Cato’s Impact Assessment

by Judith Curry

The Cato Institute has a new report entitled ADDENDUM: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, which is an addendum to the 2009 USGCRP Report with the same title.

The web page for the Cato Institute is [here].  See also the Wikipedia article.  Cato is a libertarian think tank, tied to Charles Koch.  The editor of Cato’s Report is Pat Michaels.

Rationale for the Cato Report

From the Foreword by Ed Crane:

This effort grew out of the recognition that the original document was sorely lacking in relevant scientific detail. A Cato review of a draft noted that it was among the worst summary documents on climate change ever written, and that literally every paragraph was missing critical information from the refereed scientific literature. While that review was extensive, the restricted timeframe for commentary necessarily limited any effort. The following document completes that effort.

It is telling that this commentary document contains more footnotes and references than the original; indeed, one could conclude that the original Global Climate Change Impacts ignored or purposefully omitted more primary-source science than it included.

It is in that light that we present this document. May it serve as a primary reference and a guidepost for those who want to bring science back into environmental protection. 

From About this Report:

What are its sources? 

This Addendum is based upon the peer-reviewed scientific literature, peer-screened professional presentations, and publicly-available climate data. We include literature through the begining of 2012, which of course could not be in the 2009 report. But there are also a plethora of citations from 2008 or earlier that were not included in the USGCRP document. Why that is the case is for others to determine. 

Does this report deal with options for responding to climate change? 

Unlike the USGCRP report, which coupled global warming forecasts with emissions reduction scenarios, this Addendum is generally not prescriptive. Readers can determine for themselves whether or not a more complete scientific analysis warrants mitigation programs that may be very expensive (stringent cap-and-trade limitations) or inexpensive (substitution of natural gas for electrical generation and  possibly vehicular propulsion). 

How does this report address incomplete scientific understanding? 

This report is candid about what is known and what is not. Unlike the USGCRP, it does not include the self-serving section, An Agenda for Climate Impacts Science. The Cato Institute traditionally has strong feelings against such rent-seeking behavior by others, including the public-choice-biased global warming science and technology community.

Key findings:  Cato vs USGCRP Report

1. USGCRP: Global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced.

Global temperature has increased over the past 50 years. This observed increase is due primarily to human-induced emissions of heat-trapping gases.

1.  CATO: Climate change is unequivocal and human activity plays some part in it. 

There are two periods of warming in the 20th century that are statistically indistinguishable in magnitude. The first had little if any relation to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, while the second has characteristics that are consistent in part with a changed greenhouse effect. 

2. USGCRP: Climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow.

Climate-related changes are already observed in the United States and its coastal waters. These include increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the ocean and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows. These changes are projected to grow.

2. CATO: Climate change has occurred and will occur in the United States.   

US temperature and precipitation have changed significantly over some states since the modern record began in 1895. Some changes, such as the amelioration of severe winter cold in the northern Great Plains, are highly consistent with a changed greenhouse effect

3. USGCRP: Widespread climate-related impacts are occurring now and are expected to increase.

Climate changes are already affecting water, energy, transportation, agriculture, ecosystems, and health. These impacts are different from region to region and will grow under projected climate change. 

3. CATO:  Impacts of observed climate change have little national significance. 

There is no significant long-term change in US economic output that can be attributed to climate change. The slow nature of climate progression results in de facto adaptation as, as can be seen with sea level changes on the East Coast.

4. USGCRP: Climate change will stress water resources.

Water is an issue in every region, but the nature of the potential impacts varies. Drought, related to reduced precipitation, increased evaporation, and increased water loss from plants, is an important issue in many regions, especially in the West. Floods and water quality problems are likely to be amplified by climate change in most regions. Declines in mountain snowpack are important in the West and Alaska where snowpack provides vital natural water storage.

4. CATO: Climate change will affect water resources. 

Long-term paleoclimatic studies show that severe and extensive droughts have occurred repeatedly throughout the Great Plains and the West. These will occur in the future, with or without human-induced climate change. Infrastructure planners would be well-advised to take them into account.

5. USGCRP: Crop and livestock production will be increasingly challenged.

Many crops show positive responses to elevated responses to carbon dioxide. However, increased heat, pests, water stress, diseases, and weather extremes will pose adaptation challenges for crop and livestock production. 

5. CATO:  Crop and livestock production will adapt to climate change. 

There is a large body of evidence that demonstrates substantial untapped adaptability of US agriculture to climate change, including crop-switching that can change the species used for livestock feed. In addition, carbon dioxide itself is likely increasing crop yields and will continue to do so in increasing increments in the future.

6. USGCRP: Coastal areas are at increasing risk from sea-level rise and storm surge.

Sea-level rise and storm surge place many U.S. coastal areas at increasing risk of erosion and flooding, especially along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Pacific Islands, and parts of Alaska. Energy and transportation infrastructure and other property in coastal areas are very likely to be adversely affected.

6. CATO:  Sea level rises caused by global warming are easily adapted to. 

Much of the densely populated East Coast has experienced sea level rises in the 20th century that are more than twice those caused by global warming, with obvious adaptation. The mean projections from the United Nations will likely be associated with similar adaptation.

7. USGCRP: Risks to human health will increase.

Health impacts of climate change are related to heat stress, waterborne diseases, poor air quality, extreme weather events, and diseases transmitted by insects and rodents. Robust public health infrastructure can reduce the potential for negative impacts.

7. CATO:  Life expectancy and wealth are likely to continue to increase. 

There is little relationship between life expectancy, wealth and climate. Even under the most dire scenarios, people will be much wealthier and healthier than they are today in the year 2100.

8. USGCRP:  Climate change will interact with many social and environmental stresses.

Climate change will combine with pollution, population growth, overuse of resources, urbanization, and other social, economic, and environmental stresses to create larger impacts than from any of these factors alone.

8. CATO:  Climate change is a minor overlay on US society. 

People voluntarily expose themselves to climate changes throughout their lives that are much larger and more sudden than those expected from greenhouse gases. The migration of US population from the cold North and East to the much warmer South and West is an example. Global markets exist to allocate resources that fluctuate with the weather and climate.

9. USGCRP: Thresholds will be crossed, leading to large changes in climate and ecosystems.

There are a variety of thresholds in the climate system and ecosystems. These thresholds determine, for example, the presence of sea ice and permafrost, and the survival of species, from fish to insect pests, with implications for society. With further climate change, the crossing of additional thresholds is expected.

9. CATO:  Species and ecosystems will change with or without climate change. 

There is little doubt that some ecosystems, such as the desert west, have been changing with climate, while others, such as cold marine fisheries, move with little obvious relationship to climate.

10. USGCRP: Future climate change and its impacts depend on choices made today.

The amount and rate of future climate change depend primarily on current and future human-caused emissions of heat-trapping gases and airborne particles. Responses involve reducing emissions to limit future warming, and adapting to the changes that are unavoidable.

10. CATO:  Policies enacted by the developed world will have little effect on global temperature. 

Even if every nation that has obligations under the Kyoto Protocol agreed to reduce emissions over 80 percent, there would be little or no detectable effect on climate on the policy-relevant timeframe, because emissions from these countries will be dwarfed in coming decades by the total emissions from China, India, and the developing world.

Skeptical Science
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Dana at Skeptical Science has critiqued the report.   The main point of interest to Dana is that Michaels and Cato unwittingly accept the climate threat.  Well I’ve been a Pat Michaels watcher for a long time, he does not dispute the warming and thinks that climate sensitivity is on the low end of the range cited by the IPCC.  His main schtick has been that this warming is not dangerous.
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Dana then goes on to trash conservatives and libertarians and their role in the climate debate.  Once Dana gets to the actual substance, this seems to be the gist of his argument:
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In short, on this point the  USGCRP report and EPA endangerment finding are based on a sound review of all the scientific evidence, while Michaels’ Cato argument is based on two characteristics of scientific denialism - misrepresentation and logical fallacies, and cherrypicking.
Dana’s logical fallacies here are arguably worse than any in the Cato Report, which basically says nothing about the merits of either report.  If someone wants to rebut or discredit the Cato Report, they need to do much better than this.
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JC comment:  So, which report do you think has the more robust conclusions and makes better arguments?
Apart from the actual content of the arguments, the Cato Report scores several points:
  • It documents a broader range of perspectives from the published literature with substantially greater number of references
  • It is more honest about uncertainties and disagreements
  • It is not policy prescriptive
In terms of the actual content of the arguments, most of these topics are mired in the complexity of the interactions of human and natural systems, and there is sufficient room for both perspectives given the complexities and uncertainties.
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The next U.S. National Climate Assessment from the USGCRP is scheduled for publication in 2013.  From the outline and author teams, this report looks to be much more comprehensive than the previous report.  Cato makes some valid critiques of the previous USGCRP Report; lets see if the USGCRP can do better next time.

621 responses to “Cato’s Impact Assessment

  1. Yes, Pat Michaels (and Chip Knappenberger) have been ‘global lukwarmers’ for decades now. See Knappenberger here: http://www.masterresource.org/2012/01/lukewarmering2011/

    And both see net positives rather than net negatives from low-end warming, coupled with the CO2 fertilization effect.

    Also, Mary Hutzler, former head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and now associated with the Institute for Energy Research (where I am CEO), is involved in the Michaels/Cato effort re energy facts.

    I hope their report gets the attention it deserves.

  2. So, a ‘short on science, long on policy’ report vs. a ‘long on science, no policy axegrinding’ report? I know which one sounds more solid.

    I fear that, like the IPCC lead authors, the writers of these government reports are so convinced that their ‘alarmism’ is right that they’ve given up looking at science papers, or thinking about the science, or doing much besides “cutting ‘n’ pasting” the ‘settled science’ into each report.

  3. No policy v.s. policy that can’t possibly work. Which one does the government chose?

  4. Allow me to summarize the perspective presented by the Cato report:

    Bad things have happened in the past irrespective of climate change, and bad things will happen in the future irrespective of climate change: therefore we shouldn’t be concerned about climate change – even if it might make problems worse.

    Seriously, Judith?

    • More like, bad things happen, prepare for them, there is no silver bullet that stops bad things.

      • That logic is in there too, Cap’n. And it’s straw man logic. That was my point.

        No one says that bad things don’t happen absent climate change.

        No one says that there’s a silver bullet that stops bad things.

        When you respond to an assertion that climate change might be harmful (and mitigation efforts are called for based on that possibility) by saying that bad things happen so prepare for them and there is no silver bullet, then you’re offering a weak and useless response.

        Surely you can see that, can’t you?

      • The message from the mainstream is that CO2 is the major cause of climate change and that all climate related problems are enhanced by CO2, something has to be done now to stop CO2 even though we are not certain how much is CO2. That leads to cap and trade, etc. etc. first, then in the fine print other mitigation and adaption.

        The CATO approach is the ,” If you are not sure do the smarter things first.” As in prepare, start with the less expensive solutions that have more overall positive impact, research, watch and adapt as needed. the only thing wrong with their logic is it doesn’t agree with “progressive” logic, “OMG! change now!”

      • Cap’n

        The message from the mainstream…

        Can we ever get past the victimization? Looking beyond a simplistic, and I would argue inaccurate, characterization of “the message from the mainstream,” you seem to be worried that the public has a different perception than it has. Clearly, the public is not in line with your feared sequence of events. If it happens that severe weather starts happening at unprecedented and highly destructive rates, then the public will likely fall in line with your feared scenario, and in that case it will probably be a good thing.

        The CATO approach is the…

        The CATO approach cannot be disaggregated from it’s social and political orientation and the larger political and ideological context. There is more to their argument than simply “If you’re not sure do the smarter things first,” and the other aspects of their argument can be readily seen in the straw man nature of their arguments. They make a choice to argue in the manner they have chosen. It isn’t irrelevant. Just as it wouldn’t be if a “realist” used the same form of rhetoric.

      • Joshua, you trust the scientists. I trust no one. If something makes sense, I will go along with it. If something doesn’t, I question it.

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/07/there-are-no-steps-it-is-constant.html

        The expert opinion expressed in the bottom link caused me to be somewhat skeptical of the message :)

      • Cap’n -

        Joshua, you trust the scientists.

        Actually, I don’t. Although I do see reason to give some weight to a preponderance in the opinion of experts – I certainly don’t consider a preponderance of opinion to be dispositive.

        I am, by virtue of genes and upbringing, a skeptic. The one thing I believe in firmly is that the influence of motivated reasoning and confiirmation bias are intrinsic in human reasoning (and thus affect both sides, and thus are reason for distrust, if anything).

        And when I see weak arguments put forth by “skeptics” I consider that as “information,” just as I do when I see “skeptics” defend the weak arguments of “skeptics.”

        The arguments Judith excerpted from that except from that Cato report are facile. IMO, it is beneath you to defend them.

      • tempterrain

        CaptDallas,

        You say:

        “Joshua, you trust the scientists. I trust no one. If something makes sense, I will go along with it. If something doesn’t, I question it.”

        And, apart from climate science, what else don’t you trust scientists on?

        Or, is it fair to say that you don’t much care whatever else scientists may theorise upon, providing it doesn’t affect the price of gasoline?

      • tt, listen fella, do you pay for the capn’s gasoline?
        If not, you have no right to criticise him on that.

      • Temp, “And, apart from climate science, what else don’t you trust scientists on?” It is not “scientists” it is the science/policy process. You can look at Yucca Mountain, the South Atlantic Marine Fisheries or the FDA and see marginal statistics driving policy. “Science” can be manipulated just like religion, to force change.

        For example: Yucca Mountain – the allowable design exposure limit is 15 millirem per year above background versus 100 millirem per year for any other facility. Is that sound “science” or manipulation?

      • tempterrain

        Whatever the merits, or otherwise, of the allowable radiation levels at Yucca mountain that isn’t a consensus/non-consensus issue. Any level can be criticised as being either too high or too low. Its an arbitrary decision.

        You say “It is not ‘scientists’ ” That somehow they are reporting their findings correctly but their message is being distorted? Ask Chris Colose about that. He may well agree with you but not in the way you think.

      • Temp, “You say “It is not ‘scientists’ ” That somehow they are reporting their findings correctly but their message is being distorted?”

        Their message can be distorted and their biases can distort their findings. Just look at the constant accusations of cherry picking. If anything is a complex chaotic system, the human brain qualifies. Initial impressions or predispositions will influence your thought process. It is human nature. Maybe they are devious and cherry pick, maybe they just let their notions get in the way, I don’t care, I just double check. When I find things that don’t add up, I dig deeper.

      • Joshua, I don’t support or defend either one. Once politics get involved, the gap widens so that the compromise feels better. You blow off the posturing and look at the underlying messages. One makes sense, the other doesn’t.

        BTW, you know I think agriculture done it, here’s proof :)

      • tempterrain

        So even though you have your criticisms with the scientific process of reaching consensus, you can’t think of any other cases where ‘they’ have got it wrong apart from on climate change?

      • tempterrain

        This ended up in the wrong place! Meant for Capt Dallas above.

      • tempterrain

        So, according to this logic, if you’re advised that your cholesterol level is too high, you just shrug and say ” bad things happen, prepare…….”

      • k scott denison

        Well let’s see.

        With my cholesterol I can try something INEXPENSIVE first, say diet and exercise, and MEASURE the results within months. If I still have high cholesterol I can move on to more expensive measures, for example Lipitor, and MEASURE the results in months.

        Seems to me the alarmists want to start with an EXPENSIVE treatment, fully knowing that we CANNOT MEASURE any results, but hey, trust us, it’s what we should do.

        Yep TT, great analogy.

      • When the cost of the insurance outweighs the risk, don’t insure.

        The cost of insurance always outweigh the risk on average. That’s why insurance companies make money. Unless you can predict the future, you’re falling in line with that thinking if you own any insurance (that isn’t mandated).

        Notice that the % of people in MA who pay the fine rather than conform to the mandate is much lower than economic theory would predict.

      • tempterrain

        As far as your health goes the treatment couldn’t be too expensive. Anything more than 2% of your GDP, sorry annual income, and you’d rather just take the risk, right?

      • Scott Basinger

        When the cost of the insurance outweighs the risk, don’t insure.

    • Try actually reading the report and commenting on specific things that you disagree with as inaccurate.

      • Rob -

        It’s a fair point that my comment is not applicable to the full report, but I was referring to the logic underlying the USGCRP:says, Cato says segment that Judith posted. I think my paraphrase of their logic was pretty accurate w/r/t a number of the statements.

      • Allow me to summarize the perspective presented by a Joshua comment.

        Global Warming is a crisis, and anything that dilutes that message will be dismissed with a hand wave, without getting into specifics because they aren’t important. When asked for specifics, I will talk about the debate itself, using words like strawman.

        Seriously, which points do you disagree with and why.

      • Robin -

        I agree with none of the points in your summary of my perspective.

        I don’t think that global warming “is” a crisis (although I think there is a potential for serious effects of global warming within a range of error). I think that the uncertainty should be carefully calibrated and considered, along with a careful analysis of the costs and benefits of various mitigation policies. I think that the specifics are very important. I am not smart nor knowledgeable enough to understand the scientific specifics, but I do think that how those specifics are debated on blogs is instructive, as is how those specifics are argued by Michael Mann or the Cato Institute . Sometimes the arguments include the obvious pattern of arguing against a perspective by equating it to another entirely different perspective and then irrelevantly and useless arguing against that entirely different perspective (you seem to be familiar with the pattern).

      • Ok. I will mentally put you down as unable to distinguish your position on the science from the above Cato position.

        Maybe we aren’t that far apart then. I’m only dubious of the “amelioration of severe winter cold in the northern Great Plains” is long term in any way. That may be more of a healthy respect than a doubt — in any case the feeling isn’t science based.

      • Robin, given Cato’s long record of dishonesty and fraudulent distortions and misrepresentations, the burden of proof is on you to show us their propaganda deserves parsing.

        They aren’t scientists, have failed in the past to describe the science honestly, and are a right-wing talk shop with a huge political axe to grind.

        So: meet your burden. Make the argument we should listen to the Koch mouthpieces rather than the scientists.

      • Robert: Are you really saying you haven’t read the above post? Or you read it and haven’t parsed it? They are fairly simple statements.

        Instead, another meaningless conversation about the conversation. Now there is a real burden.

      • So I will just put you down as unable to meet that burden.

        You apparently have no reason to think this differs from Cato’s standard hackery.

        Perhaps we aren’t so far apart after all. :)

      • Joshua, from a philosophical point of view, do you think that a national government should have as its first priority the well-being of the citizens of its nation or that of humanity as a whole?
        In the context of cAGW the poorest, and not the richest, nations are most likely to suffer the consequences of the postulated climate driven calamities.
        National poverty is a consequence of poor governmental management, corruption and misuse of human resources.
        Surely, it follows, that the best way the rich nations of the West can help the greatest number of presently living and future members of humanity, is to sweep away the governments and social structures of failing nations and to rebuild them in our own image?
        Therefore, do you not agree, some sort of crusade is required whereby we replace the indigenous cultures of the failing states, for their own long term good.
        If you disagree, can you explain why you only support some forms of social engineering and not others?

      • Doc -

        While I think that you touch on some points worthy of discussion, I’m not sure how I should respond to reductio ad absurdum. And to complicat matters, you have constructed a series of false dichotomies and finished it off with a preemptive straw man based on a false dichotomy.

        Try rephrasing if you’re intent is to actually know my opinion. No need to modify if your intent was to make an argument limited by binary mentality. Speaking of which, you wouldn’t happen to be a libertarian, would you?

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD.


        Surely, it follows, that the best way the rich nations of the West can help the greatest number of presently living and future members of humanity, is to sweep away the governments and social structures of failing nations and to rebuild them in our own image?

        That’s a great idea.
        Worked so darn well in Iraq and Afghanistan.
        And, to do it, you can just borrow more trillions from… the communist Chinese government.

      • Steven Mosher

        arrg. Doc. spare me the nation building. Lemme guess, you are not a Libertarian.

        The best thing we can do to combat global warming is to educate poor women. plain and simple. I’m a ‘fan of more dick corks”

      • Steven Mosher

        dont ever ask joshua to read anything he might disagree with.
        his MO is to read what Judith writes, find fault with Judith. Assume that everyone except himself is corrupted by motivations. If you offer him a simple choice between a and b, he argues that you must be a libertarian, because there are only two kinds of people: those who think in binary terms and those that dont. he has a whole host of tactics that allow him to say something, but he rarely seeks understanding.
        I find the same type of mental style on WUWT, al beit, commenters there are a bit more formulaic than Joshua.
        Don’t expect to learn anything new from Joshua no matter how open minded you are. After a while you will see the resemblance between him and a chatty cathy doll. just pull his string, you’ll hear the same stuff.
        ” I dont read the science. I watch what the worst skeptics do. I conclude from that that all criticisms of the science must be the result of motivated reasoning. therefore the science is right.”

        Personally, I happen to believe in the science… err that would come from reading, questioning, and doing. I would like to learn Joshua’s lazy way of coming to an understanding of the science. Watch who opposes it and decide that way. easy peasy

      • Hi steven -

        I see that you’re still convinced that repeated personal attacks is the way to prove that my input it useless.I do find it ciruous, however, why you feel it necessary to so frequently offer that explanation to others – most of whom, no doubt, share your perspective.

        Anyway, be that as it may, as usual, your comment contains a bevy of inaccuracies.

        ” I dont read the science. I watch what the worst skeptics do. I conclude from that that all criticisms of the science must be the result of motivated reasoning. therefore the science is right.

        First, it isn’t only what the “worst skeptics” do. It’s what mostly everyone does. Second, I don’t think that all the criticisms are the result of motivated reasoning, but that motivated reasoning is a precondition which should always, unconditionally, be controlled for as best as possible. Third, I have never said, nor believed, that the science must be right. In fact, although the claim is often made, I have rarely read “the scientists” themselves make that statement. For the most part, they argue in qualified terms (i.e., most recent global warming is most likely anthropgenically caused). When they don’t qualify, take them to task. It’s a good thing to do. What isn’t a good thing to do is to distort what they say.

        I admire your commitment to the science, Steven.. If I had your intellect, I might also be able to understand the science. Given my limitations, I have to do the best with what I’ve got – to ask people to acknowledge when, despite their superior intellect, they make errors so obvious even I can see them.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua, you have on several occassions said that you dont read the science.

        second : “First, it isn’t only what the “worst skeptics” do. It’s what mostly everyone does.”

        really, numbers please? I’m open minded to anyone who posts numbers.
        I like the way you bust Keiths balls when he just throws out facts wthout support. So, shoes on your foot buddy..

        And finally, I have yet to see you acknowledge one single mistake in the science. I have yet to see you acknowledge any lapse whatsover. Looking back at your actions, Its fair to say that you have never objected or questioned anything that would move your close to the green line.

        Any personally, I dont claim to understand the science. When I havent looked at it I shut up. On the other hand, I do try. You might try reading some.

      • Steven,

        really, numbers please?

        You’ve read stuff about how humans reason. The attributes are fundamental. We reason by recognizing patterns. We look at information to discern patterns that we recognize from previous experience, that match (or instructively don’t match) preexisting neural networks, that align with already formed schemata . It predisposes us, at the most rudimentary levels, to confirmation bias. Then add on the social, political, and cultural identity biases that we’re all subject to. There is much data to support the inherent proclivity towards bias in our reasoning processes. As humans. All of us. And I would think that the phenomena of motivated reasoning and confirmation bias are only exacerbated when it comes to issues that are inextricably linked to political, social, and cultural controversies. My primary interest is in political debate. I’m a relative newbie to the climate debate. I see it as virtually indistinguishable from debates in other politically, socially, and culturally charged arenas. Particularly in the blogospheric realm. And what we know about human reasoning suggests that there’s no reason that it should be any different with blgospheric climate debate.

        I happen to think, perhaps without scientific basis, that we are also capable of controlling for that proclivity to some degree. But it takes a willingness to first acknowledge the tendency and second to be open to feedback that helps us gain insight.

      • “We reason by recognizing patterns. We look at information to discern patterns that we recognize from previous experience, that match (or instructively don’t match) preexisting neural networks, that align with already formed schemata . It predisposes us, at the most rudimentary levels, to confirmation bias”

        I am a neurochemist and one of the things that I find most interesting in neuroscience is how we think and problem solve.
        You analysis is new-age psyco-babble; you know bugger all about how people problem solve.
        There are a vast range of skills that individuals can use in problem solving and not all individuals have the same skill sets. I have a friend who is a polymath, whereas I cannot make word sounds in my head when I see a new letter sequence, but I can dance through a 3D crystal structure.
        Autistic individuals have a range of skills and include many savants; some have almost perfect recall in definite areas, so are visual (able to draw an image they have seen once) and auditory (playing a piece they have heard once). Despite have very good pattern recognition, and better than aver 3D spacial comprehension, they suck at (most) problem solving tests.
        Stroke patients sometimes give us information how signal processing is quite removed from problem solving. You can have them read a text involving people, boat and river. You can ask them what people, rivers and boats are; they will tell you about all the individual components. Boats float on water. People sit in boats and rivers are made of water. Then you ask how the people can cross the river; some stroke patients cannot come up with an answer.
        In fact pattern recognition competes for thought and analysis. In evolutionary terms, it is far, far better to have 99 false positives for lion than to have one false negative for lion. Laughter is believed to have evolved as a social signal for ‘false alarm, wasn’t a life threatening situation, honest’, which is why we find ‘false’ logical observations funny.
        All you talk of neural nets is just jargon. Now jargon can be a very convenient method that allows people who understand complex systems to rapidly exchange information.
        Normally it is used by an in-group to exclude people from an out-group as to what they are discussing (i.e. when people talk about ‘forcings’) or to suggest that the user knows far more than they actually do.

      • Doc -

        There are a vast range of skills that individuals can use in problem solving and not all individuals have the same skill sets. I have a friend who is a polymath, whereas I cannot make word sounds in my head when I see a new letter sequence, but I can dance through a 3D crystal structure.

        There is nothing, whatsoever, about that statement that is inconsistent with what I stated earlier. Of course there are a vast range of skills that individuals bring to solving problems, and different folks bring different skills, but pattern recognition is, absolutely, a fundamental component of reasoning.

        The rest of your post is fits what i find to be a pattern in your posts. You supply interesting information – that on the one hand lends interesting context to the discussion, and I suspect on the other hand is offered to promote your sense of your own expertise – but information that ultimately doesn’t relate to the essential point.

        All you talk of neural nets is just jargon.

        All my talk? Really? And from that you launch into a connection between a brief mention of neural networks to a thesis about how it is an example of the misuse of jargon, and even further, into a diatribe about “in-groups” trying to exclude others such as is done when people talk about forcings?

        And you take that one iota of a concept to draw a large pattern to characterize the reasoning of millions? as a way to discount the role of pattern-finding in our reasoning processes?

        Tell me it was all a joke, Doc. Please.

      • “There is nothing, whatsoever, about that statement that is inconsistent with what I stated earlier. Of course there are a vast range of skills that individuals bring to solving problems, and different folks bring different skills, but pattern recognition is, absolutely, a fundamental component of reasoning. ”

        Ya, but computers can recognize patterns.
        Obviously computer follow logical routines, but computers do not reason well.

      • Ya, but computers can recognize patterns.
        Obviously computer follow logical routines, but computers do not reason well.

        If what I wrote suggests that what I think is that pattern recognition is the only component of problem solving, then I misstated my opinion.

        It is a fundamental component, but certainly not the only skill, ability, attribute, etc. For example, the ability to decipher the symbols of math or writing, to understand the spoken word, or grammar conventions, the ability to recognize a mother’s face, or a mother’s voice, the ability to distinguish a house from a tree, all rely at some basic level upon pattern recognition. We must construct patterns to make sense of the world around us. And teaching computers how to recognize patterns is a key component in the process of teaching computers to “reason,” and I’d suggest that the qualitative distinction that you draw between the reasoning of humans and that of computers may not be as great as you seem to think, and that part of the explanation for how it is, in fact different, is contingent upon our more extensive abilities (in some ways if not others) in pattern recognition – say through the ability to recognize patterns through visual or tactile sensory input. Do you think it is coincidence that a key aspect of developing artificial intelligence is developing the capacity and range of computers’ in pattern recognition?

      • “Do you think it is coincidence that a key aspect of developing artificial intelligence is developing the capacity and range of computers’ in pattern recognition?”

        No, I think it’s a good plan.
        I also think having robots “live in the world” might help in the evolution, but we still pretty far from AI.

      • What passes for pattern recognition in computers is pretty rudimentary. Cf. http://www.damnyouautocorrect.com/.

        Whereas, for example, one study demonstrated that people can recognize their friends at distances and in conditions where the laws of optics seem to make it physically impossible.

        People can be very good at this. It depends on whether you know the subject well. It can also be distorted by bias.

      • Phil Cartier

        Joshua “Of course there are a vast range of skills that individuals bring to solving problems, and different folks bring different skills, but pattern recognition is, absolutely, a fundamental component of reasoning.”

        Sorry old bean, but pattern recognition is not a fundamental component of reasoning. Reasoning is how we manipulate thoughts as in logic, formal proofs in mathematics, etc. Pattern recognition is a very low level building block in our sensorium- how we recognize and organize our impressions of the outside world so we can think about them and, hopefully, reason about them. Much pattern recognition occurs in our eyes(edge-finding, contrast, distance cues, etc) resulting in optical illusions, in our ears where similar effects occur, even in our skin and sense of taste.

        Where pattern recognition seems to play the biggest role in climate science is in the graphical presentations, which are often highly biased in order to emphasize the author’s point. Drawing sweeping conclusions from a fuzz of individual data points is more likely to be wrong than right due to bias at much higher levels than pattern recognition.

      • Phil –

        I’m far from an expert in this field, (less Doc extrapolate from patterns in what I say to extrapolate wide-ranging theories about human behavior and to determine that I’m trying to portray myself as one), but….

        Of course pattern recognition is, in some sense or contexts, a “lower order” (hence my use of the term “fundamental”) component of reasoning, but it is a component nonetheless.

        Second, reasoning is a broad concept. Do you think that a newborn infant – with somewhat limited formal logic abilities – does not reason as it identifies his/her mother’s voice?

        Third, how does one think about organized impressions without recognizing patterns that define congruency or differentiation?

        Fourth, somewhat less on point, of course much of the process of pattern recognition occurs “in our eyes” and “in our ears” etc. but obviously the process is not fully completed within our sensory organs – so I’m not sure what your point was there.

        My guess is that you are creating a false dichotomy between various stages of reasoning processes, that they are inherently interconnected, and that pattern recognition occurs at different stages of reasoning (at one level to help organize sensory input and at another level to help organize abstract concepts, for example) in way that contradicts your argument.

    • Verses bad things are going to happen and they will be far worse than the bad things which have previously happened.

      Oh, almost forgot the part about “You must listen to us and do what we tell you if you want to prevent those bad things from happening.”

    • I do not think that is a fair summary of the argument. A better one (in fact a summary of ‘adaptation’ arguments in general) is something like this:

      “Climate is always changing with or without human influence. The changes that are plausibly predicted to follow from anthropogenic greenhouse gasses are not large compared with the changes we might need to cope with anyway, and have coped with in the past, and are not particularly dangerous. Therefore we shouldn’t be concerned about climate change”.

      That would not necessarily be an argument against “mitigation”, if the cost of mitigation was small compared with the additional predicted costs associated with AGW. But the costs of mitigation are known to be high, and proponents of adaption hold that attempts to make the costs of AGW appear higher are based on gross exaggerations and hyperbole.

      Take sea level rise as an example. Sea levels rose by about 20cm during the 20th century. People making a living on or near the sea did not even notice that. Sea walls are rebuilt or refurbished a couple of times each century. Adding 10cm to the height for the wall each time is just not noticeable.

      The IPCC predicts between one and three times that much sea level rise for the 21st century (IPCC 4). But if 20cm in the 20th century was not even noticeable, then 20, 40 or even 60cm in the 21st c is just not very scary. (And a lot of people do not give much credence to the IPCC higher end scenarios for reasons well explored elsewhere).

      Similar arguments can be made about temperature, rainfall etc, with the additional point that in many parts of the world increased CO2, temperature and rainfall will be actually beneficial. That anyway is the argument. Let’s not attack a straw man.

      • Well said Gareth.

        One of the things I find ironic in the climate arguments is how often I see the argument that those on the doubting side lack the qualifications and expertise to effectively analyze and understand the science of climate, yet who seem so confident that they also understand the economics and engineering aspects associated with the policies being put in place or proposed in the name of climate change. It is almost funny how engineers and others with science and math backgrounds can’t understand climate science and also can’t understand their own disciplines any better than climate scientists and their supporters.

      • I would say that the Cato argument is that the known range of change is far greater than anything we see humans inducing. Any “policy” should address the magnitude of change that is known rather than waste resources on “engineering” civilization to suppress human effects. Even within the Holocene climate has changed immensely in comparatively short – in geological terms – time spans. The worst cAGW prophecy brings the planet to about the hottest it reached during the Early to Mid-Holocene when sea levels had a high stand about 1.5 to 2 meters above the present [search on Holocene sea level high stand]. That 20 cm change over the last century is trivial compared to motions during the last 10,000 years.

        Rainfall in California during the MWP dropped at times to levels that have never been experienced during the historic era (in Calif. that starts in the 18th C). Streams on the east side of the Sierra ceased to carry significant amounts of water for decades at a time and Lake Tahoe dropped to levels that have not been seen in historic record. While west side rivers continued to flow, evidence from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta reflect reduced flows and increased salt water tidal incursion into the delta.

        The IPCC, rather than addressing the dominant reality of climate change, has decided to be seen “doing something.” I am not at all sure what they could offer to deal with natural changes anyway.

      • “The IPCC predicts between one and three times that much sea level rise for the 21st century (IPCC 4).”

        No. They estimate between one and three times that much more from heat expansion alone, plus an unknown amount of glacier melt.

        From 1993-2003 the contributions of heat expansion and melting were about equal: http://www.grida.no/graphicslib/detail/estimated-contributions-to-sea-level-rise-1993-2003_9cc9.

        Melting has accelerated since then: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2011GL046583.shtml.

        So a conservative estimate of the total sea level rise in the 21st is at least double the number for heat expansion alone. It could be quite a bit more than that, and is difficult to constrain, which is why the report didn’t give a central estimate for total sea level rise.

      • ‘What is included in these sea level numbers?
        ‘Let us have a look at how these numbers were derived. They are made up of four components: thermal expansion, glaciers and ice caps (those exclude the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets), ice sheet surface mass balance, and ice sheet dynamical imbalance.

        1. Thermal expansion (warmer ocean water takes up more space) is computed from coupled climate models. These include ocean circulation models and can thus estimate where and how fast the surface warming penetrates into the ocean depths.

        2. The contribution from glaciers and ice caps (not including Greenland and Antarctica), on the other hand, is computed from a simple empirical formula linking global mean temperature to mass loss (equivalent to a rate of sea level rise), based on observed data from 1963 to 2003. This takes into account that glaciers slowly disappear and therefore stop contributing – the total amount of glacier ice left is actually only enough to raise sea level by 15-37 cm.

        3. The contribution from the two major ice sheets is split into two parts. What is called surface mass balance refers simply to snowfall minus surface ablation (ablation is melting plus sublimation). This is computed from an ice sheet surface mass balance model, with the snowfall amounts and temperatures derived from a high-resolution atmospheric circulation model. This is not the same as the coupled models used for the IPCC temperature projections, so results from this model are scaled to mimic different coupled models and different climate scenarios. (A fine point: this surface mass balance does include some “slow” changes in ice flow, but this is a minor contribution.)

        4. Finally, there is another way how ice sheets can contribute to sea level rise: rather than melting at the surface, they can start to flow more rapidly. This is in fact increasingly observed around the edges of Greenland and Antarctica in recent years: outlet glaciers and ice streams that drain the ice sheets have greatly accelerated their flow. Numerous processes contribute to this, including the removal of buttressing ice shelves (i.e., ice tongues floating on water but in places anchored on islands or underwater rocks) or the lubrication of the ice sheet base by meltwater trickling down from the surface through cracks. These processes cannot yet be properly modelled, but observations suggest that they have contributed 0 – 0.7 mm/year to sea level rise during the period 1993-2003. The projections in the table given above assume that this contribution simply remains constant until the end of this century.’

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/03/the-ipcc-sea-level-numbers/

    • I wanted to stay away from this portion of the thread but I could not.
      “Bad things have happened in the past irrespective of climate change, and bad things will happen in the future irrespective of climate change: therefore we shouldn’t be concerned about climate change – even if it might make problems worse.” The phase that makes this summary fatuous is ” therefore we shouldn’t be concerned about climate change – even if it might make problems worse.”

      Joshua presents the standard true believer argument that ignores significance of the anthropogenic fingerprint. As always, the discussion centers on significance and the true believers never address it.

      He then accuses CATO of presenting straw man logic. He does not inform the straw man detection challenged amongst what those might be.

      • Welcome to this portion of the thread, RobertInAz.

        Joshua presents the standard true believer argument that ignores significance of the anthropogenic fingerprint.

