Week in review 7/20/12

by Judith Curry

Not much has caught my eye this past week, I need some help in identifying interesting news/posts/articles.

The last time I had the feeling that climate news was really thin/boring, the Peter Gleick story broke; maybe this feeling portends something interesting happening.  Or perhaps just the midsummer doldrums.

The week we’ve seen the close of the investigation into the CRU hack by the hapless Norfolk Constabulary, Michael Mann publicizing an article in the National Review that likens the Penn State football scandal to the hockeystick ‘scandal’, more touting of the heatwave/AGW link, etc.  It all seems like a big yawn to me.

I did spot a few reasonably interesting articles on energy:

Update: Ashley Halligan sends the following summary on the resource recovery facilities article:

In a recent article written by Ashley Halligan, an analyst at Software Advice, she said, “Americans generated 250 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2010 alone. It’s thus no surprise that MSW landfills are our third-largest, human-generated source of methane emissions. But this is more an opportunity than it is a problem.” 
 
Halligan’s article, titled Resource Recovery Facilities: An Economic And Efficient Energy Supply, she interviewed experts from The Rutgers University EcoComplex and Catawba County, North Carolina’s EcoPlex to highlight symbiotic relationships between resource recovery facilities and the facilities utilizing captured energy obtained through waste conversion. 
 
Using both the EcoComplex and EcoPlex as examples, along with BMW’s manufacturing facility in South Carolina, Halligan provides three unique projects with universal goals–that is, converting waste into a viable energy source–but, with unique relationships. Catawba County’s EcoComplex, for example, not only converts traditionally extracted landfill gas (LFG) into an energy source–but also has a lumber company on site whose culled lumber is converted into pallets by a neighboring pallet company. 
Halligan’s article ends with the experts providing their insights into the future of resource recovery facilities–and whether or not they’re achievable on a wide-scale basis. 

——

The latest alarmism:

So, did anyone spot anything interesting this past week?

The topics I have in my file for future posts require a fair amount of work, so the frequency of new posts will be a little slower for the next few weeks, unless some softballs are lobbed into my court, or some guest posts materialize (hint, hint).

Update:  There are two superb posts on attribution of last years Texas heat wave:

472 responses to “Week in review 7/20/12

  1. lurker passing through, laughing

    Dr. N-G’s summary is quite devastating:
    “So, NOAA, now you have the more gullible members of the public believing that the heat wave really was proven to be 20 times more likely because of global warming, and we have the more skeptical members of the public believing that research produced by NOAA doesn’t even pass the smell test. At least you got good press coverage, and all publicity is good publicity, right?”
    Extremist consensus hype is a laugh a minute

  2. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Neven’s weblog Arctic Sea Ice has this week posted some terrifically innovative data analysis graphics, in a story that has a desperately boring title: CT SIA anomaly drops below 2 million km2.

    Is the 2012 arctic melt a transient “Black Swan” event, or is instead it a “Dragon King” … the harbinger of vast, permanent changes to our planetary ecosystem?

    There’s no better place than Neven’s weblog, to find out.  :)   :)   :)

    • It’s not a dragon king, it’s just a death spiral

      • Then that solves the problem, eat, drink be merry because there is squat that can be done. Unfortunately, there seem to be various cycles, cause by other “forcing” than just CO2. But let’s ignore that noise and pick our favorite villain, throw all the eggs in that basket and roll the dice. Being geniuses, admitting to not understanding something is a flaw, so let’s stick to our theory no matter how much it diverges from reality. The linear no threshold philosophy of life.

    • Steven Mosher

      Nevens place rocks. awesome place to learn.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      if you’re a serious cryo-maniac Neven’s place is definitely the place to be.

      In regards to 2012 being a dragon-king event, well that all starts to be a bit relative. Dragon-kings are meant as “tipping points” and it would seem we already tipped to a new state for the Arctic (a period of steeper declines) back in about 2007. It is my contention that 2007 was the dragon-king year, which was preceded by as series of black swan years in 2000-2006 that were like foreshocks to 2007. In this regard, 2012 is in the new regime direct lineage from the dragon-king year of 2007, following very similar trends in both sea ice extent and area. When compared to that year and the others in the new regime since then, 2012 is neither black-swan nor dragon-king, as sharply lower ice areas, extent, and volume are the new norm in this regime. Just as one day, an ice free summer Arctic will be the new norm.

      • Could be many tipping points in prospect – but perhaps Arctic ice extent is a control variable rather than a non-linear response to AGW. -http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=83339&tid=3622&cid=9986 –

        Warming (mostly natural) – melting – bang. Abrupt and unpredictable climate shift.

      • maksimovich

        Purveyors of poultry (such as canards) might now suggest that all swans are now black,if one is selective eg

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2nh/from:2000/mean:12/plot/hadsst2nh/from:2000/mean:12/trend/plot/nsidc-seaice-n/from:2000/mean:12/normalise/plot/nsidc-seaice-n/from:2000/mean:12/normalise/trend

        However in even the simplest case (if one infers the G IN AGW is global) that there are indeed two ducks on the torus and some swans are white eg

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2sh/from:2000/mean:12/plot/hadsst2sh/from:2000/mean:12/trend/plot/nsidc-seaice-s/from:2000/mean:12/normalise/plot/nsidc-seaice-s/from:2000/mean:12/normalise

        /trend

      • WOW! It’s like an imbalance of hemispheric proportions. It is diabolical the way that CO2 seeks out the Arctic while CFCs seek out the Antarctic. I am uncertain what to do, but we must do something!! Let’s ban fossil fuels.

      • maksimovich | July 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm |

        12 year trendology? Really? How shameless.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/nsidc-seaice-n/mean:11/mean:13/offset:-12.83/scale:-1/detrend:1.24/plot/nsidc-seaice-n/trend/offset:-12.83/scale:-1/detrend:1.24/plot/gistemp/mean:11/mean:13/from:1979/plot/gistemp/from:1979/trend/plot/hadcrut3vnh/mean:11/mean:13/from:1979/plot/esrl-co2/mean:11/mean:13/from:1979/normalise/plot/hadsst2nh/mean:11/mean:13/from:1979

        It’s the CO2.

        The Arctic’s some 40 degrees warmer than the Antarctic, due one of them does not have a huge continent in the middle holding back the surrounding ocean from 95% of the mass of the ice. And let’s look at what the GRACE experts say (www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/20100108_Is_Antarctica_Melting.html):

        “Gravity data collected from space using NASA’s Grace satellite show that Antarctica has been losing more than a hundred cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of ice each year since 2002. The latest data reveal that Antarctica is losing ice at an accelerating rate, too. How is it possible for surface melting to decrease, but for the continent to lose mass anyway? The answer boils down to the fact that ice can flow without melting. “

        But surely you’re aware of this? Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for misleading us, while hypocritically accusing others of canards?

        Oh. Yeah. Forgot who I was talking to. Nevermind.

      • maksimovich

        Canards are a rigorous mathematical structure that is being used for analysis of the jump points in bifurcation theory for fast-slow generic systems eg J. Guckenheimer and Yu. S. Ilyashenko The Duck and the devil: canards on the staircase. Moscow Math. J., 1:1 (2001), as they pair with attracting and repelling portions on the 2 Torus the proposition holds.for mass displacement.

        There is a wide literature on this for the understanding of the relaxation (pullback) attractor to singularities such as volcanic excursions and the temporal delay in ocean heat content.

        http://www.scholarpedia.org/article/Canards

        The evidence for mass displacement are seen in the arctic satellite alimetry ie a decrease in sea level 2003-2009 that is beyond the steric effects.There are distinct wind regimes (dipolic) in the region eg Proshutinsky 2011,so what is to be determined is the mechanisms for NH melt AGW is not a complete answer as T is limited.

        The SH is interesting as the excursions are further northward into differing basins .The increase in Blue Ice in the cryosat validation experiments (physical) show significant variability for so called antarctic mass loss .

        The arguments for the Antarctic come with a significant constraint ie if the sea ice decreases the sink will increase efficiency.

      • maksimovich

        “Gravity data collected from space using NASA’s Grace satellite show that Antarctica has been losing more than a hundred cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of ice each year since 2002. The latest data reveal that Antarctica is losing ice at an accelerating rate, too. How is it possible for surface melting to decrease, but for the continent to lose mass anyway? The answer boils down to the fact that ice can flow without melting. “

        This is called limit and is well known with sandcastles eg Bak.The science is neither new eg Thompson (Kelvin) 1872 there is a good example in proceedings of the NZ society(1874)

        I have alluded to Phillips’ opinion, because I see in Geikie’s late work that reference is made to the fact that from the foot of glaciers in Greenland streams of water issue and unite to form considerable rivers, one of which, after a course of forty miles, enters the sea with a mouth nearly three-quarters of a mile in breadth—the water flowing freely at a time when the outside sea was thickly covered with ice.
        This flow of water, Geikie thinks, probably circulates to some extent below every glacier, and he accounts for it by the liquefaction of ice from the warmth of the underlying soil. I am sure you will find a more natural solution of this flow of water from glaciers—estimated not less than 3000 feet thick—in the suggestion first made by Professor James Thomson, and subsequently proved by his brother, Professor W. Thomson, that the freezing point of water is lowered by the effect of pressure 0.23° Fahr., or about a quarter of a degree for each additional atmosphere of pressure. Now, a sheet of ice 3000 feet thick is equal to a pressure of eighty-three atmospheres, at which pressure it would require a temperature of 19° below freezing point to retain the form of ice. In the state of running water below the glacier, it might readily, as Geikie states, absorb heat from the underlying soil sufficient to retain its liquid form, as the overlying weight gradually lessened at the edge of the glacier. In this, too, we have a safe assurance that these enormous thicknesses of glaciers can exist only where there is scarcely any or no inclination of the land to the sea board, and that no sheets of ice of such enormous thickness could possibly exist on the sides of mountains, as they would have between them and the mountain side a stratum of water; and, to use a common expression, would come down “ on the run

        Almost obvious one suspects.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Maksimovich,

        It terms of mixed mode oscillations, it appears that 2007 may have been the beginning of a delayed Hopf bifurcation, judging by the changes seen in the amplitude of the Arctic sea ice anomaly since that time. In terms of the physical processes involved, this makes perfect sense in that if warmer ocean water is part of the cause of diminished ice, then more open water later into the fall and winter allows for the increased release of this heat. Unfortunately, the key control parameter of the cause of this heat (i.e. anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases) cannot be directly affected via a negative feedback loop, unless of course, the loss of enough ocean ice actually alters global weather patterns enough such that human civilization is impacted enough to somehow bring about a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gases.

      • ‘Due to the shape of the graph of Poincar´e map, it follows that the order
        of the bifurcations of limit cycles is the following: first we have N births and then we have N deaths. During every birth a pair of cycles appear, therefore the number of canard cycles here is maximal and equal to 2N.’
        (Duck farming on the two-torus: multiple canard cycles in generic slow-fast systems – Ilya V. Schurov)

        This indeed puts a whole new complexion on things. I shall have to meditate on this new to me idea of 2 torus duck farming and get back to you.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • peterdavies252

        :)

      • Gatesy,

        With a Poincaré–Andronov–Hopf bifurcation there is an expection of a finite amplitude limit cycle. With climate we can only qualitatively describe the topology of the phase space of the complex system by reference to the Quaternary I would suggest. There are multiple equilibria that appear to range from glacial to interglacial conditions. Thus the limit state seems to be much colder and not much warmer than present. It is intriguing to wonder what the threshold conditions are that precipitate shifts between the multiple equilibrium states. Fresh water in the surface due to melting, lack of cooling of the atmosphere as it moves across water and not ice, more snow and ice from more evaporation, more rainfall and less dust, dimethyl sulphate emissions from open oceans to mention a few. We should consider that the mechanisms are legion and must be both negative and positive in reality.

        One of the most interesting questions is can reduced ice in the Arctic result in precipitious cooling? It is – in common with many climate questions – not something we can answer definitively.

        The complex system is of course an unit global system that has both spatial and temporal dimensions – unlike most of the systems we are familiar with that have merely a temporal dimension. Thus we need to think past the simple cause and effect (warmth and melting) that you are still unfortunately indulging in and simply calling it a dragon-king.

        2 torus duck farming is of course another kettle of avians and we may need to line up some SH penguins again to put this in a correct perspective. I think the melting ice is probably a duck and not a dragon-king at all.

        Cheers

      • maksimovich | July 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm |

        12 years is too little time for monthly data, and the precision of the metrics too gross, for such analyses to hold meaning.

        Come back when GRACE has been collecting data for forty years with coincident increase in gridded observation of surface weather by an order of magnitude (at least), and discuss bifurcations with sufficient context.

        I don’t deny the power or truth of the methods you’re trying to use. They _can_ be meaningful, useful and valid. They’re just not right for the poor quality of the numbers we have yet.

        Also, looking closely at what you’re implying, you seen to be saying something akin to Brownian motion in a teacup will break the laws of conservation of mass and energy. However much the energy gets shifted around, it’s still traversing the biosphere in some manner, still affecting the climate in some way, shifting the complex system to a higher state in some manner, a perturbation due the external forcing of lucrative human commercial activity. Waving your bifurcations around over there to make the ducks disappear over here like a stage conjurer does not convince the rational audience that you can actually make their poultry go poof.

  3. Vonder Haar et al, new NASA NVAP water vapor dataset doesn’t show much trend: http://www.leif.org/EOS/2012GL052094-pip.pdf

    • Steve Milesworthy

      billc,

      Did you read as far as this bit?

      The results of Figs. 1 and 4 have not been subjected to detailed global or regional
      trend analyses, which will be a topic for a forthcoming paper. Such analyses must
      account for the changes in satellite sampling discussed in the supplement. Therefore, at
      this time, we can neither prove nor disprove a robust trend in the global water vapor data.

  4. Paul Vaughan

    27day / 1 year / 22 year

    Compare with the timing of network synchronizations in the Tsonis framework.

    This can be taken much further.

  5. The Hansen ‘loaded dice’ statistical (not modeling) paper compared the 2011 Texas summer temperature with the climate distribution of summer mean temperatures in that region for 1951-1980, and found that the area that exceeded 3 standard deviations (about 3C for that region) was many times that which would be expected from the 1951-1980 statistics. Globally the 3-sigma area in 2011 was 10 per cent, which is more than 20 times larger than the 1951-1980 average, and this included the large Texas regional anomaly that stood out that year.

    • Jim D, is that really what his paper is saying?
      If so, I’d be grateful if you could point out where and how, because I can’t see it.

      • For example on p.10 he summarizes it this way, “The increased frequency of these extreme anomalies, by more than an order of magnitude, implies that we can say with a high degree of confidence that events such as the extreme summer heat in the Moscow region in 2010 and Texas in 2011 were a consequence of global warming.”

      • That may be his conclusion, but I don’t see the supporting evidence.

      • This is from the abstract. “The distribution of seasonal mean temperature anomalies has shifted toward higher temperatures and the range of anomalies has increased. An important change is the emergence of a category of summertime extremely hot outliers, more than three standard deviations (σ) warmer than climatology. This hot extreme, which covered much less than 1% of Earth’s surface in the period of climatology, now typically covers about 10% of the land area.”
        His methods and definitions are straightforwards and clear in the paper.

      • Jim D, how do you go from:“The distribution of seasonal mean temperature anomalies has shifted toward higher temperatures and the range of anomalies has increased” to: “the area that exceeded 3 standard deviations (about 3C for that region) was many times that which would be expected from the 1951-1980 statistics”.
        Show me the graph which supports that particular contention.

      • The top left panel of Figure 2 shows that in the Texas region, the standard deviation for 1951-1980 climatology is in the yellow shades which is about 1 C, hence 3 standard deviations shown in the bottom right panel as dark brown shades for Texas in 2011 is about 3 C.

      • You also need to compare the other panels in Figure 3 to see how Texas in 2011 was unusual compared with years in the climatology period of 1951-1980.

      • Most warming has not been anthopogenic in origin – it makes it all a lot irrelevant.

      • Jim D, it’s also interesting to see the other huge areas affected by heat waves last year – places like the South Pacific during the southern winter for example. There are also brown areas in the Arctic and the Antarctic (also during the southern winter)
        It’s also interesting to note the number of above-average summers we’ve had in the UK in the last few years – funny how I seem to have missed them – last year I used my lawnmower exactly twice.
        My point is, if you’re looking for heatwaves, you should be looking at absolute temperature data, not temperature anomalies.
        A distribution graph of anomaly data tells you little about anything.

  6. Not much has caught my eye this past week, I need some help in identifying interesting news/posts/articles.

    Are you kidding? OK, happy to help.

    “CHICAGO, July 20 (Reuters) – U.S. corn and soybeans rose to
    record highs on Friday, extending the biggest gains in 2-1/2
    years, as scorching temperatures and a relentless drought baked
    crops in America’s heartland, including top producing states
    Iowa and Illinois.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/20/markets-grains-idUSL6E8IKBMZ20120720

    The Arctic sea ice anomaly hit -2 million km^2 a month earlier than it ever has before: http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2012/07/ct-sia-anomaly-drops-below-2-million-km2.html

    Greenland is experiencing expanded melting, which is darkening the albedo and accelerating that melting, including the loss of another major chunk of Petermann Glacier: http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/2012/07/dat-piomas-massive-ice-news-roundup.html.

    We also have a new 3-million-year temperature proxy to digest: http://itsburning.blogspot.com/2012/07/remote-siberian-lake-holds-climate.html.

    There’s more: worsening drought and record temperatures in the United States, wildfires in the American West and the Russian Arctic, Shell is closing in on its final permits for North Slope drilling, the public’s belief in climate change has spiked to 70% . . . links omitted as a courtesy to the spam filter, available on request.

    • lurker passing through, laughing

      Robert,
      It is like you consensus extremists circle the same little bits of ignorance endlessly, repeating the talking points no matter how often the grown-ups point out the difference between weather and climate.
      It is funny, in a sad sort of way.
      Thanks.
      Now off to do some CO2 intensive gardening.
      Cheers,

    • Nice example of denial in action, lurky.

      But the grown-ups are talking.

    • Steven Mosher

      Interesting. the climate model could not reproduce the temperature indicated by the proxy… at agu 2010 i listened to a prsentation with the same puzzle. eugene wahl asked from the floor. which is right?.

      good question.

      no answer.

      here they seem to assume missing feedbacks.
      i will channel wahl and ask his question.
      what do you think robert?..

      • Well, it’s another polar proxy, and yet more evidence that weird stuff is going on at the poles that is not well modeled. What I wouldn’t give for a 3 million year proxy smack within a temperate zone somewhere . . . it would clarify a lot of things.

        Certainly most people would agree that:

        The work of Shakun et al. 2012 nicely illustrates how complex the processes are that take place during the strong climate changes following the end of an ice age. The so-called Milankovich cycles lead to relatively minor changes in the annual amount of solar radiation that reaches the surface and its distribution over climatic zones that can only cause major changes in the global climate through feedback effects. Calculation shows the need for the feedback effects to reach the magnitude of changes in the earth’s energy budget needed to explain the difference in global temperature between glacial and interglacial periods.

        http://rabett.blogspot.com/2012/07/eli-is-posting-translation-of-article.html

        There are many suspects for rapid polar warming. I don’t know which is right, but it seems as though the climate of the poles is a lot more unstable than we used to think. What are your thoughts?

      • Steven Mosher

        I’m curious about the orbital forcing ( Milankovich). I heard ( in an argument) that the delta forcing at 12K YBP at the northern latitudes in the summer months was on the order of 6 additional watts. I havent checked that. Which would translate to… 4-5C warmer given a sensitivity of 3C.. Personally, I’d rather read more before jumping in with an opinion and not merely rely on what I heard. I’ll start with what rabett has to say, he’s usually a good place to start.

        That said, seeing similar wonky results from down south, does re inforce the idea that the poles are not understood as well as other locations. Paleo dollars are the best dollars we can spend.

      • David L. Hagen

        Steven Mosher
        You might find it interesting to compare “Huybers hypothesis” (integrated summer insolation) with “Milankovitch”, and both with HK dynamics.
        See: Markonis, Y., and D. Koutsoyiannis, Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics in long climatic proxy records, European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2011, Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 13, Vienna, EGU2011-13700, European Geosciences Union, 2011.

      • Climate Weenie

  7. Thursday saw the release of an analysis of 2011 emissions, including a breakdown by major emitters. The annual increase year-on-year was 3%, consistent with the A1F1 scenario:

    http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/CO2REPORT2012.pdf

    Graph of the trends:

    http://www.columbia.edu/~mhs119/Emissions/TimeBombFig16.pdf

    • Another big story was the report of qualified success in a large-scale experiment using iron fertilization to trigger an algae bloom and sequester carbon: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120718131744.htm.

    • The growth in emissions of China is quite incredible (Figure 2.2 of the report). China emits now more than US and EU combined, and China+India more than all all OECD countries combined.

      • True, but for those looking for silver linings, wind energy has continued its double-digit growth, whilst solar energy almost doubled. Renewables now provide as much electricity to the US grid as nuclear power.

      • Two grains of sand is 100% more than one grain of sand, but you still only have two grains of sand. Wind energy, solar energy … not notably better than no energy.

      • So is the total output of the nuclear plants in the US “one grain of sand”?

        Seems like you have a math problem.

      • Robert,
        The latest numbers that I could find are from 2010. According to those all renewables provided a little more than half of nuclear generation and two thirds of that was hydro, which comes certainly almost totally from old large-scale plants. Wind provided 12% of nuclear and solar 0.1% of nuclear.

        Numbers have certainly changed a little since 2010, but your claims seem to be as far from objective truth as they tend to be in most cases.

        I’m equally unhappy with all contributors that bend the truth be it one direction or in the other.

        You may feel that doing a lot and fast is important, but even if that’s accepted it’s important to do right things, Based on false beliefs all actions tend to be useless helping little on the cause but creating many unintended negative side-effects.

      • Check the link: http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/CO2REPORT2012.pdf

        In the United States, renewables provided 12.7% of total domestic electricity in 2011, up from 10.2% in 2010, and accounted for about 11.8% of domestic primary energy production (a similar amount as nuclear power).

        If you are strongly attached to the truth, as indeed you should be, I suggest you do a little more research than just eyeballing a figure and proclaiming it “far from the objective truth.” The figure from the report may or may not be correct, but casually throwing around allegations of fabrication is an example of the very carelessness which you decry.

      • That link uses a formulation (a similar amount) which appears to hide the true values and almost certainly by purpose. Unfortunately it’s very easy to find that kind of tendencies in many reports all around.

        I have not heard that would have been any major reduction in nuclear generation in US. Thus it’s share must have been substantially more than 12.7% also in 2011. In 2010 it was 19.4%.

        That was one reason for my harsh style. The other was related to the way you imply (by avoiding essential facts) that there would be a substantial increase in solar generation. Growth percentages are high, but that’s of little value as long as the volumes are as low as they are.

        Even that had not been enough without multiple further evidence of disregard of limitations and costs of rapid expansion of renewable energy production. It’s growing for sure, but not at all as easily as you either believe or at least wish to appear to believe.

      • Pekka, that’s because they pull the trick of quoting installed capacity, rather than actual generated power – which only amounts to a fraction of installed capacity

      • Peter,

        That’s a common error, but doesn’t seem to be the reason in this case. That report just was dishonest enough to say that 12.7% is similar to 19% as far as can tell.

        It’s a pity that the renewable energy community is really seriously plagued by a combination of lacking understanding, wishful thinking and intentional misleading. That appears to be true all around the world.

      • “The other was related to the way you imply (by avoiding essential facts) that there would be a substantial increase in solar generation.”

        I reported figures from the report. I did not imply the solar numbers are anything other than what they are, which is numbers growing rapidly from a small base.

        Some people are irrationally invested in the idea that renewables are a pipe dream. The reality, the hard numbers, say otherwise. They are neither a panacea nor an irrelevancy.

      • Pekka, they calculate the percentages from total capacity, expressed in gigawatts. However, they do, in a few cases, give the amount of power generated per year, expressed in terawatt-hours. If you calculate it out, you find that the power generated is around one-quarter of installed capacity for wind and around one-seventh for solar.

      • Robert,

        I’m not saying that renewables are not developing or that their share would not be increasing but I’m calling for realism. I’m also calling for honesty as being lax on honesty appears to be particularly easy in a business that many believe to be morally superior and that is at the same time highly dependent on government subsidies.

        There are other similar fields but those are not as relevant for this site.

        Contrary to many I don’t have the same doubts on climate science. What makes renewable energy different is it’s direct connection to business.

      • Realism is simple: if our civilization decides to cut greenhouse emissions, we can.The technology exists. It is neither impractical to implement on a large scale, nor is there any immediate prospects of it becoming so cheap and plentiful that fossil fuel emissions will disappear without having to take collective political action.

      • David L. Hagen

        Pekka
        To support your statement, see:
        2010 Solar electricity generation 1,212,000 MWh
        Total US electricity generation 4,125,060,000 MWh
        i.e. 0.03% of gross.
        State Renewable Electricity Profiles, EIA March 8, 2012, Tables 4 & 5
        via http://www.eia.gov/electricity/reports.cfm

        “Presents a summary of current and recent historical data for the renewable electric power industry. The data focuses on net summer capacity and net generation for each type of renewable generator, as well as fossil-fired and nuclear power plant types, for the period 2006 through 2010.”

      • Pekka, they are including hydroelectric energy in the renewable column. So Appleton, Wisconsin in 1882 marks the start of the renewables.

      • Peter,

        I know all that and answered to that. My chair before retirement was on “Energy economics” and I’m still involved in some tasks related to energy efficiency where also issues related to renewable energy come out. As I have been working in this field for more than 30 years trying to estimate as realistically as possible what is the value of various alternatives and where we have real opportunities for development, it’s really maddening to see time after time how false are often the arguments that proponents of that or that are willing to use.

        Any heavily subsidized field is almost unavoidably plagued more by these problems than other fields. I do believe that subsidies are often needed and worth the cost, but that’s really a factor that leads to dishonesty.

      • Oh, and I should say, you’re right, Pekka, that nuclear and renewables are not equal. I was misled by the “similar” terminology, which is arguably a little weaselly, if not actually wrong.

        It’s not wrong to include hydroelectricity or other forms of renewable energy besides wind and solar. The notion that renewable energy = new technology is just ignorant people wanting terminology to reflect their misperceptions.

        If I had my druthers, I would rather break down power sources into “low carbon” and “high carbon,” which is what actually matters. “Renewable energy” is a category hallowed by tradition, dating from the days when scarcity was thought to be the big problem with burning fossil fuels, and unfortunately we still use the category after it has lost most of its relevance.

      • Just to give some idea of my present assessment.

        Wind is fairly competitive in best cases even without subsidies or with low subsidies. Such conditions are not very common but they exist in many areas around the world.

        Solar electricity appears to be approaching reasonable cost level in sunny locations where the peak load coincides with best sunshine. Elsewhere the situation is worse and often very much worse.

        (The German experience with solar which is often considered a success is really far from it in my judgment. Both views have been expressed by many and I’m strongly in the camp of those who consider it rather a disaster than a success. The amount of money spent has been too high by a factor of five or even more. The development of solar cells has been as fast or faster in several other countries. The solar cell industry seems to be winding down in Germany. That’s not the way to develop renewables. The only positive thing is that the Germans could afford it as their economy has been so strong otherwise. They could afford giving large loans to Greece as well.)

      • And one more thing. Energy efficiency is a very interesting issue. Many estimates tell that it has more potential than new production technologies on medium term (decades). Unfortunately it has also led to many disappointments. Many analyses have concluded that there’s a lot of profitable possibilities for efficiency improvements but only a fraction of that has materialized in practice. There seem to be subtle obstacles that prevent them from materializing in practice.

        Another reason is that the improvements are finally not used to reduce energy consumption but to improve the outcome in some other way. As an example an improved industrial process is finally used to improve the quality of the product in a way that cancels the effect on energy consumption. Also in private consumption increased level of final consumption may cancel the improvements in efficiency.

        Even so, energy efficiency is an important issue and a comparison with Europe appears to tell that the same standard of living may be reached by much less energy than the case is presently in the US.

      • When it comes to improvements in energy efficiency, most of the low-hanging fruit has already been picked long ago.
        Most incremental improvements still to be made will be increasingly small and exponentially more expensive.

      • Most of the differences in energy efficiency have resulted from gradual development driven by long-lasting insentives. Such differences are also difficult to remove rapidly.

      • There seem to be subtle obstacles that prevent them from materializing in practice.

        This can be overstate; the amount of energy Japan consumes to produce a unit of GDP is less than half what the US does (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_intensity), so significant improvements in energy efficiency can and have been made in countries that take energy efficiency seriously.

        One of the obstacles is fairly well understood; the rebound effect, wherein for a given application, the amount it costs falls and consumption increases. Energy efficiency in effect increases the supply of electricity, which also increases the demand.

        If you implement a carbon tax comparable to the social cost of carbon (SCC), you will find energy efficiency saves more energy.

        I long thought a simple carbon tax would be sufficient, but after reading Ritcher’s “Beyond Smoke and Mirrors” (highly recommended) I’m convinced intelligent regulation of things like appliance energy efficiency also has a role to play.

        We should also not overlook infrastructure as a key component of achieving gains in energy efficiency. A national or even international system of HVDC lines could cut transmission losses, currently lining about 5%. It could also facilitate open competition between energy producers nationally, breaking up local utility monopolies, which would also be good for efficiency on the generation side as inefficient providers are out-competed.

        Our rail network in this country is a disgrace. For reasons I can’t fathom, reformer focus on high-speed passenger rail and not the real problem, which is moving cargo. But imagine if we built an electrified rail network with double tracks for speed in all high-traffic areas. How much cargo could you get off the interstate and onto rail cars, and how much energy would that save?

