Congressional Hearing on Policy-Relevant Climate Issues in Context

by Judith Curry

The Hearing on Policy-Relevant Climate Issues in Context is now beginning.

The link to the Hearing is [here], it is being webcast live (the webcast will be archived).

I was asked to respond to the following three questions:

•  Summarize your views on the most important policy-relevant climate science issues facing decision-makers. What are the key areas of agreement and disagreement? What is the state of the science and associated strengths and weaknesses on key policy relevant issues, such as attribution, modeling and observations, and climate sensitivity?

• Describe the state of the science on the linkages between climate change and extreme weather. Include a discussion on the key uncertainties of these connections and describe how such uncertainties are treated in the public discussion of extreme weather events. What is needed to reduce misconceptions surrounding this scientific discipline?

•  Include a broad discussion of uncertainties within climate change science, specifically addressing challenges and opportunities related to decision-making under uncertainty, including how such uncertainties are conveyed to policymakers and the public.

A daunting assignment.  The complete text of my testimony can be found [curry testimony 2013 Il].

My verbal testimony is provided below (limited to 5 minutes).

JC’s verbal testimony

I would like to thank the Subcommittee for the opportunity to offer testimony this morning. My name is Judith Curry, I’m Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech. For the past 30 years, I’ve conducted research on topics that include climate feedback processes in the Arctic, the role of clouds and aerosols in the climate system, and the impact of climate change on hurricanes.

As President of a small company Climate Forecast Applications Network, I have worked with decision makers on climate impact assessments and using short-term climate forecasts to support adaptive management.

I’m also proprietor of the weblog Climate Etc. For the past several years, I’ve been promoting dialogue across the full spectrum of beliefs and opinion on the climate debate. I’ve learned about the complex reasons that intelligent, educated and well-informed people disagree on the subject of climate change, as well as tactics used by both sides to try to gain political advantage in the debate.

Through my company, I’ve learned about the complexity of different decisions that depend on weather and climate information. I’ve learned the importance of careful determination and communication of forecast uncertainty, and the added challenges associated with predicting extreme weather events. I have found that the worst prediction outcome is a prediction issued with a high level of confidence that turns out to be wrong; a close second is missing the possibility of an extreme event.

If all other things remain equal, it is clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet. However the real difficulty is that nothing remains equal, and reliable prediction of the impact of carbon dioxide on the climate requires that we better understand natural climate variability.

My written testimony summarizes the evidence for, and against, the hypothesis that humans are playing a dominant role in global warming. I’ll make no attempt to summarize this evidence in my brief comments this morning.  I will state that there are major uncertainties in many of the key observational data sets, particularly before 1980. There are also major uncertainties in climate models, particularly with regards to the treatments of clouds and the multidecadal ocean oscillations.

The prospect of increased frequency or severity of extreme weather in a warmer climate is potentially the most serious near term impact of climate change. A recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found limited observational evidence for worsening of most types of extreme weather events. Attempts to determine the role of global warming in extreme weather events is complicated by the rarity of these events and also by their dependence on natural weather and climate regimes that are simulated poorly by climate models.

Given these uncertainties, there would seem to be plenty of scope for disagreement among scientists. Nevertheless, the consensus about dangerous anthropogenic climate change is portrayed as nearly total among climate scientists. Further, the consensus has been endorsed by all of the relevant national and international science academies and scientific societies.

I have been trying to understand how there can be such a strong consensus given these uncertainties. How to reason about uncertainties in the complex climate system is neither simple nor obvious. Scientific debates involve controversies over the value and importance of particular classes of evidence, failure to account for indeterminacy and ignorance, as well as disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for assessing the evidence.

For the past three years, I’ve been working towards understanding the dynamics of uncertainty at the climate science-policy interface. This research has led me to question whether these dynamics are operating in a manner that is healthy for either the science or the policy process.

The climate community has worked for more than 20 years to establish a scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change. The IPCC’s consensus building process played a useful role in the early synthesis of the scientific knowledge about dangerous anthropogenic climate change. However, I have argued that the ongoing scientific consensus seeking process has had the unintended consequence of oversimplifying both the problem and its solutions, introducing biases into the both the science and related decision making processes.

When uncertainty is not well characterized and there is concern about ‘unknown unknowns,’ there is increasing danger of getting the wrong answer and optimizing for the wrong thing. I have argued in favor of abandoning the scientific consensus seeking approach in favor of open debate and discussion of a broad range of policy options on the issues surrounding climate change.

There are frameworks for decision making under deep uncertainty that accept uncertainty and dissent as key elements of the decision making process. Rather than choosing an optimal policy based on a scientific consensus, decision makers can design robust and flexible policy strategies that are more transparent and democratic, and avoid the hubris of pretending to know what will happen in the future.

The politicization of the climate change issue presents daunting challenges to climate science and scientists.

I would like to close with the reminder that uncertainty about the future climate is a two-edged sword. There are two situations to avoid:  i) acting on the basis of a highly confident statement about the future that turns out to be wrong; and ii) missing the possibility of an extreme, catastrophic outcome. Avoiding both of these situations requires much deeper and better assessment of uncertainties and areas of ignorance, as well as creating a broader range of future scenarios than is currently provided by climate models.

This concludes my testimony.

JC comments:  the text of this post was prepared prior to the start of the hearing, I am pushing the ‘publish’ button right as the hearing starts.

636 responses to “Congressional Hearing on Policy-Relevant Climate Issues in Context

  1. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Please let me get this thread off to a good start, by saying as one citizen to another — without regard for details of scientific opinion — that *ALL* of us on Climate Etc greatly respect your efforts and your service, and we wish every success for you, and we are appreciative of, and grateful for, the excellent forum Climate Etc that your efforts have sustained.

    Our best wishes go forth to you, Judith Curry!

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    • Well said, Fan.

      • Judith, you said in your testimony that there is no doubt that adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will result in warming.

        Yet you then go on to introduce your joker of “uncertainty”. Sorry Judith but that is just not good enough.

        Its quite simple, if your hypothesis cannot explain the pause, then it does not explain the cause.

        There is no way round that fact.

        “Uncertainty” may be a useful hand waving tool but it is a political tool not a scientific tool.

        If you cant explain the pause, you can’t explain the cause Judith.

        Are you doing science or are you doing politics? If you are doing science then explain the pause in warming within the framework of your GHE hypothesis.

        Thank you

        W. R. Pratt

      • This Will Pratt character lecturing a professor on what constitutes science is rich considering the absurdity of his own forays into science http://spinonthat.com/CO2.html
        Another entry into the field guide to climate clowns

      • If all other things remain equal, it is clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet

        It’s funny how you can completely change the meaning of a quote by leaving out the context.
        Don’t be such a prat, Pratt!

      • Come on you couple of sops, you can do better than that.
        Explain the pause within the frame work of your GHE hypothesis.

        “Uncertainties” does not cut it.

      • “If all other things remain equal, it is clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet”

        So other than our supposed contribution to atmospheric CO2 content, what other specific “things” have failed to remain equal?

        And please, do not reply with the word “uncertainties”.

      • However the real difficulty is that nothing remains equal
        Does that answer your question?
        There are no specifics.
        Nothing remains equal.
        Nothing ever does.

      • More hand waving.

        Judith,

        if you cannot explain the pause in warming within the framework of your CO2 GHE hypothesis, then you cannot explain the cause.

        Therefore your statement to congress that “If all other things remain equal, it is clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet” is false Judith.

        Unless you can demonstrate the specific environmental conditions that have also failed to remain equal, which are directly responsible for the pause in warming, then you are speaking from a standpoint of pure fantasy and you have made a blatantly false and misleading statement to congress Judith.

        Please respond in person and not via “attacking troll” proxy Judith.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      I very rarely agree with fannie, but this I can certainly agree with.

      w.

      • I agree with fannie on this, and on his comment earlier that the AGW dogma is based on the featureless solar surface that is observed at long wavelengths, not on the increasingly violent solar surface that NASA sees at shorter wavelengths:

        http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/light-wavelengths.html

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Thank you, omanuel, for the link to that beautiful NASA web page that so nicely complements the beautiful NASA video that was discussed in an earlier thread.

        Perhaps when all is said and done, there is not all that much disagreement here on Climate Etc, but rather folks have different habits in thinking about local-scales-versus-global-scales, decades-versus-millennia-of-time, climate-versus-weather, thermodynamics-versus-Newtonian-dynamics, entropy-versus-chemistry, and monetary-value-versus-moral-value.

        That unity-in-diversity was the (serious) underlying point of my (jocular) earlier post Breaking News: Chief Hydrologist and James Hansen both correct!
        Anthony Watts/WUWT shows the path forward !!!
        .

        Sincere best wishes — without regard for differences of scientific opinion — are extended to all the Climate Etc citizenry!

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      • Chief Hydrologist

        Seriously Judith – did I get moderated for discussing the underlying psychopathology of the AGW space cadet? This seems to be a critical point. It goes to the core of good faith in an open and responsive discourse and evolving this into more rational and productive paths. This is not the intent of the space cadets. Their intent is to promulgate a core of simplistic ideas, to demonise the other, to score points rather than understand climate science or reflect on their objectives and methods. This is the groupthink psychopathology without doubt. It is a game of partisans in the climate war of narratives superficially in the objective idiom of science.

        Dishonesty and deceit appears to be the sine qua non of climate discourse. Regardless of the complexities of the science, the substantial unknowns, the limits of maths and physics – it all comes back to a simplified narrative. There is no room for subtlety and curiosity even in forums such as this. We are infested by space cadets with little understanding, a certainty of high moral purpose and a pre-conceived agenda. Science is lost in the propaganda battles of the climate war. A dangerous game for either side to play.

        It is doubly dangerous when emergent climate patterns are predicated on non-linear responses – and where these patterns of atmospheric and ocean variability lead to negligible warming over a decade to 3 more. As the simplistic global warming narrative implodes – it seems possible that we will lose the impetus for carbon mitigation for a generation at least just when it is most critical.

        My specific response was about FOMBS – merely pointing out the specific misdirections – the sleight of hand and the redefinition of terms that are the tactics of partisans rather than discourse in good faith.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/24/congressional-hearing-rescheduled-2/#comment-315478

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Chief Hydrologist complains about  “the psychopathology of the AGW space cadet”

        So, you’re sounding a \begin{array}{c}\rule{1pt}{1pt}\\[-0.5ex]\rule{1pt}{1pt}\ \text{\sffamily\bfseries RED ALERT}\ \rule{1pt}{1pt}\\[-2ex]\rule{1pt}{1pt}\end{array} … eh Chief Hydrologist?

        .
        Or is it just a “watermelon” alert?

        Heck, Captain Picard knows how to handle those!

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      • Chief Hydrologist

        So you are suggesting 20 degree C rise from doubling of CO2? Amusing. Another game – another misdirection.

        The watermelon is green on the outside and red on the inside – so I really don’t know what your obscure reference means.

        I assure you that my career is entirely green and my politics blue.

      • I agree with the words uttered by FOMD in the first comment, but I find it impossible to reconcile them with the sneering, jeering, hyperventilating FOMD who insults so many of us (and who is virtually never seen to engage in the kind of thoughtful, fair-minded dialogue pretended to in his first comment here).

        If FOMD were really to undergo such a transformation of character, I’d be among the first with warm applause. Alas, other comments from the Fan creature already demonstrate that nothing has changed. That one comment was simply the usual Tartuffery from FOMD.

    • Steven Mosher

      you are a good Gwiyomi player

    • Scott Basinger

      Who are you and what have you done with Fan?

    • Fan,

      +!

      Fantastic some from you. I didn’t think you had it in you.

    • Fan’s the man, well said.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse | April 25, 2013 at 10:15 am |

      Except that misses the entire point of the hearing, in the end.

      The point is, Congress is accepting the reality of AGW, is taking it seriously, wants a way to address Uncertainty in AGW policy, which it plans to make a real thing, and is getting advice from, frankly, the inadequately equipped.

      Lomborg came closest, but Lomborg expects Socialized Innovation to work in the USA, the home of the independent inventor, the private enterprise patent holder, the Edison and the Graham Bell and the two guys who put together a computer in their garage.

      If you want innovation to produce palatable alternatives to rationing and command and control regulations and being punished for emitting CO2E by the EPA, and you are American, then you must believe in the power of the Market to bring about invention.

      And that Market power resides in the high price placed by a public that owns the CO2E renewing Carbon Cycle as expressed in fees for its use and dividends to every pocket.

  2. “I have been trying to understand how there can be such a strong consensus given these uncertainties” – JC

    Maybe genetics will help you to understand this Judith.

    There is a very strong concensus on genetic inheritence – yet there are massive uncertainties about what goes on at the molecular level.

    There is nothing terribly special about the situation wrt climate.

    • “I have been trying to understand how there can be such a strong consensus given these uncertainties”

      Well, there’s this thing called politics…

      Andrew

    • Steven Mosher

      The only problem with the analogy is that the most important disagreement in climate science is about what happens at the systematic level rather than the molecular level. HITRAN isnt the locus of much debate, but have a look at a systematic metric like sensitivity and you get ideas all over the map.
      So, nice try, perhaps another analogy will be more fitting

      • Mosh

        What happens at the “molecular level” (IR absorption by GHGs, incl. CO2) is accepted scientific knowledge today, having been corroborated by empirical evidence obtained from reproducible experimentation. IOE a GH mechanism has been shown empirically to exist.

        What happens at the “systematic level” (impact of added GHGs, incl. CO2, on our climate system) is, indeed, where the “disagreement in climate science is all about”, as you write.

        And, to beat on a drum that Jim Cripwell has already has already pounded repeatedly, this is because there is no empirical evidence, based on actual real-time physical observations or reproducible experimentation to validate the hypothesis that this mechanism will have a significant impact on global temperature.

        Yet the entire CAGW premise, as outlined by IPCC in detail in its AR4 report (and earlier reports), is based on this uncorroborated hypothesis.

        The real question that must be settled before any policy actions are taken to address the postulated threat from human-induced global warming is, “is the 2xCO2 ECS around 3C, as IPCC claims based on model predictions (in which case there could be an AGW problem if CO2 levels increase significantly) or closer to 0 (in which case there is no real problem)?”.

        This is where climate research should be addressing its attention (but, unfortunately, it isn’t, for some strange reason). Why do you think this is?

        Max

      • And here I thought a group hug was going to break out.

      • Mosh

        I just asked you a question, namely why is most of the climate research effort not going into answering the basic question about the magnitude of 2xCO2 ECS (and, hence the validity of the CAGW threat, as outlined by IPCC in AR4)?

        Excuses and rationalizations are given that this is too difficult, or even that it is impossible – but I do not accept these; if we are able to send robots to Mars, we sure as hell can get an empirical handle on the impact of added CO2 on our planet’s global temperature.

        So I believe that the real reason that this is not the principal effort of climate research is because the people in charge are afraid of what this research will show. It is basically a fear of the “unknown” The 3C ECS (and, hence, the CAGW hypothesis) could be falsified by such research.

        My logic: Up until now, those pushing for “climate initiatives” feel they have the upper hand, because they can use the climate models plus reports of shrinking ice, rising sea levels, etc. as evidence of CAGW, carefully controlling and extrapolating these data to conjure up scary stories for the future if CO2 is not curtailed, even though in reality it is only evidence of a warming world without providing any evidence for rising CO2 levels as the cause.

        So that’s what I think.

        But what do YOU think? Why do you think there is so little effort to get empirical evidence to corroborate or falsify the current 2xCO2 ECS estimates?

        Max

      • Steven Mosher

        “But what do YOU think? Why do you think there is so little effort to get empirical evidence to corroborate or falsify the current 2xCO2 ECS estimates?”

        there is a world wide effort. The whole world is running the experiment.
        Sadly even the experiment we are running will only be one experiment. Moreover, we won’t hold all other things constant while we double c02.
        The sun has a mind of its own as do volcanos. Dust, methane, soot, ozone, all other variables will not be held constant. So when we hit 560 ppm and have doubled from pre industrial there is will still be the logical case: A) we didnt hold all other variables constant while we doubled c02
        B) we only did one experiment and won’t be able to rule out unicorns.
        Since we cannot do a controlled experiment and since we can’t repeat the experiment there will still be those who argue on purely skeptical grounds that we still have no evidence. That we still haven’t measured. And if it warms 2C as opposed to 3C there will be those who argue that the science is falsified because 3C was predicted or if we hit 6C I suppose they will have the same argument.

        Next, the 2xC02 ECS is a most unfortunate metric. It’s a politicized metric. There has been plenty of empirical study focused on figuring
        that doubling c02 from 280 to 560 gets us 3.7 more watts.
        So, focus on lambda instead. That means your question is why hasnt
        there been more empirical work on figuring out delta C / delta F.

        that argument has been made before. Essentially, since paleo work has the best chance of reducing uncertainty in this it should get waay more money than modelling. As a former modeler of stuff I agree.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse
        Beth Cooper waxes poetic:

        In Nature uncertainty prevails,
        no good feeling sensitive
        about it. Sometimes the
        paleo climate record
        says hot …
        … then it’s not.

        FOMD completes the verse:

            … but ice-cores a’plenty,
            … say the forcing is TWENTY.

        That is, doubling CO2 yields 20 C of polar warming … minimum!

        Those *ARE* the pure-paleo, pure-observation, no-model-fiddling numbers, eh Steven Mosher?

        Yikes.

        These Vatican folks are tackling a mighty big job.

        It’s good that they’re tough-minded, foresighted, and morally focused, eh Steve?

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      • Mosh

        “The whole world is running the experiment”

        Wrong answer.

        Unless you are willing to add:

        “and we’ll have to wait until we have the answers from this experiment before we think about undertaking any actions”

        I don’t know about you, but many people are not willing to wait 100 years or so for answers to clear up whether there even is a problem or not. They’ve been told (based on some model work) that there IS a problem, but there is no empirical scientific evidence to support this notion.

        Those who posit that there is one, which requires remedial action, have to show empirical evidence that they know what the hell they are talking about – BEFORE they request any action be taken.

        It’s just that simple, Mosh.

        Otherwise we’ll be running the big long-term experiment in the sky, as you suggest.

        Frankly, this would be OK with me because I have concluded, based on testimony by our hostess before an earlier congressional committee, that

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

        So let’s clear up the data first and forget about calls for action.

        Max

      • Fan

        a 2xCO2 forcing of 20C?

        Come back down to planet Earth, Fanny. You’re going orbital.

        Max

      • You really need to trace the development of HITRAN over the past few decades. It really only matured in the past 10 years.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        manacker asks  “Fan, a 2xCO2 forcing of 20C?”

        Manacker, why not look at the Temp/CO2 data yerself.

        Ignore the “warmist” handwaving.

        Ignore the “skeptical” quibbling.

        Just compute the sensitivity … for yourself.

        What number do you get, manacker?

        Red alert?

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      • Yeah. Red alert.

      • Aw, c’mon, Fanny.

        You dust off the old ice core CO2/ temperature curve going back several hundred thousand years, which on closer examination shows

        – CO2 lags temperature by several centuries, so cannot be the driver
        – several periods when CO2 is higher then normal and temperature starts to decline
        – several periods when CO2 is lower than normal and temperature begins to rise

        Ouch!

        Sorry, Fanny, NO SALE.

        Max

      • Steven,

        so at the particulate/molecular level, there are no real mysteries about cloud formation?? That’s great news for the climate modellers.

        And wrt genetics there’s plenty of debate about what’s going on at the gene level too.

        Heck, there’s even debate about what is a ‘gene’!!

        Genetics is a great analogy for Judith, who seems awfully naive about the reality of uncertainty, ie that there are bucket loads of it in a variety of other feilds. Climate is nothing special.

      • Mosh, why not calculate lambda from the observed state, put delta T and 400ppm CO2 into the equation and find lambda as observed

      • “Ouch!”

        Quit being a cry-baby Manacker, and start looking at the recent research data on ice core dating:

        http://www.climatecentral.org/news/antarctic-ice-bubbles-may-solve-carbon-temperature-paradox-15663

        There is no lag of CO2 wrt temperature.

        The CO2 is measured in the gas bubbles and the dating was measured by the ice. However, the bubbles didn’t sink as much as the ice and most of the historical records had a bias built in to the numbers.

        “- CO2 lags temperature by several centuries, so cannot be the driver
        – several periods when CO2 is higher then normal and temperature starts to decline
        – several periods when CO2 is lower than normal and temperature begins to rise”

        Wrong!

      • “I think they’ve taken a big step toward getting this right”

        Yes, it’s a step toward getting right. What remains is that global climate shifts from warming to cooling at the CO2 concentration maxima, and from cooling to warming at the CO2 minima. This follows simply from any CO2/T correlation.

      • Edim,

        “This follows simply from any CO2/T correlation.”

        OK, try with all your might to write down the governing equation.

        If you can’t, you fail.

      • You fail Edim. What happens with the earth’s climate is that it inhabits this metastable bonded region between the “snowball earth” minimum and the interglacial maximum.

        The metastability is promoted by the non-condensing CO2 concentration which can push the temperatures up and down. This is a moderate positive feedback (not runaway) that will drag the water vapor and albedo changes along with it.

        Read this “tidy” explanation that I put together:

        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/climate-sensitivity-and-33c-discrepancy.html

      • Steven Mosher

        manaker:

        ‘Unless you are willing to add:

        “and we’ll have to wait until we have the answers from this experiment before we think about undertaking any actions”

        I don’t know about you, but many people are not willing to wait 100 years or so for answers to clear up whether there even is a problem or not. They’ve been told (based on some model work) that there IS a problem, but there is no empirical scientific evidence to support this notion.

        Those who posit that there is one, which requires remedial action, have to show empirical evidence that they know what the hell they are talking about – BEFORE they request any action be taken.

        It’s just that simple, Mosh.

        ###########################

        you havent understood what I said. Maybe I was unclear.

        We are performing the experiment. We are attempting to double C02 from 280 to 560ppm. I think we can agree on that.

        My observation is this: When we get to 560ppm there will still be people like you and Cripwell who will make the following arguments. Let’s suppose, that we get to 560 ppm. and lets suppose that the anomaly is
        3C above the pre industrial levels. Lets suppose the arctic is ice free in
        the summer. lets suppose the sea level has gone up by a meter.
        In short, lets assume that things end up as predicted. Here is what you will argue

        1. We cannot conclude that a doubling leads to 3C

        And why will you make that argument here is what you will argue.

        A) its been warmer in the past.
        B) the experiment didnt control other variables
        C) its only one experiment
        D) it could be something else.

        My argument has nothing to do with taking action or not taking action. My argument has to do with the structure and style of skeptical arguments. They are arguments or positions you WILL TAKE regardless of the outcome of the experiment. What this means is that no amount of evidence will convince you. You will always have these arguments at your disposal.

        So we are doing the experiment. We are collecting observations. One group of folks are fairly certain about how this experiment will turn out and they think it is risky. There is another group of people, like you, who might admit that we are adding C02 to the atmosphere, but no amount of future warming, not 1C, not 2C, not 3C or 6C will make them give up their skeptical arguments. No facts will change their mind. They will always be able to raise doubt and they will raise doubt. They will never stop attacking the notion of a global temperature even if the ice all melts. No matter what extreme weather happens they will always find a storm from the past that was worse. No matter how high the sea level rises, they will question the data. No matter how much more paleo work is done they will continue to attack Mann’s obvious mistakes. They will argue that it is something else, some unknown process of the sun. They will still argue that because predictions were not perfect that the science isnt settled. When 100% of all scientists agree, they will say that science isnt settled by consensus.. put another way.. Make every prediction of James Hansen come true and you will deny that he was right. Because you can. Not because it is rational, you will say he was wrong, even if every one of his predictions comes true. And you will do this because you can and no fact will change the words that can come out of your mouth.

      • +1 Mosh,

        The thing the fake skeptics also forget is that if faced with a clear piece of evidence that invalidates the theory, a real scientist will allow the theory to fall apart. True scientists are merciless in that regard.

        The whole problem with the AGW skeptical view is that the scientists have not found any counter-evidence that is even remotely compelling.

        So manacker continues to make stuff up.

      • Mosher,

        We are performing the experiment. We are attempting to double C02 from 280 to 560ppm. I think we can agree on that.

        Then surely we can agree that if I do a rain dance I am attempting to appeal to the rain god, and if I time it right the result of the “experiment” should make me credible in the eyes of any reasonable person. Right?

      • yguy, if it usually rained following your rain dances, I would suspect you listen to weather forecasts.

        Mosher is right. People will find ways to deny what they don’t want to believe.

      • yguy, if it usually rained following your rain dances,

        Who suggested doing more than one?

        I would suspect you listen to weather forecasts.

        So the credibility of climatologists rests on their lack of competitors. Have I got that about right?

    • Tom G(ologist)

      Michael – there is not so much a consensus about genetic inheritance as there is incontrovertible EVIDENCE for it. There is precious little evidence to support most of hte claims of CAGW soa consensus is necessary to carry weight. No-one ever reads a statement that 97% of geneticists concur that sickle cell anaemia is a congenital condition prevalent in sub-Saharan African populations – and on 3% of geneticists disagree. Consensus just doesn’t enter into it.

      I find that your ‘helpful analogy’ is neither instructive nor an appropriate analogy.

      • > This international consensus statement provides the state of genetic testing for the channelopathies and cardiomyopathies. It summarizes the opinion of the international writing group members based on their own experience and on a general review of the literature with respect to the use and role of genetic testing for these potentially heritable cardiac conditions.

        http://europace.oxfordjournals.org/content/13/8/1077.full

      • No-one ever reads a statement that 97% of geneticists concur that sickle cell anaemia is a congenital condition prevalent in sub-Saharan African populations – and on 3% of geneticists disagree. Consensus just doesn’t enter into it.

        But that’s presumably because no-one is actually challenging the consensus on that particular issue, it doesn’t mean the notion of scientific consensus itself is meaningless.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘When using or considering the guidance from this document, it is important to remember that there are no absolutes governing many clinical situations. The final judgment regarding care of a particular patient must be made by the health care provider and the patient in light of all relevant circumstances. Recommendations are based on consensus of the writing group following the Heart Rhythm Society’s established consensus process. It is recognized that consensus does not mean unanimous agreement among all writing group members. We identified those aspects of genetic testing for which a true consensus could be found. Surveys of the entire writing group were used. The authors received an agreement that was equal to or greater than 84% on all recommendations; most recommendations received agreement of 94% or higher. This statement is directed to all healthcare professionals who are involved with genetic testing for the channelopathies and cardiomyopathies. All members of this document-writing group provided disclosure statements of all relationships that might present real or perceptible conflicts of interest. Disclosures for the members of the task force are published in the Appendix section.”

        Hmm. lets rewrite that.

        When using or considering the guidance from this document, it is important to remember that there are no absolutes governing many policy situations. The final judgment regarding policy of a particular government must be made by the local politician and the governed in light of all relevant circumstances. Recommendations are based on consensus of the writing group following the IPCC’s ad hoc consensus process. It is recognized that consensus does not mean unanimous agreement among all writing group members. We identified those aspects of climate science for which a true consensus could be formed. Surveys of the entire writing group were not used. No members of this document-writing group provided disclosure statements of all relationships that might present real or perceptible conflicts of interest. Disclosures for the members of the task force are not published.

      • Expert Consensus Recommendations

        Genetic counseling is recommended for all patients and relatives with the familial heart diseases detailed in this document and should include discussion of the risks, benefits, and options available for clinical testing and/or genetic testing.

        Treatment decisions should not rely solely on his/her genetic test result but should be based on an individual’s comprehensive clinical evaluation.

        It can be useful for pre-genetic test counseling, genetic testing, and the interpretation of genetic test results to be performed in centers experienced in the genetic evaluation and family-based management of the heritable arrhythmia syndromes and cardiomyopathies described in this document.

      • Steven Mosher

        note that the directives are given by doctors for doctors and patients.
        And note that final authority is given to the individual doctor/patient dyad.

        Do you suppose maybe these experts understand something about how a consensus statement does more by doing less.

        Na, the rhetoric around climate consensus has been perfect and can learn nothing from other fields.. plus importing good practices from other fields would violate etiquette, which reigns supreme. damn the planet.

      • Appendix J: Sources of Disagreement Across Consensus Assessments Using the Risk of Bias Tool

        Sequence generation: Agreement was good overall. The main discrepancies were when the study described using stratification or block randomization, which would be assessed differently by different centers.

        Allocation concealment: Discrepancies were mainly introduced when components of ‘sealed, sequentially numbered, opaque envelopes’ were reported, but not the full set of three elements.

        Blinding: Some discrepancies were driven by having to combine assessments for participants/personnel and outcome assessors. If one group was blinded and the other wasn’t, the RoB assessments varied by which group was interpreted as taking precedence. The other major source of discrepancies was the interpretation of unblinded studies (or unblinded groups) with objective outcomes, or those with subjective outcomes and blinded outcome assessors.

        Incomplete outcome data: Discrepancies are largely due to different EPCs finding/using different information to make judgments.

        Selective outcome reporting: Discrepancies are likely due to the interpretation by each EPC of how strictly to require ‘matching’ of outcomes in the Methods and Results sections.

        Other sources of bias: In addressing source of funding, discrepancies were due to differences in interpretation. In addressing baseline characteristics, discrepancies were due to EPCs not finding the same information.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92301/

        No vexillologist seems to have participated in this assessment.

      • Steven Mosher

      • David Springer

        OMG that was bad, Mosher. Your stem cell to brain cell quip reminded me of George in “The Comeback”… only worse. LOL

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Comeback_(Seinfeld)#George.27s_Comeback

      • Steven Mosher,

        The IPCC provides certain guidance to policy makers, who have the actual authority whether to act or not. It does so within the remit it is given. If you want to argue against the IPCC being perfect then you can do so with someone who is claiming that it is, what I am objecting to is people shoehorning their pet peeves into discussions when they are really not relevant.

      • Tom G,

        Indeed there is a consensus about the basis – does that make it wrong?? Many skeptics seem to suggest so, with all kind of nasty insinuations made about consensus.

        And within the broad genetics consensus there is a huge range of very differing views on the mechanisms underlying that, for the reason that ‘incontrovertible EVIDENCE’ is anything but.

        You think climate is complicated?

        You should check the genetics research literature out.

      • Hope springs eternal?

    • David Springer

      Genetics doesn’t need a consensus. All it needs is Gregor Mendel.

      Write that down.

      • Mendel’s laws are governed by random dynamics ie chance and necessity,now write an evolution law for paleoclimate something the carbon climate models overlook.

      • Wow!

        Likewise, climate deosn’t need a consensus, all it needs is Svante Arrhenius.

        Write that down.

      • David Springer

        Mendel demonstrated the principles of genetic inheritance with thousands of experiments in vivo with pea plants and derived precise laws from the results.

        Where may I read about Arrhenius’ experiments in vivo (or even in vitro for that matter) demonstrating that greenhouse gases cause the earth’s surface to warm and derive laws similar to Mendel’s laws of inheritance?

        ROFLMAO

        In fact all Arrhenius did was to take someone else’s observation of lunar surface temperature through infrared astronomy and then go on to conclude the earth was warmer due to greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In fact we already knew that certain gases absorb infrared from actual experiments in vitro performed by John Tyndal 40 years earlier. Arrhenius failed to take into account water in any form. One might just as well conclude it’s the ocean that drives greenhouse warming and the atmosphere could be 14.7 psi of pure nitrogen and the earth would still be warmer than the moon. The key properties that make greenhouse gases agents of warming is that they are transparent to shortwave from the sun and opaque to longwave emitted by surfaces warmed by sunlight. Guess what, the ocean has the same property of being transparent to shortwave and opaque to longwave. It’s a greenhouse fluid and has orders of magnitude more mass and heat capacity than the atmosphere. This is saying nothing of Arrhenius failing to account for evaporation, convection, and clouds which, as it turns out, are the primary agents of surface cooling outstripping radiative cooling by a factor of nearly 2:1 on a global basis. Adding insult to injury where radiative cooling is dominant over evaporative cooling is primarily over land in high latitudes in the winter which is precisely where human agriculture and civilization in general could use warmer temperatures to its benefit.

