at the EPA, IPCC, etc. But in doing so, take a look at the 600 lb. gorilla as well (i.e. the Pentagon). Without looking at DOD programs and the sprawling U.S. military empire around the world, no budget review and cuts are anything other than political posturing.

      • Wrong. There are many ways to attack a country, it is not entirely done with troops and tanks. One can cut off its fuel supply: Ploesti and stopping fuel from Burma and Indonesia are examples. Germany could not fuel its air force; Japan could not sortie its fleet.

        DOD programs are being looked at for savings. However, “provide for the common defense” is a Constitutional requirement. “Command and Control” of the economy is not.

      • You can never spend enough money to be completely safe from every possible threat. We live in a dangerous world, and you should spend enough to be reasonably protected, but spending more than that is actually detrimental as it spends money you don’t have. The current U.S. military empire is bloated and unaffordable. It needs to be cut along with everything else. The days of the American Empire are over and the contraction will be painful, just as it was for the French and English over the past few centuries.

      • @ R. Gates -
        Here’s some general areas we could cut:
        •Reducing the US nuclear arsenal to 1000 warheads
        deployed on 160 Minuteman missiles and seven
        nuclear submarines,
        •Curtailing nuclear weapons research and the
        planned modernization of the nuclear weapons
        infrastructure,
        • Curtailing national missile defense efforts,

        So… in the face of growing nuclear threats from Iran, North Korea, China, Pakistan, Russia and others, you’d cut “our” capability, both present and future? What? You think those countries don’t have the capability to deliver their nukes? The Russians, Chinese and North Koreans do – right now. How long before the Iranians develop their delivery capability? – Two years, maybe three? How are you gonna play catchup then? And when ? – after the first nuke hits Alaska – or the East Coast, maybe?

        • A reduction of approximately 200,000 military personnel, yielding a peacetime US military active-duty
        end-strength of approximately 1.3 million,
        • Capping routine peacetime US military presence in
        Europe at 35,000 and in Asia at 65,000, including
        afloat,
        • Reducing the size of the US Navy from its current
        strength of 287 battle force ships and 10 naval air
        wings to a future posture of 230 ships and 8 air
        wings,
        • Rolling back the number of US Army active-component
        brigade combat teams from the current 45 to
        between 39 and 41,
        • Retiring four of the 27 US Marine Corps infantry
        battalions along with a portion of the additional
        units that the Corps employs to constitute air-land
        task forces,
        • Retiring three US Air Force tactical fighter wings,

        We’ve been rotating units in Iraq and Afghanistan for almost 8 years now – two “small” wars that haven’t been “won” because inadequate force was used in the first place. And our forces are worn thin – because we have inadequate backup. And now you want to reduce our ability to apply adequate force even further?

        • Ending or delaying procurement of a number of
        military systems – the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter,
        MV-22 Osprey, KC-X Aerial Refueling Tanker, and
        the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle – and fielding
        less expensive alternatives,

        So… you’d also reduce the capability of the reduced forces you’d send into the next war, too? How many of our own servicemen are you willing to kill in order to keep some of the programs that keep you comfortable?

        • Reducing base budget spending on R&D by $5 billion
        annually,

        Where do you think the basis of our combined arms combat capability starts? And you’d mortgage the future of our country and the lives of of our servicemen by denying the weapons and equipment that they’ll need in the future?

        • Resetting the calculation of military compensation
        and reforming the provision of military health care,

        And dumbest of all, I believe you’re talking about reducing compensation? Tell me – what’s your life worth? Would you put your life on the line for the compensation they’re getting now? Or for the reduced compensation that you’d offer them with your cuts? And then, after sending them out to be maimed or killed, you’d reduce their health care? Or maybe yo don’t realize that that’s already been done. I have too many friends who’ve experienceed military “healthcare”. And this point is one that could only be suggested by someone who is totally ignorant of anything military.

        • Implementing a variety of measures aiming to
        achieve new efficiencies in DoD’s supply and equipment
        maintenance systems, and

        Efficiencies are good – as long as they don’t cut performance and capability. And most of them do just that.

        • Setting a cost reduction imperative for command,
        support, and infrastructure expenditures.

        What you want is for civilian control of military expenditures? That’s already in place. Or are you saying that you want to tell the military to make do with less? In which case, we’ve been there before – the war of 1812, the Mexican war, the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and now Afghanistan – in every case, we started with less than we needed and it’s cost tens of thousands of lives, as well as too much time and tremendous expenditures for us to catch up. IOW – a far bigger price than would have been paid if we’d been prepared in the first place.

        Is there ‘waste” in DOD? Believe it – but there’s not a lot in those areas. Not if you want an effective shield against what the world would dish out if we didn’t have the “best” armed forces. Maybe you don’t care about that, but I do cause I’ve got grandchildren that I’d like to see grow up free rather than as someone else’s slaves. I’d rather have a “bloated” effective military than an anemic ineffective one.

      • Jim,

        Those recommendations were made by a bipartisan group of lawmakers who studied the issue in depth. You can never make youself nor your family 100% safe in a world with so many issues. You should spend you money covering the most likely threats and make sure you can retaliate if you’re ever attacked. Being 100% safe is a myth, but going broke trying to be the world’s policeman in a reality…the further you expand your empire, the more you’ll begin to find barbarians at every gate.

      • Bipartisan group of lawmakers? A bunch of liberals from groups like Center for American Progress and a couple of liberaltarians from the isolationist Cato Institute? With nary a conservative among them. That’s bipartisanship I guess, in a kind of Orwellian way.

      • Hmmm…I guess Ron Paul is no longer considered a Conservative?

        I would say Ron Paul is a true fiscal Conservative, and those who would not consider him as one are of the neo-conservative ilk, who never met a weapons program or defense department budget they didn’t like.

        Some may require a little history lesson on the present state of things, especially the rise of neo-conservatism and how some confuse this with true conservatism. I would suggest the excellent 3-part series called “The Power of Nightmares” which can be found here:

        http://www.archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmares

      • Curious that the originator of that series noted that the original neo conservatives were Marxists.

        Also curious that yet again Orwell, the radical lefty, is approved of by a conservative.

        What the heck is conservatism nowadays? It seems to have been confused with Reaganomics.

        Just at what point does it stop becoming taxpayer money and start becoming money borrowed from China or money just created from thin air?

      • If Ron Paul approved of that list, then he’s no conservative.

        From a military POV, that list is a recipe for losing the next war. And only a fool would think there won’t be a next war.

    • R Gates


      To put the $12.5 million budget of the IPCC on the chopping block may indeed be good move, but I feel it is probably for the wrong reasons (a general attempt at silencing of the science coming from the annoying “green left” probably being the bigger reason).

      The IPCC doesn’t do science. It’s chartered to answer an ill-formed question, not conduct research. As for silencing anybody, I guess you stopped reading the paper, blogs and watching TV?

    • R. Gates:

      Your reference to Galileo fails support your conclusion regarding the opposition of Republicans to science. Galileo is the symbolic founder of modern science for his opposition to the dogmatism of the Church. Church doctrine held that the Sun orbited the Earth. Galileo objected that what he observed through his telescope was inconsistent with this conclusion.

      In objecting, Galileo established the scientific method of inquiry as a method in which claims were falsifiable by reference to observational data. IPCC climatology has not yet identified the observations that would falsify the IPCC’s claim of anthropogenic global warming. Thus, the IPCC is not on the side of science but rather is on the side of dogma. If the U.S. Congress were to eliminate funding for the IPCC this move would not be anti-science but rather would be pro-science.

  16. The budget of IPCC is only $5 – 6 million

    http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session29/doc3.pdf

    Around tho thirds of these millions go to support developing country participation. Running the organization takes only about $1 million.

    US has contributed about one third of the budget or annually approx. $ 2 million. Thus the $12 million must include some other IPCC related costs.

    • Correction: The amounts are in Swiss Francs. With the present exchange rates that does not make much difference, but in the past one Swiss Franc was significantly less than one US$.

  17. Not paying our UN dues and other UN related UN bashing has been good politics in the US for a very long time.

    The US is supposed to pay 22% of the UN budget. We rarely do. If we are only 5% of the global population why are we paying 22% of the UN budget?

  18. Looking at the fine print, can anyone explain the appearance that this is not so much a defunding or expenditure cut overall (though it is positioned as such by its sponsor), as part of one arm of a shift from funding whatever the US spends from that figure on the IPCC to subsidizing biofuels?

    I mean, if you’re going to cut something, isn’t the subsidy you pay to business to maintain a dubious and unprofitable venture the first thing that should go, and the money you put into having eyes on the ground monitoring, commenting on and understanding something controverial that may profoundly impact global trade and energy somewhat more akin to a legitimate activity of government?

    Just asking.

    Why do people believe at face value things said in Congress again?

    Anyone ever heard of the word ‘skeptic’?

    • Um, Congress are worthless corrupt scum who have been bought by the biofuels lobby. Everyone knows that, right?

      I’m pretty sure that the IPCC would not be brought to its knees by losing this money, which almost certainly isn’t what will happen anyway. This is (as far as I can see) business as usual on the hill – blowhard posturing.

      Not every skeptic is a Republican… some of us really are just, er, skeptical.

  19. I just wonder how much money has been spent globally on the IPCC and the summits like the Cancun, as the organization itself is quite small. Obviously on travel costs have been substantial as Pekka suggested, but is it really true the reports and their reviews have been performed on volutary basis? I find it hard to believe.

    As for the total spending on the issue, a related topic is the concept of ‘green jobs’. Working on the sector that seemingly gets to pay their salaries in the end, I’ve looked at this play with mixed emotions: so far the green jobs I’ve seen have been in countless environment advocacy groups and government officials promoting the cause. One telling example being the “climate policy adviser” appointed by the puny Finland to support the goverment in their climate policy. Of course this expert has – no real surprise here – a degree in journalistics as opposed to physics or e.g. some related engineering topic, like energy, and obviously he is also a member of green left-wing party. I assume similar stories are to be found around the world, particularily inside the EU. How I see it, the AGW agenda and policies are largely driven and/or advocated by people with little or no knowledge about hard sciences, and even more fatally, real-world economics.

    • Anander,
      It is indeed so that all the writing and reviewing has been performed without IPCC support. The governments may have domestic funding to support the work, but the scientist do it basically as part of their daily work using certainly also substantial amounts of their own time (evenings, weekends, holidays etc.) Sometimes they even pay their travel costs from own pocket.

      • The governments may have domestic funding to support the work, but the scientist do it basically as part of their daily work using certainly also substantial amounts of their own time (evenings, weekends, holidays etc.) Sometimes they even pay their travel costs from own pocket.

        “As part of their daily work” means that whatever organization they work for is supporting the IPCC to the extent that they use “work time” for IPCC activities. Just like NASA paying Gavin Schmidt for the time he blogs on RC. Illegal? Maybe. Unethical? I wonder how mwny different answers we’d get for that question?

      • Wow, that is some sense of duty indeed! Kidding aside, knowing your background I stress that I do not (as a formed public servant, too!) resent public sector per se, but anyway as a long time industry employee I find it amazing that one would not count the standard wage (that gets paid anyway, should there be IPCC or not) as IPCC cost if one’s work is used to that purpose. Surely there would be other, perhaps in terms of public interest even more important things to do, or just less public jobs! What I don’t believe anyway (not that you claimed any such thing) is that e.g. the head for the climate science department travels on his on cost, not to mention countless aides and politicians attenting e.g. the COP summits, not exactly because of IPCC but nevertheless.

        And for the record, I also travel and work on my ‘free time’ , and so do many others – of course you did not claim that to be the privilege of public servants, but anyway… it is a personal choice, always.

      • Anander,
        Participating in IPCC work is certainly in almost all cases a personal choice. The selection process is such that it is difficult to end up as an author or reviewer without own active effort. There might be some organizations, which exert major pressure on their personnel, but that is certainly exceptional.

