Geoengineering for decision makers

by Judith Curry

The most fundamental argument for R&D on geoengineering is that those decision makers should not be put in a position of either letting dangerous climate change occur or deploying poorly evaluated, untested technologies at scale. At the very least, we need to learn what approaches to avoid even if desperate. 

Robert Olson and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars have published a document entitled Geoengineering for Decision Makers. This is a comprehensive look at the issue from the perspective of policy makers, focused on the major concerns about geoengineering that policy makers need to be aware of and give due consideration.  Excerpts from the Executive Summary:

Executive Summary

Geoengineering involves intentional, large-scale interventions in the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, soils or living systems to influence the planet’s climate. Geoengineering is not a new idea. Until recently, proposals for using geoengineering to counteract global warming have been viewed with extreme skepticism, but as projections concerning the impact of climate change have become more dire, a growing number of scientists have begun to argue that geoengineering deserves a second look.

Below are 10 of the major concerns about geoengineering that policy makers need to be aware of and give due consideration.

■ Unintended Negative Consequences – We may know too little about the Earth’s geophysical and ecological systems to be confident we can engineer the climate on a planetary scale without making an already bad situation even worse;

■ Potential Ineffectiveness – Some proposed CDR methods are so weak that they would produce useful results only if sustained on a millennial timescale;

■ Risk of Undermining Emissions-Mitigation Efforts – If politicians come to believe that geoengineering can provide a low-cost “tech fix” for climate change, it could provide a perfect excuse for backing off from efforts to shift away from fossil fuels;

■ Risk of Sudden Catastrophic Warming – If geoengineering is used as a substitute for emissions reduction, allowing high concentrations of CO2 to build up in the atmosphere, it would create a situation where if the geoengineering ever faltered because of wars, economic depressions, terrorism or any other reasons during the millennium ahead, a catastrophic warming would occur too quickly for human society and vast numbers of plant and animal species to adapt;

■ Equity Issues – Geoengineering efforts might succeed in countering the warm- ing trend on a global scale, but at the same time cause droughts and famines in some regions;

■ Difficulty of Reaching Agreement – It could be harder to reach global agreements on doing geoengineering than it is to reach agreements on reducing carbon emissions;

■ Potential for Weaponization – Geoengineering research could lead to major advances in knowledge relevant for developing weather control as a military tool;

■ Reduced Efficiency of Solar Energy – For every 1 percent reduction in solar radiation caused by the use of SRM geoengineering, the average output of concentrator solar systems that rely on direct sunlight will drop by 4 to 5 %;

■ Danger of Corporate Interests Overriding the Public Interest – Dangers include a lack of transparency in SRM technology development and the possibility that the drive for corporate profits could lead to inappropriate geoengineering deployments;

■ Danger of Research Driving Inappropriate Deployment – Research programs have often created a community of researchers that functions as an interest group promoting the development of the technology that they are investigating.

Further, [the report] suggests a number of principles that decision makers can follow going forward. These principles are as follows:

■ Always consider geoengineering issues in a broader context of climate change management, which includes emissions reduction as the primary strategy and adaptation as the secondary strategy, with geoengineering as a third strategy to use only if clearly needed.

■ Address the climate problem and geoengineering in the context of related chal- lenges, such as energy security, vulnerability to terrorism, water scarcity and food security, ocean health, economic competitiveness and job creation.

■ Commit the U.S. fully to leadership in creating an advanced 21st-century energy infrastructure that incorporates major improvements in energy efficiency and dramatic reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

■ Support significantly greater funding for energy research and development (R&D) on high-risk, high-reward energy supply options that could be game changers if they prove feasible.

■ Do not take geoengineering off the table as an option for helping to address the climate problem, but do not allow funding for geoengineering-related activities to reduce support for or divert funding from R&D on energy efficiency and carbon- free energy sources, climate science research or adaptation efforts.

■ Do not allow geoengineering to be used as a source of carbon offsets.

■ Distinguish between the two different approaches to geoengineering — carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and solar radiation management (SRM). In general, SRM poses greater risks and requires more evaluation and regulation.

■ Never treat SRM methods – especially the more powerful ones such as strato- spheric aerosols, cloud brightening and space-based approaches – as a substitute for emissions mitigation.

■ Do not consider deployment of stratospheric aerosols, cloud brightening or space- based methods in the near term.

■ In R&D on SRM methods, give more attention to the idea of regional geoengineering or “geoadaptation,” which could have more localized, “where needed” effects and be especially important for use in polar areas to limit permafrost thawing, ice sheet melting, and sea level rise.

■ Acknowledge that many geoengineering methods have significant uncertainties about their likely costs, effectiveness and risks, and support rigorous and fully transparent research efforts to reduce these uncertainties.

■ Learn as much as possible, as soon as possible, about geoengineering’s potential environmental impacts and its ethical, legal and social implications, using a portfolio of upstream governance approaches.

■ Insist that all SRM research be in the public domain, and stand firm in a commitment to openness, transparency and accessibility.

■ Recognize that developing needed agreements on large-scale testing will be easier to the extent that research is internationalized from an early stage. Support the development of a coordinated, fully transparent international effort in which the work of indi- vidual scientists and national programs is integrated into an international framework.

■ A moratorium on large-scale or “climate impact” testing should be put in place until a legitimate international process for approval and oversight has been agreed upon.

■ Begin working to develop the “downstream” governance arrangements that will be needed for authorizing both large-scale testing and actual deployment. As a first step, organize informal international dialogues where participants can think together and share concerns without having to take positions or votes.

Geoengineering and the Science Communication Environment

Dan Kahan has a new paper out [link]:

Geoengineering and the Science Communication Environment: A Cross-Cultural Experiment

Dan Kahan, Hank Jenkins-Smith, Tor Tarantola, Carol Silva, Donna Braman

Abstract: We conducted a two-nation study (United States, n = 1500; England, n = 1500) to test a novel theory of science communication. The cultural cognition thesis posits that individuals make extensive reliance on cultural meanings in forming perceptions of risk. The logic of the cultural cognition thesis suggests the potential value of a distinctive two-channel science communication strategy that combines information content (“Channel 1”) with cultural meanings (“Channel 2”) selected to promote open-minded assessment of information across diverse communities. In the study, scientific information content on climate change was held constant while the cultural meaning of that information was experimentally manipulated. Consistent with the study hypotheses, we found that making citizens aware of the potential contribution of geoengineering as a supplement to restriction of CO2 emissions helps to offset cultural polarization over the validity of climate-change science. We also tested the hypothesis, derived from competing models of science communication, that exposure to information on geoengineering would provoke discounting of climate-change risks generally. Contrary to this hypothesis, we found that subjects exposed to information about geoengineering were slightly more concerned about climate change risks than those assigned to a control condition.

The basic idea behind the paper is described in the Introduction:

This paper addresses the contribution geoengineering might make to another environment: the deliberative one in which democratic societies like the United States and Great Britain make sense of scientific evidence relating to climate change. The scientific exploration of geoengineering as a policy re- sponse, we conclude, could have an important impact on public debate not just because of the factual in- formation it is likely to yield but also because of the cultural message it is likely to express about what it means to regard climate change as a serious problem.

Guided by a theory of how cultural meanings influence public perceptions of risk, we conducted a study to assess how being made aware of geoengineering might affect the receptivity of citizens to sound scientific information on climate change. The study subjects consisted of two large and diverse samples, one from the United States and the other from England. Consistent with the study hypotheses, we found that groups of citizens disposed by opposing cultural values to form conflicting assessments of the risks of climate change became less polarized over scientific evidence when they learned that geoengineering is under consideration as a potential solution.

I liked this statement from the section on Analysis and Interpretation:

As we understand it, the goal of democracy-promoting science communication is not to stifle citizens’ critical engagement with scientific information but rather to remove from their deliberative envi-ronment antagonistic cultural meanings and other influences that predictably distort the quality of such engagement. The proper measure of success for a two-channel strategy, then, is not its impact on making any group of citizens more or less disposed to credit a particular form of scientific evidence—much less to impel them into a state of agreement with any particular conclusion—but rather its success in abating antagonisms in meaning that drive citizens of diverse worldviews apart when they consider such evidence in common. 

Re implications for communication:

Recognizing that there are two channels of science communication—a meaning channel as well as a content channel—is a one of the many insights associated with an emerging science of science communication. The perfection of that science is the key not just to diagnosing the pathologies that constrain science communication in democracy but to effectively treating them as well.

JC comments:  It seems to me that a sensible application of the precautionary principle is to develop and evaluate technologies that might be needed or otherwise proposed.  Robert Olson provides some sensible guidance re geoengineering.  What struck me most was the idea of “geoadaptation,” which could have more localized, “where needed” effects and be especially important for use in polar areas to limit permafrost thawing, ice sheet melting, and sea level rise.

Dan Kahan’s paper raises the point that including discussion of geoengineering when discussing climate change can offset some of the cultural polarization.  Presenting a possible technological solution makes the overall problem seem less threatening.

In the context provided by the combination of these two papers, geoengineering (and particularly geoadaptation) deserves wider discussion in the context of climate change.

234 responses to “Geoengineering for decision makers

  1. It ain’t broke! Don’t try to fix it!

    • that’s the point I hope. This stuff would only be deployed if it was broke

      • lolwot. The climate will NEVER be broke. CAGW is a hoax,

      • Certainly don’t hire those who hid information on the origin, composition and source of energy in the Earth-Sun system for the last four decades:

        The Geophysics Section of the US National Academy of Sciences!

      • CAGW is a hoax? Nope. What you’ve done is sidestep the fact that AGW is true by sticking a C in front of it and recklessly dismissed the implications of AGW could indeed be catastrophic (which is what your ‘C’ stands for is it not?)

    • Earth is a tiny piece of fly ash heated by the
      nuclear furnace that made our elements and
      spit out the ash five billion years (5 Gyr) ago.

      Geo-engineering cannot change that reality.

    • My thoughts precisely. To a believer, this looks like a sensible way to spend a huge amount of other people’s money. To a realist, it just looks like another pile of pseudoscientific hubris.

      In a few years, when CAGW blows over and has been replaced by some new form of catastrophist bedwetting, we will look back at this sort of pious, po-faced nonsense and laugh at the idea that it was ever taken seriously. Can’t wait. Where is the Jonathan Swift of our times when we need him? I thought we’d found him in the form of Richard “Just Say No” Curtis, but it turned out the cretin was serious! We have our Delingpole, it’s true, and yes, we’ve got people like those guys that put together the list of hundreds of bad things that could happen from a teeny weeny temp rise that sucked Joshua in, but he’s easily fooled, and I have yet to see this absurd preoccupation parodied with the ruthlessness and outright savagery it deserves.

      • Lol. We are st the point, paradoxically where many creative people are still fooled into thinking AGW offers progress and creativity. That illusion is already passing.

      • TomFP -
        I absolutely agree about Swift. Perhaps even Voltaire would do..
        It certainly calls for satire of some sort.

        The ‘http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm’ is a good start, especially if anybody is tempted to take it seriously..

      • Numberwatch warm list is actually a reasonable collection of possible disasters.

        Unless you can prove that none of those will happen you have some splaining to do. Writing off “CAGW” when you can’t even show most of those things on the list won’t happen is reckless.

      • @wotnot – “Unless you can prove that none of those will happen you have some splaining to do.” So it wasn’t just Joshua that got sucked in – you too?

        Well, my belief that warmism and a sense of humour could not coexist in the same human being was sorely tested by the Richard Curtis/Just Say No video. You and Joshua have gone some way to restoring it – thank you. The warmlist is a satire, wot not! Here, smell the coffee!

        @Anteros – on reflection, Auberon Waugh would have done the job a treat. Gee I miss him…

  2. The parallel between the Left’s current pogrom against CO2 and the temperance movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries is palpable—i.e., a social movement that criticizes the energy production, lauds complete abstinence and uses government to enact anti-energy laws, even to the extent of prohibiting certain types of energy production.

    • Even people on the right recognize that CO2 emissions need to be reduced. Attempts to label it as an issue of the “left” are a trick to avoid addressing the actual issue.

      • The climate has always been changing. Where is your citation that the current effects of climate change are any more or less detrimental to us and the planet then before.

        Accepting your statement doesn’t challenge the void between left and right whether the proposals for mitigating emissions by the left are the right ones. Consensus worldwide rests on the right regarding beneficial management of ecological infracstructure.

      • Clueless lolwot, talk about denial.

      • incandecentbulb

        Dr. Happer testified before Congress to inform the rationalists among them that the Earth has a CO2-starved atmosphere. Only Leftist dogma considers CO2 a dangerious poison that must be ypocritical regulated by government bureaucrats based on the superstitions of academic witchdoctors of the West.

      • “Dr. Happer testified before Congress to inform the rationalists among them that the Earth has a CO2-starved atmosphere.”

        Ironically that makes the AGW situation worse not better because the impact of CO2 is logarithmic. If CO2 was starting off at 3000ppm our potential 600ppm addition wouldn’t come close to doubling it. But starting off “starved” that amount will close to triple it.

        Did Dr Happer happen to mention that?

        Did he point out how unprecedented the current rate of rise in CO2 is?

        “Only Leftist dogma considers CO2 a dangerious poison”

        Scientists on the left and right and independent recognize CO2 is a significant greenhouse gas.

        Give up the denial already.

      • Lolwot:

        Ironically that makes the AGW situation worse not better because the impact of CO2 is logarithmic. If CO2 was starting off at 3000ppm our potential 600ppm addition wouldn’t come close to doubling it. But starting off “starved” that amount will close to triple it.

        Let’s see now.
        What you’re saying is, because the impact is worse than it would be given some hypothetical starting point, that also makes it worse than it would be given the ‘real-life’ starting point???
        Your logic astounds me.

      • “than it would be given some hypothetical starting point”

        It’s not hypothetical. The appeal was to the world being “CO2 starved”. So I compared that to an example of it not being CO2 starved.

        The fact is that the pre-industrial CO2 level being so low makes the effects of a sharp CO2 rise of hundreds of ppm much greater.

        In other words the world being “CO2 starved” is an argument for dangerous climate change, not an argument against it.

      • The fact is that the pre-industrial CO2 level being so low makes the effects of a sharp CO2 rise of hundreds of ppm much greater.

        Much greater than what? Just because the effects are much greater than some imaginary scenario doesn’t by any means make the effects given today’s actual scenario any greater than those given, er, today’s actual scenario.
        Putting it another way – a £1000 tax increase would affect me much less if I were a millionaire. But I’m not a millionaire, so that tax increase doesn’t affect me any more, or less, than it does.
        If I imagined myself to be a millionaire, I would – by your logic – be a lot worse off than I am.

