The inevitable climate catastrophe

by Judith Curry

What can we learn from climate of the 17th century about future climate catastrophes?

The Chronicle of Higher Education has an interesting article entitled The inevitable climate catastrophe, by Geoffrey Parker.  Geoffrey Parker is a professor of history at Ohio State University. He is the author, most recently, of  Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century (Yale University Press, 2013).  Excerpts:

In the 17th century, the planet experienced some of the coldest weather recorded in the past millennium. To the English poet John Milton, who experienced these catastrophes, it seemed like “a universe of death.”

So far, most attempts to predict the consequences of climate change look to the future by building on recent trends, but another methodology exists. We can look back to a past climate-induced catastrophe, using sources created by both humans (narrative and pictorial as well as archaeological) and nature (above all, annual ice-core and tree-ring data).

The evidence for major climate change in the 17th century is both copious and unambiguous. Consider the year 1675. In July, the Paris socialite Madame de Sévigné complained to her daughter, who lived close to the Mediterranean: “It is horribly cold: We have the fires lit, just like you, which is very remarkable.” She added: “We think the behavior of the sun and of the seasons has changed.”

Madame de Sévigné was correct on both scores: 1675 is one of the few years with an exceptionally cool summer on record, and the narrow tree rings from that time reveal unusually poor growth; both grape and grains ripened later than at any other time in the previous five centuries.

Nevertheless, it took human stupidity to turn crisis into catastrophe. The meager French harvest of 1675 occurred just as the king raised new taxes to pay for his wars, with predictable results. Many people died of hunger, many more migrated in search of food, and in the west of France, many took part in the “red bonnets” revolts.

The earth also experienced an unusually cold winter in 1620-1, when the Bosporus froze so hard that people could walk across the ice between Europe and Asia—a climatic anomaly. The summer of 1627 was the wettest recorded in Europe for 500 years, and 1628 was another “year without a summer,” with temperatures so low that in many areas food crops never ripened. From 1629 to 1632, northern India suffered a catastrophic drought, while much of Europe suffered excessive rains. In the Alps, unusually narrow tree rings reflect poor growing seasons throughout the 1640s, and glaciers advanced more than a mile. In the Northern Hemisphere, 1641 saw the third-coldest summer recorded over the past six centuries; 1641-2 was the coldest winter ever recorded in Scandinavia; and 1649-50 was the coldest winter on record in both northern and eastern China.

In France, the river Seine has experienced 62 recorded floods, 18 of which occurred in the 17th century. Grape harvests in western France between 1640 and 1643 began a full month later than usual, producing wine too bitter to drink, while grain prices surged as a result of poor cereal harvests. Unseasonable weather in England ruined the corn and hay each year from 1646 to 1651, with five more bad harvests from 1657 to 1661: 11 harvest failures within the space of 16 years. Such abnormal climatic conditions lasted from the 1620s until the 1690s, the longest as well as the most severe episode of global cooling recorded in the past 12,000 years.

That century witnessed more cases of state breakdown around the globe than did any previous or subsequent age. In the coldest decade, the 1640s, Ming China, the most populous state in the world, collapsed; the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the largest state in Europe, disintegrated; much of the Spanish monarchy seceded; and the entire Stuart monarchy rebelled—Scotland, Ireland, England, and its North American colonies. In addition, in 1648 alone, rebellions paralyzed both Russia (the largest state in the world) and France (the most populous state in Europe); while in Istanbul (Europe’s largest city), irate subjects strangled Sultan Ibrahim, and in London King Charles I went on trial for war crimes (the first head of state to do so).

The frequency of popular revolts also increased. In China the number of major armed uprisings rose from under 10 in the 1610s to over 80 in the 1630s, affecting 160 counties and involving well over one million participants. In Switzerland and what is now Germany, of the 25 major peasant revolts recorded in the 17th century, more than half took place between 1626 and 1650. In England, the number of food riots rose from 12 between 1600 and 1620 to 36 between 1621 and 1631, with 14 more in 1647-9. In France, popular revolts peaked, both absolutely and relatively, in the mid-17th century.

The fatal synergy among climate change, revolution, war, and rebellion produced human mortality on a scale seldom seen before and never since. In China, the emperor acknowledged that “over half of the population perished” in the violent transition from Ming to Qing.

Only Japan took appropriate action. Episodes of extreme weather that killed half a million people in the 1630s persuaded the Tokugawa shogun to create more granaries, upgrade communications infrastructure, and avoid foreign wars, in order to accumulate sufficient food reserves to cope with future disasters. So although extreme weather persisted, Tokugawa Japan enjoyed peace and prosperity.

Studying the causes of climate change and the various coping strategies from 350 years ago will not prevent the onset of another catastrophe in the 21st century. Nevertheless, the mean global temperature today differs by one or two degrees from the 20th-century average—the same order of magnitude as in the 17th century—and the fact that we face an increase (rather than a fall) of 2 degrees Celsius has not reduced the frequency of extreme weather events or their adverse impact on humanity.

As the paleontologist Richard Fortey has observed: “There is a kind of optimism built into our species that seems to prefer to live in the comfortable present rather than confront the possibility of destruction,” with the result that “human beings are never prepared for natural disasters.”

Some have learned from history and taken appropriate action. In 1966 the British government asked the scientist Hermann Bondi to assess whether a flood tide might inundate London. A mathematician by training, he devoted much attention to assessing risks, but he also consulted historical sources and found that the height of storm tides recorded at London Bridge had increased by more than three feet since 1791 (when records began). Although he could not explain the reason for the increase, Bondi predicted that it would continue and warned that “a major surge flood in London would be a disaster of the singular and immense kind,” one that would deliver “a knockout blow to the nerve centre of the country.” He therefore unequivocally recommended the construction of a Thames barrier.

The barrier was completed in 1982, at the stunning cost of $800-million—but it now protects not only the “nerve centre of the country” but also property with a current value of $300-billion. It has already been activated more than 100 times, sparing London the fate of New Orleans in 2005 and New York in 2012 in the face of natural disasters that are inevitable.

Unfortunately, the current debate on climate change favors procrastination because it confuses two issues: whether the global climate changes, and, if so, whether humans are to blame. Some people still doubt the second proposition (just as some people still deny that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer), but the 17th-century record leaves no doubt about the first: Climate change occurs, and it can have catastrophic consequences. This cruel calculus has not changed. The global crisis of the 17th century killed millions of people, but a natural catastrophe of similar proportions today—regardless of whether humans are to blame—will kill billions of people. It will almost certainly also produce dislocation and violence, and it will compromise international security, sustainability, and cooperation.

So while we argue over whether or not our climate is changing, and (if so) who is to blame, let us also anticipate—and try to mitigate—the sort of catastrophes that history shows are inevitable.

JC comments:  This essay reminds us that global cooling can be catastrophic.  The essay assumes that any climate change (either warming or cooling) is potentially catastrophic, begging the question as to whether warm anomalies are more or less catastrophic than cold anomalies.  Further, extreme flooding events seem to occur in anomalously cold climate conditions as well as in anomalously warm climate conditions.

I found these statements to be particularly profound:

Unfortunately, the current debate on climate change favors procrastination because it confuses two issues: whether the global climate changes, and, if so, whether humans are to blame.

So while we argue over whether or not our climate is changing, and (if so) who is to blame, let us also anticipate—and try to mitigate—the sort of catastrophes that history shows are inevitable.

The essay makes a compelling case for increasing resilience to climate catastrophes.

688 responses to “The inevitable climate catastrophe

  1. maksimovich

    Unfortunately, the current debate on climate change favors procrastination because it confuses two issues: whether the global climate changes, and, if so, whether humans are to blame.

    indeed the focus is not on what is causing the excursions (the physical) but on who is causing the excursions( the anthropocentric).

    The references to Tokugawa is interesting as he was responsible for adaption of floodplain regions in Edo by redirecting rivers and flood banks

  2. There will be no catastrophe. Nearly everyone, (including myself until a year ago) is still sucked into the line of thinking first thrust upon the world by the AGW crowd, namely that it is all to do with radiative forcing. Yes, this includes virtually all other PSI members..

    I have been thinking this through for a long time and am now firmly of the opinion that all these energy budgets are incomplete, mainly because they don’t show the missing link. On Venus and Uranus that missing link is a huge amount of energy which must flow downwards in the atmosphere. It’s quite a lot on Earth too. Over the life of these planets there has been a build up of thermal energy from the Sun which can’t escape.

    So these planets (Uranus, Venus, Earth) are not still cooling off. It’s cold out there where Uranus is because it only receives about 3W/m^2 in the very top of its atmosphere. It could easily have cooled off, but for the one thing that stops it. And that one thing is the gravitationally induced thermal gradient which forms by diffusion at the molecular level,, because molecules in free flight between collisions interchange kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy. In just two lines of calculations, you can derive the -g/Cp value by equating PE and -KE. Kinetic energy will tend towards being homogeneous during collisions, but only at each altitude. Inter-molecular radiation reduces the gradient by up to about a third, but by less than 5% on Uranus where there is just a little methane causing that.

    The Clausius (hot to cold) statement of the Second Law is not comprehensive and for conduction and diffusion it only applies in a horizontal plane. The process described in the Second Law means that thermodynamic equilibrium evolves spontaneously, and, in the process of maintaining such equilibrium there must evolve a temperature gradient. Most importantly, extra energy absorbed at higher altitudes can actually flow up this gradient because that will help restore the equilibrium.

    • The primary determinants of atmospheric and surface temperatures are then based on the autonomous thermal gradient and the overall level of the plot of temperature against altitude. This level is set by the need for radiative balance and, in general, radiative balance cannot be disturbed by internal processes, such as back radiation.

      A planet’s surface temperature just depends on where the plot of temperature against altitude intersects the surface. On Uranus the temperature at the base of the theoretical troposphere is about 320K. This is all in line with calculations, and, if there were a surface there, then it too would be 320K – hotter than Earth’s surface, even though no direct solar radiation even reaches down there through 350Km of atmosphere that’s mostly hydrogen and helium. There is thought to be a solid core with about half the mass of Earth, but that’s roughly 20,000Km further down and it may be about 5000K.

      So, as on Venus also, where it’s about 730K at the surface, the temperature of a surface is all to do with the height of the atmosphere through which the temperature plot reaches hotter and hotter temperatures the closer it gets towards the surface. It has nothing to do with radiative forcing. It has nothing to do with any greenhouse effect. It has nothing to do with carbon dioxide.

  3. “So while we argue over whether or not our climate is changing, and (if so) who is to blame….”

    Love the “(if so).” Skepticism after my own heart.

    Oh, and the 17th century cold may have been a local event. Who knows what temps were doing in the Marianas Trench?

    Where’d my tongue go?…Oh, there it is, in my cheek.

  4. There is no mention that the period discussed by Prof. Parker coincided with the Maunder minimum. Some of us dont think this was a coincidence. Some of us think the upcoming Eddy minimum will be similar to the Maunder minimum. ‘nuf said.

    • Eddy is recognised as the man who caused the Maunder minimum to be named after Maunder.

      Eddy did not predict this upcoming minimum. Landscheidt did predict it back in 1983 iirc and so the name of the minimum rightfully belongs to Landscheidt. Landscheidt also thought that this minimum would see an equivalent drop as was seen during the Maunder minimum.

      No organisation has yet officially adopted a name for the forthcoming minimum despite the support of Svalgaard for Eddy. Where it not for the fact that Landscheidt had predicted the minimum so long ago then perhaps the choice of name might have been a more even battle, but since only one man predicted this forthcoming minimum and did so many years ago then that man deserves the honour. Landscheidt.

  5. “Unfortunately, the current debate on climate change favors procrastination because it confuses two issues: whether the global climate changes, and, if so, whether humans are to blame. Some people still doubt the second proposition (just as some people still deny that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer), but the 17th-century record leaves no doubt about the first.”
    By the above statement Parker shows a total lack of intellectual rigour and the nauseating barking of an activist.
    The hypothesis is that man made CO2 emissions will cause catastrophic global warming. The hypothesis fails on all evidence. Parker then uses the tactic of anyone who cannot support their arguments with facts by using the well and trusted straw man argument. Who says man does not affect climate who says that climate doesn’t change? Ah the smoking argument?
    As a historian Parker should know that warmer climates result in more prosperous nation states.
    If Parker had any understanding of science he would not write such garbage?

    • Stacey,
      I picked up on the same thing (skeptic, smoking link). It’s sad that people have to dive into the mud to try to make a point. An ugly spot on an otherwise decent article.

      • ‘Flatland’ is useful for the perspectives on climate. No, no, not flat earth!
        ==========

      • It’s valid point though.

        Plenty of skeptics DO deny that humans cause the world to warm (AGW). It’s valid to compare this denial to denial that smoking causes cancer, as both positions in my opinion are based on denying an overwhelming weight of evidence.

        Stacey claims ignorance about these skeptics that deny AGW. She only has to read this very thread though to see people not accepting that human CO2 emissions cause warming.

      • lolwot, “Plenty of skeptics DO deny that humans cause the world to warm (AGW). It’s valid to compare this denial to denial that smoking causes cancer, as both positions in my opinion are based on denying an overwhelming weight of evidence. ”

        Make a full comparison, skeptics believe that passive smoke risk is much lower than reported and that the A in AGW is overstated. In a “normal” debate, you could work on some compromise. Once it becomes political though, both sides over play their positions to get a better compromise by yielding less ground. The Merchants of Doubt mentality captures the gray area forcing an all or nothing result. The smoking card, radiation card and nature card all force a greater response than necessary.

        Using linear no threshold modeling, you can make anything have some significant risk, even water, dihydrogen monoxide, which I am sure 97% of all scientists will agree, can be hazardous to your health.

      • Passive Smoking is a good analogy but is nowhere near as effective as environmental lead poisoning in its similarity.

        Every country that has put in policies curtailing use of lead as an additive has seen their crime rate reduced by almost 50% if I recall correctly.

        This is a societal fix that has done everyone good and it was uncovered by progressive scientists and instituted by progressive politicians.

        Bring this topic up and right-wing tools such as Cappy and Wagathon and GaryM remain silent. Instead argue about passive smoking which is statistically harder to confirm as an environmental concern.

      • “Plenty of skeptics DO deny that humans cause the world to warm (AGW).”

        AGW does not stand for the proposition that “humans cause the world to warm.” It stands for the proposition that, everything else being equal, human emissions of GHGs. land use, black carbon and other activities CAN contribute to warming, and APPEAR to have had some modest effect to date.

        That is unless you use the Mosher/Orwell definition of warming that includes a (still modest) reduction in the rate of cooling.

      • Rob Starkey

        Gary

        I think more accurate would be: It stands for the proposition that, everything else being equal, human emissions of GHGs. land use, black carbon and other activities will contribute to warming, and APPEAR to have had some modest effect to date.

      • Rob Starkey,

        You are probably right. Most skeptics put more confidence in the reported temp records than i do.

      • The perturbations caused by the Left’s disruption of the free market system and their bridges to nowhere are far more destructive of society than a cigarette smoker.

      • As predicted, the right-wing tools GaryM and Wagathon ignore the example of eliminating lead as a poison from the environment and atmosphere.

        It is clear that these dudes are pure reactionaries who would rather see the world go down in flames and return to the stone age than concede that large-scale collaborative efforts can work.

      • Rob Starkey

        Webby

        Your comparison of the removal of lead from gasoline and other products to the potential removal of CO2 from the atmosphere seems deeply flawed.
        The removal of lead required a much lower level of disruption to the world’s or a nation’s economy. If a particular nation chooses to not participate it doesn’t hurt anyone but their own citizens. There was much more direct cause and effect demonstrating that lead causing harm to humans exposed than there is to any particular level of atmospheric CO2 causing more or less harm to humans.

      • Ringo,
        Each year conventional crude oil becomes more and more scarce. This is a huge disruption on every aspect of the world’s economy. The synergy between adopting alternative forms of fuel and risk mitigating climate change is clear.

        Removing lead from gasoline wasn’t even a No Regrets policy, as it did improve efficiency and the regret would be that mileage would worsen and no economic benefit would occur. Yet we have a clear No Regrets policy combining AGW risk mitigation with alternative fuels, as we will need something to replace fossil fuels.

        You have no answer other than to suggest that the free market will take care of it.

      • Freedom dies a little bit every day. Censored or not — Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Khmer Rouge, Nadolf Nitler, EPA, Al Gore — when putting the liberal fascism of today’s secular socialists into a proper historical perspective we cannot avoid seeing the socialism of the Left has a horrible record and atrocities measured in millions of deaths.

      • Webster, “Every country that has put in policies curtailing use of lead as an additive has seen their crime rate reduced by almost 50% if I recall correctly.”

        In that ballpark and no doubt switching to unleaded gasoline had a significant impact, but even a majority of that being due to switching to unleaded is unlikely. The reduction in average birth rate is likely a major factor, fewer kids, better supervision, less troubled kids, just more obese kids not allowed to play dodge ball. But let’s say that it is all due to the wisdom of getting the lead out.

        The same team using the same methods finds that a bland diet of kibbles and bits with soy milk reduces the risk of heart disease by 80%. Then based on that diet being within 5 blocks of a barbeque joint increases your risk of heart disease by 20%, actually eating a pulled pork sandwich increases the risk to 30% and bacon wrapped pork tenderloin sandwich consumption doubles your risk of both heart disease and cancer relative to the “control” diet of Kibbles and Bits. Then we should ban all but the healthiest of the healthy and start a new FBB agency, Federal Bureau Barbeque, to enforce tighter cuisine options, right?

      • It’s kinda sweet, ain’t it, Max?
        =======

      • That, capt’n and carbon dioxide ain’t no lead.

      • If it were, a lot of density would have been deleted.

        Alchemy alert. If we could only turn CO2 into gold. Oh, wait.
        =========

      • 97% percent of climate skeptics are Australian and worshipers of Pazuzu, the demon from The Exorcist. I seem to recall that figure from somewhere. 50% of them want to feed lead to baby dolphins. That’s another figure I recall from somewhere. Admittedly, 50% is a bit too round and not sciency enough – but we can always get Lewandowsky to survey. He’ll give us hard figures on these skeppos – with decimal points even!

      • Cappy asserted :

        “In that ballpark and no doubt switching to unleaded gasoline had a significant impact, but even a majority of that being due to switching to unleaded is unlikely. The reduction in average birth rate is likely a major factor, fewer kids, better supervision, less troubled kids, just more obese kids not allowed to play dodge ball. But let’s say that it is all due to the wisdom of getting the lead out.”

        Nevin did the groundbreaking work of mapping the reduction of crime after lead was removed in several different countries.

        http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/35338/1/MPRA_paper_35338.pdf

        It is not a USA-only effect.

        Others have done the research for individual cities. As an example, some of the tax-sponging cities in The South were late on banning lead (go figure) and the lag was still the same. Northern cities had lower crime rates well before the southern cities.

        Ever notice how you hear more about crimes in rural areas these days? They never had that big a problem with atmospheric lead and so what is happening is that the urban areas are reducing the crime rate via removing lead while the rural are staying about the same, therefore making the rural rates more apparent.

        Like climate science, this is a well-researched field with a heavy emphasis on statistical analysis. The Cook 3% don’t believe in the lead-poisoning/crime-rate link, just like they don’t believe in AGW.

      • Steven Mosher

        “That is unless you use the Mosher/Orwell definition of warming ”

        Thank you for the top billing!

      • Rob Starkey

        Webby
        You write some very silly comments.

        I pointed out the flaws in your comparison of the removal of lead from products and the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere and you respond with your usual rant about the long term inevitable reduction in the availability of conventional oil. That really has nothing to do with the fact that your initial comparison is flawed.

        You close with this zinger– “You have no answer other than to suggest that the free market will take care of it.”
        Webby- The topic is not “Long Term Energy Policy- What Should the US Do?” I did not have a question to answer.
        You believe the fact that fossil fuel resources (in your case especially conventional oil) will eventually be depleted being directly linked to the need to take urgent action to switch to other forms of energy production and thereby most likely reduce CO2 emissions. That is your belief. Others do not see it as an issue as critical as you do over the time scale that you believe is important.

      • “we have a clear No Regrets policy combining AGW risk mitigation with alternative fuels”

        We have a new entrant in the “Dumbest Comment on Climate Etc Ever” sweepstakes, and it’s a doozy.

      • Wait a minute… is he serious? Is he saying–e.g., all ME violence is due to the lead in Arab drinking water and ipso facto the Left should be given total control over the US economy?

      • Ringo,
        All you ever do is play your little rhetorical games with your rhetorical questions. The fact is that the world is more than the USA, and that people interacting with climate and the natural resources of our environment makes it a system science. If you want to get with the program, don’t take such a narrow political view like your right-wing tool buddies such as Garym and Wagathon.

        It is fun to watch you dudes start frothing at the mouth when all I do is present analysis.

      • Rob Starkey

        Webby

        Yet another in your almost endless line of really silly meaningless comments that do not relate to what was previously written.
        Webby writes:
        “The fact is the world is more than the USA”
        My response- Yes, the world is made up of approximately 200 INDEPENDENT nations with different goals as well as different resources that will be impacted by a changing climate in different ways. Over the next several decades the over 3 billion people that reside in nations other than the US that want access to electricity and personal transportation will be driving CO2 emissions increases.
        Webby writes:
        “If you want to get with the program, don’t take such a narrow political view”
        My response- I look at the world as it actually exists and not as it is in some fantasy. What “program” is it you are fantasizing about? Is there a program guide? What channel is it on? My political view is very issue specific btw.

      • Ringo,
        I notice your infatuation with the climate, as opposed to the environment, which includes the natural resources as well as the climate. To take this all in, we treat it as a system and apply system science principles to understanding where we might be headed.

        You really have no response and are dumbfounded that scientists are approaching it this way. Just take a look at climate scientist Pierrehumbert’s article in Slate on The Myth of Saudi America.

      • Rob Starkey

        Webby
        At least you are consistent. Another in your long string of useless comments.
        How about you try to suggest the specific policies that you think make sense for the US to adopt in response to your belief that immediate action is necessary to move away from fossil fuel consumption.

      • “The ongoing push to squander billions of dollars and sacrifice our economies on the altar of climate change is dangerous nonsense. Like sundry other isms, Climatism is a triumph of belief over evidence, of righteousness over reason.” ~Walter Starck

      • Look up a report by David Wojick, longtime denizen, called “Carbon storage in soil, the ultimate no-regrets policy”

        I bet Wojick wishes that all copies of that report have been burned.

        There are so many no-regrets aspects to reducing carbon it would make your head spin. It is defined as any policy that would generate net social and/or economic benefits irrespective of whether or not anthropogenic climate change occurs. Since countries can make these policy decisions, it is up to us to keep up and thus remain competitive.

      • Rob Starkey

        Webby
        You have written yet another strange comment.
        You mention a report written by David Wojick and seem to think it has merit, but then claim that he wishes that the report be burned. Why?
        You mention the obvious that there are many no regrets policies. I agree, although I think the most productive are associated with the construction and maintenance of robust infrastructure and not CO2 mitigation.
        How about YOU try to get away from generalities and identify two or three actions that you believe are no regrets policies for reducing CO2 emissions in the USA. BTW- a no regrets policy would not result in a country becoming potentially less competitive in comparison to its competitors and thereby damaging its economy.

      • Ringo,
        Like Wojick, you are a hypocrite and only wish to argue for arguments sake. Like Wojick, you will take any position just to get your jollies.

        And then you bring your own spin into it, which is to constantly ask these inane rhetorical questions. I bet when you were in school, you wrote in your exam blue book “Is this problem solvable?” or “Why did you ask this question?”.

        Listen, we do analysis, statistics, math, etc because we have the skills and think it can help understand the world we live in.

        I can’t help that the pipe up your butt has a stick rammed into it.

      • @ Webhub. Perhaps a similar improvement might be gained by the discontinuation of mercury in teeth fillings.

        In the UK dentists have topped the suicide table in the past, and some research using that child’s plastic toy with 6 shaped holes, circle, star, square etc, and a plastic hammer shows that dentists are far slower than the rest of the population at completing it.

        Not exactly a reassuring thought as you hear the sound of that dentists drill.

    • Professor Parker is one of my favorite historians. Among the top military historians there is. However I can’t help but think he’s gone over board with this statement “global crisis of the 17th century killed millions of people, but a natural catastrophe of similar proportions today—regardless of whether humans are to blame—will kill billions of people”.

      We are far more capable of dealing with catastrophy today then we were in the 17th century. By Proferssor Parker’s logic, warfare in the 21st century would involve the death of tens of millions rather than the hundreds of thousands in the 17th century.

      His article raises the question of whether there have been any similar climate change induced catastrophic periods in history where the change was to a warmer climate. I can think of climatic changes (at least that is the theory) in Central American and the American SW where changes in parcipitation contributed to the fall of societies. But I seem to recall that the change was to a cooler, dryer climate.

      • this is an interesting point, I thought of this. what catastrophes can we attribute to the (mostly natural) rise in temperature between the LIA and 1950?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      webby brings up the ultimate system science – environmental science – with but forgets people as usual – as the central organizing principle. Environmental science can be very technocratic – and so an intrinsic danger. Or it can include societies at the core of the definition of the environment and include social perspectives of bottom up management of global commons – such as that of Elinor Ostrom. http://elinorostrom.indiana.edu/

    • @WebHubTelescope (@whut) | June 4, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
      WHT said:
      “Each year conventional crude oil becomes more and more scarce. ”

      As if the IMO artificial distinction mattered at all.

      “All great floods start with a single drop.

      Associated Press

      U.S. domestic crude oil output inched ahead of imports last week for the first time since January 1997.

      Straight up, the volume involved translates to a rounding error, a mere 32,000 barrels a day out of production of 7.3 million barrels a day. That’s only a fraction of a second’s worth of feed for the nation’s refineries.

      But the achievement speaks volumes about where the U.S. has come from in the past 16 years and the tidal wave of change coming within the next 18 months alone.

      Since January 1997, weekly U.S. crude oil imports averaged near 9.2 million barrels a day, topping domestic output by 3.5 million barrels a day, or more than 60%.

      Until now. The reset button has been hit.

      Output from shale-oil fields in North Dakota and elsewhere, both in and out of the traditional oil patch, is gushing at more than one million barrels a day above a year ago. Hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling and other techniques are set to lift output by a further 1.3 million barrels a day by the end of 2014. Output will hit a 28-year high of near 8.6 million barrels a day, say government forecasters at the Energy Information Administration.”

      http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2013/06/05/dj-energy-matters-u-s-crude-oil-flows-pushing-imports-aside/

  6. Nevertheless, it took human stupidity to turn crisis into catastrophe.

    A serious statement ironically one that is also rich…talk about ‘teeing one up’, ‘red-meat’, ‘a hanging curve’,… :oP

    To me unintentionally subtle as a chainsaw.

    Our entire management of the globe-warming issue seems to a human contrived catastrophe–regardless of one’s point-of-view, regardless of the underlying ‘truth’. Of course I presume your intent is to probe the particular bad dreams from the different camps, but …

  7. The intention with the (my) comment above is not a flip negative tiff, but expression of a real sense that because of it has unfurled, particularly in having injected into the deeps recesses of the ‘debate’ what seems to be impasse of ideologies we are wired for economic and/or physical disaster.

    • tiff should be riff … something Freudian there? Nah, fat-fingered.

      • Third question, will more warming be a net positive. I don’t believe anyone has demonstrated with any degree of certainty it will be worse than now.

      • It is demonstrable in the record that warming is better for the biome and for human society, sustaining more total life and more diversity of life. The corollary can also be demonstrated.

        Sure, if sensitivity is high enough it could get too hot, but were sensitivity such, then we would already be catastrophically colder without Man’s input.

        I’ll keep thinking of other ways to say the same thing. Ah, language.
        ===========

      • “Sure, if sensitivity is high enough it could get too hot, but were sensitivity such, then we would already be catastrophically colder without Man’s input.”

        that’s not correct. uncertainty in aerosols, thermal inertia and future emissions mean we cannot determine so easily the ratio of past warming to future eventual warming.

      • Sure it all comes down to attribution. Ask Muller, but not moshe.
        =============

      • It is demonstrable in the record that warming is better for the biome and for human society

        Better to be swimming in warm water, huh?

      • Kim is crazy. The LIA would have been no problem at all to a modern population:

        So France got a little cold. Poor things.

      • Kim is a bot programmed to rationalize any outcome.

        “I’ll keep thinking of other ways to say the same thing. Ah, language.”

        I wouldn’t exactly call it thinking. Program in talking points from the right-wing spin machine and press Enter.

      • JCH,

        Fortunately we have the technology to address those warm water cooties.

        When are folks going to stop with the ridiculeous “warmer temps will bring increases in tropical diseases” meme?

      • They don’t like the “loony vaxxers will bring increases in tropical (and other) diseases” meme. Truth hurts.

      • Tim – my Dad would never buy cattle south of Nebraska because they had too many diseases. Don’t know if that was superstitious or true. But in general he was a cow wizard.

        The Dakotas are cold as the blazes. Never saw it as a problem. Have seen heat and drought kill plants in the ground by the billions.

    • I found these statements to be particularly profound:

      Unfortunately, the current debate on climate change favors procrastination because it confuses two issues: whether the global climate changes, and, if so, whether humans are to blame.

      So while we argue over whether or not our climate is changing, and (if so) who is to blame, let us also anticipate—and try to mitigate—the sort of catastrophes that history shows are inevitable.

      And so what do/can we do? Note the profound and continue business usual? (Rhetoric, not at Dr C…these can not be rare thoughts these days.

  8. Sting in the tail of that article. I was convinced this was going to be one of those “warm is good” arguments, but no, quite the opposite.

  9. You have to think that liberals running New York don’t really take global warming seriously. I don’t know of any initiative to beef up infrastructure to withstand a rise in water. Heck, NY couldn’t even handle a barely-cat-1 hurricane.

  10. We may be facing climate challenges, but not from AGW. After all AGW due to human emissions of radiative gases is a physical impossibility.

    One of the foundation claims of the failed AGW hypothesis is that an atmosphere without strongly radiative gases would be significantly cooler than our current atmosphere. Dr. Spencer presents an analysis of such a “Non-radiative” atmosphere here –

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/12/what-if-there-was-no-greenhouse-effect/

    Unfortunately this analysis contains a critical error. Dr. Spencer claims that such an isothermal atmosphere would have its temperature set by surface Tav. The temperature would instead be set closer to surface Tmax, as demonstrated by empirical experiments 4 &5 here –

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/05/a-comparison-of-the-earths-climate-sensitivity-to-changes-in-the-nature-of-the-initial-forcing/#comment-1267231

    This means that an atmosphere without radiative gases would be far hotter than our current atmosphere. Radiative gases therefore act to cool our atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

    So what are the real environmental and climate challenges we are facing?
    1. Uncertainty about regional temperatures and agriculture during the Eddy Minimum.
    2. Unprecedented levels of ground, water and air pollution in the developing world.

    What has the AGW hoax achieved?
    1. Climate science totally discredited.
    2. Environmental movement totally discredited.

    Brilliant! And now, instead of folding as quickly as possible, team AGW is wasting more time in a pointless effort to engineer a “soft landing” for the fellow travellers in the hoax. Absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much for your contribution Dr. Parker. /sarc>11

    • Konrad is a krank and a krackpot.

      Most of these characters are fooled by the fact that heat exists across a spectrum of photonic wavelengths,, and it is the differential response of GHGs to ranges of wavelengths which gives rise to warming.

      • “krank and a krackpot.” LOL.

        WHUT,
        your response involving wavelengths indicates you clearly don’t understand the nature of the problem or the purpose of the experiments. “Out of you depth on a wet pavement” doesn’t cover it. How about, “So far out of your depth the fish have lights on their noses”? ;-)

        Your kneejerk wavelength response to a question of gas conduction and fluid dynamics indicates that you may have erroneously assumed that I have some association with the “slayers”. I do not. Anthony Watts has destroyed the slayers with empirical experiments. It is no longer workable to point at any challenging the radiative GHE hypothesis and shriek “slayer”. I can also easily trash the slayer claims with this simple experiment design –
        If you have access to both high torr vacuum pump and peltier cooling chips the experiment build is easy. Build two evacuated test chambers similar to this one –

        – with internal matt black target plates and external SW illumination. An exploded view of the internals here –

        – the only difference between the chambers is the matt black foil layer in chamber 1 between the target plate and the -25C base plate. Shown in cut away here –

        – It does not effect the experiment that the target plate is illuminated from the “back”. Controlled sources of energy external to the chambers is important. The two shell experiment works, however it is totally inapplicable to a moving gas atmosphere.

        Pekka understands the problem and Dr. Spencers error-
        “Konrad’s point that an isothermal atmosphere would have a temperature close to the hottest spot of the surface is correct.”
        – but not perhaps the full answer.

        The answer is this, an atmosphere without radiative gases would not be 33C cooler, it would be far hotter. Therefore radiative gases act to cool our atmosphere. The radiative GHE hypothesis is therefore false.

        What about the surface under a non radiative atmosphere? Would that be 33C cooler as claimed by the AGW pseudo scientists? No. It may be cooler but not 33C cooler. Build and run Experiment 1 at the link in my previous comment. Incident LWIR does not effect the cooling rate of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool in the same manner as other materials. However as it only effects 71% of the earth’s surface some may also consider this a minor or non essential error. ;-)

        How much hotter a non radiative atmosphere would get is a more difficult question. N2 and O2 do absorb a small amount of UV/SW/IR and are poor emitters of IR. In the thermosphere this leads to very high molecular temperatures. For an isothermal atmosphere in which convective circulation has stalled, gases trapped at altitude would be subject to this super heating. It is likely that the planet would lose most of its atmosphere to space without radiative gases. It should be noted that there are no planets or moons in our solar system that have managed to retain an atmosphere without radiative gases.

      • Konrad, would you at least agree that a hypothetical surface with an albedo of 0.3 at earth’s distance has to radiate at 240 W/m2 to maintain equilibrium with solar absorption? This is equivalent to a temperature of 255 K. Agreed?

      • maksimovich

        Hansen uses an albedo of .306 -which gives a surface T of -18.8c
        .3 gives a ST of -18.3c Observations (Ramanathan) are .286 or -17c We now have a range of 1.8c greater then the so called instrumental AGW forcing.This is a first order problem solve it.

      • The point is that all these numbers are far from 288 K.

      • No, Jim. You are making the same mistake as Dr. Spencer. You are using averages. We need to review the “Do nots” of atmospheric modelling –

        A. Do not model the “earth” as a combined land/ocean/gas “thingy”
        B. Do not model the atmosphere as a single body or layer
        C. Do not model the sun as a ¼ power constant source without diurnal cycle
        D. Do not model conductive flux to and from the surface and atmosphere based on surface Tav
        E. Do not model a static atmosphere without moving gases
        F. Do not model a moving atmosphere without gravity
        G. Do not model the surface as a combined land/ocean “thingy”
        H. Do not apply SB equations to a moving gaseous atmosphere

        To agree to your figure, I would need to commit “C”. Not going to happen. ;-)

        To understand the role of radiative gases in our atmosphere it is necessary to model an atmosphere without radiative gases. Dr. Spencers 2009 description is largely correct, however he commits the “do nots” C & D. This results in getting the wrong answer for the temperature of the resulting isothermal atmosphere. Empirical experiments 4 & 5 demonstrate that a non radiative atmosphere would initially* have its temperature set by surface Tmax NOT surface Tav as Dr. Spencer claims. This would result in an atmosphere far hotter than our current atmosphere containing radiative gases, thereby disproving the AGW hypothesis.

        In response to WHUT, I provided an experiment design for a two shell radiative model. It works. It just does not work for a moving atmosphere. The radiative physics of the failed AGW hypothesis solves for radiative exchange between the surface and atmosphere while decoupling the role of radiative gases in tropospheric convective circulation. For an atmosphere in which the gases are free to move, radiative gases act to cool at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

        *Initially. Without radiative cooling at altitude driving tropospheric convective circulation, stagnated N2 and O2 would be subject to radiative super heating.

      • Konnie, You can’t just use words and ignore the math. I realize that you don’t believe in averages, but if the effect is as big as you claim, you should be able to derive it in a few steps.

        The great physicists of any era could do this, as well as the physics professors of any decent school. You obviously are not of that caliber unless you can derive a first order calculation of the effect that you would expect to see..

      • Konrad, WHUT seldom makes sense, don’t bother.

      • So Konrad is not only a psuedoscientist and crank but also a conspiracy but too. For anyone who doesn’t realize, he’s subscribing the theory that someone at google is part of the illuminati.

      • Maks, “Hansen uses an albedo of .306 -which gives a surface T of -18.8c
        .3 gives a ST of -18.3c Observations (Ramanathan) are .286 or -17c We now have a range of 1.8c greater then the so called instrumental AGW forcing.This is a first order problem solve it.”

        Right, so there is a +/- 2 C error range due to what “average” albedo might be. Then you can compare the albedo distribution, surface to atmosphere and you get another about +/- 2 C error. As a result the “average” surface temperature is ~14 to 16 C and the “average” SST is estimated at 16 to 19 C.

        Since clouds have a diurnal “response” to solar forcing and clouds absorb both solar and OLR, about 50% of the energy absorbed in the atmosphere/clouds impacts the SST plus the “average” deep ocean sw absorption is higher and more retained due to critical reflection angles. WOW! The oceans are dang near exactly like them black body cavities used by the old guys in the first radiant models. Seems like they used different math for the black body cavity and radiant shells if the information available in my Faux News world is reliable in the least.

        Maybe that is why the oceans “average” energy is 334.5 Wm-2 and the “average” DWLR is ~334.5 Wm-2. The old black body and radiant shell game.

        So what exactly is the “surface” again?

      • He has all these cute little experiments without first order math to support it. It is the equivalent of being mislead by a Ricky Jay card trick based on just what you can see. The math is the description of operation, not the illusion.

      • The atmosphere far enough from the surface might be hotter but most of the surface would be very very cold and so would be air near the surface. A strong temperature inversion would allow most of the atmosphere be much warmer. All this is, however, just imagination as the assumptions are highly unrealistic.

      • Webster, “He has all these cute little experiments without first order math to support it. It is the equivalent of being mislead by a Ricky Jay card trick based on just what you can see. The math is the description of operation, not the illusion.”

        Dude, the math was done centuries ago, the problem is getting people to use to original math concepts, divide and solve. Heck, even your MAXENT works if you define the appropriate boundary conditions, you just can’t lump a planet into one simple model though. That is the whole point of non-equilibrium thermodynamics, pick subsystems with boundary layers and keep track of the dissipation from one to the others. It is not rocket science, it is accounting.

      • “It is not rocket science, it is accounting.”

        Well then do it Cappy Dick !

        Or get some kids to do it — perhaps offer prize money

      • Webster, “Well then do it Cappy Dick !”

        I already have numbnutz. “Sensitivity” to a 3.6Wm-2 increase in “atmospheric forcing” is 0.8C for an average ocean temperature of 4C. The oceans are your primary radiant cavity aka black body. If you want to use Raleigh-Jeans or equipartition, don’t matter, with K=~4C you are going to be in the right neighborhood.

        The most stable “shell” is the turbopause at ~185K (67wm-2). That reference gives you a range of 330 to 350 Wm-2 due to the hemispheric asymmetry producing the “unforced variations”. The reason “current sensitivity” estimates are ~1.6 instead of 0.8 is because longer term recover of NH heat loss in response to volcanic activity starting back circa 1600 AD.

        Here, let me show you the complex math. 334.5 + 3.6 = 338.1 Wm-2 using S-B, 338.1 Wm-2 yields ~ 277.89K degrees, an increase of 0.74 C degrees. Whoa! That’s like totally complex dude.

        Thanks to mother nature’s lack of symmetrical vision toss in a +/-0.2 C in there for the Oceans and a +/- 10 Wm-2 for the “surface”.

        If you remember the three REAL laws of thermodynamics, KISS, ASSUME and FOR, you could solve problems too.

      • Webster, I found my crayons!

        Just because the oceans are at 334.5 Wm-2 and that just happens to be approximately equal to the DWLR estimates don’t mean 0.8 C is dead nutz on, so let’s go high tech a touch with the satellite data that BartR and Trenberth love so much. Oops! 0.8C per doubling for 3.6Wm-2 using the Mauna loa CO2 data makes a fairly good fit. I didn’t even get a chance to do any arm waving. It is almost perfectly parsimonious.

      • captdallas 0.8 or less | June 5, 2013 at 10:18 am |

        And what do you get when you plot the derivative, instead of just two cherry-picked endpoints from possibly the most broken satellite data we have?

        Your instantaneous CS ranges from negative to positive up to numbers over 4.5, if your math is anything like my math when I did the same exercise.

        And if you repeat the exercise on BEST?

        Most likely, CS is highly dominated by the length of time being measured. I’ve been seeing attractors at 2.9+/- 0.1, and 4.5+/-0.5, as well as a lower one somewhere near 1.6+/-0.4, and the dominant attractors seem to become more frequent as timescale grows.

        But you must have found this, when you tried it. Why did you only report the most extremely low result?

      • BartR, “And what do you get when you plot the derivative, instead of just two cherry-picked endpoints from possibly the most broken satellite data we have?”

        Using a full data set is not cherry picking. Using both UAH and RSS noext, tropics and soext is damn sure not cherry picking. Limiting the Mauna Loa data estimate of the delta T impact of CO2 for the mean of the full period of the satellite period is not cherry picking. There were no derivatives used.

        If I use the oceans or SH data to reduce “noise” without correcting for long term persistance I get 1.6C per doubling. After correcting for LTP, I get 0.8 C. If I use BEST, the noisiest of the noisy, I can eke out 2.8 C per doubling without correcting for LTP, approximately 1.2 after correction since the NH land tends to overshoot the mean.

        The choice of 0.8 C per doubling is based on the average energy of the total ocean “radiant cavity” which I believe would be considered “first principles” for a radiant physics problem.

        If you wish to overly complicate the simple, feel free to derive your butt off.

      • Cappy,
        Now that you have your crayons, why don’t you go off and create a scientific treatise to describe exactly what you have done. Extra points for neatness.

        Seriously, the discussion can only advance if and when you decide to drop that insane self-described “redneck” lingo that you have adopted. It may have worked for some as a chuckle, but as David Goodstein said about his mentor Richard Feynman, the joking stopped when it came to physics theory.

      • Webster, “Cappy,
        Now that you have your crayons, why don’t you go off and create a scientific treatise to describe exactly what you have done. Extra points for neatness.”

