Adapting to climate change: Challenges and opportunities for U.S. business community

by Judith Curry

The wide variation in temperature, rainfall and other measures predicted by the various climate models makes it difficult for both policymakers and the private sector to decide when and how much capital to invest in measures to adapt to possible changes in the climate.  - Margo Thorning

On a previous post, Willard provided a link to testimony by Margo Thorning at a hearing for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Hearing on the Latest Climate Change Science and Local Adaptation Measures.

Dr. Thorning’s testimony is entitled Adapting to Climate Change: What are the Challenges and Opportunities for the U.S. Business Community?  I reproduce the Executive Summary here in its entirety:

Current Climate Models Produce Conflicting Results: The wide variation in temperature, rainfall and other measures predicted by the various climate models makes it difficult for both policymakers and the private sector to decide when and how much capital to invest in measures to adapt to possible changes in the climate. Business investments are judged on the basis of their costs and benefits so until climate models show more convergence, the business community will have difficulty in justifying adaptation policies beyond “no regrets” (or those that would be undertaken anyway in the normal course of business).

Most Businesses Do Not Plan Investments over Long Time Horizons: Many climate models do not predict significant global warming for at least another 50 to 100 years; their simulations commonly extend to the year 2100. Most businesses however, plan investments over a 3 to 15 year horizon, not 50 to 100 years. Thus, business is more likely to engage in “no regrets’ strategies to address adaptation to climate variability rather than undertake substantial investments in anticipation of changes in climate that may only occur in 50 to 100 years.

Barriers to Investment Caused by Regulatory and Permitting Delays: Conflicting regulations, regulatory uncertainty and permitting delays are often factors hindering U.S. companies from making investments to improve or expand their facilities in order to adapt to extreme weather events or climate variability. For example, in addition to permits to meet federal regulations there are often additional state and local permit requirements which add time and cost to a project getting underway. EPA regulation of GHGs under the Clean Air Act is an example of regulatory uncertainty that is likely to be slowing not only adaptation but also U.S. investment and job growth.

Opportunities for Business to Adapt to Potential Climate Variation: U.S. companies have already begun to adopt “no regrets” strategies to adapt to climate change. For example, some utilities are “hardening” their infrastructure to reduce damage from future weather events and agriculture and the insurance industry are also developing technologies and policies to adapt to climate change.

Financing Adaptation Will Depend on Strong Economic Growth: Sound fiscal policies and a tax code that retains robust capital cost recovery rules can enhance growth. Further serious consideration should be given to a consumed income tax in which all saving is deducted and all investment is expensed. Regulatory reform and reducing permitting delays will also enhance growth .

ACCF

Dr. Margo Thorning is Senior Vice President and Chief Economist for the American Council on Capital Formation (ACCF).  Further information about the ACCF can be found at their website.  One of their four focus areas is Energy and Climate Policy, their web page makes the following statement:

Because energy use and economic growth go hand in hand, policymakers should develop a flexible, long-term approach to reducing the growth of greenhouse gases (GHGs). This will require a global effort based on technological innovation and technology transfer to developing countries where GHG emissions growth is most rapid. In addition, U.S. tax policies should be reformed to reduce the cost of capital for new energy efficient and pollution control technologies.

Also on this page is citations for their research papers and testimony.  And Margo Thorning also has a blog.  The Congressional Digest characterizes ACCF as

The American Council for Capital Formation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization advocating tax, energy, regulatory, and environmental policies that facilitate saving, investment, economic growth, and job growth.

And Sourcewatch doesn’t seem to have any ‘muck’ on ACCF.

JC comments:  Margo Thorning and the ACCF provide a very useful perspective on climate change and business, that seems to me to be objective and sensible.  This is a general topic that gets brought up frequently in the discussion, but we haven’t had a thread devoted to this topic.  I look forward to some interesting discussion.

 

310 responses to “Adapting to climate change: Challenges and opportunities for U.S. business community

  1. “Likely to be slowing adaptation as well as US investment and job growth.”

    The EPAlaphant in the room, here to help you.
    ==================

  2. Apr 8, 2006
    An open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

    Dear Prime Minister:

    CC: Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment, Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources

    As accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines, we are writing to propose that balanced, comprehensive public-consultation sessions be held so as to examine the scientific foundation of the federal government’s climate-change plans. This would be entirely consistent with your recent commitment to conduct a review of the Kyoto Protocol. Although many of us made the same suggestion to thenprime ministers Martin and Chretien, neither responded, and, to date, no formal, independent climate-science review has been conducted in Canada. Much of the billions of dollars earmarked for implementation of the protocol in Canada will be squandered without a proper assessment of recent developments in climate science.

    Observational evidence does not support today’s computer climate models, so there is little reason to trust model predictions of the future. Yet this is precisely what the United Nations did in creating and promoting Kyoto and still does in the alarmist forecasts on which Canada’s climate policies are based. Even if the climate models were realistic, the environmental impact of Canada delaying implementation of Kyoto or other greenhouse-gas reduction schemes, pending completion of consultations, would be insignificant. Directing your government to convene balanced, open hearings as soon as possible would be a most prudent and responsible course of action.

    While the confident pronouncements of scientifically unqualified environmental groups may provide for sensational headlines, they are no basis for mature policy formulation. The study of global climate change is, as you have said, an “emerging science,” one that is perhaps the most complex ever tackled. It may be many years yet before we properly understand the Earth’s climate system. Nevertheless, significant advances have been made since the protocol was created, many of which are taking us away from a concern about increasing greenhouse gases. If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.

    We appreciate the difficulty any government has formulating sensible science-based policy when the loudest voices always seem to be pushing in the opposite direction. However, by convening open, unbiased consultations, Canadians will be permitted to hear from experts on both sides of the debate in the climate-science community. When the public comes to understand that there is no “consensus” among climate scientists about the relative importance of the various causes of global climate change, the government will be in a far better position to develop plans that reflect reality and so benefit both the environment and the economy.

    “Climate change is real” is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural “noise.” The new Canadian government’s commitment to reducing air, land and water pollution is commendable, but allocating funds to “stopping climate change” would be irrational. We need to continue intensive research into the real causes of climate change and help our most vulnerable citizens adapt to whatever nature throws at us next.

    We believe the Canadian public and government decision-makers need and deserve to hear the whole story concerning this very complex issue. It was only 30 years ago that many of today’s global-warming alarmists were telling us that the world was in the midst of a global-cooling catastrophe. But the science continued to evolve, and still does, even though so many choose to ignore it when it does not fit with predetermined political agendas.

    We hope that you will examine our proposal carefully and we stand willing and able to furnish you with more information on this crucially important topic.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Ian D. Clark, professor, isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa

    Dr. Tad Murty, former senior research scientist, Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans, former director of Australia’s National Tidal Facility and professor of earth sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide; currently adjunct professor, Departments of Civil Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Ottawa

    Dr. R. Timothy Patterson, professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences (paleoclimatology), Carleton University, Ottawa

    Dr. Fred Michel, director, Institute of Environmental Science and associate professor, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Carleton University, Ottawa

    Dr. Madhav Khandekar, former research scientist, Environment Canada. Member of editorial board of Climate Research & Natural Hazards

    Dr. Paul Copper, FRSC, professor emeritus, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ont.

    Dr. Ross McKitrick, associate professor, Dept. of Economics, University of Guelph, Ont.

    Dr. Tim Ball, former professor of climatology, University of Winnipeg; environmental consultant

    Dr. Andreas Prokocon, adjunct professor of earth sciences, University of Ottawa; consultant in statistics and geology

    Mr. David Nowell, M.Sc. (Meteorology), fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, Canadian member and past chairman of the NATO Meteorological Group, Ottawa

    Dr. Christopher Essex, professor of applied mathematics and associate director of the Program in Theoretical Physics, University of
    Western Ontario, London, Ont.

    Dr. Gordon E. Swaters, professor of applied mathematics, Dept. of Mathematical Sciences, and member, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
    Research Group, University of Alberta

    Dr. L. Graham Smith, associate professor, Dept. of Geography, University of Western Ontario, London, Ont.

    Dr. G. Cornelis van Kooten, professor and Canada Research Chair in environmental studies and climate change, Dept. of Economics, University of Victoria

    Dr. Petr Chylek, adjunct professor, Dept. of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax Dr./Cdr. M. R. Morgan, FRMS, climate consultant, former meteorology advisor to the World Meteorological Organization. Previously research scientist in climatology at University of Exeter, U.K.

    Dr. Keith D. Hage, climate consultant and professor emeritus of Meteorology, University of Alberta

    Dr. David E. Wojick, P.Eng., energy consultant, Star Tannery, Va., and Sioux Lookout, Ont.
    Rob Scagel, M.Sc., forest microclimate specialist, principal consultant, Pacific Phytometric Consultants, Surrey, B.C.

    Dr. Douglas Leahey, meteorologist and air-quality consultant, Calgary Paavo Siitam, M.Sc., agronomist, chemist, Cobourg, Ont.

    Dr. Chris de Freitas, climate scientist, associate professor, The University of Auckland, N.Z.

    Dr. Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology, Dept. of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts
    Institute of Technology

    Dr. Freeman J. Dyson, emeritus professor of physics, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, N.J.

    Mr. George Taylor, Dept. of Meteorology, Oregon State U.; Oregon State climatologist; past president, American Assoc of State Climatologists

    Dr. Ian Plimer, professor of geology, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide; emeritus professor of earth sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia

    Dr. R.M. Carter, professor, Marine Geophysical Laboratory, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

    Mr. William Kininmonth, Australasian Climate Research, former Head National Climate Centre, Australian Bureau of Meteorology; former Australian delegate to World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology, Scientific and Technical Review

    Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, former director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute

    Dr. Gerrit J. van der Lingen, geologist/paleoclimatologist, Climate Change Consultant, Geoscience Research & Investigations, New Zealand

    Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, professor of environmental sciences, University of Virginia

    Dr. Nils-Axel Morner, emeritus professor of paleogeophysics & geodynamics, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

    Dr. Gary D. Sharp, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study, Salinas, Calif.

    Dr. Roy W. Spencer, principal research scientist, Earth System Science Center, The University of Alabama, Huntsville

    Dr. Al Pekarek, associate professor of geology, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Dept., St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minn.

    Dr. Marcel Leroux, professor emeritus of climatology, University of Lyon, France; former director of Laboratory of Climatology, Risks and Environment, CNRS

    Dr. Paul Reiter, professor, Institut Pasteur, Unit of Insects and Infectious Diseases, Paris, France. Expert reviewer, IPCC Working group II, chapter 8 (human health)

    Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, physicist and chairman, Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection, Warsaw, Poland

    Dr. Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, reader, Dept. of Geography, University of Hull, U.K.; editor, Energy & Environment

    Dr. Hans H.J. Labohm, former advisor to the executive board, Clingendael Institute (The Netherlands Institute of International Relations) and an economist who has focused on climate change

    Dr. Lee C. Gerhard, senior scientist emeritus, U. of Kansas, past director and state geologist, Kansas Geological Survey

    Dr. Asmunn Moene, past head of the Forecasting Centre, Meteorological Institute, Norway

    Dr. August H. Auer, past professor of atmospheric science, University of Wyoming; previously chief meteorologist, Meteorological Service (MetService) of New Zealand

    Dr. Vincent Gray, expert reviewer for IPCC, author of The Greenhouse Delusion: A Critique of ‘Climate Change 2001,’ Wellington, N.Z.

    Dr. Howard Hayden, emeritus professor of physics, University of Connecticut

    Dr Benny Peiser, professor of social anthropology, Faculty of Science, Liverpool John Moores University, U.K.

    Dr. Jack Barrett, chemist and spectroscopist, formerly with Imperial College London, U.K.

    Dr. William J.R. Alexander, professor emeritus, Dept. of Civil and Biosystems Engineering, University of Pretoria, South Africa. Member, United Nations Scientific and Technical Committee on Natural Disasters, 1994-2000

    Dr. S. Fred Singer, professor emeritus of environmental sciences, University of Virginia; former director, U.S. Weather Satellite Service

    Dr. Harry N.A. Priem, emeritus professor of planetary geology and isotope geophysics, Utrecht University; former director of the Netherlands Institute for Isotope Geosciences; past president of the Royal Netherlands Geological & Mining Society

    Dr. Robert H. Essenhigh, E.G. Bailey professor of energy conversion, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Ohio State U. Dr. Sallie Baliunas, astrophysicist and climate researcher, Boston, Mass.

    Douglas Hoyt, senior scientist at Raytheon (retired) and co-author of the book The Role of the Sun in Climate Change; previously with NCAR, NOAA, and the World Radiation Center, Davos, Switzerland

    Dipl.-Ing. Peter Dietze, independent energy advisor and scientific climate and carbon modeller, official IPCC reviewer, Bavaria, Germany

    Dr. Boris Winterhalter, senior marine researcher (retired), Geological Survey of Finland, former professor in marine geology, University of
    Helsinki, Finland

    Dr. Wibjorn Karlen, emeritus professor, Dept. of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden

    Dr. Hugh W. Ellsaesser, physicist/meteorologist, previously with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Calif.; atmospheric consultant.

    Dr. Art Robinson, founder, Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, Cave Junction, Ore.

    Dr. Arthur Rorsch, emeritus professor of molecular genetics, Leiden University, The Netherlands; past board member, Netherlands organization for applied research (TNO) in environmental, food and public health

    Dr. Alister McFarquhar, Downing College, Cambridge, U.K.; international economist

    Dr. Richard S. Courtney, climate and atmospheric science consultant, IPCC expert reviewer, U.K.


    • As accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines…

      LOL.

      Argumentum ad verecundiam has never looked quite so sad.

    • Typically in pseudoscience the road from foolishness to fraud is maked by ad hom attacks by the true believers on skepitical scientists.

    • Typically, on blogs, denialists hero-worship economists, ‘consultants’, and retired geologists, because they all share the fantasy that they are experts at spotting pseudoscience…

      Whatever turns your crank!

    • The problem the true believers and the EPA has in trying to use science to promote increased federal authority over America’s economy – ostensibly regulating American CO2 release to prevent global warming (when the only thing that would actually work is to move the Earth further away from the Sun) – is that with the end of the world they all warn about as always just around the corner can never come soon enough… which is of course why they have been reduced to pointing to naturally occurring weather events as proof of their pathalogical science and worrying about an unmeasurable amount of warming they believe must lie deep within the ocean.

      With the true believers of AGW we get a peek at the superstition, the dogma, the casting of chicken bones and spells by science illiterates and authoritarians alike and we see that beliefs of Western scientists and government-funded educators are no different than revelations of witch doctors, shamans, and soothsayers throughout human history who found it more useful to themselves to support a hoax than to admit ignorance to others, even when it meant lying to children.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Argumentum ad verecundiam is not such when authority is real. But we don’t need appeal to anything but reality. The world is not warming for decades yet at least as a result of well known, large scale patterns of ocean and atmosphere circulation. Heinrich – you lose. So sad too bad.

    • Don’t sacrifice my virgins to your superstitions.
      ===========


    • But we don’t need appeal to anything but reality. The world is not warming for decades yet at least as a result of well known, large scale patterns of ocean and atmosphere circulation

      Your reality is created by mere assertion, apparently.

      Oh well – at least your reality is not quite as paranoid, accusatory, and verbose as Wagathon’s today.


      Heinrich – you lose. So sad too bad.

      Paper tigers are so cute when they gnash their little paper teeth.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Let’s take a little peer-reviewed tonic before proceeding.

      ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.’ S&T 09

      Indeed it has shifted and the evidence is before our eyes – is it not?

      Science is inevitably good – if it sometimes moves in circuitous paths. The ‘Great Pacific Climate Shift’ of 1976/77 – for instance – is the most significant and mysterious climate event of the past few decades. This event is seen as an abrupt shift in the frequency and intensity of ENSO and a shift from a cool PDO to warm PDO. More intense and frequent La Niña to 1976, El Niño dominant to 1998 and a return to La Niña dominance since. See for yourself.

      http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/
      http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/research/divisions/fed/oeip/ca-pdo.cfm

      Here is another taste from NASA – http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

      Look here for the characteristic cold “V” of the cool Pacific Mode – http://www.ospo.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2013/anomnight.2.18.2013.gif

      The cool mode will intensify over another decade or more. You do know what this means don’t you Heinrich? It means you lose.

    • Heinrich, I do not see the relevance of this letter but most of us who signed it know quite a bit about the climate issue. What do you not understand?

    • Gosh, heinrich, be careful. For lots of us who aren’t in the business, Freeman Dyson outranks pretty much any crowd of climate scientists you can gather. Or pretty much any crowd of anybody. Keep it in mind.


    • Heinrich, I do not see the relevance of this letter but most of us who signed it know quite a bit about the climate issue.

      There is a difference between knowing about “the climate issue” and knowing about the climate.

      You, as with most of your co-signers, are an expert in the former only.


      What do you not understand?

      When will you stop equivocating between denialists writing op-ed letters to politicians and science?

    • MikeR

      Gosh, heinrich, be careful. For lots of us who aren’t in the business, Freeman Dyson outranks pretty much any crowd of climate scientists you can gather.

      Thanks. I’ll keep that in mind. Wouldn’t want to put a kink in your handy scientist-rankings chart, now would I?

      Carry on.

    • heinrich, do you know anything about federal policy making? This letter is to the Prime Minister not Nature. You are looking foolish. BTW I suspect I know more about climate science than you do. Climate is not the issue, climate science is.

    • heinrich -

      Fallacies are only fallacies when “non-skeptics” employ them. If only you were a “skeptic,” you would understand that logic.

      Heh.

    • We need to continue intensive research into the real causes of climate change and help our most vulnerable citizens adapt to whatever nature throws at us next.

      Fallacy? Sort of… we don’t really need to spend good money after bad on more filing cabinets full of junk science.

    • You evidently didn’t read beyond the first phrase or you’d have realized the signers made no ‘Argumentum ad verecundiam’. Rather they were making a democratic appeal to policy makers as a group with a background of expertise to call for a review of government plans re climate change.

    • The AGW true believers are clinging to their hockey sticks.

    • The “Argumentum ad verecundiam” accusation is in itself an “Argumentum ad Hominem”. It would only be an argument from authority if the letter stated; “We are experts and we say there is nothing to worry and any argument to the contrary is wrong because we are experts”. What the letter proposes is that the matter be investigated properly and in greater detail looking at the arguments from both sides before committing large sums that could potentially be wasteful.

      That is the argument to which you need to make a case against. The argument is no more or less valid because it was signed by people familiar with the issues or the science, but it does add weight, especially to counter-balance arguments from authority heard by” climate activists” so much of the time. And by having distinguished and knowledgable signatories, you can at least be sure that it comes from people who know what they are talking about, as opposed to some random bloke who wanted to write a letter.

    • Scott Basinger

      Heinrich,

      I’m not sure if you’re a troll or simply arrogant to the point that you brush off the opinions of men more accomplished than you.

      I think I’ll go for what you’ve proven to be more successful at: troll. Congratulations on finally accomplishing something in your life.

      As for the former, please continue to insult people and ideas that don’t fit into your world view. It makes it much easier for those of us who think for a living to avoid wasting time on such narrowminded individuals.

      Clearly, there are no new ideas worth considering under the sun when all of science is so clearly settled. There are no contradictions to be observed, no firmly held ideas to challenge, and no models whose results differ from measurements found in nature. This path is certainly a lot less *work*.

    • David L. Hagen

      heinrich
      Yes – skeptics can apply common sense and the scientific method to show that “the emperor has no clothes.”
      Recommend that you educate yourself on the scientific principles of forecasting for public policy.
      e.g. Global warming: Green & Armstrong (Energy & Environment 2007)

      We audited the forecasting processes described in Chapter 8 of the IPCC’s WG1 Report to assess the extent to which they complied with forecasting principles. We found enough information to make judgments on 89 out of a total of 140 forecasting principles. The forecasting procedures that were described violated 72 principles. Many of the violations were, by themselves, critical. The forecasts in the Report were not the outcome of scientific procedures. In effect, they were the opinions of scientists transformed by mathematics and obscured by complex writing. Research on forecasting has shown that experts’ redictions are not useful in situations involving uncertainly and complexity. We have been unable to identify any scientific forecasts of global warming. Claims that the Earth will get warmer have no more credence than saying that it will get colder

    • Scott Basinger

      Clearly, there are no new ideas worth considering under the sun when all of science is so clearly settled. There are no contradictions to be observed, no firmly held ideas to challenge, and no models whose results differ from measurements found in nature.