      • The argument is that CO2 rise is irrelevant when you are starting off very low.

        It’s wrong. CO2 rise is more relevant when you start off very low.

      • CO2 rise is more relevant when you start off very low.

        It’s more relevant if you’re starting off low than if you’re starting off high.
        But it’s not more relative than if you’re starting off low.
        And we’re starting off low.
        So it can’t be more relevant than it already is, except perhaps in some parallel universe
        If you still can’t see the gaping hole in your logic then sorry, I can’t help you.

      • Put it like this:

        Argument: “CO2 rise is not a problem because we are CO2 starved and we will never raise CO2 to record levels!”

        The impact from CO2 is logarithmic, it doesn’t depend on reaching “record levels”. A lower starting position in fact produces the greatest impact. So the argument is completely wrong.

      • A lower starting position in fact produces the greatest impact

        FFS, It makes absolutely no difference to this argument whether or not it’s logarithmic.
        We cannot have a high starting position because we cannot have it. We have a low starting position because we have a low starting position – we’re stuck with it – our starting position is not going to be any higher than it is.
        We only have one starting position and this is it!
        So any given CO2 increase cannot have any more impact than it does.
        It only has a greater impact than some imaginary higher starting position, which we don’t and cannot have.
        I would be richer if I had more money, but I haven’t so I’m not.

      • It makes all the difference. If the effect wasn’t logarithmic then it wouldn’t matter whether the 100ppm rise started from 200ppm or 5,000ppm.

        The effect is higher starting from lower concentrations.

        Yet skeptics appeal to the low starting concentrations thinking that’s a great argument!

      • I know exactly what you’re saying.
        But that’s not how your argument started out.
        Had you started off by saying that the effect of a given increase is greater than it would have been given some hypothetical higher starting point, I would have agreed and we wouldn’t be having this argument.
        But suggesting that the effect is somehow “worse than we thought” simply because of a low starting point is being misleading at best, and fiercely illogical at worst.
        We’re not starting off from a point any different to what it is. We’re not starting off from 5000ppm, because we’re starting out from the point we’re starting out from – suggesting any other starting point is pure hypothesising – it ain’t actually going to happen.

      • “Had you started off by saying that the effect of a given increase is greater than it would have been given some hypothetical higher starting point, I would have agreed and we wouldn’t be having this argument.”

        That’s what I did

        “But suggesting that the effect is somehow “worse than we thought” simply because of a low starting point”

        That shows it is worse than Dr Happer and incandecentbulb thought.

    • Wag,
      The more sobering (pun intended) parallel is that between eugenics and AGW. But the temperance comparison is intriguing. Both movements were obsessed with controlling what other people do, with imposing the power of the state to enforce their prejudices and hysterical ideas, just like the AGW movement.

      • Hunter, this is going to be a scream of a topic thread if the Gaianists and the usual AGW orthodox start to tear into even the hint of an alternative solutions to socialist suffering to “solve” co2.

        Again, I just can’t believe Dr. Curry indicates zero understanding of what drives the AGW orthodox. Born yesterday?! Attended U of Colorado in Boulder? Voted for Obama?

        Other than buying the same background myth (co2 is a problem) geoengineers would be the most hated people on Earth by the AGW believers. AGW is about government authority to ration, control, tax others. It’s not about “solving” excess co2, look at Kyoto; nothing to do with reducing co2. Different tactic but the same intent.

        Now we would have competing junk science cartels and make the existing one look even more inane. I say, bring it on. Expect Gaianist breakdowns in the near future. I hope Exxon and GE take a lead on the topic -:)

      • “Both movements were obsessed with controlling what other people do, with imposing the power of the state to enforce their prejudices and hysterical ideas, just like the AGW movement.”

        You could argue the same thing about state enforced pollution controls.

        Do you?

        And I guess in your world we would still be emitting CFCs and who knows how much larger the antarctic ozone hole would be by now.

    • You’re on to it Wagathon, I can’t believe Dr. Curry’s comment could be made with a straight face;

      “Dan Kahan’s paper raises the point that including discussion of geoengineering when discussing climate change can offset some of the cultural polarization.”

      Seems to show no understanding of the very culture Dr. Curry is part of; eco-left, academia, socialist rationists. they have been trying to kill geo-engineering in the craddle for a long time already;

      http://www.marklynas.org/2011/06/geoengineering-why-all-the-fuss/#comments

      http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2010/09/27/205526/martin-bunzl-geoengineering-fix-solar-radiation-management-aerosols-volcanoes/?mobile=nc

      Another step off the AGW reservation if for the wrong reasons. If geoengineering gets real traction they’re will be more polarization in the eco-left than they know what to do with. Of course geo-engineering can be another scam in that it supports the mythology of co2 reduction as having value. Some will drum up geo-costs to the moon and then try to resell rationing with a phony “Ben Franklin” close; Plan “A” of carbon rationing or “plan “B” of something terrible to be “Geo-Engineered” by the UN and the same failed “climate science elite”. The IPCC seizes control of Geo-Engineering, “for the common good of the world” and it’s back to the $800 toilet seat standards of the age. Billions in research waste, feasibility and eco-impact boondoggles.

      Still, the left will split on the topic. The core cult isn’t going to let go of the narrative of co2 reductions.

      • The common theme is for Leftist-libs to demonize something that even the poorest of the poor consume. Then they use government to supposedly tax it into oblivion when in reality all they are doing as much money as they can extract using a very regressive tax–e.g., alcohol and tobacco taxes. So, now the Leftist-libs are demonizing CO2 so they can leach off of an increasingly ignorant, powerless and vengeful public with yet another regressive government tax.

      • AGW isn’t a leftist issue. I fear you are all projecting your own political biases on this issue onto everyone else.

        Most people simply aren’t as politically motivated as you guys are. Most people, including me, will see this more as a science issue than a political one.

        It’s going to be mostly moderate/independent middle ground people who accept the need to reduce carbon emissions. Geo-engineering is definitely on the cards, but it also carries it’s own risks.

    • lolwot,
      You might want to rethink your point a bit.
      CO2′s impact is inversely logarithmic: More and more CO2 produces less and less impact.

      • Therefore the lower you start the more impact an extra 100ppm will have

      • lolwot,
        No,that means that in a doubling from point ‘x’, more of the impact will happen more quickly than the doubling to ’2x’. We were at what, ~280ppm prior to the industrial age? 280 X2 = 560. .5 x 280 = 140. 140 + 280 = 420.
        We are at ~ 390ppm now. Where is the impact?

      • The impact is delayed.

        This is completely separate subject than Dr Happer’s elementary error.

      • What is delaying it? Your argument sounds like something from Waiting for Godot.

      • thermal inertia

      • Warmists have discovered thermal inertia!

        How long will it take to overcome the inertia? I predict 2010s will be colder than 2000s.

  3. Avoid harming concentrating solar energy:
    Robert Olson observes:

    “■ Reduced Efficiency of Solar Energy – For every 1 percent reduction in solar radiation caused by the use of SRM geoengineering, the average output of concentrator solar systems that rely on direct sunlight will drop by 4 to 5 %;”

    In the long term, it is essential that we transition from fossil to sustainable solar/nuclear energy for fuel and electricity. Large scale thermochemical fuels promise to become cost effective. Reducing direct sunlight (Direct Normal Insolation) by 5% to 25% would strong reduce the economics of concentrating solar energy. Those costs of harming the earth far outweigh nominal costs projected for catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.

    Prepare for global warming or cooling?
    There is substantial evidence for periodic glaciation with interglacial periods from 10,000 to 30,000 years long. In the current Holocene interglacial period, it appears the climatic optimum (maximum temperature) has already occurred – about 5k to 9k years ago! Ergo, Earth is cooling towards the next glacial period.

    Jim Channell et al. now observe that:

    The Earth’s current warm period that began about 11,000 years ago should give way to another ice age within about 1,500 years, according to accepted astronomical models.

    However, Global warming caused by greenhouse gases delays natural patterns of glaciation, researchers say
    That confirms what the late Sir Fred Hoyle & Prof. Chandra Wickramasinghe argued – that without increased levels of CO2 ‘the drift into new ice-age conditions would be inevitable.’ See: CCNet-ESSAY: ON THE CAUSE OF ICE-AGES

    Nicola Scafetta’s harmonic climatic theory predicts temperature increases much lower than IPCC’s alarmist projections that require very high growth in fossil fuels. Feeding the rapidly increasing global population requires increasing food productivity. Increasing CO2 and precipitation strongly benefits that goal.

    Counter Cooling: Continental size glaciers are far more damaging than a small rise in ocean levels. Why are we concerned over small increases in CO2 and temperature? It appears we should be far more concerned over avoiding a long term descent into a glacial period. I find the proposed geoengineering to constrain warming to be exactly opposite what is in our collective interest in the long term!

    • U cant be serious about scafetta.
      It’s not a climate theory.
      It’s a temperature “theory”

      It says nothing about regional patterns
      Says nothing about 99.9 % of what we call climate.
      Nothing about ocean cycles, rain, glaciers, sea level,

      It’s a temperature theory, not a climate theory. And not a very
      good one. What’s it predict for tempaeratures at the troposphere?
      stratosphere? hurricanes? blocking patterns? floods?
      droughts? volcanoes effect?

      curve fitting nonsense. Aphysical actually.

      • Hi Steven
        Regarding regional pattern, my analysis based on the CET data ‘suggests’ cooling to the level of the 1970s, i.e. down by 1-1.5C, which btw was the average CET for 2010.

        http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-SW.htm

      • The fact that Scafetta’s work is ‘nonsense’ seems to have escaped the notice of the peer reviewers of his three recent substantial papers on the subject.

      • steven mosher
        re; Scafetta’s “It’s not a climate theory. It’s a temperature “theory”.
        Yes, but Scafetta provides a “temperature” theory based on historical observations AND on proven natural harmonic cycles – supported by evidence from numerous other sources. Furthermore Scaretta’s harmonic climate model has proven ability both to hindcast and to forecast – more accurately than all the IPCC’s global climate models. In my view, that means it is summarizing natural climate phenomena without the systemic bias of the IPCC’s “CO2″ driven models which are missing major physics.
        I think it much sounder to work with a model that comes reasonably close to predicting historical temperatures both hind/forecasting, (even if we don’t know all the physics behind it) than use models that obviously project systemically higher temperature trends than reality yet which claim to have “all” the physics.
        See Lucia’s statistical comparisons between reality and IPCC’s models.
        The trend for the last decade is only 0.07C/decade - only 1/3 of the IPCC’s 0.2 C/decade.

        Using the 1960-1990 as baseline ( graph)

        shows all three observational data sets remaining below the multi-model mean throuhgout the entire 21st century– including during ENSO peaks. Also, all three are outside the 1-sigma spread for model means, while using the more recent baseline pulls the models into better agreement.

        On that evidence, how do you justify appealing to multibillion dollar “climate” models – when they are systemically high (ie wrong)?!

      • “curve fitting nonsense”

        Sure. Most “climate science” is just that – curve fitting nonsense – on both sides.

    • Jim Channell et al. now observe that:
      The Earth’s current warm period that began about 11,000 years ago should give way to another ice age within about 1,500 years, according to accepted astronomical models.

      Ice Age in the northern hemisphere requires not only Milankovic cycle but certain geo-condition in the North Atlantic as I outline in this hypothesis:
      Ice Age failure in the forthcoming ‘cold’ Milankovic cycle
      There are 3 major ridges in the North Atlantic arranged in a shape of the Greek letter ‘pi’:
      Greenland – Scotland, Faroe and Reykjanes.

      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NA3R.htm

      The first two are dormant and the Reykjanes is the only active one.
      The important one is the Greenland – Scotland ridge which controls inflow of the warm and the outflow of cold water in and out the Arctic Ocean.
      Only if the Greenland – Scotland ridge becomes active and raises see floor reducing the cold Arctic outflow, then the Arctic ice build up would reach the Ice Age tipping point.
      Fortunately the ridge is not active and even if it became active, it might take many thousands of years for the ridge to become critical, by then the N. Hemisphere could be in the next ‘warm’ Milankovic cycle.

    • Arguments for geoengineering rest on alarmists warning of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. Underlying these is the foundational issue of whether we turn towards global dictatorial government or hold onto freedom. I strongly recommend the book by former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus: Blue Planet in Green Shackles.
      David Bier in Klaus: Why Doing Nothing Will Save the Environment provides extracts:

      Socialists and environmentalists have usually believed that the more complex a system, the less it can be left to itself and the more it has to be masterminded, regulated, planned, and designed. That belief is not true. Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich A. Hayek, and the whole Austrian school of economics have—for some, perhaps a bit counterintuitively—demonstrated that just the opposite is the case. It is possible to control and design only simple systems, no complex ones. . . .
      I have repeatedly stressed that it is all about freedom, not about nature (or climate). There are deliberate attempts to shut down debate about this. Environmentalists constantly keep imposing the term “environment,” yet nobody speaks about human freedom. A few years ago, I suggested discussing the “environment for life” instead, which would—at least to a certain extent—shift this issues from the exclusive focus on nature toward a focus on society and its organization. . . .
      Today’s debate about global warming is therefore essentially a debate about freedom. The environmentalists would like to mastermind each and every possible (and impossible) aspect of our lives.…. . .
      So what to do? Instead of striving for the environment, let us strive for freedom. Let us not put climate change before fundamental questions of freedom, democracy, and human wellbeing. Instead of organizing people from above, let us allow everyone to live his or her own life. Let us not succumb to fashionable trends. Let us not allow the politicization of science and let us not accept the illusion of “scientific consensus,” which is always achieved by a loud minority, never by a silent majority.

      Let us be sensitive and attentive toward nature, and demand the same from those who speak about the environment most loudly. Let us be humble but confident in the spontaneous evolution of human society. Let us trust in its implicit rationality, and let us not make efforts to slow it down or divert it in any direction. Let us not scare ourselves with catastrophic forecasts or use them to defend and promote irrational interventions into human lives.

      Hold onto freedom. Do not be scared into foolish action.

    • When the “science is settled”, who will validate it?
      Controlling climate does not redeem human nature! See:
      Red Wine Researcher Said to Falsify Data

      THURSDAY, January 12, 2012 (Health.com) — The University of Connecticut has notified 11 scientific journals that research on the potential health benefits of red wine led by one of its faculty members appears to contain falsified and fabricated data.

      Following a three-year investigation, a university review board has concluded that Dipak K. Das, Ph.D., the director of the Cardiovascular Research Center at the university’s school of medicine, in Farmington, manipulated research data in at least 145 instances. The misconduct spanned seven years and 26 journal articles, according to a report issued by the board.

