Politics of the 2C target

by Judith Curry

The modification of the 2C climate target will put an end to the vision of a “science-based” climate policy – Oliver Geden

‘Avoiding dangerous climate change’ is essentially  synonymous with limiting the average global surface temperature increase over 2C of pre-industrial average.  A major focus of climate science has been identifying the level of CO2 below which we can avoid this dangerous 2C increase – this level has previously been set at 550 ppm, I’m not exactly sure what the latest ‘consensus’ value is.  These numbers have been hard-wired into international climate policy.

Two previous threads at Climate Etc. discussed ‘dangerous’ climate change:

Oliver Geden of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) has written a provocative essay on this topic entitled Modifying the 2C target.  In today’s Guardian Geden has an article:  Climate change – what next after the 2C boundary?  Extensive excerpts:

It is highly doubtful that the international community will be able to agree on a treaty that would commit all industrialised countries and emerging economies to binding emissions reduction targets by the end of 2015.

With global emissions still rising, it is even more unlikely that such an agreement would be compatible with the overarching target of international climate policy: to limit the global mean temperature increase to 2° Celsius above pre-industrial levels, which is considered to be the threshold to “dangerous climate change“.

Nobody really wants to talk about the coming failure of the 2°C target. But from a political point of view it is pretty clear that a target that is considered to be unattainable cannot fulfill either a positive symbolic function or a productive governance function. Thus, the 2°C target will have to be modified eventually. Such a process is not only risky for the EU as a global climate policy leader; it also entails troubling consequences for scientific policy advice.

For almost two decades, the 2°C target has served as a common reference point for climate policy and climate science, as a “boundary object” that allows these two different spheres to communicate and interact productively. Efforts to raise the status of climate policy have gained scientific legitimacy, while climate research has found a growing political consensus and increased societal relevance, reflected not least of all in significantly improved funding.

Basically, there are three modification options. World leaders could either allow the 2°C target to become a benchmark that can be temporarily overshoot, accept a less stringent target, or give up on a global stabilisation objective altogether.

The impending necessity to reinterpret or even revise the 2°C target primarily marks a fundamental failure of international climate policy. But it also highlights the failure of scientific policy advice.

What seemed to be a non-negotiable planetary boundary will be subject to (more or less publicly visible) renegotiation.

The problem-centred modes of extensive environmental governance associated with the carbon budget approach are ultimately unfeasible politically. Its key weakness is the lack of consideration of crucial political factors, in particular the ways multilateral organisations, national governments, and political parties actually work.

In the process of modifying the 2°C target, climate policy will tend to “politicize” while climate science will tend to “scientise”. The EU will no longer be able to count on climate scientists to support its international climate policy preferences. At the same time, climate scientists will have to accept that their relatively privileged status will be limited to the areas of media access and research funding, whereas their political influence will be no greater than the influence of scientists in other policy areas.

In the near future, scientific policy advisors will have to carefully re-examine their role. When appearing in the media or before parliamentary committees, they should not attempt to distill the enormous volume and range of climate research into explicit demands for political action. Rather, they should restrict themselves to presenting the conditions and consequences of specific policy alternatives (pdf).

The history of the 2°C target clearly demonstrates that the establishment of an absolute climate target contributes little to effective risk management if major emitters refuse to actually implement corresponding measures because the reduction paths appear too ambitious to them.

Furthermore, unrealistic pledges send the signal that they can be disregarded with few political or reputational consequences. A more pluralistic approach in scientific advice to climate policy makers could result in a more pluralistic understanding of legitimate policy options.

JC comments

This collision between climate predictions and emissions stabilization policies with observations of climate change and political realities has potentially huge ramifications not only for climate policy and climate science, but also broader implications for the interface between science and policy.

How we landed in this mess has been the subject of a number of previous posts at Climate Etc. and also in my Congressional testimonies:

In a nutshell: oversimplification of both the problem and solution in context of a consensus to power approach, plus failure to actually clarify the meaning of ‘dangerous climate change.’

This collision is in progress; Geden makes interesting predictions as to where the pieces will land.  Your thoughts?

333 responses to “Politics of the 2C target

  1. “In a nutshell: oversimplification of both the problem and solution in context of a consensus to power approach, plus failure to actually clarify the meaning of ‘dangerous climate change.’”

    Both of which were intentional. Oversimplification and failure to clarify are two mainstays of the obscurantist.

    I disagree with the “consensus TO power approach” line, however. This was a consensus ordered, and paid for, BY power.

    • David L. Hagen

      The critical failure was ramming through “Mitigation” without the policy debate contrasting Adaptation. Now politicians are being coerced into imposing on the public costs/benefits of about 100:1. This is the empitomy of worshipping nature with no consideration for the catestrophic impacts of these disasterous mitigation policies on the poor. Higher CO2 and higher rainfall appear to provide major benefits for the developing countries to grow the food needed to support their growing populations.

      • “impacts of these disastrous mitigation policies on the poor”

        What matters more than “the poor” (or the costs of the mitigation policies) is their RESULT, or the amount of “mitigation” (i.e. emission reduction) achieved.
        This result is exactly zero.
        That is not an estimate, evaluation or model projection. This is a FACT.

    • David L. Hagen

      For Costs/Benefits, see: 50:1 should now be 100:1

    • Those analyses are bogus because they don’t tell you that this money goes into the GDP anyway. That is, it is spent, not taken out of the economy. Anyway the new Australian policy will also be 5% mitigation, and no one complains because, from what I can see, the government will now pay the relevant industries directly out of its own funds, which come from…(?)

      • So you failed your upper level econ courses Jim D.

        Or are getting economic advice from Max OK.

      • The 5% target will be dumped before we get to 2020. We can’t do much GHG emissions reductions until we can get low cost small nuclear power plants. That’s a way off.

      • Jim D. I’m having this same discussion with another liberal. You are basically asking “Isn’t building Pyramids a good idea?” Well, it’s a better idea than having people sit on their butts, because in the end you have something to look at. But the idea that doing something of no value but getting value for it is a bad idea. Because it depletes value from the system.

      • So you’re one to think paying 1 million people to dig a ditch with spoons is better for society than paying 1 person with a bulldozer to dig it? There is a difference between money and material wealth. Funding a climate change battle sucks potentially creative and productive resources away from doing something useful for society into futile and irrelevant bureaucratic activity.

    • “Those analyses are bogus because they don’t tell you that this money goes into the GDP anyway. That is, it is spent, not taken out of the economy. ”
      That’s a specious argument Jim D. The problem with government taking money is that the money is spent in an inefficient manner. Some of it goes to fraud.

      If the private sector invests the money, it is careful because private entities don’t like to lose their own money. Government has no such incentive to be careful with the money.

      If private entities spend money, it will be spent on something to generate goods and services people want. And the amount of money taken to generate said goods and services will be minimized so as to maximize profit. This means the consumer gets the goods at the best price and the business has capital to expand.

      Also, the people who wisely invest their capital or run the business efficiently are rewarded according to how well they do their jobs.

      Not so with government. Government takes money at the point of a gun and couldn’t care less if it does a good job or not.

      • As far as I can tell, the government is still spending the money, but now without a revenue stream to pay for it. Maybe someone can explain. I don’t know this new government’s plan very well. Hopefully they do.

      • On what planet does this private sector exist because it sure as H ain’t on earth?

      • Well, JHC, I guess you are right. The once vaunted private sector has gone the way of the unicorn. Now it’s the Goviness Sector.

  2. Numerical targets are the bastard offspring of management by objectives. We can thank the MBA/MPA craze for this. Another example of numerical targets becoming a substitute for problem solving is affirmative action.

    This is what we end up with when we think we can substitute algorithms for management.

    • You are being harsh on MBA’s. If it wasn’t for MBA’s would would spot the need for the Logo to be changed and for all the stationary/signs and websites to be changed?

    • No, it’s politics and politicians that demand arbitrary numerical targets, which give meaty-sounding rhetoric to airy ideas. Other disciplines often have non-political purposes for them.

  3. Climate scientists pushed have pushed linear policies to solve a non-linear problem. Even if policies somehow succeed in reducing CO2, we’d be in the position of the surgeon saying, “The operation was a success, but the patient died” – more poverty, more inequity, and more wasteful government.

    • But that was their goal all along. Do you really think they wanted to “fix” the planet? If so, why do they keep saying one thing and always achieving another without changing what they plan to do about what they say?

  4. Geden is simply working what is in effect a science fiction story premise:
    That >550 ppm yields >2.0o C increase, which yields apocalyptic climate change; and that mankind’s CO2 is responsible for this.
    Geden seems concerned that backing away from this science fiction premise into something more aligned with reality is somehow a bad thing.
    JC SNIP

  5. Perhaps if people worried about atmospheric CO2 levels could encourage a switch to less polluting electrical base-load generation

    Source; Grams CO2/kilowatt-hour
    Hydro-electric; 4
    Nuclear; 6
    Wind Power; 13
    Solar/PV; 105
    Natural Gas; 465
    Coal; 909
    Wood/biomass; 1,5000

    So a mix of Nuclear/Hydroelectric is the way to for the environmentalists.

    • Atmospheric oxygen levels are falling.
      It takes three O2 molecules from our atmosphere for each CO2 molecule we create from burning carbon. Think of it this way, every time we burn carbon we are sequestering three oxygen molecules from the atmosphere for 3-5 human generations. It’s possible the biosphere will react before humans notice any changes.

  6. How to be desperately beside the point without half trying. The last two degrees of warming have given humanity massive net benefit, as will the next two degrees, if we get them.
    ==================

    • Nah, the last two degrees of warming of warming have been a net benefit to insects, fungi, bacteria, and viruses, most of which aren’t of benefit to humanity. Thanks to science we have been outwitting pests and diseases, but with more warming who knows?

      • BTW, “warming of warming” is one degree of warming followed by another degree of warming.

      • Specist!

      • Once again Max, you’ve demonstrated for all the world your unimpeachable objectivity. Who cares about things like longer growing seasons and basic human comfort, Let em eat cake, right Max? As long as it’s frozen cake.

      • DocMartyn, bug hugger. HA HA !

      • pokerguy, the farmer. HA HA !

        Crops are pretty well adapted to the growing seasons we have.

        Longer growing season + hotter weather = higher yields?

        Nope, if that were the case, greenhouse operators would just keep turning up the heat, and there would be no need to air-condition greenhouses.

        If that were the case, greenhouse operators would just tur

      • Pay my sentence fragments no mind.

      • Max

        it is not just your sentence fragments we pay no mind to.

      • Max_OK

        Looks like they didn’t teach you much history back there in Oklahoma.

        As far as past 2C of warming (since the depths of the LIA around 1650 or so) I’d say that this warming has been a major boon for humanity, while “insects, fungi, bacteria, and viruses” haven’t done so well.

        More recently, crop yields were up 2.4x from 1970 to 2010, while CO2 was up 20% and (globally and annually averaged) temperature was up by around 0.5C.

        Population grew by 1.7x over the same period, with starvation rates down and average life expectancy up.

        Sounds like good news to me, Okie.

        Kim’s right, of course, warmer is better for humanity.

        Max_CH

    • When are those “last two degrees of warming” are supposed to have happened?

      Also, it’s logically fallacious to conclude, because some warming in the past had been beneficial to human civilization, any warming, whatever the magnitude will be beneficial. The argument is a non-sequitur.

      It’s much more plausible to me that there is an optimal temperature range for human civilization, and both a deviation to the cold side or the warm side above some magnitude will be harmful to human civilization. To find out what this optimal temperature range is, one needs science.

      • Well, I’ll answer despite your strawman ‘any warming, whatever the magnitude will be beneficial’.

        I’m talking about warming on the scale of the recovery from the Little Ice Age, which is about all the warming we can expect from the apparently somewhat pusillanimous CO2 effect. A warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life. Get used to it, and be glad for it.

        Jan, take a climate sensitivity that frightens you, and then calculate how cold we would now be without the effect of AnthroGHGs. A sensitivity such that man can create catastrophic warming would mean that we would now be catastrophically colder without man’s help.

        Much better to hope that the temperature record most reflects natural processes.
        ===================

      • Seriously Kim,
        Who says the little ice age was 2 C colder than now?
        Not Loehle, but who else?

        Hasn’t been 2 C colder since coming out of the last glaciation.

      • @kim:

        Well, I’ll answer despite your strawman ‘any warming, whatever the magnitude will be beneficial’.

        Well, I am glad to hear that we agree on that not any warming whatever the magnitude will be beneficial, because I have actually heard such claims from “skeptics”.

        I’m talking about warming on the scale of the recovery from the Little Ice Age, which is about all the warming we can expect from the apparently somewhat pusillanimous CO2 effect.

        Based on what data published where are you claiming that the change of the globally averaged surface temperature was 2 deg. C from the “Little Ice Age” to present day?

        A warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life. Get used to it, and be glad for it.

        Up to what magnitude of the warming would it be beneficial? And are your claims based on any scientific research? Which ones? References? Or just on your own gut feeling?

        Could you also provide some scientific references for your claim that biodiversity is increasing due to global warming, please?

      • The paleo record shows greater biodiversity with warmer temperatures, as does common sense.

        Based on the apparent weak warming effect, we’ll not likely burn enough hydrocarbons to raise the temperature more than about two more degrees.

        Pick a climate sensitivity that frightens you; now calculate how cold we would now be without human GHGs.
        ========================

      • Kim does not conclude that any amount of warming is beneficial. She specifically says that “the next 2C should be equally beneficial”. She also alludes that we may not get the next 2C of warming. I agree with that likelihood.

      • and I should have read a little further into the discussion

      • Biodiversity includes diseases and related insects too that are much more prevalent in warmer environments.

      • Examples in the US may be West Nile and bark beetle, which are said to be climate related, also the spread of killer bees and fire ants. I am not sure of any beneficial examples of increasing biodiversity.

      • @bob droege…the CET temp record shows that the 6 coldest years of the Maunder Minimum ranged from -1.5C to -2.0C, then there are 20 years around -1.0C. At the moment the current CET reading is +2.5C. It seems that the UK has cooled 0.75C in the last 7 years. I wonder what caused that? Co2, perhaps?

      • CET represents only 0.01% of the global area. It may be a little noisy over short intervals.

      • I was referring to global temps, not CET.

