Durban outcome(?)

by Judith Curry

From the latest UNFCCC press release:

Countries meeting in Durban, South Africa, have delivered a breakthrough on the future of the international community’s response to climate change

The website for the UNFCCC Durban Climate Change Conference is [here]. From the UNFCCC press release:

Details of key decisions that emerged from COP17 in Durban Green Climate Fund

• Countries have already started to pledge to contribute to start-up costs of the fund, meaning it can be made ready in 2012, and at the same time can help developing countries get ready to access the fund, boosting their efforts to establish their own clean energy futures and adapt to existing climate change.

• A Standing Committee is to keep an overview of climate finance in the context of the UNFCCC and to assist the Conference of the Parties. It will comprise 20 members, represented equally between the developed and developing world.Page 3

• A focussed work programme on long-term finance was agreed, which will contribute to the scaling up of climate change finance going forward and will analyse options for the mobilisation of resources from a variety of sources.

Adaptation

• The Adaptation Committee, composed of 16 members, will report to the COP on its efforts to improve the coordination of adaptation actions at a global scale.

• The adaptive capacities above all of the poorest and most vulnerable countries are to be strengthened. National Adaptation Plans will allow developing countries to assess and reduce their vulnerability to climate change.

• The most vulnerable are to receive better protection against loss and damage caused by extreme weather events related to climate change.

Technology

• The Technology Mechanism will become fully operational in 2012.

• The full terms of reference for the operational arm of the Mechanism – the Climate Technology Centre and Network – are agreed, along with a clear procedure to select the host. The UNFCCC secretariat will issue a call for proposals for hosts on 16 January 2012.

Support of developing country action

• Governments agreed a registry to record developing country mitigation actions that seek financial support and to match these with support. The registry will be a flexible, dynamic, web- based platform.

Other key decisions

• A forum and work programme on unintended consequences of climate change actions and policies were established.

• Under the Kyoto Protocolís Clean Development Mechanism, governments adopted procedures to allow carbon-capture and storage projects. These guidelines will be reviewed every five years to ensure environmental integrity.

• Governments agreed to develop a new market-based mechanism to assist developed countries in meeting part of their targets or commitments under the Convention. Details of this will be taken forward in 2012.

Recent headlines

Durban UN climate deal hailed as ‘watershed’
But some analysts have called the “Durban Deal” a face-saver for governments, and for the UN’s multilateral negotiations process
Business Day
Durban climate conference agrees deal to do a deal – now comes the hard part
US warns negotiations will take years as UN celebrates breakthrough agreement
Guardian
Canada pulls out of Kyoto Protocol
Canada pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change Monday, saying the accord won’t help solve the climate crisis. It dealt a blow to the anti-global warming treaty, which has not been formally renounced by any other country.
AP
Carbon markets still on life support after climate deal
Carbon markets are still on life support after a U.N. climate deal agreed in South Africa on Sunday put off some big decisions until next year and failed to deliver any hope for a needed boost in carbon permit demand.
Reuters
South Africa says pushing hard at climate talks it hosted could have been disastrous
Pushing too hard at international climate change talks might have killed the only treaty regulating carbon emissions, host South Africa said Monday after concluding tense negotiations on how the world should respond to global warming.
AP/Canadian Press

Keith Kloor’s summary

Keith Kloor has an article at Yale Climate Media Forum entitled “What to make of the Durban climate deal?“.  Some excerpts from this post:

Some climate analysts, such as widely read blogger Joe Romm, appeared conflicted. He hailed the agreement as “a pretty big success,” but also acknowledged in the same breath that it was “sadly lacking” in terms of “what is needed to avert catastrophic climate change.”

There was no such equivocation from Michael Levi, a climate and energy analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations. He called all the happy talk about the “landmark deal” (which is how the AP characterized it), “nonsense.” Levi examined the fine print of the Durban agreement and found that its true meaning doesn’t jell with how it’s been reported by the press. Here he is on the brinksmanship that produced the flexible language he’s pointing to:

The precise dynamics that unfolded in the final days are still unclear. In the end, though, the talks came down to a simple choice. Europe insisted on language that would commit all countries “to launch a process to develop a protocol or another legal instrument under the Convention applicable to all Parties”. India strenuously insisted that “a legal outcome” be included as a third option. It is not clear exactly where China or United States, which were both fine with including “legal option” but otherwise largely sat out the final public fight, would have drawn the line if forced. Everyone ultimately compromised: an “outcome with legal force”, rather than a “legal outcome”, was added as the third option.

It is difficult to avoid concluding that the Europeans ultimately blinked, though you wouldn’t get that from their spin or from the media coverage. The New York Times, adopting a similar interpretation to most other outlets, reported that the deal foresees “a future treaty that would require all countries to reduce emissions that contribute to global warming”. Alas, there’s nothing much like that in the text.

[T]he NYT‘s John Broder wrote in a separate news analysis, “

Broder then quotes Nick Robins, an energy and climate change analyst at HSBC, the London-based global bank, who makes this observation: “There is a fundamental disconnect in having environment ministers negotiating geopolitics and macroeconomics.”

Robert Stavins

Harvard’s Robert Stavins writes an article “Assessing the Climate Talks – Did Durban Succeed?”  Some excerpts:

If by “success” in Durban, one means solving the climate problem, the answer is obviously “not close.”

Indeed, if by “success” one meant just putting the world on a path to solve the climate problem, the answer would still have to be “no.”

But, I’ve argued previously – including in my pre-Durban essay last month – that such definitions of success are fundamentally inappropriate for judging the international negotiations on the exceptionally challenging, long-term problem of global climate change.

The key question, at this point, is whether the Durban outcome has put the world in a place and on a trajectory whereby it is more likely than it was previously to establish a sound foundation for meaningful long-term action.

I don’t think the answer to that question is at all obvious, but having read carefully the agreements that were reached in Durban, and having reflected on their collective implications for meaningful long-term action, I am inclined to focus on “the half-full glass of water.”  My conclusion is that the talks – as a result of last-minute negotiations – advanced international discussions in a positive direction and have increased the likelihood of meaningful long-term action. 

Not only did Durban not undo the progress made in Cancun, it built upon it, and moved forward.  This won’t satisfy the 350.org crowd, and it must greatly annoy the opponents of sensible climate policy, but in the real world of international negotiations on this exceptionally difficult global commons problem, this is what success looks like.

Monckton

Christopher Monckton has a post over at WUWT that is, well, Moncktonian.  It is entitled “Durban: what the media aren’t telling you.”  Hard to know what to excerpt.  But Monckton’s essay does imply that reading the fine print in these documents (which are not yet finalized) is needed to really understand the implications of Durban.

JC comments:  With the spin on both sides, and not having read all the fine print, it is not clear to me exactly what the outcome is of the Durban Conference.  My main question at this point is whether the IPCC is relevant to what is going on at this point with the UNFCCC?  If the AR5 has higher confidence in its findings, does that matter?  Does it matter whether the sensitivity estimates move up or down?  I suspect that the answer is no.

354 responses to “Durban outcome(?)

  1. Great summary, thanks Judy. I haven’t a clue what happened either!

  2. Ultimately the likely range of sensitivity estimates will not change the imperative to act.

    It’s difficult to get countries to take action on long-term problems, but it is possible — witness the ban on ozone-depleting chemicals, and the largely successful treaties banning the use of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.

    The issue of global warming has this going for it; the damage is going to get more and more evident year after year. Ultimately humanity will regret bitterly the time wasted after the fact of AGW became clear. But in the long run there will be action — the only question is when, and how, we finally get serious.

    • Cry me a river Robert. Wait until your politically rational peers move on to the next fantasy regulation agenda. You sound like the village idiot who has been told the Earth isn’t flat anymore.

      I’m sure you can find a park bench to rant and drool Socialist Utopia in your future;

      “We will bury you”- Khrushchev 1956

      How’s that working out for you Robert?

      • Blah, blah, blah — bunch of fascist garbage from cwon14.

        What a sad little thing you are, pissing yourself in fear of phantoms, the delusions of your right-wing fanatic beliefs.

        Fortunately your deluded fringe have shown their true colors, and normal people are edging away.

      • Sorry,Robert, the promise of economic paradise and world peace under a one world government does not fit today’s cold reality.

        See: “Deep Roots of the Global Climate Scandal (1971-2011)”

        http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/Climategate_Roots.pdf

        And: “Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Protocol” (12 Dec 2011)

        http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-12-canada-kyoto-china.html

      • Oliver, command of reality is not your strongest point.

        Your not understanding the difference between treaties between nation-states, and your fantasy of a “one world government” further underlies your tenuous hold on reality.

        In reality, you are arguing against yourself. If today’s nations cannot come to agreements and abide by them (as I argue they can), that would be an argument that will will someday end up in some kind of global state.

        The argument that nation-states can and eventually will rise to this challenge is an argument against a world government, not in favor of one.

      • Robert amazing you can fathom so much about people from a few lines of their posts. That is a well honed skill.
        1) In the case of ozone/CFC the presence of alternative technology — developed and not a pipe dream must have been helpful to some extent.
        2) Cannot fathom how if countries do not band together how they will be forced to do so — will the people rise up in unison.
        IMO you have taken the ozone reaction and read too much into it.

        Oh BTW making bald assertions is not necessarily an argument

    • Robert,

      Were the impacts of gobal warming even half as evident as the impacts of chemical, biological and nuclear warfare, then perhaps there would be real motivation to act.

      However that is not the case. Unless of course you know where those 50 million climate refugees are hiding out, or where the polar bear bodies are buried.

      • Were the impacts of gobal warming even half as evident as the impacts of chemical, biological and nuclear warfare . . .

        Your ignorance of the impacts of global warming doesn’t change the facts . . your ignorance is not a superpower.

      • You are angry and frustrated, bobbie. Your hysterical agenda is floundering. It ain’t like you can run everybody broke, like you did a few little CFC manufacturers. And if you think the evil actors of the world are going to be bound by bio and nuclear warfare bans, you are even dumber than you look.

        You naive clowns are losing it. I told you last week that Durban would be a flop. I told you that the airheaded socialist Euro statists were too busy pretending to save their broke uber alles welfare state. I told you that agreement would not fly, contrary to the initial silly euphoria. The market is speaking on that, with a lot more bad news to come.

        The only idiots who have even pretended to do something about the alleged CO2, are the same moron Euro socialistas, who have run their nations into de facto bankruptcy. They can’t get anything right, and they will soon be kicked out on their junketeering behinds. It will be interesting to see what they are replaced with. Totalitarian Animal Farm socialism is my guess. Where the Soviets failed, the weak-kneed feckless social-democrats may succeed.

      • You are a lame little hijacker, bobbie. You can’t have a respectable blog, so you want to screw this one up. I won’t help you any more.

      • Little Donnie has a little projection problem . . . he jumps into a discussion with hysterical whining, brainless blather intended (if only he were a better writer!) to be insulting . . . and airs his free-floating paranoid delusions about “Euro socialistas.”

        Now he thinks he can cover his thread hijacking by accusing others of thread hijacking! It’s priceless.

        Little Donnie, when you sink your little teeth into someone else’s ankle and spam comments expounding your fascist philosophy . . . as amusing as it is, if you want the thread not to be “hijacked” all you need to do is go away.

      • Your rants and tantrums are better suited over at Huffington Post

      • Robert,

        Care to roll back my ignorance by providing some real world examples of these impacts?

        Here are some of the ones I ‘ve heard talked about:

        Increased frequency and intensity of storms – so far it appears that some increased intensity may result, but on the range of 1 – 3 mph increase in winds. Not exactly something to leave me shaking in my boots. As to frequency, it looks like that may decrease. Then there is also the research that indicates North Atlantic storm tracks may be impacted, with the result being fewer of them making landfall. If Mother Earth farts in the midle of the Atlantic, will anyone hear it?

        Millions of climate refugees – They supposedly were to have shown up by 2010, but I guess they got a late start. Now they aren’t expected until 2020. Guess we will have to wait on that one.

        Disappearance of the polar ice caps – could be in the north, but not in the south. And if the north pole cap disappears, what is the specific threat we have to worry about. Apparently not polar bear populations. Not one proven threat has been identified, though several have been theorized about.

        Rising sea levels – depends on if you are talking about model projected rise or actual rise. Nothing in the latter that represents either an immediate or long term disasterous impact. Granted the model derived levels would be something to worry about, but they are only projections with no actual evidence that they are almost certain to occur.

        Disappearing glaciers – that SF story has been pretty well shot full of holes and more importantly, the threat it supposedly represented was based on the false assumption that people living in the watersheds downstream of the glaciers were primarily dependant on glacial melt as their source of water.

        I probably could go on, but why waste the time. I doubt I’m going to convince you that you have little reason to fear the future. Probably the best I can do is recommend that you try not to take counsel of your fears.

    • Get a grip on yourself mate. Here are the facts about “ozone depletion”.

      In 1978 the United States banned the use of CFCs such as Freon in aerosol cans, the beginning of a long series of regulatory actions against their use. The critical DuPont manufacturing patent for Freon (“Process for Fluorinating Halohydrocarbons”, U.S. Patent #3258500) was set to expire in 1979.

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

      • Get a grip on yourself mate.

        I’d say the strong odor of desperation is coming from your side of the table, trying to argue that the CFC ban under the Montreal Protocol was not a successful environmental treaty.

        Nothing you wrote in any way casts doubt of that. And of course that it all example of many of successful international treaties.

        Why so frightened of the idea that we have a choice, and can chose to cooperate with other nations in our own interest?

      • Who are these we? If these WE are that powerful then why do not these WE make things you desire happen?
        The only yhing your posts are proving that you like calling people fascist, if they disagree with you. I googled the meaning and not one of the meanings said “disagreement with Robert”

    • Robert. Good News. The Climate Sensitivity is actually zero.
      Now, if the relationship between CO2 and temperature does indeed turn out to be zero; how will you and your comrades get our money?

      • Paranoid delusions like yours, driven by right-wing extremism, are a big part of why moderate Republicans and independents are turning away from climate denial in droves: http://bit.ly/vV3ISM.

      • Right wing extremism?

        I’ll have you know I belong to the Italian Communist Party.

        Well, maybe not any more, if they require dues or periodic renewal. It was back in the 70’s when I signed up. Note: the XO didn’t think it was quite as funny as I did.

    • I think we will get serious when people like you stop carrying the message. Fear doesn’t sell. Insults dont sell. Demanding one solution for everyone doesnt sell,

      At least they have not sold to date. At some point people will see that their only real hope is adaptation and they will hold people who demanded global mitigation responsible.

      • Deniers like you are never going to get serious, steven.

        The “we” is that sentence is the responsible adults of the world.

        The tired excuses for your denial have all been aired before, but the truth is, no one is waiting for you.

        Their is a large majority of the population that has not invested themselves in the issue one way or the other. They, and not you, are the audience.

        But I’m loving the hypocrisy of your “insults don’t sell, fear doesn’t sell.” Goodness, don’t tell your fellow-travelers — that’s all they have.

      • There is, not their is!

      • At some point people will see that their only real hope is adaptation and they will hold people who demanded global mitigation responsible.

        No, one day they will see that those who told them that adaptation is a sufficent response were lying and they will hold you responsible.

      • I guess I’m an optimist. Which is why I’m going to look at the positive aspect of someone like Robert. So long as he is taking responsibility for the world and possibly losing sleep due to the burden and the fear, I can enjoy life in a carefree manner.

      • S, Mosher –

        I think the world has become a very odd place when you get labelled a ‘denier’. Obviously, it says a little more about Robert than anything else, but its interesting nonetheless.

    • Wow… an entire thread with very little real content. Happily there was more substance and less snarkiness in the threads that follow…

      It’s slightly beyond me why people can’t chose to disagree and discuss without calling each other ‘socialists’, ‘treehuggers’, ‘facists’, ‘idiots’ and ‘deluded’. I think my wife would have sent you into timeout for awhile..

    • The level of unfounded, irrationality in your posts is sometimes flabbergasting. It is hard for me to believe that you actually believe the things you say. I think you are secretly enjoying a nice prank on us all.

  3. http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2011/awglca14/eng/l04.pdf

    From p3, repeated p6:
    ******
    Recognizing that deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions are required
    according to science, as documented in the Fourth Assessment Report of the
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with a view to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions so as to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2 °C above preindustrial levels, and that Parties should take urgent action to meet this long-term goal, consistent with science and on the basis of equity; also recognizes the need to consider, in the context of the first review of the long-term global goal, as referred to in paragraph 138
    of decision 1/CP.16, strengthening the long-term global goal on the basis of the best available scientific knowledge, including in relation to a global average temperature rise of 1.5 °C,
    ******
    Searching for “fifth” or “ar5″ hits nothing.

  4. Thanks Judy for the summary.
    I believe the best part & country was Canada
    Also China not winning a Fossil of the Day is the supreme hypocrisy!

    Ecotretas

    • China and India have figured correctly “NO SOUP FOR YOU” in the future wealth redistribtion fairytale of Kyoto like thinking. With the EU bodies floating down the Tiber face down the farce of co2 rationing is in the end game. Bigger lies will follow to save face and we can expect another lifetime of revisionist history regarding what Kyoto ever was in the first place.

  5. The main outcome of Durban is that for the first time all alarmist declarations by scientists in the weeks preceding COP17 and during the conference were listened by…nobody at all.

    • Agreed. But …

      The profiteering UN bureaucrats here think otherwise. Their plans to establish a world government paid for by the West on the pretext of dealing with the non-problem of “global warming” are now well in hand.

      Christopher Monckton is right to read the small print and I’m very grateful he does and summarises it for us on Watts Up With That.

      There is this incredible disconnect between the two levels. I don’t have any answer to that but this: pray for our leaders, that they listen to their people and reject this madness, as Canada has already done.

  6. Since Kyoto was really an attack on U.S. Sovereignty with alliances to global statism and the eco-fringe and largely based on EU arrogance it’s nearing the endgame. The idiotic rationing and tax schemes of the EU and Australia will be annhilated in the coming Euro unwind and it’s global impact.

    “Socialism fails, eventually you run out of other peoples money”- Margaret Thatcher

    A great leader who helped the AGW myth along for crass political calculus of pushing nuclear interests against coal (labor) reasons. She did have the bigger picture figured out in this paraphrase.

    • >The idiotic rationing and tax schemes of the EU and Australia will be annhilated in the coming Euro unwind and it’s global impact.<

      One can only hope so. In Aus, we have another complete disconnect apart from the one examined in this thread – our Feds are busy trying to impose a "super profits" tax on iron ore and coal mines, while at the same time attempting to close the coal mines down through "green and community consult" laws. So far our MSM, while vociferoulsy barracking for both of these impositions, have not noticed that if the mines are closed there is NO tax to collect

      • vociferously, of course

      • A sad price to pay to dispose of an obvious political scam, carbon management. I hope Gillard is out of your life in a short period of time.

        Australia like Canada has the contradiction of low population density, massive natural resources and even more massive SQUARE WHEEL thinking built into every aspect of their economic cultures. Good news coming from Canada lately but from a huge Orwell/Nanny state back-drop as a starting point. Both are proof that even if Agenda 21 goals were met 200 years in the future life would be even more miserable for the survivors, the self-appointed elite and anyone unlucky enough to have them running the show. Proof positive our problems really have nothing to do with “limits” or “education” since the EU, Canada and Australia all should know better but don’t. In the case of Canada and Australia blessed with massive resources they choose self-hatred as a life model. Then again look a Russian history and try to blame that on “scarcity” and lacking resources.

        It’s tough in the US when after living with these ghouls from 1932-1980 more or less in charge I thought they were properly debunked in the 80’s only to see the subculture grow ever more angry, radical and survive on the margins and enclaves. The AGW Eco-left advocate culture a perfect example.

        I fear for my children and I’m sad they will have the self-hate misery standard hanging over them as I did. Even in private schools it’s dull and tedious, life is too short.

  7. Durban disturbin’,
    But what mouse will bell the cat?
    Livin’ in BRIC house.
    ==============

  8. I guess that my take on ‘meaningful long-term action’ is likely to be different from other people’s. It has ‘adapt’ as the key verb, not ‘mitigate’. I don’t find much of what I would like to see in what I have read so far.

  9. Judith Curry

    It appears that, despite all the political wrangling and lobbying by EU delegates and AGW activist groups, sanity finally prevailed at Durban.

    UNFCCC are trying to make it look like a victory for its position with face-saving press releases, but the truth of the matter is that the decision was made to kick the can down the road.

    This really was the soundest decision to take for one main reason: the science is NOT settled. that there is an urgent need to curtail CO2 emissions at all.

    The AGW-lobbyists are obviously unhappy about this decision, but for climate science I see this is as a “win-win” situation. By kicking the can down the road, there will be more time to “settle” some of the science before charging off into painful global decarbonization efforts whose unintended consequences we do not yet know (as you once put it)…

    We will have more time to see whether or not the past decade’s “lack of warming” will continue (despite CO2 levels reaching all-time highs), and – if so – what this means for the relative significance of natural versus anthropogenic forcing factors in real life (as opposed to the climate models).