      Clearly, you have me all figured out. That’s nice.

      I will take your critique of me on advisement.

      Meanwhile, please remember – this is a blog. Everyone’s an expert!

    • David L Hagen:

      Green & Armstrong (Energy & Environment 2007):

      …we have been unable to find a scientific forecast to support the currently widespread belief in “global warming.

      Ignorance is bliss.


      Climate is complex and there is much uncertainty about causal relationships and data.

      Gosh – I bet no actual climate scientist ever thought of that.
      So science-y-sounding too!


      It means that we are not convinced that current knowledge about climate is sufficient to make useful long-term forecasts about climate.

      Based on our literature searches, those forecasting long-term climate change have no apparent knowledge of evidence-based forecasting methods…

      Green & Armstrong are experts in… wait for it… marketing.
      They used Google searches for their ‘study’.

      They write:

      The forecasts in the [IPCC] Report were not the outcome of scientific procedures. In effect, they were the opinions of scientists transformed by mathematics and obscured by complex writing.

      The irony is so stupid, it’s funny.

    • Heh, heinrich, I gotta feeling you’re gonna end up being very persuasive. Keep up the good work, and be sure to check that you’re on top of the latest.
      ============

    • David L. Hagen

      heinrich
      Your lack of understanding science would be “funny” if it wasn’t so sad.
      I’ll choose Freeman Dyson any day.


    • I’ll choose Freeman Dyson any day.

      Good for you!

      From the LaFramboise site:

      None of these individuals is infallible. There’s no guarantee their point-of-view is correct. But shouldn’t we consider their arguments before we make up our minds?

      Yes. Nobody is trying to silence Dyson. It’s just that the evidence doesn’t support his views. Note that *I* am not making that claim – every national and international scientific institution on the planet is.

      Carlin is right.
      He recognizes that the Earth will endure anything we can throw at it.
      Humans are a new, eruptive species, ecologically speaking – and Carlin is right that we should be waaay more worried about humanity’s future condition than the Earth’s.

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      heinrich,
      Besides your impersonation of a jackass, do you have any concrete points?

    • k scott denison

      Your lack of understanding science would be “funny” if it wasn’t so sad.
      I’ll choose Freeman Dyson any day.

      heinrich | February 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm |

      Blah, blah, blah…. Note that *I* am not making that claim – every national and international scientific institution on the planet is….
      ———
      Translation:

      I’ll see your argumentum ad verecundiam and raise you an argumentum ad VERECUNDIAM because I have more experts on my side!

      Classic.

    • The ‘latest’ wouldn’t do him any good; it’s his logic. Same with Fan. This is the ugly face of cognitive dissonance.
      =============================

    • k scott denison

      Translation:
      I’ll see your argumentum ad verecundiam and raise you an argumentum ad VERECUNDIAM because I have more experts on my side!

      Your “translation” entirely misses the point – Do you ever ask yourself WHY climate “skeptics” are almost all angry blog-scientists?

      It is not the number of experts that count but the evidence that has convinced them.

      I other words – the experts on ‘my’ side actually measure the climate data, analyze it, and produce peer-reviewed science. Usually they study science for years at a graduate school in order to learn the facts and build an appropriate skill-set for further research. There are more of those experts for the simple reason that the physical evidence is not ambiguous. You seem to think that scientific consensus is caused by group-think – while the truth is that it is an effect of convergent scientific results.

      Meanwhile – Denialist self-appointed ‘experts’ write letters to politicians, place ads on billboards, and play the victim card every chance they get.

      I am not correct because there are more experts on ‘my’ side.
      There are more experts on ‘my’ side because I am correct.

      Translation:
      Full house beats a flush.

    • heinrich, your fellows were hiding aerosol control knobs up their sleeves.
      Pokerguy knows the end such fellows happen upon.
      ================

    • heinrich, you write “the experts on ‘my’ side actually measure the climate data,”

      Where are the “expert” measurements of how much global temperatures rise as more CO2 is added to the atmosphere from current levels? Or in other words, where is the actual measurement of total climate sensitivity? (how much global temperatures rise as a result of the additional CO2 in the atmosphere) Apart from the fact that these empirical measurements do not exist, sol no-one has the slightest idea what the numerical value of total climate sensitivity actually is.

    • I find it amusing to see skeptics appealing to authority as part of communicating their message to Stephen Harper.

      Climate skeptics don’t usually accept the importance of expertise. We are told only evidence matters, not whether the messenger is an expert. But here we have a list of skeptics contradicting that with an appeal to expertise.

      Also amusing to see them hiding the uncertainty. No mention of how deep their disagreements on the science run. They all sign the letter like they are a…team.

      As I have said before, climate skeptics like to pull punches together (tribalism), but scatter under fire (we are all different with different views!)

      So many interesting factors.

      Did Richard Courtney sign himself as “IPCC expert reviewer”? That’s also amusing, on multiple levels.

    • I did not see an appeal to authority in the letter. Where is that?

      Courtney was an IPCC expert reviewer, as was I. Of course we were ignored but expert reviewer is their title for it not ours. But then Richard and I are certainly both experts on climate science.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      Uh… nothing about this letter is an appeal to authority.

    • Heh, it reads like an appeal to the authority, Harper. Mebbe they meant ‘Appeal to Authoritarian’.
      ==============

    • How impressed are we to be with the global warming expertise of Nobel recipients like the UN-IPCC’s Rajendra Pechauri and lifetime Leftists like Al Gore and Barack Obama?

    • “As I have said before, climate skeptics like to pull punches together (tribalism), but scatter under fire (we are all different with different views!)”

      These are basic guerrilla tactics. You need to read up on your insurgency /counterinsurgency theory. The insurgent side, typically outnumbered and outgunned, only masses its forces when it can achieve local superiority in an offensive operation or an ambush. In the main, it remains highly fragmented and pursues only small-unit, hit-and-run engagements against the superior conventional force, hiding among sympathetic members of the populace or in sanctuary areas outside the reach of the enemy. Large pitched battles are high-risk engagements for the insurgents, who often feel that time is on their side because of their greater political sustainability. (General Giap gambled once and got it right at Dien Bien Phu; gambled a second time and got it wrong during the Tet offensive; and after waiting out the US withdrawal was finally able to mass his armored divisions and blitzkrieg the Republic of Vietnam.)

    • Davis Wojick

      But then Richard and I are certainly both experts on climate science.

      According to a search of Google Scholar, Richard Courtney has not published any peer-reviewed research in the area of climate change.

      According to a search of Google Scholar, David Wojick has published 11 articles in peer-reviewed journals, mainly on the subject of epistemology.
      According to a search of 22,000 academic journals, Wojick has not published any research in peer-reviewed journals on the subject of climate change.

      Hilarious.
      Is there anything that denialists with delusions of grandeur can’t do on blogs?

    • Both Heinrich and lolwot have made the accusation that skeptics are “appealing to authority” i.e., argumentum ad verecundiam.

      That is, of course, false. What skeptics are saying is that there is no reliable authority. Do they quote authority to that affect? Yes, but that is in the nature of argument. You quote authority to refute what you see as authority based on contrived certitude. The skeptical position is based on the belief now being re-inforced by actual empirical findings that formulating long-range comprehensive energy and climate policy is premature and potentially destructive.

    • pottereaton

      What skeptics are saying is that there is no reliable authority.

      Not the ones that choose Freeman Dyson.

      Of course, ultimately, there is no reliable authority.
      That’s why rational skeptics look at the evidence.


      The skeptical position is based on the belief now being re-inforced by actual empirical findings that formulating long-range comprehensive energy and climate policy is premature and potentially destructive.

      That would be an “alarmist” statement – if only it were true.

      You do realize that the Pentagon, Department of Transportation, and the Department of Commerce are, in fact, “formulating long-range comprehensive energy and climate policy”, no?

      They’re part of the Great Conspiracy too.

    • @Heinrich: Social pressure, private interests, and ideology can do all of the work with no conspiracy needed. In the 1970s US policy, and the “expert” consensus that underlay that policy, was that oil would be depleted so quickly that by 2000 the US would be getting (depending on which report you read) 20-50% of its energy from solar cells and windmills. Two Harvard guys who are not idiots, Stoubaugh and Yergin, wrote a book called Energy Futures that was the “moderate” version of the Club of Rome stuff and became conventional wisdom among northeastern US elites. Official policy under the Carter Administration was based on these forecasts, leading to the synthetic fuels boondoggle as well as (much smaller) solar and ocean-thermal boondoggles. “Skeptics” such as Herman Kahn and David Stockman, who made fairly detailed arguments that there was an abundance of economically retrievable fossil fuel still to be tapped, were scorned or ignored.

      Eventually the Carter administration launched the Market Oriented Project Planning Study (MOPPS) to create forecasts for their “moral equivalent of war.” The director, one Chris Knudsen, issued a report that said we had 10,000 years of usable oil and gas. The Carter people fired him.

      These types of pseudo-scientific consensuses are all too easy to sustain, especially when philosophy, status, income, and power all depend upon agreement. That’s especially the case in areas of policy relevance or importance to fundamental values. To suppose that this cannot happen in science is the equivalent of believing that free markets can never generate bubbles and crashes.

    • What does

      “As accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines”

      mean if it is not an appeal to their own authority?

    • Heinrich wrote: “You do realize that the Pentagon, Department of Transportation, and the Department of Commerce are, in fact, “formulating long-range comprehensive energy and climate policy”, no?”

      Yes I realize that. In this statement you are appealing to a dependent authority that is basing its policies on an unreliable authority. Rather like you in that respect, I would venture.

      What you are doing is trying to turn the arguments of skeptics back on themselves by accusing them of the same things of which they are accusing consensus warmists. The situations are not analogous.

      For example: first you accuse skeptics of appealing to authority when they are in fact challenging the authorities in climate science; and then in your last post you clumsily accused me of making an “alarmist” statement by pointing out that formulating energy and climate policy is premature and could be destructive. I based that on the accumulating empirical evidence that now shows there has been no significant warming in fifteen years or so, which suggests that people who attributed warming to increases in CO2 were not a reliable authority and did not have a full understanding of the forces at work. It’s not “alarmist” in any way although it may be alarming to you personally.

      I’ve debated formally before and I find your tactics sophomoric. You are pounding on the table because the facts are no longer on your side and the certitude once flagrantly brandied about in climate science is now “inoperative,” to quote one of Nixon’s lackeys. There is too much uncertainty and even people like James Annan are addressing the issue.

      Eisenhower understood the dangers and expressed them in his oft-quoted farewell address that most people think only warned of the military-industrial complex: “Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

    • @Heinrich:

      pottereaton

      What skeptics are saying is that there is no reliable authority.

      Not the ones that choose Freeman Dyson.

      Freeman Dyson is not a climate scientist.

      There. See how easy it is?

    • pottereaton:


      …the accumulating empirical evidence that now shows there has been no significant warming in fifteen years or so…

      Sigh, another escalator jockey…
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47

      http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/2012/10/14/met-office-in-the-media-14-october-2012/

      http://www.aussmc.org/documents/waiting-for-global-cooling.pdf


      I’ve debated formally before and I find your tactics sophomoric. You are pounding on the table because the facts are no longer on your side and the certitude once flagrantly brandied about in climate science is now “inoperative,” to quote one of Nixon’s lackeys.

      Sophomoric “debate” – on a blog?

      Let’s see:
      - “the facts are not on your side” – unsupported assertion – clearly false according to actual climate scientists with actual data,
      - “the certitude once flagrantly brandied about in climate science” – never existed except in the heads of fake “skeptics”,
      - one-word political reference used in attempt to qualify scientific truth,
      - “sophomoric” ad hom.

      Thanks for playing.

    • ‘The certitude once flagrantly bandied about in climate science’

      heinrich, you mean the certitude still flagrantly bandied about in climate science has also now infected the political class. Heh, except in the BRICs.
      ===================

    • There were 57 signatories to the Apr 8, 2006 open letter to Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper cited above by Wagathon.

      @DW: But then Richard [Courtney] and I are certainly both experts on climate science.

      If you set the bar for “expert on climate science” to “can’t see anything wrong with Miskolczi’s work” then 57 signatories way underestimates the number of “experts on climate science” that could have signed that open letter.

    • David L. Hagen

      Wagathon
      Thanks for posting this well crafted reasoned open letter to Prime Minister Harper. I endorse this letter.
      PS The misguided efforts to stop the Keystone XL pipeline will unnecessarily amplify CO2 emissions by forcing Canada to ship its bitumen to China, India and Japan while seriously harming relationships with the USA’s good neighbor and closest trading partner, while aiding dictators and tyrants such as Chavez.

    • David L. Hagen

      Eloquently stated by Joe Nocera How Not to Fix Climate Change

      the Obama administration should approve the Keystone pipeline, which would transport oil mined and processed from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Like it or not, fossil fuels are going to remain the world’s dominant energy source for the foreseeable future, and we are far better off getting our oil from Canada than, say, Venezuela. And the climate change effects of tar sands oil are, all in all, pretty small. . . .In fact, this should be a no-brainer for the president, for all the reasons I stated earlier, and one more: the strategy of activists like McKibben, Brune and Hansen, who have made the Keystone pipeline their line in the sand, is utterly boneheaded. . . . As Adam Brandt, an energy expert at Stanford University, pointed out to me recently, so long as the demand is there, energy producers are going to search for new supplies of fossil fuel — many of them using unconventional means like tar sands extraction. “With growing global demand, the economic pressure to develop unconventional resources is enormous and not going away,” he said. “Can environmental groups expect to win a series of fights for decades to come, when the economic forces are aligned very strongly against them in each round?” The answer is obvious: no. The emphasis should be on demand, not supply. If the U.S. stopped consuming so much of the world’s oil, the economic need for the tar sands would evaporate.

    • David L. Hagen,

      Thanks for this. I find it amazing why so many people on the ideological left, especially the CAGW activists, don’t understand it. Why don’t they understand it?

    • David L. Hagen

      Adaptation to higher risks of eco-terrorism.
      Business must now factor in increased business risks of irrational eco-terrorism.

      Eco-activists at DC Climate Rally: ‘Dismantle’ pipeline by ‘any means necessary’ — ‘Some protestors declaring Keystone must be dismantled by ‘any means necessary’ after Morano asked if they support acts of eco-terror’ — Cite Hansen as their inspiration

      i.e., this religion of extreme environmentalism in the name of “climate change” is seriously degrading the rule of law and damaging the foundations of civil society.

    • The extreme climate alarmists opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline appears based on chicken little rhetoric with little foundation in reality.
      Pipeline from Canada to Texas Wouldn’t Affect Climate

      Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada’s president for energy and oil pipelines, says opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline have grossly inflated its likely impact on emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. . . .
      “Simple math tells us, therefore, that the oil sands represent only one-tenth of 1 percent of global greenhouse emissions,” he said. “Even if production from the oil sands were to double, the (greenhouse gas) contribution from the oil sands would be immaterial to global” greenhouse gas production. . . .
      Oil carried by Keystone will displace heavy crude from Venezuela, Nigeria and other countries that also contributes to global warming, Pourbaix said. “You could shut down oil sands production tomorrow and it would have absolutely no measurable impact on climate change,” he said.

      By advocating reducing fossil fuel use with no alternatives, the pipeline opponents effectively advocating directly contracting our economy, increasing unemployment, and imposing on our children the greater burden of supporting higher social security on lower wages. James Hansen and his cohorts demonstrate an extreme misanthropy and advocate eco-terrorism to impose their radical dangerous views on the rest of society.
      The magnitude of the challenge facing us is to replace 90 million barrels/day production of fossil fuels (that are depleting at 5-6%/year) with alternatives without destroying our economy from lack of fuel.

      Businesses must now “adapt” to such radical efforts to destroy our civilization and way of life.

    • David L. Hagen,

      By advocating reducing fossil fuel use with no alternatives, the pipeline opponents effectively advocating directly contracting our economy, increasing unemployment, and imposing on our children the greater burden of supporting higher social security on lower wages. James Hansen and his cohorts demonstrate an extreme misanthropy and advocate eco-terrorism to impose their radical dangerous views on the rest of society.

      The moral values of these guys and their supporters are repugnant.

    • @DLH (quoting Joe Nocera, “How Not to Fix Climate Change”): Can environmental groups expect to win a series of fights for decades to come, when the economic forces are aligned very strongly against them in each round? The answer is obvious: no. If the U.S. stopped consuming so much of the world’s oil, the economic need for the tar sands would evaporate.

      @Peter Lang: I find it amazing why so many people on the ideological left, especially the CAGW activists, don’t understand it. Why don’t they understand it?

      Great example of petitio principii (begging the question), Peter. They do understand it. Where have you been lately? Please stop advocating increased consumption of the world’s oil (and coal). Apparently this is less obvious to you than to Joe Nocera.

    • As far as extension of the keystone pipeline goes, my thoughts on the subject are similar to Professor Borenstein’s. The resources are going to be utilized. The real question is how is this going to be accomplished. Either via the xl pipeline or by an alternative. If the keystone pipeline is completed the US rules and regulations will be followed on how the energy is processed vs. an alternative nations (say China) rules and regulations. I would rather have the US rules apply and trade the pipeline for something that will improve the perceived problem in a cost effective manner.

      http://energyathaas.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/whats-keystone-xl-got-to-do-with-it/

      I am more concerned about the cost of oil dropping to $20+/- a barrel, as referenced in the post, as the disruption of the cash flow in the Middle East, Russia, Uk, etc. would lead to problems that would make Syria look like a picnic.

    • Vaughan Pratt
      Re: ” Please stop advocating increased consumption of the world’s oil (and coal).”
      Why? You beg the argument by giving no basis.
      Oil, coal and gas are the “training wheels” we have to grow economically and technologically that will enable a transition to non-fossil fuels and energy such as from solar or nuclear power.
      Patzek shows that as the US grew from 3rd world to superpower status, the US oil use grew 9%/year for 80 years from 1860 to 1940.
      The major concern is peaking and declining light oil in the near future before we have developed alternatives.

    • kakatoa
      Re “I am more concerned about the cost of oil dropping to $20+/- a barrel,”
      Look at the marginal cost of oil production.
      With current technology, marginal costs for alternatives are more on the $70 to $90/bbl range, so $20 / bbl is highly unlikely except for severe depression for a short time.

    • I read: Because energy use and economic growth go hand in hand, policymakers should develop a flexible, long-term approach to reducing the growth of greenhouse gases (GHGs).
      What? Why should we reduce green house gases when there is no temperature data that indicates there is any problem? CO2 makes green things grow better with less water. That is win win.

      I picked this out of Wagathon’s post.
      Observational evidence does not support today’s computer climate models, so there is little reason to trust model predictions of the future.
      http://judithcurry.com/2013/02/19/adapting-to-climate-change-challenges-and-opportunities-for-u-s-business-community/#comment-297080
      How long can the king have no clothes on and still pretend to know earth will warm beyond reasonable when it does not happen for decades?

    • Speech opposing the motion by Richard Courtney:

      Madam Speaker, Friends:

      Climate change is a serious problem. All governments need to address it.

      In the Bronze Age Joseph (with the Technicolour Dreamcoat) told Pharaoh that climate has always changed everywhere: it always will. He told Pharaoh to prepare for bad times when in good times, and all sensible governments have adopted that policy throughout the millennia since.

      It’s a sensible policy because people merely complain at taxes in good times. They revolt if short of food in bad times. But several governments have abandoned it and, instead, are trying to stabilise the climate of the entire Earth by controlling it.

      This attempt at global climate control arises from the hypothesis of anthropogenic (that is, man-made) global warming (AGW).

      AGW does not pose a global crisis but the policy does, because it threatens constraint of fossil fuels and that constraint would kill millions – probably billions – of people.

      There’s no evidence for man-made global warming; none, not any of any kind.

      The existence of global warming is not evidence of anthropogenic global warming because warming of the Earth doesn’t prove human’s warmed it. At issue is whether humans are or are not affecting changes to the Earth’s temperature that have always happened naturally.

