Open thread weekend

by Judith Curry

It’s your turn to introduce topics for discussion.

485 responses to “Open thread weekend

  1. Peter Lang

    Most people in western democracies would support policies to cut GHG emissions if they are convinced it would be done in an economically rational way – that is if it would be done in a way that provides net benefits irrespective of any perceived climate benefits (which is a contentious subject). However, there is little support for policies that may do economic damage.

    For emissions policies to gain and maintain broad support, voters need to be convinced the policy will succeed in making life better, not worse. If it is going to cost money and require sacrifice they need to be convinced it will actually make a real difference to their lives.

    Realistically, the policy needs to be net beneficial at all times. That’s the case in the western democracies. It is even more the case in the developing countries and these are the ones that really count because they are responsible for most of the emissions and will contribute an ever increasing share of emissions. So, for any policy to succeed in cutting global GHG emissions, it must be economically beneficial, in the short term. That is not the case over the next half century or more with the policies that have been proposed to date.

    IMO global GHG emissions could be cut in an economically rate. But not with the policies that have been most strongly advocated for the past 30 years and continue to be advocated.

    What is the magnitude the problem?

    To understand what has to be achieved, start with the Kaya Identity. Professor Richard Tol, in his new book ‘Climate Economics’ says:

    …the Kaya identity has that emissions equal the number of people times per capita income times energy intensity (energy use per unit of economic activity) times carbon intensity (emissions per unit of energy use).

    and

    …global carbon dioxide emissions between 1970 and 2008 CO2 emissions rose by 2.1% per year. Why? The Kaya identity allows us to interpret past trends. Population growth was 1.5% per year over the same period. Emissions per capita thus rose by 0.6% per year. Per capita income rose by 1.5% per year, again slightly slower than the emissions growth rate. Total income thus rose by 3.0% per year, much faster than emissions. This is primarily because the energy intensity of production fell by 0.9% per year. The carbon intensity of the energy system also fell, but only by 0.01% per year.

    Holding all terms except ‘carbon intensity of the energy system’ constant, ‘carbon intensity of the energy system’ needs to increase from -0.01% p.a. to -4% p.a. (average) to cut global GHG emissions to 55% by 2050 and 84% by 2100. So, without changing the other inputs to the Kaya Identity, -4% p.a. is the average rate of change of ‘carbon intensity of the energy system’ the world needs to achieve if we want to achieve the global emissions reduction targets being advocated.

    How could this be achieved?

    The only way, realistically, the world can achieve that rate is with a major contribution from nuclear power.

    The major economies need to do what France did over a period of about two decades. From 1970 to 1990, France replaced most of its fossil fuel electricity generation with nuclear power. Over 75% of France’s electricity is generated by nuclear power and it achieved that by about 1990 (roughly from memory). The major emitting nations need to do this too, just like France did from 1970 to 1990. It’s relevant that France now has about the cheapest electricity in Europe.

    The nine largest emitters contribute 75% of the world’s emissions (USA, Canada, EU, Russia, China, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa). If they moved to largely replace fossil fuels with nuclear power for electricity generation, over 50 years, as France did over about 20 years, that would make a major dent in global emissions. There really is no other practical way.

    This could be achieved at little or no net cost, even a cost savings (as France did). As fossil fuel plants reach the end of their economic life they would be replaced by nuclear power, but only if it is the least cost option – i.e. it will provide the cheapest electricity over the life of the plant.

    Virtually all fossil fuel plants are replaced within around 40 to 50 years anyway, so all existing plants will be replaced by the least cost option in the normal course of events over the next 50 years.

    What is needed to make this happen is for the advanced economies, especially the USA, to allow nuclear power to be cheaper – cheaper than fossil fuels.

    The US President could remove the impediments that are causing nuclear power to be high cost.

    • Peter Lang | May 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm |

      The US President affects the price of nuclear in Australia how, again?

      Or Canada, EU, Russia, China, India, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa?

      And really, you want a more nuclear India?

      It would take a new nuclear plant every 2 days forever to make this plan work, as by the time the last plant gets built the first will need decommissioning.

      Tell us, where did Tol earn his nuclear policy credentials?

      And how exactly do you expect nuclear power to be “allowed” to be cheaper? By magic wand? By subsidy? By loosening regulation so Billy Bob & Mo’s Nukular Furnace & Dry Goods shops pop up on street corners?

      • Peter Lang

        Bart R

        The US President affects the price of nuclear in Australia how, again?

        The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is the de facto regulator of nuclear power world wide. All countries follow its lead and many countries apply to get their nuclear power plant designs through the US NRC approvals process. Countries that want to implement nuclear power require the plants that they would like to buy are approved or at least close to compliant with the US requirements.

        If the US NRC’s role was revamped as I have advocated elsewhere (i.e. to make its function more like passenger aircraft licensing), the NRC’s role in thwarting progress would be greatly diminished. Nuclear plant designs could get through licensing much faster and at much less cost. The plants would be cheaper and less risk to investors. As rollout and competition increased the designs would improve much faster – just as has happened with passenger aircraft during the same period that nuclear development has been retarded (1954 to 2013).

        Try to imagine where we’d be with passenger aircraft now and with air travel costs if passenger aircraft designs had each taken 10 years and $1 billion to get licensed (as is the case with nuclear power plants). Aircraft and air fares would be much higher than they are. There’d be fewer passengers travelling. There’d be less aircraft produced and less competition. The designs would be way behind where they are now – we’d probably be flying in planes like the 1970s or 1980s. That gives an insight into how much the development of nuclear power has been retarded by the licensing costs, time required and enormous financial risk in embarking on trying to get a new design approved and then to sell enough of that design to pay back the development and licensing costs. It’s far too expensive to change a design, so the old designs just have to keep getting used and stay in service (like the 1960s Fukushima designs).

        The high cost of getting nuclear power plants designs through licensing is one of the main reasons why only large plants are licensed, why they are so expensive, why they take so long to build, and why their development is way behind where it would be if it had not been so severely blocked.

        According to Professor Bernard Cohen, regulatory ratcheting up to 1990 had increased the cost of nuclear power by a factor of four http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html. I expect it has increased by at least twice that since (i.e. a by factor of eight for the current designs). I’d suggest the regulatory ratcheting and the effective blocking of development has caused nuclear power to be much higher cost and less safe than if nuclear had been allowed to develop and compete like aircraft manufacturers and with equivalent regulatory control.

        I point out that, despite the restrictions on development, nuclear is about the safest way to generate electricity. There have been very few fatalities caused by nuclear power in nearly 60 years. Meanwhile, commercial passenger aircraft accidents cause about 1000 fatalities per year. We accept the fatalities in aircraft accidents as a relatively low risk. Few would hesitate to fly because of the risk.

        With good leadership, such as from the US President, we could get over our irrational fear of nuclear power. The Eco NGO’s could help. Then we could have low-cost, economically viable, ‘No Regrets’ way to cut global GHG emissions.

      • Bart,

        Peter is one of those political types who think nuclear is only expensive because of Big Gubmint.

        So yes, he probably does think Willy E Coyote’s Acme do-it-yourself nuklar kit is the way to go.

      • > With good leadership, such as from the US President, we could get over our irrational fear of nuclear power.

        INTEGRITY ™ — Because Irrational Fear

      • Bart,

        You say that “It would take a new nuclear plant every 2 days forever to make this plan work, as by the time the last plant gets built the first will need decommissioning.”

        Assuming this is so, what other forms of replacement generation do you suggest, which can be built faster? Because if you don’t have a means for replacing existing and planned coal generation units, the alternative is forcing people to do without energy.

        Perhaps Richard Tol is not expert in the field of commercial nuclear power, but as someone with 10+ years in that field, I know it is rather hard to argue that there are better options currently available to replace fossil fuels if you are convinced CO2 is truly a pollutant and in need of being drastically reduced.

    • David Wojick

      The President cannot nullify NRC regulations. The President cannot change any regulations. Regulations are governed by laws not presidents.

      • Peter Lang

        David,

        You are being pedantic and missing the point. the US President can lead the population to get over its irrational phobia about nuclear power. The US President has more power to lead and educate the population than any other person on Earth. A Democrat president is the best person to do this because it is his tribe, the Democrats, that are the most strongly anti nuclear.

        He could, if he wanted to, persuade one of the major Eco NGO’s to change its stance on nuclear power – to become a strong advocate. Get one of them to change and they will all change. Divide and conquer.

        Don’t tell me this can’t be done. Of course it can, if there is the will to do so. If he, the Democrats and the ‘Progressives’ are so concerned about global GHG emissions, they would could do this – and address the global problem as opposed to just yapping.

      • The president can fire the head of any agency, and any personnel within that agency. Anyone who thinks that bureaucrats are somehow immune to control from the executive has no idea how the government works.

        The progressives in the EPA have been dying to implement CAGW policy for years. While there was a Republican president, the leadership of the EPA would not allow it. Now with the most radical left president in the country’s history, the EPA is willing to ignore even the Congress to enact by fiat what they and the president want.

        There are restrictions on rule making with respect to time, but the executive has enormous leverage to issue waivers and implement moratoria at its whim with respect to all agencies.

        Regulations are written, interpreted, enforced, revoked or ignored, by men, not laws.

      • Peter Lang

        I’m afraid you are getting to the crux of the problem here.

        Like most politicians worldwide, the current US administration says one thing, but (in reality) means something totally different.

        - It says that it wants to reduce US CO2 emissions, in order to help the global war on climate change.

        - But what it means is that it wants to tax US CO2 emissions, primarily in order to increase tax revenues – to pay for pet “investments”, including (among other things) climate change projects and green energy initiatives and enterprises run by past supporters of the administration.

        This has nothing to do with really reducing US CO2 emissions.

        If it did, the administration would have come out long ago with strong support for easing the regulatory burden and bureaucratic permit application procedures for new nuclear plant construction.

        Pretty simple. Proving the old saying:

        “One should judge people NOT by their words - but by their actions”..

        Max

      • -manacker

        Well said, to the extent it is said. A big part of the problem is electorate(s) the holds the politicians accountable for what they say and not what they do. We ‘get the governments we deserve’ or from another point-of-view we get the best we can given the limitations of nature’s wiring.

      • …that hold(s)…

      • David Wojick

        I was not being pedantic Peter; I just made a literal interpretation of your vague statement. I did not know that you were proposing a utopian dream wherein a US President changes how the people think about nuclear power to the point where power plants become inexpensive. That is quite a wish.

        I prefer to work in the present. NRC is trying to streamline its reveiw procedures because their revenue depends on a tax on powerplants and the fleet is getting old. Do you have any suggestions?

        But your vision is something else to say the least. I thought perhaps you had something realstic in mind, but then anything is possible in 50 years so there is no reality constraint at that scale. It is just that discussing it may not be worthwhile, any more than restructuring the global economy is.

      • Peter Lang

        David Wojick,

        I did not know that you were proposing a utopian dream wherein a US President changes how the people think about nuclear power to the point where power plants become inexpensive. That is quite a wish.

        Strawman, sarcasm and misrepresentation. Refer #7 and #8 of “10 signs of intellectual honestyhttp://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/

        I prefer to work in the present. …

        But your vision is something else to say the least. I thought perhaps you had something realstic in mind, but then anything is possible in 50 years so there is no reality constraint at that scale. It is just that discussing it may not be worthwhile, any more than restructuring the global economy is.

        If you want to think only about the present, then of course you can. But I wonder why you are contributing to a web site where the whole basis of the discussion is about policies that are justified on the basis of projections ever hundreds of years and where the policies being advocated must be implemented and remain effective for hundreds of years, hmmm?

        How is arguing for policies to reduce the impediments to nuclear power now any less “working in the present than arguing for global carbon pricing and global targets and timetables?

        IMO the practicality of reducing the impediments that are blocking nuclear power are far more feasible than trying to implement and maintain a global carbon pricing scheme. I’ve argued the case in many previous comments such as here:
        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/19/open-thread-weekend-14/#comment-313509

        and

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/19/open-thread-weekend-14/#comment-313514

        I hope you will do me the courtesy of reading those two comments.

        Let’s try to drop the pejorative comments and leave that approach to the discussion with the obnoxious, ideologicvally Left contributors.

      • Peter Lang

        David Wojick,

        NRC is trying to streamline its review procedures because their revenue depends on a tax on powerplants and the fleet is getting old. Do you have any suggestions?

        Yes.

        Wrong Way. STOP!

        Get a clear sheet of paper.

        US President dump John Holdren and get a new energy policy adviser that does not have his anti nuclear beliefs.

        Focus on educating the public so we can get past the anti-nuclear rhetoric of the past 50 years. Get over nuclear phobia.

        Get government out of the way. Get NRC out of the way. Change it’s role as I suggested in an earlier comment.

        Note: I am not advocating for no regulation; I am advocating for appropriate regulation for what is already the safest way to generate electricity and, going forward, we need to focus on getting the cost down and the financial risks for investors down so everyone can share in the benefits of cheap nuclear power.

      • “already the safest way to generate electricity”

        It would be interesting to see that demonstrated rather than asserted.

      • Peter Lang

        Michael,

        Why don’t you read the links that have been posted dozens of times. Or read the authoritative literature. It’s no as if this hasn’t been known for many decades.

        And, you might do better to ask a question rather than make you snide remarks – which invariably demonstrate your ignorance of even the most basic facts.

      • Peter Lang, your argument is so far off-base as to stagger one as to know where to begin.

        To save you having to translate, here are a couple of (albeit 2-year old) references.

        http://www.un.org/ha/chernobyl/docs/report.pdf

        http://www.forbes.com/2011/03/16/japan-disaster-nuclear-opinions-roubini-economics.html

        Chernobyl still costs the Ukraine on the order of five percent of its GDP, as it has every year since the incident.

        Sure, there’s the specious argument that nuclear’s safety record compared to coal has saved 2 million lives, because if the same amount of energy were produced by coal the pollution would have killed that many people, but I think we can all see the flaws in that reasoning. (Or, to spell it out, new coal plants open all the time, and rate of new nuclear plants have no correlation with rate of new coal, at least not the negative correlation required to prove this claim.)

        So, given reports like http://newsonjapan.com/html/newsdesk/article/89987.php we can see that the claims of ‘overregulation’ are not sustained.

        And the clean-up costs?

        Outright gifts from the governments to the operators, pure subsidy, a pat on the head for having given it a good try, so sad so many good people didn’t get their performance bonus this quarter.

      • Peter Lang

        Bart R,

        The usual irrelevant, scaremongering, anti-nuke rhetoric, together with the usual snide remarks. Your comments about costs are meaningless because they presented in a way that allows comparison with alternatives. Any comparison has to be on the basis of fatalities per TWh of electricity supplied (or other generally accepted basis for comparison such as work-days lost per TWh). It’s all just an ti-nuke rhetoric.

        I am dismissive about what you say, because you repeatedly practice many of the “10 signs of intellectual dishonestyhttp://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/. For example, you keep rehashing the same old nonsense that I’ve replied to you about before over the past 2 years or so, and to my recollection you never acknowledged when you are wrong or when you accept a point. There is never closure on anything. I consider you are just an activist with no ethics.

      • Peter,

        I haven’y read all your links, but I’ve read quite a few economic analyses of nuclear – fully costed (including the obligatory support of evil Big Gubmint) it’s seems to be the most expensive way to produce electricity.

      • Peter Lang

        Michael, clearly you haven’t the faintest clue what you are talking about. Furthermore, you asked about sources for “safest” and then say your understanding is nuclear is the most expensive. No point attempting to carrying on a discussion with you.

      • David Wojick

        Peter,
        I am not being sarcastic nor misrepresenting you. That yours is a utopian vision is an accurate description. That the NRC simply stop reviewing designs is impossible at the present time. It would require major legislation for which there is no political will, no political movement. Thus this fits the definition of a utopian vision, a different world. Calling for it is not helpful if you have no workable suggestions.

        I do note however that some developing countries are building nukes. Good for them. This is real progress. Some nuclear proponents claim that these nukes are costing just $1000/kw which is less than a US coal fired plant. These figures are contested of course. You might want to get into this debate if you want to be helpful.

      • ” Furthermore, you asked about sources for “safest” and then say your understanding is nuclear is the most expensive.” – Peter Lang.

        Unfortunately, it’s neither the cheapest, nor the safest.

        And it’s the saefty issues that make it not cheap.

      • Peter Lang

        David Wojick,

        I am well aware of the costs of nuclear power and other electricity generating technologies in different countries, and the assumptions upon which the costs are based. I’ve been involved for 40 years. But there is no point trying to discuss any of that on sites like this.

        That the NRC simply stop reviewing designs is impossible at the present time.

        I didn’t say that. So once again you are raising strawman and misrepresenting what I said. I don’t appreciate that.

        It would require major legislation for which there is no political will, no political movement.

        True but irrelevant. Its a matter of time scales. People can change their minds. It is not a problem of physics like renewable energy. If people want to implement CO2 pricing that will also require legislation. Legislation is being passed all the time. There are elections and US changes Presidents.

        I’d say to you, you live in the now and don’t think beyond. You seem incapable of understanding that changing public perception of nuclear power, or climate change, or gun laws, abortion laws or environmental or going to war are all political issues. People change their minds and legislation gets changed.

        BTW, just to be clear, I am not advocating we go nuclear or that Australia adopts nuclear – at least not until the LCOE is expected to be cheaper than fossil fuels for the life of the plant. What I am saying is that if the CAGW doomsayers want to cut global GHG emissions, then they will have to become advocates of nuclear power or accept they cannot make progress because the world is not going to adopt economically damaging policies. And I’ve explained how they can achieve their stated goals of cutting global GHG emissions in an economically rational way. Now its up to them to make it happen. They have to convert those who share their ideological beliefs.

        Is this clear now? I’ve written it many times, but it is impossible on blog posts to say it all every time. I linked to two previous comments, but you didn’t say if you had actually read them.

      • Peter Lang

        David Wojick,

        As I understand the argument you are putting to me, it goes like this, (please correct if I’ve misunderstood you):

        Although nuclear power is demonstrably about the safest way to generate electricity, we cannot remove the impediments that are causing nuclear power to be much higher cost than it could be because:

        • It is unpopular
        • There is no move to do so
        • Laws would have to be changed
        • It’s not in the present
        • It’s a utopian dream
        • It’s an unrealistic dream
        • It would require major legislation
        • There is no political will, no political movement.

        Think about how illogical, irrational and just plain silly are those reasons for doing nothing – i.e, nothing to remove the impediments that are preventing the world from having a cheaper, cleaner and safer electricity supply than we have now.

        Here are some of the reasons you gave for doing nothing and to shut down discussion of it:

        • I prefer to work in the present.

        • The President cannot nullify NRC regulations. The President cannot change any regulations. Regulations are governed by laws not presidents.

        • Thus this fits the definition of a utopian vision, a different world.

        • Calling for it is not helpful if you have no workable suggestions.

        • I did not know that you were proposing a utopian dream wherein a US President changes how the people think about nuclear power to the point where power plants become inexpensive. That is quite a wish.

        • But your vision is something else to say the least. I thought perhaps you had something realistic in mind

        • It is just that discussing it may not be worthwhile, any more than restructuring the global economy is.

        • That yours is a utopian vision is an accurate description.

        • That the NRC simply stop reviewing designs is impossible at the present time. [Strawman argument]

        • It would require major legislation for which there is no political will, no political movement.

        It is a rather pathetic argument from:

        Wojick is a journalist and policy analyst. He holds a doctorate in epistemology, specializing in the field of Mathematical Logic and Conceptual Analysis.

    • Peter Lang | May 4, 2013 at 10:18 pm |

      I remain skeptical.

      First off, let’s look at the record of the licensing of new aircraft between 1954 and today.

      Tell me, how many Concordes are flying today?

      How many Dreamliners?

      How many Space Shuttles?

      What is the track record for safety of aircraft designed and built from 1955 to today compared to those built before 1955?

      And what is the track record of these aircraft that the USA had the least hand in the design and building of?

      If nuclear facilities had the same track record as aircraft, there’d be Three Mile Islands and Chernobyls and Fukishima’s in every nuclear nation on the planet.

      So you’ll understand if I believe there are people in the world who understand these matters much, much better than do you.

      • Peter Lang

        OK Bart R, I get your position:

        You hate nuclear power with a passion. You have an irrational hatred of it, loosely you have a phobia about nuclear power. You couldn’t care less that it is the safest way to generate electricity and would save over a million deaths per year world wide if it replaced coal generation (i.e. overnight, more over the longer term).

        You being a ‘Progressive’, dedicate your life to doing all in your power to obstruct progress.

        You cannot suggest any viable alternative that could provide near zero emissions electricity generation for the world.

        You are happy to be a dinosaur and denier for how long?

        As for your last typically derogatory comment: Bart R, “you’ll understand if I believe there are people in the world who understand these matters much, much better than do you.” And they most certainly are not those who share your ‘Progressive’ ideological beliefs.

      • For the casual reader, let us note where Tar Baby left during our last episode, a few days ago:

        > Perhaps Tar Baby should start with the concept of footnote. After provenance, we might make a quantum jump and talk about INTEGRITY ™ if only to provide with a textual analysis of Lomborg’s kiss of death.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/24/congressional-hearing-rescheduled-2/#comment-317740

        INTEGRITY ™ — Mind Probing Your Position.

    • Latimer Alder

      @Peter Lang

      You say

      ‘So, without changing the other inputs to the Kaya Identity, -4% p.a. is the average rate of change of ‘carbon intensity of the energy system’ the world needs to achieve if we want to achieve the global emissions reduction targets being advocated.’

      Did I miss the bit where you justified paying any attention to these ‘targets’ at all?

    • David Springer

      Peter,

      Electrical generation is not a problem in the United States unless you consider CO2 emission to be a problem. The US has abundant coal and natural gas to generate electricity.

      The cost of electricity in France is twice what it is in the United States. Your hypothesis that US NRC dictates nuclear power plant operating costs all over the world is ridiculous but I may very well agree that it dictates minimal safety standards that are likely too minimal given the disaster in Fukushima. How many more Fukushimas would there be if standards were relaxed? The overall good record of nuclear power plant catastrophic failures is a testament to the safety standards promulgated by the US NRC.

      • Peter Lang

        Electrical generation is not a problem in the United States unless you consider CO2 emission to be a problem.

        Or unless you are concerned about the economic stupidity it leads to unless you offer a viable, rational solution to solve the political problem. I am suggesting a solution that would satisfy all but the died in the wool anti nuke zealots and died in the wool Left who are interested on CAGW only for how it advances their ideological agendas. Two fringe groups that are best dealt with by discrediting and dismissal.

        Fossil fuel electricity generation is a problem because according to EPA it causes about 25,000 avoidable fatalities per year through fine particulate pollution and other toxic pollutants (and yes, I do know that it has been cleaned up enormously, but it is still far more dangerous than nuclear power (Kills about 150 times more people per TWh in the USA http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/deaths-by-energy-source-in-forbes.html ). Do you deny the substance of this (whether or not you want to argue about the individual figures)?

        Nuclear would be safer now if development had not been retarded ovedr the past 50 years or so. The faster nuclear powerf develops from now on the faster it will improve and the faster the costs will come down – just like all other technologies. Excessive regulation is a public response to fear (irrational fear of flying, and irrational fear of nuclear power the safest electricity generation technology).

      • > Excessive regulation is a public response to fear (irrational fear of flying, and irrational fear of nuclear power the safest electricity generation technology).

        INTEGRITY ™ — Use Adjectives

      • David Springer

        Peter Lang | May 5, 2013 at 8:18 am |

        “Or unless you are concerned about the economic stupidity it leads to unless you offer a viable”

        In the US coal, natural gas, and oil are perfectly viable alternatives. With sensible conservation there’s 200 years worth of it. We can convert to liquid forms for transporation at currently $80/bbl equivalent. All our infrastructure works fine if you get the CO2 Nazi’s out of the picture. I don’t believe CO2 is anything to worry about and in fact delivers a desirable amount of warmth exactly where people want it – in the winter in the higher latitudes. Nobody that I care about dies if the Arctic ocean doesn’t have ice in the summer. In fact it promises to be yet another natural resource that becomes available for seafood, minerals, and cheaper trade routes. The safest thing to do is harvest solar energy and I think before you go off getting all aggressive with portable nuclear power plants you focus (pun intended) on sunlight which is clean, safe, sufficient, and forever. It won’t be done with windmills. It’ll be done at the molecular level electronically and chemically. No need to go nuclear. The sun does that for us at a safe retreat. If it’s virtually free to get electricity from sunlight then there are a many ways to turn free electricity into whatever chemical storage is convenient for existing infrastructure.

        Whether or not nuclear can do it cheaper or safer remains to be seen and I’m highly doubtful about either alone to say nothing of both together.

        Your rant about a left conspiracy to beat down nuclear is falling on deaf ears because I’m certainly not a member of the left or the right. I’m a member of the do the smart thing party.

        “Fossil fuel electricity generation is a problem because according to EPA it causes about 25,000 avoidable fatalities”

        Statistics like that are notoriously unreliable. How many hours less life, on average per person, does that work out to for 300,000,000 people? Eating bacon causes more fatalities than that depending on who you ask and lets not even get into how many people die from pre-salted foods and soda pop in greater than 12oz servings. Let’s ban bacon, leave fossil fuel electrical plants alone, and call it even then.

        “Nuclear would be safer now if development had not been retarded ovedr the past 50 years or so.”

        Speculative at best. There’s a fiction category called “Alternative Histories” for that. We can’t go back in history and see if your statement holds water.

        “The faster nuclear powerf develops from now on the faster it will improve and the faster the costs will come down – just like all other technologies.”

        Maybe. That’s not an opinion I happen to share.

        “Excessive regulation is a public response to fear (irrational fear of flying, and irrational fear of nuclear power the safest electricity generation technology).”

        Perhaps. But fear is a rational response most of the time. That’s why nature invented fear. Again it’s just a matter of opinion that any fears are overblown and in how many people. Personally, as long as we’re talking about alternative histories, I think the world would have been better off if mankind had never unlocked the secret of nuclear power. I could be wrong of course as can anyone who creates alternative histories.

      • David Springer and Peter Lang

        Green doomsayers like to paint us into a corner where there are no more alternates – only a very painful change of lifestyle often aimed at destroying some evil industry or sinful habit.

        In this case it is “decarbonizing” our economy (to drastically cur CO2 emissions (to save the planet for our grandchildren) or leave the dwindling fossil fuels in the ground (for our grandchildren) – with the hidden agenda of destroying the evil coal or oil and gas industry or both.

        Yet this must be accomplished without using nuclear power (another evil solution), leaving us with costly and unreliable windmills, solar panels and other renewables plus sharply higher costs and lower overall quality of life.

        But the truth of the matter is that we have two viable alternates: continuing to use fossil fuels (there are enough to last us 150-200 years) together with improved technology nuclear fusion for electrical power (which would essentially resolved the spent nuclear fuel problem and extend the life if the remaining fossil fuel reserves).

        - There is no real CAGW problem (as latest 2xCO2 ECS estimates are demonstrating).

        - There is no real “peak fossil fuels” problem (lots of coal plus shale oil and gas still out there).

        - And there is no real public safety problem with nuclear power (it’s one of the safest industries out there).

        These are all imaginary hobgoblins, conjured up by folks with a hidden political agenda.

        Max

      • You really have no control over what individuals have up their sleeve, and so you are running scared.

        Today, from the progressive blogosphere, the contents of the EEI report are gaining traction:

        http://www.eschatonblog.com/2013/05/sunday-morning.html

        “Just the other day, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers said, ‘If the cost of solar panels keeps coming down, installation costs come down and if they combine solar with battery technology and a power management system, then we have someone just using [the grid] for backup.’ What happens if a whole bunch of customers start generating their own power and using the grid merely as backup? The EEI report warns of ‘irreparable damages to revenues and growth prospects’ of utilities.”

        How will they cope? the “they” being the utilities of course.

        Remember, it is a huge power utility consortium that sanctioned this report (the Edison Electric Institute). If they are doing this just to get more subsidies, please remind me how that is supposed to work.