        Thanks for playing Michael. Good thing you’re anonymous because the lesson I just delivered unto your sorry butt would be a real life embarrassment.

      • Springer, Your GHL (greenhouse liquid) hypothesis is intriguing until you note that the liquid will absorb uniformly across the IR spectrum as it saturates and broadens all the IR lines. That will turn it back into a black body, and will not differentiate IR, thus relying on the atmosphere to provide the temperature adjustment.

        Good attempt at creating more FUD, but big-time FAIL! nonetheless.

      • David, you take the cake for cluelessness.

        Arrhenius tooka bunch of empircial data (the stuff deniers keep whining about no one using), and other known physics, (ie Tyndall) and came up with a calculation for CS that wasn’t too far off our best modern attempts.

        That’s one smart cookie.

        Mendel – briliant observations. But he had not the fainest clue of the mechanisms (DNA, genes – unknown) for what he was observing. .

        Not the faintest.

        Much like you.

        So, please continue to ROFLYAO, while the rest of us look on with mild embarrassment.

      • Webster said, “That will turn it back into a black body, and will not differentiate IR, thus relying on the atmosphere to provide the temperature adjustment.”

        Correct. The oceans are nearly a perfect black body and the Atmosphere is a gray body. the Black body covers ~70.7% of the globe and the gray body covers 100% of the globe. The average energy of the black body is ~340Wm-2 which with a smaller surface area transfers that energy to the gray body producing a gray body average energy of 0.707*340=240 Wm-2.

        The area of the black body is not fixed. Sea ice variations change the effective black body radiant area, which also change the moist air envelope area or the Water Vapor Greenhouse area.

        http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~brose/page1/files/Rose_Ferreira_JClim2013.pdf

        So there are two greenhouse effects, Water vapor which is not symmetrically distributed and WMGHGs which are. Two different physics problems.

      • David Springer

        Micheal,

        You write that Arrhenius CS estimates are not far off from modern estimates.

        In other words you’re saying that climate sensitivity estimates haven’t been much improved in over 100 years. Current CS estimates from the usual ensemble of global atmosphere ocean-atmosphere coupled models have caused temperature predictions to end up being way too hot as actual global average temperature is now outside the lower 95% confidence bound of the predictions. Try to keep up with how good the modern CS estimates are holding up.

        So basically Arrhenius was just slightly more wrong about climate sensitivity than the best estimates produced 100 years later.

        Maybe you should think about what you write before you write it. With antagonists like you making own goals I need no supporters. Still ROFLMAO. Weak play is better than no play I guess so please accept my thanks for playing.

      • David, Arrhenius did realize his mistake thanks to Angstrom and revised his estimate to 1.6 (2.1 with water vapor) but never formally published his corrigenda. I hate that! There are a lot of corrigenda that never get published with the same fanfare as the original flawed papers.

        Now that scientists are beginning to wad through the all the misinformation, unsurprisingly the “average” impact of CO2 is falling into the more realistic range. Poor record keeping is never a good thing.

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope | April 26, 2013 at 9:38 am |

        Springer, Your GHL (greenhouse liquid) hypothesis is intriguing until you note that the liquid will absorb uniformly across the IR spectrum

        Straw man. I noted no such thing. The ocean is however, as CaptDallas notes, the closest appoximation to a black body of any significant global surface area so at least you got that right. The moon’s surface isn’t nearly as black although it’s darker than most people think because of the contrast with utter black of deep space. The lower alebedo in and of itself makes the earth’s equilibrium temperature much higher than the moon. This of course is offset by another property of a global ocean – global cloud cover. Clouds cover approximately the same percentage of the earth’s surface as oceans. It is the negative albedo feedback from clouds played against the low albedo of ocean water which acts as a thermostatic mechanism limiting both the upper and lower temperature bounds of the climate system. Snow and ice mucks it up for when conditions are just right and continents are arranged just so accumulation of snow on land in higher latitudes is provides a positive feedback for more snow which advances the perrenial snow line to lower altitudes and lower latitudes resulting in what are relatively rare ice ages such as the one that has been in force for the past 4 million years. It is probably only because solar output grows over geolic time, 10% higher now than billions of years ago, that the current ice age isn’t a snowball episode. As it is the interglacial periods in the past several million years are about 10 times shorter than the glacial periods. Lucky us. Maybe AGW will serve to stop the vicious cycle of glacial epochs. If not we’ll have to invent something else that does the same thing because civilization is too fragile to survive an ice age. I must however admit that a mile of ice covering Washington, D.C. and everything north of it has a certain appeal to it. ;-)

      • David,

        Or, much more likely, that the major influences on CS were already identified 100 yrs ago, and we’re now just making smaller adjustments as we come to grips with the finer deatils.

        Whereas Mendel was able to make some observations of some of the simplest examples of genetic expression. The major discoveries came much later and signficances advances in our understanding are still underway.

        Wrt climate, some people significantly over-hype uncertainty.

      • The current thinking is that for doubling sensitivity, 1.23° C is from CO2, 1.05° is from H20, and approximately 0.7° C from other GHGs (see The NOAA Annual Greenhouse Gas Index) and albedo positive feedbacks.

        This adds up to about 3° C for doubling of CO2.

        The extra uncertainty is from the unknown positive feedback effects. Since positive feedback scales in the denominator as 1/(1-f), conventional uncertainty quantification and specifically http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncertainty_propagation that one learns in freshman physics will push the tail toward higher values.

        So if sensitivity is S ~ 1/(1-f)
        then dS ~ df/(1-f)^2

        For *any* reasonable prior distribution of f, the sensitivity will show an asymmetric profile with a fat tail pointing toward larger values of S.

        Get all the scientists in the world together and they cannot deny this uncertainty. It has been taught in physics for eternity, and anyone that did freshman physics lab where they had to measure velocity ~ dx/dt understands this. The uncertainty in time is in the denominator, and the laboratory exercises taught us that this uncertainty was the big factor in our ability to infer the gravitational constant as budding scientists.

      • David Springer

        Michael, Mendel all but gave the modern name to what are genes.

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

        Medellian particulate theory is described in any historical summary of genetics which makes it clear you have not been exposed to that history. It’s you who is clueless. This is encyclopedic history not bleeding edge epigenetics.

        I could lecture on epigenetics without consulting any reference too. Would you like that? We can start with methylization, a particular method of gene induction with limited generational persistance, which I studied in higher fungi which utilize it to rapidly assemble an enzyme suite optimized for digesting the substrate upon which any particular colony finds itself. I did some experimentation with gene induction for tolerance to HO radicals in the environment because I happened upon a mycelial strain which thrived in the presence of hydrogen peroxide (HO) in the agar. I was experimenting with open-air mycelial tissure culture after reading some intriguing research from a PhD. Such ability in the fungi would revolutionize tissue culture in the commercial mushroom industry as one simply needs to add HO to the agar recipe and then culture transfers can be done in the open air instead of under HEPA filtered innoculation hoods bacteria or wild fungi can’t tolerate the HO in the agar. It was a hobbyist activity for me and I subsequently got sidetracked by other stuff long enough to let the resistant culture die out. This was about 10 years ago.

      • Springer starts to backpedal from his assertions, self-describing himself as a strawman.

        He said this:

        “Guess what, the ocean has the same property of being transparent to shortwave and opaque to longwave. It’s a greenhouse fluid and has orders of magnitude more mass and heat capacity than the atmosphere. “

        So in denying this adds to a real greenhouse effect, we can safely assume that the oceans will absorb excess shortwave and longwave radiation. This fits in well in the ocean’s role as a significant heatsink, which obscures the immediate GHG effects.

        Just trying to remove excess FUD.

      • David Springer

        Actual GAT is what is producing the uncertainty “hype” which may have been hyperbolic in the past but is now empirical fact. Again I repeat that actual GAT has drifted outside the lower 95% confidence bound from GCM model prediction. You are in denial, Michael, whoever you are. Predictions were made by climate boffins. Those predictions have failed. Come to grips with that.

      • David Springer

        More straw man arguments from WHT, whoever he is. I’m not recanting anything I write. Not one little bit. You are making inferences that were not at all implied by me and now refusing to accept any attempt at clarification I might offer. This is not discourse it’s pure unadulterated intellectual dishonesty on your part. Take your straw men and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine. And be polite about it or I’ll have you back in moderation so fast it’ll make your head spin. Everyone is sick of your crap including the blog owner.

      • Steven Mosher

        Michael | April 26, 2013 at 2:18 am |
        Wow!

        Likewise, climate deosn’t need a consensus, all it needs is Svante Arrhenius.

        Write that down.

        ###########

        +1

      • ” And be polite about it or I’ll have you back in moderation so fast it’ll make your head spin. Everyone is sick of your crap including the blog owner.”

        Oooh, BMOC. Quaking in my boots.

        “climate boffins” ???

        Are you of British heritage?

      • Racial biology doesn’t need a consensus. All it needs is Svante Arrhenius. Write that down.

        Svante Arrhenius was one of several leading Swedish scientists actively engaged in the process leading to the creation in 1922 of The State Institute for Racial Biology in Uppsala, Sweden, which had originally been proposed as a Nobel Institute. Arrhenius was a member of the institute’s board, as he had been in The Swedish Society for Racial Hygiene (Eugenics), founded in 1909.

      • Michael:

        How is uncertainty overhyped when models that produce many of the CS estimates are off in absolute temperature by several deg K? They don’t account for carbon black, desertification, etc, etc.

        It is naive to think the earth’s climate is as simple as a steam engine with CO2 as a thermostat.

      • k scott denison

        Michael | April 26, 2013 at 2:18 am |
        Wow!

        Likewise, climate deosn’t need a consensus, all it needs is Svante Arrhenius.

        Write that down.
        ____________________

        Wow, I didn’t realize that Arrhenius built a model of the complexity of the earth in his lab and did the experiments! Would you please send me the links… I’ve tried Google, but I can’t seem to find it.

        How big was the model? Did it have water covering 70% of the surface area? How did he create clouds? Wind? Tides? Ocean circulation?

        Can’t wait to see this!

      • Steven Mosher

        Wow, I didn’t realize that Arrhenius built a model of the complexity of the earth in his lab and did the experiments! Would you please send me the links… I’ve tried Google, but I can’t seem to find it.

        How big was the model? Did it have water covering 70% of the surface area? How did he create clouds? Wind? Tides? Ocean circulation?

        Can’t wait to see this!

        ####################

        err. you missed asking similar questions about mendel.

      • k scott denison

        err. You missed the point entirely.

      • k scott denison

        To put a finer point on it for you: there are many things that can be demonstrated in the lab where “all other things being equal” is easy to control. Like chemical reactions.

        Seldom, however, do the same principles hold even close to true when all things aren’t equal.

        That is why there is so much uncertainty as our host so expertly states.

      • Scott:

        Mosher is arguing the competing Springer/Michael non-sequiturs for arguments sake. The racialist Savante made some pretty great calculations for his time which are still useful today, but as you point out does not tell the whole AGW/CAGW story.

        Getting between Springer and Mosher is like fighting a couple of harried Moms on Black Friday at 1201am over a Tickle-Me-Elmo doll.

        A similar comparison of Savante’s work is M. King Hubbert’s peak oil calculation. Hubbert was right to a limited extent, then technology and economics made his calculation too simplistic for the real world. That does not prevent the peak oil alarmist from pounding their beat to a chicken-little drummer.

      • Springer,

        Methylation is all you got?

        If you know half as much as you claim, you’d never have said what you said about Mendel.

        Typical Springer – wild claims, followed by back-tracking or claiming that he really knew it all anyway.

      • K. scott,

        I wasn’t copying Springer with approval.

        I’ll remember the sarcasm tags next time.

      • David Springer

        Mendel did experimental science to demonstrate the principles of genetic inheritance. His experiments have been duplicated in million high school science classes since then. Arrhenius did not do a single experiment to confirm his estimate of CS and that estimate has since been falsified by observation. Even the “improvements” to his CS estimate, the details that Michael (whoever the f*ck that is) claims have been and are being ironed out over the past 100 years, having been put to the test by GCM model ensemble temperture predictions, are wrong.

        Mendellian inheritance is still the law. Arrhenius’ climate sensitivity formula is laughably wrong. That’s the bottom line. That’s what I said initially, that’s what I’m saying now, and that’s what I will continue to say because it’s correct.

      • David,

        Mendel’s work is less a ‘law’ than a model (oh noes!)

        It’s a fairly simple model that explains the simplest form of genetic inheritance – single locus characteristics.

        Mendel is kinda the Newton of genetics – brilliant insight that explained a lot, and remains very useful, but that we now is inadequete because it fails to explain some more complex situations.

    • Assessment of cumulative evidence on genetic associations: interim guidelines

      Established guidelines for causal inference in epidemiological studies may be inappropriate for genetic associations. A consensus process was used to develop guidance criteria for assessing cumulative epidemiologic evidence in genetic associations. A proposed semi-quantitative index assigns three levels for the amount of evidence, extent of replication, and protection from bias, and also generates a composite assessment of ‘strong’, ‘moderate’ or ‘weak’ epidemiological credibility. In addition, we discuss how additional input and guidance can be derived from biological data. Future empirical research and consensus development are needed to develop an integrated model for combining epidemiological and biological evidence in the rapidly evolving field of investigation of genetic factors

      http://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/7554/

      • willard,

        over their heads.

      • over Michael’s head, too?

      • manacker,

        you don’t have a clue, do you?

        Some of the genetic pre-disposition stuff makes the IPCC statements look like a sure thing.

      • WHT,

        I suggest Manacker has done a fantastic job of educating the doomsayer participants on CE. And he has done it in a mostly patient, courteous, respectful way, even with the most extreme zealots. Many of them have learnt how silly were the beliefs they previously held so strongly. They have gone away and are, hopefully, reconsidering their beliefs, and are wiser now. Only a few are left. They are the extremist fringe with closed minds. Ring any bells?

      • Peter Lang,

        I suggest that as our Nordhausian scholar you pay due diligence to the review Bart R submitted to your attention the other day instead of tribalizing. You can insert your favorite YesButFreedom laius if you please.

        Many thanks!

      • David Springer

        I fail to see why you keep posting nature vs. nurture controversies. Genetic inheritance is not controversial and the governing principles were exposed experimentally by a single investigator Gregor Mendel. His results have been subsequently duplicated a million times in a million high school science classrooms. No such experimental demonstration of greenhouse warming of the earth’s surface has been conducted. It’s all hypothetical. We have a theory of genetics. We have no theory of climate. Buy a clue.

      • Steven Mosher

        Another example the IPCC can learn from

        ‘To discuss the scientific foundation for using PG tests in risk assessment and disease
        prevention, a multidisciplinary workshop was convened by several Institutes of the National
        Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The workshop sought
        to enhance dialogue among various stakeholders, identify gaps in knowledge, and suggest
        research areas. Multiple viewpoints and disciplines were represented, including industry,
        consumer, clinical, epidemiology, genetics, communication, social, and behavioral sciences.
        The following questions were discussed using case studies. (1) Is there evidence of public and
        provider interest in PG testing? (2) What evidence is needed to determine whether genetic
        information from PG tests adds to existing risk algorithms in predicting health outcomes? (3)
        What evidence is needed to determine whether PG tests can improve clinical outcomes? (4)
        What type of research is needed to determine CV and CU of PG tests? Details of the workshop
        can be accessed online.9 Not included in this report are the workshop discussions of government
        oversight, policy, and regulation of DTC genetic tests. These issues are also being considered
        by various advisory groups such as the Institute of Medicine and the Department of Health and
        Human Services’ Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society. In
        particular, Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society published
        recommendations for oversight of genetic tests in 2008.1″

        ##############

        interesting building consensus by actually having stakeholders present.
        Wonder if there is a lesson there? na.

        How about methods? what do they say about replication? could gavin learn from these guys?

        “Consensus guidelines for grading cumulative evidence on genetic associations use three
        criteria: amount of evidence, replication, and protection from bias.32 The amount of evidence
        can be defined by sample size, false discovery rate, or Bayesian credibility.32 Consistency of
        replication across different datasets and populations also must be considered (most published
        GWAS have built-in replication).”

        And what can we learn here?

        ‘Several companies are collaborating in developing standards for PG tests. This work should
        be expanded to include transparent criteria for analytic standards, clinical standards on
        selection of genetic variants with high credibility, use of appropriate data to interpret reported
        allelic odds ratios in terms of overall risk compared with appropriate reference populations,
        and model calibration and evaluation of risk distributions for health conditions included in PG
        tests. “

      • Mosher – suggestion: use Notepad++ and remove all CR and LF (\r and \n) before copying.

      • Steven,

        I’m not sure there is a lot the IPCC could learn from what you’ve posted above.

        It’s more at the applied end of the spectrum than the research end – and it only about PG.

        I guess the IPCC could get very concerned about how people use thermometers at home!

  3. It is human nature to want yes or no, black or white, you are with me or against me. As has been said before, we have perhaps already picked the lowest fruit of the fossil fuel energy tree. I believe that we can safely say that our (the world’s) energy use will increase and fossil fuel reserves will decrease. Human nature is also such that we over react to almost every event. Personally, I think carbon credits would be and has been shown to be a foolish idea. Eventually we will be putting less CO2 in the atmosphere because we will have no choice. In the meantime any extra CO2 may prove to more beneficial than harmful to us—by greening the planet.
    Bottom line. For the most part we are using solar energy which has been stored over a long, long time or we are using current solar energy.
    We can and will use whatever energy sources that are prudent and become more efficient in energy usage; however, being human, along the way we will do some foolish things.
    Quantifying energy use and need, IMO will lead us eventually to using the energy stored in the middle of atom as our primary source. We will have no other source.

    • It’s not just human nature, it’s also management science. Before management science, decisions were shot from the hip, because it was understood that, uncertainty being what it is, that was going to get results that were as good as you could get.

      I blame the MBAs (and their cousins the MPAs).

    • ” I believe that we can safely say that our (the world’s) energy use will increase and fossil fuel reserves will decrease.”

      I think every oil field that has every existed may be candidates for fracking. And there is so much natural gas in shale that it will be plentiful and cheap for 1000 years. And Methane hydrates will extend that another 10,000 years. And then all the coal could be turned to natural gas.

      • You are wrong. When Carter was President he said we were running out of natural gas. His DOE began assessment of nonconventional sources. Their conclusion was there was an immense amount of natural gas to be found in shale layers in different parts of the country, but there was no way to extract it. Knowing it was there, partnerships between the federal government and certain folks in the oil biz were formed to develop technologies to extract it. This arrangement continued through Ford, Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Big oil and gas is all about big pool. Small pool terrifies them.

      • I am not debating how much is available. I am saying that the easiest to obtain is being obtained first; and, unless more is being produced than is being used, it must be true that the fossil fuel storehouse will diminish.
        Whether there is enough for 50 years or 50 thousand years (unlikely) is not a part of my statement. What is true is that we have used a tremendous amount in about one century and that available energy was an enabler to completely change the course of humanity. Those of us of a certain age have seen changes that were unimaginable.

    • patrioticduo

      one word – abiotic

  4. Also, I would like to add an echo to Fan’s comments. Dr. Curry has been a leader in the cause of positive scientific discourse with less ad hominem
    attacks.—-although we are not always so good at the latter.

  5. The EPA should be abolished by congress unless they stop the war on CO2

    After the Massachusetts ruling, EPA issued an
    endangerment finding for greenhouse gases,
    concluding that “six greenhouse gases taken
    together”—carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4),
    nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs),
    perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride
    (SF6)—“endanger both the public health and the
    public welfare of current and future generations” by
    causing or contributing to climate change.

    This certainly has not been proven to be true.

    I do hope for success with this effort.
    PETITION FOR A WRIT OF CERTIORARI

    http://www.globalwarming.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/States-GHG-petition.pdf

    • EPA accomplished lots of good things. On carbon they lost their way. Coal slag ponds, mountain top open pit mines, stream destruction, treatment of sewage from primary to tertiary in rivers, clean water programs for industrial discharges, super fund cleanups, mercury in flue gas from coal, NOx and SOx acid rain and lead in gasiline. A wide spectrum of issues but the initiatives should require clear and convincing evidence to establish a credibility. Trust is being lost by a political agenda of the extreme greens. How to nudge them back to real issues, not to abolish them is the tough arena. Plenty of work in US before we destroy our existing economy to the benefit of coal powered China and India.
      Scott

      • agreed

      • Scott, yes, the EPA did accomplish a lot of good things but they are really going down the wrong path this time and they must be stopped before they destroy energy and the economy.

      • Agree.

      • The EPA has done good things, but now they have grown too big for their breeches and tote guns. They need to be disarmed and have a few teeth pulled.

        BTW, they can’t shoot worth a darn. About 5 EPA “agents” popped 19 caps at a fugitive from green justice down here. Only two hit the fugitive, who survived. The rest punched holes in a couple of boats on the hill, some coming close to a restaurant full of breakfast diners. Pretty rude start to my morning.

      • Ah reckon the E-P-A jest got too big fer ther britches.

        Happens alla time.

      • David Springer

        http://www.epa.gov/enforcement/criminal/

        I learned something new today. The EPA is a police agency.

        EPA’s criminal enforcement program was established in 1982 and was granted full law enforcement authority by Congress in 1988.

        Wonderful. This was begun on Reagan’s watch and completed on Bush 41’s. Big demerits for those bozos for letting that chit happen. I wonder how many agencies have been quietly given police powers. No wonder Napolitano is cornering the market on ammunition. There must be tens of thousands of federal police that nobody really knows about.

    • EPA is at war with CO2?

      Do you mean like the war on terrorism and drugs? EPA wants to stamp out CO2, eliminate it.

      Or do you mean like levee builders are at war with water?

    • michael hart

      Trees are going to be in big trouble when the EPA discovers isoprene.

  6. Using some dodgy statistics to ferret out relationships over millions of years we see that, if all other things remain equal, it is clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet, with a lag time of about 700 to 1200 years (during which time God knows what will happen); otherwise, all that supports the crumbling edifice of global warming are government revenues.

    • “if all other things remain equal, it is clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet, with a lag time of about 700 to 1200 years”
      should have read
      “if all other things remain equal, it is clear that warming the planet will add more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere , with a lag time of about 700 to 1200 years”

      • God willing and the creek don’t rise I believe you’re right! To put things in perspective, however, even if the Earth’s atmospheric CO2 content were to increase to about 3%–i.e., a hundredfold–the atmospheric water vapor content would simply increase by about 5%, maintaining radiation equilibrium. This has been described by Ferenc Miskolczi. The Earth’s atmospheric optical density is self-regulating…

      • Look at the news. Many of the creeks are rising with the water from the warm oceans.

  7. When they oh so piously trot out the children and grandchildren and great, great grandchildren, hold onto your wallets.

    • Someone needs to make the case for screwing the kids/grandkids on climate. If we impoverish ourselves and break our backs to preserve the climate, how do we know they won’t just piss all over it like a rich heir blowing the family fortune? On the other hand, if they face rising temps and sea level, they are left with a challenge, a purpose, something to strive for.

      • Maybe we should take a page out of the little red book of Mao that the Left adores so much and start marching the school teachers to the farms where they can actually provide some value to society–paying the National Teachers Association to be nothing more than babysitters and professional gadflies just isn’t worth what we’re paying.

      • I started working in the fields at age 9, as I remember, chopping cotton in summer and pulling bolls in autumn.
        It didn’t hurt me to find out what hard work was like. Although I didn’t pursue a career as a farm laborer, I have empathy for people who do manual labor.

        Waggy, you might benefit from working in the fields yourself . If you don’t know what hard work is like, as I suspect you don’t, this would be a way for you to find out.

      • Too late; already done. There are ~17 trillion reasons-in-waiting.

      • What if history repeats itself just like it always does and the climate repeats itself like it has done for ten thousand years and it really does not matter if we burn fossil fuel or not? You want to screw the kids and grandkids with the war on CO2 for something that is really unknown. The forecasts are based on the model output of models that have shown no skill for two decades.. The actual data that matters is all inside the bounds of the last ten thousand years.

      • I think that’s a great idea! Unfortunately Lomborg has said that the developing world will be twice as rich as we are now, I believe as the low estimate for the end of the century. So by attempting to preserve their future with current renewable tech we’ll just be pissing on their inheritance before they can. Rather than challenged they might just be annoyed, especially if it doesn’t warm up much.

      • Max_OK

        Did you also walk barefoot in the snow 5 miles to and from school every day?

        (Makes a man outaya.)

        Max_CH

      • Alexej Buergin

        If I had to work in the field and walk barefoot through snow, I would have become a yokel from Okel.

    • The school was less than a mile away We went barefoot to school in Sep and May. I liked going barefoot, but stickers, broken glass, and tacks and nails were hazards.

      I once had to crawl on my hands and knees part of the way home because an ice storm left uneven surfaces too slick to walk across. That wasn’t even the worst part, but I’m not describing the rest, because you probably think I’m just making up a story anyway.

  8. Congressman Weber asking important questions for which he’s getting no good answers…

  9. Brava on your written and verbal testimony, Judith.

    • Yeah! Good job Judith, you have gone on record misleading Congress with semantics:

      “If all other things remain equal, it is clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet. However the real difficulty is that nothing remains equal, and reliable prediction of the impact of carbon dioxide on the climate requires that we better understand natural climate variability.”

      You have clearly stated that “adding more CO2 to the atmosphere will warm the planet” while at the same time included a double caveat that this has not, will not, and therefore by definition, could not ever happen.

      Well done indeed!

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Ya think?

        ‘Figure 12 shows 2000 years of El Nino behaviour simulated by a state-of-the-art climate model forced with present day solar irradiance and greenhouse gas concentrations. The richness of the El Nino behaviour, decade by decade and century by century, testifies to the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system that we are attempting to predict. It challenges the way in which we evaluate models and emphasizes the importance of continuing to focus on observing and understanding processes and phenomena in the climate system. It is also a classic demonstration of the need for ensemble prediction systems on all time scales in order to sample the range of possible outcomes that even the real world could produce. Nothing is certain.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

      • And . . . . . . ?

  10. Pingback: Curry and Lomborg in house committee today – webcast live | Watts Up With That?

  11. Nice job Judith.

  12. Dr Curry,
    Excellent input. Congrats.

  13. Thank you for your considerable effort to highlight the full range of uncertainties that are essential to prudent policy decisions and sound financial and environmental stewardship.
    Per Bjorn Lomborg’s encouragement for R&D into energy, note that the US energy industry and government invest an order of magnitude less in R&D than the average in the economy.

    From 1988 to 2003 the U.S. energy industry invested only 0.23% of its revenues in R&D. . . . Overall R&D in the US economy was 2.6% of GDP over that time and has been increasing. High-tech industries such as pharmaceuticals, software, and computers routinely invest between 5 and 15% of revenues in R&D (MIT, 2002). An order of magnitude increase in R&D investments by the energy industry would still leave the energy sector’s R&D intensity below the average of 2.6% for the U.S. Industry as a whole (BEA, 2004; Wolfe, 2004a). If the electric power industry alone were to devote 2% of revenue to R&D for the next decade, the resulting $50 billion . . .would be dwarfed by the $1.7 trillion forecast to be spent on new equipment and upgrades in the North American power sector from 2001 to 2030 (Birol, 2003).

    U.S. Energy Research and Development: Declining Investment, Increasing Need, and the Feasibility of Expansion, Gregory F. Nemet, Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, June 29, 2006

    This is strongly due to Wall Street’s very myopic focus on quarterly returns and ignoring the 30 year time for returns for energy R&D. Contrast UTC’s The Billion-Dollar Bet On Jet Tech That’s Making Flying More Efficient

    the new engines would cut fuel burn by more than 15% compared with competing turbojets and produce half the noise, allowing airlines to push more flights through urban airports. . . .Chênevert . . .convinced then CEO George David to sign off on development costs of more than $100 million a year, small relative to UTC’s $4-billion-a-year R&D budget but hardly insignificant (upwards of $1 billion) over time. . . .And now his very big bet is paying off in a very big way. With 3,000 orders in the 24 months since the PurePower Geared Turbofan engine was unveiled, it is proving to be one of the most successful launches in the history of the aircraft business, expected to double Pratt’s jet engine revenues–about $12.2 billion in 2010–by 2020.

    • rogercaiazza

      This is strongly due to Wall Street’s very myopic focus on quarterly returns and ignoring the 30 year time for returns for energy R&D.

      Exactly and the de-regulated electric generating companies are even worse than the investor-owned traditional utility generators

  14. Hank Zentgraf

    Dr Curry,
    Good job!

  15. Politicasl Junkie

    The message from the “alarmist” side appears to be consistent and loud:

    “We have to act quickly and do something to reduce emissions RIGHT NOW!

    Cost / benefit questions and a pause in warming are irrelevant diversions and are simply delay tactics used by the opposition.”

    • I loved the “certainty” with which which one of the scientists asserted that temps now are warmer than the MWP, and in fact warmer than last 2000 years. This is very much an open question and to pretend it’s not is simply propaganda. Judith got her licks in on that one earlier, but that moment of sanity and candor quickly receded into the background….

    • It isn’t a “alarmist side”, it’s a “concerned side.”

      “Alarmist” is an exaggeration. Exaggeration undermines credibility.

      • Just like “denier” then

      • Politicasl Junkie

        O.K. Max,

        I’ll withdraw alarmist.

        The reaction from the “concerned” side is to ACT and ACT now. Attempts to question whether the specific action produces the desired results or is the most cost effective under the circumstaces is seen to be obstructionist.

        Throwing money at bio-diesel and solar panels is a good thing, per se, regardless of cost and eventual outcomes.

        Feel better now, Max?

      • Political Junky, thanks.

        phatboy, How about “contrarian” ?

      • Max_OK

        You’re right:

        “Exaggeration undermines credibility”

        That’s the whole problem with the CAGW premise, as outlined by IPCC in its AR4 report.

        Max

      • Throwing money at bio-diesel and solar panels is a good thing, per se, regardless of cost and eventual outcomes.

        is that just plain stupid or what?

      • Max_OK, how ’bout “truther”?
        or maybe “chicken little”
        or even “polar bear botherer”?
        Perhaps even “AGW junkie”?

      • Sarc/ tag is on Alex

      • phatboy, some of my favorites are:

        fossil fuel fools

        climate clowns

        pollution advocates

        coots for carbon

        fossils for fossil fuels

      • Max_OK, in case you missed the point: if you don’t like being called names then stop calling names.

      • It was only after Hansen and others portrayed massive sea level changes and generally overegging the pudding that the alarmist tag was attached to the AGW omnibus. This is the main reason that the credibility of orthodox climate science has taken the hit that it has and that politicians and lay people have come to distrust their prognostications.

    • The Alarmists are activist scientists. They are speaking outside their area of expertise when they advocate policy (like advocacy for wind and solar power). Science informs economics and economics informs policy.

      Advocacy like this is really dumb:

      Throwing money at bio-diesel and solar panels is a good thing, per se, regardless of cost and eventual outcomes.

      Much of the extremists advocacy about catastrophic man-made climate change is just doomsayer dogma.

  16. Dr. William Chameides is not adverse to telling uncertainty whoppers.
    That last question pertaining to the uncertainty of cAGW and what plan the scientists/politicians had to back out of the economic havoc wreaked by cAGW proponents if they are wrong, resulted in the silence of crickets chirping !!!

    • No problem if they are wrong. We still have to deal with the fossil fuel energy crunch. Use the climate science knowledge to foster renewable energy innovations.

      Remember what JFK said.

      • Which was this

        “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

        He referred to the other things. What do those other things refer to today? Energy, natural resources, etc

      • I don’t know if it’s needed but I do support energy research. Some say oil will run out some say it won’t be a problem but it’s worth having backup if nothing else. Currently it seems like we’re trying to fly to the moon on bicycles with wings though. Instead of building 100 GW of those we should be making them better. Energy storage solutions would at least reduce the problems of variable generation.

      • Yes, do the research but don’t waste resources on the “green??” stuff before it can compete in the market on its own merit. Wind, solar and ethanol or any other energy should compete if they can on their own without tax credits and subsidies. If the government supports anything it should be whatever gives us low cost energy. Low cost energy is what is bringing the whole world into more prosperity. Much of Europe cut themselves off from low cost energy and look at the results. China and India will not and we cannot or we will go down with Europe.

