Conflicts between climate and energy priorities

by Judith Curry

The world’s poor need more than a token supply of electricity.  The goal should be to provide the power necessary to boost productivity and raise living standards.  – Morgan Brazilian and Roger Pielke Jr.

Issues in Science and Technology has published a new paper entitled ‘Making Energy Access Meaningful’, by Morgan Brazilian and Roger Pielke Jr [link].  Excerpts:

Our distinctly uncomfortable starting place is that the poorest three-quarters of the global population still only use about ten percent of global energy – a clear indicator of deep and persistent global inequity. Because modern energy supply is foundational for economic development, the international development and diplomatic community has rightly placed the provision of modern energy services at the center of international attention focused on a combined agenda of poverty eradication and sustainable development.

Compounding the difficulty of decision-making in such a complex space is that the concept of “energy access” is often defined in terms that are unacceptably modest. Discussions about energy and poverty commonly assume that the roughly two to three billion people who presently lack modern energy services will only demand or consume them in small amounts over the next several decades. This assumption leads to projections of future energy consumption that are not only potentially far too low, but therefore imply, even if unintentionally, that those billions will remain deeply impoverished. Such limited ambition risks becoming self-fulfilling, because the way we view the scale of the challenge will strongly influence the types of policies, technologies, levels of investment and investment vehicles that analysts and policy makers consider

As Wolfram and colleagues observe in a recent study, “The current forecasts for energy demand in the developing world may be understated because they do not accurately capture the dramatic increase in demand associated with poverty reduction.” The point is that energy access is not an end per se; rather it is a necessity for moving to vibrant and sustainable social and economic growth. The lower the assumed scale of the challenge, the more likely the focus will turn to incremental change that amounts to “poverty management,” rather than the transformational changes that will be necessary if we are to help billions climb out of poverty.

Most readers will have already recognized that our discussion has significant implications for the question of climate change. Former NASA scientist James Hansen expressed his view of the issue with typical candor, when he said, “if you let these other countries come up to the level of the developed world then the planet is done for.” For the most part, however, the ambition gap has kept this uncomfortable dilemma off the table. If one assumes that billions will remain with levels of energy consumption an order of magnitude less than even the most modest definition of modern access, then one can understand the oft-repeated claim that universal energy access can be achieved with essentially no increase in the global emissions of carbon dioxide.

Conflicts between climate and energy priorities deserve a deeper and more open airing in order to help better frame policy options, including the difficult question of trade-offs among competing valued outcomes. The issues are playing out right now, but remain largely unacknowledged. For instance, under US Senate Bill S.329 (2013) the Overseas Private Investment Corporation – a federal agency responsible for backstopping U.S. companies which invest in developing countries – is essentially prohibited from investing in energy projects that involve fossil fuels, a policy that may have profound consequences in places like sub-Saharan Africa that are seeking to develop oil and gas resources to help alleviate widespread energy poverty. At the same time, a different US federal agency – the U.S. Export-Import Bank – helped fund a 4.9 GW coal plant (Kusile) in the Republic of South Africa. The coal plant will help serve both industry and households that currently lack access. These simultaneous interventions appear incoherent. Making such issues more transparent, and opening them up to debates with multiple stakeholders with multiple values and success criteria offers the promise of enriching the array of policy options on the table.

The United Nations has attempted to square this circle of climate and energy through the phrase “Sustainable Energy for All”. Still, since value-judgments must be made and priorities established, the UN initiative has explicitly stated a “technology neutral” principle and given primacy to national decision-making, and implicitly has made the goal of universal energy access a “first among equals” of the three sustainable energy goals (the other two relating to renewable energy and energy efficiency). In practice however, as we have emphasized, the trade-offs involved in policies related to climate and energy have often received less than a full airing in policy debate.

The course of development followed by virtually all nations demonstrates that people around the world desire a high-energy future. Our plea is that we begin to recognize that fact, and focus more attention and resources on positively planning for, and indeed bringing about, that future. Achieving universal modern energy access will require transformations – in aspirations, but also, for example, in technological systems, institutions, development theory and practice, and in new ways to conceptualize and finance energy system design. Being clear about what modern energy access means can create a foundation for making huge strides in bridging the global equity gap not just in energy but in the new wealth, rising standard of living, and improved quality of life that modern energy access can help to bring.

Ultimately, a focus on energy access at a low threshold limits our thinking, and thus our options. Adopting a more ambitious conception of energy access brings conflicting priorities, as well as the scale of the challenge, more clearly into focus and makes hidden assumptions more difficult to avoid. Now more than ever the world needs to ensure that the benefits of modern energy are available to all and that energy is provided as cleanly and efficiently as possible. This is a matter of equity, first and foremost, but it is also an issue of urgent practical importance. 

JC comments:  For the sake of argument, lets assume that the IPCC consensus is roughly correct regarding dangerous anthropogenic climate change, with the dangers becoming apparent in the latter half of the 21st century, and mitigation of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels  is necessary, urgent, imperative (or whatever the latest word being used in professional society advocacy statements).

How do you square this climate policy ‘imperative’ with the real need right now of the majority of the people on the planet for greater access to energy?  Further, the potential development associated with increased energy could make these societies far more resilient to natural disasters (whatever the cause) than they currently are now. Not to mention that developed countries have lower population growth rates and pay more attention to their environment.

Which imperative is more ‘moral’ – to insist on reduced fossil fuel emissions over concern about what might happen > 50 years hence, in a future world that we can hardly imagine, or to support energy equity in the developing world and concretely improve lives in the here and now?  How would cost/benefit analysis of this tradeoff even be conducted?  What is the ‘morality’ here?

To those scientists that are advocating for a global emissions reduction policy, have you thought this one through (Jim Hansen seems to have)?  This is one of the issues that makes the climate change problem so wicked.

757 responses to “Conflicts between climate and energy priorities

  1. Careful Dr. Curry, or you are going to become a full fledged skeptic! ;-)

    All heated rhetoric aside, the question really comes down to do you help the people alive now? or do you reserve your magnanimity for a select few in the future? In time, Solar and wind may become viable alternatives for fossil fuel. That time has not yet come, and we have immediate needs now in 75% of the world.

    • philjourdan said in his post on August 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      “All heated rhetoric aside, the question really comes down to do you help the people alive now? or do you reserve your magnanimity for a select few in the future? …

      and we have immediate needs now in 75% of the world.”
      ______

      What 75% of the world needs is Phil telling them what they need?

      Yes, Phil, tell ‘em their ways of life suck and they should be like you because your way of life is the best way.

      HA HA !

      • Max,

        You are the guy telling us you like your climate (and hence your lifestyle) just fine the way it is. So now you are fine with telling that 75% to piss off?

        phil isn’t telling anybody what they need. But you misrepresenting what he said is par for the course.

      • Phil is ethnocentric. I ain’t.

        I wouldn’t tell a Pygmy he should be like me.

      • Please explain how I am being ethnocentric? Again, I have not set any bars, established any standards, or demanded any styles.

        Perhaps it is you just projecting your own inadequacies onto others to soothe your own guilt?

        Read what is written, not what you want to be written.

      • If you will reflect on the fact that you wrote that comment on a device powered by reliable, comparatively inexpensive energy and that device cost more than the annual income of a not-insignificant portion of H. sapiens you might develop a sense of the bald-faced hypocrisy I am witnessing.

      • Max_OK doesn’t need to be corrected, he needs to be franchised.
        ==============

      • I offered no subjective judgements. I commented on the needs of the underdeveloped nations to gain access to cheap and reliable energy.

        If you would like to make a subjective judgement, be my guest. But do not put words in my mouth for your own agenda.

        ha….ha.

      • philjourdan said on August 8, 2013 at 9:43 am

        “Please explain how I am being ethnocentric?
        _____

        OK

        Definition of ethnocentric from the Oxford Dictionary online: “evaluating other peoples and cultures according to the standards of one’s own culture. ”

        In a previous post you said ” we have immediate needs now in 75% of the world.”

        Presumably you were referring to affordable energy, and you believe 75% of the world needs what the other 25% have because the latter group knows what’s best for all the rest. This is an ethnocentric point of view.

        In other words, you are saying we have affordable energy, and our standards are better than theirs, so to be up to our standards, they need it. If you don’t presume our standards are better than theirs, how can you argue they need to be like us?

        Rather than you deciding what 75% of the world needs, wouldn’t it be better to let them decide. Then if it’s what you think they should have, you can help. On the other hand, if it’s not what you think they should have, you got a problem.

      • Your mis-assumptions are rampant. The “We”, us, should be helping the 3rd world rise out of poverty. However, I set no standards. Or are you saying that their poverty is just ethnocentric? I will readily admit that my judgement on their poverty is based upon the UN statistics. But I do not see them as being “ethnocentric” since they represent all ethnicities.

        So perhaps you want to back off the assumptions and reply to what I said, and not what you wanted me to say?

        Again, injecting your own bias into my statement is not my problem.

      • Are you switching horses Phil? First, your 75% referred to energy but now it seems it refers to poverty. I’ll quote what you said from posts in this thread.

        “In time, Solar and wind may become viable alternatives for fossil fuel. That time has not yet come, and we have immediate needs now in 75% of the world.”

        “The “We”, us, should be helping the 3rd world rise out of poverty.”

        I think we would find universal agreement that poverty (lack of food, shelter, medicine) is a good thing to rise out of, but I don’t equate poverty with high-priced energy.

      • I did not specify what the 75% referred to (if you care to read my post again). But I was referring to energy poverty which (here comes an opinion for the master of assumptions) is directly related to quality of living. Which is how poverty is defined. Yes, i do believe that cheap energy is the great equalizer among societies (the ability to use machines instead of brawn frees up people for higher brain function tasks).

        So no switch. Just a simple statement which you then piled assumptions upon. I will readily admit I am not using my own studies which prove the percentage. I am using the UN studies to do that. I rely on the integrity of others. And that is the only thing you can get me on.

        But you will have to do more than mis-assume about what I say to be believable.

        And you will have to do a lot better than that to show anyone where I was being ethnocentric. Again, I said nothing about what energy level they should be at. Perhaps again you were merely injecting your own ethnocentric bias.

      • philjourdan said in his post on August 8, 2013 at 4:32 pm

        “I did not specify what the 75% referred to (if you care to read my post again). But I was referring to energy poverty which (here comes an opinion for the master of assumptions) is directly related to quality of living.”
        ______

        Then we should expect the quality of living to be best in countries with the lowest gasoline prices. However, we will not find that to be the case.

        According to a Bloomberg survey of gasoline prices in 60 nations, the following nine nations had lower gasoline prices than the U.S. average of $3.52 per gallon: Venezuela $.04 (yes, 4 cents), Saudi Arabia $.45, Kuwait $.80, Egypt $1.03, UAR $1.00, Iran $2.16, Nigeria $2.31, Malaysia $2.31, Mexico $3.40.

        Phil, do you believe low-priced gasoline makes these nine countries better places to live than the U.S.? Do you believe these nine are better places to live than the countries (shown below) which had the highest gasoline prices?

        The ten countries with the highest prices per gallon were: Turkey $9.98, Norway $9.97, Netherlands $8.95, Italy $8.92, France $8.52, Sweden $8.40, Greece $8.39, Portugal $8.38, Hong Kong $8.21, and Belgium $8.19

        http://www.bloomberg.com/visual-data/gas-

        prices/20132:United%20States:USD:g

      • You can expect all you want. I will not be so foolish as to make such stupid assumptions.

        As someone else already pointed out, Venezuela has the lowest gas prices (which is but one part of cheap energy, but I guess greens love to villainize it to the exclusion of all others). Yet they have a poverty rate that exceeds 60%. So the availability of cheap energy is not the ONLY factor – especially when you have tin plated dictators who have destroyed the economy with socialistic policies. Chavez did very well, and Maduro is following closely in his foot steps.

        For even though gas is pennies a gallon in Venezuela, there is none to be had! Why? The government sells it all (actually the crude since all the refineries closed up shop or are falling apart since the nationalization of the industry) in order to support the billions Chavez squirreled away and that Maduro is now doing. Electricity is also rationed (you think California was bad under brown, try Venezuela where EVERYTHING is rationed, including TP) as is water (shock shock!).

        So your point is wrong. While those countries produce cheap energy, it is not available to the populace and hence why they remain in poverty. And before you get on your horse about Chavez/Maduro and their magnificence, I will put my bona-fidies on the table. My daughter is a refugee who grew up in Venezuela,. I am more familiar with the internal workings of that socialistic quagmire than Sean Penn. So please do not insult my intelligence, or the indulgence of this forum by spouting things you have no clue about.

        My point stands. But yes, you can PRODUCE cheap energy without it benefiting the populace. Especially when it is not AVAILABLE to them. I never said anything about PRODUCING it, my point was to making IT AVAILABLE.

        Not stop being an ethnocentric and applying your biases to other countries. If you do not understand the internal workings of them, do not use them in your examples.

      • Your figures say nothing about the relative affordability – not to mention massive political factors

      • For the 60 countries, Bloomberg shows the following: daily per capita income, daily per capita gasoline consumption, average price of gasoline per gallon, day’s wages needed to buy a gallon of gasoline, and percent of annual income spent on gasoline.

        I noticed the link I gave to Bloomberg didn’t work, so I hope the following one does.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/visual-data/gas-prices/20132:United%20States:USD:g

      • Non Sequitur. If the government artificially sets the price on a commodity, you will have overages or shortages. In this case, since it is artificially set low, there are shortages. Which means that is the posted price, but none (or very little) is available at that price.

        Again, the issue is AVAILABILITY. Not some arbitrary government standard. And that goes to the law of supply and demand. Economics 101. http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/law-of-demand-and-supply.html

    • philjourdan – you ask “do you help the people alive now”. James Hansen’s answer is given in Judith’s post: “if you let these other countries come up to the level of the developed world then the planet is done for.”. ie, his jawdroppingly arrogant answer is No, we mustn’t LET them have more energy. Surely, a better way of thinking is this: Energy has been so incredibly beneficial to so much of the world that we need to work on increasing the supply and reducing the cost so that energy becomes available to everyone. One hard part is that the cost includes indirect costs, eg. environmental, and another is political barriers to energy distribution (think food, where the world produces enough but some still go without).

      • “No, we mustn’t LET them have more energy”

        Hansen didn’t say that.

      • Once you stop ceding the IPCC nonsense as the basis for discussion, all the problem’s “wickedness” vanishes.

      • @Mike Jonas – I know what Hansen said. Fortunately we do not have many megalomaniacs like him who want play God with the lives of others. So for the normal among us, we have a serious question to address.

      • lolwot – Hansen clearly did say that. His exact words were “if you LET these other countries come up to the level of the developed world then the planet is done for.”.

      • Here’s the end of the full interview:

        Our stories often receive comments from climatesceptics, who say that such statements are just based on unreliable computer models and climate science is not robust enough to compensate for the economic cost of decarbonisation…

        In fact, we base our understanding more on observations of how the Earth has responded in the past to changes in the boundary conditions, including the atmospheric composition. I’m using models less and less – although they are very helpful in confirming our understanding – but it is not correct to say that these assessments are based on models.

        Who is most responsible for climate change – all of us equally or are some people more responsible than others?

        For fossil fuels use we have very good statistics. The US is responsible for 26% of the excess CO2 in the atmosphere, and china for 10%. The parts of the world that industrialised first are most responsible. The UK is number one, the US is number two and Germany is third.

        So should the UN negotiations try to work out how to distribute the emissions which are left…

        You will never solve the problem that way because if you let these other countries come up to the level of the developed world then the planet is done for. It’s also in developing countries’ interests to move to a clean energy future. They’ll be better off if they avoid a pollution phase of economic development. There will need to be – for fairness – economic assistance to developing countries and that’s well agreed.

        You mentioned shale gas earlier, how far that can contribute to re-industrialisation on the one hand and a low carbon future on the other?

        We need a rising price on carbon and in the short run, gas would probably expand and that would not [necessarily] be a bad thing. If it is replacing coal, you’ve made some [emissions] reductions. But you can’t just allow all these different carbon sources to increase. In the long run, gas is also going to be phased out, unless you capture the CO2.

        Do you think that is likely in the next few years?

        You can’t make that an excuse for continuing to burn, as it will be costly to capture CO2. Let that compete with alternative clean energies. It probably won’t be the wining technology but it should be allowed to compete.

        http://www.euractiv.com/fr/science-policymaking/james-hansen-nous-sommes-sur-le-interview-519800

      • So here’s the relevant paragraph:

        > You will never solve the problem that way because if you let these other countries come up to the level of the developed world then the planet is done for. It’s also in developing countries’ interests to move to a clean energy future. They’ll be better off if they avoid a pollution phase of economic development. There will need to be – for fairness – economic assistance to developing countries and that’s well agreed.

        We emphasize what has been chopped from the paragraph.

      • Yes thanks that’s what I meant. Hansen had been quotemined such that his referral to “levels” was wrongly linked to energy use rather than carbon emissions.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Energy transitions are not the point – doing it rationally is.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Actually – predicating it on a moral panic as Hansen does is the problem.

      • Willard – Thanks for posting the full text. Would you agree that a fair summary would be “let them eat cake”.

    • “All heated rhetoric aside, the question really comes down to do you help the people alive now? or do you reserve your magnanimity for a select few in the future? In time, Solar and wind may become viable alternatives for fossil fuel. That time has not yet come, and we have immediate needs now in 75% of the world.”

      You help them now. It’s not a question.
      Solar and wind will never be the answer. End of story.
      What would a short term answer is natural gas. Nuclear
      energy is longer term answer.
      Space solar power gives more energy than is needed for 10 billion people.
      It gives more energy than is needed for 50 billion people. It can support
      a solar solar system human population in the trillions.
      And causes zero CO2 or any kind of terrestrial pollution- and moves most industry off the Earth surface. Earth could be mostly park or tourist destination- Earth is lousy place for generating energy and for industry [or commerce in general {or living}].
      The problem is leaving Earth. Leaving other planets is easier.
      The ease of leaving the Moon, was demonstrated in Apollo program- we land a vehicle on the lunar and then left the lunar surface without refueling.
      Utterly impossible to do same thing with Earth.
      So just need a toehold on the Moon, and we can do anything in the space environment- cheaply.
      But it will require decades of effort to accomplish, and requires more than a satellite market in space. We need a rocket fuel market in space.

    • David L. Hagen

      Judith
      The moral standard is well established – first care for the poor as you would care for yourself.

      Matthew 22:37-39 NIV

      Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

      James 1:27

      Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

      We are to steward the earth, not stop the climate from changing (which it has been doing since time immemorial.) See Genesis 1:27-31

      The Cornwall Alliance discusses these priorities in detail in the context of climate change.
      See their Articles.

      • Note David finds a use for Genesis 1 without advocating young earth creationism. If you study the history of ideas since Augustine this is by far the mainstream position within a bible-believing tradition, including the first fundamentalists such as R. A. Torrey a hundred years ago, who accepted an ancient earth on the back of the findings of pioneering geologists like Adam Sedgwick, who was also a Christian minister and theologian. Not that this makes the resultant worldview right but it’s a distinction worth bearing in mind as ‘creationist’ is today mindlessly used as proxy for ‘anti-science’, often in close proximity to ‘denier’.

        Although others would argue that there are other foundations for the concern for the poor that is in the fore in this thread, the stream David cites has provided motive force both for the most and the least intellectually gifted across a wide range of generations and cultures. A phenomenon deserving further study once the parodies are removed?

      • David L. Hagen

        Richard Drake
        Re: “worldview” and “right”
        Thanks for distinguishing the issues.
        “Right” necessitates addressing the foundations of ethics which are in turn wrapped up in “worldview”.
        It can be argued that atheism has no basis for right/wrong except as leveraging the cultural connotations of non-atheistic world view such as the Judeo-Christian Western world view.
        Similarly, what basis is there on which to demand that we control “climate” other than by worshipping “nature” and insisting that we must not change it?
        The West is founded on Judeo-Christian ethical principles.
        Thus to address whether to care for the poor vs the rich, we must address Jesus’ parables of the Rich Man and Lazarus, and of the Dishonest Steward

        For those wishing to delve further into these issues, see:
        Francis Schaeffer‘s books
        Nancy Pearcey, Total Truth
        Vishal Mangalwadi, The Book that Made Your World.

      • David L. Hagen

        Devastation of denying energy
        The consequences of denying electricty to the poor would cause widespread misery such as is currently seen in Pakistan.
        See: Let there be light

        For the fifth year in a row, electricity shortages in Pakistan are hovering at nearly 35% of the installed capacity. While many urban areas have no electricity for 8 to 10 hours, rural areas are experiencing blackouts that last 18-20 hours. The winter of 2010 and 2011 saw rationing of piped gas. . . .
        Conservative estimates by the World Bank suggest that the cost of environmental degradation is approaching 6% of GDP, or about $12.2 billion per year. Premature mortality and illnesses caused by indoor and outdoor air pollution and diarrheal diseases were estimated to be 50% and 30% respectively of the total damage cost. . . .
        According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the proportion of land under forest cover in Pakistan has declined from 3.3% in 1990 to 2.5% in 2005. The issue received considerable attention when public officials suggested that large-scale deforestation had exacerbated the damage caused by recent floods.

      • You are right, David.

        Power and arrogance blinded world leaders to reality.

        Today the combined forces of world governments are losing their battle to hide the “Creator, Destroyer and Sustainer of Life”:

        http://theinternetpost.net/2013/08/12/the-creator-destroyer-sustainer-of-life/

        Sent from my iPhone

    • Diogones, you miss my point. I believe the poor in developing countries can decide what’s best for them. If they believe greater consumption of fossil fuel is what’s best, then they should spend more on it and less on food and other things. It’s not up to me to tell the poor how to spend their money.

      If you feel differently, you could become a missionary and tell the poor how you believe they should allocate their resources.

      • “I believe the poor in developing countries can decide what’s best for them. If they believe greater consumption of fossil fuel is what’s best, then they should spend more on it and less on food and other things.”

        Yes, let’s shut down exploration, extraction and distribution in the west with all its wealth and technology; drive the world price of fuel sky high; and let the poor in Africa and Asia go find, extract, refine and transport their own damn fossil fuels.

        Let them eat shale!

        Economic illiteracy combined with callous disregard for real people. The wonders of modern progressivism.

      • Bloomberg has gasoline prices for 60 countries. The ten countries with the highest prices per gallon were: Turkey $9.98, Norway $9.97, Netherlands $8.95, Italy $8.92, France $8.52, Sweden $8.40, Greece $8.39, Portugal $8.38, Hong Kong $8.21, and Belgium $8.19.

        The ten countries with the lowest prices per gallon were: Venezuela $.04 (yes, 4 cents), Saudi Arabia $.45, Kuwait $.80, Egypt $1.03, UAR $1.00, Iran $2.16, Nigeria $2.31, Malaysia $2.31, Mexico $3.40, United states $3.52.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/visual-data/gas-prices/20132:Netherlands:USD:g

        As might be expected this shows the countries with the lowest gas prices have the most developed economies, the highest standard of living, and the best quality of life.

        Wait … I guess it doesn’t show that. But anyway, most people like cheap gas.

        Bloomberg should do one on beer.

      • GaryM said in his post on August 7, 2013 at 10:40 pm

        “Yes, let’s shut down exploration, extraction and distribution in the west with all its wealth and technology; drive the world price of fuel sky high … ”
        _____

        Excellent idea, excepting Oklahoma. I sure would benefit from the higher prices, and I am a really good judge of what’s best for me.

        GaryM wants to be the judge of what’s best for everyone else. I doubt they will let him.

      • Who are you to decide what they can and cannot decide? Who made you Dictator for life?

      • Max,

        In other words – “Let them eat cake.”

      • David L. Hagen

        Max_OK
        Re: “I believe the poor in developing countries can decide what’s best for them”
        The problem is when US Congress & EPA mandate “burning” corn via ethanol which drives up the price of food for the poorest of the poor in developing countries, not just in the USA. Consequently about 192,000/year die from this enforced “green” mandates which has no “greenhouse” benefit.

    • philjourdan | August 7, 2013 at 2:20 pm |

      What an interesting question, considering late developments in the diverging literature on the topic.

      www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2013/08/09/000158349_20130809083253/Rendered/PDF/WPS6565.pdf

      Some take the assumption, “new technologies or policies tend to have higher transaction costs compared with those in the business as usual situation“, for granted as applying to alternate energy. However, that baseline assumption of Bazilian’s arguments aren’t necessarily so. Deployment of low-carbon technologies with minimal transaction cost is not just plausible, but fully realized by the Market mechanism: people will self-assess their CO2E, when it hits them in the pocket, and they will do it cheaply.

      The problem comes when, for example, a head of state is forced to procure deployment by command and control regulation, which guarantees the highest possible transaction costs. Good thing no sane legislature would ever put a head of state in such an absurd position. That would be petty, wasteful, and narrow-minded verging on treason.

      As for transaction costs, base cost of new implementation is a similarly diverging discussion. It does no good to compare new solar or new wind to old coal; to bring on new coal costs much more than to hobble along on coal plants decades past their safe running life.. unless you count the hidden costs of running coal plants past their safe running life.

      Comparing new to new, we see alternative energy isn’t being preferred because of subsidy or program, but because it’s the only affordable way to get new, and shut down decrepit old.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Bart, you say:

        Comparing new to new, we see alternative energy isn’t being preferred because of subsidy or program, but because it’s the only affordable way to get new, and shut down decrepit old.

        Cite? Data? Source? Evidence? Facts?

        Or do we just get your unsupported opinion that cheap natural gas is less of an “affordable way to get new” than expensive solar?

        In any case, the reality, to start with, is that alternative energy isn’t being preferred anywhere but remote locations, OR where they are subsidized … period.

        So you’re starting from a false premise.

        w.

      • I’m sorry, Willis. I’m afraid that the evidence is clear that your beliefs are mistaken. You see, the problem is that you’re so good looking, and women have been lying to you, and that is why you are wrong.

        Not even your mad “wordsmith” skillz can improve the situation. Not even intentionally writing posts that are called “creepy” by people who agree with you on the science can improve the situation.

        I would suggest ugli-fying yourself a bit. Maybe a really bad wig or something like that. Then, if you aren’t quite so fetching, women might stop lying to you and then you’ll figure things out better.

        Thanks for the chuckles, Willis.

      • Willis Eschenbach | August 11, 2013 at 1:16 am |

        Mebbe consider that ‘cheap natural gas’ is the alternative to expensive coal and oil?

        That just because people choose coal to build out, doesn’t mean it’s the least expensive option, but that it’s got salesmen who lie bigger?

        You put up a windmill, you don’t need a railroad to ship coal or oil through Lac-Megantic, you just need power lines. You don’t need a place to dump the sludge left behind by refining, or to use hundreds of times as much water in the extraction and refining process.

        You really think water’s going to keep being cheap?

        You think it’s still cheap today, or that maybe people downstream just haven’t fully caught on to what’s going on?

        You really find solar so expensive?

        http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/56776.pdf

        So do I. Today. About one half as expensive as it was fifteen years ago. Which in turn was about one half as expensive as fifteen years before that.

        In seven years time?

        One quarter as expensive as now.

        Do you want to commit to 40 years of a coal plant that will be the more expensive option for the last 33 years of its operating life?

  2. It’s not just the “world’s poor” in need of cheap energy supplies. Youth unemployment in Europe is at crisis level in some countries.

    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21582006-german-led-plans-tackling-youth-unemployment-europe-are-far-too-timid-guaranteed-fail

    • What Detroit needs is cheap energy.

    • Energy is not the problem. The problem in Europe is unskilled jobs being outsourced and also automation of jobs as technology advances.

      Just wait for the google car to become retail reality. A whole load of truckers, haulage drivers and taxi drivers are going to lose their jobs.

      The future is pretty much high unemployment and a required welfare system because there aren’t going to be enough jobs.

      • Well, sometimes there’s just not a good fit between the skills people have and the skills the job market wants.

        And let’s face it, some people don’t and never will be able to earn enough to even support themselves, much less support dependents.

      • “Energy is not the problem. The problem in Europe is unskilled jobs being outsourced and also automation of jobs as technology advances.

        Just wait for the google car to become retail reality. A whole load of truckers, haulage drivers and taxi drivers are going to lose their jobs.

        The future is pretty much high unemployment and a required welfare system because there aren’t going to be enough jobs.”

        Well if elect politicians which only thinks raising taxes is the answer- with more and higher taxes, it makes more difficult to earn a living- requiring people to be unemployed and on welfare.

        See, even beggers pay taxes, because any money they get from begging buys stuff which is more expensive due to taxes. Taxes increase the prices of everything because one need to charge more money to pay for taxes.
        So the idea of taxing a business, means all the customers are paying for the added cost of taxes by charging a higher price. The cost of the tax is passed on.
        Beggers and government are essentially the same thing- except beggers ask for money, and the government forces you to pay them money.
        So if had a law that required you to pay beggars [and it was enforced], then beggers are at equal footing as with government. Beggers are competitive with government, but government has competitive advantage, as they can force people to pay them.
        Government is legal robbery. With this less legal robbery, people would not need to make as much money to live- be more wealthy, and not need to given some the spoils of the legal robbery.
        All lefty policies justify higher taxes, as they claim to will give money to the people most impacted by the taxes. But the damage done to the poor is never made up to the poor, from this legal robbery. And it makes them into government dependents.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        lolwot | August 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Reply

        Energy is not the problem.

        I think you mean “Energy is not the only problem” … there’s more than one problem allowed at a time.

        Finally, for the overwhelming majority of the folks on this planet, google cars won’t make a damn bit of difference, because they’re living on $2 per day and they don’t take taxis … so I fear that what you are describing are what are called “First World Problems” …

        w.

      • Max_OK

        If a (non-invalid) person does not have the skills required by the market, there is nothing simpler than to learn new skills.

        Darwinism = survival of the fittest, right?

        Max_CH

  3. It’s really pretty easy. With the minimal warming effect and larger greening effect found with AnthroCO2, fossil fuels will remain the tool of choice for human progress out of poverty, to infinity and beyond, until those hydrocarbon bonds are worth more for structure than merely for the energy within them. That will happen sooner with energy and/or storage breakthroughs, or the easing of anxiety over nuclear energy.
    ===========

    • kim said on August 7, 2013 at 2:33 pm

      ” fossil fuels will remain the tool of choice for human progress out of poverty”
      ______

      HA HA, tell that one to the poor in countries swimming in oil.

      Many of those poor have found the “tool of choice” is transportation to the North.

      Kim, you don’t seem to be getting any smarter.

      .

      Not moving North ?

      • True, even massive wealth in natural resources can’t overcome the economic effects of progressive’s economic stupidity.

      • Kim, please disregard my “Not moving North?, ” unless you feel the need to answer it anyway.

      • Progressives conspired with the Japanese to ruin Detroit?

        Nah, as a progressive it pleases me to see, GaryM types are a shrinking demographic. The world will be a better place when these regressives have shrunk to nothingness.

      • Japan did not ruin Detroit. Progressives did that all by themselves.

      • Max_OK continues to demonstrate why he is such a sucker for the catastrophic narrative. So does David Appell.
        =============

      • kim, you are too chronologically advanced to worry about catastrophic climate change. I doubt it will happen in your time, and you seem too self-centerd to be concerned about the consequences for future generations. Better, you concern yourself with dental implants, Botox, and cosmetic surgery.

      • The problem is not the availability of energy, but the totalitarianism of their leadership.

        It helps if you educate yourself before making foolish statements.

      • Japan did not ruin Detroit. Progressives did that all by themselves.

        Progressives ruined Detroit. I love these guyz.

      • The climate changed in Detroit, and the fleeing refugees have populated the world.
        ===============

      • Max_OK

        The “tool of choice” is relocation to an affluent society, where jobs are relatively easy to find and a social safety net exists.

        We have a lot of these folks in Switzerland – as I’m sure you do in the USA, as well.

        Go where the money is.

        Makes sense.

        Max_CH

  4. David Appell

    Of course, the poor need more energy. That hardly means the rich and affluent can’t afford to pay for its pollution, carbon and otherwise, and for renewable energy that does not alter the climate for millennia. We can, and we should.

    Indeed, we ought to be developing the cleaner energy sources the poor can eventually adopt, via massive R&D, preferably funded by a tax on carbon pollution. Or subsidize them directly.

    • Yes, but have you really thought this through, David Appell?

      • Steven Mosher

        tax the rich and spend massively on R&D and subsidies

        who needs the details when they just get in the way.

        C02 bad, rich Bad, Tax good, subsidy good.

        jeez willard, you dont need to think things through when you have formulaic thinking.

      • David Appell

        tax the rich and spend massively on R&D and subsidies.

        Tax those who use energy in a way that does damage.

        Or are you opposed to holding responsible those whose energy pollutes? Maybe even they should get an award??

      • Steven Mosher

        david

        Tax those who use energy in a way that does damage.

        Yes,

        lets start with something that does clear immediate damage

        diesel and cooking fires in Asia that contribute 1/3 of the black soot problem

        This is a great place to start. Folks can prove their commitment by solving a simple problem first.

        let me know when China and India agree.

        crawl walk run.

      • I understand, David.

        I’m not telling you that you’re advocating, therefore it’s bad.

        Neither am I telling you that it would be OK to advocate, it’s just that you are doing it irresponsibly.

        I am simply asking you to introspect the bottoms of your heart and soul and see if you really you thought it through.

        No need to answer, but please do, if you must.

      • Steven Mosher

        opps I guess david didnt think it through.

        for a taste of davids thinking

        ‘The space elevator is enticing because its scientific
        sweetness allows physicists and engineers to play with
        it, but it is far enough away that pesky details can always
        be put off until later. “If you have built castles in the air,
        your work need not be lost,” wrote the early US environmentalist and dreamer Henry David Thoreau in his
        classic 1854 book Walden. “That is where they should
        be. Now put the foundations under them.” Or, as one
        might say today, a very long tether to the future.”

        quite telling this passage.

      • Steven Mosher

        willard

        “Neither am I telling you that it would be OK to advocate, it’s just that you are doing it irresponsibly.”

        please shut up.

        we want david to advocate irresponsibly
        we want him advocating all sorts of crazy stuff. the crazier the better.

        There is no downside to irresponsible advocating because action is urgent and any action will do just fine as long as we can be seen taking positions and actions.

        His advocating can have no detrimental effects, so leave him alone

      • David Appell

        diesel and cooking fires in Asia that contribute 1/3 of the black soot problem This is a great place to start.

        You prefer to tax the poor. I don’t, especially since the US has emitted about 28% of the CO2 that has caused today’s warming-to-date. China, about 11% — and 1/4th of their current emissions are for products destined for the US or Europe.

      • You advocated taxing the poor more than the wealthy! Or did you forget already?

        preferably funded by a tax on carbon pollution.

        You do a lousy job of arguing against yourself.

      • Steven Mosher

        David Appell | August 7, 2013 at 4:19 pm |
        diesel and cooking fires in Asia that contribute 1/3 of the black soot problem This is a great place to start.

        You prefer to tax the poor. I don’t, especially since the US has emitted about 28% of the CO2 that has caused today’s warming-to-date. China, about 11% — and 1/4th of their current emissions are for products destined for the US or Europe.
        #############

        No david I am doing EXACTLY AS YOU DEMAND.

        Here is what you suggested after thinking it through

        “Tax those who use energy in a way that does damage.”

        I am suggesting that to test whether this is practical we should start with an easy case where a lot of damage is done. Immediate damage.

        Black soot.

        You dont want to prove you are serious about climate change. because you are not.

        What you are now suggesting is that we tax people today for the damage OTHERS DID in the past. So youve changed from
        taxing the rich, to taxing those who do damage, to taxing those who live in a country where damage was done in the past.

        Wait, tax the guys who build cars… no wait, when it comes to GM you support the bailout.

        How does that work.. bail out the guys who built stuff that pollutes?

      • “…diesel and cooking fires in Asia that contribute 1/3 of the black soot problem This is a great place to start.” – Steven Mosher. Right. A rural land dotted with many small diesel generators running for on sight electricity production as people attempt to improve their lives. To me it makes a coal fired power plant the more attractive option, for the environment, with less emissions and the tighter control of them because of having a point source to a greater extent.

      • David Appell

        Black soot, mostly emitted by the poor, should be replaced by cleaner energy sources, subsidized for the poor by those who have gotten wealthy on polluting fossil fuels.

        Yes, past pollution should be paid for.

      • Are you going to exhume the graves to get your pound of flesh?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Yes, past pollution should be paid for.”

        Cool, dont forget the credits for cold spells averted

      • David Appell

        Cool, dont forget the credits for cold spells averted.

        So you think this is a joke — that you should be allowed to pollute for free.

        That is the height of selfishness — the prime factor that makes the world less than it could be, that is responsible for most of this world’s ills.

        W.r.t. carbon, it will end soon. So pollute away as your heart desires — your selfish days are numbered.

      • Steven Mosher

        david

        ‘So you think this is a joke — that you should be allowed to pollute for free.”

        Of course not. But what you are now suggesting after thinking it through more is that past damages have to be paid for.
        I agree. I agree 100%.

        So, lets go about calculating past damages.

        First, we dont want to tax the poor, regardless of the damage they have done, correct?

        Next, we dont want to make people who havent caused damage pay for those who did? thats fair

        Finally, as long as we are being fair we should recognize that there have been benefits from warmer temps up til now, and that going forward the damages will outweigh the benefits.

        So, lets calculate the benefits and damages and then figure out which non poor people will pay.

        We agree 100%. Pay for past damages, do that fairly.

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

        That is the height of selfishness — the prime factor that makes the world less than it could be, that is responsible for most of this world’s ills.

        Huh, well you said dont tax the poor. and I’m poor, so I cant be selfish.

      • Mosher, these are the most famous quotes of Henry David Thoreau

        “Most of the luxuries and many of the so-called comforts of life are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”

        “Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.”

        “Chastity is the flowering of man; and what are called Genius, Heroism, Holiness, and the like, are but various fruits which succeed it. Man flows at once to God when the channel of purity is open. . . . He is blessed who is assured that the animal is dying out of him day by day, and the divine being established”

        His writings reveal that when living in the small cabin that he had built near Walden Pond he sent his laundry out, twice a week. for his mother to wash.

      • “David Appell
        Black soot, mostly emitted by the poor, should be replaced by cleaner energy sources, subsidized for the poor by those who have gotten wealthy on polluting fossil fuels.

        Yes, past pollution should be paid for.”

        How are you on repatriations to African-Americans from White Americans, because “past Labour should be paid for”?

      • David Appell

        Finally, as long as we are being fair we should recognize that there have been benefits from warmer temps up til now, and that going forward the damages will outweigh the benefits.

        I’d like to see this calculation, please.
        Thank you.

      • “…and 1/4th of their current emissions are for products destined for the US or Europe.”

        Yes, by all means, let’s deprive the people in China living on $250.00 per year the ability to make goods for export (since their own socialist economy is still by and large a wreck). Billions of people living in poverty in perpetuity is a small price to pay to indulge the messianic fantasies of our beloved, self-styled elitists.

        Beggar the worlds poor so the spoiled, indolent, non-productive progressives in the west can feel better about themselves.

        As long as it’s “for the children.”

      • “Yes, past pollution should be paid for.” David Appell. Yes, without a doubt. It’s the moral thing to do. I am skeptical of what mechanisms will be used for that though. That the admiral goal will be lost in the details. The idea of there being external costs to me is sound. That it is to say, it is not some made up thing. Quantifying the costs is more difficult. I am thinking of air born Mercury pollution and not so much the CO2 issue.

      • David Appell

        quite telling this passage.

        While I am flattered that you read my work, I’ll point out that space elevators have absolutely nothing to do with climate change.

      • David

        I was in Dartmouth yesterday where you can view the worlds first steam engine invented by Newcomen around 1712. It is supposed to have heralded the industrial revolution.

        Since that time the benefits to humanity have been immense bringing us from a poverty stricken unhealthy and poor society to a level that the underdeveloped world want to emulate.

        In that time Britain has given the world it’s language, the rule of law, numerous advances in medicine, numerous inventions, huge contributions to literature, music and the arts.

        In short I think that Britain has spent its total 4% of co2 emissions in making the world a better place. So I claim we are in credit and do not owe anything.

        Anybody else like to justify the past carbon emissions of their own country in terms of overall benefits?
        Tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        david

        yes,space elevators have nothing to do with climate

        at issue is your attitude toward details

        at issue is your attitude toward subsidizing crap like solyndra

        To understand how a man thinks or fails to think things through it is interesting to see what he says on a variety of topics.. and to see who he turns to for authoritative quotes.

        That is why the passage is telling.its because the passage is on a different topic that it is able to tell us something about you

      • Steven Mosher

        david

        “I’d like to see this calculation, please.”