        Making real progress with our energy intensity (efficiency) is, like making real progress with phasing out high-carbon energy, more a matter of political will than innovation. Innovation will come hand in hand with good planning.

      • Peter317 | July 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
        When it comes to improvements in energy efficiency, most of the low-hanging fruit has already been picked long ago.”

        “Global Trial Shows LED Street Lighting Delivers Up To 85% Energy Savings”
        “- LEDs achieve the expected 50 to 70% energy savings, and reach up to 80% savings when coupled with smart controls. [Energy savings in the trials vary from 18% to 85%, with 20 out of 27 products achieving savings of 50% or more, and ten showing savings of 70% or more.]

        – Surveys in Kolkata, London, Sydney, and Toronto indicated that between 68% to 90% of respondents endorsed LEDs city-wide rollout. Benefits highlighted included improved safety and visibility.”

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/justingerdes/2012/06/30/global-trial-shows-led-street-lighting-delivers-up-to-85-energy-savings/

      • I’ll give you that big efficiency savings have been made in terms of lighting, however that’s a comparatively small player against the big three: heating, cooling and transport.
        To make matters worse, the average man in the street has to make huge capital investments in order to gain comparatively trivial savings – so it’s not going to happen for a very long time.

      • “I’ll give you that big efficiency savings have been made in terms of lighting, however that’s a comparatively small player against the big three: heating, cooling and transport.”

        “EIA estimates that in 2010, about 499 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity were used for lighting by the residential and commercial sectors. This was equal to about 18% of the total electricity consumed by both of those sectors and about 13% of total U.S. electricity consumption.”
        So potential of 10% reduction in US electricity, and in next 10 to 20 years one gets maybe 5% reduction in total electrical power.
        It’s a reasonable amount.
        But it’s also better. Lasts longer, less maintenance. More directed, so should also reduce dark sky light pollution- more beautiful cities.

        But compared to any single technology, like say hybrid cars, quite significant

        Also we haven’t really realized the energy efficiency from a more full utilization of internet and that could as significant or more depending how it’s used.

      • gbaikie, how much of that 499 billion kWh goes into street lighting, and how much into business and office lighting – which is already almost exclusively of the relatively efficient fluorescent variety?
        Besides, savings in the order of 10% aren’t really going to cut it when they’re calling for 80% emissions cuts.

      • Peter,

        Replacing incandescent light bulbs with more efficient lighting cannot solve the whole problem or a really large part of it. There are also additional factors like reduction in the need of energy for air-conditioning as less heat is produced by lighting – or in the case of cold climate the opposite effect that more heating by other sources is needed.

        It may be that the timing was not optimal as the compact fluorescent lamps have their problems and led lamps were improving rapidly for reasons not affected by the decision. Whether it was or not, this is one of the easiest steps that have on noticeable effect on energy consumption. Improving the insulation and air-conditioning solutions of new houses to reduce the consumption of energy for air-conditioning, heating or both may be more important in the long run, but retrofitting old houses is much more questionable.

        ===

        Just a side remark. I had strange technical problems in getting the EIA-pages to open yesterday (there is some kind of very selective filter preventing the normal access from my home network to EIA, but not to the rest of DOE, with the help of a proxy-server I can see also the EIA-pages). Circumventing those problems I was able to find more detailed and more up-to-date information on the US electricity production. Choosing the pre.generated table “1.1.A Net Generation by Other Renewables: Total – All Sectors” from

        http://www.eia.gov/beta/enerdat/#/topic/0?agg=2,0,1&fuel=02fg&geo=g&sec=g&freq=A

        one can see that the rapid increase in renewable energy production was about 30% due to the continuing increase in wind energy production and 70% due to an exceptionally good year for hydro. Solar power generation is so low that it must grow by a factor of more than 50 to reach present wind and more than 400 to equal nuclear.

      • Pekka,

        Replacing incandescent light bulbs with more efficient lighting cannot solve the whole problem or a really large part of it

        That’s exactly what I was trying to say.

      • “gbaikie, how much of that 499 billion kWh goes into street lighting, and how much into business and office lighting – which is already almost exclusively of the relatively efficient fluorescent variety?”

        I had meant include link:

        http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=99&t=3

        There it says: “EIA does not have an estimate just for public street and highway lighting.”
        And I believe LED is more efficient than fluorescent lights.

        This reference says it depends.

        http://www.p-2.com/helpful-information/blog/370-is-led-the-most-efficient-lighting-technology/

        It says fluorescent tubes Lumens Per Watt is has higher efficiency. Whereas I had assumed the LED would be easier more efficient. But currently it says there could be advantages [in terms uses] depending application and nature of LED one could use less energy depending application as compared to traditional fluorescent tubes.

        And I believe LED technology has room to improve- and certainly in terms of price. Therefore it seems that we can apparently get efficiency for street lights now, and in coming decade expect better efficiency for other applications. Or for some types needs one could better now with LEDs, and I expect broader application in future.

        And

        http://www.megavolt.co.il/Tips_and_info/bulbs_at_glance.html

        “Notes: LED technology is relatively new, and is changing every day. The quality and efficiency of the bulbs are improving all the time.
        The ratings in parentheses (above) are the predicted improvements which are expected to come about within the next few years.”
        And:
        Efficiency: 30 – 60 lumens per watt (200 lumens per watt)

        So if got 200 lumens per watt then it would much more efficient then any else- but is misinformed hype or real possibility?
        Briefly: Incandescent:
        7 – 24 lumens per watt
        Fluorescent (tubular):
        Efficiency: 33 – 100 lumens per watt
        Compact Fluorescent:
        Efficiency: 44 – 80 lumens per watt
        LED (SSL)
        Efficiency: 30 – 60 lumens per watt (200 lumens per watt)

      • Pekka Pirila,

        You have made some good and balanced points in comments here. However, there are some I disagree with. For example:

        Wind is fairly competitive in best cases even without subsidies or with low subsidies. Such conditions are not very common but they exist in many areas around the world.

        No. Not true. Wind requires high subsidies including substantial hidden subsidies. Much of the cost of wind is hidden as transfers of costs to the fossil fuel back up generators and the grid. Even where substantial hydro capacity is available for back up (which is the ideal situation) there is still large costs being hidden. I’ll provide examples.

        1. Wind is high cost and does not reduce emissions much

        Compare France and Denmark.

        France has the world’s highest proportion of electricity generated by nuclear (75%). Denmark has the highest proportion of electricity generated by wind power (20%).

        France has the lowest emissions from electricity generation and Denmark near the highest in Europe. France has about the lowest cost and Denmark about the highest cost electricity in Europe.

        2. Even in ideal conditions wind is still high cost

        “El Hierro To Become World’s First Renewable Energy Island”

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/05/el-hierro-clean-energy-island_n_890587.html

        Ideal situation. 100% wind and hydro powered. Cost of electricity roughly 40c/kWh. That’s about 50% higher than the cost of oil fired power on Hawaii and about ten times the cost of baseload power on the mainland.

        Conclusion: No matter how it is presented, when you cut through all the subsidies and hidden cross subsidies Wind power is not cheap.

        3. Cost to run Australia’s electricity on renewables alone or mostly renewables

        If Australia’s electricity was supplied by 100% renewables, or mostly renewables, electricity would cost about ten times current cost of electricity.

      • Peter,

        I have spent considerable time in looking at the question of real cost of wind energy in a power system. One of my former colleges wrote her doctoral thesis on that and a couple of my own students their master’s theses. How much the variability and limited predictability of wind affects the systems cost is a complex issue and the answer depends highly on the conditions. Typically the real value of wind power is very close to that of constant power as long as the share of wind power is low, i.e. well below 10% because it’s variations are essentially uncorrelated with the variations of load. The higher the share of wind power gets the worse it’s economy gets.

        I have not claimed that unsubsidized wind power would in general be cost competitive, I wrote that there are some locations where that is true. That requires both favorable wind conditions and relatively high cost of the alternatives. Furthermore the network must be capable of handling the variability in wind power production. This combination is not common but it does occur in several locations.

        Denmark has high CO2 emissions because the Danes have a lot of old coal fired capacity which is used also to produce heat in CHP mode (combined heat and power). They have replaced part of that by gas fired plants and another somewhat larger part by wind power, but more than 50% of electricity is still produced by old coal fired plants. The share of wind power (28% of electricity consumption in 2011) is certainly so high that it’s economics suffers. There are times when the market price of electricity gets negative as the system is so inflexible that balancing it is possible only by active dumping of excess power. Whatever you think of that wind power has certainly reduced Danish CO2 emissions more than any other choice they have done. They did not want to build nuclear and they have put enough pressure on Sweden to get the Swedes to shut down two nuclear units close to Copenhagen.

      • Solar power generation is so low that it must grow by a factor of more than 50 to reach present wind and more than 400 to equal nuclear.

        By your own logic, aren’t you obligated to note that solar power generation at current rates of growth will be 400 greater than today in less than a decade?

        If it is misleading to note the rapid rate of growth without emphasizing the small base, then surely the converse is also true.

      • Certainly not as I don’t believe in exponential growth with fixed rate.

        The volumes of solar generation have so far been controlled by factors that have very little persistence. At some point a threshold that allows for rapid healthy growth may be reached. For solar energy it’s perhaps not possible to define such a threshold as the economics varies so widely depending on the local conditions.

        There are applications where solar is strongly competitive even now but that’s the case for application where the power level is low and access to national grid is missing or very weak. Next will be locations with grid but with high cost of supply for the sunniest hours. Step by step the range of applicability is going to widen but it will take a years before solar can really make a dent in other forms of production. To speed up that process R&D is most important. Some subsidized deployment will also help but only to a point. Increasing the subsidies too much will increase costs steeply but have very limited value for the long term development.

      • Interesting. A global recession of just a few years would be an experiment in atmospheric chemistry.

      • Which is why restraint policy is destined to fail. The only way China and India (never mind the rest of the developing world) will reduce carbon is if a better alternative comes along. And saying that “renewables” are economic doesn’t make them so.

      • Asserting that you know the political futures of China and India is laughable. Based upon what? Your notable expertise in the political economy of Asia?

        Asserting what will happen doesn’t make it so.

      • Robert
        Evidence from history is a good start towards predicting the future. The USA increased oil usage 9.1%/year compounded for 60 years from 1880 to 1940.
        US GPD grew 3.3%/year compounded for 60 years from 1945 to 2005
        See Tad Patzek Hubbert Cycles
        China has just started its major growth.
        Consequently, prudence indicates we should assume it will grow similarly unless constrained by fuel availability or the global economy.

      • Curb-fitting doesn’t work in climate science, and no more does it work in political science. Cf.: http://xkcd.com/605/.

        China’s use of fossil fuels is trending upward dramatically. It may continue to go up — it would be foolish to deny that possibility, and of course I did not — but China could also chose, for any number of reasons, to bend the curve away from carbon-intensive energy sources. Thinking you can state categorically what when happen in the politics of China or India is what I object to, strenuously. We don’t know what the US will do in November, who knows what China will do in the next 30 years?

      • Robert
        The null hypothesis is that China will continue to do what it has been doing until you provide evidence otherwise. QED

    • Robert
      While the CO2 has increased, why has not the temperature?
      =>http://bit.ly/LAC4JM

  8. You need to put these energy articles into some kind of perspective. The article about landfill gas is nice, but hardly a significant energy source.

    Another, potentially richer source of biogas is municipal sewage digester gas. Typically, these systems recover enough electricity to run the treatment plant – they barely break even, and don’t produce excess that can be put back into the grid.

    None of this is new, btw. They’ve been doing these kinds of projects at least as far back as the 1980s.

    In my experience, the biggest obstacle (to sewage gas generation, where I have experience) hasn’t been economic, but organizational. The generators pay for themselves. The problem is, that the government workers aren’t interested in operating and maintaining systems that aren’t critical to the mission of the facility. They’re there to treat sewage. They’re not there to generate electricity. The first thing that goes wrong with pressure control on the gas, and they’re back to flaring the gas. Since the basic problem is organizational, rather than economic or technical, I don’t see a solution.

    • Organizational is a huge issue. There are a number of high efficiency co-generation designs that need balanced loading on a municipal/industrial scale, waste processing, waste water treatment and base load generation using different fuel mixtures. If you can’t maintain a stable load though, it don’t work.

    • The most important part is collecting the gas to reduce methane emissions. When that’s done it’s not any more so important whether it’s flared, as is often done, or used to produce useful energy. When there’s enough gas using it for energy production makes economic sense but whole issue is more about what to do with the waste or sewage than about energy production.

      • The original reason for flaring it is the explosion hazard. They’ll always burn it, one way or another. It would just be nice if they could get some useful work out of it, since the economics work.

        There was some effort to use fuel cells in order to increase the efficiency, but I don’t think that was economical. Microturbines are almost as efficient, and a lot less expensive.

        The operational problem has to do with balancing pressure to within a few mm of Hg. If you’re not careful, you get a vacuum, and suck air. Then the whole thing can explode. I understand why they don’t want to be responsible for something like that.

      • Pay the workers for each watt of electrical energy produced; then they have a vested interest in generating as much electricity as possible.

      • Then the economics doesn’t pencil out any more.

      • The methane from waste sites is very dirty, in the UK at least it is full of acidic gasses like H2S. They initially used the diesel engines from former RN diesel/electric submarines. This was a very finite supply. They are now using the engines from B-52’s, of which there are plenty. These are far more robust than the civilian engines from airliners and are much cheaper than buying new build, specifically designed, methane burning gas turbines.

      • The most economic approach is to use a spark-ignited engine. Most of these WWTPs can’t make enough gas to keep a Ford 460 fed, so you use an automotive engine, and consider it disposable. You get a year out of it, and then you replace it. As long as everything’s warm, and you don’t get water condensing, the corrosion is slow. Shut it down a few times, and let the H2SO4 condense, and you might as well put a new engine in.

  9. Whither El Nino or La Nina? There was an article on WUWT by Bob Tisdale, but he looked only at sea surface temperatures in the Pacific. The data from the ENSO is quite equivocal. Has anyone any views as to where we might be heading? Continuing neutral, a weak El Nino, or maybe, back-to-back-to back La Ninas?

    • What? No computer models to predict El Ninos and La Ninas 100 years out?

    • We already had back-to-back La Ninas: http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/2011/09/la-nina-forecast-to-reemerge-again.html.

      Now NOAA estimates that we’re looking at about a 70% chance of an El Nino this year.

      NOAA puts out a weekly ENSO forecast update every Monday at about 10a EST: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/enso_advisory/. You’ll find that a better source for reliable information than WUWT.

    • Fast emerging El Nino, meek, followed by prolonged neutral.

    • ‘La Niña is clearly over, after going through a second-winter stage similar to 2008-09, and consistent with expectations formulated right here in late 2010: big La Niña events have a strong tendency to re-emerge after ‘taking time off’ during northern hemispheric summer. As stated four months ago, the “distinct possibility that we could see a switch to El Niño during the next few months” appears to have come true. While all multi-year La Niña events of the last 13 years have shown a tendency to weaken or even disappear during this time of year (as in 2000, 2001, 2008, 2009, and 2011), 2012 has now joined 2009 as the second case to have a clear-cut switch to El Niño by the northern summer season.

      As noted before, all of the ten two-year La Niña events between 1900 and 2009 ended up either as a continued La Niña event for a third year (four out of ten), or switched to El Niño (six out of ten), with none of them ending up as ENSO-neutral. Looks like the higher odds for El Niño have come through. While it is possible that the developing El Niño event could peak before the end of 2012, a return of La Niña conditions would be unprecedented in the MEI record before next spring.’ Claus Wolter – http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

      ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’ http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2005GL025052.shtml

      Intense and frequent La Nina over the next decade or three.

      • Rob

        …phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.

        I agree => http://bit.ly/NEABW4

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        If intense and frequent La Ninas over the next “decade or three” did come to pass, what an amazing increase in ocean heat content we’d see!

      • You can see the pattern described by Vernon and Franks in the Wolter MEI. La Nina dominant to the mid 1940’s, El Nino dominant to 1998 and La Nina again since. http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

        There is no doubt that this happens in the proxy and instrumental record. There is no doubt that it happens in the hydrological record and the surface temperature. I have quoted this below – the network includes the PDO and ENSO.

        ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in
        those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the
        great climate shift of the 1970s.’ (Tsonis et al 2007 A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts) I think Tonis is absolutely right – and that this paper will one day garner a Nobel Prize if there is any justice. I have spent a few years exploring the implications of this.

        But you have gotten the energy implications of ENSO arse about through neglecting the effects of low level marine stratocumulous. Clouds form over a cool ocean and dissipate over warm. The satellite evidence suggests that this is the major source of recent warming far and away.

        If you want to ask questions – go right ahead. Bu we have had this cloud, ENSO and ocean temperature discussion before space cadet Gatesy. At the very least you could supply some justification for your insanely persistent views on this. Views that persist beyond evidence are quite rightly classed as insane.

        ‘The overall slow decrease of upwelling SW flux from the mid-1980’s until the end of the 1990’s and subsequent increase from 2000 onwards appear to caused, primarily, by changes in global cloud cover (although there is a small increase of cloud optical thickness after 2000) and is confirmed by the ERBS measurements.’ NASA/GISS ISCCP-FD

        I provide evidence of the Pacific role in low level marine stratocumulous here if you are capable of processing it – http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/09/decadal-variability-of-clouds/

        Happy to be of assistance.

      • Whoops – La Nina dominant to the late 1976.

      • Whoops – 1976 – time to go away. Bye.

      • Paul Vaughan

        “I think Tonis is absolutely right – and that this paper will one day garner a Nobel Prize if there is any justice.”

        Piers Corbyn’s the one doing most of the ground-breaking work on this. Tsonis is playing a VERY important role intermediating with the mainstream crowd that’s sold on the (fundamentally deeply misguided) notion that everything’s temporal chaos.

        Mildly-filtered 1-year stack of Heliospheric Current Sheet (HCS) Earth-Crossings:
        http://i46.tinypic.com/2qvwacn.png (13 day repeat 1/4:1/2:1/4 binomial (approximates gaussian); x-axis is day of year; note 27 day, 1 year, & ~22 year (closer to 20 in recent decades))

        Tsonis’ episodes of synchrony are determined by the sun.

        The familiar terrestrial changepoints (in the 1940s & 1970s) are easily identified in the sorted aggregate:

        We have a SEVERE problem with nearly-total lack of awareness of aggregation fundamentals in the climate discussion — (yes this includes the academic participants and yes they need to accept help).

        There’s a whole lot more to this story. For now I only have sufficient time & resources to convey the skeleton for alert, sensible parties scoping out the leading edge.

        Caution: There are some mediocre papers written on this time series by people who aren’t gifted at sound data exploration. Ignorance or deception? Doesn’t really matter. Bright forces are up against dark either way.

        For reference, here’s a graph of the raw time series:

        vukcevic, if you’re around, there’s a twist on all of this that will interest you (relates to arctic Bz).

  10. The UK authorities shared their findings that the stolen UEA emails were acquired via a sophisticated hack from outside, not via a mythical “whistleblower”: “‘the data breach was the result of a sophisticated and carefully orchestrated attack’ and that there was no evidence to suggest that anyone working at or associated with UEA was involved in the crime.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/jul/20/climategate-detective-disappointed-catch-hacker?newsfeed=true

    • The best thing was this answer from the police chief interview:

      ————-
      >>”Have you kept on top of all the internet speculation and commentary surrounding this case?”

      Firstly, you can’t investigate what’s said online. Secondly, you look at those blogs and most of it is speculative, uninformed and, occasionally, ridiculous.
      ———–

    • Steven Mosher

      Brilliant. they eliminated anyone with a password as a suspect.

    • Yes, indeed. They were so sophisticated, they figured out how to use proxy servers. There are only like … a few hundred million internet users with those mad cyber skilz. :roll:

  11. Is there a crack within the Team?

    Esper says temperature reconstructions will have to be redone because past studies probably underestimated temperatures during the medieval warm period and other warm periods going back to Roman times. The further back in time, the greater the underestimate would be.

    But others have doubts.

    Mann argues that Esper’s tree-ring measurements come from high latitudes and reflect only summer temperatures. “The implications of this study are vastly overstated by the authors”

    Fred Pearce
    New Scientist
    14-July-2012

    • More like: real scientists argue about science all the time, and climate denialists, united by a common ideology and indifferent to each other’s mistakes, don’t know what to make of the continuous lively debate within the scientific community.

      • “united by a common ideology”

        Curious to know what ideology this is. Could you expand on the common ideology shared by all those who don’t buy into cAGW?

      • Why don’t you find some sources advancing a theory of “cAGW”?

        Since your straw man is a fantasy, the category of “those that don’t buy into it” is meaningless.

        If you’d like to learn about the shared ideology of climate deniers, I suggest you look at the “Six Americas” study out of Yale.

      • Here you go, Robert. Enjoy!

        “The coming STORMS

        So does it really matter if we take the business-as-usual approach and stay the course on current policy regarding energy and the environment?

        YES!

        Continued unfettered burning of all fossil fuels and other human-caused climate changes will cause the climate system to pass tipping points, such that we hand our children and grandchildren a dynamic situation that is out of their control.

        If we continue down this path, by the end of this century envision a future where:

        • droughts, heat waves, and forest fires of unprecedented ferocity

        • 20% of Earth’s species—about two million species—will be extinct or on the way to certain extinction

        • a rapidly rising sea level, with more coming out of humanity’s control

        • frontal (cyclonic) storms with hurricane-like winds, which, with rising seas and storm surges, will devastate thousands of coastal cities

        http://stormsofmygrandchildren.com/climate_catastrophe_solutions.html

      • He doesn’t seem to say anything about a theory of “cAGW.”

        Can you cite any paper or book arguing for a theory of “cAGW”?

        What are the characteristic of this theory, and which points do you deny? Are you arguing sea level rise won’t accelerate in the 21st century, for example?

      • You are being purposely dense, Robert. And everyone can see it. You think if you close your eyes and insist, it will become true. It just leaves you looking stupid.

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        jim2,
        The last thing Robert does deliberately is to be dense.
        It appears to be his natural state.

      • So you can’t produce a single source propounding the mythical “cAGW”? How sad!

        I’m sure you’re disappointed, but why should I play along with your straw man fallacy?

        Why don’t you stick to the facts?

        There’s a theory of AGW — is that what you mean?

      • So, Robert. Do the climate models embody this “theory” of which you speak?

      • So were were just making stuff up as you when along; are you an actual climate scientist or just an wannbe?

      • “Do the climate models embody this “theory” of which you speak?”

        If you don’t know what the theory of AGW is, take a class.

        “So were were just making stuff up as you when along; are you an actual climate scientist or just an wannbe?”

        Que?

      • Robert says:
        “There’s a theory of AGW — is that what you mean?”
        But then Robert can’t say if his “AGW theory” is embodied in climate models.
        Hmmmm … What’s Up With That, Robert?

      • Oh, I can — but if you’re completely ignorant of what AGW is, as you pretend, why would I go into the details?

        If you claim you’re stupid, expect me to take you at your word. ;)

      • ‘Why don’t you find some sources advancing a theory of “cAGW”?’

        Well duh.

        http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/america-burning-for-rest-of-our-lives.html

      • Doc.

        It actually might help if folks defined what they mean by CAGW.

        Lukewarmers:
        Probability that Sensitivity > 3C is less than 50%
        Damages: no position
        Lindzians: sensitivity <= 1C ( very certain for skeptics )
        Damages: dunno, maybe a benefit
        Lunatics: C02 has no temperature effect.
        who cares what they think.

        What about CAGW? what about AGW?

        in my mind CAGW is nothing more than believing the IPCC on sensitivity and playing the fear mongering game of focusing on the worst outcomes.

      • If climate were a simple and well behaved system – we might get about 1 degree C warming this century.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=ensosubtractedfromtemperaturetrend.gif

        There is nothing that could possibly change that unless the system is not simple and well behaved.

        Do you perhaps have a touching but very naff view of climate models?

      • CH shows us that the lunatics in fact hold a diversity of laughably incoherent views.

      • “in my mind CAGW is nothing more than believing the IPCC on sensitivity and playing the fear mongering game of focusing on the worst outcomes.”

        The IPCC collects and publishes a bunch of different opinions about climate sensitivity, including some very low ones. So does “believing in the IPCC” meaning believing in the multi-modal average, or the range, or something else?

        “Focusing on the worst outcomes” is not a theory. It’s a criticism of particular people. Meaning the correct thing to say is “The theory of AGW has been proven correct, however, I don’t believe the impacts are going to be as severe as most scientists and economists think.”

        Nor is it necessarily, for that matter, a “fear mongering game.” If you go to an ED complaining of chest pain, they will spend most of their time focusing on the worst possible causes of chest pain (heart attack, aortic dissection, pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax) and relatively little on the most common causes — muscle strain and acid reflux. This is not because of “fearmongering” but because intelligent risk management often involves considering and preventing or preparing for the worst case scenario.

      • Steven Mosher

        Climate models?

        have nothing to do with my views. Professing certitude that warming will be less than 1C strikes me as insufficiently skeptical.
        Best evidence ( paleo, observations ) argues for >1.2 and 4.5 is equally nutso.

        Put it this way. robert and I can at least talk about options because while we disagree we dont think the other is too far from the truth.
        just saying

      • Steven,

        We have what is a residual trend for the past 50 years. Merely projecting forward gives a limit and ignoring it is utter nonsense. Neither the paleographic data or models have much relevance or precision. If you take paleographic data as the best indicator of something that as no objective relevance – you are more of a fool than i thought. Just saying.

        You have something in common with Robert? You should really be worried because the guy has plumbed new depths of silliness. Just when we think there are enough morons in the world along comes another one.

        If you and Robert don’t understand the physics of complex systems – I don’t especially give a rat’s arse. Bottom line is that predictions of temperature in the year 2100 just show how pedestrian, uninformed and unimaginative your thinking is. Just saying.

        Cheers

      • The theory of AGW is wrong on fundmental principles. ‘Thinking is centered around slow changes to our climate and how they will affect humans and the habitability of our planet. Yet this thinking is flawed: It ignores the well-established fact that Earth’s climate has changed rapidly in the past and could change rapidly in the future. The issue centers around the paradox that global warming could instigate a new Little Ice Age in the northern hemisphere.’ WHOI

        If you bothered to or were capable of processing this new paradigm – you might get somewhere.

      • Instead we get the repetition of simplistic analogies, insults, utterly stupid speculations about temperature in 2100 which has and can have a most tenuous basis. It is said with such confidence as well. It is such a sad little pretense.

      • Definition of CAGW?
        When the payoff from the burning of carbon in the form of providing electrical energy and vehicular energy is less than the problems it brings to human life on the planet. We could spend half a decades worth of GDP to completely decabonize. The economic cost would be on par with a world war. It would be a huge shift in resources from coal/oil/gas into nuclear/solar/wind. Quite a large fraction of the economic activity would be wasted, as it is in war, and many nations would have an explosion of economic activity and other would suffer. The nations of Arabia, Iran, Venezuela, Nigeria, Mexico and Russia would all suffer economic collapse, as these have economies that are completely dependent on oil/gas exports. Last year Saudi Arabia was pumping 9,500,000 barrels a per day, more than 2/3’s for export, making at least $75 a barrel. Remove that income source and what has Saudi Arabia got to buy its food? It’s all very well to wax lyrical about they switching to solar panels and exporting electricity to Europe, but I think on the whole the Europeans would prefer to have nuclear reactors that they hate rather then the Saudis controlling their electrical grid.
        I have a much different perspective of what ‘catastrophic’ is compared with the warnings from the Greens. A robust, vibrant, and energy rich society can take just about anything. Sea rises, increased/decreased rain fall and hotter summers are nothing compared with angry, disintegrating and energy poor societies. Although money doesn’t buy you happiness, it buys you a much better class of misery. I know all about the trappings of poverty, and trust me Mosh, they are pretty terrible trappings.

        If the doubling of CO2 from a historic level of 280 ppm to 560 ppm can raise the steady state global average temperature, what ever that is, by about 1.5C I can see nothing particularly harmful, and I can see many benefits.

        A rise of 3C would mean that we have huge heat reservoirs somewhere on Earth that are at present storing heat in a manner we cannot observe and that this heat, is by its very nature, is performing work we cannot see.
        It is far more likely that the box-model approach, coupled with the application of equilibrium thermodynamics to a steady state process is the central reason for these huge estimates.
        Moreover, it is clear that there must be a unique solution to the question;
        what is the change in the Earths ‘average’ temperature when atmospheric CO2 rises from 280 ppm to 560 ppm?
        The idea that one can take any sort of average from a number of guesstimates as to what the answer is and arrive at a consensus is a special form of madness.
        As one who comes from an experimentalist background I find the whole modeling field laughable. As a modeler I find their faith in models absurd. Models are great for pointing out what your assumptions are, so you can make sure that you assumptions are correct. The fact that they don’t EXPRESSLY design their models to give them an internal control indicates they are not doing science.
        From my perspective a model is just a black box, all you really care about is does it give you an answer that closely resembles reality. so the most important thing about a model is how you validate its ability to mach observation.
        In your BEST analysis you modeled temperature in places where there was no temperature. The experimentalist would run difference spectra were one would perform a pair of runs in the presence and absence of a single station, The difference in the calculated-real observations would tell you just how good your model is.

      • Lol. Chief, yes CAGW could totally F up ocean circulation. I think Hansen has been alarming us with these paleonightymares for a long time. Nice of wood”o”institute to join in on the alarming fun.

        Even more alarming, they have little data and no monitoring. Billions more must be spent.