        What’s interesting is that about your comment is that it is, essentially, exactly my criticism of the Cato statement – which completely dismisses any potential for significant danger from anthropogenic climate change. Not only do they dismiss any possibility that a “fingeprint” already exists, they go on to dismiss any possibility of a significant fingerprint in the future.

        Are you that certain? Is there any scientific basis for such certainty?

        If you think the future is to at least some degree uncertain, and if there is any chance of significant problems resulting from anthropogenic climate change, then that change would be on top of any change already caused by “natural” forcings. Thus, consideration should be made for mitigation for the problems created by anthropogenic climate change, on top of mitigation for possible natural forcings. There is no reason to conclude that they would be mutually exclusive. One would hope for something a bit more detailed than “Well, we’ve survived climate change in the past so it’s likely we’ll survive climate change again in the future.” The only way such an argument is viable is if you completely dismiss any potential for a significant “fingerprint.”

        As to the straw man logic: no one, who thinks that anthropogenic emissions increase the chances of dangerous climate change, argues that natural climate change has not happened in the past, or that natural climate change won’t happen in the future. To state that climate change has taken place in the past, and change due to natural changes will take place in the future, does not address directly whether mitigation for anthopogenic caused climate change should be considered.

        Look at this comment from Cap’n: It wasn’t only I who summarized Cato’s statement as a strawman argument.

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/23/catos-impact-assessment/#comment-221492

        This is a tired pattern, where some “skeptics” speciously claim that those who believe that climate change is taking place and probably, mostly attributable to anthropogenic emissions dismiss the existence of climate change from “natural” forcings.

      • Phil Cartier

        Josh, give us the model that explains why the current glacial/intergalcial cycle started and why it has been so stable for some 2 million years with some 15 or so glaciations representing temperature swings of about 18 deg.C. Then explain how the current GCM climate models tie in to the glaciation model and show the mechanisms involve that explain why the current 1.7 degC temperature rise in the last century or so is going to disrupt the glacial cycle.

      • Phil -

        Aside from being generally ignorant of the scientific details and incapable of understanding them at any rate (and thus wholly unequipped to provide the model you request), I will say that your request is a non-sequitor with respect to the comment you were responding to (which was about the straw men embedded in the Cato document Judith posted).

      • Here’s another specious argument along the same lines:

        There is little relationship between life expectancy, wealth and climate. Even under the most dire scenarios, people will be much wealthier and healthier than they are today in the year 2100.

        There is a relationship between life expectancy and wealth. Climate change could well be a moderator or mediator in the relationship between life expectancy and wealth. For example, with significant climate change discrepancies in life expectancies for the wealthy in contrast to the poor could well increase.

        Whether or not people will be much wealthier and healthier than they are today in the year 2100 (btw, how could anyone with any seriousness make such categorical statements?), does not mean that climate change would not have an impact on life expectancy.

      • More of the same, specious reasoning:

        Long-term paleoclimatic studies show that severe and extensive droughts have occurred repeatedly throughout the Great Plains and the West. These will occur in the future, with or without human-induced climate change. Infrastructure planners would be well-advised to take them into account.

        Once again, if you completely dismiss any chance that human-induced climate change might increase droughts, then end of story. No need to continue with the discussion. Show your evidence.

        However, if you are less than 100% certain (isn’t it interesting when “skeptics” display absolute certainty?), then the existence of droughts in the past or naturally-induced droughts in the future does not negate the importance of mitigation against human-induced climate change.

        Of course infrastructure planners would be well-advised to take future droughts into account. That statement is not directly relevant to whether they should take into account the possibility that human-induced climate change might increase the probability of droughts, or worsen droughts that might occur without human-induced climate change.

  5. Academia’s doing the long, slow walk-back. But… who cares anymore? Honesty in academia has been an epic fail and a love of honesty is STEP No. 1 in the scientific method.

    Because of the high degree of anti-science that we see and not just in America in Western civilization and in the bureaucracies of government (agencies like the EPA), and in the media and most especially in the Government-Education Industrial Machine, it is useful to ask those who still are capable of seeing reason to step back for a moment (we call it the skeptics moment) and practice being an observer ‘of pathological science.’ as a cautionary example of why we must always, “Use Feynman-like honesty about the limits of our knowledge.”

  6. The CATO report addresses the IPCC alarmism, which was either fueled by, or illustrated by, the Mann “hockey stick” graph. That the climate of the world continues to change, as it has for eons, is one thing. That the climate is bound for dire apocalypse that can only be avoided by a return to preindustrial lifestyles and an all-reaching new global government is quite another. The CATO report, it seems to me, is trying (nicely) to put the brakes on that hysteria, and point out that humanity has survived far worse in the past.

  7. Nobody expects a non-partisan report from Cato, and I think what we see fits well within the range of expectations. I’m sure that both the authors of the report and the Cato institute understand this well and don’t expect to convince anybody who is not politically on their side.

    One message that they may wish to convey is that the USGRCP report is as partisan as their report. Whether they succeed in that, I cannot judge.

    • Pekka,

      Can you provide some examples of organisations that you consider do provide non-partisan reports

    • Pekka,

      Would you consider these to be ‘non-partisan’:
      - UN IPCC?
      - US EPA?
      - CRU?
      - GISS?
      - EU Environment departments?
      - Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency?
      - Australian Department of Treasury?

      I don’t.

      • Heh, no one, well few, expects a non-partisan report from the USGCRP. Pekka’s apparently in the proud few.
        ==================

      • Tho point that I tried to make is that Cato is openly partisan. Everyone who reads a report of Cato is likely to know well that it’s openly partisan. People have expectations on what openly partisan organizations do. That reduces greatly the influence that their reports do unless they do present genuinely new concrete ideas, which may grow to be influential.

        This report most definitely does not present genuinely new ideas. It discusses old arguments without getting concrete at any point. It lacks both qualities that it would need to have any significant effect. It’s publication is an example of “non-news”, i.e. an organization has published a report that contains old arguments essentially in line with what such organizations are known to promote.

        From the above it follows also that those who do not support the thinking of Cato might just forget the report, reacting to it is not necessary.

        Nothing in the above is influenced by the assessment of the partisanship of organization that are not openly partisan.

        This report is written as a counter-report to the USGCRP report just as NIPCC report is a counter-report to IPCC report. This report and NIPCC are superficial, written by rather few people at relatively low cost. One goal that publishing such counter reports may have is to try to give the impression that the original ones are comparable. They are, however, objectively very different. That they are objectively very different is not a statement on their quality. It’s fully legitimate to discuss the quality of the original reports and criticize them, but neither NIPCC nor the subject report of this thread even tries to do that in a serious manner.

      • Where’s the Beef, Pekka? Where’s the Catastrophe?
        ===========

  8. Steve Milesworthy

    People voluntarily expose themselves to climate changes throughout their lives that are much larger and more sudden than those expected from greenhouse gases.

    Volunteering to set up a new life in a new location with different weather says absolutely nothing about, for example, forcing several million people in London to put up with more common and lengthier heatwaves when the infrastructure (Victorian houses, and tube system (subway train system) with no air-con etc.) is not up to it.

    • Latimer Alder

      @steve milesworthy

      The deep tube has been heating up ever since it was built in the early 1900s as the generated heat has had nowhere to go. Which is why it is always warm down there. And why it is a hard problem to fix.

      But Londoners still use it in increasing numbers, despite there being a good (but slower) surface system of buses. If they are being ‘forced’ to use it, they still find that the benefits (fast service) overcome the disadvantages (warm) and make their choices accordingly.

      • Have you actually ever ridden in a subway? Hint, you can feel the wind from the trains coming minutes in advance of the train’s arrival, and yes, in the end that air gets pushed out, either through the ends of the tunnels which are open or up the shafts to the entrances and exits above. The trains make splendid pistons.

      • You really have no idea, do you?
        What’s your explanation for all the heat in the underground system? Back radiation? Of course – that must be it! How incredibly stupid of me!

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Peter,

        You really have no idea, do you?
        What’s your explanation for all the heat in the underground system? Back radiation? Of course – that must be it! How incredibly stupid of me!

        Was that directed at me? Were you having a bad moment?

        Curiously, it just so happens that when it is hot outside it gets warmer on the tube lines. Forgive me if I’ve been presumptuous in making the link. Perhaps a correlation against solar activity would give a better fit?

        As Latimer confirms (wow we agree perhaps a little bit) the London Tube system is not an easy or cheap system to fix. And nor is the housing.

        Hint, you can feel the wind from the trains coming minutes in advance of the train’s arrival,

        And in summer it is like standing in a giant hair-dryer.

      • Latimer Alder

        @steve milesworthy

        I took Peter’s remark to be directed to ‘eli rabbett’.

      • Latimer Alder

        Matey, not only do I ride on the London Underground, I also work on it.

        Although your story of the trains whooshing along the air is correct, it is only part of the story. Because a lot of the heat has been absorbed over the years by the ground surrounding the tunnels.and this would need more than just the piston effect to make much difference. It is not just a matter of blowing hot air out as trains go past.

        So that you can educate yourself on this problem, I attach a link to a (rather superficial) wiki article.

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

        and here’s a (fairly typical) report of one of the attempts that was tried.

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/5058362.stm

    • Latimer Alder

      @steve milesworthy

      JFI I was working in Central London during the rush hour last night on the tube and the buses. We are having what (to us) counts as a heatwave (above 30C). There wasn’t any observable difference between the behaviour of the crowds than when I last worked the same shift at 20C. Though people in general wore lighter clothing.

      I don’t think that your argument about extra heatwaves in London really holds water. It is the cold and snowy spells (and the Olympics :-( ) that really bugger things up and screw up the transport system.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Latimer, we are not in a heat wave! You’ve had one day of 30C. Today you’ll probably get another, and by the weekend it will be cooler. You’ve been softened up by the dreadful summer so far.

        Heat waves (a number of days of 35C) are a concern because the sustained high daily temperatures, but also warm night time temperatures build up heat stress in the body over periods of days. Lack of air con in most London houses means people do not get the chance to cool off before they descend once again into the fires of the Victoria line hell.

      • Latimer Alder

        OK – you use your definition of a heat wave, I’ll use mine. I can’t recall a time when London really suffered one on your definition. And the average temperature for the hottest month (July) is only 23.5C.

        Given all these terrible things, I’m just amazed that people managed even to survive in Africa for 100,000 years before the invention of aircon. Or in New York or Washington or anywhere in the mid-West. Or Athens or Rome or Carthage…….

        And – I think ‘the fires of Victoria Line hell’ is a bit of an exaggeration.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        OK – you use your definition of a heat wave, I’ll use mine.

        So is the solution to heat waves in London to redefine the heat wave as being 3 days at around 30C?!

        That would certainly be the cheap option and cheer up the families of the 600 Londoners who died as a result of the 2003 heat wave (11 straight days warmer than yesterday – according to wunderground, including a night time minimum of 27C on 10th August!).

        I’m just amazed that people managed even to survive in Africa for 100,000 years

        I think you’ll find most Africans from the last 100000 are dead, and some of them will have died of the effects of heat and drought, particularly when climate change resulted the Sahara desert.

      • Latimer Alder

        PS – the reason people don’t have aircon in London (apart from the cost) is because it would so rarely be used. I live about 20 miles out of town and I doubt I’d need it more than 15 days per annum.

      • Steve,

        Cost-benefit analyses show it is far cheaper to adapt to warming than to try to prevent warming by schemes such as GHG taxes and emissions trading schemes.

        I haven’t yet seen a robust, impartial analysis that demonstrates ETS and carbon taxes will control the sea levels and prevent hot weather events like you are referring to. Have you seen any robust, impartial analyses?

      • This important question never got an answer. How surprising.

        I guess the answer is “NO”. There is no analysis to demonstrate ETS and carbon taxes will control sea levels and prevent hot weather events.

      • Doesn’t follow, Peter, sorry.

        The truth of a statement does not depend on whether we, your partners in conversation, chose to educate you about a subject.

        If you want to assert as true the claim “There is no analysis to demonstrate ETS and carbon taxes will control sea levels and prevent hot weather events” you need better evidence.

        Do you in fact want to argue this?

        What literature have you looked at for the answer?

        How did you conclude the analysis you want doesn’t exist?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Peter Lang,

        You have been appealing to the authority of Nordhaus’s comment about strong tail dependence. So you will presumably be happy to take other advice he has to offer:

        My study is just one of many economic studies showing that economic efficiency would point to the need to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions right now, and not to wait for a half-century. Waiting is not only economically costly, but will also make the transition much more costly when it eventually takes place. Current economic studies also suggest that the most efficient policy is to raise the cost of CO2 emissions substantially, either through cap-and-trade or carbon taxes, to provide appropriate incentives for businesses and households to move to low-carbon activities.

      • Steve,

        I’ll come back and answer your two most recent comments later. In the meantime, as background regarding energy efficiency, I’ll refer to the Kaya Identity and these:
        http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/reality-check.html and

        http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/decelerating-decarbonization-of-global.html

        In short, we will not make much progress if we are focused on energy efficiency. We need to replace fossil fuels with near-zero emissions energy sources if we want to make deep cuts to global emissions.

  9. YOu’re right Steve. However I’m guessing your average Londoner is much more concerned with the price of fuel given what the return of Dickensian, LIA style, severe winters these last few years.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Yes I’m right. Also the average Londoner is capable of being concerned about many things at the same time, including their safety on the Tube when it’s 38C in the carriages.

      • k scott denison

        Yes, because no one knows how to properly cool a tube train and station and it will cost trillions. Reality check Steve. They have trains in Singapore you know.

      • Can you imagine what it was like in the days of steam trains?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Cooling a tube train is indeed not rocket science. The problem is where do you dump the heat. The infrastructure of the tube is old and while air con may work on the lines near and on the surface, many the lines are deep, so there is nowhere to dump the hot air.

        The Singapore system built cooling into the original design. The point is the costs of *adaptation* to temperatures one is not used to are real, and failure to adapt is risky.

      • You’re right, Steve – I well remember using the Tube during the searing summers of ’75 & ’76 (‘Phewottascorcher, as the Private Eye headline had it), and seeing more than one commuter overcome with heat stress. Not sure what this has to do with anthropogenic warming, though.

    • The average Londoner does not own a car, about 0.75/household.

      • I must be exceptionally math challenged as that number you provide translates for me as saying 3 out of every 4 households own a car. If 75% of households own a car, I’d say it is fairly accurate to say the average person owns one.

      • Or 3/4. Like those little 3-wheeled thingys Mr. Bean hates.

  10. lurker, passing through laughing

    Alarmists and supporters of the extremist consensus will not be easily persuaded by reason.
    They will reject Cato in favor of more alarmism.
    And it will be entertaining.

    • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD.

      lurker:

      Are you kidding?

      This Cato report will Completely Revolutionize the way climate science is done.

      This is even betterer than blog posts by Salby, or Johnson.

      It’s totally ‘Wow’.

      Pat Michaels is the new Galileo!

    • That’s a good attitude. I need to do more of that…find the entertainment value. Because I find their arrogant, angry certainty most unpleasant.

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD.

        Right.
        Because it takes a truckload of humility and uncertainty to reject an entire scientific discipline based on something you read on the internet.

      • Jeb,

        This is a major distortion, and it reflects very poorly on your understanding of the debate. Who’s rejecting an “entire scientific discipline?” Judith for example has written extensively, and I believe convincingly, on uncertainty. Is she rejecting an entire scientific discipline?

        You speak as if climate science were some sort of unassailable monolith. Are you really wholly unaware that there are credentialed scientists who take issue with the IPCC report to one degree or another? Are they rejecting an entire discipline?

        Who’s in charge of this so-called discipline? Can you name names?

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD.


        Are you really wholly unaware that there are credentialed scientists who take issue with the IPCC report to one degree or another?

        Somebody disagrees with the IPCC reports? Yawn.

        “The debate” is a figment of the fake-skeptic’s imagination.
        It exists on blogs only – There is no debate of the fundamentals in the scientific literature. But feel free to learn from Anthony Watts and the University of Google if you want.

        Look – Science ain’t no democracy. Whatever your favourite ‘convincing’ blog-scientist thinks is neither here nor there. Dr Curry obvioulsy enjoys fence-sitting and has a deep affection for question marks. But that is indicative of precisely nothing,


        Who’s in charge of this so-called discipline? Can you name names?

        Dr Evil.

      • Latimer Alder

        @JH(PHD?)

        So what ‘credentials’ do you have to have? I’ve often wondered what the qualifications are to be a ‘climate scientist’. There doesn’t seem to be any special degree anybody possesses, or any professional institute who set exams.

        Maybe being a ‘climate scientist’ is just a matter of self-assertion that you are one?

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD.


        So what ‘credentials’ do you have to have?
        Maybe being a ‘climate scientist’ is just a matter of self-assertion that you are one?

        Please direct this inquiry to our hostess.
        She knows all the secret handshakes.

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        pokerguy,
        Jeb is busy confirming which end of the horse he most resembles.
        Let him contiue. It is like a vaudeville act.

      • Latimer Alder

        @JH(PHD?)

        You say

        ‘“The debate” is a figment of the fake-skeptic’s imagination.
        It exists on blogs only – There is no debate of the fundamentals in the scientific literature’

        H’mm. I think that you are stuck in a truly conservative mindset.

        Until about ten years ago there was no forum other than the published literature where such things could be debated…and hence only by people who had been admitted to that world. It was restricted pretty much to full time academics working in universities. The ‘barriers to entry’ to the discussion were high. And academics could sit in their own little bubble, flaunting their PHDs and talking down to everybody else with no fear of argument. ‘Real climate science from real climate scientists’ just about sums up the arrogance of that era..

        But the blogosphere has changed that – as Judith has recognised. There are plenty of talented and experienced people around who aren’t full time academics. And they are at least as good – and arguably a lot better – at following the science and the arguments as the so-called ‘professionals’. And their debate takes place in the blogosphere where the barriers to entry are just about zero. All you need is access to the internet and a browser.

        What yo alos eem to fail to have noticed (or wish had not occurred) is that the blogosphere os beginning to act as teh chack and balance that the peer/pal-review system has so spectaculalry failed to provide.
        We need only to look at the recent ‘temporary withdrawal’ of Gergis et al to see the intellectual power that the blogosphere can unleash. After every possible old-style review from ‘climatologists’ this paper was released with greta fanfare into the world…only for a blogger to discover fundamental problems within a few days. McIntyre’s debunking of Mann’s hockey stick is well known.And who knows how many daft papers have been stillborn that – without the threat of blogospheric ridicule – might have crept into the ‘literature’.

        Worth also pointing out that the old model of scientific literature cannot sustain itself much longer. It’s pretty clear that the only thing sit brings – review and publication – can be done better and for near
        negligible cost by the blogosphere rather than by traditional publishing houses. The process is irreversible..however much you might wish it to be otherwise.

        And the final irony is, of course. that you feel it necessary to adopt a silly name, flaunt your (supposed) qualifications and come here to join the debate that you insist is not occurring. The joke, mon brave, is on you.

      • “Look – Science ain’t no democracy.”

        Science isn’t IPCC or other governmental appointed committees.
        Science is found in democracies, and is diminished in
        constrained societies. There no doubt of correlation between
        free societies and science.
        Whereas Totalitarian and Socialists states inhibit the free interaction necessary for science

      • Latimer Alder

        @JH(PHD?)

        ‘So what ‘credentials’ do you have to have?
        Maybe being a ‘climate scientist’ is just a matter of self-assertion that you are one?

        Please direct this inquiry to our hostess.
        She knows all the secret handshakes.’

        You are the one who used the term ‘credentialed scientist’. The first time I recall seeing this usage.

        You should be able to define it for us. Not Judith.

        So come on matey…what is a ‘credentialed scientist’.in your book?

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

        Latimer Alder:

        There are plenty of talented and experienced people around who aren’t full time academics. And they are at least as good – and arguably a lot better – at following the science and the arguments as the so-called ‘professionals’.

        Arguably better? – sure. Demonstrably so? – not so much.


        And their debate takes place in the blogosphere where the barriers to entry are just about zero. All you need is access to the internet and a browser.

        Thank you for explaining why I am here and what all this text is for.

        It is truly amazing how much debate you can accomplish without taking a single measurement, isn’t it?


        You are the one who used the term ‘credentialed scientist’. The first time I recall seeing this usage.
        So come on matey…what is a ‘credentialed scientist’ in your book?

        Not me – pokerguy.

        http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/23/catos-impact-assessment/#comment-221536

        Maybe he knows.

      • Latimer Alder | July 23, 2012 at 2:42 pm

        Maybe being a ‘climate scientist’ is just a matter of self-assertion that you are one?

        Well, according to Mike Hulme’s December 2011 research narrative – his story of his career as a scientist – the answer to your question would appear to be “Yes” (from p. 8 of this pdf):

        During these 12 years in the Climatic Research Unit I came to see myself no longer as a geographer, but as a climate scientist. (For example, on my passport I now stated my occupation as ‘climate scientist and I cancelled my membership of the Royal Geographical Society-Institute of British Geographers in 1992 [...] (emphasis added -hro)

      • Napoleon crowns himself.
        =============

      • Look – Science ain’t no democracy.
        Great, perfect. So no more waving around crap about 97 percent of scientists agreeing with the CAGW “consensus” as having any importance in evaluating the science, right?

      • If only you and your fellow deniers could/would evaluate the science.

        As it is, you’re like 400-pound shut-ins complaining about your discriminatory exclusion from the Olympic sprinter trials.

        On science, the judgement of people who know science carries more weight than that of the scientifically ignorant. Unless you completely lack all common sense, which may be true of many deniers, but not of the public as a whole.

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      Jebediah manages to miss a rather simple point,and in an entertaining fashion, demonstrate an inability to recognize the difference between an entire scientific discipline and an alarmist prediction claimed to be based on that science.
      Thanks!

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD.

        Ah – So you approve of climate science as a discipline – but you reject the science itself because you find it too be “alarmist”. Fascinating.

        Have some more Cato-Kool-Aid, my friend.
        It seems to be going down rather well.

        Besides – What possible reason could oil-soaked libertarian billionaires have for wanting to confuse the public on climate issues?

      • Rob Starkey

        Try actually writing something that is no prejudiced and has meaningful content to support your beliefs. So far you wrongly generalized libertarians and have written nothing about the science or policy

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD.


        So far you wrongly generalized libertarians and have written nothing about the science or policy

        That would be as bad as wrongly generalizing about the IPCC reports and then framing policy discussions around those incorrect generalizations.

        In other words – par for the blog.

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        Jebediah,
        It is clear you are wannabe writer for the Daily Onion, or possibly MSNBC.
        Thanks for testing out your ideas here. All they need is some thought and fact and, who knows- a bit of perspective-, and you might be a real writer, someday.
        Get back as soon as your mommy let’s you out of the basement and back to the keyboard.

      • Jeb,

        Is it possible that PhD in your case stands for pin headed d____?

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        now That is funny.

  11. Rob Starkey

    The Cato analysis seems pretty reasonable. I’ll be interested if someone can point out where their analysis is incorrect as opposed to being different from someone else’s opinions.

    As was written earlier by Doc a basic question comes to mind. Is it the duty of a national government to make a priority of taking care of its own citizens 1st and foremost? Imo, the obvious answer is yes.

    There appears to be little in the way of harms that are not easily minimized or eliminated by a bit of planning and the construction of proper infrastructure to both protect from the harms of excessive water and to store water for use when there are prolonged dry periods. This is not a new issue for humanity is it? The issue seems to be that many nations do not put a priority for building proper infrastructure to protect their citizens but seem to encourage uncontrolled population growth. The two issue combined lead to inevitable periodic high loss of human life when bad weather event periodically occur.

    Why is it the obligation of citizens of one independent country to help pay for the construction of infrastructure in another independent country? This seems imo to be a VERY new philosophy in human history, but I fail to understand the basis of the obligation.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Rob,
      I’ll be interested if someone can point out where their analysis is incorrect as opposed to being different from someone else’s opinions.

      It depends on your perspective. If you are a large oil company you want to carry on making your profits today without having to pay to prevent problems that will hit little people down the line.

      For this oil company’s purpose, a correct analysis is that big business has always shafted little people, so it is fine to carry on doing so. In that respect, the report is pointing out that civilisation is adaptable to change while working to minimise the fact that in the process of adapting, a lot of people lose their livelihoods or their lives.

      Why is it the obligation of citizens of one independent country to help pay for the construction of infrastructure in another independent country? This seems imo to be a VERY new philosophy in human history, but I fail to understand the basis of the obligation.

      It most certainly is not a new philosophy that civilisations that interact with each other have to give and take in their use and abuse of natural resources. If CATO are now deploying the argument that AGW won’t be so bad because:

      There is a large body of evidence that demonstrates substantial untapped adaptability of US agriculture to climate change, including crop-switching that can change the species used for livestock feed.

      Then they are implicitly admitting that any country that is not well set up to exploit any “untapped adaptability” will suffer from the impacts of AGW which are largely caused by emissions from the richer nations.

      • Rob Starkey

        Steve
        There are things that you have written that make sense, but other parts do not make sense.

        I agree that the issue depends upon ones perspective, but do not believe it has anything to do with oil companies profits. Oil companies will continue to sell fossil fuels and make profits regardless of any taxes that are added to the products. They simply pass along the added tax as does every other company.

        Steve writes- “It most certainly is not a new philosophy that civilisations that interact with each other have to give and take in their use and abuse of natural resources.”
        My response- Steve, Imo you are missing a major point. We are not talking about use or abuse of natural resources, but the construction of infrastructure to protect citizens from bad weather. Some nations make building proper infrastructure a priority while others do not. Use India as an example. The society is older that the one in the US and the infrastructure there is terrible and never a priority due to the corruption that makes its construction so expensive. The lack of infrastructure in India has, and will continue to result in many deaths when bad weather occurs. The bad weather happens every year btw. The issue is NOT due to oil companies or the US and it is not our problem to resolve.

        Cato is NOT deploying the argument that AGW won’t be so bad because “There is a large body of evidence that demonstrates substantial untapped adaptability of US agriculture to climate change, including crop-switching that can change the species used for livestock feed.”

        Cato does seem to be saying that the rate of change is happening slower than the IPCC originally projected and that the construction of proper infrastructure and by adjusting farming output (as has been done by farmers throughout history); that it is expected that no decline in total farm output should be expected.

        You also seemed to miss that Cato pointed out that the growth in emissions will not happen because of what you are calling the rich nations. It will continue to rise because of emissions growth from currently poorer countries.

        So we are back to:
        Yes, it is getting slightly warmer, but not as fast as the IPCC originally believed.
        If nations do the things that they always should have been doing anyway (building and maintaining proper infrastructure) humans should be able to adapt reasonably well.
        If nations choose to not build proper infrastructure they will be harmed much like they have been getting harmed for centuries.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Rob,

        Oil companies are in competition with other resource providers (and energy efficiency measures that people can take), so the level of tax will have an impact on profitability and the amount and rate of oil extraction.

        I accept that the threat of climate change is not the only or even major thing that should drive improvements in infrastructure, but the West has played its part in the poor infrastructure that exists in developing nations by its role in propping up those same corrupt governments in order to protect Western investments. Climate change is just one extra thing, albeit a potentially very big thing.

        You cannot blame developing countries for their emissions while the energy use in the West and particularly in the US is so grotesquely wasteful (and while much of the developing countrys’ emissions are emitted making products for export to the West).

        Yes, it is getting slightly warmer, but not as fast as the IPCC originally believed.

        A bit early to say that (unless “originally” means in 1991). And infrastructure improvements take a very long time to come to fruition.

      • Rob Starkey

        Current oil executives are not the least bit worried about a loss of revenues due to people not using fossil fuels. A person blaming oil companies for global warming is very silly.

        How about people and countries take responsibility for their own problems and solutions. Yes, the US has supported bad governments and bad people from time to time. That is not a justification for US citizens to be held responsibility for funding the construction of infrastructure for them. I am not blaming developing countries for their emissions but I am blaming them for their unsupportable population growth.

        Infrastructure does take time to build, but in a decade you can build an awful lot of infrastructure IF there was a desire to do so. The fact is it is not a priority in developing countries to the same extent. There is no justification to tax a US citizen at a higher rate to build infrastructure in some other country. Building infrastructure is the ONLY means to actually protect people from the harms of bad weather and regardless of how you feel about climate change, we all agree bad weather will continue to happen.

      • Latimer Alder

        ‘And infrastructure improvements take a very long time to come to fruition’

        Is this really true? Current forecasts show that we need to build up the river wall in London by the depth of one housebrick every thirteen years to protect the city from sealevel rise. The Victorians managed to build the first fifteen feet or so in about five years. I bet that we could do the last two (eight bricks) in three or four yours if we really tried. We even got the Olympic stadium finished a year ahead of the games. And there are quite few underemployed construction engineers around right now.

        Infrastructure doesn’t need to take a long time to do. It is the arguing about it beforehand that takes forever. But once decided it’s relatively quick.

      • Rob -

        . There is no justification to tax a US citizen at a higher rate to build infrastructure in some other country.

        You and I have discussed similar issues in the past, but you should know that I think that your absolutist determination of what is or isn’t justifiable is fine as an explanation for your view, but doesn’t fit with my own.

        As someone who lives in considerable relative privilege compared to vast % of my fellow humans, and even a higher % when compared to those humans who came before me, I have no problem justifying paying higher taxes if it meant mitigation of problems for people around the globe.

        There are a number of ways that I would base such justifications. One is based simply on my values. Another is based on a view of benefits from relatively little sacrifice short term for potentially substantial benefits (or mitigation against costs) long term

        As to whether you should pay such taxes, who knows how that might play out with the voting public? Domestically, with healthcare and other social welfare programs, Americans have historically, overwhelmingly, sided with small personal sacrifice for (at least what they see as) greater good. I tend to doubt that a willingness to sacrifice would extend beyond national borders on any large scale – but if mitigation efforts are needed in response to devastating climate change impacts globally, I would think that most Americans would be less categorical than you seem to be, and that many would see a more direct link between their own benefit and the welfare of others.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Yes, the US has supported bad governments and bad people from time to time. That is not a justification for US citizens to be held responsibility for funding the construction of infrastructure for them.

        It’s not just the US, it’s a lot of Western countries, and it *is* a justification for those Western countries offering to be part of the solution and for those who benefit from fossil fuels paying a fair share of the costs (which Cato are now happy to accept are real costs even if they waffle about their seriousness).

        A person blaming oil companies for global warming is very silly.

        Well I didn’t make any statement of “blame” so the above comment is silly. However, it is technically true that without fossil fuel companies there would be no problem with global warming!

      • Rob Starkey

        Steve

        If there had been no fossil fuel use humanity would look very differently than it does today and in all likelyhood neither of us would be alive.

        If I understand you correctly, you believe it is the obligation for citizens of the US (and other countries also) to pay for the design and construction of infrastructure in countries like Pakistan. I respect, but disagree with your opinion but think it should be presented in that way to voters to decide. I do not think US voters would support you position

      • Steve,

        RE “Oil companies are in competition with other resource providers (and energy efficiency measures that people can take), so the level of tax will have an impact on profitability and the amount and rate of oil extraction”

        It’s a simple sumation that misses major factors at play.

        On competion, the major oil companies are also major gas companies. They can equally explore for and bring to market either form of energy. Their competition, in order, is coal, nuclear and hydro. None of which provide much in the way of transportation energy.

        Adding increasing taxes to an efficient source of energy in order to make less efficient sources competative in the market has a major flaw. At some point the consumers start to notice just what percentage of their cost is represented by the tax. When this happens they usually replace the politicians responsible for the tax.

        You completely ignore the importance of a diversified energy generation mix. Every electric utility can explain the importance of having this diversity.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Rob,

        If there had been no fossil fuel use humanity would look very differently than it does today and in all likelyhood neither of us would be alive.

        I don’t think it helps to try and polarise this discussion. Fossil fuels have benefits and risks. It is natural for ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to emphasise the benefits and de-emphasise the risks by vague statements implying “We can adapt!”. It’s important to point out the error in Cato’s ways when they overdo the de-emphasis. If Cato did a similar risk analysis on Arctic drilling for Shell I expect they’d be shown the door.

        If I understand you correctly, you believe it is the obligation for citizens of the US (and other countries also) to pay for the design and construction of infrastructure in countries like Pakistan. I respect, but disagree with your opinion but think it should be presented in that way to voters to decide. I do not think US voters would support you position.

        If you put it that way, they would not support your position. But noone is asking the West to write a blank cheque to some dodgy construction company owned by members of the Pakistani government. There are ways of making reconstruction projects into opportunities. The citizens of Pakistan could be scratching a living in their flood-devastated valleys and sending any kids they cannot feed to Islamic madrassas, or they could be future trading partners and customers of Western businesses.

      • Rob Starkey

        Steve

        Ask the question like this:

        Should US taxpayers help you fund the construction of improved infrastructure in other countries such as Pakistan as a means of helping them protect against extreme weather?

        How is that question worded?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Rob,

        As I understand it, the Chinese are currently gaining a firm foothold in many African countries by moving in, providing jobs and building infrastructure. So maybe if the question were phrased in a more strategic way the answer would be different.

      • So big business has as its primary goal the shafting of the little people?

        Any particular group of little people? Dwarf’s? Midgets? Munchkins? Leprechauns?

        Want to know how “big oil companies” respond to climate change? The start spending money looking into alternative forms of energy production. Actually they started doing this long before climate change was even a topic of discussion.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        So big business has as its primary goal the shafting of the little people?

        timg56, I did not say “primary goal”.

        Big business wants to make a profit. That’s fine except when they use their wealth and power to undermine reasonable objections to their actions.

        Actually they started doing this long before climate change was even a topic of discussion.

        That would be a prudent thing to do for reasons other than AGW, but mostly they used this small amount of research to try and greenwash their image.

      • OK, it’s not their primary goal, but they manage to “always” do it. I guess most people are just plain stupid, to always allow themselves to be shafted. If only we all would let you tell us what to do, we’d find ourselves better off.

        Go ahead – tar all big business based off the occassional bad actor. Isn’t that how an intelligent, educated person acts?

        You are correct about it being prudent of big oil companies to invest in research into alternative sources of energy. That was my point. However it doesn’t make sense for them to do so primarily to “greenwash” their image, when there are far easier ways of doing so. They could simply give money to “green” organizations, as Coke did to WWF and Cheasespeake Energy did to the Sierra Club.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        timg56

        Go ahead – tar all big business based off the occassional bad actor. Isn’t that how an intelligent, educated person acts?

        You are reading what you want to read again. What I said was:

        For this oil company’s purpose, a correct analysis is that big business has always shafted little people, so it is fine to carry on doing so.

        Cato have a target market for their report. It is reasonable to say that some businesses will lap it up no matter that it is disingenuous, misleading, superficial and biased. It is clear that Rex Tillerson would. But some businesses are not all businesses.

        As to greenwashing – when they have a viable “green” product then they should market it. Till then, don’t pretend that buying their petrol and diesel does anything for the environment.

      • Rob Starkey

        All businesses want to make a profit. There are no fundamental differences between small and large businesses goals.

    • So, what is your position on off shoring?

      • Rob Starkey

        That depends upon the specifics being considered. Generally it lowers the cost to the consumer, but is bad for jobs in the nation that looses the employment. It depends upon the amount of the savings and the technology being put off-shore

      • It’s a bitch for the people who lose jobs who the government is supposed to be taking care of.

      • Rob Starkey

        That is an issue regarding what the role of government should be in a particular nation. Do you want a governent whose objective is to protect all aspects of individuals lives or one where government has a less intrusive role and individuals have greater freedoms and responsibilities for their actions?

  12. I for one doubt many people nor their politicial representatives will agree with the extremist position of cato

    • Rob Starkey

      What in your view was extremist in the Cato analysis?

      • EG the part where they suggest climate change being like going on vacation. I think many will be stunned by such flippancy.

      • Climate change vacates and creates ecological niches, else we wouldn’t evolve biologically or socially. Sudden climate change, as D-O events, are disruptive enough to be feared, but the only sudden one to fear now is toward catastrophic cooling.
        ============

      • A bit broad, kim. Better to say that sans climate change, one of the forces of social evolution wouldn’t act.
        =============

      • Apparently not.
        ==========

      • the only sudden one to fear now is toward catastrophic cooling.

        A confident, categorical absolute of a statement. I thought the whole thing about climate was that it was uncertain.

      • Just playing the odds, with Koutsoyiannis making book.
        ================

      • PDA, presently we’re headed for about 400 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, the contribution level by human action unknown, presumed to be positive (causing an increase), with highly varying estimates as to the exact contribution. The levels should be increasing naturally due to the end of the LIA anyway. Halving that 400 ppm level would seriously and negatively effect primary plant production globally, possibly even reducing marine plankton productivity. It could induce a serious extinction event through habitat reduction due to lowered productivity and geographic habitat shifting due to induced climate changes, particularly if the presumption that CO2 warms things through practically magical feedback effects were correct, worse than any present processes related to human “exploitation” are causing. Halving that would induce an extinction event on a scale not experienced since the Permian-Triassic event.