        Since you are the one who has suggested that people should pay for past damage ( the US putting 28% of the c02 in the air ) I would think the burden of calculation is on you. You are the one proposing making people pay for the sins of the past.

        As a part of that calculation you will have to account for the benefits as well as the damages.

        Your mistake here was suggesting that we tax people according to the damage that has been done.

        There was a better choice for you to make in this argument. think it through and advocate that.

      • David Appell

        Anybody else like to justify the past carbon emissions of their own country in terms of overall benefits?

        And now you are rich enough to pay for clean energy, and also to begin paying for the damage of your ancestors.

      • Now you are changing your tune. The rich of today did not pollute before they were born. So you are now not advocating having those responsible pay for their pollution, but merely soaking the rich today, regardless of how they achieved their wealth.

        Perhaps you should start with yourself. How much do you pay in Taxes, and how much more should you pay since there is no upper limit on what you can pay.

      • David Appell

        at issue is your attitude toward subsidizing crap like solyndra

        As long as fossil fuel pollution is paid for by taxpayers — at least $120 B/yr in the US alone — government has every business working to correct this huge market failure.

        You seem to prefer paying for all this pollution yourself. The fossil fuel companies, who keep all the profits and stick you with the bill, thank you enormously.

      • No government does not. And indeed, how much pollution did Solyndra take care of? Not a single molecule! Yet you would waste all the money in the world for no benefit, to either existing people, or our children.

        YOu are very magnanimous with OPM. Yet you accomplish nothing.

      • David Appell

        S. Moser: Again, I’d like to see this calculation, please.
        Because I don’t think you have it.
        You can’t support your claim at all.

      • Stop talking about yourself in the second person and produce what you claim. Your insults and claims are tiresome and patently false since you never support them.

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘And now you are rich enough to pay for clean energy, and also to begin paying for the damage of your ancestors.”

        you said we should not tax the poor. My ancestors were poor. i once calculated the footprint of my parents and grandparents over the course of their lives.

        Obama burned more C02 on his Safari. that my entire family did for the entire time they were on the planet.

        So, dont tax the poor or children of the poor

      • David Appell

        Yes, by all means, let’s deprive the people in China living on $250.00 per year the ability to make goods for export.

        That’s not at all what I said.

        If you want those products, then pay their true cost, which includes pollution, not the cost subsidized by the rest of the world (including the future).

        Didn’t your mother teach you to clean up after yourself?

      • David Appell

        you said we should not tax the poor. My ancestors were poor.

        And you are rich. Pay up, thankfully, and stop being so selfish.

      • And how much have you paid? Seems you are talking about yourself again.

      • willard apparently quit with the thinking things through bit awhile back. The squirrel catch and release hobby must be taking up all of his attention.

      • Yet more accounting.
        A companies balance sheet is supposed to list all material liabilities. Including the one that accurately reflects that ‘getting sued and losing for past pollution done.’ The tobacco companies probably starting showing a similar liability as they got closer to settling in around 1998. Showing them – may have been just in the footnotes.

        Whether this is a good example of an external cost, I don’t know? But this liability that was once uncertain, for instance tobacco companies had lost very few lawsuits, became accounting reality, represented by real money. Billions of dollars.

        It is an very tough area of accounting. The auditor wants to show such liabilities, (and some companies wish to minimize them) as lawsuits have the potential to wreck a company and call into the question the auditor’s signing on a balance sheet that did not reflect those potential liabilities, which of course leads to the auditor being sued. It’s not easy predicting the outcomes of lawsuits. The auditor realizes they are pretty far from home.

        I am just assuming this but, I bet the firms that audited the tobacco companies leading up to 1998, brought their A-teams to look at the lawsuits situation.

      • David

        My British ancestors have put us in substantial credit. How about yours?

        Look forward to you finding evidence of the accuracy of climate models that demonstrate their historic accuracy. None of the commenters seem to believe there are such models.
        Tonyb

      • After reading the exchange between Mosher and Appell it becomes clear that one thing we call all not take seriously is David’s opinion.

        He does get credit for being pretty ballsey though, with his demand for calculations, considering he doesn’t bother with such minute detail.

        BTW – how much are you paying to help the poor of the world David?

      • > The squirrel catch and release hobby must be taking up all of his attention.

        Have you really thought through saying this just before your “and what do you do for the poor”, which was just after waving some pom-poms, timg56?

      • willard,

        when folks like David start moralizing and talking about the poor or how the rich need to pay, asking him what he pays, or contributes to helping those less fortunate than him is a valid question. Had it been Mother Theresa chastizing us, then our response should be to look inside ourselves and see what more we should be doing. When it is David Appell, the response is “Ok, what example are you setting, that we might emulate it.” Keep in mind his “put up or shut up” statement. I give David credit for not shutting up. Persistence is a virtue. But so far he has about zero credit for putting up. A couple of links and his claim of having a lower carbon foot print than me. That last might have been a start, had he bothered to back it up or at least provided the methodology he used. You know, what scientists do when they publish.

        PS – the pom pom thing wasn’t particularly clever the first time around. You’ve squeezed out what little juice it had a long time ago. What hasn’t changed is you getting bested by Mosher on a regular basis.

      • Dear timg56,

        Your “what about you” question is a tu quoque. This tu quoque turns a general question into a personal one. It switches topic and prepares for ad hominems.

        It is utter crap.

        Almost as much as is your fake arbitration of Moshpit’s black hat marketing. I find this commenting habit distasteful, even when commenters are rooting for me. For instance, I’ve asked Steve Bloom to stop his content-free score keeping of my tweets when he started to annoy a philosopher who simply forgot that almost all the nations of the world had laws to protect their cultures.

        Please stop. I won’t ask you twice.

      • He’s makin’ a list and checkin’ it twice.

        Hey, willard, your house elves are plotting clog tossing.
        =========

      • Goblins, kim, Goblins.

        Don’t flatter yourself.

      • Mosh is right

        There is nothing easier than to put a carbon particulate filter on a Diesel engine exhaust.

        Voilà! No more black soot.

        crawl walk run.

        Max

    • Well David, I for one think that people who campaign for fuel taxes can pay for those of us who do not wish to.

      • David Appell

        What makes you think you shouldn’t be held accountable for your pollution — just because you don’t “want to?” Grow up.

      • Good advice. Take it.

      • Steven Mosher

        david, its like Glieck not wanting to be held responsible. Its like GM wanting a bailout, its like Solyndra wanting a loan. He is free to advocate for whatever he likes, he doesnt even have to think it through

      • David Appell

        Its like GM wanting a bailout, its like Solyndra wanting a loan.

        It’s like oil companies shitting down your throat, keeping all the profits while sticking you with the cleanup bill.

        And all you have to say is, Thank you Sir, May I Have Another!

      • BP paid for the clean up.

        Oil companies do not burn the fuel, they sell it.

        Appell = dishonest.
        JC STRIKETRHOUGH

      • Phil, I have had to delete a number of your comments. Don’t call another commenter dishonest, a liar, a fraud or whatever. Refute their argument, or point out the inconsistencies.

      • Understood. My apologies for letting my emotions get the best of me.

      • “David Appell
        What makes you think you shouldn’t be held accountable for your pollution — just because you don’t “want to?” Grow up.”

        Accountable by whom?
        Chairman Mao stated that power comes from the barrel of a smoking gun. Stalin asked, ‘How Many Divisions does the Pope of Rome Have?’.

        You appear to think that you and like minded individuals can hold me to account. I ask you exactly how do you think you can make me, and like minded individuals, give our money to people you think deserve it more?
        Or you and whose army?

      • David Appell

        You appear to think that you and like minded individuals can hold me to account.

        Yes, you should pay for your pollution.

        That is the essence of a free and responsible society.

        You’d prefer, it seems, for others to pay the cost of your waste. Do you allow your neighbor to dump his trash in your yard for free?

      • No, it is the hallmark of a totalitarian state. You are dictating. There is no freedom when one (or a handful) dictate to the population.

        You do not know much do you?

      • Steven Mosher

        “You’d prefer, it seems, for others to pay the cost of your waste. Do you allow your neighbor to dump his trash in your yard for free?”

        If he is poor or from China, david, then you have argued that he should be able to dump his trash in my yard.

        Did you forget your own argument.

        The poor can pollute with impunity.

        If you didnt pollute in the past, you can pollute now.

      • David Appell,

        What are you paying?

        How exactly are you making up for you benefiting from the same “polluting society” the rest of us benefit from?

        Does your spending time here telling the rest of us what we should be doing count as doing your part?

      • David Appell

        If he is poor or from China, david, then you have argued that he should be able to dump his trash in my yard.

        False — I advocated that his energy be subsided, by you, the rich, who have gotten rich by polluting the world. At the least, by you paying for massive R&D that enables price-equivalent, carbon-free energy.

      • “Subsided”? I guess you are now advocating that the rich pay nothing? The end of a “subside” is 0.

      • “Yes, you should pay for your pollution.

        That is the essence of a free and responsible society.”

        Obviously a usage of the word ‘responsible’ that I have not come across before. What you mean is that I am ‘Free’ only as far as fascists like yourself allow me. You get to chose what I can and cannot do, so that you can make sure society is ‘responsible’.
        Now i am sure you don’t think you are a fascist, but you are. A foolish fascist at that.

      • Amen! While there are laws in every country dictating the minimum taxes to be paid, to my knowledge, there is no law in any country prohibiting paying more.

        Hypocrites like David never put their money where their mouth is.

      • Doc,

        It’s hardly fascistic to expect people to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions.

      • Just remember that’s a two-way street.

      • Well I’m not claiming it applies to some people and not others.

      • David Appell

        I presume that you live in an industrially developed society and enjoy the benefits of electrical power at the flip of a switch and the many other benefits that have come from having an energy infrastructure, which affords you a reliable source of low-cost energy based on fossil fuels.

        Be thankful for what you have. Life wasn’t always this good where you live. Just think about 150 years ago.

        And it still isn’t this good in many places of the world, where there is no such energy infrastructure.

        But, day by day and year by year the unfortunate inhabitants of these parts of the world are beginning to develop their economies, so that some day they also will have this access, which you enjoy and take for granted today.

        Max

    • Mr. Appell please at least be fully honest when you use the term “carbon pollution” you really mean CO2, not diamond rings, or graphite pencils, or coke used in making steel, etc.

      Please define “the rich and affluent”. I know I am not rich or affluent so do I escape your beloved tax?

      And how do you tax the energy you say the poor need more of without driving up the cost of the energy the poor need more of thus causing them more harm?

      • David Appell

        Compared to the rest of the world, you certainly are rich and affluent. Hence you pay.

        If the social cost of carbon is $36/t CO2, it will cost you about $612/yr. You (and I) can certainly afford that.

      • And those on welfare? How do they pay?

      • Steven Mosher

        the social cost is more like 3 dollars a ton.

      • David Appell

        the social cost is more like 3 dollars a ton.

        Yes, because Stephen Mosher is far more knowledgable than all the economists trying to model this number for the EPA.

        = delusional

      • Yes he is. Are you smart enough to understand that?

      • David Appell

        It is not the USA (nor the EU or Japan) that will cause the greatest part of the increase in CO2 emissions (and added atmospheric CO2 concentration) from today to 2100.

        It is the underdeveloped nations, which will develop their own energy infrastructures (and thereby improve the quality of life and average life expectancy of their inhabitants).

        This trend has already started in China, India and Brazil – and it will continue there and in other underdeveloped nations whether you like it or not.

        And, if these nations (the three-fourths mentioned in the lead article) increase their per capita energy consumption 5.5 times by 2100, bringing their portion of the total from 10% to around 50%, this will mean a global increase in per capita CO2 emission of around 30% and an atmospheric CO2 concentration by 2100 of around 640 ppmv, resulting in global warming of around 2C (using IPCC’s 2xCO2 ECS estimate).

        As I pointed out to you with the extreme case of a total USA “shutdown” today, the USA has very little impact on future warming.

        It is the developing world that will do so, whether you like it or not (as the lead article points out)

        Accept it and move on.

        Max

      • David Appell

        It is not the USA (nor the EU or Japan) that will cause the greatest part of the increase in CO2 emissions (and added atmospheric CO2 concentration) from today to 2100.

        False. Americans still emit about 2.5 times that of the Chinese, per capita, and about 11 times that of Indians.

        And the US has created about 28% of carbon emissions to date; China about 11%. That’s huge on a per capita basis. Hence America has a moral obligation to take the lead in solving this problem.

      • I’d wager my 19 year old niece is more capable at coming up with a cost of carbon than anyone involved with the EPA. I’ve seen how they do their accounting.

        I will accept the possibility they are more capable than Bailey, our 4 1/2 year old black lab.

      • This is why progressives shouldn’t do math in public.

        “It is not the USA (nor the EU or Japan) that will cause the greatest part of the increase in CO2 emissions (and added atmospheric CO2 concentration) from today to 2100.”

        “False. Americans still emit about 2.5 times that of the Chinese, per capita, and about 11 times that of Indians.”

        U.S. population: 316,668,567

        China population: 1,349,585,838

        India population: 1,220,800,359

        This while U.S. emissions are falling and emissions in the developing world, like China in particular are, are skyrocketing.

        But shhhh…maybe no one will notice.

        Even taking the made up statistics on emissions totals, Chinese emissions alone “will cause the greatest part of the increase in CO2 emissions (and added atmospheric CO2 concentration) from today to 2100.”

      • David Appell

        I’d wager my 19 year old niece is more capable at coming up with a cost of carbon than anyone involved with the EPA.

        Put up or shut up.

      • yes David, do so. Your shrill ad hominems are getting old fast.

      • David,

        I questioned you on your 2.5 times argument before, and heard silence.

        In order to accept that as a valid metric, one has to be willing to own up to what goes with it. And that is your acceptance of forcing Americans into the lifestyle and existance of the average Chinese citizen. You do know what the lifestyle and existance of the average Chinese citizen is, don’t you David?

        On the remote chance you don’t, repeat after me – subsistance farming.

        So how about a bit of honesty on your part? Do you have the integrity to argue your position honestly and tell people what it will take to do that which you so strongly believe we all should be doing?

      • David,

        You haven’t “put up” anything, other than a moralizing attempt to induce guilt.

        You haven’t “put up” evidence of what you are paying.

        You haven’t “put up” evidence of the cost. (Not that we need one. A look at current carbon credit markets will give us that information. Well at least for some places. Seems the US market collapsed awhile back. Does that make the cost zero dollars per ton?)

        You have “put up” your 2.5 and 11 times figure. Let’s see if you have enough “put up” in you to defend it.

      • David Appell

        And that is your acceptance of forcing Americans into the lifestyle and existance of the average Chinese citizen.

        Liar — I said nothing like that at all.

        I said every person should pay for thier pollution.

        Are you against paying for the mess you have caused?

      • David Appell

        This while U.S. emissions are falling and emissions in the developing world, like China in particular are, are skyrocketing.

        I get it — you think you’re special, and should be given more rights to emit carbon than all those damn Chinese.

        Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. Pay for your pollution, on a per capita basis. Man up.

      • Let’s see the receipt where you “manned up”. Put up or shut up.

      • David Appell

        You haven’t “put up” anything, other than a moralizing attempt to induce guilt.

        I could list all that. But you don’t understand. This problem cannot be addressed at the individual level, if only because you and so many others here are too selfish to play along. It requires changes at the institutional level, at the societal level. It is society’s problem, and needs to be solved at that level.

      • We do understand. We understand you have yet to source, link or prove any wild arse assertions you have made.

        So either put up or shut up.

      • Olivier, J. G. J., & Peters, J. A. H. W. (2010). No growth in total global CO2 emissions in 2009. Bilthoven, The Netherlands: Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL).

        Per GDP-PPP CO2 emissions from fossil fuel use and cement production in 2009
        Rank Country metric tonne per 2005 1000 USD (PPP)
        1 Poland 1046
        2 China 975
        3 South Africa 826
        4 Russia 819
        5 Iran 749
        6 Saudi Arabia 684
        7 India 520
        8 Australia 509
        9 Indonesia 502
        10 Ukraine 489
        11 Thailand 488
        12 Canada 466
        13 South Korea 449
        14 USA 409
        15 Taiwan 389
        16 Mexico 349
        17 Japan 312
        18 Germany 300
        19 Netherlands 267
        20 Italy 256
        21 Spain 252
        22 UK 249
        23 Brazil 208
        24 France 191

        Nuclear power is so darned good. Look at France vs the rest, even with its electricity exports to Britain and Germany.

      • David Appell

        Olivier, J. G. J., & Peters, J. A. H. W. (2010). No growth in total global CO2 emissions in 2009. Bilthoven, The Netherlands: Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL).

        BIG DEAL! It was the year of a major economic recession.

        It says absolutely nothing about the future (which has seen CO2 increases.)

        = dishonest

      • BINGO, Big Deal! C’mon, give it to him; anybody can see he’s got the whole card filled up. Some spaces have two or three on ‘em.
        ===========

      • David,

        You should be a bit more careful in calling anyone here a liar. That is slander without proof.

        And your denying the fact that comparing CO2 emissions on a per capita basis is essentially an argument for reducing one’s lifestyle to the level of the average Chinese or Indian farmer doesn’t mean it is not true. The number is irrelevant without making that connection. Guess you value integrity about the same as you do credibility.

      • david appell

        You are totally confused.

        What has happened to date has happened. The industrially developed world has increased its quality of life and average life expectancy immensely as a result of developing an energy infrastructure affording everyone access to a reliable source of energy based on low-cost fossil fuel.

        In the process, global temperature increased by around 0.7C, in multi-decadal fits and spurts that show no statistical correlation to human CO2 emissions whatsoever.

        The world now enjoys a very nice climate, thank you (arguably better than it was 150 years ago as we were still emerging from the Little Ice Age).

        The major portion of projected future (perhaps harmful, perhaps beneficial?) warming from CO2 emissions will come from the developing nations (the “poorest three-quarters”), as they reverse the current “global inequity” in energy use (as the lead article points out). This could be reduced somewhat by maximizing the use of nuclear power for all new power plants.

        No matter how much the USA reduces its future CO2 emissions, it will have no perceptible impact on global temperature by 2100 (as the numbers showed).

        Those are the facts.

        Everything else is hollow posturing.

        Max

      • David Appell

        And your denying the fact that comparing CO2 emissions on a per capita basis is essentially an argument for reducing one’s lifestyle to the level of the average Chinese or Indian farmer doesn’t mean it is not true.

        My God, you people are dense.

        It is about energy, not how it is produced.

        The world needs energy — it does not need fossil fuel energy, per se.

        By all means, take all the energy you want. Just do it in a sustainable manner, that does not alter the climate for 100,000 years.

        Is that really so difficult for you to understand??

      • It is about energy, not how it is produced.

        yet you damn the Oil companies just now! Why? If it is not about how it is produced, the Oil companies are innocent of all charges!

        And you have the unmitigated gall to call others dense?

      • Doc Martyn

        The numbers you showed for GDP per ton of CO2 generated from fossil fuels plus cement production are good for most countries.

        But for nations, such as Brazil and Indonesia, that have a large CO2 emission from deforestation, they are misleading.

        Brazil, for example, would be very close to India if these emissions are included (they look much lower in your list, because the sugar cane ethanol resulting from the deforestation lowers the figure, while the carbon from the deforestation is not shown).

        Indonesia would also have a much higher figure if deforestation CO2 were included.

        Otherwise the list looks good (for today’s situation).

        But, like the lead article tells us, the “global inequity” in energy consumption for the “poorest three-fourths” will be partially corrected as these nations develop an industrial base and, with it, an energy infrastructure and higher quality of life.

        How your list would look in 2100 is anyone’s guess – but it is clear that the USA, EU and Japan are not going to have the major impact on future CO2 emissions and any warming that may result from them.

        So David Appell is talking total nonsense.

        Max

      • Philjourdan, “We do understand. We understand you have yet to source, link or prove any wild arse assertions you have made.”

        Actually, he linked a source then started making wild arse assertions that misrepresent his source.

        like this, “After ranking all the plants according to their damages, we found that the most damaging 10% of plants produced 43% of aggregate air-pollution damages from all plants, and the least damaging 50% of the plants produce less than 12% of aggregate damages.” From his hidden costs of energy link which he attempts to attribute all damages to CARBON in order to promote his carbon tax fetish.

        And this, “As Table 2-7 makes clear, most damages come from SO2 (85%), followed by NOx (7%), PM2.5 (6%) and PM10 (2%). This reflects the size of SO2 and NOx emissions from coal-fired power plants and the damages associated with fine particles formed from SO2 and NOx.24 Directly emitted PM2.5 has very high damages per ton (see Table 2-8), but very little PM2.5 is emitted directly by power plants; most is formed from chemical transformations in the atmosphere.”

        Since the dirty 10% were built before 1970, the warm and fuzzies have kept them in operation longer than planned with their death to coal carbon tax planning where they will bankrupt anyone building a coal fire plant. Luckily for the idiots, private sector natural gas exploration is producing a cleaner alternative which they have also fought because they are warm and fuzzy idiots.

        His link – http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12794&page=88

        $3 per ton will let them play with a few hundred Solandras per year with a few A123s and Fiskers for good luck plus fund thousands of studies that will be obsolete by the time they clear pal review.

      • You are correct. I should have said linked a source that supported his assertions. I read his link. It did not support his point.

    • Matthew R Marler

      David Appell: So you think this is a joke — that you should be allowed to pollute for free.

      No. That was an exhortation to you to think things through. The effects of warming since WWII are largely beneficial, and negative consequences are hypothesized (by Prof. Curry) for the distant future. If you are going to talk about money, and if CO2 was responsible for the warming, then the people who benefited from the warming owe something (at least abstractly) to the people who produced the CO2.

      • Consider how much colder it would now be without AnthroCO2 and then start reaching for your wallet. The higher you believe sensitivity is, the more you pay.
        =========

      • David Appell

        The effects of warming since WWII are largely beneficial

        What calculation shows this?
        Include the effects of ocean acidification.

      • The oceans are not acidic.

        But you are welcome to show the pH of the oceans for the past 100 years. And all supporting documentation.

      • Show me the harms, David Appell, of the warming since the Little Ice Age. Show me the harms of the next such aliquot of warming.
        ==================

    • David Appell

      What you mean is that I am ‘Free’ only as far as fascists like yourself allow me.

      WIse up and be honest — there is no fascist boot on your neck. Your choices are all your own. Be a man and step up to them.

      • The only way you would pay your fair share is if the government instigates a ‘fair’ tax on people Body Mass Index.
        Why is it that you believe the ‘science’ of climate change, but not the ‘science’ behind obesity, a sedentary lifestyle and a high fat/high carbohydrate diet?
        Seriously, your photo shows a man with a BMI closer to 35 than to 25, you have the classic signs of poor lymph drainage indicating you exercise less than 30 minutes a day.
        Don’t you know that each pound of excess fat is a hundred miles of blood vessels?
        Be a real man and step up out of that chair, get some exercise, cut most of that fat/sugar and carbohydrate you stuff yourself with and follow the advice that medical science has suggested all your damned life.

      • David Appell

        Seriously, your photo shows a man with a BMI closer to 35 than to 25, you have the classic signs of poor lymph drainage indicating you exercise less than 30 minutes a day.

        That’s just the kind of classless observation I’ve come to expect from your type… and stop stalking me.

      • When the government can no longer pay for the drugs to treat obesity, atherosclerosis, diabetes and hypertension, it will tell us to “Work for Food”.
        ===========

      • ” and stop stalking me.”

        I have be a regular here for a long good while and have never told other posters that they have a duty to behave in a manner I believe is moral.
        I am not an American, but I emigrated here, in part, because of the American dream and thirst for freedom.

        You start posting here, linking to studies full of unsubstantiated crap, appealing to authority and damning those who disagree as morally inferior. You only offer fascism, painted Green, for the future.
        You ignore all evidence that challenges your shallow analysis and self-indulgent historical/social views and instead use the shot-gun method of argument, going off in all directions.
        You and your views are enlightening, but not in a good way.
        Why not move to DailyKos or DemocraticUndergound, where you belong?

      • David Appell

        Why not move to DailyKos or DemocraticUndergound, where you belong?

        Because it’s much more fun to show up people like you.
        (Yes, you.)

      • Why not move to DailyKos or DemocraticUndergound, where you belong?

        I think of David as more of a “skeptic” (although not a “climate skeptic”) than anything else – and as such, he is in very good company at this here blog.

      • David Appell:
        “Accounting is a necessary job, but it is certainly not science.”

        Bachelor of Science in Business. All these years of lying to myself. I even have a lab coat.

      • David Appell

        Bachelor of Science in Business.

        WOW!!

        (Sorry, but not very impressive, as degrees go.)

      • Someone has to write the checks.

      • So you are not impressed by Ragnaar’s degree. What does impress you?

        I happen to have three. BA/History ; MS/Environmental Science & Engineering ; MS/Management of Science & Technology.

        I was hired as an Engineer at Nuclear power plant with just the History degree and was selected for the national standards board for my area of expertise.

        So feel free to denigrate any or all of my degrees. I don’t really care if your carbon footprint is smaller or your penis bigger. At the end of the day people will know who is the juvenile in short pants.

      • Show up? Yep, you showed up.
        =======

      • Not yet – we have not allowed you to wear boots.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joshua: (although not a “climate skeptic”)

        Just so. Posting on a blog devoted to “Climate Etc.”, he is a true believer in catastrophic anthropogenic greenhouse gas induced global warming. His skepticism extends to doubting that crop yields have increased since the end of the little ice age, and doubting that fewer people freeze in the winter.

    • David Appell,

      US CO2 emissions 2008 – 5.5 billion tons @ 3USD/t= 19.2 billion USD
      Less Foreign food aid.~41 Billion USD

      China CO2 emissions 2008 – 7.3 billion tons @ 3USD/t=22.5 billion USD
      Less Foreign aid ~8 Billion USD

      Looks like the polluters are running a surplus using Mosher’s numbers without be forced to donate. Prosperity appears to breed generosity. I don’t know how reliable the numbers are. The total Chinese foreign aid is supposed to be ~39 billion since 1950, but the “aid” included forgiving mature loans and is increasing by 30% per year, if you believe the guardian

      http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2011/apr/28/china-foreign-aid-policy-report

      • David Appell

        $3/t is an absurd figure.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Yeh – the current spot price in Europe is US$5.85.

      • David Appell

        Yeh – the current spot price in Europe is US$5.85.

        That is not the social price of carbon.
        That is only what government policies charge for carbon.
        There is a vast difference.

      • It probably is the social cost since you have not provided any documentation to support your own hysteria.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You confuse me with someone who gives a rat’s arse for what you think the ‘social price’ of carbon dioxide is.

      • David Appell, “$3/t is an absurd figure.”

        Not really. That is for tons of CO2 not C so multiply by 3.67 or about $10 USD per ton if you want to compare to the carbon spot price. The social cost will be that generosity can be retroactively applied to carbon taxation. Even China is providing foreign aid with millions of poor in its own country. There is a crap load of government and private organizations doing more than their fair share to help the under privileged of the world for political and compassionate reasons. Many are more than willing to tell you to F off.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Not really Dallas – the spot price is always quoted for CO2 equivalent. I was just being lazy.

      • David Appell

        Not really.

        Yes, it is. It is nowhere near the ballpark of what climate economists are finding.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh please. I am an environmental scientist with some experience of triple bottom line accounting. You make impossible assertions. Little wonder you have no credibility.

      • Chief I was going by what David said “The social cost of Carbon” since it acceptable to go either way. With coal at $40 per ton, the $3 CO2 tax is equivalent to a 20% increase in energy cost. His $35 per ton would be nearly doubling the cost of coal if it were a “Carbon” tax and insane if it were a CO2 tax.

      • David Appell

        Oh please. I am an environmental scientist with some experience of triple bottom line accounting.

        Accounting is a necessary job, but it is certainly not science.
        Stick to what you know.

      • Neither is pontificating science.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I was going by your figures that quote CO2.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So really degrees in environmental science and hydrology not good enough for you? You should stick to what you know – sfa it seems.

        We were talking environmental economics and I do understand how this is done.

      • “That is not the social price of carbon”
        Ah, ‘social price’. So we are dealing with Climate science where words have quite different meanings than in any other area.
        What is the true ‘social price’ of the export of Western intellectual property to the third world?
        We, the biomedical scientists, have collapsed the maternal and infant death rates and extended the average life-span of people living in the Third World by more than a third in 30 years.
        So biomedical scientists, like myself, must have accumulated ‘social credit’. Well, I want mine. As you think only the First World wealthy have to pay, I want you to personally fund the ‘social capital’ the Third World owes those in medical research and production.

      • David Appell

        So really degrees in environmental science and hydrology not good enough for you?

        IMO a degree (just a B.S.?) buys you a seat at the table.
        That’s it.
        The rest you have to earn.
        Nothing I’ve read from you has been very impressive.

      • I guess you have no seat at the table.

      • David Appell, Since you are a professional communicator and advocate, perhaps you can explain why some think that $35 per ton is huge? Mosher’s $3 per ton results in roughly a 20% tax on the commodity producing the CO2 and yours has to approximately double the cost of energy. You are throwing out incoherent numbers and demanding the “rich” pay your price. Justify it David.

      • David Appell

        David Appell, Since you are a professional communicator and advocate, perhaps you can explain why some think that $35 per ton is huge?

        I don’t.

      • David Appell , “I don’t.” Don’t what? Communicate? Advocate? Understand that Carbon Tax is a vague term? Understand the $35/ton is a 100% plus energy tax?

        I don’t mean this in a bad way, but when Mosher tosses out a tidbit he is generally setting someone up.

      • David Appell

        I don’t mean this in a bad way, but when Mosher tosses out a tidbit he is generally setting someone up.

        I have no idea what this means. Good-bye.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        A pissing contest David? I have a degree in Engineering specialising in hydrology and a Masters Degree in Environmental Science and have been studying relevant aspects of climate for decades.

        e.g. http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/06/irresponsible-advocacy-by-scientists/#comment-361167

        You’re a jumped up science journalist with degrees in physics and experience in IT? Hardly all that interesting once you move past the simple radiative physics. Actually – you should move onto nonequilibrium thermodynamics and nonlinear systems.

        Actually – I am a bit of a jumped up science journalist myself. Just a hell of a lot more interesting than you.

      • David Appell

        I have a degree in Engineering specialising in hydrology and a Masters Degree in Environmental Science and have been studying relevant aspects of climate for decades.

        Wow. Just like everyone I know.

        Those get you a seat at the table. What you do with it then is up to you — and nothing I’ve seen from you has been at all impressive.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I hypothesized ‘the pause’ and wrote about it in 2007 – after the IPCC totally squibed it.

        http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/11/enso_variation_and_global_warm.html

        Some of us have come a long way since. Some of us not so much.

      • David Appell

        I’m glad you agree that “the pause” is a mere artifact of oceanic weather — i.e. ENSOs — created by a large El Nino in 1998 and two La Ninas in recent years.

        Accounting for these, Foster and Rahmstorf have shown that greenhouse warming continues unabated, which is the most important message of all this.

      • David Appell

        PS: Do you honestly think anyone takes “American Thinker” seriously?

        It is a joke, on par with Newsmax and the like. No one — absolutely no one — expects anything like journalism from it.

      • P.S. Yes, serious people take it seriously. Serious people do not take you seriously.

      • “Those get you a seat at the table. What you do with it then is up to you — and nothing I’ve seen from you has been at all impressive.”

        The Chief Baby also has a single scientific publication, accepted to the hack journal Energy & Environment. That should allow him to sit at the kiddie’s table.

      • David Appell

        Energy and Environment!!?
        OMG.
        Chief really doesn’t have any personal pride, does he?
        LOL.

      • “OMG” and “LOL?”

        Ahhh…you’re a valley girl. That explains so much.

      • Matthew R Marler

        David Appell: Accounting for these, Foster and Rahmstorf have shown that greenhouse warming continues unabated, which is the most important message of all this.

        Foster and Rahmstorf have shown that they could come up with a model, post hoc, that included bot CO2 and other effects that can’t be rejected on present data. Equivalently, you can write a model that fits the data equally well with a model that has CO2 a consequence of warming (that was done by Murray Salby.) Which of the dozens (hundreds if you include Girma and Vukcevik and others) of models is “correct”, or makes an accurate prediction of the future, is undecidable on present evidence.

        Salby’s model has some advantages: he shows CO2 change as a function of temperature, but temperature change as independent of CO2 concentration, when you use estimates of rate of change. It is not, naturally, “bullet proof”, but it is irrefutable on present evidence. That is, attempted “refutations” have problems of their own.

      • “Salby’s model has some advantages: he shows CO2 change as a function of temperature, but temperature change as independent of CO2 concentration, when you use estimates of rate of change. It is not, naturally, “bullet proof”, but it is irrefutable on present evidence.”

        I used to think of Marler as the only reasonable skeptic in this commenting area, able to contribute statistics knowledge, but since he has gone off the deep end in believing that excess CO2 is not caused by fossil fuel combustion, he has become a full-bore denier.

        It is really not that hard to lift a pencil, desk-check the numbers, and thereby prove Salby wrong. I now consider Marler like The Chief, all bluster and no substance.

  5. “For the sake of argument, lets assume that the IPCC consensus is roughly correct regarding dangerous anthropogenic climate change, with the dangers becoming apparent in the latter half of the 21st century, and mitigation of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels is necessary, urgent, imperative (or whatever the latest word being used in professional society advocacy statements).

    How do you square this climate policy ‘imperative’ with the real need right now of the majority of the people on the planet for greater access to energy? ”

    Nuclear.

  6. Well, a full explanation of my opinion (and suggestions) would take at least a long post, more likely a book. But briefly, a simplistic summary of my current answer centers around methane.

    We need a near-term focus on increasing methane production from existing and near-term sources: existing, fracking, and sea-floor methane. This feeds the switchover of fixed energy plants from coal and oil, and as many as feasible of transport technology as well. (e.g. trains, big trucks, shipping, and perhaps aircraft.) Fixed power production should also switch from very large fixed plants to small installations capable of being transported by helicopter and/or truck, feeding an electrical grid much more concentrated on local generation. Short term changes to local demand can thus be met much more quickly, without the construction and right-of-way issues involved in large-scale transport. Power production capacity can also be reused when local demand drops, simply by shipping the power plants to new locations.

    Medium-term should see a focus on nuclear, especially including solar, power. Rather than feeding the grid directly, electrolysis to hydrogen followed by bio-conversion to methane will allow leveraging long-term investments in methane-fired technology. Once the generation, storage, and transport safety issues are worked out with mature technology, hydrogen can replace methane for new construction. Other possibilities include electrolytic creation of metallic sodium, which would certainly be effective in fixed fuel-cell installations, although I’m not certain about vehicles.

    Long-term, of course, is Space Solar Power.

    • Pielke mentioned specifically sub-Saharan Africa. How do you get methane and NG there. You can compress it and ship it there by road vehicle but that is expensive. You can build pipelines but that is expensive as well. It really depends on whether the specific area has a local geologic reserve and that is hit and miss. Some places have no fossil fuel potential.

      Pielke is preening like he has an answer, but he doesn’t even know the question.

      • Sub-Saharan Africa may have to wait until solar/hydrogen/biomethane comes on-line. My guess is 10-15 years.

      • Another possibility is using air-cushion vehicles to transport LNG. This technology might be able to take over a good deal of ship/truck traffic at similar fuel efficiencies. Biggest problem with air-cushion is IT (control), which is advancing fast. Biggest benefit is it can go anywhere even roughly flat.

      • Interesting thoughts, AK, nice balance between realism and thinking outside the box. The air-cushion vehicles were at one time prototyped for the arctic, one hovercraft barge got stuck rescuing a whale.

      • Then what happened to the whale,.. what a story!

      • If you replace wood burning with coal in the 3rd world, would this be overall net good or bad as far as pollution and global warming?

        If you burn fewer trees and emit CO2, is it possible there will be some greening and moister soil? Will there be a change in albedo between
        dark soil and green vegetation that would tend to reflect sunlight?

        I don’t know the answers but I automatically try to look at multiple angles and ask all the questions. I also want to keep the effect of our policies on the 3rd world in mind. We would not want to keep people locked in disease and poverty while only decreasing our own CO2 by only token amounts. Does our gasohol policy increase hunger and starvation in the world. How much does 15 Solyandra’s contribute to either CO2 reduction or helping those in the 3rd world?

      • Maybe they put a tracking device on it, or maybe a collar, or maybe they used a tranquilizer dart on it, or flew it out on a helo?… Scientists care so much about stuff they love, they kill with their kindness along with a picture or two…

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/06/starved-polar-bear-record-sea-ice-melt

        Lucky for the whale that he was too fat too. So many questions not a lot of answers right now.

      • Actually, southern Africa has massive coal reserves – in fact, many coal deposits there have been spontaneously combusting for centuries.

      • South Africa has large coal reserves. South Africa is, however, not what most have in mind, when they discuss development of Sub-Saharan Africa. Rest of Africa has very little coal, while some countries have sizable oil and gas reserves.

        Several African countries have also large hydro power reserves, Congo so large that it has been proposed that it could export power South to South Africa or North to Europe.

      • Tom,

        the whale is sooo yesterday. You need to keep current. It’s the polar bear. Yes, that is THE, as in singular, one, less than two. Poor baby was murdered by climate change. (Ok, it wasn’t a baby polar bear. That would have been too good of a story. I believe it was 18, which in polar bear years is about the same as my 88 year old dad.)

        Perhaps we should take up a collection for its funeral service. That might help David sleep a little better tonight.

      • Tell your Dad he’s now playing with a full keyboard.
        ==========

      • @whut…

        Here’s another thought: based on Friend et el. (1989), the density of methane at 200 atm (20MP)/280 K is about 2/5 of liquid, ~160 Kg/m^3. This is roughly the pressure and temperature 2Km down in the ocean. Floating pipelines this far down might be an economical way to transport large amounts of methane over global distances. Pipelines not needing to contain significant pressure or temperature differences might be economical enough to justify a large distribution network.

        Assuming, of course, that technology for operating at such depths has already become mature through methane hydrate development.

        Friend et el. (1989) Thermophysical Properties of Methane by Daniel G. Friend, James F. Ely, and Hepburn Ingham J. Phys. Chem. Ref. Data 18, 583 (1989)

      • Marlowe Johnson

        It seems to me that Pielke is being a stealth advocate, but of course I must be wrong…he wouldn’t do that.

      • The interior peoples in Kenya cut down trees everywhere and make charcoal. This is then shipped everywhere nearby for fuel. It’s all they have and its an ugly sight.

  7. > To those scientists that are advocating for a global emissions reduction policy, have you thought this one through?

    Is this a rhetorical question?

  8. Arcs_n_Sparks

    Time to be serious and aggressive with small modular reactor development and deployment. For those worried about proliferation, a ten year sealed reactor core could be “returned to sender” from countries of concern (the Boeing model; no need for them to develop a nuclear infrastructure to enjoy the benefit). Next, use nuclear power to make transportation fuels like dimethyl ether.

  9. The problem is even more wicked. Given the current order of things in the financial world, most of the additional energy consumption that is needed for the 75% will never get to them; most of the additional production will be consumed by the 10%. There is no such thing as “cheap” energy supplies in an overpopulated and violent world where “big fish eats little fish.”

    • It must be nice to live in a reality free zone.

      If there were no such thing as “cheap energy,” all you air headed progressives wouldn’t be trying to hard to get government to make them skyrocket.

      Decarbonizing the global economy only works even as far as you deluded CAGWers are concerned if the whole planet decarbonizes.

      Let’s see a show of hands of everyone here who has ever seen a paper by one of these enlightened geniuses proposing how to lift the Chinese, Indians, Russians, and Africans out of the economic bronze age in the midst of their delusional takeover of the world energy economy.

      Why are there no such papers? Because they don’t give a damn. Progressives (movement progressives anyway) only care about people in the abstract, as a means to power. The actual massive numbers of individual people who pay the price for their fantasies…they couldn’t care less.

      • David Appell

        Let’s see a show of hands of everyone here who has ever seen a paper by one of these enlightened geniuses proposing how to lift the Chinese, Indians, Russians, and Africans out of the economic bronze age in the midst of their delusional takeover of the world energy economy.

        All this does is highlight the immense seriousness of the world’s carbon problem.

        Sure, you can ignore it. But you will then suffer the consequences. If that’s your position, then fine, that’s your position. But many of us are not yet prepared to throw in the towel.

      • “All this does is highlight the immense seriousness of the world’s carbon problem.”

        No, it shows you so called progressives don’t give a damn about progress or people. You care about power. Period. People can go to hell in a hand basket. You’ll even subsidize the basket, as long as the maker makes campaign contributions to the right politician.

        The poverty those billions are still mired in? It’s a result of their countries being run by economic illiterates and power hungry opportunists.