    Climate science and policy needed this “breather”.

    Let’s take advantage of it and get climate science back on a sound, non-agenda driven basis.

    Max

    • Max, good point about this being a “breather” for climate science

    • PS

      Judith, you question the relevance of IPCC wrt UNFCCC, the relevance of an AR5 report and the relevance of any new sensitivity estimates by IPCC.

      For many reasons of which we are all aware, IPCC no longer has the relevance it did when AR4 was published.

      It appears to me that while the science will never be settled by definition, there is now time to move away from the flawed IPCC consensus process and the agenda driven science it promulgated and replace this with real science.

      Whether or not IPCC is needed or even desired as a part of this is questionable. You have also expressed your doubts, but I personally would say it has outlived its usefulness and should be abandoned and replaced by a smaller body, which is more interested in the science rather than the politics.

      But that is only my opinion.

      Max

      • Max,

        Have you really changed your opinions from the days when you advised that we “should forget all the so-called experts who are in on the multi-billion dollar climate scam” and that we “should use our common sense – its all a hoax” ?

        Or is it all about presenting a less extreme image?

    • Climate science and policy needed this “breather”.
      ———–
      You bet they do. Maybe by the time the next global climate conference is held, it will start to become apparent that controlling CO2 is not an issue of the developed countries controlling their emissions so much as it is an issue of the developing countries deciding how much development they are willing to forgo in order to control CO2 levels. (My guess, next to none). It takes only a few minutes with a cocktail napkin to figure out that future CO2 emission levels have little to do with the EU and US and everything to do with China, Indonesia, India, Africa and South America burning fossil fuels to increase their standard of living.

      As for “climate science”. Countries like India and China have scientists every bit as competent as those in the West. I expect that they will be advising their leaders that the planet is almost certainly warming, but that the numbers projected by climate scientists are dubious, unverifiable and probably wrong. That’s what those leaders will probably want to hear, and it is very likely true.

      • Japan also had competent scientists. In Japan it is clear that the advice the government is receiving is that “the numbers projected by climate scientists are dubious, unverifiable and probably wrong.”

        CAGW alarmism gets almost zero coverage by the MSM here.

      • Ha ha…maybe that is because you guys have much bigger pressing needs at the moment!

        CAGW doesn’t seem very scary when you have huge tsunamis and nuclear reactors melting down…

        CAGW is a convenient plug-in for the fear addicted media when they run out of other stories. The MSM over here has even gotten tired of it, mostly. It’s not hard to find a really angry left wing environmentalist ranting about the end of times due to [fill in blank with latest trendy issue].

    • Does it matter whether the sensitivity estimates move up or down? I suspect that the answer is no.

      I suspect that you are correct. In the end, from the political viewpoint, all the models, projections, sensitivity ranges and disputed science will amount to nothing. The only thing that is going to matter is what the thermometer says, and if this slow-down continues then don’t expect any decisions by 2015. The can bounces along the road…..

    • Great article.

      Let’s rephrase it to reflect the comments after a football game, where the home team has just lost by a margin of 5 touchdowns:

      Optimist: We didn’t lose by as many points as we thought we would. Besides, the half-time show and cheerleaders were great. And…wait’ll next year!

      Pessimist: It was a fiasco.

      Skeptic: We deserved to lose because our whole game plan and strategy was fundamentally wrong. The coach has got to go.

    • This should have been the feature article.

      You can kiss the Lomborg “adaptation” substitution for “mitigation” walk back good by as well. We don’t need power hungry central planning AGW mafia commision to manage building codes from the UN.

      Most of the world is waiting for the imagined “consensus” TO IMPLODE TO REALITY. The full stupid greed and power mongering of Durban is plain to see. Even hard core leftist tools don’t like to be humiliated and embarrassed like this, they will simply move on to other talking points.

      “Relationships are like sharks, they always have to move forward or they die, what we have here is a dead shark.”-Woody Allen Annie Hall

      Same for Ponzi like schemes based on emotional belief and political dreaming.

  10. Several good articles by Ron Bailey at Reason mag (dec 5-13):

    http://reason.com/people/ronald-bailey/articles

  11. Freezer Rot-

    Maybe should take a quick poll who wants to support collecting “Climate Debts” and the newly suggested “Climate Court” that Lord Monckton has reported from Durban?

    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/14072/Exclusive-UN-Climate-Draft-Text-Demands-New-International-Climate-Court-to-compel-reparations-for-climate-debt–Also-seeks-rights-of-Mother-Earth–2Cdeg-drop-in-global-temps

    It’s all largely MSM and beaten beaurocrat face-saving, the CO2 regulatory dream is going down. Expect a long and even more boring transition to “Agenda-21″ and other eco-fringe topics with even grander scaling to console the AGW mob. Kyoto is now a freezer item, quitely in the future after many romantic (lying) books and articles are produced it will go to the dustbin (garbage can) of history where it belongs. Expect the largest memory hole in history regarding all the phony agw claims and expect Dr. Curry to be a model of redefinition as most of the serious science community (such as it is) will disown the Gore/Romm elements in ever increasing fashion (CAGW, did I say that?!). As the giant eco-left fracture turns into a food fight the public will be assured there is nothing to note and turn it’s attention to the next “consensus” topic which will be just as inane and speculative as the last one. The “masses” never learn being the campus assumption and the last 50 years might prove that point.

    Likely there will not be the type of Nuremberg type trials for those who fostered the AGW agenda I and many would like to see. Still, the Fat Lady is singing and the massive agenda switch and distraction is the next phase. There were no direct Eugenics trials either.

    The unwind of AGW politics that peaked both at Kyoto and then around 2006 with a massive leftist rebound in the US have only one hope. Another weak in the brain statist Republican to emerge and both Romney and Gingrich qualify to do something stupid to keep the freezer rot around in some form. I don’t think Thatcher or Reagan would have repeated their blunders if they could have seen how insane the movement would become.
    I’d like to personally drive the wooden stake into the heart of the AGW scam but the promoters know the drill the way Jon Corzine knows memory loss.

  12. Judith, you question the relevancy of the IPCC. Did you happen to notice JeffID’s post on the Steig data in AR5 and McIntyre’s latest post. They will never learn. Tis a shame someone of your stature doesn’t ask for an investigation by AAAS and PNAS.

    • Some people never learn, for sure.

      Steig (2009) is a successful, highly regarded paper — cited by 160 other papers in just two years.

      In comparison, McIntyre & Michaels’ last opus, “Quantifying the influence of anthropogenic surface processes and inhomogeneities on gridded global climate data” (2007) was cited by — wait for it — six.

      Roy Spencer’s recent embarrassment, “On the diagnosis of radiative feedback in the presence of unknown radiative forcing” has been cited by — 15.

      Hating science and complaining about it doesn’t make the facts go away . . .

      • Robert, were you asleep when after 2 weeks of back and forth between Steig and O’Donnell, that Steig conceded the vast majority of O’Donnell’s points. Be honest, for once.

      • Bob, denier delusions don’t make the science go away.

        Be honest, for once.

      • Bob,
        Check out Robert’s website and think of who it is actually tracking.
        Robert is a golden goose laying egg after egg of ironic gold.

      • FYI, O’Donnell et al (2010) — cited by 2.

      • Re: Robert’s blog.

        It appears he has twice as many articles than comments. You’d think he’d get the message.

      • Robert, I fed you a snack to test your honesty. No more food for the troll. You are a dishonest specimen.

      • That’s an interesting attempt to recover from your failed denier spin.

        Unfortunately for you, I know the facts.

        You can’t deal with those facts, so it’s just as well you hit the trail.

        Bye bye! :)

      • Robert, the Steig et. al. 2009 is shaping up to be entertaining. I have noticed that a few scientists are starting to question climate science business as usual.

        There is even one environmental scientist that may academic malfeasance and expert testimony are different critters.

        http://wizbangblog.com/2011/12/12/ann-maest/

      • Robert, the Steig et. al. 2009 is shaping up to be entertaining.

        Interesting in a slaughter-rule sort of way. The score is an astonishing 160 to . . . wait for it . . . 2.

        Ryan had to run to the denier blogs because in the world of people who know science, he completely flopped.

        He gets points for trying to join the legitimate scientific debate, but, rather obviously, he was way out of his depth. Steig pwnd him pretty hard.

      • No Robert the interesting part is the 160. Before O’Donnell, Steig had to submit a Corrigenda because their confidence intervals were way off. That was published some where in nature. That could be overlooked by someone unfamiliar with the paper’s history. But,

        “Comiso, Steig’s coauthor and a coordinating lead author (big dog) of the IPCC cryosphere chapter, has this reference from the ZOD:
        “Studies of surface temperature conclude on widespread warming of Antarctica since 1957 (Barrett et al.,54 2009; Comiso, 2010; Steig et al., 2009)”.

        Three references are given to support “widespread warming”. Surprisingly, Barrett et al. says not one thing about widespread warming and is in fact a borehole-proxy study of a very small region of the Antarctic adjacent to the peninsula. The next reference ,Comiso 2010, is a reference to a book he wrote which addresses only satellite data since 1980′s, it is not peer reviewed AND it contains factual inaccuracies about trends in the Antarctic. ” From http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/business-as-usual/

        Of course, to you, this is science at it finest :)

      • Cap’n.

        It is hardly a surprise that Donziger is an old Harvard buddy of, you guessed it, President Obama.

        This is what you link to?

      • Joshua, The Obama thing is Jeff’s probably because he is frustrated. I link to the situation, not Jeff’s speculation. The Antarctic appears to be fairly important, Steig et.al. 09 had several major flaws, something is up.

        Realclimate has been two stepping around the lack of Antarctic warming since 2004. I am pretty sure I know why it is not warming. I am pretty sure they know why it is not warming. As Judith might say, there is some uncertainty that is not being addressed.

        Just keep your bacon stocked up because things are getting real interesting.

      • Cap, your hate of science is a “dog bites man” story.

        Your little denier conspiracy theory is worthless until you take up the argument in the peer reviewed literature — which is of course how O’Donnell got stomped, but it’s the only option if you ever want to be taken seriously.

        O’Donnell won, Steig embarrassed himself with shoddy work, and your denial is neither surprising nor memorable. ;)

      • Cap’n –

        ????

        Are you not even reading your own links? The Obama comment was from the “wizbangblog” link that you put up.

        As for Jeff – the first time I came across his blog I read an article where he claimed that a comment he left on Krugman’s blog wasn’t posted because some intern blog monitor recognized his name, and was too fearful that Jeff’s “subtle” comment, if left to go through, would dismantle the whole AGW house of cards.

        Jeff is obviously good with with some technical analysis, but his conspiracy-mongering and libertarian ranting is pretty over the top. As I said before, your take on the Steig situation is interesting, and I don’t think implausible – but between Jeff and now this link you just posted, the crowd your hanging with that crowd puts your professed political neutrality into some question.

        Bacon keeps me alert.

      • But not incapable of some really, really bad editing.

      • Joshua, Sorry, yes I did link to the whizbang. Not my kind of site, but the link was in this post on WUWTH, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/13/national-academy-of-sciences-appointee-caught-making-up-stuff-to-win-lawsuit-rico-lawsuit-follows/

        Robert, You seemed to be forgetting the corrigenda. And even Trenberth said it is hard to analysis data where there is none, in reference to Steig et al.

      • Warming has slowed and/or stopped because when oceans are warm is when it snows more and earth cools.

      • 160 to 6, and you still lose (he, he, he)

      • Enjoy your fantasy . . . back in the real world, with the real science, we’re doing just fine without you.

      • Robert, we need go no further than Steig himself to know who was right and who was wrong on East Antarctica:

        CG2 #2095, Steig to Mann on the day S09 was published (22Jan09):

        …David Bromwich has expressed interest in working together to do something even more definitive in the near future. He’s skeptical that the warming is as great as we show in East Antarctica — he thinks the “right” answer is more like our detrended results in the supplementary text. I cannot argue he is wrong. …

        This is hard to reconcile with his public position in the face of O11. Did Steig and Bromwich ever publish such a paper? Not that I can find. It appears that O10 et al did the job for them.

      • oops, that should be O10, not O11.

      • Just doesn’t fit with the reality of Ryan et al being cited only twice. Whereas Steig continues to be cited far and wide. Steig has won the argument within the scientific community, which is why the IPCC uses the paper.

        That’s just not a situation that is rebutted by “Yeah, somebody said something nice about the paper in an email.”

        The original argument here was that the IPCC should ignore Steig because of Ryan’s frankly lead-ballon-like effort. Without saying Ryan is worthless in every way, that’s like someone claiming their victory in court established legal precedent when all they have accomplished is to file a complaint.

      • Steig:

        “I can in all honesty tell you that I think it would be clear that O’Donnell made several real improvements. I said as much in my reviews, and I’ll say it again here: globally, for the satellite era, O’Donnell’s solution may be more accurate.”

      • Robert? Have you gone?

      • The 160 citatations are the core of the problem. Bromwich says S09 is wrong, in private Steig agrees, in public Steig concedes “O’Donnell made several real improvements”, and the mathematics (surely the final arbiter) says O10 is more right (given the sparse data) than S09, but S09 has not been withdrawn. What is it about the team which makes them prefer wrong to right? I think that we know the answer – even you, Robert.

        And on a formal point, your reliance on the 160 vs 2 is a gross example of argumentum ad populum, and is not worthy of a science blog. There is only one way to attack O10 – show that the analysis is incorrect. I’m not aware that anyone has done so.

  13. The good Dr.Curry, who still has trouble making up her mind about CAGW, will also start to wonder about her exit strategy. A long while ago I made the same comment in this blog. However, always fear a bureaucrat. He can propose rules and regulations and penalties for all, but when his own job is at stake, fevered brains go in overdrive. Why was Durban a success? The bureaucrats, hangers-on and WWF and others are guaranteed their jobs for at least another year and perhaps until their pension kicks in. Looking at the average age of the crowd, that pretty well sums it up. The young modern hippies do not count and normally are used for show and to grab headlines. They are never particpants in discussions. These useful idiots are good to to show their behinds in print and paper. Somehow quite the correct summation of this non-binding, non-legal, non- enforcible “agreement”.

  14. While the CAGW ogre is terminally ill and it’s suggested cure is off the shelf, It’s still to early to write its obituary, folks.

    There is still too much money, personal reputation and political power involved.

    But it is time for climate science to distance itself and reorganize on a scientific, rather than a political, basis as the CAGW monster slowly crawls off into the corner and dies.

    We can then write its epitaph.

    Max

    • John Carpenter

      Maybe CAGW won’t be the ‘it girl’ for the UN in the future, but rest assured there will be another.

      • Though I have sympathy with this view I wonder if there will be anything else that grips the world’s imagination than the story of catastrophic global warming caused by mankind’s carbon emissions, in other words, caused by civilisation itself.

        Let’s make sure we finish off the monster we have – and as Max has argued, bring sanity back to science in the process. There will be massive lessons for national governments and their interactions with international institutions too. That would seem enough for our own generation to achieve.

      • … grips the world’s imagination like the story of catastrophic global warming …

        obviously.

      • Sure there will. Just watch. The trial balloons are being inflated right now. Ocean acidification anyone?

      • Richard Drake writes:

        “Though I have sympathy with this view I wonder if there will be anything else that grips the world’s imagination than the story of catastrophic global warming caused by mankind’s carbon emissions, in other words, caused by civilisation itself.”

        I have a different take. For decades to come, PR people will be looking to this Golden Moment when a story so preposterous as CAGW was able to grip the world’s imagination. There will be sentimental looks back, romantic looks back, analytical looks back, and all PR people will wonder if maybe, just maybe, they can be the one who deciphers the formula and creates something new to rival the greatest Popular Delusion in all of human history. It will give PR people a reason to go to work for decades.

  15. I wish there were a way to bet on global warming. And if there were, how many establishment climate scientists do you suppose would be willing to put there money where their hockey sticks are?

    I think a good bet would be on whether the current lack of warming continues over the next 5 years. Long enough to be meaningful in the context of the 13 years we’ve just had, and short enough to be practical. Just to test my own convictions…or the depth of my skepticism to put it another way…I tried to come up with a number I’d be comfortable betting. I’m far from a rich man, but I’d bet a Mitt Romney (10K) without hesitating. And that’s at even odds. Strictly speaking, since the science is settled, I really should be getting at least 3/1.

    • “how many establishment climate scientists do you suppose would be willing to put there money where their hockey sticks are?”

      Especially if they didn’t run the casino, if you catch my drift.

      Andrew

    • I wish there were a way to bet on global warming.

      There are plenty. If you think global warming isn’t real, you should expect the average temp for 2012 to be less than 0.35C above average; after all not a single year before 1990 was that warm.

      So place your bet. Right now the odds are running 500 to 1 that 2012 will be warmer than every year before 1990. (http://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/contract/?contractId=751690)

      You could retire on a $10,000 bet against global warming . . . it would pay out $5 million at the current odds.

      Unless, of course, you’re a coward not willing to put your money where your mouth is . . .

      • What evidence do you have that not a single year prior to 1990 had been as warm as it is now? Would the period of the dinosaurs generally be cooler than it is now? Would the MWP generally be cooler than it is now? How were the temperature measurements effected? Would available paleontological evidence support this hypothesis?

      • You are a dolt Robert, that’s not what the contract says at all. What does”anomaly” mean in the contract (share) you cite?

        You have no idea. The shares are about temperture ranges not your moronic claims and spin. The market does know who get to fix, I mean report the temp records. The odds you are reporting are totally wrong. More later and I’ll report the rules and leverage in detail tomorrow.

      • And here’s another coward who won’t put there money where their mouth is.

        Excuses, whining . . . but no money on the table.

        :)

      • I’m a little puzzled about this too, Robert. Here is another Intrade contract on the proposition “Averave global temperature for 2012 to be warmest on record.”

        http://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/contract/?contractId=743901

        When I checked it this evening the last trade gave the proposition a probability of 39%.

        “Expiry will be based on the data published by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Further details can be found HERE [link to GISS]. The data used to expire this contract will be based on “surface air measurements at meteorological stations and ship and satellite measurements of sea surface temperature”, as also used in the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis 2008 Summation (as an example).”

      • What point do you find puzzling?

        “Warmest year in the instrumental record” is obviously a different bet than “Warmer than any year prior to 1990.” But of course if you don’t believe in global warming, than a given year should be about average among the 130 years or so in the instrumental record. The chance in will be hotter than every year from 1880-1989 is small — less than 20%. Yet you can as of this afternoon bet that it WON’T be warmer than every year from 1880-1989. And at the moment that bet is paying out at 5,000 to 1.

        Short-term oscillations make it uncertain whether a given year will set a new all-time record. The existence of a warming trend, however, is very certain, and there are at least half a dozen ways you can bet against the existence of a warming trend on Intrade. All will pay handsomely if there is no warming trend. So one can certainly bet on the existence of global warming, or not, but few people seem include to bet their own money against warming.

      • Ok, Robert, gotcha. I see the nature of this contract now. I also notice that this is a very thin market. There is one person offering to sell 50 shares at $9.99 per share. There is also one person offering to buy 5 shares at $0.01 per share. No trades seem to have taken place in this market for a couple of months if I am reading the chart correctly.

        I think that this is a sucker contract for reasons that have little or nothing to do with CO2 forcing per se. And I actually think you see that too.

      • If you go back to the original question, it was “I wish there were a way to bet on global warming.”

        Clearly there is a way. So that point should be settled, whether or not the market in which you are betting is a model of liquidity (few Intrade contracts are).

        The fact is, you can bet on climate change. And as a side point, if climate deniers believed their own story, they should be snapping up these contracts at the current rates. That they aren’t is telling.

      • “The fact is, you can bet on climate change. And as a side point, if climate deniers believed their own story, they should be snapping up these contracts at the current rates. That they aren’t is telling.”

        How is not believing in climate science voodoo impact a bet on a temperture outcome? It isn’t skeptics that are talking out of their a$$ making predictions based on unproven relationships to co2.

        You can’t see the actual nonsense you are spinning about these near expiration betting shares?

        You can’t hold two thoughts together at the same time:

        “Short-term oscillations make it uncertain whether a given year will set a new all-time record. The existence of a warming trend, however, is very certain, and there are at least half a dozen ways you can bet against the existence of a warming trend on Intrade. All will pay handsomely if there is no warming trend. So one can certainly bet on the existence of global warming, or not, but few people seem include to bet their own money against warming.”

        The contracts don’t mean this at all. Since NASA is an assumed cooked record is one point. That there is no link to any reason why there is a weather trend is the obvious fact your small warped mind can’t absorb.

      • Actually, Pokerguy said this by way of elaborating on what he meant:

        “I think a good bet would be on whether the current lack of warming continues over the next 5 years. Long enough to be meaningful in the context of the 13 years we’ve just had, and short enough to be practical.”

        You can ask Pokerguy whether the Intrade contract you linked is at all similar to what he had in mind here. Or you can make stuff up.

      • Robert

        You are trying to stack the deck with your bet.