        Taking the task is a choice between concentrating fully in personal scientific work and influencing the IPCC reports. Concerning career development the net result can go either way. The role of IPCC authors is appreciated (in spite of contrary reactions by the opposition), but so are own publications. The net cost is borne mainly by the research organizations and governments, which may give some additional funding to support this work. Part of the travel costs are paid directly by governments, part from the general funds of the organizations and a little peace by the individuals.

        Taking any of the more important tasks in report preparation is a sure way of getting a very busy year or two.

      • Pekka,

        There are lots of true knowlegeable scientists willing to use their time and efforts to do the same thing. Do they get the vote to do the jobs?

      • The mechanisms used in selecting authors and reviewers has received serious critique and certainly not without justification.

        There are many others who would like to be lead authors or in other influential posts, but I suspect that many of those, who would be most appropriate and impartial are not really interested as they do not have the strong will to influence directly the policy in either direction, but want really concentrate on the science instead of spending time in argumentation about the wording of a compendium.

    • Klimazwiebel had this story about the funding of IPCC scientists. It is in good agreement with, what I have heard from Finnish participants to the IPCC activities

      http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2010/11/luxurious-life-of-ipcc-lead-author.html

    • in The UK Bryony Worthington who was ‘instrumental in writing the climate change act’ (80% reductiuons by 2050) studied English, and had a career in NGO’s and the like, has just been made a life Peer, by the Labour Party Leader – Ed Milliband. ED as Minister for The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) who bought in the UK’s Climate Change Bill in 2008, where now Baroness Worthington will no doubt now vote on climate issues in the House of Lords…

      http://www.realclimategate.org/2010/11/climate-connections-an-alarmist-in-the-houses-of-parliament/

      And most recently, The European Climate foundation (80-95 reductions by 2050, have started a a PR fightback – The Carbon Brief.. take a look at their political/business conections in Europe (advisory board)

      and all the connections their supporters have.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/18/the-carbon-brief-the-european-rapid-response-team/

      So forget Koch, in the UK/EU the establishment is PRO AGW.

      • a bit out of sequence, my reply was for anander

      • Being a lead author means spending a lot of time in tasks that are not as interesting to top scientists than their own research, and that the institution must accept doing IPCC work instead of what the scientists would have done otherwise. It is not surprising that seeking actively the status of a lead author interests most strongly people, who want to exert influence through the report and through the status that lead authorship provides. They may also work in institutes that are ready to accept the authorship.

        This is obviously one potential source of bias in the selection process of IPCC authors.

      • As for the career development issue, just wondering whether they count the participation in the IPCC process as a paper submittal for e.g. Finnish Academy funding, or not. I would assume they do, and many people would attend to get the authorship on their resume.

        What I’ve found a bit strange about the IPCC process and climate science in general is the apparent lack of Russian academics in the field. This might be just my misconception of course but just wondering – was the devastation after 1990 so widespread, that the once great nation of scientists, especially talented in maths, haven’t contributed that much on the climate topic? Is it the language barrier (i.e. they publish, but in Russian journals) or just that not much research is done on the subject. Another possibility would be of course that Russians see this CO2-obsession as a tool to rise the price of energy, which it already has, and which will be in their best interests.

  20. Judith: There is some IPCC budget info into at: http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session29/doc3.pdf

    One might make a case for withholding funding until we see how the IPCC responds to the recommendations from the IAC and/or makes other reforms. Why should we be paying for a “scientific report” whose SPM’s must be approved line-by-line by political leaders often chosen for environmental activism (under the supervision of a few scientists selected by these politicians)?

    Stephen Scheinder has given us a wonderful explanation of the difference between science and advocacy. Republican House and the Democratic White House and Senate are certain fight over advocacy, but we should all be willing to pay for a truly scientific report about a potential threat to our future.

    Science: “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts.”

    Advocacy: “On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”

    Scientists writing a purely scientific report shouldn’t be subject to Schneider’s “ethical double bind”: ” This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.

    • It’s pretty simple, Frank. If you want to be an advocate, do it on your own time, and make it very clear indeed where the line between science and advocacy ends. Climate scientists have been very poor at doing this.

      That means they have been acting unethically, with their ‘offering up of scary scenarios’ as if it was actual science.

      This isn’t delicate, nuanced stuff, as you seem to want to believe. It’s lying.

      • The grey area is when a skeptic goes public with a scientifically blatantly flawed statement. Is it advocacy for a scientist to go public with a statement to correct the scientific errors? This often looks like advocacy because it makes the skeptic look bad, but it isn’t. It is just science in the public forum. True advocacy is making political statements, not scientific ones.

      • So what is it when a scientist goes public with a scientifically blatantly flawed statement?

        And don’t tell me it doesn’t happen – it’s happened right here on Dr Curry’s blog.

      • Then it is obviously up to other scientists to correct him. I have not seen any blatantly flawed scientific statements from AGW specialists here, but maybe I missed something.

      • Then it is obviously up to other scientists to correct him.

        That would be nice.

        But then – why do you think other scientists are NOT correcting him?

      • Sounds like you have a specific case in mind. Has someone said something outside the IPCC range of views?

      • Are sea levels rising at “an unprecedented rate”?

        Are the glaciers melting? Himalayan? Alaskan? Canadian? Why?

        Those were some of the assertions of a climate scientist on another thread.

      • Is a glacier melting bad for humans in the long term? Why? If there is adequate rainfall what is the problem?

      • Jim—the question wasn’t really directed at you

      • You have to define unprecedented. Certainly compared to the last 8000 years the recent decades’ 3mm/yr is faster, but not compared to coming out of the Ice Ages. I just looked at Wikipedia on sea-level rise, so not much research, but it looks plausible.
        Of course glaciers are melting too. Haven’t you seen the photos and news articles? Why do you think?
        These are easily defendable statements, not blatantly wrong by any stretch.

      • You have to define unprecedented. Certainly compared to the last 8000 years the recent decades’ 3mm/yr is faster, but not compared to coming out of the Ice Ages.

        I’m not sure you can back up that 8000 year thing. IIRC, 3.2 mm/yr is a number that goes back a long way. For sea level numbers I generally use this –

        http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

        And it doesn’t show an increasing rate of rise. That plot used to include a lot more history.

        Of course glaciers are melting too. Haven’t you seen the photos and news articles? Why do you think?

        Try this -

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/20/believing-science/#comment-45390

      • Jim Owen,
        This shows a graph for a longer period that does not indicate 3m/1000 years except in recent times.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Current_sea_level_rise

        Like sea-level rise, glacier melting correlates with global temperature rise in the last century. A lot of this would be because the glacier-sustaining altitude has increased with the warming. I remain skeptical about black carbon having a significant effect over the century and the globe, maybe in individual cases.

      • I thought this Blog was all about trying to determine which statements were blatantly flawed. If no one reads anything that changes their mind a little bit about something, we will not make any progress. Read what others write and try to find fault with your own opinions. Try to find truth and fact in others opinions. It may not work, but we should try. We are not all right so some of us must be wrong. I don’t think it is me that is wrong, but I do try to read what you write and I do try to understand. Likely not enough. Experts in any field can be wrong and often are. Consider everyone’s opinions. Consensus Science and Peer Review tends to keep you on track. If you are on the right track, it is a good thing. If you are on the wrong track it is a very bad thing. State you case and your reasons. Let others state their case and their reasons. Read each others case and reasons.

      • My point is that Professor Schneider has unintentionally done a wonderful job – while encouraging scientists to become advocates – of defining a clear line between science and advocacy. Pick any of the IPCC’s infamous statements and use Schneider’s “definition” to decide whether the statement is science or advocacy. If the IPCC asked all authors to sign a statement based on Schneider’s “definition” saying that AR5 contained science (with all of the doubts and caveats) and no advocacy, I think AR5 would be significantly more candid than AR4.

        The problem is that many climate scientists (probably including Professor Schneider) have acted as if the IPCC’s scientific reports and SPM’s are appropriate places for advocacy (in addition to science). When the press or Congress presents a policy advocate, it is traditional to also present someone with an opposing point of view. When the press or Congress presents science (as described by Schneider) from a scientist, an opposing view is normally not necessary.

    • Here’s some snippets from 1988: http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/43/a43r053.htm

      Context in which IPCC is sanctioned by UN:

      ” Concerned that certain human activities could change global climate
      patterns, threatening present and future generations with potentially severe
      economic and social consequences,

      Noting with concern that the emerging evidence indicates that continued
      growth in atmospheric concentrations of “greenhouse” gases could produce
      global warming with an eventual rise in sea levels, the effects of which could
      be disastrous for mankind if timely steps are not taken at all levels,

      The IPCC questions to be answered:

      (a) The state of knowledge of the science of climate and climatic
      change;

      (b) Programmes and studies on the social and economic impact of climate
      change, including global warming;

      (c) Possible response strategies to delay, limit or mitigate the impact
      of adverse climate change;

      (d) The identification and possible strengthening of relevant existing
      international legal instruments having a bearing on climate;

      (e) Elements for inclusion in a possible future international convention
      on climate;

      Some of these questions are science, some of them are politics. Note questions a,b,and c are ill formed.

    • Schneider seriously suckered himself. Even if he was ABSOLUTELY SURE he was right, “disingenuousness” (lying) is beyond the pale.

      A good man transformed himself into a de facto scumbag.

    • Schneider’s characterization of the scientific method of inquiry fails to capture its essence. This is that a theory lies in science if and only if it is a) falsifiable and b) not falsified by evidence in repeated trials of an experiment. While the IPPC’s claim of anthropogenic global warming is a theory, it is not a scientific theory under this standard.

  21. The US House of Representatives also voted to defund the EPA’s anti-global warming regulatory activities and Obama’s science czars and advisors, e.g. John Holdren. Moreover, the House also denied funding for NASA’a climate change activities, that includes GISS. I beleive that these actions apply to the renewal of the Continuing Resolution for spending for the remainder of 2011 and to the new budget for 2012. Since the House must originate all spending measures, These actions may end most of the climate alarmists’ federal funding.

  22. Judith,

    “My first question is to wonder about what the $12.5M of U.S. funding actually pays for”

    Tell me, why isn’t your first question instead ‘is this true’?

    You do understand that a ‘statement’ in the House is not equivalent to a ‘statement’ in a courtroom, don’t you?

    The statement re-posted from Leutkemeyer is a wild over-estimation. Pekka is correct, two million per year is more like it.

    Leutkemeyer can also claim that Obama has designated 13 million. What do you think are the chances that someone shifty enough to pretend he doesn’t know the difference between 2 million and 12 million is reporting accurately on this number, either? He can claim he is Jesus. Just because someone says something, it doesn’t make it true.

    This is not the first time that Republicans have attempted to eliminate IPCC funding. However, the best time for their climate change denial was during the corrupt Bush administration, and this is not the same president.

    Marc Morano?

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Marc_Morano

    Morano’s ‘list’? Yes, Inhofe’s dupe updated his PR:

    http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/new-improved-climate-skeptic-list-fraud/

    Or use google to select a site of your choice, to see that this is a tired, hyped-up group of non-climate scientists and assorted names on Republican petitions that Morano has re-cycled — including scientists who have objected to being put on his ‘ list’.

    • Oh well, if Greenfyre has debunked it then it must be true. LOL. Always nice to cite objective sources. Is that the best you can do, Martha? I think Judith summed this up rather well in the main post:

      “It provides a plethora of links to support its arguments, but the ones I clicked on all go to blog posts, which is not very convincing first order evidence.”

      Rather apt.