        And it isn’t a question of your throwing in the towel. It is a question of whether the world will let you keep the third world in poverty, and return the first world to it, because of your delusions. So far – nope.

        You are managing to damage western economies. But the dictators and the kleptocrats who run the rest of the world are not stupid enough to put their own necks in the noose, just so you can tell yourself you have saved the world 100 years from now.

      • David Appell

        Baloney. All we’re asking is that your pollution not alter the climate for the next 100,000 years, and you’re so selfish you can’t even agree to that.

      • Easy – Prove that any pollution has altered the climate yet.

        Note, the word proof requires proof, not allegations and models.

        When you have done so, bring it to us so we can verify your work.

      • All this warming can do, the fuzzy little blanket that it is, is benefit us for the next 100,000 years during which we face a great deal of cold. I don’t think it will benefit us much past the end of the Holocene, though, weak as the warming effect is. And you call it ‘pollution’. I know obscenity when I see it, and you drip with it, David.
        ========================

      • David,

        The most likely thing any of us here will suffer is having to listen to your moralizing.

        The most likely thing you will suffer is a loss of credibility.

      • There are two problems. The first and more immediate problem is the savage jump in global temperature that will be caused by human emissions between 1900 and 2200.

        Second, further out that jump into the antropocene will create a platform of high temperature which leaves the Earth prone to plunging much further downwards than usual into the next glacial period once the human greenhouse gases eventually pull from the atmosphere.

        Such a sudden jerk risks destabilizing the planet.

        Fortunately cooling is unlikely to ever be a problem for humans again as by the time it does happen (many 100s of years) our technology is likely to be sufficiently advanced to control matters.

      • “the savage jump in global temperature”

        SAGW?

      • RE:

        Baloney. All we’re asking is that your pollution not alter the climate for the next 100,000 years …

        David, you don’t just stumble over the track when you go off the rails, you manage a high speed passenger train collision with a freight train hauling a combination of LNG, ammonia nitrate and nuclear waste.

        This blows away lolwot’s year 2200 comment.

      • Lordy.

        “the savage jump in global temperature”

        We have a new meme, Houston. :lol:

      • David Appell

        David, you don’t just stumble over the track when you go off

        Another reply with zero scientific content.
        Par for the course on this blog.

      • Since you started commenting, the scientific content has gone down.

      • “David Appell .
        All we’re asking is that your pollution not alter the climate for the next 100,000 year”

        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b8/Vostok_Petit_data.svg

        In the typical 100,000 year time period the planet is on average 6 degrees cooler than now and the glaciers cover the Mid-West.
        If the CO2 we inject into the atmosphere now, stops humankind from suffering an ice-age for the coming 100,000 years then all our decedents will praise us for our foresight and dedication toward them.

      • David Appell

        If the CO2 we inject into the atmosphere now, stops humankind from suffering an ice-age for the coming 100,000 years then all our decedents will praise us for our foresight and dedication toward them.

        Baloney. You have no such knowledge of what future people will think.

        All it takes to prevent the next ice age is about 20-30 ppmv CO2. We are wildly overshooting the mark, putting a huge number of species in peril. (Not that I expect you to care about anyone but yourself.)

      • Got some evidence for your outlandish claim? I have never seen that in print. Perhaps you can link to it? can you link to anything?

      • Not only do progressive doom-sayers not write papers
        proposing how ter lift third-world societies out of the
        economic bronze age, they want ter take us back ter
        the bronze age, (golden age ) too.

        A serf-who-escaped-the …

      • David,

        Discussing any sort of science with you is difficult, as you don’t really argue science. You simply tell others they aren’t worthy

      • Whoa, Nellie, David Appell thinks 20-30 ppm of CO2 can prevent the next Ice Age or at least he makes that claim.

        By golly, he’s coming around. Shall I tell him about the Ice Age that anthroCO2 has already prevented then?
        =====================

    • Luis,

      Please feel free to do your part to make this overpopulated and violent world just a little bit less over populated.

      • You’re gonna need a bigger boat.
        ==========================

      • So the world is suffering from over-population, warming and too many nuclear weapons sitting around doing nothing.
        If the ‘nuclear winter’ hypothesis is correct we could lob a few nuke’s at large population centers, increase the aerosols and also provide the climate scientist which a whole bunch of radionuclides to trace through the biosphere; its a winner.
        Wait until the progressives get a hold of it.

  10. New paper finds CO2 emissions self-regulate as economic prosperity increases, without carbon taxes

    A paper published today in Global Environmental Change finds that CO2 emissions are essentially self-regulating, that after countries reach a higher GDP level, CO2 emissions stabilize or even decrease, without the imposition of carbon taxes. According to the authors, “Evidence from recent four decades indicates that per capita carbon dioxide emission first significantly and monotonously increase at low income level and flattens after per capita income reaches at about 22,000 $ (2005 constant price).” “A ‘first-rise-then-flat’ relationship of carbon dioxide per capita and GDP per capita was found”, which suggests carbon taxes are unnecessary to stabilize emissions in higher GDP countries.

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/08/new-paper-finds-co2-emissions-self.html

    • David Appell

      Come on. The “self-regulation” in the US is hardly enough, from a per capita peak of about 22 t CO2/yr to (now) 17 t CO2/yr. That’s hardly anything like what is needed, and even if all coal-generated power were replaced by natural gas, the savings aren’t nearly enough — it only gets you down to about 15 t CO2/yr:

      http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2012/08/what-if-natural-gas-produced-all-our.html

      • US miles driven per capita reached a peak around 2005.

        More like a long-term recession brought on by high fuel prices caused by liquid fuel scarcity.

        So, concerning the “self-regulation” :
        It wasn’t the genius of economic prosperity so much as the inevitable decline of a highly concentrated form of fossil fuel that got us there in the first place.

      • Doug Badgero

        “More like a long-term recession brought on by high fuel prices caused by liquid fuel scarcity.”

        No, brought on by world monetary policy. The highest average annual cost of oil occurred in 1980, during another period of monetary induced inflation.

      • If you consider the difference in efficiencies it is better than that, but if you eliminate coal and natgas for power generation you are still stuck with around 66% of the original emissions. Replacing gasoline/diesel with natural gas is not worth the effort wrt CO2 emissions and electric vehicles charged with natural gas power generation is not much better than using gas/diesel (worse if you consider the energy use in manufacture).

        So let’s say we magically hit the best efficiency mix, you may get to 12 t CO2 per person per year. China and India will wipe out all of that and much more in the mean time.

        What you need is something truly innovativethinking . Not something you read about in the green addition of popular mechanics 20 years ago. Not a butt load of regulations that will never produce what you think we “need” anyway, but some outside the box creativity or a near extinction event.

      • David wants the US to return to 3rd world energy poverty with a per capita GDP of < $6000/yr. That will solve "the problem" by bringing CO2 emissions down to a "safe" level as demonstrated by this paper, based upon economic data from 132 countries.

        Or not, as well-known alarmists claim CO2 emissions have to be reduced to zero plus CO2 removed using geoengineering in order to save the planet from warming "in the pipeline."

        We are doomed, I tell you, DOOMED, if we continue with our economic "prosperity."

      • James Hamilton has shown that all but one of the 11 postwar recessions were associated with an increas in the price of oil, the exception being 1960.

        Badgero would consider those all just coincidences.

        Look up Hamilton’s paper “Historical Oil Shocks”

      • Doug Badgero

        The issue is not whether oil price spikes contribute to recession, but what caused the oil price spike.

      • David Appell

        Even if you get US per capita CO2 emissions down to ZERO today, you still will not change the global temperature by 2100 by more than 0.2C.

        So fuggidaboudit, David. It’s a silly idea that will achieve ZILCH.

        The developing world (the “poorest three-fourths” of the article) will continue to develop, increasing the quality of life of its inhabitants.

        And it will do so just like we did in the last century – by creating an infrastructure that guarantees everyone a reliable supply of low cost energy. And this will most likely be primarily from fossil fuel, with the possibility of some nuclear generation and a smidgen of solar/wind for electrical power.

        All your talk about “pollution” and the “social cost” of CO2 emissions is simply silly BS that has nothing to do with the real issue at hand, which is how make sure the “poorest three-fourths” can improve the quality of life of their inhabitants by resolving the “global inequity” in energy consumption.

        Max


      • Doug Badgero | August 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm |

        The issue is not whether oil price spikes contribute to recession, but what caused the oil price spike.

        How about gasoline shortages, Suez Canal crisis, OPEC oil embargo, USA peak oil, Iranian revolution, Iran/Iraq war, Gulf War 1 & 2, strong demand, supply constraints, and now world peak oil ?

        Read about how oil shocks lead to recession here:

        http://dss.ucsd.edu/~jhamilto/oil_history.pdf

        The point is that the world economy is so dependent on crude oil to keep its engine running, that any significant shocks to its flow can cause massive recessionary responses.

        The mathematical oil shock model works well to pinpoint the timing of these perturbations.

      • whut,

        You have finally convinced me. Even short term interruptions of fossil fuel distribution cause serious, harmful economic disruptions. I therefore hereby abandon my support for the idiotic progressive public policy of decarbonization.

        I now believe in the grace of the free market and skepticism of the mass hysteria commonly referred to as Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

        Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
        That saved a wretch like me….
        I once was lost but now am found,
        Was blind, but now, I see.

        T’was Grace that taught…
        my heart to fear.
        And Grace, my fears relieved.
        How precious did that Grace appear…
        the hour I first believed.

      • ” I therefore hereby abandon my support for the idiotic progressive public policy of decarbonization. “

        Gary, do you need paralegal help to craft an effective sarcastic comment?

      • whut,

        The word you are looking for is parody. In this case a form of sarcasm, but limited by its subject matter.


      • GaryM | August 8, 2013 at 12:59 am |

        whut,

        The word you are looking for is parody. In this case a form of sarcasm, but limited by its subject matter.

        A parody is an exaggerated imitation of behavior, and I don’t know anyone to break out into song, so I wouldn’t classify what you wrote as parody, unless it is very bad parody.

      • Doug Badgero

        “The point is that the world economy is so dependent on crude oil to keep its engine running, that any significant shocks to its flow can cause massive recessionary responses.”

        No argument there. However, there is also a similar response when a housing correction occurs, or any other large structural mis-allocation of capital for that matter.

      • People wanta blame housing, and naive dependence on inadequate models for the recession, but misunderestimated is the misallocation of capital caused by this social mania of fear of a catastrophe, oddly from a naive dependence on inadequate models.

        Sure, I think bots ought to be revered, but never deified. We are, after all, human.
        =============

      • WebHub: “The point is that the world economy is so dependent on crude oil to keep its engine running, that any significant shocks to its flow can cause massive recessionary responses.”

        You’re highlighteng one of its many aspects. We’ve heard talk of theromstats. Oil prices are the thermostat of the economy. Kind of anyways. Perhaps it explains a lot of the passion we see in the debate.

    • Not to mention that stabilizing emissions (even if this thesis is correct) doesn’t really solve the problem as that is still a far cry from stabilizing the concentration.

      • What problem? You mean the 0.008C warming averted by 2050 from a US 20% reduction of CO2 emissions? Ok, got it.

        http://www.cato.org/blog/current-wisdom-we-calculate-you-decide-handy-dandy-carbon-tax-temperature-savings-calculator

      • David Appell

        You mean the 0.008C warming averted by 2050 from a US 20% reduction of CO2 emissions?

        So you agree that much higher cutbacks are needed to affect temperatures?

        Glad to have you onboard.

      • No, I do not, and have over 2000 posts demonstrating why. Even the 0.008C allegedly averted is based upon highly flawed overly-CO2-sensitive climate models incapable of modeling the past, much less the future.

      • David Appell

        So you admit you are presenting bad statistics here?

        Climate models do a pretty good job of modeling the past — see the IPCC 4AR WG1 section on model validation.

      • David

        Please post a link to evidence your claim about ar4 showing that models do a good job of modelling the past

        Tonyb

      • David Appell

        Please post a link to evidence your claim about ar4 showing that models do a good job of modelling the past.

        It’s easily found at ipcc.ch. If you don’t care enough to look for it on your own, you certainly won’t read anything I provide.

      • They did not ask where it was, but for a link.

        Put up or shut up.

      • David

        You have made a claim. Please evidence it instead of airily pointing to a large document. I have never seen the accurate models you cite and if you can’t link to them I will assume you have made a mistake.
        Tonyb

      • David Appell

        Tonyb: That inforamation is very easily found.
        You could have found it already, in the time you’re spend here whining about it.
        You clearly aren’t serious. Don’t expect any further replies.

      • If the information is very easily found, then it is also very easily linked to. Stop procrastinating. You always do that when challenged.

        You will not get away with it here. Either produce the documentation, or admit you lied.

      • Appell says So you admit you are presenting bad statistics here?

        Has nothing to do with statistics, it is based upon overly-CO2-sensitive climate models and thus 0.008C warming is an over-estimate.

        Appell says Climate models do a pretty good job of modeling the past — see the IPCC 4AR WG1 section on model validation.

        Every single one of the 73 IPCC climate models are overly-sensitive to CO2:

        Even the IPCC admits the models have not been validated and that they don’t even know how to validate the models:

        http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/10/un-ipcc-scientist-asks-tough-questions.html

        My most recent 100 posts, the vast majority from peer-reviewed papers, on the abject failure of climate models:

        http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/search?q=models&max-results=100&by-date=true

      • David

        I have never seen these accurate historical models you claim and it appears you agree there is no such evidence to back up your claim otherwise you wouod have cited it by now. You were merely arm waving weren’t you?
        Tonyb

      • John Carpenter

        “Climate models do a pretty good job of modeling the past — see the IPCC 4AR WG1 section on model validation.”

        I, myself, do a pretty good job at predicting what happens in the past too! Go ahead, I’ll prove it to you, pick a date in the last 100 years, I bet I can tell you what happened on that day. Is that enough validation to tell you what I think might happen next week? Next year? Next decade? Next century? Until models can make better forecasts that mirror observation over the next 10 to 30 years, we really won’t have a true validation. That’s a long time to wait to see. And since we have nothing else to compare to, i.e. we don’t have another well documented AGW event where CO2 was believed to be the driver to compare to, we can’t validate that way either. Hind casting does not appear to be a true validation technique seeing as observation appears to be on the very, very low end of model prediction and may fall out of line if the pause continues a few more years.

      • David Appell

        This blog is about science. How about presenting some science? Redstate.com is the exact opposite of science.

      • No, Redstate is a source. It has science in it. If you disagree, refute it. But you are in no position to dismiss it out of hand. You have yet to produce a single source yourself.

      • Steven Mosher

        Tonyb

        you are correct. climate models dont do a very good job on the past.
        Either in Ar4 or Ar5.

        This is well known

      • I forget David, who is blue again? It has changed over the years.

      • David Appell

        Let’s say the USA simply “shut down”.

        No more CO2 emissions.

        Back to the Stone Age.

        What impact would this have on the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly” (whew!) by 2100?

        Try your hand at calculating this.

        Have a go at it – I’ll check your numbers and results.

        Max

      • Appell weasels again from the issue at hand to an ad hom against Red state, which absolutely nothing to do with the fact that every single one of the 73 IPCC AR5 models are over-sensitive to CO2. That graph was produced by John Christy, not Red State, and is from his congressional testimony.

      • David Appell

        Let’s say the USA simply “shut down”.

        That is a dumb assumption.
        Yes, dumb.
        Not worth wasting time on.
        All you have pointed out is the immense deepness of the world’s carbon problem.

      • It is called a hypothetical David. I am sure you have no idea what that is, but it is a good question, and one that needs to be answered. I notice that when you have no answers, you are not honest and admit that, but simply attack the inquisitor.

      • David Appell

        Appell weasels again from the issue at hand to an ad hom against Red state, which absolutely nothing to do with the fact that every single one of the 73 IPCC AR5 models are over-sensitive to CO2.

        Then present science that shows this, not some ideological Web site run by scientific know-nothings.

      • He did not present anything from the IPCC, so your silly insult was wasted.

      • David Appell

        To make it easy for you, I’ve gone ahead and made the calculation of how much global warming could be averted by 2100 by a total USA shutdown today.

        It is 0.2C (using IPCC’s arguably exaggerated 2xCO2 climate sensitivity of around 3C.

        Not really a “big deal”, is it?

        Let’s go through the numbers

        The world is estimated to generate around 3800 GtCO2 from today to 2100, with no USA cutback.

        The USA generates 5.3 GtCO2/year today, so a “shut down” would avoid 461 GtCO2 over the period 2013-2100.

        Half the CO2 emitted “remains” in the atmosphere, so this would be 1900 GtCO2 with no USA shutdown and 1669 GtCO2 with a USA shutdown.

        Today’s atmospheric CO2 concentration is 395 ppmv. So this added CO2 would result in an atmospheric CO2 concentration by 2100 of 638 ppmv with no shutdown and 609 ppmv with the USA shutdown.

        The net impact on temperature (using IPCC’s 2xCO2 ECS of 3C) equals 0.2C

        Ouch!

        Much ado about nothing, David.

        Max

      • “You mean the 0.008C warming averted by 2050 from a US 20% reduction of CO2 emissions?”

        Why are you focusing on the US only?

        That’s like telling a single voter their one vote only influences the election by 0.0001% and therefore they shouldn’t bother voting.

      • Matthew R Marler

        David Appell: This blog is about science. How about presenting some science? Redstate.com is the exact opposite of science.

        That specific link has more science than you have presented. You should check it out.

      • David Appell

        Not really a “big deal”, is it?

        All your calculation shows is the seriousness of the carbon problem — just what many of us have been saying for some time.

      • There is no “carbon” problem unless you are silicon based life and seek to eradicate the “Carbon based units infesting the planet”.

      • David Appell

        you are correct. climate models dont do a very good job on the past.
        Either in Ar4 or Ar5.

        And how well do your climate models do?

      • He is not touting his models. You are touting models that cannot even predict the past. It is up to you to prove otherwise.

      • tony,

        You are forgetting the rules. It is do as David tells you, not as he does.

        David is special. He not only is the holder of the truth on this issue, he’s a more moral person. That counts for something, right?

      • manaker,

        Only calculations count. Arithmatic doesn’t rise to the level of calculation for David. He’s well past that stage and into the real science stuff. You know, stuff with calculations.

      • David Appell

        It is do as David tells you, not as he does.

        I bet my carbon footprint is far smaller than your’s.
        Last time I calculated it it was 6 t CO2/yr.
        Though, again, this problem cannot be solved on the individual level.

      • I bet it is not. But the only way to prove it, is to produce your footprint.

        And all those conferences you jet to are not going to help your lie.

        Show us the receipts.

      • David Appell

        He’s well past that stage and into the real science stuff.

        Absolutely — if you can’t present facts, your claims are meaningless. THough I’m well aware that most of you have been spoiled by being able to claim anything and everything on any blog out there, including this one. It doesn’t cut it for anyone who knows science.

      • You have yet to present a single fact. So all your claims are meaningless – by your own admission.

      • David,

        What goes into your calculation of your footprint? I’d need to know that to make sure any calculation I did was apples to apples.

        Do I have to count the miles I drive from Seattle to Portland when I’m headed down for my non-profit work in science education? Or do I get a special dispensation. Can I total up my donations to organizations such as Mercy Corp and subtract them from my carbon footprint? And if so, how much latitude do I have in assigning a dollar value to a ton of carbon?

      • This is the hindcast of CIMP5 from 1880, to GISS and HADCRU4.
        Note that it fits very poorly until 1950 and then fails as soon as it forecasts.

    • David Appell

      Even if you get US per capita CO2 emissions down to ZERO today, you still will not change the global temperature by 2100 by more than 0.2C.

      That is the stupidest argument I can imagine.

      All you’re saying is, because my tax dollars are a tiny percentage of all US tax revenues, it doesn’t matter if I (or you) cheat on my taxes.

      Is that really your position?

      • That is the stupidest argument I can imagine.

        And there you go. A “skeptical” argument two times over, ala Brandon. Willard could be having a field day.

      • David Appell:
        “All you’re saying is, because my tax dollars are a tiny percentage of all US tax revenues, it doesn’t matter if I (or you) cheat on my taxes.”
        It does matter. There’s a lot to be said for following the rules. As far as how one views oneself.

      • One does not simply underestimate one’s powers of imagination to win an argument, David.

      • Are you the David Appell who runs Quark Soup? I seem to notice a similarity in style.

  11. Steven Mosher

    good advocating

    • Berényi Péter

      No, the advocacy part is boring & dispensable, the only part which may have merit is water splitting by photons, because that’s science, the rest is not.

      There is no point in whining about the coal fired plant / grid cycle being too cheap either. If he can make a gridless solar / water splitting / hydrogen storage / fuel cell cycle cheaper, so be it. The entire economy is going to switch to that solution in a short timeframe, with no political pressure whatsoever, simply driven by market forces.

      In that case it is needless to lobby for legislation to kill competition off prematurely, is it not?

      • An engineer told me that if they could have 10x electrical energy density storage ‘everything’ would change.

  12. A few cost benefit comments;

    Will the initial investment in a power plant pay for itself over the next 30 years and include a return on the initial investment of an arbitrary 4% a year?

    Do basic services when started provide an exponential benefit to society? Such as when sewer utilities became common. Electricity is an answer to many problems. Pumping water, and providing refrigeration for instance.

    Not that long ago, some of our rural areas received help from the REA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rural_Electrification_Administration
    I see its name has since changed. Electricity by itself, raised our rural standards of living, and increased our food production. The REA’s biggest challenge was probably the cost of stringing power lines. This is another cost to consider.

    A time frame of 50 years as Judith Curry asks about, is way out there. What is the value of one dollar, fifty years from now? In other words, I will give you one dollar, 50 years from now. Using a 4% interest rate, it’s worth 14 cents now. It is still a consideration. So its weight may be 1/7 when compared to a current dollar.

    Brazilian and Pielke seem to have presented an effective moderate discussion of issue.

    • Adding one more thing. Sewer utilities in most cases require Electricity. It’s used for powering lift stations. You lift it, it runs slowly downhill to the next station. Repeat until you reach the destination.

  13. “ The goal should be to provide the power necessary to boost productivity and raise living standards.”
    This should be “the goal” for the leaders of the nations whose people do not have electricity. It is not necessarily the most important goal for those living in other nations.

    • There is alot of UN, WorldBank, etc money floating around for these purposes. Do they fund new coal plants or not? Etc.

      • If a developing nation does not have the funds to support other than a coal to generate electricity then imo the World Bank should support the building of the plant that uses coal.

        If a developing nation does not have the funds to support other than a coal to generate electricity and the World Bank decides that they do not want to support them using coal due to CO2 emissions, I do not support greater US financial support to fund the increased costs.

      • David L. Hagen

        Starve the poor
        Sierra Club and other first world liberal elite are driving Obama and the EU to cruely starve the poor of energy in the development world.
        No hope: Obama anti-coal policy to keep global poor in dark

        First it was President Barack Obama pledging in June that the government would no longer finance overseas coal plants through the U.S. Export-Import Bank. Next it was the World Bank, then the European Investment Bank, dropping support for coal projects. Those banks have pumped more than $10 billion into such initiatives in the past five years. . . .
        The move by lenders against coal turns “our backs on millions without electricity and chooses not to help them achieve a better standard of living,” said Nancy Gravatt, a spokeswoman for the National Mining Association in Washington,. . .

        1,200 Plants
        According to an analysis by the World Resources Institute in Washington, 1,200 coal-fired plants are proposed globally, with more than three-quarters of those planned for India and China alone.

  14. The problem posed by Brazilian and Pielke is indeed wicked. In part because there are dimensions that involve inherently ‘moral’ judgements, and not just about present versus future equities. For example:
    If one thought greater equality of economic circumstances (one measure being GDP) is a moral imperative, and also that CO2 is an imperative future problem, then there is an obvious simple solution. Energy ‘have nots’ in the article’s usage above do have sufficient energy for their circumstances. These cannot be all bad since their numbers grow by hundreds of millions to billions every generation. They use renewable biofuels (mostly firewood) for cooking and warmth, just like the entire world did before the industrial revolution. What they don’t have is anything like equivalent post industrial revolution energy, the chief embodiments being liquid fuels (for agricultural machinery and transportation) and electricity (for refrigeration and telecommunications). So an obvious solution is to just take away those things from the industrialized haves. Voila. Solves both equality and AGW at one stroke. Indeed (sarc), some European energy policies as perhaps in the UK seem headed in this general direction. Burning wood for electricity at Drax, tripling electricity prices, reducing grid reliability with wind, (unless standby grid connected diesel generators are subsidized), ignoring cleaner burning abundant shale gas because not green enough…all move the UK toward havenot status.

    Oh, that is not what was meant? Any other discussion brings in the complexities of regional economic development, and why some have and some have not. It must, since the kind of energy meant is industrial so not free. The worlds actions show there is not that much energy charity around.

    Methinks the issue raised, while perhaps laudable, obscures the simpler but still wicked question about haves today versus haves tomorrow inherent in CAGW. That is tough enough for all those with the means to get on the Internet or an airplane to discuss same.
    Solving, for example, Haiti’s or Zimbabwe’s or Myanmar’s intractable at least partly self inflicted social and economic problems at the same time is a bridge too far.

  15. Music to this grizzled skeptics ears. Exactly right.. Even if the IPCC is roughly correct as you posit Dr. C., the wisest course is far from clear. There are competing values and needs at work here. I just don’t understand the simplistic thinking of most alarmists.

    I wrote yesterday that in order to embrace the global warming hypothesis one has to ignore both common sense and ever more unpersuasive empirical data. I left out the very important issue of energy priorities, even if by some stretch the alarmists are right.

    Devastating post imvho.

  16. An observation from someone who was in the Cancun area at the time of the annual climate get together.
    Of course I could not come close to the epicenter of the event as all roads were guarded with tanks or personnel carriers with either an M-60 or 50 cal mounted. I watched on TV as the contingent celebrated Mayan Culture and or heritage with a gala event in which some lucky Mayans were lucky enough to serve the in crowd for a few dollars.
    Not six miles away I watched as Mayans ate a very occasional cooked meal.
    They seemed very friendly and quite surprised at our presents. Accommodations were minimal to say the least. No electricity, and I suppose any fuel would be used for cooking (mostly)or light.
    I learned that their main source of medicine was massage. They would use various message techniques for most everything and it seems with a great deal of success.

  17. As I see it, and I’ve been cogitating on this for several years, developing countries are going to desire between 200,000 and 400,000 btu per person per day depending on how much conservation is forced on them by high prices. By way of comparison, most developed countries today use 400,000 btu and up — largely depending on home and business heating needs. The US uses a rather appalling 900,000 btu per person per day.

    Not a problem because once educated by climate scientists and wise Western leaders, developing countries will recognize the dangers inherent in profligate burning of fossil hydrocarbons? Seems unlikely to me. The developing countries have their own scientists who will be only too happy to advise their decision makers that the climate science case against CO2 is somewhere between problemetic and nonexistent. Many would probably say that even if it weren’t accurate since those who tell those in power what they want to hear will probably be rewarded for doing so.

    My projection. The developing world is probably going to burn through the world’s fossil hydrocarbons at a stunning and currently unanticipated rate. And nothing much will (or can) be done about it. We better hope that the projections of climate driven catastrophe are wrong, because CO2 levels are probably going to soar. Fortunately, I think it rather likely that the projections are very wrong, but it probably won’t change the results much if they aren’t.

    • “The developing world is probably going to burn through the world’s fossil hydrocarbons at a stunning and currently unanticipated rate. And nothing much will (or can) be done about it. We better hope that the projections of climate driven catastrophe are wrong, because CO2 levels are probably going to soar.”

      The cruise liner sinks. A group of 100 survivors find themselves marooned an island. Fortunately each day a number of crates of food wash up on the beach from the sunken ship.

      “We should ration the food”, one survivor points out, “and be greatful for that extra time to find and switch to alternative and sustainable sources of food on the island”

      “Nahhhh” says everyone else. “There’s plenty of food in these crates. We can just sit here and eat through the food. Use it to fatten ourselves and expand our population”. So they start fattening up. Chomping through the crates of food. Most of the women decide it’s a great time to become pregnant.

      A few days later the alarmist pipes up again
      “Uhh the crates are going to run out eventually…we really should ration what we have and plan for the future”

      The view is not popular. “Oh you want to centrally plan do you? Well we know how well that went in the Soviet Union” “Besides the crates might not run out. They might be being generated by the sea…the science is very uncertain…We might just keep finding crates forever. And even IF they do run out…I am sure Human Ingenuity will save us”

      Of course the irony is that they are shunning human ingenuity.

      The crates start coming less frequently. Alarming predictions are extrapolated…but then mmm a stash of floating cans of food marked “shale oil” are found floating on a beach on the otherside of the island.

      “OH look your predictions failed! you were wrong, we found more food and we didn’t run out so there is clearly no problem. Lets use this extra food to double our population again”.

      • The irony is that the cruise liner sank because it ran out of fuel and ran into an ice berg because the idiot progressive captain didn’t want to “pollute” the atmosphere with too much CO2.

        The captain now is concerned about the 100 survivors, not the hundreds he has already killed. OK, that’s not irony, it’s tragedy.

      • lolwot, you have pretty much describe the history of Polynesia. The population blooms, followed by warfare and migration was a familiar pattern.

      • Population growth is a different problem than energy or climate– and one that China has actually addressed. There’s some evidence that as countries develop, population growth slows

        Yes there are too damn many people on the planet and the human race does indeed seem to be determined to continue to be fruitful and multiply until we prove Malthus correct. But even if we quit trying to breed ourselves into some unpleasant dystopia, we’re almost certain to burn through much/most of the world’s petroleum, natural gas and coal before we work out the details of providing a decent general standard of living for everyone that doesn’t depend on hydrocarbon fuels.

  18. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Proposition  The Pope knows how to do scientific advocacy right — including an appropriate balance of short-term versus long-term priorities.

    `Cuz those Catholics really understand history, eh? The Church appreciates that nothing good happens when scientific, mathematical, medical, engineering, and religious advocacy is muzzled.

    Conclusion  Calls for the muzzling of professional advocacy — as Judith Curry’s and Roger Pielke’s views are sometimes interpreted — stand squarely on the wrong side of history.

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

    • “The Pope knows…”

      Hi Fan, don’t know if you saw my warm words of welcome yesterday :-)

      In any case, I see you’re back on the Pope, which to this wise-guy, agnostic Jew is always a hoot. Talk about an “appeal to authority,” which in matters of science is clearly not legit.

      Thanks for demonstrating classic fallacious thinking, Fan of *more* Discourse!!

    • I agree that they do their homework at the Vatican, but acting on what they know is another matter. After Copernicus and Galileo, it took centuries for them to recognize that our planet is not the center of the universe. In the church, traditions and dogmas have top priority in the short-term. It took even longer for them to recognize that slavery is not part of natural law. As long as they perpetuate the patriarchal paradigm of control and domination in church structures, they are contributing to the economic and ecological exploitation that induces violence and may be inducing climate change. For more on this, the following might be of interest:

      Gender Equality for Solidarity and Sustainability

      http://www.pelicanweb.org/solisustv09n07page1.html#editorialessay

      • “After Copernicus and Galileo, it took centuries for them to recognize that our planet is not the center of the universe.”

        I agree, the leaders of the Catholic Church were wrong in believing what the consensus of the ‘scientists” of their day told them. Just as the USCCB got suckered by “climate scientists.”

        But please spare us the progressive revisionism. Historical illiteracy seems to be a requirement to be a full blown progressive these days, but good grief.

  19. Seems to me the vast sums of money spent chasing “green energy” in the western world would have been better used actually helping the poor obtain access to reliable and reasonably priced energy – that would be primarily hydro-carbon based fuels. Instead, we see world financial institutions stifling the building coal plants, leaving the hapless poor with what? A dismal existence, but the elitist green movement remains quite comfortable.

    • David Appell

      The amount of money spent on “green energy” subsidies is dwarfed by the amount of damage done by fossil fuels — at least $120 B/yr in the US, according to a 2010 report from the National Academy of Sciences.

      • David Appel

        Bad estimate.

        Fuggidaboudit.

        Readily available energy from low-cost fossil fuels has helped those of us in the industrially developed world (like you and me) enjoy a high quality of life and long life expectancy that our ancestors could only have dreamed of.

        This is the “net benefit of fossil fuels”.

        Max

      • David Appell

        Bad estimate.

        HIDDEN HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL COSTS OF ENERGY PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION IN U.S., National Academy of Sciences, 2010

        http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=12794

      • That is a news release. it does not show any calculations or how the number is arrived at. The source was asked for. To be valid, it must be testable. So far you have produced nothing.

      • David, more bogus statistics from you.
        Joseph E. Aldy, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School analyzed the US Federal subsides to fossil fuel producers in the USA and arrived at a figure of $4.1 billion, per year.
        This was published by the Brookings Institute, which describes itself as both independent and non-partisan. However, a 2011 study examining of Brookings Institute employee donations from 2003 to 2010 indicated that 97.6% of Brookings’s employee’s political donations went to Democrats. So this is not a ‘Big Oil’ front organization.

        http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2013/02/eliminate-fossil-fuel-subsidies

        You source, is complete crap:-

        http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12794

        finding ‘hidden cost’ of burning fuel, but ignoring ‘hidden profits’, like not having a starving, disease ridden population.

        Can you actually make a tradition type argument based on facts, as in information known to be true, or based on logic?

      • manacker said in his post of August 7, 2013 at 5:34 pm

        “Readily available energy from low-cost fossil fuels has helped those of us in the industrially developed world (like you and me) enjoy a high quality of life and long life expectancy that our ancestors could only have dreamed of.”
        _____

        I can enhance the quality of my life and increase my longevity by burning more fossil fuel?

        OH BOY !

      • The report you refer to (without providing a link) used a range of possible values of $10, $30 and $100 of damage per ton of CO2-eq which works out to 1.0, 3.0 and 5 cents per kWh for gas fired plants and twice that for coal fired plants (2005).

        http://dels.nas.edu/resources/static-assets/materials-based-on-reports/reports-in-brief/hidden_costs_of_energy_Final.pdf

        Subsidies for solar power in 2010 were $775.64 per megawatt hour and $56.29 for wind.

        http://southdakotamagazine.com/renewable-energy-costs

        So … the subsidies for solar power are between seven and 70 times the benefit versus coal and 14 and 140 times the benefit versus gas. For wind it is thankfully far less but still a money loser under most scenarios. And don’t forget that the damage per ton of CO2-eq is best described as a WAG.

      • Can you show us the calculations that go into the $120 billion a year number?

      • David Appell

        Can you show us the calculations that go into the $120 billion a year number?

        Of course. The full report is here:

        “Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use (2010),” National Academy of Sciences.

        http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12794

      • Guess I’m going to have to print the entire report out. I went to the conclusions chapter and didn’t see the 120 billion / yr number, but that could be the sum of the various numbers for each sector discussed.

        One thing I did note was of the damages attributed coal fired electrical generation, 85% were from SO2 emissions. That distinction usually gets lost when folks talk about coal pollution in terms of climate change. So much so that even the President’s speech a couple months ago referred to it as carbon pollution. You can’t get much more un-scientific than that.

        Note that I haven’t yet touched on the methodologies behind the numbers of that NAS report. As they say, the devil is in the details and when you start looking into methodologies and the assumptions used, the error bars that come with the results are often huge.

    • David Appell

      So … the subsidies for solar power are between seven and 70 times the benefit

      Math isn’t your strong suit, is it?

  20. Whatever is done to develop sub-Saharan Africa takes decades to influence essentially the climate. For decades to come countries like China, India, and Brazil have a much larger influence. The most important conflicts between development of the poor and CO2 releases is in these countries.

    The policy choices related to the energy development of sub-Saharan Africa may be very important for the Africa, not so much for the climate of next couple of decades.

    At the early stage of improving the energy infrastructure renewable energy may have a much larger relative role as it’s often less dependent on existing infrastructure, and as the first most valuable watts can be produced with lesser total costs that way. Having enough power for charging mobile phones and limited LED lighting may be the highest priority. That can be reached by solar panels and batteries. That alone is, however, not enough in longer term. Higher power levels are needed for many purposes important for further development. The right answers vary, however, strongly from country to country and also between different parts of each country.

  21. Here’s the crux:
    The energy crisis and issue is real, and soluble.
    The climate crisis and issue is illusory, and insoluble.

    Pick one to spend your (our) money on.

  22. Willis Eschenbach

    Well, no, I will not assume that the IPCC is correct as you suggest, Judith. Why on earth would I do that? Is that your preferred method for dealing with uncertainty, assume that a player who has rarely been correct is 100% right?

    What we actually have, without your highly unlikely assumption, is the situation where well-meaning but deluded people are fighting to increase the cost of fossil fuels. From that price increase, there is a POSSIBLE benefit of a bit of cooling from reduced CO2 in fifty or a hundred years. This POSSIBLE cooling (according to the advocates of expensive energy) might be as large as a half a degree or so. Whoa, there’s a huge benefit all right, I’d fight and die for that …

    On the other hand, we have real, actual costs which are affecting the poor as we speak. Obama has already denied a loan to provide cheap power for Vietnam in order to “save the planet”, for example, and the World Bank is refusing to provide funds for cheap power to other countries.

    So what we actually have, minus your assumption of papal infallibility for the IPCC, is a situation where there is a very small POSSIBLE reduction of temperature in 50 years as the sole benefit of expensive power, and billions of people being further impoverished as we speak as the costs of expensive power …

    Is there is some difficult choice to be made there? Billions of people actually sentenced right now to more years of grinding poverty, vs. a bit of cooling in 50 years … does the debate team in the ivied halls of the U of Georgia get that as a debate topic, “RESOLVED: that we should sentence the poor to unending years of poverty in exchange for a half degree of cooling in 50 years”?

    Because it seems pretty clear to me … and I doubt if the people living on $2 per day would see much debate in those two positions …

    w.

    • > Is that your preferred method for dealing with uncertainty, assume that a player who has rarely been correct is 100% right?

      Even lousy Backgammon players can roll double sixes from time to time, even if not as often as Chuck Norris.

      • now that’s the willard I remember.

      • Do you really think that some societies have consistently improved the health and wealth of their citizenry and others have failed, time and again, due to luck?

      • Do strawmen really think that preparing against the opponent’s double-sixes and your own double-fives amounts to pray for Providence, Doc?

      • Well I would answer you willard, but I don’t have a clue what you mean.

      • There exists strategies for stochastic games, Doc.

        The fact that nobody knows what will happen next does not forbid to prepare for the worse. In Backgammon, the worse cases are often 5-5 for you and 6-6 for your opponent. That means that if you have to choose between two ways to play the dice you rolled, you might follow this rule of thumb and play what is more “safe” as far as really bad rolls are concerned.

        This has nothing to do with the luck you introduced.

    • “Well, no, I will not assume that the IPCC is correct as you suggest, Judith. Why on earth would I do that? Is that your preferred method for dealing with uncertainty, assume that a player who has rarely been correct is 100% right?”

      It’s called a hypothetical, which allows a discussion from a different frame of reference. Of course you’re free to refuse to pry open that mind of yours for even a minute or two. Meanwhile, most of the rest of us are enjoying the conversation I would say.

      I swear to God Willis, your style sometimes seems taken straight from the alarmist playbook.

      • It does seem as if Willis and Bart are striving for the title of most arrogant at times.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        pokerguy | August 7, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Reply

        “Well, no, I will not assume that the IPCC is correct as you suggest, Judith. Why on earth would I do that? Is that your preferred method for dealing with uncertainty, assume that a player who has rarely been correct is 100% right?”

        It’s called a hypothetical, which allows a discussion from a different frame of reference.

        Indeed it is. Knowing that, I strongly suggested that we not deal with such hypotheticals, particularly such improbable ones, because what is most important is the real world situation. That’s what we have to base our choices on, what we know.

        The problem with hypotheticals is perhaps best illustrated by the old joke, “How many legs does a cow have if your count its tail as a leg?”

        The answer is “Four, because calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.”

        So you can call the IPCC assumptions true if you wish, but that should never be your starting point, that’s calling a tail a leg. Your starting point should be what you actually know to be true.

        Regards,

        w.

      • David Appell

        Willis, are you ever going to address you misunderstanding of ocean warming?

        No wonder you can’t get published anywhere but a paid-for denialist blog.

      • you misunderstanding of ocean warming?

        Are you ever going to address your inability to write coherently? I can see why you haunt comment sections. You need the extra money because you are no writer.

      • Willis –

        If you weren’t so good-looking, people wouldn’t lie to you as much.

        Too funny.

      • timg56 | August 7, 2013 at 7:36 pm |

        Pfft.