      The AGW-hypothesis says increased greenhouse gases – notably carbon dioxide – in the air raise global temperature, and anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are increasing the carbon dioxide in the air to overwhelm the natural climate system.

      But empirical evidence says the hypothesis is wrong.

      1. The anthropogenic emissions and global temperature do not correlate.

      2. Change to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration follows change to global temperature at all time scales.

      3. Recent rise in global temperature has not been induced by rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.

      Global temperature fell from 1940 to 1970, rose to 1 998, and has fallen since. That’s 40 years of cooling and 28 years of warming. Global temperature is now similar to that of 1990. But atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has increased at a near constant rate and by more than 30% since 1940. It has increased by 8% since 1990.

      4. Rise in global temperature has not been induced by anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide.

      Over 80% of the emissions have been since 1940 and the emissions have been increasing at a compound rate. But since 1940 there have been 40 years of cooling with only 28 years of warming. There’s been no significant warming since 1995, and global temperature has fallen since the high it had 10 years ago.

      5. The pattern of atmospheric warming predicted by the AGW hypothesis is absent.

      The hypothesis predicts most warming of the air at altitude in the tropics. Measurements from weather balloons and from satellites both show cooling at altitude in the tropics.

      So, the normal rules of science say the AGW-hypothesis is completely refuted.

      Nothing the hypothesis predicts is observed, and the opposite of some of its predictions are observed.

      But some people promote the hypothesis. They’ve several reasons (personal financial gain, protection of their career histories and futures, political opportunism, and…). But support of science cannot be one such motive because science denies the hypothesis. So, additional scientific information cannot displace the AGW-hypothesis and cannot silence its advocates. And those advocates are not scientists despite some of them claiming they are.

      Advocates promote AGW using three kinds of pseudo-science.

      They use ‘argument from ignorance’. This isn’t new. In the Middle Ages experts said, “We don’t know what causes crops to fail: it must be witches: we must eliminate them.” Now, experts say, “We don’t know what causes global climate change: it must be emissions from human activity: we must eliminate them.” Of course, they phrase it differently saying they can’t match historical climate change with known climate mechanisms unless an anthropogenic effect is included. But evidence for this “anthropogenic effect” is no more than the evidence for witches.

      Advocates rely on not-validated computer models.

      No model’s predictions should be trusted unless the model has demonstrated forecasting skill. But climate models have not existed for 20, 50 or 100 years, so they cannot have demonstrated forecasting skill.

      Simply, the climate models’ predictions of the future have the same demonstrated reliability as the casting of chicken bones to predict the future.

      Advocates use the Precautionary Principle saying we should stop greenhouse gas emissions in case the AGW hypothesis is right. But that turns the Principle on its head.

      Stopping the emissions would reduce fossil fuel usage with resulting economic damage. This would be worse than the ‘oil crisis’ of the 1970s because the reduction would be greater, would be permanent, and energy use has increased since then. The economic disruption would be world-wide. Major effects would be in the developed world because it has the largest economies. Worst effects would be on the world’s poorest peoples: people near starvation are starved by it.

      The precautionary principle says we should not accept the risks of certain economic disruption in attempt to control the world’s climate on the basis of assumptions that have no supporting evidence and merely because they’ve been described using computer games.

      So, global warming is not a global crisis but the unfounded fear of global warming is. It threatens a constraint of fossil fuel use that would kill millions – probably billions – of people.

      [Note: Wednesday 4 March 2009, the St Andrews University Debating Society held their debate of the motion, "This House Believes Global Warming is a Global Crisis" in the Old Parliament Building, St Andrews... The debate was organized and presided over with exemplary efficiency and professionalism by the Speaker of the Society, Ms Jessica Siegel. It was conducted with all the pomp and ceremony that could be expected of an ancient society of so ancient and prestigious a university. ~R. Courtney]

    • David L. Hagen

      Death Trains James Hansen responds to Nocera, advocating:

      An economic analysis indicates that a tax beginning at $15/tCO2 and rising $10/tCO2 each year would reduce emissions in the U.S. by 30% within 10 years.

      Hansen worse than OPEC
      Tom Nelson summarizes Hansen:

      So after ten years, each U.S. man, woman and child needs to pay $115 per ton of CO2 emissions? At 20 tons annually per person, for a family of four, that’s $9,200 per year. If we’ve actually reduced per-person emissions by 30% in ten years, that’s still $6400 for that family of four.

      Hansen claims:

      A rising carbon price is the sine qua non for fossil fuel phase out

      Unfortunately Hansen understands neither politics, economics, nor business.
      Hansen does not understand the politics of adding massive new taxes and increasing debt. Obama has already added $6 trillion in debt onto some 100 million tax payers or $60,000/taxpayer. Hansen now wants to form a league of infamy by adding $ trillions in CO2 taxes.
      The US Government notes:

      Oil price shocks and price manipulation by OPEC have cost our economy dearly—about $1.9 trillion from 2004 to 2008—and each major shock was followed by a recession.

      Hansen advocates greater harm to the US economy than OPEC.
      Advocates poverty and starvation: Death Trains Hansen’s advocating massively increasing the cost of fossil fuels would doom developing countries to perpetual crippling poverty, causing hundreds of millions of unnecessary deaths per year. Hansen does not understand that the rapid economic growth of the USA and Western civilization was on the back of cheap fossil fuels. See Tad Patzek. Hansen now wants to deny China and India their opportunity for rapid economic growth. Spitting into a hurricane would be more effective.

      Hansen does not understand that breakthrough R&D that created sustainable/renewable fuels cheaper than fossil fuels would negate the need for any carbon tax or cap in trade.

      PS Hansen claims:

      The climate science is crystal clear.

      Yes, clearly wrong, with IPCC models now running about 2 sigma hotter than reality since 1990 and since 2000 (i.e., > 95% of the trend data.) See Lucia at The Blackboard. That evidences major systemic errors (Type B) of which Hansen is oblivious. Such severely flawed models obviously cannot be relied on for prudent engineering or business planning.

    • @DLH: Hansen now wants to form a league of infamy by adding $ trillions in CO2 taxes.

      Looking forward to seeing this typo corrected (missing number between $ and trillions).

      Also looking forward to less hysteria in your comments. (Just kidding—you didn’t really think you were being hysterical, did you?)

    • David L. Hagen,

      You’ll probably say I don’t know much about economics but I don’t quite understand how “massive new taxes” can cause “increasing debt.”

      Isn’t debt usually considered to be the caused by governments spending more than they receive in taxation?

      So to reduce the debt, isn’t it a question of spending less and/or taxing more?

    • Vaughan Pratt
      Answer ~$ 30 trillion
      Richard Toll calculates the “Leviathan carbon tax ” for the USA at $223/tCO2 (the level at which it would replace all other taxes). See Maximum Carbon Taxes in the Short Run
      Toll reports US emissions were 5,595 million metric tons CO2/year. So the Leviathan carbon tax would result in $1.2 trillion/year in taxes.

      Hansen advocated “a tax beginning at $15/tCO2 and rising $10/tCO2 each year would reduce emissions in the U.S. by 30% within 10 years.”
      Hansen’s advocating $10/ton CO2/year increase in carbon tax would reach $215/ton CO2/year in 20 years. At the current US generation of 5.2 billion metric tons CO2/year this would nominally cost $1.1 trillion/year. It would reach this $223/t CO2 Leviathan carbon tax level within 21 years on a straight line projection.

      IF the CO2 was capped at the Leviathan tax rate, then over 40 years the tax would amount to ~ $30 trillion over a generation.

      IF it offset other taxes, it could appear to be revenue neutral. However, raising business costs by CO2 taxes etc is driving for businesses off shore.

      However, Hansen is optimistic. Monckton shows The Sanders-Boxer carbon tax will be 15 times costlier than letting warming happen
      Assuming no back of the envelope errors.

    • tempterrain
      Re: “So to reduce the debt, isn’t it a question of spending less and/or taxing more?”
      Yes
      However, in the world of politics, Obama’s promise to cut the deficit in half translated into a 60% increase in US debt within 4 years! From $10 trillion to $16 trillion – even though revenue is about the same.
      Boxer’s increase in carbon taxes is an excuse for increasing government.
      The “Sequestration” drama shows how hard it is for politicians to actually reduce spending, while a 50% increase in spending within a few years is very easy. That reduces GDP requiring government to borrow more and/or raise taxes to cover the short fall.
      Raising energy taxes increases the costs of energy driving businesses out of the country. cf current French 75% tax.
      etc.

  3. Enron used to be a powerful member of ACCF, but Ken Lay’s climate activism (this company had six profit centers tied to pricing CO2: http://www.masterresource.org/2009/07/who-was-ken-lay-the-senate-should-know-the-industry-father-of-us-side-cap-and-trade/) was opposed by most other members.

    • I am reminded of Ken and his former organization every month. Thanks for the link.

      I get to pay off my allocated portion of the securitized cash flow from the contracts that the former Gov Davis signed to ensure our long term supply of electrical energy here in CA. At least I can feel better that my former corporate employer held Enron to the $.05 kwh price we negotiated with them until they went bankrupt. I 100% agree with Makansi’s (“Lights Out”) assertion that if we could we would put the cork back in the bottle as far breaking up PG&E, SCE, etc. we would likely be a lot better off. What an unmitigated disaster.

      I am looking forward to a new allocation on my PG&E bill in the coming years- the one entitled energy storage, or grid stability. Let’s hope that the powers that be let PG&E decide how to keep the grid up vs mandating a favored energy storage method to address the intermittency problems with wind and PV. SCE is required to put some energy storage in place- http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/california-sets-50mw-target-for-grid-energy-storage?utm

      “California Sets 50MW Target for Grid Energy Storage
      Moving past “paralysis by analysis,” the CPUC asks Southern California Edison to find 50MW of grid energy storage by 2021.”

    • Texas did it better.
      ==============

    • A sabre of integrates
      Cavin’ and carvin’
      Whittled a grid,
      A widespread feast.
      Stay, see the keeness.
      ==============

  4. Very few business enterprises are around for 100 years…..And those organizations that do show a long presence- British Empire, Catholic church, US government even- go thru major changes on this timescale. Kind of hard to plan, let alone invest….

    • Businesses will plan for disasters which could occur at any time and when building a new building, may take a longer view of say 30 years, if that is the average life-time of a building. They may build it farther from shore or with more safeguards or even in a different city that is hundreds of miles from a potential hurricane strike. So, it is not correct to say they never take a long-term view. Also, there are a number of businesses that routinely plan much longer into the future, such as forestry and lumber companies. They plant trees knowing they will not be able to harvest them for 20-50 years. As a corporation can have a life-time much longer than an individual, this also allows for long-term planning.

      Even the fear of new laws being proposed will affect business planning. So they may go with a natural gas plant today, even if it is the same price as an oil plant, with ONE of their reasons being it will cost less if carbon is taxed.

      Some might think that governments would tend to plan for the long term and indeed they may in some cases, such as levee protection, but they may also get it wrong as they did in my city. They planned about 15 years into the future I think when they started the Federal Reserve in 1913, since we had the Great Depression 16 years later in 1929. Of course, on many issues, they plan about one year into the future because that is how long they are in office before they start worrying about getting re-elected. Even if they themselves are not up for five years, some members of their party will be up in a year or so. Social Security has managed to survive for 80+ years but the planning by 20 “generations” of politicians has been piss poor, I think most would agree.

    • David L. Hagen

      Japan is updating its 100 to 200 year energy plans.

      The International Energy Agency’s projections of global oil use have fallen 40% from its 2004 projections. The IEA’s 2012 plan now projects declining global crude oil production with minor increases in other liquids. See Kjell Alkelett
      An analysis of World Energy Outlook 2012 as preparation for an interview with Science

      Consequently, businesses must plan for a very volatile energy future with serious shortages of liquid fuels and consequent high prices. Adapting to climate change will be a minor after thought.

  5. Bussiness will not invest in adapting to a non existent threat.
    The actual threats that bussiness faces are: too much and expensive regulation, taxation, energy poverty or rationing, hostile environment and mentality.
    The climate scare is a threat only because it exacerbates the other threats.

    • David Springer

      Federal, state, and local governments can coerce companies to do things they normally wouldn’t do. The mechanism is the same every time. The governments legislate confiscatory tax policy and then offer you refunds if you spend the refund in a certain way. The shiit rolls downhill starting with the federal government offering money to states, states offering money to counties, counties to cities, and cities to individuals and businesses. It’s a big racket. The winners are generally lawyers and civil servants whose livelyhoods depend on the collection, adminstration, and litigation of huge amounts of public money and influence. The commerce clause of the US constitution has been so violated to support the feds power over states and people that never granted them any sweeping intrastate commerce power that the founders are spinning in their graves so fast if we could stick a generator shaft up their netheryaya we wouldn’t need any other fuel.

    • For the Yin to your Yang see the Bish’s ‘Sue and Settle’ thread. Plain and simple, we’ve been shook down. Our grandchildren, too.
      ======================

  6. Fascinating premise. It seems we have come full circle. We’re back to wanting to know what the weather’s going to do so we can know what crops to plant, how much of our herd to cull vs. sell vs breed or even if we should lay in more firewood for the winter. When has climate variability not been an issue for the human experience? My point is that this question exists regardless of the reality or lack thereof of any anthropogenic affect on climate. I believe it’s true that given our rather short time span on the signal of historical climate, the questions/critiques listed in the post have always been at play.

  7. The problem is, many climate groups buy into an understanding of the world that begins with beliefs found on Irving Langmuir’s list of pathological events that are indicators of Voodoo science, as follows:

     The maximum effect is produced by a barely perceptible cause, and the effect doesn’t change much as you change the magnitude of the cause.

     The effect only happens sometimes, when conditions are just right, and no one ever figures out how to make it happen reliably. The people who can make it happen are unable to communicate how they do it to the people who can’t.

    Climage groups beliefs are among Langmuir’s other indicators as well. Greg Kochanski (“Collective Delusions, Blindness and Limitations of Imagination,” Jan. 2006) noted that, “A single hit does not mark an idea as pathological, but multiple hits should serve to raise one’s suspicions.”

  8. How can an action by a business to “harden” facilities be considered no-regrets if the money was spent for an invalid reason? The money is gone, there is an opportunity cost.

    • Shhh, if it gets out, there’ll be regrets.
      =====

    • David L. Hagen

      jim2
      “Hardening” facilities to known natural variations would be “no-regrets” actions. These should account for climate persistence (Hurst Kolmogorov dynamics). e.g. the Dutch building dykes with probabilities adjusted according to the financial assets protected. See:
      Flood Risks and Safety in the Netherlands

      A small adjustment may be added to account for the little known impacts of increasing carbon dioxide above the natural rate of sea level rise since the Little Ice Age plus Pacific and Atlantic ocean oscillations. This should take into account the fact that ALL IPCC mean projects were systemically hotter than subsequent actual global temperatures (Type B errors).

  9. “U.S. companies have already begun to adopt “no regrets” strategies to adapt to climate change. For example, some utilities are “hardening” their infrastructure to reduce damage from future weather events and agriculture and the insurance industry are also developing technologies and policies to adapt to climate change.”

    Examples? They can’t even interest utilities in hardening infrastructure against cyberattacks.

    • Harold,
      Bad example. Utilities are limited by public utilities commissions with a goal of minimizing energy costs to the public. It is difficult to justify to these commissions that hardening infrastructure will not cost customers extra money. It is a tough battle to get approval to upgrade infrastructure so unless you are participating in utility rate cases you will not know that utilities are pushing hard to upgrade their systems.

    • Gary,

      Out here in sunny CA our public utilities commission hasn’t put a high priority, from my perspective, on “of minimizing energy costs to the public.”

      As our state is attempting to decarbonize, via our 33%RES and our CAP and Trade Program (AB32) the utility commissioners have had to find some weighting factors for decision making to address “Balancing Competing Priorities.” We use the term reasonable “Reasonable Cost” when we talk about energy prices. http://xynteo.com/uploads/HelenBurt.pdf

    • Kakatoa,
      I had to chuckle. I retired from PG&E a decade ago. I am quite familiar with the silliness in California. I’ve met with folks in the CPUC a number of times. You are correct that the utilities in California have an up hill battle to get anything done. One administrative law judge decides that rate payers don’t need excellent service, mediocre service is good enough and cuts allowed funding of services. Another administrative law judge then fines the company for providing excellent service. This low carbon thing is yet another layer of crap added to the mix. My experience with them makes me believe that those silly CPUC folks actually believe they are doing what is good for state rate payers. Unfortunately, none of that extra energy cost goes to the utilities. The CPUC requires that the utilities bill and collect it but the portion that actually goes to utility operation and profit has actually shrunk.

    • If the goal of public utilities commissions was to minimize energy costs to the public, Enron would have never have happened. Utilities do not upgrade their systems because government subsidies and tax credits to alternate energy sources such as ethanol, wind and solar, take away the fair competition. They don’t build something that will set idle while the unfair competition soaks up the profits. The EPA war on CO2 needs to be stopped.

    • David L. Hagen

      Hardening businesses and critical infrastructure against predatory attacks is a critically important task.
      See: Chinese Army Unit Is Seen as Tied to Hacking Against U.S.
      Train users to be especially careful against “spearphishing attacks”. i.e. malicious links in an e-mail that give attackers a foothold inside.
      This currently is causing far greater losses than any “global warming”, and yet apparently has far less funds to protect against it.

  10. Without government bankrolling certain directions with subsidies, grants, and low-interest sub-prime business loans (cough cough Solyndra cough cough) no sane private equity is going to get anywhere near it. The post-constitutional progressive US government however has this wonderful new policy for business investment where profits are private and losses are public. You can’t beat that with a stick. Where do I sign up?

    • blueice2hotsea

      You can’t sign up to crony capitalism. Cronies ony club..

    • @DS: Without government bankrolling certain directions with subsidies, grants, and low-interest sub-prime business loans (cough cough Solyndra cough cough) no sane private equity is going to get anywhere near it.

      With all that coughing DS would seem to have succumbed to tobacco. Only so long before he succumbs to CO2.

    • The crony capitalism represented by Solyndra is a cachectic consumption.
      ===========

  11. Although there has been a long history of government encouragement, the railroad land grants the must generous and stunningly successful, business finds its own way.

    Less than rigorous metrics like dollars spent on disasters have no scientific meaning and exaggerate perfectly normal events into percieved catastrophies, but they have real meaning for business and government.

    Opportunity abounds in both infrastructure and alternative energy.

  12. How do you adapt to something that might well not even exist, or if it does exist the properties of which remain unknown and at this point, unknowable. I just don’t see the point to discussions like this. TRuthfully, I find them absurd.

    • Not adaptation, but mitigation.

      Similar to how we might mitigate against asteroids hitting Earth. That might not even happen, but some people still argue we should take action to mitigate the threat, rather than say adapting to an asteroid strike if it did happen.

    • John Carpenter

      Asteroids hitting earth are not a good example IMO. Assuming we are tracking all the signifcant material out there, the physics for determining when an asteroid would hit are pretty exact. Simple classical physics, well understood trajectories and orbits etc… the only unknowns are the ones we havn’t spotted yet. So until we have an object identified that we know will hit within the next 100 to 200 year window, there is no reason to plan for an asteroid hit.

      Not sure we can have the same faith in climate models yet to promote mitigation. I happen to think we have a lot to learn from climate models, but the impacts of a changing climate as described by model runs will not be realized immediately or even accurately unlike the probable changes an impact of a large asteriod would immediately make.

      It makes sense to me to proceed with caution wrt to any dramatic mitigation policy aimed at reducing fossil fuel usage with any expectation we would see some sort of immediate affect on our climate as a result (we won’t, it’s an inertia problem). On the other hand, it makes sense to me to proceed with using and developing energy alternatives to fossil fuel to reduce the risk that elevated levels of CO2 might bring to bear on the future (again, its an inertia problem)

      Regardless of whether we could stop the use of fossil fuels today or not…. the CO2 is up there now and a climate change train is beginning to roll. The question is, are there 10 empty cars on the train or 100 loaded ones? Mitigation is not going to change the outcome of that question. We have to adapt as the train comes into better view and as we see how big and laden it is.

    • @pokerguy: How do you adapt to something that might well not even exist, or if it does exist the properties of which remain unknown and at this point, unknowable.

      pokerguy being a case in point.