      • Jan P Perlwitz

        As kim points out, the modest warming we could expect from added human GHG emissions is in the same range as the warming we have already experienced from the depths of the Little Ice Age (see CET record).

        There is no doubt that the past warming has been a boon to mankind, and there is no logical reason to assume that another degree or two of warming will be anything else.

        The notion of a “Goldilocks just right” temperature for humanity that we should not exceed is a red herring. Humans do best at an ambient temperature of around 23C, and we are very far from having a “globally and annually averaged temperature” at this level.

        The “hobgoblin” of more harmful insects, bacteria or viruses is an imaginary one, which can be discarded as unrealistic.

        Kim’s other point is also quite pertinent.

        If we believe in a 2xCO2 ECS of around 2-3C, the question arises: how much COOLING would we have seen over the past 150 years had there been no human GHG emissions, and what would the net impact of this cooling on humanity have been?

        Summary: within the limited range that could possibly be caused by human GHG emissions, warmer is better, so relax and enjoy the weather.

        Max

      • Max said:”
        If we believe in a 2xCO2 ECS ofaround 2-3C, the question arises: how much COOLING would we have seen over the past 150 yearshad there been no human GHG emissions

        If this imagined cooling is real the CO2 warming rate of 3C would have to be even larger to further compensate the underlying downward trend.

        So now Max is suggesting what, a 4C or 5C ECS. You tell us Max, since you seem to know exactly what is happening. Ouch! I bet he didn’t see that one coming.

      • So, Web, take an ECS or a TCS of 4 or 5 degrees C. and calculate how cold we would now be without man’s input. Jan seems to be still calculating it, or perhaps he is now calculating his navel.
        =========================

      • “Jim D | September 21, 2013 at 8:45 pm |

        Biodiversity includes diseases and related insects too that are much more prevalent in warmer environments.”
        Tropics seem to have more diseases and a wide variety of insects.
        Of course northern regions and arctic have seasons of a lot of mosquito- which are quite annoying. The colder weather can be more enjoyable with the lack of mosquito.

        But don’t we are much risk of the tropics invading the temperate zones, it’s more unlike to get something closer to Mediterranean climate- such LA, Spain, ect going poleward. But so far there not even this occurring.
        mostly if anything, it’s slightly less freezing. Canada it is said is farming slight further north. And some imagine grapes ae becoming more commercial in the UK. It seems unlikely oranges will grow in Northern Californian much less Oregon.
        But when you have more bio-diversity you get more bugs- and bears.
        Did know the brown bear eats a large amount of ants?
        “. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) have been found to feed on ants. About 12%, 16%, and 4% of their faecal volume in spring, summer, and autumn, respectively, is composed of ants.”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant

      • Web

        You state:

        If we believe in a 2xCO2 ECS ofaround 2-3C, the question arises: how much COOLING would we have seen over the past 150 yearshad there been no human GHG emissions

        If this imagined cooling is real the CO2 warming rate of 3C would have to be even larger to further compensate the underlying downward trend.

        So now Max is suggesting what, a 4C or 5C ECS. You tell us Max, since you seem to know exactly what is happening.

        Let’s say the 2xCO2 ECS is 2C.

        We saw ~1C warming since 1750, when industrialization got started, according to IPCC.

        We saw an increase from ~280 ppmv to ~400 ppmv CO2 (plus some other GHGs and aerosols, which cancelled each other out, according to IPCC.

        We also saw “natural” forcing factors, which caused somewhere between 7% and 50% of the total warming, depending on whose estimate you believe (IPCC or several solar studies). Since IPCC concedes that its “understanding of natural forcing factors is low”, it’s pretty obvious that they don’t “seem to know exactly what is happening” (as you put it).

        So let’s use both estimates to arrive at a range. This means that the anthropogenic warming was somewhere between 0.5C and 0.9C.

        IOW, had there been NO anthropogenic warming, we would have seen warming of between 0.1C and 0.5C, rather than the 1C warming we actually saw, and everything would be between 0.5C and 0.9C colder than it is today.

        This equates to a long-term CO2 temperature response of somewhere between 1.0C and 1.8C, or an 2xCO2 CS at “equilibrium” of around 1.6C to 2.4C.

        Max

  7. How does the Left know what the ideal average global temperature of the Earth is? Do they have some direct line to the Gods of the galaxies?

  8. Kim – “if we get them”. There really isn’t anything we can do to raise the global temp by 2 deg.

  9. Who cares? The world is cooling now, and will probably go on cooling for the next 20 years or so.

  10. The pre-industrial temp, say at 1850, was below the 10,000 year average and global average temps have strayed from this avg. by at most +/- 2 deg C on occasion during those 10,000 years…..so why the “2 deg C” boundary wrt pre-industrial temps for CO2 emissions control?

    Let’s first define the PROBLEM in terms of a harmful deviation from the norm and further specify the PROBLEM in terms of What, Where, When and How Much is the harmful deviation occurring, as well as where it could be occurring, but IS NOT. (The Continental USA has not warmed significantly in our available thermometer records.) Then we will have enough data to determine root cause of the PROBLEM and better ideas on how to solve the PROBLEM. If a critical warming PROBLEM is occurring on a specific region of earth, might not there be a less costly and more effective solution for that specific region, than trying to cool the entire earth’s surface??

    For example, if excessive melting of the Greenland ice sheet is found to be THE PROBLEM, what are the ways humans could act to cool the surface waters surrounding Greenland and thereby stop the unwanted melting of ice. How effective and costly would that solution be relative to CO2 emissions control, especially compared to unilateral USA CO2 emissions control?

    • That struck me also: the so-called pre-industrial value is in the midst of the Little Ice Age; hardly the reference point for a desirable climate.

      • Curryja
        What should scare us the most is that this piece was written by someone who works in international and secure matters. To see this type of intellectual sogginess, dogmatic “in the box” thinking and missing the point from what one would expect to be a relatively well informed source, is frightening. For it goes to show how far the CAGG meme has embedded itself in mainstream academic thinking.

      • Not so much ‘iron sharpens iron’ as ‘sod squelches against sod’.

      • Everyone calls it the Little Ice Age, just for scare factor, except for a few bad years due to significant volcanic eruptions it wasn’t all that bad and the time of significant advancements in human culture.

      • Pierre-Normand

        “That struck me also: the so-called pre-industrial value is in the midst of the Little Ice Age; hardly the reference point for a desirable climate.”

        The little ice age only is about 1°C colder than the Holocene Climatic Optimum. It is the downtrend in Milankovitch forcing that’s mainly responsible for this slow decline over 7,000 years. The Maunder minimum caused the dip to be slightly lower but it was already over in 1750, long before anthropogenic warming became important. The limiting target of 2°C above pre-industrial levels could equivalently be defined as a target of 1°C above the Holocene optimum. Nobody is advocating for cooling the surface to the 1650-1700 temperatures of the Maunder Minimum.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The LIA seems quite a bit cooler in high latitudes especially.

        http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2013/04/21/blogs/dotkaufman.html

      • @Chief Hydrologist…that is a great chart. Thanks for posting it.

      • The little ice age wasn’t so bad?

        In China, the Zhejiang-Fujian provinces of the East China Sea were about one and a half degrees cooler in winter than at present at around 1800.

        http://wenku.baidu.com/view/96669f6ba45177232f60a255

        These are the grain prices in China from 1740 to 1820.

        http://www.etsg.org/ETSG2013/Papers/060.pdf

        You can see the spike in grain prices in 1783-85 that appear at the same time as the Grímsvötn eruption in Iceland.
        You can also see the eruption of 1809-12 that has been identified in the ice-core record

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091205105844.htm

        The price of wheat in the north appears to mirror the reported winter temperature

      • The chart posted by Chief Hydrologist is from the PAGES-2k synthesis. It certainly shows the LIA to be very much colder than recent decades. But it also show the LIA to be only about 0.3°C colder than the 2000 years average. This is quite consistent with its being only 1°C colder than the Holocene optimum, 5,000 to 7,000 years ago. What it shows just is how very warm the recent decades have been in the context of recent millennia.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What an odd analysis – regional temps seem to be a few degrees cooler than medieval optimums.

        Perhaps the Holocene was warmer somewhat.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

      • “What an odd analysis – regional temps seem to be a few degrees cooler than medieval optimums.”
        The new chart you link to shows global temperatures in 2004 to be slightly warmer than the Holocene optimum. It doesn’t show it to be “regionally” cooler by “a few degrees”. Not even close. It merely shows individual proxies to be noisy. Even with the noise, and even allowing for cherry picking very short time frames, individual proxies don’t rise much more than one single degree above 2004.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I think the point was unreliability not reliability.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Harold H Doiron, PhD If a critical warming PROBLEM is occurring on a specific region of earth, might not there be a less costly and more effective solution for that specific region, than trying to cool the entire earth’s surface??

      Consider the case of China: in recent decades China has increased its network of dams, providing it with much electricity, and reducing its losses due to floods and droughts. Whatever CO2 increases do or don’t cause, they are immensely better off than if they had invested and equal amount of time, labor and capitol trying to sequester the CO2 from their massive fossil-fuel powered electrical generation capacity.

      California, by contrast, is massively funding solar, wind and biofuels projects and rather neglecting its dam and levee system. Their efforts will have a negligible effect reducing CO2, and render them more susceptible to damages from floods and droughts.

      The differing effects of the two approaches should be evident as the decades pass. In the mean time, I see no reason now why an international body should force either region to adopt the policies of the other region.

      Since the effects of CO2, if there are any, will not be uniform across the Earth surface, I second your idea of local solutions to locally developing problems.

      • John, little joshie is begging for your attention. He is going to pout if you do not read his response and reply. Little joshie is a needy little putz.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        China and California join forces to combat climate-change.

        And China’s catastrophic heat-waves are the sobering yet common-sense reason.

        It is good to see nations cooperating responsibly  because we all breath the same atmosphere … and consequently “Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do” (Wendell Berry).

        It is a pleasure to help increase your understanding of these matters, Matthew R Marler!

        \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}

      • Matthew R Marler

        A fan of *MORE* discourse

        China and California join forces to combat climate-change.

        Your links are frequently comical, and this is no exception.

        “Xie said that China has successfully achieved the target of reducing energy consumption from 2006-2012 by 23.6 percent, and CO2 emissions by 1.8 billion tons.”

        A memorandum of understanding to share technologies and personnel.

    • Hansen says the ideal value is 350 ppm (about the 1988 value), not 280 ppm.

      • John Carpenter

        And 360.org thinks it’s 360 ppm. Too bad for both, cuz we aren’t likely to see those levels again for centuries… If ever again. So if those thresholds have been broken, then they should be advocating for preparing for a future of high CO2 atmospheric concentrations instead of harping on mitigation strategies. That’s the reality we face, getting below 360 is pure fantasy and a waste of time.

      • John –

        Don’t know if you’re seen this – but if you’re going to write about what it seems to you I have a problem with, I would hope that you’d read my response if not also respond in kind.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/20/co2-control-knob-fallacy/#comment-383616

    • Chief Hydrologist

      What an odd analysis – regional temps seem to be a few degrees cooler than medieval optimums.

      Perhaps the Holocene was warmer somewhat.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png

    • Harold, this is the sort of fundamental question that politicians should be asking on behalf of their people, but have failed to do so. It has suited them to go along with the nonsense, which coincidentally (? or not) leads to bigger and more powerful government.

  11. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Climate Etc discourse would be better-served if more folks were familiar with works like Robert Caro’s The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York and Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. After all, UW President Barack Obama is known to be a keen student of these works, and so it is natural to expect that US carbon policy will be informed by their political lessons.

    Nowhere is this more evident than in recent EPA guidelines in regard to carbon sequestration. Guided by science, President Obama has prepared a Moses-style “perfect storm” for denialists in which:

    • the surface-temperature ‘pause’ ends, and
    • sea-level rise and polar ice-mass loss accelerate, and
    • intolerable heat-and-drought become more common, and
    • the Vatican affirms the moral duty of sustainability, and
    market forces have *already* established that carbon sequestration is economically non-viable.

    The all the pieces will be in-place for a rapid (decadal timescale) global transition to a Hansen-style carbon-neutral energy economy (of mixed solar, wind, and nuclear) supplemented (in over several more decades) with Venter-style bioenergy, and possibly (in the very long term) power from controlled thermonuclear fusion.

    Remark There’s *zero* rational sense blaming Obama/progressives/greens/Democrats/communists for this outcome! Mother Nature is imposing it upon humanity.

    President Obama is simply recognizing that “politics is the art of the [scientifically and globally] possible”, and his recent coal policies are foresightedly laying the technological groundwork to ensure that the global transition to Hansen-style carbon neutrality occurs in the expeditious and economically vigorous/populist style of Caro’s Robert Moses.

    Good on `yah, Barack Obama!

    ——————-
    Who will scream?  Various corporations and nations — we all know who they are! — presently carry their carbon-energy reserves on-the-books at a total valuation of (about) one hundred trillion dollars … and they have an unbounded motivation to protect this book-value.

    Corollary  Denialist webloggers that are receiving less than $250K per annum from carbon-energy interests are grossly underpaid!

    Strike!  Strike!!  Strike!!!

    \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}

    • +(-1)^0.5

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: At the current rate of 3 ppm per year it would be 2066,

        Do you have a source for that estimate? At a base of 400ppm, that is a growth rate of 0.75%, giving a doubling time of 93 years.

      • I am using linear changes based on recent years, not growth rates. The growth rate has been one of doubling emissions every 33 years so far, but I don’t think that is sustainable even under business as usual.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Over what period of time will the CO2 concentration double? Working from a tertiary source (Salby, Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate, pp 25 [CO2 at Mauna Loa] and 545 [CO2 mass flow diagram]), I estimated that CO2 concentration is increasing at a rate of 0.46% per year and will double in 145+ years. At that time, CO2 concentration will be about 800 ppm, about 2.8 times the common pre-industrial estimate of 280, ppm, representing 1.4 doublings. Taking the common ECS estimate of 1.3K increase per doubling, that projects a temp increase of 1.3K from now, and 1.8K increase since 1850. Thus, it looks like “business as usual” will achieve the goal of keeping the increase below 2C.

      If you take a higher estimate of ECS, things look more “dire”, but still the next doubling of CO2 will take 145+ years, which ought to provide time for local governments (China, US, Russia, Brazil) to adopt policies relevant to local changes.