      • HAP said :

        “Low cost energy is what is bringing the whole world into more prosperity. “

        Where is this “low cost energy” of which you speak?

        Other than that, this is sloganeering at best and on a par with your pablum that the earth will warm after it cools, and it will cool after it warms.

        You might as well say that food for everybody will nourish the entire world.

      • Web: I have the data, my electric bill for my house is lower now than it was in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The rates are only a little higher than then and I use a lot less

      • Vehicle fuel prices have gone up but not exceeded inflation and vehicles have got more efficient. Electricity rates have really not kept up with inflation. I measured what it took to recharge the battery in an electric lawn mower and it was less than a Nickel. Our electric bill is under $100 more months than it exceeds $100.

      • I guess vehicle fuel prices in other parts of the world have gone up a lot because of green energy madness. I recall seeing $10 a gallon in Europe. They do price it by the liter to make it look better. We have some of that, with ethanol, but at least, we in Texas have not got as stupid as Europe yet. It may get worse, but we are trying to head it off.

      • HAP, you are really losing it. Prices for liquid fossil fuel are high because of increasing scarcity. You can’t blame that on the greens.

      • Rubbish. Most of the pump price in Britain and Europe is tax – and that is largely down to green-leaning politicians

      • Who you gonna call now that your UK North Sea oil is falling well off the peak? Was that due to greens?

      • Fossil fuel shortages is more about stupid policy than it is about available supply. There may be actual shortages some years down the road, but that is not now.

      • Prices for liquid fossil fuel are high because of increasing scarcity.
        It has been four decades since we had any problems getting liquid fuel at our service stations.

      • You made an unsupported assertion that the high price of liquid fuel is because of scarcity, when in fact it’s mostly due to tax.
        If you think you can prove me wrong, quote me the exact fuel tax amount, with references.
        Put up, or shut up.

      • “It has been four decades since we had any problems getting liquid fuel at our service stations.”

        Fat and happy HAP is happy that he doesn’t live in Pakistan.

        http://dawn.com/2013/04/20/electricity-gas-shortages-go-through-the-roof/

        Or Egypt

        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/world/middleeast/egypt-short-of-money-sees-crisis-on-food-and-gas.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

        Which used to be a fossil fuel exporter until they started depleting their reserves.

        So what are your plans for the rest of the world not defined by Texas, eh HAP?
        Let’s start thinking about alternative energy strategies, eh HAP?

      • “phatboy | April 26, 2013 at 5:46 pm |

        You made an unsupported assertion that the high price of liquid fuel is because of scarcity, when in fact it’s mostly due to tax.
        If you think you can prove me wrong, quote me the exact fuel tax amount, with references.
        Put up, or shut up.”

        I just did this post on my personal blog site.

        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-rise-and-decline-of-uk-crude-oil.html

        It’s called “The Rise and Decline of UK Crude Oil”, and it is dedicated to you PHATBOY !

      • k scott denison

        Pakistan and Egypt, eh? Yeah, cause those are 100% resource issues and couldn’t possibly be self-inflicted political/policy wounds.

      • You asserted that the high liquid fuel price (in Europe) is down to scarcity
        I said that most of the UK and Europe pump price is tax.
        You said I’m wrong.
        Well OK, buddy boy, PROVE IT!

      • KSD, OK, let’s categorize every country in the world. There are those countries that have oil reserves and those that don’t. And how about those that are starting to import more than they export. Let’s take Malaysia for example:

        Why do you think they are moving over to palm oil?

        http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/04/palm-oil-for-the-west-exploitation-for-young-workers-in-malaysia/274769/

        Take your pick of countries and you can see which way things are heading:

        http://mazamascience.com/OilExport/

        You think I am making this stuff up?

      • “phatboy | April 26, 2013 at 6:06 pm |

        You asserted that the high liquid fuel price (in Europe) is down to scarcity
        I said that most of the UK and Europe pump price is tax.
        You said I’m wrong.
        Well OK, buddy boy, PROVE IT!”

        Oh phatboy, you don’t realize how useful those pump taxes were in pushing the Brits into conservation measures. You don’t see any of the big Dakota and F150 pickup trucks as commuter vehicles over there, do you? Even fewer now. It looks like your North Sea crude oil production is 40% of peak.

      • You’re making yourself look even more ridiculous.
        You see, we never did see great numbers of Dakota and F150 pickup trucks, or other gas guzzlers over here, even before fuel tax kicked in.
        Stop squirming.

      • Ooops, Chief showed a plot of non-OPEC crude oil peaking back in 2004.

        Do you live in an OPEC country Chief?

      • k scott denison

        Hey Webby, Malaysia? You really know how to pick the stable growing economies, don’t ya?

        How about Canada?

      • k scott denison

        WebHubTelescope (#whut) | April 25, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
        Which was this

        “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
        =========
        Funny how JFK decide to set his sights on the moon only after the Russians launched Sputnik. Coincidence?

      • Hey little Scotty, you looking for commies under every bed?

      • k scott denison

        Nope, but I am wondering if I’ll ever get a cogent answer from you.

      • “k scott denison | April 27, 2013 at 7:59 am |

        Nope, but I am wondering if I’ll ever get a cogent answer from you.”

        Perhaps you can phrase a question first. Yes Canada has oil. Yes many countries have political problems, but trying to separate those problems from energy problems is difficult.

      • k scott denison

        Here’s your question: please name one country in the developed world that is having problems with their supply of liquid fuel.

      • KSD, I’m not playing semantic games. You put in qualifiers “developed world” and “liquid fuel”.

        I am used to seeing right-wing skeptics play the third-world card all the time. Do you care about their plight or don’t they matter to you? You also play numbers games with biofuels, liquid NG, etc. Do you want to count biofuels in this situation, or not? It’s all about winning arguments and not discussing the reality for you guys.

        It is clear that I am talking about crude oil and the ongoing depletion of the finite reserves. You can try reading my book on oil depletion first, and then we can discuss:

        http://TheOilConundrum.com

        Hope this helps

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I showed a graph of global oil production increasing to 2035. No one is reading your loser book webby.

      • k scott denison

        The plight, as you call it Max_OK, is due to political instability, not to scarce resources. I care a lot about the plight. But as with many things, the first step to recovery is to admit the problem.

    • “You see, we never did see great numbers of Dakota and F150 pickup trucks, or other gas guzzlers over here, even before fuel tax kicked in.”

      The UK didn’t have much oil to speak of prior to the North Sea bonanza starting in 1975, so they were used to efficiency concerns. Taxes were also good for the country’s infrastructure and anything to prolong the supply of valuable crude oil by discouraging car use was considered worthwhile. They always knew how much oil was in the off-shore reservoirs.

      Exactly what kind of revisionist history do you want to hear, phatboy? That the UK North Sea oil is limitless?

      • Is the UK pump price mostly tax, or isn’t it?
        A straight yes or no will do
        Stop your pathetically transparent attempts at dodging the question.

      • And the same arguments hold for Europe as well. Europe also has very high fuel taxes, yet it doesn’t rely on North Sea oil, neither was it ever home to large numbers of gas guzzlers.

      • Hey Phatboy, Is the cost of a flight from USA to Heathrow mainly taxes and fees nowadays?

        Price is price. All costs are subsidized when governments provide much of the service. Socializing the risk and all that related stuff.

        Cost of oil is increasing due to scarcity, and the taxes as a fraction of the price are always there.

        “The cost of petrol and oil: How it breaks down”

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15462923

        “Roughly, this accounts for about 20% of the cost of a barrel of oil, but it’s getting ever more expensive as oil runs out and companies are forced to drill deeper in more remote places. “

        That is the bottom-line, oil is getting scarcer and therefore more expensive. You can deny this all you want but those are the facts under the ground.

      • Webster, “Cost of oil is increasing due to scarcity, and the taxes as a fraction of the price are always there.”
        The price of liquid fuels is increasing due to anticipation of scarcity. It is called uncertainty. That is mainly due to political stupidity. One positive statement can change the price of liquid fuels. More regulation and taxation would not be considered positive statements or solutions, just more uncertainty.

      • I don’t need a lecture on the breakdown of oil prices from somebody on the other side of the pond who doesn’t have to live with the direct effects of said prices – of which I’m only too well aware.
        You said, and I quote:

        Prices for liquid fossil fuel are high because of increasing scarcity

        No, prices are high because of the swingeing tax levels – they’re now getting even higher because of scarcity – but scarcity is not what made them high in the first place!
        What do YOU pay for your fuel?????

      • Phattie, I originally said “Prices for liquid fossil fuel are high because of increasing scarcity. You can’t blame that on the greens.”

        Prices are high in the USA. Prices are high everywhere due to scarcity. In terms of barrel price, Brent prices are higher than WTI prices reflecting greater scarcity of oil in the UK North Sea than in the USA midwest.

        “… who doesn’t have to live with the direct effects of said prices – of which I’m only too well aware.”

        So you are attacking the messenger now. You lose the argument.

      • “captdallas 0.8 or less | April 27, 2013 at 9:38 am |
        The price of liquid fuels is increasing due to anticipation of scarcity. It is called uncertainty. That is mainly due to political stupidity. One positive statement can change the price of liquid fuels. More regulation and taxation would not be considered positive statements or solutions, just more uncertainty.”

        That is not true. When the abundance of a desirable product goes down, economic theory says that the cost that the customer is willing to pay goes up.

        Cappy Dick, You are apparently a fisherman. You also apparently are unable to comprehend that Japanese consumers are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a single freshly-caught tuna. Is that due to uncertainty? Is that due to undue regulation or taxation? No, no, no. It is due to increasing scarcity of large tuna.

      • Prices have become higher because of scarity – but that’s not the reason they’re high.
        I suppose it would be too much to ask that you actually read what’s written before you respond – otherwise you just end up looking foolish – and then you exacerbate the situation by trying to squirm out of it instead of just admitting you were wrong and moving on.

      • Webster, “Cappy Dick, You are apparently a fisherman. You also apparently are unable to comprehend that Japanese consumers are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for a single freshly-caught tuna.”
        Some Japanese consumers will pay thousands of dollars for a melon. Chinese will pay thousands of dollars for live dried bear gall bladder, French will pay thousands of dollars of black truffles. A lot of that is sales pitches. There is a sucker born every minute. Liquid fuels though are not “rare”, just certain types are growing more rare.

        Dom Perignon is expensive but Early Times will get the job done quicker.

      • Cappy Dick said:

        ” Liquid fuels though are not “rare”, just certain types are growing more rare. “

        I rest my case. You are playing semantic games as is your style. In this case, you can’t start spouting scientific nonsense because the theory behind resource depletion amounts to simple book-keeping, or what I like to call bean-counting. There is no way to deny a dwindling resource base.

      • Webster, the discussion was price. You keep shifting to your frightened view, which is the reason that price is higher. There are are options which are blocked by the likes of you. Scared individuals with limited creativity. Transitioning to non-conventional transportation fuels will take time, but not forever.

        There are solutions and creative people that can develop them. Those creative people are not currently employees of this government or wanna be economists with pipe dreams. The more you wish to tax the effects of those creative people, the less likely they will expend the effort to solve your problems.

        As they say, if you can’t lead, follow or get out of the way.

      • Cappy Dick sez:

        “Transitioning to non-conventional transportation fuels will take time, but not forever. “

        I rest my case again. Why switch over to non-conventional transportation fuels if you think the situation is overblown and is explainable as a simple case of fright borne of uncertainty? What are you, a chicken as well ? bwock, bwock, bwock.

        Hypocrisy reigns supreme in the fake skeptic world.

      • Webster, Again you miss the point. Oil is not yet critically short. Unconventional oil production and “realistic” alternatives are being blocked by irrational fear. That is driving up prices.

        Unconventional oil, meaning new methods of exploration, is more costly because of irrational fears. Synfuel production is more costly because of irrational fear.

        Nuclear power is much more expensive because of those irrational fears. That is driving Germany into coal usage because it is less of an irrational fear. China is going batchit building coal because of irrational fear that if they don’t build now new plants will be banned.

        Irrational fear drove battery technology toward lithium ion batteries where lithium is less sustainable than nearly any other battery technology.

        The US Corn to ethanol program announcement drove Mexico to irrational corn futures buying.

        There is for example nothing wrong with hydrogen. Because of fear though, hydrogen tanks for transportation vehicles nearly would have to survive the Apocalypse.

        Ammonium nitrate is an excellent method for storing hydrogen, but since it can make a big boom, irrational fear makes it impractical.

        The whole damn world is running around like chickens with their heads cut off because of fear mongering nitwits, many employed by the EPA.

        That drives prices up. It is called panic buying.

        The Greens are killing all the geese that can lay the golden eggs while choking their chickens.

  17. Dr. William Chameides would fail with flying colors any metric of uncertainty honesty !!
    (The below summary of Feynman’s views on the challenge of objectivity in science is taken from Phillip Johnson’s afterward in “Mere Creation”, W.A. Dembski ed., InterVarsity Press, 1998.).
    I would like to add something that’s not essential to the science, but something I kind of believe, which is that you should not fool the laymen when you’re talking as a scientist. . . . I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, [an integrity] that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.
    (The above summary of Feynman’s views on the challenge of objectivity in science is taken from Phillip Johnson’s afterward in “Mere Creation”, W.A. Dembski ed., InterVarsity Press, 1998.)

  18. JC, I concur with most of what you say, but I do not agree with you on uncertainty and consensus.

    I believe you overstate uncertainty as a problem, and uncertainty will be mistakenly seen as ( 1) the same as not knowing, and (2) a reason for doing nothing.

    I see nothing wrong with the IPCC ‘s ongoing consensus building, a process you want to replace with open debate. I don’t know why we can’t have both.

    JC, you write very well. I wish more scientists expressed themselves as clearly as you do.

    • David L. Hagen

      Max_OK
      The problem with consensus building BEFORE model validation is that you may be agreeing with the 999 who are wrong and shutting out the 1% that eventually are proved right. e.g., Galileo, continental drift, stomach ulcers etc.
      The primary reason for NOT mitigating (“doing nothing” sic) is that current projections show that it is far more cost effective to ADAPT, regardless of the uncertainty. As Monckton quotes London risk insurers:

      “Since the premium greatly exceeds the cost of the risk, don’t insure.”

      Why waste resources that could be critically used to help the 1 billion people living in extreme poverty on less than $1.25/day? That but starves the poor for a chimera of “reducing emissions” when you are actually increasing emissions by driving industry over to China.
      Lomborg’s emphasis on R&D is vital as it has the potential to drive the cost of sustainable sources below the cost of fossil fuels. e.g. solar thermal energy or thorium reactors etc.

      • David L. Hagen

        I hope you are not saying a few consensus opinions have turned out wrong (e.g., the cause of stomach ulcers), so it’s just a matter of time before a few other consensus opinions will be found wrong, one of which has to be the consensus that man-made global warming will on balance not be a good thing, If that’s what you mean, then you are betting on a long-shot.

        The consensus is not saying it’s more effective to adapt than to mitigate, nor to my knowledge are “London risk insurers.

        The notion a tax on carbon would starve people is silly. Money going to taxes doesn’t disappear. Do you taxes on booze and cigarettes starve people.

        China isn’t immune to climate change. Why do you think the Chinese will be environmentally irresponsible?

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘The notion a tax on carbon would starve people is silly. Money going to taxes doesn’t disappear. Do you taxes on booze and cigarettes starve people.”

        Money going to taxes means that idiots will decide to invest in solar plants in Fremont California when everybody who knows anything about manufacturing in the valley has moved out long ago. The money didnt disappear, it’s worse than that. The money went into a sunk cost in exactly the wrong spot. Its a double whammy since the real innovative research gets shorted. And lets not talk about Fisker.

      • David L. Hagen

        Max_OK
        Per the examples cited, prematurely “building” a consensus is a political exercise that harms the scientific method, delaying discovery of the best models, especially unexpected discoveries.
        Anthropogenic CO2 may well prove beneficial with higher agriculture that is critically important to help developing countries feed themselves.
        As Bjorn Lomborg pointedly emphasized, the effort to “build” a “consensus” is stampeding politicians to extremely ineffective efforts to “mitigate” that cost ten times more than having the wisdom and courage to adapt to change (aka “do nothing” sic).
        These foolish efforts of forcing bio ethanol have already raised food prices 30% on average and doubled them during this recent drought. The consequent increase in food prices internationally has ALREADY starved about 192,000 people in 2010 alone, with likely more since. Those are hard facts, not to be dismissed as “silly”. Those people are starving unseen and unheard directly due to the action s of petty politicians in Washington DC without compensating economic help.
        See: Indur M. Goklany, Could Biofuel Policies Increase Death and Disease in Developing Countries? Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 16 Number 1 Spring 2011, pp 9-13
        Take of your blinders and ear plugs and confront this harsh reality.
        The Chinese are pragmaticly and wisely focusing on building their economy and rising out of poverty, and so are using the most inexpensive energy resources to do so. The higher their economy, the more they will be able to improve their environment, just as the OECD countries did.

      • Mosh

        Your example comparing carbon taxes with taxes on booze and cigarettes is a poor analogy.

        Everyone has a personal choice on whether he/she wants to smoke or drink alcohol. Take it or leave it.

        Plus, both have been shown clinically to be hazardous to your health (at least if taken in too high amounts for alcohol).

        No one has this choice when it comes to energy. The access to a reliable. low cost source of energy has arguably been the most important factor that enabled those who are fortunate enough to live in the industrially developed world (like you and me) to rise out of the abject poverty and short and brutal life of 200 years ago.

        Taxing this is simply a big government money grab.

        It will not change our planet’s climate one iota.

        And I am quite confident that the taxpaying (and voting) general public does NOT want a carbon tax.

        So, since the USA, like Switzerland, is a democratic country (i.e. representative republic), it ain’t gonna happen.

        [The danger is, of course, that money-grabbing politicians start it off at a very low rate, so people hardly feel it, and then ratchet it up, once it has been established. So the only way to stop this is to block it from the start.]

        My thoughts, as an interested outsider.

        Max

        PS In Switzerland, we do have a kind of “carbon tax” (CO2 Abgabe). It has started off very low, so it is almost unnoticeable for most people (and most energy comes from non-fossil fuel sources here, anyway). But the hand of “Big Brother” is already in our pockets – at least we are able to vote in a referendum against any drastic increase, which you in the USA would not be able to do on a federal tax.

      • Why do you think the Chinese will be environmentally irresponsible?

        The Chinese are not environmentally irresponsible, they know that more CO2 makes green things grow better. They laugh at us for our stupidity. They get the economic advantage while we shoot ourselves in the foot.

      • Max_OK said:
        ‘”The notion a tax on carbon would starve people is silly. Money going to taxes doesn’t disappear. Do you taxes on booze and cigarettes starve people.”

        Steven Mosher replied:
        ” Money going to taxes means that idiots will decide to invest in solar plants in Fremont California when everybody who knows anything about manufacturing in the valley has moved out long ago. The money didnt disappear, it’s worse than that. The money went into a sunk cost in exactly the wrong spot.
        _____________

        1. The notion a tax on carbon would starve people is still silly.

        2. Investments aren’t guaranteed. No matter what you do, capital is at risk. The greater the risk, the greater the chances of great reward or no reward at all.

        _______

        The notion

      • Please ignore my last “notion.”

      • Max,

        2. Investments aren’t guaranteed. No matter what you do, capital is at risk. The greater the risk, the greater the chances of great reward or no reward at all.

        You are correct. Which takes us to the question how risky is an investment in carbon credits and how much return do they potentially offer. Right now the market is showing that they are extremely risky. The only return they offer is based on the catastrophic predictions coming to pass. And even then, other forces conspire to destroy any possible return – mainly the fact that their impact is negligable in light of the actions of other parties.

        I am not automatically opposed to a carbon tax. I do want to know the odds of it actually accomplishing what proponents claim it will do. I want to know who will develop the basis for the tax (i.e. who is defining the “externalities” that go into calculating the tax). And I want to know how and by whom the tax will be collected and distributed. As I pointed out on another thread, a look behind the curtains of BC’s carbon tax program seems to be indicating a program that is basically for show. It might be making some people feel good, but is it accomplishing the primary goal?

      • Steven Mosher

        ” Investments aren’t guaranteed. No matter what you do, capital is at risk. The greater the risk, the greater the chances of great reward or no reward at all.”

        the capital poured into solyndra was not at risk. It was certain to fail.

      • I’m sorry, timg56, I don’t recall seeing that thread, so I can’t comment on it.

        A revenue-neutral carbon tax would be ineffective if users of fossil fuels continued to consume the same amount of fossil fuels rather than reducing their consumption. But the tax gives them an incentive to reduce consumption.

      • Steven Mosher said April 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm

        the capital poured into solyndra was not at risk. It was certain to fail.
        ___________

        Now you tell me. If you had let me know before, I could have made a fast buck short selling solyndra stock.

        Did you short sell it ?

      • Max_OK, I can’t use much less fossil fuel than I currently do without drastic measures such as giving up work and living off the state.
        As I can’t afford to do that, any increase in fuel costs will mean less money to spend on other things – like food.
        And I’m not exaggerating either – I wish I was.

      • David L. Hagen,

        1. There is a consensus on climate change, regardless of the IPCC. You don’t like the consensus, so I’m not surprised you think the consensus is harmful. If it was a consensus you liked, I’ll bet you would think otherwise.

        2. You say “Anthropogenic CO2 may well prove beneficial with higher agriculture.” It might if not accompanied by warmer temperatures cause by the same CO2. Have you thought about why greenhouses are air-conditioned?

        3. I am not a fan of biofuels, but the notion biofuel production is starving the poor, makes no more sense to me than the notion pet food production is starving the poor.

        4. The Chinese must be amused by American AGW denier/skeptics encouraging them to burn lots of fossil fuels and pollute so China can replace the U.S as #1.
        You are saying it’s OK to do it , aren’t you?

      • phatboy said on April 25, 2013 at 6:57 pm
        Max_OK, I can’t use much less fossil fuel than I currently do without drastic measures such as giving up work and living off the state.
        ______________
        Well, I’m sorry about your lack of success. I hope you eventually amount to something. Don’t give up hope.

        The revenue-neutral carbon tax is made to order for people like yourself. It encourages fuel efficient behavior, but offers you choices.

        I recommend you develop the discipline to live below your means, and invest the money you have saved. Otherwise, it’s unlikely you will ever get ahead, and in old age you will look back on your life as a wasted opportunity.

      • Have you thought about why greenhouses are air-conditioned?
        Yes I have!
        Greenhouses are temperature controlled. That sometimes requires heat and sometimes requires cooling. Often, extra CO2 is added. That really does not make it warmer unless fire is used to provide the CO2 but it does make the green things grow better with less water.

      • Max_OK | April 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm “The notion a tax on carbon would starve people is silly.”
        That’s not the way it appears to work.
        Nelson, Fraser. “It’s the Cold, Not Global Warming, That We Should Be Worried About.” Telegraph.co.uk, March 28, 2013, sec. elderhealth. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9959856/Its-the-cold-not-global-warming-that-we-should-be-worried-about.html

        No one seems upset that in modern Britain, old people are freezing to death as hidden taxes make fuel more expensive.
        The government’s chief scientific officer, Sir David King, later declared that climate change was “more serious even than the threat of terrorism” in terms of the number of lives that could be lost. (2003)
        Since Sir David’s exhortations, some 250,000 Brits have died from the cold, and 10,000 from the heat.

      • Max_OK and I recommend that you go play in the traffic.
        Don’t start sprouting your self-righteous drivel when you know nothing about me!

      • Re post by Pooh, Dixie April 26, 2013 at 11:37 am quoting the Telegraph.co.uk

        Nelson, Fraser. “It’s the Cold, Not Global Warming, That We Should Be Worried About.” Telegraph.co.uk, March 28, 2013, sec. elderhealth

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9959856/Its-the-cold-not-global-warming-that-we-should-be-worried-about.htm

        ________

        Pooh Dixie, thank you for calling this article to my attention. I’m sorry it didn’t appeal to me. A possum might enjoy the article.

      • David L. Hagen

        Max_OK
        I’m all for “consensus” following validated models based on facts. See
        Climate: The Counter Consensus – A Paleoclimatologist Speaks
        The problem is with those who worship the earth and destroy mankind to do so, all the the name of “science”.

        1. There is a consensus on climate change, regardless of the IPCC. You don’t like the consensus, so I’m not surprised you think the consensus is harmful. If it was a consensus you liked, I’ll bet you would think otherwise.
        2. Greenhouses must be air-conditioned in summer because they are effective solar collectors and providing higher CO2 and warmth during the winter is greater than the air conditioning.
        Have you thought about why the earth was so productive as to form the enormous amounts of biomass – when there was an order of magnitude higher CO2?
        3. Its not biofule production but legislatively forced conversion of corn to fuel that is raising global prices and starving the poor. Study Indur’s paper above. THINK don’t vegetate.
        4. China has already passed the US in coal powered electricity. They could do it much cleaner.

      • Max_Ok, “Now you tell me. If you had let me know before, I could have made a fast buck short selling solyndra stock.”

        I thought you didn’t short stock. A123 was also a bad investment. The new technology they proposed, didn’t work so they thought they would go in to competition with established lion battery manufacturers. That was over 200 million to outsource jobs to China.

    • Max_OK

      “Uncertainty” IS “not knowing” (by definition).

      and it is a very good reason for “doing nothing” (until it can be resolved).

      This is particularly true when the unintended negative consequences of “doing something” are also “uncertain”.

      That’s where you and Dr. Curry have a basic disagreement (and I agree with her on this).

      Max_CH

      • Nah, that’s wrong. I’m uncertain about how many beers are left in the refrigerator, but I know the number is more than 6 and fewer than 12.

        That’s a good reason for buying some more beer.

        The “unintended negative consequences” of not buying more beer could be I will want beer and won’t have any.

      • Max_OK

        Your beer analogy is silly for several reasons.

        1. You buy beer anyway – the only decision you have to make is whether or not you are going to buy today or tomorrow (it is only a matter of timing)

        2. There is no “uncertainty” that buying beer will solve the possibility of not having enough beer in the refrigerator (it will achieve a desired result)

        3. There is no “uncertainty” whether or not you will drink this beer (it fills a well-established need).

        4. there is no “uncertainty” related to any unintended negative consequences of any significance of buying the beer today versus tomorrow (no hidden surprises).

        Come back with an analogy that fits. This one doesn’t

        Max_CH

      • You are wrong again, Max_CH.

        1.We spend money on all kinds of things anyway.

        2. No, someone else in the house or one of their friends may drink it.

        3. See #2

        4. No, some of my beer-loving buddies could show up unannounced.

        Max_CH, I suspect you live alone, don’t drink beer, and have no beer-drinking friends. What a boring life !

      • Max,

        Your beer analogy is silly.

        I can’t tell whether you posting it is an indication that you should consider having a beer or that perhaps you’ve had too many.

      • Max_OK

        Prefer wine.

        So does my wife.

        A few of my friends like a beer occasionally, so have some on hand when they visit.

        Works for me.

        Max_CH

    • The consensus ignores actual data and is really very stupid.

      I don’t usually use a word such as this but this time i could not come up with a better word.

    • David L. Hagen

      Max_OK
      Uncertainty is quantifiable set of unknowns. e.g. quantifiable into Type A (statistical) and Type B (scientific judgement). See
      Evaluation of measurement data — Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement JCGM 100: 2008 GUM 1995 with minor corrections
      The current politically driven “consensus building” is creating severe biases in the programs and research (Type B) that has not been officially quantified though it is very obvious from models rising faster than temperatures. See
      Roy Spencer Global Warming Slowdown: The View from Space

    • Uncertainty is exactly the same thing as not knowing and doing nothing is much better than spending a huge amount of money and effort to do the wrong dumb thing.

  19. David Springer

    FYI – Chameides @ 36 minutes talks about US committing 1% of GDP to mitigating global warming. That’s $150B/year or $1.5 trillion over ten years in case anyone is wondering.

    • The NTA relief act of 2013?

    • Right David, which is why they prefer to talk in terms of a “mere” 1 percent.

      I also take great umbrage (I try to use that phrase at least once a week). at the “fire insurance” analogy. Fires are actual events with known costs. They will certainly happen to a certain percentage of home owners. Thus, intelligent decisions can be made.

      This is not the case with CAGW, which remains a hypothesis.

  20. Politicasl Junkie

    Chameides ducked a straight question by claiming to be unfamiliar with the conclusions of IPCC’s SREX report.

    Unbelievable!

    • The article says:
      “Beyond sports, one can simply look to the stock market for additional examples of our causation fixation run amok. Each day, numerous indices—the NASDAQ, the S&P 500, the Dow, the Nikkei, etc.—move up and down, and every downturn, every upswing, is attributed to something, whether it’s solid jobs data, poor consumer confidence, boosted home sales, troubles in Europe, or a captivating news story.”

      Well, sometimes you can attribute a day’s stock market move to something that just happened earlier in that day or the day before, and sometimes you can’t. If it’s much of move, you usually can.

      • Yeah.

        Or you can check the stock market development of the day versus the headline news of the day and then try to “force a fit”.

        “Tech stocks drop as a result of uncertainty regarding EU bailout of Greece”

        Kinda like “we’re having more hurricanes because of rising CO2 levels”.

        Max_CH

      • Sure, reporters do that all the time. They write for a living, so they have to come up with something to write about. But unless it’s a sharp move (e.g., the S&P is up or down by 1% or more), I tend to disregard their explanations.

      • Max_OK

        You write of contrived causation claims:

        “I tend to disregard their explanations.

        Yeah. Me too.

        Max_CH

    • “We are pattern seekers, believers in a coherent world, in which regularities appear not by accident but as a result of mechanical causality.
      If we were really pattern seekers, we would look at the climate pattern for the past ten thousand years and we would totally quit worrying about CO2.
      It gets warm and snows more and gets cold and snows less and gets warm and snows more and gets cold and snows less and this pattern repeats, time and time again.
      Right now it is warm and snowing more.

      • I think the idea is that because of the way we’re wired, we’re more likely to see causation that’s not there than the other way around. Skepticism is unnatural.

  21. Pingback: Transterrestrial Musings - Climate Hearings On The Hill

  22. I listened to most of the hearing and admit to some surprise. The folks who wound up looking good were the members of Congress. Each party seemed to have one — but *only* one — designated moron. The rest were well-prepared and thoughtful, or at least kept quiet and appeared to listen. Their comments and questions quickly made it obvious that Dr. Chameides was dodging and weaving, that Dr. Lomborg had a good approach but was being unrealistic, and that Dr. Curry had a bad cold. I’m usually as cynical about Congress as anyone, but it was an impressive performance.

    • David L. Hagen

      Toby
      Bjorn Lomborg sounded eminently realistic, quantitatively focusing on what is economically most cost effective and technologically what would bring the greatest benefit in developing cost effective sustainable fuels and energy. See papers at The Copenhagen Consensus on Climate Change & Energy.
      Why do you think not?

      • David Springer

        David L. Hagen | April 25, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Reply

        “Bjorn Lomborg sounded eminently realistic”

        You got that right.

        +1

      • That’s the curse of trying to keep comments short. Some explanations. First, 1% of GDP is enormous — big enough to distort the economy and (perhaps more important) big enough, when concentrated in a small number of programs, to create powerful constituencies dedicated to preserving and controlling those funding streams, rather than to creating economically viable products. In part, these downsides are a cost of doing business. But they have to be minimized. Huge, highly visible blocks of money like this tend to create things like the current biofuels and solar programs — the very things Lomborg criticizes as inefficient.

        Don’t get me wrong. Lomborg’s criticisms of the current programs are very perceptive. My concern is that he isn’t providing a program that will avoid them in future. Instead he wants to throw more money at them, particularly at basic research. My reading of history is that throwing really big money at engineering issues often works. Throwing money at scientific issues more often doesn’t work (or at least doesn’t solve the particular problem at hand). In general, the further the research is from engineering realities, the harder it is to generate efficient, targeted results. How does he propose to avoid this? IMHO, his analysis is correct, but his proposal doesn’t yet solve the important problems he has done so much to identify.