      • This is a typical tariff problem. The natural product to sell is energy, but the costs are not proportional to the (net) sold energy. In future an increasing share of the cost comes from assuring the reliability of supply, while the share of net energy sales gets so low that building tariffs on that gets impossible.

        Many papers have been written on related problems in the European network.

        People are not ready to accept that the tariffs should be determined mostly by maximum demand and its timing rather than by net energy sales. Making the tariffs to represent better the cost structure of the power system will make renewable sources and distributed generation less competitive in many areas. Sunniest regions, where air conditioning loads lead to peak demand may be an exception.

      • Webster, You finally seem to have hit the nail on the head. Battery technology or some other energy storage means that can lead to energy self sufficiency changes the game. If utilities invest the big bucks and then policy/technology changes the playing field, oops!

      • Yes, Cappy Dick, and with support that will also help stem the climate change problem. You can run along now.

      • Peter Lang

        Pekka Pirila,

        This is a typical tariff problem. The natural product to sell is energy, but the costs are not proportional to the (net) sold energy. In future an increasing share of the cost comes from assuring the reliability of supply, while the share of net energy sales gets so low that building tariffs on that gets impossible.

        Good, informative comment. I’d like to build on it and clarify.

        First, I’d say the natural product we demand is actually power, not energy. We demand reliable stable power supply. This is a very important distinction. If consumers could buy energy, such as 5 kWh of energy per day, and store it until they need to draw some power, then unreliable power suppliers like wind and solar would be fine. Consumers could fill their tank (e.g. a battery) with energy when the energy is available and draw power when they want it. However, we don’t have economically viable tanks (batteries) to store electrical energy. A car’s fuel tank stores energy and the car draws power when the driver wants it (by pressing down on the accelerator). With electricity we draw power when we turn a light or an appliance on, or when an industrial equipment or process starts and operates. The point of all this is that consumers demand power – stable reliable power when they demand it – not energy. Therefore, unreliable power suppliers such as wind and solar power are not fit for purpose. Self sufficiency is not viable. We will need a grid and central power stations probably for the foreseeable future.

        I agree it is a tariff problem. But that simple statement hides many issues. In Australia, for example, spot prices for electricity generation are regulated so they cannot exceed $12,500/MWh nor be less than -$100/MWh. If not for the regulations, spot prices would go higher. Consumers cannot afford the systems that would be needed to give them predictable prices. They cannot be expected to have to pay $12,500/MWh if their refrigerator turns on or they happen to turn on a kettle and draw 2 kW during a power price spike to $12,500/MWh ($12.50/kWh). Only the electricity supply industry has the capacity to handle these price variations. The utilities and electricity distributors have a multitude of sophisticated financial systems and techniques for handling the price variations and risks. They use contracts, financial, and game theory algorithms to manage their risks. The utilities are much better placed to manage these risks than individual consumers.

        Making the tariffs to represent better the cost structure of the power system will make renewable sources and distributed generation less competitive in many areas.

        I agree. A point that needs to be reiterated over and over again.

        Unreliable renewable energy (e.g. wind and solar) is not viable and, IMO, is unlikely to ever be viable except as a fringe contributor.

        Pekka, you may be interested in this recently published paper by a Melbourne Engineer.
        Graham Palmer (2013) Household Solar Photovoltaics: Supplier of Marginal Abatement, or Primary Source of Low-Emission Power?

        http://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/5/4/1406

        It investigates the total system cost of roof top solar PV in Australia. It is an excellent paper and I’d urge anyone interested in renewable energy to read it. If you do read it we can then discuss the implications. For example, I used his method and calculated the CO2 abatement cost with solar PV in Melbourne is over $600/tonne CO2. That is over100 times the EU carbon price. This illustrates how irrational is our support for unreliable renewable energy.

        In future an increasing share of the cost comes from assuring the reliability of supply, while the share of net energy sales gets so low that building tariffs on that gets impossible.

        Absolutely correct. That is why unreliable renewable energy is so expensive. I believe the answer is less regulation not more. We need to allow and encourage competition and innovation to provide reliable power supply at least cost. This Chatham House paper on this issue is excellent, IMO:

        Malcolm Grimston (2010) ”Electricity: Social Service or Market Commodity?”
        http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/public/Research/Energy,%20Environment%20and%20Development/0610pp_grimston.pdf

      • David Springer

        CaptDallas

        If electricity is free, or close to free, then storage is a non-concern because you can accept any level of efficiency in storage. The problem comes about when it costs $0.40/kwh to generate and storage is 33% efficient making your stored energy cost $1.20/kwh. If generation cost is $0.04/kwh then 33% efficient stored energy becomes $0.12/kwh. If generation cost is $0.004/kwh.

        Energy from the sun, lots of it, arrives here free of cost. Nature demonstrates means of harvesting it from self-replicating molecular machines that are also free of cost. Presumably nature’s machines can be reverse engineered and programatically controlled. So even if we can’t improve on nature we don’t really need to do better we just need to take over command and control.

    • Thinking of standards, it would seem that an unavoidable problem with any standards is that meeting those standards can wrongly suggest or wrongly be used to suggest adequate design and/or procedures. Nothing new with that thought of course, but I do suspect that this is not appreciated well enough in the larger public accountability arena with respect to all phases of a facility’s lifecycle–from development of initial policy/planning through implementation to normal closure or in some cases, catastrophic events.

    • Lang’s is an excellent analysis, and I see no cogent counter-point from the detractors. Not to say there isn’t one out there from more knowledgeable critics.

      Leadership would seem the key to make nuclear more prevalent in the US. The fear of radiation poisoning is highly over-estimated. Not to capitalize on a tragedy, but haven’t more people been killed by a Fertilizer plant explosion this year, then all nuclear plant accidents combined over the past thirty? “Leadership” – means getting people to do something that is against their nature, not telling them what they want to hear (e.g. Obama).

      As one person pointed out, there is that problem of India and Pakistan building both quickly enough to make a material difference in their energy needs, and safely enough to avoid loss of nuclear materials. And without an effective policy for the developing world, all domestic efforts are in vain. Can you see anything short of war, if the the present OECD develops clean energy, the developing world does not, then with increasing evidence of AGW, we tell them they can not use the energy resources they have developed.

    • Peter Lang | May 5, 2013 at 4:49 am |

      Pfft. One would think, from my comments, that if anything I hate flight.

      However, I’m a huge flight booster.

      And, I’m a huge nuclear booster. My coding has gone into cutting edge Ivy League nuclear research. I have a handful of friends who went things nuclear at a deep and dedicated level. One was part of the Chernobyl clean up. However, everyone I know who actually works in nuclear and has the academic credentials and mathematical abilities to understand what the heck they’re talking about advocates persuasively for more, not less, oversight, control and conservatism within their field.

      Air bags, seatbelts, crumple zones, advanced traction systems and brakes make much more than a fourfold increase in the price of a car, especially when taken with those restrictive no-drinking no intoxication rules that hobble the hospitality industry. However, if you’re going to tell me we should get rid of DUI laws, brakes and seatbelts on the roads we all pay for and share, I will rightfully see through your madness.

      There is plenty of room for innovation and advancement in nuclear. However, being realistic about the limitations and parameters of nuclear is a prerequisite you do not bring to this discussion, disqualifying your opinions. I don’t hate nuclear. I hate idiocy that endangers others.

      So if you ever perfect personal-scale nuclear that can’t leak outside the limits of your own skin, go for it. No oversight or regulation needed on that, other than a lead-lined casket.

    • Yes, Peter, “there is little support for policies that may do economic damage.”

      Why? We were told “The DOW topped the magical 15,000 barrier before closing at 14,974… ” last week.

      “But it just puts lipstick on a pig. BLS data clearly shows the jobs picture is much different.”

      http://informthepundits.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/the-real-jobs-report-april-2013/

      • David Springer

        It’s called the business cycle and attempts to suppress the downside while stoking the upside backfired. Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul just doesn’t work. If you dance to the music you must pay the piper.

    • Nuclear Power

      Iagrre with Peter Lang re nuclear power with one priviso: that we really have ti ditch fossil fuel. We iust do not understand CO2 and climate change well enough to make such a decision. For example, we do not understand the on/off nature of climate change. We have had two periogs of increasing temperature: 1910 to 1940 and 1970 to 2000. The rest of the 20th and 21st centuries have been relatively constant or falling emperature., including 2000 to the present. No one knows wh,y. I have tried to explain it on my website under;ined above.

      • It seems the world is heading towards more use of nuclear energy.

        “Today there are some 435 nuclear power reactors operating in 31 countries plus Taiwan, with a combined capacity of over 370 GWe. In 2011 these provided 2518 billion kWh, about 13.5% of the world’s electricity.

        Over 60 power reactors are currently being constructed in 13 countries plus Taiwan (see Table below), notably China, South Korea and Russia.”
        http://world-nuclear.org/info/Current-and-Future-Generation/Plans-For-New-Reactors-Worldwide/#.UYYwPkqPRBo

        In general it’s not enough nuclear power. And in general not enough
        power in general is being added. The only type of too much power added
        are the solar and wind madness that government encourage [with tax revenue- and requiring it's citizens to paid more for electrical power]. Fortunately, this solar and wind government oppression seems to be losing steam- politicians losing elections over it. And losing election is
        very strong deterrent for these politicians who claim they working for
        their public.

        So while the increase on Natural gas production is welcomed, we should
        desire much more natural gas production in the future. This means
        governments should doing thing which encourage getting natural gas from very vast untapped reserves in the ocean [methane hydrates].

        In terms of nuclear energy, the smaller, portable/disposal nuclear plants
        would vastly improve global energy. So this development should be encouraged by governments.

        In the longer term, I think getting energy made in space will be the major
        solution regarding global energy needs.

    • Peter,

      Your call for the President to help override irrational fears of the public is rather simplistic. President Obama, at least in his public statements and at least one action, has been supportive of building new nuke plants. While one might say his support is only lukewarm, it is support.

      As for irrational fears, there are many who believe fear of the threat posed by CO2 is a bit on the irrational side. The fact that to date most (if not all) of the terrible impacts have yet to show themselves has not discouraged the fear of “global warming”. There is not much one can do to address irrational fear, for the simple reason that it is irrational. No amount of evidence to the contrary will change peoples minds. We have had 50+ years of successful nuclear power generation in the US, with the best safety record of any industry. But what has that gotten the industry? Certainly not acknowledgement from anyone opposed to it.

      • “The fact that to date most (if not all) of the terrible impacts have yet to show themselves has not discouraged the fear of “global warming””

        We are only at the start of the Great Experiment. I don’t think conditions at the start of the experiment should allay fears about what may occur as the experiment progresses.

        Just as the example of the frog in the pot of warming water. Instead of a frog put some people. Those people have this fear that they might all burn if the water keeps warming. The fact they haven’t done so far shouldn’t allay that fear.

      • Peter Lang

        Timg56,

        I agree there is no support within the industry or proponents of nuclear power to do what I am arguing needs to be done to reduce the cost of nuclear power. In fact I am frequently asked and harassed by nuclear proponents to stop making my argument. They say I am damaging the push for nuclear power because what I am advocating scares the pants off the population at large.

        I understand where they are coming from. They want evolutionary change not revolutionary change. I argue we’ve been trying evolutionary change – thinking we can explain rationally the overwhelming benefits and advantages of nuclear power – for fifty years. It hasn’t worked and there is no sign that this approach will work. It is much easier for the doomsayers to preach their scare mongering. We see it on this thread, even from the rational people. There is a deep, irrational fear of nuclear.

        So, I believe the evolutionary approach is too slow. I believe I am correct with what I am arguing. But I realise it will take a while for people to come around. It may take one or two decades, but I am convinced it will happen. That is, I believe responsibility for design approval will be moved from the government (i.e. DOE and NRC) to the developers, as is the case for all other industries. Of course there is a government role in licensing and regulation, just as there is explosives manufacture and control and in aircraft design and operation. But it is ridiculous, IMO, that the government has such a level of involvement that is takes 10 years and $1 billion dollars to get small nu clear power plants through licensing, and they can manage only three designs at a time. That is ridiculous.

        It is even more ridiculous given that we are blocking the use of and further development of the safest way to generate electricity.

        Convince me I am wrong and I’ll stop this line of argument. But, it’ll take some persuading because I’ve been arguing this for quite a while and listened to the opponents case’. I remain convinced I am correct.

    • Peter Lang

      Timg45,

      I agree with all of your comment. I’d respond, however, we have to stay very simplistic in the short comments we can post here because the debate and discussion is so simplistic. If We move away from simplistic on this emotive topic we get all the standard, silly comments from the usual suspects repeating the same anti-nuke rhetoric that has been stated for the past 50 years, plus the embellishments from the three nuclear accidents that have occurred over the past 30 years which caused 0, 31 and 0 immediate fatalities and a projected relatively small number of latent fatalities that will be too small to be detectable.

      • Peter,

        Understood.

        It gets a bit frustrating when folks who are against nuclear power pretty much rely on tossing out the names Chernobyl, TMI and now Fukashima as proof of the danger and ignore a 50 year track record – 60 years if you include the US Navy. Using the first is on par with comparing apples to pretzels. Chernobyl has nothing in common with US commercial plants, other than having nuclear in its name. TMI is proof that containment systems work. And lost in talk about Fukashima is that no one died, in comparison to the 12,000 + dead or missing from the tsunami and that the cleanup costs pale in comparison to the costs of cleanup and recovery from the earthquake and tsunami. To borrow willard’s phrase, using Fukashima as evidence in the risk of operating nuclear plants is akin to yelling “Look, a glowing squirrel.” and hoping people forget about the far, far greater diaster of the earthquake & tsunami.

        Where i do agree with Bart is that it would be a mistake to pare back on the NRC. However there are areas that could be streamlined. Based on what I’ve heard from my brother (who is in charge of building two new units), some of that has been done. What I’d rather see is to improve the quality (or perhaps a better phrasing would be the experience level) of NRC staff. I don’t want to broad brush everyone at the commission, but they haven’t always had people who know how to build and operate plants. My dad could talk your ear off with stories of AEC (he goes back that far) / NRC staff and reviewers who, as he usually put it, couldn’t find their ass with both hands tied behind their back.

        Maybe more important that chages at the NRC is to put in place some reasonable limits on interveners. Once the NRC has issued approvals and licenses, outside parties should be required to meet a very high standard of evidence to be allowed standing to intervene.

      • Peter Lang

        [This comment previously posted in wrong place]

        Timg56,

        I agree there is no support within the industry or proponents of nuclear power to do what I am arguing needs to be done to reduce the cost of nuclear power. In fact I am frequently asked and harassed by nuclear proponents to stop making my argument. They say I am damaging the push for nuclear power because what I am advocating scares the pants off the population at large.

        I understand where they are coming from. They want evolutionary change not revolutionary change. I argue we’ve been trying evolutionary change – thinking we can explain rationally the overwhelming benefits and advantages of nuclear power – for fifty years. It hasn’t worked and there is no sign that this approach will work. It is much easier for the doomsayers to preach their scare mongering. We see it on this thread, even from the rational people. There is a deep, irrational fear of nuclear.

        So, I believe the evolutionary approach is too slow. I believe I am correct with what I am arguing. But I realise it will take a while for people to come around. It may take one or two decades, but I am convinced it will happen. That is, I believe responsibility for design approval will be moved from the government (i.e. DOE and NRC) to the developers, as is the case for all other industries. Of course there is a government role in licensing and regulation, just as there is explosives manufacture and control and in aircraft design and operation. But it is ridiculous, IMO, that the government has such a level of involvement that is takes 10 years and $1 billion dollars to get small nu clear power plants through licensing, and they can manage only three designs at a time. That is ridiculous.

        It is even more ridiculous given that we are blocking the use of and further development of the safest way to generate electricity.

        Convince me I am wrong and I’ll stop this line of argument. But, it’ll take some persuading because I’ve been arguing this for quite a while and listened to the opponents case’. I remain convinced I am correct.

    • Sorry for being late to this party.

      I use the Kaya Identity to illustrate the scale of the climate policy problem. Energy efficiency improvement and decarbonization would need to be accelerated, well above their historical trends and for decades on end, to make a substantial dent in carbon dioxide emissions.

      I have never argued that nuclear power is the only or the best option for decarbonization. Indeed, there are many options. Nuclear is one.

      I have never claimed to be an expert in nuclear power or even in the economics of nuclear power.

      • Peter Lang

        Richard Tol,

        Thank you for your response. Much appreciated.

        I have never argued that nuclear power is the only or the best option for decarbonization. Indeed, there are many options. Nuclear is one.

        I hope neither you nor anyone else interpreted anything I’ve said as suggesting you made any comment about nuclear power.

        It is my argument, not yours, that nuclear power will have to be major contributor to electricity generation and electricity generation will be a larger proportion of total energy if we are going to achieve large emissions reductions from energy over the next 5 to 10 decades.

        If I did mislead on this, my apologies. (If I did, I am sure someone will point out what I said that gave that impression).

      • Peter: That is correct. Others argued that I would be strongly pro-nuclear and then attacked my nuclear expertise.

      • Decarbonization? Who needs a new drug?
        =============

  2. “Tell us, where did Tol earn his nuclear policy credentials?”

    Where did you, Bart? All I see from you are the usual canards.

    • Brian M. | May 4, 2013 at 9:49 pm |

      Really? My canards are usual? I must be losing my touch.

      So you must be able to tell us how the President of the United States is going to make nuclear energy so cheap it falls below the price of coal, natural gas, hydro, oil, and so forth, and make it last forever?

      Speaking of the usual canards, some people seem to have an issue with this question, but since when has a Harvard MBA meant anything?

      http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/nuclear_power/nuclear_subsidies_report.pdf

      • Steven Mosher

        Harvard MBAs. dear sweet jesus Bart. Have you ever had a Harvard MBA work for you? Prolly not. Here’s the kind of crap you see from Harvard

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/18/rogoff-reinhart-deficit-research-false/print

      • Steven Mosher

        I dunno Bart

        “but since when has a Harvard MBA meant anything?”

        Was the question. Was that a rhetorical question or a real question?
        Is there a latin word for appeal to pedigree?

        looks to me like you googled for a report on subsidies to Nuclear.
        Not sure if you read it or not. Then looks to me like you noted the author was a Harvard MBA and attempt to offer that up as something or other,
        not sure what

        Like most degrees a Harvard MBA is “proof” of sorts that you know how to show up for class and turn in assignments on time. It’s a different way of looking at the 90% rule.

        You might consider making the argument yourself. Please note I don’t care if you have a degree or if you have one where its from. I care about your argument. If you have a degree, thats always nice to know, but only because it makes you a more 3 dimensional character in my mind, “oh you went to Michigan State, did you like the snow?” or “did you ever take a class from so and so I heard he was great”

        On the argument. I don’t like subsidies for Nuclear or any industry for that matter. Let’s put it another way. I’d rather hear your reasoning than read a report you point me at because
        A) I can dialogue with you
        B) you are smarter than most Harvard MBAs I have met.

    • Steven Mosher | May 5, 2013 at 2:18 am |

      I can honestly say, I have never had a Harvard MBA work for me, or even sit on the same side of the table.

      Still, some of them dress nice.

      And the 90% ‘rule’ is more of a guideline, really. Hard to understand how anyone would fall for that sort of dog and pony show. 900 pages? Good grief.

      Here’s some rules:

      1. You can be a principled Capitalist; you can be a principled Socialist. You can’t be both in the same Administration, or the same sentence.

      2. GDP is just a number, and usually a meaningless one. You can tell if it’s meaningful by feeding the hungry out of your own pantry, sheltering the homeless under your own roof, and conversing with the ignorant. Read Climate Etc. and tell me how much GDP means.

      3. Debt and deficit figures must reflect some reality to be useful in decision making. The last time those figures really reflected realities in America the USA was just another nation like all the rest. Though some say they really lost their value in decision making when decision-makers came to value winning over understanding.

      4. If it can’t be summed up in three pages or three points, it likely isn’t true.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        My inclination is always to call pointless nonsense pointless nonsense.

      • > If it can’t be summed up in three pages or three points, it likely isn’t true.

        I have the same rule about paragraphs.

      • Steven Mosher

        Goes for sentences.

      • Goes for words.

      • The affine small print:
        It applies all the way down

      • 4. If it can’t be summed up in three pages or three points, it likely isn’t true.

        Bart – I got a giggle comparing your assertion with your latest blog post, Carbon Cycle Privatization. And as a bonus your very much >3 page screed was devoid of paragraphs making it pretty much unreadable to begin with. Hmmm… Which Bart should one believe, one wonders?

    • Steven Mosher | May 5, 2013 at 11:31 am |

      I used to get very well paid to be smarter than the Harvard anything in the room.

      Mostly to keep my mouth shut and let them talk, until I had a question.

      You know the questions I have about subsidy.

      You must have read that I believe there is a large window for resolving current Economic issues with energy and emissions surrounds innovation and technology transfer.

      While current technology is sufficient to address enough of the issue right now to hit the target of 1950 level CO2E emission/land use/sequestration in carbon, which I believe is the level that reduces anthropogenic Forcing to below the level it overwhelms natural Forcing, and that is the point where new extreme and tipping point chains will no longer be a concern and adaptation will be a plausible policy thereafter.

      But the pace of innovation, the technology in the pipeline, has moved too fast for implementation: by the time anyone tools up and establishes distribution channels for the current 40% efficient solar, the new 80% efficient solar will likely be ready to market, too.. except not so ready as to go toe-to-toe with the 40%ers and make sufficient profit to justify the risk compared to the safety of sitting on research money.

      Classically, this is met by a STICK and carrot policy of making sitting on investment money the most losing proposition, and insuring that ruin in technology transfer is not ruination. We’ve seen in the Solyndra case some other approach that failed on all counts, because of all CARROT.

    • TerryMN | May 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm |

      Believe no Bart. Nor anyone.

      Think for yourself.

  3. Last month, both NPR and the Christian Science Monitor website ran stories about an emerging literary genre dubbed “cli fi,” and which Dr Curry blogged about last December, In fact, Dr Curry was interviewed by the NPR radio reporter and her quote was in both the NPR on air program and the later transcript online. From NPR and CSM, it just a matter of time before the Twittersphere erupted with hundreds of tweets about “cli fi” and dozens of bloggers and websites reposted the NPR story as well, even in Italy and Spain in translation, Then, WordSpy, an online dictionary added the term “cli fi” to its list of new words and more Tweets appeared around the world applauding this new genre of climate fiction,

    http://www.wordspy.com/words/cli-fi.asp

    cli-fi

    n. A literary or movie genre featuring dystopian stories of Earth
    affected by extreme climate change. [Climate + fiction.]

    Example Citations:
    Odds is the latest in what seems to be an emerging literary genre.
    Over the past decade, more and more writers have begun to set their
    novels and short stories in worlds, not unlike our own, where the
    Earth’s systems are noticeably off-kilter. The genre has come to be
    called climate fiction — “cli-fi,” for short.
    —Angela Evancie, “So Hot Right Now: Has Climate Change Created A New
    Literary Genre?,” National Public Radio, April 20, 2013

    Cli-fi, or ‘climate fiction,’ describes a dystopian present, as
    opposed to a dystopian future. And don’t call it ‘science fiction.’
    Cli-fi is literary fiction.
    —Husna Haq, “Climate change inspires a new literary genre: cli-fi,”
    The Christian Science Monitor, April 26, 2013

    Then Yahoo! Movies news site ran this story “Move over sci fi, here comes cli fi” -

    http://news.yahoo.com/warming-world-cli-fi-stay-172544104.html

    Question: will “cli fi” stick around as a new genre or subgenre for novels and movies about climate change, pro or con, warming or cooling, warmist or skeptic, or will it fade away as just another trendy term that had no substance?

    Which reminds me: I discovered another genre being called Lab Lit that focuses on scientists working in labs and doing science. The website is at:

    http://www.lablit.com

    Cheers,
    Danny Bloom, in Taiwan, (1949-2032)

    • Heh, my cli-fi novelette featured in Judith’s blog post last December that you mention above. However, the Wordspy definition doesn’t apply to this work and thus imho it is wrong. Because my piece is sceptical, it does *not* feature a future or near-future Earth affected by Climate Change. In my story the Earth is doing just fine thankyou, but society is heavily damaged by a negative memeplex, which is the social phenomena of CAGW. The work featured in posts at WUWT and BH also. It is free and freely distributable by the way, grab it here:
      http://wearenarrative.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/truth.pdf
      ‘Truth’ is also available in multiple formats at Smashwords.com (this version is still free, but not distributable)
      The Wordspy definition assumes that all cli-fi will be alarmist (hence an Earth damaged by climate change), but this should not be the case. Long live sceptical cli-fi!
      Andy

  4. Repost of something I posted in the last thread.
    WUWT are excited about making a video based on Moncktonomics. He has a conception that it costs 50 times less to adapt to global warming than to completely stop it at zero warming (a false premise, but anyway…).
    http://o.b5z.net/i/u/10152887/f/Is_CO2_mitigation_cost-effectove_Single_Page_Lord_Monckton_Foundation_Briefing_20130411.pdf
    He gets his cost of stopping AGW by scaling up the cost of the Australian carbon tax and its projected effect on global temperature to a global cost per degree if everybody did it (somewhat dubious scaling up by a factor of several thousand), so he finds that to stop a 0.17 C rise in the next decade would cost 80% of global GDP while adaptation without mitigation he takes to be 1.5% of GDP (hence 50:1). He says therefore a carbon tax is useless, but fails to mention that the Australian carbon tax is 1% of GDP, so it actually can help a lot towards adaptation. The best argument would be to continue the tax and use it towards adaptation, in my view, but maybe that is just too sensible to put to politicians.

    • Willis Eschenbach

      You might take a look at “How Much Would You Buy?” regarding this issue.

      The short answer is, even if we accept the dubious theories and the inflated claims of the proponents, reducing temperature by cutting carbon emissions is horrendously expensive. If we use more realistic numbers, it gets even worse … and it may actually do nothing at all.

      Finally, such action is hugely regressive, putting the highest burden in time, money, health, and life on the poor individuals and countries. Perhaps the fate of the poor means little in your world, but to some of us, hurting the poor now with the claim that it might help them in fifty years is a very bad bargain … see my post “We have met the 1% and he is us” regarding the question.

      Best regards,

      w.

      • Willis, this is the same fallacy as Monckton that the only benefit of such a revenue stream is the difference in damage between the unmitigated and mitigated temperature. The revenue also goes towards adaptation to the sure damage due to the committed temperature rise, if it is done properly, because it is a lot of money, maybe $100 billion in the US. It can also go to subsidizing new-technology businesses, renewing the energy infrastructure, helping with heating/cooling costs, insurance or relocation costs in new flood zones, etc.

      • Beth Cooper

        Serfs don’t like taxes on energy, and that includes subsidies
        fer in – efficient technologies … yeah, wind turbines and solar.
        Serfs don’t like taxes on carbon because carbon is plant food
        and serfs like food.
        One – of – them.

      • Beth

        The Chief’s article advises us serfs (especially the ones in your country)

        “Remember, only bet what you can afford to lose.”

        The feeling is captured by the serf’s theme song, first sung by Eddy Arnold (and later made famous by Ray Charles): “Born to Lose”.

        Looks like you serfs down under might get lucky and “lose” your current ruling elite to a new bunch that may not want to squeeze quite so much money out of you.

        I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you, Beth.

        Max.

      • Beth Cooper

        Max,
        We gotta get guv – uh – mint that ain’t
        in-sane in the mem-brain. Wish they’d
        listen ter … Faustino and Peter Lang.
        ..and serfs. )
        Yer fellow serf.

  5. I appreciated Lomborg’s comments, that we ought to pursue more research in attempting to produce solutions to our energy problems. I also like the idea that we have a window in which to develop new energy approaches.

    However, I was thinking that perhaps running the earth hot is better than running it cold. If an ice age were to occur, what could one do about a cold world?

    Also, it seems there are methods to cause global dimming. Volcanoes do it naturally. Assuming C02 does run the world hot, wouldn’t it make sense to find methods other than reducing C02 to cool it off? That way in the advent of an ice age, it would be possible to turn the thermostat back up.

    Plus, it might be nice to have a method of cooling off the world in our back-pocket in the event warming does take off. Or is there something terrible about volcanoes that make them bad?