      But back to my question: What are the published estimates of how long it will take for the CO2 concentration to double?.

      • At a reduced rate of 2 ppm per year, it would be 2093 that we reach 560 ppm. At the current rate of 3 ppm per year it would be 2066, at an extrapolated growth rate averaging 4 ppm per year it would be 2053.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D, I see I posted my response out of sequence.

      • I used the history of Mauna Loa CO2 measured atmospheric concentration from 1880-2012, considered some growth in the current rate of increase and then a flattening of the growth curve as it approaches a peak of 600ppm, to estimate that 560 ppm (which doubles the pre-industrial level of 280 pm) will be reached in about 2080.

        One can also analyze the HadCrut4 global average temperature database from 1850 – 2012, correlate the long-term temperature rise of that data to the atmospheric CO2 rise from 1880 – 2012 using a functional form:

        HadCrut4 Temp Anomaly(year)= -0.3 + TCS*LOG[CO2(year)/280]/LOG[2] to determine an Upper Bound for TCS = 1.6 deg C (Upper Bound because I assumed all of the warming trend was from CO2 and none from a natural warming from the Little Ice Age).

        where TCS = Transient Climate Sensitivity = HadCrut4 temp anomaly rise above the -0.3 deg C level in 1850-1880 for the actual slow growth of CO2 in the atmosphere until it doubles to 560ppm at some time into the future (I estimate 2080). We have already experienced about 0.7 deg C of that maximum possible temperature rise, so we should expect less than 1 deg C temp rise above current levels when the doubled value occurs. One does not need to rely on an un-validated climate model to reach this conclusion. In fact, if a climate model doesn’t agree with this value for TCS which is defined similarly to the hypothetical Transient Climate Response (TCR) value studied by climate scientists, then the model can’t be considered to be validated, because this is what 163 years of actual physical data provides.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Harold H. Doiron, PhD, thank you for your comment: I used the history of Mauna Loa CO2 measured atmospheric concentration from 1880-2012, considered some growth in the current rate of increase and then a flattening of the growth curve as it approaches a peak of 600ppm, to estimate that 560 ppm (which doubles the pre-industrial level of 280 pm) will be reached in about 2080.

        and the rest

      • Another method of calculation is to use per capita carbon and population growth. Current global per capita carbon is 5 tonnes per person per year, (Europe is 10, US is nearer 20). Assuming the global per capita increases 50% with development and the population increases 50% by 2100, you get a doubling of the current rate to 5 ppm per year by 2100. The average comes out to 4 ppm per year, giving 750 ppm by 2100.

      • @Jim D…I see that Mauna Loa is showing a 3.35 ppm gain for 7/12 to 7/13. If that is the correct figure , then it will be the highest yearly gain shown on their list. The prior highest year was 1998 at 2.84. Last year, 2012, was 2.40. Is there any reason given why there has been such a big increase?

      • goldminor, I don’t know, but it is said to increase more in warmer years, and this last 12 months have been warm.

      • and I just noticed the difference between Mauna Loa and Global co2. Mauna Loa is showing 2.74 while global shows 3.35. Why such a difference between ESRL Global co2 and Mauna Loa? That is the largest difference shown in the entire history.

      • From the slope of Log(CO2) vs year (from 1962-2012) I get 560ppm CO2 at 22 minutes to midnight on the night of October 14, 2094; but that is only a rough estimate.

    • http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/chatterbox/2002/01/doris_kearns_goodwin_liar.html

      http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/000/793ihurw.asp?page=2

      http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/613752/posts

      McTaggart said she received a “substantial sum” in the settlement but would not disclose the amount. She said the agreement was confidential and she only agreed to speak about it after Goodwin spoke to the Globe.

      The Boston Globe article on this is no longer online but they did seem to promote her latest book.

    • Lincoln was a racist psycho who tried to imprison a Supreme Cort Justice for disagreeing with him, and who actually deported a U.S. Senator. He ruthlessly shut down newspapers who opposed him and destroyed their property in some cases. He was a ruthless man who admitted he would do anything to get what he wanted – whether that be getting rid of slavery or keeping it. Personally, he wanted to deport blacks back to Africa.

    • Fan,

      wake up. Barack Obama isn’t, President of UW. You will have to wait 3 more years for the possibility of that fantasy of yours becoming possible.

      Maybe you should consider James Hansen as a candidate. Or Pope Francis.

      • Yes Fan of more Trolling, Lincoln was a good politician, as was Hitler. MLK had some really good ideas, but also had some personal issues. The difference between him and Lincoln is that Lincoln had power, and he used it in the most heinous ways. Trust me, FOMTrolling, Lincoln’s war killed a thousand times more Americans than your false issue of global warming ever will.

  12. Oh dear, carbon capture has taken a blow

    Norway Drops ‘Moon Landing’ as Mongstad Carbon Capture Scrapped

    Norway dropped plans for a full-scale carbon capture plant at its Mongstad refinery after cost overruns and delays, ending a project that was dubbed as the country’s “moon landing” by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.
    The full-scale project will be halted, Oil and Energy Ministry Ola Borten Moe said today at a briefing in Oslo. The government will increase spending on a carbon test center at the plant by 400 million kroner ($68 million) and will seek to build a full-scale plant in another location, he said.
    “I fear that Mongstad would have been a project where we demonstrated that we’re willing to spend a lot of money on one project — not that this is an example to follow for the rest of the world,” he said.
    Stoltenberg, who has likened the project to the U.S. effort in the 1960s of putting a man on the moon, said in 2006 it would create the world’s biggest venture for full-scale carbon capture and spur technology that may become an important export for Norway. The premier’s coalition was ousted in the Sept. 9 general election and he will resign next month.
    “This is some of the worst form of incompetence I’ve seen from the government,” Frederic Hauge, head of environmental group Bellona, said in an interview. “This will stand as the symbol of this government’s total failure on climate policy.”
    The effort was criticized this week by the nation’s Auditor General, which said the test center project was 1.7 billion kroner over budget, according to a statement on Sept. 17. In total, the government said it has spent about 7.2 billion kroner on carbon capture, including 1.2 billion kroner on the full scale project.
    Complexity Underestimated
    “The investigation shows that the complexity of implementing CCS was underestimated in 2006,” the auditor said. “Among other things, it has proven very difficult to plan and build capture facilities on a large scale near a refinery and heat and power plant in operation. This has entailed high costs and a longer implementation period.”
    The center was part of a Statoil ASA (STL) project to build a power plant at its Mongstad refinery, approved by the government in 2006. The company was given permission to emit carbon dioxide from the plant between 2010 and 2014, when a full-scale carbon capture and storage system had to be in place.
    Utilities and energy companies are seeking ways to extract carbon dioxide from emissions and store it underground rather than release it into the air. Norway, western Europe’s biggest oil producer, has wanted to lead the way in such methods.
    The project has been dogged by delays. Then Oil and Energy Minister Terje Riis-Johansen also in 2010 fended off a vote of no confidence as the country’s four opposition parties said the government withheld information that the project was delayed until after the September 2009 election.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-20/norway-drops-moon-landing-as-mongstad-carbon-capture-scrapped.html

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      DocMartyn asserts [wrongly!]  “Oh dear, carbon capture has taken a blow.”

      LOL  why not reflect again, DocMartyn?

      Specifically in regard to carbon capture, and broadly in regard to the global transition to carbon-neutral energy economies, all events are proceeding precisely as President Barack Obama — along with an expanding consensus-coalition of scientists, progressives, conservationists, farmers, faiths, and rational conservatives —has foreseen!

      \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}

      • So you have really strong feelings for Obama and for Hansen now?
        Why not hang out at specialist site designed for ‘curious’ guys like yourself?

      • Progressives, farmers, faiths… sheesh. We know who comprises the 47%rs: Socialists (that is, anti-capitalist Leftist Ideologues); Secularists (that is, atheist fundementalists, anti-Judeo- Christian contra-cultural hedonists and abortionists); Enviro-Wackpots (trust fund liberals and liberal Utopians); and, purveyors of anti-Americanism (that is, the haters of the ideals of individual liberty and personal responsibility—i.e., Marxists).

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        It’s simple, DocMartyn. Politicians work for us, not us for them  precisely as the Founders and Framers wisely arranged for all Americans (uhhh … although it took quite awhile for this vision to be realized for women and slaves).

        In consequence, Obama’s policies reflect the electorate’s views and values — pretty darn skillfully, so far! — not the reverse.

        That’s plain American common-sense, eh 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}

      • Fan

        Not snark but what is going to be the cost of Obamacare each year for the first five years?

        Is any medical ailment being specifically excluded and how closely does it resemble the British NHS?
        thanks
        tonyb

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Since *all* of Europe’s (many!) healthcare systems provide comparable outcomes and universal coverage at lower cost, we can be confident that (once the dust settles) the net economic benefits will be *enormous*!

        The Reason  About 30% of American healthcare dollars are devoted to (purely administrative) denial of coverage. Comparable European costs are of order 5% … and that is the simple reason why huge cost-savings — and also hugely diminished administrative hassles! — are ahead for ordinary Americans.

        Our next-door neighboor is a British citizen, and he finds it cheaper to fly his family to Britain for all their healthcare!

        Do you *really* think Americans will *ever* go back the old, wasteful, inhumane, hassle-filled pre-ObamaCare healthcare system?

        It’s good that (behind closed doors) Republican Party leaders understand this political reality.

        \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

        You have not actually given the budgets. Are there any?

        The NHS is very good, but one of its main drawbacks is that because it is free at point of use that means that many more ailments and procedures are carried out than were ever imagined by the founders,. The net result is an ever escalating budget.

        There needs to be some form of reasonable restriction on what obamacare can be used for if the costs are not to rise exponentially.

        So, what are the annual costs?
        tonyb.

      • “Our next-door neighboor is a British citizen, and he finds it cheaper to fly his family to Britain for all their healthcare”

        Well he would, if like me he lives in the USA he and his family are not paying National Insurance, thus he is paying for the NHS, but the NHS will still treat him.
        It is called health tourism and the NHS treats millions of people ineligible.
        I have worked in both the UK and US medical systems, both have good and bad points; put to suggest that only 5% of NHS funding goes on administration is the stuff of a diseased mind.
        The last large audit suggested 14%, but 20% would be closer to he mark are many nurses and doctors who have essentially full time managerial roles and yet are counted as front line staff

        http://www.theguardian.com/society/2010/mar/30/nhs-management-costs-spending

      • Doc

        so will YOU divulge the annual costs of obamacare?

        tonyb

      • The net result is an ever escalating budget.</blockquote?

        As opposed to the cost of healthcare in the U.S. prior to the implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act? And why the comparison anyway, as the AHA is nothing like the nationalized healthcare in your country?

        You have to evaluate the AHA in terms of opportunity cost, tony. You need to compare it to maintenance of the status quo (or to other alternative plans) where we get less return for the dollar spent than in other countries, and where there are pronounced inequalities in access to quality healthcare.

        The cost of healthcare in this country is a huge problem w/r/t our budget, but you certainly wouldn't think it is valid, somehow, to single out the AHA as being the solution or cause of that problem, would you?

      • Dagnabit:

        The net result is an ever escalating budget.

        As opposed to the cost of healthcare in the U.S. prior to the implementation of the Affordable Healthcare Act? And why the comparison anyway, as the AHA is nothing like the nationalized healthcare in your country?

        You have to evaluate the AHA in terms of opportunity cost, tony. You need to compare it to maintenance of the status quo (or to other alternative plans) where we get less return for the dollar spent than in other countries, and where there are pronounced inequalities in access to quality healthcare.

        The cost of healthcare in this country is a huge problem w/r/t our budget, but you certainly wouldn’t think it is valid, somehow, to single out the AHA as being the solution or cause of that problem, would you?

      • “…all events are proceeding precisely as President Barack Obama — along with an expanding consensus-coalition of scientists, progressives, conservationists, farmers, faiths, and rational conservatives —has foreseen!”

        Oh, well that certainly explains the laments of “It’s worse than we thought” then. It also explains why “we must do more”. Perhaps Fan, you might enlighten us all by disclosing some small fraction of this incredible “master plan” – you know, evidence…

        Sorry everyone, I just woke up and it’s taken me this long to realise who I was talking to. Please ignore my sleep-filled fantasies of FoMD actually providing any credible evidence of his assertions.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        “The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopt.”
           ― Mark Twain

        Wendell Berry and Pope Francis and James Hansen are three radicals whose ideas were conceived in the 20th century … which is why their same ideas nowadays comprise the foundations of 21st century conservatism. As a diligent student of sustainment, Barack Obama will be assessed by history as a pragmatic centrist conservative … rather like Dwight Eisenhower.

        \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}

    • What a pity. We need to learn how to capture CO2, not to store it, but to recycle it.

      • I doubt we could quickly invent a method even half as efficient as that which nature already supplies.

      • This is being worked on. It is driven not by a concern over climate change, but by expected shortages of CO2 for industrial purposes.

    • Doc none of these moralizing utopianists will even pause to think about the money they wasted and the lives it could have saved

      • Shouldn’t that be dystopianists? But so true.

      • Switzerland has relatively low tax rates and isn’t nearly the welfare state as the US or Europe. The Swiss approach is one I like. I believe it is fairly consistent with the writings of Hayek. There is a safety net, but there is enforcement of the rules to qualify. That’s something the US doesn’t have. This looks like a balanced approach to helping the poor yet minimizing the drain on the system.