    • A swing and a miss.
      ============

  13. Any reference to “models” in anyone’s statements about what to do about climate change should arouse immediate suspicion. There is no such thing as an “accurate” or “reliable” climate model. Climate models exist only as a device for alarmists to attempt to back up their lies. Their perpetrators are cynically relying on the inability of an uninformed public to see through what is essentially an empty exercise. But they do offfer one thing: proof of the abuse of scientific credentials and of an absolute lack of personal integrity on the part of the perpetrators.

    The simple fact is that any system as complex and with so many predictably and unpredictably variable, and so many still unknown, causative factors as climate cannot be “modeled.” The world’s most powerful supercomputers do not have the capacity to process the novemdecillions of variables and the vigintillions of data bits involved. And even if they could do it, the human mind is incapable of programming them to do it.

    Wagathon – great posts and commentary on this. I hope you will continue to press to have them heard by the powers that be. I suggest you forward the scientists’ letter to the US EPA and to the President, if you haven’t already done so. We urgently need to get through to them and make them listen to the truth about climate change – and the lack of any identifiable role of humans in it.

    •  

       

      I do not believe government scientists will ever read, for example, The Immeasurability of Chaos, as then they might then have to consider that, as Ronald Reagan said, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.

    • “The simple fact is that any system as complex and with so many predictably and unpredictably variable, and so many still unknown, causative factors as climate cannot be “modeled.” The world’s most powerful supercomputers do not have the capacity to process the novemdecillions of variables and the vigintillions of data bits involved. And even if they could do it, the human mind is incapable of programming them to do it.”

      So defeatist. Sad really.

    • No, lolwot, not defeatist – realist. Anyone who claims any “model” will accurately forecast future climate conditions ought to look at the sorry record of the IPCC and other alarmie organizations in predicting changes based on “models.” Look at the death throes of the “hockey stick” – already an embarrassment to even the most fanatical alarmies. Crash and burn!

      As to the unquantifiable variables, the problem is very simple: historically there has been one unexpected, unpredicted shift after another in the factors that do affect climate. The sigmas are so great and so immune to having their distributions rationally defined, that any assumptions about the values and behavior of sny given factor will be wrong and proven to be wrong within a very short time.

      It isn’t defeatist to stop pounding your head against a brick wall in the hopes of breaking through it – it’s common sense. And it’s a waste of effort that could be devoted towards, for example, assessing measures to protect people and property against the extreme weather events that have always occurred, are occurring and always will occur. Why waste time and money chasing a bogeyman when there are real weather-related issues to deal with? And not dealt with by futile and unconscionably wasteful spending on chasing the CO2 bogeyman.

      Wag, your comment about shamans and soothsayers is so, so true! And lolwot, your comment about skeptics not being impressed by expertise – yes, you’re right, we aren’t impressed by people whose expertise is in lying, not in science.

    • Climate Models do not fail because the problem is too hard.

      Climate Models do not fail because computers are not powerful enough.

      We went to the moon with computers that were slow and primitive by today’s standards. We used slide rules and mechanical calculators and people did use their computers that are between our ears.

      Climate Models fail because they are based on Flawed Climate Theory.

      What we need and what we are getting, more every day, are more Rocket Scientists and other scientists and engineers working on the Climate Theory. We need people who have not been poisoned with Consensus. That is an Evil Disease.

  14. Sorry to rain on your parade Curry but SourceWatch fits well in the following list:

    Huffington Post
    Mother Jones
    MSNBC
    MoveOn.org

    and so forth. Don’t bother thanking me. I’d say it’s all in a day’s work but this was in a minute’s work. Maybe less.

    • She brought her umbrella; she predicted mucky weather.
      ==================

    • hal9000version2

      Uncompressed site search:

      “climate denial” site:sourcewatch.com

      http://www.google.com/#hl=en&tbo=d&sclient=psy-ab&q=%22climate+denial%22+site:sourcewatch.org&oq=%22climate+denial%22+site:sourcewatch.org&gs_l=hp.12…11127.26508.0.30165.51.43.8.0.0.0.242.3122.37j5j1.43.0.les%3Bcrnk_timediscounta..0.0…1.1.3.psy-ab.Ht4ma6wXzYc&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.42553238,d.b2U&fp=d9df5d7f5b6cdcc9&biw=1366&bih=674

      Snag it quick and pass it along before it gets disappeared.

    • IBMean.
      =====

    • hal9000version2

      Good one Kim. I learnt something new in figuring out the connection.

    • So Dr Curry failed to express enough hate for the enemy? If you don’t like her citations, you’re welcome to take your anger elsewhere. I recommend starting your own blog, where manners don’t matter.

    • David, I find it offensive for you to refer to our hostess as Curry. Judith, Ms Curry, Dr Curry are appropriate. I have had under performing employees try this belittling tactic on me even though I treated them with respect. They were corrected. So should you, not necessarily by me but by the commenting regulars.

      Thank you,

      Ray

    • David Springer

      Ms. Curry is incorrect. Judith seems too familiar. Using only a surname is common enough among men especially military. If this was a campus I’d use Professor Curry and if it was a military base I’d expect you, Donahue, to use Sergeant Springer with me. Got it?

    • Matthew R Marler

      David Springer: If this was a campus I’d use Professor Curry

      Professor Curry is a professor even when she steps off campus. Where she happens to be while you are writing to her does not matter.

    • David Springer

      I tend to not use titles outside formal settings. Your opinion is duly noted, Judge Marler.

    • Matthew R Marler

      I merely commented. The readers are the judges.

    • Captain Kangaroo

      ‘In the paper, Ioannidis laid out a detailed mathematical proof that, assuming modest levels of researcher bias, typically imperfect research techniques, and the well-known tendency to focus on exciting rather than highly plausible theories, researchers will come up with wrong findings most of the time. Simply put, if you’re attracted to ideas that have a good chance of being wrong, and if you’re motivated to prove them right, and if you have a little wiggle room in how you assemble the evidence, you’ll probably succeed in proving wrong theories right. His model predicted, in different fields of medical research, rates of wrongness roughly corresponding to the observed rates at which findings were later convincingly refuted: 80 percent of non-randomized studies (by far the most common type) turn out to be wrong, as do 25 percent of supposedly gold-standard randomized trials, and as much as 10 percent of the platinum-standard large randomized trials. The article spelled out his belief that researchers were frequently manipulating data analyses, chasing career-advancing findings rather than good science, and even using the peer-review process—in which journals ask researchers to help decide which studies to publish—to suppress opposing views. “You can question some of the details of John’s calculations, but it’s hard to argue that the essential ideas aren’t absolutely correct,” says Doug Altman, an Oxford University researcher who directs the Centre for Statistics in Medicine.’ http://www.theatlantic.com/david-h-freedman

      I bet climate scientists can do even better – 97% error should be well within reach.

    • Captain Kangaroo

      The question of carbon taxes has a deep political divide. We don’t think that increasing the cost of such a basic economic input is at all reasonable. Most people agree as witnessed by the lack of political traction for taxes. As Peter Lang the idea of a global tax is a logistical absurdity.

      The key to mitigating carbon is in the development of cheap energy technologies and in social innovation that enhances the health, education and wealth of humanity. True no regrets policies – and truly sustainable development – calculated to succeed where we have seen only failure.

      The reality of climate change is on the side of sceptics as well. The world is not warming for decades hence at least.

    • Captain Kangaroo,

      Thank you for your support on this very important issue. Noted and much appreciated.

    • If it’s carbon (C) you wish to mitigate, Captain, you’ll have a tough time. But if it happens to be that small portion of the clean, tasteless, colourless and odourless carbon dioxide (CO2) that constitutes 0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere, then your mitigation may lead to a minuscule amount of warming – which of course may be appreciated in a couple of hundred years from now when the world cools once again. Evidence here.

      Climate Researcher and Science Author from Kangaroo Land

    • Captain Kangaroo

      Doug,

      The complexities of the system are such that non one can predict from anything other than ignorance the effect of emissions of carbon dioxide by people – especially as they increase to 8%, 16%, 32%, … , of natural flux as economies grow. Regardless of arguments about CO2 following rather than leading warmth or how it good it is for plants – the ultimate impact is unknown and, ipso facto, iincreases risks in an unstable climate. And despite absurd arguments that climate is stable – climate is better characterised as shifting abruptly and unpredictably at all time scales from years to millennia.

      Ultimately – any but the brain dead are looking for solutions that involve both cheaper and carbon free energy sources. It also involves social and economic progress in health, education, development and political freedoms. It includes environmental progress in conserving and restoring ecosystems and agricultural lands.

      You have this unfortunate fixation on utterly absurd physics – and refuse to see the woods for the illusary trees. Isn’t that a definition of madness?

    • Captain Kangaroo

      …illusionary…

    • That’s beautiful… Ioannidois would give the ‘hockey stick’ an “A” for accurately measuring prevaling bias while give Global Warming an “F”

    • Not even knowing what we know it would not surprise Dr. Ioannidis to learn that it’s proven the research of Michael Mann (aka, the hockey stick) is false.

    • Global temperature fell from 1940 to 1970, rose to 1 998, and has fallen since. That’s 40 years of cooling and 28 years of warming. Global temperature is now similar to that of 1990. But atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has increased at a near constant rate and by more than 30% since 1940. It has increased by 8% since 1990. ~Richard Courtney (see above)

    • In fact ‘Ms.’ Curry is not “incorrect”: it is a title option for women concerned with history, egalitarianism, and reducing hierarchies. There are women with PhD’s who know the feminist history and intent of the introduction of the term ‘Ms.’ who prefer it, in homage to women who came before them.

      It’s women’s choice.

    • on the blog, simplest just to refer to me as ‘JC’

    • Yes, we all want to know, what would JC do?
      ===============

    • Maybe begin by throwing the bureaucrats out of the temple. You cannot open a restaurant in NYC without buying off a lot of people… There’s a reason why just about every fast food chain you can think of started in Southern California (and many of these famous trademarks are seen around the world) — it is because business got there before government regulation, graft and corruption spread to there from the blue cities on the East Coast.

    • “just about every fast food chain you can think of started in Southern California”

      I would say my favourite US fast food chain would be Subway. Didn’t they originate in New York? Then there’s KFC which would be…. er…. Kentucky?
      Still you can’t be right all of the time Wag, can you? But it must be embarrassing for an American to be as wrong as this on what’s become an international forum.

    • Captain Kangaroo

      KFC was a child of the depression. Subway originated in Bridgeport Conneticut. Exceptions prove nothing.

      The San Fernando valley is the spiritual home of all fast food.

    • In-N-Out, Jack in the Box, McDonalds, Del Taco, Taco Bell, Der Wienerschnitzel, Carls Jr…

    • Kimster — Now, now, it bad enough we get politics here….:-) Calm yourself.

    • Oh, I’m very glad to know!
      ==============

    • Judith suggests that JC would OK but this is a bit close to another JC which can get caught up in spam filters.

      So lets ask the muse of CE for her thoughts on this weighty topic: Kim! what would you do?

    • And the threading has gone again!

    • Captain Kangaroo

      Oh for God’s sake. We all know that springer is a recalcitrant redneck with a tendecy to unfortunate social lapses.

      But the Ms usage has more pragmatic origins – originally from men via the Sunday Republican and Fraily and Schnell’s “Practical Business Writing”.
      Although it did become a cause for women who insisted on not being defined by marraige.

      ‘Though Pei identified the early proponents of Ms. as feminists, the Republican writer (most likely a man) presented the argument for the title as one of simple etiquette and expediency. As the linguist Dennis Baron recounts in his 1986 book “Grammar and Gender,” these considerations remained the driving force in the 1950s, when some guides to business correspondence offered Ms. as a stopgap solution. Fraily and Schnell’s “Practical Business Writing” of 1952, for instance, recommended it as a title “that saves debating between Miss and Mrs.” Two years later, Brown and Doris’s “Business Executive’s Handbook” briefly noted that “a few business concerns now use ‘Ms.’ ” Outside of secretarial circles, however, Ms. remained largely unknown.

      It was certainly unknown, in 1961, to Sheila Michaels, a 22-year-old civil rights worker in New York City, who one day spotted it on a piece of mail that her roommate received. In fact, she initially took it as a typo, albeit a felicitous one. Fiercely independent, Michaels abhorred having her identity defined by marriage. Struck by Ms., she became a one-woman lobbying force for the title as a feminist alternative to Miss and Mrs. She even unwittingly replicated The Republican’s rationale for pronouncing Ms. as “mizz,” since she had noticed this ambiguous spoken form when she was a child growing up in St. Louis.

      For several years her fellow activists evinced little interest. The turning point, Michaels told me recently, came when she was interviewed on the progressive New York radio station WBAI in late 1969 or early 1970. The program “Womankind” invited her on with other members of a radical group known simply as the Feminists, and during a lull in the show she plunged into her impassioned plea for Ms. Her advocacy finally paid off. The following August, when women’s rights supporters commemorated the 50th anniversary of suffrage with the Women’s Strike for Equality, Ms. became recognized as a calling card of the feminist movement.’ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/25/magazine/25FOB-onlanguage-t.html?_r=0

    • Ms is far from the worst thing I have been called :)

    • I’ve always thought that women who prefer the title ‘Ms’ tend to be a pretty ‘Mserable’ lot ;-)

    • Our esteemed hostess writes “Ms is far from the worst thing I have been called.”

      I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Judith for establishing and running this wonderful blog; IMHO, CE is by far and away the best blog for discussing all aspects of CAGW. I may disagree with some of Judith’s ideas, but I only have the utmost admiration for her scientific integrity, and how she started and has run this magnificent blog.

      In this regard, another blog, Climate Dialogue, looked like it might rival CE when it was established in Novemebr 2012; and our hostess was one of the three major contributors to it’s first, and I must add, ONLY thread. There has been one subject discussed, the very biased issue of Arctic sea ice, with 271 comments in 4 months. I have been in touch with Marcel Crok both by email, and telephone, and what he is trying to do, I have no idea. Which is a pity, because Climate Dialogue looked like such a good idea when it started.

    • Jim

      Judith has done well. Another blog that seems to have faded is Tamsins ‘All models are wrong.’ It had much early promise.

      One or two new articles a week so denizens get fresh meat is a good formula. Any more and the subjects dont get discussed thoroughly and any fewer and the denizens get restless and start fighting amongst themselves….

      tonyb

    • I’m only a rat in a gilded maze.
      =======================

    • Captain Kangaroo

      Oh for God’s ake Martha. Oh for God’s sake. We all know that spring.. is a recalcitrant redneck with a tendecy to unfortunate social lapses.

      But the Ms usage has more pragmatic origins – originally from men via the Sunday Republican and Fraily and Schnell’s “Practical Business Writing”.
      Although it did become a cause for women who insisted on not being defined by marraige.

      ‘Though Pei identified the early proponents of Ms. as feminists, the Republican writer (most likely a man) presented the argument for the title as one of simple etiquette and expediency. As the linguist Dennis Baron recounts in his 1986 book “Grammar and Gender,” these considerations remained the driving force in the 1950s, when some guides to business correspondence offered Ms. as a stopgap solution. Fraily and Schnell’s “Practical Business Writing” of 1952, for instance, recommended it as a title “that saves debating between Miss and Mrs.” Two years later, Brown and Doris’s “Business Executive’s Handbook” briefly noted that “a few business concerns now use ‘Ms.’ ” Outside of secretarial circles, however, Ms. remained largely unknown.

      It was certainly unknown, in 1961, to Sheila Michaels, a 22-year-old civil rights worker in New York City, who one day spotted it on a piece of mail that her roommate received. In fact, she initially took it as a typo, albeit a felicitous one. Fiercely independent, Michaels abhorred having her identity defined by marriage. Struck by Ms., she became a one-woman lobbying force for the title as a feminist alternative to Miss and Mrs. She even unwittingly replicated The Republican’s rationale for pronouncing Ms. as “mizz,” since she had noticed this ambiguous spoken form when she was a child growing up in St. Louis.

      For several years her fellow activists evinced little interest. The turning point, Michaels told me recently, came when she was interviewed on the progressive New York radio station WBAI in late 1969 or early 1970. The program “Womankind” invited her on with other members of a radical group known simply as the Feminists, and during a lull in the show she plunged into her impassioned plea for Ms. Her advocacy finally paid off. The following August, when women’s rights supporters commemorated the 50th anniversary of suffrage with the Women’s Strike for Equality, Ms. became recognized as a calling card of the feminist movement.’ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/25/magazine/25FOB-onlanguage-t.html?_r=0

    • It should be Professor Curry whether or not on a uni campus. She’s the one who writes the sensible scientific papers which I don’t have any argument with.
      Then there’s Ms Judith who runs this blog and who paints a somewhat different picture :-)

    • I doubt if any of the regulars/denizens worries too much about the use of titles on this blog. Least of all Judith if my perception of her personality is correct. I certainly do not support Matthew Marler’s POV that professors should always be addressed as such, especially on a blog, where informality is the norm. Most people address her as Judith (Judy is too familiar I think) but the lack of other comments seem to indicate that this issue is not of much consequence.

  15. Sourcewatch seems to love using the term climate denial.

    Google search below.

    http://tinyurl.com/b3btt62

  16. Imo some of the premises in the Thorning paper are flawed.

    The paper points out-
    1. Many Businesses Do Not Plan Investments over Long Time Horizons

    I’d correct the statement by stating virtually no business plans investments over timeframes longer than 40 years. Businesses invest in facilities based on the weather and not a long term view of the climate. The majority of major corporations do not survive more than 40 years. A wise business planner would try to ensure that any facility would be built to withstand expected adverse weather.
    2. Private Sector Engagement in Adaptation to Climate Change

    I’d state- Businesses plan around potential adverse weather and not long term changes in the climate. They have no reliable information from which they can plan any long term changes to any specific locations weather.

    3. Some countries use dedicated tools to assess climate risks while others broaden the scope of existing risk management procedures to include climate change.

    It is true that different countries do use different methods to plan, construct and maintain their infrastructure. The key point here is that the differential between building infrastructure that will lessen harm from potential climate change is not much different from building infrastructure that does not protect citizens from climate change. Yes, there are some increased costs, but the major cost decision is whether to build the infrastructure or not.

    4. Conflicting regulations, regulatory uncertainty and permitting delays are often factors hindering U.S. companies from making investments to improve or expand their facilities in order to adapt to extreme weather events or climate variability.

    This point imo is bologna. Yes there are frustratingly inefficient regulatory delays that increase the cost of projects. Private companies would not be building facilities to last for 100’s of years if these processes were improved.

    5. As a result of the uncertainty caused by EPA’s GHG regulations, investment is estimated to decline by 5% to 15 % in directly impacted industries

    This is probably true.

    • hal9000 –> Just goes to show ya — muckrakers can always find muck to rake.

      Thus, Dr. Curry’s comment about Sourcewatch and ‘muck’.

    • It’s amusing reading some of this. I looked briefly at the Mother Jones. Some of the amounts of money are 15K and 40K. So the f**% what?

      And we know that of Heartland’s 300K, most of it is not climate related.

      I read the bit about the Acton Institute and most of it seemed reasonable. Better to not waste money and use the money to actually help real people with real problems – that kind of thing. And they had the temerity to say that some environmental issues are quite serious and some are likely overhyped. They listed climate, population and one other under this category. I’m pretty sure that the population bomb WAS overhyped in the 1960′s as it NEVER happened. But apparently, any one who says that we should be careful and not jump to conclusions and cause a lot of money to be wasted (inadvertently resulting in extra misery or death elsewhere) is evil. Especially if they spend 150K of voluntarily donated money to sponsor talks and papers, etc. But, it is fine for a government to take 200 million or 20 billion of tax money or money that future generations will owe and spend it on things that half the population disagrees with.

  17. I was intrigued by the wording in the summary, ‘Current Climate Models Produce Conflicting Results: The wide variation in temperature, rainfall and other measures predicted by the various climate models makes it difficult for both policymakers and the private sector to decide when and how much capital to invest in measures to adapt to possible changes in the climate. Business investments are judged on the basis of their costs and benefits so until climate models show more convergence, the business community will have difficulty in justifying adaptation policies beyond “no regrets” (or those that would be undertaken anyway in the normal course of business).’