        At this point, I’ll shut up and read the papers you cite. It’s not a subject I know much about, but you asked. In any case, these are very likely to have been the kind of thoughts behind the skeptical looks Dr. Lomborg was getting from some Committee members.

  23. David Springer

    As I conjectured back in early March it turned out to be the Bjorn Lomborg show. A man with a plan.

    Mitigation that does any good is politically impossible. So no matter what the US spends on it it’s wasted money. The answer, which I’ve been sahing all along and with which Lomborg concurs, is we need spending focused exclusively on developing less expensive energy sources. It’s the only option. Interestingly Lomborg also mentions J. Craig Venter specifically, and no other individual, as a prime example of someone pursuing green energy more economical than fossil fuels. I’m on record probably much longer than Lomborg in saying Venter is leading the charge into the future. That future is the age of synthetic biology of course. Lomborg is brilliant for recognizing it but I’ve been saying it since 1987 when I read Engines of Creation by K. Eric Drexler.

    The technology of the future is synthetic biology. Write that down.

      • David Springer

        Yup. Look around. Frickin’ every artifical construction today has plastic in it. But injection molding will be thing of the past when synthetic biology is mature. Say buh-bye to plastic and hello to carbon composite structures that grow into any desired macro-configuration sans injection molds.

    • David Springer

      I wrote down that

      “Synthetic biology.is the technology of the future”.

      Do I have to add “and it always will be?” (or how do you see this technology developing practical energy solutions?)

      Not a trick question.

      Max

    • David Springer

      Audi and Joule are building a gen-3 biofuel plant in Hobbs, NM as we speak, for example. The synthetic biology effort for the company is led by none other than George Church.

      http://www.audi.co.uk/about-audi/latest-news/audi-and-joule-pioneer-sustainable-alternatives-to-petrol-and-diesel-using-waste-water.html

      This is just the tip of the iceberg, the first baby steps in an infant technology equivalent to transisters in 1960, and it’s already cheaper than fossil derived gasoline and diesel. When synthetic biology is a mature science not only will microorganisms be making the fuels they’ll be making the bio-reactors too. We can’t yet program organic cells like we can program inorganic robots but nature does it so the concept is already proven by extant organisms. A tree is more complicated than Joule’s bioreactors so if nature can program a single cell to reproduce and organize into a tree we shall be able to program them to reproduce and organize into anything physically possible out of materials that life already works with which is to say a gigantic range of carbon compounds.

      • We can’t yet program organic cells like we can program inorganic robots but nature does it so the concept is already proven by extant organisms.

        This concept is full of problems, in the sense of opportunities: puzzles to be solved. The most important problem, which needs to be addressed early in the development process, is that well over a billion years of evolution have “programmed” modern life to evolve, through hosting mutations of many types, especially including lateral gene tranfer (LGT), and touching off population explosions and bouts of adaptive radiation when sufficiently beneficial mutations, or combinations of such, occur.

        But mutations in this process would be undesirable, except in laboratories where new strains of artificial microorganism are developed. Moreover, we would want improvements in efficiency to be restricted from being transferred (via LGT) to existing “wild” life. This means a redesign of the entire information handling system to minimize mutation and lateral gene transfer.

        Perhaps a complex interlocking system of Posttranscriptional modification of mRNA on all the enzymes making up key sub-systems would prevent LGT to “wild” life. An important one of these key sub-systems might be one that runs some sort of “check-sum” process on freshly transcribed RNA and destroys any transcription that doesn’t pass. And perhaps, if there’s too high a level of failing check-sums, induces apoptosis. Such a system would be unlikely to evolve naturally, but could be engineered (IMO).

      • David Springer

        I doubt whether lateral gene transfer from an artificial organism is going to offer anything beneficial to wild species. Our artificial organisms won’t be very fit because their metabolism will be optimised for things we want not what they need to compete in the wild. Perhaps you could give me a for-instance of some plausible adverse consequence?

      • David Springer

        P.S. Checksums are uber-simple compared to many of the processes that go on cells. DNA repair mechanisms are already far more sophisticated. What do you imagine triggers apoptosis now if not a complex diagnostic performed by mitochondria which have their own DNA independent of the host cell? Besides, I’m pretty much talking about prokaryotes not eukaryotes and prokayotes don’t have mitochondria that monitor cell health. Random mutations aren’t likely to do anything but make them fail but that can be addressed the same way it is in inorganic control systems. It’s not a big challenge. The big challenge is figuring out how artificial organisms can survive exposure to wild species. This has already been done in some instances with toxins that kill wild species where the GM species is given an effluent pump to handle the toxin. Round Up resistant crops are a prime example. While wild species have acquired some resistance of their own it’s partial and the implementation is primitive because genetic engineering is in its infancy.

      • David Springer

        On the matter of nature programming things to evolve cyanobacteria today are believed to be virtually unchanged from billions of years ago and along with some archaea are thought to be the oldest species on the planet. Sharks are pretty much unchanged for hundreds of millions of years. There appear to be prototypes in all major phyla that don’t evolve. These are commonly called “living fossils”. My hypothesis is that these species are checkpoints analogous to “restore points” in Windows that serve the same purpose – known good recovery points in case of disaster.

      • Interesting. Thanks for the link.

      • David Springer

        (Sent this once but it got lost)

        Thanks for heads up.

        Sounds very interesting. And it appears that this may bring a viable, practical new approach to biofuels in the not-too-distant future.

        Will keep an eye on it.

        Max

      • @David Springer…

        I doubt whether lateral gene transfer from an artificial organism is going to offer anything beneficial to wild species. [...] Perhaps you could give me a for-instance of some plausible adverse consequence?

        Maybe with the current generation, which basically just has a few functions turned off. But longer range…

        Chlorophyll of all photocenters today utilize red light. AFAIK most shorter wave-length light is absorbed by e.g. carotenes which then transfer part of the energy to chlorophyll [Ritz et al. (2000)]. But suppose we engineer a new molecule capable of directly absorbing in the yellow-green part of the spectrum, along with a photocenter that could make effective use of it. Perhaps raising electrons all the way from oxygen to NAD(P), with enough left over for the short-halflife intermediates needed to reduce re-emission.

        Our engineered organisms would use both, the existing Z-structure for wavelengths longer than the new molecule could handle, and the new photocenter for shorter wavelengths, thus eliminating the wastage. New antenna systems would also have to be engineered.

        Introduction of such new photocenters into any existing “wild” life-form would have a significant chance of touching off a population explosion, which could easily destabilize the existing ecosystems.

        On the matter of nature programming things to evolve cyanobacteria today are believed to be virtually unchanged from billions of years ago and along with some archaea are thought to be the oldest species on the planet.

        That belief is a fad based on a single class of evidence interpreted very simplistically. The fossils attributed to cyanobacteria, if they are fossils at all (hotly debated), show signs of a linear colonial organism with occasional instances of larger cells (heterocysts). Even if these cells had the multiple membranes found in cyanobacteria, there’s no reason to assume they were for blocking oxygen, since free oxygen in the environment was lacking at that time. Most likely (IMO), if these “fossils” actually represent life, they were essentially unrelated organisms with similar structures evolved for similar functions. Perhaps blocking diffusion of CO, which could potentially poison reactions involving N2.

        Ritz et al. (2000) Efficient light harvesting through carotenoids by Thorsten Ritz, Ana Damjanović, Klaus Schulten, Jian-Ping Zhang, and Yasushi Koyama Photosynthesis Research 10-2000, Volume 66, Issue 1-2, pp 125-144

      • David Springer

        @ both max’s

        I’ve mentioned Joule about a hundred times on this blog beginning shortly after my first posting here and you guys are just picking up on it?

        Joule’s first pilot plant is near me (Leander, TX) and uses municipal wastewater which as it turns out is ideal for their purpose because it is rich in plant-usable nutrients (NPK) whereas seawater and other brakish sources must have nutrients added.

        The limiting factor is CO2. The bioreactors need concentrated CO2 in order to acheive the ~20,000 gallons of fuel per year per acre output. That means they need to be located near industrial complexes (such as coal or gas burning power plant) where CO2 is a waste gas and/or such plants need to sequester and truck the CO2 to the fuel plant. Even so, with sequester and trucking in the CO2 Joule is producing fuel for under $2/gallon and doing it without sacrificing any arable land or potable water.

        Since non-arable land, non-potable water, and sunlight is in great abundance in order to avoid the CO2 constraint we need the bioreactors to be much cheaper so they can operate with atmospheric CO2 over a much larger surface area. Eventually this can be done through improved artificial organisms that either build their own bioreactors, which are nothing more than clear plastic tents with a bit of gravity driven plumbing, or can do their thing in open ponds. Open ponds might be difficult for volatile hydrocarbons like ethanol which is continuously collected in bioreactors by evaporation from the water’s surface and condensation on the top of the tent which has runnels and a slant so the condensed ethanol runs off to a centralized collection point. Bio-diesel on the other hand is collected by oil/water separators since it doesn’t evaporate and would be more amenable to open ponds. Our most efficient automotive engines these days are diesel anyhow so that probably isn’t a big impediment. The open ponds are problematic in infection from wild species which are better competitors because they aren’t hobbled by metabolisms optimized for fuel production which gives the engineered organisms no fitness advantage other than protection provided by a symbiotic relationship with humans. So we need something along the lines of Round Up only for cyanobacteria where wild species have no defense for the toxin but we give our engineered photosynthetic bacteria an effluent pump in the cell wall that ejects the toxin before it does any damage. This is simpler than engineering bacteria that can build their own bioreactor chambers.

        In any event the pace of progress in synthetic biology is reminiscent of Moore’s Law of Semi-Conductors and we’re at the stage where semi-conductors were first seeing commerical use in the 1960’s when portable battery powered transister radios became affordable. I figure within 20 years that bio-fuels produced by synthetic organisms will be cheaper than fossil-derived fuels ever were. Imagine the boost to the world economy and living standards if carbon-neutral fuel were available to everyone at under $10/bbl equivalent.

        This is why Lomborg mentioned J. Craig Venter whose company has already produced (a few years ago now) the first fully synthetic bacterial genome. It was assembled from mail-order DNA snippets. It’s also the smallest free-living genome known to man. Venter killed a bacteria by removing all the DNA from it then inserted his artificial genome to bring it back to life where it went on to produce colonies with the artificial genome. The technology to do this gets faster and cheaper with each passing day. As the tools improve we reach a point where an artificial genome is specified on an engineering workstation (done) the output of which is sent to a gene splicing machine (done) which assembles a prototype and then inserts it into a empty bacterial shell for subsequent testing (still a manual process). As this end-to-end process gets cheaper and faster our knowledge and ability grows apace. This is the future of technology. It couldn’t be done without modern computer science and automated process control which are my areas of expertise. Genetics data is truly massive as well and we now have incredibly large, fast, searchable gene libraries online with millions of genes from the global gene pool catalogued. The progression of these technologies was laid out in 1986 in the book “Engines of Creation” by K. Eric Drexler and the roadmap he set down has been faithfully followed including the timeline which was given as 30-50 years to the first programmable organic “assembler”. We’re on the cusp now after 26 years right on schedule for the most optimistic timeline.

      • David Springer

        AK | April 26, 2013 at 9:01 am |

        But suppose we engineer a new molecule capable of directly absorbing in the yellow-green part of the spectrum, along with a photocenter that could make effective use of it. Perhaps raising electrons all the way from oxygen to NAD(P), with enough left over for the short-halflife intermediates needed to reduce re-emission.

        Suppose pigs had wings and could fly. Humans improving on photosynthesis when evolution has had billions of years to improve upon seems a bit arrogant to me. I doubt it’s possible and would suggest that if it we cross that bridge when and if we come to it. In the meantime what we are doing with synthetic biology is the moral equivalent of cut & paste. In other words we take things nature already produced in disparate organisms and assemble them in ways that nature never did because it makes no sense in the wild (negative survival value in the wild)i.e. we’ll be producing organisms that are far less fit than wild competitors.

        That belief is a fad based on a single class of evidence interpreted very simplistically. The fossils attributed to cyanobacteria, if they are fossils at all (hotly debated), show signs of a linear colonial organism with occasional instances of larger cells (heterocysts).

        Yes I know the evidence gets shaky for cyanobacteria 3.5 bya but it becomes far less controversial 2.5 bya which is generally the uncontested time (barring biblical young earth creationists of course) when life first appeared. What else oxygenated the atmosphere if not cyanobacteria? Multicelluar life itself isn’t believed to have emerged until 1.5 bya so the options are rather limited for what oxygenated the atmosphere. Colonialism is believed to be the precursor to true multicellular organisms with division of labor of course and my knowledge of evolution of colonialism is sparse and dated at best and not likely relevant in this context anyway. I did a lot of reading on “the social ameoba” which was fascinating but that was years ago and it’s an extant organism.

        Even if these cells had the multiple membranes found in cyanobacteria, there’s no reason to assume they were for blocking oxygen, since free oxygen in the environment was lacking at that time.

        Au contraire. Oxygen would have been locally concentrated in seawater where cyanobacteria were in great abundance. They would have died in their own metabolic waste without protection from oxygen radicals. Current thinking is that iron in seawater took up all the available oxygen produced by cyanobacteria for a very long time before the iron was largely all oxidized and atmospheric concentration could then build. Locally however dense concentrations of bacteria would quickly oxidize the iron and then free oxygen would build up in the water. Thus evolution would have, very early on, been exposed to intense selection pressure for dealing with oxygen radicals in the environment.

      • @David Springer…

        So we need something along the lines of Round Up only for cyanobacteria where wild species have no defense for the toxin but we give our engineered photosynthetic bacteria an effluent pump in the cell wall that ejects the toxin before it does any damage.

        I don’t mean to imply that there are any unsolvable problems with the approach you’re pushing, but it’s also not as simple as you suggest. This effluent pump will presumably be coded in the DNA, transcribed to mRNA, and translated to proteins, which are then modified prior to being inserted in the cell wall. But the most common form of LGT (AFAIK) involves theft and reverse transcription of finished RNA. There’s every reason to suppose that this process would quickly take place once such open ponds reach large-scale production, resulting in a continual sequence of new “weeds” resistant to the toxins involved.

        Thus, while simple “proof of concept” systems might use slightly modified cyanobacteria, longer-term production systems will probably (IMO) require more extensive engineering of eukaryotes. There are many advantages to this:

        – Eukaryotes already posses the systems for extensive post-transcription modification of RNA, which can be combined with specially engineered specialized chaperones [Cristofari and Darlix (2002)] to protect it from theft (by “wild” life forms).

        – Many Eukaryotes can control the copy number of chloroplasts and their associated genomes depending on conditions. Combining this with external control of their own replication would allow much greater flexibility.

        – Many Eukaryotes (as you mentioned) posses a system of apoptosis which could be used to prevent replication of mutants.

        – The developmental control systems for large multi-cellular organisms are well established in many Eukaryotes, allowing them to produce the large structures you’ve referred to.

        I’d also suggest that some sort of artificial “seaweed” might be more effective. The ocean contains much larger amounts of CO2 than the atmosphere in the form of bicarbonate, which can be drawn into the organism and concentrated in the chloroplasts. Necessary nutrients might be supplied by human-built delivery systems, either intermittent or using floating underwater pipes (which could be very cheaply manufactured and replaced).

        If desert land is cheap, desert ocean (most ocean) is even cheaper. Such organisms might float on the surface, retain all the important nutrients within their own structure with bio-resistant coatings, and deliver their product to a centralized collection station built by humans.

        Cristofari and Darlix (2002) The Ubiquitous Nature of RNA Chaperone Proteins by Ga¨el Cristofari and Jean-Luc Darlix Progress in Nucleic Acid Research and Molecular Biology Vol. 72 : 223-268

      • @ David Springer…

        What else oxygenated the atmosphere if not cyanobacteria?

        A very good question. I know the current fad is to assume that’s how it happened, but it seems extremely unlikely to me. Cyanobacteria are one branch of a tree of “classical” gram-negative bacteria which, by best evidence, are all evolved from an ancestor with the oxygen-using cytochrome system. (I’ll grant that LGT can’t be ruled out, but the tree similarities mitigate against it, AFAIK.) The distribution of photocenters within this group, OTOH, seems very consistent with LGT. IMO the most plausible explanation is that the photocenters were evolved by another life form, now extinct, and found their way into eubacteria through LGT. This is, unfortunately, much too complex a subject for a comment in a blog dedicated to climate. When (and if) I have time, I’ll create a post at my own blog discussing the subject. I have been digging through the literature for a few years, pursuing this issue as well as related ones.

      • David Springer

        @AK

        Eukaryotes are far too complex to reverse engineer at this time and for the foreseeable future. There’s really no need to do that anyhow. What we’ll do is the path that Craig Venter is on. Create a minimal prokaryote genome (done), understand every last bit of it (in progress), and then tack on our own information processing and control systems ((DNA computing). What we won’t need to do is design our own proteins and enzymes for specific tasks which is also beyond us at this time and for the foreseeable future. Fortunately nature has provided us with a vast array of working polymer designs. These are what we can cut & paste. Unique new coding genes is what Venter circumnavigated the globe (twice) collecting and shotgun sequencing microbes from the world’s oceans and seas aboard a laboratory/research ship. He catalogued about 1 million new coding genes IIRC.

        Yes it’s difficult. So was your smart phone.

      • @David Springer…

        Eukaryotes are far too complex to reverse engineer at this time and for the foreseeable future.

        What we won’t need to do is design our own proteins and enzymes for specific tasks which is also beyond us at this time and for the foreseeable future.

        Yes it’s difficult. So was your smart phone.

  24. richardscourtney

    Dr Curry:

    I was not able to see your performance at the Hearing, and have not seen your written testimony. Therefore, I write to comment only on your draft verbal testimony which you have published above.
    It is excellent!

    Thankyou.

    Richard

  25. “Through my company, I’ve learned about the complexity of different decisions that depend on weather and climate information.” Yes. Nothing brings focus like performance requirements linked to consequence.

    There are many great sentences/ideas here.

  26. David L. Hagen

    Judith
    While you summarized evidence for and against dominant anthropogenic warming (p7), what happened to your Italian Flag of the uncertain middle? – especially when we do not verifiably know which is the cause and which the dominant consequence between CO2 and warming.
    e.g. Uncertain evidence
    * Cloud albedo feedback,
    * Precipitation feedback,

  27. I would have liked to hear more about the forecasts of a decade ago that we would not see snow in the future and then show the reports of the record snowfalls that are happening all around the Northern Hemisphere. The Theory and Models were really wrong! The Theory and Models still forecast nothing but warming while the snow is still falling late in April since October of 2012.

    • You may have difficulty finding forecasts of no snow in the future. I think it will be a waste of your time, but I could be wrong. The only one I’m aware of turned out to be a misunderstanding.

      • Yes, they stopped doing those forecasts because of snows that did fall. They do hide the faulty forecasts as much as they can. Many people do likely recall hearing that snow will be a thing of the past.

      • Well, they have selective memories. They remember only what they want to remember. We might call it “memory dishonesty.” Anyway, since you brought the subject up, find the source. It was a UK newspaper article, as I recall, so it still may be out there online.

      • That was mostly a case of tabloid reporting – the scientists comments were much more nuanced, which was blown into headlines of ‘no more snow’ – but people seem to remember headlines and some others like to overlay that even further with their own pet conspiracy theories.

      • Max_OK

        The quotations in The Independent article in March 2000 of two UK scientists predicting no snow:

        http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

        However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.
        “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

        And

        David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes – or eventually “feel” virtual cold.

        Oops!

        Max_CH

      • Max_CH, if you read the rest of the article, you also will see Dr Viner being quoted again.

        Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. “We’re really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time,” he said.
        ______

        Now, Max_CH, do you see what I meant?

  28. Ah reckon a tax on that ther car-bone is jest nuther big gumment money grab. Once them pol-I-ti-shuns git ther hands inta yore pocket, Lawdy ain’t no tellin whut they’ll do.

    An it shore ain’t got nuthin ta do with changin cli-muht (it’s been changing fer as long as Ah kin remember, without no tax).

    • Max_CH, important people don’t agree with what you think, so what you think is not important.

      • Okie

        “Im-por-tunt peepel?” Whodat?

        Ah don’t rilly give a hoot in a holler bout whut them “im-por-tunt peepel” thenk, including yew.

        Cause ther aint no way yew gonna tell me that a car-bone tax is gonna change our cli-muht.

        No tax never did, nohow.

        Max_CH

    • Ah reckon yer right, Max.)
      Cli-muht changes regard -l -us.
      A serf.

      • Now even the serfs have opinions! Wait till the Important People get down to taxing C02 from your cabbage ferments and kvass. There’ll be little time or energy left over for opinionating. When the Important People finally impose their non-Kardashian models on peasant society, you’ll wish you had the tsar back, you serfs.

      • Sometimes at Xmas, mosomoso,…not every Xmas,
        we sometimes have borscht soup, mmm.
        A skinny serf.

      • serfin’ ain’t whut it used ta be.

      • Yer mean the cabbage soup, Max? If yer ask me,
        it’s the same ol’ same ol’… If I was erudite instead of
        bein’ jest a serf, I’d say in Russian, plus ca change ….
        S

  29. Just in: The Association of Honest Brokers Cries Foul

    Today’s statement of Environment Subcommittee Chairman Chris Stewart (R-Utah) contains the presence of the LINEAR MODEL.

    It is also important to recognize that the direction we choose to take on climate change is not resolvable by science alone. Once the scientific analysis is complete, we must then make value judgments and economic decisions based on a real understanding of the costs and benefits of any proposed actions. It is through this lens that we should review the President’s forthcoming executive actions and proposed regulations

    http://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-113-%20SY18-WState-S001192-20120425.pdf

    By consensual assessment, The Association recommends (but not imposes) a meeting with the nearest honest broker to correct what could lead to the conceptual corruption of the policy making process.

    • Willard

      Subcommittee chairman Stewart makes an excellent point about analyzing the “cost effectiveness” of any proposed policy action on climate before undertaking it.

      He’s talking right into Bjørn Lomborg’s script with that one.

      Max

      • The expression “Bjørn Lomborg’s script” might deserve due diligence.

      • Steven Mosher

        Lomborg is an industry puppet and was discredited long ago. For every script there is a counter script. there is no getting outside the script.

        meh.

      • Saying one untruth after another makes for bad scripts.

        In that case, the untruth is attributing to me the belief that “Lomborg is an industry puppet and was discredited long ago”.

        Saying one untruth after another never stopped the black hat industry to fructify.

      • Mosh

        Lomborg an “industry puppet”?

        Was Dr Chameides an “IPCC puppet”?

        Silly argument, Mosh.

        Max

      • Willard

        When all else fails, call ‘em a liar.

        Max

      • > When all else fails, call ‘em a liar.

        Post hoc, ergo proper hoc.

        Y U NO play fair, MiniMax?

        http://memegenerator.net/instance/36912499

      • Steven Mosher

        “In that case, the untruth is attributing to me the belief that “Lomborg is an industry puppet and was discredited long ago”.

        who attributed it to you willard?

        The script exists independent of you. whether you explicitly endorse the script or not doesnt really matter.

        Are you denying that Lomborg is biases by his industry associations?
        Are you denying that he was discredited?

        It’s reasonable to assert that you agree to scripts that you haven’t denied. It’s a warranted belief.

      • rogercaiazza

        Maybe Lomborg’s industry associations have given him some insight into the real world. In the real world the intermittency and diffuse nature of renewables have not been solved to the point where they can replace fossil fuels. Lomborg advocated more research to address that problem yesterday.

      • > who attributed it to you willard?

        I think Moshpit just did, by making this belief a response to my comment, and evidenced by the following discussion about putting thought into people’s mind that they have not disavowed.

        > It’s reasonable to assert that you agree to scripts that you haven’t denied. It’s a warranted belief.

        That warrant remains to be seen. It would be counterintuitive, as this belief seems to have the power to justify any kind of smear campaign. And I thought Moshpit assumed “whether you explicitly endorse the script or not doesnt really matter” and “the script exists independent of you”.

        ***

        Moshpit’s black hat marketing tricks might be better deployed to promote (in the technical sense of the word) the last batch of emails.

        Unless Moshpit has not finished removing all the personal information they contain?

      • Steven Mosher

        “That warrant remains to be seen. It would be counterintuitive, as this belief seems to have the power to justify any kind of smear campaign. ”

        How is it a smear campaign to attribute to you a belief which you refuse to deny and a belief which you refuse to question or interrogate when others espouse it.

        Are you claiming that Lomborg is credible? That’s a simple question.

        WRT to mails. I made it pretty clear at Lucia’s that I would not read the latest dump of mails, with a couple exceptions ( mails that mention my name for example ) I committed to writing a concordance. That was done a long time ago and the code was passed on.

        Maybe someday when I get the time. 200K mails will take over a year to read and commit to memory.

      • Watch the pea:

        > I made it pretty clear at Lucia’s that I would not read the latest dump of mails, with a couple exceptions ( mails that mention my name for example ) I committed to writing a concordance.

        Here was the comment:

        No coordinated work. The few people I have talked to are all going to honor FOIA request not to distribute the password.
        And nobody wants to just publish all the mails without redaction.
        Trivia question: who was the only indvidual to have personal information released in CG 1?
        I’m doing a concordance. Actually just the code to compile it and passing that code out. But if you dont have the mails its worthless.
        So, no plan no project schedule no agreed approach. Obviously some folks are getting legal opinions ( as we did in the first case ).
        Scoops? na. I think the approach will be a slow and prolonged
        Imagine word of the week. Where readers request a word and mails that have that word get reddacted and posted.
        Traffic for life.
        If one was so inclined.

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2013/climategate-3-0/#comment-111350

        Our emphasis.

        An interesting way to conceive a leak.

        Trivia question: if there will be redaction, does that mean that those who are redacting the emails have access to personal information?

  30. Judith Curry

    It is not just bizarre and surreal, but utterly teeth gnashing to see these fools strut their faith and ignorance in smug certitude that they stand on unshifting, bedrock solid ground. They have no inkling that they are the believers in leechcraft and other folderal of today. And, they will carry us all into the abyss with unblinking faith that they are the righteous heirs of the enlightenment, whose ends justify whatever means necessary to rescue we troglodytes from ourselves.

    Indeed. This isn’t about science — it is about the false faith of scientism.

    WOW!

    Well said, Judith.

    Max

  31. What about a serious tally of how many cultures have contained a priestly/scholarly class claiming to predict or manipulate climate? One could assess each society’s success in such an undertaking. One might also examine notions of collective sin, guilt, fear etc amid the populace, and how much wampum or temple offerings these notions have attracted for the enlargement or enrichment of priestly/scholarly classes through the ages.

    If it is established that all human cultures contain elements who pretend to an understanding of climate which they do not have, we might draw some tentative conclusions about present-day cultures.

    This would be a purely scientific exercise, of course, and conclusions which breach the scientifically established consensus ought not be published. There are, after all, certain things one just knows.

  32. Well done, Judith. I’ve sent the following letter to The Australian:

    In testimony to a US Congress committee, Bjorn Lomborg has argued that any emissions cuts made now will have little effect until the end of the century; what matters is emissions from the developing world, not the West; green energy is not ready to take over from fossil fuels; and that “the current, old-fashioned approach to tackling global warming has failed.” It won’t solve the problem. Lomborg concludes that the focus should be a major R&D effort to produce cost-efficient, low-emissions energy, which would be much cheaper than current approaches and have a much higher chance of success.

    Climate scientist Judith Curry told the committee that the ongoing scientific consensus-seeking process has oversimplified the “wickedly messy” problem and its solution, introducing biases into the both the science and related decision-making processes. She contends that what is needed – particularly in assessments for policy-makers – is explicit reflection on uncertainties, ambiguities and areas of ignorance (both known and unknown unknowns) and more openness for dissent. Natural internal variability of climate is a topic of particular importance over which there is considerable disagreement. Curry says that, rather than choosing an “optimal” policy based on a scientific consensus, decision makers can design robust and flexible policy strategies that account for uncertainty, ignorance and dissent.

    It seems to me that The Australian has not kept up with the debate, and that your ongoing support for a market-based emissions trading system to reduce CO2 emissions is not warranted (“Climate-change hysteria a folly,” 25/4).
    _____________
    Judith, pardon my presumption, but I’ve suggested to the Oz that your verbal testimony would provide a good basis for an opinion piece.

    • To Judith Curry,

      We owe a debt of gratitude to
      those few, those happy few
      who calmly kept their heads
      when drama swept the climate
      science team, concerning
      Co2 apocalyptic warming
      of the earth, pressure to
      conform to a consensus.
      We owe a debt of gratitude to
      those few, those happy few
      who recognised uncertainty
      in science or in methodology,
      like Steve McIntyre, and you.

      BC

  33. Dr, Curry,
    When you say “The politicization of the climate change issue presents daunting challenges to climate science and scientists,” I think you do not appear to appreciate that consensus building is political and is not science. It is daunting because politics in circumstances of uncertainty where outcomes are important are always so. Scientists should focus on reducing uncertainty in the science, honest and fair assessments of the science, and leave the politics to politicians.

    • Philip Lee,

      The Activist climate scientists, like James Hansen and the Hockey team have been trying to build consensus and say there is a concenus. It is them who have caused the massive political error.

      • Virtually all the high profile Australian climate scientists are up to their necks in activism and in trying to argue that virtually all climate scientists say we are F–ked if we don’t mend our evil ways.

    • Philip, I think that almost everyone who posts here would agree that “Scientists should focus on reducing uncertainty in the science, honest and fair assessments of the science, and leave the politics to politicians.” That includes Dr Curry. She addresses the politicisation of global warming in part by arguing for an emphasis on uncertainty and how to deal with it, as opposed to politically-driven consensus “science” which claims false certainty.

      • Faustino and Peter,
        Dr. Curry testifies, “The IPCC’s consensus building process played a useful role in the early synthesis of the scientific knowledge about dangerous anthropogenic climate change. ” Really, what has happen was scientists acting politically (not scientifically) negotiated a consensus synthesis of unvalidated models of human caused climate change that had no scientific justification for long range predictions (10+ years) and then used those models to predict dire climate impacts in 90+years from projected human activity. In doing these predictions these political actors (consensus builders) ignored the scientific method.

      • Philip, quite so, that has often been noted on CE. Whether or not Dr Curry’s assessment of the IPCC’s early years is correct, its overall impact has been pernicious. I think that with Peter Lang and I, you are preaching to the long-converted.

  34. Small experiment for JC (or anyone else).

    Obtain a Dewar flask. Silvered surfaces will ensure maximum back radiation that CO2 might miss.

    Pop in small plastic house. Monopoly game is one source. Fill flask to the brim with CO2.

    Seal flask. Wait for a while.

    Small plastic house emits IR. CO2 re emits IR as back radiation. No visible light in flask, having been sealed. Measure temperature of small house.

    Oh dear. Now lower temperature of room. Wait as before.

    Does little house –

    a) get hotter
    b) get colder
    c) not change its temperature?

    Oh dear again!

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  35. “A daunting assignment”

    Yes, indeed.

    That the IPCC has created such a mess is mainly of it’s own making. I doubt that much is salvagable. The UN was never set up to conduct scientific research and its attempts to do so have only exposed its inability. However its individual scientists have worked hard and should be congratulated for that – rather like all those Don Quixotes charging at windmills. Instead of setting up the IPCC the UN should have called for tenders to do the job. As it happens the UN sponsors about 20 (different?) models when they only needed one good one. The UN should stick to international polotics and leave science to the scientists.

  36. I find myself in complete agreement with Judith’s testimony, not because I understand the science but because there is no other logical conclusion that I can draw from the available evidence.

    The current state of the science itself remains a concern because it seems that it is still a long way from finding answers to the problem of determining the overall effect of natural varibility on climate and in isolating the impact of CO2.

  37. Chief Hydrologist

    Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

    Back in 2000 I was looking for causes of multi-decadal rainfall variability in eastern and northern Australia. This had first been described in scientific literature in 1988. The initial physical evidence was of a change in stream form – from high energy braided to low energy meandering – in the mid to late 1970’s. This provided the impetus to look at stratified flood records which showed multi-decadal regimes stretching back to the early 1800’s. The three latest regimes are the mid 1940’s to 1976, 1977 to 1998 and 1998 to date. Wetter in the period to 1976 and drier to 1998 and wetter again since in northern and eastern Australia. Flood and drought dominated regimes if you want to google it.