      • JCH,

        I don’t know what to make of you at all. The properties of complex and dynamic systems are evident in a great number of different systems. Climate shares behaviours with other complex systems – and the evidence is of climate change occuring in as little as a decade even if the mechanisms and couplings are little known. Is this alarming? Could we plunge into a little ice in a decade at the next climate shift due in a decade or three? Perhaps. I do not claim to precognitive abilities. I simply recognise that this is a fundamentally different mode of operation to the slow evolution of climate paradigm.

        Complex systems are equisitely sensitive in the region of a bifurcation. Is this alarmist? I think there is a great deal to be done to enhance the resilience of cultures to climate surprises because they will occur. In a nuanced and effective response this certainly does not include carbon taxes.

        Cheers

      • Steven Mosher

        ARRG. arguing for greater than 4.5 is equally nutso.. damn html brackets

      • “ARRG. arguing for greater than 4.5 is equally nutso.”

        I think you can make a strong argument that the range for equilibrium climate sensitivity reaches a fair bit above that. Of course, you expect to see what, about half of that in the first century? No one knows for sure. Somewhere — might have been “Storms” — Hansen laid down a ballpark figure of 3C in the medium term, 6C at full equilibrium (which at current CO2 levels, let alone higher, means ice sheets could be gone, seas much warmer, etc.)

        Obviously the IPCC thought they couldn’t exclude the higher sensitivities. And we were just talking about a tiny change in the solar forcing (the Milankovitch cycles) of about 0.5W/m^2, following which you had warming of 5-6C (a lot of that was probably the permafrost going, but that’s hardly comforting.)

        At the end of the day, the climate sensitivity debate that the lukewarmers think is crucial is a bit of a “meh” for me. The reason is simple:

        1. Right now, the key question for citizens is whether we are going to take collective political action to mitigate climate change. I.e., is a BAU path safe?

        2. No one knows exactly what safe is, but given what we’re seeing the world today, +2C over preindustrial seems highly optimistic, and damages can be expected to multiply the higher we go.

        3. Even a climate sensitivity of 1.5C, on the A1F1 pathway (which is roughly what we’re following now) we will cross the +2C limit before the end of the century.

        4. Within the range of reasonable values, it is necessary to act, whether climate sensitivity ends up being on the low side or the high side of estimates. Climate sensitivity might help us to decide whether to undertake very expensive and/or desperate measures like geoengineering. But at the moment we have not even decided, as a society, to make a start. And we don’t need to know the exact climate sensitivity to know we need to mitigate and it should start as soon as possible.

    • Steven Mosher

      go team MXD !

  12. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/new-paper-parameterization-of-instantaneous-global-horizontal-irradiance-at-the-surface-part-ii-cloudy-sky-component-by-sun-et-al-2012/

    From Pielke’s quote of the abstract
    “The radiation sampling error due to infrequent radiation calculations is investigated using the this scheme and ARM observations. It is found that these errors are very large, exceeding 800 W m-2 at many non-radiation time steps due to ignoring the effects of clouds.”

    From Pielke commenting on the abstract
    “These errors are clearly larger than the few W m-2 that are due to human climate forcings, and even large relative to the natural variations of radiative fluxes. This is yet another example of why the IPCC models are not robust tools to predict changes in global, regional and local climate statistics.”

    Judith, you might consider a post which explicates how the principle of conservation of energy is implicated in the efforts of climate models to represent things like regional precipitation, wind velocities and the like, and to what degree errors such as those described above might render model predictions of global average temperatures inaccurate.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Interesting paper. I expect that over the course of a day the per-timestep errors average out and that the headline figure is the extreme value in certain locations under certain circumstances.

      The forcing from increased CO2 is an ongoing forcing. So probably the paper doesn’t say much about global average temperature projections.

      They say the new scheme reduces errors to 50W/m^2 – they’ll need a factor of more than 100 improvement if they want to shut Pielke Sr up. I don’t think the computing power exists to do that.

  13. From the beachfront tale
    As in many other, the Sun – Earth relationship goes a bit wobbly in the summer holiday (vacation) months, but is the relationship causal or casual one, hard to tell.

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

    • Paul Vaughan

      Mother Earth isn’t always equally receptive to father sun. For example, she has her day, year, & asymmetry. Keep going vukcevic. I left a note for you above about arctic Bz. There’s a neat tie-in with north-south solar asymmetry that is going to make some people downright angry.

      • Hi Paul
        Arctic has a great story to tell, the intriguing part of it is that often foretells what the beautiful Gaia and even the ‘fiery Helios’ might do. The ‘enforcer of the law and justice’ and his old man Chronus, may again, some millennia later, remind the unsound minds of their immense power.

      • Paul Vaughan

        vukcevic, I read that daily high-latitude variations in Bz can be used infer current sheet crossings. Have you checked how the daily variations compare with the averages? Here’s why I ask: http://i45.tinypic.com/2nbc3dw.png . That’s the integral at 27 day stack. Note the 40s & 70s changes. Here’s a mild smooth of a 1 year stack (just enough to highlight 27 day without altering phase): http://i46.tinypic.com/2qvwacn.png . North-south solar asymmetry is proportional to amplitude. When the sun got really active the south (28 day) overshadowed the north (27 day) for a time. Cycle length & amplitude metrics are not independent. See where I’m going here?…

      • I don’t understand how it can make them angry. If it is cool stuff and you have pulled out interesting patterns from the noise, that should make scientists intrigued and thus happy.

      • WHT
        You are surely talking of the 19th century inquisitive men, not of the ‘cosa nostra’ nouveau science.

      • Paul, phase shift cross over points in your link are in accord with phase shifts in the link I posted.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Yes vukcevic, that’s what I was going after here:

        http://www.billhowell.ca/Paul%20L%20Vaughan/Vaughan%20120324%20Solar-Terrestrial%20Resonance,%20Climate%20Shifts,%20&%20the%20Chandler%20Wobble%20Phase%20Reversal.pdf

        See p.1 graphs.

        The mainstream desire for convenient “all season” data processing is a fantasy.

        If you can find time to explore how they estimate Bx & By polarity from high-latitude diurnal Bz variations, I think that would nicely augment your arctic Bz webpages.

        I look forward to your ongoing, refreshing contributions.

        Best Regards.

      • Paul, thanks for the reminder
        Donner and Thiel wrote their ‘Letter to the Editor’ (from your earlier link) in 2007, I was at it in 2003. I suggest a pictorial journey from the solar hemispheric asymmetry to the Atlantic cyclonic activity:

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

        not meant for use of the connoisseurs of the CO2 beaujolais nouveau science.

      • Paul Vaughan

        vukcevic, I’m digging out my old notes on N-S asymmetry indices. Don’t forget about Zolotova. I’ve found a way to visually refine the 27-day-stack integral and I’m working on HMF polarity decomposition (it’s feasible). It’s time for another round of theoretical work (metric construction). Last time I looked at N-S I knew way less about how Earth filters solar signals. Things are looking a whole lot simpler now. Amazing how obstacles start falling like dominoes once locked onto the right track. Let’s discuss this further several weeks from now. Cheers.

  14. Sea water chemistry controls climate change?

    http://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/main/newsitems/seawater-chemistry-climate-change

    This interesting. I have been looking at how differences in ice mass balance and ocean surface area change drive the changes from glacial to inter-glacial periods with not much help from any other change in forcing, just enough time. So like real estate, climate is about location. location, location. Surface salinity can change the latent heat of vaporization by over 80 Joules per gram and the difference in the freezing and melt points of salt versus fresh water is near 2C degrees. The average variation in paleo after allowing for latitude is on the order of 2 to 2.5 C degrees. A remarkable coincidence?

    Man’s expansion into the higher northern latitudes would change the natural advance and decline of ice sheet expanse, tending to warm the northern hemisphere and produce more stable or “persistent” high and low pressure regimes.

    It is truly and elegant theory, pity it doesn’t mesh with the consensus :)

    • Joe's World

      Tanks Captain!

      Just add more ammunition on my side that failure to look at physical areas for temperature data has made the term science a real joke of fiction and science fiction based solely on mathematical calculations.

  15. David L. Hagen

    Corn Ethanol increases poverty & starvation
    The cyclic return of Dust Bowl type weather the current US drought has reduced the predicted corn crop, driving up the price of corn futures.
    Corn futures have already increased ~ 227% from $360 in 2010 to $820 in 2013. per Mazamascience.com
    For prices see: Reports Fri, Jul 20, 2012 USDA Market News Nebraska Ethanol Corn and Co-Products Processing Values

    To “help the poor” by controlling global warming, the green lobby pushed US legislators to mandate ethanol in fuel. However, this effort to “buy votes” and pay “green indulgences”, drives up food prices, harming the poor the greatest, especially the 1,000,000,000 living in extreme poverty (on less than $1.25/day) in developing countries.

    Colin Carter et al. The Effect of the U.S. Ethanol Mandate on Corn Prices

    In 2011, 38 percent of U.S. corn was used to make ethanol for blending with gasoline, up
    from 14 percent in 2005. . . .We estimate that corn prices were about 30 percent greater, on average, between 2006 and 2010 than they would have been if ethanol production had remained at 2005 levels. . . .
    The RFS requires that 13.2b gal of corn‐ethanol be produced in 2012, which corresponds to about 40 percent of expected U.S. corn production. . . .
    The price effects from turning food into fuel, which we quantify in this paper, have particularly devastating consequences for consumers in less‐developed countries, where a relatively large percentage of income is spent on food, and where grains, rather than processed foods, constitute the major portion of the diet. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, grains comprised 57 percent of calories consumed in least‐developed countries in 2007 but only 22 percent in the U.S. and 27 percent in the European Union.12 Ivanic and Martin (2011) estimate that when the World Bank’s food‐price index jumped by approximately 30 percent in 2010, 44 million people were forced below the extreme poverty line of US $1.25 per day. . . .
    This inelastic component of ethanol demand will continue to pressure global food prices and could easily lead to another food crisis in the next few years.

    Justin Valente, Bryan Andrews, Jerid Leigh, and Phil Currie, Food Crisis: How High Food Prices Continue to Impact the Poorest; Dr. Alok Kumar and Abdullah Al Mahmood Mosfeq, Hunger, Agricultural Production, and Government Policies

    The World Food Programme (2012) has stated that in countries where they provide support some households have to spend up to sixty to eighty percent of their total income on only food. The rise in food prices can be linked to several different sources, including droughts in food producing nations and the ever-rising price of oil. The connection between food and oil go hand in hand, as modern agriculture relies on oil products to fuel its farming machinery, as well as transport its imports and exports (Figure 2). . . .
    in six of the eight countries looked at, between 2005 and 2007 price increases for staple foods were directly associated with a rise in poverty. It is estimated to have increased by three percent (Ivanic and Martin 2008).. .
    In 2008, The World Food Program said rising grain costs put a costly hole of $500 million in its food budget in order to help victims suffering of hunger worldwide.

    This substantial increase in global poverty and starvation is directly caused by the global warming alarmist green lobby! The ten fold increase in oil prices by OPEC similarly harm the poor.

    The ethanol mandate requires fuel blenders to pay for not blending in cellulosic ethanol – WHICH DOES NOT EXIST – ZERO gallons of cellulosic ethanol have been produced. See
    EPA Proposes 2012 Renewable Fuel Standards and 2013 Biomass-Based Diesel Volume

    Robert Rapier discusses these issues in: Midwestern Drought, Ethanol, & Renewable Fuel Standard — R-Squared Energy TV Ep. 26
    Poor Corn Crop Will Have Major Impact on Ethanol Market Jul 13, 2012

    GHG emissions: Corn fed ethanol further makes no sense from an environmental point of view, requiring more fossil fuel to produce than is yielded by the ethanol produced, with corresponding CO2 production. See: David Pimentel Corn Ethanol as Energy Harvard Review, October 26, 2009

    To fill the fuel tank of a SUV vehicle with corn ethanol requires a total of 660 pounds of corn or food. This is enough corn to feed two people in a developing country for an entire year. . . .
    corn grain itself accounts for most of the economic and energy inputs to produce the ethanol. For example, it requires approximately 7,090 liters of fossil energy equivalents to produce 3,330 liters of ethanol. . . .
    this ethanol represents only 1.3 percent of total oil consumption in the United States. Corn ethanol clearly does not make the United States energy independent. In fact, using 33 percent of all US corn for ethanol production has increased the price of meat, milk, and eggs by 80 percent for the US consumer. As many farmers switched from raising wheat and other grains to raising corn, the price of bread increased by 100 to 200 percent. The most serious concerns, however, have been the grain shortages in other nations, especially developing nations. As grain becomes scare, the rates of starvation and malnutrition soar.

    See also: Xiaoguang Chen et al. Land use and greenhouse gas implications of biofuels: Role of technology and policy Agricultural & Applied Economics Association’s 2011 AAEA & NAREA Joint Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 24-26, 2011.

    The RFS raises corn and soybean prices by 16% and 12%, respectively. . . .
    The inclusion of emissions due to increased gasoline consumption in the ROW induced by the RFS reduces the net impact of the RFS on global GHG emissions to -0.01% to 0.28% compared to the BAU in 2022.

    i.e., the RFS most likely increases GHG emissions!

    Note: The Impact of Climate Change and Bioenergy on Nutrition Noora-Lisa Aberman and Marc J. Cohen, Nutrition and Bioenergy 2012, 61-75, DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-0110-6_5 (behind a paywall)

    <a href=http://books.google.com/books/about/Food_and_Famine_in_the_21st_Century.html?id=R4cat-5-NeICFood and Famine in the 21st Century William Dando, (2012) ABC-CLIO, ISBN-10: 1598847309

    On energy trends, Gail Tverberg provides sobering Evidence that oil limits are leading to limits to GDP growth. http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9343
    That shows physical constraints that will dominate any “anthropogenic global warming” scenarios. It will put a damper on IPCC’s extravagant growth scenarios.
    Note especially Gail’s The Growing Part of the World in Charts
    GHG reduction in the OECD will have negligible effect on the much larger growth in the developing countries.

    Euan Mearn’s Response to Leonardo Maugeri’s Decline Rate Assumptions in “Oil: The Next Revolution” exposed Maugeri’s errors which negate Maugeri’s cornupocian conclusions.

    Study determines theoretical energy benefits and potential of algae fuels re Robert Hebner,
    University of Texas, Austin. July 20, 2012.

    By combining the two processes, the system produced 1 1/2 times more energy than was needed to grow algae. Today, gas and oil produce 30 to 40 times more energy than is needed to get the fuels out of the ground.

    Note: Charles Hall calculates that we need an EROI of at least 3 for society to survive. Neither corn ethanol nor algae fuel qualify. To become practical, the EROI of algal fuel needs to be at least doubled, and preferably increased 20 fold!

    • David L. Hagen

      At $1.95/gallon, gasified wood to gasoline sound more promising as a sustainable fuel than grain ethanol. See:
      Gasoline from Wood via Integrated Gasification, Synthesis, and Methanol-to-Gasoline Technologies Steven D. Phillips, Joan K. Tarud, Mary J. Biddy, and Abhijit Dutta Technical Report NREL/TP-5100-47594 January 2011

      Note: NREL Catalyst Brings Drop-in Fuels Closer By Heather Lammers, NREL April 23, 2012

      In Biofuels Design Cases 2012, DOE projects $2/gallon for pyrolysis fuel.
      e.g. Dynamotive as one company producing/developing pyrolysis fuels.

      The challenge of biomass will be to compete with coal based synthetic fuels. e.g. Linc Energy claims to produce diesel fuel at $28/barrel ($0.67/gallon at 42 gal/bbl) via underground coal gasification.

      (Disclosure: I hold Dynamotive & Linc stock.)

    • David L. Hagen

      From India, see: Global Food Crisis: Policy Lapses or Market Failure? Ojha Ruby Advances in Management Vol. 5 (7) July (2012) July 2012

      As per “Price Volatility in Food and Agricultural Markets: Policy
      Responses” (2 June 2011) estimates, numbers of hungry people in the world rose from 820 million in 2007 to more than a billion in 2009. . . .
      American cars now burn enough corn to cover all the import needs of the 82
      nations classed by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as “low-income food-deficit countries”. There could scarcely be a better way to starve the poor. . . .
      U.S. vehicles burn enough corn to cover the entire import needs of the poorest 82 countries. Ethanol and biodiesel are very heavily subsidized which means that crops like corn (maize) are being diverted out of the food chain. This increases the prices of agro fuel crops directly and indirectly boosts the price of other grains by encouraging growers to switch to agro-fuel.

      • Roger Pielke Jr posts: 12 July 2012 A Closer Look at Gobal Food Supply

        The data show that from 1961 to 2007, when the dataset begins and ends, global food supply in kcal/person/day has steadily and consistently increased such that it has been for many decades comfortably above the level deemed necessary to meet individual nutritional needs.

        HOWEVER:

        in 2007 the UN found about 1 billion people globally to be “undernourished.” . . .
        for the 20 years ending in 2007. . . the linear trend in kcal/person/day, . . .the annual rate of growth has just about doubled over that time period.

        3) The issue of global food is ultimately as much (if not more) a problem of distribution, poverty and governments as it is an issue of technological innovation. From where I sit it seems that far more attention it paid to the latter than the former.

  16. Alexej Buergin

    Looking at the arctic sea ice extent, I see at Arctic Roos and at DMI that the curves for 2007, 2011 and 2012 are practically on top of each other. So much so in fact that there is litterally nothing to see. Absolutely no sign of a death spiral. I doubt that even freak weather could save Zwally.

    • lurker passing through, laughing

      Alexej,
      Those desperately seeking confirmation of their consensus extremist view need no actual data. They could look at a blank canvas and see the confirmation they require.

    • Absolutely no sign of a death spiral.

      Look again.

    • Steven Mosher

      Ice free ( Area below 1M) before 2020? 50/50 chance.

      Not a death spiral, more like Zombie ice.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        I think charts like this quite clearly show the death spiral for arctic sea ice:

        Seems the facts are inconvenient for some…

        I would say the odds of a virtually ice free summer Arctic (less than 1 million sq km in area) are probably better than 50/50 by 2020 (maybe 70%), but approach 95% by 2025, and 99% by 2030.

        The rapidity of Arctic sea ice loss has been nothing short of incredible. The affects on global weather patterns are already enoromous and far reaching.

        http://e360.yale.edu/feature/linking_weird_weather_to_rapid_warming_of_the_arctic/2501/

      • R. Gates

        You write:

        I would say the odds of a virtually ice free summer Arctic (less than 1 million sq km in area) are probably better than 50/50 by 2020 (maybe 70%), but approach 95% by 2025, and 99% by 2030.

        I would add the following clause to your sentence, in order to make it more sensible:

        provided the observed decline over the past 30 years continues into the future

        .

        Right?

        Max

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Evaluation  Yikes’s post is correct; the posts of Alexej and “Lurker passing through” are incorrect.

      Recommendation  Folks commenting on Arctic climate-change can benefit from regular reading of Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice blog.

      Alexej and “Lurker”, what other facts would you like to learn regarding Arctic climate-change?   :)   :)   :)

      • Alexej Buergin

        AfoMd: Nonsense. Look at Nansen and DMI: The curves are practically on top of each other, just as I said. No chance of zero ice this fall, just as I said.

      • That isn’t what you said…

      • Alexej Buergin

        By “Zwally” I referred to this:
        NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”

        http://news.nationalgeographic.com

        Thus this: ” I doubt that even freak weather could save Zwally”
        means that there not will be no ice in September.
        And this: “The curves for 2007, 2011 and 2012 are practically on top of each other”
        means that there is/was at this date of the year the same amount of ice in 2007, 2011 and 2012.

      • a couple of points:
        1) Zwally says “could be”. He doesn’t say “will be”.
        2) 2007 had the freak weather. 2012 doesn’t. So why are 2007 and 2012 “practically on top of each other”
        3) Skeptics predicted a recovery after 2007. Hasn’t happened. The death spiral continues.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Of course, to see the Arctc sea ice Death spiral one needs to actually attempt to see it by looking at longer term climate data rather than the span of only a few years. In taking a decadal perspective where climate change actually has the chance of appearing, the Arctic death spiral becomes readily apparent:

      Lesson: You have to want to see the truth to actually see it, otherwise you’ll see exactly what you looking for– a reason to deny.

      • R. Gates

        Agree one needs to “look at longer term climate data” to get an idea of Arctic sea ice decline and its significance>

        By long-term, I mean at least 100-150 years, not simply the 33 years we have since satellite images have been available.

        A longer term look would show the early 20th century decline and the mid-century rebound, as well as the decline of the past 30 years.

        Lesson: Don’t jump to conclusions based on short-term data series in a cyclical long-term record.

        Max

      • Absolutely Max – wanting to see the ‘right’ result involves analysis over period that are far too short to see patterns of natural variability.

      • Alexej Buergin

        “The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates) | July 22, 2012 at 6:19 am
        Of course, to see the Arctc sea ice Death spiral one needs to actually attempt to see it by looking at longer term climate data rather than the span of only a few years”

        How true. But then why do you only show the data since 1980? That is exactely and nothing but “the span of only a few years” (In climatology, 30 years is considered to be just a point in time). The Danish have data from much further back. It is aviable on the net.

        (BTW. What is wrong with using just your name to identify yourself?)

      • David Wojick

        Alexej: Gates started using the pre-name pen name “The Skeptical Warmist” awhile back. He does not approve of us climate skeptics calling ourselves skeptics. He calls us false skeptics. It is a silly affectation.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        I started using The Skeptical Warmist to remind people what skepticism really is about. An honest skeptic may or may not accept AGW as provisionally true. A dishonest skeptic (aka true-believer or true-denier)
        is 100% sure AGW is or isn’t happening– there is no “provisional”.

      • Alexej Buergin

        Sounds schizophrenic to me.

  17. There was an interesting paper on bias in journals, where the study shows results in respected journals were manipulated (witting or unwittingly) to push results past the 0.05 mark. I ran across mentions to it last month, at Marginal Revolution, Environmental Economics, and other places:

    http://www.env-econ.net/2012/06/whither-t-192.html

    The simple graphic plot of the effect, in the link above, isn’t actually from the paper, but supposedly derived from it by Kevin Drum (I haven’t checked).

    A link to the original paper is here:

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2089580

  18. Chris Said on science reform @ The File Drawer:

    “It’s the incentive structure, people! Why science reform must come from the granting agencies.

    Another day, another New York Times report on bad practice in biomedical science. The growing problems with scientific research are by now well known: Many results in the top journals are cherry picked, methodological weaknesses and other important caveats are often swept under the rug, and a large fraction of findings cannot be replicated. In some rare cases, there is even outright fraud. This waste of resources is unfair to the general public that pays for most of the research.”

    He has some interesting observations and suggestions on reforms, and even talks about why they don’t usually work:

    web page:

    http://filedrawer.wordpress.com/

  19. From the interesting items at the top:

    “Now, new projections have energy analysts heralding a future of cheap, abundant oil, with the possibility of energy independence for North America.”

    Oil predictions are prone to the same spin as team skeptic places on AGW.

    High hopes are being placed on the Bakken formation, a source of so-called “tight oil” that has increased USA production, but at bottom of the barrel returns. A typical Bakken well is hydraulically fractured to generate a flow of crude oil for extraction. This flow has all the characteristics of a diffusive regime, whereby an initial high rate is followed by diminishing returns. Data is slowly becoming available from the recent producing wells in NoDak, and it doesn’t take a genius to plot the returns to demonstrate the diffusional flow:

    http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.ch/2012/07/bakken-dispersive-diffusion-oil.html

    This kind of analysis is critical to evaluate what the Council of Foreign Relations assertion of “energy independence for North America” is based on.

  20. Soils symposium held in Sydney this week.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-17/scientists-highlight-importance-of-soil-security/4136996

    This is the most critical issue in the world today – and the one with the greatest opportunity to provide food, conserve water and sequester carbon as a by product. Although suggesting that there are conceptually simple solutions – for black carbon and tropospheric ozone, ecosystem conservation and rehabilitation, carbon farming, reducing population growth through economic growth, health, education and safe water and sanitation and for technological innovation – seems to be a right wing conspiracy in the eyes of some. Go figure.

    http://bio-agriculture.org/overview_2.html

  21. ‘Contrary to what most people believe, oil supply capacity is growing worldwide at such an unprecedented level that it might outpace consumption. This could lead to a glut of overproduction and a steep dip in oil prices.’ http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/22144/oil.html

    Who we going to believe – Harvard or the king of dweebs? That’s a difficult one.

    • If so, invest in plugs. They will be needing a lot of them.

      • JCH,

        Invest in plugs? What do you imagine is a feasible way forward?
        Economic ‘degrowth’, suspension of democracy, centralised power?
        There are all sorts who are just crazy as a loon – and potentially quite dangerous. The cult of AGW space cadet groupthink. Are you one of these poor benighted dweebs?

        AGW is wrong fundamentally as a paradigm. ‘Thinking is centered around slow changes to our climate and how they will affect humans and the habitability of our planet. Yet this thinking is flawed: It ignores the well-established fact that Earth’s climate has changed rapidly in the past and could change rapidly in the future.’ (http://www.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=83339&tid=3622&cid=10046) AGW is flawed thinking. But the space cadets can’t process the new paradigm because it conflicts with the groupthink. Frustrating because the dynamics of climate must result in subdued warming over a decade or three more at least. It is the momentum for decarbonisatuion that goes down the plughole.

        ‘The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

        The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization.’ http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2011/07/climate_pragmatism_innovation.shtml

    • Believe in an official from an oil company. Typical argument from authority that the Chief specializes in.

      • I don’t know whether you are in favour of industry forecasts or not. But I always compare, contrast and evaluate sources. Here is a third industry forecast that says the same thing.

        BP 2030 energy outlook

        You on the other hand either do not review the literature at all or simply go with a data free gut feeling in a grossly simplified framework. You are really both obnoxious and stupid.

      • Here’s the BP highlights.

      • Belief in what BP says without them showing any of their work — how quaint.

        Contrast that against a rigorous first principles derivation of diffusive flow from a full suite of producing Bakken wells. I also corrected the industry analyst Mason’s charts.

        Chief, bile and invective will only get you so far. Eventually you have to produce some analysis, or people will grow weary of your act.

        I suggest you educate yourself in the disciplines of statistical mechanics and applied probability theory. Environmental, resource, and climate modeling can benefit greatly by the judicious application of uncertainties and disorder to a quantitative analysis. This separates the rigorous approaches from the curve-fitted trendology swags developed by industry pundits and run-of-the-mill skeptics.

      • Latimer Alder

        @web hub telescope

        The passing cynic, should there be one, might casually wonder why the big energy companies employ the people they do to make their forecasts rather than your good self…who appears to be a lone voice crying in the wilderness, but a self-declared expert nonetheless.

        They surely have a strong commercial interest – and the money – to hire the best people and use the best tools for the job. And yet, and yet, your services are not in demand.

        To what do you attribute this glaring ‘lacuna’ in their advice portfolio?

        PS – how did that ‘Peak Oil’ thing work out for you? Didn’t I read a few weeks back that they’d recently set a new production record or something?

      • Invective seems to be your only stock in trade. Just joining in the fun. I linked to BP because you were what saying that we should believe industry. I linked previously to Harvard and the US EIA.

        Resource and environmental analysis will benefit greatly by actually knowing what you are talking about and taking into account real world numbers and processes and not just pulling it out of your arse. Here is an example of how to do it properly – http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=7190

        Who should we believe – the EIA, Harvard and industry or the king of the dweebs. Gee that’s a hard one.

        Your so-called production models shows a peak in production middle of last decade at about 70,000 barrels/day. I am afraid it is grossly misleading as crude production is growing out to about 2050 according to the EIA as a result of the many and varied factors you have neglected on the basis of a gut feeling. What should we make of that webby? I think it is that you are a complete idiot, an onnoxious dweeb and a vainglorious twerp.

      • Most skeptics can’t figure out that the industry is “hiding the decline” of crude oil production. Overall liquid fuel production is maintaining a plateau as alternatives such as liquefied natural gas, biofuels, coal-to-liquids, and refinery gains are plugging the gap. Some creative bookkeeping also exists when it comes to reporting of production numbers.

        So, if one looks at the numbers for crude oil production alone, it has leveled off at around 74 million barrels since 2005.

        Agenda-driven skeptics twist themselves into knots to try to justify their view of an oil cornucopia.

      • Latimer Alder

        @web hub telescope

        You’ll forgive me if I wonder exactly why the big oil companies should be ‘hiding the decline’? How would this be in their interests.

        At least in UK the amount of tax they pay is dependent on the amount produced. So deliberately over-estimating production would have three bad effects for them…they would have less revenue from sales than they pretend, and they would pay more tax than they should. And I’d take a guess that leading people to believe there is more oil around than there actually is would depress rather than increase the sale price. All of these

        All in all misreporting production in the way you claim would seem to be entirely counter-productive to the companies.

        PS Even if you are right (which seems very unlikely), can you remind me exactly why I should have wet my knickers at the prospect of ‘peak oil’. Much like a bit of ‘global warming’, I find it very hard to work myself into a tizz (let alone give much of a toss) about it.

      • Lattie again shows his vast naivete when it comes to matters of energy economics. World leaders can not make outright claims of declining crude oil production levels as that could cause repercussions in the markets. In fact the production levels are carefully massaged to indicate that growth is still occurring.

        Years ago crude oil was the only benchmark, but that has since changed to a broad “all liquids” category.

        You can find this kind of creative bookkeeping in many different economic indicators. Food inflation is kept in check by reducing the mass or volume of packages. Airline tickets are being advertised as reduced in price, but then taxes and fees often equal the cost of the ticket. A frequent flyer ticket is no longer free as it doesn’t include the fees.
        Smart consumers understand this, but gullible ones don’t. That ignorance keeps up the appearance that the economy is humming along, but for the fact that expensive energy is putting a drag on it.