        “Welfare and dependency in Switzerland

        RALPH SEGALMAN

        SWITZERLAND is not often thought of when we discuss the welfare state. In many respects it is not a welfare state. There is, for example, no national health service and most of the population is covered by voluntary health insurance. There is also no central program to provide a minimum guaranteed income for all of the population (other than for the aged and infirm) as found in England, Norway, and Sweden. Unlike the major European welfare states, the Swiss federal government defers in much greater measure to local autonomy. But in one critical respect it has achieved what the United States and European nations traditionally defined as welfare states have not: It has all but eliminated “welfare dependency,” or intergenerational poverty, and it has done this in a strikingly different manner than other developed societies. Whether Switzerland has lessons to offer the troubled welfare states of Europe or the United States is another question. But first, let us describe how Switzerland deals with the poor, and how it shapes policies to encourage self-sufficiency and to prevent the development of dependent people in its ”

        http://www.nationalaffairs.com/public_interest/detail/welfare-and-dependency-in-switzerland

        Also

        http://www.nationalaffairs.com/doclib/20080708_1986828welfareanddependencyinswitzerlandralphsegalman.pdf

      • Prevention of native poverty is also ensured by strict control of
        immigration, a policy which is similar in its stringent limitations to
        those of many welfare states, including Norway and Sweden. The
        Swiss take the view that they cannot provide for everyone in the
        world, or even for everyone who seeks to come to Switzerland, so
        they have carefully delineated a limited scope of responsibility.
        These limits, whatever the rest of the world may think of them,
        begin with a strong concern for “their own. ”1Thus, the Swiss policy
        on immigration operates almost as if it were controlled by a calibrated spigot which is opened only when labor shortages exist and is
        quickly shut when Swiss natives begin to draw excessively on unemployment compensation.

      • Wasted money and lives… what could be worse? The sunk costs of Iraq/Afghanistan or the future costs of Obamacare? Two wrongs don’t make a right and forcing an insurance company to cover pre-existing conditions will lead to death panels or a bankrupt healthcare system.

      • Well Steven, in the US you are not required to have a photo ID to vote or to get Obamacare, so the ‘health tourism’ that the NHS suffers from is going to seem like nothing.
        The smart thing for all healthy Americans to do is pay the $400 annual fine and when you get sick pay a one month fee for the most gold-plated scheme you can find and then get deluxe treatment for that one months payment; as they are not allowed to reject you for a pre-existing condition and they cannot terminate your policy during the course of treatment.

      • I think a lot of Republicans are advocating freeloading off the state, which is a bit of a reversal of their previous attitude. Anyway, the part about not discriminating against pre-existing conditions and terminating when it gets too expensive are morally better than things used to be. You pay a small price for these Republican freeloaders.

      • It couldn’t be that easy to game the system.

        Could it?

      • The fine goes up to $695 or 2.5% of income, whichever is greater, in 2016. The income rate is something like you would already pay for Medicare. If everyone paid 2.5% we wouldn’t need insurance to pay for the costs and you would have something approaching Medicare for all, which is perhaps a better system anyway.

      • jim 2

        Your points about Switzerland are correct.

        It is arguably the “least socialized” nation in Europe.

        It’s basic political structure is “bottoms up”, rather than “top down”, with the communes and cantons retaining most of the tax revenues and power (rather than the federal government). The voters retain the right to decide on matters via a referendum vote, so there is still a measure of direct democracy.

        Switzerland is also booming today. And its driving force has always been a combination of pragmatism and greed.

        But, like everywhere else, there is a tendency to become more “socialized” and “internationalized” with time, with the feds pushing continuously for a bigger slice of the power. And affluence also helps fuel goofy “green” ideologies like “renewable energy” to replace nuclear plants, etc.

        One major difference between Switzerland and most other European nations is that Switzerland has a legislated “Schuldenbremse”, which limits federal expenditures to the same level as revenues, thereby avoiding the debt spiral many other nations find themselves in.

        It will be interesting to see how the recent election results in Germany will impact Swiss politics over the next few years. Some analysts predict a gradual “Rechtsrutsch” (shift to the “right”). Such a shift is certainly not yet apparent – but who knows?

        Max

      • Manacker,

        And affluence also helps fuel goofy “green” ideologies like “renewable energy” to replace nuclear plants, etc.

        I didn’t see you posting comments over the weekend, so you may have missed these comments on the viability of renewable energy:
        http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/21/open-thread-weekend-33/#comment-383850

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      ObamaCare is an evolving institution. If the Republican is smart, foresighted, and courageous, they can still have sufficient political capital to evolve ObamaCare into America’s version of SwissCare:

         • better outcomes
         • lower costs (by 30%)
         • universal coverage
         • universal provider choice
         • minimal government involvement

      Better, cheaper, fairer, choice-driven, provate-sector … so why can’t the Republican Party make this happen?

      The Stupid Political Reason That SwissCare Can’t Happen  SwissCare works a lot like RomneyCare … which in turn works a lot like HilaryCare … and so the faux-conservatives whose present-day political power resides in their control of the Republican primaries *CANNOT* allow anything like SwissCare even to be *DISCUSSED* … much less happen in America.

      And that’s a crying shame, eh? Unless American voters wrest control of Congress away from the Republicans, that is. Which would be a mighty harsh way for the Republican Party to learn the merits of compromise-politics. But perhaps there is no other way?

      \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}

      • Switzerland has 8 million citizens, and a tremendous amount of wealth per capita. No comparison.

      • Those darned socialist democratic states. They don’t let anyone be poor.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Uhhh … so all of a sudden it requires more wealth to spend less on healthcare to achieve better outcomes? How does that work, exactly?

        \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}

      • Here’s some real socialism for you …

        “Venezuela orders temporary takeover of toilet paper factory
        ReutersReuters – Fri, 20 Sep, 2013

        Supermarket staff work next to partially empty shelves of toilet paper in Caracas May 16, 2013. REUTERS/Jorge SilvaView Photo

        CARACAS (Reuters) – A Venezuelan state agency on Friday ordered the temporary takeover of a factory that produces toilet paper in what it called an effort to ensure consistent supplies after embarrassing shortages earlier this year.

        Critics of President Nicolas Maduro say the nagging shortages of products ranging from bathroom tissue to milk are a sign his socialist government’s rigid price and currency controls are failing. They have also used the situation to poke fun at his administration on social media networks.

        A national agency called Sundecop, which enforces price controls, said in a statement it would occupy one of the factories belonging to paper producer Manpa for 15 days, adding that National Guard troops would “safeguard” the facility.”

        http://ca.news.yahoo.com/venezuela-orders-temporary-takeover-toilet-paper-factory-002437055.html

      • The Swiss have no national healthcare system. The whole Swiss system is local (canton) based.
        The Swiss will not treat illegal immigrants, whereas illegal immigrants in the US are treated in ER and have their babies delivered; essentially for free.

      • Once the baby is born here, automatic citizenship means automatic food stamps, plus other benefits.

      • The problem with Swisscare in the US is that the Swiss have a sense of community and civic responsibility not present anymore in the US. It would take a different approach in the US.

  13. It is much more instructive to link cause and effect. If science says each 1500 GtCO2 added commits to a degree C of temperature rise, that can be used to balance warming against emission in future policies. What is easiest in terms of business as usual is also significantly warmer, it turns out. This is as far as the science can advise policy. Other sciences can also talk about regional impacts of each degree of rise, and advise that way. All this has to be taken into consideration, and it is local as well as global, making it somewhat intractable for national policies without some international component.

    • It is 1 C per doubling. Water vapor feedback is a fantasy. There is no super duper saturation.

      • The last 15 years of BEST land warming: http://t.co/OtXWRbV3OF— WHUT (@WHUT) September 21, 2013

      • Don’t you listen to Judith about uncertainty? Her range is 1-6 C, but a small percentage of that agrees with observations, physics, and paleo evidence.

      • It is 0 C for any amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere, from what little empirical data we have.

      • Jim Cripwell, “It is 0 C for any amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere, from what little empirical data we have.”

        I can actually make a pretty good case for 0.8C per doubling with about a 300 year lag plus about 0.5 C for combined land use and black carbon, but that is about it. Most of that could be erased by natural variability.

      • Capt. How you can justify any number other than 0 C, PURELY on the basis of empirical data, and empirical data ONLY, I have no idea whatsoever.

      • Jim Cripwell, you don’t have physics on your side when you try to justify your arbitrarily chosen chosen zero degree number, and I haven’t seen you even try to, probably knowing it is a non-starter on a physical basis.

      • Jim D I do have the only physics that counts on my side. Namely the empirical data from modern temperature time graphs. No one has measured a CO2 signal inany such graph. Please give me a reference if you claim someone has.

      • Jim Cripwell, that is not physics, any more than the temperature in your back yard is. You have to know the difference between physics and observations.

      • Jim D, there is nothing in physics that prohibits Jim Cripwell’s 0 degree number.

      • willb, there is nothing in physics that leads to his arbitrarily chosen number. It is just arbitrary. I could equally say -10 with the same physics basis as he has (i.e. none).

      • Jim D, if Jim Cripwell is using empirical data, then his 0 degree number is not arbitrary. You on the other hand would have a helluva time justifying a -10 degree number in the face of rising temperatures over the last century.

      • OK Jim D, I will bite. What is the difference between physics and observations? So far as I am concerned observations and theory are opposite sides of the same coin. You cannot have one without the other.

      • The corollary is you don’t say a sensitivity number without physics reasoning to give that number, otherwise it is just a number plucked out of thin air, and deserves to be treated as such.

      • Jim D, your argument is not logical. Similar to Jim Cripwell’s 0 degree number, all estimates of climate sensitivity include several assumptions about feedbacks and these assumptions are not prohibited by known physics. That is no different than what Jim Cripwell is doing.

      • willb, I haven’t yet seen any reasoning from Jim Cripwell leading to his zero number. That is the point.

      • Jim D, Jim Cripwell already gave you his reason. He said the empirical data supports his conclusion. What more do you want? If someone told you the sky was blue, would you refuse to believe them until they expounded in detail on the wave theory of light?

      • I have repeated my reasons over and over again. No one has measured a CO2 signal in any modern temperature time graph.

      • willb, this is not like the sky is blue. The observations support a wide range of sensitivities and he chose one (that is pretty much ruled out by the observations, but anyway) and says all the others are wrong, but gave no reasoning for choosing the one he did. If he doesn’t know, he should acknowledge the whole range of uncertainty as equally likely rather than this delta function at zero. It is certainty without reason.

      • Jim Cripwell, it is your assertion that it is 0 C that is questionable. Do you at least have error bars?

      • Jim D, This is not a crapshoot and all values are not “equally likely”. Climate sensitivity is what it is. For now, we just don’t have enough data to know what it is. Jim Cripwell is estimating a 0 degree number based on the data he has seen. It’s speculative, just like everyone else’s value is speculative.

      • Cripwell, The CO2 signal shows up on the infrared emission spectra of the earth as seen from space. All of modern science is opposed to your ignorant viewpoint.
        Stick to your cross-stitch or needlepoint or whatever you do to pass the time.

      • WHT, I don’t think Jim Cripwell is denying the existence of a CO2 signature in the earth’s infrared emission spectra. How are you evaluating the climate sensitivity to CO2 using this signature?

      • I am not denying a CO2 signal in infrared emissions. I am denying that it has been shown that this signal has any effect on global temperatures. Hence CS is positive, but indistinguishable from zero. If there is no CO2 signal in any modern temperature time graph, which warmists refuse to even acknowledge, then the lower limit of CS must be zero.

      • Of course the infrared signal has been tied to a temperature rise and this was some years ago. If you would have actually published papers in spectroscopy and have had algorithms named after you perhaps someone would take you seriously Cripwell. As it is, you are probably better known for your needlepoint work by your neighborhood peers than for anything you say here.

      • WHT, if you wish to dispute Jim Cripwell’s assertions, it would be helpful to the rest of us if you could provide some meaningful content to your comments.


      • willb | September 22, 2013 at 11:56 am |

        WHT, if you wish to dispute Jim Cripwell’s assertions, it would be helpful to the rest of us if you could provide some meaningful content to your comments.

        What, as opposed to the zero content of the Cripkeeper?

    • Jim Cripwell, “Capt. How you can justify any number other than 0 C, PURELY on the basis of empirical data, and empirical data ONLY, I have no idea whatsoever.”

      You do have to be pretty selective of your data, meaning you have to actually hunt for a CO2 signal. Like I said, I can make a case, but that is about it.

      http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2013/09/co2-signature.html

      I am sure that Webster will find many flaws in my Votech logic :)

  14. Putting the Left in charge of energy is like outlawing Easter eggs to provide more food for the poor.

  15. Windbag-it is. The climate during the LIA was so delightful.

  16. -itis.

  17. Perpetuating the myth that the AGW movement was once “science based”.

    Typical disinformation. Same idiots doing the post mortem on the movement they support and blaming it on tactics for the failure.

  18. Geden’s comments are quite thought provoking. In my experience, similar situations (missed earnings targets, missed sales projections) usually have one of two consequences.
    1. The broom comes out. Either those who missed the targets, or those who set them, get swept aside. Sometimes (but rarely) both. It appears the broom just swept aside the target setters and their science advisors in Australia. That may happen in 2014 in the US if Obama keeps trying to use executive regulation to set them in the US (keystone XL, EPA power plant CO2 regs). It is doubtful that some UN broom will sweep away China’s leadership for failing to meet them.
    My guess is we will be seeing a lot of brooms and a lot of sweeping, including of science advisors ( climate researchers, modelers, IPCC). Failure has consequences.
    2. The subject gets changed by the target setters. Often this a desperate attempt not to get broomed aside. The usual method is first to fuzz the target (‘Twoish’), then to couple the fuzzed goal to some underlying ‘what we really meant was’, then morph to some target related to the new meaning This is already happening on US government websites like at NOAA, where ocean acidification from CO2 is being talked up as the evil twin of climate change. That would suffice to keep all the climate modelers and researchers on the research funding gravy train. It even brings in a new constituency, marine biologists. And new opportunities for federal subsidies, like the Pacific Northwest oyster industry is already demanding. And focal points for activists like Seattles Center for Biodiversity, which announced in July 2013 that it was suing the EPA for failing to stop ocean acidification by limiting CO2 emissions.

    • Shelley Moore Capito is looking like she may be the first Republican Senator to represent West Virginia since 1959.
      The Democrats blocking of extraction of gas and oil from the Marcellus Shale formation is going to cost them big in Pennsylvanian.

    • + .95

    • It seems to me that the money that goes to the modelers and to those who do genuine empirical research on the climate amounts to pennies. Most of that research needs to be funded in any case. The government waste that we fear comes through carbon taxes, EPA decisions to shut down the coal industry, and similar initiatives.

      In brief, I have no trouble with the computer programmers struggling along with their models or Trenberth buying a diving bell, but all of those people must do the right thing and refrain from screaming “My science proves that only mitigation can save mankind from imminent doom!”

    • Rud,

      See my comment below about Dr Sullivan’s confirmation hearing.