        Do you even understand what a black body cavity is?

        http://www.csupomona.edu/~ajm/classes/phy235/blackbody.pdf You can plod through some of the derivations, but the “cavity” is the source of the radiant energy measured at the “shell”. There is a difference between the “source” and the “shell”. The “source” contains the energy that the “shell” responds to. they require two different mathematical treatments because they are two separate systems. You need to figure out the source first, before you can figure out how the shell will respond, it is that simple.

        Once you know the source energy and area, the shell energy will be equal to I(source)*area(shell)/area(source). That is a simple ratio Webster. Ratio is ratio in redneck too.

        Since the average energy of the Earth source for OLR is 334.5 Wm-2 with an area ~70% of the shell, the energy at that shell is 334.5*.7=234.15, where the area is determined by the liquid or ice free portion of the oceans.

        That is your starting point. There is no symmetry between the source and shell so you have to allow for the asymmetry as energy is transferred from the source to shell. Radiant physics does handle advection very well. that is why isothermal “shells” and up/down models are the norm. IOW, you have to be careful about what Frame of Reference (FOR) you select.

        I know that is way to simple for you to grasp, but there are two systems that need to be considered and you start with the one that has the most energy first.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        impossible perfection and fantasy math… Convection in the oceans and atmosphere is not going to be modeled anytime soon – let alone be used to deduce usable statistics from first principles.

        We are talking about convection in the atmosphere increasing in warmer air and increasing warmth higher in the atmosphere – where it is more easily lost to space. A negative feedback.

        I expect we could do the math for that. What might be better is to have data – detailed atmospheric and surface temperature, cloud, TOA radiant flux.

      • Dr. Curry has quite reasonably deleted some of my recent comments on this thread due to the quite unreasonable language contained therein.
        My apologies to Dr. Curry.

      • Konrad, if you disagree that the earth takes in and radiates 240 W/m2, you are not understanding the energy balance, and fall at the first step.

      • Jim, the earth may take in and radiate 240 W/m2 on average, but this does not answer the question. You still appear to have fallen at the first step –
        A. Do not model the “earth” as a combined land/ocean/gas “thingy”

        The AGW question is a question of atmospheric temperatures. You must solve for atmospheric temperature.

        I have shown WHUT how to build a two shell radiative experiment –

        – however it does not matter if you approach this as an empirical experiment as I do, or mathematical model, as it ignores gas conduction and fluid dynamics it cannot solve for a moving gas atmosphere. That is what experiments 4 & 5 do. I understand you do not like the answer.

        Radiative equilibrium is not the question. Atmospheric temperature is the question. The planet can be in radiative equilibrium but with very different atmospheric temperatures, depending on the quantity of strongly radiative gases in the atmosphere.

        There is a radiative GHE, but not a NET radiative GHE.
        Radiative gases heat our atmosphere in three ways –
        1. They absorb and thermalise a small amount of incoming solar radiation.
        2. They absorb and thermalise outgoing surface radiation.
        3. The emit down welling LWIR and slow the cooling of the surface in conductive contact (land only)

        Radiative gases cool our atmosphere in four ways –
        1. They emit IR to space from the mid to upper atmosphere. This out going flux is more than double all net radiation being absorbed and thermalised by these gases.
        2. Radiative energy loss at altitude is critical to tropospheric convective circulation, which cools the surface and near surface atmosphere during the day.
        3. Strong vertical convective circulation creates a lapse rate driving the atmosphere away from the isothermal state and reduces average temperatures.
        4. Tropospheric convective circulation prevents stagnation and UV/SW/IR superheating of N2 and O2 at altitude.

        The cooling effects of radiative gases outweigh the warming effects. These gases act to cool our moving gaseous atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm.

        The critical mistakes in the AGW hypothesis are not in radiative physics, but in gas conduction and fluid dynamics. You must solve for atmospheric temperature not radiative equilibrium. Linear flux equations will not work. The only two choices are CFD or empirical experiment.

      • Konrad, you can talk in terms of net W/m2 from surfaces equivalently to the effective temperatures. Then the net surface upward radiation is 390 W/m2, and the top upward radiation is 240 W/m2 and you get the Kiehl-Trenberth diagram of the energy balance at the surface, in the atmosphere and at the top. Do you disagree with the K-T diagram as a general guide to vertical energy flow integrated over these surfaces? If not, you are only using a semantic argument rather than a quantitative one.

      • Jim,
        I prefer the NASA energy budget diagrams over anything Tremberth has been involved in. However they both suffer from the same problems. No diurnal cycle, surface treated as responding to DWLWIR on the basis of emissivity and convective energy transfers parametrised as a linear flux.

        To solve for atmospheric temperature in a moving gaseous atmosphere, you would need to apply linear flux equations to multiple discrete moving air masses in an iterative manner. As I pointed out this leaves two choices. Computational fluid dynamics or empirical experimental.

        You simply cannot use two shell radiative mathematical models to solve for gas temperature in a moving gaseous atmosphere in conductive contact with a surface exhibiting a diurnal temperature cycle.

        Dr. Spencer’s 2009 description of a non radiative atmosphere is so very, very close. He just got one thing wrong. He claimed that the temperature of the resulting isothermal atmosphere would be set by surface Tav. He used your maths and got it wrong. My empirical experiments show that the temperature of such an atmosphere would actually be set by surface Tmax. This alone means that a non radiative atmosphere would run far hotter than our current atmosphere, thus invaliding the radiative GHE hypothesis.

        Are you seriously disputing the results of empirical experiments 4 &5?

      • Konrad, First I can tell you are not an American, because you refer to it as “maths”.

        Secondly, see this link for some USA-style basic math that shows how real atmospheres behave in that realm between isothermal and adiabatic behavior.

        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-homework-problem-to-end-all.html

        If you can understand this derivation, you will understand why your statement “This alone means that a non radiative atmosphere would run far hotter than our current atmosphere, thus invaliding the radiative GHE hypothesis “ is incomprehensible and irrelevant.

      • WHUT,
        I am now well aware of the limits of your comprehension.

        Your link does not provided flux equations for multiple discrete moving air masses calculated in an iterative manner.

        You do not understand the problem.

      • You are one of those complexity-mongers that is always proven wrong. Applying the complexity wild card never works when one has well-honed concepts such as statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, and mean-value first-order physics available to apply.

        To a person looking at the planet from far away, it looks like a homogeneous environment and we can establish first-order characteristics very easily.

        “Your link does not provided flux equations for multiple discrete moving air masses calculated in an iterative manner.”

        Sure I have. I averaged them all out and it goes to 1/2.
        Ha, ha, isn’t that cool? That’s how nature works.

      • Konrad, you seem to be unaware the GCMs are fluid dynamical models with the appropriate thermodynamics for heating and phase changes. I have no idea what experiment you are referring to, or how it relates to global temperatures.

      • Jim,
        I believe you should be well aware that general circulation models are not relevant to the problem being discussed here. This problem is the errors in the most “basic physics” of the “settled science”. The foundation claim of the AGW hypothesis is that the atmosphere would be colder without radiative gases. This claim was not made on the basis of GCMs.

        In my second last comment to you I linked to an experiment design for a two shell radiative model. It works. The target plate in chamber 1 gets hotter than that in chamber 2 due to the added radiative layer between the target plate and colder base plate. This experiment is however totally inapplicable to a moving gas atmosphere.

        In my first comment on this thread I linked to instructions, diagrams and images for five simple experiments. A build diagram of the most relevant, Experiment 4, is shown here –

        Build two insulated gas columns 1m tall using EPS foam. Penetrate the columns as shown with thin aluminium heating and cooling tubes. Start the experiment with both gas columns at equal temperature. Run 80C heating water and 1C cooling water through the tubes as shown at a constant rate. Use multiple thermocouples to measure gas temperatures throughout the columns. 9 positions allows a flow pattern to be visualised. Alternately, to cut costs, run the experiment for 30min and measure multiple points with a single probe.

        To understand the problem for the radiative GHE hypothesis and why two shell radiative models cannot be applied to a moving atmosphere you need only get the correct answer to these three questions –

        1. Which column best represents an atmosphere with radiative gases and which best represents a non radiative atmosphere and why?

        2. Which gas column reaches the highest average temperature and why?

        3. What happens to the temperature differential between the columns if they are built taller and why?

        4. (supplemental- for advanced students) without altering the boxes or change water flow rates, how can you get the gas columns to achieve nearly equal average gas temperatures?

      • WHUT,
        I have presented repeatable empirical experiments indicating a serious issue with the radiative GHE hypothesis . You have responded variously with –

        “Konrad is a krank and a krackpot.”
        “Konnie, You can’t just use words and ignore the math”
        “You obviously are not of that caliber “
        “He has all these cute little experiments without first order math to support it”
        “You are one of those complexity-mongers that is always proven wrong.”

        I have agreed to Dr. Curry to restrict my comments here to the science, perhaps you could do the same. I have indicated to you that I do not believe you understand the problem being discussed.

        Edim has suggested “Konrad, WHUT seldom makes sense, don’t bother”

        In my comment above to Jim D, I have included a link and instruction for Experiment 4. Would you be willing to prove Edim wrong and provide simple and direct answers for the following four questions about the experiment.

        1. Which column best represents an atmosphere with radiative gases and which best represents a non radiative atmosphere and why?

        2. Which gas column reaches the highest average temperature and why?

        3. What happens to the temperature differential between the columns if they are built taller and why?

        4. (supplemental- for advanced students) without altering the boxes or change water flow rates, how can you get the gas columns to achieve nearly equal average gas temperatures?

      • Konrad, “I have presented repeatable empirical experiments indicating a serious issue with the radiative GHE hypothesis.”

        The serious issues with the radiative GHE hypothesis is over reliance on averages and poor assumptions. The radiant physics is fine but assuming that a poorly defined “surface” average temperature is anything close to meaningful gummed up the works. By just blowing off the nonsense 33C and going back to the basic black body cavity and radiant shell you can solve for “sensitivity” from any number of frame of reference. The GHE hypothesis started from the wrong point then went downhill from there, produce paradox after paradox which should have sounded an alarm bell or two for the high “sensitivity” advocates.

      • Konrad,

        I did say that you were right on one very specific point: If the atmosphere had no radiative interaction at all, it might perhaps be isothermal everywhere above a thin inversion layer near the surface. In that case the temperature of the isothermal atmosphere would be close to the hottest point of the surface. (How thin the inversion layer would be is an open question, perhaps not very thin at all.)

        The above case is, however, not at all relevant. Even very little radiative interaction would bring back the adiabatic lapse rate, and then the atmosphere would be much colder than the present atmosphere. For all even slightly realistic alternatives, the temperature of the atmosphere rises with increasing GHG concentration.

        When you do experiments, you must remember that the behavior of the atmosphere is controlled in part by the lapse rate, which cannot exceed 10 K/km or 10 mK/m. If you do experiments you must be able to measure such temperature differences and control all heat fluxes so that heat leaks don’t change the outcome.

        No laboratory experiment applies directly to real atmosphere. Conclusions about the real atmosphere can be made only combining experiments with theory. The role of the experiments is to validate the theory, the conclusions for the atmosphere are then derived from the validated theory. This is exactly what physicists have done over centuries. Over that time they have really many experiments and they have developed that theory of thermodynamics that we can learn from physics textbooks. That theory is one of the best validated theories that we have. That theory tells, how the GHG’s warm the atmosphere.

        As you wrote GCM’s are not needed for that, they help in getting more detailed answers but even without them we know for sure that adding GHG’s warms the atmosphere and that removing all CO2 from the atmosphere would make both the surface and the atmosphere colder than the present by tens of degrees. There would still be enough radiative interaction to maintain the lapse rate and make the atmosphere cold.

      • Pekka Pirilä,
        You have perhaps the best understanding of the problem of anyone else on the web. In terms of small scale experiments into Rayleigh–Bénard circulation, it can be seen that after the Rayleigh number is exceeded “breakaway” occurs and convective circulation commences. You write “ Even very little radiative interaction would bring back the adiabatic lapse rate, and then the atmosphere would be much colder than the present atmosphere”. At first blush this would appear to be correct. However in solving for earth’s atmosphere it is vital to remember the “do nots” of atmospheric modelling, in particular –

        C. Do not model the sun as a ¼ power constant source without diurnal cycle

        While radiative cooling at altitude is reasonably constant, heating of gases at low altitude is “pulsed” or intermittent due to the diurnal solar heating cycle. This is why average energy inputs and outputs should never be used in atmospheric modelling. It gives the wrong result for the fluid dynamics.

        After breakaway in Rayleigh–Bénard circulation, speed of circulation is a function of both fluid viscosity and energy differential between low and high level. In a fluid system where the low level energy input is fluctuating on a diurnal cycle, circulation speed becomes highly dependant on energy differential. This means that adding a small amount of radiative gases to the atmosphere does not “trip” the atmosphere into a state where the role of radiative gases in driving vertical circulation can be ignored. Tropospheric convective circulation will slowly increase in strength and speed as radiative gases are added to the atmosphere. I would strongly advise that Pierrehumberts 1995 effort in this area is no more than “Industrial strength bafflegab”. I would give my more considered opinion of his response on identifying the problem, however I have given my word to Dr. Curry on the use of certain language on her site.

        With regard to lapse rate, Dr. Spencer is correct. Without vertical circulation the atmosphere would trend to isothermal. What should also be considered is that lapse rate is not just a function of vertical circulation. No air mass is truly adiabatic. Gas conduction is occurring and the speed of this should be considered. The strength of the observed lapse rate is a function atmospheric mass, atmospheric pressure gradient and, critically, of the speed of vertical circulation. The faster the speed of vertical circulation the stronger the observed lapse rate up to the limiting pressure values 10C/km. The speed of vertical circulation in the troposphere is governed incrementally by the quantity of radiative gases.

        With regard to the reduced Tmin of the surface under a non radiative atmosphere, it is important to build and run experiment 1 linked in my first comment on this thread. This experiment deals with the effect of incident LWIR on liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool. All is not as the maths would indicate. Surface Tmin would be lower under a non radiative atmosphere, but not as low as AGW believers claim.

        Further to this, reality as opposed to maths needs to be considered when determining conductive flux between the surface and atmosphere. You have raised the issue of the thickness of the night inversion layer for a non radiative atmosphere. Experiment 5 deals with some of the issues. In terms of moving energy from the surface to the atmosphere, convection speeds far exceed the speed of gas conduction. This results in a gravity bias in non radiative energy flu between the surface and atmosphere. The surface is far better at conductively heating the atmosphere than it is at conductively cooling it.

        Radiative gases do have a warming effect, but this is an inverse logarithmic function of their concentration in the atmosphere. The NET effect of radiative gases is cooling at all concentrations above 0.0ppm. However this is also not a linear effect. The Diurnal energy cycle and viscosity of the fluid atmosphere limit the speed of convective circulation and atmospheric cooling.

        Can we detect the cooling resulting from the change between 300 an 400ppm of the limited frequency radiative gas CO2 from the noise of natural variability? Inconceivable with current technologies.

      • Konrad, i still don’t see how your experiment relates to radiation. Try this practical observation. Note that on clear nights the surface cooling rate is much faster than on cloudy nights, even if you start at the same temperature. This is an analog of the GHG effect at the surface because clouds have a similar blanketing effect, and their downward radiated IR, exceeds that from clear sky, giving a reduced net upward IR at the surface. Now imagine the sky has no clouds or GHGs. The downward IR goes to zero (from a couple of hundred W/m2 in typical clear dry conditions). How much faster that cooling would be. It would be like it is on the Moon for example, with very rapid cooling as soon as the Sun sets, or on satellites as they go into the earth’s shadow.

      • Konrad,

        The diurnal cycle is one of the mains reasons for questioning the extent of the isothermal part of the atmosphere in absence of all radiative interaction. It would lead to some circulation, which may turn out to be very local or extend somewhat further. I don’t think that anyone has studied this issue carefully, because the case of totally transparent atmosphere is so unrealistic. Models built for the real atmosphere are not likely to apply to that hypothetical case.

        You made a long list of don’ts. I would not take such a list as that, but rather as a list of factors whose potential effect should be considered in building and using models. In all areas of modelling simplifying assumptions are made, and the modellers should always estimate the uncertainty introduced by the simplifications. That’s done also when the Earth system is modeled. Forgetting the diurnal cycle would be disastrous in forecasting tomorrow’s weather using a circulation model, but many other questions can be answered pretty well by models that do not consider the diurnal cycle. The same applies to most of your other points.

        Comparing any laboratory scale experiment to theory tends to be cumbersome. The experiment must be planned in a way that minimizes the effects on uncontrolled external factors and the theory should be used in the comparison with the help of a detailed enough model to cover all influential factors. If the experiment is such that internal convection affects the results, it’s possible that modelling that convection is beyond the capabilities of everybody or so cumbersome that those few who could do it cannot be motivated to do the calculation.

        The actual tests of physical theories are planned very carefully to make a reliable comparison possible, and by that also a failure in reaching agreement to be really meaningful.

      • Jim D | June 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
        Konrad, i still don’t see how your experiment relates to radiation.
        ——————————————————————————————
        I have clearly indicated that the critical errors in the radiative GHE hypothesis are in the areas of gas conduction and fluid dynamics, not radiative physics.

        You have not provided clear and direct answers to questions 1 to 4 for for the empirical gas column experiment 4.

        Jim, it’s the end of the line. Questions 1 to 4. Clear and direct answers please.

      • Konrad, the answer to question 1 is that neither column looks like a radiating gas, so the answers to the rest become irrelevant. You have to make the connection between your experiment and a radiating gas, and have not.

      • Konrad, when you say the cooling effects of GHGs outweigh the warming effects, this is correct for an isolated gas, like the stratosphere, which does cool when you add CO2. You have to think what is different about the troposphere to understand why it warms instead. The key is that convection ties its temperature to the surface that warms due to blanketing.

      • Konrad,

        Do you have somewhere a complete quantitative comparison of your results with the standard theory? Without that you cannot draw any conclusions.

        Without such a presentation I remain convinced that your experiment does not provide any support for your conclusions and that only things that contradict each other are your measurements and what you imagine to be a prediction of standard theory, but which doesn’t really have anything to do with standard theory.

      • Jim,
        you have yet to provide clear and direct answers to questions 1 to 4.

      • Konrad,

        Your boxes have very little to do with the atmosphere, because they are far too small to be influenced by the same factors that are most important in atmosphere. (Conceptually BOX 1 is closer to real atmosphere and BOX 2 to the case of the fully transparent atmosphere, but having some conceptual similarity is not at all the same thing as being in any sense close to the real atmosphere.)

        Trying to prove or disprove the GHE by small scale experiments is bound to fail.

        The only thing that one can test with this kind of experiments is the validity of some specific flow model built using a computational fluid dynamics software package. Without a full CFD calculation one can make only guesses about the outcome.

        The circulation should be stronger in BOX 1 as it’s heated at the bottom right and cooled top left, but the setting of BOX 2 does certainly drive circulation as well. Making quantitative predictions on the size of the differences does, however, require a CFD type calculation (or extensive experience from similar setups to take advantage from knowledge based on that).

        While BOX 1 is conceptually closer to the real atmosphere it’s likely to have a more uniform temperature because of the stronger circulation. That may sound contradictory, but we might formulate that statement more relevantly as having a more uniform potential temperature in BOX 1, because you cannot notice the difference in a small box. In the real atmosphere the potential temperature is indeed more uniform in the real case than in the hypothetical transparent atmosphere. The circulation of the BOX 1 has some similarity to the Hadley Cells of the real atmosphere, and in the analysis of Hadley Cells the potential temperature is a more useful concept than real temperature.

      • Pekka Pirilä,
        While these small scale experiments cannot model the full atmosphere, they do demonstrate the basic physics of gas conduction and convective circulation that have been incorrectly modelled in the radiative GHE hypothesis. They have been specifically designed so other readers can easily replicate them with inexpensive materials.

        The basic physics demonstrated in experiment 4 is directly applicable to the atmosphere, or indeed any body of gas in a gravity field. It shows why the bulk of a non radiative atmosphere with no convective circulation would be far hotter than our current atmosphere. You have previously agreed that such an isothermal atmosphere would be hotter than Dr. Spencer has assumed.

        Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere initiates convective circulation and reduces atmospheric temperatures. I am claiming that incremental additions of radiative gases cause incremental increases in convective circulation speed and further cooling. Due to the set speed of the diurnal cycle and fluid viscosity of the atmosphere, the cooling will not be a linear function of the the concentration of radiative gases.

        However claiming that adding radiative gases to the atmosphere initially causes cooling, but after a certain concentration it causes warming would be an “extraordinary claim.” This would require extraordinary evidence.

        The physics of convective circulation indicates that the reverse should actually be true. A non radiative isothermal atmosphere would be far hotter than our current atmosphere. Adding radiative gases should further increase near surface temperatures until the Rayleigh number can be exceeded. Beyond this point convective circulation will commence and atmospheric temperatures would fall. However for all practical purposes the statement “the net effect of radiative gases is to cool the atmosphere at all concentrations above 0.0ppm” will suffice.

        You have referred to both “standard theory” and “consensus understanding of the atmosphere”. Firstly “consensus” is an issue for politics or religion. It is a primary function of the scientific method to provide society with a safe and reliable method for even an individual to challenge any consensus. Secondly, with regard to “standard theory”, it should be noted that the AGW hypothesis relies on a manufactured consensus. It remains an unproven hypothesis. The null hypothesis cannot be overturned with computer models. The null hypothesis still stands.

        Prior to the AGW hoax it was accepted that radiative gases were critical to tropospheric convective circulation. It was accepted that convective circulation reduced surface temperatures. Most importantly it was accepted that the hydrological cycle acted as a giant vapour/condensate heat pump, cooling the surface and lower atmosphere. My experiments support the pre AGW hoax science. I make no extraordinary claims.

        Unbelievable as it may be after all these years there is still no empirical evidence to support the extraordinary claim that the net effect of radiative gases is atmospheric warming. Further to this Dr. Spencer has clearly shown that 73 climate models, all based on the assumption that the net effect of radiative gases is warming, have be invalidated beyond all reasonable doubt by empirical observation.

      • As Pekka says, it will be very difficult to duplicate the large scale gravitational effects in an experiment.

        Best to keep studying the Earth’s atmosphere and compare to other planetary atmospheres. Ask questions such as why the average lapse rate is very close to g*m/6R, which happens to be the boundary conditions for a bound star — a bound star requires an adiabatic index of greater than 4/3. This appears to be an energy minimization threshold, the net energy of the gravity-bound collection is zero at γ=4/3, but anything greater than this and the net energy goes negative.

        Plug in the numbers for the gravitational constant and the average atmospheric molecular weight for Earth, Mars, and Venus (and Titan) and you will get the observed average lapse rate. On the big, outer planets with no GHG, the lapse rate is half this, or about g*m/3R, which is the predicted hydrodynamic balance

        Blame my curiosity on growing up watching Carl Sagan.

    • Konrad’s point that an isothermal atmosphere would have a temperature close to the hottest spot of the surface is correct.

      It’s also true that the overall effect of absorption and emission for the atmosphere is to cool it. That’s the only possible solution taking into account that the atmosphere is heated both by the surface and directly by solar SW.

      Going on to conclude that that the consensus understanding of the atmosphere, GHE and AGW are based on erroneous theory is, however without merit. The points I make in the two first paragraphs are fully in agreement with standard main stream scientific understanding. Spencer may have erred on that point. Every scientist may err and make statements that do not agree with the prevailing scientific understanding. That’s normal and must be remembered when statements are presented. Essential errors get corrected, less essential ones may remain uncorrected until they disappear for other reasons..

      • So he got something right. He also spelled the words correctly.

        Did he make the claim that an atmosphere free of GHGs would have to be isothermal? If he did, which is hard to tell based on Bart R’s observation that it is difficult to understand irrationality, then he would be misinformed.

      • David Springer

        “Isothermal” in something other than a monoatomic ideal gas is a fungible concept. In an equilibrium (non-convecting) atmosphere total energy per mole of gas is the same at all altitues. This is the highest entropy state and is by definition the equilibrium state. Total energy is the sum of potential and kinetic energy. As altitude increases gravitational potential energy per mole of gas rises therefore kinetic energy must decline. In other words the temperature gets colder with altitude but total energy per mole of gas is constant.

      • David,

        You are wrong.

        In equilibrium the altitude does not affect the average kinetic energy of the molecules or the levels of excitation of the vibrational modes, or any similar energy component. The gravitational potential energy has it’s own distribution in the totality of all molecules as the density follows the barometric formula. In real equilibrium each type of molecule has it’s own barometric distribution with heavier molecules at lower altitudes than lighter ones.

        Another question is what’s required for having a equilibrium as reaching it would take extremely long and even very weak convective mixing would prevent it forever.

      • David Springer

        Interestingly the avearge temperature of the ocean is almost exactly the temperature of a black body illuminated by constant power source of 340W/m2 which is almost exactly the average illumination from the sun at the top of the atmosphere. Everything we observe above and below the average temperature is merely the result of uneven illumination and the ocean/atmosphere system response towards its state of highest entropy. Work is accomplished in the process in the form of winds, waves, ocean currents, warm fronts, cold fronts, precipitation, floods, etc. also known as weather. It must always average out to equal no more than total power input to the system otherwise conservation of energy is violated. Albedo is the big kahuna which determines how much energy is actually entrained and converted. It’s best to think of greenhouse gases in terms of albedo change. Greenhouse gases can raise and lower albedo with concentration but in no case can they lower albedo to less than zero which sets an effective limit on maximum possible average temperature. Thus it’s simply not physically possible for greenhouse gases to raise average temperature above 4C. It would appear the greenhouse effect is saturated as that’s both the average temperature of the ocean and the temperature of a black body illuminated by 340W/m2.

      • The Earth may be close to a stationary state, but it’s very far from full thermodynamic equilibrium. The properties of a stationary state heated by sun and cooled by IR to space are very different from the properties of a full thermodynamic equilibrium state.

        Maximum entropy is never reached as solar heating creates negentropy and the other processes add that same amount to maintain the (approximately) stationary state.

        WHUT might add something about MaxEnt, which a different principle and not on equal ground with entropy itself.

      • David Springer

        Perhaps you can empirically show that you’re right Pekka. See if you can find a planetary atmosphere that’s somehow the same temperature at all altitudes. Good luck with that, dopey. As it stands we’re both just hand waving but you are at the terrible disadvantage of not having any actual isothermal atmosphere you can point out.

      • Davir,

        Did you for some reason necessary to confirm much that I wrote in my message?

        No planet can ever have an equilibrium atmosphere. Even so the properties of a hypothetical equilibrium are well known. One of them is that no system can be in thermodynamic equilibrium without being isothermal.

      • David Springer

        @Pekka

        Gedankenexperiment:

        Take a horizontal cylinder filled with a monatomic gas at same temperature at each end in a gravity field. Rotate the cylinder to a vertical position. The bottom will warm and the top will cool per ideal gas law as gas in lower end compresses and gas at upper end expands.

        Now how would it equalize in temperature? It can’t do it by conduction because atoms moving upward bumping against a higher neighbor do it with less force than a higher neighbor traveling downward to strike a lower neighbor. It’s like throwing a rock at the ceiling and at the floor. You’ll hit the floor harder because you have a gravity assist.

        This was the thinking of Loschmidt back in the day when he and Boltzmann and Maxwell were peers and thermodynamics was new. No one has proven Loschmidt wrong. I challenge you to experimentally falsify it or point to experimental falsification. I know of only one attempt to investigate it experimentally and the results support Loschmidt.

        Good luck. You’ll need it.

      • @Pekka Pirilä…

        In equilibrium the altitude does not affect the average kinetic energy of the molecules or the levels of excitation of the vibrational modes, or any similar energy component.

        It seems to me that when a gas molecule travels downwards it gains kinetic energy whether it travels a meter or an angstrom. Similarly upwards. Therefore, in a truly isothermal atmosphere, I’d expect to see downward conduction of heat, until it was balanced by net upwards radiative transfer.

        Of course, it would have to be surrounded by an environment at the same temperature, perhaps a spherical mirror. (of uniform density.)

      • Applying MaxEnt is dependent on what the constraints are.

        Pekka has probably seen the MaxEnt derivation that leads to the barometric formula. ET Jaynes used that example in one of his seminal works.

        There are some planets that are candidates for isothermal characteristics, but the problem is they spin. Look at some of the entry profiles for Titan and Mars and you can see that they are constantly adjusting with day and night. As Pekka said, they are never reaching any kind of equilibrium.

      • This issue is a traditional entropy maximization case, not a MaxEnt case.

        In loose terms what happens is that those molecules that are faster than others at the same altitude are more likely to move up than slower ones, and slower ones are more likely to end up at a lower altitude. This selection compensates exactly the slowing down of the molecules when going up and speeding up when moving down.

        This can be discussed more rigorously using mathematical formulas and this short note does it almost rigorously.

      • This is one of my favorite charts which shows a quasi-isothermal atmosphere, but it is quasi in terms of potential temperature, which mathematically adjusts for the polytropic atmosphere above our heads. The upward convection is a degree or two higher than the downward.

        This shows the significance of an adiabatic process. Little heat is exchanged with the environment as the radiative losses are much less than that which can be absorbed by the heat capacity of the atmospheric gases.

      • David Springer

        Again, the only experiment I know of confirms Loschmidt, but it is a single researcher, hasn’t been published in peer reviewed journal, and hasn’t been replicated. It is however mentioned in a book on challenges to the second law written by legitimate physicists as perhaps the most robust challenge made to date. It is quite extensively documented over a period of years and witnessed.

        Nothing of even that dubious nature exists for demonstrating Pekka’s case which remains as much handwaving today as it was when Maxwell and Boltzmann dismissed Loschmidt with a wave of the hand.

        http://books.google.com/books?id=-nWyk7jH5_EC&pg=PA202&lpg=PA202&ots=51s6KI3TTM&dq=loschmidt+gravito-thermal+effect

        This guy, who is no frickin’ slouch in the math dept

        http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=40UhzoMAAAAJ&hl=en

        with thousands of citations in the literature, is very interested in Loschmidt’s gravito-thermal effect.

        http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2013/01/new-lapse-rate-by-gravitation-loschmidt.html

        måndagen den 28:e januari 2013

        Lapse Rate by Gravitation: Loschmidt or Boltzmann/Maxwell?

        Will an atmosphere under the action of gravity assume a linear temperature profile with slope equal to the dry adiabatic lapse rate? Loschmidt said yes, while Boltzmann and Maxwell claimed that the atmosphere would be isothermal. Graeff (2007) has made experiments supporting Loschmidt and so it is natural to seek a theoretical explanation.

        Consider a horizontal closed insulated tube filled with still air at uniform temperature. Let the tube be turned into an upright position. Alternatively, we may consider a vertical tube with gravitation gradually being turned on from zero, or a horizontal tube being rotated horizontally starting from rest. During increasing gravitational force the air will be compressed and knowing that compression of air causes heating, we expect to see a temperature increase. How big will it be? Well, the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics states that under adiabatic and isentropic transformation (no external heat source and no turbulent dissipation):

      • David,

        For some strange reason Maxwell and Boltzmann concluded that Loschmidt was wrong. How could that be?

        For some strange reason the theory of Maxwell and Boltzmann has been extremely successful in producing correct results.

        For some strange reason only their conclusion is consistent with the second law of thermodynamics (Loschmidt’s theory would make a perpetum mobile of the second kind possible).

        For some strange reason all physics textbooks describe thermodynamics in agreement with Maxwell and Boltzmann. Calculations made based on those textbooks have not shown any contradictions.

        Could that be a coincidence?

        Or could it be that Loschmidt was simply wrong?

        There are always some crackpots. If you choose to believe them, that’s your choice. (I didn’t mean that Loschmidt would have been a crackpot).

      • David Springer

        Pekka Pirilä | June 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm |

        David,

        “For some strange reason Maxwell and Boltzmann concluded that Loschmidt was wrong. How could that be?”

        For some strange reason experimental confirmation that Loschmidt was wrong has never happened.

        For some strange reason the only attempt to experimentally test Loschmidt’s gravito-thermal effect finds support for Loschmidt.

        Theoretical physicists can indeed be wrong, Pekka. It was good of you to point that out. This is why experimental physics exists alongside the theoretical.

      • David Springer

        Pekka Pirilä | June 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm |

        PS

        Loschmidt’s gravito-thermal effect does not make a perpetuum mobile of the second kind possible as far as I can determine. Any gadget that attempts to extract work from the kinetic energy difference between the two ends of the gravitationally confined column of gas is made impossible by the same gravito-thermal effect.

        So that leaves us with Graef’s evidently very diligent attempt to halt convection in a cylinder of gas, insulate it from the external environment, and measure the temperature of its ends with different orientations inside a gravity field. He many experiments over many years where each experiment takes weeks or months to run because it takes so long for the experimental apparatus to reach equilibrium. The results are almost exactly what are expected from Loschmidt’s interpretation of an isothermal atmosphere. Waving your hands will not change the results I’m afraid. All you can do is ignore them or find where the experiment is invalid. So far you’ve simply ignored them which is no surprise at all for somehow who is convinced of their own infallibility. Perhaps you’re familiar with the western idiom of three monkeys one covering its eyes, one covering its ears, and the other covering its mouth with the caption “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” That’s you so far.

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | June 5, 2013 at 12:32 am |

        This is one of my favorite charts which shows a quasi-isothermal atmosphere, but it is quasi in terms of potential temperature, which mathematically adjusts for the polytropic atmosphere above our heads. The upward convection is a degree or two higher than the downward.

        You have a really annoying penchant for dropping images in photobucket then using them as if they’re self-explanatory with no mention of where the image came from, why and how it was prepared, or what exactly it describes.

        How about providing that with this one for a change?

      • Graef understands that his proposal is in conflict with the Second Law and thinks that a perpetum mobile of the second kind can be constructed. That’s a bold idea and requires a lot more to prove than his seriously inconclusive measurements.

        Very many parts of the present physics would be violated, if Lochsmidt were right. QM had to be rejected, because the standard result can be derived from QM. The totality of successful predictions of the present theories is at a level that the view of Loschmidt and claims of a few more recent crackpots can safely be dismissed.

        It’s in the nature of scientific knowledge that everything can be contested, but when at issue are the most fundamental parts of the well established physical theories, telling that they can be contested is not really relevant.

      • David,

        If the equilibrium is not isothermal, we can add a Seebeck pair in the system and extract electricity from that forever adding energy at one point only. That kind of system is exactly, what a perpetum mobile of second kind is defined to be.

        Another way of doing the same would be based on two isolated columns that contain different gases. Every proposal presented for non-isothermal equilibrium predicts that the equilibrium temperature gradient depends on the properties of the gas (molecular mass and specific heat). With two such columns a perpetum mobile of the second kind can be constructed, when the bottoms are kept at the same constant temperature ant the temperature difference at top used to produce mechanical work.

      • “You have a really annoying penchant for dropping images in photobucket then using them as if they’re self-explanatory with no mention of where the image came from, why and how it was prepared, or what exactly it describes.

        How about providing that with this one for a change?”

        Springyboy is projecting. As a real engineer, I keep track of arguments on the net equivalent of an engineering notebook. I started this several years ago on this blog http://mobjectivist.blogspot.com; it culminated with an online book that combined the most original posts on oil depletion. More recently, I started a new one that also featured lots of climate science analysis http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.com. I try to refer to this blog whenever possible.

        It is only fair that I can explain this since the dude thinks that I am so annoying.

      • Something disturbs me about Claes Johnson. As Springyboy points out, he is very heavily cited and has a very high h-index. On the other hand, in his writings an atmospheric science, he completely avoids talking about the differential response of GHGs to wavelengths in the blackbody spectrum.

        The only thing I can propose is that Claes has a blindspot in his physics understanding that has anything to do with electro-magnetic theory, and he lets his naive reading of thermodynamics get in the way.

        “based on a new derivation of Planck’s radiation law,
        that back radiation/DLR does not have any physical reality , as it corresponds actually to heat transfer from a cold atmosphere to a warmer Earth surface. ”

        His cited work is almost exclusively on gas, liquid, and solid properties.

        The other possibility is that he is simply pranking us.
        He has a solid niche in his field, and he is likely treating it like a game that he can go outside this area and tweak climate scientists with his garbage theories.

        It is a mystery, but one that is not all that uncommon among distinguished academics (Pauling, Shockley, etc).

      • Webster, “Something disturbs me about Claes Johnson. As Springyboy points out, he is very heavily cited and has a very high h-index. On the other hand, in his writings an atmospheric science, he completely avoids talking about the differential response of GHGs to wavelengths in the blackbody spectrum.”

        I personally think Claes is Clueless, but the issue with DWLR, Black Body Spectrum and GHG response is mainly due to extremely poor attempts at energy budgets. With Trenberth and company missing ~20Wm-2 of “atmospheric window” radiation of all things, the budgets were too far off to be used for anything. Depending on the reference level or “shell”, DWLR can take any value. The all sky absorption of ~189 Wm-2 is close to the radiant dominate portion of the atmosphere where DWLR actually means something. Having the cream of the climate science crop totally screw the energy budget created the “Claes'” and the Sky Dragon Slayers and the defenders of the BS like yourself.

      • Oh dat cartoon
        To make a baboon
        Act like a loon
        And sing out of tune.
        ============

      • Pekka Pirilä | June 6, 2013 at 4:18 am |

        “If the equilibrium is not isothermal, we can add a Seebeck pair in the system and extract electricity from that forever adding energy at one point only. That kind of system is exactly, what a perpetum mobile of second kind is defined to be.”

        As long as there’s a TOA, an isothermal equilibrium is not going to prevent this.

      • David Springer

        What part of Graef’s experimental apparatus or methods do you think are faulty and why?

      • David Springer

        Pekka

        re; Seebeck pair

        Sorry, won’t work unless you’ve got a magic carpet to keep the cold side of your thermopile aloft without expending any energy.

        Since we’ve already got a lapse rate regardless of Loschmidt effect if it were practical to do we’d already be doing it. :-)

        .

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | June 6, 2013 at 8:57 am |

        “Something disturbs me about Claes Johnson.”

        No doubt. That’s why I brought him up. Like duh.

      • David Springer

        willb | June 6, 2013 at 7:13 pm |

        “As long as there’s a TOA, an isothermal equilibrium is not going to prevent this.”

        Bingo.

        Tell the man what he won, Pekka.

        If we could keep the cold side of a thermopile aloft it could just be kept aloft in the earth’s shadow outside the atmosphere. [shrug]

        Pekka’s not a very deep thinker. I think he reads from a script part of the time, an old script, and the rest of the time he must makes stuff up.

      • David,

        Atmosphere is a approximately stationary system driven by solar heating. There’s nothing strange in having the possibility for generating power from such a system.

        I don’t say anything on how deep thinker I am, but one thing is sure, I know much more about physics than you.

      • David Springer

        That’s the best you can do? “I know more physics than you.”

        ROFLMAO

        I guess that about wraps it up then.

  11. Lets say the average monthly temperature in the UK for Jan to Dec is:

    7,9,11,13,15,17,17,15,13,11,9,7

    And the temperature fluctuates by 2 or 3 C around those means.

    What happens if those numbers go up by 1?

    The answer is: nothing. Adaptation is easy.

    But what happens if the months fluctuate up and down by 3 to 6C?

    Catastrophe.

    Well guess what?

    Jan 2013 was 3C colder than the warmest.
    Feb 2013 was 4C colder than the warmest.
    Mar 2013 was 5.8C colder than the warmest.
    Apr 2013 was 4.4C colder than the warmest.

    The good times are over. Back to normal fluctuations between really cold and relatively warm.

    And it is only going to get worse. And CO2 won’t save anyone from freezing or crops from freezing.

    30 years of catastrophe are coming and windmills won’t help.

    • David L. Hagen

      Climate Persistence and learning from history
      This post raises the issue of Climate Persistence or Hurst Kolmogorov Dynamics. This recognizes and accounts for the fact that weather and climatic variations are NOT random but highly associated.
      See Markonis, Y., and D. Koutsoyiannis, Climatic variability over time scales spanning nine orders of magnitude: Connecting Milankovitch cycles with Hurst–Kolmogorov dynamics, Surveys in Geophysics, 34 (2), 181–207, 2013.
      Those who learn from or ignore history, will prosper or suffer the consequences.
      Genesis 41:53-54 NIV

      The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food.

      Revelation 6:5-6 NIV

      When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!”

    • David L. Hagen

      Page’s global cooling forecast
      Dr. Norman Page gives his climate prediction:

      It is not a great stretch of the imagination to propose that the 20th century warming peaked in about 2003 and that peak was a peak in both the 60 year and 1000 year cycles. On that basis the conclusions of the posts referred to above were as follows.

      1. Significant temperature drop at about 2016-17
      2. Possible unusual cold snap 2021-22.
      3. Built in cooling trend until at least 2024
      4. Temperature Hadsst3 moving average anomaly 2035 – 0.15
      5. Temperature Hadsst3 moving average anomaly 2100 – 0.5
      6. General Conclusion – by 2100 all the 20th century temperature rise will have been reversed,
      7. By 2650 earth could be back to the depths of the little ice age.
      8. The effect of increasing CO2 emissions will be minor but beneficial – they may slightly ameliorate the forecast cooling and help maintain crop yields.
      9. There are some signs in the Livingston and Penn Solar data that a sudden drop to the Maunder Minimum Little Ice Age temperatures could be imminent – with a much more rapid and economically disruptive cooling than that forecast above which may turn out to be a best case scenario. . . .
      In this case I am reasonably sure – say 65/35 for about 20 years ahead. . . .

      • It’s going to be amusing watching all these global cooling predictions fail in coming years.

      • It’s already been a hoot watching cooling predictions fail, especially those of the 1970s. (Think of Lamb and the poor CRU during the mother of all English heatwaves in 1976!)

        Not only IS climate science presumptuous, juvenile, and political…it WAS presumptuous, juvenile, and political.

  12. RobertInAz

    So it appears that the precautionary principle would argue in favor of adaptation (resilience) rather than mitigation. And adaptation produces lots of shovel ready jobs whilst mitigation as currently formulated seems to favor carbon traders, failed renewable energy investment and big(ger) government.

    • +1

      • Rud Istvan

        Concur. Also, resilience inherently introduces risk analysis and cost benefit, almost always lacking in mitigation proposals. That appears to be the core issue in Parliaments present AGW deliberations in the UK.

      • Peter and Rud,

        You guys have your heads in the right place. One has to believe that you had real jobs and were managing problems that mandated practical solutions.

  13. “Some people still doubt the second proposition (just as some people still deny that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer),..”

    Staggering, embarrassing ignorance. What a fraud.

    • Have some charity pg.