  6. With the recent talk of cold events in the Northern Hemisphere and predictions of a descent into a new Dalton and so on, I’d just like to repeat what I was saying to some local Oz “coolists”.

    Mark me down as a cooling skeptic, for the same reason as I’m a warming skeptic. The notions of cycle and what-goes-up etc are slightly more plausible than CAGW, but we remain in broad ignorance of climate. That very rough observation sets like ENSO and PDO are treated as “mechanisms” shows the depth of that ignorance and the desperation to speculate in the barbarous age of Publish-or-Perish. (Please, nobody act all surprised if, right in the middle of our present “cool PDO”, Eastern Oz cops a withering drought – since that is what happened between the late 50s and late 60s. We remember Eastern Australia’s big wets of the 50s and 70s, yet tend to forget what came between. Yes, there’s a PDO, but its tidy little title is the only tidy thing about it. Similarly, some of our worst heat has been associated with weak El Nino or none at all, while the super El Nino of ’98 was quite benign in Oz. Observation sets are handy and worth expanding, but spare us the facile conclusions and predictions.)

    We have checked out a few percent of the oceans, are in ignorance of the vast hot mass beneath us, and are merely speculating about atmosphere, orbits, solar behaviour etc. Drought remains our principle scourge in Oz, as it was for the alarmed First Fleet in the early 1790s, and new drought is already taking shape in Western Vic and SA. Mind you, some serious vulcanism (Laki or Tambora levels?) combined with some cyclical cooling could be the sharpest lesson the whole world cops in the short term. We will regret every cent we gave to the likes of Lewandowsky and Flannery, as we wait for our “renewables” to keep humans warm and food supplies cool.

    Already, and completely without cause, food is perishing (massive refrigerant gas hikes on top of electricity hikes) and people are shivering in modern, developed, temperate Eastern Australia. Right now. Put an end to this shame. Fund science, not the crude religion of Scientism, with its nagging, canting hipster priesthood.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ENSO/PDO is a SH summer – and north eastern Australian – phenomenon.

      The current is reasonable for winter in northern Australia because of the warm water in the Indian Ocean. One of the sources for Australian rainfall.

      http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/rain_ahead.shtml?link=1

      The south is looking dry still – SAM is still positive.

      http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/aao/aao.sprd2.gif

      Probabilities are not certainties – but standing patterns in oceans temps are associated with specific rainfall patterns.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Odd – I can hear sophistic nonsense from someone who mistakes abstractions for meaning.

      In the context of rainfall – El Nino is associated with drought in Australia but it is by no means certain that drought follows in all cases. A simple statement of fact.

      In this case also the sample set is a continuum of probabilities of median rain and the certainty is that any place will get some proportion of median rainfall. There are no rainfall (or not rainfall) events outside the sample space. It is a certainty that an elementary event will occur in the set space of all events – and so impossible to contravene the second axiom. It is after all axiomatic.

      Much as I like probability theory – it is pointless to discuss such with a quibbling little fool like you. You would do far better to consider relevant and interesting issues on a far more pedestrian plane and your comments might aspire to significance. Otherwise – as things stand – it is a waste of everyone’s time.

  7. “New study attributes 78% of global warming to Big Macs.”

    OK, this biog post isn’t quite that stupid, but it’s really very close.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/05/02/would_we_give_up_burgers_to_stop_climate_change/

    This genius starts here: “For the first time, measurements of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surpassed 400 parts per million, aka way above what our current ecosystem can handle,” and quickly gets even more stupid. To wit: “[climate change] is also driven in large part by subjective food preferences — more precisely, by American consumers’ unnecessary desire to eat, on average, 200 pounds of meat every year.”

    God bless the internet – shining a bright light on the creepy lunacy crawling beneath the CAGW rock.

  8. The latest literature genre isn’t cli-fi… it is cli-psy –e.g., With Climate Science and its proponents on the Left there is an acceptance of a very peculiar reality. It is not openly discussed and lies impervious to scrutiny.

    It is much like the underlying reality of the Heaven’s Gate Cult with its freakish consensus on the best method to reach the oddball desired destination they all worked hard to achieve together –i.e., a trip to Utopia: that as it happens was located on the dark side of the comet Hale-Bopp.

    The result is a seemingly coherent group of individuals, who worked with computers and enjoyed a life of plenty in the prestigious environment of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, and who also shared an understanding of how life works such that even self-destructive acts made sense to Heaven’s Gate cult members… as they donned black Nikes and pulled plastic bags over their faces.

  9. If there is any doubt that skeptical climate science has gone over the deep end, check out this top-level post on WUWT:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/03/sunspot-cycle-and-the-global-temperature-change-anomaly/
    “Sunspot Cycle and the Global Temperature Change Anomaly”

    Officially sanctioned by the the “greatest science blog in the land”.

    • In the decades ahead we may fall prey to hucksters promising to bring back global warming — especially if temperatures drop to levels experienced during 1650 and 1850. “The last global decrease of temperature,” according to Abdussamatov, ”was observed not only in Europe, North America and Greenland, but also in any other part of the world during the Maunder minimum of sunspot activity and of the total solar irradiance in 1645 to 1715.”

    • It’s still far better than the consensus hypothesis, which says a lot about the latter.

    • “Edim | May 5, 2013 at 4:42 am | Reply

      It’s still far better than the consensus hypothesis, which says a lot about the latter.”

      So Edim thinks that global warming is governed by the following formula
      TA= d*[Σcos(a*SN)-Σb*SN^c]+e from month 1 to the present
      where TA is the temperature anomaly and SN is the sunspot number, with a,b,c,d,e given as constants each defined to 20 significant digits.

      This is the hypothesis that Edim thinks is better than the consensus hypothesis.

      Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the skeptic named Edim.

      • No, I think their prediction for the next few decades will be closer to observations than the consensus predictions/projections.
        http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/clip_image0161.jpg

        The consensus predicts warming.
        http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/clip_image0025.jpg

      • Did you not realize that sunspot number peaked in 1958, yet the global temperature was still rising 40 years later. WHUT’s up wid dat?

        Of course, one can come up with a formula to explain any profile as long as you have enough free parameters to play with.

        Little Billy, age 5, says that WUWT is the bestest science blog in the whole world!

      • “Did you not realize that sunspot number peaked in 1958, yet the global temperature was still rising 40 years later. WHUT’s up wid dat?”

        I personally don’t believe that sunspot numbers are that accurate, but there’s still correlation. I like solar cycle frequency or cycle length, as a ‘proxy’. Furthermore, there must be other factors influencing global climate, not only the Sun, which IMO is the major driver.

      • “I personally don’t believe that sunspot numbers are that accurate, but there’s still correlation. “

        Perhaps some correlation but it is at a fractional amount so unimportant. Hansen goes through the various forcing contributions and this is essentially background variation.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Nonsense on all counts dweeb

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Historicaltsi-SORCEplots_zps323ffc48.jpg.html?sort=3&o=10

        Sunspot counts are the best source of information on TSI prior to instruments – and the record goes back 400 years. TSI peaked in the last half of the 20th Century.

      • David Springer

        Sunspots peaked but remained elevated. You seem to understand the delay between increase in forcing and attainment of a new equilibrium temperature only when it comes to anthropogenic forcings. That’s pretty dishonest isn’t it?

      • Yes, dishonesty is in not doing the math.

      • That’s not dishonesty Web. Dishonesty is applying the math incorrectly and deliberately. It’s pretty simple, actually:

        strong (short) cycle -> cooling
        weak (long) cycle -> warming

        There is thermal inertia (lag). You can use this information to predict global temperature (and other) indices, multidecadally.

      • oops!

        strong (short) cycle -> warming
        weak (long) cycle -> cooling

      • No Edim, Doing the math is dividing the TSI fluctuations abut 1360 W/m^2 by a factor of 4 and then applying the albedo to that. The average is then 250 W/m^2. Next you look at the fluctuations that the Chief Clown showed with his chart and notice that they are +/- 0.5 C. So if we scale those by 250/1360 one gets about a +/- 0.1C fluctuation.

        On top of that, there is a flattening of the TSI across that range that Leif Svalgaard has researched in depth.

        Plug the numbers in and the effect on global temperature changes isn’t as strong as you would imagine at first glance. And certainly not responsible for the 1.2C rise in land temperatures that BEST has shown.

      • Well, either you’re dishonest or doing the cargo cult science.

        The 1360 W/m2 is the annual average – the real value for the incoming solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere varies during the seasonal cycle. Depending on the region, the Earth reacts more or less sensitive to summer or winter insolation. This is caused by different factors: seasonal changes in sea ice cover, variations in the ocean mixed layer depth as well as seasonal rainfalls. These seasonally dependent reactions also have a long-term influence on climate change. The reason: The variation in the Earth’s orbit keeps the mean annual insolation nearly constant, but it redistributes energy between the seasons, i.e. less insolation in winter and more in summer or vice versa. When the climate reacts sensitive to an insolation change of a specific season, the insolation signal translates into a long-term temperature signal and thus influences the annual
        mean…

        But all this is not very relevant. I predict multidecadal cooling (weak SC 23 and 24), the consensus (CO2 cargo cult) predicts warming. Who will be right?

      • Webster, “No Edim, Doing the math is dividing the TSI fluctuations abut 1360 W/m^2 by a factor of 4 and then applying the albedo to that. The average is then 250 W/m^2″

        That is called redoing the math. The sun has a different impact on the oceans than the atmosphere. Since the oceans are the liquid part the math is a little more involved. For one thing, most of the albedo is a response to the insolation, not fixed.

        Also since the liquid part extends roughly from 60S to 60N, the “Average” insolation on the liquid oceans is higher than the total surface.

        If you want to do it right, there are several articles on solar pond design.

      • Edim, you have lost the argument and your weak-kneed teammates are not going to help you here.

        ” Edim | May 6, 2013 at 9:04 am |

        Well, either you’re dishonest or doing the cargo cult science.

        The 1360 W/m2 is the annual average”

        BWAHAHA !

      • Webster, “BWAHAHA !”

        You really should consider staying on the meds. The winter insolation is about 3.3 percent higher than the annual mean and the surface during that period has more liquid ocean surface area. In the summer, the insolation is about 3.3 percent less than the annual mean and there is less liquid ocean illuminated during that period.

        So let’s see, ocean asymmetry, cloud albedo a response not fixed, 60S-60N average ocean surface range, that puts the average ocean insulation in the 550 to 680 ballpark for the input cycle before considering the cloud response which is diurnal.

        If cloud albedo were fixed, solar ponds could not maintain 80C temperatures when they control the heat removal and convective mixing.

      • Edim Webster, btw, the short long solar response variation is most likely due to the difference between the solar pseudo cycle and the ENSO settling time, like sympathetic resonance. That would make the Hale cycle more obvious in the temperature records and helps explain the ENSO shift from ~2 year to ~ 7 year periods.

        If solar “pushes” at the right time it gets warmer and if they gets out of synch, it gets cooler. So it is not so much the change in solar energy as it is the change in solar/ocean timing.

        That is one of those wild and wacky things you have to consider in chaotic systems and comedy, timing is everything :)

      • Cappy, The sunspots are on the sun and are not influenced by what happens on earth.
        The comedy value is that Professor Irwin Corey never gets phased by uttering gibberish either.

      • Webster, “Cappy, The sunspots are on the sun and are not influenced by what happens on earth.”
        You will run low on straw here soon and BartR will start taxing you.

        ENSO, PDO, AMO etc. are all real pseudo-cyclic phenomena. You can’t wish them away. If you want to understand them you need to consider things like sympathetic resonance. It is kind of like that swing set that terrified you as a child. The kids with rhythm could make them work.

        When volcanic forcing occurs on a downswing, it has more impact. When a solar peak occurs in time with an ENSO upswing, it has more impact. If the Northern and Southern hemispheres were symmetrical, ENSO would have larger swings.

        There are an amazing number of patterns that can result.

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

        Not only in the real world but in the data. So instead of full harmonics you will often see sub-harmonics, lots of fifths btw.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The Earth’s climate is driven by the net sunlight deposited in the terrestrial atmosphere, and so, climate is critically sensitive to the solar irradiance and the Earth’s albedo. These two quantities should be linked in any proxy effort to understand the role of a varying Sun in climate change. We need to understand why studies using solar activity as a
        proxy for net sunlight seem to have real value, even though we know that there are terrestrial imprints of the solar cycle when the implied changes in solar irradiance seem too weak to induce an imprint..
        http://bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/literature/Goode_Palle_2007_JASTP.pdf

        dweeby is as usual six steps behind.

      • It’s not a strawman. The premise of this thread is that sunspots are controlling the yearly variations in the climate. That’s what WUWT is arguing for and what Edim is arguing for and likely what you are arguing for if you weren’t so obtuse.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2013/08jan_sunclimate/

        I am more than a little bored by this demented dweeb who seems incapable of honest curiosity.

      • Webster, “It’s not a strawman. The premise of this thread is that sunspots are controlling the yearly variations in the climate. That’s what WUWT is arguing for and what Edim is arguing for and likely what you are arguing for if you weren’t so obtuse.”

        You keep stating what Edim is arguing for without thinking about the issue. There is a correlation between SSN and climate. The correlation is fairly weak but then the measure has changed with time. Lief Svalgaard has recommended that the system be updated, but scientists still pick their reconstructions to suit their agenda. If the scientists cherry pick, why are you surprise that skeptics would cherry pick?

        As I said it is likely timing not intensity. Using Svalgaard’s reconstruction and tropical ocean temperatures you can get a better correlation. Imagine that, instead of “global” you use the regional that would be impacted the greatest. What a concept?

        You cherry pick BEST then hand wave to prove you are a Hansenophile. Big whoop!

        http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2013/05/adjusting-co2-tracer-signal.html

        I can use CO2 and nail 1.55 C per doubling if I ignore other variables.

      • Why are you linking to a co2 analysis if you think it is sunspots?

        Have the courage of your convictions and fit to the sunspot data. Go for it !!!!

      • Webster, “Have the courage of your convictions and fit to the sunspot data. Go for it !!!!”

        Sure, what results would you like :) Missed that part did ya?

      • Sunspots go up, sunspots go down.

        CO2 goes up and up.

        Fake skeptics spin and spin.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘There is, however, a dawning realization among researchers that even these apparently tiny variations can have a significant effect on terrestrial climate. A new report issued by the National Research Council (NRC), “The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate,” lays out some of the surprisingly complex ways that solar activity can make itself felt on our planet.’ op. cit.

        Little wonder that it is not dawning for dweeby.

      • Going by the forcing alone, the sunspot variations are minimal in comparison to CO2 forcing. Hansen showed this in a recent paper:
        http://img51.imageshack.us/img51/3446/hansenimbalance.gif
        Look at the lower left inset for the effective forcing of the sunspots/

        Now if the Chief wants to allocate a much larger sensitivity to the sunspot irradiance, be my guest. You are just getting yourself into a trick-box, because the CO2 forcing sensitivity will also grow in that case.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ISCCP-cloudamount-1_zps4c4f2d1e.png.html?sort=3&o=16

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/CERES_MODIS-1.gif.html?sort=3&o=64

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=31

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/WongFig2-1_zps2df93e8b.jpg.html?sort=3&o=60

        Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        You are a total dweeb.

      • Chief, Looky here. What initiated this thread was my observation of WUWT jumping the shark. Now what we find is the guy who posted the sunspot-caused-recent-warming “theory” has now retracted it:

        ” R J Salvador says:
        May 6, 2013 at 4:50 pm
        Anthony,
        I ask that my story be withdrawn. Thanks to all for your comments. I am not discouraged and when I have something that I think will stand up to your scrutiny,I will try again. It’s been fun.
        R J Salvador”

        Not only that, but it is contagious, as Willis retracts stories of his own

        “Willis Eschenbach says:
        May 6, 2013 at 7:24 pm
        R. J., thank you for your honesty. I’ve had to do the exact same thing myself, so I know that it is difficult. However, I was able to use my new understanding, provided by my commenters, to get a deeper understanding of the issues.

        So keep on keeping on, my friend, well done.

        w.

        At that rate, every skeptical theory will get retracted in a few hours.

        You can’t make this stuff up. Now, what were you saying?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The Earth’s climate is driven by the net sunlight deposited in the terrestrial atmosphere, and so, climate is critically sensitive to the solar irradiance and the Earth’s albedo. These two quantities should be linked in any proxy effort to understand the role of a varying Sun in climate change. We need to understand why studies using solar activity as a
        proxy for net sunlight seem to have real value, even though we know that there are terrestrial imprints of the solar cycle when the implied changes in solar irradiance seem too weak to induce an imprint..
        http://bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/literature/Goode_Palle_2007_JASTP.pdf

        I didn’t even read it dweeby – why should I waste time on blog science and curve fitting? It doesn’t mean there isn’t a connection. I linked as well to the NASA press release on the NAS report on solar pathways. That’s the difference between you and me. I follow real science – you follow dweeb science.

      • Speaking of math, anyone care to show me the math that tells how much impact on warming would occur if we were suddenly able to reduce US emissions to zero?

  10. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Early records of sunspots indicate that the Sun went through a period of inactivity in the late 17th century. Very few sunspots were seen on the Sun from about 1645 to 1715 (38 kb JPEG image). Although the observations were not as extensive as in later years, the Sun was in fact well observed during this time and this lack of sunspots is well documented. This period of solar inactivity also corresponds to a climatic period called the “Little Ice Age” when rivers that are normally ice-free froze and snow fields remained year-round at lower altitudes. There is evidence that the Sun has had similar periods of inactivity in the more distant past. The connection between solar activity and terrestrial climate is an area of on-going research.’

    http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/SunspotCycle.shtml

    Yeah – like sunspots aren’t an indicator of solar activity.

  11. cutting greenhouse gas emissions is really not needed. There is no real data that shows we have any kind of warming that is harmful There is no real data that shows we have any kind of sea level rise the is harmful.

    Why stop something that causes green things to grow better and that is not causing any problems that can be proved by any data?

  12. This morning was colder than normal and it did inspire this email to the Head of NOAA and a lot of others.

    Alex

    From: Alex Pope [mailto:alexpope13@gmail.com]
    Sent: Saturday, May 04, 2013 1:20 PM
    To: ‘Dr. Sullivan
    Cc: others with addresses deleted

    Subject: Cold because of warm

    Dr Sullivan, NOAA,
    Another cold because of warm story.
    I talked to you about Climate Theory at Space Center Houston when Mike Coats Retired. That was in Jan 2012.
    http://popesclimatetheory.com/
    Tom Wysmuller and Judah Cohen both did Forecast the snow and cold this winter while you did miss it. You should study their skilled Forecasts while the weather is still colder than normal.

    When the oceans are warm and the Arctic is open in September it does snow more all winter and that is why it was cold this morning in Houston.

    Global Warming is busted. When the oceans get warm and wet it does snow more and that sets an upper bound on temperature that will not be violated. Put this in your climate models.

    Read this latest page on my website and follow the links near the bottom.
    In this page there are links to Forecasts for now that were made last year by Tom Wysmuller and Judah Cohen.

    http://popesclimatetheory.com/page49.html

    Follow the links and tell me what you think about Warm Oceans and Snow and Cold.

    Join our Climate Study Group. We are not a consensus group. Some of our members do agree with your Consensus Theory and the others of us do believe various things. You would be very welcome if you sent someone or even linked in with us with Skype, from time to time.

    John Nielsen-Gammon, the Texas State Climatologist, does join us for some of our activities and he invites us to activities at Texas A&M.
    He is part of our study group, but he does tend to agree with your consensus side.
    http://www.therightclimatestuff.com/

    Consensus Climate Theory and Model Output is clearly getting snowed out.

    Herman A. (Alex) Pope
    Retired Aerospace Engineer
    MSC – Manned Spacecraft Center (1963)
    BS Engineering Mechanics VPI/Virginia Tech 1967
    NASA – Johnson Space Center (to 2007)

    • David Springer

      I live just outside Austin on the shore of Lake Travis. There was frost on my roof the morning of May 4, 2013.

      Frost in south central Texas on May 4th. Incredible. Climate change indeed.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age.

        He is of course exactly wrong.

    • David Springer

      Yup. All time record low for the month of May for San Antonio and Austin.

      Statement as of 5:55 am CDT on May 5, 2013

      … Cold morning lows of early may 2013…

      After a warm day on Wednesday… may 1st… 2013… much cooler
      conditions came on may 2nd… in wake of a strong cold front
      that swept across central and south central Texas during the
      early morning hours on may 2nd. This brought much cooler
      temperatures during the day on may 2nd. Record overnight and
      early morning lows followed on may 3rd and may 4th… 2013.

      A warming trend came during the day on Saturday may 4th…
      with mostly sunny skies… very dry conditions… and winds
      from the south and southwest to west. Afternoon highs warmed
      rapidly to near 80 to the mid 80s.

      Daily record lows for may 3rd and may 4th… 2013 are listed below.

      May 3rd record lows…

      Location lows may 3rd… 2013 previous may 3rd record

      Austin Bergstrom 42 new 44 on may 3rd… 2011
      Austin Mabry 44 new 45 on may 3rd… 1929
      San Antonio 45 new 47 on may 3rd… 2011
      del Rio 49 45 on may 3rd… 1970

      May 4th record lows…

      Location lows may 4th… 2013 previous may 4th record

      Austin Bergstrom 37 new 38 on may 4th… 2011
      Austin Mabry 46 42 on may 4th… 1907
      San Antonio 42 new 44 on may 4th… 1954
      del Rio 47 tied 47 on may 4th… 1954

      Monthly all-time record lows for the month of may… including the
      may 4th… 2013 records.

      Location may record low

      Austin Bergstrom 37 on may 4th… 2013… previous 38 may 4… 2011
      Austin Mabry 40 on may 1st… 1925
      San Antonio 42 on may 4th… 2013… previous 43 may 9… 1984
      del Rio 45 on may 3rd… 1970

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Thanks for the Texas weather update. Meanwhile of course, we are accurately reminded that the weather in Texas is not indicative at all of the state of the general climate in the NH, as tempertures north of 80 degrees around the Arctic have been warmer than normal for the majority of the year:

        http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

        Though this warmer Arctic is very much related to the same general NH conditions that have brought cooler temps to Texas.

      • R Gates, yes indeed – the average temperature seems to have hovered around -25 deg C, instead of the more normal -30 deg C.
        In fact, similar to what happened in 1958 (just picked the first one on the list)

      • The principle of conservation of energy in action. The geospatially averaged temperature can not make large movements without violating this law. A build up of heat in one area must be balanced by a deficit in another. Ocean upwelling is a phenomena that can appear to violate the conservation of energy rule. Yet, even there, the heat is simply moved to points where it is not measured by above-ground sensors.

        You will never see me crowing over individual anecdotes, stats all the way for me.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        WHT said:

        “A build up of heat in one area must be balanced by a deficit in another.”

        _____
        True for a thermodynamically closed system, but given that the Earth is not a closed system as energy both enters (as solar) and leaves the system (as waste heat), the Earth as a system can (and is, as measured by the current TOA energy imbalance) gaining more energy than it is losing to space. As numerous studies have now clearly shown, the majority of this excess energy is being stored in the oceans at various depths. Thus, the Earth, as a system isn’t just moving the same amount energy around, but is in fact, taking in more energy as solar SW, than it is losing to space as waste heat, or LW. This entire process known generally by the term “global warming”, and governed primarily by the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, whose primary function is to regulate the rate of flow of energy between ocean and space.

        From a larger perspective (at the level of the universe), so far as we know, this particular universe is not swapping or exchanging energy with another universe, and thus the total energy of this universe is constant, although usable energy is constantly decreasing as the universe expands and waste heat and entropy constantly increase, heading to the point at which, though the total energy of the universe will be exactly as it was at the point of the “big bang”, all the energy will be waste heat, unusable, and this particular universe will be for all intents and purposes, thermodynamically dead.

      • That is all perfectly acceptable, but sudden changes in average global temperature from one year to the next are next to impossible. That is what I am getting at. For example, a specific geospatial region may show a 2 degree change in average temperature from one year to the next, but that is highly unlikely on the global level.

        I would like to see someone explain the mechanism for a 2C change in global temperature from one year to the next, short of some volcanic plume covering the earth.

        Another way to put it, is that if a global change that large occurred, the source of that change would be obvious, and it would be mathematically trivial to model. In other words, significant global changes are easily explained, while minute global changes are less obvious.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        WHT,

        You are of course exactly correct regarding rapid changes in global temperatures. The only thing that comes close as you mentioned is large volcanic eruption (or series of moderate ones), and then a step down from there is the effects we see from a large La Nina event (or series of moderate ones). On the warming side, a large El Nino might release enough heat from ocean to atmosphere to move global tropospheric temperatures up .5C or more, but nothing like 2C.

        But of course AGW is a long-term gradual increase in energy of the Earth system, thus all the more reason to continue to improve our ocean heat content measurements and to keep a good track of the overall energy content of ocean, cryosphere, and atmosphere– so that we can see how the energy is shifting within the system, and compare it to the overall energy being added to the system as measured by the TOA imbalance.

      • dalyplanet

        Interesting Gates, I went straight away to 1976 in your link, because it was an unusually long cold winter in Minnesota that year. The Arctic temp graph shows some similarities to this year so far.Others not much.

        Your paper is also quite interesting.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age.

        He is of course exactly wrong.

      • David Springer

        Air can certainly change temperature rapidly, webby. It has very little thermal mass. Never forget that the warmth we experience depends on a relatively thin surface layer of warm water covering a global ocean which has an average temperature, even in the tropics, of a bone chilling brass monkey mutilating 4 degrees C. With 90% of the volume of the ocean at approximately 3C any change in the mix rate between the shallow warm surface layer and the frigid bulk of the ocean beneath can change the lower troposphere temperature most riki tik. Only the uninformed and/or unthinking fail to appreciate that the ocean is one bloody cold mofo and has approximately 2000 times the thermal mass of the atmosphere.

    • John Carpenter

      Yeah, when its cold, AGW theory is broke. When its hot, it ain’t. Both sides like to use weather to support what they want to believe. Neither side seem to remember how the other says ‘weather isn’t climate’. Sheesh. Try something new.

      • There was an attempt to define Macro Weather and Micro Climate, given that what time scale is required to separate weather from climate seems to be a moving target.

        Catastrophic Regional Micro Climate, just didn’t have the right ring to it though.

      • John Carpenter

        Heh, I live in Connecticut. We just had our third driest April ever. We also just had a very cold April. So what does that say? Dry…. Must be AGW. Cold…. AGW isn’t real. Yep, a real conundrum for those who like to use weather to make their point.

      • John, It is worse that than. I fish and the fish have cycles of up to 60 years. So do I tell the customers we are in a macro fish weather cycle or a micro fish climate cycle. It gets so confusing.

      • David Springer

        Catastrophic Regional Atmospheric Perturbation has the right ring to it. An associated causal connection theory Origin Likely Largely Anthropogenic is the capstone. This would be abbreviated the CRAP-OLLA theory of climate change.

  13. Latimer Alder

    In case you missed it, here in the UK the strongly anti-wind UK Independence Party has taken huge chunks out of all three of the pro-renewable ‘mainstream’ parties in recent local elections.

    This is the first time that the political classes ‘consensus’ on energy and climate has been seriously challenged at the ballot box.

    In my view this is a sign of things to come…a ‘straw in the wind’ if you will. ‘Green energy’ policies will not last long in this country..and already a couple of senior civil servants have jumped ship from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

    Interesting times!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ukip/10037049/Ukip-vote-is-payback-time-for-a-political-class-that-has-lost-the-plot.html

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2013/5/3/decc-in-chaos.html

    • Seriously, these are no longer “green energy” issues. These are issues of the UK transitioning from the brief period in which they had access to offshore oil reserves. The situation is typical of what happens when BAU is disrupted. Lots of finger-pointing going on between those who want to maintain Business-as-Usual and those who hold realistic views.

      I will now get attacked for stating the obvious and being pedantic.
      Cue up … 1 2 3

      • Hi WHT, what would be the realistic views? Can you explain it in few words? Thanks.

      • No Webster, you will get criticized for conflating transportation energy with electrical power plant policy issues. An overly optimistic energy policy based on “green” energy choices in a declining economy is the issue.