      “We have a responsibility to correct the scientific record and inform peer researchers across the country,” said the university’s interim vice president for health affairs, Philip Austin, in a statement.

      http://news.health.com/2012/01/12/red-wine-research-falsified/

      When will the scientific record be corrected over “Hockey Stick” distortions by Michael Mann et al.?
      Given such distortions, how do we distinguish validated science vs political alarmism. How do we find a sound basis to even evaluate geoengineering?

    • For some beauty to brighten your day, see Kenneth Libbrecht on Snowflakes

  4. Another bold stab into central planning based on what is to this point massively expensive speculation to rationalize decades of failed co2 fear mongering. More pandering for a defeated “cause” that deserves to sit in the dock rather than morf into geoengineering planning.

    The sci-fi classic below;

    ■ Risk of Sudden Catastrophic Warming – If geoengineering is used as a substitute for emissions reduction, allowing high concentrations of CO2 to build up in the atmosphere, it would create a situation where if the geoengineering ever faltered because of wars, economic depressions, terrorism or any other reasons during the millennium ahead, a catastrophic warming would occur too quickly for human society and vast numbers of plant and animal species to adapt;

    ////////////

    Please, spare us! More rent seekers following the nanny state fear doctrine to find fame and fortune. No more room at the Inn, one sham at a time please! Been here, done that! Do our grandchildren have to spend time fighting geoengineering junk science 25 years from now still linked to IPCC and Team drivel of today???

    It’s not going anywhere since a large base of the AGW cult are Socialist/Gaianists who would never buy anything but self-hating rationing and government authority as the ONLY SOLUTION. It’s about attacking, restricting capitalism and freedom Dr. Curry, “solving co2″ even if you buy the fantasy really is very secondary to the AGW orthodox that is running the current show. Even the idea of employing engineers is a hostile concept among the true AGW believers. Your support of the concept is again telling as if you have no idea what forms the political base of AGW social radicalism and what drives the consensus in fact.

    It would be funny to watch the in-fighting that would follow but in general both segments are objectively a joke. If geoengineering ever moves from fantasyland the Gaianists would burn them at the stake with bloodlust only reserved for skeptics to this point. Even more as it’s just another part of the total meltdown of long past peak social movement.

    • rant off/

    • “Even the idea of employing engineers is a hostile concept among the true AGW believers”

      This is exactly why I have pointedly insisted here on experienced engineering input into these debate topics. Politely requesting such input would produce worthwhile contributions

      Without it, these threads deteriorate into constant bickering about how many angels fit on a pinhead … deja vu all over again

      • Most of the “experienced” consider AGW advocacy a joke I suspect in the engineering community.

        Thank god for engineers, annoying as they can be at times. The last men standing up to junk science and abstract research abuse as a rule.

  5. A nice experiment that would involve some geo-engineering implications would be to fertilize the parts of the ocean to enhance fishery outputs. If it also proved to do something to make CO2 obsessed people happy, even better. But at least a mechanism could possibly be created to allow fishing rights in easements those fishing interests also agreed to fertilize with iron or some other limiting nutrient. If it did work over a life cycle to increase fish yields economically,it might be worth pursuing.

    • “If it also proved to do something to make CO2 obsessed people happy, even better.”

      CO2 people aren’t about “happy” Hunter, you know this. You shouldn’t pander and speculate that lowering co2 would have any impact. you’re supporting the myth in a backend way. Do you really think lower co2 is going to make a warmist happy?? If Exxon found a way to do this cheaply?

      If they wanted to be “happy” they wouldn’t bought the fantasy of AGW long ago. It’s about misery, social control, domination and being a kill-joy in the first place.

      • cwon14,AGW, like most movements, has a spectrum of believers. There are those who think its a cute idea, as they plan a vacation, to consider themselves sensitive to the environment because they hear it is popular. There are those who hate humanity as it is and want to deindustrialize it to some idealistic past where it is in tune with nature. There are those who have profited socially and fiscally off of AGW. There are those who believe in Gaia religiously. IOW there is a spectrum of belief in the AGW movement with differing interests.

      • Or perhaps they recognize the danger of elevating such a potent gas as CO2 at unprecedented rates (possibly in the entire history of the earth) to unprecedented levels (for millions of years)

        But i notice you didn’t include that option…

  6. So who’s going to carry the geoengineering football?

  7. Suggested reading: a short-short by Arthur C. Clarke called ‘The Meddlers’ (reprinted in collection Voices from the Sky). Satire on scientists trying to douse the Sun temporarily, and what might happen if there was a miscalculation….

    I’m a technological optimist, but very cogniscant of Murphys Law. :-)

  8. Geoengineering encompasses a multitude of concepts, but it is doubtful that any of those yet proposed either can or will be substituted for efforts to mitigate anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.

    In the case of carbon dioxide removal, the main issues are practical, although unintended negative consequences can never be discounted entirely. Whether attempted through engineering efforts at ambient air CO2 extraction or by large scale stimulation of photosynthesis through iron fertilization of the oceans, it is unlikely that they can succeed on a scale needed to render mitigation unnecessary. Nevertheless, these efforts deserve to be pursued for their adjunctive value.

    Solar radiation management is more problematic in my view, or at least I see that as the case for those approaches likely to exert major effects on a global scale. Of these, the most potent so far described involves sulfate aerosol dissemination to reduce warming by increasing the scattering of solar energy to space. Most of the dangers were described in the post, but I see two additional formidable obstacles to implementation.

    The first is an additional danger – the failure of temperature management of any type to forestall ocean acidification, which itself threatens consequences that in the long run may be comparable in their severity to continued CO2-mediated warming. This threat, sometimes referred to as “the other CO2 problem”, has been relatively neglected in much of the climate discussion, but its importance is being increasingly recognized. (Even a skeptic climate blog, WUWT, has recently devoted a number of posts to the subject, although those were inaccurate in their interpretation of the data). As some readers may recall, I’ve discussed some of the relevant concepts and data in several previous threads. However, those exchanges were insufficient to do justice to the subject. In fact, I see it as a topic that deserves a post of its own, but this would preferably require a guest post from an expert professional actively engaged in research on the subject. As far as I know, Dr. Curry has not yet found anyone to serve in that role, although I hope that will change.

    The second is not a danger but a sociopolitical reality. Optimal protection against the future dangers of anthropogenic climate change will require a mixture of mitigation and adaptation on a global scale. However, this is not necessarily true for a number of affluent nations, and in particular the United States. From the strict perspective of national self-interest in a narrow sense, the U.S. can probably avert most serious consequences of 21st century climate change via adaptation alone. This would include high seawalls and other barrier protections against sea level rise and storm surges, some minor population relocation, and advanced irrigation systems to mitigate the consequences of increasing drought in the U.S. Southwest. While some climate change consequences will transcend national borders (e.g., destabilized foreign governments or disease spread), I doubt that these threats will be seen as serious enough to justify the enormous potential dangers from a scaled up solar radiation management scheme. Whether it will even justify U.S. cooperation in international CO2 mitigation efforts is itself problematic, but this is a smaller barrier to overcome.

    None of this implies that geoengineering should be dropped as a subject of further investigation. New approaches may emerge, or means of improving the benefit/risk ratio of existing approaches may be found. In addition, as the post indicates, simply raising the subject appears to serve as an alert to the public that climate change is a concern to think about, which may be a benefit in its own right.

    • randomengineer

      In addition, as the post indicates, simply raising the subject appears to serve as an alert to the public that climate change is a concern to think about, which may be a benefit in its own right.

      If Al Gore and Greenpeace and “global climate disruption” and 25,000 scary science articles in (e.g.) the NYT and USA Today (and countless others) not to mention wall to wall climate porn on otherwise science based TV channels didn’t serve as an alert the public to the idea that climate change is something to be concerned about, why, this certainly will.

      Are you serious?!?

      • “we found that subjects exposed to information about geoengineering were slightly more concerned about climate change risks than those assigned to a control condition.”

      • RE, I don’t pick on Fred as a rule. He’s deep in the kool-aid here for sure. He’s on an alternate universe it isn’t worth going into details.

        My question is how you can explain Dr. Curry’s comments;

        “Presenting a possible technological solution makes the overall problem seem less threatening.”

        What overall problem is she talking about?? Any evidence aside from bought UN/IPCC hacks that are utility of the global eco-left and wealth redistributionist?

        Seems to miss the point of why most reasoned interests are afraid of the statist, eco-left AGW agenda not CO2 at all.

        Time to burn another tire on my lawn come Earth Day.

      • “Presenting a possible technological solution makes the overall problem seem less threatening.”

        Lord God, did he really say that? That’s like “handing out condoms might encourage sex”.

      • “Lord God, did he really say that? That’s like “handing out condoms might encourage sex”.”

        PE, Dr. Curry said it, I cut and pasted it. Did you mean to say “discourage”?? That irony works.

      • randomengineer

        Fred, when in a group presented with geoengineering as being equivalent to “please help us obi-wan you’re our only hope” vs what passes for just plain old garden variety scaremongering, it’s expected that there will be a difference. Especially in a lab setting. The “volunteers” generally don’t want to chance voiding the $50 that they’re paid to give the expected answer. And we all know what the expected answer is. If they know what the answer is in the deep jungles of Papua New Guinea, they know it in the western world.

        Props to the paper writers though for going for the aura of scientific impartiality by claiming a nominal attempt at double blind.

      • I think you are wrong, I find that talking about geo-engineering does make people more concerned about climate change. I put it down to three factors:

        a) they realize how significant the CO2 impacts must be if it takes so much effort to “negate them”

        b) they realize the people who accept AGW are not just hippies who want to sink the economy, contradicting the false narrative peddled by cwon14 et al

        c) they realize that humans can indeed alter the climate, if they did have any misconceptions about that before

      • David – There are multiple problems with the WUWT post on OA. I’ve discussed ocean acidification many times here previously and so I don’t want to go through it again in a thread devoted to something else (I’m also preparing an article to be posted on another website soon – not a blog though). Although I don’t want to divert this thread into an OA argument, you are welcome to email me. You can find out how via the denizens page. Others have emailed me on occasion and I’ve always responded.

        Two other alternatives are (1) wait for my web article, which I can refer you to when it appears, or even better (2) read the Nature Climate Change article that Matt Ridley refers to, or if you can’t, find some other way to learn its content via a scientific source that gives a full overview of the data. If you find out what the article actually says and compare it with the impression Ridley tries to give, you’ll get a sense of how WUWT has misrepresented this topic.

      • David, since temps have been steady for almost 15 years, it is hard to use them to scare people anymore. As a result these scare mongers need something else for their sky is falling mantra, and ocean acidification seems to be it. Nevermind that the real danger to our oceans is pollution(not CO2), over population, over fishing, shark finning, long line, cyanide and dynamite fishing, and dumping. These are all things we can control, but do you hear that from these guys – nope. They want an issue to control money, not fix what can be fixed.

      • scepticalWombat

        Hum
        Nevermind that the real danger to our oceans is pollution(not CO2), over population, over fishing, shark finning, long line, cyanide and dynamite fishing, and dumping. These are all things we can control, but do you hear that from these guys – nope. They want an issue to control money, not fix what can be fixed.

        I think you will find that there is a substantial overlap between the people who are concerned about CO2 and the people who are concerned about the things you mention. I don’t see the Tea Party getting very excited about any of them.

    • Fred, you reminded me: how is that list of successful mitigation technologies going?

  9. This sort of BS is the really scary stuff.
    And Just what we need, the hubris of “scientists” fixing a non problem.
    They should perhaps consider the “Grey Gloop” scenario that worries all in the Nano Technology area.
    The “proposed” solution holds more terrors than the supposed problem
    (particularly due to the law of unintended consequences)

    • Jim, do not be afraid. This is another muddled talking point of conflicted agenda setting and a attempt for phony drama as well as confirming (trying to breath life) into dead co2 fears.

      I grew up in NYC. In the early 70′s I was walking in the Village near Bleeker Street near a small cafe. Seemed like a bar fight broke out but it was just a coffee house in the middle of the afternoon. People started flooding out and I asked what was going on. Turns out the “Stalinists” had heard all too much from the “Trotskyites” that afternoon and the ruckus ensued. All kind of laughable then and now, outdated people arguing fringe ideas in an effort to maintain relevance in their own minds. Ten years from now, without the internet, the “Geos” and “Gaianist” would be breaking up a similar coffee shop arguing never to be and outdated policy questions. Probably in Boulder Co if I had to guess.

      Geoengineering fantasy is part of the AGW death rattle, you should just laugh at it. They’re all on the same sinking ship.

    • “This sort of BS is the really scary stuff.
      And Just what we need, the hubris of “scientists” fixing a non problem.
      They should perhaps consider the “Grey Gloop” scenario that worries all in the Nano Technology area.
      The “proposed” solution holds more terrors than the supposed problem
      (particularly due to the law of unintended consequences)”

      It’s always a fascinating contrast to behold when skeptics on one hand get alarmist about geo-engineering schemes, but remain utterly complacent about the ongoing CO2 rise.

      Can’t for the life of me figure out why the law of unintended consequences invoked here isn’t also being applied to the CO2 rise.

      Perhaps we just need to label the ongoing CO2 rise a geo-engineering scheme and skeptics will become sufficiently alarmed about it?

  10. “Consistent with the study hypotheses, we found that making citizens aware of the potential contribution of geoengineering as a supplement to restriction of CO2 emissions helps to offset cultural polarization over the validity of climate-change science.”

    In other words, “two lies for the price of one.”

    An isn’t the very idea of “democracy-promoting science communication ” about as un-democratic as things get?

    • randomengineer

      Don’t you know anything yet? The only reason the proles aren’t fighting in the streets to be first in line to pay for new taxes re climate is that they haven’t been communicated at enough.

      There are some things so breathtakingly stupid that only intellectuals (self appointed and otherwise) can believe them. Non stop rivers of “communication” and screeching hasn’t worked despite a 15 year avalanche of of it, so *obviously* the correct answer is to turn the dial to 11.

    • In other words, “two lies for the price of one.”

      Jim, exactly. There is also a straw dog that all the skeptic claims are based on a basic lack of “nobility” to make collective sacrifice and pay the “just cost” to fix AGW which we all share guilt. Similar to not wanting taxes raised (because you’re selfish by nature), the other common phony narrative of the left. Similar to you don’t accept “science” because of your free-market ideology.

  11. I will briefly comment on each point of summary:

    “Unintended Negative Consequences – We may know too little about the Earth’s geophysical and ecological systems to be confident we can engineer the climate on a planetary scale without making an already bad situation even worse;”

    In terms of average temperature- dream on. Something other temperature- well if govt program count it- in spades.