        Present CO2 levels are very close to the absolute lowest they have ever been [search on GEOCARB] during the last 600,000,000 years. The planet is also very close to the coldest it has been during that same span. In effect, what the Green movement is advocating is a major, planetary extinction event. It might be well-meant misunderstanding, or advocacy-induced one way blindness that assumes no negative consequences of well-meant actions. I rather hope so. It is however well to recall what the road past Cerberus’ resting place is paved with.

      • Rob Starkey

        I can not recall that line- where was it written? That is not much of a factual rejection of the content is it?

      • The cei claim I refer to is labelled 8.

        Maybe their extreme views are better suited
        to billboard campaigns!

      • John Carpenter

        “Maybe their extreme views are better suited
        to billboard campaigns!”

        Don’t confuse Cato with Heartland

      • Rob Starkey

        Nihilanth

        The only search I can find in the analysis where vacation is mentioned is:

        “The current rate of sea level rise is equivalent to
        approximately 1 inch per decade—a rate which
        adaptive and protective responses can keep up
        with and protect the U.S. transportation infrastructure.
        Evidence of this can readily be found
        in the vast and expanding influx of vacationers
        to coastal areas during summer months and
        the necessary infrastructure being established
        to service them.”

        Now that statement seems factually correct. I do not understand why it bothers you. In the US we sill build raods down to beaches that occasionally flood.

      • You misunderstood what they were saying. The reference to relocation has nothing to do with taking a vacation to the Florida beaches. They are referring to the shift of population from northern and northeastern states to the south and southwest. In in that comparison they are correct. Having grown up in DC and spent two summers working in Arizona, the average temperature difference between the two was 10 or more degrees in the summer and up to 20 degrees in the winter.

      • Those people did not bring their own soil, their own hydrological system, their own plant, animals, insects and bacterial ecosystem with them.

        The fallacy that making the world hotter than it has been since humans came down from the trees is like moving to Austin is one of the most startling ignorant conceits in the report. And that is saying something.

      • Robert, you have big shoes to follow.

      • of the last 600,000,000 years, how many have humans been around for, or primates, or mammels?

      • Rob Starkey

        LOL–if you believe some who post here only 6000 years

      • Latimer Alder

        Early mammals seem to have evolved about 210 mya. Though what difference that makes to the discussion rather escapes me.

      • It’s the average income in a room with Bill Gates (at least before last week). The CO2 concentrations in the Precambrian and Cambrian were 15-20 time higher than in the Holocene

        for example.

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      nihilanth wins the award for best self-inflicted irony for the day.
      This is turning into a great Monday.

  13. Cato questions CO2 control knob and catastrophic alarmism. What’s not to like? Well, they fail to mention that a warmer, CO2 enriched world will sustain more life and more diversity of life. Where have all the flowers come from? When will they ever learn? When will they eh eh eh a ver learn.
    ======================

    • That must be why the Sahara is so full of life and the cold high latitude seas so barren

      • Dry in the Sahara, nutrient rich in the North. Do you realize your points do not impact mine at all?
        ===============

      • But were the Bodele not so dry and wind blessed, the Amazon basin would not be so full of life.
        ===============

      • you deny all manner of impacts it seems

      • There will be all manner of impacts, many devastating, many bountiful. In a warmer, CO2 enriched world, the net impact will be positive for total life, and total diversity of life.
        =============

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD.

        The Anthropocene extinction is the new Cambrian explosion!
        Only much faster!
        Cool.

        I just love it when “skeptic’s” entrail-readings of the future produce Positive Happiness for Everyone. So scientific too!

      • In human lifetimes climate change will be devastating

      • In human lifetimes, climate change will be both devastating and richly bountiful. The only way the net will be negative will be with cooling. The best way to guard against cold devastation will be increased warmth and increased CO2.

        Period.
        ====

      • AGW will be devastating. Negative impacts will vastly outweigh positives. Period.

      • Scott Basinger

        You seem pretty certain of your position given that the models that these doom and gloom predictions are based upon have yet to show any real predictive skill and just boil down to faith based arguments which don’t have much place in science. Nature’s a bitch, she doesn’t care about how many smart people in a room agree with each other, only correct results will be repeatable.

        Aside from the 3.7 W/m^2 per CO2 doubling, it seems to me that there’s a lot of grey area. Given that systems that have positive feedback tend to run away; that the earth has been both warmer and with a higher concentration of CO2 in the past than now and the fact that we’re alive today and not BBQ tends to make the more likely scenario that the accumulated feedbacks are negative. This means that we’ll end up at a stable temperature at one point in time. What that point is based upon all the energy inputs and outputs, I don’t think that anyone is in a position to say that they’re even a little bit certain let alone confident.

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD


        This means that we’ll end up at a stable temperature at one point in time. What that point is based upon all the energy inputs and outputs, I don’t think that anyone is in a position to say that they’re even a little bit certain let alone confident.

        No stable temperature.

        Remember: Climate is always changing and always will.

        Therefore: any temperature is the same as any other temperature.

        It’s on Facebook, so it must be true.

      • The facts are the facts.

        You can whine and cry and shake your little fist, but all the science (not just the models, and including hundreds of studies by economists) find a large net negative impact.

        Laughably ignorant attacks on science you don’t understand don’t change the math.

      • Scott Basinger

        Is it just me or do all of Robert’s posts boil down to:
        1) Ignore what the person wrote.
        2) Babble and insult them.
        3) Appeal to authority.

        Is he a post-bot?

      • It’s sad how predictable your whining is . . . act the science, and when that doesn’t work, attack the people.

        Why not face the facts?

      • Here is Robert’s delusion laid bare. His authorities, hundreds of studies, find a large net negative impact from global warming.

        I’m not an expert at paleontology, but a warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life than a colder world. I’m no authority, merely correct.
        ================

      • In Robert’s defense, it is a delusion he shares with lots and lots and lots of people. It is an Extraordinary Popular Delusion.
        ======================================

      • Did nihilanth just ‘dump’ the oceans again too?

      • Rob Starkey

        nihilanth

        The readers understand that you sincerely BELIEVE that terrible things will result from climate change, but the data does not demonstrate that as likely to reasonable people (like engineers) who have looked at the available information.

        Sincerely believing that space aliens are about to land does not necessarily mean it will really happen.

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD.

        Everyone knows that engineers are the most reasonable people – ever.

        A mechanical or software engineer or who “looked at the available information” would certainly know more – and be more reasonable – about climate science than a mere scientist.

        My doctor is a very reasonable person- Maybe he should look at the available information too?

        Why don’t we just get rid of all scientists, and run with reasonable people instead?

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        How about reasonable scientists?
        You are demonstrating rather well the desperate shortage.

      • Dude.

        http://www.ae911truth.org/

        What was that again about engineers all being reasonable? And I are one.

      • Latimer Alder

        @JH(PHD?)

        Engineers have to have a thorough grounding in what nature actually does, not what they might think or theorise or hope she might do. An engineer whose ideas don’t work in practice is called ‘a burger flipper’

        As such they tend to be more pragmatic than academics who can indulge their fantasies without any such limitations.

      • Steven Mosher

        Hmm. I’ve known a boat load of un reasonable engineers. I think its better to compare the two groups on practical grounds.

        What happens when an engineer.

        A) steal documents from a competitor?
        B) loses data supporting his work?
        C) fails to disclose adverse data?

        Hmm. its less about the personality of the people involved and less about the profession of engineering versus the profession of science.
        I could substitute banker for engineer and the same questions could be asked.

        Science has moved, like it or not, from the lab to the policy interface.
        Scientists have moved, like it or not, from the ivory tower to the picket line.
        Activism is their right.

        However, like every other profession that has an impact on policy and an impact on people’s lives, science will have to accept certain responsibilities that engineers and bankers accept. That means keeping your data, full and plain disclosure, and the highest ethical standards. No more defending or ignoring less than best practices for academia, football coaches, and guys who choose to do science.

      • Some engineers have licences they can lose. That makes them sit up a little straighter than the ones who don’t. Maybe that’s something to think about when we have scientists who advise policy.

      • Jeb,

        Don’t you know that when the subject is your health, the person most knowledgeable about it is you, not your doctor? Any good doctor will tell you that. Understanding your health does not require several years of medical school. Neither does following the debate on climate change requires a PhD in Climate Science. (Does that even exist?) And when discussing mitigation policies, your average engineer is probably better suited to evaluate choices than your average climate scientist.

      • Dave Springer

        Half of all nationally elected offices in Washington are held by lawyers.

        Do you think we’d be better served as a country if half were engineers instead?

      • Dr. Hypo, “My doctor is a very reasonable person- Maybe he should look at the available information too?”

        Actually, that is not a bad idea. I just got through dealing with a little situation where a drug was tested in a dry climate and it tends to have a great deal more side effects in a humid environment. No physician is better than the research they have to rely on.

      • Steven Mosher

        PE. how dare you suggest that scientists who give recommendations on policy actually be held responsible. You see scientists are like doctors, you know that metaphor, and nobody holds doctors responsible for making mistakes..

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

        Steven Mosher wrote:

        However, like every other profession that has an impact on policy and an impact on people’s lives, science will have to accept certain responsibilities that engineers and bankers accept. That means keeping your data, full and plain disclosure, and the highest ethical standards.

        Really?

        Not only do you seem to presume that scientists are currently bereft of “responsibilities” – but, without a hint of irony, that they should look to bankers for ethical guidance!

        Rich.

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD

        Steven Mosher wrote:

        No more defending or ignoring less than best practices for academia, football coaches, and guys who choose to do science.

        I missed the subtle equivalence of scientists and pedophiles on my first reading of your comment.

        So nice to see that we’ve moved on from the Ted Kaczynski thingy.

        I suppose, to be fair, I will have to stop equating denialists with guys who shoot audience members at Batman movies.

        Good stuff. Carry on.

      • However, like every other profession that has an impact on policy and an impact on people’s lives, science will have to accept certain responsibilities that engineers and bankers accept.

        Wow! I missed that earlier. Spectacular.

      • Scott Basinger

        Steven – your comment resonates with me as I’m a professional engineer. I adhere to a strict code of ethics due to the trust society has placed within me and my profession to safeguard their welfare. Are engineers perfect? Not by a long shot, but in order to prove due diligence, we are required to keep good records, and our work is there for auditing by our peers if required. This tends to moderate our findings to the facts and generally accepted practice; with extraordinary problems requiring testing with emphasis on trying to find when our assumptions don’t apply and where our theory fails. (ie: Try our damnedest and our experts’ damnedest to break it. If it holds up, then use it.)

        It seems to me that research professionals with a similar societal impact should be legally bound to the same level of professional conduct and audit that P.E.s are.

      • John Carpenter

        Jeb and Joshua, it’s not that we look to bankers for ethical behavior, we don’t. Its that bankers have to follow rules. Some of them don’t. Those that don’t, when caught, can go to jail and some actually do. What rules do scientist who make policy informing reports have to follow if their reports are found to contain egregious errors that resulted in poor policy? Is there a punishment for bad science? Or do we just say ‘oh well, he meant to do good it’s not really his fault’? Is it ok for them to make mistakes that could cost billions with no responsibility? I think that’s the point Mosher is after.

      • Latimer Alder

        ‘Sincerely believing that space aliens are about to land does not necessarily mean it will really happen’

        That JH(PhD?) has suddenly manifested himself among us suggest that there may be more to this belief than we have been willing to accept……………

      • The current trend is …

        A total BS refutation, Rob. Total BS. The current trend can go down, and the science remains completely untouched. But please, look at the current trend until the cows come home; it’s a good waste of your time.

        This an incontrovertible fact. Over the last years the scientists who study sea level have rapidly increased their expectation of SLR by 2100. You can bet the farm that every one of them looked at the current trend, the very same one you are staring at, and realized it does not mean thing.

      • Rob Starkey

        JCH
        Actually the current trend means quite a lot. It is the best data available to anyone. You simply do not like what it shows. The current trend of 20 years during a period when CO2 levels were going up rapidly shows that sea level has been rising at a rate of about 3 mm per year.

        You and others who fear CO2 believe that the current rate will change and the new rate will be over 10 mm per year. Those who fear this higher rate want actions taken. Unfortunately, there are two flaws in getting people to accept your position.
        1. You can’t point to what specifically will change in the system to cause the rate of sea level to more than triple or when that feared change will occur.
        2. You can’t tell anyone honestly that you have any data to show that if we follow the action plan that you favor that sea level will rise by any different amount.
        Basically, it seems that those who fear a warmer world want the rest of us to accept their beliefs based on their faith alone.

      • JCH,

        Are you saying that observing current data and tracking how it trended in the past and how it is trending now is a waste of time? That it provides little in the way of useful information?

        Is it your opinion that the scientists studying SLR who are all apparently revising their projections upward – based assumingly on the output from their models – are all that is needed, the last word so to speak, on the likely impacts on sea level from climate change?

      • tmg56 – I’m saying multiplying the current rate by the number of years between now and 2100 and using it as an argument for anything to do with the current consensus prediction of one meter by 2100 is an exercise in abject stupidity. It is obvious the current rate has almost nothing to do with that prediction. It obvious that no scientists at the top of that field are expecting that rate to last much longer. Other than Vemeer and Rahmstorf, the rest of them had to be dragged kicking and screaming to one meter.

        If one wants to argue that the scientists who are making the prediction of one meter by 2100 are mistaken on some aspect(s) of the science, make the argument. But it is clear that the scientists in the field, well aware of the current rate of SLR, have significantly upped the prediction since 2007, when the rate was probably little different that it is now. It’s like somebody saying to me, how can the prediction of rain this afternoon be correct; it’s not raining now. Well, no chit sherlock. Now let’s talk about what actually goes into the prediction.

      • Dave Springer

        P.E.

        What exactly is unreasonable about asking for an investigation to see if Bin Laden had help with taking down the twin towers? It was his second attempt to take them down and the first attempt was to weaken support in the basement. Maybe the second attempt was to weaken support in the basement and mid-way up the structure at the same time. Engineers are a cautious crowd not given to belief without testing the underlying assumptions. The underlying assumption in this case is a Jet-A fuel fire in the middle of the structure could cause a textbook demolition of the structures. No demolition engineer would have believed it or ever planned a demolition in that manner. If you see a perfect demolition happen it’s not unreasonable to suspect demolition engineers were involved.

      • You’ve got to be kidding.

      • Dave,

        No matter how well you state it, believing in this puts you in close proximity to the folks who believe Oswald did not act alone, Elvis is still alive and the US government has alien beings in storage from New Mexico.

        Whenever I hear stories that require a substantial conspiracy in order to be true, I know I’m wading into the cow pasture. Just ask yourself how many conspiracies you can name. I can think of a couple – the plot to kill Hitler and the attempt to overhtrow DeGaulle. Both share something in common. They failed.

      • “the data does not demonstrate that as likely to reasonable people”

        On the contrary, Rob, reasonable people everywhere recognize it as not just likely but highly probable.

        Climate deniers, sadly, are not reasonable people.

        Engineers that think their engineering degrees make them just as good at science as an actual scientist — well, you need a word stronger than “unreasonable” for that. “Narcissist” comes to mind.

      • Robert, it is not that engineers or anyone else think they are qualified to do climate science, it is that some of the errors are so glaring, they are impossible to miss.

        The TOA energy imbalance can probably be most accurately determined from climate models and is estimated to be 0.85 ± 0.15 W m−2 by Hansen et al. (2005)

        Plus or minus 0.15Wm-2 accuracy for a whole planet? Don’t piss on my leg and say it is raining. Now anyone can make a mistake, it is how you deal with your mistakes that count. How are climate science mistakes dealt with?

      • Fear is a powerful emotion Robert. You fear that climate change will lead to sea level rising by more than a meter by 2100. You have no reliable to support that fear but you have it none the less. You simply want to force others to act is a manner that you specify as a result of your fears. That probably makes sense to you, but it does not to me.

      • Oh, you poor man. A confidence interval is not evidence of a mistake.

        You offer us a perfect example of someone too lacking in scientific literacy to offer informed criticism. People think I’m kidding, but really TAKE SOME SCIENCE CLASSES. Your world will just open up.

      • Robert, over confidence in an unproven model is most definitely a mistake.

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD


        Plus or minus 0.15Wm-2 accuracy for a whole planet? Don’t piss on my leg and say it is raining.

        Clearly – for a whole planet of blog-skeptics – the estimated error should be plus or minus zero. (If the data don’t line up perfectly – then too bad for the data!)

        But then the science would be “settled”. Hmmm.


        How are climate science mistakes dealt with?

        Obviously they aren’t – They are completely ignored until bloggers fix them with nothing but their amazing powers of observation.

      • Rob, all I have is the massive empirical evidence amassed by science.

        All you have is one engineer who claims on authority that all that evidence is worthless.

        I like my position better. Read up on sea level rise a bit, you may come to understand it better. I also recommend the paper discussed here:

        http://www.meltfactor.org/blog/?p=556

        Money quote: “it is reasonable to expect 100% melt area over the ice sheet within another similar decade of warming.”

      • Rob Starkey

        Robert

        As is usual, you have nothing to support your fear. You provide a link that does nothing to demonstrate that sea level will rise by over 1 meter by 2100 and then claim that you have shown your fear to be warranted. The trend is for about 1 foot of rise by 2100 and you can not claim to know when that rate will more than triple so that your fear will be realized, but you want economic plans implemented based upon your fear. That may make sense to you, but it doesn’t to me.

      • Rob, projecting you fear-based denial onto others doesn’t change the science.

        I suggest you study the science, rather than tout your own ignorance as if it were an argument.

        If you want to argue that you, as an engineer who isn’t familiar with basic climate science, have discovered a better way of estimating sea level rise than the scientists — publish away. Obviously the burden of proof lies entirely with you.

        Facts are facts; you need to learn to cope with them even if they scare you.

      • Dr. Been Using His Hypo Too Often, “Clearly – for a whole planet of blog-skeptics – the estimated error should be plus or minus zero. (If the data don’t line up perfectly – then too bad for the data!)”

        What planet are you from again? +/- 1.5Wm^2 or ten times what was indicated for uncertainty, is likely the best that can be hoped for. When you have realistic uncertainty you can look for ways to improve your model. If you assume your model is perfect you end up looking for ways to justify observations not matching your perfect model. The last paper I saw had the TOA imbalance at 0.50 +/- 0.43, that is still optimistic, but at least rational.

      • Rob Starkey

        Climate deniers??? What is that exactly? Is a climate denier someone who doesn’t believe there is a climate? Is it anyone who thinks you are a fool? (that is a large group indeed)

        I do not deny the climate. I deny that you are bright enough to have a reasonable exchange with and that taking expensive steps to reduce CO2 emissions a small amount seems like a bad idea.

      • “Robert, over confidence in an unproven model is most definitely a mistake.”

        You don’t know the difference between a confidence interval and the emotion of confidence? That’s hilarious.

        So to summarize: in capt’s world, the scientists are wrong because they are overconfident and “overconfident” (according to him) because they are wrong.

        Nice trick of circular reasoning, but, sadly, totally unpersuasive.

      • “Climate deniers??? What is that exactly?”

        I guess you know you’ve lost the argument; time to shift to criticizing word choice.

        Not that I don’t appreciate the irony of your denying you know what a climate denier is, but I’m forced to remind you again — ignorance on your part does not constitute an obligation on my part.

        But to return to the point you’re trying to evade: you claimed that all of the evidence used by scientists to project an increase in the rate of sea level rise was flawed and unconvincing.

        You have your own theory, based on the common denier confusion of curb-fitting and science; treat the current rate as permanent and fit a line to the current rate, assuming it will continue for a century.

        So you’ve made your extraordinary claim. Now we’re just waiting for the extraordinary evidence.

        So far, you’ve lacked the courage to face the facts — your fear of the reality of the empirical world leads you to the coward’s defense of denial. But I hope you can find your backbone and engage with the evidence.

      • It’s funny that Rob likes to talk about the “fear” that the scientists know what they are talking about . . . but he seems to have run away.

        Face your fear, Rob! Dare to make an argument for your sea level estimate.

      • Dave Springer

        Cold high latitude seas so barren?

        Presumably that’s sarcasm. Isn’t it ironic that the most barren land is surrounded by the most productive water?

        What do you think is more important to the food chain with human civilization at its apex, corn or phytoplankton?

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Yes, it was a criticism of Kim’s “CO2, we call it life”, “Warmth is bounteous” philosophising. I don’t really want herds of wildebeest sweeping majestically across the plains of Greenland. I’m quite happy with the odd splodge of algae.

      • Dave Springer

        You’re not in much danger of that, Steve. More likely the Holocene Interglacial will end, the modern Vikings will have to leave Greenland again, and Northern Europeans will be back to living in caves hunting woolly mammoths across frozen tundra for a living again.

        Historically the danger is ice not warmth. I think climate boffins ought to pay more attention to how much CO2 increase it takes to ensure that the Holocene Interglacial never ends. Clearly the pre-industrial level wasn’t enough since that amount didn’t stop the ice age in the past. How much is enough? How can we sustain whatever amount is enough? Only half of anthropogenic CO2 emission stays in the atmosphere each year. The rest is readily taken up. If we stop pouring on the CO2 at ever increasing rates will nature simply take it back out at the same rate we added it until she’s back at 280ppm level that isn’t enough to sustain an interglacial?

        These are the questions that concern me. Warming would be nice but the satellite data over the past 33 years show only 0.14C/decade warming and that appears to be mostly natural following a cyclic ocean trend. The rate of warming for the past 10 years is negative.

        Please refer to the following:

        The blue is Atlantic sea surface temperature over the past 150 years. The red is the satellite global average temperature record for the past 33 years.

        I overlayed the satellite record on the SST record to show that Atlantic SST is a good proxy, at least for the past 33 years, for following the shape of the global average temperature curve.

        Next I put a linear trend line on the satellite data for 1979 through 2002 which follows the SST cycle upwards to its most recent peak then a trend line from 2002 to present to show what global average temperature is doing now that SST has peaked.

        This should demonstrate to any reasonable person that there’s at least a good possibility that warming in the past few decades is at least partially and maybe almost wholly just a natural cycle that has nothing to do with anthropogenic CO2 emission.

        I’m a reasonable person. I do not trust a computer model prediction that disagrees with the reality on the ground as measured by the best instruments we can bring to bear on it. The satellite surface temperature measurements are the test of the anthropogenic warming hypothesis and at this point in time it appears the AGW hypothesis is failing.

        So if it turns out AGW was a false alarm shouldn’t you consider that good news? I don’t. I’ve always believed AGW, if true, was a good thing because that meant that would extend growing seasons where they most needed extension even as the atmosphere was being fertilized for more efficient agriculture and perhaps provide us with a hedge against the day the Holocene Interglacial period is ended.

  14. The very point that got me nosing about in the first place.

  15. Jeb,
    YOu didn’t answer my question re “rejection of an entire scientific discipline.”

    I imagine it wasn’t convenient for you to actually engage on a rational basis. Easier to just make sweeping assertions, and toss insults.

  16. Ok, my apologies. See that you have. Now to read it…

  17. “The debate” is a figment of the fake-skeptic’s imagination.
    It exists on blogs only – There is no debate of the fundamentals in the scientific literature. But feel free to learn from Anthony Watts and the University of Google if you want.”

    You have the signature arrogance of the true warmist, that’s for sure. It’s also sure there’s no sense in trying to have a conversation with you. I find your superiority and smugness both toxic, and pathetic.

    Have a good day, and enjoy your certitude.

    • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD.


      Have a good day, and enjoy your certitude.

      Likewise, my very-uncertain, completely non-arrogant “skeptical” friend!

  18. I feel the CATO summaries often remove inconvenient and important facts and in this way the USGCRP summaries are clearly superior. For example compare these two:

    2. USGCRP: Climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow.

    2. CATO: Climate change has occurred and will occur in the United States.

    The USGCRP point is more accurate, covers the important topic at hand (future growth and direction of climate change) and is therefore actually useful.

    The CATO point on the other-hand is a mere shadow, a subset of the USGCRP point, but without the useful or important part.

    Put it this way, if you just arrived at this planet and read the USGCRP summary you’d get accurate information on the state of understanding of where US climate is heading. On the otherhand read the CATO summary and you are presented with a dumb trueism little more useful than a weather forecast reading “there was weather yesterday and there will be weather tomorrow”.

    • Rob Starkey

      Lolwot

      I am guessing that you read the USGCRP abstract and not the full report.

      The full report states things that are not supportable by the science or the economics– “Coral Reefs,Rising water temperatures and ocean acidification threaten coral reefs and the rich ecosystems they support. These and other climate related impacts on coastal and marine ecosystems will have major
      implications for tourism and fisheries.”

      • You must be joking. Look up ocean acidification

      • Rob Starkey

        I have read quite a bit on the topic and imo the fears related to the topic vastly overstate the importance of the issue. Please do not misunderstand my view. I agree that humans are doing harm to the oceans in many ways. I simply do not believe that adding CO2 to the atmosphere is in the top 10

      • Another example of why engineers are rarely asked to write scientific reviews. ;)

        You’re either reading the wrong stuff or have missing the point. Which reflects on you, not the science.

    • k scott denison

      So exactly, LOLWOT, how do “climate changes grow”?

      What/when is the baseline?

      What are the variables we track to measure growth?

      How much change must we observe to be certain we have seen growth?

      • How do climate changes grow?? Are you seriously stumped by that?

      • k scott denison

        Can you seriously not answer that simple question?

        Start by defining a climate change please.

      • Why don’t you answer the simple question of whether you truly don’t know what climate change is?

        If you do, why not offer your definition, and you can compare it to the common use?

  19. tempterrain

    So the Cato report “is not policy prescriptive” ?

    Anyone who thinks this should read it again.

    Cato’s policy is to allow GH gas concentrations to increase out of all control.

    • I dindn’t read this comment before I wrote mine below.

    • I noticed that too. CATO are such bullsh****s the document is full of policy advocacy. They think people are so stupid they can’t see through their childish spin? Ha misjudged just like that billboard campain.

  20. Does this report deal with options for responding to climate change?

    Unlike the USGCRP report, which coupled global warming forecasts with emissions reduction scenarios, this Addendum is generally not prescriptive. Readers can determine for themselves whether or not a more complete scientific analysis warrants mitigation programs that may be very expensive (stringent cap-and-trade limitations) or inexpensive (substitution of natural gas for electrical generation and possibly vehicular propulsion).

    So, the report is not policy prescriptive? Of course not, it just strongly hints that no policy is needed.

    It’s easy to be “not policy prescriptive” or to “be more honest of uncertainties” when the purpose is to tell that uncertainties are too large for doing anything and that no policy is needed.

    • ‘The purpose is to tell that uncertainties are too large for doing anything and that no policy is needed.’

      Extry! Extry! Read all about it. Pekka Pirila gets it! This is Big News. Top News. Well, Big Top News, anyway.
      ==================

    • Rob Starkey

      I believe you are mistaken.

      The Cato analysis indicates that by construction of proper infrastructure the potential harms can be abated most cost efficiently.

      • Also should be added a co-ordinated global response to the devastating impacts of climate change. Attribution of climate change, and any attendant guilt, is counterproductive for this aspect.
        ==============

      • How do Cato analysts suggest that the infrastructure construction be funded?

      • And what metrics do they suggest using in order to gauge how much infrastructure to build?

      • Rob Starkey

        Joshua

        That would be a very detailed country by country analysis. The point really is that the infrastructure needs to be built in any case. The marginal additional cost to make that infrastructure robust enough to significantly lessen the potential harms of climate change is small

      • Rob Starkey

        The only place I find where funding was mentioned in the Cato report:
        “This report does not end with a self-serving list of areas from which its authors can generate even more federal taxpayer funding for them¬selves. For an example of that, see the original USGCRP volume.”

        Individual nations make choices about where to spend their tax revenues. Infrastructure construction should be a higher priority in most where it is not built. I don’t think it is my problem to resolve for them although I may feel I could make better choices than they have up to now.

      • Do you think for one second that the Cato Institute wouldn’t be ideologically opposed to government funded infrastructure construction?

        it is facile to argue that infrastructure could be built to deal with the problems while uniformly opposing government funded infrastructure construction and while not explicating where alternative funding would come from. It is also facile to argue that infrastructure could be built to deal with the problems without documenting what metrics would be used to gauge how much infrastructure to build.

        I’m not asking whether you feel responsible for the decisions of others, I’m asking why you would defend the weak arguments put forth in text Judith excerpted.

      • Rob Starkey

        Joshua

        I do not believe that Cato would be opposed (for 1 second) the construction of government infrastructure to protect againest potential climate change.

      • Indeed, see for yourself:

        Here are four rules responsible legislators should use to decide which projects to fund:

        (1) At least half the cost of any project must be spent within nine months after any infrastructure bill passes. [...]

        (2) Projects must be largely completed within a year to produce secondary benefits that are just as, if not more, important than the primary ones. [...]

        (3) User fees must cover all operating and most capital costs. [...]

        (4) Attempts to achieve secondary objectives, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, must be cost-effective.

        http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/rules-infrastructure-stimulus

        Note (3) and (4).

      • Rob -

        I do not believe that Cato would be opposed (for 1 second) the construction of government infrastructure to protect againest potential climate change.

        i suppose there’s no way to know for sure.

        I will say that I can’t recall reading a Cato document that ever supported government-funded infrastructure construction (maybe you could point me to one?), while i have read many such documents opposing a vast array of government infrastructure projects. That hardly seems surprising, since ‘shrinking government’ is a fundamental goal of Cato. And while I can’t recall any Cato documents in particular criticizing the spending on past projects such as the building of our interstate highway system and our railway system, I have certainly heard such arguments advocated by people who align with Cato’s policies. And it isn’t just the specifics of particular projects that form the basis for those arguments against government infrastructure, but ideology about the inevitable unintended consequences of government spending, (what they see as) the tyrranical nature of taxation to fund government projects, the benefits of privatizing government infrastructure, etc.

        If climate change gets dramatic enough that the Cato Institute begins advocating for public sector spending on mitigation projects, I suspect that it will already be too late for that spending to do much of any good. But absent an explanation for how infrastructure will be built, it seems rather weak to say that we needn’t worry about the impact of climate change because we can just build infrastructure to compensate.

      • Thanks willard;

        I will note that setting up minimum conditions under which government support for infrastructure should be funded is not the same as advocating that government build infrastructure.

        But even if we viewed those conditions as a commitment to building mitigation infrastructure, it does not seem to me that those conditions would allow for effectively addressing significant impact from climate change. They would be restrictive enough that nothing would happen. At best, under such a system, wealthy people would be able to pay for private mitigation infrastructure – which probably is not something that most Catoians would find objectionable.

      • Rob Starkey

        Joshua

        Given that virtually all infrastructure construction in the US is government funded, it would seem even more strange if they suggested a different funding source. Each country should worry about their own infrastructure

      • Rob Starkey

        Willard

        You seem to have pointed out a link to spending as a part of a economic stimulas program in the US from 2009 and not anything related to construction of basic infrastructure. The idea in 2009 was to spend on things that would in theory have an immediate boost on the economy. It was really a poorly conceived policy and should have focused on building better long term assets.

      • (1), (2) — These are deeply irresponsible, and ironically, un-conservative principles for infrastructure. They treat infrastructure as = stimulus spending, which is exactly how you end up with useless pork barrel spending.

        Virtually none of the public infrastructure we have today — dams, railroads, highways, or power transmission — would, at the time of its construction, satisfied either (1) or (2).

        (3) — This is simply a statement of Cato’s “government bad” philosophy. There’s no objective reason why it is unwise to build or support infrastructure with tax dollars.

        (4) Do they somewhere define “cost-effective”? That would be quite interesting.

      • Rob Starkey,

        I believe I have provided a link where a Cato talking head mentions four principles in a document entitled Rules for Infrastructure Stimulus, so I’m not sure what you mean by “and not anything related to construction of basic infrastructure.”

        In any case, since searching for “site:cato.org infrastructure” gives a bit less than 2,500 hits, you will find something that is more palatable to you,

        The link above was the seventh hit on the list. Here’s a quote from the first:

        > The recent infrastructure debate has focused on job creation, and whether projects are “shovel ready.” The more important question is who is holding the shovel. When it’s the federal government, we’ve found that it digs in the wrong places and leaves taxpayers with big holes in their pockets. So let’s give the shovels to state governments and private companies. They will create just as many jobs while providing more innovative and less costly infrastructure to the public. They’re ready.

        http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/infrastructure-projects-fix-economy-dont-bank-it

        I had to fish something as far as the last paragraph, as everything else is more or less anecdotal. Also note the title.

        Here’s a quote from the second hit:

        > In the description of today’s hearing, the committee asked how infrastructure helps to promote growth, jobs, and manufacturing. The short answer is that we can spur growth by ensuring that America’s infrastructure investment is as efficient as possible. Infrastructure funding should be allocated to the highest-value projects, and those projects should be constructed and maintained in the most cost-effective manner. My testimony will discuss why reducing the federal role in infrastructure will help to increase the efficiency of our investment.

        http://www.cato.org/publications/congressional-testimony/federal-infrastructure-investment

        This was a testimony, so I guess it was made “under oath”, as auditors are fond to recall, not far from the word “North”.

        All in all, readers should bear in mind that hours of commenting can save a minute searching for evidence backing up these comments.

        I’m sure Hank Roberts would agree about that last one.

      • And to illustrate more directly what I just said, I simply point at this:

        > It would seem even more strange if they suggested a different funding source [than the government].

        and I will point at this:

        > Comparative cost analyses of private versus public provision of goods and services give support to the conclusion that private firms are more cost-effective than public firms. Considerable evidence suggests that the public cost incurred in providing a given quantity and quality of output is about twice as great as private provision. This result occurs with such frequency that it has given rise to a rule-of-thumb: “the bureaucratic rule of two.”

        http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/praise-private-infrastructure

        Note the title.

        That is all.

      • Rob Starkey

        Willard
        Let me start by writing that I have nothing to do with Cato and was not familiar with them in any detail prior to reading the link to their climate assessment.

        In 2009 there was a debate regarding a potential stimulus spending package in the US in order to try to get the economy to create jobs. The bills being proposed were a part of “emergency legislation” to revive the US economy as a result of the economic meltdown that had occurred in the financial sector. There was a great deal of discussion about spending on infrastructure but the issue at the time was that infrastructure projects took a great deal of time to review and approve through the legislative process and it was believed that the length of time would generate jobs too slowly to stimulate jobs quickly enough to improve the economy before the next electoral cycle (2010). That discussion resulted in trying to fund small infrastructure improvement projects that if funded would stimulate the US economy very quickly. The whole discussion resulted in people being hired to do short term, stupid projects. The overall point is that the link you posted was related specifically to that legislation and the goal of generation of rapid economic stimulus.
        Construction of basic infrastructure in not something to be done as a part of a short term economic stimulus package. It is a way to stimulate an economy on a longer term basis and the economic multiplier is higher in the long term than any other form of government spending.
        Cato may well have published other articles that I would strongly disagree with, but what you provided a link to does not mean that they are against construction of good long term infrastructure to protect from potential climate changes.

      • Rob Starkey

        Willard

        Again you seem to misunderstand.

        The government funds the construction regardless of whether a private company is hired to perform the actual task or whether government employees do the actual tasks. In your lasted link, the argument being made is that private companies are more efficient that are government organizations performing the same tasks.

        On that point I agree that is generally true. Compare the US Post Office to Federal Express. Which is better operated?

      • Rob Starkey,

        Again you’re using the “seeming” trick. Perhaps it is now time to use that trick on you. Here we go.

        First, the claim:

        > I do not believe that Cato would be opposed (for 1 second) the construction of government infrastructure to protect againest potential climate change.

        is either empty or false: Cato is opposed to the construction of government infrastructure unless some conditions are being met, none of which are necessary.

        Second, the claim that the first link I provided is “not related to construction of basic infrastructure” is simply false, and seems to have been introduce to minimize the scope of the rules set out in that op-ed.

        Third, that you claim that you have nothing to do with Cato is irrelevant, and that you are “not familiar with them in any detail prior to reading the link to their climate assessment,” while quite obvious, does not seem like a concession that you have no idea what you’re commenting about stuff you have not researched beforehand, which is this overall point of paying due diligence to your claims.

        Fourth, your claim that:

        > The overall point is that the link you posted was related specifically to that legislation and the goal of generation of rapid economic stimulus.

        seems like special pleading: there is no reason why rules for specific cases are not to be considered compatible with the overarching principles of the Institute, and since we have a bit less than 2,500 documents to sift through, that would not be very difficult to do. Any auditors who wish to make pronouncements about such things should pay due diligence first.

        Fifth, your claim that:

        > The government funds the construction regardless of whether a private company is hired to perform the actual task or whether government employees do the actual tasks.

        seems to be invoked to justify the claim that only the government funds infrastructure investments. This idea is simply untrue, as the title of the op-ed shows: In Praise of Private Infrastructure.

        Here’s another quote:

        > So long as there is vigorous bidding for an infrastructure franchise, the best of both worlds – avoidance of redundant facilities together with competitive prices – can be had. In theory, such a system could ensure that the favorable incentive effect normally associated with private ownership and management of a firm (i.e. that private owners will control costs, enhance efficiency, etc. as a way of maximizing their profits) will actually come about.