      • Thanks for making that connection. I have taken an new essay on ocean acidification for my next book, stripped out all the coral reef stuff, cutmit further down and ‘blogofied’ the rest, and will send it off to Judy after another review to see if she will post. It deals only with the Washington oyster nonsense (same old bad science problem, but this time hiding in plain sight. Withnjustba moments thought. Clear alarmist motivations from Feely at PMEL. If Dr. Curry decides not to use it, I can ask her to get it to you, since it sounds like you are from that region.
        Regards

      • actually i can use this, sorry i’ve been swamped, pls ping me by email

  19. Basically, it should be clear to all but only the most rabid “progressives” that there will be no limiting of CO2 emissions. In the US, the Federal government should give no money to anyone to rebuild after any kind of disaster. Dump Federal flood insurance. Let the states take care of it. This will discourage people from living in or building in flood prone areas. Then, as a no regrets policy, we can fund basic research into thorium reactors and build new reactors now with the upgraded technology we already have.

    • You say “no limiting of CO2 emissions”? EPA is about to ban new coal fired power plants using an impossible CO2 emissions limit. Then on to existing plants.

      • Agreed, the war against coal is no small thing. But it has surely always had more to do with knocking out a competitor than limiting CO2 emissions. Best to use coal at power stations, where genuine pollution can be cleaned up, and gas in homes. There’s a long way to go to a sane energy policy, even more so in the UK.

      • And what will the EPA do to China?

      • Now we should circumvent, and simultaneously screw, the gas producers by taking disincentives from coal.

      • No Richard, EPA is not fronting for the natural gas industry. It might be better if they were, but they really believe in what they are doing killing coal. Corruption is easier to defeat than zealotry.

      • “Corruption is easier to defeat than zealotry.”

        Puts me in mind of Yeats:

        “The best lack all conviction, while the worst
        Are full of passionate intensity.”
        .

      • The word on the ground is that the EPA are going to more strictly regulate the use of silicate powders, on the grounds of potential lung damage, but mostly because these are used in fracking.

      • No Richard, EPA is not fronting for the natural gas industry. It might be better if they were, but they really believe in what they are doing killing coal.

        I’m well prepared to accept I overspoke. You know the local context much better than I.

        Corruption is easier to defeat than zealotry.

        That I think also depends on context. In the worst cases corruption works in and through zealotry. But true resistance is always beautiful, whatever the mix it confronts – and it’s almost impossible to say at the time.

  20. Allowing the Left to establish value essentially is a blight on the body politic. We already have going on the greatest social experiment of all time: setting the value of money to zero.

    Capital is essentially stored labor. Interest is the cost of money. Accordingly, the interest rate is important (for example, we learn from Irving Fisher that if money was free a railroad would be justified in borrowing enough money to finance the flattening of every rail in the country because the fuel savings in perpetuity would eventually pay off any amount of investment. However, once you attach a cost to money you quickly realize that we have better things to do with our money and more productive things to accomplish than simply tunneling through every mountain).

    Politically dictating the interest rate has the same effect as politically increasing or decreasing the cost of a single resource. Such meddling changes everything and leads to the misallocation of all factors of production, creates artificial scarcities and decreases the level of net present wealth. By extension the standard of living of a society will suffer and there will be more misery, poverty and death as a result and in the same way that a blight caused the Irish Potato Famine.

  21. Laws of Nature

    “[..]For almost two decades, the 2°C target has served as a common reference point for climate policy and climate science,[..]”
    You mean “ever since the first computer model came up with a way to high feedback to the CO2″ !?
    So basically if some luke warmers are correct and a doubling of CO2 only results in lets say 1.2°C warming, “[..] scientific policy advisors will have to carefully re-examine their role.[..]“.
    Admitting to that possibility would remove them from the picture.. thus you can see right now in the real world policiy advisors preassuring the climate scientist to keep “the pause” out of th next IPCC-report
    -sience and facts are irrelevant, its all politics now-

  22. Oliver Geden of the German Institute for International and “Security Affairs (SWP) has written a provocative essay on this topic entitled Modifying the 2C target. In today’s Guardian Geden has an article: Climate change – what next after the 2C boundary?”
    _____

    Judith, the link to Geden’s essay didn’t work for me, nor did I find it in “today’s Guardian.” I did find it in the June 11, 2013 Guardian.

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/political-science/2013/jun/11/science-policy1

  23. Geden says:

    Basically, there are three modification options. World leaders could either allow the 2°C target to become a benchmark that can be temporarily overshoot, accept a less stringent target, or give up on a global stabilisation objective altogether.

    Nonsense. There are many more “modification options”:

    4) Recognize that the failure of the GCMs demonstrates that equilibrium sensitivity of the climate to CO2 is way lower than the pseudoscientific political hacks have been trying to scare us with. Therefore, accept that we will achieve the 2°C “target” no matter what we do about CO2, including nothing, and stop pretending that doing something is necessary.

    5) Recognize that 2°C is desirable for a host of good reasons and a net benefit to humanity, and actively pursue at least that much warming, despite the fact that it doesn’t seem achievable given our best efforts as a species to date.

    6) Admit that Marx and Engels were not climate scientists, and transmogrify the temperature target into a different excuse for statist politics. Say, “ocean acidification”, for example.

    Hmmmmmmm. Wonder which they will go for?

  24. Judith,

    I think it would be instructive for folks to read

    http://www.mcc-berlin.net/fileadmin/data/pdf/Edenhofer_Kowarsch_PEM_Manuscript_2012.pdf

    “Finally, there is the pragmatic model, first developed by Mead and later introduced into
    the debate about technocracy by Habermas (1971). It is also termed the “democratic,” “co-production,” “deliberative” or “co-evolutionary model.” Many variants of this model were developed by different scholars. Just like the decisionist model, the pragmatic model rejects the technocratic belief in the objective, value-free recommendation of
    policy ends by scientists in order to avoid an “iron cage of bondage” for policy. However, it also rejects the decisionist standpoint that sciences should identify appropriate policy means on their own.In contrast to the previous models, the pragmatic model argues that policy ends and means can be effectively determined in a rational discourse between sciences, policymakers and the public, provided that certain formal, rational and fair rules are complied with. Such a discourse could, according to the model, help develop new technologies (means) and even policy ends in accordance with explicit and widely debated values and societal needs.
    The pragmatic model thus demands a critical interaction between sciences, policy and the public. Scientists are called on to give inputs, yet not to determine ends and means. The following simplified scheme is typical for most versions of the pragmatic model, which primarily promise to lead to pluralism, “deliberative democracy” and a more democratic control of expertise in policy.”
    ##############################
    One thing you will note in all the debates between AGW types and skeptics is the Primacy of science. The debate typically centers around what science is or is not, it swirls around the differences between observations and theory, around knowledge and uncertainity, around which science experts have standing. At no point in this debate is the primacy of science questioned. I would say that even your focus on uncertainty tends to put science at the center. There is another tradition

    “Most advocates of the pragmatic model hold that any differences between scientific knowledge and other forms of knowledge are only gradual and qualitative. Instead of the “one rationality” of sciences leading to a consensus, as proposed by the technocratic
    model, the pragmatic model aims to establish a consensus through democratic participation and a discourse that is open to different ways of forming or structuring knowledge and experiences. The model conceptualizes decision-making in a pluralistic universe of facts and values.”

    • I would add a fifth requirement to the 4 in the first paragraph: a policy recommendation must be achievable.

    • “One thing you will note in all the debates between AGW types and skeptics is the Primacy of science. The debate typically centers around what science is or is not, it swirls around the differences between observations and theory, around knowledge and uncertainity, around which science experts have standing. At no point in this debate is the primacy of science questioned. I would say that even your focus on uncertainty tends to put science at the center.”

      There is a reason for that. Scientists sitting at their desks and writing articles offer the only reasons for believing that AGW is more than a ordinary problem for adaptation. The reasons for believing that CAGW is a real possibility have come from the scientific community alone. There has been no mass movement among truckers, pilots, farmers, professional athletes, retail store owners, or “you name it” calling for government action to prepare for AGW much less CAGW. There has been no mass movement because the masses of people have no evidence in their own experience that temperatures are rising or that weather is getting stranger or any such thing.

      Of course the activist organizations such as GreenPeace, The Sierra Club, and National Geographic are very good at mobilizing their members to agitate for government action against AGW. But all of their evidence has been produced by scientists sitting at their desks and writing articles. Nobody would have cared about Arctic ice except for the fact that scientists wrote articles that interpreted Arctic phenomena as signs of doom.

      Fear of AGW and CAGW is entirely the product of scientists writing. If AGW proves to be harmless and CAGW non-existent, the wasted effort, wasted opportunities, and wasted wealth must all be layed at the doorstep of science.

      What about the politicians? Science gave them the opportunity and they ran with it. Of course they made things worse and are responsible for that.

      • “Of course the activist organizations such as GreenPeace, The Sierra Club, and National Geographic are very good at mobilizing their members to agitate for government action against AGW”
        Don’t forget the League of Women Voters.

      • “What about the politicians? Science gave them the opportunity and they ran with it. Of course they made things worse and are responsible for that.”
        Well, that is what politicians do, after all.

      • jim2 | September 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm |

        Thank you. I was hoping someone would pick up on the little dig at National Geographic.

      • Theo

        My claim was this

        “One thing you will note in all the debates between AGW types and skeptics is the Primacy of science. The debate typically centers around what science is or is not, ”

        Your response looks at only half

        “There is a reason for that. Scientists sitting at their desks and writing articles offer the only reasons for believing that AGW is more than a ordinary problem for adaptation. ”

        And I think you get that half wrong .

        Step back from the position you hold in this debate over global warming.
        Look at both sides squarely. Do you see how both put scientific knowledge above all other forms of knowing and understanding? You can see this clearly in the constant skeptical references to Feynman and all the silly things he said about science. And you can see it in the appeals of those who believe in AGW,; in its clearest form when folks talk about speaking truth to power. The arguments all revolve around what “true science” says, as if once we know what “science” says, then our course for the future will be clear. At no time does either side question the primacy of science. Its a form of idolatry.

        One of the forms of knowing that gets slighted in this idolatry is political knowing. You might want to re read this post with this in mind.

        reread this post http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/02/professors-politics-and-public-policy/

    • John Carpenter

      I have identified myself here as a pragmatist several times. I really enjoyed reading this paper. I firmly believe that the only way to achieve the ends to the problem is through democratic means via public dialogue and debate. This paper puts many of the ideas I have thought about together in a very clear manner to me. The PEM appears, to me, to be (through existing democratic default) the way we as a society will muddle through this complex climate policy mess already without directly applying it as formally as the authors have laid out. By that I mean, elected leaders will choose different means to the end and policy makers will attempt to implement them. The public debate begins when the public decides whether they think the means to the end are working for them or not. If not, they will use the power of voting to either elect different leaders/policy makers who will change policy means direction or will repeal the means implemented in favor of a different option (think Australia here). Of course this could and perhaps would happen over a long period of time where the public may vacillate between different options as means consequences hit them in different ways. Nevertheless, through democratic discourse, the public will in general muddle through the problem, imperfectly, to a better situation. I believe this is the way the climate policy issue will actually play out in the long run. Great paper, JC should have a post on it.

      • John,
        “I have identified myself here as a pragmatist several times. ”

        glad to see there is more than one. It was quite refreshing to finally read something that at least touched on pragmatism.

        Looking at PEM I am going to make an outrageous argument. Its already happening according to that model, although not in any formal way..

      • John Carpenter

        “Looking at PEM I am going to make an outrageous argument. Its already happening according to that model, although not in any formal way..”

        I agree. It is the natural way things evolve in democratic societies. It will happen on local levels, not global. What works for some locals will not necessarily work for others. Ultimately the people will decide how to proceed. Even if a technocratic regime were to emerge, if the means adopted negatively impact the public in ways where they don’t see any immediate benefit to themselves, they will rebel and disobey. Top down policy making does not have long legs, we see this lesson in history time after time.

      • Thank you Mosher for the link to PEM and I can relate to the philosophical underpinings of such a model but I quote from this paper the following:

        “Such a deliberative discourse presupposes that citizens and stakeholders are actually capable of, and interested in, understanding, discussing and criticizing scientific inputs for public policy-making.”

        Requires that participants are detached from what results will come out of this process, which IMO is a big ask.

      • Peter.

        ““Such a deliberative discourse presupposes that citizens and stakeholders are actually capable of, and interested in, understanding, discussing and criticizing scientific inputs for public policy-making.”

        Requires that participants are detached from what results will come out of this process, which IMO is a big ask.

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

        Excellent point. I will note in passing that your way of framing this as
        a challenge is far more open minded than the cocksure fatalist Joshua who is certain that it is impossible.

        I will say this about skeptics. They are, some of them, capable of an interesting in discussing the science. Guys like Joshua are proud of their refusal to understand the science.

    • “Most advocates of the pragmatic model hold that any differences between scientific knowledge and other forms of knowledge are only gradual and qualitative.”

      Absolutely correct. That model was introduced by William James in a talk in 1896. His idol, Charles Sanders Peirce, disowned (intellectually) him for it. Peirce was so upset that he began calling his work ‘Pragmaticism.”

      Some might be interested that James’ model puts scientific belief and religious belief on the same level. Once you have that pluralistic universe of facts and values there is no stopping it.

      • John Carpenter

        I’m not sure i would put scientific and religious beliefs on the same level. I would not endorse a ‘fatalistic’ POV of science and policy making. However, I very much agree that what science offers to the debate is only a part of the total information needed to formulate means. As one trained in science, I see how a technocratic model is an alluring method to a scientist. But it’s a method really more akin to turning to the ‘dark side’ of the force. Egos can so get in the way of progress and most scientists have a high regard for their own work…. Naturally. It’s the bias few like to really acknowledge.

      • “I’m not sure i would put scientific and religious beliefs on the same level.”

        Interesting question, isn’t it? If we followed some pragmatists, such as James and Dewey, would the Pope have a vote in the EU?

      • There can be similarities between scientific and religious/spiritual understandings, and also in the ongoing search for more scientific or religious understanding. That would depend on the methods that an individual uses in their search, honesty and objectivity being two very important tools in the course of that search.

      • Theo,
        You might want to compare “A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God” with James, “The Will to Believe”.