        Even just at CE, I can’t hold a light to the various captains, lords, sirs, Docs, Chiefs, champions, lawyers, skydragon slayers, and the like for claiming titles, credentials, awards, achievements and honorifics. I haven’t even claimed military affiliation or rank. Nothing to try to lend greater weight or authority to my opinion, with the exception of noting that I’m fairly familiar with words for ‘dead’.

        What cause specifically have you spotted for this ‘arrogance’ you think you see?

      • Bart,

        “What cause specifically have you spotted for this ‘arrogance’ you think you see?”

        Without going to the thread and block quoting it, it was your response to me regarding the distinction between murder & homicide. I mentioned I’d check with one of my brothers, whose was previously a proscuting attorney handling homicide and violent crime cases. You said something about doubting he had anywhere close to your experience on the subject (along with some odd comment about Louisiania). Pretty damn arrogant.

        Just curious, were you ever selected by the USAG for a federal task force on developing guidelines for handling federal murder and violent crimes cases?

      • timg56 | August 8, 2013 at 1:53 pm |

        Arrogant? I’d think, as you don’t know me or what my work is, assuming that your prosecutor brother works with so much homicide and murder that it makes him an expert and everyone in the world has to wait for you to talk to your relatives to get agreement on commonplace definitions.. that you’ve hung ‘arrogant’ on the wrong participant in the conversation.

        Louisiania is the state with the highest concentration of homicide cases per prosecutor in the USA. And yeah, your brother would’ve relied on my work when he was on that task force, if he was any good at his job.

      • The only value in taking the IPCC position as a “Hypothetical” is to demonstrate that it leads to absurdity or far different conclusions than are being claimed. In this case: immense costs, heavy damage, tiny and very uncertain (unlikely) benefits.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Breaking News  Micronesia Shifts From Carbon to Solar+Wind

      Short term benefits  Escape from a crippling oil-import deficit economy.

      Longer-term term benefits  A fighting chance to keep the Outer Islands above sea level.

      So this transition is economically rational *AND* morally good.

      Ain’t that right, Willis?

      (to address skepticism … yeah we’ve been there many times & yeah we know the folks making it happen & yeah we understand the technologies involved & yeah we appreciate the cultures involved & yeah it’s real & yeah the Micronesians citizens are hugely stoked to escape the crippling “tether of fuel”)

      That’s common-sense good news, eh Willis?

      Denialist h8ers can whinge as much as they like … but the renewable energy caravan is rolling full speed ahead … and that’s a good thing!

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      • Willis Eschenbach

        A fan of *MORE* discourse | August 7, 2013 at 5:46 pm | Reply
        Breaking News Micronesia Shifts From Carbon to Solar+Wind

        Thanks for that, fan. Let me first say that outer islands are one of the places where solar and wind might actually make sense. However, they are not without their problems, the biggest one being maintenance. In the US they say “What goes around, comes around.” In the Pacific they say “What goes around … stops.”

        The problem with your citation is that it’s from 2006, and it uses figures from 2002. Nor is it reporting that “Micronesia Shifts from Carbon …”. Instead, it proposes that Micronesia shifts from carbon, and then lists what it thinks are good alternative fuels. It’s somebody’s theoretical paper, not a report of success.

        It goes on to the fuels it recommends, beginning thusly:

        Coconut Oil

        Production of coconut oil as a renewable energy source for Micronesia has many advantages. Traditional knowledge for growing coconut is extensive, and cultural traditions value its cultivation. It has many uses, including food, and is well suited to the local climate and soils. Technology for extracting the oil can be simple, durable and affordable. With the appropriate technology, coconut oil can be used to meet most if not all of Micronesia’s energy needs. Coconut oil fuel is also safer than fossil fuels.

        fan, during the time I lived in the Solomon Islands, I looked very closely at the economics of coconut oil as a fuel. It can certainly be extracted, and the technology is simple. The problem is, it’s worth more as coconut oil for its various properties, than it is a just something to burn. In other words, in most places in the world you’d be money ahead to sell your coconut oil to the buyer and then go purchase diesel.

        Next, it takes up a lot of land. Micronesia is from the Greek, meaning “small islands”, many of which are tiny coral atolls. With a few exceptions, they don’t have the land. Before you start advocating such a scheme, you need to run the numbers … and having done so, let me assure you, it takes a whole lot of coconuts to make not much oil, and a whole lot of land to make coconuts.

        Finally, and most importantly, coconuts and coconut oil are both incredibly valuable as foodstuffs for the local population. There aren’t a whole lot of sources of fat on small islands and coral atolls, and shredded coconut and “coconut milk” and coconut water are very important in the local diet.

        Now, for high volcanic islands with a lot of land like say the Solomon Islands or Fiji, where you can grow livestock and have farms, coconuts are not as important. But in Micronesia, anyone proposing burning coconut oil doesn’t understand its place in the nutrition of the populace.

        For all those reasons, fan, although I do think that remote islands are natural candidates for renewable technology, your citation proves nothing except that the authors haven’t really thought their untried proposals through to the end.

        Be clear that I know that there are a variety of solar and wind projects going on in Micronesia. Like I said, it’s a natural for that. However, implementation is the problem. In 2012, less than 2% of the power in FSM was coming from solar. There’s a proposal to use $4 million to install another 1.7% of the power needs, that will make it about 3.7% renewable … I’m sure you can see the problem.

        So I’m not saying its a bad idea, quite the opposite. I’m just saying that your citation is just some guy’s not-necessarily-so-good ideas. For example, he says solar power won’t ever be practical in Micronesia because of maintenance and breakdown problems … but he favors using coconut oil to fuel diesel engines. Go figure.

        All the best,

        w.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Yah know Willis, sometimes you WUWT folks seem absolutely allergic to doing your climate-change homework.

        It’s not that hard, eh Willis?

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      • Willis Eschenbach

        A fan of *MORE* discourse | August 7, 2013 at 11:17 pm |

        Yah know Willis, sometimes you WUWT folks seem absolutely allergic to doing your climate-change homework.

        It’s not that hard, eh Willis?

        Actually, I’d read that piece about Yap we entered into this discussion. And I agreed with you that it’s a good idea. What’s your point?

        Care to know why I’d read the piece? Because I follow these things, and in particular, because Robert Guild, the man referred to in the article by his full title of Director of the Transport, Energy, and Natural Resources Division of ADB’s Pacific Department, is a long-time and very good friend of mine. I’ve discussed energy and other projects he’s doing all over the Pacific with him … fan, you don’t seem to get it. I know this stuff because I lived in the Pacific for seventeen years, and I know the situations, and I know the players. In 1985, I was hired to skipper a small boat around the outer islands and the Lau Group in Fiji, to do an on-the-ground analysis for the Fiji Government of the existing diesel, solar, and steam powered generation systems in those islands. So I started studying renewable systems in the Pacific thirty ago, and I’ve been a close student of the subject ever since. I’ve been on a host of islands and seen the fate (generally not good) of a whole host of renewable energy “solutions” all around the Pacific.

        So pointing at the report of what my friend Robert is doing, a report which I’d already read, about a future project that I’m already aware of, and then jeering at me … well, that doesn’t work. Robert’s project is a good thing, it’s a dream about the future, and it may come true … but dreams in the remote islands of the Pacific generally have a short and brutal lifetime. The concept of “maintenance” is entirely foreign to the Pacific cultures …

        fan, it’s not clear at all what your point is, or the reason for your unpleasant, sneering tone. Let me implore you to dial it back, my friend. You don’t know whereof you speak, and you’re talking to a man who does.

        All the best,

        w.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Oh, this is classic. On a hunch, I re-read my previous post to you, the one you jeered at. I noted the following (emphasis mine):

        Be clear that I know that there are a variety of solar and wind projects going on in Micronesia. Like I said, it’s a natural for that. However, implementation is the problem. In 2012, less than 2% of the power in FSM was coming from solar. There’s a proposal to use $4 million to install another 1.7% of the power needs, that will make it about 3.7% renewable … I’m sure you can see the problem.

        That $4 million proposal is my friend Robert’s project, the very same one you subsequently so sneeringly cited to me and recommended that I should read … doofus.

        I give up, fan. You win.

        w.

      • You know, Willis, if you weren’t so good-looking, fewer people would lie to you, and then you would be so frequently mistaken in your beliefs.

        If only you were uglier, your opinions would be more valid!!

      • And if Joshua had a windmill in his beard, he’d win all the arguments.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Willis Eschenbach claims “I know this stuff because I lived in the Pacific for seventeen years, and I know the situations, and I know the players.”

        LOL … Willis, we’re all looking forward to your WUWT/Watts-sponsored essay reporting On Sea-level Rise in Micronesia

        So, when’s that essay coming out, Willis?

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    • Willis, here’s the deal. If everybody around the world wants to be like us, and improve their standards of living by burning more fossil fuels, we should welcome the competition for theses precious resources and the resulting pollution if we don’t care much for ourselves and our descendants.

      • Max,

        Does this mean you care about me and my descendants?

        Can you demonstrate that concern?

      • As the market price of a commodity increases the more alternatives become attractive.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Thanks, Max. The pollution from modern engines is very well controlled, I see no problem there at all.

        If you are talking about CO2, that’s a natural trace gas that has been repeatedly been demonstrated to be essential to life on earth. Calling a gas that is essential to life “pollution” is a corruption of the language.

        Arsenic is a pollutant in water. So we strive to reduce the arsenic content of our water to zero.

        Unburned hydrocarbons from car exhaust is a pollutant in the air. So we strive to reduce those particular airborne hydrocarbons to zero. That’s what we do with pollutants, we try to remove them completely from our air and our water.

        Are you seriously proposing that CO2 is in the same class, and deserves to be called a “pollutant” and removed entirely from the atmosphere, reduced to zero along with the unburned hydrocarbons and other pollution?

        Pick another word, Max. That one doesn’t fit in the slightest.

        w.

      • David Appell

        Willis Eschenbach can’t even do basic physics:

        http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2013/06/wuwt-ocean-misunderstanding-and.html

        No wonder WUWT is the only place that will publish him.

      • Willis Eschenbach said in his post on August 7, 2013 at 11:06 pm

        Thanks, Max. The pollution from modern engines is very well controlled, I see no problem there at all.

        If you are talking about CO2, that’s a natural trace gas that has been repeatedly been demonstrated to be essential to life on earth. Calling a gas that is essential to life “pollution” is a corruption of the language.
        _____

        Well controlled ? Have you ever been trapped behind a diesel truck or diesel bus on a two-lane?

        Calling CO2 a pollutant annoys pollution advocates. It’s fun to annoy pollution advocates.

      • timg56 said on August 7, 2013 at 7:37 pm

        Max,

        Does this mean you care about me and my descendants?

        Can you demonstrate that concern?
        _____

        I care about current and future generations, but most of all I care about myself.

        What would you consider a demonstration of my concern?

        And no, I’m not sending you money.

      • Max,

        “Well controlled ? Have you ever been trapped behind a diesel truck or diesel bus on a two-lane?”

        So you believe those diesel fumes you are complaining about is CO2? That’s what you are smelling?

        Here is a hint Max, if you can see it or smell it, it ain’t CO2.

      • Max,

        I have no issue with you caring about yourself first. And you don’t need to send me any money. There are people and organizations who help people that are far more deserving of any money you might part with.

        I would point out that your having put your own self interest first, being critical of others who would act in their own self interest is hypocritical.

        I would also ask, if you had to choose, whom would it be between helping current & future generations? Based on comments above, lolwot would have us concerned about people in 2200. David does him better by almost 3 orders of magnitude, having us think 100,000 years into the future. I must be short sighted, as I believe real people are first in line for any good I can provide, not imaginary people who do not yet exist.

      • tmg56, I’m afraid you didn’t understand my post. The CO2 and the diesel fumes are two different subjects, and that’s why I used two paragraphs. Like you I sometimes misunderstand posts because I don’t read them carefully.

      • Max,

        You are correct. I read the comment through a couple of times and saw the distinction between the two different points.

      • Re post by timg56 | August 8, 2013 at 2:07 pm

        timg56 said: “I would point out that your having put your own self interest first, being critical of others who would act in their own self interest is hypocritical.”

        My reply: Not if the self-interests of some others are against the self-interests of a lot of others.

        timg56 said: “I would also ask, if you had to choose, whom would it be between helping current & future generations?

        My reply: I would choose to help future generations since they likely will be larger in population than the current generation. Helping more people is better than helping fewer people.

      • Steven Mosher

        david,

        while I disagree with much of what willis writes you are wrong. he is published in other places than WUWT

        without looking would you care to condemn every journal that has published him

        No fair looking first.

        and dont trust skeptical science they get it wrong because of a poor search methodology

  23. Judith Curry

    Thanks for bringing this article.

    There is no doubt that those of us bloggers here, who live in the industrially developed world, owe much of our high quality of life and long life expectancy to the fact that we have ready access to a supply of low-cost energy based on fossil fuels.

    According to Morgan Brazilian and Roger Pielke Jr., the poorest three-quarters of the population use only 10% of the energy, leaving them impoverished. But this is changing.

    “The current forecasts for energy demand in the developing world may be understated because they do not accurately capture the dramatic increase in demand associated with poverty reduction.” The point is that energy access is not an end per se; rather it is a necessity for moving to vibrant and sustainable social and economic growth.

    Over the 40+ years since 1970, the global per capita increase in fossil fuel consumption has increased by a bit more than 20%; most of this increase has occurred in the previously underdeveloped world, as these nations increased their industrial development and, with it, the quality of life of their inhabitants.

    At the same time, the per capita consumption of fossil fuels in the industrially developed nations has decreased, while the GDP per ton of CO2 emitted has increased in these nations.

    So it is likely that the future increase in per capita energy consumption will continue to be in the developing world.

    As the authors write, this must be considered in making any forecasts of future global energy consumption.

    The current users of 90% of all energy will likely continue to reduce their per capita consumption, while those using 10% of the energy will rapidly increase theirs.

    With this in mind, it is reasonable to forecast that the average global per capita energy consumption (and CO2 generation) will increase by another 30% from today to 2100, on the following basis.

    “Rich” nations reduce their per capita consumption by 10% by 2100 while “poor” nations increase theirs by 5.5x, with world population growing to around 10.5 billion.

    Under this scenario the “poor” populations would increase their total energy consumption from 10% to close to 50% of the world total.

    This would calculate to a cumulative CO2 generation of around 3800 GtCO2 from today to 2100 and an atmospheric CO2 concentration of around 640 ppmv by 2100.

    This may seem to some like a conflict between energy and climate policies, but the example of China, India and Brazil is showing that the less industrially developed nations will continue their development and the improvement of quality of life of their inhabitants by increasing their per capita energy use based on low-cost fuels, just as we did in the 20th century and this will result in an increase in global energy demand and CO2 emissions, whether we like it or not.

    So we’d better just get used to it and adapt to any changes this (or anything else) might cause to our climate.

    Max

  24. David Springer

    “Our distinctly uncomfortable starting place is that the poorest three-quarters of the global population still only use about ten percent of global energy”

    Oh spare me. 10% of the world that produces 90% of the advances in high technology, communications, industry, agriculture, medicine, military interventions, transportation, aid to impoverished nations, yada, yada, yada. These 10% consume a lot of energy. That’s because you can’t produce those things by subsistence farming and living in thatch huts.

  25. David Springer

    manacker | August 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Reply

    “There is no doubt that those of us bloggers here, who live in the industrially developed world, owe much of our high quality of life and long life expectancy to the fact that we have ready access to a supply of low-cost energy based on fossil fuels.”

    Whatever gives you that idea? The middle east and northern Africa have more abundant energy and horrible living standards. China has plenty of cheap energy. And South America.

    Conversely Japan pays dearly for its energy having virtually no fossile sources and has a very high standard of living.

    Think, McFly.

  26. It’s a good story true or not, but reportedly, a journalist once tasked Mrs. Truman with getting her husband to use the word ‘fertilizer’ instead of ‘manure’ for what he put on his lawn. She replied that he had no idea how hard it had been to get him to use the word ‘manure’.

    Similarly, how hard must we work to get David Appell to use the word ‘fertilizer’ instead of ‘pollution’? That stuff he insists is ‘pollution’ nourishes the whole plant kingdom and derivatively, the whole animal kingdom. Justice for All Gaia’s Critters. Haul the language polluter before the bar.
    ==========

  27. What if it’s a big hoax and create a better world for nothing?

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/692102203

  28. If the IPCC are roughly correct, why not leave remedies to the European Union? They have vast experience already with getting a bunch of people who do not like or trust one another to shamelessly manipulate a carbon price. You get a bunch of ex-Marxists and crypto-Trots to dress up like Adam Smith for a bit, and preach economic liberalism, market mechanisms and so on.

    If it all starts to get a bit messy, well…as they say in Brussels and Strasbourg, you can’t incinerate omelettes without breaking eggs.

  29. There is no honesty in climate science – there would be no need to create a consensus if AGW was shown to be a fact. Until ‘why hasn’t this been shown?’ becomes the discussion we will continue to be bombarded by inconsequential debate which serves only to distract us from the real problem which is that there is no honesty in climate science.

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/15624-cooking-climate-consensus-data-97-of-scientists-affirm-agw-debunked

    • David Appell

      There is no honesty in climate science – there would be no need to create a consensus if AGW was shown to be a fact.

      Baloney.
      There is the need for a “consensus” only because this science has such a large impact on society.
      You don’t see scientists expressing “consensus” about the g-factor of the muon, or superstrings, or the number of genes in the human genome.
      Those questions don’t have a huge impact on present society.
      Climate science does.
      Hence the need to gauge what the majority of climate scientists think, and take action based on that knowledge, imperfect thought it necessarily is..

      • +1
        That’s a good point i hadn’t considered before. Makes sense, whenever other important subjects are aired there are similar consultations with experts to come to an agreement.

      • David,

        Am I correct in understanding that you are saying climate science has provided more or greater benefit than research into the human genome?

        Can you even identify one benefit GCM’s have provided? For example, have they lead to improvements in modeling theory that has impacts outside of climate modeling? Have they helped with regional weather forecasting? Have they produced anything? Even if the space program had not resulted in any other benefits besides Tang, it would still be one up on GCM’s.

      • Climate may have an impact on society. Climate science, not so much.

      • You appear to have missed my point..

        there would be no need for dishonestly creating consensus – which is what Cook did.

        If there really was a consensus then it would certainly be worth examining their reasons for it, such as the real consensus of the scientists working on the ’95 IPCC report which concluded there was no discernible man made signal and gave their reasons.

        Nothing has changed since then, that is still the only consensus of scientists we have as it has not been shown to be false. That Houghton/Santer took out all reference to this is science fraud.

        And that is why creating consensus by more science fraud as has Cook is the only way you have of showing there is ‘consensus on AGW’.

        Science fraud is a serious offence against real science, and us who are being victimised by it..

      • Could you provide an example or two of the “huge impact on present society” that climate science has?

        Apart from diverting billions of dollars away from health, education, food, etc., that is.

        So far, I have seen precisely no evidence that climate science has benefited anyone except those in the “climate science” industry. But of course, I’m an idiot, so I’m just supposed to believe any crackpot statement made by any “scientist”. So be it.

      • “David Appell
        You don’t see scientists expressing “consensus” about the g-factor of the muon, or superstrings, or the number of genes in the human genome.”
        No?
        When the Human Genome Project came up with 20,500 protein-coding genes. The consensus at the time was the oft-quoted 100,000;

        http://genomebiology.com/2010/11/5/206

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK9907/

        As for superstring therory?
        A ‘scientific’ theory that makes no experimentally testable predictions.

      • “Baloney.
        There is the need for a ‘consensus’ only because this science has such a large impact on society.”

        Here, let me help you with that.

        “Baloney.
        There is the need for a ‘consensus’ only because this political movement has such massive government funding.”

        There, that’s better.

      • David Appell

        Thank you for making my point.

      • I can’t get the server to respond, but David Appell is reportedly making a spectacle of himself on some blog where the Piltdown Mann was called a climate charlatan.
        ===============

  30. Chief Hydrologist

    Energy is one term in the development equation. Even complete substitution with carbon free sources of energy is not sufficient to change land use or eliminate black carbon, tropospheric ozone, hydrogen sulphides, methane, nitrous oxide or hydroflourocarbon, perflourocarbon or sulphur hexaflouride emissions.

    The energy solutions are technological. Micro technologies such as solar, microhydro and wind turbines can transform lives even at dwelling level. I have installed solar panels in a Melanesian village and have seen this first hand. Microhydro would have been a better solution but it is another step up in complexity for which the basic skills for maintenance and repair were not available.

    For industry scale energy – perhaps modular nuclear and production of methane and other hydrocarbons from hydrogen and carbon dioxide is the next logical step. This has the added benefit of not needing large scale changes to infrastructure. Modular nuclear is certainly on the energy agenda and has few if any of the problems of conventional nuclear. It has the ability to harvest energy from 270,000 tonnes of existing long lived waste to produce 100’s of years of energy and very much reduced volumes of relatively short lived waste.

    The total solution involves energy innovation and social, economic and environmental progress globally. Internationally the Millennium Development Goals are perhaps the best articulated and resourced means of achieving development objectives.

    There are 8 MDG that have been agreed to by all 189 members of the UN. Funds for delivery are meant to come from increases in aid budgets to 0.7% of GDP.

    Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger,
    Achieving universal primary education,
    Promoting gender equality and empowering women,
    Reducing child mortality rates,
    Improving maternal health,
    Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases,
    Ensuring environmental sustainability, and
    Developing a global partnership for development.

    Within this approach are elements that address population pressures and landscape management measures that have significant carbon mitigation and sequestration potential. Economic development for instance allows for other means of cooking to be adopted reducing black carbon emissions. In these ways Africa can very easily be the source of much climate mitigation in the coming decades.

    There are rational and pragmatic ways to marry climate concerns with development. If you look at the details of the MDG they include management of economic systems. Good governance and transparency – sadly lacking in the west in recent years – are essential to sustained economic growth. One other essential development pathway is through maximum global economic growth and free trade.

  31. Here is your personal Carbon Footprint calculator.

    http://www.nature.org/greenliving/carboncalculator/index.htm

    I scored 12, with 5.5 tons coming from eating meat.

    • DocMartyn-
      Thanks for the link.
      At the end of the calculation, the always helpful Nature Conservancy gives you the ‘opportunity’ to send in a check to absolve your carbon sins, at $15/ton CO2. How magnanimous of them!

      I notice the carbon calculator does not ask how many children you have. A peer-reviewed (and therefore infallible- ho ho!) paper by Murtaugh and Schlax in 2009 estimated a carbon bootprint of 9441 (amazing accuracy!) tons of CO2 poison legacy per child. One kid pretty much chucks the rest of the carbo-calculator details into the dumpster.

      But think of the donations the Nature Conservancy has foregone by leaving out the child headcount. Ka-ching!

  32. If David Appell moves any more goal posts here, or constructs any more straw men, I am calling William Tell.

  33. Our distinctly uncomfortable starting place is that the poorest three-quarters of the global population still only use about ten percent of global energy – a clear indicator of deep and persistent global inequity.

    Unfortunately, it is facile to assume that supporting the continued use of fossil fuels will necessarily address that inequity.

    Because modern energy supply is foundational for economic development, the international development and diplomatic community has rightly placed the provision of modern energy services at the center of international attention focused on a combined agenda of poverty eradication and sustainable development.

    What is notable there is the lack of discussion of that “foundational” need in a full context of “foundational” needs. Yes – access to energy is one element of eradicating poverty and supporting sustainable development. However, isolating that need from the fuller context only plays into the polarization around energy that presents an obstacle in progress towards those goals.

    In other words, same ol’ same ol’ from the same ol’ combatants the climate wars.

  34. > The course of development followed by virtually all nations demonstrates that people around the world desire a high-energy future. Our plea is that we begin to recognize that fact, and focus more attention and resources on positively planning for, and indeed bringing about, that future.

    What is a high-energy future?

    When will be begin to recognize that this is what people around the world desire?

    Why don’t we focus more on positive planning?

    How will we bring that future?

    Will there be such future if we don’t focus more on it?

    To plead or not to plead, that is the question.

  35. Off-air until 17 Aug. Be good, and I hope that by my return all outstanding issues and points of difference have been amicably resolved.

    Truth will triumph.

  36. If only we could bring the world’s poor out of poverty just by providing them energy. Failing to act on a reasonably easy problem, say the looming energy crisis or global warming, because there are harder problems out there to solve is immoral.

    Just keep the crocodile tears out of Roubidoux creek for the time being.

    thanks

  37. One thing that I do know about the poor and future energy consumption and that is that the poor will probably will not indulge themselves in the excessive energy consumption that seems to be assumed by modern societies and individuals as their right.

    • Not good grammar but the moot point is that the poor will prefer a reticulated water supply to their homes and for effective sewerage and drainage from their homes rather than the manufacture of brick and tile monstrosities or installation of air conditioners.

  38. Developing countries have the option of leapfrogging to a futuristic energy infrastructure. Similar to how they went straight to the wireless phone and computers, rather than telephone cables, energy can be localized rather than having large fossil-fuel based generation and distribution networks. For example, local solar energy and renewable biomass burning would suit many developing countries with little need for added infrastructure. Walkable communities, compact cities with public transportation save energy too. Low-carbon communities can exist if planned out, as these countries can, in the context of what options are also good for climate.

  39. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    !!! Breaking News !!!

    A Republican Case for Climate Action
    By William D. Ruckelshaus, Lee M. Thomas,
    William K. Reilly, and Christine Todd Whitman

    EACH of us took turns over the past 43 years running the Environmental Protection Agency. We served Republican presidents, but we have a message that transcends political affiliation: the United States must move now on substantive steps to curb climate change, at home and internationally.

    The costs of inaction are undeniable. The lines of scientific evidence grow only stronger and more numerous. And the window of time remaining to act is growing smaller: delay could mean that warming becomes “locked in.”

    As administrators of the E.P.A under Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush, we held fast to common-sense conservative principles — protecting the health of the American people, working with the best technology available and trusting in the innovation of American business and in the market to find the best solutions for the least cost.

    That approach helped us tackle major environmental challenges to our nation and the world: the pollution of our rivers, dramatized when the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught fire in 1969; the hole in the ozone layer; and the devastation wrought by acid rain.

    The solutions we supported worked, although more must be done.

    A market-based approach, like a carbon tax, would be the best path to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

    The only uncertainty about our warming world is how bad the changes will get, and how soon. What is most clear is that there is no time to waste.

    Good on `yah, Republicans! Voters are eager to support your brand of thoughtful conservative ideals!

    Breaking News  WUWT/Anthony Likens Republican Ideals to N*z* Ideals

    In a puzzling attack on Republican Party climate-change centrism, Anthony Watts has offered-up WUWT as a forum that hosts creepy sexist attacks on scientists, creepy (and anonymously conducted) hacker attacks on web-sites, and now, creepy (and anonymously pruduced) propaganda videos that viciously smear the conservative ideals of Ruckelshaus, Thomas, Reilly, and Whitman.

    Observation  WUWT/Anthony Watts is handily winning the 2013 climate-change “race to the bottom.”

    A Natural Question  Why would WUWT/Anthony Watts desire so badly, and work so hard, to start — and win! — a race to the bottom?

    Conclusion  “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. Would you like to play a nice game of centrist climate-change conservatism?”

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

    • This blog is quite different from WUWT and there is a quite specific topic ATL. Now, either go over to WUWT and argue with Antony or post something relevant on energy choices for humankind.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      DocMartyn, may I respectfully suggest that you (and other Climate Etc folks) contemplate carefully the thoughtful climate-change analysis of life-long Republicans Ruckelshaus, Thomas, Reilly, and Whitman

      Question  Why is WUWT/Anthony Watts seeking so desperately to destroy their brand of conservatism?

      Hmmmm … that conundrum *does* play a central (and deeply puzzling!) role in the climate-change debate, doesn’t it DocMartyn?

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

      • Perhaps some Republicans would care to comment, but I don’t think the Republican Party stands for this kind of thinking within its ranks.

      • David Appell

        Watts is already bought and paid for:

        http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2012/09/who-is-paying-anthony-watts.html

        Another denialist whore. Sad, really.

      • I don’t think the Republican Party stands for this kind of thinking

        The republican party thinks ? surely you jest.

      • Jim D,

        What that op-ed proves is that there a re plenty of progressives in the Republican party too. They are desperate to mimic the European “conservative” parties which are not in the least conservative.

        As for the GOP “standing for this kind of thinking within its ranks,” progressives run the GOP. Granted, they are marginally less progressive than their Democrat brethren. But people like Mitt Romney, John McCain, John Boehner, Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell are every bit as elitist and statist as the writers of that CAGW screed.

      • Why are you trying to change the topic?

    • He cannot win it – you already did.

  40. energy priorities are real / essential; should and allays will win. The phony GLOBAL warming is a theology that should be ridiculed the way it deserves

  41. Chief Hydrologist

    The cost-benefit analysis will be done by business and government going forward. Nations, businesses and individuals may install whatever energy source best suits their needs.

    There are many ways forward for developing countries but carbon taxes are not optimal. Perhaps the best way for developed nations to facilitate progress is to actually stump up the MDG commitment.

    Developed nations may impose whatever taxes they like – providing they can get enough support from fellow citizens. Good luck with that. The more sensible way forward is to energy innovate and encourage ecosystem and agricultural soil restoration.

    We are not opposed to carbon mitigation, energy innovation or energy efficiency. We are merely against taxes. Simple enough for you?

    • David Appell

      We are not opposed to carbon mitigation, energy innovation or energy efficiency. We are merely against taxes. Simple enough for you?

      Not at all.
      It tells me you are uncaring and selfish, and don’t care about anyone but yourself.
      Such people have, throughout history, been the most destructive people in any society, in a moral sense.
      We are on the verge of making you pay for your pollution, and it will soon come about.
      In a couple of decades, it will seem insane that people like you ever thought you had the right to pollute for free.
      You will look like a antebellum slaveowner does today.
      No wonder you blog anonymously — I’d hide too if I thought like you did.

      • David, you could use Direct TV… Read what you wrote above, I hope.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Hell – I already pay the highest carbon in tax in the world. Hopefully it will all soon uncome about. The polls are neck and neck. Not that it matters much – we are scheduled to transition to the European price. What a joke it all is.

        Names? Haven’t we already been there done that? Is this just an insane game or are you just senile? Everyone knows my name – just ask. In fact I just linked to an article with my name on it.

        The nom de geurre derive in fact from Springfields Chief Hydrological and Hydraulical Officer – Cecil Terwilliger. It amuses me.

        In a couple of decades we will be well on the way to energy transitions without energy taxes of any impact – notwithstanding your insane rant.

        In the meantime there are much better things to spend money than taxes and energy subsidies. Try living up to the MDG commitment for a start.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/07/conflicts-between-climate-and-energy-priorities/#comment-361387

        You seem to be going backwards from idiot status David.

      • David Appell

        Hell – I already pay the highest carbon in tax in the world.

        $/yr?

      • Put up or shut up david. Let’s see your receipts.

      • David Appell

        In a couple of decades we will be well on the way to energy transitions without energy taxes of any impact

        You, a selfish pig, think you should be allowed to pollute for free.
        I, and many others, don’t.
        The pigs will lose, and already are losing
        This is a moral fight, and you are on the wrong side.

      • Don’t? Don’t what? Think or pollute? Or both?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The $/ton is relevant but so is coverage, free permits and per capita impost.

        This is a culture war and you are a pissant progressive – you are on the losing side quite obviously.

      • David Appell

        So you don’t have a $/t figure.
        Worse, you think you should be allowed to pollute for free.
        What kind of pig did your mother raise you to be?

      • Appell, I don’t know what has happened to you recently, but you are setting a new mark for name calling and inaccuracy. BTW, GCM’s are not good at much, including hindcasting. There is some interesting information on this issue i provided at James’. Recent research is making it look pretty bad.

      • David Appell

        False — see the IPCC 4AR WG1.

        And see your own model… oh, that’s right, YOU don’t have a model, do you?

      • True! You never linked to it. So you are lying.

      • Heh, I’ve got a funny feeling that when AR5 is ‘recent’, that David Appell will still claim the same thing. And he’d be right! AR5 is not likely to slam the models.
        =============

      • Appell, I actually prefer observationally constrained estimates of sensitivity over GCM’s. I don’t have a GCM because its a huge undertaking. I have Navier-Stokes models and some recent papers that are pretty disconcerting if you place much stock in GCM’s.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        This is a much better model.

        ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in
        those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of the size and complexity of the climate system. Citation: Tsonis, A. A., K. Swanson, and S. Kravtsov (2007), A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts, Geophys. Res. Lett.

        Nonlinear models are crap.

        ‘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.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        Appell is an idiot.

      • It tells us you are uncaring and selfish. YOu love to work with OPM, but never put your own where your mouth is.

    • The problem is that any form of power plant requires a lot of investment and has a long pay-off time. Just who do you think is going to invest in in nuclear of fossil fuel plants if they can be closed by government on whim (nuclear) or the price of fuel with be taxed by government on whim (coal/methane) ?
      Pretty soon rolling brown-outs will be common in the UK.

  42. It isn’t just people in developing countries that crave the energy that will allow them to advance. Luckily, in areas far from an electricity grid, in Africa and India, solar panels which are too expensive for the developed world are the right thing to allow people to get the energy to recharge their cell phones, to read at night for school.

    It is also the developed world that needs reasonably priced energy. Here is a comment I left on Tamsin Edward’s blog entry (“Climate scientists must not advocate particular policies”) spelling this out:

    ——–

    What policies, or tactics, should a climate scientist adopt?

    ….I ask the question in the context of the recent revelation in the Financial Times that since 2006, relative to the US, EU electricity prices have increased 40%, and that UK and other EU manufacturers are moving production to the US because energy prices — electricity, not just natural gas — have become so lopsided in favor of the US.

    The EU price increases largely stem from the decision to have so much renewable energy at such high costs for the last 5 years. If these jobs hadn’t moved to the US, they would have moved to China in response. Did the world really save much CO2 here? Or did the EU just lose jobs and taxes for little climate gain?

    So — as someone who does believe that CO2 (and black carbon, and methane, and reduction of sulfates) is responsible for much of the warming we’ve seen in the last 40 years — I would propose that another policy (or tactic) to address climate change might be to accelerate the research needed for solar energy to be commercialized at prices equivalent to alternatives. To do this would require that we don’t try economically unreasonable tactics that only plunge the EU further into depression. It would accept that CO2 (from the EU, anyway) wouldn’t go down as much in the near term (but would go up less elsewhere). But people in the EU will be better off, and I would argue, we will still get at CO2 emissions a decade or two later than hypothesized.

    Eli talked about the book, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” which is relevant to people in the Tea Party. But also look to the origins of Fascism in Europe — it starts when people are desperate financially. Does the EU really want to go further down the road to economic poverty right now?

    Climate policy does not exist in a vacuum.

    • Here is a link to a recent article in the Economist about the how solar power in rural Africa and India allows kids to study at night:

      http://www.economist.com/node/21560983

      First two paragraphs:

      “Which plastic gadget, fitting neatly in one hand, can most quickly improve the lives of the world’s poorest people? For the past decade the answer has been clear: the mobile phone. But over the next decade it will be the solar-powered lamp, made up of a few light-emitting diodes (LEDs), a solar panel and a small rechargeable battery, encased in a durable plastic shell. Just as the spread of mobile phones in poor countries has transformed lives and boosted economic activity, solar lighting is poised to improve incomes, educational attainment and health across the developing world.

      As previously happened with mobile phones, solar lighting is falling in price, improving in quality and benefiting from new business models that make it more accessible and affordable to those at the bottom of the pyramid. And its spread is sustainable because it is being driven by market forces, not charity.”

      • Well, John, I’m a full-blown climate skeptic yet you are making sense to me. Living in a bush setting and seldom getting to town, I have come to love alternatives for everything. I use a light Linux operating system on a second hand computer (with a cheap replacement sitting ready in case of thunderstorm), advances in LEDs and solar enthuse me, I love to experiment with old lacto-ferment techniques that can be combined with modern refrigeration…in short, I love the light, smart alternative every time. At age 64, I’m more likely to walk 12k to town than even to use a mountain bike, and I have dispensed with other vehicles altogether (without preciously renouncing or disdaining such marvels as the turbo-diesel Toyota Land Cruiser I may one day acquire, should I wish.)

        What one cannot get across to the pious New Class intellectuals and shrill scolds is that an alternative in theory has to be an alternative in practise. What works as a support technology may be terrible as a mainstream technology, resulting in the degradation both of mainstream and alternative through neglect, discrediting, haste and waste. A perfect example is Australia, which wastes its heavily taxed coal in old clunkers, even as its exports coal massively to pay for its destructive green fetishism.

        The plastic gadgets you mention are indeed wonders in certain contexts, however slight and commonplace they may appear to us. (Although my definition of a conservative is a “serial appreciator”, so I hope I am always in wonder of such blessings as solar panels and LEDs.)

        A “market” in “carbon” will never be a market, but a clumsy and infinitely manipulable form of regulation. (Please see “European Union”.) A climate intellectual will always be a banker’s favourite vegetable. But ever-improving, light, flexible technologies will not just serve and amaze us, but, as you so very rightly point out, meet that primary human need for illumination everywhere.

        Universal illumination through solar and LEDs. What a great thought, John. What other great thoughts do you have?

      • Mosomoso, thank you very much. It is so easy to get ripped when commenting, that I hardly know what to say when complimented.

  43. Stephen Gardiner dealt with this nonsense quite efficiently

    He points out that the base of the Lomborgianism that Pielke is pushing is the false choice between helping the poor inhabitants of poor countries or their rich descendants later.

    To Gardiner, this is already swallowing a large bunny foot without sauce, because there is no guarantee that climate change does not threaten anyone or anything besides the poor. Others can take it in the nose. But OK, he says

    Lomborg argues that the right answer is to help the current poor now, since they are poorer than their descendants will be, because they are more easily (cheaply) helped and because in helping them one is also helping their descendants

    But wait, there are, as they say, issues

    The first is the threat of a false dichotomy. Arguments from opportunity cost crucially rely on the idea that if a given project is chosen, then that choice forecloses some other option. But this is not the case in Lomborg’s version. Helping the poor and mitigating climate change are not obviously mutually exclusive. . .

    Second it is not clear even that the two projects are independent of each other, in the sense that they are fully separable opportunities rather than necessarily linked and perhaps mutually supporting policies. . . .

    Third, it is not clear that the opportunity that Lomborg wants to emphasize is really available.

    After all, the poor have always been with us, and there is no evidence that rich countries will step in to eliminate poverty (or, as Gardiner points out to mitigate climate change). Fourth to Gardiner, this looks a lot like the first step in a “bait and switch” strategy.

    Do tell.

    Further

    “even hard nosed benefit cost analysts” agree that the claim that future people could be compensated by an alternative policy loses relevance if we know that the compensation will not actually be paid.

    This is more subtle a point that it first appears. The benefit in this case is that the larger economy will allow future generations to deal with an exacerbated climate problem, but if climate change limits economic growth, there is no larger economy, and even if there is a larger economy, it may not be enough to deal with the chaos associated with climate disruption. The Dark Ages in Europe were not nearly as pleasant as Roman times.

    To Gardiner, Lomborg is arguing that it is sufficient to pay for our kids’ education without saving for retirement, because they will take care of us. Sure.

    As Tamsin Edwards puts it there are good reasons for climate policy types to shut their mouths.

    • I reject the false choice of Chinese communist style economic fascism, and European style economic fascism dressed up as concern for the climate.

      The poor have indeed always been with us. There are just a lot more of them when the state runs the economy. And now our modern “progressives” won;t be satisfied by beggaring their own populations, they want to keep the undeveloped world…undeveloped.

      You all would be pathetic, if you weren’t so aggressively anti-human.

    • “The Dark Ages in Europe were not nearly as pleasant as Roman times”
      I have never understood the romance of a bunch of violent, expansionist, fascist, imperialists whose economy was based on slavery.
      It seems likely that eruptions of the Ilopango caldera in central El Salvador caused the extreme weather events of AD535–536 and kick started the Dark Ages;
      “”during this year a most dread portent took place. For the sun gave forth its light without brightness…and it seemed exceedingly like the sun in eclipse, for the beams it shed were not clear.”
      Procopius of Caesarea

      Cold is bad, even for dumb-bunny’s.

      • > It seems likely that eruptions of the Ilopango caldera in central El Salvador caused the extreme weather events of AD535–536 and kick started the Dark Ages;

        Which modality is this, Doc: is that a “I’ve heard through the grapevines”?

        BTW, have you read the Codex Lukewarmus, written ca 480?

        In it we could read that to solve the problems of the time, we needed to take care of the poor by building more castles.

        Can’t remember who wrote it.