      Geoffrey Parker is one of if not the most accomplished military historians alive today. His comments are more akin to offering an opinion outside his core expertise than an attempt to perpetrate a fraud.

  14. The book has some amazing information:

    “Extreme weather conditions also afflicted China. The laconic entries in the section on ‘famines’ in the Veritable Records of the Ming, compiled from provincial reports to the Chongzhen emperor, are eloquent:

    In the ninth year [of the reign: 1636] severe famine affected Nanyang [Henan province] during which mothers killed and cooked their daughters [for food]. That year there was also a famine in Jiangxi province. In the tenth year [1637], there was a severe famine in Zhejiang province during which fathers and children, siblings and husbands resorted to cannibalism. In the twelfth year [1639], there was a famine in the Northern and Southern Metropolitan regions and in Shandong, Shanxi, Shaanxi and Jiangxi provinces. In Henan there was a severe famine during which people resorted to cannibalism…”

  15. If the halocarbon idea is right, all we have to do is start cranking out R-12, then everyone change their freon at the same time. (Somewhat sarcastic.)

  16. Parker says “let us also anticipate—and try to mitigate—the sort of catastrophes that history shows are inevitable.” If we do incur catastrophes, what will be their nature? We don’t know, we can’t forecast it. We can’t do the equivalent of building a Thames barrier on every major river unless we have reasonable evidence to suggest that that is a significant possibility and that it would be catastrophic.

    More broadly, how do we ascertain which are the most likely catastrophic events – which has to be done on a country by country, region by region basis – and prioritise our responses? We’re often told, and the evidence supports it, that the GCMs have a low predictive ability, that they are not designed for forecasting. We also have frequent arguments on CE that cooling is more likely than warming over the next several decades. We can’t guard against everything, what do we need to guard against?

    Judith, you say that “The essay makes a compelling case for increasing resilience to climate catastrophes.” Well, the excerpts make a case. I’ve often argued for policies which allow us more flexibility in the face of unforeseen future outcomes, but I’m tending to think in economic terms – flexible labour laws and other regulations, policies which encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and self-reliance, free trade, smaller central government. We may be able to render cities and facilities more resilient or robust against what are seen as likely coming events – e.g., land-falling hurricanes – but this will involve trade-offs against other expenditures. We need to be confident in making such choices that we are spending money wisely, that the perceived risks justify diversion of resources. Such choices will be affected by current and expected wealth – when you have the high living standards of the US, it’s easier to divert resources against prospective calamity than it is in, say Bangla Desh or sub-Saharan Africa where getting food, water and medical care are much more pressing issues.

    Humans may be short-sighted, if so perhaps this is because we know that life and the future are uncertain, it may be sensible not to over-assess the future as it will always bring surprises.

    So if we are to be persuaded to take potentially major expenditures against possible future threats, we need to be persuaded that those who identify such threats are worth listening to. Many in the scary global warming camp don’t have our confidence. So my question to you, Judith, as a climate scientist, an expert on tropical cyclones, someone who knows the relevant agencies and someone who constantly stresses uncertainty, is how do we – collectively – determine what potential threats are worth addressing? And then how do we – collectively – make the trade-offs between addressing identified threats and alternative priorities?

    This seems to bring us back to the policy issues which bounce back and forth constantly in the CAGW arena.

    • Faustino,

      +1000,

      I agree completely with your excellent post.

      For the sake of discussion, I’ll quote two bits of your post, and make a comment. You addressed this question to Judith:

      So my question to you, Judith, as a climate scientist, an expert on tropical cyclones, someone who knows the relevant agencies and someone who constantly stresses uncertainty, is how do we – collectively – determine what potential threats are worth addressing? And then how do we – collectively – make the trade-offs between addressing identified threats and alternative priorities?

      And earlier in your comment you asked:

      More broadly, how do we ascertain which are the most likely catastrophic events – which has to be done on a country by country, region by region basis – and prioritise our responses?

      I’d suggest we start with this: WEF ‘Global risks 2013http://www.weforum.org/issues/global-risks

      The highest risks (based on Impact) are:
      – ‘Major systemic financial failure’
      – ‘Water supply crises’
      – ‘Chronic fiscal imbalances’

      I’d begin by recognising the solutions that would be most beneficial during a catastrophic climate event – like worst years of the Little Ice Age – would be provision of reliable supplies of water, food and energy. So we’d build the infrastructure to provide a secure, reliable supply of water, food and energy throughout the scenarios we can envisage.

      I’d suggest, if we have secure, reliable, cheap energy supply, we’ll be able to provide systems that would be robust to many climate change events we might envisage. Cheap energy can give us water, irrigation, refrigeration and food irradiation.

      • Peter, thanks for that risk. At a glance, it provides a useful process for determining and ranking risks, as a guide to action. Judith, you might find it of interest. The Exec Summary says, inter alia:

        “There are three types of risks as categorized by Professors Kaplan and Mikes. First are “preventable” risks, such as breakdowns in processes and mistakes by employees. Second are “strategic” risks, which a company undertakes voluntarily, having weighed them against the potential rewards. Third are “external” risks, which this report calls “global risks”; they are complex and go beyond a company’s scope to manage and mitigate (i.e. they are exogenous in nature). This differentiation will, we hope, not only improve strategic planning and decision-making but also increase the utility of our report in private and public sector institutions.

        ‘The concept of resilience also influenced this year’s Global Risks Perception Survey, on which this report is built. The annual survey of experts worldwide added a new question asking respondents to rate their country’s resilience – or, precisely, its ability to adapt and recover – in the face of each of the 50 risks covered in the survey. More than 1,000 experts responded to our survey, making the dataset explored in this report more textured and robust than ever.”

        The report assesses risks in five categories: economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological. It also looks at links between various risks, a help in assessing the broader significance of particular risks.

      • Oops, I meant “Thanks for that link.”

      • Rud Istvan

        Peter and Faustino, both spot on. I agree that energy is where the most resilience is needed, and where the least is being done. Electricity is easiest and has the shortest lead times. For example, the high voltage transmission grid infrastructure in the US is in dire need of overhaul and upgrade, as massive regional system failures continue to show. And some of the AGW mitigation makes the grid less, not more resilient. Wind, for example.
        The hardest is liquid transportations fuels, because of lead times and infrastructure requirements. Doesn’t just underpin current economic lifestyles, underpins supply chains and agriculture. Should be getting much more attention than even under AGW. Reasons given in previous guest posts.

      • Rud

        When considering risk mitigation and resilience there are aspects other than climate change we need to be concerned about.

        UK-and I assume American-infrastructure is highly vulnerable to hostile cyber hacking by anarchist groups, loners with a grudge and hostile countries.

        If say the electricity infrastructure needs to be made more secure against tornadoes or flooding it would be useful to consider that catastrophic hostile hacking is at least as likely and build in resilience accordingly

        tonyb

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        They are not highly vulnerable. As I’ve discussed before, your worries about computer hacking are overblown. Lots of people exaggerate fears of hacking because of ignorance, fear or even self-serving greed. That creates an environment of fear and confusion that has nothing to do with the reality of risks.

      • Brandon

        Cyber crime is likely to cause more problems than global warming.

        Britain has earmarked money to combat hostile hacking and is taking steps to examine the possible impacts of attacks. I don’t believe it is a negligible problem but I certainly don’t lose sleep over it.

        I was merely suggesting to Rud that when the resilience of such things as electrical infrsastructure is looked at with regards to climate change, that it would be prudent to build in cyber security at the same time
        Tonyb

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Tonyb, I’m not sure I understand the point of your comment. You said networks are highly vulnerable. I said that’s not true. Your response didn’t even mention the issue we disagreed about. The fact the UK earmarked money to look at computer security issues means next to nothing. All companies of notable size spend money on that. Of course governments will do so as well.

        I’m not arguing against improving network security as you suggest we should. All I’m saying is you’re wrong about how vulnerable the networks are.

      • A capfull of Carrington,
        A soupcon of suspicion,
        Fragile frying dioxin,
        A freezer full of carrion.
        ===============

      • Rud Istvan

        Brandon, Faustino, and others. As Brandon knows from offline correspondence to my previous post co-author, I can provide personal evidence that cyber security is a bigger issue than we realize. Is it up there with hurricanes and such? Good future discussion. Is it up there ahead of CAGW? Yup. For sure. Data set of two plus unannounced xxxxx others. It took half of today to get one of the worlds largest banks to admit multiple accounts had been hacked, so closed without notice. Still have not admitted how widespread the problem was. Apparently pretty big, and they are avoiding the PR hit. Very much like AGW avoidance of facts.

      • Brandon

        It was a comment in passing late at night so wasn’t appropriate to get into a deep discussion. It is a matter that appears to be of concern to our respective governments. I am not paranoid about it but if infrastructure is being upgraded against physical or natural threats it surely makes sense to equip them for electronic threats
        —— —–
        ‘Cyber attacks on the UK are at “disturbing” levels, according to the director of Britain’s biggest intelligence agency.’

        ‘Professor Peter Somer – a cyber security expert at the London School of Economics – said it may be necessary to force major infrastructure companies to invest in protecting themselves against cyber attack.

        “We may need to get to the point where we say …. you have to have a licence and a condition of the licence is going to be having adequate protection and having contingency plans. They are not going to like it.”

        ‘The government says it ranks cybersecurity as a top priority. Last year it announced £650m of additional funding to help tackle computer-based threats.’

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15516959

        Report from the director of Us National intelligence to the Senate. Two and a half pages on cyber attacks and just two paragraphs on climate change threats

        http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/130312/clapper.pdf

        From Australia; “Cyber terrorists target systems that are predominantly operated and controlled by computers. These systems could include critical infrastructure such as utilities (water, electricity and gas supplies), air-traffic control systems, banking and finance, telecommunications and transport systems (Grabosky and Stohl, 2003).”

        Cyber terrorism presents extreme risks and danger for critical infrastructure (Australian Crime Commission,2011). In Australia, governments (both commonwealth and state) define critical infrastructure as:Those physical facilities, supply chains, information technologies and communication networks which, if destroyed, degraded or rendered unavailable for an extended period, would significantly impact on the social or economic wellbeing of the nation or affect Australia’s ability to conduct national defence and ensure national security. (Attorney-General’s Department, 2010

        http://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1016&context=act&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co.uk%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3Daustralian%2520concern%2520at%2520cyber%2520terrorism%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D2%26ved%3D0CDIQFjAB%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fro.ecu.edu.au%252Fcgi%252Fviewcontent.cgi%253Farticle%253D1016%2526context%253Dact%26ei%3DbdauUdGqIsrtO9mQgYgK%26usg%3DAFQjCNEa1cq5O4qiCXKBd0xqKDvgYLCO0g%26bvm%3Dbv.47380653%2Cd.ZWU#search=%22australian%20concern%20cyber%20terrorism%22

        Sorry for length of last link!
        Its surely prudent to guard against these threats if we are taking precautions against other types of threats such as flooding.

        tonyb

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Rud Istvan, as I told you in my response, I don’t think the primary lesson of your story was one of cyber security. What I see in it is a lesson on how information isn’t shared well within a company. It mostly showed people handling customer complaints can’t be trusted on issues of cyber security. That’s an important lesson for dealing with companies, but it doesn’t speak much to security issues.

        tonyb, unfortunately, the links you provided are largely puff pieces. A prime example is found in your first link. What information is conveyed by someone saying the level of attacks are “disturbing”? None. Of course the director of the GCHQ is going to say it. It gives people no information, but it encourages them to increase his agency’s funding.

        Or look at your second link. In the two and half pages it has on cyber security, what information was actually conveyed? Practically none. And it promotes the 2012 attack on Aramco as a key example. That attack was promoted by United States officials as some major, sophisticated attack, but in reality, it was shoddy work by a fairly unskilled individual.

        Back when that attack was being hyped, I saw a great quote:

        The sad truth may be that cyber security is now a new front in a very old Washington DC parlor game, namely: hyping the threat.

        It’s sad, but true: Hyping threats is common practice. It’s done with empty language and puffery. And that’s what almost everything you hear about cyber threats is.

      • Persian nukes
        Reduced to puke;
        Musta been a fluke.
        ==============

      • Rud

        Your cyber comments very much spot on. I’m sure Mosher is already making bank on it, but wraps himself up in asian teens to provide plausible denial.

        According to NPR report yesterday, many in the the FBI thinks cyber crime/terror/war bigger than conventional terrorism and Muller has had cyber crime near top of his radar past couple years.

      • Steven Mosher

        Howard

        “According to NPR report yesterday, many in the the FBI thinks cyber crime/terror/war bigger than conventional terrorism and Muller has had cyber crime near top of his radar past couple years.”

        You’ll have to recall Richard was a member of

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

        I’ll say this. Associates who have done the forensics on some of the biggest cyber crime cases involving the most sophisticated US companies, would agree with the FBI. I put it cryptically because the folks who work on the highest profile cases are required to sign non disclosures. basically, they cant get publicity for the work they do. In other high profile cases, like Sony,
        the firms involved are disclosed.

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

        Of course one can always argue that “the network” is not vulnerable, but when its operated by poorly trained people it is vulnerable. We can always flip that around. No network, no machine, no facility however hardened is stronger than its weakest link which is usually a person

        Manning is the best example of that.

        and finally its nonsense to talk about a “system” without acknowledging that humans run those systems and are a part of it.

        So When I read tonyb say the system in vulnerable I quite naturally understand that he is referring to the whole system as deployed and maintained.

      • An aside re Tony B’s quotation on cyber security from Peter Sommer, who was previously involved in some consulting for UEA on the Climategate emails:

        http://climateaudit.org/2013/01/07/a-new-puzzle-two-versions-of-the-sommer-report/

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Howard, if you compare terrorism to cyber-crime, you’re stacking the deck as most cybercrime is not related to terrorism. Child pornography alone is probably enough to make cybercrime more prevalent. I don’t know that the comparison makes much sense, but I’d definitely agree about which is more common/bigger.

        Mosher, I’m well aware of the human component. I’ve written documents detailing how to exploit it as well as documents on how to train employees to address it (as well as how to design a system to account for it). That’s the sort of thing anyone working much in network security does.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon

        “Mosher, I’m well aware of the human component. I’ve written documents detailing how to exploit it as well as documents on how to train employees to address it (as well as how to design a system to account for it). That’s the sort of thing anyone working much in network security does.”

        Sorry, I’ve never read any of your documents. And in discussions of who should be the consultant on the latest security book, your name has never come up. Let me know when you get your cert from here
        http://www.dc3.mil/ and we can talk. I’ll introduce you. to the editor of this

        He’s always looking for good guys.

        Still, you agree that the system can be highly vulnerable. Good. Perhaps you were arguing with tonyb just to argue with him. So if the system includes the human element its no stronger than the people operating it. And if the people operating it are not following your instructions then the system is highly vulnerable. Otherwise you would not instruct them. Now, whether or not a system is in fact exploited, the fact that it is only as safe as the human operating it should tell you how vulnerable it is.

        Recall that Manning worked in the tighest possible security enviroment. I know I used to work in the same kind of facilities. As good as the software is, as good as the hardware is, as good as the training is, as good as your document is, the system is only as strong as it’s weakest link: the human. And that human element makes the system highly vulnerable.

        This is your cue to say you were talking about “the network” and not the system, and perhaps a clue that when folks like tony talk they say “the network” when they mean the system.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Mosher, please don’t make things up:

        Still, you agree that the system can be highly vulnerable. Good.

        I never said anything about “the system,” and I never said anything “can be highly vulnerable.” You’re just making this up. As for:

        Let me know when you get your cert from here
        http://www.dc3.mil/ and we can talk. I’ll introduce you. to the editor of this

        Do you realize what you’re asking me to get? DC3 certs are only loosely related to cyber security. They’re primarily about forensics, a small portion of what cyber security covers. This is like telling me to become a crime scene tech.

        This is your cue to say you were talking about “the network” and not the system, and perhaps a clue that when folks like tony talk they say “the network” when they mean the system.

        Or I could not say stupid things I don’t believe.

    • Quite right.

      While I enjoyed the historical tour (and disliked immensely the implied catastrophism and the slur about “smoking deniers”), it doesn’t get us much further to say that sometimes bad stuff happens and we should try to be prepared.

      What is clear is that global cooling is something we might have to be very concerned about, if it happens. It is not clear, however, that a couple of degrees of warming would be nearly as destructive, especially to agriculture.

      It should be remembered that in the C17th agricultural productivity was much, much lower than it is today, especially for grain crops, and trade was much less. Most people all over the world literally lived from year to year relying largely on the local harvests and animals – and surpluses, when they occurred, were relatively small. There is no comparison with the massive international distribution of food that we have today. If every crop in the UK and France failed for a year, or even a decade, nobody would have to starve.

      As the predictive powers of climate models are pathetically poor, it seems more sensible to focus on known threats and, if we can afford it, take steps to minimise their effects. Why the great and wealthy city of New York doesn’t have decent storm protection infrastructure is a mystery to me, but it is not as if the risk is unknown. Still, that is a matter for the people there and their elected governments to decide.

      As Faustino says, these decisions are always trade-offs. Just imagine if all the money wasted so far on trying to control a trace gas in the atmosphere had been spent on storm mitigation, upgrading water supplies and drainage, and similar projects. Now that would be rational risk management, IMO.

      • johanna, your reply indicates the importance of having a wide view of things, rather than focussing on a single issue with little or no knowledge of or regard for the broader context. It is critical that issues such as alleged CAGW be assessed not only by those with specific expertise but by those with a wider understanding of the world and of policy-making – such as you and I. :-)

    • David L. Hagen

      Sacrificing grain and starving the poor
      The great danger is that earth worshiping alarmists are requiring that we sacrifice our grain to their climate god. i.e., Congress was panicked into forcing farmers to convert our grain into ethanol. The USA is already converting more than 40% of our corn to fuel. The EPA is impervious to reason, refusing to make any allowances for drought and famine.
      Indur Goklany found that Green fuel policies already caused 192,000 deaths/year in 2010 for those in extreme poverty – not counting the consequence of the drought in 2012. See:
      Could Biofuel Policies Increase Death and Disease in Developing Countries? Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 16 (1): 9–13 (2011).

      the increase in poverty owing to growth in biofuels production over 2004 levels leads to the conclusion that additional biofuel production may have resulted in at least 192,000 excess deaths and 6.7 million additional lost DALYs in 2010. These exceed WHO’s estimated annual toll of 141,000 deaths and 5.4 million lost DALYs attributable to global warming. Thus, policies intended to mitigate global warming may actually have increased death and disease in developing countries.

      • Before worrying about diversion of grain into ethanol production, I’d suggest we work on improvements to food distribution and storage so that the 40% of US food production which is lost to spoilage gets reduced.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        timg56 | June 4, 2013 at 12:55 pm |

        Before worrying about diversion of grain into ethanol production, I’d suggest we work on improvements to food distribution and storage so that the 40% of US food production which is lost to spoilage gets reduced.

        Before worrying about improvements to food distribution, you might want to get your facts straight (emphasis mine) …

        Postharvest losses vary greatly among commodities and production areas and seasons. In the United States, the losses of fresh fruits and vegetables are estimated to range from 2% to 23%, depending on the commodity, with an overall average of about 12% losses between production and consumption sites (Cappellini and Ceponis, 1984; Harvey, 1978). Kantor et al (1997) estimated the U.S. total retail, foodservice, and consumer food losses in 1995 to be 23% of fruits and 25% of vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables accounted for nearly 20% of consumer and foodservice losses, which are due to product deterioration, excess perishable products that are discarded, and plate waste (food not consumed by the purchaser). The latter is often due to consumer dissatisfaction with product quality, especially flavor.

        Post-harvest loss is definitely an issue, but we’re not wasting almost half of our food as you speciously claim. US post-harvest loss has an overall average of about 12% … you’re only off by a factor of 3.5.

        Although to be fair, I suppose in the climate world that’s deadly accurate …

        w.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Fresh fruits and vegetables are different than “food.” That’s a pretty silly mistake. You didn’t even get the subject right yet you mocked him for posting a (supposedly) wrong number.

      • Willis,

        I am relaying information I read in the Seattle Times from a week or so ago. I was surprised the number was so high.

        The 40% number includes all food types, not simply fruits & vegetables. It supposedly covers the distribution chain from the grocer to the end user (us). The restaurant industry is included as well.

        I’m not making any specious claim. Let me guess, someone pissed in your cornflakes this morning.

      • timg56
        Re: “Before worrying about diversion of grain into ethanol production”
        The issue is legislated mandating diverting cereal grain to fuel for NO climate benefit – with the direct consequence of starving the poor. This has gone from 0% to >40% of US corn.
        Jackson writes

        American cars now burn enough corn to cover all the import needs of the 82 nations classed by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) as “low-income food-deficit countries”. There could scarcely be a better way to starve the poor. The threat posed by biofuels affects all of us.

        David Pimentel documents how Biofuels cause malnutrition in the world in Global Economic and Environmental Aspects of Biofuels (2012) ISBN-10: 1439834636

        The rapid growth of using food for biofuels . . .has increased world starvation and deaths. . . More than 70% of the world’s population is malnurished. . . .Each year 6.5 million children under the age of five die from malnutrition. . . Each year vitamin A deficiency causes 2.5 million deaths. . . .US grocery bills increased from $6 billion to $9 billion per year . . . The World Bank’s commodity food price index of corn and wheat increased 74% and 70%, respectively, between the first quarter 2010 and the first quarter of 2011.

        The mandatory US Renewable Fuel Standard requiring 36 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022

        would require harvesting all the biomass produced in the United States including all crops. This would essentially be like taking a lawnmower to the total vegetation produced in the United States. . . .Serious world malnutrition will further increase.

        I lay those ongoing increased deaths and missdiversion of available resources to the charge of those fanatical green activists and foolish legislators who passed this legislation. The US Constitution begins:

        We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

        Mandating cereal food be converted to fuel which starves people directly breaches “justice” and violates “the general Welfare”.

        PS Corn losses are much less than your figure. See:
        Corn Harvesting, Handling, Drying, and Storage

      • Timg56,

        I read an article along similar lines about how food waste had increased in Japan because of the “best by” date addition. There are estimates that about 20% of food waste is due to the use by or best by dates making consumers think that the food is going bad because it is close to a date that is already conservatively estimated.

        http://grist.org/food/2011-11-18-use-by-dates-a-myth-that-needs-busting/

      • When we were obligate locavores, we were usually malnourished by Springtime.
        ============

      • There is indeed a lot of food wasted in rich countries, and much of it is due to over-regulation. For example, where I live, people are no longer allowed doggie-bags in restaurants because of spurious claims about the risk of food poisoning. Uneaten food must be thrown out. As has been mentioned above, “best by” dates are not only very conservative, consumers mistakenly think they mean that the food is probably spoiled, which is not at all the case. In many places it is illegal to sell day-old bread for human consumption. A lot of places mandate throwing out any food where the packaging is damaged. And so on.

        Still, it does highlight that we are not anywhere near imminent danger of starvation because of tiny changes in the climate. There is no shortage of food, but a considerable and affordable surplus.

      • Peter Lang

        Johanna,

        Still, it does highlight that we are not anywhere near imminent danger of starvation because of tiny changes in the climate.

        Another slant on “not anywhere near imminent danger of starvation” was explained to me by a retired academic economist. He was schooled in UK by possibly the same people as Faustino. He worked for the Fraser Government and spent a lot of time on economic aid in Africa.

        He explained to me that food growing productivity is Afrtica is proportional to the distance from town or village. The further a farmer is from a town or village the lower the productivity of the land.

        The decline in productivity with distance from the town has nothing to do with the land’s inherent productivity. it is determined by lack of infrastructure (roads, rail, transport, water food preservation and storage), governance, law and order. So the equipment, fuel, fertilisers, fencing materials, products and services they need to be productive are not available. And much of what they do produce gets stolen.

        Given the above, it seems to me that economic growth and improved governance – which will come over time – means there is effectively no limit to the amount of food we can grow on Planet Earth in the foreseeable future.

      • David,

        I am not arguing for the merits of using cereal grains for fuel production. I personally think it is being driven on the merits of how much it benefits farmers and agro-business and not on the merits of either energy independance or climate change. I’m of the opinion one has to be math challenged to think it has any merits on the latter two issues.

        And I agree there are some serious negative impacts of contributing to higher grain prices, as you pointed out. But with regard to one of those impacts, ie. peoples access to affordable food, I am arguing that there are other factors having a much greater impact. If waste and spoilage was not so high, the impact of diversion to fuel production would be felt much less than it is now.

      • capt,

        I rarely pay attention to “use by dates”.

        But then I’m the sort who when checking the fridge for leftovers, will scoop out small mold spots and eat the rest. It’s only when the fur covers the entire dish that I toss it.

        I’m also biased by an upbringing by parents who lived through the Great Depression. The rule at dinner was we could have as much as we wanted, but we had to finish everything on our plate.

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | June 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm |

        http://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-ip.pdf

        40%.

        Bill Maher had a special guest this week talking about this very subject.

        I took a look at the pdf you linked. Excluding fresh fruits and vegetables the most significant waste of food in western countries is the proverbial child who doesn’t eat everything on his plate. Evidently children who aren’t taught to eat everything on their plate become adults who don’t clean up their plates. In other words the major losses occur at the consumer level not the production or distribution level. If retail consumers would simply eat everything they buy the waste would be more than cut in half. Fresh fruits and vegetables, which generally aren’t staple foods except for a few notable exceptions like pototoes, are subject to much higher distribution level losses due to spoilage.

      • Steven Mosher

        David,

        it was weird how Willis went off on tmg56 when the first google search on “us food loss 40%” turned up this report. Oh well.

      • David L. Hagen

        timg56
        Thanks re

        not on the merits of either energy independance or climate change. I’m of the opinion one has to be math challenged to think it has any merits on the latter two issues.

        The perverseness is that the renewable fuel mandate was sold on the basis of global warming and yet it has no global warming benefits while seriously harming those in extreme poverty.
        Oversized servings are a primary a problem on that 40% “waste”, as well as on obesity.
        See Reducing portion size reduces food intake and plate waste.

        This study shows that reducing PS (portion size) of a particular item in an all-you-can-eat environment results in reduced intake of that food for most individuals, and that reducing PS reduces PW (plate waste) and food production.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Faustino: More broadly, how do we ascertain which are the most likely catastrophic events – which has to be done on a country by country, region by region basis – and prioritise our responses?

      The answer to the “how” part “is that’s what politics is all about”. It definitely has to be done on a country by country basis, and some countries have better politics than others. I’m sorry that’s so trite, but it is helpful sometimes not to overlook the obvious. In a democratic society, we need fulsome public debate with all points of view represented in the debate, and all exhortations for action to be challenged by opponents until solid cases for both need and efficacy have been made and have been accepted by a large persistent majority. In my opinion, the IPCC (and some strident advocates like James Hansen and Al Gore) tried to cut off debate when the case for need to address AGW was full of holes, and the case for efficacy was practically non-existent.

      To give credit where it’s due, I think Al Gore performed a signal service in starting a debate. Inhoff and others took up the challenge, and now Congress is carrying out something like a true debate. I am hopeful that Michael Mann will pursue his libel suit against Steyn and NRO all the way to a jury trial, so that an actual jury will get to hear scientists debate each other under oath and be cross-examined (and hence forced to answer questions from other disputants.) I think that also will produce something like a true debate.

    • The problem with “resilience” as a concept is that it can only be defined relative to a prospective chain of events. We could try to “prevent” a bad event (e.g. reducing CO2 emissions to reduce the risk of flooding of coastal cities), we could try to “harden” systems against bad events (e.g. building flood-control works), we could try to “prepare for recovery” (e.g. improving evacuation procedures and making cleanup and rebuilding processes faster and cheaper), we could try to “enhance coping capabilities” (e.g. by easing relocation of residents, accumulating wealth so that even costly rebuilding), etc.

      Each step along the way is “anticipatory” relative to the one after it and “reactive” relative to the one before it. So we’re really talking about “anticipatoriness” and “reactivity” as pointing the beginning and the end of the causal chain, respectively.

  17. Willis Eschenbach

    Studying the causes of climate change and the various coping strategies from 350 years ago will not prevent the onset of another catastrophe in the 21st century. Nevertheless, the mean global temperature today differs by one or two degrees from the 20th-century average—the same order of magnitude as in the 17th century—and the fact that we face an increase (rather than a fall) of 2 degrees Celsius has not reduced the frequency of extreme weather events or their adverse impact on humanity.

    First off, the guy seems less than clueful about the climate. The temperature today differs by only about six tenths of a degree above the 20th century climate, not “one or two degrees”. Be aware that this is a change in temperature of only two tenths of a percent … color me unimpressed by anything but the stability of the temperature.

    Next, I love his spin on the predicted Thermageddon™, which is that it will not decrease the frequency of extreme events … he neglects to mention that a couple centuries of warming since the Little Ice Age has shown no increase in extreme events, nor that droughts are more common when it’s cool …

    Finally, yes, a couple of degrees of cooling in the Little Ice Age was extremely unpleasant for a host of reasons, as he points out.

    He neglects to mention the corollary … that that means that a couple of degrees of warming since the Little Ice Age was extremely pleasant …

    w.

    • “Finally, yes, a couple of degrees of cooling in the Little Ice Age was extremely unpleasant for a host of reasons, as he points out.”

      but you claim: “Be aware that this is a change in temperature of only two tenths of a percent”

      So how can it be extremely unpleasant?

      • It’s not unpleasant to the people in Manitoba. They love; they work; they prosper.

        And the people in Manitoba don’t have it half as bad as the people in North Dakota, who are living about as good as it gets in the good old USA. All while it is cold as hell.

      • This pair is cognitively dissonating, folks, for how long even kim doesn’t know.
        ============

      • The LIA was unpleasant for two reasons. Change in unpleasant. They were primitive. We would have sailed through it like it wasn’t there.

        Kim is selling fear. Be very afraid of Minnesota. Seriously. What you need to be very afraid of is Mississippi. Something about warmth makes people into reactionary retards.

      • JCH,

        You are correct about us “sailing” through LIA conditions. Human civilization is far advanced from the 17th century. This also means we are capable of sailing through a change towards a couple of degrees warmer as well.

        BTW – why is it that southerners are still fair game for bigoted comments?

      • “Finally, yes, a couple of degrees of cooling in the Little Ice Age was extremely unpleasant for a host of reasons, as he points out.”

        but you claim: “Be aware that this is a change in temperature of only two tenths of a percent”

        So how can it be extremely unpleasant?”

        Little ice age lasted for centuries. And cooler periods where globally glaciers were advancing ended around 1850. During this long period there were shorter period [decades] in which there many years got quite
        cold. So just like 1998 was a year in which there was the highest temperature, there there were years when you got coolest temperatures.

        So generally it’s assumed that increases in CO2 had not added much
        to global warming prior to 1950, and since such time global temperature has risen a few tenth of degree and if measure difference cool periods in Little Ice Age to current temperature it’s about 2 or 3 degree.
        Or if global temperature were to lower by 2 degrees from current temperature, to say in would extremely unpleasant- and probably more unpleasant than addition of 2 degrees. So one say that today’s average temperature is pleasant in comparison.
        Or a general rule, it better to at time where have most glaciers are retreating than a time where have most glaciers advancing. Particularly
        if glaciers have been advancing for centuries.

      • In the dissonance JCH perceives me selling ‘fear’. On the contrary, I sell warning of cold, and re-assurance that warming is more bearable. Truly, given human ingenuity and cheap, available energy, we’ll weather even a lengthy Ice Age.

        Do not fear. Pray to Gaia.
        =============

      • Dontcha know that every day in every way things are getting better and better in this best of all possible worlds?
        ============

    • David L. Hagen

      The contrast is eloquently expressed by Minnesotans For Global Warming Youtube videos. from the Frozen Wasteland.

      • Another failed Minnesotan, Michele Bachmann, thinks that CO2 is a harmless gas:

        She won’t be running for office again with the FBI hot on her tail.

        Folks there is your 3%.

      • David Springer

        Oh that’s rich coming from a guy who is represented in the US senate by Al Franken. ROFL

      • David Springer

        Minnesotan politicians:

        Eugen McCarthy
        Walter Mondale
        Jesse Ventura
        Michelle Bachmann
        Al Franken

        Kind of makes you wonder if there’s perhaps too much lead pipe in the plumbing there if you get my drift.

      • WEB,

        Fortunately most people know better than to judge the good people of Minnesota based on the behavior of one or two individuals. Based on my time living there, you and Michelle are outliers.

      • Outlier or just plain liar?

        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/opinion/blow-bachmann-bows-out.html

        ” According to PolitiFact, of the 59 statements by Bachmann that the site has checked since 2009, 44 (a whopping 75 percent) were mostly false or worse. A quarter met the criteria for the site’s worst rating: Pants on Fire. Ten percent were deemed half true, seven percent mostly true and only eight percent unambiguously true.

        According to The Washington Post fact checker:

        “Bachmann is not just fast and loose with the facts; she is consistently and unapologetically so. No other lawmaker earned as high a percentage of four-Pinocchio ratings as Bachmann — and she earned an average of more than three Pinocchios as a presidential candidate.”

        Four Pinocchios is The Post’s worst rating.”

        As far as me being an outlier, I am part of the 97% consensus that deems AGW as significant.

      • WEB,

        You will not see me singing the praises of Michelle Bachman.

        And you are welcome to whatever part of being 97% of 32% you want.

      • David Springer

        Nor will you see me praising Bachmann. I think she’s batschit crazy and wasn’t sure which cut the more comical figure in the 2012 republican primaries Bachmann or Herman “999” Cain. Of course nobody every outdoes the comedic talents of presidential primary contenders than good old Al Sharpton so the democRATS still hold the title.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Willis Eschenbach, nice post on the whole.

      Be aware that this is a change in temperature of only two tenths of a percent …

      The percentage doesn’t matter for policy purposes, because it is a change within a range that is a challenge for living things to adapt to. A change in temperature that is small in percentage terms may produce severe crop failures.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Thanks, Matt. I bring up the change in percentage terms because our human preoccupation with ourselves has blinded us to just how incredibly stable our climate is. That is the unresolved issue in climate science, not why some piddly six-tenths of a degree change over a century occurred, but why it’s not six degrees …

        w.

  18. Parker is on to something! And literature has a role to play here too

    RE:
    I emailed Adeline Johns-Putra,
    Reader in English Literature at the University of Surrey in the UK,
    what she though of the new term, and she replied: ”I think climate
    change fiction (or ‘cli-fi’)
    has, in just a few years, moved beyond simplistic apocalypse scenarios
    to engage intelligently with questions of science and policy (Kim
    Stanley Robinson’s Science in the Capital trilogy) and environmental
    justice (for example, Barbara Kingsolver and Paolo Bacigalupi, in very
    different ways). By making us ‘live’ both the devastating impacts of
    climate change and ways of dealing with these, these novels can’t help
    but intervene in the ongoing debate on climate change policies.”

    ‘Cli fi’ takes
    international
    role as climate
    fiction term

    by Danny Bloom

    TAIPEI — In a recent Guardian commentary in late May, British writer Rodge
    Glass issued a “global warning” about what he termed “the rise of
    ‘cli-fi'” — noting that ”unlike most science fiction, novels about
    climate change focus on an immediate and intense threat rather than
    discovery.”

    His piece about the rise of cli-fi as a literary term in English — in
    both the U.S. and in the UK — was well-received among his newspaper’s
    readership with over 100 comments joining the post-publication online
    discussion. NPR, formerly known as National Public Radio in the U.S.,
    did a story about cli-fi in April, which was followed by a second
    story by the Christian Science Monitor. And following the Guardian
    piece in late May, the Financial Times in London ran its own story
    about cli-fi.

    Glass, himself a novelist, said that in recent months the cli-fi term
    has been used increasingly in literary and environmental circles —
    but there’s no doubt it has broken out more widely. The Twitterverse
    also took note, he said.

    I know a little about the growing popularity of the cli-fi term
    because I coined it here in Taiwan in 2007, while working on a
    series of blog posts about climate change and global warming. But it
    wasn’t until NPR and the Guardian ran stories about cli-fi that the
    word got out far and wide. I also want to credit an artist in Taiwan,
    Deng Cheng-hong, who inspired me in my PR work with his illustrations
    of what future survival cities for climate refugees might look like.

    Glass said that ”engaging with this subject in fiction increases
    debate about the issue; finely constructed, intricate narratives help
    us broaden our understanding and explore imagined futures, encouraging
    us to think about the kind of world we want to live in. This can often
    seem difficult in our 24-hour news-on-loop society where the
    consequences of climate change may appear to be everywhere, but
    intelligent discussion of it often seems to be nowhere.”

    As Gregory Norminton put it in his introduction to a recent UK
    anthology on the subject of climate fiction: “Global warming is a
    predicament, not a story. Narrative only comes in our response to that
    predicament.”

    Unlike sci-fi, cli-fi writing comes primarily from a place of warning
    rather than discovery, according to Glass.

    ”There are no spaceships hovering in the sky; no clocks striking 13,”
    he wrote. “On the contrary, many of the horrors described seem oddly
    familiar.”

    Glass ended his piece by saying that with cli-fi as a new literary
    term “there is an opportunity …”Whenever a literary term gains
    traction it is a chance to examine not only what it says about the
    writers who explore the new ground but also the readers who buy it,
    read it, discuss it. And that discussion is only going to get louder.
    It is already difficult for any serious writer to imagine convincing
    worlds on the page without admitting that these worlds, if they
    resemble our own, are under threat. As that threat grows, so will the
    vocabulary designed to make sense of it.”

    After reading the Glass piece, I emailed Adeline Johns-Putra,
    Reader in English Literature at the University of Surrey in the UK,
    what she though of the new term, and she replied: ”I think climate
    change fiction (or ‘cli-fi’)
    has, in just a few years, moved beyond simplistic apocalypse scenarios
    to engage intelligently with questions of science and policy (Kim
    Stanley Robinson’s Science in the Capital trilogy) and environmental
    justice (for example, Barbara Kingsolver and Paolo Bacigalupi, in very
    different ways). By making us ‘live’ both the devastating impacts of
    climate change and ways of dealing with these, these novels can’t help
    but intervene in the ongoing debate on climate change policies.”

    So is ”cli-fi” as a subgenre of sci fi here to stay? It’s up to
    writers around the\world, and their readers, to decide. Time will
    tell. But it looks like it’s off to a good start.

    ————–

    Dan Bloom is a freelance writer in Taiwan.

    • At least they are honest about it being fiction.

    • Cli-fi got its debut with Al Gore’s fictional documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”.

      Problem is, it was hailed as “factual” and got Al a Nobel Peace Prize (plus an Oscar), rather than a prize for “best fictional work”.

    • Cli-FI. Brilliant. Thank you for this, I was so amused that I have been moved to come out briefly from my self imposed lurkdom!

  19. Undoubtedly there have been local, regional and possibly even global, climate catastrophes in the past.

    The examples of 17th century crop failures, famines, unrest and deaths give us a stark confirmation of what kim has been telling us all along, “Colder is bad for us, warmer is good for us.”

    In addition they point to adaptation (resilience) to a worsening climate if and when it appears likely to occur (the Japanese granary solution to the crop failures caused by cold).

    But this is nothing new.

    The Old Testament tells of Joseph warning the Egyptian Pharaoh “that seven years of abundance would be followed by seven years of famine, and advised Pharaoh to store surplus grain during the years of abundance” . [Wiki]

    The second argument for adaptation rather than mitigation is quite simple.

    We know from past experience that adaptation works (the above examples plus the dikes of the Netherlands are prime examples).

    We do not know a) whether or not mitigation proposals will work at all or b) what the unintended negative consequences of these proposals might be.

    To date there have been no actionable mitigation proposals that can be shown to have a perceptible impact on our future climate, in effect telling us that we are unable to change our climate at will, no matter how much money we throw at it.

    So adaptation to any climate challenges nature (or anyone else) throws at us if and when it becomes apparent that these are likely to occur, in order to ensure resilience when they do, is really the only choice we have.

    Everything else is pinheaded ivory tower dream-scheming.

    Max

    • Manacker,

      Another excellent comment.

      The examples of 17th century crop failures, famines, unrest and deaths give us a stark confirmation of what kim has been telling us all along, “Colder is bad for us, warmer is good for us.”

      It occurs to me that a root cause of the arguments is not so much about how much the planet may warm or cool in the century ahead, nor how fast. It’s more to do with the consequences or impacts of such changes. We know cold is bad. We don’t really know that warm is bad. The catastrophist tell us it is, b ut their studies have been cherry picked to make it look bad.

      What this really boils down to, as I’ve been saying for ages, is; we have very little information about the damage function. It is highly uncertain. Both Nordhaus and Tol say so. See for example Nordhaus ‘Lab Notes for Impacts and Damage function‘, here (p23): http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Accom_Notes_100507.pdf

    • “The examples of 17th century crop failures, famines, unrest and deaths give us a stark confirmation of what kim has been telling us all along, “Colder is bad for us, warmer is good for us.”” – Max

      Enough with your global cooling alarmism.

      I live in the tropics – a few degrees cooler will be just fine thanks.

      • Careful, Danny Bloom might find that a bit harsh.
        ======

      • kiM RE “Careful, Danny Bloom might find that a bit harsh.” please note DANNY BLOOM does not find it at all harsh. we are all in this together he believes, come hell and high water

      • I don’t see what the fuss is about cooling. Obviously we can handle it easily. People travel from (warmer) Sydney to (colder) Melbourne all the time! That proves that the maunder minimum was not a problem.

      • We’ll gift lolwot with a glacial erratic. Gifted correctly it could be revelatory.
        ===========

      • OK, I give up. If you can intercalate like that, sign me up for a reservation on one of your Polar Cities.
        ============

      • Kim’s just an alarmist.

        Cooler is fine.
        Just look at how many people love skiing.

        To avoid alarmism, you must look at the benefits of cooling

      • Kim frightened me so much today that I just had to go see my psychiatrist. He was deeply concerned about my obvious anxiety until I told him I was scared to death of global cooling. Then an angered Dr. Fritzenheimersteen told me to chill the F out.

        I whimpered, but nobody will yell “fire” in a cold theater.

        So now I’m at a bar doing recommended therapy by having some cold ones. It’s not as bad as I thought.

      • Michael,

        And what do you think the folks in Minnesota might think about it being a few degrees warmer?

      • Michael

        Where you happen to live at the moment is pretty irrelevant.

        History shows us that humanity in general had greater problems during prolonged colder periods than during warmer ones (lead post, for example).

        That was the point here (has nothing to do with “alarmism” about global cooling or global warming).

        I’m against alarmism from both sides because it is silly.

        And I do not believe that we are headed for an “inevitable climate catastrophe”.