        Note the expression “infrastructure franchise” and “private ownership and management”. The point of seeking private investors is to raise capital to get more things done. Thus to claim that only the government invests money in those ventures goes against the very idea of seeking private investors. Look at the racketeering privatization of the parking meters of the city of Chicago for a good example of the cost of “efficiency”.

        Sixth, speaking from my personal experience, I must assure you that FedEx and UPS suck real hard, while I’ve never had any problems with your government system, so much in fact that I refrain from ordering from a company that forces me to use the first two companies.

        Thank you for playing,

        w

      • Rob -

        Libertarians of the Cato institute ilk are generally opposed to stimulus spending on principle. In general, they argue that it has no lasting stimulative effect, and only increases spending. The same logic is generally applied to any infrastructure spending. While libertarians from the Cato Institute might sometimes argue that some stimulus/infrastructure spending is better than other stimulus/infrastructure spending, it is a stretch to think that they would support extensive government funding for climate change mitigation infrastructure. Thus, I’ll go back to my earlier statements that there is an inherent illogic to their assertion that we don’t need to worry about climate change because we can just build infrastructure to mitigate its effects.

      • Can anyone remind me, how much is the government spending on the infrastructure being built right now in the US to switch to gas from coal?
        Can you provide a link for a time that Cato opposed govt spending on the satellites that provide our best look at global temps?
        Hint- the answers are none and there isn’t one.
        That is all

      • Dave Springer

        “Do nothing until we have more certain information” is indeed a policy but it’s not prescriptive. A prescriptive policy contains affirmative actions.

        If you went to the doctor for an exam and he finds nothing wrong he won’t prescribe anything because there’s nothing to cure. Technically speaking the lack of prescripiton is a policy recommendation but it’s not prescriptive. Likewise CATO is technically recommending a policy but it’s not prescriptive.

      • > Technically speaking the lack of prescripiton is a policy recommendation but it’s not prescriptive.

        “Technically speaking,” this claim is false, since there’s no fact/value dichotomy, as any honest broker will tell you:

        > I do in fact reject the fact-value dichotomy as a description of science.

        http://cstpr.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/science_policy_general/000913revisiting_an_old_st.html

        ***

        Rhetorically speaking, this claim is misleading, as the mission of the Cato Institue is to

        > increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace. The Institute will use the most effective means to originate, advocate, promote, and disseminate applicable policy proposals that create free, open, and civil societies in the United States and throughout the world.

        http://www.cato.org/about-mission.html

        As any auditor will tell you, and perhaps even Bart R, there is a way to state facts that carries its own set of values, and dogwhistles its “prescriptive judgements”.

        But yes, “technically speaking”, there’s nothing to see.

        So let’s move along.

      • What about putting a tax on foreigners living abroad?
        This is essentially the methodology proposed by the IPCC.

      • tempterrain

        Aren’t we all ‘foreigners living abroad’ ? Everyone outside of Australia is one to me, and everyone within Australia is that to anyone living outside.

      • I may disagree with the Cato report on many issues, but that is not my point.

        My point is that when emphasizing uncertainties is considered a virtue then those are more likely to appear virtuous whose goals are are in line with emphasizing uncertainties. Similarly declaring the approach as “not policy prescriptive” can be easily combined with implied support for no near term action.

        The opposite is true for those who argue for immediate action. For them it’s essential that they are policy prescriptive as nothing is likely to come out without that. They must also show some minimum certainty for the need of acting.

        The positions are asymmetric and the Cato report tries to take advantage of that.

      • Rob Starkey

        Pekka
        I generally find we agree far more than we disagree when we understand what the other is thinking in greater detail.

        My harping on the point about infrastructure is because it is the one means whereby it is possible to do something that you know will likely prevent harms from coming to a nation’s citizens. People who support implementation of significant mitigation actions frequently fail to realize that they are living in a world with rapidly diminishing financial resources and those funds need to be spent efficiently. If funds are spent on some project to mitigate CO2, then there are fewer funds available for construction of infrastructure. Building a dam that both protects from floods and stores water for dry periods has multiple beneficial near term impacts. If you shut down a coal fired power plant and replace it with a wind mill, you have less money for building infrastructure AND you have not changed the future weather a bit.

      • Similarly, you shouldn’t pay taxes for military or police forces — just take the money, buy sandbags and a lot of guns.

        Actual economists in their hundreds have analyzed mitigation via carbon pricing and found it cost-effective, though they differ as to how much, how soon.

        I’m sure had we had the benefit of your perspective sixty years ago, you’d have been bitterly condemning the polio vaccine as a waste of the resources necessary to buy more crutches and iron lungs. ;)

      • tempterrain

        Rob,

        I guess you’re worried about the costs that controlling CO2 emissions may incur on you personally.

        But instead of mitigating against them, as you’re attempting to do with your comments on this blog, wouldn’t a policy of adaptation be more realistic?

      • Rob Starkey

        Temp

        If your comment was directed at me, I generally favor adaptation as being more effective than mitigation.

      • tempterrain

        Yes, I should have said Rob Starkey to make it clearer.

        Should I also have made it clearer I was suggesting you should adapt to higher carbon costs rather than trying to mitigate against them?

      • temp,

        why should anyone be forced to adapt to higher costs that are artifically made higher?

        If the cost of something goersup due to scarcity or amount of demand compared to supply, then yes, one adapts. If costs go up because a group of individuals have decided that they know better than everyone else what is good for us and hence increase cost to force behavioral changes, that is not adaptation.

      • Adaptation is a form of risk mitigation. The world adapts to using alternative energy sources. Otherwise one can consider it empty rhetoric and contrarian indoctrination.

      • tempterrain

        I should just say that the Earth has warmed, and will warm further, so obviously adaptation, as well as mitigation, will always have to be part of the policy mix.
        Those who are advocating that it should be either one or the other are the extremists on this issue.

      • temp,

        If we are to implement mitigation policies, would you agree that such policies first have to show they will have a noticable effect on the problem and that some sort of cost benefit analysis be applied?

      • “If we are to implement mitigation policies, would you agree that such policies first have to show they will have a noticable effect on the problem…”

        I would say the first thing would be to agree that the problem does exist. Many would argue there can’t be a problem because we can’t do anything about it anyway.

      • tempterrain

        Pekka,

        I’m not sure that we should should concede the argument that emphasizing uncertainties can be used as a legitimate reason for having “no policy” on GH gas emissions or atmospheric concentrations . As said previously, advocacy that both should be allowed to increase, is, in itself, advocacy for a particular policy.

        If there is genuine uncertainty over the climatic effects of increased levels of GH gases, then it would make perhaps make sense to argue that they should neither be reduced nor increased, but that’s not what Cato are saying.

  21. It took a couple pages of reading into the executive summary to realize this is not a scientific report. It is a propaganda piece. It is too bad that a scientist like Judith Curry doesn’t have the capability to distinguish between credible sources and Patrick Michaels-esque nonsense.

    For example, real scientific reports do not have this type of tone:

    //”We expect that “ocean acidification” will be-
    come the next global environmental concern,
    following on the heels of failed gloom-and-
    doom projections about population, global
    cooling, acid rain, ozone depletion and global
    warming.”//

    They also dedicate a paragraph to talking about how their report has more footnotes and references than USGCRP, as if this is the new metric for scientific quality. It goes on with a bunch of false claims about how water vapor feedback may be negative, etc, all of which is utter nonsense. This is a complete waste of time, and Judith making it out to be anything more shows she can’t really judge the science herself. Really, what’s the point here? Or is this just another “it’s interesting!” skeptical puff piece.

    • lurker passing through, laughing

      So now we Martha and Chris Colose whose job is to tel the hostess how stupid she is for not agreeing with them.
      Note that neither offers more than summary judgement, assignment of motive and dismissal.
      Chris and Martha both seem unable to address the well documented political nature and failures of process (at the least) of the IPCC, but seem to need to make certain they are seen denigrating and dismissing views that conflict with their consensus extremism.

      The entertainment value of boorish extremists is nearly boundless.

    • lurker,

      I’m not going to spend the time reading an entire report, much less provide a point-by-point commentary of an entire report, when I spent the time reading the first several pages of utter garbage by authors who have a well known history of producing utter garbage.

      I don’t believe Judith is stupid, but if she wants to pretend that stuff she puts up on here is worthy of attention, then I’m going to call it how I see it. There certainly is a lot of “interesting science” such as the recent nocturnal boundary layer radiation stuff that deserves a real scientific look.

      This CATO report does not. It doesn’t even qualify as skepticism or a skeptical report. It’s a propaganda piece that starts off with a bunch of ridiculous scientific claims, embedded within a tone that is not appropriate for a scientific report (e.g., like the quote I gave). It’s also full of oddly placed talking points like “the climate is always changing” or “forests are expanding” which often makes little sense in the neighboring context, but these people are trained in the art of rhetoric, and discounting the effects of climate change in whatever “sly” way is possible is the best way for them to write a report.

      • Chris, compare the propaganda from Cato with that from Pachauri (and other international and national representatives of the climate consensus). Do your best to filter out the elements of propaganda from both sides, and then look at the scientific evidence and arguments that are presented.

      • Ah yes.

        “Mommy, mommy, they did it firssst.”

        Now where have I see that before?

      • Joshua,

        Al Gore is fat.

        Andrew

      • Come on Joshua, it is political. The UN was not founded on science, science is not founded on consensus and majority rule. The IPCC reports contains science and political BS just like the Cato report. Like Judith said, filter out the BS and look at the bottom line.

      • Also Joshua, didn’t we say goodbye to you a couple of times already?

        Andrew

      • Steven Mosher

        “Do your best to filter out the elements of propaganda from both sides, and then look at the scientific evidence and arguments that are presented.”

        Hmm. I see no appeal to who did it first. What I see is something very akin to what you suggest in looking for motivated reasoning. consider both sides.

        If you did that, you might be closer to what Chris Colose does. You might actually read and find the scientific mistakes and then you’d be doing something interesting and actually helpful to others.

      • Joshua, did you even read what Dr. Curry wrote? She simply said to the junior scientist: apply the same critical standard to both sides of the issue. You cannot possibly be that obtuse. You discredit yourself with these ridiculous statements.

      • tempterrain

        Capt Dallas,

        Yes the UN is political, but who decided to create the IPCC and have it operate under the UN?

        Maybe President Reagan knew that the US political right would never accept IPCC findings for that reason. I was going to suggest that showed he was perhaps smarter than was often given credit for. But if it was to deliberately ensure that nothing was done about climate change, then I’m not sure that ‘smart’ is the correct word.

      • Cap’n -

        <blockquote<Like Judith said, filter out the BS and look at the bottom line

        Looks to me like Judith has a one-way filter. What else would explain excerpting that dreck?

      • Temp, just because the UN tends live up to its low expectations doesn’t mean it is not worth another shot. Reagan likely figured that once the result were out, the next president could filter out the political BS and see it there was anything useful :) A good BS detector is a useful tool.

        Joshua, So you think Judith should spend more time censuring the opinions expressed on her blog? Good luck with that :)

      • Paul -

        She simply said to the junior scientist: apply the same critical standard to both sides of the issue.

        Like steven – did you not see the first sentence of her response?

        Applying the same critical standard to both sides of the issue was good advice. I think that Chris might benefit from that advise. But it isn’t lost on me that Judith offered that advice after she justified the “scientificy” polemic of the Cato excerpt that she posted at the top of the thread by saying, “they do it to.”

      • Joshua, So you think Judith should spend more time censuring the opinions expressed on her blog? Good luck with that

        ???

        When i was referring to her filter, it wasn’t with respect to the comments she allows posted, but: (1) the material? she posts, (2) her comments on the material? she posts?, (3) her comments.

        i have no problem with Judith’s interest in examining biases. I may not always like it, but I have to defend it philosophically.

        However, I find a pattern where she filters out the politics on one side of the debate and exaggerates the politics on the other side. This post is a perfect example. You know that the reasoning in the Cato excerpt was weak, yet she justified it by saying that she felt the reasoning from the opposing analysis was weaker. And then she went on to offer the “they do it too” defense. Poor form no matter how you slice it.

      • Josh,

        Reverting to you childhood does not become you.

      • Joshua, “However, I find a pattern where she filters out the politics on one side of the debate and exaggerates the politics on the other side. ” Ain’t that kinda like politics? :) Were you born last night?

        I imagine Judith tends to favor political action more in keeping with the uncertainty, remember the Italian Flag? I am more a Monte Hall kinda guy myself.

      • It’s the fallacy of false equivalence. The IPCC collects and reports on mainstream climate science. The Cato Institute is a Koch-funded right-wing think tank founded for the express purpose of advancing a set of political objectives.

        If the IPCC is staffed by human beings who are not perfectly indifferent to what is done with the science, and the hacks-pushing-quacks@Cato.koch (TM) have learned what a footnote is, they must be basically the same thing.

        Sorry, no.

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

      • Judith,

        When reading scientific report (versus, for example, a blog discussion between scientists) I expect a certain level of tone that is appropriate for me to take it seriously. Starting off with the above quote, or “The history of energy projections reveals that they are largely worthless. “Peak
        oil” is now a known myth” is not usually a good start.

        But even within the first few pages starting with the executive summary, there a number of completely false scientific statements:

        //”Warming over this century is likely to be near the low end of
        the range specified in the various reports of the United Nations’
        Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Scaling
        the IPCC’s midrange computer models with observed climate
        changes yields a warming of approximately 2.9°F.”//

        This is not a useful method for diagnosing climate sensitivity, nor does the present scientific literature support this argument. It’s intellectually bankrupt.

        //”this report subscribes to the scientific standard that any change in a variable that is not statistically significant is in fact not a change.”//

        This is not what statistical significance means, but I suppose this is why they get away with the whole no warming since 1998 mantra, also provided in the report…

        //”They [greenhouse gases] do not change the overall earth-atmosphere temperature, but rather redistribute it in a different fashion than would occur in their absence. “//

        No, they increase the temperature. They don’t even understand the greenhouse effect.

        //”Absent these compounds, the Earth’s surface temperature would be approximately 60°F lower than it is now//”

        Previous studies find it to be much lower after allowing for all feedbacks. They just made this up.

        //”All computer models simulating large climate
        changes in the future are programmed to in-
        crease atmospheric water vapor concentrations
        as a result of an initial modest warming caused
        by changes in the other greenhouse gases”//

        No, this is a lie.

        //”There is evidence for some slight in-
        crease in atmospheric water vapor,12 as well as
        evidence that its effect have been overspecified
        in global warming models13, or that the water-
        vapor mediated effect on temperature may
        actually be negative.14″//

        No, this is a lie too. I also prefer not to go on…

      • Steven Mosher

        Thanks Chris, that is helpful.

      • //”There is evidence for some slight in-
        crease in atmospheric water vapor,12 as well as
        evidence that its effect have been overspecified
        in global warming models13, or that the water-
        vapor mediated effect on temperature may
        actually be negative.14″//

        No, this is a lie too. I also prefer not to go on…

        Unless the surface temperature record has a heat index correction for humidity, water vapor can have a negative feed back on surface temperature. Considering heat capacity instead of just averaged dry bulb temperature is currently a bit of an issue.

      • Dave Springer

        I suggest you prepare yourself to lose this debate Chris. Old fogies like Hansen and Lacis have nothing to lose. It won’t harm their careers to have on their resume “spent years supporting the biggest public science blunder since phlogiston and epicycles”. It will harm yours. Maybe you figure it’s already too late so “in for a penny, in a for a pound”. Is that it?

        Do you even have a plan B, Chris?

      • Some more absurdities:

        On Page 22, the report presents the same graph that Pat Michaels presented before a congressional testimony, right before Ben Santer ripped it to shreds. It purports to show an “adjusted” temperature time-series after “correcting” for things like black carbon impacts, stratospheric H2O, the SST bucket correction, etc.

        I have no idea how this was supposed to be calculated, with absolutely no uncertainties, and no indication that there is structure in the temporal variations of these impacts (e.g., the bucket correction applies mainly to mid-century and doesn’t effect the most recent warming; or, Michaels can’t possibly know what the stratospheric H2O was doing back in 1955). But the lay reader is still supposed to believe that more than half the trend in the original observed data series has been successfully removed.

        The next page shows a plot of how the various models perform against observations, in terms of how many simulate a certain “degrees/decade” and then shows how the obs are at the low tail of this (also using the outdated HadCRUT dataset, and comparing apples to oranges with satellites and surface stations). But this whole comparison is all based on just over a decade of data (the period 1997-2011)!! The degree of variability for these timescales is significant; so the non-scientific reader is expected to gather that the models are on the low end if, say, the models project a 0.2 C/decade warming for the next century and the obs show a 0.1 C warming in one particular decade. Dana is absolutely right about the cherry-picking, or more appropriately, this is just another intentional lie.

        The next page is the typical “no tropical hotspot” talking point. After that we run into a few selected citations of climate sensitivity literature, like Spencer and Lindzen’s work, which is not at all well accepted by the community. They then to go on to dismiss the impacts of sea level rise, and suggest it is slowing down.

        The entire first scientific section was a failure. I’d give a 10th grader who wrote it an F for failure to understand elementary research. I’m not as literate in the science discussed in the other sessions, like regional impacts, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for them to write something of much better quality than the last session. Other readers are free to read those sections and do some actual critical thinking.

      • Just a heads up. Screaming “fail!” isn’t effective rhetoric.

      • Little PE, Chris ravaged that report so hard the Koch brothers will be walking funny for a month.

        You would seem to be the only one screaming “fail” with nothing to back it up.

        And the report is nothing but another screaming fail-ure. :)

      • When reading scientific report (versus, for example, a blog discussion between scientists) I expect a certain level of tone that is appropriate for me to take it seriously.

        I’m not sure what exactly you might mean by “level of tone”. Surely “tone” would have been sufficient. Back in the day, when I received my pre-post-modernist university education, had I used such a construct in an essay, I would have been (justifiably) reprimanded for using such meaningless “padding”!

        Which reminds me … the “tone” of your comments has consistently left me with the impression that you have a highly exaggerated idea of the importance and validity of your own opinions – as you have so ably demonstrated in this “critique”, the validity of which you expect readers to accept because, well, simply because you said so.

        Colour me very unimpressed, Mr. Colose.

      • > Compare the propaganda from Cato with that from Pachauri [...]

        Look, squirrel.

      • steven -

        Hmm. I see no appeal to who did it first.

        Was it just coincidence that you omitted the sentence preceding the ones you quoted?

      • Steven Mosher

        Looking at the first sentence I don’t see how that says “they did it first”

        The “they did it first” argument goes something like this.
        I’m justified in my bad action because they did it first.
        Judith is pointing out that both do it, and NOT justifying EITHER.

        I think you attention to the “they did it first” argument is good. But I think in many cases you just say it without really paying attention.

        I do something bad
        Mommy catches me and seeks to punish me.
        I defend my actions by saying “they did it first”

        Patchy does something bad
        Micheals does something bad.
        Joshua says Micheals did something bad
        Judith notes that Patchy did something bad.

        The difference is clear. Judith is calling on Joshua to apply his tests to both sides. or to ignore michaels bad thing, the same way he ignored patchys bad thing.

        Big difference.

        Bottom line. If you spent more time reading Chris colose, you’d be a better soldier for the cause. You realize there is a planet at stake.
        dont be lazy

      • Steven –

        I’m not buying it. I’ve seen this from Judith before.

        Judith posted dreck (she, herself, later called it propaganda), along with an explanation for why she feels that the reasoning contained therein was better than the reasoning of an opposing opinion. She points to the “points” Cato scores. Nowhere in her original post does she acknowledge the dreckishness of what she posted. Nowhere does she say that this is dreck and despite that we should filter out the propaganda to assess the validity of the underlying science.

        When Chris questions why she promotes dreck (she, herself, called what she posted from Cato propaganda), at first she doesn’t actually answer the question directly, but says that we should compare this dreck with other dreck (with the implication that the other side’s dreck is worse dreck). Why would she be saying that unless she’s saying “They do it too?” How does the dreckishness of what Pachuri says change in any degree the dreckishness of what she posted (without even mentioning that, btw, she thinks it’s propaganda?)

        And then she advises Chris that he should filter out the propaganda on both sides – without speaking of, or showing, how she applies that advise herself?

        You’re entitled to your opinion and I will agree that it’s not a lock tight case – but I’m not buying your defense.

      • Judith,

        Its good that you at least recognise that Cato’s report is propaganda.

        Not so good that you are equating the IPCC with Cato but I guess its inevitable that will happen. If we were being charitable about President Reagan’s motives for pushing for it to be set up in the first place, we’d say he hoped the IPCC’s verdict would be generally accepted. If we were being less charitable then we’d say it was to buy him some time in the hope that AGW became someone else’s problem rather than his.

        Either way the IPCC isn’t generally accepted, and looks unlikely ever to be so in the more reactionary political circles which are so influential especially in the USA. It can be argued, even from those who have been hitherto in favour of it, that it has outlived its usefulness. It is always going to be open to the sort of accusations it currently faces, whether or not they are true . It may be more of a hindrance than a help for those of us who would like to see governments actually take some action on climate.

        There are no UN bodies, or international scientific panels to report on any other areas of controversy, at least as far as I know, so why should climate be any different? Isn’t it better to let science take its normal course ?

      • Judith,

        It seems you make time to criticise CC, but you don’t seem to have time to point out people like Lurker that CC, who is after all a colleague of yours, shouldn’t be dismissed as an extremist.

      • curryja | July 23, 2012 at 5:59 pm |

        If Chris Colose, or anyone, does as you ask, or does the opposite as I did by redacting identifying information and asking disinterested parties to count the instances of propaganda techniques by objective measures, then the ratio appears to hold consistently. Pat Michael’s Cato Impact Assessment is, as Colose finds by inspection in only the first two pages, rates immensely higher as propaganda than corresponding portions of http://www.globalchange.gov/publications/reports/scientific-assessments/us-impacts/full-report/executive-summary.

        This is not a statement of opinion, but of measurable fact.

        The Cato report itself qualifies as a specific named propaganda technique called “Flipping” as a whole.

        Take the challenge. Redact information that identifies the issue as climate. Submit the two pieces through double blind administrators to uncontaminated readers, with a guide such as http://mason.gmu.edu/~amcdonal/Propaganda%20Techniques.html or http://library.thinkquest.org/C0111500/proptech.htm to flag incidence.

        The original 2009 document is in essence a flat scientific policy document with some persuasive use of language holding a position established through observation and inference by strict scientific means; where there is anything within the domain of post-normal science, this is pointed out in the document, to dilineate distinctions between what is known as established scientific fact in little dispute and what may be yet to prove to a high sigma confidence level. You can parse it line by line to prove this.

        The Cato tract is just obfuscatory, violating Newton’s 4th Rule freely, and claiming dispute where not only is there substantial enough evidence to agree the science is established, but also where the documents called upon to claim dispute are in full agreement with established science.

        Further, we know Cato’s mission is to affect policy by any effective means, as willard has pointed out. This does not mean Cato seeks to inject science into policy. It means Cato seeks to derail anything, however true, that threatens Cato’s perceived interests. Cato is a pure agitprop group, with no business being listened to by anyone, ever.

      • I’d like to know more about “Flipping”.

        Could you provide and comment an example in Cato’s Blitzkrieg?

      • re: “Flipping” (http://truth-out.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1964:fourteen-propaganda-techniques-fox-news-uses-to-brainwash-americans)

        3. Projection/Flipping. This one is frustrating for the viewer who is trying to actually follow the argument. It involves taking whatever underhanded tactic you’re using and then accusing your opponent of doing it to you first. We see this frequently in the immigration discussion, where anti-racists are accused of racism, or in the climate change debate, where those who argue for human causes of the phenomenon are accused of not having science or facts on their side. It’s often called upon when the media host finds themselves on the ropes in the debate.

      • To save people the time of Name-Calling themselves, I’ll point out:

        Dr. Cynthia Boaz is assistant professor of political science at Sonoma State University, where her areas of expertise include quality of democracy, nonviolent struggle, civil resistance and political communication and media. She is also an affiliated scholar at the UNESCO Chair of Philosophy for Peace International Master in Peace, Conflict, and Development Studies at Universitat Jaume I in Castellon, Spain. Additionally, she is an analyst and consultant on nonviolent action, with special emphasis on the Iran and Burma cases. She is vice president of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and on the board of Project Censored and the Media Freedom Foundation. Dr. Boaz is also a contributing writer and adviser to Truthout.org and associate editor of Peace and Change Journal.
        - http://truth-out.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=user&id=45579&Itemid=252

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        Chris Colose,
        As I said, watching extremist boors like you is endlessly entertaining.
        But Joshua, with his weird and mindless ‘mommy’ stuff, is a colose second.

      • tempterrain

        Lurker,
        Chris Colose doesn’t look like an extremist to me.

        http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~colose/

        And he’s actually studying Climate Science too, so maybe you should consider the possibility that he’s right and you’re wrong.

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        tempterrain,
        Chris can study what he wants. That does not make him less extremist or more correct.
        And good for a laugh a post.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Chris Colose: I spent the time reading the first several pages of utter garbage by authors who have a well known history of producing utter garbage.

        That is your privilege, but more than your dislike is required for Cato’s work to qualify as “garbage”.

        It’s also full of oddly placed talking points like “the climate is always changing” or “forests are expanding” which often makes little sense in the neighboring context,

        You don’t disagree, then, that the climate is always changing and that the forests are expanding? Only that the propositions are “oddly placed”?

    • “It goes on with a bunch of false claims about how water vapor feedback may be negative.” What a hoot! For that to happen water vapor would have to absorb energy and radiate it to space. What an absurd concept.

    • Obviously Patrick Michaels isn’t as smart as you Chris, just read his latest J’ Accuse aimed at those who supported turning food into fuel.
      Obviously switching farming to the production of corn for ethanol, for the sake of the planets future, is worth food shortages in the third world.

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickmichaels/2012/07/22/a-hungry-world-population-oh-well-let-them-eat-ethanol/

      Perhaps we could get some of that depopulation the Greens are always so in favour of.

      • This is one of the weaker meme among climate “skeptics” that exposes a tendency towards facile reasoning. (My favorite is the “Rachel Carson killed millions” meme).

        Ethanol is a bipartisan boondoggle. Attempts to use it as partisan cudgel in the climate debate it are disingenuous.

        Are there lessons to be learned from ethanol w/r/t patterns of unintended consequences from government initiatives? Seems reasonable – but anyone using ethanol as a climate weapon aren’t seriously interested in gaining insight. They’re interested in point scoring.

        Perhaps we could get some of that depopulation the Greens are always so in favour of.

        Facile argumentation. Point scoring.

        Obviously switching farming to the production of corn for ethanol, for the sake of the planets future, is worth food shortages in the third world.

        Facile argumentation. Point scoring.

      • Right you Josh. The switch from fossil fuels to ethanol has long been the quest of myself and like minded individuals.
        You like Brutus are an honorable man

        For Brutus is an honorable man;
        So are they all, all honorable men, —
        Come I to speak in Caesar’s funeral.
        He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
        But Brutus says he was ambitious;
        And Brutus is an honorable man.

      • i have hope that one day you’ll be able to respond to one of my posts without constructing a straw man, Doc. I think you have potential, so I won’t give up.

      • Joshua, are you a Strawman, you also have the courage of the lion.
        You snipe, never answer. You champion collectivization and cry foul at other political viewpoints.

        You state of me:-
        Facile argumentation. Point scoring.

        “Chris
        It is too bad that a scientist like Judith Curry doesn’t have the capability to distinguish between credible sources and Patrick Michaels-esque nonsense”

        How did you chastise these personal attack?

        Your normal way of course.

      • Doc-

        How did you chastise these personal attack?

        Actually, on more than one occasion, I’ve criticized Chris for that kind of rhetoric. I agree, it exposes facile reasoning. It isn’t plausible that Judith is incapable of distinguishing between credible science and Michaels’ dreck.

        But I have to say, whether or not I criticize Chris is completely irrelevant to your repeated use of straw men. Again, that is just facile reasoning. There’s no way around that. What he does or doesn’t do does not explain what you or don’t do.

        I have no problem with “other political viewpoints” as a species. There are many rational political arguments that I happen to not agree with. But I don’t see why that should keep me from pointing out facile reasoning and point scoring.

        The dreck you posted about ethanol being an excellent case in point.

      • Joshua,

        Please note the distinction between “you’re an idiot” and “x,y,z are wrong, and here’s why…and by the way, you’re an idiot.”

        I am, admittedly, less patient with nonsense than others, and it may (admittedly) not be useful for the discussion to throw in that extra remark. But I’d rather call things like I see them. Not doing so gives me the feeling that I’m treating this as a real scientific debate.

        I think I have been more that specific about the scientific errors in just the first section of the CATO report. In fact, I think it would be tougher to list all the things that they were right (and also not misleading) about.

        Yet Judith posted this as a credible alternative to an actual scientific report. She recommended I ignore the propaganda, but I suppose I must ignore the science too. Heck, who knows, maybe they got something right by pure, damned luck. If she didn’t think this report was useful to the scientific discussion, why would she post it? Is it just to maximize alternative views with no concern for getting anything right? And why spend more time criticizing dana than the actual report?

        So yes, I do feel justified in claiming she doesn’t seem to be able to differentiate between this junk science and good science.

      • Chris –

        A couple of points:

        The first is that I think that the distinction you draw isn’t particularly meaningful. I have often been amused by people on blogs (usually as a part of the ridiculous back and forth about who’s lobbing ad homs) arguing that there’s some significant distinction between saying “You’re an idiot,” and saying “What you just said is idiotic.” In reality, the impact of those two statements is invariably the same – so it is a difference that I think has little real meaning – a distinction one only draw as a post-hoc rationalization. Even more so for the distinction you draw between saying “You’re an idiot,” and “What you said was idiotic, and btw, you’re an idiot.”

        IMO, it simply isn’t plausible that Judith can’t tell the difference between credible science and dreck like what she excerpted at the top of this post. As to why she fails to acknowledge those differences in an even handed way…. well, I think that’s an interesting question, and one for which I still don’t have an answer.

        I can’t help but notice a similarity between what you just posted and the post that I just responded to from Chief. He, too, justifies what I see as facile reasoning on the basis of not being able to tolerate facile reasoning in others. When I called the Chief on his clear politicization of the science, he offered the explanation that he couldn’t help himself because it was the only noble thing to do. And in doing so, he only dug his hole deeper by launching into a ridiculously specious gross characterization of those he disagrees with. It doesn’t add up, IMO. And I see your response as similar in nature.

        The poor reasoning in the excerpt from the Cato report that Judith excerpted was so readily apparent that for me, it made anything else they wrote likely to be the product of motivated combatants. That said, the scientific critique you added confirmed that assessment, and as such it was of value for me. I don’t know that anything any of us write in these comments has any real impact, but I, personally, would view your input with less skepticism if you left out some of the polemics. (Of course, the same advice might be useful for me…. and while I’m not always successful in keeping out the polemics, I am always aware that eliminating or reducing the polemics might enhance the very small chance that anyone here of a different climate persuasion here find some value in one of my posts).

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        Doc,
        Chris Colose and his colose second, Joshua, really do not rely on more than bluster and deception to push their dreck. And of course blaming Bush.
        Here is a nice excerpt from the history of ethanol:
        “Gasoline containing up to 10% ethanol began a decades-long growth in the United States in the late 1970s. The demand for ethanol produced from field corn was spurred by the discovery that methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) was contaminating groundwater.[26][29] MTBE’s use as an oxygenate additive was widespread due to mandates in the Clean Air Act amendments of 1992 to reduce carbon monoxide emissions. MTBE in gasoline had been banned in almost 20 states by 2006. Suppliers were concerned about potential litigation and a 2005 court decision denying legal protection for MTBE.[citation needed] MTBE’s fall from grace opened a new market for ethanol, its primary substitute.[26] Corn prices at the time were around US$2 a bushel.[citation needed] Farmers saw a new market and increased production. This demand shift took place at a time when oil prices were rising.

        The steep growth in twenty-first century ethanol consumption was driven by federal legislation aimed to reduce oil consumption and enhance energy security. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 required use of 7.5×109 US gal (28×106 m3) of renewable fuel by 2012, and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 raised the standard, to 36×109 US gal (140×106 m3) of annual renewable fuel use by 2022. Of this requirement, 16×109 US gal (61×106 m3) had to be advanced biofuels, defined as renewable fuels that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50%.[13][30]
        Like the global warming extremists are obsessed with, so they are also obsessed with blaming Bush.
        Consensus extremists are always good for a laugh as they depend on their ignorance and bluster to wow the crowd.

      • Use of Bio Feul use is directly linked to climate change at least in the EU

        DIRECTIVE 2003/30/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
        of 8 May 2003
        on the promotion of the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels for transport
        THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE
        EUROPEAN UNION,

        …..

        Greater use of biofuels for transport forms a part of the
        package of measures needed to comply with the Kyoto
        Protocol, and of any policy package to meet further
        commitments in this respect.

        ……

        This Directive aims at promoting the use of biofuels or other
        renewable fuels to replace diesel or petrol for transport
        purposes in each Member State, with a view to contributing to
        objectives such as meeting climate change commitments, environmentally
        friendly security of supply and promoting renewable
        energy sources.

      • Seriously – this is the kind of dreck you promote?

        From Pat Michaels

        That was before George W. Bush decided that the answer to global warming was to produce ethanol from corn.

        Really?
        First – the growth of ethanol was because of what George Bush decided?

        Second –

        March 5 2008: 4:03 PM EST

        WASHINGTON (CNNMoney.com) — President Bush said the United States should “get off oil” Wednesday as crude prices hit record highs and renewed his support for ethanol use despite concerns the corn-based fuel is driving up food prices and isn’t more environmentally friendly than gasoline.

        and this:

        Tuesday, April 25, 2006; 12:01 PM

        SPEAKER: GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

        Our addiction to oil is a matter of national security concerns. After all, today we get about 60 percent of our oil from foreign countries. That’s up from 20 years ago, where about 25 percent of our oil came from foreign countries.

        Now, part of the problem is that some of the nations we rely on for oil have unstable governments or agendas that are hostile to the United States. These countries know we need their oil and that reduces our influence, our ability to keep the peace in some areas.

        And so energy supply is a matter of national security. It’s also a matter of economic security.

        What people are seeing at their gasoline pumps reflects the global economy in which we live. See, when demand for oil goes up in China or India, two fast-growing economies, it affects the price of oil worldwide.

        And when the price of crude oil goes up, because it’s such an important part of the price of gasoline, the average citizen sees the price of gasoline go up at the pump.

        Gasoline price increases are like a hidden tax on the working people. They’re like a tax on our farmers. They’re like a tax on small businesses.

        Energy experts predict gas prices are going to remain high throughout the summer. And that’s going to be a continued strain on the American people.

        BUSH: So the fundamental question is, What are we going to do? What can the government do?

        One of the past responses by government, particularly from the party of which I’m not a member…

        (LAUGHTER)

        … has been to propose price fixing, or to increase the taxes. Those plans haven’t worked in the past.

        I think we need to follow suit on what we have been emphasizing, particularly through the energy bill, and that is to encourage conservation, to expand domestic production and to develop alternative sources of energy, like ethanol.

        (APPLAUSE)

        Yeah. George Bush. Noted environmental crusader, leaving no stone unturned in his question to combat global warming. It’s not like he rationalized a boondoggle that would benefit is political supporters by exploiting concerns about national security.

        It is too laugh.

      • “In line with the event, the cover of the brochure highlights a quote from President Ronald Reagan following a tour of an ethanol plant in 1984. President Reagan praised the “pioneer work in ethanol that increases demand for farm products, creates new jobs, and leads to greater energy security for our country – it’s all happening here, because here in America’s heartland, you are on the cutting edge of progress.” ”

        http://www.iowarfa.org/brochure.php

      • Josh,

        Guess you no longer care about credibility.

        George Bush was not the first, nor the last person to recognize the dangers that arise from dependancy on foreign energy suppliers,. And not simply to the US. Our involvement in the Middle East – a policy that has continued under every President post WWII, regardless of party – is not so much due to our dependence on its oil, but on the dependance of much of the rest of the world.

        I understand how some people love making fun of the former President. Ironic how just about everybody who does so is far less accomplished then they guy they think is a boob.

      • tim -

        I think you misunderstand. My intent was not to “blame Bush,” but to deconstruct the false meme that Doc (via Michaels) was promoting – that the negative, unintended consequences of ethanol policy can simply be laid at the feet of environmentalists.

        I think the dependence on foreign oil is a big deal – something that was very important to address. It is one of the aspects of the debate (the negative externalities of fossil fuel as a part of discussing costs/benefits of different energy sources) that I find many “skeptics” fail to account for in their arguments.

        Some of the motivation, at least initially, for ethanol was a desire to reduce CO2 emissions, and sure, environmentalists need to account for how their advocacy for ethanol, to the extent that it existed, is open to criticism in that regard. But that doesn’t excuse the bogus politicization of ethanol policy as Doc promoted, Michaels wrote about, and we often read from “skeptics” on climate blogs.

      • “deconstruct the false meme”

        Memes cannot be false, nor true, for that matter.