    • Eli Rabett writes,
      “The first is the threat of a false dichotomy. Arguments from opportunity cost crucially rely on the idea that if a given project is chosen, then that choice forecloses some other option. But this is not the case in Lomborg’s version. Helping the poor and mitigating climate change are not obviously mutually exclusive. . . “ – Stephen Gardiner

      A = Resources
      B = Coal Plant
      C = Solar Power
      D = Something not B or C with more value than B or C

      A can be allocated all to A or all to B or some combination to each A & B. Part of all of A can be allocated to D if it exists. I assume A is a constant. If we assume B provides more value, and to then allocate some to C reduces value. I think the either/or part it ties back to A being constant and desiring the most value. Does D exist? Maybe. Other infrastructure, better education, and better healthcare.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Eli’s analysis is nonsense.

      Both Pielke Jr and Lomberg argue for accelerated investments in technology. This brings forward the day when cost competitive options are more widely applicable.

      In the interim both argue for programs that would reduce population pressures, sequester carbon in soils and vegetation and reduce emissions.

  44. He would.

  45. Pol Pot is alive and well in the Luddite CAGW movement, just more humane. Rather than shooting the poor bastards, our “progressives” want to let them die a slow death by depriving them of the prosperity that has allowed these very progressives to sit their lazy, unproductive butts in front of their computers while and tell the world “We got ours – screw you.”

    “Quick, somebody import some of those oddly colored third world folk to pick our fruits and veggies, and clean our houses, while we sit back and tell them their countries have to remain in the economic dark ages.”

    • “Everybody wants to save the world but nobody wants to help mom with the dishes.”
      P.J. O’Rourke

  46. Africa energy

    USEIA tells us that Africa has 510 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves.

    In addition, there are 137 million barrels of proven oil reserves and roughly two times this amount of recoverable heavy oil and shale oil reserves.

    South Africa has the largest coal reserves at around 30 billion tons.

    So there is plenty of fossil fuel energy in Africa.

    Arguably Africa also has additional recoverable fossil fuel resources that have not even been discovered to date.

    But how about fossil fuel consumption in Africa?

    Africa only generated around 1.1 GtCO2 in 2007 according to USEIA (less than 4% of the world total), but it had a population of around 1 billion (14% of the world total).

    What is lacking across sub-Saharan Africa is an energy infrastructure (pipelines, refineries, power generation plants and electrical power distribution systems, etc.).

    These will undoubtedly come as African nations work to end the “global inequity” in energy use and quality of life.

    There will very likely also be some nuclear power generation, plus a smidgen of solar/wind power.

    Exactly when this will all happen is still anyone’s guess, but there is no doubt that it will.

    Max

  47. All this back and forth is interesting, but more interesting is the general acceptance of the thrust of Pielke and Brazilian, that energy consumption has been understated. This follows work by Dan Nocera (and myself, independently) that generally point to roughly 1000 quads being consumed by 2030, 2000 by 2050 and 3000 by 2075. Homework available for inspection here: http://3000quads.com/2012/01/24/research-tables-and-report/).

    Even with very low sensitivity, that’s a lot of joules. As I am fond of saying, if it all comes from coal, we’re screwed.

    • tom fuller,

      A rational progressive. How did you in get past the screaming protesters?

    • Tom, I do think that there will be continued increases in energy consumed, in particular in the developing world.

      But I also think — for reasons an historian of semiconductor costs over time might agree with — that solar photovoltaic costs are going to continue to decline and will within 2 decades or so be cost competitive with central generation plants. We can accelerate that if we wish, by R&D $.

      So I agree about a lot of joules. How many joules can be produced in the deserts of China, Peru, Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan/India, when solar is competitive?

  48. From title on down, what a load of nonsense.

    Conflicts between climate and energy priorities

    This surely ought be limited to only between climate and fossil priorities, no?

    One finds small issue with solar, wind, nuclear, geothermal, and even biomass (which is largely a fraud) and natural gas aren’t very much in conflict with climate. It’s only fossil carbon’s free riding industrial ownership that competes with the victims of the climate kinetics caused by their reckless, feckless burning and waste.

    The world’s poor need more than a token supply of electricity.  The goal should be to provide the power necessary to boost productivity and raise living standards.  – Morgan Brazilian and Roger Pielke Jr.

    I asked the world’s poor about this, when I was talking to them this afternoon. They’ve never met Roger Pielke Jr. and think perhaps you’ve misspelled Morgan B_a_zilian’s name. They ask Mr. Pielke to stop implying he represents them, and say shame on Morgan, they thought he knew better.

    Issues in Science and Technology has published a new paper entitled ‘Making Energy Access Meaningful’, by Morgan Brazilian[sic] and Roger Pielke Jr [link].  Excerpts:

    Our distinctly uncomfortable starting place is that the poorest three-quarters of the global population still only use about ten percent of global energy – a clear indicator of deep and persistent global inequity.

    Yes, and no.

    In almost any demographic or general population, be they poor or rich, male or female, by religious affiliation or education level, the same 75% using 10% of the energy ratio holds over and over and over again. In British Columbia, the ration came out more accurately as 77% due the intense interest in analyzing the revenue neutral Carbon Tax. Thus 77% of citizens came out far ahead because the free riders who had been dumping waste for free are now coughing up some limited payment to compensate the 77%.

    There is deep and persistent global inequity. It has to do not with energy, however, but with fossil. Go ahead, look at those statistics again, taking fossil out of the equation, and you’ll find the answer, the preferred solution, of the poor over and over to be among alternative sources of energy.

    Also, there is a myth that more energy use (in all its forms) equates with wealth, health and improved standard of living. Ask those many millions in China who cannot breath downwind of coal plants due choking on black dust and sulfates if they feel this equation valid. This equation is simply false, an unacknowledged and specious assumption of a faulty analysis.

  49. Because modern energy supply is foundational for economic development, the international development and diplomatic community has rightly placed the provision of modern energy services at the center of international attention focused on a combined agenda of poverty eradication and sustainable development.

    Again, no.

    This is the “cheap energy” argument, an invention for selling coal, oil and megaprojects; it has never actually achieved improved welfare uniformly or equitably.

    Also, the diplomatic community is very different from the international development community, and wherever their interests coincide I’ve observed over the past almost four decades that it is to respond to a disaster, or to create one. Wouldn’t it be wiser to place development of appropriate, cost-effective utilities sustainably within reach of the poor, than “modern” (what a judgment-laden term; are they purposely putting down people in lesser-developed nations, or is it just habit?) ones?

    Compounding the difficulty of decision-making in such a complex space is that the concept of “energy access” is often defined in terms that are unacceptably modest. Discussions about energy and poverty commonly assume that the roughly two to three billion people who presently lack modern energy services will only demand or consume them in small amounts over the next several decades.

    Oh look: megaproject or bust, and total mischaracterization of the vast majority of the international development field’s approach to local solutions to local needs.

    This assumption leads to projections of future energy consumption that are not only potentially far too low, but therefore imply, even if unintentionally, that those billions will remain deeply impoverished.

    Wait. What? Millions of Americans, Europeans, Asians, Africans and people who identify from other cultures live comfortable, well-educated, secure and healthy lives on less than a half ton of carbon emission a year, even in places where the primary source of electric power is fossil. Leapfrogging over the mistakes of the West and avoiding becoming manacled to a doomed fossil economy is clearly the better approach.

    Such limited ambition risks becoming self-fulfilling, because the way we view the scale of the challenge will strongly influence the types of policies, technologies, levels of investment and investment vehicles that analysts and policy makers consider

    If we buy into the flawed undeclared assumptions Pielke and Bazilian rely on, we do rather face this false dichotomy. Good thing we’re skeptical enough not to let them get away with it.

    • It’s fun watching Bart try to write about economics. It’s like watching my 11 month old granddaughter play with a Rubik’s Cube. She holds it, looks at it, turns it around, and then does with it what she does with every other toy. Tries to stick it in her mouth.

      Nothing gets accomplished, but it’s not dangerous and it’s funny as hell to watch.

    • Bart R, you really have to ignore reality to write as you do. Pielke and Brazilian are broadly correct–you are not. Not by a long shot.

      • Personally I’m fascinated at the individual realizations of the general societal madness which is belief in Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.
        ======================

      • thomaswfuller2 | August 8, 2013 at 12:27 am |

        BAzilian.

        His name is Morgan BAzilian.

        Broadly correct? You can’t even get the guy’s name right.

      • Bart R, keepin’ it real.
        ======

  50. Chip Neville

    Jim Hansen’s seemingly outrageous comment, “if you let these other countries come up to the level of the developed world then the planet is done for,” is taken out of context. I just read his EurActive interview (http://www.euractiv.com/science-policymaking/james-hansen-verge-creating-clim-interview-519752) where he made it. What he was talking about was carbon emissions, NOT energy usage. He goes on to say we will all be better off if we move to a future where we meet our energy needs with renewable sources. So the issue is not leaving people mired in low energy poverty, but rather finding a way to produce cheap and abundant energy from renewable sources.

    • Wow.

      Thanks for due skeptical diligence. Unfortunately, that is in short supply around here.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      The issue is not technological innovation or investment – but taxes and subsidies. Neither is the path to cheap and abundant energy.

    • Meanwhile, Chip, are we to leave them mired in poverty while we whine and wait forever for cheap and abundant energy from renewable sources. Ask Jim how the grandchildren of those left mired in poverty will like it.
      ================

      • Convince Eli first that you are going to tax yourself enough to get that cheap (not anymore) and available (cost of extraction is increasing exponentially) and make it available to the developing nations.

      • Eli,

        Don’t organizations such as the World Bank already have billions ear-marked for investment in developing nations?

        And how much extra do we need to add to a new energy (or carbon, or climate, etc) tax to cover the percentage sure to be lost to corruption?

      • Not anywhere near the needed amounts. Time for higher taxes.

    • Steven Mosher

      “So the issue is not leaving people mired in low energy poverty, but rather finding a way to produce cheap and abundant energy from renewable sources.”

      ah yes, unicorns. we need unicorns for the poor.

      Look the problem isnt emissions, the problem is the lack of a cheap way to take C02 out of the air.

      we need to find a better way to lower the cost of removing c02 from the air

      such a fun game

      • we need to find a better way to lower the cost of removing c02 from the air

        Ever read Cats Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut? Finding a low cost way of doing that is also dangerous. What is to stop a chain reaction from removing it all?

        I would prefer to look for unicorns.

      • The problem is coming up with a cheap global air conditioner.

      • we need to find a better way to lower the cost of removing c02 from the air

        Look to biotech.

      • Steven Mosher

        Before we embark on schemes to “remove CO2 from the air”, let’s ask ourselves:

        – what could this accomplish?
        OR
        – why in the world would we want to do this?

        Let’s say we devise a (low-cost) method to remove and safely store half of the CO2 that is currently being generated.

        That’s about 17 GtCO2 per year.

        If we are able to average a net reduction of 17 GtCO2/year until 2100, that would be 17*(2100-2013) = 1479 GtCO2.

        And let’s say that without this magic scheme we would have reached 680 ppmv CO2 by 2100. So with the scheme we end up reaching around 500 ppmv.

        Using IPCC’s arguably exaggerated 2xCO2 impact of 3C (AR4), we would end up averting around 1.3C warming by 2100.

        If we use latest 2xCO2 estimates, it would be well under 1C.

        Hardly worth the effort, Mosh.

        Max

      • Actually, we don’t need unicorns or pie-in-the-sky schemes to recapture CO2. Bill Gates, a man of great practical accomplishment who has devoted the latter part of his life to raising the third world out of poverty, has an interesting interview in MIT Technology review about this. He believes research dollars will bring a solution, and he outlines several possible approaches, including ones he has put his own money into as COMMERCIAL INVESTMENTS. See “Q&A: Bill Gates, The Cofounder of Microsoft Talks Energy, Philanthropy and Management Style,” Interview by Jason Pontin, MIT Technology Review, August 24, 2010 at http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/26112/

      • Mosher:- ‘we need to find a better way to lower the cost of removing C02 from the air’

        I will bet you that the recent movement of sand from northwest African deserts will cause an increase in bio-productivity of the Atlantic and beyond and in the next 18-months we will see a change in the lineshape of the annual CO2 saw-tooth in the Hawaiian atmospheric record.

        http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view.php?id=53872

        We should see that from mid-2013 until late 2014 more CO2 is sequestrated than normal.

  51. JC comments: For the sake of argument, lets assume that the IPCC consensus is roughly correct regarding dangerous anthropogenic climate change, with the dangers becoming apparent in the latter half of the 21st century, and mitigation of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels is necessary, urgent, imperative (or whatever the latest word being used in professional society advocacy statements).

    Are you still fuming about the resounding AGU slap-down of scientific frauds, or is it BAMS’s staggering smackdown on the incompetent now?

    Really, it’s big of you to ‘assume’ for the sake of argument the most parsimonious, universal explanation allowing of the fewest exceptions. I’ll assume Newton’s Laws, with Einstein’s extensions, given such heady encouragement to take a leap of faith on this ‘science’ thing.

    Though the dangers are apparent now, according to observational evidence and the insurance industry, the navy, and, you know, people who stick their heads out windows with their eyes open.

    How do you square this climate policy ‘imperative’ with the real need right now of the majority of the people on the planet for greater access to energy?

    Well, you _could_ remember than not all energy is fossil, that not all fossil energy need be done in a wasteful and flagrant manner, and that the majority of people on the planet haven’t demanded greater access to energy at all, but fairer access. And aren’t we forgetting the huge waste of energy by those not in the developing world?

    Further, the potential development associated with increased energy could make these societies far more resilient to natural disasters (whatever the cause) than they currently are now. Not to mention that developed countries have lower population growth rates and pay more attention to their environment.

    I’m certain the people of Lac-Megantic will be gratified to hear they’re more resilient now to natural disasters.

    And what do you mean by “more attention to their environment?”

    Are you saying people in lesser developed nations are less good stewards of their environment than Americans?

    Which imperative is more ‘moral’ – to insist on reduced fossil fuel emissions over concern about what might happen > 50 years hence, in a future world that we can hardly imagine, or to support energy equity in the developing world and concretely improve lives in the here and now? How would cost/benefit analysis of this tradeoff even be conducted? What is the ‘morality’ here?

    I’d imagine before you posit moral questions, you might look to the beam in your own eye.

    Hint. Loaded questions, they aren’t moral.

    Also, as we’ve already covered, cost/benefit analysis is a limited tool requiring commensurability of all costs and benefits and a reasonable timeframe for the sake of comparison of like to like. You have none of that, and also no foundation that CBA is a moral measure, either.

    To those scientists that are advocating for a global emissions reduction policy, have you thought this one through (Jim Hansen seems to have)? This is one of the issues that makes the climate change problem so wicked.

    The problem isn’t wicked, if it has a single common solution that addresses all issues.

    If you remember only one thing, it is that carbon cycle privatization is the moral solution to the conflict between climate and fossil burners.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      For the sake of argument, lets assume that the IPCC consensus is roughly correct regarding dangerous anthropogenic climate change, with the dangers becoming apparent in the latter half of the 21st century, and mitigation of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels is necessary, urgent, imperative (or whatever the latest word being used in professional society advocacy statements).

      The new paradigm is that climate is a coupled nonlinear system. Hard to tell who is right in the IPCC – it can’t be that widespread.

      How do you square this climate policy ‘imperative’ with the real need right now of the majority of the people on the planet for greater access to energy?

      We don’t care what type of energy they use. It needs to be freely chosen without duress from deluded buffoons. We would suggest a lot more investment – energy prizes – that sort of thing.

      Further, the potential development associated with increased energy could make these societies far more resilient to natural disasters (whatever the cause) than they currently are now. Not to mention that developed countries have lower population growth rates and pay more attention to their environment.

      Again we are just concerned with optimum growth paths. There is quite a bit in the MDG. Now if only Americans could be trusted keep their promises.

      Which imperative is more ‘moral’ – to insist on reduced fossil fuel emissions over concern about what might happen > 50 years hence, in a future world that we can hardly imagine, or to support energy equity in the developing world and concretely improve lives in the here and now? How would cost/benefit analysis of this tradeoff even be conducted? What is the ‘morality’ here?

      We really suggest doing both but it is a bit like walking and chewing gum. Some people just can’t manage it. Optimum growth now save lives.

      So if only America could get it’s free trade act together instead of just mouthing off much like Bart.

      To those scientists that are advocating for a global emissions reduction policy, have you thought this one through (Jim Hansen seems to have)? This is one of the issues that makes the climate change problem so wicked.

      You going to increase or decrease developing world emissions? Bart is such an idiot.

    • If you remember only one thing, it is that carbon cycle privatization is the moral solution to the conflict between climate and fossil burners.

      Well said, or put another way:

      Keep your filthy greedy hands off my individual private use of the carbon cycle.

      • Myrrh | August 8, 2013 at 4:29 am |

        Exactly the right idea.

        Once you’ve paid the owners for what you take, no one can lay their hands on it but you.

    • Steven Mosher

      and privatizing the carbon cycle is not a wicked problem.

      unicorns. we need more damn unicorns.

      Its the sun stupid.!
      its privatizing the carbon cycle stupid.!

      not surprising that two groups who worship simplicity would
      employ similar appeals, al beit from different sides of the isle.

      • Its doable, we would just need to track the master gene locus of the Javan Rhinoceros, R. sondaicus, then splice into horse embryo’s. At the moment the complete horse genome is finished, but there is no full sequence of any rhinoceros. The data we have is that the are surprisingly close, so doable, cost a couple of billion tops.

  52. Former NASA scientist James Hansen expressed his view of the issue with typical candor, when he said, “if you let these other countries come up to the level of the developed world then the planet is done for.”

    It looks like he wants to use limited access to energy for Population Control.

    He has a problem. He has supporting Model Output but he has no supporting data. Temperature and Sea Level are well inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years. As more and more people live on earth, the standards of living get better and better. As CO2 increases, crop productivity gets better and better.

    He has got to work really fast before more people look at actual data.

  53. A magenta planet.

    “It lies nearly 44 Earth-sun distances from its central star, far beyond the system’s habitable zone, and it has an effective temperature of about 460 degrees Fahrenheit (237 Celsius)….”

    http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/08/07/pink-alien-planet-is-smallest-photographed/?intcmp=features

    Those purple aliens must be burning massive amounts of fossil fuels.

    (Off topic I know, but the hopeless confusion of our progressive commenters when called upon to discuss the billions of people they dream of keeping in poverty is depressing.)

  54. As Wolfram and colleagues observe in a recent study, “The current forecasts for energy demand in the developing world may be understated because they do not accurately capture the dramatic increase in demand associated with poverty reduction.” The point is that energy access is not an end per se; rather it is a necessity for moving to vibrant and sustainable social and economic growth. The lower the assumed scale of the challenge, the more likely the focus will turn to incremental change that amounts to “poverty management,” rather than the transformational changes that will be necessary if we are to help billions climb out of poverty

    And if it were actual energy being discussed, instead of a euphemism for burning fossils and dumping the waste into the air, this might even bear some semblance of sense. The largely hydro-powered Canada doesn’t have inferior social or economic growth because of lack of energy. (It’s because Canada’s a dull place with a socialist, interventionist government.) Sure, much of the world doesn’t have Canada’s wealth in hydro; Canada only has one sixth of most of the less-developed nations’ wealth in solar, so that comes out about even.

    Most readers will have already recognized that our discussion has significant implications for the question of climate change. Former NASA scientist James Hansen expressed his view of the issue with typical candor, when he said, “if you let these other countries come up to the level of the developed world then the planet is done for.”

    Nicely cherry-picked citation.

    Wasn’t it in the context of burning carbon Hansen spoke, not of energy use?

    I think it was. Did they ask James Hansen to clarify?

    Wouldn’t make much sense for Hansen to object to energy, now, would it?

     For the most part, however, the ambition gap has kept this uncomfortable dilemma off the table. If one assumes that billions will remain with levels of energy consumption an order of magnitude less than even the most modest definition of modern access, then one can understand the oft-repeated claim that universal energy access can be achieved with essentially no increase in the global emissions of carbon dioxide.

    Again with this “modern” perjorative.

    I use modern, low-carbon energy; to me, anyone relying on fossil burning for energy is a troglodyte living in a cave, a regressed morlock, a stone-age throwback. If they think they’re “modern”, I laugh at their folly.

    Conflicts between climate and energy (he means fossil) priorities deserve a deeper and more open airing in order to help better frame policy options, including the difficult question of trade-offs among competing valued outcomes. ..if you’re a free-riding con artist. The issues are playing out right now, but remain largely unacknowledged. For instance, under US Senate Bill S.329 (2013) the Overseas Private Investment Corporation – a federal agency responsible for backstopping U.S. companies which invest in developing countries – is essentially prohibited from investing in energy projects that involve fossil fuels, a policy that may have profound consequences in places like sub-Saharan Africa that are seeking to develop oil and gas resources to help alleviate widespread energy poverty.Wait. WHAT?! So the money from these resources goes 100% to the local poor by some equitable mechanism? Won’t they be happy to hear that. At the same time, a different US federal agency – the U.S. Export-Import Bank – helped fund a 4.9 GW coal plant (Kusile) in the Republic of South Africa. The coal plant will help serve both industry and households that currently lack access. These simultaneous interventions appear incoherent. Are you sure you have all your facts straight here? Making such issues more transparent, and opening them up to debates with multiple stakeholders with multiple values and success criteria offers the promise of enriching the array of policy options on the table.

    Interesting. Tell us more about how this would be done, for a program approved under the BUSH ADMINISTRATION?

    The United Nations has attempted to square this circle of climate and energy through the phrase “Sustainable Energy for All”. Still, since value-judgments must be made and priorities established, the UN initiative has explicitly stated a “technology neutral” principle and given primacy to national decision-making, and implicitly has made the goal of universal energy access a “first among equals” of the three sustainable energy goals (the other two relating to renewable energy and energy efficiency). In practice however, as we have emphasized, the trade-offs involved in policies related to climate and energy have often received less than a full airing in policy debate.

    Uh, what?

    In the practice of whom?

    Has the IPCC given too little attention to the trade-offs involved when you burn carbon and dump the residue into the air?

    The AGU?

    BAMS?

    NCADAC?

    Oh. Wait. I know who you mean. You mean Bjorn Lomborg, who has spent a decade now trying to bury the trade-offs under an avalanche of red herrings.

    The course of development followed by virtually all nations demonstrates that people around the world desire a high-energy future.

    Huh.

    Of the most developed nations, the range of fossil intensity is virtually the same as the range of fossil intensity in less developed nations. There is no correlation between level of development on any key indicator independent of fossil and fossil intensity. This claim of Pielke and Bazilian is pure fiction.

    Our plea is that we begin to recognize that fact, and focus more attention and resources on positively planning for, and indeed bringing about, that future. Achieving universal modern energy access will require transformations – in aspirations, but also, for example, in technological systems, institutions, development theory and practice, and in new ways to conceptualize and finance energy system design. Being clear about what modern energy access means can create a foundation for making huge strides in bridging the global equity gap not just in energy but in the new wealth, rising standard of living, and improved quality of life that modern energy access can help to bring.

    Well, as I’ve taken the Luntzian step of defining “modern energy” to mean “not like that knuckle-dragging fossil energy”, I can reconcile myself to this plea for exceptionalism based on no real evidence and flying in the face of observation and inference, armwaved without plan or detail.

    Ultimately, a focus on energy access at a low threshold limits our thinking, and thus our options. Adopting a more ambitious conception of energy access brings conflicting priorities, as well as the scale of the challenge, more clearly into focus and makes hidden assumptions more difficult to avoid. Now more than ever the world needs to ensure that the benefits of modern energy are available to all and that energy is provided as cleanly and efficiently as possible. This is a matter of equity, first and foremost, but it is also an issue of urgent practical importance.

    The Gordian knot is sundered by simply disambiguating “energy” from “fossil”.

    See?

    Easy.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Again – we don’t care what the source of energy is. Just don’t want to transition to higher cost energy at all period. Would prefer to wait a decade or two for modular nuclear for large volume apps. – and in the meantime address all of the other emissions including land use.

      The alternative seems a bit insane – oh right it’s Bart.

    • You might not want to use Canada as an example, Bart R. They use one-third more energy per person than we dastardly Americans…

      • thomaswfuller2 | August 8, 2013 at 12:30 am |

        Yeah, but as much less fossil per capita as more energy per capita.

        Part of why I chose it.

        Oh, and that increase in standard of living? Fastest in Canada during periods when its fossil per capita growth was slowest.

        But sure, there’s a lot of countries you can use instead of Canada.

      • Bart R

        Wrong again, Bart.

        The largest increase in quality of life and life expectancy in Canada (and elsewhere) took place at the same time that an energy infrastructure was installed, which guaranteed everyone a reliable supply of low-cost energy based on fossil fuels.

        Whether you like it or not, this will also happen the undeveloped world – and has already started in developing nations, such as China and India, despite the dire warnings of Hansen et al.

        Max

      • manacker | August 8, 2013 at 3:13 am |

        Been to Canada much?

        Know a lot about Canuckistan’s electrical generation?

        Ever freaking hear of Niagara Falls?

        James Bay?

        CANDU?

        At one point, almost 90% of Canadian electricity production was non-fossil. Even today, it’s still less than 40% fossil-dependent, and with wind coming online more and more every month, that’s bound to fall again.

        When you leap into the middle of things you do not understand with neither knowledge nor ability to form rational statement, does no voice in your head whisper, “this is wrong?”

    • Bart R, in 2010 the world consumed 523 quads. 52 of them came from renewable energy. Of those 52 quads, 50 came from hydroelectric power. The other two came from wind, solar and biofuels. I am a big supporter of solar. I think eventually it will supply most of the electricity used on this planet. But not before 2075.

      I am not willing to let people live in an energy starved environment for the next 60 years. Get them on the grid first. Then worry about the fuel portfolio mix.

      • thomaswfuller2 | August 8, 2013 at 12:33 am |

        In 1970, the average computing power in the world per capita was.. I think you can see where this will go.

        In 1980, the average mobile phone usage in the world per capita was.. I think you can see where this will go.

        In 2000, social media participation worldwide was.. I’m sure you can see where this will go.

        The price of new installed energy right now, today, in current technology is much lower in many cases when wind or solar or pyoil & syngas than fossil due scale and portability and remoteness from grid, and even in cases where grid is available.

        What’s the incentive to get good at solar and wind, if they’re competing with subsidized fossils?

        Practice makes habits. Perfect practice makes perfect.

        Morgan Bazilian is a speculator in world energy megaprojects with a $200 million fund dedicated to coal and oil.

        You think a little measure of skepticism about his claims isn’t warranted?

      • tom,

        reading your comments, there is no doubt you are a person of integrity. And whether or not one shares your concern over the scope of increased energy demand and what might occur to our climate as a result of the CO2 emissions generated from meeting that demand – which I believe you correctly point out as being met primarily from fossil fuel use – it is clear that you are not willing to sacrifice real people in order to achieve some utopian future.

        The gulf between you and David Appell in this is wide enough to be called an ocean.

      • Steven Mosher

        bart

        ‘In 1970, the average computing power in the world per capita was.. I think you can see where this will go.

        In 1980, the average mobile phone usage in the world per capita was.. I think you can see where this will go.”

        Man do you have a lot to learn about manufacturing costs and how they dont apply in the energy field unless you move to personalized energy.

      • @Steven Mosher…

        Man do you have a lot to learn about manufacturing costs and how they dont apply in the energy field unless you move to personalized energy.

        IMO you’re in for a big surprise Steven.

      • Steven Mosher | August 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm |

        You mean from Nocera?

        By all means. Perhaps you’re better at education than fact checking.

        Give explaining what you mean a go.

  55. developing countries cannot afford cheap electricity from coal – they want to impose them solar electricity = if they don’t have brad – let them eat cakes…?

  56. have you thought this one through (Jim Hansen seems to have)

    Hansen is working with Consensus. There is no Thought Process in Consensus. Thought comes with Skepticism.

  57. “JC comments: For the sake of argument, lets assume that the IPCC consensus is roughly correct regarding dangerous anthropogenic climate change, with the dangers becoming apparent in the latter half of the 21st century, and mitigation of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels is necessary, urgent, imperative (or whatever the latest word being used in professional society advocacy statements).”

    I don’t think IPCC consensus {if correct} respresent any threat.
    Let’s say instead of IPCC consensus, we have 10 C increase by 2050.
    And CO2 is going to cause all of it.
    Even with 10 C global increase in temperature I don’t see a threat. I see The largest land mass [Asia] becoming slightly more habitable.
    And the human species has lived through such dramatic increases in temperatures. We might get a meter or two rise in sea level. The Netherlands have dikes and are currently have large portion of below sea level- are they some sort of magical people? Are we less able than people living couple centuries ago? The answer may be yes because we have decided to have massively government and powerful governments are always incompetent, evil, and have already killed more people than weather.

    “How do you square this climate policy ‘imperative’ with the real need right now of the majority of the people on the planet for greater access to energy? Further, the potential development associated with increased energy could make these societies far more resilient to natural disasters (whatever the cause) than they currently are now. Not to mention that developed countries have lower population growth rates and pay more attention to their environment.”

    Lower population growth is a disadvantage. Point is that western civilization has technological developed to have more efficient technology. That price of learning has been paid. The reason China has so much pollution is it has a corrupt and evil government. All socialist states have been wasteful and pollute. They are incompetent.
    The problem with all poor countries is they have poor, and accountable government.

    “Which imperative is more ‘moral’ – to insist on reduced fossil fuel emissions over concern about what might happen > 50 years hence, in a future world that we can hardly imagine, or to support energy equity in the developing world and concretely improve lives in the here and now? How would cost/benefit analysis of this tradeoff even be conducted? What is the ‘morality’ here?”
    You can’t plan 50 years into the future. It’s arrogance of retards.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      gbaikie posts “Even with 10 C global increase in temperature I don’t see a threat.”

      Thank you, gbaikie, for a post that nicely illustrates the crucial role of willful ignorance in climate-change denialism.

      As a remedy for climate-change ignorance, PUBMED is our friend:

      Global health and climate change: moving from denial and catastrophic fatalism to positive action

      Impact of ambient temperature on children’s health: a systematic review

      Workplace heat stress, health and productivity – an increasing challenge for low and middle-income countries during climate change

      Lessons for the Day

      Lesson 1  A global temperature rise 10C would constitute a irretrievable catastrophe of unprecedented scale and magnitude.

      Lesson 2  Willful ignorance is essential to the sustainment of denialist cognition … that is why ideology-first denialist forums strive to cultivate ignorance, paranoia, cultural divisions, and hatred.

      Fortunately we can all work in the opposite unifying direction!

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

      • Wingnut, inform yourself with this article:

        The Age of Global Warming is Over

        http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2013/7-8/the-age-of-global-warming-is-over

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Thank you, Peter Lang, for a Climate Etc comment that consisted entirely of personal abuse, accompanied by one cherry-picked single-author citation; a citation that contained no physical theory, and no supporting data, that was written by an ideology-driven non-scientist.

        Your post is admirably exemplary of denialist cognition!

        The contrast with (for example) James Hansen’s multi-author, multi-disciplinary, multi-national, exhaustively referenced Scientific Case for Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change to Protect Young People and Nature is mighty striking, isn’t it?

        Over the long haul, isn’t it exhausting to sustain the toxic mix of willful ignorance, isolationism, and personal abuse that is the ideological foundation of climate-change denialism?

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

      • Fan, ” Over the long haul, isn’t it exhausting to sustain the toxic mix of willful ignorance, isolationism, and personal abuse that is the ideological foundation of climate-change denialism?”
        Exhausting Fan? Not at all. As long as totalitarian – oriented pissant progressives such as yourself exist we will fight to the death. How ironic Fan that history will show it is you and your comrades that are the real science deniers. Live free or die.

      • Afomod, the planet ain’t warming.
        Hansen’s wrong.
        Get over it now will ya.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Starkey asserts  “I think the probability of the US enacting any widespread program involving carbon credits [is] very very remote.”

        Rob Starkey, a consensus of foresighted Republicans that includes Ruckelshaus, Thomas, Reilly, and Whitman believes that in the short term you are entirely correct, and in the long term you are utterly wrong.

        For many conservative-minded voters, a key long-term question is this: Will the American Republican Party survive and prosper as a viable agent of 21st century conservatism … or will the Republican Party be destroyed from within, by a hyperactive cabal of willfully ignorant, personally abusive, ideology-driven, corporation-bought, agents of denialism?

        What do you think, Rob Starkey?

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      • Fan. You have your own thread over at WUWT. Make good use of your 15 minutes. They’re ticking.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/08/mad-haxor-skillz-godwinize-skeptical-science/

      • Fan

        Not being a republican I do not really care if the party survives. I think it would be a bad policy decision to enact a carbon trading scheme and I think common sense prevail and it will not be enacted in the US.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Harold says [Brandon Shollenberger has disclosed the techniques used to hack the SkS website vulnerability]

        Thanks Harold!

        However, the dubious ethics of the WUWT attack on SkS were of greater interest (to most people) than the details of the technique … and those ethical deficiencies were evident right from the start of the WUWT campaign!

        Claim  Reading the thoughtful Ruckelshaus, Thomas, Reilly, and Whitman climate-change analysis is a much better use of Climate Etc folks’ valuable time than reading juvenile WUWT/Watts smears.

        Perhaps this week’s creepy WUWT/Watts “race to the bottom” is deploying smears, hacks, and vicious videos as a ploy to obstruct rational climate-change discourse?

        Conjecture  The strategic target of this week’s WUWT/Watts “creepy campaign” is not SkS and Mann, but rather thoughtful centrist Republicans like Ruckelshaus, Thomas, Reilly, and Whitman.

        That would be an effective political strategy, eh Harold?

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

      • Are you written in Java or C++? I suppose LISP is a possibility.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        WUWT/Watt-style hacking/smearing is a peculiar game. The only winning move is not to play.

        Climate Etc folks don’t need a supercomputer to teach them *THAT*, eh Harold?

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      • I think fan gets some kind of brownie points over at SkS for every time he posts the same comment. “We’ll bore those damn skeptics to death!”

      • “Lessons for the Day

        Lesson 1 A global temperature rise 10C would constitute a irretrievable catastrophe of unprecedented scale and magnitude.”

        So locally one gets 20 C increase and decrease per day. Somehow creatures without air conditioning survive it. Seasonally, we get over 10 C increase in average temperature. The only places which do not get a high seasonal difference is in the tropics.
        And the tropics have highest average temperature on Earth. The average yearly temperature in the tropics is about 25 C.
        And the words “tropical” and “paradise” often go together. Combining “Siberia” and “paradise” is usually ironic.
        The average temperature of Siberia is about -5 C.
        And average temperature of Canada is around 0 C or colder- but most Canadian don’t live in most of Canada [it's too cold] rather they mostly live near the their southern border to the US. So Canadian Cities are here:

        http://www.currentresults.com/Weather/Canada/Cities/temperature-annual-average.php

        Now question is how would a 10 C increase in global temperature manifest itself? For example would one the areas not in the tropics, warm up to resemble the tropical temperature. That would perhaps the easiest
        possibility. Another possibility is tropics and the rest of the world would warm up more or less in same amount. Another possibility is polar regions will warm more than the rest of the world.
        Whether the polar region warm or cool has little to do with global average temperature, due to the fact that polar regions are a small area of the entire globe- the polar region could +/- 30 C and it doesn’t have much effect upon increasing the global average temperature.
        What control or determines global temperature is 40% of global surface area, called the tropics [23 degrees north and south latitude]. And extend it to 38 degree north and south- it’s about 1/2 of the world’s surface area.
        The practical way to increase global temperature is to increase tropic average temperature. At the moment, the tropics is the heat engine of the world, vast amounts of heat generated in tropics is transport northward warming Europe. And simply because it’s a large part of surface area of Earth, it’s high average temperature gives the “appearance” that the rest of world is warmer- the tropics large area and high average temperature increases the lower average temperature of the rest of the planet.
        In helping to disguise the fact we living in an ice age- most of land area on average is freezing.
        [And largely the reason we live in an ice age, has do with the continent of Antarctic being at the south pole. It has a balmly average temperature of -49 C and miles of stacked ice, the amount of stacked glacial ice makes Antarctic the highest continent in the world- remove the ice and it's one of the lowest continents in the world. A lifeless, bitterly cold place- particularly during it's 6 months of darkness. ]

        Before the Antarctic caused our world to be an ice box, the world were much warming than it is today- about 10 C warmer. Larger areas of earth were tropical conditions.
        So we already have model of how Earth could be 10 C warmer- instead tropical conditions existing mostly only in the tropics, the temperate zones have condition similar to tropics.
        So a 10 C increase could like tropics extending up to say 45 degree latitude of north and south. So Oregon is tropical. Or you could grow orange trees in Oregon [easily] one even grow oranges up past US- Canadian border. The arctic treeline would extend more than 1000 miles poleward- hundreds of miles further than at any time during our present interglacial period. Animals make be able to survive in the southern most peninsula of the Antarctic. Polar ice would melt in the summer. Greenland would lose a significant amount of ice over the decades of such warmer conditions. But just as there glacier which exist in much places much warmer than Greenland, there would still be a lot glacier in Greenland. And it seems Antarctic would still be much
        colder than Greenland. Though if given thousand years of such warmer conditions one could see profound changes even in the Antarctic.

        So does such change kill humans or animals? No.
        Is it possible? No.
        For this to happen one need a ocean which significantly warmer than the ocean we have. But even in this fantasy world which makes some impossible transformation due to a trace gas, it’s not a threat to humans.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Bob says “As long as totalitarian – oriented pissant progressives such as yourself exist we [denialists] will fight to the death.”

      Hmmmm &helllip; Bob, it’s scarcely likely that any amount of scientific evidence and rational discourse could ever alter your adamant denialist faith! That’s why

      • Denialist cognition has itself become the subject of global scientific study; in particular the ruthless exploitation of individual denialist cognition for amoral purposes of corporate denialism is well-illustrated in climate-change discourse.

      • Politically speaking, around the world an effective strategy is proving to be the separation and isolation of irreconcilable ideologues from persuadable citizens; “minority bubble” political parties that impose litmus tests of ideological purity have proven to be effective agents for achieving this separation and isolation.

      Obviously, there are plenty of ideological purists here on Climate Etc, who are attracted to climate-change denialism as a means of sustaining “precious ideological essence.”

      Ideology-driven denialists make plenty of noise, but over the long haul their programs politically fail, because as Dwight Eisenhower famously wrote “Their number is small and they are stupid.”

      Conclusion  The ideologically pure yet blindly ignorant denialism of WUWT/Watts, rigorously enforced at the primary level, and sustained over several election cycles, will doom the Republican Party to permanent minority status.

      Isn’t that the way of it, Bob?

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      • Fan, ” Ideology-driven denialists make plenty of noise, but over the long haul their programs politically fail, because as Dwight Eisenhower famously wrote “Their number is small and they are stupid.”

        I searched that ref and found nothing from your quote. Your a phony, in denial about real science, and will never prevail. Get a shot of testosterone and go away pissant.

      • Fan, recognize yourself here. Keep in mind Fan, you’re the true denier.

        http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/08/climate_realism_and_socialist_realism.html

      • Denalists like

        Alexander Otto
        Friederike E. L. Otto
        Olivier Boucher
        John Church
        Gabi Heger
        Piers M. Forster
        Nathan P. Gillett
        Jonathan Gregory
        Gregory C. Johnson
        Reto Knutti
        Nicholas Lewis
        Ulrike Lohmann
        Jochem Marotzke
        Gunnar Myhre
        Drew Shindell
        Bjorn Stevens
        Myles R. Allen

        As all these believe that the equilibrium climate sensitivity <2.0°C

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Bob says “I searched that ref and found nothing from your quote. Your [sic] a phony, in denial about real science, and will never prevail. Get a shot of testosterone and go away pissant.”

      Bob, thank your for providing yet another example of abusive denialist cognition! The passage in question (by President Eisenhower to his nephew Edgar Eisenhower) reads as follows:

      “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H. L. Hunt (you possibly know his background), a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

      Eisenhower Presidential Library
      Document #1147; November 8, 1954
      Letter to Edgar Newton Eisenhower

      Nowadays the foresighted but ideologue-outraging social security, unemployment insurance, and farm programs of the 1950s have become the foresighted but ideologue-outraging Clinton/Romney/Obamacare and climate-conservation programs of the 21st century … ain’t that right Bob?

      Summary  Now as in the 1950s, denialist ideologies stand on the wrong side of history, economics, science, and rationality … and that is why denialist ideologies are doomed to fail.

      Which is good, eh Bob?