        Perhaps it has always been this way … but it hasn’t. In the days when oil flowed like water, consumers had everything they wanted on the cheap.

      • Latimer Alder

        @webbie

        Your comments refer to ‘world leaders’. Maybe you are right about what they can and can’t say. Maybe not.

        My question was not about ‘world leaders’, but about individual energy companies. Seems to me that their interests would best be served by under-reporting production, not over-reporting it. You’ve shown no reason to believe that is untrue.

        And you have still failed to come up with a good reason why I should care either way. Can it be that the conspiracy theory you have devoted your life to working on is just irrelevant to everybody and fails the ‘So F…g What?’ test?

      • Well, you UK residents are in it deep.

        If it is a big “so what” as you say, maybe you should tell Curry that, as she is the one posting links to the CFR saying not to worry.

        So what is it? A so what? A not to worry? Reporting the facts?

        Welcome to a reality that you wish to marginalize.

      • Latimer Alder

        @webbie

        Your last post is entirely incomprehensible.

        If you have points to make do so in clear straightforward English. I doubt I am alone in finding much of what you write to be gibberish.

      • Latimer Alder

        @web hub telescope

        In the few words of your post that did make sense, I noticed that you had once again failed to explain why I should worry about ‘Peak Oil’.

        I’m beginning to think that even you don’t know why you believe it to be so worrisome. Let alone able to advance good reasons for the rest of us to share your fears.

      • Lattie little tyke, about 6 years ago, I projected the crude oil production for the UK based on a flow rate model. If you care to look at it, the numbers are spot on and has nothing to do with politics. It also has nothing to do with my command of the English language. It really comes down to the nature of nonrenewable resources and the fact that risk mitigation strategies need to be put in place to face the inevitable decline.

        You think it is a “so what”. Fine by me. as its your kingdom and not mine.

      • Latimer Alder

        @web hub telescope

        ‘risk mitigation strategies need to be put in place to face the inevitable decline.’

        OK. Fine. What’s the big deal? This is annoying, but not unexpected. There is still many years of oil available.

      • I guess we should believe only the projections and spin from the renewable energy industry should we?

      • Another obscure observation form Peter Lang. I have linked to Harvard and the EIA as well. Did you even look at the 2 minute video? I think you may be a lurker with nothing particularly worthwhile to say – certainly nothing that is intelligible.

      • Chief, I think you missunderstood Peter. He was actually slamming Mr. Telescope.

      • Council of Foreign Relations
        Harvard hosting a sabbatical by an Italian oil executive
        British Petroleum

        Yup, that’s business as usual and marching orders delivered to team skeptic.

      • I compare and contrast sources as we should, I linked also to the EIA and they all say the same thing – an increase in liquid fuels production to 2035 at least. – http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/ieo/liquid_fuels.cfm

        How does that contrast with webby? On the basis of a gut feeling he projects peak oil last decade at about 70,000 barrels/day. What the hell encourages him to think that he has any credibility at all?

      • Chief is “hiding the decline” in crude oil production. Note that this decline hiding is very similar to that of the hockey stick controversy.

        Liquid fuels is not the same as crude oil, as it contains liquefied natural gas, biofuels, coal-to-liquids, and others.

        Also more of the crude oil coming on line is bottom-of-the-barrel in terms of grade. It is much more expensive to refine and has a much lower EROEI than crude oil of years past.

        Much of the global recession is due to slower productivity advances as the worlds economy adapts to the new math of oil production concerning flow rate and costs. That is essentially what my analysis is all about, using the right analysis tools for the job.

      • Chief,

        Yes. My comment was obscure. Sorry. It was quick a reply to this comment by WHT:

        Believe in an official from an oil company. Typical argument from authority that the Chief specializes in.

        My comment was trying to make the point that renewable energy advocates believe what their industry associations say but criticise authoritative sources of energy statistics like BP Energy as being biased.

        By the way, I suspect you may have missed this comment:

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/06/25/questioning-the-forest-et-al-2006-sensitivity-study/#comment-214413

        Chief,

        My sincere apologies. …. </blockquote

  22. Seriously – there is nothing but growth in energy (all forms) production and consumption to 2035 at least.

    http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/ieo/liquid_fuels.cfm

    Who we going to believe – a dweeb on a loser blog or the EIA? Gee that’s a hard one.

    • It doesn’t take much effort to plot the data for CRUDE OIL and note the subtle decline since around 2005.

      Nature always wins when it comes to nonrenewable resources.

      • That’s why LIQUID FUELS hit a new peak recently. Innovation and substitution trump monomaniaclal obsession.

      • Biofuels are liquid fuels. Biofuels are increasing to fill the gap in declining crude oil resources.

        Renewable and alternative energy approaches are necessary to compensate .

      • Duh. You have been told this by a number of people including myself. But the more recent increases include enhanced recovery and deepwater drilling. There are also finds globally coming into production – including Brazil.

        Tar sands, oil from coal, etc, etc. There are enough alternatives to provide increasing production for decades to come.

        No having fun anymore webby? Not fair – I can’t insult a defenceless target.

      • It’s really important to wear skeptics like you down until you start agreeing with the facts. Then your fans can see that your contrarianism is simply a pose.

      • Fossil fuel resources are undoubtedly “declining” as WHT warns us.

        According to data from the WEC, we have “used up” around 15% of ALL the optimistically inferred fossil fuel reserves that were EVER on our planet, leaving 85% to go. [This doesn't sound too "scary".]

        Those 15% supposedly got us from 280 ppmv CO2 to around 390 ppmv today, so the remaining 85% would get us to a bit more than 1,000 ppmv when they are ALL GONE, some day in the far distant future. [This doesn't sound very "scary", either.]

        Max

      • WHT,

        It’s really important to wear skeptics like you down until you start agreeing with the facts.

        That states the approach the Alarmists have been taking for a long time now. They feel if they just keep repeating the mantra (their beliefs as to what are the relevant facts) often enough people will adopt their beliefs.

        The problem, WHT, is that the case you and the alarmists make is not persuasive. The alarmists do too much fudging, cherry picking of “facts”, avoidance and obfuscation when asked questions about facts that don’t suit their Cause.

      • Latimer Alder

        @web hub telescope

        Looks pretty much about the same since 2004 to me. Goes up and down a bit but is generally about 73,000.

        And the amount produced is influenced by a whole lot of things, of which availability is only one. Much like tree rings are influenced by lot of things as well as temperature.

        But if you are obsessed with hammers, everything looks like a nail.

        Colour me unconvinced that this graph shows anything of great significance.

    • there is nothing but growth in energy (all forms) production and consumption to 2035 at least.

      True. And this has been going on for 200,000 years. For 200,000 years humans have been increasing energy use. Human energy consumption per capita versus time on a log/log scale is a straight line.

      So, why should we believe, that right now is the time this trend will change?

  23. Did anyone see this one:
    Late Miocene decoupling of oceanic warmth and atmospheric carbon dioxide forcing

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v486/n7401/full/nature11200.html

    Commentary here:

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/6/21/a-problem-with-the-agw-hypothesis.html

  24. //Market participants scrambled to unwind long positions and Deutsche Bank cut its EU carbon price forecast for the third quarter to 6-8 euros from 6-10.//

    //Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard had said she was bringing forward a review of the ETS, originally planned for next year, and would make an announcement before the Commission’s August summer break.//

    //Carbon prices have collapsed to record lows under the burden of surplus supply following recession and have been very sensitive for months to news about withdrawing permits.//

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/07/18/us-market-carbon-idUKBRE86H0SO20120718

  25. Beth Cooper

    Data from bio-agriculture.org -Chief H 21/07 5.06pm:
    You ‘d think re carbon reduction in the atmosphere, rising global population and need to reclaim degraded agricultural land for food production, that green parties would be advocating conservation farming and soil carbon sequestering as a priority one. Humph.

    • Beth,

      You would think that – reclaiming degraded land, managing landscapes and fire regimes, building biodiversity, sequestering carbon, providing food, et, etc, all would seem to be core green agenda items.

      But it isn’t. Other then few and far between exceptions (http://www.australianwildlife.org/ – and there are others with practical approaches) they define themselves in opposition to mining, farming, development, industry, urban life, meat eating, leather etc etc. You propose solutions but all they are really interested in is in dismantling western culture. We can all grow carrots.

      It’s a wonder allright.

      Cheers

    • Beth the gene-jockeys announced the generation of Golden Rice back in 2000; Golden Rice in 2005.
      Just growing beta-carotene rice rice would transform the vitamin A deficient Third World and combat the biggest source of blindness.
      Obviously a win-win, a second green revolution?
      Like hell. Greens of all types have tried everything possible to stop it being grown in the third world.
      You know the result Beth, no scientists are going to bother genetically engineering crops for the third world on any sort of near future.
      It is not worth investing a decade of your life to a project and then getting told to piss off by a bunch of trustifarians who know what the people in the third world really want on the basis of their humanities degree.

  26. Beth, that would never fly. They would be admitting that CO2 may not be the major cause. They are in a tight spot, see, you can only rename a crisis so many times before people start to thinking you don’t have a clue what you are talking about. Then people start checking the sources and double checking the math. Next thing you know your credibility suffers, people start poking fun at your faith, it can get ugly. Stuck between a rock and a hard place they are. Should have spent a touch more time on that exit strategy I reckon

    • The capt once again show us why the denialists are the undisputed masters of projection.

      The only exit strategy for you is facing reality . . . drop me a line when you get here, I’ll show you around. ;)

      • Well, at least they mastered something :)

        What was your estimate on equilibrium climate sensitivity? Oh, BTW, it seems I am one of those rent seekers that likes checking data without going out and redoing everything for myself from scratch. I guess I don’t know what I am doing because I just don’t seem to come up with the same numbers you edumacated guys do.

        This whole black carbon situation is just boggling my mind. Just don’t seem possible that things that happened nearly a century could be having an impact now. Isn’t CO2 impact supposed to be somewhat linear?

        Ts=&lamba;RF

      • “I guess I don’t know what I am doing”

        File that under attempts at sarcasm that went horribly wrong.

        “What was your estimate on equilibrium climate sensitivity?”

        With or without carbon-cycle feedbacks? Without, put me down in the 2-6C/doubling range.

      • Interesting, mine is lower. Comparing impact by latitude, CO2 looks to be about 0.8C. Now that does depend on what you use as a baseline temperature. If I used the 1880 to 1910 years as a baseline, it would be about 1.6C. Now that is just CO2, with land use and black carbon you can get a northern hemisphere impact of 3C maybe a little more if GISS and HADCRU keep moving the yardstick further north.

        That 0.8C is based on the 1951-1980 baseline with respect to the normal range of natural variability and what appears to be the oceans reaching a thermal capacity limit.

        Of course in a bi-stable non-linear system that could drift a bit, but the majority of the climate change does not appear to be CO2 related.

        I have noticed in the past that you have used glacial melt as a evidence of the power of CO2. That is kinda odd for someone that professes to being correct because of his education. I think you even used an Ecuador ski slope as an example of a pristine tropical glacier succumbing to the cAGW due to CO2. You also tend to use rather extreme examples almost like you intend to scare people. For some reason you come off as having an elitist attitude, like your feces don’t stink, qualifying you to determine who is an idiot, because you and your theories are infallible.

        Perhaps you should consider a Dale Carnegie course or pause for a little introspection? NAW, if you are right Robert, stick with it :)

      • Sensitivty doesn’t make any sense at all in a complex dynamic system.

        ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in
        those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the
        great climate shift of the 1970s.’ (Tsonis et al 2007 A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts) Climate shifted again after 1998.

        Robert hasn’t quite caught up and struts the stage as an arrogant and quite stupid climate warrior.

      • I had a peruse of his loser blogs – seems to be a medical doctor with a lot of time on his hands. How do you think that works? There is nothing specific anywhere. They all seem to like to hide their identities. Seems to have an unfortunate bedside manner as well – talking down to unscientific patients and poor mums having problems breastfeeding. Likes to make jokes at their expense and imagines links to science denial. Science denial appears to be any questioning of Robert’s perspicacity. It all comes across as an unfortunate and very misplaced air of superiority.

        He is in other words a typical member of the AGW cult of space cadets.

      • chief said, “Sensitivty doesn’t make any sense at all in a complex dynamic system.” True, but the way the theory is framed we are stuck dealing with poor “definitions” and illogical system boundaries. There is actually a reasonable range of natural variability for the bulk of the surface though, that can be used to qualify a sensitivity, “all things remaining equal” of course. The polar regions are totally at the mercy of non CO2 related influences which CO2 can enhance under some circumstances.

        If it is any consolation, there are a few papers making it past the gate keepers that are focusing more on land use finally. That should give conservation agriculture a boost.

      • Don’t follow Robert – you’ll end up in the Kool-Aid line. :cool:

      • Robert reminds me of a doctor I once knew, who thought he could change the diagnosis by an exercise of the will.
        ==============================

      • He is – in Australian parlance – a flamin’ drongo.

      • http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/07/reanalyse-this.html

        Chief, in case you are interested, It looks like there is about an 8 year diffusion rate of ENSO energy from the tropics to the whole ocean surface mixing layer. I am still getting the regime change starting circa 1995 though that corresponds with the shift in stratospheric cooling.

        Perhaps Robert can explain exactly how CO2 does that :)

      • Ekkmann spirals – planetary rotation

  27. Well we jest hafta keep talkin’ and you pushing the science, Chief H and Cap’n D.

  28. Robert … ahem… do yer think it might be possible …that you also have cracked brain syndrome? Hope yer don’t mind me askin’ ?

  29. It may be worse than that – the cult of AGW space cadets is stuck between reality and the Kool-Aid trolley. Can they possibly admit to being wrong? They keep getting part way there. Chaos theory, the PDO, the AMO, ENSO – natural variation – all these things we have been talking about for yonks. But then it is all denial and accelerating global warming and the usual solution is to just say no. No ipods, no travel, no TV’s, no nikes, no car’s – oh wait I think I will just defer this until Al Gore sets an example.

    Join the cause.

    It is typically based on sterile calculations. I rather think that grain will not accumulate because there are too hungry mouths. Exponential growth not possible? Let’s find out experimentally. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

  30. Cloud-Radiative Forcing and Climate: Results from the Earth Radiation Budget Experiment
    Ramanathan et al

    http://bit.ly/NHKTpM

    The study of climate and climate change is hindered by a lack of information on the effect of clouds on the radiation balance of the earth, referred to as the cloud-radiative forcing. Quantitative estimates of the global distributions of cloud-radiative forcing have been obtained from the spaceborne Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) launched in 1984. For the April 1985 period, the global shortwave cloud forcing [-44.5 watts per square meter (W/m2)] due to the enhancement of planetary albedo, exceeded in magnitude the longwave cloud forcing (31.3 W/m2) resulting from the greenhouse effect of clouds. Thus, clouds had a net cooling effect on the earth. This cooling effect is large over the mid-and high-latitude oceans, with values reaching -100 W/m2. The monthly averaged longwave cloud forcing reached maximum values of 50 to 100 W/m2 over the convectively disturbed regions of the tropics. However, this heating effect is nearly canceled by a correspondingly large negative shortwave cloud forcing, which indicates the delicately balanced state of the tropics. The size of the observed net cloud forcing is about four times as large as the expected value of radiative forcing from a doubling of CO2.

  31. What say yer to the pesky uncertainties of pesky cloud behaviour, Robert? And have yer heard the rumour that lunatics might jest be in charge of the asylum (of climatology?) I know its jest a rumour and we ought only give credence to observational evidence so I don’t propose to take it seriously unless, or until, it’s verified.

  32. So, how did Mann work his ‘hockey stick’ into the Penn State Sandusky scandal?

    • Must be talking about Styn’s reprint of what Rand Simberg wrote about how rotten and corrupt the culture at the universitywas, and comparing the deception of Mann’s ‘hockey stick’ affair to Penn State’s other scandal–e.g., Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.

  33. The New Zealand court case on the 7 station series has come to a close, but I guess the real news will be in the verdict. Info here: http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Nano Pope, it is striking that the web-site you supplied, which is under the editorial control of the mysterious “Climate Conversation Group”, also questions the sanity of climate change researchers.

      Along with WUWT, National Review, PJ Media, and Climate Conversation Group, one wonders how many denialist weblog operations are simultaneously headlining sanity-smear memes?

      After all, what does denialist sanity-smearing have to do with climate-change science?

      Although it’s true that denialist smearing campaigns might preserve the value of the seventeen trillion dollars worth of known carbon energy preserves.

      But oh heck, who would possibly place a higher value upon short-term carbon-derived money and power than upon long-term truth and the future of our children and grandchildren?   :cry:   :cry:   :cry:

      • What was the point of your fact-free rant, irrelevant picture and appeal to children? We’re on a science blog, so let’s talk some science. If you would like to discuss my link I’d be glad to. If you want to talk about denial, I’m fascinated in how far those responsible for the New Zealand temperature series will deny any responsibility for what they produce. I’m more than happy to show you the depths of denial they have reached if you are genuinely interested.

      • He is a troll, and possibly so precious and self-absorbed that he isn’t paid.
        ============

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Nano Pope, please accept my congratulations that New Zealand’s Flat Earth Society of Middle Earth has filed a brief in support of the skeptical position in the NIWA case.

        Those scientific barstids won’t get away with claiming the world is round much longer!

          ;)   ;)   ;)   ;)   ;)   ;)   ;)   ;)   ;)

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        You don’t know Fanny? That’s his shtick. If he ever comments on the topic, or in response to another comment, it’s by pure accident.

  34. Beth Cooper

    re my earlier comment about the rumour of lunatics taking over the asylum (of climatology,) requiring verification,.Jest read Professor John N-G on the basis via NOAH of news media CNN et al message that global warming has made events like the Texas heat wave 20 x more likely than 50 years ago.

    J N-G points out that this factor of 20 is based on the modellers’ analysis that had a 1 in 100 chance of occurring in a study of 1964 data. Nor was there any analysis that a 2011 event would correspond to an event that had a 1 in 100 chance of happening in 1964. Nevertheless, NOAH has allowed the public to believe that events like the Texas heat wave are now 20 x more likely than 50 years ago. Hmm, seems like the rumour about the asylum could have some basis in fact.

  35. Is this Mass Extinction stuff a scare mongering like AGW?

    In Australia, we have done everything we can to finish off rats, rabbits, foxes, wild cats and cane toads with no success.

  36. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Wagathon asks: “How did Mann work his ‘hockey stick’ into the Penn State Sandusky scandal?”

    Wagathon, thank you for your important question!

    As it turns out … perhaps unsurprisingly … the smear to which you refer is being simultaneously hosted by the weblogs of “Climate Team Fœtid”, the editors of Climate Team Fœtid’s weblogs being: WUWT‘s Anthony Watts, National Review‘s Mark Steyn, and PJ Media’s Rand Symberg.

    The scientific rational for Climate Team Fœtid’s smearing is obscure, but then, did anyone ever understand the Ted Kaczinsky billboards that the Heartland Institute placed?

    It is easy to verify two points of commonality: (1) like the Heartland Institute’s smearing billboards, Climate Team Fœtid’s weblogs host gross smears that are neither retracted nor disclaimed; and (2) the patterns of smearing that are hosted upon Climates Team Fœtid, and upon the smearing billboards of the Heartland Institute too, are a reasonable match to Prof. Trish Roberts-Miller’s Characteristics of Demagoguery.

    To state plainly what few say on the WUWT, National Review, and PJ Media weblogs, and to say plainly too what the Heartland Institute never acknowledged regarding its notorious billboards, smearing is scientifically irrelevant, and it is morally wrong too, in that the reasoned public discourse upon which America republican democracy depends entirely is harmed by it.

    Summary: This week’s smear campaign by Climate Team Fœtid reeks of demagoguery.

    Question: Who will Climate Team Fœtid smear next, and what will be the theme of Climate Team Fœtid’s smears?

    Conclusion: In the long run, Climate Team Fœtid’s escalating embrace of smear-based demagoguery doesn’t matter. As the physicist Richard Feyman said “Nature Cannot Be Fooled”, and she is telling us loud-and-clear that climate change is real, serious, and accelerating.

    Thank you Wagathon, for raising this outstanding question, which has vividly illuminated for all Climate Etc. readers the demagogic methods of Climate Team Fœtid.

    What is your next question, Wagathon?   :)   :)   :)

    • Well done space cadet – 50 repetitions of mindless drivel. What a waste of bandwidth this peron is.

    • When an organization allows the likes of Sandusky to run wild, the logical working assumption has to be that the organization is corrupt. I see you are still a Fan Of More BS.

    • Actually the billboard made an important point, which is also made by the Gore-Unabomber quiz which preceeded the billboard (have you taken it?). The Green ideology is against technologically based society as we know it. This is a fact, not a smear. Green is dangerous.

      • Nor need we look to Gore to see this danger. A major theme of Rio+20 was that production and consumption need to be curtailed. This is an attack on our way of life.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      David Wojick asserts “Green ideology is against technologically based society as we know it. This is a fact.”

      Readers of Climate Etc. are encouraged to evaluate for themselves the truth-status of David Wojick’s assertion.

      In this regard, Wendell Berry’s writings are widely-respected, well-aged, pure 160-proof whisky:

      “Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.” ― Wendell Berry

      “Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.” ― Wendell Berry

      “Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.” ― Wendell Berry

      “Let us have the candor to acknowledge that what we call “the economy” or “the free market” is less and less distinguishable from warfare.” ― Wendell Berry

      “There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places.” ― Wendell Berry

      “The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.” ― Wendell Berry

      “I wish to testify that in my best moments I am not aware of the existence of the government. Though I respect and feel myself dignified by the principles of the Declaration and the Constitution, I do not remember a day when the thought of the government made me happy, and I never think of it without the wish that it might become wiser and truer and smaller than it is” ― Wendell Berry

      How may we further assist you to enlarge your conceptions, David Wojick?   :)   :)   :)

      • ““Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand; it is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.” ― Wendell Berry

        “Let us have the candor to acknowledge that what we call “the economy” or “the free market” is less and less distinguishable from warfare.” ― Wendell Berry”

        I can take you around an oncology ward and show you all about Justice and Mercy.
        You can also examine a list of the top 200 prescribed drugs and look at where they were designed, developed and tested, before being introduced into general therapy.
        What sort of societies are at the cutting edge of biomedical research?
        Here is a clue, not one drug from the former USSR, from India or China has made it into the world market in the last 3 decades.

      • David Wojick

        Thanks for making my point, Fan. So you want to do away with the economy? And the free market? You green folks really are dangerous. We could have the Fan-Unabomber quiz and still no one could tell the difference.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn, two innovations that come instantly to mind as examples of substantial medical breakthroughs from Russia and China include Ilizarov’s limb-lengthening procedure and China’s anti-malarial drug artemisinin.

        Your post is broadly correct, however, in regard to the deplorably slow pace of world-wide progress in developing reliable, definitively curative treatments for metastatic tumors.

        Why is progress in cancer therapy slow, DocMartyn?

        David Wojick, it is food for thought that of the top-thirty nations in the world for longevity and low infant mortality, all thirty nations have chosen health-care systems that are (1) carefully regulated, and (2) guarantee universal access, and are (3) enormously simpler and less expensive than America’s health-care system.

        Why do these thirty health-care systems work well, David Wojick?

      • Latimer Alder

        A link to your source, please.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        An excellent starting-point is the CIA World Factbook: Country Comparison: Life expectancy at birth.

        What is your next question, Latimer Alder?   :)   :)   :)

      • Latimer Alder

        Thanks.

        No further questions yet, but an immediate observation that there is a pretty strong correlation between individual wealth and life expectancy. I suspect that is stronger than the nature of the healthcare system adopted.

        That the wealthy playground of Monaco comes high up the list along with Guernsey, Jersey, the Isle of Man, San Marino and the Caymans only shows that rich folks get better healthcare. This is not new news.

        And interesting that the UK – with its much vaunted NHS is very very similar to the average of all 27 nations of the EU – including many of the recent joiners from the poorer countries. Doesn’t look like a highly regulated, government run centralised service works much better than the average of all the other types scattered across Europe. And one might argue that it is worse than it should be.

      • David Wojick

        Fan, all those countries still have economies, which are largely free market, that is where people can buy what they want and it gets produced. I am not talking about the American system, but technology based society as we know it. You Greens are a clear threat to that.

      • There is a large difference between age at first birth. Younger mothers have a better record of live births than older mothers. The Demographic profiles had to be matched. Additionally, the choice between interventions in late pregnancy also distort the figures.

  37. Beth Cooper

    fan, you ask Girma and Wagathon, ‘What is yr next question?’

    Say, ‘What is yr next question?’ is a stock line with you. From memory, yer’ve put it to Doc M, Steve m, David S, and David W. So, fan, I’ve got a question fer yer, setting out yr possible responses:

    Are you a person who stands behind an enquiry counter fer custommer service, somewhere *important.*
    Are you the long term winning competitor in a popular quiz show on TV who knows all the answers?
    Are you a sibyl?
    Cassandra?
    A blind seer?
    Or do yer perhaps suffer from cracked brain syndrome like Robert and me?

    Thx in anticipation of yer (brief) answer, have ter watch last stage of le Tour. :-) :-) :-)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Beth Cooper asks “Or do yer perhaps suffer from cracked brain syndrome?”

      There are some questions that have no scientific answer, Beth Cooper.

      In recent weeks there has been a striking upsurge in the incidence of denialist sanity-smearing, but the rationale for denialism’s embrace of sanity-smearing demagoguery is not known to me.   :?:   :?:   :?:

      Might you ask a science-related question, Beth Cooper?

      • Steven Mosher

        A few questions.

        1. do you condone lying for the cause.
        2. If the data a paper relied on is lost, and the finding of that paper in critical to our understanding of a trillion dollar question, what’s the remedy?
        3. What’s the probability that climate sensitivity is less than 3C per doubling of C02.
        4. Would you use GCMS that don’t represent volcanic forcing?
        5. If a GCM cannot replicate the past represented by a proxy series which is correct? the proxy or the GCM?
        6. Do you support nuclear? have you always?

      • I know the answer to #6. He was wetting his shorts over at PJM over Fukashima, making all kinds of apocalyptic predictions that never came true.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘I know the answer to #6. He was wetting his shorts over at PJM over Fukashima, making all kinds of apocalyptic predictions that never came true.”

        Interesting. i suppose we should just ask him this question over and over again. When our planet warms, as it will, when my grandchildren suffer, as they will, I want them to know that they can lay a big chunk of blame at the feet of folks who fought nuclear for decades. Evil.

      • Yes. When I think of the 45% or so of Americans who haven’t supported nuclear energy over the past few decades, the first thing that I think of is “evil.” It makes me feel better to be so superior. And laying the blame will be so productive.

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/117025/support-nuclear-energy-inches-new-high.aspx

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua.
        1. do you believe it is immoral to oppose cutting C02 emissions?
        2. Are immoral acts good?
        3. what do you call somebody who commits immoral acts.

        in short, you will find any number of people blaming people ( hell I was called evil) for opposing limits on c02 emissions. I note both your presence at those locations and your silence. I took your silence as agreement with the argument. Were you afraid to cross the green line and say .. hey wait.. its not evil to oppose limits on C02 emissions.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua: here is a little test for you. You can go over to the sensitivity thread and chastize Bart R for calling people immoral. You wont. or if you do, it will only be to give the illusion that you operate according to a set of consistent principles

      • “Joshua | July 22, 2012 at 8:05 pm |

        Yes. When I think of the 45% or so of Americans who haven’t supported nuclear energy over the past few decades, the first thing that I think of is “evil.” ”
        Evil is a bit strong, people gullible to propaganda seems to be problem.
        Children and women seem to have the most problem with this.
        If have to have a nanny state, the nanny has to be sensible.

      • I took your silence as agreement with the argument.

        Recognizing your error is the first step towards working proactively to not make the same mistake in the future.

      • Steven Mosher | July 22, 2012 at 8:27 pm |

        Darn. Wish I’d read this before I went and proved to a scientific certainty I was immoral for something else.. Marketing. ;)

        Hard as it is to believe the testimony of an immoral Denizen of iniquity.. I really did not read this first.

      • And repeatedly citing The Oil Drum as a source for unbiased technical expertise. :roll:

      • Steven Mosher | July 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

        I gotta ask. What’s the hair up your nose with this?

        This is not the first, or the fifth, or (I estimate) even the fiftieth time I’ve seen this list of questions in some form from you.

        Is it a rite of passage for interlocutors? A way to gain the upper hand? A trick? A compulsion? A test?

        I know the questions aren’t honest, and yet they aren’t exactly rhetorical either.

        Maybe I’m hurt because you never responded to the answers I gave.. or that I was never considered worth asking them?

        Just in case, excuse my presumption, or don’t:
        1. Condone? I applaud. So long as it’s done well, clearly, and with full and truthful exposition beforehand, lies for a cause are great entertainment and often useful at revealing truths for a cause. Why, when a tax-and-spend statist lies and says, “Read my lips, no new taxes,” I’m tickled pink by the brash and deliberate exploitation of human weakness and smirking indifference to the suffering caused to the very people fooled by this ploy into supporting the party of tax-and-spend, to the extent they eventually form a breakaway devoted to praying at the lipreading altar of superstitious no-new-taxism that just happens to solely benefit the friends of the party elites. Oh. Wait, see what I did there? I just lied. I said I would. I explained that I would. I did it, and now I’m explaining that I did it. Condoned.
        2. Oh. I see you condone it too. Well done.
        3. Probability, in its strictest sense, doesn’t apply to the question. ECS is not a probabilistic figure. ECS doesn’t exist until the universe of possibilities is collapsed by direct observation at any instant in time, and cannot be separated from the observer effect.
        4. Volcanic forcings cannot be predicted; it would be more fictional to predict them than to fudge them; in an optimal circumstance of limitless processing power, it’d tickle me pink to see GCMS run with and without haphazard volcanic episodes injected to give a picture of the fudge-cano/fake-cano difference in GCMS. One of the true instances were all models are wrong.
        5. You have an unusual sense of right and wrong. Correctness doesn’t exist until the universe of possibilities is collapsed by direct observation.
        6. I’ve always been against fusion as implemented: too much political interference, and too much of what was characterized in Moneyball about the baseball industry as an epidemic of misunderstanding of what is really happening resulting in complete mismanagement. Fission’s just 50 short years away from being practical, and has been exactly 50 short years away from being practical for 65 years and counting. Clean up the management practices of nuclear, sweep out the old with a sturdy broom, without breaking the very fragile layer of rust holding the little safety infrastructure there is in place, and we’ll talk.