      • This is a good example of why scientists should ignore philosophy. 99% of it is crap making finding the useful 1% a waste of time.

    • Damn was expecting the Max Weber fans to rise up in opposition

    • Stakeholder dialog as seen in participatory planning.

      – Handing over the stick (or pen or chalk)
      Facilitating investigation, analysis, presentation and learning by local people themselves, so they generate and own the outcomes and also learn.

      – Self-critical awareness
      Facilitators continuously and critically examine their own behavior.

      – Personal responsibility
      Taking responsibility for what is done, rather than, for instance, relying on the authority of manuals or on rigid rules.

      – Sharing
      Involves the wide range of techniques now available, from chatting across the fence to photocopies and e-mail.

      —————–

      For it to work, the organizational hierarchy has to be leveled, people have to have real power to affect real policies. Otherwise they have no investment in outcomes.

      The problem is, it won’t work when the participants have a scorched earth mentality – where they are seeking to justify their sense of victimization and to get revenge for perceived past grievances. The problem is, when people are engaged in a zero sum game, participatory planning can’t work. When an issue, become a proxy for an ideological war, participatory planning can’t work. In fact, under those circumstances no significant form of dialog can take place.

      • are you certain?
        I love your fatalism.

        Now, if you would take a sceptical view of yourself, you might suggest that folks conduct an experiment. After all the planet is at stake and one might argue that we should try everything. But Joshua has decided. without even trying. without citing any science or any experts. He has decided it is futile. Moreover, when he is asked to reason together, when he is asked to study a little science, he throws his hands up, collaborating with the scorched earth folks albeit under the guise of humility

      • John Carpenter

        “For it to work, the organizational hierarchy has to be leveled, people have to have real power to affect real policies. Otherwise they have no investment in outcomes.”

        Joshua, this is how democratic systems of government work… There is a hierarchy of organization the people use to affect policies in which they are invested. Look at the recent changes in policy over marijuana use. Policies and public opinion on this have changed greatly over the last century. More recently policies have been in line with the ‘war on drugs’. Illegal and criminal to grow, distribute and use. The war on drugs has not been an overwhelming success. We still have people who want to use. The market is not going away through police action and criminalization. The current policy has not worked as intended, so now the people are contemplating changing course in Colorado, California, and Washington, Oregon. New policies are being rolled out to allow medical and recreational use. The ends have changed and so the means have changed. The Feds are watching, but are not going to enforce the old policies. If the people find the new policies work for them, they will stay. If they don’t, the people will change course again, elect new leaders, change the ends and thus the means. This is democracy at work. Why would it be different for climate? Science influences the discussion and adds information, but it is not the sole source the people will use.

  25. The science establishment has proven, conclusively, that it is not trustworthy or credible. The 2 degree target is just one of the many embarrassments. This article is a bit silly worrying that the climbdown from this one embarrassment would be a problem. How about all the other embarrassments?

  26. I was listening to a piece on NPR yesterday on the confirmation hearings for Dr Sullivan, currently acting head of NOAA. Patty Murray (D WA), was particularly interested in maintaining a string of ocean sensors off the PNW coast. She said they were critical to protect WA oyster producers from upwelling of acidic water from deep ocean currents. Ignoring the part about these upwelling currents not being acidic, I was wondering if Senator Murray realized what she was saying.

    If the driver of changing pH in WA coastal waters are deep ocean upwellings, then claims of anthropogenic ocean acidification are baseless. Imagine that.

    • Strong sensors, arms upraised vigilantly, protecting the baby oysters from ‘deep upwelling’. I want the movie rights.
      ==========================

      • I can see the part where the intrepid young scientist has paddled far out to sea in her kayak in an attempt to repair the broken sensor before the next upwelling occurs. As back story, she grew up on the WA coast, where her family raises oysters. They sacrifice so their daughter can go to the UDub (University of Washington for those outside thePNW) where she studies ocean acidification.

        I see Jessica Alba playing the lead

      • Ooh, imagine seeing it with the movie Avatar as a doubleheader. There would be lines down the block.

      • Are these the same sort of oysters that always close around a divers foot?
        I am no expert on life aquatic, but I picked up a lot of oceanography watching ‘Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea’ as a kid and know many of the dangers, as in the moment you open a hatch in comes a squids tentacle or a lobster man; these acid upwellings sound like they would have been a script writers dream.

      • My dad, who designed instrument control systems for the USS Seawolf, disliked the show for all of the technical inaccuracies. As a submarine I too can find all sorts of outrageous liberties’, like the windows in the bow. But like some climate related science, I understand it was science fiction.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      I’d suggest Lucy Lawless for the mother – and there should plenty of scenes with clothes dissolving in acid.

      • Well we each have our own tastes.

        I do like the dissolving clothes idea.

        Another part of the plot – the reason Jessica (or Lucy) is in a kayak is because Big Oil exec’s have pulled strings to keep the university research vessel in port. There is a scene where they celebrate at a restaurant while downing oysters from Jessica’s family oyster farm.

      • She is in the kayak because of the danger that acidic waters can pose to metal parts. The kayak is 100% biodegradable, naturally.

    • All those oysters do is cause more human reproduction. It would be better for the planet if they died off.

    • Quick, notify the media! They will be right on top of this blunder.

    • ‘The Acid Ocean.” Sequel ter ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’
      Only it ain’t. Great comment by E.M. Smith on WUWT
      (@ 29/12/11 8.30pm.) in post by Willis Eschenbach,
      ‘The Ocean isn’t getting Acidified.’ 31/12/2011.

      E.M Smith says that the floor of the ocean has a constant
      cover of carbonate and sillicate shells of sea life. There is
      no acidification until all that trillion tons of alkaline and basic
      material is reacted which is not going to happen.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Acid Ocean

      Water that upwells seasonally along the West Coast of North America is growing increasingly acidic.

      Deep-ocean currents take years to transport acidified water to upwelling regions. Acidified water in upwelling regions had previously been at the ocean surface about 50 years ago. At that time, atmospheric CO2 levels were roughly 310 parts per million. Since then, CO2 levels have risen in the atmosphere by about 20 percent.

      When it reacts with water, CO2 generates carbonic acid, which, at high enough concentrations, can harm shell-building organisms such as corals, clams, snails and oysters. Scientists call such water “corrosive” because it can weaken shells and coral reefs.

      Scientists say: “The coastal ocean acidification train has left the station, and there is not much we can do to derail it. When the upwelled water was last at the surface, it was exposed to an atmosphere with much lower CO2 levels than today’s. The water that will upwell off the coast in future years already is making its undersea trek toward us, with ever-increasing levels of carbon dioxide and acidity.”

      From the denialist point-of-view, the above statements-of-fact are *LIES* that are spread by *COMMUNISTS* to foster a *ONE-WORLD GOVERNMENT*.

      But that’s cuckoo-cognition, isn’t it? Because “Mother Nature cannot be fooled.” And she is sending our own anthropogenic CO2 back to us, as acid ocean-water.

      Isn’t that plain, sobering common-sense, Climate Etc readers?

      \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

        The 50 year cycle is conjecture and even if not, upwelling currents are evidence against current ocean pH being driven by atmospheric CO2.

      • FOMBS sees the temperature dropping, thus changes the subject.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        jim2 says “FOMBS sees the temperature  dropping  reaching record heat-levels this summer

        It is a pleasure to correct your typographic error, jim2. Thank you for reminding Climate Etc readers that ocean heat and ocean acidity *both* are increasing steadily, without any ‘pause’ or decadal fluctuations. These scientific observations are mighty sobering, eh jim2?

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

      • A fan…”From the denialist point-of-view, the above statements-of-fact are *LIES* that are spread by *COMMUNISTS* to foster a *ONE-WORLD GOVERNMENT*. ”
        ———————-
        You finally said something right.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The water was last seen 1000 years – and is at any rate irrelevant to CO2 dissolved at depth.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        For forms of government
        Let fools contest;
        Whate’er is best administer’d
          is *best*!

            — Alexander Pope

        This is a foundational principle of prudent 21st century conservatism.

        Isn’t that the plain common-sense lesson of history, goldminor?

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

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Chief Hydrologist claims [mistakenly] “The [acidified PNW] ocean-water was last seen 1000 years [ago] – and is at any rate irrelevant to CO2 dissolved at depth.”

        Chief Hydrologist, the oceanographic observations plainly establish that both of your claims are entirely mistaken.

        It is an ongoing pleasure to help broaden your scientific understanding of climate-change, Chief Hydrologist!

        \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}

      • “…..And she is sending our own anthropogenic CO2 back to us, as acid ocean-water.

        Isn’t that plain, sobering common-sense, Climate Etc readers?”

        The plain common sense sobering fact is the ocean is not the least bit acidic. What’s more sobering and common sense is it will likely never be acidic anytime humans inhabit the planet. There is no amount of acid available on the planet to neutralize the oceans let alone make them acidic.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You give me a link about aragonite saturation in the arctic to substantiate an absurd claim on residence time of water in the deep oceans. You are utterly dishonest, disingenuous and a prevaricator.

        Happy to add to your utterly inconsequential scientific knowledge FOMBS.

      • “Acidified water in upwelling regions had previously been at the ocean surface about 50 years ago”

        Want to present some H-Bomb isotope data to support that?
        No, thought not, more bollocks from you.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Chief Hydrologist, please let me say that you would learn more about climate-change by reading all the way to the end of the article!

        Evidence for Upwelling
        of Corrosive “Acidified” Water
        onto the Continental Shelf

        Conclusion The upwelled water off northern California (line 5) was last at the surface about 50 years ago, when atmospheric CO2 was about 65 ppm lower than it is today.

        Without the anthropogenic [CO2] signal, the equilibrium aragonite saturation level would be deeper by about 50 m across the shelf, and no undersaturated waters would reach the surface.

        Our results show that a large section of the North American continental shelf is affected by ocean acidification. Other continental shelf regions may also be affected where anthropogenic CO2-enriched water is being upwelled onto the shelf.

        It is a pleasure to further help broaden your scientific understanding of climate-change, Chief Hydrologist!

        \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}

      • I know better than to follow fans links yet every now and then I do. And as usual the link is either irrelevant to the point being discussed, or as in this case, it is misrepresented by fan.

        The paper is about effect of fresh water from sea ice melt on surface water chemistry. It only touches on deep water upwelling and I saw no reference to a 50 year cycle.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        The above quotations are verbatim, ain’t that right timg56?

        It’s a pleasure to encourage you to read the scientific literature more closely, time56!

        \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}

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Phytoplankton take up carbon through photosynthesis. Some of that sinks from the surface layer as dead organisms and particles (the ‘biological pump’), or is transformed into dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Most of the carbon in sinking particles is respired (through the action of bacteria) in the surface and intermediate layers and is eventually recirculated to the surface as DIC. The remaining particle flux reaches abyssal depths and a small fraction reaches the deep ocean sediments, some of which is re-suspended and some of which is buried. Intermediate waters mix on a time scale of decades to centuries, while deep waters mix on millennial time scales. Several mixing times are required to bring the full buffering capacity of the ocean into effect (see Section 5.4 for long-term observations of the ocean carbon cycle and their consistency with ocean physics).’ http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch7s7-3.html

        We know perfectly well what the deep ocean mixing times are for upwelling Californian coast waters.

        It might be helpful as well if you didn’t link to Arctic studies to reinforce an article stating that high CO2 upwelling was formed in a lower CO2 environment. It is utterly stupid FOMBS – and you are a liar.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Gosh Chief, it looks my link to Evidence for Upwelling of Corrosive “Acidified” Water onto the Continental Shelf was actually a link to Aragonite Undersaturation in the Arctic Ocean: Effects of Ocean Acidification and Sea Ice Melt.

        Of course, the articles *do* agree that CO2-induced ocean acidification is real, global, and accelerating, eh Chief?

        That’s why *both* articles are well-worth reading! It is an ever-increasing pleasure to FURTHER help broaden your scientific understanding of climate-change, Chief Hydrologist!

        \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}

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Gosh FOMBS – we could talk aragonite supersaturation in areas not affected by abyssal upwelling – but you are an ideologically motivated liar and fool who understands nothing and is incapable of rational discourse.

      • Chief,

        Fan is dishonest in his arguments. But he is also intelligent enough not to lie outright. At least I can’t recall him lying, unless you consider misleading and misrepresentation to be lying. In my opinion he treads up to the line, but knows enough not to blatantly cross it.

        Of course if one thinks dishonesty and misdirection are acceptable as long outright lying is avoided, then fan is pure as new fallen snow.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Chief Hydrologist gets peeved  “You are an ideologically motivated liar and fool who understands nothing and is incapable of rational discourse.”

        Gosh, that must be why my “feeble” reasoning depends so intimately upon scientific findings, whereas your “strong” reasoning is utterly independent of science and logic!

        \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}

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Gosh – FOMBS gets all smarmy and unctuous. Who would of guessed.

        So that’s why you started with the utterly nonsensical and built on it? Seriously I am not peeved – you are actually dishonest.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        One may be forthright and still show good faith. That’s he thinks I say he is a liar and fool because I am peeved says everything. I say it because I think it true.

        Bad faith in discourse in the ultimate in intellectual lies. It’s aim is not communication but point scoring. It is quite obviously all he is interested in – being smarmily superior to skeptics. I am not interested in politely continuing with such.

      • Chief,

        The only points fan ever scores are own goal.

        On a bad day you do better than fan does in a month of Sundays.

  27. In reality, those who repudiate a theory that they had once proposed … or … had accepted enthusiastically … Are very rare … [they] shut their ears and … their eyes so as not to see the glaring facts. In order to remain faithful to their theories in spite of all and everything.” Maurice Arthus, Philosophy of Scientific Investigation, 1921

    • “Gosh, that must be why my “feeble” reasoning depends so intimately upon scientific findings,”

      Fan of more Trolling, your math is feeble, because you claimed that an eyeball-estimated 40 foot high ice floe meant that floe had a 400 foot deep ice keel. When I checked up on you, I discovered that 7/8th of sea ice extends underwater. 40 feet is 1/8th of 320, leaving only 280 feet of ice below the waterline, not 400 feet.

      Readers should know that Fan was adamant about his 400 foot ice keel, when all he had to go on was an explorers eyeball estimate of a 40 foot height above the water from miles away. And his math was way wrong anyway. I would have linked, but I didn’t know how to find old posts.