    “Potential Ineffectiveness – Some proposed CDR methods are so weak that they would produce useful results only if sustained on a millennial timescale”
    Right- in probably all efforts suggested- the cap and trade being example of this- massively stupid, and would not do anything- other harm millions of people.

    “Risk of Undermining Emissions-Mitigation Efforts – If politicians come to believe that geoengineering can provide a low-cost “tech fix” for climate change, it could provide a perfect excuse for backing off from efforts to shift away from fossil fuels;”

    It’s just sad. Sad there are many twits.

    “Risk of Sudden Catastrophic Warming – If geoengineering is used as a substitute for emissions reduction, allowing high concentrations of CO2 to build up in the atmosphere, it would create a situation where if the geoengineering ever faltered because of wars, economic depressions, terrorism or any other reasons during the millennium ahead, a catastrophic warming would occur too quickly for human society and vast numbers of plant and animal species to adapt;”

    Where to start? Oh, yeah, Idiots.

    “Equity Issues – Geoengineering efforts might succeed in countering the warm- ing trend on a global scale, but at the same time cause droughts and famines in some regions;”

    Again- they probably be ineffectual. But as source of causing general derangement, lawsuits, or even war [unlikely], yup! But the legal and political problem of doing anything, could be a problem. Example: say you knew and had easy way to stop an earthquake from occurring in major city- legally and politically hard to actually do it. It occurs naturally there is no one to blame- start messing with it- and anything that happens is your fault. Witness, Italy.

    “Difficulty of Reaching Agreement – It could be harder to reach global agreements on doing geoengineering than it is to reach agreements on reducing carbon emissions”
    Yeah, who wants some bureaucrat to do anything? But if the plan doesn’t require much money, a single nation could do it to entertain the morons.

    “Potential for Weaponization…”
    There you go, see if US military wants to buy your plan. Would great if we make Iran under a constant hurricane or something.

    “Reduced Efficiency of Solar Energy…”
    lame.

    “Danger of Corporate Interests Overriding the Public Interest – Dangers include a lack of transparency in SRM technology development and the possibility that the drive for corporate profits could lead to inappropriate geoengineering deployments”

    Corporations are publicly owned. Yawn.

    “Danger of Research Driving Inappropriate Deployment – Research programs have often created a community of researchers that functions as an interest group promoting the development of the technology that they are investigating.”

    Good point, we get more of the climate science stuff.
    But at least it’s competition. I prefer two “community of researchers”
    who might not agree. Sure, it’s more waste of public monies- but never been a problem far so.

    • “Danger of Research Driving Inappropriate Deployment – Research programs have often created a community of researchers that functions as an interest group promoting the development of the technology that they are investigating.”

      I saw that too and the number of times “reductions in carbon dioxide emissions” was used.

      When considering CO2 reduction as a ‘geoengineering’ scheme many of his points look extremely foolish.
      ■ Unintended Negative Consequences – We may know too little about the Earth’s geophysical and ecological systems to be confident we can engineer the climate on a planetary scale without making an already bad situation even worse;

      ■ Potential Ineffectiveness – Some proposed CDR methods are so weak that they would produce useful results only if sustained on a millennial timescale;

      ■ Risk of Undermining Emissions-Mitigation Efforts – If politicians come to believe that geoengineering can provide a low-cost “tech fix” for climate change, it could provide a perfect excuse for backing off from efforts to shift away from fossil fuels;

  12. I think that Fred Moolten’s phrase encapsulates why we should not mitigate CO2 nor geoengineer the planet’s climate:”… although unintended negative consequences can never be discounted entirely.” I was taught a long time ago, when faced with a critical rapidly changing situation, the first thing to do is to: “put your hands in your pockets and look, listen and think.” Never more true today in the climate change community’s exhortations: “we’re in a crisis and we need to act fast.” The precautionary principle is irrelevant: what if??? What ever. Think your way through the situation. Even a race car driver doesn’t act instinctually to the rapidly changing situation: lightning quick reflexes combined with experience and a keen focused mind at 200+ mph: factoring vector forces: physics. Given the lack of accelerated warming over the past decade or so means that we are cruising along at 2 mph, plenty of time to steer this behemoth right or left of the natural trajectory. Only the people frothing at the mouth tailgating our rear bumper are exercised. Ignore their honking horns, flashing lights, rigid digits, and expletives. Assess; prioritize; initiate; evaluate; start all over again. Consider geoengineering when and If there is a discernible problem you can quantitate. Otherwise, keep you hands to yourself.

    • Good point Hilary (I did spell that right, didn’t I)?

      No one should ever do anything if they can’t categorically rule out any possible unintended consequences.

      I was taught a long time ago, when faced with a critical rapidly changing situation, the first thing to do is to: “put your hands in your pockets and look, listen and think.”

      I dunno. A car is speeding at me? I will move rather than “put my hands in my pockets, and look, listen and think.” Might I step into the path of an oncoming truck? Yup. But at least I won’t just be killed while there with my hands in my pockets.

      • Oh wait.

        HIlary, are you a female of a “particular class?” If so, I need to change the tone of that last comment.

      • I am delighted to acknowledge that Joshua heeds my advice to not jump into the path of an oncoming speeding car, or at least, to stay on the sidewalk. There is hope my words have impact. Now, the next advice: watch for the little red hand on the crosswalk signal to change to a white figure walking. Signal response. Good. The important paradigm, signal! No signal, then things are iffy. No signal that CO2 is catastrophically driving us all to hell in a hand basket? Then my mentor’s admonition: put your hand in your pockets: look, listen, & think.

      • What “particular class” of female are you thinking that Hilary might be of, joshy? Why do you have a problem with females? This is one of the many reasons nobody likes you, or takes you seriously. You are emotionally disturbed. And not nice at all.

      • Don -

        What “particular class” of female are you thinking that Hilary might be of, joshy?

        You’ll have to ask mosher, Don. I don’t know.

        I’ve asked him to explain a couple of times.

        In return?

        Bubkis.

      • er… bupkis.

      • OK, joshy. Mosher made you do it. I don’t recall Mosher commenting on Hilary, but my guess he was being complimentary, rather than a little smarmy misogynist pwick.

    • “Given the lack of accelerated warming over the past decade or so means that we are cruising along at 2 mph, plenty of time to steer this behemoth right or left of the natural trajectory.”

      Being a behemoth it takes time to get moving. There’s technological delay (switching the world’s power systems can’t be done overnight), climate delay (thermal inertia) and political delay to any action. They probably all add up to decades.

      In other words if you plan to wait until you directly see it coming, it’ll be too late.

  13. Obviously, these dudes don’t read Climate Etc.

    the goal of democracy-promoting science communication is …. to remove from their deliberative environment antagonistic cultural meanings and other influences that predictably distort the quality of such engagement.

    and

    The proper measure of success for a two-channel strategy, then, is … abating antagonisms in meaning that drive citizens of diverse worldviews apart when they consider such evidence in common.

    Good luck with that fellas.

    The Magic 8-ball says “Outlook is not so good.”

    • Stuff it Joshua, the post is close to a prank and an insult to the intelligence of many of the skeptics here. Moonbats addressing moonbats as if AGW dissent is something that is going to be condescended to in this fashion quietly. These clowns are partially funded by the public, even more annoying. The Wilson International Center is pathetic as a rule, another inbred cousin enclave of the UN/IPCC culture. It should all be defunded of public resources.

      They have an office in the Ronald Reagan building, rent free. Insult to injury.

  14. Can’t we wait until we are sure there actually IS a problem and that we aren’t simply looking at perfectly natural variation at this point?

    • George, social manias do not need actual problems to exist, or for actual solutions- much less strategies- before demanding that their obsessions be acted upon….

    • TSR, wep, dhs…
      A “privacy compliance review” issued by DHS last November says that since at least June 2010, its national operations center has been operating a “Social Networking/Media Capability” which involves regular monitoring of “publicly available online forums, blogs, public websites and message boards.”

      The purpose of the monitoring, says the government document, is to “collect information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture.”

      Getting late and it all sounds so civil. Not as many Zombies as you all may think.

  15. Anthropogenic change to the MAX! Full speed ahead. Damn the torpedoes. I have just now begun to fight. That’s a bird. No, it’s a plane.
    =========================

  16. “or deploying poorly evaluated, untested technologies at scale”

    Like bird slaughtering, money wasting windmills that that need backup power plants that end up producing more CO2?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9000760/Wind-power-is-expensive-and-ineffective-at-cutting-CO2-say-Civitas.html

    • It’s part of the plan Bruce. Bird’s exhale CO2. See where I am going? The height of the windmills will be progressively (no pun intended) lowered, and they will be installed in our cities. Pedestrians exhale a lot more CO2 than birds do. Follow me, Bruce.

  17. Defunding the Wilson International Center;

    http://www.thedailybanter.com/tdb/2011/01/republicans-want-to-defund-usaid.html

    It should be on the Jan 2013 list. Along with the UN/IPCC/Most Climate research/NPR/PBS. Why are tax dollars washed through hack background operative organizations of the left in the first place?

  18. “It seems to me that a sensible application of the precautionary principle is to develop and evaluate technologies that might be needed or otherwise proposed.”

    “Debt crosses $14 trillion mark”

    http://money.cnn.com/2011/01/20/news/economy/debt_record_high/index.htm

    By all means, let’s borrow another couple billion to “research” geoengineering boondoggles to go along with our billions being invested in researching alternative energy boondoggles. What’s a couple billion here and there when we are about to crash the whole damn thing anyway?

    • It seems to me that a sensible application of the precautionary principle would be to teach climate scientists some basic economics.

      I am curious about one thing — who was the nut that decided that rational cost-benefit analysis should be abandoned and replaced with some bizarre phrase incapable of quantification or evaluation called the “precautionary principle” which can be used by anyone to “justify” anything?

      Make that two things — why wasn’t the nut laughed off the stage?

      • Another question:how many other dubious issues getting through more quietly? The general social failure that has permitted AGW to dominate the public square has certainly allowed others as well.

  19. ■ Acknowledge that many geoengineering methods have significant uncertainties …, and support rigorous and fully transparent research efforts to reduce these uncertainties.
    -> can we try this one first with the IPCC?

    Also, why the discussion about the vulnerabilities of geo-engineering to terrorism and war? Are we really assuming that emissions standards wil be followed during war?

    Finally, haven’t we been doing geo-engineering already? As we know, all the models have projected way too hot because those damn aerosols. If we could exert such influence that without even trying to, think what we could do with the specific end in mind. (If you reject the idea that anthro-aerosols can work, then you now have no way to reconcile the models, which leaves with an even weaker case that there is a problem in the first place)

    • The concern about war and terrorism is that if we rely purely on geo-engineering to save the planet, then during wars we may redirect efforts elsewhere, and so the planet will insantly burn to a crisp.

      These folk are seriously bonkers – don’t forget that. This is made clear in one of the earlier ‘caveats’, as follows:

      Risk of Undermining Emissions-Mitigation Efforts – If politicians come to believe that geoengineering can provide a low-cost “tech fix” for climate change, it could provide a perfect excuse for backing off from efforts to shift away from fossil fuels

      This is of course identical to the argument that installing on burgler alarms will reduce policing and so make crime worse – bonkers.

  20. This post brings up a lot of very important ethical questions. Science is becoming advanced enough for mankind to actually modify physical and biological systems in fundamental ways that challenge current ideas about the nature of the world and the nature of mankind. This is in some ways an unknown future and will call into question our notions of what is ethical and moral. I don’t view it with as much trepedation as the post does. We have little reason to view the current climate or the current nature of man as optimal. I am, however, a lot more comfortable with climate engineering than with human engineering. I guess for me its a moral issue. Are we sure that by modifying human nature we aren’t creating some fatal flaw that will result in disaster? How do we distinguish the genius of mankind from the evil lurking in every human soul, and is there a connection? That’s my ultimate fear, namely, that its impossible to elimate only the bad parts of human nature without eliminating the genius. It’s a challenging topic and I don’t have the answers, but its interesting to debate it.

  21. Reasons to be cheerful. Remember you heard it here first. I was discussing with some friends the problems that we the human race and the planet faces and have come up with an incredible plan. There are some cultural differences between my friends and I but more on that later . Not all these ideas are ours ,we just thought it would he really good to combine the great efforts of that large band of integrity driven climate scientists.
    1 Paint the snow black
    2 Paint the roads and roofs white
    3 Shade the earth with a big umbrella in space
    4 Genetically modify all trees and plants so they absorb more co2
    5 Quadruple the research into global warming.
    So there we are problem solved . Now about those cultural differences, well if you are really that interested please pay me a visit and you can meet the fairies who live at the bottom of my garden and who are my life long friends. They are non-violent although we oft times play punching at shadows.

  22. Geo-engineering term used should be opposed by the geologists and generally engineers everywhere. Geo-interfering is far more appropriate term.
    Since in the civilised societies it is not possible to lock-up into lunatic asylum proponents of some of the more radical ideas, the most effective way may be to ‘laugh out of court’ them and their ideas.
    Perhaps for a start list of the Geo-lunatics associated with individual crazy ideas could be a good start.

  23. Mydogsgotnonose

    This approach is irrelevant: CO2 does not control climate: http://motls.blogspot.com/2012/01/will-co2-save-us-from-next-ice-age.html

    • Roe’s findings supports the hard work that the paleoclimatologists and polar scientists have put into their research all these years.

      I agree with Motl that the eyeballed cross-correlation between the two time-series is remarkable, and the likelihood that such a correlation would happen by chance is virtually nil.

      As a next step the modeling needs to kick in to what explains the positive feedback initiated by the Milankovitch trigger, as insolation alone can’t explain the complete temperature change.

      The time derivative approach on time series is very useful as I have used it to find correlations between CO2 and temperature anomalies over the last 50+ years:

      http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2011/09/sensitivity-of-global-temperature-to.html

      At this point, the causality trigger and propagation is still open for discussion but the power of time-series analysis is pretty impressive.

      • WHT

        As a next step the modeling needs to kick in to what explains the positive feedback initiated by the Milankovitch trigger, as insolation alone can’t explain the complete temperature change.

        I’d say that, even before trying to pinpoint a “positive feedback” to the changes in solar irradiance one should try to find the “mechanism” (it may not be a “feedback” at all, as you assume, but a separate, as yet undefined solar “mechanism”.

        [A possible example that comes to mind is changes in cloud cover caused by changes in cosmic rays, which are influenced by changes in solar activity (CLOUD experiment at CERN). But there could be others, as well.]

        Max

      • WHT

        PS Agree with you that “the time derivative approach on time series [as cited by Motl] is very useful”, and that the “causality trigger and propagation is still open for discussion”.

