Have U.S. Republicans shifted strategy on climate change?

by Judith Curry

One day after President Barack Obama unveiled a broad blueprint for reining in heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions and adapting U.S. infrastructure for more droughts and floods, Republicans are taking aim at the plan’s economic costs — not the science underpinning it. – Jennifer Dlouhy

There has been much discussion the past few days about President Obama’s climate change, but the one article that particularly struck me was an article in Fuel Fix entitled Republicans Shift Strategy on Climate Change by Jennifer Dlouhy.  Further excerpts:

It’s a remarkable change for a political party with high-profile leaders who have declared climate change a hoax and held congressional hearings designed to amplify doubts about whether human behavior contributes to the phenomenon.

It also may be a pragmatic one. As attitudes and beliefs about climate change have shifted — and the nation’s economic woes have come to the forefront — casting Obama’s plan as a job killer and “backdoor energy tax” may be a better strategy. Those were the overwhelming messages from Republican lawmakers criticizing Obama’s climate change plan on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Our argument with the president right now is that he’s picking energy winners and losers, he’s harming innovation and there’s going to be a direct assault on jobs,” House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters Wednesday. “There are direct economic and policy challenges to what the president decides next. There will be ramifications that will be lifelong.”

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., said Obama’s approach amounted to unilaterally imposing a “national energy tax” and a “war on jobs, our economy, affordable energy, American families and small businesses.”

Asked repeatedly Wednesday to address the science of the issue, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., told reporters that while “we all want to make energy as clean as we can, as fast as we can,” Obama’s plan is nothing more than “a national energy tax.”

“The costs are real,” he said. “The benefits are unknown.”

During his speech at Georgetown University, Obama took aim at climate change skeptics. “We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat-earth society,” Obama said.

But Barrasso quipped Wednesday that the president should take time to talk about the “flat economy.”

JC comments: If Dlouhy’s assessment is correct, this is very good news on several fronts:

  • Republicans have shifted to a more rational stance on climate change as reflected in Rep. Lamar Smith’s recent op-ed;
  • The common ground seems to be that everyone wants clean, abundant, inexpensive energy and nobody wants to destroy the economy
  • The political battlefield can now shift to energy economics, which is where the battle belongs (not over the science), and maybe we can come up with some cost effective, technically feasible, and politically viable solutions
  • Scientists can shift their attention from religious adherence to consensus science and get on with the real work of trying to understand the dynamics of climate variability and change

Well, fingers crossed.  This was the outcome that I hoped for when preparing my recent congressional testimony.

619 responses to “Have U.S. Republicans shifted strategy on climate change?

  1. There was SCIENCE underpinning Obama’s speech? Who knew? Especially when the Climate Impacts series is such a joke.

    The scientific debate has been won and not by the alarmists.

  2. Ok, so EVERYBODY now just accepting that emmitting CO2, excuse me carbon pollution, is “very good news”?

    I strongly disagree…

    • Apologies, lets try that again:

      Ok, so EVERYBODY now just accepting that emmitting CO2, excuse me carbon pollution, is bad is “very good news”?

      I strongly disagree…

  3. Once again our hostess is being far from straightforward as to what she means.
    Quote “The common ground seems to be that everyone wants clean, abundant, inexpensive energy and nobody wants to destroy the economy”

    Question. Do unlimited quantities of CO2 constitute “clean” energy?

    Quote “maybe we can come up with some cost effective, technically feasible, and politically viable solutions”

    Question. If CAGW is a hoax, and there is no such thing as too much CO2, what is the problem we are trying to solved?

    • Curious George

      Jim – Question. What is the optimum concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere?

      • George. Answer. I have no idea..

      • I think I read somewhere that farmers considered 1000 ppm to be ideal.

      • Gasser curves, no, Laffer curves. Oh, heck it’s gaffer curves.
        ==========

      • Steven Mosher

        optimum for what?

        an ill posed optimization problem is not solvable.
        plants might like more until it creates too warm a climate for them.

        stupid questions rarely clarify complicated problems.

      • Mosher, Bjorn Lomborg made some points about CO2, warming and food in a comment on a recent scarist World Bank report:

        Take food production. The report is eager to show that food production will suffer from increasing temperatures. Yet it emphasises only downsides.
        Increasing temperatures by themselves will be likely to reduce future yield increases in developing countries, where temperatures are already high. This, however, neglects several counterweighing factors.

        First, CO2 acts as a fertiliser for most crops, which translates into higher yields. In a recent study in Science, it is estimated that across the past three decades, temperature increases have reduced yields for maize, rice, wheat and soybeans by an average of 2.8 per cent. Yet, the CO2 rise has simultaneously increased yields by 2.2 per cent on average, almost cancelling the temperature rise.

        And of course, overall, yields have risen 42.9 per cent across the past three decades. Mentioning only the reduction, while neglecting to mention CO2 fertilisation and downplaying the total yield increase, is unhelpful.

        Second, across the century, farmers will begin to grow more heat-loving varieties or switch to more heat-loving crops, which will increase production growth.

        And, third, cold areas will see increasing agricultural productivity, which will increase future production. It is unclear which of these trends will win. Models that try to incorporate all of these with global agricultural trade show virtually no impact on global production before mid-century and, at worst, perhaps a total reduction of between 2 per cent and 4 per cent by the end of the century. With an annual production increase of almost 4 per cent in the past three decades, this is, at worst, the equivalent of not reaching a new, global agricultural production maximum in 2099 but one year later in 2100.

        http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/world-bank-goes-to-unreal-extremes/story-fni1hfs5-1226671073671

        The story is more complicated than your comment “plants might like more until it creates too warm a climate for them” suggests.

      • David Springer

        The optimum concentration depends on your agenda. For most of the earth’s history it had no icecaps. Imagine Antarctica with a temperate forest instead of being so hostile nothing can survive in its interior. To me that’s the optimum. Globull warming is just that. It’s regional not global with the high cold latitudes warming and the low warm latitudes staying the same. Climate zones expand with the exception of polar zones which gradually disappear. Life flourishes. CO2 has historically been about 10 times the present partial pressure. The farmers saying 1000ppm is optimum are low-balling it. That’s where the expense of CO2 enrichment becomes greater than the benefit is all.

      • Steven Mosher

        Mr. faustino

        ‘The story is more complicated than your comment “plants might like more until it creates too warm a climate for them” suggests.”

        well DUH!

        the point I was referring to was the ill posed question ‘what is the optimum level of C02′

        As you note the issue is very complicated, even more complicated than I said. how exactly, is that at all RELEVANT to the point I was making

        That point was this: the question “what is the optimum level of C02?” is
        ILL POSED. you seem to agree with that. But rather than simply saying
        ‘yup steve, your right, and the question is even more complicated” you
        blather on.

      • kim,

        they is a royalty fee for referencing my (Gasser) curves.

        but, I’ll waive it for you.

    • “Question. Do unlimited quantities of CO2 constitute “clean” energy?”

      Yes.

      Unlimited is not physically possible. There is essentially a plateau of co2 output and whilst that would result in higher levels of co2 than we see today, those levels would not be high enough to be harmful to life and given that the climate sensitivity of co2 is being shown to be ever lower then catastrophic warming is not possible. Indeed, we entered a glaciation when co2 levels were 7000 ppm.

      Any extra co2 and warmth would be entirely beneficial to all life on this planet.

      • Higher than 5000 ppm is considered bad for people.
        Submarines and Space Ships work to control below that.

      • If we burn all our fossil fuel, we will not likely get enough CO2 to cause any problem. When we run out of fossil fuel and CO2 goes down, Green things will not grow as well and will require more water and that may well be a real problem.

      • David Springer

        If biotech proceeds apace fossil fuel goes the way of whale oil in a couple decades at most. There’s no technological impediment. Political is another story. It’s hard to imagine the political and economic upheaval when all oil exporting countries suddenly find themselves bereft of oil export revenues. Some will collapse. The middle east in general, Russia, and Venezuela seem like particularly dangerous powerkegs with substantial vested interest in remaining fossil fuel exporters.

      • Dave,

        I don’t get your enthusiaism for biofuels. Granted, it isn’t an area I have any great knowledge of, but the little I have read indicates several serious challenges to overcome.

        What about the issue of water usage? To grow enough feed stock to replace fossil fuels would involve considerable water resources.

      • David Springer

        Gen-3 biofuels don’t use feedstock. They use sunlight, CO2, non-potable water, and non-arable land. Very little water is used because it’s a closed system and the water that is used is brakish or municipal waste water. Municipal waste water is preferred because it is rich in plant nutrients. Brakish water or seawater must be fertilized with the usual NPK (nitrogen, potassium, phosphate) used in other agriculture and aquaculture applications.

        All they are (gen-3 bioreactors) basically are clear plastic tents configured as long tubes partially filled with saltwater and modified photosynthetic bacteria (a.k.a. modified blue-green algae, one of the most ancient organisms on the planet). In the case of ethanol the bacteria produce it and it goes into the water. The heat of the sun causes the ethanol to evaporate out of the water and condense on the roof of the tent where, due to the clever shape of the roof, the ethanol drains off along a channel to a central collection point. In the case of bio-diesel, which doesn’t evaporate, it is again produced by a different strain of modified photosynthetic bacteria and floats to the top of the saltwater in an oil film. The water is put through a conventional fuel-water separator much like that used in diesel engines to extract the fuel.

        In both cases the photosynthetic bacteria themselves are neither harvested nor killed. They produce the fuels they were designed to produce and excrete it into the water. It would be fair to characterize these bugs as saying they eat CO2 and piss diesel.

        This is happening now. Pilot plants are producing fuel reliably at $70/bbl equivalent in the case of Joule Fuels at yields between 10,000 and 20,000 gallons per acre per year. New strains of bacteria were patented by Joule this year that produce pre-cursor molecules easily converted to gasoline and Jet-A to complement those that produce ethanol and bio-diesel.

        Like I said the limiting factor right now is CO2. Pure CO2 must be bubbled through the bioreactor fluid to get the metabolic rate of the bacteria going fast enough to produce the 10-20 thousands of gallons of fuel per year per acre of bioreactor. Less than pure CO2 reduces the yield per acre of bioreactor and hence raises the cost per gallon of product. As of now it’s cheaper than oil at $100/bbl but not a whole lot. If the bioreactors were only half as efficient the product would cost twice as much and couldn’t compete with $100/bbl oil.

        In order to cheaply obtain pure CO2 means collecting it primarily from the exhaust of electrical generating plants (making sequestration and sale of CO2 a cottage industry for the plants) or from cement plants which generate an enormous amount of CO2 (5% of all anthropogenic emission comes from cement manufacture) when they bake calcium carbonate (CaCO3) at 1200C to produce quicklime (Calcuim Oxide, CaO) and CO2.

        Eventually the bioreactors must be made cheaper and/or the bacteria become more efficient at extracting enough CO2 directly from the atmosphere. Both of these will happen moving forward. Eventually, when synthetic biology starts flexing its transformative technology muscle, synthetic bacteria will themselves manufacture the bioreactors making the whole process virtually free i.e. you wouldn’t build a bioreactor site you’d instead grow one like you’d grow an orchard. There’s far more than enough non-arable land with plenty of sunshine for this purpose that is unused today.

    • “what is the problem we are trying to solved?”

      Brainwashed idiot politicians are the problem that we are trying to solve.

    • Steven Mosher

      smart republicans and smart libertarians are not going to listen to your denial of the problem. Not a single politician is going to be swayed by your arguments. They are listening to other voices.

      The issue is the economic one, which means the issue is how much warming. They won’t be listening to the folks who say 0 warming.
      sorry. they are not buying what you are selling.

      part of the problem with the skeptical movement is also its strength.
      On blogs you all get to talk. Much of what you say is wrong. For every 1 skeptic there are 5 opinions.
      So the same arguments get recycled over and over again. That’s the strength. You cant be pinned down. But that’s also the weakness, because effort has been wasted on weak arguments rather than invested in the best arguments.

      In other terms, skeptics would do better now to focus on a few key arguments and defend in depth rather than use their scattershot attack in breadth approach.

      • Steven, you write “Not a single politician is going to be swayed by your arguments. They are listening to other voices.”

        You are correct. I am not addressing politicians, but our hostess. I am trying to find out whether she means that CO2 is not “clean”, and what the problem is that she is addressing.

      • Essential nutrient for the Plant Kingdom, execrable excrement for the Animal Kingdom. Choose up sides and dig trenches, much weapons of mass reflection to be deployed.
        ===============

      • “they are not buying what you are selling”

        And I’m not buying what you are selling.

        Andrew

      • “denial of the problem”

        Problem ? What problem ? There is no physical evidence to show that the additional co2 in the atmosphere has created a problem. To the contrary there is evidence to show that the biosphere has benefited.

        The issue, or the bottom line is economic, I agree. How much warming or (more likely) cooling is unlikely to have the sort of impact on peoples lives as the destruction of a country’s economy based on the output of 73 climate models, none of which come close to reality and which are likely to diverge still further given the expected prognosis for the solar magnetic field.

        Strength in the modern world is money. Sceptics don’t have those resources. When you said ‘defend’ you meant ‘attack’.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Stephen Mosher: skeptics would do better now to focus on a few key arguments and defend in depth rather than use their scattershot attack in breadth approach.

        Start with:

        1. non-radiative energy transfer

        2. round earth with non-uniform insolation

        3 rotating earth with tilted axis, revolving around the sun

        4 non-predictability of high dimensional non-linear models

        5 non-equilibrium of high dimensional non-linear dissipative systems

        6 likely ineffectiveness of proposed US policies

        7 inaccuracies of predictions to date

        8 thorough debunking of many exaggerated claims to date

        That’s sufficiently “few”, I should think. Unpredictability of clouds falls under #1.

        I should note that, to date, the scattershot approach has been effective, partly because of the scattershot approach of people making exaggerated claims that the mainstream scientists have to spend so much of their time backing away from. For example, the claims that the Arctic [would be completely ice-free in the summer of 2013, or maybe even 2012.] And the forecasts that the summers following Hurricane Katrina would have extraordinary amounts of hurricane activity and hurricane damage. I expect that my #8 would look to you like the “scattershot” approach that you want your political opponents to stop, despite its demonstrated effectiveness.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: So the same arguments get recycled over and over again.

        Indeed, I personally recycle the same arguments again and again, such as the absence of equilibrium in high dimensional nonlinear dissipative systems (I even cite the same book over and over: Modern Thermodynamics) by Kondepudi and Prigogine); and the much discussed (in the journal Science) absence of reliable knowledge of how cloud cover will respond following an increase in CO2 concentration; that predictions are based on “flat earth, uniform insolation, featureless surface” models; that models to date are insufficiently accurate. Except among diehards, I think that the constant repetition of these unanswered points counts in part for the decline in public concern for AGW and its proposed “solutions”.

      • I keep booming out:

        I think I’ve never heard so loud
        The quiet message in a cloud.

        like it was a battery for reveille.
        ====================

      • That’s funny. I keep on finding interesting canonical simplifications to the climate science which add to the understanding.

        Perhaps you guys are not trying hard enough?

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘ I think that nt repetition of these unanswered points counts in part for the decline in public concern for AGW and its proposed “solutions”.”

        Uninteresting arguments often result in unanswered points. I will say that I don’t know a single policy maker who has repeated your points. Neither do I know of a single man on the street who has repeated your points.

        Bottom line: decision makers are not listening to your arguments and more importantly they are not listening to the public. well, they are listening but the NSA doesnt count

      • Steven Mosher

        J. Martin

        ‘Problem ? What problem ”

        playing dumb is not a winning strategy.

        Here is the clue. The debate, which we never had, about whether there is a problem or not, is over. You lost a debate you never got to have. Sorry.

        Now, there is a new debate. you can fight the war you lost or fight the war in front of you. I suggest skeptics get their shit together and put their best forward.

        Here are dogs that dont hunt

        1. C02 is good for plants
        2. C02 is a trace gas
        3. Any sky dragon nonsense
        4. Its the sun stupid
        5. Galactic cosmic rays and unicorns done it
        6. Models are bad
        7. It was warmer in the pastlah

        blah blah b

        None of those dogs will hunt in the new debate. yu are invited, but I figure most people hear will continue to fight the fight they lost, like some strange japanese soldier lost on a forgotten Pacific Island.

      • The major weakness of the Consensus Side is that they have consensus and do not think.
        Do not suggest the skeptic side make the same mistake.
        Pick a key argument and you likely miss the right one.
        Scattershot has the right argument in there somewhere and We Will Find It. Some of us believe we already have.

      • Hey Peter Lang, give Matthew R Marler plus one thousand.
        Bts

      • Beth,

        I can’t. His comment concerns matters way outside my area of expertise.

        But thank you for giving me authorisation to use the patented +x award system. I’ll assume that gives me blanket approval, with fees to be paid when we meet some time (perhaps along that slippery banks of that creek you write about sometimes; the Yarra :)

      • Peter, look forward ter the day… Would that it would be
        the occasion fer a celebratory drink concerning an event
        political devoutly ter be wished, hey, u know what I mean. :)
        BC

      • I sure do. I look forward to it too. We should try to have a party for all the Aussie Serfs, and any foreign Serfs who would like to fly in for the celebration

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | June 27, 2013 at 4:28 pm | Reply

        “smart republicans and smart libertarians are not going to listen to your denial of the problem. Not a single politician is going to be swayed by your arguments. They are listening to other voices.”

        Maybe on your planet. On my planet they listen to polls. On my planet they listen to those ideas that benefit the people whose votes installed them in their offices.

        Duh.

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | June 27, 2013 at 6:21 pm |

        “Now, there is a new debate. you can fight the war you lost or fight the war in front of you. I suggest skeptics get their shee-it together and put their best forward.”

        Your concern is touching. Just phucking touching.

      • David Springer

        Smart climate scientists are addressing the pause. The public debate is about how come after pouring an accelerating amount of CO2 into the atmosphere it ain’t got not warmer in a coon’s age. The models are flawed. The catastrophic warming they predicted is non-existant. I suggest climate scientists get their shiit together to address the monumental failure of the model-driven science to predict what’s happening in the real world.

        Or not. The loss of entertainment value in watching a cabal of agenda driven over-educated elitist eco-loons make gigantic asses of themselves is a treasure in and of itself.

      • IntelliDave,
        It’s much more fun watching the practitioners of Voodoo Science practice their craft. Coming up with every whacked out theory they can to explain global warming rather than concentrating on the scientifically derived one.

      • Webster, “IntelliDave,
        It’s much more fun watching the practitioners of Voodoo Science practice their craft. Coming up with every whacked out theory they can to explain global warming rather than concentrating on the scientifically derived one.”

        Funny, when we concentrate on the scientifically derived one, the conversation shifts to squirrels. The solar constant value was 1365 for a while, then changed to 1361.1. That change is not due to the sun or instrumentation, but because the “surface” was changed from the upper stratosphere to the lower troposphere in the “explanation” of the science. Climate Scientists moved the target. Now there is up to a 3 percent error in forcing estimates, because the “surface” which is the frame of reference, shifted.

        The things I have focused on are the three true laws of thermodynamics, KISS, ASSUME and Frame of Reference. That means back to the basics, what is the “surface” used as the Black Body Cavity and what is the altitude of the “surface” used as the effective radiant “Shell”

        From a stable frame of reference you can use several methods and none of the common assumptions and consistently produce comparable results.

        You rehash the same assumptions and keep showing how the mistakes were made, which is useful for some I guess, but doesn’t really produce progress.

        Here is a question for you, what is the temperature of a no greenhouse gas Earth? 4C +/- 2.4 C

      • KI.M-E.R. I think you’ve got it!
        =======

      • Webster, Since the problem started with a paradox dreamed up in the middle of the night in some observatory during the free love and recreation drug experimentation period of science, where do you think problems might have started?

      • The Aussies on this site are equivalent to the rednecks that inhabit the southern Bible Belt of the USA. They despise science with a passion and will do everything they can to denigrate the diligent practitioners of climate science.

        As far as politics is concerned this is important because the voting citizens equate ignorance with blissful innocence (which is good) and explanation/understanding with advocacy (which is bad).

        Cappy D, the self-professed southern proponent of “redneck physics”, makes me ill with his habitual butchering of standard scientific argument. Ignorance is indeed bliss.

      • Webster, “Cappy D, the self-professed southern proponent of “redneck physics”, makes me ill with his habitual butchering of standard scientific argument. Ignorance is indeed bliss.”

        More squirrels. The K&T Earth Energy Budgets misplaced 18Wm-2 in the “RADIANT PHYSICS” part of a “RADIANT PHYSICS” problem. Right now the problem is not the physics, it is the accounting, locating all the false assumptions and simple math errors that lead to the “PARADOXES”

        You have to set a problem up properly before you can solve it.

      • “4. Its the sun stupid
        5. Galactic cosmic rays and unicorns done it”

        4. May well prove to be a winning strategy. There was apparently a one hour television program on the BBC recently about what’s happening to the Sun and the likely cooling consequences of that. 5. may come to be included in the public’s mind, mostly GCR though no doubt some people will blame the unicorns, probably Michael Mann and Ben Santer.

        It is about psychology in the end. It is known that public opinion can be swung en masse to a view opposite to the view held previously, it’s about finding the right argument or thing that appeals and can cause a change of opinion, having laid plenty of groundwork first. Poor summers, ever colder winters, power cuts, plus some satellite imagery of a spotless sun. The consequences will be a sea change in MSM and public opinion is inevitable.

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | June 28, 2013 at 8:24 am |

        “Up here, we count all +100 Aussie points as -100 because they go in the opposite direction. As Mosh said, you lost, deal with it.”

        Are you talking to Julia Gillard that eco-loon prime minister of Australia who became the second PM in Aussie history to be ousted from office?

        The ironic part is she’s being replaced by the first prime minister to get the axe, Kevin Rudd, who was ousted to give the job to Gillard. Rudd’s auto biography is rumored to be titled “The Lesser of Two Evils”. LOL

      • Cappy, you are drawing charts that are shaped like an urn.
        Whut’s up wid dat?

        You no longer can articulate anything scientifically and are just stringing together word salad.

        When no one else is able to communicate on any level with you, it means that you have lost the bubble and should consider packing it in.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: 6. Models are bad

        “models are inaccurate” is quite an effective argument.

      • Mosher,

        How about this list?

        1) Weather is not climate – no link between warmer world and “extreme weather.

        2) Little evidence warmer is bad.

        3) GCM’s are useful tool, but have limits (poor at regional forecasting) and are not proving good at providing accurate projects – i.e. should they continue to be the focus of climate research?)

        4) Climate policy has to account for economics.

      • Webster, “Cappy, you are drawing charts that are shaped like an urn.
        Whut’s up wid dat?”

        I could have left the density and pressure curves in, but then it would looked like a plumber’s butt. The Strapopause temperature ~0C (316Wm-2) doesn’t just reach out and grab you? Quite a few have mentioned that isothermal radiant shells are needed for references since scattering/advection tends to throw the basic up/down radiant models off. If not, you have to keep track of the Helmholtz energy, which can be a PITA.

        There has been a lot of discussion about the Stratosphere lately Web because the turbulent and chaotic troposphere makes a damn poor radiant frame of reference. Oceans make a good frame of reference. The stratopause makes a good frame of reference. The turbopause makes a good frame of reference. The troposphere, not so much, unless you are into weather.

        Now point out that Effective Radiant Layer (ERL) and that higher colder spot that Mosher mentions all the time.

        Then check this out.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: I will say that I don’t know a single policy maker who has repeated your points. Neither do I know of a single man on the street who has repeated your points.

        I suffer great anguish from being so ignored, but I get solace from two ideas:

        1. I think I represent a growing number of people with these characteristics: I have an advanced technical degree; I used to accept that the standard AGW theory was sufficiently complete and accurate; and since reading more about it I have discovered that I was mistaken, and the theory is not nearly complete and accurate enough to be a foundation for belief or planning.

        2. I write my Congressman, as many of us do. Once i am sufficiently confident that the points I raise and questions I ask can not be adequately addressed by current science (and you and WebHubTelescope make feeble, essentially puerile attempts), then I shall write a detailed letter to my Congressman, and suggest that he might put these to the experts the next time there are Congressional hearings.

        Now, the fact that you “don’t know” and “haven’t met” single persons of some stripe is neither here nor there. The widely documented ignorance of future cloud responses has in fact been mentioned by policy makers and people in the street. The other points I raise, maybe not so much.

      • Mosher is vying to be the Paulien Kael of Climate Etc. Kael was a film critic famous for saying “I can’t believe Nixon won. I don’t know a single person who voted for him.”

        If you live by the bubble…you will die (ignorant) by the bubble.

    • Oh, for heaven’s sake, Jim … can’t you take off your narcissistic blinkers for even one post?!

      Why do you persist in reiterating (ad nauseam and ad infinitum) that the only “valid” position or “argument” is a recitation/regurgitation/mirror of your own?

      Or is there something you don’t understand about Dr. Curry’s:

      Scientists can shift their attention from religious adherence to consensus science and get on with the real work of trying to understand the dynamics of climate variability and change. [emphasis added -hro]

      What will it take to get you to realize that your constant harping and carping does no one any more favours than Tobis’ (or Joshua’s or WHT’s or the glyph-enchanted what’s-his-name’s) potshots do for the hyper-alarmists?

      In short … get a grip, Jim!

      • What potshots?
        Like this? — I have always laughed at you “skeptics” that can’t figure out that it is really an energy problem. The world has to purchase the most expensive crude oil in history, with no signs of it getting cheaper.

        The kabuki dance is all about acting as if freeing up more lands to search for oil that is no longer there will solve the problem. And acting as if shale oil is much different than squeezing blood from a turnip.

        The leaders know all this but use the cover of climate change to make it seem like a more winnable battle. One can actually try to win the battle against rising temperatures, but you can’t win against a non-renewable rapidly depleting resource.

        The transition to renewable and other alternative energies is clearly happening but you just cannot deal with it, so you whine about people taking potshots. And of course it doesn’t help that you have the most incompetent “scientists” such as Cripwell and The Chief on your team.

      • Well, well. looks like HIlary (did I spell that right?) finds Jim a bit inconvenient.

        But do try being a bit more tolerant, Hilary. It’s important.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        glyph-enchanted?

        I’m certainly on Hilary’s team if she will have me.

        What prompted this latest bizarre and incoherent rant?

        webby persists in ‘solving’ climate with a line of simple algebra. He then insists that no one understands it. It is unutterably bizarre. Well beyond incompetent – it is almost certainly a sign of monomania.

        As are the musings about oil. There are increasing supplies of liquid fuels for decades yet. There are almost endless supplies potentially of coal to liquids at about $70 a barrel – if it comes to that.

        But I say forget it – we need to aim for even cheaper energy to meet the energy needs of the world. This requires investments in basic research.

        I understand that he has wasted his life on nonsense and this must rankle – I can’t help that. The least he can do however is to go away and stop wasting everyone else’s time.

      • There’s your guy. Push the right buttons and witness the response.

      • glyph-enchanted would be Fannie, who has been around for a while.

      • err… not been around for a while

      • Chief Hydrologist | June 28, 2013 at 12:22 am |

        glyph-enchanted?

        I’m certainly on Hilary’s team if she will have me.

        Alas, to be honest, CH, I don’t really have a “team” … But if I had one, you’d be more than welcome! In fact, you could be the head coach, scientific advisor – and the CEO. Provided that we had an agreement which stipulated that you would eschew any and all demands (as i”m confident you would) for payment in illusory carbon credits ;-)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh webster -

        You prattle and preen about ‘solving’ climate with a line of algebra and seem so divorced from reality that it doesn’t ring alarm bells. You are obsessed with me because I call you on your utter nonsense. You are quite as mad as Stefan.

        Your comments are inevitably personal, pejorative, misguided rants. Most recently you insisted that I hadn’t read the paper I quoted because I live on the Great Barrier Reef an hours flight from Brisbane – and wouldn’t fork out for the paper. The reality is that I have talked with and met Stewart Franks and have read dozens of papers from him and his group at the University of Newcastle. It is of course an area I have been researching for decades – but an idea that can be confirmed with a little background reading if you had bothered to make any effort at all.

        I excuse you of any serious interest in the natural sciences – you seem quite incapable. But don’t imagine that your grade school level insults provoke more than amusement and a measure of distaste for a disagreeable and quite dishonest person.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Thank you ever so much Hilary. It is a done deal. I want payment in glyphs.

      • Hilary, your cat looks like a near-identical younger version of my 17-year-old who is yet to learn about retractable claws. I’ve had to ban her from the bedroom, as every time I show signs of awakeness (or even not), she jumps on me and claws my arms, which with blood-thinning drugs means instant treatment is required.

        I hope that the trait doesn’t go with the appearance. :-)

        And, yes, there is a tendency amongst some CE posters to reiterate their pet (no pun intended) moans. I’ve complained about that before.

        As an Indo-phile, I say “Go, Curry!”

      • David Springer

        @whut

        You underestimate the advance of recovery technologies. Ostensibly once burned twice shy should apply even to dedicated drooling peak oilers like you but I evidently underestimate the ability of fanatics to ignore reality. Here’s the deal. At $100/bbl all sorts of known recovery technologies become viable. We can liquify coal at that price. Rome wasn’t built in a day is the larger problem. We have this vast infrastructure that has to be adapted to a different fuel. Unless of course my favored front-runner (Gen-3 biofuel) emerges as the winner which of course produces drop-in replacements for gasoline and diesel and jet-A such that no costly time-consuming replacement infrastructure needs to be deployed.

      • Chief,
        It is you that is incoherent. You say I have a monomania about oil, yet here I am talking mainly about interesting climate science. I bring up oil depletion to show the rank hypocrisy on the side of the skeptics. You and your side are the ones with the monomania as you can not think in terms of the system (man, environment, climate, energy resources), and instead want to attack scientific progress and “pissant progressives”. It is really pure projection on your part.

        And elsewhere on this thread, you recommend climate pragmatism. That is evidence of your further incoherence and inconsistency. Either your mind is shot or you add to the FUD intentionally.

      • SpringyBoy,
        You can’t complain that I am a “drooling peak oiler” as long as you are advocating alternative fuels such as your ” favored front-runner (Gen-3 biofuel)”.

        This is how psychological projection works. You accuse others of what you are doing yourself.

        All I have to do is scan for these code words and I can see that you are as much of a “drooling peak oiler” as I am. If you weren’t you wouldn’t be talking about replacing oil at all.

        Why people like you and your buddy The Chief do this psychological projection is not completely obvious. I have been going on the assumption that instilling fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) about science is the preferred approach of the disciples of propagandists such as Fred Singer, Frank Luntz, and the other Merchants of Doubt that you emulate.

      • David Springer

        ‘Fraid not. I advocate synthetic biology because it is the next transformative technology and I’m a technophile at heart with a firm belief that science and engineering still has vast untapped potential for transforming the way we live for the better.. Among a great many other things it holds the key to producing energy that costs less than fossil fuel ever did. I was advocating this technology when oil was still under $20/bbl because it can produce the equivalent for less than that price.

      • Josh,

        I almost made the comment to Cripwell that he’s apparently been hanging out too much with you.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        webster

        It is you that is incoherent. You say I have a monomania about oil, yet here I am talking mainly about interesting climate science. I bring up oil depletion to show the rank hypocrisy on the side of the skeptics. You and your side are the ones with the monomania as you can not think in terms of the system (man, environment, climate, energy resources), and instead want to attack scientific progress and “pissant progressives”. It is really pure projection on your part.

        This is what I said.

        webby persists in ‘solving’ climate with a line of simple algebra. He then insists that no one understands it. It is unutterably bizarre. Well beyond incompetent – it is almost certainly a sign of monomania.

        As are the musings about oil. There are increasing supplies of liquid fuels for decades yet. There are almost endless supplies potentially of coal to liquids at about $70 a barrel – if it comes to that.

        But I say forget it – we need to aim for even cheaper energy to meet the energy needs of the world. This requires investments in basic research.

        And elsewhere on this thread, you recommend climate pragmatism. That is evidence of your further incoherence and inconsistency. Either your mind is shot or you add to the FUD intentionally.

        ‘Therefore, in our view, the organising principle of our effort should be the raising up of human dignity and in that pursuit, our re-framed primary goals should be three:

        1) to ensure that the basic needs, especially the energy demands, of the world’s growing population are adequately met. ‘Adequacy’ means energy that is simultaneously accessible, secure and low-cost.

        2) to ensure that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the
        essential functioning of the Earth system, in recent years most commonly reflected in concerns about accumulating carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, but certainly not limited to that factor alone;

        3) to ensure that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever may be their cause.’

        Energy innovation, environmental conservation and strengthening communities. These have been my concerns for decades and I have been utterly consistent.

        Why should we do this? Apart from the obvious environmental and humanitarian objectives – I am consistent in the mathematics of risk in a coupled non-linear system. It is done from uncertainty rather than certainty.

        This is what I said.

        You prattle and preen about ‘solving’ climate with a line of algebra and seem so divorced from reality that it doesn’t ring alarm bells. You are obsessed with me because I call you on your utter nonsense. You are quite as mad as Stefan.

        Your comments are inevitably personal, pejorative, misguided rants. Most recently you insisted that I hadn’t read the paper I quoted because I live on the Great Barrier Reef an hours flight from Brisbane – and wouldn’t fork out for the paper. The reality is that I have talked with and met Stewart Franks and have read dozens of papers from him and his group at the University of Newcastle. It is of course an area I have been researching for decades – but an idea that can be confirmed with a little background reading if you had bothered to make any effort at all.

        Now you again deliberately lie and misdirect – or perhaps you actually believe what you say. You are sad or mad – and I am beyond caring which.

      • Chef, you quoted from the abstract of that paper. Why don’t you quote from the body of that paper and we will know that you actually have it in your hands.

        Aussies contribute about 20% of the comments on this blog and probably half of the content because they write these long screeds filled with extended quoted material.

        It is puzzling behavior. I should ask how many commenters reside in New York or California or Massachusetts? It would give perspective on the true balance that likely exists in the discussion. This commenting area is nowhere near being the real world of scientific thought.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

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

        Why don’t you focus on the idea rather than idiot posturing.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Let’s try that again.