    Scientists are so circumspect in their language when commenting on the work of others and, so, I feel the need to translate Dr. Thorning’s comment:.

    ‘The wide variation in temperature, rainfall and other measures predicted by the various climate models makes it difficult for both policymakers and the private sector to decide when and how much capital to invest in measures to adapt to possible changes in the climate.’

    really means:

    ‘The various climate models present such a wide range of temperature, rainfall and other predictions that their credibility as tools for planning does not exist. No money should be spent on the basis of model predictions.’

    • True, true… government bureaucrats are blowing the public purse on feckless speculations about the future – and betting the free enterprise economy in the bargain – based only on the fears of Western climatists whose predictive abilities have been shown to be no better than a room full of monkeys throwing darts at charts.

  18. My personal experience has been in the Dominican republic — a developing nation. I was doing humanitarian work there for years.

    Thorning raises important points that are amplified in places like the DR making them more apparent and easier to see clearly.

    “Barriers to Investment Caused by Regulatory and Permitting Delays” — An uncertain regulatory environment — something that always exists in developing countries, especially those whose governments are characterized as kleptocracies where graft, bribery, nepotism are the order of the day — stifles business and frightens away investors — thus such countries are slow to develop even when they have vast resources. In our humanitarian work, we had to be extremely careful not to depend on any “rule of law” or regulation that extended past the next election cycle — as all heads of regulatory agencies — thus nearly all regulations or their applications — changed every two years. Businesses are leery and only willing to invest very slowly and carefully.

    “Financing Adaptation Will Depend on Strong Economic Growth” — It is a universal truth that “The economy depends on the economy”. In the DR, whole communities, small cities, are regularly washed away by seasonal floods — which rise to wipe them out every few years, the same ones over and over — like our coastal cities built on sand bars and barrier islands. In the DR, they simply let the people move back again, buying their votes by giving them cheap mattresses and household good to replace those lost. In the US, insurance covers some and greed fuels rebuilding those lovely beach homes. Adaption costs more — those whole towns needs to be moved — barrier islands need to be allowed to return to their natural states and becomes National Parks — but this solution requires a booming economy with money to spend on new cities. But the vote buying goes on. We can’t do the right thing without a strong economy.

    • You Wrote: An uncertain regulatory environment — something that always exists in developing countries,

      You have described the US and much of the world.

      This is not a problem that just exists in developing countries.
      Or, the whole world is still developing and hopefully has a long way to go.

    • H.A.P. -> Yes, but places like the DR are extremes, and the US is at the other end of the spectrum. Here in the US, you can be pretty confident that if your business is legal and complies with existing regulations, it is safe to move ahead.

      This is because in the US, regulatory uncertainty is restricted to controversial areas of business — biotechnology for instance is operating ahead of the regulators and is quite aware that what they are working on may be regulated out of existence and natural gas drillers are expecting regulators to tighten safety, ‘leakage’, and fluids disposal rules. Manufacturers are always at risk of something like anti-BPA regulation, where a thing or substance becomes the focus of an advocacy campaign in which scientific fact plays no role whatever.

  19. Over thirty years ago, I encountered a Hunter Valley hydrologist while I was doing a “bush-wade” around the NSW’s vast Myall Lakes brackish system, an adventure made possible by extreme drought in the 80s. The guy was holidaying about the lakes on a small yacht, as many Newcastle people do. We got chatting, and he explained to me that all his work had been on flood mitigation, because, right through the stormy 70s, drought had become a non-issue. (The 1890s and 1950s were pretty wet in this part of the world, but the 70s stayed wet.) He had forgotten, as most of us did in those years, that Australians live in the jaws of drought. Fifty years of deficit after the Federation Drought should have taught us that, but who cared after a decade of serial storms, flooding and high water table?

    By the time you have organised a climate policy, you may find that something unexplained and unexpected by climate change experts has occurred:

    The climate has indeed changed!

  20. When public education becomes state propaganda, can it end well?

  21. This is an excellent post. Thank you Judith.

    How can we apply lessons from Dr. Margo Thorning presentation?

    Those who are concerned that GHG emissions may lead to catastrophic consequences for life on Earth, want urgent action to curtail global GHG emissions.

    But Dr. Thorning’s testimony makes it clear it is not economic to do anything other than ‘no regrets’ policies. [Rational people have been saying just that in relation to GHG emissions reductions for at least the past 20 years.]

    Most businesses however, plan investments over a 3 to 15 year horizon, not 50 to 100 years. Thus, business is more likely to engage in “no regrets’ strategies to address adaptation to climate variability rather than undertake substantial investments in anticipation of changes in climate that may only occur in 50 to 100 years.

    So how can we get ‘no regrets’ policies that will also cut global GHG emissions?

    One thing for sure, is we will mot achieve it with top down regulatory approach, and legally binding international agreement to price carbon or implement legally binding targets and timetables with penalties for breeches. That approach is not going to succeed in the real world. It is the wrong approach.

    The correct approach is to allow cost-competitive low-emissions alternatives to fossil fuels to compete in a freer market (i.e. a global freer market).

    Financing Adaptation Will Depend on Strong Economic Growth: Sound fiscal policies and a tax code that retains robust capital cost recovery rules can enhance growth.

    If only the Australian government could hear this message. They are told all the time by all the leading business groups, but they just don’t get it.

    Because energy use and economic growth go hand in hand, policymakers should develop a flexible, long-term approach to reducing the growth of greenhouse gases (GHGs). This will require a global effort based on technological innovation and technology transfer to developing countries where GHG emissions growth is most rapid. In addition, U.S. tax policies should be reformed to reduce the cost of capital for new energy efficient and pollution control technologies.

    Excellent.

  22. “Most Businesses Do Not Plan Investments over Long Time Horizons:”

    That is because the uncertainty surrounding future climate conditions is dwarfed by the uncertainties surrounding future economic conditions. No business that convinced themselves they could predict future business conditions beyond a few years would stay in business long. Even within that few year prediction horizon that most businesses use, risk management is a primary concern. Planning beyond a few years is pointless and wasteful. The only certainty is that the plan would have to change.

    • @DB: Planning beyond a few years is pointless and wasteful.

      For business, certainly. Businessmen move far too fast for that.

      But would you then infer that planning for what nature has in store for the planet in the next few decades is just as pointless and wasteful as planning how to respond to the businesses competing with you?

      And if so, why?

    • Planning for future climate conditions cannot reasonably be separated from planning for future economic conditions for those businesses that are affected by climate.

      To the extent that a storm like Sandy refreshed our memory of Gloria or the hurricane of 1938 it is a good thing. The same applies to the 2012 drought reminding us of droughts that occurred in previous decades. It has nothing to do with a changing climate though.

  23. Judith,

    Comments are being posted out of order. My comment at February 19, 2013 at 7:25 pm is before David Springer’s disrespectful comment at February 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm and six more comments that are dated before my 7:25 pm comment.

    • Peter I think the nesting has gone from some of the threads. Judith has probably moderated some peoples for being naughty.

    • David Springer

      Don’t blame me this time. Doctor Professor Ms. Judith Curry (hope that title makes everyone happy) has been explicitely approving all my comments before they appear since before this article was posted.

  24. A statement from Margo Thorning in favor of the **Freedom to Invest Act**:

    > As long as our corporate tax rate is so much higher than other countries, American businesses are unlikely to bring offshore earnings home — especially in today’s uncertain environment about tax policy and deficit reduction. With more than $1 trillion that we can bring home now at almost zero cost to taxpayers, we simply can’t ignore this problem anymore. This bill will give a much-needed shot in the arm to our otherwise slow economic growth, and the ACCF urges Congress to pass it quickly.

    http://www.winamericacampaign.org/2011/05/12/statement-win-america-campaign-broad-support-h-r-1834-bipartisan-freedom-invest-act/

    Are there countries with a 0$ corporate tax rate?

    Countries with negative tax rates, perhaps?

    • hmm when i mentioned how easy it was to offshore profits folks gufawed.
      there are countries tax havens that charge zero. caman islands. bahrain..others.

    • “folks gufawed.”
      Did they? Not me. I’d agree with you that its as easy as writing out an invoice for ‘management services’ or selling licence to use a particular name for whatever amount of money needs to be moved.

  25. Barriers to Investment Caused by Regulatory and Permitting Delays: Conflicting regulations, regulatory uncertainty and permitting delays are often factors hindering U.S. companies

    Yes! And one of the most important is the effect regulatory ratcheting has had on the cost of nuclear power (and arguably it has delivered no benefits). Professor Bernard Cohen (1990) presents a convincing case that the cost of nuclear power was increased by a factor of four during the decades up to 1990 as a result of regulatory ratcheting http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html. I expect it has increased by another factor of two as a result of continued regulatory ratcheting since 1990 (total: factor of eight cost increase due to regulatory ratcheting). The point I am making is there is enormous room for the cost of future nuclear plants to be reduced, especially with small plants and the rapid improvements and cost reductions that will happen as increasing numbers are manufactured, rolled out and experienced is gained.

    The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission NRC) is a massive thrombosis in the arteries of progress. It takes five to ten years and a billion dollars to get a design approval through the NRC. And they can handle only three designs at a time in that period. There are 43 small nuclear power plants listed here http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf33.html. Most of them are delayed awaiting regulatory approval.

    This one has just started on the process to get it approved and commercialised by 2022: http://www.babcock.com/products/modular_nuclear/

    • Peter

      Didn’t you omit the last part of the sentence that included –”to improve or expand their facilities in order to adapt to extreme weather events or climate variability.”

      Do you really think regulations are preventing companies from investing to adapt to potential climate change?

    • Rob Starkey,

      I take your point. The reason I quoted only the first part of the sentence was to make my point. My point is not just about ”to improve or expand their facilities in order to adapt to extreme weather events or climate variability.” My point applies to developing energy technologies and infrastructure in a ‘no regrets’ way. My point also is intended to address cutting global GHG emissions in ‘no regrets’ way (because whether we agree with it or not, it is an important political and policy issue that is not going to go away and we are threatened with a new global agreement to be negotiated by 2015 and implemented starting in 2020). The bit about “improve or expand their facilities” is too restrictive compared with the point I am trying to make.

      Excessive regulation is causing far more damage to the economies of the developed countries than just to “improve or expand their facilities in order to adapt to extreme weather events or climate variability.

      Now that I’ve explained why I quoted only the first part of the sentence do you see my reason and do you agree that what I did was OK in this instance?

    • Do you really think regulations are preventing companies from investing to adapt to potential climate change?
      Regulations are preventing companies from investing for any reason.
      By definition, regulations prevent.

    • David Springer

      Rob, the dirty little secret is that there are many places in world where the regulatory environment for nukes is relaxed and they have money to develop and deploy them. The fact of the matter is that the technology Langs describes exists only on paper. If it was real you’d have already seen them popping up like weeds in China, Russia, and India among other countries. If it was real and just not ready for commercial use you’d see at least small scale proof-of-concept reactors demonstrating cost effectiveness and scalability. But there ain’t none. Pretend like you’re from Missouri and say “show me” to these nuclear pies in the sky.

    • David Springer

      Herman Alexander Pope | February 20, 2013 at 2:36 pm |

      “Regulations are preventing companies from investing for any reason.
      By definition, regulations prevent.”

      Sometimes regulations grease the wheels too. For instance would you want to eliminate regulations that prevent price gouging, price fixing, and monopolies? Many regulations exist to promote competition. Investment is stifled in industries where the barriers to entry are too steep. A monopoly won’t invest to make better widgets. They don’t compete with themselves.

    • Peter

      BTW- I completely agree with you that governments inefficient regulatory processes have greatly increased the cost of building nuclear power plants, I just didn’t think editing what was written was how to make that point.

  26. I agree with those above that say business doesn’t generally think far ahead, and are similar to politicians that just think as far as the next election. This is an issue with climate change being slow, which ends up with politicians responding to the latest disaster rather than planning for the future. The main impact on business would be if they want to position themselves to take advantage of or compete for any government incentives for alternative energy, energy saving, fuel efficiency, carbon sequestration, etc., programs or look for business opportunities in the new climate regulation policies. Business that don’t plan and adapt will go the way of the dinosaurs, and that is always true whether there is climate change or not. However as mentioned before, economic changes are more important for short-term planning, to which I would also add technological development, and globalization that continue to drive business decisions.

  27. ACCF’s pro-business-investment position could be reconciled with Urgent Mitigationism by adopting Nordhaus’s (and other’s) suggestion to cut taxes on capital and investment simultaneously with the imposition of a tax on carbon. Basically shifting the burden of taxation from capital to fossil fuels and stimulating the substitution of the former for the latter. That’s pretty much the position of Greg Mankiw, former head of the Council of Economic Advisers for GW Bush, adviser to the Romney campaign, and founder of the Pigou Club. I’m not joining that club, but Urgent Mitigationists could win more friends and influence more people if they stressed their desire to couple carbon taxes with investment tax cuts.

  28. A no regrets approach is not likely to help the economy move toward sustainability; and it does not take into account the costs of not mitigating/adapting. Further, the fact that a traditional business approach has not considered future generations does not provide justification for carrying on that approach; and ignores all the ways that it is profitable to take the lead on mitigation/adaptation.

    (By the way, the public record says ACCF has received close to 2 million from Exxon in the past decade or so. They don’t pretend to be anything other than lobbyists.)

    There are many methodological critiques of Margo’s arguments from policy and economics perspectives, all noting serious problems with bias and assumptions. Is there any reason to avoid noting this?
    It is recognizable as bad work, apart from any consideration of the interests evidenced by the funding from Exxon.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Threadings broken already?

      Someone asked the question of whether we wanted ‘externalities’ to be included in the price of energy. Even if we knew what these externalities were and how to price them – the answer is emphatically no. Energy is a fundamental economic input and tightly coupled to global development and economic growth. Restraining energy price increases to the absolutely unavoidable is the key to maximising the opportunities for human dignity for many billions alive today and in the near future.

      The key to mitigating carbon is in the development of cheap energy technologies and in social innovation that enhances the health, education and wealth of humanity. True no regrets policies – and truly sustainable development – calculated to succeed where we have seen only failure.

      ‘Right now, the only possibility of large-scale removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is through plant photosynthesis and other land-based carbon sequestration activities. Strategies include: enriching soil carbon, farming with perennials, employing climate-friendly livestock practices, conserving natural habitat, restoring degraded watersheds and rangelands, and producing local food. Over the past decade, many of these strategies have been demonstrated to be both practical and profitable. A carbon ranch bundles them into an economic whole with the aim of creating climate-friendly landscapes that are both healthy ecologically and the source of healthy food.’

      Sequester 500 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide and feed the world? Meet the next green revolution.

      http://www.actionaid.org/2011/11/conservation-farming-leads-way

    • CO2 makes green things grow better using less water. Anything that cuts CO2 does kill. It kills some of the green things and then some of the rest of usl

    • Chief Hydrologist

      So you say Herman – but plants commonly have no difficulty in obtaining carbon. That in a carbon rich environment – they can reduce stomata number and density has implications for the global hydrological cycle. But despite the unknowns – which include the potential for abrupt and nonlinear changes in climate – the increase in soil carbon in agricultural soils is an unmitigated good for many reasons.

    • Martha,

      A no regrets approach is not likely to help the economy move toward sustainability; …

      I disagree. It is the only way we’ll succeed. You should support ‘no regrets’ and embrace it if you are genuinely concerned about global GHG emissions. The command and control policies advocated by the warmists won’t work. Twenty years of failed UN climate negotiations and conferences, where the command and control policies have been pushed, should make it clear to all but the extremists this is the wrong approach.

      Consider the one of the most favoured approaches pushed by many of those wanting mitigation – carbon pricing.

      Carbon pricing (taxes or ETS) is highly unlikely to succeed in the real world.

      Has anyone seen an objective analysis of the probability that a legally binding international agreement (Treaty, Protocol, whatever) can be agreed, implemented and maintained (ramped up across all 195 countries in unison) for 100 years or until greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to a sustainable level? I haven’t.

      The assumptions that underpin the economic analyses used to justify carbon pricing are academic; they are appropriate for an academic exercise but they are unrealistic, impracticable and highly unlikely to be achieved in the real world. Here are some of the assumptions:

      • Negligible leakage (of emissions between countries)

      • All GHG emission sources are included (all countries and all GHG 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 by Nordhaus cannot 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 impracticable in the real world. To recognize this point, try to envisage how we could capture 100% of emissions from 100% of emitters (every cow, sheep, goat) in USA or Australia in the CO2 pricing scheme, let alone expecting the same to be done across the whole world; e.g. China, India, Eretria, Ethiopia, Mogadishu, Somalia, etc.

      As the world tries to increase the participation rate – as would inevitably be required over time – to try to include more and more of the twenty-three Kyoto greenhouse gasses – and more and more of the emitting sources in the pricing scheme and do so in all 195 countries, the compliance cost will skyrocket. Australia has started with including only the largest 400 emitting businesses. Emissions from agriculture and road transport are excluded. EU excludes even more emitters from their ETS. But, eventually all source of all GHG would have to be included. And, importantly, the emissions from all sources must be measured for international trade, fraud, cheating, free-loading reasons. Just imagine what the compliance cost of measuring all GHG emissions from all sources, in all countries, at the standard needed for international trade would be, eventually.

      It seems few are thinking ahead to where carbon pricing would lead us to eventually. Or the ultimate costs of it. However, it will become apparent.

      For the reasons stated above, it is clear to many that an international treaty to regulate or price GHG emissions is most unlikely to be successful. It is the wrong approach. There is a much better way to cut global GHG emissions sustainably and in an economically rational way. If we take the economically rational approach, the vast majority of people will support it. Opposition will become negligible.

    • Why even mention GHGs when the entire hypoth3esis that they affect climate is so thoroughly discredited? Spending one more second considering them is a waste of time. Clean up pollution (includinjg the foul hot air emitted by the alarmies), and focus on development, especially in poorer countries for their peoples’ sake – and tell the alarmies to shut up once and for all. If that nseemns unmannerly, why, compare it to their demands thatn all 7unbelievers be sent to prison – or put to death, even. .

    • Chad Wozniak,

      Why even mention GHGs when the entire hypothesis that they affect climate is so thoroughly discredited?

      Because, IMO, the debate about AGW and mitigation policies is a political reality. No matter what we believe, it is an important political and policy issue that is not going to go away and we are threatened with a new global agreement to be negotiated by 2015 and implemented starting in 2020.

      Therefore, IMO, the pragmatic thing to do is to be striving to get policy that does minimum economic damage to the world or, better still, improves economic growth while also giving the CAGW alarmists what they say they want (i.e. global GHG emissions reductions).

      Who could oppose that (unless they have other hidden agendas?)

    • Peter Lang | February 20, 2013 at 3:44 am |
      Chad Wozniak,

      Why even mention GHGs when the entire hypothesis that they affect climate is so thoroughly discredited?

      Because, IMO, the debate about AGW and mitigation policies is a political reality. No matter what we believe, it is an important political and policy issue that is not going to go away and we are threatened with a new global agreement to be negotiated by 2015 and implemented starting in 2020.

      Therefore, IMO, the pragmatic thing to do is to be striving to get policy that does minimum economic damage to the world or, better still, improves economic growth while also giving the CAGW alarmists what they say they want (i.e. global GHG emissions reductions).

      Who could oppose that (unless they have other hidden agendas?)

      And what’s the agenda of those who on the surface appear to agree that there is no case for carbon dioxide as AGW/CAGWs claim, but always end on pushing agreement to reinforcing economic controls because of those claims?

      It’s a scam, why should we appease those who are conning us by giving them what they want? What they deserve is condemnation and whatever else is appropriate for theft …

      ..how much are you making from the scam?

      I bet not a fraction of the amount those who created the scam and still control it; the minions, the “useful idiots”, never do.

      Gail, as always, has some good background links, see the first part of her post here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/15/open-thread-weekend-15/#comment-1226670

    • Hi Peter,
      Except a carbon pricing scheme is not the only tool in the toolbox and should never presented that way. I agree with many economists that it may be a powerful tool and that in a market system it is irrational not to put a cost connected to what is essentially pollution. Many business leaders agree. However the main problem with the no regrets approach discussed here is that it ignores a focus on efficiencies, apart from the possibilities of a well-designed carbon pricing plan to stimulate innovation and protect the most vulnerable citizens and economic sectors.