    In the course of this search I was staring at the PDO graph and wondering wtf the PDO had to do with Australian rainfall regimes. But the timing was compelling. The PDO has a dramatic correlation to Australian rainfall. The abrupt shifts in modes exactly paralleled the shifts in rainfall regimes. That they parallel as well the changes in the trajectory in global surface temperature last century was a less interesting mystery.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/PDO_zps89a7b4c1.jpg.html?sort=3&o=5

    The answer turns out to be that it is all connected in a Pacific wide pattern that some people call the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation. The cool mode PDO is associated with increased frequency and intensity of La Nina and vice versa. More frequent and intense La Nina to 1976, El Nino to 1998 and La Nina since.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

    That this is an internal mechanism that adds to and takes from global surface temperature is unmistakable – and mainstream science without a doubt. The remaining questions have to do with just how big is the effect, what the impact is on current temperature trajectories and what the implications are for the longer term future. The data we have says it is dominant in recent warming, currently the world is not warming for a decade to three more and the long term prospect for Australian rainfall is quite benign – albeit with increased flooding and cyclone activity.

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=44

    Go figure – but it apparent that this continues to slip under the radar of many climate scientists and all of the space cadets. For the former – perhaps you need to be an earth scientist rather than a physicist. For the latter – well it is just a hopeless, cognitively dissonant, AGW groupthink cause.

  38. Judith Curry

    The politicization of the climate change issue presents daunting challenges to climate science and scientists,”

    Indeed it does. They must choose whether or not they want to become political advocates or remain true to their science and stay objective.

    In my humble opinion, you are one of the few that has chosen the latter path.

    Yet even you get pulled into the political arena (like today) to testify before a political body and the danger is always there that you can get pulled into one direction or the other in this process.

    Thanks for resisting this challenge and remaining true to your science.

    The world needs more like you.

    Max

  39. I watched the whole testimony.

    I found the exchange between Rep Rohrabacher and Dr Chameides interesting.

    Dr Chameides talked about the warmest nine years on record. Rep Rohrabacher challenged him about this record as it starts at the bottom after the little ice age and comparison must be made with the previous medieval warming period. Rep Rohrabacher said before human emission of CO2, the CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere were greater than now and the sun might have something to do with the cycle.

    Here is the paper on the medieval warming period that shows a 0.6 deg C global mean temperature oscillation on a centennial time scale.

    Ljungqvist, F.C., 2010: A new reconstruction of temperature
    variability in the extra-tropical Northern Hemisphere during the
    last two millennia. Geogr. Ann., 92 A (3): 339–351.

    ABSTRACT. A new temperature reconstruction with decadal resolution, covering the last two millennia, is presented for the extratropical Northern Hemisphere (90–30°N), utilizing many palaeotemperature proxy records never previously included in any largescale temperature reconstruction. The amplitude of the reconstructed temperature variability on centennial time-scales exceeds
    0.6°C. This reconstruction is the first to show a distinct Roman
    Warm Period c. AD 1–300, reaching up to the 1961–1990 mean
    temperature level, followed by the Dark Age Cold Period c. AD
    300–800. The Medieval Warm Period is seen c. AD 800–1300 and
    the Little Ice Age is clearly visible c. AD 1300–1900, followed by
    a rapid temperature increase in the twentieth century. The highest
    average temperatures in the reconstruction are encountered in the
    mid to late tenth century and the lowest in the late seventeenth century. Decadal mean temperatures seem to have reached or exceeded the 1961–1990 mean temperature level during substantial parts
    of the Roman Warm Period and the Medieval Warm Period. The
    temperature of the last two decades, however, is possibly higher
    than during any previous time in the past two millennia, although
    this is only seen in the instrumental temperature data and not in
    the multi-proxy reconstruction itself. Our temperature reconstruction agrees well with the reconstructions by Moberg et al. (2005)
    and Mann et al. (2008) with regard to the amplitude of the variability as well as the timing of warm and cold periods, except for
    the period c. AD 300–800, despite significant differences in both
    data coverage and methodology.

    http://agbjarn.blog.is/users/fa/agbjarn/files/ljungquist-temp-reconstruction-2000-years.pdf

  40. JC: There are also major uncertainties in climate models, particularly with regards to the treatments of clouds and the multidecadal ocean oscillations.

    Latif: IPCC AR4 published only climate projections based on such scenarios with no attempt to take account of the likely evolution of the natural variability.

    http://oceanrep.geomar.de/9199/1/JGE.pdf

  41. It was great to see the performance of Randy’s Neugebauer & Weber, Suzanne Bonamici, and Donna F. Edwards, asking hard questions and actually seeming to seek some measure of understanding.

    It was less great to hear the inadequacy of the answers from all experts. I don’t mean the ignorance of the exact dollar figure of Chinese investment in new technology or the ratio of solar to conventional power in Texas..

    By the way, China devoted 9.4% on technology research and 5.3% of its US $589 billion stimulus plan promoting energy saving and gas emission cuts, and environmental engineering projects in 2009, and has only increased such spending every year since. That’s upwards of $55 to $80 billion, compared to the mere $40 billion Lomborg proposes the USA invests.

    And the deregulated Texas Electricity power market is only growing increasingly more reliable at the same time as it grows increasingly efficient and relies increasingly on alternate energy, primarily wind but also the USA’s 3rd largest state solar industry by jobs. ERCOT hit peak load on August 3, 2011, with 68,305 MW delivered.

    While solar forms less than 1% of the power generated in Texas currently, both China and Texas have proven solar and wind resources that can meet one hundred percent of their projected demand, and even current concentrated solar hybrid technology would deliver power at competitive prices.

    Of course, these aren’t the answers the committee ought have been seeking, in and of themselves.

    Dr. Lomborg came off exceedingly well throughout much of his presentation, notwithstanding the terrible reception his suspect cost-benefit nonsense rightly received. Were Dr. Lomborg proposing solutions palatable to American tastes, he might have been better received, and frankly more useful. His goal of the government making technology cheaper in 20 or more years is misguided, for America. Let industry make technology cheaper at the rate industry can make technology cheaper — which can only happen if the price signal to industry is an honest, unsubsidized one competing with honest, unsubsidized fossil offerings. And the only way to make fossil fuels honest is for them to pay the scarcity costs of the carbon cycle’s ability — the ability of those trees that Randy Weber asked about — that they are currently overwhelming.

    This won’t make the economy contract by 1%, as was suggested, but rather expand by the size of the carbon market, or more specifically by the size of the technology innovation stimulated by the prospect of better technology supplanting carbon cost.

    And Dr. Curry, don’t for a moment believe your denizens have taught you all they know of how to manipulate and politic. They’ve only taught you all you know, and they’re not exactly trustworthy teachers, so you may wish to be skeptical of what you think you’ve learned.

    • You wrote: both China and Texas have proven solar and wind resources that can meet one hundred percent of their projected demand

      What exactly have you been smoking?

      • David Springer

        Probably some of California’s #1 cash crop. ;-)

      • Texas domestic electricity demand is such that estimates published in 2010 claimed if half the roof surface of every house in Texas were covered with 10% efficient PV, the domestic electricity demand would be fully met. Now, I get, and I hope you get, that this isn’t actually the plan I’d endorse. However, it’s not mathematically untrue.

        Much of China is arid desert with such high insolation that a square patch 40 miles on a side could generate an amount of electricity sufficient to equal the projected 2016 electricity demand, at 20% efficiency CSP. Now, even Bill Gross — who made the claim — and his solar farm business don’t propose this would actually happen that way. However, it’s mathematically true.

        A company in Israel is claiming its hybrid CSP generators exceed 70% efficiency, and at lower than conventional cost.

        And IBM is pursuing a competing technology.

        Now, I don’t claim that these things will all work out that way.

        However, oil and gas will eventually(on millennial scales, absent the Second Coming) run out in Texas, fusion technology has been a mere 60 years away from being technically feasible for electric generation for over 60 years, and cold fusion is only 120 years behind that. Which, at this rate of progress is never. Fission will always have problems, and Texas doesn’t have hydroelectricity or geothermal sufficient to power even a high efficiency nanowire lightbulb, though tidal power could .. do next to nothing whatsoever towards Texas’ power needs.

        Either Texas will be required to resort to gaining its future income sufficient to sustain its need for Sunday morning television and beer fridges from its charm and the education it provides its citizens (shudder), or it will develop a renewables industry. Or it will pass along to its children nothing better than hope for the End of Days.

        China, on the other hand, is likely to just keep on owning more of the world until then, and it has no qualms about filling its empty wastelands with windfarms and solar ranches. And if it runs out of empty wastelands, it can just buy Texas.

      • David Springer

        BartR,

        No electrical demand wouldn’t be met by everyone with a half rooftop covered by PV panels. Add in a room full of lead acid batteries and expensive high capacity DC/AC converter and you’re talking.

        Even in Texas the sun doesn’t shine 24/7. I know that’s a shocker (pun intended). PV panels on the roof isn’t the hardest or even the most expensive part of the problem. Storage of DC and then conditioning to 125/250 VAC is the main problem nowdays. The only really economical way today is the grid-tie where residential systems feed their excess from the day into the grid for heavy daytime users such as commercial buildings, electrical rail transport, and industrial processes then draw from the grid when they need it at night and during cloudy weather. This would reduce, perhaps even greatly with sufficient scheduling of use by cooperative customers, the amount of conventional power input to the grid. Then again, maybe not, because electrical demand doesn’t go down just because there’s a straight week or two of clouds.

        And this of course doesn’t work at all in most places which don’t get enough sunny days to pull it off which includes much of Texas. So basically what you wrote is pure unadulterated uninformed BS. More of the same from you in other words.

      • You have to look at what the electric power industry is saying and what kind of studies they are producing

        http://www.eei.org/ourissues/finance/Documents/disruptivechallenges.pdf

        Disruptive Challenges: Financial Implications and Strategic Responses to a Changing Retail Electric Business
        ” The timing of such transformative changes is unclear, but with the potential for technological innovation (e.g., solar photovoltaic or PV) becoming economically viable due to this confluence of forces, the industry and its stakeholders must proactively assess the impacts and alternatives available to address disruptive challenges in a timely manner.”

      • David Springer | April 27, 2013 at 7:29 am |

        I’ve heard this type of analysis before, and from qualified professionals in the industry.

        They said any small scale power generation at all would destabilize power grids.

        When the grids got more, not less stable at 0.1% of the power supply, they changed their story to say any more than 0.5% would destabilize the grid.

        When large grids passed 0.5% with no ill effect, and still increasing stability, the tale changed — amplified with tables and textbooks, proofs and diagrams — to 1%. Then 5%. Now, multiple US states exceed 10%, and up to over 23% from wind.

        Forget off-grid style primitive storage in lead batteries. Store in hydro dams. Store in coal and oil and Natgas not burned. Store in grid engineering. Solar in Texas coincides best with peak electricity demand. So the sun don’t shine all the time? So what. If it did, solar would cost less than half of coal even in Alaska and no one would use anything else anywhere.

        But that’s pure sunshinehours fantasy isn’t real, and yet in Texas, solar still makes sense, right now.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      So I actually read this – and it is not often that I make the effort to read Bart. Usually it is all so convoluted and verbose that the effort by far exceeds the reward.

      It contains of the usual mishmash of fact and fiction and the inevitable specious advocacy of a carbon tax.

      China is increasing carbon intensity – much as the west did decades ago. This is the fast way to productivity and economic growth. Environmental progress is likewise to be desired in the Middle Kingdom. But as Texas is the only US State we approve of – I suggest you leave it alone.

      The $40 billion proposed for energy research is a different type of investment altogether. In Bart’s scheme of things – no carbon emissions are allowable. It is not a matter of paying a price to emit carbon but of paying a price to not emit. Thus he would advocate vast sums – far in excess of $40 billion – be allocated to support technologies that are inherently more expensive in $/MW resulting in increased costs, decreased productivity and a budget black hole. The alternative is a polite fiction that $23/tonne – or $4/ tonne or $2 or $10 – is going to make any difference at all applied over an almost insignificant and quite broke portion of the globe. Broke that is apart from us Australians.

      If you can’t find a good way to spend a pittance – then you are not really trying.

      http://www.conocophillips.com/EN/tech/energyprize/pages/index.aspx

      http://www.virginearth.com/

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

      https://www.zayedfutureenergyprize.com/en/

      http://www.xprize.org/prize-development/energy-and-environment

      These are relatively important – Australia has committed about $7 billion a year and the US the same proportion of GDP. Neither is making much progress.

      This is critical for any number of reasons.

      • While the Ripper implement itself is pretty basic and a reminder of very early European agricultural practice, its adoption by Senegalese farmers is most encouraging and a big step toward increased productivity and better land mangement.

      • Peter, I suppose that the Senegalese Luddites will be mounting a “Jack the Ripper!” campaign. :-)

      • LOL I sincerely hope not Faustino!

      • Chief,
        (I’m being serious now,) this is a significant design for
        conservation farming in poor communities. Like the
        wheelbarrow, simple, low maintenance and solves
        a labouring problem. To tell you the truth, it was
        something I imagined myself, walking by the river. )
        I would love to support something like this in a
        developing country community, low cost and letting
        people take charge of their own lives and feed their
        families.Thx Chief.
        Beth

      • Chief Hydrologist | April 26, 2013 at 12:33 am |

        In Bart’s scheme of things – no carbon emissions are allowable.

        ?

        You must mean some other Bart.

        In this Bart’s scheme of some things, lucrative carbon emissions involve paying for the carbon recycling, much like you pay a recycling fee when you buy your appliances, in some places.

        Since we know you understand this, one must wonder why are you so afraid of paying for what you benefit from at another’s expense that you must misrepresent every statement to that effect?

        In Robert I. Ellison’s scheme of things — no personal responsibilities are allowable.

  42. Judith, I’ve just read your 15-page testimony, very coherent, and suggesting (to me) a much more cautious approach to emissions reduction than has been adopted in Australia and elsewhere.

  43. Indian, Brazilian and Chinese businessmen do not care about what Western AGW alarmist preachers of doomsday believe. They are never going to ask school teachers employed by the government for permission to emit CO2. They don’t ask and won’t ask because they don’t fear the climate and are not frightened by the hoax and scare tactics of Western academia. They really don’t care if the Democrat party turns an energy-deprived American economy into another Greece or Spain or GM or Boston or California.

    • Last week Waggy was a Tibetan Monk who admired George Washington for owning slaves. This week he’s a Chinese Communist businessman who doen’t like talking to school teachers. Waggy is not certain about what he wants to be. Given his uncertainty, his best course probably is to be nothing.

      • The desire to save humanity is always
        a false front for the urge to rule it.

        –H L Mencken

      • So that’s what God and Jesus were up to. God wanted to save humanity because he had the urge to rule it.

        WEIRD !

      • … an intentional parody of the Left?

      • Yep. And this week Okie’s a preacher, spreading the Gospel of Salvation.

      • Max_CH, you and those like you want to play god by changing the climate. That does not set well with God.

      • Hey, Okie, I’m not the one who “wants to change the climate” and “play God”.

        It’s those knuckleheads who think they actually CAN change our climate by implementing a carbon tax.

        The truth is: they can’t.

        The climate is going to do exactly what the climate wants to do (as the past decade has shown) and, while we can make local changes by building cities, changing land use, paving parking lots, erecting dams, etc. – there is no way we can change our planet’s global climate – no matter how much money we throw at it.

        Max_CH

      • Sure you do, Max_CH. You want to make the globe warmer by burning more and more fossil fuel and releasing greater amounts of CO2. You want to experiment with our climate, and see what will happen. You want to play God with our planet.

      • Max_OK

        You are telling me what I want to do.

        What’s wrong with this picture?

        I am telling you that we are unable to change our global climate perceptibly, no matter how much money we throw at it.

        This conclusion was reached after reading the proposals that have been made so far.

        First of all, there’s a carbon tax. You and I both know that a tax will not change our global climate one iota (no tax ever did).

        Then there is hot air from politicians about “holding global warming to no more than 2C” or empty pledges to “cut emissions to X% of what they were in year Y by year Z”, but these are not actionable proposals, just political blah-blah.

        And the few specific actionable mitigation proposals that are out there simply result in “no bang for lots of bucks”. (Hansen’s shutdown of all US coal plants, carbon capture & sequestration, etc.)

        Sorry, Okie. If you can show me just one specific actionable proposal with a cost benefit analysis backing it up, please do so.

        I don’t think you can.

        So it’s really all just empty talk.

        I think in TX and OK they refer to it as “All hat, no cattle”.

        Max_CH

        .

      • Max_CH, your short-term memory is failing you. A day or two ago I told you I wanted atmospheric CO2 to remain at its current level of 400 ppm, and you said you wanted CO2 to rise to1,000 ppm so the globe would be warmer. Obviously, you want to experiment with our climate, mess around with it. That makes me think you want to play God.

        Perhaps you aren’t aware your experiment will make everyone sleepy. At 1,000 ppm, people start feeling drowsy. The drowsiness along with the warmer temperature, which makes the drowsiness even worse, will cause productivity to decline so much poverty will be the new norm.

      • Max_OK

        Naw. I don’t necessarily want atmospheric CO2 to increase to 1,000 ppm (the max. it could ever reach from fossil fuels).

        I’m just not worried about it, like you appear to be.

        Hey, man, relax. Hang loose.

        Max_CH

      • Max_OK

        A Berkeley study shows reduced performance at 2500 ppmv, but the US Navy is apparently not worried about CO2 levels of several thousand ppmv in their submarines.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/17/claim-co2-makes-you-stupid-as-a-submariner-that-question/

        Max_CH

      • You should worry about being zapped by a bolt of lighting. Playing God is risky.

        You also should be worried about your lack of short-term memory.

      • Max_OK

        We’ve just about beaten this old dog to death, but just to clear it up for you one last time:

        I don’t want to “play God” by throwing taxpayer money at our climate in a silly attempt to change it like some folks do. Do you?

        And I don’t necessarily want CO2 to increase to 1000 ppmv; as I told you, I’m just not fretting about it, as you apparently are.

        And I’m not worried about that bolt of lightning, either.

        Got it now?

        Max_CH

      • k scott denison

        Hey Max_OK, how do you intend to keep CO2 at 400 ppm? What’s the longest period in history of constant CO2?

  44. While I agree there is a lot of uncertainty, it is not in the degree of the temperature change (another 3 C or thereabouts by 2100), but in the consequences of that temperature change. I believe that is a solvable problem for science, especially as it pans out over the next decades, and the regional consequences should be the focus for adaptation policies. Mitigation policies are a lost cause in the developing world, but a move away from fossil fuels towards sustainable, locally produced, and more environmentally friendly energy is good long-term planning anyway.

    • I don’t want to work to pay for your opinion. I don’t think it’s worth it. So, you have to take my earnings. That’s the problem you have: you have nothing anyone wants so you must take it. Your only future — if you continue to refuse to provide value to society — is a bigger and bigger government that will give you what you dant and that is not a long term strategy.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The anthropogenic warming is at most 0.08 degrees C/decade and projecting that forward is decidedly dodgy.

      That there are internal mechanisms that add to and take from global surface temperature is unmistakable – and mainstream science without a doubt. The remaining questions have to do with just how big is the effect, what the impact is on current temperature trajectories and what the implications are for the longer term future. The data we have says it is dominant in recent warming, currently the world is not warming for a decade to three more and the long term prospect for Australian rainfall is quite benign – albeit with increased flooding and cyclone activity.

      http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=44

      Sticking to the meme won’t work – because people will notice that the world is not warming.

      • It is a race to see if Western civilization falls before Western universities are able to add a Climate Engineering degrees to their learned curriculums.

    • It is true that environmental change comes at a cost and someone has to pay for it. Likely it will be everyone, with taxes subsidizing low cost food, fuel or energy or flood and drought insurance. The alternative is the free-market approach of higher prices for basics, and let the poorer figure out how to survive, which won’t happen in civilized countries but might happen in some of the less advanced ones.

      • …now you are conflating global warming with environmentalism. That’s what drove Patrick Moore nuts about the Left. They’re nuts.

      • Jim, the free market approach is to allow buyers and sellers to determine the relative value they give to different goods and services. This ensures that producers offer things that people want, at prices they will pay. In competitive markets, sellers must strive to make a better offer than their competitors. This drives innovation and productivity, which has led to massive increases in the welfare of billions of poor people over the last 60 years.

        Environmental change per se does not come at a cost. More CO2 and higher temperatures, for example, will tend to boost food production, which might help the starving poor. Though energy-based economic development has served them most.

      • Faustino,

        +100

      • The lower limit of the free-market price is set by the price of production whether for food or fuel, and there is no subsidy from the government to make sure it is affordable. If for some reason climate change causes certain foods or fuels to be scarce, their price will rise maybe due to importing them. This would affect some people more than others.

    • Jim D

      While I agree there is a lot of uncertainty, it is not in the degree of the temperature change (another 3 C or thereabouts by 2100), but in the consequences of that temperature change.

      Let’s do a quick check on that, Jim.

      Agree we have no Earthly clue what the consequences of a couple of degrees increase in the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly” would mean for us, nor whether it would be good, bad or inconsequential for us.

      But I do not agree we have any kind of certainty that there will be “another 3C” warming by 2100.

      First of all, we have no real notion what the CO2 temperature response will be.

      We had model-derived predictions of a mean value around 3C in IPCC AR4.

      Since then several new (at least partially) observation-based studies suggest that the value is around 1.6C (~half of previous estimates).

      In AR4 IPCC had predicted CO2 rising to between 580 and 800 ppmv by 2100. The upper end of the range can be taken with a grain of salt, because it assumes that the exponential rate of CO2 increase will itself increase to almost double the current rate despite a predicted sharp decline in human population growth.

      But let’s take the average between IPCC’s lowest and highest “scenario and storyline” or 680 ppmv.

      At a 2xCO2 ECS of 3C, we would see:

      3C*ln(680/393) / ln(2) = 2.4C

      And at the more recent estimates of 2xCO2 of 1.6C, we would see:

      1.6C*ln(680/393) / ln(2) = 1.3C

      This equals 1.85C +/- 0.55C

      Where the lower end of the range is more likely, because it is based on more recent partly observation-based estimates rather than older model predictions.

      And, of course, both estimates exclude any effects of natural forcing and variability, which have completely dominated the past 12-15 years as we have seen.

      So it is safe to say that there is a lot of uncertainty regarding the warming we might see by 2100 and even more uncertainty what this means for humanity and our environment.

      Max

      So your should

      • Jim D and Faustino,

        Agree we have no Earthly clue what the consequences of a couple of degrees increase in the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly” would mean for us, nor whether it would be good, bad or inconsequential for us.

        This really is about THE most important issue. We really have no idea of the impacts of warming. It seems the few studies that have been done and are of any use for the economic analyses (about seventeen in total according to Richard Tol), are likely biased to the doomsayer side. But what we do no is that all warming over at least the past 1 million years has been beneficial to life on planet Earth. It seems the warmer the better for life. Life thrives when the planet is warmer.

        The doomsayers case is not persuasive.

      • My last comment was supposed to be addressed to Jim D and Manacker.

      • The point is, if you plan for 3 C, and it turns out to be 2 or 4, you were at least on the right track and can make small adjustments in either direction. Plan for a temperature that can be catastrophic in areas, rather than completely ignore the possibility. This goes to Judith’s point that the worst thing is either an unprepared-for catastrophe or equivalently too much confidence that nothing will happen.

  45. The Leftist and liberal Utopian’s oversize pictures of Mao over their hearths seem a bit askew these days. How they hated George Bush for kicking Gore to the curb and then blocking Kyoto just like the lone man in China who stood in front of a column of commie tanks at Tiananmen Square in 1989.

    “Humans have always feared climate change and developed myths that our sinfulness is its cause. Accordingly, we always want to be able “to do something” about climate, to sacrifice to the Earth to bring about a golden age of climate stability. Unfortunately, both geology and history show us that the idea of a stable climate is untenable; there has never been, and never will be, a stable climate under human control. All we can do is adapt to constant change.

    Our current obsession with the single factor of carbon dioxide emissions is little different. In a system as complex and chaotic as climate, actions with just one factor out of the thousands involved may even trigger unexpected consequences. It is vital to remember that, for such a coupled, non-linear, chaotic system, not doing something (i.e., not emitting gases) is as unpredictable as doing something (i.e., emitting gases). Even if we closed down every factory, crushed every car and aeroplane, turned off all energy production, and threw 4 billion people worldwide out of work, climate would still change, and often dramatically. Unfortunately, we would all be too poor to do anything about it.

    Basing policies on worries about `global warming’ is a serious threat to us all, but especially to the 1.6 billion people in the less-developed world who have no access to any modern form of energy. The twin curses of water poverty and energy poverty remain the true scandals. By contrast, the political imposition on the rest of the world of our Northern, self-indulgent ecochondria about `global warming’ could prove to be a neo-colonialism too far.”

    (Philip Stott)

    • Stott also says that “Sadly, the idea of a sustainable climate is an oxymoron.”

      As I’ve often pointed out, nothing is sustainable, everything changes, trying to keep things as they are is always more costly than going with the flow, or, better still, having the flexibility and adaptability to take advantage of it (cf my earlier reply to Jim D about suppliers having to better meet buyers’ needs).

      Perhaps those who promote the idea of a sustainable climate are not oxymorons but carbon dioxide morons?

      • Faustino’s says “go with the flow” and don’t “try to keep things as they are.”

        I agree, we should reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by developing wind power, solar power, and other alternative sources of energy. We also should encourage more efficient use of fossil fuels. A revenue-neutral carbon tax is a good way to encourage efficiency. People who want to “keep things as they are” will oppose these measures, but they are mostly older individuals who soon will fade into history.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades. Of course, it is purely speculative to presume that the global mean temperature will remain near current levels for such an extended period of time. Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing. However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained.’ S&T09

        The failure of the eco-buffoons and AGW space cadets to entertain the possibility is an extraordinary failure of intellect and imagination. It can only arise from groupthink and cognitive dissonance. The only real solution for them as the global warming meme implodes is to give it up or swallow the Kool-Aid.

        It is a policy disaster as the impetus for mitigation is lost for a generation at least – as the world fails to warm – because of a misguided moral superiority and an inability to question their assumptions.

      • k scott denison

        Max_OK | April 26, 2013 at 11:58 pm |

        A revenue-neutral carbon tax is a good way to encourage efficiency.
        _________

        If the saving people realize from actually reducing their energy use doesn’t encourage efficiency, why will a tax?

    • Wagathon wrote good words! Also Faustino wrote good words!

  46. Judy: You start with your testimony as climate scientist with the statement
    “If all other things remain equal, it is clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet. However the real difficulty is that nothing remains equal..”. But this is not a scientific statement, since you describe a situation without connection to reality and you are actually saying nothing of scientific meaning.

    My serious question to you is: Why do you start out like this? Why don’t you start out saying what you actually say in the rest of the statement, namely that the effect of doubled CO2 is unknown to scientists including yourself? Why are you using this form of deception in a testimony to the congress, where every word you say should be carefully chosen and true to the science you know? Why do you say that doubled CO2 has a warming effect, when you have no real evidence behind this statement? If you claim that you know that CO2 has a warming effect, but that it may be so small that it can never be detected, then you are in possession of a knowledge which is super-human. If you say that you don’t know the effect of doubled CO2, then you would be true to your scientific understanding, as far as I can understand at least, and this is also what you actually say but only after first saying that it has a warming effect. Do you see what I am saying? Claes

    • You wrote: “If all other things remain equal, it is clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet. However the real difficulty is that nothing remains equal..”. But this is not a scientific statement, since you describe a situation without connection to reality and you are actually saying nothing of scientific meaning.

      You are joking. That is as scientific as it gets. You change one thing and other things change. That is reality! You ignore what is changing that make all the climate models wrong for decades.

    • claesjohnson

      You wrote this to Judy, who might take time to respond.

      If you say that you don’t know the effect of doubled CO2, then you would be true to your scientific understanding, as far as I can understand at least, and this is also what you actually say but only after first saying that it has a warming effect. Do you see what I am saying?

      But let me toss in my thoughts, for what they’re worth.

      There is evidence from reproducible laboratory work, which shows that CO2 (along with other GHGs, principally H2O) absorbs IR radiation (the GH effect).

      There is also the observed fact that both atmospheric CO2 and temperature have increased over the past 65 year (since a record of atmospheric CO2 exists at Mauna Loa) or maybe even 160+ years (since a global temperature record exists, if we rely on ice core data for CO2, such as Siegenthaler 1986). But the correlation is very weak statistically with some statisticians calling it a “random walk”, due to the multi-decadal ups and downs in the temperature record compared to a smooth exponential rate of increase in atmospheric CO2.

      While this does NOT provide any evidence that increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations HAVE HAD or WILL HAVE a percepible warming effect on our climate, they do provide an indication that they COULD do so.

      The missing link is empirical evidence (from real-time physical observations or reproducible experimentation) to corroborate this hypothesis. Many people make the mistake of confusing computer simulations with empirical evidence – they are NOT.

      We have an analogous situation with the much less ballyhooed hypothesis of galactic cosmic ray cloud nucleation as a driver of climate proposed by Henrik Svensmark and others.

      Here we also have a good, even longer-term correlation between solar activity (hence cosmic ray activity) and global temperature, also with a “blip” where the correlation is weak (in the 1990s) and a cosmic ray cloud nucleation mechanism, which has recently been corroborated empirically at CERN under controlled conditions in the presence of certain naturally occurring aerosols.

      So we have an empirically corroborated indication that this mechanism COULD be a driver of our climate.

      But again, as with the AGW hypothesis, what is missing is empirical evidence that this mechanism actually DOES work in our atmosphere to create clouds and change climate. Added experimental work is planned at CERN to replicate conditions of our atmosphere to either corroborate and quantify or falsify the Svensmark cosmic ray cloud hypothesis as a significant driver of our climate.

      Similar work should be planned to corroborate the AGW hypothesis.

      But, to my knowledge, this is not being planned and I wonder why this is.

      I have heard the rationalizations (or excuses) that this would be too difficult or even impossible, but that sounds very much like a cop out to me. If we can send a robot to Mars, we can sure as hell figure out how to corroborate and quantify or falsify the AGW hypothesis.

      Just my thoughts.

      Hope Judith gives you hers (which would carry a lot more weight).

      Max

  47. Watching video of the presentations and the questions and answers, I had the impression the questioners had their minds already made up and were seeking confirmation of their opinions. I hope those who didn’t speak and their minders will look carefully at the material presented.

    I think Judith’s and Bjorn Lomborg’s presentations, submitted material and answers to questions were excellent.

    I was not impressed with Dr Chameides presentation or answers to questions.

    He was doing what activist scientists do and what I despise in activist climate scientists. He was advocating for climate polices with seemingly no understanding of and no interest in the economic consequences of the policies he was advocating.

    He argues we must “take the first step”, no matter what first step is. He argues for “we-must-just-do-something” policy. [as an aside, that is the argument the present and past Australian prime ministers have use to justify implementing a carbon tax and ETS]

    And Dr Chameides frequently appeals to emotion rather than rational argument, such as: “our children, children’s children and their children”, etc. I find Dr arguments entirely unconvincing.

    • Surprise, surprise! (

    • Welcome to the world of false equivalence between the two sides.

      And it’s not that there aren’t good people coming from the Warmist side, its just to stay in the good graces of that camp, or get a promotion, requires you pay your dues. And these are some dirty deeds.

      The pension is worth it though: Hansen’s predictions couldn’t be any worse, but his stock has never been higher. As long as your story is compelling and spurs listeners into an emotional state,you’ll be lionized for the rest of your days.

  48. I especially liked this part of Dr Curry’s presentation:

    The recent research on natural internal variability and black carbon aerosols, combined with ongoing plateau in global average surface temperature, suggests that the AR4 estimates of climate sensitivity to doubling CO2 may be too high, with implications for the attribution of late 20th century warming and projections of 21st century warming. The IPCC AR4 conclusion on climate sensitivity is stated as:

    “The equilibrium climate sensitivity. . . is likely to be in the range 2oC to 4.5oC with a best estimate of about 3oC and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5oC. Values higher than 4.5oC cannot be excluded. .”