        Max

        Max

  20. RobertInAz

    “He neglects to mention the corollary … that that means that a couple of degrees of warming since the Little Ice Age was extremely pleasant ”

    The post-LIA climate optimum! Not to be confused with the Holocene Optimum, the Minoan Optimum, or the Roman Optimum. What did all of these optimums have in common? There were warmer than today. Further, there were no runaway warming effects caused by positive water vapor feedback because it was a little warmer.

    I look at the discourse in wonder. Where in history have these positive feedback in which a little warming leads to even more warming because of additional water vapor ever been observed?

    • “Not to be confused with the Holocene Optimum, the Minoan Optimum, or the Roman Optimum. What did all of these optimums have in common? There were warmer than today.”

      Well, that isn’t known for sure.

      “Where in history have these positive feedback in which a little warming leads to even more warming because of additional water vapor ever been observed?”

      All warm periods in history would be that warm because of additional water vapor. It’s built into the system. Water vapor doesn’t cause a runaway, it’s an amplifier. Eg instead of a source of heat causing the earth to warm just 1C it warms by a total of 2C.

      • But that means it is not runaway warming. What causes the warming to stop and why is that stop mechanism not operative now?

      • None of the IPCC forecasts are for runaway warming

      • Stopping emissions would cause it to stop, but that is easier said than done.

      • lolwot,

        Provide an example from human history where a change in climate to warmer resulted in wide spread catastrophe.

      • lolwot,

        None of the IPCC forecasts may be for runaway warming, but you are. You’ve made that point repeatedly.

        It doesn’t help your credibility to hide behind your beloved IPCC when it is convenient, as when someone challenges you on a point you can’t defend.

      • when did i last make that point?

      • Matthew R Marler

        lolwot: Well, that isn’t known for sure.

        Everything relevant isn’t known for sure.

        Well, maybe the absorption and emission spectra of the Earth, Sun, H2O, CH4, and CO2 are known with adequate certainty and accuracy. Not much else. Maybe not the emission spectrum of the Sun, as the energies in various bands fluctuate differently.

      • lolwot,

        As i don’t know how to search past threads for comments, I can’t give a specific date, but you have talked about tipping points more than once.

      • tipping points are not runaway warming

    • steven mosher

      every body knows that it hasent warmed since the LIA. Its all UHI.
      no wait, ask Keenan, there has been no statistically significant warming

      sarc off

      • I’m skeptical you have a button called “sarc off”.

      • Ask Muller, it’s all Human GHGs since the LIA.

        Without which it would be now several degrees cooler.

        So which way does he want it? moshe?
        =======================

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘I’m skeptical you have a button called “sarc off”.”

        ouch!

  21. Oh, come on now, cold is dangerous? Don’t you know the oceans are going to boil?
    ============

    • The team does not think the oceans are going to boil.

    • kim, that would make coastal tea-making easier, though the salty flavour might appeal only to Tibetans. Mmm, giving that they tend to be far from the coast, maybe no benefit.

      • Faustino

        Tibetans may be “far from the coast” today, but with the sea level rise projected by Hansen et al. Lhasa will have seaside properties before too long.

        Max

      • Heh, climate science, the science that would be King.
        ==========

  22. The sustainability/resilience thread is kind of old, but here is a related link. Nuclear plants are more resilient when it comes to thievery!! Try securing a solar plant as easily as a nuclear one. Obviously, if they man these things 24/7, that will drive the cost up.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-03/solar-thieves-evade-german-police-hunted-with-liquid-dna-energy.html?cmpid=yhoo

  23. FYI – Dr Curry did CLI FI post Dec, 23 last year …NOW …NPR did this story in April and then UK GUARDIAN newspaper did it last
    week. LINK BELOW”

    ”Global warning: the rise of ‘cli-fi’

    Unlike most science fiction, novels about climate change focus on an
    immediate and intense threat rather than discovery

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/may/31/global-warning-rise-cli-fi

  24. Hmmm…maybe the only required actions for the time beingshould be that 1) those who feel strongly that nothing serious will occur as a result of a global warming are required to insure, i.e., underwriter those who think some bad stuff is going to occur to them. Action 2: The latter, of course should be required to buy that insurance. No other action would be taken. Of course some consensus would be needed regarding premiums.

    • Hmm. I see attribution problems. Good case was Superstorm – er Hurricane Sandy,

    • Attribution is uncertain. Uncertainty is a driver of risk. Risk drives premiums. If I am providing insurance and see more risk I increase the premiums, If I’m a buyer and see risk then a higher premium is worth it. Of course this is simple and has an element of whimsy, but the underlying idea is to make parties bet on their own position and not the other guy’s. Just a thought for fun.

  25. Major volcanic eruptions are not exotic events magnified by Hollywood treatment. You don’t get ‘em all the time – or there’d be nobody here – but there will be another Tambora or Laki or Krakatoa. There’s your inevitable climate catastrophe.

    A big bust (Tambora) or rolling foulness (Laki) is on the cards. The Mississippi froze at or near New Orleans after Laki, though I’d be curious to know the depth of freezing. One can certainly expect a hellish winter after such an event. Why not? People can use recent experience of smaller eruptions to mitigate many of the effects on air, aviation, agriculture, health etc, but it will certainly qualify as a global climate catastrophe. It will be odd if it doesn’t come within this century or the next. Nothing to say it won’t happen sooner. (No sense asking. Volcanism is full of unknowns and it’s under-funded. Also, when volcano experts don’t know something they actually say they don’t know. Imagine that!)

    Ah, but where’s the politics? Where’s the tax angle? What can GE sell you today that will make you feel good about saving the planet from a spewing Mt. Rainier?

  26. There is one important truth in Parkers paper: The excessive cold by
    global cooling was observed starting 1620! Even the period of 1600-
    1620 is regarded as very cold. This takes the air out of the mistaken argument that the Maunder Minimum, which started 1645, is to
    blame for the cold. No sunspot minimum can cool retroactively. The Maunder aficionados always and cunningly omit the period 1600-1645.

    • Not sure it’s wise to see the Maunder as a neatly defined event which had a switch thrown around 1645. Just as an example, no sunspots were observed in 1640, several were observed in 1650 and 1660. Telescopic observation was pretty frequent after 1610, but the sun before the official Maunder seems to have been about as quiet as during the Dalton. All a bit vague, of course. Me, I haven’t got a clue what causes the climate to do what it does. I’d love to know what bumped us out of that Younger Dryas. Now that’s what I call global warming!

      • Maunder sunspots were large, sparse, and primarily southern hemispheric. There is a big clue there.
        =============

      • Yes, you get your latitude men and your size men. Then there are your frequency men. The things you can do with a telescope!

  27. You could get an amphibious Motorhome, if you’re nervous about flooding and sea-level rise. Or invest in a company that builds them.

  28. if colder is worse, as suggested; in the 17th century AND, if CO2 is contributing to warming – must reward the big CO2 polluters, to pollute as much as possible and avoid 17th century catastrophes…? REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY WORKS ON HONEST PEOPLE WITH DIGNITY/INTEGRITY

  29. Related to the previous thread, a great question for the GWPF and RS to address is what they think are the worst climate catastrophe they can imagine for this century. This would be a puzzler for the GWPF, who don’t usually consider such a question. Maybe there can be a consensus between them on some kind of disaster to avoid or plan for.

    • Peter Lang

      That’s easy. Another Little Ice Age.

      • Now we’re getting somewhere. Would you tax fossil fuels to try to conserve them for the cold days to come, or subsidize them to try to make them run out faster? Just kidding, of course, but worthy of some thought.

      • Jim D

        Neither tax, nor subsidize.

        Max

    • “The worst one can imagine” could be far from the realms of possibility. One might better ask “What is the worst case scenario this century in terms of your assessment of climate change.” But it would still make no sense to ask that, we can’t plan on the basis of worst case scenarios which we think of an extremely remote risk of happening, add up the worst case scenarios in different fields and you’ld use all of your resources in disaster avoidance, and still not have enough. Let’s look at what might be reasonably expected, and, irrespective of that, adopt policies which increase our capacity to make the most of whatever befalls.

      • The GWPF need to consider a wider range of scenarios than they have been, because, as it is, they are too certain that the change will be small, and doesn’t overlap the IPCC range, and this level of certainty is unfounded in any understanding of the science.

      • Jim D

        The GWPF do not “have to” consider “a wider range of scenarios than they have been”.

        If you read the points listed by Peiser, you will see that he GWPF premise is that the impact of doubling CO2 concentration is relatively minor, IOW that the underlying basis for the CAGW premise, as outlined in detail by IPCC in its AR4 report, is greatly exaggerated, and hence that the premise is flawed.

        The GWPF further believes that moderate warming, such as we might be fortunate enough to see over the next century (unless we have a sudden prolonged cooling trend caused by some unforeseen natural factor) would be beneficial for mankind, as would higher atmospheric CO2 levels (in extending plant cover to currently arid regions, improving crop yields, increasing arable land surface area at higher latitudes, etc.).

        This “range of scenarios” is wide enough.

        Max

      • Even the Otto paper with Lewis as a co-author had 3.9 C in the range of possibility, and the lead author said the paper did not change his view that climate change is important. Their methods were admitted to produce a lower limit, referencing Armor’s work on geographic variability and the dangers of using short records for ECS. Shielding their eyes from the upper part of the range, is not due diligence in climate policy, and could be considered negligence if they are actually advising anyone.

  30. Too much attention is given to small changes in temperature that might occur in the future. When people packed their wagons with all their posessions in USA in the 18th and 19th centuries and headed west, did they worry that California might be more than 2C warmer? Every day people move from Melbourne to Sydney where the mean maximums are 3C warmer, yet no one complains. In fact some will move on to Brisbane where it is still warmer. The fact is that we humans are highly adaaptihle to climate change.

  31. I actually knew already that the 1600s were a period of climatic and political turbulence. (Mind you, I can’t nominate a century that wasn’t, but I’ll roll with the idea of a colder 17th century with its own nasty weather personality.) “Climate change occurs…”. I don’t mind someone pointing that out at some length. It’s good not to forget some things, however screamingly obvious. As to whether it’s a good idea to prepare for extreme weather…hell, my grandmother knew that before she could spell “resilience”. But good that professors in Ohio know it too.

    Then this:

    “Some people still doubt the second proposition (just as some people still deny that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer)…”

    Just when you thought you’d found a grown-up!

    Can I hear the swoosh-swoosh sound of many more thousands of wind turbines, making us ever more prepared and resilient?

    • Therefore, humans do effect climate!! The political turbulence caused more riots, thus more smoke from fires, thus cooling. Cli-Fi is easy.

  32. tempterrain

    Unfortunately, the current debate on climate change favors procrastination because it confuses two issues: whether the global climate changes, and, if so, whether humans are to blame.

    Just two issues being confused? Let’s be fair to contrarians. They manage to do much better than that!

    Skeptical science has catalogued 174 “issues” so far:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    • temp,

      References to skeptical science are perhaps the most sure fired method of looking the fool. You are no fool and should know better.

    • tempterrain

      timg56,

      I’m not sure why you should think this.

      Skepticalscience presents the consensus science viewpoint on climate change. Their arguments are well referenced. They are exactly the same as you’ll find made by the US National Academy of Sciences, NASA, the UK’s Royal Society, NOAA, Australia’s CSIRO, any University department and all other scientific organisations based in many different countries.

      Have you come across anything to make you think otherwise?

      • temp,

        leaving aside your point about presenting the “consensus” viewpoint, lets just go to the following:

        1) On record for going back into threads and editing comments after the fact.

        2) On record in their little back room chat group of wanting to demonize and wage war against those who disagree with them.

        3) A blantant double standard in applying their rules of moderation.

        4) Their track record for deleting comments they don’t like, with the most common reason for dislike being the raising of questions the can’t or don’t want to answer or introduction of information that runs contrary to their story line. (I’d go so far as to argue for SkS being one of the best recruiters for skeptics in the climate debate.)

        5) The fact the blog is run by a cartoonist, who has recently shown to be incompetent in conducting basic science survey work. (And shown to have lied about some aspects of that research.)

        And if none of these were sufficient reasons, the fact they have Scooter as their personal attack puppy should be reason enough to give them wide berth.

        In following this issue one can state with confidence and with zero uncertainty attached that SkS is not an honest player. But hey, it’s your credibility. You want to toss in the toilet, be my guest.

      • Peter Lang

        timg56,

        Your five points also apply to Real Climate and entries relating to CAGW and CAGW scientists in Wikipedia.

      • tempterrain

        timg,

        leaving aside your point about presenting the “consensus” viewpoint

        That was entirely my point. I wasn’t making any other.

        It doesn’t matter who SkS is run by, nor what they do for a living in their day jobs, nor how nasty or likeable they are as individuals, nor how many double standards they may or may not adhere to.

        But it does matter they get it scientifically right. If they haven’t then please point any errors so they can be corrected.

      • temp,

        Consider the concept of credibility. When a party provides numerous evidence that they lack credibility, it is unwise to assign them credibility in any matter. SkS has serious credibility issues. You say they get the science right. Other than their supporting what you already appear to believe, how am I supposed to know they get it right? They certainly did not get the recent attempt to establish “consensus” right. If they can’t do something as relatively simple as that, where is the confidence they can understand far more complicated subject matter in climate science? Afterall, none of them are climate scientists. They could be parroting what others say.

      • tempterrain

        ………where is the confidence they can understand far more complicated subject matter in climate science? Afte all, none of them are climate scientists.

        So you can’t trust these guys

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/team.php

        because they aren’t climate scientists ?

        and you can’t trust

        http://www.realclimate.org/

        because they are !

      • temp,

        Where did I state I didn’t trust the people at RealClimate? I never mentioned the site or any of it’s moderators.

        I no longer visit that site much these days, but that is primarily a function of the way they treat anyone who differs in the views they hold or asks uncomfortable questions.

        How about staying on track. The topic is Skeptical Science and why it is foolish to rely on or quote from them. I’ve provided several reasons illustrating why. You haven’t provided one as to why they should be considered a reliable source, other than referencing some “consensus”.

        I’d argue that SkS being in line with the “consensus” is damning evidence against said consensus being correct.

  33. So while we argue over whether or not our climate is changing, and (if so) who is to blame, let us also anticipate—and try to mitigate—the sort of catastrophes that history shows are inevitable.

    Agree.

    Much better than trying to waste resources on a non existent problem.

  34. Thanks for the article Judith.

    Here is CET from 1538 to the present day. (The period prior to 1659 is my reconstruction.)

    We can clearly see the deterioration in climate around the middle of the 17th century although 1642 to 1651 saw the English civil wars which would have had an effect on the planting and harvesting of crops.

    However I think that few people will deny that climate changes and sometimes catastrophically, but as the chart shows there is invariably a recovery.

    Many of the very worst weather extremes happened in the LIA rather than the MWP and the claims (made elsewhere) about todays extremes being unprecedented are very wide of the mark.

    What history surely teaches us is that we need a Plan B to combat cooling as well as a Plan A to counter warming. Both are likely-indeed certain. The watchword should be ‘resilience’ to counter whatever nature may throw at us in the future as the current climatically benign period ends-as surely it will.

    tonyb

    • I like that: The globe is cooling and warming, folks; for how long even kim doesn’t know.
      ========

      • That ol’ cli-mate see-saw. Even cli-mate-sci-ent-ists
        can’t pre-dict and it’s a tra-vesty that they can’t …
        Oh, and it turned out a costly invest-ee-ag-shun
        as well.
        B-t-s

    • Tony, I hear of a heatwave and drought in 1666 which led to the odd resilience headache for London. In fact, didn’t the mother of all English heatwaves in 1976 thin out the Global Cooling ranks? New Ice Age scares still sold a few Time Magazines, but it was never the same after ’76.

    • tempterrain

      Just wondering where that extra 100 years of data has come from in what you describe as “my reconstruction” ?

      Does that mean you’ve just made it up?

      The CET data goes back only to 1659 as you seem to know. And guess what sort of stick it looks like when you plot it all out properly?

      • tempterrain

        If you read this;

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/01/the-long-slow-thaw/

        Plus the supplementary information and references linked to it, you will see the context.

        Glad to see that you have noticed ‘the long slow thaw’ all the way from the start of the instrumental record, with several periods of warming greater than today, such as from 1690 onwards.

        Also note the temperature rise in the early 1500’s to a level around the same as in 2000 and also note the sharp decrease over the last decade.

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

        glad you brought this up and that you agree with me concerning the interest and validity of CET. I am sure you will also agree that the GIss figures can now be seen in context as merely a staging post of warming temperatures and not the starting post
        tony

      • tempterrain

        TonyB,

        I think we can take your answer to mean that you’ve just made up an extra 100 years of data to suit your purposes.

        There’s nothing wrong with the CET record but that record stops in 1659. You can try to deduce what the English climate was like in the previous 100 years but you can’t call it “extended CET” .

        So what can we say about the true CET from 1659 onwards?

        The first thing to note is that the CET is a record of English and not global temperatures. So it is possible that the cold period in Europe known as the LIA was offset by warmer temperatures elsewhere.

        Secondly, we can overlay the CET on various “hockey stick” graphs which have been constructed and we can see there is no disagreement:

        There isn’t, is there? Let me know if you disagree.

      • Peter

        Did you even bother to read my article which took hundreds of real world observations and records as opposed to tree rings and boreholes? Did you read how many scientists believe CET s a good correlation to global temperatures?

        Even then your own chart shows CET rising since the start of the instrumental record, many hundreds of years before co2 started rising.

        tonyb

  35. We are far more capable, and more lethal, at causing catastrophes in the creations of man than we are the creations of Nature.
    ==================

    • Rud Istvan

      Well said, and unfortunately true. TonyB’s point above about the cybersecurity of infrastructure, especially energy infrastructure, is a good example.

  36. I’d like to slip in here something OT, although it is germane to how resilient communities can be. I’d wanted to post it on earlier threads, but couldn’t locate it.

    There’s often been mention of free markets in policy discussions here, but their merits have not always been well explained or understood. An excellent take on free markets was given by Rupert Murdoch in a speech marking the 70th anniversary of Australia’s Institute of Public Affairs. One reason I couldn’t find it is that The Australian posted it online under the wrong heading. The headline is “Free market is a fair market,” but the link is http://www.theaustralian.com.au/media/push-to-regulate-press-ill-conceived-murdoch/story-e6frg996-1226613315639 – a description which has nothing to do with the talk.

    Whatever you think of Murdoch, and whatever your views on markets, this is worth reading. It might even give some pause for thought.

    • Peter Lang

      For those who prefer to see and hear the Murdoch speech to the IPA, here is the video (19 min): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbqLO1TBnGo

      • Thx Faustino and Peter Lang. Couldn’t get the link up Faustino
        but watched Peter’s video… A free market is a collection of
        exertions, choices and desires. For a market to succeed,
        people have to produce something other people are willing
        to pay for … markets that are not free are in denial of
        fundamental freedoms and are therefore immoral.
        B-t-s

      • For socialists to succeed, they tap your phone and have Google turn over your personal information.

      • This reminds me a lot of the fascism in Nazi Germany. Remember, Google has a ton of information on you if you use the web at all.

        “During the 2012 campaign, Barack Obama’s reelection team had an underappreciated asset: Google’s (GOOG) executive chairman, Eric Schmidt. He helped recruit talent, choose technology, and coach the campaign manager, Jim Messina, on the finer points of leading a large organization. “On election night he was in our boiler room in Chicago,” says David Plouffe, then a senior White House adviser. Schmidt had a particular affinity for a group of engineers and statisticians tucked away beneath a disco ball in a darkened corner of the office known as “the Cave.” The data analytics team, led by 30-year-old Dan Wagner, is credited with producing Obama’s surprising 5 million-vote margin of victory.”

        “Schmidt’s introduction to Wagner didn’t seem likely to lead to a business collaboration. Each day at 4:30 p.m., to let off steam, the Cave’s inhabitants would flip off the lights, fire up the disco ball, and spend five minutes dancing to a mash-up of Psy’s Gangnam Style and a campaign robocall voiced in a dulcet baritone by Wagner’s deputy, Andrew Claster. Schmidt showed up to meet Wagner just as “Club Claster” was kicking off. No stranger to creative eccentricity, he was unfazed, and when the campaign ended, he agreed to keep the party going.”

        http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-05-30/googles-eric-schmidt-invests-in-obamas-big-data-brains#p1

    • Thanks. That is a great link. I had never heard a kind word about Rupert Murdoch and did not know he even cared about stuff like this. I guess it is a lot like the Koch brothers. They start to get demonized and made into cartoon characters and are badly misrepresented and that’s all people know are what the people that hate and misunderstand them think about them.
      Murdoch I assume (have read) got wealthy by having a few papers that were sensationalistic and now has a media empire. This is the way most media has gone and you can see how TV news has gone and all of the infotainment shows and “reality” tv shows. This is the kind of crap that people like and want. Some want to blame that on Murdoch. Even in my family, we used to watch Survivor and then Swamp people and now Duck Dynasty. But it is the fault of those evil people making us watch it I guess.

      • Bill, Murdoch started with his father’s paper the Adelaide Advertiser, which as far as I know has never been sensationalist. In 1964 he started a national newspaper The Australian, the country’s leading newspaper, the nearest thing we have to The Times. I think it has always run at a loss, to an extent it’s a public service. I think he bought the British tabloid The Sun after that, about mid-60s, and later The Times, and at some stage the sensationalist News of the World. I’m not sure if he had a US presence at that time.

        Murdoch effectively saved the UK newspaper industry by taking on the printers’ unions. I was a journalist at times from 1961-64, I often hung out with printers at their main haunt, Mick’s Cafe in Fleet Street, while I was at LSE nearby, and I know first hand how bad the union rorting was. Murdoch has many detractors, I’m not one of them.

      • Murdoch may never be popular in Australia, but he is closer to Australians than many of his detractors here.

        Some years ago we had a news revolution in our rural district. The local agency was acquired by urban Lesbian tree-changers who had strong views. They decided to promote the Fairfax broadsheet Sydney Morning Herald and, because we have a large aboriginal population, national indigenous periodicals. Businesses were deliberately under-supplied with Murdoch papers and the local Argus. We were to be educated!

        No matter how many wasteful returns were done on the Fairfax and indigenous stuff, nobody could explain to the ladies that Murdoch’s Telegraph and the local Argus were exactly what country people and aborigines wanted. The local Dungutti were utterly uninterested in Northern Territory and Kimberley aborigines. They wanted the local court reports and bush footy from the Argus, and they wanted Murdoch’s Telegraph for its NRL footy and sensationalism. Aboriginal people in my area live for Rugby League, but they also just like to read without having to wrestle with a great tangle of paper and earnest prose.

        Anyway, the tree-changing opinion changers went broke. The Sydney Morning Herald is now a – blush! – tabloid and Fairfax are almost broke. But Murdoch is still there, and our locals still have something to read which they actually feel like reading. Give me Murdoch’s cunningly manipulative trash any day over Fairfax’s clumsily manipulative snobbismo. The good thing about Murdoch is that the public knows what he’s up to, and he knows they know – but that they can’t resist!

      • Hey Faustino yer in moderation??/!!)
        How can that be? And u an advocate of
        open society discussion and an exemplar
        of courteous debate. Word press, wot’s
        goin’ on?
        Btcg.

      • Peter Lang

        mosomoso

        +1

    • Rud Istvan

      Not OT. While Murdock makes great points about free market adaptability and resilience, there are at least two circumstances where ‘markets’ tend to ‘fail’ in the sense of delivering distinctly suboptimal undesirable outcomes.

      One is externalities, the ‘problem of the commons’. Depleting seafood stocks by overfishing is an example (cod, now bluefin tuna…).
      The other is when market adaptation to change is long time frame while the change is large and comparably rapid. That is, market response to ‘discontinuities’. The damages from various economic “burst bubbles” are examples. The Irish potato famine is a regional agriculture example.

      In both cases there is a distinct role for government in addition to the marketplace. The art is in finding the correct balance. Resilience can rely more on market mechanisms (e.g. Insurance pricing) than mitigation typically does (thou shalt or shalt not…CFLs in th US being an amusing example of reducing CO2 at the expense of growing mercury contamination). Which adds differing political philosophical orientations to action oriented policy debates that are already complex.

      • Well, my reply is in moderation. Let’s hope it’s still pertinent when posted.

      • Rud, this is a re-working of my 12.10 comment still “in moderation.”

        For the moment I’ll just quote myself from a 2006 paper:

        Market failure and government failure

        Markets are very efficient devices for providing and processing information, for organising production and distribution of goods and services so as to allocate resources to their highest valued use and thus maximise community income. Their superiority to central planning is well attested.

        There may, however, be cases where markets do not produce the most efficient outcome, where there is “market failure.” This tends to arise in particular circumstances, for example when there is a natural monopoly, where externalities are not taken into account, where there is information asymmetry or in the case of public goods. (There is extensive literature on the issue for those who seek more detail.)

        The identification of market failure alone is not, however, sufficient reason for government intervention. There can be no presumption that governments outperform markets: indeed, “government failure” is more common. The World Bank advised that “the countless cases of unsuccessful intervention suggest the need for caution. To justify intervention it is not enough to know that the market is failing; it is also necessary to be confident that the government can do better.” ( World Bank (1991) (p 131), World Development Report: the challenge of development, OUP, Washington DC) A Bureau of Industry Economics paper assessing the 15 major interventionist policies of the Commonwealth Government from 1970-85 found no positive outcomes: 13 had negative returns, while for two the net outcome was unclear. (Ralph Lattimore, BIE seminar paper, 1986 (unpublished))

        Should the cost to the community of market failure be significant, government should first see whether it is possible to improve the workings of the market. If not, it must assess its capacity to produce a better outcome, and the costs and benefits of any intervention. Given that a number of studies have found administrative costs of around 15-50 per cent in government industry support programs, the prospect of a net benefit from intervention must be considered doubtful.

        Within the Queensland system, the term market failure has rarely been used in its true economic sense. It tends to be shorthand for “We think that certain opportunities for which there is no commercial support should in fact be pursued, with government funding.” That is, picking winners again.

        The Economist wrote (17/2/96) that “The skills of government in addressing market failure are often exaggerated. Government intervention must overcome three formidable difficulties: the tendency of regulated firms to “capture” their regulators, weak incentives for efficiency within the public sector, and missing information (where markets lack it, governments are likely to lack it as well). … The record of intervention is poor … history suggests that the burden of proof should lie with those who would extend the government’s role.”

      • Well said, Faustino. “Market failure” is a favourite term of leftists for two reasons – it reinforces the idea that markets are dodgy and it opens the door to funding of pet projects with taxpayer/consumer dollars.

        Green boondoggles are invariably underpinned by the notion of market failure.

        I think the term has been so abused that it has become almost meaningless. It would be far more honest for the lobbyists to say – this is inherently a money-loser but we think you should fund it anyway. It should be treated like any other proposed expenditure with full costings provided, whether the impact is on taxpayers, consumers, or both.

        Oh, and thanks for your comments on Murdoch (aka Moloch) above. Like anyone who has been extraordinarily successful in business and who does not pretend to a a humble man of the people, he has become a symbol of evil to certain sections of the community. As you point out, The Australian has lost money since 1964 but remains the best quality newspaper in the country – and I understand the The Times in the UK is in a similar situation. He’s no angel, but nor is he the sinister figure that many paint him as.

        And to the disgust of the luvvies, a lot of people enjoy less serious newspapers (including me) because they are cheeky, vibrant and offer a different perspective on the world than that sanctioned by those who see life as a moral gymnasium.

      • In thinking about the role of “government”, it’s worth considering that a socioeconomic system is a massively complex non-linear system (like climate but more so), and as such is highly sensitive to initial conditions.

        My own observations of history would suggest that in a pretty much free market system “market failures” tend to be addressed by the main players getting together to create some sort of general “agency” that takes care of the necessary communal regulation (or whatever).

        Our own “free market” system grew out of a foregoing system of evolving and competing “nation-states” in Western Europe as the use of gunpowder profoundly changed the balances of power in warfare. Gunpowder weapons produced a need for iron/steel, broke down the prior system of mounted aristocracy, and offered much more power to quickly trained militias.

        The system of tangled feudal hierarchies that existed prior to this revolution was replaced by systems of nation-states, as the creation of popular armies and consolidation of national power broke up those networks of feudal obligations that had kept all of “Christendom” pretty much homogenous.

        Nation-states competed for power primarily in the military arena, which placed a much higher premium on steel for gunpowder weapons and money for training an equipping large armies of quickly recruited peasants, deprecating the value of horses and the highly trained warriors who fought on them.

        England and the various German principalities basically pioneered the evolving free-market systems, as well as the predecessors of the Industrial Revolution, as “farms” producing wealth and steel weapons for their military competitions. While the people who participated in these early systems came to regard them as expressions of their “natural rights”, in practical terms, they succeeded because they were protected and regulated by governments.

        Capitalism, however, actually evolved from the system of funding military ventures already present before gunpowder became a major factor in warfare. Local bankers in most parts of “Christendom” were continually being robbed to pay for military ventures, culminating in the destruction of the Templars after the collapse of Outremer, which left the field open for bankers too far away and too well protected by local mountains to be forced into giving “loans” to borrowers with a history of not paying them back.

        With the growth of the Industrial Revolution, much of this capital began flowing into profit-making commercial ventures, following similar rules with respect to probability of repayment.

        Since our modern systems evolved from those national “farms” of free-market Industrial Capitalism, often externally capitalized, its common to think of “government” as the appropriate agency to take care of any externality the market cannot. That doesn’t make it the only, or even the best, solution, simply the first one most people think of.

      • “Capitalism, however, actually evolved from the system of funding military ventures already present before gunpowder became a major factor in warfare.”

        Oh no, someone’s been reading muddle headed leftist historical revisionism, with a slightly schizophrenically libertarian bent. Neo-marxism at its worst. and most confused.

      • Oh no, someone’s been reading muddle headed leftist historical revisionism, with a slightly schizophrenically libertarian bent. Neo-marxism at its worst. and most confused.

        Typical knee-jerk reaction from what? A Randbot?

        It’s the other way around. Marx&Co. took the rather obvious patterns visible in the history of banking and capitalism and twisted them to fit their socialist agenda. Like most successful lies, it was mostly truth. Or at least, the patterns Marx and Hegel claimed for history were as similar to what could actually be seen as they could make them while pursuing their agenda. Don’t forget they drew heavily on Adam Smith.

        Ignorant idealists with no concept of history often display knee-jerk reactions, but “schizophrenically libertarian“?? Clearly this ignorant idealist doesn’t even know what category to put the things he’s criticizing into, but his knee-jerk reaction is to stick a label on something he doesn’t understand, hoping to dismiss it.

        Not “confused“, just trying to summarize a very complex subject without writing a tome.

      • “Like most successful lies, it was mostly truth.”

        Marxism is “mostly true,” but this is not neo-marxism. Riiiight. And the references to the “power” of the state and the “main players” isn’t recycled libertarianism with a leftist bent.

        Another word for label is noun. As I have said before, it is hard to write a coherent sentence without them. If you want to regurgitate the muddle headed historical and economic revisionism of others, don’t blame me for describing it accurately.

      • “Capitalism, however, actually evolved from the system of funding military ventures already present before gunpowder became a major factor in warfare.”

        Oy vey. Ever heard of Lloyds of London? Google it.

      • If you want to regurgitate the muddle headed historical and economic revisionism of others, don’t blame me for describing it accurately.

        I’m an intellectual anarchist as well as a libertarian. I can come up with all the views of history I need, without parroting “ the muddle headed historical and economic revisionism of others“. But you’re not “describing it accurately“, you’re just slapping a label on something you don’t understand.

        By “neo-marxism” do you mean any attempt to understand how history works? Or do you regard “capitalism” as some sort of religious icon that mustn’t be questioned or analyzed?

      • There is now a ‘Reverse Godwin’. Calling Godwin! on a thread is proof of presence of a useful idiot.
        ===========

      • @Harold…

        Oy vey. Ever heard of Lloyds of London? Google it.

        Seems like a total non sequitur to me. What’s your point?

      • Yes, modern “anarchists” use the class rhetoric of Marx while trying to adopt the gloss of libertarianism (which is really political conservatism, but they can’t stomach the word).

        “Anarchists” also never define what exactly they want to do with the country. They just know everybody else is wrong. Kind of like moderates and independents.

        But I will admit, I was mistaken. I gave AK too much credit. Neo-marxism may be muddle headed and based on a completely wrong philosophy, but that underlying philosophy is at least coherent, Anarchism isn’t even that.

        Let’s go back to the days of guilds and barter! Pol Pot would be proud.

        THIS idiocy is what most leftists accuse conservatives of.

      • @GaryM…

        Yes, modern “anarchists” use the class rhetoric of Marx while trying to adopt the gloss of libertarianism (which is really political conservatism, but they can’t stomach the word).

        Typical idiot that can’t think, just manipulate buzz-words. Liberarianism is very different from “political conservatism“, which latter term just describes people who are against change. When I was involved with the Libertarian Party, in the ’70’s, it was roughly divided into “minarchists” and “anarchists”, depending on their perception of the ideal role of government. Sensible libertarians of both types recognize the enormous difference between the ideal situation, and what kind of paths can reasonably be followed to get closer to the ideal.

        “Anarchists” also never define what exactly they want to do with the country. They just know everybody else is wrong. Kind of like moderates and independents.

        Like libertarians, anarchists come in as many different types as there are anarchists. You don’t understand that because you’re a categorical idiot.

        But I will admit, I was mistaken. I gave AK too much credit. Neo-marxism may be muddle headed and based on a completely wrong philosophy, but that underlying philosophy is at least coherent, Anarchism isn’t even that.

        Well, as I said, there are at least as many types of “anarchism” as there are anarchists. I would classify myself somewhere close to but not exactly Bob Heinlein’s Professor De La Paz: a rational anarchist:

        We are all individuals, and we all constantly make individual choices about our actions, but we are constrained by those principles and rules which are a part of our existence and which we have individually chosen to accept. Yes, even in an totally oppressed society, the choice is made to accept the oppression or fight against it, knowing what the consequences will be. Accept the oppression and all conflicts at lower levels are automatically resolved; you don’t fight City Hall. Fight against it and you may pay the ultimate; “Give me liberty or give me Death” [emphasis in original]

        I don’t “want to do” anything “with the country“. I just want it to leave me alone, leave my friends alone, leave anybody I do business with alone. If it’s going to protect me against enemies, that’s fine, if it won’t, I’ll deal with the situation myself, to the best of my ability. But that wasn’t my point. I’m an intellectual anarchist, which means I don’t accept any “authority” wrt any intellectual endeavor without thinking it through myself.

        Obviously the exact opposite of you.

      • Yeah, I figured you for a science fiction/Heinlein fan. I liked Heinlein when I was a teenager. But as I got into his later work, I got turned off by his increasing obsession with sex, particularly involving removing age and family taboos. I have the same response to liberaltarianism.

        Oh, and libertarianism, as I have explained often here before, is not even a real ideology. Take conservative political/economic policy, mix in progressive social policy, add a mish mash on foreign policy, with a huge dose of vanity and poof – liberaltarianism.

        Science fiction writers are great at fiction; at the real world, not so much. They tend to be elitists who vacillate between a yearning for totalitarianism (ala Asimov’s benevolent Second Foundation and Heinlein’s Starship Troopers) and a respect for freedom (Asimov’s Foundation).

        Nobody ever asked Heinlein how precisely man would have developed the technology we had during his lifetime without the centralization of capital. Good thing Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, not to mention Henry Ford and Dale Carnegie weren’t “libertarian anarchists.”

        Your ignorance of the past is matched only by the incoherence of your self absorbed desire to wash away civilization without concern for the impact on others.

        “I don’t want to ‘do’ anything ‘with the country’.”

        Yes you do. You are a self described anarchist, regardless of the modifiers you use. You want to deconstruct society as much as any proto-marxist, you just don’t want to replace it with anything.

        Nor would you would be anarchists fare very well in the Hobbesian world that would result if you ever got your way. Let me give you one of my favorite quotes, from one of the best movies ever made:

        ” This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?”

        Sir Thomas Moore in A Man for All Seasons

      • Yes you do. You are a self described anarchist, regardless of the modifiers you use. You want to deconstruct society as much as any proto-marxist, you just don’t want to replace it with anything.

        There speaks the sort of idiot who doesn’t bother to listen to what people say, just notices a few buzz-words and makes up his own straw man to throw stones at.

        Fah!

      • “I’m an intellectual anarchist as well as a libertarian.”

        If you don’t know what anarchist means, don’t call yourself one.

        Oh, and libertarians are essentially social anarchists, as are progressives. Remove all societal controls on drugs, sex, essentially any conduct other than murder rape and robbery. Sh*t can the Judeo-Christian ethic that actually made the free market possible,

        Except there’s this little thing called the law of unintended consequences (which libertarians love to use in arguments against progressive economic policies, but have never considered elsewhere).

        We already have anarchist/libertarian social policy in large swaths of this country. Move to any large city and you can find an area where the social norms are not imposed. You can do whatever you like. The drug laws are not enforced. No one stops any sexual activity. Family structure is irrelevant.

        Yeah, it’s just like on the moon or some far planet in one of Heinlein’s books. Unless of course you actually live there.

      • Sh*t can the Judeo-Christian ethic that actually made the free market possible,

        Actually the Christian church(es) were the biggest obstacle to anything like a “free” market. The actual free markets evolved during, and partly due to, the wars of the Reformation, when church control was broken and society began to loosen up. If it had been able to, the Roman church would have outlawed gunpowder the same way it tried to outlaw the use of bows and arrows (against fellow members of “Christendom” anyway). Unfortunately the church was so busy fighting against its rebellious breakaway sects that both sides were willing to allow, and encourage, innovations including gunpowder.

        If the Roman church had been able to have its way, the Industrial Revolution would never have happened.

      • AK,

        You aren’t even clear on what an anarchist is, though you claim to be one. I am sure not going to waste my time clearing the rest of the massive debris field that is your confused notion of history.

      • @GaryM…

        The multitude of those who believed were of one heart and soul. Not one of them claimed that anything of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.

        Acts 4:32.

      • Don’t go reading the Bible, There’s stuff in there you won’t like. Paul for one advocated celibacy. Shoot, you can’t even COVET your neighbor’s wife according to Moses.

      • Gary,

        You get a D for your analysis of science fiction. (If you think any of Heinlein’s work supports the concept of totalitarianism, perhaps it is because you are reading stuff Dick Heinlein and not Robert Heilein wrote.)

        And if you can’t have an appreciation for Heinleins work past your teen years, I’d suggest it a sign you are already dead.

      • OK Sheldon, put down the plastic light saber.

  37. If, as seems to be the case, we have little or no knowledge about future short to medium-term (annual to decadal) trends in global or regional climate, except that they are likely to remain unpredictable, the only wise strategy is to be well-prepared for a range of eventualities. In the long term (centuries to millennia) we can be fairly confident that it will tend to get colder as we approach the next glacial, but there will still be short-term fluctuations to cope with.

    • Thanks, Coldish, this is a cogent and sensible view often put here but not universally accepted.

    • THIS appears ter be the state of play, yer could say,
      Coldish.

    • Steven Mosher

      “In the long term (centuries to millennia) we can be fairly confident that it will tend to get colder as we approach the next glacial, but there will still be short-term fluctuations to cope with.”

      ya, that’s some settled science for you. Funny how the coldists are skeptical of everything but their own unsupportable positions.

      • Coldists have history on their side.

        Warmists have hysteria on their side.

      • I think it fairly certain to assume that at some point the planet will head into it’s next glaciation. But the uncertainy monster has no problem jumping into this topic as well.

        I’d say it is nowhere near certain we can predict, even with broad strokes, what weather and climate will be like as we approach the next glacial period.

      • Hmmm, must not be a coldist, not having an unsupportable position.
        =====================

      • Hys-ter-i-a is on their side, yes it is
        Hys-ter-i-a is on their side, yes it is

      • Gary M yer little doggerrel appeals ter me, mebbe it’s the
        hypher-vent-ill-at-in’

      • Steven Mosher

        “Coldists have history on their side.”

        there you go believing proxies again

    • Coldish

      What you have written makes sense to anyone who is convinced that we are currently in an interglacial period and that we will some day return to a colder cycle.

      That there will be shorter-term “ups and downs” between now and then also makes sense, based on the past.

      But, as you can see from Steven Mosher’s response, it apparently does not make sense for someone who firmly believes in climate models and the greenhouse theory.

      To these people “history repeats itself” is an invalid proposition, because it cannot be backed by a physical theory..

      I do not believe that any of us (including the scientists and models cited by IPCC) have any notion what our planet’s climate is going to do next year or over the next century. I am pretty certain, however, that myopically selecting one single forcing parameter (AGW) and using doubtful projections of future GHG increases in an attempt to project future climate is totally absurd.

      In the past two summary reports, IPCC has done this: first projecting warming of 0.15C to 0.3C per decade and then 0.2C per decade – but there was no warming as projected, despite unabated GHG emissions and atmospheric levels reaching record heights. IOW the model projections have been worthless.

      It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if the IPCC models cannot even get a projection over one decade right, there is no reason to believe that they can get one over several decades or even centuries right.

      Models not only failed to project the past decade. Even the model-based longer-term projections by James E. Hansen in 1988 turned out to be exaggerated by a factor of more than 2.

      Back to our topic, if we look at history, humans have usually fared better during warmer periods than during prolonged periods of cold. While there is no guarantee that “history will repeat itself”, there is also no compelling reason to believe that this will not be so in the future.

      I do not believe that there is very much that humanity can do to avert a possible “climate catastrophe”, but I do believe if one should come, it would most likely be from a prolonged period of sharply colder weather than today, rather than from global warming.

      Max

  38. Weather has always been variable, climatic conditions have always been variable on timescales applicable for the concept of climate, human influence on climate has been increasing both on local and on global scales.

    Preparing for extreme weather events and exceptional periods of hot/cold or wet/dry conditions is always prudent within some limits given by cost efficiency of available alternatives. How much emphasis should be put in making the societies more resilient towards unpredictable climatic trends is a similar issue, where the requirement of cost efficiency may be much more restrictive.

    The questions related to predictable consequences of human choices is a further issue even, when the accuracy and reliability of the predictions is poor.

    All factors that affect weather extremes and climatic changes combine in the actual weather, but that should not stop us from considering predictable consequences of our actions. When the uncertainties are large we can predict only shifts in probabilities of final climatic outcomes and their consequences. In making decisions we should consider these probability distributions and search for optimal paths. That’s not possible an a really quantitative level but semi quantitative comparisons are better than nothing. (Optimal paths are likely to emphasize robustness, resilience, and flexibility, when the uncertainties are large.)