        ‘Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

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

        Why don’t you focus on the idea rather than idiot posturing.

      • Chief Hydrologist | June 28, 2013 at 1:36 am |

        Thank you ever so much Hilary. It is a done deal. I want payment in glyphs.

        Wonderful news, CH! And would you prefer this to be via PayGlyph or BitGlyph?!

      • Faustino | June 28, 2013 at 4:35 am |

        Hilary, your cat looks like a near-identical younger version of my 17-year-old who is yet to learn about retractable claws. I’ve had to ban her from the bedroom, [...]

        I hope that the trait doesn’t go with the appearance. :-)

        Faustino, I’m sorry to report that this feline failure of retraction, dans la boudoir, may well be a heretofore undocumented feature (intended to convey feelings of felicity – or so I’d like to think!) of this otherwise extremely intelligent breed – as any image of my right arm will confirm!

        And, of course, I totally agree with your Indo-philic exhortation, “Go, Curry!”

      • David Springer

        WebHubTelescope (@WHUT) | June 27, 2013 at 11:54 pm |

        I have always laughed at you “skeptics” that can’t figure out that it is really an energy problem. The world has to purchase the most expensive crude oil in history, with no signs of it getting cheaper.

        The kabuki dance is all about acting as if freeing up more lands to search for oil that is no longer there will solve the problem. And acting as if shale oil is much different than squeezing blood from a turnip.

        The leaders know all this but use the cover of climate change to make it seem like a more winnable battle.

        That last sentence turns it into a conspiracy theory right up there with truthers and birthers. It brings a tear to my eye. You’re actually one of us only with a different conspiracy narrative. ;-)

      • “That last sentence turns it into a conspiracy theory right up there with truthers and birthers. It brings a tear to my eye. You’re actually one of us only with a different conspiracy narrative. ;-)”

        I think it is a perfect example of a No-Regrets policy. They have to lead with some issue (there can only be one headline) and the other issue is the No-Regrets risk mitigation.

        So the media and politicians have decided to lead with the AGW issue, and the fossil fuel depletion issue becomes a reinforcing argument. I don’t know what you have been listening to but every strong argument for mitigating AGW always follows with the rejoinder that we have to eventually get off of fossil fuels anyways.

        I have to smile at your naive view of things.

      • Matthew R Marler

        WebHubTelescope: Like this? — I have always laughed at you “skeptics” that can’t figure out that it is really an energy problem.

        Yep. That’s a potshot.

      • Open season with the potshots,

        You guys are Flat Earthers and I won’t argue with Flat Earthers. Ha ha.

        Obama is calling it an Energy Security problem. True dat.

    • IIRC, trees evolved when around 1,000 ppm in atmosphere.

      Faustino | June 28, 2013 at 4:25 am |
      The story is more complicated than your comment “plants might like more until it creates too warm a climate for them” suggests.

      Plants really hate all the heat at the lush tropics…

      When Mosher can provide even one actual rational empirical scientific fact that the trace real gas carbon dioxide which is practically all hole in the atmosphere is capable of driving temperature up globally..

      Until then, there is no science to back such a physical effect.

      And whatever political solutions are discussed to deal with a non-problem is to our detriment. “Our” being the general population oiks who are kept in ignorance and included in them the “useful idiots” dangling on strings.

      As for Republican v Democrat – get real, they are controlled opposition, both are puppets dancing to the banking cartel’s tunes in their great composition to global rule. When either or both stop the banks creating money out of nothing you might have a chance of getting back your freedoms they’ve both eroded. Patriot Act and the drive for Gun Control – you’ve lost your republic, and if Obama’s version of the Constitution is anything to go by, you don’t even know what you’ve lost.

      The scam of demonising carbon dioxide is what is important to show here, it is a non-problem..

      http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1276

      And Soros is a stooge of the international banking cartel, who own America:

      “Notwithstanding the war of independence against England, writes Mullins, we remained an economic and financial colony of Great Britain. Between 1865 and 1913, he says London bankers led by the Rothschilds used agents such as J.P. Morgan and J.D. Rockefeller to gain control of American industry and organize it into cartels. Where did these bankers get the money. For over 200 years, European bankers have been able to draw on the credit of their host countries to print it!

      “In the Seventeenth Century, the moneylenders and the aristocracy made a pact. If the king would make paper currency a liability of the state, the moneylenders would print as much as he liked! Thus the Banks of England, France and the Reichsbank came into being but they were all private corporations and remain so today.
      According to this nefarious pact, the moneylenders got to charge interest on assets they created out of thin air. The aristocracy all took shares in the central banks plus they got to finance a burgeoning government and to wage costly wars. This piece of chicanery is at the heart of what plagues humanity. The bankers have a vested interest in the state (i.e. the people) incurring as much debt as possible. They are behind the Marxist, socialist and liberal movements which call for big government and social spending. They are behind the catastrophic wars of the last century. The Warburgs financed the Bolshevik Revolution. The Bank of England financed the rise of Hitler. Prescott Bush (George W Bush’s grandfather) was head of Brown Brothers Harriman, which financed the construction of the Nazi war machine. “http://100777.com/node/298

      Puppets – why would any take what puppets say and do seriously, if they knew that is all they were? The AGWScienceFiction’s Greenhouse Effect is an IIlusion created by those pulling the strings.

    • There is about 720 giga ton of carbon in the atmosphere, 2,000 in the terrestrial biosphere and 37,000 giga ton in the aquasphere; call it 40,000 giga ton in the whole biosphere. Every year about 0.4 giga ton of carbon is added to the atmosphere/aquasphere by volcanic emissions. So every 400,000 years there is a doubling of total carbon added to the biosphere. However, the level of CO2 over the last 400,000 was tightly bound between about 240 and 300 ppm. You think that was luck? The action of some deity? Or perhaps, there is some mechanism that mineralizes carbon that is proportionate to the level of carbon in the biosphere?

      • Almost certainly there is, and these are among the known unknown carbon cycle feedbacks which will lower ultimate climate sensitivity (estimates) and lessen the impact of AnthroGHGs.

        It’s also probably biological, and probably responsive to the biosphere’s energy source, Good Ol’ Man Sol, he keeps on roiling, he keeps on roiling, along.
        ==========================

  4. JC says: ◾The political battlefield can now shift to energy economics, which is where the battle belongs (not over the science),…”

    And why not over the science since nearly all the prediction that have been put forward based on the science have been wrong. Although I agree jobs are a more appealing line of action.

    You are very generous to call people who have “religious adherence to consensus science” scientists.

  5. While I applaud the Republicans strategy in practical terms, the notion that we can…should…all agree that Co2 is harmful…is simply not yet supportable in the real world. I did not and do not find the republican’s objection to the weak science underpinning the claims that we’re headed for some sort of climate Armageddon. “irrational.”

    The arrogance of Obama in his sneering dismissal of skeptics as flat earthers is deeply offensive.

  6. Judith – As some comments have already pointed out, your thinking is muddled. You need to separate out the two possibilities – that there is and is not CAGW – in your mind, before commenting in a way that purports to cater for both those possibilities.

    Thus, you cannot say “clean” without explaining what meaning you are using (because of the ways in which warmists have corrupted the language), and you cannot say “solution” because you haven’t identified a problem.

    I still think the shift is quite good news, because the science argument is arcane and too easily manipulated by those who would impose draconian regulations with reckless disregard for people’s wellbeing. The republicans will now be talking a language that everyone can understand and relate to.

    The science can wait to be dealt with by scientists, not politicians.

    • Well this is not a binary situation, and the issue is one of risk

      • Heh, risk of cold, and benefit of warm.
        =========

      • Quite clearly, policy action has been catastrophic, in fright of an illusion of a frightful future, whose actuality will be blessed if we get slight warming, as is likely.
        ==========================

      • Judith – Let’s face it, it’s pretty close to a binary situation. There is dangerous man-made global warming / there is not dangerous global warming. Sure there are shades within that, but that really is the essence.

        Now, please tell me what you meant by “clean” and “solution”.

        By “clean” did you mean non-polluting? ….. hmmmmm ….. now do you understand the language problem : what does “non-polluting” now mean?
        Does it mean no particulates, Nox or Sox, or does it mean no “carbon pollution” which has now entered our language as emissions of CO2.

        And given the near-binary situation – even if seen as non-binary it covers a range including a no-problem situation – what do you mean by “solution”?

        Surely the political answer, the ‘real people’ answer, is that people want plentiful energy, they want it as cheaply as is reasonably possible, and they don’t want it to come with smog or health problems.

      • Correction : “There is dangerous man-made global warming / there is not dangerous man-made global warming.”.
        Hopefully an obvious typo, but best to be safe.

      • The issue is that you and every other climate scientist in the world is incompetent, and your science is a failure.

      • There is dangerous man-made global warming / there is not dangerous global warming.

        NO. there is clearly no current dangerous man-made warming.
        There is NO warming.

        Temperature is well inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years.
        There are Climate Models that said we would have dangerous warming by now, but it did not happen. These models say it will still happen and every year the target data for the warming gets moved forward to “adjust” because it does not happen, and it does not happen again and it does not happen again. Seventeen Years. The King has no clothes on. The sky is not falling. The fact that the sky is not falling they called a travesty. They are desperate, they need the sky to fall and it did not happen again. The sky will not fall in 2013. We are well on the way to another not record warm year.

      • David Springer

        This issue is how the atmosphere went from 365ppm CO2 to 395ppm in the past 15 years while global average stayed statistically flat. Even Joe Public can recognize a non-sequitur when he sees one.

        That said the debate from the warmist side is so hideously flawed it’s not really a problem to switch over to criticizing the economics. As I said in my initial comments please provide cost estimates of CO2 mitigation in the US and then comparative cost savings to the US by the change in global climate that US mitigation will engender. So far US mitigation efforts have been counter-productive in that less-CO2 emissive technologies in the US have been replaced by more CO2 emissive technologies in China and other countries who aren’t subject to fiat regulation by eco-loons. The history of the eco-loon eco-nomics is littered with unintended consequences which actually worsen the situation instead of improving it.

    • Mike, you write “Judith – As some comments have already pointed out, your thinking is muddled.”

      I agree 100%. And our hostess has carefully avoided giving an answer.

  7. Where does the white house get it’s climate advice from ? Is it a matter of record ? Are particular agencies officially appointed to provide advice ?

    Is there a legal requirement to provide balanced advice and what remedies exist in law to rectify any shortcomings ?

    Or does the white house just appoint some random idiot to provide advice ?

    • David Springer

      J Martin | June 27, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Reply

      “Or does the white house just appoint some random idiot to provide advice ?”

      No. A random idiot might radomly not agree with them. They need to be selective about their idiots. The idiot in chief who was installed via racial quota being a prime example…

      • “No. A random idiot might randomly not agree with them. They need to be selective about their idiots. ”

        Good line. I consider Holdren to be one of the President’s non-random idiots. (Well, not really an idiot, but certainly one of those eco-loons you refer to.)

    • The white house knows what they need for their agenda and they issue the advice and only accept advice that agrees with what they demanded. It is not random idiot advice. It is the advice they demand and require and anything different is not considered. This is a branch of government that operates inside the rules when it serves their purpose and outside the rules when it serves their purpose. I guess all governments really work that way and the different parties really work that way.

    • David Springer
      It looks like we said something similar with different words.

    • I there’s really any mystery about this:

      1) Obama’s senior advisor on Science and Technology issues, John Holdren
      2) The enemy of American prosperity, EPA (although that’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem: Obama gets advice from eco-loons he appointed to run the place).

      Houston, I think we have a problem…

      • Damn. s/I there’s/I don’t think there’s/

        That’s what I get for re-wording a sentence at 2:48 am.

  8. Matthew R Marler

    Professor Curry: The political battlefield can now shift to energy economics, which is where the battle belongs (not over the science), and maybe we can come up with some cost effective, technically feasible, and politically viable solutions

    Not only that, but the battle shifts to the Congressional and Senatorial elections in 2014 in the states likely to be hardest hit if the EPA issues and enforces new regulations. In 2014, the Keystone XL pipeline still won’t have been approved (my expectation), and will be an issue as well. Between now and Nov 2014 there will be more analyses showing that in many places, if not all, the alternatives produce costly energy, and by then some more Solyndra-type bankruptcies will have occurred. Taxpayers in many of the battleground states and districts will probably not be happy with incumbents whose votes sustain or enlarge subsidies to energy in other states and districts.

    In order to win re-election, Obama rigorously avoided giving a speech like this and directives like this during the election campaign. Had he acted like this, and yet won election, there might be political backing for this initiative. Because he won re-election by avoiding the issue, it’s likely that such backing is slim to none.

    Thematically related, the green-energy proponent Prime Minister of Australia has been replaced, due in part to unpopularity of her energy policies.

    • The Europeans are being forced to rethink by economic crisis and jumping energy bills, the Australians are moving from anger over Gilliard’s double cross and jumping energy bills, the BRICs and third worlders wonder and struggle through economic malaise and jumping energy bills, and the Americans are being sold down the river by a devious tyrant under cover of energy bills that are not skyrocketing.
      =================

      • Matthew R Marler

        kim: and the Americans are being sold down the river by a devious tyrant under cover of energy bills that are not skyrocketing.

        lol!

        Poe’s law me be at work here, I suspect. Maybe other readers will not think you are kidding.

  9. Well, let’s see, a ‘flat economy’. That sounds sort of stable in a strangely sustainable sort of way. But we know real economies have curves. Foolish sailors should beware, else risk falling over the edge where hippogryphs and unicorns wait to share the spoils.
    ===========

  10. “Scientists can shift their attention from religious adherence to consensus science”

    I’m not sure that someone shifting their attention from religious adherence to things was ever a “scientist”.

    Andrew

  11. How do we estimate credibly the climate benefits of the President’s proposals? His political spiel, i.e. reducing CO2 leads to reduction in asthma attacks for children, reducing sever weather impact, reduce sea level rise have no scientific basis. Most opportunistically they are the ideas of some scientists, but not proven or accepted in the literature. Energy efficiency, reduced emissions from heavy duty trucks, reduced toxic emissions from coal mining, etc do have credibility, but not quantified benefits. This is like blowing smoke in a non-smoking environment.

  12. Canute he cannot,
    Ozymandias mandate.
    Suffer all the serfs.
    ============

  13. Trees for Free

    Well based on Obama’s climate speech, we know he is as scientifically illiterate as he is economically clueless.

    But he has a nice smile, the press loves him and covers up for him and as long as someone writes good words to appear on his teleprompter, the economic suicide he is inflicting on the USA will continue.

    • Suicide of Hope, foul murder of change.
      =============

    • Setting aside his facility in reading a teleprompter (more or less successfully), is there anything within the purview and/or perpetual nose-in-the-air pontifications of the POTUS about which Obama is neither illiterate nor clueless?

      If there is, I must have missed it!

      • But …but …he’s so certain, surely we have over – estimated the
        complexity of predictin’ weather and whether the market place
        is best left open ter trial and error. From up high up in the ivory tower,
        maybe yer git a better a more rarified view.
        Bts

  14. Chief Hydrologist

    Canute he cannot, will not
    Ozymandias mandate.
    Suffer all the serfs.

    I’m a traditionalist.

  15. John Carpenter

    Though I don’t see CO2 mitigation strategies as the tip of the spear in addressing the yet to be seen long term effects of elevated CO2 concentrations, I think it is a factor that has to be addressed in order to get other fronts moving. Republicans would be smart to agree to CO2 emission guidelines now. Let the EPA float some standards and then review what the impact of those standards would likely mean wrt the economy before finalizing. In my estimation, getting some standards in place would take a large part of the controversial mitigation card off the table for a while and then we could focus more on alternative energy sources and local adaptive strategies.

    • Consider capping CO2 @ 1000 ppm, what it seems Nature may know how to do anyway, already, historically, and recurrently.
      ================

    • That might make sense if Obama weren’t a Manchurian candidate whose true goal is a one-world tyrannical socialist government intent on destroying capitalism and installing a Muslim supreme world leader.

      Not tip of the spear, tip of the iceberg. You know, like how requiring background checks is one step away from goosestepping into everyone’s homes and confiscating their guns.

      • David Springer

        Joshua | June 27, 2013 at 5:08 pm | Reply

        “You know, like how requiring background checks is one step away from goosestepping into everyone’s homes and confiscating their guns.”

        Yeah that’s the ticket. Or like needing a picture ID to vote is one step away from legalizing slavery. Right on.

      • Lady in Red

        Wow, Joshua! Wow. Is this possible? Ya know, *I* didn’t know anyone else had those thoughts….. Thought I was going crazy! Thanks.

        I suppose you saw all the footage of the Fed lockdown of Watertown, Massachusetts, …the bullet holes in the homes and shattered windshields…. Terrified people ordered out of their homes, homes to be searched…. searched? ….for no good reason…. except a lone, wounded kid.? Seemed pretty scary to me, like a trial run of martial law, possibly? What was your take on that, Joshua?
        …Lady in Red

  16. Willis Eschenbach

    JC comments:

    If Dlouhy’s assessment is correct, this is very good news on several fronts:

    Republicans have shifted to a more rational stance on climate change as reflected in Rep. Lamar Smith’s recent op-ed;
    The common ground seems to be that everyone wants clean, abundant, inexpensive energy and nobody wants to destroy the economy

    Judith, usually I cut you lots of slack because you are a good person. And I understand that you don’t agree with everything you post, that you post things that you find interesting or provocative, and I support that.

    But in this case I will be very direct. Your claim that “everyone wants clean, abundant energy” is bullshit, and you know it.

    The climate alarmists have fought for expensive energy for years. Stephen Chu said he wanted US gas prices to rise to the European level of $8 per gallon. The NGOs like Greenpeace and the WWF have it as a regular refrain. Obama has just declared war on coal. He has said that he knows his plans will push energy costs through the roof, and he thinks that’s great.

    The fight has been carried on via cap-and-trade, by renewables “quotas”, by taxation, by regulation. Most egregiously, it has been carried on by deny loans for coal plants in poor countries, a huge crime against the poor.

    And I don’t believe for one moment that you are unaware of all of that.

    Your claim, that “everyone wants inexpensive energy”, is just an attempt to hide the immense damage that the Democrats and their allies, the “environmental” NGOs, have inflicted on the poor of the planet. Do you think that Anthony Watts pays $0.92 per kilowatt-hour because “everyone wants cheap energy”? Go ask Stephen Chu if you’re in mystery about the motives of the climate alarmists.

    In a world where the poor pensioners in England, England of all places, are dying of the cold because of just that kind of bullshit that you are spouting, I can’t let your lethal pollyanna nonsense go unchallenged. What you said is not only wrong, it is actively damaging. It hides immense damage being done both to the poor and the environment, damage that is on your doorstep. Not that of the Republicans. Not that of the “deniers”. The damage is being done by you, by way of your selective blindness.

    The political battlefield can now shift to energy economics, which is where the battle belongs (not over the science), and maybe we can come up with some cost effective, technically feasible, and politically viable solutions
    Scientists can shift their attention from religious adherence to consensus science and get on with the real work of trying to understand the dynamics of climate variability and change

    In 1988, James Hansen took a mewling, infant science, dressed it up with a cap and gown, secretly turned off the air conditioning in the Congressional Hearing room so everyone was sweating, and presented it to Congress as a PhD level subject.

    For you to pretend now that the politicization of climate science is somehow the fault of the Republicans, and now that they’ve “come to their senses” the politicization will end, is simply a pathetic attempt to shift the blame from the perpetrators to the victims.

    Climate science is in politics, not because of the opponents of climate alarmism as you fatuously proclaim, but because of the supporters of climate alarmism. Climate science is in politics because of Hansen, and Stephen Schneider, and Michael Mann, and Peter Gleick, and their pathetic ilk.

    I’ve seen questionable posts here, Judith, and I’m not a Republican, but your attack on the Republicans under the ridiculous claim that they are the reason that climate is politicized, and your bullshit about how everyone wants inexpensive energy (and presumably rainbows and peace and love as well), is the absolute worst. It would make either make me laugh or make me puke if it weren’t so damn dangerous.

    Because the reality is, that kind of pollyanna bullshit, spread by well-meaning folks like you, is causing immense harm to both the poor and the environment and that is no laughing matter.

    w.

    • So you are saying that some people prefer dirty energy that is not abundant?

      I am arguing that if given the following stand alone choices:

      clean vs dirty energy
      abundant energy vs not
      strong economy vs weak

      People would pick the items on the left. There are of course tradeoffs in this combination of 3 choices, and that is where the politics lies.

      I am not blaming anything on the Republicans (or the Democrats for that matter), and I am certainly not holding scientists blameless; rather I am reflecting on a changing dynamic in the politics of the situation.

      • David Springer

        And if one doesn’t consider CO2 “dirty” then the remaining tradeoffs get easier. This is a point of contention that doesn’t seem to be going away and is a problem I have with Republicans changing their stance. CO2 is plant food. Deleterious effects are overwhelmed by the positive effect of fertilization of the atmosphere and maybe even preventing a few killer frosts. There is no evidence that droughts or floods are more frequent or more severe due to higher partial pressure of CO2.

      • Dr. Curry: first I use your title because I respect you and believe you are one of the most rational voices in this debate.
        I am, however, baffled by this posting and tend to agree with Willis Eschenbach | June 27, 2013 at 5:03 pm post

        You wrote “The common ground seems to be that everyone wants clean, abundant, inexpensive energy and nobody wants to destroy the economy”.

        I think in most people’s mind “clean energy” means no coal or oil because they emit harmful CO2. You previously testified “If all other things remain equal, it is clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet. However the real difficulty is that nothing remains equal, and reliable prediction of the impact of carbon dioxide on the climate requires that we better understand natural climate variability.” Does this post imply you can now reliably predict that the impact of more CO2 is harmful not beneficial. Are you suggesting that we should invoke the “precautionary principle” rather than the “do no harm principle?” Or do you have something else in mind when you talk about “clean energy?”

        Clean energy is typically thought of as wind and solar both of which are not inexpensive. And when you state “maybe we can come up with some cost effective, technically feasible, and politically viable solutions”, it is not at all clear what problem you are trying to solve (reduction of CO2 emissions which may be the wrong thing to do).

        My read is that this post is either staking out a new position or this post is a political statement with the intention to taking all sides of the argument. Or perhaps you just ate some crazy mushrooms.

      • natural gas is cleaner than coal (particulate pollution, gaseous pollution, and CO2). It is a matter of degree of ‘cleanliness’

      • Judith Curry,

        As a spectator to the Blood Sport of Climate Change, I have observed that GreenPeace, World Wildlife Federation amongst many have strongly advocated for higher energy costs as applied to Western Nations. This goal is to effect an energy reduction within the Western Nations, way back when Western nations were the highest energy consumers.

        Not thought through was the issue Willis Eschenback raises re: the impact of higher energy costs on the poor of the Western Nations as well as those 2 billion people in the Developing world living on $ 2+ dollars a day.

        The Green’s strategy required the taxation of the Western economies and transfer of wealth from rich to poor nations. Cart before the horse. The Kyoto agreement required all participants to agree, which didn’t happen. The Obama Administration through the heavy hand of EPA and DOE attempted to force what could not be legislated.

        Un-intended for sure, but the squeeze on cheap energy is stifling the very economies the Greens intended to help.

        The politics are now confounded by the Greens unwilling to give in on cheap energy for Developing nations as the justification for putting a lid on cheap energy in Developed nations would be lost.

        The whole Green strategy has failed because of fracking, producing oil and abundant natural gas. The Developed nations are getting their cheaper energy and the Greens want to prevent coal burning power plants in Developing nations.

        Perverse. Keep cheap energy, life changing for the better cheap energy, from the poor. Yikes!

        How ridiculous can the Greens get? I am sure they will find yet another circuitous route to even more stupidity.

      • RiHo08

        Excellent comment. You’ve got to the heart of what is important.

      • Judith Curry,

        I am arguing that if given the following stand alone choices:

        clean vs dirty energy
        abundant energy vs not
        strong economy vs weak

        People would pick the items on the left.

        Yes, of course. But I suggest the order is wrong. It is a scientist ranking based on value judgments. It is not the economically rational order of priority. The economically rational order of priority is:

        strong economy vs weak
        abundant energy vs not
        clean vs dirty energy

        [Actually, the first one includes both the other two.]

        I suggest the order of priority for energy policy is:
        1. secure energy supply
        2. reliable energy supply
        3. least cost energy
        4. Health and safety (externalities should be included in the cost to the degree it is economically beneficial to do so)
        5. AGW. At the moment we have next to no idea about whether GHG emissions are a serious threat or not because we don’t know about the impacts. Richard Tol suggests the projected impacts will be net beneficial for most of this century and I tend to believe he is correct.

        Items 1 to 3 on my list are best met by fossil fuels at the moment. This could be changed if we are prepared to allow nuclear power to be cheap. Cheap nuclear power is being blocked by social and political constraints, not by technical or safety constraints (nuclear power is the safest way to generate electricity). But we must stop wasting money, time and our limited research resources on renewable energy and government mandated energy efficiency schemes. They are going nowhere and cannot make any significant contribution.

      • Fossil fuels are dirty because they pollute the atmosphere with excess CO2. They are only cheap in the sense that a chemical product could be made cheaper if the factory was allowed to pour it’s waste for free into the river.

        Fossil fuels are also soaring in price as supply dwindles in the face of global demand. What are you trying to get, a few decades of slightly cheaper energy, for the cost of pushing CO2 levels up to where they haven’t been for millions of years.

        As for the “poor nations need cheap energy” mantra. Even if those who make that claim were serious, wouldn’t that suggest developed countries should stop using so much fossil fuels and driving the price up for poorer nations?

      • Those who are logical about their concern for people in poor nations (I assume that all of us are concerned about that, but that some of us aren’t logical in their approach to solutions) should be primarily focused on advancing instrumental freedoms: political freedoms, economic facilities, social opportunities, transparency guarantees, and protective security.

        Of course, access to affordable sources of energy is a related function to those I listed above – but it is not the proximal objective. Unfortunately, some folks are very interested in exploiting energy and sacrificing a focus on those other objectives in order to score points in the climate wars (happens on both sides).

        Same ol’ same ol’.

      • An economically rational order of priority would start with this group (I’d guess there is no ranking within the group) – borrowed from Amartya Sen:

        Instrumental freedoms: political freedoms, economic facilities, social opportunities, transparency guarantees, and protective security.

        Human capital, baby. Keep your eye on the ball.

      • Oh, Joshua – you mean afford political freedoms, economic facilities, social opportunities, transparency guarantees, and protective security to other countries as Obama did to the Middle East?

      • jim2

        Oh, Joshua – you mean afford political freedoms, economic facilities, social opportunities, transparency guarantees, and protective security to other countries as Obama did to the Middle East?

        I don’t really understand your comment. Let me guess. It seems that you want me to defend Obama’s policies – because you assume I think that they have been optimal for advancing the goals I listed? Well – you’d have to be specific as to which policies, but in general I would not defend Obama’s policies along those lines.

      • Doug Badgero

        The problem is the common belief, seemingly from both Republicans and Democrats, that the government should have a larger role in energy than they have in any other market. Energy crises are fabricated from whole cloth in an attempt to convince a naive public that the government must save them.

      • +1

      • The problem is the common belief, seemingly from both Republicans and Democrats, that the government should have a larger role in energy than they have in any other market. Energy crises are fabricated from whole cloth in an attempt to convince a naive public that the government must save them.

        Seems to me that the energy industry has a lot to do with determining what the market looks like – at many levels including very direct involvement in policy-making.

        So are you saying that the energy industry is involved in convincing a “naive public” that the government must save them? Would that mean that the fossil fuel industry is involved in making the “naive public” believe that the government must save them from the fossil fuel industry?

        ‘Cause that would be interesting.

      • Doug Badgero

        Joshua,

        Your argument is nonsensical. What influence COULD the energy industry have except that policy making is occurring? If the government was less involved in industry, then it would be much more difficult for industry to have a corrupting influence on government.

      • If the government was less involved in industry, then it would be much more difficult for industry to have a corrupting influence on government.

        First – just as a theoretical argument – it would be entire possible for industry to dictate to the government what policies to enact. In fact, we do have that to some degree. Is that government being involved in industry if the government crafts policies such as industry desires, or it is industry being involved in government.

        Second – as a practical matter. There are no countries on the planet where government is not involved, in any manner, in crafting energy-related policies. There never has been in the history of the planet. What you are envisioning is simply an unrealistic fantasy. In fact, the fossil fuel industry would simply not exist in a “market” form absent government involvement (for example, military investment to keep the energy flowing and not simply dispense by despots even more than it already is). And in a representative democracy such as we have, the public would not stand for it anyway – outside of a few extremists.

        And while you may have not made the argument yet – often your argument is accompanied by advocacy for solutions such as nuclear energy – which if you look around the globe is only prevalent in countries that have even more government involvement in energy policies than we have.

      • Doug Badgero

        A simple question:
        Why should the federal government have any role in determining if we get our electricity from nuclear, wind, coal, hydro, etc? What social purpose does that decision serve that the market could not serve better?

        And please erect no straw men regarding environmental or safety regulations. That is a different, and unavoidable, debate.

      • Why should the federal government have any role in determining if we get our electricity from nuclear, wind, coal, hydro, etc? What social purpose does that decision serve that the market could not serve better?

        Good point. You may be interested in this:
        Chatham House: “Electricity – Social service of Market Commodity

        http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/public/Research/Energy,%20Environment%20and%20Development/0610pp_grimston.pdf

        Once again there seems to be a fundamental lack of clarity as to whether electricity is to be delivered by a competitive market, or whether government will intervene on a regular basis to ensure, or seek to ensure, the delivery of a series of social and industrial goals. This paper will argue that a ‘middle way’ on this issue would be worse than a purer stance, be it either that electricity is a commodity to be delivered in a stable marketplace or a social and industrial service to be delivered through central governmental direction.

      • For better or worse, the federal government is involved in energy policy: everything from investment in the electricity grid, regulations, protection of global energy supply through continued involvement in the middle east, investment in research to develop new energy technologies, etc. It is a matter of national security to keep the energy supply and delivery stable and continuous. Given the government subsidies to public health, the government has an interest in reducing pollution. It is a tangled web indeed, and given this tangled web there is no getting the federal government out of energy policy short of some sort of major revolution (and in the process we would lose the stability of our energy supply).

      • Judith,

        Your comment is motherhood. Of course there is an essential role for government in energy policy. But that is not justification for economically irrational interventions, which seems to be what you are advocating. i suggest by you trying to push for interventionist policies on energy, with you primary concern being climate, you are advocating exactly what has been going wrong for decades. Before you were Amory Lovins, John Holdren and stacks of others who reckoned they knew better than the market. They all got it completely wrong.

        I’d strongly urge climate scientists to keep right out of the energy policy debate. It is not their field of expertise. Their contributions are likely to be just as wrong as that of an economist arguing about climate physics.

        From my perspective what we really need from scientists is good quantification of the damage function.

      • Why should the federal government have any role in determining if we get our electricity from nuclear, wind, coal, hydro, etc? What social purpose does that decision serve that the market could not serve better?

        None of those market would exist absent government involvement. This is just an unavoidable fact. The infrastructure necessary to transport fuels. The regulation necessary to protect the public from purely exploitative market forces. The geopolitical maneuvering to prevent complete monopolization. The research necessary to develop new technologies.

        “The market” would not regulate itself better w/r/t, say, pollution – it wouldn’t relate itself at all w/o government involvement. IMO, it is perfectly legitimate to debate what degree of governmewnt involvement is optimal, to examines costs/benefits, unintended consequences, positive and negative externalities, etc.

        People get stuck pursuing ideological purity and wind up holding energy policy hostage in the process.

        I mean seriously, any role?

        What social purpose does that decision serve that the market could not serve better?

        We do not live in a binary world. “The market” does exist w/o government involvement. There could be no pure “market” that “makes decisions” absent some degree of government involvement. “That decision” is not made by “the government” or “the market” in isolation from one another. It never has been as long as a “market” has existed.

      • And at any rate, Doug – even if it could exist (which it can’t) the ideologically pure state that you are pursuing will not happen – at least in a representative democracy. You may want no governmental intervention, but you are a tiny minority. You can consider that to be “naivety” on the part of everyone who doesn’t agree with you (seems kind of elitist to me), but that won’t change the reality that in any representative democracy that has ever existed (actually in any government that has ever existed), the government has been involved in the acquisition and distribution of energy at one level or another. Maybe it’s time to give up on that ideologically pure vision, and get on with the task of accepting trade-offs.

      • It is a tangled web indeed, and given this tangled web there is no getting the federal government out of energy policy short of some sort of major revolution (and in the process we would lose the stability of our energy supply).

        It would take more than a revolution, it would also require the installation of a tyrannical state. In no representative democracy on the planet is government un-involved in the energy market. There is a reason for that; only tiny minorities would want it that way.

        Folks need to get past playing the victim card and get on with accepting reality.

      • ” Let me guess. It seems that you want me to defend Obama’s policies –”
        At this point in time, it seems obvious to me that we need to get out of wars and also quit giving other countries money. We need to pay off our government debt and get our own house in order. After that, we can look around and decide if any country deserves our help – and we definitely should be persnickety.

      • Doug Badgero

        Joshua and Judith,

        I am not proposing any “ideologically pure” solution. Issues such as national security, safety, and regulation of effluents are areas that the feds are involved in for all markets. I also know that electricity is supplied within a natural monopoly and regulation at some level is appropriate. This regulation traditionally occurs at the state level. The electricity grid was built via state regulation not federal with the exception of the depression era REA. More importantly, it was built with private funds, again excepting subsidies provided by the REA.

        None of the above justifies production subsidies to wind or solar or new nuclear. Just wait until those new nukes are completed and people realize that they are receiving a 1.8 cents per kWH subsidy. AFAIK that law still exists.

        “We do not live in a binary world. “The market” does not (sic) exist w/o government involvement. There could be no pure “market” that “makes decisions” absent some degree of government involvement. “That decision” is not made by “the government” or “the market” in isolation from one another. It never has been as long as a “market” has existed.”