    This estimate of equilibrium climate sensitivity is not easily reconciled with recent forcing estimates and observational data. There is increasing support for values of climate sensitivity around or below 2oC
    .
    The meta-uncertainty of these estimates remains high owing to inadequacies in the methods used to determine sensitivity from observations and models. If the climate models are running too ‘hot’ in terms of predicting climate sensitivity that is too high, what are the possible problems with the models that might contribute to this? While the direct forcing from greenhouse gases is well understood, possible problems are associated with the magnitudes of the water vapor feedback and the cloud feedback. The cloud-radiative feedback is one of the most uncertain elements of climate models; even the sign is uncertain, although most climate models produce a positive cloud-radiative feedback (warming effect).

    Nuff said. Dr Curry seems to cover what is needed for AR5 WG1. Bjorn Lomborg seems to cover what is needed for AR5 WG3. So is AR5 needed? Is it time to disband the IPCC? Spend the money elsewhere?

    • Peter Lang

      Thanks for pointing out the quotations regarding climate sensitivity.

      This seems to reconfirm that IPCC now faces a real dilemma, in view of the recent studies pointing to a 2xCO2 ECS of 2C or less:

      IPCC can either:

      - accept the new data and revise its projections of future warming accordingly, thereby losing the “fear” factor and resulting sense of urgency for action

      OR

      - ignore these or rationalize them away (or “sweep them under the rug” as our hostess wrote in an earlier post), and risk losing all remaining credibility and becoming totally irrelevant

      I personally hope IPCC picks the first choice. It would go a long way toward depoliticizing the climate debate.

      But I fear it will choose the second option and “hang in tough” (and thereby ending up self-destructing).

      What do you think?

      Max

      • Manacker, I agree. I can’t add anything to your comment. I think progress is being made, but whether or not it is enough to get the IPCC to change direction, like you, I doubt it.

      • Max you write “What do you think?”

        During the American civil war, General Sherman remarked WWTE “The art of war is to give your opponent two options; both of which are bad”. I think the denier/skeptics have succeeded in following Sherman’s idea. The IPCC’s problem, which you have outlined, has been known for years. I understand the IPCC report will be published later this year. The difference this time is that opposition to the report is much more organized than it was for the AR4. When the AR5 comes out will be the time to see what happens when the IPCC chooses what to do. In the meanwhile we just have to wait.

      • manacker

        I am optimistic about the future and I am pessimistic about the IPCC. Too many government policies are tied to the scare scenario including our own EPA with its Endangerment Finding. No scare, no need to regulate CO2. EPA would have to re-gear and re-fight the battle on ultra fine particulates, ground water pollution, and whether or not to build a dam. Now these are not sexy topics. No need to roam the halls of Congress; make extraordinary declarative statements to a press corp waiting with baited breath. No, EPA would have to stand in line with its hand out, just like Housing & Urban Development, etc.

        I view IPCC as a creation of an art colony within Government, kind of like Pygmalion, the colony falling in love with the statue they carved. It was never about the science, only the declarations and the feel good.

        Climate on the other hand will hopefully become slightly warmer and I can plant my tomatoes before Memorial Day.

      • RiH008, you write “Climate on the other hand will hopefully become slightly warmer and I can plant my tomatoes before Memorial Day.”

        Waaay OT. Have you heard of “Kozy Koats (?sp)”, which enable you to plant tomates outside weeks earlier. Conical plastic covers, filled with water.

      • Jim Crispwell

        Hmmm…. I’m sorta…, I guess…. I’ll have to adapt.

        Now where can I find these new fangled tomato gismos?

      • JIM CRIPWELL

        Thanks. Looks sexy if you know what I mean. Maybe EPA could have a look see as well.

      • Jim Cripwell

        OK. You’re in Canada and I’m in Switzerland, where this may take a bit longer, but it sounds like the “Kozy Koats” folks better cash in while they can.

        According to IPCC, the days are numbered for their product, unless hapless Inuits (deprived of their ancestral nutrition of polar bear meat as a result of their extinction) switch to growing tomatoes for survival.

        Max

      • RiHo08

        Agree with what you wrote and good luck with your tomatoes.

        Max

  49. Question in: does the Congress want to hear the truth about: ”confusing big / small climatic changes with the phony GLOBAL warming?” B] H2O changes the climate; for better and for worse = CO2 has nothing to do with the global temp – atmospheric temp (global temp) is controlled 100% by the oxygen & nitrogen – expanding the troposphere when gets warmer INSTANTLY and equalizes in a jiffy. is that kept hidden from the congress?

    • Oxygen and Nitrogen do not change state in the temperature range that we enjoy. Only Water changes state in the temperature range that we enjoy. Water is Abundant and Water, in all of its states, does regulate the temperature of Earth.
      That is Liquid Water, Ice, Water Vapor, Clouds and even some Steam.

    • Herman Alexander Pope | April 26,said: ”Oxygen and Nitrogen do not change state in the temperature range that we enjoy. Only Water changes state in the temperature range that we enjoy”

      Herman my friend; the way you understand that: ”water regulates the climate” the ignorants don’t believe you = that’s exactly, you as ignorant don’t understand that: ”climatic changes, controlled by H2O have NOTHING to do with any phony GLOBAL warming” So you should have open mind.

      oxygen & nitrogen (the troposphere is regulating the GLOBAL temp ”OVERALL” to be ALWAYS the SAME!!! Troposphere is the earth’s radiator – when warmed – > instantly expands; larger volume troposphere wastes extra heat and equalizes in a jiffy. Reason trucks have bigger radiators than cars, to waste extra heat that truck’s engine produces.

      By dismissing my proofs; you are denying yourself the basic facts that: O&N expand INSTANTLY, when get warmer B} where they expand upwards into the stratosphere, the temp is minus -85-90C. That’s 650% colder than on the ground = taking object from +15C ( which is the warming air on the ground level) and putting it into temp of minus -85 -> cools it in a jiffy, not in 10 or 100 years. Think about it; stop denying yourself the most reliable proofs, that can be replicate in controlled environment on the ground. reason i will win on the end; because the laws of physics are on my side. First you have to understand that: no need any stupid / phony GLOBAL warming for the climate to change. Sahara and Brazil are big enough proof – ”one with best climate, the other with worse climate at the same time”…. H2O makes warmer nights / cooler days – lack of it -> hotter days / colder nights – that’s not global warming or cooling, just water makes better / milder climate. (localized warmings / coolings are different thing)

      Putting those things together, with the biggest con; which is ”warmer and colder the WHOLE planet” is same as saying: because the moon is spinning around the earth = it means that the whole universe is spinning around the earth also. so, one is correct, the other is con, the laws of physics say!!!

      don’t you believe that O&N expand when warmed / shrink when cooled more than normal? don’t you believe that: where troposphere expands upwards the temp is minus -90C?!?!?! why don’t you believe in my proofs; see what propaganda did to you…

  50. Dr Curry,

    I have a suggestion. Could you write a ‘one page briefing note’ for politicians and policy advisers who have a few minutes to understand it and believe it offers the best solution to climate politics. I am thinking of briefing note that explains the ‘robust policy’ approach, and describes the benefits on one page of dot points and sub points. The audience would be the sort of people who asked the questions at your presentation. I suspect 95% of your written submission would go right over the heads (such as “messy wikedness” and “parametrically or stochastically” etc.).

    I and others could circulate it to our contacts.

  51. Peter, Judith’s conclusion is something of a one-page briefing note. I’ve suggested to Tthe Australian that they seek an Opinion piece from her. Given my experience in writing very concisely for newspaper publication and of writing one-page briefs on complex subjects for government leaders (albeit I’m out of practice), I’d be delighted to offer comments on any draft.

    The 15-page paper seems to me to be neutral, in the sense that is aimed at informing, evaluating and improving the science and its presentation. It is apparent that Judith has no self-serving or political agenda. It’s probably much harder to maintain that balance in a one-page brief, and, while I’d welcome one, there may be risks to Judith’s reputation if it needs to be simplified to the point where someone can perceive an agenda or misrepresent it.

    Similarly, if you or I, who have strong views on policy, were to distribute a brief, Judith could be compromised by association, notwithstanding that we are such fine, upstanding, public-spirited gentlemen. Better that it appear in a neutral forum, e.g. a terse head-post on CE; or in The Australian, which accepts that warming is happening, is dangerous and should be addressed by emissions reduction.

    • Faustino,

      Thank you and I whole heartedly agree with this bit: “notwithstanding that we are such fine, upstanding, public-spirited gentlemen”

      I also agree:

      The 15-page paper seems to me to be neutral, in the sense that is aimed at informing, evaluating and improving the science and its presentation. It is apparent that Judith has no self-serving or political agenda. It’s probably much harder to maintain that balance in a one-page brief, …

      However, I don’t agree with:

      It’s probably much harder to maintain that balance in a one-page brief, and, while I’d welcome one, there may be risks to Judith’s reputation if it needs to be simplified to the point where someone can perceive an agenda or misrepresent it.

      Either scientists avoid briefing politicians or they must be prepared to provide the briefing notes in the way they expect, or leave that task to policy advisers who then put their own spin on it. Then the scientists (justifiably) complain about being misrepresented, but too late. Mostly there is no second chance, as you know.

      This bit of your comment suggest a misunderstood what I was meant to suggest:

      Similarly, if you or I, who have strong views on policy, were to distribute a brief,

      I didn’t mean to imply that the briefing note be given to me and I circulate it. I agree with you that it should be posted on Climate Etc. or wherever will be the best place for it to go viral and become recognised world wide as THE solution to solve all the world’s climate problems.

      I also agree with your suggestion of an op ed in The Australian and other top MSM world wide.

      The main part I’d like Judith to explain in the briefing note is how we need to adopt the ‘robust policy’ approach, how it can be done in practice, why it is the best approach, etc.

      This is an extract from the part of Judith’s presentation that is prompting my suggestion:

      Rather than choosing an optimal policy based on a scientific consensus, decision makers can design robust and flexible policy strategies that account for uncertainty, ignorance and dissent. Robust strategies formally consider uncertainty, whereby decision makers seek to reduce the range of possible scenarios over which the strategy performs poorly. Flexible strategies are adaptive, and can be quickly adjusted to advancing scientific insights. Under conditions of deep uncertainty, the following options are open to decision makers:

      • Delay in order to gather more information and in the hope of reducing uncertainties
      • Enlarge the knowledge base for decisions through broader perspectives
      • Invoke the precautionary principle
      • Adaptive management
      • Build a resilient society.

      Each of these strategies incorporates information about uncertainty into the decision making process …

      • Peter, I’ve quoted that “robust and flexible” passage in a letter to the Oz. On reflection, Judith does have an agenda, which is, at least in part and approximately, that those advising government on climate science should make clear all the uncertainties and unknowns, and that advice should indicate ways of operating in an uncertain situation, rather than seeking to provide a deterministic solution which glosses over uncertainties. It’s hard to believe that Australia could have adopted the policies it has if this approach had been adopted by the IPCC and its fellow-travellers.

      • Faustino,

        It’s hard to believe that Australia could have adopted the policies it has if this approach had been adopted by the IPCC and its fellow-travellers.

        That’s true and it makes my point. Australia, EU, California, British Columbia, New Zealand and others that have carbon pricing schemes would not have implemented them if they had understood, back then, what Judith is writing now. Not just the politicians and policy advisers need to understand, but also the MSM journalists and the public. That is why what scientists write for scientists, also needs to be put into language that can educate and quickly influence the public, MSM, policy advisers and politicians. They need to understand the bones of the solution in an instant, then they can read more or get the impression that all their mates understand so it must be right. That’s the world we work in now.

        I know you already know all this; I am trying to get my message across for other readers. I appreciate the discussion as it helps to get the point better explained.

        p.s.
        Judith has had several posts on robust analysis and robust policy strategy but I get the impression that its relevance and importance has got through to very few people, even on Climate Etc. I say this, because there is very little ongoing discussion of it. It is seldom brought up in comments. So I maintain it needs to be better explained for the masses.

      • Dream on. The revenue-neutral carbon tax is a no-brainer Oregon is next.

    • Faustino,

      Peter, I’ve quoted that “robust and flexible” passage in a letter to the Oz.

      Was the letter published? What date? Sorry I missed it.

    • Max_OK ( April 26, 2013 at 12:02 pm)
      The revenue-neutral carbon tax is ideal for people with no brains. It sounds good, but it is neutral only for government coffers.
      It is, however, not neutral for citizens since it is run by politicians through the bureaucracies.
      It is ideal for “spreading the wealth”, regardless of contribution or performance. It is ideal for buying favor with political allies (contributors, bundlers, voters). It is ideal for punishing citizens and political opponents.

      E.g., Solyndra, A123, Abound Solar, Beacon Power, BrightSource Energy Inc., Evergreen Solar, Eastern Energy, Fisker, GE, GM (Chevy Volt), Ener1, Range Fuels, Solar Trust of America, Spectrawatt, LightSquared, Unisolar, Bright Automotive, Olson’s Crop Service, Energy Conversion Devices, Sovello, Siag, Solon, Q-Cells, Mountain Plaza.

      • Pooh, Dixie | April 27, 2013 at 1:38 am |

        You seem to equate ‘paying for what you get’ with ‘punishment’.

        Does paying for a peach punish you for eating the peach?

        Or does it represent an equitable exchange of value between your wallet and my peach orchard; between the work you did to earn your dollars and the work I did to grow and pick and bring to market my peaches?

        Does it ‘spread’ your wealth in dollars, or my wealth in peaches?

        The contribution of share in the carbon cycle, of Risk in GHE, comes from an equal base; that’s inescapable as these are properties of air, and right to air is inalienable and indefeasible. No one can go without air and live, so no one’s rights to air may be surrendered.

        Performance, however, that does differ from individual to individual. If my process of manufacture uses less or no carbon emission, putting less or no burden on the carbon cycle and GHE imbalance than my competitors, why ought I not benefit from an advantage in the Market? No, it is failing to price the carbon cycle, the GHE Risk, that fails to recognise differences in performance. That is the failure of the present system in the USA.

        That is why a Capitalist will see that carbon emission must be priced, and that price ought float by the Law of Supply and Demand to the point of maximum return of dividends to owners – each citizen, per capita.

        The only political opponent punished by Capitalism is an anti-capitalist. So who has anything to fear, but collectivists?

        The examples you cite, of the sort of thinking that gets us deeper into this mess, are examples of exactly the opposite of revenue neutrality: spending by the government from general revenues as if the government were wiser than the Market.

      • Obviously, you are some kind of anti-government ideologue, maybe a libertarian, and Ayn Randy, or something I have never heard of.

        Imagine your anti-government ideology summarized on a few sheet of paper. Then imagine me crunching those sheets into a wad, and tossing that wad into the toilet and flushing it. That should tell you what I think of what you think.

      • Yes, Bart, but you are talking about enlightened capitalism, not old fuddy-duddy capitalism.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘When I say that the conservative lacks principles, I do not mean to suggest that he lacks moral conviction. The typical conservative is indeed usually a man of very strong moral convictions. What I mean is that he has no political principles which enable him to work with people whose moral values differ from his own for a political order in which both can obey their convictions. It is the recognition of such principles that permits the coexistence of different sets of values that makes it possible to build a peaceful society with a minimum of force. The acceptance of such principles means that we agree to tolerate much that we dislike. There are many values of the conservative which appeal to me more than those of the socialists; yet for a liberal the importance he personally attaches to specific goals is no sufficient justification for forcing others to serve them. I
        have little doubt that some of my conservative friends will be shocked by what they will regard as “concessions” to modern views that I have made in Part III of this book. But, though I may dislike some of the measures concerned as much as they do and might vote against them, I know of no general principles to which I could appeal to persuade those of a different view that those measures are not permissible in the general kind of society which we both desire. To live and work successfully with others requires more than faithfulness to one’s concrete aims. It requires an intellectual commitment to a type of order in which, even on issues which to one are fundamental, others are allowed to pursue different ends.’ F A Hayek – ‘Why I am not a conservative’.

        I think unquestionably the pissant progressive lacks the organising political principles of the true liberal. The passage comes from an addendum to The Constitution of Liberty – a treatise on governments and markets. A central idea is that societal values evolve through that and that rights emerge from social agreement. I recommend it.

        Frankly the framing of a tax as an essential adjunct to capitalism is so far fetched as to be delusional. It is far from something that emerges as a natural outcome of buying and selling in the market place. Else – of course – it would not need to be imposed as an afterthought.

        One might impose any tax as an outcome of the democratic process. Essentially voting on this – or at a minimum having one’s notional representatives vote on it. To do this one would have to sell the idea in the ideas marketplace – where the zeitgeist meets the polity. One would think that rational arguments rather than the fallacy of the appeal to emotion – linking the regard for free markets to the implementation of a tax – would better serve. Perhaps it is indicative of the paucity of realistic argument for a carbon tax. But on any account – it is something to be determined by democratic means and this trumps the market. You are not opposed to democracy are you Bart?

      • k scott denison

        Bart R | April 27, 2013 at 1:56 am |
        Pooh, Dixie | April 27, 2013 at 1:38 am |

        You seem to equate ‘paying for what you get’ with ‘punishment’.

        Does paying for a peach punish you for eating the peach?
        ______

        Sure Bart, we should also develop a revenue-neutral peach tax so that those who eat more peaches pay a higher tax rate.

        News flash: people who use more energy already pay more, both for the cost of the energy and for the existing taxes on that energy. So a revenue-neutral carbon tax has the objective of transferring wealth from those who use more energy to those who use less.

        Why not do the same for peaches?

      • k scott denison | April 27, 2013 at 8:24 am |

        I’ve heard of faulty parallelism.. but you’ve come so close to faulty perpendicularism as to escape the page.

        The revenue neutral carbon tax on carbon would be parallel to your proposed revenue neutral peach tax were peaches making lucrative use of the scarce side of the carbon cycle. Peaches, however, make lucrative use of the excess side of the carbon cycle, by sequestering carbon.

        When someone pays a revenue neutral carbon tax, they pay the owners of the carbon cycle for the damage their abuse of the scarce side of the cycle does. The owners — all of us, per capita, nation by nation — then have their tax churn and the distortions of other, worse, taxes relieved, and may even get paid directly through the same payroll mechanisms as governments now use to take money away from the makers of the workplace.

        This double-dividend works.

        See, peaches do get taxed in any number of ways. Peach growers are in general honored to contribute their fair share to the nation. Why ought free riders who only shirk and shirk run their Oil and Gas businesses as if the world were their urinal, and dodge tax responsibility at every turn, while growing to be the biggest businesses in the world?

  52. plus 100 )

  53. SO???? :)

    • Beth, save those “+ 100s”, the Aussie batsman are going to need them for the Ashes series.

      E.g., Warner, b Finn 6 (+100 to give the Aussies a chance).

      • - 100

        Mods! Faustino is off topic!

      • mosomoso, I’m a bit off my head tonight, and I have to get off this blog soon, as my daughter who is a policy officer at the Dept of Climate Change (“The Dark Side”) is due to arrive from Canberra shortly.

        In the period between her being offered an interview and getting her job, I had (at her request) to stop writing letters on CAGW to The Australian. But I don’t think anyone in the ACT has yet connected her with the persistent letter writer. Got to go.

      • Faustino,

        A very close friend of mine’s daughter is also fairly senior in the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. He and daughter are very definitely on the dark side. They are against building dams, for the carbon tax and for just about all the policies this Labor government wants. I’ve been trying to educate them for many years and they are trying to educate me. :)

        Another closer friend’s nephew was one of the senior modellers in Treasury responsible for Treasury’s carbon price modelling. He strongly believes in it and all Labor’s policies.

        At least your daughter can get out of Canberra and get to a warmer climate and out into the real world. She’s very lucky to have such an experienced and wise family. Hopefully she is impartial too (like you) and can help the next government with sound, impartial policy advice.

        By the way, what do you think of Peter Harris the new head of the Productivity Commission?

      • Latimer Alder

        Naah… they’ll only get +100 if they hand in their homework on time….

        :-) :-) :-)

  54. David Springer

    Curry testified on extreme weather and climate change linkage saying it was true that extreme weather events had been more common recently but went on to say that similar extremes were observed in the 1950’s and 1930’s. A moment later Chameides stated that extreme weather now, at least in the United States, was more common now than anytime in the past 50 years.

    This would indicate that Chameides knew very well that Curry’s statement about 1950’s and 1930’s was true and he used “past 50 years” to avoid mention that similar extremes have been observed 60 years ago.

    This is intellectual dishonesty and makes Chameides a snake lying for the cause.

    • Extreme warm events happen in warm times and extreme cold events happen in warm times to send the earth toward cooler again. It snows more when oceans are warm, such as now and such as in the Medieval Warm Time and such as in the Roman Warm Time and it always cools after a warm time.

      http://bigstory.ap.org/article/rain-eases-drought-some-farmers-not-all

      The farmers talk about harvesting 80% more corn in last year’s drought than in 1988 when they had a comparable drought. Of course the more CO2 did help with that. More CO2 makes green things grow better with less water.
      Now they have a problem with snow and cold and too much rain. That is exactly what does happen when the oceans get warm and wet. Warm oceans and open Arctic do lead to more snow and cold and rain. Look at NOAA’s data. Warmer causes more snow accumulation. Colder causes less snow accumulation.

      http://popesclimatetheory.com/page11.html

  55. A lot of Judith’s testimony focuses on uncertainty. This is something that could be better reflected in how money is spent on research. We don’t know how the important cloud feedback works, yet we are building models on computers that practically need their own coal plants and will likely give results only marginally better than plotting a temperature graph and drawing a line through it:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/16/wyoming-experiences-that-giant-sucking-sound-as-new-coal-fired-climate-supercomputer-is-turned-on/

    We should be making important aerosol measurements:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-james-hansen/doubling-down-on-our-faustian-bargain_b_2989535.html

    “Unfortunately, the satellite mission designed for that purpose failed to achieve orbit, suffering precisely the same launch failure as the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO). Although a replacement OCO mission is in preparation, no replacement aerosol mission is scheduled.”

  56. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Peter Lang suggests “Dr. Curry, I have a suggestion. Could you write a ‘one page briefing note’ for politicians and policy advisers?”

    That is an excellent suggestion, Peter Lang!

    The Pontifical Academy’s workshop report “Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene provides summary recommendations in precisely the suggested 1-page format:

    Three Recommended Measures

    Human-caused changes in the composition of the air and air quality result in more than 2 million premature deaths worldwide every year and threaten water and food security —especially among those “bottom 3 billion” people who are too poor to avail of the protections made possible by fossil fuel use and industrialization. Since a sustainable future based on the continued extrac- tion of coal, oil and gas in the “business-as-usual mode” will not be possible because of both resource depletion and environmental damages (as caused, e.g., by dangerous sea level rise) we urge our societies to:

    Recommended Measure I. Reduce worldwide carbon dioxide emissions without delay, using all means possible to meet ambitious international global warming targets and ensure the long-term stability of the climate system. All nations must focus on a rapid transition to renewable energy sources and other strategies to reduce CO2 emissions. Nations should also avoid removal of carbon sinks by stopping deforestation, and should strengthen carbon sinks by reforestation of degraded lands. They also need to develop and deploy technologies that draw down excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. These actions must be accomplished within a few decades.

    Recommended Measure II. Reduce the concentrations of warming air pollutants (dark soot, methane, lower atmosphere ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons) by as much as 50%, to slow down climate change during this century while preventing millions of premature deaths from respiratory disease and millions of tons of crop damages every year.

    Recommended Measure III. Prepare to adapt to the climatic changes, both chronic and abrupt, that society will be unable to mitigate. In particular, we call for a global capacity- building initiative to assess the natural and social impacts of climate change in mountain systems and related watersheds.

    SUMMARY  The cost of the three recommended measures pales in comparison to the price the world will pay if we fail to act now.

    These are clearly stated, scientifically strong, morally foresighted recommendations, eh Peter Lang?

    According to our present scientific understanding, the coming decades and centuries will require few changes to them!

    Moreover, next year’s Pontifical Academy workshop Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature (2014) no doubt will provide even greater specificity.

    Thank you, Peter Lang, for [implicitly] recognizing the crucial significance of this immensely instructive and gratifyingly specific 1-page summary of intersection of climate-change science, policy, history, and morality!

    Good work, Peter Lang!

    \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}

  57. Here is a nice chart showing how global temperature tracks CO2 levels. It omits 1998 and shows the increase in temps before and after, with CO2 superimposed.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/to:1997/trend/plot/rss/from:1999/trend/plot/rss/plot/esrl-co2/from:1975/normalise

  58. I’m reminded of an old argument from a young Earth creationist on sci.skeptic Usenet group many years ago, who conceded that the physical evidence pointed towards an Earth that was more than 6000 years old, but that such evidence was not dispositive, because perhaps God had put that evidence there for some specific, but unknown reason to trick ‘us,’ his createes.

    Now I’ve learned from this thread that CO2 bubbles in glacial ice tend to rise to the surface! Wow! And these rising bubbles explain why ice cores ‘incorrectly’ show higher CO2 concentrations lagging periods of higher temperatures by centuries. Double Wow! Has this been physically observed? Have we measured this phenomenon in Antarctica and Greenland? How? Do we know at what rate these bubbles rise? How is this velocity or acceleration established? And, too, if true, atmospheric CO2 levels directly above glacial ice should be higher due to this outgassing, should they not? Has that been established by observation? More importantly, what other aspects of internal glacial movements and chemistry are not behaving in a ‘presumed’ manner? Are some other molecules sinking in the ice because they’re heavier? What other ‘incorrect’ things might we also have been drawn into falsely believing? What does this tell us about paleo-climate?

    Just move along. No uncertainty here.

  59. Sorry for posting off-topic Prof. Curry, but I just found out (via Stratfor) about Japan’s initiative to mine methane hydrate, a subject which may deserve a thread of its own:

    Japan’s Methane Hydrates and the Future of Global Energy

    One mystery that still remains is the effect this process will have on the environment, since methane is a greenhouse gas. On one hand, if the technology is not perfected, methane emissions could increase the rate of global warming. But on the other hand, natural gas is a cleaner alternative to coal, on which Japan still relies for a large portion of its energy needs.

    While methane is short-lived, a continuing release from “leaky” mining processes might well have a much greater greenhouse effect than its simple contribution to carbon.

    In addition, increased methane in the upper atmosphere might impact ozone formation in the stratosphere, allowing a large increase in UVC reaching the surface. (I couldn’t find references, so I’m relying on an old recollection.)

    Why Japan’s Methane Hydrate Exploitation Would Be Game Over for the Climate

    What might happen if methane hydrates do end up getting released from the seafloor? We need only look to the past: 56 million years ago, an estimated 2,500 gigatons of carbon were released into the atmosphere. That carbon, as research last year argued, likely came from a collapse of methane hydrate reserves, which essentially melted and released by warming oceans.

    In the words of Motherboard’s Derek Mead, who wrote about that research, “For 150,000 years, a period known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, that carbon [from methane hydrates released from the seafloor] blanketed the Earth and pushed global temperatures to radical highs. While extinction events caused by the PETM weren’t on the scale of the dinosaur extinctions from nine million years prior, it did result in an explosion of diversification that permanently altered the makeup of the planet’s species.”

    Blatant scare tactics, nobody (except a few chicken-little’s) is talking about releasing all of it. But still, maybe not “game over”, but certainly a game-changer.

    • Actually I just pulled a big article in the Atlantic on this, i should get a post up i the next week

      • Great! Thanks.

        I was going to finish reading it, or even wait till next week, but the following is just too good to wait to post:

        To ask utilities to take in large amounts of solar power—electricity generated by hundreds or thousands of small installations, many on neighborhood roofs and lawns, whose output is affected by clouds—is like asking a shipping firm to replace its huge, professionally staffed container ships with squadrons of canoes paddled by random adolescents.

      • To contrast your analogy.

        To expect farmers to grow hundreds or thousands of acres of crops with the possibility of a drought hanging in the balance is like assuming that a bunch of random adolescents with pails and access to a lake will provide the moisture.

        Do you not get the point? Nothing is guaranteed in the world, but people can potentially adapt to whatever situation is put in front of them. Who knows how we will/can adapt to wind and solar power. It is absolutely comical to see how people seem to know the answer.

      • Not my analogy, Charles C. Mann’s. Yours, however, is invalid. A better effort might be as follows:

        To expect farmers to grow hundreds or thousands of acres of crops while replacing their modern, automated, irrigation systems with a bunch of random adolescents with pails and access to a lake to provide the moisture… (“is like asking a shipping firm to replace its huge, professionally staffed container ships with squadrons of canoes paddled by random adolescents.“)

        Your misuse of analogy and other (meta-)logical tools demonstrates that you’re only a propaganda bot.

      • Well, that is better than being a Luddite who can’t foresee things like smart grid, etc.

      • @WebHubTelescope…

        I can foresee it, I can also foresee cheap, simple power storage in the home, so that local owners of solar panels or whatever can simply save their energy, and use it instead of something off the grid when there are clouds. Overall, that seems like a much better solution.

        My problem is with your misuse of analogy, not your vision of the future. Your vision of the future seems simplistic and ideologically driven to me, but perhaps there are other reasons.

        I can foresee cheap, easily manufactured, cooling systems using ammonia, entirely contained within a small box, with heat being shipped around using hot/cold water, technology that is already mature, always has been cheaper than soldiered copper tubes full of freon or whatever, and can be maintained by anyone with a 6th-grade education and a few months of voc school.

        I can foresee “intelligent” comfort technology that performs heat pumping across only the necessary temperature differential, thus saving energy. I can foresee comfort technology that focuses more on reduced humidity rather than temperature, thus providing a more comfortable environment at a lower cost in energy to maintain it. (Much less humidity leakage than heat, although bringing a room from ambient to comfort-level will take almost as much energy since most of it will go into condensing water anyway.)

        I can foresee larger-scale power storage systems based on evacuated tanks sunk a Km or so into the ocean with water transfer in and out serving to store the energy. I can foresee floating concentrating solar power stations, technology that is closer to mature than PV and has fewer bad side effects. Waste heat from energy generation can be used to distill water, and the warm water left over can be drawn from the deep ocean, producing fertilized ocean water capable of fixing large amounts of CO2.

        I can foresee Huge amounts of solar power generation dedicated to processes that can speed up or slow down depending on availability, so that the actual amount of constant energy needed for civilization will be within the capability of energy storage technology.

        But I can also foresee large numbers of ideologically driven liberals declaiming that such technology “isn’t relevant”, or “won’t work” for some ridiculous reason that doesn’t make scientific sense, or any other specious rationalization why the “problem” demands instantly socializing the world, or whatever other agenda they’re claiming.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        AK avers “To ask utilities to take in large amounts of solar power—electricity generated by hundreds or thousands of small installations, many on neighborhood roofs and lawns, whose output is affected by clouds—is like asking a shipping firm to replace its huge, professionally staffed container ships with squadrons of canoes paddled by random adolescents.”

        LOL … AK, you’ve nicely described how ethernet protocols work!

        How do ethernet protocols work?  Just fine, thank you very much!

        As with large-scale data-distribution networks, so with large-scale energy-distribution networks.

        You show a laudable talent for technical explanation, AK!

        \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}

      • @A fan of *MORE* discourse…

        How do ethernet protocols work? Just fine, thank you very much!

        No they don’t! That’s why smart switches were invented. Have you ever had to debug a five-station ethernet star when it got in a traffic jam? Unswitched networks are obsolete, and rightfully so!

      • Fanny, you’re confusing Ethernet with TCP. TCP is the one with the packets and reassembly. Ethernet’s just a fast comm port. You can do TCP/IP over USB if you want to.

      • @Harold…

        Fanny, you’re confusing Ethernet with TCP. TCP is the one with the packets and reassembly. Ethernet’s just a fast comm port.

        No he’s not! Ethernet has packets just as IP does (also UDP). But ethernet’s at the physical level, and unswitched ethernet does indeed have collision detection. Along with all the headaches that implies.

        Of course, it isn’t a very good analogy for what power networks have to do with intermittent variable backflow from consumer customers. But Afomd isn’t very good with analogy.