        The bet is real simple.

        Will the global warming as projected by the IPCC models of 0.2C per decade resume or not?

        (IOW are the IPCC models able to make realistic forecasts of future temperature trends or not?)

        Despite the IPCC model-based forecasts, there has been NO warming over the past 11 (or 13) years.

        Zero.

        Zilch.

        Nada.

        In fact, IPCC’s preferred global surface record (HadCRUT3) shows a slight COOLING trend.

        If the current trend does not reverse to a significant warming trend as we saw in the 1980s and 1990s, we can conclude that the IPCC models are unable to produce realistic forecasts for the long-term future.

        It’s just that simple, Robert.

        Max

      • “Despite the IPCC model-based forecasts, there has been NO warming over the past 11 (or 13) years.
        Zero.
        Zilch.
        Nada.

        In fact, IPCC’s preferred global surface record (HadCRUT3) shows a slight COOLING trend.”

        Even though I find the whole cooling trend versus warming trend discussion distracting in comparison with longer term trends (especially longer term trends after removal of decadal and multidecadal influences) I need to take the above quote to task…

        Is this a cooling trend?

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:156/mean:12/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:156/trend

        Or even this?

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:156/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:156/trend

      • JayTee –

        I find the whole warming v cooling trends a bit distracting [and not hugely relevant] but I think Max was just making a generalisation. 11 years for an average of GISS, Hadcrut, UAH and RSS is pretty much flat.

        If you ask the question (on the grounds that there has been some alleged cooling) “for how long has it been cooling?” Hadcrut will say “nearly 15 years” –

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1997.5/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1997.5/trend

        I’m willing to bet that when the January data arrives, RSS will show more than 15 years.

        We can all cherrypick, but ‘more than 10 years of no warming’ isn’t a very contentious statement, even if it is not very meaningful either.

        However, 17 years of cooling by the time of AR5 is going to be hilarious :)

    • This is easy to do PokerGuy;

      http://www.intrade.com/v4/home/

      You could also sell carbon futures but those markets are dry docked for the most part:

      http://tvnz.co.nz/business-news/nz-carbon-price-collapses-below-10-tonne-4599981

      $10 a ton with a target of $25 by the government cartel;

      The correct price is zero of course but you can still lose money. Then again look how it worked out in Chicago; $7.80 (idiotic Hope and Change peak) to $.05. Gore managed to get out leaving others to hold the bag;

      http://21stcenturywire.com/2010/08/27/the-great-collapse-of-the-chicago-climate-exchange/

      No, Gore was never investigated and the MSM avoids the topic at all costs.

  16. Professor Curry: Find your blog a very useful and judicious source of information. Most of the summary pieces you link concern the final Durban action, which was under 2 pages. Lord Monckton’s comment concerns something that was not part of Durban’s final action–a 138-page working document with some, er, eye-opening provisions, not to mention many holes needing to be filled. Will this document (or its provisions, eye-opening or not) have a role in anticipated future deliberations? Hard to say. We will have to await further developments–and drafts.

  17. AGW is entering the zombie phase. It is dead, but it lurches, dangerously, forward.
    Only believers in the AGW apocalyptic hype take this stuff seriously- and of course the profiteers and those who use AGW to advance their politics.
    But it is dead- like every AGW proposal, nothing actually works. Great heroic posturing, but not even one policy, technological idea, treaty or market that is more than an obvious shakedown of the public money into the pockets of hypesters and scammers pushing CO2 fear.

    • “It is dead, but it lurches, dangerously, forward.”

      That’s really more descriptive of climate denial, clung to by conservative Republicans but being rapidly abandoned by moderate Republicans and everyone else (http://bit.ly/vV3ISM).

      • Robert, if I wanted comedy relief I would go to your website read it for a laugh and be the fifth person to visit today.
        I think the role you are after is to be a Joe Romm mini-me. You are getting the mindless drooling anger part down pretty well.

      • “Reality is harsh to the feet of shadows”

        I bring facts — you bring whining, insults, and efforts to change the subject.

        Comic relief indeed.

      • Robert,
        You bring opinion and unintended irony.

      • randomengineer

        Everyone knows that the world is warmer and has been getting increasingly so since 1800. You are citing the fact that people recognise this as a fact. Belief that the world is warmer than 1950 isn’t fungible with the notion that SUVs are the ruination of the Maldives. But hey, keep arguing that point.

      • “Everyone knows that the world is warmer and has been getting increasingly so since 1800.”

        Sorry, everybody does not know that. Look at the polls. Example from two weeks ago: http://bit.ly/vV3ISM.

        Normal people know it, right-wing extremists do not.

        But hey, keep parading your denial of reality for all to see. ;)

    • There in lies the danger of Gingrich Romney selection process. There are indirect way they can help kill the AGW scam but it would be better to walk in their blood and destroy the entire radical left infrastructure at the same time. Not going to happen this time around which is reason the Republican base is so disappointed. It explains Ron Paul to a degree as well, you end the Fed you end the Keynesian fiat money system which essential to AGW fraud survival. Most government funded liberal enclaves like University Life are in a world of hurt as well. Again, it’s not going to happen as conservatives are split on the virtue and fault of Empire which Paul is against. Economics and Empire are bigger issues than AGW.

      Then again after the Soviet fell there was no Nuremberg type trial with Putin as a good example of what was neglected by a lack of justice.

      We need Climate De-Nazification.

  18. Oh what a shame! The party in Durban is over for the Green gravy trainers, junkett scientists and opportunist politicians. But never fear there is another party party planned for a few years time.
    The theme no doubt will be the effect of CO2 emissions on the speed of the earth’s rotation and the absolute devastating effect this will have on people being able to stand on their own two feet in 25 years time. :-)
    The perversion of science by junkett scientists pedalling their junk science is clear to see from even a cursory examination of the emails released by the whistleblower’s. Look in detail and one can only be appalled, more so that no action has been taken against these cretinous so called scientists. They who have disgraced their profession have the gall to still lecture us?
    Fiddlesticks I say to them and their Fiddlesticks.

  19. I wonder what would happen if the money spent by the UN, attending governments and NGO’s to attend these annual conferences was spent helping poor populations.

    Somehow I think it would pay for an impressive number of:

    mesquito netting
    propane fuel tanks
    drilled water wells

  20. @ Robert
    There seems to be a problem with your blog, ‘The Idiot Tracker’
    You are not the lead story? No doubt you will fix soon?
    Nos da.

  21. By withdrawing from Kyoto, Canada avoided Canada $14 billion in penalties for negligible benefit, especially considering the rapid growth of China, India & Brazil.
    Earlier Durban IPCC drafts proposed:

    47. The provision of the amount of funds to be made available annually to developing country Parties, which shall be equivalent to the budget that developed countries spend on defence, security, and warfare.

    Consider that: Worldwide military spending edged up in 2010 to a record $1.6 trillion, a leading think-tank said on Monday. Data from: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s military expenditure database.
    Assuming 75% is by developing countries, this suggests the IPCC is seeking expenditures of $1.2 trillion per year.
    That massive investment requirement was later dropped and replaced by the previous agreement of:

    a goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion per year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries,

    In it’s World Energy Outlook 2011, the International Energy Agency summarizes:

    The cost of bringing oil to market rises as oil companies are forced to turn to more difficult and costly sources to replace lost capacity and meet rising demand. Production of conventional crude oil – the largest single component of oil supply – remains at current levels before declining slightly to around 68 mb/d by 2035. To compensate for declining crude oil production at existing fields, 47 mb/d of gross capacity additions are required, twice the current total oil production of all OPEC countries in the Middle East. . . .

    Global economies have been throttled by the high price of fuel. Massive investment is needed in new fuel to keep our economies afloat – NOT to bury it. Furthermore, the IEA observes:

    We estimate that, in 2009, around $9 billion was invested globally to provide first access to modern energy, but more than five-times this amount, $48 billion, needs to be invested each year if universal access is to be achieved by 2030. . . .Today, 1.3 billion people do not have electricity and 2.7 billion people still rely on the traditional use of biomass for cooking. The investment required is equivalent to around 3% of total energy investment to 2030.

    Spending trillions of dollars on “sequestering” carbon dioxide when the poorest have no electricity is the worst example of burying resources ever conceived, and atrocious stewardship.

    • See Joe Bastardi A Discourse on Global Warming, I mean Climate Change, oops I mean Climate Disruption

      Something you should read is here:

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/09/durban-what-the-media-are-not-telling-you/#more-52760

      It’s alarming.

      But here’s why am I so into this global warming fight.

      1) Its a test of right and wrong, and I think on multiple levels. It should just be about the weather, no different than you and I forecasting a snow event and then see who is closer. However it has been turned into something much bigger, and the right or wrong on that idea involves a desire to curtail freedoms because of what some think is a ticking time bomb of co2.

      2) It is a fight on a higher plane. I am not a very humble person in front of others, I have been told, but I am humble before the atmosphere and its creator. Arrogance abounds in many that think somehow they have the right idea on how to control the atmosphere, as if they can control something they did not create, nor have any influence over. They can however have influence over other people, by using distorted science to drive home their agenda.

  22. Norm Kalmanovitch

    Climate changed from warming to cooling in 1942 and the response to save the world was to spread soot on thge polar ice caps to change the3 climate back to warming. This never happened but in 1975 the climate changed back to warmiong. The response to this was to set up a scheme of carbon credits to make a few people rich to stop this global warming. Apparently this worked because climate changed again after 1998 and the world began cooling. Unlike previous climate changes the carbon credit system proved so lucrative that no one wanted it to end so in Durban South Africa those profiting from this emissions carbon credit scam decided to keep the fraud going by ignoring global temperature and to keep on trading carbon credits to stop global warming even though it has long since ended.

  23. randomengineer

    For the love of everything holy, will you guys stop feeding the troll?

    ****

    David Hagen — I don’t share your “enthusiasm” re peak oil because I don’t think that resources are used up/declining yet. However you do raise what I see as two important issues — first, I’ll certainly grant that much of the really simple to access supply seems to be reaching a peak point. Second, the fact that issue #1 is true enough influences policy decision and pricing etc by those who share your viewpoint (or are even more pessimistic) thus adding to and/or exacerbating the world’s economic problems.

    Re Durban it seems clear that the $100B extortion attempt is far less than what was really wanted, which I take as evidence of Durban failure. If they had a stronger hand, it would have been played.

    • Agree regarding the troll(s). Just don’t take the baits.

      • OK – I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. Early NY resolution – no more scraps for the obnoxious, closed-minded, dogmatic, fundamentalist [just clearing out my system ;) ] troll. Not for a year and a day.

    • See “westexas’” (Jeff Brown’s) Available Net Exports (after China & India)
      Explain why that is not causing fuel prices and unemployment to rise and the economy to tank?

      See the detailed quantitative graphs and tables by economist James Hamilton in: Oil Prices, Exhaustible Resources, and Economic Growth. December 9, 2011 (65 pp)

      This paper explores details behind the phenomenal increase in global crude oil production over the last century and a half and the implications if that trend should be reversed. I document that a key feature of the growth in production has been exploitation of new geographic areas rather than application of better technology to existing sources, and suggest that the end of that era could come soon. The economic dislocations that historically followed temporary oil supply disruptions are reviewed, and the possible implications of that experience for what the transition era could look like are explored.

      See my post at WUWT

      We need to provide abundant fuel to restore our economies and help 3rd world development. Durban is economically irrelevant and based on highly uncertain science.

    • But, but, but, Robert is such an obnoxious little fellow some of us can’t help but toss him some crumbs.

      Besides, he’s already stated he won’t have a drink with us. What else are we to do then?

      • timg56,
        Now that the main event is starting- the round up of bloggers who directly received climategate leaks- I think we can safely ignore the neverwuzzers.
        Robert will be busy tracking himself. That is never a pretty sight.
        The only question left is will the leaker give out the key?
        Yes or no?
        The rest is irrelevant.
        With Durban showing AGW going into zombie mode, it is actually going to be risky for the first time.
        No key, no door, no way to stop the zombie.

    • “For the love of everything holy, will you guys stop feeding the troll?” – my sentiments, exactly. The only reason for responding to warmist drivel is if it likely to mislead uninformed passers-by. Since the risk of Robert’s bedwetting being taken seriously by anyone whose interest matters is not statistically significant, it’s surely a risk worth taking, in the wider interests of the blog -why not simply do what most of us do, and scroll by his comments?

  24. “My main question at this point is whether the IPCC is relevant to what is going on at this point with the UNFCCC? If the AR5 has higher confidence in its findings, does that matter? Does it matter whether the sensitivity estimates move up or down?”

    As far as the future relevance of the IPCC, UNFCCC, the AR5, and the various treaties and agreements that the CAGW movement has produced, the answer is…it depends, on one thing and one thing only – the 2012 US elections.

    If conservatives win significant majorities in the Senate and House, and a Republican (conservative of not) wins the White House, the august international bodies and all their scribblings will be as relevant to the global energy economy as the hookers working the hotels at the Super Bowl are to the outcome of the game.

    If progressives recover from their 2010 losses, then treaties like those proposed at Copenhagen and Durban may well be ratified in the U.S., and might then actually impact global energy policy, to the detriment of us all. BUt if conservatives can block such ratification in the US, let alone role back the arrogation of power by the EPA and other US bureaucracies, it won’t matter what the CAGW activists agree to among themselves.

    If the US doesn’t adopt the self immolative policy of decarbonization, every country that competes with us in the real world economy will be saved from their own progressive suicidal tendencies, or watch their economies implode even faster than they are now.

    • Gary, You forget that treaties must be ratified by a supermajority of 2/3 in he US Senate. I think this is exceedingly unlikely for any carbon limiting treaty. Republicans will surely not drop below 34 senators anytime in the next decade.

      • David,

        I didn’t forget that. The reality is that, once he no longer has to worry about reelection, Obama will feel even less constrained by the Constitution than he does now. He will attempt to implement many more progressive policies, including decarbonization, by executive fiat. The EPA already is a long step down that road, with their regulation of the “pollutant” CO2 simply held in abeyance until after the 2012 election.

        In order to reverse regulatory actions and executive orders that Obama will inevitably issue if he is reelected, conservatives will need majorities at least in both houses. Even then, it will take another game changing election like 2010 to scare enough progressive congressmen (of both parties) to vote to over ride any vetoes (to save their own political futures) to prevent further efforts to implement international climate treaties, regardless of whether they are formally ratified by the Senate.

        Anyone who thinks the climate political wars are over in the US is sorely mistaken. 2012 will tell the tale.

      • Gary,

        It will be interesting to see if the predictions and recommendations – which FERC chose to ignore – about the impact to system reliability from the raft of EPA rules about to commence come true. One or two rolling brownouts, power curtailments to large industrial users or a major blackout due to unavailability of sufficient generation capacity due to coal plants being off line or permenantly shut down will change voters minds in a hurry. Problem is that it isn’t likely to happen before Nov 2012.

    • I seriously doubt that we’re going to see any time in the foreseeable future 2/3 of the Senate agreeing on anything. The rest of the western world will sign the suicide pact before the US will. And the wind’s blowing the other way right now.

      And every year that goes by that doesn’t see a monotonic increase in global temperatures and an increase in the rate of sea level rise only makes the devout Thermotarians look more ridiculous. Even if the political winds shift in 10 years, the case for zOMGCAGW!!! will be completely shot by then.

      Something about a boy for cried “wolf” a few too many times. The story is as old as ancient Greece.

  25. randomengineer; “For the love of everything holy, will you guys stop feeding the troll?”

    Thank you, random; that really needed saying. I rather think Miss Judith is going to need moderators to avoid a sinking into irrelevancy — to the shame of fools.

    • Roger,
      Good idea, and and I will do exactly that.

    • I am curious as to just who you all think the trolls are? Is it the people you disagree with? We need them for balance. I see no one posting regularly here who does not make substantive points. There are some people I would kick off for vulgarity, but that is just me.

      • But more focus on the other side would be nice. As far as that goes, more focus on both sides would be nice. I would also appreciate it if people would restrain themselves from darting off with their own personal theories.

      • David Wojick –

        I don’t think trolls are those people we disagree with – we just notice those that disagree with us.

        I originally thought Robert was the only troll, because he was the only one I noticed. Then Joshua gave me a list of people who persistently insult him. Then I worked out that I would describe cwon as a troll even though I’ve never had any interaction with he/she/it.

        Another way of looking at it – closer to yours – is that of course trolls are those in small minorities on a blog. If you haven’t yet been banned from Tamino, I think just your honest beliefs are enough for you to be considered a troll there.

        FWIW, I agree with you – the blog is pointless if there aren’t a variety of views. However, I’d like not only a vulgarity filter, but a one for fundamentalism and closed-mindedness as well.

  26. Judith, irrespective of Durban’s lack of agreement, the gravy train rolls on. The World Development Movement issued a report in June this year, Climate Loan Sharks:

    http://www.wdm.org.uk/our-campaign-climate-justice/climate-loan-sharks-report

    It details the $1.1trillion in loans to developing nations to “meet the challenges of climate change”. Loading up debt on the populations of Bangladesh, Cambodia, Grenada, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Samoa, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Tajikistan and Zambia. Loans to be repaid in US $ which will benefit the elites of those nations while impoverishing the populace for years to come.

    The loans continue to accumulate and fat fees are charged for arranging them. Contrary to the hand wringing speeches at Durban, the cure for the mythical impacts of climate change are far more damaging.

    We can only hope that Canada’s lead is followed.

  27. You pose an interesting question Dr Curry and i’d argue that Ar5 and the confidence levels don’t actually matter at this juncture; certainly not as far as policy is concerned. That particular horse has bolted.

    Or to put it another way, if the confidence levels come down, can you see the politicians accepting this and backtracking? I doubt it.

    AR5 will be very interesting for a few reasons, primarily on the science, but also on the degree to which the IPCC has put it’s house in order. Ar5 will be under unprecidented scrutiny, so whatever they put in there had best be well researched. They’ll certainly not get away with any grey literature this time.

    My gut feeling is that we’ll see a softening of the conclusions, though the main underpinning ‘direction’ of the editorial presentation will remain. I also predict that the political sumamry document will not only bear little relation to the actual dicument, but will be out months before Ar5 is released, to allow maximum media whip-up, with minimum fact checking.

    Not that i’m cynical or anything.

    I do find though, despite my best experience telling me otherwise, that i’m expecting Ar5 to be a reasonable document. It’s simply beyond parody if they try to pull another Ar4.

  28. steve fitzpatrick

    They kicked the can down the road. That is what politicians do most of the time. They will continue to do so until three conditions are met:

    1. True climate sensitivity is meaningfully constrained and verified by making accurate decade-scale predictions of warming.
    2. That verified sensitivity is >2C per doubling.
    3. Projected warming is meaningfully linked to consequences which have clear and quantifiable economic value. ‘Injuring Gaia’ will never be an adequate justification.

    IMO it is very unlikely these conditions will be satisfied within the next decade, if ever. Count on an another agreement to reach a future decision next year as well.

    • Steve,

      Politicians tend to kick the can down the road because it is easier than taking action now which may be unpopular in some quarters, even when there is no disagreement that action needs to be taken – see the attempts to resolve the problems in the Eurozone. I don’t believe there is any disagreement amongst nation states that action on AGW is necessary and they generally accept the IPCC conclusions, they did sign off on them after all. There is certainly no reason to believe that the sticking point at Durban was whether climate sensitivity is >2C. The disagreements are political, they are not about he underlying science.

      • I agree that science was not an issue, but they did more than delay action. In fact they did as much as possible, under great stress, and resolved some major issues. See my comment below. On paper the science comes in when translating the 2 degree warming limit into allowable total emissions. Also in defining local adaptation needs. But the science may change by 2015 or 2020, as may the politics.

      • David,

        Yes I think your comment below is a fair assessment.

      • andrew adams

        I agree that the main sticking points were political (after all this was a group of politicians trying to agree on policy issues).

        The “green development fund” was a red herring to start off with.

        Including versus excluding the 21st century’s likely primary CO2 producers, China and India, was another stumbling point.

        National interests obviously came first and these apparently did not follow the EU “rich white man’s” concept, as the delegate from India made very clear.

        But, even taking all this into account, I disagree with your claim:

        I don’t believe there is any disagreement amongst nation states that action on AGW is necessary and they generally accept the IPCC conclusions, they did sign off on them after all. There is certainly no reason to believe that the sticking point at Durban was whether climate sensitivity is >2C. The disagreements are political, they are not about he underlying science.

        Do the USA, China and India (who generate 40+% of global CO2 emissions today and will generate arguably over two-thirds in the future) “accept the IPCC conclusion that action on AGW is necessary”? I hardly think so. Words, yes. Agreement to discuss, yes. Action, no.

        The “magic 2C number” was thrown out at Cancun as the tolerable limit one should attempt to hold by introducing policy measures.

        This failed among other reasons because there is great uncertainty concerning both the process and the “science” supporting the 2C number following Climategate and other revelations and secondly because the economic impact and unintended consequences of implementing the proposed policy actions are unknown.