      Feeble math equals feeble weak climate science

      • “In sciences that are based on supposition and opinion … The object is to command assent, not to master the thing itself.” Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, 1620.

        Another example of the disasters that consensus has created in another area [the current epidemics of diabetes and obesity] is discussed in Chapter Three, Creation of Consensus, “Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control and Disease” by Gary Taubes.

        IMO two things that can prevent the AGW supposition from becoming “consensus” is the current climate pause and possibility the information contained in the final batch of Climategate letters.

  28. I have been reading the conclusions in the SWP 30 page research paper of Dr Geden, he concludes that the UN Cancun agreed 2 degree target (as sponsored by the EU) has failed, and it would be unlikely that the EU would agree to modification of the target, as the EU are working towards that target themselves, would lose further influence, and would be agreeing to what the EU scientists regards as a danger. Well little surprise there as UN conference was audienced by many different and conflicting countries with different agendas, rulers and governments, how often do the international forum agree on anything ? climate related or not, it is almost unbelievable they have come to terms on Syria. The important thing was it gave an agreed target and most countries are aware of it and taking action.

    : random country reference:

    http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/environment/efforts-to-control-abu-dhabi-s-high-rate-of-per-capita-carbon-and-water-footprints-1.1214098

    If EU lose face and take a back seat then another leader will emerge, this is an international problem (it could even be China), the important thing is that the international community act rather than dither and argue. The climate is now at a ”new normal” with serious events increasing,as we can clearly see, and we need to take our good international climate scientists research and conclusions seriously and sort it out politically. It is our job and not the scientists job to agree the politics.

    • Name the serious events that are out of the ordinary from past history. The only ‘serious’ news I have seen for some years now is the media trying to hype every normal major weather event that comes down the pike.

      • I think if you go to the NOAA site they list the events and recent records broken fairly comprehensively including the recent one in a 1000 year Colorado event, extensive Far East floods, warmest winter, in record in my country, droughts etc.. Not to mention the bush fires that have been raging in Russia and the unusual Arctic events and behaviour of the jet stream this summer. Look at the computer models that have been predicting an increase of heavy precipitation events in such places as Colorado, tropics amongst other things – are you still in disbelief when computer predictions come true ? or do you just whine on about the unknowns and shoddy programmers ?? This is an international problem and countries need to take a lead in taking the warnings seriously. At what level of GHG/melted ice and weather patterns we increase the temperature by 2 degrees is debatable and academic, but we need international action by politicians and industry – not debate.

      • All of the weather events that you are pointing to have happened before. That was the point of my original comment. The only difference between then and now is that we are here today to experience the events.

      • So you can’t tell the difference between PR spin and science redsky.

      • No I’m sorry but I do not accept that all of these recent extremes have happened before (in this geological age). As we are discussing a German paper to do with EU policies, you could consider visiting the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact site, for papers and news on recent record events, together with jet stream behaviour. If you are not interested in considering this as valid input – then this dialogue between us is a complete waste of energy and time and I will bid you farewell good sir or madam.

      • Hate to tell you this redsky, but acceptance on your part is not required. Flooding happens. It has happened in Colorado before. It will happen again. Until you come up with a mechanism linking flooding to climate change, or observational data showing an increase in frequency that can’t be explained by natural variability, you are talking smack.

      • I was once in a Saharan sandstorm, they are not that unusual in the Sahara, but are quite unusual in Central London.

      • Ok, some of the current large weather events have been record breaking, but there have been events in the past there were very close in magnitude to the new record breaking events. How much significance can then be drawn from a storm that is 2% more intense than one from a hundred years ago? Nature,s variation is endless. I am 63 years old. I have always paid attention to nature, as I care for it dearly. I ahve felt the changes over the years. I remember feeling/sensing that something had changed back in the mid 70s. Back then I had no idea what had changed or why. Now, after following the climate change debate for 6 years, I can say that I understand much more, and I now know that my senses were correct regarding the mid 70s as a point of natural change.

      • There are papers and reports that link extremes to Climate Change, I could give the links but I think you would most likely dismiss as PR – American Meteorological Society is one of several, it is not that we did not get extremes before but the frequency of them now, this year Pakistan, Far East of Russia China, and Colorado, at least so far. My point (as a retired modelling programmer) was that it has been predicted by computer models – all I hear in reply is multitudes of unknowns and sloppy code. Well there are multitudes of knowns too. My final opinion is that (even if the 2 degree model fails) we should hope for continued international agreed progress on GHG reductions and take such bodies as the PIK very seriously.

      • I would agree that with a global population of 7 billion and counting that it is obvious mankind has to consider impacts to the environment. Land use changes/deforestation should be at the top of the list. I do not have the faith in the models that you do.

        I do read from many sources. I believe in keeping an open mind.

      • Well that is fair enough having an extensive computer career with a modelling bias I could not be considered neutral. I was challenged on providing statistics earlier on weather pattern changes, there are many places to choose from but I found Hong Kong records interesting and glad to know they are on the ball.

        http://www.hko.gov.hk/climate_change/climate_change_hk_e.htm

        There’s hope for us yet !

      • redskylite

        that is a good link to Hong Kong, more countries should keep their data in this easy to read format. However it is a very highly urbanised society and I am not sure that pointing to them really tells us anything, especially as records are relatively short.

        I am fortunate to live in an area (western Britain) where we have excellent weather records that can be researched from the Met Office archives and Library, Cathedrals, historic weather diaries, physical evidence of former habitation on the uplands of Dartmoor.

        I am currently engaged in trying to extend the CET record back from its current start date of 1659. I am currently at 1538 and hope to get back to 1086AD, albeit that will be rather more sporadically.

        The number of extreme events and periods of climate change in the pre 1850 period is astonishing. Rainfall events in particular simply dwarf what we currently experience as do storms.

        The greatest extremes seem to occur during episodes of the LIA not the warmer periods. There is then a greater temperature gradient between the poles and the tropics so there is potentially more energy. LIA summers could be extremely hot and the winters of course extremely cold
        tonyb

      • ‘I am fortunate to live in an area, (western Btitain,) where
        we have excellent weather records…’
        Serendipity, tony, like Galileo with the glass blowing industry re telescopes.
        Beth.

      • Climatereason – I am very interested in your research, I grew up in Weston Super Mare and later moved to Dorset, so I am very familiar with the area. It is difficult to get good stats and information outside of the well known sites of NASA, NOAA and UK Met, so good luck with your work.

      • redskylite

        The Met office seem genuinely interested in the project and I hope to have a meeting with them in the next week or two.

        After looking at very many records I would estimate that fewer than 1% of historic data is online and therefore searchable by desk bound researchers.

        We are therefore getting an extremely narrow view of climate events promulgated by those that do hold some records such as those you named.

        Much of my research material is online but there is a great deal more that needs to be sifted through and put into context first

        tonyb

      • @ redskylite…thanks for the Hong Kong Observatory link. That is a nice addition to the others I use.

  29. modification from 2C sounds as: ”three times cutting and is still too short”

  30. Seems that the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik has some klout:

    The SWP is also aiding and advising governments. The Cablegate leak produced evidence that leading representatives of the SWP (Volker Perthes, its head, and Walter Posch, an expert on Iran) had advised the U.S. State Department to proceed against Iran with a “policy of covert sabotage (unexplained explosions, accidents, computer hacking etc)”. These conversations were later linked to the Stuxnet malware attack against Iranian nuclear facilities in June 2010.

    In a secret project called “Day After” that was (or is) run by the SWP, since January 2012 up to 50 representatives of the Syrian opposition have been invited for talks in Germany, with the aim to prepare them for forming a new government after the overthrow of the current regime under Bashar al-Assad. “Day After” is co-organized by the United States Institute of Peace, an institution funded by the U.S. government.

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

  31. Isn’t Geden recommending bargaining and suggesting how it is to be done? Doesn’t he suggest that Alarmists will have to drop “world domination” and try for “regional domination” in some regions that they might not care for? Doesn’t he suggest that the output of climate models will no longer be taken as Gospel but will be treated as part of an on-going process of interpretation, something like the Talmud?

    • Yes, trying to salvage usable bits from the rubble. What will demolish the effort is the discovery that climate science is even worse at predicting local, regional, or short-term outcomes than grandiose long-range and global ones. He’s cruisin’ for a bruisin’.

  32. How fitting that the 2C threshold, concocted as a PR move to galvanize political action and public concern, should turn about and savage the perpetrators.

  33. In the near future, scientific policy advisors will have to carefully re-examine their role. When appearing in the media or before parliamentary committees, they should not attempt to distill the enormous volume and range of climate research into explicit demands for political action. Rather, they should restrict themselves to presenting the conditions and consequences of specific policy alternatives (pdf).

    That’s excellent news. Lets’ gets some balance back. The sooner climate science takes its place as just another branch of science, the better for all of us. Once the ideology is removed (when?) we can get back to properly balanced risk analysis, economic analysis, policy analysis and decision making based on reliable evidence as opposed to the beliefs of the eco-religions.

  34. To me, 2 C looks like a number thought up by the “communications” arm of the IPCC. 2 is a nice, round, even number and it is easy to remember. Among the integers, it comes right after 1 – easy to remember, even for the typical member of Greenpeace. Genius.

    • jim2, a German climate scientist was asked by the IPCC to find a snappy way to put over the warming story, similar to the “five serves of fruit and veg a day” dietary advice slogan (which has no scientific basis). He thought that “keeping temperature rise to 2C or all hell will break loose” would do the trick. This was accepted; he later admitted in a Der Spiegel interview that he had no scientific basis for this, but it filled the bill. (The interview was published on No Tricks Zone.)

      • Thanks, Faustino.

      • jim2, the story is here: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/climate-catastrophe-a-superstorm-for-global-warming-research-a-686697-8.html

        I asked Pierre Gosselin at NoTricksZone about it, mentioned that JC had cited him, and asked why CE wasn’t on his blogroll. He replied: “Thanks.
        Indeed her site is among the best and most highly respected out there. Now added.” DirkH gave me the Der Spiegel link.

      • Here’s an extract from the DS article. Everyone should read it:

        Climate models involve some of the most demanding computations of any simulations, and only a handful of institutes worldwide have the necessary supercomputers. The computers must run at full capacity for months to work their way through the jungle of data produced by coupled differential equations.

        All of this is much too complicated for politicians, who aren’t terribly interested in the details. They have little use for radiation budgets and ocean-atmosphere circulation models. Instead, they prefer simple targets.

        For this reason a group of German scientists, yielding to political pressure, invented an easily digestible message in the mid-1990s: the two-degree target. To avoid even greater damage to human beings and nature, the scientists warned, the temperature on Earth could not be more than two degrees Celsius higher than it was before the beginning of industrialization.

        It was a pretty audacious estimate. Nevertheless, the powers-that-be finally had a tangible number to work with. An amazing success story was about to begin.

        Rarely has a scientific idea had such a strong impact on world politics. Most countries have now recognized the two-degree target. If the two-degree limit were exceeded, German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen announced ahead of the failed Copenhagen summit, “life on our planet, as we know it today, would no longer be possible.”

        But this is scientific nonsense. “Two degrees is not a magical limit — it’s clearly a political goal,” says Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). “The world will not come to an end right away in the event of stronger warming, nor are we definitely saved if warming is not as significant. The reality, of course, is much more complicated.”

        Schellnhuber ought to know. He is the father of the two-degree target.

        “Yes, I plead guilty,” he says, smiling. The idea didn’t hurt his career. In fact, it made him Germany’s most influential climatologist. Schellnhuber, a theoretical physicist, became Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief scientific adviser — a position any researcher would envy.

        The story of the two-degree target began in the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). Administration politicians had asked the council for climate protection guidelines, and the scientists under Schellnhuber’s leadership came up with a strikingly simple idea. “We looked at the history of the climate since the rise of homo sapiens,” Schellnhuber recalls. “This showed us that average global temperatures in the last 130,000 years were no more than two degrees higher than before the beginning of the industrial revolution. To be on the safe side, we came up with a rule of thumb stating that it would be better not to depart from this field of experience in human evolution. Otherwise we would be treading on terra incognita.”

        As tempting as it sounds, on closer inspection this approach proves to be nothing but a sleight of hand. That’s because humans are children of an ice age. For many thousands of years, they struggled to survive in a climate that was as least four degrees colder than it is today, and at times even more than eight degrees colder.

        This means that, on balance, mankind has already survived far more severe temperature fluctuations than two degrees. And the cold periods were always the worst periods. Besides, modern civilizations have far more technical means of adapting to climate change than earlier societies had.

      • This is an unbelievably good series from Spiegel

      • The two-mile high Gore Building resembled a black tooth pick protruding through the ice. In the building, four small nuclear reactors ran 24/365 to warm the skin of the building. The result was a flowing hole in the ice, teardrop shaped, as the glacier moved inexorably to the South. The highways that connected these islands literally skated across the surface of the ice …

  35. Geden is not very well informed on the progress of climate science. His view and the 2C limit belong to the old “science is settled” camp promoted initiallty by the IPCC. That view is now being challenged more and more even by ‘policy advisors’.

    .The whole idea of a 2C limit rested on the proposition that we could calculate how much fssil fuel we would need to burn to reach it. The unexpected and unexplained pause of the last 15 years shows how useless that proposition is.

    Someone should tell Geden about the ‘pause’.

  36. Australian politics: the new Minister for Energy (responsible for climate change) has just been asked for his response to Judith’s op-ed and the issue of consensus science in a Sky News discussion. He said he will await the Assessment Report before commenting. He said he will take advice from Australia’s BOM and CSIRO (both warmist) and leading overseas scientific bodies – i.e., from the consensus science group. Not very encouraging.

    He said that “we” (the government) accept the emissions reduction targets, but that the Carbon Tax was not contributing to meet them – he attributed the fact that Australia is on course to meet its reduction targets to slower emissions growth from manufacturing industries closing or producing less because of higher costs (exchange rate, CT, energy prices). He argues the reduced emissions here are offset by increased emissions from competitors overseas (true), and that removing the CT will boost manufacturing here (not noting that our emissions will rise).

    Overall, not much hope there for those hoping for policies based on a wider examination of the science and the costs and benefits of reductions. No mention of the pause or discrediting of climate models, just (apart from the CT), business as usual.