  38. Beth Cooper

    Here’s a question fer yer, fan, though you avoided answering mine, (maybe i should complain to yr overseer.) :-)
    Perhaps yer might like to get yr team on to this question: ‘With regard to warmists attribution of positive feedback from clouds, how do yer explain that the highest mean annual temperatures occur over equatorial deserts and not equatorial oceans or rain forests?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Beth Cooper asks “[Why do] highest mean annual temperatures occur over equatorial deserts and not equatorial oceans or rain forests?

      Beth Cooper, thank you for your excellent question.

      Interlocking factors are:

      (1) Water is essential to plants and animals, and the evaporation of that same water serves also to moderate local temperature extremes.

      (2) Excessively high temperatures are fatal to plants (and animals and humans too), and those same high temperatures act to lower the relative humidity, and thus inhibit the water condensation that falls as rain.

      For these reasons, high temperatures, low rainfall, and low biomass are fairly strongly correlated; and yet it is not feasible to identify any one of them as strictly causal of the other two.

      What is your next question, Beth Cooper!   ;)   ;)   ;)

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Beth,

      With regard to warmists attribution of positive feedback from clouds, how do yer explain that the highest mean annual temperatures occur over equatorial deserts and not equatorial oceans or rain forests?

      The question indicates a misunderstanding. AGW science (or at the very least, a number of model simulations, as I think there is significant question in “AGW science” as to how well cloud changes are modelled) does not say clouds make it locally warmer. They say that in a warming world, cloud changes will add to the warmth on average.

      Er…just realised you may be pulling fan’s plonker here – though I think you’ll struggle to pop his irrepressible enthusiasm. BTW with your spelling of your I can’t help hearing your voice in my head with a (UK) Hampshire or Norfolk accent. How do you say “beautiful”?

      • Steve and Beth

        Beth’s “misunderstanding” may not really be one.

        Spencer + Braswell did show, based on CERES sateliite observations over the tropics, that the net overall feedback from clouds is strongly NEGATIVE.

        IOW the observations show net NEGATIVE feedback, while the IPCC model simulations estimate strongly POSITIVE net cloud feedback.

        Where’s the “misunderstanding” here?

        Max

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Manacker, Beth was talking about absolute temperatures in “equatorial deserts and…equatorial oceans or rain forests”, not relative changes in response to warming-induced cloud changes.

        Incidentally, Spencer+Braswell’s findings were based on ignore-ance of the ENSO over the very short period of their observations – even I could see that.

    • Robert and Fan Of More BS are experts at dodging pointed questions. They just spew the party line, brainlessly.

    • Dave Springer

      Beth, you know the answer. So does John Sidles. You know this as surely as both of you know that your body sweats water instead of sand to cool itself.

      :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

  39. This does not seem ” like a big yawn to me.”

    1. Closing an unsuccessful police investigation into the unauthorized release of Climategate emails and documents that have plagued world leaders and leaders of the scientific community for almost three years.

    2. The silent passing of the forty-third anniversary of one of mankind’s crowning achievements: Our first visit to the Moon in 1969.

    3. Deepening social and economic unrest from distrust of the world leaders and leaders of the scientific community who failed to admit and respond to the incriminating message in Climategate emails and documents, but tried instead to arrest the messenger.

    4. The eruption of personal anguish in the killing of a dozen innocent citizens by a young man whose short life span (1988-2012) included the supposed “end of the evil empire” overseas in 1990 and evidence of an international “evil empire” in Nov 2009.

  40. Next question: if I understand correctly– Mann engaged in academic fraud and global warming alarmists still believe everyone should ignore it because Mann is a climatologist, right?

    • More than that, Mann believes–as he tells us through attorneys–that anyone who publishes Steyn’s observation that Mann, was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change “hockey-stick” graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus,” that such allegation is false and an apology is in order, right? And, this is based on the fact that Penn State has not fired Mann yet… sort of like they turned their back on what Sandusky was doing, right?

      • I guess my last question would be what all of this — Sandusky and Mann — has done to the reputation of Penn State. Perhaps Penn State should share the next Nobel with for Peace with the Muslim Brotherhood.

    • “if I understand correctly”

      Don’t worry, you don’t.

      Years later, deniers are still losing teeth to Mann’s hockey stick, and still whining about their failure.

      It’s highly amusing. :)

      • Last questions: The Medium is the Message– those who refuse to admit MBH98/99/08 is academic fraud are the same as those who are destroying Western civilization, right? It has nothing to do with science, right? The ‘hockey stick’ is nothing more than an exercise in using a mathematical model to realize the opposite of the snowflake effect… right? In otherwords, the ‘hockey stick’ is proof that it is opposed to nature, right?

      • So you’ve got nothing but the old, falsified allegations?

        Mann beat you. It’s no mystery why; he’s smarter, he knows the field, and he’s tougher. Denialism attracts the weak-willed and the weak-minded, which is part of why you fail in attacks on real scientists so regularly.

        Denier fraudsters are a dime a dozen, yet, all the screaming morons have never laid a glove on Mann. Odds you will be the first? Just about zero.

      • Do you mean Mann is smarter like Sandusky was ‘smarter’ than the children that he abused?

      • Latimer Alder

        @robert

        Strange that among all the macho qualities that you ascribe to Mann, you have left out anything to do with him being a good scientist or his work being right.

        That says a lot about your mindset and general approach. And it isn’t to your credit.

      • Robert should read TerryS’s compendium of questions used to prep the perps before the first post-ClimateGate inquiry. It is available @ ClimateAudit or the Bish’s and it is a damning and disturbing document. It reveals the self-consciousness of the principals about just how corrupt they were. It reveals a guilty conscience.

        There was irresistible pressure to continue the charade; Jones et al committed professional suicide, the injury is mortal, the end is not yet here.
        ================

      • Latimer Alder

        @robert

        Further thought.

        If, as I suspect, you would wish there to be major changes to the global economies to accommodate your fears, has it ever occurred to you that using the language of the bludgeon and the bully is unlikely to be persuasive to the undecided.

        And statements like ‘denialism attracts the weak-willed and the weak-minded’ have very unfortunate echoes of 1930s fascism.

        Your style of argument and choice of phrase does nothing to advance your cause. Your problem, not mine.

      • Steven Mosher

        Go Team MXD.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Wagathon asks “Everyone should ignore [allegations of scientific fraud], right?”

      Wagathon, thank you for asking your thoughtful question.

      To the extent that each or all of the following four assertions are true, the specific answer to your question is “yes”:

      (1) The research findings in question are confirmed by subsequent research.

      (2) The allegations of misconduct are investigated and found to be insubstantial.

      (3) Corporations and oil-producing states have a strong profit motive to keep misconduct allegations alive.

      (4) Climate-change poses a significant threat to the welfare of future generations.

      In view of the above considerations, what is your highest-priority question, Wagathon?   :)   :)   :)

      • No matter what data you feed into it — it produces a ‘hockey stick’ graph. What is it?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Wagathon asks “No matter what data you feed into it — it produces a ‘hockey stick’ graph. What is it?”

        Thank you for asking this question, Wagathon.

        Although multiple answers receive partial credit, our grandchildren will recognize only one full-credit answer: “The response of a planetary ecosystem to a massive anthropogenic CO2 injection.”

        All other answers to your question are substantially less important.

        Wagathon, what is your next climate-change question that requires a full-credit answer?   :)   :)   :)

      • What is it that really motivates the continued self deception of the deniers of industrial man and Western civilization?

        http://evilincandescentbulb.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/global-warming-alarmism-an-epic-fail/

      • Dave Springer

        @John Sidles a.k.a. “fan of more discourse”

        Cool narrative about our grandchildren. It promises to pan out as well as Hansen predicting streets in Manhattan would be underwater by now, that the Arctic ocean would be ice-free by the summer of 2012, and that UK children would forget what snow is.

        You’re real dumb f*ck. I hope the hell you stick to the textbooks in any classes you teach because any original thinking you might offer is bound to be wrong.

      • Dave Springer

        :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Dave Springer, thank you for demonstrating that abusive discourse is a pathognomonic trait that reliably distinguishes climate-change denialism from rational skepticism.

        What further pathognomonic traits of denialism do you have in mind to demonstrate for us, Dave Springer?   :)   :)   :)

      • Dave Springer

        The faux vinegar is presented as balance to the faux sugar in your diatribes in the hope that the combination of the two will result in the emotionally neutral language of science. Not that you’d know anything about the language of science of course, you whackjob.
        ————————————————————————–
        :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea:

  41. Dave Springer

    McKibben is certainly true to ignorant form. One particularly egregious thing that caught my eye is U.S. scapegoating. He laments the U.S. does not put on the offer C02 emission reductions and that it and China put out 40% of the carbon.

    Well there Bill, if you bother to check the US carbon emission is below the level it was in 1990. We’ve run the clock back 25 years in our emissions. China quadrupled its emission in the same time frame you ignorant finger-pointing numb nuts. Go convince Ho Chi Minh or whoever the f&ck is in charge over there to cut back to pre-1990 levels. The U.S. isn’t promising it’s just doing. How’s Europe doing on its pledges, by the way?

  42. Steve Milesworthy, from what i’ve read on clouds, (and observed,) seems to me that the net overall feedback from “cool’ clouds is negative feedback, which confounds one of the main planks of CAGW, though clouds at night slow down heat energy radiation to space.
    Re my accent, I am not British, tho’ watching tonight’s nail biting finish to le Tour made me almost wish I was, winner Bradley Wiggins steering countryman Mark Cavendish to victory in the Paris finale! I come from the land down under, home of ”Byewdiful women’ and handsum men, Steve )

    • Dave Springer

      Beth,

      It was very recently discovered that an effect called quantum tunneling takes place in the water droplets that compose clouds. A photon passing within one wavelength of a water droplet can quantum tunnel through the droplet and emerge on the opposite side travelling in exactly the opposite direction.

      The visual effect of this was first observed centuries ago by mountain climbers who could look downward at clouds and see their own shadow cast upon them. A rainbow-like halo could be seen surrounding one’s own shadow but no around the shadow of a person standing close to you. That’s because of the 180-degree reflection. Only someone directly behind his own shadow could see the rainbow halo surrounding it.

      The origin of this has been a mystery for centuries because in classicial physics it is impossible for a water droplet to refract light 180 degrees. This halo is called “The Glory”. It may also be witnessed by passengers in an aircraft that is casting a shadow of itself on clouds below. A multicolored halo will surround the aircraft shadow.

      So basically clouds are reflecting more light than the classical physics in climate models is accounting for.

      Remarkably I read an article on this recent discovery in the much maligned Scientific American which I still purport has some good science in scattered amongst the cult-like climate change advocacy.

      http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-science-of-the-glory

      The Science of the Glory

      One of the most beautiful phenomena in meteorology has a surprisingly subtle explanation. Its study also helps to predict the role that clouds will play in climate change

  43. Dave Springer

    15 years of global cooling.

    Just in case anyone wasn’t aware of it.

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/last:180/mean:12/offset:0.13/plot/rss/last:180/trend/offset:0.13

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!! How long can this go on?

    Hint: about 30 years (see below)

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/last:180/mean:12/offset:0.13/plot/rss/last:180/trend/offset:0.13/plot/esrl-amo/every

    This is just a repeat of a 60-year cycle. In the prior cooling off period from 1940 to 1980 we became frightened that the cooling would never stop and scare stories began appearing in popular media. Then it stopped and those out to make a quick buck on a public panic didn’t waste as much time and after just 10 years of warming had the public all wound up in a global oven narrative.

    It would funny if so much money wasn’t being wasted on it and so many people who once trusted science, gulled once, will have lost that trust. That’s a shame because really only climate science and evolutionary biology/psychology are cargo-cult sciences.

    • you are wrong, warming has continued past 1997:

      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/rss/to:1997/trend/plot/rss/trend

      For the warming to have stopped in 1997 RSS should have followed this path:

      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/rss/to:1997/trend/plot/rss/from:1997/trend/offset:-0.22

      • Dave Springer

        I believe the universe appeared as if by magic 14 billion years ago in an event known as The Big Bang. The magic isn’t so much its appearance as it is the order that was present at the very beginning. You see, the law of entropy states that a closed system will move into a less ordered state as time passes. So the order in the universe was by definition at its highest at the moment of its sudden appearance out of nowhere.

        My question is about the source of the order there at the very beginning. This is one of the great puzzles in modern physics. The universe should be a homogenous soup with no order to it.

        As to your graph. Of course if you chart a sine wave beginning at its nadir and end the chart prior to the next nadir you will see a rising trend line. That doesn’t negate the sine nor the ultimate result (a flat trend line) when charted through one complete cycle.

        From 1979 to 1999 the trend line is 0.25C/decade which is in line with the IPPC 1990 AR1 projection of 0.30C warming ad infinitum if carbon emission were not curtailed.

        Carbon emission was not curtailed but as you can see from the 33 year trend line in the graph you produced the trend is 0.14C/decade or less than half the IPPC projection. No matter how you slice it or dice it the IPPC was wrong by a factor of at least 2 and if the sine wave plays out as it has historically plays out they’ll be completely and irretrievably wrong instead of just way the f*ck off the mark.

      • Dave Springer

        IPCC not IPPC

      • “From 1979 to 1999 the trend line is 0.25C/decade”

        That’s not what I see.

        The trend up to 1999 is remarkably similar to the trend over the entire period.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/to:1999/trend/plot/rss/plot/rss/trend

        There’s no evident disparity here. RSS data is compatible with continued and so far unceasing warming.

      • Dave Springer

        This is your graph with the 0.22 offset removed.

        It illustrates another view point on the data. Specifically it shows what’s called a “step change” that happened in 1998 which is affectionately referred to as the mother of all El Ninos. Remove that El Nino and you’re left with less than 0.1C/decade warming over the entire satellite record to date.

        How does anthropogenic CO2 cause a step change?

        In fact this step was caused by a slowing of the trade winds which reduced wave mixing and evaporation rate in the tropical pacific allowing the surface to get much warmer than usual. Unless you can offer a mechanical connection between a steady increase in anthropogenic CO2 and a sudden large temporary reduction in trade winds then you cannot blame anthropogenic CO2 for this step change.

        I look forward to your explanation. You’ll be the first to do it!

    • also did your comment provide a hint that you are a creationist?

    • Dave, yes the globe (and AMO) is about to cool, I suspect even faster than in the ~1950s/60s. The oscillation is not necessarily that regular.

      • Dave Springer

        I’m sure you already know this so consider it as food for thought for readers who might not know it.

        Modern warming aligns with the modern solar maximum (magnetic field strength) and there is excellent experimental science emerging from CERN linking high energy particles (throttled by solar magnetic field) to cloud formation.

        http://public.web.cern.ch/public/en/research/CLOUD-en.html

        Given solar magnetic activity in the past several years has fallen to lows not observed in over 100 years, and given that solar minima in the past have aligned with cooling periods and more particularly with the devastating Little Ice Age, you may very well be right that the cooling might be catastrophic if technology can’t improve agricultural output faster than global cooling reduces it. I have a high degree of confidence in technologic progress however as I believe we are at the cusp of a great revolution more significant than discovery of fire and metallurgy and perhaps even of writing. I refer to the coming era of synthetic biology variously also known as genetic engineering and nanotechnology.

      • Yes, it’s solar/magnetic/orbital.. oscillations, the exact mechanisms might remain unknown for some time, but very soon warmists will say, ‘We never said it wasn’t the Sun, stupid!’.

      • solar/magic/orbital/pixie dust/make believe

      • lolwot, see you in the year twenty-twenty.

      • AGW is pixie dust :).

      • there is mechanism for AGW. You admitted your something/something/something had no mechanism.

      • That’s not true. You’re clearly trying to confuse and mislead. I said the exact mechanism(s) might remain unknown for some time and that’s completely different than no mechanism. That’s GHG-GW logic, a fallacy.

  44. Beth Cooper

    David S , thx fer ‘The Science and the Glory.’ Wonderful …and this:
    ‘So basically clouds are reflecting more light than the classical physics in climate models is accounting for.’ :-) x 10

    • Dave Springer

      I regret that you cannot access the full article in the dead tree edition of SciAm. The pictures are beautiful. Scientific American, propagandist rag that it has become, still has wonderful full page photography in it.

  45. Huh. It appears my hypothesis on propaganda in climate discussion, using Climate Etc. as the sample space, is falsified.

    I had predicted that if a series of posts which could be identified as being on one side or the other of the issue of present need for action on AGW had identifying information — including the specifics of the issue — removed and shown to disinterested observers, they would find a 5:1 ratio of propaganda among those who argue against the need for present action, under a checklist of (http://mason.gmu.edu/~amcdonal/Propaganda%20Techniques.html):
    -Name Calling
    -Glittering Generalities
    -Transfer
    -Testimonial
    -Plain Folks
    -Card Stacking
    -Band Wagon

    My method removed names and replaced them with pseudonyms (preserving titles where used), and removed issues by substituting “sample” for “climate”, “deviating toward X” for “warming” and “deviating away from X” for “cooling”, and so on.

    (By the way, my own comments scored really high for propaganda content. Little surprise there.)

    It turns out my small (too small to be very significant) experimental audience of readers came very consistently to a ratio that rounds in whole numbers to 3:1, rather short of my 5:1 ratio.

    The natural next step would be to compare posts here to other writing on the topic. I propose comparing posts and comments at Climate Etc. against IPCC Reports, but alas my audience of volunteers is contaminated by prior exposure, and I just don’t know that many other people I could force to read a heavily redacted IPCC report or even — however entertaining you all are — a Climate Etc. topic or two.

    Perhaps those of you with impartial friends could make the effort?

    Hrm. Good test of who here has any friends, too.

    • Any chance you could provide a before/after example of one of your samples?

      • Compare my first source (http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/20/sensitivity-of-the-nocturnal-boundary-layer-to-added-longwave-radiative-forcing/)

        To the systematically redacted:

        Sensitivity of the sample boundary layer to deviation toward X forcing
        Posted on July 20, 2012 | 140 Comments
        by J001C001
        So, if you increase the X forcing from “McGuffin 1″, which of the following happens?
        -deviating toward Y of the near prime interface measure of Z
        -deviating toward Y of the overall measure of Z above the prime interface
        -deviating toward Y of the deep measure of Z below the prime interface
        -the deviation is lost to “McGuffin 2″ from the prime interface.
        Simple analyses of sample feedback and sensitivity (ΔZ = λ * ΔF) assume #2. A new paper by R001M001 et al. argues for a more complex (and realistic) response.
        R001M001, G001S001, B001H001, R001P001a, S001M001, A001B001, J001W001, U001N001, and J002C002 (2012). Response and Sensitivity of the sample boundary layer above fixed stratum to deviation toward X forcing, Publisher001, in press.
        Abstract. [long, omitted here to conserve space]
        The paper has been discussed extensively at Blog001. There is a guest post by R001M001 at R001P001a’s Blog002, that raises some broader implications of the findings, some excerpts:
        [long, omitted from this example to save space]
        J001C001 comment: This paper really clicked with me, it addresses a big issue that I have long been worried about and raised on the earlier thread “McGuffin1 No Feedback Sensitivity” with regards to the equation (ΔZ = λ * ΔF):
        According to this simple model that relates McGuffin2 at the secondary interface to a prime interface Z change, there is an equilibrium relationship between these two variables. The physical relationship between these two variables requires many many assumptions, including zero deviation capacity of the surface and a physical deviation carrier mechanism link between the prime interface and the secondary interface.
        R001M001 et al. remind us of why these are poor assumptions.

        Due the limitations of either WordPress or my skill in it, this sample doesn’t show the font changes used to mark my redactions (to allow subjects to make allowances between my use of generic replacement terms and “Glittering Generalities”).

        This particular sample scored high on Bandwagon, Glittering Generalities, Transfer, Testimonial and Card Stacking, but then my test size was very small, and as noted, redaction might influence the subjects to think they’re reading something more generalized than it actually is.

        To get the full impact of the list, I was careful to include a number of places where J001C001 refers to works by R001P001a and J002C002, to illustrate the tendency to prefer these sources, so you could take that into account when you judge the validity of the technique.

        This was just a couple of hours of cut & paste and find & replace, followed by forcing friends to read the stuff. I’m not going to impose on them again.. especially since, apparently, they think some of my stuff (included to help assess my bias) is propaganda too.

      • Thanks,

        I’ve often wondered whether anyone has attempted to systematically examine blog comment discourse; for example, how biases are reflected in blog comments, the moderation of comments by blog owners, or the accuracy in the whining about censorship so prevalent in the blogosphere.

        I’m a bit more interested in a taxonomy of rhetoric as opposed to the identification of propaganda (not entirely unrelated, of course). So I’d like to see the identification of logical fallacies and such. But it is stunning, sometimes, how fairly we can characterize so many blog comments as basically juvenile and how often blog comments are so illustrative of (seemingly) smart people making vapid statements.

      • Joshua | July 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm |

        You understand, of course, your comment could be construed as propagandistic itself, on the bases of Name Calling, Glittering Generalization, and a couple of other characteristics?

        A little ‘propaganda’ is inevitable and even might have some benefit. However, this heated topic seems to be propagandized to a much higher level than most, and so it’s more interesting to me to seek to identify and deplore the invective methods of propagandists on all sides.

        I think my original hypothesis shows that bias itself; the desire to point at one side or the other and call it the worse offender. That’s unproductive; even if just unilaterally all participants, whatever side they identify with, curtailed the propaganda then we’d all benefit.

        Climate Propaganda. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Yes, this is an invitation to jump on the anti-propaganda bandwagon, itself a form of anti-propaganda propaganda.

      • You understand, of course, your comment could be construed as propagandistic itself, on the bases of Name Calling, Glittering Generalization, and a couple of other characteristics.

        That’s interesting – because I think it the attributes I used to describe blog discourse are unarguable (no matter whether the discourse is here or virtually any other blog that deals with controversial issues). But sure, I guess being accurate does not negate being propagandistic. My intent was to influence an audience in my comment. But perhaps that is an inherent attribute of any blog comment? Who, here, doesn’t have an intent (no matter how futile), to influence an audience? Maybe other attributes apply also – wanting to makes comments identify with a group, on the rare occasion the intent to share perspective – but aren’t all blog comments at some level propaganda?

      • Some notes:

        1. The concept itself of propaganda could be considered a slur.

        Or not:

        http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=propaganda

        Depends upon the context, really.

        ***

        2. Rhetoric goes beyond fallacies, which go beyond logical fallacies.

        ***

        3. I’m not sure what the ratio counts exactly. Suppose I break all these notes into three separate comments. Does that affect the variable?

      • willard (@nevaudit) | July 22, 2012 at 10:18 pm |

        You are not wrong.

        There are some who question whether the wooly art of Propaganda Analysis is any better than Astrology. Does “propaganda” as a distinct phenomenon exist, or is it just a slur labelling expressions one doesn’t like and can’t meet head on?

        It is my opinion that sufficient data has been collected and experimentally verified by validated methods to confirm the real distinct existence of the phenomenon of propaganda, beyond the patently obvious to everyone over the age of seven years old. It is not just a slight against the communications of governments, businesses, religions, political parties and like groups to discover propaganda.

        Is propaganda bad? Well, it’s deceptive and manipulative. “Bad” is a value judgement of a moral or ethical system, or an aesthetic argument. Is propaganda harmful, and to whom? That’s a question of anthropology, economics or sociology.

        As I don’t particularly ascribe to sociology, I can suggest that anthropologically it can be shown that propaganda is a tool of power in groups that effects leverage against those who have invested more in hard numerical detail work — harvesting, hunting, manufacturing — toward those who exercise dominance in pure communications — gossip, storytelling, teaching and leadership. The people who are likeliest to be right about things, anthropologically, will lose influence to those who invest in influencing other by persuasive means rather than productivity or service.

        Economically, yes, propaganda is a Bad Thing; as disinformation, it moves the Market away from one of the key elements of a Fair or Free Market, perfect information. As such, propaganda is anti-capitalist. On this basis alone, propaganda and those who employ it are in effect on some level anti-American.

        So, by every scientific measure I know how to apply, the hypothesis that propaganda is mere slur fails. Such propagandists as myself, our hostess, and the scores of others here to resort to its tactics, who succumb to the lure of its methods, are doing wrong, to a scientific certainty.

      • Bart R,

        There is some truth to this:

        > [A]nthropologically it can be shown that propaganda is a tool of power in groups that effects leverage against those who have invested more in hard numerical detail work — harvesting, hunting, manufacturing — toward those who exercise dominance in pure communications — gossip, storytelling, teaching and leadership.

        but we must bear in mind that harversting, hunting, and manufacturing numerical work can also be used as a propaganda too.

        Think of the auditing sciences.

        Think of all the FUD about causal relationships.

        ***

        There is something false with this:

        > The people who are likeliest to be right about things, anthropologically, will lose influence to those who invest in influencing other by persuasive means rather than productivity or service.

        I surmise that truth is stronger than that.

        In fact, some (not me) could argue that truth is the hallmark of society as we know it. Some (not me) even go as far as to say that this is what made the Occident dominate the epistemic battle field.

        Making things work is the best propaganda, and understanding why things work is the best way to make things work.

        If we define propaganda as something bad, we need concepts to separate something that looks like propaganda that ain’t bad.

      • willard (@nevaudit) | July 23, 2012 at 9:48 am |

        Harvesters and hunters and cake bakers feed us.

        Are you saying the cake is a lie?

        Is it food, or FUD? Say.. aren’t you one of those people who communicate rather than producing hard numerical detail outputs? ;)

        And I note you skillfully redefine hard numerical detail output as propaganda, subverting the discourse.

        Have you ever baked a cake in your life?

      • Bart R,

        Yes, I did bake cakes. Bread too. As you may know, auditors have a weakness for bread:

        http://climateaudit.org/2009/08/29/6912/

        But that bread feeds might be FUD too:

        If FUD was not possible with data, dogwhistling would not exist.

        ***

        Besides, let’s not forget about Betty Croker theories, perhaps the only ones philosophers can cook:

        http://rogerr.com/galin/papers/churchland_review.htm

        Enjoy while it’s warm,

        w

    • Dave Springer

      Few people in the real world pay attention to any of this. They simply react to the weather day to day and believe in global warming when it’s hotter then normal where they live, disbelieve it when it’s cooler than normal, and don’t believe anything when it appears normal.

      I’ve known all along that the global warming scare would eventually live or die by what the real world does. The real world hasn’t gotten any warmer in the past 15 years despite no let-up in burning of fossil fuels. Severe weather has not become more common either. To anyone who bothers to look for it there’s a 60-year cyclic warming and cooling of about 0.4 degrees in either direction that’s been going on for as long as we can have records accurate to tenths of degrees. This cycle appears to be still repeating and the zenith of this cycle was reached right about at the turn of the millenium.

      Any expensive affirmative action against global warming is a lost cause at this point unless the high rate of warming experience from 1980-2000 resumes. Don’t bank on it. Bank on history repeating itself.

      • “To anyone who bothers to look for it there’s a 60-year cyclic warming and cooling of about 0.4 degrees in either direction that’s been going on for as long as we can have records accurate to tenths of degrees.”

        A 60-year cycle you surely deny given that you’ve denounced and dismissed everything but the satellite records:

        David Springer four months ago: “The only thing I believe is the satellite record beginning in 1979 which is the only close to having global coverage and the sensitivity to detect tiny trends on the order of a tenth of a degree per decade. And even that satellite record is dodgy and pencil whipped with no small amount of internal controversy among the few gatekeepers.”

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/03/08/lindzens-seminar-part-ii/#comment-183491

        you need to get your story straight…

    • Steven Mosher

      Cool idea.

      math on words. very cool

  46. Somewhat surprised to see no discussion of this article in Judith’s Week in Review:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/21/opinion/the-climate-change-tipping-point.html

  47. Certainly newly emerging alternative energy sources are a drop in the bucket by comparison with mature energy sources. But to infer that this will still be the case in the coming decades is like arguing that kindergartners are so feeble compared to adults that they will never amount to anything. That may be true for kindergartners that don’t grow, but not for those that do.

    A more useful measure of a technology’s potential is its rate of growth relative to its seniors. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my impression lately has been that solar and wind are both growing much faster than fossil fuel while nuclear has essentially ground to a halt.

    • Latimer Alder

      Growing?

      You men having money throw at it in the form of enormous operational ‘subsidies’.

      You’d be very foolish to judge the ‘success’ of a technology by the speed at which governments can bribe people to ‘adopt’ it. It would be entirely possible to make a dramatic growth rate in energy from moonbeams if you were prepared to give big enough ‘subsidies’. Wouldn’t mean it was any good or any use

    • It’s political will, VP, and sadly, deliberately, perverted political will at that.
      ==================

    • Often the rate of growth is a good indicator, but even in those cases both the relative rate and the absolute rate should be considered. Only when both are large is the signal clear. Even in this case it’s possible that it’s based on excessive subsidies only as seems to be the case with the solar panels in Germany.

      • Latimer Alder

        You can add UK to that list.