      • “Oh well, if Greenfyre has debunked it then it must be true. LOL. Always nice to cite objective sources. Is that the best you can do, Martha? ”
        What part of ‘ use google to select a site of your choice, to see that this is a tired, hyped-up group of non-climate scientists and assorted names on Republican petitions that Morano has re-cycled — including scientists who have objected to being put on his ‘ list’’ did you miss, my friend? Since the list is debunked literally all over the internet, by scientists and social scientists and many other intelligent observers, and is a transparent piece of partisan propaganda with no basis in the science, you can choose among literally hundreds of sites. You would have to really want to miss this, not to see it. I feel no need to do your work for you, however, and Greenfyre’s hundreds of site links to the peer reviewed science and intelligent discussion of popular issues, is just one of my preferred sites. Who cares what I do? You are encouraged to use basic internet research skills and your own brain, to ensure you have the best information you can and that you have thought about it carefully. ;-)

        “I think Judith summed this up rather well in the main post: It provides a plethora of links to support its arguments, but the ones I clicked on all go to blog posts, which is not very convincing first order evidence.”
        I think you miss the irony. You are on a blog post. There is no ‘first order’ evidence on this post on this blog. The information stated by the congressman is not accurate. It is re-posted by Judith without it occurring to her that it is possibly not true. Then Judith promotes Morano’s list, and links to Morano’s Republican party blog.

        Rob, it really does not occur to you that many things that are stated in party politics for the purpose of gaining power or promoting a partisan view, especially in the House by a congressman with a demonstrable track record of b.s. and budget cut-back goals, who does not know or care about science, is not true? Why not? Two years ago the same guy was doing the same thing, only he was insisting that science says the planet is cooling.

        I encourage you to spend less time trying to shadowbox, and more time on your own knowledge.

      • Martha, you rather miss my point in mentioning Morano on this post. While his document is not “scientific,” it is about science. His document is sufficiently persuasive at least to some congressmen for it to be read aloud and entered into the congressional record. And why is it persuasive to politicians? Because he uses the same PR/persuasion tactics being adopted by the IPCC: get a bunch of signatories, claim the other side are idiots, deniers, alarmists, whatever. And since the issue is asymmetrical (easier to say somebody else’s argument is unconvincing), Morano wins. My bigger point is that the tactics used by the defenders of of the IPCC to persuade politicians don’t work, the other side can use these same tactics and their challenge is easier. Claiming your side has “science” behind it is hollow when you play these kinds of games. So rather than trying to pretend that Morano doesn’t exist, defenders of the consensus are advised to try to understand why he is so persuasive to politicians.

      • And why is it persuasive to politicians? Because he uses the same PR/persuasion tactics being adopted by the IPCC: get a bunch of signatories, claim the other side are idiots, deniers, alarmists, whatever.

        Er no, it’s persuasive because it’s what they want to hear. Really, to claim that there is an equivalance between what the likes of Marano do and what the IPCC does is nonsense.

        As for your claim in your original post that somehow that criticisms of Morano for spreading misinformation are somehow invalidated by what you think the IPCC does is beyond nonsense – it is pure gold-plated bullshit. Your constant refusal to stand up for science against those who wilfully misrepresent it and to actually hold the “skeptics” accountable for their own behaviour makes your claim to be some kind of honest broker trying to effect a reconciliation completely incredible.

        You’ve taken sides in this argument and it’s against those who consider AGW to be a real and serious threat to human civilisation. Well that’s your prerogative. but don’t pretentend otherwise and don’t feign surprise when your efforts here are not received kindly in some quarters.

        My bigger point is that the tactics used by the defenders of of the IPCC to persuade politicians don’t work,

        By “politicians” you mean “Republican politicians” right? Given that just about every government in the world accepts the IPCC’s argument.

      • Morano and the IPCC both practice artful bias (or advocacy argumentation) and do it with equal skill. Morano is of course much more emotional about it, so the parallel is not perfect. There are better matches for the IPCC on the skeptical side, such as the NIPCC. And better matches on the alarmist side for Morano. But as far as the logic of their argumentation goes the match works.

        If you want to call this advocacy practice willful misrepresentation or misinformation then both Morano and the IPCC are equally guilty. Note however that this is also what a trial lawyer does, that is to present his side’s case in the strongest possible light. Do you consider trial advocacy willful misrepresentation? It is the heart of our justice system. It is also the heart of our political system, which is the democratic decision making system. Hence Morano and the IPCC are playing their political roles. But none of this is science.

      • Trial lawyers advocate, presenting one side of an issue; that is why lawyers are called “advocates”. Advocacy is not analysis. In my experience, analysis is done by considering all sides of the question, as put forth by stakeholders. All evidence is to be considered. If a recommendation is to be made, alternatives are included in the analysis, together with risks, costs and benefits of each alternative.
        In trials, the final analysis must be made by the jury, guided by law and the credibility of the evidence. Since analysis is in short supply within the IPCC, analysis is left to the Congress within this Representative Republic.

      • I assume from the rest of your argument that you write “Given that just about every government in the world accepts the IPCC’s argument” as if that is somehow to be construed as evidentiary support that the IPCC is correct.

        The IPCC is a creature of the UN, obviously lots of govts support it. But given the long sordid record of the UN and most govts, why would anyone want to rely upon them to support an argument which is supposedly about truth, fact, honesty, etc.?

      • Curry: “So rather than trying to pretend that Morano doesn’t exist, defenders of the consensus are advised to try to understand why he is so persuasive to politicians.”
        But only persuasive to US-politicians and there only to Republicans and Teabaggers. Maybe the problem is not within science…

      • Republicans are half the people. The problem is within science only to the extent that the science has been politicized, which is a considerable extent, alas. String theory doesn’t have this problem even though it is scientific controversy personified.

      • andreas fuchs, February 20, 2011. Since you are probably not from the United States, I must forgive you for using a sexual slur in your comment. (I do not refer to your use of “Republicans”.) Your sources of opinion may be limited; I suggest that you read more widely.

      • pooh, dixie

        Thanks for your pretentious advices. I’m interested in US news, since I began to ask, why climate policy is completly failing in the USA, but not in nearly all other democratic countries. In modern times a lot of sources are available, from Huffington Post to Fox News ;-). But don’t worry, I feel, you are not interested in views from outside.

        If you hint, that Waxman failed with democratic majorities in both senate and congress, thanks, but I know. I also know, that 6 or 7 democrats voted with GOP at the IPCC issue. I also know names like Joe Manchin (DEM,VI) and others.
        But can you tell me a democrat, who has argued with the ominous list of some hundreds “skeptic scientists” in public?
        I’m still learning…

      • Still learning? ‘Teabagger’ is pejorative except for those who think it is a huge joke. I’ll pretend to advise you, too; read more widely.
        ==========

      • Ever noticed, that “alarmist” ist pejorative, too?
        But I apologize to all teabaggers ;-)

      • Your wide reading should include ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’.

        And you seem to have the wrong apology in your mouth.
        =================

      • Better: What burden prevents your tongue from articulating a real apology?
        ======

      • The fact that it’s crazy to assume I would use a word in a meaning my dictionary not even knows. But I learned thanks google. Up to now I thougt of people carrying tea bags (and I will do further ;-) )

      • If I look hard enough even google shows you have a good heart.
        =========

      • Actually no country has taken any serious steps toward decarbonization, so the USA may just be the most honest. Plus we have always been the most skeptical when it comes to grand government schemes. Then too, we have the most to lose so are taking the hardest look. Makes sense to me.

      • “when it comes to grand government schemes. ”

        Like the trillion dollar effort to promote democracy in Iraq?

        There was just oodles of skepticism there. (Well there was but not from certain quarters, if you know what I mean.)

      • Many EU countries have hammered their own economies, and the UK is on the brink of virtual suicide, trying to “decarbonize”. It’s a fool’s errand from every possible perspective.

      • andreas: In answer to your question “But can you tell me a democrat, who has argued with the ominous list of some hundreds “skeptic scientists” in public?”

        Happy to oblige. :-) The democrats are listed in the following document:
        Baird, Hon. Brian, and Committee Members. 2010. Rational Discussion of Climate Change: the Science, the Evidence, the Response. Hearing. 111–114. Washington, D.C.: Subcommittee On Energy And Environment, November 17. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-111hhrg62618/pdf/CHRG-111hhrg62618.pdf

      • Thanks!
        My confusion increases. If we regard the list as an example of conflict between science and blogosphere, it’s remarkable that the politicians in the USA seems to be more susceptible to blogosphere than in other countries.
        I think there’s one of the main problems: Science seems to have some problems to communicate its results to public.

      • andreas –
        I’m neither a Republican nor a “Teabagger”. And I have many Democrat friends who are sceptics.

        You’re looking for easy answers – and there are none.

      • I am not republican, or a tea party type, but do not believe that there has been a good scientific case made that a warmer world is worse for humanity in the long run. Please show how you determine that a warmer world is really worse for humanity. I read a lot of studies that make perdictions with very low certainity

      • Martha,

        I think the huge problem that the climate change debate now faces is that the lines between politics and science in this field have become so fatally intertwined that science is frequently attacked more because of the political climate surrounding it than the actual physics itself.

        Whilst Rob’s comment about Greenfyre may have been a little dismissive, there is no doubt that he is entitled to do so from a political perspective, in so far as Greenfyre represents a political interpretation of the science. Greenfyre seeks to persuade the reader that a particular response to climate change science is required and, of course, this is a quite legitimate course of action to take: what it isn’t, however, is science.

        I must admit the reason I frequent this site more than most others these days is precisely because it aspires to deal with the entanglements of climate science and politics in an academic fashion, rather than pretend the problem doesn’t exist and just keep lobbing blog-bombs at each other from behind the ramparts…..bit poetic perhaps, but hopefully you get my drift? Does Climate etc succeed?…not very often probably but my goodness I love the times when you can feel entrenched political positions begin to waver, ever so slightly…..including my own, from time to time! :-)

      • Martha

        It’s all about politics isn’t it? It shapes your perception of the world and of other people’s views.

        You said:

        “Rob, it really does not occur to you that many things that are stated in party politics for the purpose of gaining power or promoting a partisan view……:

        I say, yes it does occur to me. And it also occurs to me that your own views and those expressed on Greenfyre’s blog are similarly motivated. It’s just that your partisan view is the opposite to Morano’s.

        Why should your view prevail above anyone else’s? Oh I forgot, you occupy the moral high ground so everything you and Greenfyre state must be true and unbiased?

    • Martha, this is supposed to convince me of what?

      • That you did not choose to do even a cursory examination of the information you believed. And this happens to you, alot.

      • Martha, this is an old and boring meme in the climate blogosphere, that I speak off the top of my head on blogs and don’t check information. Why would I bother to check a statement read in Piltz’s post about how much the U.S. is spending on the IPCC? In Piltz’s post, Waxman and Leutemeyer are arguing about the number, which I interpret to reflect fuzziness in terms of what these funds are actually spent on and how much of this is sent to the IPCC office. The actual accuracy of the particular amount being spent by the U.S. govt is not particularly relevant to my point, I am wondering how the IPCC spends its money. My spending time to check the accuracy of a number like that which is being argued by two congressmen and is tangential to any argument that I am making, would be opportunity lost on spending my time doing things that I judge to be more important.

        Should I not raise these kinds of issues on the blog? Should I only present findings from scientific papers that I have personally investigated in great detail that I can either support or refute with confidence? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you have missed the whole point of this blog and why I engage with the public on this issue.

  23. ‘I rate a paragraph in Morano’s article and report, which he fortunately accompanied with the disclaimer “Note: Curry is not included in the count of dissenting scientists in this report.” ‘
    But…..
    ‘In this world, those who seek the truth will also find trouble.’ –Gary Amirault

  24. ‘..Since the House must originate all spending measures, These actions may end most of the climate alarmists’ federal funding..”

    At last…someone points out this little fact.

    The Senate only approves/disapproves spending that is sent FROM the House. The Senate can not send spending to the House. If it is not sent it becomes very tough for the Senate to act to add it back in.

    • The tactic will be negotiation, Ed. Followed by a Presidential veto.
      At least that’s the theory. The question then becomes – if a veto or a Senate rejection, then who gets the blame for a government shutdown. IIRC, this bill is for continuation of government operations starting in March. Not a lot of time for negotiation – or to start a new bill through the process.

      OTOH, there’s the possibility of another CR (Continuing Resolution). Would anyone vote for that? Maybe we’ll find out.

  25. David L. Hagen

    The fraud is endemic:
    U.S. charges global warming company was a fraud

    CO2 Tech Ltd, a publicly traded company that lured investors with claims about products and services to fight global warming, was full of nothing but hot air, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Friday.