      • Heat transport. What caused the Younger – Dryas, a giant fish jumping out of the water and sucking in all the co2 or a sudden change in the pattern of heat transport. Until we understand what controls the ocean currents we won’t understand the climate.

      • Mydogsgotnonose

        I have researched that amplification and am intending to publish. the same mechanism accounts for the melt part of the Arctic 70 year freeze/melt cycle.

        No CO2 needed.

      • Those all have to be amplifying feedbacks, as no one has ever been able to show that pure geometric effects of incident radiation differences can have anything but a fractional effect on the temperature anomaly.

        Saying it is a mechanism adds less value than suggesting an amplifying mechanism is at play after the trigger is invoked, in this case something to accentuate the changes in insolation.

        The current trigger is not insolation but the huge dose of CO2 that we have introduced to the atmosphere. What skeptics continue to forget, and only a few commenters on this blog will appreciate, such as Pekka, Fred, Vaughan, and Mosh, is that CO2 interacts differently in its “natural” state. When only temperature changes, it becomes more like H2O vapor in that it can “breathe” with changes in temperature; and thus condense back out of the system if the triggering effect is reversed.

        We all know this because CO2 does show seasonal cycles corresponding to annual global ocean temperature changes. Whatever CO2 gets released during a warm season (taking into account asymmetry between north and south hemispheres) gets sucked back in during the cooling season. That also happens during the glaciation cycles.

        The issue is that this is not happening now, and the atmospheric CO2 is nowhere near a “natural” state. That is the entire scientific quandary in a nutshell, and why paleoclimate interpretations can only get us so far.

      • I have researched that amplification and am intending to publish. the same mechanism accounts for the melt part of the Arctic 70 year freeze/melt cycle.

        Then put the mechanism on the line. Why not write something now quick-like and short-circuit the publish cycle? You can get some convenient peer review to boot.

      • WHT

        Your curious confidence that the infant discipline, known as climate science, has all the answers comes through in your sentence:

        Those all have to be amplifying feedbacks, as no one has ever been able to show that pure geometric effects of incident radiation differences can have anything but a fractional effect on the temperature anomaly.

        We are not talking about changes in direct solar irradiance (which are measurable and quite limited), but other solar-related mechanisms, which have as yet not been identified, let alone quantified.

        The physical observations in the Gerard Roe study cited by Luboš Motl (post above) give empirical support for a significant solar driven mechanism, although this mechanism is not identified.

        As I pointed out the cosmic ray / cloud hypothesis (Svensmark et al.) now being tested at CERN, is just one of these.

        In effect, you are telling us that these mechanisms cannot exist because no one has ever been able to show that they do.

        As Hamlet tells Horatio:

        There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

        IOW the unknowns in climatology still outweigh the knowns by several orders of magnitude.

        Max

      • Careful Max, those unknown, unknowns are unknowable, Jeez! Next thing you know you might be talking about goofy stuff like entropic gravity or some other nonsense :) Stay away from relativistic crazy talk around Web.

      • Spectroscopic climate science with respect to current data is very advanced. All energy balance takes place through the electromagnetic spectrum. Name one wavelength interval that we lack understanding, and would require completely contravening theories. You can’t, because the current model works, not only for earth, but the other planets that we have data on.

        Your own spectrum is very narrow if you can only quote Shakespeare.

  24. “…decision makers should not be put in a position of either letting dangerous climate change occur or deploying poorly evaluated, untested technologies…“. Hmm. Whoever wrote that phrase seems not to understand how the earth’s climate behaves. Decision makers will not be faced by such a choice, because climate change, dangerous or not, will continue to happen, as it always has done. Policy makers can make whatever decisions they feel like regarding”…deploying poorly evaluated, untested technologies…”. But they should be aware that they will have no more influence over whether climate changes than King Knut’s imprecations had on the rising tide.

  25. The REALLY scary thing about this thread is that I suspect our hostess was serious when she started it. She really believes that CAGW is a scientific fact, and that sensible people really need to think about geo-engineering. Words fail me.

    • Jim Cripwell

      I do not believe that our host “really believes that CAGW is a scientific fact”.

      Nor do I believe she believes “that sensible people really need to think about geo-engineering”.

      The reason I say this is because she has testified to this extent under oath before a US congressional committee in November 2010.

      Here is what she said then.

      To the question whether or not AGW is potentially “catastrophic” (CAGW):

      Anthropogenic climate change is a theory whose basic mechanism is well understood, but whose magnitude is highly uncertain.

      And

      The threat from global climate change does not seem to be an existential one on the time scale of the 21st century even in its most alarming incarnation.

      To the question whether or not we should embark on efforts to combat AGW:

      It seems more important that robust policy responses be formulated rather than to respond urgently with policies that may fail to address the problem and whose unintended consequences have not been adequately explored.

      We’ve gone through this before.

      If Congress had asked me, I would have stated more strongly that there is no scientifically supported “catastrophe” in sight from AGW and that we should forget all the costly, ineffective and potentially dangerous, hare-brained schemes to “geoengineer” our climate or to change it by specific emissions reductions proposals, none of which will have any perceptible impact on our future climate.

      But IMO our host told them essentially the same thing in a more “nuanced” and scientific sounding manner.

      Do you see this any differently from me?

      Max

      • Max, you write “Do you see this any differently from me?” Yes, I do. I am fully aware of what you write, and have written before. However, there are other things our hostess has said and done, which lead me to a different conclusion. And this is one of them; actions speak louder than words. Why on earth would she have started this thread at all, if she did not believe that CAGW was a scientific fact? This is the problem as I see it.

        It could not matter less what I think, or you, or Fred Moolten and Joshua for that matter. But it does matter what Judith Curry thinks. She sends out so many mixed signals, that she makes sure no-one really knows what she thinks. It would be nice to know, in her words, unequivocally, how much she might have changed her mind in the years since Climategate.

      • I think Dr Curry is a consensus climate scientist with more uncertainty than most.

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/01/05/error-cascade/#comment-156124

      • Jim Cripwell

        Putting (what I consider to be) an absurd write-up, such as the lead post here by Robert Olson, out for general comments does not imply concurrence with what is stated in this write-up.

        Admittedly, our host has commented

        Robert Olson provides some sensible guidance re geoengineering.

        [I disagree with her on this part, as I have commented in detail.]

        She goes on:

        What struck me most was the idea of “geoadaptation,” which could have more localized, “where needed” effects and be especially important for use in polar areas to limit permafrost thawing, ice sheet melting, and sea level rise.

        [This makes sense, as I read it, namely: "prepare to adapt locally to any climate changes nature (or anyone else) might throw at us, if and when these changes seem imminent and possibly problematic".]

        If one wants to “brand” this as “localized geoadaptation”, it doesn’t change the fact that it makes sense (I’d prefer just calling it “local adaptation”).

        The Dutch have been doing it for centuries as far as locally rising sea levels are concerned. The other problems, such as “limiting permafrost thawing” or “ice sheet melting” are imagined future problems, based on highly doubtful computer model projections. I do not think there is anything we could do about either if they became real problems (which I believe is highly unlikely, despite what alarmists tell us – because it has been warmer than today over long periods of time in the past and these never became problematic then – so why should they become problematic now?)

        She adds later:

        geoengineering (and particularly geoadaptation) deserves wider discussion in the context of climate change.

        I would totally agree on the “geoadaptation” on a local “where needed” basis (no “global discussion” or programs needed) , but would disagree totally on any of the hare-brained global schemes proposed under the name of “geoengineering”.

        The bottom line is that we are unable to make any perceptible changes to our planet’s climate, no matter how much money we throw at it.

        Whether our host agrees with this statement is not clear to me, but she certainly is NOT one who tells us we must “act now before it’s too late”.

        Max

    • If anyone has any doubt where Dr. Curry stands, just look at the language she uses. It’s all the canned phrasing of institutionalized AGW advocacy. There is no doubt about it.

      Andrew

      • BA,
        Do not pigeonhole our hostess. My bet is she is operating more deeply than you are giving her credit for. Additionally, she is one of the only academics in this allowing all of us to come and freely post on their turf. Frankly her personal beliefs are not really relevant- she is provacatively and effectively challenging all sides in this to have at it. Even if I were to find a disagreed with her a lot, I would still respect her for the way she sticks to the principal of permitting free speech to be freely expressed within very slight and light boundaries of civility.
        She has lived and breathed from institutional academia for her entire career. Of course she is going to use that idiom. It is the effect on this conversation that is of interest: she keeps both sides focused on making or defending their best cases very effectively.
        Wherever this ends up, it is a great journey and I am grateful to our hostess for the quality.

      • Well said, Hunter.

    • Jim, it’s a blog. Perhaps she is just being provacative and inciting the usual banter.

      The hairsplitting about AGW and CAGW, “local” vs. central mitigation policy. It’s all part of the life support network for a dying near dead social/political movement called global warming/the state of fear marketing campaign. Since the action part of the AGW policy dream is going down in flames, the narrative lament about society “failing to help the earth” needs to be created and maintained. Political nostalgia and folklore are important when you get rejected. Every bad weather event in the next hundred years will used as a political smear opportunity by the usual suspects. To do this, the memory of AGW fear mongering has to be rationalized by the science wing. Instead of fake “preventive policy” it’s all going to morf to “blame those who obstructed” political policy in the past. “If only” the song begins “they had listened to us! (SHORT FOR, TAKEN ORDERS WHEN GIVEN)” Like a dog sniffing for a bone, looking for the next irrational surge in eco-sympathy which is really a key driver of this culture and brought us to this brink in the first place. AGW is an emotionally based movement, it has its own cultural language among supporters. Heros to the cause, enemies and villians. Children to be “educated” with the “right” message.

      To a degree, Dr. Curry is still offering cover with her moderate AGW/local action/precautionary principle talking points. She is afterall a member of the same tribe even if outcast by the more fanatical members that are certainly represented on this blog. If we don’t see major board blow ups among the Gaia/AGW orthodox and emerging Geo realist interests of AGW followers it’s because they understand how embarressing and destructive such a split is. You can’t top the eco-left for cultural uniformity and maintaining a politically correct self-policing system. The dirty laundry maynot be aired here. It’s a split between Greenshirts (who like to make money and seize control on any excuse) and the Gaia/Zombie base that you can find at Earth Day rallies smoking pot and are mortified by industrial solutions to excess co2. The thinking part of the Gaia leadership certainly understands there is nothing rational about co2 mitigation in the first place. It’s all about rationing, deindustrializing and building a central planning consensus around the cults core values. Geos undermine those goals and even the Gaia know shooting stuff in the air to eat co2 on a global basis is a huge political loser in their own groups let alone what a punchline they are to the larger population.

      It’s starting to look like the NY Jets locker room;

      http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ycn-10824485

      It’s what happens to losers. The AGW movement is a loser, it’s finger pointing time. Dr. Curry, Lomborg will catch even more heat. The Gaia will burn the Geos at the stake if needed. It’s not even close by the way, a ton more Gaianists than Geos. Any Greenshirt knows this, Geo Engineering isn’t going to make it on the map among the greater eco-left community. Actually reduce co2 without restricting, taxing and regulating “big oil”? Are you kidding the average greenbot is saying?

      AGW is a costume party Dr. Curry and the Geoengineering community are dressed in business suits.

  26. Judith Curry

    As far as the cited ”major concerns about geoengineering that policy makers need to be aware of and give due consideration” are concerned, here are [my comments]:
    .

    ■ Unintended Negative Consequences – We may know too little about the Earth’s geophysical and ecological systems to be confident we can engineer the climate on a planetary scale without making an already bad situation even worse;

    [gree that the ”unintended negative consequences” of such hare-brained schemes as injecting massive amounts of sulfuric acid into the stratosphere could be overwhelwing, but ”an already bad situation?” In what way is the current situation ”already bad?”]

    ■ Potential Ineffectiveness – Some proposed CDR methods are so weak that they would produce useful results only if sustained on a millennial timescale;

    [Add ”if at all”. Most proposals will have absolutely no affect on our planet’s climate. It is the job of climate scientists to get the silly notion out of politicians’ heads that we can change our planet’s climate by throwing money at it. We can’t.]

    ■ Risk of Undermining Emissions-Mitigation Efforts – If politicians come to believe that geoengineering can provide a low-cost “tech fix” for climate change, it could provide a perfect excuse for backing off from efforts to shift away from fossil fuels;

    [This is not a valid reason, since ”efforts to back away from fossil fuels” will also have no perceptible impact on our planet’s climate at exorbitant cost to our society.]

    ■ Risk of Sudden Catastrophic Warming – If geoengineering is used as a substitute for emissions reduction, allowing high concentrations of CO2 to build up in the atmosphere, it would create a situation where if the geoengineering ever faltered because of wars, economic depressions, terrorism or any other reasons during the millennium ahead, a catastrophic warming would occur too quickly for human society and vast numbers of plant and animal species to adapt;

    [A silly rationalization, based upon the highly doubtful assumption that the geoengineering which ”faltered because of wars” was effective in the first place (see above).]

    ■ Equity Issues – Geoengineering efforts might succeed in countering the warming trend on a global scale, but at the same time cause droughts and famines in some regions;

    [Back to ”unintended negative consequences” (see above).]

    ■ Difficulty of Reaching Agreement – It could be harder to reach global agreements on doing geoengineering than it is to reach agreements on reducing carbon emissions;

    [Reaching ”global agreements” to do either will not be possible, nor will either resut in any perceptible change in our planet’s climate no matter how much money we throw at it.]

    ■ Potential for Weaponization – Geoengineering research could lead to major advances in knowledge relevant for developing weather control as a military tool;

    [See ”unintended negative consequences” above.]

    ■ Reduced Efficiency of Solar Energy – For every 1 percent reduction in solar radiation caused by the use of SRM geoengineering, the average output of concentrator solar systems that rely on direct sunlight will drop by 4 to 5 %;

    [See ”unintended negative consequences” above.]

    ■ Danger of Corporate Interests Overriding the Public Interest – Dangers include a lack of transparency in SRM technology development and the possibility that the drive for corporate profits could lead to inappropriate geoengineering deployments;

    [The same argument can be used against any of the proposed mitigation schemes to reduce CO2 emissions.]

    ■ Danger of Research Driving Inappropriate Deployment – Research programs have often created a community of researchers that functions as an interest group promoting the development of the technology that they are investigating.

    [Sounds like a perfect description of the IPCC consensus ”community of researchers” who are promoting the CAGW scare in the first place!]

    As far as the suggested ”principles that decision makers can follow going forward” are concerned:

    ■ Always consider geoengineering issues in a broader context of climate change management, which includes emissions reduction as the primary strategy and adaptation as the secondary strategy, with geoengineering as a third strategy to use only if clearly needed.