    Working groups WG2 and WG3 of IPCC have made steps in the right direction, but on these issues they have failed rather badly. Controlling the biases in such analyses is really demanding. Alternatives must be compared systematically including both positive and negative effects at every step. Factors like risk aversion (related but not equal to precautionary principle) must be applied only after the full analysis has been done, because including it at every step distorts the outcome so badly that little can be concluded form that. (It can be included at every step only, when the outcome turns out to be that no significant risk exists even when the calculation is biased to overestimate the risks by a large margin.)

  39. To successfully prepare for climate change we need to admit that human greenhouse gas emissions play the dominant role in the changes to date and that the vast bulk of these changes are still yet to come.

    We shouldn’t kid ourselves that natural variations can be anywhere near as big as the destabilization caused by our CO2 terraforming of planet Earth.

    • So how cold would the earth now be without man’s help, then?
      ==============

      • probably something like 0.5C colder

      • @ 10 C/doubling it would be about 5 degrees C cooler, now, well below the heretofore seen lows of the Holocene. @ 4 C/doubling it might be 2 degrees C cooler than now, and @ 2 C/doubling it would now be about 1 C cooler.

        Rough calcs, subject to review by the numerate. You get the gist, though.
        ==========================

      • tempterrain

        It could be more than that – ~0.8degC – it depends on whether the warming of the early part of the 20th century is caused anthropogenically or naturally.

        The blade part of various hockey stick graphs does include this period.

      • The beauty of these intersecting curves is that if sensitivity is high enough to project a warming catastrophe, then it is also evident that that sensitivity has already averted a cooling catastrophe. There it is.
        ===========

      • lolwot and tempterrain admire the seductive beauty of a low sensitivity.
        ===============

      • kim you are confusing the warming so far with the warming yet to come.

        0.5C cooling would not be a catastrophe. That would take us back to 1950s levels.

      • Sure, it all comes down to attribution. Ask Muller, but not moshe.
        ========

      • news re ADAM TREXLER IN UK IS RIGHT NOW finishing a book for UVA Press, ”Anthropocene Fictions”, that will be the first comprehensive study of climate change novels.

        BLOG POST FOR CLIMATE ETC?

      • “It could be more than that – ~0.8degC – it depends on whether the warming of the early part of the 20th century is caused anthropogenically or naturally.”

        This is “moving the goalposts”. The postulated AGW started (became significant) in the second half of the 20th century, ALL the consensus attribution graphs say so. Anything else would be physically impossible, humans emitted basically nothing in the early part of the 20th century, compared to the late part of it.

      • When I reached out and asked Adam Trexler what the functions and uses of cli fi novels might be, he replied from his office in Oregon:

        “Climate change literature may warn about the dangers of disastrous global warming — e.g. “adding to the climate debate”. Its more important function is to help us understand what it means to live in an era when climate change is already upon us, when its disastrous effects are accumulating, and when we seem unable to address it in any comprehensive way.’

        “Climate fiction has been written by authors who have won every major literary prize,” he said, adding: “Many novelists who have written about climate are the most highly, critically regarded of our era: Doris Lessing, JG Ballard, Will Self, TC Boyle, Jonathan Franzen, Maggie Gee, Barbara Kingsolver, and Jeanette Winterson, to name but a few. [I've compiled] a bibliography of over 300 climate change novels. Of course there are science fiction novels, too, both simplistic and highly sophisticated (see the novels by Kim Stanley Robinson and Paolo Bacigalupi).”

        Trexler, who wrote a long and important essay about cli fi novels in 2010, is currently putting the finishing touches to an academic book he has written for UVA Press, titled ”Anthropocene Fictions.” The book will be the first comprehensive study of climate change novels, and will be sure to finds readers around the world.

      • Edim, there has been so much moving of goal posts that they don’t know which goal is their own.
        ==========

      • Kim, I agree.

      • “The postulated AGW started (became significant) in the second half of the 20th century, ALL the consensus attribution graphs say so. Anything else would be physically impossible”

        Wait are you appealing to consensus?

        Physically impossible because the consensus says so. So the consensus could not be wrong then?

      • tempterrain

        CO2 levels did rise measurably in the early 20th century so would have had a measurable effect.

        There no disagreement with the consensus in saying that. A global warming of about 0.3 degrees follows from the logarithmic relationship between CO2 concentrations and temperature and isn’t at all inconsistent with a 3C sensitivity for 2 x CO2.

      • It’s fun to keep score, Edim, and watch the players scurry and hurry.
        ==========

      • tempterrain

        Your estimates on the early 29th C warming are wacky.

        According to Delworth & Knutson (2000) the early 20th C warming period covered the time period from 1910 to 1944 and the linear warming over this period was 0.53C.

        This was before Mauna Loa, but we have the ice core data on CO2 cited by IPCC, which was summarized by Siegenthaler et al. (1986). These data tell us that CO2 increased from ~299 to ~311 ppmv over this period.

        Using your (and IPCC’s AR4) mean climate sensitivity 0f 3.2C we should have seen warming from added CO2 of:

        3.2 * ln(311/299) / ln(2) = 0.18C

        Leaving the balance of-0.35C to other factors.

        But wait!

        We are told by IPCC that a period of 35 years is much too short to reach “equilibrium”, so the transient climate response to a doubling of CO2 is much lower, let’s say 2C

        So CO2 should have caused:

        2.0 * ln(311/299) / ln(2) = 0.11C (or 0.11/0.53 = 21% of the total)

        Leaving 0.42C (or 78% of the total) “unaccounted for”.

        IPCC has conceded [in AR4 WG1 Ch.9, p.691] that models cannot explain the early 20th C warming (they can only explain ~0.21C of the 0.53C warming, [FAQ 8.1, Figure 1, p.600]).

        So the logic goes as follows:

        a) Our models cannot explain the early 20th C warming

        b) We know that the statistically indistinguishable late 20th C warming was caused by CO2 (and other minor GHGs)

        c) How do we know this?

        d) Because our models cannot explain it any other way.

        A dilemma, tempterrain.

        Max

      • The horns are the intersecting curves. Toro, toro, toro!
        ============

    • That remains to be seen. SInce the climate models do not have a good track record that should make anyone with any sense at all step back and rethink their position and possibly take a wait and see attitude. Interesting it has not had this effect on you. Most climate scientists are certainly rethinking their positions and admitting the “apparent” failure of the climate models is troubling. Now, if the next ten years the warming really takes off, then we know it’s just a chaotic system and maybe the models are still correct in the long term. I will be patient and wait 10-15 years. We should do now only those things that it makes sense to do anyway – as James Hansen has said in the past.

    • kim

      There are rustling sounds in the background.

      It could be the sound of goalposts being moved.

      Or perhaps the sound of a falling house of cards?

      Or maybe tables being turned?

      It’s an unpleasant time for the true believers.

      Max

      • Peter Lang

        Manacker,

        It’s an unpleasant time for the true believers.

        It certainly seems to be. The fact most of them do not even attempt to post sensible arguments. justify their beliefs or explain why they believe what they do demonstrates this very clearly.

    • lolwot

      You posit that the global temperature would be 0.5C colder without the impact of humans, principally from GHGs (primarily CO2)

      IPCC states that “anthropogenic forcing components” have totaled around 1.6 W/m^2 since “pre-industrial” times, with CO2 accounting for 1.66 W/m^2 and all other anthropogenic factors (other GHGs, aerosols, etc.) essentially cancelling one another out.

      IPCC only attributes 0.12 W/m^2 (7% of the total) to “natural forcing” (considering only direct solar irradiance), but concedes that its “level of scientific understanding of natural forcing is low”.

      So we look elsewhere. Several solar studies attribute around 50% of the total to the unusually high level of 20th C solar activity (highest in several thousand years).

      So we have a range for attribution to anthropogenic forcing of 50% to 93% of the total observed warming.

      Since 1850 it has warmed by around 0.7C. There are no direct global data prior to 1850, but if we take proxy data such as CET, we see that there was around 0.1C warming from 1750 to 1850, so the total from 1750 to today is around 0.8C.

      This makes it easy to calculate the 2xCO2 CO2 temperature response.

      Using IPCC’s estimate of solar forcing:
      0.5 * 0.8 * ln(2) / ln(394/280) = 0.8C

      Using the estimate from several solar studies:
      0.93 * 0.8 * ln(2) / ln(394/280) = 1.5C

      So the 2xCO2 TCR = 0.8C to 1.5C or 1.15C+/-0.35C

      But this is only the “transient” response to 2xCO2, not the “equilibrium” response.

      IPCC tells us that if all GHG emissions had stopped in 2000, there would still have been 0.6C (0.3C to 0.9C) warming from the “pipeline”, so this must be added on to arrive at a 2xCO2 climate sensitivity at equilibrium.

      So we have a 2xCO2 ECS = 1.75+/-0.65C

      Comes out pretty close to the recent studies I’ve seen (and about half the earlier estimates in AR4).

      Max

      • lolwot

        BTW your 0.5C estimate for human impact to date is fairly close to the average of the two cases I showed (0.57C).

        Max

  40. So what is he saying, that the Hockey Stick is junk science? That there was a Little Ice Age? And that’s it due to come around again?

    “Unfortunately, the current debate on climate change favors procrastination because it confuses two issues: whether the global climate changes, and, if so, whether humans are to blame.”

    The current debate has already gone beyond debate, it is settled science that humans are to blame and procrastination stopped as the solution was put into place with great vigour and at great expense and at great societal changes and even more in the pipe line, as greater and greater tax burdens were put on the people and industries to solve the crisis, to reduce even further the trace real gas carbon dioxide which is an effect and not a cause of warming and can’t accumulate in the atmosphere because it is heavier than air and comes down to Earth every time it rains and can’t be a thermal blanket trapping heat because it has no heat capacity to do so and because it is a blanket which is practically a 100% hole in the atmosphere.

    Which is the basic food of life without which there is no us, no carbon life form at all.

    Sure we cannot destroy a few hundred million creepie crawlies to further reduce that.. and destroy the chain of life it is part and parcel of.

    What a confused piece, if all these nit pickings aren’t removed, otherwise what it’s saying is that our confused weather is more likely the effect of natural global cooling as our last plunge took us further on our inevitable journey back into the ice age at the end of our current balmy interglacial. And the danger of that is massive unrest as people starve and the toppling of governing elites .

    Since this is a very real problem in our time, the start of growing season has been delayed a month this year in the northern hemisphere, and the only interest the governments have is in lining their own and their friends pockets with more wind and solar energy and carbon trading scams while screaming all the while that global warming is looming, they are hardly to people we should look to, as they are unable to think clearly about any of this.

    So, what should we do?

  41. David Springer

    The long and the short of Geofrey Parker’s diatribe is cold weather makes crops fail people starve. Nowhere does he relate an incident where Europe was so warm that crops failed.

    And the usual suspects today are worried about warming causing a catastrophe. That is the epitomy of boneheaded thinking. A slightly warmer planet is a hedge against demonstrated, repeated crop-killing cold weather.

  42. I am not through enough of Global Crisis to know if Alaska’s Glacier Bay was discussed, and the book is not at hand, but the history is interesting.

    “Glacier Bay was first surveyed in detail in 1794 by a team from the H.M.S. Discovery, captained by George Vancouver. At the time the survey produced showed a mere indentation in the shoreline. That massive glacier was more than 4,000 feet thick in places, up to 20 miles wide, and extended more than 100 miles to the St. Elias mountain range.

    By 1879, however, naturalist John Muir discovered that the ice had retreated more than 30 miles forming an actual bay. By 1916, the Grand Pacific Glacier – the main glacier credited with carving the bay – had melted back 60 miles to the head of what is now Tarr Inlet. ”

    http://www.glacierbay.org/geography.html

  43. Glaciers advance during cooling periods and retreat during warming periods and then it snows and causes them to advance again and bring on the next cooling period.

    We have been in the warming period since the Little Ice Age until the Current Warm Period.

    It is as it should be.

  44. Many of us who acknowledge that global warming is caused by humans believe that the cause is primarily the heat emitted by the burning of fossil fuels rather than the beneficial by-product CO2. In either event fossil fuels must eventually be curtailed. In the meantime we need to replace imported with domestic to insure our energy independence and financial stability. Those who are investing in this industry need a means of salvaging their investments. Coal can be liquified with methane producing a hydrocarbon resource with greater possibilities than we now have for chemicals, consumer goods, and building materials. Piping methane to coal sites can create new industries there. Further research should begin now while there is time. Perhaps we will see an economy whereby renewable energy is being used to convert these hydrocarbons to new uses.

    • Here is another one of those three-percenters with a wild claim as to what causes AGW. Haddad like the Chief Hydrologist and Edim believe that just the combustion of fossil fuels leads to warming. This is the campfire theory of AGW.

      These people are irrational and it is difficult to deal with an irrational mind, as Bart R has pointed out.

      • We may, however, repeat one more time that the total average power of energy production by means that add heat to the surrounding (mainly fuel use and nuclear) is roughly 15 TW, Geothermal heat from Earth interior reaches the surface with twice that rate. About 120 000 TW solar SW is absorbed by the Earth system and a essentially the same amount is lost to space by IR radiation.

        The present estimated imbalance is something like 300-500 TW (the estimates are not accurate and the real value may be outside this range). The human energy consumption and geothermal energy make the Earth slightly warmer (perhaps 0.1 C) that it would be otherwise, but that effect grows very slowly and therefore does not contribute significantly to further warming.

      • The 15TW heat emission is about the amount of heat to melt almost one trillion tons of glaciers per year, (which is what is happening). Were it not for the cooling effects of glacial melting and photosynthesis, atmospheric temperature could rise almost 0.2*F per year. Addition of CO2 to the greenhouse blanket may increase the efficiency of absorption slightly, but the blanket must contend with the increase in heat it must contend with due to the 15TW increase above and beyond the previous norm. If heat emissions are to be discounted and CO2 alone is the cause of climate change. Then all is already lost. If we shut off all energy production will the temperaturel continue to rise?

      • “Geothermal heat from Earth interior reaches the surface with twice that rate.”

        We don’t even know the average temperate of the sea land and surface of the Earth to which we have access. How precisely are we able to determine to any degree the amount of geothermal heat from the Earth’s interior that reaches the surface?

        We can’t measure the “missing” heat that is supposedly being transferred from the sea surface to the deep sea, but we can measure heat transfer from the Earth’s center to the atmosphere and sea?

        Even if you restrict it to direct release of heat from volcanoes, fissures, etc., who is measuring this? I tried to answer my own question with the inimitable google, but no luck.

        I’m not saying it’s a major factor, I have no idea. I just wonder how it is being measured.

      • “…it is difficult to deal with an irrational mind, as Bart R has pointed out.”

        Never knew WebHub had such a caustic talent for irony.

      • Nor did he.
        =======

      • Actually I used an old estimate of the geothermal energy flux from a book, as the only important thing is that it’s small and varies only little. Only about 1% comes from highly variable sources like volcanoes. More recent estimates are around 45 TW, but as long as it’s not huge and does not vary very much it’s just a constant component that has been stable for centuries and has therefore zero contribution to warming.

      • Liked your comment. Geothermal heat flow has been nearly constant and does not contribute to the rise in atmospheric temperature. On the contrary, geothermal heat flow will raise the earth”s temperature in response to a rise in atmospheric temperature to maintain the same gradient necessary to dissipate the 45TW geothermal heat flow.

      • Well, Pekka, wouldn’t less of it get out with higher CO2 conc. in the atmosphere?
        =============

      • WebHubTelescope (@whut) | June 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm |

        Not exactly what I said, though I appreciate the sentiment. Irrational discussions of mathematics (other than of course as applies to the Irrational Numbers) and science are merely not mathematics or science.

        Well, unless you count social anthropology as a science. Which no one does.

      • WebHubTelescope You dismiss the concept that heat emissions have anything to do with global warming and deride people who understand that heat is the main reason we burn hydrocarbons and CO2 is just a beneficial by-product. As I mentioned, whether you believe heat or CO2 is our main concern elimination of fossil fuels must be an ultimate goal. I made a suggestion promoting domestic production with the possibility that those who invested might, with further research, see their hydrocarbons converted to chemicals and consumer goods. Do you have a comment regarding that. For those who believe that heat has no impact on global warming consider this. If use of energy ceased tomorrow, global warming would continue unabated since the level of CO2 is apparently the total cause. The energy consumption is 16 TW, enough to melt nearly a trillion tons of glaciers annually, and were it not for the cooling provided by glacial melting and pohotosynthesis, atmospheric temperature rise would be nearly 0.2*F annually. I would appreciate it if you would address my concerns on a point by point basis instead of damning it without reasonable comment.

      • Haddad, you either have a mental block or you are thinking irrationally. Rational people can not always deal well with untangling the thoughts of an irrational mind.

        All I can say is that this statement is absurdly wrong:

        “The energy consumption is 16 TW, enough to melt nearly a trillion tons of glaciers annually, and were it not for the cooling provided by glacial melting and pohotosynthesis, atmospheric temperature rise would be nearly 0.2*F annually”

        Photosynthesis and melting can not destroy heat permanently, all they can do is obscure it it temporarily as a latent heat.

        In any case, you and other other irrational people such as Chef Hydro can not see that the combustion heat is not accumulating.

      • Your response was quite feeble. Are you saying that glacial melting did not remove heat that otherwise would have raised the atmospheric temperature? What is your point? Does greenhouse gas absorb infra red from solar but not heat emitted from energy consumption? What basis do you have to calculate temperature rise as a function of CO2 concentration that was not based on the flawed NOAA interpretation of Paleo data? (See “A Paleo Perspective on Global Warming” http://www.ndc.noaa.gov/globalwarming/temperature-change.html.

      • Solar absorption on earth’s surface is over 100 billion TW if that helps the argument.

      • Jim D No one questions the fact that solar energy is the most important energy that the earth receives. The question is “how much additional energy beyond the norm, does it take to change the norm, and does it come from heat emitted from energy use or from CO2″. What’s his face calls me irrational and chooses not to actually debate the point.. I determined that the amount of heat released by energy consumption in 2008 was 16 TW which is enough to potentially raise the atmospheric temperature by 0.17*F.. The fact that the rise was much less (and there is now disagreement whether a rise exists at all), is due in large measure to the energy absorbed by melting of glaciers and photosynthesis. (Glaciers are melting at a rate of one trillion tons a year, and there is now evidence that the higher CO2 levels are increasing crop growth and causing some desert land to start greening. I am not saying my hypothesis is correct but it is at least more rational than the people who believe that CO2 was the cause of warming in the Paleo period. See “A Paleo Perspective on Global Warming” by NOAA. http://www.ndc.noaa/gov/globalwarming/temperature-change.html. If heat emissions are completely discounted, then any rational mind must agree that it is too late since stopping any additional energy use (CO2-free or not) will not slow down the continuing destruction of the glaciers and the undeniable temperature rise after that. I may not be right but I am rational and am willing to debate on a point by point basis sans the diatribes!

      • oops, sorry, only 100 thousand TW. It still dwarfs thermal heating. You can check these numbers – 240 W/m2 over the area of the earth (radius 6.37 million meters).

  45. Adopting a broader view of risks and human behavior

    The fatal synergy among climate change, revolution, war, and rebellion produced human mortality on a scale seldom seen before and never since.

    The quote above spurred some thoughts on a broader view of risks and human behavior. My initial reaction was: ‘And this was at a time of much poorer communication and travel. So today secondary effects may be accelerated and/or amplified?’ It really goes deeper and acknowledging these other major risks, i.e., going beyond the synergy aspects in global warming and putting these risks on equal footing, the landscape potentially changes dramatically.

    Other not necessarily related engines of disaster, e.g., pandemics, nuclear war, GMO gone amok, etc. may present comparable or even worse threats to humans in terms of consequence, probability, and the uncertainties in both. If these are to be considered compounding factors in a globe warming, one should not lose sight of the risks they present in their own right. One wants to manage the overall risks with the resources at hand. Staying in the realm of qualitative assessment, it is reasonable and easy to postulate that some of the risks other than global warming do in fact expose us to human and economic effects comparable to those found in the various global warming outcome scenarios. When we consider that we do not have limitless resources and work with on a fraction of our resources, the comprehension and management of the risk portfolio is paramount. I will leave that thought by simply noting that we are a long, long way from a portfolio mindset.

    When one starts to incorporate some of these ‘events’ into an overall quantitative human risks picture, i.e., consider the entire portfolio of natural or manmade disasters, the importance of global warming as the singular issue can only be diminished, presuming one utilizes reasonably balanced parameter ranges for all of the doom vehicles. There are a number of other things I would anticipate–the ‘how’ problem of allocation of resources is acute, we have more uncertainty than before, the role of time is elevated thru characteristic times of processes and events and thru the sequencing of events. Also it is clear that a serious miscalculations on one of the risks in our portfolio can result in overcommitment of limited resources thereby constraining our ability to address other risks should that materialize. All of this is just another way of saying in our present circumstances we have to judiciously maintain reserves. Its also suggests that we need to be adaptable. That brings me to the next comment on human frailty in reasoning and human capacity to adapt.

    Human frailties in reasoning are a well worn quick and dirty avenue for attacking almost in position in an argument. We all have done that. It is interesting, however, to attempt to acknowledge and incorporate our innate irrationality into out thinking about risk. As an example, one might ask: conceding wired-in flaws and limitations in humans capabilities, but presuming the ability to adapt as a real and positive human trait, adaption/resilience is the ‘best’ approach when uncertainties are high? (Why high? When uncertainty is reduced risk is lowered and more appropriate courses of actions supposedly become more evident–decisions are easier. A corollary to that, however, is options may become more limited or more abundant–a ‘new’ uncertainty.) I tend to think this to be the case although I can not definitely say at what point uncertainties are ‘high’. The point here is not whether or not my assessment is ‘right’, or even how I incorporated human frailty into my reasoning. Rather the point is that I did incorporate frailty as a factor is the sequence: human’s can not think straight and have biases, the tool I have most confidence in is ‘human ability to adapt’, the risks are high, I am going to play to human strengths. I think that what I am attempting is to to incorporate frailty into consideration as a legitimate factor and not as an icon for a given point of view. Why be so occupied with these non-numeric aspects? Because like it or not–or acknowledge it or not–they mung up decision processes as much as and at times more than quantitative issues.

    A final note of explanation: when I advocate put the risks on equal footing in a portfolio I do not mean to imply that the risks are equal in risk: I that they are equal in that each is initially judged to have sufficient credibility and severity to merit inclusion. Further evaluation may change the picture after that. Also comparable does not mean equal.

  46. Matthew R Marler

    So while we argue over whether or not our climate is changing, and (if so) who is to blame, let us also anticipate—and try to mitigate—the sort of catastrophes that history shows are inevitable.

    I have written this on several occasions, citing as examples flood control and irrigation in California, Texas, Queensland, and the Indus Valley. I hope that the author will have some influence.

    • The Bay of Bengladesh, with monsoons, the Indus and the Chinese valleys with floods, the edge of the Sahel with droughts.

      It’s the agriculture. That is amenable.
      ===========

      • Matthew R Marler

        kim: It’s the agriculture. That is amenable.

        I am glad that you mentioned agriculture, even if you are a bot. Whatever else humans do, we should not decrease our investments in crop breeding.

  47. Is the Global Warming hoax over yet?

    Andrew

  48. We don’t have to save the world–the world’s fine! The world has been through five periods of mass extinction. Sixty-five million years ago when, as it seems, a comet hit the Earth at the same time that there were vast volcanic eruptions in India, which saw off the dinosaurs, and something like 90% of the life on the planet at the time. Go back another, I think is 150 million years earlier than that, to the Permian-Triassic boundary, another giant, giant, giant extinction. The world has been through it many many times before. And what tends to happen, what happens invariably after each mass extinction, is that there’s a huge amount of space available, for new forms of life suddenly to emerge and flourish into. Just as the extinction of the dinosaurs made way for us. Without that extinction, we would not be here.

    So, the world is fine. We don’t have to save the world—the world is big enough to look after itself. What we have to be concerned about, is whether or not the world we live in, will be capable of sustaining us in it. That’s what we need to think about. ~Douglas Adams

  49. Willis Eschenbach

    JCH | June 4, 2013 at 8:18 am |

    The LIA was unpleasant for two reasons. Change is unpleasant. They were primitive. We would have sailed through it like it wasn’t there.

    Clearly, you’ve never tried to sail through ice, but I can guarantee that an iced up harbor can’t be “sailed through like it wasn’t there”. And iced up harbors were one major effect of the LIA …

    Or perhaps you think that in 2013 a late frost won’t kill every single one of a farmer’s plants because we are so technologically advanced …

    Your idea that somehow modern folks are immune to cold and ice is … well … refreshingly naive.

    w.

    • I grew up in the Dakotas in a family ag business.

      I have seen crops killed by all sorts of things. No rain, too much rain, too hot, early frost, late frost, disease, bugs, etc.

      How do you think 17th century French Ag technology would have done in North Dakota? How do you think 21st century North Dakota Ag would have done in Europe in the 17th century?

      • JCH,

        Your second question is interesting.

        While in the Navy, I took advantage of college course work being offered during overseas deployment. I recall a business management course I signed up for. About a 1/4 of the way through, the question was asked “How do well do you think the use of modern construction management would have done at building the pyramids?” I was the only member of the class to argue “probably not that well”. I was called an idiot because anybody could see that using modern equipment would have made the job much easier. I tried pointing out that the topic was management practices, not construction technology. When even the XO (who was the course instructor) agreed with the majority opinion, I dropped the course.

        So in answer to your question I’ll say “not as well as most people might think and possibly no better than the methods of the day.” It is possible we would see some improvements. I can’t remember if practices such as crop rotation, cover crops, leaving fields fallow and so on were known to 17th century ag. If they were not, then your average North Dakota farmer would likely do better than his 17th C neighbor. If you allow for the implementation of mechanical improvements which would have been achievable using the technology of the period, then the degree of performance goes up even further.

      • @timg56…

        I can’t remember if practices such as crop rotation, cover crops, leaving fields fallow and so on were known to 17th century ag.

        IIRC the most common was “three-field” agriculture in which the arable land belonging to a village was divided into three large “common” fields. Crops were rotated annually. Individual farmers “owned” strips within those fields, usually about the same amount in each field. Crops were planted and harvested at the same time, but each farmer was responsible for plowing, planting, seed, weeding, etc. Sheep were turned into the fields at appropriate times, to stir the ground and pull up the roots of the previous crops. Don’t have time to find refs, but you can google “three-field”.

        It was around this time that enclosure began, so some areas might have had a more modern system of land ownership.

  50. AGWs/CAGWs don’t have any direct heat from the Sun. What can they possibly know about global warming?

    • Two natural components of the currently progressing climate change are identified.

      ► The first one is an almost linear global temperature increase of about 0.5°C/100 years…

      ► The second one is oscillatory (positive/negative) changes, which are superposed on the linear change.

      —> One of them is the multi-decadal oscillation, which is a natural change

      There is an urgent need to correctly identify natural changes and remove them from the present global warming/cooling trend, in order to accurately and correctly identify the contribution of the manmade greenhouse effect. Only then can the effects of CO2 be studied quantitatively…

      ~ Syun-Ichi Akasofu

      • Arno Arrak

        You are one of those people who hasn’t bothered to dope out what is in the temperature curve and just babbles on about warming. The record shows that within the last 100 years there have been three independently initiated warming periods. They must not be thrown into the same pot and homogenized to create an average that means nothing. Since you bring up the contribution of man-made greenhouse effect, its contribution is zero. That follows from the work of Ferenc Miskolczi as I have explained before. But if you are one who is mathematically challenged and does not go along with him you must respect the rules that go with the greenhouse effect of Arrhenius. One very basic rule is based on the laws of physics and says that to start a greenhouse warming you must put carbon dioxide into the air at the same time. That is because the absorbance of CO2 in the infrared is a property of the gas and cannot be changed. To increase warming you must increase the number of absorbing molecules. In practice this means that if you have two parallel curves, one of global temperature and one of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and if at some point global temperature starts to increase there must be a parallel, simultaneous increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide as well. Since we have reasonably reliable temperature curves going back to the nineteenth century as well as accurate information about carbon dioxide from Mauna Loa and ice core data almost anyone can make this comparison. So what are we going to compare first? Starting with the twentieth century, its first ten years were cooling, not warming. Then warming suddenly started in 1910, kept on going steadily until 1940, and stopped as suddenly as it had started. And here comes the test: if it was greenhouse warming there had to be a sudden increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide in 1910. But there was none, the carbon dioxide curve is featureless. Hence this early century warming cannot possibly be greenhouse warming. Another requirement for greenhouse warming is that it cannot be stopped suddenly because there is no way to get carbon dioxide molecules out of the air suddenly. Both ends of this warming curve tell us that it cannot possibly be greenhouse warming, and forty percent of the century is already lost. It was followed by World War II cooling which for some idiotic reason appears as warming on some temperature curves. From that point on till late seventies there was no warming. Global warmists are well aware of this and have blamed this lack of warming on factory smoke from war production. The next warming began in 1976 when PDO changed from its cool to warm phase. At the time it was called the Great Pacific Climate Shift and is said to have raised global temperature by 0.2 degrees Celsius. Checking Mauna Loa carbon dioxide values shows that there was no parallel increase of CO2 and this again rules out greenhouse warming as the cause of this particular warming. Satellite temperature records show that it was over by 1980 and that there was no more warming until the 1998 super El Nino arrived. This is not what ground-based curves from NOAA and others showed. In their temperature records you find that this warming continues in the eighties and nineties and even has a name – late twentieth century warming. Nobody could find a natural cause for this warming and that was taken as proof that it was man-made. I considered it phony and made a note of it in my book that came out in 2010. Nothing happened for a while and I though that nobody noticed what I had said. Until last fall, that is, when GISTEMP, HadCRUT, and NCDC in unison decided to get rid of this phony warming and follow the satellite record in the eighties and nineties. I consider this joint action tantamount to admission that the previous warming was false. It was man-made all right, in the back rooms of temperature record offices. The third and final warming of the century was a step warming caused by the huge amount of warm water the super El Nino of 1998 carried across the ocean. In four years it raised global temperature by a third of a degree Celsius and then stopped. Again, no parallel increase of carbon dioxide, no way to call it greenhouse warming. That of course did not stop Hansen from doing just that. The temperature increase from the step warming raised all the twenty-first century temperature values that followed above the level of the nineties. Hansen noticed that and pointed out that out of ten warmest years, nine happened after 2010. He was right of course because they all sit on the high platform created by the step warming. There is simply no way that a the step warming that caused this can be a greenhouse warming as Hansen dreams. He of course did not even know that it was a step warming and put his faith in the phony late twentieth century warming that was later retracted. That should be enough to show you that the real global temperature curve does not include any Arrhenius greenhouse warming during the last 100 years. Same as Miskolczi theory more simply proves.

      • Nominally, it’s the Sun, stupid. Everything else is dogma.

  51. Myrrh

    During the heady days of the late 1990s, livin’ was easy for CAGW aficionados.

    Temps were jumpin’ (just like the models predicted) and the cotton was high.

    Natural variability (or forcing) was a “no-no” concept, the models even estimated that 93% of all the warming from 1750 to 2005 was attributed to “anthropogenic” forcing.

    But then a strange thing happened.

    All those thermometers out there (even the ones next to heated buildings, asphalt parking lots and AC exhausts) started showing that the warming had stopped. Basta. Finito.

    Oops!

    How could this be?

    All of a sudden “natural variability” was the culprit. This was supposedly now so strong that it totally masked the “AGW warming signal” despite the fact that human GHG emissions continued unabated and concentrations reached all-time record levels..

    But wait a minute!

    If “natural factors” have been so strong over the past 10-12 years to totally overwhelm the anthropogenic warming signal, could it not be that these same “natural factors” were a significant cause for the observed past warming?

    Ouch!

    This is exactly what Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu is telling us – and we should listen.

    Max

    • And I’ve been telling you it’s all totally to do with natural cycles and nothing else at least since writing the Appendix of my March 2012 paper “Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics” by Douglas Cotton

    • Say Max,
      That wuz in Summertime, not now.Things change.
      Beth.

    • Max – it’s worse than that.

      The AGWScienceFiction’s Greenhouse Effect Energy Budget, KT97 and ilk and taught at university level, is that all the energy at TOA is shortwave, mainly visible light and the two shortwaves of uv and near infrared either side (the near infrared at 1% of that total). They have excluded completely the acual real heat from the Sun which is longwave infrared, aka thermal infrared to differentiate it from non-thermal infrared, the invisible shortwaves infrared which are not hot.

      So, scientists arguing about heat from the Sun being a factor in global warming, …, for the most part, do not realise that this is what is being taught by AGWScienceFiction’s fake fisics, so they think “solar” includes the direct powerful wavelengths of heat, but AGWSF has taken them out.

      Well, not actually taken them out, they by sleight of hand still include them in their “solar” gross amount, but they pretend these are all shortwaves.

      They do this to pretend that any real world measurements of thermal infrared, dowwelling longwave infrared, are from the “atmosphere”, not from the Sun, so they can present these as being the “backradiation from greenhouse gases”.

      These are magic tricks, sleights of hand of science fraud to promote the AGW concept.

      Visible light from the Sun cannot physically heat matter, it is too small to move whole molecules into vibration which is what it takes to heat matter, and AGW has taken out the direct thermal energy of the Sun in transfer by radiation. Ergo. They have no direct heat from the Sun, so what can they possibly know about global warming?

  52. Humans are not to blame in regard to carbon dioxide emissions, because no one can prove with valid physics, in the face of what I say below, that radiative forcing is the primary controlling (forcing) factor determining planetary surface temperatures.

    An example of the “heat creep” mechanism which debunks the greenhouse effect

    The process of downward diffusion/convection which appears to be transferring heat from cooler to warmer regions does in fact happen in a gravitational field, and this is the non-radiative process which explains all planetary atmospheric and surface temperatures without any need for any greenhouse effect from any radiation. There is no radiation from the Sun in the depths of the Uranus atmosphere, but it’s very hot, because heat does indeed creep down and get trapped there by gravity.

    Suppose before dawn on a calm morning we consider a column of the atmosphere 1Km high. Let’s say the base of the column (at the surface) is 7C and the top is 0C. Hence the process described in the Second Law of Thermodynamics has done all it will do because thermodynamic equilibrium has evolved spontaneously in a region where we will assume an environmental “lapse rate” of 7C/Km prevails.

    Now, the Sun rises and the lower half of our column of air (from the surface up) is still in the shade of a mountain, but the top half is warmed by the Sun as some of the water vapour and other air molecules do in fact absorb incident Solar radiation.

    So now let’s assume the top half has warmed and it is now 2C at the top and perhaps still 3.5C at the middle of the column. So the top half is still colder than the lower half. But the thermodynamic equilibrium has been disturbed. The Second Law process now has a propensity towards a new thermodynamic equilibrium in which there is more energy to spread around. The extra energy spreads out and some will head towards the surface because the whole temperature plot rises to a higher level which will be parallel to the original plot once thermodynamic equilibrium is re-established and the gradient gets back to 7C/Km.

    Doug

  53. I really don’t like the C-word. Catastrophe, though unquestionably made more likely in complex systems under new forcing, isn’t the major issue for we who live in the complex system.

    Although catastrophe is expensive, and resilience is expensive, just ordinary living through non-catastrophe is made more expensive by the state changes due the forcing; the price of increasing resilience until it matches the increased uncertainty relative to degree of mitigation is also raised. And there is the moral issue of increasing costs on the most vulnerable, without providing compensatory benefit equitably or with consultation.

    AGW isn’t really AGW, after all. It’s TGW. The T being Tyranny. What else is it called when a few do whatever they like to the detriment of all, without payment or permission?

    • Bart R

      Like you, I do not like the C-word.

      I also do not think we are headed for an “inevitable climate catastrophe”.

      However, IPCC has outlined in detail in its AR4 report a premise of future GH warming, effects and impacts, which have become known as “CAGW” (for potentially catastrophic anthropogenic global warming).

      This premise is what is being debated.

      As far as “a few doing whatever they like to the detriment of all”, I think there is injustice, inequality and abuse of power all over the world, but I do not see how AGW fits into this definition.

      Max

      • manacker | June 5, 2013 at 1:45 am |

        I’ve read the C-word portion of IPCC AR4 reports. Tiny. Puny. Little more than footnote, compared to the other costs.

        Why focus on a mere footnote?

        The tyranny of those few free riders who declare they can change the air, the temperature, the storms, the very sky, of the rest of us for lucrative personal gain, at cost to us all, how does that not stir a sense of injustice in you? Even if they minimize the degree of what effect science tells us they must have in their advertising campaigns with honeyed words, how is it not tyranny?

      • Bart R

        Not to kick your soap box out from under you, but:

        IPCC has defined the “C” word for us, when it comes to AGW.

        You write:

        The tyranny of those few free riders who declare they can change the air, the temperature, the storms, the very sky, of the rest of us for lucrative personal gain, at cost to us all, how does that not stir a sense of injustice in you? Even if they minimize the degree of what effect science tells us they must have in their advertising campaigns with honeyed words, how is it not tyranny?

        This is all a bit too foggy and emotional for me, Bart.

        We are ALL using energy, some maybe more or less than others. Certainly those individuals living in the poorest and least industrially developed nations are using less than you or me. I feel pity for them and hope they will some day have access to a reliable source of low cost energy, as you and I do, which will help pull them out of the abject poverty and short, brutal lives they now suffer. The Chinese and Indians (among others) are now going through this transition, increasing their per capita fossil fuel use and CO2 generation in the process.

        So we are ALL directly or indirectly generating CO2, which causes GH warming and (according to IPCC) represents a serious threat to humanity and our environment (the “C” in “CAGW”).

        Who are these “few free riders” you are accusing of “tyranny” and getting so excited about? Guys like Al Gore, whose “carbon footprint” is hundred times greater than yours and mine combined? Or your President, who uses Air Force One for excursions, like the average family uses the family car? Or the CEOs of large corporations, who jet about in their company Lear jets? Powerful, rich people have larger “carbon footprints” than the average guy. That’s life.

        I fail to see what you are getting so worked up about.

        Nobody “owes” you anything, Bart. Anymore than they “owe” me anything. This is a fantasy on your part, as far as I can see. One that makes you feel righteously indignant at some imagined wrongdoing by others, when, in actual fact, you have been the benefactor of having a reliable source of low-cost energy to improve your quality of life.

        Max

        Max

      • manacker | June 5, 2013 at 4:04 am |

        I just don’t buy your from-each-by-his-means-to-each-by-his-needs argument.. and from all your past writing here, I have great difficulty believing there is anything ‘too emotional’ for you.

        We are ALL using energy, some maybe more or less than others.

        a) I’m not talking about ‘energy’. I’m talking about the carbon cycle that disposes of CO2E emissions from all lucrative sources. Asphalt offgases CO2E. Sealants offgas CO2E. Crushing limestone offgases CO2E. They’d all pay fees, and deliver dividends, to the owners of the air per capita. What makes you think misdirectingly this is about some energy drama? Let me answer that for you: it’s your straw man, and you’ll cry if you want to.

        b) We all use food, too. Some more than others. Do you suggest we stop paying for food? The principle of capitalism is you pay for what you get, and you pay a market price determined by the law of supply and demand. Though invisible, the carbon cycle is something you get when you emit CO2E. You take a share of its capacity, and for longer than a human lifetime. No one else can use that same share once you have encumbered it. You can be prevented from lucrative access to that share by the seller of those goods that encumber the carbon cycle unless you pay them, and they in turn pay their suppliers: each of us, per capita; the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is growing, showing that the carbon cycle cannot keep up with the load on it: we have scarcity, excludability, and rivalry exhibited. It is administratively practical to charge a fee on the carbon cycle. Those four conditions under the principles of capitalism demand the government enforce the standards of weights and measures and enforce too the payment of those who take to those who own, that is, it must privatize the carbon cycle. This is pure logic, nothing emotional about it.

        Certainly those individuals living in the poorest and least industrially developed nations are using less than you or me.

        Who the heck are you to presume to speak for people you know nothing about, by speaking against their interest and against the repeatedly and broadly reported views of many of them? Did they elect you? Are you their king?

        This is an act of tyranny.

        I feel pity for them and hope they will some day have access to a reliable source of low cost energy, as you and I do, which will help pull them out of the abject poverty and short, brutal lives they now suffer.

        https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/appeal-to-emotion

        Much of the lesser developed world does have the means to access reliable sources of low cost energy. Windmills and CSP are a tiny percentage of the price of megaprojects, and can be built to suit on local sites, and the cost per unit of energy is much less of a burden on a local economy than that of imported carbon.

        And frankly, your ‘short, brutal’ characterization of these people you tyrannically presume to speak for, I find odious.

        The Chinese and Indians (among others) are now going through this transition, increasing their per capita fossil fuel use and CO2 generation in the process.

        China is also hacking the world, gleaning the benefits of industrial espionage through state-backed corporation. Are you suggesting we ‘ALL’ communistically from-each-by-our-means-to-each-by-our-needs follow this example, too?

        China is also, by the way, investing more in CSP and wind energy than anywhere else in the world, both in absolute and per capita terms.

        And China and India are both ruled tyrannically: how does their example not support my case more, rather than less?

        So we are ALL directly or indirectly generating CO2, which causes GH warming and (according to IPCC) represents a serious threat to humanity and our environment (the “C” in “CAGW”).

        If we’re ALL doing it, all the more reason to put a price on it and pay a fee to ALL of us who breath air, and by that quality we all share have an equal right to be compensated for its lucrative use.

        And you are just plain wrong about the definition of IPCC AR4’s use of the C-word. The bulk of the serious threat to humanity and our environment is not life-ending apocalypse and disastrous weather extremes: it is expensive, costly run-of-the-mill changes that make many little things pricier, especially these changes impact those least able to pay such a surcharge.. Oh, and by the way, as a UN organization, the IPCC _does_ have the right to represent those nations you keep saying you speak for.

        Who are these “few free riders” you are accusing of “tyranny” and getting so excited about? Guys like Al Gore, whose “carbon footprint” is hundred times greater than yours and mine combined? Or your President, who uses Air Force One for excursions, like the average family uses the family car? Or the CEOs of large corporations, who jet about in their company Lear jets? Powerful, rich people have larger “carbon footprints” than the average guy. That’s life.

        Yes. Guys like that. They’re getting something of mine for nothing, and should be paying for it. But you are manifestly and multitudinously wrong. That’s not life. That’s theft. Rich thief or poor thief, we don’t put up with that here.