        Of course we do not live in a binary world. That is the primary advantage market solutions provide. The government will pursue a few solutions, or industry will pursue a few government preferred solutions. A market will pursue thousands. Indeed, the market does not operate in isolation from the government, government action holds great potential to limit market innovation by selecting winners and losers by government fiat. Government also has the potential to make things safer and cleaner. I prefer they focus on the latter.

      • clean vs dirty energy
        abundant energy vs not
        strong economy vs weak

        Greens in Germany chose dirty energy (coal) over clean energy (nuke) for political reasons.
        The UK is facing not abundant energy due to choices made under the guise of climate action.
        There is no shortage of quotes from climate campaigners about the need to either end economic growth or even have managed economic decline to the belief that growth and emissions reductions are incompatible.

        None of the offending parties above are remotely “Republican” so your analysis of what’s happening and who’s to blame is 0 for three.

        Look, I know you mean well but if you care about CO2 emissions and want to shift the discussion toward policy, don’t wander off into crazy town. Everybody here has been watching or participating in this issue for a long time. We all know damn well who was exaggerating and who was doubting. At the very moment that progress could be made by the nature of the fact that suddenly the climate concerned ( Joshua and lolwot excluded of course) show some willingness to recognize reality, why the hell would you blame the delay on the gang that was correct from the start?
        Here’s a technocratic starting point, a panel of scientists and engineers to evaluate which alternatives to coal show the best promise in terms of cost, abundance and reliability. The winner gets the lions share of R&D funding.
        Of course, IMO, the obvious winner would mean most of the climate concerned would move on to a new topic, see German greens, again.

      • I’ve been giggling for weeks since I figured out that the trouble with the UK is that they have no Republicans over there to blame the mess they are in on(over about through around and ceterand).
        Both Germany and the UK, as well as Spain are thickly diseased with renewables never ever even newable, in fact, and Australia is absorbing body politic blows from the Green Tax and Raw Red Double Cross. Maybe all those countries should have a few Republicans. The US’s biggest problem, well most scandalous, is the Solyndras and the Fiskers ad nauseum et infinitum. Those may have been, and history will show them so, Republican schemes.
        =================

      • Doug -

        I am not proposing any “ideologically pure” solution.

        hmmm.

        Well, this was your question (with my emphasis added):

        Why should the federal government have any role in determining if we get our electricity from nuclear, wind, coal, hydro, etc?

        When government builds, or supports the building of, energy-related infrastructure it is taking sides. When the government assumes responsibility for the health of its citizens who are differentially affected by various sources of energy, it is taking sides. When the government takes military action to ensure access to different type of energy, it is taking sides. When the government provides tax breaks to massive corporations it is taking sides. And further, when the government takes economic factors, such as the health of massive corporations residing in market segments that represent a significant portion of GDP and create many jobs, it take sides.

        And you would not have markets absent these government actions.

        When you ask why should the federal government have any role….you are resting your argument on a foundation of ideological purity. Ask away about the optimal level of involvement. Great question, and one we should all be asking. But what is the point of asking a question if you approach it as if the answer were a foregone conclusion?

      • Tom Forrester-Paton

        Judith I have to go with Willis here. It beats me how, after all this time, you can still write about ‘solutions’ to a problem whose very existence is in such profound doubt. I’m not among those who think you should be badgered to declare your position on this or that. But if you’re going to write approvingly of ‘solutions’, you really can’t shirk the burden of stating clearly what ‘problem’ you believe these ‘solutions’ ‘solve’.

        I also find it baffling that you haven’t worked out yet that, yes, there is a sizeable segment of the catastrophist cohort that really does see man’s use of energy as a sophisticated form of original sin, and wants to constrain it – by price, if necessary.

      • As a sporadic lurker may I add my agreement to Tom Forrester-Paton. What Willis said – plus Doug Badgero and Peter Lang in their different and helpful ways. And remember what Willis said included the opinion that Judith Curry is a good person. That too.

      • Judith – please PLEASE stop using the word “clean” without explaining what you mean by it. I have been explaining to you why this matters, and the comment by lolwot is a case in point: “Fossil fuels are dirty because they pollute the atmosphere with excess CO2″. Note that lolwot has also demonstrated for me what I explained to you about the word “pollution”.

        People do want energy that is clean as in uncorrupted English, they DON’T want lolwot’s miserable version of “clean”. That is, they want energy that comes without smog and without health problems. They don’t give a fish’s tit about CO2 emissions.

      • David L. Hagen

        Coal, gas or replacement fuels?
        Natural gas is far more valuable for home cooking and heating than to burn in power plants.
        Much easier and cheaper to burn coal in power plants where it can be efficiently cleaned up than in homes.
        See the historic London Fog and the effort required to clean up London.
        London’s five day smog from Dec 5-12, 1952 caused greater than 12,000 fatalities!
        The USA will rue the day it shut down coal fired power and wasted its natural gas on generating electricity – for negligible “greenhouse” gain.

        Far better to invest into developing cheaper sustainable replacement fuels. See the Copenhagen Consensus.

      • David Hagen: That strikes me as an important perspective, challenging not just a disgraced UK alarmist like Chris Huhne but more incisive thinkers like Matt Ridley and perhaps even Freeman Dyson last month.

        I’ve given you three references – sporadic though they are – for an apparent consensus across the normal party lines on gas-fired generation in the hope you may be able to provide a more precise one on where the Copenhagen Consensus guys have pronounced on this.

      • I just asked David Hagen for a more detailed link to the Copenhagen Consensus guys arguing against gas-fired power generation. Ironically, I presume because I gave three references myself, that got put in automatic moderation. But it’s easy enough to ask again. :)

      • I propose ‘sanitary’ for ‘clean’. Too early to propose ‘sane’, yet.
        ==================

      • Renewables never ever even newable,
        Quixotic denial that windmills ain’t doable.
        =====================

      • Diabolic yet?
        Hyperbolic net!
        ============

    • Willis writes: “In a world where the poor pensioners in England, England of all places, are dying of the cold because of just that kind of bullshit that you are spouting”

      Willis, in England they have a state welfare system that provides pensioners with money for winter fuel.

      What you’ve heard about pensioners dying because of expensive energy is tabloid nonsense created by people like you for people like you.

      If it was true then the solution is to increase the welfare.

      So spare me the BS about the “poor pensioners”, you’d probably be one of the ones who would happily cut the welfare system and leave pensioners to the plight of market fuel prices.

      • Looks like you cold weather death deniers need to go argue with Dr Altmann.

        “Prime Minister David Cameron and Energy Secretary Chris Huhne criticised energy companies for adding £100 to average annual fuel bills at a high profile ‘energy summit’ last month. But then the Government cut winter fuel payments to pensioners by £100 with effect from this month.

        Dr Ros Altmann, director general of Saga, commented: “Warm words from Ministers do not heat old people’s homes.

        “While holding meetings to discuss this problem, they are also presiding over a cut of £100 in winter fuel payments to the over 80s. This year, instead of getting the £400 they have received in past years, they will receive only £300. Pensioners under 80 will see their payments cut by £50 to £200.”

        The Treasury justifies these changes by the need to cut costs and reduce public deficits. Which makes it all the stranger that Britain continues to send winter fuel payments worth £5m a year to 30,000 residents of sun-baked tropical islands because they happen to be former colonies of European Union countries.

        A spokesman for Age UK said: “Fuel poverty is defined as when a household needs to spend 10pc or more of its income on maintaining an acceptable level of heating throughout the whole property. In England, according to the latest official figures, there are 3,964,000 households in fuel poverty, over half of which contain someone aged 60 or over as the oldest person in the household.

        “Risk of fuel poverty generally increases with age. The proportion of people in the UK aged over 65 who say they sometimes or often turn off their heating even when they are cold because of worries about cost is twice that in Germany and four times that of Sweden.”

        Dr Altmann added: “Nine people per hour died because of the cold last winter, according to official figures, and it is likely to be worse this winter because fuel bills have gone up and winter fuel payments have been cut since then.”

        http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/finance/ianmcowie/100013377/fuel-poverty-and-cold-weather-the-deaths-that-shame-britain/

      • Oh yeah, I forgot, old people are expendable, so that’s OK.

      • Jim2, I wouldn’t have cut fuel welfare to pensioners. I would have increased it.

        So you are on the wrong side of the argument.

        You are the one advocating policies that kill pensioners. You are the one that thinks they are expendable.

        The reason energy prices and fuel poverty have increased is because of instability in the wholesale price of fuel in recent years and sharp spikes upward in price which those capitalist energy companies exploit to increase their profits and quarterly results.

        But you are happy with that, in fact you think we should become even more dependent on fossil fuels in future.

        ALSO at the same time as you point out the Government has cut the welfare system that compensates pensioners for energy increases.

        But again you are happy with that because you prefer smaller government and like welfare cuts.

        So you are more than happy to slaughter pensioners on the alter of laize-faire economics and business as usual no?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        numbnut – so not content to be just wrong and weird – you do a back somersault with an anti-capitalist pike? Impressive or contemptible – one of the two.

      • It’s an unfortunate fact that excess winter deaths, particularly amongst the elderly has been a problem in the UK for long time. It’s not something which has suddenly occurred due to green taxes or renewable energy policies, and these things only account for a small proportion of the rise in energy prices we have seen in recent years.
        It’s also worth pointing out that the last government introduced measures requiring energy companies to provide assistance to people struggling to pay their bills and also measures to help people improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
        Sometimes it’s right to make stuff more expensive, even if it could potentially cause hardship for some people. As lolwot points out, governments have other policy tools at their disposal to ensure that overall people do not suffer unfairly.

      • @lolwot | June 28, 2013 at 3:41 am |
        “…I wouldn’t have cut fuel welfare to pensioners. I would have increased it. …”

        OK, so now you won’t admit you were wrong – and it does not matter what you would have done, the politicians have already made their choice.

        The best fix for this is cheap energy. Coal, shale gas, those are the cheapest and best for the old people.

      • lolwot – you are getting desperate, I can see. I have advocated for welfare, but with a simpler system that requires less bureaucrats. You are stuck on the idea that government can’t work unless it’s big. You are wrong as are the vast majority of so-called intellectuals.

      • andrew adams is assured that there is plenty of cake to eat.
        ===========

      • Well I’m aware that there is more than one way to skin a cat.

      • So is the cat.
        ==========

    • “In a world where the poor pensioners in England, England of all places, are dying of the cold because of just that kind of bullshit that you are spouting”

      What’s your evidence for this claim Willis?

      • Willis doesn’t need evidence to make claims like this.

        All he needs is the conviction that it is true.

      • In that case Josh he and lolwot would be two peas in the same pod.

      • In that case Josh he and lolwot would be two peas in the same pod.

        Do tell. Which claim[s] were you speaking of specifically? We have outlined that claim that Willis made with no evidence and I could list others.

        Which claim[s] have I made for which I have no evidence. Put your money where your mouth is, bro.

        Or is this a claim for which you have no evidence?

      • Josh,

        Don’t over think it.

        I was simply implying that lolwot makes claims unsupported by any evidence.

        Unless you believe model projections are evidence.

    • “In a world where the poor pensioners in England, England of all places, are dying of the cold because of just that kind of —— that you are spouting”

      What’s your evidence for that claim?

    • Steven Mosher

      Willis Chu and others have been trying to take Dirty cheap energy and make it expensive. Logically that has nothing to do with whether or not people want clean cheap energy.

      • Steven, will you please define what you mean by “dirty” and “clean” in the context of CO2. Is CO2 “clean” or “dirty”?

      • mosher -

        Willis Chu and others have been trying to take Dirty cheap energy and make it expensive. Logically that has nothing to do with whether or not people want clean cheap energy.

        Good comment. No one “wants expensive energy.” What a simplistic argument.

        Only at the point where folks (on both sides) leave such juvenile arguments at the doorstep of the junior high school lunchroom, will the Jell-O stop flying.

      • Actually, I should correct that.

        I suppose it is possible that some minority do “want energy to be expensive.” If we looked hard enough, we might find folks who not only want ACO2 emitting, particulate matter emitting, fossil fuels to be expensive (or at least be prices commensurate with the associated negative externalities), but who also want, say, solar energy to be expensive.

        In fact, however, I would imagine that it would be pretty tough to find many folks who want renewable energy to be expensive. Maybe the fossil fuel industry?

        . I wonder if any “skeptics” could provide evidence for anyone of any importance who wants renewable energy to be expensive?

      • Explain how “no one wants expensive energy” is juvenile. You are just saying anything that comes into your head. I haven’t seen much in the way of science from you to support your assertions. I know I don’t understand the climate and I also know a bunch of other people don’t either, including you.

      • Explain how “no one wants expensive energy” is juvenile.

        Because it is obviously so simplistic as to amount to nothing other than “Nah, nah, you guys are meanines.”

        I think that very few people “want expensive energy.” To the extent that anyone does, it would be fossil fuel industries. It would seem they might like renewable energy to be expensive. And to a limit, they want fossil fuels to be expensive – but obviously, they don’t want fossil fuels to be so expensive that they reduce demand.

        Most enviros want fossil fuels to be expensive but not renewables. So saying that they “want energy to be expensive” is obvious wrong to anyone who isn’t unwilling to examine their own biases. It is a fallacious argument tantamount to name-calling.

        Such juvenile argumentation is ubiquitous in the climate wars, and it happens on both side. Willis is far from the only one.

      • It is obviously not obvious to people who continually push expensive solar, wind, and biofuels, that they want cheap energy. If they want cheap energy, they have an awfully odd way of getting it.

      • Steven Mosher

        Jim.

        “Steven, will you please define what you mean by “dirty” and “clean” in the context of CO2. Is CO2 “clean” or “dirty”?”

        Let’s try to stay on topic. Judith made an rather innocous statement, a platitude if you will: “everyone wants cheap clean energy”

        Since this is the internet and people look to find points to disagree with
        Willis disagreed with that statement. His argument was not logical

        If I say : everyone wants clean cheap energy, there is one way to counter this argument: find somebody who wants expensive clean energy. So Willis offers up Chu and argues that Chu wants to make gasoline expensive. This is true, but it doesnt have anything to do with Judiths claim. If Chu thought gas was clean, and he wanted it expensive, then this would be evidence against Judith’s statement. But Chu, rightly or wrongly, thinks gas is dirty, and he wants dirty energy to be expensive.
        So, Willis counter argument misses the logical mark. But understand, willis didnt pause to consider the logic of his argument, he just needed a stick to beat Judith with. You will see other people use the same pattern of argumentation. What is the point of this style? Well, partly it is rewarded by the culture of the internet. But more deeply their are folks on both sides of this debate who don’t want to find common grounds
        Funnily, if Willis thinks gasoline is clean and he wants it cheap, then he actually agrees with Judith.

        Let’s turn to your question: is C02 clean or dirty? Well, we are discussing energy and C02 is not energy, so perhaps you should sit down and re think your question. In my mind, C02 is neither dirty or clean it’s a false bifurcation. Our best science, imperfect as it is, tell us that we cannot continue to put C02 into the atmosphere without some risk. That risk is uncertain. The damage is uncertain. The costs of reducing it are uncertain. Addressing this concern requires inputs from many disciples and many stakeholders. You cannot wave the concern away. Nobody listens to you. That’s sad. Take up gardening or painting or listen to music.

      • Every flower, one and auwl
        Say(s) CO2′s the cat’s meowl.
        ================

      • Steven Mosher

        “Only at the point where folks (on both sides) leave such juvenile arguments at the doorstep of the junior high school lunchroom, will the Jell-O stop flying.”

        To some extent I see the fights over tangents to be like proxy wars.
        Folks fight the points that dont matter to avoid the big fight which neither side can afford to lose.

        The biggest proxy war is over the hockey stick.

      • Mosher: “find somebody who wants expensive clean energy. So Willis offers up Chu and argues that Chu wants to make gasoline expensive. This is true, but it doesnt have anything to do with Judiths claim. ”

        This is wrong for a very important reason. Chu wants gasoline (and other energy) expensive so that the worst alternatives appear cheap in comparison. Willis is right, Chu does not want cheap clean energy. Chu wants expensive clean energy, but he wants to pretend it’s not. In the case of gasoline, hybrids and electric cars aren’t worth the investment, so naturally instead of making them cheap, you raise the price of the gas equivalent.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Everyone who has excess energy wants it expensive, and everyone who doesn’t have enough energy wants it cheap.

      • Steven Mosher

        JeffN

        “Chu wants gasoline (and other energy) expensive so that the worst alternatives appear cheap in comparison. Willis is right, Chu does not want cheap clean energy. ”

        Chu thinks gasoline is dirty. He wants this dirty energy to be expensive
        If the dirty energy is expensive, then the energy he thinks is clean will be cheap by comparision.

        He does not want clean energy to be expensive. He wants energy he thinks is dirty to be expensive.

        Now, you can disagree that energy he thinks is dirty is clean, But that doesnt advance your point. Logically, speaking, its utterly unrelated to the point.

        Mosher: Everybody wants delicious ice cream to be cheap.
        JeffN: Chu raised prices on chocolate ice cream.
        Mosher: Hey Chu? why did you raise prices on delicious ice cream.
        Chu: I didnt, I raised prices on chocolate ice cream, which I hate.

        The evidence you need to find is Chu saying ” I want clean energy to be expensive” or ” I thnk gasoline is clean.”

        This is pretty basic logic. I disagree with a lot of what Judith says, but
        “everybody wants clean cheap energy” is just a platitude, throat clearing, build some common ground, platitude.. When people piss all over the common ground, that tells me something about their good faith.

      • Steven Mosher – “Our best science, imperfect as it is, tell us that we cannot continue to put C02 into the atmosphere without some risk. ”

        Richard Muller was hones in one of his videos that he had only a gut feeling that ACO2 would produce excessive warming. That is the problem. We are being asked to endure Draconian solutions to something that may be a non-problem and might even be beneficial, based on the gut feeling of some climate scientists. That’s the problem in a nutshell.

      • Steven, you write “You cannot wave the concern away. Nobody listens to you.”

        I am not sure how to respond to you long statement. I dont want anyone to listen to me. I want them to “listen” to the empirical data. That is my message. Of course I cannot “wave the concern away”. All I want is for scientists to do science. When the empirical data shows CO2 to be a danger to humanity (that fuels that produce it are “dirty” ), then, and only them, should politicians get concerned. All I am trying to point out is that this empirical data, at the moment, does not exist. CAGW is merely a viable hypothesis.

      • John Carpenter

        “I am not sure how to respond to you long statement. I dont want anyone to listen to me.”

        And yet Jim, you continue to comment over and over and over about how climate has a sensitivity of 0 to CO2. Your speak with forked tongue, otherwise you wouldn’t post your tired argument time and time again. The only way you can show your sincere is to stop with the failed argument, that would truly show you don’t want anyone to listen to you. Right? I mean why bother commenting if you don’t intend for someone to listen? You know what they say about people who talk to themselves?

      • Steve Mosher, let’s try this again:
        Lobster is expensive
        hamburger is cheap.
        Quintuple the price of hamburger and you have two expensive dinners. You do not have any cheap dinners- eating is more expensive than it was.
        This is important because there are other foods- chicken is pretty cheap and in our analogy is a nice substitute for gas and nuclear.
        Chu and company insist that Lobster be the only dinner choice. They declare lobster “cheap” by jacking up the price of burger and regulating away the chicken.
        The intended result is not cheap clean energy, it is purposely not even the cheapest clean energy, it is putting lipstick on expensive clean energy.

      • OK, John C, you distinguish climate sensitivity from zero, empirically. That means a measurement, er, estimate, Hell, just guess. The simple fact that it has been difficult to even estimate a sensitivity is yet further proof of its smallness.

        Remember, too, the higher the sensitivity, the colder it would now be without anthroGHGs. So choose carefully, my friend, but be assured that your choice probably won’t make a damn bit of difference.
        =======================

      • John Carpenter

        Kim, it’s not a guess. There is a theory, we apply the theory mathematically and calculate (using empirically gathered temperature data) a sensitivity at CO2 = preindustrial and compare to CO2 = 2x preindustrial. Different models look at the theory in different ways, so we get a lot of different estimated measurements. No models are perfect, some better than others. We look at the ensemble of models. Is the estimated range a good one? Dunno, probably high based on recent findings and comparison to current temp trends. But CS is measureable, it has been done, no matter how difficult, the estimates (rough measurements) have been made. Arguing that it can’t be measured and therefore looks like 0 does not add meaningful dialogue to the conversation. Arguing that models have no place in the discussion because they are so flawed does not add meaningful dialogue to the conversation. The models give a direction, according to the theory, of what we might expect. So… is the theory as applied in the models good enough? My estimation is no, not good enough to base hard mitigation policies on. Good enough to say, we might want to pay attention? Yes, we can’t ignore the potential effects excess CO2 might pose to the climate. To acknowledge that excess CO2 is keeping us from being otherwise colder also acknowledges that we could also continue to get warmer. So yes, we do choose carefully.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Richard Muller was hones in one of his videos that he had only a gut feeling that ACO2 would produce excessive warming. That is the problem. We are being asked to endure Draconian solutions to something that may be a non-problem and might even be beneficial, based on the gut feeling of some climate scientists. That’s the problem in a nutshell.”

        1. I think you’ll find that Rich has shifted his position beyond a gut feel
        2. Other climate scientists have more than a gut feel
        3. The self description of one climate scientist is un important.
        4. What draconian solution?

        Even the worst carbon tax proposed is not a draconian solution.
        Dont over state the case.

      • Mosher:

        1. Show me where any climate scientist has presented proof backed up by observation that the speculated knock-on effect of H2O on top of the initial CO2 warming effect will cause catastrophic warming.
        2. You are certainly welcome to your opinion on the carbon tax, but I consider it Draconian, and solar/wind/biofuel/battery/electric car government subsidies as well.

      • Steven Mosher

        Jim

        ‘I am not sure how to respond to you long statement. ”

        You could start by acknowleding you were off topic and wrong.

        ###############################
        I dont want anyone to listen to me. I want them to “listen” to the empirical data. That is my message. Of course I cannot “wave the concern away”. All I want is for scientists to do science.
        ############

        No, you want scientists to behave like YOU think they SHOULD.
        They are doing science, BY DEFINITION. what they do by definition
        is science. You have a odd notion of empirical data and an odd notion
        of how they should act. I’ve given you many examples. Lets try one more
        First, climate science is an OBSERVATIONAL science. That means
        you cannot do controlled experiments because the objects under study are bigger than the lab. In lab science you can ask the question
        ‘what happens if I double the thickness of the filter” you make a prediction. you double the filter width. you shine the light through it
        you collect the data. easy peasy.

        Now switch to observational science. I have a hypothesis
        ” what happens if I double the amount of dust in the atmosphere?”
        In this case you cannot run a controlled experiment. You have these
        options:

        A) argue that we only know things when we can run controlled experiments and claim the answer is unknowable
        B) Try to understand the problem from history
        C) use physics to create models and use the models to make
        predictions.

        You think scientists should do somthing like A. you are wrong. Scientists won’t listen to you and they should not listen to you.
        Knowledge advances in many ways. sometime through pure theory, sometime through controlled experiement. sometimes through historical analysis. sometime through computer experiments. you have no standing to tell scientists what they should do or what science is.

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

        When the empirical data shows CO2 to be a danger to humanity (that fuels that produce it are “dirty” ), then, and only them, should politicians get concerned. All I am trying to point out is that this empirical data, at the moment, does not exist. CAGW is merely a viable hypothesis.

        Here you are telling politicians what they should do. Again, they should not listen to you. Politicians get to be concerned about what they damn well want to be concerned about. If science tells them that C02 might be a risk, politicians get to be concerned.

      • Oh, OK. I guess I had it wrong. I thought politicians were supposed to represent their constituents. But instead they are supposed to listen to scientists. Thanks for straightening me out on that, I had it wrong.

      • Steven, you write “Here you are telling politicians what they should do. Again, they should not listen to you.”

        The rest of what you have written merely shows that we fundamentally differ on the science of CAGW. But this statement I have highlighted, I deeply resent. I am a voter. I have a responsibility to tell my Member of Parliament, my Member of the Provincial Legislature, my Mayor, and my Alderman what I think they should do. If I, and all other voters, neglect this responsibility, then these politicians will not know what their voters want. This is a fundamental part of the process of democracy.

        Whether these politicians listen to me is their problem. They must judge which voters they ignore, and which they take notice of.

        But dont tell me I dont have a responsibility to tell the people I vote for, what I think they should do. By suggesting this, you are showing your utter and complete ignorance of how democracies work; and by implication, you ignorance of a lot of other things.

      • Mosher,

        You know i love it when you deconstruct someone’s argument. But this time I think you are tap dancing.

        On weak ice.

      • David Appell

        CAGW is merely a viable hypothesis.

        In what other area of life do you ignore a “viable” potential catastrophe until it has been 100% proven? Do you not buy fire insurance because no one can tell you with assurance if it will burn down? Would you not stop smoking until your physican could pronounce the exact month and year your lung cancer will start?

        Climate change is about managing risk with imperfect information. It always will be.

      • Homes are known to catch fire from time to time, CO2 isn’t known to warm a planet catestrophically. You are attempting to compare apples to oranges.

      • David’s fallen through the ice and the edges crumble as he grabs them. Oh, no, the dreaded Doctor analogy.
        ===================

      • Do you not buy fire insurance because no one can tell you with assurance if it will burn down?

        Not when the premiums cost more than the house is worth, and you’ll only get paid out 5% of the value in the event of fire

      • Does this apple crumble come with custard?
        Or ice cream?

      • Re: The Dreaded Doctor Analogy

        Kim,

        It won’t die
        “Doctors” justify
        everything
        analogously.

        Andrew

      • David, you write “CAGW is merely a viable hypothesis.
        In what other area of life do you ignore a “viable” potential catastrophe until it has been 100% proven?”

        Fires occur routinely. People die from smoking routinely. We know these things for certain. I am unaware that anything harmful has happened because of CAGW, and there is certainly no proof that CAGW has done anything. In fact, there is no evidence that it exists. It is merely a hypothesis.

        There are many hypotheses that things might occur in my lifetime. The earth will be hit by a meteorite. There will be a super volcano. There will be another Carrington flare. And so on and so forth. Am I worried? No. Do I think we should spend a lot of money in case one occurs? No

    • Willis,

      I wholeheartedly agree with everything you say in this c omment.

      Judith, thank you for running a web site where such comments are allowed. I think that is fantastic. Judith, I thank you so much for allowing this sort of robust expression to be allowed. It is a clear indication of your very high EQ.

    • Willis

      Please write without the personal attack. It is unnecessary.

    • Wilis, PMH and RiH,

      Well said. I understood what Dr Curry was saying and didn’t have heart burn over it, but you all point out all things are not equal and there are serious actors who cannot be said to want cheap energy.

      Josh,

      I don’t follow you on some of the terms you use.

      instrumental freedoms?
      economic facilities – banking system?
      social opportunities?
      transparency guarantees?
      protective security – as different from just security?

      Personally I don’t believe any advanced degree in political science is needed to identify the basic needs of human beings. The authors of the Constitution identified them well enough:

      life
      liberty
      the pursuit of happiness

      And access to affordable energy is not tangental to happiness. For that matter neither is it to life.

  17. Sorry, but his is not a “shift.” Here’s George Bush saying basically the same thing almost exactly 12 years ago: http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2001/06/20010611-2.html

    This is important because of this point you made: “The political battlefield can now shift to energy economics, which is where the battle belongs…”

    Energy economics is the battlefield the Republicans have been fighting on for years while the Democrats and their allies in the politicized environmental movement called them “deniers” for doubting that the hugely awesome imminent severity of climate change demanded radical policies at any cost.
    The only reason we’ve debated the “science” is because of the insistence by the warm that the urgency of “settled science” requires a specific set of policy actions- carbon tax/trade, windmills, yadda yadda. Question those policies in the ’01-’08 time frame and you got a lecture about climate sensitivity and tipping points and accused of unleashing hurricanes on the country.
    Climategate allowed us to discover that a good chunk of those lectures were bunk. Then in ’09 we got the reminder that, just as with Clinton/Gore, the Obama/Biden administration only cares about climate as a partisan talking point (or distraction from other headlines).
    There is not, hasn’t ever been, a Republican party opposed to building nuclear power or natural gas for whatever reason you want. There is, and hopefully always will be, a Republican party opposed to spending tax money on stuff that doesn’t work for a policy that won’t work to address a problem that we increasingly learn was exaggerated.

    • Post 2001, the Bush administration and the Republicans changed their tune substantially (in an undesirable direction IMO), and I regard the recent events to be another change (in a more desirable direction).

      • Post 2000, Al Gore and the Democrats along with the climate concerned changed their tune substantially- in an undesirable direction IMO. The recent events- more honesty regarding uncertainty and CS, grudging acceptance of reality regarding policy, are another change in a more desireable direction.

      • Judith,

        I get the sense you are exposing some partisan bias.

        George Bush (and Dick Cheney) set the policies in place that enables the USA to lead the world with developing shale gas. Bush’s understanding of the oil industry and advocacy for those policies has done more to reduce USA’s GHG emissions than anything the Democrats have done or advocated.

      • Judith,

        I’d add that the one of the best things Bush did for the USA and the world was to keep USA out of the Kyoto Protocol. Conservatives knew it was a hopelessly flawed agreement, but ‘Progressives’ strongly supported it.

      • Judith,

        Industry is what generates all our wealth, not the public sector.

        The Bushes, Cheney and Conservatives understand business and industry better than ‘Progressives’. What background does Obama have in business and industry?

      • “I’d add that the one of the best things Bush did for the USA and the world was to keep USA out of the Kyoto Protocol.”
        Sorry, Peter, but that’s a myth. Bill Clinton, Al Gore and a unanimous vote of the US Senate kept the USA out of the ridiculous (cynical even) Kyoto Protocol long before anyone outside of Texas had ever heard of George Bush junior. What happened in 2001 is that Bush stated the facts on the ground- Kyoto had been dead for 4 years and wasn’t going to resurrect. At which point the climate concerned had a choice: plan B or gain an awesome partisan talking point by insisting on Kyoto and Cap-n-Tax or nothing and calling everyone who disagrees “anti-science.”
        They chose the latter and here we are 12 years later trying to explain why all the exaggerations of the last dozen years were wrong and the only thing reducing emissions are nukes and gas. A stalemate for which Dr. Curry blames the Republicans for some reason.

      • Inhofe and Bush each had baskets of bread miraculously turn to roses.
        =================

      • Joseph O'Sullivan

        The Bush administration never really changed their tune. In the public arena Bush claimed to be somewhat environmentally responsible. During his first run for president in 2000 he even said he would regulate greenhouse gases coming from power plants in a campaign speech. When elected he disowned that statement.

        Bush as a governor was, even by Texas standards, against environmental regulation. I saw this first hand in my professional life. He crafted a public image that conflicted with his record.

      • “He crafted a public image that conflicted with his record.”

        We could say the same about Obama. That’s not a gotcha, it’s a sign that in many respects the environmental movement has become so illogical that neither party can satisfy it. Power New York City 100% with windmills and solar panels? In August and February? It’s “cheap and easy” and isn’t happening only because we “lack political will”? The cost is low, but we need to “reconsider” whether economic growth is good?
        This is nonsense, a recipe for inaction. If you believe that AGW is a problem, you cannot continue to insist on dumb ideas in good conscience.

      • JeffN
        “If you believe that AGW is a problem, you cannot continue to insist on dumb ideas in good conscience”.
        One of the finest comments I have seen on this blog.
        Jim

      • Joseph O'Sullivan

        Me: “He crafted a public image that conflicted with his record.”
        JeffN: “We could say the same about Obama”

        With AGW this is to a very small degree true. Obama has been a foot dragger. Obama recently unveiled his plan to address AGW not only after some prodding by environmentalists, but also after a threat of a lawsuit under the Clean Air Act by environmental groups, states and cities.

        http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-epa-emission-rules-demand-20130417,0,7927668.story

        This contrasts with Bush Jr. who was completely dishonest when he said he was going to address AGW. It took a lawsuit under the Clean Air Act that went to the Supreme Court (EPA v. Massachusetts) to force Bush Jr. to obey the law. Even then, Bush Jr. took no action and simply ran out the clock until his presidency ended.

        JeffN: “Power New York City 100% with windmills and solar panels?”
        I am not aware of any environmental group saying this. Can you provide a citation for this claim from any environmental group?

  18. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘◾The common ground seems to be that everyone wants clean, abundant, inexpensive energy and nobody wants to destroy the economy’

    This is certainly not the case for everyone.

    ‘An underlying premise of this movement is that, in the face of a planetary ecological emergency, the promise of green technology has proven false. This can be attributed to the Jevons Paradox, according to which greater efficiency in the use of energy and resources leads not to conservation but to greater economic growth, and hence more pressure on the environment.5 The unavoidable conclusion—associated with a wide variety of political-economic and environmental thinkers, not just those connected directly to the European degrowth project—is that there needs to be a drastic alteration in the economic trends operative since the Industrial Revolution. As Marxist economist Paul Sweezy put it more than two decades ago: “Since there is no way to increase the capacity of the environment to bear the [economic and population] burdens placed on it, it follows that the adjustment must come entirely from the other side of the equation. And since the disequilibrium has already reached dangerous proportions, it also follows that what is essential for success is a reversal, not merely a slowing down, of the underlying trends of the last few centuries.”6

    http://monthlyreview.org/2011/01/01/capitalism-and-degrowth-an-impossibility-theorem

    This thinking is widespread and has the objective of transforming economies and societies. Every thing becomes a rationale for economic transformation – climate change, extreme weather, resource depletion, the ‘planetary ecological emergency’. It all seems a complete proto-fascist package.

    Don’t forget to celebrate the end of the age of coal tomorrow.

    On June 29 the world will celebrate the end of the “Age of Coal”. A global day of action will coincide with 350.org‘s Global Power Shift Conference in Istanbul. http://www.ejolt.org/2013/06/the-end-of-the-age-of-coal/

    • Agreed, Chief, the CAGW issue has been politicised ever since its inception. Scientific claims and prospective policies have to be assessed in the light of that anti-energy, anti-growth political campaign.