    • CO2 has essentially polluted a lot of thought processes. Essentially, CO2 is a plant nutrient.
      ===============

    • Water is also a plant nutrient. So this kind of thing is obviously not a problem.

    • David Springer

      Water isn’t a nutrient but semantics aside too much of most things becomes toxic. CO2 doesn’t become toxic to either animals or plants at any concentration that anthropogenic production can approach in the atmosphere. Not even close. In fact animals won’t notice and plants will grow better using less water in the process at concentrations at least 5x higher than today. There isn’t enough recoverable fossil fuel to even get to the optimal amount for the biosphere.

      Try again.

      Martha you need a wakeup call as well. CO2 is a pollutant by fiat not by any scientific demonstration. You commit the logical fallacy of assuming that which is to be proven. You must first prove the harms that anthropogenic CO2 causes (good luck, you’ll be the first) then weigh those against the known (very well known in botany and biology) and potential benefits (like most warming in winter in high latitudes where warming is generally welcome) before you can begin to weigh the cost of mitigation against the anticipated effect of same.

    • Heh, are you going to pin Martha into agreeing that water is essentially a pollutant?
      =============

    • David Springer,

      The point about floods is not that they cause water to become toxic to plants, it is that too much water can have serious negative effects aside from whatever impact it has directly on plant growth. Of course one of the problems with floods is that when land is flooded it does rather limit the kind of crops it is possible to grow, and similarly the effects of increased CO2 could well create conditions where the ablity to grow corps is compromised regardless of the nutritional benefits of extra CO2 in the atmosphere.

    • David Springer

      andrew adams | February 21, 2013 at 11:40 am |

      “similarly the effects of increased CO2 could well create conditions where the ablity to grow corps is compromised regardless of the nutritional benefits of extra CO2 in the atmosphere”

      There could just as well be unintended consequences of not adding more CO2 to the atmosphere. Interglacial periods have an average duration of 10,000 years. The Holocene interglacial is currently 11,500 years old and counting. You think plants or animals or us are going to benefit by its ending? Anthropogenic global warming could very well be the only reason the Holocene has not ended already.

      The narrative you hold dear has more holes in it than Swiss cheese. Of course there won’t be any more Swiss cheese when the Holocene ends because Switzerland will be buried under a mile of ice. Isn’t that just precious?

    • Not just a plant food, carbon dioxide is our basic foodstuff – we are around 20% carbon and that comes from the plants we eat and the animals we eat which eat the plants. We are Carbon Life Forms. Carbon Dioxide is the basic Food of Life, together with water.

      http://theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/11Phl/Sci/CO2&Health.html

      Carbon Dioxide and the Global Warming Scam is merely the meme scare to a bigger agenda, the banking cartel families bid to rule the world.

      More Gail links in this discussion for background: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/17/carbon-tax-hallucinations/#comment-1227315

      But they’ll never be the royalty they aspire to be..

    • Martha,

      Have you seen an objective analysis of the probability that a legally binding international agreement (Treaty, Protocol, whatever) can be agreed, implemented and maintained (ramped up across all 195 countries in unison) for 100 years or until greenhouse gas emissions are reduced to a sustainable level?

      If so, can you give me a link?

    • Hi David,
      Sure, the ‘usual suspects’. However it is Margo’s peers in her own field of economic theory that offer the strongest criticism of her work. Try economic journals and internet research that includes MIT, GDEI, the US Chamber of Commerce and Harvard Business School. ;-)

    • David Springer

      Martha | February 21, 2013 at 8:13 am |

      “However it is Margo’s peers in her own field of economic theory that offer the strongest criticism of her work. Try economic journals and internet research that includes MIT, GDEI, the US Chamber of Commerce and Harvard Business School.”

      Nothing at MIT

      https://www.google.com/search?q=%22margo+thorning%22+site%3Amit.edu&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

      Nothing at GDEI

      https://www.google.com/search?q=%22margo+thorning%22+site%3Aase.tufts.edu%2Fgdae%2F&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

      Nothing at Harvard Business School.

      There are 8 hits at US Chamber of Commerce which might contain some of what you claim but I’m not prepared to wade through them looking.

      https://www.google.com/search?q=%22margo+thorning%22+site%3Auschamber.com%2F&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

      Perhaps you could be a bit more specific, link to some instance of such criticisms, or otherwise make it more than an empty claim by an anonymous blogger.

    • David? The point is that it is good to be aware of criticism from other economists — not just ‘the usual suspects’.

      Regarding your subsequent comment to me, below — I encourage you to do your own reading work rather than expecting that I want to do it for you. Some familiarity with the work of other economists involved in the same discussion is required to critically evaluate the quality of analysis. Try well-known MIT economist Michael Greenstone, GDEI economists Frank Ackerman or Julie Nelson. And so on.

      You are free to rely only on Margo’s analysis. I don’t.

    • David Springer

      @Martha

      That’s what I thought. You’re just making stuff up out of thin air and when called on it tell people to do their own homework. How novel. Not.

    • Central stimulus economics is essentially polluting. It prevents outgoing inflationary waves from escaping, and traps the inflation here on earth.
      ===================

    • “to help the economy move toward sustainability” Martha, we live in a world of constant change, in which nothing is sustainable. An economy is never sustainable, it is exposed to a vast range of changes in both its internal and external environments, e.g. shifts in demand, in technology, in global competition … The best “no regrets” policy is to assume that the world in a few years will be different from what we now imagine, plan for what seems most likely but adopt flexible mind-sets, systems and regulations which help us to prosper whatever befalls.

    • Here again, the truth is not simple.

      Adaptability is an absolutely central part of the market economy. Market mechanism solves a wide range of problems better than any administration. But the market mechanism is not even nearly perfect. Various market failures do occur and are in some cases really serious. We do have the tragedy of commons, many externalities, and perhaps most importantly for the present case, markets are badly myopic.

      Being myopic markets cannot initiate major changes early enough even when early action is very important. Unfortunately every administration is also myopic and unable to see clearly far to the future. Administrative mechanisms do, however, not react as systematically to the inability to see clearly the future. Markets as whole are always conservative and fail towards too weak reaction, while administrations may err in both directions, and actually also to many other false directions.

      A clear need for administrative role comes out when we have a combination of myopic views and other market failures. Public support for research is a solution to one such case.

      Major environmental issues and depletion of natural resources are a difficult set of problems to judge. Myopic markets cannot find optimal paths when environment deteriorates with an accelerating rate or natural resources are depleted rapidly. An optimal path requires an earlier reaction to the emerging state than markets can provide.

      Climate policies are one example of trying to get closer to the optimal path. Whether certain climate policies are wise is a quantitative question. They are wise, if the expectation value of the new path is better than that of alternatives (like no climate policy). We may be sure that the policy is to the right direction, but that alone does not guarantee that the expected benefits will be higher than the expected costs, when both are estimated taking all the uncertainties properly into account. That’s true even when risk aversion is included fully in the calculation.

      Weitzman’s dismal theorem was proposed as a proof that prompt action is optimal, but it has been shown that the theorem is not valid. Thus we still lack any clear guidelines that could tell what’s optimal. This lack of guidelines is not an argument for concluding that no action should be taken. Much of the question is left genuinely open. Uncertainty works in both ways with equal power.

    • Pekka, where is the theory or evidence for your sweeping (and out of character) statement “markets are myopic?” I can point to many market phenomena that illustrate decision makers explicitly or implicitly taking very long perspectives. I can even adduce instances of apparent market “hyperopia” where participants overweight distant outcomes and fail to account for immediate gains and losses.

      The entire biotech sector, with routinely towering (and often infinite) price/earning ratios based on dreams of success far in the future; the late 1990s Internet bubble, which valued companies based on growth rates that would have had to extend for many decades; the routine management of privately owned forests, where multi-decade planning is routine; the civilian aircraft industry, where new planes can only be justified by sales scenarios extending over multiple decades; the lobbying activities of large copyright holders such as Disney, which try to lock in protections over half-century horizons; and consumers awarded coupons for free trips or restaurant meals, where studies seem to show that they wait too long to cash them in; all come off the top of my head as counterexamples to this assertion.

    • Bubbles in stocks or housing are actually due to extreme myopia, where investments are done in expectation that the trend will continue long enough to allow a profitable exit. The myopia has been so bad that the high likelihood of bust has been ignored to the end of the rise and even beyond.

      The main reason for the natural myopia of markets as a whole, not of any market participant specifically, is due to the fact that it’s in most cases impossible to secure the profits of a very long term investment to the investor rather than someone else who enters later. The situation is very close to the tragedy of commons. A long term investment may be judged profitable for the society or all humankind but not for the investor.

      Monopolies and duopolies like in the airplane industry are not as strongly affected by this as are genuinely competitive markets.

    • Climate scientists were myopic and look at the bubble they’ve caused. It’s spread to finance and politics.

      The political bubble is still expanding, the financial and scientific ones have popped. Look out below.
      ==============

    • Pekka

      Your premise that “markets are myopic” may have some merit, but I would respond with the CAGW craze is also “myopic” – concentrating only on human GHG emissions as the principal driver of our climate based on some dicey model-derived estimates of 2xCO2 climate sensitivity at some theoretical “equilibrium” and essentially ignoring everything else.

      Put on the blinkers…

      Max

    • Max,

      For me your argument is totally irrelevant, as the question about the size of AGW is totally unaffected by natural variability. There are other relevant questions, but that argument is moot.

    • Yep, there are the blinkers; dismissed as irrelevant.

      Pekka, natural variability has a lot to do with the future. AGW, mebbe, mebbe not.

      As Max points out, total AGW can’t touch a new Ice Age and we may already be delaying the next one. How cold does it have to get before you wipe the frost off your glasses?
      =====================

    • Captain Kangaroo

      Asset bubbles occur in an environment of easy money. Interest rates are left too low for too long. It is a problem of government rather than business – alhough business will go along for the ride and make windfall profits while they can. It all ends in tears – but all the smart ones are already out leaving bell boys and great aunts to carry the can. Either that or the government picks up the party tab.

  29. if people realize that: water regulates the climate; climate can be improved. build dams to save storm-water in dry countries – introducing moisture in dry lands -> makes milder climate. 2] instead of producing dry heat – which ends up where is vegetation and is preparing it for big bushfires… Less dry heat produced on land – will destroy less moisture created in the sea – that moisture in the air is for replenishing the glaciers, for replenishing the ice on the polar caps. more moisture -> falls on land and fills the lakes / rivers with permanent water.

    Instead of squandering money on the phony global warming and adopting to worse climate – money should be spent on IMPROVING THE CLIMATE!!!
    Misleading that climate and the phony GLOBAL warmings are one and the same thing, is the biggest crime of the new millenia…

    • Stefan, you do good to deny.

      CO2 is a trace gas. Water, in all of its states, is abundant.

      You do not, cannot, control a massive system with a man-made fraction of a trace of something.

      YES, water in all of its states does regulate the temperature of Earth.
      When oceans are warm and open, it does snow more. Look at the snow in the Northern Hemisphere right now!. When oceans are cold and frozen, there is no source for moisture and it does not snow much.
      This is what regulates the temperature of earth.

      The temperature that the Arctic Sea Ice Melts and Freezes is the thermostat for earth.

    • Herman Alexander Pope | February 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm said: ”The temperature that the Arctic Sea Ice Melts and Freezes is the thermostat for earth”

      Definition ”as thermostat” applies in one sense, I call it ”self adjusting”: .

      When is less ice cover on the Arctic water -> water becomes colder -> ”colder” water from there goes south to Mexican gulf – to Mediterranean, that makes evaporation to decrease – ”Gulf-stream slows” = under the Arctic’s ice currents slow, ice recuperates.

      2] ice on Arctic doesn’t melt from the top, but from the bottom – ice sacrifices some of itself, to produce freshwater as buffer from the salty seawater below (salt is anti-freeze) – stronger currents eat more ice (Sahara expanding increases dry heat &evaporation in Mediterranean + north Atlantic = increased currents, siphoning more water from Arctic.

      3]most of water from Russian rivers drain into arctic – that freshwater spreads on the top of the salty seawater as buffer for the ice – less water drains from those rivers – deficit is topped up by salty / warm-water from north Pacific, via Bering. Those things have nothing to do with CO2 or the sunspots! : http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/midi-ice-age-can-be-avoided/

    • Stefan you say that “climate can be improved.” But climate varies widely across the globe, and people’s assessment of a particular climate’s agreeability varies even more. There will rarely be agreement on what constitutes “improved” climate. At the moment, and throughout human history, if people don’t like, or can’t survive with, the local climate, they move on. That will no doubt continue.

    • David L. Hagen

      stefanthedenier
      You advocate: “money should be spent on IMPROVING THE CLIMATE!!!”
      I agree. Encourage developing countries to provide the fuel and power they need to grow their economies and care for their children and parents.
      That will help increase agriculture to feed their people by providing more plant food (CO2). For evidence, see CO2Science.org
      Any associated warming would also help considering that times of higher CO2 and temperature were the most biomass abundant in geological history.

    • Anthro CO2 is a win-win, and only Gaia understands that. The poor humans may eventually understand.
      ==================

    • OK, ‘win-win’ is just a little too quick. Anthro CO2 is an obvious benefit to the plant kingdom and derivatively the animal kingdom, and other critters not classed as either. The second ‘win’ is the apparently meager amount of global warming we can get from this inadequate resource. Too bad it can’t bat, field or run like the scouting reports.
      ================

    • Look, even it all the warming from the Little Ice Age is from Anthropogenic causes, there aren’t enough hydrocarbon bonds to push us very much higher, and we’re past the peak effect of rising CO2. The Holocene is senile, perhaps kept on the respirator with AnthroCO2.

      CO2 is good stuff. Those who demonized it were myopic, and want to blind us all.
      ===========

  30. Today we should be celebrating the 540th birthday of Nicolaus Copernicus, the man who reported two major discoveries in 1543:

    1. Sol is the fountain of energy at the center of the solar system, and

    2. “The distance from the Earth to the Sun is imperceptible in comparison with the height of the firmament.”

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/happy-birthday-nicolaus-copernicus-is-540-today/

    The second discovery left little room for those who might later claim control of Earth’s climate and mankind’s fate, independently of the Sun.

    http://omanuel.wordpress.com/about/#comment-2666

  31. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    James Hansen, super-conservative!

    James Hansen proclaims: We’re at a Fork in the Road

    We stand at a fork in the road. Conventional oil and gas supplies are limited. We can move down the path of dirtier more carbon-intensive unconventional fossil-fuels, digging up the dirtiest tar sands and tar shales, hydrofracking for gas, continued mountain-top removal and mechanized destructive long-wall coal mining. Or we can choose the alternative path of clean energies and energy efficiency.

    The climate science is crystal clear. We cannot go down the path of the dirty fuels without guaranteeing that the climate system passes tipping points, leaving our children and grandchildren a situation out of their control, a situation of our making. Unstable ice sheets will lead to continually rising seas and devastation of coastal cities worldwide. A large fraction of Earth’s species will be driven to extinction by the combination of shifting climate zones and other stresses. Summer heat waves, scorching droughts, and intense wildfires will become more frequent and extreme. At other times and places, the warmer water bodies and increased evaporation will power stronger storms, heavier rains, greater floods.

    The economics is crystal clear. We are all better off if fossil fuels are made to pay their honest costs to society. We must collect a gradually rising fee from fossil fuel companies at the source, the domestic mine or port of entry, distributing the funds to the public on a per capita basis. This approach will provide the business community and entrepreneurs the incentives to develop clean energy and energy-efficient products, and the public will have the resources to make changes.

    This approach is transparent, built on conservative principles.

    Not one dime to the government!

    Gosh-golly, the Republican Party — Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich especially — has been desperately seeking strong, electable, solidly conservative presidential candidates.

    And now, in James Hansen, America’s conservatives have found their spokesman!

    No more dumb-down conservatism!!! James Hansen in 2016!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Thanks for this from Hansen. It confirms he has really gone over the edge. Actually I think picking this quote from him does him an injustice though. I thought his being at the latest anti-pipeline rally was silly, since if we don’t build the pipeline, the tar sands will still be used and the oil sold to China or some other country. But then an e-mail surfaced where he said he agreed and had only been at the rally to support Bill McKibben’s efforts.

      A pollution tax, if done properly, might work as laid out by Milton Friedman. But we can see that the carbon tax and credits that have been tried so far have not worked as envisioned.

      I like the Hansen of 15 years ago who said we should do the NO-REGRETS type things such as try to limit black carbon and real pollutants. Some of these will generate less CO2 as well as a byproduct. With recent studies showing black carbon has a stronger role in warming than thought before, this actually seems like a good idea. And I am for (if there is a way to implement it without having nasty side-effects) making coal (passed on to consumers of course) pay for some of its real environmental costs. Black carbon seems like a reasonable place to start. Not sure about sulfates as they are supposed to have a cooling effect but they may also be a real pollutant as well. Puts an “environmentalist” in a tough spot. Are sulfates put out by coal plants good or bad?

    • David Springer

      The problem with black carbon is that the vast majority of it comes from so-called developing countries. See here:

      http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v1/n4/fig_tab/ngeo156_F1.html#figure-title

      Methane should be low hanging fruit too but the story is the same.

      http://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/img/part/ch4_map_big.gif

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Bill, if the AGW denialsts were scientifically correct that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas, then your post would be very sensible.

      Because the denialists are wrong-on-the-science, it follows that your post is wrong-on-the-economics, eh?

      As for sulphate emissions, market solutions have worked stupendously well, eh?

      Hansen is correct that these tested-and-proven, conservative, market methods will work well to regulate C02 emissions!

      It’s plain, conservative, common-sense, right Bill?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Fan, what you are supporting is a model failure. In the sulphate emissions model, there were constraints and intrinsic assumptions that indicate such a scheme for carbon will not work.

      They were: low sulphur fuels at incremental cost were available; other low sulphur fuels could be used for energy that had similar cost; removal technology was cheap and available; sequestered waste could be handled cheaply and effectively; new technology could be developed that greatly reduced the potential to emit since sulphur was a minor fraction of the bulk fuel; and most importantly sulphur is not necessary for cheap effective energy production. None of these constraints, especially the last, apply to the vast majority of CO2 emissions. Areas that the model may apply are in the category of manufacturing such as plastics but only for the manufacturing stock feed, if at all.

      What you and Hansen propose is a method to distribute the cost through the economy and direct cost to certain segments of the economy. It does not examine what made the sulphate model work. Trying to sell the scheme this way will make it an easy target for those who oppose it, since it will not deliver as promised.

      A quick toy model that shows its problems is to assume that CO2 fuels were instantly replaced by solar and wind. At current prices, all energy would cost 3 times as much based on present numbers. Using $1000/unit energy as a basis, your citizen would pay $3000 and get $0 return. Or another way to look at it is that energy is about 15% of the economy. This measn that your citizen would have to live off 55% of current standard, or get a 45% raise in real money. Neither is doable for almost all citizens. This toy model also indicates why such activities are most likely to impact the poor most.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      johnfpittman proposes: “[a simple-but-dumb model of energy economics]

      JohnFPittman, if your simple-but-dumb economic model were correct, then Iraq [which has lots of oil] would enjoy a far higher standard of living than the Netherlands [which has none].

      The opposite is observed.

      Conclusion  Something’s grossly defective in regard to the JohnFPittman-style simple-but-dumb economic world-view. What is that defect, oh JohnFPittman?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Fan, I hardly ever read you despite the obvious opportunity for ridicule, but reading Pittman I stumbled over your gross defect in understanding somewhat by accident.

      Why do you even take yourself seriously? Oh, now I get it.
      ==================

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      kim explains “Fan, I hardly ever read you …”

      LOL … plenty of Southern Baptists claim not to read Darwin too! …

      … yet somehow, the word is getting out about the vast economic opportunity associated with the transition to carbon neutrality!

      The reality that denialists fail to appreciate, is that young folks reject denialism! Good!

      Which means in the long run, denialism loses absolutely. Excellent!

      Isn’t that right, Kim?

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries???}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Fan,

      Claiming that “AGW denialsts” claim “CO2 is not a greenhouse gas” is almost as bad as claiming “alarmists claim they alone can control the weather” but not quite as bad.