        A meme, by Dawkins definition, is a replicant that exists in human brains. If a meme is successful it travels from host into other brains, if unsuccessful, it dies in the original host.
        A meme exists outside the context of the information packet it contains. Memes evolve with time and in response to evolutionary selection pressure. Like genes, memes are most successful traveling in packs, where they provide support for each other.

        “I before E, except after C” is an example of a highly successful meme; not that it is neither correct nor incorrect.

        The championing of the ‘Greens’ for the conversion of food into ethanol and subsequent use as a liquid fuel for transport is not a meme.

      • As usual, doc, an interesting post. I had no idea of the derivation of the term. And as usual, the post misses the obvious point.

        The championing of the ‘Greens’ for the conversion of food into ethanol and subsequent use as a liquid fuel for transport is not a meme.

        Whatever you want to call it, the “championing” of ethanol was dispersed amongst farmers and other businesses that stood to profit, politicians – among them politicians who exploited concerns about security to benefit their constituents (many in the business community), politicians and others who were legitimately concerned about the problem associated with dependance on foreign oil, and “Greens” who thought that ethanol would help reduce CO2 emissions.

        If you read the legislation that mandated the use of ethanol, you will see that for many years, the rational of CO2 emissions was below security concerns on the list.

        I don’t particularly blame any of the “champions,” except cynical politicians who cynically exploited concerns about security (but even there, the differentiation between true concern and cynical “concern” is nearly impossible to determine), because I know that all actions have unintended consequences. We can learn from the unintended consequences of actions, but a binary and motivated mentality that seeks to over-generalize from unintended consequences to score political points is worse than useless.

        It is obviously false to assert that the responsibility for the unintended lies, selectively, at the feet of “Greens,” particularly since a fairly long time ago it was well known that, in fact, ethanol would not reduce CO2 emissiosn. That you would make such an assertion, let alone repeat it, only displays your inability to control for your own biases. Given that ethanol does not effectively reduce CO2 emissions, no informed “Green” would have any reason to “champion” ethanol (perhaps some ignorant of that reality continued their advocacy?), although politicians and others who stood to benefit from the continued production of ethanol had reasons to continue their advocacy.

      • I guess I should add, among the champions, politicians who cynically exploited concerns about CO2 emissions to benefit select constituents (say, in the business community), or for the sake of political expediency (garnering votes by advocating for “Green” policies). Of course, there too, it is difficult to differentiate between legitimate concerns and political expediency on the part of politicians.

      • ” Joshua
        As usual, doc, an interesting post. I had no idea of the derivation of the term. And as usual, the post misses the obvious point.”

        You should have written

        “As usual, doc, an interesting post. I had no idea of the derivation of the term, as usual.”

        The thing is Josh, you have form. You use words and don’t know what they mean; you are not so much a troll as a Magpie. You come across an impressive sounding word and then throw it into a rebuttal. The problem is that you are out of your depth, not only don’t you know what you are writing, you don’t understand the meaning of the post you reply to.

        Now Mosher and I have been quite well behaved up until now, mostly because neither of us gets into a battle of wits with an unarmed civilian. However, Josh please don’t push it. Mosh and I know all the tricks, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and… satire. We are vicious.

      • Here’s my take on it, Doc.

        You’re the one hung up on terms and jargon – because it gives you the opportunity to show off your chops. And you do have chops. You have an impressive range of knowledge on a number of topics.

        But you continuously fall in love with your own image, and it makes you sloppy.

        Enjoy yourself all you want, nitpicking about terms, but you know full well what I meant by “meme.” It matters not if I got the prescriptive meaning of the term wrong. Your correction was interesting, but ultimately meaningless w/r/t the point of substance we were discussing: your bogus politicizing of the issues related to ethanol.

        Similarly, when your excitement to show of your knowledge about neurology – by jumping on my use of the term neural networks – caused you to make the absurd claim that pattern recognition isn’t a fundamental aspect of reasoning. And then to top it off, go from my use of that term to describe this elaborate (and paranoid) fantasy about what it meant that I used the term.

        It’s when you make such basic errors, doc, that you display the weakness that lies beneath your impressive amount of knowledge. (Interestingly, the same is also true of steven). It isn’t that you’re stupid – there’s no doubt that you are far smarter than I; it’s that you aren’t yet committed to ferreting out your own biases. But keep at it. You’ll learn and grow. I have complete faith in you. You show potential.

        And Doc, I have no fear behind posting comments in the blogosphere. Once again, it is your own inability to identify your own feelings that leads to such a mistake as projecting your fears onto me.

        Go ahead with your “dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and… satire.” (as if rattling off those terms was anything other than a pathetic attempt to impress – exactly the phenomenon I spoke about — evidence of projection and why you are so focused on confirming your bias that I use words to impress).

        Quite the contrary from it disturbing me in the least, I’m quire sure that If you use such methods well, I will enjoy it quite a bit.

      • Sorry – I left this point out, and it may help you to understand better:

        And then to top it off, go from my use of that term to describe this elaborate (and paranoid) fantasy about what it meant that I used the term. A fantasy which was the very epitome of trying to reason by recognizing a patter (Too bad for your sake it was such an implausible pattern. Remember, Doc, that just as we can learn from finding patterns, we can also learn from trying to find patterns and falling flat on our faces when doing so).

      • Everything is a test Josh, you can tell a lot about people from their reaction to the classics.

        Start at 2:10

      • See there, now I enjoyed that. You scored a point. Congrats. Another coupla’ hundred and you’ll catch up.

      • Joshua, on target. I do not understand the workings of someone like Doc. If he truly does have the talent, why does he not apply it to a real detailed analysis, as opposed to using his scattershot knowledge and impressive use of jargon?

        As I recall, he got a start on some sort of dust and iron analysis but has seemed to lose interest or lost the bubble.

        The truth is that a certain fraction of the population enjoys having a contrarian mindset much like many others enjoy playing games. Which skeptics these are, one can only guess.

      • Josh,

        We can agree that the ethanol push was not a solely environmentalist issue. Once agribusiness realized it presented a huge new market they got solidily behind the idea. That can be seen in how they had limits imposed on sugar cane and beet imports. If you are going to produce ethanol. those are the feedstocks that make any sort of sense.

        I realized early on that producing ethanol from crops, mainly corn, was a poor idea. From an energy standpoint I am pretty sure it is at best a wash and more likely a process that requires more enrgy inputs than it produces. It only makes sense if we have few other choices. My issue with environmentalists is how many of them continue to talk about biofuels as if it makes any sort of difference environmentally. That’s stupidity in my book.

        I also have issues with how our government (regardless of the administration) supports ethanol production. It is a classic example of how special interests have over proportional influence on our system.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Chris Colose: It goes on with a bunch of false claims about how water vapor feedback may be negative, etc, all of which is utter nonsense.

      That water vapor feedback may be negative has not been shown to be false; increased water vapor could lead to increased cloudiness with resultant reduced surface insolation and resultant cooling. This has been identified as one of the known unknowns.

      • You have to study the behavior of the function and whether it can become convex. We know that a very low water vapor concentration has all the properties of a GHG. As the concentration increases, the GHG effects become more pronounced. Skeptics argue that this increase will level off and then decrease as the water vapor concentration increases enough to form clouds. This is the convex behavior that must be observed for the water to turn from a positive feedback mechanism to a negative effect.

        Show us a paper that describes this convex shape. I bet it doesn’t exist because the paper would get ripped to shreds during the review cycle.

      • Web, You might be able to do that, show the convex location on the curve. I am getting a negative latent feed back at SSTs between 300K and 303K. This is the Super Green House Effect were ORL decreases as temperature increases. http://scienceofdoom.com/2011/03/17/clouds-and-water-vapor-part-four/

        Notice the surface cooling proportional to the warming in the ENSO region.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Web Hub Telescope: Skeptics argue that this increase will level off and then decrease as the water vapor concentration increases enough to form clouds.

        Skeptics argue that the possibility can not be ruled out on the basis of current knowledge. “The function” that you refer to can not be estimated accurately from present knowledge, and its curvature at present water vapor concentrations can’t be known. (It isn’t a simple function of a univariate argument, such as mean water vapor concentration, either — but that leads to a much more complex discussion.)

      • Sure it can. It is partly responsible for the 33C natural warming so its just a matter if figuring out what the perturbation is for another few degrees of warming.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        WebHub Telescope: its just a matter if figuring out what the perturbation is for another few degrees of warming.

        That’s all it is! All we need is to figure out what the effect of a future doubling of CO2 will be on the future change, if any, in climate. Yet, a few people write as though that has already been figured out.

      • Yet it surely isn’t a convex function that changes the sign from a positive feedback to a negative feedback! Where is that demonstrated in any research paper?

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        WebHubTelescope: Yet it surely isn’t a convex function that changes the sign from a positive feedback to a negative feedback!

        It might be!

      • So the stable levels of water vapor and CO2 plus other GHG’s get us to +33. Then we add some more CO2 and induce an increase in water vapor and this will push it to 33+delta. Where exactly is the negative feedback that will drop it from a 33+delta?

        Quite a trick box you have set up for yourself.

      • Web, doesn’t that 33C have a little +/- associated with it? This bi-stability thing really is messing with your head.

      • At least I am not trying to do a Professor Irwin Corey impersonation. Or maybe you’re not and that stuff just bounces around your brain and you blurt out any word salad that you feel like.

        Show me one scientific train of thought that you have ever done that has a premise, an analysis, and a conclusion that someone else can check.

        Bet you can’t.

      • maksimovich

        Water vapour is a particle (aerosol) as well as a GHG it scatters across the full solar spectrum , what is the decrease in incident radiation?

      • Clouds aren’t water vapor.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Chris Colose: Clouds aren’t water vapor.

        Good thing we clarified that. If the water vapor rises, cools, condenses to clouds, and then the clouds reflect sunlight, then it isn’t the water vapor qua water vapor that is involved in the negative feedback loop.

      • MattStat, If the water vapor rises, cools, condenses then freezes, does that go under albedo too?

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Capt. Dallas: MattStat, If the water vapor rises, cools, condenses then freezes, does that go under albedo too?

        I think the answer to your question is “yes”: the increased cloudiness produces increased albedo (I am not sure exactly what you mean by “go under albedo”, which I take to mean “the change can be classified as one of the changes in albedo”.) In the daytime, at the right height, that reduces insolation and reduces warming; at night, that increases the LWR reflected back to the surface and lower troposphere, which reduces cooling. I maintain that the net effect of a doubling of atmospheric CO2 on the balance of these (and other) processes is not known.

        The effects could be complex and seemingly paradoxical. For example, increased CO2 could produce faster warming in the morning sunlight, increased transport of warm air and moisture to the upper troposphere, and increased cloudiness during the time of day when insolation would otherwise be the greatest. The net effect would be a more rapid pre-noon warming with a lower afternoon Tmax. If you have watched the daily rain clouds form in the summer tropics, or the thunderheads formingn in the American summer Midwest, you have seen the process at work. How increased CO2 will change, if it does, the net energy transports and net insolation, at diverse locations in diverse seasons, is not known. All the projections are based on simplifications and resultant models that have not passed rigorous tests.

        The “signal” could be small. A 3% reduction in maximum insolation over a long enough time span over a great enough area would negate the increased mean temp predicted from the radiative balance models that ignore the dynamics of the convective/advective heat transport.

        I have not made this up on my own. The basic idea has been published in the peer-reviewed literature.

      • Matt, the under albedo was poor sarcasm. I get frustrated with the goof ball climate science limitations on forcing and feed backs. If I could get them to accept a different frame of reference, we could move on to the fun stuff :)

        Water vapor though and even CO2 can be negative feed backs under certain conditions. They both tend to regulate instead of dominate. With the limitations imposed by Climate Science jargon, it is hard to move past square one and get into thermal capacity and inertia.

      • CO2, water vapor, and other GHG are responsible for the 33 degree elevation of the planet’s temperature. What you propose is that both an increase in water vapor concentration and a decrease in water vapor concentration will reduce the 33 degree value to something less than this.

        Isn’t it great how easy it is to get these climate skeptics into a trick box that they act like they can explicate themselves from?

      • Web, No. You are still thinking linear and classical equilibrium. Water by itself causes the system to be non- equilibrium and at times dissipative, water mass as ice moves out of the system and cumulative, the ice mass can return to the system . CO2 is the same though with a much, much longer time constant.

        CO2 can impact both the dissipative and cumulative processes of water. When the system is in a higher energy state, warmest oceans, water vapor convection is enhanced and the CO2 enhances the rate of convection, more deep convection, more ice in and near the stratosphere to be transported to the poles. At a lower energy state, the CO2 tends to enhance the retention of energy and mass.

        The problem is the ice mass storage which I why I am all about the land use encroachment on alpine and high latitude issue. If the ice mass is not allowed to accumulate to some extent, you get the persistent high and low pressure weather issues. Large expanses of farmland create more consistent weather patterns than normal and consistent leads to persistent.

      • I think it is useful to separate the water vapor and cloud responses, though of course, one cannot form clouds with a vapor-less atmosphere…but the understanding and the mechanisms relevant are largely different between the two categories.

        Your example is not an example of a negative feedback, which would require some sort of *change* in the reflection, and it’s not at all obvious that this occurs, and there’s certainly no big signal of this in current observations. You also need to consider the longwave part of the energy budget to understand the net cloud feedback.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Chris Colose: Your example is not an example of a negative feedback, which would require some sort of *change* in the reflection, and it’s not at all obvious that this occurs, and there’s certainly no big signal of this in current observations.

        To complete the story and make a negative feedback loop, one would have to add “if increased CO2 were to produce increased cloudiness, then that would constitute a negative feedback loop.” It is indeed not clear (or obvious) whether this will or will not occur. However, current data show that the warmer the NH and SH are the cloudier they are, and the warmer tropics are cloudier than the cooler poles. There is currently “no big signal” relating increased CO2 (or consequent warming) to increased cloudiness, but only a small signal would be required to negate the hypothesized warming to result from a future doubling of atmospheric CO2.

      • Rob Starkey

        Matt

        Your point: “I maintain that the net effect of a doubling of atmospheric CO2 on the balance of these (and other) processes is not known.” Some like to claim that they know, but the failure of their models demonstrate those claims to be inaccurate.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Chris Colose: They also dedicate a paragraph to talking about how their report has more footnotes and references than USGCRP, as if this is the new metric for scientific quality.

      The “as if” shows that you missed the point. They are drawing attention to important papers that the USGCRP report ignored (or that has been subsequently published.) If the next USGCRP report is to be an improvement over the last, then it will have to address the ignored or subsequently published literature.

      You are not asserting, are you, that an increased amount of primary literature covered in a review is actually a bad characteristic?

      • The comment by Colose is funnier than heck and apt. One of the big jokes of the last several years is how absolute fools such as Ann Coulter pepper their books with scores of references. Garbage with footnotes and citations is still garbage.

      • They are drawing attention to important papers that the USGCRP report ignored (or that has been subsequently published.)

        Anyone who wishes to do that should write something totally different of that Cato report. No one is reading reports written in that style to learn about important papers.

      • On a topic like climate change, it’s just not possible to really do a “complete” literature review in the sense that all possible papers, conference discussions,, recommendations given at scientific workshops, etc are covered in a thorough manner. It’s not a relevant characteristic for a good review article. Moreover, there are many things that experts know through experience, their handling of the data, or exposure to unpublished work that may not be found in a convenient way in a published article.

        A good mark of a review article is to bring the reader up-to-date on the current thinking in the subject in question, not necessarily to mention every caveat that applies to the field, and not necessarily to highlight every single point of view. For that, you need to read many many papers and immerse yourself even deeper in the sub-discipline by attending relevant meetings, or simply having coffee with people in the field.

        This is also why assessments like IPCC are split up by topic, so that experts in a particular sub-discipline can share and assess the latest research. There is little point, for example, in an ocean biochemist talking about radiative transfer modeling.

        Personally, I’d rather read a report split up like this, so that I have confidence the the authors are talking about their field of expertise, and can display competency by being able to recognize the importance of a single paper in the context of the broader field. For instance, would I be upset if a review paper on solar influences didn’t cite Scafetta’s “orbital influence of Jupiter stuff” or whatever he is pedaling now? Not really. I’d actually prefer if it wasn’t in there, or was given no more than a sentence of attention…because it simply isn’t credible and anyone who understands the science knows this. It’s simply not useful to pretend like it’s a useful contribution to the current science, or is going to spark a bunch of future investigation. This is what happens in science. Junk dies, and there’s no point in revisiting it every time someone reviews the subject.

      • I am going to copy paste 10,000 articles in google scholar and then my climate report will be the bestest of all

      • But will anybody read it?

        While you are doing that, I think I’m going to head over to an afterwork wine party that is supposedly in my honor. But I have more fun than pasting into Google – though that is subjective I guess.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        Chris Coiose: Moreover, there are many things that experts know through experience, their handling of the data, or exposure to unpublished work that may not be found in a convenient way in a published article.

        That is such stuff as dreams are made on.

    • Thank you Chris – I was two thirds through this thread and you really pulled it on topic. A little emotional perhaps, but on topic is good!

  22. Pooh, Dixie

    With apologies to native Americans, consider these:

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.nationalgeographicstock.com/comp/Z2/085/562525.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.nationalgeographicstock.com/ngsimages/explore/explorecomp.jsf%3Fxsys%3DSE%26id%3D562525&usg=__-fLj8Bn8HGL-cF7unpmq6SATjOQ=&h=312&w=502&sz=257&hl=en&start=1&zoom=1&tbnid=oPt1MVqI2iJUYM:&tbnh=106&tbnw=171&ei=oL4NUPLcMpKs0AHS1ezkAw&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dpainting%2Bindian%2Bbuffalo%2Bdrive%2Bover%2Bcliff%26tbnh%3D145%26tbnw%3D213%26num%3D10%26hl%3Den%26sig%3D102561964570335944895%26biw%3D1029%26bih%3D508%26tbs%3Dsimg:CAQSEgmg-3UxWojaIiECu-iiy867Eg%26tbm%3Disch&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=83&vpy=189&dur=557&hovh=177&hovw=285&tx=161&ty=97&sig=102561964570335944895&page=1&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:54

    Put a white lab coat on the figure in front and a political suit on the other. Label the bison “citizens”. h/t Charles Marion Russell.

    or

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/thumbnail/161710/1/Driving-Buffalo-Over-The-Cliff.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.1st-art-gallery.com/Charles-Marion-Russell/Driving-Buffalo-Over-The-Cliff.html&usg=__6gPh7GCW2twRGsU8walcPI5Blts=&h=495&w=600&sz=104&hl=en&start=1&zoom=1&tbnid=r1ZbaTXRDHDMnM:&tbnh=146&tbnw=202&ei=Gr4NUKetCKbp0gGkmvmVBA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dpainting%2Bindian%2Bbison%2Bdrive%2Bover%2Bcliff%26tbnh%3D146%26tbnw%3D177%26num%3D10%26hl%3Den%26sig%3D102561964570335944895%26biw%3D1029%26bih%3D508%26tbs%3Dsimg:CAQSEgk-95o1XZUMjSF3GMlwNKCB-Q%26tbm%3Disch&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=300&sig=102561964570335944895&page=2&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:10,i:88&tx=114&ty=64

  23. Dave Springer

    In the only temperature record we have with the precision and accuracy needed to test the global warming hypothesis we have this:

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/every/mean:12/plot/rss/every/trend

    0.45C degrees warming in 33 years. IPCC AR1 predicted 1C over that same time period. Moreover the rate of rise fell off steeply in the most recent 10 years:

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/every/mean:12/plot/rss/to:2002/trend/plot/rss/from:2002/trend

    The skeptics at this time are on the road to vindication. It appears most if not all the warming was a natural cyclic variability as we’ve been saying all along.

    • 1. they predicted from .7 C to 1.6 C
      IF and ONLY IF
      a) models averaging more than 3.2C in sensitivity are correct
      b) no volcanos
      c) emissions that add about 1.5 watts.

      as the conditions for the test were not met, you have a problem simply concluding anything.

      If you jump off the empire state building, you will die.
      if somebody jumps off a chair, that hypothesis is not tested.

  24. Dave Springer

    In defense of the IPCC they never claimed more than 95% confidence.

    Sh!t happens. In this case the 5% happened.

  25. ‘Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Anastasios Tsonis

    Shock – horror – global warming is wrong. We have instead complex systems and abrupt change. The whole shaky edifice has come crashing down bar for the zealots who have not yet realised that they are flogging a dead horse. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

    1. Most of the warming seems to be natural.
    2. Decadal variability suggests no warming for a decade or 3 more.
    3. Caps and taxes are dead in the water.

    Abrupt climate change is real, cooler and warmer and unpredictable. Oh dear.

    ‘In his first press conference following midterm elections, President Obama admitted the obvious: that he will have to change plans for addressing climate change and energy policy’. No sh!t Einstein.

    Now if only the AGW space cadets would catch up we might get somewhere. Australia for instance could be carbon neutral in a decade or so. I quote from the Green/Left – http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/41760

    ‘Here, we need to take a trip to the wheat-growing property of farmer Brian Krieg near Snowtown, north of Adelaide.

    As related by the Stock Journal in April 2008, Krieg over three years raised the organic matter level of his land from 1.5-1.8% to 2.5-3% by using biological farming techniques. In terms of soil carbon, the increase was from about 1% to about 1.7%.

    In its native state, Krieg’s land probably had a soil carbon content at least twice the 1% level it now has after a century of conventional farming. Over decades, environmentally aware management can probably restore all or almost all the original soil carbon of most farm soils.

    If the carbon content of the top 30 centimetres of a hectare of farmland can be raised by 1%, the amount of carbon stored is about 42 tonnes.

    Australia has about 50 million hectares of periodically cultivated soil. A 1% increase in their carbon would lock away ABOUT 2.5 times the country’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions (calculated using a GWP value of 72 for methane) of 833 million tonnes in 2005.

    So long as sustainable practices were maintained, this carbon would remain in place.

    In many soils, rises in soil carbon of far more than 1% are almost certainly attainable. The best-practice conservation farming practised by broad-acre farmers like Krieg involves combining no-till or minimum-till methods with rotation between grains and fodder crops, especially legumes.’

    It is probably better to go to the practicioners than urban based pissant progressives. Try this – http://www.canfa.com.au/

    In fact – grazing lands are far more extensive and provide by far the greatest opportunity to enhance food production, conserve water, protect biodiversity and sequester carbon.


    .

    .

    • That’s impressive Chief, Say, if you convert 6%to 10% of the surface of the Earth from its natural state to a lower carbon retention state, think that might have any impact?

      • Australia has lost about half the organic content of agricultural soils over a couple of hundred years. This makes a difference.

      • Chief, I was being a little sarcastic. Best I can tell, land use and albedo reduction due to black carbon and wind erosion is causing close to 50% of the non-natural climate variability and a large portion of the increase in atmospheric CO2. It is a little frustrating being called an idiot by people that think dry bulb temperature is a true indication of heat content on a water world.

    • “strong> …a lot of the changes …were all natural. …”

      And a lot of them were not all natural.

      This is perfectly congruent with AGW. How does Chief Hydro interpret the above quote? AGW is all wrong.

      Webbie!

      Tsonis and Swanson both agree AGW is real. They both agree that AGW is likely to return with a vengeance this century.

      How many other scientists have you misinterpreted?

      • I think it is more accurate to say that the simple radiative physics of the atmosphere seems reasonable enough. But we have paradigms that seem not compatible. Simple causality versus dynamical complexity. The idea that climate evolves slowly as a result of ordered forcing and the idea that climate shifts abruptly as a result of control variables and chaotic bifurcation. In the latter, and more correct paradigm, we have control variables that push climate past a threshold resulting in extreme flucuation (a dragon-king) beofe settling into a new pattern. So simple warming can’t be said to exist at all as it is punctuated every few decades at least by climate shifts that have unpredictable trajectories.

        The dweebs (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dweeb) always complain that this is unintelligible. Not my problem.

        If you correctly read both Tsonis and Swanson – you will find that they see the underlying rate of anthropogenic warming as about 0.1 degree C/decade. I am less certain that recent warming was more than fractionally anthropogenic.

        ‘‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ AR4 S 3.4.4.1

        ‘The overall slight rise (relative heating) of global total net flux at TOA between the 1980′s and 1990′s is confirmed in the tropics by the ERBS measurements and exceeds the estimated climate forcing changes (greenhouse gases and aerosols) for this period.’ NASA/GISS ISCCP-FD

        IR up at TOA in fact increased (cooling) in both ISCCP-FD and ERBS.

        Cloud radiative forcing is observationally linked to ENSO in the tropics with low level marine stratocumulous inversely correlated to sea surface temperature. (e.g. Zhu et al 2007, Burgmann et al 2008, Clements et al 2009, Dessler 2010) ‘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) The latest such event is in fact the 1998/2001 climate shift – as shown in the Swansoin et al 2009 paper.

        If recent warming is overwhelmingly the result of cloud radiative forcing of quite natural origins as suggested by the satellite data – the question is open on what this means for the future and much anticipated return of warming with a vengeance.

        Interesting as all this is – I suggest that there are more rewarding discussions to be had about what constitutes practical and pragmatic ways forward.

    • Chief -

      It is probably better to go to the practicioners than urban based pissant progressives.

      Kudos for showing ignorance in two ways in one short sentence.I happen to be know quite a few young farmers associated with a growing movement of urban farming. They are connected with a lot of farmers who prioritize sustainability and practices such as no-till and low-till farming. Most of them are what you, in your political fixation, would call “pissant progressives.” The cleavages you make between urbanites, progressives, and sustainable farming are false.

      It’s a shame that you allow your fixations to interfere with your science.

      • Joshua, The pissant progressives is for the individuals that think only the government can solve problems and only PhD’s can reason. Approaches to dealing with climate change are a bit divisive.

        Land use improvements like conservation farming can reduce regional temperatures by a degree or two, sequester upwards of 2 gigatons of carbon dioxide, increase CO2 seasonal uptake, improve soil moisture retention, improve yields per acre and reduce irrigation requirements at a fraction of the cost of drastic carbon reduction plans related to fossil fuels.

        Increasing urban green space, building or restoring urban storm water runoff ponds, changing out light bulbs, installing residential solar panels and capturing a little hydrogen at the water treatment plant are useful, but more feel good warm and fuzzy things with not much impact.

        A solid pollution policy including particulate control i.e. black carbon implemented in the developed nations where more cost effective methods can be tested and improved, would be copied by the under developed nations and have a much more lasting impact than attempting to force developing nations not to use resources they are going to need. And cost a fraction of the planned drastic carbon reduction plans related to fossil fuels.

        Those are perfectly logical first steps that solve more than one problem. For a pissant progressive, starting is not enough. Even if those two initiatives resolve 70% of the climate change issue, something has to be demonized for the pissant progressive to be happy.

        So let’s agree to call only people that disagree with land use and black carbon initiatives first, pissant progressives :)

      • Cap’n

        Joshua, The pissant progressives is for the individuals that think only the government can solve problems and only PhD’s can reason.

        I know a lot of progressives, and I have never met anyone who fits that description. I doubt that you have either. Even if some exist, they are a tiny group.

        Discussion about how to prioritize environmental initiatives are muddied by inaccurate generalizations, demonizing, logical fallacies, partisan wrangling, etc. It really doesn’t matter which side it comes from. Failing to recognize these phenomena where they exist will not sustain progress. It will only perpetuate more of the same.

      • Partisan wrangling is part of politics. When one side tries to take the intellectual higher ground that is a different issue. That is where the serious Sh&t hits the fan. I haven’t failed to notice that.

      • What do you call it when somebody says “if you have a business, you didn’t do that; somebody else made it happen”? I think the guy who said that has pretty solid “progressive” credentials.

      • P.E. –

        What do you call it when somebody says “if you have a business, you didn’t do that; somebody else made it happen”? I think the guy who said that has pretty solid “progressive” credentials.

        I think that your decontexualization of that quote (which I see as either deceptive or simply facile) is an absolutely perfect example of what I was talking about.

        http://factcheck.org/2012/07/you-didnt-build-that-uncut-and-unedited/

        I honestly don’t believe that your thinking is so limited that you can’t see the weakness of that post. I’m actually kind of stunned.

      • Yeah, yeah. Context. Keep telling yourself.

        Problem is, even giving the benefit of the context, he still said that the government does everything.

      • ….he still said that the government does everything.

        Really?

        Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

        If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. ..The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.

        You’re going to construct from that, that he said (let alone believes), that government does everything?

        Dude, just stop.

      • Shop Warren Stein Sun,
        Communitar Ethos One.
        Not enough dead yet.
        =============

      • Oh Joshua,

        ‘Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values.’ The Wrong Trousers: Radically Rethinking Climate Policy – http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/mackinderCentre/

        The ‘science’ is being used as a pretext for economic ‘degrowth’, centralised control, suspension of democracy and they cannot let it go. The situation is far less dire, the science far less certain and the solutions far simpler than is said by these red/green ideologues.

        My ideology is based on the enligtenment principles America fought and bled for. Individual freedom. free markets, democracy and the rule of law. We are again in a battle for freedom and I make no aplogies for clearly identifying the enemy. If you are not for freedom you are against it.

        Robert I Ellison
        Chief Hydrologist

      • Yes, Chief. You are a noble warrior, battling against the use of science by those interested in fighting political battles by proxy.

        And despite the tactics of the dragons you slay from behind your keyboard, posting comments on blogs, you never allow the dye of political advocacy stain the nobility of your science.

        And, indeed, I am the enemy of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.

        I’m proud to have even posted on the same blog as someone of your valor.

        Always the king of irony, aren’t you?

      • To quote myself – interesting ‘as all this is – I suggest that there are more rewarding discussions to be had about what constitutes practical and pragmatic ways forward.’

        I don’t know if you are an enemy of free markets, economic development, freedom, democracy and the rule of law Joshua. Stand up an be counted.

        Or are you the king of dweebs?

      • Josh,

        While I think urban farming is great, lets not lose track of the fact urban farming to agriculture is pretty much akin to the tiny creek in my back yard as compared to the Mississippi – Missouri watershed.

    • Chief @ 7/23/2012 7:49pm: 3. “Caps and taxes are dead in the water.”

      Perhaps not. Watch your back for re-branding.

      a. The UN is on a “sustainability” kick (Agenda 21).
      b. “Sustainability” is oft-mentioned by certain politicians.
      c. CO2 emissions control, assets transfer and taxes are part of the Agenda 21.
      d. Ditto for the “Law Of The Sea” with the addition of a rule-making Authority, wisely sunk by the Congress.
      e. Treaties can trump the Constitution.

  26. “There are two periods of warming in the 20th century that are statistically indistinguishable in magnitude. The first had little if any relation to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, while the second has characteristics that are consistent in part with a changed greenhouse effect”

    The first period is 1905 to 1940. To say that this massive rise was just coincidental with the massive rise in fossil fueled industry during this period is not credible. Henry Ford alone made 15 million Model T’s between 1908 and 1927. Every town had fossil fuel powered electricity in 1940. Although the IPCC ignored it, there is no escaping the conclusion that this was CO2 caused. Delve deeper and you find the only way this could happen was for earth’s IR radiation to feed a resonance in the CO2 molecule, probably in the 14 – 15 micron region which predominates in earth’s IR radiation. But why did it stop and dramatically reverse in 1940? Because like all resonant systems the rare gas CO2 could only absorb so much energy. Once that energy level was reached the temperature fell, but of course, the new energy level persisted and slowly percolated through the oceans, resulting in the second period of rising temperature in 1970. By the year 2000 the earth’s atmosphere and oceans had reached a new equilibrium and although CO2 had increased it was still in saturation so the limit on absorption still applied, resulting in little change in temperature. How credible is this narrative other than the jig-saw fits together in a qualitative way? Why not put some numbers into it and see if it still works? See my web site.

  27. Beth Cooper

    Doctah Jebediah – PhD extraordinaire, entrail readings and positive happiness fer everyone? Say, I’ll drink ter that, Jeb, oops, Doctah Jeb.

    Toast: ‘Positive happiness fer all in a * hopefully * non- cooling world.

    Happiness yesterday, walking by the purling river, wattle trees coming inter golden flower and then, flying overhead … I thought I saw black swans, but no, not black swans, … a flock of black cockatoos!

    And another toast, mes amis: ‘ To conservationist farmers, jest getting on with it to build a better and more productive environment fer us all.’
    Cheers.

  28. The Cato report speaks for me – simple as that. If i wrote such a report, I’d say pretty well the exact same thing. There is no apocalypse – only more of the same.

  29. MattStat/MatthewRMarler

    Long-term paleoclimatic studies show that severe and extensive droughts have occurred repeatedly throughout the Great Plains and the West. These will occur in the future, with or without human-induced climate change. Infrastructure planners would be well-advised to take them into account.

    This agrees with some things I have written: it would be a mistake to invest so much money in reducing CO2 that there was no money left over for irrigation and other water control projects. Regions as different as California and Pakistan will need reinvestment in their water works even if CO2 were to be controlled.

    Some of their other points agree with things that I have written.

    So I hope that people read it in detail and debates its points fully.

  30. I have many issues with the CATO report, not the least of which is the fact that it seems more based on wishful thinking than anything scientific proven or substantiated. But to single out one unsupportable one in particular:

    3. CATO: Impacts of observed climate change have little national significance.

    There is no basis in fact in making this allegation. It is just as possible that there have already been many impacts of observed climate change that have “national significance”. But of course, one must define carefully what they mean by “significance”. If it impacts food supplies, water supplies, weather extremes, insurance costs, or even creates national security issues, wouldn’t that imply a “significance”?. I could perhaps accept this statement a bit better if it said, “It is possible that Impacts of observed climate change will have little national significance.”, but even then, some sort of probability should be placed on any such statements. Is there a 1% or a 90% probability that climate change will have little national significance?

    But it’s comforting to know that our own U.S. Military in not listening to CATO and other similar voices, and is already preparing many contingency plans for events of “national significance” related to climate change including everything from an ice-free Arctic to disruptions in food and water supplies in the U.S. and around the world.

    • “3. CATO: Impacts of observed climate change have little national significance.

      There is no basis in fact in making this allegation. It is just as possible that there have already been many impacts of observed climate change that have “national significance”. ”

      “Observed” has to have happened in the past, as we can’t see the future.
      So you saying it’s possible and CATO is saying it hasn’t seen it.
      These are compatible or not contradictory.
      You not pointing out something in specific. There may been events which CATO is unaware of- has not observed.
      But we can assume that most the news headlines proclaiming that the cause is global warming or climate change, hasn’t been convincing to the people at CATO.

    • That could be worded differently, but thus far impacts of “observed” climate change have had little national significance. The impact of the expectations of climate change have had a huge impact nationally. So they appear to be stating thus far and you thinking future impact. They mention separately preparing for climate change issues that have happened in the past and will happen in the future, they are just not attributing a significant amount of weather events to “climate change”.

    • lurker passing through, laughing

      So in the final analysis, the consensus extremists rejects observation in favor of narrative. And condemns those with the annoying habit of focusing on observation.
      Thanks for the hoot.
      You maroons are a laugh a minute.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        We “maroons” may be a hoot but at least we can spell. What CATO is in fact proclaiming is that they are 100% certain than not one bit of causality in any of the extreme weather events or declining Arctic sea ice rests with AGW. People who are 100% certain of something are either true-believers or true-nonbelievers. Another term for true-nonbelievers is deniers. Is CATO simply an organized group of deniers trying to pawn themselves off as “skeptics”?

      • Your last question: yes

      • “3. CATO: Impacts of observed climate change have little national significance.

        So that is 100% certain there is 0% impact? Now because they are “100%” certain they are ____ fill in the blank? Interesting.

      • Dave Springer

        These are the facts:

        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/to:2002/trend/plot/rss/from:2002/trend/plot/esrl-amo/last:1500/mean:60/plot/rss/every/mean:24

        They do not support Colose. I need nothing but the facts to dispute his agenda. No point by point rebuttal. Just the facts. The AGW hypothesis is failing and failing big time as we bring our best instruments to bear in testing its predictions.

        Warmists should be happy that the earth isn’t melting. Evidently they are more concerned about not being wrong than they are about the planet. That demonstrates a mental imbalance that borders on clinical pathology. I’m not surprised. Everyone I see parading themselves with a placard saying “The End is Near. REPENT!” is someone whom I consider mentally disturbed. CAGW alarmists are no exception.

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD


        Warmists should be happy that the earth isn’t melting.

        Oh – We are.

        Of course – It would have to get fairly darned hot for the Earth to melt.

        Love your graph. Here’s another one for you.

        Enjoy your escalator ride!

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        Mr. Gates,
        Are you nearly as smart as you pose?

        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=maroon

        “A term of derision often uttered by Bugs Bunny when referring to an interaction with a dopey adversary. It is a mispronunciation of the word “Moron”
        “What a Maroon!” “Will ya get a load of this maroon”

        You clowns have hijacked a science and billions of other people’s money and don’t know nuthin’
        The phonies are you extremists with your pretentious obsession with climate extremism.

      • Dave Springer

        It didn’t even occur to me that Gates was unaware of maroon’s meaning in popular lexicon. What’s up with that, doc?

        PS Be vewy vewy quiet. I’m hunting wabbits.