    It said the U.S. Justice Department had filed criminal fraud charges against six men, including stock promoters and traders, involved in a so-called “pump-and-dump scheme” built around shares of the company, which was purportedly based in London but had no significant assets or operations.

  26. “What portion of the total IPCC costs does the U.S. support? I have never actually seen a budget before for the IPCC.”

    We’ve been discussing this on my blog.

    Roger Andrews says:
    February 19, 2011 at 4:38 pm (Edit)
    Tallbloke:

    The IPCC budget for 2010 was $4,795,960, but this doesn’t include “generous contributions by the Governments of Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America”. If we assume the other three countries generously contribute as much as the US then the total IPCC budget would be around $50 million.

    • What does “generous contributions by the Governments of Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America” mean?

      This is a rather empty declaration without further explanation. My guess is that it means supporting national participation in the work and organizing meetings paid by the the organizing country, but perhaps there is also something else.

      • Pekka

        There seems to be some confusion over this. According to the Republicans the US contributes about $12 million a year to the IPCC and according to the Democrats it’s only about $2 million. But whatever money the IPCC does get supposedly goes into a Trust Fund that the IPCC says it uses to pay for developing country delegates to attend climate conferences.

      • From last nights debate:
        Leutkemeyer: “The international panel the last year or two has been funded at the rate of about $12.5 million per year. The President has it in his 2012 budget at $13 million a year.”

        Are the democrats saying Pres Obama is sliding $11m under the table?

      • We rarely pay our UN bills.
        Every now and then a president will quietly pay off money a foolish diplomat promised to pay without congressional approval. Last year was one of those years.

      • As far as I can see the trust fund is precisely the place, where the $2 million goes. The additional contribution never reaches IPCC. IPCC tells that countries support it’s activities in a variety of ways using their funds in this. That includes national contributions to the activities, organizing conferences and meetings without significant cost to IPCC, and maintaining Technical Support Units to perform tasks of common interest on behalf of the IPCC.

        The organization of IPCC itself consists of a small office. IPCC’s own budget is indeed very small and that includes all payments that ever reach IPCC. The activities of IPCC are much wider, but they are paid directly by the governments and other participating bodies. I would not be surprised at all about a $13 million budget item on IPCC, but only $2 million of that is evidently allocated to be transferred in any form to IPCC itself. The rest is spent directly under U.S. supervision.

  27. Largely irrelevant, the IPCC will still be able to function with such a reduction in funding.

    I can’t see an end to the IPCC assessments. There is a need for a central, global assessment for a global problem, so whoever funds it, it will be funded and the assessment reports will continue.

    • It would be interesting if a cut in funding resulted in no change in output.

    • Never-mind that Dr Alan Carlin’s report was buried by the Obama Administration.
      No, quality never matters. Just whether it supports the IPCC cabal of climate scientists CAGW meme.

      • Carlin, Alan. 2009. Climategate and EPA. Scientific Blog. Carlin Economics and Science. December 1. http://www.carlineconomics.com/archives/588

        Kazman, Sam. Letter to Environmental Protection Agency2009. Re: Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act, Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171. June 23. http://cei.org/cei_files/fm/active/0/Endangerment%20Comments%206-23-09.pdf

        Email # 3: March 17 email from Mr. McGartland to Mr. Carlin, stating that he will not forward Mr. Carlin’s study.
        “The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.
        …. I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.”

    • Would it not be great to credibly demonstrate a global problem?

  28. My perception of the IPCC reports is that they are not scientific but propaganda. I was surprised to see that the first post above shares my opinion. It is interesting to check the definition of propaganda in Wikipedia:
    “Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position.
    As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. “
    “Propaganda is the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.”
    “Propaganda is neutrally defined as a systematic form of purposeful persuasion that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of specified target audiences for ideological, political or commercial purposes through the controlled transmission of one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass and direct media channels.”
    The very first IPCC report addressed the need to reduce CO2 usage. They have been producing propaganda to support that for about 20 years now.

    • Have you actually read any part of them, then?

      Can you provide some examples?

      • MT: here are two small analyses of mine by way of examples. Propaganda well done is artful bias and the IPCC is masterful at it.

        http://thewashingtonpest.blogspot.com/2007/02/ipccs-artful-bias.html

        http://www.john-daly.com/guests/un_ipcc.htm

      • MT: Yes, I have read many parts of them. I have downloaded the last two so that I will have them if they disappear from the IPCC web site.
        Dr. Wojick has provided some excellent examples.

      • Thank you chris darden.

        MT, don’t ask questions unless you know the range of answers that can be provided and had a retort for each an every one. Bad rhetorical device. You fail as a persuader. please stop, my grandchildren lives depend upon it

      • Actually, no, they don’t. That’s a presumption that forces the conclusion.

      • I’m actually trying to determine whether he has anything specific to offer. If he did, we could discuss it. See, I’m a skeptic in the literal sense, so I am always welcome to sensible challenges to my beliefs.

        I’m reasonably confident that he has nothing other than a prejudice that IPCC is slanted. But if he has something of note, I would prefer to know it. As usual, it’s all handwaving and bluster.

        IPCC WG I has a difficult job and they do it well. It is the sort of job that is impossible to do to every person’s satisfaction in every detail. On the whole I find their emphasis and discussion of uncertainty representative of the community contributing to the respective individual chapters. But I am willing to be convinced otherwise.

        I personally make no such claims for the other two working groups.

        I believe that the purpose of these discussions is to promote thinking, not to advance a polemical position.

      • MT
        “Have you actually read any part of them, then?”

        is the question I am talking about. I’m only pointing this out to you because I often make this mistake when discussing the mails with people. “well have you read them all”

        Your second question is a question for information. your first is for effect. The second is fine, the first is obnoxious. I know because I do it.

      • Michael February 20, 2011: “Can you provide some examples?”
        Actually, I can and have, and from the horse’s own mouth (IPCC Anniversary Brouchure http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/10th-anniversary/anniversary-brochure.pdf and the Site Map of the UNFCCC http://unfccc.int/home/items/993.php )

        The breakdown is here: Uncertainty and the IPCC AR5: Part II

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/13/uncertainty-and-the-ar5-part-ii/#comment-42345

  29. The House conservatives voting to defund the IPCC, like their expected votes to defund NPR and cut the U.S. budget by 100 billions dollars, do not expect to actually implement those changes. The political process is essentially backward right now, with the House Republicans finding themselves in the position usually held by the executive: unable to enact anything themselves, but with the power to veto any measure they don’t like. So they don’t expect these measures to become law.

    Votes like the subject of this thread are more about the 2012 election than actually implementing policy. Think of it as a conservative campaign ad. Vote for more of us in 2012, and here is what we will do. Give us a conservative president, and this is what will actually become law.

    The activists on the left, including CAGW advocates, get this. That is why there will be no reconciliation or compromise until at least after the next election. My prediction is that the tone of the debate is only going to get harsher in the next 18 months. If you are a liberal skeptic who dislikes being called a denier, wait til you get to experience first hand the kinds of personal assaults conservatives have had to listen to for decades.

    To paraphrase Bette Davis, fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy two years.

  30. Thank you, Representative Leutkemeyer, for having the courage to speak out!

    This paper (in press) shows a few of the experimental observations that the UN’s IPCC chose to ignore:

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/0912.2931v1

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  31. Judith

    please provide some of that “first line science.”

  32. JC wrote:
    “However, this would open the door for other countries to delegitimize the IPCC by withdrawing funding or proceeding with their own assessments. The current framing of the climate change problem and its solution by the UNFCCC/IPCC as irreducibly global is arguably outdated and too narrow.”

    The topic pits nation against nation, region against region. Experientially and as a practical matter, there’s no such thing as a global climate to change. If any nation decides to follow it’s self interest in the matter, they would angle for the most advantageous climate for their country, and if others fair worse, so much the better.

    • Harold. Given that we have no control over the big climate factors (sun and oceans), a plurality of studies would be more beneficial than detrimental in my view. It would produce more opportunities for cross checking, and less for sandbagging.

      • Tallbloke

        I’m all for a plurality of efforts. I think the science has long term value.

      • Tallbloke-

        I’d argue that we have the ability to at least partially control the amount of sunlight reaching the earth as well as how much is reflected from the ground. How much effect this could have depends, in part, on “pressure points” which may or may not exist.

  33. Dr Rajendra Pachauri and TERI-

    “When Dr Richard North and I came to examine this empire, our interest was drawn to Teri Europe, based in a suburban house in south London, which is registered under British law as a charity and is obliged to publish its accounts on the Charity Commission website. When we looked at these, however, they seemed rather odd. The figures showed the charity’s income and expenditure rising steadily in its early years – but from 2006 onwards they suddenly plunged to below £10,000 a year.

    This was significant because £10,000 is the threshold below which a charity does not have to publish full accounts. Yet we knew that in these years Teri Europe was rapidly expanding, receiving sums way above that threshold. These included several payments from the UK government, such as £30,000 for the services of an employee of Dr Pachauri’s Delhi office to act as his co-editor on the IPCC’s 2007 Synthesis Report.”

    Read more about the behaviour of Dr Rajendra Pachauri Head of the IPCC at the link below.

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6394

    • I certainly thought the TERI affair and the whole “voodoo science” debacle should have been more than sufficient to expect the demise of Mr Pachauri. Unfortunately – or fortunately perhaps – he was able to hang on to his job and, as a result, I now think the IPCC is fatally wounded.

  34. Only Congress has the authority to spend money and the voters sent a clear message to Congress.

    If the US is to have a Sputnik moment, it will be to recognize that they key to prosperity lies in cheap, abundant energy. If electricity was significantly cheaper in the US than China, factories would flock to the US to start manufacturing. Along with those factories come employment and wealth. Without the manufacturing base, the US will soon become a second rate power, reliant on other nations for its survival.

    • I generally agree with you, ge0050. It would be an added benefit if the cheap, abundant energy was also “clean”. This is the central theme of my book Hartz String Theory.

      However, I’m unsure about the manufacturing. As time goes on, advances in computing and robotics leads to increases in manufacturing automation. I’m not sure it matters much where the robots are installed.

  35. ianash: “Yeah, I replied. You completely misrepresented what was not said in the reports.”…..etc

    I don’t quite see where you’re heading with this – I just checked the thread, using Orkneygal’s link above and I couldn’t see your response to her questions. I’m sure if you could simply do that and avoid some of the unnecessary unpleasantness that often seems to accompany your posts, your arguments would carry a lot more weight. IMO, Orkneygal showed great restraint in attempting to respond to your arguments concerning the two Nature papers rather than rail at your disparaging personal insults.

    Please prove me wrong ianash and see if you can respond properly to Orkmeygal’s points without recourse to the personal unpleasantness that simply destroys the value of the points you are trying to make.

    • Judith, you might want to delete my comment above – the comments to which it was related, by Orkneygal and ianash, have disappeared, presumably through moderation.

      • The Night of the Living Alarmist.
        =====================

      • I love your comments kim but…..I just don’t quite get this one!! :-(

      • I’ll leave your comment; maybe ianash will actually read it :)

      • The moderation here just keeps getting worse…

      • But you seem to be maintaining your own high standard of inane commentary.

      • Was it you who got shot down over at realclimate?

      • I no longer attempt to post over at that site. They don’t seem to like the questions I ask or the papers I reference.

        The only useful bit is the Bore Hole.

        They seem to especially not like the paleo based papers that show the Arctic Ocean has been nearly ice free earlier in the Holocene and the ones that show overwhelming evidence of the MWP in the Southern Hemisphere.

        If you chose to waste your time over there so be it. In fact, as far as I am concerned, you can waste all of your time over there.

    • Saaad-

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Just to clarify a point, my comments were not about the two Nature papers.

      My comments were about the contradictions in these two papers, one of which is the recent Nature paper.

      Dai 2010

      http://planetsave.com/2010/10/20/much-of-the-globe-threatened-with-drought/

      and

      Min 2011

      http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110216/full/470316a.html

      I suggested it was impossible to have both more and less rain in the same place.