        I fail to see what you are getting so worked up about.

        Yeah, well, that may be your socialist upbringing, and the socialist stew you swim in. You’ve never known anything like real capitalism, and can’t be expected to understand it. You can’t imagine how repellent the communistic things you say sound in the free world.

        Nobody “owes” you anything, Bart. Anymore than they “owe” me anything. This is a fantasy on your part, as far as I can see. One that makes you feel righteously indignant at some imagined wrongdoing by others, when, in actual fact, you have been the benefactor of having a reliable source of low-cost energy to improve your quality of life.

        Right, right, right. From your Manifesto, there is no property right, and everything is doled out by state command and control through politburo planning. Yours is a sickening way for the world to be choked on waste through the tyranny of free riders.

      • Max,

        You fail to see the brilliance of Bart R’s ever evolving tax lunacy. It’s latest formulation is the “privitization” of the “carbon cycle.”

        The carbon cycle is “the carbon cycle comprises a sequence of events that are key to making the Earth capable of sustaining life; it describes the movement of carbon as it is recycled and reused throughout the biosphere.” Or so says Wikipedia.

        And Bart R is POed that he isn’t getting paid rent from the rest of us for using his share of the biological processes of the bio-mass of the Earth with circulate CO2 into and out of the atmosphere. (It is incidental of course that he wants government to collect this rent every time you buy gasoline, it is NOT a tax.)

        I’ve tried to calm him down by selling him my share, cheap, but for some reason he is not willing to pay me anything to double his interest in this sequence of events, sorry – vast, valuable piece of property.

        And by the way, you are a communist if you think his delusional view of economics is not the purest form of free market capitalism.

      • Meh, he thoroughly invests his niche in the circle of life, were he but to appreciate it.
        =============

      • on manaker using the term soap box:

        One of the best sig lines I’ve seen was one which stated “Our nation is founded on three boxes, the soap box, the ballot box and the cartridge box.”

        Always thought it was an accurate summary of the basis of our freedom.

      • manaker,

        I’ve been trying to follow Bart’s points and he has helped by providing detail in areas I was having difficulty understanding. I am to the point that I can see much sense in his argument. What he is saying makes a lot of sense, on the condition you accept his reasoning (or is it assessment) of the carbon cycle.

        As yet, I haven’t been able to make that leap. But I would say that in taking in Bart’s comments and arguments, try to see it from his belief system. You don’t have to agree with the system, but it helps with the conversation.

      • Bart R

        Let me address your long and rambling response to me earlier comment, item by item.

        To my statement: “We are ALL using energy, some maybe more or less than others”, you responded:

        a) I’m not talking about ‘energy’. I’m talking about the carbon cycle that disposes of CO2E emissions from all lucrative sources. Asphalt offgases CO2E. Sealants offgas CO2E. Crushing limestone offgases CO2E. They’d all pay fees, and deliver dividends, to the owners of the air per capita. What makes you think misdirectingly this is about some energy drama? Let me answer that for you: it’s your straw man, and you’ll cry if you want to.

        Bart. Get serious. The overwhelming bulk of all human CO2 emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels, to produce energy and for transportation. You and I, living in the industrially developed world, are the chief CO2 emitters and net benefactors from this energy. The second largest source is from deforestation: this occurs primarily in the less developed tropical and sub-tropical nations. The third comes from cement production, which occurs principally in the industrially developed or developing nations. And the fourth comes from breathing.

        b) We all use food, too. Some more than others. Do you suggest we stop paying for food? The principle of capitalism is you pay for what you get, and you pay a market price determined by the law of supply and demand. Though invisible, the carbon cycle is something you get when you emit CO2E. You take a share of its capacity, and for longer than a human lifetime. No one else can use that same share once you have encumbered it. You can be prevented from lucrative access to that share by the seller of those goods that encumber the carbon cycle unless you pay them, and they in turn pay their suppliers: each of us, per capita; the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is growing, showing that the carbon cycle cannot keep up with the load on it: we have scarcity, excludability, and rivalry exhibited. It is administratively practical to charge a fee on the carbon cycle. Those four conditions under the principles of capitalism demand the government enforce the standards of weights and measures and enforce too the payment of those who take to those who own, that is, it must privatize the carbon cycle. This is pure logic, nothing emotional about it.

        This is a bit of an emotional ramble, Bart. We all eat food and emit carbon, especially those of us in the affluent societies, like you and me. The “carbon cycle” is absorbing half of these emissions on average, with the rest “remaining” in the atmosphere, where it has a net beneficial impact for plant growth, particularly in semi-arid regions, which are becoming more green as a result; crop yields have also increased at the higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations, generating more food for a growing world population. The “carbon cycle” is part of nature: it cannot be “privatized” by top-down government edict anymore than the four seasons or day and night can, so forget that silly pipe dream.

        To my sentence: “Certainly those individuals living in the poorest and least industrially developed nations are using less than you or me”

        You responded:

        Who the heck are you to presume to speak for people you know nothing about, by speaking against their interest and against the repeatedly and broadly reported views of many of them? Did they elect you? Are you their king?
        This is an act of tyranny.

        That sentence smacks of paranoia, Bart. You are, quite obviously, not an impoverished peasant from Mali or northeastern China. Instead, you are one of the fortunate few, who live in relative affluence, at least in great part due to having access to a reliable low-cost source of energy. You have electricity to power your computer as you blog; you can flip the switch and turn on the lights – just as I can. I am certainly not speaking against anyone’s interest when I point this out. Nor do I want to impose a system of direct or indirect taxation on carbon against the will of those who would have to pay. That would be an act of tyranny, Bart.

        To my sentence: “I feel pity for them and hope they will some day have access to a reliable source of low cost energy, as you and I do, which will help pull them out of the abject poverty and short, brutal lives they now suffer.”

        You cited the link to an irrelevant blurb and added:

        Much of the lesser developed world does have the means to access reliable sources of low cost energy. Windmills and CSP are a tiny percentage of the price of megaprojects, and can be built to suit on local sites, and the cost per unit of energy is much less of a burden on a local economy than that of imported carbon.
        And frankly, your ‘short, brutal’ characterization of these people you tyrannically presume to speak for, I find odious.

        Get off your soap box, Bart. The most reliable and least expensive source of energy remains fossil fuels today. This could change in the future, but that’s how it is today. Nuclear power can compete in many regions but is not a good solution for impoverished nations with unstable dictatorial regimes, for nuclear proliferation concerns, so we are left with fossil fuels. The solutions you propose may work for isolated applications, but are far too expensive and unreliable as an overall solution. And you must really work on your reading comprehension skills, Bart: I did not characterize these poor people as “short and brutal”, but rather their lives today, without a reliable source of low-cost energy and (with it) clean drinking water.

        To my statement of the situation: “The Chinese and Indians (among others) are now going through this transition, increasing their per capita fossil fuel use and CO2 generation in the process.”

        You respond (totally off-topic):

        China is also hacking the world, gleaning the benefits of industrial espionage through state-backed corporation. Are you suggesting we ‘ALL’ communistically from-each-by-our-means-to-each-by-our-needs follow this example, too?
        China is also, by the way, investing more in CSP and wind energy than anywhere else in the world, both in absolute and per capita terms.
        And China and India are both ruled tyrannically: how does their example not support my case more, rather than less?

        No, Bart, I just stated a fact: China and India (under two radically different political regimes) are increasing their populations’ affluence and quality of life by increasing their per capita energy consumption; this is a process that no one can stop.

        To my statement of fact: “So we are ALL directly or indirectly generating CO2, which causes GH warming and (according to IPCC) represents a serious threat to humanity and our environment (the “C” in “CAGW”).”

        You reply:

        If we’re ALL doing it, all the more reason to put a price on it and pay a fee to ALL of us who breath air, and by that quality we all share have an equal right to be compensated for its lucrative use.
        And you are just plain wrong about the definition of IPCC AR4′s use of the C-word. The bulk of the serious threat to humanity and our environment is not life-ending apocalypse and disastrous weather extremes: it is expensive, costly run-of-the-mill changes that make many little things pricier, especially these changes impact those least able to pay such a surcharge.. Oh, and by the way, as a UN organization, the IPCC _does_ have the right to represent those nations you keep saying you speak for.

        You lost me on that one, Bart. It is too much like a psychotic ramble to be able to respond to rationally, but I will try in part.

        There is absolutely no valid reason for any top-down organization to put a price tag on (and thereby cash in on) the very air we breathe.

        IPCC has obviously not used the “C” word, but it has outlined in AR4 what has generally become known as “CAGW”. It’s all there in great detail Bart – all you have to do is read it. (I can provide you an outline, if you are truly interested.)

        The UN has no right to impose taxes on anyone and that’s the way it should remain.

        I asked you: “Who are these “few free riders” you are accusing of “tyranny” and getting so excited about? Guys like Al Gore, whose “carbon footprint” is hundred times greater than yours and mine combined? Or your President, who uses Air Force One for excursions, like the average family uses the family car? Or the CEOs of large corporations, who jet about in their company Lear jets? Powerful, rich people have larger “carbon footprints” than the average guy. That’s life.”

        Your response:

        Yes. Guys like that. They’re getting something of mine for nothing, and should be paying for it. But you are manifestly and multitudinously wrong. That’s not life. That’s theft. Rich thief or poor thief, we don’t put up with that here.

        Bart, you may not like it, but that is life. And, as long as the overwhelming majority put up with “life” as it is, it will remain that way. If you could get a majority to back your viewpoint, that’s what would happen, no matter how goofy your ideas might be.

        I commented: “I fail to see what you are getting so worked up about.”

        To which you responded with a totally absurd tirade:

        Yeah, well, that may be your socialist upbringing, and the socialist stew you swim in. You’ve never known anything like real capitalism, and can’t be expected to understand it. You can’t imagine how repellent the communistic things you say sound in the free world.

        “Socialist upbringing”? ”Socialist stew”? “Communistic”? How stupid! I believe in democratic societies,individual freedom and liberty plus free-market capitalism, not top-down carbon taxes hurting the average person most of all, based on a hypothetical “carbon value” cooked up by some elitist eggheads sitting in an ivory tower somewhere.

        Finally I reminded you of the facts of life: “Nobody “owes” you anything, Bart. Anymore than they “owe” me anything. This is a fantasy on your part, as far as I can see. One that makes you feel righteously indignant at some imagined wrongdoing by others, when, in actual fact, you have been the benefactor of having a reliable source of low-cost energy to improve your quality of life.”

        You responded:

        Right, right, right. From your Manifesto, there is no property right, and everything is doled out by state command and control through politburo planning. Yours is a sickening way for the world to be choked on waste through the tyranny of free riders.

        Duh! It’s exactly the opposite from what you wrote, Bart, if you’ll just think about it for a minute. You are NOT a victim of industrialization and the CO2 it generates – you are one of the lucky benefactors. I don’t owe you a red cent. I believe in property right and am against excessive state control through “top-down” mechanisms, such as taxes. There are no “free riders”, just as there is no forced equality of everyone in this world (other than the enforcers, of course). It’s all a pipe dream, Bart. And your obsession with being a victim borders on paranoia. Pop a tranquilizer and calm down.

        Max

      • manacker wrote:

        However, IPCC has outlined in detail in its AR4 report a premise of future GH warming, effects and impacts, which have become known as “CAGW” (for potentially catastrophic anthropogenic global warming).

        This premise is what is being debated.

        Your copy of the IPCC AR4 report must contain something different than my copy. In my copy, there isn’t any such premise. Instead, it contains a compilation and synthesis of the status back then of the knowledge in climate science about the workings of the physics of the climate system, past climate change, and projections of possible and likely future climate change, its effects and impacts, based on the published results from research in the scientific literature of the field.

        Or you and I have a different understanding about what the word “premise” means.

      • Jan P Perlwitz

        Read your copy of IPCC AR4 more closely.

        You will see the following underlying premise, which has been dubbed (by others) the “CAGW” hypothesis (or premise).

        In a sentence, it is the posit that human GHG emissions, principally CO2, have been the primary cause of late 20th century warming and that these represent a serious potential threat to humanity and to our environment, unless they are sharply curtailed.

        More specifically, “CAGW” is outlined by IPCC in AR4, as follows:

        1. human GHGs have been the cause of most of the observed warming since ~1950 [AR4 WGI SPM, p.10]

        2. this reflects a model-predicted 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of 3.2°C±0.7°C [AR4 WGI Ch.8, p.633]

        3. this represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment from anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the range of 1.8°C to 6.4°C by the end of this century with increase in global sea level of up to 0.59 meters [AR4 WGI SPM, p.13]

        4. resulting in increased severity and/or intensity of heat waves, heavy precipitation events, droughts, tropical cyclones and extreme high sea levels [AR4 WGI SPM, p.8],

        5. with resulting flooding of several coastal cities and regions, crop failures and famines, loss of drinking water for millions from disappearing glaciers, intensification and expansion of wildfires, severe loss of Amazon forests, decline of corals, extinction of fish species, increase in malnutrition, increase in vector borne and diarrheal diseases, etc. [AR4 WGII]

        6. unless world-wide actions are undertaken to dramatically curtail human GHG emissions (principally CO2) [AR4 WGIII]

        It’s all there, Jan – all you have to do is read it.

        Max

      • manacker, what threshold have you assigned to the word “Catastrophic”? Is it 1, 2, 3 or 4 C of more warming? What odds do you think the IPCC has given to that threshold being crossed for its various scenarios? See how imprecise CAGW is as a description? But you can make it precise if you define your threshold, and it would help to know what is in your mind when you say “CAGW”.

      • manacker | June 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm |

        TL;DR

      • timg56 | June 5, 2013 at 2:50 pm |

        You have going for you that we both stand on the same boxes.

        Though most versions I know add ‘bread box’.

        If it helps, ask yourself what world would you rather have: one where people grab something you never realized you owned without paying you your due, or one where your neighbor called over the fence, “Hey, friend. They’re stealin’ your stuff,” and you could decide for yourself if you deserved to be paid or not.

        Some say you ought not be given the right to even decide. I think that’s wrong.

      • manacker, in reply to your comment on June 5, 2013 at 8:40 pm

        Perhaps I was not clear enough. I dispute your labeling of the points you list as “premises”. The statements in the IPCC report are based on and backed with results from research, published in the scientific literature. I don’t see any argument by you for your assertion that those statements were mere “premises”.

      • Jim D

        I get the impression that you are waffling when you ask me:

        it would help to know what is in your mind when you say “CAGW”.

        .
        Please refer to my comment to Jan P Perlwitz above. “CAGW” is the premise outlined by IPCC in its AR4 report, as I summarized citing references to the applicable IPCC AR4 report and chapter.

        IPCC is pretty clear that the effects and impacts from AGW are projected to be negative for humanity – in fact, so negative that they can be generally classified as potentially disruptive or even catastrophic (extreme weather events, storms, extreme high tides, floods, droughts, illnesses, crop losses, extinctions, etc., all as outlined in the AR4 report).

        That description is what has generally become known as the “CAGW” premise.

        I have personally concluded from the data out there that there are no potentially catastrophic effects or impacts from AGW; that is to say that I reject the premise of “CAGW” as outlined by IPCC.

        I sense from your comments that you accept the IPCC “CAGW” premise as valid.

        Whether or not you choose to refer to this premise as “CAGW” is immaterial. It is simply a name describing the IPCC AR4 position.

        Max

        .

      • Jan P Perlwitz

        Let’s see if we can get this straight.

        You accept that IPCC has listed the various projected effects and impacts from AGW, as I summarized citing specific references.

        Good so far.

        The observation that this has been generally referred to (by others – not IPCC) as “CAGW” seems to irritate you – but there’s not much either one of us can do about that.

        But you object to the IPCC position being referred to as a “premise”.

        The statements in the IPCC report are based on and backed with results from research, published in the scientific literature. I don’t see any argument by you for your assertion that those statements were mere “premises”.

        There is nothing derogatory about the term “premise”, Jan.

        premise
        n.
        1. A proposition upon which an argument is based or from which a conclusion is drawn.
        2. Logic
        a. One of the propositions in a deductive argument.
        b. Either the major or the minor proposition of a syllogism, from which the conclusion is drawn.

        This seems to fit pretty well.

        One could also refer to it as a “postulation”

        postulation
        n.
        1. Something assumed without proof as being self-evident or generally accepted, especially when used as a basis for an argument

        Or how about “posit”?

        posit
        n.
        A statement made on the assumption that it will prove to be true.

        It’s all semantics, Jan.

        “Premise” actually fits pretty well, as I see it.

        One could also refer to it as a “hypothesis”.

        Do you like that better?

        Max

      • Peter Lang

        Manacker and Jan,

        3. this represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment from anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the range of 1.8°C to 6.4°C by the end of this century with increase in global sea level of up to 0.59 meters [AR4 WGI SPM, p.13]

        4. resulting in increased severity and/or intensity of heat waves, heavy precipitation events, droughts, tropical cyclones and extreme high sea levels [AR4 WGI SPM, p.8],

        5. with resulting flooding of several coastal cities and regions, crop failures and famines, loss of drinking water for millions from disappearing glaciers, intensification and expansion of wildfires, severe loss of Amazon forests, decline of corals, extinction of fish species, increase in malnutrition, increase in vector borne and diarrheal diseases, etc. [AR4 WGII]

        6. unless world-wide actions are undertaken to dramatically curtail human GHG emissions (principally CO2) [AR4 WGIII]

        IPCC AR4 certainly described catastrophe and used plenty of scaremongering adjectives. The only one it seems they did not use is “catastrophe”.

      • Indeed, Peter, they describe catastrophe but do not say the word. Their best trick – and all is trickery – is to give a bland title to their obscene snuff movie to sneak it past the censors.

        How far did they expect to get preaching of tornadoes in Tornado Alley, hurricanes in the North Atlantic Hurricane belt, monsoon failures in India, floods in Bangladesh and searing droughts in Australia?

        On the other hand, if the tornadoes, hurricanes, monsoon failures, floods and droughts came to a halt…now that would really be a climate change! But who’d give money for a snuff movie where nothing happens?

      • What the science actually shows, and the IPCC reflects, is that because of AGW there will be significant changes in many aspects of climate and the environment over the coming century with the risk of some of these changes being very harmful.

        This is of course obvious and common sense and climate skeptics can’t deny it. So they attack the strawman “CAGW” instead.

      • lolwot, “What the science actually shows, and the IPCC reflects, is that because of AGW there will be significant changes in many aspects of climate and the environment over the coming century with the risk of some of these changes being very harmful.”

        Right and the scientific models that are supposed to show the rates of change that will produce the significant impacts aren’t. The 95% confidence level means something. The fact that “climate” is closer to “we done good saving the world” projections instead of the BAU projections means something. Because of the BS “consensus” compromise, instead of a coin toss, we are stuck with this huge gray area of uncertainty that never should have existed.

        Just say it, “Sensitivity” is most likely less than 3 C”. come on, it will do ya good. Once you cross that fabricated threshold, then the 1.6 and 0.8 will start finally making more sense. Those were the original, “rational” estimates.

      • Capt, you write “Just say it, “Sensitivity” is most likely less than 3 C”.

        Better yet, just say “No-one has the slightest dea what the climate sensitivity of CO2 is. There are guesses of indistinguishable from zero to 6 C or more, but there is no empirical data to support any specific number”. Then lolwot will be cloaser to the truth

      • Jim Cripwell, “Better yet, just say “No-one has the slightest dea what the climate sensitivity of CO2 is.”

        As it is “defined” you are right. I can consider only the output and confidently say that a sensitivity to an increase in atmosphere resistance of 3.6Wm-2 will increase the current average energy of the oceans by 3.6 Wm-2 from the current average energy of 334.5 Wm-2 producing a “global” temperature change of ~0.8 C degrees. Notice all the caveats though. The problem with the current definition is that it makes too many assumptions and ends over over-simplifying the hard parts and over complicating the easy parts of the problem.

        “Sensitivity” to a doubling of CO2 is ~ 1 C +/- 0.25C where that doubling produces ~3.6 Wm-2 of additional atmospheric forcing. That is also valid and doesn’t even require the all things remaining equal.

        How the system responds to that, no clue, but you can properly define “Sensitivity” if you limit the range enough.

      • I suspect, Cap’n, that that 1C lab sens. is fixed, and that all the feedbacks are variable, temporally and spatially.
        =============

      • Kim, “I suspect, Cap’n, that that 1C lab sens. is fixed, and that all the feedbacks are variable, temporally and spatially.”

        I doubt it. The “sensitivity” is dependent on the temperature/spectrum of the source. What ever source temperature they assumed would produce the sensitivity they estimate. Since the global oceans are the slowest moving reference in a chaotic system, the 0.8 C would be based on a 334.5Wm-2 (~4C) source, which should make it the most accurate estimate. The turbopause, or the point were turbulent mixing is insignificant, provides another stable reference at ~67Wm-2 (~89C),using those two reference you can get a pretty accurate estimate to a 3.6Wm-2 change in atmospheric resistance. Then just modify the ln(Cf/Ci) for those temperature and you have a reasonable model for CO2 equivalent “Sensitivity”.

        Using the 333 Wm-2 was what Kimoto, Monckton and Lindzen were doing, but the K&T budget was so FUBAR that there was no confidence in the 333 DWLR estimate or its reference “surface”.

      • OK, to the limit of my understanding, I agree. Attempting to penetrate further, I glance up at a cloud.
        ==========

      • Capt’nDallas

        “The “sensitivity” is dependent on the temperature/spectrum of the source. What ever source temperature they assumed would produce the sensitivity they estimate.”

        I’ve read it; came back to it; thought I understood, and then I didn’t.

        Maybe my question is: how? and then: why?

        If you have the time. Thank you

      • HiR008, “Maybe my question is: how? and then: why?”

        Why first. CO2 is not an energy source, it can gain energy from a source and tranfer that energy gained, but it does create energy, it is then dependent on the source of the energy.

        How? In the lower atmosphere it gains energy by collisional transfer i.e. conduction primarily. That energy gain is not dependent on the spectrum of the source, just the absolute temperature of the source. Higher in the atmosphere it gains most of its energy via radiant transfer. That is limited to the CO2 spectrum. Since most of the energy available in the CO2 spectrum is provided by CO2 and most of the energy CO2 gains is via conduction at near the surface, the spectrum is limited by the near surface temperature and pressure. I believe the correct term is pressure broadening which is one of the critical parts of the higher sensitivity estimates, broadening would “close” more of the atmospheric window, which is only 20 +/-4 Wm-2 not 40 Wm-2 as previously thought, thanks to clouds of the mixed phase variety.

        Damn clouds are sure proving to be a PITA ain’t they? Since the condensation temperature of water vapor is rather limited, the absolute near surface temperature is rather limited which rather limits the range of CO2 impact. That makes the average ocean temperature a good proxy for DWLR near the surface which is the reference for climate “sensitivity”. Which Trenberth should have noticed.

      • Capt, you write “As it is “defined” you are right.”

        If I am right, how can the IPCC possibly claim in the AR4 of WG1, that there is a high probability of things relating to CAGW are correct?

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-7.html

      • Jim Cripwell, “If I am right, how can the IPCC possibly claim in the AR4 of WG1, that there is a high probability of things relating to CAGW are correct?”

        First remember “as defined”, the no feedback climate sensitivity just needs a larger error range. For the rest, because they had crap for data. Most of the model runs stopped around 1995, they were still using Lean 2000 in many cases, K&T’s FUBAR was iconic, Mann was actually believable, the “consensus” scientists are the worst “updaters” in the know world because of the no climate scientist left behind mentality, and the “consensus” created more uncertainty than should have ever existed. The IPCC is basically a cluster F$%&

  54. Judith, I had a post at 12.10 in reply to Rud Istvan replying to me put in moderation, I can’t see any reason for that, I tried slight reformatting at 2.40, still modded. I hope that this can be resolved when you have time.

    • I hope you didn’t say something subversive–e.g., alleging that an uninformed secular, socialist public is dragging Western civilization down like a stone.

    • Faustino

      There are apparently some key words and phrases that are “red flagged” and cause a comment to go into moderation and be delayed..

      I do not know what these are (it has happened to me as well).

      Max

  55. Today’s usatoday.co reports the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma were exceptional in a number of ways. The tornado on May 31 was the widest ever recorded and almost tied the world windspeed record, and the time between it and the May 20 tornado was the shortest ever recorded for E5 tornados in the State. For more facts on the two tornadoes, see

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2013/06/04/oklahoma-tornadoes-facts/2389597/

  56. JC says:

    “The essay makes a compelling case for increasing resilience to climate catastrophes.”
    ______

    For many Americans, immediate gratification trumps preparation for resilience. If it didn’t, the nation’s savings rate would be greater than a few percent.

    Unfortunately, much of the American public finds If not, the savings rate would be hi.

    • This is a great example of the magical thinking emanating from the ‘adapation’ (now resilience) proponents.

      In the most tornado prone area of the US do all the houses have storm cellars?? No. Half? No. The figure is less than 30%.

      Yet, somehow, by some unknown mechansim, the spectre of AGW will spur us into action and we have effective adaption/resilience.

      • Gov. Fallin says Oklahoma will not mandate tornado shelters in schools.

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/04/us-usa-tornadoes-oklahoma-governor-idUSBRE9531CV20130604

      • Rob Starkey

        Michael

        People make choices and then they live with the consequences. The same is true around the world. Look at SW Asia, where there has been annual flooding and thousands injured by severve weather each year, but the governments still do not invest in building and maintaining robust infrastructure.

        Imo, the govenor of OK is making a shortsighted decision in not putting shelters in public schools. It could be funded via a bond issue and would be good for the local economy.

      • Steven Mosher

        It has to do with the return period. for something like an earthquake you have building codes because the return period for a single dwelling is something on the order of 500 or 1000 years. For tornado’s the return period is even longer.

        http://www.livescience.com/13962-tornado-safety-building-codes.html

      • Dig a hole in the earth. Keep your perishables cool in the summer in it. Run like Hell for it when you hear the train coming.
        ================

      • Re: tornado safety

        A question for all the engineering minded: couldn’t there be much more cost-effective personal and small group shelters which might greatly increase survivability without the expense of building many more basements etc.?

        I’m thinking of both hard shell and soft padding (e.g, like the materials in canoes or in gymnastics mats just for examples) which would need some kind of depressed area with reliable anchoring.

        Since most tornado events nowadays come with some warning, even if only minutes, what may be needed for people to shelter in place if no basement is available is some degree of bodily protection which might be imperfect but which could greatly increase survivability compared to unprotected flesh and bones.

        Climbers can sleep in “bivy sacks” holding a sleeping bag and anchored to a rock or mountain wall. Why can’t there be inexpensive emergency shelters for people with no storm basement available? Perhaps even dual-use items could be invented, giving more use for the expense of each item….

      • What you need is a way of convincing people that it can happen to them.

      • I keep trying to tell you. Get in your refrigerator.
        ==================================

      • Max_OK

        You’ve probably had more experience with tornadoes than I have (they don’t work well in mountainous terrain and they require a Gulf of Mexico to “fuel” them), but Governor Fallin does not have to “mandate” storm shelters for all OK schools. No heavy-handed top down enforcement is needed.

        If a local school happens to be in a tornado-prone region, the local school district can decide to install such a shelter. It can apply for state funds to cover part of the added investment. The rest of the cost would have to be borne by the school district. It seems inconceivable to me that such a request would be turned down if there is a real tornado threat for that school.

        Every homeowner can also decide whether or not he/she wants to build a storm shelter. Group shelters are OK if there is enough warning time. Not that big a deal.

        The Governor is right to keep out of this one, IMO.

        Max_CH

      • manacker said on June 5, 2013 at 8:55 pm

        “Max_OK

        You’ve probably had more experience with tornadoes than I have (they don’t work well in mountainous terrain and they require a Gulf of Mexico to “fuel” them), but Governor Fallin does not have to “mandate” storm shelters for all OK schools. No heavy-handed top down enforcement is needed.”
        _____

        Well, Max_CH, I once saw a tornado if that counts as experience. As far as I know, it didn’t cause any injury or property damage.

        Of course Governor Fallin doesn’t have to mandate storm shelters for schools. Saving the lives of a few kids wouldn’t be cost effective anyway, and being a Republican, she knows that’s what counts most.

        However, the Governor did sign a law permitting armed guards and armed teachers in Oklahoma schools. Shootings in the schools have never been as much of a problem as Tornadoes, but you can never be too careful. In the mean time, teachers could shoot at tornadoes.

        BAM BAM BAM! Eat hot lead, twister !

      • Cannonade has been used to bring rain, and my Daddy always said that when the rain came, the risk of tornado drops. Thank God it was usually summer and there was room in the root cellar for his lectures.
        =======================

      • Max_OK

        You say Governor Fallin has signed a law permitting armed guards in OK schools to prevent a Columbine shooting disaster, but chastise her for not mandating tornado shelters for all OK schools.

        Permitting guards (if the local district feels it would be wise to have them) is a good thing.

        Mandating storm shelters (if the local district does not feel it makes sense to have them) would be stupid.

        See the difference? (Let the local folks decide.)

        Max_CH

  57. Please disregard the sentence fragment.

    • Max,

      Disregarding your sentences, fragmented or not, is pretty much a requirement for the sane.

      • timg56, my sentence fragments are better than your sentences.

      • Better at what?

        I will admit the comment was a bit of a low blow. But when you toss out such a fat pitch like that, it is too tempting to swing at it.

      • It could be, it might be, it IS, a fat fragment.
        ============

  58. Global warming has become nothing more than a permanent campaign by the Left against capitalism.

    • Waggy, the left just wants to make capitalism more progressive and accountable, as do most highly successful capitalists such as Gates and Buffett. The left is capitalism’s best friend, but the right is just a bad influence. Pictured a little angel on capitalism’s left shoulder and a little demon on its right shoulder.

      • … and the Left a blood-sucking tick on our backs?

      • Kampuchea, my Kampuchea.
        =========

      • No, Waggy, the radical right is like poison in the community punch bowl. If not for the left, they would have ruined the air we breath, the water we drink, etc. “Anything for a buck” is the right’s motto.

        Right-wingers maker capitalism sick. Extreme right-wingers destroy capitalism. That’s what happened in Russia and China in the last century.That will not happen here. Why? The left won’t let it happen. If you love capitalism, come over to the left.

      • “Waggy, the left just wants to make capitalism more progressive and accountable….”

        Translation – Waggy, the left just wants to centrally plan the free market economy.

        Just like the Germans, Japanese and Italians in the 1930s and 40s. Russia under Putin. Peron in Argentina.

        And the beat goes on….

      • Socialism has been tried and failed enough times — it has a record — so, we know what to expect. Margaret Thatcher said, “Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money. It’s quite a characteristic of them.”

    • Waggy, I’m not talking about socialism, I’m talking about modern capitalism. I’m afraid your idea of capitalism is the antiquated “horse and buggy” kind. It’s time you caught up with the times.

  59. Who doesn’t know that food – growing it and getting it – are fundamental to society? Who isn’t able to understand the impacts of (relatively sudden) climate change in regard to food systems? Basically, people starved and died. Since the modern food system is highly internationalized (non-resilient), Geoffrey’s case study merely illustrates the high cost of inaction from yet another approach.

    But I think that the point that Geoffrey and others should more clearly make is that one’s perspective on this will be guided not only by analysis of history, or by science’s evolving understanding of climate change, but by analysis of the causes of poverty and other conditions that create a lack of resilience.

    If one’s analysis of poverty and other conditions that create a fundamental lack of resilience involves an understanding of causes that include the inequities between groups of people, and between nations… then one will be looking to social change, and to economic and social strategies that increase equality.

    Fortunately, as Geoffrey’s historical perspective does help to illustrate, strategies that address inequities can and should be viewed as contributing to resilience for all.

    • To the barricades!

      Workers of the world – unite!

      You have nothing to lose but your chains!

      (I miss the 60s.)

      • The error is to think that ‘All men are created equal’ is a general law of Nature, rather than an exception which man requires his own invention to bow before.
        =================

      • kim

        All men (and women too, BTW) are created equal under the law.

        – Not all are 7 ft tall future NBA stars.

        – Not all are future beauty contest winners.

        – Not all are born with a silver spoon in the mouth.

        – Nor are all potential Mensa Club members.

        So they are NOT created completely equal, but under the law they are.

        And that’s how the US founding fathers meant it (as seen through an 18th century telescope), as I understand it.

        Max

      • Yep, equal under the law, an exception to the general law of Nature, an exception to which man requires his own invention, the law, to bow before.

        We are on the same radio frequency. There are too many nodding without hearing anything realistic; the vision is tunnelled onto ‘equality’.
        ==============

    • Steven Mosher

      “but by analysis of the causes of poverty and other conditions that create a lack of resilience.”

      What makes you think poverty is a cause of a lack of resilience.

      you’ve never been to malibu. Poverty has nothing to do with the lack of resilience there. When all you have is a hammer ( inequality) every problem looks like a nail. Simply put, resilience is a local problem. Sometimes poverty is the primary cause. Sometimes not. You actually have to look at the problem.

      Take New York City for example. The lack of resilience was not caused by poverty. You merely have to look at their plans prior to sandy to figure out that part of the problem was spending money on mitigation rather than resilience. Part of the problem was facilitating growth in dangerous places.

      • Just amazing what it can do when you put blinders on a racehorse.
        =========

      • Shall we remind Martha that cheap energy equalizes? Raising the price of energy disparately damages the poor. Ah, but resilience, a word to roll around on the tongue and nod wisely, well nod, anyway.
        =========

      • Steven Mosher

        she’d ignore the policies of fossil fuel subsidies in socialist countries.

      • “What makes you think poverty is a cause of a lack of resilience” … “malibu”… “New York City” Etc, etc

        Setting aside the location, would you say that poverty helps people respond to climate impacts? Or that poverty increases resilience? Or that climate change does not influence poverty? You must send an email at once to Africa, and many nations all around the world, with your good news.
        Pragmatically-speaking, it makes sense for mitigation, adaptation and poverty reduction to go hand in hand.
        Most people living in extreme poverty around the world don’t even have access to climate information, Steven. Two thirds of those are women and children, with little to no financial (never mind economic or political) means to move anywhere or secure other livelihood in the face of e.g. drought or flooding. Send them your email, too.
        Where’s your common sense? In the United States, people living in poverty have a severely limited ability to avoid, adapt or recover from a sudden loss of physical assets, health, livelihood, etc… no matter where they live. A resilience-based policy response that includes poverty reduction efforts would likely result in increased coping capacity.
        p.s. Your understanding of resilience is confused, the United States is not the rest of the world, and you have no idea whether I have ever been to Malibu.

      • Latimer Alder

        @martha

        You say

        ‘Most people living in extreme poverty around the world don’t even have access to climate information’

        I’m sure that not having the latest monthly update from HADCRUT or GISS immediately on their Google Glass must cause them great distress.
        But I guess if they want to know about their local climate they could consult the tribal elders and ask them about the history.

        ‘Oh Great Tribal Elder – is it getting hotter’?

        ‘Not for at least the last 15 years my son’

        ‘Did we once have a perfect climate and all lived in a Land of Milk and Honey?’

        ‘You’ve been watching them US propagandist shows again on the satellite haven’t you? Quick blow harder – the windmill’s stopped going round’

        ‘Why can’t we have proper power like everybody else?’

        ‘Because the only way out of grinding poverty is to emulate US ascestics who eschew the benefits of modern technology in favour of the simple unspoilt low carbon life’

        ‘But Oh Great One, I don’t want to eschew the benefits of modern technology. I want be like Al Gore with lots of planes and cars and houses and stuff. And hospitals and air con and machines to do the work not Mum. And nice things to eat’

        ‘Shut up and keep blowing the windmill. Do what the UN tells you’

      • Steven Mosher

        Martha

        “Setting aside the location, would you say that poverty helps people respond to climate impacts? ”

        Yes. I would say that poverty helps people respond to climate impacts. Dont argue by question. Stop it now. It doesnt work.

        “Or that poverty increases resilience? ”

        Of course it does. That’s obvious.

        Or that climate change does not influence poverty?

        Sorry. I don’t see how. You’ll have to make the argument and stop expecting me to guess at what you think.

        You must send an email at once to Africa, and many nations all around the world, with your good news.

        I did that. they wrote back and said thanks.

        Pragmatically-speaking, it makes sense for mitigation, adaptation and poverty reduction to go hand in hand.

        No it doesnt,since its not always possible to do all three.

        Most people living in extreme poverty around the world don’t even have access to climate information, Steven.

        yes they do. I sent them mail.

        Two thirds of those are women and children, with little to no financial (never mind economic or political) means to move anywhere or secure other livelihood in the face of e.g. drought or flooding. Send them your email, too.

        I did. they enjoyed it.

        Where’s your common sense?

        It’s right here. When people ask stupid questions I give them stupid answers. Congratulations.

        In the United States, people living in poverty have a severely limited ability to avoid, adapt or recover from a sudden loss of physical assets, health, livelihood, etc… no matter where they live. A resilience-based policy response that includes poverty reduction efforts would likely result in increased coping capacity.

        You haven’t been to new orleans

        p.s. Your understanding of resilience is confused, the United States is not the rest of the world, and you have no idea whether I have ever been to Malibu.

        You are wrong martha. As usual you tried to reduce the problem of resilience to the problem of poverty. The point of mailbu or the point of new york which you ignored is that their resilience problems are not caused by poverty or addressed by poverty reduction. It’s pretty simple. Poverty reduction is not a hammer and every problem is not a nail. Now to be sure there are places, as I argued, where poverty does play a role and rather than your one solution fits all mentality I suggest adaptive management. Or let me put in terms of the work I’ve been involved in recently in urban resilience in the US. The solutions have very little to do with economics. And in poorer parts of the world the same holds.

      • The social mania of CAGW is a war on the poor. Martha’s a well you fill in the blank.
        ==========

      • Martha, have you ever been to Africa?
        The poor don’t have homes.
        The poor don’t have jobs.
        Just like beggars in the street who sleep rough.
        It costs them nothing to relocate – not that they’ll have to.

    • Martha | June 5, 2013 at 10:59 am | Reply

      “strategies that address inequities can and should be viewed as contributing to resilience for all.”

      A lot of resilience has been accomplished in poor nations over the past 50-years.

      • Steven Mosher

        you mean they improved a situation without consulting Martha.
        ( glad you pulled this hans, there were a couple of his i was considering)

      • I love how he proves that the washing machine teaches children to read.

      • Latimer Alder

        @howard

        ‘I love how he proves that the washing machine teaches children to read.’

        Not necessarily.

        But I wonder how poor kids who couldn’t afford expensive candles did their homework on the long dark cold winter nights before reliable and affordable electricity supplies were available?

        In the UK at least we seem determined to return to those ‘good old days’ as fast as possible. The next stock market boom will be in candle manufacturers. And don’t bet against whale oil………….

    • From Martha:
      ” Since the modern food system is highly internationalized (non-resilient), Geoffrey’s case study merely illustrates the high cost of inaction from yet another approach.”

      Umm, no. Internationalisation of food supplies increases resilience – just ask a subsistence farmer in a place where food imports are inaccessible. Crops fail = animals and people die of starvation. That’s precisely what happened in many places in the C17th. As I said way above, local crop failures no longer mean automatic hunger precisely because of the internationalisation of food supplies.

      Yeah, Gary, it is reminiscent of the 60s (the worst parts) in spades. Thank goodness for the sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.

      • Johanna, I almost made that point, decided against. I also endorse your last sentence.

        Martha, you say that ” A resilience-based policy response that includes poverty reduction efforts would likely result in increased coping capacity.” Put another way, policies which promote economic growth in poorer countries will make them more resilient. The Hans Rosling video above illustrates this. I’d focus on policies which actually help poorer countries to grow.

    • Martha

      Poverty is not a “lack of resilience” – it is a “lack of money”.

      Max

    • Martha

      The evidence seems to point to the conclusion that higher CO2 concentrations combined with moderately warmer temperatures have been (and will continue to be) beneficial for global crop yields, reducing famines and starvation.

      Max

  60. Steven Mosher

    tonyb.

    I think the issue stems from your phrase “highly vulnerable”. That’s an easy claim to counter claim. “I told you it is not highly vulnerable, therefore it is not”

    Nice argument.

    subsequent arguments ensue about what is meant by “highly” and what is meant by “vulnerable”

    • That’s what you invent a poetry bot for.
      =========

      • Steven Mosher

        call your grandmother kim

        hehe, look at the funny little marginalia they use

      • She cast horoscopes and predicted her own death. I’m afraid to phone home.
        ========

      • Steven Mosher

        dear kim. I hope you were able to say 안녕히 가세요and 달콤한 꿈,
        할머니

      • Cutsie fail. You need FOMD to do teh cutsie.

      • My wife’s grandmother is 99. Calling her doesn’t help much as she’s practically deaf.

        I’ve told her (my wife) that we should be going over to visit her family at least every other year and if she wants to go over herself she should.

        PS – the one girl’s grandmother almost had me starting to tear up. Then her granddaughter mentions she’s only 25 minutes away.

      • Steven Mosher

        Cutsie fail. You need FOMD to do teh cutsie.

        DRAT

      • Mosher,

        Don’t pay attention to Harold. Your Korean girl cutesy beat’s fan’s acting like a 14 year old girl nine ways to Sunday.

        Now, where’s my Wonder Girls video?

      • Thankfully, somewhere out there, there is always Barbarella.
        ============

      • Steven Mosher

        “Now, where’s my Wonder Girls video”

        ha, I’ve switched to Korean Drama’s variety shows and movies. Consider it a protest until they bring back “24”.

        not too shabby listening to Kim Kwang-Seok

        and you dont need to understand the language..

    • Mosh said (as a jocular counterclaim)

      “I told you it is not highly vulnerable, therefore it is not”

      Great stuff. I will learn from you. I’ve told you that SST’s aren’t very accurate therefore they are not. Lots more to come no doubt.
      tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        That was essentially Brandon’s argument. personally I’d avoid terms like “accurate’. the data is what the data is. the more folks can move toward mere description the better.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Mosher, as he is wont to do, misrepresents what I said in a way that paints me as unreasonable. I never argued something was true “because I say so.” I stated a position, and I later repeated the position with additional detail. At no point did I claim to offer any evidence for that position.

        What Mosher paints as a logical fallacy was just me expressing a view without providing evidenciary support for it. People do that all the time, and there is nothing wrong with it.

        Incidentally, I nearly missed this attempt to smear me since Mosher didn’t bother to place it or a link to it in the original fork. It’s tedious to have to read every comment posted if I want to be sure someone isn’t smearing me.