      If the campaign were purely on science and the environment, there would be no anti-nuclear case, the adoption or otherwise of nuclear energy would be made on economic grounds and would be welcomed by those who fear increasing CO2 levels. Any alleged environmentalist/Greenie who decries both CO2 and nuclear energy is a political activist. Or ignorant.

  19. One day after President Barack Obama unveiled a broad blueprint for reining in heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions and adapting U.S. infrastructure for more droughts and floods, Republicans are taking aim at the plan’s economic costs — not the science underpinning it. – Jennifer Dlouhy

    Excellent. That’s progress. The economic costs, proper risk management (and robust approach) is what the debate should have been about all along. We could have avoided 20 years of wasted time and enormous amounts of wasted money.

    So, are the Climate Etc. denizens now ready to change their focus to the economic costs and benefits of proposed policies?

  20. Judith, bravo. Sorry so late to weigh in, but am on an intense business trip In Europe. My own fingers are crossed exactly as yours re outcomes.
    But without as much hope, since folks as eloquent as Willis upthread here continue to propound world equities without cognizance ofworld realities.

    An IMF working paper from 2012 said crude would be about $200/ bbl by 2020, because of absolute scarcity caused by peaking oil annual production. Was previously posted concerning Maugheri, and IEA. Or read my long book on same with references. That is just a general fact (details of precise year do not matter), reasons posted here previously.
    So despite empathy for the third worlds burgeoning populations, it will not end well. And we are all of an age to personally witness the coming ‘revenge of Gaia.’ over the next few decades. Or, just understand the facts set forth in the book Gaias Limits.

    • Rud,
      I notice that they don’t attack you for being a “drooling peak oiler” because you are on their side when it comes to denying AGW.

      This is further evidence that it is predominantly political identification that drives the skeptical views on this site.

      • Those hydrocarbon bonds were much too lovingly formed to fracture merely for the energy within them; we need those bonds for structure, to house and clothe the teeming masses, and to keep their stuff in.
        =============================

    • Scott Basinger

      Peak oil is currently a myth given our current demand. There are plenty of reserves available – viability of various known reserves is determined by price.

  21. Political Junkie

    Hmmmmm…

    I wonder how long a comment as directly critical of the blog host/hostess as Eschenbach’s above would have survived on many other blogs?

    Talk about light moderation!

    Good on ya, Dr. Curry!

  22. JC Comment:

    The political battlefield can now shift to energy economics, which is where the battle belongs (not over the science), and maybe we can come up with some cost effective, technically feasible, and politically viable solutions

    I take issue with the bracketed bit here “The political battlefield can now shift to energy economics … (no over the science)

    There is still an enormous issue over the estimates and projections of the the damages that GHG emissions might cause. It is enormously uncertain. We have almost no studies that are valuable for the economic analyses.

    World authority on cost benefit analyses of GHG emissions and carbon pricing, Professor William Nordhaus says:

    The major issue at this stage is that the database for impact studies continues to be relatively small.

    p24, http://nordhaus.econ.yale.edu/Accom_Notes_100507.pdf

    World authority on impact analyses and economic analyses of GHG emissions, Professor Richard Tol, says:

    There are only 17 estimates of the total economic impact of climate change, and our confidence is thus low.

    p96, and Section 7.3 https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bz17rNCpfuDNRml2dVA4T0xvdkk/edit?pli=1

    Therefore, there is an enormous amount of work to do to develop costs estimates of the damages GHG emissions may cause. I’d say we are still at the very beginning of this work. I think we no virtually nothing about what is important for the economic analyses.

    I’d point out that the Australian Treasury’s figures show that, even if the IPCC’s climate sensitivity estimates are correct, and even if the whole world implements a GHG emissions pricing scheme, and maintains it to 2050, the scheme would cost ten times more than the benefits. http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/06/what-the-carbon-tax-and-ets-will-really-cost-peter-lang/

  23. “Scientists can shift their attention from religious adherence to consensus science and get on with the real work of trying to understand the dynamics of climate variability and change”

    Yes, it is vital that we understand the on/off nature of climate change. But how long can this ‘pause’ last? Can it last fur ever?

    CO2′s voracious appetite for energy can omly be satisfied in two ways: kinetic and vibrational energy. We can scrub kinetic, because it is no worse than O2 or N2 and it is less than 1% of the atmosphere. The answer has to be in the vibrational modes, of which there are many. When CO2 leaves the cylinders of your car or the furnace of the power station it is over 1,000C – very hot and most of, if not all. of its vibrational modes will be excited. When it exits the tail pipe or chimney it is still very hot and we would expect it to rise in the troposphere as a plume of hot gas passing its heat to the N2 and O2 as it rises. As it rises in the troposphere (like a hot air balloon) it can moee readily radiate its heat into space, because the atmosphere above is thinning. So what propottion of heat is radiated into space, instead of heating our planet?. As the CO2 cools it will fall again, maybe having used up all its excitation modes, it can no longer heat rhe planet. So this simple but apparently little unserstood chain of events may not be such a threat?

    • That is a bizarre explanation Biggie Biggs.

      Trying to outdo your Aussie mates, eh?

      • Thank you, Web Telescope, for your comments. But I can assure you I have no idea how many Aussie mates I have. There is no conspiracy; most Australians accept the word of the IPCC,sad as that may be. My explanation may be bizarre, but is it credible? I recognise the difficulty of modelling the sharp resonances that my explanation implies.

  24. flat-earth society => flat economy

    A very clever one.

  25. “I’d point out that the Australian Treasury’s figures show that, even if the IPCC’s climate sensitivity estimates are correct, and even if the whole world implements a GHG emissions pricing scheme, and maintains it to 2050, the scheme would cost ten times more than the benefits.”

    But as you point out the benefits are not known:

    “There is still an enormous issue over the estimates and projections of the the damages that GHG emissions might cause. It is enormously uncertain.”

  26. I, too, take exception with the statement that the battle does not belong “over the science” and this for two reasons:
    . 1. The scientific reason. If we concede that we should not argue about the science, we are admitting with Obama, Gore and the alarmists that the debate is over, the science is settled. It is a slap in the face of those dedicated scientists who continue to do the work that needs to be done so we know what we are talking about before we formulate policy. Can you think of the work of Murray Salby and others like him, and contend that we should forget about discussing the science? If they are right, the entire edifice of AGW will collapse; shouldn’t we pursue that before we focus only on energy economics (instead of science)?
    . 2. The political reason. By switching their strategy to fighting the battle on energy economics (instead of science), the Republicans (or whoever adopts that strategy) fall into a trap and paint themselves in a corner: They now admit that they were wrong all along and that the warmists were right–the science is settled, the debate is over, and they were just a bunch of “deniers” for not accepting that. Now that this is settled, if they want to reject Obama’s plan because it is too costly, they will be painted as grubby and not caring about their grandchildren. That will lose them elections and it will lose us all a lot more.
    . Sorry, the science must deal with the remaining uncertainties (not to mention all the things about climate that we just don’t know anything about) before we can move on to the arena of policy and energy economics, which is exactly where the warmists want us.

    • No, what I am saying is that energy policy should respond to a variety of societal drivers (not just climate change), and adaptation measures to extreme events (floods, hurricanes, droughts) should be considered in response to a range of possible future climate variability/change scenarios, not just AGW.

      • Judith,

        No, what I am saying is that energy policy should respond to a variety of societal drivers (not just climate change), and adaptation measurements to extreme events (floods, hurricanes, droughts) should be considered in response to a range of possible future climate variability/change scenarios, not just AGW

        This comment suggests you advocate technocrats should be impose policies trying to pick winners.

        I suggest this is completely the wrong approach. A far better approach, IMO, is to get government to back off trying to steer how energy markets should respond to meet our demands for energy. Technocrats and Politicians should stop top trying to direct and intervene in the energy markets. The more they do the more they will retard real progress. This is what has been going on for at least fifty years and it has severely retarded progress. If not for the focus on renewable energy and blocking of nuclear power, global GHG emissions would be 10% to 20% lower now than they are.

        Moreover, we’d be in a position now to have a faster reduction in global GHG emissions over the next half century and reap many other benefits as well: cheaper energy, faster roll out of electricity to all people, faster economic growth (which brings: better health services, better education, better infrastructure, etc), much less transportation of fossil fuels, lower black carbon and fine particulates, reduce fatalities from pollution from power plants (by over a million per year world wide).

        Government intervention in energy markets has retarded progress. And you seem to be advocating we continue the interventionist approach.

        Do you recall Roger Pielke Jr’s second figure here: http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com.au/2010/07/decelerating-decarbonization-of-global.html
        It shows that the rate of decarbonisation of the global economy has decreased from 2% pa in 1990 to 0.7% pa in 2009. The declining rate of decarbonisation of the global economy is due in part to the slowing rate of roll out of nuclear power and hydro. That can be attributed, in part, to the interventionists such as the governments involved in pushing the green agenda at the UN climate conferences for the past 20 years.

      • it’s just a measure of her fundamental optimism, that technocrats can be found as informed by wisdom as she is.
        ====================

      • +1 Just back from an extended caravan trip around the WA Pilbara and Goldfields regions – magic – the landscape and gorges just so good for the mind!

      • Peter Davies,
        Welcome back from yr extended caravan trip.
        Re yr comment,’ so good fer the mind.’ Say Peter
        we’ll be the judge of that, :)

        Beth the serf.

  27. Dr Curry, with all due respect, the very last group of folks that should be entrusted to: “come up with some cost effective, technically feasible, and politically viable solutions” is the climate science community.

    The terrible track record of the “models”, the abuse of statistics, the collusion (yes a strong term, but justified), the alarmism and above all the HUBRIS disqualifies climate scientists (I’m humoring most of you with that term) from any important work regarding energy. Any “science” that can seriously discuss “net energy gains” created by energy flowing through a passive (ie lacking energy sources) system has no business mucking around with how anybody obtains energy.

    Regarding “clean” energy, this is a scale. At one end is a poor person burning dung to heat up their meager dinner with all the attendant health risks. Many of those folks would benefit greatly from a simple electric hot plate driven by a simple coal fired power plant outside of town.

    Is that as “clean” as a modern scrubber equipped plant, no, but the improvement in the lives of those folks TODAY would be HUGE compared to Atlanta being 0.001 degrees cooler (allegedly) when our great grandchildren graduate (hopefully) from Georgia Tech in 2075.

    Cheers, Kevin (MS Ga Tech 1981, independent)

    • +1000

      • “I’m hoping this development removes climate scientists from issues related to energy policy in the context of claims that ‘climate science demands a specific policy.’”

        I really just don’t understand the thought process here. The consensus tribe is a group of proud members of the progressive left. They are funded by progressive politicians. Progressive politicians not only subsidize their work but publicize it far and wide is support of greater taxes, and greater centralization of control of the energy economy in government. Politicians defined the CAGW agenda, hired those who do the “science,” paid for the lavish conclaves where the cognoscenti regale one another with their awesomeness, and hold out the promise of ever more funding and prestige, all in return for more “science” showing “it’s worse than we thought.”

        How exactly is it that what any Republican says, anywhere, about anything, will have any impact in changing the direction of the big, green, governmental climate machine?

    • Kevin, I completely agree with your first sentence. I’m hoping this development removes climate scientists from issues related to energy policy in the context of claims that ‘climate science demands a specific policy.’

      • Dr. Curry, thanks for the reply. I do not include you among those that are “certain” of their: predictions/projections/guesses/”gut feelings” etc./etc.

        Hunches, instinct, feelings, beliefs, etc. have killed many pilots and other folks.

        Do you ever wonder if the “GHE” hypothesis is just plain wrong ?

        That would of course be bad news for folks that have based a career on it. But similar things have happened before.

        Cheers, Kevin

      • Actually; Dr. Curry I have thought a bit more about your reply. Let me summarize your position; “There is a huge problem, we don’t really know how to fix it, but everybody else should stop what they have been doing for centuries (i.e. enjoying a higher standard of living with fossil fuels) until some folks smarter than us figure out how to eliminate fossil fuels.” Is that about correct ?

        Thanks for that insight, too bad it’s really useless.

        Reminds me of the old adage; “everybody complains about the weather(climate in this case), but NOBODY does anything about it.”

        As an enginner I try to solve real problems where my chances of success don’t rely on someone else’s “smarts”.

        Cheers, Kevin.

      • Kevin, your summary of what you think my position is extremely far from the mark. If you haven’t been keeping up with my main writings, my two recent Congressional testimonies are a good starting place:

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/25/congressional-hearing-on-policy-relevant-climate-issues-in-context/

        http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/17/uncertainty-gets-a-seat-at-the-big-table-part-iv/

  28. Our hostess writes quote
    @@@
    curryja | June 27, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
    natural gas is cleaner than coal (particulate pollution, gaseous pollution, and CO2). It is a matter of degree of ‘cleanliness’
    @@@
    So there we have it. Judith states explicitly that CO2 is “dirty”. In my estimation, this means she is a warmist, and believes in CAGW, despite other things she has written.

    • I’d say she thinks the jury is still out on the co2, but not the other by-products, so on that basis it seems worthwhile to limit coal when feasible…Doesn’t sound all that radical to me.

      I respect Dr. Curry immensely, That she not only allowed Willis’ nasty and to my mind slightly daffy post to stand, but went on to cordially answer it, is evidence of a highly evolved person. Personally, I wish she’d get really mad at times. Maybe write a few angry letters to clueless editors, or bang her shoe on the desk when testifying before congress, or better yet call out Obama publicly on his unforgivable ignorance.

      But then, I’m decidedly not a highly evolved person.

      • pg, yer read Thos Hardy, don’cher?
        Therefore yer a highly evolved person.
        bc another hep. )

      • Nice of you Beth, as always. Love Hardy novels, though not so much his poetry. But have to say, he’s the one whose evolved. I just love cracking good stories. Plus, I love to fall in love with doomed heroines. I still have fantasies of riding across the moor to rescue the horridly mistreated young Tess….

      • Steven Mosher

        “I respect Dr. Curry immensely, That she not only allowed Willis’ nasty and to my mind slightly daffy post to stand, but went on to cordially answer it, is evidence of a highly evolved person. ”

        I was lucky enough to spend some time listening to judith in Lisbon.
        Part of the way into the workshop I thought to my self
        “DAMMIT JUDY! please tell the idiots who are wrong about the science to shut the *** up. ” But she didnt. She seemed content to let them speak. Correcting here and there, but never with the voice of authority, never with ” I’m a climate scientist, listen to me.”

        At some point I realized that it wasnt her job to do this. She wanted to listen to the conversation, not dominate it. Open the discourse not close it. Take the good she could from it. At least that is how I made sense of it in my mind. I think the words humble and confident came to mind. meh, that was how I made sense of it. folks are welcomed to their own theories

      • Certainly uncertain, teeter, uncertainly certain, totter.
        ===============

      • Modern coal fired power plants are very clean. CO2 emission is as relevant as H20 emission.

      • Steven Mosher,

        At some point I realized that it wasnt her job to do this. She wanted to listen to the conversation, not dominate it. Open the discourse not close it. Take the good she could from it. At least that is how I made sense of it in my mind. I think the words humble and confident came to mind. meh, that was how I made sense of it. folks are welcomed to their own theories.

        Excellent comment. Well said. +1000.

        That describes well how Judith comes across.

        So confident she seldom takes offence at attacks directed at her, and seldom deletes comments. A great example.

      • Mosher, that’s a fair comment about Judith, for whom I have great regard. But I think that policy development is not her forte, and that often shows when she strays into it.

      • As one highly evolved person to other HEP’s +! ;)

  29. But in this case I will be very direct. Your claim that “everyone wants clean, abundant energy” is bullshit, and you know it.

    The climate alarmists have fought for expensive energy for years. Stephen Chu said he wanted US gas prices to rise to the European level of $8 per gallon. The NGOs like Greenpeace and the WWF have it as a regular refrain. Obama has just declared war on coal. He has said that he knows his plans will push energy costs through the roof, and he thinks that’s great.

    I do want clean abundant energy.

    I have Liberal Friends who believe this stuff and who really believe that we should pay hugely to use carbon energy. They want our gas prices to be as high or higher than Europe. I am sad about this but these people are out there and some of them are friends of mine and they are intelligent and educated people and I believe they should know better. They think I should know better.

    • Herman,

      Same here with many of my friends. People I think the world of. One thing they have in common – good paying jobs.

  30. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Therefore, in our view, the organising principle of our effort should be the
    raising up of human dignity and in that pursuit, our re-framed primary goals
    should be three:

    1) to ensure that the basic needs, especially the energy demands, of the
    world’s growing population are adequately met. ‘Adequacy’ means energy that is simultaneously accessible, secure and low-cost.

    2) to ensure that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the
    essential functioning of the Earth system, in recent years most commonly
    reflected in concerns about accumulating carbon dioxide (CO2) in the
    atmosphere, but certainly not limited to that factor alone;

    3) to ensure that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks
    and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever may be their cause.’ http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27939/1/HartwellPaper_English_version.pdf

    There are specific proposals associated with each of these objectives in the Hartwell Paper and the follow up from The Breakthrough Institute ‘Climate Pragmatism’. Fundamentally – these are proposals that have contingent benefits and thus are expenditures that have multiple – including humanitarian – justifications. A flood warming system in Pakistan, safe water and sanitation in the Congo, surge protection in New Orleans, restoration of ecosystems in Ohio – are examples where reframing of the debate away from simple prescriptions to integrated programs promises progress where there has been only failure.

    The first necessarily involves diversification of energy sources away from fossil fuels – they are simply too expensive even now and too limited to allow universal access – through enhanced research and development.

    Climate science is ultimately 97% nonsense – and seemingly irrelevant to energy and development policies. By all means insist that climate is complex. Science says that climate is dynamically complex and that surface temperatures at the very least are not increasing for a decade or so yet. The urge to say I told you so will be quite irresistible. But the opportunity is for Republicans to frame a new debate around development, conservation and technological progress. This is what is most important.

    • Science says that climate is dynamically complex and that surface temperatures at the very least are not increasing for a decade or so yet.

      So much for uncertainty, eh?

      Paging Mr. Monster, Mr. Uncertain T. Monster. Call on line 2.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I am on record hypothesizing the current temperature hiatus in 2007 – hell I could have called it earlier but I was waiting for the IPCC to discover climate regimes. It is not much of a prediction. We are in the cool decadal state – intensifying as we speak – and these last for 20 to 40 years. I don’t know why you insist on hearing this yet again Joshua.

        We are as well at the high point of the solar cycle – falling to about 2020.

        Uncertainty there is in a dynamically complex system and it the ‘high dimensional nonlinear dissipative’ property – as Matthew R Marler said – that is the critical aspect of the climate system. The greatest uncertainty emerges in regions of climate bifurcation – and not while in the region of an attractor.

        Tell me you understand this and I will disbelieve you.

    • Chief, the Hartwell Paper says that “above all, it emphasises the primacy of accelerating decarbonisation of energy supply.”

      I haven’t read the paper’s rationale for decarbonisation, but it presumably accepts the CAGW case and/or believes that it would be economically advantageous for government to drive a faster switch from carbon to non-carbon energy sources. As you know, I’m not convinced of either, so am immediately inclined to discount policies based on those premises.

      The paper also claims that it is necessary and noble “To reframe the climate issue around matters of human dignity.” This is nonsense. There is a well-established rule in policy-making that you have one policy per policy instrument. You don’t conflate disparate issues and try to solve both/all of them with a single policy instrument: to be effective, you need to focus each policy on a specific issue, and if you don’t, you’ll never be able to determine its effectiveness. The assessment of the policy should of course take account of wider effects.

      I set great store by human dignity: I treat human beings with the same respect whether they are dossers on Brisbane’s Riverside or Prime Ministers, and I’ve worked in my own life since 1972 and through voluntary work since 1973 to promote practices which develop peaceful, harmonious individuals, whose lives are good for them and good for others, who naturally seek to assist the welfare of other beings as well as that of themselves and their family.

      But that is surely totally separate from decarbonisation. If you are looking at using energy policy to address poverty and deprivation in less developed countries, promoting coal-fired electricity might, as others have argued, be one of the most effective ways to do so. Which countries have come out of poverty without fossil-fuelled energy? None, and none are in prospect of doing so. Coming out of poverty enriches people’s lives, gives more scope for dignity, and allows them to pursue higher order activities because ensuring survival is no longer all-encompassing.

      (I hope to read the paper later.)

      • The Hartwell paper makes many valid points, but ends up with the same problem most others have ended up as well:

        It gives good arguments against solutions proposed by others, but it’s own recommendations as not any more robust against criticism than those it argues against.

        We have a wicked problem (it’s wicked whether it’s serious or not). It’s wicked in a way that every proposed solution can be shown to be seriously deficient in some way. There are good arguments to tell that the problem may be serious enough to require action, but that’s of little help, when we cannot choose an action that’s effective and likely to work without serious collateral damage.

        Many people conclude from that that we should ignore the problem but that’s not a robust approach either.

        We might agree that nuclear energy would be an excellent part of the solution (CO2 neutral and advantageous even forgetting the climate change), but that’s of little help as long as the opposition to nuclear is as strong as it presently is.

        Similarly other approaches have their virtues, but fail on some other point in the real world.

      • My prob is with what they call renewables. I like to think well of people, so I assume nobody is referring to solar or wind or – god help us – geothermal when they speak of a decarbonised economy that is not heavily nuclear. I know what renewable power source might deliver the power needed; unfortunately, the proponents of renewables always stop short of explaining how we are to form the mountains and river gorges required to copy BC and Norway. They must have some very interesting excavation plans…but they keep them secret!

      • Pekka Pirila

        Many people conclude from that that we should ignore the problem but that’s not a robust approach either.

        I suggest that statement is misleading and or a strawman argument. IMO, what Conservatives are arguing is we should not implement policies that will have high cost and low probability of delivering the stated benefits. The rational economic analysis has to show that, if the cost of the policy will be high, the probability of success is very high. That has most certainly not been demonstrated.

        We might agree that nuclear energy would be an excellent part of the solution (CO2 neutral and advantageous even forgetting the climate change), but that’s of little help as long as the opposition to nuclear is as strong as it presently is.

        To me that argument is irrational. It is mixing rational analysis of what is the rational solution with an argument about an irrational fear. We can overcome the irrational fear, but we cannot overcome the technical and economic constraints on renewable energy.

        To get over radiation phobia and nuclear paranoia just needs the CAGW alarmists to get rational. Education could quickly overcome the widespread radiation phobia and nuclear paranoia in the OECD countries – a decade or less if the eco-NGO’s led the way. It is up to those people and groups most concerned about CAGW to lead the way.

        Pekka, I hold people like you responsible for continuing the nuclear scare mongering. You also continue to propagate irrational beliefs about the economic viability of renewable energy and its the potential to make a significant contribution to energy supply and global GHG emissions reduction.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Climate Pragmatism, a new policy report released July 26th by the Hartwell group, details an innovative strategy to restart global climate efforts after the collapse of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process. This pragmatic strategy centers on efforts to accelerate energy innovation, build resilience to extreme weather, and pursue no regrets pollution reduction measures — three efforts that each have their own diverse justifications independent of their benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation. As such, Climate Pragmatism offers a framework for renewed American leadership on climate change that’s effectiveness, paradoxically, does not depend on any agreement about climate science or the risks posed by uncontrolled greenhouse gases.’

        http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

        The best and brightest have suggested reduction in black carbon, tropospheric ozone, methane, sulphates and nitrous oxides. I did a post recently on soil carbon. About 100 GtC can be sequestered usefully in grazing lands while reducing costs and increasing productivity. That’s about 10 years emissions. Social development – economic growth, education, health, safe water and sanitation act to reduce population pressures. Conservation and restoration of ecosystems has multiple benefits. As far as costs are concerned – western governments actually doing what they have committed to as aid would be a good start.

        The cost of solar panels is getting reasonable – and seems to be cost effective in some applications. Cheap solar could be a transformative technology in many places as is micro-hydro. Modular nuclear designs are well advanced with commercial deployment this decade or next. There are many interesting technologies. No one here is suggesting other than relatively modest investments in research and development. I’d go further and suggest energy prizes rather then direct investment. A billion dollars would generate interest.

        These are pragmatic and pragmatic proposals. I can’t really see that there is much of a problem at all – but would like to see more progress made on conservation and restoration of ecosystems and agricultural land and on economic and social development. It seems odd that you would not do the things that are possible and known to be effective – and are things that should be done for multiple good reasons.

        The rationale for decarbonisation is uncertainty rather than certainty – but until you actually read the papers you’re talking through your hats and arguing on the basis of false preconceptions. I think it utter nonsense.

  31. Chief Hydrologist

    testing testing

  32. David Appell

    This is all good news. Coal is a barbaric fuel, not fit for this time in this century. It has to go.

    • David it has, it has gone to China and India.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It still is going – I am waving bye bye as it sails over the horizon. I am pretty sure that it has some decades in the conveyor belt yet. Bizarre emoting notwithstanding.

    • You understand, don’t you David, that about 2/5ths of the human race still live barbarically, pasting water buffalo dung to the side of the hut to dry, or back-breakingly struggling miles with bundles of sticks and such like, bowing and scraping low before the tyranny of poverty?

      ‘Twere barbaric to deny them coal. What is the matter with you?
      =================

    • Coal is the cheapest energy in Europe (and booming). Modern coal fired power plants are very clean. CO2 emissions are as relevant as H20 emissions.

    • Seriously David,

      this is not the statement of a science based mind. Where you wearing your witch doctor mask and shaking a freshly cut chicken head at the screen when you typed it?

    • And yet in a very short time it will replace crude as the number one energy fuel worldwide. (As measured in BTU`s) And there will be no turning back because poor countries need affordable electricity. Pragmatism and reality is also winning in Germany. Angela has done her renewable thing and now she has turned back to coal. Smart lady.

      • David Appell

        None of which says coal isn’t a barbaric fuel. It needs to go even without considerations of climate change — it poisons the environment with mercury. Add global warming, and it is an utter disaster. That people use it doesn’t change that.

      • What do we do with our new CFL, David?

        http://www2.epa.gov/cfl/cleaning-broken-cfl

        Check First, Lefty

      • David Appell

        Clean it up — is that so hard to figure out?
        (I’ve never had one break on me.)

      • I won’t use them either.

      • David Appell,

        None of which says coal isn’t a barbaric fuel. It needs to go even without considerations of climate change — it poisons the environment with mercury. Add global warming, and it is an utter disaster. That people use it doesn’t change that.

        Could I appeal to you to read this (please, to broaden your perspective):
        Humanity Unbound: How Fossil Fuels Saved Humanity from Nature and Nature from Humanity

        http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/humanity-unbound-how-fossil-fuels-saved-humanity-nature-nature-humanity

        Until we have an alternative source of abundant, cheap energy, we’ll have to stick with fossil fuels.

      • David Appell

        Until we have an alternative source of abundant, cheap energy, we’ll have to stick with fossil fuels.

        What do you mean by “cheap?”

        Seriously — cheap to whom?

      • David Appell,

        Did you read the link? You are coming across as an ideologue with a closed mind and incapable of understanding the complex interaction of inputs to energy policy. Can I urge you again to read the link I posted, then comment.

      • David Appell

        Peter: Your link does not prove that oil and other fossil fuels don’t cause warming, or that we aren’t wealthy enough to pay for their damages and transition to less damaging fuels.

        We are, and we should.

      • David Appell,

        You are diverting. Your point I responded to was:

        None of which says coal isn’t a barbaric fuel. It needs to go even without considerations of climate change — it poisons the environment with mercury.

        The link I provided addresses that assertion, and shows how silly it is.

        I have the strong impression you are a closed minded ideologue and not worth engaging with.

      • David,

        EPA already has limits on the amount of mercury plants can release and now they want to lower those limits to a point well below what occurs naturally. Yes, David, mercury exists in our environment and humans have nothing to do with it.

        In Oregon the water discharged from the Tualatin Water District into the Tualatin river is purer than “natural” river water. Again, mother nature at work.

        As for the impacts from CO2, we are a bit warmer. So what. If you are going to claim that is damaging, back it up.

  33. David Appell

    Judith Curry wrote:
    “Scientists can shift their attention from religious adherence to consensus science and get on with the real work of trying to understand the dynamics of climate variability and change”

    This statement is simply unworthy of a scientist, especially one who considers herself part of the scientific community. No scientist has a “religious” adherence — they are following the science. Everyone I talk to is trying very hard to understand the dynamics of climate variability and change.

    They are all trying just as hard as you are. Why is that so impossible to believe??

    • Chief Hydrologist

      We think it less science than cult of AGW groupthink space cadets. There is certainly science in there somewhere but with the usual suspects it is overruled by cognitive dissonance.

      • David, if you were to read the comments at the above link, on the IMF story. You will see that many do see clearly, yet most scientists seem blind to it all. Please give us your view after reading the comments. What is the answer to the scientific cognitive ignorance of the current situation? Science will keep to their invisible gas or will you go with the invisible God?
        Easy, isn’t it.

    • David demonstrates his simple unworthiness.
      ============

    • ‘No scientist has a “religious” adherence — they are following the science.’ Huh – no scientist? Maybe you’re mistaken about some of them? Maybe Dr. Curry has experienced firsthand the groupthink and refusal to allow or deal with certain types of questions from some groups of your scientists. Are you seriously claiming that every single scientist is free from these characters flaws? That would sound, well, a little religious to me.

      • David Appell

        It a cheap and lousy shot. Everyone else is doing science to the same degree she is. Suggesting otherwise is extremely unprofessional.

      • If you want to see unprofessional, read the climategate emails

      • Read also Michael Lemonick’s article regarding the response from climate scientists on the Scientific American article that he wrote on theme of my views on uncertainty in climate science

        http://www.climatecentral.org/blogs/why-i-wrote-about-judith-curry

      • In a recent example, Mann tweeted a reaction to my recent congressional testimony ‘typical denier talking points.’

      • I have seen some scientists bristle when I make such a statement, and others not. My response is ‘if the shoe fits, wear it.’ The shoe seems to fit the people that bristle (there is no rational inference from my statement that I am referring to all climate scientists).

      • Too many, David, are doing science like the sorcerer apprentice does magic. There was a bubble of belief, now relentlessly and hopelessly bursting, in the need for urgent policy action to avert a warming catastrophe.

        It’s over, David. Go watch ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, and somehow, sometime, preferably soon, help us find a way to tell the President. It’s really not very nice to not let him know. He may develop a wicked slice.
        =============

      • “If you want to see unprofessional, read the climategate emails”

        Bravo Dr. C.

      • Judith,

        The shoe seems to fit the people that bristle (there is no rational inference from my statement that I am referring to all climate scientists).

        I don’t really care if you want to get into fight with Michael Mann, although if you are going to dish it out you have to be prepared to take it, but the statement which David objected too is far too sweeping. If you mean particular scientists then you should say so – the implication is clearly that there is no meaningful reseacuh being done into the dynamics of climate variability and change, which is obviously nonsense.

      • …which is a shame because up to that point I broadly agreed with a lot of what you said.

      • Judith -

        No, I’ve just been called a denier.

        Personally, I don’t see why you seem so focused on that. Some people said some nasty things to you. We’d be better off if that hadn’t happened, but I think the hand-wringing among “skeptics” about the term denier is exploitative of the memory of people who died in the holocaust (very few use that term as an equivalent of holocaust denier) but it certainly isn’t necessary. But you read this blog on a regular basis and you read all sorts of nastiness directed towards “realists” on a regular basis. Clearly, your concern about nasty language is highly selective.

        The IPCC has decreed most (>50%) is anthropogenic. It is apparently regarded as ‘heresy’ to say that it could be 50% or less anthropogenic.

        This is a distortion. It is unscientific. Looking beyond the “decree” rhetoric – the iconic statement of the IPCC recognizes that “it could be 50% or less anthropogenic. Argue about whether the IPCC accurately assesses the uncertainty. Seems like a good goal, to me. But why do you make such sloppy statements? What you wrote there is simply inaccurate. Don’t you see that it detracts from your ability to “build bridges” when you make these distortions?

      • David Appell

        Judith wrote:
        No, I’ve just been called a denier.

        And other climate scientists have received copious abuse, including death threats.

      • Ah, but the difference is that they have not received death threats from Ph.D. climate scientists working in universities or government laboratories. Whereas I have been called a denier by some climate scientists working in universities or government laboratories.

      • David Young

        I’m afraid Appell that Judith is right on this issue of the cultural climate of climate science. You say climate scientists are just trying to do the best science they can. Perhaps, even though I would argue that wasn’t the case with Mann. But the way this works is that even if noone is directly lying, a field can still have a problem. It’s called positive results bias, conflict of interest, activist scientists. All are problems in medicine and they have the integrity to realize that there is a problem and to try to address it.

      • David Appell

        Yes, my statement pertains to Mann as well, whose results have been replicated by many other groups and by completely independent statistical methods:

        “Still Hotter Than Ever,” Scientific American, November 2009, pp 21-22.

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=still-hotter-than-ever

      • jcurry, “Ah, but the difference is that they have not received death threats from Ph.D. climate scientists working in universities or government laboratories. Whereas I have been called a denier by some climate scientists working in universities or government laboratories.”

        Didn’t a Ph.D. “Denier” get a treat of bodily harm from a Ph.D. “Believer”? :)

      • maksimovich

        Yes, my statement pertains to Mann as well, whose results have been replicated by many other groups and by completely independent statistical methods:

        in the case of Mann99 vs Mann 08l which were described as in striking agreement (Burger 2010) with Mann 08, cluster analysis found they were the most incoherent of all the reconstructions.

        http://www.clim-past.net/6/515/2010/cp-6-515-2010.pdf

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Chaos and decadal atmosphere and ocean variability have extensive and wholly reputable antecedents in climate science. Confusing this with Stefan, Mythr and Cotton is ridiculous. But then you are equally ridiculous with your ‘solving’ of climate with one line of algebra, with your constant repetition of absurd personal complaints and drooling xenophobic mutterings. Say something serious and considered or stop wasting everyone’s time.