        It is that silly mix of economics, policy and ideology.

      • The classifications of energy use are essentially:
        - Electric power generation
        - Heating
        - Transportation and vital liquid fuel uses

        Oil is usually the bellweather and is allocated to applications where liquid fuel is important. Natural gas is the main fuel for both electric power production and for heating in the UK. Unfortunately, natural gas comes from the same locations as crude oil and so is going through the same downward trend as oil. Coal has been on a long slow decline for decades.

        The realistic view is that UK citizens will expect some other energy source to take up the slack of declining oil, natural gas, and coal production. (There is some discussion of tight natural gas under the Blackpool area, but like all shale deposits, this is not a long term solution) They can decide to pay more for imported oil and natural gas, or they can start looking for alternatives. What is unrealistic is to start whining like a baby about efforts to evaluate alternatives. Lashing out against wind power is a childish stunt, aimed to mollify a reactionary base.

        OK, now that I have explained all this, how exactly does the climate or “green energy” issues fit in to the UK’s need for alternatives?

        Read David MacKay http://www.withouthotair.com/c1/page_2.shtml

      • Latimer Alder

        @WHT

        You say that wind power is not a ‘green energy’ issue.

        Maybe not in Minnesota, but the entire raison d’etre of wind farms in UK is to save the planet by reducing CO2 emissions. That they are economically bonkers is not in doubt..it is proven by the need for generous subsidies to bribe people to operate such things.

        And – despite your cyclopean obsession – it has little to do with oil. We use very little oil for electricity generation.

        ‘Wind power’ most certainly is a ‘green energy’ issue in UK.

      • You should read what I wrote. Crude oil is the bellweather for supplies, and natural gas simply follows. This is elementary geobiology.
        http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=3170

        “Because discoveries of new oil and natural gas reserves have not outpaced the maturation of existing oil and natural gas fields, production from both has declined. The U.K.’s increasing reliance on imported natural gas and oil has spurred the government to develop energy policies to focus on enhanced oil and gas recovery, as well as increased cooperation with Norway—U.K.’s largest oil supplier. The U.K. has also invested heavily in renewable energy; according to the U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change, the U.K. has the largest offshore wind resource in the world. “

        That was from 2011. Production of native oil, natural gas, and coal continues to decline.

        The pensioners are depending on you, Latimer, to solve this issue.

      • Webster, “Oil is usually the bellweather and is allocated to applications where liquid fuel is important.”

        So you start with your usual assumption. Other than petroleum coke and some diesel for back-up generation, oil is no longer a bellweather for electrical generation. Times change.

        The largest UK energy issue is the rapid shift to alternatives without proper back-up generation for the more intermittent alternates. Alternate choices are actually driving the UK in the wrong direction. Their rash (oops! I used an adjective) change in energy policy has put them between a rock and a hard place.

        Now “greens” are over stressing risks of other alternatives to drive policy.

        Some, not the Cappy of coursed, would consider that irrational fear driving policy.

      • Latimer Alder

        @web hub telescope

        I’m glad that you get your information about the UK energy policy from the US EIA,

        I’m sure that their summary paragraph gives you everything you need to know about our environmental and energy policy – sufficient to lecture us from afar about what is and isn’t happening here. Our futile attempts at local knowledge must… of course., bow down to the view from Washington.

        Meanwhile in other news, the UK Foreign Office provides guidance for those visiting the USA..

        ‘The USA is a big place. It is populated exclusively by obese loudmouths in big cars who carry guns and shoot each other. They enjoy telling other countries about how they should conduct themselves. It is best to treat them as you would a small child as they are extremely literal-minded’

      • Latimer, In fact the UK government provides all the information that you want to know about your predicament. I pulled all the data from DECC’s Petroleum Production Reporting System
        https://www.og.decc.gov.uk/pprs/full_production/annual+oil+production+sorted+by+field+%28tonnes%29/0.htm

        and did this UK analysis for myself:
        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-rise-and-decline-of-uk-crude-oil.html

        This is all going into a semantic web server which contains a range of environmental and energy models that I will release in the future. The UK is just a piece of the global puzzle. The fact that the UK government does such a good job reporting their production levels and allows others to do a decent predictive analysis should make you proud.

        I calibrated most of my predictive models based on the comprehensive nature of UK and Norway production data.

        Cheers.

      • Cappy Dick is lecturing us about fuels for heating from his grass shack in the Florida Keys. Yawn.

        Watch as UK oil and natural gas production has declined at approximately the same rate.

      • Latimer Alder

        @web hub telescope

        As ever, I am delighted to know just what a clever boy you have been. Your mother Wilma and sister Willy must be very proud of you.

        But your starting point was to contend – from a position of total ignorance – that wind power is not a ‘green energy issue’ in UK.

        And – apart from your usual plug for your unvisited and unreadable website – you have produced no evidence to back it up.

        We all understand that – in your naive world – everything to do with energy is only a proxy for oil. But here in Europe the view is a lot more nuanced. ‘Green’ politics has been a much stronger political force than in the US and the dead hand of the European Union also has a strong influence.

        You’ll not be surprised to know that I take your remarks with a pinch of alt on this – as on most other – subjects, You just don’t understand much of what you are talking about.

      • Webster, just because you felt better was no reason to stop your meds.
        The UK dropped their coal use by 46% while increasing renewables to 5%, nuclear by 1%. There was a dash for gas in the 90s fueled by high interest rates and the lower north sea gas prices, but that is built out without other natgas sources seen in the political future.

        There is fair shale gas in the UK, but OMG the FRAKING. Now they are stuck. With limited natural resources, they should be the nuclear/unconventional and clean coal energy leader. Instead it looks like they are going to have to follow Germany back down the coal road thanks to poor prior planning.

        On the bright side though, I am sure they will meet their Kyoto commitments. With effectively zero interest rates and a stagnant economy, some might consider reevaluating some nuke plants. Outrageously expensive but with sweetheart financing, not that bad a play.

      • Cappy Dick,
        They need to bring the coal to Newcastle these days.
        http://blogs-images.forbes.com/williampentland/files/2011/09/UK-Coal-History2.jpg
        hint: notice the decline?
        hint: how could climate change concerns possibly have impacted this decline?

        Hope this helps with your historical knowledge concerning coal production in the UK.

      • And you are evidently clueless about UK history!


      • phatboy | May 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm |

        And you are evidently clueless about UK history!

        So phill me in phattie!

      • hint: the ‘decline’, or rather declines, in production had little to do with shortages.

      • And the declines had little to do with climate change concerns.

        So a decline in reserve supply is different than a shortage.

        If a person’s income drops, he perceives a shortage if he wants to maintain the same life-style. If he modifies his life-style, the shortage turns into an adaptation.

        This history of fossil fuel economics has been documented as a mix of surpluses and shortages, the latter mitigated by adaptation mechanisms.

        Declines in resources are nothing to be automatically afraid of, but something that eventually will have to be confronted. Exploring options like wind are part of the adaptation mechanism.

        The fact that someone like Latimer Alder crows about a defeat of wind technology is pathetic, IMO.

      • Look up: “coal miners strikes”.
        As for your beloved wind power, the lights are going to go out in a big way over here because of woefully inadequate energy supply planning.

      • And what do coal miner’s strikes have to do with climate change?

        My understanding is that coal miners were expecting to keep getting paid, and that operations would be subsidized by the government, even though supplies were dwindling. So they went on strike, further reducing coal production output. The recent death of Thatcher reminded a lot of people of the politics of the times.

        The disaster on the Piper Alpha oil platform also caused reduction in output, but it couldn’t eliminate the incessant decline in reserves. These declines happen regardless of the glitches in the system.

      • Neither had it anything to do with declining reserves.
        By the time the strikes came to an end, the country had gone off the stuff.


      • phatboy | May 5, 2013 at 4:56 pm |

        Neither had it anything to do with declining reserves.
        By the time the strikes came to an end, the country had gone off the stuff.

        So privatizing the UK coal industry didn’t work?

      • No, the horse had well and truly bolted long before then

      • So the situation is one of corporations willing to risk lots by building off-shore oil and NG platforms in the rough and unpredictable North Sea, yet they think it not worthwhile to extract coal from the land.

        Sounds not very plausible if a huge UK coal supply indeed existed.

        But then you look at the numbers. The UK has produced a cumulative 30 billion tons of coal up to now and only has an estimated 3 billion in reserves:
        https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/65900/6801-uk-energy-sector-indicators-2012.pdf

        That kind of explains it, don’t you think? 90% of coal available has already been extracted. That’s why they aren’t all rushing to extracting more.


        phatboy | May 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm |

        No, the horse had well and truly bolted long before then

        The barn door is wide open and ain’t much in there, eh?

      • If you lived here then you’d know – no point in trying to explain if you don’t

      • Shorter phatboy:
        You just don’t understand!

        Typical fake skeptic reasoning in the face of the undeniable numbers.

      • go f**k yourself!!

      • You’re not interested in debate, you’re not interested in science, all you’re here for is just point-scoring making yourself feel big without actually having to face anyone.
        Well excuse me if I choose not to play along.

      • Phunny how you lost phattie. I made the same prediction for Norway back in early 2006. Here’s an update in response to a discussion thread, and you can compare for yourself:
        http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9980#comment-960976

        No one is taking your guns. No one is taking your fossil fuels. Nature is simply exercising the relentless laws of entropy.

    • “And – apart from your usual plug for your unvisited and unreadable website – you have produced no evidence to back it up.”

      Latimer,
      What are you exactly “plugging” by visiting an American blog with an example of UK tribal politics? Could it be a very leaky ship?

      • Latimer Alder

        @WebHubTelescope

        When I last looked, the blog was entitled ‘Climate Etc’. And – so we are told – changes in climate affect everybody – no matter what country we come from.

        Since Climate and energy policy are very closely linked, and since not all of you may study UK politics in detail, I felt it my duty to bring the Good News to the attention of all those suffering under the Greenist yoke that – at least in one country – the revolt has got beyond the blogs and into mainstream debate, where it is being enthusiastically received.

        Consider it as a beacon of hope that the madness need not continue for ever and that sanity can return to even the most cowed and downtrodden population.

        It is not I who am tending a leaky vessel – for indeed the Good Ship Realism is making fine progress towards its home port. But those who have taken refuge in the alarmist lifeboats need to bail and patch and worry…..their guiding stars are going out one by one and the darkness will soon overwhelm them………

      • Latimer Alder,
        How many times do I have to tell you that “Green Energy” is only a euphemism for the transition away from a finite and non-renewable fossil-fuel-based energy source.

        Fossil fuel is non-renewable.
        Fossil fuel is finite.
        Fossil fuel generates non-condensable GHG’s on combustion.

        Some other energy source besides fossil fuels will meet these needs.
        Give us another name for this category. Some prefer to call it Alternative Energy instead of Green Energy. That name is perfectly adequate as well, I really don’t care what you call it.

      • Latimer Alder

        You can have your own definition of ‘green energy’ if you want. Like the guy in Alice who said that ‘a word means exactly what I want it to’.

        Just a shame that few others share your view of what it means.

        And i guess the rest of your post is just a long winded, around the housese way of withdrawing your remark that ‘wind power is not a green energy issue’ by arguing that it is.

        You;d have saved a lot of time if you had engaged your brain before leaping into your reflex ‘whatever it is, it’s all about oil and I’ve done some very clever sums on my website, Purleeeeassse look at it’.

        Still – slow progress is better than none.

      • Latimer Alder,
        Wind energy and nuclear energy and whatever other alternate forms of energy available will likely be demanded by the UK citizenry so they won’t have to pay through the nose for imported natural gas, crude oil, and coal.

        UK national crude oil production is off by ~50% from its peak, UK natural gas production is off by ~50% from its peak, UK coal production is off by ~50% from its peak.

        If these recover anywhere close to their previous highs, it will be the biggest comeback since the resurrection of Jesus.

      • Latimer Alder

        @webhubtelescope

        We have always paid ‘world prices’ for our oil. It is bought and sold on world markets like any other commodity. One of the key world price indicators is ‘Brent Crude’ – named after the Brent oilfield in the North Sea – which itself is named after the Brent Goose bird.

        So declining oil production in the North Sea doesn’t directly affect our domestic economy much. The price we pay at the pumps is affected by world prices, not by some special UK price.

        And we have about the highest taxation in the world on gasoline, so the base cost is only a small proportion of the cost we pay. For a litre of gas at £1.36, the crude cost is 44p, the refiner and distrbutor make 11p and the tax and duty element is 81p.

        So even if the price of crude were to double it would still only have a relatively small effect on the price we pay.

        For gas – which is widely used to heat our homes against the ever-cooling effects of ‘global warming’ – it is a little different, since there isn’t really a world market. But – based on the example of the US, there are hopes that some element of fracking will help us here. Some estimates (though unverified) are of enormous reserves of shale gas – more than enough to make us self-sufficient for the foreseeable future.

        In UK – the major visible ‘renewable’ is wind (‘green’) energy. Since the disastrous Climate Change Act – and under successive ‘Ministers for Energy and Climate Change’ (one of whom is now serving jail time for perverting the course of justice :-) ) we have had an extremely generous subsidy regime for these symbols of Green Power and they have infested our landscape everywhere.

        But – as my original post showed – the ordinary people are waking up to this scam and realising that the nett effect is to take money from poor people’s heating bills and give it to rich people with lots of land to put up windmills. And of course – given the basic limitations of the technology – they do nothing at all towards their avowed purpose of ‘saving the planet’.

        So the energy situation in the UK is a lot more complex and complicated than your kneejerk assumption ‘its all about oil’.
        It isn’t. Oil is a relatively small part of the picture..and before you pontificate about it from your MidWest technobunker – I’ll thank you to try to learn a bit about it.

        It may well be that you can do some very clever sums. But often the real hard bit is working out which sums are the relevant ones to do. A skill that seems to have eluded you.

      • Yes, I do some very clever sums. And you don’t do clever sums. That’s what separates me from you, and the rest of the fake skeptics here. Rhetoric fails, while the math survives.

      • Latimer Alder

        @web hub telescope

        I think I’d say that whereas my rhetoric is on display and open to challenge and debate by anybody here, your ‘clever sums’ have never been seen in the light of day.

        You make regular reference to what a bright little chap you are..but have never provided any proof. And (unless occasional postings by your Mum, Wilma are included) no third party has ever seen them either.

        I am not normally a suspicious sort of cove…but I am beginning to wonder just how much is real, how much is self-delusion and how much is just bluster………….

        The cynic might wonder if about twenty years ago you grabbed the idea of Peak Oil and have just – despite all evidence to the contrary – clung onto it for dear life,

      • “I am not normally a suspicious sort of cove…but I am beginning to wonder just how much is real, how much is self-delusion and how much is just bluster………….”

        Latimer Alder, This coming from someone who has blatantly used multiple sockpuppet handles is quite ironic.

        I suppose I can say over and over again how I have been involved in a $4 million research contract over the past year devising an environmental modeling semantic web server, but then you would complain about me tooting my own horn too much.

        Toot toot.

      • Latimer Alder

        @webbie

        You can advertise your services as much as you like. But your commercials would be far more effective if they went beyond

        ‘I’m a clever boy and I’ve done lots of sums and I know the answer. But I’m not going to show you it. You’ll just have to believe me’

        There was a man called ‘Manic Dave’ who drank in our local pub. He’d been turfed out of being an English teacher for some grave misdemeanour. And he carried around a big book in which he made random jottings that – to him at least – held the secret of Life, The Universe and Everything. He’d often sit in a corner muttering to himself and writing stuff, then wander off gibbering into the night.

        At times one could have a near rational conversation with him and then he was engaging company with a strange but enlightening sense of humour. But when the gibbering was in him he was impossible and got kicked out of every pub in the town.

        I have a soft spot for Manic…and occasionally wonder what happened to him. I fear that he came to even more of a sticky end than his beloved Stockport County FC.

        Now, I wonder why that story should have just flitted across my mind……….perhaps its a parable :-)

        Ref; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockport_County_F.C.

      • Little Lattie, why don’t you do like others do on this comment area and take up a bet concerning my credentials.
        You have a fear of the unknown, that’s at the root of your psyche. Typical Coast2Coast AM babbler.

      • Latimer Alder

        @web hub telescope

        Who else on this site has ‘taken a bet on your credentials’?

        And why do you think I would wish to do so? It is not your ‘credentials’ that is of interest. You may be Mike Mann in disguise or the winner of the Fields Medal. These are irrelevant. What matters is that you have never – to my remembrance – been able to relate any of the clever sums you say you have done to the topics under debate here. Perhaps you are indeed OKM’s alter ego..only with oil production not the iron sun as your obsession.

        The nearest you have come is to make dark hints that UK North Sea Oil production is declining…a revelation that was old news here over 15 years ago… and could have been reasonably forecast twenty years before that. Our Finance Department (Treasury) take a close interest in such matters as they get a lot of Petroleum Revenue Tax from this source. It is not new news. It is known. It did not not need little webbie and his calculator to tell us.

      • There, the creepy Latimer character finally admitted to the fact that the UK will get less revenues due to a decline in oil and natural gas production.

        And he thinks that I have forgotten who started this thread. It was Latimer, crowing about the defeat of wind power. You Latimer will do whatever you can to see your country driven into the ground. I know the type. Blame it on the greens, yup.

      • And here it is, two days after I predicted that I would be attacked for “stating the obvious”. Notice how Latimer uses the delay to marginalize that fact.

        … 4 5 6 right on cue.

    • Latimer Alder

      @webhubtelescope

      I can ‘explore wind power’ with a simple physics textbook and a look at the flags out of my window.

      Here are my conclusions

      1. The energy density of moving air is very low. I need to make really really big windmills to capture any of it.

      2. I will need a lot of land to do so.

      3. We are in the UK – one of the most densely populated countries around. There is not a lot of land spare.

      4. Oh dear. The wind doesn’t blow a lot of the time. I will need backup like gas or coal or nuclear.

      5. So why bother with the windmills if I have the backup anyway? Belt and braces? Extra bills? A useles symbol of Green Power to appease Mother Gaia and subdue the inhabitants?

      • Peter Lang

        Latimer Alder, Do I understand the UK voters have just delivered a resounding “NO” to the major parties who have been foolish enough to waste massive amounts of money and political capital supporting wind power?

        Concerns are mounting among green groups that the UKIP surge could have a knock-on impact on energy and environmental policy, given that David Cameron is now under mounting pressure to tack to the right. UKIP leader Nigel Farage has taken a vocally anti-green stance, slamming wind farm developments and questioning whether manmade climate change is happening. Westminster observers are convinced that the growing popularity of UKIP is one of the main reasons some Conservative MPs have become more openly hostile to environmental policies. –James Murray, Business Green, 3 May 2013

        The UK Independence Party’s unique selling point – the policy it is best known for – is Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. But as the party has sought to broaden its appeal beyond that single issue, it has developed a full range of policies in all areas…. UKIP is sceptical about the existence of man-made climate change and would scrap all subsidies for renewable energy. It would also cancel all wind farm developments. Instead, it backs the expansion of shale gas extraction, or fracking, and a mass programme of nuclear power stations. –BBC News, 3 May 2013

      • Peter Lang

        British Media Declare All-Out War On Green Energy Lobby
        Green Obsession Puts Millions of Families At Risk of Power Cuts, Fuel Poverty

        ONE million homes narrowly escaped a power cut last month as bitterly cold weather placed a massive strain on Britain’s creaking electricity network. Shutdown was only avoided because a gas-fired station due to close by next winter came to the rescue. Last night experts warned that life-threatening blackouts are increasingly likely as “we head downhill – fast”. Fawley is one of a number of coal and oil power stations being forced into retirement to comply with EU environmental targets.–Tracey Boles, Sunday Express, 24 February 2013

        We are facing disaster on energy prices. The dynamic has changed, but the thinking hasn’t. What worries me most is that the average household energy bill will be £1,400 by end of the year; £1,500 is a cliff edge at which most people say they’ll switch off the heating entirely. —-Ann Robinson, consumer champion at uSwitch, Sunday Express, 24 February 2013

      • Latimer Alder

        @peter lang

        ‘A resounding NO’ would be a bit of an exaggeration.

        But UKIP has given all the major three parties a big big fright.

        In recent years they have all been much of a muchness….especially on ‘green’ issues…where the political consensus has been that we need to ‘decarbonise’ soonest at any cost and that any opposition to The Plan can simply be trampled underfoot.

        But now UKIP have gained 25% of the vote.

        In our FPTP electoral system this is like an earthquake. 25% to any of the other parties is the difference between five years of absolute parliamentary hegemony and complete wipeout. So it has given them a huge and painful headache.

        None of the big three have the faintest idea how to respond on the wind issue. They all supinely signed up (with the exception of a handful of Conservatives) to the Climate Change Act 2008 which enshrined the consensus into law..and from which so many disastrous things have flowed. Cameron – the Prime Miinister – is on record as saying he wanted to lead the ‘greenest government ever’. The LibDem coalition parters are so institutionally green that they ooze slime…and the opposition Labour part are fine just so long as they can bash the evil capitalist corporations.

        So they are in complete disarray.

        We live in interesting times. Who knows what the next twist in the tale will be? But I’m reasonably certain that there will be few proposals for new wind farms presented between now and the next parliamentary election in 2015. Yesterday’s trendy fashion statement has become today’s laughable bauble.

      • Latimer Alder

        @peter lang

        On rereading my post above I may have misled you.

        There is no ‘Plan’ to decarbonise. There is a lot of wishful thinking and pious hopes and vague expressions of intent. But nothing so concrete as a plan.

        We are very very good at closing down conventional power stations. We just do exactly what the EU tells us (*). So our conventional resource is diminishing rapidly. But on the other side of the equation…not so good. We have built nothing – other than intermittent windmills – to replace them.

        (*) in this we are unique. Despite coal fired stations being explicitly banned by the Large Combustion Directive, our allies in Germany are building a dozen new ones…while we are closing perfectly serviceable existing ones.

        The German coal-fired stations are to replace the nuclear ones that – in a panic – they vowed to close after Fukishama. So the nett effect of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is for Germany to build a dozen new greenhouse gas emitting power stations in order to Save the World.

        I’m sure I am not alone in observing that where energy and ‘climate change’ comes in through the front door…and semblance of sanity and rational thought legs it pronto out the back. Add the EU into the mix and you have a real basket case.

      • Peter Lang

        Latimer Adler,

        Excellent comments. You are one of the most rational contributors to CE.

        Apologies again for my earlier comments before I’d seen the start of this subthread.

      • Peter Lang

        Latimer Adler,

        Are you aware of the “Legal challenge to EU renewable energy policy“? This summarises what it is about:
        http://drmyronevans.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/epawreleaseecjrecoursemay042013.pdf

        It was started some years ago by Pat Swords and senior chemical engineer with a great deal of experience with EU regulation of pollutants. he knows his way around the legal system. See him explaining what it is about in the video here:
        http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/05/legal-challenge-to-mandated-renewable-energy-in-the-eu/

      • Latimer Alder

        @peter lang

        Yes – I am aware of Pat Swords’ work.

        But even if he wins, I have little faith that anything will change. The EU will simply vote to retrospectively change the law in their favour. In their minds, nothing must be done to challenge the onward progress of their institution to total domination.

        Some small countries even had the temerity to vote against changes to the EU Constitution. They were ignored and told to vote again until the ‘correct’ answer was arrived at. All semblance of any democratic legitimacy left the Berlaymont Building by the rubbish chute many years ago.

        So I wish Pat well, but I fear it is a suicide mission.

      • Peter Lang

        Latimer Alder,

        Glad you know of Pat Sword’s work. I think he has done fantastically. He virtually did this himself. Taking the EU environment departments to the UN Court of Justice (or whatever).

        Of course he may lose, and even if he wins, they’ll ignore the court and change the laws retrospectively. But it is all worthwhile. It’s all building evidence and slowly changing public opinion.

        I realise EU is an undemocratic, bureaucratic monster (that Australia’s Labor Government is trying to emulate). But being aware of what is going on, supporting him, and passing the word around, all helps.

        For anyone interested and who missed the link to his video where he explains the case, see here: http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/05/legal-challenge-to-mandated-renewable-energy-in-the-eu/

      • Peter Lang

        Latimer Alder,

        Further to previous comment on Pat Sword’s court case, I wrote earlier today asking a question and received just received this response:

        Peter,

        A year or so ago, a somewhat related action was won by Pat Swords, in his own name, at the UNECE in Geneva. This UN body watches over the respect of the Aarhus Convention through its Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (ACCC).

        But the “findings and recommendations” of the ACCC are not enforceable.
        They have moral value, and legal too insofar as the Court of Justice of the EU (ECJ) has been quoting the ACCC in some of its rulings.

        The scoop here is that this is a different action, it is undertaken by EPAW, and it has been lodged at the ECJ, whose rulings have teeth: even the European Commission must abide their decisions.

    • Peter Lang

      Latimer Adler,

      Thanks for this comment. I’ve just seen it. So you can ignore my earlier reply to one of your comments.

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

    Had forecasters extrapolated the mid-century warming into the
    future, they would have predicted far more warming than actually occurred. Likewise, the subsequent cooling trend, if used as the basis for a long-range forecast could have erroneously supported the idea of a rapidly approaching ice age. The scientific challenge is to quantify the
    anthropogenic signal in the presence of the background climate noise. The detection of the anthropogenic climate signal thus requires at least the analysis of long records, because we can be easily fooled by the short-term natural fluctuations, and we need to understand their
    dynamics to better estimate the noise level.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0375674210001433

  15. On the lighter side.
    “The Gods do not subtract from the allotted span of women’s and men’s lives, the hours that are spent in proving that CAGW is a load of scientific nonsense.”

    (Adapted from a sign by Pegasus Deep Sea Fishing. The Cobb, Lyme Regis, England)

    • Beth Cooper

      The Serfs Lament.

      Serfs’ suffer
      the viciss – itudes of nay -chur
      more than most others.
      Out in all weather,
      first ter feel frost – bite,
      first ter feel hunger
      from crop – fail -yer.
      Raised in un -cert – ain – ty,
      never knowin’ where our
      next meal’s comin’ from,
      or which direct – shun
      temorrer’s big wind is
      comin’ from neither.
      We only know
      climate’s complex as hell.
      Why, even for – castin’
      next week’s weather’s
      likely … un – certain.

  16. David Springer

    http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2013/05/tornado-spike-in-2011-attributed-to-climate-change-so-what-to-make-of-this-years-tornado-drought/

    May 2012 through April 2013 all time record low number of tornadoes.

    Climate change dice acting up again? LOL

    • Latimer Alder

      @david springer

      Fewer tornadoes is a sure fire sign of global warming taking rampant hold.

      In Europe, we have had three cold winters…and according to our Met Office these too can only be explained as explicit manifestations of dangerous warming.

      I merely suggest that if you ever find cold clear still weather you should prepare for Thermageddon.

      Like &deity. CAGW is all around and everything you see is but a symptom of its influence. You cannot escape – worship and obedience is your only option.

      (Any similarity between the opinions expressed above and early medieval writings on the nature of god are .of course.. entirely coincidental :-) )

  17. Age seems to influence opinions about global warming. Gender may also be a factor. All of the sixteen scientists who signed the recent WSJ opinion article, No Need to Panic About Global Warming, were men and almost all of them were very old.

    I entered the names of the sixteen signatories in Google, and found or was able to estimate the ages of all but three. Of the thirteen for whom ages could be determined, twelve were older than age 60, ten were older than age 70, and seven were older than age 75. Of the three whose ages could not be determined, two were retired.

    Edward David, Born 1925, Age 86
    Antonio Zichichi, Born 1929, Age 83
    James McGrath, Estimated Age 81 *
    Harrison H. Schmitt, Born 1935, Age 77
    J. Scott Armstrong, Born 1937, Age 76
    Claude Allegre, Born 1937, Age 76
    Henk Tennekes, Born 1936, Age 76
    William Happer, Born 1939, Age 73
    Richard Lindzen, Born1940, Age 73
    Jan Breslow, Estimated Age 71 **
    Burt Rutan, Born 1943, Age 69
    Michael Kelly, Born1949, Age 63
    Nir Shaviv, Born 1972, Age 40
    Roger Cohen, Retired, Age not found
    William Kininmonth, Retired, Age not found
    Rodney Nichols, Age not found

    * He was employed as a research chemist in 1956.
    ** He received his BA in 1963.
    ______
    ______

    • Is there a point?