    [Forget ”climate change management” – it is a pipe dream. Adaptation to any future climate that nature throws at us if and when this should occur is something else, but all the rest is a silly waste of time and money.]

    ■ Address the climate problem and geoengineering in the context of related challenges, such as energy security, vulnerability to terrorism, water scarcity and food security, ocean health, economic competitiveness and job creation.

    [The REAL problems of today listed above need addressing; the computer-generated VIRTUAL future ”climate problem” does not.]

    ■ Commit the U.S. fully to leadership in creating an advanced 21st-century energy infrastructure that incorporates major improvements in energy efficiency and dramatic reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.

    [As fossil fuel resources become more difficult to extract and energy prices continue to rise, the ”major improvements in energy efficiency” will occur automatically; if this results in ”reductions in carbon dioxide emissions”, fine, but no top-down U.S. government commitment (like a carbon tax) is required here.]

    ■ Support significantly greater funding for energy research and development (R&D) on high-risk, high-reward energy supply options that could be game changers if they prove feasible.

    [Yes, provided one avoids costly government boondoggles such as the corn-ethanol fiasco, major handouts to solar companies that go bankrupt or to corporate campaign contributors for political reasons, etc.]

    ■ Do not take geoengineering off the table as an option for helping to address the climate problem, but do not allow funding for geoengineering-related activities to reduce support for or divert funding from R&D on energy efficiency and carbon-free energy sources, climate science research or adaptation efforts.

    [Disagree. Throw ”geoengineering” into the garbage can, where it belongs, for the many reasons listed above.]

    ■ Do not allow geoengineering to be used as a source of carbon offsets.

    [Do not do either: geoengineering or carbon offsets. Both are losers ]

    ■ Distinguish between the two different approaches to geoengineering — carbon dioxide removal (CDR) and solar radiation management (SRM). In general, SRM poses greater risks and requires more evaluation and regulation.

    [Don’t do either for the reasons cited above.]

    ■ Never treat SRM methods – especially the more powerful ones such as stratospheric aerosols, cloud brightening and space-based approaches – as a substitute for emissions mitigation.

    [This is a repeat. It is just as silly a statement the second time as the first time (see above).]

    ■ Do not consider deployment of stratospheric aerosols, cloud brightening or space- based methods in the near term.

    [Or the ”far term”, for that matter. These are costly, risky hare-brained schemes.]

    ■ In R&D on SRM methods, give more attention to the idea of regional geoengineering or “geoadaptation,” which could have more localized, “where needed” effects and be especially important for use in polar areas to limit permafrost thawing, ice sheet melting, and sea level rise.

    [Local or regional adaptation to any climate changes, which nature throws at us, make sense; all else does not.]

    ■ Acknowledge that many geoengineering methods have significant uncertainties about their likely costs, effectiveness and risks, and support rigorous and fully transparent research efforts to reduce these uncertainties.

    [See ”unintended negative consequences” above. IOW, ”acknowledge that geoengineering” on a global scale is foolish, expensive and dangerous.]

    ■ Learn as much as possible, as soon as possible, about geoengineering’s potential environmental impacts and its ethical, legal and social implications, using a portfolio of upstream governance approaches.

    [Knowledge is never a bad thing, but the whole concept of ”geengineering”on a global scale is (see above for reasons).]

    ■ Insist that all SRM research be in the public domain, and stand firm in a commitment to openness, transparency and accessibility.

    [No. Just do not waste any taxpayer funds on this silly research. If private companies want to waste money on SRM research (not implementation, of course), that’s their problem. Just don't give them any taxpayer funded grants to do so]

    ■ Recognize that developing needed agreements on large-scale testing will be easier to the extent that research is internationalized from an early stage. Support the development of a coordinated, fully transparent international effort in which the work of individual scientists and national programs is integrated into an international framework.

    [Absolutely not. (See above.)]

    ■ A moratorium on large-scale or “climate impact” testing should be put in place until a legitimate international process for approval and oversight has been agreed upon.

    [Agree with ”moratorium” – but it should be permanent rather than temporary.]

    ■ Begin working to develop the “downstream” governance arrangements that will be needed for authorizing both large-scale testing and actual deployment. As a first step, organize informal international dialogues where participants can think together and share concerns without having to take positions or votes.

    [Absolutely NOT. No ”governance agreements” are needed if the whole idea of SRM is scrapped now, before a lot of taxpayer money has been wasted on it.]

    Sorry this is so long. There was a long list of stuff to comment on.

    Max

    • Max -

      I’m glad you took the time to go through it point by point – it saved me the trouble – and you did it very well.

  27. …climate change as a serious problem.

    Serious problem?

    Any one who has seen the following data

    http://bit.ly/pxXK4j

    concludes that there has not been any change in the climate pattern, and there can not be a “serious problem” when there is no evidence man made climate change in the data.

    The observed warming of 0.6 deg C per century existed BEFORE mid 20th century, before widespread human use of fossil fuels.

    I dearly hope people try to solve real problems like poverty now than fictitious future problems.

  28. …climate change as a serious problem.

    Serious problem?

    Any one who has seen the following data

    http://bit.ly/pxXK4j

    concludes that there has not been any change in the climate pattern, and there can not be a “serious problem” when there is no evidence of man made climate change in the data.

    The observed warming of 0.6 deg C per century existed BEFORE mid 20th century, before widespread use of fossil fuels.

    I dearly hope people try to solve real problems like poverty now than fictitious future problems.

    • Girma, the pesky lack of evidence to support AGW is what makes the true believers so angry. Or in the case of some believers, so long winded.

      • hunter

        You make a good point about “long-winded believers”.

        But, hey, if a climate scientist (and CAGW believer) like Sherwood can try to fool everyone by substituting “wind shear” for “temperature” (when the thermometers do not support his hypothesis), it appears that Bob Dylan was right when he wrote “the answer is blowing in the wind”.

        Max

      • You can sum up climate science in the age of AGW even better: it blows, except when it sucks.

  29. The lead post was “Geoengineering for Decision Makers”.

    The ultimate “decision makers” in a democratic society are the voters (not the political elite, whom the voters have elected to office).

    It is also the voters who pay the taxes, which would fund any government-sponsored schemes to “geoengineer” our climate or to reduce CO2 emissions.

    And it is the same voters who would end up paying any direct or indirect carbon tax levied by the government.

    Abraham Lincoln told us that “you can’t fool all the people all the time”, and he was right.

    In the final analysis, the voting public is not stupid enough to fall for any of the top-down schemes being proposed, regardless of essays being written on “geoengineering for decision-makers”, such as this one.

    Max

  30. First thoughts:
    The combination of documents is amusing. Kahan is telling the greens that if they add geo to their message they may peel off some skeptics. The Wilson doc is laying out how to do that within the bounds of greenness. Trend to follow? Based on the skeptical comments so far this strategy does not work. In fact geo may be a self defeating distraction.

    Kahan is doing the science of persuasion, not communication, but calling it communication is more persuasive.

    Joshua has a new term to play with — cultural meaning. Sounds nicer than tribal, more cultural.

    Rave on.

    • David -

      Based on the skeptical comments so far this strategy does not work.

      You seem to be falling into the same trap as many other “denizens,” by generalizing from comments here to a wider context. “Skeptical” denizens are a very specific subset of “skeptics.”

      Thank god.

      • Yet my statement is true, Joshua. You just read too much into it, as usual. You constantly attribute meanings and claims to people that are not really there. Perhaps they are your cultural meanings?

      • By the way Joshua, we are a rather mild subset of skeptics. Polls say that a lot of the wider class of skeptics deny that it is even warming.

      • David -

        Yet my statement is true, Joshua.

        The study talks about a positive impact of a tested strategy. You say that strategy “doesn’t work”: a general statement based on a selected sample – the comments of “denizens.” No doubt, if they had collected their sample by selecting a group of hard right wing, “skeptical,” climate fanatics, they would not have had the results they had in their study.

        You generalized on the basis a very specific sample to make a general statement. It’s ok, lots of denizens do it.

        By the way Joshua, we are a rather mild subset of skeptics.Polls say that a lot of the wider class of skeptics deny that it is even warming.

        That also shows that you repeat the same problem of failing to distinguish how the “denizens” are a very particular subset? “Mild?” The “denizens” are fanatics with very strong beliefs on the subject and who spend hours arguing one position or another. In fact, they are probably far more fixed in their positions than the vast majority of “skeptics.” Most “skeptics” don’t know what climate scientists have to say about climate change, don’t know the details about different temperature records, don’t know the details of arguments about CO2 in the atmosphere, etc.

        Again – the results of their study stand in contrast to the opinions you have expressed. They used a scientific method to validate their findings. Now you may think that their study is flawed – for example, you might say that their sample set was somehow not representative, but at least they have some actual evidence to support their conclusions.

      • randomengineer

        You seem to be falling into the same trap as many other “denizens,” by generalizing from comments here to a wider context. “Skeptical” denizens are a very specific subset of “skeptics.”

        And yet you complain weekly that the skeptics here aren’t bringing anything new to the table, it’s the same old same old.

        Make up your mind.

        Can’t have it both ways.

      • Joshua

        Are you exhibiting prejudice when you write “denizens” as an example and infer that they are all somehow the same or all share opinions? Is that a productive behavior?

      • Rob -

        Are you exhibiting prejudice when you write “denizens” as an example and infer that they are all somehow the same or all share opinions?

        To the extent I do that, you have a point. And it isn’t productive.

        However, I think that is fair to generalize by saying that the “denizens” are climate fanatics that are more fixed than the average Joe (or even the average “skeptic) in their beliefs about climate change. Do you think that’s an unfair generalization?

        The hard right winger part was less sound – although it is a fair descriptor, from what I’ve seen, for the majority of our beloved “denizens.”

      • R.E. -

        And yet you complain weekly that the skeptics here aren’t bringing anything new to the table</blockquote.

        I'm not following your logic here. What is the connection you're drawing?

      • randomengineer

        Joshua.

        Quit using blockquote. Use angle-left “i” angle-right to open and the same thing with the slash before the “i” to close. It’s easier to type and results in fewer mistakes.

      • Is “angle” a british-ism for greater than/lesser than sign? Or do you mean slash? I think the problem is too much Cheetos powder getting under my keyboard.

      • randomengineer

        Angle bracket insofar as I know is programmerism.

      • Joshua –
        I’m not sure R.E is using a British-ism with ‘angle’ (as I’ve never heard of it) but he’s at least making sense. The with an ‘i’ in the middle is a safe bet – it might even work as an ice-breaker through your cheetos..

      • Of course, my ‘angle brackets’ aren’t visible in the paragraph above….

      • randomengineer

        Ack.

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

        IIRC most of the early html books always referred to these as angle brackets and this is what I reckoned was standard. WhatEvah.

  31. Mydogsgotnonose

    In response to WebHubTelescope, the delta tsi amplification mechanism that causes the deep Southern Ocean to start to warm 2 ky before any major CO2 increase at the end of the last ice age [there's about 20 ppmv rise] is the development of phytoplankton blooms from iron stored in old ice [occluded dust], but there is another local effect.

    These blooms reduce cloud albedo and cause regional warming. The same mechanism is responsible for much present Arctic melting. Basically, the aerosol optical physics in the IPCC models is wrong, easily proved.

    ~3.5% reduction in average cloud albedo does what the IPCC claims is all the GHG warming up to the pre-industrial age [2.88 W/m^2]..There may be CO2-(A)GW but it cannot be of the level the IPCC claims.

    There are two possibilities here; either the assumption of 100% thermalisation of IR energy is wrong or Miskolczi is right. In short, the IPCC CO2 climate sensitivity is plain wrong – I estimate it’s a factor of at least 6 to 7 too high but it could well be slightly negative.

    • So Mydogsgotnonose has got the same thesis as DocMartyn?

      see Part 1, where Doc mentions the dust/iron/biota connection

      http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/21/a-biologists-perspective-on-ice-ages-and-climate-sensitivity-part-i/

      • Mydogsgotnonose

        No, we are different people. What I have done is to treat the planet as an engineering system but with biofeedback. It all fits. What holds it all together is the changed optical physics allied to restarting the ocean currents allowing phytoplankton to grow faster in the tropics.

        The IPCC case is 4 basic scientific errors using incorrect cloud cooling data to force fit the models to reality. Because of this they can never predict climate.

        It appears that JC is weaned off the ludicrous Aarhenius ‘back radiation’ idea which no process engineer like me could ever accept. However, the 100% IR thermalisation is the one I am concerned with because it’s an assumption which is probably not true.

        Also, the 33 K present GHG warming is bunkum because it omits lapse rate warming. I am astonished at DocMartyn’s extraterrestrial dust idea: I had assumed it was dust from Australia. He should also realise that before the Isthmus of Panama formed, ice age periodicity was 41 ky. – it’s deep ocean currents!

      • It sounds like your thesis would also need to invoke Pressure-induced Thermal Enhancement or an alternate theory to capture the 33 K warming.

      • Mydogsgotnonose

        The 33 K conflates lapse rate and ~9 K GHG warming offset by cooling from clouds.

        You need some GHG warming to keep the convection going.

  32. Judith,

    Scientists still do not understand this planet.
    To play with what you do not understand is disaster in the making.
    Once a process is created and started, how will you know it has gone too far when the planetary time periods have many different time frames of delaying.

    Will it be another expert causing a disastrous decision to be made just because he is in a powerful position?

    • “Once a process is created and started, how will you know it has gone too far”

      A process such as emitting vast quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere?

      • lolwot -

        Fair point except the process wasn’t started deliberately and is fundamental to many aspects of modern life.

        The idea that a ‘change’ necessarily implies a negative also doesn’t hold much water for people who are not easily ‘alarmed’.

    • There is no except.

      What we have above is a skeptic accidentally admitting alarmism about AGW has logical foundation, even citing a law of unintended consequences and using uncertainty as a cause for alarm (“Scientists still do not understand this planet. To play with what you do not understand is disaster in the making.”)

      Anthony Watts made a very similar accidental admission last year when he got all alarmist about an ocean iron fertilization experiment.

      These cases suggest that deep down skeptics understand that playing with the climate is dangerous, but for whatever reason they suppress the ability to admit that when it comes to CO2.

  33. Kahan apparently regards skepticism as a pathology! He says “The perfection of that science is the key not just to diagnosing the pathologies that constrain science communication in democracy but to effectively treating them as well.”

    Whoo Hoo. Here comes the treatment.

    • I missed that one. So Kahan is just another climate conartist with another schtick to sell his bs. It is interesting how the believers are so consistently outing themselves.