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      • Fan

        If your conclusion is correct then you should be quite happy and the US will soon be implementing a fossil fuel tax and fining people for emitting co2. Perhaps you are incorrect and on the wrong side of history if those things in fact do not come to pass. Care to wager?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        An Inconvenient Political Fact  The document A Republican Case for Climate Action (by William D. Ruckelshaus, Lee M. Thomas, William K. Reilly, and Christine Todd Whitman) foreshadows the coming reality of carbon credits as plainly as RomneyCare foreshadowed the present-day reality that is ObamaCare.

        Because inflexible ideology-driven “bubble” politics invariably loses to the inexorable force of rationality science, economics, and history.

        Ain’t that a common-sense modern political reality, Rob Starkey?

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      • Fan asks-
        Regarding the coming of carbon credits Ain’t that a common-sense modern political reality.

        My answer- I think the probability of the US enacting any widespread program involving carbon credits as very very remote. An additional fossil fuel tax is more likely than any carbon credit /trading scheme but also very unlikely.

        Neither would accomplish much

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Starkey, a reply is posted above.

        And also, without regard for our differences of opinion, please let me say, that I appreciate and thank you for your thoughtful engagement regarding these issues!

      • Phony Fan, you had it in quotations. Go away.

  58. Pingback: The WUWT Hot Sheet for August 8th, 2013 | Watts Up With That?

  59. I think the problem with fossil fuels is even more wicked than people realize.

    If there is a quick reduction in the use of fossil fuels in one country or area, it does not mean that those fuels are left unused. It means that their price will come down and they will be consumed elsewhere. As gas replaced coal in the US, the price went down and US coal now finds its way to Asia and Europe instead of US power plants.

    If for example China is able to cut their use of coal, they will first reduce coal imports. It will mean that Australian and Indonesian coal exporters will have to supply other countries. A supply glut means lower coal prices.

    I

    • Jarmo,

      If there is a quick reduction in the use of fossil fuels in one country or area, it does not mean that those fuels are left unused.

      That is true unless the reason fossil fuels are being left behind is because there is a cheaper alternative. In that case, it will be available throughout the world and it will substitute for fossil fuels everywhere (over time).

      The USA could initiate that. It could remove the licencing and regulatory impediments that are preventing the world from having low cost nuclear power. Small Modular Nuclear power plants (like mPower) would be come cheaper than fossil fuels everywhere if the impediments were removed. At the moment the US licencing for new designs like the mPower costs about #1 billion and takes 10 years. To get a perspective, how the develoipment of aircraft, cars and computers would have been retarded if each new design and each design upgrade required government approval and cost (the equivalent of) $1 billion and took (the equivalent of)10 years to get approved.

      • To get a perspective, B-2 bomber program cost is around 45 billion dollars, of which manufacturing cost per plane is less than a billion. Dreamliner program cost was around 30 billion before the first plane was delivered.

        These aircraft are state of the art. The nuclear plants are similar in nature.

        Considering the opposition by many NGOs, nuclear renessance may yet come but it will take couple of decades. As Churchill said, “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” I think it will apply to future energy solutions as well.

  60. Having undertaken work in Africa off and on since the mid 1960s all in rural areas – most recently in 1999, except for the changes in the cities, it has been an experience of going back to a scene frozen in a time from before my first visit in the 1960s. The biggest barrier to development in my view are the anti-development NGO/government aid agencies/UN cadre- that is also seemingly frozen in time. Over $60 trillion has been given in aid to Africa since independence from colonial administration (I don’t have a link but 50 trillion was given in a UN report in around 2000) and yet these groups discourage meaningful investment, disrupt developments like mining, tie the funds to THEIR priorities for development and essentially maintain the status quo.

    It is no different than the reservations set up for native peoples in North America with the idea that we are kindly preserving the culture of the “Noble Savage”. BS, it was a land grab. It is not well known in North America that the regime in South Africa came over to study the reservation “solution” and that this inspired Aparteid and native (dependent) homelands. In the case of Africa, my intermittent observation over ~40 years is that the aid cadre is really on safari – it is a beautiful, exotic place and it’s fun to go there (although I was in Nigeria for a good part of their civil war and that wasn’t so much fun). Why would they want to change it in any substantive way.

    I believe it is unrecognized by the would be, seemingly well-meaning “developers”, that philosophically they come as superior folks (gentle racist?) who know what is best for these people. This attitude was a tradition started long before independence in the early 1960s with the virginal middle-aged women missionaries in white ankle socks and long skirts and ineffectual men preachers who were a misfit in their own countries, bringing an outmoded model that was largely abandoned in their own societies to these “child-like” people. In their white ankle socks, and long skirts these women taught school, heavy on God and light on mathematics science.

    As for the NGO, etc group, this commonly cited proverb pretty well says it all: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; show him how to catch fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” It makes me puke. It underscores a not-so-subliminal philosophy that these ignorant, inferior people need our superior guidance and gentle hand-up to learn how to even survive. Promote cheap, abundant, reliable energy and your work is done. With this they can find clean water, develop their natural and agricultural resources all by themselves, thank you very much, and become the richest continent on earth. This will need a new dialogue and NGOs/UN/ and technical aid experts are not invited to the conference. They will be brought in afterwards to redirect their funds.

    • +1

    • David Springer

      “Promote cheap, abundant, reliable energy and your work is done.”

      In Africa? It was a done a long time ago then. The western world has known for a long time that Africa needs roads and bridges and water and sanitation and uncorrupt government. Hollywood has been making movies about western improvement projects in Africa since before movies had sound tracks. Southern Africa has huge coal reserves and northern Africa has enough petroleum to fuel the rest of the continent and then some. Look at Libya fercrisakes it has a fifth of known global oil reserves. How’s that working out for the standard of living there?

      Nations with democratic governments formed by and of Christian societies are the modern envy of the world with regard to peace and prosperity. This is the first thing we need to promote. Without it it’s not safe for anyone to build roads and bridges, power plants and electrical grids, water mains and sewer systems, and all that other good stuff. It just doesn’t work without a stable government of mostly good people who care for each other and live under the rule of law. British common law to be specific.

  61. Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
    Thank you Dr. Curry!

    Yes, trying to reduce energy availability is wicked, and burning food for fuel while people starve is wicked also.

  62. David Springer

    David Appell | August 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm |

    And the US has created about 28% of carbon emissions to date; China about 11%. That’s huge on a per capita basis. Hence America has a moral obligation to take the lead in solving this problem.

    CO2 is plant food. America has no moral obligation to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

    • David Springer

      As a matter of fact how about the rest of the world thank the US for no world wars since 1945 when it won the last one. Pax Americana let’s call it. It takes fuel to maintain a superpower and it takes a superpower to prevent world war. I don’t really expect thanks but telling me how to perform the task you can kiss my lilly white American ass that’s what.

      • David Springer,
        The west owes the US a debt after WW2 including
        The Marshall Plan supportingEurope’s reconstruction.
        A serf from down-under.

      • David Springer

        I was talking about US spending more on military than the next ten highest spenders combined and having sustained that for over 50 years to enforce the peace.

        No joke there’s an outstanding debt from WWII and reconstruction but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

  63. Marlowe Johnson

    I’m still wondering why Moshpit is so certain that the social cost of carbon is $3/tCO2e. Come on down from the mountain Steve and share your precious intellect with us mortals…

    • And you don’t wonder why David Appell is so sure it is $36/ton.

      • Marlowe Johnson

        au contraire el capitan. i wonder why anyone is so sure when it comes to any estimate of SCC.

      • Marlowe Johnson

        but in the absence of relevant expertise the central estimate is a more defensible position for one to adopt than one of the tails n’est-ce pas? otherwise one might reasonably expect to be accused of letting one’s ideological biases determine what one believes. and i mean c’mon, moshpit is, if nothing else, an ‘independent thinker’, much like our wonderful host.

      • There are few things in climate science you can be sure of, but over confidence and overestimation are a lock. With estimates of climate sensitivity approaching 1.6C, the SCC is likely negative.

        Then once you consider the global generosity of the CO2 intensive nations, $110 billion plus public and private foreign assistance from the US with most of that private, the Social Cost of Carbon Taxation in the US might be greater than the benefit.

    • Steven Mosher

      simple,

      start here

      http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/inforeg/social_cost_of_carbon_for_ria_2013_update.pdf

      then go here

      http://www.nber.org/papers/w19244

      then apply the proper discount rate and you’ll end up with something

      south of 5 dollars, some say 2, I’ll go for 3

      Am I certain?

      Of course not, then again when I told you that ECS was coming down below 3C you blathered on.

      • Steve

        Do you believe that within your lifetime there will be a scientific consensus on what ECS is +/- .5C? I find it unlikely

      • Steven Mosher

        Just read through that so-called “Technical Support Document” by the US Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon, which you cited.

        Yikes!

        What a bunch of garbage!

        GIGO at its best.

        Max

    • Marlowe Johnson

      Is the “social cost” of CO2 $3 or $36 per ton of CO2?

      What is the “social cost” anyway?

      Hypothetical arguments abound.

      These are usually based on some imagined future net negative impact resulting from “climate change” impacts caused by increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations, which are attributed to human emissions of CO2 largely as a result of fossil fuel combustion.

      But what have been the net positive impacts of fossil fuels in the past?

      Since the Industrial Revolution got into full swing around 1870 humans have generated 1360 billion tons of CO2 (GtCO2) (CDIAC).

      World GDP (PPP) in 1870 was around $1 billion and was around $85 trillion in 2012 (Wiki).

      The availability of low-cost energy from fossil fuels is cited as a major contributing factor to the increased global wealth (particularly in the industrially developed nations). Along with this has come a sharp increase in overall average life expectancy.

      So if ALL the increase in GDP resulted from the low-cost energy available as a result of fossil fuel combustion, the net POSITIVE value of CO2 = $63 per ton.

      If only half of the increased wealth resulted from low-cost energy availability, the net positive value of CO2 = $31.50 per ton.

      Over the same period global average temperature increased by 0.7°C. There is no estimate of the net positive or negative impact of this temperature change, and it is not at all certain that most of it was caused by the added atmospheric CO2 resulting from human fossil fuel combustion (especially that portion, which occurred prior to around 1950).

      So both Mosh and David Appell are way off in their “cost of carbon” assumptions. It’s actually been a net gain, not a cost, as the figures show.

      Max

      • Is it the gross or net social cost?

      • Marlowe Johnson

        @manacker

        SCC is about the future not the past, so discussions about all of the benefits that have accrued due to fossil fuels in the past are moot.

        @Rob Starkey
        SCC is by definition net.

      • Net overall social cost or gain (change in global GDP PPP in constant dollars divided by tons of CO2 generated).

        Max

      • Marlowe Johnson

        The past is real and measurable.

        The future is not.

        Fossil fuels have been a boon to mankind in the past (resulting in a high “social gain”), as I pointed out.

        Temperature impacts have been quite small and arguably very likely beneficial on average.

        Future impacts are based on GIGO assumptions. For example, the impact of Antarctic Ice Sheet changes is estimated to be positive (net gain) up to a projected future net warming of 3C and negative (net cost) above 3C. But who knows if we will ever have 3C of warming from human CO2 emissions? Nobody. (Least of all the folks that have made these assumptions).

        As is looks now, with a 2xCO2 ECS of below 2C, it appears unlikely that we will EVER reach warming of more that 3C before we run out of fossil fuels.

        The whole exercise is rubbish from start to finish.

        Max

      • From the executive summary of the TSD:

        The purpose of the “social cost of carbon” (SCC) estimates presented here is to allow agencies to incorporate the social benefits of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into cost-benefit analyses of regulatory actions that impact cumulative global emissions.

        The social cost of carbon is only one component in the cost-benefit analysis. If the positive value of an activity is higher than the social cost of carbon released by that activity then that activity is allowed to continue according to the rule stated at the very beginning of the document:

        agencies are required to .. propose or adopt a regulation only upon a reasoned determination that the benefits of the intended regulation justify its costs.

        All the benefits of availability of low cost energy are to be compared to the SCC. They are not a part of SCC.

      • Pekka

        If I understand you, the SCC estimates are NOT net impact estimates, but only estimates of the costs (without considering the benefits).

        In that case, one has to deduct the net benefit values (somewhere around $15 to $30 per ton of CO2) from the SCC estimates to arrive at a NET SCC estimate.

        (And the net SCC becomes negative (i.e. is a net benefit, rather than cost)

        Right?

        Max

      • Max,

        SCC is about the effects of CO2, not about the value of the activity that produces CO2 like energy production. Both positive and negative consequences of additional CO2 are part of SCC, i.e. both benefits and damages from warming, and also the value of additional growth from more CO2 as well as damage to coral reefs from lower pH.

        According to that executive order continuing to release CO2 is appropriate if the related benefits of lower cost energy exceed the social cost of carbon.

        Another problem is that the estimates of SCC are terribly unreliable. At best they tell the order of magnitude, but perhaps not even that. I agree largely with Pindyck on the problems.

      • Pekka – scc is a political tool that can and will be used by liberals to justify acheiving obama’s stated goal of making energy costs “necessarily skyrocket”.

      • Marlowe Johnson

        sceptics here are trying to have their cake and eat it 2. if SCC estimates are highly uncertain (and they are) then the question is best framed in terms of risk management not optimization. Put another way, it boils down to how much you care about the future and how lucky you feel. If you don’t care about your descendants no problem. just say so. If you are somehow gifted with uber knowledge and know that the impacts of BAU emissions pose absolutely no threat whatsoever then say so.

        but don’t expect the rest of us to take your word for it. evidence matters. as does the lack thereof.

      • But what’s the cost of sccagw?

        Oh wait, the future negative impacts of decarbonization don’t interest the true believers. Which is, of course, the theme of this post.

      • Marlowe Johnson, “sceptics here are trying to have their cake and eat it 2. if SCC estimates are highly uncertain (and they are) then the question is best framed in terms of risk management not optimization. ”

        Not really. It is more certain that the carbon tax approach will be ineffective and likely counter productive. The UK now is importing wood chips from the southeastern US to mitigate coal fired plants. Depending on the age of the trees, the mitigation could be increasing total negative impacts. Carbon credits or taxes are just an effective way to force action that is more uncertain than sensitivity is to begin with.

        According to one of the reports, 10% of the US coal fired plants, those built before 1970 and the clean air act, produce nearly 50% of the damages mainly with SO2 and lower efficiency. The US could use that 10% to design and build high efficiency state of the art coal plants which China and India would steal the design if it is good and have a greater positive impact than anything done so far. The US doesn’t need to use coal, but it the rest of the world is going to anyway, so set a standard.

        Warmists are trying to sell Carbon whatever as a magic silver bullet, its not.

      • Whst’s the bigger risk – catastrophic global warming/climate cange/climate wierding due to agw or global poverty due to decarbonization policies?

      • manacker-

        There is another way to estimate the social benefit of CO2 emissions. Freeman Dyson stated that at least 15% of our food is due to the increase in atmospheric CO2, providing food for 1 billion people.

        Adopt the EPA estimate of around $7M as the value of an avoided human death (they recently bumped it up to $9M, but let’s be conservative).

        If global emissions are approximately 30 billion tonnes CO2 per year, then 30 tonnes per year CO2 emissions keeps one person fed. At the EPA’s $7M value per fed person, apparently CO2 emitters can collect on $7,000 Trillion over the average life of about 70 years. Or equivalently, the CO2 rebate should be about $7,000,000/(30*70) = $3333 per tonne CO2.

        This is a rebate that acknowledges just one of the positive contributions of using fossil fuels.

      • Marlowe Johnson

        ‘Whst’s the bigger risk – catastrophic global warming/climate cange/climate wierding due to agw or global poverty due to decarbonization policies?”

        this is a very good question that has strangely received very little attention on this blog since its inception.

        One wonders why?

      • Easy, Marlowe, the Keepers of the Narrative cannot imagine that possibility and would abhor it if they did. And yet……
        =====================

  64. Marlowe Johnson

    Moshpit are you drunk? the SCC values used by the EPA are already discounted so you can’t go down that particular rabett hole.

    “Three values are based on the average SCC from three integrated assessment models (IAMs), at discount rates of 2.5, 3, and 5 percent. The fourth value, which represents the 95th percentile SCC estimate across all three models at a 3 percent discount rate, is included to represent
    higher-than-expected impacts from temperature change further out in the tails of the SCC distribution…The corresponding four updated SCC estimates for 2020 are $12, $43, $65, and $129 (2007$)”

    now what is the point you’re trying to make with the second link? perhaps that IAMs are useless? if so, i’d be careful if i were you, lest you draw the ire of the guy with the big bad hair….

  65. Chief Hydrologist

    There is a lot of noise from pissant progressives here. Appells call me a pig because of taxes. I don’t mind to spending to bring our aid up to 0.7% of GDP. Better that than being lying scumbags who promise year after year. I don’t mind paying for ecological restoration, improved land management and stopping erosion and restoring agricultural soils. In Australia this has both immense sequestration potential and wide ranging benefits for such iconic natural wonders as the Great Barrier Reef.

    Beats hell out of wasting billions on nonsense that achieves nothing.

    Appell typically misunderstands the ‘pause’. The ‘pause’ stems from the 1998/2001 climate shift. Climate spontaneously reorganized into a new – and cooler – configuration. This was predicted by no one and understanding the fundamental significance of this climate shift is still emerging.

    The energy dynamic involves changes in cloud cover as observed in a number of places. e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandlaken2013_zps3c92a9fc.png.html?sort=3&o=15

    Climate had previously shifted in 1976/77 – to a warmer mode characterized by a warm PDO and more frequent and intense El Nino. We were aware of this – it was widely known as the Great Pacific Climate Shift. It was speculated that the 1976/77 shift was caused by global warming and that this was a new and permanent state of the Pacific Ocean. The shift back to cooler conditions reveals underlying climate dynamics that transforms notions in a new paradigm of how climate works.

    This is clearly a phenomenon that causes warming and cooling on decadal scales. They cool and warm modes last for 20 to 40 years in the proxy records. This suggests that the current cool mode may last another decade to three. Most of the recent warming happened in two events in 1976/77 and 1997/98 – most of the rest seems from TOA satellite data to be from changing cloud cover.

    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. IPCC 3.4.4.1

    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

    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.

    The old paradigm applies inappropriate methodologies of reductionism to a dynamically complex system. The new paradigm allows progress to a state where the source of uncertainty is known and the new methods of complexity science can be applied.

    The old thinking called these decadal regimes cycles implying predictable transitions. It is not the case.

    Webby btw has a cartoon carbon math and physics that is both incompetent and simplistic and in no way has any bearing on Salby or indeed Ole Humlum et al 2013, Wang et al 2013, Ben-Bond Lamberty and Allison Thomson 2010, etc. Yet I’m not allowed to call him a fraud. Go figure.

    Here’s Humlum et al for instance – http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818112001658

    Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere varies more and is higher in concentration than is shown in the ice core records. Carbon dioxide concentrations may have been as high as currently at the last glacial transition. This is suggesting a fundamental problem with the ice core CO2 record.

    e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Steinthorsdottir_CO2_stomata_2013_zps0180f088.png.html?sort=3&o=3

    But the space cadets are not about science. They don’t seem to be about practical and pragmatic approaches to carbon mitigation and sequestration either. God only knows what they are on about.

    • Bond-Lamberty is consistent with anthropogenic CO2.

      The stuff has to go somewhere after being buried underground for eons.

      Cheap Hydrologist ran out of gas long ago and seems to be reasoning on fumes.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Ben-Bond Lamberty and Allison Thomson 2010 – write about an increase in soil respiration.

        ‘We estimate that the global RS in 2008 (that is, the flux integrated over the Earth’s land surface over 2008) was 98±12 Pg C and that it increased by 0.1 Pg C yr-1 between 1989 and 2008, implying a global RS response to air temperature (Q10) of 1.5.’

        Some context was provided here – http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/07/soil-carbon-permanent-pasture-as-an-approach-to-co2-sequestration/

        This is only one aspect of the immensely complex carbon cycle and reducing it to simple partisan memes is boring more than anything else.

        e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/carbonflowchart-ucla_zps640921ed.png.html?sort=3&o=11

      • The typical Chief ploy is to provide a link and then twist the words of the paper into something that fits his agenda. This is what Bond-Lamberty says:

        “An increasing global RS value does not necessarily constitute a positive feedback to the atmosphere, as it could be driven by higher carbon inputs to soil rather than by mobilization of stored older carbon. The available data are, however, consistent with an acceleration of the terrestrial carbon cycle in response to global climate change.”

        And that is the sentence that follows the quote that the Chief provided, indicating that he wants to control the dialog.

        You see, the authors of the paper did all the heavy lifting in compiling the data, but then the Chief Bureaucrat comes along and tells us what it really means. Sometimes you kind of wish that the authors would comment here and tell Chief to flip off.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Soil respiration, RS, the flux of microbially and plant-respired carbon dioxide (CO2) from the soil surface to the atmosphere, is the second-largest terrestrial carbon flux. However, the dynamics of RS are not well understood and the global flux remains poorly constrained. Ecosystem warming experiments, modelling analyses and fundamental biokinetics all suggest that RS should change with climate.’

        It might not be reducing stores of soil carbon but is consistent with biokinetics?

        This is what I said in my soil carbon post.

        ‘To put this in context, human emissions are 9.7 PgC – which is equal to 9.7 billion tons carbon content, 9.7 Gigaton C and 34.7 billion tons CO2. The increase in soil respiration at present equals some 20% of human emissions – although whether this results from increased biomass – and is therefore carbon neutral – or as a result of drawdown in soil carbon is unknown.’ http://judithcurry.com/2013/06/07/soil-carbon-permanent-pasture-as-an-approach-to-co2-sequestration/

        But we are pretty sure that soil carbon has declined by 50-70% in the past 150 years.

        ‘1500-2000 billion metric tons of carbon are stored in the top meter of the Earth’s soils, making it the largest of the active terrestrial carbon pools. Although soil organic carbon is essential to both soil fertility and global carbon budgets, the size of the global soil carbon pool has declined by 50-70% in the past 150 years due to land use changes. These historic losses now represent an opportunity to enhance carbon storage through conservation practices that promote soil carbon sequestration and fertility in croplands, rangelands and forests. For these reasons, soil organic carbon has become an object of considerable scientific interest.’

        http://www.sas.upenn.edu/earth/plante_r.html

        I presume we have lost carbon in the sub-polar regions of the NH.

        http://eusoils.jrc.ec.europa.eu/library/maps/Circumpolar/download/121.pdf

        There are about 800 billion tons of carbon in the atmosphere.

        Not sure what he thinks he means – but by all means read up on soil carbon.

    • Good background on Oceans:

      http://joannenova.com.au/2010/06/the-deep-oceans-drive-the-atmosphere/

      The left square diagram at the top. I see both stability and instability. If the lines move more horizontal or increase their bends, the Pacific Ocean shows a different temperature to the atmosphere. Flatter lines would be El Nino and lines with more curve are La Nina.

      The article also talks about the Ocean’s conveyor belt. “Conversely, an increase in the Thermohaline Circulation would result in more warm water penetrating through the North Atlantic and Bering Seas to the Arctic Ocean but also more tropical upwelling of cold subsurface water…” William Kininmonth. Look familiar? Flattened temperatures and concerns about Arctic Ice levels.

      If the North Polar region is plus heat wouldn’t the South polar region be minus heat given the conveyor belt? Just an idea.

      • Ragnaar | August 9, 2013 at 7:35 pm |

        Conveyor belt has a heavy equatorial bias, due it being the equator of a spinning planet.

        But sure, a heat pump effect is plausible. Likelier the other differences of the hemispheres are more operational.

        Do you have data?

    • Tsonis. So when the 4 indices are up or down, they are coupled, resulting in change. It seems we are looking at the Oceans.

    • Yes JCH. I’ve looked at that paper by Tsonis et al. I am thinking most of it is over my head, and I might be able to grasp some of the concepts at best. Tomas Milanovic wrote about spatio-temporal chaos and at that point, I really need someone to show me lots of pictures. He did suggest something: “However the general paradigm to consider the Earth system as a finite network of coupled (chaotic) oscillators is a good one..”

      http://judithcurry.com/2011/01/04/scenarios-2010-2040-part-iii-climate-shifts/

      I keep seeing something, I don’t know what, in a networked approach.

      • Ragnaar | August 10, 2013 at 12:21 am |

        A model of a spatio-temporal chaos most people can relate to is a large hornet nest. Consider the Earth system a finite network of hornet nests sharing the same garden, interacting and warring and splitting and shifting over time. Now, picture the CO2E kid, running around poking hornet nests with a big stick (external forcing).

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Now that’s Bart science. Models are chaotic but have only a temporal dimension. The operations in the nonlinear system of equations are sequential.

        Climate chaos has both temporal and spatial dimensions.

        Here’s a readable text – http://www.unige.ch/climate/Publications/Beniston/CC2004.pdf

        Slowing down and noisy bifurcation are properties of chaotic systems. The only thing you really need to know about Tsonis et al is that their quite simple network node calculation is finding these properties and so inferring that the entire system is chaotic.

        BTW – Tsonis et al posited either a change in the energy budget at top of atmosphere or changes in ocean heat content. It is probably both.

      • Bart is also questioning The Chief Rainman’s opinion that he considers himself an “excellent driver”. Note his last caveat.

        “BTW – Tsonis et al posited either a change in the energy budget at top of atmosphere or changes in ocean heat content. It is probably both.”

        You can drive a tank through that logical hole.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        We know from the data that changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation cause large changes in toa flux. Large changes in toa flux cause changes in ocean heat content.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Wong2006figure7.gif.html?sort=3&o=128

    • “The climate was indeed highly variable during glacial times and switched abruptly and frequently between cold and warm modes. Ganopolski and Rahmstorf (2001) proposed the following mechanism. The present-day climate state is characterized by a warm (switched-on) mode of the thermohaline circulation (THC) being interpreted as an equilibrium state of the underlying dynamics.” – NONLINEARITIES, FEEDBACKS AND CRITICAL THRESHOLDS

      Kininmonth

      http://joannenova.com.au/2010/06/the-deep-oceans-drive-the-atmosphere/

      Both of the above seem to agree on thermohaline circulation. And Kininmonth is the misinformer.

      Thanks Chief, this is a lot easier to follow. The Rial, Pielke, et al one.

      The paper talks about Greenland and the Thermohaline as possibly being connected. Greenland seems to be a bellweather.

      • Ragnaar | August 10, 2013 at 3:43 pm |

        One thing that’s missed in this discussion is the effect of timescale on whether or not a system is chaotic.

        Effects at the annual level that perfectly correspond to chaos may, at the multi-decadal level more perfectly match linearity. Predictions are by definition invalid on chaos (some projections about some qualities of the chaos may remain meaningful however); predictions therefore on longer timescales may be meaningful and exhibit measurable accuracy where on much shorter time periods they cannot.

        This is as true of larger regions than smaller, in the spatial dimensions.

        So when you ask about 1998 (one presumes only about global normalized surface temperature trend — there are some four dozen other essential climate variables, most of which had other significant event years than 1998), you may wish to specify whether you mean the year, the decade, the three decades, the century, or whatnot; even as you might wish to make explicit global vs. regional.

    • http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/story1.html

      Figure 1.
      What explains abrupt climate shifts? Remember 1998? I think we went from the higher valley in the diagram to the lower one. We were pushed left (hot), rebounded right (following La Nina), and had the momentum to clear the hill and go into the lower valley. The diagram may have faults, but I can understand it. The diagram use momentums and may show strong negative feedbacks, that keep us within a valley, until we leave it.

      • Ragnaar | August 10, 2013 at 5:42 pm |

        There are three dominant explanations for abrupt climate shifts in Chaos Theory:

        a) State escalation. The system autonomously enters a new state, with the same underlying structure, and temporary new frequency of visitation of attractors (or ‘extreme events’). In general, an escalated state will de-escalate by a path at least as complex as the escalation path (the system will experience at least as much extreme while returning to normal as it did while escalating, and for at least as long a time);
        b) Tipping points. The system state autonomously alters the underlying structure of the system (wears down the bearings, uses up the ink, etc.) to the degree that new attractors emerge and the system tips into a new group of states. Such systems do not return to previous states and what had formerly been extremes becomes the new normal;
        c) External forcing. As in a) or b) above, but due to external inputs to the system not previously part of it. External forcings are not well defined mathematically with regard to what it is exactly about forcings that leads to more or larger escalations or sooner and more dramatic tipping points, though intuitively such qualities as frequency, size, intensity, and duration of forcing are thought to be important. CO2E has all of the above.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation. We place strong emphasis on using isotopes as a means to understand physical mixing and chemical cycling in the ocean, and the climate history as recorded in marine sediments.’ http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/2246

        Tipping points happen when small changes destabilize the system. That’s why there are dragon-kings – extreme events – at transitions. The Climate settles into a new state with new average conditions.

        For instance in the right conditions warming can cause abrupt cooling of 10’s of degrees in places in as little as a decade. That’s the real scary story.

        Bart tells scary stories about CO2 to justify his stupid taxes. That’s a scary story of insanity in itself.

      • Reading something Bart R wrote, I realize I might have things backwards in the above NOAA diagram. We may have gone left to right instead in 1998. Is this bad to have gone to a higher valley? It appears to be a stable one. Perhaps a plateau. And what if our current valley is slowly sinking. What if it is above the norm and therefore subject to more negative feedback?

        I see I also mixed up left and right in my above post.

    • Bart R:
      With 1998, Is that an example of a dragon king outlier? I might think it’s a meaningful outlier.

      As far as predictions go, If this change happened in 1998, simply realizing that now would be good. I am not looking for predictions much.

    • Bart R:
      I see my mistake, focusing on one variable. I should get a bit of leniency as I prefer the SST. In 1998 did the Oceans change direction in a meaningful way? Was the 1998 El Nino a significant outlier.

      • Ragnaar | August 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm |

        I’ve never met anyone who could say for sure whether a single event is a dragon king. (In much the same way most weather events can’t be demonstrated to be the result of climate change or global warming directly.)

        There is a group of observations that may be dragon kings, such that the existence of the group proves the existence of dragon kings, but is any one of them a dragon king?

        It could be. If it is, what is the implication?

        If not, is the implication made impossible?

        Less likely?

        I’m not sure how to address the question productively.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Many people have identified ‘noisy bifurcation’ – equivalently dragon-kings – in climate and other dynamically complex systems. Noisy bifurcation is a diagnostic for transitions.

        e.g. – http://arxiv.org/pdf/1007.1376.pdf

        The 1976/77 ‘Great Pacific Climate Shift’ and 1998/2001 ‘Momentous Pacific Climate Shift’ ENSO dragon-kings show extreme variation between ENSO states at these times.

    • Bart R:
      I see what you mean. Was there anything around 1998 that one could point to and say, that may have been a dragon king?

      “These dragon-kings reveal the existence of mechanisms of self-organization that are not apparent otherwise from the distribution of their smaller siblings.” – Sornette

      • Ragnaar | August 10, 2013 at 7:46 pm |

        A surer sign would be to identify period doubling.

        Is anything in climate now happening twice as often as it once did, however remotely connected to 1998 SST?

        Are cyclones twice as common?

        Is the Jetstream twice as long?

        These are all emergent effects and statistics, some of them with very vague and tenuous signals, and generally on long, lagged timescales.

        In perhaps a generation we might be able to look back with clarity; however, it’s possible we just don’t collect enough data, that our observations lack the granularity, to facilitate such a conclusion.

  66. If I were living in a hut in Mali, burning scraps of (sustainable?) wood or dung for energy, I know what my “climate and energy priorities” would be.

    (And they would have nothing to do with the rich white man’s guilt-driven obsession with CO2.)

  67. Another good post from the Chief:

    “I don’t mind paying for ecological restoration, improved land management and stopping erosion and restoring agricultural soils.”

    Western Minnesota can best be generalized as farm fields. It used to be prairie grass. Much of it was ecologically transformed. Busting the sod. Some small progress is being made restoring a bit of that. Sediment run offs are being given greater attention. We are fortunate to be at the top of Mississippi River. Some of that sediment run off stacks in the rivers (Lake Pepin area), but some of it is given to our neighbors to the South. No and low till farming methods are being tried on some farms. With various benefits. Reduced costs, less sediment run off, and generally more is held in the soil, including water and forms of crop benefiting Nitrogen. Changes in agricultural practices could be one of the successes we can point to and say, not all green programs are terrible failures.

    “The ‘pause’ stems from the 1998/2001 climate shift. Climate spontaneously reorganized into a new – and cooler – configuration.”

    And what this novice sees as some resistance to exploring options aligning with Chief’s point of view. As well as defense of the prior point of view. Inertia perhaps. I am impressed by what I call the Oceans solar uptake. It is significant and seems straight forward. It seems to me we wait to see what the Oceans are going to do next?

    Chief points out:
    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

    The way I read the above is, that’s how powerful the Oceans are. To go against the theories and throw them into question. Of course I do not know that the Oceans have caused a shift, it’s just my opinion.

    “Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach…”

    Interesting work. Are the Oceans trying to tell us something? Do they have reliable key indicators?

    “Here’s Humlum et al for instance…”

    I was wondering your opinion of Humlum, Chief? I ran across his site when looking at clouds and water vapor and trying to understand them. I think some of his water vapor charts show break points in the neighborhood of 1998. This still remains one of my questions. Why is water vapor as modeled and as as measured not talked about more?

    • Ragnaar – long-term variability and the hiding and accentuating.

      Fig. 3.
      Observed GISS 21-year running mean global mean surface temperature (heavy solid), along with that temperature cleaned of the internal signal, which is the mean over the eight active models of Fig. 1A (dashed). The cleaned global mean temperature warms monotonically, and closely resembles a quadratic fit to the observed 20th century global mean temperature (thin solid). The standard deviation of the cleaned temperature from the quadratic fit is 0.03 °C compared with 0.06 °C for the observed.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        This is really a 2 edged sword JCH. The rate of increase is fairly minor – and if we include the period after 2000? Around 0.06 degrees C/decade and entering another cool period since 2001? Is this something to be urgently concerned with – enough to cripple global economic systems?

        The premise of the study seems to be that the models are not very good at decadal variation so if we take the mean of the models this should represent the forced response of climate. Yes? Do we understand cloud radiative forcing due to changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation? Is this over simplistic? Your interpretation certainly is.

        From the same study.

        ‘Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’

        http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

        Decadal variation is one thing but there is centennial to millennial variation. What comes next?

        From Swanson and Tsoinis 2009 – …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

      • This is a figure that JCH has linked to before:

        Perhaps Chief can explain it.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Very odd – I just discussed it in the comment immediately above. The rate of increase is not all that significant, global cooling for decades is an obvious corollary and the significant risk is from shifts in a nonlinear coupled system. In another paper from Tsonis and colleagues – the potential is for surprises on both the cold and warm ends of the spectrum.

        Again from the same paper.

        ‘Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’

        http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

        I am supposed to argue with webby’s unscientific space cadet science? Boring.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Humlum talks a lot of sense and is a good source of climate graphs.

      Such as this one – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/tropicalcloud.png.html?sort=3&o=59

      OMG – that can’t be right. It doesn’t fit the memes.

      His site is here – http://www.climate4you.com/

      Humlum is one of those scientists – Peter Chylek is another – who despite impeccable credentials is outside of the climate tent. Tim Palmer is in despite writing extensively on climate chaos and uncertainties in prediction of weather and climate. Enric Pallé is out – changes in albedo are not allowed. James McWilliams is in despite writing on irreducible imprecision in chaotic climate models. Anastasios Tsonis is half in half out. Judith Curry is definitely on the out.

      Science is less relevant here than a space cadet revival in the climate tent. Most of them don’t understand much about Earth sciences at all. None of them seem to have a clue about complexity theory and how it applies to climate. What is important is the tent and that strongly suggests dominant elements of groupthink.

      • Your linked Humlum chart is one of the ones that stood out. And then there’s me trying to figure Humlum’s standing? and if I am seeing something of value. That chart is actually a 2 hockey stick chart, I say in the most complientary way. Mild blade angles yes. Pointing to a change.

        As far as the tent, and I’ve read some of that here. I think each night, they move it a small amount. Towards Judith Curry. They hope no one is noticing. Thanks.

      • If that doesn’t show a positive cloud feedback in the tropics, I don’t know what other evidence you need.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Your a natural variability science denier Jim.

      • The Chief will not stop with misinformation cloaked as certainty. Scientists do not think and act the way that the Chief behaves.

        Take the Humlum article. Chief supports Humlum who claims:

        “CO2 released from anthropogene sources apparently
        have little influence on the observed changes in atmospheric CO2, and changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions
        .”

        There is much more wrong with the Humlum paper but this is a sampling:
        Kern, Z., & Leuenberger, M. (2013). Comment on “The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature” Humlum et al.[Glob. Planet. Change 100: 51-69.]:

        “A recent study relying purely on statistical analysis of relatively short time series suggested substantial re-thinking of the traditional view about causality explaining the detected rising trend of atmospheric CO2 (atmCO2) concentrations. If these results are well-justified then they should surely compel a fundamental scientific shift in paradigms regarding both atmospheric greenhouse warming mechanism and global carbon cycle. However, the presented work suffers from serious logical deficiencies such as, 1) what could be the sink for fossil fuel CO2 emissions, if neither the atmosphere nor the ocean – as suggested by the authors – plays a role? 2) What is the alternative explanation for ocean acidification if the ocean is a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere? Probably the most provocative point of the commented study is that anthropogenic emissions have little influence on atmCO2 concentrations. The authors have obviously ignored the reconstructed and directly measured carbon isotopic trends of atmCO2 (both δ13C, and radiocarbon dilution) and the declining O2/N2 ratio, although these parameters provide solid evidence that fossil fuel combustion is the major source of atmCO2 increase throughout the Industrial Era.”

        Contrast Humlum to Wang et al, who obviously were not foolish enough to make the complete attribution argument.

        Chief is a climate science denier.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There are multiple natural sources and sinks of CO2 and together they are orders of magnitude greater than anthropogenic emissions.

        Both the isotope and O2/N2 arguments are flat out wrong.

        Odd to be called a science denier for referencing peer reviewed science By an especially ignorant and abusive person at that.

        Webby is clueless about Earth Sciences. Wang et al first of all detrended and compared CO2, rainfall and surface temperature. They then use a model to look at temperature driving increases in atmospheric CO2 from tropical plants. Atmospheric CO2 changes lag temperature as has been suggested by many scientists based on biokinetics considerations. Humlum’s is a metastudy of the evolution of CO2 in the the atmosphere.

        ‘In general, we find that changes in atmospheric CO2 are lagging behind changes in any of the five different temperature records considered. The typical lag is 9.5–12 months for surface temperatures and about 9 months for lower troposphere temperatures, suggesting a temperature sequence of events from the surface to the lower troposphere.

        As cause always must precede effect, this observation demonstrates that modern changes in temperatures are generally not induced by changes in atmospheric CO2. Indeed, the sequence of events is seen to be the opposite: temperature changes are taking place before the corresponding CO2 changes occur.’

        I don’t quite know what to make of this as it introduces quite a few wrinkles. But it is peer reviewed science and Humlum’s credentials are light years in advance of webby’s delusional blog science..

        Webby is a virulent denier of science that doesn’t fit his activist agenda.

      • Swanson Sugihara & Tsonis 2009. I kind of get what they’re saying. Remove the SSTs component from the Global Mean Temperatures. They used SSTs as the best available data on natural variability. They lost me in the details. But the conclusion diagram 3 shows their results. Their dotted line shows, no effects from the Oceans. And suggest that that line shows AGW. “…which is monotonic, accelerating warming during the 20th century.”

        I think they are saying 0.7 degrees Centigrade for 100 years. Our contribution. I think they really advanced the definition of the problem.

        Did I see a great presentation here? We caused 0.7 degrees over 100 years, and at the same time, I read that we need to be concerned about AGW, perhaps even more so. Did they take a few tenths of a degree away and leave in its place a supportive statement? Okay, that’s a cynical view.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-shift-synchronized-chaos.htm The paper is discussed. I find his site useful in ways and I am glad that it exists. A quick overview of a new to me Scientist I am reading about. The other perspective. Perhaps unintentionally, it is an aid to a better understanding of the contentious situation. It’s interesting that there are no comments on this post made in March 2013 about this important idea. He seemed more reserved than usual in discussing Tsonis et al. He mentioned the support they gave to concerns about AGW.

      • WebHubTelescope

        Into the breach.
        Chief said: “I don’t quite know what to make of ‘this’ as it introduces quite a few wrinkles. But it is peer reviewed science…”

        This being Humlum writing about Temperature leading CO2.

        He qualified what he said. Qualified meaning had reservations, did not sign off on it as accurate, as an auditor does.

        I asked him his opinion of Humlum as I wanted help to know if I should trust his water vapor charts? I am not sure what to make of the issue you raised about Humlum and CO2? It’s an exciting area. Questioning basic assumptions or even proving them.