      • Agreed. Data and power aren’t good analogs. For a long list of reasons.

      • That’s why analogies don’t work. They are ambiguous at best.

        The real discussion point revolves around why the Japanese are investing in methane clathrate extraction. It’s obvious that Japan has very little conventional fossil fuels of their own to draw from, and they can easily see the price of imported oil going through the roof. They have no other alternative but to start mining for the clathrates.

      • “Smart Grid” is a stupid idea. Tons of money spent when instead we should be burning the cheapest fuel possible – and yes keeping the air REASONABLY clean at the same time. The eco-buffoons don’t know the meaning of reason.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There is a wide range of expectations about oil prices in the future – from $50 to $200. Useless in other words. Economic substitution will keep prices down. Clathrates anyone?

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/oilpriceprojectionJPG_zpsf710d49e.jpg.html

      • The “smart grid” is a smart idea.

      • Judith Curry

        Looking forward to it.

        Here’s a link to one recent summary on the methane hydrate potential that may be of interest (Boswell & Collett 2011)

        http://www.netl.doe.gov/technologies/oil-gas/publications/Hydrates/Newsletter/MHNews-2011-12.pdf

        Max

      • David Springer

        Token passing has its advantages. I was mostly working with ArcNet and Novell Netware until the mid-to-late 1980’s as I recall. These days I’m using Node.js and associated goodies like a kid with free run in a toy store. :-)

      • With the expectation that fossil methane will support a continued exponential growth of fossil carbon burning in the form of methane, the issue of controlling its release, or oxidizing it in the atmosphere, becomes more important.

        Methanotrophs are currently in use, or being investigated, primarily for capturing methane from landfills or mining operations [Jiang et al. (2010)]. However, soils of both upland forests [Henckel et al. (2000)] and upland grasslands [Horz et al. (2005)] contain organisms capable of extracting it from the atmosphere.

        Such organisms might be cultivated for use in contained areas where methane processing takes place, or genes from them might be transplanted into crops, perhaps targeted for the chloroplast. Research in these areas becomes far more important with the evident proof-of-concept of mining methane hydrate.

        Henckel et al. (2000) Molecular Analyses of Novel Methanotrophic Communities in Forest Soil That Oxidize Atmospheric Methane by Thilo Henckel Udo Jäckel, Sylvia Schnell, and Ralf Conrad Appl. Environ. Microbiol. May 2000 vol. 66 no. 5 1801-1808 doi: 10.1128/​AEM.66.5.1801-1808.2000

        Horz et al. (2005) Methane-oxidizing bacteria in a California upland grassland soil: diversity and response to simulated global change by Hans-Peter Horz, Virginia Rich,Sharon Avrahami, and Brendan J. M. Bohannan Appl. Environ. Microbiol. May 2005 vol. 71 no. 5 2642-2652 doi: 10.1128/​AEM.71.5.2642-2652.2005

        Jiang et al. (2010) Methanotrophs: Multifunctional bacteria with promising applications in environmental bioengineering by Hao Jiang, Yin Chen, Peixia Jiang, Chong Zhang, Thomas J. Smith, J. Colin Murrell, and Xin-Hui Xing Biochemical Engineering Journal Volume 49, Issue 3, 15 May 2010, Pages 277–288 doi: 10.1016/j.bej.2010.01.003

    • Just when we thought that MiniMax accounted for every possible sources of energy available on Earth, we find out that there is more…

      • wee willie

        Yep.

        There are methane hydrates (clathrates) out there, which WEC did not include in its 2010 report.

        The Japanese are apparently doing some exploration work.

        It appears for now that these are a long shot, BUT – if this does develop into something real – it could be a biggie.

        Boswell & Collett 2011 estimate that there are around 1,200 trillion cubic meters potentially recoverable methane from hydrates worldwide (roughly 6 times the potential of shale gas).

        If all used for fuel, this could raise CO2 levels by a calculated 150 ppmv.

        Max

      • Just when MiniMax got caught conflating types of modalities, he keeps at it:

        > If all used for fuel, this could raise CO2 levels by a calculated 150 ppmv.

        Of course it could, of course it could:

        http://memegenerator.net/instance/37313875

      • wee willie

        Tell it to IPCC…

    • David L. Hagen

      What If We Never Run Out Of Natural Gas?
      Japan “is the world’s third-biggest net importer of crude oil, the second-biggest importer of coal, and the biggest importer of liquefied natural gas.”

  60. Observations of a humble serf on the Testimony of
    Expert Witnesses To the US Congress on Climate
    Policy Related Issues … For as Pericles said in
    a famous funeral oration, while ‘ only a few may
    originate a policy,we are all able to judge it’.

    ‘Well I reckon watching the testimony was better than
    being at the movies…. .
    Judith looked bewdiful and was best performer on the
    uncertainties. That good looking Bjorn Lomberg, while
    over confident on the science, policy-wise hit a home
    run on the failure of present policies, solar and winnnd
    green technologies ter reduce CO2 emissions.They do
    nothing and in future will achieve – zilch. Paying too
    much for energy just sends industry off shore and gives
    China a more competitive edge. His message on policy
    was similar ter Judith;s, adapt and innovate, though
    more specific re particular technology directions and
    fund R&D with cost savings from scrapping wind and
    solar subsidies.I doubt the two female congress paid
    much heed ter that.

    Dr Charmeides ducked and weaved …say, did yer
    happen ternote his body language? I’m awarding the
    the +1 congress-person-award ter Mr Rohrabacker fer
    his questions and comment on epi-demic con-sen-sus. )

    * I will be posting this in The Serf Under-ground Journal.
    Yer might say it will be serf reviewed.

    • I’m cancelling my subscription to the NYT’s forth with and hope to replace with The Serf Under-ground Journal. And idea when home delivery starts?

      And yes, Charmeides was a piece of alarmist work. I wouldn’t order a hot dog from that guy, much less a used car.

      • “forthwith”

      • His confident assertion that we’re warmer now than at any time in last 1000 years….hell, let’s make that 2000 since we’re tossing around millennia like so much loose change… was a hoot. I swear to God, they just make it up as they go along…

      • pokerguy,
        A ragged serf will deliver it tt yer door every Tuesday
        given the coast is clear.
        Beth the serf.

    • +100,

      I’ll get home delivery too please :)

    • Beth,

      I doubt the two female congress paid
      much heed ter that.

      Yes. I piked up on that too. I particluarly noticed how closed minded the second one was. She brought up that her party had been wanting to spend $40 billion on alternative energy, and said words to the effect “but try getting support from the other side for $40 billion for alternative energy and you’d get nowhere”. Bjorn Lomborg pointed out the US is subsidising biofuels by $17 billion and soalr and wind by $20 billion, total $37 billion and it is achieving next to nothing. It would be better spent on research. Shat go aggresively defensive when that was pointed out so simply. She hadn’t even thought of the conflicted support for $40 billion for useless schemes. Her final retort was something like “We just must cut CO2 emissions”.

      Listening to politicians questions and their statements of their strongly held beliefs in a situation like this is always very revealing. It shows how they think and how you have to present your case if you want to get them to change their direction. You have to give them some lines they can go and repeat to the voters. You have to give them something they can use to make them look smart.

      • I agree Peter,
        Weltanschauung and ego and more (
        Say, can I print yr post in the next edition
        of ‘Serf Under-ground?
        Bts

      • Will the editorial staff fix my spelling? What language will it be in? Roman, Anglo, Saxon, Celtic or Serfic?

      • Do not worry about spelling, Peter, it is irrelevant ter serfs.
        The ‘Serf Under-ground’ will be written in a kind of patois
        dependent on the whim of the moment. Serfs, as Plato
        claimed, are wilful, but ‘beasts of the field intent only on
        filling their bellies.’ Say maybe you and Faustino might
        prepare an article fer the Serf Polcy Edition in May? It
        can not include any carbon taxing on rye bread or cabbage.
        Bts

      • I would like to subscribe to your surf u/ground jurnal too please!

      • Okay, Peter D ..Say I’m gittin’ a list of sub – scribers ter the
        Serf Journal… Is it pos – sibil this cood become a money-
        makin’ prop – posishun ? Do serfs make money?

        Me poor serf-heads ringin’ with the sound of silver droppin’
        inter coffers. Bts

      • Dangnabit, Ah useter thenk them po-lie-ti-shuns wuz smartern me, but after hearin whut they all had te say, Ah reckon Ah cud thenk sirkels aroundem.

      • Max,
        as a serf yerself, yer in tightled ter a free copy
        of the ‘Serf Under -ground Journal’ and yer also
        in tightled ter write letters ter the editer like
        Faustino does in ‘The Australian’ newspaper on
        a regulah basis. But our policy* is ter refuse ter
        publish letters pro – posing taxes on black bread
        or cabbage. ( *kinda like them AGW climate
        change gate – keeping journals.)
        Bts

      • Thank ye kindly, Beth.

        Lookin forward ter “The Serf Under-ground Journal”.

        Ah hope there’ll be some purty po’ms in ther, too.

        Yore feller serf

  61. Consensus for tinnitus patient assessment and treatment outcome measurement: Tinnitus Research Initiative meeting,

    There is widespread recognition that consistency between research centres in the ways that patients with tinnitus are assessed and outcomes following interventions are measured would facilitate more effective co-operation and more meaningful evaluations and comparisons of outcomes. At the first Tinnitus Research Initiative meeting held in Regensburg in July 2006 an attempt was made through workshops to gain a consensus both for patient assessments and for outcome measurements. It is hoped that this will contribute towards better cooperation between research centres in finding and evaluating treatments for tinnitus by allowing better comparability between studies.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0079612307660506

  62. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades. Of course, it is purely speculative to presume that the global mean temperature will remain near current levels for such an extended period of time. Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing. However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained.’ S&T09

    It is a little more than an entertaining speculation – but the inability of space cadets to entertain the idea is both classically cognitively dissonant and a policy disaster.

    BTW – http://chartsbin.com/view/1115

  63. It has been suggested that the ice-core record indicates that the value of 2x[CO2] is close to a value of 20. Such claims can be easily investigated and most easily using the EPIC Dome C series of cores which have a deuterium based temperature record, entrapped [CO2] from the atmosphere and also insoluble aerosols. Here we will concentrate on the last 400,000 years. At first glance it appears that Log[CO2] and temperature correlate very well indeed.

    However, log(Dust), a proxy for aerosols which cool the planet, also correlate well and more over changes in dust levels appear to occur before changes in temperature and changes in CO2 after temperature changes

    None the less, one can examine the relationship between log[CO2] and temperature and examine the lineshape.

    We have a quite wonderful curve, with a tightly coupled relationship between [CO2] and temperature when the world is in an ice-age and a more shallower and poorly coupled relationship when we enjoy the bounteous warm-ages.
    Now the correlation coefficient RSqu of 0.1182 may past muster in ‘Climate Science’, but most people would reject it. One suspects that the climate sensitivity for 2x[CO2] isn’t >10, as indicated, as we have not quite seen a five degree rise already. If we are to believe that atmospheric CO2 has a residency time of centuries and that sensitivity >10, we are screwed as a species. All civilization isn’t going to survive and so like the passengers on the Titanic we should sip Champagne listening to music.

    Dust shows us a different story.

    http://s179.photobucket.com/user/DocMartyn/media/LogDustvsTemplast400K_zpsdaa3b30a.jpg.html

    When aerosols are low, temperature bounces around -1.5 to 4 degrees. However, when they rise it is very bad news for those with aching joints and who dislike the taste of mammoth.

    The tow of the four pillars of the cAGW temple have collapsed.

    • Yes, that’s what the climate does with barely any forcing at all. It bounces all over the map. Yet it doesn’t go too far because the weak positive feedback of GHGs can’t break through the strong negative feedback of the Planck response

      http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/03/climate-sensitivity-and-33c-discrepancy.html

      As we are at the top of the interglacial temperatures, we likely won’t see the wide swings like we would in the valleys, yet the forcing and temperature sensitivity to GHG levels remain. The current models all incorporate this and that is why you won’t see values of 20 (which in addition is amplified in polar regions).

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is impossible for climate to ‘bounce all over the map’ without changes in TOA radiant flux. The internal climate system indeed shifts due to emergent behaviour in a complex and dynamic system but change in the energy content of the system is the result of ingoing and outgoing energy at TOA.

        Both dust and CO2 follows temperature change – both quite natural and explicable phenomenon involving respiration and hydrology. Which in glacials/interglacials is mostly driven by changes in ice albedo and assumed to be triggered by reductions in summer insolation in the NH driven by orbital eccentricities.

        The big changes in the satellite record are cloud – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=30

        The current practice of opportunistic ensembles is one in which each member is intrinsically only one of a range of possible solutions of non-linear equations.

        ‘Uncertainty in climate-change projections has traditionally been assessed using multi-model ensembles of the type shown in figure 9, essentially an ‘ensemble of opportunity’. The strength of this approach is that each model differs substantially in its structural assumptions and each has been extensively tested. The credibility of its projection is derived from evaluation of its simulation of the current climate against a wide range of observations. However, there are also significant limitations to this approach. The ensemble has not been designed to test the range of possible outcomes. Its size is too small (typically 10–20 members) to give robust estimates of the most likely changes and associated uncertainties and therefore it is hard to use in risk assessments.

        As already noted, much of the uncertainty in the projections shown in figure 9 comes from the representation of sub-gridscale physical processes in the model, particularly cloud-radiation feedbacks [22]. More recently, the response of the carbon cycle to global warming [23] has been shown to be important, but not universally included yet in the projections. A more comprehensive, systematic and quantitative exploration of the sources of model uncertainty using large perturbed-parameter ensembles has been undertaken by Murphy et al. [24] and Stainforth et al. [25] to explore the wider range of possible future global climate sensitivities. The concept is to use a single-model framework to systematically perturb poorly constrained model parameters, related to key physical and biogeochemical (carbon cycle) processes, within expert-specified ranges. As in the multi-model approach, there is still the need to test each version of the model against the current climate before allowing it to enter the perturbed parameter ensemble. An obvious disadvantage of this approach is that it does not sample the structural uncertainty in models, such as resolution, grid structures and numerical methods because it relies on using a single-model framework.

        As the ensemble sizes in the perturbed ensemble approach run to hundreds or even many thousands of members, the outcome is a probability distribution of climate change rather than an uncertainty range from a limited set of equally possible outcomes, as shown in figure 9. This means that decision-making on adaptation, for example, can now use a risk-based approach based on the probability of a particular outcome.

        …Nevertheless, however much models improve, there will always be an irreducible level of uncertainty—‘flap of the seagull’s wings’—because of the chaotic nature of the system. Even the climate we have observed over the past century or so is only one realization of what the real system might produce.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        For the immediate future?

        ‘If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades. Of course, it is purely speculative to presume that the global mean temperature will remain near current levels for such an extended period of time. Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing. However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained.’ S&T09

        It is a little more than an entertaining speculation – but the inability of AGW space cadet groupthink buffoons like webby to entertain the idea is both classically cognitively dissonant and a policy disaster.

      • Why do you use the term:-
        ‘the strong negative feedback of the Planck response’

        What do you mean by negative feedback? You think Planck or Thermodynamic process described by plank is affecting the properties of radiation, absorbance of motion of matter?
        Words are important and using a term like ‘feedback’ to describe something which has no feedback pathway is not only misleading it is wrong.

      • “It is a little more than an entertaining speculation – but the inability of AGW space cadet groupthink buffoons like webby to entertain the idea is both classically cognitively dissonant and a policy disaster.”

        Excuse me, Chief. What again was all that stuff you reflexively copied&pasted for the umpteenth time?

      • “What do you mean by negative feedback? “

        I don’t care for a lot of the terminology in climate sciences either, but you have to go with the flow. For example, I didn’t appreciate the use of the term “lapse rate”, thinking that it should be called a “gradient” instead. But you will get used to it as you keep studying the literature.

        Some of the terminology is inherited from other physics disciplines, such as atmospheric and planetary sciences, so it is not all the climatologists’ fault either.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Doc – he is referring to the Steffen-Boltzmann temperature dependent radiation

      Exaggerating a little webby? And even if so this differs exactly how from your tedious repetition of simplistic nonsense? I will tell you how. Because it is correct and you’re inability to see that is the problem.

      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. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

      Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.”

      ‘However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained.’ S&T09

      Your inability to entertain anything but simplistic and misleading space cadet memes is a result of cognitive dissonance and a policy disaster.

      • CH the Steffen-Boltzmann temperature dependent radiation ‘IS’. It is fundamental property of matter it is no feedback in the same way neutrons are not a positive feedback in an atomic bomb. A feedback is where the product of a reaction chain affects one of the KINETICS of one of the steps, other than its own.
        In the 1970’s we knew this description was wrong in complex systems following the work of Kacser&Burns group and Heinrich&Rapoport with Metabolic Control Theory, which then merged into, and altered, classical control theory.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Nonetheless that is what he means.

    • Pooh, Dixie

      Goodness Gracious! All sorts of good correlations. A modest proposal:
      Correlate “Global” temperature with the number of Federal Bureaucrats.
      (I suspect that the correlation coefficient will rival those mentioned above.)

  64. David Aronstein

    There seem to be a fair number of folks here that are very comfortable with the 2xco2 sensitivity being about 3c
    I think that number is incorrect on the high side. So much so that I would be happy to wager on the outcome.
    So the proposition is as follows. Each of us puts up x$ and every month we see if uah or rss (either can be the reference) is greater than .2c higher than the number for the same month 10 years prior. Higher I pay y$ lower u pay y$ We keep playing until one side has no more cash.
    If u actually believe 2xco2 is 3c this is a no brainer. And u are getting the bonus of tropospheric amplification to boot.
    So instead of arguing and belittling deniers for their refusal to believe in the easy physics why not do better and just take some of their hard earned cash ?

    • You’re assuming that 0.2 degC warming per decade is consistent with climate sensitivity being 3 degC?
      It’s probably much lower. Suppose we experience 0.15 degC per decade. We’ve had about 0.8degC of warming, since pre-industrial times, so far. Add in 9 x 0.15 degC per decade to the end of the century. That gives another 1.35 deg C of warming or 2.15 degC in total.
      On present trends CO2 levels will have about doubled by then but even if they don’t go any higher it’s simple minded to expect temperatures to immediately stabilise. They will carry on rising for an indeterminate time depending on the nature of the long and short term time constants involved in feedback effects. We’d be lucky to stay under 3 degC.
      There are additional dangers. Even a slight warming of the oceans can cause them to be less efficient in absorbing CO2. At present they absorb about half of all human produced CO2 emissions. The worst case would be that they start to become net emitters.
      Warming of the Arctic regions could lead to large releases of previously stored methane gas which is a much stronger GH gas than CO2.. There is already evidence of that occurring.

      • ” Even a slight warming of the oceans can cause them to be less efficient in absorbing CO2. At present they absorb about half of all human produced CO2 emissions. The worst case would be that they start to become net emitters.”

        Interesting.
        If outgassing of CO2 has a 0.3 eV activation energy, a 0.2 degree increase per decade in SST will lead to an outgassing equivalent of 4 PPM per decade to add to the anthropogenic component.
        That makes it appear as if the net absorption of CO2 is decreasing.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        …Nevertheless, however much models improve, there will always be an irreducible level of uncertainty—‘flap of the seagull’s wings’—because of the chaotic nature of the system. Even the climate we have observed over the past century or so is only one realization of what the real system might produce.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        For the immediate future?

        ‘If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades. Of course, it is purely speculative to presume that the global mean temperature will remain near current levels for such an extended period of time. Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing. However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained.’ S&T09

        It is a little more than an entertaining speculation – but the inability of AGW space cadet groupthink eco-buffoons to entertain the idea is both classically cognitively dissonant and a policy disaster.

      • because you believe that the CO2 and inorganic carbon that buffers it, in the oceans, is in some sort of chemical equilibrium?
        However, fortunately atmospheric CO2 is not in equilibrium with the oceans, so we are OK.

      • tempterrain

        Let’s leave aside your “methane from permafrost” hobgoblin and stay with CO2.

        IPCC AR4 model scenarios and storylines predict it will rise to somewhere between 580 and 800 ppmv by 2100. The mean value of all 6 projections is around 680 ppmv. No “scenarios” incorporate Kyoto-type CO2 cutbacks, so they are all based on BaU.

        Since 1970 population has grown at a very high exponential rate of 1.7% per year and there has been a 20% increase in per capita CO2 generation.

        Human population growth is expected to slow down sharply to around one-fourth its past rate (slowdown has already started), with population leveling off at around 10.5 billion by 2100.

        If we tie human CO2 emissions to expected human population growth allowing for a 30% per capita increase by 2100 (despite efforts to decarbonize), we end up with 640 ppmv by 2100.

        So how much warming will this cause?

        Back in 2007 (with 2005 data) IPCC models predicted a 2xCO2 ECS mean value of 3.2C.

        More recent (at least partly) observation-based studies have estimated this to be around half this value or 1.6C.

        Let’s use both values to establish a possible range of warming.

        Using the logarithmic relation we end up with warming by 2100 of 1.1C to 2.2C or 1.65C+/-0.55C.

        This does not worry me very much, tempterrain – in fact, I think this much warming would almost certainly be a boon to humanity and our environment.

        Max

      • WHT

        Yeah, Webby, in THEORY you’re right.

        BUT, in PRACTICE it’s working out differently.

        The amount of CO2 “remaining in the atmosphere” has gone down from 1959, when the Mauna Loa record started to today, by around one percentage point per decade, at the same time as global temperature (including SST) has risen slightly.

        Could be an anomaly, BUT…

        Apparently, something out there (plant photosynthesis?) is increasing as CO2 concentrations increase, offsetting any decrease in ocean absorption (or net outgassing) resulting from the slight warming.

        Ain’t Nature grand, Webby?

        Max

      • WHT

        Here is an updated version of that CO2 curve:

        Max

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Webby is so far from correct theoretically correct Max. It is such a gross simplification that it has no meaning or relevance.

      • > So how much warming will this cause?

        Prepare yourselves. MiniMax has the answer:

        http://memegenerator.net/instance/37313875

      • Max, how can the % CO2 remaining in the atmosphere be going down? Webster has already “proven” that CO2 concentration depends only fossil fuel sources and SST at the equator. Are you implying that Webster might be missing something?

      • David Aronstein

        Well if its much lower then u clearly also don’t believe the models. With co2 near 400 ppm there should already be plenty of heat in the pipeline. Not to mention lots of excess heat in the deep ocean just waiting to emerge. So the answer is lots of hand waving lots of bluster but no cash. Pretty much says it all huh?

      • Two climate change sceptics, who believe the dangers of global warming are overstated, have put their money where their mouth is and bet $10,000 that the planet will cool over the next decade.

        The Russian solar physicists Galina Mashnich and Vladimir Bashkirtsev have agreed the wager with a British climate expert, James Annan.

        [...]

        To decide who wins the bet, the scientists have agreed to compare the average global surface temperature recorded by a US climate centre between 1998 and 2003, with temperatures they will record between 2012 and 2017.

        [...]

        The bet is the latest in an increasingly popular field of scientific wagers, and comes after a string of climate change sceptics have refused challenges to back their controversial ideas with cash.

        Dr Annan first challenged Richard Lindzen, a meteorologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is dubious about the extent of human activity influencing the climate. Professor Lindzen had been willing to bet that global temperatures would drop over the next 20 years.

        No bet was agreed on that; Dr Annan said Prof Lindzen wanted odds of 50-1 against falling temperatures, so would win $10,000 if the Earth cooled but pay out only £200 if it warmed. Seven other prominent climate change sceptics also failed to agree betting terms.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2005/aug/19/climatechange.climatechangeenvironment

      • Well this is the correct model curve that I came up with:

        On the left is the data plus the model of the yearly fraction not sequestered out, and on the right is the model with the incorporporation of a temperature-dependent outgassed fraction.

        Amazing that over 50 years, the mean fraction has not varied much from 55%. That has a lot to do with the math of diffusional physics. Essentially a random walk moving into and out of sequestering sites is a 50/50 proposition. That’s the way to intuit the behavior, but the math really does the heavy lifting in predicting the fraction,

        It looks like the theory matches the data once again.

        Hope that helps.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        webby’s math and physics are laughable. He uses what is conceptually an atmosphere source and an ocean sink – but the maths and physics are horribly confused and really it is just an arbitrary function that fits to an imaginary curve that pretends to sink CO2 into the oceans from an instantaneous pulse into the atmosphere over time. Impulse/response he calls it and it is the most incompetent piece of nonsense I have ever seen in a long career in engineering and environmental science.

        Yet he keeps bringing it up again and again and again. It is a pointless and trivial exercise in self delusion.

      • CO2 makes green things grow better. The best case is the we get more CO2 from where ever we can to make our green things grow better with less water.

      • “Chief Hydrologist | April 26, 2013 at 11:42 pm |

        webby’s math and physics are laughable. He uses what is conceptually an atmosphere source and an ocean sink – but the maths and physics are horribly confused and really it is just an arbitrary function that fits to an imaginary curve that pretends to sink CO2 into the oceans from an instantaneous pulse into the atmosphere over time. Impulse/response he calls it and it is the most incompetent piece of nonsense I have ever seen in a long career in engineering and environmental science.

        Yet he keeps bringing it up again and again and again. It is a pointless and trivial exercise in self delusion.”

        One can’t wish for anything more than that ringing endorsement. Chief is absolutely terrified that the mean values of earth science processes plus their fluctuations can be so easily modeled.

        The secret nature trick involves taking the stance of a distant observer, monitoring the earth’s characteristics from far away. If you assume that premise it no longer seems so daunting.

      • That makes it appear as if the net absorption of CO2 is decreasing.

        Of course it does. Warming has happened since the cold part of the Little Ice Age and warm water holds less CO2.
        Web, you are right on this.
        The oceans are warm and the snow has started. It will take a good many years, but this extra snow will cool Earth and the oceans and will increase the adsorption. The well bounded cycle will continue.

      • David Aronstein

        Atmospheric CO2 is increasing by around 2.5 ppmv per year.

        But humans are emitting the equivalent of twice that amount.

        So “half” of the CO2 emitted by humans has gone “missing”.

        Some hypothesize that a part of this portion is being absorbed by the oceans, another part by the terrestrial biosphere (plants, soil, etc.)

        CDIAC has published estimates of human CO2 emissions going back to pre-industrial times. Since Mauna Loa measurements started in 1959, we can compare the amount of emitted CO2 “remaining in the atmosphere”.

        This bounces all over the place from year to year but seems to average around 50% today.

        Interestingly, this percentage has diminished statistically since 1959, by around one percentage point per decade.

        Why is this?

        Since a slightly warmer ocean should not be taking up a greater amount of CO2 than a cooler one (Webby’s point), the question remains open.

        That was my point.

        Table 1 of the IPCC TAR WG1 report says that the CO2 lifetime in the atmosphere before being removed is somewhere between 5 and 200 years with the footnote: No single lifetime can be defined for CO2 because of the different rates of uptake by different removal processes.

        So maybe we have a “half life deterioration” with a half life of 100-120 years, as postulated by Zeke Hausfauther at a recent Yale forum.

        Who knows?

        Max

      • wee willie

        Naw. You don’t need me.

        Sir Robert (“the science is settled”) Watson has figured it out.

        http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2012/12/forget-about-that-2-degree-future/

        It’s +7C by 2100.

        So break out your shorts and flip-flops.

        And, hey if James E. (“coal death train”) Hansen is right, lots of folks will have beachfront property to enjoy the nice weather.

        Max

      • Hey, wee willie, what’s this “Dr. Annan said Dr. Lindzen said…” blarney?

      • Webby

        Nice model. You say it confirms a constant 55% CO2 retention rate.

        Problem is that this does not reflect the facts on the ground.

        Data from Mauna Loa and CDIAC show that over the 30-year period 1959-1990 the increase in atmospheric CO2 represented around 55.0% of the amount emitted by humans, while over the subsequent period 1990-2010 this was around 50.6%.

        Drawing a linear trend line over the entire record shows an approximate linear reduction of 1% per decade in the amount “remaining” in the atmosphere.

        I have no explanation for this observation.

        Do you?

        Or do you simply deny it exists?

        Max

      • Stop condescending.

        Manacker, you don’t do analysis. I do the analysis that you wouldn’t lift a finger to do. What I showed was a model that continued from 1800.

        There is essentially one parameter and a baseline. It has worked for all this time and will continue to work.

        “Data from Mauna Loa and CDIAC show that over the 30-year period 1959-1990 the increase in atmospheric CO2 represented around 55.0% of the amount emitted by humans, while over the subsequent period 1990-2010 this was around 50.6%.”

        Look at the model.

        This is bean-counting Max. You don’t know beans and you can’t count them either.

    • I would love to take money from the alarmists with a bet on temperature and sea level rise. They should offer really good odds with their high confidence levels. I do doubt they would put money on the line with the same confidence that they put their words on the line.

      How can it be set up so no one can cheat or refuse or not be able to pay and not break any laws with the betting?

  65. Is there anything new here in 392 comments that hasn’t been said before?

  66. Was your verbal testimony oral or written?

  67. Max_OK | April 26, 2013 at 12:02 pm |

    Dream on. The revenue-neutral carbon tax is a no-brainer Oregon is next.

    You don’t seem to understand: there is no such thing as a revenue neutral carbon tax. It’s impossible.

    • > [T]here is no such thing as a revenue neutral carbon tax.

      Turn it over to Ross:

      http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/pub/cpp/Dec97/Mckitrick.pdf

    • Another way to make it revenue-neutral is to reduce income tax revenue by the amount the carbon tax takes in. Unfortunately the poor, who pay little income tax but do use fossil fuels, would take part of the burden.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      It is not a tax on carbon emissions but a tax intended to stop carbon emissions by promoting substitution of other energy sources. Once everything is carbon free – there is no revenue and therefore higher prices and no rebate. A revenue neutral carbon tax is double-speak chimera promoted by eco-buffoons in order to fool the masses. The masses aren’t so foolish.

      • Chief Hydrologist | April 26, 2013 at 11:31 pm |

        You keep saying these things as if they made sense in your head.

        Do they make sense in your head?

        Because they don’t do so well out here.

        You do understand the point of the Law of Supply and Demand is to maximize the efficiency of the Market, not to extinguish viable goods.

        If the Market ever got to a point where there were no carbon at all, it would mean everyone in the world was entirely satisfied with alternatives and found the distribution better than a world with carbon.

        You keep substituting your own personal judgement for everyone else’s.

        Do you truly have so inflated an ego?

    • We aren’t going to get out of the mess by using the same thinking as got people into it.

      Here’s a problem with the thinking that got us here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vnmj8Yp8szU

      Revenue Neutral Carbon Tax works in the real world. It’s been audited seven ways from Sunday. It’s been examined and prodded and poked.

      Theorists in theory make all sorts of theoretical claims about it that just aren’t true. Lomborg is so backwards on the subject he’s in danger of turning inside-out.

      The ignorant make all sorts of arguments from ignorance about carbon tax, as if there weren’t a real world example to look at.

      Sure, it’s not the way I’d do it. It’s not perfect, but it’s there and real and all the false claims made about the topic are mocked by its existence and its success.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Like I said – eco-buffoons chasing magical solutions. Why don’t you say that you think it needs to be $300/tonne. At $30/tonne the effect is so marginal it would take decades to identify the effect.

        ‘If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades. Of course, it is purely speculative to presume that the global mean temperature will remain near current levels for such an extended period of time. Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing. However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained.’ S&T09

        This is very real and not merely speculation. Although there has been moderate in ARGO to depth – it is fully accounted for by changes in cloud in CERES/MODIS. There is obvious decadal variability but also equally centennial to millennial variability. The uncertainty is not so much the next few decades – the planet isn’t warming – but beyond that.

      • “Neutral” today => “Positive” tomorrow => “Oppressive” day after tomorrow.

        Fuggidabaoudit (except on a very loony localized basis, where it won’t accomplish anything anyway).

      • > “Neutral” today => “Positive” tomorrow => “Oppressive” day after tomorrow.

        https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/slippery-slope

      • Bart R

        You write about the “success” of some local carbon taxes.

        Great!

        How much CO2 have these taxes eliminated?