      • lurker, obviously no student of the classics, he.
        A good case to use the the illudium Q-36 explosive space modulator, methinks.

    • That was a dodge. The Cato response was to item 3 that did address the future, while they only talked about the past and significance in their item 3. Maybe they just misunderstood and are not trying to mislead when they use the present tense instead of a future one here. It would be nice if they actually addressed the future in their response, but they may have missed that meaning.

  31. So, hands up, everyone who appointed Cato to be in charge of them?

    Not unanimous?

    Then what gives them the right to determine what’s a benefit, again?

    To say what is or is not “little” national significance?

    How much cost of adaptation each of us should have expropriated from us without any say in the matter?

    Sounds pretty despotic behavior to me.

    Why does this not incite instant distrust in you?

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Bart R: Sounds pretty despotic behavior to me.

      Not a writ, law, regulation or injunction, just an opinion.

    • “So, hands up, everyone who appointed Cato to be in charge of them?”

      I think CATO would against that motion:

      About Cato:
      “The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization — a think tank — dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues.

      Founded in 1977, Cato owes its name to Cato’s Letters, a series of essays published in 18th- century England that presented a vision of society free from excessive government power. Those essays inspired the architects of the American Revolution. And the simple, timeless principles of that revolution — individual liberty, limited government, and free markets — turn out to be even more powerful in today’s world of global markets and unprecedented access to more information than Jefferson or Madison could have imagined. Social and economic freedom is not just the best policy for a free people, it is the indispensable framework for the future.”

      There other think tanks:
      About the Center for American Progress
      “As progressives, we believe America is a land of boundless opportunity, where people can better themselves, their children, their families, and their communities through education, hard work, and the freedom to climb the ladder of economic mobility.

      We believe an open and effective government can champion the common good over narrow self-interest, harness the strength of our diversity, and secure the rights and safety of its people. And we believe our nation must always be a beacon of hope and strength to the rest of the world.

      http://www.americanprogress.org/aboutus

      They may accept the idea of having American Progress in charge. Or they are clearly saying they wouldn’t

      Wiki: “A think tank (or policy institute) is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, technology issues and in the creative and cultural field. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax exempt status. Other think tanks are funded by governments, advocacy groups, or businesses, or derive revenue from consulting or research work related to their projects.
      The following article lists global think tanks according to continental categories, and then sub-categories by country within those areas. These listings are not comprehensive, given more than 4,500 think tanks exist world wide.”

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

    • Bart R

      So, hands up, everyone who appointed IPCC to be in charge of them?

      Not unanimous?

      Then what gives them the right to determine what’s a benefit, again?

      Max

    • (Part II)

      How much cost of mitigation each of us should have expropriated from us without any say in the matter?

      Sounds pretty despotic behavior to me.

      Why does this not incite instant distrust in you?

      [It does.]

      Max

      • manacker | July 24, 2012 at 3:33 am |

        This is the propaganda technique known as flipping. However, this particular instance has the problem of attempting to apply a flip to a situation with no symmetry.

        The people proposing mitigation are A) delegated by a lawful process to act in the capacity they have undertaken, and B) doing just that and no more: proposing mitigation for the consideration of policy.

        The Cato Institute has asserted a benefit. Not proposed a benefit. Asserted it. Not referred the benefit to be considered by policy, but insist the benefit they fabricated out of thin air without authority justifies their position.

        You do see the diff.. Oh. Right. Nevermind.

    • Latimer Alder

      @bart r

      ‘Sounds pretty despotic behavior to me.

      Why does this not incite instant distrust in you?’

      Because I cannot persuade myself that the act of publishing an opinion that differs from the ‘official’ one is that of a ‘despot’.

      If they were to unilaterally impose their views then you might be getting closer, but simply expressing theirs is not ‘despotism’ under any definition I have ever heard.

      But I guess in the Bart R dictionary we’ll get:

      ‘Despotism: Disagreeing with Bart’

      • Latimer Alder | July 24, 2012 at 4:36 am |

        Pfft. I disagree with Bart all the time. See, I’m not stuck on believing everything I think as soon as it pops into my noggin or is plunked there by haphazard strangers who once said something that entertained me.

        I start with disagreement, disputation, negativity and haul ideas the long way under the keel and through the ringer from First Principles by acid tests before I accept them.

        And then, I question them again.

        And then, when I’m comfortable with them, I really start to doubt them.

        But if they pass every test of mathematics and logic, reasoning and evidence I can muster or find relevant guidance about in documentation, then I am obliged to follow Newton’s 4th Rule, and accept as accurate or very nearly true what the best evidence and inference has dictated, and accept no inferior hypothesis or fiction without new evidence to prompt starting the skeptical cycle again.

        Which is why rather than doing what’s popular or easy, profits me and makes my life more comfortable and pleasant by self-deluded hypocrisy, I accept AGW — regardless of the warts of its proponents — and understand it is costly and risky, and that these costs and risks are imposed without consent on many by a relatively small number of actors, even though some of those actors are people I have a lot of regard for in other lights.

        Applying (http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/11849_Chapter6.pdf pp 279-285) to the above, I believe I’ve deeply vetted the comment to make it propaganda free, and further have applied (http://library.thinkquest.org/C0111500/proptech.htm and http://truth-out.org/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=1964:fourteen-propaganda-techniques-fox-news-uses-to-brainwash-americans) as checklists to ensure I haven’t used such techniques. This has helped me understand also the roots of the questions I had earlier about the source of propaganda in Climatology. Much of what I’d considered propaganda appears now to be counterpropaganda. I’ll have to go back and see if there’s a way to refine my metrics to take that into account.

  32. Robert Ayers

    Judith, it is not true that “Cato is a libertarian think tank, tied to Charles Koch”.
    Charles Koch was a supporter of CATO back in the 70s and into the 80s, but CATO is now separate.
    Wikipedia has early history and some discussion of some recent history at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cato_Institute#Shareholder_dispute. (See also http://www.cato.org/SaveCato)

    • “Koch provides financial support for a number of public policy and charitable organizations, including the Institute for Humane Studies and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He co-founded the Washington, DC-based Cato Institute. Through the Koch Cultural Trust, founded by Charles Koch’s wife, Elizabeth, the Koch family has also funded artistic projects and creative artists.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_G._Koch

      • The Koch brothers are my heros. They use their own money to fight a movement that uses my (taxpayer) money to attack me.

      • Jebediah Hypotenuse, PhD


        The Koch brothers are my heros.

        “We can’t all be heroes, because somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by.”
        – - Will rogers

  33. I see no skeptics have defended the CATO report from coloses debunking. Won’t or can’t?

    • Chris I am afraid is a Cult of AGW Space Cadet and it is not possible to engage in any meaningful way past the entrenched cognitive dissonance. You are a space cadet but in addition a naive and clueless dweeb. You say you want to engage in good faith? You are a ludicrous caricature of a rational person.

    • “I see no skeptics have defended the CATO report from coloses debunking. Won’t or can’t?”

      He seems to be mostly complaining rather than debunking.
      Though perhaps I missed this debunking post.

      I noticed a typo in the report. But it’s not finished either

      Anyhow I am only page 56.

      So, if Chis would like to debunk- as in point out something specifically incorrect, that would be interesting.

      And then maybe that could or could not be defended.

    • I’m sure CATO can fully support anything in their paper, unless they have accidentally lost their data and code. These things happen you know.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      nihilanth,

      For the purposes of blog discussions, the number of scientifically erroneous claims you make is irrelevant as long as your conclusions are correct.

      In the above discussion, a long list of clearly objective erroneous statements from the Cato report have been quoted. Yet Chis Colose is criticised for having an inappropriate rhetorical flourish at the end of his post!

      People who see that “AGW” is a political issue don’t get how irritating it is when politicians and policy advisers clearly use erroneous science to support policy prescriptions. Except when they don’t agree with the policy prescriptions in which case the slightest flaw in the science counts as “erroneous” and often “fraudulent”.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        Matt,

        Is a rebuttal with an “emotional” content not valid when the document itself is somewhat “emotional” – eg. in the section that is purportedly about the science – emotional content (hopefully) in bold:

        Reducing emissions under any reasonable
        scenario will have no detectable effect on pro-
        spective warming for the policy-relevant future.
        For example, if every nation that has obliga-
        tions under the failed Kyoto Protocol on global
        warming reduced emissions…the amount
        of “saved” warming is approximately 0.14°F
        per half-century, an amount too small to mea-
        sure
        .103 This is in large part because of the dra-
        matic increase
        in emissions from China (and
        other developing economies) dwarfs anything
        that we or our western allies can do.

        Or an irrelevant aside dredging up an old battle (that has since been conceded by this report’s acceptance that there is a human cause of recent warming):

        A famous
        study of climate change used as the basis for
        the Kyoto Protocol
        on global warming suffered
        the effects of beginning with the cooling of
        Agung and ending with the late 1980’s anoma-
        lous warmth.25 When more comprehensive data
        was included
        , the result was invalidated but
        policymakers nonetheless went forward.26

        Particularly as the cited “invalidat[ion]” references a letter (a real letter, not a peer reviewed letter) in Nature by some chaps called Michaels and Knappenberger!

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      nihilanth: coloses debunking.

      Chris Colose produced a few superficial emotional responses, but declined to debunk.

  34. ‘When I called the Chief on his clear politicization of the science, he offered the explanation that he couldn’t help himself because it was the only noble thing to do. And in doing so, he only dug his hole deeper by launching into a ridiculously specious gross characterization of those he disagrees with.’

    Joshua cowardly drops this into some other nest rather than address it directly to me – justifying his cult of AGW space cadet insanity. As I keep saying the science is one thing – very uncertain in one sense. Quite certain in another. The essential paradigm is that climate change is abrupt and nonlinear – which invalidates the paradigm of slow evolution driven by ordered forcing. Politics is another thing – my politics are unapologetically free markets, free peoples, democracy and the rule of law. Climate policy is a third thing entirely proceeding from business, science and importantly ‘polycentric governance of common pool resources’. An idea championed by Nobel Prize winner Elinor Ostrom which goes beyond both markets and government to the common experience.

    Joshua is a liar, sham, coward and fool. A typical cult of AGW space cadet with a tenuous grip on reality and a line in post hoc justification. A pissant progressive – the characterisation he objects to – if ever there was one. Pissant progressive sounds fairly mild to me – TT in fact was going to change his handle to that – but perhaps it is the unaccustomed bluntness in defining those who wish to see economic ‘degrowth’, centralisation of control, suspension of democracy, shipping sceptics off to the gulag, etc, etc as pissant progressives. If he is not one of these pissant progressives he need merely say so and commence negotiating honestly on practical and pragmatic ways forward for humanity this century. I shan’t hold my breath.

    • lurker passing through, laughing

      Joshua is more like a clown that cannot get out of character.
      Taking him seriously, as if he is more than a sad sort of c-grade clown is the trap he hopes people fall into.
      Taking him and the other extremists seriously is the mistake.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        “Lurker”‘s posts strikingly illustrate the characteristic traits of demagogic denialism

        Thank you, “Lurker”, for your sustained commitment to showing us the methods of demagogic denialism in action!   :)   :)   :)

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        My dear fan of more bs,
        Look in the mirror for the bestest demagoguery available.
        And wipe off that clown makeup, while you are at it.
        And thanks for the chuckles,

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        Says the guy who wanted to nuke Fukushima from space…

    • Joe's World

      Chief,

      Scientists have made science a joke…
      Concerned about temperature rises and CO2 yet ignore all the ways we generate heat???
      Changing from one fuel to another still generates heat but that is ignored as CO2 traps heat in…hmmm
      Yet absolutely no concern for the changing evaporation patterns as temperature data does NOT recognize this…hmmm

  35. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    ————————————–

    ASSESSMENT The Cato Institute’s recent white paper “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States” has five primary deficiencies:

    (1) Non-existent physical theory  The Cato Institute’s review contains none.

    (2) Cherry-picked data  No methodology is specified for data selection.

    (3) Cherry-picked outcome metrics  No criteria are specified for outcome metrics

    (4) Pronounced Good-Reuveny effect  Utterly ignored by Cato Institute analysists.

    (5) Pronounced Dunning-Kruger effect  The Cato Institute is unaware of deficiencies (1-4).

    ————————————–

    To remediate deficiencies (1-5), the Cato Institute’s authors should *at least* read-and-understand Good and Reuveny’s “On the Collapse of Historical Civilizations”, because the Cato Institute’s high social discount rate — which is implicit in the metrics of “Global Climate Change Impacts” — is disastrously large by historical standards.

    CONCLUSION The Cato Institute’s analysts are sufficiently clueless that they fail even to appreciate even their own cluelessness. So get a clue, Cato folks!   :)   :)   :)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      And by the way, Chris Colose’ point-by-point rebuttals amply demonstrate deficiencies (1-5) of the Cato Institute’s analysis,

      Highly recommended … and kudos for your thoughtful effort, Chris.   :)   ;)   :lol:

    • (1) Non-existent physical theory “The Cato Institute’s review contains none.”

      The physical theory was provided for them. They do not have to provide an alternate theory.

      (2) Cherry-picked data “No methodology is specified for data selection.” “1000 experiments cannot prove a theory, but one can disprove a theory” Theories have to withstand a certain amount of “cherry picking” and bear the responsibility of “proving” that data was not “cherry picked” to justify the theory.

      (3) Cherry-picked outcome metrics No criteria are specified for outcome metrics See (2)

      (4) Pronounced Good-Reuveny effect Utterly ignored by Cato Institute analysists. What is the threshold of “pronounced”?

      (5) Pronounced Dunning-Kruger effect Obviously.

      Fan it may not sound fair to you, but the CATO institute does not have the “burden” of proof you think. Some of their bullet points appear to have been carefully worded. I wonder why?

  36. tempterrain

    Are the Cato’s analysts really as clueless as suggested ?
    They claim “’Peak oil’ is now a known myth”.
    If so, just what can the graph of human consumption of oil look like over time? Is it possible to draw a graph which doesn’t have a peak? Test them out for yourself.

    • Peak oil is the claim that we are at the peak, not that there is no peak.

      • The powers that be are doing a great job of hiding the decline, that’s for certain.

      • Rob Starkey

        LOL–a grand conspiracy huh? Any evidence or just another silly theory?

      • The world’s oil production reportage has changed from crude oil to “all liquids”. If crude oil only is reported, it is showing a decline. If “all liquids” is reported, which includes natural gas liquids, biofuels such as corn ethanol and biodiesel, and coal-to-liquids, the production is on a plateau.

      • tempterrain

        That’s not the case. When Hubbard presented his 1956 paper it wasn’t well received by the consensus. Climate deniers who are looking for alternatives to Galileo may want to use Hubbard as an example next time.
        Even now there are many who still reject the concept, not just the timing, of peak oil. Just Google “myth of peak oil”

    • Demand will peak before supplies of liquid fuels. The EIA project increasing supplies to 2035 at least. Who would I believe PP (short for pissant progressive) or the EIA. Gee that’s a hard one.

  37. Joe's World

    Judith,

    This year, we have seen many weather related events that have put a massive strain on our food supply. From late frosts to changes in evaporation patterns that have parched some areas and flooded others.

    And yet speculators will inherit blood money from people starving to death and raise the costs of that food supply…hmmm

  38. Dave Springer

    Steven Mosher | July 23, 2012 at 11:51 pm |

    “Bottom line. If you spent more time reading Chris colose, you’d be a better soldier for the cause. You realize there is a planet at stake.
    dont be lazy”

    Wow, if I read more Chris Colose then I too could become a drama queen like Steve Mosher.

    How very tempting.

  39. I agree with Cato that the USGCRP report is a awful. All of their recent reports are like that, far worse than the IPCC reports. What makes this so serious is that the GCRP agencies control the roughly $2 billion/year US climate research budget, while the IPCC controls nothing. So Cato is looking in the right direction.

    Combining the GCRP and Cato reports might give a decent picture of the science. But who would fund such a balanced effort? There is no money in balance, it seems.

  40. Dave Springer

    The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates) | July 24, 2012 at 12:57 am | Reply

    “We “maroons” may be a hoot but at least we can spell. What CATO is in fact proclaiming is that they are 100% certain than not one bit of causality in any of the extreme weather events or declining Arctic sea ice rests with AGW.”

    Fixed that misspelling for you. [snicker]

  41. Dave Springer

    tempterrain | July 24, 2012 at 8:08 am | Reply

    “Is it possible to draw a graph which doesn’t have a peak?”

    Yes. The strength of gravity approaching a black hole. The number of real numbers. The number of non-repeating digits to the right of the decimal point in the constant PI. Many others.

    But that’s not the point. The point isn’t whether there’s any such thing as peak oil but rather whether peak oil has occured and whether or a reliable projection can be made of when it might occur.

    One weighs this against the belief that there will be a timely technological solution for a replacement for fossil fuels. I’ve great faith that science and engineering will come to the rescue before fossil fuels are depleted enough to become a catastrophic problem. Clearly there is several orders of magnitude more energy in sunlight falling on the planet than human civilization requires. It’s simply a matter of efficienctly collecting and storing that energy in synthetic hydrocarbon bonds in a form compatible extant infrastructure. I remain convinced this is quite feasible with only a modicum of further advance in the area of synthetic biology. The result will not be simply a replacement of fossil fuels at par pricing but fuels that are far less expensive than fossil fuels. This will improve living standards across the globe immensly instead of just treading water or undergoing a slow decline.

  42. Dave Springer

    Bart R | July 24, 2012 at 1:05 am | Reply

    “So, hands up, everyone who appointed Cato to be in charge of them?”

    I wasn’t aware it was up for a vote. I thought CATA was just a policy institute making recommendations that others are free to embrace or ignore.

    Now, if you want to ask that question about USGCRP which actually is tasked with spending $2 billion in taxpayer money I can say I did not endorse that appointment and given the result’s they’ve produced I’d take that money away and spend it something useful like summertime replacements for school lunches for underprivileged children. My wife was just complaining that the free food bank she works at sponsered by her church has a difficult time keeping up with demand when school is in recess because the subsidized school lunch programs aren’t operating. Doesn’t that sound like a far better use of money than wasting it on overpaid bureaucrats producing nothing but perpetually postponed warnings of anthropogenic global warming?

    • Dave Springer | July 24, 2012 at 9:54 am |

      Yeah, this whole “taxpayer money” thing you’re doing here, it means you did endorse that appointment.

      It’s a democracy, you and your wife have the right to vote and the power to sponsor and donate and work towards and campaign on any democratic issue you want. And on this one, by your action or inaction, you endorsed the USCGRP. That’s the contract of democracy: you participate, there’s a vote, your elected representatives make decisions on your behalf and take your money to spend on them.

      Unless you’re saying sometimes your elected representatives misspend money?

      And while it’s nice that you’re speaking here on behalf of your wife, speaking on behalf of her church, speaking on behalf of underpriviledged children speaking on behalf of the school lunch program speaking on behalf of the state about what subsidies are and are not appropriate, is subsidy the right term to describe a desperate firefighting measure to prevent malnutrition in America’s children? Isn’t the right term ‘national disgrace’? Or ‘failure of America to create an economy for its families’?

      How did we get to the place that it takes state food programs to replace the right role of parents on an epidemic level?

      Not really my place to say, but it sounds like an issue that ought be taken up by people with the power to campaign on and work towards and donate and sponsor and vote for representatives who will speak to the issue in terms of strong and permanent immediate action to level the playing field, instead of paralyse us all with their political gridlock. As a suggestion.

      And the first step on that? Eliminate the tax-free status and raise the corporate veil on organizations like Cato that interfere in politics on behalf of special interests. Why should any corporation, anywhere, have the power to multiply the influence of single voters in democracy through layers and layers of laws and regulations and red tape that actually uses taxpayer money to influence the outcomes of debates of elected representatives, and of election campaigns themselves?

      A corporation is legally a person as a fiction for the convenience of commerce. That fiction should not extend to democracy and influence over it. If you want Cato to stop starving schoolchildren, stop Cato from starving schoolchildren, David.

  43. Dave Springer

    Alexander Biggs | July 23, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply

    “The first period is 1905 to 1940. To say that this massive rise was just coincidental with the massive rise in fossil fueled industry during this period is not credible.”

    Yet this is exactly what the latest warmist narrative would have us believe. In fact I have pointed out many times that the rise in anthropogenic CO2 emission since 1750 parallels its declining ability, pound for pound, to raise longwave surface forcing. These counter non-linear trends cancel and we should have thus observed a linear increase in anthropogenic global warming over the past 260 years. Pretty much the invention of the steam engine marks the time when we really started pouring CO2 into the atmosphere.

    Unfortunately for the AGW hypothesis it is, at most, only 0.8C warmer now than 250 years ago which pegs anthropogenic warming to a miniscule 0.032C/decade which is hardly anything to be alarmed about. So the CAGW faithful had to change the narrative and say that CO2 emission prior to 1950 was inconsequential and the only warming attributable to humanity happened in the last 50 years. Prior to that it was natural warming and cooling.

    Now they face yet another problem. In 1990 the consensus spelled out in IPCC AR1 stated there would be 0.3C/decade warming if CO2 emission were not curtailed. Yet that much warming has not occured according to the only instruments we have which are capable of making such a measurement. Global average temperature from 1979-2002, over two decades, increased at a pace of about 0.20C/decade which was not too out of line with consensus projection of 0.30C/decade. The problem is that in the 10 years since 2002 the trend has reversed and is a negative 0.1C/decade. If the falling trend continues for another 20 years, which a great many people believe it will do, there will be no net gain at all in global average temperature and it will be demonstrated that it was all natural warming and cooling after all.

    CAGW faithful are stuck between a rock and a hard place. After retreating from the bulk of the time the industrial revolution has been underway to just the last 50 years the data in the last 50 years has now turned contrary and soon they’ll be left with no data at all to support their hypothesis. At that point CAGW becomes nothing more than wishful thinking by rent seekers and misguided misanthropes. In truth it never was more than that and the uncontestable proof is in the offing.

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/to:2002/trend/plot/rss/from:2002/trend/plot/esrl-amo/last:1500/mean:60/plot/rss/every/mean:24

    • Dave Springer

      http://woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/to:2002/trend/plot/rss/from:2002/trend/plot/esrl-amo/last:1500/mean:60/plot/rss/every/mean:60

      The above is less cluttered. I increased the RSS temperature mean to match the 60 month mean I used on Atlantic sea surface temperature. This more clearly shows that global average temperature on a 5 year mean as measured by satellites precisely follows the 5 year mean of the Atlantic ocean surface temperature as measured by ships at sea.

      If the Atlantic ocean follows its historical cycle of warming 0.4C over thirty years then cooling 0.4C for thirty years then in about 20 more years all the warming in the latter half of the twentieth century will be negated or so close to negated that any AGW signal left over will be insignificant.

      This I will defend as a reasonable view of the most reliable data we have in our possession – global average temperature rises and falls by 0.8C every 60 years and we just happened to put the technology in place to precisely and accurately measure it near the beginning of the upside of the cycle. It’s really just that simple and the so-called consensus of scientists as reported by the IPCC is really just that wrong.

      So what are you going to believe – unproven computer models or the satellites put in place to actually measure what’s happening to global average temperature? Me, I’m going with what the instruments are indicating.

    • Dave Springer writes: “Unfortunately for the AGW hypothesis it is, at most, only 0.8C warmer now than 250 years ago”

      How does Dave Springer know this? What data is he basing this on? Highly accurate surface temperature records I presume?

      Or what?

  44. What is the source of the propaganda in Climatology?

    Without doubt, the topic is full of propaganda. I’ve experimentally (on a small scale), convinced myself that I’m a propagandist, in that the techniques of propaganda show up in my comments here at a freakishly high rate. Dr. Curry’s writing itself tests positive for propaganda technique. There are few commenters who are immune (though there are some, so this shows that the effect does tend to be linked to the writer though some comments of some show propaganda and some do not).

    I can testify (testimonial, a propaganda technique) that I’m not paid to propagandize. I don’t belong to a political party, social movement, or organization of any sort that could conceivably profit by my propaganda. I don’t work for an employer that benefits in and perceptible way that I can imagine from my propaganda. I don’t believe Dr. Curry propagandizes for money, or on the marching orders of any group, or to benefit herself indirectly by benefitting any client or employer of herself. I think as a general rule, very few here could be demonstrated in even the most far-fetched scenario to profit from their propagandization.

    So why do we do it?

    My current hypothesis is we’ve picked up and shared bad habits of communication from somewhere, and have been infected as from the dirty needle of propagandists dealing garbage and pumping it into the veins of our discourse, poisoning and corrupting what should be clear and honest.

    Is Cato one such dealer?

    Anyone have a better theory?

    • So why do we do it?

      Here’s an idea:

      Motivated reasoning.

      Propaganda is an attempt to influence someone’s opinion. By definition, blog posts are propagandistic.

      Futile as it is (how many times does anyone here convince anyone who didn’t already agree with them of anything?), folks here are seeking some kind of validation or confirmation for their views (and as an extension, their identity) through convincing someone else, by marking their membership to others in their group (“skeptic,” “realist,” “lukewarmer”) or perhaps by sitting back after they’ve written something and saying to themselves, “Brilliant!!!”

      Specious logic, self-deception, outright deception, testimonial, etc., can all be used for a propagandistic aim. The aim of the propaganda is to confirm biases. Propaganda is a vehicle for expressing motivated reasoning.

      Valid logic and honest argumentation can also serve those goals, but when there is a fear that they won’t suffice, that one’s identity is threatened if one’s views aren’t validated, people will use whatever tools they can fool themselves into thinking valid. Of course, ultimately, it’s futile. Hardly anyone gets convinced of anything, and when people dip into the pool of specious reasoning, etc., they won’t satisfy their need for validation. All they do is put it on public display.

      • Steven Mosher

        Joshua
        “Propaganda is an attempt to influence someone’s opinion. By definition, blog posts are propagandistic.”

        a substantial portion of all human linguistic behavior is aimed at influencing other people’s behavior/opinion. You are always in a rhetorical situation. Always a speaker in a place trying to a achieve a purpose in an audience.

    • Steven Mosher

      Nice work Bart.

      I don’t think one requires a “Cato” or any other boogy men to explain the phenomena. In fact point at Cato or pointing at Fenton communications are really good examples of the phenomena. ahem.

  45. Dave Springer

    Bart R | July 24, 2012 at 10:46 am | Reply

    “I’ve experimentally (on a small scale), convinced myself that I’m a propagandist, in that the techniques of propaganda show up in my comments here at a freakishly high rate.”

    I could have saved you the trouble. Next time just ask. It’s freakishly obvious to the objective observer that you’re an uncritical parrot of alarmist propaganda. It’s good to see you become more self-aware though and there’s nothing really disadvantageous averse to sometimes learning things the hard way. Hard won lessons are the ones that are least likely to be forgotten.

    • Since objective observers observe obvious facts, that Bart R is an uncritical parrot of the alarmist propaganda can only be an obvious, objective fact.

      Made by an objective observer, no doubt.

      No normative statement there, technically speaking. No prescription either, obviously.

    • Only objective observers hold obvious facts homologous to the ones above.

      • You noticed that as well, eh?

      • I’m not sure I did notice, Joshua.

        But I’m sure objective observers did.

        Real objective observers, with a sterling outlook, with or without an English sense of humor.

        Or perhaps just with good ol’ Joe Six Pack common sense.

  46. Judith, it seems Joshua is back after being outed a few months ago. It is extremely difficult to tolerate his thread-stealing pyscho-babble. I need a reprieve before I go away. Question, did Chris Foster ever get to comment, as he promised?

  47. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Bart R asks:  “What is the source of the propaganda in Climatology?”

    Thank you for your question Bart R!   :)   :)   :)

    With reference to Roberts-Miller’s exceedingly useful catalog Characteristics of Demagoguery, we observe in the weblog WUWT, in the present lead story “Fighting the Mann”, which is authored by WUWT editor-in-chief Anthony Watts, the following characteristic traits of demagoguery as defined by Roberts-Miller.

    —————————

    “Motivism” and “Personalizing of Criticisms” The lead sentence of Anthony Watts’ story is: “Michael Mann, the professor who created the climate-change “hockey stick” …

    Watts’ sentence itself factually incorrect, since it is climate-change data that has the shape of a “hockey stick” — a shape that has been confirmed by multiple independent authors in multiple independent studies. It is no personal fault or deliberate intent of Dr. Mann that so many climate-change metrics exhibit the shape of a hockey stick. The reason, rather, is simple and objective: the world’s climate *is* changing, and the pace-of-change is accelerating. Duh!

    That is the simple reason why hockey sticks are evident in many climate-change data-records … through no fault of Dr. Mann’s!   :)   :)   :)

    Thus Anthony Watts’ lead sentence (with its subsequent elaborations) concretely exemplifies Roberts-Miller’s demogogic traits of “Motivism” and “Personalizing of Criticisms”.

    —————————

    “Ingroup/Outgroup Thinking” Later on in the WUWT/Anthony Watts essay appears the sentence: “Rand Simberg says what we all know here at WUWT …”

    Watts’ phrase “What we all know here at WUWT” serves to identify the boundaries of what Roberts-Miller’s essay calls “Ingroup Thinking” at WUWT.

    —————————-

    Questions regarding legal bounds to the venom of demagogic propaganda, we can leave to the lawyers. As for whether venomous demagogic propaganda usefully sustains the public dialog that is essential to the proper functioning of Jeffersonian republican democracies, here (it seems to me) the answer is “NO”.

    That was a good question, Bart R!   :)   :)   :)

    • “Rand Simberg says what we all know here at WUWT …”

      Apparently, Anthony doesn’t realize that “skeptics” are a diverse group, with many different opinions, (only united by their desire to fight against scientific corruption, tyranny, and freedom haters).

    • Steven Mosher

      “Watts’ sentence itself factually incorrect, since it is climate-change data that has the shape of a “hockey stick” — a shape that has been confirmed by multiple independent authors in multiple independent studies. ”

      Hmm, well if you actually look at the proxy data you will find that to get a hockey stick ( flat shaft ) you have to include some key ingredients
      1. bristlecone pines ( any one will do ) OR
      2. fox tail TRW OR
      3. upside down tiljander.

      And the flatness is NOT actually IN the data. the flatness results from applying a statistical methodology that is known and proven to reduce variance in the shaft.

      To understand this you would have to plot and look at the actual proxy data.
      you have not done this. those of us who have, understand that the flatness of the final shaft is not IN THE DATA. it is the result of applying a procedure to the data.

      You should probably check out team MXD.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Demagoguery is polarizing propaganda that motivates members of an ingroup to hate and scapegoat some outgroup(s), largely by promising certainty, stability, and what Erich Fromm famously called “an escape from freedom.”

      Hmm, should I line a bunch of climate gate mails here?

      “This is one of the two most important qualities of demagoguery. To polarize is to divide a diverse range of things into two poles. Thus, a demagogue breaks everything into two camps: the one s/he represents (what people call the in-group), and evil (the out-group). This kind of polarization recurs throughout demagoguery—there are only two options, there are only two policies, there are only two groups.”

      See the quote below. One of the things we noted about the climategate mails was the manner in which the verbal behavior of the in group was managed.

      ‘Ingroup/outgroup identity is about essential identity. Because members of the ingroup are essentially good, the same behavior on the part of the ingroup is good, and the outgroup is evil ”

      Describing how the term “denialist” works

      “Demagogues rely heavily on certain terms that are conventionally accepted and not very clearly defined. Because they’re used so often, and so rhetorically powerful, these terms can seem clear to an audience as long as the audience doesn’t stop to think exactly what the rhetor mean. And demagogues certainly won’t define them—the vagueness of the terms is very helpful for their purposes.

      Words often have a connotation and a denotation. That is, the words “mutt,” “mongrel,” and “mixed breed” all denote the same thing (they all mean a dog that is not purebred) but some have a negative tone (mutt, mongrel) and some more neutral (mixed breed), so they have different connotations. One way to describe the kinds of terms that demagogues like is that they are heavy on connotation but light on denotation (everyone knows how they feel about those concepts, but are not actually very clear on just what they denote). ”

      Big Oil as the target

      “Scapegoating is closely connected, but just slightly different. A “scapegoat” is a person or group on whom one dumps all responsibility for a situation; that person or group is responsible for the bad situation of the in-group. “

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      fan of more bs wins the bestest funniest post of the day.
      Thanks, fan!

    • And yet the intention of the question wasn’t to incite further examples of propaganda, as we already have plenty.

      Though we have to reject many of the surmises and conjectures in answer to the question. David Springer’s guess about parroting doesn’t even begin to match the data. It’s as if he came to the topic after picking out perhaps five words out of the entire comment and merged the cherries he found there with some preconceived notion.

      Joshua guesses motivated reasoning, which is a different sort of fundamental misunderstanding of the question. While there may be motivated reasoning, propaganda isn’t a form of reasoning, and appears to if anything abnegate reasoning. Most of the propaganda we see is of the shooting-oneself-in-the-foot sort. Whatever the motivation, the technique is working against the interests of the posters on the whole.

      Steven Mosher (who scores surprisingly low on propaganda in a remarkable number of his posts, perhaps showing his Marketing expertise, as a good marketer — or an evil one — knows when propaganda is not the best technique to apply), while informatively pointing out the obvious propaganda in my own hypothesis, doesn’t seem to be telling us all he knows or thinks. However, one can point out that propaganda itself is a very small subset of the rhetorical domain, as it is also a small subset of the Marketing world, and the power of propaganda is so low overall, it doesn’t explain why it’s so popular here.

      willard’s irony, while clever, might go above his targets’ heads. Also, he’s prone to mistaking the nature of social sciences, which are about groups and not individuals; pointing to individuals in groups doesn’t tell us about the group themselves, per se. It’s an understandable mistake. I’ve seen some here who think an individual molecule can exhibit a temperature.

      Keep in mind, the identification of content of posts as propaganda does not imply the posts themselves are false, bad, wrong, motivated by false/bad/wrong or unethical causes, or anything at all other than that there is an objective test of ‘propaganda techniques’ that can be applied, and that reports (or over-reports, I think) a metric.

      People have also posted statements that have practically no propaganda technique whatever and are still demonstrably simply false. I find propaganda in posts I agree with, and posts I disagree with. It’s just there.

      We’re swimming in it, and it’s merely an interesting effect to observe. I postulate there’s a cause, but I’ve collected too little data to confirm one.

      But it does mean I’m going to make an effort to say what I have to say with less resort to propaganda technique. I think it will only increase the clarity of my points.

      And I dare you to do the same.

      • While there may be motivated reasoning, propaganda isn’t a form of reasoning,..

        I didn’t say it was, Bart, I said it was a vehicle for expressing motivated reasoning.

        …and appears to if anything abnegate reasoning….Whatever the motivation, the technique is working against the interests of the posters on the whole.

        Completely consistent with that I said.

      • > willard’s irony, while clever, might go above his targets’ heads. Also, he’s prone to mistaking the nature of social sciences, which are about groups and not individuals; pointing to individuals in groups doesn’t tell us about the group themselves, per se.

        I plead guilty to the first accusation, Bart R.

        I am not sure I follow the fround for the second one, since my standpoint pertains to practical reasoning, which are always applied, where lack of self-reflection is one of the most expedient way to “shoot-oneself-in-the-foot”.

        Irony goes hand in hand with a game where participants can easily get recognized as propagandists by their refusal to listen or to concede. Such conversation games are being played in many contexts, where people instinctively use them to understand if it’s wise when to spend their words, and when it’s a lost cause.

        This game is a personal endeavour, a moral one if you please, and thus lies outside your scientific experiment. A more personal approach seems more legitimate to me than to interact with people as guinea pigs. So I’m not sure people should do the same as you suggest.

        In any case, as long as everyone acknowledge that we’re dancing while waiting for Godot, ho harms done.

      • > I am not sure I follow the fround for the second one,

        I’m not sure what I wanted to denote with the word “fround”.

  48. john vonderlin

    Perhaps, I missed a comment similar to the one I’d like to make in response to the usage of the word “maroons.” But, I do tend to skip over the ego battles and semantic wars that often afflict this forum, so please excuse me if I am being redundant. It was obviously not a typo or spelling issue given the letters placement on a QWERTY keyboard, the differing number of letters, and the number of letter transpositions(metatheses). With Bugs Bunny cartoons too far in my past to rise to the top of my considerations of interpretation, I assumed it was related to the old racist lexicon that described the percentage of one’s African genetic heritage with terms like quadroon, octaroon, etc. down to 1/128. For those not familiar with this context, a Wikipedia article details the long history of the Maroons. Their name comes from the Spanish word “Cimarron” denoting runaway slaves, with a literal translation of “living on a mountaintop.” I had assumed this usage of “Maroons” was an obscure allusion to those warning of catastrophic sea level rise. Given that I, as a Lukewarmer skeptic, would have been a runaway slave, willing to die Free on a mountaintop or in a swamp, rather then to live as a slave, I didn’t think it was a very good allusion. Thanks for setting me straight on my mistake. I’ll see if I can do some remedial studies this Saturday morning.

  49. As a westerner with more than a passing interest in the effects of climate change on western water resources, I first turned to the Section titled “Water Resources”. With regard to this Section at least, the Report’s stated purpose, to “serve as a primary reference and a guide-post for those who want to bring science back into environmental protection” is appallingly unfulfilled.