      • Yes, it’s called diversion

      • Edim asks “Is there a point?”

        There are questions.

        Why is opinion on global warming influenced by age?

        Is it for the same reason other issues, such as same sex marriage, are influenced by age?

        If science is objective, why would age be a factor in disagreement among scientists?

        Is opinion on global warming influenced by gender? Most older scientists and engineers men anyway.

        Is opinion on global warming influenced by gender

      • Max, the only thing that matters is observation/experiment. If your hypothesis disagrees with it, it is wrong. Everything else is secondary.

      • phatboy said on May 5, 2013 at 8:02 am
        ‘Yes, it’s called diversion.”
        _____

        phatboy, this is Open Thread Weekend at Climate, Etc, and my post is about climate, so I don’t know why you think it’s diversion. My guess is you just aren’t comfortable with the fact that even in science age influences opinions and would rather avoid the subject.

      • Edim says on May 5, 2013 at 8:44 am
        Max, the only thing that matters is observation/experiment. If your hypothesis disagrees with it, it is wrong. Everything else is secondary.
        _____

        If that’s true, then age shouldn’t influence what scientists agree on, but it does seem to influence it. Why?

      • You say your post is about climate?
        All I see is some half-baked ageist opinion about certain scientists.
        Why don’t you examine the age distribution of some other groups, eg suicide bombers?

      • Max_OK, how many of the scientists on your list have changed their opinions on climate change from when they were younger?
        Apparently you would have us believe that they only started disagreeing with mainstream opinion when they got old? (and, implicitly, senile)
        Come to think of it, 30 years ago they WERE mainstream.
        And, btw, how old is Hansen?

      • “If that’s true, then age shouldn’t influence what scientists agree on, but it does seem to influence it. Why?”

        Because scientists are human, luckily there’s scientific method.

      • phatboy, read my post again. The ages of the signatories to the WSJ article are fact, not my opinion. These guys are very old. That’s a fact, not my opinion. The obvious question: are their opinions about global warming influenced by their advanced ages?

        Observations raise questions about causes. That’s science.

      • Max_OK, as you obviously missed my other post, I’ll ask directly: How many of those scientists have changed their opinions over the last 20-30 years?

      • Re post by phatboy May 5, 2013 at 9:15 am

        Those are good questions.

        You are right. It could be the climate opinions of the 16 signatories didn’t change with age. I doubt if the opinions of older people who oppose same-sex marriage changed with age.

        And, yes, we know some older scientists (e.g., Hansen) are yea sayers, not contrarians.

        Let’s look at these questions:

        1.What proportion of older scientists are climate contrarians?

        2. What proportion of younger scientists are climate contrarians?

        3. If scientists who are climate contrarians older than scientists who are not climate contrarians, why?

        Ask the same questions about engineers.

      • In other words, they had those opinions when they were young(er)
        And they have not changed their opinions because they’ve seen no good reason to do so.
        Age has nothing to do with it.

      • In fact, let’s change the question slightly:
        1) How many young climate scientists’ opinions agree with the mainstream view?
        2) How many of them have changed their opinions since before they became scientists?

      • Phatboy, read the first sentence in my base. Here it is again.

        “Age seems to influence opinions about global warming.”

        You seem to interpret that to mean aging or getting older influences opinions about global warming. That’s a misinterpretation of what I meant. I mean older people may have a different opinion because they are older. Now, it could be aging does influence opinion on global warming. I don’t know.

        All I have is the ages of most of the scientists and engineers who signed the WSJ, and as you can see most are very old. So the obvious question is why are they so old?

        BTW, I think you raised some good questions.

      • I did read your first sentence.
        I also read all of your subsequent postings.
        Within the context of those, I do not believe I misinterpreted your sentiments.

      • Well, Phatboy, you did misinterpret me, but if pleases you to think I meant something I didn’t mean, I’m glad. I like to please.

        I know the 16 signed the WSJ article, which tells me what they believed when they signed it, but it doesn’t tell me what they believed when they were younger. We would have to ask them.

      • You could probably find out what their opinions were when they were younger, with little more effort than it took to establish their ages.

      • Max_OK

        It appears to me that your point is that age brings experience which increases knowledge, wisdom and judgment. With age also comes financial independence and a lower need to stick to the “consensus” party line for funding.

        As a result, one should pay close attention to what these older scientists are saying.

        Is that correct?

        Max_CH

    • Peter Lang

      Yep. Wisdom should be greatly treasured.

      • Peter, FYI I’ve just discovered I had a half-column letter in the Weekend Australian Review, but it doesn’t relate to anything at CE so I won’t cite it.

      • Peter Lang

        Thanks, Faustino, I’ll take a look now.

    • “Age seems to influence opinions about global warming.” You could just as easily say gender, given the list is all male. Or you could say experience, or wisdom derived from long experience. You surely know that correlation does not show causation.

    • Ten reasons older scientists and engineers might give for being climate contrarians:

      10. I stopped liking anything new long ago, and all this talk about global warming is just more new stuff.

      9. The older I get, the wiser I am. My brain overflows with wisdom.

      8. Anyone under age 70 should ask me before making up his mind about anything.

      7. I have forgotten more science than those young whippersnapper climate scientists will ever know.

      6. No one pays attention to me anymore unless I rant about something.

      5. Being contrary worked for Galileo.

      4. If the world is getting warmer, how come my rheumatism keeps acting up.

      3. If warm is so bad, why have all my friends moved to Florida.

      2. How can I be certain about climate change when I’m not even certain where I left my teeth?

      1. The Heartland Institute serves free prunes and oatmeal.

      • Peter Lang

        I expect some of the young have held equally stupid beliefs for as long as humans could communicate. Like you, they probably believed you could control the weather by dancing, praying and having ‘correct beliefs’.

      • Climate alarmism’s strongest demographic is the uncomfortably aging hipsters. They were into Al Gore back when he was an obscure vice-president. But since he’s been playing the big commercial venues for big dollars, they don’t mention they actually fell over themselves to pay him to make them climate ambassadors.

        Now they’re starting to go bald under their fedoras, and nobody wants their irony or their plummy voices any more. Hey, at least they’re under forty. Mostly.

      • Beth Cooper

        Oh he’s got a little list … tsk … he’s got ‘em on a list.)

      • The alarmists love the young. The young will believe in doing anything if they believe it will save the Earth or the environment. It’s just that they don’t have a very well developed breadth and depth of knowledge. They tend to run on emotions instead of intelligence. Ripe fruit for the likes of Al Gore.

    • Max_OK, you write “Age seems to influence opinions about global warming.”

      Of course. The people you note dont need to have a job; like myself they have adequate pensions. So they are prepared to “put their head above the parapet”. They can voice skeptical opinions without jeopardizing their careers.

      That is the issue. The warmists, like our hostess, have controlled the scientific agenda so efficiently, that young scientists do not dare to oppose CAGW. Any paper they write must at the very least, genuflec to CGAW in order to get printed. When I talked to Jan Vizer, at least a decade ago, at Ottawa University, he told me that no-one in academia dares to oppose CAGW, otherwise they would lose their job. I was new to the whole business and did not believe him. Now I know differently.

      • Yes, but I disagree about JC. She’s helping things change for the better.

      • Jim, I don’t know about the “put their head above the parapet” reason. How many of those 16 are saying it’s their reason?

        How about “trying to get attention” as a reason? Older people tend to be ignored. I can understand how that could be hard to take. Agreeing with the “consensus” is not a way to get attention, but being contrary is.

      • Edim, you write “but I disagree about JC.”

        We must agree to disagree. Judith is very much a part of academia, and from my vantage point I dont see her trying to change things. She has merely built hersefl a lifeboat, so that, when, and not if, the good ship CAGW sinks, she can get safely to shore.

      • Max_OK, you write “Jim, I don’t know about the “put their head above the parapet” reason. How many of those 16 are saying it’s their reason? ”

        I am not suggesting it is a “reason”; I see it as an “opportunity”. People who are currently part of academis do not dare say anything contrary to CAGW; otherwise they would lose their job. People who no longer need a job can afford to take the opportunity to speak scientific truths; instead of the scientific fiction, or hoax, of CAGW.

      • There are fully 5% of people in academia who have been on skeptical lists, and they have not lost their jobs, nor has anyone that I have ever heard of. In academia, tenure means you can’t lose your job just for being a skeptic. It is a rule that ensures that freedom of ideas is maintained.

      • > People who are currently part of academis do not dare say anything contrary to CAGW [.]

        I hope this hypothesis does rest on empirical ground and is not based on any kind of model.

      • Dr. Curry may be whispering sweet climate nothings in some of you guys ears, but the fact remains she’s still a funded climate insider. A fact not to be overlooked.

        Andrew

      • Steven Mosher

        Jim

        ” People who are currently part of academis do not dare say anything contrary to CAGW; otherwise they would lose their job.”

        The fear is not losing one’s job. They are protected by tenure. The pressure to conform in academia is subtle and hard to document on anything other than a personal anecdotal basis. As libertarian who did his time in academia I could tell stories, but they would only be stories, isolated, anecdotal, easy to counter, but its my experience. Anecdotes. Judith has a nice one when she invited steve mcintyre to speak. Of course protected by tenure and her chairmanship she resisted the pressure.

        It’s instructive to compare what people say when they are part of an institution with what they say once they leave. It’s just another fact, but an interesting one. many theories to explain the differences.

      • Steven Mosher

        ” People who no longer need a job can afford to take the opportunity to speak scientific truths; instead of the scientific fiction, or hoax, of CAGW.”

        They also are disconnected from the latest research. They are also prone to bitterness. They are also nostalgic for their glory days when students would dutifully parrot what they taught.

        Lots of theories to explain why those who are skeptical tend to be emeritus.

      • Jim, it’s not just climatologists at risk of marginalization. Anyone of public note runs the same risk. I’m not sure I’d have the courage to speak out in opposition if I were a public figure. It’s all very, very ugly.
        Jim

    • So scientists who are no longer dependent on government funding their research, and who no longer need to worry about the power of CAGW true believers over their futures are more likely to think independently of the consensus.

      While younger scientists, dependent on government funding (and at public universities public payrolls), and needing the approval of their group thinking superiors to advance, are less likely to dissent from the religion of CAGW.

      And you’re surprised by that?

      • An alternative to the “reactionary” hypothesis could be this:

        What Kuhn had run up against was the central weakness of the Whig interpretation of history. By the standards of present-day physics, Aristotle looks like an idiot. And yet we know he wasn’t. Kuhn’s blinding insight came from the sudden realisation that if one is to understand Aristotelian science, one must know about the intellectual tradition within which Aristotle worked. One must understand, for example, that for him the term “motion” meant change in general – not just the change in position of a physical body, which is how we think of it. Or, to put it in more general terms, to understand scientific development one must understand the intellectual frameworks within which scientists work. That insight is the engine that drives Kuhn’s great book.

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/aug/19/thomas-kuhn-structure-scientific-revolutions

        ***

        Oh, and just in case Denizens insist:

        > Ageism, or age discrimination is stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups because of their age. It is a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and values used to justify age based prejudice, discrimination, and subordination.

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

      • GaryM, why are you assuming all the scientists and engineers who signed the WSJ article are retired?

      • Max_OK,

        I assumed nothing of the kind. Read what I wrote. It’s really quite simple to understand.

      • GaryM, I apologize for not reading your comments carefully.

        I think you are saying for scientists and engineers money trumps principles, but if money isn’t an issue, principles rule.

        That might be true for some. My guess is it’s more likely to be true for engineers than scientists.

        I’m inclined to reject the notion research money is not available to scientists and engineers who have principles.
        I could see it not being available for those who are incompetent. Some of the incompetent might comfort themselves with the notion their principles get in the way.

      • Max_OK,

        Nope, you still don’t get it.

        So I’ll rewrite my comment to a level even a CAGW acolyte can understand. (Here’s a hint, notice the words “more likely” and “less likely.”)

        Progressives like you denigrate those who oppose you on any grounds you can find. You aren’t really an ageist. If those scientists and engineers had supported the CAGW consensus, you would have waxed eloquently (OK, maybe not eloquently, but you would have waxed) about the sagacity that comes with age.

        I was merely pointing out that in today’s culture, those who depend on government funding tend to support policies that increase or maintain government funding. Therefore, younger scientists who still want to capture those research dollars are “more likely” to support CAGW.

        Those in their 70s and 80s, to the contrary, have established their careers. If they are still associated with a university, the position they have established over decades immunizes them, to an extent, from the need to be politically correct in how they frame their research. They are therefore “less likely” to follow the lead sheep in the flock.

        My “And you’re surprised by that” was rhetorical. Of course you are surprised that funding sources can influence the CAGW clergy. You, being a well trained default progressive, always question the motivations of the evil, stupid, crazy people who dare to dissent from orthodoxy. The concept of questioning the motivations (let alone the analysis) of those who you follow so unquestioningly, would never occur to you.

        So there, I have now repeated in six paragraphs what I previously wrote in two. Does that help?

      • Gary, I both “not surprised” and “surprised.”

        I am not surprised you would make up an explanation that pleases you or repeat one that someone else made up.

        I am surprised you think I would accept such an explanation as fact.

      • A far more effective way to get funding is to spread uncertainty about an area of science that has political consequences. Settled science does not get funding. (-:Wait a minute, this could be a genius plot, and skeptics have either been duped into helping get funding, or are part of the conspiracy:-)

      • > The energy produced by breaking down the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformations of these atoms is taking moonshine.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/33030478543

    • Most of them are also white!

    • Max,

      D
      E
      A
      D

      H
      O
      R
      S
      E

      Can’t you find something else to beat?

  18. mosomoso, I don’t know whether what you are saying is true or not. Is it supported by data?

    • Oh, Max, these days everything is supported by scientific data. Some IPCC authors have gone on to sizzling careers writing those highly technical labels for energy drinks and yogurt products.

  19. Beth, this is about old men who are scientists and engineers. I think that leaves you out on all counts.

    But you may be old. I like grandmas.

    • Beth Cooper

      Nobody’s grand – mother, m’dear )
      And by the way, re “data”
      say, do – yer – remember
      Briffa’s Yamal tree ring series
      and the disappearance
      of some trees of inconvenience?
      Not – ter – mention – up – side – down
      Til – jan -der.
      Beth tcg

      • Well, maybe you are just old without being a grandma. I think old women are nice. They aren’t snooty and superficial like some young gals are.

        No matter what you do with paleo stuff, you are going to get a Hockey Stick. Why some people get so worked up about the shape of Hockey stick handles, I don’t know.

      • Indeed, remember Yamal, but a link always makes it easier.

        In his reply to Michael Ashley by Steve McIntyre, dated Oct 7, 2009 at 9:22 AM, we read:

        > [I] already had a version of the data from the Russians, one that I’d had since 2004.

        http://climateaudit.org/2009/10/05/yamal-and-ipcc-ar4-review-comments/#comment-197561

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/6078252343

      • Steven Mosher

        “No matter what you do with paleo stuff, you are going to get a Hockey Stick. Why some people get so worked up about the shape of Hockey stick handles, I don’t know.”

        Jeez, thick.

        There are two hockey stick issues.

        A) Blade divergence
        B) Handle flattening

        Lets take them in order.

        Blade divergence. The blade divergence issue goes to the heart of the debate about the supposed linear response of certain proxies ( tree rings ) to a single climate paramater–temperature. Divergence puts a serious question to believers in treemometers. The issue is far from settled and Briffa and others did no favor by hiding the divergence. There are two recent papers which have made some inroads in explaining divergence as a function of direct sunshine.

        Handle flattening. Its a known acknowledged problem in paleo that the methods applied to averaging proxies can substantially reduce the high frequency components of a reconstruction, flattening the handle. For example, selection via correlation with the instrument record will of necessity flatten the handle. Flattening the handle is important because past variability is instrumental to our understanding of sensitivity and its instrumental to setting targets such as 2C.

        Truth be told, Mann’s flattening of the handle makes the “unprecedented” story better, BUT it also results in a lower sensitivity estimate.

      • Steven Mosher – so if the handle is flat, the climate is less sensitive to both natural variability and external forcing? If it’s widely varied, then it’s more sensitive to both natural variability and to external forcing?

      • JCH, asked, “Steven Mosher – so if the handle is flat, the climate is less sensitive to both natural variability and external forcing? If it’s widely varied, then it’s more sensitive to both natural variability and to external forcing?”

        Yeah, funny ain’t it :) What is even better is that NH and SH are a bit out of phase. Kind of like a hemispherical seesaw. As long as Ice doesn’t start expanding on the land masses, it is pretty boring.

      • > As long as Ice doesn’t start expanding on the land masses, it is pretty boring.

        Some call it foreplay.

      • Steven Mosher

        JCH

        “Steven Mosher – so if the handle is flat, the climate is less sensitive to both natural variability and external forcing? If it’s widely varied, then it’s more sensitive to both natural variability and to external forcing?”

        Yup.

        except the climate inst sensitive to “natural variability”

        lets say the handle were entirely flat between the MWP and today.. suppose we disappear the MWP and the LIA.. well solar forcing changes ( lets say a watt ) would then have little effect on the climate and sensitivity would be low.

        Strangely in pursuit of the “unprecedented” argument, handle flatteners may be obscuring important information about climate sensitivity..
        Richard Alley gets this, Mann may not.

      • The flatness or bumpiness of the handle does not necessarily say anything about CS. Flatness means the reconstruction filters out natural variation and may likely be skewed by end-point trend bias. Bumpiness is what one expects in geological systems. My SWAG is likely FUBAR, but 5,000- to 10,000-years is the minimum time period to estimate ECS. Everything else are burps, bumps, hiccups, etc. that has the same effect on idiots as glitter and gee gaws.

    • Max, just because a girl won’t date you, it doesn’t make her snooty and superficial.

      Plus, it’s rude to speculate about a woman’s age. If you’ve not sensed how beautiful and appealing Beth is by now, you’re even more callow than I’d imagined…

      • pokerguy, if I thought a girl was snooty or superficial, I wouldn’t ask her for a date. I have my standards.

        I just assumed Beth was older because she said she used to teach. She might be 25 for all I know.

      • Alexej Buergin

        I assume Beth is older than Max because she is intellectually vastly superior to him.
        But he reminds me of my own puberty: I, too, knew everything better, and nothing else.

      • Beth Cooper

        Thx pokerguy, serfs like each other )
        You and Max A and I are the 3 serfketeers
        of Climate Etc. We will ride out and have
        many adventures in support of liberty and
        the open society. Yer copy of Serf Under-
        ground will arrive soon.
        Bts

      • Beth Cooper

        Alexej Buergin,

        Likewise thx. Understanding can come from reading
        and here on CE I read and learn from the comments
        of such as yerself From Max_OK ,not so much. )

        Bts.

      • Deeply honored dear Beth, but to be with you guys. I think we should get started on those adventures right away. How about we all leave on horseback at dawn tomorrow?

      • Beth Cooper

        Don’t fergit ter dress warmly pg and bring something
        energising ter drink. I shall of course take me trusty
        lasso. On ter victory in the jaws of death…
        Beth – the – cowgirl – and – serf

  20. Some interesting similarities and contrasts can be drawn when comparing rainmaking to the stopping of warming (Charles Hatfield and Al Gore, respectively), as follows:

    Similarities

    • Government involvement and funding are key elements
    • Fear is a key element (i.e., fear of drought/fear of warming)
    • Vagary of nature is a key element
    • Proponents are good marketers of their product (make rain/stop warming)
    • Weatherpersons consider both products illusory

  21. Tough to imagine how many more deaths there would be if Somalians were taxed for their carbon print:

    Nearly 260,000 people died during the famine that hit Somalia from 2010 to 2012, a study shows.

    Half of them were children under the age of five, says the report by the UN and the US-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fews Net).

    The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said humanitarian aid needed to be provided more quickly.

    The crisis was caused by a severe drought, worsened by conflict between rival groups fighting for power .

    The number of deaths was higher than the estimated 220,000 people who died during the 1992 famine.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22380352

    Our emphasis.

  22. Investments in methane fired electrical power: My searching turned up this page of available methane-fired generators. Out of 728 offerings, 720 were from China.

  23. Dr. Curry,
    At one point in 2010, you indicated that emissions limits might be considered a “no regrets” policy.

    Given the fact that preferences can change due to new information, currently what are your top 3 picks for no regrets policies?

    • Peter Lang

      A ‘No Regret’s policy is one that is net beneficial irrespective of anything to do with global warming.

      If a policy would gives net economic benefits, without including its postulated benefits to the climate, then it is a ‘No Regrets’ policy.

      I argue, that removing the impediments that make nuclear power more expensive than fossil fuels is an example of a ‘No Regrets’ policy. Because, it would be net beneficial irrespective of the global CO2 emissions reductions it would deliver. Some of the non-CO2 benefits are:

      1. reduce fatalities caused by pollution from fossil fuel generation (e.g. avoid over 1 million per year now and over 2 million per year by 2050)

      2. avoid non CO2 toxic pollution

      3. avoid black carbon

      4. reduce transport of fossil fuels by a factor of 20,000

      5. Reduced the fossil fuels needed for transporting fossil fuels by a factor of 20,000

      6. reduce or avoid the need to build coal transport systems (ships, ports, rail systems) and gas pipeline and storage infrastructure in developing countries

      7. provide cheaper electricity, leading to:

      8. Assist to provide more people with adequate electricity supply faster

      9. Lift people out of poverty faster

      10. Therefore, reduce the global population growth rate.

  24. This is the story of a fake fake denier, a sort of double agent denier:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/03/david-stein-cole-holocaust-revisionist

    Micheal Shermer, a real skeptic, wrapped it up best when he said:

    “But he was too smart for his own good. He had no training as a historian. I had the impression he liked to stir things up just for the hell of it, to be a contrarian for contrarian’s sake.”

    Sound familiar? It is so easy to tell most of the fake-skeptics out there, the ones that are contrary just to get their jollies exercised.

    Too funny for school, Joshua will appreciate it,

    • Could this be Wagathon? His posts are ridiculously absurd.

      • To the extent that the hoax and scare tactics of global warming it is not bad politics it is bad theater — a tragedy based on pessimism and nihilism and zero noble motives — and, maybe to a small extent, fear-traders out to make a buck off the ignorant, much like the Left’s state-run lotteries.

      • Sounds like Waggy is bitter about wasting a lot of his money on lotteries.

        Lotteries appeal to people who have miserable lives with little hope for a better future. I feel sorry for Waggy, and others like him. If my life was no better than theirs, I might play the lottery too.

      • It’s hard to imagine you could be worth less.

      • Lotteries are a tax on stupidity.

  25. We are approaching the 25th anniversary of Hansen’s testimony to Congress in June 1988. This is often regarded as the opening shot in the climate policy debate. Reading it, the basics as laid out then still apply, and the ideas haven’t aged or altered, except perhaps the degree of expected warming has been toned down (he was saying 5-9F by 2050). They knew polar areas and land areas would warm faster.
    http://www.nytimes.com/1988/06/24/us/global-warming-has-begun-expert-tells-senate.html

  26. Has anyone tracked the rise in carbon dioxide and anthropogenic global warming with the rise of world wide sales of coca and pepsi cola?

    Sjpi;dm#t tjese be bammed Hmm, try that again, Shouldn’t these be banned?

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Myrrh,

      You should track the correlation of the consumption of coffee with the rise in CO2, or any of the following:

      1) The number of unwanted teen pregnancies
      2) The number Walgreens stores
      3) The average square footage of a middle class track-home
      4) The average firepower of an air force bomber
      5) The square footage of a 5-star hotel room
      6) The square footage of concrete or asphalt covering the planet
      7) The average calories consumed by Americans
      8) The average height of seventh-graders
      etc. etc. etc.

      So you could find that all of these statistics and thousands more are positively correlated with the the increase in global ocean energy content and thus, the broadest measure of “global warming” as measured over decades, because they are correlated with the general increase in human consumption and energy use brought about by the relatively cheap and readily available energy of the oil age.

    • I get it. You think anthropogenic global warming is no more a result of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide than it is a result of rising sales of Coke and Pepsi. So you must think it’s the result of something else. Well, if its anthropogenic and you rule out carbon dioxide, that leaves some other GHG’s. It also leaves UHI. Are you a Watts?

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates) | May 5, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Reply Myrrh,

      You should track the correlation of the consumption of coffee with the rise in CO2, or any of the following:

      1) The number of unwanted teen pregnancies
      2) The number Walgreens stores
      etc.

      None of your examples relevant to my point – coca and pepsi cola release gigatons of carbon dioxide every year – how does the rise of sales globally track with the global warming during its increase in sales and spread globally?

      This is anthropogenic production of carbon dioxide – shouldn’t these be banned?

      Max_OK | May 5, 2013 at 6:07 pm | I get it. You think anthropogenic global warming is no more a result of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide than it is a result of rising sales of Coke and Pepsi.

      Nope, I think coca and pepsi cola are the major cause of global warming.

      So you must think it’s the result of something else. Well, if its anthropogenic and you rule out carbon dioxide, that leaves some other GHG’s. It also leaves UHI. Are you a Watts?

      I think it is directly the fault of coca and pepsi cola. All of it.

      Fizzy drinks created global warming.

      • Myrrh, you have been played for a sucker. See my explanation down thread after your other post about coke and pepsi.

  27. Chief Hydrologist

    In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.

    Here is ERBS and ocean heat content – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Wong2006figure7.gif.html?sort=3&o=106

    Here is the cloud data from ISCCP-FD – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ISCCP-cloudamount.png.html?sort=3&o=36

    The ‘low frequency variability of the climate system’ – at least that we have seen in the instrumental record – involves shifts in climate modes at multi-decadal scales. These shifts have alternately warmed and cooled the planet – and we are currently in a cool mode.

    The climate system is particularly challenging since it is known that components in the system are inherently chaotic; there are feedbacks that could potentially switch sign, and there are central processes that affect the system in a complicated, non-linear manner. These complex, chaotic, non-linear dynamics are an inherent aspect of the climate system. As the IPCC WGI Second Assessment Report (IPCC, 1996) (hereafter SAR) has previously noted, future unexpected, large and rapid climate system changes (as have occurred in the past) are, by their nature, difficult to predict. This implies that future climate changes may also involve ‘surprises’. In particular, these arise from the non-linear, chaotic nature of the climate system … Progress can be made by investigating non-linear processes and sub-components of the climatic system. These thoughts are expanded upon in this report: Reducing uncertainty in climate projections also requires a better understanding of these non-linear processes which give rise to thresholds that are present in the climate system. Observations, palaeoclimatic data, and models suggest that such thresholds exist and that transitions have occurred in the past … Comprehensive climate models in conjunction with sustained observational systems, both in situ and remote, are the only tool to decide whether the evolving climate system is approaching such thresholds. Our knowledge about the processes, and feedback mechanisms determining them, must be significantly improved in order to extract early signs of such changes from model simulations and observations. https://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/504.htm

    Very little seems certain but that humanity will respond to the plethora of issues facing us this century. As an example – as I keep saying – is that innovation working through markets is and will continue to supply liquid fuels in the amounts needed. Liquid fuels supply is expanding to 2035 – which is perhaps as far or further than we can reasonably foresee – and there are literally dozens of technologies capable of keeping the fleets moving. I think we should be cautious – but demonising a technology that is fundamental to human welfare on the basis of quite uncertain facts and before alternatives are available seems short sighted at the least.

    We can perhaps hope for breakthroughs in energy technology – but even this does not seem especially necessary. The race is on for production versions of 4th Gen nuclear for instance. Gas cooled reactors capable of producing both power and hydrogen, orders of magnitude more efficient than conventional reactors, factory built modules, waste that is dangerous for hundreds and not hundreds of thousands of years, enough conventional long lived waste sitting around in leaky drums to power the planet for hundreds of years, can’t melt down, can’t be used for bombs. Drop it in a bunker from a truck and leave it for 30 years. Thousands of years of fuel are still in the ground. Generic approvals are feasible and this is the path the US government has been going down for the past few years.