      • David,

        Why do you continue to piss away your credibility with your “death threats” line? That is a complete fabrication.

    • David, how I wish this was true. Did you not read the climategate emails? It has become an ugly, insane situation in climate science. I will protect the guilty by not describing the many many instances that I have encountered this among individuals, committees and institutions. I have been on the front lines of this, as I have been called a ‘denier’ publicly by any number of climate scientists since I talk about uncertainty and natural variability.

      • David Appell

        Judith, I understand that scientific debates can be fought with sharp elbows. But your suggestion that you’re doing science and others are doing religion is very unprofessional.

        If you want to win the debate, then do superior science. That will convince everyone.

      • I will settle for keeping an open mind and not doing a blanket dismissal of skeptics and their arguments. I am primarily interested in raising the integrity of climate science, and a critical issue in this regard is how you communicate uncertainty and deal with dissent and disagreement

      • As examples, read the interview with Michael Mann

        http://bos.sagepub.com/content/66/6/1.full

        Read this article by Kevin Trenberth

        https://ams.confex.com/ams/91Annual/webprogram/Paper180230.html

      • Motes and beams,
        Splinters and timbers,
        Religious steams
        And David unlimbers.
        =============

      • Well, what can I do? David Appell, I don’t understand your point of view. I have met many types of people in my life, including losers, in every profession. Do you actually deny that about scientists? And if you don’t, then you should accept the possibility that Dr. Curry knows more about some of them than you do.
        How can you come into a dispute and say, “Sorry, sharp elbows is the most you can claim”? Dr. Curry is making a very specific claim about total unprofessionalism on the part of a certain group of scientists, a claim based on her personal experiences and understanding. And your response is that it is unprofessional to ever suggest that another scientist has stepped outside the boundaries of scientific behavior.

        Sorry, that won’t go. Scientists deserve a certain measure of respect, and trust, and deference from society. That respect has to be earned by their behavior, and it can be forfeited. Everyone who respects science should have been in the line to tar and feather the Climategate group, and Peter Gleick, and every other scientist who lets his profession down.

      • Judith -

        I talk about uncertainty and natural variability.

        You do more than than.

        For example, you focus much of your energy on talking about “religious adherence,”

        You’re entitled – but that is certainly more than what you described.

        Should you not talk about what you see as “religious adherence?” Again, you’re entitled – and obviously you should decide for yourself, but I would say that you shouldn’t portray what you do so selectively (and I would suggest that you might consider being less selective in focusing on the religious adherents on both sides of the debate).

        Perhaps if you limited yourself (more?) to what you described you would contribute to diminishing the tribal nature of the fight? Who knows – it might be worth a shot.

      • I also talk about people who are intolerant of dissent and other people’s perspectives, particularly those who are in positions of institutional authority (note very few skeptics of the intolerant variety are in positions of institutional authority)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘If you want to win the debate, then do superior science. That will convince everyone.’

        ‘Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies.

        Abrupt climate changes were especially common when the climate system was being forced to change most rapidly. Thus, greenhouse warming and other human alterations of the earth system may increase the possibility of large, abrupt, and unwelcome regional or global climatic events. The abrupt changes of the past are not fully explained yet, and climate models typically underestimate the size, speed, and extent of those changes. Hence, future abrupt changes cannot be predicted with confidence, and climate surprises are to be expected.

        The new paradigm of an abruptly changing climatic system has been well established by research over the last decade, but this new thinking is little known and scarcely appreciated in the wider community of natural and social scientists and policy-makers.’ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

        ‘More recent work is identifying abrupt climate changes working through the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Southern Annular Mode, the Artic Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole and other measures of ocean and atmospheric states. These are measurements of sea surface temperature and atmospheric pressure over more than 100 years which show evidence for abrupt change to new climate conditions that persist for up to a few decades before shifting again. Global rainfall and flood records likewise show evidence for abrupt shifts and regimes that persist for decades. In Australia, less frequent flooding from early last century to the mid 1940’s, more frequent flooding to the late 1970’s and again a low rainfall regime to recent times.

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

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

        ‘Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

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

        ‘This study uses proxy climate records derived from paleoclimate data to investigate the long-term behaviour of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). During the past 400 years, climate shifts associated with changes in the PDO are shown to have occurred with a similar frequency to those documented in the 20th Century. Importantly, phase changes in the PDO have a propensity to coincide with changes in the relative frequency of ENSO events, where the positive phase of the PDO is associated with an enhanced frequency of El Niño events, while the negative phase is shown to be more favourable for the development of La Niña events.’

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GL025052/abstract

        When I read that rainfall has declined since the 1950′s – I reach for my umbrella.

      • (note very few skeptics of the intolerant variety are in positions of institutional authority)

        Well yes, if you mean, specifically scientific institutions, but certainly not political institutions.

        So if you limited your discussion of the problem of intolerance to that context, it might help (IMO). But you don’t. You selectively wave away the importance of intolerance among “skeptics” even as you applaud the importance of their input. This applies for “skeptics” who are scientists (McKitrick, Lindzen, etc.) as well as those who aren’t.

      • My criticisms have focused on scientists with positions of authority in universities, professional societies, and organizations such as the IPCC.

      • My criticisms have focused on scientists with positions of authority in universities, professional societies, and organizations such as the IPCC.

        Well, I think the target of your criticisms has been a bit more broad than that (scientists with not much authority, non-scientists, etc. on the “realist” side) – but still that is basically my point. Your criticisms have been quite selective. Whether it is only towards scientists in position of power as you say, or somewhat more broadly than that as I would say, the criticism is basically only targeted to one side of the battleline. The problem there, Judith, is that you (IMO) with such an approach your input will inevitably be lost in the crossfire between tribes because you will blend into the troops on the “skeptical” side. Your uniform is too much the same color as theirs.

      • miker613
        +1000

      • Then again I certainly will acknowledge, Judith, that I will often read the comments of folks like GaryM, Willis, and many of the “skeptics” in this thread and see that at least sometimes they think you’ve temporarily donned a “realist” uniform..

        It certainly is tricky to avoid getting caught in the crossfire, I’m sure.

      • JC

        +1000 for all your comments on this sub thread. I think you do a brilliant job on trying to improve the integrity and honesty of climate science debate.

        But I feel some of you comments about energy policy on other sub-threads step outside your area of expertise and they expose you to criticism for doing what many other climate scientists have done – advocated policies based on little more than what seems like ideological and politically partisan leanings.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Neither side has any credibility – you are merely telling each other stories superficially in the objective and culturally powerful idiom of science. Except for Joshua – he merely repeats ad nauseum the same sad old story about objectivity straddling no mans land. Not even close – the goal of science is truth and not politics. God is not on either side in the climate war – there are merely pompous fools trotting out inanities.

        There is science in there somewhere but it is struggling to stay afloat in the maelstrom. There are rational policy ideas emerging but it is lost in the noise.

      • David Appell
        Re: “If you want to win the debate, then do superior science.”
        Check before exposing your ignorance.
        See Curry’s world class breakthrough leading weather forecasting at CFAN Climate
        Curry is also leading the field in exposing uncertainties.

      • David Appell

        David Hagen: She has to convince the scientific community, not a few blog commenters.

      • David Appell

        Judith, of course I read the Climategate emails. I saw a lot of scientists being just as frustrated by the unending attacks on them — merely for doing science as best they can — as you seem to be frustrated.

        That doesn’t make them members of a religious cult. I can’t think of a lower blow to one’s colleagues than insinuating that. The scientists I talk to strike me as doing the best science they can, in a lousy public environment where they have been abused as no scientist should ever be, puzzling through the observations, models, and uncertainties. And, yes, natural variability too.

      • Well that is a rather amazing interpretation of the climategate emails.

        David, you apparently are unfamiliar with the ostracism that is heaped upon climate scientists by their peers for questioning the consensus

        Regarding religious adherence to the IPCC consensus, it has been ‘expected’ both implicitly and explicitly by the climate science community. Michael Lemonick summed it up best in his Sci Am article: http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101101/full/news.2010.577.html

        ” What scientists worry is that such exposure means Curry has the power to do damage to a consensus on climate change that has been building for the past 20 years.”

      • Well David, maybe if they had published ALL of their work product supporting their conclusions, not “lost” data, had made available all their computer code – in other words, been 100% transparent as any good/true scientist is, maybe they would not have been treated the way they were. But when they constantly refused to share all their work and dodged FOI requests, then they deserved the ridicule they received.

      • ‘as best they can’ and ‘the best science they can’. David, you’re becoming absurd.

        If this is the best, what is their worst, besides what’s demonstrated in the climategate emails?
        =============

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘It was the best of science, it was the worst of science, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.’

        h/t Charles Dickens

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Actually Appell has made the point – typically for him again and again. I don’t expect him to agree that AGW is at core religious – simply make his point less often and boorishly insistently. Move on David we are bored.

        Many people have seen that the AGW belief system is typical of millennialist cults that arise now and then. It is indistinguishable from – for instance – a spaceship cult. It is religious in that sense. It is why I call it the cult of AGW grouopthink space cadets.

      • Hi Judith

        I went to the met office web site to gather evidence of their lack of interest in natural variability for David came across this article concerning the suppression of hurricanes by aerosols. Thought it might be of more interest

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2013/atlantic-hurricane

        Tonyb

      • Hi Tony, I know of another article coming out on the same topic, i’m waiting to discuss both together.

      • Lemonick’s comment is very as it does present rather fairly two opposing views on the issue (I would not say both sides as that would imply that there are only two sides and that they have equal weight).

        In one important way those scientists who criticize Judith are really wrong. Science cannot stand or fall based on what one scientist says or does not say. If science cannot win on more objective merits it’s not valid science. Even if there’s some urgency, it’s not at a level that would justify shortcutting proper scientific practices, and one of the most important proper practice is letting disagreements be voiced (and showing that they lack merit, if that’s the case).

      • There is a lot of talk of natural variability lately, but very little research progress made. Complexity of the subject and packaging any findings into fixed boundaries of already ‘known knowns’ may not be an easily accomplished task.

      • Pekka Pirila,
        @ June 28, 2013 at 5:31 pm

        Did you intend to say anything in that comment, or did you accidentally post it before you said anything?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Peter,

        Pekka is hardly the worst. A little long winded and pompous sometimes – but English is I presume not a first language. That excuse doesn’t work for all of us aye?

        There are 2 sides but this hardly matters for science. There are space cadets and reactionaries – both sides telling each other stories superficially in the objective idiom of cultural important science. Each side claiming the imprimatur of science.

        Hilarious really – but the snide remarks addressed to a serious and knowledgeable scientist are far from amusing.

      • David Appell

        Chief Hydrologist wrote:
        I don’t expect him to agree that AGW is at core religious.

        That’s ridiculous. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. More of it causes more warming. That is not a religious statement, but a scientific fact.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘…as the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature.’ ftp://starfish.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pub/ocean/CCS-WG_References/NewSinceReport/March15/Swanson%20and%20Tsonis%20Has%20the%20climate%20recently%20shifted%202008GL037022.pdf

        Simple radiative physics notwithstanding climate is dynamically complex – thus AGW is wrong at the fundamental level of assumptions about how climate works. But AGW groupthink works at the level of faith and not science. Very few have much understanding of science – and most show cognitive dissonance when anomalous information emerges. It is simply the way it is.

      • David Appell

        AGW is fundamentally correct — CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and more of it causes more warming. Theory says it, and observations prove it. There is no other explanation for current climate, past climate change, or other climate without this fundamental fact.

      • David Appell

        curryja writes:
        David, you apparently are unfamiliar with the ostracism that is heaped upon climate scientists by their peers for questioning the consensus.

        That is such a broad, unspecified statement that I have no idea how to interpret it. It clearly depends on the details. Has anyone accused you of being part of a cult, as you just accused many scientists of?

        When you say things like that, you’re only ostracizing yourself.

        It still remains — the only way your views will prevail is if they are scientifically superior. You and everyone else can blog all you want, but unless your sciences shows a better explanation for observed facts, they will not prevail. This has always been the case in science, and it’s no less true now.

      • No, I’ve just been called a denier.

        No, you misunderstand science. We are back to the whole null hypothesis issue, which i dealt with in a previous paper http://judithcurry.com/2011/11/03/climate-null-hypothesis/

        And sometimes we just don’t know. The key issue is this. Virtually no one assumes that the warming in the latter half of the 20th century was 100% anthropogenic, just as virtually no on assumes that greenhouse house gases don’t affect the climate at all. The key scientific issue is how much is anthropogenic and how much is natural. The IPCC has decreed most (>50%) is anthropogenic. It is apparently regarded as ‘heresy’ to say that it could be 50% or less anthropogenic.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The fundamental process is abrupt change – CO2 is a minor part of the system.

        It is a different way of understanding climate – a not so new paradigm.

      • David Appell

        CO2 traps energy. More of it traps more energy. That influences the climate system in many ways, including the possibility of abrupt change.

      • David Appell

        Judith: In the entire history of science, when has the null hypothesis ever been proved?

      • Steven Mosher

        David.

        You have mis read Judith’s comments, or failed to read them with charity as willard likes to say

        “Scientists can shift their attention from religious adherence to consensus science and get on with the real work of trying to understand the dynamics of climate variability and change””

        1. Judith is making a claim about the adherence to a consensus.
        2. She is claiming that adherence is “religious”. I take this to mean
        “unquestioned” or “beyond question”.
        3. She is not claiming that all scientists suffer from this
        4. She is not claiming that they do religion and she does science.

        I think the choice of the word religious is one we could quibble about.
        If you are looking for a fight you can focus on that and go non linear.
        Not very productive. Remember the planet is at stake and Judith should be one of the people you care about saving.

        In simple terms this is what she is arguing: the social pressure and institutional pressure to present a somewhat united front , a consensus, has pointed the science toward explanations that give natural variation short shrift in Judith’s mind. Look at the design of experiments for CMIP 5. How many compute cycles were devoted to understanding natural variability? Very few. ( I wont bore you with the details of the conversation that Judith and Peter had with Hans von Storch concerning this imbalance ) She is hoping to see more attention paid to an interesting problem. Thats a good thing.

      • Steven Mosher

        David

        “That is such a broad, unspecified statement that I have no idea how to interpret it. It clearly depends on the details. Has anyone accused you of being part of a cult, as you just accused many scientists of?”

        Huh? where did she accuse anyone of belonging to a cult?

        Seriously, dude up your game if you believe in AGW, we cannot afford dummies on our team

      • The key issue is this. Virtually no one assumes that the warming in the latter half of the 20th century was 100% anthropogenic, just as virtually no on assumes that greenhouse house gases don’t affect the climate at all..

        This is extremely misleading. You are comparing non-parallel situations. No one says that the warming is 100% anthropogenic. No one. But there are many who say that GHG do not affect the climate. You see those comments, daily, on your blog. And in addition, you see, daily on your blog, people who argue that they don’t doubt that GHGs affect the climate but then promote arguments based on a logic that GHGs don’t affect the climate. For example, they argue that:

        It is not possible to measure whether the climate has warmed.
        There is no such thing as global temperature readings.
        Every metric we have to measure global climate change is invalid.
        There is no discernible signal of climate change beyond natural variability
        It’s all the sun.
        Global warming has stopped/paused even though we are pumping more ACO2 into the atmosphere.

        And that is just a partial list:

        The IPCC has decreed most (>50%) is anthropogenic. It is apparently regarded as ‘heresy’ to say that it could be 50% or less anthropogenic

        This is also very misleading. The iconic IPCC statement implies that “it could be 50% or less.” (Very likely more than 50% anthropogenic does not imply that it is “heretic” to say it could be less).

        It is great that you focus on better quantifying the uncertainty – but you can’t get there by inaccurately portraying what other climate scientists say about the uncertainty.

        Maybe if you were more scientific in your approach, Judith – using terms more accurately, validating your statements about what “skeptics” do and don’t say, accurately portraying what other scientists say, you’d be less likely to get caught up in all the name-calling.

      • David Appell

        In simple terms this is what she is arguing: the social pressure and institutional pressure to present a somewhat united front , a consensus, has pointed the science toward explanations that give natural variation short shrift in Judith’s mind.

        If the science is wrong, Judith can (and, indeed, must) prove that with *better* science. Taking easy, cheap shots on her blog is unprofessional, and, more importantly, scientifically meaningless.

        The best science wins. It alwas has, and it always will. Anything else is really nothing more than an excuse — trying to win by claiming the other side is unfair, just because you say so. IF YOU HAVE SUPERIOR IDEAS, THEN PROVE THEM.

      • David Appell

        Huh? where did she accuse anyone of belonging to a cult?

        I quote from her post: “Scientists can shift their attention from religious adherence….”

        PS: I am not on anyone’s “team.”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Again you have made a point as pathetic as it is again and again. I don’t expect you to agree that AGW is at core religious – simply make your point less often and boorishly insistently. Move on David.

        There is better science but you are incapable of processing the information through cognitive dissonance. That’s the religious problem.


      • Chief Hydrologist | June 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm |

        Actually Appell has made the point – typically for him again and again. I don’t expect him to agree that AGW is at core religious – simply make his point less often and boorishly insistently. Move on David we are bored.

        and then he repeats several hours later:


        Chief Hydrologist | June 28, 2013 at 9:58 pm |

        Again you have made a point as pathetic as it is again and again. I don’t expect you to agree that AGW is at core religious – simply make your point less often and boorishly insistently. Move on David.

        Oooh boy, this dude The Chef is suffering from RainMan symptoms. The Chef thinks himself to be an excellent driver, if you get my drift.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        We understand that you are warping truth again in the service of God only knows what. Is ‘again’ such a difficult concept to indicate that I was mocking Appell’s relentless repetition? Perhaps I was being too subtle for you. But then again your own relentless of repetition of nonsense probably desensitizes you to obnoxious and boorish behavior.

        Perhaps if I ignore you – like I do Stefan – you will go away. Perhaps not – perhaps you are as utterly mad as Stefan.

        How’s that ‘solution’ to climate in one line of algebra going? No warning bells yet? Sad or mad – you are one of those relentless interweb wack jobs. But you have wasted more than enough of my time with personal diatribe, calumny, lies, fraud, utterly simplistic and misguided math and fantasy physics.

      • Chef, You must think of yourself as an excellent driver.

      • Appell, Have you been following the recent dendro paper from CRU. Seems it confirms McIntyre’s reconstructions that DO NOT SHOW a hockey stick. Mann’s results have not been confirmed. If anything they are becoming an embarassment.

      • Judith,

        The key scientific issue is how much is anthropogenic and how much is natural.

        I disagree. What we need to knows is: does in matter anyway?

        IMO, the key scientific issue is what is the probable impact of GHG emissions in terms of costs and benefits.

        I am not persuaded AGW is a significant threat, and certainly not worth spending huge sums of money on policies that have low probability of changing the climate or achieving any positive benefits.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You must crack yourself up webby. Mind you laughing at your own joke after the 20th repetition is a bit weird.

      • Chef, AFAIAC, you and Stef and Myrrrhh and Girma and Cotton and Biggs and Lang and the rest of you Aussies are indistinguishable in your relentless drive to present these oddball theories as to how the climate works.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Chaos and decadal atmosphere and ocean variability have extensive and wholly reputable antecedents in climate science. Confusing this with Stefan, Mythr and Cotton is ridiculous. But then you are equally ridiculous with your ‘solving’ of climate with one line of algebra, with your constant repetition of absurd personal complaints and drooling xenophobic mutterings. Say something serious and considered or stop wasting everyone’s time.

      • Peter wrote;

        Judith,

        The key scientific issue is how much is anthropogenic and how much is natural.

        I disagree. What we need to knows is: does in matter anyway?

        IMO, the key scientific issue is what is the probable impact of GHG emissions in terms of costs and benefits.

        As far as I understand, what Peter means, I agree on the fundamental level. It really does not matter, what’s the share of AGW in the past warming, only thing that matters is the strength and consequences of future warming from additional GHG emissions.

        Asking what has been the share of AGW in past warming is a different question than asking what’s the climate sensitivity. The questions are related but the data is analyzed in a different ways when it’s used in answering the two questions. When the data is used to understand the natural processes the data is used again in a different way. One of the ways is directly relevant for policy, another for science in learning about the climate system, while the third (attribution) is essential only for the battle and for maintaining animosity.

        I have repeatedly been disturbed by the overemphasis given to the details of attribution of past warming in the disagreement between Judith and many other climate scientists. The attribution is a secondary question for the climate science, and for the climate policy. I have the feeling that it has become so focal in the battle just because it’s secondary. Two scientists who agree on the fundamental parts of the science can disagree more violently on secondary issues than on the real issues.

        The hockey stick controversy is another example of the same. The hockey stick is of secondary interest, but it’s a good issue to fight about. The misbehavior of some scientists revealed by the climategate has also concerned mainly handling secondary issues. Those scientists feel that they have not falsified real science without understanding that they must follow proper practices also on the secondary issues turned important in the political battle.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Attribution is fundamental to forming expectations about future trajectories temperature – as is the understanding that temperature changes will not be linear.

        ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.’ TAR 14..2.2.2

        This is still the case. ‘Sensitivity’ here is a misguided and impossible chimera. There is a need to fundamentally reframe assumptions and approaches before rational ways forward can be devised.

      • Pekka Pirila,

        As far as I understand, what Peter means, I agree on the fundamental level. It really does not matter, what’s the share of AGW in the past warming, only thing that matters is the strength and consequences of future warming from additional GHG emissions.

        This is a misstatement of what I meant. I’ll edit your paragraph to say what I meant:
        It really does not matter, what’s the share of AGW in the past warming, only thing that matters is the consequences of future additional GHG emissions.

        You introduced only thing that matters is the strength … of future warming. Then the rest of your comment is about the warming, not about the consequences of GHG emissions.

        I say what is relevant for policy is the damages caused by GHG emissions and the costs of policies proposed to deal with the issue; as well as the probability the policies will achieve the claimed results. This is an entirely different matter than projections of the strength of warming.

        Have I made my point clear now? Could you please acknowledge you have understood my point rather than leave the loop open

      • Chief,

        Future expectations are determined by the estimate of climate sensitivity or most relevantly perhaps the transient climate response TCR. Checking how the best estimates of TCR are made we see that they are not made trough attribution. The methods used in attribution and in determining TCR are similar but not identical. Doing attribution is technically not a step in optimal determination of TCR.

        I understand that many people consider attribution as an essential first step, but I disagree. It would be logical, if the climate issue had been initiated by an unexpected warming that has to be explained, but the climate issue does not originate from that. It’s origins are in the theoretical understanding of GHE (Manabe and Wetherald, 1966, is perhaps most relevant in that) and in Keeling’s measurements of CO2 levels. Therefore we start from knowing that the effect is there, and continue by asking, how strong it will be, when CO2 levels have reached some expected future levels. There’s no explicit place for attribution in my logic.

      • Peter,

        I understand your later comment to mean exactly the same I understood your first comment to say.

        I understood that this was only the first step in your comment and that you continued to compare the consequences of warming to the cost of mitigation. That your comment presented a two step argument is in no way contradictory on what I wrote on the first step.

        I continue to believe that we agree on the nature of the first step.

        I did not indicate in either direction, what’s my view on the relative importance on the damages of warming as compared to the cost of mitigation. You indicate clearly your view on that. I’m much less certain.

        I don’t agree with those who are sure that the cost of mitigation is trivial in comparison with the damages avoided, but I don’t share your conviction of the opposite conclusion either.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Pekka,

        Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

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

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        Circuitous argument it seems. It was predicted – therefore it must be so.

        In 2003 I realized that there were correspondences between what we are calling the Pacific Decadal Variation and global surface temperatures. I was far from the first. I rang an Australian hydrologist by the name of Stewart Franks for one – who assured me that I had not gone completely insane. As Josh Willis says – it adds to surface temperatures over decades and then cools over decades in the limited instrumental record. Beyond the next shift – there seems little likelihood that the pattern will be repeated.

        This changes the dynamic completely. It becomes impossible to disentangle causation – although the satellite records show a minor role for CO2 in recent warming. Both in CERES and the earlier records. It means at the very least that the rate of warming is far less than was ‘predicted’. The shifts in the PDV are abrupt changes in the state of the atmosphere and ocean. This involves a paradigm shift from linear control knob thinking to non-linear systems thinking. A different way of thinking about climate that has profound implications.

        In 2013 I am still predicting with much greater confidence a decade or so more of no warming at least. We are in a cool decadal mode and understand more of what that means. What are you ‘predicting’ for the next decades Pekka?

      • Pekka Pirila,

        I don’t understand what you have written. You seem to be making many assertions about what you believe I said, when I never said anything of the sort. This is common with our exchanges so that is why I am responding rather then just letting it go. I am hoping to get you to realise that writing strawman and writing misleading statements about what others say is dishonest. If it happens once and gets acknowledged, that’s fine, but you continue to do it and never that I can recall admit you have done so.

        I understood that this was only the first step in your comment and that you continued to compare the consequences of warming to the cost of mitigation. That your comment presented a two step argument is in no way contradictory on what I wrote on the first step.

        What on earth does that relate to in my comment? I haven’t a clue what you are talking about. What I said was:

        It really does not matter, what’s the share of AGW in the past warming, only thing that matters is the consequences of future additional GHG emissions.

        How can that be misinterpreted? What in that statement is the two step process you are asserting I stated?

        I continue to believe that we agree on the nature of the first step.

        What is the first step and the second step you are asserting I referred to in my comment?

        I did not indicate in either direction, what’s my view on the relative importance on the damages of warming as compared to the cost of mitigation. You indicate clearly your view on that. I’m much less certain.

        What is all that referring to? Please quote the words of my comment so I understand what you think I said and how you have interpreted it.

        I don’t agree with those who are sure that the cost of mitigation is trivial in comparison with the damages avoided, but I don’t share your conviction of the opposite conclusion either.

        What is that referring to in my comment? I have no idea how you got any of those interpretations from my comment.

      • Chief,

        I would like to make a statement based on science I’m familiar with, but I don’t have such knowledge. Therefore I just copy a few sentences I wrote on another site a few days ago. What follows is just my intuitive impression of the situation. There’s no obvious contradiction between this and what you just wrote.

        The rapid rise of temperatures up to 2000 (or 1998) led many to expect similarly rapid warming to continue. Now we know that that has not been the case. The most likely explanation is that natural variability added to the warming before 2000 and has essentially canceled the warming for about 15 years. That makes it likely that a new period of rapid warming will be seen at some moment, perhaps very soon, perhaps a little later. Whether that is, indeed, the case or not, the best present estimate for the climate sensitivity is somewhat lower than the best estimate done 10 years ago based on data available then.

      • Peter,

        I have done my best to make clear, what I think, but I have obviously failed. I cannot improve on that.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Pekka

        To be speculative – I think the Pacific system may be driven – like much else – by solar UV modulation of the polar annular modes on annual to millennial timeframes. Given the state of the Sun – perhaps a transition to a yet cooler state is possible.

        Here is an 11,000 year ENSO proxy – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ENSO11000.gif.html?sort=3&o=121

        There are spectacular transitions and more or less thousand year peaks.

        This shows the last 1,000 years much more clearly. It is Law Dome ice core salt content – more salt is La Nina.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=62

    • David, check out Pointman’s latest post, he addresses the ‘religious’ issue

      • Yeah. Pointman settles the debate. We have religious zealots, and they are our “enemies.”

        Anyone who raised a doubt about their god-like authority was to be equated with a holocaust denier.

        Really – so no one was to be equated with someone who denies climate science, but with a holocaust denier.

        bent the independence of a grovelling money hungry academia to their will,

        Right. That settles it.

        Judith – how can you promote this stuff and then not question the reasoning of “skeptics.” You try to limit the conversation to only powerful members of scientific institutions, and then you promote this dreck as if it somehow says anything other than same ol’ same ol’?

      • Seriously, Judith -

        When you read that kind of dreck, do you even look at it “skeptically?” If so, could you elaborate just a tad on what you find questionable about his argument and/or reasoning? I mean just a few specifics?

      • Wow. Pointman hit a nerve with someone.

      • Josh,

        Whether you agree with Pointman’s opinion or not, he is a better writer than you. Calling it dreck doesn’t say much for your own work.

        (Note that this is not a criticism of how you write.)

  34. I guess I don’t see what the fuss is all about. Republicans are shifting their stance because they no longer need the old one. It’s already clear that no one is going to pass bills taxing carbon or any of that stuff. It’s no longer necessary to claim that “it’s all a big fraud”. Your average moderate American doesn’t think this is a big enough issue to fuss about. So why not go along with his point of view and say, Even if it turns out to be a big problem (which it still may not), these kinds of solutions are stupid and costly and aren’t going to help at all. One more thing the Democrats are going to force down your throat through regulations because they can’t pass them in Congress, and they don’t respect your opinion enough to care what you think about it.

    Why lose that political claim by crying fraud?

  35. there is nothing scientific about the phony GLOBAL warming; now the question is: how much damages is and will be done under the banner of preventing the non-existent global warming

    • David Appell

      stefanthedenier wrote:
      there is nothing scientific about the phony GLOBAL warming

      Do you think the Earth doesn’t emit infrared radiation, or that CO2 doesn’t absorb it?

    • David Appell | June 28, 2013 at 6:57 pm said: ”Do you think the Earth doesn’t emit infrared radiation, or that CO2 doesn’t absorb it? ”

      Hi David. the earth emits – winds (oxygen&nitrogen, THE TWO BIG ELEPHANTS IN THE ROOM) collect that heat and waste it -

      2].CO2 is a trace gas / during the day is in the upper atmosphere, where cooling is much more efficient.

      3] if more heat is produced, say by CO2,or by volcanoes, or sun-flares -> O&N / troposphere expands INSTANTLY and wastes any extra heat the same day.

      4] CO2 absorbs heat during the day only; at night CO2 gets colder than surrounding air; same as metal pipe is colder than wood at night – therefore: those two factors cancel each other – unless you are flat earther and believe that is sunlight 24h on every spot on the planet.

      5] none of you can ignore forever the two big elephants Oxygen &nitrogen. They regulate the ”overall’ heat to be always the same – so, think first, what you are saying

    • David Appel,
      You should understand that StefTheDenier, like The Chief and a bunch of other regular commenters here belong to the Aussie Larrikin contingent. They are not here to discuss science rationally, rather they are here to shock and mock authority.

      It is part of their cultural heritage as far as I have been able to gather.

  36. “But your suggestion that you’re doing science and others are doing religion is very unprofessional. ”

    The term is so vapid it has no real meaning. That you keep using it only demonstrates your own cluelessness. What does it mean to be “unprofessional” in your view? Is it unprofessional to criticize colleagues when they engage in unethical behavior? How so? Explain.

  37. “-Republicans have shifted to a more rational stance on climate change as reflected in Rep. Lamar Smith’s recent op-ed;
    -The common ground seems to be that everyone wants clean, abundant, inexpensive energy and nobody wants to destroy the economy
    -The political battlefield can now shift to energy economics, which is where the battle belongs (not over the science), and maybe we can come up with some cost effective, technically feasible, and politically viable solutions”

    The naivete would be endearing if it weren’t so dangerous.

    You “lukewarmers” just don’t get it. Your middle of the roadism is never going to be the end policy result of the climate debate. No matter how often you wish everyone would “just get along.”

    “Republicans have shifted to a more rational stance?” Which Republicans were irrational? Which ones wanted dirty energy? Dr. Curry is edging into Keith Kloor, Steven Mosher country lately.

    “The common ground is that…nobody wants to destroy the economy?” A major part of progressive leadership across the western hemisphere, including the president of the United States, finds capitalism and the free market a system that must be radically remade. Obamacare is specifically designed to destroy the health insurance industry. Obama has expressly declared war on the coal industry. He has explicitly stated his intent to make energy prices sky rocket to decrease demand. The private market for higher education funding (student loans) is already gone. The religions that have been running hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens, adoption agencies and other charitable efforts, are being driven out of those areas by government diktats that they provide “services” that are anathema to their faith.

    You lukewarmers, moderates and independents keep on ignoring what Obama and other progressives say; or tell yourselves they don’t really mean it. And vote accordingly. It’s OK, when the 16 trillion in current debt and approximately 80 trillion in unfunded liabilities come due, you can join the progressives you have voted for and blame it on Bush.

    The battle can shift to economics? Have you not been paying attention? The debate has been about economics, through politics, all along. This seriously is the most naive statement I have seen by the hostess of this blog. Shift to economics? What precisely does anyone think decarbonization is? A physics class? Maybe a chem lab?

    The progressives who are really running the CAGW movement know full well the economic effect of what they propose. That is why they are proposing it. Hundreds of billions of dollars are being spent already. Control of trillions are at stake, and have been for decades. The reason you don’t see any cost benefit analyses from the wizards of smart trying to deconstruct the world economy is that it is irrelevant to them. They are the elite. Of course the economy will crash when they get a hold of it. Then they can rebuild it “for the children.”

    But by all means. Let’s all sing kumbaya and make smores around the campfire while those leading the governments in the world we actually live in drive our economies inexorably over a cliff.

    Don’t worry, they will just print tons of worthless money to pay for it all. Just ask lolwot.

    • Hear, here.

    • “Republicans have shifted to a more rational stance?”

      I believe it is the Democrats and CAGW alarmists who have shifted the most towards a more rational stance. Not on energy policy but on the CAGW alarmism.

      About 25 years ago, and right up to 2 years ago in the 2011 edition of “Storms of our Grandchildren”, James Hansen, the father of the CAGW scare campaign, was telling us the oceans would boil off if we don’t stop burning fossil fuels and stop the “death trains”. Many climate scientists, perhaps 97% of them, were echoing similar sentiments.

      But now Climate Scientists are moving towards acknowledging their projections were too high and the impacts were grossly overstated. Many are moving away from their extreme language of saying we must act to cut global GHG emissions substantially within the next decade or catastrophe will result (they were saying this in 1990 and right up to recently, but now backing off, slowly).

      What they mean by ‘catastrophe’ has changed from the end of life on earth to now meaning an increased probability of uncomfortable weather events (I de-escalate a bit to get the point across).

      The point is that it is the Democrats and CAGW alarmists that have moved massively.