      • You still have not sent me the page numbers of each paper that supposedly say what you claim. It’s simple, just find the pages in question and highlight the sections that you believe contradict each other.

        But we still need to go back to the start. What was the purpose of each paper? Can you answer that please? And what were the conclusions (or what you believe the conculsions to be)?

      • Both papers, in their entirety, contradict each other.

        One suggests increased rainfall in the high latitudes of the NH and increasing drought in the mid and lower latitudes due to warming.

        The other suggests the exact opposite, due to warming.

        You are welcome to figure out for yourself, which paper does which.

        As far as the purpose of these papers, I believe they both had the same purpose. That purpose was to add to the continuing alarmist narrative that CAGW is the cause of all freakiness in weather, be it drought, flood, snow, tropical cyclones, etc. In fact one of the papers uses the term “alarming” to describe one of its figures. Again, I will leave it to you to figure out which one that is.

      • OK, I get it now. You haven’t even read them.

        Come back when you have a clue.

      • As my challenge to you to post where you think the papers contradict each other keeps getting moderated out, I guess we’ll never know if you understand these papers or not.

      • The contradictions in the papers can be explained, perhaps, by the fact the Min, et al paper seems to be fundamentally and fatally flawed and probably got only pal reviewed.

        http://tinyurl.com/4lxlaln

        You seem surprised that when you insult someone, your remarks get moderated out.

        Have you an thought about why such things happen?

      • Ok, so now we are getting somewhere.

        1. You haven’t read the papers
        2. You have stopped trying to explain how the papers are contradictory because you dont really know.
        3. You have no argument except ‘his mate reviewed the paper’ (showing a complete ignorance of how papers are published)
        4. And worst of all, you’ve now relied on a guest poster on WUWT to try to come up with your arguments.

        C’mon, a real Orkney gal would do better than this.

      • Ok, so now I’m feeling a little sorry for you so a couple of hints:

        - timescales involved (are they similar?)
        - underlying physical mechanisms (heating and rainfall)
        - also have a look at Yu and Weller’s paper in BAMS on air-sea heat fluxes.

      • It would be useful if you pointed out where you think the two papers are concordant, complementary and support their respective conclusions.

      • C’mon, just answer the questions. I cant do your homework for you. I’ve already given you too many hints!

      • Ignore imanass, O-gal; it makes The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight look like deadly snipers. And talks like The Black Knight’s limbless torso.

      • Ignoring ianass is a strategy, but getting it to type more makes it more likely that the casual reader will suss out the true depth of its intellect.

      • OTOH, if its real purpose is to make somebody (anybody?) take some notice of it, your strategy may only encourage that behaviour.

        For such a case the only thing worse than bad publicity is no publicity :-(

        Difficult one to call.

      • Yes. But when I reply to it, I get publicity, too!

        :~)

  36. Great article by Ross McKitrick very pertinent to the subject of this thread:

    http://rossmckitrick.weebly.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/mckitrick_preliminary_notes.pdf

    • Hee!

      I love sentences containing ‘Great’, ‘Ross McKitrick’ and ‘pertinent’!

      From the introduction to his paper, subtitled “Some Preliminary Thoughts from an Outsider”:

      “I am an “outsider” to the field of climatology in two respects: by professional training I am an economist, and as regards my research I am in dispute with proponents of some elements of what is commonly called the “consensus” scientific position.1 With regards to my economics background, I note that economists routinely undertake scientific research on matters of acute political controversy, yet the field remains generally congenial and productive; whereas the policy controversies connected to climate research have resulted in seriously disrupted and damaged collegiality in climatology.”

      OMG

      Dr. Ross McKitrick, whose professed field is Environmental Economics became ‘Dr.’ by virtue of a thesis specifically on addressing CO2 change by a Carbon tax, an outsider?!

      The one man whom McIntyre went to above all others for support in framing his own ideas within the context of the climate science debate, claiming to be an outsider?

      One’s jaw drops and is bruised by the basement floor.

      He’s being ironic, certainly. This is meant as lampoon, or joke, surely.

      People in dispute are not called outsiders to disputes, they’re called disputants, no?

      Also, Dr. Ross McKitrick is a senior fellow of the Alberta-centric Fraser Institute — called a Libertarian think tank by everyone except the Fraser Institute — and one of the first invitees of government on any list of insiders to the climate science debate, and is further quite welcome in the corridors of his own government due to long service as a lobbyist. So industry and government insider, Dr. McKitrick definitely is.

      Further, Economics “remains generally congenial and productive” compared even to climate science? Really?

      OMG.

      Economists are among the most famously disputative, fractious and argumentative people one could imagine, among each other. Has Dr. McKitrick spent so little time among practitioners in his own field, or so much time surrounding himself only with those who agree with him and sheltering himself from those writings that disagree with his own as to not recognise this? Seriously?

      Does Dr. McKitrick forget the infamous figures of economics, like Bernie Madoff? (Sure, Madoff’s BA is in political science, but he was often introduced as an economic genius during his days as a securities dealer and chairman of the NASD, and no one ever called the Chairman of the NASD an outsider to the field of Economics.)

      How about the fact that Capitalism and Communism are essentially simply rival Economic systems?

      Has McKitrick forgotten that little dispute?

      This false humility, this false trail laid out by Dr. McKitrick, how is it to be termed either great or pertinent?

      • Also, Dr. Ross McKitrick is a senior fellow of the Alberta-centric Fraser Institute

        Alberta-centric?! Is that Bart-speak for “Big Oil funded”? Those who are not familiar with the Fraser Institute would do well to make up their own minds based on the content one can find on their website, including:

        What does this mission mean to you? It means:
        [...]
        •A rigorous research methodology that lays out clearly how we arrive at specific conclusions. The Fraser Institute promotes transparency in research – in other words, our methodology is open and clearly explained, and others can replicate our conclusions. In addition, the source of our data is always provided.

        •Sometimes our research recommends public policy solutions that some people feel are controversial. We are a completely independent research organization that develops independent conclusions and recommendations. Beholden to no one, our conclusions and recommendations may be different from reports produced by organizations who receive government funding. We also do not accept any contracts for research.

        •We work to ensure that people become more knowledgeable about the outcomes of various public policies and can then make more informed decisions. [emphasis added -hro]

        http://www.fraserinstitute.org/about-us/who-we-are/mission.aspx

        Would that the institutions of “climate science” – not the least of which is the IPCC – were as mature, accountable, ethical and open as the Fraser Institute.

      • hro001

        “Alberta-centric” is Canadian for centered in Alberta.

        I can’t take credit for making it up.

        That you link it to Big Oil automatically is.. interesting.

        I can’t take credit for the made-up stuff in the Fraser Institute’s web pages, too.

        Those who spend time in Canadian academia and politics, business and public administration ought be sourced, too, for their impressions when strangers to the Fraser Institute wish to make up their minds about it.

        Have you spent much time reading the Fraser Forum magazine, or attending Fraser Institute-sponsored symposia? Surveyed the Economists and opinion-leaders the Fraser Institute recruits?

        Would that the Fraser Institute were actually as mature, accountable, ethical and open as it claims.

      • Does ‘Alberta’ have some special significance lost to those of us over here in UK? Seems a funny point to worry about – or even to mention.

        Does the location of Benton Fraser’s institute have a bearing on its work? ‘Alberta-centric’ seems a very odd term to use. I wouldn’t use ‘Norwich-centric’ to describe Phil Jones and gang. It adds nothing.

        Please explain.

      • Latimer Alder

        What an excellent question.

        For an American audience, the answer is easy, “Just think Montana, except with money (from oil), only flatter.”

        For a European audience, less easy.

        Alberta is by far the most Libertarian locale I’ve yet encountered, moreso by far than Texas.

        It does have oil money, and ranches, wilderness and significant political influence with strongly-held political beliefs, and is fairly unlike the stereotype of Canada one usually holds.

        Other than that, it evades easy pigeonholing.

        Many of its politicians equate their per capita wealth with virtue.

      • Ok..I understand the geography bit.

        But Ross McKitrick is a professor in Guelph, which wiki tells me is in Ontario (think Minnesota only more northerly). As far as I remember, Minnesotans are pretty liberal – think of the Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome – so I guess Ontarians won’t be Contrarians.

        Still confused over here. Is working in Ontario a Good Thing, but working in Alberta a Bad Thing? Would your opinion of Prof. McKitrick be changed if he was described as an Ontario-centric academic? – which it seems he is.

      • Latimer

        Growing up near Buffalo as I did, I think of Ontario as more like New York, only less American.

        Minnesota, where I’ve lived and worked too, is south of Manitoba, and I have no experience of Manitoba to share except that I’m told it’s colder than Minnesota, which is colder than I wish to imagine.

        University of Guelph is chiefly an agricultural college with a good reputation for veterinarians and agronomists and next to none in Economics. I imagine that it’s a good place to raise a family, and not far from airports is its chief attraction for an academic.

        Ontarians, in my experience, are very ‘conservative’ in the Canadian context, which used to still be left of an American leftist, except for Toronto, where most of the population lives and which used to be left of most of Canada.. a condition one cringes to picture.

        Think.. European. Think France, even, without Le Pen.

        Now, I have no idea.

        Dr. McKitrick is sometimes at odds with some Fraser Institute opinions. For example, he’s clearly statist when it comes to funding his own education and employ.

        So while the Fraser Institute is centered in Alberta, it’s not exclusively Albertan. It has some token Ontarians. (I think it once even had a Quebecker.)

      • Again, according to my trusty atlas, Ontario shares a long border with Minnesota. Manitoba has a shorter one, but a lot longer one with the more westerly North Dakota.

        These facts are not hard to check.

        Luckily I only ever worked in Minnesota for two spells in summertime. I really would not fancy winter anywhere near there. Especially since the climate seems to be getting worse.

      • PS – again according to wiki, the Fraser Institute is based in Vancouver. And my trusty atlas tells me that that is in British Columbia.

        So, whatever his other characteristics may or may not be, from a geographical perspective he is a professor in Ontario, and a fellow of an institute in BC. No connection to Alberta that I can see. Maybe his partner is called Alberta after Queen Victoria’s consort?

        Please clarify.

      • Canada and the USA don’t exactly line up.

        It’s almost like they’re two separate countries.

        Don’t sweat that it’s taking you a while to grasp that, with the disadvantages of a European education and all. We all know the European tendency to think a border is something one is meant to cross with armies.

        Yes, the Fraser Institute’s headquarters are in Vancouver. Which is not in Alberta.

        Why Albertans spend their leisure time and invest their free money in a warmer ocean port than their own frigid inland capital, I could not say.

      • So your throwaway remark about ‘Alberta-centric’ has no basis in fact. It is purely a figment of your imagination. Like so much else.

        Somehow, I am not completely surprised.

        And thanks – I think my map reading skills are quite adequate for the task in hand. Been doing it quite a while now. And I did enjoy the culture clash when Benton Fraser (founder of the similarly named institute??) visited the mean streets of Chicago in ‘Due South’. Shouldn’t have called hos boss ‘Meg’ though. It really really jarred with a British audience.

      • Yep.

        He’s pretty crap on British political/industrial history too.

        His knowledge of the 84/85 miners strike was apparently gained during a nocturnal visit by some of the Seven Dwarves.

        I shall, in future, just assume that any factual sounding statement he makes at all is actually fictional. It’ll be quicker all round that way.
        .

      • Latimer Alder

        Nice, subtle poisoning-the-well campaign you are delivering.

        “Alberta-centric” is how Canadian media refer to the Fraser Institute.

        Blame Canada.

        If you’re unwilling to familiarize yourself with Canadian media.. one hardly blames you. It’s no better for Australian ownership, one expects, than you find you Bri.. er, “UK” media.

        I assure you, your map reading skills are substandard, if you find the remote and unpopulated – even by Minnesota standards – Canadian border there significant compared to the border crossings for Michigan and New York.

        Either way, we’re debating something akin to whether Scotland is more like Belgium or Sweden, or if Portugal is a nearer neighbor to Cornwall than is France.