    Versions of these have been running for 50 years – it is practically off the shelf technology. General Atomics is investing $1.7 billion. Others are building demonstration plants in the US and China. React the hydrogen with carbon dioxide in any of a number of ways to produce as much hydrocarbons as we need.

    To bring innovations to market – it must be business driven. To bring technologies to market at the appropriate price level – cheaper than coal or oil – they must compete in an unfettered – that is tax free – market. It matters little what the technologies are – or what businesses are impacted. That’s life in business. It matters that governments refrain from unwarranted intervention in markets. It matters that energy remains affordable for everyone.

    • Beth Cooper

      Permission ter print this in the first edition of the
      Serf Under-ground Journal, Chief Hydroloogist?
      Btcgs.

      • Print that? Are you kidding me? It’s like random spew.

      • Worse than spam !

        An abuse of freedom !

      • Chief Hydrologist

        One wonders just what dweeby has problems with – perhaps it is just the Laplace long haired leaping gnome syndrome.

        The IPCC quotes? Innovation in liquid fuel supplies? General Atomics spending $1.7billion? Obama moving to generic approvals for modular nuclear? Reacting carbon and hydrogen through advances in surface chemistry to make fuel? Markets delivering innovation?

        The guy seriously seems crazy as a loon.

        Only if I can be Chief Serf – Beth me darlin’- it’s the hunger for power. If there is going to be a serf revolution (omg – the serfs are revolting) some ruthless, power hungry, psychopath has to end up in charge. May as well be me.

      • It is really pretty simple, Chief. You place links to charts with absolutely no context or explanations. The same ones over and over again.

      • Beth Cooper

        Now Chief me dear, yer know we serfs are sus – pish-us
        ( Is that how yer spell it M _OK? ) of power grabs,
        “be- wear the char – is -mat – ick leader,”…even u )
        yer see, I’m ack -chu -ally publishing in TSU_ground,
        a lo-o-o-ng opinion piece on the ” great – leader syndrome.”
        Yer can, of course, put yer case fer way – ter – go and
        art – of -war stratergies and we will listen, Chief. So,
        okay, yer comment gets published.
        A c-g-s

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Abuse of freedom of speech? Very amusing.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      dweeby – the context is supplied by the IPCC – http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-4-1.html

      The ERBS data comes from Wong et al 2006 – Fig 7 – as noted in the title of the chart – although I have copied the Fig 7 before – and the IPCC – never both together as showing what they in terms of the ocean heat content.

      http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf

      The ocean heat data comes from Josh Willis based on altimetry – as the XBT data is not useable for this – as explained in the Wong paper.

      The cloud data comes from I forget – but the data can be found here if you really want to know.

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/Clement-et-al-cloud-feedback-Science-2009.pdf – where Clements shows both ISCCP-FD data on cloud and ICOADS observations in the north east Pacific.

      http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/climanal1.html

      Where I repeat data for emphasis – it beats the hell out of repeating nonsense claims of fantasy physics and incompetent math – and boasting that climate is easy to solve – that’ how you got the Laplace’s long haired leaping gnome moniker. Such a wondrous intellect for whom everything is simple. In between nonsensical babbling about sceptics and peak ‘liquid fuels’ that is.

      • You lack the talent to integrate that information.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Either pull your head out of your arse, read the papers and make a sensible comment or continue being a twit.

      • It’s a close call between Chief and Myrrhhh in crowning the king of the Aussie prankster.

        Myrrhh has taken the lead with his Coke and Pepsi link, but Chief has the bigger following.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I suggest Myrrh is attempting a joke – I haven’t the heart to tell him it isn’t funny. Here is the comment again. I first of all quote the IPCC, then provide the graph showing the correspondence of ocean heat with net radiant flux at top of atmosphere as noted in the text. I then show the cloud data that is related to the trends in radiant flux. I then quote the IPCC again on the difficulties of climate prediction because of the non-linear nature of climate. I then talk about markets, technologies an US energy policy.

        In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system. http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-4-1.html

        Here is ERBS and ocean heat content – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Wong2006figure7.gif.html?sort=3&o=106

        Here is the cloud data from ISCCP-FD – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ISCCP-cloudamount.png.html?sort=3&o=36

        The ‘low frequency variability of the climate system’ – at least that we have seen in the instrumental record – involves shifts in climate modes at multi-decadal scales. These shifts have alternately warmed and cooled the planet – and we are currently in a cool mode.

        The climate system is particularly challenging since it is known that components in the system are inherently chaotic; there are feedbacks that could potentially switch sign, and there are central processes that affect the system in a complicated, non-linear manner. These complex, chaotic, non-linear dynamics are an inherent aspect of the climate system. As the IPCC WGI Second Assessment Report (IPCC, 1996) (hereafter SAR) has previously noted, future unexpected, large and rapid climate system changes (as have occurred in the past) are, by their nature, difficult to predict. This implies that future climate changes may also involve ‘surprises’. In particular, these arise from the non-linear, chaotic nature of the climate system … Progress can be made by investigating non-linear processes and sub-components of the climatic system. These thoughts are expanded upon in this report: Reducing uncertainty in climate projections also requires a better understanding of these non-linear processes which give rise to thresholds that are present in the climate system. Observations, palaeoclimatic data, and models suggest that such thresholds exist and that transitions have occurred in the past … Comprehensive climate models in conjunction with sustained observational systems, both in situ and remote, are the only tool to decide whether the evolving climate system is approaching such thresholds. Our knowledge about the processes, and feedback mechanisms determining them, must be significantly improved in order to extract early signs of such changes from model simulations and observations. https://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/504.htm

        Very little seems certain but that humanity will respond to the plethora of issues facing us this century. As an example – as I keep saying – is that innovation working through markets is and will continue to supply liquid fuels in the amounts needed. Liquid fuels supply is expanding to 2035 – which is perhaps as far or further than we can reasonably foresee – and there are literally dozens of technologies capable of keeping the fleets moving. I think we should be cautious – but demonising a technology that is fundamental to human welfare on the basis of quite uncertain facts and before alternatives are available seems short sighted at the least.

        We can perhaps hope for breakthroughs in energy technology – but even this does not seem especially necessary. The race is on for production versions of 4th Gen nuclear for instance. Gas cooled reactors capable of producing both power and hydrogen, orders of magnitude more efficient than conventional reactors, factory built modules, waste that is dangerous for hundreds and not hundreds of thousands of years, enough conventional long lived waste sitting around in leaky drums to power the planet for hundreds of years, can’t melt down, can’t be used for bombs. Drop it in a bunker from a truck and leave it for 30 years. Thousands of years of fuel are still in the ground. Generic approvals are feasible and this is the path the US government has been going down for the past few years.

        Versions of these have been running for 50 years – it is practically off the shelf technology. General Atomics is investing $1.7 billion. Others are building demonstration plants in the US and China. React the hydrogen with carbon dioxide in any of a number of ways to produce as much hydrocarbons as we need.

        To bring innovations to market – it must be business driven. To bring technologies to market at the appropriate price level – cheaper than coal or oil – they must compete in an unfettered – that is tax free – market. It matters little what the technologies are – or what businesses are impacted. That’s life in business. It matters that governments refrain from unwarranted intervention in markets. It matters that energy remains affordable for everyone.

        But all we get is ‘spew’ from some demented dweeb. Boring.

  28. The Picture of Climate Gray.
    ===============

  29. May 3 News from Senator James Inhofe’s web site

    Inhofe says “Global Warming Alarmists Should Send Some of Their Hot Air to Warm Up Oklahoma”

    OK, so it’s corny. Inhofe is playing to his hayseed base.

    • Looks like Senator Inhofe will get the warming he wished for. Tulsa had 2″ of snow on Friday, May 3, but the forecast is 73 F for Monday and the low 80′s by mid-week.

  30. Beth Cooper

    kim
    Yer posted acomment on CE way back, which began,
    ‘If I can see fur it’s because I stand … ‘ do yer think I can
    remember the end. It was so funny and I’d love to hear it
    again, perhaps post in TSU-gJ … Can u remember it?

    Beth

    • If I have seen fur it is because I stand on the shoulders of cats and dogs.

      The climate debate in a nutshell any curious squirrel would covet.
      =====================

      • Beth Cooper

        kim
        :) You are a fount of animal lore and much else .
        Beth

      • I reside at a cat training academy. They are training me.
        ==================

      • And the dog.
        =========

      • Damn, what kind of monster tramples on cats and dogs? You should be reported to the authorities and serve hard time.

      • Beth Cooper

        Here we go again, Max_ OK
        ‘should’ …should … oh so authoritarian fer one
        so young.

        …cat training aca – damy, kim, bet u
        teach them cats a thing or too
        Cool fer cats…

      • Beth Cooper

        Cool fer cats.

      • Beth, inadvertently stepping on a cat’s tail is bad enough, but intentionally standing on the poor little thing’s shoulders is cruel. In the U.S. we have laws against cruelty to animals, and Kim would be prosecuted, and put in jail where she obviously belongs.

      • MaxOK

        I suggest you google Issac Newton to see the source of the reference that was particularly subtle, even for Kim in his most enigmatic of moods
        tonyb

      • Tony, Newton said “giants,” not cats.

        You referred to kim as “he.” I thought kim is a “she.” Am I wrong?

      • MaxOk

        But then the ‘fur’ gag wouldn’t work would it?

        I automatically call Kim ‘he’ in much the same way as I call all dogs a ‘he’ I’ve no idea of Kim’s sex although I thought I saw someone here call him ‘he’ who seemed to know what they were talking about .
        tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        “You referred to kim as “he.” I thought kim is a “she.” Am I wrong?”

        kim is an bot written by me and bender. sheesh.

      • Tony, I don’t recall why I got the impression kim is female.

        Newton: If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

        kim: If I have seen fur it is because I stand on the shoulders of cats and dogs.

        Tony, the “fur gag,” as you call it , could work without implying cruelty to cats and dogs. You just need larger animals.

        How about this? If I have seen fur it is because I stand the shoulders of gorillas.

        Or this? If I have seen fur it is because I stand on the shoulders of yaks.

        Or this? If I have seen fur it is because I stand on the shoulders of mastodons.

        It could be kim is just lacking in imagination. On the other hand, it could be he has no respect for dogs and cats, and will be cruel to them at every opportunity.

      • Maxok

        I would suspect that kim likes Edward Lear, Alice in wonderland and the lyrics of ‘I am the walrus’ whilst you don’t. It is the absurdity that is appealing not the rationality of the examples you mention. Whilst mastodons admittedly arent rational neither are they intrinsically funny.

        Repeat three times after me, ‘I am the egg man…’

        Tonyb

      • On second thought, I suggest kim revise it as follows:

        “If I have seen fur it is because I stand on the shoulders of voles and moles.”

        kim’s dogs and cats obviously are lower to the ground than Newton’s giants, so I think his point was he couldn’t see as far as Newton. You sure couldn’t see far standing on the shoulders of a vole or a mole.

        Anyway, I have no objection to anyone standing on the shoulders of garden pests.

      • Maxok

        Come back when you have finished reading Alice in wonderland when hopefully your sense of the absurd will be as finely tuned as Roosevelt , who famously said;

        ‘You have nothing to fear but fur itself’

        Tonyb

      • Good one, Tony !

        FYI, i am a Lewis Carroll fan.

  31. RE Andy West’s comment above and well-said too, ”my cli-fi novella featured in Judith’s blog post last December …., the Wordspy definition doesn’t apply to this work and thus imho it is wrong. Because my piece is sceptical, it does *not* feature a future or near-future Earth affected by Climate Change. The Wordspy definition assumes that all cli-fi will be alarmist (hence an Earth damaged by climate change), but this should not be the case. Long live sceptical cli-fi!”

    Andy, Danny here. You are right. Wordspy took made it defining moment by taking the incorrectly reported NPR and CSM articles about cli fi, in which the NPR reporter defined the term the wrong way. Yes, cli fi does not have an agenda, or one agenda, as I see it. Cli fi can take place in present, future, even the past, and it can be alarmist OR skeptical or otpimistic or pessismistc or dystopian or non-dystopian, sure. So your novella does fit the cli fi defintion as originally set out and which the NPR story mangled. Impiortant to correct that, Thanks Andy.

    • ‘There was a man dwelt by a churchyard’.

      H/t PM via WS & Basil Davenport.
      =============

    • Thankyou Danny, I’m glad someone agrees :)
      Given that the *social* phenomena of CAGW (i.e. as separate from any actual science) is essentially an alliance of narratives, cli-fi of all descriptions will likely become more important as opposing factions employ it to support their particular narrative.
      (I just realised your handle is your name backwards).
      Andy

  32. The link is to an article titled “Where Will Future Natural Gas Demand Come From ?” Although the article is intended for investors who are interested in Enterprise Products Partners’ (NYSE: EPD), it’s discussion of future demand for natural gas in the following five sectors may be of general interest.

    1. Power generation
    2. Industrial and petrochemicals
    3. Natural gas vehicles
    4. LNG exports
    5.Residential and commercial conversion

    http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/05/04/where-will-future-natural-gas-demand-come-from.aspx

  33. Just to show I’m not a Harvard-hater: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YpaGTER2YY

    Food for thought.

  34. Steven Mosher

    for willard:
    “A proof only becomes a proof after the social act of “accepting it as a proof”.”

  35. Peter Lang

    Perhaps you all know this already. I’ve just seen it. The New York Times says James Hansen is retiring to further his career as an activist.

    James Hansen is Leaving NASA to Intensify His Campaign for Carbon Cuts
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/james-hansen-is-leaving-nasa-to-intensify-his-campaign-for-carbon-cuts/

    Apologies if this has already been discussed above.

    • Peter Lang

      “Just twelve months after a joint letter signed by 49 former scientists & NASA astronauts (attached) taking issue with one of their own, pioneer of climate science and Head of The Goddard Institute For Institute of Space Studies (GISS) for many years, controversial James Hansen, has finally departed NASA after some 46 years, albeit it seems, to continue his past unscientific activist activities.

      Hansen testified before U.S. Congress in 1988 and announced that the planet was beginning to feel the effects of man-made global warming. He’s been a vocal activist and avid researcher on the subject since.

      Is this a sign of the times with others of Hansen’s ilk to follow in his footsteps as global temperatures refuse to cooperate with Climate Alarmist doom and gloom prognostications despite increasing levels of CO2?”

  36. Re coca and pepsi cola being the cause of all global warming from its increasing megaton releasing of carbon dioxide every year as its sales spread globally, see my post above: http://judithcurry.com/2013/05/04/open-thread-weekend-16/#comment-318557

    they also show themselves as genocidal drivers to the extinction of the rural poor whose water they steal and crass polluters of the areas they establish factories:

    http://www.mindfully.org/Water/2005/India-Coca-Cola-Pepsi14mar05.htm

    “Because of Coca-Cola’s activities, 260 wells — sunk by the authorities to supply drinking water and meet irrigation needs — have run dry. This part of Kerala is known as the rice bowl but agricultural yields have plummeted. Worse, Coca-Cola has been distributing the toxic waste from its factory to the villagers as free fertiliser. Analysis has shown that this sludge is rich in cadmium and lead, both carcinogenic.

    “Tribal and farming representatives have protested about the serious damage to harvests caused by contamination of aquifers and springs, and by indiscriminate drilling. They have particularly called for measures to protect traditional sources of drinking water, preserve ponds and water tanks, and maintain navigable waterways and canals.”
    ..

    “In December 2003 Justice Balakrishnana Nair ordered Coca-Cola to cease illegal extraction of groundwater in Plachimada. The reasons for his judgment are as significant as the decision. He pointed out: “The public trust doctrine primarily rests on the principle that certain resources like air, sea waters and the forests have such a great importance to the people as a whole that it would be wholly unjusti- fied to make them a subject of private ownership. The said resources being a gift of nature, they should be made freely available to everyone, irrespective of their status in life. The doctrine enjoins upon the government to protect the resources for the enjoyment of the general public rather than to permit their use for private ownership or commercial purpose.

    ““Our legal system, based on English common law, includes the public-trust doctrine as part of its jurisprudence. The state is the trustee of all natural resources, which are by nature meant for public use and enjoyment. The public at large is the beneficiary of the seashore, running waters, air, forests and ecologically fragile lands. The state as a trustee is under a legal duty to protect natural resources. These resources meant for public use cannot be converted into private ownership.

    ““Water is a public good; and since the state and its various agencies are under an obligation to protect groundwater against excessive exploitation, their inaction constitutes a violation of the right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian constitution.

    ““The Supreme Court of India has consistently maintained that the right to unpolluted air and water are an integral aspect of the right to life as defined by this article. So although there is no law specifically regulating the extraction of groundwater, the panchayat and the state are required to prevent any overexploitation of underground reserves. Coca-Cola’s property rights do not extend to the ground water below the land it owns. Nobody has the right to appropriate the lion’s share of this resource and the government has no power to licence a private third party to extract water in such vast quantities.””

    Not only the cause of anthropogenic global warming through coca and pepsi releasing megatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere where is accumulates for hundreds and thousands of years polluting the whole global atmosphere in its well mixed spread even into areas where it is not consumed, these companies are actively conspiring to destroy the food supply of the rural poor by their water grab and pollution of the land.

    All production of coca and pepsi cola should be banned, should it?

    • Latimer Alder

      @myrrh

      Your remarks are no more than a cut n paste from an article on the ‘mindfully.org’ website.

      I tried to find out more abut them. But apart from the large notice telling us that ‘Paul Goettlich is no longer a member’, they tell us no more.

      Can you help? Who are ‘mindfully.org’? Why should we pay any more attention to their views than mine or Joshua’s or Webbie’s or Oliver K Manuel’s?

      And please blow the gaff – who was ‘Paul Goettlich’..and what crime did he commit to get so obviously banned?

    • Myrrh, you have been played for a sucker. Like the CO2 you exhale, the CO2 in a can of coke or any other soft drink is already a part of the carbon cycle. So stop feeling guilty about opening coke cans and breathing.

      It may be possible, however, for you to sequester CO2 by buying soft drinks but not opening the cans. The more cokes you buy and don’t open, the more CO2 you keep out of the atmosphere. So buy cokes by the case and stack ‘em in your house, garage, and backyard. This also will be good for the economy.

      Obviously, another way to sequester CO2 is to inhale but not exhale. In other words, just hold your breath forever. BEWARE ! If anyone recommends doing this, he is not your friend. He is bad person who just wants to see you turn blue in the face.

  37. Remember this, from three weeks ago?

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/04/15/lawrence-solomon-arctic-sea-ice-back-to-1989-levels-now-exceeds-previous-decade/

    Well, have a look:

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

    Yes, that’s right. The lowest Arctic Sea Ice Extent on record for this date; notwithstanding historical revisionism of wishful thinkers, likely the lowest Arctic Sea Ice Extent for this date in a millennium or more.

    Barely a month after yet again we heard claims the Arctic Sea Ice extent was “back to normal levels”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/10033034/Record-low-in-Arctic-sea-ice-caused-by-global-warming-says-UN.html

    • Coca and Pepsi Cola are destroying the Arctic by their increasing megatons releasing of carbon dioxide.

      Scientists have shown that it is the increasing production of coca and pepsi cola which have caused temperatures to rise catastrophically since the 1970′s.

      The IPCC has best authority consensus of scientists shown that man made production of carbon dioxide is the most likely cause of all this runaway global warming which will destroy the populations of polar bears and penguins, and coca and pepsi production is most likely the biggest contributer to the carbon dioxide pollution globally.

      The rise in coca and pepsi cola production world wide proves that coca and pepsi cola are the world’s biggest carbon dioxide polluters and directly causing climate change, said a spokesman for the Uniun of Concerned Scientists, Professor Benji.

    • Bart, are you sure you linked to the right page? I see nothing about the lowest extent on record.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘Sea ice extent averaged for the month of April 2013 was 14.37 million square kilometers (5.54 million square miles). This is 630,000 square kilometers (243,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average for the month, and is the seventh-lowest April extent in the satellite record.’

      I am wondering if he is linked to the right universe.

    • Yes well it wouldn’t be the first time Bart. Remember the skeptics were predicting a sea ice recovery after the 2007 minimum. Went very quiet in 2012..tried to blame it on a storm..or magic..but now they’ve reverted to claiming it’s recovering again. They’ll never learn.

      • lowlot, maybe you’ll learn one day to check your facts before opening your mouth – in order to avoid inadvertently using your shoelaces as dental floss

    • Latimer Alder

      @bart

      Your graph does not show what you think it does.

      It does not show ‘the lowest sea ice for this date on record’ at all.

      Indeed it only shows that the ice is marginally less than was on this date in 2012. It tells you nothing about 2003, 2006, 2007, 2011 – all of which had lower ice areas on this date than 2013.

      I think you are confused with excitement, and hive misunderstood the low area that occurred in mid-Sept 2012 with a year-round phenomenon. It wasn’t.

      You can see all the recent years ice extent – by date – plotted here.

      http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/seaice/extent/AMSRE_Sea_Ice_Extent_L.png

      So far, 2013 is pretty unremarkable. No doubt you will wish to highlight this rather dull fact in your next posting.

      • Latimer Alder | May 6, 2013 at 7:09 am |

        Cursed, foiled by blogging in my sleep.

        Is my face ever red. I thank the many who found that my failure to simply READ HARDER led me to make a ridiculous claim when all that’s happened for May 5 is a steady seven year march back down the rankings toward record low neighborhood for its date, (the past week’s sudden dip dropping 2013′s May below 2008′s to 5th lowest for this date).. that still makes my muddle-headed mistake far closer to truth than what Lawrence Solomon said.

        Will this sudden drop in extent ranking that began late in April continue? Only time will tell. It is still my opinion the statistics of Arctic winter sea ice extent are too poor to tell much from.

        2013 is hardly ‘unremarkable’ so far, however. For one, Arctic sea ice volume remains in a dead heat with 2011 & 2012 for lowest on record, with the amazing churn of March adding both extent and volume by virtue of the very breakup of weak ice from the fall of 2012 not being able to resist the powerful weather systems of the spring of 2013:

        http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2013/04/piomas-april-2013.html

        Second, NSIDC has announced reconstruction of 1960′s satellite ice pack levels:

        While the modern satellite data record for sea ice begins in late 1978, some data are available from earlier satellite programs. NSIDC has been involved in a project to map sea ice extent using visible and infrared band data from NASA’s Nimbus 1, 2, and 3 spacecraft, which were launched in 1964, 1966, and 1969. Analysis of the Nimbus data has revealed Antarctic sea ice extents that are significantly larger and smaller than seen in the modern 1979 to 2012 satellite passive microwave record. The September 1964 average ice extent for the Antarctic is 19.7 ± 0.3 million square kilometers (7.6 million ± 0.1 square miles. This is more than 250,000 square kilometers (97,000 square miles) greater than the 19.44 million square kilometers (7.51 million square miles) seen in 2012, the record maximum in the modern data record. However, in August 1966 the maximum sea ice extent fell to 15.9 ± 0.3 million square kilometers (6.1 ± 0.1 million square miles). This is more than 1.5 million square kilometers (579,000 square miles) below the passive microwave record low September of 17.5 million square kilometers (6.76 million square miles) set in 1986.

        The early satellite data also reveal that September sea ice extent in the Arctic was broadly similar to the 1979 to 2000 average, at 6.9 million square kilometers (2.7 million square miles) versus the average of 7.04 million square kilometers (2.72 million square miles).

        Adding three samples that extend the length of reliable data collection by fourteen years, while not so ambitious as some efforts to fill in the blanks by selecting the less reliable historical records that favor their arguments, at least is statistically useful.

      • Latimer Alder

        Sorry Bart

        Nice try, but you’ve still barely raised me from torpor on this topic.

        ‘Sea ice in Arctic pretty much normal for this time of year’

        ain’t going to lead even the greeniest news.

        Wake me if anything really exciting happens.

        PS – How’s the Antarctic ice doing? Up, down, much the same? Still cold down there?

      • bob droege

        Just don’t bet against a new record sea ice extent, area or volume this September, just my advice, take it or leave it.

      • bob droege, you write “Just don’t bet against a new record sea ice extent,”

        There is a way that one can sort of “bet” on Arctic sea ice extent. The ARCUS survey for 2013 has just started, 3 May 2013. So anyone who thinks they know what is going to happen can place their ” bets” with ARCUS.

        See http://www.arcus.org/search/seaiceoutlook

        Bob, Do you want to have a bet on the side, just for prestige, no money. The loser to post a mea maxima culpa on Climate Etc.?

      • BartR

        I researched the earlier satellite records and the reason they weren’t used in the official record is that they weren’t very good. They still arent very good and they can never be any good as they simply weren’t compiled/recorded to the standards the later ones were. This has shades of talking up historic SST records.

        However in my article (which I think you were tangetially referring to) I was looking for 1920-1940 information and of couse satellite records weren’t available then so I didnt spend any time on it

        I have no agenda except to try to find out the real position on such disparate data bases as sea ice to SST’s. In this I research information that was often produced by the top scientists of the day. It is neither ‘anecdotal’ nor easily dismissed.

        It does include information from such sources as Russian (and other researchers) which may not have been available at the time the modern sea ice records were compiled in the 1970′s. The compilers of the official data did urge that it should be treated with caution but of course over the years it has been treated as gospel. The official sea ice data from 1920 to the 1940′s greatly overstates the ice extent of the time. However it seems unlikely the lowest levels of that period approached those of 2007 or 2012.
        tonyb

      • Bob Droege, I’m not taking any bets. It may, or it may not.
        The ice is thin, making it much more susceptible to winds and ocean currents so, at best, it will take a very long time to recover, and anything can happen until then.
        Just don’t make too much of it.

      • bob droege

        Jim, sure we can have a bet for prestige only.
        Do you want to bet simply on record or no, or do you want to see who comes closest?

      • Bob, My suggestion is that we follow the ARCUS rules, and abide by the ARCUS value posted in September. Our chosen numbers are to be posted on an appropiate thread on Climate Etc sometime in May 2013, and definitely before the first set of ARCUS estimates, usually posted during the first wek of June. The one closest to the ARCUS value wins. I cannot find the actual data set used by ARCUS, but whatever it is, that is what we agree is the answer. Are you agreed?

      • Hi Tony
        Maybe it is of interest for you. Back in 1997 I asked the director of AARI/St. Petersburg for April sea ice maps in the North Atlantic from 1910 to 1919 which are available in
        ___ original here: http://www.arctic-warming.com/b.php , and
        ___color/redrawing here: http://www.arctic-warming.com/b1.php .
        While I was advised that April usually shows the seasonal maximum, this was not the case in spring/summer 1917, see Figure 8a-8d at: http://www.arctic-warming.com/indian-drought-1918-north-atlantic.php

      • Arendt

        Thanks for that material. Shall read through with interest again. I did cite your excellent book in the supplementary information.
        Tonyb

      • bob droege

        Ok Jim,
        Last years winner goes first, and as I smoked em all last year, although I published my prediction at the Blackboard last year and not the ARCUS site.

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2012/early-ice-bet-winner/

        Here are my predictions in accordance with the Arcus rules.

        1. 1.8 million square kilometres.

        2. Heuristic

        3. My predicition is based on it beating last years mark and possibly ice free, so I split the difference.

        4. My outlook contribution is based on it’s warming and It’s worse than we thought.

        5. My error estimate is +/- 1.8 million square kilometers.

        Jim our bet can be just who is closest without error bars if you like or not.

        Arcus uses the NSIDC data IIRC

      • OK Bob. There should be a clear winner and loser. I will go with 4.8 million sq kms, with the same way of doing it as yours.

      • Guys, I almost hate to say it, but even if you discount things like thinner ice being more susceptible to wind and ocean currents, the maths is in favour of low ice extent.
        Consider this: if the ice is half as thick as it was at some time in the past, the same volume of ice melt will result in around half the surface area.
        On the other side of the coin, any significant recovery would probably serve as an indicator of cooling.

      • phatboy, you write “but even if you discount things like thinner ice being more susceptible to wind and ocean currents, the maths is in favour of low ice extent.”