        It would be foolish for any supporter of action on AGW to believe that “the science is settled” and there are only political differences to solve.

        It just isn’t so.

        Max

      • Max,

        I never said “the science is settled” – it’s a pretty meaningless expression. There are a number of scientific questions around the issue of AGW and our understanding of the answers is good in some cases, not so good in others. The question is whether our overall understanding of the subject is sufficient for us to consider that there is a real problem which requires action – obviously people on my side of the argument believe that this is the case and this view is shared by the large majority of national governments, including those of USA, China and India. Or do you believe they are saying one thing in public and another in private?

        The lack of an agreed plan of action does not neccsessarily contradict this – agreeing what actions should be taken is bound to be difficyult. I dare say you are right that economic issues and concerns about unintended consequences are factors in this, the latter is recognised in the Durban agreement, but I see no evidence that uncertainty about the need to take action has been an issue or that action has been delayed due to uncertainties in the science. And as David Wojick has pointed out, there has been meaningful progress in putting together the conceptual framework for a final agreement.

        The 2C target is to an extent arbitrary, as such targets tend to be – but they are useful in providing a focus so there is something concrete to aim for. I think it’s about the right level, just about achievable and avoiding the worst consequences of AGW (although still not desirable).

      • Or do you believe they are saying one thing in public and another in private?

        In truth, I think that many in the international audience think the emperor has no clothes but nobody has yet had the courage to stand up and say so. This is why we get weasel words and no action. It will go on for years until everyone dies of boredom!

      • The 2C target is to an extent arbitrary, as such targets tend to be – but they are useful in providing a focus so there is something concrete to aim for. I think it’s about the right level, just about achievable and avoiding the worst consequences of AGW (although still not desirable).

        It could be achievable in terms of the temperature rise this century, but more and more it seems to me achievable with the caveat “in the short term.” Significant amounts of carbon are emerging from the permafrost and from the oceans; droughts, the spread of pathogens, and warming temperatures threaten to accelerate the loss of forest coverage.

        It’s a grim calculus, but absent geoengineering, the realistic discussion to have may be “We are headed for a +4C world. Do you want centuries to adapt before it gets here, or mere decades?”

  29. The Durban agreement is a profoundly interesting compromise. Like all the COPs it is an exercise in the diplomatic art of the possible. They solved the two biggest technical problems, clearing the way for a possible agreement at a later date. Whether such an agreement will ever occur is unknown, and I rather doubt it will, but that is tomorrow’s issue.

    The basic problem was that the original UNFCCC doctrine of differentiated responsibilities had been overtaken by events, especially China’s emissions exceeding the US emissions. That problem has now been resolved in principle, as I understand it anyway, and everyone will take cuts, later. Time will tell.

    The second problem was how to collect and distribute the $100 billion a year that has been promised to the developing countries by the developed countries. That system has now been designed. The money is supposed to flow later, maybe it will and maybe it won’t.

    So all and all a great deal was accomplished, conceptually. On the other hand there is no actual agreement on mitigation, no cuts, no targets, nothing except the general 2 degree ceiling. This ceiling is where the science comes in, the only place, but central in principle. How the ceiling translates into total allowable emissions depends on the sensitivity.

    What we have is a diplomatic compromise between agreement and collapse, which is an unenforceable agreement to agree, and pay, at a later date. The game is still on but the pressure is off. All sides can now rebuild their forces, or not.

  30. ad adaptation funding for climate change related extreme weather:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/334/6057/764.summary?ijkey=M1RPTefaLMthk&keytype=ref&siteid=sci

    • This is interesting, thanks for the link

      • It’s an interesting link and topic. The willful substitution of “adaptation” for “mitigation” but maintaining as many of the totalitarian aspects of the current “consensus” as possible.

        That dog isn’t going to hunt either.

        Nor the rhetoric about “local” vs. central planned policy leadership of a similar regulatory direction. Another false choice.

    • You get the sense this has become all about funding. I think there is really a change in the air here.

      What is different is that there is a perceptible fear that the AGW funding gravy train is about to get yanked…and thus all the talk about money.

      The food fight over diminished funding will bring out the scientist’s true feelings about their peer’s work quicker than anything else. I can hear the artificial consensus starting to fracture…

  31. I notice the first three key decision bullets regard money and finances. I think that is exactly the summary of what COP17 in Durban was all about.

  32. Judith,

    The Prime Minister of Canada does surf the net. He gave a comment on JoNova about the spin the media did to his comments over a month ago.
    I have also sent numerous e-mails which some do go to different departments.
    So at least he is aware that the science “IS NOT SETTLED”.

    Only who controls the media information train is what has generated one sided reporting.

  33. I spent much time this morning sending garbage comments into the trash. I don’t really want to put anyone into moderation, but I am getting close to doing that. Please read the blog rules if your comments have been deleted here.

    • Should “denier” which is in the lexicon of most who use the term equals “holocaust denier” be acceptable in the blog rules? Or are we to pretend the perjorative can’t be explicitly assumed as such?

      • Denier is an term that is widely used and accepted in the sociological literature. So there is no getting away from this word, even though I don’t like it either

      • Eli prefers denialist which captures the professionalism without the baggage. For the Mickeys of the world, members of the de gustibus non disputandum est group, Rabett Run has rejectionists

      • I understand, it’s amazing how refined the coded messages become and how bitter the divide is. AGW itself is a coded term, when used away from the specific debate for example, that summurizes the social and political divisions of our world.

      • Judith –

        Just curious – do you think that for “most who use the term” denier equals holocaust denier?

        Or, as I do, do you see it as a derogatory term, but similar in essence to “warmist,” “warmer,” “eco-facist,” “fraud,” or any of the myriad other derogatory terms used by “skeptics” ad this site to describe people that think that more than 50% of recent global warming might with a high likelihood be anthropogenic in nature?

      • randomengineer

        Most of us choose words for a reason.

        Denier is a weak blanket term intended to slime anyone not buying the entire story. I know AGW is true yet by questioning the signal/noise ratio re certainty of human contribution percentage the Trve Believers (like you) pile on with “denier denier denier.” I *am* a denier but not of the science. Just the politics. However there’s not a term for that. This speaks to the lack of imagination of the accusatory side.

        Terms describing the others (accusatory side) are better targeted.

        I use the term “warmist” to describe believers who are certain, “alarmist” to describe the scaremongers, and “eco-fascist” (and/or variants thereof) for scaremongers using NGOs in very apparent naked power grabs. For instance the IPCC is unindated with grey literature from NGOs and the reason for this isn’t pure hearted in the least (and if you believe that anyone in the IPCC brings in grey lit with anything but political manouevering in mind, I have a bridge you may want to buy.)

      • For the great climate disputation, ‘denier’ was chosen deliberately by those who deployed to implicitly link skeptics of AGW catastrophism to holocaust deniers.
        If it is here to stay and is acceptable by even the most fair minded in the dispute, then we are in a period not so different from the 1950’s when the ‘n word’ was considered a bit crude, but OK since it was popular.
        Times do change, but bigotry stays the same.
        As to the Rabett’s fantasy that there is a nice niche industry of professinal ‘denialists’, well he is a silly rabbit. I wonder if the Rabett has saved SF Bay from the dangers of CO2 yet?

      • If the quacks of the world ( propagator’s of Canards) should learn, is that one should be very careful of poultry eg Seagulls (Chekov) ie ” not what is good but is best” eg Voltaire .

        Pangloss used now and then to say to Candide: ‘‘There is a concatenation of all events in the best of possible worlds; for, in short, had {many apparently unrelated and accidental events not happened} you would not have been here to eat preserved citrons and pistachio nuts.’’

      • I don’t understand the rules. If sociologists decide that “n****r” is ok, then it’s ok? Who’s the controlling legal authority?

      • Joshua –

        I’m not sure ‘warmist’ and ‘eco-fascist’ are often used by the same people. Warmist is pretty much an accurate description of many people including those who self-describe as ‘sceptic’. Eco-fascist only speaks about the user of the term.

        I think Cwon is completely wrong about the number of people who have the Holocaust in mind when they use ‘denier’. I’d wager it would be less than 1%. But it is often received as a particularly offensive term – perhaps like, but not as extreme as, eco-fascist.

        I’ve thought about it a great deal, and there are two reasons I don’t like ‘denier’ – less than in the past, but still noticeably. Firstly, because it is frustratingly similar to someone sticking there fingers in their ears and saying ‘nya nya nya’. It smacks of religious fundamentalism and a completely closed mind. Why? Because it implies the refusal to believe something that is self-evidently, certainly and obviously true. Except, of course in this case it only appears so to believers. Calling someone a ‘denier’ is mostly about bolstering self-certainty. There is a stark contrast with your example of ‘there being a high likelihood of more than 50% of the recent warming being anthropogenic’. This isn’t particularly contentious, but because it involves both probabilities and proportions, it simply isn’t a proposition that is appropriate to say someone ‘denies’ – it isn’t self-evidently true.

        The other reason is perhaps less applicable to quite a few ‘sceptics’ who appear on this blog. It is that I personally believe or concur with your statement about the likely anthropogenic influence on warming. However, I profoundly disagree with the assertion that this necessarily spells catastrophe for humanity. What seems to happen is a polarising use of ‘denier’ by the likes of Joe Romm, Robert, Tamino etc – If you don’t accept that the world is coming to a cataclysmic and precipitous end, you are a ‘denier’. The ‘denying’ has been shifted from influences on the climate, to mankind’s nefarious behaviour and the inevitable consequences. It is as if what is being denied is the seriousness of the alleged problem. Again, the seriousness of the problem is just speculation and guesswork – but lukewarmers, realists, pragmatists, and genuine sceptics all get called ‘denier’ because it bolsters the fevered doom-saying of the believer. Maybe like using the term ‘eco-fascist’, the word ‘denier’ says something about the mental processes and fragility of the user.

        To re-visit my first reason, there is a frustration in hearing someone saying they are so certain of their beliefs about the future that they see them as things that are patently ‘true’ [cf religious beliefs] and therefore unbelievers can be categorised as people who ‘deny’ that truth. It is frustrating because these people have convinced themselves that conversation and discussion are a waste of time. When I hear someone use the term ‘denier’ I hear someone admitting that their mind has become completely closed…. and I enjoy genuine discussions…

      • If you don’t accept that the world is coming to a cataclysmic and precipitous end, you are a ‘denier’. The ‘denying’ has been shifted from influences on the climate, to mankind’s nefarious behaviour and the inevitable consequences. It is as if what is being denied is the seriousness of the alleged problem.

        This as a talking point is not very persuasive to me, as it demonstrates a lack of understanding of what climate denial is and how the term climate denier is used.

        Someone who denies that the world is warming or that human activities are the primary cause of that warming will usually — not always — be considered climate deniers. Climate denial is a particular attitude towards the facts, not a rigid set of beliefs.

        Climate deniers are engaged in a process of rationalization, and that often carries them through multiple incompatible positions, based on the prevailing political winds. Their particular position at the moment can be suggestive of denialism, but it is really their process of reasoning (using the term loosely) that is diagnostic of the condition.

        Reality has not been kind to climate deniers, and so a high priority for deniers is to revise history, and revamp their arguments while ignoring where they have been. But obviously pro-science folks are under no obligation to forget the past. Climate deniers argued the world wasn’t warming. They were wrong. They argued humans weren’t the cause. They were wrong. The more clever among them have now shifted to arguing that radically changing the climate is safe, and there is no reason to expect negative consequences for humanity. But that is just another phase. When, like the previous arguments, that one becomes totally untenable, deniers will be ready with another fallacy — “We can’t possibly do anything about global warming” is in beta testing now, I believe.

        Now you certainly can hold any of the above beliefs sincerely without being a climate denier. And by moving to the third position, climate deniers have “caught up” with a small number of legitimate scientists and economists who, without the denier pathology to spur them on, really think that this or that consequence of global warming will not be too abrupt or severe.

        Seen in context, the myth that “We only ever doubted catastrophe was around the corner, and for that — [sob] — for that they call us deniers” is fiction, plain and simple.

      • As one might predict, Robert, continues to forthrightly employ the scurrilous term “denier.”

        Another commenter spoke of a “time-out” for trash-mouths like Robert, who would use a term with resonances of “holocaust denial” for cheap agit-prop advantage. Let me take that previous commenter’s idea and run with it a little.

        If someone offends on this blog by using the term “denier” in a comment, then I propose THE the first to spot the contemptible comment prepare a reply that states:

        DENIER COMMENT–TIME-OUT, (NAME OF COMMENTER)!

        Subsequently, then, any further comments that the offender offers on the relevant thread or on other threads for the day of the offense, be matched with the similar response, regardless of whether the further comments contain the term “denier” or not:

        DENIER COMMENTER, (NAME OF COMMENTER)–STILL IN TIME-OUT!.

        Members of this e-salon who are men and women of decency and good-will will then know not to “feed” the denier-troll in a time-out status further, for at least a day. And we’ll all be treated to the desperation of a starving troll, trying to live off the empty-calories of his fellow trolls’ poor-baby sympathy comments and nothing else.

        Let me give the idea a whirl and see if it takes off:

        DENIER COMMENT–TIME-OUT, ROBERT!

      • As so often in serious discussions, we see the climate denier proclivity for veering off into fantasy.

        Of course mike could give people time outs if this were his blog . . . but it isn’t. As Dr. Curry correctly pointed out, denial is a term from the psychological literature. It is descriptive, well established, and useful, and fantasizing about being able to punish somebody for using terminology you don’t like doesn’t change that.

      • Robert –

        We only ever doubted catastrophe was around the corner, and for that — [sob] — for that they call us deniers” is fiction, plain and simple.”

        Well, fortuitously, you have shown yourself to be exactly the closed-minded fundamentalist I was describing. Perfectly, and in a nutshell.

        I have ‘believed’ in AGW since some time in 1989. I have never, once, anywhere, in any written or verbal form, ‘denied’ it.

        And yet you have frequently, even persistently called me a ‘denier’, along with a host of other puerile epithets. It is demonstrable that I have indeed only ever ‘doubted that catastrophe was around the corner’ – for you to say this is fiction, plain and simple is a lie – because you know it is false and you mendaciously repeat it.

        If you read my first comment again open-mindedly [Ho,ho..] you will see yourself described remarkably well. Your fundamentalism needs to have any doubts about the apocalypse characterised as ‘denial’. If you were willing to see yourself as you are, you could get a glimpse of your own psycho-pathology.

      • DENIER COMMENTER, ROBERT–STILL IN TIME OUT!

        PLEASE DO NOT FEED!

      • Andi,

        Your behavior at Climate Etc has been consistently puerile, which is why it gets described that way.

        I am not interested it arguing with you about what you believed in 1989. Shortly after Dr. Curry asked people to cool it with the insults, some people decided to continue the insults in the guise of accusing others of insulting them. That to me is just the same behavior in a different guise.

        As long as you act like a climate denier, you must be expected to be referred to in that way. Since your campaign to censor the term has been rejected by our host, perhaps you might want to move on — say, to something related to Durban.

      • DENIER COMMENTATOR, ROBERT–STILL IN TIME-OUT!

        PLEASE DO NOT FEED!

      • Anteros,

        Care to sign up as my official spokesperson? Well put.

      • To Robert,

        Then why is it you have repeatedly called me a denier when what I have argued is the certainty / uncertainty of impacts from warming?

      • timg56,

        I don’t clearly recall any exchange with you.

        Drop me a link, if you’d like me to discuss it with you.

      • Still looking for that link.

      • Of course Joshua doesn’t grow off the grass. Here is Barbara on the floor of the Senate claiming essentially a science body count of 8000+ over the Xl pipeline and EPA regulations;

        http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/12/13/boxer_poison_pill_in_gop_payroll_tax_bill_will_kill_8100_people_for_christmas.html

        How many die due to the millions of jobs not formed by eco-extreme regulations? Think about what it means on a global basis.

        “Warmer” has the same perjorative value as “Holocaust Denier”? That’s the level of your reasoning Joshua?

        You now know the level of hypocrisy that supports Climate Depot, talk radio or any other bombastic reaction to your establishment culture Joshua.

      • Oh stop it with the over analysis. They use denier because it evokes an emotional reaction from the others side, it is this reaction that gives it any power at all. Banning it would be a huge mistake.

        Sticks and stones…

      • If we were using racial or mysogynistic perjoratives would that be o.k.?

        The power comes from the political society that gets to pick and choose particular rhetorical excesses. Barbara Boxer claimed a body count over EPA decisions that are certainly debatable the other day. On another she will be advocating the “Fairness Doctrine” to censor critics.

        You seem to miss the Orwellian importance of language control that is found everywhere in our society. Children are actually be brainwashed in schools everyday along these lines due to apathy. A peer of my 2nd grader at the time was sent to office for reeducation when he was heard using the term “sitting Indian style” (criss-cross applesauce is the PCliberally defined right term if you were wondering) at recess. We can’t have an authortarian PC culture on the one hand and label those against a very common political consensus “holocaust deniers” in one shot coded messaging. Silence is the wrong message.

        Look how low the society has become;

        Bill Maher a walking talking metaphor of social rot, you realize he presents himself as an “intellectual” and will be widely praised by many minions on this board.

        How’s this for civility;

        How about this use of “Holocaust”??

        Where do you think this going?

      • “If we were using racial or mysogynistic perjoratives would that be o.k.?”

        If? Have you read the comments from your fellow climate deniers? Racist and misogynistic insults are par for the course.

      • DENIER COMMENTER, ROBERT–STILL IN TIME-OUT!

        PLEASE DO NOT FEED!

      • The problem with denier is not that it is offensive.
        The problem is that it does not work.
        Ask Robert how many people he has convinced by using this term

        If your goal is to thwart action on climate change then you should ENCOURAGE robert to use the term denier.

      • The problem is that some people claim faux “offense,” just as they would use false pretenses to refute any argumentation – because their goal isn’t debate about the science, but promoting a partisan agenda.

        Are “skeptics” able to exploit faux “offense” about the term denier to their advantage? Yeah, I suppose to a marginal extent, they are – but the “problem” is far more explained by tribalists pursing partisan agendas.

        Rationalizing and/or moral equivocating for tribalists, IMO, contributes more to the problem than use of any particular term on either side of the debate.

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua, We have exchanged a few comments where you felt I focused on Robert disproportionately more than others. I told you you were right. It was for the exact reason SM stated above. Robert does not know how to deliver the message he really wants to deliver. He wants people to take action about AGW. He is genuinely concerned. And he uses all the wrong words and tactics get that job done. He insults instead of convinces. If you read this comment from Robert

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/13/durban-outcome/#comment-149982

        you will see he is capable of explaining his position civilly. This is his Dr Jekyll side… it exists but is usually overpowered by his Mr. Hyde side. How does one encourage the Dr. Jekyll?

        I have recently come to understand not to feed the Mr. Hyde side. One has to learn from mistakes and it is a mistake to engage with Mr. Hyde. When Mr. Hyde shows up, he is looking for partisan arguments. He thrives on the back and forth between his polar opposites. He is not looking to talk science, he is looking to attack, bully and belittle. Feeding this state of mind only strengthens Mr. Hyde in his own mind… he is taking action into his own hands…. he is vanquishing the deniers… doing battle for the good cause while solidifying his strong beliefs, but that dillusion is only happening in his head.

        Since Mr. Hyde’s mind is not sane, he does not see how his tactic achieves the exact opposite of what Dr. Jekyll would want. He is confirming the beliefs of his opponents as to what they are fighting. Those who engage with Mr. Hyde do so for a variety of reasons, but claiming a faux ‘offense’ is not usually the reason why.

      • John –

        I’m not going to defend the more abrasive side of Robert’s rhetorical tendencies. I will note, however, that they are not unlike those of many other frequent commenters at this blog. What distinguishes his rhetoric is that it is used on the “realist” side of the debate, as opposed to “skeptics” such as cwon, Don, pokerguy, punksta, randomengineer, Latimer, mosher, Gary, stan, mike (at least when dealing with Robert), tallbloke, hilary….. the list is long.

        I think that kind of rhetoric, on both sides of the debate, is counterproductive. I think it’s pretty funny that someone like mosher would lecture Robert about the unproductive impact of vitriolic rhetoric.

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua, what you should recognize as different between all those listed as skeptical and Robert is they don’t have their own blogs (except for Mosher). Robert has taken the further step to put out a shingle and go into the business of disseminating climate information. He has his own blog, yet has to come here to be heard. Instead of engaging in a way that might entice readers to read his blog, he chooses a tactic that repels them and the bystanders. He wants to be taken seriously, yet remains anonymous. Like a child seeking attention, he behaves badly. I’m not sure you can call his rhetoric as ‘realist’ (though I understand what you mean).

        You only find it funny about Moshers tactics b/c you have been on the receiving end. There is no comparison between the two, IMO Mosher has a far superior understanding of the science than Robert and has a greater knowledge position over most who challenge him. I would have to say he carries a lot more weight and respect. Mosher may be harsh at times, but not vitriolic.