        There was a thriving domestic solar panel installation industry when households were guaranteed a payment of 5 times the market rate for electricity for 25 years. It died overnight when the bribe was cut to ‘only’ 2.5 times the market rate. But we’re still going to have to pay these freeloaders until 2036.

        They were even marketed as ‘government gives you free money. Just stick a panel on your roof’

        Please do not believe that the growth in UK solar installation reflects anything pother than a government-driven financial scam to appease the green lobby. Nothing whatsoever to do with being a viable technology at latititude 55N. Coz it ain’t.

    • What a coincidence. Yesterday I visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s open house, which was mobbed—half the time was spent trying to find parking. As I toured the exhibits I couldn’t help comparing the work done by the researchers “on the ground,” more precisely under the sea, with the work done by those glued to their terminals like barnacles waiting for morsels to ridicule. That they are able to respond within 12 minutes of my post in order to ridicule it with non sequiturs kind of bears this out. Ridicule seems to be a full time job for some people here.

      I wish solar photovoltaic was subsidized more heavily, but those subsidies are going away. Even so almost half of my investment in 36 220W solar panels three years ago has been repaid in dramatically reduced electric bills, and the rest will have been recovered within the next four or so years. From then on my electricity will be free. And homes with solar installations command a premium at sale, another bonus to look forward to at some point in the future.

      Paradoxically the recent collapse of some solar photovoltaic companies reflects not a collapse in solar deployment but rather an unforeseen dramatic decrease in panel cost. Three years ago panel cost was comparable to installation cost, but in the meantime the efficiencies of installation have not kept pace with those of panel manufacture, with the latter having dropped a stunning fourfold in that short period. This has wiped out the business models of those US (e.g. Solyndra) and European (Pekka mentioned German) companies whose business plans depended on panel prices remaining high. Price reduction, not demand reduction, is responsible for those companies going under that didn’t plan accordingly.

      Given the free-electricity benefits of solar photovoltaic in combination with the plummetting cost of panels, I would say the death of the global solar industry has been greatly exaggerated. Chinese solar panel manufacturers are making out like bandits.

      • Vaughan,

        My emphasis concerning solar is influenced on where I live. The situation is not very different in Germany but it is in Arizona or Southern California. The area near Stanford University is perhaps closer to Southern California but not quite as good.

        The problem here – and in Germany – is that solar generation occurs at the wrong time of time of the year. Our peak load is in winter when solar panels do not produce anything. Tariffs do not reflect the great variability in the value of the energy neither do they reflect the cost structure where transmission and distribution costs are perhaps 90% fixed and determined by the peak power. Thus the private producer may save three to four times as much in reduced charges as the cost of the remaining system is reduced by his own production. That means that he is heavily subsidized without realizing that even when no explicit subsidies are given.

        The situation is quite different in areas where the peak load is due to air-conditioning and coincides with maximum load. Even then there’s hidden subsidy in the tariff structure as the producer of solar energy does not pay as much for the distribution as other customers, but it’s also possible that he’s not compensated for the value of the near optimal timing of production.

      • Pekka –

        Presumably you would agree that all sources of energy rely on subsidies in one form or another, hidden or not hidden.

        How do you factor that into your viewpoint on the relative value of wind and solar?

        Certainly, there is some important value in quantifying the problems of any particular energy source, and specifically problems that might be an outgrowth of subsidies, but isn’t an examination of those problems realistically diminished in value if isolated from the full context of corollaries with other energy sources?

      • Latimer Alder

        I keep hearing about ‘hidden subsidies’. I investigated these ‘hidden subsidies’ for UK. And what it came down to was that the government charges a lower rate of VAT on all forms of energy generation…nuclear, gas, solar, wind, hydro…they are all taxed at the same reduced rate.

        To claim that this is somehow a ‘subsidy’ is as daft as saying that the extortionist is subsidising your business because he is charging only £500 per week not to burn it down when he could charge £1000.

        Lay out where you think the subsidies really go. But no more talk of these undescribed ‘hidden subsidies’ unless you can justify it.

      • So Latimer –

        If I understand your argument, you think that government support in any way is completely irrelevant to the coal, gas, and oil industries?

      • Latimer Alder

        @joshua

        You can read perfectly well what I wrote. If you wish to discuss ‘subsidies’, you need to describe exactly which ones you are talking about.

        It seems you can’t.

        BTW the oil industry in the UK has been a big net contributor to public funds because of North Sea Oil and our very highrates of petrol tax.

      • Joshua,

        I don’t think it’s correct to say that all sources of energy rely on subsidies. It may be possible to find something that could be considered a subsidy in all cases, but that’s not at all the same as saying that they rely on subsidies. In some cases those “subsidies” may add up to a few percent of the cost while various taxes and other payments are several times higher.

        For solar in Germany the subsidies where for years something like 90% of the cost, i.e. the value of the production was around 10% of the cost and everything else was covered by subsidies. Now the subsidies are much lower but still high. For wind power the subsidies have also been in many cases far above half of the total cost, but as I have written in another comment there are now cases where wind power is essentially competitive with the alternatives even without subsidies.

        Domestic coal has been subsidized heavily in several countries for social reasons (to maintain the employment of miners and the livelihood of the mining towns), but that does not apply to all coal power. Coal power has significant externalities which may be considered to be equivalent to subsidies. Gas and oil are not subsidized much and may actually be taxed more. The development of nuclear technologies was subsidized strongly but after the early development the subsidies have been rather small in most cases. Whether the externalities of nuclear power are comparable to those of coal is sometimes debated, but I don’t think they are high at all.

      • And Latimer –

        they are all taxed at the same reduced rate.

        If you’ll indulge another couple of questions:

        If a government applies a reduced VAT for users of different types of energy at similar rates, does that meant that subsidies don’t exist? If that weren’t true, then wouldn’t the size of the subsidy be directly proportional to the amount of energy supplied, from the various sources, with the reduced VAT? Would that not mean that gas and coal (the sources for 85% of UK electricity) gets more in subsidies?

        And do you think there is an distinction of importance between subsidizing the development/provision of new sources of energy and subsidizing the use of existing energy sources (which, presumably, rest upon a legacy of direct or potentially “hidden” subsidies over decades past)? Are there any meaningful advantages, in your view, in directing subsidies towards new sources that, as one example, release less particulate matter into the atmosphere?

      • Latimer Alder

        @joshua

        1. I do not at all agree that taxing something at a reduced rate is the same as a ‘subsidy’. So your first proposition is irrelevant.

        2. I’m not convinced that giving direct subsidies for operational production of any form of energy is a sensible thing to do.

      • Latimer Alder

        @joshua

        You may be interested to see the long list of goods and services that are zero-rated for VAT in the UK. So while all forms of energy incur the tax at 5% the list below pays none at all.

        Would you claim that these are being ‘subsidised’ even more than energy?

        Here is the list from HMRC

        Group 1 – Food

        Group 2 – Sewerage services and water

        Group 3 – Books etc

        Group 4 – Talking books for the blind and handicapped and wireless sets for the blind

        Group 5 – Construction of buildings, etc

        Group 6 – Protected buildings

        Group 7 – International services

        Group 8 – Transport

        Group 9 – Caravans and houseboats

        Group 10 – Gold

        Group 11 – Bank notes

        Group 12 – Drugs, medicines, aids for the handicapped, etc

        Group 13 – Imports, exports, etc

        Group 15 – Charities, etc

        Group 16 – Clothing and footwear

        List ends

      • Pekka –

        I don’t think it’s correct to say that all sources of energy rely on subsidies. It may be possible to find something that could be considered a subsidy in all cases, but that’s not at all the same as saying that they rely on subsidies.

        OK. I guess that “rely” is a fairly nebulous word. It is conceivable that some industries would continue to exist in a modified form w/o any sort of subsidy whereas others wouldn’t continue in any form. That seems like a non-trivial distinction — but I wonder if it is mostly important in an abstract or ideological sense; ultimately, what matters most is the costs/benefits balance of investment in the various sources of energy.

        For solar in Germany the subsidies where for years something like 90% of the cost, i.e. the value of the production was around 10% of the cost and everything else was covered by subsidies.

        But what does that mean in a larger sense? Do the German people feel that the subsidization of cost was a net negative or positive? How far do we extend the analysis into the future to determine the return on the investment? And while obviously, at this point going forward, the ratio of cost to value for renewables may very well not be favorable as compared to fossil fuels, and while you speak of negative externalities with coal, how are you examining the issue in perspective? What are the costs to society of other fossil fuel energy – even beyond how we consider the cost of potentially affecting the climate? How are you discounting previous subsidization that has brought those industries to their current state? What are the costs for keeping oil flowing? Environmental impact? You speak to this, but it seems to me in vague terms. When you say that gas and oil are “not subsidized much,” are you really speaking comprehensively? Not to say that you need to write a treatise – but I generally find your perspective relatively even-handed, and I’m asking you to clarify whether you are including these considerations in these comments.

      • Latimer –

        My guess is that this discussion with you will turn out rather like our discussion a while back about the definition of acidification.

        It seems to me that not only is your opinion on this fully formed, but so your conviction that anything I might say should be dismissed out of hand.

        Allow me to illustrate further:

        1. I do not at all agree that taxing something at a reduced rate is the same as a ‘subsidy’. So your first proposition is irrelevant.

        The logic of this is as follows. You have an opinion. Any other opinions are “irrelevant.”

        Here’s another example:

        2. I’m not convinced that giving direct subsidies for operational production of any form of energy is a sensible thing to do.

        Presumably, you think that (1) I might think you would be “convinced” of that giving direct subsidies is necessarily sensible (which you’ve never given me any reason to believe, or (2) I think that giving direct subsidies is necessarily sensible (which I’ve never given you reason to think that I believe).

        In fact, I don’t have either of those opinions, but I have questions about the relevant issues, and I think that it’s worthwhile to explore the different aspects of the argument with people who are open-minded.

        There’s no point in further discussion unless you reform your ways. If you’re interested in a good faith exchange of views, I will remain open.

      • Latimer Alder

        @joshua

        ‘Do the German people feel that the subsidization of cost was a net negative or positive?’

        Have you considered asking the f***g windmills how they feel as well? Do they feel ashamed and degraded knowing that nobody in their right mind would have erected them without a huge great bribe? Or are they loud and proud that they stand as huge and mighty erections to the worship of Mother Gaia?

        Does size matter? Are the smaller, less well-developed windmills in awe of their bigger and more powerful brethren? Do they have the Penn State approach to relative merit…the one that brings in more money is better than the one who brings in less?.

        And are the offshore ones downhearted that the German government has been so inept that it has filed to connect most of them correctly to the grid and so they are to all intents and purposes impotent? Despite their enormous size do they know that they cannot fulfil Nature’s purpose and stand miserably and damply in the North Sea dreaming of what might have been if life’s hand had stroked them in a different way?

      • Dave Springer

        I got lots of friends that heat with wood at 45N latitude. Half of them cut and split it themselves. Regardless of harvesting their own wood or buying it on the open market it is not subsidized. Biomass accounts for 5% of energy production in the US so it’s not small potatoes by any means. Wind power is 0.5%. Solar is 0.1%. Wind and solar are small potatoes.

      • Latimer Alder

        @joshua

        As you haven’t even been able to demonstrate the existence of ‘hidden subsidies’, I see little point in having a discussion about their merits or demerits. If and when you do so, I’m happy to discuss.

        Same if you wanted to discuss homeopathy. UFOs, JFK’s assassination, the Moon Landings that weren’t…provide some proof and we’ll talk.

        And I’m very happy to discuss direct operational subsidies. For which the existence can be easily demonstrated…money changes hands from government A to person/organisation B in exchange for doing something the government approves of and which B would not otherwise do. Another word for this is ‘bribe’.

      • Joshua,

        I cannot tell what Germans do mostly think about solar energy. There are certainly many who continue to support solar and many who are highly critical and who tell about overall losses of 100 billion euros or so on solar panels that will produce electricity worth a small fraction of that.

        I do consider the situation very problematic. More research is needed, but unfortunately history does not promise miracles from that. Energy research has had special support in many countries since the oil crises of 1970’s but the results have not been anything like what we have seen in many other fields. There has certainly been development in many areas but no real breakthroughs. We can read every few days claims about some revolutionary discoveries but few of them lead to anything practical.

        The energy infrastructure is huge and other infrastructure that’s in some way bound to some forms of energy perhaps even larger. The consumption patterns are also difficult to change rapidly. One of the problems is that it’s much easier to make business from additional consumption than from reduced consumption.

        Trying to force changes faster than the knowledge base can support leads to serious mistakes and waste of resources. The best that I can propose is persistence in searching for better alternatives, but starting full scale deployment only when the solution is ready for that.

      • Dave Springer

        Don’t worry about living at 60 degrees north latitude. Global warming is going to turn Finland into something like the French Riveria anytime now. The science is settled, doncha know?

      • Latimer Alder

        There seems to be a chance that much like Mother Gaia showed her disapproval of the Copenhagen Climate Beano by dumping snow all over the warmist freeloaders/delegates, she may be willing to show a sunny smile onto the Olympic opening ceremony in London on Friday night.

        After six weeks of unrelenting gloom that is the least she can do. Fingers crossed.

      • Dave Springer

        Summer Olympics in London. What’s next, winter Olympics in Mexico City? The world just make a lot of sense anymore.

      • Pekka –

        Trying to force changes faster than the knowledge base can support leads to serious mistakes and waste of resources. The best that I can propose is persistence in searching for better alternatives, but starting full scale deployment only when the solution is ready for that.

        We have had, IMO, massive waste of resources resulting from energy processes – on a scale that probably dwarfs the waste of resources you’re concerned about w/r/t solar energy in Germany (of course, there’s always the difficulty of uniformity in units of measure – what is a stripped mountaintop worth? Particulates in the air that cause respiratory disease? Trillions spend on wars largely related to the mix of politics and oil? There is no free lunch, so to simply say that resources were wasted doesn’t seem very profound to me. (Presumably a consideration of these sorts of issues is why you might promote nuclear energy in contrast to fossil fuel energy.)

        I know this is a field where you have focused my of your own energy – and again, I generally respect your approach to these issues, but my questions remain.

        How do you judge the (waste?) return on subsidies on operational costs for solar energy when they are projected for decades forward and contextualized against comparisons to the full range of externalities, both positive and negative? Operational costs is a non-trivial distinction, but the determination of “operational costs,” just like “subsidies,” is a bit of a moving target. Assuming that a significant reason why we have had the military expenditures that we’ve had is to keep oil flowing, can we consider at least some portion of military spending as operational costs? Do you dismiss, outright, the idea that tax relief is a form of subsidy that essential equates to the funding of operational costs?

        One of the reasons why I’m persisting with this is that I often run into folks who categorically oppose government “subsidies” of all sorts on ideological principles. In particular, I have often seen arguments about subsidizing the operational costs of public transportation where ideological biases negatively influence the quality of analysis. Living in Finland, and perhaps likely someone who as a result doesn’t oppose government subsidization on purely ideological terms, and as someone who doesn’t seem to be reflexively ideological on all issues climate change related, I’m asking you to address – even if broadly, the problems I see in the arguments most often put forth by climate combatants who are negative about the use of subsidies to support alternative energy.

      • Wasting resources elsewhere doesn’t make wasting here any less stupid.

        The subsidies are given principally as feed in tariffs that are up to ten times higher than the value of the electricity. One tenth of the amount of money would have been sufficient to so much R&D that that would certainly have had a larger influence on future alternatives as this money goes really into mass-production of panels of little value and their installation.

        There was a similar stage with wind power in Germany. Excessive subsidies led to a large number of badly located windmills of early technology which produce much less than contemporary windmills in some other countries. Many of those windmills will be dismantled early because they are outdated and perhaps not even worth to operate due to cost of maintenance. At the same time development of better technologies proceeded with little input from these activities.

        Subsidies are often needed but too high subsidies for large scale deployment of immature solutions is waste of money, and in the case of German solar power waste of huge sums of money.

      • Wasting resources elsewhere doesn’t make wasting here any less stupid.

        That’s true, of course – and a relevant point.

        But in addition to arguing for context (which is really not directed at your arguments but at the arguments of “skeptical” climate combatants – and therefore which is fairly countered by your statement), I was mostly arguing that an expectation of no waste is an unrealistic expectation. Further, identifying waste in hindsight is not necessarily instructive towards avoiding waste in the future. You have to break eggs to make an omelet. Finally, are their not benefits which in the short term look like waste, and in particular a large amount of waste, that in the end prove to be necessary steps towards reaching the a larger goal and relatively little money once years, decades have passed. How is your argument different than saying prior to ground being broken – that subsidizing a federal highway system, or a continental railway system, would be a waste. Or even saying that they were wasteful endeavors relatively soon after the endeavors were begun?

        Subsidies are often needed but too high subsidies for large scale deployment of immature solutions is waste of money,

        So what are the parameters that we should use to determine how high is too high, or how do we determine how much short-term expenditure that is relatively non-productive is too much?

      • Latimer Alder

        @vaughan

        I have been commenting on the futility of solar PV in UK for some years. That it took me only 12 minutes to summarise the major points demonstrates my grasp of the essentials of the subject.

        Maybe it os different on your country. But here in the North Atlantic they are so f…g useless that nobody in their right mind has installed solar PV since the subsidy was reduced to (only) 2.5 times the market rate.

      • latimer

        its horses for course and each country must choose what works best for them

        Solar is useless in the UK and onshore wind so inefficient its barely worth bothering with because of the landscape problems.

        We are an island and wind/wave would work very well for us but was strangled by the UK Govt in the 1970’s (do you remember the Salter Duck on Tomorrows world?
        tonyb

      • Latimer Alder

        @tony b

        ‘its horses for course and each country must choose what works best for them’

        I agree. And under successive Energy Secretaries (Milliband, Huhne, Davey), we have ended up with the worst of all possible worlds where we spend huge amounts subsidising useless operational production like solar and wind. And choosing to turn off our existing energy supplies as well.

        In Europe, of course, the freedom to completely determine our own energy poicy is someehat circumscribed by the EU as well.

        We must be f…g mad!

      • Dave Springer

        PV electricity is free?

        You need to wander over to the economics building at Stanford and sign up for ECO 101. The cost of capital for PV is astoundingly, prohibitively high. Panels, which have a service life of 25 years, are only a fraction of system cost. The greatest cost by far is storage to go “off-grid”. Feel like being the owner and caretaker of a metric ton of lead-acid batteries each with a service life of about 3 years?

        If you don’t go off grid then you may have a grid-tie system but the price of convertors and power conditioners are equal to the cost of the panels. And you have to hire someone else to install it because the electric company doesn’t want amateurs installing extensions to their grid.

        All this requires a capital investment and incurs what’s called cost-of-capital which is, essentially, will I make as much money investing in solar electric for my home as I would investing the same capital in Exxon-Mobile? The smart money rides with Exxon. But by all means buck the system based on your belief that you’ll do better with the solar. Please try it as that might actually teach you a lesson you seem to badly need.

      • Dave Springer

        “This has wiped out the business models of those US (e.g. Solyndra) and European (Pekka mentioned German) companies whose business plans depended on panel prices remaining high. Price reduction, not demand reduction, is responsible for those companies going under that didn’t plan accordingly.”

        In the modern world these things don’t happen by surprise. The taxpayers were duped into dumping public money into ventures that were doomed from day one. Welcome to crony capitalism. Obama and his cronies thank you for your support. They made out like bandits while the half of the US taxpayers who pay more in federal taxes than they receive in federal tax credits got shaken down.

        One industry that’s booming is professional collectors of federal tax credits. The number of people who pay more to Washington than Washington pays them for their vote is declining rapidly. This can’t last much longer. The middle class is tapped out and there aren’t enough rich people to shake down. The vote purchasing to install liberals in office is being done with borrowed money and that can’t be maintained much longer either.

      • It’s funny, if you go over to WUWT today, you find that Anthony Watts is installing solar panels on his home.

      • Between that and his electric car, he should be an official member of the Green Club. Actually it puts me to shame, as I have neither. Kudos to him, even if he didn’t do it to save the earth.

      • Perfect point, “Paradoxically the recent collapse of some solar photovoltaic companies reflects not a collapse in solar deployment but rather an unforeseen dramatic decrease in panel cost.

        You know, I seem to recall mentioning that solar costs would decrease rather dramatically about 5 years ago and that investing a lot of money in installation of immature technology wasn’t particularly bright. R&D was a better investment while you let the other idiots lose money.

        So this supposedly unforeseen dramatic decrease, like many of the unforeseen dramatic decreases were unforeseen by the people with the models. And we are supposed to trust the models why?

        You may make note of the rising shocked and surprised index in modeling circles over the next two decades.

      • And we are supposed to trust the models why?

        What alternative do you suggest? Trusting bacon would be my preferred option, but if everyone did that the price would rise and it would be unaffordable.

        In point of fact, if you reason, you model. Criticize specific models all you want, but to say that as some approach to problem solving we shouldn’t trust models is to say that we shouldn’t reason.

        Which isn’t particularly reasonable.

      • Trusting more diverse opinions. I just looked up an article I wrote 19 Dec 2007, Nanosolar announced their utility scale solar panels with a project cost of $.99.

        There are some folks Joshua that correctly relate consensus and herd mentality. They make out like bandits :)

      • Trusting more diverse opinions.

        Trusting more diverse opinions just because they exist?

        There are some folks Cap’n that reflexively relate consensus with error. Some succeed, some are crackpots.

        I’ve known a small minority of contrarians who don’t like bacon. As a rule they are joyless, petty, and miserable creatures.

      • Joshua here are a few tips, 99% of scientific ground breaking papers aren’t. Don’t buy high and sell low. Listen to opinions, but learn to make your own judgments, and nothing about climate is linear.

      • Models need to be reasonably evaluated. ‘Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ James McWilliams

        The IPCC is in the simplistic camp. Simplisitic, optimistic, pessimistic or realistic – which one are you?

        Oh – I have forgotten who I am talking to. Nevermind.

    • Far out, Latty me boy. Only 12 minutes for a criticism so trenchant he couldn’t find a parking place for it.
      ================

    • Dave Springer

      “Correct me if I’m wrong, but my impression lately has been that solar and wind are both growing much faster than fossil fuel while nuclear has essentially ground to a halt.”

      That’s sort of like saying production of cloned dogs is growing faster than production in the traditional manner. It ignores the fact that at there are so few cloned dogs the absolute numbers of each make the former insignificant.

      http://www.ei.lehigh.edu/learners/energy/usenergy3.html

      Biomass alone accounts for 10 times as much energy production as all the wind power in the U.S. and wind power accounts for 5 times as much as solar.

      The future is synthetic biology. There’s no technical impediment to engineering a new species that grows like a lawn and has under it a labrynth of tubules that collect fuel oil produced by the above ground parts into a central collection vessel. When synthetic biology is mastered things like that and far more complex will be a simple matter of designing it on an engineering workstation and automated equipment assembles the genome for the prototype. A completely functional artificial genome has already been constructed in this manner although assembly into a viable organism was not wholly automated. The genome sequence was however constructed on an engineering workstation and the functional prokaryotic DNA of some (from memory so don’t quote me) 300 coding genes in 25,000 base pairs were assembled by machine with DNA snippets of short standard sequence ordered from a mail order supply house. A bacterium of similar species had its DNA removed and the synthetic copy inserted in its place (not automated, yet) then the new artificial species was successfully cultured (largely automated).

      This process of cutting and pasting DNA from one organism to another and producing a prototype for testing is advancing at a pace reminiscent of Moore’s Law of Semiconductors. A decade ago it cost a billion dollars and several years to fully sequence a human genome. A week ago it cost $1000 and took 3 days. Do the math. I won’t be long. It’s all a matter of reverse engineering a technology that nature handed us on a silver platter. Reverse engineering speed is very dependent on how quickly you can interogate a black box, evaluate the response, and formulate a new interogatory based on what was learned from the previous response. In synthetic biology this sequence is “what happens if I change this gene sequence in this manner”. Fifty years we couldn’t even ask the question. Now we tinker around with a model organism on a computer and produce a living bacterium to test our modification in a matter of hours. To date most of this tinkering has been to take the least complex free living organism we know about and start reducing its compliment of genes to discover a minimal working set that supports metabolism and reproduction. That’s been done. Next is ferreting out the specific function of each of the critically required coding genes. That’s about half done. After that it’s mostly just cut & paste to give the new critter useful features that we want such as assembling fuel oil molecules out of air, water, sunlight, and a few trace nutrients. This is something nature does already it simply doesn’t devote its entire metabolic function to production of those molecules because there’s no selection pressure driving it in that direction. We now become both the selector and the agent of mutation and our mutations are, unlike nature, far from random. Ours our targeted to produce the features we desire.

      It’s questionable whether so-called intelligent design played any role in the chemical and biological evolution of life in the past but there’s no question of it today – we are taking over from nature and driving evolution the way we want it to go at rate many orders of magnitude faster than nature can accomplish anything by random mutation and natural selection.

      This the future. It’s a technology that will move human civilization forward more than the discovery of fire, agriculture, metallurgy, and invention of writing. It’s close to yielding practical results. Certainly if today you began the task of designing, testing, certifying, and building a next generation nuclear power plant it would be rendered wholly uncompetitive by synthetic biology long before the capital cost could be amortized and so yield the investors a profit.

      Exxon-Mobile just sunk $600,000,000 into a joint venture with JCVI (the research institute that produced the first artificial organism) to select and optimize a cyanobacteria species for production of hydrocarbon fuels. The biggest hurdle is simply making it immune to natural competition so it can grow in open salt-ponds. This can be done in a way Monsanto has already done with, for instance, Round-Up. You co-produce both a toxic agent that competitive species cannot survive and engineer an effluent pump in the cell wall of your protected species that pumps that particular molecule out of the cell before it does any harm. A simple thing like a custom designed effluent pump is nigh on impossible for random mutation and natural selection to produce because it requires too many simultaneous mutations. That’s the advantage of being able to engineer complex changes and put them in place all once.

      Once we can grow a cyanobacteria in open salt ponds without competing organisms they’ll be producing fuel at an equivalent price of under $10/bbl. Fossil fuels, even the easiest to recover, cannot compete. And our skill with synthetic biology will just keep on improving as we learn to make more and more of the associated infrastructure self-reproducing and self-maintaining. At some point you can just have the roof of your house grown over with a lichen that performs better than shingles and keeps also keeps the fuel tank of your car topped off.

      Once we begin using artificial organisms to build durable goods the whole atmospheric carbon thing is going to turn 180 degrees and we’ll need to limit how much carbon individuals and corporations can remove from the atmosphere rather than how much they can add. Atmospheric carbon is the basic building block of the future and much of what we build with it will not be quickly burnt and returned to the atmosphere.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        I agree with most of that, but the future that you describe will take a long time and be costly to construct. By the time the fuel you speak of is price-competitive against alternatives (or even sells for more than it costs to make), it may well be that solar and wind have improved to where they are competitively making liquid fuels using mass-produced catalysts.

        Meanwhile, solar and wind are already price-competitive sources of electricity in areas such as India and Africa where fossil fuel deliveries are unreliable. Solar electricity may already be price-competitive in Phoenix school districts.

      • The point made earlier about dependence on latitude is a good one. Presumably solar companies have difficulties not unlike those of lawnmower companies in opening up markets in the Yukon. By the same token I wouldn’t bet on a wind farm located in the horse latitudes.

        However there seems to be some disagreement between the denizens of Judith’s blog and a report last November by the International Energy Agency which disputed claims of dependence on subsidies and said “A portfolio of renewable energy (RE) technologies is becoming cost-competitive in an increasingly broad range of circumstances, in some cases providing investment opportunities without the need for specific economic support … Cost reductions in critical technologies, such as wind and solar, are set to continue. … The portfolio of RE technologies, which includes established hydro power, geothermal and bioenergy technologies is now, therefore, cost-competitive in an increasingly broad range of circumstances, providing investment opportunities without the need for specific economic support.”

        @DS: That’s sort of like saying production of cloned dogs is growing faster than production in the traditional manner. It ignores the fact that at there are so few cloned dogs the absolute numbers of each make the former insignificant.

        I understand cloning your pet dog runs around $50-150K. If solar panels cost that much there would indeed be as few solar panels in the world as cloned dogs. Probably fewer given that it’s harder to love your solar panel than your dog.

      • The numbers at this site bear out the claim that PV (photovoltaic) panel production fell off from the previous year. Whereas 2010 saw a growth worldwide of 120% over the previous year, 2011 grew only 36% to reach a production of 37.2 gigawatts. At the current market rate of 80 cents a watt that’s around $30 billion worth of panels. What a calamitous decline from the previous year’s worldwide production of 27.4 GW worth of panels, up from 12.5 GW for 2009.

        I’ll have to talk to my stockbroker about arranging an equally calamitous decline for my portfolio. ;)

        Predicted production for 2012 is 52.5 GW, up 41% from 2011’s measly 37.2 GW. Assuming $100K per cloned dog and 80 cents per watt of panel, 2011 PV panel production in units of CDs (cloned dogs) comes to 300,000 CDs. That’s quite a lot of cloned dogs when you think about it.

      • This is the time to buy, but with caution, not when everyone screamed that is was time. The point was it was not “unforeseen.” Neither is the climate shift, unforeseen. There are too many with no foresight planning our future.

    • Nuclear faces stiff opposition from the public, and while its advocates have often held out the prospect that it will be cheap, it has never really got cheap.

      Solar and wind are growing rapidly, but from a very small base. How long they will maintain double-digit growth is unknown.

      Rather than try and identify energy winners, it would be much better to implement a simple carbon tax and let the market sort it out.

  48. A more useful measure is to look at equity prices of alternative energy companies. They’ve been absolutely pummeled in the last few years as it’s become increasingly clear that these technologies are not going to make nearly the difference you greenies would like to believe. The market has spoken, and the verdict is devastating.