  34. “letting dangerous climate change occur”

    It’s difficult to figure out exactly how to deal with stupidity like this.

    Andrew

  35. I like this. It’s a really good post. Thank you.

    The point about science communication is a valid one. Rationally it does not make much sense that if you want to fight climate change with windmills and solar panels and efficiency, Group A will respond positively and Group B will loathe you, and if you want to fight climate change with a massive program of constructing nuclear power plants and CCS, Group A will be angry and Group B more receptive.

    It should be about what’s going to work. But, as squishy as the language is, the authors are right: different solutions carry different culture baggage with them. It can be hard for people caught up in the culture wars — George Monibot, from “my” side, comes to mind — to understand that some people just want to make the problem better. So it’s predictable that including things on our plate of options like nuclear and CCS and geoengineering that don’t have the sort of green-ish connotation may result in more people of a politically conservative orientation being more receptive.

    Agree with the principles offered for geoengineering; both the promise and the dangers. We should develop the tools. I personally think we will likely need them later in this century to avoid dangerous feedbacks within the climate system.

    • Robert -

      It can be hard for people caught up in the culture wars — George Monibot, from “my” side, comes to mind — to understand that some people just want to make the problem better.

      Good point (don’t know about the specific reference to Monbiot), but sometimes people generalize from fanatics – some of whom are primarily focused on being right or pursuing a larger political/partisan agenda (focused on other problems, perhaps) as opposed to making climate problems better. When most people step back and start breathing they are interested in the climate problems more than winning the food fight. If we get a stretch where temperatures increase at the rate they were increasing a few years ago, this will become more evident. Of course, we’ll still have our die-hard “skeptics” predicting doom and gloom because of the nefarious socialist/communist/eco-Nazi/statist/eco-Nazi cabal. They are a dedicated bunch and not likely to ever change their focus.

      • I agree, and my expectations from committed “skeptics” are low. I don’t feel the need to emphasize that, since I spend a considerable amount of time blogging about their foibles. But it’s also disappointing to me when people taking climate change seriously say — and some do — that you can’t fight climate change without a general progressive agenda, that you can’t be a libertarian and fight climate change, that you can’t fight climate change with fundamentally rearranging the capitalist system.

        This is nothing new, as I’m sure you know. There are people who show up at every crisis, and predictably say “We knew [this crisis] was coming. Now you must enact [this policy or revolutionary change we have been demanding for some time now] or we’re doomed!”

        Left and right are both subject to this. It has a lot to do, I think, with how we got into the Iraq war after 9/11, and how civil liberties got pared back and the surveillance state expanded. People didn’t come up with that after 9/11; they were just ready to repackage what they were selling all along. There are some people on the left who want to do that with climate change, I’m sure out of a sincere belief that their reforms are what we need. You’d hear more of this from the right, too, if the party line was not “not real”/”not human caused”/”not dangerous.”

  36. One final thought: if the low-hanging fruit of energy is greater efficiency (low cost, high rewards, few downsides compared to building more power plants) the low hanging fruit of geoengineering is trees. Not only do they store more carbon than we thought, they seem to be making their own biological aerosols, which may also cool the climate.

    Reversing deforestation, and growing our forests in the 21st century instead of shrinking them, could be a powerful low-risk geoengineering strategy. Of course that is a prime example of an intervention whose cultural associations make it polarizing . . .

    • How do you feel about genetically engineered carbon eating trees?

      • I grow them in my own garden and love them. ;)

        Seriously, I like them fine. I just put them in the category of a lot of cool technologies; deep ocean current tidal energy, fusion plant, thorium fission using molten sodium, space-based solar. Which is to say, I support research and development and deployment when and if we have something to deploy. But I don’t think the problem can wait.

        Ordinary trees eat a lot of carbon and they are available now. Merely not eliminating millions of acres of forest a year (as we do now) would capture an immense amount. That’s what I mean about low-hanging fruit. Once we’ve eaten the low-hanging fruit, there will be a lot of problem left, and bring on the frankentrees.

      • Mydogsgotnonose

        NE US forests are growing at 3 rimes the rate they used to grow at simply because CO2 is high enough now to penetrate the canopy thus increasing the density of growth.

        Western Australia wheat is also yielding more because the stomata are smaller for a given CO2 transport rate, hence they withstand drought better.

        The optimum level of CO2 will be ~1000 ppmv but we’ll probably stabilise at ~450 ppmv through a combination of reducing CO2 emissions as the third world [who emit most CO2] chops down its trees and increased plant growth elsewhere grabs more CO2 from faster growth kinetics.

      • More carbon dioxide does help many trees grow faster. That is part of the reasons trees are a great geoengineering strategy. Unfortunately, the warmer temperatures the carbon dioxide brings with it leads to more fires and the spread of parasites. This seems likely to overwhelm the positive affects of carbon dioxide long before we get to 450ppm, let alone 1,000ppm.

      • How about carbon eating genetically engineered corn hybrids that produce gluten? Then we could make better yeast cornbread and smoother Bourbon while doing our part to combat global warming with a full belly and a warm feeling. :)

      • I forgot, the Bourbon should be sequestered for 12 years in charred white oak casks to ensure it is carbon neutral :)

      • Mydogsgotnonose

        Come on Robert, there is no unambiguous evidence of any CO2-AGW.

        The warming is far less than predicted in 1990, with models essentially unchanged since then, and you can explain what warming there has been in other ways: http://www.sciencebits.com/IPCC_nowarming

        As for the reasons, either Miskiolczi is right or thermalisation of IR is <<100% or it's a combination of the two.

        No IPCC climate mode can predict climate…….

      • Come on Robert, there is no unambiguous evidence of any CO2-AGW.

        Of course, you are aware of the massive amount of scientific evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gases and that anthropogenic CO2 warms the climate.

        I take it by your statement that you are claiming that the evidence is “ambiguous.” In what way? What evidence is there, and how is it ambiguous?

        The warming is far less than predicted in 1990

        Nope. That’s incorrect.

        you can explain what warming there has been in other ways

        Also incorrect. There is no plausible explanation of the current warming that does not include the increased greenhouse effect.

        You provided a link — thank you. The possible explanation floated there is “solar” — changes in the solar forcing cannot explain the current warming. The solar forcing over the last 30 years has been down compared to earlier in the century:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/solar-activity-sunspots-global-warming.htm

        Your link also uses faked graphs, fraudulent misrepresentations of earlier predictions, and miscalculations of the recent warming trend. Almost everything in the article about temperatures is wrong, and since I don’t expect you to hear it from me, I suggest you look at the work of Roy Spencer and that of John Christy, both renowned “skeptics,” as well as Dr. Curry’s views.

      • Mydogsgotnonose

        Did I claim CO2 is not a GHG? There may be some CO2-(A)GW, but it has to be much less than claimed by the IPCC as proved by these data from ARGO buoys which everyone agrees is the best measure of global warming: http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/figure-101.png

        The effect is better shown by 30N-75N. These data show that GHG-AGW<<natural cooling post 2004 in this region.

        And the probable cause? It's the slowdown of Arctic melting as the summer phytoplankton blooms which give regional reduction of cloud albedo hence accelerated ocean warming weaken [the iron in old ice is being used up].

        Soon, the Arctic will be freezing hard and the N. Atlantic will be heading back to 1970's temperatures. The Russians think that by 2020, the Arctic will be as cold as it was in 1900.

        As for your allegation that the link I gave is fraudulent, that may be the case but of course, not being an expert I have to take some things on trust. I do hope that the NODC data I have given here meet your requirement of veracity.

    • Robert -

      Of course that is a prime example of an intervention whose cultural associations make it polarizing . . .

      Are there any that aren’t? Seems like by definition, since the climate debate is at least to some degree a proxy for a political struggle, all interventions must have polarizing cultural associations.

      • Seems like by definition, since the climate debate is at least to some degree a proxy for a political struggle, all interventions must have polarizing cultural associations.

        Certainly many debates reach a point where something has negative associations for one “side” based solely on its being embraced by the other “side.” However, I don’t think we should resign ourselves to that toxic an environment. But to be clear, just because I think the authors have a point about communication doesn’t mean I’m jumping on the bogus “no regrets” bandwagon or saying we need false balance in seeking solutions. We need realistic solutions that will work, and that ultimately we can build support for in the body politic. How people perceive things is important, but not more important than the facts of the physical world and the limitations they impose on us.

    • randomengineer

      Of course that is a prime example of an intervention whose cultural associations make it polarizing . . .

      Despite this being a clever tongue in cheek throwaway line, you’re right.

      What would inevitably happen is that despite agreement in principle some faceless imbecile at the EPA would abuse this and mandate N trees per yard for all US homes. This would result in trees growing too close to homes causing damage in storms and roots fouling water and sewer lines. Insurance companies would have to raise rates to cover this. They and homeowners would be unhappy. The proponents of the mandate would then claim that republicans are against trees as are their corporate masters at insurance companies, just another example of dim bulb skeptics and republicans in general fighting progress.

      It’s rarely the principle that is objectionable. It’s the abusing of it by the forces of stupidity.

    • I like things made out of old-growth wood. New growth has ugly growth rings. Trees that grow too fast make ugly wood. There, I said it. Smite me.

      • I use old-growth yellow pine.

        Salvaged. You avoid smiting that way.

      • Joshua I have a friend in New Hampshire that sells old growth woods harvested around century old homes to prevent storm damage to the historic buildings. There’s a conundrum, save the trees or save the homes 8O

      • I like to cut down old growth trees and stockpile the wood. It sequesters lots of carbon. Mmmm spotted owl again for breakfast.

      • Capt. while watching This Old House I have come to the conclusion that they are too eager to cut down these trees. Once you get a tree expert on your property he has to recommend cutting them down or I guess he’ll probably get sued. And it makes more work for their company. Just like climate science.

      • BillC -

        Depends on the tree guy. My guy usually tells me to relax and stop worrying. He likes trees. Ex-hippy. You can always trust ex-hippies.

    • Robert

      I agree with you about harvesting ‘low hanging’ fruit. You cite some good examples regarding energy efficiency and planting more trees. You also cited a lot of ‘cool’ technology that can provide energy in the future.

      I am the author of a paper on Wave energy which, if combined with tidal energy, could become a huge power source (primarily of course for those countries with a coastline :) )

      The trouble is that most eggs have been put in the wind turbine basket and wave energy -as an example- is probably some 20 years behind wind technology, making it even more expensive and inefficient than that source.

      As a member of the Fusion society I suspect that a commercial fusion plant is at least a decade away, always assuming the optimism I am reading about isn’t misplaced.

      I think those Western Governments committed to cutting their CO2 emissions need to get together in an Apollo type programme and spend similar resources to that expended on CERN in order to develop new energy sources.
      Tonyb

      • So what are your thoughts behind the silting problem? This is associated with both wave and tidal projects in shallow waters.

        Note thar wave energy and wind energy are related and both of course show intermittency. I have just derived a Maximum Entropy calculation of wave height and wave period which agrees with the conventional models.

        Also take a look at Kleidon’s work, which is the subject of the previous post. He has papers describing the extractable limits from these energy sources.

  37. Ah! Joshua and Robert start to weigh in, the blarney starts to fly. As long as the myth of co2 is preserved perhaps the Geos and Gaia can live in peace?

    Not likely.

    “since the climate debate is at least to some degree a proxy for a political struggle”

    As long a “some” = 95% you are actually correct Joshua, like a broken clock being right twice a day.

    • My theory is that the quantity of comments by Joshua and Roberta is directly proportional to their fear of being on the Wrong Side of the AGW debate. Which they obviously are.

      Andrew

      • BA,
        My observation is that the trolls posting frequency is generally in direct reposnse to either the threat to their beliefs of the idea, or the importance of the idea (the airline tax, for instance) to imposing their beliefs on the rest of us.

      • Robert and Joshua are quite different. Robert has been completely illogical at times in the past while Joshua will just avoid going into greater detail on topics that demonstrate his view as flawed.

        Personally, I do not find either any more of a “problem” here than I find Oliver. Personally, I find that one even more creepy after reading his family history. All can be ignored if they bother you and interacted with when it makes sense to the poster.

      • Rob,
        Exactly.
        I ignore Oliver and Joe and some others almost completely. I am getting better at doing this with Josh and Robert.

      • Joshua will just avoid going into greater detail on topics that demonstrate his view as flawed.

        Uh oh. Guess I just need to start posting more.

        Or must make my comments longer.

      • Oliver is polite.

    • Joshua,
      Fred has that longer part covered very well.

    • Web Hub Telescope

      For those not too aware of the subject, this is a nice little article that describes the three main potential sources of ocean energy, wave- tidal and ocean thermal;

      http://inventors.about.com/od/tstartinventions/a/tidal_power.htm

      This describes some of the inherent problems, whereby a silt build up in a tidal basin can affect performance and the local eco system

      http://www.energy-consumers-edge.com/tidal_energy_use.html

      In my article I was primarily looking at the British isles where a major tidal barrage scheme-the Severn estuary has been put on hold/abandoned because of the huge cost and environmental concerns. (although there is a lot of politics involved as well.) It could potentially be the Worlds largest

      http://www.reuk.co.uk/Severn-Barrage-Tidal-Power.htm

      Tide mils have a long history here-this link refers to a 900 year old mill still in use.

      http://s277147633.websitehome.co.uk/Elingmill.html

      However the section entitled ‘milling times’ demonstrates the shortcomings of tidal power–it can only operate at certain times.

      The shortcoming of wave turbines is of course that you don’t always get waves, although in the West of Britain (where I live) there is a very long ‘fetch’ across the Atlantic which generally creates waves-however that is the achilles heel of wave energy -the enormous forces of the ocean can wreck the turbines, especially prototypes.

      http://www.rechargenews.com/business_area/innovation/article293974.ece

      Combined tidal, wave AND ocean thermal would seem the way forward in order to generate the maximum power from the ocean resource, but we are a long way from having economic and robust units that can achieve this.

      However the effort needed to create such devices would seem to be within the range of current technology IF we put reasonable resources behind it
      I shall have a look at Kleidons work.
      Tonyb

      • Tony, there is a Scottish design that uses submerged buoyancy and linear generators (as opposed to rotational) to use tidal and wave action to generate. Pretty neat since it is not visible above the surface, the linear or slide generator is better suited for a marine environment and the pressure change in the float drives the so no moving part is in the salt water.