      • Ragnaar,
        This statement of Humlum is the equivalent of suggesting the emperor has no clothes:


        CO2 released from anthropogene sources apparently have little influence on the observed changes in atmospheric CO2, and changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.

        If what Humlum says is true, then theentire foundation of anthropogenic GHG-induced global warming crumbles to the ground. In other words, if CO2 emitted from burning fossil fuel does not contribute to excess CO2 as measured in the atmosphere, we are wasting our time with mitigation, since it is a pointless exercise to continue — if it doesn’t do anything, why try to reduce it!

        The significance of all this is that Humlem’s claim is a bold assertion to make, and bold assertions need strong evidence to back them up. Humlum has no evidence, only a correlation that is so full of holes as to be disregarded. How this made it through peer-review of a publisher such as Elsevier is puzzling.

      • Chief says this with no hint of irony :

        “I don’t quite know what to make of this as it introduces quite a few wrinkles. But it is peer reviewed science and Humlum’s credentials are light years in advance of webby’s delusional blog science.”

        So Chief don’t know what to make of it, yet earlier the Chief says “Humlum talks a lot of sense”.

        So you are saying that you don’t quite what to make of it, but it makes a lot of sense. Whaa … Huh ?

        That is The Chief in a nutshell: he doesn’t understand anything but that doesn’t prevent him from spraying his ignorant spew at everyone.

        Exactly what kind of fools do you take us for, eh Chief?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Humlum makes a hell of a lot more sense than webby – and I am still thinking about this relatively new paper. It is a sign of reflection and maturity webby. Try it some time.

        You can’t see how it got past per review? I can’t see how you tie your shoelaces in the morning. Perhaps Wilma does it for you.

      • You can’t walk it back Chef. Everything you say is a contradiction, and you have this Rainman propensity for telling everyone that you are an “excellent driver”.

      • WebHub:
        Okay agreed, they could have worded things closer to neutral given the significance of what they may have seen. One should keep in mind their peers and the current situation. I think Judith Curry called this a kind of interface. Which you’ve pointed out, now reaches to a paper’s conclusions because of the interest in these subjects.

        Thank you for pointing out this interesting approach. It seems if we can track the CO2 with enough precision, we’ll get closer to knowing.

        It’s been said we are acidifying the Oceans. Perhaps that explains where some of the CO2 is going.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The significance of the Humlum study is that the changes in natural CO2 fluxes to and from the atmosphere responding to temperature are greater than anthropogenic emissions.

        Changes of CO2 flux responding to temperature are quite uncontroversial. Natural fluxes are 96% of the total and human fluxes are 4%. There are many people suggesting that things are a bit more involved than webby’s simple minded groupthink memes.

      • WebHub;
        I think I am making progress.

        “First we construct a network from four major climate
        indices. The network approach to complex systems is a
        rapidly developing methodology, which has proven to be
        useful in analyzing such systems’ behavior. In this approach, a complex
        system is presented as a set of connected nodes. The
        collective behavior of all the nodes and links (the topology
        of the network) describes the dynamics of the system and
        offers new ways to investigate its properties.”

        “First, the major climate modes tend to synchronize at some coupling
        strength. When this synchronous state is followed by an
        increase in the coupling strength, the network’s synchronous
        state is destroyed and after that climate emerges in a
        new state.”

        – Anastasios A. Tsonis, Kyle Swanson, and Sergey Kravtsov

        The indices are searching for each other. They are trying to reach an equilibrium. The equilibrium strengthens and the more it does that, the more it wants to fall apart. The long term trend is towards stability, either warmer or coolor. If it takes 33 years to reach that stability, let’s guess that the push is 3% per year. I’d call that a slight push. Call it building either a cooler or warmer pyramid, that is limited by its height and eventually collapses under its own weight. Which one follows though? Cooler or Warmer? Maximum stability followed by maximum chaos. Perhaps they alternate because of the middle and deep Oceans. A transfer. Of course my bias shows me the books are balancing.

        One of the appealing parts to me is this network approach. A bigger network where more but admittedly incomplete data is added. They used 4 call them datasets. How about 5?

      • The Cheap Hydrologist is clueless about time series analysis and calculus. Neither Humlum or W.Wang were the first to note that CO2 increases as an integral lag term with respect to temperature. However, the integrated portion can not propagate for long, as the thermal mass overcomes its inertial lag eventually. At that point, the CO2 outgasses to its steady-state level — however the excess CO2 caused by combustion of fossil fuels continues to build up. Wang et al understand this, but Humlum, Salby, Chief and scores of other deniers don’t.

        Chief lashes out at me because I explain what all the educated climate scientists already know. He can keep lashing afaiac, since it dont phase me one bit.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Webby like many ‘blog scientists’ specialises in pseudo science that he then identifies with ‘good believer scientists’ as opposed to ‘evil denier scientists’. The fact that his simplistic and misguided notions have vanishingly little scientific credibility is something of course that he cant recognize because this would undermine the entire psychological construct. Holes in his unique scientific theories – and there are many – are routinely backtracked over with lies, calumny and misdirection.

        It is an interesting psychological study for someone – but for me it merely distracts from rational discourse. The fact that he routinely stalks me with mad rants is just annoying.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Ragnaar,

        With Tsonis we get into the theory of complex dynamical systems. They look for properties associated with such systems – specifically an increase in autocorrelation in the lead up to a bifurcation in the system and dragon-kings at the point of bifurcation. A bifurcation is an abrupt and nonlinear change to a new climate state.

        Dragon-kings were defined by Didier Sornette.

        ‘We develop the concept of “dragon-kings” corresponding to meaningful outliers, which are found to coexist with power laws in the distributions of event sizes under a broad range of conditions in a large variety of systems. These dragon-kings reveal the existence of mechanisms of self-organization that are not apparent otherwise from the distribution of their smaller siblings. We present a generic phase diagram to explain the generation of dragon-kings and document their presence in six different examples (distribution of city sizes, distribution of acoustic emissions associated with material failure, distribution of velocity increments in hydrodynamic turbulence, distribution of financial drawdowns, distribution of the energies of epileptic seizures in humans and in model animals, distribution of the earthquake energies). We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point.’ http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290

        Dragon-kings are otherwise known as noisy bifurcation.

        e.g. – http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~shs/Climate%20change/Data%20sources/Thompson%20tipping%20points.pdf

        The increase in auto-correlation in climate is discussed here.

        http://www.pnas.org/content/105/38/14308.full

        A similar idea with multiple indices is discussed here – http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/guest-post-atlantic-multidecadal-oscillation-and-northern-hemisphere%E2%80%99s-climate-variability-by-marcia-glaze-wyatt-sergey-kravtsov-and-anastasios-a-tsonis/

        In this case they are looking a links between indices.

        Apparently there is another one in this area coming out shortly that will ‘rock our socks off’.

      • So the dragon king idea is significant outliers from which we infer the existence of many smaller dragons. Would this relate to 1998?

      • RIAL, PIELKE, BENISTON et al. They seemed to suggest the GCMs don’t have much of a chance. “..it is imperative for the research community to adopt a research strategy that embraces the nonlinear climate paradigm…”

    • Are you still having salination problems?

    • Ragnaar –

      Just to let you know – Chief talks about respecting uncertainty out of one side of his mouth and then talks with absolute certainty when making predictions about climate on the decade level out of the other side of his mouth.

      IMO – that speaks volumes about how far to trust him.

      Relatedly, how good are you at throwing shape-shifting objects?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You are a pissant progressive idiot Joshua. Nothing but disingenuous trivia to show for all of your silly little snarks.

        Here’s my recent response to your silly little comment about my name is warming Latif.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/08/after-climategate-never-the-same/#comment-362202

        Here’s a quote – again – from a paper we were discussing. Which you haven’t read and cant understand because you are scientifically illiterate and incapable of evaluating anything other than on the grounds of motivated semantics. Yes?

        ‘Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed.’

        http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

        So when I say we are in a cool mode and these last for 20 to 40 years – this is merely a statement of fact. Theoretically – the system is wild and we may be surprised on either the warm or cold end of the spectrum some time in the future. But the pause is happening as hypothesized.

        So should we trust a scientifically illiterate, pissant progressive climate warrior like you? Or someone who actually has some knowledge and says that the the cool mode seems likely to persist for a decade or three more? Shall we ignore Latif’s model that shows cooling over the next decade? Shall we ignore the decline in TSI to 2020 in the 11 year cycle? Shall we ignore the quiet sun. Shall we ignore NASA and the wealth of science on decadal and longer variability?

        You are an utter idiot Joshua – but I suppose that’s par for the course for pissant progressives.

      • Chief –

        One minute you say it is important to respect uncertainty, and then the next minute you predict climate at the decadal level with absolute certainty.

        The evidence is abundant – just go back and Google that search string that WHT offered. Statement after statement from you predicting climate at the decadal level with absolute certainty – and quoting scientists in the process who would never support your unscientific treatment of certainty.

        You can’t walk it back, Chief

        But call me a few more names because I point out your unscientific treatment of certainty. That will clearly improve your integrity.

        Too funny.

      • Or someone who actually has some knowledge and says that the the cool mode seems likely to persist for a decade or three more?

        The point is, Chief, if you were consistent in making statements like that then you’d be adopting a valid and scientific approach to uncertainty.

        The point, once again (why do you need to have the simplest of points repeated over and over) is that you aren’t consistent. One minute you respect certainty and then the next you make predictions about climate on a decadal scale, with absolute certainty.

        You quote someone like Latifff but ignore when he says that the science doesn’t support making those kinds of predictions on a decadal scale with that kind of certainty.

        And then you have the gall to say what his name should be – in contradiction to what he says about himself?

        Get over yourself, Chief.

      • Here’s my recent response to your silly little comment about my name is warming Latif.

        And here is my response to your self-important comment where you decide that you know better than Latiff how he should interpret the science.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/08/after-climategate-never-the-same/#comment-362202

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Uncertainty is about the future Joshua – we can be certain of many things including your inane and disingenuous obfuscation.

        Uncertainty relates to the timing and nature of future climate shifts – not the 1998/2001 shift. We can be certain over all of the available proxies that these decadal modes last for 20 to 40 years. I hypothesized this a decade ago – it gets more certain every year.

        To willfully misunderstand the difference between the uncertainty of future deterministic chaotic shifts versus the certainty of a realized climate state is an indication of just what Joshua? Your wishing and hoping it isn’t so based on your scientific illiteracy?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Skill is improved significantly relative to predictions made with incomplete knowledge of the ocean state, particularly in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific oceans. Thus these results point towards the possibility of routine decadal climate predictions. Using this method, and by considering both internal natural climate variations and projected future anthropogenic forcing, we make the following forecast: over the next decade, the current Atlantic meridional overturning circulation will weaken to its long-term mean; moreover, North Atlantic SST and European and North American surface temperatures will cool slightly, whereas tropical Pacific SST will remain almost unchanged. Our results suggest that global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming.’ http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7191/abs/nature06921.html

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7191/abs/nature06921.html

        Latif is very much about decadal variability. ‘Pacific SST will remain almost unchanged.’ That is – the Pacific is cool for another decade. So you make a silly comment about sceptics suggesting that Latif was suggesting decadal cooling when his name was global warming. Without even the slighest acquaintance with hos work.

        Why should I bother with Joshua – you are scientifically illiterate and simply interested in making partisan points on trivial and tendentious semantics.

      • He’s mailing it in, but leaving off the postage lately.
        =================

      • Chief said:

        “Why should I bother with Joshua – you are scientifically illiterate and simply interested in making partisan points on trivial and tendentious semantics.”

        Joshua makes no claim to extensive scientific expertise, yet he demonstrates that anyone with an understanding of logic can see that claims of certainty on hypotheses that are UNCERTAIN is trying to pull a fast one.

        Like Joshua said, the Chief can’t walk this stuff back.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What is most important the science or silly little partisan snarks? What am I thinking it webby and Joshua.

        I hypothesize that La Nona dominated to 1976, El Nino to 1998 and La Nina again since? Or I hypothesize that these modes last 20 to 40 years. No – this is uncontroversial scientific knowledge. See for yourself.

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

        Do either of them have a clue?

      • You said with certainty that the earth will be in a cool mode for a decade or three. You can’t walk that back, as you are the one that made the prediction, based on nothing more than heuristics.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘2) Pertaining to the use of the general knowledge gained by experience, sometimes expressed as “using a rule-of-thumb.” (However, heuristic knowledge can be applied to complex as well as simple everyday problems. Human chess players use a heuristic approach.)’

        Rather it is an observation that the Pacific is in a cool decadal mode – these lead to surface temperature cooling without a doubt. The modes have a period of on average 30 years – but the characteristic periodicity ranges from 20 to 40 years. Again – observables.

        With La Nina intensifying and TSI declining for the rest of the decade – and perhaps a longer term ‘quiet Sun’ – it is a bit of a no brainer predicting at least 10 years out. Let’s call no warming ‘very likely’ – >99% probability. Initialized models tend to agree – those that haven’t been falsified with time. I’m sure I quoted Latif recently. Model ‘predictions’ not good enough for you?

        But really it might switch abruptly to the warm mode at any time because it is a coupled nonlinear system and thus inherently unpredictable? Is that what you are saying? I am not at any rate convinced that a switch to warm mode again is at all certain. History suggests that a cooler Pacific is more frequent on millennial scales.

        e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Vance2012-AntarticaLawDomeicecoresaltcontent.jpg.html?sort=3&o=70

        More salt = La Nina

        But by all means hang on to your delusions that ‘nothing is certain’ as long as you can. Congratulations – you have you discovered the uncertainty monster – now you only have to understand what it means.

      • It is certain that a forcing imbalance in the direction we are seeing leads to a heating of the system. Excess heat will lead to an increased temperature according to the heat capacities of the various compartments of the system.

    • Someone may have mislaid a few notes.

      For instance, there’s no mention of El Padre or La Madre, when El Nino and La Nina are discussed compared to normal for the Holocene. The last semi-permanent El Padre was during the Eocene, when camels evolved in the Arctic.

      Also, how could 1998 have been a reorganization to a cooler system, when post-1998 the world is so much warmer than pre-1998?

      This is a good time to exercise skepticism, and revisit premises.

      No one looks at the scene of single vehicle collision where the driver is drunk with a dozen empties at his feet and says, “Well, it’s a dangerous stretch of road, he could have swerved because of something natural.”

      There’s a known external forcing. That’s the primary driver of differences from natural. We’re not claiming nature is eternally benevolent by pointing out recklessness and negligence in the CO2E driver.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ENSO has persisted since the shoaling of the Isthmus of Panama. This is not going to change anytime soon.

        Also – have you crashed your keyboard as a result of reckless and drunken blogging?

        ‘These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s.’ http://heartland.org/sites/all/modules/custom/heartland_migration/files/pdfs/21743.pdf

        Well they have updated since then and the climate shifted again in 1998/2001. ENSO behaiour changed and the trend in surface temperature is cooling since 2002. Just as hypothesized.

  68. The outcome of CAGW policies is dramatic, yes, but effective. A brutal number of parents in developing nations (iows, out of sight) are right now burying their children so that the grandchildren they will never have let our grandchildren inherit a world all for themselves. This future world will be better (in CAGW terms) because those “extra” grandchildren of others will be missing from it.

    • So what are you doing to help them besides using their dead kids as a club to beat people concerned about climate change.

      Convince Eli first that you are going to tax yourself enough to get that cheap (not anymore) and available (cost of extraction is increasing exponentially) and make it available to the developing nations.

      • Eli, is their a project and funding to supply the developing world with windmills and solar panels to take the place of the fossil fuels and trees that they are burning now? How much have you contributed?

      • Convincing you is inconsequential. Preventing you from continuing impoverishing those that stand on the way of CAGW policies is all that counts in these matters.

  69. I am not sure I am sophisticated enough for this. I found the paper and am trying to make sense of it. Figure 2 is confusing me. Here’s a project, I say tongue in cheek, Kyle L. Swansona, George Sugiharab and Anastasios A. Tsonisa for Dummies. Thanks. I am going to try and figure it out.

    • Uff da, Ragnaar, you evidently haven’t been frequenting this comments section long enough to know who to rely on for objective discussion.

      Swanson and Tsonis have basically offered nothing more than a conjecture with no mechanism behind it.

      Chief practices a bizarre form of projection whereby he pushes cherry-picked memes by scientists like Tsonis and treats them as gospel, and then rails against anyone with the temerity to question any of it.

      People like Chief also use the kitchen-sink argumentation approach.
      They claim that excess CO2 is not man-made (ala Humlum), but if that does not hold, then they claim that CO2 is not an effective greenhouse gas, but if that does not hold, they claim that natural variability is the reason for warming, but if that does not hold true, they assert that warming will be good for everyone. That is not science, it is a sign of desperation.

      • http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-shift-synchronized-chaos.htm

        Do you see how SkS is not destroying their work? To me in my world, that shows some support and they may be on to something, and John Cook may be reserving his judgment.

        Appealing to Cook aside, “Due to its large heat capacity, the ocean is the likely source of natural long-term climate variability on interdecadal time scales.” – http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full – Tsonis et al.

        What they wrote appeals to me as getting to the heart of things. I have an Oceans bias.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Typically worthless and ignorant nonsense from webby.

        Tsonis and colleagues used a numerical approach on climate ocean and atmosphere indices conceived of as nodes of a network. The mechanism is deterministic chaos – tremendous energies cascading through powerful subsystems. The mechanism is control variables and powerful positive and negative feedbacks.

        e.g. http://www.unige.ch/climate/Publications/Beniston/CC2004.pdf

        As I say – ignorance of Earth Sciences and of complexity theory and a rejection of science that doesn’t fit the activist memes.

      • Yes, I disagree with Web’s claim they propose no mechanism.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘These shifts were accompanied by breaks in the global mean temperature trend with respect to time, presumably associated with either discontinuities in the global radiative budget due to the global reorganization of clouds and water vapor or dramatic changes in the uptake of heat by the deep ocean.’ ftp://starfish.mar.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pub/ocean/CCS-WG_References/NewSinceReport/March15/Swanson%20and%20Tsonis%20Has%20the%20climate%20recently%20shifted%202008GL037022.pdf

        Try this one first Ragnaar – http://heartland.org/sites/all/modules/custom/heartland_migration/files/pdfs/21743.pdf

        ‘We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior. The results indicate that this network synchronized several times in this period. We find that in those cases where the synchronous state was followed by a steady increase in the coupling strength between the indices, the synchronous state was destroyed, after which a new climate state emerged. These shifts are associated with significant changes in global temperature trend and in ENSO variability. The latest such event is known as the great climate shift of the 1970s. We also find the evidence for such type of behavior in two climate simulations using a state-of-the-art model. This is the first time that this mechanism, which appears consistent with the theory of synchronized chaos, is discovered in a physical system of the size and complexity of the climate system. Citation: Tsonis, A. A., K. Swanson, and S. Kravtsov (2007), A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts, Geophys. Res. Lett.,34 , L13705, doi:10.1029/2007GL030288.

        The mechanism in part is the change in behavior of ENSO and the Pacific more generally.

        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

        It doesn’t fit webby’s agenda and so can’t be processed in the groupthink limited psyche.

        Here’s one that is quite fun – http://www.clim-past.net/6/525/2010/cp-6-525-2010.pdf

      • JCH, I don’t usually like what you have to say, but I do this time. I’m gonna try to remember this the next time you make me gnash and moan.
        ==================


      • JCH | August 9, 2013 at 1:02 am |

        Yes, I disagree with Web’s claim they propose no mechanism.

        They have no mechanism for generating a continual rise in ocean heat content, with no sign of abatement. A “chaotic network” is a self-contained behavior and has no clear mechanism for allowing an external forcing.

        Heat is accumulating in the system and a Tsonis-like explanation completely ignores this fact.

        Chief Rainman’s obsessive desire to tell everyone that he is an “excellent driver” would be an indication that he is clinical, apart from the fact that he points to Tsonis all the time. Autistic people are self-centered and rarely acknowledge others; in Chief’s case this obsession is more likely a larrikin act of mockery of science.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘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

        The variations in atmosphere and ocean circulation changes – inter alia – cloud radiative forcing. Longer term they can feed into ice, snow and dust feedbacks that shift the planet between glacials and interglacials.

        Here a new cloud study that combines the International Cloud Climatology project and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer and validates these with sea surface temperature.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandLaken2013_zps73c516f9.png.html?sort=3&o=16

        http://www.benlaken.com/documents/AIP_PL_13.pdf

        Webby’s post hoc rationalizations that a chaotic climate doesn’t change albedo notwithstanding.

      • Hotter temperatures reduce the amount of ice and snow.
        That is a positive feedback.
        According Soden and Held, clouds are also considered a warming positive feedback

        There goes the Chief with the exaggerated certainty.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘However, the atmospheric circulation change linked to the reduction of sea ice shows much broader meridional meanders in mid-latitudes and clearly different interannual variability than the classical Arctic Oscillation. This circulation change results in more frequent episodes of blocking patterns that lead to increased cold surges over large parts of northern continents. Moreover, the increase in atmospheric water vapor content in the Arctic region during late autumn and winter driven locally by the reduction of sea ice provides enhanced moisture sources, supporting increased heavy snowfall in Europe during early winter, and the northeastern and mid-west United States during winter. We conclude that the recent decline of Arctic sea ice has played a critical role in recent cold and snowy winters.’ http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/pnas.pdf

        The other impact is on MOC.

        ‘Thus, we have now been able to test the ocean’s response to freshwater forcing. While the 8.2 kyr event is not an analog for what may happen in the future, a slowdown in the MOC is predicted by our model (and others) for a future world, partly as a function of ocean warming and partly as a function of increased freshening from ice melt and increased rainfall. As more models perform these kinds of experiments, it may be possible to narrow the uncertainties in the future projections based on how well they simulate the 8.2 kyr event.’ http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/legrande_01/

        Abrupt changes in MOC are certainly in the mix of potential changes in a warming world – regardless of the source of warming.

        The measured change in cloud radiative forcing is an order of magnitude larger than changes in greenhouse gas forcing over the satellite period. It also shows a step change in the 1998/2001 climate shift. To unthinkingly call it a feedback is nonsense. To dismiss the associations with ocean and atmospheric circulation as discussed by Norman Loeb et al is space cadet science.

      • Chief Rainman,
        Clouds work at night too.

        He would have us believe he is some sort of autistic savant, able to divine that clouds are the answer .. without having demonstrated any competent skills at mathematical modeling at all .

        Rainman is an “excellent driver”, he says so himself..

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The reduction in cloud between the 80’s and 90’s worked at night in increasing IR losses.

        Not interested in what the data says? Typical.

        Mathematical modelling? That’s what you call what you do? Frankly I call it loony blog science. You are not even on the B team webby. You are misguided blogger in a dark and dingy corner of the blogosphere. Your post hoc rationalisations serve only to confirm your preconceptions. That is so far from science – it is space cadet science.

      • Chief Rainman is an “excellent driver”, he keeps repeating.
        But no savant he, clouds act to retain heat during the night. So he says “The reduction in cloud between the 80′s and 90′s worked at night in increasing IR losses. ” Yet the earth experienced much global warming during this period … Is it because clouds are not that critical and are a second order effect at best? The Chief is always absolutely certain about everything.

        So he keeps repeating that he is an excellent driver.

      • 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…’

        http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf

        So cooling in LW and warming in SW.

        Less cloud equals more IR cooling as I said. Day or night.

        You are such an ignorant dork webby.
        ,

    • Web – papers are short. But in my opinion, Tsonis and Swanson think the oceans are being warmed by the enhanced greenhouse effect.

      • JCH, “But in my opinion, Tsonis and Swanson think the oceans are being warmed by the enhanced greenhouse effect.”

        I think it would be more accurate to say an enhanced “greenhouse effect” and asymmetrical ocean/atmospheric effect. In one paper they describe the “Greenhouse effect” as being amplified by natural climate shifts, making it hard to determine how much each is contributing.

        If you compare the average SST of the NH to the SH, the NH is warmer by 4.3C for the equator to 70 degrees.

        “Global” “surface” temperature varies with the meridional temperature imbalance and the zonal imbalances as well as “uniform” factors like TSI and WMGHG forcing.

        Tsonis et al. just provide a method to identify the climate “shifts” but not the cause of the shifts. Curry and Muller with plenty of others are looking into the impact of general asymmetry while Toggweiler and Brierley among others are looking into the impacts of asymmetric ocean heat transport on longer time scales.

        Webster is looking at work done twenty to thirty years ago and ignoring the present by selectively picking data while calling all the work being done on natural variability “voodoo science”, clown theory or FUD etc.

      • Cappy Dick,
        JCH has linked to this figure before.

        Care to explain it and who came up with it?

      • Webster, I think I have a few dozen times. Most of the longer term trend is recovery or regain of OHC lost during the little ice age period.

        That is the Oppo Indo-pacific warm pool with several instrumental data sets.

        For 1850 to present, https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Zt1oH-PdG38/Ubx-Yc4PFjI/AAAAAAAAIng/B7BvlEPm0kY/s809/giss%2520and%2520ersst%2520with%2520ipwp%2520baseline.png

        If you want to isolate most of the AMO/PDO pseudo-cyclic impact, just difference the NH and SH.

        The secular trend due to recovery is about half of the overall trend. By assuming that is WMGHGs only, you get twice the actual impact. By not making a dumb assumption, you get a WMGHG impact of ~0.8 C per doubling, recovery impact of ~0.8C for the instrumental period and about 0.4 C peak-peak pseudo-cyclic natural variability.

      • The graph is by Tsonis and Swanson and once the variability is removed, the trend matches a 2C sensitivity for CO2 doubling or a 3C sensitivity for doubling if a land temperatue record is analyzed.

        The problem with rednecks from the keys and yobbos from the outback is that they think they can bullrush the science.

        The aspect of Tsonis’s work related to variability is played up relative to the marginalized long-term global warming that he too supports. Yobbo larrikins twist the conclusions for sport.

      • Webster, “The graph is by Tsonis and Swanson and once the variability is removed, the trend matches a 2C sensitivity for CO2 doubling or a 3C sensitivity for doubling if a land temperatue record is analyzed.”

        And if I remove the shorter term variability ~60 years, I get what would be a 1.6C sensitivity if I neglect the longer term secular trend. If I consider the secular trend, the reason for comparing hemispheres btw, I get a total “atmospheric forcing” sensitivity of ~ 0.8 C riding on a longer term ~0.8C trend with +/-0.2 C of shorter term natural variability. You ASSUME, that after removing the variability that all that is left is wmghg forced “sensitivity”.

        As I said, I have explained this quite a few times. You continuously resort to land only to eke out your 3C and ignore the possibility that recovery from the little ice age did not magically stop circa 1945 and ignore that there was some recovery to at least 1945. .

      • You would think that old Cappy Dick would eventually learn that the ocean is sinking much of the heat that would ordinarily go into a temperature rise. That is why we use the land temperature.

        “You continuously resort to land only to eke out your 3C and ignore the possibility that recovery from the little ice age did not magically stop circa 1945 and ignore that there was some recovery to at least 1945. .”

        Well the data suggest that the cooling has been going on for 7000 years, and only recently has this started to turn around. Check this paper out:

        http://shpud.com/Science-2013-Marcott-1198-201.pdf

      • Webster, Interesting choice with Marcott.

        That is the Tierney et al Lake Tanganyika reconstructions, one high frequency and one low. The longer one has a spike at ~6500 bp and one at 12000 bp, just before Marcott starts his reconstruction. Notice how the 6500bp spike is higher.
        Nick Stokes made a comparison of the Marcott and author dating. The Tierney reconstruction is 66 np04-kh -3, -4

        http://www.moyhu.blogspot.com/2013/03/proxy-viewer-with-choice-of-dating-and.html

        Somehow Marcott managed to miss the start data and knock over a degree off the 6500 bp spike while he was creating his dimples. Now you could cut the guy some slack and let his 15 minute of fame die gracefully are restart the whole sordid discussion again.

        BTW, those spikes and the weakly damped decay following are part, of the problem that Chief mentions from time to time.

      • David Springer

        You’d think that Dr. Paul Pukite, a.k.a. webhubtelescope, would be bright enough to realize that the heat absorbed by the ocean which would “otherwise go into surface heating” is now removed from the short term equation because it has been diluted into a huge basin and can never again concentrate at the surface to cause significant warming.

        In other words the heat which might have raised surface temperature by 0.2C for 100 years after dilution in the deep ocean will instead raise surface temperature by 0.01C for 2000 years.

        Heat sequestered in the deep ocean is, for all practical purposes related to global warming in the next several hundred years, lost and gone forever.

        Do you admit this Webby? Gavin Schmidt and Judith Curry both have. Gavin’s admission means the consequences of the law of entropy in this case is so obvious that even I would note it and he won’t try to deny it.

      • Like he doesn’t know what smoothing does. Back to the books, Web.
        ============

      • It’s a travesty that that ‘missing heat’ doesn’t frighten the wits out of everyone.
        =============


      • kim | August 10, 2013 at 8:01 am |

        It’s a travesty that that ‘missing heat’ doesn’t frighten the wits out of everyone.
        =============

        Scientifically ignorant people are easily frightened by what they do not understand, and are not willing to understand.

        It is much easier to dribble out random little quips hoping that people don’t realize that being enigmatic is tell-tale sign of a superiority complex.

      • Nyah, nyah, a Marcott.
        ================

      • All that matters is more than enough is not out of the short-term equation.

        Trenberth was not talking about violating the 2nd law. That is just Trenberth smearing, an activity that is rampant on blogs.

        He was talking about ENSO.

  70. Marlowe Johnson

    silly rabett. even a 4 year old libertarin knows that taxes of any kind are the work of the devil. *free* markets are the way to salvation…

  71. Marlowe Johnson

    the lack of a meaningful reply from moshpit is duly noted. thank god the internets is forever. run away brave sir roger!

    • Steven Mosher

      take the models. put in the right discount rate.
      do your own damn science.

      • Marlowe Johnson

        keep digging moshpit. while your at it could you let us mortals know what the ‘right’ discount rate is when it comes to inter-generational problems like climate change.

        one wonders how you stay so humble.

  72. Willis Eschenbach

    Max_OK | August 8, 2013 at 1:34 am |

    Willis Eschenbach said in his post on August 7, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    Thanks, Max. The pollution from modern engines is very well controlled, I see no problem there at all.

    If you are talking about CO2, that’s a natural trace gas that has been repeatedly been demonstrated to be essential to life on earth. Calling a gas that is essential to life “pollution” is a corruption of the language.

    Well controlled ? Have you ever been trapped behind a diesel truck or diesel bus on a two-lane?

    Actually, I was comparing driving behind a MODERN diesel bus in the US or Europe, and an old bus, say the kind you find in the developing world … and yes, we have made great strides in controlling engine pollution. Sorry if my meaning wasn’t clear.

    Calling CO2 a pollutant annoys pollution advocates. It’s fun to annoy pollution advocates.

    How mature of you. Can’t say it helps your brand.

    w.

  73. Willis Eschenbach

    David Appell | August 7, 2013 at 10:30 pm |

    Willis, are you ever going to address you misunderstanding of ocean warming?

    I’m sorry, David, but which of my numerous misunderstandings were you referring to? It’s hard to keep them straight.

    No wonder you can’t get published anywhere but a paid-for denialist blog.

    You mean a denialist blog like Nature magazine?

    w.

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


      You mean a denialist blog like Nature magazine?

      How will Judith and Mosher EVER explain the fact that the Klimate Konsensus Kops let you get away with publishing that?

  74. Willis Eschenbach

    A fan of *MORE* discourse | August 9, 2013 at 5:48 pm |

    Willis Eschenbach claims

    “I know this stuff because I lived in the Pacific for seventeen years, and I know the situations, and I know the players.”

    LOL … Willis, we’re all looking forward to your WUWT/Watts-sponsored essay reporting On Sea-level Rise in Micronesia

    Nobody “sponsors” me, fannie, although it would be nice … heck, a good chunk of the time Anthony doesn’t even agree with me.

    So, when’s that essay coming out, Willis?

    It was published a week ago, Fannie. You really should do your homework before uncapping your electronic pen and blessing us with your unending wit and encyclopedic knowledge …

    And again, your jeering, sneering style, combined with your lovely floral displays, doesn’t do anything for your rep … you should really cut back on the weirdness, the hearts and flowers just make you look stupid. So unless that’s your intention, I’d ditch them.

    w.

  75. The original post concerned the dichotomy between GDP growth and CO2 emissions reduction. Most economic growth is in the emerging economies and depends on cheap energy from fossil fuels. Emerging economies used to cover the BRICs, but is now broadening to poorer economies. For all emerging economies achieving economic growth far outweighs concerns about CO2 emissions. Debate in forums like this don’t really matter much. Emissions growth is coming from emerging economies and they already account for the bulk of emissions. They cannot afford this debate.

    Within the constraints of the current world the only rational answer to reducing CO2 emissions is a source of clean energy that is cheaper than fossil fuel energy. A cheap, clean source of energy enhances economic growth in poor and rich nations alike and puts climate change back in the science box.
    Unfortunately this perspective is not widely understood or accepted.

    I have been promoting a cheap energy technology that involves no black magic and is pretty easy to grasp, though it does provoke instant skepticism. It’s feasibility can be quickly and cheaply demonstrated, and should it prove practical it can be deployed rapidly at large scale. In a rational world the benefit of cheap energy would warrant the small cost of demonstrating feasibility. After several years of failing to attract some interest from those in government or venture investment who would be expected to at least pay some attention, I fear that we are locked in to an acceptance of a status quo that is very hard to break.
    Believers, skeptics and deniers alike should all want cheap energy, Check it out at http://www.stratosolar.com . There is also a blog at the site.

    • Edmund Kelly,

      Within the constraints of the current world the only rational answer to reducing CO2 emissions is a source of clean energy that is cheaper than fossil fuel energy. A cheap, clean source of energy enhances economic growth in poor and rich nations alike and puts climate change back in the science box.
      Unfortunately this perspective is not widely understood or accepted.

      I agree 100% with all of the above. Like you I am surprised that, by now, most people who are concerned about CAGW haven’t understood or acknowledged this key point.

      However, advocating solar energy as being a potential solution is just as ignorant and irresponsible as the CAGW alarmists ignorance about where the growth in GHG emissions are coming from – i.e. the developing countries – and that their concerns are economic, not CAGW.

      Solar power has no realistic chance of being economically viable in the foreseeable future, if ever.

      If you haven’t already done so, I’d urge you to read the excellent book by David Mackay “Sustainable Energy – without the hot air“. In the preface he says:

      I am concerned about cutting UK emissions of twaddle – twaddle about sustainable energy

      You can read it online here: http://www.withouthotair.com/

      • I am familiar with Dr MacKay’s book and agree it is a good attempt at looking at the whole energy picture. By painting the impact of various CO2 free scenarios for the UK it highlights the impracticality of wind, solar and bio-fuels without being dogmatic. I use some of Dr MacKay’s material which he generously makes available to illustrate a StratoSolar based energy scenario for the UK in an introductory video on the web site.

        With StratoSolar I am not advocating current solar. If you make PV three times more effective, you reduce the cost of PV electricity by a factor of three. If you remove indeterminacy, you eliminate costs and losses of spinning backup. If you can put PV near where people are, you eliminate transmission costs. StratoSolar does all three. At today’s PV cost of around $1.5/Wp, StratoSolar electricity costs about $0.06/kWh in all markets without subsidies. That’s as cheap as electricity from dirty coal in China. PV is on a path to reach $1.00/Wp in several years at current volumes. StratoSolar electricity will then cost $0.04/kWh.

        As I said in my original post, cheap CO2 free energy is the only practical solution that can satisfy both GDP growth and CO2 emissions reduction. The StratoSolar concept is a speculative new idea that like all unproven ideas may not prove practical. It exists as a design at the prototype stage, where real engineering of all the elements of the system are at various stages of completion. It has many thousands of man hours of work and has been vetted by many competent scientists and engineers. Obvious worries like wind and lightning are well understood, though until it has been demonstrated the real engineering problems will not be fully appreciated.

        I have been pitching the idea for several years. Many engineers and scientists generally get the idea and understand why it is not science fiction and could work. They understand its risky and speculative and will believe it works when demonstrated, largely because of the unknown unknowns. Most everyone else just dismiss the idea as science fiction at best and just too far out to be even worth giving the time of day.

        Its actually a cheap project to demonstrate the technology. Because of the maturity of today’s PV technology its economics are in a pretty tight bounding box. I would have thought that the prize of boundless cheap electricity everywhere would have overcome enough skepticism to get the concept off the ground (literally and figuratively), but so far that has not proved the case.

    • After a quick look at your site, I have the following comments:

      Using IBM’s newly announced microchannel cooling, an amount of energy roughly equivalent to that produced as electricity is also generated as hot water, “which reaches temperatures of 90 Celsius (194F)“. The differential with cooling at the surface (0-30 Celsius) probably isn’t sufficient for useful energy generation, but the temperature of the lower stratosphere is another matter.

      The structures you’re proposing would be subject to considerable highly variable wind pressure. This could probably be countered by “smart” support technology which could vary the tension on internal members dynamically, in response to changes in wind, without it having to distort its shape in response to wind. Similar technology could avoid undue strain on the tethers.

      I would also suggest pursuing an alternative strategy of building inflated structures resting on the surface. That surface could probably be ocean.

      As I think of more, I’ll comment.

    • Edmund Kelly,

      Thank you for your comment and further information. I’ve now watched the 18 minute presentation on your website. Sorry for referring you to David MacKay’s book. I realise you have read it and refer to it. For background to my comments that follow, I was involved in program management, proposal evaluations, grant selection and monitoring and evaluation of many energy research and development programs in the 1990s.

      Most everyone else just dismiss the idea as … just too far out to be even worth giving the time of day.

      I am in that camp. IMO, proposals like yours are too far out in time and cost to be worth putting more than a small amount of money into. Our limited research resources should be targeted mostly at where they are likely to produce the greatest return on investment, IMO. Any new, large scale technology to generate electricity takes many decades to become economically viable and reach commercial maturity. Solar PV has been going for sixty years and is nowhere near to being economically viable for large scale electricity generation. It makes a token contribution to energy supply and only at huge cost and highly subsidised. Progress is slow. Twenty years ago Professor David M ills and other solar energy researchers were telling us: “solar power is baseload capable and cheaper than nuclear power now, if only the stupid government and stupid bureaucrats would give us more money so we could demonstrate it’. That was back in about 1991 (words to that effect). Professor David Mills, Dr. Mark Diesendorf and other renewable energy advocates have been restating similar messages ever since. They have been wrong all along, still are, and most people advocating economically viable solar energy are just as far from reality.

      I watched your 18minute presentation, but was left with more questions than answers.

      1. How will the conductors be supported? Can the buoyancy devices support the conductors?

      2. You say that StratoSolar would not need back up generators. That is only true if we have massive amounts of energy storage, and that is not on the horizon. You mention hydrogen, but that is not close to being viable. See costs of electricity storage here: http://www.electricitystorage.org/technology/tech_archive/technology_comparisons

      3. StratoSolar does not remove the need for transmission and distribution systems.

      4. Cables threat to air traffic. Who pays the insurance cost of aircraft crashes caused by hitting the tethering cables?

      5. LCOE of 0.6c/kWh is incorrect. LCOE refers to the total cost of the system over its life.

      6. We’d need to build about three times as much StratoSolar as nuclear capacity to provide the same energy output per day (because the sun doesn’t shine at night). Why do you believe we could build 3 TW per year of StratoSolar faster than the 1 TW per year of nuclear capacity?

      7. Have you looked into what learning rate could be achieved with nuclear if we wanted to remove the impediments we’ve imposed on it?

      If you make PV three times more effective, you reduce the cost of PV electricity by a factor of three.

      No. The cost of electricity is determined by the full cost of the total system, not just the cost and efficiency of the PV panels. My guesstimate is the cost of electricity from StratoSolar would be ‘stratospheric’.

      If you remove indeterminacy, you eliminate costs and losses of spinning backup.

      StratoSolar would not remove intermittency (i.e. night and day). This is the really big issue with solar power. We have no viable energy storage options, so we’d still need the full fossil fuel and/or nuclear generating capacity to provide power at night. So we’d save next to nothing in the cost of conventional power systems. We’d have to pay the full fixed cost of the conventional system PLUS the StratoSolar system.

      If you can put PV near where people are, you eliminate transmission costs.

      No. You cannot avoid transmission and distribution. You still need all of that. As your purple spots on the map of UK show, the StratoSolar would be tethered to the ground at the same distances from the demand centres as are the nuclear plants. Therefore, there would be no saving in transmission costs. Anyway, distribution is far more costly than transmission, and there is no saving on that. So no saving on transmission and distribution costs with StratoSolar. In fact it would probably cost a lot more because we’d need transmission system for the day time (stratosolar) generators as well as the transmission system for the conventional generators (for night time).