        I’m glad you remember the Paul Gross comedy from fifteen years ago so timely and current. Means the Bri.. er, “UKers” are getting less and less behind the times.

        The problem you have is, I welcome doubt and questioning.

        As a skeptic, I expect and admire questions.

        If by questioning, one inspires research and independent thought, rather than as you appear to seek, hoping everyone will believe you at face value and think your ill-reasoned leaps of logic are instructive rather than merely silly.

      • Bart,

        One of the pleasures of this blog for me is reading the exchanges between you and Latimer (my other principal pleasure is exchanging salvos with ianash, even if less than half my comments directed at my ol’ pal survive moderation).

        But honestly, Bart, you’ve got to learn how to gracefully dis-engage, especially since your particular genius is pretty much inspirational with a poet’s negligent regard for mere facts and figures.

        Latimer routinely eats your lunch, Bart. Tenacity does not serve you well in such cirumstances.

        For what it’s worth, Bart.

      • Yep – Due South is on either its third or fourth round of showing in UK. We appreciate good Transatlantic TV over here. Shame that its pretty rare, but Due South and The West Wing make up for the dross IMO.

        And apart from the comedy stuff – which is well done and pleasantly subtle – betraying its Canadian rather than Hollywood origins – it’s a pleasing morality tale contrasting the truthful (to a fault) and honourable Canadian Mountie Benton Fraser with his much more ‘ethically and morally challenged’ US counterpart Ray Kowalski, who isn’t afraid to ‘bend the rules’ to get a result.

        And we just love the dog/wolf.

        So it’s a real case of Art imitating Life. Hence its popularity here.

      • @Bart

        Just two further points of clarification.

        1. I do not make nay claims about Ontario’s border with Michigan or New York.

        But you claimed that Minnesota shared a border with Manitoba, not with Ontario. I pointed out that Mn’s border with Ontario is in fact, longer than it is with Manitoba. Your point (yet again) was shown to be false.

        My map reading skills are fine. But you need a refresher/basic training.

        2. ‘Nice, subtle poisoning-the-well campaign you are delivering’

        If you mean that I challenge you to produce evidence of your wilder statements about simple verifiable facts (and that you repeatedly fail to produce any bar hallucinations and wishful thinking) , then – as a true sceptic – I plead guilty.

        But I would categorise that as attempting to have a sensible discussion about the world as it is rather than about the parallel world that you would like to think it is.

        Back to Feynman…it is the actual evidence that counts, not the fantasy.

        But I guess you have been steeped to long in climatology to even know that there is a difference, let alone to be able to self-diagnose your unhappy condition.

        Maybe its caused by the petrol fumes you inhale from all that motorised commuting that you do.

      • mike

        Your point is well-taken, and difficult to dismiss. Latimer Alder’s awesome name, urbane charm, British accent and manly swagger are impossible for me to overcome with mere fact and logic.

        I mean, look at this thread. Latimer says I tell people that Minnesota has a longer border with Manitoba than with Ontario.. and gets to eat my lunch, while nowhere have I said such a thing. I said “Minnesota is south of Manitoba.”

        I grew up on the border of Ontario (albeit with New York), and have lived and worked in Minnesota, Michigan, New York and Ontario for decades all told; I’ve crossed the border into Canada literally hundreds of times in my career.

        I know that aside from smugglers and poachers, only locals ever go near the Ontario-Minnesota border, and I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of people in my long acquaintance with people of both jurisdictions the number who even claim to have made the crossing Latimer Alder so swoons over from his atlas, at International Falls most likely is what he means. It’s really, really remote. Supposing there’s much political exchange of cultures in that neck of the woods — which is how we got on the topic of that border — is as far-fetched as you can get.

        Yet people will somehow believe this man who twice flew in to Minneapolis some decades ago for a couple of summers over a guy who actually grew up on the Canadian border.

        How persuasive is he?

        He’s that persuasive.

        I could point to Google Maps Get Directions, I could cite the number of crossings at Sarnia and Detroit, Niagara Falls and Kingston, compared to those who drive the the 71 or the 53 north into the hinterland. And people would still believe him over me.

        He gets to eat my lunch in my own backyard, he’s that good.

        So what?

        Doesn’t make him right, just because he’s able to rally a consensus.

        Meanwhile, I’ve likely met and talked to more actual British coal miners than he has, and he still gets to eat my lunch on coal miners. Why? Because he’s happy to back Lord Nigel Lawson’s world view, and Lord Nigel Lawson’s book, like Latimer Alder, speaks to what people want to believe, not to fact or logic.

        However many times Latimer Alder is caught out on faulty reasoning, straw men, poisoning the well, failure to support claims with references, failure to address counter-claims however referenced, yet again he eats my lunch.

        So will I disengage?

        What sort of American ever would?

      • Bart,

        I appreciate the reply. Most certainly, I wouldn’t want you to dis-engaged in the sense of giving up, in part, since I do enjoy your contests with Latimer. Besides, you don’t seem to be a quitter, anyway, Bart.

        A couple of bromides have served me well and may be of interest to you (or anyone else, for that matter).

        -”He who would defend everywhere defends nowhere.”

        -”Don’t reinforce failure.”

        Unfortunately, I’ve personally found these old saws easy to neglect when the fur is flying (as in a recent exchange with ianash (speaking of whom, I wonder if I managed to talk him out of that ego-trip to Sri Lanka he was planning). But they’ve always worked their magic, for me, when I’ve maintained the presence of mind to heed their wisdom.

        Of course, it’s never about giving up and never about going down without a mighty scuffle, but rather an adjustment of tactics for a better engagement of the objective.

        Again, for what it’s worth, Bart.

      • @bart

        I think it is extremely unlikely that :

        ‘I’ve likely met and talked to more actual British coal miners than he has, and he still gets to eat my lunch on coal miners’

        My grandfather was one of seven brothers who came from a small mining town in the Welsh Valleys. He was the one who managed to get a decent education (courtesy of WW1) and left. The others stayed (apart from one who emigrated to Pennsylvania).

        Accordingly I have a town full of second cousins who have done little but work down the pit (when it was there), and do little of anything now since it is gone. I visit them as family and we discuss urgent issues in the clubs and pubs.

        You will not be surprised to know that the history of Welsh mining, the strike and its aftermath are pretty regular topics of conversation still.

        I need no lessons from you about British coal miners, nor really about any other topic.

        And whinging about the fact that your ‘arguments’ are not proving persuasive is an unlikely way to gain a more sympathetic audience.

      • Welsh

        Well, no wonder he’s so persuasive.

        Give up, folks, just let Latimer speak, and believe whatever he says. Do as he tells you. You’re lost already.

      • “Alberta-centric” is Canadian for centered in Alberta.

        I can’t take credit for making it up.

        Perhaps not. But whoever did make it up was, well, wrong.

        You see, as a Canadian (who happens to reside in the same locale as the base of the Fraser Institute), I can assure you that Vancouver, which is their primary home, is far from being “centred” in Alberta – although they do have an office in Calgary (as well as one in Toronto and another in Montreal).

        Furthermore, the expresssion “*-centric” does not carry the same connotation (or denotation for that matter) as “centred”. “Toronto-centric” which is far more commonly heard, is used as an expression of scorn for national media and other organizations’ emphasis on the news and views pertaining to that city – which, for the most part, are of little interest to those of us in TROC (The Rest of Canada).

        Would that self-proclaimed former Buffalonians were actually as knowledgeable about Canada (and/or Canadians) as they misleadingly pretend to be.

        Btw … notwithstanding your valiant attempts to disparage and divert, since the subject of this thread concerns the deficiencies of the IPCC, McKitrick’s arguments expressed in his pre-Lisbon comments are (as the OP had noted) quite cogent and relevant, particularly his conclusion:

        “When the Inter-Academy Council was asked to review IPCC procedures they found a “near-universal” demand by those they interviewed was for Reviewers to have more authority, especially in ensuring that alternative or dissenting views receive proper consideration (pp. 22-23). The IPCC appears to have ignored this suggestion and others like it. In light of the distortions the IPCC is creating, and its apparent unwillingness to undertake reform, I do not know how this situation can be resolved without shutting down the IPCC altogether. “

      • hro001

        Thank you for your substantive, timely, and informative reply.

        It’s nice to speak to relevance, and learn new things.

        Alberta-centric indeed in the Canadian media must be intended as a sort of slight against Albertans, just as Toronto-centric or Quebeck-centric are when used.

        Canadian (TROCian?) code words being what they are, it took me a while to understand for example that in Canada (or ‘TROC’), “American” means ‘bad’ and in Europe, “American” means anyone from west of the big wet thing west of Cornwall. Thanks for explaining that for me.

        So, when I repeated the epithet “Alberta-centric Fraser Institute”, what was I saying about them, in Canadese? (TROCese?)

        I’ve lived and worked in your neck of the woods, too, hro001, and have family living in your city.

        I’m familiar with the huge amount of traffic between Alberta and British Columbia, and that many Albertans own a bit of BC to retire to or vacation in.

        The obverse, not so much.

        That may have something to do with the per capita wealth of Alberta being about double that of BC.

        Hardly surprising that the Vancouver-centric (did I say that right?) Libertarian Fraser Institute would kowtow to the real source of wealth and power in the west of TROC. Which is what Libertarian means, after all, isn’t it?

        So, back to the OP’s point..

        With a lead in like the one McKitrick offers about outsiderness and the warm, friendly snugglies of Economics compared to the nasty uggo meanies of Climatology, how is one to take him seriously, outside of fairy tales?

        Because in my experience of predicate logic, if the predicate if faulty, one does not continue to consider the conclusion logical.

      • Warning to non-TROCites, do not attempt to Google “Alberta-centric” without your filters turned way up, lest you find yourself wading through some of the vilest obscenity-laced rants on the Internet.

        I just tried to check on what hro001 meant, and it nearly melted my eyeballs.

      • Seems to me that your confusion over what ‘alberta-centric’ may or may not mean is symptomatic of your general ailment.

        Management of the condition, however, is straightforward. Here is the key:

        **Do not blog about things that you know sweet FA about**

        Restrict yourself to discussing things that you do know. This should free up lots of time for you to work on more productive stuff. Simples!

      • Then how will we learn what you know, Latimer, if you do not make it up to answer my obvious ignorance?

      • To clarify

        I think Ross McKitrick is a fine human being by all objective standards and measures: academically he has always pursued high results and been successful enough; he is a family man and excellent provider for the family he dotes on, as well as a man active in his communities vocally and energetically supporting causes he believes in.

        I just disagree with a select range of Dr. McKitrick’s conclusions, and find he has flaws in his approach due to allowing his biases to undercut his reasoning; these hold him back from the greatness and pertinence he could be achieving.

      • Bart:
        “..Ross McKitrick……. find he has flaws in his approach due to allowing his biases to undercut his reasoning..”

        LoL…I find this, judging from other of your comments here, highly amusing.

        You may find that at bit move objective evidence and less snark goes a long way in public discourse. But then, few who read these blogs are other than committed activates anyway, so few here will change their position on CAGW anytime soon.

        So Bart, carry on….. much sound and fury, signifying nothing :-)

      • Ed Forbes

        Glad you appreciated the irony. :)

      • “I just disagree with a select range of Dr. McKitrick’s conclusions, and find he has flaws in his approach due to allowing his biases to undercut his reasoning; ”

        Perhaps you can detail these. That would improve the discussion. For example, you might find that others, who have no such connections, share the views of Ross. His ideas, you know, are kinda independent of who he is, since other’s of us share his ideas without sharing the “baggage” that seems to set you off.

        So return to the exact issues you have

      • steven mosher

        Excellent point.

        a) Dr. McKitrick is, as an Economist, generally predisposed to Statism. This is atypical of associates in Libertarian organisations, and goes a long way to supporting the Fraser Institute’s claim to not be exclusively Libertarian.

        This Statist predisposition is apparent in his doctoral thesis (available through the library of UBC in Vancouver, British Columbia), and in his various refinements of his Carbon Tax proposals since.