        That assumes that the thinner multiyear ice is going to melt at all. The minimum last September was around 3.5 million sq kms. The maximum this year was around 14.5 million sq kms. This measn there is around 11 million sq kms of first year ice. Presumably, the thickness of this ice is in the range of the ususal values for first year ice.

        I dont believe CAGW has any effect on Arctic sea ice. I think the ice extent goes in cycles, from unlnown causes. I suspect that when we first got satellite measurements, by coincidence, it happened at around maximum sea ice extent. If, and it is agreat big if, but if I am right, then one of these years all the first year ice is not going to melt. Maybe this will happen this year. If it does, it will mean that there is little or no melting of the multiyear ice. So the thickness or thinness of this ice will be irrelevant.

      • Jim, maybe, maybe not, but I’m not particularly hopeful of any substantial recovery any time soon – for the reasons I mentioned.

      • bob droege

        The thing is, that as ice transitions from first year ice to multi-year old ice, it undergoes many freeze-thaw cycles, and we know this because multi-year ice is nearly salt free and you can melt it and drink it. So the first year ice always melts, sometime it refreezes, sometimes not.

        There is a historical correlation between sea ice and global temperature and the state of the ice sheets. Not that an ice free arctic causes degradation of the ice sheets and associated sea level rise, but there it is, if natural causes of high global temperatures cause the loss of sea ice and the loss of ice sheets and sea level rise, then anthropogenic causes can do the same thing.

      • Latimer Alder | May 6, 2013 at 11:02 am |

        If a three-way dead heat (excuse the play on words) for the all-time record isn’t going to interest you, you’re clearly not a sports fan.

        As for the Antarctic.. fascinating. The evidence for AGW there is far stronger than for the Arctic.. only buried by all that darned continental ice. If not for all that Antarctic ice, you’d see how little of it there is.

      • Latimer Alder

        @bart r

        ‘If a three-way heat for the all time record doesn’t interest you…..’

        I am not aware of any ‘three-way heat’.

        Please explain.

      • Latimer Alder | May 7, 2013 at 11:02 am |

        Please explain the pattern of what you choose to not be aware of?

        Boggling request, but here go a few speculations:

        Rhetorical device.
        Invincible ignorance.
        Pious fraud.
        Motivated reasoning.
        Disconfirmation bias.
        Dissemblance.
        Poor methodology.

        Take your pick or mix and match.

  38. David Wojick

    The Club of Rome is at it again, with a 23 foot sea level rise at 2 degrees of warming and 230 feet at 4 degrees.
    http://www.clubofrome.org/?p=5984

  39. I was told by a cli fi novelist in florida today that we are almost at 4oo ppm for the first time since co2 ppm monitoring has been going on, like the stats are are 399.9 and counting until June. Me, i am not a scientist, so please teach me two things: 1. is this true? and 2. what does it mean? — thanks , Danny Bloom in Taiwan, subtropical island and love it here

    • Latimer Alder

      1. Yes it is true.

      2. Not much at all.

      • Latimer Alder

        To be a little more helpful.

        Think of a sports ground with 10,000 people in it. And let each of them represent a molecule from the air..

        Once upon a time there were 3 ‘CO2 people’ in the 10,000 and 9,997 were not CO2.

        Now there are 4 ‘CO2 people’, and 9,996 are not CO2.

        Here’s a clip of a football match at Coventry City…whose gate averages almost exactly 10,000. See if you can spot the three or four representing CO2

      • 1. Not true as based on Keeling data which is false.

        2. It means that we don’t know what the carbon dioxide levels are – because from Keeling’s beginning from the Callendar cherry picked low number, as in the One Tree Yamal fakery, all the Keeling curve has been doing is pretending a continually rise when the mix of carbon dioxide during this time has always included this number.

        Carbon Dioxide is not “well mixed” and Keeling had no way of measuring “well-mixed background man made CO2″ because a) there is no such critter as “well-mixed background” and b) he was measuring from on top of an active volcano in a huge carbon producing volcanic area and cherry picking to get his annual rise because c) he couldn’t and, they still can’t tell and don’t in their measurements, man-made from volcanic.

        The AIRS conclusion was that contrary to expectations and to their astonishment, having been brought up on the fake fisics meme of “well-mixed” from AGWScienceFiction, there was no such thing as “well-mixed” carbon dioxide; instead of this mythical well mixed they found it lumpy.

        The con continues as they still have not released the top and bottom of troposphere figures which they also used in their conclusion.

        They don’t want you to see just how lumpy it really is.

        Carbon dioxide is heavier than air so it will always sink in air and not readily rise in air, unless other work is done on it, and, it is fully part of the Water Cycle which AGWScienceFiction has also, in more science fraud, removed from existence to get their “Greenhouse Effect” illusion; so they have no rain in their carbon cycle, and all natural unpolluted rain is carbonic acid.

        Carbon dioxide cannot accumulate in the atmosphere for hundreds and thousands of years and it is not well mixed for these reasons – it tends to remain local production.

        I’ve been to Taiwan, beautiful island, by boat from Hong Kong.

    • Alexej Buergin

      0.04% CO2.
      It means we have 10 fingers and use the decimal system.
      In Mouseton or Duckburg, where inhabitants have 8 fingers, they use octal and write 620 instead of 400. (But they would not use ppm, either, or m might stand for 8 to the power of 6).

    • Moolb Leinad you write “1. is this true? and 2. what does it mean?”

      1. Yes it is true. However, 2.,what it means is another matter. There are some people,we call “warmists”, who cliam that this will make the world unbearably hot, and make the oceans more acidic. There are others, called “skeptics/deniers”., who claim that the warmists have got the science all wrong.

      I am a skeptic/denier. My reading of the empirical data is that there may be a very slight warming of the atmopshere as a result of more CO2, but no-one will ever be able to detect how much. The additional CO2 is having a very beneficial effect on plant growth and agriculture. Satellite photography shows that the world is getting greener. As as result of more CO2, we can expect bigger yields of crops, possibly using less water. So we could have more food to feed the world population.

      The warmists will give you a very different prognosis.

      • Latimer Alder

        @jim d

        Just one correction to your otherwise excellent post.

        It will not make the oceans ‘more acidic’. It will make them ‘less alkaline’. You cannot make it ‘more acidic’ when it is not acidic to start with. Litmus paper turns blue. It is alkaline.

        Think of it like pregnancy. Once you are pregnant it is possible to be ‘more pregnant’ as the months go by. But until you become pregnant in the first place you are still stuck at zero on the pregnancy scale.

      • Latimer Alder

        My apologies. Remarks above addressed (of course) to Jim Cripwell.

      • Latimer, you say “It will not make the oceans ‘more acidic’”

        I know, and I agree. I was telling Moolb what the warmists claim.

    • Or, looked at another way:

      CO2 is only 0.04% of the total volume of air.

      Over 99% of air however contributes no influence to GHE, pH balance of waters and land, or the hormone levels of plants and microbes at even half a percent of the amount CO2′s 43% rise since 1750 does.

      400 ppmv is 74% above the known average CO2 concentration of the last 800,000 years, a time during which CO2 remained between 180 ppmv and 280 ppmv over 99.9% of the time, only rarely climbing above 300 ppmv and never recorded above 310 ppmv.

      (We hit 310 ppmv only in the 1950′s: 200 years of climb was only one third of the next 63 years spike. The rise is on an exponential path, and is provably due human industrial emissions – by isotopic reconstruction, despite the bad math of an Australian named Salby who keeps promising to reveal why he doesn’t believe it but hasn’t yet published anything that stands up – combined with human land use changes.)

      The last time we know to a reliable degree that CO2 was at about 400 ppmv was during the Pliocene, in the neighborhood of 3 million years ago, during the time camels evolved in the Arctic circle, when the Arctic temperature was on the order of 19C warmer than today and sea levels were many meters higher.

      For Taiwan, if the sea level rise projections hold, by 2100 as much as 45% of the island may be below sea level.

      http://start.org/download/car2/1-chang-abstract.pdf

      Personally, I think a mere 10-20% of Taiwan below sea level by 2100 is far likelier, due its favorable location. Which is still a displacement of a half million people.

      OTOH, the variability of Taiwan’s sea level, however, might be a problem too.

      http://ntur.lib.ntu.edu.tw/bitstream/246246/178414/1/03.pdf

      Land and ocean are acidifying — or, since some hate this term because they fear the word acid — getting less buffered and dropping in pH level. This will affect distribution and vigor of some organisms.

      And oh yes, the TOA imbalance due this human-caused external forcing in the world atmospher system increases the energy that drives thermal and mechanical activities, distorting temperature and circulation patterns leading to 3:1 ratio of higher temperatures and faster or longer or deeper or higher flows, which are called extreme weather at the scale of days, and an increase in global warming at a scale of 30 years or more.

      • Latimer Alder

        @bart r

        I do not fear the word ‘acid’. I dislike the use of it intensely because it is wrong.

        Here is the O level chemistry definition.

        pH7 = alkaline – more OH- ions than H+ ions. Litmus turns blue.

        The pH of seawater today is about 7.9. Even the most rabid greenist cannot suggest enough sources of terrestrial carbon to burn to ever take it below 7.5. And that would need a CO2 concentration man times higher than we have today.

        At even at pH 7.5 it will still be in the alkaline range, though closer to neutral than it is today. The scientifically correct term is ‘neutralisation’.

        Greenists choose to incorrectly call it ‘acidification’ because they hope the general public will unconsciously associate it with bad ‘acidic’ things. There can be no other reason.

      • Latimer Alder

        @bart r

        ‘Land..is acidifying’?

        Really? Any evidence?

      • Steven Mosher

        Bart has never been to Taiwan: I suggest Chungyang Shanmo

        What Bart thought the report said:

        For Taiwan, if the sea level rise projections hold, by 2100 as much as 45% of the island may be below sea level.”

        What the abstract really said:

        “The  result  of CVI
        analyses shows that the southwest and Yi‐Ian area are the most vulnerable. The risk 
        analysis finds  that  the Yun‐chia‐nan area in Taiwan has  the highest  risk to sea‐level
        rise because the possible area in Un‐chia‐nan under the sea level in 2100 is estimated 
        to account for 45% of the total area in Taiwan under the sea level.

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

        Bart: 45% of taiwan under water.
        Science: The Yun Chia nan Area Under water will be 45% of the total area under water

        Go here

        http://geology.com/sea-level-rise/

        Zoom in on taiwan

        raise the ocean

        or visit Taiwan. I also suggest this

      • Latimer Alder

        Something went gone very badly wrong.with my definition. I think it is the greater than and less than signs being interpreted as something else.

        Here goes without the misinterpreted signs.

        pH less than 7. Acidic. More H+ ions than OH-. Litmus turns red
        pH equals 7.0. Neutral. Same number of H+ ions and OH-
        pH greater than 7 Alkaline. More OH- ions than H+. Litmus turns blue.

      • bob droege

        I don’t think the changes in the pH of seawater we are seeing would be observable using litmus paper. Seawater should show up as neutral using litmus paper.

      • Latimer Alder | May 6, 2013 at 11:19 am | The pH of seawater today is about 7.9. Even the most rabid greenist cannot suggest enough sources of terrestrial carbon to burn to ever take it below 7.5. And that would need a CO2 concentration man times higher than we have today.

        I’ve never seen a pH figure below 8 for sea water, generally 8-9.

        Ah, you may have taken the bottom of the range from something like this:
        “Introduction:
        The major carbon reservoir in the ocean is
        in the dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC),
        which is the total of aqueous CO2,
        bicarbonate (HCO3) and carbonate (CO3)
        ions. The pH of seawater is dependent on
        which of these species is the most
        predominant. The normal present day pH
        of seawater is more on the basic side
        between 7,9 – 9,0. At this pH the HCO3
        ions predominate. Carbonate ion
        concentrations increase with increasing pH
        and when more CO2 dissolves in seawater
        it becomes more acidic. This can be better
        understood by looking at Fig. 1.”
        http://www.carboeurope.org/education/CS_Materials/CarbonatesAndpH.pdf

        Also has this:
        “When CO2 from the atmosphere reacts with seawater, it immediately forms carbonic acid
        (H2CO3), which in itself is unstable. This further dissociates to form bicarbonate and
        carbonate ions. The bicarbonate and carbonate ions are responsible for the buffering capacity
        of seawater, i.e. seawater can resist drastic pH changes even after the addition of weak bases
        and acids. The carbonate ion can react with calcium ions (Ca), which are in excess in
        seawater, to form calcium carbonate (CaCO3), the material out of which the shells of mussels,
        the skeleton of corals and the exoskeleton of some microalgae is made of.”

        At even at pH 7.5 it will still be in the alkaline range, though closer to neutral than it is today. The scientifically correct term is ‘neutralisation’.

        I get so fed up of reading these idiotic memes from AGW scaremongering even in fairly decent pieces as I’ve just quoted from.

        A change by 1 in pH measurements means something is 10 times more acidic or more alkaline – how can doubling a trace gas change the sea from the alkaline it is to acidic, (below 7)?

        Here’s the easy maths if anyone wants to have a go.. http://sg.answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AwrBzqhVFohRpF8AjAYh4wt.;_ylv=3?qid=20130430143046AAxVlAc

        Future scientists will be so shocked at how these corrupted science memes have taken over and dumbed down the subject, from the main science bodies and at university level no less. It’s like mass hypnotism or something.

        Found an interesting map of pH levels across the US: http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/ph.html

      • bob droege

        For those who get their acid-base chemistry from a high-school level general science textbook, yes acid is less than a pH of 7 and alkaline more than 7, but it is more complicated than that.

        pH is the measure of the concentration of [H3O+] ions in solution and is a meauure of the acidity of an aqueous solution, of which seawater is an example. All aqueous solutions have both the [H3O+] and [OH-] in solution. If you are increasing the concentration of the [H3O+] of a solution it is correct to say that you are acidifying the solution, no matter if the pH is 0 or 14 or any value in between or greater or less than.

        That being said, I would say some are correct in saying there is not enough fossil fuels to forcd the ocean pH into the less than 7 region, however there is danger in a smaller pH change than that due to reducing the amount of carbonate ions in seawater which sealife needs for organic processes.

        Reducing the oceans pH could alter the carbon cycle and mess with the ocean food chain and even cause anoxia of the oceans and mass extinctions.

      • Latimer Alder

        @bob droege

        Websters and Google both disagree with you.
        As do I.

        According to these sources, to acidify means ‘to make acidic’.

        Different from ‘increasing the amount of the hydronium ions’.

        You need to actually turn it to below 7 pH (More H + than OH – ) to ‘acidify’ something on those definitions. And we are all agreed that that ain’t going to happen.

        I will try to find a proper OED tomorrow, but my guess is that it too will agree with the others.

      • bob droege

        Latimer,
        So let’s see if I understand you correctly, we are not acidifying the oceans only because we don’t have enough CO2 to reach a pH of less than 7. But if we did have enough, than we would be acidifying the oceans, because normally all you have to do is expose pure water to the normal concentration of CO2 in the air to achieve a pH of less than 7.

        But if an ocean pH of 7.5 doesn’t scare you, then you are an ignorant pendantic old man.

      • bob droege

        Not that I couldn’t find a cite that agrees with me

        Noun 1. acidification – the process of becoming acid or being converted into an acid

        from the free dictionary.com

        CO2 reacts with water to form Carbonic acid, which is present in seawater.

    • Steven Mosher | May 6, 2013 at 11:40 am |

      Shocking. I was not just wrong on facts but off the scale wrong on misreading.

      That’ll teach me for abandoning the principle of sticking my nose out of the business of countries I’ve never been to.

      And to READ HARDER. And not to blog while brushing my teeth.

      (Maybe not shocking, but wrong in two posts in two days is terrible. How do you people live with the burden of doing that all the time?)

      So.. what should the Taiwan figures be, for speculated 1.4m sea level rise between 2065-2100, or for the presumptive 2m or 5m projections by 2100? Taiwan presents special issues, of course, because of its intense rainy seaso.. there I go, making guesses about a place I don’t know. So. Anyone with Taiwanese expertise care to speculate? After all.. the topic is cli-fi.

      Oh, and.. Latimer Alder | May 6, 2013 at 10:32 am |

      You’re mistaking “acidify” with “acetify”.

      Acidify is to lower the pH of a substance. Acetify is to ‘turn’ a substance into an acid. Cumbersome terms like ‘neutralize’ or ‘de-alkalinize’ are simply wordslaw. You can ‘neutralize’ an unbuffered solution by buffering it, so to say that instead is ambiguous, and in seawater is silly.

      And yes, Latimer Alder | May 6, 2013 at 11:22 am | soil is acidifying, freshwater is undergoing acidification, marble is reducing to limestone.. oh, wait.. that’s weathering. Hrm. Look it up; I believe we’ve had this exchange here in the past before and I provided links then.

      • Latimer Alder

        @bart r

        I have no recollection of such an exchange, nor of you providing any links.

        If you can prove that ‘land is acidifying’ as you claimed, then here is your opportunity to do so.

        I have no inclination at all to ‘look it up’. Such ‘advice’ is — in my universal experience – a smokescreen to try to hide the unfortunate lack of any evidence for an unjustified claim. But maybe this time it’s different.

        It was your claim – either justify it or withdraw it.

      • Latimer Alder

        @bart r

        Just for kicks, I typed ‘acidify’ into Google.

        The top hit is the free dictionary. And the definition it gives is

        ‘To make or become acid’.

        I tried ‘acetify’

        ‘To convert or become converted to acetic acid or vinegar.’

        I don’t know what definitional sources you are using for your idiosyncratic understanding of the meanings of these words but it doesn’t match the internet’s.

      • Latimer Alder

        @bart r

        ‘Neutralise’ is not a cumbersome term at all. It describes perfectly well what happens when you add a small amount of acid to a large quantity of an alkali (or the opposite).

        Simply put the acid reacts with some of the alkali to make water. (H+ + OH- –> H20)

        The acid is much reduced, the volume of water has increased and the concentration of alkali reduced (pH lowered). It is nearer in properties to that of pure (neutral) water. It has been ‘neutralised’.

      • Steven Mosher

        I dunno Bart,

        I think the rainy season and intensification of hurricanes could be big problems. I was in Taichung for two weeks after a typhoon and man
        it was horrible. Theirsea level problem is exacerbated by population density so while the area might be limited the number of people affected would be large.

        beautiful place though

    • Latimer Alder | May 7, 2013 at 12:04 pm |

      http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/acidify

      Second sense.

      Though I see others knowledgeable in the matter have also addressed your errors.

      I really don’t have time to expound on the history of the Latin usage of acetus, how acetum moved through French to English in past centuries, or why it matters to anyone that correct usage is made of these words despite the prescriptively ill-informed mandates of the ulterior.

      Though it’s curious.. you had the time and inclination to Google acidify, but not soil acidity, or marble weathering by CO2, or freshwater acidification or acid rain.

      But you are right. Neutralize is a perfectly decent word. It just has a slightly more nuanced meaning in some cases than you appear to be willing to acknowledge.

  40. @andywest2012 yes, you got it! and well said re many cli fi writers will and can use the term to support their own pov, come hell and high water, come the clinapocalypse, or come nothing at all. smile sure — re you wrote above ”Thankyou Danny, I’m glad someone agrees :)
    Given that the *social* phenomena of CAGW (i.e. as separate from any actual science) is essentially an alliance of narratives, cli-fi of all descriptions will likely become more important as opposing factions employ it to support their particular narrative.
    (I just realised your handle is your name backwards).
    Andy

  41. The BBC has a story at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22408341; by Roger Harrabin, who else. It claims that the Arctic Ocean is getting more acidic. It seems that there is a conference that started today, 6 May 2013, in Norway, where this is being discussed. I tried to find some scientific documents without success. Anybody know what any actual papers report?

  42. Maybe we do have something to learn from the religion of peace.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/05/05/In-Pakistan-town–men-have-spoken–No-women-vote

    Just kidding…just kidding.

    • Where religion has not been redundant it has been destructive. What possible good can come from religion that could not be better derived by non-religious means? Fortunately the power of religions around the world is rapidly diminishing and this trend will continue until they become as irrelevant to the everyday person as Scientology. The few remaining bastions of followers being looked upon by the wider world with contemptuous amusement.

      Europe is ahead of the game. The US is about 30 years behind Europe. Much of the rest of the world is 50 – 100 years behind.

      • “The few remaining bastions of followers being looked upon by the wider world with contemptuous amusement.”

        I’m not a religious person by any means, but even I find this offensive.

      • some ideas deserve contempt. Amusement cannot be helped.

      • Your callous ignorance is utterly typical.

      • GaryM’s comment was callous too. Think about that.

      • I praise God in thanks for ironies such as that displayed by one of the more religiously fervent here.
        ================

      • lolwot,

        Nice how one should not denigrate people due to race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. But hey, it’s open season on their religion.

        Oh, and southerners as well.

  43. Hello all: I’m a long-time lurker (and very occasional commenter) and I’m writing to invite feedback on an early draft of The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change, forthcoming in 2014. (My co-author Grady Klein and I have produced two well-received Cartoon Introduction to Economics books; you can find them on Amazon, along with kind words from U Chicago econ chair Harald Uhlig and others. More on my website, http://www.standupeconomist.com.)

    Right now we have a very early draft of the first 6 chapters (on climate science, with impacts and policy to come) and are welcoming feedback via email (yoram ^at^ standupeconomist.com) or on a wiki that we’ve created. Links are below, but I’d like to emphasize that the wiki is open-to-the-public and consequently it’s trivially easy to go in and (for example) delete everything. We’ve had similar wikis for the cartoon econ books and visitors have been respectful of property rights &c, so I hope the same will be true this time too. Details below, and BTW we’re also doing a Kickstarter campaign to raise some funds, but feel free to ignore that :)

    The basics: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/326721047/the-cartoon-introduction-to-climate-change

    The early draft of the first 6 chapters: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/326721047/the-cartoon-introduction-to-climate-change/posts

    The wiki: http://cartoonclimate.wikispaces.com/home

    • Pretty nice, until the point where ‘scientists have largely got it right, their predictions on big picture and detail are great’, and we need to believe the little row of IPCC statements on slide 6 chap 6. If you’ve been here a lot, I figure you would know Judith’s Uncertainty Monster and the evidence of unjustified certainty at the IPCC, not to mention significant divergence of (model) predictions and observations in recent times. Think that Monster would make a great cartoon, and help lend a rather more balanced, ‘the jury is still out regarding anything real damaging’ kind of approach. Otherwise you are backing one ‘side’, and I guess backing either would probably be detrimental for beginner’s guide type literature.

      • Thanks for these comments, Andy, and I hope you can be more specific. We’ll have a section in a later chapter—tentatively titled “Uncertainty”—-where we talk about how sometimes the “scientific consensus” got things wrong (either too high or too low) and would welcome suggestions about specific items there. But as far as I know the Uncertainty Monster doesn’t run counter to the basics of climate science, and that’s the topic of Ch 6. If you think that what we have in Ch 6 (especially pp8-9, where we talk about “successful predictions”) is wrong or is not balanced then please suggest specific edits or otherwise provide details.

    • Hi yoram

      I’ve had a look at the cartoons and have a few comments.

      Firstly, what age group is this aimed at and what level of knowledge do you assume they will have?

      Secondly, it may just be early days and everything will be fixed later, but the text on some of the graphics is quite small and also don’t stand out as they are on a grey background.

      Thirdly, is it intended the book follows the party line or will you be putting over the sceptical viewpoint as well. Its your book and you can do what you want of course, but without knowing the raison d’etre of the book (see point1) its difficult to know whether the bias is important or not.

      all the best
      tonyb

      • Hi Tony, and thanks for your questions:

        1) As with the econ books, our target audience is (1) high school and intro college students and (2) members of the general public who want to know something about the subject but want something fun and accessible. As with the econ books, however, we also want the books to be endorsed by experts in the field, so this is not a “dumbed down” book. (Our goal is for folks to be able to skim it and learn the basics in a few hours, or read it more closely and find entry points to lots of interesting topics. See the cartoon book drafts for details.)

        2) Yes I know the text can be a bit hard to read, mostly with the grayed-out commentary between me and my co-author. Sorry.

        3) If by “party line” you mean IPCC, well, I wouldn’t be asking for comments on this blog if I just wanted to write a cartoon version of AR5. At the same time, I think the IPCC has gotten a lot of stuff right. (If you or others disagree then I’m open to learning more about that.) I’m not sure that really answers your question, but for the record I think the panel in the first chapter that says “maybe climate change is an existential threat and maybe it’s a minor threat” is a good representation of where I’m coming from. Does that help?

      • Yoram

        Thanks for your comments. Like Latimer I am British, so the idea of ‘global warming’ is highly amusing. One third of the world is cooling to one extent or another. Britain has the longest instrumental temperatures in the world to 1660 and we certainly currently see no sign of that steady rise in temperatures the text references. We are now back to the temperatures of the 1700′s and 1500′s and the Met Office are holding conferences to determine why.

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

        So its an inaccurate phrase and I feel you are safer sticking to ‘climate change’ as we can all agree to that happening.

        I am a wee bit surprised at the age group you are aiming at. However it is a work in progress so the end result may appear very different to what I currently see.

        Is the existing agreed text available at a reasonable point size without asides, mark ups or awkward background colours? That would make it easier to read the story line.

        It comes over as a very American book, again nothing wrong with that if that is intended to be your prime audience.
        All the best

        Tonyb

      • 1) I’m not sure what to make of your comment about global warming being “highly amusing”. I suppose I wouldn’t be writing this book if I agreed. We can certainly try to be clear in the book that not every spot on earth is warming.

        2) What age group did you think we were aiming at based on the draft? (Also, I’d encourage you to check out the cartoon econ excerpts—free on my website, http://www.standupeconomist.com—for comparison.)

        3) Sorry, the text is not available in any other format other than the 2 PDFs online. (I’m not holding anything back: I don’t have any other formats either!)

        4) Isaac Newton is in the book… how can you say it seems “very American?” :)

      • Yoram

        I didn’t mean that the concept of global warming was amusing per se, more that we in britain can only wistfully dream about the concept and give a horse laugh at the idea of warming

        Later crops, crops that don’t grow, extra heating costs, increased deaths amongst the elderly are all consequences of what the uk and many other places are experiencing , which is cooling not warming. We had been warming since 1660 in fits and starts, well before co2 was thought to be a problem and it may well be that we will revert to that trend. But the last decade has become increasingly cold and matches various periods in the distant past. The idea that the 1990′s is as warm as it has ever been in a thousand years would be somewhat depressing if our records didn’t show otherwise. It would be useful to explain that not every point in the world is warming by any stretch of the imagination.

        Whilst issac Newton is in the book the basic execution, the use of words etc are American. I assume that is your major audience so please don’t see it as a criticism.

        As for the age group I would have guessed 13 or 14 year olds?I don’t know the age of ‘high school or Intro college students.’

        It is difficult to comment on a work in progress especially when it is impossible to read all the text and thereby understand the whole story.
        Tonyb

      • Tony: I agree that it can be hard to comment on an early draft like this, so please stay tuned for follow-ups in the months ahead!

    • Latimer Alder

      I got as far as the bit where ‘climate change’ was either an existential threat or a minor threat… and gave up. Seems to me that there are some opportunities and good things there as well.

      Simple example – warmer climate in UK gives more crops and less energy needed for heating. Fewer holiday makers need to go to the sunshine beaches of the Mediterranean. Good for our tourist industry, good for farmers, good for our general well-being.

      But you have already started with the idea that it is either bad news or very very bad news.

      I didn’t bother continuing, and nor would I recommend it to anybody else.

      • This is a reasonable comment and I’ll think about changing the text. You are of course free to stop reading, but I think you’re being a little tetchy :)

      • Latimer Alder

        To have even a semblance of balance, you should let the question of goodness or badness (threat or opportunity) of climate change be decided by the reader once all the evidence has been examined.

        But by stating right up front – before the discussion has even started to look at any of the evidence at all – that the only choice is between degrees of badness, you sacrifice any conceit that you are helping the reader to understand…but are instead preaching a pre-determined party line.

        ‘We know a priori that it must be bad .. the only question remaining is how much?’

        which is by no means an obvious proposition.