      It’s easy to see why you attack anyone who believes in God. It’s because you’re jealous they don’t believe you are a god.

    • Captain Kangaroo

      FOMBS is wrong on his illusions of science – most warming is quite natural and the world is not warming for decades. I have warned these people for a decade that this is the case – and now NASA and many others are also. But the trite little and truly deluded missives keep coming.

      There are ways forward – http://judithcurry.com/2013/02/19/adapting-to-climate-change-challenges-and-opportunities-for-u-s-business-community/#comment-297270 but to believe FOMBS is to continue the prolonged failure to make any progress at all. FOMBS is a truly recalcitrant space cadet – aye FOMBS.

    • DCA

      Ummm… on this CE thread alone we read:

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/02/19/adapting-to-climate-change-challenges-and-opportunities-for-u-s-business-community/#comment-297288

      Why even mention GHGs when the entire hypothesis that they affect climate is so thoroughly discredited?

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/02/19/adapting-to-climate-change-challenges-and-opportunities-for-u-s-business-community/#comment-297344

      But empirical evidence says the [AGW] hypothesis is wrong.

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/02/19/adapting-to-climate-change-challenges-and-opportunities-for-u-s-business-community/#comment-297337

      Why should we reduce green house gases when there is no temperature data that indicates there is any problem?

      Denying deniers deny denialist deniers…

      http://drtimball.com/2012/co2-is-not-a-greenhouse-gas-that-raises-global-temperature-period/

      http://www.slayingtheskydragon.com/

      http://www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com/carbondioxide.html

      Too funny.

    • Another model failure on your part Fan. You have made the strawman of a market/country as displayed by a “happiness” rating. I made the statement of a toy model problem on the one hand, and economic assumptions that are counter to reality on the other. Another failure is that the happiness economic model is controversial to say the least; and it has been pointed out that its metrics are poorly defined and or measured; besides being in the “eye of the beholder.”

    • heinrich,

      None of those replies said “CO2 is not a greenhouse gas”.

      Perhaps you’re projecting.

    • CK,

      I remember back in the sixties, the local public TV stations would run a Public Service Anouncement just before the local news that said: “Parents! It’s TEN O’clock! Do you know where your FOMBS are?

    • Fan has undue faith in the long term effectiveness of propagandization of children. Mamas, don’t let your children grow up to be skeptics.
      ==================

  32. A non-profit organization might not pay dividends to shareholders, but their directors (read “owners”) can still be compensated quite nicely, thank you very much.

    An organization that declares itself non-partizan gets the same treatment as complete strangers who introduce themselves with “trust me”.

    The major challenges to businesses are contingent upon human actions (markets, laws, regulations etc) not the environment, despite what environmentalists think.

    Would a life assurance company with a real crystal-ball honestly and publicly tell their competitors what they know is going to happen in the future? It would be like expecting Warren Buffet to say which companies he is going to buy stocks in tomorrow.

    Many CEO’s, like climate-change scientists, know they will be retired or dead before fifty-year chickens come home to roost.

    If Margo Thorning or businesses wish to plan for a 100+ year horizon, then I suggest they start learning Chinese, not kow-towing to the chimera of catastrophic climate change.

  33. I find it offensive that bloggers are offended by a comment from a blogger they’ve probably never met to another blogger they’ve probably also never met.
    But then again, offense is taken not given out. Refuse to take it and get on with it.

  34. That is Captain, Sergeant, and yes lower ranking Em (Pvt, PFC) are called by last name frequently.

    Ray

  35. Business Adaptation to Climate Energy Policy
    Reliability availability of transport fuel and electricity are critical to modern business and in consequence to a country’s economy. To plan, businesses must know they will have reliable fuel and electricity, obtain it, or move to where that can be found.
    Pakistan is going through a severe energy crisis for lack of fuel for vehicles and electricity. e.g., See: Pakistan’s Energy Sector: From Crisis to Crisis – Breaking the Chain
    e.g., In 2010, Pakistan was

    “in the throes of an energy crisis, with Pakistanis now enduring about 12 hours of power cuts a day, a grueling schedule that is melting ice, stopping fans and enraging an already exhausted populace just as the blast furnace of summer gets started.”

    For its climate policy, Germany was radically shifting to renewables, driving up price. See: Rising Energy Prices: Germans Grow Wary of Switch to Renewables

    “For the time being, solar, wind and biomass power make up a quarter of the country’s electricity supply but are set to account for 80 percent by 2050. . . . that surcharge for renewable energy is to rise to 5.5 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) in 2013 from 3.6 in 2012. For an average three-person household using 3,500 kWh a year, the 47 percent increase amounts to an extra €185 on the annual electricity bill.

    <a href=Consequently,

    all German industrial and manufacturing sectors – steel, aluminum, paper, cement, plastics, chemical – are migrating to countries with cheaper electricity as energy and carbon-costs are eating up to 50% of their expenses. Almost one in five German industrial companies plans to, or already has, shifted capacities abroad

    Despite nuclear power’s excellent track record in Germany, politicians panicked over Fukushima and shut down their nuclear power. Much higher fluctuating renewables to base power reduced grid reliability, threatening power outages. Germany is now in a scramble to build 25 new coal fired power plants to ensure future grid reliability and reduce prices.

    The UK’s policies with major increases in wind power and shutting coal mining and nuclear power are causing similar trends and driving business away. e.g. Predicting Power Madness at Decadal Scales/a> February 20, 2013 by Anthony Watts

    In light of the recent announcement by Ofgem chief executive Alistair Buchanan that the chances of avoiding power cuts looks very slim in the UK, . . .
    Another important area is energy. Decisions on energy policy come into effect ten or twenty years after they are made. The way to cripple a modern state is to cut off its energy supply, as various oil crises have demonstrated.

    The basics of a sound energy policy are quite simple:
    1. Energy should be obtained from a variety of sources, lest one should fail.
    2. There should be a reliable and continuous source to service the base load.
    3. There should be further instantly available sources to accommodate demand surges.
    4. Unpredictable and intermittent sources should be avoided.
    5. Policy should not be decided by trends, fashions or religious convictions.
    The British Government’s White paper of this month fails in all these respects. . . .

    From a business point of view, such erratic public policy strongly reduces confidence, discourages local investment. Consequently, “adaptation” requires transferring businesses to locations with cheaper more reliable power – such as Texas or China.

  36. My reading of Dr. Thorning’s analysis is that she is saying: there is a problem coming, maybe, but given the state of the science we don’t know what it is or what the extent of it will be; we know that if it comes government regulations, restrictions and meddling will make it harder to overcome; that some companies are already adopting strategies to deal with future extreme weather events that may or may not be due to anthropogenic emissions; that to deal with whatever it is that is coming we need strong economic growth, even though the officials in government and their green allies who are trying to impose the over-bearing and often needless regulations are either consciously or unconsciously adopting policies to constrict growth.

    Have I got it right?

  37. Let me please repost this from the wrong thread:

    Whether the next 25 years will have a warmer or cooler global mean surface temperature than the past 25 years, the variability will be as great. So investors should plan for highs (temp, rainfall, etc) to be a little higher than the maxima over the past 25 years, in the locations where they build, and for the minima (temp, rainfall, etc) to be a little lower. Or they could look farther back, say 100 years, and plan for the possibility of a “hundred-year” event (high or low, this or that) in the next 25 years. Compared to knowing the empirically recorded extremes and variances, knowing a hypothetical small mean change is not worth much.

  38. I prefer “Judith,” in the same way I prefer Anthony, Steve, Lucia, Kim, Roger, or Andrew. I can’t imagine any of them would object one way or the other. Regular participants all get to know each other on these blogs, however artificially, and after a while it seems unnecessary to refer to people with whom you are conversing by their titles.

    Otoh, if I were taking a class with Judith, I would refer to her as “Dr. Curry.” That’s why they call it “formal education.”

    • @pottereaton: Otoh, if I were taking a class with Judith, I would refer to her as “Dr. Curry.” That’s why they call it “formal education.”

      Not if you were at Harvard. Professor John Smith for example would be called “Mr. Smith.”

    • The esteemed Judith Curry is not at Harvard. A small form to observe.
      ======================

  39. Comments are no longer in chronological order. Oh well.

  40. Gotta give it to heinrich here – he’s making some goodpoints about the traps in skeptical thought. But if establishment is not working towards meeting some of these valid concerns eg Steve Mc ‘engineering quality survey’ concept, it is missing out on constructive critique from its most engaged audience. The habit of clumping all challenging critique into a spam folder is blinding. And clearly on both sides of the aisle, we see the blindspots of our opponents on full display.

  41. An ominous word has crept into the Enclish lanuage in recent years ‘policymaker’ It suggests there is a class of people devoted to the making of policy. They crop up frequently in climate science, particularly in findings handed down by the UN. Apparently these ‘policvmakers’ don’t have to understand climate science, only carry out the instructions of the UN. Thus almost overnight a new bureaurocracy has been created to work within our democracies, but has no democratic oversight.

    Previously we have enjoyed what we call a ‘,market economy’ and this has surved us well almost since Adam was a boy.because it provided what we needed or could afford.and required little oversight. Consequently this new class of citizen shuld be carefully watched. Since we don’t have a world government we don’t need a world public service and we don’t want one by stealth.

    • AB

      Since we don’t have a world government we don’t need a world public service and we don’t want one by stealth.

      Absolutely correct. We don’t want world government or Agenda21. Nor do we want a legally binding global agreement of a global carbon pricing scheme because that would require a bureaucracy to administer it, a police force to enforce it, a global legal system with world courts to adjudicate the cases and a world military to make recalcitrant government conform to the dictates of the world government.

  42. M.Thorning is a bureaucrat like the thousands of other bureaucrats in EEC, UN, WHO, IPCC, etc.
    What does she do for a living ? She talks. She also has a team of people who write analysis and books for her what enables to talk some more.
    What are her skills ?
    To state the obvious over dozens of pages and make the public believe that there was something new and/or deep, bringing an added value.
    As there generally is none of the above, the bureaucrats prefer to select their public among those who have little to no idea about the topic – typically politicians.
    These people are the modern equivalent of skilled snake oil merchants.

    When this kind of bureaucrats is talking about “businesses” it is safe to make 2 bets with 1 to 10 odds:
    - he/she has no experience in business. Never created one, Never risked own money on one. Never was responsible to achieve profitability or growth targets.
    - he/she is an academic who did little to none original academic research and found out very early that a more profitable carrier was to talk about academic work to politicians. This is the coveted and extremely well paid position of “advisor”.

    Let us just illustrate the vacuity of the “opinion” presented in this post.

    Most Businesses Do Not Plan Investments over Long Time Horizons: Thus, business is more likely to engage in “no regrets’ strategies to address adaptation to climate variability rather than undertake substantial investments in anticipation of changes in climate that may only occur in 50 to 100 years.

    Talk about being trivial. And it is not “most”, it is “all”.
    The reason is simple – “businesses” don’t decide anything, shareholders do. A shareholder is a physical person like you or me who is willing to risk his money expecting some profitability. There is no shareholder willing to take a 50 or 100 year risk. A politician may be willing to do that but he is playing with other people’s money and is accountable for nothing beyond the next election term.
    When politicians become shareholders (e.g owners and decision makers of businesses) at a large scale, communism or fascism happens. History has shown what kind of economic consequences follow.

    Barriers to Investment Caused by Regulatory and Permitting Delays: . For example, in addition to permits to meet federal regulations there are often additional state and local permit requirements which add time and cost to a project getting underway.
    What a tautology!
    The very purpose of every regulation is to build a barrier to some investment or some business. Ancient Greeks regulated 3 000 years ago that wool shall not be sold on rainy days (to prevent bad weights) and Hammurabi regulated 4 000 years ago that a tavern keeper who would not serve the right dose would be drowned.
    Unfortunately with the millions of people who make their living by only inventing regulations, the regulating activity took a life of its own with nobody in control anymore.
    The natural trend of the amount of regulation tends to infinity in the modern world and the issue is not whether it strangles business (it does) but whether anybody is still able to set an upper bound to the absolute amount of regulations.

    Opportunities for Business to Adapt to Potential Climate Variation: U.S. companies have already begun to adopt “no regrets” strategies to adapt to climate change. For example, some utilities are “hardening” their infrastructure to reduce damage from future weather events and agriculture and the insurance industry are also developing technologies and policies to adapt to climate change.

    I can talk here for the energy sector where I have been working for many years. and clearly I know no single company that would be concerned by the “climate change” itself or its consequences in a century.
    However all companies are looking for opportunities for business arising from the fact that some politicians are ready to spend vast amounts of public money regardless whether it is economically justified or not.
    That starts with German building biodiesel plants when biodiesel gets subsidies and closing them when it is no more. It continues with the insurance Munich Re that justifies increases of policies by intergrating “climate risks” and CO2 traders who make money with CO2 allowances.
    Actually as this kind of investment is a no risk investment (governments compensate the losses), most companies, Big Oil included, are rather supportive of the “fight against the climate change”.
    All this is again trivial.

    Financing Adaptation Will Depend on Strong Economic Growth:
    Oh yes! And rain will depend on cloud presence too. This is really a travesty.
    And now, dear reader, ask yourself just whether having wasted your time by reading M.Thorning trivialities has increased your understanding of anything.
    Alternatively ask yourself whether she deserves earning money with similar “opinions”

    • Tomas, you write “And now, dear reader, ask yourself just whether having wasted your time by reading M.Thorning trivialities has increased your understanding of anything.”

      +1000. I simply did not waste my time. I only glanced at the first sentence.

    • It’s fascinating how political ideology can lead the mathematically inclined to write rants full of logical gaps big enough to drive trucks through.

    • I suspect he’d sneer even more at critics than advisers.
      =====================

    • David Springer

      @Tomas

      The businesses you describe with shareholders are generally public for-profit corporations. There are many other types of businesses such as private businesses that don’t have shareholders or they may be non-profits where shareholders concerns are not driven by profit.

    • Tomas: See my reply to Pekka above. There are many routine and non-routine examples of market actors, emphatically including shareholders, taking multi-decadal issues into account in their decisions.

  43. You can’t keep ignoring the facts Jo – carbon dioxide levels lag temperature changes by nearly a year …

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818112001658

    Abstract

    Using data series on atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperatures we investigate the phase relation (leads/lags) between these for the period January 1980 to December 2011. Ice cores show atmospheric CO2 variations to lag behind atmospheric temperature changes on a century to millennium scale, but modern temperature is expected to lag changes in atmospheric CO2, as the atmospheric temperature increase since about 1975 generally is assumed to be caused by the modern increase in CO2. In our analysis we use eight well-known datasets: 1) globally averaged well-mixed marine boundary layer CO2 data, 2) HadCRUT3 surface air temperature data, 3) GISS surface air temperature data, 4) NCDC surface air temperature data, 5) HadSST2 sea surface data, 6) UAH lower troposphere temperature data series, 7) CDIAC data on release of anthropogene CO2, and 8) GWP data on volcanic eruptions. Annual cycles are present in all datasets except 7) and 8), and to remove the influence of these we analyze 12-month averaged data. We find a high degree of co-variation between all data series except 7) and 8), but with changes in CO2 always lagging changes in temperature. The maximum positive correlation between CO2 and temperature is found for CO2 lagging 11–12 months in relation to global sea surface temperature, 9.5–10 months to global surface air temperature, and about 9 months to global lower troposphere temperature. The correlation between changes in ocean temperatures and atmospheric CO2 is high, but do not explain all observed changes.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Highlights

    ► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 11–12 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature. ► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5–10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature. ► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature. ► Changes in ocean temperatures explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980. ► Changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.

  44. Peter Lang -
    I stand by my statement that we should stop talking about GHGs because this is only a distraction from real issues that need to be addressed.
    And as for giving the CAGW alarmies what they want, in any way, shape or form – NO!! What they should be given, and ONLY what they should be given, is many years of prison time at hard labor for the frauds they arew committing.

    • Chad Wozniak,

      We all take different approaches and target different audiences. I believe there is enormous uncertainty and a pragmatic approach that will appeal to the broadest spectrum of the electorate is the best approach to take. In my opinion, No Regrets policies are widely acceptable once the electorate understands them and believes they are truly ‘No Regrets’. The electorate is not dumb. They do get it if they believe what they are being told. So, IMO, the best we can do is to continually explain, balanced, rational ‘No Regrets’ policies.

  45. Captain Kangaroo

    I’d agree with you that

    The reality of climate change is on the side of sceptics as well. The world is not warming for decades hence at least.

    And it appears that the “science” is also concluding that 2xCO2 climate sensitivity is around half of previous model-derived estimates, or around 1.5C.

    This means that the maximum warming we could ever see from human fossil fuel combustion is around 2C, when the remaining fossil fuels on Earth are all 100% gone.

    So the science (as well as the reality) of climate change is on the side of the skeptics.

    The problem is the politicians.

    This is where the whole “climate change challenge and opportunity” originated in the first place.

    And (as evidenced by recent remarks by US President Obama) a good many politicians are not yet ready to give up the opportunity of this potential new source of tax revenue and control over the economy and the citizenry.

    With the chances of a legislated direct or indirect carbon tax essentially nil, I could imagine that Obama will try to enforce something like this by executive edict or EPA ruling.

    And, despite the fact that the science now tells us that the “C” is gone from the “CAGW premise” as outlined by IPCC, Obama can always find enough scientists to back up any fear mongering he needs in order to keep the scare alive.

    So the science tells us there is no AGW problem, but the “science” will say otherwise, as required by the politicians.

    Max

    • If the Executor enforces by fiat what the legislature won’t make legal, then he criminally executes(as in kills) the will of the people. If he so threatens, it is bad demeanour.
      ============

    • kim

      I’d agree that Exec cannot override Legisl unless Judic agrees (5 to 4).

      With 3 years and 10.5 months to go (and a lot of old Supreme Court judges) it looks like exciting (and costly) times ahead for US public.

      Ya gets what ya votes for.

      Max

    • Manacker,

      With the chances of a legislated direct or indirect carbon tax essentially nil, …

      I am very pleased to hear this. But is it wishful thinking, your opinion, or is it widely recognised? By whom? Can you give me a statement(s) from one or more authoritative sources that support your statement.

      This is not a trivial question I am asking. If I could get links to some statements that support your statement and that are accepted as being by authoritative sources, it would be helpful in educating the Australian public to vote to get the Australian carbon tax and ETS repealed.

      As further explanation, Australia has a federal election on 14 September 2013. The Labor-Green alliance government has legislated a carbon price and ETS in Australia. The Opposition (conservative parties) has committed to repeal it if they win government at the election. The conservative parties are leading in the polls and seem likely to win the election. But, if the Greens keep control of the Senate they will blocked any attempt to repeal the carbon tax and ETS legislation. So it is important the conservatives get a strongest possible mandate.

      So if you can give me any authoritative but simple link (not a long explanation that most people won’t be interested in trying to understand), it could be valuable in helping to educate the Australian voters that Australia is going out on a limb with its CO2 tax and ETS and we are damaging our international competitiveness for no benefit.

      My previous comments on this thread (and on other threads) are part of trying to explain why a global carbon pricing scheme is most unlikely to be implemented, therefore Australia and USA should not implement them either

    • Peter Lang

      Maybe I’m wrong, but I do not believe that the US House of Representatives is ready to legislate a direct or indirect carbon tax (i.e. carbon pricing scheme) into law, even though it sounds like President Obama hasn’t given up on this as yet.

      Ask someone like David Wojick, who seems to know more about US politics, but this is my opinion.

      Max

    • Max,

      Thanks for quick reply.

      I am having difficulty turning my long argument into a short, clear, concise, convincing statement. The issue is clear to me, but I can’t make it clear for others. Either I am wrong (very unlikely) all those who don’t agree with me are wrong (very likely) :)

    • Peter

      Here’s what Monckton has to say about the proposed Sanders-Boxer carbon tax bill.

      This may get Senate approval but looks very unlikely to pass the House, from what I can gather.

      Max

    • Manacker,

      Thank you for that excellent link. That is the sort of analysis Monckton (and also Roger Pielke Jr.) are excellent at. It is difficult to fault them (significantly) on these sorts of analysis. That is because both of them have been policy advisers to politicians at the highest level (Monkton to UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, from memory). They both understand how to present the crucial facts, needed for informing policy decisions, in a succinct and clear way. Excellent.