      • Joshua –

        You have a surprising tolerance for Robert’s vitriol, even though it isn’t directed at you. And it is surely something of a euphemism to describe his bile as “the more abrasive side of Robert’s rhetorical tendencies”. If there is a more obnoxious, puerile fundamentalist on the internet I have yet to encounter them – and that includes the likes of cwon.

        Strange that you describe Mosher as a ‘skeptic’. It’s not the term I would use..

        [BTW, Don’t let my comments about Robert give the impression that I think many of those you engage with are not similar – particularly when interacting with you. They very likely are]

        My other slight bit of bafflement is that you could describe Robert as on the ‘realist’ side of the debate. Seriously? I wonder if ‘realist’ means the same thing to both of us! I suppose I should mention that dividing the debate into ‘realists’ and ‘skeptics’ seems a little bit like a Christian dividing the world into ‘clear seers’ and ‘the blind’. Of course, because you interact with the denier end of the spectrum you see the world very differently from me. FWIW I see myself as a realist first and foremost. Others I’d include in that category are Manacker, Rob Starkey, Mosher, Vaughan Pratt, RandomEngineer..

        Surely realists are somewhere in the ‘middle’ – they are the least affected by ideology and confirmation bias. They accept genuine science but remain cautious about prophecies based (mostly) on speculation and imagination. Either side of that you may have warmists and sceptics (genuine, but using the word just to make the point that they are sceptical about at least some of the alarmism they hear) Oddly enough given the debates earlier about abusive labels I’m quite happy to be called a warmist – I believe in AGW so why not – I don’t feel abused by the label. I would say that deniers and alarmists are those ‘unrealistic’ people at either end of the spectrum. So you have five overlapping groups with {to me obviously the most neutral being the ‘realists’} Warmist and sceptic are moderates of either side {although I’m happy to self-describe as both} and the ‘unrealists’ at the extremes. Of course there is the problem that many people like to see themselves in the ‘middle’ or reasonable or realistic, but a test is to ask how people feel about the prevailing mood at Joe Romm’s blog and WUWT – to my mind each an example of one of the extremes.

        Partly I’d like to redress the balance a little from what seems a slightly unjustified claiming of the term ‘realist’ for people and a position that doesn’t strike me as realistic, and partly I’d like to emphasise that point by saying – “Robert, realistic? Seriously?” I think it might be similar to calling Jim Cripwell a realist….

      • John –

        Joshua, what you should recognize as different between all those listed as skeptical and Robert is they don’t have their own blogs (except for Mosher).

        I don’t see how Robert having a blog changes the nature or quality of his rhetoric, or the effectiveness of his rhetoric. Do you think that randomengineer’s straw men become relatively more effective than Robert’s strawmen because R.E. doesn’t have a blog?

        There is no comparison between the two, IMO Mosher has a far superior understanding of the science than Robert and has a greater knowledge position over most who challenge him.

        steven knows a lot about the science, but that doesn’t change where he locates within all the different dimensions of the debate. His scientific standing carries more weight than Robert’s but his vitriol (and selective outrage, moral equivocation, constant creation of strawmen, etc.) undermine his science and the quality of his analytical approach.

        Mosher may be harsh at times, but not vitriolic.

        You might think that mosher calling me an stupid idiot, as he has many times, is just being “harsh” (in other words, speaking truth in a brutally frank fashion). But he has also called me a bigot, a racist, an anti-Semite, etc. That’s vitriol.

      • Anteros –

        You have a surprising tolerance for Robert’s vitriol, even though it isn’t directed at you. And it is surely something of a euphemism to describe his bile as “the more abrasive side of Robert’s rhetorical tendencies”. If there is a more obnoxious, puerile fundamentalist on the internet I have yet to encounter them – and that includes the likes of cwon.

        I don’t see Robert’s rhetoric to be a different animal than the rhetoric of many at this site who accuse tens of thousands of scientists of deliberately perpetrating a hoax for the purpose of destroying capitalism with nary a concern about the millions who will die as a result. I don’t see it different in kind than comparing tens of thousands of scientists to eugenicists. I don’t see it as being a different beast than routinely denigrating the intelligence and motivations of millions upon millions of people who think it is highly likely that more than 50% of recent, anomalous warming is caused by anthropogenic factors, and that such warming presents a potentially significant threat.

        Strange that you describe Mosher as a ‘skeptic’. It’s not the term I would use..

        Mosher is skeptical of the “consensus” viewpoint. I consider that to be sufficient to call him a “skeptics.” None of the labels are entirely accurate or sufficiently informative or precise.

        My other slight bit of bafflement is that you could describe Robert as on the ‘realist’ side of the debate. Seriously? I wonder if ‘realist’ means the same thing to both of us!

        I use realist in quotes in the same way that I use skeptic in quotes. Just as you think that Robert is hardly a realist, I would say that many so-called “skeptics” I read at this site are hardly “skeptics,” as they make statements that show a notable absence of skeptical analysis.

        I suppose I should mention that dividing the debate into ‘realists’ and ‘skeptics’ seems a little bit like a Christian dividing the world into ‘clear seers’ and ‘the blind’.

        Again, I use the terms in quotes. Dividing the debate into warmist and skeptic, or believer and “skeptic” are, IMO, represents a biased orientation (as warmist and believer, for the most part, carry negative connotations. I use the terms “realist” and “skeptic” because both are terms that describe how people in those groups view themselves. I use the quotation marks to connote that the descriptions are ostensible. whereas

        Of course, because you interact with the denier end of the spectrum you see the world very differently from me.

        I interact with the entire spectrum. However, I seem to be more aware of the nature of how some people participate in the debate than you are.

        FWIW I see myself as a realist first and foremost. Others I’d include in that category are Manacker, Rob Starkey, Mosher, Vaughan Pratt, RandomEngineer..

        I would call you all “skeptics” because that allows for sufficient ambiguity so as to be accurate. And btw – if you think that randomengineer and Rob Starkey are realists, then I suggest that you be sure to read their posts more carefully. The have made comments that are among the most obviously non-realist I’ve read. As a good example, read randomegineer’s recent comments about how no concern about nuclear waste is valid, and all concerns about nuclear waste are due to fear-mongering environmental extremists.

        Surely realists are somewhere in the ‘middle’ – they are the least affected by ideology and confirmation bias. They accept genuine science but remain cautious about prophecies based (mostly) on speculation and imagination. Either side of that you may have warmists and sceptics (genuine, but using the word just to make the point that they are sceptical about at least some of the alarmism they hear)

        The term “warmist” is generally used with a negative connotation. As such, I think it can’t be considered party of a neutral taxonomy.

        Oddly enough given the debates earlier about abusive labels I’m quite happy to be called a warmist – I believe in AGW so why not – I don’t feel abused by the label.

        And Lindzen doesn’t object to being called a denier. The point is to find a neutral taxonomy.

        I would say that deniers and alarmists are those ‘unrealistic’ people at either end of the spectrum. So you have five overlapping groups with {to me obviously the most neutral being the ‘realists’} Warmist and sceptic are moderates of either side {although I’m happy to self-describe as both} and the ‘unrealists’ at the extremes.

        Once again, I see a problem there in that warmist has a negative connotation that doesn’t apply to skeptics. And further, using the term skeptic for only one side of the debate implies that people on the other side of the debate aren’t skeptical. That is inaccurate. To catagorize all of the debaters, I use:

        “skeptical un-convinced/believers” and “skeptical convinced/deniers”

        Partly I’d like to redress the balance a little from what seems a slightly unjustified claiming of the term ‘realist’ for people and a position that doesn’t strike me as realistic,

        Sure – I get that, and that’s why I use “realist” in quotes. Again, I see that as balanced by using the term “skeptics” for people and a position that doesn’t strike me as skeptical.

        “Robert, realistic? Seriously?” I think it might be similar to calling Jim Cripwell a realist….

        I could substitute many denizens there for Roberts name along with the term skeptic for the term realist to make the diametric point.

      • Sorry – that should read “skeptical convinced/believers” and “skeptical un-convinced/deniers”

      • Joshua, how long have you been dealing with your: Restless Finger Syndrone (RFD/ or rural free delivery.)

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua, you say”

        “I don’t see how Robert having a blog changes the nature or quality of his rhetoric, or the effectiveness of his rhetoric. Do you think that randomengineer’s straw men become relatively more effective than Robert’s strawmen because R.E. doesn’t have a blog?”

        No Joshua, I think the opposite. By Robert having a blog… his own platform from which to speak from, he should be endevouring to have a more effective rhetorical style than those w/o blogs precisely to get them to hear him. He should be using his blog to expand his message… I think that is what he wants to do, it’s why he comes here to engage…. so he should be trying to achieve better readership… but he doesn’t.

        I have engaged with him on the purpose of his blog. He has told me it is ‘quality work for quality sake’. If one measures readership of a blog by comments left, he is not being visited by many people, so the quality of his work must not be very good. He takes the time to prepare posts, adminster his blog content etc… and then tells me it’s not about people coming to read it! Don’t you find that enigmatic? He accuses McIntyre of ‘rent seeking’ because McIntyre has used FOI’s to try to obtain data. According to Robert, McIntyre doesn’t want the data to see if he can reproduce MBH or determine whether the methods used are sound (i.e. to audit the process), no it’s to drive comment counts on his blog. Do you buy that? Does that comment sound like it comes from someone who doesn’t care whether people are visiting his own blog?

        I suppose anyone can make a blog if they wish, most who use vitriolic language here don’t have one. They are satisfied with leaving there droppings at the various sites they visit everyday and moving on. Robert has his own platform…. nobody is listening, but he wants his message to be heard. It’s b/c he uses tactics that drive people away from his real message. Robert cares that he is not being heard, it bothers him, he is angry about it. His rhetorical style needs a makeover if he wants to be successful in his endeavor… I am trying to point this out to him, trying to help him in his endeavor. Instead he thinks I am a denier, along with everyone else he meets here.

        Oh well.

    • Josh,

      The term “denier” is a scurrilous term that serves to demean and diminish one’s opponent. While there are other such terms employed on both sides of the CAGW debate, none carry the baggage of “denier”–namely, the term has subliminal resonances with “holocaust denial.”

      “Denier” is properly considered a profoundly offensive term by myself and others, which accounts for the visceral reaction to the term by those to whom the term is applied. Regardless of how one might “intend” the term, it registers as a suggestion of “holocaust denial.” After all, if the term did not have that effect, it would not get the good-fun “rise” out of those to whom it is applied and would not be so tenaciously defended by propagandists for CAGW.

      Put another way, if “denier” is used merely to refer to a person that “denies” something, then the term is innocuous in the extreme, much like the neutral term “skeptic”, for example. But “denier” is not a merely descriptive term. Rather, “denier” has an “undeniable”, high-explosive sting that even overtly offensive terms like “eco-fascist” lack. And what is the nature of that term’s nuclear-tipped “barb” if it is not its resonance with “holocaust denial?” There is no other reasonable explanation for the term’s agit-prop mega-punch and the singular favor it finds among zealots of the CAGW orthodoxy than its subliminal resonance with “holocaust denier”.

      Do I think that those who use the term “denier” actually regard skeptics as “holocaust deniers?” No, rather I regard them as contemptible opportunists whose true-believer zeal for their ideology allows them to cynically exploit the “denier” term and its overtones of “holocauast denial” to advance their cause–and to play the wounded innocent when called on their repellent language.

      • Well put Mike. As the platform of science “authority” faded it came down to attacking dissent and defaming. The “anti-science” meme is another method that ties to the ancient academic/media roots of “we’re smarter” on almost any policy debate over the past 75 years. Consider every article on Presidential intellects you’ve ever read in the NYTimes for example.

        Regardless, the denier perjorative is in the shameless Hall-of-Fame.

      • cwon.

        I think you should encourage Robert to use the term denier. The more he uses it the better.

      • cwon14,
        I love for Robert to use ‘denier’ in every post.
        I love for Robert to track his own movements at his own blog and come here trolling for traffic.
        I love for Robert, who obviously has no understanding of science, to post as if he is an authority on it. I love for him to be a 2-d cartoon parody of a believer, unable to do anything but what he does.
        And I hope he does it a lot and for a long time.
        He is a very good friend to the skeptic cause, after all.

      • mike –

        Thanks.

        Regardless of how one might “intend” the term, it registers as a suggestion of “holocaust denial.”

        From what I see, there’s a whole lotta faux “outrage” about the use of the term. The main reason why I feel that way is many of those most “outraged” will turn around and let fly with “Eco-fascist” and “eugenicist” at the drop of a hat. And further, I find it more than interesting that many of the same people who seem most upset by the term “denier” are very likely to be among those who most frequently bemoan the kumbaya mentality of concern about “politically correct” language.

        I’ll remind you that among “skeptics” we have people who called accused Santer of “scientific cleansing” even as they claim to find the use of “denier” to be “outrageous.”

        IMO, those aspects don’t justify the use of the term denier (no Mommy, mommyism from me), but it does undermine the argument that the objections I here are based on some sense of moral offense. I don’t agree that “denier” is any less unfairly derogatory than “Eco-fascist” or “eugenicist.” Even “warmist” and the long list of other derogatory terms , like “denier” intended, specifically, to get a rise rather than to communicate something of substance.

        Now I’m regularly insulted here at Climate Etc. I’ve had my intelligence demeaned, been called a bigot, a racist, an anti-Semite, a liar, “scum,” analogized to eugenicists, called a statist, etc. – often — often times multiply in any particularly thread. I find it hard to take “outrage” about the use of the term “denier” seriously when it often comes from people who let such insults slip so easily off of their fingertips.

        In fact, while I believe it is theoretically possible for someone to be genuinely offended by the term “denier,” for the most part I see objections as coming from people who seek to exploit the use of the term as yet another weapon in their climate battle (I won’t go so far as to call it “contemptible opportunism,” because I think of it more as run-of-the-mill tribalism. And indeed, I would see partisan exploitation of the phenomenon of holocaust deniers by “skeptics” to be no less objectionable than the exploitation of the term by “realists.”

        I think that denier – devoid of the holocaust-denying connotation – is an accurate term for some folks in the debate (in contrast to skeptic, or even perhaps “skeptic”) – and I think it is rarely used to compare someone to a holocaust denier (although it may indeed, unfortunately, sometimes be used that way).

        FWIW, I never use the term without making it clear that I use the it to refer to one end of a spectrum of “skeptical un-convinced/deniers,” but because I tend to take your comments at face value, you’ve convinced me that I should change my terminology to “skeptical un-convinced/rejectionist.”

        I highly doubt, however, that you will see one measure of drop in the use of similarly derogatory terms (I don’t agree with your hierarchy of offensiveness that makes “fascist” any less derogatory a charge than “denier”) used by our much beloved “skeptics” here at Climate Etc. I’d like to be wrong, but I highly doubt that I will be.

      • “and I think it is rarely used to compare someone to a holocaust denier”

        Go no further, this is an idiotic statement in regards to the AGW eco-left meme that is so attracted to the hate speech aspect of the term.

      • cwon –

        Go no further, this is an idiotic statement in regards to the AGW eco-left meme that is so attracted to the hate speech aspect of the term.

        There is no way to determine an “objective” truth there. It is my opinion that it is not generally used in a way to connote holocaust denier. In your opinion it is.

        But please note – I stated my opinion as an opinion whereas you stated your opinion as a fact (with an insult thrown in not only to me but a larger group of people also, for good measure).

        It is that type of inability to control for subjective influence that unfortunately characterizes the viewpoints expressed by many participants in the climate debate. I will also note that such a line of argumentation is notable not skeptical in nature.

      • That’s a classic, R.E.

        I’m pretty typical of Joshuas of the world, even though I don’t share the opinions that you attribute to the Joshuas of the world.

        In other words, even when you wrong, you’re right, because you say so.

        I love you guys.

      • You are right josh. Many of the self-righteously indignant “skeptics” holler about the “denier” label, just to hang something stinky around the necks of you smarmy warmistas. In some cases (eg your sidekick bobbie) it is well-deserved. However, sometimes the use of the “denier” label is appropriate. As in the case of the morons who deny the reality of basic radiative physics. I can recall using the word myself to describe some of those clowns. A certain Bruce comes to mind.

        Anyway, you are a whinging crybaby and you should expect to be called a lot of names for your incessant disingenuous babbling and compulsive hijacking. You are scum, but I don’t recall anyone ever calling you anti-Semitic. If anyone did, he/she is confused and doesn’t know you like I do. You are an anti-Christian bigot.

      • randomengineer

        Mike — The term “denier” is a scurrilous term that serves to demean and diminish one’s opponent.

        I’m going to side with Joshua and Robert here. There was never any intent that I can see that ever equated denier with holocaust anything. In fact holocaust has never been mentioned by *any* accusers that I know of, only as defense by the accused trying to rally sympathy.

        Rather, the use of denier dates back only to where Al Gore got the idea to declare the science settled — i.e. attacks on science by fundamantslists DENYING the reality of evolution. Scientists soon learned that it was easier to simply go on about science than it was to debate fruitcakes. Evolution is settled. Climate folks look at this. Hmmm. That’s all you have to do? No problem. It’s settled then because just like evolution 99.99% of all dentists agree — whoops not dentists damn it we meant scientists here — that this is the view. We call this a consensus. What, you think Gore made this up? Please. No more than he invented the interwebs.

        You can tell I’m right, too — to this day the Joshuas and Roberts of the world are convinced that due to the similarity of attack that the anti-evolution and climate skeptics are from the same crowd. In fact many of the ‘denier denier nyah nyah’ comments from these poster types on other sites also include snark in the form of “you probably deny evolution as well…” etc. This is why I referred to it as a blanket putdown earlier, nobody’s thought of a better one yet.

        If you don’t like the term denier or the use thereof, you can thank your friendly local bible thumpers for this.

        (OK, I reckon I’ve managed to offend *everyone* by now.)

      • I don’t have any local bible thumpers. I’ve never met any such person. I think they’re a hoax. I don’t think they exist. Yes, that makes be a bible-thumper denier.

      • R.E.

        You can tell I’m right, too — to this day the Joshuas and Roberts of the world are convinced that due to the similarity of attack that the anti-evolution and climate skeptics are from the same crowd.

        I do have to give you credit. You have an unbroken string is mischaracterzing my opinions in each of every one of your posts where you reference my opinion.

        Nice job. It must be hard to be so categorically inaccurate.

      • randomengineer

        Joshua

        You are pretty typical of the “Joshuas and Roberts of the world” archetype, just the other day trying to impugn Santorum (if memory serves) for being religious therefore “obviously” at odds with science. The scrotal torsion alone on the amount of spin you put on anything said here could sterilise an elephant.

      • Sorry, R.E. –

        I posted this in the wrong location.

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/13/durban-outcome/#comment-150084

      • R.E. you should rethink the history of the talking point; “deniers”;

        http://www.climatescam.com/rich_text_13.html

        It’s nothing unique to the culture we are talking about, today the chief clown referenced Caspar Milquetoast Romney and linked him to the KKK to make some idiotic point. They did apologize but hey, this is how it goes.
        If you want to put your head in cultural sand and play make-believe denmier isn’t a culturally coded smear with direct links to Holocaust comparison, it’s your choice.

        We could talk about the general intellectual insecurity found in liberal circles, the need for gutter politics aimed at the lowest classes as well or the need to dominate that enclave called the academic elite through bully tactics and intimidation. We could talk about the links to political correctness which is very related. You could read more Orwell and see exactly how our society and the forces behind word lexicons are modeled.
        AGW is dominated by a leftist subculture, deniers is coded perjorative. Robert, Martha and Joshua in different degrees are perfect confirmations of the hate base of AGW and links to that culture.

      • randomengineer,
        Actually the term was picked specifically to get in a neo-nazi implication against skeptics.

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

        “Journalists and newspaper columnists including George Monbiot[10] and Ellen Goodman,[11] among others,[12][13] have described climate change denial as a form of denialism.[8][9] Several commentators, including Goodman, have also compared climate change denial with Holocaust denial,[11][12][13]”
        Clearly our own special trolls use the term in the spirit as the old southern racists would bitterly use the “ni**er” word against African Americans who were not behaving according to the racist’s expectations: as a dehumanizing epitaph designed to freeze, not advance communications.
        People can choose to use it here or not. The hateful ignorance of those people who choose to use it hatefully and ignorantly comes through, no matter their long winded rationalizations.

  34. o/t

    A great link from Willis addressing the peak oil fallacy;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/13/the-rp-ratio/

    • WebHub –

      I’d be interested in your reaction to this, if you’re not too apoplectic. It doesn’t begin to address cost/EROEI changes but if you ignore that and the hyperbole, it’s just a ‘slow decline’ meme.

      • Anteros, I don’t think that disagrees with what Web says. There are plenty of proven reserves that are not cost effective to extract. Peak oil is dependent on technology and need. Conventional reserves have peaked. Fracking shale for gas or oil gets a quick boon with a rapid reduction in production, so it takes dozens of older wells to produce what on fresh one will. There is still plenty of reserves, just takes more time and money to produce.