      • Latimer’s point struck me too. Climate change is inevitable, ongoing and unpredictable. It’s a fact of life, not a threat, and, depending on the nature and locality of the change, it can be an opportunity. It is also not well understood, one reason (among many) that I’m sceptical about trying to achieve a “preferred” climate by high-cost actions with unknown consequences.

        You show human population as perhaps falling from 10 billion to as low as 2 billion. I can’t see any feasible, non-catastrophic, way that that could come about. You also seem to think that it’s a good thing. Human beings are the highest life-form on the planet, perhaps the only one which can undergo spiritual growth, a species to be celebrated not decimated.

        Like Latimer, I gave up. Like Tony B, it looks more suited to a younger and less educated age group than you apparent target, and I would be concerned that it would propagandise rather than inform – we’ve had too much of that already in Australia.

      • Beth Cooper

        Sorry Yoram but I feel even tetchier. While yer
        drawings are very effective, as a teacher I would
        not use this book as an introduction to the topic of
        climate change as I find the presentation selling
        a view point to impressionable students, not trying
        to get them to think about the issue of AGW as a
        theory that is one side in a science debate.The slick
        gee whiz presentation seems to me to encourage
        non critical acceptance of a point of view. Sorry but
        you did ask.
        BC

      • Those who have strong opinions on climate matters could donate to Yoram via his site. Those with a different outlook could give to this young Australian’s project:
        http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/50-to-1-project-the-true-cost-of-action-on-climate-change

        Perhaps both projects could be presented side-by-side in schools. Who doubts the liberalism of educational authorities? That liberal mentality will surely stretch to cover both points of view. As a conservative and skeptic I would rejoice to see both projects promoted concurrently, and I would certainly object if only the skeptic view was given exposure. What would I have to fear?

      • Beth Cooper

        Agree that showing mutiple, not mono arguments re
        ‘climate change’ is the way ter present ter students.
        Colour me anti – shamen – ist, students need ter
        understand ‘we jest don’t *know* ‘ Plenty of times I
        felt like sayin’ ter students:
        Listen youse kids
        This is how it is.
        But … (

      • Latimer Alder

        @Yoram

        OK – I took my medicine, accepted your ‘tetchy’ remark and persevered, I even left a few comments on your wiki.

        But the mechanism for doing so is so unwieldy that I’ve lost the will to live. Is it not possible to simply have the draft and the wiki open simultanesouly so that I can look at the draft and then type my comments. As it is, I have to flip back and forth, remembering which page is which, remember to push edit and save, remember to add my initials. Copy and paste from one to the other is a hit and miss (mostly miss) affair…

        Surely you can do better than this in the year 2013? I worked in IT for a long long time and this level of cumbrousness was leading edge technology in about 1984.

        And I’ve gotta say that the further I got into your draft the more it seemed that it really was just a cartoon version of AR5 with a few mildly amusing jokes.

        Please assure me that further help from us sceptical guys here wouldn’t be just a waste of our time.

        You may not be aware of a current controversy concerning Prof. Lewandowsky – where some rabid warmists flew a false flag and completely misrepresented (i.e fabricated) views which they claimed to be from real sceptical voices. It may go some way to explain people’s reluctance here – especially as you and your co-workers are completely unknown quantities to most of us.

      • Faustino: The “2 billion people” line is a paragraph of the title of a 2009 article by demographer Wolfgang Lutz, published in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: “Towards a world of 2–6 billion well-educated and therefore healthy and wealthy people”. I’m not saying he’s right, but since you “can’t see any feasible, non-catastrophic, way that that could come about” you might want to take a look:
        DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-985X.2009.00612.x

        Beth: No need to apologize, but I’m not going to apologize either. There’s a whole chapter on the scientific method! If you disagree with the contents of that chapter then feel free to make suggestions.

        Latimer: Thanks for whatever comments you were able to make on the wiki, and I’m sorry that you’re having trouble contributing. Feel free to email comments to me and/or post comments in a PDF (if you have Acrobat) and then email them to me. But I will note that you misread Chapter 4 of the book. On the wiki you write “Many observe that – at this scale – CO2 follows the temperature rather than leads it. And so your throwaway on the next page ‘CO2 is the driving force behind the ice ages’ wouldn’t stand up. LA”. But if you go back to that page (the last page of Ch 4) what it says is that it’s easy to get carried away by the correlation between CO2 and temperature, that correlation is not causation, and that Milankovitch (and NOT CO2) sets the tempo for the ice ages. I suppose we could explicitly add something about how temperature lagged CO2 (a point emphasized by many of the climate scientists I talk to) but I don’t think your reading of this section is fair. http://cartoonclimate.wikispaces.com/Ch04+Carbon+dioxide

        PS to Latimer: You write “Please assure me that further help from us sceptical guys here wouldn’t be just a waste of our time.” Well, what I can say is that I value your comments on Ch 1 and Ch 3 and have noted as much on the wiki. So… you’re two for three, which is pretty good IMHO :)

        http://cartoonclimate.wikispaces.com/Ch03+The+ice+ages
        http://cartoonclimate.wikispaces.com/Ch01+Introduction

      • I’d follow the yellow brick curves to ten billion, but realize that there is far more energy in the universe than man will ever utilize. Well, probably.
        ===================

      • Yoram, odds are that the inevitable future cooling will be far more socially devastating than any possible warming man can precipitate. Let the dice roll on and on and on.
        =========

      • This is another reason I started questioning global warming. All one ever hears is about “bad” things that will happen. That doesn’t pass the smell test. That people are so certain there are no advantages to a warmer world is a sign of religious belief and not science. Sort of like lolwot. Bashes religion while exhibiting the characteristics of a devoute believer.

    • Yoram Bauman | May 6, 2013 at 1:23 pm |

      Excellent news!

      It’s nice to hear about another book from possibly the third funniest Economist on the planet, and quite likely the second funniest stand up comedian.

      The comment Harold | May 6, 2013 at 4:20 pm | made should be quite useful in an Economics or Climatology book, as it embodies the concept of shifting curve or system up rather than increasing a value. You kill two birds with one stone, and end-run a huge stumbling block to understanding among the mountain-out-of-molehill set.

      Naturally you’ll expect some less helpful quibbles from your announcement.. I’ll try to disappoint.

      Quibble 1: It’s a very cheery book with a positive, upbeat, optimistic message and a sense of perspective maintained from the outset. Are you sure you’re an Economist?

      2: You use the work ‘good’ a lot; it may be an opportunity to explore the various meanings of good in your contexts.

      3. I’m more troubled by the “try to live like Americans” line on p6 than the warming/insulating/driving hair-split Mosher raised. The line condenses a lot of ideas that are worthy of exploration. Though many people have asked variations of this question, and readers might be seeking an answer within the framework of its unvalidated assumptions, and it’s even a fair question from a moralist’s point of view, how is it an Economist’s question? Maybe I’m posing this quibble awkwardly.

      4. P8 somewhat bothers me. It implies there’s a way to treat all threats as an ordered list, or that there may be a budget cutoff level where lower-priority items must be abandoned. If the threats are holes in the bottom of a rowboat, these approaches don’t work nearly so well. I know p8 reflects Lomborg’s philosophy, and many support it.. but it’s not a neutral position, if Dad represents neutrality.

      5. Same token, threats may also be opportunities.. which might be a concept worth introducing early.

      6. And.. the Alarmist brother seems to represent the worst of the caricature of alarmism, a position that is impossible to reconcile with reasoned argument, while the Denier sister sounds frankly more credible than the majority of people engaged in tribalism opposed to positions that maybe AGW might possibly be a poor plan or more expensive than it’s worth. I know people will tend to say this no matter which side they’re on, about how terribly their side is painted, and how well the other side.. but. Maybe your way makes for better drama, or clarifies some point you’re making?

      7. You really put in writing that it almost never rains in Seattle?! You _are_ a comedian!

      8. p10 says no tropical North Poles.. you mean except the Pliocene, when camels evolved in the tundra ~3 million years ago, right?

      9. It might be worth mentioning in your timeline the arrival of C4 plants. Because what highschool student can resist pineapple and sorghum? And because of the adaptation of plants to lower CO2 levels by this and other mechanisms. Or not. Books are finite.

      10. Were you thinking of using a bank-balance/compound interest metaphor? It looked like it at one point but that thread seems to have disappeared.

      11. You might address the “here in X obscure corner of the globe, it’s cooling” perception by emphasizing probability and chance over certainty a few different times, as you did with the bride gag.

      12. In the Science chapter, the “Good Competing Theory” line is an opportunity to explore that word “good”: What makes a competing theory good? What makes it bad? You’ve mentioned Newton already; I believe mentioning Newton again here — his standards for parsimony (why have two theories when one will do?), simplicity (is this the shortest way to express this explanation without losing anything of value), universality (will this explanation cover more instances and cases and areas than another explanation), and accurate common sense — will give your audience possibly the only window on the philosophy of Science they’ll ever see. And what makes a bad competing theory? One posed for no good reason. ;) But I believe the standard ought be ‘better’ or ‘best’ competing theory, since you have examples of good, bad, better and worse.

      13. Likewise, ‘stronger’ for evidence – more, more accurate, more widespread, more carefully checked, less poorly fit together, less overconfidently taken for granted..?

      I ought have prefaced by iterating that warming isn’t my bag, Forcing is, and I’m a Chaotician, so possibly you might need more siblings, or a crazy uncle, in your family drama.. ;)

      Best of luck with this worthy enterprise.

      • Hi Bart, and thanks for your comments. Regarding your numbered comments:

        2. Hm, maybe I do use the word “good” too much. But note that there’s a whole chapter in Cartoon Micro on “what does good mean”! (It’s about Pareto efficiency and equity &c.)

        3. This will get clarified in Part Two of the book, so stay tuned for more on that.

        4. I’m just saying that thinking of climate change as a “threat” might be a way to find some common ground. I’m not saying it’s the best approach in general.

        5. Latimer also brought this up, and I’m pondering it. Mostly I think it’s a good idea.

        6. Your point here is well-taken. We’re trying to be funny and/or engaging, but perhaps we’re failing at both and should just settle for being more “representative”. But… how to do that without being boring? Will ponder…

        7. http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate.php?location=USWA0395

        8. I’m worried about this frame in general (we write that over the last 30m years Earth’s climate has “calmed down a bit”, meaning no snowball earths and no tropical north poles) but wrt your specific comment about camels in the tundra during the Pliocene: My (fairly uneducated) belief is that, camels or no camels, there were no tropical north poles during the Pliocene. If your understanding is different I hope you’ll point me to a reference! One of my sources is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:All_palaeotemps.png

        9. No space, sorry C4.

        10. It was on the brainstorm list, but we ended up not focusing on it. Hopefully that’s okay and it’s not awkward?

        11. Will hopefully cover this in Part Two.

        12. Will ponder, but space constrains.

        13. Sorry, I don’t get what you’re referencing here or what you’re trying to say. And extra sorry to end on a down note. Thanks for all your comments, I’d welcome more!

    • Yoram Bauman | May 7, 2013 at 9:38 am |

      Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comments.

      I once had a university roommate who aspired to standup comedy/mortuary.

      He had no stage presence, acute stage panic, no timing, no delivery, a severe allergy to smoke, and only the one original joke about animal cruelty. And couldn’t make the grades for mortuary work.

      So far as I can tell from the draft’s smart, funny, well-paced on the markness, in no way does your current effort remind me of him. If anything, it needs a volume two.

      All I meant by #13 is quality of evidence is a divisive, hotly-contested sore spot in discussions especially stemming from the sisters’s side; a little perspective on what the relative strength of the evidence is (in context) might help your target audience should they wander unprepared into an onslaught questioning the quality or quantum of observational data.

      I may have a bias, but I believe camel are always hilarious. http://www.nature.com/ncomms/journal/v4/n3/full/ncomms2516.html — giant arctic camel even moreso.

      Where so many others have hit walls you’ve vaulted over them and this book seems likely to stand among the leaders for its audience http://prezi.com/_fdaogoswjn1/climate-literacy-online-university-degree-certification as you’ve moved forward with good humor and insight into this topic with a book that will benefit many. You focus on teaching the agreement, not fomenting the controversy. All good things.

    • Perhaps spanning the siblings:

      http://climatecrocks.com/2013/05/07/climate-change-not-environmental-existential/

      This is probably as extreme as the existential threat viewpoint gets. My problem with it is I can’t disprove the claims in this presentation on the facts. Comfortingly(?) I also can’t disprove the existential threat of total nuclear war, or asteroid impact, so the existential thread (CAGW) argument isn’t in perspective so serious for me as other arguments.

      And on the sister’s side, if she isn’t off the wall bonkers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sm54OTiTR6E

      Which has the problem that I too find many problems with Cap & Trade too.. and wow, is the production slick.. right up to the point of Tim Ball’s silhouette interview. Except that where they make arguments about the science, it takes very little to deprecate or put them into context, or to research the full context of what each interviewee says and find the shaky bases upon which they depend..

      Now, if the brother or sister is off-the-wall bonkers.. then they’d be writing comments here. ;)

      • The first video is (by its own admission) a polemic and doesn’t really include much in the way of fact. The second video is hard to take seriously. So I’m afraid that neither of these are terribly useful to me.

    • Yoram Bauman | May 9, 2013 at 11:13 pm |

      I can’t disagree. I know _I_ am out of touch with your target demographic and understanding — at even the most simplistically polarized level — their perspectives on climate change.

      I guess my question is.. who does know this?

    • Ask a silly question.. get a slightly outdated, somewhat limited survey sort of on theme answer:

      http://iclimate.org/ccc/Files/A1.pdf

  44. Thanks for these comments, Andy, and I hope you can be more specific. We’ll have a section in a later chapter—tentatively titled “Uncertainty”—-where we talk about how sometimes the “scientific consensus” got things wrong (either too high or too low) and would welcome suggestions about specific items there. But as far as I know the Uncertainty Monster doesn’t run counter to the basics of climate science, and that’s the topic of Ch 6. If you think that what we have in Ch 6 (especially pp8-9, where we talk about “successful predictions”) is wrong or is not balanced then please suggest specific edits or otherwise provide details.

    • Steven Mosher

      One note:

      blankets dont warm you up and insulation doesnt warm your house.
      They reduce the rate of energy loss. Same with GHGs, they dont warm the planet, they reduce the rate of energy loss resulting in a temperature that is warmer than it would have been otherwise.

      Your thermos does not warm your coffee. by restricting losses via radiation it keeps the coffee from loses heat as rapidily as it would otherwise.

      • This is a good point, and we’re clear on that page (Ch 5 p9) that GHGs work “by reducing energy out”. I suppose the issue is that statements about “GHGs warm the planet”, “insulation warms up your house”, “blankets warm up your body” are all relative statements, i.e., there’s a missing “relative to what the planet / your house / your body would be like otherwise”. My inclination is that this is clear enough that the value-added doesn’t justify adding more words, but I’ll ponder it.

      • Steven Mosher

        Yoram the description that GHGs “warm” the planet has been a painfully hard misconception to uproot. It spawned a whole branch of skepticism around the second law. its spawned a whole misconception around ‘back radiation’ warming the oceans. The greehouse metaphor is no better as it spawned the stupid woods experiment which is bad zombie science.
        Over simplifying has consequences.

        In short, you use simplfied words to communicate to an unsophisticated audience. They come away with a cartoon version of the physics. They meet their first skeptic and blamo, they are lost. They have nothing to say.. so they then fall back on “consensus”. Blammo, they get hit again.

        Just saying. I have no constructive suggestion for improvement that meets what I think you want.. shrugs.

      • Even that’s a misconception. GHGs don’t “reduce the energy out”, they increase the driving force necessary for the same energy out. Energy still has to be conserved. Temperature rises because it has to to maintain the outward flux.

      • Have to teach the little kiddies about Planck’s Law and statistical mechanics. No other way, otherwise they become skydragoons. Seriously, without consideration of wavelengths you will fall into a mathematical trap of temperature stasis. That’s what leads them into skydragoon-dom, smart enough to get into trouble.

      • Steve, can you show me experimental verification that any IR absorbing/emitting gas in any concentration can reduce energy loss by radiation over any timescale?

    • Hi Yoram. I realise the work is not finished, and indeed a chapter on uncertainty would be a great addition. I’m no climate science expert (it is the associated social phenomena that interests me most), and many folks here are much more qualified to make specific comment. But if even I can notice a lack of balance, then a whole lot of people will too. Regarding ‘basic climate science’, this depends on what you mean by that. However big and bad the uncertainty monster turns out to be, he won’t impact the physics of CO2 for instance. But the debate isn’t about that anyhow. It’s essentially about how large the net feedbacks (from various mechanisms) are, and this is exactly where uncertainties count. For instance I don’t think anyone could rule out with *absolute certainty* either ‘calamity’ or ‘no real problem’, and so the debate is focussed upon which scenarios are at relatively high or low confidence regarding feedback and sensitvity values. There’s clearly a whole range of passionate opinion on these from a whole bunch of scientists, in which (as for any science), a consensus, even if such ever really existed and wasn’t just a narrative, is not too useful. You only get a consensus worth the name if uncertainty levels are very low, and it is slowly coming to light that this is not the case for understanding of the climate system. It is only my 2cents, but I figure a beginner’s manual should lay out *all* the main positions (there’s a big bunch of ‘Lukewarmers’ too), losing only the total doomsters at one end and the skydragons at the other. It is perfectly valid though, and even neccessary in such a publication I would have thought, to point out the approx levels of relative support for these positions, so clearly the sceptics are a minority. This doesn’t invalidate their science. They may be right; the IPCC line may be right; what matters is that with significantly higher levels of uncertainty coming to light in recent years, no-one really knows.

      • Andy, you write “But if even I can notice a lack of balance, then a whole lot of people will too.” I’m open to the idea that my presentation isn’t balanced, but you need to make the case: I moderated a panel last year with Mike Wallace (a climate scientist I respect greatly) and I asked him what grade he would give the IPCC and he said an “A minus”. If you think they deserve a C or a D or an F (or an A plus) then I’m open to hearing your case, but you need to make the case. I hope you do!

        PS. The range of opinions here are roughly similar to the range of opinions about macroeconomics (e.g., from “End to the Fed” to Modern Monetary Theory). I think we did a decent job of handling things in the Macro book (but of course you can judge for yourself) and I’m optimistic that we’ll do a decent job here, especially with help from you and others.

      • Yoram, I don’t think you’ve quite understood where I’m coming from, otherwise you might see that we can all use ‘argument from authority’. I have no qualifications to challenge the IPCC and I’m not about to make any case for or against them. But I can read, and there are many such cases of each. For instance several previous posts by our hostess, a distinguished atmospheric scientist, suggests she would give a very considerably lower mark to the IPCC than ‘A minus’. Perhaps she’ll leap in with a grade :) But then this is just my nominated climate scientist facing your nominated climate scientist, and while you would be able to muster more if we both went to 1st reserve, 2nd reserve… 101th reserve etc. a majority has very little meaning for a low certainty problem. It just draws a rough sketch of the likely places to be looking (and even then, previous official consensi [is that the plural?] have been flat out wrong – like the several decades of official consensus against plate tectonics, ended only in the sixties I think). The point here is that a beginner’s manual should not try and determine a scientific question that the entire world still hasn’t determined; it should surely lay out the various positions and current weightings (both in terms of current high/low odds scientific horses, and a little on the major socio-political positions that may be unduly influencing the betting system). In terms of how to handle that in your cartoons, is this not also the case with economics? I’m not too familiar with the subject, but surely there is no ‘trumps all’ theory of ecomonics? In your work on that subject, presumably then various positions / theories were expounded.

      • Andy, you wrote “For instance several previous posts by our hostess, a distinguished atmospheric scientist, suggests she would give a very considerably lower mark to the IPCC than ‘A minus’. Perhaps she’ll leap in with a grade :)”

        I’m open to taking a look if you provide links; mostly I associate Judith’s position with the idea that there’s a lot more uncertainty (especially about short-term phenomena like decadal temperature increases) than has been indicated in previous IPCC reports. This strikes me as an important point but not one that runs counter to the description in the cartoon book that climate scientists have been right about the big picture and about lots of the details. If you disagree then, again, I’m happy to consider your argument if you provide links.

        And, for the record, I have asked Judith if she’ll provide comments on the book. Hopefully she’ll say Yes!

      • I’m afraid you’ll have to trawl for the links yourself, Climate Etc has very many posts by now, and I never saved any of the links. I’m glad you’ve asked Judith’s opinion direct, she has deep knowledge not only of the science, but of process and policy interface too. Regarding whether ‘a lot more uncertainty’ significantly impacts how ‘right’ climate scientists have been, remember that the IPCC is still touting essentially unavoidable catastrophophe (if no emissions control). Yet the uncertainty may now be wide enough to not only encompass ‘no catastrophe’, but possibly ‘no problem’ within its total envelope. While this is not the same as saying those scenarios won’t happen (they still could), it puts a whole different light upon the trillions spent and the urgency and the rather unwarranted level of certainty communicated thus far. Coupled with a 15 year+ flatlining of atmosperic temperature that was not an expectation from model outputs, and more importantly *not* an expectation projected to the public (no matter whether some scientists well knew it could indeed happen, whatever the models said), then I think ‘right about the big picture’ can definately be called into question, let alone ‘right about the details’. I recall one of Judtith’s posts last year where she points out that a bunch of consensus scientists ‘were falling over themselves’ to declare that the science *wasn’t* settled; all the more pity that the opposite message had been output for years.

      • Andy: Okay, hopefully Judith will chime in.

  45. Hi Steven: Our cartoon econ books dealt with similar challenges, and I think we succeeded pretty well. I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to succeed pretty well here, too, but it would certainly help to have more feedback from folks like you and Latimer (in a comment up above) who seem to have a predisposition to up and quit. I already said that I’ll ponder your comment, and I will; if you have specific language to suggest I hope you’ll share it, and ditto if you have additional comments. And if you think it’s impossible to communicate with (relatively) unsophisticated audiences about these sorts of topics, then, well, I’ll take that as a challenge :)

  46. “However, there is little support for policies that may do economic damage.”

    Notionally, that might be true, but the reality is that countries *are* implementting energy policies that *are* causing economic damage trying to thwart the “climate change” genie.

    Pro-nuclear is only borderline rational if the price of coal is near doubled by a carbon tax. The politicians quote a carbon price @$/tonne CO2, which has to be multiplied by about 2.9 to get the price per tonne Coal (carbon mass percentage + oxygen mass = CO2 mass). I can’t see how one can double the input price of fossil fuel and end up not causing economic damage.

    • Latimer Alder

      ‘However, there is little support for policies that may do economic damage’

      Perhaps this it true in North America, but in Europe such policies took hold of our political classes about ten years ago and are taking some time to eradicate..

      But as the politicians face the choice between pointless and expensive acts of petty green virtue and angry impoverished voters, even the most green-inclined general pollie is starting to decide that the symbolic acts should be sacrificed before his/her seat. The infestation is being controlled..and is starting to be destroyed.

      There are still some committed True Believers around, but they are increasingly becoming marginalised.,…and getting older, They won’t be in powerful positions for much longer.

      • Peter Lang

        Latimer Alder, I agree with all that. The quote is from my comment so I should explain what I meant by “there is little support for policies that may do economic damage“. I meant that although there was support for such policies in the past (e.g. Kyoto, EU ETS, Australian and NZ carbon pricing schemes) that is no longer the case. People are now concerned about the economic damage such policies do.

        Actually, it always was the case that few would support polices that would do economic damage. The reason they supported those schemes is because they believed what they were told – i.e. they would do no damage, would create wealth, bring employment back to EU, create wealth, create economic growth, and preserve the planet for the grand children. They would never have supported these schemes if they’d known the truth (other than the usual suspects of course).

    • Peter Lang

      blouis79,

      Pro-nuclear is only borderline rational if the price of coal is near doubled by a carbon tax.

      That is true (for Australia) NOW. But I am not talking about now. I am talking about what could be by the mid to late 2020s if the developed countries with nuclear power expertise, especially the USA, implemented policies to remove the impediments (licencing and regulatory) that are causing small modular nuclear power plants to be far more expensive than they could be (by next decade).

      Here is an example. The US DOE has selected the first small modular nuclear power plant to be taken through the licencing process to the point of two units (one plant) being in operation and ‘commercialised’. http://www.babcock.com/products/modular_nuclear/

      The Australian government estimates the cost of electricity of this plant in 2020 at A$113/MWh in Australia (2012 A$). http://www.bree.gov.au/documents/publications/aeta/Australian_Energy_Technology_Assessment.pdf

      Assuming a moderate cost reduction rate of 10% per doubling of capacity (world wide), I calculate its cost of electricity would be the same as a new coal plant in Australia (without CCS) when 2.5GW have been built world wide, and half the cost of new coal in Australia when 200 GW have been built world wide. That is assuming no change in the cost of electricity from coal (which is more likely to increase than decrease).

      Now consider that the cost of nuclear could reduce much faster than 10% per doubling if there is competition between many companies and many countries. There are some 40 small modular nuclear power plant designs described here http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Nuclear-Fuel-Cycle/Power-Reactors/Small-Nuclear-Power-Reactors/#.UYi44qIcbSg , but they are mostly blocked by NRC’s inability to handle more than about three designs at a time

      What I am advocating is that we need to get the blockages and huge licencing costs out of the way.

      • blouis79 and Peter Lang

        I’ve seen studies showing that new nuclear is fully competitive with new coal in most places in the world today without any carbon tax, unless you are sitting smack-dab on top of a coal mine.

        The problem is political and regulatory (as Peter has written).

        Max

      • Peter Lang

        Manacker you are correct, in a way. But there are lots of assumptions.

        - Is there an existing nuclear infrastructure already in operation in the country

        - What is the price of electricity from the alternatives, e.g. new fossil fuel plants. Coal is cheap in Australia and gas is cheap in USA.

        - what is the regulatory risk (e.g the AP1000 being built in China are less than half the cost of the same design in USA, (the cost of local labour is only a small part of that cost difference).

        - what is the financial risk (which are largely due to politics and public perception – look what has happened to the German investors in nuclear power plants for example.

        - discount rates

        - local market conditions

      • Peter Lang

        Manacker,

        I didn’t see your comment until after I’d posted mine. There are several authoritative sources: e.g. IEA, OECD/NEA, EPRI, and Australia’s AETA 2012 report for costs relevant for Australia (see link in my previous comment). With the AETA report you can down load an Excel Spreadsheet and change virtually all the inputs.

      • Peter Lang

        Manacker,

        Here is EIA 2013 “Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2013
        http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/electricity_generation.cfm

      • Peter Lang

        EIA’s 2013 projection of LCOE for new plants being commissioned in USA 2018 (in 2012 US/MWh) are:

        Conventional Coal 100.1
        Conventional Combined Cycle 67.1
        Advanced Nuclear 108.4

        Nuclear is not competitive in USA based on current prices.

  47. Here is a topic, or an assertion if you prefer, for discussion:
    ‘The overall effect of environmentalism in the 20th and 21st centuries has been harmful to society’
    Definitions obviously required for a more precise debate, but the general spirit is clear enough. Climate alarm has played a dominant part in ‘environmentalism’ in the past 30 years or so, and has contributed to this harm in a very big way.
    (I realise I am a few days late for last weekend, but perhaps this may carry over to the next?)

    • John Shade,

      While not directly addressing your comment/question, I urge those interested in your question to read this excellent report by the Cato Institute. It explains, persuasively, that fossil fuels have been highly beneficial for both man AND the environment. http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/humanity-unbound-how-fossil-fuels-saved-humanity-nature-nature-humanity

      My take home message is that if we want to replace fossil fuels we will need an energy supply that is cheaper and fit for purpose (i.e. it does the job). Energy consumption will continue to increase. Anyone who thinks it wont is dreaming. And we will only replace fossil fuels if we have a cheaper option.

  48. Anyone ever considered how Nuclear could reduce energy demand right now, cheaply, safely and with minimal disruption, by simply having more irradiated food processing?

    Irradiated food needs less packaging and no refrigeration. Much of it can be eaten raw safely, where that is to the consumers’ tastes, because there are no microbes to kill off by cooking.

    Yay nuclear technology.