        Statism is a belief, not an error, but for an Economist a strong statist predisposition will blinker one to many opportunities.

        I’m generally in agreement with the structure, goals and facts (the ones he includes) of McKitrick with regard to Carbon Tax for example, except that as a Statist, he wants the monies collected to go to the general revenues of nations, not to the pockets of the true owners of the resource, people per capita.

        This, to me, reads as “government owns the air we breath”.

        How chilling is that?

        Is it an error? That would be up to you to judge. To me, it’s a big mistake.

        b) Dr. McKitrick, as an Environmental Economist, proposes Carbon Tax, quite credibly and sincerely, while disbelieving cAGW, did so while disbelieving AGW, did so while thinking most emissions of industry into the environment are overstated, benign or beneficial. Again, I don’t have a problem with him ably and competently supporting his Carbon Tax proposal as an Economist candidate for a PhD, and I agree he earned every letter of the designation insofar as that goes.

        This disbelief, however, is a bias that colors his work, to the extent when staking his doctorate on his doctoral thesis, which was on the stated topic of the cost to the economy of CO2 emission, he would not even discuss parameters of that particular question.

        No estimate of CO2 emissions, no review of extant materials pertaining that topic, no pertinence whatsoever to environment or CO2 emission as a cost in and of itself at all are contained anywhere in the entire thesis at all, except insofar as to blankly dismiss it all. When it was what he told his sponsors at NSERC (ie the Canadian federal funding agency) his goal was to deliver on that topic.

        While McKitrick rather adroitly cut his thesis off from any semblance of reality and isolated it strictly within theoretical Economics — where Economists are safest — he both disappointed the Canadian taxpayer by this academic sleight of hand, and disappointed an academe that could, in the 1990′s, have benefitted from a decent skeptical appraisal of the range of costs that could at that time have been established by a McKitrick.

        This would have to count as a mistake. Even I — who doesn’t care whatsoever that harm or cost need be demonstrated, so long as the resource behaves with the property of scarcety, and there is no consent from its owners — can see obligation to demonstrate conversance with the topic in a paper on the topic to qualify for the professed credential, on moral grounds, though on technical merit he’s certainly proven his salt.

        After all, he in effect argued in favor, as one wag put it, of a tax on nothing.

        c) Dr. McKitrick’s written to the editor of his local newspaper claiming that there’s no evidence smog has led to negative health effects at all, much less the reported increase of incidence of death generally accepted among the health profession. He came out, on the basis of his reading of a single report, amply in favor of smog and deprecating all contrary evidence to this one single report.

        How can that not be a mistake?

        Maybe this is my bias speaking, now, but.. come on, smog? How can that be good? How can based on a single study a man stake his reputation in the community in such an extraordinary claim when it is so strongly argued against by medical professionals, without taking some time to establish by some other means its veracity?

        Dr. McKitrick is a man of passionate beliefs who walks the corridors of power with credentials, persuasion, position and all the means to argue from authority, about science.

        Not an experimentalist, not a student of hard sciences, not a believer in data over opinion.

        Everything is going for him in science debates, except the scientific method itself.

      • Climate insiders get “pal review” on papers.
        Climate outsiders get “stonewalled” on papers.

        Dr. McKitrick is, therefore, an outsider.

      • Oh

        I get it now.

        This is a continuation of his whinging about how he can’t get published because he doesn’t research carefully, can’t keep his facts straight, and doesn’t do hard math, and that makes him an outsider.

        Silly of me to forget that whole thing.

      • Yes. You are silly.

      • IMO Bart has an unfortunate habit of making bold declarations about things, which are then shown to be untrue. Making him look untrustworthy.

        This weakens any good points he might (?) be able to make if he dropped the throwaway glib lines and concentrated on his core argument. When he writes about things he actually knows, I can see a core of sensible argument there. But the random scattergunning of snark and unpleasantness is weak and foolish.

        Psychologists may have a term for this repeated eccentric behaviour.

      • Do psychologists call me an outsider?

      • No idea.

        I am not a psychologist, so not able to make an accurate diagnosis of the condition.

        But, given your record of getting straightforward, checkable facts wrong, being pereceived as somebody whose opinions are solidly based and are worth listening it is not high up your list of important values. Fantasist perhaps?

      • The Wegman report said he (and McIntyre) were correct. The statistical methods used in the Hockey Stick were incorrect.

        Wegman, Edward J., David W. Scott, and Yasmin H. Said. 2006. Ad Hoc Committee Report On The ‘Hockey Stick’ Global Climate Reconstruction. July 11. http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/108/home/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf

        Those interested in how tightly related the scientists were, see
        5. Social Network Analysis Of Authorships In Temperature Reconstructions, starting on page 37 of the above, especially:
        Figure 5.1: The allegiance plot for the Mann co-authors (p38)
        Figure 5.2:: (Matrix of co-authorships) (p39)
        Figure 5.3: The classic social network view of the Mann co-authors. Each block or subcluster is represented along an arc. (p40) A web-like diagram of the relationships.)

      • P, D

        And when working with McIntyre, a really competent and careful auditor, McKitrick’s quality does generally gain substantially from that relationship.

        Would that the Fraser Institute were generally as careful and competent as McIntyre, or all Economists had one to check them.

  37. I bet there were people on Easter Island who favored cutting down all the trees, too.

    • I bet there were people on Easter Island who favored sacrificing virgins to the Gods, too.

      • Never heard that. How big a bet?

      • Ha, this is funny…

        By around the year 1600, the last tree was chopped down and there were no more until they were reintroduced by Europeans many years later.

        http://www.energybulletin.net/node/52370

        When you get a neutral third party to confirm this statement:

        Jeffrey Davis proved no Easter Islanders believed in the human sacrifice of virgins…

        I’ll pay you USD $100. No proof? You pay me $1.00. Yes, this is a bit of an intelligence test, Jeffrey.

      • Ken,

        Sorry. I can’t follow what you’re saying.

        No. I can’t prove a negative. Your exegesis isn’t as straightforward as you might have wanted. Since there were no trees on Easter Island, it sure looks as if my original suspicion was true: that there were people who were glad to see them gone. Indirect proof that as bad as things are they can always, if there’s still someone left to say that this is the worst, get worse. (King Lear)

  38. I think that in a rational debate about the role of the IPCC and the occasional AR’s, there are opinions on both side. I think that some scientists think that it detracts from actual research, and others say that the now unavoidable politicization combined with trying to keep up with fast-moving research has rendered it past it’s prime. I’m sure it has supporters as well.

    But while such a rational debate would be a god thing, I doubt that a vote from the US Congress to just cut funding is likely to result in that. As with any real effort to deal with the US deficit and debt, to succeed it can’t start from ideology. With votes coming fast a furious on cutting the CPR, IPCC, Planned Parenthood, et al, it seems like those scheduling these votes are trying to score political points more than address difficult problems, particularly since almost everybody supporting these things knows they are DOA in the Senate.

    And as somebody else said, if they did succeed, the NAS and NOAA would be next on the cutting block. All the major science messengers agree on AGW, and they would want to silence all the messages. The UN-related one is just the easiest target to start with.

    • The IPCC is not a “science messenger,” it is a propaganda shop. Nor is it the only shop on the chop, as there are also amendments targeting the White house czars, EPA GHG regs, and other features of the great green machine. No one expects this all to pass but it is an important political message. We shall see who gets it.

      • That message being, “regulation bad?”

        Sounds vaguely familiar. Oh. Yes. I remember. That was tried on banks.

        See how well that worked out?

        Or do you mean the message, “science bad?”

        I’m pretty sure there are plenty of countries that won’t mind hiring the best and brightest minds in America to allow them to take the initiative and advances in the field for themselves.

        Please, the head of the committee to subsidize corn through biofuel shuts down the people investigating why biofuel is a waste of money, and educated scientists believe it’s a cost-savings measure?

        That’s just embarrassing. Maybe Judy was right, and scientists ought keep out of politics.

      • History is not your friend.

      • hunter

        Why would it be? I keep telling it’s dirty little secrets.

      • Bart R,
        Your regurgitation of talking points is not history.

      • hunter

        I finally got around to looking up what “talking points” means.

        They use words like ‘succinct’ and ‘persuasive’ and ‘effective’ to describe them, in most definitions and in wikipedia.

        Now I have to wonder how I’m succinct, persuasive and effective.

        Could you point me to any examples?

        At all?

      • Actually, in this case the repeal of Glass Steel by the Republicans and the Democrats push of sub-prime home loans combined to do the damage to the banks. It was not just deregulation, it was a combination of deregulation and regulation.

      • Vernon,
        The vote to repeal Glass Steagle was bipartisan

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass%E2%80%93Steagall_Act

        and signed into law by Clinton.
        The repeal of Glass Steagle was not a repeal of banking laws regarding prudence, ethical lending or best practices.
        It took a bureaucracy’s and Congressional negligence to do that.
        It is also very informative to learn who ran FNMA and FMAC, as well as Lehman Bros a tthe time of their demise.

      • hunter

        Didn’t really mean examples of _you_ being succinct, persuasive and effective.

        We’ve got plenty of those.

    • Dean –
      DOA in the Senate? Maybe – maybe not.

      The Senate has several choices – to pass them, to negotiate or to reject them. With 5 working days before “government shutdown day” there’s not a lot of room for negotiation – or rejection. Of course they “could” just let the government shut down. But that would be a bad move.

      And then there’s Obama….with the same choices. Who’s gonna blink?

  39. AGW is now part of the Democratic platform, while skepticism is now (at last) part of the Republican platform. The politicization is now complete. Alarmists will now learn what it means when their party loses control of the US House. The enviros are used to this political game, but the scientists are not. For them a rough road lies ahead.

    • As a life-long Democrat and environmentalist, I sincerely hope that you are wrong.

      Hopefully results of the next election, if not the last one, will change the Democratic platform.

  40. I also hate to see nuclear sciences suffer. My PhD degree is in nuclear chemistry and several of my former students work in the area.

    It might have been avoided if leader of scientific organizations, the Presidents of the US National Academy of Sciences and the UK’s Royal Society, and editors of leading research journals had distanced themselves and their organizations from climate data manipulation.

    Instead they tried to justify the practice and ended up raising questions about all government science programs.

    • The Tevatron has eaten all. It’s physics’ attempt to prove the existence of black holes by building one.

  41. I see the Republican Party (endorsed by Professor Glenn Beck) has voted to stop funding to Planned Parenthood as well.

    Antiscience and pro-STD. And those breast cancer screenings must be part of a bigger liberal plot…

    • Who wants to limit breast cancer screenings?
      Oh, yeah:
      Obama.

      http://www.breastcareguidelines.org/breast-problems/how-many-more-cases-of-breast-cancer-will-go-undiscovered-because-obamas-federal-panel-upped-the-age-limit.htm

      And I am somehow very confident that you have no idea at all why PP is a good candidate for having its Federal funding cut.
      Poor guy. You show up at a discussion of ideas with no ammunition.

      • “A society is not sustainable if women don’t have basic control over their fertility. That’s just fundamental, a no-brainer.

        So the ongoing Republican assault war blitzkrieg on women’s reproductive rights and Planned Parenthood specifically should enrage anyone who cares about a sustainable future—and propel us off our asses. This isn’t just an attack on abortion; it’s an attack on contraception. Incredible, considering that the overwhelming majority of Americans of all political persuasions say they support birth control and virtually all sexually active straight women use some form of it.

        The House on Friday voted to cut off all federal funding to Planned Parenthood. The organization currently gets more than $75 million a year from the federal government to provide family-planning services to low-income Americans. ”

        from Lisa Hymas

  42. Dr McKitrick suggests:
    “Suppose the International Monetary Fund (IMF) created an economics version of the IPCC, which proceeded to issue an Assessment Report and Summary for Policymakers every five years that was promoted as the consensus view of what “every mainstream economist believes.” Suppose further that the IMF was committed to one particular school of economic thought, such as New Keynesianism, that they ensured that all the lead authors of the IMF report were dedicated New Keynesians, and that the
    report inevitably concluded the New Keynesians are right and their critics are wrong (or do not even exist). And finally, suppose that the IMF report was sponsored and endorsed by government departments who benefited by promotion of New Keynesian ideas, and that major funding agencies and university oversight agencies also began to endorse, support and promulgate the views in the IMF report.”