    • Not a great piece. R/P or P/R ratio is meaningless unless you understand what is happening in the production model. The industry reports as reserves based whatever the proportional draw-down rate is, thus P/R is an average proportional production rate and has been fluctuating around 0.05 for a long time (see the Oil Shock Model). The P/R can drop down below this point if the oil gets harder to extract or a demand slowdown shock occurs. The latter happened in the 1970’s/ 1980’s. The P/R ratio can go up if they have to extract it faster (as in off-shore) or if a positive demand shock occurs. The problem is that the P/R ratio can only go up so much because of physical limitations of extraction.

      The misleading part of the story is the focus on reserves instead of a key parameter known as URR, or Ultimate Recoverable Resources. Reserves are not the same as URR, as the latter is the actual estimate based on discoveries.

      Looks like poor Willis got suckered by the same multinational / government accounting agencies that want us to believe that AGW is a huge problem. Funny how these people are now your friends.

      • Web –

        As I said, I think you have to get past Willis’s spin – an optimistic one – to see him just saying the decline will be less dramatic and painful than out-and-out doomers suggest.

        The problem is that the P/R ratio can only go up so much because of physical limitations of extraction.

        This is exactly what Willis admits. He doesn’t say URR is anything other than what it is – finite but changeable (depending) and therefore currently unknown. And I think the P/R ratio is indeed very important in that many people simply don’t understand it. Thirty years ago when some people were keen to say “there’s only thirty years of oil left” most people took that literally. They do today – I hear it all the time, so if you can get past the simplistic spin Willis puts on his analysis, he is saying something very important [to those who don’t understand that the ’45 years of oil left’ is not a completely fixed number] You don’t need reminding of that, but the vast majority of people do.

        Will it be at least ‘economical’ to recover the majority of the 1.75 trillion barrels of Canadian tar sands, in the next hundred years? Quite possibly, and the caveat that the cost will be greatly in excess of that for Saudi crude doesn’t change the reality that it is therefore likely to be used. It isn’t good news AGW-wise, but in terms of making the decline of oil production slower and less dramatic it is quite important. Yes, people need to be reminded of increasing costs and energy required for extraction, but I’d say that is only as relevant as noting the change over time of the P/R ratio. Both things need to be high-lighted.

      • I think the argument behind the argument is that the peakers seem to think that we’re going to be humming along, pumping tens of millions of barrels a day, and then one day it’s going to go burp, and that’ll be the end of it. This isn’t going to happen. What will happen as that ration keeps shifting is that the price will go up.

        As the price goes up, alternatives and conservation will become more attractive, and there will be a gradual shift to using less.

        Which leaves me baffled. The peakers and the thermotarians are largely the same people. But if the peakers are right, the transition will happen on its own. The only scenario where you can make the pitch for policy is if the thermotarians are right, and the peakers are wrong.

        Yes, the thermotarians are also on about coal, but that’s got to have a similar dynamic, no?

      • P.E. talks like most people that study peak oil as part of environmental economics. There is a separate category called doomers who are a spin-off of the pure analysts, and they think everything will go downhill. The other extreme category is the cornucopian who doesn’t believe in resource constraints at all. As far as I am concerned, if you are not a cornucopian, but don’t believe in doom scenarios, then you are still a peak oiler.

      • I have kept track of commenters on Climate Etc, and I think that Hagen, Wakefield, Anteros, and Dave Summers are skeptical about the degree and impact of AGW, but agree with the concept of peak oil. Dave Summers is interesting because he is the founder of http://TheOilDrum.com, a professor of mineral engineering, and he doesn’t believe in AGW at all.

        I am the lone wolf on the AGW front here that considers the arguments concerning AGW and Peak Oil to be equally valid. Most everyone else that believes in AGW keeps mum about peak oil because it does not change their argument, but they then have to shift to coal as their big concern.

        Manacker is in-between and keeps changing his belief system depending on what argument he wants to make. He says the constraints on fossil fuels will limit how much AGW we will get. You say that the risk mitigation will happen on its own in this case. True, but businesses engage in risk mitigation everyday and we can educate them on how to do this right.

      • The other extreme are the geogenic oilers. Yeah, they’re definitely nuts.

      • And for the record, I think a couple of things are obvious: 1) CO2 will have some measurable effect on climate, and 2) eventually oil will become prohibitively expensive. These aren’t yes/no questions. They’re “how much” questions. It’s the “how much” analysis that sends people out into the weeds of lunacy.

      • Web you said two things, “Most everyone else that believes in AGW keeps mum about peak oil because it does not change their argument, but they then have to shift to coal as their big concern. ”

        And “True, but businesses engage in risk mitigation everyday and we can educate them on how to do this right.”

        I don’t see much indication that AGW members can educate anyone on reasonable risk mitigation when uncertainty means kill industry. They demonize big whatever but over regulate entrepreneurs. Most of the skeptics are engineers. They solve problems. They don’t whine about problems because problems are opportunities. That is the biggest divide in the debate. Now how are y’all going to educate the “them” on risk mitigation?

      • Cap’n.

        I don’t quite understand what’s going on with you, but this post is just full of holes.

        I don’t see much indication that AGW members can educate anyone on reasonable risk mitigation when uncertainty means kill industry.

        Kill industry? Everyone that thinks that more than 50% of recent warming is likely to be anthropogenic, and that the rate of recent warming suggest danger to our future, therefore wants to “kill industry?”

        They demonize big whatever

        big whatever?

        but over regulate entrepreneurs.

        Do “they?”

        Most of the skeptics are engineers.

        Data? Evidence?

        They solve problems.

        Virtually every day I I use one thing or another that shows that an engineer solved a problem badly.

        They don’t whine about problems because problems are opportunities.

        Have you not seen the amount of hand-wringing and pearl-clutching that takes here among some “skeptics” on a daily basis?

        That is the biggest divide in the debate.

        So, if I got you right, the “biggest divide” in the debate is that the people you agree with are uniformly completely noble and sensible problem-solvers, and the people you disagree with uniformly whining idiots. Did I get that right?

      • Web, and P.E –

        Much of this [but obviously not all] is down to terminology – I agree with P.E and, if you like, that makes me an AGW believer and a peak oiler. For the latter idea, I think that changes in price/cost will accompany the diminution of supply – and therefore the changes in use/substitution. the fact that it will not be a completely smooth process doesn’t necessarily mean there will be famines and catastrophes and a global ‘lights out’. I think one of the reasons some peak oilers see catastrophe is because they think the vast majority of the population – including the educated decision-makers – are completely unaware of the realities of future production possibilities, including cost. They appear to the peakers as ‘blind’ to reality.

        I’m maybe becoming more ‘AGW’ as time goes by, but I still don’t see catastrophe or anything like it. I think that if, over the next ~200 years most of the coal and most of the unconventional oil are utilised then the climatic impacts will be dramatic and profound. I doubt, at the same time, that it will have much of an impact on the life of the average human being.

      • Joshua,

        It is not that hard to see. The EPA limit for radiation for Yucca mountain is almost not measurable in the background radiation of the area. “The human-intrusion standard sets a dose limit of 15 millirem per year during and up to 10,000 years after the repository closes.” Your average background radiation dose is around 500 millirem per year. In my opinion, that is over regulation due to no threshold linear modeling, a tool to over regulate anything. That’s is one reason some many people fight things you may feel make sense, like passive smoke, because it set unrealistic precedences based on flawed statistics.

        BTW, I think drinking water in Hotlanta is about five times the Yucca mountain limit.

        About every day you read about engineers doing something badly? More often than not they don’t do badly, but it is hard to make a mistake unless you ARE doing something :) My job used to be finding engineering mistakes and there were people whose job was to find my mistakes. It is a system that works pretty well.

      • Cap’n

        Yucca is a very complex political issue, with multiple variables in play and a multiplicity of stakeholders.

        Regulation of nuclear energy more generally is a complex issue with multiple variables in play and a multiplicity of stakeholders.

        I’m not suggesting that “over-regulation” is a completely unknown, or that “over-regulation” is not a potential outcome of some environmental advocacy, but a simple line between cause-and-effect WRT over-regulation, with “them” being the cause, is an insufficiently comprehensive analysis.

        To take such an approach would be tantamount to a simplistic linkage of cause-and-effect of “under-regulation” to the other “them,” and I would argue that “under-regulation is probably just as, if not more, prevalent.

        You say that despite my ability to virtually every day finding something that could have been engineered better, engineers more often than not “don’t do badly.” I would agree with you there – and that is exactly my point. It would be wrong to say that all engineers do poorly simply because I can find many examples of errors they make. It would be simplistic. It would miss important caveats and qualifiers.

      • WHT

        You write:

        Manacker is in-between and keeps changing his belief system depending on what argument he wants to make. He says the constraints on fossil fuels will limit how much AGW we will get.

        It appears that you are confused, WHT.

        I do NOT “keep changing my belief system” (unless, of course, I run across new credible evidence, which I certainly have not done from you).

        I have quoted a 2010 report from WHO on “proven fossil fuel reserves” as well as “inferred possible total fossil fuel resources in place”.

        http://www.worldenergy.org/documents/ser_2010_report_1.pdf

        The first number is similar to the BP data cited by Willis Eschenbach for oil or other estimates I have seen (O+GJ, Wiki, etc.)

        The second figure is over three times as high:

        Oil: 5,078 billion bbl
        Gas: 486 trillion cubic meters
        Coal: 2,462 Gt

        These optimistically estimated total fossil fuel resources contain a total of 3,067 Gt carbon (GtC). Adjusting for the amount of oil and natural gas that is used for non-combustion end uses, these total fossil fuel resources represent a total combusted carbon content of 2,873 GtC.

        Using the CDIAC data on historical CO2 emissions (expressed as tons of carbon), one can back-calculate the total amount of fossil fuel carbon combusted to date.

        http://cdiac.ornl.gov/ftp/ndp030/global.1751_2007.ems

        This is around 400 GtC.

        Other estimates of specific fossil fuels used to date give similar values.

        IOW we have used to date: 400 / (400+ 2,873) = 12% of all the fossil fuels that were ever on our planet.

        And we still have ~88% left to go.

        At current usage rates, we would have enough to last 300+ years. At assumed average future consumption rates, this would last 150-200 years.

        [Note that this is much higher than Willis’ estimate, which is based only on oil and only on proven reserves. Note also that for simplification, I have assumed that the fossil fuels are interchangeable through extisting conversion processes.]

        The 2873 Gt C represent 10,536 GtCO2 when combusted. Assuming that 50% of this “remains” in the atmosphere (as is now the case), this would cause an increase in CO2 concentration of 675 ppmv.

        We now have 390 ppmv. So the maximum ever possible CO2 concentration from all optimistically estimated fossil fuels on our planet = 390 + 675 = 1,075 ppmv.

        That’s it WHT.

        Ain’t no’ mo.

        So what we can conclude is:

        – optimistically estimated total fossil fuel resources remaining on our planet represent around 2,900 GtC equivalent
        – to date we have combusted roughly 400 GtC equivalent or 12% of all the fossil fuels that were ever on our planet
        – the remaining fossil fuels would last us ~300 years at current usage rates and maybe 150-200 years at future rates (?)
        – when all the fossil fuels remaining on our planet have been totally used up, the atmospheric CO2 concentration will have increased to around 1,065 ppmv.

        Hope this clears it up for you, WHT.

        Max

      • Joshua, proper regulation is sorely needed.

        http://ourhydrogeneconomy.blogspot.com/2011/05/fallout-over-moving-radiation-goal-post.html

        I wrote that following the Fukushima situation. The EPA overruled the NRC standards for Yucca mountain. Quite a few united concerned scientist are on the EPA’s side. There is nothing in the NRC or the IAEA standards that is not conservative. You should send some of your sweet potatoes to get them analyzed for radiation some time. Stay away from Brazil nuts, too.

        Think what happens when you set too optimistic standards then have to change to more realistic standards when something happens.

      • Dallas –

        Environmentalists don’t create all the concern about radiation that exists. It exists among the public for a variety of reasons, and the activism of environmentalists is only one of the reasons.

        This reminds me of reading that environmental activists exploited TMI to ruin the nuclear industry in this country; yet, amazingly enough, the slowdown in the building of nuclear plants began well before TMI.

        No doubt, environmental activists have presented obstacles to the growth of nuclear energy, but they are hardly the full explanation.for our lack of nuclear energy. Legitimate concern plays a role. Irrational fear that is not related to environmental activism plays a role. Mistakes and fraud by the nuclear industry plays a role. Financial realities (leading to nuclear energy only in countries with highly centralized energy policies and extensive public funding with the possible exception of Finland) play a role.

        Do you think that maybe, must maybe, Hiroshima might be at least partially explanatory for high levels of Japanese concern about radiation independently of the impact of environmental activism?

        During the first 40 years that nuclear waste was being created in the United States, no legislation was enacted to manage its disposal.

        Should we blame that lack of “proper regulations” on libertarians and anti-environmentalists, or should we look at it as a product of multiple factors, including the political leanings of all stripes?

      • Joshua, I am a centrist, both sides piss me off :)

      • Most of the skeptics are engineers.

        This statement is false. By sheer numbers most of the skeptics are definitely not engineers. There are approximately 2 million engineers employed in science and engineering positions in the USA as of 2006.
        So if 20% of the total population is skeptical, engineers are vastly outnumbered by people without engineering degrees just by running the numbers.

        Now you asked about educating people. I try to educate people by writing about what I learn. It sounds pedantic, but that is what I can offer.

      • There is very little evidence that 5,078 billion barrels of oil is recoverable. The amount of crude oil estimated recoverable is 2000 billion to 3000 billion, with the 3000 on the very optimistic side (I use 2800 billion to generate a margin for optimism). So that means the 2000 to 3000 billion that you predict will get extracted probably won’t, and especially not at the rates or efficiency that the first 1000 billion got extracted.

        The point is that we will see big changes in crude oil usage well before your targeted dates. Like climate science, its all about accounting of the energy flows. However, the extrapolation for crude oil is much easier because of the wide dynamic range in the trends. Instead of seeing a couple degrees change in a 300 degree kelvin baseline, the slowdown in crude oil discoveries over the years amounts to at least 80%. That would be the equivalent of having the earth’s temperature drop to 60 degrees kelvin, below liquid nitrogen temperatures. That is a crazy analogy, but the world will never recover to the discovery rates we saw peak around 1960.

        That realism in the accounting is what peak oil is all about.

      • Web –

        You say that ” the world will never recover to the discovery rates we saw peak around 1960.

        That realism in the accounting is what peak oil is all about.”

        To me this is odd. Nobody with some degree of realism or pragmatism is expecting discovery rates to go up again – ever. Even Willis E doesn’t. If you want to work with 2.8 trillion barrels as what might be practically recoverable, that’s fine by me.

        I don’t have a relevant graph handy, but I’m sure that a modest decline in use [through whatever cause, production decline, cost, substitution, AGW mitigation etc] of 1% a year would still leave some unused – it still isn’t necessary to have a greater than 1% decline. So I’m still not seeing the looming problem. Do you think the expression ‘Peak Oil’ necessitates a belief in something dramatic happening – something with very negative consequences? I just see it as one of the many changes that have occurred in resource use over the history of humanity. It’s a big dramatic change but it will be spread over many many decades. It may be more profound in America than anywhere else but I still don’t see big problems.

      • The science of resource depletion is a gaping hole in research and academia. If anyone can come up with a name of any analyst that has done a complete and comprehensive study of oil depletion, I am all ears. For an industry that has made trillions of dollars over the years and forms the energy backbone for manufacturing and transportation, I find that very odd. There is no “bible” or standard reference to speak of.

        Name some people associated with depletion analysis and I will give you an opinion of their strengths and weaknesses.

        Manacker’s view of the situation is very corporate and international agency influenced, very similar to an IPCC view of climate science. They will say and report anything to keep the Business as Usual going and make sure that their corporate and nation-state customers will make money while they can. Very similar to the inertia behind the green technology movement, but now we are talking about some real money, not the penny ante stuff behind climate science.

        Or are the climate science discussions at Durban just a smokescreen to work in adaptation for the topic no one wants to write about?

        Check James Hamilton’s update for a start:

        http://dss.ucsd.edu/~jhamilto/handbook_climate.pdf

        Oil Prices, Exhaustible Resources, and Economic Growth, 12-9-2011,
        Prepared for Handbook of Energy and Climate Change.

      • WHT

        You write:

        There is very little evidence that 5,078 billion barrels of oil is recoverable. The amount of crude oil estimated recoverable is 2000 billion to 3000 billion, with the 3000 on the very optimistic side (I use 2800 billion to generate a margin for optimism).

        Take it up with the World Energy Council, WHT.

        They show “proven oil reserves” at 1,239 billion bbl (O+GJ shows 1,317 billion bbl), but this excludes worldwide shale deposits added tar sands, heavy oil/bitumen, other conventional sources, such as Arctic, Greenland, OCS, etc. Adding these in, WEC arrives at “inferred possible total recoverable petroleum resources in place” of 5,078 billion bbl, or around four times the “proven reserves”.

        This is the “upper end” estimate I have used.

        Max

      • “Take it up with the World Energy Council, WHT.”

        That is so hypocritical, Manacker. Like the IPCC, the World Energy Council is a bureaucratic organization comprised of the same world leaders that think they know what is best for individual citizens from sovereign nations.

        But why then endlessly criticize the IPCC, but not the World Energy Council for the numbers that they come up with? At least the IPCC relies on scientifically peer-reviewed material for most of their findings. The World Energy Council relies on absolutely no scientifically peer-reviewed material, instead pushing data and weak predictions made by energy industry consultants, such as CERA.

        So I looked at their report “”2011 Assessment of country
        energy and climate policies”. As for reference material, all I find are links to other bureaucratic organizations such as the IEA’s World Energy Report, and to policy papers written for soft scientists. This is as far from a scientific study as you will find, yet you rely on this for your feeble projections?

        “They show “proven oil reserves” at 1,239 billion bbl (O+GJ shows 1,317 billion bbl), but this excludes worldwide shale deposits added tar sands, heavy oil/bitumen, other conventional sources, such as Arctic, Greenland, OCS, etc. Adding these in, WEC arrives at “inferred possible total recoverable petroleum resources in place” of 5,078 billion bbl, or around four times the “proven reserves”.”

        How exactly do they come up with that number, huh? Is it based on scientifically peer-reviewed research? Find one journal paper that looks into the Arctic or Greenland, for example. Or that does an analysis which looks at the potential for new plays, relative to what has been discovered.

      • randomengineer

        Environmentalists don’t create all the concern about radiation that exists.

        Of course they do. What you call “legitimate concern” of the population is derived from 30 years of environmental activism influencing (left leaning) comedey routines, (left leaning) movie dialogue etc which itself lends an air of legitimacy (i.e. “lots of people think X is true and I grew up hearing this so X is very likely to be true.”)

        There is no legitimate concern regarding nuclear power that is not spoon fed by activists. Hell even NASA has to play along by not publicising launch dates of probes with RTG units due to the protests by the tinfoil brigade.

        Meanwhile in medicine hormeosis studies are under a “practical” ban because the very idea that radiation over background dose being good for anyone can destroy careers and cause other undefined problems (such as undoing the godlike work of the EPA zealots.)

        I can’t conclude that you have any useful knowledge on this matter.

  35. • A focussed (sic) work programme (sic) on long-term finance was agreed, which will contribute to the scaling up of climate change finance going forward and will analyse (sic) options for the mobilisation (sic) of resources from a variety of sources. – A fund set up by contributing countries to help those in times of need seems noble, and who would argue against helping your fellow man, however “mobilisation (sic) of resources from a variety of sources”, sounds pretty ominous as we all know just where those resources are going to come from.
    My biggest concern, however is here – “The most vulnerable are to receive better protection against loss and damage caused by extreme weather events related to climate change.” – Just who is going to determine whether damage caused by extreme weather is from the catastrophic warming kind or the “lesser” garden variety. Are disasters like the Pakistani floods in, but The Japanese tsunami out (not climate related) Do they believe they have a handle on just where these events will occur, and what kind of better protection to provide – just in case? Are people from the developed world going to be peachy about financing the building of massive canals, levies, sea walls etc outside their borders – just in case? Then what are the criteria for potential claimants? The potential for all kinds of skullduggery is vast.

    • KPO –

      As a thought experiment, imagine that it does turn out that extreme climate events do become more frequent and severe, and can be tied to increased CO2 emissions with much more certainty than perhaps you feel is currently supported by the evidence. I imagine you consider that a stretch, but just go with it for the sake of argument.

      If that circumstance develops, and the impact is disproportionately felt by citizens in poor countries (where the climate events may be more server and where they have fewer resources for adaptation and reaction), would there be some responsibility on the part of developed countries that emitted CO2 disproportionately, were not impacted by climate events on similar scale of severity, and which had more resources to react to and adapt to the extreme events that did occur in their regions?

      If you think that such a responsibility would exist, how would it be quantified, and would you recommend any particular mechanisms for translating that responsibility into direct actions to aid or support those most severely effected by and least capable of responding to the severe climate events?