    Anyone with even the slightest acqaintance with the hundreds of relevant papers on the subject of western U.S. water resources will recognize how superficial, misleading and otherwise deficient is this Section. For those demanding documentation of this assertion, start with the references in <a href="http://sei-us.org/Publications_PDF/SEI-WesternWater-0211.pdf&quot; rel="The Last Drop: Climate Change and the Southwest Water Crisis", and expand your investigation of the literature from there.

    If the quality of this Section is representative of rest of the Report, the entire thing can be readily dismissed as amateurish propaganda.

    • “If the quality of this Section is representative of rest of the Report, the entire thing can be readily dismissed as amateurish propaganda.”

      It was rather short, but whole paper discussing the topic, so just going to section isn’t wise. The entire paper is about global climate change and it’s effect on US. The significant aspect of the Southwest is growing population and with increasing water needs and the region has history droughts. Global change is likely to have much effect upon these periods of droughts, but combine increase water use and future drought, there should concern about improve water management.

    • America has decades of drought to come – as I have said before this most recent manifestation. Expect dust bowl conditions to emerge – and it has nothing to do with AGW.

  50. ‘Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values.’ The Wrong Trousers: Radically Rethinking Climate Policy – http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/mackinderCentre/

    I have quoted this several times – including above. Not sure what the difficulty is. We have Bart and Joshua talking about motivated as if this is a new discovery – with Bart at least feeling that the human condition doesn’t apply to him. Joshua accepts intellectually that it applies to him but doesn’t really believe it.

    My values have been clearly stated – economic growth, technological innovation, co-operative solutions to managing common pool resources, democracy, free markets, individual freedom and the rule of law. Things that are fundamental enlightenment values fought and bled for, especially by America, over hundreds of years. Clearly there is a clash of culture and ethics here and to miss this aspect of the climate wars is to miss everything that is vital to understanding the social dynamic.

    The science is really another thing – and I don’t have any motivation to look at it askance. My solutions remain the same regardless of what science says. Indeed – I made the transition as a hydrologist and environmental scientist from reading AR1 around 1990 and accepting the simple radiative physics involved – to realising that the PDO had exactly the same temporal signature as the hydrological regimes whose cause I was searching for as well as the temporal signature of the trajectories of global temperatures in the 20th century. So this went from a harmless pursuit of hydrological verities to a realisation that things were not quite as simple as first glance would suggest.

    I will quote once again from the IPCC 4AR – s 3.4.4.1. ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ It is increasingly clear natural low-frequency variability – indeed chaotic variability – operates at these decadal timescales and that there are mechanisms operating through cloud radiative forcing. One of these mechanisms seems to be related to sea surface temperature in the tropical and sub-tropical Pacific. One of the implications of this is the potential for subdued warming or even cooling over the next decade or 3. The science is nowhere near as simple or clear cut as the cult of AGW space cadets insist.

    I have been pondering why a more nuanced picture is not emerging – both in terms of the complexity of science and the plethora of opportunities to address this and many other severe problems facing the world and humanity this century. But I am an engineer and environmental scientist and not a pop psychologist. All I know is that we can agree on ways forward or not. Taxes or caps are anathema to us libertarian types – and seem profoundly immoral to me – but there are many other feasible approaches and we can speak with a single voice to advance these or let the climate wars persist.

    Robert I Ellison
    Chief Hydrologist

  51. Beth Cooper

    yer see, it ain’t demagoguery fer fan to label anyone who disputes ‘climate consenus science’ as ‘denier’ with its connotations that fan can’t deny. Yer can’t deny yer do this fan.

    But
    ………. don’t dare to say a certain person has a doctorate in data doctoring, thats just demonizing, why it’s demagoguery, man!

    Puzzled denizen: ” But what if there’s evidence a certain doctor is using a flawed methodology that produces hockey sticks on demand?”

    fan: “Mere demagoguery.”

    Puzzled denizen: “But what if there’s evidence of selective screening (very) of bristle cone tree ring data?”

    fan: “Dem a gog uery.”

    PD: ” Well what about upside down tiljander?”

    f: “Mere demagoguery. Do I haf ter keep repeatin’ myself?’

    PD: So criticism, conjecture and refutation, play no part in climate science?”

    f: “Nope.
    Next question.”

    • Luv it, Luv.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Thank you for your very interesting and amusingly-phrased critique, Beth Cooper!   :)   :)   :)

      Although the boundary between “rational skeptic” versus “non-rational denier” is subject to debate, it is a matter of easily verifiable fact that the medical literature contains more than one thousand articles containing the word “denial” in their titles; thus this distinction is hallowed by precedent as being scientifically useful.

      It’s true (by way of example) that one person’s “denial of severe alcohol problems” is another persons “acceptable level social drinking”; none-the-less the study of denial syndromes has proven to be scientifically valuable; neither as a society do we find it socially acceptable to permit drunk driving — no matter how vehemently a drunk may deny their impairment.

      What is your topic of inquiry, Beth Cooper?   :)   :)   :)

    • lurker passing through, laughing

      Beth,
      Recall that the devil hates to be mocked.
      Extremists suffer from badly performed humorectomies.
      From the right perspective, the extremist trolls here are easily seen as the pompous bigoted derivative cultists their obsession over CO2 has made them.
      See them for the clowns they are.
      Despair not.
      Enjoy greatly.

  52. Judy,
    I read the introductory material and global sections of each report. To the casual reader (who would not know how to interpret robustness) my guess is that both reports would be convincing. While I largely agree with Pat Michaels assessment in About the Report, the terminology is inappropriate for what CATO wants to accomplish. A mild observation that the Assessment appears to be an advocacy document rather than an impartial assessment would suffice. I agree with Chris Colose’s comments about inappropriate passages in the executive summary but disagree about their impact on the validity of the remainder of the document.

    From my somewhat more informed skeptical perspective than, it was clear that the USGCRP report followed the science is settled pattern and expressed virtually no uncertainty. Ironically, the only comment approaching uncertainty I found was:

    ” Complete melting of these ice sheets over this century or the next is thought to be virtually impossible, although past climate records provide precedent for very significant decreases in ice volume, and therefore increases in sea level. 42,43″

    USGCRP glosses over all of the major holes in AGW theory to include the missing medieval warm period. I read the sections on troposphere temperature in each document very carefully – I still do not have an opinion on whether the science is settled on this issue. There were a few papers after USGCRP which CATO cites as indicating uncertainty in the resolution of the troposphere temperature profile problem.

    Overall, I find CATO more complete and the narrative evenhanded though there are a few non-relevant sentences I would have pulled.

    The problem with comparing the two is they are advocacy documents with slightly orthogonal goals:
    USGCRP advocates that AGW is a problem.
    CATO does not advocate that AGW is not a problem (easier to compare). It advocates that we do not know if it us a problem.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Actually, CATO has stated that the effects of AGW has “little national significance”. That is hardly saying that we do not know if it is a problem. CATO seems to be deniers is skeptics clothing.

    • RobertInAz -

      It advocates that we do not know if it us a problem.

      Just one example of many possible:

      There is little relationship between life expectancy, wealth and climate.

      How could that statement be consistent with the opinion that you “don’t know if [climate change] is a problem?”

      Is there any doubt that if AGW occurs at significant levels, it would affect life expectancy and wealth (at the very least in terms of exacerbating disparities in life expectancy and wealth)?

      • “Is there any doubt that if AGW occurs at significant levels, it would affect life expectancy and wealth (at the very least in terms of exacerbating disparities in life expectancy and wealth)?”

        What would significant levels mean. Describe what means in terms of effect upon a region like California, Florida, or any other region would like choose to indicate what significant levels would be. This occurring before 2100.

      • gbaikie -

        The Cato document refers to “the most dire scenarios.” As a climate debate fanatic, I’m quire sure that you’re aware of some of “the most dire scenarios” that some have predicted as a possible result of climate change. I’m going to reject your restriction of “before 2100″ because that wasn’t a qualification that Cato added to their statement.

        Do you think that with the potential sea level rise considered by some to be a potential outcome of climate change (“the most dire scenarios”), that poor people living in coastal regions won’t have their life expectancy and wealth diminished?

        The excerpt from the Cato document that Judith excerpted is dreck. Dreck, dreck, dreck, dredk, dreck. There’s no way around it. Even Judith referred to it as propaganda. Why would anyone pretend otherwise?

      • “The Cato document refers to “the most dire scenarios.” As a climate debate fanatic, I’m quire sure that you’re aware of some of “the most dire scenarios” that some have predicted as a possible result of climate change. I’m going to reject your restriction of “before 2100″ because that wasn’t a qualification that Cato added to their statement.”

        The CATO document is correction or they say an addendum of an earlier report called, “Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States”. I believe both report were dealing period up to 2100.

        As I said before I feel that looking into future beyond 100 years is problematic. Though looking at periods longer than century in the future maybe somewhat useful or informative, basing policy on such long time frames introduces so many unknowns that it probably mostly counterproductive. I think 50 years is probably better time period, and of course even in such time frames 50 years or less there will be many unknowns and much uncertainty involved.
        So both because I assumed it was about up to 2100 and because I think it’s better not to get too far into future as general rule.

        Btw, the last interglacial period ” peaked between 6.6 and 9.4 m” and had temperatures “3–5 °C warmer than today”:

        http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/why-are-sea-levels-so-low

        The rather interesting question is that since we may near the end of our
        interglacial period [or at the tail end of it], why don’t we currently have such high sea levels and such higher global temperature?

        But back your post and regarding me being aware some people’s “dire scenarios”. I can’t say much aware of them, I am aware of what kind of things Hansen as said, mostly I regard as exaggeration rather a serious assessment. It’s sort of like saying 1 km diameter space rock could kill billions of people. It’s true but unlikely particular if talking about near term- if were to extent it to thousands of years, it become more likely..
        Which also applies to large volcanoes and host of other dangers.
        Btw one can find a computer simulation of I believe, a 1/2 km diameter rock and it’s affect- pretty interesting. And risk studies of NEOs impact assessments and loss of life and property damage estimates.
        And generally they pale in comparison what has said by many idiots about the damages from warming world. But other what consider a rather uninformed generalities I can’t say seen any serious efforts at the possible damages of worst case possible effect from CAGW.

        “Do you think that with the potential sea level rise considered by some to be a potential outcome of climate change (“the most dire scenarios”), that poor people living in coastal regions won’t have their life expectancy and wealth diminished?”

        I think poor people, can easily avoid death or damages from any rise of sea level- if 10 meter rise in sea level per century, is what regarded as the upper limit of crazy. Though with significant value in infrastructure, could have a serious cost problem with such a rise.
        And little low lying islands of course would need to leave their islands- but unless they were to refuse to leave, they would not face death because sea level rise. But any fool that live on island of sand, should expect that such place is not necessarily permanent.
        Then also places which currently sinking, like New Orleans, and obviously place like that need local government to up to the challenge of dealing having a city in such a poor location. So rising sea levels would be challenging to some incompetent governmental bodies. But the levels of sea level rise that is expected should overly tax the worst governments in the worst locations.

      • Latimer Alder

        @joshua

        Please give some examples of why you think this should occur. It is not obvious that this proposition is true.

      • “The most dire scenarios.”

        Consider, say, 1.5 meters of sea level rise in, say Bangladesh.

        It is not obvious that this proposition is true.

        Please.

        Dispute the predictions if you want, but to say that given “the most dire scenarios” wealth and life expectancy won’t be affected is just wacko.

      • Steven Mosher

        joshua.

        simple question. Would you agree that lives are at stake in the decisions we make with regard to climate change?

      • steven -

        I don’t know for sure. I’m not skilled nor intelligent enough to evaluate the scientific evidence. I think it is probable – justifying careful analysis of the costs and benefits of different action.

        Unfortunately, there’s too much dreck cluttering the debate. (Some) “skeptics” (as a generalization) raise valuable questions, but undermine their credibility on a consistent basis. (Some) “realists” (as a generalization) seem to have scientific evidence to justify their theories (within error ranges), but they also seem to have poor control over confirmation biases. (Some) luke-warmists (as a generalization) also seem to be unwilling to acknowledge facile reasoning.

        I dismiss claims that lives aren’t at stake (by dismissing uncertainty). And I think it’s absurd when (some) “skeptics” say they aren’t arguing from a position of certainty when the underlying logic of their arguments clearly contradicts that claim.

        Why do you ask?

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘Dispute the predictions if you want, but to say that given “the most dire scenarios” wealth and life expectancy won’t be affected is just wacko.”

        Do you think that lives are at stake? consider a 1.5 meter rise in Bangladesh. You said that its wacko to assert that life expectancy wont be effected. which means you think that that life expectancy will be effected. That is, you think people will die earlier than they would have otherwise.

        It’s a simple question. Do you think lives are at stake. Do you think the issue is important? do you think diminished life expectancy is important.

        Why do I ask? because I am interested in your position. I think lives are at stake. and I don’t have to weasel word around the issue and I don’t have to wonder why people are or are not interested in my position. In short, I care and am not afraid to say it’s important.

      • steven -

        Do you think that lives are at stake? consider a 1.5 meter rise in Bangladesh. You said that its wacko to assert that life expectancy wont be effected. which means you think that that life expectancy will be effected. That is, you think people will die earlier than they would have otherwise.

        I don’t know. Not sure how else to say it.

        I don’t/can’t understand the science well enough to have an opinion one way or the other (and maybe wouldn’t even if I did). I think it is probable. And from what I read about the science, and although “skeptics” try to claim otherwise, most of the science indicates probability and not certainty. So how could I “know” if most of the science says something like “it is 90% likely that more than 50% of the recent warming is anthropogenic?”

        And I think that given that it is probable, it certainly merits a long, hard consideration of costs/benefits of mitigation. And I don’t trust much of the cost/benefit analysis that I’ve read. I think that it is fraught with over-confidence in all directions.

        I believe that motivated reasoning is an important issue – in day to day life, in every realm of politics, and in very stark relief in the climate blogosphere..

        I think it is unlikely that the AGW cabal has corrupted the science in the way that some “skeptics” claim. The reason is that what they claim takes even more than just widespread motivated reasoning – it requires conspiratorial conniving. As a skeptic, it takes a whole lot to get me to believe in conspiracies. But I can’t say that I “know” that people will suffer due to AGW because: (1) most of the science only dictates probability and, (2) given what I believe about motivated reasoning, it is theoretically possible that the error ranges are less than specified. I think it highly unlikely that “skeptics” are right in what they say about the degree of influence of motivated reasoning among climate scientists (because they attach to their conspiracies nonsense about “leftists” and the like that I know, from personal experience in dealing with many leftists throughout my life, are not consistent with reality), but I can’t rule it out completely.

        I think it is definitely true that a 1.5 meter sea rise would reduce life expectancy and wealth in a place like Bangladesh. That’s why if you dismiss any possibility of reduction of life expectancy and/or wealth due to climate change, in fact you are saying, with certainty, that climate change presents no possibility of danger. That was my point to RobertInArizona. His statement that Cato was saying that they “don’t know” is logically inconsistent (if you take what they say about what they believe at face value).

        I think lives are at stake. and I don’t have to weasel word around the issue and I don’t have to wonder why people are or are not interested in my position. In short, I care and am not afraid to say it’s important.

        I have never questioned your motivations, steven, although you have rather continuously questioned mine.

      • I would guess it’s obvious, but I mean that the error ranges may be greater than specified.

        And I should have put “AGW Cabal” in scare quotes.

      • Im not questioning your motives Joshua. They don’t matter to me.
        I’m just trying to figure out what you believe.

        You say you don’t know that lives are are stake or that anything else is at stake.

        yet, you know enough to say that others who express certitude are wacko.

        That’s odd.

        I’m not looking for you to prove to me that lives are at stake. I already believe that. I’m pretty certain of it.

        But you do say its probable. How probable?

      • And he’ll have fun, fun, fun ’til his Daddy takes the T-Bird away.
        ==================

      • “Do you think that lives are at stake? consider a 1.5 meter rise in Bangladesh. You said that its wacko to assert that life expectancy wont be effected. which means you think that that life expectancy will be effected. That is, you think people will die earlier than they would have otherwise. ”
        Bangladesh:
        “75% of Bangladesh is less than 10m above sea level and 80% is flood plain”
        Each year in Bangladesh about 26,000 km sq, (around 18%) of the country is flooded, killing over 5,000 people and destroying 7 million homes. During severe floods the affected area may exceed 75% of the country, as was seen in 1998. ”

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

        So every year in Bangladesh, one gets flooding that kills thousands of people. 100,000 people or more in the past have died from severe flooding. It possible that higher standards of living fewer people could die from flooding in the future. And more recent times because of modest increases in living standards fewer people have probably died from similar levels of flooding.
        Compare to Katrina and New Orleans:
        “A new study has found that 67 percent of the fatalities in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005 resulted from direct impacts of the flooding that occurred when the levees collapsed”
        “In all, 518 out of the analyzed 771 deaths in New Orleans resulted from direct exposure to the flooding, according to the results of the study “Loss of Life Caused by the Flooding of New Orleans After Hurricane Katrina: Analysis of the Relationship Between Flood Characteristics and Mortality,” which is reported in the May issue of the peer-reviewed journal Risk Analysis, published by the Society for Risk Analysis.”

        http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2009/05/18/100605.htm

        “The 1991 Bangladesh cyclone was among the deadliest tropical cyclones on record. On the night of 29 April 1991 a powerful tropical cyclone struck the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh with winds of around 250 km/h (155 mph). The storm forced a 6 metre (20 ft) storm surge inland over a wide area, killing at least 138,000 people and leaving as many as 10 million homeless.
        ….
        At least 138,000 people were killed by the storm, with the majority of deaths in the Chittagong area. Most deaths were from drowning, with the highest mortality among children and the elderly. Although cyclone shelters had been built after the 1970 Bhola cyclone, many had just a few hours of warning and did not know where to go for shelter. Others who knew about the storm refused to evacuate because they did not believe the storm would be as bad as forecast. Even so it is estimated over 2 million people did evacuate from the most dangerous areas, possibly mitigating the disaster substantially.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1991_Bangladesh_cyclone

        “The scientists analysed how the two rivers and the land around them changed in response to the changing climate from 1943 to 2008.

        They found that the rate of sediment addition was more than the rate of soil erosion during this period — the country gained nearly 1,800 square kilometres of new land”
        “”If we can use these sediments in a planned way we can tackle 60 centimetres to one metre sea level rise over next 100 years,” he said.”

        http://www.scidev.net/en/news/river-sediment-may-counter-bangladesh-sea-level-rise.html

        So large numbers of people die in Bangladesh from yearly flooding and extreme river flooding occurs periodically. Another cause large number of deaths occurs from Hurricanes. The storm surges have large affect upon this low level region [most of country is on a flood plain.
        It seems projects which would reduce damage from hurricane storms surges could also include protection from sea level rise.

        By taking steps to increase Bangladesh’s economic growth it seems a likely result would be such projects could be afforded. Bangladesh’s economic growth has been 5 to 6 % per year for over a decade. It seems that continue this growth or increasing it should allow this to occur decade a few decades. It also seems quite possible that Bangladesh could raise foreign investment to shortened the time in which this can occur and save many lives and reduction in property damages.
        So even if sea level were to rise by 1 1/2 meter by 2100, it’s quite possible that Bangladesh has the ability to take step that would result having less deaths by 2100.

      • steven -

        Is t possible that you really don’t understand this?

        I am not certain that seas will rise by 1.5 meters in Bangladesh.

        Call me wacko if you will, but I am certain that a sea rise of 1.5 meters would cause deaths and impoverishment in places like Bangladesh, unless of course before that rise occurred god were to put his (her?) hand down and lift Bangladesh in elevation, sparing it from deadly and impoverishing outcomes. But then people in other areas of the world would still suffer, wouldn’t they?

        gbaikie offers a nice way to look at the issue. He gives evidence of how destructive flooding is in Bangladesh. Of course, it’s obvious that with dramatic economic growth it is possible that fewer people would be affected than otherwise, but would that compensate sufficiently to completely mitigate the damage in a place like that from flooding should seas rise by 1.5 meters? Only a motivated thinker could think so. Estimates are for 18 million people affected and 22,000 km2 of land submerged. Let’s say that error in estimation combined with efficient capitalization of GDP growth and foreign aid reduces that impact, exponentially to 1.8 million people affected and 1,800 km2 of land submerged. An area nearly 1/2 the size of Rhode Island, with the highest population in the world, in a country that depends on the fishing industry, where houses are poorly constructed, where past efforts to build infrastructure have been fraught with problems. Yeah, I’m just wacky.

        And gbaikie – imagine what would have happened in NO if the Katrina had occurred with seas 1.5 meters higher.

        So even if sea level were to rise by 1 1/2 meter by 2100, it’s quite possible that Bangladesh has the ability to take step that would result having less deaths by 2100.

        Yes, it is possible that the severity of the impact might be lessened, assuming continuous dramatic economic growth in Bangladesh, efficient capitalization of that growth by its government, and additional economic aid from other sources (don’t bother asking Rob Starkey for his money). Fewer deaths and less impoverishment would occur than would happen minus the continuous dramatic economic growth, efficient capitalization of that growth and foreign aid by its government. That possibility is not mutually exclusive from the conclusion that a rise of 1.5 meters in sea level would displace and kill people in Bangladesh and other places around the globe that perhaps were not able to capitalize on sustained and constant economic growth and significant aid from other sources.

        I see that you must like the logic shown in the excerpt from the Cato report that Judith excerpted.

      • steven -

        Im not questioning your motives Joshua.

        When did you change on that? And why did you change?

      • Joushua said, “An area nearly 1/2 the size of Rhode Island, with the highest population in the world, in a country that depends on the fishing industry, where houses are poorly constructed, where past efforts to build infrastructure have been fraught with problems.”

        There is an advantage to “poorly constructed” as you call it homes on a shifting delta. They are inexpensive to replace and easy to move. Kinda like tents. With or without climate change impacts, those deltas will get flooded and often do get flooded. Why do you think they are called deltas? Bangladesh is poor not stupid. Your ideas for Bangladesh solutions may not fit with Bangladesh reality. Not all cultures have the same values or are limited to the same concept of risk, or there would be bus top seat belts and air bags :)

      • Cap’n

        Is there a discount sale in straw in your area? Looks like you’ve been buying in bulk.

        Your ideas for Bangladesh solutions may not fit with Bangladesh reality./blockquote>

        What are my ideas for Bangladesh solutions? I’m not suggesting that there aren’t advantages to the traditional forms of housing in Bangladesh, or that their traditional housing should be replaced with other housing that would have fewer advantages.

        Bangladesh is poor not stupid.

        Thanks for informing me of that. Prior to your post, I thought that people in Bangladesh are stupid. Particularly the Bangladeshi that I’ve worked with and who impressed me with their intelligence.

        Not all cultures have the same values or are limited to the same concept of risk,

        Again, thank you for posting that. Prior to reading your post, I thought that all cultures have the same values and are limited to the same concept of risk.

        It really is fascinating how when logic (or what I actually say) is no obstacle, people can read all kinds of things into what I say.

      • Mosh, if we take the money spent on on transitioning from a fossil fuel economy to a non-carbon economy, there will be a huge loss in world productive capacity. The poor will suffer the most, and we know that there is a definite correlation between GDP per capita vs life expectancy.

        http://www.indexmundi.com/g/correlation.aspx?v1=67&v2=30&y=2003

        Let us say the conversion process cost Bangladesh a 1/4 of its GDP per capita; this pushes them back along the very shallow death curve; so they lose, on average, between 15-20 years

      • Dave Springer

        I’m sorry. I must have missed where Bangladesh was bound by Kyoto Protocol. Given I didn’t miss anything and in fact Bangladesh and all other so-called developing (read non-western) countries are exempt from Kyoto exactly what compels them to suffer under the expense of moving towards a lower carbon infrastructure?

    • And this:

      Even under the most dire scenarios, people will be much wealthier and healthier than they are today in the year 2100.

      Please define “people.”

      So someone living in a flooded area, or an area affected by unprecedent drought (dire scenarios) would be unaffected in terms of life expectancy or wealth?

      The only way that one could make the statement I excerpted above is if one is absolutely certain that climate change is not a problem.

      • “And this:

        Even under the most dire scenarios, people will be much wealthier and healthier than they are today in the year 2100.

        Please define “people.” ”

        People living on planet Earth

    • “USGCRP advocates that AGW is a problem.
      CATO does not advocate that AGW is not a problem (easier to compare). It advocates that we do not know if it is a problem.”

      CATO said AGW as has not been a problem to date. Nor has there been any potential specific problem in the future which has been identified which would distinguish such AGW effect from what we know of the past climatic record.

  53. Beth Cooper

    One thousand articles… hallowed by precedent …? Ahem, fan, ain’t that the old argumentum ad populum logical fallacy yer employin’ there?

  54. Beth Cooper

    lurker, I agree, lots of lol(s) under the big top. Fer you lurker passing through laughing. :-) :-) :-)

  55. Beth Cooper

    Argumentum ad confusium convolutum, fan, very serious. Nobody i know laughs at sufferinhg, fan, we merely laugh at that which merits laughter.
    There was a nice little discouse on this by brother William of Baskerville in “Name of the Rose.”

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      “The Vice [of denialism] is a monster of so frightful mien
      As to be hated needs but to be seen;
      Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face,
      We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”
          ― Alexander Pope

      Beth Cooper, have we too oft seen the face of denialism?:evil:   :shock:   :cry:

      • Hey pretty encouraging, fan of something or other, blah… So when does the embrace thing kick in? Looking forward.

        ..

      • At least she is not house bound, sees the world for what it is; and does something about *it* too.

    • ‘Daydream delusion.
      Limousine Eyelash
      Oh, baby with your pretty face
      Drop a tear in my wineglass
      Look at those big eyes
      See what you mean to me
      Sweet cakes and milkshakes
      I am a delusioned angel
      I am a fantasy parade.’

      David Jewell

      He is a loathsome destroyer of poetry. Adding tags to someone else’s poetry should be a haning offence . These people have no shame at all.

  56. Yet denier has some 17 entries and serves as a convenient tool of propaganda. A selective presentation of irrelevant information, intending to create a emotional reaction and all to defend the AGW groupthink.

    The contrast can’t be more stark. The true believers in a climate apocalypse offer economic degrowth, suspension of democracy, laws to repress free speech and dismantling of free markets. They need just look around at their fellow travellers.

    Economic Degrowth

    Degrowth (in French: décroissance,[1] in Spanish: decrecimiento, in Italian: decrescita) is a political, economic, and social movement based on environmentalist, anti-consumerist and anti-capitalist ideas. Degrowth thinkers and activists advocate for the downscaling of production and consumption—the contraction of economies—as overconsumption lies at the root of long term environmental issues and social inequalities. Key to the concept of degrowth is that reducing consumption does not require individual martyring and a decrease in well-being. Rather, ‘degrowthists’ aim to maximize happiness and well-being through non-consumptive means—sharing work, consuming less, while devoting more time to art, music, family, culture and community.’ Wikepedia

    Suspension of Democracy

    ‘However, the practices of democracy at times do not sit comfortably with the best advice of those most qualified and knowledgeable.
    Over the last decade or so, politically driven climate deniers have adroitly used the instruments of democratic practice to erode the authority of professional expertise. They have attempted, with considerable success, to undermine the authority of climate science by skilful exploitation of a free media, appeal to freedom of information laws, the mobilisation of a group of vociferous citizens, and the promotion of their own to public office.’ Clive Hamilton

    The Ultimate Suppression of Free Speech

    “We still have a chance to be cruel. But if we are not cruel today, all is lost.” The sworn enemy of Christians and Humanists both, Linkola knows that the fate of the earth will never be rescued by those who exalt “tenderness, love and dandelion garlands.” Neither the developed nor under-developed populations of the planet deserve to survive at the expense of the biosphere as a whole. Linkola has urged that millions will starve to death or be promptly slaughtered in genocidal civil wars. Mandatory abortions should be carried out for any female who has more than two offspring. The only countries capable of initiating such draconian measures are those of the West, yet ironically they are the ones most hamstrung by debilitating notions of liberal humanism. As Linkola explains, “The United States symbolises the worst ideologies in the world: growth and freedom.” The realistic solution will be found in the implementation of an eco-fascist regime where brutal battalions of “green police,” having freed their consciences from the “syrup ethics,” are capable of doing whatever is necessary.’ Michael Moynihan

    This is not something I invent for laughs. Let’s hear it again. “The United States symbolises the worst ideologies in the world: growth and freedom.” Well done America. We might also add that degrowth will require an eco-fascist regime to implement and is genocidal for billions. Is that what they want? Do they want to kill babies? The answer seems to be yes. The pissant progressives mildly mock here have fellow travellers who are genocidal maniacs. I am commonly reminded of F. A. Hayek from the Constitution of Liberty – ‘From the saintly and single- minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step.’

    Liberal humanists offer a much brighter future for humanity. The rational responses to climate change and other human issues is rapidly emerging:
    - through changes to our farming systems being adopted wholesale across the planet that not only increases food productivity to the extent needed – food for a hungry world – but sequesters immense amounts of carbon;
    - technological innovations that are proceeding in multiple directions at a great rate;
    - the spread of democracy, free markets and the rule of law that is our precious heritage; and
    - economics growth that creates stable, happy and healthy societies with diminished population pressure.

    Join the optimists who have are committed to a bright future for humanity through individual effort and co-operation on grand, humanitarian objectives.

  57. Beth Cooper

    Yes to yer summary, Chief:

    ‘Nothing would sleep in that cellar, dank as a ditch,
    Bulbs broke out of boxes, hunting for chinks in the dark.
    ….Leaf-mould, manure, lime, piled against slippery planks.
    Nothing would give up life:
    Even the dirt kept breathing a small breath,’
    (Roethke)

    Say, have yer got yer other horse back yit, Chief?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      That is a lovely post, Beth Cooper. Here is a celebrated sample of blood from the same artistic vein, issuing however from the pens of science:

      Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously

      It can only be the thought of verdure to come, which prompts us in the autumn to buy these dormant white lumps of vegetable matter covered by a brown papery skin, and lovingly to plant them and care for them. It is a marvel to me that under this cover they are labouring unseen at such a rate within to give us the sudden awesome beauty of spring flowering bulbs. While winter reigns the earth reposes but these colourless green ideas sleep furiously.

      Is there any thought that poetry cannot communicate, Beth Cooper?   :)   :)   :)

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        Johnny fan of more discourse,
        Thought that that he would ride a horse,
        The horse went swimming out to sea,
        Then Johnny jumped the shark to flee,
        He sought refuge at PJM,
        But couldn’t debate Charlie M.,
        So on he went to Judith’s site,
        To post smilies with all his might.

        Burma Shave

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        To be enemy-listed by a self-proclaimed agent of “more discord” is a wonderful honor for any citizen of a Jeffersonian republican democracy.

        That honor is diluted — if it is diluted at all — solely by the vast compass of “Discord”‘s steadily-increasing list of enemies!   :)   :)   :)

        Here is a clue for you, oh “discord” … it is not persons that demagogues need apprehend, but rather their ideas.   :)   :)   :)

        What honors will you bestow next upon your list of citizen-enemies, oh “Discord”?   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)   :)

      • Paranoid oh purveyor of more dissembling? It is not naming enemies as such – it is merely that you are an annoying little dweeb (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dweeb) seemingly incapable of rational – ah – discourse. But post your name and I will be happy to forward it to webby and robert who post on ‘climate clowns’ and ‘idiot tracks’ respectively. One or other should be sympatico.

        Let me give you a clue. You have no ideas worthy of the name merely a line in flippancy and a penchant for smilies. It will get you as far as the other losers

  58. ‘The embrace,’ Pokerguy, usually occurs in the final chapter, although in tragedy it is likely to happen much earlier, with ensuing disastrous consequences playing out fer the rest of the drama. The sort of no-happy- ending-because-yer-unworthy scenario, that fan et al seem ter go for. :-( :-(

    • Hey Beth,
      Much admiration for you and “the chief” and all the many beacons of sanity, humor, and erudition who regularly visit Dame JUdith’s blog. As to Fan (et al)

      “It does not worry him that his ‘ideas’ are not true, he uses them as trenches for the defense of his existence, as scarecrows to frighten away reality.” –José Ortega Y Gasset,

  59. Semantic nonsense seems par for the course for the fan of more nonsensical verbiage. But it goes too far to claim that science has anything to do with it. Poetry goes beyond cognition to an exploration of the heights and depths of experience.

    A framework for bridging the rocky
    crags of emotion and experience.
    Smoke nebulous and sublime.

    The motivation of the person seems to be shut down discourse by being patronisingly smug and smarmy – it is the entithesis of poetry. Is his handle deliberately ironic?

  60. Chief,
    I’d say arrogance and anger are the “true believers’” defining characteristics, at least on the blogs. Some of them, perhaps the slightly more clever ones like fan, and Josh to a certain extent, take the smug route, others like Lacis, and Jeb, and certainly many of the inner sanctum like Mann and Trenberth take the direct route: sneering anger, profound contempt, even litigation.

    I’ve said this before, but I came to the debate as a cautious believer. I can’t understand the scientific fine point. The physics might as well be a foreign language. I’m an innumerate social science/English lit major. I damn near flunked Algebra 2 in high school. But I’ve got good instincts and a fair amount of common sense.

    It quickly became clear to me as I immersed myself in the climate blogs, that not to put to fine a point on it…the true believers tended to be jerks. Of course there’s plenty of that on both sides, but in general terms I find the skeptics much more sympatico, with a talent for independent thought, and a willingness to listen. I’d say the biggest difference is that skeptics are often willing to admit to being wrong. On the true believer side, much, much more rare. Joshua wlll apologize from time to time, which I appreciate. Naturally exceptions abound. But can you imagine Andy Lacis admitting he wrong on anything? Mann? Just doesn’t happen.

    • PG,

      I think it is comes down to groupthink psychopathology. Be very careful – the disease is very contagious. If you haven’t had your anti-groupthink booster shots yet – http://www.psysr.org/about/pubs_resources/Boosters318041.htm

      The term ‘groupthink’ was coined by Irving Janis in 1972 – Janis, Irving L. (1972). Victims of Groupthink. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

      Janis described eight symptoms of groupthink:

      1. Illusion of invulnerability –Creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks.
      2. Collective rationalization – Members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions.
      3. Belief in inherent morality – Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
      4. Stereotyped views of out-groups – Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary.
      5. Direct pressure on dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views.
      6. Self-censorship – Doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed.
      7. Illusion of unanimity – The majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous.
      8. Self-appointed ‘mindguards’ – Members protect the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions.

      ‘When the above symptoms exist in a group that is trying to make a decision, there is a reasonable chance that groupthink will happen, although it is not necessarily so. Groupthink occurs when groups are highly cohesive and when they are under considerable pressure to make a quality decision. When pressures for unanimity seem overwhelming, members are less motivated to realistically appraise the alternative courses of action available to them. These group pressures lead to carelessness and irrational thinking since groups experiencing groupthink fail to consider all alternatives and seek to maintain unanimity. Decisions shaped by groupthink have low probability of achieving successful outcomes.’

      The outcome of this groupthink was inter alia the Kyoto Protocol and the inability to canvass workable alternatives. People who accept the simple radiative physics but opt for a more nuanced approach are vilified as climate deniers.

      ‘We face a problem of anthropogenic climate change, but the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 has failed to tackle it. A child of summits, it was doomed from the beginning, because of the way that it came into being, Kyoto has given only an illusion of action. It has become the sole focus of our efforts, and, as a result, we have wasted fifteen years.’ The Wrong Trousers: Radically Rethinking Climate Policy

      ‘Kyoto was constructed by quick borrowing from past practice with other treaty regimes dealing with ozone, sulphur emissions and nuclear bombs which, while superficially plausible, are not applicable in the ways that the drafters assumed because these were “tame” problems (complicated, but with defined and achievable end-states), whereas climate change is “wicked” (comprising open, complex and imperfectly understood systems). Technical knowledge was taken as sufficient basis from which to derive Kyoto’s policy, whereas “wicked” problems demand profound understanding of their integration in social systems, and their ongoing development.’ Op cit

      I have been an environmental scientist and engineer for decades. I am not someone who disputes the simple radiative physics – although I have on several occasions been roundly abused by warmists with a wrong understanding of the basics. For the most part we insist only that climate is a little more complex than they imagine. But it is not inextricably linked to the sole and quite ineffective response of taxes and caps. It has long since ceased to be rational or about science. It seems more about linking simplified climate concepts to specific social objectives and this then ties into a social identity – post normal science indeed. It is perhaps at essence and overwhelmingly about a neo-socialist vision of society.

      ‘Degrowth (in French: décroissance, in Spanish: decrecimiento, in Italian: decrescita) is a political, economic, and social movement based on environmentalist, anti-consumerist and anti-capitalist ideas. Degrowth thinkers and activists advocate for the downscaling of production and consumption—the contraction of economies—as overconsumption lies at the root of long term environmental issues and social inequalities. Key to the concept of degrowth is that reducing consumption does not require individual martyring and a decrease in well-being. Rather, ‘degrowthists’ aim to maximize happiness and well-being through non-consumptive means—sharing work, consuming less, while devoting more time to art, music, family, culture and community.’