      • Brandon, ” It’s tedious to have to read every comment posted if I want to be sure someone isn’t smearing me.” So don’t worry about it, save your time, a missed CE smear is no big deal.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Faustino, I should have stressed that “if.” I don’t care much if I miss a smear. I just dislike the idea of people making them in a way they know may be missed by the target. It seems incredibly petty.

        Honestly, the only reason I noticed it is I use an RSS reader. If not for that, I’d probably never notice things like this.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Tonyb, I’m not sure I understand the point of your comment. You said networks are highly vulnerable. I said that’s not true. ”

        “They are not highly vulnerable. As I’ve discussed before, your worries about computer hacking are overblown.”

        “Mosher, as he is wont to do, misrepresents what I said in a way that paints me as unreasonable.”

        ” At no point did I claim to offer any evidence for [my] position.”

        There you go.

        Of course Brandon can offer no evidence for his claim that tonyb was wrong.
        what he offerred was smear against the people who work on cyber crime arguing that they claim over blown threats out of self interest.

        Networks are not vulnerable. Brandon said so.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Mosher, it takes a certain level of stupidity or dishonesty to claim “did not offer evidence” means “cannot offer evidence.” Congrats on reaching it.

        As for saying some people in a field overstate threats, is there anyone who doubts that? We see the same accusation made against climate scientists all the time. Does anyone think the problem is limited to them? Does anyone think network engineers are immune? What about managers who oversee network design with little understanding of it? Does anyone think they are so beholden to the truth they make sure they never exaggerate?

        Get real.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        By the way there’s a huge difference between “vulnerable” and “very vulnerable.” Please don’t resort to stupid straw man arguments Mosher. It just makes you look like even more of a troll.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon

        I didn’t say you could not offer evidence. I said that you merely told tonyb he was wrong without offering evidence.
        “networks are not vulnerable because I said so”

        Do people overstate the threats? Yes. the same way you understate the vulnerability.

        So, when tony said the networks were highly vulnerable was he stating by 5%? 10%? Without asking him what he meant by highly vulnerable how did you conclude that his sense of highly vulnerable was wrong.

        basically you read somebody talking about networks. you work in networks so you had to find some way to contest what tony said rather than finding some way to explain or clarify your differences. You went looking for a fight. mighty hostile kiddo.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon

        “By the way there’s a huge difference between “vulnerable” and “very vulnerable.”

        AS predicted brandon rolls out a special version of no true scotsman.

        So tell us brandon what exactly is the difference between TONY’S conception of very vulnerable and your conception of very vulnerable.

        Gosh, could it be that what he thinks is very vulnerable is different than what you think is very vulnerable.

        Quantify how wrong tony is.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Mosher, you did say I was incapable of offering evidence. I did not understate vulnerabilities. I did not look for a fight.

        But I don’t expect us to reach a resolution on any of these points.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon

        ‘Mosher, you did say I was incapable of offering evidence. I did not understate vulnerabilities. I did not look for a fight.”

        1. in none of my comments did I say you were incapable of offering evidence. That’s a lie

        Not here

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/03/the-inevitable-climate-catastrophe/#comment-329703

        Not here

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/03/the-inevitable-climate-catastrophe/#comment-329736

        Not anywhere.

        tonyb said they were vulnerable. you merely counter claimed that they were not. That’s not evidence. I noted that your argument amounted to
        “they are not vulnerable because I said so” that is, my counter claim trumps your claim.

        If you think I made the claim that you were incapable of offering evidence you need to actually quote my words or stop lying.

        Finally, nobody argued that you understated the vulnerabilities because quite frankly you never made any testable or quantifiable statement about
        vulnerabilities. Tony waved his arms about very vulnerable and you counter waved. At no point did you provide any evidence other than
        “I say so” or “I write documents”. The best you could put up was a smear of people who provide threat warning. And since their warnings of potential threats imply that you might not be doing your job, you’re in no position to judge them.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Mosher, why say stupid things?

        If you think I made the claim that you were incapable of offering evidence you need to actually quote my words or stop lying.

        If I think you made a claim, I cannot possibly be lying when I say you made that claim. That’s part of the definition of “lying.”

        As for you not saying I was incapable of offering evidence, is this the same way “nobody argued that [I] understated the vulnerabilities”? You know, what you claimed nobody did just after making a comment in which you said:

        the same way you understate the vulnerability.

        You’re free to make things up as much as you want, but you’ve demonstrated, and even acknowledged, you have no interest in resolving most disagreements you participate in. That gives me little reason to put much effort into dealing with your constant hand-waved fabrications.

  61. Pingback: Historical Climate Catastrophie in the 17th Century | The Ninth Law

  62. If climate research money had been spent to find the actual causes of global warming and dedicated to single-cause, AGW groupthinkers in an attempt to prove CO2 was responsible all climate change over the last 100 years, it would be clear to everyone by now that, “temperature variations over the last 2,000 years suggests global warming (and cooling), are the rule, not the exception..” ~Dr. Roy Spencer

    • Rob Starkey

      If climate research money had been spent on better short and mid-term regional weather models everyone would be better able to prepare for conditions

  63. With the failed projections of GCMs and years of a cooling trend with projections of more cooling to come, some of the climatists are trying to save face and walk back some of the more obvious doomsday rhetoric of their peers. If you ever wondered how a hoax dies — you’re seeing it unfold, LIVE! It is time to stop looking for warming and start educating the public on the need for more not less energy.

  64. Chief Hydrologist

    Only Japan took appropriate action. Episodes of extreme weather that killed half a million people in the 1630s persuaded the Tokugawa shogun to create more granaries, upgrade communications infrastructure, and avoid foreign wars, in order to accumulate sufficient food reserves to cope with future disasters. So although extreme weather persisted, Tokugawa Japan enjoyed peace and prosperity.

    Surely we are getting better at this – it is one of the core roles of government. Things should always get better.

  65. WebHubTelescope (@whut) wrote”
    “Every country that has put in policies curtailing use of lead as an additive has seen their crime rate reduced by almost 50% if I recall correctly. This is a societal fix that has done everyone good and it was uncovered by progressive scientists and instituted by progressive politicians.” Because ‘progressive scientists’ are good, therefore we ought to expect good from them?

    Kinda like President Wilson and federally authorized black segregation was for the “good of their own people” kind a thing – right?

    But really, it was the scientific discovery that lead (among other heavy metals) was a developmental neurotoxin that led to banning it as a gasoline additive (ie, it was recognized as a HARMFUL aerial pollutant).

    Science worked. (And there are only a few other comparables in environmental science history – like tobacco, sunlight, and asbestos. Very few.) By contrast, CO2 is as important to life as oxygen – in evolutionary terms, perhaps more so.

    Try and get with the programme and compare like with like, if you really want to support your points.

    • whut apparently would conclude eliminating lead results in SARS and AIDS.

      • OK, now you guys can go back and argue over second-hand smoke, which was the original discussion topic brought up by Cappy :

        “Make a full comparison, skeptics believe that passive smoke risk is much lower than reported and that the A in AGW is overstated. In a “normal” debate, you could work on some compromise. Once it becomes political though, both sides over play their positions to get a better compromise by yielding less ground. The Merchants of Doubt mentality captures the gray area forcing an all or nothing result. The smoking card, radiation card and nature card all force a greater response than necessary.”

        Lead emissions was the counter example. The response in this case was correct and had a very positive outcome, however much the right-wing tools hate to see government work.

      • What is the minimum daily requirement for old paint chips?


      • Wagathon | June 5, 2013 at 11:48 pm |

        What is the minimum daily requirement for old paint chips?

        It is not often that one gets to converse with pure evil. Stare trolls like Wagathon down. Don’t give an inch.

      • The liberal fascist gadflies who love to weave hairshirts for the rest of us to wear as they look down their effete snob noses at the rest of us who actually make things that society wants is why the West is dying. It is the only reason.

  66. Arno Arrak

    Excellent article by Geoffrey Parker. But I had a suspicion all along that this talk of freezing smelled of a straw man ploy. These days the AGW people claim that when it is warm its global warming and when it is cold it is also global warming. He had to come up with a connection to warming and this is his way:

    “….the mean global temperature today differs by one or two degrees from the 20th-century average—the same order of magnitude as in the 17th century—and the fact that we face an increase (rather than a fall) of 2 degrees Celsius has not reduced the frequency of extreme weather events or their adverse impact on humanity.”

    That “…we face an increase…of 2 degrees Celsius…” or something like that must be inscribed into a microchip that these warmists carry in their heads. And of course you must always talk of extreme events since you can’t talk about the temperature rise any more. But because nature is fickle and what has happened before can happen again his suggestions for preparedness make a lot of sense. I did also learn a lot of interesting tidbits about history but would have liked it more if he had not mentioned those 2 degrees. He seems like a reasonably logical person so lets see if we can help him get rid of that microchip. According to the global warming doctrine the globe is warming because of all the carbon dioxide pollution people are putting into the atmosphere. It is a greenhouse gas and absorbs some of the outgoing long-wave ( or infrared) radiation. The absorbed radiation then turns to heat, warms the atmosphere, and we have greenhouse warming. According to their doctrine, the more carbon dioxide in the air, the greater the degree of warming. Putting more and more carbon dioxide into the air will eventually raise global temperature by two degrees or more and that is bad. They have dozens of supercomputers that prove this. According to them, we must do all we can to keep this from happening. Their preferred response is to stop burning fossil fuels but darn it, the Chinese and the Indians refuse to go along with this. They have even figured out that we don’t need fossil fuel because windmills, solar panels, and grain alcohol can take its place. And all we need to do to live in their wonderful world is to give up those dirty, evil fossil fuels. And to make the point they have scientific proof that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels has been raising global temperature and is working overtime to raise it even more. One of their talking points is that the warming really got into high gear in the seventies and kept going until the end of the twentieth century. That warming looks like a giant red triangle on NOAA version of world temperatures. And since nobody could come up with a natural cause for this “late twentieth century warming” this had to be proof that the warming was man-made, anthropogenic. Five years ago I had started my research on global warming and realized that satellite temperature curves were far more accurate than land-based curves. And a study of satellite temperatures revealed to me that there had been a pause or hiatus of warming in the eighties and nineties. Problem was that ground-based temperature curves were all showing that late twentieth century warming while satellite global temperature remained constant from 1979 to 1997. There were fluctuations because a bunch of El Ninos and La Ninas also existed during this time span, but after each of these ENSO fluctuations global temperature returned to normal. The same fluctuations were also present in ground-based data but each fluctuation in their data set was also a step up for global temperature. I reported this comparison in my book “What Warming?” that came out in 2010 and nothing happened. Apparently no one paid attention, or so I thought, until last fall. Then three major temperature databases showing that phony warming suddenly decided to get rid of it. In unison, GISTEMP, HadCRUT, and NCDC all adjusted their eighties and nineties data to be in conformity with the satellite data for that period. They all knew exactly what to do and did it without telling anyone about it. A nice cross-pond cooperation you could call it. Or else, someone got cold feet and decided to cover their tracks. Take your pick. But the extremely important consequence of this is that these mainstream databases no longer show that late twentieth century warming in the eighties and nineties that you still see in AR5 previews. It is no longer possible to question the fact that starting with 1979 there was no warming for 18 years, And we also know from CRU of East Anglia University that there has been no warming at all during the entire twenty-first century. These two no-warming periods are now closing in on a narrow strip between them, just wide enough to accommodate the super El Nino of 1998 and the step warming it brought with itself. That step warming was oceanic, not carboniferous, and it raised global temperature by a third of a degree Celsius. As a result, the entire twenty-first century from that point on is warmer than the nineties. Hansen noticed this and pointed out the fact that out of ten warmest years on record, nine happened after 2000. He was right about that because they all sit on the warm platform created by the step warming of 1998. He is of course entirely wrong claiming that greenhouse warming did that. Putting all this together we see that there is no time left over for any greenhouse warming during the entire satellite era since 1979. This means that there has not been any greenhouse warming at all for the last 34 years. That being the case, what are the chances that any of the earlier warming was caused by the greenhouse effect? I vote for zero. It looks to me like there has been no greenhouse effect at all within the last 100 years. While that may surprise most readers, this is exactly what the Miskolczi theory of the saturated greenhouse effect requires. He put his predictions to an experimental test that he describes in his 1910 article [1]. Using NOAA weather balloon database that goes back to 1948 he determined that the absorption of OLR (outgoing longwave radiation, in the infrared) by the atmosphere had been constant for the previous 61 years. At the same time, the amount of carbon dioxide in the air went up by 21.6 percent. This substantial increase of CO2 had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed.

    [1] Ferenc Miskolczi, “The stable stationary value of the Earth’s global average atmospheric Planck-weighted greenhouse-gas optical thickness” E&E 21(4):243-262 (2010)

  67. “The question is why won’t they do what is scientifically correct? Popper provides an explanation in item 7 on his list. This reads, `Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are still upheld by their admirers – for example by introducing ad hoc some auxiliary assumption, or by reinterpreting the theory ad hoc in such a way that it escapes refutation. Such a procedure is always possible, but it rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying, or at least lowering, its scientific status.'” Dr. Tim Ball

  68. There is no “inevitable climate catastrophe” supposedly due to carbon dioxide, which does nothing but have a net cooling effect of the order of 0.002 C degree.

    You all need to make a paradigm shift in thinking, and understand the real reason why temperatures are as they are on all planets, both above and below any surface.

    I’m still waiting for anyone on any climate blog to try to explain the Uranus dilemma under the old radiative forcing / greenhouse effect conjecture.

    It can only be explained by the new paradigm (in my paper on planetary temperatures in the PROM menu at PSI) which shows why planetary atmospheric, surface, crust, mantle and core temperatures are all able to be calculated the same way, and are all supported by the process whereby thermodynamic equilibrium evolves spontaneously, as the Second Law of Thermodynamics says it will.

  69. The pause denying lolwot writes with his usual breathtaking lack of reflection:

    “What the science actually shows, and the IPCC reflects, is that because of AGW there will be significant changes in many aspects of climate and the environment over the coming century with the risk of some of these changes being very harmful.

    This is of course obvious and common sense and climate skeptics can’t deny it. So they attack the strawman “CAGW” instead.”

    I don’t get to use the word “flummoxed” all that often in everyday discourse, so I’m always grateful for your comments, lolwot. In what practical way does catastrophic warming differ from “very harmful” warming? Moreover (another word I like to slip in whenever I can) what’s obvious and commonsensical to people who can read a simple graph is likely different from those who can’t.

    • “In what practical way does catastrophic warming differ from “very harmful” warming?”

      That’s not the point. The point is that my description of the situation does not match your CAGW strawman. Read my description again:

      “What the science actually shows, and the IPCC reflects, is that because of AGW there will be significant changes in many aspects of climate and the environment over the coming century with the risk of some of these changes being very harmful.”

      Is that what you mean by CAGW? No it isn’t. If you disagree I would like you to explain specifically what is wrong about my description. I don’t believe you can find fault in it. Every statement is a simple matter of fact.

      There’s no pause to deny given you cannot show me a statistically significant pause in the data.

    • pokerguy,

      The droughts, famine, pestilence, and epidemics predicted in the AR4 aren’t catastrophic droughts, famines, pestilence and epidemics. Where did you get that idea?

      You gotta love the true believers like lolwot who still defend the predictions of Hansen ’88, the hockey stick of Mann ’98, the “there is no C in CAGW” meme. They’re like those Japanese soldiers from WW II who were still being found on Pacific islands in the 1970s.

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

      • The IPCC is rightly warning of an elevated risk of catastrophe due to human emissions. That is true.

        But catastrophe is NOT certain. The CAGW strawman is that there WILL be a catastrophe. See the difference?

        The CAGW strawman allows skeptics to avoid tackling the actual situation – the elevated risk of catastrophe due to human emissions – by focusing on the strawman that catastrophe is certain.

      • “The CAGW strawman is that there WILL be a catastrophe.”

        Yes, I see the dishonest straw man you have just created. And so does everyone else.

        Danger WILL Robinson!
        Danger!

    • ” An increase of droughts over low latitudes and mid-latitude continental interiors in summer is likely (WGI AR4,)…The number of extreme drought events per 100 years and mean drought duration are likely to increase by factors of two and six, respectively, by the 2090s.”

      “With more than one-sixth of the Earth’s population relying on melt water from glaciers and seasonal snow packs for their water supply, the consequences of projected changes for future water availability, predicted with high confidence and already diagnosed in some regions, will be adverse and severe.”

      “Under the IPCC IS92a emissions scenario (IPCC, 1992), which is similar to the SRES A1 scenario, significant changes in flood or drought risk are expected in many parts of Europe”

      “Water-borne diseases will rise with increases in extreme rainfall (Hall et al., 2002; Hijioka et al., 2002; D’Souza et al., 2004; see also Chapter 8). In regions suffering from droughts, a greater incidence of diarrhoeal and other water-related diseases will mirror the deterioration in water quality ”

      “Both acute and chronic nutritional problems are associated with climate variability and change. The effects of drought on health include deaths, malnutrition (undernutrition, protein-energy malnutrition and/or micronutrient deficiencies), infectious diseases and respiratory diseases.”

      “The study shows that wheat production is likely to disappear from Africa by the 2080s. On a more local scale, assessments have shown a range of impacts. Southern Africa would be likely to experience notable reductions in maize production under possible increased ENSO conditions.”

      ” A recent study on South African agricultural impacts, based on three scenarios, indicates that crop net revenues will be likely to fall by as much as 90% by 2100, with small-scale farmers being the most severely affected. However, there is the possibility that adaptation could reduce these negative effects (Benhin, 2006). In Egypt, for example, climate change could decrease national production of many crops (ranging from –11% for rice to –28% for soybeans) by 2050 compared with their production under current climate conditions (Eid et al., 2006)”

      “Projected sea-level rise could flood the residence of millions of people living in the low lying areas of South, South-East and East Asia such as in Vietnam, Bangladesh, India and China (Wassmann et al., 2004; Stern, 2007). Even under the most conservative scenario, sea level will be about 40 cm higher than today by the end of 21st century and this is projected to increase the annual number of people flooded in coastal populations from 13 million to 94 million.”

      And there’s so much more.

      • Gary none of the quotes you have listed are CAGW.

        None of them are saying a catastrophe WILL happen. That’s what CAGW is. So try again.

      • lolwot

        You write to Gary of the statements made by IPCC::

        None of them are saying a catastrophe WILL happen. That’s what CAGW is.

        If you check the “online acronymfinder” under the category “science” for “CAGW” you will see:

        What does CAGW stand for?

        Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (climate change)

        “CAGW” is the name given to the IPCC premise (or hypothesis) of a series of generally detrimental to catastrophic effects and impacts, which are projected to result from AGW, as specifically outlined in AR4 (see earlier post for details and references to specific sections of the AR4 report).

        Of course, IPCC has neither used the word “catastrophic”, nor has is claimed that its projections are “absolutely certain” to occur.

        To do either would have been silly, just as your statement to Gary is silly.

        Max

      • lolwot,

        Now that’s just plain dishonest. “Will?” When has anyone, anywhere, ever, said that CAGW meant that catastrophe WILL happen because of CAGW? You are not dumb enough to believe that, so you are just being dishonest.

        No, everyone who is honest knows the debate is whether the RISK that there will be CATASTROPHIC consequences of AGW is SUBSTANTIAL ENOUGH to justify decarbonization.

        (I used big letters just for you, so there would be no excuse for feigned confusion.)

        Now, if you want to disclaim CAGW just answer the following with a no:

        Do you believe that the potential risks of anthropogenically caused global climate change are sufficiently great to justify the imminent implementation of the policy of decarbonization?

      • lolwot,

        When you are done, you can defend the hockey stick and the accuracy of the Hansen ’88 projections if you like.

        And then there is the innocence of Alger Hiss and Julius Rosenberg….

      • Let me put this another way.

        CAGW is not about any of the million weasel words used by CAGW advocates. It is about the policy you all are pushing.

        It is only with the threat of C, catastrophe, that you have been able to dupe public and non-progressive politicians into supporting your policy.

        I don’t care if climate sensitivity is +304 or -52. I don’t care if the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere is caused by CO2, the iron sun, vibrating multi-dimensional quantum strings, or the tooth fairy. You want to decarbonize the economy. The REASON you use to justify that policy is the impact you claim globalclimatewarmingchange is likely to have on people. C, capital C, bolded, italicized and underlined.

        So we will stop using CAGW when you stop urging massive government intrusion into the economy.

        Deal?

      • You are all over the place.

        The fact is that AGW is true. It’s a fact. Man is warming the climate and will dominate the direction and magnitude of global temperature change this century. Many of the changes involved are likely to be unprecedented for millions of years. Changes to environmental systems in response could lead to catastrophes.

        This is just common sense guys! But you can’t have it common sense, you need to be able to deny it. So that’s why you erect the CAGW strawman which is that catastrophe is being predicted with certainty.

        If you admitted catastrophe was possible you wouldn’t be able to deny it. You want the public to think there isn’t a problem.

      • “When you are done, you can defend the hockey stick and the accuracy of the Hansen ’88 projections if you like.”

        Maybe you can defend climate deniers’ dishonest portrayal of Hansen ’88 and their dishonest narrative that the medieval warm period was warmer than today.

      • “This is just common sense guys!”

        Lolwot, what common sense? Have you ever studied Thermodynamics, Fluid Dynamics, Heat Transfer etc?

  70. David Springer

    Statements like this by Geofrey Parker:

    “….the mean global temperature today differs by one or two degrees from the 20th-century average—the same order of magnitude as in the 17th century—and the fact that we face an increase (rather than a fall) of 2 degrees Celsius has not reduced the frequency of extreme weather events or their adverse impact on humanity.”

    seriously undermine his credibility. He’s basically talking out of his ass. GAT today is only 0.6C above the 20th century average. Where is he getting his information? Here’s where I get mine:

    • Tell him we face an 8-10 degree C drop, and it is the rapidity of natural change, particularly to the colder side, which is most violent.

      He should confine himself to the affairs of men, so lacking in sense of nature is he. Now, kim, that’s not charitable. Go read a little more of this nosy Parker.
      ===========

      • Calamity kim’s cold climate change alarmism.

      • David Springer

        Loss of even the late 20th century warming down to the average temp during the industrial age will cause great problems. Agricultural output rose steadily during the late 20th century warming due to both improving climate and technological advances. The human population increased commensurately so the gains which were at first a windfall are now critically essential. If the gains were indeed all due to CO2 then we are in luck at least for the short run so long as we can sustain the enriched atmosphere and lengthened growing seasons by continued CO2 emission. Any back-sliding to pre-1970’s agricultural output will cause much pain and suffering.

      • Eg gads, back to the shrink. I’m shiverin’ in fear. Growing up in the Dakotas prepared me not for the looming coldlamity.

      • Dave’s joking……. right??

        No one could seriously suggest that agricultural output increases are largely down to rising CO2? Could they??

        Nutty denialism.

      • I remember when the first anhydrous ammonia trucks started working the area. Must have been a hellacious amount of new CO2 in the atmosphere that year because yields pegged the freakin’ meter.

      • David Springer

        No joke, Michael.

        http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/agriculture.html

        For any particular crop, the effect of increased temperature will depend on the crop’s optimal temperature for growth and reproduction. [1] In some areas, warming may benefit the types of crops that are typically planted there. However, if warming exceeds a crop’s optimum temperature, yields can decline.

        •Higher CO2 levels can increase yields. The yields for some crops, like wheat and soybeans, could increase by 30% or more under a doubling of CO2 concentrations. The yields for other crops, such as corn, exhibit a much smaller response (less than 10% increase).

        This is from an alarmist source. We’ve already had half a doubling of CO2 and it’s usually estimated that this improved agricultural output by 15% or half the 30% quoted for a doubling.

        Granted not all crops respond equally but so-called global warming happens slow enough so that selection of crop type and/or development of varietal strains more suited to the evolving climate and atmosphere overcome any problems associated with crops that respond less well to longer growing seasons or enriched atmosphere.

        Crops of all kinds demonstrably require less irrigation in an enriched CO2 atmosphere. This is very well documented empirically and explained theoretically beyond doubt. Fresh water is also a finite resource and increasing agricultural output per unit of fresh water consumed is a godsend that is largely overlooked.

      • Michael

        “Alarmism” regarding postulated future changes in our global climate is rampant, to be sure.

        But it looks to me as though almost all of this (at least today) is in the direction of anthropogenic global warming rather than cooling.

        Some solar studies are beginning to predict a prolonged period of cooling attributable to an anticipated sharp decline from the unusually high level of 20th century solar activity, but the bulk of the ballyhoo and hype currently still surrounds AGW and the multibillion dollar big business that it has become.

        Kim simply points out (based on historical evidence) that “warmer is usually better” for humanity and our environment, so maybe we should be thinking “outside the box” of the AGW paradigm and at least preparing to adapt, if necessary, to a significantly colder future world..

        Makes sense to me. Doesn’t it make sense to you?

        Max

      • David Springer

        JCH | June 6, 2013 at 10:40 am |

        “Eg gads, back to the shrink.”

        Back to? You’ve been to a shrink before then.

        Maybe try a different one and better luck next time.

  71. David Springer

    WebHubTelescope (@whut) | June 4, 2013 at 6:51 pm |

    “Each year conventional crude oil becomes more and more scarce. This is a huge disruption on every aspect of the world’s economy. The synergy between adopting alternative forms of fuel and risk mitigating climate change is clear.”

    I agree that light sweet crude is a finite resource where scarcity is becoming a great economic problem. I agree that we need cost effective alternative sources of energy. I don’t agree that ginning up a climate change narrative making CO2 emission from fossil fuel an evil bogeyman is an acceptable way of driving the needed changes in infrastructure. The narrative is falling apart at the seams because it is largely mistaken and now the narrators have lost public confidence. In the scramble to shift blame for the erroneous prediction of rapid warming when the real culprits are identified no one will trust the findings. Isn’t that a fine kettle of fish?

    The real culprits are some combination of things likely including, in addition to a small contribution from CO2 that is overwhelmed by positive aspects of enriching the atmosphere with plant food, there is black carbon and methane which are admitted to be at least as important in the short term as CO2, a possibly a hugely larger role for CFCs in AGW, and natural cyclical changes in global average temperature with longer cycle times measuring in the decades, centuries, and millenia.

    Making the CO2 bogeman even more preposterous is that everyone knows it’s not politically possible to lower global emission enough to make any significant difference in the ultimate outcome even if the narrative of its potentially catastrophic effects were true. So it’s doubly stupid. The only strategy that makes any sense at all is focusing on alternative energy sources that are both cheaper and cleaner than fossil fuels. No one will need convincing or coercing to adopt cheaper cleaner sources of energy. The problem arises when asking people to adopt even more expensive sources of energy to solve a global warming problem that is not yet a problem, that won’t be a problem until 2050 at the earliest according to the consensus due to beneficial consequences of CO2 enrichment, and a problem that may perhaps never materialize at all. The ‘never materialize’ is looking more and more likely with each passing year of no global warming which is now at 15+ years and counting.

  72. “you tried to reduce the problem of resilience to the problem of poverty” Steve Mosher

    No.

    1) Geoffrey’s historical analysis reveals people starved and died.
    2) Climate change impacts food systems.
    3) The extent of impacts is reduced by increased resilience.
    4) There are many causes of a lack of resilience/conditions that lead to a lack of resilience.
    5) Geoffrey’s historical analysis suggests the high cost of a lack of resilience.
    6) Historically, the high cost included mass starving and dying.
    7) Hidden assumption. Starving and dying – bad.
    8) One cause of a lack of resilience is poverty.
    9) Historical analysis, scientific analysis, and analysis of causes of poverty and other conditions that create a lack of resilience in contemporary society (e.g. internationalized food system/insecure access to food) all inform our understanding.
    10) Many forms of poverty don’t just happen naturally, they are caused by inequities.
    11) Policy responses to climate change can and already do include not only mitigation/adaptation, but also poverty reduction strategies to reduce vulnerabilities (e.g. less internationalized food systems/more local food security, economic development that provides more secure access to livelihood in regions/countries that are heavily resource-dependent, etc.).

    Conclusion: Policy responses to climate change require integrated thinking and resource sharing, beyond Geoffrey’s historical analysis.

    • “11) Policy responses to climate change can and already do include not only mitigation/adaptation, but also poverty reduction strategies to reduce vulnerabilities (e.g. less internationalized food systems/more local food security, economic development that provides more secure access to livelihood in regions/countries that are heavily resource-dependent, etc.). ”

      Take that a step further. One of the most successful nations at doing this recently is China. Poverty reduction took a huge (one could even call it “great”) leap forward once they all but abandoned the previous failed economic model. As a result, China’s appetite for cheap, reliable energy is voracious and, lacking any effective alternative to coal, their emissions are skyrocketing.
      If only we could get the poverty and climate concerned crowd to be interested in real economic development and low cost, clean reliable energy! Instead, we get fantasies about making expensive, unreliable renewables “work” (via subsidy and tax hikes) and proposals for massive aid packages, all coupled with partisan smear jobs.
      Here’s a hint, no Republican on earth opposes duplicating the China model around the world and not one would oppose doing it with cheap, reliable energy that is also green. This is why you will see people advocating nuclear and gas on this blog regardless of how much “C” they believe exists in CAGW. The so-called climate concerned have won, and are now their own obstacle.

      • David Springer

        @Jeff

        In the 1960’s I was promised nuclear energy that was so cheap we wouldn’t be getting an electric bill. It turns out that nuclear energy isn’t that easy to produce and do it in such a way that the possibility of the most toxic hazardous materials known to mankind neither fall into the hands of malicious actors nor are accidently released rendering tens or hundreds of thousands of square kilometers, depending on which way the wind is blowing, uninhabitable for many generations.

        In point of fact with arguably reasonable precautions (liquid cooled containment of nuclear waste is not reasonably protected from acts of war or sabotage) nuclear energy costs almost twice as much as that produced by combined cycle natural gas turbines.

        Perhaps there is a way to make nuclear reactors safer and cheaper but in 50 years of research and develpment it hasn’t happened yet and if a new reactor design that’s safe and economical was running today in an experimental configuration it would still be decades until we’d see it deployed widely enough to make a difference. And we don’t really need electricity anywhere near as badly as we need liquid transportation fuels usable by existing distribution and consumption infrastructure which makes nuclear power even less credible as any kind of solution.

        On the other hand 3rd generation biofuel plants are operating at the pilot stage today producing carbon-neutral fuel oils and ethanol which can be used immediately with existing infrastructure and it’s being produced at a price well under $100/bbl fossil fuel equivalent. Scaling up and improving biofuel production is by far the most promising mid and long term solution. Liquifaction of natural gas and coal is the most promising short term solution as this can also be done for less than $100/bbl oil equivalent. The only reason it hasn’t been done already is that oil can be produced for far less than $100/bbl and anytime there’s a serious interest in laying out the capital for massive liquifaction plants the oil cartel lowers the price of oil enough to abort the development of the liquifaction alternative. Isn’t that just precious? We’re being played like fiddle by OPEC and the US government is doing little to nothing to stop it from happening.

      • Dave Springer,

        Being knowledgeable in one or more fields does not mean you are knowledgeable in all. Based on these statements you make, it is obvious your knowledge on commercial nuclear power generation is woeful.

        “It turns out that nuclear energy isn’t that easy to produce” – wrong. It is easy to produce and US utilities have been doing so for almost 60 years.

        ” …and do it in such a way that the possibility of the most toxic hazardous materials known to mankind neither fall into the hands of malicious actors nor are accidently released rendering tens or hundreds of thousands of square kilometers, depending on which way the wind is blowing, uninhabitable for many generations.” – your terrorism scenario has as much validity as alarmist predictions on diasterous climate change scare stories. Same for the hundreds of thousands of uninhabitable klicks. Do you know what the exclusion zone around Chernobyl measures? Try 30 kilometers. And some 270 people live inside that zone (The Russian govt allowed anyone who wanted to return do so.) (The brother who is a Georgia tech grad was just there a week and a half ago.)

        “In point of fact with arguably reasonable precautions (liquid cooled containment of nuclear waste is not reasonably protected from acts of war or sabotage) . . . ” – how about presenting some of those facts?

        “Perhaps there is a way to make nuclear reactors safer and cheaper …” – no perhaps about it Dave. There are multiple designs available. A couple of which are being built as I type. That nuclear power fell short of some early predictions is due to politics and a perception among a portion of the people that nuclear is too dangerous. A perception that is based on irrational and unfounded fear. So, if you don’t mind appearing to be a scared, irrational actor on the topic, keep believing as you do.

      • David,
        France enjoys some of the cheapest energy rates in Europe and is still quite habitable.
        I think biofuels have great promise. So do electric trains and cars, both of which would need plentiful, reliable electricity. I keep being told that nuclear is way too expensive and dangerous and keep seeing it being built- in China, England and even Japan is reconsidering it and the US is building it again.
        The broader point we hear all the time from climate campaigners is that energy companies and dastardly conservatives will never allow green energy because they hate Earth and are corrupted by fossil fuel interests.
        Nukes belie that theme. Here we have an expensive alternative power source, that happens to be green, competes with fossil fuels and holds the unique position among alternatives to coal of actually functioning at scale. Who says “no” to it and who says “yes?” The answer is instructive.
        I don’t care if nukes, algae, wind, or solar win this race as long as the evaluation is honest and the choice is for the lowest cost and most reliable. Shame we can’t get that level of evaluation from those who most urgently want alternatives.

      • David Springer

        timg

        Saying that generating nuclear power is easy is ignorant. I’d use stronger words but Curry is on my ass about insulting people.

        Try building a nuclear power plant and running it and get back to me when you have some experience in how easy it is.

      • David Springer

        jeffN

        re; France

        Get a clue. Frogs pay $0.19/kWh which is par for the course in Europe but about three times the average of the rest of the world.

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

      • Dave,

        First, don’t worry about insults. As a former knuckle dragging torpedoman, I’m about as sensitive to insults as your typical jarhead.

        As for the construction of nuclear power plants, I’ve been involved in the construction of more than one, though the majority of my experience is in operating units. One of my brothers is in charge of building a new two unit addition to Plant Vogtle.

        There are no insurmountable obstacles to building and operating nuclear power plants. We’ve been doing it for close to 60 years.

        The scenarios you describe are nowhere close to being real.

        The degree of risk and devestation you refer to is immensely over blown.

        In summary, you were wrong on every count. This tells me that you know nothing about nuclear power or have some major league bias against it.

        I’ve seen quite a few topics where I consider you to be far more knowledgeable than I. This happens to be one where you are not.

    • David Springer

      Resilience to some extent requires contingency planning. If someone sells you an insurance policy they usually do it with some measure of confindence in the probability of different possible outcomes. If we institute measures aimed at resilience to a warming climate and it cools instead then our efforts are worse than wasted. In that case we should, if anything, have aimed at resilience to cooling.

      The overconfidence in the warming outcome and negative consequences thereby are simply breathtakingh in arrogance and lack of empirical support or verification. In fact the whole narrative is crumbling as global average temperature has been stuck at the same level for the past 15+ years despite CO2 being poured into the atmosphere at an accelerating rate for the whole time.

      So better get used to the idea that so-called climate deniers and skeptics are the ones that took the reasonable position and in so doing prevented terrible economic mistakes with global consequences from being made.

      You’re welcome.

    • Martha, are you a bot? Otherwise,how can you keep repeating that trade in food is antithetical to resilience?

      Your “list” is incoherent, to put it kindly. Take: “Many forms of poverty don’t just happen naturally, they are caused by inequities.” What does that mean?

      How does the lifting of millions of people in India, China and south-east Asia from dire poverty in recent decades fit in to your analysis?

      You are like one of those unemployed activists trying to sell a Communist rag to people who have jobs, and think that you are a bit strange.

      • johanna,

        Africa would do so much better without all the food aid they receive from the evil capitalists in the US and Europe. Any good class warrior knows that. Back in the 70s, when those enlightened Soviets were buying hundreds of millions of bushels of wheat a year from the demonic US because they couldn’t feed their own people, it was proof of the superior resilience of the socialist economic system.

      • Am I a bot? No. Unemployed activist? No.

        ““Many forms of poverty don’t just happen naturally, they are caused by inequities”. What does that mean?”

        Johanna, basically this refers to the gap between rich and poor.

        As many if not most economic historians will tell you (including Geoffrey, who wrote an article that is the point of this blog post) the resources of the developing economies have been heavily exploited by developed economies. Trade rules set by developed economies have historically advantaged those economies, while placing others at serious historical disadvantage; and among other things, the result is dependent nations trapped in debt in 2013.

        Americans would not be in business if they were forced to play by the rules forced on developing economies. These kinds of historical issues have helped create and maintain many aspects of global poverty and dependence. I think we all understand that there are many causes of complex issues like poverty … however with about .1% of the world’s population controlling about ¼ of the world’s financial assets and the richest 15 % in the world accounting for the majority of total private consumption of resources (World Bank reporting) you would have to ignore history to argue that injustice is not a major cause of these inequities.

        Your comments about poverty reduction are not accurate; and especially inaccurate, under conditions of climate change.

        “You are like…”

        Why do you see communists around every corner? History is a process decided by many… you don’t get to decide, all by yourself. There are many people who want a more co-operative capitalism to deal with climate change, in a spirit of increased shared interests. As part of a democratic process, social change is both desirable and possible. In fact, as Geoffrey points out, it may be far more costly, and destructive, to simply maintain the status quo.

      • Martha

        Did you ever think about it: if everyone were poor, there would be no gap between rich and poor.

        The virtue of socialism (according to Winston Churchill).

        Max

      • Martha:

        You haven’t even attempted to answer my question about one of the greatest achievements of the last 50 years – the lifting of hundreds of millions of people in China, India and south-east Asia from subsistence level poverty. Here’s a hint – central planning and dedication to reducing income inequality was not the driver.

        When you say that poverty is partly caused by restrictive trade rules, I am with you 100%. The EU and many other players (eg the US re sugar) tilt the field to protect their farmers. But, that is not because of the difference in incomes between EU farmers and North Africans. If North Africans had the same incomes as people in the EU, it would make no difference to the rationale for protectionist policies. Imports may well be cheaper because of superior technology, climate differences or smarter production techniques. It doesn’t matter why the imports are cheaper – what matters is that local rent-seekers have managed to lock out the competition, to the detriment of both consumers and efficient producers.

        If you are serious about improving the lot of the poorest people on the planet, trade is much better than aid. And that means (shock! horror!) capitalism.

        As for all those statistics about what percentage of people own what, even if they are right, once again your sense of history is sadly lacking. Go back 500 years and see what the picture was. A tiny percentage of the world’s population was rich or at least comfortable, while the rest lived with dire poverty, hunger, 60 or 70% child mortality and zero political power.

      • We didn’t know any better, it was tragic. Now that we do, it will be farce, with clowns like Martha leading the parade.
        ========

    • Rob Starkey

      Martha

      Your Conclusion: “Policy responses to climate change require integrated thinking and resource sharing, beyond Geoffrey’s historical analysis.” is simply your personal conclusion of how you wish the world would operate. It is not required.

      • Hi Rob,
        Actually, many people think integrated thinking and an increase in resource sharing is required, and I am agreeing with them. If many people didn’t think that, you would not see the policy development, especially in developing economies such as Africa, that you are seeing.

        Or are you saying that it is my input (‘personal opinion’) that is not required? I would agree with you, there: my personal opinion is not or required. Neither is yours.

      • Rob Starkey

        Martha

        I agree that others share many of your beliefs. It is possible that I am reading more into your comment than is appropriate, but I focused on the “resource sharing” portion of your comment.
        Imo, the key to global CO2 emissions growth over the next several decades will be the nations providing electricity and access to personal transportation for the over 3 billion people worldwide who do not currently have these. It would seem logical that these nations will obtain that electricity and transportation in the most cost effective means possible. That would mean, unless some new technology becomes practical; that fossil fuel will be used to power the transition and improvement in the lives of these 3 billion people.
        Martha- Are you suggesting that nations such as the US should be responsible for subsidizing these developing nations so that they utilize “green energy”. I do not.

    • Martha, I replied to an earlier post: you say that ” A resilience-based policy response that includes poverty reduction efforts would likely result in increased coping capacity.” Put another way, policies which promote economic growth in poorer countries will make them more resilient. The Hans Rosling video above illustrates this. I’d focus on policies which actually help poorer countries to grow.

    • Peter Lang

      Martha,

      Nearly all your understanding is ‘ass backwards’. Globalisation, free trade, cheap energy, electrification, multi-national companies all improve resilience and robustness.

      As does a warmer planet. Life is much m,ore robust on a warmer planet. Life thrives when the planet is warmer and struggles when colder. It almost dies out in the depths of an ice age, but is abundant and lush when the planet was warmer than now.

      • Life thrives when the planet is warmer and struggles when colder.

        Also true of weed, pests, and parasites.

    • Steven Mosher

      Martha,

      Wrong again.

      Let’s keep this simple. Climate impact: More heat waves.

      The causes of excess deaths are related to many factors including poverty. But historically we know that fixing this problem has nothing to do with fixing poverty. It has to do better warning systems. Better building codes. More air conditioning. And better outreach. The cause is poverty related, but the cure is not to fix the poverty problem.

      Same with sea level rise. You dont address the sea level rise problem in malibu, new york city, or treasure island in San Fran, bu fixing the poverty problem. You fix the sea level problem.

      Your problem is that you thnk there is “food” problem. There is not.
      There might be a food problem in location X. To figure out what to do you have to specify location X and forget your “ive got a hammer” approach to problem solving

      • Steven Mosher | June 8, 2013 at 11:52 am |

        Technically, air conditioning has a lower correlation to reducing heat death than might be expected.

        Heat smog and outdoor air quality aren’t addressed by air conditioning, and because air conditioners draw so much more electricity at what is otherwise already peak demand time, more smog is produced from fossil electricity sources, making the smogs worse, until the rolling brownouts and blackouts from overwhelming the system due too many air conditioners running.

        Now, _cooling_ as opposed to air conditioning, by shade, water, passive design features.. those all do correlate well.

        But time and again air conditioners have correlated with worse, not better, heat disaster response.

        Likewise, poverty is a complicating factor, it’s true. However, there are many cases where local poverty largely resulting from megaprojects and heat smog resulting from effluents of megaprojects form a deadly synergy. In these cases of coal megaprojects, it can’t be said that the poverty:heat-death correlation is a causal link.

      • Bart,

        What you are telling is plausible, but do you have a single example of a study that has tried to objectively give answers to those points?

        I have no doubts that there are “studies” by people who want to prove a point using a selective approach. We have all too many of those in everything related to issues connected in some ways to ethical views of individuals. Therefore a lot of effort must be spent in assuring the objectivity. My guess is that no study that has bit the bullet can show conclusive results.