      • er…. severe, affected.

      • Joshua
        Whether extreme weather events will become more frequent, or are tied to CO2 are beyond my expertise, but, from the back and forth, the subject of much scratching of heads nimbler than mine. I do sometimes posses a fair degree of kinship to my fellow man, and have even on occasion engaged in potential life-threatening aid (during apartheid SA). Nevertheless, where there is clear evidence that small nations cannot produce the resources to help themselves, I am all for material/financial aid, subject to this being administered responsibly. Do I think industrial nations who have built themselves up owe a “guilt tithe” to others who for various and often self-inflicted reasons are not as productive, not at all. In fact much, if not all of the “luxuries” like electricity, medicine, vehicles, electronics, etc, these populaces enjoy and desire are/were conceived and built in “developed countries that emitted CO2 disproportionately” – so it’s not like they are totally separate from the process. Anyway what I wanted to get across was WHO is going to decide between CO2 linked and naturally occurring extreme events. Are all events to be treated as AGW originated and from which date? Can they be separated? My feeling is there will be a long, long queue outside the “Extreme weather events” office pitching their worst disaster in living memory applications.

      • KPO –

        Thanks.

        I think that there is a difference between “guilt” and responsibility. Guilt, IMO, would imply a feeling in response to deliberate intent to do harm or a complete indifference to the harm one’s actions cause to others – whereas responsibility would imply only a recognition of the impact of one’s actions and moral sense that we wish to be accountable, within reason, for that impact.

        For that reason, I don’t think that there is some moral equation that needs to be balanced between the unintentional good that our actions have caused those in other countries against the unintentional harm that our actions have caused. Such an equation would be impossible to calculate with any accuracy or objectivity – particularly when you consider that those who are most harmed may have simply inherited benefits that their community might have gained rather than received those benefits directly. I think that attempting to find some balance is not only futile – but in fact misses the point.

        Anyway what I wanted to get across was WHO is going to decide between CO2 linked and naturally occurring extreme events. Are all events to be treated as AGW originated and from which date? Can they be separated?

        Good questions. But simply recognizing that those questions exist and will be hard to answer are not enough. That isn’t to say that facile answers to those questions are acceptable.

        My feeling is there will be a long, long queue outside the “Extreme weather events” office pitching their worst disaster in living memory applications.

        There may well be. But my guess is that there will also be a very long queue outside the “avoiding responsibility for the impact of my actions” office – people pitching the notion that no matter what the impact of their actions might have been, no one who feels that they have a responsibility for the impact of their actions can be trusted, and no notion that they bear some responsibility can be justified.

      • Joshua

        Not really. No more than the people in those poorer countries owe a debt to those in the richer countries for providing food for their ancestors.

      • It wasn’t that long ago when there was a term for that: “white man’s burden”.

      • randomengineer

        The United States has been steadily improving the lot of men everywhere for decades via technology and worldwide stability.

        Before entertaining any possible argument about US “theoretical” responsibility re CO2 I think those peoples worldwide whom we have helped for decades ought to be paying *us* for that ACTUAL service.

      • Agreed- Is it the fault of the US or other developed nations that less developed nations are in their current state? No. Did we prevent them from educating themselves? Did we stop them from building the things necessary to protect their citizens? No. Was the net impact of the use of fossil fuels positive? Yes

      • randomengineer

        Rob — as per KPO above the undeveloped world is the beneficiary of medicines and other wonders of modern life, so the notion that the developed world has sole responsibility for CO2 (in Joshua’s hypothetical) is intellectually bankrupt. Not that I’m surprised the hypothetical surfaced; I tend to doubt it’s hypothetical so much as a given belief to the degree that it’s an extreme-green talking point, likely from the same crowd who speaks in terms of “climate justice.”

      • If you think that such a responsibility would exist, how would it be quantified, and would you recommend any particular mechanisms for translating that responsibility into direct actions to aid or support those most severely effected by and least capable of responding to the severe climate events?

        Mechanisms tend to be the rub. The US has a history of responding generously to those hit by natural disasters, both via individual and government action. So it’s not a question of stinginess. Given the UN’s rather checkered past with aid programs, might it be more a matter of trust?

      • As a thought experiment, imagine that it does turn out that extreme climate events do become more frequent and severe,

        Pretty big stretch of the imagination. Deaths due to weather events have been going down in direct proportion to increases in human CO2. Could it be that energy production and the wealth created has allowed us to survive weather events that would have killed earlier generations?

        It seems likely that if we rely on wind and sun for energy production, that we are held hostage to extreme weather events. While if we rely on energy production that is independent of wind or sun, then we are no longer hostage to the weather.

        Thus, the introduction of fossil fuel as an energy source has allowed us to survive extremes of weather that our ancestors only a few generations ago could not. By depriving the poor of the earth of fossil fuel, by taxing it out of reach out of fears over possible harm due to CO2, we are leaving them hostage to the weather.

        The law of unintended consequences in action.

      • Josh,

        Forget about your “if” scenario. We already to send aid to poor (and rich) nations when extreme climate events occur.

        Aside from the fact I disagree philosophically with the concept of “reparations” to poor nations by rich, there is the significant issue of effectiveness and even wisdom in providing money to poor, third world governments.

        There is a reason I give money to certain organizations and not to others. Non-profits such as Catholic Charities and Unitied Way have a very good ratio of dollars donated ending up with the end user. Other, Red Cross being an example that immediately comes to mind, have a very poor ratio. Would I support my tax dollars being used to provide fresh water, low cost fuel and even climate change adaptation measures if it was the US government running the program (preferably a part that took lessons from the US military on how to effectively mobilize resopurces to achieve a task)? Yes. But support of handing over money to the UN to do it, or directly giving it to the governments of the targeted nations? Not a chance in hell.

    • How nice to see a communique spelt using proper English, rather than those ghastly Americanisms that are becoming so common nowadays.

      Pity about the content, though

      • I wonder if anybody in the ex-colony will take the bait? Of all the remarkable things that we gave to our progeny, tolerance and a sense of humour seem to have been lost along the way.

        And they like to express themselves with guns!

      • Amen to all of those sentiments, Brother.

        It is quite remarkable how North American public discourse is rarely leavened by humour. Perhaps it is because they all take themselves so very very seriously. Here and in real lfe.

      • Nonsense. It’s just a different brand of humor, that you apparently don’t grasp. American humor heavily Jewish in nature. Some of the greatest humor ever put on film was done by Mel Brooks, for example. But it’s not funny if you don’t understand it.

        As for the trolls here, they are indeed humorless.

      • I wonder if anybody in the ex-colony will take the bait

        nah, seventy years later we still understand the “under-sexed, under-paid, and under Eisenhower” syndrome ;-)

        And they like to express themselves with guns!

        only when drinking bourbon and wearing a cowboy hat ;-)

      • To see the genius of American humor in its fullest glory, here’s Union of Concerned Scientists spokesman and Michael Mann’s Twitter buddy Bill Nye doing Shatner:

      • @P.E.

        You may be surprised to know that there is a substantial Jewish community in UK and that one or two of them have become successful comedians here.You may remember Ali G, Peter Sellers, Stephen Fry and a host of others who British Jewish. And that Mel Brooks’ films have been shown here in lil ol’ England and we have somehow manage to decode some the jokes without the need for simultaneous translation and explanation I think our understanding of Jewish humour is pretty good already, my life.

        But my point was not that humour does not exist in NA. It is self-evident that it does. My point was that it is not used at all *in public discourse*. I am not expecting the entire cast of Climate Etc to burst into the campfire scene from Blazing Saddles (though many here seem to be using relevant parts of their anatomy as speaking tubes :-) ) .

        But there are no jokes here. At all. None. Jewish or Goy, Straight or Gay, Oneliners or substantial essays. As one of our great men would have said ‘there is not a single titter’. No smile breaks the serious facade. Not a hint of mirth flits across the concerned gaze of earnest folks gathered to Save the Planet …though whether from AGW or from each other is debatable. It is all deadly serious. Even the great cartoonist of the climate change industry (Josh) is British.

        I merely observe that such severity of thought is very dull and casts a bit of a gloom over proceedings.

      • Perhaps Mr Nye’s performance is funnier if you are familiar with Star Trek. It seems that he is a competent impressionist. But I found nothing there of especial wit or revelation.

      • I’ll grant you, Bill Nye is no Rowan Atkinson. Yeah, it’s only funny if you’re familiar with Shatner or if you realize that he tries to pawn himself off as a serious climate scientist.

      • Anteros,

        I love to laugh as much as shoot. I only wish I could afford to do the latter as often as I do the first.

      • The people who brought the word Benny Hill and Ricky Gervais are looking down their imperial noses at American humor? Perish the thought. You don’t even spell the word properly.

        If, as and when someone like Lenny Bruce, George Carlin or Bill Hicks emerges from your benighted isle, maybe we can talk…

      • timg56 –

        We mention guns in the UK because deep down we feel bitter that we aren’t allowed to use them. It makes us feel weedy and unmasculine. I had a pathetic air rifle when I was younger, and when I shot a Rabbit once, I swear the slug bounced off its head. Nowadays here, even that would be illegal..

        I don’t think easy access to weapons is a particularly wonderful thing [or rather, it has huge negatives] but male Englishmen are, for the most part, just jealous.

      • Paul Acciavatti –

        Fair point about Benny Hill – he made me cringe even at the time. Are you saying there aren’t any equally lousy American comedians ?

      • All right Latimer and Anteros, I’m sick of your limey taunts! Here’s some American humor–let’s see if you can handle it!

        “.”=Robert
        “?”=Robert’s colonoscopy
        “!”=Robert’s prostate check-up
        “,”=Robert’s little “thermmorrhoid” problem
        “;”=Disgusting!
        “:”=ianash visits Robert in the hospital

      • Don’t be harsh on Joshua and Robert and the other true believers, they are suffering from the effects of botched humorectomies.

      • @Paul Acciavatti

        Please read *what* I wrote, not what you stereotypically *think* I wrote. I am emphatically NOT ‘looking down my nose at American humour’. I enjoy American humour. American humour is very popular on British TV. To my mind it often has a limited range, but within that it is excellent at what it sets out to do.

        I *AM* lamenting the lack of expressions of such humour when it comes to ‘public discourse’. Your polity seems to me to be very very serious and totally devoid of any humorous lightening. Can you imagine Obama cracking a joke? Or whoever leads the Republicans? How many good jokes have there been in the entire history of Climate Etc?

        Seems to me also that by consciously avoiding such interventions, the discussion lose a lot of vim and vigour…and also self-select out a lot of people who do not necessarily want their lives filled with doom and gloom.

        I know that the American Colonies were largely populated by Puritans who wished to escape from any hint of fun or laughter, but I was surprised to find just how much of that tendency remains to this day.

        That’s all. Lighten up.

  36. 100 comments to go. Alas, I am going out so will miss the mark.

  37. Judith:
    A very good article in the Weekly Standard by Steven Hayward is at the link below. You are prominently mentioned on page 3.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/climategate-part-ii_610926.html?page=3

  38. Canada is out, proud day to be Canadian. This is nothing more that flogging a dead horse. They will keep this game going for as long as they can, making proclamations that cannot be acted upon. Their jobs depend on keeping this going. It will finally die when the last of them retires.

    • “making proclamations that cannot be acted upon”

      You might be right about AGW specifically but AGW is part of something far greater and more evil. The 60’s boomers will be replaced and that might help as well in the U.S.. As for the global attraction to Marxist command and control and the ability to gain traction at elite western social levels, I wouldn’t be to quick to write it off.

      I’m hoping for a better endgame, investigations and jail terms. Total rebuttal of the eco-extreme faction. Call me an optimist.

      • Not a chance of that is there. They will all have to die off before that happens. What will likely happen is the world debt crisis will end any attempts to fix the climate, it will be the out governments will use, and justifiably so. People like Mann, Schmidt and Jones will fade into obscurity still screaching.

  39. Food and fuel are urgent essential needs. Durban is irrelevant to both. See:
    Soaring Oil and Food Prices Threaten Affordable Food Supply Richard Heinberg (advance for pub. in UNCTAD Trade and Environment Review 2011/2012 (February 2012).

    The connection between food and oil is systemic, and the prices of both food and fuel have risen and fallen more or less in tandem in recent years (figure 1). Modern agriculture uses oil products to fuel farm machinery, to transport other inputs to the farm, and to transport farm output to the ultimate consumer. . . .
    Moreover, as oil prices rise, so does demand for biofuels, which are the only non-fossil liquid fuels able to replace petroleum products in existing combustion engines and motor vehicles. But biofuels are often made from corn and other agricultural products. As demand for these alternative fuels increases, crop prices are forced upwards, making food even less affordable. . . .
    Soaring food and fuel prices have a disproportionate impact on developing countries and on poor people in developed countries. Americans, who, on average, spend less than one tenth of their income on food, are able to absorb the higher food prices more easily than the world’s poorest 2 billion people, who spend 50 to 70 per cent of their income on food.

    Food prices clearly follow oil prices very closely. Both are almost entirely independent of CO2. Focus on solving the pain.

    • David,

      You should see the sort of responses when I comment on Real Climate about it being more important to focus on providing low cost energy and clean water to poor nations that spending it on climate change. Apparently that makes me an uncaring, money grubbing bastard willing to consign future generations into a hellish existence. Man, I’m going to have spend the next several weeks on my knees doing penance after confessing to this next Sunday.

      • timg56
        Keep up your good work. No penance needed.

        “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
        for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 NIV

        He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done. Proverbs 19:17 NIV

        If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered. Proverbs 21:13

        The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. Proverbs 29:7

  40. to sum it up:

    Durban was a flop, as indicated by the plunge in carbon prices following the “historic agreement”:

    http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/carbon-credit-market-sags-even-after-durban-climate-talks/458538/

    Similarly, the “historic agreement” on the rescuing of the Euro hammederd out by the same feckless bureaucrats is also a flop:

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-12-14/euro-falls-below-1-30-as-italy-finance-costs-rise-krone-slumps.html

    The markets have spoken. Rock bottom carbon prices, increasing sovereign debt interest rates for the Euro deadbeats, and the sinking exchange rate of the euro are the visible manifestations of the invisible hand of the market giving the finger to the recent “historic agreements”.

  41. “Just curious – do you think that for “most who use the term” denier equals holocaust denier?

    Or, as I do, do you see it as a derogatory term, but similar in essence to “warmist,” “warmer,” “eco-facist,” “fraud,” or any of the myriad other derogatory terms used by “skeptics” ad this site to describe people that think that more than 50% of recent global warming might with a high likelihood be anthropogenic in nature?”

    This is so wrong. Notice how smoothly you equate “warmist”…as in someone how thinks it’s going to get warmer….with eco-fascist and fraud to try and make your point that both camps are equally guilty. “Denier” is a despicable word. “Warmist” is not even in the same universe.

    • Obviously you are going to be more offended by terms directed at you and those you identify with rather than those you use to describe those you disagree with.

      I personally am quite fond of “warmist,” as it identifies the speaker/writer using it as someone in denial of the proven fact of global warming. But there’s no question that it is intended to be a denigrating, dismissive term.

      • I try to avoid using labels as much as possible, as they can carry (unintended or not) extraneous freight. But if I were to use one, what about CAGW believers?

      • But if I were to use one, what about CAGW believers?

        IMO, term is generally used in a derogatory manner. If you object to the use of the term “denier” for that reason, it would stand to reason that you wouldn’t use that term either. You might argue that the term is accurate, just as a “realist” might argue that the term denier is accurate.

      • Josh,

        The problem with a term like “realist” is it automatically assumes one side is correct and the other not. Personally, I don’t get hung up on the term denier, although it can be frustrating to see it applied so many times when it shouldn’t. And I guess I don’t see where the term “believer” is derogatory. I am a “believer” in the Constitution. I am a “believer” in the existence of Jesus as my savior. I am a “believer” in the abilities of the human race to solve problems. I am not a “believer” in CAGW. More specifically, I am not a “believer” in the C part of it. I have no issue with being called a non-believer. And when we all get right down to it, opinions on the issue of climate change rests as much on what we believe verses what we know. This applies to the scientists studying it just as much as it does to the man in the street.

      • tim –

        I think that “believer” – in this context – has a connotation of naivete, in that it is used to describe people who supposedly lack prudent skepticism, and often used as a characterization of someone who is supposed to be “religious” in their beliefs about climate change (in other words, their belief is derived from faith as opposed to scientific analysis).

        I think that “realist” in quotation marks is in equal balance to “skeptic” in quotation marks. Either term can be unambiguously positive in connotation, and the usage of quotation marks can imply that while someone might call themselves a realist or a skeptic, in the terms may not fit in reality.

        At some level it is silly to weigh the terms so precisely; I think that people on both sides who take offense are mostly doing so not out of true outrage but out of politically expedient outrage – but then again I think that the way that the terms are exploitatively bandied about and taken “offense” to are reflective of the lack of interest in productive debate that exists on both sides – and that using precise terms shows an interest in accuracy as opposed to empty rhetorical victories.

      • Holden’s Hypocrisy…you think?:o)

      • Joshua,
        Your definition of ‘true believer’ is spot on, and than your and so many other believer trolls for demonstrating it daily.

      • tim –

        In case you doubted it, hunter’s comment above should serve as evidence that the “believer” is used as a derogatory term just as I described.

        And please note that hunter is among the most frequently “outraged” at this blog about the term “denier.” His objection to the moral depravity of the term is so deep that he feels no need to limit his own use of terms, specifically, to demean others.

  42. J.C. writes: “Denier is an term that is widely used and accepted in the sociological literature. So there is no getting away from this word, even though I don’t like it either”

    IN my opinion Dr. C., every time you allow that word to be used you’re in some sense condoning it. No? Well suppose I called someone a “dirty Jew” and you allowed that to go uncensored, Or at least unremarked upon in your official capacity as host.

    The notion that a term, no matter how noxious, is acceptable if it’s in common currency, is clearly wrong. “Denier” is antithetical to everything your blog purports to be about.

    • pokerguy,

      The idiot bobbie made a useful (at last) comment above: he is happy to be called a warmist, because it reveals blah…blah…blah about the speaker. Similarly, when one of the smarmy idiots calls you a denier, it reveals something about the speaker. You are free here to point out, that placing a CAGC climate skeptic in the same moral and intellectual category as a Holocaust denier is a low blow. We are all adults here (mostly). Why burden Judith with policing every little insult that passes among us? What other words should be verboten?

      • Don,

        Practically speaking, I have to admit I agree with you. I’ve said things myself I’ve wished I could take back, and every time I do that I learn something. The best rules are no rules. We all reveal ourselves by the things we say and the language we use. By giving the denizens all the rope we want, some of us end up hanging ourselves. And that’s all to the good.

        That said, I do not agree that ‘denier” is a little insult. It bothers me quite a bit on many levels. It’s profoundly insulting. That it has in some quarters become an acceptable term speaks volumes.

      • pokerguy,

        Yeah, but if Judith started banning what some might consider to be profound insults, I could get most of my posts sent to the trash can. For example, If josh et al knew the original meaning of the word “punk”, they would probably start complaining about me calling them disingenuous little “punks”.

        And yeah, it’s a shame that the culture has coarsened, but those are the times we live in. I grew up talking trash in the projects, so I never knew any better. We just roll with it.

      • “The idiot bobbie . . . smarmy idiots.”

        Followed by the response:

        “We all reveal ourselves by the things we say and the language we use.”

        Indeed!

      • “Indeed!” very smarmy

      • Don,

        I find myself often in agreement with you. But could I suggest that calling Robert an idiot only places us down at his level of argument? I’m pretty sure most of us hold a similar opinion regarding much of what he posts – to the point it has become self-evident what he sounds like. Which means we should listen to the adult advice our mothers gave us about not saying anything about a person if you can’t say something nice.

        Besides, if we stop calling Robert names, he just might learn how to play nice with others. (Not that I’m betting on it.)

      • No, you don’t want to bet on that tim.

        I don’t recall my moms giving me that advice. It would have been dangerous, where I come from. As I recall, she would have said something more like “Now Donny Lee, don’t get into a hatchet fight, without a hatchet.” She was from rough-and-tumble Wolfe County, KY. (I chuckle when little idiot bobbie calls me donnie) Later, when I was a young paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne, I learned another useful variation on that philosophy. The Big Brass (way back in the rear) told us we needed to identify the “threat”, and get clearance from our local allies, before returning fire that came from nominally civilian areas, or that could be an incident of friendly fire. As we were the boys with our hind-ends on the line, we took the liberty of interpreting that to mean “When in doubt, light em up”. You want to be the ones alive to sort out any mistakes.

        I look at these scare-mongering clowns as little ends-justify-the-means socialist apparatchiks, who are trying to take my family’s money and tell us how to live. I don’t feel like giving them any respect. But you play it any way you see fit, tim.