    Interestingly, he said that he found 50 extraction projects waiting for the ALP minister to sign off that an environmental assessment should be undertaken – Labor had just sat on them. The Coalition government has said it will take a much more positive view of such projects, and will (I think) remove (or reduce) Federal assessment of State decisions – the ALP tended to court the Green vote by frustrating projects given a green light (no pun intended) by Coalition state governments. Of course, this will also lead to increased emissions, except, for example, to the extent that exported gas substitutes for coal in user markets.

    • Faustino, there is no Minister for Energy in the current government. Do you know the name of the Minister who was interviewed?

  37. The problem-centred modes of extensive environmental governance associated with the carbon budget approach are ultimately unfeasible politically. Its key weakness is the lack of consideration of crucial political factors, in particular the ways multilateral organisations, national governments, and political parties actually work.

    See any important actors missing from the above?
    Like “Voters”? Public? Citizenry? Subjects and serfs? Peons? Riffraff?
    Taxpayers?

    Geden’s tripe is no different today than it was in 1988. It is the same political factors and the same scientific and policy weaknesses What has changed is the “key weakness is the lack of” credibility in climate science and governance.

    The price of mitigation has risen.
    The cost of doing nothing has dropped.
    The urgency to do anything has dissapeared.
    The tempers of the taxpayers is getting shorter.

  38. Is the best number really, 2C? How about, 1.98C and everyone gets a cookie?

  39. Faustino,

    Australian politics: the new Minister for Energy (responsible for climate change) … He said he will take advice from Australia’s BOM and CSIRO (both warmist) and leading overseas scientific bodies – i.e., from the consensus science group. Not very encouraging.

    He said that “we” (the government) accept the emissions reduction targets,

    I think you are referring to the Minister for Environment (Greg Hunt) no to the Minister for energy (there isn’t one in the new government).

    The conservatives had to have an environment minister who believes in climate change or they would not have got elected. So he is an essential part of the team.

    However, I believe what will happen over time, is that the government will get more and more sound analyses done and they will show that all these carbon restrain policies are a waste of money and achieving nothing. Either Greg Hunt will come around or his influence on economic policy will decline. That is what I see happening, but perhaps not much change in the first term of this government. We don’t really have to scrap the 2020 targets (5% below 1990 levels) until about 2016, 2017 or 2080; after all the industry already knows they are probably not going to be achieved.

    For non Aussies, the previous government (just booted out 2 weeks ago) committed us to programs to restrain GHG emissions that will cost us nearly as much as our total Defence budget. But even Treasury’s figures show the cost exceeds their optimistic estimates of benefits by a factor of 10:1 over the period to 2050 [1].

    Defence Budget (2013) $22 billion [2]
    Labor budget for Carbon restraint policies (2013): $19 billion (increasing to $22 billion in 2019) [3]

    The $19 billion (for this financial year) is made up of:
    – Carbon Tax/ETS: $11 bn
    – Renewables (RET & REC): $3 bn
    – Budget spending on other carbon restraint policies: $5 bn

    The new government will cut the cut the carbon tax/ETS and reduce the budget spending but its current policy is to retain the Renewable Energy Targets and Renewable Energy Certificates. This cost electricity and gas consumers about $5 billion a year [3] (equivalent to 1/4 the Defence budget).

    I expect, in time, the new government will have clear advice from the Treasury, Productivity Commission and external economic advisers to dump or severely curtain the carbon restrain policies. And the Senate may refuse to pass the ‘Direct Action’ plan.

    [1] “Why the ETS will not succeedhttp://jennifermarohasy.com/2013/08/why-the-ets-will-not-succeed-peter-lang/

    [2] ABC graphic on the breakdown of the budget http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-09/interactive-budget-2013-where-will-your-tax-go/4682404

    [3] IPA “The real cost of emissions reductions

    • Peter, my mistake. The Minister wasn’t identified while I was watching and I didn’t recognise him. I mis-remembered the allocation of responsibilities. I hope that you are right about how things will pan out.

      • Faustino,

        I’ve had many email exchanges with Greg Hunt. He is very confident! :)

        He believes in CAGW, cutting GHG emissions is urgent, wind and solar power are a good way to cut emissions so we must stick to the RET, and his Direct Action plan is the correct way to do it.

    • Peter,
      I am In Greg Hunt’s electorate.
      BC

    • “The conservatives had to have an environment minister who believes in climate change or they would not have got elected. So he is an essential part of the team.”

      This philosophy of say what you need to in order to get elected has been the death of modern conservatism. Voters are almost never given a real choice. They don’t know what conservatism is (like the vast majority of commenters here) because they never hear the argument.

      Schools don’t teach anything (honest) about conservative history, economic policy or governing theory. The MSM throughout the western world neither understands, nor reports on conservative alternative policy proposals.

      And those who are generally conservative almost never bother running for office, because they see what happens to a Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, or any other genuinely conservative politician.

      “We have to embrace climate change (or socialized medicine or isolationist foreign policy) to get elected.” And then when they are elected, they have no mandate to actually change anything. And in the mean time, they do slow the destruction that progressivism wreaks on the economy. So the voters never see the ultimate failures of progressivism, or the successes of conservatism.

      The idea that Leviathan’s growth can be stopped incrementally has been tried, and failed, since the New Deal. I am beginning to be of the opinion that conservatives should start their own party, and not just in the US. And stop winning the occasional election in favor of winning the ultimate debate.

      • GaryM,

        The reality is that in developing policies and opposition party has to decide if it wants to be pure to some fringe, extreme ideological agenda, or win government? If it doesn’t win government it cannot achieve anything. In Australia’s case that would have meant we continued with about the worst government the country has had, probably ever. The population would not have voted for hard right. Once in government, the Government can then educate the population over time. They do this by running studies and royal commissions that have ‘independent’ groups review according to the terms of reference set by the government. Slowly people come to support the agenda of the government. That is how the last government, Labor, managed to scare the wits out of the population about CAGW and implement polices to restrict CO2 emissions; these policies will cost nearly as much as our entire defence budget.

        Politics is about the achievable!!!

      • Peter,

        I understand the argument. The “leaders” and campaign consultants of the Republican party in the U.S. have been making it my entire life. And we even had one, and only one, conservative president.

        Yet we have an inexorably larger government, an inexorably more dependent populace, and a now virtually unsustainable, but still growing, debt.

        I hope you are right, and your “moderate” conservatives actually do something to reverse course. When I saw the initial firings of some upper level bureaucrats, I was impressed. But then I read that the actual leader of the CAGW wing of the government is going to be retained.

        It is beginning to look like nothing can stop the march to the economic abyss. And the U.S. has tried the “incrementalism” your new coalition is suggesting. It lasts until the either the new “conservative” government decides to become even more progressive to stay in power, or the next fully progressive government takes over.

        I wish you luck. But don’t have much hope as things stand now.

      • GaryM,

        There will be compromises. But I reckon they’ve started pretty well. Shut down the Climate Commission and fired the Climate Commissioners on day 1. [as an aside, They now have their cap out to the public to donate to them so they can continue giving Australian's the benefit of their 'independent' interpretation of climate science - its about as independent as the SkepticalScience's interpretation.]

        They have got rid of the top bureaucrats that were clearly politically partisan towards the progressives.

        They’ve sacked the entire board of the National Broadband Network – a government monopoly to provide fiber optic broadband to every home and business in the country. It’s way behind schedule and way over cost. It’s 4 years into a 10 year project and just 0.5% of the work complete.

        Much more. They are doing OK so far, given it’s only their first week.

  40. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values.
    Nor is that to be seen as a defect. Of course choices between competing values are not made by relying upon scientific knowledge alone. What is wrong is to pretend that they are.’ http://www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/units/mackinder/pdf/mackinder_Wrong%20Trousers.pdf

    An obvious observation is that it is not about science at all.

  41. Schrodinger's Cat

    This could be a time of great opportunity for some climate scientists.

    Let me explain. I know very little about climate science and I’ve never published a scientific paper in my life but I have filed at least couple of dozen patents and I recognise innovative opportunities when I see them.

    Inventions are rarely made in isolation. Usually they are the solution to a problem or a novel improvement to overcome known difficulties. Climate science certainly has more than its share of problems and difficulties at the moment. This presents an opportunity for some climate scientists. I say “some” scientists because most of them are trying to ignore or minimise the problem associated with their models. The perceptive scientists will see the problems as having much more innovative potential than the models. Forget the models and see the problems as clues leading to the treasure.

    The scientists will know much more about the problems than I do, but I’m referring to the current lack of warming, the missing upper tropospheric hotspot, and the decline in humitity where an increase is predicted. The prediction of extreme weather when the opposite seems to be the case and the record Antarctic ice extent are other “problems”.

    All of these need explaining. The scientist who understands the mechanisms that explain these problems will know much more about our climate than any other scientist. That is the challenge. But it means ditching some of the existing paradigms.

    At the moment the mindset is that warming dominates our climate.

    I think that stability is the leading characteristic. Scientists should be looking for massively powerful stabilising mechanisms. This probably means lots of powerful negative feedbacks.

    I really don’t buy the water vapour amplifier idea. A tiny amount of carbon dioxide warms the atmosphere enough to drive water evaporation leading to GHG warming at catastrophic levels? The atmosphere already has a huge quantity of water vapour and a huge range from about zero to about 5% (as far as I know). The oceans provide an almost infinite source of more water. If a warming event can trigger dangerous levels of water vapour then it would have happened before now.

    I see our water planet as an indicator of stability, not a time bomb waiting to explode.
    Water is almost certainly the key to our climate stability.

    The existence of the fairly fundamental problems makes me suspect that just as modelling and computing power came of age, the GHG fashion dominated the exploratory work. It seems that the basic understanding of the natural factors that really control our climate have not been modelled yet – or even understood.

    The clues are there. It just needs a change in mindset.

      • Strange, as a climate scientist I wouldn have thought you’d have recognized the errors in this paragraph:
        “I really don’t buy the water vapour amplifier idea. A tiny amount of carbon dioxide warms the atmosphere enough to drive water evaporation leading to GHG warming at catastrophic levels? The atmosphere already has a huge quantity of water vapour and a huge range from about zero to about 5% (as far as I know). The oceans provide an almost infinite source of more water. If a warming event can trigger dangerous levels of water vapour then it would have happened before now.”

    • Don’t tell lolwot this. He is convinced the end is nigh.

    • Agree, very nice, SC. What we see over the last decade is that climate science, instead of addressing these ‘problems’ with curiosity and investigative endeavour, has jumped to unsupported conclusions which favor the narrative of high sensitivity and great human guilt, for instance ‘deep’ heat hiding, and the aerosol bandage.

      This is tremendous, blinding, bias and caused by the ’cause’. Hey moshe, there is something for willard to wonder at: ‘Caused by the ‘Cause’.
      =================

    • Let me see. Now which type of economy is likely to give rise to the sort of innovation suggested here? The command and control research/government/industrial complex we now have. That churns out political treatises dressed up as “Assessment Reports” every 5-6 years? Or a free market where the areas of what may be explored are not constrained by the government funders who want only a particular result?

    • Yup.

      I’ll add one refinement

      “All of these need explaining. The scientist who understands the mechanisms that explain these problems will know much more about our climate than any other scientist. That is the challenge.[ But it means ditching some of the existing paradigms.] But it may mean modifying some of the existing paradigms.

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

      in retrospect we can judge whether the modification amounts to a “ditching” or whether it is merley a tweaking. But I will say that no patent creator looks at the situation and fails to see the opportunity

  42. Even 1C isn’t risk free and could bring the world to the warmest it’s been for 100,000 years.

    2C is a conservative limit then, virtually guaranteeing the world is lurched into an unprecedented warm state, possibly warmer than any time in the last 5 million years.

    Under business as usual we will likely go even higher than that. 3C, 4C even which would represent one of the most dangerous climate crises in Earth’s history.

    [1] http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/spmsspm-c-15-magnitudes-of.html

    [2] http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/2/3/0394/97545

    [3] http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/09/paleoclimate-the-end-of-the-holocene/

  43. Global warming alarmism is based on meaningless averages and that becomes more and more obvious when after just a few years of global cooling, there will on average have been no global warming since the 40’s, just as on average the Earth has been in a cooling trend over the last 10,000 years.

  44. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  45. The modification of the 2C climate target will put an end to the vision of a “science-based” climate policy – Oliver Geden

    A major focus of climate science has been identifying the level of CO2 below which we can avoid this dangerous 2C increase – this level has previously been set at 550 ppm, I’m not exactly sure what the latest ‘consensus’ value is.  These numbers have been hard-wired into international climate policy.

    The “modification of the 2C… target” doesn’t signal the end of so-called “Science based climate policy,” it signals that it was never “science based” in the first place.

    Science based means, if it means anything at all, is that all of these factors are constantly being adjusted according to the best, most current information on the subject. The 2C limit of global average surface temperate as planetary boundary itself being one of them. Ten years from now, or ten years ago, some smart people might realize that global average surface temperature might not be the parameter that is most significant. Unfortunately, politics requires a parameter that is easily measured and unambiguous.

    What you wind up with a situation like the one we have with drunk driving. Impairment is what we want to measure, but measuring impairment is ambiguous and not easily measured. Instead we take blood alcohol level as a proxy of impairment, and make a threshold BAC illegal. As long as you set the limit low enough you catch most of the culprits; however, because you don’t measure all the related factors: time of night, sleep deprivation, stress, emotional and psychological state, driver experience, driving habits & etc. some impaired people inevitably slip through purely as a factor of what can be measured and codified conveniently.

    The fact that these numbers once accepted immediately become “hard-wired into international climate policy” means that we have already left the realm of science completely and moved into the political arena, where only political rules apply.

    And we all know what that means, that regardless of the science, policy, objectives and methods will only change with enough political muscle or money applied.

    W^3

  46. For an Australian,2.0C seems a ridiculously low increase target. For us, a 20 to 30 change im a single day would not be remarkable. You change your cloths or your house to suit the new climate. Plenty of people move their home between Melbourne and Sydney, yet Sydney is 3C warmer. It is true that 35C with high humidity is worse than 40C with dry air.. If temperature and humidity tend to move inversely then that is ok. Admittedly poor people don’t have such flexibility, but will there be any poor at the end of the century?