      StratoSolar does all three.

      No. It does none.

      At today’s PV cost of around $1.5/Wp, StratoSolar electricity costs about $0.06/kWh in all markets without subsidies.

      You haven’t included the costs of the system. The cost would be above $6/kWh not 6c/kWh.

      • Thanks for taking the time to understand the idea and write a reply. I don’t think a forum like this is served by too much discussion on topics not central to their purpose, so I’ll keep it brief. I’m always happy to discuss things in detail offline.
        1) PV is mature and improving very predictably, though still far from economic viability. We agree on this. You appear to believe solar can never be viable, primarily because of its indeterminacy.
        2) Co-generation at night is still required, but daytime fast reacting backup needed by current wind and solar is not. StratoSolar is very predictable but variable, not indeterminate.
        3) Clearly an electricity based energy system needs generation and distribution. I was referring to the additional long distance transmission needed by current wind and solar, especially as they scale up.
        4) The site is lite on technical and business details for IP protection reasons, but like I said, substantial engineering has been done, so basic things like power transmission, tethers structures etc have been designed and simulated in detail. If you dig deeper on the site you will see that insurance, airspace regulation, and methods of construction and deployment are discussed.
        5) We do understand LCOE. We assume 20 years at WACC of 8.5%, 2%/y for O/M etc. LCOE only usually refers to generation cost. For actual projects the financials are always much more detailed and complex.
        6) StratoSolar is fully automated mass production and assembly of many identical small things using manufacturing plants that are already proven at GW/y scale and easily replicated. A single site can easily deploy several GW a year. Nuclear is small scale manufacture of many different complex large objects with associated massive construction. Even with small modular reactors its years per plant. If it were SMR’s we are talking about completing 2,000-3,000 new reactors a year. I’m sure this is technically and logistically feasible, but it would face a lot of opposition.
        7) All complete electricity based energy solutions are far more than electricity generation. For a complete solution nuclear could not count on more than about 60% utilization and would need support from substantial fast load following supply to match changing demand. It would also have to provide a large scale solution for liquid fuels. Almost all electricity to fuel conversions use electrolysis as a baseline technology. Nuclear is no exception.
        8) A mature StratoSolar based electricity system would have an inverse of today’s price structure. Daylight electricity would be cheapest, then nighttime electricity, then fuel. Exposing true costs would influence energy consumption behavior towards daytime electricity. With a mature daytime cost of $0.02/kWh, nighttime electricity with any of the many competing large scale storage technologies should not cost more than 2 to 3X when mature ($0.04-$0.06/kWh), and fuel should cost less than today’s gasoline at $0.10/kWh. The cost of infrastructure for each source is included in their delivered energy costs. Transmission and distribution as a percentage of delivered electricity price should cost no more than today. There are some sankey diagrams on the site that illustrate complete energy solutions. http://www.stratosolar.com/sankey-diagram-electricity.html
        Sorry this ended up not so brief.

      • Edmund Kelly,

        Thank you for your reply. At this stage I delved into the details on your site. I’ll respond to some of your points.

        5) “LCOE only usually refers to generation cost. ” I am not sure what you mean by ‘generation costs’. LCOE by convention includes capital cost (including interest during construction), fixed and variable O&M. It should include owners costs, decommissioning and waste disposal. I would expect the capital cost is very high. You seem to suggest it would be less than ground based PV. I find that very hard to believe.

        6) “A single site can easily deploy several GW a year.” I’d need convincing of that.

        7) “For a complete solution nuclear could not count on more than about 60% utilization and would need support from substantial fast load following supply to match changing demand.” This is not comparing like with like. Nuclear can provide 75% of a country’s electricity with very limited load following capability and running at high capacity factors – as demonstrated by France ((including supplying power night and day). But StratoSolar could not come close to this. I suspect StratoSolar’s theoretical maximum capacity factor would be about 30% to 40% in summer and lower in winter. I notice your charts of energy generation for Spain, Germany, Sweden, China, etc show output for only March to October. How much would StratoSolar produce in winter? It seems to me that a country would still need full backup capacity for Stratosolar. So the only saving StratoSolar would offer is some fuel. If that is true, the cost of electricity from the complete system would be very high.

        “[Nuclear] would also have to provide a large scale solution for liquid fuels.” That is not relevant to this discussion about the cost of electricity. It applies equally to StratoSolar. It applies to any solution where electricity supplies the energy to produce liquid fuels. However, whereas nuclear power may be able to produce transport fuels from sea water economically http://bravenewclimate.com/2013/01/16/zero-emission-synfuel-from-seawater/ (especially with high temperature reactors that produce hydrogen), StratoSolar could not do this.

        8) “Exposing true costs would influence energy consumption behavior towards daytime electricity.” ‘True costs’ are exposed by free markets. If StratoSolar is viable, it will be developed.

        “With a mature daytime cost of $0.02/kWh, nighttime electricity with any of the many competing large scale storage technologies should not cost more than 2 to 3X when mature ($0.04-$0.06/kWh),”

        I’d take convincing of the daytime and nightime costs you quote. We have no economically viable large scale storage technologies. Pumped hydro is the cheapest but still hugely expensive and there is limited capacity for new development. There are no large scale storage technologies available, and none on the horizon. Without storage, StratoSolar can do no more than save fuel costs. In the cazse of nuclear, fuel cost amount to less than 5% of the LCOE (about 1% the retail price of electricity).

        I seriously doubt StratoSolar will become viable.

      • Edmund Kelly,

        Correction #1: My second sentence was intended to say: “At this stage I have not delved into the details on your site.”

        I’ve now read the front page and some of the FAQ. I can see you have put considerable engineering design work into developing the concept. Some of the questions and comments in my previous comments are answered in what is presented on your web site.

        Correction #2 – I see the insulation charts do cover the full 12 months.

        Most of my concerns remain.

      • I would break your concerns into two groups. The immediate concerns are engineering, economic, and political. These can be answered in a couple of years with a small number of millions of dollars. Success at this early stage would basically improve PV economics to where it would be immediately viable for cheap daylight electricity generation up to about 40% of the electricity market and make it viable in northern markets.

        The concerns about the viability of storage and synthesis technologies are longer term. There are a reasonable number of candidate technologies but the economic incentive to develop them currently depends on government subsidies and mandates which makes them too high risk for most investors. A source of cheap electricity would remove the dependency on government support. Given a decade of serious investment, I would expect one or more storage and/or synthesis technologies could be proven viable at scale.

        Once you cross the threshold of thinking StratoSolar is not pure fantasy and science fiction, the question becomes one of probabilities……risks and rewards. Say the probability of success were 10%. The payoff is potentially very big financially and for the climate. Say the cost to play were $2M. wouldn’t that seem a reasonable bet? If you were worried as some about our CO2 emissions, a 1% probability of success would be sufficient at such a low cost.

        Any new large scale engineering project has big risks. I have personally been at the engineering forefront of several very large, expensive, and risky system level technology ventures that I think were at least as risky as StratoSolar.

      • Edmund Kelly,

        Your web site is well presented.

        I agree with separating the analysis of LCOE into phases of pre- and post-economically-viable-energy-storage. My focus is on the first phase (pre-economically-viable-energy-storage).

        My questions and comments relate to the following:

        1. cost of electricity generation outside solar hours

        2. transmission costs

        3. cost of electricity from the total system

        4. air traffic safety.

        5. can the conductors be supported (especially with aircraft warning systems attached)?

        We have a solid baseline for the cost of a low emissions electricity system. France has been demonstrating it for the past 30 years – with 76% supplied by nuclear power, near the lowest cost electricity in Europe, fit for purpose (as demonstrated by the large exports to its neighbours), and CO2 emissions intensity about 1/6 that of Germany and Denmark (the claimed leaders in renewable energy). France has been generating low cost, reliable electricity with low CO2 emissions for 30 years. It commissioned most of its nuclear capacity over about two decades. The equivalent could be done in countries around the world, as they develop, with small modular nuclear power plants and ever improving designs if we remove the impediments that are preventing it happening. That is the benchmark StratoSolar needs to beat.

        Now let’s consider my five items listed above.

        1. Cost of electricity generation outside solar hours

        Without calculating LCOE for various generation mixes my guess is the cost of electricity outside solar hours would be around double the average cost of electricity from the existing conventional generators. More than double the cost for nuclear. Nearly double the cost for coal. Less than double for gas. No change for hydro.

        The reason for the cost increases is that the capital cost and fixed operation and maintenance costs would not change but must be recouped over less generation. The only saving is on variable O&M and fuel costs for fossil fuel plants.

        2. Transmission costs

        The full existing transmission system will need to remain to transmit power from the conventional generators (used outside solar hours) to the consumers.

        In addition, transmission will be needed from the StratoSolar sites to the demand centres. The StratoSolar sites will have to be away from cities and densely populated areas to reduce the hazard for aircraft. The transmission must be sized to carry the peak power output of the StratoSolar installation even though the capacity factor will probably average around 30%. I expect the total capacity x length (MW.km) of transmission would be around twice that of the existing transmission system (to serve the existing demand profile).

        All in all, it seems that the cost of the transmission system, with StratoSolar providing day time power and conventional generators serving the non solar hours, would be around double the cost of the existing transmissions system.

        3. Cost of electricity from the total system

        Putting it all together, I find it hard to believe that StratoSolar could produce day time power cheaper than nuclear (with mostly hydro and/or gas for peaking, like France). Even if it could, we still must add the cost of the generating system for out of solar hours. The cost of electricity generation would be near double for the conventional generators sitting idle during the day and generating only when StratoSolar is not supplying power. In addition, the transmission system for StratoSolar mustr be added. This can be expected to about double the cost of the existing transmission system (which has conventional generators mostly located close to demand centres and with its transmission capacity more fully utilised 24 hours a day).

        4. Air traffic safety

        I suspect air traffic safety concerns will be a major issue; likely a show stopper. It strains credulity to think cables hanging from the sky around all the cities in Europe, densely populated parts of USA and Asia will be acceptable. The first aircraft crash caused by hitting one of the cable would be like the Hindenburg accident for Stratosolar.

        5. Can the conductors be supported (especially with aircraft warning systems attached)?

        I expect you have done the bouncy calculations but I find it difficult to believe that they can support the conductors, especially with air warning systems attached.

      • I am surprised and gratified by your persistence.

        1) I did a model for a California near term deployment last year and it is on the web site at http://www.stratosolar.com/pv-california-deployment.html. This showed a StratoSolar deployment of 32GWp by 2025 combined with 23 GW of gas, down from today’s 33GW of gas. California’s MPR (average price California will pay) is $0.08-$0.10 over this time frame. http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/energy/Renewables/Feed-in+Tariff+Price.htm. This is at a gas utilization of less than 60%. StratoSolar daylight average LCOE over this period is $0.05/kWh. Gas utilization is reduced to 40-45%. and LCOE is at worst $0.09/kWh. So daylight electricity costs $0.05 and night time costs $0.09. Averaged over a year gas and solar each provide 30% of electricity, with hydro, nuclear and other renewables providing the rest. With StratoSolar the average cost is $0.07/kWh, without StratoSolar and with gas alone the average is $0.08-$0.10/kWh. Electricity is cheaper with StratoSolar and CO2 emissions are reduced 50%.

        On a national and world level the logical strategy for CO2 reduction is to first replace coal with a combination of solar and gas, and then target fuels. Coal and oil are the big CO2 emitters. At $0.04/kWh daylight electricity, synthetic liquid gasoline for less than $4.00/gal is a realistic goal by 2025.

        2) Transmission costs. StratoSolar will be situated within 100-150km of distribution centers. The flexibility of location is as I said a big advantage. The easiest way to calculate the extra cost is to add it to the power plant cost, as they have the same utilization. 100km-150km of HV transmission is about $80M-$100M, 2%-4% of plant cost and covered in the California analysis above.

        3) EIA puts advanced nuclear at $0.11/kWh. They are usually optimistic about nuclear. http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/e/electricity_generation.cfm
        France gets high utilization because it exports to England and Germany. US gets high utilization because nuclear is a small percentage. Nuclear power at large scale would be far less than the 90% utilization of most analysis. This would have a severe impact on its cost of electricity.

        4) Air traffic. Commercial aircraft operate in a highly controlled environment. They are monitored by air traffic control, and carry equipment to avoid terrain and each other. There are multiple redundant systems that seem to work. Aircraft don’t fly into mountains any more. There will be relatively few large StratoSolar systems which can appear as big mountains and as other aircraft. The probability of flying into a StratoSolar system should be less than flying into a mountain, which seems to be about zero these days.

        4) The tether is the strength element that carries the HV transmission line load and the considerably higher excess tension from buoyancy that stabilizes the system from wind forces. Its made from Kevlar or UHMWPE. It weighs about 15% of the system. Aircraft warning systems on the tethers would be transponders, radar reflectors and lights. These would be at about 500m-1km intervals and only weigh a few kg each at most, an insignificant extra load.

      • Edmund Kelly,
        I don’t think the idea will work from a very brief look.
        But I want a simple question answered.
        How much is the cost to keep a ton weight at that elevation per year.
        Assuming it wasn’t solar panels. Just weight- water or lead.

        And as comment it seems to me it would be better to beam the energy
        using microwaves- 20 or 30 km is pretty easy to do.
        I look for ref. Googling: beaming electrical power with microwaves
        Hmm. For very short distances:
        “A high efficiency system (84%) could be used to beam power to electric cars and trucks”

        http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/07/successful-prototype-of-10kw-high.html

        changed it: beaming electrical power with long distance microwaves + demonstration
        82 percent 1.4 km

        I know they done further than this, but I can’t remember the efficiency.
        One thing is from 20 km up one beams thru less air than 20 km across
        to some distance. I believe that I was looking for was over 50 km distance.

      • It takes 71.4kg Hydrogen or 142.8kg Helium, each in a volume of about 11,563 M^3 to support a tonne at 20km altitude in zero pressure gas bags. Leakage accounting for for the material permeability, the geometry of the gas bag, and the low pressure and temperature of the environment is less than .1% a year. Cost is therefore mostly the one time capital cost of the Hydrogen or Helium. Say $6/kg for Hydrogen, $15/kg for Helium. Buoyancy cost is then $430/tonne for Hydrogen or $2143/tonne for Helium. A rough estimate for lightweight PV panels is $50, 000/tonne. Buoyancy is a small fraction of total system cost.

        Between conversion losses at both ends, and absorption in between, beaming losses are about 50%. This would negate most of the benefit. If you have a tether, a power cable is simple. Beaming is usually combined with station keeping without a tether. Then as well as beaming losses you have the costs of motors and the power to station keep. Station keeping has yet to be proven practical, despite serious attempts by the military.

      • Edmund Kelly,

        Can you point to a full itemised engineering cost estimate for the system showing all components, quantities, unit costs and and total cost for that component?

        Who did the cost estimate and what are their qualifications?

      • You asked for costing information. Page 15 of this document itemizes 2012 costing of about $2.00/Wp. http://www.stratosolar.com/pv-article.html This was over a year ago. PV prices have since stabilized at about $0.70/Wp, down from the $1.00/Wp of this estimate, and we have a new detailed design of a more modular system we are currently prototyping which has allowed us to tighten our earlier cost estimates. We now expect to initially manufacture systems at $1.50/Wp and rapidly reduce costs over a few years to $1.00/Wp based on highly automated fabrication and assembly in volume. I co-ordinate costing based on inputs from our engineers and our prototype vendors. If you look me up you will see I have experience with leading several large complex system level ventures from concept through R$D to production, mostly computer systems, but also military.

        In your latest post you claim that government is putting impediments in the way of nuclear power. What impediments? As I see it nuclear power would not exist except for government support, and the government has recently provided more incentives. Investors will not build nuclear power plants. The incentives presumably don’t make it a sufficiently attractive investment.

        I met a senior Chinese energy official recently at Stanford who surprised me with the perspective that China’s ability to build nuclear plants is constrained by the number of suitable sites. The siting constraints are cooling and population density. Apparently the Chinese object to nuclear power plants in their back yards, so there is a degree of political constraint. China aims to build about ten plants a year, seemingly with an aim to get into the nuclear plant export business. Their current goal is 400GWe by 2050, out of a total of over 2TWe, only 20% of electricity. Given that Fukushima caused them to pause and re-evaluate, any serious nuclear accident in China will likely likely affect their enthusiasm. Once they get above 100 reactors, their odds of a serious accident is pretty significant, given that most of these reactors are planned to be PWRs.

        I actually think advanced nuclear like fast reactors and thorium are a good idea. A lot less waste and reasonably sustainable fuel cycles. The Chinese may develop these over the decade or more it will take. Its pretty clear that markets won’t and the politics of the USA seem to guarantee that any government supported progress will eventually be stopped by some political faction, as has happened repeatedly in the past.

      • Edmund Kelly,

        Thank you for your cost estimates. I will at them later. However, what I was really seeking was independent costings by an impartial, experienced organisation, such as EPRI or equivalent. I am sure you would be aware that the renewable energy industry has been highly optimistic with its projections for decades. So, independent estimates from outside the renewable energy industry are needed. Also, it is very common for people involved in promoting a system to greatly underestimate the total cost. You haven’t provided a persuasive answer to the issue of the aircraft hazard of cables hanging from the sky, and I see that as likely to be a show stopper.

        In your latest post you claim that government is putting impediments in the way of nuclear power. What impediments? As I see it nuclear power would not exist except for government support, and the government has recently provided more incentives. Investors will not build nuclear power plants. The incentives presumably don’t make it a sufficiently attractive investment.

        Renewable energy, such as solar and wind, would not exist without government support. The subsidies (per Wh of energy delivered) are many times higher for renewables than for nuclear. So the subsidy argument is invalid, IMO.

        You asked about government impediments in the way of nuclear power. The government is forced to excessively regulate and control nuclear industry because of the public’s widespread nuclear paranoia that has been built up by 50 years of anti-nuke propaganda. In 1990 Professor Bernard Cohen showed that regulatory ratcheting had increased the cost of nuclear power by a factor of four up to 1990 http://www.phyast.pitt.edu/~blc/book/chapter9.html I expect it has at least doubled that since. If that is correct, nuclear power has been made more expensive than it should be by a factor of about eight.

        It takes about 10 years and $1 billion to get a nuclear power plant design licensed. What other technology is so constrained by needing such a costly government approval system before it can begin to operate? This is especially concerning, IMO, because getting new models with design improvements licensed is also extremely expensive and long delays. So the industry cannot advance as fast as it would if not so constrained. The costs of these delays are huge:

        • Delaying the development of cheaper nuclear power
        • Delaying the rollout of electricity to those who don’t have it
        • About 1.3 million fatalities per year could be avoided if nuclear replaced coal fired electricity generation now, and about 2.6 million by 2050. Much more if electrification replaced dung and biomass for cooking and heating where people don’t have electricity.
        • Blocking the most cost effective way to reduce global GHG emissions (we don’t know the cost of that, but could amount to a difference of about 80 ppmv CO2 concentration by 2100 if we continue to block the least cost way to reduce global emissions)

        Retarding the development of Gen III nuclear power is slowing the rate of developing Gen IV and Gen V nuclear power plant designs. Eventually, these are expected to use as little as 1% of the nuclear fuel used in the current breed of light water reactors. Did you know that the recoverable energy in a piece of uranium the size of a golf ball is sufficient to provide all the energy a US citizen uses in their whole life – i.e. all the energy embedded in all the goods and services they consume throughout their life?

        Put it all together and there is virtually unlimited nuclear energy available, and the power plants are small for the amount of energy they produce. Years or decades of fuel to power a country can be stored in a warehouse, so the issue of energy security is virtually removed. Shipping of nuclear fuel for Gen III power plants is about 1/20,000 of the shipping for fossil fuels, and about 1 /2 millionth for Gen IV breeder reactors.

        I met a senior Chinese energy official recently at Stanford who surprised me with the perspective that China’s ability to build nuclear plants is constrained by the number of suitable sites. The siting constraints are cooling and population density. Apparently the Chinese object to nuclear power plants in their back yards, so there is a degree of political constraint.

        We can always find someone who says something we like to hear. Cooling is not an issue. Nuclear can use air cooling just as all thermal plants do; it increases cost by about 5%. A 2 GW plant requires about 2 km of coastline and there is n o shortage of coastline around the world. There is no realistic physical constraint to the amount of nuclear power capacity.

        NIMBY is due to widespread ‘nuclear paranoia’. Nuclear paranoia is irrational (nuclear is about the safest way to generate electricity). Nuclear paranoia is a result of 50 years of anti-nuclear propaganda. We need to get over nuclear paranoia if we want low cost low emissions energy to power the world in the future. It is inevitable it will happen, IMO.

        Your comments about Fukushima and accident risk I suspect demonstrate a lack of understanding on your part. Certainly, every nuclear incident is cause for mass media activity. It is irrational response and totally out of proportion to the real consequences. There were o radiation related fatalities at Fukushima and unlikely there will ever be any. Yet, still people like you run the usual scaremongering. Can I urge you to put the accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima in context with other accidents in the energy chain This site summarises some of the most authoritative studies: http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/06/deaths-by-energy-source-in-forbes.html

        In short, nu clear power is about the safest way to generate electricity. Development is retarded by nuclear paranoia which is caused by anti-nukes spreading the sort of scaremongering and propaganda you are repeating here.

        Yes, I know about the politics. But I am persuaded we will get over it whether or not AGW turns out to be a lasting concern. AGW is also a political issue and it seems we are losing interest in it. So, it will be the economics that decides when and at what rate we transition from mostly fossil fuels to mostly nuclear energy. I doubt renewable energy will supply a significant component of the world’s future energy needs.

      • Edmund Kelly,

        I note your optimism and enthusiasm. This is essential for entrepreneurs, and some such schemes do go through to be commercially viable. The vast majority don’t. The history of renewable energy advocacy is massive enthusiasm, belief and failure to deliver on the expectations. I’d suggest tempering your optimism with reality.

        I’ve looked at your simple analysis for ‘CA Summer electricity with 32 GWp Stratosolar’. Many of the numbers in your comment and in this analysis seem optimistic and unrealistic to me. Therefore, I lack confidence in the analysis and don’t have sufficient interest to delve into it any further. Here are some examples of what is making me unpersuaded and not interested in delving deeper:

        I don’t have the figures to hand to be able to check your LCOE analyses (and don’t have sufficient interest to do so), but they seem unrealistic to me. You’ve looked at an example for summer, but what is the situation for the whole year? I don’t know the basis for your assumptions about the gas utilisation rates. No mention of capacity reserve. Unrealistic assumption about a reliable, steady supply of ‘other renewables’?

        With StratoSolar the average cost is $0.07/kWh, without StratoSolar and with gas alone the average is $0.08-$0.10/kWh. Electricity is cheaper with StratoSolar and CO2 emissions are reduced 50%.

        I am sorry, but that is straining credulity.

        2) Transmission costs. StratoSolar will be situated within 100-150km of distribution centers. The flexibility of location is as I said a big advantage. The easiest way to calculate the extra cost is to add it to the power plant cost, as they have the same utilization. 100km-150km of HV transmission is about $80M-$100M, 2%-4% of plant cost and covered in the California analysis above.

        I doubt that you will get approval to have cables dangling from the sky within 100 to 150 km of the centre of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Normally we would not use HVDC for distances, but perhaps it is different given the PV supplies DC. I don’t know enough about this. However, if we assume 200 km at $1000/MW.km (rough average all included), the capital cost would be $0.2/Wp to add to the capital cost of StratoSolar (or about 20% on your figures). That must be applied to StratoSolar’s peak output, not the average output.

        3) EIA puts advanced nuclear at $0.11/kWh. They are usually optimistic about nuclear.

        They are usually optimistic about solar too. They have been highly optimistic for 30 years. Furthermore, the cost of nuclear will come down once we get over the radiation phobia and nuclear paranoia. Nuclear has the runs on the board already. It’s proven. Solar is not. So, the case for solar has to be made against that benchmark. What you have provided is more of the same sort of optimistic analyses that the renewable energy industry has been serving up for 30 years. It has to get over the credibility hurdle.

        France gets high utilization because it exports to England and Germany.

        No. That’s not the reason. The way I’d look at it is that if they weren’t exporting as much they’d have less power stations. The utilisation would be similar. They are lucky in having a lot of hydro capacity. But with less export, the hydro would provide a larger proportion of their electricity so utilisation of nuclear would be higher. The main conclusion we can draw from France’s electricity exports is it demonstrates that their electricity, which is 75% generated by nuclear power, suits what the customers want; – i.e. it is reliable and cheap. Exactly what renewable energy is not.

        4) Air traffic. Commercial aircraft operate in a highly controlled environment. They are monitored by air traffic control, and carry equipment to avoid terrain and each other. There are multiple redundant systems that seem to work. Aircraft don’t fly into mountains any more.

        That is the intention. But it is not always the case as is demonstrated by the air crashes that do occur. They still crash into mountains occasionally and occasionally the crew are distracted trying to solve a problem and fly around all over the place and occasionally until they run out of fuel (e.g. Seattle). Furthermore, what you said refers to commercial aircraft; it does no apply to light aircraft. If we have cables dangling from the sky it is inevitable aircraft will crash into them from time to time. As you said in your previous comment, it’s probabilities!! :(

        The probability of flying into a StratoSolar system should be less than flying into a mountain, which seems to be about zero these days.

        I’d suggest you need to get approval from the air traffic authorities before you mortgage your house to invest in StratoSolar.

        4) Aircraft warning systems on the tethers would be transponders, radar reflectors and lights. These would be at about 500m-1km intervals and only weigh a few kg each at most, an insignificant extra load.

        I would have thought they’d be spaced about 100-200 m intervals. How are they powered? What is the weight of the system to power them? What is the all up weight of 20 km of HVDC cable, tether and all the other things that must be attached to it? Are their censors and control systems at the top.

        I am afraid I am not persuaded StratoSolar is likely to be more than a ‘pie in the sky’ idea. I’d need to see cost estimates by authoritative bodies I trust, such as EPRI, before I’d be inclined to look any further into StratoSolar. I’d also want to know that USA FAA or whoever is the approving body has said that they would allow cables hanging from the sky and under what conditions.

      • “Edmund Kelly | August 17, 2013 at 12:59 pm |

        It takes 71.4kg Hydrogen or 142.8kg Helium, each in a volume of about 11,563 M^3 to support a tonne at 20km altitude in zero pressure gas bags. Leakage accounting for for the material permeability, the geometry of the gas bag, and the low pressure and temperature of the environment is less than .1% a year. Cost is therefore mostly the one time capital cost of the Hydrogen or Helium. Say $6/kg for Hydrogen, $15/kg for Helium. Buoyancy cost is then $430/tonne for Hydrogen or $2143/tonne for Helium. A rough estimate for lightweight PV panels is $50, 000/tonne. Buoyancy is a small fraction of total system cost.

        Between conversion losses at both ends, and absorption in between, beaming losses are about 50%. This would negate most of the benefit. If you have a tether, a power cable is simple. Beaming is usually combined with station keeping without a tether. Then as well as beaming losses you have the costs of motors and the power to station keep. Station keeping has yet to be proven practical, despite serious attempts by the military.”

        I guess I should said what is marginal cost and therefore approx price one would ask, if a party wanted to lease space/tonnage on the balloon.

        It’s impractical at 20 km up, but suppose someone wanted a billboard on the balloon?
        Or someone wanted to use balloon as cell tower. Ie:
        “PALMDALE, California — Bob Jones has a lofty idea for improving communications around the world: Strategically float robotic airships above the Earth as an alternative to unsightly telecom towers on the ground and expensive satellites in space.”

        http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2006/08/71625?currentPage=all

        I looked up some stuff on cell towers, max distance is 21.7 miles [34.9 km]

        http://www.statisticbrain.com/cell-phone-tower-statistics/

        Was wondering about lightning in in regards to wires- though ground towers have to deal with same issue. Probably not much problem [just wondering].
        Also I know blimp were in the past used for warfare, in terms of tethering to ground, but wondering if there are balloons already used something similar particularly at such high elevations.
        Anyways was searching for something and got above link and another
        not very related, but:
        “Softbank, which runs Japan’s third-largest mobile phone network, is experimenting with using blimps as temporary cell towers for use during natural disasters.”

        http://www.pcworld.idg.com.au/article/424360/japan_softbank_testing_blimp-based_emergency_mobile_phone_system/

        Here one more relevant:
        “Thanks to a GPS steering system developed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, the 60-meter long helium-filled balloon will remain stationary at 21 kilometres above the earth.

        A small-unmanned aircraft outfitted with a mobile phone antenna and other devices for transmitting digital data will be attached to the zeppelin. The X station has been equipped with giant propellers to help counter the almost constant buffeting from the wind. ”

        http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/Mobile_phone_airship_to_conquer_stratosphere.html?cid=5302646

        But I looking for something which had some operational experience.

  76. Pingback: Pensieri (e azioni) razionali | Climatemonitor

  77. This article may be of interest for participants in this discussion:

    Bringing values and deliberation to science communication
    Thomas Dietz, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 10 August 2013

    http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1212740110

  78. to insist on reduced fossil fuel emissions over concern about what might happen > 50 years hence, in a future world that we can hardly imagine, or to support energy equity in the developing world

    Like it or not, the reason much of the world has ‘failed to develop’ is the fact that they don’t have an abundance of inexpensively extractable coal to burn.

    Coal costs 6-8 times as much sitting in an Indian, African or Chinese coal port then it does being burnt in Wyoming,Neveda,Arizona or Colorado.

    So for the developing world the question really isn’t a ‘burn coal or be poor’ choice. (The Chinese have already well overshot their long term supply of inexpensively extractable coal and so have the Indians).

    The question is how to get energy for less then the price of importing coal.

    The UN Clean Development mechanism was ‘supposed’ to be the way to do that..but like all things designed by committee and approved by consensus it really didn’t end up working in the real world the way it was supposed to on paper.

    Eventually, China or India will ‘break the code’ on energy cheaper then coal.
    The developed world doesn’t have a very big market for new generating capacity so spurring innovation by legislating the destruction of existing capacity is the only plan that could work in the developed world…unfortunately…destroying infrastructure tends to make people poorer not richer.

  79. The data are out there (Wiki, etc.) to arrive at a realistic estimate of future warming due to growing CO2.

    Global human CO2 emissions are increasing, as population continues to grow.

    Where is the added CO2 coming from – from where will future CO2 increases come?
    Over 90% of the growth in CO2 emissions from 1980 to 2012 has come from nations that were not highly “industrially developed” in 1980 (EU, other Western Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, New Zealand)

    The per capita CO2 emissions of these “industrially developed” nations has decreased from 12.4 to 10.4 tons from 1980 to 2012 (by 19%)
    The per capita CO2 emissions of the other “non-industrially developed” nations has increased from 2.3 to 3.8 tons from 1980 to 2012 (by 65%)

    The per capita CO2 generation in China has increased from around 1.0 tons in 1980 to around 7.9 tons in 2012.
    The per capita CO2 generation in India has increased from around 0.5 tons in 1980 to around 1.6 tons in 2012.

    The per capita CO2 generation in coal-rich South Africa has increased from around 8.0 tons in 1980 to around 9.3 tons in 2012.

    On the other hand, the per capita CO2 generation in sub-Saharan Africa (excl. South Africa) actually decreased from just over 0.4 tons in 1980 to around 0.3 tons in 2012, as population grew more rapidly than economic development.

    The “industrially developed nations” represented 18% of the world population in 1980

    The same “industrially developed nations” represented 14% of the world population in 2012
    Projections

    World population is expected to reach 10,854 million by 2100 (latest UN estimates)

    This represents an exponential growth rate of 0.48% pa, as compared to a 1980-2012 growth rate of 1.47% pa (around one-third the past growth rate).

    The “industrially developed nations” are expected to grow in population from around 1 billion in 2012 to around 1.2 billion by 2100 (~20%)
    The “non-industrially developed nations” are expected to grow in population from around 6.1 billion in 2012 to around 9.7 billion by 2100 (~60%)

    Assuming no global climate initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions are actually implemented:
    Per capita CO2 emissions of the “industrially developed nations” will most likely continue to decrease slightly in the future, from today’s 10.4 to a future 9.5 tons CO2 by 2100 (a further 8.5%)

    Including continued future growth in China, India, etc., the per capita CO2 emissions of the “non-industrially developed nations” should continue to increase sharply in the future, from today’s 3.8 to a future 5.7 tons CO2 by 2100

    On this basis, the global per capita CO2 emissions would increase by around 30% from today to 2100

    This will result in estimated cumulative CO2 emissions of ~4,000 tons from today to 2100, with atmospheric CO2 rising to around 650 ppmv (an all-out switch to nuclear rather than coal or gas for new power plants could reduce this by around 60 to 80 ppmv).

    Using the estimates for 2xCO2 climate sensitivity from latest observation-based studies (1.8ºC), this would result in future global warming of around 1.3ºC (no all-out switch to nuclear).

    If we use the previous model-based estimates from IPCC AR4 (3.2 ºC), this would result in future global warming of around 2.3ºC.

    This does not appear to be anything to get too excited about.

    So it appears that improving the quality of life of the very poorest nations by affording them access to an energy infrastructure, which will supply them with reliable, low-cost energy (such as we have today), would actually be the highest priority, even if this must be based primarily on low-cost fossil fuels until cost competitive non-fossil fuel alternates can be developed.

    Max

    • Manacker,

      It seems the level of activity in the English speaking media throughout the world supports what you say. Interest in climate change – in terms of media activity, blogs, tweets and YouTube videos – has halved over the first 7.6 months of 2013 (see the Activity Timeline here: http://climatechange.carboncapturereport.org/cgi-bin/topic )

      Similarly, the media activity on Carbon Credits, Alternative Energy, Wind power has been declining since Copenhagen Conference and especially throughout 2013 – see the activity Timeline charts:

      Carbon Credits:

      http://carboncredits.carboncapturereport.org/cgi-bin/topic?

      [By the way, the spike at July 10, 2011, was when the Australian Government announced legislated it's carbon tax]

      Alternative Energy:

      http://alternative.carboncapturereport.org/cgi-bin/topic?

      Wind energy:

      http://wind.carboncapturereport.org/cgi-bin/topic?

      Ah well, at the rate the media activity is declining, it’ll all be over next year.

      What will be next?

    • “it appears that improving the quality of life of the very poorest nations … would actually be the highest priority” Clearly, those who want emissions cuts to “save the planet” don’t give much weighting to the well-being of the huddled masses. The decision by many governments to give such a high priority to dealing with alleged CAGW at great cost for little impact was always bizarre, many of the measures adopted are far more bizarre, the costs per tonne of emissions saved have often been horrendous. As you calculate, the threat, if any, does not seem to be extreme, let us hope that sense can prevail. Although in the current Australian election, both major parties plan to continue spending huge amounts on useless schemes.

      • Faustino,

        +1

        I agree with all, and add a few points.

        Although in the current Australian election, both major parties plan to continue spending huge amounts on useless schemes.

        I agree. Two that come to mind on the ‘conservative’ side are the Renewable Energy Targets ($5 billion per year) and the Paid Parental Leave scheme ($5 billion per year paid to a select few and paid for by a tax on my superannuation!).

        the costs per tonne of emissions saved have often been horrendous.

        Dead right. Residential solar PV costs about $600/tonne CO2. Wind power about $100/tonne CO2.

        How ridiculous is that?

      • An Extraordinary Popular Delusion and Madness of the Crowd. I expect we’ll build antibodies to the infection, but the narrative influenza evolves new surface antigens regularly.
        ==================

      • Since I did the following back-of-an-envelope calculation for someone (in Qld) last night, I’ll post it here in case anyone is interested.

        CO2 abatement cost with wind power

        We can roughly estimate the cost per tonne CO2 avoided by wind power as follows:

        Average Cost of electricity from existing coal plants = $30/MWh
        Average Cost of electricity from wind farms = $110/MWh
        Difference = $80/MWh (this is the subsidy we are paying to reduce CO2 emissions from electricity generation)

        How much emissions do we cut for $80/MWh?
        Coal plants average across the NEM (eastern Australia grid) = 1 t CO2 /MWh
        Wind farms = 0 t CO2/MWh
        Difference = 1 t CO2 /MWh

        But, if we assume the same effectiveness as in Ireland, wind is just 53% effective at abating emissions per MWh. Therefore:
        Wind farms reduce 0.53 t CO2 /MWh

        Now, calculate the CO2 abatement cost with wind power (and compare with the carbon tax)

        $80/MWh / 0.53 t CO2/MWh = $150/t CO2

        That is more than 25 times the European carbon price and more than six times the Australian carbon tax.

        Wind power proponents argue about the figures, but one of the the important inputs – the amount of CO2 emissions avoided by wind power in the NEM is not known. The AEMO figures we are told to use are of no use for this calculation; the emissions factors are estimated averages per power station, not per unit, not related to the output of each unit. (I can provide more explanation if anyone wants to know).

      • It’s also odd that carbo-phobes seem unconcerned with the dung, branches, twigs, kerosene, and raw coal burnt daily by billions of the poor. But it never was about the carbon, was it?

        With our Liberal/Nats in Oz, planet saving is about observing the usual green pieties: such as endless tree plantings which will be like delicatessens for wallabies – till the next big fire cycle.

        With Labor and the Greens it’s about tieing our energy policy to Europe’s carbon price. Maybe they think that nations who loathe and distrust one another as much as the Europeans will keep the carbon price in the toilet so Germany will keep burning its lignite and keep buying the drinks. On the other hand, nuclear France, the biggest net exporter of electricity in the world, would love a carbon price up to the ceiling. But then they might have to buy the drinks. Decisions, decisions! What to regulate and manipulate next, in the free carbon market!

        And into this snakepit of sophistication and nuance, Labor and the Greens would lead us.

    • Manacker,

      with atmospheric CO2 rising to around 650 ppmv (an all-out switch to nuclear rather than coal or gas for new power plants could reduce this by around 60 to 80 ppmv).

      You have explained the assumptions and calculation of this previously, but I don’t remember the details. Would you mind laying it out again?

      In one way it seems to be in the right ball park (compared with Nordhaus figures; I’ll post below). However, your assumption: “all-out switch to nuclear rather than coal or gas for new power plants” is more restrictive e that what I’ve been thinking.

      My (optimistic) assumption is as follows:

      1. Developed countries, especially USA, will remove the impediments that are making nuclear power more expensive than it could and should be, which is retarding faster rollout and development (mostly for emerging economies)

      2. The cost of electricity will decrease compared with fossil fuels and will be come steadily cheaper

      3. Nuclear power will replace fossil fuel electricity generation when it is projected that nuclear will provide cheaper electricity over the life of the power station

      4. All existing fossil fuel power stations will be replaced with nuclear by the time they reach the end of their design lives (about 40 years for coal and 30 years for gas); therefore, most fossil fuel electricity generation will be replaced by nuclear by about 2060.

      5. Electricity will substitute for some gas used in heating (industrial, commercial and residential) and substitute for some oil used for land transport (by a electric vehicles and fuels produced with cheap electricity)

      6. Taken all together, nuclear will reduce emissions from burning fossil fuels by 50% by 2060.

      7. By the end of the century energy generated from nuclear power will have largely replaced fossil fuels.

      That is my (optimistic, achievable) scenario.

      Is your estimate of potential 60-80 ppmv reduction based on these assumptions?

      Below, I’ll post my sanity check of your figures based on Nordhaus figures.

      • Sanity check of Manacker’s 60-80 ppmv reduction in CO2 concentration:

        Figures from Nordhaus “A Question of Balance”, Table 5-7, p103,

        http://www.econ.yale.edu/~nordhaus/homepage/Balance_2nd_proofs.pdf

        BAU is ‘250-year delay’ policy. Concentration in 2100 = 685.9 ppm

        ‘Low-cost backstop’ policy; concentration in 2100 = 340.3 ppm

        Difference = 345.6 ppm

        The ‘‘Low-cost backstop’ policy means:

        … a technology or energy source that can replace all fossil fuels at current costs.

        This is not available now. However, it may be developed and implemented over the course of the century. I’ve explained in my previous comment how I envisage it could happen. For the sake of the exercise, I’ll assume we transition over the course of the century and overall achieve a result equivalent to 25% ‘Low-cost backstop’ and 75% BAU. In that case, the policy would reduce CO2 emissions in 2100 by 25% x 345.6 ppm = 86 ppm.

        Same ‘ball-park’ as Manaker’s estimate of 60-80 ppm

        Therefore: Max_CH is OK!

  80. Renewable energy’s proportion of total energy has declined from 95% in 1800 to 13% today: http://www.thegwpf.org/bjorn-lomborg-decline-renewable-energy/

    The trend will probably continue. It is inconceivable it will be reversed.