    • I use a simple logical reply to people who call me a CC denier. It goes like this:

      “You do not know the difference been events and mechanisms. Events are things we see and measure. One can deny events, except we do not deny that the climate changes. However, CO2 as the mechanism by which the climate changes is a theory. You cannot deny a theory, only agree or disagree with it. We disagree with the theory of AGW. Hence we do not deny anything, it’s you who are mixed up.”

      • Actually one can deny the validity of a theory.

        Further, the term “denier,” as it is used, is not primarily about denying specific events, idea, or theories, but about the psychological defense mechanism known as “denial”:

        de·ni·al (d-nl)
        n.
        An unconscious defense mechanism characterized by refusal to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, or feelings.

      • Robert,

        You continue with your offensive use of the term “denier”.

        PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE ROBERT-TROLL UNTIL HE LEARNS SOME RUDIMENTARY MANNERS AND SHOWS DECENCY IN HIS DISCOURSE!

      • Robert,

        Using that definition, it is equally valid to label both sides of the discussion “deniers”. If a term is applies equally to both parties, what use is it?

      • I often find that Robert’s posts makes good sense but he tends to respond in kind if another contributor becomes abusive. IMO abuse is no more than a school yard bullyboy tactic that reflects juvenile behaviour.

        I agree with the psychological definition of the term but simply point out the reality of AGW has not been “proven” under the rules of scientific method because IMO nothing is ever “proven” by scientific method. :)

        However, the use of the term denier tells us a lot about the person who uses this term. It tells us that this person has total belief (faith?) in AGW and simply can’t understand why everyone else should not also share his or her belief.

  43. For those who are interested, Todd Stern, the US Special Envoy for Climate Change, held a special briefing by teleconference about “the outcomes related to the UN Climate Change Conference” with journalists yesterday afternoon. The transcript of that call is here –

    http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/12/178699.htm.

    I hope this is useful.

  44. Durban was for the most part a meeting of like-minded people to share their views with one another and the world. Like most large meetings of almost any focused society, any impact of those meetings can be identified by the number of new affiliations that are made with the intent of collaborative efforts. New interactions, new ideas, areas for further research are outcomes subject to measurement and can be used to assess the “success” of such a meeting. Success has little meaning if participants withdraw (Canada), will not renew their membership (Russia & Japan), or the only outcome is to meet again to discuss the same topic; deciding to decide sometime in the future. Boredom, stress fatigue, and people just moving on with their lives and work become the symptoms of a failed meeting or movement. Durban feels to me to be another data point on the downward slope of the catastrophic climate change movement. Copenhagen was the high water mark of the movement; Cancun a measurable step down, now Durban a step further down. It is time to give the “catastrophic” label a rest. There are many other climate issues which have broad support. Don’t let this opportunity to go to waste as well.

    • Durban was a meeting of the UNFCCC COP (CO 17) and no one is withdrawing, so far. It was also a meeting of the Kyoto COP MOP (boodly), but that is not important.

      • Let me be sure I understand. The objective of Durban was to hammer out a new set of treaties carrying forward the Kyoto Protocol. The withdrawal of Canada from the Kyoto Protocol, Russia and Japan planning not to renew membership are trivial wordsmithing issues to getting binding emissions reductions? The anachronisms are important? The mission and intent are…irrelevant?

      • try anachronism acronym.

    • Congratulations Bill C! Claim your prize, oh wait, there is no prize, just the honor. Hoorah.

      As the fellow who was tarred and feathered and rode out of town on a rail said, if it weren’t for the honor of the thing I would have just as soon walked.

      • thanks. i got on this afternoon when it was at 149960, thanks to some of your comments I remembered to check, and I kept refreshing once there were only 10 to go. My competitive streak is showing…

      • Once again, josh is a loser. He must be sick today. Or he has gone to RC to brush up on his talking points. His partner bobbie let him down too. Way to go Bill!

      • Don’t forget that there could be multiple 150,000th comments, and Bill C’s would therefore just become the ‘first’ 150,000th. Admittedly this takes a specific meaning of 150,000th, but it is the same as the 7 billionth human being. Nobody knows how many 7 billionth human beings there were – it could have been quite a large number.

        Judith could artificially create many 150.000th comments by deleting an extra comment of Roberts every time the number reached exactly 150,000.

        There is a different meaning of 150,000 i.e. the number of comments actually made, not those left undeleted, but that is not how we generally think of the ‘number of comments’ – we forget those that were deleted a year ago.

        I mention this because in thinking about the 7 billionth human being on the planet, I couldn’t find a way to quantify the probability of there being a certain number of 7 billionths, or even if it were possible. There are obviously practical considerations, and ‘one’ is a quite possible and likely answer, but how likely?

        Having said all that, well done Bill C! :)

  45. I think what bothers me most about the term is that it’s not only an insult, it’s a propaganda tool. The climatically uneducated general public sees respected scientists and academicians using the word and their thought process has to be along the lines of, “Well it’s an ugly word, but if these guys are using it it must mean they really know what they’re talking about.”

    When I hear Michael Mann accusing “deniers” of being in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry it literally makes me sick. He knows damn well it’s not true. It’s so cynical. So profoundly depressing. That guy should be in jail. If there are no laws against purposefully misleading the public on such a grand scale for personal gain, there should be.

    • Given the case of Soon, climate denial’s million dollar baby, and others like him, I’d say what is making you “literally . . . sick” is a reaction to a really awkward reality that you do not want to process.

  46. Test

  47. “Does it matter whether the sensitivity estimates move up or down? I suspect that the answer is no.”

    I suspect that I agree with you. It is becoming obvious that the only purpose of the IPCC was to validate the policy agenda. Now that “the science is settled” and we have a generation reaching the age of franchise that has been taught since their first day of Kindergarten that it is “fact” they no longer require the IPCC’s validation and can now go off and do whatever they wish.

    The science was being used as a validation mechanism about a global policy agenda. It isn’t really about science or even really about climate. It is about “justice” and the redistribution of international wealth.

    It’s over. Anyone still arguing on scientific terms has missed the boat. This is no longer about science, that was so 10 years ago.

  48. From the way the empire is trying to put climategate into a criminal track, I think we may soon see the code-protected lode of e-mails and docs.
    This is going to get very interesting.

  49. A few comments, initially on points in Judy’s post:

    1. “Clean energy futures” and adaptation “to existing climate change,” whatever that means, are surely not the highest priorities for LDCs; nor would they have the highest cost-benefit ratio.

    2. What will “the coordination of adaptation actions at a global scale” entail? Surely adaptation will be a local issue, varying greatly from place to place and depending on the economic circumstances of eavch area?

    3. “A forum and work programme on unintended consequences of climate change actions and policies were established.” So we’ll be adopting policies and undertaking actions without knowing potential outcomes?

    4. “There is a fundamental disconnect in having environment ministers negotiating geopolitics and macroeconomics.” So true – environmental ministers have generally been third-rank ministers without broad experience or economic and financial backgrounds.

    5. Monckton, whatever you think of his style, makes many good points.

    The only thing certain is that, hopefully, not much – other than an absurd increase in bureaucratic bodies, requirements and compliance costs – will happen before 2020, by which time we should have a much clearer picture of whether there is a problem and, if so, the costs and benefits of dealing with it.

    In the meantime, if the Eurozone and/or the EU collapses, the momentum towards an unelected pseudo-world government might also collapse. Happy day. Any developed nation government which acquiesces to the demands of Durban will, I trust, lose power.

    I like Wojick’s summation that “The game is still on but the pressure is off. All sides can now rebuild their forces, or not.”

  50. Dr. Curry asks:

    My main question at this point is whether the IPCC is relevant to what is going on at this point with the UNFCCC? If the AR5 has higher confidence in its findings, does that matter? Does it matter whether the sensitivity estimates move up or down? I suspect that the answer is no.

    My short answer, Dr. Curry, is that I’m not at all convinced that – from the UNFCCC’s perspective – the answer to either of these questions ever mattered! But I do have a considerably longer answer which can be found at:

    Is the IPCC still relevant to UNFCCC?

  51. Energy resources: Webby, while many corporations are run by “harvard mbas” (lower case to reflect the generic type), who would bleed the last drop of life from their employer’s carcass, industries in the energy sector (oil, primarily) will have “war games” strategists who are planning decades ahead. Believe that they are interested in long-term growth and prosperity, and that they will have strong positions in whatever successor forms of energy come along. In the aftermath of the gulf spill, BP is a popular whipping boy, but they are in for the long term. Yes, they all have shareholders who need some return and equity growth in the short term, but they also have lots of coupon clippers in for the long haul.

    • This is a black hole of analysis. We will never know what the corporations do behind closed doors. It must be nice to put faith in people that don’t have any faith in you.
      Name one book or study written by an energy concern that hasn’t been wildly over-optimistic. They say one in public and you suggest they plan ahead in private. It’s that trust thing. Energy agency reports and yearly corporate reports have historically been like IPCC reports on steroids.

      • Web –

        You know the other side of the coin, I’m sure. USGS predictions about how long supplies of oil will last? 20 years in the 1920’s? Have you seen reports of the intermittent panics in the 19th century about the terror of running out of oil? Colin Campbell, so called expert, predicting that all-liquids would never surpass 67m barrels a day, in 1989? We could go on for hours…. Energy concerns do indeed have various influences on what they announce, but sometimes they just tell it like it is.

        The bottom line is for 150 years they’ve been right to say “we’re not worried about production in the near future”. And MarkF is right to a certain extent – they all have their own longer term plans..

        None of this changes the reality of what is in the ground or the energy/cost it will take to recover it, but I don’t see a world-wide conspiracy.

        One thing from your last comment about tying together AGW and peak oil. Surely we must be overjoyed as peak oil believers that the one practical upshot of AGW is a vast, chaotic, slightly ill-advised but varied and energetic investigation of alternative energy profiles exactly as if everybody took peak oil seriously? Surely that’s a 50 year head-start on addressing a problem that very few people believed even existed? I bet you have some critical observations about much of it, but everything from molten salt to thorium reactors to windmills and solar PV – it’s all being investigated and learned from. imagine if there were no AGW to provide the impetus and funds?

      • Anteros and WHT

        Concern about AGW (whether misplaced or not) has definitely been an impetus to drive humanity into the direction of looking for alternates to fossil fuel based energy, as you both have noted.

        The fossil fuel supplies remaining on our planet are not infinite, as WHT has emphasized.

        Willis Eschenbach points out that we have been “running out of oil in the next 40-50 years” for 40 years now.

        But how imminent is “peak oil” really?

        First of all, liquid motor fuels can be produced from coal using existing conversion technologies and motor vehicles can be powered by natural gas, so we can assume that all fossil fuels are basically interchangeable.

        Data from WEC and CDIAC tell us that we have “used up” around 10-15% of all the optimistically estimated fossil fuels that were ever on our planet and that the remainder will last us 300+ years at current consumption rates.

        These data also tell us that anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 increase is constrained to around 675 ppmv by the amount of carbon in all remaining fossil fuels, putting us at an absolute maximum ever level of 1,065 ppmv.

        Other studies have been made using only the proven fossil fuel reserves, which arrive at a much lower upper limit for atmospheric CO2.

        http://www.internationaltransportforum.org/jtrc/discussionpapers/DiscussionPaper18.pdf

        One such study shows that IPCC growth scenarios run out of fossil fuel between 2050 and 2070 at only a fraction of the CO2 levels projected fby the model scenarios for 2100, limiting atmospheric CO2 to an absolute maximum of around 550-600 ppmv.

        I personally place more faith in the WEC and CDAIC estimates.

        Will we “burn up” all the remaining fossil fuels until we run out and “the lights go out”?

        Like Anteros, I hardly believe so. Market pressures will force us to develop other energy sources (with or without a direct or indirect carbon tax). Costs will go up as more difficult reserves are extracted. Increasingly, fossil fuels will be used as petrochemical feedstocks rather than simply sources of inexpensive energy.

        And as Willis Eschenbach wrote, we can count on human ingenuity to solve the “peak oil” (or “peak fossil fuel”) problem long before it becomes one.

        Max

      • Max –

        I agree. I think in a way we have alreadysolved the peak oil problem. Hubbert certainly had crude oil in his mind when he made his surprisingly obvious (in hindsight) predictions. Crude oil has already peaked – six years ago – and in many ways that couldn’t have been foreseen, it has been irrelevant, even though it was predicted to be a complete disaster [see ‘Life after the Oil Crash’] There are almost a dozen new forms of liquid hydrocarbons -as you say including conversion from gas and coal.

        What never gets taken into account (by worriers) are the innovations, the unseen, the new avenues. I think you’ll agree that it is this that makes statements like “If the sea level rises 1 metre by the end of the century, X number of people will drown”. People of course, that haven’t yet been born. Could anything be more absurd?

        I’m not sure I agree with you about how much of the remaining reserves will be utilised because unless AGW turns out to be actually wrong in some profound way, the pressure on carbon emissions will only grow – I mean over a century or so. It means that like you I’m not at all concerned about ‘running out’ of fossil fuel although there may be more peaks and trough price-wise. That’s just the way of things.

        While I’m heading off topic, it seems to me that when people are thinking about the 21st century and thinking of ways in which it might be different from the 20th, the one thing that gets forgotten is major wars. New epidemics [spanish flu etc] and major oppression related deaths too but they both seem less likely. The reason I mention it is because it has a similarity with CAGW – the alarmists think that their catastrophe is new and special and unlike anything ever seen before – history tells us that a certain proprtion of humanity has always been saying “we are heading for disaster”. It’s just the normal state of things. Doesn’t mean disaster isn’t possible, but it is always consistent with ‘no disaster happening at all’.

        The same is true of most periods of peace – the common expectation is that the last war was the last and they are done with for good. A very quick peek at history tells us that that’s been wrong…..oh….a few thousand times? Maybe nuclear weapons does change everything and maybe the really big wars are done with. But I was recently reading how in 1911 many people were saying that Europe had finally found permanent peace and the country boundaries would never again change. In 1911!

        So saying we’re definitely heading for a disaster – usually if one variable changes but everything else stays the same (which it never does – the unforeseen adaptation etc) – has the same defect that saying “peace is now for good” It just feels like it. Oddly that means that historically disasters (like wars) are unexpected and expected disasters basically don’t happen.

        Hm. Apologies for rambling.

        P.S. I’m inclined to agree with you about a 550-600 likely maximum Co2 level. Perhaps less.

      • So when did you start believing in a bureaucratic organization such as USGS for any projections?

        I don’t really care that much about what Colin Campbell says because he has never used a scientific analysis as far as I know. So in 1989 he said that 67 million barrels per day was the maximum we would achieve, and current crude has topped off at 74 million barrels. That is pretty good for winging it in some newsletter he publishes.

        Why don’t we just get these numbers correct, and not listen to this garbage that Manacker is peddling that we will burn another 2500 billion barrels of oil by processing tar sands and other equally low grade forms of unconventional oil. This is just preposterous to imagine that given the premise that we have only burned half this amount already, that we think that we can burn twice as much more like we were trying to squeeze blood from a turnip. Where are the scientific studies for this?

      • WHT

        Pardon me, but it appears that you are blathering (or bloviating) without citing any specific facts when you write:

        Why don’t we just get these numbers correct, and not listen to this garbage that Manacker is peddling that we will burn another 2500 billion barrels of oil by processing tar sands and other equally low grade forms of unconventional oil. This is just preposterous to imagine that given the premise that we have only burned half this amount already, that we think that we can burn twice as much more like we were trying to squeeze blood from a turnip. Where are the scientific studies for this?

        You may disagree with the WEC and CDIAC estimates I cited as the basis for “upper limit for human CO2″ at around 1,065 ppmv.

        You may prefer lower estimates (Rutledge, Brecha, etc.) which suggest “production-limited” fossil fuel CO2 at a maximum of 480 to 580 ppmv.

        If so, great!

        We will have a fossil fuel problem but no AGW problem!

        Since we have more coal than oil, let’s use SASOL-type technology to produce liquids from coal. Since shale gas looks like a bonanza, let’s convert automobiles to gas engines, preferably with hybrid motors, let’s see if we can develop cost-effective long-life batteries, etc. etc.

        Also, let’s get on with developing cost-effective energy alternates, such as nuclear fission using fast breeder technology with thorium or anything else we can think of.

        All good stuff, WHT, which neither Anteros nor I are against, if you read our posts.

        Max

      • Anteros

        I agree with your analysis.

        It makes sense

        Max

      • “You may prefer lower estimates (Rutledge, Brecha, etc.) which suggest “production-limited” fossil fuel CO2 at a maximum of 480 to 580 ppmv.

        If so, great!

        We will have a fossil fuel problem but no AGW problem!”

        Manacker, All I am interested in is getting the facts correct and using a scientific perspective whenever possible. You seem more concerned about toeing some imaginary line that doesn’t make your projections seem too far out on a limb. Everything you say seems to support a business as usual policy. People look at that 5000 billion barrel number and think that it is some sort of comfort zone. It is pure manipulation on your part, and we can see that when you start saying the following:

        Since we have more coal than oil, let’s use SASOL-type technology to produce liquids from coal. Since shale gas looks like a bonanza, let’s convert automobiles to gas engines, preferably with hybrid motors, let’s see if we can develop cost-effective long-life batteries, etc. etc.

        Also, let’s get on with developing cost-effective energy alternates, such as nuclear fission using fast breeder technology with thorium or anything else we can think of.

        All good stuff, WHT, which neither Anteros nor I are against, if you read our posts.

        Yes, lots more coal than oil, exactly, that is all I am saying. If we have used only about 1000 billion barrels of crude out of the 5000 billion barrels that you say are available, then why are you going on about these alternatives?

        Easy to answer, because 2000 to 3000 billion barrels of oil out of that 5000 billion barrel number will be exceedingly hard to process, and will cannibalize the energy it is intended to supply. How much of this 2000 to 3000 billion barrels will be squandered by in-situ processing? It could be half, if not more, if one cares to dig deeper into the numbers.

        If you want to call this blathering and bloviating on my part, it is a lot more credible than anything you have to say. Why don’t you use David Rutledge’s numbers? He is much more credible than you, and is actually serious about the subject matter.

        I also don’t think we are going to see from you an EROEI analysis on the technologies for converting coal to liquids, and the efficiencies of natural gas.

        The deepest global recession in years thanks to the peak oil plateau, and no sign of us getting out of it soon.

      • WHT

        We appear to be in general agreement that getting “the facts” together is a good idea.

        But, as you can see, when it comes to estimates of how much accessible fossil fuel there still is in the ground there are only “educated guesses” out there – no unequivocal “facts”.

        And these guesses vary all over the map from Rutledge/Hubbert to WEC.

        Both estimates indicate that atmospheric CO2 concentrations are restrained by available fossil fuels (just at different levels).

        Both estimates also confirm that fossil fuel resources are limited (again at different levels): one estimate would suggest that we may be reaching a “peak fossil fuel” constraint by mid-century, while the other would tell us that this will not happen for centuries.

        You and I will not resolve these differences on the “facts” here.

        Now to the “motivation”. You wrote:

        You seem more concerned about toeing some imaginary line that doesn’t make your projections seem too far out on a limb. Everything you say seems to support a business as usual policy.

        Rather than postulating what my motives might be, it would make more sense to accept that estimates by groups, such as the WEC, which I have cited, might have some merit.

        “Business as usual” means different things to different people.

        Let me tell you what it means to me with relation to the topic we are discussing.

        We should continue doing those things that have made our civilization so successful. These include innovating, discovering new things and finding ways to improve the standard of living, quality of life and life expectancy of the human population.

        The force for this IMO is human ingenuity, supported by science and technology and driven by the desire for a better life. A key component has been the access to low-cost energy. Another key factor is the free, democratic society in which we are fortunate enough to live plus the economics of the free market [For an excellent treatise on this, I could suggest “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations” by David Landes (written in 1998, but still valid.]

        I do not believe that “central planning” has been a very good formula for success (viz. the old Soviet Union, etc.).

        The counterargument that “China appears to be working” ignores two basic facts: it only works at the expense of the freedom of its people (with one billion still living on less than $1,000 per year) and also only since China opened up to a capitalistic free-market economy (with most of its customers in free-market societies).

        That is why I would reject (direct or indirect) carbon taxes, which try to “force” mankind to change from “business as usual” to a “planned (carbon-free) economy”.

        But I suspect from your writings, that you disagree.

        This doesn’t make either of us more “right” (as opposed to “wrong”) than the other.

        Max

      • WHT

        Correction: I should have written “…atmospheric CO2 concentrations are constrained…” (rather than restrained).

      • Manacker,
        It’s obvious that you believe in the data and analysis from intergovernmental agencies, otherwise you wouldn’t be referencing the World Energy Council for projections. The WEC is organized by the same new world order factions that are responsible for the IPCC.

        I am only interested in the truth, not spin, and that is why I do independent research on these topics, not gullibly believe what some multinational cabal is telling us what the future holds.

      • The eco movements are far more threatening to the health and well-being of my family and many generations of offspring than is the prospect of suddenly running out of fossil fuel energy without viable backup. Viable, incidentally, includes the concept of affordability. And please don’t bring in the hyberbole of CAGW as an argument.