        Speaking of alternate energies. I am supposed to go to Ohio this summer to look at a Bernoulli principle wind turbine. No big blades, just an internal turbine with high/low outlet/inlet to take advantage of the laminar flow surface region and the higher velocity region above the surface. It has worked for natural ventilation for quite a few projects, so it has a chance to fly. The Urban Wind Generator :)

  38. Until the climate is properly described, engineering plans to manage the climate are doomed to fail or worse.
    As demonstrated in the thread on SLOT, cliamte science is not even close to properly describing how the climate works.
    It is nice to call local infrastructure projects ‘geoadaptation’, but that is really just putting a new sciencey name on what we have always done, and what will turn out to be the only practical way to continue to deal with the reality of the climate we live in.
    Again, unless the ‘engineering’ solution is something that could make economic sense nothing is going to be done. We are not in a science fiction movie trying to terraform a formerly inhospitable planet. We are talking about our home. A home that even in mild times produces hurricanes, droughts, floods, shifting rainfall patterns, ice ages, desertification, etc. the CO2 obsession makes the obsessed see everything through the lens of CO2. Like the saying that if all someone has is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. The AGW movement sees everything interms of a CO2 caused climate crisis.
    It is time to reframe the dialog.

    • Capt Dallas

      As far as wave device goes I think the simpler the better due to the salt laden and violent environment of the ocean. Consequently the Scottish device sounds interesting, especially as it hides beneath the surface-a very wise design principle in our often turbulent waters.

      Presumably the wind device is similar to this?

      Maplin sell a wind turbine which may operate in a similar way but there is no schematic on the site to see its operating principle.

      http://www.maplin.co.uk/12v-50w-telescopic-vertical-axis-wind-turbine-396269

      tonyb

      • The wind generator is similar but ducted from the surface or ground floor intake to the roof outlet. The trick is the generator design to allow for a wider range of winding configurations and excitation to expand the operating range plus auto frequency matching. Sounds interesting, but they haven’t sent me the specifications yet.

        I wish the tidal systems worked down here, not enough tidal variation, if they did, critters like this love alternate wave energy technology with slow moving parts, http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-myXqSIcyBD0/Tw9K-tfeehI/AAAAAAAAB2A/HQUE3zPXVi4/s400/Photo008.jpg
        My UK regulars might not be so regular if that happens over there :(

  39. All geoengineering schemes demonstrably prove that a certain segment of western society has gone certifiably insane.

  40. Joshua

    In the exchange yesterday neither you or Martha really stayed discussing the real merits of your views with RE and myself about why you believe the US owes a debt to developing countries due to our CO2 emissions to date. You worked to get the discussion to be about what people do if they don’t like what a government is spending money on vs. the point of the exchange which was “is there a sound rationale to show that the US “owes” aid to other countries due to our CO2 emissions.”

    Neither of you wished to discuss the evidence that leads you believe that the US or the world overall will be harmed by it being slightly warmer. Another example is when issues such as when Martha used the Kyoto Treaty as an example of there being evidence of a worldwide commitment to reduce CO2. It was pointed out that the Kyoto Treaty was/is fundamentally flawed in many ways as evidence that there is no worldwide consensus to reduce CO2, but both of you ignored the point and chose to discuss “motivations” for paying taxes etc. RE

    It is not the length of a comment that is important, but the content (Imo). The most interesting discussions here are the ones that are very specific one what should specific nations do, and why those actions make sense.

    • Yet, ironically, you have never been able to state, specifically, what evidence you have that the radical warming of our climate you propose is safe.

      Instead, you have repeatedly ducked the question and made excuses for your failure to support your argument with evidence.

      Are you making any progress with meeting your burden of proof?

      • randomengineer

        Read first, *then* comment.

        In that particular discussion it was stipulated as a baseline that the alarmists were correct so as to focus on the question of “what” rather than “if” vis a vis the concept of “reparations.”

      • Robert

        I have responded to you that your position is completely illogical to think that there is a responsibility for someone present a case to continue doing what has been done for centuries unless there is there is evidence of a harm. You question is an example of why I generally no longer read or respond to your comments. This has been pointed out to you by many posters, but you fail to learn.

      • >sigh<
        Robert,
        What radical warming of the climate?
        Where is the evidence that what is happening in the climate experiences of today are more dangerous than the cliamte experiences of the past?

      • steven mosher

        see the guidelines for human engineering of economies.

        frankly we dont know that its safe from a climate perspective to put more C02 into the air, we dont know that its unsafe. how safe, how dangerous, for whom? You dont even know if its safe for you to leave the house today or to stay put.

        And we dont know that is safe from a economic standpoint to change anything, or to leave the same.

        When you define safe, then I suppose somebody could begin to answer your question.

        But sure I think its safe, The IPCC SRES show me that warmer worlds are generally richer worlds. poorer worlds are colder worlds.

        being poor is unsafe.

      • John Carpenter

        I guess the evidence to date would say it’s no more safe than unsafe. Like Mosher said… do you leave the house or not?

      • With no context, saying a warmer world is a richer world doesn’t mean much to me. In 2011 we had a warmer Texas. 100s of millions of trees were killed – estimated to be 66 million in Houston alone. So far I’ve lost 3 in my yard, and the jury is still out on the magnolia. A huge number of acres burned. Agriculture took a huge financial hit. An example, a still disbelieving cotton farmer I met at the Cotton Bowl told me even his irrigated cotton plants died. He had the best wtf face I’ve ever seen: how do you kill irrigated cotton?

        I know, it will get much better when it gets even warmer. But how long do we have to wait?

      • steven mosher

        JCH,

        I’m referring to the SRES. That is the IPCC approved emission scenarios.
        Generally speaking, the warmer worlds were richer in terms of GDP. The poorer worlds were colder.

        Now, I dont take the SRES too seriously, but it is after all UN approved “science”.

        The problem is that the modelling is so crude that damages and benefits from climate change do not effect the assumed growth rates in GDP.
        some how climate change causes all this great damage without effecting the growth rates or population growth..

        Its pretty pathetic as far as modelling goes, but hey, warmer worlds tend to be richer worlds and colder tend to be more poor. That IPCC science, so 2500 experts must concur.

      • Joshua

        If it comes up again- I believe I answered the same way on 1/11; in regards to paying taxes, I use the terms “forced” and “obligated” interchangeably. Unfortunately, I am obligated to pay a lot. LOL

    • Rob S -

      In the exchange yesterday neither you or Martha really stayed discussing the real merits of your views with RE and myself about why you believe the US owes a debt to developing countries due to our CO2 emissions to date.

      If I remember correctly, my point of entry into that discussion was a disagreement over the use of the term “forced.”

      My first comment on the sub-thread was:

      Have you considered the possibility that not everyone needs to be “forced” in order to agree to such action.

      Which was in response to:

      “Martha, Do you still think that it is necessary for people in developed countries such as the US to be forced to provide funds to people in less developed countries because of AGW”

      And I continued to primarily focus on that topic throughout. In fact, I tried to redirect you to my point of interest:

      It seems to me [you don't think that dangerous warming is a possibility] is primarily what you’re really saying, and my interest is in enlarging the discussion.

      To try to get you back on the topic of your description of being “forced” by suggesting a fact of dangerous warming as a hypothetical.

      Say at some point you become convinced that: (1) AGW will create harmful climate change, (2) it just so happens to create more significant harmful climate change in countries that have fewer resources to deal with those changes (this part of the hypothetical could be eliminated from your consideration as I think it is a secondary point), (3) it is clear that the U.S., by virtue of emitting more CO2 per capita and in absolute terms has created a disproportionate amount of the cause of the harmful climate change, (4) representatives of the U.S., appointed by elected officials, sign on to international treaties whereby the U.S. agrees to provide aid to those countries that will be disproportionately affected and that have fewer resources to deal with the problems and have contributed less in absolute and per capita terms to the problem.

      Would you feel that as a taxpayer, you were being “forced” unfairly to contribute to the aid? If so, would you do anything about that other than voice your objection and vote for candidates who would be likely to appoint international representatives that would overturn the signed treaties?

      To which I received no answer.

      • Rob S -

        Sorry – I received no answer to the question of whether you would feel “forced.” You did answer w/r/t what you would do in response.

  41. The only thing that needs mitigating is the people talking with pure unmitigated gall.

  42. Since it is quite clear that a new ice age is imminent, I propose we continue the useful geo-engineering project of burning fossil fuels.

    Yes, it appears that such a project is failing to warm the planet, but it is keeping the ice age at bay in most of the world. Alaska, Australia, etc excepted.

    • Indeed.
      Perhaps the long term R&D should be finding ways to keep the Co2 level sufficiently high to extend the bounteous interglacial – permanently.

      Carbon-regurgitating trees?

      • Anteros I know you’re tongue in check here but because of the biosphere carbon cycle won’t the reaction time always be too slow?

        I vote for cloud control

      • A really good method would be lowering the albedo. First we have to find a fuel that gives off lots of soot and then make sure it coats all the ice and snow (and anything even remotely reflective).

        And then we blame albedo changes on CO2.

  43. steven mosher

    How about guidelines for Market/economy Engineering

    ■ Unintended Negative Consequences

    ■ Potential Ineffectiveness –

    ■ Risk of Undermining war on poverty Efforts

    ■ Risk of Sudden Catastrophic economic collapse –

    ■ Equity Issues –

    ■ Difficulty of Reaching Agreement

    ■ Danger of Corporate Interests Overriding the Public Interest

    ■ Danger of Research Driving Inappropriate Deployment

    • “Unintended Negative Consequences ”

      I’ve always had a problem with this dipstick phrase

      “Unintended” is a copout, similar to “I didn’t know the gun was loaded”. The word for accuracy here is “predictable” – ie. was some unfortunate consequence predictable or not ?

      When you examine the results of “unintended consequences” in this light, interesting patterns emerge

      For example:

      http://www.john-daly.com/windfarm/index.htm

  44. …[some] of the major concerns about geoengineering that policy makers need to be aware of and give due consideration.

    Risk of Undermining Emissions-Mitigation Efforts – If politicians come to believe that geoengineering can provide a low-cost “tech fix” for climate change, it could provide a perfect excuse for backing off from efforts to shift away from fossil fuels

    So there is some other, greater agenda behind shifting away from fossil fuels then, and alleged CAGW is just a convenient lackey and smokescreen ?

    Risk of Sudden Catastrophic Warming – If geoengineering is used as a substitute for emissions reduction, allowing high concentrations of CO2 to build up in the atmosphere, it would create a situation where if the geoengineering ever faltered because of wars, economic depressions, terrorism or any other reasons during the millennium ahead, a catastrophic warming would occur too quickly for human society and vast numbers of plant and animal species to adapt

    If geoengineering can falter, so can anything else, especially use of vastly more expensive alternative energy sources, windfarms etc.

    Equity Issues – Geoengineering efforts might succeed in countering the warming trend on a global scale, but at the same time cause droughts and famines in some regions;

    What evidence is there to suggest this is any more likely than the exact opposite, ie that famines and drought would be reduced?

    Difficulty of Reaching Agreement – It could be harder to reach global agreements on doing geoengineering than it is to reach agreements on reducing carbon emissions;

    Or, it could just as likely be easier.

    Reduced Efficiency of Solar Energy – For every 1 percent reduction in solar radiation caused by the use of SRM geoengineering, the average output of concentrator solar systems that rely on direct sunlight will drop by 4 to 5 %;

    Once again we see CAGW being used as a pawn for some other agenda – in this instance the solar energy company profits.

    Danger of Corporate Interests Overriding the Public Interest – Dangers include a lack of transparency in SRM technology development and the possibility that the drive for corporate profits could lead to inappropriate geoengineering deployments;

    What about the danger of the drive for alternative energy profits leading to inappropriate energy generation deployments?

    Danger of Research Driving Inappropriate Deployment – Research programs have often created a community of researchers that functions as an interest group promoting the development of the technology that they are investigating.

    Again, ditto alternative energy sources.

    • So there is some other, greater agenda behind shifting away from fossil fuels then, and alleged CAGW is just a convenient lackey and smokescreen ?

      The naivete that I see from commenters is just astonishing.
      This is a great example.

      • Smokescreens : I simply asked (in the thread’s context of issues supposedly facing geoengineering) if CAGW was one. Your (eventual) answer seems to be Yes. But what exactly would be the motive for hiding a supposedly more serious problem (fossil fuel depletion (including shale oil?)), behind a supposedly less serious one (CAGW) ?

      • The thinking is that peak oil will hit people’s pocketbooks while AGW is a more abstract existential threat, which people are vaguely aware of but will not lead to a rapid change in BAU. So they place AGW ahead of oil depletion to reduce the level of panic. I could dig out a meatier explanation of this, but this is just one I googled for :

        http://www.beyondoilnyc.org/report-preparing-fuel-volatility.html

        This analysis mentions the notion of the abstract climate change:

        Giving a menu of action options, starting with immediate, easy steps to fight climate change, may make people more willing to acknowledge the problem and cease denial.

        I

      • Webtelescope’s Global Warming Smokescreen Theory

        Let me see if I get this. The motive for hiding a supposedly serious problem (peak oil) behind a fake one (CAGW), is that people go into denial and paralysis (rabbit-in-the-headlights mode) in the face of big/real problems, but handle small/fake ones ok. So you give them a small/fake one whose remedy is similar to the big/real one, just much less_radical/more_affordable. Which then prepares them for acceptance of the real/big one.

        Elegant it aint. If you’re going to hoodwink the public into doing the ‘right’ thing by giving them a small starter problem they won’t go into denial over, why not just tell them this ? – Yes, oil is running out, but no need to panic, there’s time to handle this, we just need to start slowly weaning ourselves off it.

    • Be sure to let us know if you ever come with something resembling an argument, won’t you ?

      • Be sure to let us know if you ever come with something resembling an argument, won’t you ?

        You are the one asking the rhetorical questions, which by definition is one that doesn’t expect a response.

        The smokescreen point is well known among people that debate the global energy issues. Shifting away from fossil fuels serves the purpose of two parties. Number one, the policy makers that pay attention to the science of AGW. Number two, those that understand that fossil fuels are a finite resource, and from which we have to develop alternative sources of energy. Some pundits propose that AGW acts as a smokescreen to divert attention from fossil fuel depletion, which they believe is a more dire (read: scary) consequence, as it will prevent our continued economic growth.

        That is the argument, and the one that I thought you were referring to. Next time try not to ask a rhetorical question, as I figured you understood the smokescreen argument. Apparently not.

      • Re: people who ‘understand about fossil fuel depletion…’

        “A discovery by scientists may have more than doubled the world’s energy reserves. They have found vast amounts of natural gas frozen into the sea bed, potentially containing more energy than all the world’s known coal, oil and gas reserves combined… methane hydrate reserves … ”
        –Jonathan Leake, The Sunday Times, 15 January 2012

  45. This solves the planets warming problem.