        What has been the reduction in global warming as a result of these reductions?

        Max

    • Chief Hydrologist | April 26, 2013 at 11:59 pm |

      I don’t say I think it needs to be $300/tonne because there’s a much better way to determine the price level than to have some expert decide for everyone what the right price is: the Law of Supply and Demand.

      I get that you’re still stuck on the $300/tonne thing, because belief in the rightness of experts deciding how everyone else lives is so deeply rooted in you it’s impossible for you to imagine a world where people think for themselves, and choose for themselves, and a Market based on the democracy of individual consumer-seller exchanges determines price levels. I get that you object to Capitalism, in the same way that Lomborg objects to Capitalism. It’s a good thing neither you, nor Lomborg, is the expert who tells the world how it will be run.

      I mean, haven’t you done enough damage already when you took that approach to the Great Barrier Reef?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I am simply repeating what you have said previously – if you have changed your mind simply say so. It is allowed. Feel free to update us. It is not actually the BC tax you are talking about – a provincial tax not copied even in the rest of Canada – but some imaginary concoction of your own fervid and freewheeling imagination. I will leave the details of how government intervention in supply and demand works to create an ancillary market in emissions to you – as I don’t feel I have the mental gymnastics to cope.

        I am a quite practical type. I like to design and build things. I like data. I like words that have meaning especially the meta-meaning of poetry. Precision and not obfuscation is the order of the day.

        And thank you for your concern for the Great Barrier Reef. Last I saw it – last week – it was quite beautiful. A great deal of effort is being put into managing nutrient and sediment inputs. Billions of dollars by a great many people and diverse levels of government.

        ‘If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades. Of course, it is purely speculative to presume that the global mean temperature will remain near current levels for such an extended period of time. Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing. However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained.’ S&T09

        But as I entertain the possibility I see very little scope – as the world fails to warm – of convincing anyone to act precipitously anytime in the near future. Yours is a position of such stupendous impracticality that I must classify it a magical space cadet solution to a problem that has been poorly formulated. The correct formulation – despite your irrational ramblings about what you imagine capitalism might be in your Alice in Wonderland world – seems much closer to the Breakthrough Institute.

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

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

        You may of course have any tax you like – if you can get enough support. I suggest that is so unlikely to happen that to concentrate on this as your sole solution is not merely stupendously impractical but horrendously irrational, quite likely to distract from other solutions and lead to ongoing failure and is another symptom of cognitive dissonance and groupthink.

    • Chief Hydrologist | April 27, 2013 at 12:51 am |

      Glad we had this chat, and came to this transparent, open, minority view understanding through more discourse.

      Highly rewarding, and I’m sure it did you as much good as it did me.

      Though if you want a sign that I’ve changed my mind, the fact I’ve posted something means I’m no longer stepping in the same river.

      And if you need reminder that I’m not the government of anywhere.. I’m not the government of anywhere. My fervid imaginings are merely supported by the evidence of real things.

      Enjoy the GBR. What’s left of it.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Dateline 25 April 2013 – another $800 million for reef conservation from State and Federal government and industry. I am sure you will celebrate with all of us working together to conserve the greatest natural wonder of the world – aye Bart?

        ‘Chairman of Canegrowers Mackay, Paul Schembri, says the industry is becoming more environmentally sustainable and welcomes the continuation of the program.

        “The underlying principle is that of backing the judgement of a farmer; a farmer can make changes to on-farm practices, cultural practices, with financial support from government, so the model of a partnership between growers and government has worked.”

        He says that for every one dollar the Federal Government put towards projects, there had been a matching $1.80 from industry.

        Nick Heath, the reef leader of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), says there is proof cane farmers are improving their environmental credentials, with clear scientific evidence that positive change is happening.

        “Work that we’re seeing here in the paddock is true innovation. We’re seeing 80 per cent cut in pesticide runoff, we’re seeing a 60 per cent cut in fertiliser runoff.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-25/nrn-reef-rescue/4650818

        But I am very happy that you are the government of nothing and have a minority opinion of exactly 1.

    • In case Peter Lang does not recall that conversation he had with Richard Tol almost one year ago, here at Judy’s.

      Greenhouse gas emission reduction was not ranked. That means that it is ranked neither very low nor very high. It is not ranked.

      The reason is that mitigation is not comparable to the other projects. The scale is different. Besides, the best way to reduce emissions is by a carbon tax, that is, money should be raised not spend.

      I argued that greenhouse gas emission reduction should not be ranked, and I got the backing of Tom Schelling, and so it was not ranked. Not high, not low. Not ranked.

      http://judithcurry.com/2012/05/20/copenhagen-consensus-2012/#comment-201823

      Non nova, sed nove.

    • manacker | April 27, 2013 at 6:42 pm |

      http://metronews.ca/news/vancouver/601938/b-c-s-revenue-neutral-carbon-tax-inspiring-u-s-neighbours/

      Apparently, the estimate is “a 4.5 per cent decline in greenhouse gas emissions between 2007 and 2010, even as the province’s GDP and population grew,” for BC, compared to a 2% national rise. So we could suggest a 6.5% drop in CO2E emissions in 5 years from what they might otherwise be; Canada is 2% of global CO2 emissions; BC is about 12.5% of Canada’s CO2 emissions.

      Now, not everyone agrees with these claims. But then, BC is a province without the power to tax imports and exports or impose trade sanctions, and there are boosters of this approach in the USA who kinda sorta may have the know-how to make it work: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323611604578396401965799658.html

      And reduction in global warming is, as you know, something I regard as the wrong question. The question is how much reduction in Forcing? The answer is 6.5% of 12.5% of 2% of Forcing in 5 years.

      But as the model, the prototype, the first run trial for a working revenue-neutral carbon tax that is widely studied in the USA and many other countries.. it could be 6.5% of 85% of Forcing in a five year period. Which would be enough to reduce the Forcing to probably negligible levels in a generation.. while GDP and population grow.

  68. Why I think Judith Curry is wrong. It’s time to point the finger at political leaders and stop blaming science and scientists. The science is settled more than adequately to develop policy responses. This is the critical decade.

    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/04/unreasonably-reasonable-confusing.html

    • Sou

      As the models are wrong as shown:

      why would you want to waste scarce resource on a failed theory?

      Is it not better to reduce the suffering now that kills millions for lack of access for sewage for billions in our world’s cities?

      Why waste scarce resource as nature (the sun) is cause of the warming and the resulting increase in CO2 concentration, and the CO2 will go down during the cooling phase just like after the medieval warm period?

      Why do you want to waste scarce resources that could be used to alleviate human suffering NOW?

    • Thumbs up to the HotWhopper site, added to my blog feed.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The breakthrough was approval to go to the next stage in a technology that is always 50 years away. There are many technologies far more immanent.

        ‘If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades. Of course, it is purely speculative to presume that the global mean temperature will remain near current levels for such an extended period of time. Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing. However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained.’ S&T09

        The failure of the eco-buffoons and AGW space cadets to entertain the possibility is an extraordinary failure of intellect and imagination. It can only arise from groupthink and cognitive dissonance.

    • Don’t you just love the “The science is settled.” folks.

      Since it is so clearly settled, perhaps you can provide a list of those things the science has proven to have occured.

      The 50 million climate refugees.

      The species which have gone extinct or are on the verge of doing so.

      The increase in tropical storms, flooding, drought.

      The number of islands which have disappeared beneath the waves.

      And while you are trying to provide examples, how about telling us exactly how you are going to get the nice folks in Brazil, India and China to follow along with the policy choices you think need to be made.

  69. Uh oh…CAGW about to become irrelevant?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/one-giant-leap-for-mankind-13bn-iter-project-makes-breakthrough-in-quest-for-nuclear-fusion-a-solution-to-climate-change-and-an-age-of-clean-unlimited-energy-8590480.html

    Took me a while to figure out what the “breakthrough” was. Apparently it was regulatory approval of one component. What has become of science when a bureaucratic OK is touted as a scientific breakthrough?

    • Your political agenda is showing. It sounds like you would be upset that nations working together in a UN / CERN-styled organization came up with a significant breakthrough.

    • Donna LaFramboise just wrote a blog about how headline editors don’t read the articles, and just slap something flashy sounding on, and the article authors can’t do anything about it.

      This piece should be exhibit “A”. That’s one of the most gaping disconnects between headline and article I’ve ever seen.

      And Drudge is one of the worst offenders. His ‘headline’ was worse.

    • This seems to me to be an enormously round-about method, just because the deuterium-tritium reaction can take place at a very low energy. IMO the lithium7-proton (hydrogen) reaction is a much better candidate, especially since it doesn’t involve neutrons in its first tier of reaction products. One approach might be a “spherical capacitor with a point lithium cathode used as the inner electrode and a spherical anode, as the outer electrode” [Tyrsa and Burtseva (2003)]. Personally I’d guess something based on firing high-speed protons into/through a cool lithium plasma and trapping the 8.675 Mev alpha particles (2 per reaction) and divesting them of their energy. However done, this is a very clean reaction that doesn’t appear to produce many neutrons or lose much (if any) energy via neutrinos.

      Tyrsa and Burtseva (2003) Generation of thermonuclear energy by fusing hydrogen and lithium atoms by V. E. Tyrsa and L. P. Burtseva Technical Physics July 2003, Volume 48, Issue 7, pp 807-812

      • AK,

        What part of the protons would be absorbed in the lithium plasma?

        My guess is that the share would be hopelessly small. Thus far too much energy would be lost in the acceleration of the many protons that do not lead to fusion.

        The idea of a Tokamak is that the particles are confined in a limited space for long periods, long enough for getting a significant share of them to fuse.

        Tyrsa and Burtseva propose using small spheres of solid lithium allowing for enough material to stop all the protons and to have also a large number of fusions.

        There are certainly many obstacles in transferring their ideas to a operational power plant, the advantages of Li(7) proton fusion are of little value until the problems have been solved.

      • @Pekka Pirilä…

        I’m assuming a sort of plasma-level “Maxwell’s Demon” that picks out the high-energy particles coming out of the trapped lithium plasma, and re-accelerates them to the original velocity. I’ll admit this sounds sort of wild, but some of the things we’re doing today with entanglement would have sounded wild 20 years ago. I certainly don’t have a clue how it would be done, at least not in detail. And I’ll admit there are some potential entropy issues that might make it unworkable.

        But I’m pretty sure there’s a bunch of undiscovered stuff out there that people are overlooking because they’re coming from a paradigm originally built on statistical analysis. I just wish I knew what it was!

  70. Chief Hydrologist | April 26, 2013 at 11:59 pm said: ”Like I said – eco-buffoons chasing magical solutions. Why don’t you say that you think it needs to be $300/tonne. At $30/tonne the effect is so marginal it would take decades to identify the effect”

    Chief, the eco-buffoons are at least sincere..You PRETENDING to be a Skeptic; but you are producing / supporting and consuming same crap as any Warmist. Nothing skeptical in you apart of the pretense… you must be benefiting from the misleading crappy hypothesis. You should come up clean; ”if you are part of the rip-off”. If you think like skunk, talk and stink like skunk, I can bet that you are a skunk under Skeptic’s banner.. shame, shame, shame. How much per tone you would prefer, zero or $300?!?!?!…

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Stefan my old friend – I can’t help it. I have told you before that CO2 leads to impotency and baldness – both of which are increasing at an alarming rate as CO2 levels rise. I seem to be immune – but I have an obligation to my fellow man to sound the alarm. I’d suggest that the situation is so alarming that perhaps $1000 tax is not too much. To be paid into my Swiss bank account.

  71. I know I ought wait a few more hours for the Open Topic Weekend, but the interview discussed at http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/04/26/pol-promo-house-hansen-oliver.html will be broadcast tomorrow morning in its entirety, and it’s bound to interest a few people with Keystone XLisms and other ideas.

  72. Chief Hydrologist

    One can’t wish for anything more than that ringing endorsement. Chief is absolutely terrified that the mean values of earth science processes plus their fluctuations can be so easily modeled.

    The secret nature trick involves taking the stance of a distant observer, monitoring the earth’s characteristics from far away. If you assume that premise it no longer seems so daunting.

    I am terrified that might actually seem to mean something one day in my dotage. A demon of magnificent powers.

    ‘Given for one instant an intelligence which could comprehend all the forces by which nature is animated and the respective situation of the beings who compose it, an intelligence sufficiently vast to submit these data to analysis, it would embrace in the same formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the lightest atom ; for it, nothing would be uncertain and the future, as the past, would be present to its eyes.’ (Laplace, P. S. 1814, Philosophical Essay on Probabilities, p.4)

    That someone can seriously say how simple it all is sends shivers up my spine.

  73. Way OT, but timely

    George Jone passed away today at age 81. George’s distinctive voice and masterful phrasing made him one of a kind. IMO, he is the greatest C&W singer of all time.

    • Max_OK

      Agree with you on George Jones.

      Saw him live once at a Country festival here in Switzerland years ago. Believe Emmy Lou Harris was at the same festival.

      Max_CH

    • Steven Mosher

      one of the best

  74. Chief Hydrologist

    And so for something completely raunchy – I have been meaning to post this – Chrissy Amphlett was only 53 – vale Chrissy.

  75. Manacker, Beth or anyone,

    Can you please help me. Some time ago I saw a paper (not really a proper scientific paper, more like an opinion paper) by one of the main extremist climate economists (e.g. Weitzman or Ackerman or ??). It was about how bad climate change could be. In one of the early sections it said something like “Nordhaus DICE considered climate sensitivities (T2xCO2) up to about 6C. While that is reasonable for what Nordhaus was trying to do, we also need to consider what are the economic consequences if climate sensitivity is much higher, for example 10C or 12C“.

    From what I recall the author (I think there was only one author) said let’s assume climate sensitivity is 12C then talked about that. It was written not as a scientific paper but more like an opinion.

    I think it may have been discussed in a post or linked on Climate Etc.

    I have searched high and low on the web for the paper but can’t find it. I don’t have access to sites with paywalls like this one where quite a few of Weitzman’s, Ackermans’ and others’ papers on ‘fat tails’ are listed: http://www.realclimateeconomics.org/uncertainty_and_risks.html

    Does anyone recall the paper and can they give me the link?

    • Or this, Peter, where Weitzman in the introduction
      considers mean temperature increases w/in two
      centuries between 10 and 20 degrees

      http://scholar.harvard.edu/files/weitzman/files/modelinginterpretingeconomics.pdf.

    • Hi Beth,

      Thank you very much for searching and providing these two links. Unfortunately neither of them are the one I was looking for. The one I am looking for contains some of what is in the first link you gave, “Reactions to Nordhaus Critique“.

      However, the one I am looking for is (from memory) shorter, more extreme, less analytical, and says something like: “Nordhaus DICE considered climate sensitivities (T2xCO2) up to about 6C. While that is reasonable for what Nordhaus was trying to do, we also need to consider what are the economic consequences if climate sensitivity is much higher, for example 10C or 12C“.

      He then went on to base the rest of the article. paper or whatever it was on this assumption.

      I also think I recall that the subheadings were centered, I think they were in capitals, and it was single column format.

      My suspicion is that it has been pulled down from the web because it was so ridiculously extreme it was discrediting him.

      • Down the memory hole? That ol’ memory hole must be
        chock-a-block by now, Peter.)
        Underground serf

  76. The bell curve for summer temperature has shifted warmer by a standard deviation in most areas since the 50’s. Surely policies have to plan for a continued movement in that trend of the last half century, even allowing for an acceleration given what we know about the forcing projection. A lot more certainty can be attached to a continued trend than to it stopping. Many land areas are 1 C warmer than half a century ago, meaning extrapolation alone gives 2 C more by 2100. Plan for that as a minimum.

    • That would be summer temperature anomalies, not absolute temperatures.
      Big difference, unless you would have us believe that 1C warmer in Alaska has the same effect as 1C warmer in Libya.

      • No, the mean summer temperature has shifted.

      • The shift is in the mean of summer temperature anomalies.
        There’s no such thing as a global summer temperature.

      • The mean local summer temperature. You take a set of stations in a region, and look at how the bell curve of their mean summer temperature has shifted. For local policy, it makes sense to look at local climate change.

      • Would that be average daytime, night-time or a bit of both? How much would that affect the peak temps? Would it mean less overnight frosts, or would those stay the same? How would it affect rainfall, humidity, wind speed and direction, cloud cover, start of growing season, etc?
        These are some of the things people want to know about for local planning – some statistical average tells them little to nothing.

      • I believe they take the average of the max and min. Even recognizing that things are changing would be a start in planning for similar change rates in the future. The extreme summers also shift, so if you define a threshold for an extreme hot summer with the 1950’s stats as something that occurs once per century, that now occurs once per decade, for example. 2100 will be something different still. What used to be the hottest 1% in the ’50’s may become the mean, for example, just by extrapolation.

      • No, that simply does not follow.
        Hansen jumped the shark with that one.

      • We are still waiting for someone else to do a regional station statistical analysis that refutes the shift in the summer-mean temperature bell curve. I suggest it is simple enough to have been tried by skeptics by now and confirmed, hence they have been quiet. Everything I said follows from the regional shift of a standard deviation in half a century.

      • What Jim is writing here is almost certainly true. Where Hansen made an error was in claiming that there was empirical evidence for broadening of the bell curve. That additional claim was based on erroneous statistical analysis, not the conclusion that the bell curve has shifted.

        With a shifted bell curve an exceptionally hot day is also hotter than an exceptionally hot day was a few decades ago. Similarly a temperature that was really exceptionally high before is now much less exceptional.

      • Jim D, you simply cannot treat anomaly data the same way as you would absolute data.
        What Hansen did – and what you’re trying to do – is invalid.
        There may well be a shift in the bell curve – that’s not the issue. Being little more, if anything, than a statistical construct, it’s a waste of time trying to refute it.
        But you cannot infer anything about temperature extremes from anomaly data. That’s Alice in Wonderland territory.

      • Certainly one can make inferences about temperature extremes from the shift in bell curves that represent local or regional temperature distributions.

        The connection is clear and disputing that is against logic.

      • Pekka, average data tells you nothing about the extremes, anomaly data even less, and a distribution thereof less still.

      • Distribution tells both about the average and the tails. Nothing more is needed to conclude that the extremes are affected.

      • Pekka, how many people have died from heatstroke in Siberia?

      • Pekka, that would depend on what you’re using as source data.

      • The only thing that wanted to say in this exchange is that you made a explicitly false claim.

        I haven’t written anything on the likely severity of the changes in the extremes, making claims on that requires more information than I have available.

        It’s typical for many discussions here that explicitly wrong arguments are presented. It’s usually possible to guess what people have had in mind when they write such claims, and that makes often more sense. The problem with the erroneous formulation is, however, that rational discussion is not possible, when the thoughts are presented as they are.

        There’s no doubt that warming average temperatures in some areas lead almost always also to warmer extreme temperatures in those areas, but they lead also to warmer extreme colds, not only to warmer extreme hots. The real issues concern cases where the extremes are really harmful, and only a fraction of extreme temperatures are really harmful.

        Unfortunately few of us have the knowledge to discuss the real issues, therefore we see mostly generalizations of little value.

      • Pekka, are you saying I made an explicitly false claim?
        If so, would you be good enough to state what was false about it.

      • You objected in a categorical way to such comments of Jim that didn’t contain any overblown or erroneous claims.

      • Pekka, I know I don’t always come across the way I would wish, and I also realise that I sometimes misconstrue what others write, but it’s not my intention to offend.

      • Phatboy,

        I didn’t want imply any intent to offend. I just reacted to a short comment from you that referred to the previous comment by Jim that was carefully written to avoid overstatements. (I have had my own arguments on related issues with Jim but I found this message totally sound.)

        You are certainly not the worst offender (and mostly not an offender at all) in what I see as an application of fallacies through a two step (faulty) logic:

        1) Make a categorical simplification.
        2) Use this simplification to “prove” your point.

        This has repeatedly been used as follows:

        1) Define measurement in a way not satisfied by determination of climate sensitivity.
        2) Use that definition to conclude that no determination of climate sensitivity has been made and that we know nothing about the climate sensitivity.

        This example is one of the most extreme fallacies repeated in these discussions by a couple of people, but there are many others – and those are used from both sides by people who present stronger views than they can defend properly.

      • phatboy, I don’t know why you keep calling it anomaly data. You can take your own surface stations near where you live and construct bell curves of summer average temperature both for the last decade and the 1951-1980 period. Not anomalies, actual temperature you live in. With enough station-summers you get a pair of bell curves, though it tends to be rough if you only have a few stations and ten years, the new one likely displaced one standard deviation from the old one. Regional results may vary as ten years may not be enough to average over in small regions.

      • Thanks for your comments here, Pekka.
        phatboy, my initial emphasis wasn’t extremes, it was the mean temperature. Imagine if a bell curve is shifted by one standard deviation relative to the ’50’s each fifty years (and maintains its shape). At 150 years (i.e. 2100), that bell curve has shifted three standard deviations, and the mean is now where the three-sigma tail used to be. Three sigma events on a bell curve have a return time of over 100 years, so rare hot summers in the ’50’s become the new normal. That is all I am saying.

      • Jim D, Yes, you can do that for one location.
        But let’s say, for example, I obtain a bell curve for the past decade which shows a mean of, say 21C with a standard deviation of 2C, and you, doing the same thing for your area, come up with a mean of 12C with a stddev of 3C. The only way of superimposing your curve on my curve in any meaningful way would be to first subtract the mean from both – which is essentially what the anomaly data does. But the only data we’re left with is the stddev data and, if we’ve calculated two curves for each location, the shift in the mean.
        But, having removed the absolute component, we can no longer see it in the data.
        In any case, temperature extremes are usually outliers which don’t really show up in the averages. For example, the last heatwave we had in the UK was in August 2003, when the mercury hit nearly 39C, but you would never know that from looking at the average summer data – or even the monthly averages. And the hottest average summer, recorded a few years later, didn’t feel particularly hot.

      • phatboy, I wouldn’t care to average two completely different locations. The point is that for a given location, the mean can shift by three standard deviations, which is somewhat dramatic, and should figure into policy as it may affect energy needs or food production, water, etc. The only reason to do any normalization, as Hansen did, is to get a global map and average of the effect.

      • Pekka

        Your logic is flawed when you say that rational skeptics of the validity of IPCC model-derived climate sensitivity predictions:

        1) Define measurement in a way not satisfied by determination of climate sensitivity.
        2) Use that definition to conclude that no determination of climate sensitivity has been made and that we know nothing about the climate sensitivity.

        This implies a certain level of dishonesty.

        I could just as well say that those (like you) who support the validity of these model predictions of climate sensitivity:

        1) Define measurement in a way not that is satisfied by determination of climate sensitivity.
        2) Use that definition to conclude that no a determination of climate sensitivity has been made and that we know nothing about the climate sensitivity.

        See the flaw in your logic?

        Now to the “definition of measurement”.

        This has been discussed ad nauseam up-thread.

        By definition, a “rational skeptic” will insist that, in order to provide empirical scientific evidence to corroborate or falsify a hypothesis, “measurements” must be based on actual physical observation or reproducible experimentation according to the classical scientific method.

        Such measurements do not yet exist for the CAGW hypothesis (as outlined by IPCC in AR4).

        Until they do exist, one can, of course, provisionally accept partially observation-based estimates until something better comes along.

        In the case of 2xCO2 ECS, the recent studies by Lewis, Schlesinger, Berntsen, and others fall into this category. While there are still some non-empirical estimates for partly unknown natural factors, the estimates for CO2 response are based on actual CO2 and temperature records.

        As a result I would be more inclined to accept these estimates provisionally than those of IPCC in its earlier AR4 report, which are based on model predictions rather than actual observations.

        Rational skeptics are not dishonest obstructionists, Pekka – they are simply rational skeptics.

        Max

      • Removing the average to calculate anomalies or how extreme an extreme temperature is, is the source of many problems when local temperatures are considered. The error that Hansen made in his analysis is related to this problem, and the problem makes many other analyses difficult as well. Some assumptions must be made on the local distributions to draw all the conclusions that are likely to be true.

      • Max,
        What’s “a rational skeptic”, and why should we think that you are one?

        I described a logical fallacy, and you jumped in. What should we conclude?

      • Pekka

        Yes.

        Indeed you did describe a logical fallacy.

        I turned it around and described another logical fallacy.

        It is a further logical fallacy, Pekka, to think that everyone who does not share your personal opinions is victim of a logical fallacy.

        Now to the second point.

        The term “rational (or scientific) skeptic” has been defined in several places.

        In the scientific sense, it is simply someone who insists on “empirical evidence” before accepting the validity of a hypothesis.

        Max

      • Pekka

        A side question:

        Whodat “we”?

        Max

      • phatboy | April 27, 2013 at 5:27 pm said: ”Jim D, Yes, you can do that for one location.But let’s say, for example, I obtain a bell curve for the past decade which shows a mean of, say 21C with a standard deviation of 2C, and you, doing the same thing for your area, come up with a mean of 12C with a stddev of 3C”

        Guys, let me point to your waste of time, example: if anomaly in ”your location” small part of England or USA is 3C, BUT in my location 15 times LARGER AREA of South Pacific is 1C anomaly…. which has bigger value?

        2] if anomaly shows 3C warmer for any area; that’s only for top the day temp / for the hottest minute only. it’s a fact that: when dry,days get warmer / nights get colder than normal – If you take in calculation every minute in 24h, it ‘s same as when is not drought, even tough the top temp is 3C cooler…! ONE MINUTE IN 1440 minutes (24h) is meaningless

        3] advice: guys, stop playing with your little water pistols, it’ll fall off!!! Jim D, give a rest to your little water pistol, you will get blind; don’t say after that I didn’t warn you

      • Bah! What reason does curiosity need?
        ====

  77. Pingback: J. Curry ante el Congreso, y razones a favor y en contra del calentamiento global. | PlazaMoyua.com

  78. Paul Vaughan

    In an address to key decision makers, no clear suggestion was made to prioritize the direction of funding towards researchers & explorers who are actually capable of solving the natural climate puzzle. Carpe diem if there’s ever a second chance.

  79. Pingback: Testimony To Congress – US Professor | Greenhouse Bullcrap

  80. “If all other things remain equal, it is clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet.”

    This is you, Judy, and you should be ashamed. The Congress was listening to you and you did not say what needs to be said. Highly payed so-called “climate” scientists have invented a coming climate Armageddon and have scientifically naive politicians believing it. You do know their science is wrong and are being intellectually dishonest with that statement above. Fighting that imaginary warming will cost billions that the Congress must appropriate and you did not give them one reason not to do that. You could have pointed out that there is no warming now, that there has been none this century, and that none is on the way. To explain the absence of this warming you could have pointed up the plain fact that there is more carbon dioxide in the air now than ever before but it is unable to cause warming. And to explain this inability you could then have introduced Ferenc Miskolczi’s observations of atmospheric absorption in the infrared. He showed that addition of carbon dioxide to air does not increase absorption of IR needed to cause greenhouse warming because water vapor, another greenhouse gas, neutralizes it. Hence, no greenhouse effect is possible. As it stands now, congressmen have never heard about Miskolczi’s work except maybe in a perjoratory way from activists. For now, the activists have the field to themselves and are getting away with murder by foisting their pseudoscience on the public. Their science is all wrong. Congress needs to know that the greenhouse effect does not exist, that there is reputable science behind that statement, and that the activist science is nothing but a pseudoscience demanding huge sums to fight a non-existent warming.

    • You’re awfully sure of yourself. And yet wIthout the greenhouse effect, you wouldn’t be around to deny its existence.

  81. Heh, Republicans. It’s Bush’s fault. Glad we got that straight.
    ==========


    • kim | May 2, 2013 at 8:12 am | Reply

      Heh, Republicans. It’s Bush’s fault. Glad we got that straight.
      ==========

      Occasionally Kim The Bot’s autoresponse algorithm goes haywire and spew comes out lacking any context.

      “meh, heh, meh, heh, meh, heh”

      Sounds incredibly close to the Dim Son’s chuckle

  82. Pingback: Intressanta vittnesförhör inför USAs kongress med bl a Judith Curry | The Climate Scam

  83. Pingback: Recent Energy And Environmental News – May 13, 2013 | PA Pundits - International

  84. The written text of Judith Curry’s testimony says:

    Figure 1 shows a long-term increasing trend, and particularly during the last 25 years of the 20th century.
    However, since 1998 there has been no statistically significant increase in global surface temperature.

    My question for Judith Curry is:

    What is the scientific relevance of the fact that the trend since the cherry-picked start year of 1998, the year of a very strong El Nino, was not statistically significant?

    Apparently, the following sentence is supposed to suggest that it was scientific relevant:

    While many engaged in the public discourse on this topic dismiss the significance of a hiatus in increasing global temperatures because of expected variations associated with natural variability, analyses of climate model simulations find very unlikely a plateau or period of cooling that extends beyond 17 years in the presence of human-induced global warming9.

    The reference you use to back this claim is a study by Santer et al., JGR (2011), doi:10.1029/2011JD016263. However, I couldn’t find any statement using the phrasing “very unlikely” with respect to the occurrence of a “plateau” or “cooling” beyond 17 years in the Santer et al. study. Instead, regarding the 17 years following is stated:

    On timescales longer than 17 years, the average trends in RSS and UAH near‐global TLT data consistently exceed 95% of the unforced trends in the CMIP‐3 control runs (Figure 6d), clearly indicating that the observed multidecadal warming of the lower troposphere is too large to be explained by model estimates of natural internal variability.

    The statement is about a comparison between the average derived from the distribution of observed trends and the distribution of unforced trends in the model simulations.

    There is nothing in the Santer et al. study according to which it was “very unlikely” that an individual trend from the distribution of all trends could not show a plateau or cooling over periods of longer than 17 years.

    I do not see how the Santer et al., study can be validly used in support of a claim that the lack of statistical significance of the near-surface or lower troposphere trend since 1998 was of such a relevance. Even if the statements from the Santer et al. study were presented correctly, it hasn’t even been 17 years since 1998.

    It has been about 15 years since 1998. There is nothing really unusual about a lack of statistical significance of the temperature record over 15 years. One can find other periods of 15 year length over the last 30 years in various of the global temperature data sets, for which the trend is not statistically significant. This is not just the case for the temperature since the El Nino year of 1998.

    • I was always so amused that the long-term standard of thirty years was almost exactly the length of a phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. I’m sure Bob Tisdale could add to my hilarity once I get out of the coloring books and into his adult tomes.
      ==========

    • Correction to following paragraph in my comment:

      There is nothing in the Santer et al. study according to which it was “very unlikely” that an individual trend from the distribution of all trends could not show a plateau or cooling over periods of longer than 17 years.

      Corrected:

      There is nothing in the Santer et al. study according to which it was “very unlikely” that an individual trend from the distribution of all trends could show a plateau or cooling over periods of longer than 17 years.

  85. maksimovich wrote:

    So what are you saying,that the 17 yr meme is an urban legend,like the 400ppm global co2 measurement or the linear response to a forcing (the primitive climate sensitivity assumption).

    You are asking a loaded question. What is your intention?

    Is this another case of press releases (spin) imparting information that did not exist in the paper eg

    https://www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases/2011/Nov/NR-11-11-03.html

    This press release doesn’t claim what Judith Curry said in her testimony.

  86. Seeking and trying to enforce consensus per se is not only a dubious enterprise, it uses methods and priorities far different from trying to achieve it. Gatekeeping and professional intimidation are just two of the more egregious ones in evidence in this case. Far worse and more repulsive tactics have been openly advocated by politically aggressive AGW advocates. They may come to regret it. Karma is a bitch.

  87. Pingback: Have U.S. Republicans shifted strategy on climate change? | Climate Etc.

  88. Pingback: Himalayan melt impacts | Climate Etc.

  89. Policy Relevant Climate Issues in Context with Judith Curry. Link to the archive: http://science.edgeboss.net/wmedia/science/sst2013/EV042513.wvx
    I hope this link works for you.

  90. Pingback: Who is on which ‘side’ in the climate debate, anyways? | Climate Etc.

  91. Pingback: Pause politics | Climate Etc.

  92. Pingback: Senate EPW Hearing on the President’s Climate Action Plan | Climate Etc.