  49. Joshua. Please. I could get no further than….”Other possible tipping points are the melting of the North Pole’s sea ice, Greenland’s glaciers and the Antarctic ice sheets, and the destruction of the Amazon rain forest and Canada’s boreal forests.”

    • P.G. –

      Hmmmm.

      That was fairly well down in the article. Presumably you read the earlier part – where the theoretical basis for “tipping points” is discussed.

      Does your inability to read work retroactively? Would that be anything like retiring retroactively?

      • Hey Josh,
        Yes, I did read that. I’ll be honest (as always of course.) I have a hard time reading that stuff. It’s physically painful for me. Yes, I’m a sensitive flower. Lately I’ve been trying to toughen up and read things in their entirety. It doesn’t seem fair to crit things that I’ve not read. BUt I just couldn’t finish. I tried, but I couldn/t

  50. Is AGW theory an example of cowardice? When it comes to the weather and by extension the climate, humanity has been stepping in the unknown for the last 2,000 years.

    So, what’s changed? Do we now need to believe we must listen to schoolteachers to know how we should live or we’re all doomed?

    That is a total surrender of personal liberty and a sacrifice of reason on the altar of superstition and ignorance. Believing government schoolteachers somehow know what is best for us is a showing a paralyzing fear to assume personal responsibility.

  51. North American Man Barometer Love Association

    Those discouraged by recent developments in thermometric temperature data review way wish to consider joining the North American Man Barometer Love Association, which has denounced CAGW as a hoax arising from an elitist bias in barometer siting. Many of the nation’s barometers belong to urban academic liberals, whose contempt for individual liberty is reflected in the frequency with which they site this component of the national meteorological instrument grid in high-rise cooperative apartment buildings.

    The failure of the IPCC to take the resulting Urban Height Effect into account is compounded by the barometers’ increased exposure to galactic cosmic rays, contributing to collective errors in boundary layer height and temperature, and a clearly defamatory data bias towards belief in a so-called ‘lapse rate’ ., when all that has lapsed is morality in America’s Heartland, witness the ongoing scandal at Penn State.

    To elimate these height-induced errors NAMBLA re-sited a grid of NBS tracable mercury barometers, orienting the instruments’s columns horizontally on a level playing field parallel to the galactic plane and orbiting its no spin zone to eliminate the elevation errors common to vertical barometer orientation, and so have found perfect agreement in all their readings and null responses to axial rotation and land tides.

    • Latimer Alder

      This would work better if you rewrote it as if directly from the NAMBLA. Using ‘we’ not ‘they’. Perhaps as an extract from a membership prospectus or the ‘about’ from a website? You can also get more jokes in that way as you can illustrate your points by the seemingly ‘unconscious’ revelations of the author’s viewpoint. Then the humour comes twice..the reader feels good at spotting it and you still get to make your point.

      Or maybe that’s all just a British way to look at it….

  52. Modern Society Is Like a Flock of Sheep without a Shepherd, Led to Slaughter by Post-Modern Scientists Following a Trail of Public Funds

    1. The unauthorized release of Climategate emails and documents in 2009 is a symptom, not the problem !

    2. United efforts by leaders of nations, universities, scientific and financial organizations and the news media to hide the message – undeniable evidence of deception purchased with public funds – is a symptom, not the problem !

    3. Police and government investigators squandering more public funds trying to identify and apprehend the messenger, while ignoring the message, is another symptom, not the problem !

    4. The steady decline in purchasing power of our currency – experienced almost daily in paying for goods and services – another symptom, not the problem !

    5. Depression, addiction, mental illness, and the violence that erupted yesterday morning in a theater in Aurora, CO – more symptom, not the problem ! http://tinyurl.com/d48f32k

    The Solution: Return Shepherds Who Are in Contact with Reality
    – . – . – http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-284 – . – . –

    - Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

    http://www.omatumr.com

  53. Beth Cooper

    Doc Martyn ,22July 10.58am: y a telling response to fan’s obnoxious Wendell Berry quote, ‘free market is less and less distinguishable from warfare.’
    Wendell B should take a look at Hans Rosling’s global stats on human health and poverty and economic development, instead of driving around the country with his message that everybody else should stay at home. Just another shamen with the dangerous ‘back to the golden age poverty’ message.

  54. Beth Cooper

    edit ….’shaman’

  55. A photo and video of the unseen “elephant of climatology”:

    _ Photo: http://tinyurl.com/d2eesm
    _ Video: http://trace.lmsal.com/POD/movies/T171_000828.avi

    The rest of the story: http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-284

  56. Another article of interest. Bacteria outbreak in northern Europe due to ocean warming scientists say.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/48278511/ns/us_news-environment/#.UAzLpsKF-K4

  57. Pekka Pirila,
    @ July 21, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    You said:

    My chair before retirement was on “Energy economics”

    I remain very surprised by your statements on previous threads where you argued that fuel taxes could substitute for emissions pricing (carbon tax or ETS). Your comments imply you believe fuel taxes could be an effective alternative to emissions pricing for cutting global GHG emissions.

    You said that many economists and authoritative organisations arguing that fuel taxes could do the job instead of emission pricing (carbon tax or ETS).

    Well who are they? Can you provide some links? How authoritative are they? Where is this alternative being seriously discussed?

    Please don’t obfuscate.

    I asked the below questions twice on previous threads, but you did not address them. I am very interested in your reply:

    1. What rate of tax will you apply to each fuel?
    2. Will they be the same for all users of each fuel
    3. Will the taxes be the same in all countries?
    4. Will they be implemented at the same time?
    5. If not, how will you prevent distortions?
    6. If you don’t intend to avoid distortions, how do you intend to resolve conflicts?
    7. How will you tax the non fuel emissions?

    • Peter,

      You present a lot of questions which are mostly very difficult to answer. I write here mostly comments that I feel confident on without spending a lot of time in checking the details and searching for formulations that have a change of being understood .

      The advantage of commenting in discussion threads rather than writing own blog postings is that such issue come up very often where I can do as I write above. That’s the main reason that I have not kept up with writing to my own site.

      In the spirit that I describe above I have presented strong views on certain details – like the implementation cost of fuel taxes – which are simple enough and well known enough to have such straightforward opinions. On the more difficult issues I don’t want to give very specific answers as those would be at the best misleading.

      When I have given some numbers it’s rather to tell the order of magnitude that I have in mind than a concrete proposal, but I’m not very willing to take even that step in my comments.

      • Pekka Pirila,

        Thank you for your response. I do understand why you respond as you do (providing answers from what is held in memory and easily accessible without detailed research). Most people do on blog sites; I do too. Most readers won’t read links anyway so there is little point in putting a lot of effort into careful responses given that most readers wont take the time to refer to the substantiation of the points.

        Having said that, I do believe that you have made some very substantial claims about fuel taxes being able to do what emissions prices are intended to do. I think your statements are misleading to readers here and have significant policy implications. I hope you may find a way to clarify them for the benefit of other readers.

        You say:

        I write here mostly comments that I feel confident on without spending a lot of time in checking the details and searching for formulations that have a change of being understood.

        Many people blogging on JC are confident of their opinions. They cannot all be correct. You are a denizen and have a good reputation here. Therefore, I suggest it is important that you substantiate important points such as you’ve made on this matter, and where necessary correct mistakes.

        The main point you have made, or implied, that I suggest should be corrected is:

        1. fuel taxes are a viable and realistic alternative to emissions pricing, could do what emissions pricing is intended to do (that is cut global emissions substantially), and are being seriously and widely considered by governments and authoritative research organisations as a genuine alternative approach;

        Subordinate points to the first point are:

        2. fuel taxes can be applied to coal (near doubling the price of coal) and not be applied to petroleum products without causing a major shift in consumption from coal to oil;

        3. fuel taxes can be applied to some users of a particular fuel at a different rate to other users without distorting the economy and having negative consequences;

        4. fuel taxes can be applied in some countries and not in others, or applied at different rates in different countries, without causing economic distortions

        5. fuel taxes can be applied at the level of accuracy and precisions that would eventually be required for an international mechanism (to cut global emissions) without substantial compliance cost (I agree that compliance cost of fuel taxes is lower than for pricing emissions (ETS or carbon tax) but will still be substantial once an international mechanism is implemented that covers all GHG emissions, from all emitters, in all countries to a standard that prevents substantial fraud, leakage and economic distortions).

        What is really important, I suggest, is that readers are not mislead, misinformed and given false hope that any of these methods for pricing fuel or emissions are a realistic (practicable) solution for cutting global emissions. That is why I’d urge you to consider carefully the questions and respond to them, not sidestep them.

        By looking carefully at the questions together with the assumptions that underpin the modelling of economic mechanisms for carbon pricing, I suggest it will be apparent why fuel taxes cannot deliver the outcomes you think they would; and it would be apparent that fuel taxes cannot do what emissions pricing is intended to. Therefore, fuel taxes would be applied and achieve next to nothing except cause economic distortions, damage the economies where they are applied and, therefore, reduce world GDP because of the damage they do (like EU and USA are damaging worked economic growth now because they have damaged their economies).

      • Just a few answers that are easy to give.

        1. I’m not saying that it’s easy to have fuel taxes that have a substantial influence on emissions. Actually I have said rather the opposite: Fuel taxes at a level that is low enough to avoid all major problems with high level of certainty will not affect emissions substantially. If one wants to be essentially certain that the effect is positive one may be forced in accepting a very small effect.

        2. Concerning coal vs. oil taxes, what I said is that coal taxes can be introduced without changing taxation on transportation fuels in countries where the latter taxes are already several times higher than the proposed level of tax for coal. This is true for gasoline and diesel fuel in Europe as well as some other countries.

        3. That’s again something that I haven’t said.

        4. It’s certainly ideal that taxation would be fully harmonized but certain differences can be tolerated. For some industries special arrangements like tax rebates may be needed, but that must be done that reduces problems more than it creates them somewhere else.

        So called carbon leakage is a serious issue but it starts to get significant only beyond some threshold for the difference in tax levels of countries that have the possibility of contributing to the leakage.

        One of the fundamental difficulties in harmonizing taxes (or other monetary incentives like the ETS scheme) is that the purchase power parity varies widely from rich countries to poor countries and within population groups within the poor counties. Any nominal sum is much more significant for the poorest than it’s for the others. The world market is far from efficient in that respect. Adding internationally harmonized monetary incentives to such an inefficient market may create major problems.

        5. One of my points is that whatever the solution is it need not reflect accurately the ultimate goal. If the goal is reducing CO2 emissions it’s enough that the level of taxes correlates strongly with the emissions, exact proportionality is not needed. More important is that it’s difficult to cheat or avoid paying the tax on large scale by some legal (or illegal) tricks without comparable reduction in CO2 emissions.

        All the above covers only a few points. There are many more to consider, but it’s still possible to start implementing some fuel taxation without creating immediate serious problems. The initial level of taxation should not be very high. That makes it possible to monitor, how the problems build up and increase gradually the the rate if the need is considered pressing and the problems can be kept in control.

      • Pekka Pirila
        @ July 23, 2012 at 7:28 am

        1. I’m not saying that it’s easy to have fuel taxes that have a substantial influence on emissions. Actually I have said rather the opposite: Fuel taxes at a level that is low enough to avoid all major problems with high level of certainty will not affect emissions substantially. If one wants to be essentially certain that the effect is positive one may be forced in accepting a very small effect.

        Yes you have said that several times. But in each case it was written in such a way, or included in other text, that implied you saw fuel taxes as a means to reduce global CO2 emissions without the very high compliance costs that will inevitable be required if we implement CO2 tax or ETS systems.

        Therefore, given this clarification, I understand we are now in agreement. That is:

        Although fuel taxes would have lower compliance costs than emissions taxes or cap and trade schemes, they would be impracticable (i.e. they would not work) as an international system to cut global GHG emissions. That is why they are not being seriously considered as a climate policy by country or authoritative body.

        2. Concerning coal vs. oil taxes, what I said is that coal taxes can be introduced without changing taxation on transportation fuels in countries where the latter taxes are already several times higher than the proposed level of tax for coal. This is true for gasoline and diesel fuel in Europe as well as some other countries.

        Pekka, that is just obfuscation. It is avoiding the point. If you raise taxes on coal without raising the taxes on petroleum products, you transfer consumption from coal to oil. Exactly the wrong change from an energy security point of view. The economic damage would be huge. And how will you get other countries to do what EU or anyone else tells them to do. Idealists in some countries may do it, and damage their economies further, but you wont get the large emitting developing countries to cooperate. Why don’t you just admit it? No one is seriously suggesting this idea of yours.

        3. That’s again something that I haven’t said.

        You did make the point on a previous thread about different rates for different users and the complexities involved in dealing with that.

        4. It’s certainly ideal that taxation would be fully harmonized but certain differences can be tolerated.

        Tolerated by whom? The majority of electors in democratic countries? The rich inner city elites who vote green? The governments of the developing countries whose primary aim is to develop their countries and get their people out of poverty?

        I’ve pointed out half a dozen time that the cost penalty for not capturing all emissions, from all emitters, in all countries is very high. So what you say is “can be tolerated” certainly will not be tolerated when people realise what it is costing them. Nordhause estimated the cost impact at 259% for the particpants if only 50% of emissions are captured. What you are proposing will capture far less than 50%. So the cost penalty will be far higher. There is no way in the world your idea is going to be acceptable.

        So called carbon leakage is a serious issue but it starts to get significant only beyond some threshold for the difference in tax levels of countries that have the possibility of contributing to the leakage.

        That’s just mumbo jumbo. Were you a political adviser at some stage in your career?

        Adding internationally harmonized monetary incentives to such an inefficient market may create major problems.

        In other words the idea is a total dud, and your just having trouble spitting out the words.

        5. One of my points is that whatever the solution is it need not reflect accurately the ultimate goal. If the goal is reducing CO2 emissions it’s enough that the level of taxes correlates strongly with the emissions, exact proportionality is not needed.

        This is all over the place. In earlier responses you’ve admitted that the fuel taxes would have to be at a low level, would be in only some countries, and would have virtually no impact on global emissions. In otherwords the idea is complete dud.

        <blockquote< All the above covers only a few points. There are many more to consider, but it’s still possible to start implementing some fuel taxation without creating immediate serious problems. The initial level of taxation should not be very high.

        That is the exact opposite of good policy development. You have and idea and you want to force it on society and damn the consequences. It doesn’t matter that it wont achieve the objective, as long as you seem to be doing something. So we implement more bad policies that will cause millions of otherwise avoidable fatalities through keeping people in poverty longer. You don’t care that it will not achieve the objective. We’ve been through this sort of bad policy design with Kyoto Protocol, EU ETS, Australian carbon tax and ETS and, renewable energy targets and subsidies, and a whole host of really bad policies in Australia and elsewhere. The people advocating these really bad policies are rapidly losing all credibility. And with their loss of credibility goes the support for AGW mitigation.

      • Decarbonisation of the economy

        Further to the issue of pricing fuel or GHG emissions as the main mechanism for cutting global emissions, Roger Pielke Jr makes a good point here (comment #8):

        Since decarbonization explicitly recognizes GDP, then actions that are economically harmful will not help decarbonization. This is an important reason why a focus on decarbonization rather than emissions is more relevant.

        http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/decelerating-decarbonization-of-global.html

        Consider the first chart on this thread. The emissions intensity of the global economy in 2009 was 0.75 of what it was in 1990.

        According to Pileke Jr. this ratio needs to get to <0.10 by 2050 to reduce global emissions to 80% below 1990 levels. This applies for a wide range of economic growth scenarios.

        This makes sense to me. If we assume global GDP will double by 2050, in real terms, and energy intensity per GDP reduces to 10% of what it was in 1990, then the emissions in 2050 would be:

        1990 emissions intensity x 2 x 0.10 = 20% of 1990 emissions.

        That is an 80% reduction on 1990 emissions.

        It is clear to me that policies should be focused on emissions intensity, not on emissions. The thread and comment #8 explains why.

        It is also clear to me we need to put most of our focus on cost competitive supply side alternatives to fossil fuels. Carbon pricing, even if all the other reasons it is a bad idea did not exist, cannot achieve much reduction in GHG emissions unless there is a const competitive alternative to fossil fuels.

  58. Pekka Pirila,
    @ July 23, 2012 at 4:22 am

    I won’t comment on most the points in your comment, but will pick up on three of them.

    I have spent considerable time in looking at the question of real cost of wind energy in a power system.

    Many people have spent a considerable amount of time looking at the question of the real costs of wind energy. Renewable energy advocates get diametrically opposite answers to those who work in the real world.

    This actually proves a point I’ve been making. The reason that, after 20 years, we still cannot say how much CO2 is avoided by wind generation is because we don’t have even a moderately accurate measure of the emissions generated by fossil fuel plants at the close time scale needed for calculating the emissions avoided by wind generation. We do not know how much extra emissions are generated by coal and gas generators when they are ramping up and down to fill in for wind power’s unreliable power supply.

    [wind power’s] variations are essentially uncorrelated with the variations of load.

    On many grids, wind is negatively correlated with load. When most needed, the wind doesn’t blow. See slide 2 here:

    http://www.ies.unsw.edu.au/docs/diesendorf-simulations.pdf

    [I can provide many examples of real world data if you want to see them.]

    The share of wind power (28% of electricity consumption in 2011)

    Your figure of “28% of electricity consumption in 2011” is highly misleading. You should explain what is going on there, but that is an enormous subject in itself. I’ll just note that the figure is grossly overstated. IEA (2009) (latest EIA figure) in GWh:

    http://www.iea.org/stats/electricitydata.asp?COUNTRY_CODE=DK

    – wind =6721
    Imports =11208
    Exports =-10874
    Domestic Supply =36698
    Wind = 18%
    Imports = 30%
    Exports = 30%

    When you crunch the numbers you find the wind is produced at the wrong time and is providing significantly less than 18% of domestic supply. So your 28% figure is out by about a factor of two.

    They did not want to build nuclear and they have put enough pressure on Sweden to get the Swedes to shut down two nuclear units close to Copenhagen.

    Yes. And that shows just how ideologically constrained is the whole discussion about AGW and cutting GHG emissions. The main ideological groups who want to cut GHG emissions don’t want nuclear. What they want is renewable energy, no matter what the cost. In fact, if they have to choose between anti-nuclear or GHG emissions reductions, they’d prefer to chant for anti-nuclear. Which just goes to demonstrate, again, they are mostly ideologues for whom their anti-nuclear beliefs are more important than their climate change beliefs.

    In short, as I said in my previous comment, wind is a very high cost way to generate electricity. Furthermore, it is a very high cost way to abate emissions. See Figure 6 here http://bravenewclimate.com/2012/02/09/100-renewable-electricity-for-australia-the-cost/ for a comparison of capital cost, cost of electricity, and abatement cost for renewable energy to provide Australia’s electricity supply. Figure 7 shows the additional transmission and distributions system costs.

    • Peter,

      There are some places where wind correlates negatively with load and there are some other places where it correlates positively, but in most cases the correlation is rather weak.

      The extra fuel consumption caused by a relatively small amount of wind energy (again well below 10% of energy) due to added ramping up and down is certainly very small, too small to change any conclusions. I don’t have any specific numbers, but it again reduced very much by the fact that wind and load are not strongly correlated.

      The number of 28% for wind energy in Denmark in 2011 is based in statistics. Disputing that as you do is totally without basis. It’s wiser to accept facts and not to argue against them. There are better points to argue about.

      Most of wind energy in Denmark is produced on the Western mainland whose grid is part of the German AC grid. Its linked by DC links to Sweden and Norway as well. Denmark could not operate the wind power as it does without the links to neighboring countries, but the production of wind power is 28% of the domestic consumption. It’s often used to reduce hydro power production in Norway (and to lesser degree in Sweden) when there’s surplus in Denmark. That allows for more production by hydro at other times, which leads as one result to reduced coal fired production in Denmark at those moments. The main form of production affected either immediately or with delay is coal fired condensing power.

  59. Pekka Pirila,

    The number of 28% for wind energy in Denmark in 2011 is based in statistics. Disputing that as you do is totally without basis. It’s wiser to accept facts and not to argue against them.

    This discussion is very frustrating. You make many unsubstantiated assertions. in fact nearly all your assertions are unsubstantiated. I provided you the link to the IEA information for Denmark, about the most authoritative source available. Then you say my statement is “totally without basis”. Its yours that is without basis. I’d suggest to you “it is wiser to accept facts and not argue against them.

    • Your link was not for 2011. It’s not difficult to find those 2011 numbers as well. As I didn’t save the links I can’t give without some search that you can do almost as easily yourself.

      • Pekka Pirila,

        Your understanding of the figures is wrong. It doesn’t mater if they are 2011 or 2009 figures. I’ve been following and working on wind information for about 5 years, including from Denmark. The figures change a bit from year to year, but your interpretation of the figures you have seen displays a superficial or highly misleading understanding of them. I’ve given you the IEA link. I’ve also just posted a comment with eighteen links to papers on wind energy, but it is held in moderation. The links cover: emissions abated by wind, the cost of electricity, abatement cost, and more. Most of the links are to Denmark. I haven’t bothered to sort through them. I just posted a sample. If you are interested, you can read up on them. In case my post doesn’t get through moderation here are two high level links for an overview:

        http://thegwpf.org/images/stories/gwpf-reports/hughes-windpower.pdf

        http://www.cepos.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/Arkiv/PDF/Wind_energy_-_the_case_of_Denmark.pdf

        The claim that Denmark derives about 20% of its electricity from wind overstates matters. Being highly intermittent, wind power has recently (2006) met as little as 5% of Denmark’s annual electricity consumption with an average over the last five years of 9.7%.

      • People create all kind of artificial interpretations. If you wish to believe what suits you better, what can I do. The web offers you plenty of alternatives for what to believe. I happen to trust much that I have concluded based often on quite a lot of work related to the issues, but it’s impossible to transfer that trust to others in a net interchange.

        It may well be that 28% was exceptionally high and does not represent the average for the present capacity, but it is a true number and more representative of the present capacity than is 9.7%.

      • Pekka Pirila,

        People create all kind of artificial interpretations. If you wish to believe what suits you better, what can I do.

        You have continually made unsubstantiated assertions. My statements are supported, mostly by authoritative sources. I have demonstrated that you are wrong about fuel taxes being a substitute for emissions pricing and substantiated my statements. However, although you have been backpedalling and in effect admitting that your idea will not work in practice and cannot significantly cut emissions globally, you haven’t actually admitted you were wrong and didn’t know what you were talking about.

        On wind energy you also don’t know much other than what the wind energy industry says.

        I happen to trust much that I have concluded based often on quite a lot of work related to the issues, but it’s impossible to transfer that trust to others in a net interchange.

        I acknowledge that you believe you are right. But so do many people who make comments on this issue and on AGW. Many other people have also done a lot of work. Many of these people have a much better understanding of the real issues than the academics.

        It may well be that 28% was exceptionally high and does not represent the average for the present capacity, but it is a true number and more representative of the present capacity than is 9.7%.

        This statement shows that you fall for (or make a slip) of the most basic kind. Only people who have very little understanding of the subject would confuse capacity with consumption. Capacity is measured in MW, consumption in MWh. You have them confused. You would not have made the mistake or slip if you were on top of this subject. This shows what you have already revealed – you have very little understanding of the subject but are trying to pontificate on it and pretend you do and hope your reputation can carry you through.

        I’d suggest to other readers you place less trust in Pekka Pirila’s assertions and ask for substantiation from now on.

        I now wonder if you can be trusted on your pronouncements about AGW and the physics.

      • I looked at the report whose abstract contained the numbers 5% and 9.7%. There wasn’t anything significant in that not familiar to me earlier as I have followed closely the Nordic electricity market for years. I’m certainly not arguing that building so much wind power would have been a wise choice for Denmark, but being critical on such claims does not make me to contest facts. The paper does confirm them as well and tells that the share of 28% of 2011 is only a little higher than the share was in 2007. Both are higher than average for the capacity but not by very much.

        The paper presents an artificial construct that it considers as the contribution of wind power to Denmark’s annual electricity consumption. It’s constructed in a very one-sided fashion and is of little real significance. The energy flows in the Nordic electricity market are influenced most strongly by the amount of precipitation in Norway. That was far below the average in 2006 and led to the need for more coal fired condensing power for the Nordic market that was produced to a significant degree by Denmark. This situation distorted the results of the analysis of the paper.

        The hydro generation in Norway was 122 TWh in 2006 vs. 137 TWh in 2007. Correspondingly thermal power in Denmark was 37 TWh in 2006 and 30 TWh in 2007.

      • Pekka Pirila,

        In this comment you have repeated your fundamental error of not knowing the difference between generating capacity (MW) and energy supply (MWh). You sayL

        The paper does confirm them as well and tells that the share of 28% of 2011 is only a little higher than the share was in 2007. Both are higher than average for the capacity but not by very much.

        This statement demonstrates a lack of understanding of the most basic concepts – a confusion between power and energy. How basic is that?

        The rest of the comment is just waffle, diversion and obfuscation.

        You are wrong!. You do not understand the basics? You are a BS artist.

    • It should be clear from the above threads that your accusations lack all basis. Denmark happens to be part of the same electricity market as Finland and therefore very familiar to me.

  60. Joshua,

    Reading some energy related news sites I was led to two articles on German energy policy and support for solar. The articles present somewhat differing views. While one can certainly raise issues with both they are also rather informative:

    First an article on the proposed new energy policy of Germany by David Buchan from Oxford Institute for Energy Studies

    Second a very critical article on German solar subsidies by German economists

  61. Thanks, Pekka –

    Not to be a pest, but if you get a chance, I’d appreciate a response to this post.

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/21/week-in-review-72012/#comment-221307

    • I didn’t answer because what I can say immediately is essentially repeating my earlier comments. I cannot tell any clear guidelines for what kind of subsidies are appropriate in my judgment and which are too high. There are some clear cases – and I consider the German solar case one of those, but then we have many others where the case is not at all so clear.

      The relative subsidy may well be high for low volume activities as the total cost remains rather low and the possibilities for results worth the money spent may be high enough. What I object most are high subsidies for large scale deployment as large scale deployment should produce concrete results comparable to the cost. Large scale deployment is not a cost-effective approach for technology development as the emphasis goes typically to issues that are of little value later. Building production plants for a technology without long term potential is a typical example of that. A significantly improved solution and lower cost technology may require totally different production plants.

      • Sometimes repeating a point helps someone who’s slow to catch on. I understand your perspective better from that last post.

        My immediate reaction is to wonder if there may be a loose rule of limitations on return related to the % of funding on fixed assets as opposed to research and development.

        I think that subsidizing certain fixed assets – such as transportation infrastructure – can be justified as a means to reduce emissions and energy consumption, but even with transportation, the debate about spending on fixed assets versus operational costs is complex and often misjudged long-term.

      • Spending on infrastructure that’s better for the task is not a subsidy, supporting a higher cost alternative for the same task is. Every subsidy must have a well defined purpose, which is usually speeding up technology development or transition to a new technology. The additional cost must not exceed the expected identfiable benefits.

  62. Pekka Pirila,

    It should be clear from the above threads that your accusations lack all basis.

    It should be clear from my above responses to your comments that you continually make unsubstantiated assertions, you have not substantiated any of your statements, but you then try to ridicule mine, mostly without even looking at the references I’ve provided. Here http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/21/week-in-review-72012/#comment-221717 you made this silly comment:

    Disputing that as you do is totally without basis. It’s wiser to accept facts and not to argue against them. There are better points to argue about.

    without even realising I’d substantiated the figures I provided with a link to the IEA figures for Denmark in the comment you were replying to http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/21/week-in-review-72012/#comment-221452.

    Now, I’ll show other readers you have little understanding of the subject you are pontificating about. In your original comment about the 28% you said it was the proportion of consumption (i.e. energy)

    The share of wind power (28% of electricity consumption in 2011)

    and, in a subsequent comment you said

    The number of 28% for wind energy in Denmark in 2011

    In today’s coments you’ve changed what you are saying and are now apparently trying to weasel out of your mistake by saying 28% is for wind’s capacity (i.e. power not consumption):

    It may well be that 28% was exceptionally high and does not represent the average for the present capacity, but it is a true number and more representative of the present capacity than is 9.7%.

    [The 9.7% is the proportion of consumption, not capacity.]

    And

    The paper does confirm them as well and tells that the share of 28% of 2011 is only a little higher than the share was in 2007. Both are higher than average for the capacity but not by very much.

    The 28% refers to the wind proportion of total installed generating capacity. But it is not the proportion of energy generated or consumed in Denmark. The wind energy proportion of total energy generated is around 20%. But most of it is exported when the wind blows. Some of this is bought back (at much higher cost) when the wind is not blowing. The actual amount of wind energy that is generated in Denmark and consumed in Denmark (including bought back when needed), is stated to be an average of 9.7% over 5 years in this authoritative report:

    http://www.cepos.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/Arkiv/PDF/Wind_energy_-_the_case_of_Denmark.pdf

    Pekka, it would be clear to anyone who has even an introductory understanding of this subject you don’t have even a basic understanding of what you are talking about.

    But you had the hide to make this comment:

    The number of 28% for wind energy in Denmark in 2011 is based in statistics. Disputing that as you do is totally without basis. It’s wiser to accept facts and not to argue against them. There are better points to argue about.

    It is pretty clear who makes up “facts” and makes comments “totally without basis”. It is clear who would do well to substantiate their statements and only then expect people to “accept facts and not argue against them”. Your “facts” on this matter are shown to be your misunderstanding of the most basic concepts – including not knowing the difference between power and energy!!

    Here is another of your comments directed at me:

    People create all kind of artificial interpretations. If you wish to believe what suits you better, what can I do.