      It was worth quoting again because this romantic view is so dangerously persuasive amongst pissant progressives. I saw it in the paper just yesterday. A view that little progress had been made but ultimately we would all have to use less resources. It seems such a nonsense to me when there are far more nuanced responses that serve multiple objectives and strengthen human societies. We could do a great deal at little cost. We could for instance foster technological innovation to provide cheap and abundant energy for humanity.

      Robert I Ellison
      Chief Hydrologist

  61. Lovely, Chief. As a recovering pissant progressive myself, I can’t help even now being tempted by such idealistic notions. Trouble is, human nature being what it is, cooperative societies can’t work. One might as well take a pack of wild dogs and insist they share their meat…

    BY the way, to illustrate my point about the sheer nastiness of these people, I submit the follow from Climate Audit::

    “From time to time, we hear from climate scientists that they are limited in their responses by the dignity of their profession. The dignity to which climate scientists aspire is nicely exemplified by the following remarks of a prominent real_climate_scientist:”

    **Michaal Mann writes in his own inimitable style: ‘Hey trolls who have been given marching orders to flood the comment threads here like an infestation of beetle larvae: Don’t bother! We’ve seen the mindless talking points before, and coming here to parrot them simply (a) pollutes the otherwise thoughtful discussion in the comment threads here, and (b) exposes the intellectual bankruptcy of your climate change denial zealotry.’ ***

    • Dave Springer

      pokerguy | July 25, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Reply

      Lovely, Chief. As a recovering pissant progressive myself, I can’t help even now being tempted by such idealistic notions. Trouble is, human nature being what it is, cooperative societies can’t work. One might as well take a pack of wild dogs and insist they share their meat…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pack_(canine)

      Actually they do share. Presume less, read more.

  62. Just to add, I’m 61 years old. As the late Nora Ephron wrote in an essay about turning sixty:, “the long shadows are everywhere”

    One of the things that fills me with a fierce desire to live another ten years, is to see these guys begin to get their just desserts. I have no doubt they’ll be exposed for the profoundly cynical, lying frauds they are. I want to be around to see it.

    • Sorry to disappoint you, my friend, but these reputations will worsen for centuries.
      ===========

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Pokerguy hopes: “One of the things that fills me with a fierce desire to live another ten years, is to see [Hansen and his colleagues] begin to get their just desserts.

      Pokerguy, you are to reflect that if in coming years we see acceleration of the rate of sea level rise this decade, then Hansen and his colleagues indeed will receive their just desserts …

      … namely, the acclaim and approbation of the entire world.

      And given the accelerating ice-melt we are seeing in 2012, that prediction seems likely to be fulfilled, eh?

      As Richard Feynman said: “Nature cannot be fooled.”

      What other reasonable hopes do you have for the future, Pokerguy?   :)   :)   :)

      • Well, I hope the sun turns off and this place freezes. That would make BAU Hansen look stupid. Take that CO2 priest!

      • Warming was not primarily a result of greenhouse gases – but of natural low frequency climate variation. I cite the data below. This suggests that a repetition of the past is more likely. Do you think I would waste my time if there was no data? I am not an AGW groupthink space cadet.

        Might there be an associated longer term variabiability in ice extent?

        As a hydrologist I commonly suggest that even 50 years of records is not sufficient to capture modes of decadal variability.

        There is of course a broad swath of science suggesting modest warming if at all for a decade ot three more.

        ‘Now the question is how has warming slowed and how much influence does human activity have?

        “But if we don’t understand what is natural, I don’t think we can say much about what the humans are doing. So our interest is to understand — first the natural variability of climate — and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,” Tsonis said.’

      • Once one understands that today’s recent [last few decades] of warming is not usual. That within the last couple centuries we have left a significantly cooler period of the 10,000 year warming period, also known as the interglacial period, and that there were many warmer period in this interglacial period than the current average global temperature. Then it becomes obvious that there natural variable in regional and global temperatures which are most likely greater then changes caused by human activity.

        When is aware that the interglacial period previous to our current warming period probably had sea levels more 5 meter higher than the present, and temperatures 3 to 5 C warmer, one also has to realize that natural variability can result in temperatures significantly warmer then present temperatures.

        One should also understand what warmer conditions would look like. What warmer global temperatures do, is extend tropical conditions into higher latitudes. The tropics extends more poleward.

        Oregon or the UK are not tropical or Mediterranean climates, because they are at higher latitudes than the Tropical Zone. If one has evidence that Mediterranean or tropical faun have been in such regions as areas as the UK or Oregon, one has proof of a warmer global temperatures.

        The main difference between tropical plants and plants native to temperate zones, is that winter in the temperate zone has temperature which reach freezing temperatures. So plants living in temperate zones have biologically evolved to have some types mechanism that allow them to survive in cooler winters, tropical plants can not survive these cooler winter conditions. One mechanism is a plant simply dies, and it’s seeds sprout in warmer conditions in the Spring. With trees, some lose the leaves in the Fall.
        One of the purposes of greenhouses was to allow a person to grow tropical plants in a temperate climate. They glass houses that allowed sunlight in and kept warmer air leaving during the nite [though some greenhouses were also heated to keep the plants from freezing]. One could keep potted plants in warmed house and bring them outside when there is warmer conditions.

        The human animal is obviously a tropical creature, and it developed various technologies to allow it to live outside tropics. Most primates are tropical with some exceptions.

        Another proof of global warming is the advancement of polar treelines- trees can not survive in the harshest colder climate- whereas tundra can survive harsher conditions than trees can. So when find remains of trees in tundra areas, these remains can mark a warmer world.

        So if the global temperature of earth were to rise say 5 C, this could allow tropical faun to live “in the wild” in such areas as Oregon and UK, it also allow trees to grow more northward. Note: “The map below shows the tundra spreading across the northern hemisphere. Tundra is largely restricted to the northern hemisphere; there simply is no comparable land mass in the southern hemisphere with the appropriate climate. ”

        http://www.marietta.edu/~biol/biomes/tundra.htm

        It is unlikely the CO2 is driver of natural [or unnatural] climate change, rather CO2 level instead follow warming or cooling global conditions.

        The Eemian [interglacial period before current] did not have higher CO2 levels, yet had higher temperatures and higher sea level then we have presently. CO2 levels may have some effect upon temperatures, but larger effect of higher CO2 is improvement in plant growth.
        One possibility is that rather than global CO2, regional/local levels of CO2 may have a more significant affect, and such regional affect are regulated by vegetation.
        We also know that human activity also has large affect upon regional climate- affected rainfall and average temperature. If you were to cities and large urban areas by themselves, most humans we are already living in world perhaps as much as 3-5 C warmer.

        It seems to me, that we still recovering from the Little Ice Age {LIA] and in these warmer conditions, glaciers will continue to retreat, and oceans will continue warm. But I don’t expect Oregon or UK to resemble tropical regions before the end of the century. Though perhaps within 10 centuries.
        What seems to be a more important question, is not question why we are so warm, but rather why are we so cool. The LIA obviously provide the simpliest answer, but why have been on 5000 year trend of slight cooling and what exactly caused the LIA. And we see continuation the longer term cooling or return colder conditions of the LIA.
        The causes of 5000 year cooling and LIA, could very well be part our future of next 10 centuries. And therefore, not have a tropical Oregon or UK within 10 centuries or 50 centuries.

  63. The question of clouds as climate change feedbacks seems unresolvable. There are, however, observed changes in cloud interannually, over decades, at specific times of Pacific climate shift that are very suggestive.

    ERBS and ISCCP-FD document changes in reflected SW of -2.1W/m^2 and -2.4W/m^2 – and in LW up of 0.7W/m^2 and 0.5W/m^2 respectively between 1985 and 1999. Net warming of 1.4W/m^2 to 1.8W/m^2. ‘To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system. ‘ IPCC S3.4.4.1

    CERES continues the record with large month to month changes – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=CERES_MODIS.gif – and a bit of a trend over the last decade. Enough to cause a bit of warming in the oceans.

    Zhu et al (2007) found that cloud formation for ENSO and for global warming have different characteristics and are the result of different physical mechanisms. The change in low cloud cover in the 1997-1998 El Niño came mainly as a decrease in optically thick stratocumulus and stratus cloud. The decrease is negatively correlated to local SST anomalies, especially in the eastern tropical Pacific, and is associated with a change in convective activity. ‘During the 1997–1998 El Niño, observations indicate that the SST increase in the eastern tropical Pacific enhances the atmospheric convection, which shifts the upward motion to further south and breaks down low stratiform clouds, leading to a decrease in low cloud amount in this region. Taking into account the obscuring effects of high cloud, it was found that thick low clouds decreased by more than 20% in the eastern tropical Pacific… In contrast, most increase in low cloud amount due to doubled CO2 simulated by the NCAR and GFDL models occurs in the subtropical subsidence regimes associated with a strong atmospheric stability.’

    I’d say it was associated with SST and resultant ocean/atmosphere couplings – wouldn’t you? As ENSO is non-stationary and non-Gaussian – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=ENSO11000.gif – it opens up the potential not merely for decadal but for millennial shifts in cloud cover. With a cool PDO and increased intensity and frequency of La Niña – the tendency to more cloud over a decade or three more cannot be discounted.

  64. Beth Cooper

    Re 23/07 2.50am:
    ‘Credentials?’
    Yer could say credence is in the eye of the beholder, confirmation bias. But then there’s observational evidence, Dr Jeb ed ia ah P h D.
    Nature rules.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Beth Cooper, here is an acerbic-yet-true poem by Sir Andrew Motion, whose chief “credential” is Poet Laureate of England

      “Whose woods these are I think I know,
      They don’t stretch as far as they once did, though.
      Felled and razed, they’ll fast disappear,
      Though not quite as fast as Greek debts will grow.

      From pollution to fishing, we’ve made such a mess,
      Though no match for Lansley’s, over the NHS,
      Cameron’s supporting his minister for now,
      But will he last out the summer? It’s anyone’s guess.

      A surfeit of pesticides is choking our fields,
      So much for the power the green movement wields!
      The future for sustainable farming looks sickly,
      Though not yet as sickly as Italian bond yields.

      You know what we need? A new master’s degree,
      For creative writing, about trees and the sea.
      Before climate change forces our farmers to switch,
      To harvesting grapevines and producing Chablis.

      And when farming is finished, what’ll we do for cash?
      When we’ve emptied our forests of oak, elm and ash?
      We’ll be forced to resort to this flourishing industry,
      Of crashing our cars and filing claims for whiplash.

      Our woods were lovely, dark and deep.
      A landscape we’d made promises to keep.
      Until we deemed the price too steep.
      Until we deemed the price too steep.”

      I hope you enjoyed Sir Motion’s poem, Beth Cooper!   :)

  65. Beth Cooper

    Sorry, fan a poem it ain’.t, it’s doggeral with a message. Except his last stanza which is incongruous and is a “direct borrowing” from Robert Frost’s poem, ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.’.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But i have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

    And fan,a poem should not ‘mean’ as an argument or sermon means, I’ve said this before to yer, fan., but ‘be’ its own witness for its own kind of truth. its ‘truth’ emerging through the poem’s imagery and form. I’ve said this to yer before, fan so I’ll let Archibald Macleish give yer a demonstration.

    Ars Poetica

    A poem should be palpable and mute
    As a globed fruit.

    Dumb
    As old medallions to the thumb.

    Silent as the sleeve worn stone
    Of casement ledges where the moss has grown -

    A poem should be wordless
    As the flight of birds.

    A poem should be motionless in time
    As the moon climbs.

    Leaving, as the moon releases
    Twig by twig the night-entangled trees,

    Leaving, as the moon behind the water leaves,
    Memory by memory, the mind -

    A poem should be motionless in time
    As the moon climbs.

    A poem should be equal to;
    Not true.

    For all the history of grief
    An empty doorway and a maple leaf.

    For love
    The leaning grasses and two lights above the sea-

    A poem should not mean
    But be.

  66. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Beth Cooper, plenty of folks prefer poetry that means to poetry that “be’s” (whatever *that* means). For example we have Wendell Berry’s poem …

    The Peace of Wild Things

    When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

    Beth Cooper, do you see how Wendell Berry’ poetry increasingly dovetails with the scientific spirit of James Hansen’s Scientific case for avoiding dangerous climate change to protect young people and Nature? And this poetic dovetailing is good and natural, eh, Beth Cooper?   :)   :)   :)

  67. It just came to me that “fan” is the gal…can’t think of her name but she used a lot of annoying emoticons and was given to confusing doggerel-ish screeds with actual poetry. Stylistically and tonally she sounded just like fan ..smug, superior, deeply, deeply irritating…Come to think of it, she disappeared just about the time fan popped up.

  68. What was your old handle, fan? And why did you change your name? Decide it wasn’t annoying enough? :-)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      We “fans of *MORE* discourse” are universal agents of Reason for Hope.

      Considerate open-minded study of Jane Goodall’s reasons for hope is commended to everyone.   :)   :)   :)

      What more need you know, PokerGuy?   ;)   ;)   ;)

  69. Joy Black. pokerguy.

    Say, fan, yer noticed The borrowing of Frost’s lines I mentioned?

    Re Wendell Berry’s lines:
    ‘I go and lie down where the wood duck rests his beauty on the water….’
    Guess this means he “goes’ and ‘lies down’ on the water. Ahem … clumsy phrasing and awkward image. Hope he can stay afloat.
    Then there’s this:
    ‘I come into the place of wild things ‘who’…Lol. Animals ‘who’ or animals ‘that’, Fan?

  70. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    LOL … Beth Cooper, please verify for yourself that Wendell Berry’s poem embraces the imagery of the ancient poet David … whose poetry the ancient Hebrew critic J*h*v*h cherished above all others!   :)   :)   :)

    Even today plenty of folks know David’s poem by heart … including Wendell Berry!   :)   :)   :)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      LOL … to be fair to your point-of-view, Beth Cooper, it is true that modern poets disdain the poetic style of David and of Berry … `cuz heck … David’s and Berry’s poems actually mean something!

      Which is a distraction, eh?   ;)   ;)   ;)

      • You mean, means something you can understand. I’ve always considered a lack of literary sensibilities a major intellectual failing. The bad news is there’s nothing to be done about it. You either have an ear….and the heart to go along with it…or you don’t.

        All poetry means something, but not in the literal way you would like, or are able lo grasp.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        PokerGuy, you and I perhaps agree reasonably well regarding poetry both good and bad.

        My post merely pointed out that what Beth Cooper’s post called “clumsy phrasing and awkward images” came straight from King David’s 23rd Psalm … among the best-loved poems in the Bible, and indeed in all of literature.

        So although (like most folks) I greatly enjoy most of Beth’s posts, that particular critical opinion was perhaps not the most well-conceived ever penned, eh?   :)   :)   :)

      • Well, there is much in the bible that’s pretty damn compelling from a literary point of view. But of course, just because a psalm is well loved does not automatically confer literary greatness. The 23rd psalm does have some nice imagery, though it’s meaning (there’s that word again) is fairly creepy in my opinion. I don’t see where you and Beth discuss that psalm.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Pokerguy, although Wendell Berry does not say it, if you read his poem The Peace of Wild Things side-by-side with Kind David’s 23rd Psalm, it’s clear that the first poem is a homage to the second poem.

        As far as I’m concerned, they’re both of them mighty good poems. And because my dad and Wendell Berry both are Sunday School teachers, the poetic parallel was pretty easy to recognize.

  71. Thanks Beth for JOy Black. Of course. How could I have forgotten.

    I have to go and lie down now on the sofa where my dog, whose as sweet as they come, rested his beauty. On.

  72. who’s

  73. Well Joy, I think you’re going to have to admit you were misleading me when you say Beth was criticizing the 23rd Psalm. If this is the logic you apply to the climate debate you have work to do. The good lady was clearly taking issue with Wendell Berry’s very clumsy attempt. Really JOy…it’s just not very good. I don’t care what he’s paying “homage” to. That you can’t see that speaks volumes. Honest JOy, it’s quite amateurish. There’s not a decent line in it. Some of them are almost funny.

    Berry writes:

    “I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought.”

    They don’t tax their lives with forethought? Are you kidding me? You don’t see how awkward that is. How prosaic? In fact, that’s just what it is. Awkward, mawkish prose.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      LOL … Pokerguy, please reflect that no world could be worse for poets, than a world in which there was only *one* standard of good poetry. Hence am glad that opinions regarding poetry are diverse … long may this be so!   :)   :)   :)

      If you are familiar with Garrison Keillor’s best-selling collection Good Poems — which includes six of Wendell Berry’s poems — then you have a pretty good grasp of my own tastes in poetry. Meaning? Rhyming? Meter? Yes I am fond of these things.   :)   :)   :)

      As for the marketplace … Wendell Berry’s Sabbath Poem collection presently ranks #67 in Amazon’s poetry sale … which is very respectable, eh?

      Summary  Happy poetry-reading to us all, pokerguy and Beth Cooper and all other Climate Etc poetry fans!   :)   :)   :)

  74. Beth Cooper

    Pokerguy, yer have poet’s sensiblity and humour. Hope yersometimes walk by the river, and watch the wild things not taxing their lives with forethought.

    My dog, ‘who’ is a beautiful border collie, sits on the sofa too, lol.

  75. If you’ve a hankering for a poem out the peacefulness of animals, check out this one by Walt Whitman. I chose it because it some ways it seems to have (to a far lesser degree) some of the prosaic qualities seen in Berry’s. Nonetheless, it’s an impressive poem. Part of it of course is that unlike Berry, he’s got a sense of humor. Where Berry is obvious, hackneyed, and pious, whitman is ironic and irreverent

    I’m certain you can see the difference in quality:

    “I think I could turn and live with the animals, they are so placid and self contained;
    I stand and look at them long and long.
    They do not sweat and whine about their condition;
    They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins;
    They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God;
    Not one is dissatisfied-not one is demented with the mania of owning things;
    Not one kneels to another, nor his kind that lived thousands of years ago;
    Not one is responsible or industrious over the whole earth.”

    • Whitman the visionary songster of American democracy. I quoted Whitman in my wedding vows.

      ‘I love you, O you entirely possess me,
      O that you and I escape from the rest and go utterly off, free and lawless,
      Two hawks in the air, two fishes swimming in the sea not more lawless than we;)
      The furious storm through me careering, I passionately trembling.
      The oath of the inseparableness of two together, of the woman that loves me and whom I love more than my life, that oath swearing,
      (O I willingly stake all for you,
      O let me be lost if it must be so!
      O you and I! what is it to us what the rest do or think?
      What is all else to us? only that we enjoy each other and exhaust each other if it must be so;)’ http://www.poetry-archive.com/w/from_pent_up_aching_rivers.html

      I was being ironic but I don’t think anyone noticed.

      • For the Science war on Post-Normal Science

        O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
        The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won;
        The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
        While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:

        But O heart! heart! heart!
        O the bleeding drops of red,
        Where on the deck my Captain lies,
        Fallen cold and dead.

        O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
        Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills;
        For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding;
        For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
        Here Captain! dear father!
        This arm beneath your head;
        It is some dream that on the deck,
        You’ve fallen cold and dead.

        My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
        My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
        The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
        From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won;
        Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
        But I, with mournful tread,
        Walk the deck my Captain lies,
        Fallen cold and dead.

        Where lie the scientists but upon the decks, lips still?

        Who will rise, hold the standard, for the tasks that lie ashore?

        ‘Tis I alone whose measured pace seeks a truth not ending.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Berry on the peace of animals …

      Her First Calf

      Her fate seizes her and brings her
      down. She is heavy with it. It
      wrings her. The great weight
      is heaved out of her. It eases.
      She moves into what she has become,
      sure in her fate now
      as a fish free in the current.
      She turns to the calf who has broken
      out of the womb’s water and its veil.
      He breathes. She licks his wet hair.
      He gathers his legs under him
      and rises. He stands, and his legs
      wobble. After the months
      of his pursuit of her, now
      they meet face to face.
      From the beginnings of the world
      His arrival and her welcome
      have been prepared. They have always
      known each other.

      Pokerguy, yes I reckon folks can appreciate which poem … Berry’s or Whitman’s  … was written by a poet/farmer, and which was written by just a poet — who was skilled with words perhaps, but handicapped by having with no particular understanding or experience of animals!   :)   :)   :)

      • Joy,
        I actually like the first part. Although I don’t think the word “fate” is well-chosen. It’s too abstract to be effective. The last 4 lines are unfortunate.

      • Make that the last 9 lines. :-)

  76. We who have a taste for the visionary and passionate – and value the absence of the didactic and descriptive – in poetry and art ocassionally disparage the low brow, Hallmark, tastes of Joy.

    ‘Now recently, when I found myself ready to croak! I thought to seek the key to the banquet of old, where I might find an appetite again.

    That key is Charity. – This idea proves I was dreaming!

    “You will stay a hyena, etc…,” shouts the demon who once crowned me with such pretty poppies. “Seek death with all your desires, and all selfishness, and all the Seven Deadly Sins.”

    Ah! I’ve taken too much of that: – still, dear Satan, don’t look so annoyed, I beg you! And while waiting for a few belated cowardices, since you value in a writer all lack of descriptive or didactic flair, I pass you these few foul pages from the diary of a Damned Soul.’ Arthur Rimbaud

    Compare this to Bob Dylan for instance and you get an idea that the bucolic school of poetry that Rimbaud rejected has given way to a magical, alchemical and transformative use of language that is at the core of modern poetry.

    ‘Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
    Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
    The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
    Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
    Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
    Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
    With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
    Let me forget about today until tomorrow’

    Frankly – although I find Berry pedestrian (and Joy’s link to the bucolic 23rd psalm – in the King James version I know – laboured) and Motion’s exercise contrived rather then inspired – I do have a penchant for bush ballads and there is room for a multitude of tastes.

    She remains deeply in thrall to the AGW groupthink – based on too little science and too little thought.

  77. Joy,

    Nothing is more antithetical to poetry than piety. I suppose the bible gets a pass to a certain extent, because it’s well, the bible.

    Hey Beth…same back atcha. Wonderful to meet kindred spirits.

  78. “We who have a taste for the visionary and passionate – and value the absence of the didactic and descriptive – in poetry and art ocassionally disparage the low brow, Hallmark, tastes of Joy.”

    Yes, Chief. Guilty as charged. And yet normally I keep my judgements to myself. Call me crazy, God knows it’s been done before, but I find Joy’s lack of taste all of a piece…and utterly predictable. Instead of Berry and Garrison Keillor, If the woman were spouting and Coleridge and the like …”weave a circle round him thrice and close your eyes with holy dread, for he on honeydew hath fed, and drunk the milk of paradise…” I’d have been deeply surprised.

    Joy, if you’re listening, I appreciate the olive branch you’ve proffered regarding all matters poetic, and as always Chief has an admirable penchant for wanting to take the high road, and yes, there’s room for all tastes. Yet even as I write that there’s a little voice in my head whispering…”Oh B.S. There’s good and there’s bad and without those judgements what’s the good of anything?”

  79. How pretentious can y’all get?

    You want a poem about the peacefulness of animals? I got your animal poem right here.

    The Jellyfish
    Who wants my jellyfish?
    I’m not sellyfish!

    Odgen Nash

    (I hope upon hope that wasn’t too prosaic or hackneyed for ya, Pokerguy, or too didactic or descriptive for you Chief. Geece.)

    • I actually like that one. Except I’ve never liked the word “fish.”

      Fish. It makes me want to hold my nose.

      • I like this one. Makes me think of Chief.

        The Firefly
        The firefly’s flame
        Is something for which science has no name
        I can think of nothing eerier Than flying around with an unidentified glow on a
        person’s posteerier.

        This one reminds me of hunter:

        The Panther
        The panther is like a leopard,
        Except it hasn’t been peppered.
        Should you behold a panther crouch,
        Prepare to say Ouch.
        Better yet, if called by a panther,
        Don’t anther.

      • Odgen Nash is a favoutite from way back. Try a bush ballad.

        SAID HANRAHAN

        “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan, In accents most forlorn, Outside the church, ere Mass began, One frosty Sunday morn.

        The congregation stood about, Coat-collars to the ears, And talked of stock, and crops, and drought, As it had done for years.

        “It’s lookin’ crook,” said Daniel Croke; “Bedad, it’s cruke, me lad, For never since the banks went broke Has seasons been so bad.”

        “It’s dry, all right,” said young O’Neil, With which astute remark He squatted down upon his heel And chewed a piece of bark.

        And so around the chorus ran “It’s keepin’ dry, no doubt.” “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan, “Before the year is out.

        “The crops are done; ye’ll have your work To save one bag of grain; From here way out to Back-o’-Bourke They’re singin’ out for rain.

        “They’re singin’ out for rain,” he said, “And all the tanks are dry.” The congregation scratched its head, And gazed around the sky.

        “There won’t be grass, in any case, Enough to feed an ass; There’s not a blade on Casey’s place As I came down to Mass.”

        “If rain don’t come this month,” said Dan, And cleared his throat to speak– “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan, “If rain don’t come this week.”

        A heavy silence seemed to steal On all at this remark; And each man squatted on his heel, And chewed a piece of bark.

        “We want a inch of rain, we do,” O’Neil observed at last; But Croke “maintained” we wanted two To put the danger past.

        “If we don’t get three inches, man, Or four to break this drought, We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan, “Before the year is out.”

        In God’s good time down came the rain; And all the afternoon On iron roof and window-pane It drummed a homely tune.

        And through the night it pattered still, And lightsome, gladsome elves On dripping spout and window-sill Kept talking to themselves.

        It pelted, pelted all day long, A-singing at its work, Till every heart took up the song Way out to Back-o’Bourke.

        And every creek a banker ran, And dams filled overtop; “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan, “If this rain doesn’t stop.”

        And stop it did, in God’s good time; And spring came in to fold A mantle o’er the hills sublime Of green and pink and gold.

        And days went by on dancing feet, With harvest-hopes immense, And laughing eyes beheld the wheat Nid-nodding o’er the fence.

        And, oh, the smiles on every face, As happy lad and lass Through grass knee-deep on Casey’s place Went riding down to Mass.

        While round the church in clothes genteel Discoursed the men of mark, And each man squatted on his heel, And chewed his piece of bark.

        “There’ll be bush-fires for sure, me man, There will, without a doubt; We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan, “Before the year is out.”

        John O’Brien

      • Nice Chief. And climate blog appropriate.

        Funny thing is, Hanrahan reminds me of hunter also. Or maybe Wagathon.

      • I should think the resemblances should be obvious Joshua – and it is neither Hunter or Wagathon.

  80. yikes: “judgment”

  81. This is a wide-ranging report and the only way I can respond to it is to comment individually on all ten thesis that USGCRP and Cato have taken up. There are cases where I differ from both but the main bone of contention for me is the greenhouse effect. I do not think the enhanced greenhouse effect is real and will explain why at the end. I invite responses from those who disagree. Here are my numbered comments:

    1. Human activity plays no part. All climate change has natural causes.

    2.Climate change has been constant throughout history. You must look at the details because it is both intermittent and unpredictable.

    3. Climate-related changes are occurring but nothing should be concluded from that.

    4. Climate change clearly has a potential to influence water resources. Trying to guess what they are is stupid. They may be good, bad or indifferent, depending on local situations.

    5. Crop and livestock production will adopt to climate change as Cato points out. They always have in the past when climate changed.

    6. To talk of sea level rise is pretty stupid. Al Gore spoke of a twenty foot sea level rise and showed Florida under water in a movie that got him a Nobel prize. That told me that all is not well with climate science and I had to jump in to correct it. In a couple of months I had proved him wrong but neither Science nor Nature wanted to hear about it. That is why I had to publish a book about climate science (“What Warming?”). Clearly scientific literature is controlled by global warming advocates.

    7. USGCRP have no idea what they are talking about when they bring up health aspects of climate change.

    8. That statement on social and environmental stresses is asinine.

    9. Talk about thresholds is even more stupid.

    10. Future climate change and its impacts is not for us to control. Human-caused emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases do not cause global warming and they never have. Any claims to the contrary are based on faulty science and deceptive global temperature records.

    Since the last statement may be novel to those who have not followed me in the blogosphere I will have to elaborate it. First, lets take the greenhouse effect. IPCC has a theory of greenhouse effect that tells them how much global temperature will rise if a given amount of carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere. They know how much is added yearly from measurements taken at Mauna Loa, Hawaii. Using this information IPCC AR4 report made a firm prediction that greenhouse warming in the twenty-first century will proceed at the rate of 0.2 degrees per decade. We have been waiting for this predicted warming now for more than ten years and there is no sign of it. In science, if a theory makes a false prediction that theory itself is also considered to be false. The greenhouse theory used by the IPCC has made a false prediction about twenty-first century warming and therefore must be considered a false theory. All the predictions of dangerous warming to come emanate from that same false theory and are also false. It follows that societal measures of emission control were implemented on false premises. They are costing billions of dollars and must be stopped. The lack of predicted warming is not the only proof that greenhouse warming does not exist. Ferenc Miskolczi studied the absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere and came to the conclusion that a stable climate requires that the IR optical thickness of the atmosphere should have a constant value of approximately 1.86. This value is maintained by feedbacks among the greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere. In practice that boils down to carbon dioxide and water vapor. The amount of carbon dioxide is not adjustable but water vapor has an infinite source in the oceans and consequently should be able to adjust for the constant addition of carbon dioxide to air. This means that water vapor feedback is negative, not positive as the IPCC theory requires. This positive feedback by water vapor is actually an ad hoc addendum to classical greenhouse theory as expressed by Arrhenius. It works like this: the straight greenhouse warming will yield approximately a one degree Celsius increase upon doubling of the pre-industrial CO2 value. This will allow the atmosphere to hold more water vapor and this added water vapor thereupon will do some greenhouse warming of its own. It is this combined warming from CO2 and positive water vapor feedback that allows them to create those dangerous warming predictions of five or six degrees we hear about. Problem with that is that satellites cannot detect a parallel increase of water vapor when carbon dioxide increases. And without that, a positive feedback is impossible. But Miskolczi himself was not satisfied with just theory and was able to put it to an experimental test. Using NOAA database of weather balloon observations that goes back to 1948 he showed that the IR transmittance of the atmosphere had been constant for 61 years. This is just what his theory required. The amount of carbon dioxide increased by 21.6 percent during that same period of time. This means that the addition of all this CO2 to air had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed. Miskolczi went further and also measured the IR optical thickness of seven subsets of the original NOAA database he had used. All the measured values clustered very closely around 1.87 as he reported to the EGU meeting in Vienna in the spring of 2011. His original peer-reviewed paper has been out there now for two years and no opposing peer-reviewed articles have appeared. Presumably, not for lack of trying. There is one more very important conclusion from his theory, namely that no historically observable warming can be greenhouse warming. Since global temperature curves are easily available we can check that conclusion here. Beginning with the twentieth century, the early century warming started suddenly in 1910 and stopped equally suddenly in 1940. There was no parallel sudden increase of carbon dioxide and this rules out the greenhouse effect by laws of radiation physics. Its most likely cause is solar effects, a continuation of coming out of the Little Ice Age. With that early warming the century is almost half gone and there is no way to blame the drought of 1936 or the dust bowl on greenhouse warming.The fifties, sixties, and seventies that followed did not have any warming while carbon dioxide just kept on going up. Some people even suspected a new ice age coming and newspapers and magazines had articles about it. There is no satisfactory explanation why the concurrent increase of carbon dioxide did not cause warming as the greenhouse theory demands. There are just contorted excuses to explain it away. One of them is smoke and aerosols from war production blocking out the sun. According to satellite temperature measurements there was no warming in the eighties and nineties either while carbon dioxide kept increasing. And then came the super El Nino of 1998 that brought us a third of a degree temperature rise in its wake. This was caused by the large amount of warm water the super El Nino carried across the ocean and not by any greenhouse effect. It is actually a hefty increase if you consider that the entire twentieth century warming amounts to only 0.6 degrees Celsius. It is responsible for the record-breaking temperatures of the early twenty-first century. Not all of these reported records can be trusted because ground-based temperature curves that parallel the satellite data have been falsified (see figures 24, 27, and 29 in “What Warming?”). I suggest that only satellite data can be trusted starting in 1979. There has been no more warming since that step warming brought by the super El Nino ended which brings us back to the beginning of the story: human-caused emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases do not cause global warming and they never have.

    • Let me puff a pair a paragraphs in and out, but while I’m still acidotic, I agree with you.

      Any explanation for why Miscolzi’s number doesn’t lead to a stabler climate? Or is it just that all the other processes acting in temperospatial chaos do all the other, non-GHG, but otherwise temperature regulating, stuff? It’s almost as hard to believe this as control knob as it is to believe CO2 as a control knob. However, water, water everywhere, all for want of cloud forming nuclei.
      ===============

  82. All these reports presume continued warming with no end in sight. If that is true then what is all the excitement about? We can’t stop that. And if there is an end in sight then what is all the excitement about? We can’t stop that, either. None presume what actually happens in nature and that is it cools, it warms, it gets wet, it gets dry…

    We need better screening in the Big Government grant process.

  83. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Pokerguy, everyone appreciates your poetic olive-branches. As for the distinction between “good” vs “better” vs “best” grades of poetry, like you I am sure this difference is real, and yet I am very glad that no two poets/readers agree upon exactly what it is.

    As Mark Twain’s immortal character Puddinhead Wilson remarked in his diary:

    It were not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races.

    At it’s citizen-oriented best — when the politics-first enemy-listers & the corporate worm-tongues aren’t spreading their toxins — Climate Etc. becomes a very enjoyable horse-race!   :)   :)   :)

    • Dave Springer

      :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      LOL … Dave Springer, do you not like horse-races? :) :) :)

      Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar also reminds us that “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example

      Congratulations for posting comments that are outstandingly easy to put up with, Dave Springer!   :)   :)   :)

  84. Steve Milesworthy,
    @ July 28, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/23/catos-impact-assessment/#comment-223094

    You made a comment about me appealing to authority and then you quoted Nordhaus and suggesting I should accept his conclusion:

    You have been appealing to the authority of Nordhaus’s comment about strong tail dependence. So you will presumably be happy to take other advice he has to offer:

    My study is just one of many economic studies showing that economic efficiency would point to the need to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions right now, and not to wait for a half-century. Waiting is not only economically costly, but will also make the transition much more costly when it eventually takes place. Current economic studies also suggest that the most efficient policy is to raise the cost of CO2 emissions substantially, either through cap-and-trade or carbon taxes, to provide appropriate incentives for businesses and households to move to low-carbon activities.

    I do think highly of his analyses, but that doesn’t mean I accept all the conclusions he draws from them. I like his analyses because he thinks at the strategic level, he provides results that are valuable for informing policy, he makes his work readily understandable for non experts and, especially important, he appears to be more objective, less partisan, and less tainted by the CAGW group-think than most of the other analysts doing similar work (such as Sir Nicholas Stern and Ross Garnaut).

    Now let’s look more closely at the conclusion you quoted. I d not accept that conclusion. What he doesn’t make clear is that his analyses and conclusions are based on academic, but totally impracticable conclusions. If the assumptions would be likely to be achieved (they are not) then his conclusion would be correct. His assumptions (in my words) are:

    • Negligible leakage (of emissions between countries)

    • All emission sources are included (all countries and all emissions in each country)

    • Negligible compliance cost

    • Negligible fraud

    • An optimal carbon price

    • The whole world implements the optimal carbon price in unison

    • The whole world acts in unison to increase the optimal carbon price periodically

    • The whole world continues to maintain the carbon price at the optimal level for all of this century (and thereafter).

    If these assumptions are not met, the net benefits estimated will not be achieved. As Nordhaus says, p198 http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf :

    Moreover, the results here incorporate an estimate of the importance of participation for economic efficiency. Complete participation is important because the cost function for abatement appears to be highly convex. We preliminarily estimate that a participation rate of 50 percent instead of 100 percent will impose a cost penalty on abatement of 250 percent.

    In other words, if only 50% of emissions are captured in the carbon pricing scheme, the cost penalty for the participants would be 250%. The 50% participation could be achieved by, for example, 100% of countries participating in the scheme but only 50% of the emissions in total from within the countries are caught, or 50% of countries participate and 100% of the emissions within those countries are caught in the scheme (i.e. taxed or traded).

    Given the above, we can see that the assumptions are theoretical and totally impracticable. To recognize this, try to imagine how we could capture 100% of emissions from 100% of emitters in Australia (every cow, sheep, goat) in the CO2 pricing scheme, let alone expecting the same to be done across the whole world; e.g. China, India, Eretria, Ethiopia, Mogadishu and Somalia.

  85. The writer of the show, Ray McKinnon, was somewhat familiar with my case. His late wife, Lisa Blount was a friend of mine. She and I exchanged letters while I was on death row in Arkansas, and she even sang at a concert in Arkansas, along with Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith, and Johnny Depp, to help raise awareness about my plight.I heard that McKinnon also did research into the cases of other men who had been on death row and had been released or exonerated. It paid off. I can tell you from first hand experience that Rectify is a very realistic show.