      For me, the issue was always that:

      1. Catastrophic consequences of GHG emissions is highly unlikely, almost negligible probability, so the debate is about the economics and cost benefits analyses of the proposed policies and proper risk management.

      2. The debate should be about the economic and practical, implementable, sustainable, international and global policy (and always should have been). [Conservatives have been saying this since 1990 or before; they'v been correct all along, IMO.]

      Since the Democrats and ‘Progressives’ have been advocating high cost, economically damaging, economically irrational policy for decades, it was entirely rational for the Republicans and Conservatives to hold the ‘blow torch’ to every argument that underpinned the irrational, economically damaging policies being advocated by the Democrats and ‘Progressives’.

      • Peter Lang,

        There has been some minor back pedaling by a few consensus scientists on issues like climate sensitivity. But I haven’t seen any second thoughts by the Democrats. They have slowed the pace of their agenda a bit. But that is because they were spooked by the public reaction to Copenhagen and have recently been busy pushing other aspects of their central planning dogma – eg. healthcare, etc. But this is at most a tactical retreat. They have shown no change up in their intent to decarbonize at least the U.S. economy. Not that I have seen anyway.

      • GaryM,

        Thank you for your comments. This is a really important issue for me and for Australians at the moment. Two days ago we recycled our Prime Minisiters, back to the previously failed Rudd (nicknamed ‘Rudd the Dud’ before he was dumped three years ago). [As an aside, we've had more changes of Prime Minsters than elections over the past few years.].

        Rudd previously said, on many occasions “Climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our time” or words to that effect. Now he’s back he wants to run climate change as a major issue in the upcoming federal election. His allies in the dysfunctional divided Labor Party are suggesting Rudd’s policy swill be to dump the fixed price carbon tax of $24/tonne CO2 which is legislated to run to 2015 and, instead, bring forward the time when the ETS will begin and link to the EU ETS.

        However, this may not be possible. It would require changing the legislation and the EU may not be able to bring the date for joining the schemes forward. And there are many major issues with joining the two somewhat different schemes. Another point is that the EU ETS may not still be operating in 2015. The trend line through the EU carbon price shows it may be at zero EUR before 2015.

        What Obama says has a significant issue on how uninformed voters will react and vote here. Rudd will say USA is tackling climate change and Australia must not be left behind. Many gullible Aussies will think to themselves and say, “OK, if the USA is doing it we’d better too; we’d better pay more tax to be friendly with the USA and to save the planet from all the evil capitalists in the democratic capitalist countries”.

      • Peter Lang,

        Your Rudd sounds like any establishment Republican in the US. A progressive in what used to be the conservative party. I see the optimism in your and other Aussie’s posts about your coming election.
        But if the new PM is as you describe, I can’t say I share your enthusiasm.

        The most he will likely do is what American “me too” RINOs do, he’ll grow the government, just at a slightly slower pace. I am coming to believe people are too besotted on “free” government money, benefits and pie in the sky pensions they will never receive.

        We may not see a real change until they start getting the bill, with no offsetting benefits. The only thing progressive “conservatives” are doing now is delaying that day or reckoning.

      • GaryM,

        I didn’t make my point clearly. Sorry. this is the situation:

        1. From 1996 to 2007 we had a conservative government; John Howard was Prime Minister. Arguably the best government the country has ever had.

        2. in 2007 Labor (i.e. ‘Progressive’) government was elected and Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister. One of his key platforms was that climate change is the greatest moral challenge of our times, The Conservatives are old fuddy duddies and they just don’t get it. He also claimed he was an economic conservative, a lie. The young and gullible bought all this BS and elected Rudd and Labor to Government of Australia. Within a couple of weeks of being elected he flew off to Bali and signed Australia up to the Kyoto Protocol. Rudd went to Copenhagen in 2009 (with an entourage of 114 politicians, advisers, public servants, apparatchiks, media, taxpayer subsidised NGO reps) to fix the world’s climate and show the rest of the world how to do it. He intended Australia would lead the world by example.

        3. Within just over two years he’d demonstrated he was totally incompetent at managing anything. The government was in dissaray and having one scandal after another.

        4. The Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, ‘stabbed him in the back one night’ and took his place. She and her whole team of ministers (nearly all ex union officials with no management expertise whatsoever), turned out to be totally incompetent. Polls showed her declining support to the stage they were due to be totally routed at the 14 September federal election. At the election in 2010 she barely scraped in with a minority government in alliance with the Greens and independents.

        5. Throughout all this time since she stabbed Rudd in the back, Rudd had been undermining her. Two days ago (here), i.e. Thursday night, Rudd challenged Gillard and won a ballot to be returned to lead the Labor Party and be returned to Prime Minister. He’s very pleased with himself and gloating. He’s shares similarities with Julian Assange. He hasn’t named the date for the election yet. It could be earlier or later than 14 September, but not 14 September because that is the date Julia Gillard named. Got that bit?

        So, Rudd is Leader of the Labor party ‘Progressive’ party and Prime Minister of Australia. And he wants his ‘Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme’ (an ETS) implemented and linked to the EU ETS.

        Hope I’ve cleared that up.

        [I recognise some Aussies of Left persuasion will take issue with some details here, but this is a simplified explanation for non-Aussies].

      • Peter Lang,

        Thanks for the explanation. My lack of knowledge of politics down under is showing, not your fault at all.

        So who are the genuine conservatives alternatives in Australia? Is there a Thatcher, a Reagan, even a Fred Thompson or Sarah Palin?

      • GaryM,

        So who are the genuine conservatives alternatives in Australia?

        The main conservative (centre right) party in Australia is the Liberal Party. They normally form a coalition with the National Party. The National Party represents regional Australia’s interests. They are conservative but also somewhat agrarian socialists. The Nationals often argue for agrarian protectionist policies, as do the equivalent interest groups in USA and EU, Japan and most other countries.

        Australia’s Parliament has a House of Representatives and a Senate: http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Work_of_the_Parliament
        Brief explanation: http://www.peo.gov.au/students/fact_sheets/HoR.html

        Representation in the current House of Representatives is:
        Labor = 71
        Green = 1
        Independents = 7
        Liberal & Nationals = 71
        See the graphic here: http://www.peo.gov.au/students/now_parl.html

        Tony Abbott is the Leader of the Liberals and leader of the Opposition. Hopefully the Liberals and Nationals will form the government after the election (was to be 14 September but now is undecided because of change of Leader of the Labor Party and change of Prime Minister three days ago from Julia Gillard to Kevin Rudd.)

        It’d take too long to try to compare the politics of a Tony Abbott government with that of other conservatives. The main things an Abbott government will focus on are:

        1. Return to good, stable government, consultation with business, no tricks and unwelcome surprises like the existing government pulled on business over and over again such as by imposing the carbon tax after saying before the election they wouldn’t, imposing a mining tax after misleading and tricking business, stopping exports of beef to our nearest neighbour without any warning at all, and many other disastrous policies;

        2. Return the budget to surplus and then start to pay off the massive debt the present government has built up

        3. Repeal the carbon tax and ETS (Rudd would retain the ETS), and repeal most of the subsidies for renewable energy and climate policies. retain a small commitment to climate change polices through a capped commitment to ‘direct action’ policies.

        4. Remove over time many of the 30,000 new regulations and constraints that the present government has placed on business. These are absolutely unbelievable.

        5. Free up the restrictions on small business so they can once again be the engine room of the economy and jobs growth, as they were under the previous Liberal-National government from 1996 to 2007.

        6. Stop the flow of illegal immigrants coming to Australia by boat – When Rudd became Prime Minister in 2007 he unwound the highly successful policy that the John Howard (Liberal-National) Government had implemented. It will, be much harder to get this inflow of illegal immigrants under control a second time. This is a major political and national security issue.

        Those are some of the main policy issues. But I’d sum up the LNP’s main intent is to return Australia to good, stable, (mostly) economically rational, conservative government.

      • Peter Lang,

        Thanks for your reply.

        May I suggest that your description of the policies being promised sound helpful, but you cannot tell whether a politician is conservative just by the policies he/she proposes. If that were true, John McCain, Mitt Romney and both Bushes would have been rock solid conservatives. And none of them were.

        You can only really tell a conservative by his/her principles. Any progressive will tell you what you want to hear to get elected. But only a conservative, who puts principle before power, can be trusted to actually govern, or try to govern, as a conservative.

        Beware of “conservatives” who think their job is to replace exiting government programs with “more conservative” ones. The role of a conservative politician in the societies we live in today is to cage the beast, before he devours the whole country.

        Your bullet points all sound like good conservative polices. But the question is who has lived a life that shows their firm belief in the fundamental principles of conservatism – the free market, the Judeo-Christian ethic, and strong foreign policy?

        We only have a very few on the national scene in the U.S. Fred Thompson was so weary of government he barely ran for president in 2000. Sarah Palin has been castigated (by progressives in both parties) from the day they learned what she really believed in, and how she was able to communicate those beliefs. Ted Cruz is a rising conservative star, and is therefore now in the process of getting the Palin treatment. Any black conservative, like Clarence Thomas or Thomas Sowell, who has the audacity to talk back to his white progressive overseers is labeled an “Uncle Thomas.”

        The western governments, the popular culture and virtually the entire mass media seek to strangle conservative politicians in their political cradle, particularly blacks and women. If you want to know who the most conservative politician in your country is, the one the left fears the most, look for the person the progressive politicians, news media and cultural elites hate with the most venom. The way they reviled Reagan and Thatcher.

    • Gary, that seems a good summary to me, Judith is straying into economic, political and policy areas here, and they are not her areas of expertise.

  38. ” Ofgem warned there could be energy shortages in the middle of this decade as the UK has failed to build enough new wind farms and nuclear powers stations to replace old fossil fuel plants.

    It also believes demand for energy may not fall as much as originally expected, as fewer households are insulating their lofts and switching to green appliances than predicted.

    Ministers are so concerned that factories and large businesses may be asked to switch off their power during energy emergencies in return for compensation from bill-payers.

    ‘Without timely action there would be risks to security of supply,’ Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary admitted.
    ‘If we didn’t do anything, if we allowed this supply crunch to happen, we would see spikes in power prices and that would be very damaging for the consumer. This intervention is meant to keep the lights on, which it will, but it’s also meant to protect consumers from those price spikes.’”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10145803/Risk-of-UK-blackouts-has-tripled-in-a-year-Ofgem-warns.html

    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    [All you progressives - together now-sing!]
    Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s laughing, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    [All you conservatives - together now-sing.]
    Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s crying, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    [All you future generations - together now- sing.]
    Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s praying, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    [All you lukewarmers now - together -sing it loud!]
    Someone’s sleeping, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s sleeping, Lord, kumbaya
    Someone’s sleeping, Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya
    Oh Lord, kumbaya

    • Gary, it’s lucky that the US has all those woodchips to send to Drax. It’s all part of an ingenious Europe-mandated plan to send biomass to Yorkshire from half-way round the world. Just be careful not to trip on the lumps of coal as you are delivering.

      • Chips coming primarily from South Eastern forests. Forests that environmentalists apparently don’t care about.

  39. If I interpret Judith’s comments correctly, I agree it is great that the argument has shifted from whether climate change is happening to what to do about it. While it would be convenient to separate energy policy from climate change, they are inextricably tied as Obama has realized, so the debate is now about how much they are tied. This is related to where coal and shale oil fit in with future energy, if at all. I think that there are still some people (Republicans) who see nothing wrong with these energy sources, but they may be headed the way of the dinosaurs as they can’t gain supporters for this view in this day and age.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The reality is that fossil fuels will continue to be the overwhelmingly largest source of energy for decades – unless there is a technological breakthrough tomorrow. That there will be technological breakthroughs seems certain – this is the nature of capitalism. Capitalism works best in an economically rational framework.

      We will certainly continue to insist that climate is dynamically complex – and I would add – not warming for a decade or so more at least.

      I would save the smug triumphalism Jim – it is likely to be both embarrassing and counter productive.

  40. tempterrain

    Its natural, and rational even, that those on the political right will have different views on how to respond, economically to a CO2 emission problem than those of a more leftish disposition. What always seemed irrational was the notion that an economic viewpoint could be used to justify a scientific argument against the existence of any problem.

    If its right that the US Republicans have shifted their stance it is very good news indeed.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      What’s irrational is to persist with failed an economically damaging programs.

      That 97% of ‘the science’ is nonsense is icing on the cake.

      • What’s irrational is to persist with failed an economically damaging programs.

        That 97% of ‘the science’ is nonsense is icing on the cake.

        Which came first, the icing or the cake?

    • Say tempt,

      What always seemed irrational ter serfs, out in all kinds of
      variable weather, was the notion that linear-modelling of a
      compluh-cated non-linear climate system and their failed
      projections could be used ter justify inroads on political
      liberties and justify economic vandalism of previously
      productive economies by conviction driven charismatic leaders. .

      Thought fer Today:
      ‘The world is full of intellects whose desires have outstripped
      their understanding.’
      H/t Hayek.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The models are definitely non-linear Beth. They have at their core the Navier-Stokes partial differential equations that Edward Lorenz used in his convection model – to rediscover chaos theory.

        ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’

        They are different non-linear systems of course. Climate shifts abruptly and unpredictably – models have many feasible solutions within the range of plausible inputs. How do you know which one is right? ‘The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.long

        A posteriori solution behavior? That’s right – they pull it out of their arses.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The Lorenz attractor – an oddly mesmerizing butterfly.

      • Chief Hydrologist
      • Mister Meteorologist that’s a tricky task yer got,
        what with muli initial starting points each
        leading god knows where, and complex
        interactions, strange attractors, best
        beware makin’ long term weather
        predictions … do yer think yer should
        go there?

      • Chief:

        A posteriori solution behavior? That’s right – they pull it out of their arses.

        Applause.

  41. Judith I am surprised that you are surprised about this Republican shift in strategy. A similar shift has occurred in the UK in recent years with the emergence of the GWPF.

    You must have noticed also a shift in climate skeptic attitudes at this blog and others recently. Skydragons and others at the extreme are being marginalized by the moderates. Look at the topics that now come under discussion. A shift away from denial that CO2 causes warming (or any significant warming) to an acceptance of an ECS figure around 2C for example. This follows a shift from denial of the surface warming a few years ago (Watts, surfacestations) to acceptance of it. What little denial remains is largely “entertainment” posts on blogs that receive little notice.

    It’s a gradual acceptance of both the A and W in AGW. So naturally this represents a move away from the traditional science mud flinging to the economics of doing something about it.

    What triggered this I don’t know. Possibly it’s something to do with a realization, as Steven Mosher pointed out, that debating the science just isn’t going to get them anything anywhere (well they were told repeatedly that the debate is over). The rest of the world have moved on to the economics and is already enacting new energy policies.

    As the UK is planning to build loads of renewables, etc it makes more sense to step forward and engage the economics of the solution where there is a legitimate debate rather than waste time denying that man is changing the climate, which is only one (albeit the main) reason for the change in energy policy. The lack of opposition voice to the UK’s energy policies up to recently is because the opponents have been unwisely focusing on denying AGW and esoteric subjects like hockeysticks than on the energy policies that governments are now focused on.

    • I forgot Australia,
      Of course the enactment of a carbon price in Australia has probably helped shift the focus from the science to the economics too. Supporters of fossil fuels are finding that attacking the science is just falling on deaf ears and to engage they need to start talking about the economics of energy policies instead. This slowly shifts focus of the subject.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Oh God – I ‘m not sure I can take much more of this twaddle. Rational people – and that excludes numbnut – have been suggesting for a decade at least that uncertainty is the best argument for rationally mitigating carbon emissions.

      The system is dynamically complex and as the NAS suggested back in 2002 – this paradigm is well established but little understood still. One of the corollaries of abruptly changing climate is that surprises are to be expected rather than not. The current climate state – or attractor – suggests that surface temperatures are not increasing for a decade or more at least.

      Climate change is a fact of life – natural for the most part – but AGW may or may not happen. Abrupt change is at the core of how the system operates.

      Refer to WHOI below along with the many other things that science is telling us about climate change and abrupt change specifically. This demonstrates conclusively that 97% of ‘the science’ is misguided at the level of assumptions about how climate works.

      It is a difficult idea – but will continue to play out as the surface temperatures do not increase. Ordinary people see this already and wonder aloud what it is all about. Unless ‘solutions’ are relentlessly pragmatic and practical they will continue to fail – as in the past how much more so when predictions continue to fail to materialize.

    • “an acceptance of an ECS figure around 2C

      Huh ? Lolwat, you are getting out of date. An ever increasing number of climate scientists either have or are shifting from that old hat 2C down to 1.3 or 0.7

      Watch that figure drop still further as temperatures fall to 2030 or beyond.

  42. Chief Hydrologist

    JCH | June 28, 2013 at 12:03 am |

    WHOI: common misconceptions about abrupt climate change

    A bit obscure but yes I have read that page – now you need to compare and contrast, do some thinking, read some actual science. Don’t stop now – you are on a roll. Try the rest of the WHOI site for a start.

    ‘It is prudent to superimpose on this forecast the potential for abrupt climate change induced by thermohaline shutdown. Such a change could cool down selective areas of the globe by 3° to 5° Celsius, while simultaneously causing drought in many parts of the world. These climate changes would occur quickly, even as other regions continue to warm slowly. It is critical to consider the economic and political ramifications of this geographically selective climate change. Specifically, the region most affected by a shutdown—the countries bordering the North Atlantic—is also one of the world’s most developed.’

    Can we get some NH ice sheet feedback? Wow – instant glacial.

  43. Climate change mitigation economics are as twisted and bass-ackward as its science. It’s where the rubber meets the road, and the machete meets the head.

  44. Trenberth from JC link above: “Given that global warming is unequivocal, the null hypothesis should be that all weather events are affected by global warming rather than the inane statements along the lines of “of course we cannot attribute any particular weather event to global warming”. That kind of comment is answering the wrong question.”

    Brian H | June 28, 2013 at 4:56 am | Climate change mitigation economics are as twisted and bass-ackward as its science.

    Sums up the problem.

  45. Joseph O'Sullivan

    I think it is too soon to tell if the Republican position on climate science has shifted. Some Republican politicians writing op-eds or talking about economics does not mean the party now accepts science as a whole or climate science in particular.

    This reminds me of the second Bush administration’s actions during his presidency. Publicly Bush would make some comments that seemed to suggest that he accepted climate science, but other times he made comments that he did not accept climate science.

    The press and pundits tried to parse these statements and spent most of their time trying to guess what president’s real position on climate science was. In the meantime nothing was done to address anthropogenic climate change. This back and forth on climate science was a distraction that kept the political inaction hidden.

    • Joseph O’Sullivan,

      In the meantime nothing was done to address anthropogenic climate change.

      In that case, how do you explain the US’s enormous reduction in GHG emissions due to fracking – a policy that George Bush and Dick Cheney pushed through because they understood industry?

      Or do you mean that even with US’s great success in reducing its GHG emissions it has made not the slightest difference to the climate?

      • Joseph O'Sullivan

        Peter Lang,

        Can you provide a citation, preferably from a peer-reviewed journal, that states the US’s reduction in GHG emissions was due to an increase in fracking?

      • I’ve read that, too. The chain is frakking to cheap gas to displacement of coal as electricity generator, and twice(?) the btu’s per ghg. Obama’s Depression has also impacted GHG emissions.

        Peer review? Journal? This is our best.
        =============

      • David Appell

        kim: Actually, US per capita CO2 emissions have been declining since 1973. They have declined more during the Obama Administrations (-2.1 t CO2/yr) than during the two Bush Administrations (-1.7 t CO2/yr), and now stand at 17.0 t CO2/yr.

    • “Publicly Bush would make some comments that seemed to suggest that he accepted climate science, but other times he made comments that he did not accept climate science.”

      This comment shows one of the problems with the primary post. No Republican has ever “not accepted climate science.”

      CAGW is not science.

      Rejection of claims of certainty far beyond the knowledge of the “scientists” is not failure to accept climate science.

      This is why our blog hostesses repeating the mantra about irrational Republicans (that she has been hearing since grade school, but seemed to grow out of when she was called to testify by those same science hating Republicans) was a wee bit disappointing.

      The tribalism some people grow up in is very hard to really break away from. For every David Horowitz, there are a dozen Keith Kloors and Steven Moshers. They can only get so far away from the tribe before they have to turn back. They have believed for so long that conservatism, and conservatives, are icky, that when they find themselves agreeing with them too often, when they start to recognize how their fellow progressives lie, distort and conceal in one area, the threat arises of looking at all their other long held beliefs. Of which they were just as certain as they were of progressive climate dogma.

      It remains to be seen whether Dr. Curry can resist the pull of decades of group think that was drummed into her (and every other student in this country). But the forecasts are not promising right now.

      She has come a long way from random snide remarks about this conservative or that, but the fault lines are showing.

      • There is a tide, and it will vary.
        ==========

      • Joseph O'Sullivan

        GARYM,

        I never mentioned catastrophic anthropogenic global warming, just climate science. You seem to be putting words in my mouth. You also seem to be saying all climate science is CAGW, unless of course it is accepted by Republican. In that case it is sound climate science.

      • Josepf O’Sullivan,

        No, you never mentioned CAGW, CAGWers never do. You just repeated the CAGW line that Republicans reject “climate science.”

        You don’t want to be grouped in with the radical warmists? Then don’t regurgitate warmist propaganda.

      • Jest came across this interview with Thomas Sowell about
        his book ‘Conflict of Visions’ re the implicit assumptions
        underlying two contrasting ways of looking at society,
        which Sowell calls the ‘constrained’ and the ‘unconstrained.’

        He views Obama as one of the unconstrained, believers in
        utopian possibitity through visionary leadership ( while the
        constrained view, recognising human fallibility and the long
        record of history goes fer limiting institutional power by
        checks and balances and by open market trial and error.

      • I’d vote for Sowell for president in a heartbeat. But then, I support that “Uncle Thomas” Clarence Thomas. Because that’s how we irrational, racist conservatives roll.

      • Beautiful:

        Sowell compared President Barack Obama’s actions to Adolf Hitler’s in a June 2010 editorial for Investor’s Business Daily titled “Is U.S. Now On Slippery Slope To Tyranny?”

        Yeah – slippery slope to tyranny.

        Heh. Thank god these folks are around to save us from the alarmists.

      • David Appell

        No, you never mentioned CAGW, CAGWers never do. You just repeated the CAGW line that Republicans reject “climate science.”

        “Catastrophic” is a value-laden term, not a scientific term. Until you define, arguing about it is useless. And, since it is a term of values, others might well not agree with your definition.

      • David Appell,

        The fight to ban the C from CAGW has been fought and lost.

        Repeatedly.

        If you feel the desperate need to march into battle again though, you’re just going to make me quote whole swaths of the AR4 again..

  46. I find it laughable that those who promote the “clean energy” solutions of wind and solar fail to take into consideration how solar panels and windmills are manufactured. Both require raw materials that are mined using fossil fuel driven machinery, manufactured in facilities that use, you guessed it, fossil fuel. The finished product is then transported to it’s location using – OMG, fossil fuel powered vehicles, and constructed on site, by, well, fossil fuel powered machinery yet again. And this scenario is unlikely to change given that neither wind nor solar can generate sufficient energy to drive the machines required to do the mining, or the facilities to produce the steel, or the facilities required to manufacture the end product, then transport it to location, and assemble it.

    It is also apparent that people on the alarmist side have failed to realize that the increased life expectancy, and that is a longer healthier life, is directly attributable the use of abundant, affordable energy – almost all from the use of fossil fuels. All we hear about is the downside while none of the positives are recognized. None of us would be here typing away without fossil fuels, and to a large part, without coal.

    I am not saying here that we should not strive for more efficiency, or new forms of enegy. What I am saying however, is that making the current forms of energy unavailable because the cost has been artificially inflated by government fiat, will result in a delay in finding better solutions, because, to do the research, testing, scaling, and implementation of any new solutions will likely require the use of our current forms of energy.

    • David Springer

      This article has drawn a lot of new names with rational things to say.

      Thanks Barnes.

      +1

      • Thanks David. I read this blog almost daily and am amazed at the level of discourse, notwithstanding more than a little snarkiness as well. I am also continually dismayed at how the general conversation about fossil fuels focuses on the downside with no regard to how it has improved lives. If you were to go back 300 years before fossil fuels were used, I think you would find a much dirtier, unhealthy world. Once we learned to harness the energy from fossil fuels, especially the most evil of all, coal, our overall environment has become much cleaner, healthier, and more hospitable to humans.

    • Agreed, Springer and Barnes. One thing that’s not often enough mentioned is that we don’t know when such ‘new [clean and efficient] forms of energy [generation and storage]‘ will emerge. 2050? 2500? It would make quite a difference. Markets are better for this kind of uncertainty.

      • David Springer

        Synthetic biology is the next transformative technology. It’s going to be more transformative than anything preceding it IMO. It’s not far off. Computers and networks and microelectronics were prerequisites. We’re putting biochemistry labs with a million test-tube equivalent on tiny electronic wafers with static electric charges shuffling materials around. Lasers reading off results from a million sub-micron test tubes. And it’s all getting cheaper and faster and bette. Moore’s Law of Semiconductors appears to apply to bio-technology cost/performance curve. We’re about at the stage in synthetic biology as we were in electronics in about 1970. Forty years to maturation is a stretch. I figure twenty at most before biofuel production direct from sunlight, CO2, and non-potable water on non-arable land is in full swing. The limiting factor at present is availability of CO2. Ironic huh? In order to get efficiency per surface area of bioreactor high enough to produce sub-$100/bbl fossil equivalent requires bubbling pure CO2 through the growth media.

        Cost performance can be improved by both improvement and economy of scale in plastic bioreactor manufacture and in genetic engineering improvements in the phyto-bacteria doing the heavy lifting. The true nature of synthetic biology isn’t really revealed until we have bacteria that can build their own bioreactors. Manufacturing cost drops to near zero for both hydrocarbon fuels and almost anything else made of carbon compounds.

        Google joule unlimited dow chemical to get a gist of the big players involved with my favored contender. The list of collaborating enterprises, industry and academic heavyweights, in everything from plastics to auto companies to genetics and biotechnology are world class household names.

      • David, you write “The limiting factor at present is availability of CO2. Ironic huh?”

        And you are absolutley correct. The reason why we need to pursue “carbon capture”, is not so that we can “store” it. We need to capture CO2 so that we can recycle it

      • There are vast calcium carbonate resources, sequestered carbon one might say, so we have plenty if we need it.

      • David,

        This helps answer a question I had for you somewhere else.

      • David Springer

        Jim,

        Calcium carbonate decomposition is, like most decomposition reactions, endothermic. Many people know this because it takes a lot of heat to turn limestone (CaCO3) into quicklime (CaO) giving off CO2 as a byproduct. Quicklime is in the primary ingredient in cement so it’s a pretty old process, a very important process, and taught in primary school. I guess it didn’t stick with you. Now you know. Write it down.

      • That’s true dave, but in cement making, it is already roasted, so that would be a good point source.

        I actually made quick lime when I was a kid. Then slaked it to make calcium hydroxide.

      • Maybe the engineered life forms could be made to liberate CO2 from the limestone. Tree roots do it.

      • Dave Springer: I was hoping someone would make some predictions, especially some for which “computers and networks and microelectronics were prerequisites”. So thanks. I hope you’re right. But I prefer that if you are you have to persuade someone like George P. Mitchell to stump up cash, not some bureaucrat in Washington. It’s fairer that way.

      • David Springer

        Yes but we wouldn’t make more concrete just to capture CO2 because it takes more energy to decompose the calcium carbonate than we get back from recycling the waste CO2 back into a fuel that could heat more calcium carbonate. We can and will capture and recycle the CO2 that is produced in the making of purposed cement. A better alternative is to frack baby frack and burn it to generate electricity while capturing and recycling the CO2 in the exhaust (which is almost pure CO2 and water vapor) into liquid transportation fuels which electricity doesn’t do very well at replacing. Eventually of course we need more CO2 than we can produce by burning natural gas to make electricity but it’s a wonderful way to get the gen-3 bioplants productive and competing on a level playing field with fossil fuels.

      • David Springer

        Joule Unlimited is private. Audi just ponied up a big chunk of cash for them last year in a joint venture with a new name Joule Fuels. Audi no doubt gets R&D tax breaks but not really different than any other R&D tax breaks. I agree the federal government in its modern incarnation should be discouraged from picking winners and losers because they suck at it. They suck at it because the process is so corrupted that objective rewards based on merit and potential are trumped by political rewards for building the plant in a favored location, hiring people who are owed political favors and/or nepotistic hiring, and purchasing from suppliers and sub-contractors who are owed political favors for campaign support. There’s some of that in private enterprise too but not nearly as much because private investors demand return on invested capital or they don’t invest.

    • “I find it laughable that those who promote the “clean energy” solutions of wind and solar fail to take into consideration how solar panels and windmills are manufactured. Both require raw materials that are mined using fossil fuel driven machinery, manufactured in facilities that use, you guessed it, fossil fuel.”

      We don’t fail to take that into account. Come off it. As if the fossil fuels used in the construction of wind farms come anywhere close to the fossil fuels burned all the time at coal and gas plants!

      “And this scenario is unlikely to change given that neither wind nor solar can generate sufficient energy to drive the machines required to do the mining”

      Think again, the future will be electric vehicles. It has to be, the fossil fuels are going to get too expensive as they run out, notwithstanding he need to get off them because of climate change.

      “It is also apparent that people on the alarmist side have failed to realize that the increased life expectancy, and that is a longer healthier life, is directly attributable the use of abundant, affordable energy”

      I doubt that, it sounds like something mythbusters might have fun with.

      “making the current forms of energy unavailable because the cost has been artificially inflated by government fiat, will result in a delay in finding better solutions, because, to do the research, testing, scaling, and implementation of any new solutions will likely require the use of our current forms of energy.”

      The subsidized cost of coal and oil has squandered the ability to develop better solutions. Sticking to fossil fuels will dig us deeper into the fossil fuel mire and delay the development of a sustainable energy system.

      • So, lolwot, you think that having abundant affordable energy that we use to control our individual environments (HVAC) has nothing to do with living longer, healthier lives – that by living a life where we are exposed to raw nature would be better? That fossil fuels, including coal, have been used to power sewage treatment and water purification plants have had no effect on health and life expectancy? That those same fuels have been used in medicine to power the medical devices used to save lives – think xrays and MRIs to start. That farms powered by fossil fuel driven machinery now able to produce vastly greater amounts of food have had no impact on health and life expectancy? If you can’t understand this, then you are indeed clueless.

        You could also use a lesson in the concepts of energy density, power density, scale and cost. Maybe start by reading Robert Bryce – “Power Hungry, the Myth of Green Energy. Wind and solar simply don’t cut it, despite your desparate attempts to say otherwise. If a breakthrough in battery or other energy storage technology happens, it may make solar and wind more viable, but they simply do not generate the power needed to drive heavy machinary at the pace required to mine the raw materials needed for their own manufacturing process.

        As to Co2 being a pollutant and causing global warming or climate change or whatever the phrase du jour is, think about it – even if you blame humans for all the increase in CO2 from preindustrial times, it amounts to a net increase in total atmospheric content of about 125 ppm, or .0125% (from 275 to 400ppm), in a massively complex, chaotic, non-linear, coupled system. To say that CO2 alone acts as the single most important element, and is THE control knob that will enable mankind to control and stabilize climate, is an emabarrisingly idiotic hypothesis. I’ll refer you to Myrrh’s posts for more information.

        And you show yet another level of ignorance by making the statement about government subsidies for fossil fuels – deductions related to business expenses – that ALL companies take – is not the same as the government writing a check to say Solyndra. If anything, fossil fuel companies have been saddled with extreme and costly regulation beyond what is necessary to assure that they do what is necessary to limit their polution. You might want to take a look at sources of federal tax revenue where you will find that oil companies contribute roughly 10% of all tax revenue coming from business. It seems to me that oil companies in particular are subsidizing the federal government, not the other way around. Time for you and other AGW activists to wake up and get a clue.

        As to the “Social Cost” of CO2 “polution” that the regime has manufactured, it, similar to the AGW theory, is some magical, unquantifiable number that they can use to extort more from their serfs. Just watch, the regime, or their cohorts will continue to ratchet up the number, that no one can figure out what makes it up, and the stenographers in the media will report on it endlessly, so that the indoctrinated, lobotomized fools on the left will simply swallow the nonsense at face value, and again, there will be no debate. The benefits derived from fossil fuels so far outwiegh any costs that it’s comical this discussion is even occuring.

  47. Steven Mosher, at June 27, 2013 at 11:01 pm |
    writes “Our best science, imperfect as it is, tell us that we cannot continue to put C02 into the atmosphere without some risk. That risk is uncertain.”

    That is not what the IPCC states in the AR4. See http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-7.html

    As rgbatduke wrote, if the same sort of statement is in the AR5 “there will be hell to pay”.

    As I have remarked before, CAGW is a viable hypothesis. But that is all it is. The IPCC states in the SPMs to the AR4, that certain aspects of CAGW are “extremely lilely”, or “very likely”. Now you, Steven, appear to be saying that the IPCC is wrong. That the “risk is uncertain”. Who is correct? The IPCC or the skeptics?

    This is the issue have been trying to discuss for months, and no warmist will touch the subject with the end of a bargepole.

    So who is right Steven? The IPCC with their statements of near certainty, or yourself that things are uncertain?

    • “Our best science, imperfect as it is, tell us that we cannot continue to put C02 into the atmosphere without some risk.”

      This is nothing but Steven Weasel. How about you offer some evidence that there’s a specific risk? Risk of what? If you say “extreme weather”, that’s already a risk.

      Andrew

      • Our best plant science, imperfect as it is, tells us that we cannot continue to put CO2 into the atmosphere without more benefit.
        ==================

      • David Springer

        There is also a risk that making energy obtained from fossil fuel prohibitively expensive will result in deprivation and death on a scale perhaps greater than any plague or natural disaster that has happened since in the past several centuries. Dimbulbs such as Mosher don’t seem to realize, or worse willfully ignore, how fragile the technological and governmental life support system that keeps 7 billion souls alive and hopeful for a better future.