      It’s interesting to note that Monkton has arrived at an even worse cost benefit than I calculated for the Australian ETS using Australian Government Treasury figures (i.e. worse than $10 cost for projected $1 benefit, but the $1 benefit is unlikely to be achieved because it depends on the rest of the world participating in a global carbon pricing scheme): http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/06/what-the-carbon-tax-and-ets-will-really-cost-peter-lang/

      To progress this, it would be great if I could get a similar analyses written by someone who is accepted and consider authoritative by the orthodoxy. There is little point me quoting Lord Monckton or WUWT, because they will be dismissed as “deniers” without even being read, let alone seriously considered.

      Does anyone reading this have any links to sources that would be considered authoritative by the orthodoxy and who have done the equivalent of Monkton’s analysis presented here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/17/the-sanders-boxer-carbon-tax-will-be15-times-costlier-than-letting-warming-happen/

      Thanks again, Max.

  46. I regret ter say
    that some there are,
    lovers of the guv-uh-
    mint, who think
    ‘high regrets’ policy’s
    the same as
    ‘no regrets’ policy
    … and this
    is no joke.

  47. Holy batmobile tailpipe emissions, Batman! How are businesses supposed to take climate change projections seriously with such seriously unsettled science behind it? Many skeptics (including me, I’ve postulated the findings herein many times) have held out the possibility that anthropogenic CO2 emission is not raising ocean temperature but rather ocean temperature is raising atmospheric CO2 equilbrium partial pressure. This is yet another bit of evidence confirming my hypothesis that CO2 does raise ocean temperature but rather simply raises evaporation rate, reduces environmental lapse rate, and results in higher clouds with an easier radiative path to space due to less atmosphere above them to hinder it.

    Hat tip to Doug Cotton for bringing this to our attention. It bears repeating. My bold in the highlights. Go to link for the full paper.

    Article appears in Global and Planetary Change
    Volume 100, January 2013, Pages 51–69

    The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature

    Ole Humluma, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo
    Kjell Stordahlc, Department of Geology, University Centre in Svalbard
    Jan-Erik Solheimd, Department of Physics and Technology, University of Tromsø

    Highlights
    ► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 11–12 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature. ► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5–10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature. ► Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature. ► Changes in ocean temperatures explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980. ► Changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.

    • So, the CO2 increase has paused with GAT and GSST as well? I’m sure you have a fanciful explanation to support your gin-soaked hypothesis. You should post up a link to another 20-year old patent so we know you are brilliant and believable.

    • Yes, the annual temperature cycle is a ‘CO2 pump’. Temperature level (not change) drives the change in atmospheric CO2. Flow of the pump seems to be temperature dependent. At some lower temperature it should be zero change and at still lower CO2 should decrease.

  48. “JC”

    JC and The Sunshine Hours Band.

    I like it. ;)

    Andrew

  49. Judith

    And OUTSIDE of the blog if we happened to bump into you in the street and recognised you from your unflattering photographs?

    tonyb

  50. Some nice archival history on Ludwig von Mises, liberty, economics
    and on some unexpected consequences of government planning.

  51. My perception of Climate Etc is that it is becoming increasingly unlike anything that was claimed for it at its inception.

    Its become infested with the worse sort of climate deniers. The sort that dispute even the existence of the GH effect and GH gases. For them CO2 is a harmless “plant food”.

    Mr Wosniak shows with his comment “Why even mention GHGs when the entire hypothesis that they affect climate is so thoroughly discredited?” they aren’t at all in touch with scientific reality at all.

    The GH effect and the fact that it keeps the Earth warmer by some 33 degC than it would otherwise be is as well accredited now as it ever was. The mainstream scientific position is that CO2 and CH4 are important GH gases. The increasing concentration of these gases is causing warming on a global scale and will continue to do so as concentrations increase. If we are very lucky it will be on the lower end of the uncertainty scale at 1.5 degC (for a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels) and if we are unlucky it will be more like 4.5 deg C. That’s the sensible range for discussion.

    • tempterrain | February 22, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Reply
      My perception of Climate Etc is that it is becoming increasingly unlike anything that was claimed for it at its inception.

      Its become infested with the worse sort of climate deniers. The sort that dispute even the existence of the GH effect and GH gases.

      I have shown that AGWScienceFiction’s The Greenhouse Effect is a sleight of hand, created by downright physical lies, it is an illusion. If you disagree with me, then prove it exists.

      For them CO2 is a harmless “plant food”.

      Carbon Dioxide is the building block of all Carbon Life Forms on Earth. It is the food of all of us, we would not exist without it.

      Mr Wosniak shows with his comment “Why even mention GHGs when the entire hypothesis that they affect climate is so thoroughly discredited?” they aren’t at all in touch with scientific reality at all.

      You and your ilk are the ones out of touch with scientific reality – your model of Earth’s climate is a joke, someone is having a very great laugh at your expense..

      The GH effect and the fact that it keeps the Earth warmer by some 33 degC than it would otherwise be is as well accredited now as it ever was.

      It is an illusion. It is created by misdirection, but the science fraud that the -18°C figure is for the Earth without “AGW greenhouse gases”, but this is the temperature minus all the gases of the atmosphere, the main ones of these, the real heavyweight greenhouse gases, are nitrogen and oxygen. Without the main “greenhouse gas” water, the temperature of the Earth would be 67°C. It’s the real thermal blanket of nitrogen and oxygen which traps the heat and prevents the extreme swings of temperature as the Moon without an atmosphere.

      So, your “AGW 33°C greenhouse gas warming” is a science fraud, it doesn’t exist. There is no connecting logic from the -18°C to 15°C warming by the “AGW claimed greenhouse gases”.

      It is worse than a joke, the manipulations of real physics has created an impossible world, a complete and utter fantasy world. Those who think it is real are the losers here.

      The mainstream scientific position is that CO2 and CH4 are important GH gases. The increasing concentration of these gases is causing warming on a global scale and will continue to do so as concentrations increase.

      The AGWSF’s sleight of hand – giving the description “thermal blanket” to a trace gas which is practically all holes when it properly refers to our complete atmosphere of which nitrogen and oxygen the main greenhouse gases.

      If we are very lucky it will be on the lower end of the uncertainty scale at 1.5 degC (for a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels) and if we are unlucky it will be more like 4.5 deg C. That’s the sensible range for discussion.

      Show how when your claimed 33°C warming is a proven illusion and you, generic, have never shown increasing carbon dioxide capable of raising any temperatures. Why can’t you fetch the empirical data to prove this? Because it doesn’t exist.

      Why don’t you visit some real world greenhouses where they pump in 1500 ppm of carbon dioxide – ask them how much they save in heating costs..

      You of course are at perfect liberty to choose to continue believing in this fraudulent science, but until you, generic, who do so have the science integrity to prove that carbon dioxide is capable of this then your consensus is not of scientists. It is a consensus of fantasist bullies who don’t even know the difference between heat and light and haven’t even noticed there is no Water Cycle in their comic cartoon energy budget, and no rain in their carbon cycle. Do us all a favour, quit pretending that you know anything about basic physical properties and processes.

    • Thank you, Myrrh, for confirming my argument! Anyone else like to contribute?

      PS are you the one who claimed that air should form separate layers of Oxygen , Nitrogen etc? Never mind that it obviously doesn’t you were arguing it should.

    • tempterrain

      Don’t know if you read Myrrh’s post very closely.

      AFAIK the points he makes are largely valid.

      Water (as vapor, liquid or ice) on the surface or in the atmosphere controls our planet’s climate.

      The 33C “natural GH effect” is a theoretical construct.

      In actual fact it is the theoretical difference between our planet’s surface temperature with or without an atmosphere (and an ocean).

      A small piece of that may be attributed to GH warming from CO2, but there is no empirical evidence confirming or quantifying this effect.

      The experimental data on LW radiation absorption by CO2 in the laboratory simply confirms that there is a mechanism, just as the recent experimental work at CERN confirmed that there is a cosmic ray cloud nucleation mechanism in the presence of certain naturally occurring aerosols).

      But neither mechanism has as yet been empirically verified and quantified in our atmosphere or under reproducible, controlled conditions simulating our atmosphere.

      Max

    • tempterrain | February 22, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Reply
      Thank you, Myrrh, for confirming my argument! Anyone else like to contribute?

      It’s a pleasure. I look forward to the day when those claiming the AGWScienceFiction’s The Greenhouse Effect exists have the nous to engage with what I am trying to tell here..

      PS are you the one who claimed that air should form separate layers of Oxygen , Nitrogen etc? Never mind that it obviously doesn’t you were arguing it should.

      Tut, tut, no it was not I and no I am not arguing it should…

      Any chance that you’ll deal with the questions I’ve asked of you?

      Why are you avoiding providing any empirical show and tell of how carbon dioxide drives temperatures? Unless you can produce such, what should be basic physics if your Greenhouse Effect is real, then you’re merely flapping your lips. Where’s the science? Why do every single one of you claiming it exists refuse to provide anything to back up your claim?

      You’re avoiding it because it doesn’t exist. You’re only fooling yourself because we can see that you’re avoiding this because there is no science to back your claim.

      A consensus of, heck, what exactly are you since you’re clearly not scientists?

    • I seem to remember Judith claiming she’d seen off the skydragons, their arguments being totally discredited etc. Yes, on the latter, but I don’t think so on the former.
      There are those who say that they agree with the Physics of the GH effect but, for whatever reason, don’t believe that increasing GH gas concentrations is any cause for concern. Why isn’t it them, instead of me, telling the skydragaons they are talking nonsense? Are they considered to be some kind of ally , needing to be kept onside?

    • tempterrain

      This thread is discussing the apparent failure of the IPCC GCMs to make reasonable projections of our planet’s climate with expected GH warming (the estimates have all been way too high).

      Don’t know what this has to do with “skydragons”.

      Do you think they were part of the cause for the model failures?

      Max

    • Captain Kangaroo

      Come on Judy – give it a break. Afraid of being sued by a recalcitrant redneck like spring..?

    • Captain Kangaroo

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      I have argued with all of these people – wagathon, spring.., stefanthecrier, Doug, etc. As much as with you TT or the totally off the wall blah blah. Well not so much springer, stefan and Doug. I tend to just moderately amuse myself with the these. You obviously missed the discussion with stefan about CO2 causing baldness and sterility. What else can you do with totally off the with the fairies craziness?

      Nor do I imagine that, ipso facto, increasing CO2 emissions is a good idea.

      The reality remains that the world is not warming for decades hence. So I guess I know who’s winning this debate.

    • Captain Kangaroo

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      Forgot one spring.. Please note that names have been changed to protect recalcitrant rednecks.

      I have argued with all of these people – wagathon, spring.., stefanthecrier, Doug, etc. As much as with you TT or the totally off the wall blah blah. Well not so much spring.., stefan and Doug. I tend to just moderately amuse myself with the these. You obviously missed the discussion with stefan about CO2 causing baldness and sterility. What else can you do with totally off the with the fairies craziness?

      Nor do I imagine that, ipso facto, increasing CO2 emissions is a good idea.

      The reality remains that the world is not warming for decades hence. So I guess I know who’s winning this debate.

    • the estimates have all been way too high

      Well , yes, they’ve been above zero which is way too high for you and the skydragons.

      Model failures? If you don’t believe the GH effect even exists then what is the point in any further discussion, especially on the finer points, of radiation transfer models.

      Judith has come down strongly against the dragons previously and its high time she did it again.

    • Captain Kangaroo

      The estimates have been way, way too high. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/01/22/1212471110.abstract

    • Captain Kangaroo,

      The authors in your link write:
      “The underlying net anthropogenic warming rate in the industrial era is found to have been steady since 1910 at 0.07–0.08 °C/decade,”

      So in the last 100 years that works out at 0.7 -0.8 deg C according to my arithmetic.

      It doesn’t sound much different from what the IPCC are saying. But you’re OK with this estimate? I’m guessing so, as you have quoted the link, but I doubt if you’ll find much support from the other so-called “sceptics” on this blog.

    • Captain Kangaroo

      ‘After reviewing evidence in both the latest global data (HadCRUT4) and the longest instrumental record, Central England Temperature, a revised picture is emerging that gives a consistent attribution for each multidecadal episode of warming and cooling in recent history, and suggests that the anthropogenic global warming trends might have been overestimated by a factor of two in the second half of the 20th century.’

      So we will expect that 0.08 degrees C/decade to continue into the future? I think it is probably overstated. But still – plenty of time for responses on things we should be doing anyway – innovation, heath, education, development – rather than worrying about a maybe problem sometime in the future. 1.5 degrees C by the end of the century is looking quite dodgy.

      The world is not warming for a decade or so. But the important thing is – you lose.

    • Captain Kangaroo

      Oh – I’m not a sceptic – but you are a space cadet. You are fighting battles against some declared enemy but lack the inclination to seek truth or the ability to process it when you get hit over the head with it time and time again. Odd is it not?

    • tempterrain

      The model estimates have been “way too high” in comparison with the actual physical data.

      Hansen’s model projected warming at 0.33C per decade in 1998.

      Actual was half of this at 0.16C per decade

      Why?

      Duh!

      He fed in a 2xCO climate sensitivity into his model that was 2x too high.

      IPCC TAR projected warming of 0.225C+/-0.075C per decade

      Actual warming was (oops!) a slight cooling instead.

      Why?

      IPCC models underestimated natural factors and fed in a 2xCO climate sensitivity that was 2x too high.

      Recent estimates based (at least partially) on actual observations rather than simply model simulations show a 2xCO2 CS that is half of previous estimates.

      See the pattern here, tempterrain?

      That’s what I meant by “way too high” = exaggerated by a factor of 2:1.

      Hope this clarifies it for you.

      Max

    • tempterrain

      You write to the Chief:

      The authors in your link write:

      “The underlying net anthropogenic warming rate in the industrial era is found to have been steady since 1910 at 0.07–0.08 °C/decade,”

      So in the last 100 years that works out at 0.7 -0.8 deg C according to my arithmetic.

      Agree with your arithmetic – let’s take the average of 0.75 deg C from 1910 to 2010.

      What 2xCO2 equilibrium climate sensitivity does this correspond to?

      CO2 was at a bit more than 290 ppmv in 1910 and 307 ppmv in 1940 (both estimated from ice core data) and at 390 ppmv (Mauna Loa) in 2010.

      Total warming:
      1910-2010 = 0.75C
      1910-1940 = 0.51C
      1940-2010 = 0.53C
      Cooling cycle:
      1940-1970 = 0.75-0.53-0.51 = -0.29C

      IPCC AR4 estimate: total anthro forcing ~ CO2 forcing

      Let’s assume a 2xCO2 transient temperature response (TTR) = 1.2C
      Net anthro warming (= CO2 warming)
      1910-1940 = 1.2*ln(307/290) / ln(2) = 0.10C
      Natural warming, 1910-1940 = 0.51 – 0.10 = 0.41C

      Natural warming, 1970-2010 = 30% of total = 0.3*0.53 = 0.16C
      Net anthro warming, 1970-2010 (= CO2 warming) = 0.53 – 0.16 = 0.37C

      Totals
      Cooling: -0.29C
      Natural warming = 0.41 + 0.16 = 0.57C
      Net anthro warming (= CO2 warming) = 0.37 + 0.10 = 0.47C

      2xCO2 TTR = 0.47 * ln(2) / ln(390/290) = 1.1C

      In pipeline:
      IPCC estimate (AR4) with a 2xCO2 ECS of 3.2C = 0.6C
      At ~half this 2xCO2 ECS = 0.3C

      2xCO2 ECS = 1.1 + 0.3 = 1.4C

      So this overall warming would translate into a 2xCO2 equilibrium climate response of 1.4C (or close to the latest estimates and around half of earlier IPCC AR4 estimates).

      Makes sense to me.

      Max

    • Captain Kangaroo, aka Chief Hydrologist.

      If you have to claim you’ve won then you’ve probably lost badly, I think that’s known as Darth’s Law.

      “World is not warming for decades hence”. There is something known as the future tense which uses “will” instead of “is”. Just letting you know that’s the normal usage of English. That sounds like a prediction to me rather than your claimed “reality”. We’ll just have to see won’t we?

      The question raised by the authors you refer to, is whether to consider AGW started in 1910 or 1970. As they say if you take 1910 the answer is about half of what is is if you start with 1970. Is that anything really new? You say 0.08 deC is overstated. How low would you like it? I’m sure you can get an even lower answer if you choose the start year carefully.

    • Max,

      If it makes sense to you its probably wrong!

      http://s179.beta.photobucket.com/user/DocMartyn/media/LNCO2vstemp.jpg.html

      Doc Martyn has shown empirical evidence for CS being 2.2 degC as measured on a year to year basis. So if we allow for thermal inertia, the Earth takes a time to reach equilibrium, then this is quite consistent with the IPCC’s figure of 3 deg C

      It could be argued that there are other factors involved besides CO2. But some of them , like particulates cause cooling, so it would seem reasonable, and I think the IPCC do make the same point that the net effect of all other factors combined is very small.

    • Peter, grammar snark is almost always a loser. This is a living language. Live with it.
      =========

    • Captain Kangaroo

      I can neither confirm nor deny my true identity. It is a close held secret of the climate war known only to a cowgirl with a lasso.

      I have cautioned you before against thinking that your silly comments on style and now grammar mean much to me. It is not as if I look to you as an exemplar of proper form or elegant prose.

      It is not warming now and for decades hence because of conditions in the Pacific especially. ‘Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.’ http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703 It is so and the evidence is overwhelmingly there.

      Here is the quote again fprm the abstract. ‘After reviewing evidence in both the latest global data (HadCRUT4) and the longest instrumental record, Central England Temperature, a revised picture is emerging that gives a consistent attribution for each multidecadal episode of warming and cooling in recent history, and suggests that the anthropogenic global warming trends might have been overestimated by a factor of two in the second half of the 20th century.. This quite evidently has nothing to do with 1910 despite your bizarre rationalizations.

    • tempterrain

      Don’t know about Doc Martyn’s arithmetic and your upward adjustment of his estimate (and don’t really care all that much).

      What I do know is that most recent estimates of 2xCO2 ECS are around 1.5 to 1.7C (at equilibrium, of course). These are based (primarily) on actual physical observations, rather than simply GCMs (as were the earlier AR4 model predictions), so I’d give them higher confidence. Only open (or doubtful) remaining part is the assumed impact of natural forcing. factors, which are most likely underestimated (since only direct solar irradiance is taken as the total solar forcing).

      At any rate, the figures you gave me check out pretty well with the ECS of 1.5C (as I showed you).

      So it looks like this is a pretty good estimate, until something better (i.e. a figure based entirely on empirical evidence) comes along.

      And the good news, tempterrain, is that this means you no longer have to worry about potentially catastrophic warming from AGW (the CAGW premise, as outlined by IPCC in AR4).

      So, rejoice! We are saved!

      Max

  52. Steven Mosher | February 22, 2013 at 9:49 pm |Delusional. There is no one tiny fact nor one big fact that can unravel what we know about the climate: GHGs warm the planet, they do not cool it.

    Certainly the real greenhouse gases nitrogen and oxygen which make up around 98% of the atmosphere – this heavy voluminous thermal blanket keeps the Earth from going to the extremes of heat and cold, as does the Moon, and prevents the heat from the surface heated by the radiant heat direct from the Sun from escaping too quickly – without these greenhouse gases our Earth would be -18°C, with them but without water, the temps would be 67°C.

    AGWScienceFiction’s giving the description of thermal blanket to a trace gas is quite frankly, idiotic. It’s the great, heavy real gas blanket of nitrogen and oxygen weighing a ton on your shoulders which reduces heat loss to 67°C, the Water Cycle cools this down to 15°C.

    A clever con man has bamboozled you, by taking out the water cycle and the real gas role of nitrogen and oxygen under gravity.

    You can believe in their AGWSF Greenhouse Effect manufactured science fraud illusion if you want, but you’re believing in something that is physically impossible – a world without a real gas atmosphere and without the Water Cycle for a start. You can hardly expect those that do know real basic physics to take you seriously.

    However much you and your ilk bluster.

  53. This post offers clear idea designed for the new
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