    And then suppose all the media, who like to do the responsible thing, took up the cause, and then it filtered down into the schools where the kids are urged to take an interest in whats in the news, and it got to be mentioned in the pulpit on Sundays by men who pride themselves on their modern approach to religion.

    Is McKittrick’s suggestion pertinent to the subject of this thread? Here it is:

    “Societies of scholars should not take up an official position on anything.”

    What the hell is going on? This is an authoritarian dictatorship at work.

    Wake Up

    • Erl, actually we devoted an entire thread to McKitrick’s statement, which received relatively few comments (by Climate Etc. standards)

      http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/08/lisbon-workshop-on-reconciliation-part-vii-mckitricks-comments/

    • So many bogosities. So little time.

      The IPCC doesn’t say their report is what every climate science believes. (Lindzen, a climate skeptic, is an IPCC author.)

      The IMF is actually stuffed to the gills with “freshwater” economists. Not Keynesians.

      Scholars take positions all the time. And should. That the recommendations of scholars form a dictatorship is lunacy.

      • Societies of scholars should not take up an official position on anything.”

        “So many bogosities. So little time.”

        Indeed.

      • 2nd verse.

        Einstein signed a letter with several scientists asking Roosevelt to develop the bomb. From your position, you would have preferred that the bomb not be developed.

        Scientists and scholars take political positions all the time. It would be a defect in humanity not to.

      • So what society was that official position for, JD? As if your logic merited a response.
        ==================

  43. The amendment to eliminate government funding for IPCC was proposed by Representative Blaine Leutkemeyer (Republican, Missouri).

    I am confident that he and his staff read the comments here.

    That is one reason for posting a.) The link (above) to experimental data that falsify the notion that Earth’s heat source is a giant ball of hydrogen,

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1

    and b.) The video of Eisenhower’s 1961 warning that one day “a scientific-technological elite” might take control of public policy to the detriment of free society.

    Climategate confirms the danger that Eisenhower about in his video, and the manuscript confirms that deception has been an ongoing process in federal research agencies for several decades.

    Government science belongs to all of us. The climate scandal and the new members of Congress offer finally us a chance to save government science from those who have used it for decades as their private property.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Jackson, MO

  44. I applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for taking this pragmatic stand and hope the Senate sees the wisdom in it.

    It would take years to return credibility to the UNFCCC/IPCC. Its simply “better” to retire the initial effort, evaluate what went wrong, propose viable alternatives, and leverage the mistakes into a new organization that’s worthy of International support.

    The “fast track” to achieving something positive is to walk away and regroup in an insightful way. Why waste more funding on something that is fundamentally broken?

    “Fool me once, …” comes to mind in the face of an IPCC that apparently isn’t smart enough to put standards in place to prevent “fool me twice”.

  45. The defunding is to be expected.

    I’ll repeat myself. The second people said the debate was over, a whole sequence or logic of thought and behaviors takes over. If one side declares that there is no debate and the other side continues talking the “conversation” will evolve in the following manner. Those who insist upon debate will be characterized as “stupid” or “self interested.” Those who insist the debate is over will also focus on their credentials of intelligence and the purity of their motives. They are experts, a gaggle of experts, intent on protecting their grandchildren. These tropes characterize those that disagree as being intellectually bankrupt and morally bankrupt. The outsiders are charcterized as few in number, stupid, immoral or as mercenaries. If they persist in demanding a debate, the stakes are raised further. They are then characterized as criminal and even sub human. The rhetoric escalates to name calling and insults. They are unclean. You can’t even “link” to them. Then the fantasy’s of committing violence against these people start to emerge. Witness the 10:10 video. Very simply when the debate is over both sides will progress to a point where force and power are applied. Either force is applied to shut people up or force is applied to get people to sit down and talk. The first imposition of force or power is usually political force. The budget. The last force applied is police force.

    Saying that the debate is over was a huge rhetorical mistake. It set in motion actions on both sides that are playing out today.

    • Monckton probably should never have said the science was setttled.

    • Another way of looking at it is that (in the US) spending exceeds income by almost 40%. This means that 40% of all spending needs to be cut or that taxes will need to be raised.

      Does what has been accomplished by climate science been worth the expense so far? Given all spending priorities what should be cut before climate science?

      • Cutting spending is the method, not the objective. The IPCC, GISStemp, and the EPA are linked, cheek-by-jowl, to the initiative of imposing carbon controls on the people of the United States. This would give the EPA control of ~70% of the energy sources in the U.S.
        Google “Corporate State”. You will find government control of economic institutions. A few clicks will bring you to those who took up that form of national economy. The history is not pretty; it is bloody.

      • I omitted the objective. It is to ultimately end the drive to establish a corporate state here and globally.

  46. The US House of Representatives is a political body.

    The IPCC is a political body.

    This is all about politics (and really has nothing to do with science).

    IMHO the IPCC has lost credibility due to its corrupt process and its one-sided reporting of its dogma. As recent revelations showed, a few “insider” scientists have fallen into the trap of steadfastly supporting this process, and thereby becoming corrupt, themselves.

    It is a pity that climate science in general has lost political credibility because of a corrupt IPCC process and a handful of insiders who have supported this process.

    But that’s the way it goes in politics.

    Max

    • Max manacker is right.

      Unfortunately the few “insider” scientists that fell into the trap of steadfastly supporting this process, and thereby becoming corrupt, themselves includes Presidents of the US National Academy of Sciences and the UK Royal Society, editors of once prestigous research journals, and the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee.

      Reconciliation cannot occur unless leaders of the Western scientific community cease their involvement in politics and accept that diverse opinions are the very life blood of vital, dynamic science.

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel

    • “The IPCC is a political body.”

      The IPCC is a committee that the UN formed to report back on the threat of global climate change.

      Everything is a political body. A lemonade stand. A Little League team. A Cub Scout troop.

      Calling something a political body isn’t pejorative.

      • It is when that something is supposed to be and is accepted as a scientific body. And when its political agenda is used to generate policy decisions.

  47. I don’t know what you are all talking about, this is just political posturing,letting everyone have a contribution to the bill. The final bill will be totally different or even ignored ot replaced. It has almost nothing to do with climate change.

  48. The most annoying thing about this blog is that things that are easily looked up become opportunities for innuendo and accusation

    IPCC budget:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/meetings/session29/doc3.pdf

    Excellent job of chumming tho

    • perhaps the most annoying thing is people who think posting a meaningless link makes sense somehow. you posted the budget…so what

      • So what was this post about
        —————————————————
        JC’s take: My first question is to wonder about what the $12.5M of U.S. funding actually pays for? Not the science, but presumably publication and distribution costs of the documents, staff to maintain the websites and manage the review process, etc.? What portion of the total IPCC costs does the U.S. support? I have never actually seen a budget before for the IPCC.
        —————————————————

        Pay attention

    • I suppose if you don’t have a report to negotiate over then there is no need for a negotiating budget. Add in the budget for the UNFCCC and you get 13 million according to Nich Sundt.

      http://www.wwfblogs.org/climate/content/house-passes-bill-to-strip-IPCC-funding-19feb2011

      • Sorry that was Nick not Nich. I make a lot of typos that I normally ignore but I don’t like spelling someone’s name wrong.

    • Eli, you seem not to understand the difference between a question and a statement; mine was a question (I am not making an assertion about the budget). That said, did it ever occur to you wonder whether there is $$ in U.S. budget that is spent on the IPCC that does not go directly into the IPCC budget that is reported by the IPCC? Maybe these funds are directed by the U.S. in some other way but are regarded as in the U.S. IPCC budget? Why don’t you do more of your famous detective work and try to figure it out.

  49. Eli–the post was about the US potentially cutting funding. Your initial response was at best “cryptic”. Regarding your question of what portion of the IPCC’s costs the US supports, the correct response would probably not be found in the IPCC direct budget. As I believe you know, the US funds approximately 22% of the total UN budget. A portion of the IPCC’s costs are actually covered via that funding.

  50. The USA owes around $1.3 billion to the UN, so in reality the IPCC hasn’t received anything from the USA yet!!

    http://mitigatingapathy.blogspot.com/

    • John F. Pittman

      At wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_and_the_United_Nations it is pointed out that there is more to the story than your figure. In particular, there is a cap of 25% on paying peace keeping that has been an issue, besides such issues as UN appointments that the US does not like. As of 2005, we owed 1.246 billion. That is not the same as what we paid. It is what the UN claims is owed in addition to what has been paid.

      But the best quote is this:

      The UN has always had problems with members refusing to pay the assessment levied upon them under the United Nations Charter.

      • agreed – I wasn’t being 100% serious! I’ve also no idea if the figures quoted about US contributions to the IPCC (in the excellent link attached to one of the previous posts) are hypothocated or paid directly or out of some budget or other (I don’t imagine a big stack of gold bars or a huge cheque or a wire transfer being required but I can imagine Bush or Clinton on the phone to the UN saying “you should have it in your account – I sent it a few days ago. The bank manager says the money has gone out of my account”).

        I do worry about the motives of some republicans in their opposition to the UN; however, I guess that is another issue.

        http://mitigatingapathy.blogspot.com/

    • I just spoke with a member of Congressman Leutkemeyer’s staff.

      They are well aware of a growing cloud of suspicion about the science of global warming.

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel

      • If leaders of the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK Royal Society, the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee, and editors of once prestigous research journals do not dissociate themselves and their organizations from seriously corrupted climate “science”, the rest of the story will unfold in public and all fields of science will suffer.

        What a sad, sad state of affairs!

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

  51. Dr. Strangelove

    I say IPCC should be dissolved. It is spreading pseudoscience. I don’t know how IPCC and Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. That’s an insult to honest scientists. Had the Nobel Prize become politicized too? What do you think Dr. Curry?

    • “Had the Nobel Prize become politicized too?”

      Yes, indeed. Like the 1972 burglary at the Watergate Hotel!

      The corruption included leaders of the US National Academy of Sciences, the UK’s Royal Society, the International Alliance of National Academies [Start searching here: http://sites.nationalacademies.org/pga/brdi/PGA_047292%5D, the editors of leading research journals – Nature, Science, PNAS, etc., the news media, the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee, etc.

      The products: AGW, LHC, Black Holes, Dark Energy, and other hocus-pocus to replace science.

      See: George Orwell’s book, “1984″,

      http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/ and

      Eisenhower’s farewell address in 1961

  52. Pooh, Dixie

    The House of Representatives has sole authority to appropriate funds.
    Representatives, House of. 2011. H.R. 1: ‘‘Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011’’. H.R. 1. March 1.

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1pcs/pdf/BILLS-112hr1pcs.pdf

    See the following:
    SEC. 1738 Cuts about 0.3%
    SEC. 1746 Denies funds for interfering with state implementation plans or permits because of the emissions of greenhouse gases due to concerns regarding possible climate change.
    SEC. 2119 “Down with (some of) the Czars funding”
    SEC. 4009 Lists Czars
    SEC. 4014 Denies funds to meddle with drilling permits for Outer Continental Shelf sources located offshore of the States along the Arctic Coast
    SEC. 4015 Denies funds to meddle with GHG emissions from stationary sources
    SEC. 4038 Denies funds to create a NOAA Climate Service (NCS)
    SEC. 4039 Denies funds to regulate Surface Coal Mining procedures or operations
    SEC. 4042 Denies funds to the IPCC. Unfortunately, not the UNFCCC and SBSTA.
    SEC. 4043 Denies funds to implement certain decisions by EPA administrator about “Increase the Allowable Ethanol Content of Gasoline to 15 Percent”
    SEC. 4045 Denies funds to regulate fossil fuel combustion waste as hazardous waste
    SEC. 4048 Denies funds to modify the national primary ambient air quality standard or the national secondary ambient air quality standard applicable to coarse particulate matter under the Clean Air Act

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