        There are many risks that are well known and certain to happen sooner or later that far exceed any reasonable CAGW scenario. A repeat of the coronal mass ejection in 1859 called “The Carrington Event” would destroy half a hemisphere’s electrical grid with no hope of restoring inside of many months. Billions would die from thirst or starvation as civilization imploded. Big cities would become big ugly tombs serving as monuments to hubris. Another Carriginton Even is inevitable and given the last one occurred barely 150 years ago, and that the frequency of them is quite unknown because they didn’t harm anything before the age of electricity, this is a far greater risk than any unintended consequences of fertilizing that atmosphere and possibly warming the earth in the midst of an ice age when the planet is anomalously cold to begin with. Ice caps are unusual for the earth not normal.

        Then there’s the inevitable asteriod strike, super-volcano, and/or ending of the Holocene interglacial to look forward to. Or one of these a swine-flu or bird-flu or airborne superstrain of HIV is in the works. Worse, the latter might be man-made in an act of bio-terrorism.

        The possibilities for disaster on an epic scale are legion. Only dipschits obsess over CAGW which is the least likely of any of them to cause a problem due to the immensity of paleo-evidence showing that an earth without ice caps is a world green from pole to pole and that’s really the optimum case in any sane evaluation. We should be striving towards it not shrinking from it.

      • Yeah, and given what China’s doing the benefit’s locked in.

      • Richard, dontcha know that everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds, and that every day in every way, everything is getting better and better?
        ===================

      • Hmm. As GKC said the problem is not that the world is not perfect, but that it is so nearly perfect.

      • David Appell

        Our best plant science, imperfect as it is, tells us that we cannot continue to put CO2 into the atmosphere without more benefit.

        Not true. Plant growth is a function of more than CO2, and depends on tempertature and precipitation as well. (Also, CO2 creates more weeds, which compete with crops.) There is already evidence that heat stress has counteracted the CO2 fertilization effect for some crops:

        Global scale climate–crop yield relationships and the impacts of recent warming, David B Lobell and Christopher B Field 2007 Environ. Res. Lett. 2 014002

        http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/2/1/014002

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It’s the water stupid. It’s ultimately a complex relationship – but yields continue to increase from many factors including CO2 enrichment and changes in leaf conductance.

        Has evapotranspiration increased? How to explain the evaporation paradox?

        http://www.uq.edu.au/news/index.html?article=25919

        http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n5/full/nclimate1832.html

        The best options for continuing to increase yields include – ironically – sequestering carbon in soils. – http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/07/soil-carbon-permanent-pasture-as-an-approach-to-co2-sequestration/ -

      • David Appell

        Chief Hydrologist wrote:
        It’s the water stupid. It’s ultimately a complex relationship – but yields continue to increase from many factors including CO2 enrichment and changes in leaf conductance.

        The Lobell and Field paper shows that “For wheat, maize and barley, there is a clearly negative response of global yields to increased temperatures,” that is counterbalancing the CO2 fertilization effect. The situation with plants is far, far more complex than CO2=good.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        yields continue to increase – and merely repeating yourself adds nothing at all.

        Water is far more significant than temperature – and has there actually been increases in water deficits?

      • David Appell

        yields continue to increase

        Yields have alway increased. Now, they’re not increasing as much as they would be in the absence of CO2-induced warming. Which makes the future uncertain.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is very unclear that CO2 is more than a minor influence on recent temperature.

        ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch3s3-4-4-1.html

        If real? Of course it’s real.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=7

        Regardless – yields will continue to increase.

        If you want serous discourse – you need to stop talking in 10s grabs.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Has Judith disabled the video – or is there a technical glitch somewhere? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGqoZNa3eFc&feature=player_embedded#t=19s

      • David Appell

        I don’t deal with “photobucket” files from unnamed, uncited sources where I can’t see the definitions, assumptions, and methods. You’ll have to do a lot better.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I have already given you this reference – so you can go phuck yourself.

      • David Appell

        That’s the kind of language I have come to expect from you, when you can’t present better science.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        David – you again spout faux superior nonsense about unnamed scientists when the names are on the graph – Ben Laken and Edward Palle (2013) – and when I have previously supplied you with the link to Ben Laken’s site. Yes -you are an ignorant twit whose only purpose is to play games. I get bored easily with silly games from space cadets.

        There are all sorts of control variables in the complex system that is Earth’s climate – and the response is non-linear by definition. Dynamical complexity is the central fact – not a minor control variable.

        The proof? The surface is not warming for another decade or so. Does that make you a loser incapable of facing reality? You connect the dots.

    • “Our best science, imperfect as it is, tell us that we cannot continue to put C02 into the atmosphere without some risk. That risk is uncertain.”

      Our best science tells us we need better science.

      • Science is always Skeptical.

        Consensus Science is NOT any kind of science.

        We have real science that disagrees, but it is not in the Clique and not in the Media and not in the EPA and not in the White House.

        The 97% is only inside the Clique.
        The Clique is shrinking fast.
        Germany is even doing things outside the Clique

        The Clique sees the end and gets more and more desperate as more and more data does not support the Alarmism

    • Things are certain. What has happened in the past ten thousand years will happen again.
      Things that have not happened in the past ten thousand years will not happen.
      a little manmade fraction of a trace gas is not going to have more than a fraction of a trace of influence.
      Chicken Little, the sky did not fall when you said it would, not for two decades. A fraction of a trace gas will not cause the sky to fall during the next hundred or thousand or million years.
      If the sky does fall it will be because of something that has not happened yet and something that we will most likely not expect.

      • David Springer

        Trace substances, like black pigment in white automobile paint, can have make a huge difference in how hot a car gets sitting out in the sun. CO2 is no different. I’m beginning to think you’re too old to be educable, Pope. I’ve told you to stop repeating that bit of stupidity more than a few times now but you keep insisting on demonstrating your ignorance.

    • I have been studying climate for five years. There is no temperature data and no sea level data that is outside the range of the past ten thousand years. There are hockey sticks and other “adjustments” that are out of bounds but none of that has held up when questioned. The IPCC has published stuff that they had to take out of the next publication.
      How do you promote a fake disaster with no data?
      It appears that it is not really difficult. The media will support any sky is falling story. Politicians will support any sky is falling story. Academia will support any story that provides them with funding.
      Germany may be beginning to wake up.
      America does need to wake up. CO2 makes green things grow and likely has a trace of influence on temperature.

  48. OT, but concerning an real environmental problem, the cause of the deaths of 25,000 bumble bees has been determined to Safari, a tree poison. This is great news as it might help determine what is happening to honey bees.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/06/insecticide_safari_confirmed_i.html#/0

  49. Democrat strategy: do everything possible to create segment the population separated along socal, cultural, economic, racial and ideological divides — a sure winner in a two-party system.

    Republican strategy: pretend to be relevant.

    Tea Party strategy: hit reset; hit reset; either go back millions of independent thinkers and doers who have the God-given right to life, liberty and property or settle for with 50 independent countries each of which has the right to follow the US Constitution.

  50. Pingback: Have U.S. Republicans shifted strategy on climate change?

  51. I simply close with a plea, please remember the needs and aspirations of the poorest among us when energy policy is made. Thank you very much. ~ Dr. John R. Christy

    • There is no need for a one size fits all energy infrastructure. The poor can (and should) receive subsidies for the energy they need. The rest are rich enough to pay for their pollution.

      • And what about all the millions in the middle?

      • You solution is more like robbing Peter to pay the pharisees.

      • David Appell

        The millions in the middle can afford to pay for thier pollution as well. (If not them, then who WILL pay for it?)

        The EPA now puts the social cost of carbon at $36/t CO2. That works out to 1.1 cents/kWh of coal-fired electric power. Are you seriously going to tell me middle class Americans can’t afford that — an increase of about 10% in their electric bill? 32 cents per gallon of gas? Baloney.

        http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2013/06/what-carbon-should-cost-you.html

      • You’re assuming that the millions in the middle can afford to pay more for energy without cutting back on other things – you know, the things which keep their fellow millions in employment.
        And what makes you think increasing the price of energy is not going to inflate the cost of pretty much all goods and services?
        Also, if most can afford the increased cost and those who can’t are subsidised, who’s actually going to cut down on their ‘pollution’?

      • 32 cents per gallon of gas?

        Come to the UK, buddy boy. We pay more than ten times that in fuel tax. And let me tell you something – it hurts! A lot! And the only way I have left to cut down significantly is to stop working. And yes, I’m middle class.

      • Fuel taxes (gasoline and Diesel) are high in Europe, they have been high for long, much longer than the climate issue has influenced the policy of any country. Even presently they have very little to do with climate policies.

      • They were relatively high to start with, but they’re much higher now.
        But whether or not it’s a result of the climate issue is beside the point – which is that increasing energy costs is largely ineffective in reducing consumption, besides being damaging to the economy. Just look at how poorly the European economy is doing compared to the rest of the world. I’m not saying energy costs are wholly to blame, but they certainly do not help matters.

      • Phatboy

        here is a chart of escalating energy costs in the UK graphed against our declining temperatures- a toxic combination.

        I am instituting a ‘swap your fuel bills with a buddy’ programme. In it Brits will be ask an green American buddy to swap their fuel and energy bills for a British one.

        Would you like to participate? I think David Appell and R gates will want to be our ‘buddies’ as they seem to think high energy costs are a price worth paying. to battle fierce dragons that seem to exist only in their minds. Consequently no doubt they will want to support their beliefs by picking up the consequences.

        tonyb

      • I like your thinking ;-)

      • These Brits are delusional and don’t seem to understand the economic heuristic that scarce resources lead to higher prices.

        You can demand all you want that fossil fuel prices shall not be high, but the market has other ideas.

        This is a model of UK crude oil production I am working on:

        This is the reality:

        Watch that production number go down before your eyes. The Brits commenting on Climate Etc think that production number going down means that prices are going down. I tell you, they are beyond delusional.

      • You’re the one who’s delusional in thinking you have the slightest idea about UK fuel prices

      • Phattieboy can’t read a chart and he doesn’t understand the concept of a finite resource.

      • Webbieboy plain doesn’t understand

  52. Merkel gets it:

    “German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she blocked a draft European Union law aimed at reducing carbon-dioxide emissions from cars over concerns the measure would cost jobs in the auto industry.

    A coalition of EU states led by Germany prevented approval of the measure at a meeting of diplomats in Brussels earlier this week. Merkel said that she moved to delay the proposal — which would cap average carbon discharges by passenger vehicles in the bloc at 95 grams a kilometer in 2020 — to defend jobs. ”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-28/merkel-says-she-blocked-car-carbon-curbs-to-shield-auto-industry.html

  53. Speaking of government gone overboard, the law concerning terrorist threats is over the edge of sanity.

    ““He replied ‘Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts,’ and the next two lines were lol and jk,” said Jack Carter, Justin’s father, in a statement to a local news channel.

    The statements “lol” and “jk” — meaning “laughing out loud” and “just kidding” — indicate that Justin’s statement was entirely sarcastic, said his father.

    But a Canadian woman who saw the post looked up Carter’s Austin address, determined that it was near an elementary school, and called the police. Carter was arrested one month later, and has been in jail ever since. He recently celebrated his 19th birthday behind bars.

    Authorities charged him with making a terrorist threat. If convicted, he will face eight years in prison.

    “These people are serious. They really want my son to go away to jail for a sarcastic comment that he made,” said the elder Carter.”

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/27/texas-teen-makes-violent-joke-during-video-game-is-jailed-for-months/#ixzz2XWg4O86F

  54. “Republicans have shifted to a more rational stance on climate change”

    I’ve given up on Dr. Curry long-ago, this comment sums up false “moderation” in sentence. Serious skeptics who recognize the totalitarian designs of AGW shouldn’t settle for these views.

    Republicans are weak and pandering to greenshirt extremism should be condemned. As for someone who must realize the fraud of AGW technically raises Dr. Curry to among the worst facilitators of history. She lives in guilt, an accomplice of evil.

    • David Appell

      What’s “totalitarian” is allowing today’s carbon emitters to change the climate for the next 100,000 years. Whatever gave you the notion you should be allowed to make such drastic changes in the world for the hundreds of generations to come?

  55. While only a few Republicans show any sign of rationality, those level headed, genius Democrats simply keep toiling along trying to teach the people about the “science.”

    Democrat Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz: “I will eventually represent Orlando” if we don’t do something in the next few years about global warming….”

    Because of course, her district which includes Miami, will be under water shortly.

    (By way of NRO – http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/352330/wasserman-schultz-my-district-will-be-underwater-few-short-years-andrew-johnson)

  56. Steven Mosher at June 28, 2013 at 11:52 am | writes
    @@@
    “Now switch to observational science. I have a hypothesis
    ” what happens if I double the amount of dust in the atmosphere?”
    In this case you cannot run a controlled experiment. You have these
    options:
    A) argue that we only know things when we can run controlled experiments and claim the answer is unknowable
    B) Try to understand the problem from history
    C) use physics to create models and use the models to make
    predictions.
    You think scientists should do somthing like A. you are wrong.
    @@@

    This vividly illustrates how Steven distorts what I try and write. That is not what I have said at all. Of course scientists should do B and C, and pursue the subject to the limits of their capabilities. That is the scientific thing to do. But that is NOT the issue.

    Back when CAGW started, the politicians basicly asked the question “What happens when we add more CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels?”. if that is not exactly how it happened, it is the way scientists ought to have interpreted the question. The honest answer then, as it is now, is “we dont know”. That is what I am saying. Not that we should do nothing. We should admit that we cannot answer the question. That is what I am trying to say.

    Instead of being honest, these scientists in the early stages of investigating CAGW did B and C, and then claimed as a result, that the question could be answered. And they claimed that this could be done with almost complete certainty. That is what I object to. The claim in the AR4 that things are “extremely likely” or “very likely”, when the correct answer is “we dont know”.

    So Steven, I am not arguing that we should do nothing. I am arguing that we admit that, with current scientific knowlegdge, we cannot answer the question “What happens when we add more CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels?”.

    • That’s a good point. My point is that science cartel members like Dr. Curry shouldn’t be making qualitative judgements about who is be “rational” at all. Her views come from her left-wing orthodox culture and disposition not from reasoning. Quite irrational in a phony “moderate” box label.

    • Steven Mosher

      ‘Back when CAGW started, the politicians basicly asked the question “What happens when we add more CO2 to the atmosphere from current levels?”. if that is not exactly how it happened, it is the way scientists ought to have interpreted the question. The honest answer then, as it is now, is “we dont know”. That is what I am saying. Not that we should do nothing. We should admit that we cannot answer the question. That is what I am trying to say.”

      Wrong.

      Back in the 1800s when this question was first posed the scientists of the day did science and concluded that doubling C02 would increase temps.
      Guess what? they were right. Guess what? They had a good claculation for sensitivity. Guess what? They were pretty damn close.

      • Mosh, “They were pretty damn close.”

        Yep, 1.6 (2.1) with water vapor from a 1900 baseline puts it right there. First time out of the box was a touch off, second time though was right on the money. Had to hunt for those corrigenda back then.

      • Steven, you write “Guess what? They were pretty damn close.“

        Pretty damn close to what? The hypothetical meaningless estimations, or guesses as I like to call them, that the warmists quote? Or the non-existent empirical data? What are they pretty well damn close to?

      • What’s amazing is that those scientists didn’t need to know a damn thing about the oceans, clouds, water vapor, multi-decadal oscillations, the impact (or existence) of certain types of solar radiation and their effects on cloud formation, the extent of total global ice and its effects on albedo, etc., etc.

        And all the whiz band, super duper climate models that claim to incorporate some or all of the above come up with “pretty damn close” to the same answer.

        What this means is that if the climate scientists are right, none of those factors has any appreciable effect on global climate. To paraphrase Knute Rockne, CO2 isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.

        Now THAT is modern day climate “science” for you.

      • David Appell

        GaryM: I’m guessing you’ve never really looked at a model in detail, have you?

        You can start here:

        NCAR/TN–464+STR
        NCAR TECHNICAL NOTE
        June 2004
        Description of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 3.0)

        http://hanson.geog.udel.edu/~hanson/hanson/CLD_GCM_Experiment_S11_files/description.pdf

      • David Appell,

        Everything I know about climate models I learned from those who trumpet them as the modern oracles of Delphi. I don’t need to put a philosopher’s stone under a microscope to know it doesn’t change lead to gold.

        When climate scientists admit they don’t understand clouds, water vapor, haven’t measured the deep oceans or much of the troposphere, all of their models disagree over a wide range regarding predicted future temperature…etc., etc ad infinitum, I don’t need to look at any particular model to know that hubris is the only constant in climate science modeling.

      • Steven Mosher

        Jim.

        They were pretty damn close to the answer.

        See this

        “B) Try to understand the problem from history
        C) use physics to create models and use the models to make
        predictions.”

        Both of which you admit are valid ways of understanding.

        Are you back to claiming A

        A) argue that we only know things when we can run controlled experiments and claim the answer is unknowable

        Seems like you are.

        If you want to calculate sensitivity its easy. temperature change divided by forcing change. That’s been done many times

    • David Appell

      And they claimed that this could be done with almost complete certainty.

      Completely flat-out false.
      Why don’t you go to the IPCC 4AR, and tell me what they give for climate sensitivity, with uncertainties.
      Be sure to provide a citation for your answer. I’ll wait.

      • David, you write “Completely flat-out false.“

        Let us discuss

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-7.html

        Quote
        Warming during the past half century cannot be explained without external radiative forcing
        Extremely likely (>95%)

        Warming during the past half century cannot be explained without external radiative forcing Global Extremely likely (>95%) Anthropogenic change has been detected in surface temperature with very high significance levels (less than 1% error probability). This conclusion is strengthened by detection of anthropogenic change in the upper ocean with high significance level. Upper ocean warming argues against the surface warming being due to natural internal processes. Observed change is very large relative to climate-model simulated internal variability. Surface temperature variability simulated by models is consistent with variability estimated from instrumental and palaeorecords. Main uncertainty from forcing and internal variability estimates.

      • David Appell

        Like I wrote, the claim this can be done with “complete certainty” is flat-out false. I will go so far as to call it a lie.

      • David Appell

        I see now what you’re doing.

        “Warming during the past half century cannot be explained without external radiative forcing
        Extremely likely (>95%)”

        Yes, this is a true statement. No one has ever come close to disproving it.
        So what is your complaint?

      • David, you write “Yes, this is a true statement. No one has ever come close to disproving it.
        So what is your complaint?”

        The fact that no-one has come close to disproving it, is not proof that it is correct. As I have said before, CAGW is a viable hypothesis. No-one can prove that it is wrong. The statement may or may not be true, but it has not been proven to be true with empirical data. And the empirical data is the ONLY scientific basis for deciding whether anything is true or not.

        My claim was that the IPCC has stated near certainty for some aspects of CAGW. That claim is correct. Whether the IPCC statements are correct or not is still being discussed, and they have not been proven to be true with empirical data..

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘With this final correction, the ERBS Nonscanner-observed decadal changes in tropical mean LW, SW, and net radiation between the 1980s and the 1990s now stand at 0.7, -2.1, and 1.4 W m2, respectively, which are similar to the observed decadal changes in the High-Resolution Infrared Radiometer Sounder (HIRS) Pathfinder OLR and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) version FD record but disagree with the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) Pathfinder ERB record.’ http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf

        Here’s why – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandLaken2013_zps73c516f9.png.html?sort=3&o=8

        ‘Clouds are a critical component of Earth’s climate system. Although satellite-based irradiance measurements are available over approximately the past 30 years, difficulties in measuring clouds means it is unclear how global cloud properties have changed over this period. From the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) and Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) datasets we have examined the validity of long-term cloud changes. We find that for both datasets, low-level (>680mb) cloud changes are largely a reflection of higher-level (≤680mb) variations. Linear trends from ISCCP also suggest that the dataset contains considerable features of an artificial origin. Despite this, an examination of ISCCP in relation to the MODIS dataset shows that over the last ten years of overlapping measurements between 60°N–60°S both datasets have been in close agreement (r = 0.63, p = 7×10-4). Over this time total cloud cover has been relatively stable. Both ISCCP and MODIS datasets show a close correspondence to Sea Surface Temperatures (SST) over the Pacific region, providing a further independent validation of the datasets.’

        It all seems unutterably bizarre to me that someone can pontificate about TOA radiant flux without considering the data, wondering what it says and why and at least having some cogent rationale for ignoring it completely.

        It gets better all time. ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing
        results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        Gee I wonder if the ‘large natural variability in Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics ‘ can be a robust feature of climate operating over decades to millennia.

  57. Mosh said yesterday to Matthew Marler:

    Bottom line: decision makers are not listening to your arguments and more importantly they are not listening to the public. Well, they are listening but the NSA doesn’t count.

    Nice joke. And this got me thinking in quite different directions.

    I’d already been rethinking my stance on this interesting thread, having written something supportive of Willis, and I hope of the host, earlier. Without re-reading anything, or indeed reading Mosh for the first time, it came to me that Dr Curry had been trying to say something important about the search for common ground in energy policy as she sees it in the US Congress. If so, she has a lot more right to an opinion on that than I do – on the practical politics I mean – and I’m very grateful she bothered. And probably more right than Mosh and not a few other people who have taken her to task. The freedom the host allows to criticise is a strength here, as others have said. But perhaps before we expect the great and good to listen to us we could listen to Dr Curry with this perspective in mind. Though I’ve found some of the criticism helpful, as I’ve already indicated.

    Today I read some news that was incredibly welcome to me: Monsignor Nunzio Scarano held in Vatican bank inquiry, in the context of Pope Francis’s decision to get to the bottom of transparency issues in this troubled institution, made just two days ago, his trenchant comments about the evils of the Mafia last month and much else since the unprecedented resignation of the previous Pope.

    Now, as a sympathetic reader of David Yallop in 1985 I’d have been up for major reform of the Vatican Bank and related matters for 28 odd years. But, not being a Catholic and technical issues like that, I don’t kid myself that Pope Francis listened to me. So it seemed an interesting test case for Mosh’s comments and his later free advice to sceptics – much-appreciated I’m sure – about how best to we should carry on our business.

    I had no influence on the decisions in Italy but I’m entirely delighted. But that sentence leaves prayer right out of it. And patience. You either get the point or not. All I know is that I’m glad to live to see this day, both in Vatican and climate politics. Though there remains some way to go in both.

    • We can also rename global warming. It should be, the politician Obama who believes in more taxes (especially a national energy tax) versus Richard Feynman who believes in the scientific method. Obama does not care about costs or benefits and is contemptuous of skeptics. Obama says, “We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat-earth society.” Feynman believes all scientists should be skeptics.

      Feinman says, Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts, as follows:

      When someone says science teaches such and such, he is using the word incorrectly. Science doesn’t teach it; experience teaches it. If they say to you science has shown such and such, you might ask, “How does science show it-how did the scientists find out-how, what, where?” Not science has shown, but this experiment, this effect, has shown. And you have as much right as anyone else, upon hearing about the experiments (but we must listen to all the evidence), to judge whether a reusable conclusion has been arrived at. . I think we live in an unscientific age in which almost all the buffeting of communications and television words, books, and so on are unscientific. That doesn’t mean they are bad, but they are unscientific. As a result, there is a considerable amount of intellectual tyranny in the name of science.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Really the bigger point is that surface temperatures at least seem likely not to increase for a decade or so yet. People’s perception of climate change is based on the weather as they emerge from their doors in the morning. Look at Judith in Reno. How much more so when temperatures don’t increase for decades? How realistic is it to think that the debate is won when people really just want to dump the whole idea and have the data to go with it?

        In the bigger picture – CO2 is just one of many control variables in a dynamically complex, coupled nonlinear system. One that is seemingly not all that important. ‘The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change…

        The richness of the El Nino behaviour, decade by decade and century by century, testifies to the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system that we are attempting to predict. It challenges the way in which we evaluate models and emphasizes the importance of continuing to focus on observing and understanding processes and phenomena in the climate system. It is also a classic demonstration of the need for ensemble prediction systems on all time scales in order to sample the range of possible outcomes that even the real world could produce. Nothing is certain.’ (http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full)

        If CO2 is doubled – it is by no means certain that – in the context of immense natural and non linear variability – that the planet will warm. My own feeling is that the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system provides all the justification needed for decarbonisation in some relentlessly practical and pragmatic way – such as outlined in the Hartwell paper I have discussed elsewhere on this page. Do I want a debate? No I want you to understand the true nature of the system and the depth of uncertainty that exists.

      • The real problem is that the real world is lost in in the digital world–e.g., when will anchovies return again to replace the sardines off the coast of California. No one knows and no one will bet much on anyone’s opinion about it but it says more about climate than the rings of a few trees.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Another decade or so of anchovies. Not much mystery about the cause – http://www.mbari.org/news/news_releases/2003/nr01-chavez.html

        I blame it on the AO pushing more or less cold water along the Californian Current.

    • Steven Mosher

      I guess my bigger point is this.

      Skeptics have been asking for a debate, trying to make their voice heard.
      And from the beginning I have suggested that they leave certain stupid arguments behind and focus on the elephant: sensitivity. I’m not suggesting that Nic lewis took my advice, but you see the result when a skeptic focuses on the debate which science actually offers. once you get on the common ground of ‘C02 warms’ you get to join the debate of ‘how much’.

      on policy, more cynically, I’d suggest what a libertarian wonk told me the other day: “I look at climate change as an opportunity to promote things I believe in” That happened to be insurance reform.

      • Steven Mosher | June 28, 2013 at 6:58 pm | I guess my bigger point is this.

        Skeptics have been asking for a debate, trying to make their voice heard.
        And from the beginning I have suggested that they leave certain stupid arguments behind and focus on the elephant: sensitivity.

        Ah yes, Mosher, of course you want to ignore the arguments that show you have been using fantasy fisics of the biggest con in science, to date, so you can continue pretending that a trace gas wears his knickers on the outside and can drive the heating of the whole Earth…

        Yeah, let’s just forget that your Sun is only 6000°C and produces “insignificant longwave infrared” and/or “there’s an invisible barrier preventing the direct longwave infrared from the Sun entering at TOA”, and the quite frankly idiotic in science claim that “shortwave mainly visible light from the Sun heats land and water”, oh, and the little fact that you don’t have the Water Cycle in your energy budget, that you don’t have rain in your Carbon Cycle, that you don’t actually have any damn atmosphere at all! Instead you have “empty space populated by the imaginary “ideal” gas, sans properties and processes, sans gravity, sans any science nous at all…

        So you want to talk about “sensitivity” of carbon dioxide – but you don’t have any carbon dioxide in your fantasty world of the AGW Greenhouse Effect – you have an ideal gas masquerading as carbon dioxide. So, the answer is simply, it has no sensitivity at all. It’s a massless dot of nothing.

        So you have nothing to worry about, there’s nothing to discuss.

        You have no heat from the Sun in your energy budget so there’s no upwelling heat for your imaginary ideal gas, which you pass off a the real gas carbon dioxide, to imbibe.

        You have no backradiation in your energy budget.

        It’s your argument that’s irrelevant here…

      • Mosh: I hope you know already that I deeply agree with you on concentrating on sensitivity and on how much Nic Lewis has transformed the debate for the good. We don’t need dummies on any of our teams. (And thanks for that too, much though I felt for Dave, who was only doing his best.)

        My real point though was something quite different. I watched the second part of the BBC’s brilliant D-Day: The Last Heroes late on Wednesday, having missed it first time around. One of the US veterans described making his way up Omaha beach. (If anyone from the US happens to read this, may I say in passing “heartfelt thanks”.) As he did he heard many with not long left in this world speaking (as always) to their mothers and to God.

        You wrote earlier:

        Since this is the internet and people look to find points to disagree with Willis disagreed with that statement.

        Whether that is fair to Willis is beside the point. The general point is for me unarguable. So many wasted words. Because so many of us feel so powerless, as you ruthlessly (to my mind) exposed.

        And prayer is God’s gift to the powerless. At least that’s the way it seems to me this week. Why waste words.

      • That’s a bit like saying, once we agree a bullet kills, you can join the debate of ‘how much.’

  58. Speaking of Obama’s speech on “climate change,” it seems the league of women voters have expanded their mandate to combating “climate change.” (That sounds so stupid!) Anyway …

    “The action steps President Obama announced in his speech this week are a turning point in the fight against climate change. After months of calling on the President to move forward with life-saving measures to protect our children, our nation and the world from the damaging effects of climate change, I was proud to stand by while he announced his plan to cut carbon pollution.

    Join me and thank President Obama for taking historic steps toward fighting climate change.”

    http://participate.lwv.org/c/10065/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=8188

  59. Trees for Free

    The economic consequences of Gaia worship have been inflicted on Ontario taxpayers . . . the GOP has an excellent example to highlight the idiocy of green energy.

    “Over that period, about 4.8 terawatts hours (TWh) of surplus wind power was delivered to the grid, power the IESO promptly exported. One TWh is enough to power over 100,000 average Ontario households for a year. Effectively, the Ontario government system exported power to U.S. states at 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) while paying 13.5 cents to subsidize wind producers under the GEA’s feed-in-tariff regime.

    Since Ontario does not need this wind power, Ontario rate payers are paying $648-million for power that is exported for $115-million for a net loss to ratepayers of $533-million”

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/06/27/ontarios-power-trip-mcguintys-bigger-debacle

    Wonderful way to run a public energy utility.

    • Be reasonable — how are we going to continue providing free lunches if we don’t get subsidized electricity to charge our subsidized electric cars?

    • Strange, why are you generating power you don’t use yourselves?

      Why are you exporting 4.8TWh?

      Sounds like the infrastructure hasn’t been designed correctly. Go build some pumped storage so you can store excess wind power rather than having to siphon it off elsewhere.

      • lolwot you write “Strange, why are you generating power you don’t use yourselves?”

        The answer is both simple and stupid. That is, it shows how stupid the Ontario government was when it opted to subsidize windpower. Windpower is so variable, that the grid goes unstable if there is more than somewhere between 15% and 20% of power generated by wind. We pay the wind generators whether we need the power or not. So we either pay the wind generators to shut off the turbines when the wind blows and we dont need the power, or we have to generate enough conventional power so that the grid does not go unstable. In the latter case, we can have far more power than we need. So other users generously take the power, if we pay them to have it.

        As to pumped storage, Ontario is the perfect place to use it. We already have the reservoirs for hydro power. All we need, in theory, is pumps to drive the water upstream back into the storage lakes. We use the technology daily at Niagara Falls. On the Madawaska River, near Ottawa, there are three hydro stations in series, and two storage lakes; no pumped storage. I have tried to find out why we dont use pumped storage; with no success. I am sure there are valid engineering reasons why we dont use it; but I have no idea what they are.

      • lolwot,

        I stay out of physics discussions. You should stay out of electrical generation discussions.

        If pumped storage was so easy and worked efficiently, people would be doing it on a regular basis. As I mentioned before, we are the 2nd largest holder of wind generation and we looked at pumped storage and passed. It did not pencil out.

    • http://toryaardvark.com/2012/02/28/germany-subsidies-china-to-destroy-the-german-solar-industry/

      ““You could not make it up” is one of those done to death clichés popular with bloggers and journalists alike, yet clichés aside, the latest instalment in the demise of the German Solar industry really does earn the “You could not make it up” cliché.

      Imagine if you taxed your industry with a CO2 emissions tax and then used the money raised to start the solar industry in a competing country that will always be able to undercut your own in price and always beat your own country in volume production.

      Well Germany did just that thanks to the usual stupid unthought through policies of the Greens, it is bad enough for Germany that the solar industry has proved to be a €100 billion money pit, but it defies belief to fund the competition who will ultimately put you out of business.”

      Unthought through by the green apparatchiks perhaps, but not unplanned..

      • It’s stinkin’ thinkin’…e.g., NLRB knows the union is bad so Boeing must be retaliating; EPA knows smokestacks are clean so CO2 must be a pollutant.

    • Good example of where government subsidies for this nonsense leads, Trees For Free. + 100.

  60. Some really good news in today’s GWPF Newsletter:

    “Britain has just won the world’s biggest energy jackpot, potentially worth a staggering £1trillion. Yesterday it emerged that the United Kingdom not only holds the biggest shale basin in the world but that Britain most likely has the biggest shale reserves worldwide. The British Geological Survey released a study that estimates there could be 1,300 trillion cubic feet – or tcf – of shale gas trapped in the Bowland shale basin alone. In fact, the BGS’s upper estimate is a staggering 2,281 tcf – almost the total estimated American shale reserve of 2,500 tcf. Incredibly, this estimate does not include the huge shale reserves in the South of England or the Central Basin in Scotland. –Benny Peiser, Public Service Europe, 28 June 2013″

    “In years to come, yesterday’s announcement of the mind-boggling amounts of shale gas beneath our feet may be seen as a game-changer for Britain. It is almost impossible to exaggerate how important it could prove for us over the next century. Just one site has an estimated 1,300 trillion cubic feet of the stuff. That could theoretically supply us for 433 years. Even if we can only extract ten per cent it’ll last half a century. It would be the biggest site in Europe. Alone it would make the UK a world leader in shale production. Shale may be a few years off. But it is a golden opportunity we must embrace. –Editorial, The Sun, 28 June 2013″

    “So what will happen in Britain? It’s still too early to say. George Osborne has offered tax incentives to shale, but they’re not needed. The block is the obstacles which quangos like the Environment Agency will throw in front of the would-be shale producers. Shale upsets a lot of people’s plans for a future of heavily-subsidised renewable energy which can be a license to print money. The three opponents of shale are Big Green, Big Oil and Big Government. With Owen Paterson in the Environment Department, shale does have a friend in government. Yesterday’s figures showed that Britain can expect years of austerity ahead – unless there is a game changer. Shale gas just might be it. –Fraser Nelson, The Spectator, 27 June 2013″

    I’d make a point about the third quote. It shows that what policy should focus on (Obama too) is removing the impediments that block progress rather than trying to subsidise selected solutions. Selecting solutions is usually politically and ideological driven and seldom the optimal solution. George Bush and Dick Cheney removed the blockages so that industry could develop the USA shale gas. Bush and Cheney succeeded, not by subsidies but by understanding what industry needed and focusing their policies on removing the impediments that were holding industry back from proceeding.