    What a gutless cop-out. Why don’t you admit you are out of your depth, pontificating on a topic you know little about, and then trying to make out it is me that is ignorant? Why don’t you have the guts to admit you were wrong?

    As I said in a previous comment:

    I’d suggest to other readers you place less trust in Pekka Pirila’s assertions and ask for substantiation from now on.

    I now wonder if you can be trusted on your pronouncements about AGW and the physics.

    • Peter,

      Now you enter the point of making explicit errors and claiming that I made on error at that point. Check how many GWh Denmark has produced in a year by wind power and check what is the total generation during the same year. Calculate the ratio and give the answer. You can find the numbers also in the Wikipedia article on wind power in Denmark. There you can see that the capacity has also increased by 24% from 2008 to 2011 explaining the major part of the fact that the number of 2011 is so high in comparison with the earlier. Annual variability is probably another contributing factor.

      I admit one misreading of the article you linked on year 2007. The number 26% I picked from there was not for the whole Denmark but for the Western part only. For the whole Denmark the share was about 20% in 2007 as can be seen easily from the Figure on Page 9 of that article. But for the year 2011 the share of 28% is, indeed, calculated as the ratio of wind power produced to the consumption of Denmark.

      Go back to that of my comments that discusses the Nordic power market and how understanding the trade within the market is important. Try to understand that and check the facts. You find part of the information from

      http://www.nordpoolspot.com/

      For annual wind energy generation you need other sources (if you doubt Wiki on this kind of numbers) as this site has started to collect statistics on wind energy so recently that it does not provide historical data on that.

      It’s pointless to go on doing personal attacks. Throwing long lists of references is not a substitute for knowledge on the particular issue which is now the Danish electricity system, wind energy in that, and which cannot be understood without thorough knowledge of the Nordic power market and the role of balancing energy flows in that power system and also between Nordic countries and Germany (more indirectly also with other neighboring countries).

      • Pekka Pirila,

        Now you enter the point of making explicit errors and claiming that I made on error at that point.

        Well what is the error I made? You didn’t state what my error is. You went on with a whole pile of hyperbole. You’d think if I’d made an error you’d be able to state clearly what it is. From what you’ve written I haven’t a clue what you are talking about.

        I gave you the most recent figures available from IEA for Denmark in this comment:
        http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/21/week-in-review-72012/#comment-221452. The figures I gave were for wind generation, imports, exports and total generation. Wind generation was 18% and exports and imports were 30% each. The reason I gave imports and exports is because I thought you would already understand what is going on. That was before I realised that you don’t.

        That is the comment you clearly never read because you replied by saying:

        The number of 28% for wind energy in Denmark in 2011 is based in statistics. Disputing that as you do is totally without basis. It’s wiser to accept facts and not to argue against them. There are better points to argue about.

        But you were wrong. Your statement is pretty poor because you didn’t read the comment, didn’t see that I’d already given you the figures you are now asking for, didn’t see I’d provided the reference to the IEA, and now demonstrate you still do not understand the difference between capacity and energy.

        – 28% is wind capacity proportion of total capacity in 2011 (I haven’t checked that figure but I’ll accept it is what you say it is; it doesn’t matter because capacity is irrelevant to this argument)

        – 18% was wind generation proportion of total generation

        – 9.7% is wind generations proportion of total electricity consumption (average over 5 years) according to the report I linked to.

        You clearly do not understand any of this. You are trying to pretend you do. Why not take some of the advice you’ve dished out and admit your mistake and lack of understanding.

        [I'd suggest you should withdraw your comment, and acknowledge that everything I've stated in this discussion is correct and substantiated.]

      • From your reference Page 9 you find (emphasis mine):

        It is true that Denmark generates the equivalent of about 19% of its demand by wind turbines; the figure in West Denmark for 2007 was almost 26%. That is not to say that wind power contributes 19% of the Nation’s electricity demand.

        The paper goes on to explain the last sentence by noting that there’s often export from Denmark at the time of high wind power production. Then it produces an artificial construct that it considers to be the part of wind energy that’s used in Denmark rather than exported to neighboring countries (that is the source of the lower numbers). Much of that energy is stored in Norwegian and Swedish reservoirs by postponing hydro generation and then imported later to Denmark from these countries.

        Whatever one thinks of this analysis, the truth remains: Danish production of electric energy by wind power was about 19% of Danish consumption of electricity over years 2004-07 and that number went up to 28% in 2011. Capacity does not enter these calculations at any point, all numbers are solely about electric energy. The shares are calculated from consumption, not production which varies more wildly depending on the availability of hydro from Norway and Sweden. (Finland has also some hydro, but much less.)

        It’s unlikely that I’ll consider it worth the effort to write to this thread on the Danish wind power later. Thus you are almost certain to get the last word, if you so wish.

      • Pekka Pirila,

        This is frustrating. I expect you will run off without admitting your errors and your misleading statements. In this latest comment you’ve selected three sentences from the report and misrepresented the main point of the report.

        You quoted from page 9: http://www.cepos.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/Arkiv/PDF/Wind_energy_-_the_case_of_Denmark.pdf

        That is not to say that wind power contributes 19% of the Nation’s electricity demand.

        That is the whole point of this discussion. This is the point I made at the beginning of the discussion and you denied. (Refer to my original comment here: http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/21/week-in-review-72012/#comment-221393 ). You then made a whole series of misleading and confusing statements (I suspect intentionally).

        The point I made at the start is that wind generation is high cost way to generate electricity, avoids much less CO2 emissions than claimed by its proponents and the CO2 abatement costs is very high. The report I linked to demonstrates this for the case using Denmark data. It shows that, despite Denmark having the world’s highest proportion of wind capacity, the proportion of wind generated electricity that is actually used in Denmark is only about 10% of total electricity consumption (average over 5 years). That figure includes the amount (effectively) stored in hydro and imported when needed.

        You apparently have not understood the report or you are attempting to mislead readers instead of admitting you did not understand this.

        [By the way, the issues this report points out is not a new revelation and not unique to Denmark. It is well understood in industry (if you can get yourself away from reading only the industry propaganda)].

        You appear to be attempting to mislead readers. Instead of admitting you are wrong you have tried to squirm out of it by making misleading statements and trying to bluff your way through it.

        First you said 28% referred to energy (not capacity)

        Then you said it referred to capacity (not energy)

        Now you say it refers to energy (but you have not provided a link to substantiate your assertion).

        Not that any of this figure matters much (other than it demonstrates your unsubstantiated assertions should not be trusted). What is important is to recognise that the actual amount of wind electricity generated in Denmark is not the same as the amount of wind energy consumed in Denmark. The latter is about 10% of total energy consumption (average over 5 years.

        Denmark exports wind energy for a low price and buys back electricity when needed at a much higher price.

        Wind energy is very high cost, and cannot be sustained without subsidies and regulations to ensure it is bought before cheaper sources of electricity are bought. Wind energy does not cut emissions as much as claimed by its proponents. Wind energy is a very high cost way to cut emissions.

      • Leaving all own comments as they are I just give a link to a paper on Danish wind power by prof. Richard Green from Imperial College

        http://www.iaee.org/en/publications/newsletterdl.aspx?id=172

        The link is from a email message that I received today.

      • Interesting.

        Peter – I over some ideas for your consideration:

        You have stated in this thread the following:

        [I'd suggest you should withdraw your comment, and acknowledge that everything I've stated in this discussion is correct and substantiated.]

        Among the things that you have stated in this thread is that Pekka (paraphrasing) does not possess knowledge about the subject you were discussing.

        Now reflecting on that statement, and the absolute certainty that I quoted, think about the purely political remarks that you made in the subsequent thread about “progressives,” again, with absolute certainty (such as progressives wanting Israel to be exterminated).

        Consider for a minute whether the misplaced certainty evident in your discussion of matters more directly related to science might be affected by the same biases that affect your view of politics. If we consider cause-and-effect, perhaps while your politics may not directly bias your view of the science, perhaps a correlation suggests that your views in both areas are subject to an underlying causal bias (I would suggest motivated reasoning).

      • Peter –

        Surely you must have missed the post above from Pekka?

      • Pekka Pirial,

        Thank you for forwarding the article from Professor Green.

        Richard Green is the Alan and Sabine Howard Professor of Sustainable Energy Business at Imperial College Business School.

        As you have pointed out previously there are thousands of papers about wind energy. Many are from wind energy and renewable energy industry bodies, so called ‘environmental NGOs’ and various advocacy groups. Many are biased.

        Much of the best information comes from highly experienced and knowledgeable engineers and economists from inside the electricity industry. These are the guys who really know what they are talking about, have access to the real numbers and the ability to make sense of them. I happen to be on some international circulation groups and receive some of this excellent information.

        The Green article does not address the issue. He makes only a passing mention of when the wind power is generated compared with when electricity is consumed, of the imports and exports or of the amount of the wind power generated by Denmark that is actually used in Denmark (including that imported after effective storage in Norway and Sweden hydro plants). This analysis has to be done on sub-hourly time interval (as the CEPOS study did http://www.cepos.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/Arkiv/PDF/Wind_energy_-_the_case_of_Denmark.pdf), not using yearly averages as Green has done.

        I’ll quote a few sentences from Green’s article that confirm what I’ve been saying (contrary to what you’ve been arguing) for your benefit and the benefit of other readers.

        Denmark … wind generates an unusually high proportion of its electricity from wind – 21% in the country as a whole in 2010

        Note, not the 28% you’ve been stating (I said 19% in 2009 and provided the link to the EIA source)

        Wind power offers two key challenges. The first is financing the stations when their costs are typically greater than the market price for the power that they produce.

        Interpretation: wind is uneconomic and must be subsidised (heavily) and mandated. If not, none would be built.

        The second major problem with wind generation is that it depends on wind speeds that vary and cannot be predicted far in advance. The relative unpredictability of wind output forces system operators to carry extra reserves of conventional plant, both when operating and in terms of total capacity.

        That is a high cost. We need most of the conventional plant plus the wind farms plus the extra transmission system. The transmission system has to be extended to the regional areas where the wind farms are located and must be sized to carry the maximum output of the wind farms rather than the average output. So the cost of transmission is much higher than the cost of transmission for conventional baseload power plants sited near the demand centres.

        Denmark is fortunate in its neighbours, however. Norway and Sweden have large amounts of hydroelectric generation which is ideally suited for balancing wind power.

        Yes. But despite this perfect scenario, wind power is still a very high cost, even in Denmark. Denmark has about the highest cost electricity in Europe. Given this is the situation in Denmark, with its near perfect situation of access to nearby balancing hydro, we can understand why wind power is much less viable in other countries. Few other countries have ample hydro capacity (let alone located near their wind farms).

        Our paper was written in response to claims that a large proportion of Danish wind power was exported (which the claimants seemed to believe meant that it was “wasted”). While such claims can have no basis in physics (it is impossible to tell which electrons are moving in response to which power station), they would make economic sense if Denmark’s net exports had risen in line with its wind generation. This has clearly not happened.

        This analysis was done on the basis of annual averages. Power is balanced on the minute time scale. The CEPOS analysis that shows the amount of wind energy exported and imported was done on the basis of short time frames (5, 10 or 15 minute intervals from memory – I haven’t looked back at it). Therefore, Greens’ analysis does not refute the study. Also Green’s article misunderstands or misrepresents the study. He says:

        which the claimants seemed to believe meant that it was “wasted”

        That statement is not correct. That is not what the CEPOS study says at all. This is a misunderstanding.

        While such claims can have no basis in physics (it is impossible to tell which electrons are moving in response to which power station)

        The statement is correct, but irrelevant. It’s the sort of silly talking point only a person with an agenda would say.

        My Key Points

        The key points I’ve been making in my previous comments I’ll reiterate here:

        • France: nuclear 76%, wind 1%; lowest electricity prices in Europe; lowest CO2 emissions from electricity in Europe

        • Denmark: wind 19% (2009); highest electricity prices in Europe, CO2 emissions from electricity generation are nine times higher than France’s and near the highest in Europe.

        • The contrast could not be more stark or the relevance for policy more obvious.

        Denmark wind stats:

        Wind proportion of total electricity generation (2009) = 19%
        Wind proportion of electricity used in Denmark = 10%

        The explanation for the above is that wind power is produced when the wind blows, not when customers demand it. The excess is exported or spilled. Of the excess exported only some is brought back into Denmark as imports. Other imports come from other generation sources.

        I provided previously a sample of some other links showing that wind power everywhere is expensive, and does not cut emissions as much as the advocates would have us believe. The abatement cost with wind energy is very high.

      • Not that Pekka needs anyone to speak for him, Peter, but your response was incredibly weak. You have, again, mischaracterized his arguments. And further, based (at least in part) on a disagreement over certain numbers, you previously went on to impugn his character and draw broad conclusions over whether he knows much of anything about the subject you were discussing.

        Here’s why I am interested. You write some interesting comments that seem well-researched and extensively considered where it hard to assess whether your conclusions might be ideologically biased. And you also write comments that seem to be strikingly unaware of how ideological motivation biases you conclusions. But I can’t simply conclude that because you sometimes reach facile conclusions you always reach facile conclusions, so part of what can help me to assess your analytical processes is to watch how you deal with overt evidence of how your analytical process can sometimes incorporate biased reasoning. It still doesn’t prove anything, but it is useful information.

      • Peter,

        Why don’t you accept the clear fact that the share of wind power was 28% in 2011? That’s a simple fact that is not contradicted by any data on 2011.

        It is significantly higher than the share in any of the previous years, but it’s quite possible as the capacity in 2011 was about 25% higher than a few years earlier.

        This is an issue that I cannot understand in your writing. Why to deny simple facts? Check the link to monthly electricity supply statistics on this page of the Danish Energy Agency

        It has been very easy to find the same information from the net including the related chapter in Wikipedia. Therefore I found it unnecessary to give further links to you.

      • Pekka Pirila,

        Why don’t you accept the clear fact that the share of wind power was 28% in 2011? That’s a simple fact that is not contradicted by any data on 2011.

        Why don’t you provide the link to an authoritative source to support you assertion. (the link you provided does not, or at least I can’t see what you are referring to.)

        Despite asking many times for substantiation for your assertion you’ve never provided it. Why not? If you make unsubstantiated assertions, do you really expect me to accept them just because you say they are a “clear fact”? What complete BS. Did you BS like this to get your chair?

        Even if wind generated 28% of the electricity generated in Denmark in 2011 it does not change the facts that I’ve restated several times and that you disagreed with from the start and have never acknowledged you were wrong about. Even if the 28% is correct ()and I don’t know yet because you have never substantiated it) it is an outlier and an exceptional year compared with all previous years.

        So why do you chose to use an exception to try to make your point. Does this mean you exaggerate about everything you say? Can anything you say be trusted? I dpoubt it.

        Most importantly why don’t you acknowledge you made mistakes in your statements from the start and have not been able to admit to them. So you hang onto this 28% figure which may or may not be correct (and even if it is it is an outlier) but you still have not substantiated it?

        It has been very easy to find the same information from the net including the related chapter in Wikipedia.

        Then if it is so easy, why don’t you provide it? Not that it is central to the discussion anyway. It is just a distraction from the key points the debate is about and you are trying to distract from acknowledging. I am not impressed.

        My Key Points

        The key points I’ve been making throughout are:

        • France: nuclear 76%, wind 1%; lowest electricity prices in Europe; lowest CO2 emissions from electricity in Europe

        • Denmark: wind 19% (2009); highest electricity prices in Europe, CO2 emissions from electricity generation are nine times higher than France’s and near the highest in Europe.

        • The contrast could not be more stark or the relevance for policy more obvious.

        Denmark wind stats:

        Wind proportion of total electricity generation (2009) = 19%
        Wind proportion of electricity used in Denmark = 10% (average for 5 years)

        The explanation for the above is that wind power is produced when the wind blows, not when customers demand it. The excess is exported or spilled. Of the excess exported only some is brought back into Denmark as imports. Other imports come from other generation sources.

        I provided previously a sample of some other links showing that wind power everywhere is expensive, and does not cut emissions as much as the advocates would have us believe. The abatement cost with wind energy is very high.

      • Pekka Piria,

        The spreadsheet you linked shows Denmark’s electricity generation in 2011 was 14,620 GWh and wind generation was3,520 GWh. So wind’s proportion of generation was 24%, not 28%.

        So, no wonder you wouldn’t provide a link to substantiate your “clear fact”. Your “clear fact” probably comes form the European Wind Energy Association.

        So much for your “clear fact”. You accept as “clear facts” the drivel that suits your ideologically driven beliefs.

        This does not change the clear fact that much of that wind energy is exported and not reimported.

        It does not change the fact that probably only about half the wind energy is actually used in Denmark.

        It does not change the fact that it is exported and earns a low prices and imported at a high price.

        It does not change the fact that Denmark has about the highest price electricity in Europe and near the highest emissions from electricity generation.

        Go figure!

      • Peter,

        I have presented at an early stage many of the reservations that you accuse me of disregarding, but you haven’t evidently read with any care what I write. After a while our discussion evolves to the line where I concentrate on defending one particular factual claim while you insist that it’s not true. When you finally see that it is true you go on to tell that it’s irrelevant. But then – I have already made a similar point much earlier in the thread. I picked the number 28% because it’s the latest – and I told that it’s probably exceptionally high for the capacity. Nothing in our argument was really dependent on whether the value is 28% or 25% which might be closer to average for the 2011 wind power capacity. (I don’t know precisely the expectation value, but my guess is that it’s not far from 25%. Determining the right value would require a detailed analysis of all new wind generators and the dates they entered service).

        Insisting that I must give directly an authoritative source for a fact as simple as the wind power generation is ridiculous after I have given a good enough source, Wikipedia article which furthermore has a direct link to the original Danish official source – that same source that is certainly also the source for numbers presented by international authorities.

        I have been very careful in limiting statements that I claim to be true to reliable factual data. When I present opinions I try to tell that. I have also explained how misleading and one-sided is the interpretation of that one paper when it tells, how much of wind generated electricity is used in Denmark. Again I did acknowledge immediately that such an interpretation is presented, but I argued against the relevance of that interpretation. (I don’t claim that there’s something technically wrong in the calculation.) Coincidentally prof Green happened to publish essentially the same argument a few days later. I’m sure very many people have understood these mechanisms for long. Thus neither my claim nor the paper of Green was based on new science, we just saw the same weakness in the paper you brought up.

        There are valid arguments against large scale deployment of wind power, but trying to distort clear facts is not a good way of arguing.

      • Pekka Pirila,

        You’ve just written another long diatribe while:

        continuing to avoid the key points, and

        continuing to refuse to acknowledge your errors and misunderstandings or misrepresentations.

        Despite this you state in this comment:

        When you finally see that it is true you go on to tell that it’s irrelevant.

        What are you referring to? Are you referring to your unsubstantiated 28% figure? If so I never said I see it is correct. I don’t know if is is correct (I doubt it) because you have never substantiated it. The fact you would knowingly misrepresent what I’ve said like this suggests you are prepared to be misleading and dishonest. The more you say on this the more you demonstrate a lack of integrity.

        Insisting that I must give directly an authoritative source for a fact as simple as the wind power generation is ridiculous after I have given a good enough source, Wikipedia article which furthermore has a direct link to the original Danish official source – that same source that is certainly also the source for numbers presented by international authorities.

        You have never provided the link to the Wikipedia article that shows the 28% figure (or if you have I did not see it). Why do you continually repeat in comment after comment: “go and look it up”. Do you think I am a mind-reader and know what article of the many is the one you are referring to.

        So far you have not provided the link (or if you have I didn’t see it) and I have not seen your statement substantiated.

        You are clearly obfuscating. If you were not you would have provided the link instead of continuing for days claiming it is a “clear fact” but you cannot provide any supporting link to substantiate it. I suspect you are being dishonest.

        I looked up the Excel file you referred to in a comment and it did not support your claim. You are wrong. Admit it.

        You have been wrong on just about everything you’ve said in this argument and about fuel prices being a widely accepted alternative to carbon pricing as a means to reduce global emissions.

        And this 28% figure (which I suspect is wrong) is the last item you clutch to. But you have never yet managed to substantiate it. Even if you can, you are clutching at straws because it is basically an irrelevancy compared with the key points I made and you disagreed with.

      • Let’s face it, Pekka, you have wilfully misrepresented what I’ve said, you’ve obfuscated continually, you’ve avoided the key issues and tried to argue about other red herrings to divert attention.

        I’ve challenged you on these things and shown you are wrong. But you have not been willing to admit you are wrong. Your integrity is being questioned.

        You argued continually about the 28% figure you brought up to try to make out my figure of 19% (from IEA for 2009) was wrong. You have never been able to substantiate your figure of 28% (not that it is important to the key points)

        You have never acknowledged you got it wrong.

        You were also totally wrong in arguing that it is widely accepted that fuel taxes can substitute for carbon pricing as an alternative mechanism to reduce global emissions.

        It is clear you make stuff up and call them “clear facts”. Your integrity is questionable and your credibility is in tatters.

        My Key Points

        The key points I’ve been making throughout are:

        • France: nuclear 76%, wind 1%; lowest electricity prices in Europe; lowest CO2 emissions from electricity in Europe

        • Denmark: wind 19% (2009); highest electricity prices in Europe, CO2 emissions from electricity generation are nine times higher than France’s and near the highest in Europe.

        • The contrast could not be more stark or the relevance for policy more obvious.

        Denmark wind stats:

        Wind proportion of total electricity generation (2009) = 19%
        Wind proportion of electricity used in Denmark = 10% (average for 5 years)

        The explanation for the above is that wind power is produced when the wind blows, not when customers demand it. The excess is exported or spilled. Of the excess exported only some is brought back into Denmark as imports. Other imports come from other generation sources.

        I provided previously a sample of some other links showing that wind power everywhere is expensive, and does not cut emissions as much as the advocates would have us believe. The abatement cost with wind energy is very high.

      • Peter,

        You have forced me to defend the points that I have made. You have also made claims that I don’t know the matter I’m writing on. I must say that I have found the way you have done that really insulting and influenced essentially my views of you as a person. When you have behaved like that I have concentrated on the particular points irrespectively of the relative importance of those in comparison with other considerations of wind power.

      • • Insults
        • Making unsubstantiated statements
        • Avoiding providing substantiation for your statements of “clear facts” when requested (and still haven’t done so). By now it seems pretty clear your “clear facts” were made up. They are BS.
        • Misrepresenting what I’ve said (blatantly and dishonestly so)
        • Misleading other readers who do not have the background to know who is telling the truth
        • Not being prepared to admit your mistakes
        • Obfuscation
        • Avoidance of key issues
        • Waffling
        • Diversion – for example saying that Denmark generated 28% of its electricity from wind in 2011 to refute my substantiated statement that it was 19% in 2009 (with link to IAE data), then continually refusing to provide substantiation for the 28%, and later backpedalling – but without ever admitting you were wrong.
        • Not admitting you were wrong about the fuel taxes
        • Never being able to admit you’ve made many wrong statement and tried to bluff your way through on the basis you have “Chair” so your pronouncements should be accepted as “clear facts”.

      • A simple internet search found IEA numbers for 2011. Electricity supplied for Denmark = 34672 gwh. Wind = 9781 gwh.

      • correction – geoth/wind/solar/other = 9781

  63. Conclusions from recent discussions with Pekka Pirilla:

    Pekka makes many unsubstantiated statements. He believes he is an authority on the matters he is talking about. The recent discussions show he most definitely is not. These show he happily to make pronouncements on matters he has little understanding of. The clearest examples, exposed in the past few days:

    • Emissions pricing
    • fuel taxes as a substitute for emissions pricing
    • and wind power

    I conclude I wouldn’t trust anything he says.

    • Peter, Pekka is probably right as far as Finland and that region of the EU. The problem is that most of the world is not Finland and that region of the EU :) There is not going to be a global energy solution, just regional initiatives until something that really works shows up.

      I think Pekka is still a she, hard to tell now a days though :)

      • captdallas,

        Thank you for straightening me out on he/she. My mistake. I didn’t realise. Sorry, Pekka, if any offence was caused on this.

        Regarding your comment:

        Peter, Pekka is probably right as far as Finland and that region of the EU.

        What specifically are you referring to? I think you probably have not understood that Pekka has made a fundamental mistake confusing capacity and energy. This is basic and absolutely fundamental to the discussion of the intermittent renewable energy technologies like wind and solar. The wind and solar power advocates continually try to confuse people byt talking about growth in capacity (i.e. the number and size of their wind farms) rather than talking about the proportion of our electricity they actually produce.

        So, Pekka most definitely is not correct on this topic.

      • Finland has a lot hydro. Hydro would seem the easiest to make up for shortfalls of wind or solar [though solar bad idea in Finland- maybe thermal solar for hot water].

      • Yes, there is lots of hydro in Norway, Sweden and Finland. That is all covered in the links I provided. Read them to get a basic understanding of what this is all about.

      • That was Pekka’s job, I am sure it is possible that she or you mis-communicated, but I haven’t seen her miss something as simple as that. Other than being butt ugly and prone to icing, wind is fine in Finland where their grid is simpler and they might actually maintain the generators. Available wind more closely matches demand than most places, so they probably get closer to nameplate output.

        Other than not appreciating my brilliance :), she is normally correct.

      • Capt Dallas,

        Not in this case. She has definitely confused capacity and consumption. It is quite clear from her statements and the change.

        No, Wind is very high cost everywhere. The costs are being hidden.

        That is what governments across Europe, UK, Canada and USA are beginning to acknowledge.

      • “Wind is very high cost everywhere.”

        You haven’t demonstrated that. It isn’t, in fact, true.

        “The costs are being hidden.”

        Sounds like burning fossil fuels.

        Denmark wind stats:

        Wind proportion of total electricity generation (2009) = 19%
        Wind proportion of electricity used in Denmark = 10%

        The explanation for the above is that wind power is produced when the wind blows, not when customers demand it. The excess is exported or spilled. Of the excess exported only some is brought back into Denmark as imports. Other imports come from other generation sources.

        You are staring straight at the solution to intermittancy, but you don’t see it. Exporting clean power where it is needed and importing clean power from elsewhere is as far from a “gotcha” point against renewable energy as can possibly be imagined.

        Arguing against wind power because some of the power will be exported is like arguing against a Toyota factory in the US because Alabama is going to need all those cars.

        The bigger the grid, the better for renewable energy. The better, too, for breaking up local energy monopolies, ending the public utility system and getting consumers access to a full competitive market in electricity.

        Think bigger.

      • No I’m not a she.

        http://pirila.fi/energia/about/

        I’m a couple of years older than in that picture but my gender has not changed.

      • OK, Thanks for straightening that out. I was right the first time.

        You look wise. But you are clearly talking about matters outside your area of expertise on wind generation, wind costs and CO2 abatement with wind energy, and also on emissions pricing and fuel taxes. I’d suggest it would be best to stick to your area of expertise.

  64. Eric Rosenbloom’ A problem with Wind power’ 2006, says:

    ‘Denmark (population 5.3 million) has over 6000 turbine that produced electricity equal to 19 % of what the country used in 2002. Yet no conventional power plant has been shut down. Because of the intermittancy and variability of the wind, conventional power plants must be kept running at full capacity to meet the actual demand for electricity. Most cannot simply be turned on and off as the wind dies and rises, and the quick ramping up and down of those that can be would actually increase their output of pollution and carbon dioxide, (the primary “greenhouse” gas). So when the wind is blowing just right for the turbines, the power they generate is usually a surplus and sold to other countries at an extremely dis counted price, or the turbines are simply shut off.’ (P1)

    And Denmark, “windmill capital of the world ‘s’ costs of their heavily subsidized wind energy, have the highest electricity cost to the consumer in Europe.
    ‘Despite their being cited as the shining example of what can be achieved with wind power, the Danish government cancelled plans for three offshore wind farms in 2008 and has scheduled the withdrawel of subsidies from existing sites.” (page 2)

  65. Tsk! ‘withdrawal’

  66. BETH COOPER

    Say it isn’t so.

  67. Context here lol RiHo08. Say, getting yer nom de plume right takes a bit of concentration ) ‘Withrawal,’ hmm .. one of those multifaceted chameleon words ain’t it?

  68. Muller’s Op-Ed is out: http://bit.ly/NbQrEw.

    Excommunication to follow? You be the judge:

    Science is that narrow realm of knowledge that, in principle, is universally accepted. I embarked on this analysis to answer questions that, to my mind, had not been answered. I hope that the Berkeley Earth analysis will help settle the scientific debate regarding global warming and its human causes. Then comes the difficult part: agreeing across the political and diplomatic spectrum about what can and should be done.

    • Muller has it exactly wrong. The difficult part will be settling the science – something clearly not even remotely in sight yet. Then, if cagw turns out to be true, political action will be unproblematic.

      • Tomcat

        Then, if cagw turns out to be true, political action will be unproblematic.

        I disagree because the ‘Progressives are intent in blocking economically rational solutions.

        We could have been cutting GHG emissions for 50 years with nuclear power if the ‘Progressives” had not been blocking it.

        We could remove the blocks to development of low-cost nuclear power now if the ‘Progressives’ were not intent on blocking it and on wasting our wealth on their silly schemes (like renewal energy and carbon taxes).

  69. Then comes the difficult part: agreeing across the political and diplomatic spectrum about what can and should be done.

    The reason that is difficult is because the ‘Progressives’ are irrational and want economically irrational policies. Or they have other ulterior motives and want to use the CAGW scare campaign to drive them myriad of other agendas: such as:

    stop globalisation
    disembowel big corporations
    more regulations
    more taxes
    more bureaucracy
    world government
    more wealth redistribution (from the productive to the to the unproductive parts of society)
    distributed energy generation (‘small is beautiful’)
    renewable energy
    block nuclear energy

    The ‘Progressives’ block progress.