      • Pekka Pirilä | June 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm |

        You shift the burden of proof.

        Steve Mosher is the proponent of the correlation of poverty and heat death. Steve Mosher has not furnished studies, and the further correlation of air conditioners with relief of heat death.

        I’ve furnished a counter-proposition. I’d be delighted to provide counterexamples to whatever material Steve provides, so an impartial audience can judge which is the stronger case, especially as you point out so many difficulties in judging any study in isolation on its own merits due questions of objectivity, etc.

        However, I can point out that typically heat deaths cluster in cities (New York, Moscow, Toronto, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Paris..) during heat waves, and correlate most strongly with heat smog: cities correlate more with wealth — especially cities with past heat death incidents — than with poverty (so we may say in some sense the wealth causes the heat death of the poor, and be at least as valid as the claim that poverty causes heat death of the poor).

        My argument is patent, for any who but look. It perhaps needs study, but it needs no study to make a far better case than the proponent’s.

  73. So, they want to call scientific skeptics of global warming, deniers. If we can dare to look at the inhumanity of socialism in the eye we certainly won’t fear words when media-supported propaganda by government scientists concerning climate change signals the coming of the jackboot on the throat of free society.

    • Ron O'Daniels

      How melodramatic! I too will peer into the eyes of those murderous democratic socialists – those bringers of death – and charge them – You! – You who claim desire for forcing good people to not water their lawns daily, who wish medical coverage upon the menial laborer, denier of the Corporate god supreme through your taxes for the public good, hate filled antagonists of the pure invisible hand that guided by greed provides for the good of all… I shall accuse you!!!! You filthy purveyors of public education who have stolen good science through your conspiracy…I accuse you!!! Just kidding. And all my words, add nothing to the debate.

      • Global warming is not a problem. Fear of it is. Government-sponsored fearmongering that modernity for more humans is bad for the Earth because of humanity’s CO2 (AGW) is more alarming than global warming. Too many in the government-education industry have countenanced too many lies for too long. And, our inability to talk about it honestly is the big, looming disaster. It is the only disaster.

      • David Springer

        The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ,
        Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
        Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
        Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

        I think that sums it up nicely!

      • Ron O'Daniels

        David, you forgot to credit the Poet: Edward FitzGerald (1809-1883), but well selected. Thank you.

      • Ron

        I think you will find it was Fitzgeralds translation of the rubiyat of Omar khayyam.

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

        But I agree it was a nice selection. David is obviously mellowing…

        Tonyb

      • Ron O'Daniels

        Thank you!

      • David Springer

        I purposely left it as an exercise for the reader in the hope they’ll see more when they find the source.

        For God only knows how long I thought it was Ruby Yacht of Omar Kayyam because of Rocky & Bullwinkle in the early 1960′ when I first heard it and saw it spelled.

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

      • Ron O'Daniels

        David Springer, re Rocky and Bullwinkle. I bow to the depth of your literary genius.

      • David Springer

        Tonyb | June 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm |

        “But I agree it was a nice selection. David is obviously mellowing…”

        Perish the thought! I’m just a tad on the complicated side for a redneck. Most days I’d say “that’s water past the bridge” or “there’s no use crying over spilt milk” or “schit happens” or “que sera sera” or any number of trite expressions that all mean pretty much the same thing. The past is the past and you can ‘t change it unless you’re a paleo-climatologist then it’s rewrite history city.

      • David

        You say the past is the past but it has always been changed, as Churchill said ‘history is written by the victors’ as this interesting article by George Orwell also notes.

        http://alexpeak.com/twr/hiwbtw/

        Tonyb

      • David Springer

        Rocky and Bullwinkle left an indelible mark on America. Ran from 1959 to 1964. I was 3 at the start and 8 at the end. Pretty formative years and right in the peak of the baby boom. An essential part of cold war indoctrination. If it were today it might sound something like:

        Bullwinkle: “Hey, Rocky, watch me pull some extreme weather out of my hat.”
        Rocky: “A-gain?”
        Bullwinkle: “Presto!”
        Coldest NH spring since 1862: “ROAR!”
        Bullwinkle: “Oops, wrong hat.”

      • David Springer

        What would Sherman and Peabody do with the Wayback Machine and Climate Science?

  74. There was no need for this rubbish:
    “Some people still doubt the second proposition (just as some people still deny that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer),”

    He could have put in brackets “just as some people doubted that humans cause dangerous acid rain.” or some people doubted that “BSE would cause mass deaths”. or any number of occasions where scientific skepticism to outrageous claimswas correct.

  75. “At current consumption rates, the United States has more than a century’s worth of natural gas beneath its soil, and new drilling methods are making it much easier to extract. The shale-gas boom has created jobs, generated economic growth, and produced consistently low prices in a historically volatile market.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/350310/no-more-energy-protectionism-nicolas-loris

    (Somebody get WebHub a towel to wipe the spray off his monitor.)

    • Not to mention sea-floor methane hydrates.

      • David Springer

        Twenty years ago I was seriously interested in the promise of methane ice but after you wait a couple of decades and see no progress made in an economical means of harvest it becomes more like a broken promise. My list of big broken promises: a lunar colony and manufacturing base there, at least a successful manned expedition to Mars, cheap nuclear power, fusion power, harvesting methane hydrates, orbital power sats, and last but not least free health care for life for veterans who served their country honorably.

        George W. Bush is responsible for that last broken promise. Veterans health benefits became means tested during the Bush administration to help defray the cost of his middle east adventurism. For veterans to receive free health care today from the veteran’s administration they essentially have to be so poor they’d qualify for medicaid and thus not need VA health care. Isn’t that just precious?

      • Dave, I brought kitty to help you smile:

      • If you don’t believe in prioritizing health benefits for non-service-connected illnesses given a lack of financial resources then you need to hire more government employees to run the printing presses and sell bonds to China a zero percent interest until the house of cards comes down. Remember… we’re not the Eurocommies who had America to carry around a big around for their benefit.

      • Peter Lang

        AK,

        And not to mention the effectively unlimited supply of nuclear fuel in the Earth’s crust and oceans.

      • AK

        Not to mention sea-floor methane hydrates

        Including all optimistically inferred recoverable natural gas sources, including shale gas, the total natural gas resource left in the ground is estimated to be around 490 trillion cubic meters (WEC 2010). Recoverable shale gas is around 60% of this total estimate.

        This does not include potentially recoverable natural gas from methane hydrates.

        There are all kinds of “top of the head” guesses as to how much methane is really out there in the form of hydrates, ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 trillion cubic feet. A study (Boswell & Collett 2011) estimates recoverable methane from hydrates to be around 43,000 trillion cubic feet (1,200 trillion cubic meters) world-wide.

        Japan has a project underway to try to mine hydrates, but this is still far from reality. Alarmists are already wailing about the great risk from methane leaks (methane is apparently twenty times more effective than CO2 as a GH gas).

        However, if recovering methane from hydrates becomes a practical economic reality, it could represent more than four times the total amount of shale gas and more than triple the total amount of natural gas on our planet.

        But “IF” is a mighty big word.

        Max

      • @David Springer…

        My list of big broken promises: a lunar colony and manufacturing base there, at least a successful manned expedition to Mars, cheap nuclear power, fusion power, harvesting methane hydrates, orbital power sats [...]

        I attended the 1975 Space Resources Utilization Conference, and one thing I learned there is that there was (and presumably still is) a left-wing group working hard to prevent humanity from expanding into space. Reasons given (to me) had to do with our lack of “maturity” as a species, and how we ought to “grow up” as a species before expanding into space.

        I suspect the real reasons had/have more to do with their ultimate socialism: if the Industrial Revolution is naturally toxic to socialist ideas (i.e.that a person’s social status should ideally be determined by his/her ability to manipulate “society”), space is 10 times worse: it puts a much higher premium on the ability to do a job “right”, regardless of who you are, who you know, and what the people around you think of you.

        @Peter Lang…

        And not to mention the effectively unlimited supply of nuclear fuel in the Earth’s crust and oceans.

        Why bother? There’s semi-infinite energy streaming by right overhead, from that big nuclear reactor in the sky. And down to the surface.

        @manacker…

        However, if recovering methane from hydrates becomes a practical economic reality, it could represent more than four times the total amount of shale gas and more than triple the total amount of natural gas on our planet.

        But “IF” is a mighty big word.

        I think it’s a shoe-in. Japan doesn’t have any other sources of its own, and doesn’t want to be at the mercy of foreign sources — not with China right next door. (China has traditionally considered Japan as one of its natural territories, or at least sphere of influence.)

        I don’t see sea-floor methane lasting that long, though. With the exponentially decreasing cost of solar PV hydrolysis, I expect solar methane will become cheaper within 3-4 decades. If it gets strong subsidies, maybe 2-3 decades. And I’m talking about methane made from Air-captured CO2.

      • Peter Lang

        AK asked

        There’s semi-infinite energy streaming by right overhead, from that big nuclear reactor in the sky. And down to the surface.

        Answer: because it is uneconomic (hugely expensive) and uses an enormous amount of material (about ten times as much as a nuclear power plant per unit of electricity delivered).

    • Do you think people like whut realize us taxpayers are still paying tobacco subsidies to farmers, long after the last American cigarette manufactures closed their doors in Durham and Winston-Salem?

    • Oh gee, the photo didn’t show up. Now I am disappointed. Oh well, maybe Mosher will share share some more kawaii or whatever…

    • Natural gas uptake has made coal cheaper, supporting what I warned about that it won’t actually reduce total coal emitted. Shale gas means a higher peak CO2 level, not a lower one.

      • lolwot

        Shale gas very likely means a time delay in reaching projected higher CO2 levels from fossil fuels.

        Maximizing the use of nuclear power generation would result in another time delay.

        So, for example, instead of reaching a CO2 level of 640 ppmv by year 2100 if we had neither shale gas nor an effort to replace new coal-fired plants with nuclear, we might only reach this level by year 2120 by replacing new coal for power (plus diesel for heavy transportation) with new shale gas and possibly by year 2150 by also replacing with nuclear power generation as much as possible.

        This might theoretically shift global warming by a few hundredths to tenths of a degree over a similar time period.

        The absolute constraint on human-induced CO2 is the total remaining availability of fossil fuels. Based on recent WEC estimates this limits maximum CO2 level from human fossil fuel use to a bit less than 1,000 ppmv.

        At projected future fossil fuel usage rates, this could occur within the next 180-250 years, depending on several factors, including shale gas, nuclear, etc. If a truly competitive alternate for transportation fuel can be developed, this could be essentially shifted by several centuries.

        Max

    • AK

      “Methane made from air-captured CO2″?

      Sounds fascinating.

      (But it doesn’t sound cheap.)

      Let’s assume the conversion process is 100% efficient (it won’t be).

      Then the net energy balance = 0 (energy in = energy out).

      If the “energy in” is from (for example) nuclear or solar, then the methane is actually being used to “store” that energy.

      Collecting CO2 out of an atmosphere that only contains 400 ppmv will also require energy.

      So, unless I’m missing something here, this sounds like an expensive way to convert a primary energy source to methane, which would generate less energy than was required to create it.

      A similar proposal was made for hydrogen as the “energy carrier”, with the advantage that no “collection of CO2″ is required, but the handling and safety disadvantage that hydrogen itself poses as a fuel.

      I’m aware that there have been some studies on “microbial methane generation”. Here’s a quote from a blurb on such a process:

      http://news.stanford.edu/news/2012/july/microbes-clean-methane-072412.html

      Microbes that convert electricity into methane gas could become an important source of renewable energy, according to scientists from Stanford and Pennsylvania State universities.

      Researchers at both campuses are raising colonies of microorganisms, called methanogens, which have the remarkable ability to turn electrical energy into pure methane – the key ingredient in natural gas. The scientists’ goal is to create large microbial factories that will transform clean electricity from solar, wind or nuclear power into renewable methane fuel and other valuable chemical compounds for industry.

      I’m not saying this (microbial or chemical conversion) is an impossible scheme, but I have a hard time seeing how this would ever be an economically attractive way to create a competitive energy source.

      Color me skeptical.

      Max

  76. Martha – it is not a problem of poverty or a problem of resilience. It is a problem of stupidity in high places. Tokugawa Shogunate proves my point. We have the same problem with incredibly stupid and powerful politicians in the pocket of activists, still pushing policies to fight a non-existent global warming. Everything done to fight global warming at incredible cost is a total waste of public resources. My comment yesterday outlines the science they totally ignore.

    • Fear of the simple truth that government-sponsored fearmongering is more alarming than global warming and our inability to talk about it or bring accountability to academia and clean out the liars are the only looming disasters.

  77. David Wojick

    The US flood control program began after the great floods in 1936 but it was basically terminated half built by NEPA and the greens in 1968. Should we revive it? Resilience without specifics is empty rhetoric.

    • No – because 1) it involved re-engineering of rivers with a short-term focus on economics without much concern for the environment, and 2) it operated without a national strategy for water policy to support local decision-making for sustainability/resilience.

      Your thoughts?

  78. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Khmer Rouge, Nadolf Nitler, EPA, Al Gore — seeing today’s liberal fascism in historical perspective we cannot avoid seeing the secular,socialism of the Left and it’s horrible record of atrocities measured in millions of deaths

  79. Peter Lang

    Chief Hydrologist,

    A couple of weeks ago you posted a link to a paper about tipping points and mathematical description of them. I’ve lost the link. Could you please repost it.

    If anyone else can recall the link could they please post it (in case Chief does not see this request).

  80. There was a time when we would brand as intellectual dishonesty the spreading of unfounded fears about runaway global warming in the nation’s classrooms and yet teachers and bureaucrats in the government-education complex have been doing that for years. When after a while it was obvious to the teachers of global warming that they were wrong they simply changed their stories.

    7. Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are still upheld by their admirers—for example by introducing ad hoc some auxiliary assumption, or by reinterpreting the theory ad hoc in such a way that it escapes refutation. Such a procedure is always possible, but it rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying, or at least lowering, its scientific status. ~Karl Popper

  81. Peter Lang

    Wagathon,

    There was a time when we would brand as intellectual dishonesty the spreading of unfounded fears about runaway global warming in the nation’s classrooms and yet teachers and bureaucrats in the government-education complex have been doing that for years.

    Oh, come on Wagathon. You are just scaremongering. What is wrong with this? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FkB4uiizVo

    No pressure to conform!

    • Peter,
      Sorry to break the train of thought, but I read the article at http://bravenewclimate.com/2013/01/16/zero-emission-synfuel-from-seawater/
      John Morgan’s reporting and analysis seem even-handed and credible to me. I’m a chemist and not a chemical engineer, so it would take a lot of effort for me to evaluate all of the economic analysis in the article. It looks reasonable and I tend to accept it for purposes of discussion. His description of the Sasol Fischer-Tropsch process is accurate. (That South African Sasol plant, by the way, is the largest single-point source of CO2 emissions in the world.)

      The question that I have, however, is why bother with the CO2 sequestration and reduction? Why not just take the electrolytic H2 and use it directly as a fuel. Prototype hydrogen-jet aircraft, hydrogen IC engines, and hydrogen turbines (ship propulsion, etc) are well established. It seems to be such a waste of energy to go back through CO2 to carbon fuels!

      • From the Wiki article on Hydrogen safety:

        Although hydrogen has many useful properties, some have serious safety implications:
        Colourless and odourless

        Extremely reactive with oxygen and other oxidizers

        Low ignition energy
        High flame temperature

        Invisible flame in daylight conditions

        Negative Joule-Thomson coefficient; leaking gas warms and may spontaneously ignite

        Small molecular size promotes leaks and diffusion

        Very wide flammability limits in air mixtures

        Can diffuse into or react with certain metals, embrittling them

        The cryogenic liquid at 20K is even colder than frozen nitrogen, oxygen or argon

        Does not support life (can asphyxiate)

        On the other hand, hydrogen’s considerable buoyancy and lack of toxicity other than as an asphyxiant work in its favor.

        AFAIK hydrogen technology isn’t ready for prime time. Consider the number of people who would have to be trained for the safety precautions, and the risk if even a tiny percentage of them don’t follow them.

      • AK

        You and I have discussed this earlier and I don’t think we are likely to resolve our differences in perspective. Nevertheless I learn more each time I discuss it, so …
        I don’t have a substantive disagreement with anything you just wrote. However, I could go down the list and compare methane as well, and there are some hazards that are not so different from hydrogen. Safety issues are worse with hydrogen, but methane is also very dangerous. The benefits of shifting to hydrogen, IMO, would likely make the increased technological safety specifications and training worthwhile. Just as natural gas has been brought to a state of acceptable risk management, hydrogen can too.
        Maturation of any technology and deployment of infrastructure will be contingent on the level of motivation of all sorts. Over a twenty year period couldn’t it be done?

      • tcflood,

        Thank you for your review and comment. John Morgan is an a very nice, honest person. He is an excellent leader and mentor. He believes very strongly in AGW, that it is a very serious threat, and it is important we address the threat. He believes in an economically rational approach.

        I do not agree with some of his beliefs, as you know. I do not agree with his concept that taking CO2 from seawater to make jet fuel means it is zero emissions. Because, from my perspective, that is simply de-sequestration of CO2 from the oceans (over the time frames that are relevant). So I ignore all the part about the zero emissions.

        Instead, I see it like this:

        1. it may be possible and perhaps even economically viable eventually, to make unlimited quantities of transport fuel from sea water using nuclear power.

        2. It can be done anywhere there is sea water and nuclear power – so all countries can do it themselves for virtually the same cost

        3. That would remove the dependence on shipping and some countries having power over others to threaten their energy supplies

        4. I suspect the fuel could, eventually, be made more cheaply than Morgan’s estimates if the hydrogen is provided by high temperature reactors rather than by electrolysis, which the US Navy and he both say is the highest cost component of their estimates

        Regarding your question about simply using hydrogen as a fuel, I am not persuaded that is practicable. As I understand it there are large unsolved problems in just about every stage of manufacture, storage, delivery and distributions systems, and on board storage in cars and other forms of transport. I don’t think we are anywhere near to being able to use hydrogen as a transport fuel. However, jet fuel is a small step. We used kerosene to power our really simple old tractors in the 1940’s and 1950’s before we moved up a notch to diesel. And jet fuel is safer than petrol (i.e. gasoline to some :).

        That’s my thoughts.

        Discussion. BTW, here is the link if anyone else wants to get involved: http://bravenewclimate.com/2013/01/16/zero-emission-synfuel-from-seawater/

      • tcflood,

        One other thought I’ve had but don’t have the ability to develop or check is that perhaps it might be cheaper to get the CO from the condensed, nearly pure, CO2 stream from a coal fired plant that is fitted with carbon capture. This would save the cost of compression, piping and storage, so it should be free. Also, the CO2 emissions would be after it has produced electricity AND transport power.

        My question to you is: would it be cheaper to get CO from sea water or from a near pure, high temperature stream of CO2?

      • tcflood | June 7, 2013 at 12:11 am |

        I’d be interested in hearing your opinion of that other zerofuel, carbamide.

        Converting low-quality (or any quality) natural gas using geothermal or solar to ammonia, thence to urea by the Haber process (again, geothermal or solar), and you have a high-quality, high-demand fertilizer with a stable world market price and growing need, and you displace the Chinese coal-burning sources of the stuff.

        If you ever do make enough ofcarbamide to exceed the world fertilizer demand, and cattle nutrient demand, and plastics demand, thereby putting much of China’s coal consumption out of business as geothermal and solar are both cheaper than coal for this application.. then you have a safe-storing, spill-proof, low-carbon fuel with almost 3/4’s the energy density of gasoline, that can be used to generate electricity in a fuel cell, or in a modified internal combustion engine.

        So. Does the chemistry of this plan even begin to make sense?

      • Peter and AK

        You appear to agree on the state of technology for H2 use. I know a lot of general info but very little detailed technical specs and economics. I am familiar with everything on AK’s list except the negative Joule-Thompson coefficient – which sounds like it could be a problem. Since the generation of any hydrocarbon from CO2 requires a great deal of extra energy and the generation of several equivalents of electrolytic H2 anyway, it just seems intuitively very wasteful to go the CO2 route.

        As to trapping CO on a scale to make a dent in fuels, let me think about that one for a while.

      • Peter Lang

        tcflood,

        As to trapping CO on a scale to make a dent in fuels, let me think about that one for a while.

        Sure. Just to ensure we are clear on the question, you can be supplied with effectively unlimited quantities of near pure CO2 at high temperature (from coal fireed power plants fitted with carbon capture). You are also supplied with H2 from either electrolysis or from high temperature nuclear reactors whichever provides the H2 cheaper.

        My question is, would it be cheaper to get CO from pure, CO2 or from sea water. the US Navy and John Morgan have described the process and the costs for getting it from seawater. They did not consider getting it from condensed near pure CO2 because that was not the aim of the US Navy study – they are interested in the strategic issue of reducing the vulnerability of the the logistic system for supplying jet fuel for their aircraft carriers.

      • Bart R,

        I’m a little confused because I thought carbamide was another name for urea, which, as you say, does require ammonia feedstock. As you know, ammonia is made by the Haber process which consumes large quantities of hydrogen and is carried out at around 400 C. The hydrogen now comes almost exclusively from steam reformation of methane and the heat comes from fossil fuels as well.

        So, I think you might be asking whether the hydrogen, at least, could be gotten from electrolysis using a non-fossil electricity source. I believe the answer to that is an emphatic yes.

        For example, if we built wind farms at substantial overcapacity so as to make some of it reliable enough for base load. Then when the winds were up, we could use the excess for generation of H2 rather than having to “dump” the power. This could be a serious win-win.

        As for geothermal, my impression is that with current technology, very little expansion of geothermal is feasible. There are reports about “enhanced geothermal” being in the works, but the reports are not convincing and the existing trials are not moving very rapidly. I can give you some references on the EGS (Systems) if you like.

      • Peter Lang

        tcflood,

        For example, if we built wind farms at substantial overcapacity so as to make some of it reliable enough for base load. Then when the winds were up, we could use the excess for generation of H2 rather than having to “dump” the power. This could be a serious win-win.

        Are you serious? Have you considered the costs involved?

      • Heh, he’s new. He’s learning, though.
        =========

      • tcflood | June 7, 2013 at 1:33 am |

        I mean direct geothermal.

        That is, pump the component feedstock at two atmospheres into the 600C range of volcanic formations — which happen to be rich in the catalytic elements that favor the direction of the Haber process..

        Or simply as a pre-heater to get part of the way there, and then direct concentrated solar. Which would work well with pneumatic storage of excess CSP. Shame so few prime solar sites are also prime geothermal locations..

        And yes, carbamide=urea, for the squeamish.

      • Bart R

        Using urea directly as a transportation fuel with alkaline membrane fuel cells supposedly could get around 250 km for 1 kg of urea.

        http://www.strath.ac.uk/rkes/fly/ureafuelcells/

        This sounds almost too good to be true.

        Theoretically one kg of methane can generate 2.5 kg of urea (excluding any conversion losses); equals a unit ratio of 0.4 kg methane per kg urea

        According to wiki:

        Each ton of urea will need 930 cubic meter of natural gas. It will require 230 cubic meter for conversion and nearly 700 cubic meter for input chemical.

        A cubic meter of methane equals around 0.71 kg, so the actual unit ratio is:

        0.71* 930 /1000 = 0.66 kg methane per kg urea

        So IF the fuel cell km figure is true, that would be 25 times the km you could get from the same amount of methane as a conventional motor fuel (20 km per kg).

        But one has to include the other conversion costs besides energy.

        Urea costs somewhere around $400 per ton, with methane (natural gas) at $4 per thousand cubic foot (equal to around $100 per ton).

        So per 100 km, the urea fuel cell path requires: $400 / 2500 = $0.16 of fuel, while the conventional natural gas engine requires: $100 / 200 = $0.50 of fuel

        (Not included is any premium cost for the more expensive fuel cells compared to a conventional natural gas fired engine.)

        Don’t know if the above estimates are correct (maybe someone else wants to take a crack at it).

        But, if they are your plan could make sense.

        Max

      • Peter Lang

        Manacker,

        My BS Meter has gone to high alert. If your figures are correct, why hasn’t it been done already?

      • Peter Lang

        Manacker,

        I wasn’t meaning to be offensive with my previous comment.

        Quick sanity check (part 1):
        Car uses petrol at say 10L/100 km at $1.50/L = $15 per 100 km

        This includes taxes, distribution and retail costs. Even if it is say $0.50/L the cost is $5 per 100 km. That is ten times higher than your figure. Natural gas doesn’t have anything like that much advantage over petrol.

        Quick sanity check (part 1):

        In the early 1990’s I was involved in the RD&D for roll out of all the natural gas buses (CNG) in Australia’s state capital cities, LNG for long haul transport between Adelaide and Melbourne, LNG powered tankers hauling LNG between a gas field and Alice Springs, coal seam gas extraction and liquefaction to LNG to power coal trucks between Appin and Wollongong, CNG powered trucks, and CNG powered taxis and cars for fleet use in Australia. Lot’s of other stuff was going on too, including fuel cells and lots of solar power and energy erficiency RD&D. But nothing on urea. If it was even close to viable there would have been funding for that too. But not a word. So I am rather sceptical on this one.

      • tcf – I’ve been following Coskata for a few years now. Their original idea was to be able to take any organic matter and convert it to ethanol and other chemicals. What with cheap nat gas now, they have changed strategies to use only nat gas. Obviously, they haven’t yet been able to take tires, for example, and convert them to ethanol in a cost effective manner. But still, it is an interesting idea.

        Even in the nat gas configuration, it is one solution to the liquid fuels problem – just not CO2 reduction.

        http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2012/07/20/coskata-switches-from-biomass-to-natural-gas-to-raise-100m-in-natgas-oriented-private-placement/

      • manacker | June 7, 2013 at 3:26 am |

        I don’t disagree with either your figures or the very prudent questions you have about them.

        Much of the cost of making urea is that it requires energy to convert methane to ammonia (essentially storing all the energy available chemically in the methane and from the Haber process both in the ammonium molecule.. and then it requires even more energy to convert from ammonia to urea, again storing more energy.

        Both steps in these industrial processes are, or so I am told, extremely energy efficient. Is the output product 25 times more energy-dense than methane? I highly doubt, but chemistry is not for the faint-of-math, and I have yet to do this math. There may be other things going on with the fuel cell you refer to, as they have different efficiencies than internal combustion engines. Suppose a 20% efficient internal combustion engine (not unreasonable) and a 49% efficient fuel cell, that knocks the goalpost for urea to 10x the energy content of methane, for instance.

        But these are sensible questions.

        As might be whether straight-to-ammonia below the wellhead ‘fracking’ paths might be feasible, where there is available energy to convert methane-in-the-ground and conditions are otherwise right.

        If only we had a chemical engineer experienced with designing that sort of industrial process to ask..

      • Bart R,

        I don’t really want to wade through all the suppositions you and manacker are proffering because I don’t know how to address some of them the way they are posed.

        I can say that in situ direct conversion of methane to ammonia is highly problematic for a variety of reasons. Steam reformation of methane is highly endothermic but favorable entropically. Thus it requires temperatures around 1000C to render it favorable. The hydrogen reduction of nitrogen, on the other hand, is enthalpically driven (heat) and is entropically very unfavorable. The Haber process is done in at around 400 C to get usable rates, ammonia is separated and the reactants are recycled several times to get acceptable conversions. Trying to do both processes together would fail.

      • Peter Lang

        Thanks for your sanity check. Agree that the $ per km figures I cited are too low.

        Bart R’s whole premise only makes sense IF (the BIG, little word):

        – urea fuel cells really can get the sort of mileage indicated in the R+D blurb I cited

        – urea fuel cells can be produced commercially at a cost that could make them economically viable

        It also depends on an extremely large source of commercially available urea (produced from a very large source of inexpensive natural gas).

        Question: Is there enough potentially available natural gas to feed this whole scheme, or would additional urea from coal be needed?

        In effect, it is simply a scheme for using fuel cell technology with a commercially available fuel that is easy to handle and move around safely (rather than with hydrogen, which is not).

        And it (supposedly) gets significantly better mileage out of natural gas via urea (generating less CO2 overall per mile driven as a possible side benefit) than a conventional methane-fueled engine. It also (supposedly) can compete with normal gasoline or diesel fired engines.

        Nuclear power could be the energy source for the urea process, but all the other dream schemes of fueling this all with solar or wind power and feeding it with CO2 “captured” from the atmosphere are simply distractions and should be discarded from the start as hairy-fairy pipe dreams.

        With those caveats, let’s leave it there and see if it meets the key criteria.

        Max

      • Peter Lang

        Manacker,

        Thanks for the clarifications.

        I’d add that as soon as some one starts advocating using renewable energy as the energy sources for these processes, you can totally dismiss any further rational analysis. An interesting article has just been posted on the comparison of the costs of nuclear and solar power in Europe (comparing the first of a kind EPR nuclear plant in Finland and the solar in Germany after the costs have been greatly reduced by production in China). What is really interesting is the escalation in costs of renewable energy as their percentage of electricity supply increases above a small percentage. Of course, those who have been following this have known that is the case for decades.

        http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/voices/michael-shellenberger-and-ted-nordhaus/no-solar-way-around-it/

        I’d urge those who advocate renewable energy to read this post.

        tcflood, I’d be interested to read your thoughts on this article.

      • tcflood | June 7, 2013 at 2:17 pm |

        Thanks for the replies.

        You’ve contributed much to moving the questions I have forward.

        Of course, if I hadn’t also asked some wildly speculative and reachy questions using wonky terminology, people wouldn’t know I were a regular denizen of Climate Etc.

        http://nzic.org.nz/ChemProcesses/production/1A.pdf

        Thanks too for sidestepping those, where warranted.

        Direct-to-ammonia extraction of methane is unlikely to ever be practical, as it’s much less practical even than direct-to-H2 extraction, and no one’s advancing that much as a practical solution.

        However, geothermal or concentrated solar thermal (or hybrid — or even wind or nuclear, whatever works best in each case) can contribute heat for pre-processing and processing natural gas (either in cleaning up dirty natural gas at 400C in the presence of zinc to remove sulfur or simply getting it nearer to the 770C needed for the synthgas reaction in the presence of nickel) to ammonia is perfectly practical; in the alternative, co-processing the nitrogen-addition step of the synthgas to ammonia with geothermal or solar can be timed to effectively act as energy storage during peak availability, optimizing the use of the exothermic last step to level the heat procured at off-peak times.

        The CO2 produced in the natgas->ammonia process is recycled into the ammonia->urea process.

        Integrating production of energy from geothermal or solar with the conventional industrial process as a hybrid energy/fertilizer operation thus realizes efficiencies by leveraging opportunities to capture more energy in more convenient forms and at more convenient times in the process and the demand cycle.

        Natural gas, air, water, and heat either from geothermal or solar, etc. thus produces both a levelized electricity source that can be tuned to the demand curve, plus a lower-cost, higher value fertilizer product that is greatly in demand, and currently produced wastefully burning coal contributing to China’s smog problems.

        It’s unlikely any level of urea production will overcome world demand. It’s simply such a vital part of agriculture, pharmacology and plastic production that to build out capacity is doubtful to outpace growth in demand. Heck, it might even result in _too_ much electricity production for some locations.

        However, if it does, then excess urea is an admirable transportation fuel, either in fuel cells or by combustion in modified conventional vehicles.

        As manacker | June 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm | agrees, the $ per km figures he cited are likely too low.. but still better than what we have now, and far better than tarsand synthfuel.

        So while the whole premise and all its parts could be fully realized if

        – urea fuel cells or urea burning really can get mileage enough to make it even marginally economical;
        – financial and regulatory conditions favor this better option and thus remove X-inefficiencey from the system;
        – the project isn’t blocked by vested interests;

        ..even getting part way, to take advantage of resources currently trapped by logistics and reduce costs for products with growing demand — fertilizer and levelized electricity — is a win-win.

      • Bart R.

        It sounds to me like you are espousing something pretty close to cogeneration from any non-fossil source. If I’m characterizing your proposals correctly, I agree with you heartily.

        One feature that I don’t understand is the need to go to urea to “levelize” electricity output since, as of now, fuel cells are expensive and inclusion of ammonia production (and therefore greatly increased H2 production) into the mix just increases the need for energy input to harvest the electricity gain. Since gas turbines are actually one of the least capital intensive sources of electricity at the moment, why not just use the H2 as fuel in turbines to levelize the electricity production?

        This is aside from the desirability of enhanced production urea for fertilizer and perhaps as a fuel cell fuel for transportation that’s safer than H2. I guess what I am suggesting is that urea generation should be treated separately from stationary electricity generation levelization.

      • tcflood | June 8, 2013 at 2:15 pm |

        Fuel cells are simply an option, a way to reduce NOx or to replace lithium batteries in electric vehicles, where there is an advantage to be had. This is an option, and not obligate for advantage to be gained from the whole ammonia+ regime.

        The added step to urea is that it’s much more valuable than ammonia, stores more energy, ships better (no need for pressurized containment, leakage less costly, less dangerous) and can always be easily converted back to ammonia or H2 local to where it is needed.

        The levelization effect in coproduction comes from simply slowing or stopping the energy-intensive portion of the production cycle when external demand for electricity peaks, and intensifying the exothermic portions of the cycle and using the heat from that to generate extra electricity. With this double dividend, while it results in slightly less quick production of finished goods, the partially finished goods in effect act as that magic-bullet of intermittent alternative-energy sources like solar, wind and tide: energy storage. Thus, levelization of energy production with demand. It mainly happens in the ammonia production phase. And it ought be looked at as a separate benefit, while integrated with the overall hybrid cogeneration site.

        And of course, the fuel cells would most likely be for transportation only, not some fuel cell battery on the scale of a regional electricity grid. That scale likely would be pie-in-the-sky.

      • Bart R

        I was using ammonia and urea interchangeably because the conversion is pretty simple and doesn’t take much energy.

        The urea fuel cell for transportation is an intriguing idea. There are no details and no references in the link you posted. Obviously how realistic it is depends on all of the questions about the fuel cell and its operation that you and I would both ask.

      • Bart R and tcflood

        On the urea fuel cell technology I’d worry less about extraneous factors such as “vested interests against” or “government subsidies for” the development of this interesting possibility into a commercial reality.

        It all depends on two inherent factors:

        – can the urea fuel cell achieve the very high fuel efficiency projected by the basic research work over extended periods in actual practice, and
        – can the urea fuel cell be produced commercially at an economically competitive cost?

        If the answer to these two questions is “YES”, then it could have a chance of becoming a new method for fueling transportation that is more energy efficient plus economically more attractive than other alternates that exist today.

        It’s just that simple.

        It would also have the side benefit of generating less CO2 per kilometer (or mile) driven, but it will never be a significant factor just for this reason if the answer to the above two questions is not “YES”.

        And how the “conversion energy” is sourced is another extraneous question, which should not muddle up the cost/benefit analysis of urea fuel cells as a practical method of fueling transportation.

        Agree? (I think Peter Lang does.)

        Max

  82. And now we find this. The dangers of socialism have materialized. This is what some conservatives and libertarians have feared when the US Federal government amasses too much power. They are gathering a lot of information about us and we know that some of it has already been used for political ends. As the government gets even more power, eventually, it will dictate our every breath. This is why some conservatives and libertarians want certainty when it comes to global warming – both its attribution to man-made CO2 and WRT the impacts. We know that big government can be very bad. Just look at Nazi Germany. That is where we are now headed.

    “The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

    The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

    The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order

    • Perhaps most alarming Jim2 is not the reported actions but the fact that is just fine with a number of our senators ranging from the likes of Mr. Graham (SC) to Mr. Reid(NV). Froggy says the water is nice in here.

    • [This comment removed by your friendly government moderator.]

    • McCain is on Fox News – he loves the phone data sweep too. There is no way the government should get all phone records without probable cause. This and many other things going on now violate the rule of law. Thousands of laws that affect our lives have been passed. They are so complex that you can break one and not even know it. Nevertheless, the government can throw you in jail anyway. This is not what the Founding Fathers had in mind – nothing of the sort.

      • At least not Madison and Washington…. Following numerous events I left thinking about that topic a lot lately. I don’t think it is ideology driven, but is in the nature of humans and their ‘institutions’. After 50 years Mayer’s “They Thought They Were Free” might be an interesting re-read.

    • David Springer

      The government already has all your electronic communications and are processing it for patterns of interest . Any arguments over access boil down to what information can be legally used against someone not what the government happens across in the normal course of business “fighting terrorism”.

      So you New Yorkers think twice about mentioning the purchase of illegally large soft drinks.in text messages. Bloomburg will get wind of it.

    • David Springer

      In other words all your data is belong to us.

  83. On JoNova today there is an article which talks about thirty years of cooling followed by thirty years of warming. In other words, the 60 year natural cycle that I and many others have been talking about for years is a reality, and fully explains why we are now in a thirty year period of slight net cooling. The underlying ~1,000 year cycle is still rising at between 0.05 and 0.04 C degree per decade, but it will top out in less than 200 years and be followed by 500 years of cooling.

    Carbon dioxide has nothing to do with it all. In fact I calculate from the “new paradigm” that it has a net cooling effect of about 0.002 C degree. Big deal!

    The “old paradigm” of radiative forcing and greenhouse conjectures will eventually yield to the truth of the “new paradigm” which is all about non-radiative processes as described in statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics.” Anyone interested in learning what I’m talking about may read “Planetary Core and Surface Temperatures.

    • David Springer

      I think we can at least agree on the point that natural climate cycles with periods between decades and millenia are significant and more likely than not to keep on cycling on.

  84. Is something inevitable, if it’s already started?

  85. David Springer

    So far no friends or family at ~42N latitude in new york state are liking spring weather that’s close to 20th century average.

    People have been spoiled by mild weather and it’s probably going to become less instead of more mild for next 15 years or so.

    Just a taste of harsh NE winters in the US will turn a multitude of progressives off the consensus bandwagon.

    Mark my words.

    Seriously. Bookmark them.

    • Yeah, WNY has looked lousy the few times I’ve noticed. Spring was my least favorite season there…raw, just plain raw.

  86. manicbeancounter

    The consequences of the C17th cold were as a consequence of underdeveloped nations. A similar episode today would have nothing like the consequences. As an example, the Japanese earthquake of 2011 was far more powerful that Haiti earthquake that of the year before, affected a much larger population, yet had less than a tenth of the deaths. Also, in Japan, most of the deaths were in the following tsunami. Economic wealth is by far the best way to reduce human misery from disasters.
    Economics Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen showed that by far the biggest cause of deaths from famines was not the proximate cause – a crop failure due to extreme weather – but the reactions of Governments to that situation.
    There are valuable lessons to be had in our policy making. If climate catastrophe is inevitable, are the costly policies being pursued actually going to make the problem worse by making people poorer and thus more vulnerable when disaster strikes?

    • Many would say “yes” to your last sentence.

    • The recent NH cold event was problematic for most, but far worse than problematic for Northern India.

      Well, if desperate people burn extra dung, the carbon dioxide and other emissions aren’t counted, so I suppose they can feel a bit pious that their “footprint” is invisible once the smoke clears and the aerosols lift. But somehow I don’t think that’s a priority for Northern Indians.

  87. Dr. Parker’s snark is typical of those who are losing the argument. Skeptics have been pointing out that
    a) climate changes, always has and always will
    b) adaptation to that change is the only practical choice
    c) warming is not the worst thing we could experience
    It is the AGW cult that has been CO2 obsessed, and has created the situation we have now wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and decades of rewarding cynical rent seeking hypesters.
    the gratuitous sniping of Parkerat skeptics only underscores how entrenched the AGW pseudo faith has become.

  88. … whether the global climate changes, and, if so, whether humans are to blame. Some people still doubt the second proposition (just as some people still deny that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer)

    In drawing that bogus comparison, the author self-identifies as a moron.

  89. Lauri Heimonen

    Judith Curry:

    ”I found these statements to be particularly profound:

    ‘Unfortunately, the current debate on climate change favors procrastination because it confuses two issues: whether the global climate changes, and, if so, whether humans are to blame.

    So while we argue over whether or not our climate is changing, and (if so) who is to blame, let us also anticipate—and try to mitigate—the sort of catastrophes that history shows are inevitable.’

    The essay makes a compelling case for increasing resilience to climate catastrophes.”

    Since I understood that the increasing trends of CO2 content in atmosphere have followed warming and not vice versa, I have had no reason to believe in any anthropogenic global warming; look e.g. at comments http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/#comment-198992 ; and http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/16/hansen-on-the-standstill/#comment-287036 .

    Already in a Finnish magazine Materia 3/2008 I have stated in an op-ed (an excerpt of the conclusion translated in English):

    – Endeavours to control the current warming of climate by curtailing anthropogenic CO2 emissions do not seem to have appropriate bases.

    – Instead you have to concentrate on a kind of research work which covers the entirety of the problem of climate warming well enough. Above all it must include potential natural causes of warming.

    – As a first priority of measures you have to regard potential mitigations concerning ‘the sort of catastrophes that history shows’, as well as any new natural climate change or extreme event of weather . In the cases where any sufficent mitigation is not possible, you have to learn to adapt to these circumstances.

    – As to energy policy the first priorities are to protect an availability of energy that is competetive and produced cleanly enough, and to promote the use of energy which must be reasonable and good enough for the welfare of mankind.

    Arno Arrak is right in his comment above; http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/03/the-inevitable-climate-catastrophe/#comment-329952 :

    ”Everything done to fight global warming at incredible cost is a total waste of public resources.”

    The measures related to curtailments of CO2 emission which is based on the belief in AGW – in accordance with IPCC reports – has caused only the kind of ‘incredible costs’. And the same threat seems to continue on the coming new report of AR5.

  90. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  91. Hello Judith – this is the first time on your excellent blog – following a link to the work of Tsonis…..if you send me an email, I will send you a small piece of research I did for a charitable foundation on development aid – all about ‘resilience’ to climate change, and also, in case you have not seen, my own critique of global warming theory made in the hope of persuading colleagues in the green movement (a fail!)….very best wishes for your work,
    Peter

  92. Pingback: Interesting links: May and June 2013 | 50shadesofevidence

  93. Great article, thank you. You said the article begged the question as to whether 2C of warming would be more or less serious than 2C of cooling was back in the 1600s. I would say that the effects of a far larger population, pollution, the presence of species-threatening weapons, and general global integration confound the question so much that it’s not really a very helpful question to ask on its own. It would be interesting to try to work out what 2C of warming might have caused back then – much less of a problem than 2C of cooling, I would guess, as the effect on harvests would probably not be as dramatic – then compare both scenarios to our present world.