    I suggest Obama should dump his bad policy advisers, like John Holdren, and then remove the impediments blocking the development of low cost nuclear power. Obama should also stop wasting so much money on renewable energy. “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sows ear”.

    • Rule, Britannia! Britannia, rule the shale! Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

    • I was discussing British shale with a Brit about a year ago and he was convinced it wouldn’t happen. I got the impression he thought is wasn’t necessary. I know I wouldn’t want to be dependent on someone like Putin for my energy.

      • I agree on not being dependent on Putin and I disagree with the Brit you were talking to that large-scale extraction won’t happen. When the size of the Bowland shale became news on Thursday Andrew Montford put this up as a question on Twitter:

        Looks like estimates of shale gas under UK are huge. But how much will appear above ground?

        I was first to get in with a reply, though there’s some useful material later on a shift in mood detected even on the day. But I stand by what I said:

        I expect huge extractions. The good news nobody will be able to bury. The greens bringing delay, harm and thus their own doom

        I obviously didn’t have enough characters for the final full stop! But I do believe that shale is a death-trap for UK greens that they haven’t begun to face up to. Just look at how our most popular newspaper treated the subject and who they chose as their four commentators at the end. The guy from Friends of the Earth looking a little forlorn. And Terry Engelder really knows his stuff on this. It’s what I would call balance. :)

    • +1000 Peter Lang for being the bearer of good news, which is
      welcome fer a change given the constant tide of apocalyptic
      predick-shuns from liberal-left doom-sayers.
      Bts

  61. cost effective, technically feasible, and politically viable solutions

    Solutions for What?

    There is no data that shows we have a problem that needs a solution.

  62. What happened to the consensus. Germany to build more coal-fired power plants and now in England it’s drill baby drill.

    What next? Will the Eurocommies recall the Nobels given to Gore and Obama?

  63. A belief that humans cause global warming is a belief that modernity condemns humanity. The Left wanted all of us Americans to adopt the beliefs and solutions of the UN and just get along with the program of dismantling the country but at the first big meeting in Kyoto, President George Bush said, ‘Nyet’ to the UN and the Eurocommies. Good decision?

    • David Appell

      A belief that humans cause global warming is a belief that modernity condemns humanity.

      What utter claptrap. It is simply the recognition that atmospheric carbon dioxide absorbs the infrared radiation that the Earth’s surface emits, and re-emits it in all directions. That’s all. It is quantum mechanics.

      • You should be more skeptical. A study of the Earth’s albedo (project “Earthshine”) shows that the amount of reflected sunlight does not vary with increases in greenhouse gases. The “Earthshine” data shows that the Earth’s albedo fell up to 1997 and rose after 2001.

        What was learned is that climate change is related to albedo, as a result of the change in the amount of energy from the sun that is absorbed by the Earth. For example, fewer clouds means less reflectivity which results in a warmer Earth. And, this happened through about 1998. Conversely, more clouds means greater reflectivity which results in a cooler Earth. And this happened after 1998.

        It is logical to presume that changes in Earth’s albedo are due to increases and decreases in low cloud cover, which in turn is related to the climate change that we have observed during the 20th Century, including the present global cooling. However, we see that climate variability over the same period is not related to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases.

        Obviously, the amount of `climate forcing’ that may be due to changes in atmospheric greenhouse gases is either overstated or countervailing forces are at work that GCMs simply ignore. GCMs fail to account for changes in the Earth’s albedo. Accordingly, GCMs do not account for the effect that the Earth’s albedo has on the amount of solar energy that is absorbed by the Earth.

      • David Appell

        A study of the Earth’s albedo (project “Earthshine”) shows that the amount of reflected sunlight does not vary with increases in greenhouse gases.

        That’s because GHGs don’t reflect sunlight.
        Seriously: do you understand anything at all?

      • David Appell | June 28, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Reply A belief that humans cause global warming is a belief that modernity condemns humanity.

        What utter claptrap. It is simply the recognition that atmospheric carbon dioxide absorbs the infrared radiation that the Earth’s surface emits, and re-emits it in all directions.

        So what? Carbon dioxide is practically all hole in the atmosphere.

        And real carbon dioxide is fully part of the Water Cycle, which you don’t have in your Comic Cartoon Greenhouse Effect Energy Budget – which is the main cooling mechanism for our real greenhouse atmosphere which is practically all nitrogen and oxygen – which is the real thermal greenhouse gas blanket around the Earth, without water the temps would be 67°C – think desert.

        That’s all. It is quantum mechanics.

        It is meaningless. It is a brainwashing meme which is why you, generic, can never produce anything meaningful to describe how this trace gas with practically zilch heat capacity has such a great power as you claim “to raise the temperature of the Earth”. Go on, let’s have the detail, show and tell how a trace gas can heat the matter of land and water by backradiating heat.

        How much does the carbon dioxide in my attic space heat the attic floor by “backradiation”?

  64. Whether they shift strategy or not, nothing we do about carbon dioxide levels will have any effect on Earth’s surface temperatures.

    What have blackbody calculations got to do with determining Earth’s surface temperature? The surface loses two-thirds of its thermal energy to the atmosphere by non-radiative processes. Physics tells us that rate of cooling by non-radiative processes depends upon the temperature gap at the surface-atmosphere boundary.

    But that energy transferred by conduction and evaporative cooling uses up two-thirds of the energy available for radiation. What’s more, if radiation transfer is slowed by back radiation, then non-radiative transfer is free to accelerate. How on Earth (or any planet like Venus for example) can you imagine that you can calculate what a surface temperature “ought” to be using Stefan-Boltzmann calculations that only apply for a blackbody in space?

    The Earth’s surface is nothing remotely like a black body, and it also transfers heat further underground in the morning, and then gets it back from there at night, so it’s even more complicated.

    The whole paradigm of radiative forcing of planetary surface temperatures is invalid. The surface temperature is “supported” by the temperature at the base of the atmosphere, and the latter is held in place by the gravitationally-induced temperature gradient, which evolves spontaneously as a result of the process described in modern statements of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The gravity gradient (modified by inter-molecular radiation) can be used to calculate all observed or estimated atmospheric, surface, crust, mantle and core temperatures in our Solar System.

  65. An example of a serious mistake on energy policy by a Democrat President:

  66. BIZARRE WEATHER REPORT: you may have heard about the massive heat wave gripping the western U.S. I am currently in the Reno Tahoe area of Nevada, where we had 100 deg F temperatures, we are currently in the midst of a substantial hail storm. There is very rarely any rain in late Jun/Jul here, let alone a hail storm.

  67. Couldn’t agree more on the bees. It’s insane to me, that here’s a real problem, that is it’s manifest, visible, palpable, 3-dimensional, with potentially terrible implications, and what are we doing? We’re running around with butterfly nets trying to catch all the excess C02

    • michael hart

      I observed a large number of apparently-unwell bumblebees crawling on my parents lawn two days ago.

      My first reaction was not “OMG, it’s those neonicotinoids people have been scaring us about without convincing evidence”, it was “Why would such a large number of bumblebees suddenly come into my parents garden. That’s unusual.”

      In fact the bees themselves appeared slightly different to the bumblebees I am accustomed to observing here. I kept one. I’ll have a closer look tomorrow.

  68. Chief Hydrologist driveled: ”The proof? The surface is not warming for another decade or so. Does that make you a loser incapable of facing reality? ”

    Does that make you a ”winner” by stating that is not going to warm up for another 10 years; where did you read this; from another con artist like you? How do you know that: will be warming after?!?!?! You are the proud winner of the ”Empty Talk Award”

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Seriously Judith – does he have entertainment value? I studiously ignore Stefan – but how is anything he says remotely of any interest or relevance.

      • Chief Hydrologist | June 28, 2013 at 11:19 pm winged: ”Seriously Judith – does he have entertainment value? I studiously ignore Stefan – but how is anything he says remotely of any interest or relevance”

        Mommy, mommy, he doesn’t play the way I told him…!

        flashing those 11000 years of ”GLOBAL” temp is insult to human intelligence. Judith doesn’t do that; probably because they are the most deceiving charts since homo-erectus invented the language (as the one you suggested on your tread)

        for ”entertainment” you paint your face and put long shoes on as a clown, not lying about; you knowing in 100th of a degree precision the temp for all the last 11 000 years; You are lying to cover up my real proofs – it’s my job to point to your lies; using Fred Flintstones model thermometers for science IS A DISGRACE!…

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I suggested somewhere that canoes were probably coincident with the development of language – hence the timing of the diaspora of early peoples through the Indonesian archipelago and thence across the Pacific culminating in the settling of New Zealand some 600 years ago .

        Do these things fester in your fetid little mind until you have the chance to spew them back? Be assured that I spend no more time on you usually than it takes to pass over your comments without reading. TDDC – too dimwitted don’t care.

        The following will not be tolerated here:
        1.Comments using offensive words will be flagged by the spam filter.
        2.No ad hominem attacks, slurs or personal insults. Do not attribute motives to another participant.
        3.Snarkiness is not appreciated here; nastiness and excessive rudeness are not allowed.
        4.Don’t grind your personal axes by filling up the comments with extensive posts that are not deemed relevant or interesting in the context of blog objectives.

        Honoured more in the breach than practice it seems. I do it too? I do it when phuckwits like you think it clever to wallow in pejorative and horrendously obnoxious nonsense.

        Stefan – you are an horrendous twit easily the equal of any interweb wack job. Hopelessly ignorant – relentlessly tedious – someone who easily passes for someone with their head up their arse.

        BTW – it is an ENSO proxy not temperature.

  69. Chief Hydrologist commented on Have U.S. Republicans shifted strategy on climate change?. “11,000 year proxy “-

    Chief, you don’t know what was the GLOBAL temperature since you was born 7 years ago; now you sudenlly know about 11000 temperatures… what kind of thermometers did you used, Mr. Fred Flintstones’ brand of thermometers were not the most reliable, don’t bet your life on them

  70. @ David Springer

    When it comes to the subject of Gen3 Biofuels you keep mentioning these, but I would assume that they have not just pro’s but also con’s.

    Perhaps you should do a post and submit it to Climate Etc. and if it gets published we can take a look at your proposed future fuel. Might make a good post.

    Will it turn out to need too great an acreage ?, or require an impossible amount of water in a world where water resources are increasingly scarce ?, will it require so much process control and equipment and manpower that it ceases to be cost effective ?, can it only be made in the middle of a desert and then cost too much to transport water in and fuel out ? etc. etc.

    The US government thinks Gen 1 is perfectly good enough, is it ? and if it is then we don’t need to develop Gen 2 or Gen 3 do we.

    • David Springer

      They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

      • And if they escape into the environment, rivers, lakes and oceans ?

      • David Springer

        Good question. See below. As it turns out a lot of R&D and operational expense goes into keeping EPA happy.

        It seems pretty unlikely these could compete with natural organisms as their metabolism isn’t designed for competition it’s designed to excrete hydrocarbon compounds in a sterile highly controlled environment. The EPA is hopefully doing its job but I must admit to not having much confidence in the EPA anymore.

    • David Springer

      Hugely technical. Over an hour. Dr. David Berry of Flagship Ventures addresses Princeton University at the Adlinger Center one year ago.

      David Berry, Biocatalytic Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to Liquid Fuels

      • David Springer

        The David Berry lecture is good. Questions and answers are maybe half of it and the Princeton audience is asking good ones. No softballs.

        Below are out of order because I listened once, wrote some stuff down, and am listening again to Q&A and writing down details as I listen in other wwords taking notes in a blog comment.

        I did learn in Q&A as someone asked, CO2 is not a limiting factor. Joule is using 4% which is of course still 100 times higher than atmospheric partial pressure but they don’t have a problem getting it. They also use between 1 and 4 bar pressure.

        They can produce diesel as low as $20/bbl. Located next to a coal plant they use low quality waste heat from the plant to keep the bioreactors warm enough in colder climates.

        They inject gas to keep the solution moving instead of having pumps or other kinds of circulation. Lots of details I didn’t know about.

        There was a lot of engineering to remove valves and pumps. Diesel is extracted centrifically constantly at very low concentration because at a certain level it becomes toxic to the algae.

        The bugs themselves are interesting and engineered like Monsanto makes GM seed. You have to go to Monsanto for seeds and you have to go to Joule Unlimited for algae. It takes 3 days to grow out the algae then it produces fuel for 7.5 weeks then you drain the bioreactor, clean & disinfect, then grow out a new batch of algae that you buy from Joule.
        Lather, rinse, repeat.

        The growth cycle can be longer or shorter as desired. One of the interesting reasons for 8 weeks birth to death cycle for the bugs is to repress mutation. Since they are GM organisms the EPA is concerned about escape to environment so they, right now, incinerate them after they are done producing fuel which is acceptable for the EPA. There are other potential uses for the dead cells but right now they just burn them to keep things simple and satisfy the EPA.

        At 4% CO2 capture is not a problem it’s just the EPA and assorted other eco-loons are falling over themselves in joy at the prospect of recycling CO2 from power and cement plants instead of injecting underground or some other expensive BS. Coal plants can supply it too.

        EPA won’t allow open ponds with GM bacteria so they didn’t have any choice about using closed bioreactors.

        They discovered that strobing sunlight on for 10 milliseconds each second
        makes for the most efficient fuel metabolism (4x increase from constant sun…bizzare…who knew?) but they can’t use shutters so they use fluid motion but the energy required to move the fluid in and out of the sun grows as you make the on time shorter. They have a 33% on, 66% off duty cycle with current design.

        EPA won’t allow cleaning the bioreactor with bleach. They can use ozone or some chemical I couldn’t understand the name of in the video.

        The cells need the night time it turns out. They perform self-repair when the sun isn’t shining. So I guess even bacteria follow the old saw “make hay when the sun is shining”.

        Costs about 1/5th what a comparable solar power plant costs.

        They anticipate getting down to $20/bbl and supplying 20% of US transport fuel within 20 years.

        There’s an added benefit of locating near power plants in that Joule bioreactors produce oxygen as a waste product and if you feed that back into the power plant the fossil fuel used to fire the power plants burns more efficiently with higher concentration of oxygen.

      • David Springer

        The wierd layout of the Hobbs, NM bioreactors with only 1/3 the surface clear to allow sunshine to shine in and 2/3 opaque and dark is explained by the duty cycle Berry mentioned. They keep the fluid moving at constant rate and it passes in and out of the sun that way. This is really odd. I’d like to know more about the biochemistry behind that empirical jewel from Joule. haha

      • It would be even better if the algae could be engineered to use sea water, I’m guessing. This sounds good so far.

        A refinery can produce 1.5 million gallons per day of diesel. How many acres would it take for a Joule plant to do that? Of course, the same petroleum refinery produces jet fuel, gasoline, and other products at the same time.

      • Jim2. I don’t like the idea of engineering them for use in seawater. If they are not sterile and can multiply, what if they escape and prove too successful at drawing down co2. Once co2 gets below 150ppm that is good night all plant life and goodnight all animal life including mankind. The biggest extinction event in the history of the planet courtesy of a few scientists and politicians.

        OK, I haven’t watched the long one yet and in there may be the answer to my fears.

        If they did escape and destroy all life on planet Earth, presumably that would make the EPA rejoice, they will have succeeded in getting that co2 gas down to levels never before seen in the multi billion year history of this planet.

        The 3 most foolish and gullible judges ever to walk the face of planet Earth declared co2 to be a pollutant, when in fact they should have reached the opposite decision and declared co2 to be an essential life giving nutrient and instructed the EPA to do all they could to encourage the output of co2.

      • J Martin – there is a reason this type of algae don’t exist in nature – they are using most of their energy to product a product that is alien to them and does not promote there propagation. They would be out-competed by organisms that have optimized themselves to the natural environment.

    • David Springer

      90 second Audi commercial advertisement. Audi and Joule are in bed together.

      “Audi e-fuels: e-ethanol and e-diesel”

  71. Willis Eschenbach

    curryja | June 27, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Reply

    So you are saying that some people prefer dirty energy that is not abundant?

    I am arguing that if given the following stand alone choices:

    clean vs dirty energy
    abundant energy vs not
    strong economy vs weak

    People would pick the items on the left. There are of course tradeoffs in this combination of 3 choices, and that is where the politics lies.

    I am not blaming anything on the Republicans (or the Democrats for that matter), and I am certainly not holding scientists blameless; rather I am reflecting on a changing dynamic in the politics of the situation.

    Thanks for your reply, Judith. Unfortunately, you seem to have missed my point entirely. Your claim was:

    … everyone wants clean, abundant, inexpensive energy …

    I pointed out that your claim was total bullshit—a whole host of people, from Steven Chu and President Obama to Greenpeace and WWF and the mainstream media are fighting as hard as they can for expensive energy. They don’t want cheap energy. They want to push energy prices up, not down.

    Rather than deal with that unpleasant reality, you’ve retreated to the usual secret hideout of you ivory tower folks—theory.

    In this case, it’s theoretical questions about what some imaginary people would pick from three “A vs B” types of choices … and to top off your nonsense, not one of your three choices deals with the COST of energy, which was the subject of your incorrect claim and of my objection … funny how you left “inexpensive” or any mention of cost entirely out of your theoretical questions about energy.

    What you are trying desperately to sweep under the rug and hide with your misdirection are some facts that are not pretty:

    1. Some people don’t want cheap energy. They want energy to become as expensive as possible, as soon as possible. For you to deny this, after Steven Chu, Obama’s Energy Secretary, famously said he wanted to get the price of gas in the US up to $8 a gallon, is so in keeping with your profession as a climate scientist, it is laughable. Wake up and smell the coffee, Judith. These people are not your friends, and they are the active enemies of the poor. THEY WANT EXPENSIVE ENERGY, not cheap energy. Chu told us straight out, “Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” I can explain what that means to you if it is somehow unclear, but here’s a clue—he doesn’t want cheap energy, the stuff you fatuously claim “everyone” wants.

    And Obama said “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket” … and you want us to seriously believe that Obama and Chu want cheap energy? They don’t. Nor do Greenpeace or WWF. They are pushing full-bore for solar and wind energy, both of which are more expensive than our current energy mix … is this hard to understand?

    2. Those people actively fighting to make energy more expensive include the President, the former Secretary of Energy, the mainstream media, and the leaders of the main environmental NGOs like Greenpeace and WWF.

    3. As a direct result of this push for expensive energy, my electric bill and gas bill and Anthony’s and likely yours have gone way up, and it will only get worse.

    4. More to the point, these policies have led to things like the World Bank denying loans for inexpensive energy for India. This leads to unnecessary suffering and death, along with huge damage to the environment.

    Now, I can see that you are trying like mad to backpedal, to deny the reality of these outcomes and your part in them, and that’s understandable, it’s nothing to be proud of … but the rude fact is, when you falsely claim that everyone wants inexpensive energy, you are sweeping shivering pensioners and impoverished Indians under the rug, and working hard as you can to cover your own complicity in their pain.

    And when you refuse to deal with my objection, by retreating to your theoretical “pick A or B” nonsense that doesn’t even contain a question about the cost of energy, you are merely being true to your profession.—climate scientists really don’t like dealing with the reality of what their proposals mean for the third world, because theory is so much prettier and nicer …

    w.

    PS—To date, the “solutions” pushed by the government and the NGOs have included cap-and-trade, plain taxation, renewables quotas, regulations, and subsidies. Every one of these has increased the cost of energy … and yet you claim that the people pushing these solutions want inexpensive energy.

    It might be that you professorial folks have lots of practice in believing two incompatible statements … but for me, I call that a contradiction.

    PPS—You say “I am not blaming anything on the Republicans …”

    Again, I have to call bullshit. When you say, as you did, that

    “Republicans have shifted to a more rational stance on climate change …”

    and that you hope that means that science can get out of politics, that means that you think their stance has been irrational, and that you are blaming the Republican’s irrational stance for climate science getting politicized. I don’t notice you saying the Democrat’s stance is irrational.

    So yes, Judith, you are blaming the Republicans for their previous “irrational stance” and for the politicization of climate science.

    Do you really believe the stuff you are writing? Or do you just think I’m too dumb to notice that you are calling the Republicans “irrational”, blaming the politicization of climate science on them, and then trying to wriggle out of it by saying you’re not blaming anything on them?

    This started as one of your poorest posts, Judith, and your attempt to explain it away and peanut butter over the gaping cracks is only making it worse. I learned long ago on the internet, when I make a mistake, I need to admit it right away. Because when you’re wrong, handwaving like you’re doing doesn’t make you look right—it just makes you look deceptive.

    • Excellent comment. I agree 100%.

      + 1,000,000

      I’d just make one point. I don’t interpret Judith’s replies as trying to obfuscate or as being intellectually dishonest. I believe what is going on is that scientists have little or no experience, understanding or interest in costs, cost comparisons, economics, financing of investments. When it comes to these factors they don’t seem to recognise the difference between orders of magnitude and a few percent difference in costs, nor recognise the relevance of such differences.

      • Peter Lang | June 30, 2013 at 1:56 am:

        “I believe what is going on is that scientists have little or no experience, understanding or interest in costs, cost comparisons, economics, financing of investments.”

        Sorry, Peter, you are another one trying to cover up the truth. It is far worse than that. “Climate “scientists have abdicated their duty to actually do climate science. That 97 percent probably means that they all think the science is settled. Especially something as basic as the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide. That is accepted without question by all involvbed and yet it us false. Why don’t you open your eyes and realize that there is no greenhouse warming now despite the fact that there is more carbon dioxide in the air than ever before? Just why are you unimpressed by this basic observation of nature? What is your reason for still believing in the greenhouse effect despite fifteen years of negative observations? Is it Arrhenius? His theory only applies to pure carbon dioxide, not to the mixture of gases we call the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is not even the most important greenhouse gas, water vapor is. IPCC pseudo-scientists claim that positive water vapor feedback increases the one percent sensitivity that Arrhenius warming gives us to 3 or 4 percent. That is how predictions of dangerous warming are cooked up. This is just pure pseudo-science. Ferenc Miskolczi proved that water vapor feedback is negative, not positive, and actually counteracts any warming by carbon dioxide. His 2010 paper offers observational proof. IPCC pseudo-scientists have been successful in suppressing this information despite the fact that it appeared in peer reviewed literature. By suppressing scientific information they show that they are politicians pretending to be scientists. Or pseudo-scientists if you prefer.

  72. Judy says:

    “The political battlefield can now shift to energy economics, which is where the battle belongs (not over the science), and maybe we can come up with some cost effective, technically feasible, and politically viable solutions”

    Why, Judy? Why don’t you think the battle belongs in science? Neither you nor the Republicans are paying attention to real science I produce but give credence only to what those so-called “climate” scientists are saying or doing. Which is nothing but pseudo-science. And they win by default if your attitude prevails. I have done some climate science that is totally ignored by this misplaced attention to an ossified dogma. Half of my book is still ahead of those pseudo-scientists at IPCC. They are pretty stupid but then again, James Watson already knew that type in the fifties. Let’s start from the beginning. The assertion that anthropogenic global warming is caused by the emission of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels rests solely on one and only one claim: carbon dioxide warms the atmoshere by the greenhouse effect because it absorbs OLR and converts it into heat. This is said to be the cause of global warming and that is why we have to stop using fossil fuels. Green propaganda has been so effective about it that they have seventy percent of the populace believing it, almost all scientific societies (James Watson was right!) and most western governments.This was easy to believe when global temperature was increasing. And when it wasn’t increasing they gave it a helping hand and upped it. Their handiwork was called the late twentieth century warming. It is pure scientific fraud but it stayed on the books until late last year. When doing research for my book “What Warming?” I used satellite temperature curves and determined that according to satellites there was no warming in the eighties and nineties before the super El Nino of 1998 appeared. But ground-based temperature curves were showing a steady warming there that was called late twentieth century warming. I objected to it in my book: “The conclusion that temperature curves showing the ‘late twentieth century warming’ are faked and cannot be trusted is strongly reiterated and an investigation into the origin of that fake warming is suggested.” Well, the book came out and nothing happened for two years. Not one of these “climate” scientists would even admit they saw the book. But last fall I almost fell over when I discovered that GISTEMP, HadCRUT, and NCDC had all gotten rid of this fake warming and were aligning their eighties and nineties with satellite data (I sent you graphs). No one was told about it nor was a reason given for this. I regard this concerted action as tantamount to an admission that they knew it was fake. In the meantime climate science articles have been using this fake warming as proof of anthropogenic warming. All such articles should be withdrawn. And now that there is no opposition to it from an alternate temperature database lets take a look at what this means. It means first of all that there was an 18 year long no-warming period from 1979 to 1997, the beginning of the satellite era. It is well known that there has not been any warming for the last 15 years or so. These two no-warming periods together take up most of the satellite era, leaving only a small window between them. And that is taken up by the super El Nino and its step warming. This means that there has not been any greenhouse warming since 1979 when the satellite era began. That adds up to 34 years with no greenhouse warming, Let me ask you this: knowing this fact, how likely is it that any of the earlier warming was greenhouse warming? Probably zero, I would say. Here is another observation that fits in. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today is the hughest ever but there is no warming and there has been none for 15 years. According to IPCC carbon dioxide in the air is supposed to cause greenhouse warming but here we have a clear case where it is unable to do so. And I guarantee that it did not suddenly pick up that habit 15 years ago. I have seen some weird excuses for this, including the claim that the missing heat has disappeared into the ocean bottom. Stuff like that is a last-ditch attempt to save the greenhouse theory which is obviously bankrupt by now. If you stand back and say nothing, Judy, you are promulgating the pseudo-science of global warming caused by carbon dioxide greenhouse effect.

  73. Joseph O'Sullivan

    Over at Grist environmentalists have noticed, as Judith Curry has, that some Republicans have moved away from repudiating climate science and are discussing economics.

    http://grist.org/climate-energy/conservatives-seek-alternatives-to-climate-denialism-come-up-short/

    Grist writer David Roberts notes this strategy is a no-go strategy for many in the Republican base, and the more sensible people on the right have a big problem on their hands. As David Robert’s writes: “One cannot discuss the relative merits of various solutions to a problem one refuses to name, at least not without surreal incoherence.”

    Judging by some of the vitriol directed at Dr. Curry by some of the regulars here, I think David Roberts is right.

  74. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  75. “The common ground seems to be that everyone wants clean, abundant, inexpensive energy and nobody wants to destroy the economy”

    The common ground actually seems to be acceptance that the transition to a low carbon economy is necessary and it is going to happen.

    So the important questions, now, are more about a just transition for families and workers who have been left behind by past economic upheaval – and remain left behind, by the most recent one.
    The transition can and should be about new ways to have a decent life. It may be safe to assume that everyone wants a fair distribution of the costs – and benefits – of this transition.

    So important questions would be e.g. how will government and industry minimize job loss and ensure decent wages, in the new economy? What sectors, and areas of the country, face more challenges – and require more support? How, exactly, will that support be provided?

    Etc.

    • maksimovich

      The transition to low carbon economies is seen in developed economies of which the causal mechanism is seen as demographics ie an aging population with a decreasing potential (younger replacements) eg The Peak Car problem.

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

      http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01441647.2013.804133?journalCode=ttrv20#.UdNyJqzngb4

      Have not seen that constraint in the scenarios.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The question has not ever been about decarbonisation – but of how to meet the challenge of global energy needs. In the mid term this is about incremental energy innovation in any dozens of areas with the potential for transformative technologies to provide ever cheaper, more abundant and more accessible energy. AGW has been a distraction at best from economic, environmental and social development. It has been a spectacular example of the ability of people to self delude. It has failed – both as science and policy – and will continue to fail.

      ‘The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

      The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization.’

      http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

      The underlying thrust of different – multi-ojective – approaches was expressed by the Hartwell Paper.

      ‘Therefore, in our view, the organising principle of our effort should be the
      raising up of human dignity and in that pursuit, our re-framed primary goals
      should be three:

      1) to ensure that the basic needs, especially the energy demands, of the
      world’s growing population are adequately met. ‘Adequacy’ means energy that is simultaneously accessible, secure and low-cost.

      2) to ensure that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the
      essential functioning of the Earth system, in recent years most commonly
      reflected in concerns about accumulating carbon dioxide (CO2) in the
      atmosphere, but certainly not limited to that factor alone;

      3) to ensure that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks
      and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever may be their cause.’ http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27939/1/HartwellPaper_English_version.pdf

      The first objective involves unspectacular investments in energy innovation. The second involves restoration and conservation of ecosystems, the reduction of emissions of black carbon, methane, sulphide and tropospheric ozone. It involves also economic development, democracy, good governance, free trade, education and health, the provision of safe water and sanitation and restoration of agricultural soils. All of these mitigate climate change as well as being good in their own right. A good start to this is if nations actually met the commitments they voluntarily made under the MDG.

      You persist in singing from the old playbook Martha – it is getting very old.

      • Chief – are you sure it isn’t you, ‘singing from the old playlist’?

        Kyoto was a top-down, problematic approach. In 2013, most people support a more bottom-up multi-national framework that can differentiate needs– like the MDG’s – and also uni-lateral and bi-lateral actions.

        While an international (consultative and possibly legal) framework is still important to discuss, it cannot be (and should not be) like Kyoto.

        Moreover, we are past the biggest lessons in bad policy e.g. the U.K. Who wants wrong low carbon practices? No one. The question is about good low carbon practices. Your insights are valid but quite limited at this point.

        In addition to the broader environmental, market and industry issues, the public in many countries are demanding that energy and economic changes address related poverty, equity and labour issues. Change has not been costless in the past, and it is not costless now. So some of the main questions regarding climate change policy, whether unilateral, bilateral or multinational, are about fair distribution of costs and benefits — within individual countries, and around the world.

        If you want to talk about the interests of developing economies, and developing and developed economies working together, you will want to get real about the impact of climate change on farmers and workers in the poorest countries. You do not have the answers to the above questions.

        Despite yourself, you epitomize what was wrong with the approach of Kyoto.

      • “Change has not been costless in the past, and it is not costless now”.

        Maybe true, but in the past, change has resulted because the benefits far outweighed the costs. There is no demonstrable benefit to moving to a low carbon environment in the short term. Ultimately we will be forced to, but when is ultimately? And, do we need to destroy economies in the process?

        As to the arguments re: peak oil, we have more than double the known reserves today than we did in 1980, despite consuming about 20,000 barrels a day more than we did in 1980.

        http://www.tititudorancea.com/z/ies_world_crude_oil_proved_reserves.htm

        The “consensus” back in the mid-1970s that America and the world were running out of oil ultimately led to a central planning experiment known as the National Energy Plan (1977) that came about because, according to our politicians, the task of providing energy was too important to leave to markets, so government needed to intervene, and as usual, government failed, and failed miserably.

        Now we are being told that AGW is the real threat and that if we don’t do something immediately, the human race will cease to exist by 2100 (ok, I just made the by 2100 part up, but it’s not that much of an exageration). And again, we are being told that government is the only entity capable of dealing with such a dire threat and that markets are not capable of tackling the problem, provided it’s a real problem to start.

        Lifting people out of poverty in the poorest countries requires access to abundant and affordable energy. Today, that means fossil fuels, and we have more than sufficient supply of fossil fuels to give us time to find replacement forms of energy. And of course, there is nuclear.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You are prattling platitudes Martha. What people want is economic development. In the developing world a great part of that is conservation – indeed in the west as well. It is a world wide movement to conserve and protect agricultural soils. Ironically – it sequesters significant amounts of carbon in soils It is perhaps better seen as polycentric – informed co-operation of business, government and communities. It is the model of the management of commons developed by the late Elinor Ostrom over many years – and for which she won the Nobel Prize in economics.

        As part of a package that is reasonably approximated by the MDG – it provides the basis for economic development. The rest of the package involves models of democracy, the rule of law, free markets, transparent and efficient governance, effective delivery of health services and education and provision of safe water and sanitation. This ultimately stabilizes population earlier than otherwise – but is a humanitarian objective in it’s own right.

        In the short term there are opportunities to manage black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone, sulphides and nitrous oxide as well as to conserve and restore ecosystems. Longer term the need is for energy innovation – incrementally for many technologies – to provide a basis of cheap, available and abundant energy – much cheaper than energy today which is historically very expensive.

        Climate change is a sideshow – it is been a distraction from the main game for 25 years. Climate – as everyone is now realizing – is a coupled non-linear system. Certainly there is risk there – of abrupt and nonlinear change. But it is not realized as yet – and this risk exist regardless of human emissions of CO2. The solution is to build from the ground up more resilient communities.

        Mushy thinking helps no one – are you sure you are not part of the problem rather than part of the solution Martha?

      • “Kyoto was a top-down, problematic approach. In 2013, most people support a more bottom-up multi-national framework that can differentiate needs– like the MDG’s – and also uni-lateral and bi-lateral actions. ”

        Translation: The progressive politicians I worship tried to ge3t control of the global energy economy at Copenhagen, and failed miserably. But their agenda has always really been about control of the western economies in which they live. So the state should still control the energy economy in the US, Britain, etc. and decarbonize those economies, even though that will have zero effect on changing the climate.

        But it is refreshing to see the cognitive dissonance of the left so starkly on display.

        “Moreover, we are past the biggest lessons in bad policy e.g. the U.K. Who wants wrong low carbon practices? No one. The question is about good low carbon practices. ”

        No one wants low carbon policies, they just want good low carbon policies?

        Seriously?

        This has been the mantra of the left ever since their beloved Soviet Union proved to be an economic basket case, and an abattoir for its citizens to boot. The policy is never wrong, just its implementation.

    • The transition to a low carbon economy is climatically unnecessary but is inevitable anyway from eventual scarcity.
      ==================

      • That’s true. We need to start with nat gas and coal, and segue to nuclear. If solar and wind can make it in a free market, so be it.

    • Martha,

      I don’t know what particular piece of real estate you are standing on, but it must certainly be far removed from where most people are. There is no general acceptance of the idea we need to move to a low carbon economy anywhere except in a few limited circles dominated by environmentalists and some academics.